AUTOmated Manufacturing of wound components for next generation Electrical mAchines
Power density and efficiency are a central concern in all industrial sectors. For this reason, the arrival on the market of new power devices based on wide bandgap (SiC and GaN) semiconductors, with extremely short switching times, has raised a relevant interest.
Higher switching frequency enables higher fundamental operating frequencies of electrical machines, leading to smaller and lighter motors, generators and passive magnetic components. Aerospace industry is one of the main areas which can benefit of these advantages. However, to fully exploit these new opportunities, a number of challenges need to be addressed.
In fact, as higher operating frequencies contribute to improve power density of electrical machines, they also reflect on increased power losses in windings, as well as faster devices commutations are known to trigger faster degradation of coil insulation and cause greater susceptibility to EMI. Windings are currently a main bottle-neck for improved performance.
To cope with the desire of operating at high fundamental frequencies (>1kHz), coils are often required to be multi-stranded with small cross-sectional areas or litz-wire to reduce power losses and with appropriate insulation to withstand the fast switching edges. This in turn tends to lead to poor overall fill factors, large end windings, higher composite coil thermal resistance, higher losses and higher likelihood of winding failure.
Aerospace electromagnetic components require alternative coil winding manufacturing processes, which can deliver compact windings with high dimensional tolerances, high space fill factor and low losses.
The scope of AUTO-MEA is to develop novel methodologies and deliver an innovative and flexible coil fabrication system, which can provide programmable 3D formed coil shapes suitable for high frequency operation, effective coil insertion and automated welding strategies to form a complete winding system for aerospace wound components.