Dynamic analysis of fast-acting solenoid actuators
There has been a recent revival of interest in the design of fast-acting solenoid actuators. This is due to the emergence of new control applications in the automotive industry constrained by tighter emission and noise regulations. In the context of developing a rapid computer-aided design tool for such applications, the thesis proposes several methods for computing the static and dynamic electromagnetic performance of solenoid actuators with a particular attention given to two actuator types : an axisymmetric and a rectangular solenoid actuator with a flat-faced armature. The magnetostatic performance of both actuator types is first evaluated by developing a detailed magnetic equivalent circuit in which the actuator geometry, saturation and end-effects are all taken into account. A comparison of the analytical model, based on the computation of the magnetisation characteristics and static forces for several airgap lengths, is given with finite-elements and measurements. In order to increase the computational speed of the static performance, the concept of magnetic gauge curve is presented. It is shown that this approach is in principle valid for any type of variable reluctance machine. Although the complexity of the gauge curve expression varies significantly from one device to another, it is shown that this method is an efficient way to store the magnetic data for a rapid computer aided-design or a real time application. When applied to the two previous types of solenoid actuator, it also leads to a very fast and accurate static force computation. The dynamic performance of the solid iron actuators requires the evaluation of the magnetic damping due to eddy currents. Based on a ID model of the flux and eddy current diffusion within an iron bar, an electromagnetic equivalent circuit of the axisymmetric is derived, in which the material nonlinearity, armature movement and eddy currents, a function of the previous parameters, actuator geometry and driving conditions, are modelled. A dynamic model of the partly solid iron rectangular actuator is also proposed and evaluated. In both cases a comparison of the transient current and force waveforms with 2D or 3D finite elements and measurements is given under various driving conditions.