Grant: $349,134 - National Science Foundation - Jul. 30, 2009
78% voted satisfied - 22% voted not satisfied - 9 vote(s) cast
Award Description: The objective of this research is to experimentally and numerically verify that a low cost, high efficiency, maglev vehicle can be built. The approach is to electromechanically rotate Halbach magnetic rotors over flat passive aluminum guideways. The simultaneous rotational and translational motion of the rotors induces guideway eddy currents that can provide suspension, thrust and lateral forces for the vehicle. Each rotor's speed and direction will be controlled in order to achieve optimal efficiency and dynamic stability. Custom designed 3D finite element code will be utilized to model the high-speed rotational and translational motion. An experimental setup utilizing at least four Halbach rotors will be built. INTELLECTUAL MERIT: This research will involve the development of new electromagnetic optimizing techniques and control strategies for a fully 3D eddy-current electromechanical conversion device. Insightful trade-offs between stability requirements, efficiency, thrust and suspension levels will be considered. The research could lead to new methodologies for designing 3D eddy-current based machines. Novel multivariable control techniques will be employed in order to ensure stability of the complexity coupled device. BROADER IMPACTS: The utilization of a maglev transportation system could significantly reduce the nation's dependence on petroleum-based energy thereby mitigating airborne pollutants. The project will contribute to the education and awareness of power engineering as an exciting area for research. Undergraduate and graduate students will assist with this project at all levels. The PI will work closely with faculty advisors and the Multicultural Office to ensure underrepresented students are involved. The research will be published in leading magnetics and control journals.
Project Description: The PI has selected one Master and one Ph.D. student to work on this research. The Ph.D. student and the PI are currently working on the 2D transient finite element model of the electrodynamic wheel (EDW) in order to use this to develop the controls modeling techniques. Initially the 1-degree of freedom control problem is being studied using the 2D finite element code, Simmechanics and Matlab software. The damping of the maglev system is very minimal so control modeling is essential. The ability to model the forces as if the force relationship is like a non-linear spring is being investigated. This could be helpful, since steady-state force models could be used to obtain the non-linear spring constant values (also called stiffness constant) values. This work can potentially be extended to 3D and 6-degrees of freedom in the future. The Master student is currently investigating a novel alternative tapered electromagnetic rotor topology for the EDW. The PI is presently working with existing 3D finite element code in order to further assess candidate low-cost, efficient, MAGLEV guideway designs. This work will be published at an up and coming conference. An undergraduate senior design project has been created which will involve designing and building a new prototype EDW flux focusing Halbach rotor. Three undergraduate students are currently working on this. The senior design project runs for two semesters, finishing in May 2010. The PI is making plans to involve more underrepresented students in the work via senior design projects and also through summer laboratory work. The PI is currently purchasing the computers necessary to do the analysis work described above. A mechanical modeling tool Simmechanics has been purchased and the COMSOL finite element software will also be purchased shortly (the University already has some COMSOL licenses).
Jobs Summary: Created two positions for Graduate Research Assistants, one at 20 hours per week, one at 10 hours per week. (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 30, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.