SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Jung Youl Lim
TIME: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 9:30 a.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 4211
TITLE: Distributed Multi-Level Current Modeling Method for Design Analysis and Optimization of Permanent Magnet Electromechanical Actuators
COMMITTEE: Dr. Kok-Meng Lee, Chair (ME)
Dr. Yan Wang (ME)
Dr. Jun Ueda (ME)
Dr. Yang Wang (CE)
Dr. Xinyan Deng (Purdue University)


This thesis has been motivated by the growing needs for multi-degree of freedom (M-DOF) electromagnetic actuators capable of smooth and accurate multi-dimensional driving motions. Because high coercive rare-earth permanent-magnets (PMs) are widely available at low cost, their uses for developing compact, energy-efficient M-DOF actuators have been widely researched. To facilitate design analysis and optimization, this thesis research seeks to develop a general method based on distributed source models to characterize M-DOF PM-based actuators and optimize their designs to achieve high torque-to-weight performance with compact structures. To achieve the above stated objective, a new method that is referred to here as distributed multi-level current (DMC) utilizes geometrically defined point sources has been developed to model electromagnetic components and phenomena, which include PMs, electromagnets (EMs), iron paths and induced eddy current. Unlike existing numerical methods (such as FEM, FDM, or MLM) which solve for the magnetic fields from Maxwell’s equations and boundary conditions, the DMC-based method develops closed-form solutions to the magnetic field and force problems on the basis of electromagnetic point currents in a multi-level structure while allowing trade-off between computational speed and accuracy. Since the multi-level currents can be directly defined at the geometrically decomposed volumes and surfaces of the components (such as electric conductors and magnetic materials) that make up of the electromagnetic system, the DMC model has been effectively incorporated in topology optimization to maximize the torque-to-weight ratio of an electromechanical actuator. To demonstrate the above advantages, the DMC optimization has been employed to optimize the several designs ranging from conventional single-axis actuators, 2-DOF linear-rotary motors to 3-DOF spherical motors. The DMC modeling method has been experimentally validated and compared against published data. While the DMC model offers an efficient means for the design analysis and optimization of electromechanical systems with improved computational accuracy and speed, it can be extended to a broad spectrum of emerging and creative applications involving electromagnetic systems.