Feeds

Hitachi spins up 'leccy fan motor sans rare earths

Where's your monopoly now, China?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi has unveiled what it claims to be a highly efficient mid-sized electric motor built without using the rare earth minerals which have become essential to the production of much of modern technology.

The 11kw motor is designed to power pumps or fans in factories and tunnels and should be ready for commercial production by 2014, said Hitachi.

The key design challenge the firm had to overcome was to build a magnet synchronous motor with the requisite energy efficiency and performance without using the rare earth minerals neodymium and dysprosium.

Hitachi said it achieved this thanks to developing its own “iron-based amorphous metal core”, which it has been working on since 2008.

The main drivers for the project were improving energy efficiency to counter global warming and move away from a reliance on rare earth materials which China has a virtual monopoly on.

“From the viewpoint of resource depletion, the need for replacement of recycling of rare earth and other materials is increasing,” the firm said in a press release.

China has come under increasing pressure from the US, Europe and Japan over its hardline stance on rare earths, of which it has a global market share of around 97 per cent.

It has been reprimanded several times already by the World Trade Organisation and is under investigation again after the US, EU and Japan filed complaints alleging China’s export restrictions are unfair and could severely affect the global supply chain for countless products.

While some have claimed China is squeezing exports deliberately to push prices up, the government has argued that this is merely part of its plans to become more environmentally friendly. In fact, it announced a cut back on rare earth mining last month as part of this strategy.

Whatever the reasons, the global supply chain would be a lot happier if either alternative rare earth deposits or alternative ways of manufacturing goods like hard drives and plasma screens could be found.

According to reports, Hitachi plans to develop its home grown technology further for use in cars and home appliances. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.