Optimisation of magnet dimensions of 3 to 6kW rated power axial flux generators

Kostas Latoufis

Proposal number:06
Revision number:00
Proposal owner:Kostas Latoufis
Background:Describe the background situation that leads to this project proposal – why should we do this?
Optimization of the permanent magnet dimensions of 3 to 6kW rated power axial flux generators used in small wind turbine applications in rural electrification, based on the criteria of low overall generator cost and simple manufacturing techniques.


The permanent magnets of a coreless axial flux generator are the components that have the greatest influence on the overall cost. When designing for minimum cost, which is a crucial aspect in rural electrification applications, the magnet dimensions need to be specified in such a manner that minimizing cost will not degrade other characteristics of the generator such as performance and output quality. Custom made magnets increase costs even further, so a standard magnet to be used for a range of rated powers will work better in terms of cost, than a different magnet for each application. Finding these magnet dimensions for the 3 to 6 kW rated power range is useful when trying to build larger turbines, which are more effective in terms of cost and manufacturing time with respect to the amounts of electrical energy they produce.

The objective of this project is to specify the dimensions of a “universal magnet”, for the rated power range of 3-6kW, and a library of commercially available magnets which provide minimum cost generators that can be built with simple techniques and tools, while at the same time providing acceptable performance characteristics for rural electrification applications.
Description deliverable: Describe the product outcome of the project – what will be delivered, and in which format?
A software tool that performs multi-objective optimizations for minimum cost and manufacturing restrictions. The dimensions of the magnet to be used in 3-6kW rated power applications. A FEM analysis of the performance of these generators. A generator prototype will be built and tested in the laboratory to validate the simulations and the optimization results regarding overall cost in euro/kW and performance characteristics. A variation of this software tool, where a library of commercially available magnets with their actual prices entered by the users, results in the complete dimensioning of a generator, that produces the lowest euro/kW value for this given magnet shape.
Approach: Described the methodology to be used in the project – how are we going to achieve our targets?
A Matlab software tool we have already developed in the Electrical Energy Systems Laboratory for axial flux permanent magnet (AFPM) generator modeling will be used and improved. The optimization methodology which is most suitable will be identified. The results of the optimization will be simulated in FEM software to verify the performance and quality characteristics of the generator. The final design will be built into a prototype and tested using a DC motor drive for different RPM and loading. Validation of simulations and actual euro/kW value will be calculated.
Estimated capacity & competences needed:
Undergraduate student of the electrical engineering department realizing his final year dissertation – 12 months
Supervisor that has generator bench test experience – Flexible availability
Manufacturer with construction experience – Flexible availability
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