Control of a High-Speed Switched Reluctance Generator

WEDACS is a device that produces “green” electricity by recovering otherwise wasted throttling losses in gasoline engines. It has three main components: a turbine, a heat-exchanger and a Switched Reluctance electric Generator (SRG). This project focuses on the SRG control.

PhD Candidate: Sava Marinkov
Supervisor: Bram de Jager
Promotor: Maarten Steinbuch
Project Financing: EUREKA WETREN PROJECT (http://www.eurekanetwork.org/project/-/id/5765)
Project Period: January 2012 – January 2016
Project Partners:

  1. Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
  2. Progression-Industry, The Netherlands
  3. Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden
  4. Inverto, Belgium

WETREN is an acronym for Waste Energy driven air conditioning system TRue Environment. This project encompasses research, development and validation of the Waste Energy Driven Air Conditioning System (WEDACS) technology for vehicles. WEDACS aims to recover otherwise wasted throttling losses in gasoline engines by producing “green” electricity and cooling capacity. It has three main components: a turbine, a heat-exchanger and a Switched Reluctance electric Generator (SRG). WEDACS has a potential to reduce a vehicle dependency on fuel-consuming engine-driven alternator and an air-conditioning compressor. By doing so it could improve the fuel economy of up to 15%.
 

Research on WEDACS is being conducted in the context of two PhD projects. The first one focuses on the design and the analysis of the thermo-dynamical behaviour of both the turbine and the heat-exchanger. The second one treats the development and the application of novel (optimal) control strategies to ensure energy-efficient performance of a high-speed SRG.

The SRG is simple, reliable and cheap to produce as it has no brushes, permanent magnets or rotor windings. However, its switched nonlinear dynamics poses a significant challenge for optimal control, especially in the case of varying speed applications (of up to 90000 rpm), such as WEDACS.