Design and analysis of a composite flywheel preload loss test rig



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Texas A&M University


Flywheel energy storage units have become a viable alternative to electrochemical batteries in applications such as satellites, uninterrupted power supplies, and hybrid vehicles. However, this performance is contingent upon safe operation since these flywheels can release their stored energy almost instantaneously upon failure. The research presented here investigates a health monitoring technology that may give an early indication of degraded material properties in a concentric ring composite flywheel. The existence of degraded material properties is manifested as a change in mass eccentricity due to asymmetric growth of the outermost flywheel ring. A test rig concept to investigate the technology is developed in detail using a systems engineering design process. Successful detection of the change in mass eccentricity was verified analytically through dynamic modeling of the flywheel rotor and magnetic suspension system. During steady state operation detection was determined to be feasible via measurements of the magnetic bearing currents and shaft position provided by the magnetic suspension feedback sensors. A rotordynamic analysis was also conducted and predicts successful operation to the maximum operating speed of 50,000 Rpm.