Dimensioning Tools of MEA Actuator Systems, Including Modeling, Analysis and Technology Comparison

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Aircraft design is an example of complex engineering where dimensioning tools can be valuable for the designers and decision makers in the early stage of the development process. These tools can be in form of a database over key numbers for different components or technologies.One of the critical parts of an aircraft is the actuator system. Conventional hydraulic actuators are demanding regarding maintenance which implies high operation costs. Therefore in recent years the focus has been set on electro-hydrostatic and electro-mechanical actuators.The aim of this work is to build a platform which can make it easier for designers and decision makers to analyze, compare and optimize different technologies regarding the actuator system.For this reason a simplified quasi-static actuator model, including reactive power consumption has been developed. This model makes it possible to reduce the complexity of the actuator models to such extent that the resulting computional tool can be used for studies of the system performance during entire flight missions and/or for optimization. Power density, cost and weight of the actuator systems are some of the important key numbers for comparing purpose and as a platform for the dimensioning of the aircraft. The ambition is then to build up a database of different actuator solutions with the key technical parameters mentioned above, that can be used in modeling and dimensioning of an aircraft.In order to avoid time consuming finite element calculations when analyzing an electrical machine a reluctance network model can be used. The basic idea of the proposed network model is to divide the rotor and the stator into a grid of small reluctance elements and provide those that correspond to the permanent magnet and the air gap between the magnets with time varying reluctances. The suggested computationally approach constitute a fast way to evaluate permanent magnet electrical machines with the respect to their performance.A preferred electrical machine provided with balance teeth and concentrated windings showed good electromechanical and thermal behavior. A balance tooth is a tooth without winding between each adjacent phases that has a cooling effect on the nearest windings, resulting in less copper losses. The balance teeth increases the voltage-time area, leading to higher induced voltage and higher torque production. Another advantage of the chosen design is its redundancy and fault tolerance capabilities. The machine comprises two independent half machines that also offers a high level of redundancy with two separate power channels.