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State-of-the-art Electric Machines Workflow



Multidisciplinary Optimization and Multiphysics Integration

Hello everyone! Today we will discuss the most advanced technologies in the design of electric machines. CAEXPERTS, in partnership with SIEMENS Digital Industries Software, is implementing a new design workflow driven by multidisciplinary optimization and multiphysics integration for its clients in the electrification industry. Check it out!


Integration of Simulation and Optimization Tools

The integration of simulation tools and the use of optimization software have revolutionized the design of electric machines, enabling the creation of highly efficient and customized solutions for various applications.


Simulation of complex systems and geometries enables the integration of the traditional motor design process with current computational power. Digital tools combine electrical, thermal, fluid dynamics, mechanical, and acoustic solvers, explore the optimized design space through algorithms, numerically validate calculations and theoretical models, integrate the product into the system, and automate processes. This allows designers to focus on the most challenging aspects of the design, drastically reducing the need for bench testing until the final prototype is developed.

The intensive digitalization of product development engineering effectively reduces timelines and costs, resulting in more competitive and robust products.


Advanced project workflow

The design of electric machines begins with the definition of the problem to be solved and the desired design characteristics.


The project requirements are converted into essential parameters, such as power characteristics, load demands, and dimensional constraints, which are input into the machine's design equations. Specialized software assists in this stage by translating the project requirements into desired numerical characteristics.

Next, different motor topologies are compared by testing various configurations to determine the most suitable topology. An optimization software, such as HEEDS, can quickly evaluate a variety of configurations within minutes, using low computational cost analytical equations for comparative analysis. Coupled with an analytical solver like SPEED or Motorsolve, HEEDS explores the design space, presenting the characteristics of different topology combinations, such as a BLDC with internal or surface-mounted magnets, reluctance machines, or different slot geometries.

This comparative analysis allows for the identification of the most promising options before proceeding to more detailed stages of the design.


Analytical Calculation and 2D Analysis

Analytical calculation plays a fundamental role in the design of electric machines, enabling the rapid evaluation of parameters. Equations and mathematical models are used to obtain important characteristics such as efficiency maps, torque curves, current and speed profiles, as well as losses and harmonics.


However, analytical design has its limitations. While it is useful for a quick assessment of the design, its results are often not precise enough for most current design requirements. Therefore, instead of conducting initial prototyping, a 2D analysis is performed to validate the obtained results and investigate the electromagnetic fields in the motor. This detailed analysis can consider aspects such as nonlinearities, magnetic saturation, and current distribution. It helps refine the analytical calculations, provides insights into the distribution of the electric and magnetic fields, and suggests possible design improvements.


This entire process is managed by the HEEDS optimizer, which performs a comprehensive scan of design parameters, topologies, and additional checks, whether analytical or in 2D finite element analysis. Furthermore, evaluations of the impact or sensitivity of variables are conducted, generating studies on the robustness and reliability of the design.

In the figure above, we see an example of optimization for a Spoke-IPMSM using the MAGNET software in a 2D simulation coupled with HEEDS.


Multifysical Approach

As a larger set of parameters is investigated and selected, it becomes necessary to perform more refined 3D studies using advanced simulation software such as MAGNET for three-dimensional electromagnetic simulations. The goal at this stage is to obtain an accurate analysis that considers elements in the third axis of the problem, such as the influence of coil heads on the machine's operation or asymmetric fields. This simulation allows for the validation and improvement of the electric machine model.

In addition to electrical analysis, the design of electric machines also involves thermal and fluid dynamics studies (using STAR-CCM+) and structural analysis (using Simcenter 3D). These four areas are strongly interconnected as they affect various material properties, influencing performance and durability. Through three-dimensional multiphysics simulations, a comprehensive analysis of the electric, mechanical, and thermal performance of the electric machine can be performed, ensuring a robust and reliable design. These simulations can even consider the influence of manufacturing details, assembly, and nearby equipment.

Next, the design of electric machines must consider the aspects of vibration and acoustics (using Simcenter 3D), which are important limiting factors due to noise or fatigue. Improvements in these areas involve modifications in construction, operational parameters, and materials, affecting all design disciplines.


Systemic analysis

Finally, it is important to consider the performance of the electric machine in its specific application system (such as a plant, substation, electric vehicle, aircraft, machining center, etc.). At this stage, aspects such as control dynamics, load regimes, duty cycles, and operational transients are evaluated to more realistically reproduce the operating and operating conditions of the equipment. All SIEMENS simulators, such as SPEED, Motorsolve, MAGNET, Simcenter 3D, and STAR-CCM+, generate reduced-order models that can be coupled with simulators or integrators of complex systems, such as Simcenter AMESIM (or Simulink, SystemVision, LabVIEW, VHDL-AMS, SPICE, etc.).


Conclusion


The digitization of engineering and the integrated workflow with multiphysics simulations have significantly driven the design of electric machines. These advanced approaches allow for the exploration of different topologies, design optimization, validation of analytical results, and overall improvement of motor performance, contributing to more efficient solutions tailored to the specific needs of each application. The integration of these tools in a workflow driven by multidisciplinary optimization enables a deeper and automated exploration of the design space, taking the design of electric machines to a new level of productivity, precision, and robustness.


Rely on CAEXPERTS to assist your industry in accelerating innovation, doing better, faster, and more cost-effectively! Schedule a meeting with us now!


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