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Measuring air gap width of permanent magnet linear generators using search coil sensor
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity. (Elektricitetslära)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity. (Elektricitetslära)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity. (Elektricitetslära)
2007 (English)In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 101, no 2, 024518- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A concept for a wave power plant is being developed at the Centre for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion at the A˚ngström Laboratory at Uppsala University. The concept is based on a permanent magnet linear generator placed on the seabed, directly driven by a surface following buoy. Critical for the survival of the generator is that the air gap between the moving and static parts of the generator is constantly fixed at the designed width to prevent the moving and static parts from connecting during operation. This paper shows the design and evaluation of an inductive sensor for measuring the air gap width during generator operation. In order to survive during years on the seafloor inside the wave power plants, the sensor has deliberately been chosen to be a passive component, as well as robust and compact. A coil etched on a printed circuit board, i.e., a search coil, was the chosen basis for the sensor. The sensor has been tested on an existing test rig of a wave power plant and the results have been compared with finite element simulations.The results show that a search coil magnetic sensor etched on a printed circuit board is a suitable concept for measuring the air gap width. Experimentally measured and theoretically calculated sensor signals show very good agreement. The setup has a sensitivity of +/-0.4 mm in the range of 4-9.5 mm air gap. The potential for future improvements of the sensitivity is considerable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 101, no 2, 024518- p.
Keyword [en]
High-current and high-voltage technology: power systems; power transmission lines and cables, Electric motors, Spatial dimensions, Sensors ; remote sensing, Finite-element and Galerkin methods
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-94990DOI: 10.1063/1.2403964ISI: 000243890800148OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-94990DiVA: diva2:169033
Available from: 2006-10-20 Created: 2006-10-20 Last updated: 2011-02-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Wave Energy Conversion: Linear Synchronous Permanent Magnet Generator
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Wave Energy Conversion: Linear Synchronous Permanent Magnet Generator
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies the electric aspects of a linear synchronous permanent magnet generator. The generator is designed for use in a wave energy converter, which determines the fundamental requirements of the generator. The electromagnetic properties of the generator are investigated with a finite element based simulation tool. These simulations formed the base of the design and construction of a laboratory prototype. Several experiments where conducted on the prototype generator. The results verify at large the simulation tool. However, a difference between the measured and simulated air gap flux was discovered. This was attributed to the longitudinal ends of the generator, which are ignored in the simulation tool. Experiences from the construction, and further finite element studies, led to a significant change in the support structure of the first offshore prototype generator. A complete wave energy converter was constructed and launched, the 13th of March, on the west coast of Sweden. A study of the load resistance impact on the power absorption has been carried out. An optimal load interval, with regard to power absorption, has been identified. Furthermore, the generator has proofed to withstand short term overload several times larger than the nominal load. Finally, the longitudinal ends’ influence on the flux distribution was investigated with an analytical model, as well as finite element simulations. A possible problem with large induction of eddy currents in the actuator back steel was identified.

This work is a part of a larger project, which aims do develop a viable wave energy conversion system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. 102 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 232
Keyword
Engineering physics, Finite element method, linear synchronous generator, longitudinal end effect, permanent magnet, point absorber, offshore testing, wave power, Teknisk fysik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7194 (URN)91-554-6683-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-11-10, Siegbahnsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Box 534, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-10-20 Created: 2006-10-20 Last updated: 2013-07-26Bibliographically approved
2. Energy from Ocean Waves: Full Scale Experimental Verification of a Wave Energy Converter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy from Ocean Waves: Full Scale Experimental Verification of a Wave Energy Converter
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A wave energy converter has been constructed and its function and operational characteristics have been thoroughly investigated and published. The wave energy converter was installed in March of 2006 approximately two kilometers off the Swedish west coast in the proximity of the town Lysekil. Since then the converter has been submerged at the research site for over two and a half years and in operation during three time periods for a total of 12 months, the latest being during five months of 2008. Throughout this time the generated electricity has been transmitted to shore and operational data has been recorded. The wave energy converter and its connected electrical system has been continually upgraded and each of the three operational periods have investigated more advanced stages in the progression toward grid connection. The wave energy system has faced the challenges of the ocean and initial results and insights have been reached, most important being that the overall wave energy concept has been verified. Experiments have shown that slowly varying power generation from ocean waves is possible.

Apart from the wave energy converter, three shorter studies have been performed. A sensor was designed for measuring the air gap width of the linear generator used in the wave energy converter. The sensor consists of an etched coil, a search coil, that functions passively through induction. Theory and experiment showed good agreement.

The Swedish west coast wave climate has been studied in detail. The study used eight years of wave data from 13 sites in the Skagerrak and Kattegatt, and data from a wave measurement buoy located at the wave energy research site. The study resulted in scatter diagrams, hundred year extreme wave estimations, and a mapping of the energy flux in the area. The average energy flux was found to be approximately 5.2 kW/m in the offshore Skagerrak, 2.8 kW/m in the near shore Skagerrak, and 2.4 kW/m in the Kattegat.

A method for evaluating renewable energy technologies in terms of economy and engineering solutions has been investigated. The match between the technologies and the fundamental physics of renewable energy sources can be given in terms of the technology’s utilization. It is argued that engineers should strive for a high utilization if competitive technologies are to be developed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket, 2008. 130 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 580
Keyword
wave power, wave energy converter, sea trials, ocean energy, linear generator, point absorber, search coil, wave climate, utilization
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9404 (URN)978-91-554-7354-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-12, Polacksbackens aula, Lägerhyddsv. 2, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-11-21 Created: 2008-11-21 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Waters, RafaelLeijon, Mats

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