Squirrel Cage Electric Motor: The Difference Between Aluminum and Copper

It’s the showdown of the century: aluminum wire vs copper wire.

Aluminum is the third most abundant element on Earth. Copper doesn’t even crack the top ten. That alone will affect the manufacturing landscape when it comes to electrical applications such as squirrel cages. But there’s more to the picture than cost.

Below, we’re taking a look at the difference between aluminum and copper used in squirrel cage motors.

What Makes a Squirrel Cage?

Here’s an industry secret, squirrel cage electric motors don’t actually contain caged squirrels as their power source.

If not a penitentiary for small mammals, then what is a squirrel cage? A squirrel cage rotor is the rotational element of a squirrel cage induction motor. Induction motors produce torque through magnetic induction of an internal rotating element – the squirrel cage.

That’s why the electrical properties of the squirrel cage are so key. The difference between copper and aluminum comes down to three key factors: conductivity, weight, and cost. 

Aluminum Wire vs Copper Wire: The Throwdown

To get a clear picture of the difference between aluminum and copper, we can take a look at the average wire.

Copper has stronger conductive properties than aluminum. Its resistivity is lower for the same cross-sectional size.

However, copper’s weight for the same conductivity also enters the picture. Copper is heavier than aluminum, to the point that aluminum may be nearly half the weight and achieve the same conductivity.

In manufacturing, weight is often as much a factor as cost. Industries looking to save weight will look to aluminum as a solution.

Aluminum’s cheaper, more available nature also makes its use in the electrical industry more cost-effective at the point of manufacture. 

What Does That Mean for Squirrel Cages?

The first squirrel cages would have been of copper construction. Industrial-scale aluminum production began at nearly the same time as early squirrel cages. By the time aluminum production became widespread, squirrel cages were already in general use.

Many modern squirrel cages use aluminum in their construction. Aluminum’s cost is lower on average, and more stable. The price of copper fluctuates more widely. Aluminum’s lower weight for the same conductivity also makes it a practical alternative in induction motors, which are components in larger electrical appliances where weight is a consideration.

Aluminum can make squirrel cages cheaper at the point of manufacture. However, efficiency gains from copper can reduce running costs through better conductivity. Whether that will offset the higher initial cost of copper will depend on the market for copper at the time.

Aluminum and Copper: The Final Say

In the final analysis, there’s a clear pro and con divide between aluminum and copper. In one corner, aluminum offers lower costs for a more inefficient squirrel cage, while in the other, copper offers better performance at a higher cost. Manufacturers need to run the numbers to decide which is right for them.

Aluminum or copper, all rotors fail eventually. You can get in touch with us for repair.

Here’s How New Energy Technology Trends Are Changing the Traditional Motors

The world of motors has come a long way since 1794 when the first patent was filed for an internal combustion engine. With the rate at which technology is advancing it is also safe to say that there is a lot more to come within this field also. 

Engines and motors are constantly adapting to use the newest technologies. Technology designed to make them faster, stronger, lighter and more efficient. Where will this lead, who knows, but we can look at current trends in engine technology to see what is coming up around the next bend. 

Keep reading to learn three ways new energy technology is going to change traditional motors. 

1. In Wheel Electric Motors

What if your car didn’t need a big engine under the hood? Is it still necessary in today’s modern world? The answer could soon be no. One of the boldest new energy technologies that are on the horizon is in-wheel electric motors. 

Just imagine if you could replace that big bulky, heavy engine with two small engines located in your wheels. They can do everything your current motor can do, but they are smaller, lighter and thus make your care more efficient. 

Electric car tech is one of the most exciting components of today’s motor industry. 

2. Diesel Cylinder Shut Off

The cylinder shut off is something that has been in petrol burning engines for a while now, but diesel engines are something else. They are already efficient right. 

Well, what if they could become even more so. A relatively straight forward piece of new engine technology could see shut-off capabilities coming to diesel engines helping to make them even more efficient when cruising around at lower speeds. 

3. Dynamic Multiphasic Combustion Engine

Imagine an engine that can take multiple combustion systems and combine them into a single engine.

Through the use of both primary and secondary chambers, we could soon see an engine on the market that has direct, port and full throttle injection systems. This could then, in turn, see the further incorporation of blended fuels into general circulation. 

Who Knows Where Energy Technology Will Take Us?

Technology moves at such a rapid pace that it can be hard to keep up with it. There are so many more things we can do now than we could even a decade ago, and with progress only picking up speed enhancements in energy technology are going to come thick and fast. 

This also means that the world around engines and engineering is going to changes. Services offered and maintenance requirements will grow and adapt to suit the new technology-driven marketplace. 

Repairs are never fun, but they are necessary. Are you in need of some electric rotor repair work? Then we are here for you. Get in touch today, and we can see what we can do to get your rotors back into full working order. 

Here’s 3 Energy Solutions That Will Make You Like the Top Green Companies in the World

What does it mean to be green today? Companies in the 1980s were considered green if they adhered to government standards. Today being green is much more than that.

For example, Pacific Gas and Electric pivoted into nuclear power when they didn’t have to. Du Pont recently converted their in-house pollution prevention program into an outbound consulting firm.

Companies are revamping their image. It’s hip to be environmentalists today.

Here are three technologies the top green companies are innovating right now.

1. Top Green Companies: Nerdalize the Green Computer Server Home Heater

Desktop computers are just as efficient at producing heat as a space heater. And if you’re going to be using your desktop all day, you might as well use its heat to warm your space.

The Netherlands-based company Nerdalize thought they could leverage this kind of efficiency for data storage. You see, large data centers are a massive energy sink. They cost billions to run, cool, and service.

What if you broke up those data centers into small servers and put them in people’s houses? Homeowners could rent the unit as a heater for their home. Nerdalize covers the electricity costs of running the machine.

It comes with a free Nerdalize cloud account. And businesses can do the exact same thing with the Nerdalize servers. Imagine a world where energy companies no longer heat residences. How much money and carbon could we save if we cut out all heating costs?

The only downside is summer…

2. Bloque: Natural Cooling with Bricks

We used to leverage architecture to cool our homes. Buildings built with high ceilings and open airways above doors created natural airflow. We’ve moved away from this low energy solution over the last 80 years.

Today, engineers are revisiting the idea of architecture as an energy solution. One such company is Bloque Termodipador BT.

Columbian architects Miguel Nino and Johanna Navarro invented a new kind of ceramic brick. And they didn’t need a new kind of technology to build their new kind of brick. They simply added unique semi-hollow cross-sections and changed the shape.

The bricks provide natural spacing between each one. This provides ventilation and passthrough that dissipates the brick’s temperature. This means you don’t have to use as much energy to cool your building, which is very green indeed.

3. Highways England: Electric Car Charging Lanes

Batteries are the smallest bottleneck in electric car mass adoption. It’s great to have an electric car in the city, especially because you don’t drive very far.

When it comes to road trips, though, you’re going to be starving for energy. But what if the roads were your charging station? Will “service stations” be a thing of the past one day?

Highways England is threatening the service station industry (and you thought Millennials were the only ones killing industries). Advancements in inductive charging have opened the door to EV charging lanes on major highways.

Green Innovations Make Earth Better

It’s easy being green in the 21st century for the top green companies. Innovations keep rolling out and making our earth a better place to live.

Speaking of innovations, we’ve got the best solutions to AC rotor repair. Get a quote on repairs right here.