System Aspects of Marine Current Energy Conversion

by Yuen, Katarina

Abstract (Summary)
Free-flowing water currents such as tides and unregulated water courses could contribute to world electricity production given the emergence of robust technical solutions for extracting the energy. At Uppsala University, a concept for converting water currents to electricity using a vertical axis turbine with fixed blade pitch and a direct drive permanentmagnet generator is studied. A system approach is desired, and in this thesis, a first analysis of two system components, the generator and the turbine, is presented. This thesis also deals with some issues concerning the design and construction of a low speed generator for this application. An experimental generator for verification of simulations has been designed and constructed. For the electromagnetic design, a FEM simulation tool has been used. The construction work has given valuable practical experience concerning for example handling permanent magnets and winding the generator with cable. Simulations and measurements of the experimental generator have been carried out for different speeds and loads. The generator can operate at the speeds and loads corresponding to maximum power capture for different turbines for water current velocities between approximately 0.5 and 2.5 m/s. At higher water current velocities the turbines may need to be run at a tip speed ratio that gives a lower power capture in order to limit the electrical currents in the generator, cavitation of the blades, or mechanical loads. Comparisons of measurements and simulations show an agreement. The FEM simulation tool can be used to simulate and design electrical machines with a low electrical frequency, i.e. 2–16 Hz.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Uppsala universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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