The Compensated Pulsed Alternator Program: A Review
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Since 1978 the Center for Electromechanics at the University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT) has pursued a program to develop a class of electromechanical devices, rated for pulsed duty, which are capable of delivering one to ten megajoules to a load in less than one millisecond. 1 Initial work has centered on driving xenon flashlamps (500 μsec) and charging high energy density energy transfer capacitors (<100 μsec). A 200 kJ (3.5 MJ stored) engineering prototype compensated pulsed alternator and a smaller scale (100 kJ stored) active rotary flux compressor have been designed, fabricated, and tested. Experimental results have been factored into machine design algorithms and circuit simulation codes to form conceptual designs of full scale pulse generators. Engineering problems remain to be solved, including the design of high packing factor air gap windings, reliable electrical insulation systems having mechanical shear strength (in excess of 27 MPa), and inexpensive laminated steel rotor and stator structures. Proposed solutions to these problems are presented, and near term and long range program goals are summarized for both resistive and capacitive loads.