Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Demerdash, Nabeel A. O.

Second Advisor

Ionel, Dan M.

Third Advisor

Johnson, Michael T.


In this dissertation, a model-based multi-objective optimal design of permanent magnet ac machines, supplied by sine-wave current regulated drives, is developed and implemented. The design procedure uses an efficient electromagnetic finite element-based solver to accurately model nonlinear material properties and complex geometric shapes associated with magnetic circuit design. Application of an electromagnetic finite element-based solver allows for accurate computation in intricate performance parameters and characteristics. The first contribution of this dissertation is the development of a rapid computational method that allows accurate and efficient exploration of large multi-dimensional design spaces in search of optimum design(s). The computationally efficient finite element-based approach developed in this work provides a framework of tools that allow rapid analysis of synchronous electric machines operating under steady-state conditions. In the developed modeling approach, major steady-state performance parameters such as, winding flux linkages and voltages, average, cogging and ripple torques, stator core flux densities, core losses, efficiencies and saturated machine winding inductances, are calculated with minimum computational effort. In addition, the method includes means for rapid estimation of distributed stator forces and three-dimensional effects of stator and/or rotor skew on the performance of the machine. The second contribution of this dissertation is the development of the design synthesis and optimization method based on a differential evolution algorithm. The approach relies on the developed finite element-based modeling method for electromagnetic analysis and is able to tackle large-scale multi-objective design problems using modest computational resources. Overall, computational time savings of up to two orders of magnitude are achievable, when compared to current and prevalent state-of-the-art methods. These computational savings allow one to expand the optimization problem to achieve more complex and comprehensive design objectives. The method is used in the design process of several interior permanent magnet industrial motors. The presented case studies demonstrate that the developed finite element-based approach practically eliminates the need for using less accurate analytical and lumped parameter equivalent circuit models for electric machine design optimization. The design process and experimental validation of the case-study machines are detailed in the dissertation.