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Air Flow inside Rotating Electrical Machines: A Comparison between Finite Volume and SPH Method
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. (FEC, Track 3, Modeling and Simulation)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9490-9703
ABB AB, Corporate Research.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8849-7661
2017 (English)In: Conference Proceedings of NAFEMS World Congress 2017 (NWC17), 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A general, sufficiently accurate, applicable and reasonably fast approach to thermal analysis of rotating electrical machines is of high interest for motor and generator developers and manufacturers. The thermal performance and the lifetime of a machine is limited by the temperature distribution and the hot spot temperature. The most commonly encountered cooling medium is air and the temperature distribution is driven by the air flow pattern inside the machine. Two different Computational Fluid Dynamics methods, the mesh based Finite Volume Method (FVM) and the mesh free particle based Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method are employed in this paper to model the airflow inside a rotating machine. Mesh based methods are quite robust, however, they are very expensive in terms of meshing effort and CPU time to be used extensively in R&D. Analysing and optimizing products with complex geometrical shapes need mesh generation for every specific design change and this may be the major part of the modelling process. This challenging task is not necessary for the SPH method. SPH method can also provide high quality 3D visualization that can improve the design process.

This work investigates the usability of the SPH method when applied to rotating machinery for rotor speeds normally encountered in motors and generators. A comparison with an FVM based approach is also performed. Both the FVM and the SPH solvers show good agreement for the overall flow pattern inside the machine with some disagreement for the airflow inside the air-gap between the rotor and the stator. The FVM solver successfully captures the Taylor vortex flow inside the annulus air-gap which is in general a great modelling challenge. The SPH solver on the other hand shows great capability to couple rotation of the rotor and well represent the overall flow pattern inside the machine. However, the 3D SPH solver could not capture the complex Taylor vortices inside the air-gap which may be due to the limited number of particles used for the simulation. An increase in the number of particles would certainly improve the accuracy of the results as confirmed by the 2D SPH simulation. The present study shows that the SPH solver can be used to predict the air flow pattern inside rotating machines within an acceptable accuracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Air-gap flow; Rotating machines; CFD simulation; SPH method; Taylor vortices
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-36522OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-36522DiVA: diva2:1144769
Conference
NAFEMS World Congress 2017 (NWC17)
Projects
MR-OMDO
Available from: 2017-09-27 Created: 2017-09-27 Last updated: 2017-09-27

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Citation style
  • apa
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