Electrodynamic thrust bearings (EDTBs) provide contactless rotor axial suspension through electromagnetic forces solely leaning on passive phenomena. Lately, linear state-space equations representing their quasi-static and dynamic behaviours have been developed and validated experimentally. However, to date, the exploitation of these models has been restricted to basic investigations regarding the stiffness and the rotational losses as well as qualitative stability analyses, thus not allowing us to objectively compare the intrinsic qualities of EDTBs. In this context, the present paper introduces four performance criteria directly related to the axial stiffness, the bearing energy efficiency and the minimal amount of external damping required to stabilise the thrust bearing. In addition, the stability is thoroughly examined via analytical developments based on these dynamical models. This notably leads to static and dynamic conditions that ensure the stability at a specific rotor spin speed. The resulting stable speed ranges are studied and their dependence to the axial external stiffness as well as the external non-rotating damping are analysed. Finally, a case study comparing three topologies through these performance criteria underlines that back irons fixed to the windings are not advantageous due to the significant detent force.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited