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Advanced Design Methodology for Permanent Magnet Synchronous Machines in Power Applications

Damián José Gómez

Directors: Dr. Gaizka Almandoz Larralde (Mondragon Unibertsitatea), Dr Irma Villar Iturbe (IK4-Ikerlan) University: Mondragon Unibertsitatea



Most of the world electrical energy is consumed by electric motors, and then, the improvement in their performance leads to essential savings in the global energy consumption, required to reduce the CO2 emissions. Actually, the policies of governments and institutions are becoming more demanding and the manufacturers are forced to offer more and more optimized products. Moreover, many applications are increasingly demanding high performance in terms of power density, reliability or dynamic response, as in the case of electric vehicle, wind power generation or railway traction. The high energetic content of neodymium magnets causes that the permanent magnet machines (PMSM) are the more attractive option with respect to power density. In addition, thanks to the almost complete elimination of the rotor losses they are the most energetically efficient machines.

The PMSM design requires of a multiphysical approach since it comprises electric, magnetic and thermal aspects. In this work, a comprehensive review of the technical literature regarding these machines has been done, and some areas for improvement have been found. Firstly, it is common that the procedure starts from a quite defined machine and just an optimization of a specific part is realized. Moreover, excessive dependence on designer’s experience and knowhow is observed, without giving clear instructions for taking design decisions. Finally, excessive dependence on time consuming FEM models is found.

Hence, the main objective of this thesis is to develop and propose an advanced design methodology for PMSM design, characterized by being clear and complete, considering whole the design process and giving criteria and tools for taking decisions which lead to an optimum choice of the final solution.

A PMSM design methodology has been proposed that enables the evaluation of large amounts of configurations in an automatic manner, easing to the designer the process of taking the final design decision. To implement this methodology, several tools have been developed and explained in detail: electromagnetic models coupled to thermal models and lumped parameter electromagnetic models. Some important modifications were done in the thermal models taken as a reference in order to consider different cooling conditions. In addition, a basis permeance network model was adapted to the selected machine topology and it was used to demonstrate its suitability to be used in combination with Frozen Permeability technique.

Following the proposed design methodology, a 75 kW PMSM prototype was designed and validated at the IK4-IKERLAN medium voltage laboratory. The obtained results have validated both the proposed design methodology and the developed and employed tools.

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