Three Ways to Reduce Motor Weight and Improve Efficiency

September 22, 2022

Depending on the type of system being designed and the underlying environment in which it operates, motor weight can be very important to the overall cost and operating value of the system. Motor weight reduction can be addressed in several directions, including universal motor design, efficient component production, and material selection. To achieve this, it is necessary to improve all aspects of motor development: from design to efficient production of components using optimized materials, the use of lightweight materials and novel manufacturing processes. Generally speaking, the efficiency of a motor depends on the type, size, utilization of the motor, and also on the quality and quantity of materials used. Therefore, from all these aspects, electric motors need to be developed using energy and cost-effective components.

A motor is an electromechanical energy conversion device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy in the form of linear or rotary motion. The working principle of a motor mainly depends on the interaction of magnetic and electric fields. Many parameters can be used to compare motors: torque, power density, construction, basic operating principle, loss factor, dynamic response and efficiency, the last one being the most important one. The reasons for low motor efficiency can be mainly attributed to the following factors: improper size, low electrical efficiency of the motor used, low mechanical efficiency of the end user (pumps, fans, compressors, etc.) No speed control system that is poorly maintained or even non-existent.

In order to maximize the energy performance of a motor, losses from various energy conversions during motor operation must be minimized. In fact, in an electric machine, energy is converted from electrical to electromagnetic and then back to mechanical. Efficiency-enhancing electric motors differ from conventional electric motors because they have minimal losses. In fact, in conventional motors, losses are mainly caused by: friction losses and mechanical losses due to windage losses (bearings, brushes and ventilation) losses in vacuum iron (proportional to the square of voltage), related to changes in flow direction Losses due to the hysteresis of the dispersed energy of the core, and losses due to the Joule effect (proportional to the square of the current) due to eddy currents caused by circulating currents and flow variations in the core.

proper design

Designing the most efficient motor is a key aspect of reducing weight, and because most motors are designed for widespread use, the right motor for a specific application is often larger than what is actually needed. To overcome this challenge, it is important to find motor manufacturing companies that are willing to make changes in semi-custom ways, from motor windings and magnetics to frame size. To ensure that there is the correct winding, it is necessary to know the specifications of the motor so that the precise torque and speed required for the application can be maintained. In addition to adjusting the windings, manufacturers can also change the magnetic design of the motor based on changes in permeability. Proper placement of rare-earth magnets between the rotor and stator can help increase the motor's overall torque.

new manufacturing process

Manufacturers are able to continuously upgrade their equipment to produce higher tolerance motor components, eliminating the thick walls and dense areas once used as a safety margin against breakage. Because each component is redesigned and manufactured using the latest technology, weight can be reduced in multiple places that incorporate magnetic components, including insulation and coatings, frames and motor shafts.

material selection

Material selection has an overall impact on motor operation, efficiency and weight, which is the most obvious example of why so many manufacturers use aluminum frames instead of stainless steel. Manufacturers have continued to experiment with materials with electromagnetic and insulating properties, and manufacturers are using a variety of different composite materials as well as lighter metals that offer lightweight alternatives to steel components. For installation purposes, a variety of reinforced plastics, polymers and resins are available, depending on the user's specific requirements for the final motor. As motor designers continue to experiment and research alternative components, including lower density coatings and resins for sealing purposes, they breathe new life into the production process, which often affects the weight of the motor. Additionally, manufacturers offer frameless motors, which can have an impact on motor weight by completely eliminating the frame.


Technologies that use lightweight materials, novel manufacturing processes, and magnetic materials to reduce motor weight and improve motor efficiency. Electric motors, especially in automotive applications, represent an increasing number of future technologies. So, even if there is still a long way to go, hopefully this becomes an increasingly consolidated technology, with improved efficiency electric motors addressing issues related to energy savings.

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