Best Paper Award at International Conference on Bond Graph Modeling and Simulation Goes to UMN ME

ME PhD graduate Biswaranjan Mohanty and ME Professor Kim Stelson took home the best paper award at a recent international bond graph conference. Their paper, "Bond Graph Modeling and Dynamics of a Hydrostatic Transmission Dynamometer," was awarded to Mohanty and Stelson after their presentation at the International Conference on Bond Graph Modeling and Simulation Conference (ICBGM) held in San Diego, CA, in November 2021.

Mohanty and Stelson's paper looks at hydrostatic transmissions as a promising alternative to gearboxes for wind turbines. They are lighter, cheaper, more reliable, and continuously variable, eliminating the need for power electronics. To test the performance of these transmissions in the laboratory, they developed the only regenerative wind turbine hydrostatic transmission dynamometer at any academic institution. In the regenerative dynamometer, the output power is fed back into the input, allowing them to simulate a 100-kW wind turbine with a 55-kW electric motor.

The dynamometer allows researchers to test the transmission and its control under time-varying wind conditions. But because of its structure, the regenerative dynamometer is difficult to control. A model of the dynamometer was created using bond graphs, a systematic method to model complex systems with interacting mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components. The originality of this paper is its use of a bond graph to explain the difficulty in a physically intuitive way leading to a reliable control approach. Experiments verify the effectiveness of the approach.

Mohanty received his PhD in mechanical engineering from UMN in 2019 under Stelson's guidance, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Neuromodulation Research Center.