Tesla is always coming up with innovative solutions to solve problems large or small, and one such example was revealed at the Model S Plaid delivery event last week. Elon Musk spoke about this achievement briefly during the presentation.
“Something we’re really proud of is the new carbon-sleeved rotors for the motor,” he said. “This is the first time that there’s, to the best of our knowledge, been a production electric motor that had a carbon overwrap rotor,” he added.
Elon also pointed out that this was pretty hard to do since carbon and copper have different rates of thermal expansion — it needs to be wound at extremely high tension in order to achieve a carbon overwrap rotor.
To achieve this goal, Elon said that the team had to design the machine that makes the rotor. This was a first because no such machine ever existed before. However, this gives Tesla another ability: making the electromagnetic field super-efficient while having a tight gap even at extremely high revolutions per minute (RPM).
Alex (@ajtourville) on Twitter shared a thought that Elon replied to with some more details about this new feature.
The Plaid carbon-wrapped motor is arguably the most advanced motor on Earth outside of maybe a lab somewhere. We have to keep some secrets!
We have a few ideas for increasing torque & max rpm even further for new Roadster. Definitely fun & exciting engineering ahead!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2021
Elon pointed out that the Plaid’s carbon-wrapped motor is the most advanced motor on the planet outside of a lab and that they have a few ideas for increasing torque and max RPM even further for the new Roadster.
Elon also gave some more details about how the fiber is wound. It’s wound over the rotor at a high tension load. The machine that wound it was created by Tesla Automation. Tesla Automation is in Germany and was established in 1983 as Grohmann Engineering. It became Tesla Automation in 2016 and is headquartered in Prüm, Germany. You can learn more about that here.
The carbon sleeve needs to put the copper rotor in compression or it would loosen at low temperatures. This is due to differential thermal expansion.
The main benefit of the new motor is that the carbon sleeve rotor creates a stronger electromagnetic field than a rotor that is held together by metal. Elon pointed out that these are usually made with high-strength steel. Another advantage is that the rotor can go to higher RPM, as the carbon sleeve prevents the copper rotor from expanding due to radical acceleration.
Main advantage of this is a much stronger EM field compared with a rotor that is held together by metal (usually high strength steel).
Other advantage is that rotor can go to higher RPM, as carbon sleeve (mostly) stops copper rotor from expanding due to radial acceleration.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2021
The Most Advanced Motor In The World Leads To The Fastest Cars Ever
“I think we’ve really taken it to a whole new level with plaid.” —Elon Musk
When Tesla designed the new carbon-wrapped motors, it created a land rocket — the quickest production car on the planet. It can reach a speed of 60 miles per hour in just 1.99 seconds, and I can tell you firsthand that it’s intense yet fun. With this new machine and those Tesla secrets, it’s clear that Tesla plans to break its own records. The Tesla Model S Plaid’s record acceleration will eventually be broken, and the probability of that record being broken by another Tesla vehicle (ahem, Roadster 2.0) is very, very high.
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