Iron Losses in Electrical Machines - Influence of Material Properties, Manufacturing Processes, and Inverter Operation

Abstract: As the major electricity consumer, electrical machines play a key role for global energy savings. Machine manufacturers put considerable efforts into the development of more efficient electrical machines for loss reduction and higher power density achievements. A consolidated knowledge of the occurring losses in electrical machines is a basic requirement for efficiency improvements.This thesis deals with iron losses in electrical machines. The major focus is on the influences of the stator core magnetic material due to the machine manufacturing process, temperature influences, and the impact of inverter operation.The first part of the thesis gives an overview of typical losses in electrical machines, with focus put on iron losses. Typical models for predicting iron losses in magnetic materials are presented in a comprehensive literature study. A broad comparison of magnetic materials and the introduction of a new material selection tool conclude this part.Next to the typically used silicon-iron lamination alloys for electrical machines, this thesis investigates also cobalt-iron and nickel-iron lamination sheets. These materials have superior magnetic properties in terms of saturation magnetization and hysteresis losses compared to silicon-iron alloys.The second and major part of the thesis introduces the developed measurement system of this project and presents experimental iron loss investigations. Influences due to machine manufacturing changes are studied, including punching, stacking and welding effects. Furthermore, the effect of pulse-width modulation schemes on the iron losses and machine performance is examined experimentally and with finite-element method simulations.For nickel-iron lamination sheets, a special focus is put on the temperature dependency, since the magnetic characteristics and iron losses change considerably with increasing temperature. Furthermore, thermal stress-relief processes (annealing) are examined for cobalt-iron and nickel-iron alloys by magnetic measurements and microscopic analysis.A thermal method for local iron loss measurements is presented in the last part of the thesis, together with experimental validation on an outer-rotor permanent magnet synchronous machine.