Utilization of Carbon-Based Windings Toward Next Generation Traction E-Motors

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Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Carbon nanotubes, CNT, Electric motor, Electric vehicle, Permanent magnet synchronous machine, Stator windings







Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


As the prominence of electric vehicles (EVs) increases rapidly, the desire to find methods of increasing traction motor performance has become of significant importance. Of various means to achieve performance enhancements explored by researchers, the application of innovative materials to motor design has been one area of great potential. Carbon nanotube (CNT) based conductors have become a material of great interest for application in stator windings. This research will explore the use of CNT windings for next generation traction machines and compare this unique material to those traditionally used for stator windings.

Finite element analysis (FEA) based simulations are conducted on an interior permanent magnet synchronous machine (IPMSM) model in order to evaluate the performance of various stator winding materials. Torque and speed characteristics and efficiency maps were generated for each winding materials to illustrate broad advantage of CNT windings in terms of efficiency. A drive cycle-based analysis was then completed to examine the performance of CNT based windings versus windings of traditional materials in real-world traction applications. Standardized drive cycles are applied to a modern EV dynamic vehicle model with motors containing each winding material type and the results illustrate the benefit of CNT windings in real world driving conditions. The thermal properties of CNT windings are then compared to traditional stator winding materials. The results will illustrate the advantageous performance of CNT windings over a wide temperature range, another performance indicator that greatly highlights the desirability of this new winding material.

Overall, this thesis seeks to fill missing gaps in current literature about the viability of CNT windings in traction electric motor design. The results are a clear illustration of this material’s ability to provide excellent performance enhancements to next generation motors when the material is commercially viable.