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No-load Characteristics Analysis and Rated Field

Current Calculation of Multi-phase Synchronous

Generator Based on Nonlinear with FEM
Yujiao Zhang Mengyun Sun Pilong Guo
College of Electric and New Energy College of Electric and New Energy College of Electric and New Energy
Three Gorges University Three Gorges University Three Gorges University
Yi Chang, China Yi Chang, China Yi Chang, China

AbstractConsidering the magnetic nonlinear characteristic of In this paper, the FEM is applied to determine from 2-D
iron core and its structural complexity, the calculation model of magnetic field solutions the characteristics of the generator for
Multi-phase Synchronous Generator is established with the aim to improve accuracy, together with considering the
nonlinear FEM. Then the method and analysis steps of no-load impact of saturation and structural complexity. Experimental
characteristics analysis and rated field current calculation are work has been carried out on an actual synchronous machine to
given in detail. On the basis of electromagnetic field calculation verify the accuracy of these calculated results.
of the twelve-phase synchronous generator, the harmonic
analysis of air-gap magnetic field is presented, as well as its no- II. PRINCIPLE AND CALCULATION METHOD
load characteristics. The calculated results of fundamental
component are close to the measurement values, and it indicates A. Calculation model
that this method can be used in the calculation of electromagnetic
field of the generator. Also, it gives the theoretical basis for the In this paper a twelve-phase synchronous generator is tested
generator design. The rated field current is calculated based on as an example, whose basic parameters are in the following
iterative method, and the results of field current are consistent table.
with the rated condition. This method has high practical TABLE BASIC PARAMETERS OF THE TWELVE-PHASE SYNCHRONOUS
usability, which may provide the reference for the calculation of GENERATOR
rated field current of the common synchronous generator. Parameters Value
Rated current 224A
KeywordsNonlinear; Finite element method; Multi-phase Rated voltage 210.7V
synchronous generator; No-load characteristics; Field current Power factor 0.9217
Number of pole 8
Number of phase 12
I. INTRODUCTION Stator inner radius 0.675m
In the design of synchronous generator, magnetic circuit Stator outer radius 0.830m
Number of stator windings 96
design is a critical part which largely determines the
performance and quality of generator and is dependent on the According to symmetry of structure and magnetic field, we
calculation of electromagnetic field [1]-[2]. Based on the can establish a one-quarter cross-sectional area of this
calculation of the electromagnetic field, features on the generator which is shown in figure 2(a). End effect in this
generator no-load calculation can help us determine the model is ignored. The stator is in the form of four three-phase
reasonableness of magnetic circuit design of the generator. windings that is embedded in 96 slots. The rotor is fitted with a
Field current of generator is another main operation parameter. field winding and damper windings. For the finite element
Accurate calculation of rated field current also contributes to calculations, the lines ab and cd and the arcs bc and da shown
the field winding design. in figure 1(a) are used as the four exterior boundaries.
Calculation of electromagnetic field in the past is built According to the arrangement way of stator windings, the
mostly based on the analysis method. It can meet the project phase angle between generator direct-axis which supposes for
accuracy requirements for a small motor with not high forward and phase U which corresponds with four star-
saturation level. But it is not suitable when the generator has connected windings is shown in figure 1(b).
obvious core saturation and complex boundary shape and
magnetic structure [1]-[3]. Thus, if the analysis method is
applied, calculation of no-load characteristics and rated field
current will lead to significant error. In the last decades, the
finite element method (FEM) which can overcome these
problems has been successfully applied in the analysis of the
electromagnetic field inside the machine and to determine its
main parameters [4]. The FEM [5][7] is now accepted as one of
the most powerful tools for calculating the electromagnetic
fields in complicated structures like those of synchronous (a) (b)
machines. Fig.1. (a) Calculation model. (b) Relationship between each phase.

978-1-4244-8165-1/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE

B. 2-D nonlinear constant magnetic field III. APPLICATION OF THE FEM
The template is used to format your paper and style the text.
All margins, column widths, line spaces, and text fonts are A. No-load Characteristics Analysis
prescribed; please do not alter them. You may note Given the different field current If, then we can get the
peculiarities. For example, the head margin in this template corresponding no-load potential, thus can obtain the no-load
measures proportionately more than is customary. This characteristic curve E0=f(If).
measurement and others are deliberate, using specifications The process can be given as follows.
that anticipate your paper as one part of the entire proceedings, a) The field current Ifn is exerted on the rotor after the
and not as an independent document. Please do not revise any calculation model established;
of the current designations. b) The magnetic flux density distributions in the region of
Since the magnetic fields are produced by stable potential, the calculations can be obtained from Az, which is found
the analysis of the magnetic fields could be carried out as through solving (1).
constant electromagnetic field problems. For a 2-D constant c) From the radial air-gap magnetic flux density
electromagnetic field analysis, the problem represented by distributions Br, the fundamental component amplitude B1 of
Poissons equation can be expressed as follows [8]: the magnetic flux density could be determined by applying
Fourier analysis using equations (4) and (5).
Az Az
v + v = J z (1)

x x y y Br = (an sin( nt ) + bn cos( nt ) ) (4)

n =1
Where Az is the axial component of the magnetic vector
B1 = a1 + b1 cos(t ) = Bm cos(t ) (5)
2 2
potential A with Ax and Ay components equal to zero (in this
case, the magnetic flux density has only two components Bx Where a1 and b1 are fundamental sine and cosine Fourier
and By ), Jz is the axial current density assumed to be uniform coefficients. And = tg 1 a1 .
within the conductors, and v is the reluctivity of the medium. b1
Taking into account magnetic saturation and nonlinearity of d) The maximum value of magnetic flux fundamental
iron materials, and =(H), v=1/(H), B=H, the magnetic component between a pole pitch could then be calculated using
flux density B is a variable. The magnetic curve of iron core the equation (6).
materials is shown in figure 2. 2
0 = leff Bm sin( x)dx = Bm leff (6)
Where leff is the effective length of rotor and is the pole
e) If the magnetic flux density along with the air-gap
circumference is close to sinusoidal spatial distribution, the
stator three-phase RMS EMF fundamental potential can be
expressed as:
1 (7)
E0 = 0 = 4.44 f1k N 1 N 0
The voltage waveform sine distortion factor is a quite
important parameter in the no-load characteristics analysis.
Fig.2. Magnetization curve of iron core.

C. Boundary conditions E

The boundary conditions of the finite-element calculation K N1 = 100% (8)

model are determined by the characteristics of the magnetic Em1
field and magnetic flux distribution. In this model, a half- Where Emn is the amplitude of each harmonic.
period magnetic field is chosen as the calculation region. Because of E0 0, Ff If . Therefore, the no-load
Boundary lines, ab and cd , must apply half-period magnetic characteristic has reflected the magnetization curve in fact.
field boundary conditions. The magnetic flux is in parallel to
B. Rated Field Current Calculation
the two boundary lines, bc and da . The boundary conditions
in this case can be expressed by Since the rated condition of generator is usually given in
advance, that is U=UN, I=IN, cos=cosN. Therefore stator
Abc = Ada = 0 (2)
current is known. But the field current and power factor angle
Aab = Acd (3) should be calculated. Generally, we assume a set of values
In the finite element model, quadratic triangular finite beforehand and then gradually adjust field current and power
elements are used for discretizing the magnetic field in the factor angle according to the calculation of the stator voltage
region of the calculations. In these calculations, 9236 nodes and power factor until the results meet the rated conditions. For
and 9221 finite elements are used. this reason the voltage and power factor angle are iterated in
the computational process [9]. The relationship between each
phase in the rated conditions of synchronous generator is
shown in figure 3.

The first several steps of this process are basically the same 5(a) show the corresponding 2-D magnetic flux density
with no-load characteristics analysis. But we should give the distribution.
initial angle between direct-axis and stator current and
calculate the current which should be applied on stator
windings before solving (1).

4(a) 4(b)
Fig.4. The field current is 0.78A. (a) Magnetic flux density distribution. (b) The
fundamental wave and the 5th harmonic of air-gap flux.

Fig.3. the relationship between each phase under rated condition.

After that the induced voltage phase of stator could be

calculated based on EMF when stator resistance is ignored. The
formula is given by the following equation:
U = E e1 jIx

e (9)
Angle relationship on the reference of figure 1 can be given
as follows:
= + (10) 5(a) 5(b)
Fig.5. The field current is 40A. (a) Magnetic flux density distribution. (b) The
Ix e sin fundamental wave and the 5th harmonic of air-gap flux.
= tg 1 (11)
Ee1 Ix e cos Fig.4 and Fig.5 show when the field current is 0.78A, the
From figure 1, the power factor angle is expressed as: maximum magnetic flux density in the calculation area is 0.1T
and the amplitude of fundamental component of the air-gap
= 90 ( + + ) (12) flux is 0.032Wb. And at this time, the iron core does not reach
Consequently the effective value of stator induced voltage saturation. However, when the field current is 40A, the
can be obtained in the following form. maximum magnetic flux density in the calculation area is
2.38T and the amplitude of fundamental component of the air-
U = Ee12 + (Ix e )2 2Ee1(Ix e )cos (13) gap flux is 1.125Wb. The iron core presents the quite serious
If calculated power factor and stator induced voltage are saturation.
satisfied with iterative conditions which are expressed by the
equation (14) and (15), the field current exerted is the rated CURRENT
value actually. Field current is 0.78A Field current is 40A
U UN Number of Amplitude of Number of Amplitude of
(0.1 ~ 0.2)% (14) harmonic harmonic harmonic harmonic
5 0.003016 5 0.1317
cos cos N 7 0.002587 7 0.1014
(0.1 ~ 0.5)% (15) 23 0.002207 23 0.07800
cos N 25 0.001713 25 0.07434
10 0.001374 19 0.04657
47 0.001270 49 0.03965
IV. CALCULATION RESULTS 49 0.001195 35 0.03843
35 0.000684 27 0.01340
A. results of no-load characteristics 27 0.000441 43 0.005777
The flux in the air-gap at no-load is of fundamental 43 0.000143 31 0.005574
importance for the machine design, modeling and operation, Under this condition, the harmonic of air-gap flux density is
because it determines the induced voltage, the power and much more serious compared to unsaturated from table . In
torque capability [1] [10]. The radial fundamental and harmonic this way, a careful choice of the harmonic content in the air-
components of the air-gap flux at no-load is shown in fig.4(b), gap flux is very important for the performance optimization of
5(b) and Table through Fourier decomposition. Fig.4(a) and the machine.

Calculation result of Sinusoidal distortion of Amplitude of air-gap flux
Field current If (A) Measurement values (V)
fundamental component (V) voltage waveform (%) fundamental wave Bm (T)
0.780000 11.326939 11.431535 17.816265 0.032117
1.548000 22.660183 23.094011 17.818969 0.064252
2.356000 34.785028 35.564777 17.822971 0.098632
3.150000 46.777707 48.093277 17.825859 0.132636
4.010000 59.792408 62.065154 17.826856 0.169539
4.655000 69.560483 72.746134 17.827143 0.197236
5.410000 81.005426 84.119934 17.827261 0.229688
6.325000 94.883414 98.322751 17.827281 0.269038
7.000000 105.126207 108.541851 17.827241 0.298082
7.680000 115.445666 120.550736 17.827180 0.327342
8.760000 131.828538 136.947484 17.827075 0.373795
9.450000 142.291424 147.455259 17.826961 0.403462
10.270000 154.712886 160.561110 17.826924 0.438683
11.040000 166.367523 171.934910 17.826916 0.471729
12.310000 185.550463 191.795759 17.827033 0.526122
12.860000 193.841015 200.109603 17.827245 0.549629
13.710000 206.623595 212.464899 17.827925 0.585874
14.490000 218.306698 224.473785 17.829212 0.619001
16.000000 240.664152 17.835967 0.682394
18.000000 269.084571 17.880746 0.762979
21.000000 306.004179 18.127551 0.867664
25.000000 340.524656 18.660283 0.965545
30.000000 366.815556 19.178953 1.040092
36.000000 385.126290 19.660082 1.092011
43.000000 401.114803 19.974594 1.137346
51.000000 415.644559 19.977967 1.178545

From the results in table , the no-load characteristic curve and the definition of boundary conditions are line with the
E0=f(If) could be acquired. With the comparison between actual generator and indicates the method so far presented
calculated fundamental component of induced voltage and produces results with good accuracy and can be applied for the
measured values, the error is less than 6%. The difference design.
between the calculated results and the measured values is B. results of rated field current
within an acceptable range. The fundamental component of air-
gap flux density increases gradually along with the field current Fig.7 shows that the stator windings are exerted on four-
raising. Simultaneously the iron core also achieves saturated group symmetrical three-phase current and the rotor is exerted
progressively. on filed current.

Fig.6. The contrast between calculated results and measurement values.

Fig.7. Stator current and field current distribution.
Fig.6 illustrates that the calculated results of fundamental
component of EMF are close to the measurement values. The When the stator windings are exerted on rated current, if
calculated curve shows a nice agreement with the measured stator voltage is satisfied with the condition of formula (14),
one. The no-load curve basically reflects the characteristic of the same with power factor and formula (15), the field current
magnetic saturation of the core. Therefore, it proves that the and power factor which have been exerted in advance will meet
computational model, mesh generation, the load of motivate the rated condition. Thus the calculation comes to the end.

The methods of no-load characteristics analysis and rated
field current calculation based on nonlinear with FEM are
elaborated theoretically and systematically. And the magnetic
nonlinear of iron core and structural complexity are considered.
The calculation model is matched with the actual generator.
This paper has completed the no-load characteristics analysis.
With the comparison between calculated results and measured
values, the error is less than 6%. It proves that this method can
be applied to electromagnetic field analysis and calculation,
8(a) 8(b) also can provide theoretical basis for the design of generator.
Fig.8. The stator windings are exerted on rated current. If =0. =46.65. (a) Furthermore, other properties can be analyzed based on no-
Distribution of magnetic flux lines. (b) The fundamental wave and the load characteristics analysis. In this rationale, the rated field
harmonic of air-gap flux.
current is calculated using iterative method. The result of field
current is consistent with the rated condition. The method of
this paper has high practical usability, which may be promoted
to the calculation of rated field current of the common
synchronous generator.
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Fig.9. The stator windings current is zero. If=24.06A. =46.65. (a) 1998. (In Chinese)
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IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 70-79,
Fig.10. The stator windings are exerted on rated current. If =24.06A.
March 2010.
=46.65. (a) Distribution of magnetic flux lines. (b) The fundamental wave
and the harmonic of air-gap flux. [9] Xiaofang Liu, Jinping Kang, Yingli Luo, Hongyu Wang. A new
method of calculating turbine generator load field current under iron
From fig.8 to fig.10, the fundamental components of air- saturation and magnetic field distortion, Electric machines and control,
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Finally, we can get the rated operating parameters after
iterative calculation. They are as follows.
Parameters Value
Stator current I=224A
Stator voltage U=212.23V
Power factor cos=0.9214
Rated field current If=24.06A
Angle between stator current and d-axis =46.650

Compared with the table , the results of rated parameters

are consistent with the actual rated condition.