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System Identification for Control of a Bow Thruster With Brushless Motor and Shaft-Less Propeller

[+] Author Affiliations
Priyatham Sanjeeva Reddy Ramidi, Nikolaos I. Xiros

University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Stavros Lalizas, Anastasios Papavasileiou, Vasileios Douvris, Nikolas Theodorou, Alexandros Lalizas

Lalizas Hellas SA, Piraeus, Greece

Paper No. IMECE2018-88029, pp. V04BT06A005; 9 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4B: Dynamics, Vibration, and Control
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5204-0
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


In this work, a bow thruster is proposed to be used onboard small and medium-size watercraft, like motor yachts, fishing boats, patrol boats, ocean exploration vessels etc. with conventional or unconventional hull designs including displacement hull, planing hull, catamarans, SWATHs, SES, and so on. As oftentimes the case, a magnetic coupling is employed. Specifically, magnetic coupling is used to transfer torque from a brushless motor’s stator to its rotor through a magnetic field rather than a physical mechanical connection. Such magnetic coupling is very convenient for liquid pumps and as, in our case, propeller systems, since a static, physical barrier can be placed between the stationary and rotating part of the system to separate the fluid from the electrically supplied stator operating in air. Therefore, magnetic couplings preclude the use of shaft seals, which eventually wear out and fail from the sliding of two surfaces against each other. In this work, a system identification process of a rim driven bow thruster is implemented employing data series obtained by tests on a prototype scale model. System Identification leads to a black-box model of the system. The model derived can be extrapolated by grey-box modeling techniques for further design improvements. A control system for the proposed thruster is developed and validated through both computer and hardware-in-the-loop simulation, after its implementation onboard a broadly used industrial Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The mathematical model of the bow thruster mechanism is developed and the performance is analysed by using Matlab/Simulink.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Engines , Motors , Propellers



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