New Electric Motor Technology Saves Power and Weight On Board


The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and ECM PCB Stator Technology were selected by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to help determine the feasibility of replacing a conventional motor with a printed circuit board (PCB) stator motor.

Motors developed with ECM’s PCB Stator technology and software (PrintStator) for HVAC systems have many benefits. On large cargo ships and military vessels, the weight of these motors and generators really adds up. Reducing motor weight with ECM’s PCB Stator technology translates to reduced drag, increased fuel range and increased weight capacity of maritime vessels. Additionally, increasing motor efficiency allows for fuel and carbon emissions to be reduced.


ECM replaced the 3HP air handler motor on the MARAD training ship T/S Kennedy with a 3HP motor integrated with PCB stator technology. The legacy motor that was replaced weighed 45kg and ran at an efficiency of 87.5%. ECM’s solution weighed a third of the size of the legacy motor at 15kg and ran at an efficiency of 91.6%. ABS issued a “Statement of Maturity” for ECM’s PCB stator technology and confirmed the reduction of onboard weight and increased motor efficiency.

“The use of ECM’s PCB stator technology onboard ship and the related motor prototyping process were new concepts and were demonstrated as viable, reducing onboard weight and increasing motor efficiency," said Roy Blieberg, ABS Vice President, Engineering.

“The ABS NTQ services offer guidance on early adoption and efficient implementation of new technologies — demonstrating the level of maturity — and that potential risks have been systematically reviewed," said Smarty Mathew John, ABS Manager for Advanced Technology and Research.

Next steps

ECM is in the process of integrating PCB stator technology and PrintStator into HVAC and generator motor systems aboard commercial and government maritime vessels, but also into the general commercial and residential HVAC market. Increased efficiency and a severe weight reduction are only a few of the many benefits when a motor is upgrading with a PCB stator, making the technology applicable for almost any application.

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