Feasibility Study of a Viscous Rotary Engine Power System


The design, optimization, fabrication, dynamic stability, and performance of the Viscous Rotniy Engine Power System (VREPS), a novel concept for a micro power generator, are presented. VREPS derives mechanical power from the surface viscous shearing forces developed by a pressure driven flow present between a rotating disk or annulus and a stationary housing. The resulting motion of the rotating disk or annulus is converted into electrical power by using an external permanent magnet, embedded nickel-iron magnetic circuits, and an external switched magnetic pole electric generator similar to the design proposed by Matt Senesky for the University of Califosnia at Berkeley (UCB) micro-Wankel Engine. This thesis will examine the power output, isentropic efficiency, dynamic stability, and operating characteristics of the disk and annular viscous turbines using the lubrication approximation and the Creeping Flow Equations (Stokes Flow). The viscous turbine is optimized for maximum isentropic efficiency using MATLAB numerical optimization routines. Finally, a unique triple-wafer microfabrication process for VREPS is presented.

Publication date: 
May 31, 2005
Publication type: 
Master's Thesis
Cauley, T. H. (2005). Feasibility Study of a Viscous Rotary Engine Power System: A Report. United States: University of California, Berkeley.

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