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Electrodynamic bearings (EDBs) are passive magnetic bearings that exploit the interaction between eddy currents developed in a rotating conductor and a static magnetic field to generate forces. Similar to other types of magnetic suspensions, EDBs provide contactless support, thus avoiding problems with lubrication, friction and wear. The most interesting aspect of EDBs is that levitation can be obtained by passive means, hence, no electronic equipment, such as power electronics or sensors, are necessary. Despite their promising characteristics, rotors running on EDBs are still lacking a design procedure; furthermore, at present the static behavior of a bearing can only be defined by means of finite element analyses. The aim of the present paper is to present a methodology that allows performing a first approximation design without resorting to detailed FE analyses. The methodology is based on the use of non-dimensional parameters, similar to the analysis of fluid bearings (Sommerfeld number). The non-dimensional quantities are derived using dimensional analysis, and contain the main geometrical and physical parameters determining the EDBs' performance. The relation between the non-dimensional quantities characterizing the static performance of the EDB is derived using FE simulations and is presented in the form of graphs.

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Booktitle: Proceedings of ISMB13