Faraday Future designs motors for electric cars.
The following is an excerpt from Multiphysics Simulation 2017.
By: Gemma Church
The automotive industry is in the midst of a disruption, and the transcendence of electric vehicles from niche to mainstream is a driving force behind this change.
Challenges remain to improve the motor designs used in electric vehicles. One potential solution is the use of power magnetic devices (PMDs), a category of devices that includes motors, generators, transformers, and inductors. In simple terms, these components utilize an electromagnetic field to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy, or vice versa.
In the field of power engineering, and particularly in the design of PMDs, modern advances are targeted at reducing system losses, mass, volume, and cost, while simultaneously increasing power capability, reliability, and large-scale manufacturability.
MODELING, OPTIMIZATION, AND COLLABORATION COME TOGETHER
Achieving these competing objectives in modern applications requires advanced methods to optimize the design of various PMDs such as electric motors. These include computationally efficient device models in conjunction with state-of-the-art optimization techniques. Furthermore, the design constraints pertaining to electric motors represent a complex multiphysics problem from a mechanical, electrical, and thermal perspective.
Faraday Future, a start-up technology company focused on the development of intelligent electric vehicles, is using COMSOL Multiphysics software, a multiphysics finite element analysis program, to produce cutting-edge electric motors with high power density.
The organization is also taking an innovative, modular approach to electric vehicle design. Omar Laldin, lead electromagnetic engineer at Faraday Future, explained: My group develops motor designs for a generic set of vehicles, primarily suited to our variable platform architecture, which allows for modular development of electric vehicle powertrains. We can add or remove motors, adjust battery quantities, and collapse or increase the size of the chassis.
Figure 1. Finite element analysis (FEA) of a nonlinear-surface permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM).
To be able to do that, we have to design the motor for a...