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Control System Design for Low Power Magnetic Bearings in a Flywheel Energy Storage System

Tinnawat Hongphan1, Matthew O. T. Cole1,*, Chakkapong Chamroon1, Ziv Brand2

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shamoon College of Engineering, Be’er Sheva, 84100, Israel

* Corresponding Author: Matthew O. T. Cole. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Selected Papers from 3rd International Conference on Energy & Power (ICEP2021))

Energy Engineering 2023, 120(1), 147-161.


This paper presents a theoretical and experimental study on controller design for the AMBs in a small-scale flywheel energy storage system, where the main goals are to achieve low energy consumption and improved rotordynamic stability. A H-infinity optimal control synthesis procedure is defined for the permanent-magnet-biased AMB-rotor system with 4 degrees of freedom. Through the choice of design weighting functions, notch filter characteristics are incorporated within the controller to reduce AMB current components caused by rotor vibration at the synchronous frequency and higher harmonics. Experimental tests are used to validate the controller design methodology and provide comparative results on performance and efficiency. The results show that the H-infinity controller is able to achieve stable rotor levitation and reduce AMB power consumption by more than 40% (from 4.80 to 2.64 Watts) compared with the conventional PD control method. Additionally, the H-infinity controller can prevent vibrational instability of the rotor nutation mode, which is prone to occur when operating with high rotational speeds.


Cite This Article

Hongphan, T., O., M., Chamroon, C., Brand, Z. (2023). Control System Design for Low Power Magnetic Bearings in a Flywheel Energy Storage System. Energy Engineering, 120(1), 147–161.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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