Electric Generators

The Xi Engineering Consultant's expertise in electromagnetics and structural mechanics is crucial for developing accurate models that build confidence from clients and help deepen their understanding of how their devices operate.

Electric generators convert mechanical energy to electrical energy by exploiting Faraday’s law of induction, for which a time varying magnetic flux generates an electromotive force in a closed circuit. Numerous applications of this exist, including power generation by wind turbines, regenerative braking for trains and low power lighting on bicycles. The precise design is application specific, but all electric generators consist of a rotor and stator onto which field windings or magnets and armature windings are mounted.

An example of Xi’s extensive experience in this field involves the development of a wind turbine generator based on rotor mounted permanent magnets and stator mounted three phase armature windings. COMSOL Multiphysics’ AC/DC and Rotating Machinery interfaces were applied in the project to perform electromagnetic simulations in the time domain based on an applied rotor torque. This approach provided a prediction of both cogging and counter-torques, the latter by electrically loading the armature windings through an electric circuit interface. The advantage of using a multiphysics tool such as COMSOL is that it allows results to be coupled from one physical domain into another. The Solid Mechanics interface, with forces and torques derived from the electromagnetic domain, provided an estimate of the induced structural vibrations in three dimensions.

Through simulating an existing prototype and a range of design concepts, Xi are to support clients in focusing their efforts and managing risks to both time and cost. The Xi team’s expertise in electromagnetics and structural mechanics is crucial for developing accurate models that build confidence from clients’ and help deepen their understanding of how their devices operate.

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