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Selection & design of torque ripple reduction concepts for drivetrains

For companies that design and manufacture drivetrains and related components, torque ripple is a critical element in the design, the integration and the operation of the drivetrain, because of the impact it has on the product lifespan, the performance and the cost, as well as the user comfort. Traditional techniques to reduce this torque ripple have proven to be insufficient, whilst redesigning other drivetrain components is typically a time-consuming process. So in this project, we focus on new promising concepts, like magnetic torque ripple compensators and absorbent centrifugal pendulums.

In simulation and first experiments, the concept of magnetic torque ripple compensators has shown some great potential for spring-based assistance of oscillating motion, but it could also be used to superpose a torque ripple on a continuous rotation. Rotational magnetic compensators use magnets to create a periodic torque versus angle characteristic that can be shaped in function of the shape of the torque ripple that needs to be compensated.

A second concept included in this project is the centrifugal pendulum absorber, which consists of a pendulum mass that can oscillate in a plane perpendicular to the plane of rotation to reduce torque ripple. It is typically constructed by means of a pendulum rod or an inner pendulum path.

The main difference with respect to TMD and elastic couplings is that these new concepts can be tuned to absorb torsional vibrations at a given order of the rotation speed, instead of a fixed frequency, which opens new opportunities, but also requires a significantly different design approach.

But some technological challenges stopping the industry to implement these new concepts remain. Firstly, the true potential of these concepts needs to be assessed for the targeted application. Secondly, to date, there is no design approach that selects, sizes and integrates these concepts for a drivetrain application. And finally, a detailed design analysis of the components is needed, to match the properties of the ripple reduction concept as well as possible to the drivetrain application.

In this project, we focus on the further development of the concept, as well as the development of models for component design and an approach for system design in order to select the best concept or combination of concepts. The ultimate goal is to validate experimentally at least one solution to reduce torque ripple in an industry-relevant case.

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