Repository logo

Design of a novel axial-flux induction machine for traction applications.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Induction motors are an important element in the industrial world; they are used in many applications, such as electric fans, elevators, pumps, conveyor belts, compressors and now even traction motors. Electric motors consume about 70 % of all industrial power consumption. Induction machines are also the source of the power generation such as in wind turbines. In recent years, the increase in price and supply-chain issues of rare earth magnets, which are currently an important material in brushless permanent machines, which are the most popular vehicular drive motor, has led to a focus on non-permanent magnet machine replacements, such as the induction machine. The induction machine is still undergoing design development and being used in an increasing number of applications. They can be used in fixed speed (grid-connected) or variable speed (variable-frequency inverter-connected) depending on the application. Loss reduction, weight, size, as well as minimizing the cost of raw materials for manufacturing, are some of the issues in design improvement. In view of this, it is important to develop innovative methods for producing electrical machines that will reduce losses and minimizing cost of production. The aim of this research work is to develop an appropriate analytical design procedure for designing an axial-flux induction machine and to evaluate the performance of the designed machine under various conditions. The machine must be robust and cheaper. ANSYS Maxwell software is used for 3D finite element modelling and simulation of the proposed axial-flux induction machine AFIM). For fast calculation, a simple sizing exercise is done using a pre-defined stator core. Then a radial-flux machine representation is developed in Siemens SPEED motor design software for fast assessment. The electromagnetic motor model is further tested to take into account the variations in rotor design. A proof-of-concept prototype was constructed for initial validation that the machine works and this design was modelled. The result of the simulation and the measurements from the laboratory design prove the possibility of the proposed AFIM for use in automotive application. Further design was carried out to improve the prototype using more substantial windings and a longer rotor. This design was tested with ANSYS Maxwell and SPEED. The designed machine offers a cost effective solution for future drive systems in automotive applications.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.