Permanent Magnet Alternator (PMA) Test Rig

The Challenge

As part of a new production facility of Civil Aero engine Permanent Magnet Alternators (PMA), an advanced test rig was required to carry out pass/fail tests.

The Solution

The rig interface operability is designed to be suitable for ease of use, with added functionality/access to interrogate test reports, parameters for diagnostics and set-up new test configurations. The rig has also been designed with future upgrades in mind, with additional hardware and software features so that next generation PMA’s can be incorporated and tested with minor modifications to the rig.

The control system was developed using SCITEK custom-built enclosures containing commercially available Data Acquisition hardware and control circuitry. Users with appropriate level access are able to enter test criteria direct from the Engine Test Schedule

About the Project

  • Requirement for running the rig up to speeds of 20,000 rpm with unbalanced overhung masses (Rotors) fitted.
  • Ensuring simple and timely changeover for testing several types of PMA Rotors and Stators for a range of civil engines.
  • Tightly controlling the rig temperatures for test result consistency.
  • Extensive Rotor dynamic analysis and FEA were carried out to ensure the Frame’s resonant frequencies/vibrations, dynamic stiffnesses and shaft critical speeds were well above running speeds.
  • Having a compact footprint which incorporated an hydraulic bearing lubrication pack, water cooled chiller system, health monitoring instrumentation and housing electrical components.
  • Rig and PMA health monitoring during a test is measured with proximity sensors and accelerometers so that out of balance rotatives are detected. In such an event the control system shuts down the motor so that no damage can occur.

If you have a test problem you would like to solve please get in touch with us now on 01332 365 652 for a no obligation discussion.