Three out of the 68 research and development projects nationwide aimed at developing disruptive technologies to strengthen the U.S. advanced energy enterprise were awarded to POETS faculty, including Professor Kiruba Haran.
Led by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, the OPEN 2021 program prioritizes funding high-impact, high-risk technologies that support novel approaches to clean energy challenges.
Professor Haran’s startup company, Hinetics, will lead an OPEN 2021 project, Cryogen-fRee Ultra-high fIeld Superconducting Electric (CRUISE) Motor, which was awarded $5.7 million. The company, alongside UIUC and POETS researchers, will develop and demonstrate a high-power density electric machine to enable electrified aircraft propulsion systems up to 10 MW and beyond. Hinetics’ technology uses a superconducting machine design that eliminates the need for cryogenic auxiliary systems yet maintains low total mass. The concept features a sub-20 K Stirling-cycle cooler integrated with a low-loss rotor, magnetic fields on an order of magnitude higher than conventional machines, and a novel coil suspension and torque transfer system with tensioned fibers that cut the cryogenic heat-load by a factor of 10 to eliminate the need for external coolers. This design could enable a 10 MW, 3000 RPM aircraft propulsion motor weighing less than 250 kilograms that rejects up to 10 times less total heat to the ambient environment—achieving more than 99% efficiency.

See https://mechse.illinois.edu/news/45284 and https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/join-us-hinetics/?trackingId=MNdNJFW64n1BiZE5JNfqqg%3D%3D from which this piece was excerpted.