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E!12408 Composite Electric Motors in Aerial Thrusters

Alternative title: Elektriske Komposittmotorer i Elektriske Propulsjonssystemer for Luftfartøy

Awarded: NOK 5.3 mill.

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Project Period:

2018 - 2022

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CELMAT (Composite Electric Motors in Aerial Thrusters) is a joint research and development project between the Norwegian electric motor technology start-up Alva Industries AS, a German research group from the WBK Institute of Production Science at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and German propeller manufacturer Helix Carbon GmbH. The project started in October 2018 and ended in April 2021. The project participants have combined several technological innovations within materials science and electric motor technology to produce a novel fully electric propulsion system for the next generation of industrial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The goal of the project has been to develop and commercialise a new electric propulsion system which is lighter, more energy efficient and more reliable than current technological solutions allow. Secondary goals for the project have included IPR protection of project results, dissemination of project results, product cost estimations and certification of the new propulsion system. In the project's end-state, the project has achieved its primary and secondary goals, and the results will be commercialised through the start-up Alva Industries, which is aiming for the drone industry as its entry market from late 2021.

The CELMAT project has successfully achieved its main project goal of developing and testing a lightweight, high-efficiency propulsion system for UAVs, incorporating a combination of novel materials and production technologies from the Norwegian/German partnership between Alva Industries (NO), Helix Carbon (DE) and KIT (DE). The project has also fulfilled its secondary goals, including production cost estimation, dissemination of project results, IPR protection and beginning certification processes.

The CELMAT consortium was established to combine two groundbreaking electric motor technologies with a new integrated propeller and duct to produce thrusters with unprecedented performance and low weight. The project acts on a unique business opportunity in the aerospace industry by targeting the young and fast-growing commercial UAV market. With the CELMAT technology, UAVs will be able to fly longer and carry more payload, for a more versatile future. The lightweight electric thruster will be marketed and sold to commercial UAV manufacturers, a market that has a high demand for lightweight solutions. KIT and Helix will be component suppliers to Alva, who will produce stators and be the commercial sales channel for the product. The electric UAV motor market is projected to grow to €1 billion by 2021, and with an early entry, the consortium aims to take a position as the "go-to" company for electric thrusters and aerial propulsion systems.

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