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The University of Southampton

Research project: A Linear to Rotary Magnetic Gear

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Although magnetic gears are more expensive and larger than mechanical gears for a given power rating, they are more efficient.

They also offer the advantage of physical separation between the driving and driven shafts which can be in different environments, e.g., in water and in air. This research focuses on linear to rotary and rotary to linear motion conversions, which is desirable in many applications such as wave energy harvesting.

The work focuses on the development of the theory and design optimisation of a novel linear-rotary magnetic gear derived from a variable reluctance permanent magnet (transverse-flux) rotational machine topology.

Configuration of a linear to rotary magnetic gear is developed and a design optimisation methodology is implemented based on finite element analysis. Using this methodology, optimal proportions and dimensions of a linear to rotary magnetic gear demonstrator are determined. It is shown that increasing magnet’s thickness results in the increased transmitted torque, but with diminishing returns.

The proposed design methodology is successfully applied to the design of a two-pole (on the rotor) magnetic gear. The dynamic behaviour of the proposed magnetic gear is modelled and its dynamic response is examined. A demonstrator is built and successfully tested, and theoretical predictions are validated.

Related research groups

Mechatronics Engineering Group
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