Simplifying Magnetic Gear Design for Mechanical Engineers

Magnetic gears
By Ahmed Khebir | 28/03/2024


Magnetic gears emulate the functionality of traditional mechanical gears but leverage the power of magnets instead of physical teeth for operation. By arranging magnets with opposite polarities on separate rings, these gears mimic the interaction of teeth, enabling the transmission of motion and power. This innovative approach allows for the conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy (and vice versa) from a slow-speed, high-torque form to a high-speed, low-torque form, all without mechanical contact. The use of magnetic fields instead of interlocking teeth presents several advantages, including a high torque-to-volume ratio, minimal maintenance, no need for lubrication, reduced noise and vibration, and an inherent overload protection mechanism, marking a significant advancement in gear technology. 

Magnetic gear system [1] 


Gears play a crucial role in renewable energy systems, particularly in wind turbines and wave energy converters, where they are essential for power transmission. However, their placement in hard-to-reach locations—high above the ground in wind turbines and deep underwater in wave energy converters—makes maintenance challenging and costly. The advent of magnetic gears, which require minimal to no maintenance and offer a high torque-per-volume ratio, presents a transformative solution for the renewable energy sector. By replacing mechanical gears with magnetic ones, the industry can significantly reduce operational costs and improve reliability, further paving the way for renewable energy technologies to become more prevalent and economically viable in the global energy mix.


The traditional training of a mechanical engineer typically focuses on the study and design of mechanical gears, a technology that has been foundational for centuries. However, the introduction of magnetic gears, which operate based on principles of physics distinct from those taught in conventional mechanical engineering programs, presents a new frontier. EMWorks' electromagnetic simulation package, EMS, becomes particularly useful for the mechanical engineering community facing this challenge. EMS simplifies the complexities of Maxwell's equations, making electromagnetic design approachable for those without extensive electromagnetism expertise. Additionally, its integration with popular mechanical CAD platforms makes it an indispensable tool for mechanical engineers tasked with designing magnetic gears or exploring other electromagnetic applications, effectively bridging the gap between mechanical engineering's rich heritage and the emerging field of electromagnetic design.

3D and 2D CAD models of magnetic gear systems

Magnetic field results – 3D and 2D plots 

Torque results – inner and outer rotors torques