Marine energy converters have working surfaces that either reciprocate or rotate at low speed and operate over a wide range of loadings, making conventional off-the-shelf rotary generators, such as the induction machine, less suitable. Permanent magnet generators exhibit high part load efficiencies and, while they have been demonstrated at sea to a limited extent, designs are not yet fully optimised. Using direct drive generators reduces the number of moving parts but, because of their low speeds and consequent high torques, adopting conventional machine topologies results in large and costly generators.
Optimisation of cost and performance requires new iterative integrated structural, electrical and thermal design techniques. This work stream will explore how the design of the prime-mover, drive-train, generator and power electronic converter may be fully integrated to define lighter, cheaper machines that will operating at slow speed with improved efficiency over a wide range of loads. The new analytical tools and concepts developed will be verified using numerical modelling techniques and experimental