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**FEM-Based Analysis of Induction Machines
**

Oskar Wallmark

Associate Professor, PhD

Laboratory of Electrical Energy Conversion

Royal Institute of Technology

Stockholm, Sweden

May 4, 2012

◮

Many of you have previous experience with FEM.

◮

Which of Maxwell’s equations are solved for in this

application?

◮

How are magnetic ﬁeld lines determined?

◮

How is the ﬂux linkage (and voltage) in the coils computed?

◮

How can torque be computed?

◮

Why is the mesh density so high in the air gap?

◮

Isn’t the global accuracy of the obtained solution disturbed if

the mesh density is high only in the air gap?

Review of Maxwell’s Equations

Basic quantities:

◮

Electric ﬁeld strength E=E

x

ˆ x + E

y

ˆ y + E

z

ˆ z [V/m].

◮

Magnetic ﬁeld strength H [A/m].

◮

Electric ﬂux density D [C/m

2

].

◮

Magnetic ﬂux density B [Vs/m

2

], [T].

◮

Current density J [A/m

2

].

◮

Electric charge density ρ [C/m

3

].

◮

Note that E, H, D, B and J are vector ﬁelds and ρ is a scalar

ﬁeld.

Review of Maxwell’s Equations

And X

1

said:

∇×E = −

∂B

∂t

(Faraday’s law)

∇×H = J +

∂D

∂t

≈ J (Ampere’s law, quasi static form)

∇· D = ρ (Gauss’ law for electric ﬁelds)

∇· B = 0 (Gauss’ law for magnetic ﬁelds).

◮

The current density represented by ∂D/∂t can be neglected

below radio frequencies (D=εE and ε is “very small,”

ε

0

=8.85 · 10

−12

As/Vm).

◮

Four coupled partial diﬀerential equations (PDEs).

◮

For our application, is it possible to reduce the above to one

PDE?

1

Insert suitable object of worship.

Magnetic Vector Potential

◮

Introduce the magnetic vector potential deﬁned as B=∇×A.

◮

A is not uniquely deﬁned from B=∇×A, but is if we also

deﬁne ∇· A. We choose ∇· A=0 for simplicity.

◮

From Faraday’s law, we have (changed order of ∇× and ∂/∂t)

∇×E = −∇×

∂A

∂t

. (1)

◮

From (1), we have (since ∇×∇V ≡0)

E = −

∂A

∂t

−∇V (2)

where V is the reduced electric scalar potential.

Magnetic Vector Potential

◮

Ohm’s law tells us that J=σE, where σ is the electrical

conductivity [S/m].

◮

B and H are related as B=µH, where µ is the permeability

[Vs/Am].

◮

Express Ampere’s law (quasi static) using A yields

∇×

_

1

µ

∇×A

_

= J (3)

∇×

_

1

µ

∇×A

_

+ σ

∂A

∂t

+ σ∇V = 0 (4)

where (3) is solved in regions where J is deﬁned (stator slots)

and areas “without” current densities (laminations) and (4) is

solved in regions where eddy currents may be induced (rotor

bars).

Magnetic Vector Potential

◮

In an electric machine, axial eﬀects can often be neglected,

i.e, B=B

x

ˆ x + B

y

ˆ y and J=J

z

ˆ z is now assumed (a two

dimensional problem).

◮

Since ∇×

_

1

µ

∇×A

_

=J and J=J

z

ˆ z ⇒A=A

z

ˆ z.

◮

To summarize: B has only x- and y-components and J and A

have only a z-component.

Magnetic Vector Potential

◮

How is the term σ∇V in (4) determined?

◮

The two ﬁrst components on the right-hand side of (4)

contain only z-components. Hence, ∇V contains only a

z-component, i.e.,

∇V =

∂V

∂x

ˆ x +

∂V

∂y

ˆ y +

∂V

∂z

ˆ z =

∂V

∂z

ˆ z.

V could be a linear function of z (V =C

0

+ C

1

z), but since

this only yields an additional constant ∇V =C

1

ˆ z, V ≡0 is

chosen in our application.

◮

A non-zero V can be used to force constraints on the current

in conductive regions. Thereby, a connection to a circuit with

voltage sources as input can be realized.

Problem Formulation

◮

Let’s review the equations to solve again (two dimensional

case)

∇×

_

1

µ

∇×A

z

ˆ z

_

= J

z

ˆ z (5)

∇×

_

1

µ

∇×A

z

ˆ z

_

+ σ

∂A

z

ˆ z

∂t

= 0. (6)

◮

Eqs. (5) and (6) are solved in FEM-based softwares such as

Flux, JMAG, Opera, Comsol (including three-dimensional

formulations).

◮

Note that only (5) has to be solved if eddy currents are

neglected ⇒ A PM motor can be analyzed using only (5).

Drawing Flux Lines

◮

The FEM solver solves for A and B is computed from

B=∇×A. In the two-dimensional case

B = B

x

ˆ x + B

y

ˆ y = ∇×A

z

ˆ z =

∂A

z

∂y

ˆ x −

∂A

z

∂x

ˆ y.

◮

Flux lines are lines to which the ﬂux density is parallel.

◮

If A

z

is constant along the ˆ x-direction ⇒ B

x

=∂A

z

/∂y and

B

y

=−∂A

z

/∂x = 0.

◮

If A

z

is constant along the ˆ y-direction ⇒ B

x

=∂A

z

/∂y =0

and B

y

=−∂A

z

/∂x.

◮

Same argument holds for any direction in which A

z

is constant

⇒ Flux lines can be deﬁned as lines on which A

z

is constant.

Boundary Conditions

◮

Proper boundary conditions need to be added to solve (5) and

(6).

◮

Setting A

z

=0 on the outer stator periphery will force the ﬂux

lines to be parallel along this boundary (i.e., the ﬂux density is

conﬁned within the machine).

◮

This boundary condition is called a homogenous Dirichlet

boundary condition.

◮

If a complete machine is simulated, the boundary condition

above is suﬃcient.

Boundary Conditions

◮

If only a portion of the machine is simulated, proper boundary

conditions need to be added.

◮

The (homogenous) Neumann boundary condition

∂A

z

∂n

= 0

forces the ﬂux lines to cross the boundary in parallel to the

normal direction.

◮

Antiperiodic boundary conditions such as

A

z

(r , ϕ) = −A

z

_

r , ϕ +

(2k −1)π

p/2

_

, k = 1, 2, 3, . . . , p/2

enable the study of an odd number of poles (including a single

pole).

Computing Flux and Flux Linkage

◮

For an electric machine with active length L

a

, the ﬂux φ

between points (x

1

, y

1

) and (x

2

, y

2

) can be computed as

φ =

_

S

B · ˆ ndS =

_

S

(∇×A) · ˆ ndS

=

_

C

A · dˆr = L

a

(A

z

(x

1

, y

1

) −A

z

(x

2

, y

2

)) .

◮

For massive conductors with cross sections S

Cu

, the ﬂux can

be computed using the average value A

z

on the conductor

surface

φ =

L

a

S

Cu

_

_

S

+

Cu

A

z

dS −

_

S

−

Cu

A

z

dS

_

.

◮

Flux linkage ψ simply obtained by multiplying φ by the

number of turns.

◮

Induced voltage v =dψ/dt.

Computing Torque

◮

How can torque be computed?

◮

Let’s start with the well known Lorenz force law (force on

charge q traveling with the velocity v

F = q (E + (v ×B)) .

◮

Lorenz force law is an empirical statement and can be used to

deﬁne E and B.

◮

Lorenz force law in diﬀerential form, assuming vacuum µ=µ

0

and neglecting the contribution from E

dF = fdV = J ×BdV =

_

1

µ

0

∇×B

_

×B

. ¸¸ .

= f

dV.

Computing Torque

◮

Hence, f =

_

1

µ

0

∇×B

_

×B. The x-component of f can be

expressed as (assuming B

z

=0)

f

x

=

1

µ

0

_

−B

y

∂B

y

∂x

+ B

y

∂B

x

∂y

_

.

◮

Add and subtract the term (1/µ

0

)B

x

∂B

x

/∂x and use the

identity ∂(B

2

x

)/∂x =2B

x

∂B

x

/∂x yields

f

x

=

1

µ

0

_

_

_

_

1

2

∂

∂x

_

B

2

x

_

+ B

y

∂B

x

∂y

−

1

2

∂

∂x

(B

2

x

+ B

2

y

. ¸¸ .

= B

2

)

_

_

_

_

.

Computing Torque

◮

Further manipulation yields

f

x

=

1

µ

0

_

_

∂

∂x

_

B

2

x

−

B

2

2

_

+

∂(B

x

B

y

)

∂y

−B

x

∇· B

. ¸¸ .

= 0

_

_

=

1

µ

0

_

∂

∂x

_

B

2

x

−

B

2

2

_

+

∂(B

x

B

y

)

∂y

_

.

◮

Now, f

x

can be expressed as f

x

=∇· S

x

where

S

x

=

1

µ

0

__

B

2

x

−B

2

/2

_

ˆ x + B

x

B

y

ˆ y

_

.

◮

Similarly, f

y

can be expressed as f

y

=∇· S

y

where

S

y

=

1

µ

0

_

B

x

B

y

ˆ x +

_

B

2

y

−B

2

/2

_

ˆ y

_

.

Computing Torque

◮

We have

f = f

x

ˆ x + f

y

ˆ y = ∇· S

x

ˆ x +∇· S

y

ˆ y =

_

∇· S

x

∇· S

y

_

. (7)

◮

Eq. (7) can be expressed as

f = ∇· S where S =

1

µ

0

_

B

2

x

−B

2

/2 B

x

B

y

B

y

B

x

B

2

y

−B

2

/2

_

. (8)

◮

The matrix S is called Maxwell’s stress tensor (assuming a

two-dimensional geometry and without electrical ﬁelds).

◮

Note that ∇· S is a vector.

Computing Torque

◮

What is the point of deriving the expression f = ∇· S?

◮

Answer: Because we can now use the divergence theorem

F =

_

df =

_

V

fdV =

_

V

∇· SdV =

_

S

S · ds. (9)

◮

From (9), we have

df =S · ds. (10)

◮

From (10), the diﬀerential torque dT can be expressed as

dT = rdf

ϕ

(11)

where df

ϕ

is the tangential component of df, i.e., df

ϕ

=df · ˆ ϕ.

Computing Torque

◮

Let’s ﬁnd dT expressed using cylindrical coordinates

B=B

r

ˆr + B

ϕ

ˆ ϕ

dT = rdf

ϕ

= rdf · ˆ ϕ = r (S · ds) · ˆ ϕ. (12)

◮

We have ds=L

a

rdϕˆr =L

a

rdϕ(sin ϕˆ x + cos ϕˆ y). Also,

ˆ ϕ=−sin ϕˆ x + cos ϕˆ y.

◮

We can also express B

x

and B

y

(in the matrix S) in terms of

B

r

and B

ϕ

according to

B

x

= B

r

cos ϕ −B

ϕ

sin ϕ

B

y

= B

r

sin ϕ + B

ϕ

cos ϕ.

◮

Insert the expressions above in (12) yields

T =

_

dT = Phew! =

L

a

r

2

µ

0

_

2π

0

B

r

B

ϕ

dϕ.

Computing Torque

◮

Let’s recapitulate:

T =

L

a

r

2

µ

0

_

2π

0

B

r

B

ϕ

dϕ.

◮

The integral should be evaluated in the air gap.

◮

Both B

r

and B

ϕ

are required in the computation.

◮

B

r

and B

ϕ

are obtained from B=∇×A.

◮

A is solved for in each node. Between the nodes, linear

approximations are assumed.

◮

Hence, to calculate derivatives of A (to obtain components of

B), a suitably high mesh density is needed.

◮

Since the torque contains a product of two components of B,

the mesh density in the air gap needs to be even higher.

◮

Other methods for torque computation are also available

(virtual work and the ﬂux times current relationship).

Can we now answer the initial questions?

◮

Which of Maxwell’s equations are solved for in this

application?

-Answer: We combined them and derived a single equation to

be solved involving only A

z

(the magnetic vector potential).

◮

How are magnetic ﬁeld lines determined?

-Answer: Magnetic ﬁeld lines are simply contours where A

z

is

constant.

◮

How is the ﬂux linkage (and voltage) in the coils computed?

-Answer: The ﬂux can be obtained simply from the diﬀerence

of A

z

between the two points.

◮

How can torque be computed?

-Answer: A common method was presented where the torque

was found by evaluating a derived line integral (obtained from

Maxwell’s stress tensor) in the air gap.

Can we now answer the initial questions?

◮

Why is the mesh density so high in the air gap?

-Answer: A product of two components of B is required in the

torque computation.

◮

Isn’t the global accuracy of the obtained solution disturbed if

the mesh density is high only in the air gap?

-Answer: Globally, the mesh density only needs to be so high

so that A

z

can be resolved with suﬃcient accuracy.

Introduction to FEMM

◮

FEMM is a free ﬁnite element based software.

◮

FEMM can be downloaded from www.femm.info

◮

FEMM solves two-dimensional (planar and axial symmetry)

magnetostatic, time-harmonic magnetic, electrostatic and

static heat ﬂow problems.

Introduction to FEMM

◮

We need to solve

∇×

_

1

µ

∇×A

z

ˆ z

_

= J

z

ˆ z (13)

∇×

_

1

µ

∇×A

z

ˆ z

_

+ σ

∂A

z

ˆ z

∂t

= 0. (14)

◮

FEMM can solve (13) but not (14) in its present form.

Introduction to FEMM

◮

Assume that all ﬁelds are varying sinusoidally with a single,

ﬁxed frequency ω.

◮

Introduce the j ω-phasor notation

¯

A =

¯

A

z

(x, y)ˆ ze

j ωt

.

◮

Insert

¯

A into (14) yields

∇×

_

1

µ

∇×

¯

A

z

ˆ z

_

+ j ωσ

¯

A

z

ˆ z = 0. (15)

◮

FEMM can solve (15). To obtain A

z

=A

z

(x, y, t), we compute

A

z

= ℜ(

¯

A

z

e

j ωt

) = ℜ(

¯

A

z

) cos ωt −ℑ(

¯

A

z

) sin ωt. (16)

◮

Note that the output of FEMM (

¯

A

z

,

¯

B

x

,

¯

B

y

, ...) are hence

complex quantities and time dependence is obtained by

applying (16).

Introduction to FEMM

◮

Caution: By considering only a single stator and rotor

frequency, eﬀects due to harmonics are neglected. This can

cause large errors in the predicted torque for large slip values.

◮

For the phasor notation to be mathematically correct, all

operators need to be linear. Therefore, the permeability µ

should be constant (magnetic saturation cannot be modeled

exactly).

◮

Saturation can be modeled approximately by inserting an

equivalent permeability as outlined in, e.g.,

N. Bianchi, Electrical Machine Analysis Using Finite Elements,

CRC Taylor & Francis, 2005.

◮

Note that if saturation is neglected, care must be taken when

modeling machines with closed rotor slots.

A Very Brief Introduction to FEM

◮

The equations to solve can be expressed as

Lφ = f .

◮

φ is the unknown function (

¯

A

z

in our case). For

two-dimensional problems φ=φ(x, y).

◮

L is the diﬀerential operator (=∇×

1

µ

∇× in our case).

◮

f is the forcing function (=J

z

in our case).

Galerkin’s Method

◮

Introduce φ

∗

that approximates the exact solution φ.

◮

Now, φ

∗

is expressed as

φ

∗

=

N

j =1

Φ

j

ν

j

where Φ

j

are unknown coeﬃcients (constants) that must be

determined and ν

j

is a deﬁned set of base functions.

◮

Introduce the residual r =Lφ

∗

−f which ideally should be

zero.

Galerkin’s Method

◮

Instead of demanding r =0, let’s relax that condition and let

the integral (volume integral over the problem domain V) of

the residuals r

i

, weighted with some weight function w

i

, be

zero instead. Hence,

r

i

=

_

V

w

i

(Lφ

∗

−f ) dV = 0.

◮

Now, select w

i

=v

i

(known as Galerkin’s method) yields

r

i

=

_

V

ν

i

L

_

_

N

j =1

Φ

j

ν

j

_

_

−ν

i

fdV = 0, i = 1, 2, 3, . . . , N

(17)

Galerkin’s Method

◮

Eq. (17) can be expressed on matrix form as

SΦ = T (18)

where

S

ij

=

_

V

ν

i

Lν

j

dV

Φ = [Φ

1

Φ

2

Φ

3

· · · Φ

N

]

T

T

ij

=

_

V

ν

i

fdV.

Galerkin’s Method

◮

We have transformed the original problem (the PDE) to (18)

which is a large matrix equation with the unknowns Φ

i

.

◮

The resulting large matrix S is often sparse and symmetrical.

◮

Much research has been focused on developing methods to

solve (18) with high computational eﬃciency given that S is

sparse and symmetrical.

◮

Other approaches also exist that transforms the original

problem into a large matrix equation (e.g. the Rayleigh-Ritz’s

variational approach).

The Finite Element Method

◮

Note that we have not deﬁned the base functions ν

j

yet.

◮

In the ﬁnite element approach, the problem domain is typically

divided into a number of triangles (two-dimensional case).

◮

The (unkown) solution in element (triangle) m can be

expressed as

φ

∗

m

(x, y) =

3

j =1

Φ

mj

ν

mj

where Φ

mj

is the value of φ in the j th node of the mth

element.

The Finite Element Method

◮

In the ﬁnite element method, the base functions ν

mj

are

chosen so that

ν

mj

(x, y) =

_

1, in node j

0, in all other nodes.

◮

Between all nodes, linear interpolation is used.

◮

The resulting matrix S becomes sparse and the non-zero

elements are simple to compute ⇒ computational eﬃciency.

Modeling Non-Linear Materials

◮

In electrical steels, the permeability µ is strongly nonlinear.

Hence, µ=µ(B).

◮

We have seen how the ﬁnite element approach results in a

large matrix equation.

◮

The nonlinearity is typically solved using the Newton-Raphson

approach.

◮

As an example, for the nonlinear system F(x)=0, the solution

x is found by the iteration

x

k+1

= x

k

−

_

∂F

∂x

_

−1

F(x

k

)

where the partial derivatives are evaluated at x=x

k

.

◮

The approach above is implemented and the iteration

continues until the change is smaller than a certain threshold.

What have we learnt?

◮

We have seen how the original PDE can be transformed into a

large matrix equation.

◮

The resulting solution is an approximation of the exact

solution.

◮

We have seen how the ﬁnite element approach results in a

matrix S that is sparse and where the non-zero elements are

simple to compute.

◮

Much more can be said about the ﬁnite element method but

what mentioned is suﬃcient for our purposes.

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