skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Advanced High Torque Density Magnetically Geared Generator

Abstract

The objective of this research project was to investigate the fundamental torque density limitations of multistage flux focusing magnetic gears and magnetically geared direct-drive generators for wind turbines. Magnetic gears create non-contact speed amplification by modulating the air-gap magnetic field harmonics created by magnetic rotors. By integrating a stator into the magnetic gear structure a very high torque density direct-drive generator can be created. Magnetic geared systems offer unique capabilities that are currently not available using existing mechanically geared systems, such as overload protection. Magnetic gears also offer the potential for higher reliability, higher efficiency and quieter operation than is currently achievable using a mechanically geared generator. By increasing reliability and design life magnetic gears could decrease the overall life-cycle costs when compared with equivalent mechanical or direct-drive drivetrains. This research project investigated and experimentally testing two sub-scale magnetic gearboxes (0.12 m diameter) and two large diameter magnetic gearboxes (0.56m and 0.63m diameter). The goal of the project was to demonstrate a torque density >300Nm/L for a multistage magnetic gearbox with integrated stator. A nested multistage magnetic gear structure was first proposed and studied. However, it was shown that the nested design greatly increased mechanical complexity and therefore a two-stagemore » series typology was utilized. A multi-stage magnetic gear with a 59:1 gear ratio was successfully experimentally tested. A peak torque of 4.25 kN·m was measured and this resulted in an overall active region torque density of 141 N·m/L (when including support rings). The torque density was significantly reduced from what was computed using 2-D electromagnetic analysis. This reduction was due to the 3-D edge effects, increased power losses and the inclusion of additional mechanical support rings as well as other mechanical assembly design changes. At large diameters contiguous lamination parts could not be fabricated and so a segmented laminated rotor design had to be used. This reduced the mechanical strength of the design when compared to small diameter magnetic gears and resulted in the need for the addition of mechanical support rings to prevent deflection. The final experimentally tested design also had a high torque ripple and the power loss within the magnetic gear did not change significantly with load. This therefore resulted in the efficiency being high only at peak loads. Despite not experimentally achieving the 2-D calculated high torque density the analysis has shown that the problems encountered with the scaling can be overcome with careful design changes. For example, understanding the unique mechanical deflection requirements during the electromagnetic design of the large diameter magnetic gears is key to achieving both a high torque density based on the electromagnetic analysis and a high torque density based on the mechanical support needs. Furthermore, ensuring that end plates are made of non-conductive material and minimizing other conductive support elements within the magnetic structure is a key requirement for reducing eddy current losses. In summary, if the mechanical design can be made more robust and eddy current loss mitigation strategies are used in the mechanical design phase then the magnetic gear is capable of being scaled up whilst operating at a very high torque density. This will then enable it to be potentially performance and cost competitive with alternative direct-drive and mechanically geared wind turbine drivetrains.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]
  1. Portland State University; University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  2. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Energy Technologies Office (EE-4WE)
OSTI Identifier:
1494152
Report Number(s):
DOE-UNCC-06801
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006801
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; magnetic gear, wind turbine, drivetrain, direct drive, torque density, finite element analysis, high torque, generator, reliability, efficiency, design life,

Citation Formats

Bird, Jonathan, and Williams, Wesley. Advanced High Torque Density Magnetically Geared Generator. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1494152.
Bird, Jonathan, & Williams, Wesley. Advanced High Torque Density Magnetically Geared Generator. United States. doi:10.2172/1494152.
Bird, Jonathan, and Williams, Wesley. Sat . "Advanced High Torque Density Magnetically Geared Generator". United States. doi:10.2172/1494152. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1494152.
@article{osti_1494152,
title = {Advanced High Torque Density Magnetically Geared Generator},
author = {Bird, Jonathan and Williams, Wesley},
abstractNote = {The objective of this research project was to investigate the fundamental torque density limitations of multistage flux focusing magnetic gears and magnetically geared direct-drive generators for wind turbines. Magnetic gears create non-contact speed amplification by modulating the air-gap magnetic field harmonics created by magnetic rotors. By integrating a stator into the magnetic gear structure a very high torque density direct-drive generator can be created. Magnetic geared systems offer unique capabilities that are currently not available using existing mechanically geared systems, such as overload protection. Magnetic gears also offer the potential for higher reliability, higher efficiency and quieter operation than is currently achievable using a mechanically geared generator. By increasing reliability and design life magnetic gears could decrease the overall life-cycle costs when compared with equivalent mechanical or direct-drive drivetrains. This research project investigated and experimentally testing two sub-scale magnetic gearboxes (0.12 m diameter) and two large diameter magnetic gearboxes (0.56m and 0.63m diameter). The goal of the project was to demonstrate a torque density >300Nm/L for a multistage magnetic gearbox with integrated stator. A nested multistage magnetic gear structure was first proposed and studied. However, it was shown that the nested design greatly increased mechanical complexity and therefore a two-stage series typology was utilized. A multi-stage magnetic gear with a 59:1 gear ratio was successfully experimentally tested. A peak torque of 4.25 kN·m was measured and this resulted in an overall active region torque density of 141 N·m/L (when including support rings). The torque density was significantly reduced from what was computed using 2-D electromagnetic analysis. This reduction was due to the 3-D edge effects, increased power losses and the inclusion of additional mechanical support rings as well as other mechanical assembly design changes. At large diameters contiguous lamination parts could not be fabricated and so a segmented laminated rotor design had to be used. This reduced the mechanical strength of the design when compared to small diameter magnetic gears and resulted in the need for the addition of mechanical support rings to prevent deflection. The final experimentally tested design also had a high torque ripple and the power loss within the magnetic gear did not change significantly with load. This therefore resulted in the efficiency being high only at peak loads. Despite not experimentally achieving the 2-D calculated high torque density the analysis has shown that the problems encountered with the scaling can be overcome with careful design changes. For example, understanding the unique mechanical deflection requirements during the electromagnetic design of the large diameter magnetic gears is key to achieving both a high torque density based on the electromagnetic analysis and a high torque density based on the mechanical support needs. Furthermore, ensuring that end plates are made of non-conductive material and minimizing other conductive support elements within the magnetic structure is a key requirement for reducing eddy current losses. In summary, if the mechanical design can be made more robust and eddy current loss mitigation strategies are used in the mechanical design phase then the magnetic gear is capable of being scaled up whilst operating at a very high torque density. This will then enable it to be potentially performance and cost competitive with alternative direct-drive and mechanically geared wind turbine drivetrains.},
doi = {10.2172/1494152},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

Works referenced in this record:

Analysis and Testing of a Coaxial Magnetic Gearbox With Flux Concentration Halbach Rotors
journal, November 2017


A low assembly cost coaxial magnetic gearbox
conference, December 2016


Ideal Radial Permanent Magnet Coupling Torque Density Analysis
journal, June 2017


Designing the first stage of a series connected multistage coaxial magnetic gearbox for a wind turbine demonstrator
conference, October 2017


Analysis and testing of a hybrid Halbach magnetic gearbox
conference, April 2017