Dynamic Braking System of a Tidal Generator: Preprint

Eduard Muljadi, Vahan Gevorgian, Alan Wright, James Donegan, Cian Marnagh, Jarlath McEntee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Renewable energy generation has experienced significant cost reductions during the past decades, and it has become more accepted by the global population. In the beginning, wind generation dominated the development and deployment of renewable energy; however, during recent decades, photovoltaic (PV) generation has grown at a very significant pace due to the tremendous decrease in the cost of PV modules. The focus on renewable energy generation has now expanded to include new types with promising future applications, such as river and tidal generation. The input water flow to these types of resources is more predictable than wind or solar generation. The data used in this paper is representative of a typical river or tidal generator. The analysis is based on a generator with a power rating of 40 kW. The tidal generator under consideration is driven by two sets of helical turbines connected to each side of the generator located in between the turbines. The generator is operated in variable speed, and it is controlled to maximize the energy harvested as well as the operation of the turbine generator. The electrical system consists of a three-phase permanent magnet generator connected to a three-phase passive rectifier. The output of the rectifier is connected to a DC-DC converter to match the rectifier output to the DC bus voltage of the DC-AC inverter. The three-phase inverter is connected to the grid, and it is controlled to provide a good interface with the grid. One important aspect of river and tidal generation is the braking mechanism. In a tidal generator, the braking mechanism is important to avoid a runaway condition in case the connection to the grid is lost when there is a fault in the lines. A runaway condition may lead to an overspeed condition and cause extreme stresses on the turbine blade structure and eventual disintegration of the mechanical structure. In this paper, the concept of the dynamic braking system is developed and investigated for normal and abnormal operations. The main objective is to optimize the performance under emergency braking while designing the system to be as simple as possible to avoid overdesigning the power electronics or exceeding the target budget.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2016
Event2016 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Duration: 18 Sep 201622 Sep 2016


Conference2016 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition
CityMilwaukee, Wisconsin

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-66396


  • braking
  • dynamic model
  • hydrokinetic
  • marine
  • permanent magnet
  • power plant
  • river
  • synchronous generator
  • tidal
  • turbine


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