Airgap Length Analysis of a 350 kw PM-Assisted Syn-Rel Machine for Heavy Duty EV Traction

Tianjie Zou, David Gerada, Salvatore La Rocca, Antonino La Rocca, Adam Walker, Gaurang Vakil, S. L. Arevalo, Zeyuan Xu, Mengmeng Cui, Anuvav Bardalai, Meiqi Wang, R. M.Ram Kumar, Alessandro Marfoli, Krzysztof Paciura, Richard Barden, Emil Ernest, Shaohong Zhu, Naila Qayyum, Alastair Mcqueen, Fengyu ZhangChris Gerada

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Synchronous reluctance (Syn-Rel) machines with embedded permanent magnets (PMs) are research hotspots in variable speed motor drives due to their robust rotor structure and wide constant power speed range (CPSR). In this article, the potential of PM-assisted Syn-Rel machine to be next generation heavy duty traction motor solution has been investigated, with special attention put on one key geometric parameter, i.e., airgap length. Careful machine design and optimization has been conducted based on geometric parametrization including airgap length variation, for 15000 rpm peak speed and 350 kW peak power output. In low speed operations, the influence of airgap length on different torque components has been analyzed in detail based on the frozen permeability method. In field weakening region, the variation trend of several key parameters such as output power, torque ripple, and power losses have been investigated along with airgap length. It is found that with high electric and magnetic loading, reducing the electromagnetic airgap length is not always beneficial. There exists a suitable airgap length value to comprehensively balance torque/power density, cooling capability, efficiency and reliability. Numerical FEA and experimental tests of the prototype are combined to verify the conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557-1570
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Airgap length
  • PM machine
  • high power density
  • high speed machine
  • rare earth magnets
  • synchronous reluctance machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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