Linear reluctance motor with a soft magnetic track

Hello, my name is Samuil Aleksandrov. Within the research group Electromechanics and Power Electronics (EPE) I’m doing PhD research entitled the ‘Development of new generation linear reluctance drives: Linear reluctance motor with a soft magnetic track’. This research group is part of the department Electrical Engineering and Elena Lomonova is my promoter. 

The approach of this research includes the scientific exploration of the operating principles, modeling and design of reluctance based motors with high thrust, suited for long-stroke applications. As the reluctance based machines deal with the electromagnetic phenomena of saturation, modeling them with traditional analytical and numerical techniques is time-consuming and inefficient. Developing a new modeling technique or enhancing an existing one requires deep mathematical and physical insight. The design stage requires mechanical and thermal investigations alongside the electromagnetic modeling.

Analytical modeling techniques required

Analytical modeling techniques for thrust force calculation have been reviewed and a topology overview produced on the basis of a literature search on reluctance based electrical machines. Analytical and numerical simulations are currently being performed, aimed at fast and accurate modeling of the investigated topologies.

Beneficial for all linear industrial transportation

Developing a new, low-cost and high-thrust linear reluctance motor suited for long-stroke applications could be beneficial for all types of linear industrial transportation, such as storage facilities, conveyor belts, milling machines and even electromagnetic trains like the MAGLEV. Having no rare-earth permanent magnets in the track broadens their possible application and could avoid harmful effects on the environment. These linear machines could be implemented directly into existing applications, reinforcing them by offering a maintenance free and cableless operation (provided by an integrated power electronics unit).

Starting from the name of the project, one electrical drive consists of two main parts – the electrical machine and its power electronics control unit. This PhD project deals with the design and investigation of the electrical machine and, as you can read elsewhere in this newsletter, it is directly linked to another PhD project, focused on the power electronics control unit. The outputs of the developed electrical machine are used as input variables for the power electronics unit, aiming to achieve the necessary performance.