PhD Oral Exam - Amirmasoud Takbash, Electrical & Computer Engineering
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Permanent magnet synchronous machines (PMSMs) with rare-earth magnets are widely used especially in traction applications as a result of their higher efficiency and torque density in comparison with other electrical motors. Due to price fluctuations and limited production of rare-earth materials, it is essential to find alternatives to the rare-earth PMSMs for different applications. This thesis focuses on the application of Aluminum-Nickel-Cobalt (AlNiCo) magnets in PMSMs. AlNiCo magnets can theoretically provide torque densities comparable to rare-earth magnets in electrical machines. The application of AlNiCo magnets in electrical machines can improve the flux-weakening performance, due to the possibility of varying their magnetic flux density using armature current pulses. As a result, these machines are named variable flux machines (VFMs).
This thesis presents an analytical model for the VFM to calculate the no-load air gap flux density and consequently, the no-load back-EMF, torque peak to peak value, average torque, and magnetization current. The proposed model is used to develop an analytical design criterion for spoke type AlNiCo-based VFMs. An experimental characterization of an existing spoke type VFM at different magnetization levels is done of the torque waveform, the torque-angle characteristics, the no-load back-EMF and the magnetization/demagnetization energy. An optimization procedure to reduce the torque ripple and the magnetization current of the spoke type AlNiCo-based VFM is then proposed.
A new VFM design with radially magnetized interior magnets is presented to enhance the torque density in the field-weakening operating condition. The torque-speed and power-speed characteristics of the VFM are calculated considering the demagnetization of the AlNiCo magnets in the field-weakening region. The proposed design keeps the fully magnetized condition at both no-load and full-load conditions and provides high power densities at a wider speed range. This design is also optimized to have reduced torque ripple.
An improved core loss model is proposed and implemented in the finite element software, and an experimental method based on the flux controllability of the VFM is developed to measure the mechanical and core losses at the no-load condition. These results are then used to verify the proposed core loss model.