PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to propose a hybrid driving system that couples a motor and flywheel energy storage (FES) for a megawatt-scale superconducting direct current (DC) induction heater. Previous studies have proven that a superconducting DC induction heater has great advantages in relation to its energy efficiency and heating quality. In this heater, a motor rotates an aluminium billet in a DC magnetic field and the induced eddy current causes it to be heated. When the aluminium billet begins to rotate, a high peak load torque appears at a low rotation speed. Therefore, driving the billet economically has been a great challenge when designing the driving system, which is the focus of this paper.Design/methodology/approachA hybrid driving system based on FES is designed to provide extra torque when the peak load torque occurs at a low rotation speed, which allows the successful start-up of the aluminium billet and the operation of the motor at its rated capacity. The mechanical structure of this hybrid driving system is introduced. A simulation model was constructed using Matlab/Simulink and the dynamic start-up process is analysed. The influence of the flywheel’s inertia and required minimum engagement speed are investigated.FindingsThe results of this paper show that the hybrid driving system that couples FES and a motor can successfully be used to start the aluminium billet rotating. The flywheel’s inertia and engagement speed are the most important parameters. The inertia of the flywheel decreases with an increase in its engagement speed.Practical implicationsThe cost of the driving system is significantly reduced, which is very important in relation to the commercial potential of this apparatus.Originality/valueA novel start-up strategy for driving the aluminium billet of a superconducting DC induction heater at low speed is proposed based on FES.
COMPEL: Theinternational Journal for Computation and Mathematics in Electrical and Electronic Engineering – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 3, 2017