High speed flywheel design : Using advanced composite materials

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Elektricitetslära


This thesis is a part of a larger project that focuses on the development of a highspeed, high energy flywheel using both high-tech composites and levitating magneticbearings alongside a custom made, permanent magnetized generator built into theflywheel itself. The goal of the project is then to integrate this flywheel into anelectrical vehicle.The main focus of this thesis is the composite material. The composite is to be usedas a shell around the flywheel rotor. This composite shell fills two purposes. The firstis to act as the main energy carrying material, storing above 75% of the total energy inthe flywheel. The second purpose it to strengthen the machine, holding it together.This so that higher speeds than normally possible can be achieved, with the goal beingset to 30 000rpm.In order to be able to design the composite shell correctly a method of calculating theload stresses had to be developed. This was done by the creation of a Matlabprogram, named Spin2Win, capable of calculating the stresses inside a compositemetal hybrid flywheel. Using said Matlab code, combined with modelling andsimulations from SolidWorks, a fully-fledged flywheel was designed complete withdrawings and material specifications.The composite analysis surprisingly shows that the best combination of compositematerials is a mixture of both high strength carbon fibres alongside softer glass fibrescoupled with the weight of the central core. This allowed for control of the radialstresses which was shown to otherwise be the limiting factor when designing rotatingcomposite materials.One of the most interesting, and perhaps even unique, parts of the design is that theelectrical machine has been integrated into the flywheel’s composite shell. Having thetwo entities working together in order to control the radial stresses in thecomposite, by utilizing the weight of the permanent magnets.

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