A linear synchronous motor consists of a moving 'reaction plate' (comprising an array of permanent magnets) that "surfs" a travelling wave of magnetic flux produced by a stationary arrangement of coils ('the winding'). This is a bit like a magnetic "chain drive" and the mover's position is controlled by varying the electric currents that flow in the winding. So, essentially, linear motors are flat, unwrapped versions of traditional electric motors that cause movement backwards and forwards, rather than rotating.
Since the propulsion force is applied magnetically to each mover, rather than being transferred through a mechanical interface, there is significantly reduced wear-and-tear compared to other solutions and there are also no traction issues with steep inclines.
We hold several patents on linear synchronous motor design and control, including an efficient means of energising the stator by dividing it into independently-powered segments.
Please view the slideshow below or read through our frequently asked questions for more insight.