Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Sylvia W. Thomas

Keywords

brushless motor, Cross-flow turbine, miniaturized-turbine, Notched blade, permanent magnet, power generation

Abstract

This dissertation addresses the design, simulation, prototype, and test of a new energy generation system, which transforms rotational motion into electricity by the use of an innovative turbine-generator. The system is divided in two assembled subsystems that interact to finally transform kinetic energy into electricity. The first subsystem is a miniaturized notched impulse turbine system, and the second one is a millimeter permanent magnet generator (PMG) assembled into the turbine.

The conversion of biomechanical energy to electric energy, using clean and free energy produced by a living organism, is being increasingly researched [1]-[11]. These are all viable options, but advantages and disadvantages of each type of energy conversions should be evaluated individually to determine key factors such as efficiency as an energy harvesting method, the implementation cost, size, and the final applications where they will be used.

Through this dissertation, a new option of green energy conversion is made available; focusing on the use of turbines to extract energy from microfluidics, with diverse application in biomedical, military/aerospace, and home areas. These systems have the potential of converting mechanical movement energy, and hydraulic energy into electric energy that may be sufficient for self-powering nano/micro devices and nano/micro systems. A flow, with constant pressure, a magnetic generator, and a novel impulse turbine design are combined to form a self-contained miniaturized generator system. The turbine consists of two main parts: a bearingless rotor and the enclosure or casing; while the miniaturized magnetic generator is a permanent magnet brushless machine, consisting of permanent magnets in a ring configuration and radial coils. A permanent pressure, from microfluidic pressure system, is the force used to move the blades. This rotational motion of the turbine is transformed into electricity using magnetic induction, formed by permanent magnets on the rotor and nine coils fixed in the holder of the turbine. The electricity is generated when the magnetic field rotates and moves past the conductor, which induces a current according to Faraday's Law [1-3]. The system has potential uses not only in medical equipment, but in automotive applications, home appliances, and aquatic and ventilation systems.

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