Vol. , No.

, 200x FAN SHAPE OPTIMIZATION USING CFD AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS FOR INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF ELECTRIC MOTORS. Noel Leon1, Eduardo Uresti2, Waldo Arcos3 Center for Innovation in Design and Technology, ITESM, Campus Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada #2501, Colonia Tecnológico, Monterrey, CP 64841, Monterrey, México. noel.leon@itesm.mx1, waldo.arcos@gmail.com3 Centro de Inteligencia Artificial, ITESM, Campus Monterrey, Sucursal de Correos “J,” CP 64849 Monterrey, México. euresti@itesm.mx2


The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new way to increase the efficiency of electric motors through shape optimization using Genetic Algorithms. As known, the electric motor efficiency represents the effectiveness with which the motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. As the energy losses are converted into heat, which is dissipated by the motor frame aided by internal or external fans, a better cooling system in the motor adds up to better efficiency. In recent years, a number of attempts to improve motor efficiency have been achieved without compromising motor performance but at higher costs. By using genetics algorithms, changes are introduced to the fan shape looking for a better aerodynamic performance. The evaluation of the achieved fan efficiency with the modified shapes is performed with CFD simulation software. Keywords: Shape optimization, genetic algorithms, Shape parameterization, CFD.

1. INTRODUCTION Improving the energy management of electric motors is relevant because improved efficiency can lead to increased performance and slower growth in electricity demand. In recent years, efforts have been made to minimize the electromagnetic losses. When electromagnetic losses are too high, a significant rise in temperature can affect the motor operation. Losses due to electrical resistance take the form of heat, which has to be dissipated. Using a better cooling system, these losses can be reduced and the electric motor efficiency is improved. There are different suggestions on how to increase the efficiency of an electric motor, such as higher core-steel grade, closer manufacturing tolerances, better insulation systems, slots redesign, better bearings and reduced windage design. All these options have been used throughout the years for improving electric motor efficiency, but even though all these methods have caused increments in electric motor efficiency, they increment the total cost of the motor. The idea of achieving higher efficiency through fan shape optimization using genetic algorithms is obtaining the benefits without increasing the costs. Genetic algorithms have been successfully applied in other shape optimization cases. Using CFD software it is possible to simulate the effect of changing the fan blades shapes with genetic algorithms. This article describes a new way to increase the efficiency of the electric motor using the same raw materials and manufacturing processes. The electrical design of the motor will not be modified as the shape optimization of the fan blades will increase the cooling effect and, therefore, the electric motor efficiency. 2. MOTOR EFFICIENCY Electric motor efficiency is a measure of the effectiveness with which a motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. It is defined as the ratio of power output to power input or, in terms of electrical power, Watts output to Watts input and can be restated as the ratio of output + losses: Motor Efficiency = Output Input = Output Output + losses

The losses are due to electrical losses plus friction and windage. Even thought higher horsepower motors are typically more efficient, their losses are significant and should not be ignored. In fact, higher horsepower motors offer the greatest savings potential for the least analysis effort, since just one motor can save more money energy than several smaller motors [15]. 2.1 Watts Loss Determine Motor Efficiency Every AC motor has five components of electrical losses, which are the reasons for its inefficiency. Electrical losses are converted into heat which is dissipated by the motor frame aided by internal or external fans. Stator and rotor I2R losses are caused by current flowing through the motor winding and are proportional to the current squared times the winding resistance (I2R). Iron losses are mainly confined to the laminated core of the stator and rotor and can be reduced by utilizing steels with

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Use of optimized design and strict quality control procedures minimizes stray load losses. the temperature difference of stator coil over an ambient temperature. Eduardo Uresti and Waldo Arcos low core loss characteristics found in high grade silicon steel. Use of larger rotor conductor bars increases size of cross section. Iron Efficiency Improvement Use of thinner gauge. For a totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) machine. that is. Rotor I 2 R 4. the problem of heat transfer from machine body to air for a given temperature gradient is associated with the aerodynamic flow pattern. Longer core adds more steel to the design. Friction and windage losses is due to all sources of friction and air movement in the motor and may be appreciable in large high-speed or totally enclosed fan-cooled motors. require additional materials and/or the use of higher quality materials and improved manufacturing processes resulting in increased motor cost [15]. lowering conductor resistance (R) and losses due to current flow (I).Noel Leon. and because of this. 3. Stray Load Loss Figure 1: Representation of Losses in an Electric Motor. 1) the temperature gradient between stator coil to body machine for heat flow by conduction. The stay load loss is due mainly to high frequency flux pulsations caused by design and manufacturing variations [15]. which reduces losses due to lower operating flux densities. and 2) the temperature difference between body and air for heat flow by convection and radiation. The coil temperature rise. The formula for efficiency shows that any improvement in motor efficiency must be the results of reducing electrical losses. 2. All of these changes to reduce motor losses are possible with existing motor design and manufacturing technology. 2. . a reduction in electrical losses can be achieved in various ways. lower loss core steel reduces Eddy-current losses. Watts Loss Area 1.2 Improving efficiency by minimizing electrical losses. Improvements in motor efficiency can be achieved without compromising motor performance – at higher cost – within the limits of existing design and manufacturing technology. They would. an empirical relation has been established based on data available from test results. however. This part is difficult to solve analytically. Use of low loss fan design reduces losses due to air movement. Use of more copper and larger conductors increases cross sectional area of stator windings. This lowers resistance (R) of the windings and reduces losses due to current flow (I). In terms of the existing state of electric motor technology. which can be solved analytically. depends on two factors. Friction & Windage 5. BASIC THERMAL CONSIDERATION Thermal issues affect the performance of a motor. Stator I 2 R 3.

Stray load loss . the whole population is replaced by a set of new individuals.Rotor I2R (Rotor loss) . As in the simple GA two parents are selected. There are different types of enclosures. They efficiently exploit historical information to speculate on new search points with expected improved performance [6]. Compared with the simple GA.Stator I2R (Winding loss) . THE BETTER WAY Loss calculation is required for determining the efficiency of the motor during the optimization process. for example. Those individuals with a better aptitude have more chances of being selected. In the simplest case. The expected effect is the combination of the characteristics being presented in both parents. crossover and mutation are applied. GAs are no simple random walk. It will benefit the rest of the losses mentioned earlier and the windage loss remains constant. an occasional new part is tried for good measure. an external fan pulls air in through a fan cover and blows it over the exterior (only) surface of the motor. One way to increase the electric motor efficiency is to minimize the energy absorbed by the fan in the motor. keeping the same air flow rate. In the simple GA each generation. Heat transfer occurs by forced convention when the air supplied by the fan to the fan cover blows over the frame motor. 4. Fan size variations are a straightforward way for increasing air flow. Mutation consists of making few changes in the genetic material in both resulting new individuals with low probability. in such applications the use of different crossover operator is required. when a GA is used for function optimization. The aptitude of an individual is closely related to the value of the function in the point being represented by the individual. In order to produce two new individuals. In every generation. it may be more convenient to use a real vector as genetic material instead of string of characters [2]-[7]. It will only benefit the windage loss. but not sufficiently enclosed to be termed airtight.Core loss . fan size is constrained by the space available in the fan cover and it increases the energy required for driving the fan. For this research. The gain in the efficiency is based in the minimization of losses due to air movement. Genitor produces one new individual each generation. The new set of individuals is produced in pairs. While randomized. The second individual can be constructed with the remaining parts of the genetic material of the parents. They combine survival of the fittest among string structures with a structured yet randomized information exchange to form a search algorithm with some of the innovative flair of human search. a pair of individuals (parents) is selected from the current population. GENETIC ALGORITHMS Genetic algorithms (GAs) are search algorithms based on the mechanics of natural selection and natural genetics. A number of different GAs have been proposed. A totally enclosed machine is one so enclosed as to prevent the free exchange of air between the inside and the outside of the case. such individual replaces the worst individual in the current population.FAN SHAPE OPTIMIZATION USING CFD AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS FOR INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF ELECTRIC MOTORS Conduction of losses inside the motors is particularly important in areas that include air gaps and voids. Another way to increase electric motor efficiency is to increase the air flow rate provided by the fan over the motor without increasing the energy absorbed for driving the fan. each individual in the population represents a point in the search space of the problem to be solved. inside the coil insulation between conductors and cores and in the stator core and frame of totally enclosed motors. but such individuals are selected according to the ranking in the population: the whole population is ordered according to the value of the function evaluation. The rest of the losses will not be benefited. Once a pair of individuals is selected. and its use depends on the application and the environment where the motor will be working. the genetic material of an individual consists of the string and the crossover consists of randomly taking a point in which both parents can simultaneously be divided and then joint the first part of the first parent with the second part of the second parent. Normally. . 5. In some GA applications. a new set of artificial creatures (strings) or individuals is created using bits and the pieces of the fittest of the old. However. The following losses must be included in determining the efficiency: . From the simple Genetic Algorithm [6] to other with different selection schemes as Genitor [15].Friction and windage loss There are two ways to increase the efficiency of an electric motor. we will use an electric motor with TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) enclosure. The crossover consists of constructing of a pair of new individuals by taking parts of the genetic material of both parents. In this type of enclosure. Genitor algorithm has some differences.

dedicated mesh generation software and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. The fan was removed from the motor and it was tested in normal operation conditions.35%.1 Simulation using 3D CAD.09%. 7. the fan efficiency can be enhanced in such a way that the airflow is increased and a better cooling effect reduces the stator losses. Therefore shape variations generated with genetic algorithms may be useful in achieving the best results considering the size constraints 6. The second test was an analytical simulation. One motor was tested eliminating energy consumption of the fan by using an external cooling system. In the second case we performed the same case study using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation software integrated into a 3D CAD system with meshing capabilities. In the first test. Mesh Model and Display of Surface Grid. The efficiency increase calculated was 1. With this test. The simulation was made using 2 different CFD simulation programs. The efficiency increase measured was 1. IDENTIFYING THE INFLUENCE OF THE FAN PERFORMANCE For better identifying the effect of increasing the fan efficiency two preliminary experiments were made: the first was a laboratory test and the second was a computational simulation. core losses and rotor losses without increasing the energy absorbed for driving the fan. Taking advantage of the periodicity of the geometry. the fan motor energy consumption was zero (an ideal situation). a motor was tested in a laboratory. This test was made in a short time to prevent possible damage to the motor due heat transfer. . Figure 3: 3D CAD Geometry.Noel Leon. The airflow was increased in the model by 50% without increasing the energy consumption of the fan. After these tests it was concluded that for increasing the efficiency of the motor the best way is incrementing the airflow through efficiency augmentation of the fan. SIMULATION USING TWO DIFFERENT COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS (CFD) PACKAGES Figure 2: Fan of the electric motor. In the first case we used a 3D CAD system for modeling the geometry and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation software with a dedicated mesh generation software. it is sufficient to model only one-eighth on the actual flow environment. 7. Eduardo Uresti and Waldo Arcos By varying the shape of the fan blades.

6. Another convergence criterion is the net mass/heat imbalance that indicates when the solution has converged. After that. The grid is set up with periodic boundaries on either side of the domain (turquoise). The first convergence criterion is a residual plot. (b) Negative Pressures (suction). (a) Figure 4: (a) Residual History Plot. Figure 5: Velocity vectors.FAN SHAPE OPTIMIZATION USING CFD AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS FOR INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF ELECTRIC MOTORS Simulating only one-eighth of the geometry the total computational time consumed by the CFD program is accordingly reduced. . (b) Flux Report. while the upper wall is stationary (white). the boundary conditions were established so we could start with the analysis. (a) (b) Figure 6: (a) Positive Pressures. The lower wall is assumed to be rotating with the blade (white). The z axis is used as rotation axis for the reference frame. 4. The pressure distribution on the blade is shown in Fig. The residual plot and the net balance are shown in Fig. Standard k -ε turbulence model and sea-level conditions were used. It should be a small fraction of the total flux through the system. The fan rotation speed defined by the motor at full load.. The fan spins clockwise (looking from the positive end of the z axis) at constant rotational speed. (b) In figure 5 are shown the velocity vectors as found at the midspan of the rotational area. The upstream boundary (blue) is defined by velocity and the downstream boundary (red) by pressure. The velocity vector plot provides insight into the behavior of the flow around the fan blade. This analysis is the basis for finding the variations of blade profiles that increase the air flow. The solution stops after convergence criteria are met. where the residual values are printed.

After that. the geometry was constructed as a single blade centered within the region divided by two even adjacent passages. turbulence model and operation conditions as the first simulation. (a) (b) Figure 7: (a) 3D CAD Geometry. The behavior of the flow around the fan blade in this analysis is identical to the former analysis. The convergence criteria are shown in the Fig. the mesh was generated and all conditions were established so we could start the analysis to determine the solution convergence. The quantitative results differences are very little as may be appreciated at the velocity vector graphics shown in Fig. In this analysis. and the mesh was generated inside of the 3D CAD system using an interface provided by the CFD software. Figure 8: Plot curve convergence. also a single blade of the fan was simulated. (b) Mesh Model in CFD program. The 3D CAD model and the mesh generated are shown in Fig. 8. A good guideline to follow is that the quantities in the calculation progresses change less than 5% over the last 20% of the total iterations.2 Simulation using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation software integrated into 3D CAD system with meshing capabilities The following analysis was made with the same boundary conditions. 7.Noel Leon. . Positive pressures values occur on the surface where the fan blade pushes the air and negative pressures (suction) on the other surface. 7. For this analysis. Eduardo Uresti and Waldo Arcos The contour plots illustrate the pressure rise on the fluid caused by the fan blade. Each curve should become horizontal as criterion that the convergence was reached. 9.

As may be seen. The contour plots illustrate the pressure rise which is imposed on the fluid by the fan blade as in the first simulation. The results are shown in Fig. This new fan profile shape was simulated and analyzed in both CFD programs. 7.FAN SHAPE OPTIMIZATION USING CFD AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS FOR INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF ELECTRIC MOTORS Figure 9: Velocity vectors (Second Simulation).12. Figure 11: Fan Profile modification. . For a first trial the straight profile of the fan blade was substituted by a warped profile. Both analyses showed an increment in the velocity vectors magnitude. the pressure distribution is very similar with respect the first analysis. For this reason the blade profile requires to be modified. The pressure values also differ little with respect to the results commented above. Figure 10: Pressure Distribution on the Blade (Second Simulation).3 Profile modification As mentioned before. In Fig.10 the pressure distribution on the blade is shown. the purpose of this paper is to describe a new way to increase the efficiency of the electric motor using shape optimization through genetic algorithms.

In the preceding section was already mentioned that by taking advantage of the periodicity of the geometry. it is sufficient to model only one fan blade. deals with variations of the form: find a shape (in two or three dimensions) which is optimal in a certain sense. 8. (d) Pressure Distribution on the Blade (Profile Curve-Simulation 2). As can be seen. (c) Velocity vectors (Profile Curve-Simulation 2). The increment of the parameters measured shows that is possible to get higher air flow provided by the fan over the motor. Figure 13: Fan Blade Profile . The velocity vectors magnitude was increased 4.7% with respect to the actual design. In order to simplify the shape optimization problem only one profile will be modified and parameterized: the midspan of the rotational area (half way up the fan blade) as shown in Fig 13. while satisfying certain requirements. REPRESENTATION OF FAN BLADE FOR OPTIMIZATION Shape optimization. The fan blade profile as was analyzed in section 7 using the CFD programs will be codified below as chromosome in the genetic algorithm. Eduardo Uresti and Waldo Arcos º (a) (b) (c) (d) Figure 12: (a) Velocity vectors (Profile Curve-Simulation 1). (b) Pressure Distribution on the Blade (Profile Curve-Simulation 1). By increasing the air flow the electric motor efficiency can be improved as was discussed in the section 6. the fan blade has several profiles to be parameterized. also called topology optimization.Noel Leon.

The length of the real-number string corresponds to the number of design variables. For this reason. Genitor is the genetic algorithm selected for sampling the search space. 14. For real-valued function optimization. as shown in Fig. Six control points are used in this case to control the whole fan profile shape modification by the crossover operator. y 4. Using the genetic algorithm discussed in section 4. Following a strategy adopted by several researches and the concepts studied in the preceding sections. the process flow is constituted by the steps shown in Fig. This way P1 = y1 . Because the evaluation process is complicated and the cycle could not be done yet automatically. The control points shown above (P1. thus. 16a) where each person could check the pending designs assigned by the genetic algorithm to each team member. y 3. Real-number coding is used here. P6 = y6 represents the search space. which were seeded. it was necessary to use an evaluation team. 9. Pf and Pf’ are fixed. but in our case we never remove an individual in the population. P2 are the parents. and each bit of a string can be either 0 or 1. In the present investigation we use the operator BLX-α [7]: New = α*P1 + (1. y6 ) . Mutation operations consist in adding to the new individual a vector of small random numbers. …. P5 & P6) are defined by its x and y coordinates respectively. Therefore the chromosome will be represented only by the y coordinates: Chromosome =  y1. The initial population was generated with 25 individuals. The evaluation team was a group of specialists (Master degree students). P4. y 2. . Traditionally. P1 = ( x1 . y 5. Where. EVALUATION PROCEDURE. we dynamically set the selection bias parameter to be 1..5 in a growing population. Pi’.. and only the y coordinates are allowed to vary. B-Splines are commonly used to define curved bodies and profiles. y 6    F  E5555F E5555  Lower  Upper  A genetic algorithm will now introduce changes on the position of the control points resulting in profile variations. 15. while Pi.α)*P2 Where P1. P3. P2 = y2 …. Figure 14: Control Points along the Profile.5]. New is the new individual and α is a random number in the real interval [-0. P6 = ( x6 .FAN SHAPE OPTIMIZATION USING CFD AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS FOR INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF ELECTRIC MOTORS The population of individuals represent fan profile shapes. each fan profile shape is evaluated and represents a possible solution. P2. In order to keep the selection pressure high. the shape parameterization is based on B-splines curves. however. For simplifying the shape parameterizatio the x values are fixed. it is more natural to use real numbers (as might be done with evolution strategies or evolutionary programming). 1. y1 ).5. Each possible solution has been evaluated by one person of this team group. GA’s use binary numbers to represent such strings: a string has a finite length. it was also necessary to create a web database (See Fig.

Eduardo Uresti and Waldo Arcos Figure 15: Process Flow Diagram from GA. is shown how the members of this team group report the results obtained in the analysis (Section 7 describes the analysis). . All data obtained in the analysis was saved in the web page. 16b. In Fig.Noel Leon.


and it has been a product of the changes introduced by the GA on the position of the control points in the fan profile. Eduardo Uresti and Waldo Arcos (c) Figure 16: (a) Database Web Page. While the profile curve presented in section 8 had an increment of 4. 10. It will be discussed in the next section. RESULTS This project has not been finished. The Genetic algorithm is still running and giving new fan profile designs to be evaluated. (c) GA Population. 16c shows some individuals of the GA population in the web page. Fig. (b) Pressure Distribution on the Blade (Profile Generated by GA) As we see in Fig. The results are shown in Fig. 17. the topological changes in the fan profile have been minimal with respect the original shape. (b) Report of results.7%.Noel Leon. (a) (b) Figure 17: (a) Velocity vectors (Profile Generated by GA). In the red circle is the best fan profile design generated by the GA. .4% with respect to the actual design. The evaluation team continues to work in the simulations. 17a. The best fan profile generated by the genetic algorithm until this moment presents a significant increment of 9.

optimization and machine learning. Larry J. Foundations of Genetic Algorithms. Wright. Genetic Algorithms for Real Parameter Optimization. ITESM). Tec de Monterrey. ISSN 1-55860-878-8 Bleier.. editor. this improvement can be achieved by small shape modifications. In W. 2. L. L. Jin. “Fan Handbook: selection. NO. J. Eduardo. Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Genetic algorithms. Cueva. The economic benefits obtained through efficiency increment may be substantial. Automatic Shape Variations in 3D CAD Enviroments. 1992. In J. and Schaffer. CONCLUSIONS The results obtained until now indicate that optimizing the fan blade shape through genetic algorithms increment the air flow in the motor. traductor. M B. Morgan Kaufmann. Darrel.2005. 1989 WEBSITE [14] [15] http://www. Frank P. Stephen J. February 2000 Olhofer. Y. The authors would like to thank Motores US company for providing many useful data. 1991 Barone. N. editor. Artificial intelligence. Tsukahara. REFERENCE [1] Abbott. Spring Verlag. pages 205-218. “Computacional Fluid Dynamics An Introduction for Engineers”. In Gregory J. 1. J and Stéphane. M. Darrell Whitley.com/ http://www. Morgan Kaufmann. Langdon and E. B. Ed. Rozo Castillo. Thermal evaluation of TEFC induction motor needs to be considered in order to achieve an increment in the efficiency. Proceedings of the 1st IFIP Working Conference on Computer Aided Innovation. Adaptive encoding for aerodynamic shape optimization using Evolution Strategies. McGRAW-HILL 1998 Chapman. T and Nakamura T. GECCO 2002: Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. Schaffer. Although the research is not yet finished. it represents a step forward towards a new way to increase the efficiency of an electric motor through shape optimization using Genetic Algorithms and CFD techniques. 2004.com/mtr/b7087_5/b7087_5_2. IEEE 2001 [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] Whitley. N. et al. Vol. Ulm Germany. 2002. (CIDYT.reliance. ISBN 3-00-017325-0 Marco.FAN SHAPE OPTIMIZATION USING CFD AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS FOR INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF ELECTRIC MOTORS 11. 12. Genetic Algorithms in search. D. Designing Crushers With {A} Multi-objetive Evolutionary Algorithm. Goldberg. editor. 1993 Leon. Genetic Algorithms + data structures = evolution programs. Rawlins. 3a. and design”. Addison Wesley Company Inc. In L. Désidéri.usmotors. November 14-15. Multi-Objective Optimization in CFD by Genetic Algorithm. B. Morgan Kaufmann. ISSN 0249-6399 Michalewicz. Morgan Kaufmann. Mc-GRAW-HILL INTERAMERICANA. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The computational time was provided by Center for Innovation in Products and Technology. S. Longman Group UK Limited 1989 Alden H.htm . A. Unité de recherche INRIA Sophia Antipolis 2004. 1989 Eshelman. Page 83-95. P.E. Máquinas Eléctricas. pages 187--202. Multiobjetive Genetic Algorithm Applied to Aerodynamic Design of Cascade Airfoils IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. Foundations of Genetic Algorithms. Real-coded genetic algorithms and interval schemata. pages 995--1002. M. The Genitor Algorithm and Selection Pressure: Why Ranked-Based Allocation of Reproductive Trail is Best. pages 116-121. Cantú-Paz. Genetic Algorithms in engineering and computer science Obayashi. D. 47. While L and Hingston. David. Moreover. E. J. et al. The use of splines in profiles seems to be an ideal solution to resolve problems where the designers wish to control the geometry through control points. Trends in Computer Aided Innovation. S. Z. application. editor. and Sendhoff.

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