The invention converts the energy produced by PV cells directly into mechanical motion without the need for batteries or power electronics. Its developers claim the robustness of the solar motor can drive water pumps and ventilation turbines for more than 20 years without the need for maintenance. Auxerre-based start-up Saurea has unveiled an electric motor technology that converts solar energy directly into mechanical rotation. The company’s first product provides rotary motion able to draw water for agricultural irrigation and to supply fresh air to ventilate buildings. “It’s the first solar engine in the world,” said Isabelle Gallet-Coty, one of Saurea’s founders. “It revolves entirely around renewable energy and has the particularity of never breaking down.” Unlike conventional electric motors, Saurea’s technology directly converts solar energy to rotary motion without the need for power conversion components, giving the solar engine unusual resilience. “Electronic power conversion components often need to be replaced,” said Gallet-Coty. Saurea claims it can guarantee maintenance-free operation of its first product for 20 years. According to the start-up, that will offer fi...