Modelling Power Losses in Inductors and Transformers used in Switch Mode Transformers
Engineering, IT, Mathematics and Statistics
- This internship is able to cover project costs for domestic students only.
- The Industry Partner has implemented appropriate preparations to comply with Federal and State Government requirements regarding COVID-19 safety. Due to remote arrangements, this internship is now accepting applications from eligible PhD students nationwide.
Many electronic engineers are familiar with and use circuit simulation tools such as SPICE, PSPICE, LTSPICE and maths packages like Matlab. Few are familiar with electromagnetic modelling. Some expensive products exist for this work but there are also groups developing open or public license packages.
The need for electromagnetic modelling arises when inductors and transformers are designed for switch mode power supplies. Simple expressions provide adequate determination of the magnetic field in the core and manufacturers data allows losses to be determined. Determining the losses in the conductors is not straight forward because the current distribution is disturbed by the magnetic field (skin effect and proximity effect – eddy current losses).
It may or may not be that these open / public products are suitable with or without modification.
If a work flow was available that allowed engineers generally competent with simulation and basic magnetic part design to accurately model proposed designs the industry would benefit greatly in the ability to deliver better product quicker.
RESEARCH TO BE CONDUCTED
This project is to develop a workflow for modelling the power losses in inductors and transformers used in switch mode transformers. The electromagnetic modelling takes into account eddy current losses, skin effect and proximity effect using low cost or open source tools such that a proposed transformer can be optimised and inductance, leakage inductance (possibly capacitance) and losses can be determined by an engineer familiar with more common simulation such as Spice can perform.
Some representative example models would be set up. It is expected the solution will be useful for multifilar windings and windings made of conductors with different cross sections.
Part of the work is to determine the scope of work for the project. The scope of work may consist of;
- Becoming familiar with the design problem and the limitation of existing approximations.
- Researching the approach by others in solving these problems
- Reviewing candidate open / public license applications.
- Setting up some representative models and reviewing modelling results.
- Additionally, model results may be compared to real world samples. The applicant has the lab equipment required to make and measure samples.
- Write a “How to” guide tailored to one of the modelling packages and the specific task of SMPS transformers and inductors.
SKILLS WISH LIST
- An aptitude for Applied mathematics. Mathematical physics
- Deep fundamental understanding of electromagnetics.
- Electro Magnetic modelling experience in the 100 kHz frequency range
A report summarising
- Review of existing literature on the subject
- A succinct framing of the problem to be modelled
- The candidate packages looked at and the selection process
- Experience with setting the software to work including issues and resolutions.
- The process of getting a representative model to model and modelling verifications performed (ie modelling items for which a solution is known – straight wire, simple solenoid coil etc)
- Summary of other work performed and reasons for decisions where research forked.
A workflow that an engineer can follow to model several supplied examples and modify samples and remodel. Allow the creation of new models of a similar type.
The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.
It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours and maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.
The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.
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