R&D 100 Video: Solution for Magnetic Flux Leakage
Electrical motors, especially those which feature an airgap as part of their circuit design, all suffer from magnetic flux leakage within their magnetic circuit paths. When necessary, engineers compensate for these effects by installing rare earth magnets, optimizing stator and rotor structural configurations and adjusting electronic controller firing schemes. However, these measures are applicable to only some types of electric machines.
Developers at the Industrial Technology Research Institute sought to address this issue with a solution for all motor types. Their innovation, FluxMerge, a 2013 R&D 100 Award winner, adjusts the magnetic reluctance distribution across the pole faces opposite the airgap. The magnetic flux crossing over the airgap, as a result, merges toward the central axis along the magnetic circuit path to reduce leakage into the surrounding space. Reduced airgap leakage improves efficiency by about 1.5%, and offers the opportunity for more compact designs.