Electric motors and generators contain rotating magnetic coils through which electrons flow. The resistance of electrons flowing through wires, together with the friction generated by rotating devices, causes heat to build up. Energy lost as heat is unavailable to do work, reducing the efficiency of the motors and generators. Excess heat can also cause structural problems as temperature builds up in structural components and induces stress. Heat can be dissipated with cooling airflow, but the physics of the airflow must be optimized for maximum effect.
Because all these physical effects are happening simultaneously, a multiphysics simulation approach is needed. Our engineers use ANSYS multiphysics solutions to custom-design motors and generators to solve challenges in hydropower, cogeneration, oil and gas, civil and commercial marine transport, military applications, and ATEX applications.
Marelli Motori was one of the first companies to adopt ANSYS Discovery Live when it was released early in 2018. Discovery Live is the first simulation solution to enable engineers and designers to make changes to geometry and other properties while a simulation is running and instantaneously view the results of these changes.
Even after the design has been optimized using mechanical, flow and electromechanical simulations, the challenge of building the motor or generator most efficiently and effectively remains. Our engineers want to facilitate the construction operations while keeping mechanical safety and reliability for each operating condition firmly in mind. This is the most challenging part of the engineering workflow, because while the engineers are trying to design a family of components to optimize heat extraction from the machine, they must simultaneously consider constraints regarding shape feasibility, production cost and ease of final assembly.
If you want to discover more about our R&D tools and solutions, please read Nicola Pornaro (Marelli Motori R&D Mechanical Technologies Coordinator) technical article.