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Wright testing 2 MW aviation-grade motor for transport-category zero-emissions aircraft

Wright Electric has begun testing its 2 MW (~2,700 horsepower) motor for electric and hydrogen aircraft. (Earlier post.) It’s the largest propulsive…

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This article was originally published by Green Car Congress

Wright Electric has begun testing its 2 MW (~2,700 horsepower) motor for electric and hydrogen aircraft. (Earlier post.) It’s the largest propulsive aerospace motor in existence to the company’s knowledge—about 2x larger than other propulsive motors in testing.

Wright’s motor can work in 150+ passenger aircraft in a 10-motor-array format, and it can also be used in smaller 50-passenger turboprop aircraft in a two-motor-array format.


Wright 2MW Aerospace Motor (with Coke can for size reference)


Scaling electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems from general aviation to larger aircraft applications requires much more powerful and lighter weight altitude-capable electric motor technology, Wright said. The purpose of the motor is to convert the DC power from batteries or fuel cells into propulsive thrust that is compatible with industry standard ducted fan and propeller systems for commercial aircraft.

The level of power and weight demonstrated with the new 2 MW motor will become the baseline for any new electric aircraft and is a key technology in Wright’s megawatt system. The motor is being designed to be scalable from 500 kw to 4 MW systems. The Wright motor targets the following levels of performance:

  • 2 MW of propulsive power

  • 10 kW/kg specific power—a 2x improvement compared to available aircraft propulsion motors. This allows application of the motor up to the single-aisle class aircraft to enable electric and hybrid-electric flight with little to no emissions.

Wright will use 10 2MW motors on its Wright 1 aircraft; the 20 MW system will be as powerful as an A320 Airbus aircraft that major airlines operate today. A two-motor system could power a 50-seat aircraft such as the ATR-42. Wright says that its motors on an A320-sized plane will enable 10 more passengers per flight than a plane using other industry motors.

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Key technologies enabling this level of performance include:

  • High performance thermal system.

  • Operation at higher voltage than normal for aerospace.

  • Insulation system that permits the higher voltage.

  • High performance inverter that enables operation at high frequency with low loss. (In May, Wright announced it had begun testing its high efficiency inverter. Earlier post.)

The motor will now proceed to the next phase of development including integration with an in-house developed highly efficient inverter, high altitude chamber testing, and qualification for flight readiness.

Energy & Critical Metals

Nio Stock’s Slide Likely Isn’t Over as Broader Correction Looms

When I wrote about Nio (NYSE:NIO) last month, I argued that the risks that could send NIO stock lower outweighed factors that could help it bounce back.
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When I wrote about Nio (NYSE:NIO) last month, I argued that the risks that could send NIO stock lower outweighed factors that could help it bounce back.

Source: Robert Way / Shutterstock.com

The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker has numerous strengths, such as high projected rates of growth in its home market. It also has the potential to go global, first in Europe, and then possibly in other key markets like the United States.

However, I believe the company’s rich valuation and jurisdictional risk from China outweigh these positives. What’s more, the stock has taken a hit on concerns about the potential collapse of Chinese property development giant Evergrande (OTCMKTS:EGRNF).

In my opinion, NIO stock is nowhere near bottoming out and likely to move lower in the short term.

High Growth Far From Guaranteed

While NIO stock is down 47% from its all-time high of just below $67 per share, made in January, there’s still a good deal of enthusiasm surrounding the company.

The main driver of that enthusiasm is the company’s high projected levels of growth. Analysts forecast revenue will surge 120% this year and 65% in 2022.

Depending on how Nio’s expansion into Norway goes, growth from Europe could cause analysts to raise their growth forecasts. This could also help counter a growth slowdown in China. Nio faces stiff competition in the Chinese EV market from local rivals such as Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV), as well as from the likes of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Despite the high-growth forecast, I do not expect sentiment for NIO stock to shift back to prior levels of bullishness for two reasons.

First, it’s not guaranteed that the company’s rate of growth will stay as high as it’s been in recent quarters. The global chip shortage resulted in Nio’s August vehicle deliveries falling by 25.9% on a month-over-month basis and caused management to cut its delivery outlook for the current quarter (ending Sept. 30). With the chip shortage expected to drag on, it may affect results in subsequent quarters as well. A Chinese economic slowdown, even if the Evergrande crisis gets under control, could also negatively affect sales growth going forward.

Second, the company’s European expansion could fail to deliver. If Nio stumbles in Norway, it may signal it doesn’t have what it takes to become a global EV brand.

Given these two big unknowns, I don’t see much to prevent NIO stock from tumbling if the broader market turns lower.

Downside Risk High if Appetite for Growth Stocks Wanes

With the odds of a correction climbing, it may be best to tread carefully with growth stocks. Whether caused by changes in Federal Reserve policy, or factors like slowing economic growth, it seems all the more likely that the runaway bull market is about to reverse course.

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In the event of a broader market pullback or correction, investors will shift out of speculative growth plays like NIO stock and into safer plays. This is likely to be the case even if the company meets expectations.

If Nio faces the double-whammy of disappointing results and a rocky stock market, look out below. While shares probably won’t head back to the low single-digits, investors can expect an outsized pullback compared to the broader market.

The Bottom Line on NOI Stock

Hopes for this popular EV maker run high, but the ongoing chip shortage and a slowing Chinese economy may stop Nio’s revenue growth in its tracks. And the risk of a pullback is being exacerbated by a weakening broader market.

I think there is a high probability that NIO stock trades back down to $25, or even $20 per share. So, it’s best to stay away for now.

On the date of publication, Thomas Niel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Thomas Niel, contributor for InvestorPlace.com, has been writing single-stock analysis for web-based publications since 2016.

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Energy & Critical Metals

Bruce Power receives regulatory approval for new lifesaving medical isotope production

  TIVERTON – Bruce Power has received approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to take the next step forward for new isotope production…

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TIVERTON – Bruce Power has received approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to take the next step forward for new isotope production becoming the first power reactor globally to commercially produce Lutetium-177, an innovative therapeutic isotope used in the treatment of prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors.

“This Project is an innovative partnership between Bruce Power, IsoGen, Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) and ITM and is a game changer for the supply of medical isotopes and the global medical community in the fight against cancer,” said James Scongack, Bruce Power Chief Development Officer and EVP Operational Services. “This is another important step forward to utilize our CANDU reactors to provide a new large-scale capacity for production in the medical isotope supply chain, cementing Canada’s place as a global isotope superpower.”

Isogen is a joint venture between Framatome and Kinectrics to enable the use of CANDU reactors to produce medical isotopes needed to treat and diagnose patients with serious diseases world-wide.

“The Framatome team conducted extensive research and development in Canada and modified German technology for use in a CANDU reactor, which resulted in the first Isotope Production System in a power reactor for commercial production of therapeutic medical isotopes,” said Curtis Van Cleve, President and CEO of Framatome Canada Ltd. “We applaud our partners at Bruce Power for their commitment to innovation that supports the continuous production of both electricity and medical isotopes, and to harnessing the therapeutic power of nuclear energy.”

The Isotope Production System (IPS), designed and manufactured by Isogen, will be used to produce Lutetium-177, an isotope used in nuclear medicines that allows for targeted and precise treatments, destroying cancer cells while limiting damage to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. The irradiated Ytterbium targets obtained from the IPS will be processed at ITM premises, where the highly pure no-carrier-added (n.c.a.) Lutetium-177 will be produced in pharmaceutical quality. N.c.a. Lutetium-177 will be marketed globally by ITM under the brand name EndolucinBeta® as well as leveraged for clinical supply to advance the company’s own pipeline. ITM is a German based leading radiopharmaceutical biotech company focused on the development, production and global supply of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals.

“The license granted by CNSC today marks a critical milestone for Isogen on our mission to provide lifesaving medical isotopes to the world,” said David Harris, CEO of Kinectrics.  “This approval showcases the advantages of bringing together the significant investments and capabilities of the partners to advance the technology, and develop the safety, engineering and licensing packages necessary to introduce such a cutting-edge technology in a safe and reliable manner without impact to normal reactor operation.”

“It is great to see the progression in the installation of the Isotope Production System, which provides us with an additional reliable source to increase the scalability of our n.c.a. Lutetium-177 production for global supply as well as the further clinical development of our broad pipeline,” commented Steffen Schuster, CEO of ITM. “We look forward to leveraging our long-term partnership with Bruce Power to deliver Targeted Radionuclide Therapy to cancer patients worldwide.”

Bruce Power’s collaboration with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) will see the partners jointly marketing new isotopes in support of the global fight against cancer while also working together in creating new economic opportunities within the SON territory by establishing new isotope infrastructure.

“It’s very exciting times for SON as we move forward to the next phase of the Isotope project with Bruce Power,” said Chief Lester Anoquot, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation.  “Many members of our community have been impacted by cancer in some way.  We are proud to play a leadership role in the global fight against cancer, while building economic opportunities in our community.”

The partnership, which includes an equity stake and revenue-sharing model for SON, is named Gamzook’aamin aakoziwin, which means ‘We are Teaming up on the Sickness’ in the traditional Anishinaabe language.

“The Gamzook’aamin aakoziwin project will positively impact people worldwide, well beyond the borders of our community,” said Chief Victoria Smith, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.  “This project is a groundbreaking development in the fight against cancer, and represents a positive step forward for the global medical community.”

The approved project will expand Bruce Power’s established isotope production, and will solidify the company as an integral producer of critical medical isotopes increasingly being used in innovative nuclear medicine applications.

“Ontario continues to position itself as a world leader in the production of life-saving medical isotopes,” said Energy Minister Todd Smith. “The innovation of companies like Bruce Power and its partners is critical to ensuring increased capacity of isotope production to improve global access to these essential tools in the fight against cancer. Today’s announcement is a big step forward in furthering the goal of long-term, sustainable, and flexible production of medical isotopes at the Bruce Power site.”

Bruce Power is one of the world’s largest producers of Cobalt-60 through its partnership with Nordion, used in the sterilization of single use medical equipment and in transformative cancer treatments like the Gamma Knife.

“Thanks to the investments being made into the Bruce Power site today we can look to the future and realize a vital role in providing life-saving medical isotopes to the world, while also supplying clean, reliable and low-cost electricity to Ontario, growing the economy and fostering innovation for decades to come,” said Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce.

Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, also offered his support and congratulations.

“The potential for growth in the isotope space provides an invaluable opportunity to leverage Ontario’s established nuclear supply chain that has developed over the past several years and is recognized as a leader around the world in isotope innovation, development and production,” said Walker. “Most importantly isotopes are making a positive difference in people’s lives every day and I am proud to be a champion of the nuclear industry.”

The work to install the Isotope Production System is a part of the ongoing Life-Extension Program at the Bruce Power site, which began in 2016 and remains on track.

As the commissioning process continues there will be additional regulatory hold points to allow CNSC staff to confirm operational readiness of the Isotope Production System (IPS) prior to the start of Lu-177 production. Bruce Power will finalize documentation and CNSC staff will review commissioning test results to verify the IPS meets its design and safety analyses requirements.

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Energy & Critical Metals

Jelly Roll, Layer Cake or Popsicle Stick – The Evolution of Lithium-Ion Battery Shapes in EV’s

By Alf Stewart There are different forms of Lithium-Ion  batteries in use today, and two…

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By Alf Stewart

There are different forms of Lithium-Ion  batteries in use today, and two new sizes of batteries to be introduced in the next year. This article explores the three types: pouch cells, prismatic cells and cylindrical cells. A few of the advantages of that arise from these shapes are discussed. The introduction of the Blade Battery by BYD, the largest EV manufacturer in China may signal a new trend in the shape of batteries to come

There are different forms for Lithium-Ion batteries in use today.

Pouch Cells and Prismatic Cells – Layer Cake

Pouch Cell – No hard enclosure Layer Cake
Prismatic Cell – A Layer Cake in a hard shell

 

Prismatic cells are made up of many positive and negative electrodes layers sandwiched together leaving more possibility for short circuit and inconsistency. The higher capacity makes it difficult to protect each cell from over charging and dissipating heat. This is the form of Lithium-Ion Battery Cell used by General Motors and Hyundai. Unfortunately, these cells have been linked to some battery fires and Elon Musk that cylindrical cells are superior for protection from overheating.

Cylindrical Cell – A Jelly Roll

These cells are rolled up layers of the positive and negative cell sandwich. Reputedly more thermally stable than prismatic cells, and they have been Tesla’s choice for all its vehicles until recently. Tesla is currently leading the charge in terms of range, energy density and safety but that title may soon pass to another form as we shall discuss.

The current generation of cylindrical cells have dimensions of 21 millimetres long by 70 millimeters in diameter. At Tesla’s Battery Day event last September, the company introduced the 46 millimeter by 80-millimeter size, the 4680 cell for its next generation battery pack. The battery pack using 4680’s will be Tesla’s own Gigafactory product, but 3rd party battery manufacturers may also supply these cells to Tesla, with final assembly into packs done at Tesla’s Berlin or Austin Gigafactories.

It is expected that the 4680 Jelly Roll style battery can be produced on an automated assembly line by the millions, but Tesla is still in the start-up phase of making these new cells at commercial scale.

The Blade Battery is an extreme form of the Prismatic Cell design with a very long and thin shape.

The Blade Battery – A Popsicle Stick – A BYD Innovation

This shape allows the batteries to be used as strong planks in a battery pack. The batteries do not have to grouped into modules, as is common with other designs. They are also extremely stable thermally as BYD demonstrated by drilling into a standard Nickel -Cobalt- Manganese Prismatic Cell and then repeating the same experiment with a Blade Battery.

Tesla has opted for prismatic cells with Lithium-Ion Phosphate Chemistry for its Standard Range Plus Model 3 made in Shanghai. It may signal the emergence of Prismatic Cells with Lithium-Ion Phosphate chemistry as the most popular flavor in the Electric Vehicle market.

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