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

T. Zou, D. Gerada, S. La Rocca, A. La Rocca, A. Walker, G. Vakil, S. L. Arevalo, John Xu, M. Cui, A. Bardalai, M. Wang, R. M. Kumar, A. Marfoli, K. Paciura, R. Barden, E. Ernest, S. Zhu, N. Qayyum, A. McQueen, F. ZhangC. Gerada

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


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 paper, 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 15000rpm peak speed and 350kW 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)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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