Air-Flow Modeling in Electrical Generators

  • Supervisors: Dr. Markus Mueller (University of Edinburgh), Dr. John Chick (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Wolf-Gerrit Fruh (Heriot-Watt University)
  • Sponsoring Company:  Motor Design Ltd.and NGenTec
  • PhD Student: Yew C Chong
  • This student has graduated and the project is complete.

The thermal design gains less attention in the design process compared to electromagnetic design in the past. Thermal and airflow modelling in electrical machines is empirically led within industry and based upon experience of many years of design and manufacture. More recently some applications such the generators for the wind turbines demand an increase in power density, which places limits on the thermal performance. Machine operating temperature has a negative effect on the power output, life and reliability of a machine. Hence, controlling the machine operating temperature through the integration of electromagnetic and thermal design is essential in design process. In order to meet these demands, a better understanding of the airflow within a machine is very important in terms of quality of design since many electrical machines are air-cooled.

The major deliverable from my PhD will be an airflow modeling tool for incorporation into electromagnetic-thermal machine design tools to allow full optimization. My PhD collaborates with a company, Motor Design Ltd, which has developed analytical thermal analysis software, Motor-CAD, providing link between the conventional electromagnetic design and thermal analysis. The airflow model will be integrated with the analytical thermal model. It will provide the information of fluid flow in electrical machines required by the thermal model in order to allow accurate estimation of machine convection cooling and temperature rise.