Vector Fields (Aurora, IL) has announced a design software for rotating electrical machinery that is part of the OPERA electromagnetic design tool. The software combines finite element analysis modeling with a design entry system that allows users to create electric motor or generator models. The software provides a front end to the electromagnetic simulator that speeds design entry by means of “fill in the blanks” dialog boxes. Users can select the form of motor or generator they want to design from a list of all common types, including induction, brushless permanent magnet, switched reluctance motors, and synchronous motors or generators. Then, by entering a list of parameters — such as diameters of rotor, stator, shaft, stator tooth width, number of stator slots — to define mechanical geometry, material properties, and electrical data, the model is automatically created. If there are any unusual features that need to be incorporated in designs, OPERA can offer open access to the scripting codes that generate the models, and users can modify them at will to create a proprietary automated design process. A library of material properties is also included in the design software that can be selected from a drop-down menu.

Users can simulate electromagnetic performance and view results such as the torque produced as a function of position, and the static analysis of flux linkage in the phases of the machine as a function of position and excitation. Design ideas can be tested by varying the values of model parameters. The OPERA tool also enables users to define the coupling to loads, including friction, load, and speed-dependent torques.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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