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Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

This course covers topics including: treatment of transformers, electromechanical transducers, rotating and linear electric machines; lumped parameter electromechanics of interaction; consideration of the basic machine types: dc, induction, synchronous; development of device characteristics: energy conversion density, efficiency, and of system interaction characteristics, regulation, stability, controllability, and response. Problems taken from current research.

This Subject is Really About

This subject is really about electromechanics, using electric machinery as the examples. It teaches, at the level of MIT graduate students, an understanding of principles and analysis of electromechanical systems. At the end of the subject the students will have capability of doing electromechanical design of the major classes of rotating and linear electric machines, and will have an understanding of the principles of the energy conversion parts of Mechatronics. The approach taken is "relentlessly classical" in the sense that it attempts to develop an understanding of the phenomena that are important. A resort to numerical methods is made only as a last resort when other methods will not do. Emphasis is on understanding phenomena and interactions. In addition to design, students will also learn how to estimate the dynamic parameters of electric machines and to understand what the implications of those parameters are on performance of systems incorporating those machines.

Examples are taken from current research. During the academic year 2005-2006, those examples are expected to include some set of:

  1. A novel permanent magnet machine with a second, wound and excited rotor intended for use as a generator for wind turbines.
  2. Improvements in induction motors, including the use of higher conductivity rotor materials (copper) and attempts to improve our understanding of stray load loss.

We will also be attempting to include some 'hands on' component to the subject, using relatively small scale demonstration machine/dynamometer sets we are acquiring for this purpose.

Teaching Philosophy

The subject audience is graduate students at MIT. We assume that the students are smart and self-motivated, require little hand-holding and know when to come in and ask for help. There are three hours of lecture per week and these move relatively fast. We make limited reference to a couple of books, but they are supplemented by notes written by the instructor. Heavy emphasis is placed on the homework, with a mix of problems from textbooks and others suggested by current research. There are two quizzes. No final exam.


There is no single textbook for the subject. Class notes are provided in the lecture notes section, containing almost everything that is important. We mention two books that might be of interest and for future reference use.

Fitzgerald, A. E., Charled Kingsley, Jr., and Stephen D. Umans. Electric Machinery. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2007. ISBN: 0071230106.
The book is useful for background, has some good explanations and pictures of machines. It is, however, not very analytical and we will be making extensive use of handouts. You may not need it.

Beaty, H. Wayne, and James L. Kirtley, Jr. Electric Motor Handbook. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1998. ISBN: 0070359717.
Not really a handbook but not yet a textbook, this shows some of the analytical techniques we will be using. It is a bit more finished than the class notes but does not contain a lot of material beyond them.