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Flux Applications for Rotating Machines

Global system performance prediction – from the design of the equipment to its final operational efficiency – using the most efficient design tools and methods, is key for organizations to innovate. From machine sizing to final validation through multi-domain optimization or system integration, electric motor design challenges are numerous and often industry specific.

Altair has developed a global platform for innovation, offering motor designers efficient workflows, with the capability to easily edit e-motors, quickly predict and optimize their performance or very accurately validate their electromagnetic behavior while considering multi-domain constrains.

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Efficient Machine Pre-Design with FluxMotor

Advanced Electromagnetic Motor Design with Flux 2D/3D

Different Tools and Methodologies for Thermal Prediction and Losses Reduction

Designing Silent Machines

Driving Global Performance with Multi-Domain Optimization

Implementing an Efficient Motor Drive

Efficient Machine Pre-Design with FluxMotor

FluxMotor is a flexible standalone software tool focusing on the pre-design of electric rotating machines. It enables the user to design and create motors from standard or customized parts, as well as to intuitively add windings and materials to run a selection of tests and compare machine behavior. FluxMotor is the tool to make early technical strategic wise choices.

  • Addressing a broad range of users, FluxMotor is easy to use with an efficient working environment allowing for the creation and performance evaluation of an electric motor within a few minutes.

  • At any time, the FluxMotor project can easily be exported to Flux - fully parameterized, with all the physical properties embedded - to perform advanced studies like eccentricity, vibro-acoustic analysis, etc.

Advanced Electromagnetic Motor Design with Flux 2D/3D

Flux is the leading 2D and 3D electromagnetic and thermal Finite Element simulation solution for a fine motor analysis, with a package dedicated to machine motor design. Based on 35 years of experience with industrial and academic leaders, Flux offers a full suite of tools to render complexity simple, realistic and accurate, for all types of motor machines.

Flux is reputed for its accuracy and its capability to take into account different levels of requirements at the various design stages, including drive and control to test the dynamic interactions for a better system prediction. To go further into physics analysis, there are some dedicated applications with electromagnetic analysis but also thermal or vibro-acoustic analysis, and of course powerful optimization.

  • 2D and 3D Motor overlay template driven dedicated environment providing libraries of components (rotor types, slots shapes, windings) and predefined meshing options to quickly generate machine FE model

  • Advanced electric circuit with dedicated components to model brushes, squirrel cage…

  • Rotating kinematic coupling to take into account the motion of the machine (inertia, friction, drag torque…) as well as to compute the mechanical values (speed, torque, position…)

  • Skew model enables taking into account 3D effects, avoiding full long 3D analysis thanks to 2,5D models

Electric Motors Multiphysics Design and Optimization

Different Tools and Methodologies for Thermal Prediction and Losses Reduction

Because temperature is a limiting factor in machine design, thermal analysis has to be performed, from early steps. Altair offers various ways to run such losses analysis computed by FluxMotor or Flux. Thermal simulations iterating with electromagnetic computations allow considering component temperatures, improvements to the cooling system and overall performance during the operation cycle.

The use of equivalent model runs in Activate system simulation tool is interesting at the early design stage. It provides global estimation of temperature and variations, in order to check basic working points, or duty cycles. The solving time is fast, allowing parametric design.

When more accuracy is required, using Flux finite elements is an ideal solution, in order to have a better knowledge of losses (iron losses , eddy current losses), and their impact on thermal analysis. The rise of temperature in different parts is also easier to understand and to follow with animation for instance.

When designers want more accuracy, to better understand the flow or determine hotspots for instance, they can combine FEA magnetics with AcuSolve CFD code. It requires a bit more time to set the projects and solving it, but the use of distribution of computation with Altair HPC allows decreasing dramatically the solving time.

Moreover, such solution will enable to calibrate Flux or lumped models mentioned above to gain in accuracy in next usages.

Designing Silent Machines

Equipment acoustic comfort has become a key criteria to end users. To perform vibro-acoustic analysis, Flux offers an efficient dedicated context to compute and export magnetic pressure to mechanical environment in order to analyze mechanical structures.

Coupling Flux with OptiStruct® structural analysis software enables the evaluation of the vibroacoustic performance of the machine. Electromagnetic parasitic forces are the source of vibrations and noise, which remain challenging to reduce. Adapting the control strategy, adjusting the shapes of the rotor and stator, and optimizing the mechanical structure of the machine, requires a specific approach to remain efficient.

Flux also delivers electromagnetic forces as data inputs for other mechanical environment such as MSC NASTRAN or LMS Virtual Lab.

Driving Global Performance with Multi-Domain Optimization

Design Exploration & Optimization are key methods in the improvement of any virtual prototyping process. Altair HyperStudy® multi-disciplinary design exploration & optimization tool helps engineers to efficiently come up with smart designs satisfying the specifications, and improve thus the engineering productivity. Using Design –Of-Experiments (DOE), metamodeling and optimization methods, HyperStudy® creates a set of smart designs, automatically evaluates these designs and collects data.

  • Coupled to Flux, HyperStudy allows optimizing any device, for instance to improve generator efficiency, reduce losses, minimize weight or improve reliability, ...

  • HyperStudy’s seamless connection to HyperWorks enables to easily setup multi-physics optimization workflows involving different physical aspects (ex. mechanical and electromagnetic).

  • Models are easy to set up and use – making design exploration and optimization efficient.

  • Designers are guided to understand data trends, perform trade-off studies and optimize design performance and reliability.

Implementing an Efficient Motor Drive

The transient behavior of an electric machine is widely dependent on its drive. Modeling then both the machine and its drive gives a better prediction of the behavior. The association of Flux or FluxMotor and system simulator like Activate or MATLAB/Simulink for drive and control analysis enables to consider the machine with its associated control strategy. Several levels of couplings are available in 2D and 3D, from lumped model extraction to full co-simulation.

  • Lumped model extraction is the quickest way to represent the machine into the system, for quick evaluations

  • Static tables of data computed by FluxMotor or Flux and used by Activate to consider saturation effects

  • Co-simulation is necessary to compute eddy current effects and get more accurate evaluation of the losses in the machine.


Motor Factory design area Back-end results Efficiency map Motor catalog with comparator A global simulation platform to accelerate the motor design
Motor Factory design area Back-end results Efficiency map Motor catalog with comparator A global simulation platform to accelerate the motor design
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