Potentials of locally manufactured wound-field flux switching wind generator in South Africa
Keywords:Finite element analyses (FEA), technology localisation, prototype, South Africa, rare earth-free, wind power industry, wound-field flux switching machine (WF-FSM)
The China-based monopoly of high-energy permanent magnet materials used in modern wind generators impact the economic viability and local content value of most wind turbines installed in South Africa, especially large installations. It is possible to design with less expensive excitation technologies using locally-sourced wound-field electromagnets, which might promote local content. This study involves the optimum design performance comparison of the wound-field flux switching machine (WF-FSM) technology based on two variants – Design I and II (D-I and D-II) – the difference being in the arrangement of their DC wound-field coils. The machines are evaluated using finite element analyses (FEA) with optimum performance emphasised on design parameters such as torque density, efficiency and power factor. The selected design targets are meant to improve the performance to cost fidelity of the proposed wind generator variants. In 2D FEA, D-II can produce up to 18.8% higher torque density (kNm/m3) and 17.1% lesser loss per active volume (kW/m3) than D-I. In 3D FEA, the torque density of D-II remains higher at 10.6%, but its loss per active volume increases by 15% compared to D-I. The discrepancy observed in 2D and 3D FEA is due to an underestimation of the end-winding effects in D-II. The power factor of D-II is higher than D-I, both in 2D and 3D FEA, which may translate to lower kVA ratings and inverter costs. A higher total active mass ensues for the studied WF-FSMs than a conventional direct-drive PMSG, but avoiding rare earth PMs translate to significantly lower costs.
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