Flux Switching Machine

Involved People
Maarten KremersPhD student
dr. ir. J.J.H. PaulidesCo-promotor
Prof. dr. E.A. Lomonova, M.Sc.First promotor

For renewable energy generation within the Netherlands, the main focus is on wind energy. There are several programs on onshore and offshore wind turbines. However, the most important drawbacks of wind turbines are that their output is rather unpredictable and they are more expensive per kWh than fossil fuel power plants. Hydro power is considered to be the renewable with the lowest costs per kWh. Furthermore, the output is very predictable since it depends on the tides and season.

Due to the geographical position of the Netherlands at the North Sea, the potential energy available in waves and tidal difference is too low to be exploited. Energy generation out of the kinetic energy of the rivers and tides is a viable option, but using a barrage in order to locally increase the flow speed of a river would conflict with e.g. shipping. Hence, the hydropower has to be generated from a water flow of high volume at a relatively low speed.

In order to make an efficient hydropower generator, the efficiency and reliability should be maximized. This requires the elimination of the gearbox, which is responsible for the main part of the maintenance and failures, and an electric generator with a very low operating speed and high efficiency.

A solution is to use a flux switching generator. The transverse flux switching generator is capable of operating at a very low speed while a high efficiency is maintained. Furthermore, it has a very high power density per unit of volume of active materials. A challenge for this type of machine is to obtain a design with a high power factor.

This research focusses on:

 

  • 3D modeling of the magnetic fields in the machine
  • Development of design algorithms and tools
  • Maximizing efficiency and power factor