A communication sub–system for an active magnetic bearing and drive electronic system
Van Sittert, Elsebi
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The McTronX research group has conducted extensive research concerning Active Magnetic Bearings (AMBs). This research involved the establishment of an advanced AMB laboratory to aid in assisting industries that implement AMBs in their applications. This year the McTronX group’s focus shifted toward the development of an AMB system to be implemented in the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). The AMB system was designed to be used in a helium blower application. This involved the development of both the mechanical and the electronic components. The main goal of this AMB system was to develop a completely digital integrated controller which is responsible for the control of the AMB system, from here on referred to as the AMB drive and electronic system (ADES). The need arose for a totally digital system to increase the reliability and robustness of the ADES. These requirements are crucial in a nuclear environment. In order to develop a totally digital system a new issue had to be addressed. This involved the implementation of digital communication. This project involved the development of a communication sub‐system for the ADES. The communication system was divided into two sections, the internal and external communication system. The various interfaces were identified as well as their specifications formulated. The optimum solution was then selected for each of the interfaces by using a design process that involved comprehensive trade‐off studies. The external communication system and the internal communication system were specified and the necessary hardware was procured. An in‐house developed protocol was developed and implemented between the internal functional units of the ADES. The designed protocol adhered to the specific needs of an AMB application. The protocol was extensively tested by carrying out verification and validation tests and evaluation plans. The test and evaluation plans for verification were carried out by making use of simulations and laboratory experiments. Validation of the in‐house developed protocol was carried out by analyzing the internal communication system whilst the ADES was controlling the bearing module. During this phase the communication system was also subjected to error conditions. The protocol proved to be completely functional, robust and reliable, meeting the performance specifications and the requirements. During this project a foundation was laid for digital communication in AMB systems in the McTronX research group.
- Engineering