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Hitachi unveils motor without 'rare earths'
AFP ^ | 04/11/2012 | uncredited

Posted on 04/12/2012 5:48:31 AM PDT by Abathar

TOKYO — Japanese high-tech firm Hitachi Wednesday unveiled an electric motor that does not use "rare earths", aiming to cut costs and reduce dependence on imports of the scarce minerals from China.

The prototype 11 kilowatt motor does not use magnets containing rare earths and is expected to go into commercial production in 2014, the company said.

Hitachi started work on the project on 2008. Other Japanese firms, including automaker Toyota, have been working towards the same goal, spurred on by high prices of the minerals.

Permanent magnet motors usually contain rare earth such as neodymium and dysprosium and are in increasing demand for the growing number of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Japan has been seeking to reduce its dependence on rare earths and to diversify sourcing to cut its reliance on China, which controls more than 90 percent of global supplies and has moved to restrict production and exports.

(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: earths; hitachi; motor; rare; rareearth; rareearths; unveils
Good for them, hope they make a big breakthrough and reduce all of our dependence on China for the materials.

I wonder how much of our old war stockpiles have been reduced or even eliminated on key elements like cobalt, titanium, molybdenum and tungsten. Do we still have them or have we sold them off, anyone know?

1 posted on 04/12/2012 5:48:36 AM PDT by Abathar
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To: Abathar

Well, it’s no problem to make a motor without these, the question is how efficient can they be. If the efficiency is just as good and the price is lower, this is a great breakthrough.


2 posted on 04/12/2012 5:58:40 AM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Abathar
With this advance you can clearly see dysprosium being replaced by its cheaper substitute dystopian.

(a pun).

3 posted on 04/12/2012 5:59:27 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Abathar

This goes back to Julian Simon and his basket of commodities. No commodity ever gets too ridiculous, because when the price starts to get too high, alternatives are found.


4 posted on 04/12/2012 6:02:04 AM PDT by drbuzzard (different league)
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To: Abathar
aiming to cut costs and reduce dependence on imports of the scarce minerals from China.

An interesting note:

These minerals do not come from China. They come from Africa. Which China has been scooping up and mining heavily for the last 10 years or more.

But if you want them, you have to go see the Chicoms.

5 posted on 04/12/2012 6:04:56 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I will not comply. I will NEVER submit.)
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To: Abathar
GE's Immelt has previously pointed out that there is a lot of over engineering when it comes to rare earths and that there are often alternatives to rare earths.

Similarly, rather than using a more scarce rare earth, a less scarce rare earth(US sourced) can be used. In this case you see MolyCorp the rare earth producer investing in Boulder Wind Power the wind turbine developer.

6 posted on 04/12/2012 6:09:08 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Abathar

Stockpiling was largely done away with because ordinary commercial supplies and stockpiles had become so large and abundant due to the development of civilian high tech industries.


7 posted on 04/12/2012 6:23:43 AM PDT by Rockingham
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To: Abathar
Another way to avoid rare-earth permanent magnets and keep efficiency up is to build a 3-phase inverter inside the frame of a 3-phase induction motor. The rotor need not be permanently magnetic, because of the induction of the rotating magnetic fields from the stator.

Almost all electric vehicles I have seen use 3-phase induction motors.

8 posted on 04/12/2012 6:28:37 AM PDT by backwoods-engineer (I will vote against ANY presidential candidate who had non-citizen parents.)
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To: Abathar

“Dependence on China” for rare earths is an overblown issue. They don’t have a particularly large share of the materials the way (for example) the Middle East has a large share of the remaining oil supply — it’s just cheaper to mine there. There are plenty of alternative sources in (for example) South America; if China tries to cut exports, prices will rise a bit and those alternatives sites will become economically competitive.


9 posted on 04/12/2012 6:29:05 AM PDT by Only Sane Man
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To: Ben Ficklin

That’s also true. In fact, much of the expense of extracting these elements is separating them from each other because they’re so chemically similar that they’re generally all mixed together and it’s hard to disentangle them.


10 posted on 04/12/2012 6:29:13 AM PDT by Only Sane Man
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To: Abathar
"hope they make a big breakthrough"

Actually, the big breakthrough was several decades ago with the development of the rare earth magnets. These allowed smaller, cheaper, lighter, and more efficient motors. Permanent Magnet motors have long been made without rare earth magnets.

11 posted on 04/12/2012 6:30:30 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: norwaypinesavage

Weight is the big issue I think. I know we can make permanent magnet motors, but I believe they weigh a lot more which is fine for many industrial applications but certainly not vehicles.


12 posted on 04/12/2012 6:34:03 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Abathar; The Antiyuppie; muawiyah; drbuzzard; Bloody Sam Roberts; Ben Ficklin
Reading about this elsewhere, they are using higher permeability field cores instead of stacked steel sheets.

This improves the field strength for a given wire weight and current forced through them.

This offsets (some %, not all) the loss of opposing field strength due to reverting back to regular magnets in the rotor instead of stronger rare earth magnets.

This same rotor enhancement could of course be used with rare earth rotors to advance motor tech even further forward (lighter/same power, or same weight/more power). And those who have the better magnets will always have an advantage.

So here we have the state of technology in Obama's world. Not great advances by American's wielding the world's resources. But Japanese attempting to tread performance water due to Chinese domination of natural resources.

It's like "jobs created or saved." It's a technology "advance or marginal tradeoff."

13 posted on 04/12/2012 6:40:26 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: sam_paine
This same rotor enhancement could of

dangit. s/b

This same field coil enhancement could of

14 posted on 04/12/2012 6:43:05 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: Abathar

Switched reluctance motors have been around a while.
(no magnets)((similar to induction motors)


15 posted on 04/12/2012 6:43:10 AM PDT by sasquatch
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To: Ben Ficklin

“Rare Earths” are in fact incredibly common, the problem is identifying and seperating them. The name is a bit of a misnomer and there is a rare earth mine in the US if I am not mistake getting ready to launch in an attempt to counter China’s dominance in the arena.


16 posted on 04/12/2012 6:46:28 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Abathar

17 posted on 04/12/2012 6:55:27 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (I think in about 5 - no, 4 - years I'll have had enough.)
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To: norwaypinesavage

Just how ‘permanent’ are permanent magnets?

How long until they notabley degrade the efficiency of your hybrid, windmill, harddrive...?

What’s the schedule of magnet replacement for a GM Volt?
Is it less then the 20+ year payback period?


18 posted on 04/12/2012 7:11:32 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: HamiltonJay
There is only one rare earth mine in the US, MolyCorp, located in Mountain Pass, CA.

That mine began operating in 1952 with a 50 year permit. In the early 90s, MolyCorp decided that there were additional materials to be mined so that began the process of repermitting for when the original permit expired(2002).

The new permit would be for 35 years with 5 years to expand the mine, 25 years to mine, and 5 years to de-commission.

It was during the 90s that MolyCorp had a spill of radioactive waste and the bottom fell out of the rare earth market. These two things delyed the new permit until 2004, at which time prices were still depressed so they didn't begin mining again, although they were still processing some out of the tailings.

But eventually China emerged as the main supplier because the govt was subsidizing and allowing pollution.

Then a group of private investors bought MolyCorp and developed a new business plans to not just mine and seperate but to also get involved in applications, say like "mining to magnets".

The other potential mine is US Rare Earths in Idaho.

Very few investors want to stick their neck out on rare earths because China can quickly change their export policies and undermine those who are making a long term investment to get into the industry.

For now, if you are in a business that uses these rare earths, it better to locate you business in China so as to avoid the higher costs of the export tariffs that China is imposing on foreign buyers.

Ultimately China will lose when the case is decided at the WTO, but in the meantime they will reap the rewards.

19 posted on 04/12/2012 7:30:54 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Abathar

For the same horsepower, PM motors do weigh more than electromagnetic field motors, but are much more efficient in electricity usage. They don’t require electric current to magnetize the fields. In electric vehicles, the efficiency gain in electricity usage can more than offset the efficiency loss due to increased weight, all other things being equal.


20 posted on 04/12/2012 7:49:56 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: DUMBGRUNT

The magnets usually outlive the rest of the components in the device.


21 posted on 04/12/2012 7:51:29 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: the invisib1e hand

I was gonna post that because...well...there is, of course, only one Rare Earth.


22 posted on 04/12/2012 7:54:07 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I will not comply. I will NEVER submit.)
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To: Abathar

When will someone start mining the huge waste heaps across our country and others? Imagine all the gold, silver, copper, rare earths and others stuff in those huge piles.


23 posted on 04/12/2012 8:13:22 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: FreeAtlanta

I believe those are termed by the Whitehouse as “Strategic Reserves”...


24 posted on 04/12/2012 9:17:12 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html


25 posted on 04/12/2012 9:40:55 AM PDT by allen08gop (New Ticker, Tan, Rested, and Ready! Cheney 2012)
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