The wheelmotor goes to school

Posted on April 8, 2009

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I finally got the chance to officially push my wheelmotor project into my master’s.

By an incredible strike of luck, I teamed up with a class mate that is also extremely interested in sustainable energy and electric propulsion; not only that but he also has experience in Octave development and is keen in applying that to my motor project.

So now it’s our project. Don’t worry, everything will be kept open-source as usual. 🙂

André and I will be working together at least for the semester, and our plan is to use Intelligent Algorithms to generate highly optimized versions of my basic models. We are keeping FEMM as the magnetic solution calculator, and we’re planning on exploring the “Opti-Y” optimization suite – which we are told can talk to FEMM directly (but he is still evaluating that). For the motor model description itself, I am porting the framework and a single rotor radial model (with Halbach option) from Lua to Octave language. There is much more flexibility and potential in the Octave suite than in the Lua interpreter, for a realistic machine project.

We originally wanted to develop our own Octave toolbox with Genetic Algorithms (and anything else we felt like) for this project, but the teacher advised us to keep it small and simple, and to reuse the professional tools. It was a hard decision, but we finally went with Opti-Y. I hope it doesn’t fail us in the meantime… but if it does, the model and framework are already written in Octave, just in case! 😉

However, the theoretical modelling is not the only thing we are working on… already great ideas about fast prototype fabrication are springing up, and with cool resources like 3D printers and fast curing polymers at hand, things are gearing up for a possibly surprising fast appearance of a real prototype. 😀 Of course, it might all be a pipe dream… time will tell. 😉

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