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Clarkson entrepreneur receives $75,000 for cheaper, greener bus motors

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POTSDAM — A Clarkson University graduate has developed a way to make electric motors smaller, and his company has received $75,000 from the state to study including his technology in buses.

Russel H. Marvin graduated from Clarkson in 1988. He has worked for several companies since, some of which he started himself.

“I’m a serial entrepreneur,” he said.

Last year he returned to Clarkson’s Shipley Center for Innovation with an idea for a new company, LC Drives Corp.

“We’re a new company that has developed some interesting motor and generator technology that allows motors to be smaller. We believe that ultimately that will result in the next generation of electric motors for medium- and large-size applications,” he said.

He is working toward his doctorate at Clarkson while running the company with support from the Shipley Center.

They key technology being developed by LC Drives is an unusual cooling solution that allows motors to cool down faster. This will allow them to be built smaller and more cheaply.

LC Drives will work with Unique Technical Services LLC, a Long Island company, to research how to incorporate these smaller electric motors into hybrid buses.

A rising number of cities, including New York City, are moving away from buses powered solely by diesel fuel, Mr. Marvin said.

“There’s been a movement over the last decade or so,” he said.

The work funded by the $75,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will be only theoretical for now, figuring out the feasibility of using the technology rather than actually installing motors in buses.

Mr. Marvin said the state was excited by the possibility of creating hybrid bus motors more cheaply and efficiently, and said he hopes the project will grow in the future.

The grant is part of $4.3 million distributed to companies across the state to help reduce the environmental impact of transportation.

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