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10th International Conference and Exposition on Electrical and Power Engineering (EPE2018)

Saturation and cross-saturation


in synchronous reluctance machines
Ioana Nasui-Zah, Andreea-Mdlina Nicorici, Claudia Maris
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
ioana.nasui@mae.utcluj.ro

Abstract—The present paper gives an overview on the is not a comparison of the performances of the machines under
influence of the saturation and cross-saturation on the machine study.
parameters and on the evaluation of SynRM drives performances.
A SynRM with optimized flux-barriers shapes and a Permanent Section II presents several approaches in the modeling of SM
Magnet (PM) assisted SynRM will be considered for analysis. A for describing and analyzing the two phenomena, while Section
comprehensive analysis of the variation of d- and q-axis fluxes, as III is focused on the specific analysis of the two phenomena in
well as several modeling approaches are presented in order to the above mentioned machines.
evaluate the influence of saturation and cross-saturation on the
behavior of the two machines. II. MACHINE MODELLING
Considering d-q frame, saturation describes a phenomenon
Keywords—SynRM; PM assisted SynRM; saturation; cross- that is linked to the material propriety, and is very well described
saturation; cross-coupling; d- and q-axis inductances; by the B-H curve in the figure bellow. The direct (d-axis) current
Nomenclature influences the saturation along the d-axis flux path and as a
result, the d-axis synchronous inductance Ld is changed. The
d, q – d and q-axis components of the stator linkage flux torque same principle applies for the quadrature (q-axis) inductance Lq
id, iq - d and q-axis components of armature current [3].
Ld, Lq - d and q-axis inductance
Ldq, Lqd – mutual inductances While the concept of saturation is very clear, the subject of
SM – synchronous machine
cross-saturation, based on the papers published, was defined in
two different ways. As a hypothesis, all the papers agree that
IPMSM – interior permanent magnet synchronous machine
cross-saturation is a phenomenon derived from saturation. The
SynRM – synchronous reluctance machine problem appears when trying to mathematically define the two
PMSynRM - permanent magnet assisted synchronous reluctance phenomena.
machine
IPMSM – interior permanent magnet synchronous machine
MEC – magnetic equivalent circuit
FEA – finite element analysis

I. INTRODUCTION
It is well known that both torque and power factor, as well
as the dynamic response of salient Synchronous Machines (SM)
drives are directly related to the d- and q-axis inductances.
Moreover, the nonlinear behavior of the machine, including iron
losses, saturation and cross-saturation, increases the complexity
of its control and requests special attention in developing off-
and on-line models for SM performances evaluation.
Inductances (Ld and Lq) are one of the most important Fig. 1. Magnetization loop - BH curve [4].
parameters that decide the characteristics of a designed SM [1]. On one hand, there are papers that state the fact that cross-
They are very much dependent on axes saturation and cross- saturation is a mutual inductance and it is caused by the
saturation; this leads to the fact that flux versus current saturation of portions of magnetic circuit associated to one axis
characteristics of SM are not linear and saturation and cross caused by the current of the other axis [5],[6].
saturation phenomenon heavily affects the motor anisotropy [2].
‫ܮ‬ௗ ൌ ݂ሺ݅ௗ ሻ (1)
The present paper analyzes the impact of saturation and
cross-saturation on two different types of SM: a Synchronous ‫ܮ‬௤ ൌ ݂൫݅௤ ൯ (2)
Reluctance Machine (SynRM) and a Permanent Magnet assisted
Synchronous Reluctance Machine (PMSynRM). However, this ‫ܮ‬ௗ௤ ൌ ‫ܮ‬௤ௗ ൌ ݂൫݅ௗ ǡ ݅௤ ൯ (3)

978-1-5386-5062-2/18/$31.00 ©2018 European Union


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On the other hand, other papers describe the phenomena There are two methods used to describe and analyze the
differently. The d axis can saturate the q axis and vice versa, so saturation and cross-saturation effects in an electrical machine.
each current has an action on the other axis inductance [7]. In In this paper two methods will be described: Finite Element
[7-9], the cross-saturation phenomena is considered to be Analysis (FEA) and Magnetic Equivalent Circuit (MEC)
included in d axis and q axis fluxes/inductances: Method.
ߖௗ ൌ ݂൫݅ௗ ǡ ݅௤ ൯Ǣ ‫ܮ‬ௗ ൌ ݂൫݅ௗ ǡ ݅௤ ൯ (4) A. Magnetic Equivalent Circuit (MEC)
This method to calculate the machine’s inductances is using
ߖ௤ ൌ ݂൫݅ௗ ǡ ݅௤ ൯Ǣ ‫ܮ‬௤ ൌ ݂൫݅ௗ ǡ ݅௤ ൯ (5) a model based on the modified equivalent circuit (MEC) and
space vector theory [17]. The results of this method were
Thus, the d and q axes fluxes/inductances depend on both id
compared to results from FEM and experiment and they are
and iq at the same time and they also share the same magnetic
comparable.
circuit [9].
This approach was introduced after 1950s by several
The importance of including the saturation and cross-
scientists like Slemon, Fiennes and Ostovic. In the beginning, it
saturation effect is emphasized and even demonstrated in many
was only used as the analysis of an electrical machine in
scientific papers [1],[3],[10],[11]. This has a direct impact on the
saturated state [18]. Ostovic used MEC in the study of electrical
results of the performance analysis and parameter’s
machines transient and steady state regimes. Basically, it is used
identification and for the development of the advanced control
to characterize an electrical machine as lumped magnetic
models of any machine [1],[12], especially in sensorless control
parameters (a resistive electrical network) and not as
[3].
complicated magnetic circuit.
In [13] are highlighted the errors that are present if the cross-
The computation of the electromagnetic torque of an
saturation is not taken into consideration. It was also showed that
IPMSM based on the equivalent magnetic circuit with the
in standard control schemes, the problem of saturation and cross-
consideration of the d- and q- axes cross-saturation effect on the
saturation can get to tenths of degrees of error in conventional
machine’s characteristics is studied in [19]. The method is useful
sensorless position. The same problem of the accuracy of rotor
to estimate the electromagnetic torque of a motor with an
position estimation it is detailed in [14].
important reluctance component and it is applied to evaluate the
Further on, having enunciated the saturation and cross- variation of the electromagnetic torque versus the changed
saturation as a phenomenon and the importance of taking it into slanted air-gap shape. A new computation method of the
account, the second section addresses the methods, models and inductances is developed, based on the variation of the magnetic
techniques fit to describe the saturation and cross-saturation saturation at different load conditions in order to improve the
effect and to compute the parameters (i.e. the d- and q-axis estimation of the IPMSM performances. The flux linkage look-
inductances). In the third section, two study cases, one for each up tables are used to compute the cross-coupled inductances for
machine under study, are performed. Finite Element (FE) both direct and quadrature axes.
multiphysics analysis based software package (JMAG Designer)
Considering the fact that MEC has fewer elements (30-100)
and Matlab/Simulink are used for parameters computation and
than FEA (2000-10,000), it is obvious that the computation time
the evaluation of saturation and cross-saturation influence on the
is lower, but also with a lower accuracy, so it can be said that
drives performances. The paper will present, in the final section
MEC it is a “reduced order of FEA” [20]. In this decade, when
the conclusions and future work.
computational speed grows day by day it is uncertain if this
On a design stage, the magnetic model can be derived from method is worth used.
analytical calculations and finite element simulations [8].
B. Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
The classical d-q model of the machine that does not take Due to simplicity and good accuracy, many papers use the
into account saturation and cross-saturation, is useful in cases FEA, using dedicated software packages, like Maxwell, JMAG
where the inductance variation is not that significant, for Designer, Flux 2D/3D, etc. The magnetostatic analysis is done
example in cases when the machine’s operation is below the at different rotor positions and for different id and iq currents
point where saturation becomes noticeable [7]. Equations (6) [21], [22].
and (7) define the flux in an electrical machine where saturation
and cross-saturation is not taken into account. ݀Ȳௗ ȟȲௗ
‫ܮ‬ௗ ൌ ห݅௤ ൌ ܿ‫ ݐ݊ܽݐݏ݊݋‬؆  ห݅ ൌ ܿ‫ݐ݊ܽݐݏ݊݋‬ (8)
݀݅ௗ ȟ݅ௗ ௤
Ȳௗ ൌ ‫ܮ‬ௗ ݅ௗ , where ‫ܮ‬ௗ ൌ ܿ‫ݐ݊ܽݐݏ݊݋‬ (6)

Ȳ௤ ൌ ‫ܮ‬௤ ݅௤ , where ‫ܮ‬௤ ൌ ܿ‫ݐ݊ܽݐݏ݊݋‬ (7) ݀Ȳ௤ ȟȲ௤


‫ܮ‬௤ ൌ ȁ݅ௗ ൌ ܿ‫ ݐ݊ܽݐݏ݊݋‬؆  ȁ݅ ൌ ܿ‫ݐ݊ܽݐݏ݊݋‬ (9)
݀݅௤ ȟ݅௤ ௗ
However, in traction applications, saturation has a huge
impact on the torque ripple at low speeds or in the field The fluxes variation Ȳௗ ൌ ݂ሺ݅ௗ ሻ for different rotor
weakening region using control schemes [7][15][16]. Advanced positions and different q-axis current values and Ȳ௤ ൌ ݂ሺ݅௤ ሻ for
d-q models are presented for both machines, and the
performances will be evaluated in a comparative manner for the different rotor positions and different d-axis current values, of
machines with and without taking into account the two both machines are determined from the FEA. Later on, direct
phenomena. and quadrature inductances, Ld and Lq respectively, were

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computed as derivative of flux linkage with respect to current id Fig. 3b presents q axis flux linkage which increases almost
and iq. The expected results will undoubtedly demonstrate the linearly with ‹୯ current. This is caused by the presence of flux
influence of the saturation and cross-saturation effects on flux barriers in the rotor which are penetrated by magnetic field. The
and inductances values and will also highlight the errors that are
presence of the air in the path of magnetic flux significantly
present if the cross-saturation is not taken into consideration.
increases the reluctance of q axis magnetic circuit. In this case,
III. RESULTS when ‹ୢ component of phase current is present, the q axis flux
Both of the studied machines are the synchronous type. linkage decreases similarly as in case of d axis flux linkage.
Considering the design, the studied SynRM has 4 flux barriers
and 5 ribs, while the PM assisted SynRM has only 3 flux barriers
and 3 ribs and each flux barrier is filled in with ferrite permanent
magnets.

Fig. 2. The topologies of the studied machines and the representation of D and
Q axis. (a)

TABLE I. PARAMETERS VALUES


Value
Parameter
SynRM PM - SynRM
Stator slots 27 36
Number of poles 4 6
Stator outer diameter [mm] 205 170
Rotor outer diameter [mm] 130 114
Stack length [mm] 145 110
Airgap [mm] 0.4 0.5
Rated voltage [V] 400 120
Nominal current [A] 155 57.4
Nominal speed [rpm] 4500 2000
Maximum speed [rpm] 12000 9000
Remanent flux density of ferrite
- 0.4
PM [T]
Number of phases 3 3
Winding resistance [] 0.017 0.0402

(b)
If the cross-saturation phenomenon is taken into account, the Fig. 3. d- and q-axis flux linkage as function of d- and q-axis currents.
d- and q-axis flux linkages can be written as:
Ψd = Ld id + Lqd iq Fig. 4a shows the impact of cross saturation on d axis flux
(10) linkage. If there was no cross saturation, the flux linkage in d
Ψq = Lq iq + Ldq id axis would depend on d axis current only and it would remain
with Ld, Lq, Lqd and Ldq dependent on both id and iq. In order to constant regardless the variations of q axis current. However,
calculate the inductances of the machines 2D FEA was increasing q axis current causes the flux linkage in d axis to
performed. drop. This phenomenon is stronger for low d axis current and
As it can be noticed in Fig. 3a, d axis flux linkage for SynRM lowers when the current in d axis increases. Similarly q axis
rises very quickly with ‹ୢ current and eventually saturates. This flux drops when the current in d axis grows. Variations of q axis
is because the flux path in d axis of the rotor mostly consists of flux linkage are greater than those of d axis flux. This situation
iron flux paths. The magnetic field in d axis almost completely is presented in Fig. 4b.
avoids air flux barriers in the rotor. The presence of ‹୯
component generates a decrease of the flux linkage in d axis.

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If there was no cross saturation, the flux linkage in d axis these “flux barriers” are filled with permanent magnets. So, due
would depend on d axis current only and it would remain to the permanent magnet’s polarization and nonlinear magnetic
constant regardless the variations of q axis current. However, behavior, the symmetry with respect to the q-axis is lost and it
increasing q axis current causes the flux linkage in d axis to produces a negative flux linkage, just like in Fig. 5b. In this
drop. This phenomenon is stronger for low d axis current and case, when ‹ୢ component of phase current is present, the q axis
lowers when the current in d axis increases. Similarly q axis flux linkage shows a slight decrease.
flux drops when the current in d axis grows. Variations of q axis
flux linkage are greater than those of d axis flux.
0.25

0.2

Direct Flux linkage [Wb]


0.15

0.1

0.05 Iq= 45A


Iq= 90A
Iq=135A
Iq=180A
0
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
Id [A]
(a)
(a)

0.05

0
Quadrature Flux linkage [Wb]

-0.05

-0.1

-0.15 Id= 45A


Id= 90A
Id=135A
Id=180A
-0.2
-200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200
(b) Iq [A]

Fig. 4. d- and q-axis flux linkage as function of q- and d-axis currents (b)
respectively. Fig. 5. d- and q-axis flux linkage as function of d- and q-axis currents.

The saturation and cross saturation in the PMSynRM


machine can be observed in Figures 5 and 6. In Fig. 5a the Fig.6a shows the impact of cross saturation on d axis flux
PMSynRM’s flux linkage rises very quickly with the ‹ୢ current linkage. This impact is similar to the one in the case of not
and eventually saturates, the reason being similar to the SynRM, having permanent magnets in the rotor. If there was no cross
because it mostly consists of iron flux paths. Unlike the SynRM, saturation, the flux linkage in d axis would depend on d axis
the presence of ‹୯ component doesn’t affect much the flux current only and it would remain constant regardless the
linkage in d axis and it can be said that the flux has almost the variations of q axis current.
same values and does not depend on ‹୯ .
However, increasing q axis current causes the flux linkage in
Fig. 5b presents q axis flux linkage with respect to ‹୯ current, d axis to drop. This phenomenon is stronger for low d axis
which varies differently than in the case of SynRM. While the current and lowers when the current in d axis increases.
SynRM is designed with flux barriers, in the case of PMSynRM

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ACKNOWLEDGMENT comparison of nodal- and mesh-based magnetic equivalent circuit models A
Comparison of Nodal- and Mesh-Based Magnetic Equivalent Circuit Models,”
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