Switched reluctance machine electromagnetic design and optimization
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The objective of this dissertation is to study the switched reluctance machine (SRM) electromagnetic design and optimization. The research of electric machines is mostly driven by the motivation for higher efficiency and lower cost. The demands for high-performance electric machines also come from the development of emerging industries, such as electric vehicles (EV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), renewable energy conversion, energy storage and precision manufacturing. The additional requirements for those applications include volume, weight, speed, torque, reliability, fault tolerance capability, etc. The focus of the research effort is on the high speed and high torque applications, where the SRM stands out compared to other types of machines. The conventional design method significantly depends on the designer’s experience, which uses equivalent magnetic circuit models, and therefore the SRM design is not well developed. A novel SRM electromagnetic design and optimization method is developed, which uses the current-fed FEA simulation as the SRM performance estimation tool. This method serves as the main innovation of this research work. First, the proposed method is applicable to any SRM topologies and dimension, and no detailed modeling of a specific SRM configuration is required in advance. Therefore, an automated SRM design and optimization approach is developed. Secondly, great accuracy of the SRM electromagnetic analysis, e.g. flux density, torque, and current calculation, is achieved by using FEA simulation instead of simplified magnetic circuit approximations. This contribution is particularly significant when considering the poor accuracy of conventional SRM analytical analysis methods, where several assumptions and approximations are used. Lastly, the proposed design method takes the typical SRM control strategy into account, where the excitation current profile is characterized as a trapezoid. This method adapts the flux linkage of the first FEA simulation result to specify the excitation current profile for the second FEA simulation, so the calculated SRM performance in FEA simulation agrees with the measurement on a practical machine. The proposed SRM design and optimization method is used for a 12/8 SRM rotor design and for a complete 4/2 SRM design. These design examples validate the applicability of the proposed method to different SRM configurations and dimensions. Detailed design steps are presented for both design cases, and the selection of the parametric design variables are also discussed. The optimization results are demonstrated using multi-dimension diagrams, where the optimal design with the highest torque can be easily identified. The FEA simulation results are compared to the experimental results of a fabricated SRM prototype, and good agreement is found. In addition, a new rotor configuration with a flux bridge is proposed for an ultra high speed SRM design. The primary motivation of this rotor topology is to reduce the windgae losses and the acoustic noise at a high speed of 50,000 rpm. However, care must be taken for the flux bridge design, and the impact of different flux bridge thicknesses to the SRM performance is studied. Meanwhile, the manufacturing difficulties and the mechanical stresses should also be considered when fabricating the flux-bridge rotor. As a result, two SRM prototypes are built, and the two rotors are one without a flux bridge and one with a flux bridge. The prototypes are tested at different speeds (10,000 rpm, 20,000 rpm and 50,000 rpm) respectively, and the experimental results show good agreement with the FEA simulation results.