Plan Your Day 2014


Magnetically Levitated Propeller

Exhibit Code: GLE-2395
Zone: Engineering Park
Location: James E. Gleason Hall (GLE/009) - 2395
Time: All Day
Age Group:

Magnetic levitation and suspension is a technology that has been used extensively across a variety of industries. Magnetic bearings are used in machinery in order to eliminate the need for physical contact between moving components; thus reducing mechanical wear and increasing efficiency. Notable magnetic levitation applications include Maglev trains; which integrate a magnetic suspension and propulsion system to lift and push the train down the "tracks" at very high speeds and with minimal energy loss. The goal of this project was to integrate magnetic technology into a propeller-based application; specifically, a submersible ROV. The main goals for this system are to reduce mechanical wear, eliminate points of water ingress, and increase overall propulsive efficiency. To accomplish this, the propeller would be completely isolated from the motor, and also suspended from the axle. The propeller is suspended using a set of permanent magnets, placed such that the forces hold the propeller in a quasi-stable levitated position. Added stability through active control will come from a set of electromagnets acting in the axial/lateral direction, whose force will be a function of Hall Effect sensor output voltages, based on the propeller's position. Mounted on the outside of the propeller will be a stator. Opposite of that, inside the housing will be the motor. PWM signals to the motor will spin the propeller and create thrust. Isolating the propeller from the motor through these systems would mean no mechanical wear, no water leakage points, and an increase in propulsive efficiency. This project was made possible with the support of Boeing.

Michael Purcell, Zach Louison, Joe Bernardini, Cheng Lin, Elijah Sensenig, Bernie Garcia, Leo Farnand

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Design, Engineering, Senior Projects, Science, Technology, Math, Multidisciplinary, STEM

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