Inertial Energy Storage Research at The University of Texas at Austin
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During the past few years the Energy Storage Group at the University of Texas has been doing research on the design, theory, and application of homopolar machines. Two machines (0.5 MJ and 5.0 MJ} have been built and a third machine is now under construction. This third machine is intended to study the fundamental limitations in fast discharging homopolar machines. Studies have been conducted on other homopolar systems with energy storage of up to 63 GJ. Experimental research areas discussed include brush testing, electromagnetic bearings, and welding. Theoretical areas include pulse compression and magnetic field mapping (static and transient codes with nonlinear material properties have been written). Other applications of homopolar machines including research, military, and industrial uses have been investigated and are discussed. Funding for this program has been provided by the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation (TAERF), the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).