In this report, methods and computational techniques for predicting the static and steady state characteristics of a switched reluctance motor drive are developed and the predicted characteristics are compared with experimental results. Because of high local saturation and narrow airgap in the SR motor, accurate calculation of the static characteristics of the torque, flux linkage, inductances, and speed emf from its FE field solution is not straightforward. For the purpose of this study, a two-dimensional finite element model is developed to handle the nonlinear magnetic field inside the machine. Based on a thorough study of the potential sources of errors in the field solution and in the computational methods used in postprocessing, new guidelines are developed regarding the shape and uniformity of the mesh in the airgap and the preservation of these qualities of the mesh as the rotor is rotated. When the proposed guidelines on the mesh configuration and its rotation were used, significant improvement in the accuracy of the field distribution and in the accuracy of the predicted torque/angle characteristics as compared to the experimentally measured torque was observed. Furthermore, all three methods of torque calculation, namely global virtual work, local virtual work, and Maxwell-stress tensor methods are converging to the same results and the torque/angle characteristics are smooth. Improvement in the prediction of such static characteristics is also essential to a realistic prediction of the steady state behavior. In the study of steady state performance of the SRM drive, the converter is approximated by a controlled, square wave pulse generator. In the integration process, the coefficients of the governing differential equation, being dependent on the phase current and rotor angle, are updated using surface interpolation method on the static characteristics. The predicted steady state characteristics compare favorably with the experimental results over a wide range of torque/speed variation.
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