Directly Driven, Low-Speed Permanent-Magnet Generators for Wind PowerApplications
. Acta Polytechnica Scandinavica, Electrical Engineering Series, No.101, Espoo,2000, 62p. (+106p.). Published by the Finnish Academies of Technology.ISBN 951-666-539-X. ISSN 0001-6845. UDC 621.313.8/.12:621.311.245.Keywords: Permanent-magnet generator, gearless wind turbine, directly driven, low speed
The rotor of a typical wind turbine rotates at a speed of 20-200 rpm. In conventional windpower plants the generator is coupled to the turbine via a gear so that it can typically rotate at aspeed of 1000 or 1500 rpm. The wind power plant can be simplified by eliminating the gear and byusing a low-speed generator, the rotor of which rotates at the same speed as the rotor of the turbine.The hypothesis in this work is that the typical generator-gear solution in the wind power plant canbe replaced by a low-speed PM synchronous generator.This thesis deals with the electromagnetic design and the optimisation of two types of low-speed generators for gearless wind turbines. The generators designed are radial-flux permanent-magnet synchronous machines excited by NdFeB magnets. The machines have different kinds of stator windings. The first machine has a conventional three-phase, diamond winding. The secondmachine has a three-phase, unconventional single-coil winding consisting of coils which are placedin slots around every second tooth. The electromagnetic optimisation of the machine is done by thefinite element method and by a genetic algorithm combined with the finite element method. Therated powers of the machines optimised are 500 kW, 10kW and 5.5kW. Two prototype machineswere built and tested.The optimisation of the machines shows that the cost of active materials is smaller and the pull-out torque per the cost of active materials higher in the conventional machines than in the single-coil winding machines. The torque ripple can be reduced to a low level by choosing a suitablemagnet and stator slot shape in both the designs. The demagnetisation of permanent magnets iseasier to avoid in the single-coil winding machines than in the conventional designs. Theinvestigation of various rotor designs shows that the rotor equipped with curved surface-mountedmagnets has various advantages compared with the other rotor designs, for instance pole shoeversions. The analysis of the machines also shows that the load capacity of the machine is lower ina diode rectifier load than that when connected directly to a sinusoidal grid.According to the analysis, a typical generator-gear solution of the wind power plant can bereplaced by a multipole radial-flux PM synchronous machine. The conventional diamond windingmachine is a better choice for the design of a directly driven wind turbine generator but the single-coil winding machine is also suitable because of its simplicity.
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