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Electrical machines and drives

Potential for worldwide energy and cost savings


Globally around 45% of electricity is consumed in various electrical motor systems converting electrical energy into its mechanical counterpart. More energy-efficient electrical machines and their optimised use in different processes present a huge potential for worldwide energy and cost savings.
At VTT, we focus on the development of environmentally and economically sustainable solutions and can offer you expertise and support in:

  • Development of electrical machine computation methods and tools
  • Numerical multi-physics analysis and optimisation of electrical machines in cluster computation environments
  • Design of electrical machines
  • Simulation and control of electrical machine drives
  • Magnetic bearings
  • Experimentation of electrical machine drives



High performance computation

Design of electrical machines often involves coping with several, partly conflicting objectives such as maximising energy efficiency and minimising mass and volume. Moreover, modern electrical machines are becoming increasingly tailored, and single unit production more and more common.
Computational analysis is one of the most powerful tools for tackling demanding research and engineering problems. In order to respond to the present and future challenges, we are continuously building our expertise in high performance computation (HPC) of electrical machines and drives. Our offering includes:

  • Development of methods, algorithms and workflows for finite element analysis of electrical machines, particularly using open-source software Elmer of CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd
  • Multi-physics computation of electrical machines including electromagnetics, thermal interaction, mechanics, structural dynamics, vibration, noise, and fatigue
  • Massive parallel computation in cluster environment, e.g. in VTT’s computational cluster

CASE: Development of finite element computation methods for electrical machines

  • Detailed 3D modelling of large structures that requires a huge amount of computation power and memory in parallel cluster environments (HPC)
  • Electromagnetic and thermal models for electrical machines, e.g. estimation of iron losses and eddy-current losses of electro-mechanical devices
  • Multi-physics simulations, e.g. co-simulation of electromagnetic and heat transfer fluid problems
  • Fast simulation and optimisation of skewed structures using 2.5D multi-slice models (animation)



​​Electrical machines and drives

Different fully and hybrid electrical vehicles are perhaps the most obvious example of the new, fast-growing application area of electrical machine drives. The new uses introduce new requirements, too. For instance, when it comes to vehicles, the solutions that are applied have to be energy- and cost-efficient yet compact. Development of electrical machine drives that fulfil these requirements is in our focus.
Our offering ranges from basic dimensioning of electrical machines to their detailed two- and three-dimensional finite element analysis, prototyping and experimentation. We have a broad expertise in commercial and open source finite element software and tradition in the development of our own in-house tools for, e.g. design and optimisation purposes. Our areas of expertise include:

  • Research and development of novel electrical machine drive concepts
  • Modelling and analysis of electromagnetic forces and related interactions, e.g. in bearingless machines
  • Multi-objective optimisation

CASE: Development of a bearingless switched reluctance motor drive

  • Compact and cost efficient machine topology
  • Design and manufacturing of switched reluctance motor
  • Design, development and implementation of electrical converter and control algorithm
  • Development and implementation of motor models for design and control purposes



Pippuri, J., Manninen, A., Keränen, J., and Tammi, K. 2013. Torque Density of Radial, Axial and Transverse Flux Permanent Magnet Machine Topologies. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Vol. 49, No. 5, pp. 2339–2342.

Keränen, J., Pippuri, J., Malinen, M., Ruokolainen, J., Råback, P., Lyly, M., and Tammi, K. 2015. Efficient Parallel 3-D Computation of Electrical Machines with Elmer. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Vol. 51, No. 3. March 2015

Ponomarev, P., Petrov, I., Bianchi, N., and Pyrhönen, J. 2015. Selection of Geometric Design Variables for Fine Numerical Optimizations of Electrical Machines. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Vol. 51, No. 12. Dec. 2015