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Analyze Switched Reluctance Machines

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Infolytica’s MotorSolve is for the design and analysis of rotating electric machines. Image courtesy of Infolytica Corp.

MotorSolve v4, the latest release of Infolytica Corp.‘s (Montreal, QUE) CAE software suite for electric machine design, has been extended with a new SRM (switched reluctance machine) analysis module. Additionally, version 4 sees “major enhancements” to its recently introduced MotorSolve Thermal analysis module, according to the company. The MotorSolve suite also supports analyses of brushless DC (BLDC), induction machine (IM) and permanent magnet AC machines (PMAC) devices.

"We refer to MotorSolve as an automated FEA ]finite element analysis] design tool since the user doesn’t have to worry about the mesh or any typical post-processing tasks associated with FEA software," said Chad Ghalamzan, marketing manager at Infolytica in a press statement. "They select from an extensive list of performance indicators — quantities, charts, field plots, etc. — what data they require. MotorSolve runs the automated FEA solver by handling all these ‘typical’ pre- and post-processing steps for the user, and produces the desired results as required."

Infolytica says that its new MotorSolve SRM module provides fully automated FE analyses. It deploys with a template-based GUI (graphical user interface) that, says the company, “makes creating new designs from scratch effortless.” From the template-based interface, users can edit rotor and stator geometries. Specifications can also be entered for the number of rotor and stator poles; the outer diameter, firing angles, and other constraints; geometric dimensions of the coils and teeth; and lamination and coil material.

This screenshot shows the MotorSolve SRM analysis module being used to obtain flux density. Image courtesy of Infolytica Corp.

MotorSolve SRM lets users select between an extremely rapid static FEA solve, described as “ideal for early in the design process,” or a full time-stepping nonlinear FEA simulation, said to be “ideal for final design verification,” depending on the level of accuracy they require. Users can also record design parameters, performance data, and summary comparisons in an experimental log or report. Results are accessed either with the clipboard or export functionality. Other features include mechanical losses (friction, windage, and stray); automated winding configuration; integrated results for computing performance data and field plots; and detailed end winding geometry.

This image depicts the use of the MotorSolve Thermal module to plot a thermal field slice. Image courtesy of Infolytica Corp.

MotorSolve Thermal enhances the accuracy of MotorSolve’s BLDC and IM electromagnetic result computations by accounting for the effects of heating and cooling on machine performance. By providing coupled thermal-magnetic simulations, MotorSolve Thermal eliminates the need to create two separate machine models for thermal and electromagnetic analysis. The module, which accounts for conduction, radiation, and natural/forced convection heating or cooling, also uses an automated 3D FEA engine. Performance results can be based on steady state or transient analysis, and the module features a full 3D view of the housing and machine model.

MotorSolve Thermal v4 adds new support for spray cooling and the ability to display temperature fields as a shaded plot. This can be shown on radial or axial slices — which, says Infolytica, can be “extremely” useful for determining hot spots and heat flow between components.

Additional new features incorporated in the MotorSolve v4 suite include the ability to import custom rotor geometry via a DXF file and new functionality to export to the Simulink block diagram environment for modeling and simulating dynamic systems from MathWorks.

MotorSolve v4 is now available for workstations running Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and 7. For more information, visit Infolytica.

Go here for a complete overview of MotorSolve.

Register to download a trial edition of MotorSolve.

Register for the webinar “SRM Design with MotorSolve v4.”

Read about the design of a 100 KW SRM for traction applications.

Access an overview of MotorSolve BLDC for thermal analysis.

Access an overview MotorSolve IM for thermal analysis.

See why DE’s editors selected Infolytica’s MotorSolve v4 as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@digitaleng.news.