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364

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. 28, NO. 2, MARCHIAPRIL 1992

Effect of Rotor Profiles on the Torque of a Switched-Reluctance Motor

Mehdi Moallem, Chee-Mun Ong, Senior Member, ZEEE, and Lewis E. Unnewehr, Fellow, ZEEE

Abstract-The torque produced in a switched-reluctance mo- tor (SRM) may be viewed from the manner in which the radial and tangential flux density components interact. With a com- mon stator and rotor pole geometry, the radial flux component in the overlapping region of the excited stator and rotor poles is loaf shaped; it is, in most situations, the dominant component. The tangential component, on the other hand, is mostly in- significant except around the pole tips of the excited stator and rotor poles. This paper examines effects on the torque that simple variations of the standard rotor pole face profile could have, basically from an elementary viewpoint of how the modi- fied profiles affect the distribution and magnitude of the radial and tangential components of the flux density. It is observed that the average torque is mostly affected by changes that alter the dominant radial component, such as changes in the effective air gap length. The other observation that an increase in the average torque can also be obtained by a favorable shift in the torque versus angle characteristics by relatively simple changes of the rotor pole profile is, perhaps, not so well known. Such a shift that reduces the slope of the torque angle characteristic, skewing the curve towards the unaligned position, has two advantages: one is that the phase inductance is at its maximum positive slope and, hence, the maximum torque, when the phase is energized; second, the flatter inductance profile near the aligned position when the phase current is to be commutated would allow a faster drop off of the commutated current and, thus, a smaller negative torque.

I. INTRODUCTION

Cdrives has been stimulated mainly by the contributions

made by Lawrenson et al. [l], in which they discussed

fundamental design

teristic using a 2-D finite element method. The prediction of the static torque for the doubly salient motor with small air gap from the finite-element field solution has been attempted by others earlier, but the accuracy obtained, in most cases, indicated that there was room for improvement. Besides the difficulty with convergence caused by large fluctuations of the reluctivity of the saturated iron from iteration to iteration, inaccuracies in the computed torque are more common, and we have shown that they could be minimized by properly selecting the shape of the mesh to ensure a smooth represen-

URRENT

INTEREST

on

switched-reluctance (SR)

considerations of its static torque charac-

Paper IPCSD 91-93, approved by the Electric Machines Committee of the

IEEE Industry Applications Society for presentation at the 1990 Industry

7- 12.

Manuscript released for publication June 3, 1991. M. Moallem is with the Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran. C.-M. Ong is with the School of Electrical Engineering, Purdue Univer- sity, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1285.

Applications Society Annual Meeting,

Seattle,

WA,

October

L. E. Unnewehr is with Sullair Corporation, Michigan City, IN 46460. IEEE Log Number 9104082.

tation of the high field gradient around the corners of the overlapping poles [2]. With the ability to make accurate prediction of the static characteristics of the SR motor, especially the torque developed because of the numerical differentiation involved, we proceeded to investigate the steady-state behavior of a SR drive by simulation [3]. The first thing that became evident from the steady-state simula- tion is the large number of parameters that could have significant effect on the SR motor performance; some of these are related to the power source, which in this case is the power converter. Such interdependence between the motor and the power converter indicates that the design of the motor and the converter, if they are to match properly, should be properly coordinated. Some of the circuits suitable for the power converter of a SR drive are given in [4]. Basic volt-ampere requirements of the converter, based on a simplified magnetic model of the motor, are discussed in [5]. Brief accounts of the design methods and philosophy, as well as considerations regarding .the number of phases and the width of the stator and rotor poles in the design of the SR motor itself, can be found in [6]-[lo]. Although it is not possible to generalize many of the useful results reported, it is worthwhile to note that the airgap length is perhaps the single most critical parameter in the consideration of optimizing the torque per ampere and that the common range of the pole arc/pole pitch ratio for the rotor is from 0.3 to 0.45.

11. EFFECTSOF CERTAINROTORPROFILESON TORQUE

The Maxwell-Stress tensor method provides useful infor- mation as to how the torque produced on the rotor is dis- tributed. For example, in 2-D model of a SR motor where there is no z component, the total torque developed can be expressed as [l11

T = voZR/B,Bo dr

(1)

where uo is the reluctivity of air, 2 is the stack length, R is the radius of the cylindrical surface in the mid airgap around which the integration is performed, B, is the radial compo- nent of the flux density of an element on the cylindrical

Bo is the corresponding tangential component of

the flux density. In the finite element method, the integration is replaced by the following summation:

m

T = uoZR2CB,,Boidei.

(2)

surface, and

i=

1

The above expression of the torque clearly shows the depen- dence of the torque on the product of the two flux density

0093-9994/92$03.00

0 1992 IEEE

MOALLEM et al.: EFFECT OF ROTOR PROFILES ON THE TORQUE OF A SRM 365 components.
MOALLEM et al.: EFFECT OF ROTOR PROFILES ON THE TORQUE OF A SRM
365
components. Fig. 1 shows the typical distribution of the flux
density and torque under an excited pole of a 4-kW, 6/8,
four-phase SR motor for two different rotor positions [ 111.
As expected, the net torque on the rotor in the aligned
position is zero, even though the product of the flux density
components at the pole tips is not zero. These plots indirectly
show how exacting the accuracy requirement on the flux
density components, which are usually obtained by a numeri-
cal differentiation of the vector field solution, for the
Maxwell-Stresstensor method of torque calculation produces
good results. When the requirement is met, the method does,
however, provide an excellent tool for a close examination of
the torque distribution on the poles of a SR motor.
Stack length
outer diameter of stator core
inner diameter of stator core
mean diameter of airgap
nominal airgap
outer diameter of rotor core
inner diameter of rotor core (shaft)
rotor pole arc
rotor pole arc
number of turns per pole
number of stator poles
number of rotor poles
stator and rotor core (isotropic M19 steel).
140 mm
270 mm
204
mm
140
mm
1 mm
80 mm
36 mm
28'
28
O
24
6
4
It
is clear that
a higher average shaft torque can be
obtained when the overall magnitude of the static torque can
be increased, notwithstanding saturation and assuming that
adequate mechanical tolerances can be met. When the motor
is operated from a voltage source with the usual angle control
strategy [12], skewing the torque profile away from the
aligned position will also result in a higher average shaft
torque. For motoring operations, such skewing corresponds
to having most of the torque developed at the early stage of
rotor poles overlapping with the stator poles. With the angle
control strategy, the excited phase current continues to flow
for a short period after turnoff, usually even after the rotor
has past the fully aligned position; the negative motoring
torque thus produced reduces the average torque. Hence, a
lower static torque or a flatter inductance versus angle profile
near the aligned position, contributed by bulk saturation as
the rotor pole comes into alignment with the stator pole, is
beneficial.
The above torque expression shows that the magnitude of
the static torque is proportional to the magnitude of both the
radial and tangential components of the flux density. Decreas-
ing the airgap length will result in an increase in the magni-
tude of the radial component of the flux density; however, the
increase is not proportional because of saturation effects. In
addition, from the plots in Fig. 1, it can be seen that the
A part of this sensitivity study attempts to determine the
extent that slanting of the rotor pole face might have on
enhancing the tangential component of the flux density at the
critical areas to increase the average torque or to improve the
torque profile. Other common variations, such as changing
the air gap and width of the rotor pole, are also included for
completeness. Besides the above-mentioned variations, we
also investigated the effects on the torque from chamfering
and skewing of the rotor pole. It is recognized that some of
the changes made are not practical; nevertheless, their con-
sideration here is primarily exploratory for purposes of gain-
ing more insight.
The results presented in the following subsections were
obtained with a constant stator excitation of 100 A. Through:
out, the stator geometry remains unaltered. Fig. 2 is a typical
example of the flux line plot from the 2-D field solution. The
first group of variations corresponds to those that affect the
magnitude of the static torque, whereas the second group of
variations has the primary effect of shifting the torque profile
and little or negligible impact on its magnitude.
A. Variation in the Air Gap Length
tangential component of the flux density of normally shaped
poles with a uniform air gap is significant only at the pole
tips. The width of the tangential component can be increased
by slanting or serrating the rotor pole face, either of which
will also affect the radial flux density component. The atten-
dant reduction in the radial component with the removal of
iron to form a wedge-shaped or serrated profile counterbal-
ances whatever benefit the increase in tangential component
brings. Thus, if a certain mechanical clearance in the airgap
has to be maintained, the net effect on the average torque
may not be as attractive as it would seem from the enhance-
ment of the tangential component alone.
In other words, attempts to reorientate the fluxes around
the pole tips could have an unknown impact on the value of
the torque produced. This has led us to conduct an investiga-
tion on the extent that certain rotor pole profiles have in
shaping the tangential flux distribution on the pole face and
their impact on the torque produced. A sensitivity study using
the finite element method of torque prediction described in
[2] has been conducted on the following experimental 60-kW,
6000-r/min, SR motor design:
Fig. 3 shows the static torque profile of the experimental
design for the nominal air gap length of 1 mm and for two
smaller air gap lengths. It clearly shows that the machine
with smaller air gap length, if practical, will produce higher
average torque. These results are consistent with what others
have observed in that reducing the air gap is the most
effective means of raising the average torque, subject to
acceptable manufacturing tolerances.
B. Slanting of the Rotor Pole Face
Fig. 4 shows the results obtained for slanting the pole face
over the rotor pole width by 0.5 mm; the longer dash line
curve for the case of the slant with a decreasing airgap as the
rotor moves into the aligned position and the shorter dash
line curve for the other case where the slant produces an
increasing airgap as the rotor moves into alignment. Al-
though the mean air gap length over the rotor pole is 0.75
mm for all three cases shown, the mechanical clearance of
the slanted pole face is only 0.5 mm, which may not be
practical. Because of the wedge-shaped airgap, finite tangen-
tial component of flux density is introduced in the interior
surface, where previously, such a component has been
nonexistent (Fig. 1). As a result, the torque is higher for the
~

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS, VOL. 28, NO. 2, MARCHIAPRIL 1992

n

t

'1

1qs

I63

IQ

Rnqlc (deq)

(C)

im

1 -2

tis

1VS

163

Anqle <deq)

(4

Fig. 1. Distribution of flux density components and torque: (a) Radial and tangential components of flux density at 8 = 0"; (b) product of flux density components at 8 = 0"; (c) radial and tangential Components of flux density at 8 = 20"; (d) product of flux density components at 8 = 20".

Fig. 2.

Flux lines at 28" rotor position.

n

6

5

I I3

7s

0

9

18

27

36

 

Rotor

mglc (dw)

Fig. 3.

Effect of changing the air gap length.

MOALLEM et al. : EFFECT OF ROTOR PROFILES ON THE TORQUE OF A SRM

IS0 1

-

0.75mmctnifom

361

Fig. 4.

Effect of sloping the rotor pole face.

two cases with a slanted pole face. The case of a slant with a increasing air gap is more interesting because the increase in the torque occurs in the mid angle region where the current with a constant voltage supply would also be approaching its maximum. The result for the case of a slant with a decreasing airgap is not as desirable because the increase in torque is near the aligned position (the aligned position is at 0"). A higher torque near the aligned position would, by symmetry, produce correspondingly higher negative torque after the aligned position following the turnoff with the usual angle control strategy [12]; thus, the resultant increase in average torque might not be much as the static curve alone suggests. Fig. 5 shows the results for the case of serrating the rotor pole face with slanted teeth to enhance the tangential flux density component. The slant is higher than the previous case. The serration also modulates the distribution of the radial flux density component under the poles. The torque profile for the case of the serrated rotor pole face lies in between those with uniform air gap, but it is closer to the smaller air gap curve near the region where an increase in the torque is to be preferred for reasons already discussed.

C. Variation in the Rotor Pole Width

Fig. 6 shows the effect on the torque profile as the rotor pole width is increased from the nominal value of 28". At 28", the pole arc to pole pitch ratio of the rotor is 0.31. An increase in the rotor pole width from 28 to 32" does not seem to have a great influence on the average value of the static torque, but if the operational behavior with the usual angle control strategy is considered, the shift characterized by higher torque towards the unaligned region and lower torque near the aligned position will result in a higher average torque.

D. Chamfering of the Rotor Pole

Fig. 7 shows the effect of chamfering the rotor pole top. When compared with the case of the straight 32" pole width, chamfering does not offer any of the advantages discussed earlier.

E. Skewing of the Rotor Pole

Here, the effect of skewing is approximated by averaging five 1" shifts of the static torque profiles staggered over the

380

0

9

19

27

36

YS

9

19

Rocor

Rocor

27

qle (d.9)

qle (d.9)

36

YS

Fig. 5.

Effect of having serrated rotor pole face.

1

0

9

18

27

36

YS

 

Rotor

soplc

Cdcg)

Fig. 6.

Effect of changing rotor pole width.

length of the rotor. Fig. 8 shows that skewing of the rotor has a similar beneficial effect as widening the rotor pole. As shown, the torque profile with 28" and with 5" skew has a lower torque near the aligned position. Since the above approximation does not take into account the adverse effect on the net torque due to mutual inductances between phases, the actual magnitude of the torque may be lower than what is shown here.

368

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS,VOL. 28, NO. 2, MARCHJAPRIL 1992

1

-

28’

320

- - - 32‘ With ~hda

Fig. 7.

0

Rotw

mgl*

(de@

Effect of a 2” chamfer on both sides of the rotor pole face.

lSO1

0

Fig. 8.

-

28”

30°

--- 28” with 5”skew

9

18

27

36

’1s

Roror

angle (de$

Effect of two rotor pole widths with a 5” skew

111. CONCLUSION

A sensitivity study has been performed on a 60-kW, 6000-r/min, experimental SR design to determine the effects on the torque due to variations in the air gap, in the width of the rotor poles, in the surface profile of rotor pole face, and in the skewing of the rotor poles. The results obtained show that the most effective way of increasing the torque per ampere capability of the motor is to reduce the air gap length, subject to, of course, manufacturing costs and toler- ances. The results obtained also show that both wider rotor width and a srqall rotor skew produce a beneficial shift of the positive slope of the inductance curve away from the aligned position. A shjft of the positive slope towards the unaligned position has two advantages: One is that the phase inductance is at its maximum positive slope (hence, maximum tgrque) when the phase is energized. Second, the flatter inductance profile near the aligned position when the phase current is to be commutated allow a faster drop off of the commutated current and, thus, smaller negative torque. The broader torque-angle curve with a wider rotor pole width and skewing can be explained from the observation that torque reaches a maximum when the stator and rotor poles begin to overlap. With a wider rotor pole width, initial overlap between the stator and rotor poles will happen earlier, and complete overlapping will occur before the axes of the rotor and stator

poles are aligned. At a low level of excitation current, the torque remains relatively flat until complete overlap when

bulk saturation of the stator poles occurs. However, at higher

excitation currents,

earlier, and the torque then peaks. A small skew of the rotor in the direction of rotation has the same effect, but with skewing, the neutral (or zero) torque position is shifted away from the geometrically aligned position; moreover, the maxi- mum static torque could be smaller because of the smaller inductance (Lmin/Lmax)ratio. Theoretically, wedge-shaped or serrated pole faces can bring about an increase in the torque by increasing the tangential component of the flux density, but on the basis of the same mechanical clearance, the increase in average torque does not seem to be significant because of the accompanying reduction in the radial component.

bulk saturation of the poles happens

REFERENCES

P. J. Lawrenson, J. M. Stephenson, P. T. Blenkinshop, J. Corda, and

N. N. Fulton, “Variable-speed switched reluctance motors,” Proc. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 127B, pp. 253-265, July 1980.

M. Moallem and C. M. Ong, “Predicting the torque of a switched

reluctance machine from its finite element field solution,” in Proc.

IEEEIPES 1989 Summer Power Mtg. (Long Beach), July 1989. -, “Predicting the steady-state performance of a switched reluc- tance machine,” in IEEE/IAS 1989 Ann. Mtg. Conf. Rec. (San Diego), Oct. 1989, pp. 529-537. W. F. Ray et al., “High-performance switched reluctance brushless drives,” IEEE Trans. Industry Applications, vol. IA-22, pp. 722-730, July/Aug. 1986. T. J. E. Miller, “Converter volt-ampere requirements of the switched reluctance motor drive” IEEE Trans. Industry Applications, vol. IA-21, pp. 1136-1144, Sept./Oct. 1985.

J. Corda and J. M. Stephenson, “Analytical estimation of the mini-

mum apd maximum inductances of a doubly-salient motor,” in Proc.

Leeds), 1979, pp.

50-59.

Int. Conf. Stepping Motors Syst. (University of

N. N. Fulton et al., “Recent developments in high performance switched reluctance drives,” in Proc. Second Int. Conf. Elect. Machines-Des. Applications, Sept. 1985, pp. 130- 133.

1. W. Finch, M. R. Harris, A. Nusoke, and H. M. B. Metwally, “Variable speed drives using multi-tooth per pole switched reluctance motors,” in Proc. 13th Ann. Symp. Incremental Motion Contr. Syst. Devices, May 1984, pp. 293-301. J. W. Finch, M. R. Harris, H. M. B. Metwally, and A. Musoke, “Switched reluctance motors with multiple teeth per pole: Philosophy of design,” in Proc. Second Int. Conf. Elect. Machines-Des. Applications, Sept. 1985, pp. 134-138.

R. Arumugam, J. F. Lindsay, and R. Krishnan, “Sensitivity of pole

arclpole pitch ratio on switched reluctance motor performance,” in IEEEIIAS 1988 Ann. Mtg., Conf. Rec. (Pittsburg), Oct. 1988. pp.

50-54.

MOALLEM et al.: EFFECT OF ROTOR PROFILES ON THE TORQUE OF A SRM

369

[l 11

M. Moallem, “Performance characteristics of switched reluctance motor drives,” Ph.D. Thesis, Purdue Univ., Aug. 1989.

[12]

R.

M. Davis, W.

F.

Ray,

and R.

J.

Blake,

“Inverter

drive for

Proc.

Chee-Mun Ong (SM’80) received the B.E. (Hons) degree in electrical engineering from the Univer- sity of Malaya in 1967 and the M.S. and the Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University in 1968 and 1974,

Inst Elec. Eng., vol. 128B, pp. 126-136, Mar. 1981. respectively. During the periods 1968-1973 and 1976-1978, he was a Lecturer in the University of Malaya. In 1969-1970, he spent a year as an UNESCO Fel-

switched reluctance motor circuits and component ratings,”

low with the Central Electricity Generating Board and English Electric in England. In 1978, he joined

 

the

School of

Electrical

Engineering

at Purdue

University,

West Lafayette

IN, as an Assistant Professor and in

1985

became a Professor. In fall 1990, he spent his sabbatical leave at the National University of Singapore as a Visiting Professor His teaching and research interests are in converters, electric machines, and power systems, with special emphasis on control and simulation. Dr. Ong is a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, a Chartered

Engineer of the United Kingdom, and a registered Professional Engineer in Indiana.

Mehdi Moallem was born in Isfahan, Iran, in 1957. He received the B.S. degree in electrical

engineering from Tehran University, Iran, in 1981, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from West Virginia University, Morgantown, in 1985, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in Aug. 1989. From August 1989 to January 1990, he worked as a post-doctoral associate in the School of Elec- trical Engineering at Purdue University, doing his research on the design, simulation, and control of switched-reluctance mac :hines. From January 1990 to June 1990, he was

Division of General Motors Corporation in Ohio. Isfahan University of Technology in Iran.

with the Delco Product Currently, he is with tht

Lewis E. Unnewehr (F’91) was born in Berea, OH. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1946 and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1952. He is presently the Electric Motor Program Manager at Sullair Corporation, Division of Sund- strand. Previous experience includes being the Di- rector of Advanced Electronics at the Automotive Technical Center of Allied Signal Corporation, Troy, MI, Principal Staff Engineer, Scientific Re- search Laboratories of Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI, and Senior Engineer at the Garrett/Airesearch Division of Allied Signal, Torrance, CA. Mr. Unnewehr has authored four textbooks and over 20 technical journal papers. He is the holder of seven U.S. patents.