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State of the Art of Induction Motor Control

Joachim Bcker, Member, IEEE, Shashidhar Mathapati University Paderborn, Warburger Str. 100 D-33098 Paderborn, Germany
In that time the principle of speed control was based on steady state considerations of the induction machine. The v/f control was one outcome and even today it is commonly used for the open-loop speed control of drives with low dynamic requirements. Along with that, another well known control technique was the slip frequency control method that was well known for to yield better dynamics. This method was adopted in all high performance induction machine drives until fieldoriented control (FOC) became the industrys standard for AC drives with dynamics close to that of DC motor drives. The so called vector control or the field-oriented control was one of the most important innovations in AC motor drives which opened the door for the researchers aiming for ever enhancing control performance. This contribution is organized as follows, control aspects of induction motor drives are discussed in Section II, aspects on observer theory are discussed in Section III, sensorless drives in Section IV, and parameter identification in Section V. The industrial standards of induction motor drives is outlined in Section VI and followed by the future trend and needs in section VII.

AbstractThe induction motor is well known as the workhorse of industry. The development of variable speed induction motor drives has a long history of more than four decades. Todays sophisticated industrial drives are the result of the extensive research and development during the last decades. In this paper the historical and recent developments and major milestones in control of induction motors are pointed out first and second how research results were translated into todays industrial standards, and third at last, what are the current trends in research and industry are summarized. Index TermsInduction motor control

I. INTRODUCTION

EFORE the invention of variable frequency voltage and current source inverters the induction motor was never thought as continuously variable speed drive. Only some adaptations of the load characteristic were feasible by manipulations of the rotor resistance. The early days of variable speed induction motor drives can be recorded back to the 1960s, supplied by the silicon controlled rectifier (SCR).

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II. CONTROL APPROACHES Though R. H. Park [1] introduced rotating reference frames already in 1929, it took a long time to develop the idea of field-oriented control (FOC) that is based on the fundamental insight that the torque is proportional to the cross product of stator current and flux i s r . The resulting decoupled control of torque and field excitation is then quite similar to DC motor control. Roots of FOC started from Germany. As one of the first, Hannakam [2] built up a dynamic model of induction machine with analog computer in 1959. Then in 1964, Pfaff [4] studied the dynamics of induction motors with variable frequency supply. These publications in conjunction with the text book of Kovacs and Racz [3] were then the building blocks for the concept of Indirect FOC (IFOC) presented by Hasse in 1968 [5][35]. Later in 1971, Direct FOC (DFOC) was developed within Siemens by Blaschke [6]. Both authors proposed an orientation aligned with the rotor flux vector. In the mid 1980s, when many researchers worked on improvements of the basic FOC, Depenbrock presented the Direct Self Control (DSC) [17] and Takahashi and Noguchi the Direct Torque Control (DTC) [16]. Unlike FOC which includes pulse width-modulated current control loops, DSC and DTC are hysteresis controls working directly with stator flux and torque without having the need for an inner current control loop. A. Field-Oriented Control (FOC) In the concept of Indirect FOC (IFOC), flux orientation is realized only by means of feed-forward control, typically by a calculation of the slip frequency from the reference values, Fig. 1a. This approach is simple and well performing for the speed and position control even at low speeds. However, the major drawback is that, the orientation of the control is very sensitive to the rotor resistance, which affects the robustness of the control. To overcome this problem the rotor resistance has to be estimated online [12][14]. The other way is the Direct FOC (DFOC). The original approach of Blaschke [6] included flux measurement coils to accomplish the flux orientation, Fig. 1b. Instead of flux measurement, DFOC includes usually flux observers to enable

flux orientation, Fig. 1c. The different types of flux observers will be treated in the next section. The concept of field orientation is not restricted to rotor flux orientation but also possible with stator or air-gap flux [18]. In the late 1980s there were few publications on stator flux orientation [19] that presented some advantages over the rotor flux-oriented control. A generalization is the concept of universal field orientation [27]. B. Direct Self Control and Direct Torque Control Unlike FOC with stator current as inner control objective, DSC and DTC govern the stator flux by means of hysteresis controls. The overall concept of torque control in DSC [17] and the DTC [16] is the same, block schematic of these controls are shown in Fig. 2. The difference between the techniques is that DSC performs a hexagonal flux trajectory while that of DTC is circular. The DSC was developed for high power and traction application. Both possess high torque dynamics compared to FOC. However, both the control techniques have the inherent drawbacks of variable switching frequency and higher torque ripple. Since then it has been continuously worked by researchers to overcome these inherent drawbacks. These problems opened various roots for researchers to work on different kinds of strategies to avoid the variable switching frequency [22][24][37], but sticking to the fundamental concept of torque control. In order to realize the control, either DSC or DTC, flux and torque estimates have to be provided by a flux observer, quite similar to FOC. Although, mostly the so-called voltage model is mentioned in combination with DTC this is not mandatory, as the control will also run with other types of observers. III. FLUX AND TORQUE OBSERVERS Task of the observer is to provide estimates of the flux of the motor using available measured signals such as current, voltage and speed. Depending on the control structure (FOC, DSC, DTC) either stator or rotor flux estimates are needed. However, since the rotor flux can be calculated effectively from the stator flux (and vice versa) as long as the current is available, this does not affect the presented main principles.

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Once a flux estimate is available, also a torque estimate can easily be computed. Thus, all the flux observers can also provide torque estimates. A. Open-Loop observers Open-loop observers do not include measures of error feedback. They result in a straight-forward way from the motor modeling. Voltage or Stator Model (inherently speed sensorless): The first flux estimator proposed in early 1970s [7] used for the FOC was based on the stator circuit. The estimator is a simple integrator calculating the stator flux vector from s = (u s Rs i s )dt , and from that the rotor flux. The method is very sensitive to offsets (such as motor current) due to the pure integration. The other drawback is erroneous estimation at low speeds, since the temperature dependent drop of Rs i s dominates over the motor terminal voltage. In order to overcome the offset problem, a low pass filter (LPF) for the flux estimation is utilized in [14], and shown in Fig. 3a. It avoids the estimator windup but restricts to limit the low speed operation much above the cut off frequency of LPF. However, this model works very well at higher speeds and field weakening [19]. Current or Rotor Model: Almost at the same time in 1974 the DFOC presented in [8] with the rotor model, which is also well known as current model. The performance of this current

model is sensitive to the rotor resistance at higher slips [20], [28], shown in Fig. 3b. However, there is no particular problem for operation at low speeds. Voltage-Current and Speed Model: This model in the same publication [8] proposed, and the details of implementation can be seen in [13]. This is also known as open loop estimator with cancellation technique, this technique suffers from many issues like differentiation of current, division by speed and an inherently high parameter sensitivity [28]. The model is also shown in Fig. 3d. Voltage-Speed Model: This is a full order flux observer, which resembles the electrical model of the motor. The observer uses the motor voltage and speed and calculates the stator and rotor fluxes, shown in Fig 3c. The utilization of such a model for the control can be found in [13]. The detailed error analysis due to the parameter variation for the above estimators can be found in the doctorate thesis of Zgelein [15].

B. Closed-Loop observers The well known closed-loop observers are based on Luenberger type observer and Gopinaths type observer. Both types allow an error feedback. Luenberger Observer: A full-order observer is based on the Voltage-Speed model of the motor, where motor current is the output quantity of the state space model. This estimated

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current is used to compare with the actual measured current and drive the error in the feedback path to improve the performance of the observer. Such a structure is shown in Fig. 4a. The utilization of such a scheme can be traced back to the early 1980s in [15]. In this thesis, the author has provided in depth for error analysis with the parameter variations and also presented some simple optimization techniques for the feedback circuit to minimize the flux magnitude and phase errors. Researchers further explored this type of observer with the stochastic approach (based on Kalman Theory) [23]. Gopinaths type observer: The closed-loop flux observer is formed from the two most desirable open-loop estimators (presented above) which are referred as voltage model and current model, Fig. 4b. The smooth transition between these two models is governed by the bandwidth [29], which is determined by the proportional and integral gains K P , K I of the system. IV. SPEED SENSORLESS CONTROL Speed and position sensors are undesired due to various reasons as cost, cabling, robustness, and construction constraints. Many different approaches have been presented for speed sensorless induction motor control, e.g. [25], [26], [38]. Methods which are based on models assuming sinusoidal field distribution belong to the class of fundamental-wave methods. Many approaches of this class are derived from classical motor modeling or are originating from system identification techniques. All these methods work more or less reliably for medium to higher speeds. The principle problem with fundamental-wave speed estimation is that the induction motor becomes an unobservable system at zero stator frequency. Many efforts were spent to reduce the practical margin of minimum speed or to avoid zero frequency by appropriate manipulations of the flux magnitude. If zero frequency is an issue, spatial anisotropies (saliencies) of the motor like magnetic saturation or slot harmonics could be utilized to detect speed and position of the rotor or the flux, respectively. Two main streams were presented working either with injection of additional

harmonics [31] or applying step-like test signals [30]. However, exploitation of anisotropies of induction motors is much harder compared to synchronous motors, since natural saliencies of normal induction motors are very small due to skewing and optimized numbers of stator and rotor slots. Thus, motors with particular properties and individual tuning were required. Fig. 5 shows an overview about the various methods of speed sensorless control [38]. V. PARAMETER IDENTIFICATION Sophisticated model-based controls as FCO or DTC need precise information about the motor parameters like stator, rotor and mutual inductances and stator and rotor resistances. A lot of parameter identification techniques have been proposed, which can be grouped as off-line and on-line identification. Off-line identification takes place during commissioning or turning-on, while on-line identification is carried out during the normal operation. First proposals for off-line identification and self-commissioning are presented in the 1980 [21]. Up to today there are multitudes of publications and text books on parameter identification. Normally, off-line identification has to be done at standstill, because usually the shaft is not allowed to rotate. VI. INDUSTRIAL STANDARDS IN INDUCTION MOTOR DRIVES Today, three-phase induction motor drives are employed in different industrial areas with a wide power range starting from few 100W to several MW. Drives industry is very thankful to the present generation of powerful microprocessors, which is responsible for the realization of control functions within short cost margins. However, even today, cost of controller hardware is a limiting constraint, particularly at the low-power and low performance drives. Main market share of about 80-90% are simple drives with low dynamic requirements like pumps and fans. All these drives are working without speed sensors. The control principle is still based on v/f control. In this segment there is no need to introduce more powerful controls. More sophisticated control is needed for all kinds of drives

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that require high dynamic speed or torque regulation or high torque accuracy. Some examples are elevators, cranes, tooling machines and many kinds of industrial automation drives. Even drives for steel and paper mills, though it seems they are only continuously running, demand highest performance due to the extreme quality of the technologies. For most of these applications industrial standard products are available that come either with FOC or DTC. Many results from research have found their way to these industrial products. However, it has to be distinguished between standard offthe-shelf products and those that are individually designed or adapted for particular applications, typically in the high power range. Installation and commissioning of standard drives is often done by technical staff that is not familiar with the details of AC motor control. Thus, higher level methods as Luenberger observer or extended Kalman filter, requiring special education are usually not adopted. These controls are results of compromises between performance, cost, and, not least, easy usability. Self-commissioning functions are growing. However, that is often done not by means of parameter identification techniques, but using databases with motor data of the suppliers list. Individually designed controls, e.g. for traction drives and large industrial drives is often much more sophisticated and close to latest research. In that business, an experienced staff is usually responsible for development as well as for commissioning. Though most industrial controls allow also speed sensorless operation, typically degradations in performance have to be accepted. Highly performing sensorless drives with dynamic and precise torque tracking even at low speed and during regenerative braking are only a very small niche, e.g. when it is difficult to mount a speed sensor in a wheel hub drive. VII. FUTURE TRENDS AND NEEDS Todays industrial induction motor drives have matured to a relatively high level compared with needs. To accomplish that level it took about a decade or more to transfer research results to todays industrial standards. However, what are the open or upcoming issues and future trends? Reliable self-commissioning will become more and more mandatory. Depending on the preceding item, market share of vector controls as FOC/DSC will grow compared to v/f control. Servo-type drives seem to be of decreasing importance, because this area is captured more and more by permanent magnet synchronous motors. However: Because induction motors possess low inertia and are free of cogging torque, there is a growing market segment of high speed and test stand drives requiring smoothest stationary torque, but also capability of rapid torque and speed changes in order to apply desired test profiles. Safety aspects are getting more important. That addresses software development standards as already partly

introduced as well as operational measures like redundancy or fallback operation. Efficiency-optimized operation will grow more importance with respect to energy saving demands. Controller hardware which is based today on microprocessors or DSP may change in the future more and more towards ASICs or FPGA. A growing number of contributions are observed in this area. REFERENCES
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