A 17-year-old boy found a way to make electric cars truly green without rare earth

News hardware A 17-year-old boy found a way to make electric cars truly green without rare earth

Robert Sansone, a young student in Florida, recently won the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) with his synchronous reluctance motor. An invention that will dramatically change the future of electric cars.

Simultaneous reluctance to forget the wonderful lands

In recent years, electric cars have really invaded our daily lives and the trend is not about to go away.as evidenced by the decision made in Europe. 2035 will likely mark the end of the old continent’s heat engines. It is with an ecological concern that the car world has and must gradually turn to electricity.

However, electric cars are not perfect contrary to what some people think. The design of batteries and motors requires the extraction of certain materials from our lands, an extraction that also causes a lot of damage to the environment. A problem where Robert Sansone seems to have found an alternative at the age of 17.

Scandium, Lanthanum, Cerium or Neodymium, these names may mean nothing to you, but they are part of the so-called “17 rare earths” family. To give you an idea, 80% of today’s electric cars have this type of metal in the motor and especially in the rotor and its super magnets. Also note that we find these strange lands on our smartphones, our game consoles and even on trains. In short, these metals are almost everywhere around us without our knowledge.

Photo credit: Robert Sansone

If these lands are rare, it is not because of their rarity but because of the high demand for their metals. Let’s start from the premise that the entire car fleet is abandoning thermal for electricity, we will inevitably find ourselves in a critical situation for the environment due to the almost continuous extraction of its rare earths .

But it is that without counting the genius of this American student, who succeeded in developing a synchronous reluctance motor, able to do without unusual lands. An invention that can make electric cars a truly ecological means of transportation.

A system that has already proven itself, but not at such an advanced stage

First of all, you should know that Robert Sansone is what is often called a genius. From the span of his 17 years, the teenager has nearly 60 projects to his credit. Animatronic hand, racing boots or super-powerful kart, the Floridian has made a name for himself in the microcosm of inventors. But with his prototype electric car engine, it is clear that the young man has done very well.

Doing without rare earths is all well and good, but how does this simultaneous reluctance motor work? First, it is important to know that this type of motor does not have magnets unlike a traditional electric motor. Instead, Robert thought of putting together a plastic part (3D printed), copper wireas well asa steel rotor. To start the rotational movement, this system uses the so-called reluctance difference (in simple words, it is a magnetic field that opposes the magnetic circuit). Don’t forget that Robert never invented. but thanks to these materials, he was able to increase the torque of his engine tenfold.

Photo credit: Robert Sansone

A 17-year-old boy found a way to make electric cars truly green without rare earth

If we tell you that he did not invent, it is because Synchronous reluctance motors are already used in fans for example. Nevertheless the young American managed to create a similar machine in his system, but develop a greater electrical rotation (39%).

Although at the moment it is still a bit early to say that this invention will revolutionize the car industrythere is no doubt that in the long term, the latter may represent a major innovation that could allow electric vehicles to get themselves out of strange terrains. Thanks to his project, Robert Sansone won the first prize at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest international science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition for high school students, as well as the smooth amounting to $75,000.

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