First Advisor

Jonathan Bird

Term of Graduation

Spring 2019

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering




Magnetic devices, Gearing



Physical Description

1 online resource (xvi, 147 pages)


The conversion from low speed to high speed and vice versa in various forms, including rotary and linear motion, is a requirement for a wide range of applications. For example, wind power generation requires a conversion of low speed rotation of turbine blades to high speed generator rotation, and ocean wave power generation is achievable by conversion of low speed linear motion to either high speed rotation or high speed linear motion. Mechanical gearboxes, hydraulic and pneumatic actuators are commonly used to achieve these conversions. However, these systems suffer from reliability issues, high maintenance requirements, noise, and lack of overload protection.

As an alternative, electromagnetic actuators overcome most of the issues related to the mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic mechanisms. However, magnetic shear stress is constraint by current density and magnetic saturation. Recently, magnetic gearboxes have been proposed, which rely only on magnetic loading. They provide speed and force conversion like their mechanical counterparts, but without thermal constraints (current density limits). Unlike mechanical gears, magnetic gear contact-less operation enables it to operate without lubrication and with low noise, and higher efficiency. Its reliance on magnetic loading also provides overload protection.

This dissertation focuses on investigating two new types of magnetic gears; first a magnetically-geared lead screw is proposed, which converts a low speed linear motion to a high speed rotary motion. The proposed actuator is a combination of two previously proposed actuators, the linear magnetic gear and the magnetic lead screw. Unlike these two topologies, the translator part of the proposed magnetically geared lead screw is made entirely of low-cost ferromagnetic steel. Therefore, the translator stroke length can be long without requiring more magnet material.

In the second part of this dissertation, an axial flux magnetic gear is proposed that has an integrated outer stator. This axial flux magnetically-geared motor is unique in that the stator shares the high-speed rotor with the magnetic gear, so there is no need for a separate rotor. The high speed and low speed rotors use a flux-focusing typology. The stator is mounted outside the axial flux magnetic gear. This makes the design mechanically less complex. It also enables the stator to be cooled more easily.

In the last part of this dissertation, analytical-based models are proposed for a linear permanent magnet coupling and magnetic lead screw. These models help to find the upper bound of the similar devices, which require a scaling analysis. Numerical methods like finite element analysis are accurate and effective enough for modeling various electromechanical and electromagnetic devices. However, these simulations are usually computationally expensive; they require a considerable amount of memory and time, especially when considering 3D finite element simulation. The proposed analytical models offer exact field solution while significantly reducing the computational time.

Detailed analysis of two magnetic gears is given under their corresponding chapters. Preliminary experimental results are also provided. The analytical-based model is presented and verified by FEA results. A summary of research contributions and future works is outlined.


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