Asee peer logo

Synchronous Machine Winding Layout & Flux Animation Tool

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Electrical Energy Courses - Labs and Projects

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1150.1 - 24.1150.21



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Herbert L. Hess University of Idaho, Moscow

visit author page

Herbert L. (Herb) Hess is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Idaho. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1993. He has written more than 110 technical papers in electrical power systems, power electronics, analog electronics, electric machines and drives, and renewable energy systems.

visit author page


Brian K. Johnson University of Idaho, Moscow Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Brian K. Johnson received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1992. Currently, he is a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Idaho, Moscow. His interests include power electronics, power system protection, and power systems transients. Dr. Johnson is a registered professional engineer in the state of Idaho.

visit author page


Clifford J. Chapman University of Idaho

visit author page

Major Clifford J. Chapman graduated from West Virginia University in May 2000 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He concurrently obtained a minor in aerospace studies through ROTC and a commission in the U.S. Air Force. Major Chapman earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho in December 2012 while serving in the USAF. After commissioning in May 2000, then-Lieutenant Chapman completed Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training, where he earned a military pilot rating and eventually became a senior pilot and aircraft commander of the B-1B Lancer. He completed three combat deployments and one overseas tour to Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guam in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and the International Security Assistance Force-NATO. Major Chapman has been stationed at Ellsworth AFB with the B-1B, and at Sheppard AFB as an instructor pilot in the T-37 and T-6. He co-owns a patent for a water-leak detection system with his father, James Chapman.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Synchronous Machine Winding Layout & Flux Animation ToolThis paper describes the development and application of a tool created in MathCAD® to illustratethe internal workings of a synchronous machine on video. Upon receiving a set of parametersand preferences, the tool creates an interactive animation of the currents, magnetic flux, andphysical rotation of the machine. The tool even recommends the best settings to obtain a moviethat loops to simulate continuous rotation in a fast or slow motion. This enables the student tosee what a finite element program might reveal about an synchronous machine but requires onlythe same MathCAD® readily available on a university-wide license.The program has an attractive level of sophistication. For example, its inputs are the following:physical dimensions, number of poles and slots, air gap width, frequency, positive and negativesequence inputs, appropriate motor or generator sign convention, power and torque output,resistances, reactances, simulation time and time step, and calculation density. The tool thenbuilds and displays an appropriate physical cross-section diagram of the stator created from thegiven dimensions, showing a correct number of slots with their windings properly pitched. Itcalculates a complete lumped parameter dq model, displaying its particulars on request. The toolthen creates the rotor from the given dimensions, a rotor with windings appropriately placed,pitched, and skewed. The rotor has a calculation burden appropriate for the animation.The program calculates flux linkage, illustrating it as an animated distribution of arrows similarto the manner in which finite element programs show this. The density of the points for fluxlinkage analysis and the information that their arrow distribution shows is another option, basedon assigned permeabilities and calculated topology. Calculations are based on a Biot-Savartmodel of the magnetic, consistent with Maxwell’s equations. The program updates these withevery time step as the machine rotates. A plotting algorithm, specially developed to illustrate theresults, shows an animated illustration of the machine’s currents, magnetic fluxes, and rotation.The tool calculates a companion phasor diagram to help explain the machine’s state and theinteraction of its voltages, currents, and lumped parameter model of internal behaviors. Thisanimated. phasor diagram can be displayed next to the animated cross section illustration of themachine. Animation controls, like all inputs and controls, are available on a graphical userinterface.The tool is intended not to replace finite element analysis, but to provide an illustration ofappropriate results gained at no extra cost to the student who is already using MathCAD®. It isappropriate for use in classroom and instructional settings. In presenting this paper, we willshow the animation, we will provide assessment data from use with students, and we willprovide a link for download of the tool.

Hess, H. L., & Johnson, B. K., & Chapman, C. J. (2014, June), Synchronous Machine Winding Layout & Flux Animation Tool Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23083

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015