American R&D company WaveCrest Laboratories, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, specializes in electric propulsion development and applications.
Energy conversion company WaveCrest Laboratories has developed an electric propulsion system for a broad range of applications. A story of a Russian neurophysiologist who wanted to create a motor based on the principles of the human body, a Russian physicist who turned the concept into reality, an American investor who helped fund the dream, and an international team who wants to “change the way the world moves”.
The Adaptive Motor® is the Key
The key to this eager ambition is the patented WaveCrest Adaptive Motor system. It is composed of the WaveCrest multiple-phase brushless DC motor, a controller and a battery.
The motor design is based on a modular structure that tries to copy the way the human body moves its parts individually by signals from the brain, and which inventor Alexander Pytnikov acknowledged as the most efficient and most reliable moving system.
The center-mounted stator of the Adaptive Motor consists of a series of identical, isolated electromagnets. A WaveCrest electronics module controls the electromagnetic cores independently ensuring optimal energy flux though more than one core at the same time. The motor system is designed to reconfigure itself a couple of thousand times per second to ensure top-efficiency at all times, speeds, terrains and environments. The electrical energy, naturally wave-like, is captured at its peak or, metaphorically, at its crest. This is essentially what the name WaveCrest denotes.
From Military to Consumer Applications
After its foundation in 2000, WaveCrest Laboratories focused on military applications of the Adaptive Motor system. During the past year, however, the young company has shifted the emphasis to consumer as well as law-enforcement and security vehicles.
In an effort to make the vehicles look as revolutionary as the motor technology, WaveCrest has recruited the Berlin-based design team Craftsmen who have developed and styled successful pedelecs and electric scooters in the past.
In 2002, the author of this article visited WaveCrest in its headquarters near Washington DC to test ride a prototype of the Adaptive Motor built into a military type bicycle by Montague. It was absolutely silent while carrying the rider uphill with ease, even on off-road ground.
A similar experience – though indoor – was made by visitors at the fall shows 2003 in Europe and the US, where WaveCrest presented their consumer models, the M-750 e-bike in MTB style and the cruiser-like iO under the brand name TidalForce.
Both bikes have the WaveCrest motor in a 12 inch diameter housing in the rear hub and Saft NiMH batteries in a similar housing in the front wheel.
The motor brakes by means of magnetic energy and does not need gears. The braking energy is captured for recharging the battery while riding.
Both, the TidalForce M-750 and the iO started production in early Spring 2004. WaveCrest is currently setting up a sales network for the American and the European markets.
For the future, WaveCrest is planning various other applications of the Adaptive Motor system including wheelchairs, cars, buses, and mass transportation. WaveCrest says they will be able to build Adaptive Motors reaching from 1 to 50 kilowatts for all of these purposes.
Rochester Hills, Michigan
1998: Patent of Adaptive Motor, foundation of the Adaptive Motors Corporation by Siberian neurophysiologist Dr. Alexander Pyntikov and Russian scientist Dr. Boris Maslov
January 2000: Foundation of WaveCrest Laboratories by investor Alan Andersson
January 2001: Establishment of light electric vehicle division
December 2003: Opening of headquarter in Michigan
2004: Opening of headquarter in Florida
Products and Specifications:
Adaptive Motor® system
Motor Type: Brushless permanent magnet direct drive WaveCrest Adaptive Motor
Controller: WaveCrest DSP-based technology
Voltage: 42-48 Volts DC
Rated Power: 20Kw
Maximum Operating Speed: Up to 3000 rpm
Peak Efficiency: 95+%
Break Point Efficiency: 85+%
E-Bikes M-750 and iO
Range: 20 miles (32km)
Maximum Speed: 20 mph (32km/h)
Motor Type: Brushless DC direct drive
Motor Power: 750 Watts
Gross Payload: 350 lbs (160 kg)
Front Hub Battery: 36V NiMH
Total Weight: 64 lbs (30 kg)
Charging Time: 3-6 hours
Scooters and motor scooters
Neighborhood vehicles and golf carts
Automobiles and trucks
Mass transit vehicles, e.g., buses and trains
Boats and ships
Industrial applications, e.g., forklifts
Power generation, e.g., windmills
WaveCrest Laboratories LLC
45600 Terminal Drive
Dulles, Virginia 20166
To contact the headquarters in Michigan and Florida, please go to www.wavecrestlabs.com
Copyright WaveCrest Laboratories (WCL)
and Susanne Brüsch (SB)
May 5, 2004
Also see article of October 17, 2005: WaveCrest Labs Stop Selling Bikes