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Variable-frequency drive

Small variable frequency drive A variable-frequency drive (VFD) is a system for controlling the rotational speed of an alternating current (AC) electric motor by controlling the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor. A variable frequency drive is a specific type of adjustable-speed drive. Variable-frequency drives are also known as adjustable-frequency drives (AFD), variablespeed drives (VSD), AC drives, microdrives or inverter drives. Since the voltage is varied along with frequency, these are sometimes also called VvVF (variable voltage variable frequency) drives. Variable-frequency drives are widely used. In ventilation systems for large buildings, variable-frequency motors on fans save energy by allowing the volume of air moved to match the system demand. They are also used on pumps, conveyor and machine tool drives.

VFD types
All VFDs use their output devices (IGBTs, transistors, thyristors) only as switches, turning them only on or off. Using a linear device such as a transistor in its linear mode is impractical, since the power dissipated in these devices would be about as much as the power delivered to the load. Drives can be classified as:

Constant voltage Constant current Cycloconverter

In a constant voltage converter, the intermediate DC link voltage remains approximately constant during each output cycle. In constant current drives, a large inductor is placed between the input rectifier and the output bridge, so the current delivered is nearly constant. A cycloconverter has no input rectifier or DC link and instead connects each output terminal to the appropriate input phase. The most common type of packaged VF drive is the constant-voltage type, using pulse width modulation to control both the frequency and effective voltage applied to the motor load.

VFD system description

VFD system A variable frequency drive system generally consists of an AC motor, a controller and an operator interface.

VFD motor
The motor used in a VFD system is usually a three-phase induction motor. Some types of single-phase motors can be used, but three-phase motors are usually preferred. Various types of synchronous motors offer advantages in some situations, but induction motors are suitable for most purposes and are generally the most economical choice. Motors that are designed for fixed-speed operation are often used. Certain enhancements to the standard motor designs offer higher reliability and better VFD performance, such as MG-31 rated motors.

VFD controller
Variable frequency drive controllers are solid state electronic power conversion devices. The usual design first converts AC input power to DC intermediate power using a rectifier or converter bridge. The rectifier is usually a three-phase, full-wave-diode bridge. The DC intermediate power is then converted to quasi-sinusoidal AC power using an inverter switching circuit. The inverter circuit is probably the most important section of the VFD, changing DC energy into three channels of AC energy that can be used by an AC motor. These units provide improved power factor, less harmonic distortion, and low sensitivity to the incoming phase sequencing than older phase controlled converter VFD's. Since incoming power is converted to DC, many units will accept single-phase as well as three-phase input power (acting as a phase converter as well as a speed controller); however the unit must be derated when using single phase input as only part of the rectifier bridge is carrying the connected load.

As new types of semiconductor switches have been introduced, these have promptly been applied to inverter circuits at all voltage and current ratings for which suitable devices are available. Introduced in the 1980s, the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) became the device used in most VFD inverter circuits in the first decade of the 21st century. AC motor characteristics require the applied voltage to be proportionally adjusted whenever the frequency is changed in order to deliver the rated torque. For example, if a motor is designed to operate at 460 volts at 60 Hz, the applied voltage must be reduced to 230 volts when the frequency is reduced to 30 Hz. Thus the ratio of volts per hertz must be regulated to a constant value (460/60 = 7.67 V/Hz in this case). For optimum performance, some further voltage adjustment may be necessary especially at low speeds, but constant volts per hertz is the general rule. This ratio can be changed in order to change the torque delivered by the motor. In addition to this simple volts per hertz control more advanced control methods such as vector control and direct torque control (DTC) exist. These methods adjust the motor voltage in such a way that the magnetic flux and mechanical torque of the motor can be precisely controlled. The usual method used to achieve variable motor voltage is pulse-width modulation (PWM). With PWM voltage control, the inverter switches are used to construct a quasi-sinusoidal output waveform by a series of narrow voltage pulses with pseudosinusoidal varying pulse durations. Operation of the motors above rated name plate speed (base speed) is possible, but is limited to conditions that do not require more power than nameplate rating of the motor. This is sometimes called "field weakening" and, for AC motors, means operating at less than rated volts/hertz and above rated name plate speed. Permanent magnet synchronous motors have quite limited field weakening speed range due to the constant magnet flux linkage. Wound rotor synchronous motors and induction motors have much wider speed range. For example, a 100 hp, 460 V, 60 Hz, 1775 RPM (4 pole) induction motor supplied with 460 V, 75 Hz (6.134 V/Hz), would be limited to 60/75 = 80% torque at 125% speed (2218.75 RPM) = 100% power. At higher speeds the induction motor torque has to be limited further due to the lowering of the breakaway torque of the motor. Thus rated power can be typically produced only up to 130...150 % of the rated name plate speed. Wound rotor synchronous motors can be run even higher speeds. In rolling mill drives often 200...300 % of the base speed is used. Naturally the mechanical strength of the rotor and lifetime of the bearings is also limiting the maximum speed of the motor. It is recommended to consult the motor manufacturer if more than 150 % speed is required by the application.

PWM VFD Output Voltage Waveform

PWM AC variable speed drive An embedded microprocessor governs the overall operation of the VFD controller. The main microprocessor programming is in firmware that is inaccessible to the VFD user. However, some degree of configuration programming and parameter adjustment is usually provided so that the user can customize the VFD controller to suit specific motor and driven equipment requirements.

VFD operator interface


The operator interface, also commonly known as an Human Machine Interface (HMI), provides a means for an operator to start and stop the motor and adjust the operating speed. Additional operator control functions might include reversing and switching between manual speed adjustment and automatic control from an external process control signal. The operator interface often includes an alphanumeric display and/or indication lights and meters to provide information about the operation of the drive. An operator interface keypad and display unit is often provided on the front of the VFD controller as shown in the photograph above. The keypad display can often be cable-connected and mounted a short distance from the VFD controller. Most are also provided with input and output (I/O) terminals for connecting pushbuttons, switches and other operator interface devices or control signals. A serial communications port is also often available to allow the VFD to be configured, adjusted, monitored and controlled using a computer.

VFD Operation
When an induction motor is connected to a full voltage supply, it draws several times (up to about 6 times) its rated current. As the load accelerates, the available torque usually drops a little and then rises to a peak while the current remains very high until the motor approaches full speed. By contrast, when a VFD starts a motor, it initially applies a low frequency and voltage to the motor. The starting frequency is typically 2 Hz or less. Thus starting at such a low frequency

avoids the high inrush current that occurs when a motor is started by simply applying the utility (mains) voltage by turning on a switch. After the start of the VFD, the applied frequency and voltage are increased at a controlled rate or ramped up to accelerate the load without drawing excessive current. This starting method typically allows a motor to develop 150% of its rated torque while the VFD is drawing less than 50% of its rated current from the mains in the low speed range. A VFD can be adjusted to produce a steady 150% starting torque from standstill right up to full speed. Note, however, that cooling of the motor is usually not good in the low speed range. Thus running at low speeds even with rated torque for long periods is not possible due to overheating of the motor. If continuous operation with high torque is required in low speeds an external fan is needed. Please consult the manufacturer of the motor and/or the VFD. In principle, the current on the motor side is in direct proportion of the torque that is generated and the voltage on the motor is in direct proportion of the actual speed, while on the network side, the voltage is constant, thus the current on line side is in direct proportion of the power drawn by the motor, that is U.I or C.N where C is torque and N the speed of the motor (we shall consider losses as well, neglected in this explanation). (1) n stands for network (grid) and m for motor (2) C stands for torque [Nm], U for voltage [V], I for current [A], and N for speed [rad/s] We neglect losses for the moment : Un.In = Um.Im (same power drawn from network and from motor) Um.Im = Cm.Nm (motor mechanical power = motor electrical power) Given Un is a constant (network voltage) we conclude : In = Cm.Nm/Un That is "line current (network) is in direct proportion of motor power". With a VFD, the stopping sequence is just the opposite as the starting sequence. The frequency and voltage applied to the motor are ramped down at a controlled rate. When the frequency approaches zero, the motor is shut off. A small amount of braking torque is available to help decelerate the load a little faster than it would stop if the motor were simply switched off and allowed to coast. Additional braking torque can be obtained by adding a braking circuit (resistor controlled by a transistor) to dissipate the braking energy. With 4quadrants recifiers (active-front-end), the VFD is able to brake the load by applying a reverse torque and reverting the energy back to the network.

Power line harmonics


While PWM allows for nearly sinusoidal currents to be applied to a motor load, the diode rectifier of the VFD takes roughly square-wave current pulses out of the AC grid, creating harmonic distortion in the power line voltage. When the VFD load size is small and the available utility power is large, the effects of VFD systems slicing small chunks out of AC grid generally go unnoticed. Further, in low voltage networks the harmonics caused by single phase equipment such as computers and TVs are such that they are partially cancelled by three-phase diode bridge harmonics. However, when either a large number of low-amperage VFDs, or just a few very large-load VFDs are used, they can have a cumulative negative impact on the AC voltages available to other utility customers in the same grid.

When the utility voltage becomes misshapen and distorted the losses in other loads such as normal AC motors are increased. This may in the worst case lead to overheating and shorter operation life. Also substation transformers and compensation capacitors are affected, the latter especially if resonances are aroused by the harmonics. In order to limit the voltage distortion the owner of the VFDs may be required to install filtering equipment to smooth out the irregular waveform. Alternately, the utility may choose to install filtering equipment of its own at substations affected by the large amount of VFD equipment being used. In high power installations decrease of the harmonics can be obtained by supplying the VSDs from transformers that have different phase shift. Further, it is possible to use instead of the diode rectifier a similar transistor circuit that is used to control the motor. This kind of rectifier is called active infeed converter in IEC standards. However, manufacturers call it by several names such as active rectifier, ISU (IGBT Supply Unit), AFE (Active Front End) or four quadrant rectifier. With PWM control of the transistors and filter inductors in the supply lines the AC current can be made nearly sinusoidal. Even better attenuation of the harmonics can be obtained by using an LCL (inductor-capacitor-inductor) filter instead of single three-phase filter inductor. Additional advantage of the active infeed converter over the diode bridge is its ability to feed back the energy from the DC side to the AC grid. Thus no braking resistor is needed and the efficiency of the drive is improved if the drive is frequently required to brake the motor.

Applications considerations
The output voltage of a PWM VFD consists of a train of pulses switched at the carrier frequency. Because of the rapid rise time of these pulses, transmission line effects of the cable between the drive and motor must be considered. Since the transmission-line impedance of the cable and motor are different, pulses tend to reflect back from the motor terminals into the cable. The resulting voltages can produce up to twice the rated line voltage for lone cable runs, putting high stress on the cable and motor winding and eventual insulation failure. Increasing the cable or motor size/type for long runs and 480v or 600v motors will help offset the stresses imposed upon the equipment due to the VFD (modern 230v single phase motors not effected). At 460 V, the maximum recommended cable distances between VFDs and motors can vary by a factor of 2.5:1. The longer cables distances are allowed at the lower Carrier Switching Frequencies (CSF) of 2.5 kHz. The lower CSF can produce audible noise at the motors. For applications requiring long motor cables VSD manufacturers usually offer du/dt filters that decrease the steepness of the pulses. For very long cables or old motors with insufficient winding insulation more efficient sinus filter is recommended. Expect the older motor's life to shorten. Purchase VFD rated motors for the application. Further, the rapid rise time of the pulses may cause trouble with the motor bearings. The stray capacitance of the windings provide paths for high frequency currents that close through the bearings. If the voltage between the shaft and the shield of the motor exceeds few volts the stored charge is discharged as a small spark. Repeated sparking causes erosion in the bearing surface that can be seen as fluting pattern. In order to prevent sparking the motor cable should provide a low impedance return path from the motor frame back to the inverter. Thus it is essential to use a cable designed to be used with VSDs.

In big motors a slip ring with brush can be used to provide a bypass path for the bearing currents. Alternatively isolated bearings can be used. The 2.5 kHz and 5 kHz CSFs cause less motor bearing problems than caused by CSFs at 20 kHz. Shorter cables are recommended at the higher CSF of 20 kHz. The minimum CSF for synchronize tracking of multiple conveyors is 8 kHz. The high frequency current ripple in the motor cables may also cause interference with other cabling in the building. This is another reason to use a motor cable designed for VSDs that has a symmetrical three-phase structure and good shielding. Further, it is highly recommended to route the motor cables as far away from signal cables as possible.

Available VFD power ratings


Variable frequency drives are available with voltage and current ratings to match the majority of 3-phase motors that are manufactured for operation from utility (mains) power. VFD controllers designed to operate at 111 V to 690 V are often classified as low voltage units. Low voltage units are typically designed for use with motors rated to deliver 0.2 kW or 1/4 horsepower (hp) up to several megawatts. For example, the largest ABB ACS800 single drives are rated for 5.6 MW . Medium voltage VFD controllers are designed to operate at 2,400/4,162 V (60 Hz), 3,000 V (50 Hz) or up to 10 kV. In some applications a step up transformer is placed between a low voltage drive and a medium voltage load. Medium voltage units are typically designed for use with motors rated to deliver 375 kW or 500 hp and above. Medium voltage drives rated above 7 kV and 5,000 or 10,000 hp should probably be considered to be one-of-a-kind (one-off) designs. Medium voltage drives are generally rated amongst the following voltages : 2,3 KV - 3,3 Kv 4 Kv - 6 Kv - 11 Kv The in-between voltages are generally possible as well. The power of MV drives is generally in the range of 0,3 to 100 MW however involving a range a several different type of drives with different technologies.

Brushless DC motor drives


Much of the same logic contained in large, powerful VFDs is also embedded in small brushless DC motors such as those commonly used in computer fans. In this case, the chopper usually converts a low DC voltage (such as 12 volts) to the three-phase current used to drive the electromagnets that turn the permanent magnet rotor.

Ca principiu de functionare: 1. Tensiunea trifazica se redreseaza cu o punte de 6 diode, se filtreaza. 2. Se genereaza dintr-un microcontroller 6 pwm-uri necesare comenzii semipuntilor cu tranzistori 3. Se aplica semnalul prin niste drivere specializate la semipunti

4. Si gata treaba..... Nota: La 1. Teoria redresarii trifazice - clasic. La 2. Microcontrollerul trebuie sa genereze 3 semnale sinus decalate intre ele cu 120 grade (vezi pct 1 - forme de unda a semnalului trifazic). Atentie, cele 3 semnale sunt de fapt 6 jumatati de sinus=semialternante, pentru a putea comanda cei 6 tranzistori (in perechi de cate 2 conectati in semipunte H). In cazul in care puterea nu depaseste 250 W poti sa mergi cu IRF-uri Daca vrei >250W trebuie sa bagi ceva mai scump pe partea de putere IGBT-uri (tranzistoare cu grila si emitor-colector, vezi BUP314). Aici intervine si partea de monitorizare consum curent (de catre un motor de ex.) Pe partea asta apar mari probleme daca este facuta electronica fara instrumente de masura (osciloscop cu memorie, stand mecanic pentru simulat sarcini, etc). La turatii mici (sub 10% din turatia normala a motorului pt. 50Hz) trebuie asigurat pe langa limitare de curent si o monitorizare de tensiune pe cele 3 infashurari pentru a putea mentinu un cuplu constant. Cei care au testat motoare pas cu pas stiu ca la o frecventa (de rezonanta) motorul "pierde pasi" daca este pus la o sarcina apropiata de maximul dat de catalog. Asa se intampla si cu trifazicul. La frecvente mai mari de 75Hz motorul pirde mult din cuplu (asta in functie de producatorul motorului - romanesc, siemens, etc) Da, uite ca m-am luat cu alte prostii si nu mai termin... La 3. Driverele sunt bune la ceva... (vezi IR2130) ataca direct tranzistorii si rezolva problema celor 400V intre cele 2 grile a unei perechi de tranzistori (plus multe alte protectii). La 4. Poti sa termini treaba dupa ce poti sa gandesti o sursa "ce transforma" 220V / 50Hz in 220V / 0Hz...100Hz (sinus). Vezi PIC sau ATMEL, IR2111, IRF740 (sau BUP314 + diode IXIS pentru puteri mai mari). P.S. Este o treaba care se poate rezolva, daca ai rabdare si staruintza. Vezi MicroMaster420 de la Siemens, ce stie sa faca, ca sa sti ce sa faci. Bafta si spor la treaba.

Circuit description

Top: Simple inverter circuit shown with anelectromechanical switch and automatic equivalent auto-switching device implemented with two transistors and split winding auto-transformer in place of the mechanical switch.

Square waveform with fundamental sine wave component, 3rd harmonic and 5th harmonic

Basic designs
In one simple inverter circuit, DC power is connected to a transformer through the centre tap of the primary winding. A switch is rapidly switched back and forth to allow current to flow back to the DC source following two alternate paths through one end of the primary winding and then the other. The alternation of the direction of current in the primary winding of the transformer produces alternating current (AC) in the secondary circuit. The electromechanical version of the switching device includes two stationary contacts and a spring supported moving contact. The spring holds the movable contact against one of the stationary contacts and an electromagnet pulls the movable contact to the opposite stationary contact. The

current in the electromagnet is interrupted by the action of the switch so that the switch continually switches rapidly back and forth. This type of electromechanical inverter switch, called a vibratoror buzzer, was once used in vacuum tube automobile radios. A similar mechanism has been used in door bells, buzzers and tattoo guns. As they became available with adequate power ratings, transistors and various other types of semiconductor switches have been incorporated into inverter circuit designs. Certain ratings, especially for large systems (many kilowatts) use thyristors (SCR). SCRs provide large power handling capability in a semiconductor device, and can readily be controlled over a variable firing range.

Output waveforms
The switch in the simple inverter described above, when not coupled to an output transformer, produces a square voltage waveform due to its simple off and on nature as opposed to the sinusoidal waveform that is the usual waveform of an AC power supply. Using Fourier analysis, periodic waveforms are represented as the sum of an infinite series of sine waves. The sine wave that has the same frequency as the original waveform is called the fundamental component. The other sine waves, called harmonics, that are included in the series have frequencies that are integral multiples of the fundamental frequency. The quality of the inverter output waveform can be expressed by using the Fourier analysis data to calculate the total harmonic distortion (THD). The total harmonic distortion (THD) is the square root of the sum of the squares of the harmonic voltages divided by the fundamental voltage:

The quality of output waveform that is needed from an inverter depends on the characteristics of the connected load. Some loads need a nearly perfect sine wave voltage supply to work properly. Other loads may work quite well with a square wave voltage.

Advanced designs

H-bridge inverter circuit with transistor switches and antiparallel diodes

There are many different power circuit topologies and control strategies used in inverter designs. Different design approaches address various issues that may be more or less important depending on the way that the inverter is intended to be used. The issue of waveform quality can be addressed in many ways. Capacitors and inductors can be used to filter the waveform. If the design includes a transformer, filtering can be applied to the primary or the secondary side of the transformer or to both sides. Low-pass filters are applied to allow the fundamental component of the waveform to pass to the output while limiting the passage of the harmonic components. If the inverter is designed to provide power at a fixed frequency, aresonant filter can be used. For an adjustable frequency inverter, the filter must be tuned to a frequency that is above the maximum fundamental frequency.

Since most loads contain inductance, feedback rectifiers or antiparallel diodes are often connected across each semiconductor switch to provide a path for the peak inductive load current when the switch is turned off. The antiparallel diodes are somewhat similar to the freewheeling diodes used in AC/DC converter circuits.

waveform

signal harmonics harmonics System transitions eliminated amplified Description per period

THD

2-level square wave

~45%

[4]

3, 9, 27,...

3-level "modified square wave"

> [4] 23.8%

5-level "modified square wave"

> [4] 6.5%

10

3, 5, 9, 27

7, 11,...

2-level very slow PWM

12

3, 5, 9, 27

7, 11,...

3-level very slow PWM

Fourier analysis reveals that a waveform, like a square wave, that is anti-symmetrical about the 180 degree point contains only odd harmonics, the 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc. Waveforms that have steps of certain widths and heights can attenuate certain lower harmonics at the expense of amplifying higher harmonics. For example, by inserting a zero-voltage step between the positive and negative sections of the square-wave, all of the harmonics that are divisible by three (3rd and 9th, etc.) can be

eliminated. That leaves only the 5th, 7th, 11th, 13th etc. The required width of the steps is one third of the period for each of the positive and negative steps and one sixth of the period for each of the zerovoltage steps. Changing the square wave as described above is an example of pulse-width modulation (PWM). Modulating, or regulating the width of a square-wave pulse is often used as a method of regulating or adjusting an inverter's output voltage. When voltage control is not required, a fixed pulse width can be selected to reduce or eliminate selected harmonics. Harmonic elimination techniques are generally applied to the lowest harmonics because filtering is much more practical at high frequencies, where the filter components can be much smaller and less expensive. Multiple pulse-width or carrier basedPWM control schemes produce waveforms that are composed of many narrow pulses. The frequency represented by the number of narrow pulses per second is called the switching frequency or carrier frequency. These control schemes are often used in variable-frequency motor control inverters because they allow a wide range of output voltage and frequency adjustment while also improving the quality of the waveform. Multilevel inverters provide another approach to harmonic cancellation. Multilevel inverters provide an output waveform that exhibits multiple steps at several voltage levels. For example, it is possible to produce a more sinusoidal wave by having split-rail direct current inputs at two voltages, or positive and negative inputs with a central ground. By connecting the inverter output terminals in sequence between the positive rail and ground, the positive rail and the negative rail, the ground rail and the negative rail, then both to the ground rail, a stepped waveform is generated at the inverter output. This [7] is an example of a three level inverter: the two voltages and ground.

Three phase inverters

3-phase inverter with wye connected load

Three-phase inverters are used for variable-frequency drive applications and for high power applications such as HVDCpower transmission. A basic three-phase inverter consists of three singlephase inverter switches each connected to one of the three load terminals. For the most basic control scheme, the operation of the three switches is coordinated so that one switch operates at each 60 degree point of the fundamental output waveform. This creates a line-to-line output waveform that has six steps. The six-step waveform has a zero-voltage step between the positive and negative sections of the square-wave such that the harmonics that are multiples of three are eliminated as described above. When carrier-based PWM techniques are applied to six-step waveforms, the basic overall shape, or envelope, of the waveform is retained so that the 3rd harmonic and its multiples are cancelled.

3-phase inverter switching circuit showing 6-step switching sequence and waveform of voltage between terminals A and C (23-2 states)

To construct inverters with higher power ratings, two six-step three-phase inverters can be connected in parallel for a higher current rating or in series for a higher voltage rating. In either case, the output waveforms are phase shifted to obtain a 12-step waveform. If additional inverters are combined, an 18-step inverter is obtained with three inverters etc. Although inverters are usually combined for the purpose of achieving increased voltage or current ratings, the quality of the waveform is improved as well.

Early inverters
From the late nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century, DC-to-AC power conversion was accomplished using rotary converters or motor-generator sets (M-G sets). In the early twentieth century, vacuum tubes and gas filled tubes began to be used as switches in inverter circuits. The most widely used type of tube was the thyratron. The origins of electromechanical inverters explain the source of the term inverter. Early AC-to-DC converters used an induction or synchronous AC motor direct-connected to a generator (dynamo) so that the generator's commutator reversed its connections at exactly the right moments to produce DC. A later development is the synchronous converter, in which the motor and generator windings are combined into one armature, with slip rings at one end and a commutator at the other and only one field frame. The result with either is AC-in, DC-out. With an M-G set, the DC can be considered to be separately generated from the AC; with a synchronous converter, in a certain sense it can be considered to be "mechanically rectified AC". Given the right auxiliary and control equipment, an M-G set or rotary converter can be "run backwards", converting DC to AC. Hence an inverter is an inverted converter.

Controlled rectifier inverters


Since early transistors were not available with sufficient voltage and current ratings for most inverter applications, it was the 1957 introduction of the thyristor or silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) that initiated the transition to solid state inverter circuits.

12-pulse line-commutated inverter circuit

The commutation requirements of SCRs are a key consideration in SCR circuit designs. SCRs do not turn off or commutate automatically when the gate control signal is shut off. They only turn off when the forward current is reduced to below the minimum holding current, which varies with each kind of SCR, through some external process. For SCRs connected to an AC power source, commutation occurs naturally every time the polarity of the source voltage reverses. SCRs connected to a DC power source usually require a means of forced commutation that forces the current to zero when commutation is required. The least complicated SCR circuits employ natural commutation rather than forced commutation. With the addition of forced commutation circuits, SCRs have been used in the types of inverter circuits described above. In applications where inverters transfer power from a DC power source to an AC power source, it is possible to use AC-to-DC controlled rectifier circuits operating in the inversion mode. In the inversion mode, a controlled rectifier circuit operates as a line commutated inverter. This type of operation can be used in HVDC power transmission systems and in regenerative braking operation of motor control systems. Another type of SCR inverter circuit is the current source input (CSI) inverter. A CSI inverter is the dual of a six-step voltage source inverter. With a current source inverter, the DC power supply is configured as a current source rather than a voltage source. The inverter SCRs are switched in a sixstep sequence to direct the current to a three-phase AC load as a stepped current waveform. CSI inverter commutation methods include load commutation and parallel capacitor commutation. With both methods, the input current regulation assists the commutation. With load commutation, the load is a synchronous motor operated at a leading power factor. As they have become available in higher voltage and current ratings, semiconductors such as transistors or IGBTs that can be turned off by means of control signals have become the preferred switching components for use in inverter circuits.

Rectifier and inverter pulse numbers


Rectifier circuits are often classified by the number of current pulses that flow to the DC side of the rectifier per cycle of AC input voltage. A single-phase half-wave rectifier is a one-pulse circuit and a single-phase full-wave rectifier is a two-pulse circuit. A three-phase half-wave rectifier is a threepulse circuit and a three-phase full-wave rectifier is a six-pulse circuit.

With three-phase rectifiers, two or more rectifiers are sometimes connected in series or parallel to obtain higher voltage or current ratings. The rectifier inputs are supplied from special transformers that provide phase shifted outputs. This has the effect of phase multiplication. Six phases are obtained from two transformers, twelve phases from three transformers and so on. The associated rectifier circuits are 12-pulse rectifiers, 18-pulse rectifiers and so on... When controlled rectifier circuits are operated in the inversion mode, they would be classified by pulse number also. Rectifier circuits that have a higher pulse number have reduced harmonic content in the AC input current and reduced ripple in the DC output voltage. In the inversion mode, circuits that have a higher pulse number have lower harmonic content in the AC output voltage waveform.

Variable-frequency drive

Small variable-frequency drive

Chassis of above VFD (cover removed)

A variable-frequency drive (VFD) (also termed adjustable-frequency drive, variable-speed drive, AC drive, micro drive or inverter drive) is a type ofadjustable-speed drive used in electro-mechanical drive systems to control AC motor speed and torque by varying motor input frequency andvoltage. VFDs are used in applications ranging from small appliances to the largest of mine mill drives and compressors. However, about a third of the world's electrical energy is consumed by electric motors in fixed-speed centrifugal pump, fan and compressor applications and VFDs' global market penetration for all applications is still relatively small. This highlights especially significant energy efficiency improvement opportunities for retrofitted and new VFD installations. Over the last four decades, power electronics technology has reduced VFD cost and size and improved performance through advances in semiconductor switching devices, drive topologies, simulation and control techniques, and control hardware and software. VFDs are available in a number of different low and medium voltage AC-AC and DC-AC topologies.

System description and operation

VFD system

A variable frequency drive is a device used in a drive system consisting of the following three main subsystems: AC motor, main drive controller assembly, and drive operator interface.[5][4]

AC Motor
The AC electric motor used in a VFD system is usually a three-phase induction motor. Some types of single-phase motors can be used, but three-phase motors are usually preferred. Various types of synchronous motors offer advantages in some situations, but three phase induction motors are suitable for most purposes and are generally the most economical choice. Motors that are designed for fixed-speed operation are often used. Elevated voltage stresses imposed on induction motors that are supplied by VFDs require that such motors be designed for definite-purpose inverter-fed duty in accordance to such requirements as Part 31 of NEMA Standard MG-1.

Controller
The variable frequency drive controller is a solid state power electronics conversion system consisting of three distinct sub-systems: a rectifier bridge converter, a direct current (DC) link, and an inverter. Voltagesource inverter (VSI) drives (see 'Generic topologies' sub-section below) are by far the most common type of drives. Most drives are AC-AC drives in that they convert AC line input to AC inverter output. However, in some applications such as common DC bus or solar applications, drives are configured as DC-AC drives. The most basic rectifier converter for the VSI drive is configured as a three-phase, six-pulse, full-wave diode bridge. In a VSI drive, the DC link consists of a capacitor which smooths out the converter's DC output ripple and provides a stiff input to the inverter. This filtered DC voltage is converted to quasisinusoidal AC voltage output using the inverter's active switching elements. VSI drives provide higher power factor and lower harmonic distortion than phase-controlled current-source inverter (CSI) and loadcommutated inverter (LCI) drives (see 'Generic topologies' sub-section below). The drive controller can also be configured as a phase converter having single-phase converter input and three-phase inverter output.[7] Controller advances have exploited dramatic increases in the voltage and current ratings and switching frequency of solid state power devices over the past six decades. Introduced in 1983,[8] the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) has in the past two decades come to dominate VFDs as an inverter switching device. In variable-torque applications suited for Volts per Hertz (V/Hz) drive control, AC motor characteristics require that the voltage magnitude of the inverter's output to the motor be adjusted to match the required load torque in a linear V/Hz relationship. For example, for 460 volt, 60 Hz motors this linear V/Hz relationship is 460/60 = 7.67 V/Hz. While suitable in wide ranging applications, V/Hz control is sub-optimal in high performance applications involving low speed or demanding, dynamic speed regulation, positioning and reversing load requirements. Some V/Hz control drives can also operate in quadratic V/Hz mode or can even be programmed to suit special multi-point V/Hz paths. The two other drive control platforms, vector control and direct torque control (DTC), adjust the motor voltage magnitude, angle from reference and frequency[14] such as to precisely control the motor's magnetic flux and mechanical torque. Although space vector pulse-width modulation (SVPWM) is becoming increasingly popular, sinusoidal PWM (SPWM) is the most straightforward method used to vary drives' motor voltage (or current) and frequency. With SPWM control (see Fig. 1), quasi-sinusoidal, variable-pulse-width output is constructed from intersections of a saw-toothed carrier frequency signal with a modulating sinusoidal signal which is variable in operating frequency as well as in voltage (or current). Operation of the motors above rated nameplate speed (base speed) is possible, but is limited to conditions that do not require more power than the nameplate rating of the motor. This is sometimes called "field weakening" and, for AC motors, means operating at less than rated V/Hz and above rated nameplate speed. Permanent magnet synchronous motors have quite limited field weakening speed range due to the

constant magnet flux linkage. Wound rotor synchronous motors and induction motors have much wider speed range. For example, a 100 hp, 460 V, 60 Hz, 1775 RPM (4 pole) induction motor supplied with 460 V, 75 Hz (6.134 V/Hz), would be limited to 60/75 = 80% torque at 125% speed (2218.75 RPM) = 100% power. At higher speeds the induction motor torque has to be limited further due to the lowering of the breakaway torque of the motor. Thus rated power can be typically produced only up to 130...150% of the rated nameplate speed. Wound rotor synchronous motors can be run at even higher speeds. In rolling mill drives often 200...300% of the base speed is used. The mechanical strength of the rotor limits the maximum speed of the motor.

Fig. 1: SPWM carrier-sine input & 2-level PWM output

An embedded microprocessor governs the overall operation of the VFD controller. Basic programming of the microprocessor is provided as user inaccessiblefirmware. User programming of display, variable and function block parameters is provided to control, protect and monitor the VFD, motor and driven equipment.[9][19] The basic drive controller can be configured to selectively include such optional power components and accessories as follows:

Connected upstream of converter - circuit breaker or fuses, isolation contactor, EMC filter, line reactor, passive filter

Connected to DC link - braking chopper, braking resistor Connected downstream of inverter - output reactor, sine wave filter, dV/dt filter.[b][21]

Operator interface
The operator interface provides a means for an operator to start and stop the motor and adjust the operating speed. Additional operator control functions might include reversing, and switching between manual speed adjustment and automatic control from an external process control signal. The operator interface often includes analphanumeric display and/or indication lights and meters to provide information about the operation of the drive. An operator interface keypad and display unit is often provided on the front of the VFD controller as shown in the photograph above. The keypad display can often be cable-connected and mounted a short distance from the VFD controller. Most are also provided with input and output (I/O)

terminals for connecting pushbuttons, switches and other operator interface devices or control signals. A serial communications port is also often available to allow the VFD to be configured, adjusted, monitored and controlled using a computer.[9][22][23]

Drive operation

Electric motor speed-torque chart

Referring to the accompanying chart, drive applications can be categorized as single-quadrant, twoquadrant or four-quadrant; the chart's four quadrants are defined as follows:

Quadrant I - Driving or motoring, forward accelerating quadrant with positive speed and torque Quadrant II - Generating or braking, forward braking-decelerating quadrant with positive speed and negative torque

Quadrant III - Driving or motoring, reverse accelerating quadrant with negative speed and torque Quadrant IV - Generating or braking, reverse braking-decelerating quadrant with negative speed and positive torque.

Most applications involve single-quadrant loads operating in quadrant I, such as in variable-torque (e.g. centrifugal pumps or fans) and certain constant-torque (e.g. extruders) loads. Certain applications involve two-quadrant loads operating in quadrant I and II where the speed is positive but the torque changes polarity as in case of a fan decelerating faster than natural mechanical losses. Some sources define two-quadrant drives as loads operating in quadrants I and III where the speed and torque is same (positive or negative) polarity in both directions. Certain high-performance applications involve four-quadrant loads (Quadrants I to IV) where the speed and torque can be in any direction such as in hoists, elevators and hilly conveyors. Regeneration can only occur in the drive's DC link bus when inverter voltage is smaller in magnitude than the motor back-EMFand inverter voltage and back-EMF are the same polarity.

In starting a motor, a VFD initially applies a low frequency and voltage, thus avoiding high inrush current associated with direct on line starting. After the start of the VFD, the applied frequency and voltage are increased at a controlled rate or ramped up to accelerate the load. This starting method typically allows a motor to develop 150% of its rated torque while the VFD is drawing less than 50% of its rated current from the mains in the low speed range. A VFD can be adjusted to produce a steady 150% starting torque from standstill right up to full speed. However, motor cooling deteriorates and can result in overheating as speed decreases such that prolonged low speed motor operation with significant torque is not usually possible without separately-motorized fan ventilation. With a VFD, the stopping sequence is just the opposite as the starting sequence. The frequency and voltage applied to the motor are ramped down at a controlled rate. When the frequency approaches zero, the motor is shut off. A small amount of braking torque is available to help decelerate the load a little faster than it would stop if the motor were simply switched off and allowed to coast. Additional braking torque can be obtained by adding a braking circuit (resistor controlled by a transistor) to dissipate the braking energy. With a four-quadrant rectifier (active-front-end), the VFD is able to brake the load by applying a reverse torque and injecting the energy back to the AC line.

Benefits
Energy savings
Many fixed-speed motor load applications that are supplied direct from AC line power can save energy when they are operated at variable-speed, by means of VFD. Such energy cost savings are especially pronounced in variable-torque centrifugal fan and pump applications, where the loads' torque and power vary with the square and cube, respectively, of the speed. This change gives a large power reduction compared to fixed-speed operation for a relatively small reduction in speed. For example, at 63% speed a motor load consumes only 25% of its full speed power. This is in accordance with affinity laws that define the relationship between various centrifugal load variables. In the United States, an estimated 60-65% of electrical energy is used to supply motors, 75% of which are variable torque fan, pump and compressor loads.[30] Eighteen percent of the energy used in the 40 million motors in the U.S. could be saved by efficient energy improvement technologies such as VFDs. [31][32] Only about 3% of the total installed base of AC motors are provided with AC drives.[33] However, it is estimated that drive technology is adopted in as many as 30-40% of all newly installed motors.[34] An energy consumption breakdown of the global population of AC motor installations is as shown in the following table:

Global population of motors, 2009

[35]

Small

General Purpose - Medium-Size

Large

Power

10W to 750W 750W to 375kW

375kW to 100MW

Phase, voltage

1-ph., <240V 3-ph., 200V to 1kV

3-ph., 1kV to 20kV

% total motor energy 9%

68%

23%

Total stock

2 billion

230 million

0.6 million

Control performance
AC drives are used to bring about process and quality improvements in industrial and commercial applications' acceleration, flow, monitoring, pressure, speed, temperature, tension and torque.[36] Fixed-speed operated loads subject the motor to a high starting torque and to current surges that are up to eight times the full-load current. AC drives instead gradually ramp the motor up to operating speed to lessen mechanical and electrical stress, reducing maintenance and repair costs, and extending the life of the motor and the driven equipment. Variable speed drives can also run a motor in specialized patterns to further minimize mechanical and electrical stress. For example, an S-curve pattern can be applied to a conveyor application for smoother deceleration and acceleration control, which reduces the backlash that can occur when a conveyor is accelerating or decelerating. Performance factors tending to favor use of DC, over AC, drives include such requirements as continuous operation at low speed, four-quadrant operation with regeneration, frequent acceleration and deceleration routines, and need for motor to be protected for hazardous area.[37] The following table compares AC and DC drives according to certain key parameters:[38][39][40]

Drive type

DC

AC VFD

AC VFD

AC VFD

AC VFD

Control platform

Brush type DC

V/Hz control

Vector control

Vector control

Vector control

Control criteria

Closed-loop

Openloop

Open-loop

Closedloop

Open-loop w. HFI^

Motor

DC

IM

IM

IM

Interior PM

Typical speed regulation (%)

0.01

0.5

0.01

0.02

Typical speed range at constant 0-100 torque (%))

10-100

3-100

1-1500

1-100

Min. speed at 100% torque (% of base)

Standstill

8%

2%

Standstill

Standstill (200%)

Multiple-motor operation recommended

No

Yes

No

No

No

Fault protection (Fused only or inherent to drive)

Fused only

Inherent

Inherent

Inherent

Inherent

Maintenance

(Brushes)

Low

Low

Low

Low

Feedback device

Tachometer or encoder N/A

N/A

Encoder

N/A

^ High frequency injection

VFD types and ratings


Generic topologies

Topology of VSI drive

Topology of CSI drive

Six-step drive waveforms

Topology of direct matrix converter

AC drives can be classified according to the following generic topologies:

Voltage-source inverter (VSI) drive topologies (see image): In a VSI drive, the DC output of the diode-bridge converter stores energy in the capacitor bus to supply stiff voltage input to the inverter. The vast majority of drives are VSI type with PWM voltage output.[d]

Current-source inverter (CSI) drive topologies (see image): In a CSI drive, the DC output of the SCR-bridge converter stores energy in series-reactorconnection to supply stiff current input to the inverter. CSI drives can be operated with either PWM or six-step waveform output.

Six-step[e] inverter drive topologies (see image):[43] Now largely obsolete, six-step drives can be either VSI or CSI type and are also referred to as variable-voltage inverter drives, pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) drives,[44] square-wave drives or D.C. chopper inverter drives.[45] In a six-step drive, the DC output of the SCR-bridge converter is smoothed via capacitor bus and series-reactor connection to supply via Darlington Pair or IGBT inverter quasi-sinusoidal, six-step voltage or current input to an induction motor.[46]

Load commutated inverter (LCI) drive topologies: In a LCI drive, a special CSI case, the DC output of the SCR-bridge converter stores energy via DC link inductor circuit to supply stiff quasi-sinusoidal six-step current output of a second SCR-bridge's inverter and an over-excited synchronous machine.

Cycloconverter or matrix converter (MC) topologies (see image): Cycloconverters and MCs are AC-AC converters that have no intermediate DC link for energy storage. A cycloconverter operates as a three-phase current source via three anti-parallel connected SCR-bridges in six-pulse configuration, each cycloconverter phase acting selectively to convert fixed line frequency AC voltage to an alternating voltage at a variable load frequency. MC drives are IGBT-based.

Doubly fed slip[f] recovery system topologies: A doubly fed slip recovery system feeds rectified slip power to a smoothing reactor to supply power to the AC supply network via an inverter, the speed of the motor being controlled by adjusting the DC current.

Control platforms
See also: Dqo transformation and Alphabeta transformation Most drives use one or more of the following control platforms:[41][47]

PWM V/Hz scalar control PWM field-oriented control (FOC) or vector control Direct torque control (DTC).

Load torque and power characteristics


Variable frequency drives are also categorized by the following load torque and power characteristics:

Variable torque, such as in centrifugal fan, pump and blower applications Constant torque, such as in conveyor and displacement pump applications Constant power, such as in machine tool and traction applications.

Available power ratings


VFDs are available with voltage and current ratings covering a wide range of single-phase and multi-phase AC motors. Low voltage (LV) drives are designed to operate at output voltages equal to or less than 690 V. While motor-application LV drives are available in ratings of up to the order of 5 or 6 MW,[48] economic considerations typically favor medium voltage (MV) drives with much lower power ratings. Different MV drive topologies (see Table 2) are configured in accordance with the voltage/current-combination ratings used in different drive controllers' switching devices[49] such that any given voltage rating is greater than or equal to one to the following standard nominal motor voltage ratings: generally either 2.3/4.16 kV (60 Hz) or 3.3/6.6 kV (50 Hz), with one thyristor manufacturer rated for up to 12 kV switching. In some applications a step up transformer is placed between a LV drive and a MV motor load. MV drives are typically rated for motor applications greater than between about 375 kW (500 hp) and 750 kW (1000 hp). MV drives have historically required considerably more application design effort than required for LV drive

applications.[50][51] The power rating of MV drives can reach 100 MW, a range of different drive topologies being involved for different rating, performance, power quality and reliability requirements.[52][53][54]

Drives by machines & detailed topologies


It is lastly useful to relate VFDs in terms of the following two classifications:

In terms of various AC machines as shown in Table 1 below[55][56] In terms of various detailed AC-AC converter topologies shown in Tables 2 and 3 below.[57][54][53][42][41][58][59][60][61]

Application considerations
AC line harmonics
Note of clarification:.[g] While harmonics in the PWM output can easily be filtered by carrier frequency related filter inductance to supply near-sinusoidal currents to the motor load,[62] the VFD's diode-bridge rectifier converts AC line voltage to DC voltage output by super-imposing non-linear half-phase current pulses thus creating harmonic current distortion, and hence voltage distortion, of the AC line input. When the VFD loads are relatively small in comparison to the large, stiff power system available from the electric power company, the effects of VFD harmonic distortion of the AC grid can often be within acceptable limits. Furthermore, in low voltage networks, harmonics caused by single phase equipment such as computers and TVs are partially cancelled by three-phase diode bridge harmonics because their 5th and 7th harmonics are in counterphase.[63] However, when the proportion of VFD and other non-linear load compared to total load or of non-linear load compared to the stiffness at the AC power supply, or both, is relatively large enough, the load can have a negative impact on the AC power waveform available to other power company customers in the same grid. When the power company's voltage becomes distorted due to harmonics, losses in other loads such as normal fixed-speed AC motors are increased. This may lead to overheating and shorter operating life. Also substation transformers and compensation capacitors are affected negatively. In particular, capacitors can cause resonance conditions that can unacceptably magnify harmonic levels. In order to limit the voltage distortion, owners of VFD load may be required to install filtering equipment to reduce harmonic distortion below acceptable limits. Alternatively, the utility may adopt a solution by installing filtering equipment of its own at substations affected by the large amount of VFD equipment being used. In high power installations harmonic distortion can be reduced by supplying multi-pulse rectifier-bridge VFDs from transformers with multiple phase-shifted windings.[64] It is also possible to replace the standard diode-bridge rectifier with a bi-directional IGBT switching device bridge mirroring the standard inverter which uses IGBT switching device output to the motor. Such rectifiers are referred to by various designations including active infeed converter (AIC), active rectifier, IGBT supply

unit (ISU), active front end (AFE) or four-quadrant operation. With PWM control and suitable input reactor, AFE's AC line current waveform can be nearly sinusoidal. AFE inherently regenerates energy in fourquadrant mode from the DC side to the AC grid. Thus no braking resistor is needed and the efficiency of the drive is improved if the drive is frequently required to brake the motor. Two other harmonics mitigation techniques exploit use of passive or active filters connected to a common bus with at least one VFD branch load on the bus. Passive filters involve the design of one or more lowpass LC filter traps, each trap being tuned as required to a harmonic frequency (5th, 7th, 11th, 13th, . . . kq+/-1, where k=integer, q=pulse number of converter).[65] It is very common practice for power companies or their customers to impose harmonic distortion limits based on IEC or IEEE standards. For example, IEEE Standard 519 limits at the customer's connection point call for the maximum individual frequency voltage harmonic to be no more than 3% of the fundamental and call for the voltage total harmonic distortion (THD) to be no more than 5% for a general AC power supply system.[66]

Long lead effects


The carrier frequency pulsed output voltage of a PWM VFD causes rapid rise times in these pulses, the transmission line effects of which must be considered. Since the transmission-line impedance of the cable and motor are different, pulses tend to reflect back from the motor terminals into the cable. The resulting voltages can produce overvoltages equal to twice the DC bus voltage or up to 3.1 times the rated line voltage for long cable runs, putting high stress on the cable and motor windings and eventual insulation failure. Note that standards for three-phase motors rated 230 V or less adequately protect against such long lead overvoltages. On 460 or 575 V systems and inverters with 3rd generation 0.1 microsecond rise time IGBTs, the maximum recommended cable distance between VFD and motor is about 50 m or 150 feet. Solutions to overvoltages caused by long lead lengths include minimizing cable distance, lowering carrier frequency, installing dV/dt filters, using inverter duty rated motors (that are rated 600 V to withstand pulse trains with rise time less than or equal to 0.1 microsecond, of 1,600 V peak magnitude), and installing LCR low-pass sine wave filters. Regarding lowering of carrier frequency, note that audible noise is noticeably increased for carrier frequencies less than about 6 kHz and is most noticeable at about 3 kHz. Note also that selection of optimum PWM carrier frequency for AC drives involves balancing noise, heat, motor insulation stress, common mode voltage induced motor bearing current damage, smooth motor operation, and other factors. Further harmonics attenuation can be obtained by using an LCR low-pass sine wave filter or dV/dt filter.

[edit]Motor

bearing currents

Main article: Shaft voltage PWM drives are inherently associated with high frequency common mode voltages and currents which may cause trouble with motor bearings.[74] When these high frequency voltages find a path to earth through a bearing, transfer of metal or electrical discharge machining (EDM) sparking occurs between the bearing's

ball and the bearing's race. Over time EDM-based sparking causes erosion in the bearing race that can be seen as a fluting pattern. In large motors, the stray capacitance of the windings provides paths for high frequency currents that pass through the motor shaft ends, leading to a circulating type of bearing current. Poor grounding of motor stators can lead to shaft ground bearing currents. Small motors with poorly grounded driven equipment are susceptible to high frequency bearing currents. Prevention of high frequency bearing current damage uses three approaches: good cabling and grounding practices, interruption of bearing currents, and filtering or damping of common mode currents. Good cabling and grounding practices can include use of shielded, symmetrical-geometry power cable to supply the motor, installation of shaft grounding brushes, and conductive bearing grease. Bearing currents can be interrupted by installation of insulated bearings and specially designed electrostatic shielded induction motors. Filtering and damping high frequency bearing, or, instead of using standard 2-level inverter drives, using either 3-level inverter drives or matrix converters. Since inverter-fed motor cables' high frequency current spikes can interfere with other cabling in facilities, such inverter-fed motor cables should not only be of shielded, symmetrical-geometry design but should also be routed at least 50 cm away from signal cables.

Dynamic braking
See also: Dynamic braking and Regenerative braking Torque generated by the drive causes the induction motor to run at synchronous speed less the slip. If load inertia energy is greater that the energy delivered to the motor shaft, motor speed decreases as negative torque is developed in the motor and the motor acts as a generator, converting output shaft mechanical power back to electrical energy. This power is returned to the drive's DC link element (capacitor or reactor). A DC-link-connected electronic power switch or braking DC chopper (either built-in or external to the drive) transfers this energy to external resistors to dissipate the energy as heat. Cooling fans may be used to prevent resistor overheating. Dynamic braking wastes braking energy by transforming it to heat. By contrast, regenerative drives recover braking energy by injecting this energy on the AC line. The capital cost of regenerative drives is however relatively high.

Regenerative drives

Line regenerative variable frequency drives, showing capacitors (top cylinders) and inductors attached, which filter the regenerated power.

Simplified Drive Schematic for a Popular EHV[80]

Regenerative AC drives have the capacity to recover the braking energy of a load moving faster than the designated motor speed (an overhauling load) and return it to the power system. Cycloconverter, Scherbius, matrix, CSI and LCI drives inherently allow return of energy from the load to the line, while voltage-source inverters require an additional converter to return energy to the supply.[81][82] Regeneration is only useful in variable-frequency drives where the value of the recovered energy is large compared to the extra cost of a regenerative system,[81] and if the system requires frequent braking and starting. Regenerative variable-frequency drives are widely used where speed control of overhauling loads is required. Some examples:

Conveyor belt drives for manufacturing, which stop every few minutes. While stopped, parts are assembled correctly; once that is done, the belt moves on.

A crane, where the hoist motor stops and reverses frequently, and braking is required to slow the load during lowering.

Plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles of all types (see image and Hybrid Synergy Drive).

Motor electric

Motorul de inducie trifazat este cel mai rspndit motor electric Un motor electric (sau electromotor) este un dispozitiv ce transform energia electric n energie mecanic. Transformarea invers, a energiei mecanice n energie electric, este realizat de un generator electric. Nu exist diferene de principiu semnificative ntre cele dou tipuri de maini electrice, acelai dispozitiv putnd ndeplini ambele roluri n situaii diferite.

Principiul de funcionare
Majoritatea motoarelor electrice funcioneaz pe baza forelor electromagnetice ce acioneaz asupra unui conductor parcurs de curent electric aflat n cmp magnetic. Exist ns i motoare electrostatice construite pe baza forei Coulomb i motoare piezoelectrice.

Utilizare
Fiind construite ntr-o gam extins de puteri, motoarele electrice sunt folosite la foarte multe aplicaii: de la motoare pentru componente electronice (hard disc, imprimant) pn la acionri electrice de puteri foarte mari (pompe, locomotive, macarale).

Clasificare
Motoarele electrice pot fi clasificate dup tipul curentului electric ce le parcurge: motoare de curent continuu i motoare de curent alternativ. n funcie de numrul fazelor n care funcioneaz motoarele electrice pot fi motoare monofazate sau motoare polifazate.

Motoare de curent continuu


n funcie de tipul de excitaie se mpart n trei categorii: Motoare derivaie Motoare serie Motoare mixte

Motoare de curent alternativ


Motoare asincrone
Motoare cu inele de contact ( rotorul bobinat) Motoare cu rotorul n scurtcircuit Motoare de tipuri speciale
Motoare cu bare nalte Motoare cu dubl colivie Dolivo-Dobrovolski

Motoare sincrone

Elemente constructive
Indiferent de tipul motorului, acesta este construit din dou pri componente: stator i rotor. Statorul este partea fix a motorului, n general exterioar, ce include carcasa, bornele de alimentare, armtura feromagnetic statoric i nfurarea statoric. Rotorul este partea mobil a motorului, plasat de obicei n interior. Este format dintr-un ax i o armtur rotoric ce susine nfurarea rotoric. ntre stator i rotor exist o poriune de aer numit ntrefier ce permite micarea rotorului fa de stator. Grosimea ntrefierului este un indicator important al performanelor motorului.

Motorul de curent continuu


Motorul de curent continuu a fost inventat n 1873 de Znobe Gramme prin conectarea unui generator de curent continuu la un generator asemntor. Astfel, a putut observa c maina se rotete, realiznd conversia energiei electrice absorbite de la generator. Motorul de curent continuu are pe stator polii magnetici i bobinele polare concentrate care creeaz cmpul magnetic de excitaie. Pe axul motorului este situat un colector ce schimb sensul curentului prin nfurarea rotoric astfel nct cmpul magnetic de excitaie s exercite n permanen o for fa de rotor.

n funcie de modul de conectare a nfurrii de excitaie motoarele de curent continuu pot fi clasificate n:

motor cu excitaie independent - unde nfurarea statoric i nfurarea rotoric sunt conectate la dou surse separate de tensiune motor cu excitaie paralel - unde nfurarea statoric i nfurarea rotoric sunt legate n paralel la aceai surs de tensiune motor cu excitaie serie - unde nfurarea statoric i nfurarea rotoric sunt legate n serie motor cu excitaie mixt - unde nfurarea statoric este divizat n dou nfurri, una conectat n paralel i una conectat n serie.

nfurarea rotoric parcurs de curent va avea una sau mai multe perechi de poli magnetici echivaleni. Rotorul se deplaseaz n cmpul magnetic de excitaie pn cnd polii rotorici se aliniaz n dreptul polilor statorici opui. n acelai moment, colectorul schimb sensul curenilor rotorici astfel nct polaritatea rotorului se inverseaz i rotorul va continua deplasarea pn la urmtoarea aliniere a polilor magnetici. Pentru acionri electrice de puteri mici i medii, sau pentru acionri ce nu necesit cmp magnetic de excitaie variabil, n locul nfurrilor statorice se folosesc magnei permaneni. Turaia motorului este proporional cu tensiunea aplicat nfurrii rotorice i invers proporional cu cmpul magnetic de excitaie. Turaia se regleaz prin varierea tensiunii aplicat motorului pn la valoarea nominal a tensiunii, iar turaii mai mari se obin prin slbirea cmpului de excitaie. Ambele metode vizeaz o tensiune variabil ce poate fi obinut folosind un generator de curent continuu (grup Ward-Leonard), prin nserierea unor rezistoare n circuit sau cu ajutorul electronicii de putere (redresoare comandate, choppere).

Motor universal folosit la rniele de cafea Cuplul dezvoltat de motor este direct proporional cu curentul electric prin rotor i cu cmpul magnetic de excitaie. Reglarea turaiei prin slbire de cmp se face, aadar, cu diminuare a cuplului dezvoltat de motor. La motoarele serie acelai curent strbate nfurarea de excitaie i nfurarea rotoric. Din aceast consideraie se pot deduce dou caracteristici ale motoarelor serie: pentru ncrcri reduse ale motorului, cuplul acestuia depinde de ptratul curentului electric absorbit; motorul nu trebuie lsat s funcioneze n gol pentru c n acest caz valoarea intensitii curentului electric absorbit este foarte redus i implicit cmpul de excitaie este redus, ceea ce duce la ambalarea mainii pn la autodistrugere. Motoarele de curent continuu cu excitaie serie se folosesc n traciunea electric urban i feroviar (tramvaie, locomotive).

Schimbarea sensului de rotaie se face fie prin schimbarea polaritii tensiunii de alimentare, fie prin schimbarea sensului cmpului magnetic de excitaie. La motorul serie, prin schimbarea polaritii tensiunii de alimentare se realizeaz schimbarea sensului ambelor mrimi i sensul de rotaie rmne neschimbat. Aadar, motorul serie poate fi folosit i la tensiune alternativ, unde polaritatea tensiunii se inverseaz o dat n decursul unei perioade. Un astfel de motor se numete motor universal i se folosete n aplicaii casnice de puteri mici i viteze mari de rotaie (aspirator, mixer).

Motorul de curent alternativ


Motoarele de curent alternativ funcioneaz pe baza principiului cmpului magnetic nvrtitor. Acest principiu a fost identificat de Nikola Tesla n 1882. n anul urmtor a proiectat un motor de inducie bifazat, punnd bazele mainilor electrice ce funcioneaz pe baza cmpului magnetic nvrtitor. Ulterior, sisteme de transmisie prin curent alternativ au fost folosite la generarea i transmisia eficient la distan a energiei electrice, marcnd cea de-a doua Revoluie industrial. Un alt punct important n istoria motorului de curent alternativ a fost inventarea de ctre Michael von Dolivo-Dobrowlsky n anul 1890 a rotorului n colivie de veveri.

Motorul de inducie trifazat


Motorul de inducie trifazat (sau motorul asincron trifazat) este cel mai folosit motor electric n acionrile electrice de puteri medii i mari. Statorul motorului de inducie este format din armtura feromagnetic statoric pe care este plasat nfurarea trifazat statoric necesar producerii cmpului magnetic nvrtitor. Rotorul este format din armtura feromagnetic rotoric n care este plasat nfurarea rotoric. Dup tipul nfurrii rotorice, rotoarele pot fi de tipul:

rotor n colivie de veveri (n scurtcircuit) - nfurarea rotoric este realizat din bare de aluminiu sau -mai rar- cupru scurtcircuitate la capete de dou inele transversale. rotor bobinat - capetele nfurrii trifazate plasate n rotor sunt conectate prin interiorul axului la 3 inele. Accesul la inele dinspre cutia cu borne se face prin intermediul a 3 perii.

Prin intermediul induciei electromagnetice cmpul magnetic nvrtitor va induce n nfurarea rotoric o tensiune. Aceast tensiune creeaz un curent electric prin nfurare i asupra acestei nfurri acioneaz o for electromagnetic ce pune rotorul n micare n sensul cmpului magnetic nvrtitor. Motorul se numete asincron pentru c turaia rotorului este ntotdeauna mai mic dect turaia cmpului magnetic nvrtitor, denumit i turaie de sincronism. Dac turaia rotorului ar fi egal cu turaia de sincronism atunci nu ar mai avea loc fenomenul de inducie electromagnetic, nu s-ar mai induce cureni n rotor i motorul nu ar mai dezvolta cuplu. Turaia motorului se calculeaz n funcie alunecarea rotorului fa de turaia de sincronism, care este cunoscut, fiind determinat de sistemul trifazat de cureni.

Alunecarea este egal cu:

, unde

n1 este turaia de sincronism i n2 este turaia rotorului. , unde f este frecvena tensiunii de alimentare i p este numrul de perechi de poli ai nfurrii statorice. Turaia mainii, n funcie de turaia cmpului magnetic nvrtitor i n funcie de alunecare este: .

Se observ c alunecarea este aproape nul la mers n gol (cnd turaia motorului este aproape egal cu turaia cmpului magnetic nvrtitor) i este egal cu 1 la pornire, sau cnd rotorul este blocat. Cu ct alunecarea este mai mare cu att curenii indui n rotor sunt mai inteni. Curentul absorbit la pornirea prin conectare direct a unui motor de inducie de putere medie sau mare poate avea o valoare comparabil cu curentul de avarie al sistemelor de protecie, n acest caz sistemul de protecie deconecteaz motorul de la reea. Limitarea curentului de pornire al motorului se face prin creterea rezistenei nfurrii rotorice sau prin diminuarea tensiunii aplicate motorului. Creterea rezitenei rotorului se face prin montarea unui reostat la bornele rotorului (doar pentru motoarele cu rotor bobinat). Reducerea tensiunii aplicate se face folosind un autotransformator, folosind un variator de tensiune alternativ (pornirea lin) sau conectnd iniial nfurarea statoric n conexiune stea (pornirea stea-triungi - se folosete doar pentru motoarele destinate s funcioneze n conexiune triunghi) sau prin nserierea de rezistoare la nfurarea statoric. La reducerea tensiunii de alimentare trebuie avut n vedere c cuplul motorului este proporional cu ptratul tensiunii, deci pentru valori prea mici ale tensiunii de alimentare maina nu poate porni. Turaia mainii de inducie se modific prin modificarea alunecrii sale sau prin modificarea turaiei cmpului magnetic nvrtitor. Alunecarea se poate modifica din tensiunea de alimentare i din rezistena nfurrii rotorice astfel: se crete rezistena rotoric (prin folosirea unui reostat la bornele rotorice - doar la motoarele cu rotor bobinat) i se variaz tensiunea de alimentare (folosind autotransformatoare, variatoare de tensiune alternativ, cicloconvertoare) sau se menine tensiunea de alimentare i se variaz rezistena din rotor (printr-un reostat variabil). Odat cu creterea rezistenei rotorice cresc i pierderile din rotor i implicit scade randamentul motorului. O metod interesant de reglare a turaiei sunt cascadele de recuperare a puterii de alunecare. La bornele rotorice este conectat un redresor, iar la bornele acestuia este conectat un motor de curent continuu aflat pe acelai ax cu motorul de inducie (cascad Krmmer cu recuperare puterii de alunecare pe cale mecanic). Tensiunea indus n rotor este astfel redresat i aplicat motorului de curent continuu astfel nct cuplul dezvoltat de motorul de curent continuu se nsumeaz cuplului dezvoltat de motorul de inducie. Reglarea turaiei motorului de inducie se face prin reglarea curentului prin nfurarea de excitaie. n locul motorului de curent continuu se poate folosi un invertor cu tiristoare i un transformator de adaptare (cascad Krmmer cu recuperare puterii de alunecare pe cale electric). Tensiunea indus n rotor este astfel redresat i prin intermediul invertorului i a transformatorului este reintrodus n reea. Reglarea vitezei se face din unghiul de aprindere al tiristoarelor. Turaia cmpului magnetic nvrtitor se poate modifica din frecvena tensiunii de alimentare i din numrul de perechi de poli ai mainii. Numrul de perechi de poli se modific folosind o nfurare special (nfurarea Dahlander) i unul sau mai multe contactoare. Frecvena de

alimentare se modific folosind invertoare. Pentru frecvene mai mici dect frecvena nominal a motorului (50 Hz pentru Europa, 60 Hz pentru America de Nord) odat cu modificarea frecvenei se modific i tensiunea de alimentare pstrnd raportul U/f constant. Pentru frecvene mai mari dect frecvena nominal la creterea frecvenei tensiunea de alimentare rmne constant i reglarea vitezei se face cu slbire de cmp (ca la motorul de curent continuu). Sensul de rotaie al motorului de inducie se inverseaz schimbnd sensul de rotaie al cmpului nvrtitor. Aceasta se realizeaz schimbnd dou faze ntre ele. Motorul de inducie cu rotorul n colivie este mai ieftin i mai fiabil dect motorul de inducie cu rotorul bobinat pentru c periile acestuia se uzeaz i necesit ntreinere. De asemenea, motorul de inducie cu rotorul in colivie nu are colector i toate dezavantajele care vin cu acesta: zgomot, scntei, poluare electromagnetic, fiabilitate redus i implicit ntreinere costisitoare. Motoarele de curent continuu au fost folosite de-a lungul timpului n acionrile electrice de vitez variabil, deoarece turaia motorului se poate modifica foarte uor modificnd tensiunea de alimentare ns, odat cu dezvoltarea electronicii de putere i n special cu dezvoltarea surselor de tensiune cu frecven variabil, tendina este de nlocuire a motoarelor de curent continuu cu motoare de inducie cu rotor n colivie.

Motorul de inducie monofazat


n cazul n care sistemul trifazat de tensiuni nu este accesibil, cum este n aplicaiile casnice, se poate folosi un motor de inducie monofazat. Curentul electric monofazat nu poate produce cmp magnetic nvrtitor ci produce cmp magnetic pulsatoriu (fix n spaiu i variabil n timp). Cmpul magnetic pulsatoriu nu poate porni rotorul, ns dac acesta se rotete ntr-un sens, atunci asupra lui va aciona un cuplu n sensul su de rotaie. Problema principal o constituie deci, obinerea unui cmp magnetic nvrtitor la pornirea motorului i aceasta se realizeaz n mai multe moduri. Prin ataarea pe statorul mainii la un unghi de 90 a unei faze auxiliare nseriat cu un condensator se poate obine un sistem bifazat de cureni ce produce un cmp magnetic nvrtitor. Dup pornirea motorului se deconecteaz faza auxiliar printr-un ntreruptor centrifugal. Sensul de rotaie al motorului se poate schimba prin mutarea condensatorului din faza auxiliar n faza principal. n locul fazei auxiliare se poate folosi o spir n scurtcircuit plasat pe o parte din polul statoric pentru obinerea cmpului nvrtitor. Curentul electric indus n spir se va opune schimbrii fluxului magnetic din nfurare, astfel nct amplitudinea cmpului magnetic se deplaseaz pe suprafaa polului crend cmpul magnetic nvrtitor.

Servomotorul asincron monofazat


Servomotorul asincron monofazat este o main de inducie cu dou nfurri: o nfurare de comand i o nfurare de excitaie. Cele dou nfurri sunt aezate la un unghi de 90 una fa de cealalt pentru a crea un cmp magnetic nvrtitor. Rezistena rotorului este foarte mare pentru a realiza autofrnarea motorului la anularea tensiunii de pe nfurarea de comand. Datorit rezistenei rotorice mari, randamentul motorului este sczut i motorul se folosete n acionri electrice de puteri mici i foarte mici.

Motorul sincron trifazat


Motorul sincron trifazat este o main electric la care turaia rotorului este egal cu turaia cmpului magnetic nvrtitor indiferent de ncrcarea motorului. Motoarele sincrone se folosesc la acionri electrice de puteri mari i foarte mari de pn la zeci de MW. Statorul motorului sincron este asemntor cu statorul motorului de inducie (este format dintr-o armtur feromagnetic statoric i o nfurare trifazat statoric). Rotorul motorului sincron este format dintr-o armtur feromagnetic rotoric i o nfurare rotoric de curent continuu. Pot exista dou tipuri constructive de rotoare: cu poli necai i cu poli apareni. Rotorul cu poli necai are armtura feromagnetic crestat spre exterior i n cresttur este plasat nfurarea rotoric. Acest tip de motor are uzual o pereche de poli i funcioneaz la turaii mari (3000 rpm la 50 Hz). Rotorul cu poli apareni are armtura feromagentic sub forma unui butuc poligonal pe care sunt plasate miezurile polilor rotorici i bobine polare concentrate. n unele situaii n locul bobinelor polare concentrate se pot folosi magnei permaneni. Motorul sincron cu poli apareni are un numr mare de poli i funcioneaz la turaii mai reduse. Accesul la nfurarea rotoric se face printr-un sistem inel-perie asemntor motorului de inducie. Motoarele sincrone cu poli apareni pot avea cuplu chiar i n lipsa curentului de excitaie, motorul reactiv fiind cel ce funcioneaz pe baza acestui cuplu, fr nfurare de excitaie i fr magnei permaneni. nfurarea rotoric (de excitaie) a motorului parcurs de curent continuu creeaz un cmp magnetic fix fa de rotor. Acest cmp se lipete de cmpul magnetic nvrtitor statoric i rotorul se rotete sincron cu acesta. Datorit ineriei, cmpul magnetic rotoric nu are timp s se lipeasc de cmpul magnetic nvrtitor i motorul sincron nu poate porni prin conectare direct la reea. Exist trei metode principale de pornire a motoarelor sincrone:

pornirea n asincron - pe tlpile polare rotorice este prevzut o colivie asemntoare coliviei motorului de inducie i motorul pornete pe acelai principiu ca al motorului de inducie. pornirea la frecven variabil - este posibil doar atunci cnd este disponibil o surs de tensiune cu frecven variabil sau un convertor cu frecven variabil. Creterea frecvenei se face lent, astfel nct cmpul nvrtitor s aib viteze suficient de mici la nceput pentru a putea permite rotorului s se lipeasc de cmpul magnetic nvrtitor. pornirea cu motor auxiliar - necesit un motor auxiliar ce antreneaz motorul sincron conectat la reea. Cnd motorul ajunge la o turaie apropiat de turaia de sincronism motorul auxiliar este decuplat, motorul sincron se mai accelereaz puin pn ajunge la turaia de sincronism i continu s se roteasc sincron cu cmpul magnetic nvrtitor.

Motorul sincron monofazat


Este realizat uzual ca motor sincron reactiv cu sau fr magnei permaneni pe rotor. Asemntor motoarelor de inducie monofazate, motoarele sincrone monofazate necesit un cmp magnetic nvrtitor ce poate fi obinut fie folosind o faz auxiliar i condensator fie folosind spir n scurtcircuit pe polii statorici. Se folosesc n general n acionri electrice de puteri mici precum sistemele de nregistrare i redare a sunetului i imaginii.

Motorul pas cu pas

Motorul pas cu pas este un tip de motor sincron cu poli apareni pe ambele armturi. La apariia unui semnal de comand pe unul din polii statorici rotorul se va deplasa pn cnd polii si se vor alinia n dreptul polilor opui statorici. Rotirea acestui tip de rotor se va face practic din pol n pol, de unde i denumirea sa de motor pas cu pas. Comanda motorului se face electronic i se pot obine deplasri ale motorului bine cunoscute n funcie de programul de comand. Motoarele pas cu pas se folosesc acolo unde este necesar precizie ridicat (hard disc, copiatoare).