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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. 27, NO.

4, JULYIAUGUST 1991

74 1

Design of a Synchronous Reluctance


Motor Drive
T. J. E. Miller, Senior Member, ZEEE, Alan Hutton, Calum Cossar, and David A. Staton
Abstract-A segmental-rotor synchronous reluctance motor is
used in a variable-speed drive with current-regulated PWM
control. The low-speed torque capability is compared with those
of an induction motor, a switched reluctance motor, and a
brushless dc PM hotor of identical size and copper weight. The
results suggest that many of the desirable properties of the
switched reluctance motor can be realized with the synchronous
reluctance motor but using standard ac motor and control
components. The torque capability is lower, but so is the noise
level.

I. INTRODUCTION

HE POLYPHASE synchronous reluctance motor was


developed particularly in the 1960s as a line-start
(cage-type) synchronous ac motor [11 - [4] for applications
where several motors are operated synchronously from a
single voltage-source inverter. In some cases, it has been
replaced by cage-type ac permanent-magnet (PM) motors
that, although more expensive, have better performance and
permit more motors to run from the same inverter 171.
More recently, there has been increasing use of variablefrequency ac induction motor drives with one motor per
inverter. At first, the six-step inverter was used, usually with
constant voltage/frequency ratio and often without speed
feedback. The development of pulse-width-modulated (PWM)
inverters *followedwith slip-control, and today, field-oriented
or vector control is the most advanced form of ac drive,
with performance characteristics that match those of the best
dc drives. Although the induction motor is the most common
in ac drives, synchronous PM motors are also used. With one
motor per inverter, there is no need for a rotor cage because
the motor does not have to start across the line.
It is perhaps surprising that there has been so little development of the cageless synchronous reluctance motor instead
of the induction motor or PM ac motor for variable-frequency
operation
[13], [14]. One reason is probably its
reputation for poor efficiency and low power factor, but the
removal of the rotor cage and the use of field-oriented control

[a-@],

Paper IPCSD 91-17, approved by the Electric Machines Committee of the


IEEE Industry Applications Society for presentation at the 1989 Industry
Applications Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October 1-5.
Manuscript released for publication February 5 , 1991. This work was
supported by the UK Science and Engineering Research Council, a grant
from the General Electric Company, and the member companies of the
Scottish Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (SPEED) Consortium.
T. J. E. Miller, C. Cossar, and D. A. Staton are with the Department of
Electronics and Electrical Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow,
Scotland.
A. J. Hutton is with Micro Marketing, Motorola Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland.
IEEE Log Number 9100935.

provide the designer with two new degrees of design freedom


that do not appear to have been fully explored.
The main features of the synchronous reluctance motor are
as follows:
The rotor is potentially less expensive than the PM
rotor. Because it requires no cage winding, it is lighter
and possibly cheaper than an induction-motor rotor.
The torque per ampere is independent of rotor temperature, unlike that of the PM or induction motors.
The stator and the inverter power circuit are identical to
those of the induction motor or PM synchronous motor
drives.
The control is simpler than that of the field-oriented
induction motor drive, although shaft position feedback
is necessary.
Because of scaling effects, the poor efficiency and high
slip of small induction motors prevent the extension of
ac drive technology down to low power levels. The PM
ac motor or brushless dc motor can be used instead, but
PM motors are more expensive. They are temperature
sensitive, susceptible to demagnetization, and may require additional inverter protection. The synchronous
reluctance motor offers an alternative means of obtaining
the advantages of a synchronous motor but at lower
cost.
The synchronous reluctance motors smoothly rotating field
distinguishes it from the switched reluctance motor [9], [ 1 11.
It therefore fits in the family of ac drives, which is
represented by the motors along the diagonal of Fig. 1. This
family enjoys a high degree of uniformity of motor and
controller component parts while offering a wide range of
performance characteristics [9] obtained by changing only the
motor rotor and the control strategy. The rotating field
permits smooth torque and good operation down to low
speeds, both of which are difficult to achieve in the switched
reluctance motor. Unlike the switched reluctance motor, the
synchronous motor is completely compatible with the stators
and controllers of other ac motor drives.
To provide a shorter name and to distinguish it from the
switched reluctance motor, the term SYNCHREL is used in this
paper [12]. The design of a small SYNCHREL motor drive is
described, and the performance is compared with those of a
switched reluctance drive, an induction motor drive, and a
brushless dc (BLDC) PM motor drive. The resplts presented
are confined to the preliminary experimental findings of a
study whose scope includes larger drives than the ones

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0 1991 IEEE

142

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. 21, NO. 4, JULYIAUGUST 1991

Fig. 2.
wound-field
dc commutator

6 6

ac synchronous
l+b

PM commutator

ac induction

ac PWreluctance hybrid

PM brushless dc
switched reluctance
Fig. 1 . Family of motor types showing ac motors along the diagonal: the
SYNCHREL motor is the center motor with magnets removed [9].

described here, as well as the optimization of lamination


geometry and control parameters. It is plamed that those
results will be published later. Particular points of interest in
the present paper are the comparison of motors of different
types, all with essentially the same frame size and tested
under identical conditions.
11. BASICTHEORY

The inverter-fed SYNCHREL motor is freed from the old


constraints of the line-start version as follows:
0

the d and q axes of the rotor:

IC

No starting cage is necessary. The rotor can therefore be


designed purely for synchronous performance.
Electronic control makes the motor autosynchronous.
Therefore, the torque angle can be set to maximize
torque per ampere at all loads and speeds without concern for pullout.
There is no need for amortisseur currents to prevent
rotor oscillations. This makes it possible to design for
the highest possible ratio of the synchronous reactances
and x d without concern for stability.

x,

m
T = -pIdIq(
2
Lq - L d ) .

(1)

Here, m is the number of phases, p is the number of


pole-pairs, and L , and L , are the direct- and quadrature-axis
synchronous inductances, respectively. Note that x d =
27rfLd and X , = 2 a f L , , where f is the frequency. The
torque is independent of speed, provided that the voltage is
boosted above the constant volts per Hertz level to compensate for resistive voltage drop at low speed. The torque per
ampere is maximized if the phase current is oriented at 45" to
the q axis so that Id and I , are equal in magnitude. Since
L , < L , , I, must be negative, and therefore, the current
leads the q axis in the phasor diagram (Fig. 2). Note that the
convention adopted here, in which the q axis is the highinductance axis, is contrary to the convention used in the
literature on the line-start reluctance motor. This is because
the particular motors in this paper are related to the interiormagnet hybrid motor in which the magnet axis is the lowinductance axis; it is more consistent with classical synchronous machine theory to make this the d axis.
Equation (1) is the starting point for designing the rotor
lamination. Evidently the saliency (i.e., the difference L , L , or the ratio L , / L d ) must be maximized but within
constraints set by manufacturability. It is interesting to consider the theoretical limits to the saliency. For a four-pole
motor with sinusoidally distributed windings, if the rotor is
removed, the rotating magnetic field has the form of Fig. 3.
By suitable choice of time origin, the q axes can be aligned
with the reference axes of the flux so that all the flux is
q-axis flux, and the d-axis flux is zero. The saliency in this
flux pattern is therefore infinite. Now, the objective is to
design a rotor that can be introduced into this field without
disturbing its shape. Since the rotor must be ferromagnetic, it
must present infinite permeance to q-axis flux and zero
permeance to d-axis flux. The obvious way to achieve this is
to make an axially laminated rotor in the fashion described by
Cruickshank [2] in which the laminations are shaped to
follow the flux lines in Fig. 3 and are separated by flux
barriers that inhibit the d-axis flux in such a way that if the
rotor were rotated 90 electrical degrees relative to the stator
mmf the flux would fall to zero. This construction (Fig. 3) is
perhaps the natural way to attempt to construct a reluctance
rotor with infinite saliency, but in practice, the flux-barriers
are not impermeable, and the saliency is finite.
Assume that the laminations and flux barriers are everywhere very thin, and let t be the average ratio of flux-barrier
thickness to the combined thickness of lamination and flux
barrier. Then, 1/(1 - t ) is a measure of the flux concentra~~

Because the SYNCHREL motor is a classical synchronous


machine, its electromagnetic torque is given by (l), where Id
and I, are components of the rms phase current I resolved
along the d and q axes of the phasor diagram; they correspond to the space-vector components of stator mmf along

Phasor diagram of SYNCHREL motor.

MILLER et al.: DESIGN OF A SYNCHRONOUS RELUCTANCE MOTOR DRIVE

743

d-Axis

Fig. 3 . Natural four-pole field of sine-distributed current sheet representing the stator winding, aligned with the q axis. The shaded sections
represent flux guides interspersed with flux barriers whose surfaces follow
the natural flux lines of the field. This structure was used by Cruickshank et
al. [2] in their line-start reluctance motor. Because of symmetry, only one
octant is shown.

tion that occurs in the laminations owing to the loss of cross


section to the flux barriers. For a peak airgap flux density of
0.8 T and a saturation density of around 1.7 T, t must be
limited to the order of 0.5. Now, the synchronous reactance
X , is inversely proportional to the airgap length g , and by
the methods of [9], it can be shown that X d is inversely
proportional to the sum of g and the combined thickness of
the flux barriers, which is very roughly equal to t R , where
R is the rotor radius. Therefore, the saliency is given approximately by

_
x, -- ( t R + g )
~

xd

tR

= -

Web
Rlb

Rotor2

+ 1.

With t = 0.5 and R / g typically about 50, this indicates a


maximum saliency of about 25. Values achieved in practice
are usually much smaller (generally no more than 10-15),
partly because of leakage inductance, which effectively adds
a swamping term to both the numerator and denominator
of (2) and partly because of saturation. Nevertheless, this
simple line of reasoning indicates some fundamental bounds
to the achievement of high saliency and illustrates some of
the factors that are important.
The axially laminated rotor is not easy to manufacture. A
transverse lamination with the pattern of flux barriers shown
in Fig. 3 would also be difficult to make by punching;
individual laminations would be flimsy and difficult to handle. The geometry of Fig. 4 is a compromise. It can be
regarded as having just one flux barrier. If this is rectangular,
it can accommodate a permanent magnet, providing a simple
means for enhancing the performance of a small motor when
necessary. With the magnets, the motor is an interior magnet or buried magnet motor, which is sometimes also called
a hybrid PM/reluctance motor (PMH motor). The SYNCHREL motors in this paper are all of this type.
In evaluating a series of rotor designs, the linear magnetic
theory developed in [9] was used to calculate values of Ld
and L , in terms of dimensions, turns, etc. The values were
checked against finite-element calculations and both ac and dc
measurements [ 121.
111. EVOLUTION
OF THE DESIGN
Three rotors have been built, and the cross sections of two
of these are shown in Fig. 4. The pole pieces are held by two

(b)
Fig. 4. Transversely laminated single-barrier
1 ; (b) rotor 2.

Fig 5.

SYNCHREL

rotors: (a) Rotor

Components of hybrid synchronous reluctance/PM motor showing


optional permanent magnets.

thin ribs that attach to the q axis webs in the same way as in
the interior magnet motor described by Jahns, et al. [ 5 ] . Fig.
5 shows the components of the disassembled motor.
To minimize Ld, the ribs (Fig. 4) must saturate at a low
level of current. This requires them to be radially thin. L , is
not sensitive to the airgap length because of the large reluctance in the flux barrier. L , must be maximized; therefore,
saturation is undesirable in any part of the q-axis flux path.
Therefore, the pole piece needs to have adequate radial

744

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. 27, NO. 4, JULYIAUGUST 1991

TABLE I
Parameter
Pole arc (")
Rotor Diameter (mm)
Airgap length (mm)
Rib width (mm)
Web width (mm)
Flux-barrier thickness (mm)
Rotor material
L, [measured] (mH)
L, [finite-element] (mH)
L, [measured] (mH)
L [finite-element](mH)
R k o L, /Ld [measured]

Rotor 1

Rotor 2

68.0
40.5
0.45
0.5
1.o
5.4
Losil 800

62.3
41.1
0.15
0.5
2.5
5.4
Losil 800
10.3
11.3
41 .O
50.3
4.0

10.8
10.2
28.3
21.1
2.6

depth, and the web needs to be sufficiently wide as well.


Rotor 1 (Fig. 4(a)) was designed to accommodate 5.4-mmthick magnets, and for operation as a SYNCHREL motor, the
webs are too narrow; therefore, they were widened in rotor
2. With 16 slots, this ensures that the web does not saturate
when aligned with the axis of the phase winding. The parameters of the two rotors are summarized in Table I and [12].
The inductances quoted in Table I were measured and calculated at 3.0 A.
The synchronous inductance ratios quoted in Table I are all
well below the theoretical limit of 25 mentioned earlier. This Fig. 6. (a) D-axis flux plot showing operation of flux barrier and leakage
is because saturation decreases the q-axis inductance, whereas through the ribs that hold the pole pieces in position. D-axis current = 3.0
leakage through the ribs increases the d-axis inductance. It is A; (b) Q-axis flux plot. Q-axis current = 3.0 A.
the price paid for the convenience of a lamination that has a
simple punching geometry and the ability to accommodate
ROTOR 2 : F L U X LINKAGE " v " CURRENT
1
magnets when required. However, as stated earlier, an object
F l u x Linkage t m k ) x I.Oe2
I . 80,
of the investigation is to determine whether acceptable performance is obtainable while retaining these katures.
Fig. 6(a) and (b) show typical d- and q-axis finite-element
flux plots. The calculation of magnetization curves is a
straightforward exercise of the finite-element method [ 181
once the magnetization characteristics of the core steel are
accurately known. Fig. 7 shows measured magnetization
curves for rotor 1, clearly showing the effect of saturation on
the inductance ratio. Fig. 8 shows the running torque of both
lO.8O-l
rotors as a function of rms phase current. The calculated
curves were obtained from equation (1) and L , and L , taken
from the appropriate magnetization curves at the appropriate
current level. This calculation is approximate, but it reflects
the general trend and underlines the superiority of rotor 2
with its higher inductance ratio. The torques in Fig. 8 were
measured at a low speed in order to minimize the effects of
windage and core losses and provide data for the comparison
I
2.50
5.00
7.50
L
Current (Amps) x 1.0eC
described in Section V.
IV. ELECTRONIC
CONTROL
The configuration of the electronic control for two-phase
motor is shown in Fig. 9. A 360-pulse magnetoresistive
encoder mounted on the motor shaft generates an indexed
pulse count representing the rotor position. This count is used
to address two EPROM's: one for the d axis and one for the
q axis. The EPROM's contain sine and cosine values multiplied in MDAC's by the reference or command value of the
phase current. These analog signals are used as references for

Fig. 7. Phase flux linkage versus current over a range of rotor positions
between the d axis and the q axis; rotor 2.

two full H-bridge hysteresis-type current-regulators, one for


each phase. Power integrated circuits operating at 40 V are
used for the H bridges. In the simplest mode of operation,
the current phase angle is set at a fixed value of 45 electrical
degrees, and the motor is controlled entirely by its current
reference with torque approximately proportional to current

MILLER et al.: DESIGN OF A SYNCHRONOUS RELUCTANCE MOTOR DRIVE

A . Description of Motors Tested

Torque (mNm) x l.Oe2

t. 501

&

y$

3.751

Rotor 2

3.00

/ \

1.00

745

2.00

3.00

Current (Arms) x 1.0e0

Fig. 8. Running torque versus phase current. The points are measured; the
lines are calculated (by (l), with inductances read from Fig. 6).

Fig. 9. Electronic controller block diagram.

squared (Fig. 8). A speed loop can be added outside the


feedforward torque regulator. A more sophisticated strategy
is to control the orientation of the stator mmf vector according to the operating requirements, and provision is made in
Fig. 9 for the addition of a phase-shift to vary the orientation.
V. COMPARISON
WITH INDUCTION,
PM, AND SWITCHED
RELUCTANCE
MOTORS
Tests were performed to compare the SYNCHREL motor
with several other brushless motors of different types. The
dimensions and performance comparisons are summarized in
Table II.
So many different types of brushless motors are possible in
this size range that it was not possible to test every one of the
different types. In particular, no tests were performed on the
classical brushless dc PM motor. However, it would be
unfortunate to omit this machine because of its commercial
importance, its simplicity, and its close theoretical relationship to the dc commutator motor, and therefore, a column of
calculated results has been included in Table 11 for this
machine (labelled BLDC). In a sense, these figures are
purer than measured results taken on a particular model
because they are exactly defined and totally reproducible, and
since this motor conforms well with relatively simple design
calculations [9], [19], it is used here as the benchmark or
per-unit base to which the parameters of all the other motors
are normalized. The design equations used for this motor are
given in full in [9], and Appendix I contains details of the
design. Fig. 10 shows the cross section of this motor. Note
that the slots are rectangular, whereas all the ac motors in
Table 11have round-bottom slots, as is shown in Fig. 4.

Column 1 contains the calculated base values for the


brushless dc PM motor BLDC, which is assumed to have
180 magnet arcs, 120 rectangular phase current waveforms, and a wye-connected three-phase stator (Appendix I).
Column 2 is the permanent-magnet hybrid (PMH-1) motor or
interior magnet motor based on the SYNCHREL lamination
(rotor 1) with NdFeB magnets of remanent flux density 1.1
T. This motor is labelled PMH-1. The dimensions of the
magnets are identical to those in Column 3 (PMH-2), which
is the PMH motor obtained by fitting ceramic magnets of
remanent flux density 0.4 T to rotor 1 of Fig. 4(a). The
BLDC motor in column 1 has the same magnet weight and
the same ceramic magnet material as PMH-2.
Columns 4-7 are induction motors with airgaps ranging
from 0.1 to 0.4 mm in steps of 0.1 mm to show the
sensitivity of the performance to the airgap length, which is
an important parameter in the cost of manufacture. For
motors of this size and length/diameter ratio, 0.2 mm is a
normal value for the airgap length.
Columns 8- 10 are switched reluctance motors with airgaps
ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 mm in steps of 0.1 mm to show the
sensitivity of the performance to the airgap length. The
controller for these machines is based on an integrated-circuit
switched-reluctance drive control described in [20].
Column 11 is the SYNCHREL motor with rotor 1 (Fig. 4(a)).
This is not the best of the SYNCHREL rotors, but it shows the
effect of removing the magnets from the PMH-1 and PMH-2
interior-magnet motors in columns 2 and 3. Column 12 is the
best of the SYNCHREL motors described in this paper, with
rotor 2 (Fig. 4(b)). Both SYNCHREL motors, both PMH motors, and all the induction motors have exactly the same
stator and windings.
All of the motors have four rotor poles, but the induction
and SYNCHREL motors have two phases instead of three. This
does not affect the performance. The SYNCHREL,
PMH, and
induction motors were operated with the current-regulated
field-oriented PWM inverter described in Section IV. In the
case of the two synchronous machines, the torque angle was
adjusted experimentally to give maximum torque per ampere.

B. Test Conditions
Because of differences in voltage, speed range, and lamination material between the motors, it was not considered
meaningful to compare efficiencies directly. Instead, the performance parameter used for comparison was the torque at
low speed, under conditions of equal stator copper loss in all
the motors. The results have been normalized by calculation
to the same copper weight (0.29 kg) in the stator windings.
Results are summarized in Table 11. Comparisons are made at
a copper loss of about 14 W, which represents about two
thirds of the dissipation capability of the (nonventilated,
totally enclosed) frame for continuous rated operation with a
temperature rise by resistance of about 55C. Assuming that
the copper losses are of the order of 2/3 of the total losses at
maximum power, this also gives a rough idea of the performance comparison at maximum power.
Even minor differences in frame size, length/diameter

~ _ _ _ _ _ _

746

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. 21, NO. 4, JULYIAUGUST 1991

Fig. 10. Cross section of BLDC motor (see also Appendix I).
TABLE I1
MOTOR
PERFORMANCE
COMPARISON
PARAMETER Un
Phases
Poles

1
BLDC

2
PMH-1

3
PMH-2

4
IM-1

5
IM-2

6
IM-3

7
IM-4

8
SR-1

9
SR-2

10
SR-3

3
4

2
4

2
4

2
4

2
4

2
4

2
4

3
614

3
614

3
614

2
4

2
4

77.0
40.6
50.0
86.0
4.0

77.8
40.6
50.0
90.0
4.5

77.8
40.6
50.0
90.0
4.5

77.8
40.6
50.0
90.0
1.0

77.8
40.6
50.0
90.0
2.0

77.8
40.6
50.0
90.0
3.0

77.8
40.6
50.0
90.0
4.0

73.7
35.5
44.5
74.0
2.0

73.7
35.3
44.5
74.0
3.0

73.7
35.1
44.5
74.0
4.0

77.8
40.5
50.0
90.0
4.5

77.8
40.0
50.0
90.0
2.0

11
12
REL-1 REL-2

Stator OD
Rotor OD
Stack Lgth
O/A Length
Airgap

mm
mm
mm
mm
mm/lO

Stator Cu
Magnet
Steel
Total wt.
Matl cost

kg
kg
kg
kg

0.29
0.11
0.80
1.20
2.0

0.29
0.16
1.28
1.73
13.3

0.29
0.11
0.98
1.38
2.1

0.29

0.29

0.29

0.29

0.29

0.29

0.29

0.29

0.29

1.25
1.54
2.0

1.25
1.54
2.0

1.24
1.53
2.0

1.24
1.53
2.0

0.94
1.23
1.6

0.94
1.23
1.6

0.94
1.23
1.6

1.28
1.57
1.8

1.28
1.57
1.8

Inertia
Ohms/ph
Current
P cu (st)
P Cu (ro)

%
Ohm
Arms
W
W

100
2.9
1.3
14.1

134
1.9
1.9
13.6

119
1.9
1.9
13.7

134
1.9
1.9
13.7
7.1

134
1.9
1.9
13.7
5.8

134
1.9
1.9
13.7
4.2

134
1.9
1.9
13.7
4.1

25
2.9
1.3
14.3

25
2.0
1.3
14.3

26
2.9
1.3
14.3

109
1.9
1.9
13.7

109
1.9
1.9
13.7

Torque

mNm

329

702

295

280

250

180

150

346

256

188

109

250

Torque
T/Vr
T/Vs
T/Vtot
T/J
T/Weight
T/f Matl

%
%
%

100
100
100
100
100
100
100

213
213
209
200
159
147
32

90
90
88
84
75
78
85

85
85
83
80
63
66
85

76
76
74
71
57
59
76

55
55
54
51
41
43
55

46
46
45
43
34
36
46

105
155
129
133
414
102
128

78
116
95
99
307
76
94

57
86
70
72
220
56
69

33
33
32
31
30
25
36

76
78
74
71
70
58
83

%
%
%
%

Note: PMH-1 has NdIGT-30H magnets (interior)


PMH-2 has Ceramic-8 magnets (interior)
BLDC motor has Ceramic 8 magnets (surface mounted)

ratio, copper weight, airgap length, and other key parameters


can significantly affect performance. The test data in Table I1
is unusual in that all the motors are very close in physical
size and shape, and all the ac motors have exactly the same
stator. This eliminates the need for adjustments to take
account of differences in dimensions. The main adjustment
that had to be made was to the results for the switched
reluctance (SR) motors, which were tested as built with only
0.155 kg of copper in the stator windings and a very low
slot-fill factor. Since the comparisons in Table I1 are constructed on the basis of equal stator copper losses, the
performance of these motors had to be recalculated with

Copper f/kg
Steel f/kg
Aluminum f/kg
Ceram. Mag. f/kg
NdFeB Mag. f/kg

> 4.0
f0.5
f4.0
f4.0
E7 .O

30-Oct-90

almost double the amount of copper in the windings. The


adjustment was performed using the computer-program PCSRD [SI, and a careful study of the accuracy of these results
indicates that the calculated torque with 0.29 kg of winding
copper may be as much as 16% low. Moreover, no correction was made for the fact that the stack length of the SR
motors was only 89% of that of the other motors. The SR
motor torques in Table I1 are therefore underestimated by as
much as 25%, but because these figures have not been
directly verified by test, the conservative adjusted values are
used in Table 11.
The results are valid only for small motors similar in size

MILLER et al.: DESIGN OF A SYNCHRONOUS RELUCTANCE MOTOR DRIVE

747

SR-1

Torque/Matedal Cost [%]


[loo% = 166mNm/fl]
700 -

mi500-

a-

SR-1

BLDC

10

11

12

Fig. 11. Continuous low-speed torque of 78-mm-diameterbrushless motors


at the same stator copper loss with equal stator copper weights.

Fig. 13. Torque per unit of material cost of 78-mm-diameter brushless


motors at the same stator copper loss with equal stator copper weights,
expressed as a percentage of the torque per unit material cost of the BLDC
motor in Column 1.

torque is reduced to 76 % , and if the total losses were reduced


to the same level as in the BLDC motor, the torque would be
derated to only about 50%. This result is entirely expected:
Small induction motors suffer seriously from excessive mag300
netizing current and slip losses, and the results merely high250
light the known advantage of PM and synchronous motors.
As the airgap is increased still further, the torque falls off
XK)
rapidly. At 0.4 mm (the same airgap as used in the BLDC
150
motor), the induction motor torque is only 46%, even before
the derating due to rotor losses is applied.
100
IM-2
The switched reluctance motor also suffers from this in50
verse relationship between torque (at constant copper loss)
and airgap length, but in this case, there is no slip loss, and
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1
0
1
1
1
2
the degradation is due to increased excitation requirements as
Fig. 12. Torque/inertia ratio of 78-mm-diameter brushless motors at the
the airgap increases. With constant stator copper loss, the
same stator copper loss with equal stator copper weights, expressed as a
relative rate of degradation is very roughly the same as in the
percentage of the torque/inertia ratio of the BLDC motor in Column 1 .
induction motor. The SR motor produces some 30% more
torque than the induction motor with the same airgap but
to the ones tested, i.e., in the 50-200-W range or so. without any significant rotor losses. Torque parity with the
Extrapolation up to larger powers is unlikely to be meaning- BLDC motor is achieved only with a 0.2-mm airgap. The SR
ful.
motor cannot tolerate the large airgap (0.4 mm) of the BLDC
motor; with a 0.4-mm gap, its torque is only 57%. It was
C. Performance Comparison
observed in testing that the SR motor was the noisiest motor,
A selection of results from Table I1 is plotted in Figs. even at the preadjustment torque level (around 200 mNm for
SR-1 with 0.155 kg of copper). If this motor is actually
11-13.
1)Torque: Fig. 11 shows the continuous torque capability operated at 346 mNm, it is excessively noisy even though it
of each type of motor relative to the BLDC motor torque. is still operating far below its theoretical electromagnetic
The PMH-1 motor has the unfair advantage of high-en- capability.
The SYNCHREL motor REL-1 in column 11 is included to
ergy magnets, which explains its high torque capability.
When fitted with the same volume of the same ceramic show the effect of removing the magnets from PMH-1 or
magnet material, the interior-magnet motor (PMH-2) pro- PMH-2; there is a marked reduction in torque to 33%, and
duces only about 90% of the BLDC motor torque and only again, the large airgap of the BLDC motor cannot be tolerated. The motor REL-2 (column 12, using rotor 2 of Fig.
14% more than the SYNCHREL motor REL-2.
Even with an airgap of 0.1 mm, the induction motor 4(b)) has much better performance (76%) and even outperproduces only 85% of the BLDC motor torque, and it also forms the induction motor IM-2 with the same airgap length.
has the penalty of 7.1 W of rotor losses that are not included Moreover, it does this with negligible rotor losses. Although
in the equal stator copper loss criterion. When the airgap the torque is lower than the 105% of SR-1 with the same
is increased to the more manufacturable value of 0.2 mm, the airgap length, it is comparable with the 78% of the SR-2

748

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. 27. NO. 4, JULYIAUGUST 1991

motor, and if these motors had to be designed for the same


noise level, the SYNCHREL motor REL-2 would be competitive. It has the further advantage of using a standard induction-motor stator.
2) Torquellnertia Ratio ( T / J ) : Fig. 12 shows the
torque/inertia ratio based on the continuous torque capability. (Transient torque capability was not evaluated.) The high
value for the SR motor is mainly due to its low inertia, which
results from the small rotor diameter and the removal of
material between the rotor poles. The SYNCHREL motor REL-2
has about 20% better T/J than the induction motor IM-2 but
only 70% of that of the BLDC motor.
3) TorquelMaterial Cost Ratio: Fig. 13 shows the torque
per unit of material cost based on the per-kilogram costs of
materials given in Table 11. These costs are approximate and
somewhat variable, but they do give an additional insight.
The PMH-1 motor is clearly penalized by the high cost of its
magnet material. Otherwise, the only motor to excel the
BLDC motor is the switched-reluctance SR-1 motor. The
SYNCHREL motor REL-2 is a few percent more economical
than the induction motor IM-2, but both are 15-20% less
cost effective than the BLDC motor.
VI. CONCLUSION

A simple synchronous reluctance (SYNCHREL)


motor using
a 78-mm-diameter induction motor stator and fixed-phaseangle variable-frequency control produces an efficient synchronous motor drive with approximately 50% more torque
than the induction motor in the same stator based on equal
total motor losses. The low-speed torque is about 30% lower
than that of a switched reluctance motor having the same
framesize, airgap length, and copper weigh; however, in
other respects, the quieter SYNCHREL motor has many of the
attractive features of the switched reluctance motor-freedom
from permanent magnets, high-temperature and high-speed
capability, freedom from parameter variations due to temperature, etc. It also uses standard ac motor parts and sinewave
control. Calculations show that the SYNCHREL motor as described in this paper cannot equal the torque of the brushless dc motor with ferrite magnets in this size range, even on
the basis of torque per unit material cost; neither can it
tolerate the large airgap length of the BLDC motor. However, if manufacturing cost is taken into account, the SYNCHREL motor is quite competitive because of its simple rotor
and the common induction motor stator.
These results have been achieved with a single flux-barrier
design capable of accommodatipg permanent magnets. The
inductance ratio is much smaller than theoretically possible in
a pure SYNCHREL motor, and much better results would be
expected with an axially laminated construction or equivalent.
The comparison of motor types underlines the superiority
of the PM brushless dc motor in raw torque production at
low speed and its ability to tolerate a large airgap length. The
comparison also highlights the weakness of the induction
motor in this small size range. The advantage of the SYNCHREL motor is that it uses a standard induction-motor stator
and provides a synchronous, efficient drive with parameters

independent of temperature and freedom from demagnetization and other magnet-related problems. Although the performance is exceeded by the switched reluctance (SR) motor,
the SR motor has the disadvantage of a higher noise level and
higher torque ripple, and it cannot use a standard ac motor
stator.
These conclusions cannot be extrapolated to larger motors
because the effects of scale are too nonlinear. Future plans
include the extension to integral-horsepower motors [161 and
the investigation of small motors with much higher inductance ratios.
APPENDIX
OF BLDC MOTORDESIGN
PARAMETERS
Stator/rotor diameters
Airgap length
Stack length
Magnet thickness/pole arc
Magnet/remanent flux-density
Coercive force
Poles/slots/phases
Tooth width
Slot area
Winding type
Coil throw (slot pitches)
Turns in series per phase
Self/mutual inductance
Airgap flux density
Torque constant
Speed at test point

77/50 mm
0.4 mm
50 mm
3.8 mm/180 elec
ceramic/0.329T
269 kA/m
4/24/3
2.5 mm
61.5 mm2
Lap, single layer
5
200/0.6 mm dia
12.7/1.8 mH
0.246T (open circuit)
0.2 /A
200 r/min

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Thanks are due to R. S. Boughton (Sherman Electromech),
S. E. Wood (Brook Crompton Parkinson), P. Ibbotson (Watson Marlow), A. J. Hutton (Motorola), K. Debebe, I. Young,
and J. Kelly of the University of Glasgow.
REFERENCES
[l] P. J . Lawrenson and L. A. Agu, Theory and performance of
polyphase reluctance machines, Proc. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 111,
pp. 1435-1445, 1964.
[2] A. J . 0. Cruickshank, A. F. Anderson, and R. M. Menzies, Axially
laminated anisotropic rotors for reluctance motors, Proc. Inst.
Elec. Eng., vol. 113, pp. 2058-2060, 1966.
[3] W. Fong, and J . S. C. Htsui, New type of reluctance motor,
Proc. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 117, pp. 545-551, 1970.
[4] V. B. Honsinger, Steady-state performance of reluctance machines,
IEEE Trans. Power App. Syst., vol. PAS-90, pp. 305-317, 1971.
[5] T. M. Jahns, G. B. Kliman, and T. W. Neumann, Interior magnet
synchronous motors for adjustable-speed drives, IEEE Trans. Industry Applications, vol. IA-22, pp. 738-747, 1986.
[6] T. Fukao, Principles and output characteristics of super high-speed
reluctance generator system, IEEE Trans. Industry Applications,
vol. IA-22, pp. 702-707, 1986.
[7] A. Fratta and A. Vagati, A reluctance motor for high dynamic
performance applications, in Conf. Rec. 1987 IEEE Industry
Applications Soc. Ann. Mtg., Part I, pp. 295-302, Paper ID-87-24.
(81 A. Chiba and T. Fukao, A closed-loop control of super high-speed
reluctance motor for quick torque response, in Conf. Rec. 1987
IEEE Industry Applications Society Ann. Mtg., Part 1, pp.
289-294, Paper ID-87-23.
[9] T. J . E. Miller, Brushless Permanent-Magnet and Reluctance
Motor Drives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
[lo] T. J . E. Miller and M. I. McGilp, PC CAD for switched reluctance

MILLER

er

al.: DESIGN OF A SYNCHRONOUS RELUCTANCE MOTOR DRIVE

drives, in IEE Conf. Publ. 282, pp. 360-366, 1987.


[ l l ] P. J . Lawrence et al., Variable-speed switched reluctance motors,
Proc. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 127, pt. B, pp. 253-265, 1980.
[12] T. J . E. Miller and K. Debebe, Design of a synchronous reluctance
motor, in PCIM MOTORCON Conf.Proc. (Munich), June 6-8,
1989, pp. 69-83.
[13] T. Lip0 and L-Y Xu, A novel converter-fed reluctance motor with
high power density, in Symp. Electric Drives (Cagliari, Italy), June
1987, pp. 315-321.
1141 L.-Y. Xu and T. Lipo, Analysis of a variable speed singly-salient
reluctance motor utilizing only two transistor switches, in Conf.
Rec. 1988 IEEE Industry Applications Soc. Ann. Mtg., Part I, pp.
38-43.
[15] T. J . E. Miller, P. G. Bower, R. C. Becerra, and M. Ehsani, Fourquandrant brushless reluctance drive, in Proc. IEE Conf. Power
Electron. Variable-Speed Drives (London), July 1988, pp. 273-276.
[16] M. R. Hams and T. J . E. Miller, Comparison of design and
performance parameters in switched reluctance and induction motors,
in Proc. IEE Conf. Elect. Machines Drives (London), Sept. 1989,
pp. 303-307, CP310.
[17] H. Jordan, Energy-Eflcient Electric Motors and Their Application. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983.
[18] P. P. Silvester and D. Lowther, Computer-Aided Design in Magnetics. Springer-Verlag, 1986.
[19] P. Pillay and R. Krishnan, Modeling, simulation, and analysis of
permanent-magnet motor drives, Part 11: The brushless DC motor
drive, IEEE Trans. Industry Applications, vol. IA-25, pp.
274-279, Mar./Apr. 1989.
[20] T. J . E. Miller, C. Cossar, and D. Anderson, A new control IC for
switched reluctance motor drives, in Proc. IEE Conf. Power
Electron. Variable Speed Drives (London), July 17- 19, 1990, pp.
331-335, CP324.

T. J. E. Miller (SM82) is a native of Wigan, UK.


He was educated at Atlantic College and the Universities of Glasgow and Leeds, U.K.
He spent 20 years in industrial research and
development, including eight years with General
Electric Corporate Research and Development,
Schenectady , NY, before becoming Titular Professor in Power Electronics at Glasgow University.
He is author of two textbooks, numerous patents,
and IEEE and IEE publications.

749

Alan Hutton was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on


April 29, 1966. He received the B.Eng. (Hons.)
degree in electrical and electronic engineering from
the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1987.
He has spent two years as a research assistant
under the SPEED consortium at the University of
Glasgow. He was engaged in the design of switched
reluctance motors and drives and is about to submit
for a Masters degree based on this work. He is
presently working for Motorola in technical marketing.
Mr. Hutton is an associate member of the IEE.

Calum Cossar was born in Hamilton, Scotland, on


January 22, 1962. He received the B.Sc. (Hons.)
degree in electrical and electronic engineering from
the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1983.
He spent five years as a design engineer with
Ferranti Defence Systems Ltd. and was involved in
high-speed DSP in radar systems. For the last two
years, he has been employed as a research technologist at the University of Glasgow. His field of
interest is digital techniques in motor control.

David A. Staton was born in Chesterfield, England, on July 29, 1961. He received the B.Sc.
(Hons.) degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, England, in 1983 and the Ph.D. degree from the
University of Sheffield, England, in 1988.
From 1977 to 1984, he was employed by British
Coal, who sponsored him while he was undertaling his B.Sc. degree. While at the University of
Sheffield, he developed CAD software for permanent-magnet dc motors in collaboration with GEC
Electromotors Ltd. From 1988 to 1989, he was with the Thorn EM1 Central
Research Laboratories and was engaged in the design of motors for the
Kenwood range of food processors. Over the last year, he has been
employed as a research assistant at the University of Glasgow and is
involved in optimizing the design of synchronous reluctance motors.
Dr. Staton is an associate member of the IEE.