Magnetic topology with axial flux concentration: a technique to improve permanent-magnet motor performance

Abstract This article presents a different topology for the magnetic circuit of permanent-magnet motors, using the concept of Axial Flux Concentration. By means of longitudinal extension of the rotor length beyond the stator core, a substantial increase in the flux per pole is enabled, improving the general performance of the machine. Even in low cost motors with ferrite magnets, this improvement is easily achieved utilizing the proposed scheme. With rare-earth magnets this technique permits a higher torque density, contributing to the compactness of the machine. This configuration is suitable for several magnetic topologies, but particularly for small diameter and low pole number permanent-magnet motors of the embedded-magnet type. The proposed topology is briefly described and the theoretical aspects presented. It is shown that, from the stator point of view, this scheme behaves like a conventional motor with fictitious equivalent magnets with augmented remanent flux density and recoil permeability. A 3D finite element modeling is performed to validate the theoretical analysis permitting some additional conclusions concerning magnetic saturation. The methodology is applied to a prototype DC brushless motor constructed for research purposes, composed of a stator and two rotors of different lengths, both with embedded NdFeB magnets. Various characteristics are compared, concerning flux per pole, torque, power density and efficiency. The improvement in the performance of the axial flux concentration rotor is confirmed by experimental results, in accordance with the theoretical previsions.