The motor is the core of a boat drive. With its torque motors, Torqeedo sets new standards in the areas of torque, efficiency and power per weight and volume. The motor which equips the Travel 1003 with the effective power of a 3 HP combustion engine only weighs 500 g and is no larger than a packet of cigarettes.
In the case of a torque motor, the objective of the design is to use as many factors as possible to maximize the torque. Torqeedo has uncompromisingly optimized the torque motor and, with the introduction of synchronous motors, which come as permanent excited magnet, electronically commutated and designed as external rotor motors, has created true torque giants.
Torqeedo provides meaningful performance indicators for boat drives. Basically, the power of a drive is measured according to how much propulsion it actually delivers for moving the boat. This power is referred to as the output or propulsive power. It is calculated by the power times the speed and can be expressed in watts or horsepower.
Although the propulsive power forms an extremely informative index for boat drives, most manufacturers don’t provide it.
Suppliers of electric motors generally use the input power of their motors as the power rating. However, only a fraction of this value is actually available to the boat drive as propulsive power. The rest is lost – for example in the motor or propeller – as inefficiency. Manufacturers of combustion engines, on the other hand, usually give the power at the motor shaft as their index. Also here, only a fraction of this value is available as propulsive power.
However, that is not all: The use of high-tech materials further improves the performance parameters of the Torqeedo torque motors: a Torqeedo motor, such as that used in the Travel 801 model, uses rare earth magnets instead of hexaferrites.
Altogether, it exceeds a conventional internal rotor motor by 24-fold torque – although it is the same size. Combined with a 1:14 step-down gear, the 800-watt motor can easily drive a propeller typically used by a 20 HP combustion engine.
The Torqeedo motors also take on a new dimension with regard to efficiency. They experience no excitation current and brush losses: and are equipped with additional, patented control mechanisms, reducing losses to a minimum. The efficiency not only ensures the efficient use of the available battery capacity – it also prevents thermal problems. In this way, Torqeedo can combine high performance with a small structural shape.
The electronic commutation of electric motors described above can generally be either analog or digital. While most providers of electric motors continue to work mechanically using carbon brushes for commutation, Torqeedo has gone two steps further and uses digital power electronics in its new motor models. In contrast to analog-based electronic commutation, digital electronics has a more intelligent power control and handling. This provides more power, more stability and more comfort.
The intelligence of the power control is in its combination of propeller-speed control and control of the power intake. The propeller-speed control regulates the rpm of the propeller, i.e. the motor keeps tightly within the speed specifications and draws whatever power it requires to reach the defined propeller-speed. If, on the other hand, the power consumption is controlled then the drive processes the power made available to it as good as it can and the resultant force is then the speed of the propeller.