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Development and Manufacturing of a Smart AFC Drive and Control System

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FloCoS (Development and Manufacturing of a Smart AFC Drive and Control System)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2020-06-30

Active flow control (AFC) is widely discussed and under investigation in many fields of research and innovation and continues to be the subject of intense experimental and numerical studies in a number of research centres. But in these studies, active flow control actuators are used as stand-alone elements and are mainly driven by large-scale laboratory power supply devices. The development of a highly integrated and miniaturized electronic module for fluidic AFC actuators enables the integration of AFC systems in different application areas. This can be, for example, the wing of an aircraft, the blade of a wind turbine or also automotive applications.
The project FloCoS will focus on an integrated flow control actuator driving system considering the specific requirements of piezoelectrically driven Synthetic Jet Actuators. The solution will not only provide smart, but also efficient power amplifier system. State-of-the-art power recovery technologies will be used to minimize the needed power for driving the piezoelectric elements. In addition, the ability to highly integrate and miniaturize the electronic module for fluidic AFC actuators will be evaluated. The final output of this project is a powerful and easy to control power supply system, that can be used for flow control actuator evaluation as well as wind tunnel testing of a large number of actuators.
In the frame of FloCoS, a rack integrated (and therefore mobile) high voltage power supply system was designed, manufactured and tested. The hardware was delivered to the partners and will be used for further investigation of flow control actuators and techniques. Due to the high-power density and the relatively high necessary currents in piezo actuated flow control actuators, the use of miniaturize electronic modules was not expedient. The new architecture was developed and manufactured using specialized and concerted COTS components. With the new system, it is now possible to drive a high number of scale one flow control actuators in parallel in order to perform scale one wind tunnel tests for active flow control.
In WP1, a set of requirements was developed and defined to specify the requirements in terms of electrical, mechanical and software specifications. The requirements tabulated in Deliverable D1.1 are adjusted by the FloCoS consortium in close cooperation with the CS 2 LPA partners and the Topic Manager. In the middle of the project duration and coordinated with the activities in WP2, the system requirements were updated in order to take into account the findings in WP 1 and 2 and the updated actuator specifications.
For the fluidic actuator (ZNMF) system, drive and control hardware and software system was specified in the requirements working assumption document. This includes the power and performance requirements as well as the power supply and also interfaces and space constraints. Based on these specifications, an overall system design was developed and discussed. The system comprises actuators (piezoelectric), sensors, HV supply, data processing units (DPU) and wires. The main outcome of WP 2 is the functional design, that was completed for the amplifier board, MCU board, and electronic rack backplane board. Block diagrams were made to define the structure between all the functions.
In WP3, the system architecture was defined and the main components of the HV power supply system were designed. This included the definition of an updated overall system concept including the different parts of the system: HV-IC and PCB, U/ I-Monitoring system, I/O-System, HV-Supply system. The overall system concept was influenced by the design of the several subcomponents, which are developed with the different tasks in WP2 and 3. Therefore the work packages were carried out in parallel. Based on the overall system definition and also based on the specific requirements for the drives and control system, a block diagram was developed to define the overall signals routing between the electronics boards of the rack. In addition, the communication concept as well as the general GUI for the control software was designed. Based on these general concepts, the drive and control software for the high voltage supply system was developed. The communication is based on TCP/IP in order to ensure the ability to drive the system over higher distanced, e.g. in large scale wind tunnel facilities.
In WP4, the HW component purchasing and the HW assembly was performed. This includes the manufacturing and pre-test of the single components of the system (HV-IC and PCB, U/ I-Monitoring system, I/O-System, HV-Supply system) as well as the assembly of the components to the full system integrated in an rack-mounted and actively cooled housing.
In the testing WP (WP5), first measurement conducted by the CS LPA partners were analysed in order to support the activities in WP1 and WP2. After the final delivery of the HW was fully tested with dummy capacitances as well as real AFC HW.
In parallel to all the technical work packages, the management WP was carried out. The activities were the monitoring and communication within the consortium as well as the communication with the CS JU as well as the TM. In addition, reporting and dissemination and exploitation activities were carried out. Especially the challenging situation during COVID19 and its effect, made a confident management necessary.
High-performance AFC systems require a high-performance amplification system with included sensing capabilities. The software includes a MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) algorithm, using U/I measurements to find and track in real time the best working frequency of each driven actuators. The presented system enables drive and control of high performance ZNMF actuators, in a number that is relevant for real scale applications. The modular concept additionally enabled a scalability for higher numbers of actuators or a higher power density in high speed applications. In future projects, further miniaturisation and integration will be addressed. In addition, future development will link the high voltage system development with the actuator development in order to coordinate the two systems and thus achieve a further increase in performance. The future developments will not only focus on bending piezo-plate actuators but also on APA® actuators that were developed by the project partner CETEC. Therefore, the project FloCoS was linked to the project SynJet3C from the beginning of both projects and the coordinated approached will be continued.
FloCoS - Final System - Picture 11
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FloCoS - Overall System Concept
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FloCoS - Final System - Picture 1
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