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Title: Improving fault tolerant drives for aerospace applications
Author: Wechsler, Andrew Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 1328
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2013
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The aerospace industry is moving towards the more electric aeroplane where traditional hydraulic systems are being replaced with electrical systems. Electrical technology offers some strong advantages compared to hydraulic technology including; cost, efficiency, power on demand and relative ease of maintenance. As with most new technologies, a major disadvantage is its limited reliability history. A lot of research in the aerospace field therefore focuses on improving fault tolerant electrical systems. Work done in this thesis builds on an existing fault tolerant drive, developed by Newcastle University and Goodrich Actuation Systems as part of the ELGEAR (Electrical Landing Gear) project. The purpose of this work is to continue improving the drive’s fault tolerant features; especially in areas where the drive is most vulnerable. The first part of this thesis focuses on improving the overall system reliability by monitoring the health of the dc-link capacitors in the fault tolerant drive. The implemented estimation technique makes use of voltage and current sensors which are already in place for protection and control purposes. The novel aspect of the proposed technique relates to monitoring capacitors in real time whilst the motor is operational. No external interferences, such as injected signals or special operation of the drive, are required. The condition monitoring system is independent of torque and speed, and hence independent of a variation in load. The work was validated using analytical methods, simulation, low voltage experimentation and high voltage implementation on the ELGEAR drive. The second part of this thesis focuses on single shorted turn faults, in fault tolerant permanent magnet (PM) motors. Despite the motor being able to withstand a wide range of faults, the single shorted turn fault remains a difficult fault to detect and handle. The problem arises from the magnets on the spinning rotor that cannot be ‘turned off’ at will. This thesis investigates the severity of the faulted current in a shorted turn and how it varies depending on the turn’s location in the stator slot. The severity of the fault is studied using 2D finite element analysis and practical implementation on the ELGEAR rig. Finally, recommendations are proposed for improving the ELGEAR motor for future fault tolerant designs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPRSC ; Goodrich Aerospace (now United Technologies)
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available