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Thermal Modelling of the Ventilation and Cooling inside Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Generators

LIM, CHIN,HONG (2010) Thermal Modelling of the Ventilation and Cooling inside Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Generators. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

Axial flux permanent magnet generators are of particular interest for power generation in harsh and confined conditions. Due to their compactness and high power density, the ventilation and cooling inside axial flux permanent magnet generators have becoming increasingly important for further performance improvement. This thesis describes the developments of a lumped parameter, thermal modelling technique for axial flux permanent magnet generators. The main aim of this research is to develop a fast and accurate thermal modelling tool which can be used for rapid machine design and ultimately, to replace complex and time consuming CFD analyses in the machine design process.

The thesis illustrates the construction of a generic thermal equivalent circuit, which comprises of conductive and convective sub-circuits, to model the conduction and convection heat transfers and temperature distributions in the radial and axial directions, within these machines. The conduction heat transfer between the solid components of these electrical machines is modelled by an annulus conductive thermal circuit derived from previous researchers; whereas, for convection heat transfer between the working fluid (air) and solids, the author has developed two convective thermal circuits, which are demonstrated as the Temperature Passing Method (TPM) and Heat Pick-up method in (HPM) in the thesis. Several case studies were designed to investigate the validity and accuracy of these thermal sub-circuits with both steady and transient boundary conditions. Since all the thermal impedances and capacitances used in the thermal circuits are in dimensionless form, the developed generic thermal equivalent circuit is capable of performing thermal simulations for axial flux generators of different sizes and topologies. Furthermore, special correction factors were introduced into the developed generic thermal equivalent circuit, to take into account the heat transfer in the circumferential direction in axial flux machines.

The thesis also demonstrates how the heat transfer in the stator windings is modelled in the generic thermal equivalent circuit. Two analytical models, which are the Simple Concentric Model (SCM) and Concentric-annulus Layer Model (CLM) were developed, for the evaluation of the thermal resistances of the stator windings. The results evaluated from these analytical models were validated by several numerical models and experimental results of two-phase materials published by previous researchers.

Lastly, experimental validation of the lumped parameter thermal equivalent circuit model and CFD simulations was conducted. Heat transfer coefficient measurements were carried out on two separate test rigs, which were a simplified single-sided axial flux machine test rig and a large-scale low speed axial flux machine. The experimental results were compared with the numerical results obtained from both the lumped parameter and CFD models. Good agreement between the experimental, lumped parameter model and CFD results were found. These indicate that the developed generic thermal circuit is potentially capable of replacing CFD analyses in the axial flux machines design process.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Thermal modelling, Lumped parameter model, Axial flux permanent magnet generator, Cooling, Heat transfer coefficient.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:19 Aug 2010 12:11

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