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Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering Dept., University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: Multi-phase machines, Electric machine design.
The adoption of multi-phase stator topologies in electrical machine design brings well-known advantages in terms of power segmentation, reliability and performance. In addition to these functional benefits, which are independent of machine size, this paper highlights how the use of more than three phases can lead to construction advantages when applied to electric machines of large size. The advantages relate to the winding manufacturing technology, which can be retained similar to that of small machines in presence of a multi-phase solution, while a traditional three-phase one would imply a more costly Roebel bar construction. The point is justified in terms of machine sizing equations and is assessed referring to some built high-power multi-phase machines for industrial and ship propulsion use.
p D L n Ns Nt b q P N f V I At As number of pole pairs; inner stator core diameter; stator core length; number of stator phases; number of series-connected turns per phase; number of turns per coil; number of parallel paths per phase; number of slots per pole per phase; rated power; rated rotational speed (revolutions per minute); rated frequency; rated phase voltage; rated phase current; copper cross-section area of a turn; slot cross-section area; slot pitch; average flux density per pole; stator current density; stator electric loading; stator slot fill factor; stator winding factor; output coefficient; coil pitch to pole pitch ratio.
The benefits that can be obtained from splitting the stator winding of an electric machine into more than three phases have been largely investigated in the field of small and medium power applications , : they mainly have a “functional” nature (concerning inverter power segmentation, redundancy and reliability improvement, torque ripple and efficiency enhancement, power density increase, etc.), whereas machine structure and construction technology substantially remain unchanged compared to conventional three-phase design. When it comes to very high-power electric machines (in the multi-MW range), however, adopting an n-phase stator configuration (with n>3) may have considerable “structural” or “constructive” impacts as well. In fact, this enables to retain a coil winding technology, which is the same as for small-sized machines, instead of resorting to the much more complicated and costly Roebel-bar constructions, which is typical or large turboalternators , . Firstly, the point is discussed in this paper in general terms, by means of appropriate sizing equations which relate the number of phases to the design variables involved in the selection of the machine winding technology. Secondly, some industrial application examples will be reported referring to built high-power multi-phase machines.
Coil and Roebel bar windings
kf kw C r
In small and medium size three-phase machines, the stator winding is composed of closed coils, each consisting of multiple series-connected turns (Figure 1), built with either round-section wire or flat conductors . As the power rating increases (the voltage being constrained not to exceed a certain maximum value), the phase current necessarily grows too, which results in an increasingly high individual coil cross-section and low number of turns per coil. Above a certain power level, a design with a single turn per coil becomes eventually mandatory, which leads to move from coil winding to Roebel bar technology. A typical example of the latter can be found in large turboalternators . Compared to coil windings, Roebel bar technology is much more costly and complicated, in general, especially due to strand transpositions and special manufacturing techniques required for end-bar connections.
which results from combining splitphase and symmetrical schemes. the machine average diameter D at the shortened-pitch split-phase winding composed of N three-phase sets air-gap. This is the case of the 15phase 21 MW induction machine reported in . with significant savings in cost and production times. Application examples are also reported in the literature of high-power multi-phase machine windings with a “hybrid” winding composition. As illustrated in Figure 2 and Figure 3. This results in a “symmetrical” n-phase configuration. three-phase sets. . 2. the number of series(a. Example of slot cross-section in a double-layer coil winding with three turns per coil (Nt=3). This winding topology requires a nonconventional n-phase inverter (and control strategy) to be used for motor supply . this results from splitting the winding into N threephase sets. 3 Sizing equations for multi-phase machines A multi-phase winding topology which is very commonly used in high-power electric machinery is the so-called “splitphase” configuration . the power is split into n phases instead of three. under the only hypothesis that each pole span encompasses exactly as many phase belts as the phases are (n). . only those designs are not covered where successive phases are shifted by 360/n electrical degrees in space. where n is not necessarily required to be a multiple of three. Calling n the number of stator phases (however arranged in space). kw the winding factor  and f the rated frequency. where three 5-phase symmetrical phase sets are employed. This may enable the designer to retain a coil design for the stator winding avoiding the use of Roebel bars. Ns and f can in turn be expressed as follows: Φ p = Bg L π D /(2 p ) (2) (3) (4) N s = q (2 p ) N t / b f = N p / 60 in terms of: the average flux density Bg in the air-gap. the Fig.Fig. Phase belt distribution over a pole-span in a double-layer useful core length L. Quantities Φp. This hypothesis is verified in the vast majority of multi-phase designs . a split-phase winding arrangement can be desirable as it allows for N three-phase conventional inverter modules to be used for its supply. The concept expressed above in quite qualitative terms will be reformulated quantitatively in the next Section investigating the relationship between the number of phases and the main design quantities involved in the choice of the winding construction technology. each supplied by a 5-phase inverter. displaced by 60/N electrical degrees apart. as happens in symmetrical windings with an even number of phases . the number of slots per pole per phase q (possibly fractional). As an alternative. b. 1. When the machine is used as a motor. Consequently. multi-phase windings can be treated in the same way from machine sizing viewpoint. Ns the number of seriesconnected turns per phase Ns. where Φp is the flux per pole. Although characterized by a variety of possible phase arrangements. Fig. . the phase current diminishes by approximately a factor n/3. When an n-phase stator configuration with n>3 is adopted instead of a traditional three-phase one. Phase arrangement schematic for a split-phase machine with N stator windings displaced by τ=60/N electrical degrees apart. c). the n stator phases can be distributed uniformly over each pole span instead of being grouped into (1). 3. if the voltage is maintained the same. the rated phase voltage is given by: V = 1 / 2 Φ p N s k w (2π f ) . the number of pole pairs p.
Case of machine A — If machine A were designed according to a three-phase scheme (Figure 5. This confirms that R. at least for preliminary sizing purposes. C (Table 1). Actual system configurations for machines A.Figure 5. machine A is a dual three-phase (split-phase) synchronous motor fed by two Load-Commutated inverters (Figure 5. a high power to speed ratio. raising the number of phases enables to keep the number of turns per coil higher than one (Table 1) and allows for a coil winding construction to be used in all the three cases. possibly leading to a Roebel bar design (Nt=1) if the number of phases n is kept at its minimum value (3). Relationships between winding technology and number of phases Machines A and B (Figure 4) are high-speed inverter-fed motors used in turbo-compressor applications. C (left column). Such alternatives are illustrated in the left-hand column of Figure 5 for comparison with the actual design configurations. electrical and magnetic loading values. Values of coefficient R (WV−1mm−2) computed from design quantities for machines A. a low number of turns per coil Nt may result according to Equation (12). A. since the b cannot exceed the number of poles (2).2 Figure 4. As a consequence of the high P/V ratios. represented in the lefthand side column. .2) without changing power and voltage ratings. Machine C is a high-speed naval generator which feeds two diode rectifier bridges (one per stator section) connected to a DC on-board power grid. Conversely. a relatively high power rating (or. Equation (12) would apply with: • P / V= 11200 kW / 4400 V as in the actual design. A. In particular. while machine B is a 12-phase synchronous motor equipped with four three phase windings. despite of the difference in machine size. It can be seen that. possible alternative arrangements with a three-phase design for the electric machine (right column) 4.1). lead times and tooling. number of phases and ratings (Table 1). Machine “B” during installation for full-load testing. can be actually regarded as a design constant depending on thermal. • b=2. with significant savings in terms of manufacturing cost. which governs machine overall size ) is required under a maximum voltage design constraint. and for a given slot size As. Coefficients R Table 2. magnetic and electrical loading only. The three machines are all required to operate within thermal class B and are designed with homogeneous thermal. B. coefficients R are computed using the design quantities of the three machines and their values are reported in Table 2. Voltage constraints are in fact dictated by the maximum inverter output voltage in cases A and B and by the DC grid rated voltage in case C.53 B 0. The relationship between the winding construction technology and the number of phases can be better highlighted by considering some possible design alternatives for the systems under consideration. more significantly. shifted by 15 electrical degrees apart and supplied by four Voltage-Source PWM inverters (Figure 5. B. With regard to the sizing Equation (12) derived in the previous Section. B. A 0.1). the values of R are relatively close.45 C 0.52 In all the three machines considered. • n=3 (while n=6 in the actual design).
C. S. Part I”. Terrein. pp. 553-560. the author wishes to thank Gianfranco Zocco (R&D Department Head) and Antonio Odorico (senior design engineer) for their valuable advice and support. Vol. “Multiphase induction motor sensorless control for electric ship propulsion”.  M. Williamson. 54-59. A. on Magnetics. while n=12 in the actual design. the number of turns per coil Nt=3 should be theoretically halved according to Equation (12). Jordan.  J. IET. Figure 1). Simond. again yielding a Roebel bar construction. July ’85.  E. 1954. “Nine-phase armature windings design. Bojoi. “12-pulse LCI synchronous drive for a 20 MW compressor modeling simulation and measurements”. pp. on Power Apparatus and Systems. T. 1883. vol. Part II”. 32-41. on Power Apparatus and Systems.  A. vol. Industry Application Society Annual Meeting. Machines and Drives Conference. “Transpositions in stator bars of large turboalernators”. 2004. for instance according to the design reported in . Xuan. The benefits of using coil windings instead of Roebel bars are significant in terms of costs and manufacturing process simplification. Jan. Acknowledgements The paper has been written thanks to the kind cooperation of Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali — Motors. . Williamson. “Pulsating torque and losses in multiphase induction machines”.V. leading to a design with 2 or 1 turns per coil. • b=4 as in the actual design (b cannot exceed the number of poles). but also in terms of machine construction technology. without further increasing the slot crosssection area As. Burmeister. Equation (12) would apply with: • P / V= 45000 kW / 7200 V as in the actual design. 47-53. C. B. S. IEE Power Electronics. PAS-102. 2003. R. pp. In particular. vol. Otherwise. part 2. F. Takeda. 556-561. Electric Power Applications. 1. 41. pp. Yamamoto. IEEE Trans. instead. Y. Siskind. S. References  E. P. Pratap. Zowarka. the machine design could be probably adjusted so as to select Nt=3. Generators and Drives Business Unit — Monfalcone. Sept. 489-516. Sizing equations are derived in the paper which establish a quantitative relationship between the number of phases and the main design variables involved in the choice between coil and Roebel winding types. on Energy Conversion.  F. In fact. Italy. vol. pp. A. no. • n=3. W. IEEE Trans. Still. Vol. test and harmonic analysis”. IAS 2005. E. H. According to (12) the number of turns per coil Nt (equal to 5 in the actual design) should be nearly halved. the number of turns per coil (Nt. “Dimensioning and design of high-power variable speed synchronous motors”. B. Jan. Sapin. pp. while b=2 in the actual design (b can be raised up to the number of poles).section area As. Application examples are finally reported referring to three built high-power multi-phase machines to practically illustrate how the use of a multi-phase solution enables to adopt a coil winding construction instead of resorting to Roebel bar technology. 39. Case of machine B — If machine B were conceived as a single three-phase one under the same power and voltage requirements (Figure 5. “High phase order induction motors. • n=3. on Industry Applications. Energy and Automation X (1988).As a consequence. This paper discusses how the adoption of multi-phase topologies in the design of high-power electric machines can be remarkably advantageous not only for the mentioned functional enhancements. Elements of Electrical Machine Design. 2302-2308.S. “High phase order induction motors. Levi.C. 1883. 1849-1855. In this case. vol.Schmatloch. Tolyat. 19. pp. IEEE Trans. J.  R. 299-302. Wetter. Haldemann. pp. 1. IEEE Trans. Profumo. R. PEMD 2004. Klingshirn.2). pp. As a consequence. 986993. PAS-102. C. on Power Apparatus and Systems.  J. without a significant increase in the slot cross. M. Klingshirn.  S. “Multiphase induction motor drives – a technology status review”. Noy. Case of machine C — If machine C were conceived as a single three one with the same power and voltage requirements (Figure 5. 2005. Jan. “Output coefficient of synchronous motors”. IEEE Trans. 5 Conclusion The use of stator windings composed of more than three phases for AC electrical machines brings well known advantages in terms of performance. again leading to the need for a Roebel bar construction. 1. July/Aug. McGraw-Hill. Smith.2). IEEE Trans. Musil. Equation (12) would apply with: • P / V= 2150 kW / 1200 V as in the actual design.  E. A. pp. T. Siala. PAS-104. hence a stator design with Roebel bars would be likely required. R. • b=4. Special − Large Electric Motor A. A coil winding design with Nt=2 would not be recommended due to the large height-towidth turn ratio (which may cause circulation current issues in the parallel conductors forming a turn. issue 1. increasing the number of phases in machines of large size helps retain a coil winding design in many cases where a traditional three-phase solution would require a Roebel bar technology. A.  H. P. 2007. S. no. equal to 3 in the actual design) should be reduced by a factor 2. Jul. the alternative would be to set b=2 and Nt=1. while n=6 in the actual design. Oishi. reliability and power segmentation. Variable Speed Drives.
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