A new configuration of DC motor/generator is based on a Halbach array of permanent magnets. This motor does not use ferrous materials so that the only losses are winding losses and losses due to bearings and windage. An "inside-out" design is used as compared to a conventional motor/generator design. The rotating portion, i.e., the rotor, is on the outside of the machine. The stationary portion, i.e., the stator, is formed by the inside of the machine. The rotor contains an array of permanent magnets that provide a uniform field. The windings of the motor are placed in or on the stator. The stator windings are then "switched" or "commutated" to provide a DC motor/generator much the same as in a conventional DC motor. The commutation can be performed by mechanical means using brushes or by electronic means using switching circuits. The invention is useful in electric vehicles and adjustable speed DC drives.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.