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Pole Number Selection Strategy of Low-speed

Multiple-pole Permanent Magnet Synchronous

Xiaolong Zhang, Student Member, IEEE, Ronghai Qu, Senior Member, IEEE

AbstractLow-speed multiple-pole permanent-magnet (PM) I. INTRODUCTION

synchronous machines have been widely used in direct-drive (DD)
applications. Influences of pole number variation on various
aspects of machine performance, including power density, power L ow-speed multiple-pole Permanent-magnet
synchronous machines have been widely used in
direct-drive applications. Multiple-pole direct-drive PM

factor, and magnet-demagnetization, are analyzed in the paper. A

pole number selection strategy is proposed based on overall machines are preferred in a growing number of driving systems
considerations of machine cost and performance. A series of FE due to their advantages of reducing the weight, volume, cost,
models are built to illustrate the analysis and strategy. noise, or reliability risks associated with intermediate
Index Termspermanent-magnet machines, pole number,
components such as gears, belts, etc. Multiple-pole direct-drive
power density, power factor, magnet demagnetization
PM machines have been achieving growing success in areas
NOMENCLATURE including white goods, automotive applications, ship
propulsion, wind turbines, elevators, etc. [1,2]
Mechanical rotating speed Pole number selection strategies have been discussed in both
0 Magnetic permeability in the air induction machines and PM machines [3-5]. In conventional
A Electric loading machines, pole number should not exceed 8 due to the
Bg1Amplitude of fundamental airgap flux density produced limitation of the convertor frequency. In PM machines for
by the magnet direct-drive applications, rotating speeds are much lower and
Ba1 Amplitude of fundamental flux density of armature converter frequency may not be a critical limitation so higher
reaction field in the airgap pole numbers would be options.
Dg Airgap diameter Active and inactive material cost is a major part of the overall
E1 Rms value of phase fundamental open-circuit back cost. They are greatly dependent on machine volume and
EMF weight. When considering volume and weight in unit power,
F1 Amplitude of fundamental MMF produced by stator designs with high pole numbers are generally in favor due to
windings thinner yoke thickness. However this advantage diminishes as
g Airgap length pole number increases to some extent because the reduction of
g Equivalent airgap length yoke thickness will be very limited. Besides, the yoke thickness
I1 Rms value of phase current cannot be too thin due to mechanical considerations. When pole
IN Rms value of phase rated current number gets high, geometry sizes should not be the only
kw1 Winding factor for the main harmonic concern; other issues such as power factor,
kw Winding factor for the th harmonic magnet-demagnetization and their influences on the overall
la Axial effective length cost should also be considered in regard to selecting the pole
m Phase number number.
Ns Number of series turns per phase The aim of this paper is to make a general analysis of
p Numbers of pole pairs
influences of pole number variation on various aspects of
Pem Electromagnetic power
machine performance and then provide a pole number selection
Q Slot number
Tem Electromagnetic torque strategy to help designers in multiple-pole PM machine design.
UN Rms value of phase rated voltage Several multiple-pole PM machines for a 2-MW direct-drive
wind turbine are designed. They have different pole numbers
and their performances are calculated by finite-element
analysis (FEA). The results are summarized to illustrate pole
numbers influence on power density, power factor and
Xiaolong Zhang is with Huazhong University of Science and Technology, magnet-demagnetization of the machine. In the last sectiona
Wuhan, Hubei, China. (e-mail: zxll88@ pole number selection strategy will be provided.
Ronghai Qu is with Huazhong University of Science and Technology,
Wuhan, Hubei, China. (phone: +86-027-8754-4355; fax: +86-27-8754-0937;

978-1-4673-4974-1/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE 1267


A. Summary of Design Data

As examples, a series of low-speed multiple-pole PM
machines are designed for a 2 MW wind turbine. They are
designed based on the same design specifications (Table I) but
Fig.1 Geometry of 60-Pole Design
with different pole numbers. Their geometry, electrical
performance, weight, cost are summarized in TABLE II-V. A
cross-sectional view of 5-pole 6-slot unit of the 60-pole design B. Design Constraints and Common Parameters
is shown in Fig.1. In the six design examples, the same topology is used.
Permanent magnets are mounted on the surface of the rotor
Design Specifications
laminations. In the stator, fractional-slot concentrated-windings
Output Power MW 2 are applied. The pole/slot ratio is 5/6. Pole numbers are 20, 40,
Mechanical Speed rpm 18 60, 80, 100 and 120, respectively. Slot numbers are 24, 48, 72,
Rated Current Arms 1800 96, 120 and 144, correspondingly.
Efficiency % 94
To do a fair comparison, some basic dimensions and
TABLE II electromagnetic loading are kept constant, i.e. their airgap
Material Data diameter, airgap length, magnet thickness, series turns per
Material Type Price($/kg) phase are the same.
Magnet NdFeB 45H 82.5
Copper 11.4
According to derivations in [6], a sizing equation for
Iron 50W470 1.6 sinusoidally-fed PM machine is
Note: The prices are latest data from Chinese market. 2
Tem = k w1 Bg1 ADg2 la (1)
Geometry Data The electric loading A for a double-layer winding configuration
20 40 60 80 100 120
Parameter Unit
poles poles poles poles poles poles
is defined by
Slot Number 24 48 72 96 120 144 2mN s I1
Airgap Diameter mm 3000 3000 3000 3000 3000 3000
A= (2)
Stack Length mm 1140 1050 1025 1030 1065 1110
Stator Outer Diameter mm 3600 3360 3302 3274 3260 3254 The parameter selection has ensured that main winding factor
kw1, airgap diameter Dg and A will be the same, and fundamental
TABLE III airgap flux density Bg1 will be similar in each designs. Axial
FEA Electrical Performance Data
20 40 60 80 100 120
length la is left as an adjustable freedom to meet the output
Parameter Unit power requirement. It can also be derived from (3) that the open
poles poles poles poles poles poles
Line to Line Voltage Vrms 1039 816 794 792 816 854 circuit back EMF will be very similar.
Phase Back EMF Vrms 416 404 402 402 410 419
Line Current Arms 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 2
E1 = k w1 N s Bg1 Dg la (3)
Current Angle 180 180 180 180 180 180 2
Power Factor 0.61 0.79 0.80 0.80 0.79 0.76 Analysis in the following parts of the paper will be based on
D-axis Reactance 0.25 0.15 0.14 0.14 0.15 0.16
these design constraints and common parameters.
Active Material Weight Data III. POWER DENSITY
20 40 60 80 100 120
Type Unit Power densities over volume, weight and cost of the active
poles poles poles poles poles poles
Magnet T 1.77 1.63 1.59 1.60 1.65 1.72 material part of the machine will be discussed in this section.
Copper T 4.9 3.3 2.9 2.8 2.9 3.1 The volume and weight of the active part not only influence the
Iron T 34 15 11 8.7 7.8 7.2
active material cost directly, but also greatly affect inactive
Total T 40 20 15.2 13.1 12.3 12.0
material cost, assembling difficulties and transporting expenses.
TABLE V By exploring relationships between the pole number and power
Active Material Cost Data densities over volume, weight and cost, this section is aimed at
20 40 60 80 100 120
Type Unit
poles poles poles poles poles poles
evaluating the overall manufacturing cost of the machine.
Magnet k$ 146 134 131 132 136 142 Machine volume depends on diameter and axial length. As
Copper k$ 56 38 33 32 33 35 pole number increases, flux per each pole reduces. Yoke
Iron k$ 54 24 17 14 12 12 thicknesses in stator and rotor reduce if yoke flux density is
Total k$ 255 196 182 178 182 189
kept in the same level, so as stator outer diameter. The axial
length depends on many factors including effective flux by
magnet, iron saturation, etc.
Active material mainly comprises of iron, copper and magnet.

Iron weight is generally the biggest portion of total active s
material weight, as can be seen from TABLE IV. Machine kc = (5)
2bo bo g bo
weight tends to decrease as pole number increases due to the s arctan ln 1 +
yoke thickness reduction. This trend slows down when pole 2 g bo 2 g

number gets relatively high. where s is the slot pitch, bo is the slot opening.
As demonstrated in TABLE V, costs of magnet and copper This effect is significant in machines with open slots. Since
make up the majority of the active material cost. The usage more poles means more slots, narrower slot opening and
amount of magnet and copper are mainly dependent on consequently lower carter factor. The Carter factor calculated
machine axial length. for the design examples is shown in Fig.3. It is proved that the
Based on the basic analysis made above, it is very necessary equivalent airgap length decreases as pole number increases.
to find the relationship between the pole number and the
machine axial length since the axial length is in direct
proportion to machines volume, weight and cos. In the
subsections, some prominent factors on machines output
capability per unit length, including magnet leakage flux,
equivalent airgap length and iron saturation, are analyzed.
A. Magnet Leakage Flux
Magnet leakage flux is the flux that does not link armature
coils or only partially link the coils. The leakage flux reduces
the back EMF and the torque production capability. Fig.3 Carter Factors in Analytical Results
The analytical models of the leakage flux in surface-mounted
PM machines and interior PM machines are derived in [7] and
[8], respectively. It is found that the leakage flux component is C. Iron Saturation
greatly influenced by circumferential distance between poles Armature reaction will increase flux densities in iron portion
and airgap radial length. Longer pole distance and smaller of the machine, especially in iron teeth. Changing of the pole
airgap result in larger magnet leakage flux. number will affect the iron magnetic saturation level and
In the design examples, formulas derived in [7] are adopted. machine performance.
A magnet flux leakage factor kL is defined as the ratio of the The tooth flux density is proportional to the airgap flux
magnet flux interacting with stator current to the total magnet density. The expression of amplitude of stator winding
flux and can be calculated by fundamental MMF is given by (6). The airgap armature
k L = k Lg + k Lt 1 (4) reaction field can be found by multiplying winding MMF with
where kLg is the magnet airgap leakage flux factor and kLt is the airgap permeance, which obtains (7). It is shown that armature
magnet zigzag leakage flux factor caused by the flux reaction field is proportional to p-1. Therefore a small pole
short-circuited by one tooth. They have been well defined and number will be along with relatively high saturation level.
calculated in [7]. The magnet flux leakage factor is shown in 2mk w1 N s I1
Fig.2. As pole number increases, leakage flux paths are F1 = (6)
shortened and leakage flux component increases.
2mkw1 N s I1 0
Ba1 = (7)
p g'

Fig.2. Magnet Leak Factors in Analytical Results

B. Equivalent Airgap Length

The equivalent airgap length is larger than the physical Fig.4 Flux Density Distributions in Iron Teeth for Saturation Comparison
airgap length for slotted surface. This enlargement factor is
defined as Carter factor [4], which can be calculated by the Fig.4 shows tooth field distribution at the moment with
formula maximum flux density for the six design examples. The flux
densities are measured by the same scaling. It is observed that
the tooth is most saturated in the 20-pole design, designs with
higher pole numbers, i.e. 80, 100, 120, are less saturated than

other designs. When pole number is high, the saturation level
may not decrease further because decrease rate of p-1 slows
down and slot leakage flux increases. Thats the reason 80, 100
and 120-pole designs have similar flux density values in iron
D. FEA Results on Power Density
Back EMF and output power per unit axial stack length from
FEA results of the six design examples are shown in Fig.5.
When the pole number is very small, the power capability is
low due to large equivalent airgap length and high iron Fig.6 Power Density Curve over Weight and Yoke Thicknesses of Different
Pole Numbers
saturation caused by armature reaction. When pole number is
very high, the power capability is low as well due to significant
magnet leakage flux.
The power density curve over weight from FEA results is
shown in Fig.6. One can find that the higher the pole number,
the lighter the structure is. As has been pointed out, this is due
to thinner yoke for high pole numbers. To illustrate this trend,
the stator yoke thicknesses for different pole numbers are also
provided in Fig.6. However, when pole number increases to
some extent, the weight will not reduce significantly or even
increase a little because the yoke thickness reduction becomes
small and the axial length has to be extended to ensure power Fig.7 Power Density Curves over Volume and Cost
output. Besides, the yoke thickness could not be too thin to
ensure mechanical robustness. Therefore the pole number is not
the more the better for weight minimization. IV. POWER FACTOR
The power density curves over volume and cost from FEA
Power factor is the ratio of the active electrical power to the
results are plotted in Fig.7. These curves are similar in shape to
product of rated voltage and rated current. The power factor of
the curves of power capability per unit length because volume
the PM machine determines minimal VA rating of the
and cost are proportional to the axial length. The 60-pole and
convertor. Low power factor will cause convertor cost increase.
80-pole designs have relatively short stack length, indicating
Neglecting losses and high-order harmonics in currents and
potentials for low volume and cost. High pole number designs
voltages, a machines power factor is defined as
have some geometrical merits due to their thin yokes and short
end windings. Therefore the maximum power density over Pem
PF = (8)
volume and cost appear at 80-pole design and the declining rate mU N I N
in the high-pole-number region is relatively slow. Another The power factor of an electrical machine is dependent on
message from these design examples is that the magnet cost back EMF, reactance, current magnitude and current angle, etc.
makes up the majority of the active material cost due to high Adding negative d-axis current could improve the power factor
magnet prices nowadays, as shown in TABLE II and V. whereas output power might reduce. A simple and common
The curves from FEA results demonstrate pretty good control strategy is adopted for comparing the power factor, i.e.
agreements with theoretical analysis. It is proved that each full current is applied to q-axis and no magnetizing component
curve has an optimum point corresponding to maximum power exists. Neglecting the winding resistance, the power factor
density over volume, weight or cost. Luckily these optimum would be
points are very close to each other and it is not a difficult job to 3E1 I N
locate an optimum pole number region in which volume, PF =
3I N E12 + ( I N X q )2
weight and cost can be optimized as a whole. In the serial
1 (9)
design examples, the optimum region should be between 80 =
and 100. IN Xq 2
1+ ( )
Therefore in the view of machine design, power factor is
mainly dependent on the back EMF and the reactance.
Generally, high EMF and low reactance help improve power
factor since in normal condition q-axis current is significantly
larger than d-axis current. The variation of EMF with pole
number has been discussed in section III. The inductance and
reactance trends will be analyzed in this section.
A. Inductance and Reactance Trends
Fig.5 Back EMF and Output Power per Unit Axial Stack Length
[9] gives the expressions of different inductance components.
The airgap inductance, slot leakage inductance, tooth-tip

leakage inductance and end-winding leakage inductance are total slot permeance is four times original value and slot
respectively determined by inductance does not change since coil turns are halved.
0 mDg la N s 2 =+ kw
Lg = ( ) (10)
g' p =+
Lsl = 4m0 la Psl (11)
Ltl = 4m0 la Ptl (12)
Fig.8 Flux Paths and Permeances in the Airgap and Slot in Two-Pole and
Ns2 Four-Pole Topology
Lel = 4mq 0 (2lew Plew + Wew Pwew ) (13)
Q The synchronous reactance Xs consists of the reactances
where Psl is the slot specific permeance factor, Ptl is the tooth corresponding to the various inductance components discussed
-tip specific permeance factor, lew is the axial length of the above, i.e.
end winding measured from the end of the stack and Plew is the X s = X g + X sl + X tl + X el (20)
corresponding specific permeance factor, Wew is the width of the The reactance is the multiplication of the inductance and the
coil span and Pwew is the corresponding end winding specific electrical angular frequency p. The electrical frequency
permeance factor, q is the number of slots per pole and phase. increases proportionally with the pole number. It has been
It is obvious that the airgap inductance is proportional to p-2, proved that these inductance components are related to the pole
Lg p 2 (14) number with orders of -2 or 0 respectively. Therefore the
The slot specific permeance is roughly inversely-proportional reactance components are related to the pole number with
to the slot width and the slot width is inversely-proportional to orders of -1 or 1, i.e.
the slot number. Therefore k1
Psl Q (15) X s = + k2 p (21)
According to (11), the slot leakage inductance will generally where the coefficients k1 and k2 can be seen as approximate
not change very much as pole number varies, i.e. constants unvaried by p, assuming equal slot depth and same
Lsl const (16) pole/slot ratio. The coefficients can be determined by
Assuming that the slot opening is proportional to slot width, 2
0 mDg la N s2 =+ kw
then tooth-tip specific permeance has the same feature as the k1 =

slot specific permeance. The tooth-tip inductance is almost (22)
constant as well, i.e. p 2 (2lew Plew + Wew Pwew )
Ltl const (17) + 4mq 0 N s 2

The end winding lengths, lew and Wew, are roughly proportional
to the pole pitch. The end winding permeance factors, Plew and Psl + Ptl
k2 = 4m0 la N s 2 (23)
Pwew, are empirical values depending on the structure of the Q
winding. Therefore According to (21), the function of synchronous reactance to
2lew Plew + Wew Pwew p 1 (18) pole number is a concave curve. Obviously, it is desirable to put
It has been assumed that the slot number Q is proportional to the pole number into the valley region of the reactance curve so
the pole pair number p, therefore the end turn leakage that the power factor could be relatively high.
inductance is proportional to p-2, i.e. B. FEA Results on Power Factor
Lel p 2 (19) The synchronous reactances of the design examples from
(14)(16)(17)(19) depict the influence of pole number analytical and FEA results are compared in Fig.9. They agree
selection on inductances. It is seen that the variation trends of with each other very well and it is shown that the reactance is
inductance components with the pole number are different. The small when pole number is between 60 and 80. The power
airgap inductance and end turn inductance are related to pole factor from FEA results is plotted in Fig.10. As expected, high
number with a factor of p-2, whereas the slot inductance and power factors appear in the same region.
tooth-tip inductance are not greatly influenced by pole number Obviously, Xs will be relatively low in a certain range of pole
variation. To explain this difference, one can assume that pole numbers. Both very high and very low values of p will lead to
number is doubled and coil turns number is halved as shown in large Xs, poor power factor and unwanted high convertor cost
Fig.8 and see how inductances change. The flux in the airgap is and losses. From another perspective, if converter capacity is to
in radial direction. When pole number increases, the total be kept unchanged, then a rise of negative d-axis current is
airgap permeance does not change. Since coil turns number is needed and machine volume has to be increased to ensure equal
halved, the airgap inductance is one quarter of the original output power. Therefore, to minimize overall weight and cost,
value. On the contrary, the flux lines in the slot are it would be preferred that pole number selection falls into this
perpendicular to airgap depth. When pole number increases optimum range.
from two to four, slot width is halved, the length of the flux path
is halved and slot permeance per pole is doubled. Therefore the

The phase current in steady-state 3-phase short circuit fault
condition is in the demagnetization direction and the magnitude
E1 2kw1 N s Bg1 Dg la
I SC = = (24)
Xd 2X d
Assuming sinusoidal field distribution, the demagnetization
field can be found by replacing I1 in (7) with I3phSC, i.e.
2mkw1 N s I SC 0
Ba1 =
p g'
Fig.9 Synchronous Reactance from Analytical and FEA results
0 m ( kw1 N s ) Dg la p

= Bg1 (25)
p2 g ' Xd
= Bg1
where Lm is the magnetizing inductance or the main harmonic
component of the airgap inductance. To include harmonic
fields, Lm is replaced with the total airgap reactance Lg. By split
the synchronous reactance Ld into the airgap component and
other leakage components, RMS intensity of the
demagnetization field is given by
Fig.10 Power Factor from FEA Results
Ba , rms = Bg1 (26)
During short circuit (SC) faults, armature windings of PM It is evident that the demagnetization field is dependent on
machines will endure high currents [10]. The reverse field the proportion of the airgap component in the total inductance.
produced by the increased current may damage flux induction It has been shown in section IV that as pole number increases,
capability of some part of the magnets. This is called the airgap inductance and end leakage inductance will drop; the
demagnetization [11,12]. If the magnet demagnetization slot leakage reactance and tooth-tip leakage reactance will
volume is considerable, magnet flux will reduce significantly change little. The end leakage inductance is relatively small due
and torque production capability will be affected. It is to large reluctance in its magnetic circuits. Therefore, the
necessary to check whether the magnet can survive from demagnetization field will decrease as pole number increases.
various short circuit faults and evaluate possible magnet Or in other words, high pole numbers help reduce
demagnetization volume in the design stage. It has been demagnetization risks and possible magnet demagnetization
explained in [13] that large leakage inductance components volumes.
help improve demagnetization conditions. B. FEA Results on Magnet Demagnetization
A. Demagnetization Risks Evaluation Three-phase symmetrical short-circuit faults are simulated in
There are many types of short circuit faults. According to all six FE models. The time instants when demagnetization
fault phase numbers, there are 3-phase SC faults, 2-phase SC fields are most strong are found and the distribution maps of the
faults, 1-phase SC faults, etc. According to whereabouts the field along magnetization-direction in the magnets are plotted,
fault happens, there are phase-phase SC faults, phase-ground in Fig.14. Red areas are heavily-demagnetized areas. It is clear
SC faults, inter-turn SC faults, etc. According to the operating that as pole number increases, red areas are smaller and smaller,
conditions before the faults, there are SC faults from no load, blue areas are bigger and bigger, which means that
SC faults from rated load, etc. demagnetization risks become lower. For NdFeB 45H magnet
After an SC fault happens, there will be a transient process at the operating temperature of 90 , demagnetization knee
during which the fault currents change from an unsteady state point is 0.2T. All magnet regions where flux densities are above
into a steady state. The magnitude of peak current and -0.2T in Fig.14 are considered demagnetized. Demagnetized
steady-state current are dependent on the fault type and the fault area rates are listed in TABLE VI. In 20-pole design, about
instance. Therefore the magnet condition will also depend on ninety percent of the magnet area is demagnetized. As pole
these factors. number increases, demagnetized areas decrease. In 80-pole
3-phase symmetrical short circuit fault is a basic fault type. design, the demagnetized area is only ten percent. When pole
Generally, the magnitudes of other types of short circuit current number exceeds 100, no any portion of the magnet is
are proportional to the steady-state current of 3-phase short demagnetized. Simulation results verify the theoretical
circuit. The demagnetization field produced by steady-state conclusion that high pole number mitigates
3-phase short circuit currents will be adopted as an index of magnet-demagnetization.
possible demagnetization risks in PM machines. The most simple way to protect the magnets from

demagnetization is to increase the magnet material grade, e.g. reaction field, synchronous reactance and demagnetization
from H grade to SH grade, or to UH grade. However it may not field, etc.
be a preferred way because the higher-grade magnets have 3. Select a series of candidate pole numbers with reasonable
significantly higher prices and the magnet material cost makes values of these calculated parameters.
up a big portion of the total active material cost, as shown in 4. Build the model of the selected pole numbers in FEA and
TABLE V. Increasing the pole number would be an effective simulate their performance.
and low-cost method. However there is an upper limit to the 5. Compare performances of these FEA models with the
pole number increase. Because a high pole number may lead to threshold values set up in the first step. The pole number that
considerable magnet leakage flux, large reactances and could best fulfill performance requirements and minimize
overall cost is chosen as a baseline design.
consequently low power density and poor power factor.
6. Carefully evaluate performances of the baseline design
and make some adjustments if some performances are not
If magnet flux leakage needs to be reduced, pole number
should be lowered.
In machines with open slots, back EMF may be low due to
large equivalent airgap. In this case, pole number and slot
number could be increased to reduce airgap permeance.
If iron teeth are highly saturated due to heavy armature
reaction, pole number should be increased.
If power factor is too low due to large reactance, pole number
may need adjustment. Either increase the pole number to
reduce airgap reactance, or lower the pole number to reduce slot
Fig.11 Distribution Maps of the Field along Magnetization-Direction in the
Magnets When Demagnetization Field is Most Strong
and tooth-tip leakage reactance.
If magnet-demagnetization is severe, then pole number
TABLE VI should be increased.
Demagnetization Area 7. If all performance thresholds could not be satisfied, some
Pole Number 20 40 60 80 100 120 premises like basic sizes, electromagnetic loading or materials
Demagnetization Area (%) 89 82 65 10 0 0 should be altered or performance requirements should be
lowered. Then steps listed above must be repeated again until a
satisfactory result is obtained.
VI. POLE NUMBER SELECTION STRATEGY 8. An optimal pole number can be selected by following
In designing low-speed multiple-pole PM machines, it is above steps and other geometry details could be optimized
necessary to select an appropriate pole number when basic sizes subsequently.
and material types have been chosen. Based on the performance The strategy proposed here only considers some prominent
data, an appropriate pole number can be selected for the 2-MW effects on some main machine performances, i.e. power density,
wind generator. The volume and cost of the active material are power factor and magnet-demagnetization. There are other
relatively low in the pole number range between 60 and 100. factors that could cause considerable effects and other
When considering weight, high pole numbers are favorable. performances that may need to be evaluated. One of these
But when pole number is larger than 100, the weight will not important issues is loss. Since frequency is proportional to the
reduce significantly as pole number increases further. A pole number, increasing pole number would mean considerable
relatively high power factor of approximate 0.8 appears for increase in iron losses and copper AC loss. Another
pole numbers between 40 and 100. The performance index for machines is the speed range. Operating
magnet-demagnetization during the 3-phase short circuit fault the machine to wide speed range requires high d-axis
is severe for pole numbers lower than 60. When pole number is inductance. Sometimes selecting a pole number with high
greater than 100, the demagnetization volume is zero. It can be synchronous inductance helps improve high-speed
concluded that for this application a pole number of 100 would field-weakening performance. However, this may be
be an optimal choice of high power density, high power factor contradictory with expected high power factor in low speed
and low magnet-demagnetization risks.
range, which requires low q-axis inductance. These
A general strategy for optimal pole number selection can be
considerations could be added to the pole number selection
adopted by following steps below:
steps if necessary.
1. A series of threshold values for power densities over
volume, weight and cost, power factor and
magnet-demagnetization should be set up. VII. CONCLUSIONS
2. Calculate curves of relationships between some typical In low-speed multiple-pole PM machines, there is no strict
parameters and the pole number based on analytical limitations in pole number selection. Therefore pole number
expressions provided in the above sections. The parameters could be varied as an optimization freedom to improve overall
include magnet flux leakage, equivalent airgap length, armature performance. To do a fair performance comparison for
machines with different pole numbers, some design constraints

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these reactance components, is low for pole numbers in a Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on, vol.23, pp. 3619-3621, 1987.
certain region and the low synchronous reactance brings high
power factor and low convertor cost.
Third, magnet-demagnetization risks under short circuit
faults are evaluated. Derivation shows that the demagnetization
field is dependent on the proportion of the airgap component in
the total inductance. High pole numbers could mitigate
magnet-demagnetization due to their high leakage inductance
In the last section, a pole number selection strategy aimed at
overall performance optimization is proposed. By applying it to
a 2-MW wind generator design, this strategy has been proved
valid and effective.

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