Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Parrallel Permanent Magnet Actuator

An actuator which incorporates a permanent magnet into the upper stator has been developed. The permanent magnet excitation offers scope for both enhancing efficiency during normal operation and providing fail-safe behaviour, specifically in terms of its ability to latch the valve into a closed position in the event of a loss of power or a fault in the winding and/or the power electronic converter. A detailed understating of the performance of this type of actuator and the various design trade-offs has been established by means of extensive finite element modelling. An experimental actuator, which embodies these findings, has been manufactured, and its dynamic performance and fail-safe capability has been demonstrated on a test-rig. One important consideration in terms of future exploitation is the different power electronic converter requirements, which may impact on its cost-effectiveness. Although originally conceived to operate in conjunction with a bi-polar current source, useful performance can be achieved with a unipolar source, albeit with some performance compromise. A patent has been granted on this technology and initial investigations suggest that it may be competitive if the market performance requirements begin to exceed the capabilities of more conventional variable reluctance actuators, notably in terms of fail-safe operation.

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Reported by

The University of Sheffield
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Mappin St
United Kingdom
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