You are here: Home » Study Plan » Subject



master degree course in AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING

Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Electrical Machines for Future Transportation
To be chosen by the student (lesson)
  • TAF: Optional subjects SSD: ING-IND/32 CFU: 6
Teachers: Michael GALEA
Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language inglese
Contents download pdf download


Michael GALEA


The objective of this course is to introduce the participants to the fundamental operating
principles of electrical machines as used in modern and future transportation vehicles such as
for the world of automotive electric vehicles, with a special focus on their thermal analysis,
modelling and management.
The course will particularly focus on the development of thermal models, through analytical
and numerical methods. A specific tool in Matlab will be introduced and tutorials and exercises
will be developed, thus giving the students the opportunity to develop a new skill-set in this
much-required field of study. The students will be expected to deliver an assignment using
these tools. This assignment will be the overarching output of the course where the
participants will develop their own thermal model of a case-study electrical machine, based
on the concepts developed during the course.

Admission requirements

The students are expected to be familiar with the notions of automatic controls and electronics

Course contents

Module 1: Electrical machines for future transportation (ECTS 1, 10 hours)
• Understand the concept and potential benefits of electrification in transport;
• Review the different types of electric machines and their principles of operation;
• Develop an understanding of current performance and R&D targets for electrical
machines in the various applications required for transport, namely propulsion
machines, traction machines and general actuators.
Module 2: Unconventional machines (ECTS 1, 10 hours)

• Review the details of so-called unconventional machines, with special focus on axial-
flux machines

• Review the concept of axial-flux machines and review the benefits and challenges.
• Introduce theory and operation of axial-flux machines
• Explore the potential of axial-flux machines for transport applications
Module 3: Thermal analysis (ECTS 2, 20 hours)

• Understand the importance of thermal management in electrical machines and drive-
trains in general.

• Understand the fundamental aspects of thermal analysis in general.
• Introduce and understand the common thermal management techniques for electrical
machines, in use today.
• Introduce and understand thermal models, based on analytical methodologies such as
the common lumped parameter thermal network.
• Introduce and understand thermal models, based on numerical methodologies such
as finite element methods.
• Implementation of analytical thermal models to the electrical machine world, first
theoretically and then through the use of Matlab/Simulink and Simscape.
• Simulation exercise: Develop a full thermal model of a case-study electrical machine
and thus deliver accurate thermal maps of the electrical machine.
Module 4: Inter-disciplinary design (ECTS 2, 20 hours)
• Understand the inter-disciplinary nature of machine analysis and design, focusing on
the thermal and electro-magnetic interactions.
• Understand the concept of different time-constants (between disciplines), the
challenges that time-constants represent and introduce methodologies to address
these challenges.
• Be able to develop thermal models that can take into account the other most relevant
fields, namely the electro-magnetic and the electric aspects.

Teaching methods

The course is delivered in English and includes face-to-face lectures (theory and calculations). The lessons are carried out with the aid of multimedia systems and can also involve practical exercises in which students utilize software for the thermal simulation of electric machines (Matlab). In addition, the students will be expected to deliver an assignment using this tool for developing thr thermal model of a case-study electrical machine,

Assessment methods

Assessment Type Weight Requirements Written Exam 60 2-hours Coursework 40 Design Exercise

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes:
On completing this module successfully students are expected to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the operation of modern electrical machines, their
constraints and their applications.
• Demonstrate an understanding of thermal aspects related to electrical machines and
drive-trains, including heat sources, heat transfer and heat management.
• Demonstrate the ability to use a commonly-available software tool, appropriate for
the thermal analysis of electrical machines.
• Demonstrate the ability of developing appropriate thermal models for electrical
machines, using analytical methods.
• Be aware of the inter-disciplinary effort required to design and develop high
performance and reliable electrical machines.


Pyrhonen, Juha, “Design of rotating electrical machines”, Wiley, 2009.