MS student Reed Sanchez with advisor K. Haran

High-power-density electric machines are crucial to enabling electric aircraft. This work is developing a topology for these machines that addresses associated mechanical and thermal challenges, including expansion due to high speed, thin radial builds that affect rotor dynamics, and high electromagnetic loading which necessitates powerful cooling. These challenges have all been analytically mitigated through design. A physical model has been created for the rotating portions, as shown in Figures 8 and 9. The rotor radial expansion, rotor dynamics, losses and cooling power are being experimentally validated. Through these analyses and tests it has been determined that this high-power-density machine will neither fly apart nor burn up. This research was supported by NASA and the Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics.

Figure 8: Outside of cleaned rotor

Figure 9: Inside of cleaned rotor