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Improved magnets for energy generation through advanced tidal technology (MAGNETIDE)
Start date: Dec 1, 2012, End date: Nov 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Gearless generators are of increasing interest and turbine system manufacturers are looking into gearless energy systems projecting onto 2015. Gear operates on mechanical engagement and friction which implies loss of energy and mechanical damage on parts in long term. Gearless generators, on the other hand, are possible by employing magnets, for which powder metallurgy (PM) and most notably powder injection moulding (PIM) is an ideal process and currently sought after.Current tidal stream device technologies use bladed fans or oscillating hydrofoils to convert kinetic energy in a flowing current of water into rotary motion driving a generator. The purpose of this project is to integrate an improved generator through appropriate selection of magnets with an innovative tidal system to stream tidal energy as a renewable source. Driven by the need for high energy efficiency, minimal friction loss as in a gear system, therefore present potential opportunities.In this project, we will develop improved magnetic generator by exploring the use of high performance rare earth magnets, as well as iron (Fe) based PIM options for benchmarking and optimisation, in combination with an innovative generator design and power system connection to integrate with the tidal device and achieve a high energy conversion in terms of electrical power from the kinetic energy potential of tidal streams.Industrial use of near net shape PIM magnets for wave and tidal devices in renewable energy generation will be achieved, and therefore increasing the range of applications of these constantly developing materials. An improved generator will also enable higher output in terms of energy conversion from tidal streams, resulting in a more economical and efficient tidal device.
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