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Electrical machines (both motors and generators) are a constantly growing and major application for permanent magnets.
Dec 25, 2018

Electrical machines (both motors and generators) are a constantly growing and major application for permanent magnets. In recent times, everyone is looking for motors and generators that are built with permanent magnets in stead of conventional field-windings. The reasons are following:

Use of permanent magnets eliminates the field winding. That in turn eliminates the copper loss in that winding. Hence, the efficiency of the machine gets a huge boost.

There has been a steady development in the field of material sciences. That gives us materials (like Nd-Fe-B alloy) that can be converted to very reliable and strong permanent magnets.

Modern permanent magnets (Nd-Fe-B) are capable of producing so strong flux densities in the airgap that it reduces the size and weight of the machines by a considerable amount (for similar power rating). This is specially encouraging for the wind power generators that require to be installed at the top of tall towers along with wind turbines.

Permanent magnet machines are much more compatible with solar power applications and high precision applications like robotic hands, biomedical instruments etc.

However, there are some hindrances also on the path to popularization of permanent magnet machines. Those are cost and lack of fabrication and suitable machining infrastructure in Indian manufacturing sector.

Another growing application of permanent magnets is encoders and other sensors. However, permanent magnets are not suitable for sensors where magnetic field has to vary for the sensing activity.


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