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linear Electric Machines- A Personal View

Invited Paper

Abrtmct-The history of linear motors is P history of stupe. Once M ideparted from the cylindrial geometry of rotating machines, 1 w wodd Of tfiree;dimensioruldesign bcm posable. Lineu ink i eo a duction motors dominate the field of linear drives to the same extentas

does the rotary induction machine i relation to more complicated n rdjustrble-speed motors. It is thexefae thought appmpriite to devote only one section to l n a motors other than induction. A f8iriy full ier treatment of electromagnetic levitation is also included to@er with 8 treatment of oscillating machines. Perhaps the most importantfeatured are the division of electrial mLchines into two cksses which are termed magnetic and electromagnetic and the topological explo9ionwhichIsrtpresenttrldnsp~inlineumotordesign. Some linea machines ne already well established on 8 commercirl basis but the vast bulk of recent inventionsstill remain to be exploited.

A . What Is a Linear Motor? HE HUMAN MIND has an urge to classify. The fascination of his practice is almost as preoccupying as our delight in observing spheres inmotion, which latter satisfaction results in millions of man days being spent annually in the worship of ball games. Having defined a class of something, the next natural urge is t o f i d out when it was first done orwho made it and hence to writeahistory! Often however, it is difficult t o know where to begin, simply because the subject is not well defined. Who, for example, made the f m t wheel? Was it the result of observation of lumps of rock hurtling down a hiilside, or of the rolling of a twig under a human foot? Onething is certain,onemust define a beginning, or one cannotproceed t o write. In the case of linear electric motors the d e f i t i o n is fairly clear. A linear motor can be defined as being the result of a cylindrical rotary machine which has been mentally split along a radial plane and unrolled, as is the induction machine shown inFig. 1. T i does not in itself imply that there can be no hs linear machines which do not have analready-manufactured rotary counterpart, as we shall see, but the definition does not include electrostatic machines, nor is the subject of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) included. So much has been written on MHD, and most of this recently, that it is relatively easy t o obtain and its inclusion here is thought to be beyond the scope of apaper of this length. One other physical arrangement which may, at first sight, be thought to constitute a motor, is also omitted. Fig. 2 illustratesone such system. The row of dc-fed electromagnets are moved mechanically relative to a sheet of conductor, such as aluminium, thereby imparting force to the latter. This, and other similar systems, including those containing permanent magnets, are considered t o be clutches,and not motors. If the coils of the system shown

Fig. 1.

Imaginary process of splitting and unrolling a rotary machine to produce a linear motor.

Fg 2. i.
A row of magnets (permanent or dc-fed electromagnets) which are moved mechanically to impart force t o a secondary conductor do not, within the scope of this article, constitute alinear motor.

Manuscript received August 10, 1974;revised October 9 , 1974. The author is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London SW7 ZBT, England.

in Fig. 2 are stationary, and the current in them is switched on and off in sequence, so as to induce currents in, and produce force on, secondary conductor, only then is this a linear motor. In other words, a linear motor must comply with the alternative name for anelectrical machine-an electromechanical energy converter. There are however, some exceptions t o this apparently allembracing rule. Firstly, there are many applications for linear machines in which there is no mechanical output, because there is no motion. If electrical energy is fed t o a machine in order to produce force alone, this machine is considered to fall within the d e f i t i o n of a linear motor. It will be seen at once that this includes the subject of electromagnetic levitation, a subject which has recently become very important in relation t o the suspension of high speed vehicles. Secondly, in view of the importance of the latter subject, it necessary to make an is exception to the definition of aclutch, forone of the levitation systems presently being investigated on a large scale consists of asuperconducting magnet which, when moving, induces current into asecondarymemberand thereby proof repulsion betweenprimaryandsecondary. ducesaforce Although this lifting force is produced only as the result of mechanical thrust in a horizontal direction, the story of electromagnetic levitation would be incomplete without it.



B. The Pioneers of the Nineteenth Century Following Faradays discovery of the Laws of Induction in 183 1, engineers were not slow to exploit the phenomena and O H in particular HippolytePixii, in 1832, produced an ac generator which was undoubtedly the forerunner of our modem power stationalternators, having the secondary (output) coils stationary, with a rotating set of magnets to induce the electromotiveforce(EMF).This was aparticularlynotablecontri; bution, for in the early 1830s the only engines known were of the piston and cylinder type and ingenious linear-to-rotary converters such as the Scotch Yoke were invented to convert the linearly generatedpower into aform which could make wheel. Inthe 1830-1850 period use of the much-beloved I990 19 80 1 9 4 0 much of the ingenuity in electric motor and generator invenT I ME tion was restricted by the overriding thought that an engine Fig. 3. World activity in linear electrical machines, defined as money spent on the subject, plotted as a function of time. shouldlook like anengine.Even when quite goodrotary electric motors were designed their inventors still retained Fosbury flop had f i t been seen to be successfuldid the words such as the stroke to define a double pole pitch. One fashion change. magneticengine in particulardue to Allan (circa 1850) did Much is written about brainwashing. The most highly indeed have magnetickeepersarranged like pistonswith an developed form of this activity is that in which we brainwash overhead canshaft and four cylinders. Another feature (or perhaps fashion is a better. word) of ourselves. Even the man who invents anew method of analysis is liable to become obsessed with trying to apply it to more the period which placed considerable constraint on innovation was the emphasis which was placed on efficiency. A machine and more situations. Nature is not at all affected by tradition, had to work well andconsideration of overall economics although its rate of killing off the unprofitable is much slower than that of the managing director. Another way of expressing (now perhaps called total technology) was a century away. One cannot read a history of nineteenth century electric motor the sentiments of the previous paragraph is to say that what is obviouslyprogressive to nature gets done. This is not necesdevelopmentwithout having the greatest admiration for the sarily the case with engineering, for humans, quite apart from sheer ingenuity of the inventors. about until From 1850 about the turn of the century, designersof dynamoelectric any vested interest, have an inbuilt objection to change and it is this which called for the excuse we call tradition. machinery(as it was oftentermedinearlypatents)conTheexcitingthings in science and engineering occur when centrated much of their effort to the subject of shape. The dc machines came first, largely because of the discovery of elec- there is a breakthrough and a whole new technology is bow. troplating and of carbon-arc lamps, and there was a dominating Although linear motors date back to Wheatstone in 184 1, the duty to manufacture battery-like current. It is no exaggera- engineering profession as a wholewas so convinced of the tion to say that the future of ac generation and certainly of correctness of rotary motion, and the high efficiencies obpolyphase ac was not by means any assured until Teslas tainable with cylindricalmachines with tiny clearances between invention of theinduction machinein 1888 which was to rotor and stator that it put aside linear motors, virtually until dominate the world of electric drives. It is of historic interest the Westinghouse Electropult [ 11. In the meantime the whole to note that a physicist named Bailey demonstrated a simple field of engineering economics had gone through a reappraisal, twephase induction motor at a Royal Institution Discourse in one might even say revolution. First, power-to-weight ratio London, England, in 1882 and ended with the words but it and cost and later, reliability, low maintenance, and absenceof pollution had overridden efficiency and power factor criteria as will never be of any practical value. of quality. linear The motor, its with inherent reliability, It is probably true that the greater part of the population today assumes that highly sophisticatedmachinerysuch as reborn in 1946, was here to stay. One can represent the interest in linear motors as a graph of electric drills, forging hammers,andlawnmowers have been is done in designed. The sad fact is that technology advances in a similar activity plotted as a function of time and this manner to that of life forms, evolution-the elimination of the Fig. 3. The little activity which existed in pre-Electropult days waslargely carried out by textileengineers-amateursin the unprofitable, being the heart of the process. electromagnetic skills-but ingenious men who, as history Unfortunately,thehuman technologyprocessretainsone subsequently, would have succeeded but the for facet which Nature does not. This rather expensive ingredient showed is called tradition. It appears in many forms. A recent design cheapness of the Lancashire Loom and the mistaken belief in of a teapot manufactured in Germany was streamlined like a efficiency as the expression of all that was good in a device. The vertical (logarithmic) scale is based on an estimate of the racing car-perfectlyfunctionalandperfectlybalanced. Circular in plan view, many people did not like it because it re- rate at which money is spent on the building and testing of mindedthem of abedpan-anarticle often associated with linear motors rather than on the quantity sold, for developpain and suffering. Tradition dictates in large part to the way mentcostsoftendominate the early stagesof atechnology. in which we travel. The country which developed thesteam is legitimate to estimatetheexpenditurein Atsuchtimeit locomotive was slower to use air travel as a result. For a time, terms of the rate at which papers on the subject are produced. tradition dictated how a high jumper should approach his task As an example of the evidence supporting the graph of Fig. 3, and not until the Western Roll, the Eastern cutoff, and the a survey of linear motors undertaken in 1967 revealed a total




of just over 700 papers. Inthatyear, anaverageofseven papers per month were being published. By 1970 the number has risen to 12 and by 1972 to 18. It is concluded that the rate of rise at the extreme right of the graph is not an overestimate of the degree of activity.
C. Topology is the Key A view of a landscape reveals at once which parts of it have been made byman and which are natural. The manufactured articles reveal their origin almost entirely as the result of their shape [2]. Natures colors we canreproduceand in some cases (fluorescentpaints for example) evensurpass. But we cannot afford to develop the elaborate shapes of leaves, trees, flowers, feathers, and living tissue. We are dominated by the circle and the straightline,and inourprimitive wayhave developed both of these fundamental shapes in some detail. So far as the subject of electrical machines is concerned, the circular exercises have resulted- in all the varieties of rotating machineswhich we have come to regard as conventional (simply because they were developed first). The straight line, on the other hand, is the younger of the two shapes and did not produce fashionable electrical machines until the 1960s. This has not been a lack of willingness to try directgeneration of linearmotion so much as adisenchantmentwith early applications. The reason for the lack of success of such ventures is, however, twofold. Firstly, there arechangingfashions as regards what iseconomically profitable, but perhaps more important, there are definite limits to the extent to which the phenomena of electromagnetism canbe exploited. Within theselimitshowever there is much scope for inventive ingenuity, particularly as regards the shape of a machine. Indeed it would not be an exaggeration to say that inventions could be achieved by reversing the process which is traditionally said to be the mother of invention and could be described as: Findaproblemsolve it. The reverse process could be stated in similar terms as: Getyourselfa new shape of motor-find out what it can do. This latter process at once reveals itself as being very close to the subject we call biology-for in the study of natures almostinfinitely varying shapesand the speculation about their functions we find enough brain-taxing material to make a whole discipline. The engineerhas all such problems with which to contend, plus the fact that he is free to create his ownshapesin the fmt instance!Littlewonder,therefore, that he largely uses simple shapes and simple materials (mostly nearly pure metals) in contrast to nature, in which we find no pure metal. Onlyrecently has man discovered what is regarded as the fundamental building block of life itself-the DNA molecule. It could besaid (without modesty) that it is also only comparatively recently that the fundamental building block of an electromagnetic device has been isolatedand as aresulthas
A recent paper on the subject of linear motors with movingprimary described such motors as Rotating machines with the planet Earth as rotor. Whilst this is an obvious stretching of the topological imagination it is interesting to reflectthatwhilstplanetEarth is agood conductor some for purposes, as earthing such the of electrical equipment and even power transmission, it is an insulator in induction motor languageand mustbecovered with, atleast,asheet of conducting material before motors of reasonable proportior& may be made to worksuccessfully.Section I1 takesupthispoint again inrelation to the size of motors and its relationship to the secondary member.

made the profitable applicationsof electric machines stand out in every contrast to those which are unprofitable [ 3 ] . In particular, the progress of linearmachinedevelopmenthas been aided considerably by the isolation of such a basic building block. It can argued be that approach this to electromagnetic theory is oversimplified, that it is only one mans viewpoint, one of a number of different analogies which can be applied to the study of a four-dimensional problem, the basis of which none of us can truly understand, and this is not denied. The defense of this approach is F i t l y , that the theory is indeed simpleandsecondly, thatit haspointedthe way to m&y successful inventions. The new fashion in linear motors could besaid to have sprungvirtuallyfromthe abandonmentof analysis, and this is all the more surprising in that it occurred atthe very time when the universal digital computer was making its bid to dominate the world. The fault with a large part of analysis is that whilst it can predict the performance of almost any given structure to great accuracy, it rarely points the way to make a better structure. So far as the linear motor game is concerned, making better game is all about! machines is, at this time, what the An example of the use of the goodness factor in the context of modem linear motor developments concerns the proposal to increase the supply frequency to high speed motors so as to avoid the use of very long pole pitches which, at f i i t sight, inevitably result in excessive weight of motor, excessive leaktherefore low power factor) extra and end age flux (and winding losses leading to low efficiency. The goodness factor has pole pitch p , frequency f , and airgap clearance g among its ingredients with and other quantities considered constant could be written:
Pf G=Kg

whilst the synchronous(field) velocity

us = 2 p f .

If a designer hopes to make a better motor by increasing f , he is right, provided all otherfactorsremainconstant.But if he is constrained by a fixed speed requirement, (1) applies, and he will make machine better a fundamentally by reducing f and increasing p forthelatterterm is theonly squared quantity in the goodness factor. Detailed design will trim bits off the factor here and there but G is such a basic quality of an electromagnetic device that to ignore its simple messages is to court disaster. It is interesting to notethat Russianengineersdeveloped itsconcept separatelyandproduced an equivalent factor, which, to give it the emphasis it deserves, was named magnetic Reynolds number.

11. DIFFERENT TYPESOF LINEARELECTRIC MOTOR A . The Great Divide By the simple topological exercise of splitting and unrolling shown in Fig. 1, it is clear that every type of rotating machine
can be linearized. It does not follow that having done so, the linear version will be as useful as its rotary ancestor. Nor are successful linear machine types limited only to those which
a The

value of K is derived in Section 11-E (2).



require much labor and money to answer on a purely trial and error basis-the method described as experience. The basis of the division into twogroups requires some initial definitions.

(b) Fig. 4. (a) A drag-cup rotary motor carries no winding on its stationarysteelcore. The dotted linesindicatethegreatlyreduced available dot area due to a contracting geometry. (b) In a linearized drag-cup motor it is more profitable to have windmgs on both sides of the airgap. This i thedouble-sidedsandwich or sheet-rotor s motor.

B. A Definition of Airgap All linearmotorswhicharerequired to produce relative motionbetweenprimaryandsecondarymembers(or are at least capable of doing so, in the case of machines normally operated at standstill) have an interface between two the memberswhich usually consists of a thin wafer of air. In a rotating machine this is normally referred to as the airgap, but such description is not accurate for at least one class of linear machine in which the secondary conducting material is located in this air space. In such cases the length of the effective airgap is the distancebetween thetwo ferromagnetic faces. In such cases the French description of the airgap, even of rotary motors, the entrefer, is a much better description and a loose translation such as the air interface mightbe more appropriate. However, since there are many useful linear motors in service in which only the primary member contains ferromagnetic material, the words equivalent airgap will be used everywhere to describe the magnetic length which must beused inmagneticcircuitcalculations in cases where the airgapis not readily observable. This technique is merely an extension of that used in conventional design where the effect of theslot openingsin therotor and stator steel are taken account of by the use of Carters coefficient [SI which multiplies the physical gap by a number greater than unity to give an effective airgap length.
C. Definitions of Magnetic and Electromagnetic Machines With theconcept of aprimary-secondaryinterfaceestablished it is now possible to definecompletely which motors fall on one or other sides of the great divide. If there exists during operation of a machine, a magnetomotive force(MMF) on each side of the airgap interface, that machine is an electromagnetic device. In this context, a permanent magnet is to be regarded as a source of MMF, and it matters not whether an MMF on one side is induced from the other, or whether it is supplieddirectly.On the other hand, if there is MMF on one side only of theinterface,thensuchamachine is merely magnetic. The importance of the distinction is perhaps best emphasized in simple terms which arethereforesomewhatunscientific, for the term better is not yet defined. The facts are:

have proved theirworth as rotary drives. For example, the small drag-cup servo motor carries a stationary cylindrical iron core in the rotating form, as shown in Fig. 4(a), but it does not generally carry a winding. The reason for this is the constraint placed upon rotor slot sizes, should such a machine be contemplated, by the reduction in available perimeter for the slot bottoms imposed a bygeometry which is essentially shrinkingtowards thecenter.The linear counterpart of the drag-cup machine, shown in Fig. 4(b), is the well-known double-sided sandwich or sheet rotor motor which has beenmuch usedbecauseof the simplicity of the secondary structure and the fact that adouble-primary windinghalves the primary ohmic loss compared with a winding on one side only [41. It is possible, however, to divide both linearandrotary machines into two quite distinct gioups which are almost as fundamentally different as positive and negative ,numbers. This distinction is never .disclosed in textbooks on electrical machines nor inindustry,wheretheuninitiatedlearnfrom theirelderswhatmachinesareprofitable and whatare not, and the whole question of skill in assessment of performance is resolved by what is generally called experience. Yet the inquiring mind of the schoolchild may legitimately ask questions such a : Why are s hysteresis motors never made in 1000-hp sizes? and Why is it not good engineering to make 1-hp induction motors with 60 poles, yet most profitable to make 5000-hp induction machines with over 100 poles? The arguments in the following subsections provide the complete answer to these and many other similar questions, which would,in the case of new types of linearmachine,

1)electromagneticmachinesget better as they aremade bigger; and 2) magnetic machines get better as they are made smaller. The following two sections will explain the significance of the i l word better and w deal with statement 1).
D. The Basic Building Block It is possible t o visualize every kind of machine (either rotary or linear) as the interlinking of magnetic and electric circuits, a first attempt at such representation being shown in Fig. 5(a). A and B areprimary coils which assist each other in driving the flux around the magnetic circuit, during which it maycross the airgaptwice. C and D aresecondary coils which are short circuited in the case of induction motors and consist effectively of a single turn in manycases.



Fig. 6. Leakage flux, which is neglected in simpletheory,relating Fig. 5.




Fig. 5. Atopologicaljourney to discover themost basic form of electromagnetic device. (a) Two ahgaps with both go and return primary coils. (b) Reduction to a single gap and coil system. (c) The gap is absorbed into thewholeofthemagneticcircuit.(d)After lumping the coils of (c) together, the result is the most primitive machine.

Clearly there is no lossof generality by consideringonly coils such as A and C and a single airgap, as shown in Fig. 5(b), together with a circuit which is completed as shown. What is more, this structure can be a pictorial representation of the actual physical construction of some types of linear machine. In practice,theferromagneticpart s themagneticcircuit f contributes to the reluctance as well as the airgap itself and the system may be further simplified, for theoretical purposes, to the system shown in Fig. 5(c). T i is a suitable point the topological journey, depicted hs on inFig. 5, to point out the principal departure from reality, for whilst an electric circuit is clearly defined in practice, the magnetic circuit cannot strictly be treated in the same manner, no insulating varnish which will prevent for exists there magnetic flux from leaking between all points of differing magnetic potential. Fig. 6 illustrates the leakage fluxes which have been neglectedinthissimplifiedapproachtowards a fundamental electromagnetic molecule. Fig. 5(c) resembles very closely the physical structure of a transformer. In transformer theory it is often convenient to combine the two electric circuits into a single circuit by the process known as lumping, provided the leakage impedance of the resultant coil is the sum of that of one of the coils, as measured physically,and of that of the other multipliedor divided by the square of the turns ratio between the two coils, as appropriate. When t i is done,the basic structure of a hs machine is seen to be that shown in Fig. 5(d). No further reduction is profitable and the simple interlinking of magneticandelectriccircuits is the basic building Mock from which all electromagnetic machines are developed. Each real machine is capable of being represented by such a simple linkageandfromthisabstractionan overall estimate of its properties may rapidly be made. The basic linkage shown in Fig. 5(d) may be taken to a f i i t stage of quantization by




Fig. 7. A representation of electromagnetic action. Items in the center column are desirable. Items in the last column are the enemy. The two desirable quantities mutually self-generrte.

evaluating the principal qualities of the two circuits, and for this purpose use is made of Fig. 7.

E. The Factor of Goodness Horizontally, the two rows of quantities describe the linear relationship between EMF and current in the electric loop, and between MMF and flux in the magnetic lmp. The product of flux and current gives rise to the force, which commodity it is the purpose of the linkage to produce. Current in the electric circuit however, itself generates MMF in the magnetic, whilst the rate of change of flux in the magnetic generates EMF in the electric. Thus the desirable quantities could self-reproduce to infinite size were it not for the constraintsof resistance and reluctance. The product of these two quantities may therefore be taken to represent the badness of the machine. Evaluatingresistanceandreluctanceinterms of the lengths,areas and conductivities of the two circuits( I , Ae u, I , A , p, respectively) results inthe expression:
Badness a
le Irn


The dimensions of t i quantity may be shown to be time and hs to proceed to an overall factor of goodness, we may write

Badness X time








Fig. 8. Effect of the factor on efficiency with properties assumed constant.

Fig. 9. Two primitivemachinesillustratetheessentialdifference between electromagnetic and magnetic machines. (a) A machine otherwithmagnetomotiveforce on bothsides of the &gap. (b) The =me basic machine with MMF only on the stator.

It hasbeenshown [ 6 ] that for an acmachine the quantity kltime is equal to the angular frequency of thesupply a. Hence,

better can be achieved for any shape of magnetic machine yet invented. As example, the case of a simple reluctance machine wnow be worked, since this alone goes a long way towards l l i a general prooffor all reluctance machines. Fig. 9 shows two machines which are intended to be used as reluctancealternators.Both haveprecisely the samedimensions of magneticcircuit, the same number of turns of the same diameter ofwire ontheoutput coil. Thepermanent magnet has the same strength in each case but the difference lies only in the fact that the magnet (primary MMF source) is situated on the rotor machine (Fig. 9(a)) and on the stator, in (Fig. i.e., the same side of theairgapinterface,inmachine 9(b)). Since both machines have identical electric circuits which can dissipate their losses at exactly the same rate, the maximumcurrentfromeach is the same. Thusthepower output from each machine depends only on the voltage which each can generate when rotated at the designed speed. Fig. 10 shows the time variation of magnetic flux through l the output coil of each machine. In both cases, the f u can rise to the same maximum value, as dictated by the magnetic circuit design, for in the position shown in Fig. 9, the machines are electromagnetically indistinguishable. After a half revolution of the rotor however, the core flux in machine (a) will have completely reversed, whilst that in Fig. 9(b) will have gone of through a complete cycle events and the machineis returned to an identical position to that in Fig. 9(b), because its rotor is not polarized. Thus the frequency of the alternating flux in machine (b) is twice that of machine (a). When theflux waveforms of Fig. 10 aredifferentiated to determinethe voltages, machine (b) would realize precisely the same peak-to-peak voltage as that of (a), provided its flux F. Effect o f Size in Reluctance Machines value in the quadrature position fell to zero, for the loss of a Whilst the scaling rule for electromagnetic machines has been factor of 2 in peak-tepeak flux due to nonpolarization would proved rigorously for all shapes of machine ever made or yet be exactlycompensated by a 2 : 1 increaseinfrequency.In to come, an equally general proof has not so far been possible such a case the output of machine (b) would take the form of for magnetic machines, yet proof of the rule the smaller, the the dotted curve in Fig. 1 1.

Equation (2) is a simplifiedguide to all electricalmachine design, but especially so in the case of linear machines since it points the way to the successful design of machines which, by thenature of theirapplication,arerequired to have large airgaps in magnetic their circuit. The same equation also illustrates at once that electromagnetic devices become more effective as they are scaled up in size, for the second bracket alone contains the physical dimensions of the machine and a machine which is increased in size by a factor of two in every linear dimensionmust increase its goodness factor by four. The quantities in the first bracket of (2) are concerned with the nature of the materials of which the machine is made ( p generallybeing virtuallyequal to po in linearmachines in which the airgap contribution dominates the magnetic circuit reluctance)andthesupplyfrequency.The second bracket amazingly contains all possibledesigns and sizes of machine and it is therefore within this bracket that the designer must use his skill, the inventor his ingenuity, in attempting always to increase the value of C. The term goodness was deliberately chosen so as not to confine its usefulness to specific properties of machines such as efficiency, power/weight ratio power or factor, for every designer knows that any one or more of these quantities may be increased at wl at the expense of the rest. It is instructive, il however, to examine the effect of C on one particular quantity (the example chosen here is efficiency) assuming that no concessions are made in any other property of a machine of given size and output. Fig. 8 shows this effect and at once the region around G = 1 appears to be especially noteworthy, for machines having G greater than, say 3, are generally acceptable whilst motors with G < 113 usually have little chance of successful commercialization, except in very special circumstances. Overall, the slogan forthe designer of anelectromagnetic machine is clearly: the bigger, the better! Such machines includesynchronousandinductionmotors, all typesofcommutator motor, both single and polyphase, and dc machines.

Fig. 10. Waveforms of the flux linking the stator coil for the machines shown in F g 9. i.



machine (b)

mpchine (bl i d e a l i d

Fix. 11.

Waveforms of the EMF generated in the stator coil machines shown in Fig. 9.


(b) Fig. 13. Linear motors divided into two classes simply by the fact of whether theprimary or the secondaryis the longer member. (a) Short primary. (b) Short secondary.

Fig. 12. The magnetic situation of the machine in Fig. 9(b) a quarter of revolution later than that shown in the earlier f m e .

Fig. 12, however, shows that in the quadrature position of the rotor the flux is far from zero, for the reluctance of the magneticcircuit cannever beinfinite.Thus theoutput of machine (b) falls below that of (a) by the precise amount that its minimum flux fails to reach zero in the quadrature position, i.e., by a simple measure of the magnetic reluctance in that position. If now the dimensions of both machines are doubled, the reluctance of (b) in the quadrature position will have been halved (beingproportional to length/area) as will the reluctance in the in-line position. The designer cannot, therefore, look to increase in size to reduce his enemy(as can the designerofan inductionmotorwheretheenemy can be identified as magnetizing current). The fact that iron saturates implies that the output of a magnetic machine only increases as X area whilst its weight is increasing in proportion to (length)3.

number of pairs ofpoles. It is thus possible to change the speed of the driving mechanism, i.e., the rotating field, either by changing f or bychanging P. Either alternative produces high efficiency running, but each carries a penalty clause. To changefrequency using solid-state devices is expensivein the sheer bulk of such equipment, its first cost, its weight, and its reliability. To change P at first sight looks as if the motor winding must be replaced, but this is not so, for to a limited 6extent, a given winding can bereconnectedbyasimple contact switch to give two or three different speeds. Prior to the 1950s only two speeds in the ratio 2 : 1 were possible, but the work of Rawcliffe [ 7 ] , [ 8 ] using pole-amplitude modulation (PAM) andEastham [9] usingphase modulationmade possible almost any two or threespeeds within the range which Goodness factors. In are acceptable on the basis of their addition, continuous pole stretching is possible using phase shifting regulators provided the energized section of the primary does not extend completely around the periphery in the case of a rotary motor [ 101.




A . Some Facts Concerning AI1 Types of Induction Motor The rotary induction motor dominates the world of electric drives. The reason is simple to appreciate. It requires neither electrical, nor in the ultimate designs, physical contact between primary and secondary members. The inherent robust nature of the secondary member makes it an obvious choice and its dominance would be complete, were it not for its one disadvantage-that of being essentially a fmed speed machine. For an induction motor to develop torque, there mustbe relative speed between its traveling magnetic field and its secondary,and,therefore,theremustbesecondarycurrent and Z2R loss. For every unit of torque, there is an appropriate fraction of a unit of loss, and if speed control is sought by the process of allowing greaterrelativespeedbetween field and rotor,theefficiencyunavoidably falls inproportion to the amount of speed reduction. The speed w of the field of a rotary machine is generally quoted as w = f / P where f is the supply frequency andP is the

B. Essential Differences between Linear and Rotary Machines The unrollingprocessdepictedin Fig. 1introducesmany new features not normally considered in conventional rotating machines. The most obvious of these is that if primary and secondary are of equal length and linear motion is allowed to proceed, a piece of the primary member at one end at once loses its secondary counterpart whilst a portion of the secondaryhangs freelyfrom the other end. If motion is sustained even for a short period, the two parts of the motor will part companyentirely! Thusforcontinuedmotiononeorother membermustbelengthened.Whetherthismemberbe the primary or the secondary is usually a vital choice in the design of a linear motor for any specific application, for clearly linear motorsmaybe divided into two maingroups as shown in Fig. 13:
1) short primary machines in which the secondary is elongated; and 2) short secondary machines with elongated primaries. In either group, either the primary made the moving member.
C. Edge Effects

or the secondary may be

The behavior of linear motors in the two groups is different from each other and both are different from that of a rotary machine. A large part of these differences is due to the fact that either the primary or the secondary member of the flat machines a has start and a f i i h in the direction of motion. These front and back edges set up transient currents in the opposing member which affect the characteristics of the machine to a greater or lesser extent depending on the number



10 .

. I . 075

. 05

, I .



Fig. 14. Effect of theexit

edgeloss on thespeed-thrust curve of a linear motor.





kngth of motor Maqnetic length



Fig. 15. Effect of a very large airgap is seen to make a linear motor appear longer than it really is, due to flux spreading at the ends.

of poles which are contained the total length of the machine. in Summarizing these additional effects, those associated with a short secondary are generally less detrimental than those of a short primary, for thesame number of poles. A short-secondary machine is practically indistinguishable from an equivalent conventional machinewhen its lengthis greater than two poles. A short-primary motor, however, may remain sensitive to edge effects (depending on which typeis being considered) for up to 8-poles length, or even greater numbers. The nature of these edge effects may also be summarized as follows with respect to short primary machines. 1) There is secondary current and secondary Z2R loss which is not associated with a corresponding amount of useful thrust, as is the case in a motor with noedges, i.e., a rotary motor. 2) There are reactive volt-amperes drawn from the supply which cannot be accounted for either as being due to magnetization or to leakage reactance. The physical nature of this phenomenon is thought t o be due .Lo the continual removal of magnetic energy at the exit edge of a machine, this in turn being due to the fact that short circuited loops on the secondarymemberpreventaninstantaneousreduction to zero of flux which threads them at the instant they leave the active zone of the machine. (It is possible that when the nature of this consumer of reactive volt-amperes is fully understood, it may lead to the invention of the unity power factor induction motor, for rarely in nature is an effect restricted to one side or other of a zero.) 3) The exit edge effect also produces a backward thrust on the secondary which subtracts from the thrust performance in the region of a speed-thrust curve as shown in Fig. 14. This action is stillpresent atsynchronousspeedandthereforea short primary motordoesnot normallyrunlight atthe speed indicated by the formula us = 2pf. Generally, the running light speed is lower than this value. 4) If, however, the airgap is large, flux spreading at the edges, as shown in Fig. 15 creates a situation in which the physical length of the machine appears to have been increased and such

Fig. 16. Standing waves are set up in the core of a linear motor as the result of the splitting process which imposes impenetrable boundaries at the resulting edges. (a) Flux pattern in rotFry machine at one ifstant of time. (b) Result of splittingalong A A . (c)Fluxpattern cycle later than that shown in (b).

motors can run light at speeds in excess of those calculated in terms of the winding pitch. 5 ) In a rotary machine, as shown in Fig. 16(a), the flux from each pole divides equally left and right as it enters the core region, so that the core depth d is only required to be large enough to accommodate the flux from the teeth in h,alf a pole pitch.If,however, the machine is splitalong A A andunrolled, as in Fig. 16(b), there appears to be no change in the situationwith regard to the coreflux. Fig. 16(b)however represents a particularly fortuitous instant of time in a cycle of events and cycle later in time the situation is as shown in Fig. 16(c). The ends of the machine are now to be seen as virtually impenetrable barriers to the emanation of flux forwards or backwards in the direction of motion and the whole of the flux from the teeth of one pole pitch must pass longitudinally through the core. An alternative way of describing this phenomenon (and this explanation emerges naturally from a mathematical treatment of theboundaryeffects) is to say that the front andback edges set up, in addition to the traveling magnetic field, superimposed standing waves which may in the worst casenecessitate doubling the core depth of a short primary machine in relation to thecore depth of an equivalent rotary motor. Short secondary machine edge phenomena, whilst none the less complicated if a rigorous mathematical calculation is attempted, are easier to summarize. If the secondary member is the equivalent of a cage rotor oris in the form of continuous sheet conductor where thecurrentinitis entirelyfree to choose its own paths, then secondary current density tends to increase towards the edges andexternally the secondary appears to have beenconstructedfrommaterialwhichhasa higher resistivity than that which is known to have been used.



D. Series and Parallel Connection The foregoing summarization of the behavior of short primary and short secondary linear induction motors was at one time in the late 1950s thought to be the sum total of all there was to know about the edge effects of these machines. It is now realized that such knowledge represents but a small fraction of what there is to know. The old-fashioned approach has been used here simply because one has to make a beginning somehow, and the subject if treated as awhole would be almost entirely unpalatable. (This is true of many aspects of (b) science and leads to the almost inevitable result that the various Fig. 17. Mean flux and current distributions in a short-primary linear aspects tend to be taught historically [ 1 11 .) motor. (a) Withprimary coils connected in series-primary current Section I I I C is a reasonable summary only for very special fued. (b) Withprimary coils connected in parallel-gap flux density fured. Current density is indicated by the size of cross-sectioned classesof machine, namely: 1)those which resultfrom the conductors. splitting and unrolling of a conventional rotary motor, whose primary coils 2) are connected in series. I this paragraph, only alterationsto 2) will be dealt with for n As an example of the way in which a change from series t o the possibilities of departing from the topology dictated by 1) parallel affects the performance of linear induction motors, a are semi-infite and the history of linear motors can be said connected in primary motor is shown in Fig. 17(a) without exaggeration to have only just begun! Topological short series, Fig. 17(b) in parallel. In Fig. 17(a), short-circuited considerations however are developed more fully in Section V. The basic properties of a conventional motor are scarcely af- loops of the secondary entering the active zone are reluctant fected bythe method of connectionof the primary coils. t o tolerate rapid changes of flux and hence tend to wipe the back end of the machine. The secondary Voltage and current ratings can be interchanged at will by the fluxtowardsthe MMF at the entry edge, will, in the absence of magnetising designer simply by changing the number of turns per primary coil and reconnecting coil groups in series or parallel as desired. current, i.e., assuming in the first instance a perfect magnetic The efficiency, power factor, weight, power output, and cost circuit, be equal and opposite to that of the primary and the are scarcely affected by these manipulations. What is not resultantflux just inside theentry edge will be zero. The generally realized is that this is entirely due t o the cylindrical primary coils, being in series are all required to pass the same symmetry which exists (or should exist) in a rotary machine. current and the coils further down the primary are unable t o The fact that unbalanced magnetic pull (a magnetic rather than assist the firstcoil at the entry edge in imposing its will an electromagnetic effect), which occurs when there is some upon the secondary. The flux distribution in a series, short primary machine is slight departure from symmetry, is affected by the choice of always distorted and pushed largely towards the exit end of series or parallel primary connections can be compared to the first few drops of rain of a thunderstorm, for after linearization the machine. If, however, all coils of the same phase are connected in takes place, a seriesconnected primary linear motor is as difparallel, as in Fig. 17(b), each coil will demand a flux, as dicferentfrom a parallel-connected machine as the proverbial tatedby (3) and the rms flux density will be uniformas chalk from cheese. shown.3 The secondary conductors now receive enormous Basic physics teaches us that it is electric current which sets up magneticflux. Theac machine designer may, however, current pulses as theyenter and leave the active (primary) zone, currents which reflect in equally large primary currents. more profitably regard the voltage as the originator and controller of flux, for the following reason. If a magnetic circuit It is at once apparent that these primary currents exist at this be surrounded by a coil of N turns connected to a source of level continuously whilst those in the secondaryare merely EMF E of angular frequency w , the flux through the coil is transient. It is for this reason alone that seriesconnected short determined absolutely (in the absence of coil resistance), for primary machines have been virtually the only machines to be the only voltage which can and must oppose E is that produced studied and manufactured to date. Much theoretical study is by arateof change of flux. Expressed mathematically in required on possible series-parallel hybrid connections. In short secondary machines, however, parallel connection is terms of the reluctance 61 of the magnetic circuit: generally preferred, otherwise the short-circuited secondary inductance of a coil of N turns = N 2 / R will reduce the flux in the active zone t o a very low level, as reactance atfrequency w = N 2 w/61 shown in Fig. 18, and the bulk of the primary volt-amperes rms currentsupplied from rms voltage E = E61/N2w will be wasted in setting up useless flux, resulting in a very low MMF of coil is therefore N(E61/N2w)= E611Nw. power factor indeed. It is interesting, however, at this point, to introduce another Flux threading coil is thus rule of thumb which can be most useful for the linear-motor designer. In this case it has no mathematical standing, rather it is a result of the size of useful electric devices and the size of
Equation (3) shows that it is possible to change the parameters of the magnetic circuit (length, area, permeability) in any way whatsoever, without changing the total flux through the coil (in the absence of leakage).
It must be emphasized that the instantaneous flux and cursent distributions in the airgaps shown in F g 17 will be cyclically distributed. i. The flux lines shown represent the envelopes of the flux and current waves only.



Fig. 18. Mean flux distribution i a seriecconnectedshort-secondary n motor.

men-a coincidence in fact. This rule might be phrased shortcircuited iron is equivalent to air. The interpretation of this rule in practice can be illustrated by measuring the input impedance of a short-circuited transformer and comparing it with the measured impedance of the primary coil alone, if removed entirely from the rest of the apparatus! Applying this to the case of the parallel-connected short secondary machine is a means of demonstrating (although not proving) the rule, for the fluxin the zone occupied by the secondary is still dictated by (3) and hence a uniform flux distribution obtains from end-toend of the motor. Langsdorf [ 121 in his excellent book of ac machines makes reference also to the rule in connection with the measurement of zero-sequence reactance of alternators in which, having specified that the test be carried out with a spinning, short-circuited rotor, he concludes delightfully and enigmatically almost the same result will be obtained the stationary with rotor or removed entirely!

occur in two axes, only the less potent of which can be used. Suchappears to be the ultimate frustration of the machine designer. The fact that magnetic mechanisms improve with reduction in size suggests, however, that in large electromagnetic devices the radialpull (in the case of rotary motors) might present less of a problem, and this is indeed the case. It is moreprofitable however to evaluate magnetic pull in terms of the relative values of flux densityB and current loading J , because it is a feature of all induction motors that when the goodness factor is high the pattern of primary currents is very largely mirrored in the secondary, the slight tangential displacement between them being responsible for the electromagnetic torque or force which it is the object of the designer to maximize. But currents flowing in opposite sense in a pair of parallel conductors cause the conductors to repel each other, so there exist also in rotary machines repulsive radial forces between J (stator) and J (rotor), J and J differing onlybythe nearly negligible (for high G ) magnetizing current [ 131. The radial pull F, can therefore be evaluated as

F, =

(& 7 )

Po J2

per unit area

perhaps, therefore, better described as a pressure, for such is its dimension. Examination of typical values of B and J reveals that in conventional designs it is not uncommon to have values of gap flux density as high as 1.0 T, whilst typical values of J are of E. Magnetic Pull the order of 20 000 A/m. The ratio of B i and k J z is thus of The forces which are used in electrical machines can be de- the order of 1500 and magnetic pull can safely be calculated per scribed in mechanical terms as shearing stresses for they take simply as B i / 2 ~ o unit area. The value of BJ obtained using these numbers is also seen t o be of the order of one twentieth place tangentially in rotary machines, perpendicular tothe main airgap flux direction (which is true of both rotary and that of B 2 / 2 h , as suggested earlier. With linear motors, however, the situation may be quite diflinear types). Engineers since Boucherot (1905) have lamented ferent. When a designer tackles the problem of making a highly the fact that in rotary motors there are radial magnetic forces of the order of 20 times those which the designer seeks t o ex- efficient induction motor with a large airgap he finds, almost ploit. Boucherot made a very serious and very nearly success- inevitably, that if his machine is of the type obtainable by s ful attempt to harness these radial forces by arguing that To simple splitting and unrolling of a rotary design, he must u e wide slots and narrow teeth. This fact tempts us to look at all assume that rotary motion is natural motion is begging the question, and he proposed reciprocating motion (mechanical types of induction machine, both linear and rotary for thepaspring-turned) and produceda rotary version oscillating tor- rameters which fix the ratio of slot pitch to slot width in the sionally. The only mistake he made was to be unaware of the primarymember and the result of such investigation is so great divide and that changes of reluctance can only be ex- potent that a shortened form of the proof from the original paper is quoted here [ 141. ploited in small-sized devices. An efficient induction motor is essentially required to operThe rotary machine designer womes about the radialpull ate at low values of slip. This requirement is also reflected in only because of its nuisance in making such severe demands on the accuracy of cylindrical symmetry required. In the linear the goodness factor approach and it is usually foundthat slip s where l machine, the magnetic pull is able t o exert its entire effect a l successful commercial induction motors run at over the pole surface and such force must be opposed by 3/G> s > 1/G. The goodness factor relates the magnetizing mechanical means. This facet of linear motor design played a component of the primarycurrent to the total current and big part in the development of the double-sided sandwich these two quantities can be translated into current loadings motor, for the ferromagnetic parts of the primary and secon- Jm and J , so that J, = J m d m . The relationship bedary are designed t o have no relative velocity and can therefore tween airgap flux density Bgand magnetizing current loading has been shown t o be [ 61 be rigidly separated by struts. In single-sided motors, the whole magnetic pull requires to be contained by a rolling fricBg = pI.6 Jm / W tion device. In the earlydays of linear motors this fact in- where g is the airgap lengthand p the pole pitch of the hibited development, and for most engineers, ruled out all of machine. its possibilities. Combining these equations andrepresenting the slip conHaving discussed the differences between magnetic and elec- straint as a restricted number k tromagnetic machines it would now appear as if the phenomena of both exist in a machine of the latter kind although essentially in different axes. In the former class, magneticforces

2 60



In a conventional rotary machine the value of g is usually so small that Bg/J, has a high value (of the order of 1/20 000). In very small drag-cup servo motors the evidence supporting (5) is to be found in the fact of stator slots occupying 80percent or more of a slot pitch. The same is true of linearized rotary designs where the airgapmust of necessity be much larger thaninitsrotarycounterpart. In addition,thefull speed working slip is governed by edge effects rather than by the other dictates of conventional machine design which lead to the empirical formula 3/C> s > 1/G. For a short primary machine the designer will normally a m at a full load slip at i least as great as l/(n + 1) where n is the number of poles on the primary [ 151.Taking a value of C of 10 (a reasonable value fora large airgapmachine,although low byrotating machine standards) andn = 4 :

J~ = J , ~ I
whence (5) becomes

+ [ G / ( n+ 1)12 =&J,

replacing its imperfections by series inductors (in the case of leakageflux)and by parallel inductors and resistors (in the case of reluctance andloss components). A complete dualof the electricequivalent circuit has recently been developed to meet the new situation introduced by linear motor development. lust as the electric equivalent network is extremelyusefulinconventionalmachinestudieswhere all F. A New Technique in Megnetic Circuit Design machines are to be run from a fixed voltage, i.e., in parallel, so Enough evidence has already presented been that linear the magnetic equivalent circuit is best suited to solve problems motors offer the possibility of completely new shapes of mag- involving parallel magnetic circuits. The technique [ 17 1 conneticcircuit.There is nofundamentalreason,forexample, sists of representing all reluctances, whether as the result of why the magnetic circuit (or indeed the electric) need lie in a ferromagnetic limbs or physical airgaps as in-phase elements plane. In particular it becomes necessary to design machines of a circuit(cf.resistorsinelectriccircuits),connecting tohaving magnetic circuits which operate in parallel. Such situa- gether the variouscircuitcomponents in precisely the same tionsarerare in rotatingmachines, the shadedpole motor way as are the limbs and gaps of the actual machine. Where a being the almostuniqueexample. Where bothelectric and coil surrounds a limb and is itself connected to a resistor, the magneticcircuitsareinterwovenin series-parallel combina- magneticcircuit is considered to have been brokenatthat tions, analysisand prediction of performance becomes difficult, section and a 90 lag element inserted whose value is N 2 / R not because a computing machines storage capacity is insuffi- where N is the number of t u r n s on the coil and R the total recient, but because the programmer is never really sure that he sistancein the coiland its external circuit (cf. inductors in has properly expressed the problem correctly in respect of the electric circuits where L = N 2 / @ and a is the reluctance of the (usually artificial) boundary conditions which he has chosen. externalmagneticcircuit). If the coilsurroundingthe magThe electric equivalent circuit technique is much used in manetic limb is entirely inductive and carries an all-inductive load chine problems because it removes the process of arranging the (total inductance L ) , the element to be introduced into the inevitable simultaneous equations in the easiest form for solu- magnetic circuit is an in-phase component-a fictitious reluction and presents the designer with a physical picture of the tance of value N 2 / L . If two elements in the electric circuit are machine as wellas enabling solution, usually by means of a in series they are to be connected as magnetic circuit elements simple p or j operator. The electric equivalent circuit, among in parallel and viceversa. Fig. 19 shows an example of magother things, seeks to obscure the magneticcircuitsreality, netic circuit building which illustrates all these points in the technique. The analog has more recently been extended by Carpenter This equationcannotbejustified absdurely fora linear machine [ 181 to enable it to be used in problems involving distributed displaying marked front and back edge effects but for n > 4 it wbe l l i circuits. found t o be sufficiently accurate for mostgeneral design purposes.

J, .\/ST I.6 g which is an intermediate value of Bg/J, between the limits of (5) set by a value of k. Thus to a f i t order of approximation (5) is not, for a linear motor, substantially different from the corresponding design criterion for rotary motors. This being so the formula for the so-called magnetic pull may indicate a net value which is negative, i.e., a push. This is especially true of designs in which primary teeth are not used, the whole winding being contained in the large airgap [ 161, for in such designs current loadings of 20 times those used in conventional rotary designs are not excessive. At once a factor of 400 is injected into the ratio Bi/piJ: and if the designer so chooses he can reduce the value of Bg to 0.2 T, resulting in a further factor of 25 when the repulsion forceis some six times greater than the force attraction. of


F g 19. i.

(b) (a) Representation of an electromagnetic arrangement. (b) Arrangement by means of a magnetic equivalent circuit. The magnetic inductances N : / R , , etc., are new quantities (transferances) which are the magnetic analog of inductances in electric circuits.



Historically, the fact that horizontal airgap single-sided linear motors can be designed to produce lifting forces even though both primaryandsecondarymemberscontainferromagnetic cores was probably discovered as recently as 1964 [ 131. Equation (4) in the previous section states the conditions necessary for such net liftingforce to exist. From 188 1, when Fleming demonstrated his famous jumping-ring experiment, until the 1960s, all levitation experiments had consisted of a primary coil system, with or without a steel core, operating into a conducting but necessarily nonferromagnetic secondary. In 19 14, Bachelet proposed that a levitation and propulsion system should be applied both to the propulsion of shuttles across weaving looms and to guided transport systems. He set up separate companies t o handle these projects but both seem t o have been swallowed up in theWorld War I. By coincidence it wasin the year in which World WarI1 began, 1939, that Bedford et al. [ 191 used a double-concentric coil system shown in cross section in Fig. 20. The dotted lines indicate how such a system may be improved by the addition of an outer wall of steel. This arrangement set an early fashion for levitators. It is usual to arrange for the inner coil current to lag in phase behind that of the outer to produce an inward-traveling field, although it was later established that in large levitators where the secondary goodness factor is high, the two coils can be connected in series opposition for successful stable suspension. Aside from Bachelet, the early experiments on levitation were conducted in a spirit of curiosity, even those in the late 1950s which were to be the forerunnersof much more serious experiments directed to high speed transport applications. The Fist application to be commercially successful was that of suspending small quantities of molten metal so that melting and mixing could be performed in controlled atmospheres without the necessity for acontaminating crucible. A s a l team of ml U.S. scientistsproduceda series of valuable papers on such devices [ 201 -[22], a typical arrangement being shown in Fig. 2 1. In order to heat the metal t o melting point rapidly, high frequency supplies (tens of kilohertzs) were used in the primary coils which, because of skin effect were conveniently made of copper tubing through which cooling water could be pumped to enable high primary currents to be used. The upper coil above the specimen assists the repulsive forces from the c o n i c a l coil below and has become known as the attractor. When melted, most metals formed into the characteristic pear shape shown in Fig. 21, although some metals dripped when molten and it was thought that those which did not achieved their stability through a restraining, self-forming skin of oxide. It is interesting t o note that forsmall quantities of metal it was found difficult to prevent thetemperature of the specimen from rising t o an excessive value but this is now seen as a particular manifestation of the rule the bigger, the better for electromagnetic devices. This,and another similar phenomenon can be conveniently fitted into the linear motor story at this point, as an introduction to the all-important applications described in Sections VI11 and IX.






Fig. 20. Early electromagnetic levitator (in cross section) developed by Bedford, Peer, and Tonks i 1939. n

-1 0

a 0 -


2 1. Cross section through a levitator for liquid metal.



of attraction

Fig. 22. Lovellsattractorfornonferrousmetal. It was hoped to we such a device for removing metal particles from human eyes.

! j j h

Cone of attraction

+4?J;A/$(+dk14 f 4 f ;.!f t + + J . 4 {*.!

Fig. 23. The cone of attraction over a double circular coilsystem within which cone,small nonferrous metal piecesare attracted towards the Outside of the cone similar pieces are repelled.




fact he defined a cone of attraction as shown in section in Fig. 23 within which conductors were attracted and outside of which they were repelled. Lovell tried to use such a system for the removal of particles of metal from human eyes but failed and it was the nature of the failure which stimulated the authortodeduce, in apaper on electromagneticlevitation [ 241 ,the more all-embracing rule for induction forces which is expressed mathematically as aTpt -Flm

B. The Law of Size Lovell [23] experimenting a with 2-coil power-frequency levitator of the type shown in Fig. 22, discovered that near the center .of the top surface of the primary coil system small pieces of conductor were attracted downwards t o the coils, in

- k (L)-


where T is theinstantaneoustemperature of the secondary ujnductor, and a T p t the rate of temperature increase. The force F on the mass m of the secondary produced its acceleration in free flight and the ratio of the rate of temperature in-



bigger is supported by the experimental work of Thorn and Norwood who tried to attain hypervelocities of the order of 50 000 km/h by electromagnetic means, in order to test the effects of possible impact by meteorites on space capsules [27].

C. The Levitation of Noncircuhr Shapes Double-concentric coil systems can support spherical objects easily. Circular plates are almost as easy to stabilize although in both cases it appeared, until recently, that Lovells requirement that at least a part of the suspended object must cut the cone of attraction must be upheld. It also appeared from experimental results that the apical angle of the cone of attraction was essentially large (> 120) and therefore possible suspension heights were limited t o a few centimetres at most. (4 (dl The next shape of conducting object to be levitated was a Fig. 24. Experiments concerned with the flotation level of conducting rings of various thicknesses in a jumping-ring apparatus. rectangular sheet. The development stages are shown in Fig. 25. In Fig. 25(a)the double-concentric seriesapposing coil system represents the starting point. In Fig. 25(b) the system crease t o available acceleration is seen to increase with reduc- has lost its circular symmetry but remains essentially the same tion in linear dimension L , for n is a positive number greater in that it consists of two concentric coils in series opposithan unity and k is simply a constant of proportionality. tion.It is a s found to be electromagnetically the same as lo Equation(6) expressed as a slogan may be written: AS Fig. 25(a) in that in the presence of the rectangular conducting electromagnetic propulsion devices are made smaller the sec- sheet, inwardly traveling fields can be detected in the vicinity ondary must ultimately melt before it moves (since it is con- of the plate edges as indicated by the arrows and these fields strained at least by friction). Lovells experiment did not, are undoubtedly a part of the stability mechanism. Examinatherefore, fail for lack of primary MMF. It appeared t o fail on tion of Fig. 25(c) shows that for a large part of the central what the late Bragg described so beautifully as the nature of (working) region the system is identical to Fig. 25(b), for it is things, [25 1. difficult to see how the levitated plate can be aware of the Yet we must take care at all stages of development lest we presence of end connections which can be made semi-infiitely blind ourselves to the next step. In this case, impossible as it remote. seems to improve on Lovells device, a recent experiment with In such a system, the two coils can now be spaced apart to a simple jumping ring apparatus has suggested that this may accommodate plates of a large range of different widths, for it not necessarily be so. The experiment [26] is illustrated in is found that the only condition for stability is that the side Fig. 24. edges of the plateshould lie over the region of the central If a thick aluminum ring floats in the position shown in ferromagnetic core of each coil. Fig. 26(a), thinner and thinner rings will be found t o float at Whilst this apparatus was in use at Manchester University in lower and lower levels for the same excitation (Fig. 24(b)) 1962 a new phenomenon was observed when the two coils until a ring of aluminum foil fails to lift at all (Fig. 24(c)). If were accidentallyconnected so that the current in the two now the thick ring is reintroduced from above as at Fig. 24(d) innermost longitudinal members flowed instantaneously in the the thinring at oncemoves upwards and it has been established same direction. In other words, one coil had been reversed in through a refined experiment that in this last condition the respect of the arrangementshown in Fig. 25(a).This reconlevitated foil ring iscarryinga smaller current than it is in nection was seen to make virtually no difference t o the stable position (Fig. 24(c)). What the thick ring does is to cause the levitationability for rectangularconducting sheets and was primary to take more current which is in phase with the foil later t o be of great importance in the further developments for current, for quadrature currents, however large, produce no high-speed transport applications. net uplift. This simple experiment suggests that a low value of goodness in a primary/secondary system can be improved by D. Development o f the Magnetic River the addition of a quite separate tertiary electric circuit, acting Calculation of the performance of levitators is extremely difanalogously to a catalyst in a chemical action. There may yet ficult and laborious. The analysis is essentially three dimenbe hope for thesmall electromagnetic device? sional and, where successful, it only enables a given construcThe second example of constraint imposed upon the induc- tion t o be assessed. If it be foundthatthe performance is tion motor designer, particularly he who would seek t o gen- poor, numerical analysis rarely tells the investigator how it can erate kinetic energy in a secondary mass, rather than power, is be improved. But this is an engineering study and not merely provided by the identity that in accelerating such a secondary a physical oneand engineers often ascribe to currentsand from rest to the synchronous speed against no restraint except fluxes a reality to which they are not entitled and to pieces of its own inertia, the heat loss in the secondary is equal to the steel and copper a personality, the concept of which would kinetic energy at the synchronous speed [6]. Since the mass cause the average physicist to throw up his arms in horror! of the secondary can only absorb this heat in proportion to the Nevertheless it was by means of such intuitive processes that cube of its linear dimension or radiate it in proportion to the the next sequence of developments was achieved, ending with square of that linear dimension, projectiles moving faster re- a combined propulsion and levitation system so simple to conquire t o be larger if they are not to melt before attaining full struct, yet so ideally suited to the solution of transport probspeed. This law which may be summarized as the faster the lems as to seem to have achieved the impossible, for the levita-




I ,

Fig. 26. First stages in the development of a magnetic river. (a) CrosssectionthroughthelevitatorshowninFig. 25. (b) Removal of the outer teeth is found to make no difference to the lift and stability. (c) Repositioning of the return currentsagain makes no difference?

F .25. s

Stages the in development of a rectangular-plate levitator. (a) A concentriccoilsystem.(b)Elongation of theconcentriccoil system along an axis which becomes an axis of free movement. (c) A rearrangement of coils gives the same result as (b).


tion and stabilizing forces are obtained for zero power input, for laterally and vertically, there is no relative motion between primary and secondary members, and, therefore, the output power in these axes is zero. The physical arguments which led t o this invention are illustrated in Fig. 26(a) which shows a cross section through the levitatorshown in Fig. 25(c).It was argued thatthe edges (XX) the plate were too remote to of see, i.e., to be seriously affected by,theoutermost edges ( Y Y ) of the steel, so the outer steel members are redundant and the system is reducible to that shown in Fig. 26(b). This is not surprising since the latter is only a linearized version of the levitator of Bedford et al. [ 191. Since this first argument holds it is certain that removal of the steel situated below the outer current-carrying conductors (shaded in Fig. 26(b)), can also be removed. Next, it was argued that since in electromagneticsystems only the linkages betweenelectric and magnetic circuits are meaningful, the outer conductorsof each coil can be moved to the positions shown in Fig. 26(c) without losing any of the vital linkages. When this system was tried in practice however, it was found to be essentially unstable, but remembering the Manchester accidental misconnection, it was reconnected with the currents in the two slots connected to give instantaneous flow in the same direction, as shown in Fig. 27(a),-and found to be stable. It was then pointed out by Eastham that if the levitator were not constructed as continuous lengths of conductor-filled ferromagneticchannel, but were to be divided into separate C cores and coils, as shown in Fig. 27(b), the

(b) Fig. 27. Further stages in magnetic river development. (a) Plan view of levitator shown i Fig. 26(c) currents one n with in coil reversed. (b) Subdivision of the excitation coils and the introduction of poly. phase supplies produces both levitation and thrust.

system would propel longitudinally as well as levitate a rectangular plate of approximately the same width as the overall core dimension in Fig. 27(b). Thus began the conceptofa magnetic river [ 281 in which an invisible fluid appeared to float and propel pieces of conductor in much the same way as a river of water floats and propels pieces of wood. What is more, if an observer attempts topush the metal plate sideways from its support system, it is seen first t o rise as if hitting an embankment and the electromagnetic river banks at once assume a reality to which, of course, they are not entitled. One limitation which was found to exist in the system shown in Fig. 27(b) was that the dimension x separating the two rows of C cores could not be reduced below a value roughly equal tothe slotwidth. The reason forthis was discovered not whilst attempting t o explain the mechanism of the magneticriver system but whilst endeavoring to make a circular version which it was hoped might support and rotate simultaneously a



i m
Fig. 30. The necessary geometryof a plate levitator and supported sheet is an expanding one. Provided the sheet is of such a width as t e fit betweenthedotted lines atthelevitatedheight,the same degree of stability will obtain. As height is increased, appropriately more power is, of course, required from the primary (currents Z4 > 13 > Z2 > ZI).

(b) Fig. 28. An attempt t o make an annular magnetic river. A plan ve of iw the machine of Fig. 27(b) is rolled up about an axis normal to the plane of the d a r m (a) Circular current flow gives lateral instability. iga. (b) Return currents forced t o return around the inner and outer edges of the annulus produce stability.

another way by saying that the development of the single row of cores corresponded to a change in lateral pole number from four poles to two. One such system built was found to be stable in thefive axes required(pitch,roll,yaw,lateraldisplacement,andvertical bounce)andpropelled in thesixth. What is more,critical damping to disturbances was observed in four of the five stable axes. The roll axis was found to be underdamped and in an effort to improve the damping, wider secondary plates were tried. Beyond a certain width, lateral stability was lost. However, a plate too wide to be stable when levitated at height h was seen to become stable as the primary current was raised so as to levitate at a height greater than h. At-once it was clear that the cone of attraction rule was broken and that there was no limit, in theory, to the height at which a conducting object could be supported, for the system is seen to work on an exas panding rather than a restricting conical geometry, shown in Fig. 30. So long as more current is available in the primary, a wide plate can be supported at a greater height, with the same lateralstability.Supportedheightsgreaterthan0.3m have already been achieved in practice.

Fig. 29. Magnetic river produced by a single row of C cores laid in a line perpendicular to the cross section shown.

conductingannulus.Theprimaryarrangement is shown in Fig. 28. This system proved to be unstable and Eastham discovered that only if the coils were reconnected so that the instantaneous current flow in the annulus is not circular and self-contained, as in Fig. 28(a),but is forced to breakand return, as shown in Fig. 28(b), is stabilityachieved. The return currents were now clearly the means by which stability was achieved and the reason why the gap x was necessary in Fig. 27(b).Therehad to be lateralspaceforthe&-important return currents. The next important development came with the realization a that a single row of C cores would themselves produce magnetic river, a cross sectionthroughsuchasystem being shown in Fig. 29. This was clearlyadvantageous, for being an electromagnetic device, its characteristics improved it was as made bigger and therefore a single C core, scaled up to occupy the same track width as a double C core, had a much higher goodness factor. This result could be phrased in

E. Magnets for Nonferrous Metals This is not to say that the cone of attraction no longer exists in such systems. The breakout is the fact that the secondary conductor need not cut such a cone in order to be stable. Returning to the doublecoil system of Fig. 26, it has been shown that a lagging current is desirable for the inner coil and, therefore, a short-circuited inner makes a successful levitatorfor coil the shorted coil acts as a shading ring in a single-phase system. So potent is the attraction and lateralguidancewithin the cone in certain circumstances, for example where a conducting ladder is fitted into the top portion of the primary slots of a linear motor, as shown in Fig. 31, that a strip of aluminum, approximately thesame width as that of the ladder, can be made to adhere to the primary pole surface and simultaneously be propelled longitudinally,when the pole surface is vertical, as in Fig. 32(a), or even wheR the pole surface is below the motor, as in Fig. 32(b). Similarly a single ac coil surrounding an extended laminated core is capable of picking up pieces of nonferrous metal of a p propriate size (an interesting size being that of coins), provided a short-circuited ring is sunk into the operative pole face [29].



Fig. 31. A conducting ladder fitted into the top of the slots of a linear motor but restricted o cover only the central regionby the use of two t additional longitudinal slots w produce l i forces which a cause secondary conducting strip to adhere to the surface and to be laterally centered. ( 4 g. 33. mots of lines of constant phase for fields due to ac magnets. The l i e s arc numbered 50 that they may be regarded as height contours on a geographical map. (a) Flat plane. (b) The shading effect of a secondary conductor, producing inward-traveling fields. (c) and (d) show why a displaced conductor is attracted t o the nearer pole.

(b) Fig. 32. The conducting ladder showninFig. 31 producessufficient forces to supporttheweight of thesecondarystrip.(a)Laterally. (b) Vertically.

Another example of the same phenomenon is the fact that the central conducting plate of a double-sided sandwich motor is laterally unstable, and if free to move will be attracted quite strongly to whichever primary unit should be the nearer. One attempt at an explanation of this phenomenon and of the cone of attraction phenomenon in general is now attempted.

F. Constant Phase-Line Plotting It-is often customary to plot lines of flux or lines ofmagnetic equipotential in order to give a visual aid to theaction of a static electromagnetic system. In this case the magnetic fields are moving, i.e., different parts of the space around the excitedregioncarryfluxes of differentphase. Since phase alone is sufficient to indicate the direction of travel of a field system it is proposed to plotlines of constant phase in the region of interest and subsequently to regard such lines as if they were height contour lines on a geographical map. If the convention adopted is such that a more lagging phase line is given a lower number, pieces of conductor wiU be seen to conform to the simple rule that they move downhill. If .a pair of oppositely magnetized pole surfaces energized from a single-phase supply, as shown in Fig. 33, is now con-

dered, the phase plot is a blank sheet, as shown in Fig. 33(a), e., the system is analogous to a level plane. If now a small --ab of conductor is inserted, as in Fig. 33(b), its effect is to cause the field passing through it to lag and the resulting phase plot, as measured experimentally, is of the form shown. Smaller pieces of conductor placed in positions such as that shown dotted willin factbefound to move downhill, i.e., inwards. Having established the technique it can now be used to argue the case of the double-sided sandwich motor, for the conditions at any lateral section of such a motor are precisely those shown in Fig. 33 if the propelled sheet considered (for simplicity in this first example) is narrower than the primary. When thesecondaryconductor is displaced to theposition shown at Fig. 33(c), it can be argued that the absence of conductor on, or near to, the lower pole has the tendency of allowing the surfaceflux to return toa nearlyflatplane, whilst the greater proximityof the conductor to the upper face allows increased electromagnetic coupling, higher goodness i.e., factor, in this region and hence a steeper arrayof contour lines along the face. Constant phase lines, like isobars, isotherms, height contours, must etc., be continuous throughout the region so the only possible contour configurationis that which is shown at Fig. 33(d), from which it is at once obvious that there is a vertical forcepressing the conductor to thepole face as well as laterally stabilizing it. This experimental technique [30], whilst only qualitative, is of use in the consideration of high-speed motorsfor vehicle traction discussed inalater section.

A . A Brief History The essential differences between manufactured articles and living things have been seen to be largely differences in shape. The curves which men produce have a simplicitywhich is commendableonlyperhapswhenproductionmethods have shown their use to benefit the community or some section of it. If it were not so, artists and sculptors would be virtually nonexistent, for we regard the shapes of nature as something to be worshipped and often ascribed to the ability of God to bring pleasure to men!




Fig. 34. (a) Conventional rotary machine. (b) Flat linear motor, which can beregarded as the intermediate class. (c) Tubularlinear motor. Topological relationship between (a) and (c) is apparent here.

Wheatstone, stretching his imagination beyond the confiies of tradition, in 1841to1845 produceda series of electric ] motors with eccentric rotors [ 3 1 and in the process suggested the splitting and unrolling exercise with which it is now almost traditional to begin a first explanation of a linear motor to the uninitiated, whether by pen or by word of mouth. But how inhibiting is such an approach! It implies at once that thelinear machine can never be better than itsancestor. Wheatstone copied one of his rotary machines, but there was no shame in that for the electrical engineers of the next hundred years did precisely the same. Whatis moreinteresting Fig. 35. (a) End windings of a flat linear motor. (b) When rolled into a however, is that the few useful and unconventional topological tube each active part of a coil joins onto itself and the end windings are made redundant. changes which were made during the same period were made by textile engineers who were not so indoctrinated as to copy existing motors. Thus Jasicek and Polnauer [32] invented the double-sided sandwich motor. Tubular motors were also built by the textile machine maker Forman 1331. This latter invention is perhaps the next logical step in a process which begins with the splitting and unrolling of a cylinder for it simply involves a rerolling about a different axis, as shown in Fig. 34. Certainly it will suit our purpose here to elaborate onthe tubular motor at this stage, for its topology is simple, its advantages few and obvious. It will, therefore, serve as a prelude Fig. 36. A tubular motor primary is no more than arow of simple coils. to the topological explosion which was to occur in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Disadvantages: a) Theyproduce 12R loss over and above that which is necessary in the active conductors alone, thus reB. TubularMotors ducing efficiency and power-to-weight ratio. b) They drive a Thefeature of tubularmotors which severely limits their flux pattern of their own which does not l n with the secondik application is the fact that the primary windings do not merely ary, tending t o result in low power factor. ln the fictitious flux path, but are inextricably linked with ik Advantage: They represent the only exposed portion of the the real secondary structure, access t o which can only be made primary winding where effective forced cooling can take place. v i a . the ends of the tubular primary. This necessity virtually The heatproduced in thestator slots is. largely conducted implies that short-primary machines are much more likely to laterally by the conductors themselves t o the end windings. find application than are the short-secondary type. Conduction throughthe insulating layers inside the slots is The principal advantages of tubularmotors,ontheother relatively small. hand are all centered 6n the simplicity of the stator construcWhen the diagram of Fig. 35(a) is rolled up t o form a tubular tion, in particular the fact that a tubular motor need have no motor (Fig. 35(b)), it is at once apparent that the whole of the wasteful end winding in either primary or secondary. How end-winding regions is superfluousfor A falls on B and the this arises isillustrated in Fig. 35in which a plan of the conductor A B in Fig. 35(b) is entirely self-sufficient, as are all primary windings of a flat linear motor is drawn (Fig. 35(a)) similar conductors. The motor winding may thus consist of a and divided into three distinct regions by the dottedlines. The row of simple coils, as shown in Fig. 36, suitably phased and portion between the dotted lines is usually regarded as the spaced to give the desired synchronous speed. The technique active region of the machine, the two regions outside being of phase mixing [ 101 so commonly employed in rotary maregarded in part as a necessary evil, especially by the designer chines with a view to space harmonic reduction may also be of conventional rotary motors. It is customary, in the rotary employed in simple tubular windings as shown in Fig. 37. world t o restrict the insertion of magnetic material tothe Whilst Fig. 37(a) shows a cross section through a tubular center region only, and, therefore, all linear motors up to the primary in which only simple coils are used, two-layer coils, as 1970s were designed in the same way. in Fig. 37(b) give some degree of phase mixing but a completely different manufacturing approach is shown in Fig. C. The Question of End Windinns 37(c), in which each phase is constrained t o a single continuous The orthodox view of end-windings is that they have two layer. The winding of such a machine in practice is as simple as that of winding individual bobbin coils, a single layer being disadvantages and one advantage which are as follows.





(C) Fig. 37. (a) Cross section through the tubular motor shown in Fig. 36. (b) A tubular motor primary wound in two layers to produce phase mixing. (c) Continuous winding technique for a layered primary.

(b) Fig. 39. Magnetic flux paths in space. (a) From a conventional motor with rotor removed. (b) From an open-sided linear motor.

picture Fig. 38. A physical

ofone layer of the machine shown Fig. 37(c).


shown in Fig. 38 in which the direction of wind is reversed every pole pitch.

D. Magnetic Circuits o f Tubular Motors

Themagneticcircuit of atubularmotor isofparticular interest in the development of the most recent forms of linear motor,for whilst tubularmotors themselves are notmuch used, a study of their magnetic circuits points a new way to electromagnetic machine design. Fig. 39(a) shows arotary motor with its rotor removed. The idea of using only a thinwalled copper cylinder as rotor of such machine ( sin a draga cup design) without a rotor iron core is almost unthinkable, for it is obvious that the effective airgap is very large, its area severely restricted by a rapidly contracting geometry which is inherent in the adoption of cylindrical topology. When the motor is unrolled, as in Fig. 39(b), however, the fluxpath area is no longer s constrictedandtheflux o can literally spread toinfinity, albeit thefurther itspreadsthe longer is the path. Nevertheless, the effective airgap of such machines is not as large as might, at first sight, be imagined. It has been shown [6] that, to a first approximation, magnetic circuit calculations for flat open-sided machines may be made on the assumption that the effective airgap is p / n where p is the pole pitch. When the motor primary is rerolled into a tube, it must be done in such a way that the iron core emerges as the inner

Fig. 40. The effective airgap of tubular motors of bore radius a and pole pitch p .

member, whether or not the primary windingis still contained in it, or whether it is transferred to the outer shell, for two major changes have been made by this last topological step. On the outside, the ,flux is able to spread to infinity in two dimensions,theone as already discussed withreference to Fig. 39(b) and the other in the fact of an ever-widening circle at greater distances from the winding. The benefits of this last effect clearly depend on the ratio of winding radius to pole pitch. Fig. 40 shows the reduction in effective airgap below the p/n value for flat machines, plotted as a function of the ratio of radius to pole pitch (alp). Good designs of tubular motor are, therefore, possible with no primary steel whatsoever. Nevertheless, some of the earliest liquidmetalpumps which were of tubular form, incorporated steel in the stator core and avoided the awkward tapered laminations which would appear to be required by dividing the core into 6 or 8




Fig. 41. A practical arrangement of adding a ferromagnetic structureto the primary of a tubular motor.

Fig. 43. Cross section through one type of commercial. tubular motor requiring only 3 simplebasiccomponents-coils A , punchedsteel plates E , and C cores C.

Fig. 44. Alternative commercial tubular primary. Slotted punchings are stacked and cemented together, after which ahole is drilled, in the position shown dotted, to accommodate secondary rod. the

of Fig. 42. Cross section through a tubular motor shows constriction flux paths along the bore (small area), and low reluctance paths outside the primary (large area).

F. Gramme-Ring Winding In modern rotating machines of all types it is customary t o use only surface windings in either rotor or stator. surface A E. Manufacturing Techniques f o r Tubular Motors winding is one in which the active conductors are contained in However ingenious a technological invention, if it is not in slots in the ferromagnetic material which faces the airgap and step with progress in materials science and with manufacturing in which all active conductors are connected together by end methods, it is a failure, at least temporarily. Babbages calcu- connections which are laid in a generally circumferential direction. Early machine pioneers did not appreciate the advantages lating machine of 1838 had to wait over 100 years for the development of triodes and pentodes before the modem com- in terms of savings in copper, in power input and in leakage puter was seen to be profitable. In tubular motors, industry flux and returned their coils around the core of the machine as Such windings became known as has already produced several designs which may sacrifice some shown in Fig. 45(a). part of their ability in order to make them easier t o fabricate. Gramme-ring windings although they were, in fact, invented Fig. 43 shows a cross-sectional view of a commercial tubular by Pacinotti. Linear versions of such windings are illustrated at Fig. 45(b), motor in which the following advantages of the new topology (d). The theoretical analysis of such machines is very different and of new materials have been exploited. 1) The low flux density of a low-speed actuator (low speed from that of surface-wound machines, for in the case of the implies small pole pitch and (5) illustrates the subsequent re- latter each conductor which crosses the width of the machine quirement for wide slots and narrow teeth) allows the teeth to must have a corresponding conductor to return that current, be constructed of solid steel plate which can be prepunched and the investigator can write one of his constraints as the with all the necessary bolt holes and central hole t o accommo- following integration: date the secondary cylinder. 2) The same plates are used as cooling fins for carrying away the heat from the secondary and from theprimary windings. 3) Yet again, these same plates provide a large area path for flux return outside the stator windings. So potent is this area, where J is the current loading at distance s from one end of the

rectangular-section slabs, asshown in Fig. 41. This form of construction is seen to involve very little more complication than that of a rotary motor, provided the stator slots are open slots with parallel sides, and the windings whichultimately occupy them can be wound in position first, so that the steel slabs can subsequently be dropped over them. Within the bore of the tube, however, the magnetic situation is reversed and a much more constricted flux path even than that shown in Fig. 39(a) obtains, as shown in a longitudinal cross section of a tubular motor, Fig. 42. It is, therefore, not usually possible to make successful tubular motors devoid of iron cores.

that despite the large gaps between successive plates, removal of the C cores which are, at f i t sight, the usual cores which connect adjacent poles magnetically, increases the input power per unit thrust by less than 10 percent. The C cores are thus to be seen as little more than mechanical protection for the primary windings, whose connections are brought out through the splits in the C cores. Fig. 44 shows an alternative form of construction in which slotted punchings are stacked and encapsulated in resin, after which a hole is drilled from end-to-end to provide space for the moving secondary rod. The primary coils are then inserted and located in the slots and the construction is complete.



(b) ( 4 Fig. 46. Tubular motors and mock tubular motors. (a) A crosssection through a tubular motor similar to that in Fig. 41 but having only 4 primary blocks instead of 6. (a) A square geometry is fundamentally no different from the circular geometry of(a).(c) The primary of (b) is Gramme-ringwound. (d) Removal of 2 blocks makes the square into a rectangle having certain benefits.

( 4 r e . 45. Examples of Gramme-ring primary windings. (a) In a rotating machine. (b) In a single-sided linear motor. (c) In a double-sided sandwich motor. (d) In a Mock Tubular motor in which like poles oppose each other from the two outside primary members.

machine, whose total length is 1. A glance at Fig. 45(b) however, suffices t o show that this constraint no longer applies, and sufficient equations to provide an analytical performance t o be calculated must be sought from other boundaries. The choice of boundary conditions is as skilled an art as any in the scientific world, [6]. A double-sided linear motor with each side of the primary wound may be one of two typ3s. Either the twowindings may assist one another in driving flux across the airgap, in which case the secondary may contain ferromagneticmaterial, or may consist simply of a sheet of conductor as in Fig. 4 % ~ ) .If however the windings in the two halves are so arranged that instantaneously N-pole faces N-pole and the flux is driven axially along the central secondary member as in Fig. 45(d), the latter must contain ferromagnetic material or the motor will draw a prohibitively large magnetizing current due t o the constriction of the magnetic circuit between the primary blocks, just as in the case of the tubular motor illustrated in Fig. 42. Indeed machines such have been labelled mock tubular style [34] for their relationship to the tubular motor is seen to beno more than making the cylindrical cross section of the latter into a square, as shown in Figs. 46(a) and (b),

Gramme-ring winding it, as i Fig. 46(c) and using only two n opposite sides of the Gramme-ring winding, as in (d). It will be apparent however that the Gramme-ring tubular motor is much more wasteful of copper than its surface wound counterpartshown in Fig. 46(b).The advantageous features of the mock tubular motor are first that the secondary is accessible all along its length, which is certainly notthe case with a tubular motor proper. In short secondary machines the question of rotor accessibility could be vital. Secondly, the tubular motor proper demands two-dimensional lamination of its secondary, the mock tubular can be made from lamina which is more economical. It is also clear however, that the primary windings of doublesided mock tubular motors need not beof the Gramme-ring typebut could be surface windings. At the same time,the secondary of such machines could also be either surfaceor Gramme ring. Discussion in this section so far is enough t o show the enormously greater variety of shapes of linear motor which are possible by comparisonwith rotating machines, and this is true for every type of machine, i.e., induction, reluctance, dc, hysteresis, etc. There is sufficientdevelopment work to be done on linear motors t o occupy research workers all over the world for at least several decades.
G. The Problems of Long Pole Pitches The goodness equation (1) may be rewritten in terms of the velocity u of the traveling field, for u = 2pf. Hence

5 The motor shown inFig. 4 1 is no more than a hexagonal section machinewithbored out interior.Flatandtubular constructions are thus seen to merge topologically.



This rearrangement is useful in illustrating two points, one of which was discussed in Section I. 1) The bigger the better slogan is translatable into the faster the better. 2 ) For a given velocity it is apparently always preferable to increase the pole pitch and reduce the frequency, for this will lead t o higher values of G for fixed speed and given secondary structure. Equation (7) represents, of course, a highly simplified view of an induction machine. In practice, the f i t modification to demand serious attention is the impedance of the end windings. In the exact linear counterpart of a rotating machine, the primary coils are considered in the same way as are those of their cylindrical ancestors in thatthe portions of the coils located in the slots and usually approximately at right angles to the direction of motion are regarded as useful, whilst the portionsoutside the ends of the ferromagneticcore are regarded as wasteful end winding, wasteful in three ways: is 1) the actual conductor wasted; 2 ) extra 12R loss is incurred; and 3) extra leakage reactance is added.Ingenioustopology however has enabled all these wastages to be minimized, and it is interesting to note that at this stage in the linear motor story only the end windings have exploited a truly three-dimensional topology. Linear motor design, much more than that of rotary machines, indicates that a designer may regard the pole surface of a machine in much the same way as does a tailor h s cloth. i The quality of the cloth can be assessed in terms of the goodness factor alone. The designer knows that for any given set of values of p , f, and p he may evaluate such quantities as efficiency, power factor, and most important, the force per unitarea, t o a first approximation. He is then required t o measure the customer for his suit in that restrictions are placed on him by the application for which the motor is intended, e.g., the speed, the total power, the cost. The total power divided by the speed will give him the total force needed, hence at once thearea of cloth. He then has a free choice in respect of the linear dimensions of that area, i.e., he can make a rotary motor with an axial length 1 and radius r or axial length 21 and radius r / 2 . In linear machines, he is less restricted in that he may make the length of the rectangle in fractional pole the direction of motion such as to give a number. One of the main problems which is highlighted by such a technique is that of designing alinear inductionmotorfor high speeds, e.g., of theorder of 400 km/h. Theequation u = 2pf reveals at once that if the motor is t o be run directly from 6 0 - H ~ mains, p is at least 1 m (allowing for slip). s u p pose the total thrust required is 3 tonnes requiring a total area of pole surface of 2 mz . It would appear reasonable t o try for a square pole on the grounds of reducing end-winding waste to a reasonable figure, but the side of the square wodd then be only a m , i.e., the motor would be only 1.4 poles long and edge losses prohibitively high. Furthermore, if used as a moving short primary motor over a long track ( sin high-speed a transport applications) increase in track width is very expensive and the designer is forced t o the conclusion that on track dimensions alone, his rectangle should be more of the order of 6 m X i m . This makes the useful conductor 3 m long and the wasted length three times greater. Only of the copper is useful. It would appear that our high-speed customer is a very odd shape!

Fig. 47. Flux paths i a single-sided motor with a large pole pitch show n whyboth primary and secondarycoredepths must beexcessively large if saturation is to be avoided.

Nor do the designers problemsendwith the end-winding considerations. The magnetic circuit design is an even bigger problem, for the whole of the flux from the end pole must be conveyed to the next pole through the core of the machine, as illustrated in Fig. 47. Even though (5) has shown that for large airgap motors the slot width likely to be of the order of of is the slot pitch the core depth must still be of the order of p/4, if the steel is not to berun into saturation. A core 25 cm deep is certainly not viable for a single-sided motor of theform shown in Fig. 47, and even a double-sided sandwich motor would require a very heavy primary.

H. Transverse Flux Machines The topological solution6 to the problem .of the long pole pitch came in 1969 with the realization that the electric circuit had broader shoulders than the magnetic circuit and could more readily bear the strain of an excessively extended pole pitch. This philosophy is based on three virtually inescapable facts. 1) There is no magnetic insulator comparable to the splendid varnishes and plastic materials that can be used t o contain electriccurrentwithinitsboundaries.Electriccircuitscan, therefore,bemultiturn, long and narrow, whilst magnetic circuits must be essentially single-turn, short, and fat. Superconductors behave as would a magnetic insulator but are, as yet, far tooexpensive for most applications. 2 ) The conductivity of copper is better than the magnetic The conductivity (ccl.~~). two are not directlycomparable, for one is essentially an ac phenomenon, frequency dependent, whilst the other can be simply a dc phenomenon. However, in transmission lines, each 1 cm2 in cross section, an electric line of copper sustains an undesirable volt drop per amp per metre whilst a 50-Hz ac line in laminatedsteel of the of 1.6 X ( same cross section o = 1000) suffers an MMF penalty of nearly 4.0 X lo4 A/M/V. Taken in the context of the third ingredient, it is hoped thattheinterpretation of the word better is understood. 3) Both magnetic and electric circuits have effective saturation levels for flux density B and current density J , although the latter, being fixed by the heat transfer from the conductor surface is not inherently fixed by the nature of the circuit, as in B , for a better cooling system can raise J almost indefinitely (at a price). Taking values of 2 T forthe maximumflux density and 1000 A/cm2 as a reasonable target for maximum J , transmission lines of 1 .O cm2 cross section, when the materials
n 6as opposed to the dimensional solution i which the mains 60-Hz supply is processed t o a higher frequency to allow reduction o f pole pitch. See (2) for the logicwhichallowspermeability to be regarded as magnetic conductivity.



are worked to their limit, sustain voltage drop and MMF consumption respectively of 0.16 V/m and 1660 A/m. circuits have remained It is not surprising that magnetic short, fat, and consistingof a single turn throughout thehistory of electric motors. The reason why these considerations are important in linear motor designs, and in particular to the problem of the long pole pitch is that the f i t attempts to resolve the problem cons sisted of the u e of Gramme-ring windings to eliminate the enormousbunch of end windings whichinevitablyaccrues when a surface winding is used, giving rise in particular to excessive primary leakage. This changehad been seen t o be a simple rotation of the plane of the electric circuit through 90, andexperimentshadshownthatthechange led to an even greater reduction in power factor (the return conductors over the sides and back of the iron core, being nearer to the core than those of a surface winding, give rise to even more leakage flux), the change was seen as comparable to the physician who had attempted to heal the healthy and left the sick to die! The transverse flux technique was born in this manner 1351. When the flux path is turned into the plane which is normal to thedirection of motion, the reluctance of the magnetic circuit is seen to reduce with increase in pole pitch and it becomesobvious that what might now becalled the conventional linear motor, i.e., the machine which results from the simple unrolling of aconventionalrotarymotor,takesthe worst .of both worlds in a long pole pitch design, for then both electric and magnetic circuits are stretched out in the direction of motion with disastrous results. It is now clear thatthe transverse fluxmotor is both a simple concept and at the same time .a profoundone. It is simple in that it implies that instead of employing one row of long poles, two rows are placed side-by-side as shown i n Fig. 48, so that an N pole in the one isalways opposite an S pole in the other and there is never a necessity for flux to pass in the direction of motion. It is profound in that it is not merely one new motor, it is a new technique of designing-a new way of life for the electrical machine man. It is recognition of the existence of the lateral dimension in a linear motor, which can be utilized in ways which are not normally possible in rotating machines because ofthe difficulty of manufacturing curvatures in two dimensions simultaneously. Now one should consider the number and arrangement of the lateral pole array as well as the longitudinal. Now linear motor windings might be designed on the basis of a chessboard matrix of teeth and slots as shown in Fig. 49 in which the lateral conductor distribution was as important as has been the longitudinal in rotating machine design for over a century. The phrase linomat has been coined for machine designs based on the technique illustrated in Fig. 49 in which the motor members are thin and of large area (like tablemats). Among the new concepts is that of reducing undesirable end-winding effects by virtually eliminating end windings entirely.
I. Built-in End Windings The f i t manifestation of the advantages of using end windings as activeconductors instead of unavoidable waste occurred during attempts to obtain a power balance for forces in the direction of motion of a double-sided sandwich motor. It was repeatedly found the that measured propulsive force was greater than the measured value of B X J multiplied by thearea of the pole face. Even though the explanation for this result

Fig. 48. Theprimary of a simple transverse fluxmotor (TFM) may consist of 2 conventional motors placed side by side with provision for a backing core to transmit flux laterally all along the machine.

Fig. 49. The linomat concept of a matrix of lateral and longitudinal slots to be f h d with primary conductors so as shape the field patto tern in two dimensions.




\ \

Fig. 50. The partial utilization of so-called end-winding leakage flux in a double-sided sandwich motor suggests the possible total utilization of this flux by embedding the end winding in steel.

was soonfoundinthefactthattheend windings of the primary were loosely coupled to the extensions of the plate by what had hitherto been regarded as end-winding leakage flux, as shown in Fig. 50,the idea of utilizing end winding MMF to the full was not conceived until the problem of the large pole pitch machine was solved. It is never easy to see the general from the particular, but alwuys simple in reverse. Some early practical arrangements of transverse flux motor are shown in Fig. 5 1. The transversely laminatedprimary cores are separated into a series of blocks to discourage longitudinal flux. At once each block can be identified as a transformer core and as such there are C cores and E cores as shownin Fig. 51(a)and(b), respectively. Theoretically all limbscouldbemade to carry windings atthe poleface, as In the case of the C core shownin Fig. 52(a)and(b).



Fig. 53. An attempt to reduce leakage flux from a Gramme-ring winding by copper screening. The figure is a lateral cross section througha motor primary with the screening material shaded.

side coils are omitted (Fig. 52(c)) embeds all the end winding in steel and the proportion of leakage flux in such a machine is very small. Furthermore, when used in a singlesided system as shown in Fig. 52(d) the airgaps in the return part of the magnetic circuit can be reduced for the conducting sheet need extend no further than the outer edges of the slots, as shown, provided there is sufficient thickness of secondary conductor to provide adequate end-ring conduction, for in long pole pitch machines the longitudinal current density is likely to be many times that of the lateral. The question of secondary conductor width in relation to the primary poles has been studied in depth, first by Russell and Norsworthy [ 361, who produced a formula for the effective increase in surface resistivity due to end currents in a plate projecting a distance c on either side of a motor of width w having a pole pitch p . Thus the effective resistivity p is equal to the calculated resistivity p (assuming zero end resistance) divided by a factor ( 1 - k), where

Fa. 51.

Early practical arrangements of transverse flux motor. (a) C core. (b) E core.




activezone of the sheet secondary. Only outside this zone, i.e., in the overhanging conductor, the does current have freedom of two-dimensionaldistribution.Extensions of this work have now taken account of complete freedom over the whole secondary and more refined formulas for the calculation 0.. of equivalent resistivity are now available [37], [38]. One further point concerning the use of Gramme-ring windings is worthy of note here because it has possible applications in otheraspects of motors.It has been suggested thatthe leakage flux from the return conductors on three sides of the iron core can be reduced considerably by screening these sides with conducting sheet, as shown in Fig. 53. This technique is tantamounttoproducinga short-circuitedsecondaryin an induction system whereby it becomes difficult for alternating I flux to penetrate the conducting layer. Whilst it has been a p (4 (dl plied successfully the problem of commutation in commutaFig. 52. Cross sections through TFs. (a) C core primary. (b) E tormotors(thearmature slotsinthis case are linedwith core,fullywound primary. (c) E corepartiallywound primary. conducting sheet) the technique is not, in general, profitable (d) E core as in (c) applied to single-sided system. for linear motors because of the extent of the leakage phenomenon. The use of conductive screening effectively replaces (Fig. 52(a)), the inner end windings are enclosed by steel core an impedance j by the residue of the imperfections [6] X of and are, therefore, tightly coupled electromagnetically whereas the transformer system, i.e., by R + j x , where x << X but R the conductors on the outsides of the cores contributeleakage represents the heat loss produced in the shorted secondary. In flux and this is inherent in the C core design. In the E the case of linear motors it is not the ratio x / X which is not core, however, a greater proportion of the end windings are small enough to be profitable, butthe size of R ,which is enclosed in steel, but a further arrangement in which the out- intolerable.

T i result assumes transverse current flow everywhere in the hs




. .


flux windings built-in with end Fig. 54. A transverse machine section. crossover center

and a

Fig. 57. The topology of a tubular TFM. (a) A flat TFM. (b) A tube rolled up from (a). It is now Seen that flux passes diametrically across the central core rather than along it. Outside the flux may return in a of and lon@tudind producing a very low reluctance. external

Fig. 58. One layer of a polyphase tubular TFM winding. The pitch of thehelix i 2polepitches s measured axially, so thatafter passing diametrically across the end of the tube the return helix fits between the outgoing helix at intervals of one pole pitch.

ogy is relatively simple, as shown in Fig. 57. Since all the flux withinthebore may pow pass diametrically,thecoremay consist of a stack of discs instead of the bundle of wires r e quired in previous tubular motors. other In words, twoFig. 55. Cutaway view of a hybrid TFM in which the central part of the dimensional lamination, which was an inhibiting factor in the E core has conventional longitudinal laminations which slot into the commercialmanufacture of tubularmotors(most manufaclateral transverse laminations. turers being content to restrict the maximum size of tubular motors so as to allow a solid steel core to be used) is now reF placed by onedimensional lamination of precisely the same form as if a conventional rotary motor were being constructed. Also, the possibility of coreless motors now exists for the reH F C OS Fig. 56. The shape of asinglepunching of the lateral ferromagnetic luctance a T S a diameter i~ not large. Outside the primary system of the machine shown in Fig. 55. winding the flux may spread in all directions giving rise to a very small exterior reluctance. Tubular TFM windings may constructed be by winding Two examples of transverse flux motors (TFMs) employing spiral coils, as shown in Fig. 58, in a double layer, the second built-inend windings are shown in Figs. 54 and 55. Fig. 54 layer being of opposite-handed helical shape to counter the shows a double array of conventional windings in slots each rotating field component produced by the first layer. Alterwith a conventional winding on the outside but with a crossnatively, the use of a tubular TFM having only one layer may over winding between the rows which saves two extra rows of beused with advantage in such applications as liquidmetal end-winding noses. Fig. 55 shows a hybrid arrangement in stirrers where the agitation produced by the rotary component whichconventionalslotted punchirtgs are used to construct assists in mixing in the additives and new material to be the center of an E core TFM, but the core depth is minimal melted.Insuchapplications, of course,the primary is the and only used to give mechanical support to the teeth in this inside member of the motor, the liquid secondary surrounding region. This block of punchings slots into a set of transverse it entirely. punchings, one of which is shownin Fig. 56, betweenthe points C and D , in the position shown dotted. The longitudinal slots ABCG and HDEF accommodate the end windings from K. Skewed Slot Motors for Lateral Guidance the conductors in the conventional punching slots. The use of the helix as a winding shape rather than attempting to build poles individually suggests that the same technique J . Transverse Flux Tubular Motors might be used with advantage in flat machines, i.e., in the form When the TFM had been established as the solution to the of Fig. 57 before rolling up. This is indeed so and represents high-speed motor design problem the same technique was tried theultimaterefinement of alinomatinwhichshortinterout on a tubular machine [ 391 to see 1) what configuration re- spersed progressions, firstin thedirection of fieldmotion sulted, 2) what advantages, if any, it had to offer. The topol- (a bit of end winding) then in the lateral direction (a bit of






Fig. 60. A waffle-type winding in which useful conductor and endwinding become indistinguishable and, therefore,all


(b) Fig. 59. (a) A stepped winding on a linomat construction. (b) Simple skewed conductor. (a) may be replaced by (b). Fig. 61. A herring-bonemotorproduces lateral guidance 8s wl aa el forward thrust.

useful conductor)becomeasmooth skewed conductor as shown in Fig. 59. This technique has already been effectively employedintheendwindingand crossover regions of the motor shown in Fig. 54. What is now being suggested is that the conventional sections of that motor be reduced to zero widthandthatthe resulting motor winding (known as the ye waffle t p ) consistssimply of diamond-shaped coils laid one upon the other to give a two-layer winding, just as conventionallywoundmachines have theirprimary coils overlapped in two layers. The waffle winding is shown in Fig. 60. One interesting variation on the same themeinvolves the use of herring-bone windings whichproduce, in addition to forward thrust, components of traveling field which move towards the center of the pole area and, therefore, guide the secondary laterally. A first attempt at such a machine (not a TFM) is shown in Fig. 61. However, the TFM techniques just described maybeextended to containat least asection of herring-bone-wound pole face, as shown in Fig. 62. It should also be noted however, that both the herring-bone and waffle as techniques can be used with longitudinal flux motors well as with TFMs. In machines with large airgaps which demand wide slots and narrowteeth,theskewedslot waffle design is difficult to achieve in practice since the teeth are virtually reducedto zero. But the interesting possibility which emerges from such conslotless machine might be siderations is whetherornota profitable [ 161. Experiments so far indicate that provided the pole pitch is large enough to give a highvalueof C in the absence of teeth, the slotless waffle arrangement is likely to

Fig. 62. A waffle motor primary with the outer edges as part herringbone to guide the secondary.


L I N E A R lNDU,CTlON short :primary moving Primary flux Primary flux Iongittdinal Prima?




FLFT I gramme-ring

maqnetlcally Open Outside outslde secondary secondary


shortlsecondary moving secondary m r s e

doublei-sided singld-sided magnetically single-sided likerpoles unlik; Poles single magnotically opposite opposite electrically electrically outer inner magnetically magnqtically t sided doublesided shiet secondary



electrically electrically electrically comksite secondary surface secondary currents

c u r r i

woupd w y n d
i *et secondary

steel both primary double-sided

pramme-ring secondary

Fig. 63. A table containing a description of every type of linear induction motor so far known. A journey from the top of the table to the bottom which involves making a choice at each junction is sufficient to describe completely a particular machine, topologically.


composite seco dar double sided singe-sided

one side of secondary W n magnetically


prove extremely attractive, having the potential of very high values of J , low leakage reactance (and therefore high power factor1and being readily adaptabletransverse flux techniques. to The subject of linear motor topology is expanding so rapidly that it is already almost too big a subject for an article of this length. As recently as 1970 an attempt was made t o classify linear induction motors by a dichotomous table derived from purely topological considerations [40]. By 1971, this had become out of date as the result of the discovery of TFMs. A revised table was compiled in 1971 [41 I which was almost immediately put out of date by the invention of tubular TFMs. A new table is included here (Fig. 63) in the belief that this, too, will survive for but a few years but also, therefore, in the hope that it may, of itself, trigger off some new departure in shape and a new invention for a reader.

Historically, the first rotatingmachines were dc machines. The incentive to produce battery-like current was centered in the then new technique of electroplating and in the carbon arc lamp. Linear motors did not follow the same pattern, for Wheatstones eccentric engines led directly to reluctance motors in which a steel cylinder was attracted successively to a row of dc-fed magnetswhich were switched on in turn, as required. Fig. 64 illustrates the system. It is interesting to note that if the cylinder be replaced by a flat sheet of conductor, the latter will be propelled in the opposite direction for it can be shown that a switched field has its principal component of travelingfield in the opposite direction to that in
8 A phrase attributed t o Ampere when advising Hippolyte Rxii how to fit a commutator to the latters alternator of 1832, which was an axial flux version of the modem alternator.

which it appears to go [421. Like their rotary counterparts, hysteresis and reluctance motors are profitable in small sizes whereas dcand accommutatormotors,togetherwith synchronous motors are all more profitable when large. For short-stroke actuators the design of linear machines which require MMF to be supplied by physical contact to both sides of the airgap presents no insurmountable problem, but where an application demands that the stationary member be hundreds of times the length of the moving one (as in transportapplications) the useof commutator machineswith dc field excitation becomes extremely expensive.Whilst dc machines of this type (generally misnamed synchronous motor^"^ ) are being developed quite extensively at the present time by several teams in different parts of the world, it seems highly improbable anyone that will seriously contemplate linear versions of the Schrage motor, N-S motor or any of the more sophisticatedac commutator motors, purely on economic grounds. as yet an enigma. On the Synchronous motors proper are face of it,it wouldseem an obviously simplestructure to build, but it would not escape the end effects whichbeset a linear induction machine, end effects which are still regarded by some authors as formidable [43] although it should be , added that transverse flux machines are, by their very nature, able to contain fractional or odd numbers of poles along their lengthwithoutgeneratinganystanding waves of coreflux
A rotary dc machine could be called a synchronous motor in that its armature coils are switched so as to synchronize at all times the armature field with the dc-fed poles. The fact that the ordinary commutator performs this feat automatically is the feature which makes the machine quite different from the synchronous motor proper, the latter being, in large sizes, incapable of self-starting. The replacement of the commutator of the dc motor by electronic switches whichare triggered by pulses generated by the rotating armature does not, in theopinionofthe author, change their class from dc moton to synchronous motors.





Fig. 65. A tubular dc actuator having a 2-pole armature and single-coil field system (due to Green and Paul of Bangor, Wales, 1969).

Fg 64. i.

The very f m t linear motor,builtbyWheatstonebetween 1841 and 1845.

whatsoever, and experimental evidence suggests that they exhiiit less entryandexit edge losses thandolongitudinal flux machines. It would appear that workers who are already having success with electronically controlled synchronous motors might care to take a shortcut in the light of the evidence provided by those who have labored long with linear induction machines, and go for transverse flux synchronous motors before end effectshave a chance to raise their ugly heads.
8. Linear DC Machines

Dc motors with liquid armatures have been used as pumps for liquid sodium and potassium mixtures (461 (see also Section VIII). A new series of ideas on linear machines began in the late 1960s at the Interuniversity Institute of Engineering Control at Bangor, Wales. Thefirstpaper [47] describes atubular arrangement of poles and armature as shown in Fig. 65. The construction is essentially simple to manufacture and can be extended to include number any of poles (including odd numbers). The inventors point out that for limited displacement the main disadvantage of the dc motor,i.e., the extended commutator, is eliminated.

One of the earliest dc machines was proposed as the driving mechanism of an electric hammer[44], this will be dealt more fully in Section VII. It is sufficient to sayherethatboth moving armature and moving field types were considered and the date was 1922. An important machine was built at the Royal Aircraft Establishmentin the early 1950s [45].Thestationary field system was fed from 1200 lead-acid accumulators (an aircraft hangar full!) which delivered 260 000 A at 96 V. The moving armature, weighing just over 1 lb, was fed through slip tracks run carrying acurrent of and brushesand began its46ft 81 000 Aat52 V. Themaximumspeedattained was over 1500 ft/s and this machine remains, to date, the fastest, most highly powered (25-MVA field, 4-MVA armature) linear motor of any type. Much more recent work on a similarly arranged system is aimed at utilizing the dc field from a superconducting magnet mounted on the moving member as excitation and supplying track conductors with dc to form the armature member. The greatly increased flux density obtainable from superconductor enables a 50-ton vehicle to be driven from a continuous track wire laid in the formof a rectangular wave pattern in the track and carrying perhaps no more than 300 A. Work on this system at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, by Prof. Slemons team has reached an advanced stage. A design study, well-supportedbyexperimental data has suggested thatthe wiggly wire track could be laid in lengths as large as 10 km withan overall efficiency as high as 70percent.Onlyone supply processing unit per 10 km could be economically acceptable and the levitation and guidance of the vehicle could be provided by separate cryogenic magnets on each side of the driving magnets and appropriate track conductor.

C . Reluctance Machines The second and fourth papers of this series [48], [49] describe a helical screw arrangement in which a cylindrical stator had a two-start thread of square cross section cut on theinside surface of the stator bore. The mild steel armature is in the form of a cylinder with annulargrooves cut in itssurface. The stator grooves cany windings whose phases can be controlled. Linear motion is achieved by controlling the phase in relation to the points of minimum reluctance. Although the tubular version was invented f i t , the mechanism is perhaps easier to appreciate in an openedaut flat version as described in the thirdpaper [SO] andillustratedin Fig. 66.Interms of the topology classification, machines transverse these are flux motors. Historicallythesemachinesrepresentthemostrecent and sophisticated of a long line of reluctance devices which include some other machines of interest. In 19 14, Bachelet extended the jumping ring arrangement of Fleming t o produce a levitated track along which he could propel a vehicle. His propulsion system was a crude reluctance device in which the ferromagnetic body of the vehicle was pulledtowardsacircular coilwithhorizontalaxisthrough which the vehicle moves, when a pulse of current was passed through the coil. A multiplicity of such coils was used by Birkeland in 1901 in an attempt to make an electromagnetic gun, but the inventor did not realize that his essentially magnetic machine layon the wrong side of the great divide ever to succeed as a weapon of war. One further example of ingenious topology finds its outlet in another form of reluctance device. Stepping motors are much used in rotary form and linear versionsof these have also been used for position control. The vernier progression, best known as a measuring instrument, has also been applied to reluctance motors as shown in Fig. 67. As the left-hand end of one member moves through one tooth pitch in relation t o the other member, a traveling wave of low reluctance path (the region A inFig. 67) travelsfromoneend of thearray to theother. Thus when a rapidly traveling field is applied by feeding the coils of the primary with phased ac, the resulting linear speed



slots / small at anale

secondary a
Fig. 68. Instantaneous flux pattern over the surface of a linear motor primary. This figure can be used as an animated cartoon to indicate the rotating nature of this traveling field. Cut a hole the size of the circle A in a piece of card and draw the diagram across the back of the card to reveal the changing direction of the field between the dotted lines as the pattern progresses.

-carving conductors

D. Hysteresis Motors The only known application of the hysteresis motor principle in linear motors is contained in a hybrid arrangement of linearandrotarymembers.Above the surface of an opensided flat linear motor the instantaneous flux distribution is as shown in Fig. 68. If a piece of card has a hole cut in it of the same size as the circle A and the diagram of Fig. 68 is placed, first with A opposite the hole, and then the diagram is moved so that the strip shown dotted passes slowly across the hole, the instantaneous direction of the field will be seen to change in the sequence up, right, down, left, up, etc. indicating that there exists, in addition to a linearly traveling field, a rotating component which tends to roll metallic objects within the field in such a direction that if placed on the primary surface, they will tend to roll backwards, i.e., against the natural forward flow of the field. Highly conducting objects, such as copper cylinders, roll as the secondaries of induction motors by induced current. Small ferromagnetic objects, being of higher resistivity and naturally lower goodness factor by hysteresisactionalone, andthe due to theirsize,roll smaller the object, the greater its acceleration in accordance with the smaller the better rule. Masses of iron f i g s placed in a nonmetallic tray on the stator surface behave in a manner which is beautiful, fascinating, and highly instructive. It is as if nature herself were pointing the way to make better machines. The filings pile up ina series of parallel vertical walls whose shape is generally changing continuously, a typical (b) being shown in Fig. 69(a) andplan a view in Fig. 66. (a) A flatskewed-slotreluctancemotor carrying a primary side view wallsincreases polyphase winding whose phases are adjusted to provide position con- Fig. 69(b).Theseparationbetweenadjacent trol by arranging for the minimum reluctance patternto occur at a de- with increase in theirheightand thus indicates the natural sired position. (b) The minimum reluctance area is clearly seen in a preference of the system to shape itself so as to presenta plan view and is seento beanalogous to Moiri fringesinoptical systems. minimum reluctance to the fluxemanatingfrom thestator surface. Increase of wallareaallows the stator flux to bend Zaterally so as to enterthe wall faces. Once again athreedimensional flux pattern is seen to triumph over a one- or twodimensional pattern for if the secondary of such a system be a cylindrical rotor, modeled on the filing pattern, i.e., it consists of a row of thin discs of highly hysteretic steel mounted on a common lateral shaft, as shown in Fig. 70,the resulting rack and pinion motor (for its action suggests precisely that n Fig. 67. A vernier reluctance motor i which the low reluctance path A of a mechanical rack and pinion) has agreateracceleration travels 9 times as fast as the secondary. Currents in the primary slots than any cylindrical hysteresis motor of conventional construcproduce a traveling field which locks on to the low reluctance zone at all times. tion (511.

L v

prirnay slots parallel to X X


of the secondary member is divided by the number of teeth per pole. The phased ac may be replaced by a supply from pulse generators so as to register position of the secondary.




A . The Relationship between Rotary and Simple Harmonic Motion Boucherot protested in 1908 that to argue that rotary motion is natural motion is begging the question. Be that as it may, simple harmonic motion in particularis so closely related to rotary motion that almost any property of one system is immediatelytranslatable intoananalogousproperty of the other. For example, the peak velocity of an oscillating particle is a o where a is the amplitude, the linear velocity of a particle rotating in a circle is r u where the radius r is the analog of a in the linear system. In rotating devices a mechanical limit is imposed by centrifugalrestrictions. A similar limitexistsin oscillatory systems because the continuous transfer of kinetic energy to potential and vice-versa may be very large in comparison with the availablepower output. This last effect makes it almost imperative that linear oscillating systems be tuned mechanically to relieve the magnetic or electromagnetic mechanism from the task of pouring in electrical power from the supply just to accelerate the mass, only to have to pour in further power at a later stage in the cycle to decelerate it, all this power being totally converted t o heat.
B. Magnetic Machines Fail in Large Sizes Boucherot himselfwas probablythe f i t man to makea sound engineering job of harnessing the elusive magnetic forces in a machine produce to continuous motion, although it shouldberecordedthatin1838,Prof.Jacobisucceededin propelling a boat on the River Neva by means of a doubleacting magnetic engine in which the work of two pistons and cylinders in a steam beam engine was replaced by solenoids attracting iron cores. Like generations of engineers who were to follow Boucherot, he himself lamented the fact that the radial magnetic pull in an ordinary induction motor (the [B2/2& - c(0J2/2I term discussed in Section IV) could only be used for short movements, after which the mechanism must be reset before further power output could be realized. Boucherot tuned a cylindrical rotor with torsion springs and fixed ferromagneticpieces to its surface which were alternately attracted by ac-fed coils of the tuned frequency on each side of each iron piece. Alas for Boucherot, he made his experimental machine too big for the magnetic world and it failed to qualify on power-to-weight ratio. It is however interesting to observe that his idea has recently been revived by two of the authors excolleagues in Manchester, England, who have developed a transverse flux version of Boucherots machine [ 5 2 ] .


Fig. 69. Patterns o iron filings over a linear motor.(a)Sideview. f (b) Plan, indicate that multiple disc rotors are more profitable than thin-walled cylinders for hysteresis motors.

C. InductionOscillators The revival of interest in linear motorswhich began in Fig. 70. A multiple disc rack and pinion motor has a greater acceleraManchester, England, in 1947, was itself initiated by the detion than any other shape of hysteresis motor. sire to apply linear motorstothepropelling of shuttles in looms, an inherentoscillatory motion although ideally nonFor similar reasons a small helix of hard steel wire can be sinusoidal in waveform. An investigation revealed [ 531 that rotated inside a nonmetallic tube at heights of the order of the natural form of the speed-thrust curve of an induction 15-20 cm above the surface of an open-sided motor, suggesting motor made it possible to sustain oscillations along a straight the possibility of making miniaturized Archimedean pumps for track without the use of any switching mechanism (an imporuse during surgical operations [ 5 11. The rotating part of such tant ingredient in such an invention at a time when there were a pump is of such a shape that it is almost ideally suited to no thyristors). The mechanism is illustratedin Fig. 71 (a), form the dual purpose of hysteresis motor rotor and rotary which shows the track of a pair of open-sided linear motors connected back-to-back with their traveling magnetic fields Pump.



i l

Fig. 72. A single-phase ferroresonant oscillating ring.





Fig. 73. Diagram indicating that the force cycle is self-sustaining by the reversals which, by the ferroresonant phenomena, are conscious of the past history of the moving secondary.

sprung motion via the characteristics 0 X A B X 0 is replaced by the much more efficient loop C X AB X C . The fact that (C) the line CC is not vertical is due to the mechanical imperfecThe self-oscillating induction motor principle. (a) The primary tion of the springs. consisting of polyphase coils producing inward-traveling fields. The criterion that such oscillation should be possible is that (b) The speed-thrust curve of the motor which ensures self-oscillation only by thefactthat ithas a peak to the right of thespeed zero. the naturalspeed-thrust curve of the motor should have a peak (c) The speed-thrust curve with the reverse and forward motion secto the right of the vertical axis which implies that for parallel tions superimposed. connection the ratio of leakage reactance to resistance should exceed unity-clearly an unprofitable arrangement, but for a directed towards the center. A short rotor starting from rest series-connected system the criterion is G 1, which correat a distant x 1 from the center is initially acted on by an ac- sponds t o the condition that the same motsr should be able to celerating force ou (Fig. 71(b) shows the speed-thrust curve of run from a single-phase supply [ 6 ] ,indeed a single-phase track the motor from which the values of force are obtained). As it with end springs is virtually unidentifiable characteristic wise accelerates towards the center the accelerating force increases from a back-to-back polyphase system, apart from the formers until it passes the center point at speed v and force ob. On inability t o self-start. entering the reversed field the effective speed is now - u and An ingenious alternative selfascillating system was fiist prothe deceleratingforces which act uponthe secondary now posed byCentener and is described byTrombetta [44]. A move along the speed-thrust curve from c t o a and are seen t o polyphase winding along a linear track carries no star point but be everywhere less than the accelerating forces from u to b . is fed at both ends from generators of frequency w1 and w2, Thus thestopping distance x 2 is greater thanthe starting respectively. The resulting traveling field direction reverses at distance x l and each successive traverse will continue t o be frequency (0, 02)/2n. T i system differs from the backhs greater until a point such as d is reached, near to the synchro- to-back arrangement in that the latter is reversed by theposinous speed, at which a stable amplitude is reached. lion of the center of the track, theformer by the timeinterval Unfortunately such a system is inherently inefficient. It is a between reversals only and the resulting oscillation inthe property of an induction machine that the energy lost as heat presence of varying mechanical resistance has a drifting center in the secondary in accelerating a mass m up to synchronous of oscillation. A development of this earlier system by West speed us is equal to the kinetic energy at that speed (+mu:). andJayawant [54] however led t o themore interesting arAs an accelerator, therefore, the induction machine with fixed rangementshown in Fig. 72in which two coils embracing pitch has a basic energy efficiency of only 50 percent. The opposite ends of a laminated steel bar are electrically tuned for decelerating portion however is, even by this standard, a dis- particular positions of a short-circuited copper loop. The coils aster for to stop the missile from speed us incurs a secondary are connected t o a sufficient voltage t o saturate the bar after loss of three times the peak kinetic energy. Thusinone which oscillation ensues as a direct result of the phenomenon traverse, from rest to rest, the heat generated by the secondary known asferroresonance,whereby,unlike the previously mass m is 4(4mu:) [61. Thesolution, as alreadyindicated, described systems there is a net oscillation-sustaining force on lies in limiting the motion of the secondary with end springs so the shorted loop when taken through a cycle of operations that, on a diagram Fig. 71(c), similar to that of Fig. 71(b) but virtually at standstill. The variation in forcedue to sucha which is folded about the vertical axis for simplicity, the un- system is illustrated in Fig. 73.


2 80


Fig. 75. A magnetic linear-to-rotary convertor using a reluctance oscillator as generator and arepulsion-typecommutatormotor to utilize its output.

Fig. 74. A synchronous oscillating copper loop threaded simultaneously by ac and dc fields and tuned with mechanical springs.

A. General Classification A few years after the new generation of linear motor inventions had begun (during the 1950s) the applications of linear machines were seen to fall naturally into thre,e groups, each of which has its own particularly advantageous features and each its inherentlimitations.Thesefeatures are obviously of the same importance as the rules of size, for a superficial knowledge of them is all that is necessary to enable senior engineers t o assess the probability of success for a new application before the development work is started. The three groups of application are 1) force machines; 2) energy machines; 3) power machines. The rotary counterparts of these classes are not as clearly defined for it is difficult t o find any commonly used rotary form of class 2). Class 1) which is possibly the most useful of the three in the case of lineax motors finds a rotary counterpart only in the almost miniature world of control systems, where torque motors are much used. In larger sizes it is generally considered that the maximum size of the product B X J , i.e. the shearing stress available at an electromagnetic interface, cannot match the stresses available using hydraulic actuatorsortorque motors. The high efficiency of rotary electric motors on the other hand has long been known and exploited in the counterpart of group 3). Liquid metal pumps must also be included inthe forceE. ReluctanceOscillators machine class for although the pumping speed may be quite Of the modem machines, one of the first t o founder on the high, the effective airgap may be 10 cm or more and the value rock of the smaller the better was a French invention aimed of G is as low as that in an actuator. Moreover, since the at producing an electricaltransmission system for automobiles. principal application for these machines lies in pumping liquid Basically it converted reciprocating motion t o rotary although sodium and potassium from nuclear reactors the fluid must be the output could obviously be obtained as an EMF, by closing contained in a stainless steel pipe whose walls also constitute a the magnetic circuit with a laminated limb, embracing a coil, part of the airgap (stainless steel being virtually paramagnetic only) and incur 1 2 R losses. instead of using the pulsating flux to drive a rotary motor. Liquid-metal pumps built commercially have included both The system is shown schematically in Fig. 75. This invention lacked nothing in ingenuity, indeed in so far as it converted double-sided flat induction types, tubular induction machines, linear to rotary motion in amagneticcircuit it is probably and linear flat dc motors [56]. The tubular type was soon disunique, but the dimensions of the block required to os,cillate carded since a burnout involved breaking a pipeline filled with material whereas replacement of a flat motor between the alternate poles in order 1) to give a reasonably radioactive long pole and therefore a high enough speed and 2) to leave a primary can be accomplished by remote control without pipe large enough distance between the vacated poles, were, in this disconnection. The record for the least efficient high-powered linear motor example, the dimensions which dashed the hopes of those who might have first made asmall model and found it towork most which is seen t o be a commercial success is surely that of the

D. SynchronousOscillators The difficulty of synchronizing a linear synchronous machine is not at all apparent in an oscillating linear machine of the same type. The basic reason for this feature is that the latter, when run as a motor is not required to reach full amplitude on the first stroke whereas a linear motor is required t o attain full speed virtually instantaneously after switch on, and a rotary machine is likewise restricted. On the grounds that conductor must be carried by the oscillating mass and with reduction of recirculating power in mind ($mu*)oneform of synchronous oscillator was designed in sucha way that the moving part consisted of aconducting a loop only ( sin a West and Jayawant oscillator). The machine is shown in Fig. 74 in which the paths of the dc exciting flux, driven by coils AA and those of the ac flux, driven by coils BB are clearly indicated. a Such machine performs 120 strokes/s when the ac supply is at 60 Hz. Four-pole versions for 60 strokes/s have also been built and tested [ 551. The limiting factor on such designs is that at total amplitudes 10 of cm the maximum velocity of a two-pole machine at 60 Hz is only 6n m/s which is slow by comparison with turbo alternator surface speeds and therefore not highly efficient, even when the moving loop is spring tuned. It is however an interesting machine in that it suggests that the self-starting limitations of conventional synchronous machines lie fundamentally in circular motion, for if a crank and shaft are fitted to the machine shown in Fig. 74 it at once becomes incapable of self-starting, being required to commence with a full stroke.

satisfactorily. The insidiousness of the smaller thebetter rule for magnetic machines is that the first step in the develop ment of a new idea is to make a small model. In the case of magnetic machines the first attempt is, therefore, almost inevitablymost encouraging. Only when large s u m s of money have been invested does the manifestation reveal itself in its true colors.






open-sided primary which drives liquid steel up a 3 slope in a between motor Leningrad car factory [ 5 7 ] . Thetotal gap is over 6 cm, the primary surface and liquid steel secondary input power is 60 kW and the mechanical output 50 W. The machine is successful becauseitreduces the capitalcost of transporting the steel by one that of an alternative system, half itreducesrunningcost by 40 percent.Theproductivityof labor is multiplied by three and the steel is self-cleaning, the of nonconducting slag falling to the bottom the incline.



Variables Values for maximum force/input, with fixed value of p2

Values for maAnum force/input with p2

B . Force Machines Force machines, more commonly known as actuators are generally called upon to perform tasks at very low speeds, in electromagnetic terms. Often they may be required merely to produce pressure with virtually no linear movement whatever. Insuchcircumstances it is clear that criteriadifferentfrom those used in assessing conventional rotary motors will have to be applied. For example, at zero speed a motor has zero mechanical output and therefore bothits power-to-weight ratio and its efficiency are zero, but this by no means implies that it is not performing a useful job. Other criteria such as force-to-input, force-to-weight, and force-to-cost now replace the more formal nondimensional ratios of efficiency,power factor and even goodness factor, yet some of the new criteria can easily be evaluated in terms of G, especially the ratio of force-to-primary Z2R loss. This last quantity is seen to be intimately connected with all three of the new criteria for the secondary member, usually consisting of a solid piece of uninsulated metal, can withstand much higher temperatures than can the insulated, multiturn primary. The processes by which heat loss is removed from the primary are those which f i x the size of this member and hence, in large part, the weight and cost of the whole machine. For most low-speed machines it will generally emerge that the best designs are found to have values of C not very different from unity, a fact which indicates at once that actuators that of power mabelong to a quite different world from chines. The precise values of G which should result from correct design procedure have been shown not surprisingly to be dependent upon the number and selection of quantities whose variation is at the discretion of the designer. Table I, taken from [58] shows examples of this principle. The values p1 and p2 are the equivalentsurface resistivities of primary and secondary respectively, oftenmost easily evaluated in terms of an equivalent copper depth [ 61. In this table p is the pole pitch andf the supply frequency. If two quantities are available for continuous variation by the designer, other constraints are often necessary to prevent iteration procedures from leading t o impossible values of zero if p and p2 are or infinity in other quantities. For example, both capable of change, the value of G would appear to approach i n f i i t y as each variable is raised to infinity, but since this would also imply infinite rotor Z2R loss either rotor cooling or the limitation on total number of poles necessitated by extra edge losses provide such limits. However the values of G in Table I , in the first and second columns, fimt row, must beidentical so that 3 p l / ( p l + p 2 ) = 1 or p2 = 2pl. Since G = 1,Jl =*J2 sothat therotor loss 3 p 2 J : = 3(2p1)(J:/2) = i p 1 J: and primary and secondary losses are seen to be equal. The fact that the limit on available thrust per unit of pole area, for a 60-Hz supply, is of the order of1.0 N/cm2 ( a p proximately 1.2 lb/in2) virtually confines linear motors in

aesumed proportional
to l/p factor) Values for maximum force/weight or force/cost (virtually constant leakage

low-speed applications to situationsin which either the demanded thrust is relatively low or the time rating is very low for to obtain the desired value of C for best operation, it is rare that the primary pole pitch can be reduced below about 4 cm. This valuegives the slowest motors an indicated synchronous speed of 4.8 m/s, which means that for every tonne of thrust, some 50 kW of heat loss must somehow be removed from the motor so long as it continues to operate. The high value of loss per unit thrust on theone hand and the low value of shearing stress (which for short-term force-cooled machines can only be increased t o about 20 N/cm2) makes large linear motor thrusters poor competitors t o hydraulic, or even pneumatic actuators, unless there are some special reasons why the latter two cannot be used. The fact is that large rotary electric motors can be made most effective through the use of worm gears, rackandpinions,etc.whereasthere is no easy linear equivalent of the gear. The advantages of linear motors as actuators in the low and medium thrust ranges are many, however.Linear motors are silent, consume nonpolluting fuel which is readily available in both domestic and industrial situations, they are easily disconnected reconnected a and in different locality, making them flexibleinapplication.Thereare no moving parts to wear out,no rubbing contacts to arc, indeed there is no necessity for either electrical or mechanical contact between driving member and load. If more force is demanded than is available, additional units can be added easily. Primary thrust units can bepotted in resin, making themwaterproofand ready for use in tropical climates and contaminated or explosive atmospheres. They are robust and easily handled, clean to operate, noiseless and highly reliable. They win in competition withhydraulicmotors on whatmightthereforebroadlybe termed convenience. They are even commerciallycompetitive as rotary drives, (which at first seems like Eskimos buying refrigerators!) but the reasons for this are simple once pointed out. If a drive is required for a large aerial turntable, or radio-telescope, or lowspeed ventilationfan(wherelowrevolutionperminutesare vital if thefan is to be noiseless) the linearspeed atthe periphery may be quite high, high enough to give a value of G > 1. In such cases the structure which is to be driven itself provides practically the whole rotorstructureandonly an



Fq.76. Slidingdooroperated by linear motorunit.Theequipment provides complete control throughout operation the and can be adapted toboth single and biparting doors.(Courtesy of Herbert Morris Ltd., Loughborough, England.)

Fig. 78. X-ray unit at Westminster Hospital, London, England, is positioned by a linear motor with its primary mounted in the ceiling behind an antidustcover.(Courtesy of Herbert Moms Ltd.,Loughborough, England.)

a large gearbox with its inherent backlash and wear has been avoided. The stator is easier t o handle and ship overseas for it effectively falls t o pieces at the touch of a spanner and each piece is self-contained, tropicalized, and durable. Extension of the power range is possible with rotary drives, for several conducting discs can be mounted on a common shaft when the stator units are fitted between adjacent discs so that each face of the primary block can be used, the flux now passing directly through the intermediate primaries and onlythetwo end motors require a magneticreturn core. At the other end of the scale, miniaturelinear induction motors have been used for extremely accurate position control and at Imperial College, London, England, an accuracy of f 14 iiwas obtained. Other advantagesinclude the fact that even the magnetic pull between primary and secondary of a single-sided unit can be exploited t o advantage, as in crane drives, and primary designs have been produced which allow an existing steel H girder alone to act as motor secondary. A comprehensive paper on the applications of linear motors up to that time was written by Sadler and Davey [ 591. A se77. k t of a rollconveyor handling st-] system rolled joists. lection from the described in that paper are T h e joistitselfacts as secondary of thesingleaidedmotor.(Courtesy shown in Figi. 76-8 1. Fig. 82 shows a tubular motor manuof Herbert Morris Ltd, Loughborough, England.) factured bytechnique the illustrated in Fig. 44. Fig. 83 shows the component parts of this machine before assembly. Figs. annular ring of aluminium sheet is needed to complete that 84 and 85 show linear motor driven conveyorsoperating in France, whilst Fig. 86 shows a linear motor driven production part of the drive. Stator units can be mounted around the annulus until sufficient torque has been obtained. The use of line in a Japanese locomotive factory.



2 84



Fig. 87. The moving primary carriage of the Westinghouse aircraft launcher Electropult on its secondary track. (Courtesy of Wesiinghome Engineers.) Fig. 85. The conveyor with some of its secondary conducting carriers in position. (Courtesy of Merlin Gerin, Grenoble, France.)

Fig. 88. Aircraft being attached by a steel cable loop to thelinear motor primary carriage. (Courtesy of Westinghouse Engineers.)

Fig. 86. Linear motor bogie transports a pair of wheels in locomotive factory.


C. EnergyMachines Linear accelerators have been prominentamong the milestones of linear motor history. The aircraft launcher Electropult (Figs. 87 and 88) built in 1945 was easily the largest, the fastest, and the highest powered linear motor until




the apparatus (P.E.) R.A.E.

can be seen on the right of the picture. (M.0.D; Farnborough, England, Crown copyrightreserved.)

Fig. 93. A emerging from the R.A.E. at 1350 ftls. Note also thetraces made by strayparticles of metalwhich are clearlv movine much faster than the missile. (M.O.D. (P.E.)R.A.E. Farndorough,kngland, Crown copyright reserved.)

Fig. 91. The circuit breakers the at instant

(P.E.) R.A.E.

of switchoff. (M.O.D. Farnborough, England, Crown copyright reserved.)

the 1950s. It developed 10 000 hp and accelerated a 10 000-lb aircraft from rest upto115mi/h in 4.2 s. Its synchronous speed was 225 mi/h and it employed dc braking to bring the carriage to rest after ,the aircraft had been launched. This project was the one which first attracted this author t o work on these exciting machines. Previous to Electropult, the Birkeland had patented the electromagnetic pictured gun in Fig. 89. This was only a miniature and the reason why it never became a success is obvious when it is known thatits mechanism was that of a switched reluctance motor. Fig. 90 shows the dc motor at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, England 1451. Fig. 9 1 shows the six air-

Fig. 94. Endview of impact extruding machine built in Manchester, England, in 1963. The central mass is attached t o a pair of aluminum fins which constitute the secondaries of parallel, twin, double-sided primaries.

blast circuitbreakers switching off the field system after a launch. Fig. 92 shows the storage battery which fed the machine and Fig. 93 shows a missile emerging at a speed of nearly Mach 2. Fig. 94 shows an end view of an impact extruding machine built atthe University of Manchester Institute of Science as and Technology in 1963 [ 601 . The central m s was supported


nel. When the car was impactedthe motorunit was automatically detached and brought to rest by aircraft-type arrestor gear. This machine has given continuous service for 8 years and is now being modified to give higher speeds than the 32 mi/h terminal speed for which it was F i t designed. The basic energy of a linear motor is 50 percent as indicated in Section VII-C. This figure however can be exceeded by accelerating the field at almost the same rate as the missile, so that the slip for maximum efficiency obtains at all speeds [ 61. Suchasystemcan be obtained by a graded series of coil pitches and one such machine (a tubular motor) is shown in Fig. 96. The alternative system is to feed the machine from a source of variable frequency. The former method presupposes is the performance of the particular secondary and used peculiar to that secondary. The latter method could be electronically programmed and controlled by signals generated by the missile itself. Both of these systems, however, have now been shown to be costly elaborations and a 3-step speed-varying track achieves almost the Same result [6 1I . The 3-step system can be compared to a 3-gear automobile where the relative cost of continuous gear changing with a fixed speed engine is also prohibitively costly.

Fig. 95. The running trough for the Linear motor used for crash testing cars at the Motor Industry Research LaboratoriesNuneaton, at England. Thetrack i $8 ft long and the terminal speed i 32 mi/h. s s (Courtesy of Motor Industry Research Association, Nuneaton, England.)

Fig. 96. A tubular accelerator with a graded pole pitch to produce a

continuously accelerated magnetic field.

by linear ball races aboveandbelowand driven by atwin, double-sided primary operating on aluminum fiis attached to each side of the hammer. This was the first parallelconnected machine to be built, (the correct connection for a short-secondary motor). It demonstrated clearly the principal advantages of all linear motor accelerators, they are as follows. 1) The first cost is lower than that of any other system, even includinggravityfedmachines.Themachineillustrateddewas veloped 45 ft/s in a distance of 2 ft. The current rating such as to indicate clearly that reconnection for double speed would enable such speed to be attained within the same distance. A gravity machine with a terminal velocity of 90 ft/s would require a gantry some 130 ft high. The entire machine occupied a space of 36 in X 26 in X 12 in. The accelerated mass was 21.5 lb. 2) terminal The speed controllable is within very close limits. In the mid 1960s a car crash test facility was built at the Motor Industry Research Laboratories at Nuneaton, England. Fig. 95 shows the track with the double-sided moving primary sandwich motor running on its central girder sunk into a chan-

D. Power Machines Several factors delayed the exploitation of linear motors in general and power machines in particular. When a small device has been invented any commercial organisation interested can afford to make and test one, but when it is an electromagnetic device, a small machine is on the wrong side of the hill and the device proves to have very poor characteristics. This was particularly important in the early partof this century when the fashion in engineering was to regard efficiency and power factor as all important. To be asked to build an electromagproposed in 1905 [621 or netic railway such as Zehden Bachelet in 19 14 without any guarantee of success was asking too much. As the century progressed the fashion of Can it be done at all? returned and liquid metal pumps were a must forthe commercialharnessing of nuclearpower.Theirefficiencies, of the order of 30 percent, only served t o c o n f m what the earlier generation had suspectedhear motors with big airgaps were poor machines. Yet a strange anomaly now existed, for at the same time as liquid metal pumps were being pioneered, highly successfulturboalternatorswithairgaps of everyday occurrence. several inches were being run as an Communication appears to have been the problem, for induction motor designers apparently never talked to alternator designers and not until the days of the goodness factor were all electromagnetic machines made one and the airgap was seen in its proper background, i.e., related to pole pitch and not a tyrant in itsown right. Thepowermachinesmay have fewerspecificapplications than have the other two groups but such as there are, are far moreglamorous. High-speed ground transport is now perhaps second only to space research in this respect and certainly vast sums of money are now being spent in the development, not only of linear motors this for purpose, but also of methods of levitating the vehicles, so that they float above and are guided along a track. Whilst the countries of the world are not yetagreed on thebest system of suspension, there is general agreementabout the use of high-poweredlinear motors as driving units. First came the double-sided sandwich motor aimed at reducing track costs to anabsolute minimum, but soon itwas found





t .



Fig. 97. Schematic layout of attractive Maglev system.

to be unsafe for high speeds, for aluminum plate has not the to the strength of steel and,therefore,cannotbesubjected welded rail technique. By 1967, Britain had gone single sided, with the rest of the world following, mostly between 197 1 and 1973. France and Britain were developing air cushion lift and guidance, mainly through the efforts of Bertin .in France and the Tracked Hovercraft Company in Britain. Then came setbacks. In 1973 the British Government closed the Tracked Hovercraft project, despite the fact that a 40 tonne vehicle had attained a speedof 108 mi/h against a 20 mi/h headwind, starting and stopping within the only mile of track available, and despite the fact that a further 2 mi of concrete beams had been made and were ready to erect. In 1974, Bertins Aerotrain received a similar Governmental coup de grace. Air cushions were out, it seemed. In their place came two forms of suspension both of which were confusingly called electromagnetic suspension. The one, usually called Maglev is illustrated in Fig. 97. Amplifierfed electromagnets are mounted on each sideof the vehicle (at a low level) with their pole faces horizontal and upwards, to operate into a pair of solid steel rails, one on each side of the track. A sensingdevice tells the amplifier to increaseor decrease the magnet current accordingly as the gap between magnet poles and rail is too large or too small. Such a system is being developed in several countries, including MesserschmittBolkow-Blohm and Krauss-Maffei in Germany, the latter in winning a medium-speed contract (80 km/h) Toronto, Canada. Such systems are quoted as being operative with power inputs as low as 1.O W/kg lifted [63 1. This statement is no more meaningful than that a crane-operating lifting magnet can pick up 3 tons of scrap steel for 80 W of input. In the latter case the fallacy is clear. The crane does the actual lifting with its winch motor. The steelsimply closes a magneticcircuit-anda verygood closure it is. In the case of high-speed vehicles, the fallacy is less clear. A vertical disturbance due to track imperfection or side wind of only 2 mm, occurring in a distance of 1 m, requires correction at 400 km/h involving a vertical acceleration of 49.2 m/s2. The peak power required during the correction is, therefore, 22 W/kg, a total power of 1.1 MW being handled by the amplifier on a 50-tonne vehicle. This is of course just manifestation one of the smaller the better law for pure magnetics. The rival scheme, using entirely different techniques, has occasionally been referred to as repulsive Maglev to distinguish it from the system just described in which the magnetsare attracted to the track rail. More usually the second system is known as cryogenic levitation, since air-cored superconduct


Fig. 98. Basic force diagram. (a) For the currents in primary and secondary of a cryogenic suspension system. (b) For the currents in primary of secondary of a magnetic river. Note the change of direction ofinduced current shift which results in drag in (a) and propulsion i (b). n

ing coils on the vehicle induce current in an aluminum track plate, when the vehiclemoves.Above 40-60(dependingon design) the vertical forces between superconducting coil current and induced track current is sufficient to lift the vehicle clear of the track. The fact that thereafter the vehicle is unstableinrollcan be correctedby vertical trackplatesand other sets of cryogenic coils. The system, therefore, may involve a U-shaped aluminum channel as track member [ 64]. Itcannot be too strongly emphasised thattheattractive Maglev system is a magnetic system whereas the cryogenic system is on the right side of the hill. A recent article differentiatedbetweenthetwosystemsby classifying them as electromagnets with or without iron cores [ 651. This division only applies in the two cases just considered, for iron cored magnetsimprovewithincreasein size provided they induce EMF and not flux into the secondary. Nevertheless the finding [65] were sound in that attractive Maglev can only work with clearances of the order of 1-2 cm, whilst inductive repulsive systemscouldoperatewith 20-30cm clearance. So could a magnetic river. The main difference between a magnetic river and cryogenic levitation is that the former pushes horizontally, as well as lifts, whereas a cryogenic magnet produces drag as well as lift. Any well-coupled induction device (high6 value) produces op an induced secondary current pattern virtually equal and posite to that in the primary, the one slightly displaced in the plane of the interface as shownin Fig. 98(a).Theopposite currents repel and give, in the case of the cryogenic magnet a lifting force and a drag force in the ratio governed by the displacement angle. Themostrecentdevelopmentsinsynchronouspropulsion using the wiggly wire described earlier could providethe answer to thedrag problem of cryogenics [ 661. Developments in Maglev and cryogenic suspension were begun before the demise of air cushion systems so they can be said to havesurvivedair-cushion suspensionandguidance ratherthan to have replaced them. The cryogenicsystem began with a levitation and guidancemechanism as an entity in



itself, linear motor propulsion being a natural partner but not an integral part of those facilities. It is now moving towards an all-in system. The combination ofsingle-sided linear motors and Maglev suspension has been causing trouble to some workers due to the fact that a well designed single-sided linear induction motor (LIM) produceslift and not downward force at standstill and in general the lift force is a function of speed, falling to zero at some value of slip between 1.0 and zero, and for still smaller values of slip changing toa downwardforce. This feature appearedto make the magnetic river a nonstarterin ti hs high-speed context"untilworkbyFreemanandLowther showed how a LIM could be designed to give constant lift and speeds, including reversed-cumnt Fig. 99. 6-ft long @idance forces at

braking 1681 The magnetic river now offers the potential of being able to design a propulsion system which provides levitation and guidance for no additional equipment for no addiand tional equipment and for no additional power input. It can be supplied at mains frequency. It is electromagnetic and, therefore, scales up advantageously. Perhaps its place in relation to other systems is best indicated by comparing it with the other electromagnetic suspension system, i.e., cryogenics, as shown in Fig. 98(b) where the secondary induced currents areseen to be displaced in the opposite sense from those in Fig. 98(a). The horizontal component of the total forceis now propulsive and for the same goodness factor it would appear that the ratio of vertical to horizontal force components is the same in the two cases. In other words, the drag force on a cryogenic system may, in practice, be of the same order as is the propulsive force of a magnetic river scheme. It can be argued that it is early days yet to pronounce so favorably towards the magnetic river and to condemn cryogenic the levitation system but the magnetic river is so potentially advantageous that it wiil certainly receive the full experimental treatment in the months ahead. hs It is virtually impossible to standback,at t i time,and present an unbiased summary of the state of power machine development at a timeof such fertility in new ideas. Let it suffice to illustrate a fewexamplesfromtheworkin various countries, obviously without being aware of the true state of i l the art in any oneof the projects foreach inventor w initially on the latest protect his device by remaining silent developments. Fig. 99 shows a 6-ft model of the Tracked Hovercraft exhibited at Portsmouth, England, in 1966. The problem of sealing down theelectromagneticpropulsionsystem wassolved using a supply of 400 Hz. The shape of the vehicle changed in the process of developing the 25-ton vehicle (RTV 3 1) seen in process of manufacture in Fig. 100 and in Huntingdonshire in 1972 (Fig. 101). Fig. 102 shows the linear motor which propels t h i s vehicle. In Germany several experimental tracks have beenbuilt,propulsionandlevitationsystemsdiffering but propulsive systems now moving in the direction of singleFrench vehicle carrying a sided motors. Fig. 103 shows a double-sided sandwich motor. French manufacturers of linear motors have now largely withdrawn from the scene. By contrast Fig. 104 shows the Japanese two-man vehicle onits experimental track. Levitation is provided by cryogenic mag-

Tracked Hovercraft exhibited at Hovershowin '66 Portsmouth, England, reached 34 mi/hpowered by a linear motor measuring 7 in X 1 in X 1 i (Courtesy of Hovercraft Ltd.,England.) n .

Fig. 100. RTV 31 in course of construction.(PhotobyRonBailey Studios, Huntingdon, England, for Tracked Hovercraft Ltd., England.)

Fie. 101. Full-scale Tracked Hovercraft (Research Test Vehicle 31) on

its mile of track atEarith,Huntingdon., England. (Photo by Ron Bailey Studios, Huntingdon., England, for TrackedHovercraftLtd.. England.)

''A similar system to themagnetic river which was exhibitedin Berlin, Germany, is described m a paper by Hochhausler [ 67 ]. This system was primitive i thatthemagneticcircuit n w a s onlycompleted laterally through a large airpp, the system as designed consisting of two parallel conventional linear motors with principally longitudinal flux.

net on board using the Powell and Danby original type with coils, rather than continuous aluminum sheet being fitted all along the track. Propulsion of this vehicle is by linear motor primaries, track-mounted at intervals, with secondary member carriedon the vehicle (presumablywitha view to reducing vehicle weight). A start has been made on commercial manufacture of transverse flux machines and Fig. 105 shows a 1/5 scale machine built by Linear Motors Ltd of Loughborough,Englandfor Tracked Hovercraft Ltd.


2 89

Fig. 105. The fust commercial TFM made by Linear MotorsLtd.of Loughborough, England. (Courtesy of Linear Motors Ltd., Loughborough, England.)

Fig. 102. The single-sided linear motor which propels RTV 31, manufactured i England by G.E.C. Ltd. (Photo by W. Eaden Lilley & n Co. Ltd., Cambridge, England, for Tracked Hovercraft Ltd., England.)

Fig. 103. French test vehicle with double-sided motor manufactured by Merlin Gerin in Grenoble. (Courtesy of Merlin Gerin, Grenoble, France.)

wake. There was a time in the 1950s when it appeared as if the subject of rotating machines had become so stereotyped and dull that educational establishments were scrapping their machine laboratories and resorting to all-theory courses with generalized machine theory as their bedrock. What has been done since has been almost entirely the result of practice, ingenuity and shrewd application of electromechanical analogy. l it l i How long w be before the theory of a graded pole pitch, transverse flux tubular motor with short secondary, in a state of acceleration, will be sufficiently far advanced that optimum design procedure can be formalized? At the present time the topological explosionbegun some 15 years ago shows little sign of abatingandthe gap betweeninventionandpuretheory widens. Linear motor technology must surely now form part of academic courses if only for the sake of what it can teach about conventional rotary machines, about real motors, the best of which have a measure of symmetry and anisotropy. Generalized theory is no longergeneral. It is always difficult to look into the crystal ball of technology and predict the most likely trends but it would appear that motor shapes will continue to change and perhaps in the direction of the shapes of living creatures, for the most advanced forms of linear motor are now of the same basic shape as those of some of the most primitive animals on earth, i.e., seashells [691.

The author is indebted to the Science Museum, South Kensington, London, England, for the loan of the Wheatstone machine illustrated in Fig. 64.
1 ] A wound rotor motor 1400 ft long, Westinghouse Eng., vol. 6, p. 160, 1946. 21 E. R. laithwaite, Man made or God made?Electron. Power, vol. 19, pp. 17-19, Jan. 1973. 31 -, The goodness of a machine, Roc. Inst. Elm. Eng., vol. 112, pp. 538-541, Mar. 1965. 4 1 -, Linear induction motors, Proc. Insr. Elec. Eng., vol. 104A,

Fig. 104. Japanese twO-man t a t vehicle suspended by cryogenic maggnetsystem and propelled by linearmotors.(Courtesy National Railways.) of Japanese

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W .

Enough has been illustrated in this article, to indicate that novelty in topology, pure invention in fact, has leapt away fromtheconsolidating analysis which usually followsin its

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE, FEBRUARY 1975 E. R. Laithwaite, Linear Elecmc Motors. London, England: Mills and Boon, 1971. - The moving window motor, Electric.Rev., vol. 181, , pp. 126-128, July 28, 1967. S Yamamura, Theory of Linear Induction Motors. New York: . Wiley, 1972. P. Trombetta, Theelectrichammer,presented at the Spring N E E Conv., Chicago, Ill., pp. 233-241, Apr. 19-21, 1922. J. M. Shaw, H. J. H. Sketch and J.M. Logie, The theory, design, constructionand testing of electric an launcher, RAE Rep. AERO. 2523, E.L. 1484, July 1954. Yu. A. Brizvalk et a. An experimental investigation and l, generalisation of channel characteristics in conduction pumps withindependentexcitation, Magn. Gidrodin.(USSR), no. 4, pp. 117-122, 1971. C. W. Green and R. J. A. Paul, Application of d.c. linear machines as short-stroke actuators, ROC. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 116, pp. 599-604, Apr. 1969. J. Gerrard and R. J. A. Paul, Rectilinear screw-thread reluctance motor, R o c . Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 118, pp. 1575-1584, Nov. 1971. J. Gerrard and R. J. A. Paul, Dynamic performance of a rectilinear screw-thread motor, R o c . Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 120, pp. 73-78, Jan. 1973. R. J. A. Paul, Flat single-sided linear helical reluctance motor, R o c . Znst. Elec. Eng., vol. 119, pp. 1693-1697, Dec. 1972. E.R. Laithwaite and M. T. Hardy, Rack-and-pinion motors: hybrid of linear and rotary machines, Roc. Znst. Elec. Eng., vol. 117, pp. 1105-1112, June 1970. D. E. Hesmondhalgh and D. Tipping, High-torque, low speed motor using magnetic attraction t o produce r o t a t i o n , h . Znst. Elec. Eng., vol. 120,pp. 61-66, Jan. 1973. E R. Laithwaite and P. J. Lamenson, A self-oscillating induc. tion motor for shuttle propulsion, R o c . Znst. Elec. Eng., vol. 104A, pp. 93-101, Am. 1957. J. C. West and B.V. Jayawant, A new linear oscillating motor, R o c . Inst, Elec. Eng., vol. 109A, pp. 292-300, Aug. 1962. E.R. Laithwaite and R. S Mamak, An oscillating synchronous . linear machine, Roc. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 109A, pp. 4 1 5 4 2 6 , Oct. 1962. L. R. Blake, Conduction and induction pumps for liquid metals, Roc. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 104A, pp. 49-63, Jan. 1957. L. A. Werte, An electromagnetictrough for handling molten metal, Elektrichestvo, no. 5 , pp. 74-77, May 1962. G. F. Nix and E R. Laithwaite, Linear induction motors forlow. speed and standstill application, R o c . Znst. Elec. Eng., vol. 1 1 3, pp. 1044-1056, June 1966. G. V. Sadler and A. W. Davey, Applications of linear induction motors i industry, R o c . Znst. Elec. Eng.. vol. 118, pp. 765n 776. June 1971. W. Johnson, E. R. Laithwaite, and R. A. C. Slater, An experimental impactextrusion machine driven by a linear induction motor, R o c . Inst. Mech. Eng. (London),vol. 179, pt 1, pp. 1535, 1964-1965. T. Onukiand E. R. Laithwaite, Optimized design of linearinduction motor accelerators, R o c . Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 118, pp. 349-355, Feb. 1971. A. Zehden, U.S. Patent 732 312, 1905. R. D. Thornton, Flying low with Maglev, IEEE Spectrum, vol. 10, pp. 47-54, April 1973. L. C. Davis, J. R. Reitz, D. F. Wilkie, and R. M. Borcherts, Technical feasibility of magnetic levitation as a suspension system for high-speed ground transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Rep. FRA-RT-7240, 1972. H. van de Heide, Dimensional considerations concerning lifting forces of magnetically levitated trains,phiJips Res. Rep., vol. 29, pp. 152-154, 1974. G. R. Slemon, P. E. Burke. and R. A. Turton, A linear synchronous motor for highapeed ground transport, presented zit 1974 IEEE Int. Magnetics Conf., Toronto, Canada, May 14-17, 1974. P. -Hochhausler, Die magnetische Schwebebahn, Elektrotech. Z..vd. 23. DD. 311-313.1971. EM Freeman and D. A:Lowther, Normal force in single-sided : . linear induction motors, Roc. Inst. Elec. Eng., vol. 120, pp. 1499-1506, k c . 1973. R. I. Gamowand J. E. Harris, What engineers can learn from nature, IEEE Spectrum, vol. 9, pp. 3 6 4 2 , Aug. 1972.

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