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Analytical Calculation of Slot Leakage

Inductance in Multiphase Electrical Machines

Conference Paper September 2016

DOI: 10.1109/ICELMACH.2016.7732700


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2 authors:

Paulo Cordovil Ivan Chabu

University of So Paulo University of So Paulo


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Analytical Calculation of Slot Leakage Inductance in
Multiphase Electrical Machines
P. Cordovil, I. E. Chabu

Abstract Opting for a multiphase electrical machine may six-phase electrical generator in the 1920s to not exceed the
provide, in several industrial cases, significant benefits in terms current limit of the circuit breakers of that time.
of performance, resilience and reliability. The interest in
multiphase topologies is recently increasing due to the trend for An important feature of multiphase electrical machines is
more electric transportation and high power offshore wind their capacity of maintaining a revolving magnetic field even
turbines. In this paper, the classical analytical method for in the case there is a fault in some of the machine windings.
calculating the slot leakage inductance of three-phase electrical The fault tolerance capability provided by multiphase
machines with double-layer windings are extended for other
arrangements may be an essential requirement to meet the
multiphase topologies.
resilience targets of safety-critical applications. Due to the
Index TermsMultiphase Electrical Machines, Electrical aforementioned features, multiphase electrical machines have
Machines, Slot Leakage Inductance, Design of Electrical been widely used in applications where high power and high
Machines reliability are required [2][5]. Military and marine
transportation industries are the most noticeable sectors
I. NOMENCLATURE where multiphase machines are applied [1][5]. However, it is

Average of for a symmetry group worth noticing that the trend for more electrical
Correction factor of for one slot transportation is giving an important push for further
Effective length developments in the field of multiphase electrical machines,
Air-gap length where they have been considered for applications such as
Slot leakage inductance more-electric aircrafts, electrical and hybrid electrical
Tooth-tip leakage inductance vehicles [2][5].
Number of series-connected turns per phase
Pairs of poles
While the most common topology for multiphase
Specific permeance of the top coil machines is the six-phase dual-star induction motor [5],
Specific permeance of the bottom coil several different topologies can be found in the industry and
Specific permeance related to the mutual coupling literature. E.g., in references [4] and [6] a 12-phase and 15-
phase induction machines are presented for naval propulsion
between top and bottom coils in a full pitch winding
Number of slots per pole per phase systems and reference [7] discuss a four-phase high-speed
Coil pitch permanent magnet machine for an aircraft fuel pump drive. A
Coil pitch in percentage of significant number of other topologies and applications may
Pole pitch be found in the following references [1][2][3][5].
Pole arc
As the power limit of a two-level 690V PWM power
Phase difference between the currents in the top and
converter with 1700V/3600A IGBTs is typically between
bottom layers of the slot
Vacuum magnetic permeability 1.5MVA and 2MVA, multiphase topologies have also been
used for high power offshore wind turbines. One solution is
II. INTRODUCTION to connect in parallel several power converters to handle with
the total power from the turbine. Even though, this topology,
S ince the beginning of the 20th century multiphase
electrical machines have been used to meet specific
with parallel-connected converters, may be fault tolerant to
failures in the power electronics, it does not have the fault
performance targets of industrial applications, including the tolerance capability in the case the fault occurs in the
need of splitting the power in more phases to meet the power machine windings, e.g. insulation failure. A multiphase
handling limitations of other auxiliary electrical equipment. electrical generator can be used to provide this additional
As an example, reference [1] comments about the usage of a resilience to failures in the generator windings, reducing the
risks of unpredicted maintenance.
P. T. C. Cordovil is with the Department of Electrical Energy and
Automation, University of So Paulo, So Paulo, SP-Brazil (e-mail: For offshore wind turbines, the number of phases of the
I. Chabu is with the Department of Electrical Energy and Automation,
machine would typically be multiple of three to use on-the-
University of So Paulo, So Paulo, SP-Brazil (e-mail: shelf back-to-back three-phase power converters. The best

examples of multiphase machines in this industry are the III. ANALYTICAL CALCULATION OF THE SLOT LEAKAGE
GEs 6MW-150m, Haliade, and the 5MW-128/132m wind INDUCTANCE
turbine generator from Gamesa/ Adwen1. GEs Haliade (ex- A. Slot Leakage Inductance
Alstom) 6MW is a nine-phase, with three three-phase sets,
direct-drive (low speed) Permanent Magnet Synchronous The slot leakage inductance of a double layer winding is
Generator (PMSG), with three 900V three-phase power calculated in function of: the specific permeance of top and
converters [8]. While the 5MW platform from Gamesa is bottom coils and , the specific permeance related to the
based on a twelve-phase, with four three-phase sets, PMSG mutual inductance between top and bottom layers in a full
with four 690V three-phase power converters [3] [9]. pitch winding , a correction factor that should be
applied when the winding is short-pitched [10][11]:
There are important differences when considering a
multiphase induction motor and a multiphase PMSG.
Namely, the main magnetizing current linkage of the
induction motor is created by the stator currents, with
reduced harmonic content due to the multiphase arrangement Considering the semi-closed slot presented in Fig. 1, the
[5][11]. While in the PMSG the main current linkage is specific permeances , and are calculated according
produced by the permanent magnets and its harmonic content to the following equations[11][12]:
will depend on the rotor geometry/topology, e.g. a PMSG
with surface mounted magnets will have significant

harmonic content. (3)

As a result, typically, multiphase induction motors are

designed with concentrated windings [5]. This, however,

may not be necessarily true for multiphase synchronous
machines, as it may be required to mitigate the field

harmonics by using distributed and chorded windings. (4)
Another relevant difference is that induction machines have a
small air-gap and a large magnetizing reactance, while

synchronous and, especially, permanent magnet machines are (5)
characterized by a large effective air-gap leading to a
relatively low magnetizing inductance.
The difference between the magnetizing inductance of
these two topologies has significant impact in the relevance
of different leakage inductances. E.g. for induction machines,
the harmonic leakage inductance is more important, while
the tooth-tip leakage inductance is commonly neglected. For
synchronous machines, however, it is the other way around.
In this work, the classical analytical method for the
calculation of the slot leakage inductance of three-phase
electrical machines is revisited and extended for multiphase
Fig. 1. Double Layer winding slot.
topologies with 180/ phase-belts, where is the number of
phases of the machine. It is emphasized that the parameter Considering = and substituting equations (3), (4)
that is further defined in equation (8) is also used for the and (5) in (2) the slot leakage inductance is calculated by
calculation of the tooth-tip leakage inductance, according to [11] [13]:
the following equation [10]:




The 5MW platform from Gamesa is now part of the joint venture

between Gamesa and Areva Adwen.


(8) 1) Top and bottom coils are from phase 1, = 0. This
case occurs when the chording is in the range of [0;
In full-pitch windings, top and bottom coils are from the 60[.
same phase, while in a chorded winding top and bottom
layers may be from different phases. In a chorded winding, 2) When phase 1 and phase -3 (negative polarity) share
the difference between the currents flowing in the top and the same slot:  = 60 (240-180). This case occurs
bottom coils reduces the mutual inductance between these when the chording is in the range of ]0; 120[.
layers, when compared to the full pitch winding case [11]. 3) The last case occurs when the slot is shared by phases
The parameter is defined to quantify this effect. 1 and 2, leading to  = 120. This case occurs when
Following the definition in [11], , where is the chording is in the range of [120; 180[.
the phase difference between the current in the top and
In practical cases, the chording is less than 60, otherwise
bottom layers of the slot.
the winding factor for the fundamental harmonic would be
To calculate this phenomena for the entire winding, not excessively low. Typically, the winding is short-pitched by,
just for one specific slot, the average value of per or close to, 30, to mitigate the impacts of the 5th and 7th
symmetry group2 of the winding is used: . harmonics of the excitation magnetic field. It is worth noting,
Electrical machines with integral number of slots per pole that the chording factor does not depend on the number of
per phase are symmetrical each two poles, with total number phases of the machine.
of slots per symmetry group per phase equal to . TABLE I
Therefore, when is an integer is calculated by [11][13]: PHASES SEQUENCE PER PAIR OF POLES IN A THREE-PHASE MACHINE
PHASE-BELT 0-60 60-120 120-180
PHASE 1 -3 2
PHASE-BELT 180-240 240-300 300-360
 PHASE -1 3 -2

When the machine is short-pitched by a multiple of 180/
Considering a fractional slot winding, where all coils from one specific phase share slots with coils from
( ), the symmetry of the winding is reached each another specific phase. E.g. for a three-phase machine
poles. Therefore, the total number of slots per symmetry chorded in 60, all the coils from phase 1 share slots with
group is . In these conditions: coils from phase -3, leading to a . For a
chording equal to 120, , as all coils from

phase 1 share slots with phase 2.

(10) When the chording is in-between multiples of 180/, two

different slot configurations are possible for each phase. In
B. Analytical calculation of in a three-phase machine these circumstances, e.g. for a chording equal to 30, the
value of for half of the slots of one phase is going to be
Even though, equations (9) and (10) are valid for all
equal to  e.g. top and bottom coils from phase 1
multiphase machines, following the methodology presented
while for the another half e.g. top coil
in [11], the typical approach is to calculate in function of
from phase 1 and bottom coil from phase -3. Leading to =
the coil pitch of the winding 3 [10][13][14].
. Therefore, the different values of
The methodology for calculating in function of is in function of the coil pitch in % are presented in
further explained for the three-phase case and it is going to Fig.2.
provide the base for the extrapolation of this methodology
for other multiphase topologies.
In a three-phase machine, the phase belts (180/) in each
pair of poles are associated to the phases, 1, 2 and 3
according to Table I. Considering, as an example, the
possible slot configurations for phase 1, three slot-cases are

Alternatively, repeatable group, using the terms of [11].
In fact [10] presents and in function of , [13] writes the

parameters and in function of the chording ,

[12] uses a different methodology and presents in function of
and [14] presents in function of . Fig. 2. in fuction of the coild pitch in a three-phase machine.

For three-phase machines and considering practical TABLE V 6 PHASES: 2-STAR MACHINE. POSSIBLE SLOTS
chording cases, where  , is calculated by the CONFIGURATIONS FOR PHASE 1.

following equation: SLOT 1&1 1&4 1 & -3 1 & -6 1&2 1&5

() 0 30 60 90 120 150
In Table V, it is possible to observe that the values of
for the six-phase asymmetrical two-star machine are also in
It is worth noting that equation (11), is just the line accordance to equation (13). For this arrangement, it is
equation between the points (1, 1) and (2/3, 0.5) from Fig. 2 interesting to observe that, considering the typical chording
and the dashed blue line is a cosine function according to the of 30, has a straightforward calculation: ,
following equation: as, e.g. phase 1 share all slots with phase 4.
Figures 3, 4 and 5 presents in function of for five,
C. Analytical calculation of for five, six and seven six (dual-star) and seven-phase machines. Analysing these
phases machines. figures it becomes clear that , is the linear
Applying the same methodology for 5 and 7 phases discretization of equation (12) with step size equal to 1/.
symmetrical machines with phase-belts of 180/, we
observe that the possible values of are going to be in the
form of:


It is worth noting that equation (13) is also valid for three-
phase machines. In six-phase machines, we observe that the
symmetrical arrangement, with 30 phase-belts (180/), may
not be suitable, as it would lead to a configuration where the
same phase-belt would be shared by two different phases. In
Fig. 3. in fuction of the coild pitch in a five-phase machine.
addition, the consecutive phase-belt would not have any
phase associated (Table II). The practical solution for the
construction of six-phase symmetrical machines is to spread
the phases in 60 phase-belts (360/), as it is presented in
Table III.
The scope of this work is limited to multiphase electrical
machines with 180/ phase-belts. Therefore, the six-phase
topology is analysed only in the 2-star asymmetrical
arrangement. The two-star machine (or dual-star) is
composed by two three-phase sets displaced by 30 each
other. This topology is presented in Table IV.
TABLE II 6 PHASES SYMMETRICAL MACHINE, 30 PHASE-BELT Fig. 4. in function of the coil pitch in a six-phase two-star
PHASE BELT 0-30 30-60 60-90 90-120 120-150 150-180 machine.
PHASE 1/-4 2/-5 3/-6
PHASE BELT 180-210 210-240 240-270 270-300 300-330 330-360
PHASE 4/-1 5/-2 6/-3
PHASE BELT 0-60 60-120 120-180
PHASE 1/-4 2/-5 3/-6
PHASE BELT 180-240 240-300 300-360
PHASE 4/-1 5/-2 6/-3
PHASE BELT 0-30 30-60 60-90 90-120 120-150 150-180
PHASE 1 4 -3 -6 2 5
PHASE BELT 180-210 210-240 240-270 270-300 300-330 330-360
PHASE -1 -4 3 6 -2 -5
Fig. 5. in function of the coil pitch in a seven-phase

For the five-phase machine, the maximum difference As the error between the function and equation
between the cosine function and is approximately 5%. (12) starts to be negligible, we recommend the usage of
While for the six and seven phases this value is reduced to equation (12) for machines with nine or more phases. This is
3.5% and 2.5%, respectively. also supported by the fact that error in is naturally
For five, six (dual-star) and seven-phase machines, we attenuated for the calculation of the slot leakage inductance
consider that two linear equations should be enough to by the factors and :
characterize in practical chording conditions. These
equations are presented in Table VI.

 1. [; 1.00]
FIVE In synthesis, for symmetrical multiphase machines with
 2. [; ]
odd, equal or higher than nine, and considering 180/

phase-belts, we suggest the following equation to calculate
1. [; 1.00]
SIX4 :
 2. [; ]
 1. [; 1.00]
SEVEN Equation (16) is also valid for asymmetrical multiphase
 2. [; ]
N-star machines where each three-phase set is displaced by
D. Analytical calculation of for 9 and more phases. one phase-belt and N may be odd or even.
For a nine-phase machine, the symmetrical or E. Method Validation
asymmetrical three-star arrangements are possible, with To validate the proposed method, was calculated for
180/ phase-belts. Considering the same methodology nine, twelve and fifteen-phase machines by equation (9). For
applied in the previous sections, one can prove that the nine and twelve-phase machines the chosen value of was
values of are again in accordance with equation (13), in
 and for the fifteen-phase machine .
both cases. The same is also valid for other machines with
odd number of phases and multiple of three (always
In the nine-phase machine with  the symmetry

considering 180/ phase-belts). This result means that the group of the winding is found each 5 poles with 6 slots per
value of is the same for the same chording, independent if phase per symmetry group. In this case, applying equation
the symmetrical or asymmetrical (N-star) winding is (9):

In the following figure, the function is presented,

again compared to the cosine function from equation (12),
where it is possible to observe that the difference between
both functions is very small. The maximum difference is Equation (17) was used to calculate for different values
below 1.6%. of . E.g. short-pitching the winding in one slot = 93%
and the coils from phase 1 share two slots with phase 1 (
) and 4 slots with phase -6 ( ), so
= 0.96. The same procedure is repeated for other values of
, the results are presented in Fig. 7.
Afterwards and are calculated by equations (7)
and (8). The difference/error in those parameters when is
estimated by equation (16) are presented in Fig. 8.

Fig. 6. in function of the coil pitch in a nine-phase machine

(symmetrical or asymmetrical).

Six-phase two-star machines, each three-phase set displaced by 30.

Fig. 9. Calculated values of for the twelve-phase machine.
Fig. 7. Calculated values of for the nine-phase machine.

Fig. 10. Error for the twelve-phase machine for , , .

Fig. 8. Error for the nine-phase machine for , , .

The results are in accordance with what was expected as

the values of , when calculated by equation (17), are still
part of the linear discretization of the cosine function in 1/
steps. In addition to that, the error of estimating by
equation (16) and calculating it by equation (17) is below
The same analysis can be done for the twelve and fifteen-

phase machines. However, as  for the fifteen-phase

machine, , in this case, is calculated by:
Fig. 11. Calculated values of for the fifteen-phase machine.


The following figures present the results for the twelve

and fifteen-phase cases, where it is possible to observe that
the simplification of using equation (16), instead of applying
the conventional method that would be a set of linear
equations, similar to what was presented in Table V, give us
a very good approach for estimating in function of . It
is also possible to observe (figures 8, 10 and 12), that the
error in and is always below 1%.
Fig. 12. Error for the fifteen-phase machine for , , .

In this work, the classical analytical method of calculating
the slot leakage inductance of three-phase machines,
presented in [10][11][13][14], is revisited and applied to
multiphase counterparts with 180/ phase-belts. Even

though clearly explained in reference [11], in this work we The function is equal to for in the range
extend equation (9), for the case where a fractional slot
between .
winding (with > 1), is applied equation (10). From this
basic definitions, equations (9) and (10), it is possible to
establish in function of .
[1] R. Bojoi, A. Cavagnino, A. Tenconi, A. Tessarolo, S. Vaschetto
It was observed that the function is the linear Multiphase Electrical Machines and Drives in the Transportation
interpolation of a cosine function equation (12) in Electrification.
[2] F. Barrero, M. Duran Recent Advances in the Design, Modeling
steps. The resultant linear equations for five, six (dual-star) and Control of Multiphase Machines Part I. IEEE Transactions on
and seven phase machines in practical chording conditions Industrial Electronics, Vol. 63, No. 1, January 2016.
are presented in Table VI. [3] M. J. Duran, F. Barrero Recent Advances in the Design, Modeling
and Control of Multiphase Machines Part II. IEEE Transactions on
It is suggested to use equation (16) to calculate , Industrial Electronics, Vol. 63, No. 1, January 2016.
for simplicity, instead of using a set of linear equations when [4] F. Scuiller, J. F. Charpentier, E. Semail Multi-star multi-phase
winding for a high power naval propulsion machine with low ripple
the number of phases is equal or higher than nine. This is
torques and high fault tolerant ability.
suggested because the step size becomes sufficient [5] E. Levi, R. Bojoi, F. Profumo, H.A. Toylat, S. Wiliamson
small and so is approximately equal to the cosine "Multiphase induction motor drives a technology status review" IET
function, leading to equation (16). It may also be proved that Elect. Power Appl., 2007, 1, (4), pp.489-516.
[6] F. Terrien, S. Siala, P. Noy Multiphase Induction Motor Sensorless
using equation (16), the error in and is below 1% for Control for Electric Ship Propulsion.
nine or more phases. [7] B. C. Mecrow, A. G. Jack, D. J. Atkinson, S. R. Green, G. J. Atkinson,
A. King, B. Green Design and Testing of a Four-Phase Fault-
Electrical machines with an even number of phases were Tolerant Permanent-Magnet Machine for an Engine Fuel Pump. IEEE
considered just in the case was multiple of three and in the transactions on Energy Conversion Vol. 19, No. 4, December 2004.
N-star configuration (asymmetrical). For electrical machines [8] Haliade 150-6MW product brochure - "GEs Haliade 150-6MW High
with multiple of 3 and odd, no difference was found when Yield offshore wind turbine". Available at the company website:".
calculating for the symmetrical and the asymmetrical N- [9] Gamesa 5.0MW technical specifications Gamesa 5.0 MW
star configuration. Innovating for reliability. Available at:
When compared to three-phase machines, multiphase 45mw-eng.pdf
machines tend to have higher values of , in practical [10] M. Liwschitz-Garik, C. C. Whipple Electric Machinery Vol. I:
chording values, leading to a higher slot leakage inductance Fundamentals and DC Machines. Third Printing 1947, D. Van
Nostrand Company, Inc. USA.
for the same chording. This value is limited by the cosine [11] M. Liwschitz-Garik, C. C. Whipple Electric Machinery Vol. II: AC
function, equation (12), that may be seen as when Machines. 5th Printing 1950, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. USA.
. [12] T. A. Lipo Introduction to AC Machine Design. Third Edition
2013. Wincosin Power Electronics Research Center, University of
It is worth noting that phase-belts of 180/ were Winconsin, USA.
considered for all analyzed cases, for multiphase machines [13] J. Pyrhonen, T. Jokinen, V. Hrabovcova Design of Rotating Electrical
with different phase-belts, the analysis here presented may Machines Second Edition 2014, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, West
Sussex, UK.
not be valid. [14] P. L. Alger The Nature of Polyphase Induction Machines, 1951,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, New York, USA.
For multiphase electrical machines with the characteristics VII. BIOGRAPHIES
presented in this work, namely 180/ phase-belts and
Paulo Cordovil received the B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in Electrical
possible values of according to (13), the set of linear Engineering in 2013 from Escola Politcnica da Universidade de So Paulo
equations that describes  is calculated (EPUSP), Brazil, and from Instituto Superior Tcnico, Universidade de
according to the following: Lisboa, Portugal. He is currently working toward a second M.Sc degree in
electrical machines and drives at EPUSP.
Ivan Eduardo Chabu was born in So Paulo, in June 3, 1955. He obtained
the B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering from Escola
Politcnica da Universidade de So Paulo in 1978, 1990 and 1997,
Currently, he is professor at the Universidade de So Paulo, with lectures
on electric machines. His research interests include special electric
(21) machines, magnetic circuits, brushless motors, linear motors, reluctance

motors, electromechanical devices, permanent magnet systems and
magnetorheological fluids.

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