The Electric Motor Education and Research Foundation (EMERF) a 501 (c)(3) organization and the foundation of SMMA – The Motor and Motion Association (SMMA) is pleased to announce the selection of Texas A&M University as its 2013 grant recipient.
EMERF formed a pre-competitive research group of SMMA member companies to review and provide input regarding potential research topics that were of interest and value to the small motor manufacturing industry. “Achieving Improvements in Power Density while Simultaneously Increasing Efficiency in Small Electric Motors” was identified as the research topic. The solicitation was released in September 2013 with eight respondents. The goal of this effort is to provide a new small motor technology that meets the technical targets defined in the solicitation. The $15,000 award in this round is expected to be the start of a program that will take this new technology to market.
Texas A&M University’s Electric Machines and Power Electronic (EMPE) Laboratory under the leadership of Hamid A. Toliyat, PhD, PE, Fellow of IEEE, submitted the winning proposal. The project, “Design of Ferrite Assisted Synchronous Reluctance Motor (Fa-SynRM) with Aluminum Conductors in Stator” is expected to start in January 2014 and last six months. The winning proposal included the following Abstract:
“The solution to extremely high requirement on efficiency, power density and cost of electric motors hinges on combination of two key aspects: topology of the geometry and materials. In order to produce a low cost motor, material costs and labor costs should be minimized as much as possible. In order to reduce losses in the machine, the I2R loss is the biggest concern (for given specification). The only method to meet both loss and cost objectives simultaneously is to employ bar-wound aluminum conductors in stator. Bar-wound conductors enable very high fill factors (>85%) even for small motors, thereby compensating for the lower conductivity of aluminum as compared to copper. Additionally, the weight is reduced drastically due to lower mass density of aluminum.
Two main challenges in meeting the given specifications lie in the design and fabrication processes. Finite Element Analysis based design is almost essential for design optimization of such a motor as the geometry is characterized by unconventional stator and rotor shapes, non-linear materials and computation of skin and proximity effects in bar-wound conductors. In order to use rectangular conductors in small motors with semi-closed slots, the conductors are bent and inserted axially into the slots to avoid segmented stators or open slots that cause high eddy current losses in conductors. The end connections on the other side can be welded, a process easily automated with modern robotic systems. Such a design would enable low cost, high efficiency and high power density products. This project will successfully demonstrate through accurate design optimization how the given targets can be best achieved.”
EMERF will issue periodic communications on the project, and will also present an update at the SMMA 2014 Spring Management Conference in Fort Myers, Florida.
EMERF / SMMA