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Electrical radial flux machine design focusing on magnet recycling and reuse : Application to hybrid or electric vehicles

Abstract : Nowadays it is imperative to reduce the CO2 emission of automotives due to the climate changes. One of the essential strategies is to use new energy vehicles, such as Hybrid and pure Electrical Vehicles ((H)EVs). However, no matter what the energy storage devices (H)EVs have, they always need electrical machines to transfer electrical energy into mechanical energy. Permanent Magnet (PM) electrical machines seem to be the best candidates for (H)EV applications in terms of their outstanding performances. However, the supply and cost of PMs are essential for PM machines. The strongest rare earth PM is Neodymium-Iron-Boron (Nd2Fe14B) type magnet, or simply written as NdFeB. Commonly, in order to improve the temperature stability as well as resistant demagnetization of magnets, small portion of heavy rare earth element, Dysprosium (Dy) or Terbium (Tb), is added to the alloy. However, with a high demand of high grade NdFeB magnets, the supplies of these rare earth elements, including Neodymium (Nd), face serious challenge, especially for Europe. In this case, one of the possible solutions for Europe to tackle the rare earth supply risks is to recycle rare earth magnets. Demeter -European Training Network for the Design and Recycling of Rare-Earth Permanent Magnet Motors and Generators in Hybrid and Full Electric Vehicles, is an Europe Union registered project. DEMETER envisaged three routes for the recovery of rare earth PM from these devices, which are so called direct re-use, direct recycling and indirect recycling. Valeo and G2Elab are the principal partners in this project, and they mainly focus on the route of PM direct re-use. This doctor thesis is supervised by Valeo and G2Elab, and mainly focuses on radial flux type PM electrical machines, which are the most widely used type of electrical machines nowadays. The applications include Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEV) or small Electric Vehicles (EV). The new motor design not only needs to be recycle friendly for PMs, but also needs to meet all the strict requirements for the applications.With thorough literature studies, FEM optimization and thermal/mechanical analysis, it was found that an IPMSM design can fairly fulfill all the requirements and constraints. Then new magnet materials and assembly methods were implemented for the magnet recycling - a kind of bonded magnet was used for the IPMSM. This bonded magnet was made from a Hydrogen Decrepitation Deabsorbation Recombination (HDDR) anisotropic NdFeB magnet powder, with Sulfide (PPS) binder. It has the possibility to directly assemble the magnet into the rotor by injection molding. Thus the assembly of the magnets would not be constraint by their shapes. The disassembly of the magnets became easy as well – it is possible to heated up the rotors so that the bonded magnets can be melted down for extraction. Then they can be mixed with a certain percent of virgin magnets compound to make new bonded magnets without remarkable changes on performances. In summary, the entire recycling process is relatively easy and ecologically sustainable. Thus, based on this new concept, an IPMSM with bonded NdFeB magnets were fabricated. Series benchmark tests were carried out, for instance measurements of back-EMF, torque, efficiency, short circuit current and stator temperatures. In this thesis, apart from new design ideas of electrical machines, another goal is to evaluate e-machines with respect to the recyclability. The recyclability is quantified by two indexes, together they can be named Weighted Index of Recycling and Energy (WIRE). By using WIRE, the recyclability between different machines can be comparable, even with different dimension or performances. It was found that by using WIRE to evaluate the new designed PM machine, promising results can be obtained. The magnet reuse and recycling approach can gain environment benefit without economic losses.
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Ziwei Li. Electrical radial flux machine design focusing on magnet recycling and reuse : Application to hybrid or electric vehicles. Electric power. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019GREAT021⟩. ⟨tel-02392857⟩

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