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Comparative Study of Different Torque Sharing

Functions for Losses Minimization in Switched


Reluctance Motors Used in Electric Vehicles
Propulsion
A.-C. Pop1,2 , V. Petrus1,2 , C. S. Martis1 , V. Iancu1 J. Gyselinck2
1 2
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Dpt. of Electrical Machines and Drives BEAMS Dpt., Energy Group
28, Memorandumului st., 400114 Cluj-Napoca, Romania 50, F. Roosevelt Av., B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Email: adrian.pop@mae.utcluj.ro Email: johan.gyselick@ulb.ac.be

AbstractIn this paper the authors present a comparison the so-called, torque sharing functions (TSFs) [3], [4].
between optimised versions of three torque sharing functions, One of the advantages of EVs as compared to the ICE
with different number of degrees of freedom, used for improving based vehicles is the high torque capability at low speed
the efficiency in Switched Reluctance Motors. Starting from
the basic rectangular variation, the ascending and descending [9]. Moreover, for EV applications, it is important to reduce,
flanks of the function are modeled using a cosine, exponential or completely eliminate the torque ripple at low speed, as
and a more general approach (further referred to as piecewise they generate low-order frequencies which along with the
cubic sharing function). The degrees of freedom varying between eigenfrequencies of the drivetrain can lead to mechanical
two and an arbitrary number (for the general approach) are resonance. Therefore, producing high torque for low ripple
determined so as to minimize losses, when operating in smooth
torque conditions. Based upon an optimisation procedure with content is one of the main requirements of an electric motor
both linear and nonlinear constraints, the total (copper and used in EV propulsion [10].
iron) losses are minimized considering a limited available DC The total torque can be produced by maximum two neigh-
bus voltage. Moreover, a smooth model is presented so as to bour phases in SRMs with four-phases or less. At each rotor
be able to separate the two main causes for the torque ripple angular position, the share of each phase can be determined
and it is shown that, neglecting the chopping ripple, a ripple-free
torque can be obtained. Extensive studies have been conducted for using an appropriate function for modelling the ascending and
determining the optimal number of degrees of freedom (DoFs) descending flanks of the basic rectangular variation. One of the
for the piecewise cubic function. The proposed methods were first application of such a function is reported in [5] where an
successfully implemented on a 8/6, 30kW peak power, SRM both exponential variation is considered, followed by the authors
numerically and experimentally-wise. in [6] where a cosine function is introduced. From the same
category of nonlinear sharing functions, authors in [7] use a
I. I NTRODUCTION
cubic variation. Although the ripple content is significantly
Due to their undeniable advantages, SRMs represent a reduced there is no attention paid to other quantities such as
serious competitor for AC permanent magnet synchronous and iron or copper losses. In [8] the functions presented in [5]
induction machines used in hybrid and full electric vehicles, to [7] are optimised for two objective functions: the rate of
(HEVs/EVs), propulsion. Their main drawbacks are exten- change of flux linkage and the copper losses.
sively mentioned in the literature [1] - namely, noise vibration In this paper the optimised versions of the functions pro-
and harshness problems (NVH), low efficiency and high torque vided in [5], [6] are compared with generalized version of the
ripple. This paper deals with the latter two problems. cubic function (with an arbitrary number of DOFs), further
Besides the improvements that can be done at the machine referred to as piecewise cubic. Furthermore, the latter men-
design level, the control technique that is used plays a fun- tioned sharing function is tested by adding the iron losses in
damental role in overcoming the two mentioned drawbacks. the optimisation. Thus, in this paper as performance indicators,
Moreover, for EV applications, wide speed range, highly- copper and iron losses are used along with the extension of
dynamic, controllers are required, which in regular basis the torque-speed region from the torque-speed plane in which
combine two torque control techniques embedded in a speed smooth torque can be produced.
control loop [2]. One example would be an optimal firing- It is shown that the proposed piecewise cubic method allows
angle based control scheme, where at low speed the ripple of for the production of smooth torque for a wider torque-
the torque is minimized by means of current profiling using speed range than other presented methods, as well as an

978-1-4673-1653-8/12/$31.00 '2012 IEEE 356


improvements, in terms of efficiency.

The paper is structured in six sections. In Section II the

mathematical model of the SRM smooth model is given along

with the formulation of the optimisation problem. Section


III comprises descriptions of the implemented torque sharing

functions, whereas in Section IV the procedure for calculation

of the iron losses is briefly described. Simulation results are


provided in Section V and validated by measurements in

Section VI. Finally, conclusions are drawn in the last section

along with suggestions for future work.



II. SRM S MOOTH M ODEL
A. Mathematical model Fig. 1. Maximum-torque-per-current ratio
In an SR drive the switching of the transistors and the
transition from one active phase to the next phase are the root
cause of the torque ripple. In order to quantify the share of two neighbor phases (ftsf < 1). If ftsf = 1, then the peak-to-
each one, the two causes are separated. Hereafter a smooth peak torque ripple, Tpp , can be approximated with (4) whereas
model (1) is proposed which allows for the switching ripple if ftsf < 1, then solely the maximum value of the Tpp can be
to be neglected. By using this model, instead of the discrete deduced (5).
voltage (Vdc or 0) an average value (Vav ) is applied to the
Tpp = 2Ih RTi (4)
phases. An additional advantage of using a smooth model is
a significant reduction of the computation time.
Tppmax = 2(I(h)ph1 R(Ti)ph1 + I(h)ph R(Ti)ph ) (5)

where indexes ph 1 and ph correspond to the previous and



Vav,k = (+Vdc ) (Vdc )
the current phase, respectively.
%
|I k I ref,k | > 0,
k = (Vav,k Rph Ik ) dt

For the smooth model, the shape of the sharing functions

is optimized so as to obtain a ripple-free torque for minimal


dk copper losses.

&
Vav,k = Rph Ik + ,

|Ik Iref,k | < 0,

dt
Ik = Iref,k B. Optimisation problem formulation
(1)
The objective of the optimization is to minimize the losses
with k = 1 , 2 , ..mph , Ik , Vav,k , k , Rph the phase current,
(copper losses, PCu , iron losses PFe , or the total losses) for
voltage, flux linkage and resistance, respectively, Iref,k , Vdc
a ripple-free torque (in the smooth model) and considering a
the reference current and DC bus voltage.
limited available voltage, Vdc . As stated before three different
Copper losses, which are further used in the composition of
TSFs are employed, each with a different number of degrees of
the objective function, are expressed as follows
freedom (DoFs). Each DoF represents a fraction of the stroke
Nph
Ts ' angle.
1
%
PCu = Rph Ik2 (2) Let [x] be the vector with the DoFs, of length nd , f (x)
Ts 0 k=1 the function to be minimized and s , the stroke angle. The
with Ts = Tc /4 the stroke period, where Tc is the fundamental nonlinear optimisation problem with linear and boundary
period calculated as follows constraints can be formulated as follows, regardless of the
number of DoFs
60
Tc = (3)
NR
[A][x]T
(
s
with the speed (in rpm) and NR the number of rotor poles. min{f (x), such that (6)
[l] [x] [u]
To make the model as general as possible, it is transformed in
a spatial-dependent model in which the sharing functions are where f (x) is straightforwardly computed based on the model
represented in terms of number of strokes (Fig. 9 to Fig. 5). given by (1). For the considered number DoFs, [A] =
Eventually, the performance of the chopping model (addi- [1 1 1 . . .] has the same length as [x]. The validity of the first
tional torque ripple) is estimated by means of current hys- inequality will ensure that minimization function will discard
teresis band (4-5). If Ih is denoted as half of the current the [x] values whose sum will exceed the stroke length. Vectors
hysteresis band width, RTi as the ratio between maximum [l], [u] represent the lower and upper boundaries associated
torque and the phase current (Fig. 1) and ftsf as the value of with the DoFs given by [x]. However in this paper a different
the sharing function, then there are two possibilities: either the approach is considered. The model is simplified by means of
required torque is produced by one phase (ftsf = 1), either by considering only the second part of the model given by (1)

357

Fig. 2. Cosine TSF and the associated DoFs Fig. 3. Exponential TSFs and the associated DoFs

while the optimization problem becomes more complex as a B. Exponential sharing functions
nonlinear constraint is added in the formulation Starting from [5] a 3-DoFs TSF is obtained
C(x) = 0 (7)
0, (0, i )


with

(f , 2s )

1, (mi , mf )

Nph % Ts
1


mf 2
' ) *
C(x) = max(|Vav,k | Vdc , 0)dt (8) fexp () =
Ts 0 kexp
k=1
exp f ) mf [mf , f ]



*2
III. T ORQUE SHARING FUNCTIONS


i
kexp
1 exp mi mf


A. Cosine sharing functions [i , mi ]
(11)
Starting from [6] a 2-DoFs TSF is obtained, which is
As in the previous case, i , mi , mf and f are the angles
characterized by the equations given in the following
shown in the Fig. 11 whereas 1 , 2 and 3 are fractions of the
stroke. Yet, as compared to the previous situation an additional

0, (0, i ) DoF is introduced (kexp ) which affects the sharing functions
(f , 2s )


in the manner shown in Fig. 4.
fcos () = 1, (mi , mf )
0.5 0.5 cos(k( i ))

[i , mi ] C. Picewise cubic sharing functions

0.5 + 0.5 cos(k( mf ))
[mf , f ] In this subsection a generalized TSF with an arbitrary

(9) number of DoFs is developed, which yields minimum losses
where i , mi , mf , f are defined in Fig. 9 as well as the and enhance the ripple-free torque production capability, con-
considered DoFs (1 and 3 ) and k = (mi i )/5. sidering a limited voltage. By applying this method, one stroke
Applying a particular form (considering only the equality) is divided into nd fractions. The value of the function will
of the linear constraint defined in (6), 2 will become increase with 1/(nd 1) over one fraction. An example of
such a variation is shown in Fig. 5, for nd = 6. If the fractions
2 = s 1 3 (10) of the stroke are denoted as k then the following condition
must be fulfilled nd
Finally i and mi are obtained in terms of 1 and 2 '
(i = s 2 3 , mi = s 3 ) and they will fully k 1 (12)
define the sharing function that models the descending profile k=1

of the phase torque. The function for the ascending profile, where a supplementary fraction k+1 appears when (12) is a
delimited by mf and f is straightforwardly obtained, as strict inequality (7 in Fig. 5).
the two functions are complementary (mf = s + 1 and The linear variation between two consecutive points is
f = 2s 3 ). interpolated using a cubic spline method (shown with red line

358
IV. I NCORPORATION OF IRON LOSSES
Core losses computation is a challenging task for SRMs
due to the highly distorted character of magnetic flux density

waveform as well as the fact that different segments in
the machine are subject to different frequencies [11], [12].

Eddy-currents (14) and hysteresis (13) components [13] are

calculated using the space-averaged values of magnetic flux



density for each segment. Such values can be obtained from
the phase flux using the matrices-based procedure presented in

[12]. Using the loss separation approach the total iron losses
are calculated by the summation of the two terms.

(+Bm )
Ph = fph kh Bm (13)

Tc *2
d2
)
1
%
dB
Pecl = dt (14)
12 m Tc 0 dt
Fig. 4. Exponential TSFs and the DoFs with fph the fundamental frequency (in Hz), kh , and ,
material-dependant parameters (obtained by fitting), Bm the
magnitude of major loop of magnetic flux density (in T), d the
lamination thickness (in m), m the density of the material
(in kg/m3 ) and the electrical resistivity (in m).
The B waveforms in the stator poles have the same funda-
mental frequency, fph = 1/Tc and equal with that given by the
cycle duration. For a SRM in long flux paths configuration of
the winding, there is always a stator yoke segment only with

positive flux (SY4 in Fig. 6). Its frequency is equal to that



of the DC supply (mph fph ). The other segments of the stator
back iron have the same frequency given by fph . However
the number of minor loops on each of them is different and
is given by ks (ks = 1 , 2 , ..mph 1 ). Each segment of the
rotor back iron and rotor pole has the same frequency given
by fph /NR .

The material coefficients are fitted on the basis of a prede-

fined nonlinear least-squares data fitting function, which uses

Fig. 5. Piecewise cubic sharing functions, when 6-DoF are considered


in Fig. 5). The statement given by (12) is true if a constraint



of type (6) is applied where s = 15 (for a 8/6 SRM) or

s = 1 when a spatial-domain model is used with the number



of strokes on the x-axis. For keeping the voltage V Vdc a

constraint of type (8) is necessary and sufficient.



Increasing the number of DoFs can be beneficial as there is

a superior precision in modeling the exact shape of the TSF
required for minimizing an objective function. On the other

hand increasing the complexity of the optimization problem by


increasing the number of DoFs can determine the local search
algorithms (based on derivatives or simplexes) to fail or to get
stuck in a local minimum. In such situations a stochastic op-
timisation routine may offer a considerably improved solution Fig. 6. Cross-section of a 8/6 SRM and the associated iron segments
at the expense of an increase in computational complexity.

359

(a) Stator poles (b) Stator yoke SY2





Fig. 8. Required and available average dc voltage and their effect on the

instantaneous torque at 90Nm and 1500rpm
(c) Stator yoke SY4 (d) Rotor poles







(e) Rotor yoke


Fig. 7. Typical magnetic flux density waveforms in different segments of


the machine



an optimized version of the Levenberg-Marquardt method for
minimization. Considering the specific losses dependence on
the frequency and magnetic flux density, Ps (f , B ), for the Fig. 9. Comparison between current and torque obtained with smooth and
chopping model for two conducting phases using the optimised shape of the
M800-60A electrical steel-sheet, the next values are obtained piecewise cubic TSF
for the coefficients, = 1.777, = 0.192, kh = 0.0541. The
material has the following properties: d = 0.5mm, m = 7800
kg/m3 , = 25 108 m.


V. S IMULATION RESULTS

By combining the two logics given in (1) it can be seen

that the entire torque-speed range can be covered. However it
must be stated that when |Vav | |Vdc | a dip in torque will

occur, its severity being proportional with the speed (Fig. 8).

This is not discussed in detail, as the purpose of this paper

is to perform a study on the highest torque and speed that
can be reached for a ripple-free torque (in the smooth model
- Fig. 10) and minimum losses. Yet, in Fig. 10 there is still


an error (0.03%) which is the result of the inverting the FE

obtained table, T = f (, i), so as to obtain, i = f (, T ).

The validity of the (4-5) can be checked based upon Fig. 9
and Fig. 1 taking into consideration that the simulation was
conducted for a switching frequency, fsw = 15kHz which Fig. 10. Torque produced for peak current at 300rpm, when the TSF is
corresponded to a value for the current hysteresis band width, optimised using 5-DoF

360
Ih = 3.6A.

Simulations have been carried out in order to determine the
performance of each of the three TSFs. The next performance
indicators are used
copper losses

the peak of the torque-speed region in the torque-speed


plane with smooth torque production capability

Local search based algorithms are used for the minimization



of the objective functions, unless otherwise stated.


A. Piecewise cubic TSF parameters

The first step in the analysis is to determine the optimal
number of DoFs for the piecewise cubic TSF. Computations

have been conducted at different speeds and reference torque
values. For most of the studied operating points it was found

that for a good convergence, a minimum number of 3-DoFs is
required. In choosing the maximum number of DoFs it must
be taken into account the ability of the minimization routine to Fig. 12. Optimal 5DoF piecewise cubic TSF variation with reference torque
converge to the global minimum without the necessity of cre-
ating a special routine for determining the initial conditions. In
Fig. 11 the TSF is shown when nd = 4, 5, 6, 7. Henceforward,

a number of DoFs, nd = 5 is chosen.
Next, considering 5 DoFs for the piecewise cubic TSF, its

variation with both the speed (Fig. 13) and reference torque
(Fig. 12) is studied.

B. Very low speed operation



Simulations have been carried out at 2rpm varying the ref-

erence torque between 5Nm and the value which corresponds


to the peak current (175Nm). Regardless of the TSF (cosine,
exponential of piecewise cubic) used the peak torque could

be reached for a given Vdc . In terms of copper losses, there
is a slight gain if the piecewise cubic TSF is used, especially

when comparing to the exponential TSF (Fig. 14).



Fig. 13. Optimal 5DoF piecewise cubic TSF variation with speed

C. Low speed operation




Simulations have been executed at 100rpm and 300rpm.
The same tendency is reported at 100rpm as at 2rpm, with

a slightly lower value for copper losses when the piecewise
cubic TSF is used as compared to the cosine function and with
a more significant gain when comparing with the exponential


variation (8% at rated torque and 12.2 % at peak torque).
As for the 300rpm, another important issue is reported -
the maximum value of the torque cannot be reached in the

limit of the available voltage when cosine and exponential
TSFs are used. Therefore for the cosine, as well as for the

exponential function, the maximum ripple-free torque that can
be produced is 150Nm and 165Nm, respectively, whereas for
Fig. 11. Torque sharing function and copper losses variation with the number the piecewise cubic TSF, still, the maximum torque of 175Nm
of DoF considered in optimisation can be delivered (see Fig. 10). The copper losses dependence

361

with reference torque, is shown in Fig. 15.
Iron losses are very often neglected when considering an


objective function for improving the efficiency. In this paper,
for the proposed piecewise TSF, tests are conducted varying

the speed between 1 to 900rpm and the effect of including the

iron losses in optimisation is shown in Fig. 16. By comparing


the total losses at 900rpm it can be seen that they decrease by

more than 12% when fobj = Pcu + Pfe is used as objective

function instead of fobj = Pcu . This is explained by the
fact that, when iron losses are included in optimisation they
decrease with more than 120W at the expense of an increase
in copper losses with maximum 50W.

VI. E XPERIMENTAL R ESULTS




Measurements have been conducted on a four-phase, 30kW
peak power, SRM supplied via an asymmetric H bridge con-
Fig. 14. Copper losses dependence with reference torque for the three
considered TSFs at 2rpm
verter (Fig. 17). The performance of the proposed piecewise
cubic TSFs was analysed in the low speed operation (up to
1000rpm) for a reference torque of maximum 30Nm (imposed
by the rated values of the 7.5kW DC machine used as a load).
The optimised TSFs are stored in a 3D matrix in terms of



reference torque and speed as well as position, f (, Tref , ),
and the entire control scheme is implemented on a dSPACE

platform. Storing such a big amount of data in a dSPACE

card will reduces the maximum sampling frequency that can



be set. It is well known that for accurately implementing an

instantaneous torque control technique a very high switching
frequency is required. Thus, the main disadvantage of the TSF-
based techniques.
The necessity of using the current profiling, at low speed,
is evidenced in Fig. 18 where the measured instantaneous
torque at 250rpm and for a reference of 30Nm is shown in
two cases. In the first case the torque waveform is shown

for optimal firing angle control scheme, where a weighted
objective function which takes in account both copper losses
Fig. 15. Copper losses dependence with reference torque for the three and torque ripple is used [4], whereas in the second case
considered TSFs at 300rpm

Fig. 16. Influence of the objective functions on the total losses Fig. 17. Overview of the test-rig components

362










Fig. 18. Comparison between measured torque using the classical optimal
firing angle approach and current profiling
Fig. 20. Measured and reference current at 250rpm and 30Nm reference
torque using piecewise cubic TSF

Fig. 19. Measured instantaneous torque and phase currents at 250rpm and
30Nm reference torque

Fig. 21. Measured instantaneous torque at 250rpm and 30Nm reference


the torque obtained with piecewise cubic TSF approach is torque
represented.
In Fig. 19 the measured instantaneous torque, along with the
phase currents is shown at 250rpm and for a reference torque
of 30Nm, whereas in Fig. 20 the measured current is shown
along with its reference. It can be seen the switching ripple and results obtained using piecewise cubic and the rest of the
taking into consideration the discussion provided in Section TSFs, becomes more visible. Consequently, if at 250rpm the
II it can be readily stated that the phase transition ripple is values of the losses are: 180W, 187W and 183W for cosine,
eliminated, remaining only the ripple which are caused by the exponential and piecewise cubic, respectively, at 650rpm they
switching of the transistors. However, this is not the case at become: 300W, 228W and 200W for cosine, exponential and
higher speeds as is evidenced in Fig. 21 and Fig. 22 where a piecewise cubic, respectively. Therefore a gain of 50% is
sag can be seen when the transition between the phases occurs. observed in comparison with cosine variation.
As for the copper losses, at low speed the difference Moreover, it can be seen in Fig. 23 a considerable augmenta-
between the values obtained for the three TSFs is negligible tion of the torque-speed region with smooth torque production,
while, as the speed increases, the difference between the is obtained by using the piecewise cubic TSF.

363
performance of the chopping model was estimated based on
the smooth model. It was found that the generalized version of

the cubic variation provides the lowest copper losses as well

as an extension of the torque-speed region in which smooth
torque can be produced.
Despite their remarkable performances at very low speed,

for the cosine and exponential TSFs, the difference in copper

losses becomes important for higher values of speed (based on


simulations and measurements) as well as maximum ripple-
free torque that can be produced (based on simulations).
Improvements up to 50% are observed. Furthermore, a con-

siderable augmentation (more than 30%) of the peak torque-
speed region is obtained by using the piecewise cubic TSFs.

In addition, it was observed that, when the iron losses are


considered in the objective function, the efficiency is improved
(up to 10%).

As future work can be considered the implementation of a
more robust minimization routine which offers more stability
Fig. 22. Measured instantaneous torque at 650rpm and 30Nm reference when the calculations are conducted in the proximity of the
torque
DC voltage limit. In this way, more DoFs can be considered,
without the risk that the minimization routine will get stuck in
a local minimum, allowing in the same time for an additional

extension of the torque-speed region with smooth torque
production.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This research was financially supported in the frame of

the project Doctoral studies in engineering sciences with

purpose to develop knowledge-based society - SIDOC (abbre-


viation from Romanian), Contract POSDRU/88/1.5/S/60078.

The authors equally acknowledged the WBI funding through
the program Wallonie-Bruxelles International, bursaries for
excellence.

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