Review of magnetic gear technologies and their applications in marine energy

McGilton, Ben and Crozier, Richard and McDonald, Alasdair and Mueller, Markus (2018) Review of magnetic gear technologies and their applications in marine energy. IET Renewable Power Generation, 12 (2). pp. 174-181. ISSN 1752-1416

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    The marine energy industry is in its early stages but has a large potential for growth. One of the most significant challenges is the reduction of operation and maintenance costs. Magnetic gears (MGs) offer the potential for long periods between maintenance intervals due to their frictionless torque transmission which could reduce these costs. This study presents a summary of the state of the art in MG technology and then investigates its potential for marine energy applications. A brief overview is given of the state of the marine energy industry and the environment in which marine energy converters (MECs) operate. A short history of MG development over the past century is then presented followed by a discussion of the leading MG technologies and their relative advantages. In order to demonstrate the potential of MGs in marine applications, the current technologies, i.e. mechanically geared and direct drive machines, are examined in terms of sizing, reliability and economic value using previous studies on a similar technology, namely wind. MGs are applied to four types of MECs to demonstrate how the technology can be incorporated. The potential to deploy at scale and potential obstacles to this are then discussed.