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Outer Rotor Switched Reluctance Motor Design for In-wheel Drive of Electric Bus Applications

Anas Labak, Student Member, IEEE and 2Narayan C. Kar, Senior Member, IEEE

Centre for Hybrid Automotive Research and Green Energy, University of Windsor, ON, Canada N9B 3P4 1 and

Abstract In this era of electrified transportation, switched reluctance motor (SRM) is emerging as a prospective replacement to traditional electric motors especially for large heavy duty vehicles such as the electric bus. This paper proposes the design and analysis of a novel outer rotor in-wheel SRM. The integration of the motor housing inside the wheel rim saves significant space and eliminates the need for additional mechanical parts used in the centralized drive. The developed concept of short flux path configuration in this research manuscript has shown additional important features compared to previous SRM designs and a substantial increase in efficiency is reported. The procedures of deriving the output power equation as a function of the motor dimensions and parameters are explained in detail. Comparative finite element analysis (FEA) has been performed between the developed machine and a commercially available conventional SRM to elicit the merits of the developed machine. The results obtained through FEA investigations show that there is a reduction of torque ripple and a considerable increase in motor efficiency. Keywords Electric bus, finite element analysis, in-wheel outer rotor motor, switched reluctance machine.

As Asp B r, s g I V Vs ke, kd La, Lu lm m Nph N Nr, Ns P R b


: Specific electric loading : Area of stator pole : Ratio of aligned to unaligned inductances : Average flux density : Rotor pole arc and stator pole arc : Step angle : Air-gap length : Stator phase current : Single phase terminal voltage : Source voltage : SRM efficiency and duty cycle factors : Aligned and unaligned inductances : Motor axial length : Number of phases that are conducting simultaneously : Number of phases in SRM : Number of turns per coil : Number of rotor and stator pole : Output power : Phase winding resistance : Magnetic flux : Current conduction angle : Base angular speed of the motor : Single phase flux linkage



Over the years, the increasing trend in CO2 emissions from the transportation sector has resulted in negative impacts to the environment and human health. In urban areas, the diesel particulate matter (PM) pollution is mainly attributed to urban buses [1]. A study performed by the British Columbia Lung Association showed that a 1% improvement in ambient ultra-

fine PM and ozone concentrations is predicted to result in millions of annual savings [2]. Introducing a fleet of allelectric buses is the best solution to this environmental hazard because there is simply no exhaust pipe in these buses to release any PM or CO2 emissions in the air. As seen in [3], diesel-fuelled buses make up 86.3% of the total transit buses and consumed nearly 560 millions of gallons of diesel. Given the conversion factor, this large volume of diesel fuel is equivalent to over six million tons of CO2 emissions and will continue to increase in the future due to continuous demand for public transit. Hypothetically, if half of the diesel transit buses were replaced by non-polluting all-electric buses, then three million tons of CO2 emissions could be instantly eliminated on an annual basis. Permanent magnet synchronous machines have been widely used in small/medium sized electric vehicles [4]. However, their application in heavy duty electric buses is limited due to the increasing cost of permanent magnet material and their sensitivity to heat and vibration [5]. Hence, the switched reluctance machines (SRM) and the induction machines are prospective for such applications as they are cost effective and rugged. Moreover, SRM can tolerate higher temperature since they do not have windings or magnets in the rotor. However, the major bottleneck of SRM has been the torque ripple which limits the application of it in these commercial vehicles. Hence, this paper proposes an exclusive overall configuration of an in-wheel outer rotor SRM with reduction in torque ripple and an increase in the machine efficiency when compared to the conventional SRM configurations. Background literature obtained from [6]-[9] state that the in-wheel outer rotor motor has an edge over the conventional motor designs for the electric vehicle application as it saves substantially large space previously occupied by the necessary mechanical components such as the transmission, speed reducer shafts and differential. The case study from [3] state that the in-wheel motor was instrumental to improve the efficiency of the electric bus as the bus could travel twice as far as a conventional bus on a litre of diesel. The in-wheel motors conferred additional savings by eliminating the need for a transmission, differential, and related mechanical parts. That reduces both the overall weight of the bus and energy losses due to friction. The in-wheel motors also improved traction by allowing precise control over each wheel, and they allowed greater flexibility in vehicle design since there was no need to mechanically link the wheels to an engine. Section 3 of this paper explains in detail the major features of the developed in-wheel outer rotor SRM (IOSRM). Sections 4 and 5 explain in length the geometrical design and electrical design of the developed machine. Finally, the developed IOSRM is then compared with a developed conventional SRM and FEA has been performed. Section 6 formulates the results of the investigations.

978-1-4673-0141-1/12/$26.00 2012 IEEE


Liquid cooling tubes d

Fig. 1. The proposed IOSRM.

III. CONCEPT OF THE PROPOSED IN-WHE OUTER ROTOR EEL SRM AND ITS FEATURES S Figure 1 shows the isometric perspectiv illustration of the ve proposed SRM integrated in a wheel of electric bus. The f shaft of the stator core is rigidly fixed to a beam of the rear suspension system. The outer rotor is mou unted on the stationary components by a set of bearings that facilitate the spint ning of the rotor. The rotor core is firm fastened to the mly wheels rim by an arrangement of bars an two end rings as nd shown in Fig. 2. This design has 18 rotor teeth and 16 stator poles. The rotor teeth are evenly distribute with 20 degrees ed spacing. The stator poles are formed of 8 pairs as shown in Fig. 3. The angular distance between the axes of each adjacent pair is 45 degrees. However, the an ngular distance between the poles within the pair is 20 degrees. The windings of each phase are split on 4 concentrated coils wound in series around 4 stator poles two on each side s, diametrically. Upon excitation, the magne circuit of each etic phase is formed by a pair of stator poles facing two aligned rotor teeth as shown in Fig. 3. The torque production in this e design relies on the tendency of the exci ited stator poles to pull the nearby rotor teeth into alignment. An important feature of this design topology is that it off fers very short flux path thus minimizing the iron loss without compromising the high power capability of the motor. In ad ddition, a minimum of four poles are energized at any given t time which renders this machine at least double the torque cap pability of the conBar r r=s ros ror s spp

conventional SRM. Additional features of the proposed design are summarized as follows: The main advantage of usin an integrated in-wheel outer ng rotor electric drive is that it saves substantial space prenecessary mechanical compoviously occupied by the n nents such as the transmiss sion, speed reducer shafts and differential. The flux path is independe of the radius of the rotor. ent This particular feature gives the designer the capability to s increase the torque by incr reasing the radius of the rotor without having to increas the flux path ( = F r ), se where F is the reluctance force generated in the air-gap -gap. and r is the radius of the air In conventional SRM, one magnetic circuit is shared by s all phases, and the windings of two adjacent phases are fitted together in one slot. T These contribute to the mutual coupling between adjacent phases. This disadvantage is nce minimized in this design sin each phase has an independent magnetic circuit, and t winding of different phases the are further separated. The direction of the flux in the stator poles is always the n same. In other words, the flux reversal does not occur, sses compared to conventional hence lowering the core los SRM [10]. Enough spacing between the adjacent magnetic circuits on the stator makes it possible to include liquid cooling tubes cifies most of the heat generatas shown in Fig. 1. This pac ed by the stator coils, and t therefore permits a higher current rating which in turn inc creases the output power rating of the machine. The insertion of cooling tub has an additional important bes advantage as it serves as a flux barrier that limits the muage tual coupling and the leaka flux between two magnetic circuits excited at the same time. It therefore increases the machine and improves its peroverall efficiency of the m formance. IV. GEOMETRICAL DESIGN OF THE PROPOSED IOSRM N

The goal of the design is to provide a realistic solution to the main well-known drawback of SRMs, namely the torque k ripple. This demerit is particula undesirable for the vehicle arly

Ph. A Ph. B . Ph. D Ph. C

Fig. 2. The geometric parameters of the proposed IOS SRM.

Fig. 3. Cross-sectional view of the IOS SRM showing the phases distribution and short magnetic path.


applications. Considerable research has been done to alleviate this problem by proposing intelligent control schemes [11]. Yet, the geometrical structural solution is preferred over the control scheme. Many literatures have suggested large number of phases or poles [12]. The proposed motor in this paper is designed with outer rotor and large number of poles. Consequently, the number of strokes per revolution increases, and the torque ripple problem could be alleviated. The increased number of poles requires larger diameter resulting in a greater flux-path length which in turn raises the losses and reduces efficiency. The solution for this was addressed in this design by adopting a shorter flux-path as shown in Fig. 3. A small step angle of 5 degrees is achieved by adopting the configuration explained in the previous section. The step angle is calculated using the following equation:

1 0.5 0 1 0.5 0 1 0.5 0 1 0.5 0 0 5

Phase A

Phase B

Phase C

360 N ph N r

Phase D


where, Nph and Nr are the number of phases and the number of rotor poles, respectively. Generally, the initial design process goes through several iteration steps. Several geometries have been calculated with varying pole numbers and pole dimensions, keeping in mind that a number of requirements need to be fulfilled such as; minimizing the step size (), the self starting capability, and the optimum pole arcs. The stator arc (s) should be greater than the step size in order to satisfy the self-starting requirement. The optimum pole arcs, which are a trade-off between various conflicting requirements, should be made as large as possible to maximize the aligned inductance and the flux linkage. However, if they are too wide there is not enough clearance between the rotor and stator pole-sides in the unaligned position. This restriction can be represented by: 2 (2) r s Nr The optimum pole arcs are somewhere between these extremes [12]. An adequate choice for this design was to have both stator and rotor poles arcs equal. The main dimensions are presented in Table I, and illustrated in Fig. 2. The inductance profiles for all phases are obtained by building the FEA model of the proposed design. The simulation results that are shown in Fig. 4 validate the calculation of the step angle and the other geometric parameters presented in this section.








Rotor position [mechanical degree] Fig. 4. The inductance profiles for all the phases.

of the machine [10], [13]. The voltage equation for one phase is given by:
V = RI +

V. OUTPUT POWER RATING ESTIMATION FOR THE PROPOSED IOSRM The typical and basic method of deriving the output power has been well covered in the literature [10], [13]. However, due to some dissimilarities in the design concept and topology from the conventional SRMs, the final output power equation should satisfy and include these changes. The output power is a function of the specific electric loading, magnetic loading, motor speed, and the dimensions
TABLE I. DIMENSIONS OF THE PROPOSED IOSRM Number of phases Nph Stator-rotor configuration Rotor pole pitch r In-pair stator pole pitch s Stator pair-pair pitch spp Stator pole arc s Rotor pole arc r 4 16/18 20

For the purpose of deriving the output power rating it can be assumed that the phase current is flat-topped during the phase conduction period and the phase winding resistance is negligible, (3) can be rewritten as: dL V =I (4) dt I [La Lu ] V= (5) t where, La is the inductance in the aligned position, Lu is the inductance in the unaligned position, and t is the time taken for the rotor to move from the unaligned to aligned position. t can be related to the angular speed of the rotor and the stator arc as follows. t = s . (6) b The ratio of the aligned and unaligned inductances is: L (7) = a. Lu By inserting (6) and (7) into (5), (8) can be obtained. I (1 1 )La b V = (8) . s The flux-linkage at the aligned position is given by = La I (9) = BAsp N
where, Asp is the stator pole area, N is the number of turns per phase, B is the average flux density at the stator pole face. The value of this average flux density can be obtained from the BH characteristics of the material used. To derive the output power and voltage equations for this design, the relationship that links all the relevant variables and geometric parameters has to be found. The cross-sectional area for the stator pole Asp can be derived from Fig. 2 as: (10) Asp = s rl m Substituting (9) and (10) in (8) gives the voltage equation for the proposed motor:

d (LI ) . dt


Air-gap length g Motor axial length lm Stator outer radius ros Rotor inner radius rir Rotor outer radius ror Number of turns N Step angle

0.9 mm 180 mm 134.1 mm 135 mm 180 mm 160 5

20 45 8 8


(11) V = Brl m N (1 1 ). The phase current can be found for the specific electric loading condition as follows:
As =

where m is the number of phases that are conducting simultaneously. The conventional output power equation for an SRM is defined as P = mk e k d VI (13) where, ke is the efficiency factor. For SRMs, this factor is usually in the range of 0.8 and 0.94. Since it cannot be determined in advance, ke is arbitrarily given a value of 0.9. kd is the duty cycle and can be defined using (14). i N ph N r (14) kd = 2 where i is the current conduction angle which may be given the same value as the step-angle (5o in this design). Moreover, due to the large number of poles, the phase-overlapping ratio is relatively high and thus, the value of kd may vary from 0.5 to 1. Finally, the output power equation for the new SRM design is found by substituting the voltage from (11) and the current from (12) in (13). (15) P = 0 .23 As b Bl m r 2 (1 1 ). FINITE ELEMENT MODEL DEVELOPMENT RESULTS AND ANALYSIS As known, SRMs are designed to operate in the saturated region to maximize the torque production and efficiency by maximizing the energy transfer. This unavoidably gives rise to the non-linear issue of an SRM drive [13], [14]. Thus the finite element analysis method is the optimum solution to derive its accurate characteristics. In this section, the FEA model is built; the static analysis is used to derive the operating current, and to validate the correctness of the design. A. The Optimum Magnetomotive Force The general expression for the torque produced by one phase at any rotor position is W T = co (16) i=const . VI.

4 mNI r


well as in the air-gap, and minimal copper and iron losses are achieved. Several other requirements and restrictions have to be satisfied, such as the voltage and current rating of the power converter, the motor speed, switching frequency, maximum permissible current density, insulation, and the cooling methods to be used. A fundamental coil design flow chart, presented by the authors in a previous work [16], is used here to determine all the coil design details. The windings of each phase are split on 4 concentrated coils wound, in series, around 4 stator poles, two on each side diametrically. The total number of turns per phase is 160. FEA solution assists in verifying the correctness of thenwinding design. The sequential excitation of the motor phases causes the outer rotor rotation in the counter clockwise direction. The color coding solution maps in Fig. 6 shows satisfactory level of local saturation in the overlapped poles regions. C. Comparative Finite Element Analysis of the IOSRM and the Developed Convetional SRM The model of the proposed design IOSRM was built using MagNet Infolytica software to perform FEA. The magnetization characteristics, as the most descriptive illustration of the motor performance and efficiency, are obtained and presented in Fig. 7. It is clearly seen that the value of inductance ratio at the rated current is relatively high for a motor with short axial length and large number of poles [16], [17]. By referring to (15), high inductance ratio is directly reflected in the output power, hence validating the design with respect to the efficiency improvement. An FEA model of 8/6 conventional SRM with similar size and power rating to the IOSRM is built for comparative analysis purpose. The field solution of the developed conventional SRM is as shown in Fig. 8. The output torque obtained during single stroke of operation by both the machines is demonstrated in Fig. 9. Since their poles arcs are not equal, the rotor positions scales are taken as per unit quantities of each machine. The comparison in Fig. 9 clearly illustrates the improvement in the output torque and hence in the efficiency which validates the proposed design. Fig. 10 shows the output torque obtained by the individual consecutive phases. The obvious large overlapping tells that there are no dead torque zones at the output. This is due to the small step angle in this design which is in turn governed by the large number of poles and special configuration design of the poles. It can be concluded here that even with basic control techniques and without the need to boost the current at the low torque regions this design can minimize the torque ripple to a very low level. Fig. 11 illustrates the detailed view of all the in-wheel outer rotor components. Its power ratings are listed in table II.
1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0 500 1000 Co-energy Increment [J] Coenergy increment at full alignment (10 deg)

where Wco is the co-energy, is the angular rotor position. At any position, the co-energy is the area below the magnetization curve so it can be defined as follows (17) where, is the flux linkage at any rotor position as a function of the current. The optimum MMF for this design can be found by referring to equations (16) and (17) in which it is proved that larger the increment of co-energy, higher the increase in the torque. This is physically related to the level of saturation in the core material. The FEA results for the coenergy variation between two rotor positions are obtained for a wide range of current. The co-energy increment is calculated and plotted versus the magnetomotive force as shown in Fig. 5. The plot indicates that (1,400 AT) is the optimum MMF. Finally, the optimum current can be calculated depending on the number of turns which is explained in sub-section B.
i Wco = 01di

Coenergy icrement at 5 deg

B. Winding Design and Number of Turns Determination The goal of this winding design is to determine the number of turns and the way of connecting the pole coils so that the required magnetomotive force MMF is produced, sufficient flux density is available inside the stator core parts as

1500 2000 MMF [AT]




Fig. 5. Increment of co-energy with respect to magnetomotive force at different rotor positions.

Phase A

Phase B

Phase C

Phase D

Fig. 6. FEA solution for the sequential excitation of all phases and the corresponding motion of the outer rotor.



140 120 100 Torque [N.m] 80 60 40 20 0 54 72 90 108 126 144 162 180 Rotor position [electrical degree] Fig. 9. Output torque obtained by both the machines over one single stroke at rated current of the machines. 140 120 Phase A Phase B Phase C Phase D -20 0 18 36 Proposed SRM Conventional SRM

This paper presents the design development and FEA of a novel in-wheel outer rotor SRM. The output power equation of the proposed SRM design is derived in detail. FEA models of both the proposed IOSRM and a conventional SRM are built to perform a comparative analysis and elicit the merits of the proposed design. The proposed machine is found to have reduced torque ripples and higher efficiency than that of the conventional SRM. Hence, this design of high power SRM which has short flux path configuration makes it applicable for heavy duty electric buses.

1.1 Flux Linkage [WB] Torque [N.m] 0 10 20 30 Current [A] 40 50 0.88 0.66 0.44 0.22 0

100 80 60 40 20 0

Fig. 7. The saturation characteristics of the proposed motor obtained while varying the rotor angular position over one stroke by step of 2 degree.

10 15 20 25 Rotor position [mechanical degree] Fig. 10. Output torque showing large overlapping with no dead torque zones.

Rim and Bars Rotor Stator and Winding Suspension Ring Tire (Tyre)

Fig. 8. The field solution of an 8/6 conventional SRM FEA model built with similar size and power rating to the IOSRM.

Fig. 11. The complete in wheel drive arrangement.


TABLE II RATING OF THE PROPOSED SRM. Parameter Output Power Rated torque Rated current Values 24 kW 120 N.m 35 A Parameter Maximum power Maximum torque Base speed Values 40 kW 200 N.m 2,000 rpm

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Anas Labak r received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical and Electroni Engineering from University of ics Aleppo, Alepp Syria, in 1996. And received the po, M. A. Sc. de egree in Electrical Engineering from University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada f in 2009. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree cal in the Electric and Computer Engineering at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His research interests are in machine modeling, design for electric vehicle applications. analysis and d Kar Narayan C. K received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Enginee ering from Bangladesh University of Engineering a Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and in 1992 and t M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electhe trical engineer ring from Kitami Institute of Technology, Hokkaid Japan, in 1997 and 2000, respecdo, tively. He is a associate professor in the Electrical an and Computer Engineering Department at the Unir versity of Windsor, Canada where he holds the arch Chair position in hybrid drivetrain Canada Resea systems. His research presently foc cuses on the analysis, design and control of permanent magnet synchro onous, induction and switched reluctance machines for hybrid electric vehicle and wind power applications, f testing and performance analysis of batteries and development of optimization techniques for hybrid energy management system. He is a Senior y Member of the IEEE.

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