(19)
(11)EP 2 199 641 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/36

(21)Application number: 09252826.4

(22)Date of filing:  18.12.2009
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F16F 15/03(2006.01)

(54)

Eddy current torsional damper for generator

Wirbelstromtorsionsdämpfer für Generatoren

Amortisseur de torsion à courant de Foucault pour générateur


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 18.12.2008 US 317051

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.06.2010 Bulletin 2010/25

(73)Proprietor: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
Windsor Locks, CT 06096-1010 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Lemmers, Glenn C.
    Loves Park, Illinois 61111 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 1 936 238
DE-A1- 2 527 046
FR-A1- 2 782 361
US-A- 2 520 582
DE-A1- 2 217 437
DE-C1- 4 431 249
GB-A- 708 059
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND



    [0001] The present invention relates to torsional dampers.

    [0002] Generators enable the conversion of mechanical energy from a prime mover into electrical energy, and are used in a variety of settings. For example, generators are commonly powered by gas turbine engines in order to generate electricity for an aircraft. With aerospace applications, gas turbine engines generally provide a variable speed rotational force that is input to a generator by means of suitable gearing.

    [0003] Torsional instability, including that due to oscillations in rotational speed, is problematic for many generators. Torsional instability can contribute to fatigue failure of shafts and other mechanical components in the generator, prime mover, and any mechanical components linking the generator and prime mover. Many factors lead to torsional instability. For instance, known generators directly coupled to gas turbine engines typically produce relatively high torsional loads with little mechanical damping, and constant-power generator configurations also exhibit inversely proportional torque vs. speed curves (i.e., torque decreases with increasing operating speed). Changes in engine speed can produce relatively large oscillations in torque, resulting in large torsional oscillations experienced by generator components.

    [0004] Active damping systems provided by generator controllers can provide generator torque oscillation damping, but at the undesirable cost of generator transient performance. Active damping can also require control hardware and control logic that add undesired complexity and cost. Mechanical spring-mass damper systems can also be used to damp axial vibrations, but spring-mass damper systems must be tuned to relatively narrow frequency bands. Those factors reduce the effectiveness of spring-mass dampers with respect to generators that experience torque oscillations across a relatively wide frequency band.

    [0005] Thus, an alternative torsional damper system for use with a generator is desired.

    [0006] FR 2782361 discloses a drive arrangement with a vibration damper wherein the inertial mass of the drive train, which acts as a flywheel mass, can be varied by coupling or uncoupling the rotor. EP 1 936 238 A2 discloses a generator system comprising a generator rotor torsional damper with an eddy-current damping subsystem.

    SUMMARY



    [0007] The present invention provides a generator including a generator rotor torsional damper system, as claimed in claim 1. The present invention provides a method, as claimed in claim 11, for torsionally damping a rotor positioned adjacent to a stator with the generator.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0008] 

    FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a generator system.

    FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of a generator having a torsional damper according to the present invention.

    FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of region 3 of FIG. 2.

    FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the generator, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0009] In general, the present invention provides a torsional damper with an eddy current coupling (also known as a hysteresis coupling) for passively, mechanically damping torsional instabilities in a generator system. More particularly, the torsional damper provides a flywheel rotatably supported on a rotor of the generator, with the eddy current coupling entraining the flywheel for common rotation with the generator rotor. When a prime mover (e.g., a gas turbine engine) rotates the rotor of the generator, the flywheel is rotated to approximately the same speed as that of the rotor. The flywheel acts as a repository of inertia. Rotational oscillations experienced by the rotor of the generator produce a reaction torque relative to the flywheel that tends to bring the flywheel and the rotor to a substantially synchronous speed. In this way, inertia can be added to or subtracted from the rotating flywheel to damp rotational oscillations of the rotor during operation. The eddy current coupling can use permanent magnets and an eddy current conducting ring of material positioned in the magnetic fields of the permanent magnets to provide engagement, which allows for passive torsional damping of the rotor.

    [0010] FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a generator system 20 that includes a gas turbine engine 22 (or other prime mover) with a gearbox 24, and a generator 26 including a shaft 28 (or drive shaft), a rotor 30 and a stator 32. The system 20 shown in FIG. 1 is greatly simplified. Those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that additional components not specifically shown can be included as desired with the system 20. Moreover, it is possible to have additional generators (not shown) powered by the gas turbine engine 22.

    [0011] In operation, the gas turbine engine 22 generates a rotational force (i.e., torque) output, which is transmitted through the gearbox 24 (e.g., a conventional accessory gearbox) to the shaft 28 of the generator 26. The shaft 28, in turn, transmits torque to the rotor 30. Rotation of the rotor 30 in proximity to the stator 32 generates electricity 34 in a conventional manner, and the electricity 34 can be provided back to the gas turbine engine 22 or to other locations as desired.

    [0012] The system 20 can be configured as a direct drive system for powering the generator 26. During operation, power transmitted from the gas turbine engine 22 to the generator 26 can produce torque oscillations on the rotor 30 (and associated components). These oscillations can be the result of numerous factors, such as changes in operational speed of the gas turbine engine 22. Torque oscillations tend to produce torsional oscillations. The present invention permits damping of torsional oscillations in the system 20.

    [0013] FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the generator 26, which includes the shaft 28, the rotor 30, the stator 32, a generally rotationally-fixed housing 36, bearings 38A and 38B, and a torsional damper assembly 40.

    [0014] As shown in FIG. 2, the shaft 28 and the rotor 30 are arranged concentrically within the housing 36, with the shaft 28 positioned radially inward of the rotor 30. Both the shaft 28 and the rotor 30 are configured for rotation about a centerline CL. The rotor 30 can be rotationally coupled to the shaft 28 with a splined connection 42 or other suitable connection, to enable the transmission of torque from the shaft 28 to the rotor 30.

    [0015] The rotor 30 is supported on the housing 36 by the bearings 38A and 38B, with the shaft supported at least in part by the rotor 30. The rotor 30 carries a core 44 and a coil 46.

    [0016] The stator 32 is mounted to the housing 36 and includes stator windings 48 positioned generally adjacent to the coil 46 on the rotor 30. Rotation of the coil 46 on the stator 30 relative to the windings 48 on the stator 32 generates electricity 34.

    [0017] It should be understood that the illustrated embodiment of the generator 26 is provided merely by way of example and not limitation. A variety of generator configurations are possible. Moreover, the generator 26 can include additional components (e.g., rectifiers, controllers, etc.) that are not shown. The present invention can be used with nearly any type of generator.

    [0018] FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of region 3 of FIG. 2, showing the torsional damper assembly 40 of the generator 26, and FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the torsional damper assembly 40 of the generator 26, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 (though some structures normally visible beyond the section line 4-4 are not shown in FIG. 4 for simplicity). As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a hub 50 is mounted to the rotor 30 and configured to rotate with the rotor 30. The hub 50 can be made of steel, and is mounted concentrically and radially outward relative to the rotor 30. In the illustrated embodiment, the hub 50 includes a radial portion 52 and an axial-extending portion 54, with the radial portion 52 positioned in axial alignment with the splines 42.

    [0019] A flywheel 56 is rotationally supported on the rotor 30 by bearings 58, allowing the flywheel 56 to rotate relative to the rotor 30. The bearings 58 can be roller bearings (as illustrated in FIGS. 2-4), a journal bearing, or other suitable bearing means. The flywheel 56 defines a mass, which can be rotated during operation of the generator 26 to store inertia. In the illustrated embodiment, the flywheel 56 is positioned adjacent to the hub 50, more specifically with the flywheel 56 positioned at least partially in a cavity defined between the radial portion 52 and the axially-extending portion 54 of the hub 50. The flywheel can be located radially inward of the axially-extending portion 54 of the hub 50.

    [0020] An eddy current coupling is formed by a ring 60 and an array of permanent magnets 62. The ring 60 is configured as a "squirrel cage" (i.e., like the rotor of an alternating current induction motor) and is made of an eddy current conducting material, such as a non-ferrous metallic material like copper.

    [0021] The array of permanent magnets 62 can be made up of a plurality of circumferentially arranged permanent magnets of alternating polarities mounted on the flywheel 56. In other words, the permanent magnets can include a set of first permanent magnets 62A have a first arrangement of north and south poles, and a set of second permanent magnets 62B have a second arrangement of north and south poles generally opposite in polarity to that of the first arrangement. In one embodiment, the eddy current coupling is configured with the set of first permanent magnets 62A having radially outward facing north poles and the set of second permanent magnets 62B having radially outward facing south poles. Each of the permanent magnets in the array 62 is a rare-earth permanent magnet or other suitable magnet. Samarium-cobalt permanent magnets may be advantageous for certain applications because of their ability to function in relatively high temperature environments. The array of permanent magnets 62 is secured to the flywheel using fasteners (e.g., screws, bolts, etc.), adhesive, or other suitable means. The array of permanent magnets 62 can further be radially secured with a retaining band 64, which can be a relatively thin, circumferentially-extending band of material positioned radially outward from the array 62.

    [0022] The ring 60 is positioned in a magnetic field of at least a portion of the array of permanent magnets 62. In the illustrated embodiment, the ring 60 is spaced from the array of permanent magnets 62 by a radial gap G.

    [0023] The illustrated embodiment depicts the eddy current coupling of the torsional damper assembly 40 with the array of permanent magnets 62 mounted to the flywheel 56 and the ring 60 mounted to the hub 50.

    [0024] During operation, the gas turbine engine 22 (or other prime mover) transmits torque to the shaft 28 of the generator 26 through the gearbox 24. The rotor 30 rotates synchronously with the shaft 28 at a given speed r1. The eddy current coupling of the torsional damper assembly 40 entrains the flywheel 56 for rotation with the rotor 30 in a common rotational direction (clockwise or counterclockwise). The eddy current coupling causes the flywheel 56 to rotate at a speed r2. During steady-state operation, the flywheel speed r2 is approximately equal to the rotor speed r1. The flywheel 56, by way of rotation of its mass, acts as a repository of inertia. Rotational oscillations experienced by the rotor 30 that vary the rotor speed r1 over time produce a reaction torque through the eddy current coupling relative to the flywheel 56, which tends to return the flywheel 56 and the rotor 30 to substantially synchronous speeds. In this way, inertia is added to or subtracted from the rotating flywheel 56 to damp rotational oscillations of the rotor 30 during operation and thereby control torsion on the rotor 30. The use of the array of permanent magnets 62 and the ring 60 of eddy current conducting material allows for passive torsional damping of the rotor, without a need for controllers and without the parasitic power loss associated with electromagnetic coil eddy current drives. The torsional damper assembly 40 can damp oscillations across a relatively broad band of oscillation frequencies, which provides for robust damping across unpredictable operational conditions. By providing torsional damping to the generator 26, stress and damage to generator components-particularly fatigue of the rotor 30, the shaft 28 and associated drivetrain components-is reduced. This helps prolong the useful life of such components, and reduce the need for replacement or repair of damaged parts. It should be noted that the torsional damper assembly 40 of the illustrated embodiment is not directly involved in the generation of electrical energy by the generator 26.

    [0025] In some applications, torque oscillations on the rotor 30 will be relatively small in magnitude compared to the overall torque experienced by the generator 26. For instance, oscillations on the rotor 30 may be on the order of less than 0.75 kW (1 horsepower), while the generator may be many hundred horsepower, such as about 261 kW (350 horsepower). The mass of the flywheel 56 is selected to provide a suitable level of torsional damping to the rotor 30. In one embodiment, the flywheel 56 (and associated components rotating with it) has an inertia value of about 5% of an inertia value of the rotor 30 (and associated components rotating with it). In this context the inertia value is a value correlated to mass. Thus, the torsional damper of the present invention has a relatively small mass penalty when added to the generator 26.

    [0026] Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the scope of the invention defined by the claims. For example, the particular location and shape of the torsional damper assembly of the present invention can vary as desired for particular applications.


    Claims

    1. A generator (26) including a shaft (28), a generally rotationally-fixed housing (36), first bearings (38A, 38B) and a generator rotor torsional damper system (40), the generator rotor torsional damper system (40) comprising:

    a generator stator (32);

    a generator rotor (30) rotatably supported relative to the generator stator and configured to receive a rotational force input from a prime mover (22), wherein the shaft (28) and the rotor (30) are arranged concentrically within the housing (36), with the shaft (28) positioned radially inward of the rotor (30), wherein both the shaft (28) and the rotor (30) are configured for rotation about a centerline (CL), wherein the rotor (30) is rotationally coupled to the shaft (28); and

    a flywheel (56) rotationally supported relative to the generator rotor by second bearings (58), the flywheel defining a mass; and

    a hub (50) mounted radially outward relative to the generator rotor (30) and configured to rotate with the rotor, the hub (50) including a radial portion (52) and an axial-extending portion (54), wherein the flywheel (56) is positioned adjacent to the hub (50), and the flywheel (56) is positioned at least partially in a cavity defined between the radial portion (52) and the axially-extending portion (54) of the hub (50), wherein the generator rotor, the flywheel and the hub are arranged concentrically about a common axis;

    wherein the system comprises:
    an eddy current coupling operably connected between the flywheel (56) and the generator rotor (30) such that rotation of the generator rotor induces rotation of the flywheel in a common rotational direction through engagement by the eddy current coupling, wherein the eddy current coupling is formed by:
    a plurality of permanent magnets (62) secured circumferentially, to the flywheel (56); and a ring (60) of non-ferrous eddy-current conducting material mounted to the hub (50) in a magnetic field of at least a portion of the plurality of permanent magnets (62), the ring spaced from the array of permanent magnets by a radial gap (G), wherein the ring is positioned radially outward of the flywheel (56) and wherein the ring (60) has a squirrel cage configuration.


     
    2. The generator of claim 1, wherein the eddy current coupling operates across the radial gap (G) between the flywheel (56) and the generator rotor (30).
     
    3. The generator of claim 1 wherein the flywheel (56) is a flywheel ring and the eddy current coupling comprises:

    the plurality of permanent magnets (62) supported by the flywheel ring; and

    an eddy current material capable of conducting eddy currents supported by the hub (50) radially outward from the flywheel, the plurality of permanent magnets being arranged to generate eddy currents in the eddy current material, wherein the generator rotor, the flywheel and the hub are arranged concentrically about a common axis, and wherein rotation of the generator rotor (30) induces rotation of the flywheel ring in a common rotational direction through engagement of the eddy current coupling, and wherein rotation of the flywheel ring provides torsional damping to the generator rotor through engagement of the eddy current coupling.


     
    4. The generator of claim 3, wherein the eddy current material and the plurality of permanent magnets (62) are spaced from one another radially.
     
    5. The generator of claim 3 or 4, wherein the eddy current material comprises copper.
     
    6. The generator of claim 3, 4 or 5, wherein the eddy current material is mounted to the generator rotor (30).
     
    7. The generator of any preceding claim and further comprising:
    a containment band (64) for radially securing the permanent magnets (62).
     
    8. The generator of any preceding claim wherein the second bearings are selected from the group consisting of a journal bearing and a roller bearing.
     
    9. The generator of any preceding claim, wherein the flywheel (56) defines a damper inertia value of approximately 5% of an inertia value defined by the generator rotor (30).
     
    10. The generator of any preceding claim, further comprising a prime mover (22) in the form of a gas turbine engine.
     
    11. A method for torsionally damping a rotor (30) positioned adjacent to a stator (32) with the generator (26) of any preceding claim, the method comprising:

    rotating the rotor (30);

    generating electrical energy through relative rotation of the rotor (30) and the stator (32);

    rotating the flywheel (56) via the passive permanent magnet eddy current coupling between the flywheel and the rotor to approximately a rotational speed of the rotor, wherein the flywheel rotates in a common rotational direction with the rotor, and wherein the flywheel is rotatably supported on the rotor with a bearing; and

    transferring torque between the flywheel (56) and the rotor (30) through the eddy current coupling to damp torsional oscillations of the rotating rotor.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Generator (26), der eine Welle (28), ein allgemein rotierbar befestigtes Gehäuse (36), erste Lager (38A, 38B) und ein Torsionsdämpfersystem (40) eines Generatorrotors beinhaltet, wobei das Torsionsdämpfersystem (40) eines Generatorrotors Folgendes umfasst:

    einen Generatorstator (32);

    einen Generatorrotor (30), der relativ zum Generatorstator rotierbar abgestützt ist und dazu konfiguriert ist, einen Rotationskrafteingang von einem Primärantrieb (22) zu erhalten, wobei die Welle (28) und der Rotor (30) konzentrisch innerhalb des Gehäuses (36) angeordnet sind, wobei die Welle (28) radial nach innen vom Rotor (30) positioniert ist, wobei sowohl die Welle (28) als auch der Rotor (30) zur Rotation um eine Mittellinie (centerline = CL) konfiguriert sind, wobei der Rotor (30) rotierbar an die Welle (28) gekoppelt ist; und

    ein Schwungrad (56), das relativ zum Generatorrotor von zweiten Lagern (58) rotierbar abgestützt ist, wobei das Schwungrad eine Masse definiert; und

    eine Nabe (50), die radial nach außen relativ zum Generatorrotor (30) montiert ist und dazu konfiguriert ist, mit dem Rotor zu rotieren, wobei die Nabe (50) einen radialen Abschnitt (52) und einen sich axial erstreckenden Abschnitt (54) beinhaltet, wobei das Schwungrad (56) neben der Nabe (50) positioniert ist, und das Schwungrad (56) zumindest teilweise in einem Hohlraum positioniert ist, der zwischen dem radialen Abschnitt (52) und dem sich axial erstreckenden Abschnitt (54) der Nabe (50) definiert ist, wobei der Generatorrotor, das Schwungrad und die Nabe konzentrisch um eine gemeinsame Achse angeordnet sind;

    wobei das System Folgendes umfasst:
    eine Wirbelstromkupplung, die zwischen dem Schwungrad (56) und dem Generatorrotor (30) so wirkverbunden ist, dass Rotation des Generatorrotors Rotation des Schwungrads in einer gemeinsamen Rotationsrichtung durch Ineingriffnahme von der Wirbelstromkupplung bewirkt, wobei die Wirbelstromkupplung durch Folgendes gebildet ist:
    eine Vielzahl von Permanentmagneten (62), die in Umfangsrichtung am Schwungrad (56) gesichert sind; und einen Ring (60) aus einem Nichteisenmaterial, das Wirbelströme leitet, der in einem magnetischen Feld von mindestens einem Abschnitt der Vielzahl von Permanentmagneten (62) an der Nabe (50) montiert ist, wobei der Ring von der Anordnung von Permanentmagneten um einen radialen Spalt (G) beabstandet ist, wobei der Ring radial nach außen vom Schwungrad (56) positioniert ist und wobei der Ring (60) eine Käfigläuferkonfiguration aufweist.


     
    2. Generator nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Wirbelstromkupplung über den radialen Spalt (G) zwischen dem Schwungrad (56) und dem Generatorrotor (30) betrieben wird.
     
    3. Generator nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Schwungrad (56) ein Schwungradring ist und die Wirbelstromkupplung Folgendes umfasst:

    die Vielzahl von Permanentmagneten (62), die vom Schwungradring abgestützt werden; und

    ein Wirbelstrommaterial, das fähig ist, Wirbelströme zu leiten, und das radial nach außen vom Schwungrad von der Nabe (50) abgestützt ist, wobei die Vielzahl von Permanentmagneten dazu angeordnet ist, Wirbelströme im Wirbelstrommaterial zu erzeugen, wobei der Generatorrotor, das Schwungrad und die Nabe konzentrisch um eine gemeinsame Achse angeordnet sind, und wobei Rotation des Generatorrotors (30) Rotation des Schwungradrings in einer gemeinsamen Rotationsrichtung durch Ineingriffnahme der Wirbelstromkupplung bewirkt, und wobei Rotation des Schwungradrings dem Generatorrotor durch Ineingriffnahme der Wirbelstromkupplung Torsionsdämpfen bereitstellt.


     
    4. Generator nach Anspruch 3, wobei das Wirbelstrommaterial und die Vielzahl von Permanentmagneten (62) radial voneinander beabstandet sind.
     
    5. Generator nach Anspruch 3 oder 4, wobei das Wirbelstrommaterial Kupfer umfasst.
     
    6. Generator nach Anspruch 3, 4 oder 5, wobei das Wirbelstrommaterial am Generatorrotor (30) montiert ist.
     
    7. Generator nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, der ferner Folgendes umfasst:
    ein Eingrenzungsband (64) zum radialen Sichern der Permanentmagnete (62).
     
    8. Generator nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die zweiten Lager aus der Gruppe ausgewählt werden, die aus einem Gleitlager und einem Rollenlager besteht.
     
    9. Generator nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Schwungrad (56) einen Dämpferträgheitswert von etwa 5 % eines Trägheitswerts definiert, der vom Generatorrotor (30) definiert wird.
     
    10. Generator nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, der ferner einen Primärantrieb (22) in der Form eines Gasturbinentriebwerks umfasst.
     
    11. Verfahren zum Torsionsdämpfen eines Rotors (30), der neben einem Stator (32) positioniert ist, mit dem Generator (26) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Verfahren Folgendes umfasst:

    Rotieren des Rotors (30);

    Erzeugen von elektrischer Energie durch relative Rotation des Rotors (30) und des Stators (32);

    Rotieren des Schwungrads (56) über die passive Permanentmagnet-Wirbelstromkupplung zwischen dem Schwungrad und dem Rotor bei etwa einer Rotationsgeschwindigkeit des Rotors, wobei das Schwungrad in einer gemeinsamen Rotationsrichtung mit dem Rotor rotiert, und wobei das Schwungrad am Rotor mit einem Lager rotierbar abgestützt ist; und

    Übertragen von Drehmoment zwischen dem Schwungrad (56) und dem Rotor (30) durch die Wirbelstromkupplung zum Dämpfen von Torsionsschwingungen des rotierenden Rotors.


     


    Revendications

    1. Générateur (26) comportant un arbre (28), un boîtier généralement fixe en rotation (36), des premiers paliers (38A, 38B) et un système d'amortisseur de torsion de rotor de générateur (40), le système d'amortisseur de torsion de rotor de générateur (40) comprenant :

    un stator de générateur (32) ;

    un rotor de générateur (30) supporté en rotation par rapport au stator de générateur et configuré pour recevoir une entrée de force de rotation depuis un moteur d'entraînement (22), dans lequel l'arbre (28) et le rotor (30) sont agencés de manière concentrique à l'intérieur du boîtier (36), l'arbre (28) étant positionné radialement à l'intérieur du rotor (30), dans lequel à la fois l'arbre (28) et le rotor (30) sont configurés pour tourner autour d'une ligne centrale (CL), dans lequel le rotor (30) est couplé en rotation à l'arbre (28) ; et

    un volant (56) supporté en rotation par rapport au rotor de générateur par des seconds paliers (58), le volant définissant une masse ; et

    un moyeu (50) monté radialement vers l'extérieur par rapport au rotor de générateur (30) et configuré pour tourner avec le rotor, le moyeu (50) comportant une partie radiale (52) et une partie s'étendant axialement (54), dans lequel le volant (56) est positionné de manière adjacente au moyeu (50), et le volant (56) est positionné au moins partiellement dans une cavité définie entre la partie radiale (52) et la partie s'étendant axialement (54) du moyeu (50), dans lequel le rotor de générateur, le volant et le moyeu sont agencés de manière concentrique autour d'un axe commun ;

    dans lequel le système comprend :
    un couplage à courant de Foucault relié de manière opérationnelle entre le volant (56) et le rotor de générateur (30) de sorte que la rotation du rotor de générateur induit une rotation du volant dans un sens de rotation commun à travers la mise en prise par le couplage à courant de Foucault, dans lequel le couplage à courant de Foucault est formé par :
    une pluralité d'aimants permanents (62) fixés de manière circonférentielle au volant (56) ; et un anneau (60) en matériau conducteur non ferreux à courant de Foucault monté sur le moyeu (50) dans un champ magnétique d'au moins une partie de la pluralité d'aimants permanents (62), l'anneau étant espacé du réseau d'aimants permanents par un espace radial (G), dans lequel l'anneau est positionné radialement vers l'extérieur du volant (56) et dans lequel l'anneau (60) a une configuration de cage d'écureuil.


     
    2. Générateur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le couplage à courant de Foucault fonctionne à travers l'espace radial (G) entre le volant (56) et le rotor de générateur (30).
     
    3. Générateur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le volant (56) est un anneau de volant et le couplage à courant de Foucault comprend :

    la pluralité d'aimants permanents (62) supportés par l'anneau de volant ; et

    un matériau à courant de Foucault capable de conduire des courants de Foucault supportés par le moyeu (50) radialement vers l'extérieur depuis le volant, la pluralité d'aimants permanents étant agencés pour générer des courants de Foucault dans le matériau à courant de Foucault, dans lequel le rotor de générateur, le volant et le moyeu sont agencés de manière concentrique autour d'un axe commun, et dans lequel la rotation du rotor de générateur (30) induit la rotation de l'anneau de volant dans un sens de rotation commun à travers la mise en prise du couplage à courant de Foucault, et dans lequel la rotation de l'anneau de volant fournit un amortissement de torsion au rotor de générateur à travers la mise en prise du couplage à courant de Foucault.


     
    4. Générateur selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le matériau à courant de Foucault et la pluralité d'aimants permanents (62) sont espacés radialement les uns des autres.
     
    5. Générateur selon la revendication 3 ou 4, dans lequel le matériau à courant de Foucault comprend du cuivre.
     
    6. Générateur selon la revendication 3, 4 ou 5, dans lequel le matériau à courant de Foucault est monté sur le rotor de générateur (30).
     
    7. Générateur selon une quelconque revendication précédente et comprenant en outre :
    une bande de retenue (64) pour fixer radialement les aimants permanents (62).
     
    8. Générateur selon une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel les seconds paliers sont choisis dans le groupe constitué d'un palier lisse et d'un palier à rouleaux.
     
    9. Générateur selon une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel le volant (56) définit une valeur d'inertie d'amortisseur d'environ 5 % d'une valeur d'inertie définie par le rotor de générateur (30).
     
    10. Générateur selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre un moteur d'entraînement (22) sous la forme d'un moteur à turbine à gaz.
     
    11. Procédé pour amortir en torsion un rotor (30) positionné de manière adjacente à un stator (32) avec le générateur (26) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, le procédé comprenant :

    la rotation du rotor (30) ;

    la génération d'énergie électrique à travers la rotation relative du rotor (30) et du stator (32) ;

    la rotation du volant (56) par l'intermédiaire du couplage à courant de Foucault à aimant permanent passif entre le volant et le rotor à environ une vitesse de rotation du rotor, dans lequel le volant tourne dans un sens de rotation commun avec le rotor, et dans lequel le volant est supporté en rotation sur le rotor avec un palier ; et

    le transfert d'un couple entre le volant (56) et le rotor (30) à travers le couplage à courant de Foucault pour amortir les oscillations de torsion du rotor en rotation.


     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description