Motor photo by Linz Center of Mechatronics (LCM).

The automotive and aeronautic industries often rely on shape optimization, an approach that uses modeling to create a framework for making devices as smooth and efficient as possible. Shape optimization techniques have now been used to enhance the performance of an electric motor.

The techniques were applied to an interior permanent magnet (IPM) brushless electric motor. The motor’s inner rotor contains an iron core and permanent magnets. Because not all parts of the rotor’s geometry are able to be altered, a modifiable design sub-region in the rotor’s iron core was identified on which to apply shape optimization. The objective is to improve the workings of the rotor, thus resulting in a smoother, more desirable rotation pattern.