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PRINCLPLES OF 3 PHASE INVERTERS

AND

ELECTRIC MOTORS
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CHAPTER 1:PRINCIPLES OF SQUIRREL CAGE INDUCTION MOTOR

1.1 Construction of Squirrel Cage Induction Motor


The three phase induction motor is by far the most common one used in industry. It is efficient, reliable and
rugged. It is used to drive pumps, fans, conveyors, mixers, grinders, saws, and on all types of machinery. It
is powered from the standard three phase industrial electricity supply.
STATOR STACK
STATOR
WINDINGS

BEARING
COOLING FAN
FITTED TO SHAFT

SHAFT
BEARING

4501-011 Rev B
FRAME ROTOR

Figure 1.1: Cross-Sectional View of 3-Phase Induction Motor


Refer to Figure 1.1. The body of the motor is called the frame. It is usually made of cast iron or aluminium.
Fixed into the frame is a part in the shape of a hollow tube, called the stator. Spinning inside this is the
rotor, which is as solid cylindrical item with a shaft through its centre. The shaft runs in low friction bearings.
1.2 Stator Construction and Excitation
Refer to Figure 1.2(a). The stator is built up a silicon steel punchings, and assembled as a hollow cylinder
inside the motor frame. A distributed three-phase winding is arranged in slots on the inner circumference.
Each of the three stator windings has two halves, on opposite sides of the stator. The windings are disposed
120 deg apart from each other. These windings are depicted in Figure 1.2(b). If electric current is passed
through two coils on opposite sides of the stator, we have an electromagnet. This sets up a magnetic field
like that of a horseshoe magnet. This field passes through the rotor. Thus each winding has two magnetic
poles, thus the motor is known as a two pole motor.

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4501-013 Rev B W 4501-014 Rev B

Figure 1.2: Induction Motor Stator Construction and Windings


When the three windings are connected to a three-phase source, either in star or delta configuration, it can
be shown that the magnetic field produced rotates. The speed of rotation of the field is directly related to the
frequency of the voltage source. That is, a 50 Hz supply will cause a field rotation speed of 50 rev/sec, i.e.
3000 r.p.m. This is illustrated in Figure 1.3.
W U V

30 deg 30 deg

a b c
U1 U1
U1

W2 V2 W2 V2 W2 V2

V1 W1 V1 W1 V1 W1

U2 U2 U2
a b c 4501-016 Rev C

Figure 1.3: Generation of Rotating Stator Field

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1.3 Rotor Construction and Action


The rotor is a cylinder of iron, with a shaft running through its axis. Parallel slots are cut to run the length of
the outside. Copper bars are put into these slots, and the bars are shorted together at each end.

4501-012 Rev B

Figure 1.4: Induction Motor Rotor


Consider when the rotor is placed inside the stator. The rotating magnetic field set up by the three-phase
current through the stator windings cuts the stator. This causes a current to be induced in the rotor bars,
due to Fleming’s Law of Induction. Refer to Figure 1.5(a) for an illustration of this effect.
The rotor current frequency is proportional to the difference in rotational speed between the rotor and the
magnetic field generated by the stator. This is called the slip frequency. This rotor current induces a
magnetic field in the rotor at the same speed as the stator field. The stator and rotor fields interact and
produce a rotational torque on the rotor. Refer to Figure 1.5(b) for an illustration of this torque interaction.
S
Direction of stator
field rotation
Stator

Rotor
Torque

4501-044 Rev C

Figure 1.5(a): Induction of Rotor Current Figure 1.5(b): Interaction Between Rotor and Stator Fields

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1.4 Torque And Current vs Speed


As the rotor increases in speed, the speed difference between the rotating stator field and the rotor bars
gets less. This reduces the strength of the field induced in the rotor, and thus the rotor torque is reduced.
When the rotor reaches the speed of the stator field, there is no field induced in the rotor, and the torque
generated is zero. This is called the synchronous speed of the rotor. As the torque loading on the rotor
increases, the rotor slows down, i.e. the slip speed increases. This increases the strength of the rotor
magnetic field, thus increasing the rotor torque. However at a certain point, the motor steel magnetically
saturates and the available torque drops off. Refer to Figure 1.6(a) for a typical Torque vs Speed curve for a
squirrel cage induction motor.
As the rotor slows down, i.e. as the slip speed increases, the rate of flux cutting the rotor squirrel cage
increases, as does the rotor current. This is reflected as increased stator current. As the rotor is slowed to a
standstill, with a 50 Hz supply, the stator current rises to quite a high level- typically six times full load
current. Refer to Figure 1.6(b) for a typical Current vs Speed curve.
Note that even when the motor is unloaded and running close to synchronous speed, it still draws a
significant amount of current. This is in fact magnetising current, and is reactive, i.e. out of phase with the
voltage. This magnetising component causes fluxing of the motor, and is reasonably constant over the
normal range of motor loads. It is the reason why an induction motor always runs at a less than unity power
factor (typically 0.86 at full load).
MOTOR MOTOR
TORQUE CURRENT
600% Starting
Pull-out current
200% torque
500%

150% 400%
Starting
torque
100% 300%

200%
50%
Full load 100%
slip
No-load
current
20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
4501-018 Rev D Full load speed
MOTOR SPEED 4501-019 Rev D MOTOR SPEED
Figure 1.6(a): Motor Torque vs Speed Figure 1.6(b) Motor Current vs Speed
1.5 Motor Poles
Figure 1.2 shows the stator winding arrangement for a two pole motor, where each of the three phases has
two windings associated with it. Figure 1.7(a) depicts a four pole stator. In this stator, each winding has
four sections. Each section is displaced by 90 deg from the other. Thus when current is passed through
each winding, two magnetic fields are formed across the stator, at right angles from each other. Thus each
winding has four poles, i.e. the motor is referred to as a four pole machine. It can be shown that when the
windings are connected to a three-phase supply, the magnetic field rotates at half the frequency of the
supply. Hence for a 50 Hz supply, the field rotation speed is 25 rev/sec, i.e. 1500 r.p.m.
Similarly, a six pole stator field rotates at one third of the supply frequency, (1000 r.p.m. for 50 Hz) and an
eight pole stator field rotates at a quarter of the supply frequency (750 r.p.m. for 50 Hz). Refer to Figure
1.7(b) for a table of synchronous speeds versus number of stator poles, for a 50 Hz supply.

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STATOR POLES
U

W
4501-110 Rev A

Figure 1.7(a): 4-Pole Stator Windings Figure 1.7(b): Motor Speeds vs Number of Poles
1.6 Speed Control Of Squirrel Cage Motor
Inherently, the squirrel cage induction motor is a fixed-speed motor, whose speed is controlled by the
number of poles, and the frequency of the supply to which it is connected. A small speed change is
noticeable as the load on the motor changes, as a result of the slip.
The equation for motor speed is:
N = f x 120 - s
p
N = motor speed in revs per minute
f = frequency of supply to the motor in Hz
p = number of poles on the stator
s = slip of motor in revs per minute.
From this equation, it can be seen that the speed of an induction motor can be controlled in three ways:
(a) Change the number of poles.
This requires a rotor with two sets of windings, and a set of switchgear to enable energisation of either
winding.
Note that the speed is not continuously variable. For example, a 2 / 8 pole motor connected to 50Hz has two
synchronous speeds, i.e. 3000 and 750 r.p.m.
(b) Change the amount of slip.
This can be done by adjusting the voltage supplied to the motor. This causes the torque vs speed curve to
become less steep, thus causing more slip as the motor is loaded up. To work correctly, this method
requires a load with a rising torque vs speed characteristic. Any variation in load torque will cause a
variation in motor speed.
(c) Adjust the frequency of supply to the motor.
This is the method used by electronic speed controllers. It generates a whole family of Torque vs Speed
curves, each one with a synchronous speed corresponding to the frequency supplied to the motor at any
instant. Refer to Figure 1.8. This is best method of speed control, for the following reasons:
• High efficiency is maintained throughout speed range.

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• Continuously variable speed control is available. This can be controlled electronically, by (e.g.) 0 - 10V or
4 - 20 mA control signal. This makes a Variable Frequency Motor Controller ideal for process
automation.
• The torque available from the motor is maintained, even at low speeds. Thus it is suitable for use with
loads of any torque characteristic.
• Speeds above the 50 Hz "base speed" can be achieved, although at the cost of a reduction in the
maximum torque available.

200 %

100 %

100 Hz
10 Hz

20 Hz

30 Hz

40 Hz

50 Hz

60 Hz

70 Hz

80 Hz

90 Hz
4501-023 Rev D

Figure 1.8: Torque vs Speed Curves for Motor Under Variable Frequency Control

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1.7 Motor Equivalent Circuit


If we analyse the internal electrical circuit of an induction motor, by breaking it down into simple circuit
elements (inductors and resistors), each winding appears similar to Figure 1.9(a). This simplifies to Figure
1.9(b). Note that each motor winding has two current paths.
Rs IT IR
Ll s Ll r Rr IT IR

Rs
RL
IM 1 - S Rr IM
LM S LM
Vs Vs Load resistance:
Load resistance: reduces with
Magnetising reduces with Magnetising increasing slip
inductance increasing slip inductance

Stator Rotor Stator Rotor

4501-024 Rev D

(a) Full Equivalent Circuit (b) Simplified Equivalent Circuit


Figure 1.9: Equivalent Circuit of Induction Motor
Magnetising path: Each stator winding has an cos φ = power factor

Real (Torque) Current


Real (Torque) Current
iron core, thus will have a high inductance. The
IR
inductances of each winding are important to the
operation of the motor, because when drawing

nt
rre
current they generate the rotating magnetic field(s) tal IT
Cu
essential to the operation of the motor. The IR

nt
rre
To

al IT
magnetising current is reactive, that is, it lags behind

Cu
O
the applied voltage by 90 . M

t
To
M
Load path: This current path transforms from
the stator to the rotor by transformer action, and
flows through the rotor bars. The more load on the IM IM
motor, the higher the slip, and the higher the load Imaginary Imaginary
current is. Load current is real, i.e., it is in phase (Magnetising) Current (Magnetising) Current
4501-025 Rev D
with the applied voltage.
(a) Full Load (b) Half Load
Total current: The total current in each
winding of a motor is the vector sum of the load Figure 1.10: Components of Current
current and the magnetising current, as shown in in Induction Motor
Figure 1.10. Generally the magnetising component
is constant and does not change with load. It
ensures that the motor always runs at a lagging
power factor.

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1. 8 Variable Frequency Controllers


To keep the magnetic fields inside the motor at the correct level, at the same time as adjusting the supply
frequency to the motor, we also need to adjust the supply voltage. The requirement is to maintain a
constant voltage-to-frequency (V/Hz) ratio. Too weak a field causes a loss in motor torque. Too strong a
field causes magnetic saturation and motor overheating.

100%
Field Weakening Region
OUTPUT VOLTAGE

Amount
of Boost
50 Hz
4501-027 Rev D OUTPUT FREQUENCY
Figure 1.11: Variable Speed Drive Output Voltage vs Frequency
From the above figure, it can be seen that for increasing output frequency, the V/Hz ratio remains constant
until the motor voltage reaches 100% of the (Drive input) voltage. For higher Drive frequency, the voltage to
the motor cannot increase, and magnetic field weakening happens. Thus when the motor is oversped past
its nominal operating frequency, its output torque capability reduces.
We can improve low speed motor torque by applying BOOST. This is done by increasing output voltage at
low speed, as shown in Figure 1.11. Boosting overcomes the voltage drop caused by the stator winding
resistance, RS in Figure 1.9. This in turn causes torque loss at low speeds.

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CHAPTER 2: PRINCIPLE OF VARIABLE SPEED DRIVE


2.1 Block Diagram of Variable Frequency Drive
Refer to Figure 2.1, which shows the block diagram of a typical PDL Variable Frequency Drive.
FILTER
CIRCUIT

400VAC 565VDC
3 PHASE
50Hz

INPUT FUSES BRIDGE 400V 3 PHASE


AND FILTER RECTIFIER INDUCTION MOTOR
INVERTER
4501-028 Rev D SWITCHES
Figure 2.1: Block Diagram of PDL Variable Frequency Drive
Sections of the drive are:
Rectifier: Converts the incoming AC (alternating current) into DC (direct current). For 400Vac mains,
the DC level is approximately 560Vdc.
Filter: The rectifier output has ripple (some AC voltage) superimposed on top of the DC.
This needs to be filtered (smoothed) by a choke and electrolytic capacitors.
The output of the filter is called the DC bus.
Inverter: Converts the DC bus voltage back into three phase AC.
The frequency and voltage of the output from the inverter are adjustable, and if an induction
motor is connected to it, the motor’s speed can be adjusted,
2.2 Rectifier
The rectifier has six diodes connected as a three phase bridge rectifier. A diode is a device that allows
current to flow in one direction only.

AC Diode
input Load

v AC input voltage

v voltage to load

load gets no voltage or


current in this half cycle
4501-111 Rev A
duce to blocking of diode

Figure 2.2: Operation of Rectifier Diode


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Referring to Figure 2.2, on a positive half cycle of the mains, that is, when the top input is more positive than
the bottom input, the diode is forward biased and will conduct current through the load. On a negative half
cycle, when the top input is more negative than the bottom input, the diode is reverse biased and will block
current from conducting. Thus in the circuit of Figure 2.2, the load will have half of the mains voltage across
it. Thus if it was a lamp, it would glow with half brightness.
Figure 2.3 shows a full wave three phase rectifier, where six diodes are used to convert AC into DC.
DC CHOKE

POS

L1 DC BUS DC BUS
3-PHASE CAPACITORS 565 VDC
INPUT L2 VR
MAINS
(400VAC) L3
NEG
3-PHASE SOFT CHARGE
BRIDGE RESISTOR &
RECTIFIER CONTACTOR

DC CHOKE
Vin
V 12 V 23 V 31

MAINS INPUT
VR ripple

VDC = 560Vdc

t
RECTIFIER OUTPUT
4501-112 Rev A

Figure 2.3: Drive Rectifier and Filter Circuit


For a standard 400Vac 50Hz 3 phase mains, the output of the drive’s rectifier is 560Vdc, with some ripple
superimposed. The ripple is a small AC voltage at a frequency of 300Hz.
UDi/MVi/MFi drives use three diodes and three silicon controlled rectifiers (SCRs) in their rectifier. This has
no effect on the normal operation of the rectifier.
Filter
To get rid of the ripple on the rectifier output, a filter is used. The filter uses two chokes, one in the positive
and one in the negative output of the rectifier.
The filter also uses capacitors. The capacitors are electrolytic, i.e. they are polarised (can only go in the
circuit in one direction) and have a large capacitance (ability to hold charge) for their size. The capacitors
we use are rated at 400Vdc maximum each. Thus to withstand the DC bus voltage, they must be in sets of
two in series. Resistors connected across the capacitors help each series pair of capacitors to share the DC
bus voltage between them.

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WARNING: The capacitors can hold a lethal charge for some minutes after power
has been turned off.

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Soft Charge Circuit


The filter capacitors can draw a lot of current when first charging up. This inrush is noticeable when the
drive is first switched on, and can blow fuses or damage the diodes. So a soft charge circuit helps to limit
the inrush current to a safe level. The charging current flows through the soft charge resistor When the
capacitors are charged up, the resistor is shorted out by a contactor or relay, and the drive can now be run.
On UDi/MVi/MFi models, soft charging is done by “phase controlling” the rectifier SCRs during this inrush
period.
2.3 Inverter Bridge
After smoothing by the filter, the DC voltage is applied to the inverter bridge consisting of six insulated gate
bipolar transistors (IGBTs).
Operation of IGBT
In an IGBT, the gate (g) and emitter (e) can be thought of as the control terminals, and the collector (c) and
emitter (e) as the power terminals. By placing a voltage between g and e (Vge = 10Vdc) the resistance
between c and e will go low and switch on any load in the collector circuit. The IGBT can thus act as a
power switch - it can control high power in its collector circuit with low power in its gate circuit. This is
similar to a relay, where low power in its coil will enable high power to be switched through its contacts. The
advantages of an IGBT over a relay are its very fast speed and ease of driving. AN IGBT can switch on a
load in 2 microseconds (millionths of a second), compared with a relay taking 10 milliseconds (thousandths
of a second).
4501-113 Rev A +DC bus

LAMP LAMP
LOAD LOAD
COLLECTOR

CONTROL CONTROL RELAY


SWITCH SWITCH CONTACT
GATE

10Vdc + + RELAY
COIL
EMITTER - -

-DC bus

(a) IGBT Symbol and Terminals (b) IGBT as a Power Switch (c) Relay Equivalent of IGBT Switch

Figure 2.4: IGBT Symbol and Operation


Figure 2.5 shows the switching characteristics of an IGBT. Note that there is a finite (although small) time it
takes to switch on and off. The shorter this time, the less the heating of the IGBT due to the switching. Also
note that when switched on, the voltage across the switch (Vce) does not decrease to zero as would be
expected in an ordinary switch. The lowest Vce goes to is approximately 2.5Vdc. This also causes heating
in the IGBT. Thus the IGBTs need to be mounted on a heatsink, so that the internally generated heating is
safely conducted away and does not destroy the IGBT.
V, I
IC VCE

SATURATION VOLTAGE
VSAT
t

W
TURN-ON TURN-OFF
TIME TIME

TURN-ON
LOSS TURN-OFF
LOSS
CONDUCTION LOSS
t
4501-033 Rev D

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Figure 2.5 IGBT Switching Characteristics


In a PDL Variable Speed Drive inverter bridge, six IGBTs are arranged in a “bridge” configuration. The
switching of the IGBTs is arranged so that when the top IGBT in each leg (or phase) of the bridge is
switched on, the bottom one is turned off, and vice versa. So if the centre point of each phase (where the
motor is connected to) is observed, it switches periodically to the positive and negative sides of the DC bus.
+VDC
+VDC VAO 2
2
TR1 TR1
0
TR1 TR2 TR3 TR4 t
-VDC
2
VBO
TR2 TR2
0
TR5 TR5 t
O
VCO
TR3 TR3
0
TR6 TR6 t
TR4 TR5 TR6
VAB
-VDC
2 t

A B C
VBC
t

M VCA
t

Motor
Current
IAB

4501-114 Rev A t

Figure 2.6: Inverter IGBT Switches and Output Waveforms


If each of the three phases is switched in this manner, but with the switching of each phase delayed by one
third of a cycle behind the previous phase, the three waveforms of the centre point (VAO, VBO, VCO) are as
shown in Figure 2.6. The motor sees across its terminals the difference in voltage between any two outputs
A, B, C, as shown in the figure as VAB, VBC, VCA. Thus the output of the inverter is a three phase waveform.
The output voltage waveform is called a “quasi square-wave” and causes a motor current waveform as
shown at the bottom of Figure 2.6.
Modulation
The above motor waveform is not very good for the motor because it has a high harmonic content, which
causes the motor to be noisy and to get too hot. To improve this waveform we modulate the voltage
waveform. This modulation is done to adjust the average output voltage and to make the output current
waveform look more like a sine wave, which has less harmonics and causes less noise and heating in the
motor.
Figure 2.7 shows this modulation technique. The width and number of chops are electronically adjusted to
make the output current closely approximate a sine wave. In this illustration, there are sixteen chops

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inserted in the cycle. In a practical drive, the number of chops may be 80 per cycle, giving an even
smoother motor current waveform.

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INVERTER OUTPUT VOLTAGE


(WITH RESPECT TO DC BUS MIDPOINT

PWM LINE-TO-LINE
OUTPUT VOLTAGE

MOTOR
CURRENT

4501-115 Rev A

Figure 2.7: Modulation of Output Waveform


2.4 Control Electronics
The Control Electronics in an AC Motor Speed Controller is the “Brain” of the controller. In its basic form, it
performs the following functions:

• Accepts a Speed Reference signal (0 to 10V or 4 to 20mA).

• Accepts user controls: stop, start, reset, invert direction, etc.

• Generates modulated waveforms, to drive the inverter switches to provide the correct output voltage and
frequency to run the motor at the desired speed.

• Monitors motor current to provide motor and controller with protection against overloads.

• Provides application-dependent adjustments: acceleration and deceleration rates, minimum and


maximum speeds, boost and overload levels, etc.

• Provides status outputs, e.g. motor current, drive frequency, start, run, overload, fault indication.
User Controls
In later model AC Motor Controllers, the function of the user input control switches can be customised in the
software. This can eliminate the need for external logic control functions. Examples may be to provide a
software motorised potentiometer, with one input switch to increase the reference, and one to decrease the
reference.
Similarly, analogue inputs can be configured as to type (0 to 10Vdc, 4 to 20mA, +/-10Vdc etc.) and function
to suit what the control system has available.
Output relays can be configured as to the status that they indicate, and analogue output(s) can have their
type and function configured.
Some controllers have a software process control loop available to enable closed loop applications such as
constant pressure pumping, level control, load control, etc.
Motor Current Monitoring
The AC Motor Speed Controller output current is continuously monitored, to enable Controller, motor
overload and load protection. Use of Hall Effect DC current transformer devices enable measurement and
control of motor currents at low frequency and DC levels. Motor current imbalance and earth leakage can be
monitored and protected against.
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2.5 Single Phase Input Drive


Smaller AC Motor Speed Controllers are available for operation off single phase supplies, either 220/240Vac
or 380/440Vac. These Controllers have single phase rectifiers with four diodes in the rectifier instead of six.
For 230V Controllers, the DC bus voltage is approximately 325Vdc and the maximum output voltage is
230Vac 3 phase. This enables operation of small delta-connected motors. Refer to Figure 2.8 for details of
the necessary winding connections.
V V1 V
U2 V1
0V

23

40
0V
0V
23

0V
40
V2
W2
U2
U1 V2
W1
W2 W1 U1
230V U 400V W
U W
230V motor winding connections 400V motor winding connections

W2 U2 V2
4501-037 Rev E W2 U2 V2

U1 V1 W1 U1 V1 W1

Motor terminals delta connections Motor terminals star connections

Figure 2.8: Winding Connection for 230/400 Vac Motors

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CHAPTER 3: PRINCIPLES OF FLUX VECTOR CONTROLLERS
3.1 Difference Between Scalar And Vector Control
As discussed in Section 1, the operation of the three phase induction motor is due to the interaction of the
(excited) stator magnetic field with the (induced) rotor magnetic field. The stator excitation produces a
magnetic field, which rotates at synchronous speed in the air gap between stator and rotor. This field
induces currents in the rotor bars, so giving rise to another rotating magnetic field. These fields want to line
up with each other, so the rotor experiences a torque, and tends to be dragged along with the stator field.
As the rotor speed approaches that of the rotating stator field, the rotor bar currents will reduce. This
reduces the rotor torque, until when rotating at synchronous speed, the rotor torque is zero. Under normal
motoring conditions, the rotor will rotate at a speed slightly slower than that of the stator field. This speed
difference is termed the slip, and the more slip, the more torque the motor will deliver to the load.
By applying a variable voltage variable frequency (VVVF) controller, as discussed in Section 2, the stator
field rotation speed can be changed, thus the rotor speed changes. This is done. For most motor speed
control applications, e.g. pumps, fans, conveyors, etc., this is a satisfactory method of speed control.
However there are some types of load where the performance of a VVVF controller is not good enough for
operating the induction motor. One such application area is where very fast speed response is needed, e.g.
in position control systems and flying shears. Under such highly dynamic conditions, the operation of a
VVVF controller will be underdamped or even unstable. Another area where a VVVF controller is not
particularly suitable is in torque control applications, e.g. rewinders, torque boosters, etc. Also the standstill
torque and low speed torque capabilities of a VVVF controller on an induction motor are not very good,
making it unsuitable for use on hoists and elevators.
For high performance operation, closed loop torque control is required. This requires that the torque
producing and magnetising components of stator current must be accurately and separately controlled as
vectors, i.e. they are controlled in both magnitude and spatial position. The two components are kept in
quadrature, i.e. 90O electrical apart. This class of induction motor controller is referred to as a Field
Orientated Flux Vector Controller, or simply Vector Controller, as represented by the PDL Microvector
range. This type of controller has very fast torque response, making it suitable for precision torque, speed
and position control applications. The ability to get up to full pull-out torque of the motor at all speeds,
including standstill, makes this controller suitable for cranes, hoists and elevators.
3.2 Review of Basic Motor Principles

F: force on
conductor
(newtons)
L: length of
conductor
(metres)

B: magnetic field strength


surrounding conductor
(Teslas)

4506-042 Rev A

i: current in
conductor F=BiL
(amps)
Figure 3.1: Force on Current-carrying Conductor in a Magnetic Field
All electric motors work on a basic principle of electromagnetism. According to this principle, when an
electric current is passed through a conductor that is in a magnetic field, a force acts on the conductor. This
is shown in Figure 3.1. If the current-carrying conductor is at right angles to the field, then the magnitude of
the force can be calculated from the equation
F = BxixL
where F = force in Newtons, B = magnetic flux density in Teslas, L = conductor length in metres.
The direction of the force can be deduced from the left-hand motor rule. Extend the thumb, forefinger and
middle finger of the left hand so they are mutually perpendicular. If the forefinger represents the direction of
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the magnetic flux lines, and the middle finger the direction of (conventional) current flow, then the thumb
points in the direction that the conductor is pushed. Control of the torque output of a motor is by control of
the above forces on the rotor conductors, by controlling either the field strength (B) or the rotor current (i).
In a separately excited DC motor, torque control is comparatively straightforward, as discussed in Section
3.3. However in an AC induction motor, the rotor conductor current is achieved by induction, that is, by the
stator field B cutting past the rotor conductors at slip speed and generating currents in the rotor bars. Thus
the same current forced into the stator windings gives rise to the motor flux (B) and induces the rotor current
(i). Thus to control the torque output of an AC induction motor, we need to control the instantaneous
magnitude and phase of the three-phase stator currents to enable direct and independent control of B and I.
This is called Field Orientated Flux Vector Control.
3.3 Review of DC Motor
The separately excited DC motor, as shown in Figure 3.2, is an example of a vector controlled motor. The
armature (torque producing) current is kept in quadrature (at right angles) to the field producing current by
the commutator and brushgear. The field flux is directly proportional to the field current, and can be
controlled independently of the armature current. The shaft torque is proportional to the product of the field
flux and armature current. If the field current is kept constant, the motor output torque can be controlled by
controlling armature current. Response to a step change in armature current is fast and well damped.
Field poles
Brushes Ia T = Kd x If x Ia
Stator
Ra
Vf Ia (torque producing)

Vs

Ea M
Field Field
flux
Φf
Φf
Commutator Armature Armature (magnetising)

(a): End View of DC Motor (b): Wound-Field DC Motor Circuit (c) Current and Flux Vectors

Figure 3.2: Separately Excited DC Motor


However DC motors have many disadvantages when compared to squirrel cage induction motors. Their
brushes and armatures make them high maintenance motors. The armature windings are complicated and
rewinding is expensive. The motors normally have a poor ingress protection (IP) rating, and brushgear
arcing prevents their use in any hazardous area. The induction motor, by comparison, is much simpler in
construction, and is available in waterproof, submersible, or flameproof formats. It is generally more
mechanically rugged, and much less expensive than its DC counterpart.

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3.4 Concepts of Induction Motor Vector Control


Rs IT IR
Lls Ll r Rr

Magnetising
inductance Im
Load resistance:
Vs 1 - S Rr reduces with
Lm S increasing slip

4501-045 Rev C
Stator Rotor
Figure 3.3: Steady-state Equivalent Circuit of Induction Motor
Figure 3.3 shows the equivalent circuit of a phase of an induction motor. Circuit parameters are as follows:
Lls = stator leakage inductance - due to imperfect magnetic coupling between adjacent turns
Rs = stator winding resistance - due to resistance of copper wire - cause of stator losses
Lm = stator magnetising inductance - gives rise to rotating stator field
Llr = rotor leakage inductance
Rr = rotor resistance
Rr (1-s)/s = equivalent load resistance - changes with motor slip
There are two components of current into the motor:
IM(t) magnetising current, i.e. flux producing current. This current is mainly imaginary,
i.e. inductive. A small real, i.e. resistive, current component flows, due to iron losses
in the stator.
IR(t) load current, i.e. torque producing current. This component is mainly real,
i.e. resistive or work-producing current. A small imaginary, i.e. inductive, current
flows, due to rotor and stator leakage inductances.
The produced torque can be expressed as:
T = Ka x IM(t) x IR(t) x sin α
It must be remembered that these two quantities are alternating, having the same frequency but not
necessarily in quadrature. The phase difference α between the two currents will vary from 90O due to the
effects of the leakage inductances. This variance will be worse at low speeds and under heavy loads.
In a AC induction motor, the same current forced into the three phase stator windings gives rise to the
magnetising (air gap) flux (B) and induces the torque producing (rotor) current (i). It is not possible to
separately and independently access these two quantities. The main function of the Vector Controller is to
overcome this problem by maintaining a quadrature relationship between magnetising and torque producing
components of the stator current, and decoupling the components in such a way that each can be
independently controlled, even under highly dynamic conditions.
Vector control needs to have a feedback from the motor of the magnitude and orientation of the air gap flux.
This then enables the two current components to be controlled. Early Vector Controllers employed direct
vector control, by using flux sensors in the air gap to produce the required signals. However this required a
special motor and did not achieve acceptance. Later controllers employ indirect vector control, where the
magnitude and orientation of air gap flux is computed from a knowledge of the motor's parameters (called
the motor map), and the instantaneous relative rotor position, measured using an incremental shaft encoder
driven by the rotor. Complex and tedious calculations have to be carried out on-line and at high speed in
order to achieve fast response. This has only been practical since the advent of fast and powerful
microprocessors. The PDL Microvector is an example of a modern indirect Vector Controller.

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3.5 Concept of Rotating Reference Frame


In the induction motor, the air gap flux rotates at synchronous speed. The rotor current and therefore rotor
flux induced by this air gap flux travels past the rotor at slip speed. Thus the relative angular position of rotor
flux is stationary with respect to the stator flux. Thus we can use a synchronously rotating reference frame
as a reference co-ordinate system. With respect to this reference frame, both the rotor and stator fluxes are
stationary and their mutual interaction produces torque. To achieve this rotating reference frame, a
mathematical transformation is required between a three phase stationary reference frame and a two phase
rotating reference frame with d and q axes. This is shown in Figure 3.4.

Is
q-axis

d-axis
Iq

Id
θ ϕ
4506-041 Rev B
FIXED FRAME

Figure 3.4: Vector Diagram of Stator Current Components


Relative to Rotating Reference Frame
In this rotating reference frame, variables like voltages and currents are purely real currents (like DC
quantities) without modulation. In this frame, the RMS values of IM(t) and IR(t) transform to Id and Iq. Thus
our torque equation can be re-written:
T = ka x Id x Iq
The analogy to the DC motor is Id corresponds to field current If, and Iq corresponds to armature (torque
producing) current Ia.
3.6 Synthesis of Stator Current
Referring to Figure 3.4, when the Vector Controller is operating below base speed, the magnitude of Id is
fixed. The required magnitude of Iq can then be computed, based on the reference (required) torque. From
these values, the magnitude of the required stator current can be calculated:
Is = √(Id2 + Iq2)
Iq is a function of the slip of the rotor. The required slip frequency (in radians/sec) can be calculated from:
ωs = Iq / (Tr x Id )
where Tr = rotor coupled time constant, i.e., Lr / Rr, which depends on the motor design.
This required slip speed can then be used to calculate the required instantaneous phase of the stator
current, by integrating rotor speed (ωr) and generated slip (ωs). Once again, referring to Figure 3.4:
ϕ = ∫ (ωr + ωs)dt + θ
where θ = tan-1 (Iq / Id)
By combining the above equations, the instantaneous stator current magnitude and phase angle can be
calculated. The accuracy of the calculations is dependent on the accuracy of the motor and shaft encoder
parameters programmed into the Vector Controller, thus correct "tuning" of the controller is very important if
good performance is required.

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3.7 PDL "Microvector" Controller


The PDL Microvector Motor Controller is effectively a torque controller, which synthesises the stator current
required by the connected induction motor to supply the reference (required) torque. Refer to Figure 3.5 for
a block diagram of the control strategy.

INDUCTION
Id Va MOTOR
PI
3R
EXTERNAL SPEED Vb SPACE
REFERENCE SPEED MOTOR INVERTER M
LOOP MAP VECTOR BRIDGE
2S MODULATOR
Iq Vc
PI
EXTERNAL TORQUE
REFERENCE
Ia
SPEED E
FEEDBACK 3R
Ib ENCODER
2S MOUNTED
Ic ON
d/ dt MOTOR

ROTOR POSITION FEEDBACK

4506-011 Rev B
Figure 3.5: Block Diagram of Microvector Control Algorithm
A microcontroller continuously computes the necessary values and distribution pattern of stator currents.
This requires rotor change-of-position signals from an incremental shaft encoder mounted on the motor. The
microcontroller runs an algorithm which converts the measured motor currents from three-phase rotating
currents into two-phase direct currents, which are the equivalent of the armature and field currents in a DC
motor. These are compared with the reference values needed to produce the required torque, and the
errors are processed, reconverted to three-phase rotating voltage reference levels, and applied to the
inverter bridge. An internal speed control loop can be selected to enable the Microvector to be configured
as a precision speed controller if required. The incremental encoder is used as speed feedback for the
control loop. The result is that precision torque and speed control can is achievable. The response of the
motor is very fast - typically a 100% torque step can be applied to the load in less than 10 milliseconds.
3.8 Open Loop Vector Controllers
An open loop flux vector controller (also known as a tacholess vector controller) controls the speed of an
induction motor using techniques similar to that of a Microvector, to synthesise stator currents to deliver the
required motor torque. However a shaft encoder is not required on the motor. The result is an induction
motor controller that has near-vector performance (both in speed response and low-speed torque capability)
but without the problem of having to fit a shaft encoder to the motor. The rotor position is estimated by
measuring the motor's terminal voltage and applying a mathematical transformation. Such a controller
requires a very powerful microprocessor to handle the extra maths routines in the short cycle time required.
Open loop vector control is in its infancy but will probably be the control mode of the future. At the time of
publication of this edition, PDL Electronics has released the first models in a range of open loop flux vector
controllers, called the Microdrive Elite range.

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APPLICATIONS BULLETIN

CHAPTER 4 PRINCIPLES OF REDUCED VOLTAGE STARTERS

4.1 DIRECT-ON-LINE STARTING

The direct-on-line starting characteristics of an induction motor can be better understood by studying the full
equivalent circuit of the motor. Refer to Figure 4.1.
Rs IT IR
Lls Ll r Rr

Magnetising
inductance Im
Load resistance:
Vs 1 - S Rr reduces with
Lm S increasing slip

4501-045 Rev C
Stator Rotor
Figure 4.1: Full Equivalent Circuit of One Phase of Induction Motor
Figure 4.1 represents the steady-state equivalent circuit of one phase of an induction motor. Circuit
parameters are as follows:
Lls = stator leakage inductance - due to imperfect magnetic coupling between adjacent
stator turns
Rs = stator winding resistance - due to resistance of copper wire - cause of stator losses
Lm = stator magnetising inductance - gives rise to rotating stator field
Llr = rotor leakage inductance
Rr = rotor resistance
Rr (1-s)/s = RL = equivalent load resistance - changes with motor slip
On start up, slip is at a maximum (1.0) and RL becomes very small, and appears as a short circuit. The
stator current on starting virtually all flows to the rotor and its magnitude is only limited by the stator and rotor
reactances (RS, LlS, Rr, Llr). Also voltage divider effects between stator and rotor reactances will ensure that
Lm does not get full input voltage supplied. Thus at start up, the field in the motor is weakened and the
motor's torque reduced to approximately 50% of peak.
Refer to Figures 4.2, 4.3 for typical Torque vs Speed and Current vs Speed curves for squirrel cage motors.
MOTOR MOTOR
TORQUE CURRENT
600%
Starting
current Generation &
200% Pull-out distribution system
torque 500% musr be rated to
handle starting
Excess torque current surge.
150% available to load 400%
Switchgear must be
during acceleration rated to make and
Starting of motor after DOL break starting
torque start. Can cause 300%
current level.
100% transmission shock,
water hammer, etc.
200%
50% Load
torque 100%
No-load
current
20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
4501-047 Rev C
MOTOR SPEED MOTOR SPEED
Figure 4.2: Torque vs Speed Curve Figure 4.3: Current vs Speed Curve

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APPLICATIONS BULLETIN

4.2 Problems With Direct-On-Line Starting


On starting an induction motor direct-on-line, (DOL), three effects are noticeable.
The first effect is the large amount of excess torque available. Refer to Figure 4.2. Even though the starting
torque is reduced, the torque does jump quickly to peak value as the rotor speed increases. This torque can
be far in excess of what the load requires, as shown in the figure. This excess torque is represented by the
area above the load torque requirement curve and below the motor torque curve. When DOL starting, this
excess torque can cause mechanical shock, belt slippage, and stress in transmission components. It can
cause water hammer in pipes connected to motor-driven pumps. DOL starting is essentially an uncontrolled
start.
The second effect is the large starting current drawn by the motor, as illustrated in Figure 4.3. This starting
current is typically, at the instant of starting, six times full load current. It is because at start-up, the motor
has full slip, and looks like a transformer with a shorted secondary (rotor). This high current can cause
considerable voltage sags on a low capacity mains supply, and necessitates the rating of all induction motor
switchgear and fusegear to handle this surge without damage. Local electricity distribution authorities
usually insist that measures are taken to reduce this starting surge.
The third effect is to cause additional heating in the motor. Rotor heating is made worse because the rotor
usually has a higher effective resistance on starting compared with when running, because of the "skin
effect" caused by the high slip frequency on the rotor. Overheating of the rotor can be severe with repeated
starts, or with high load inertias or torques, and can cause rotor shorting ring failure or rotor cage melt-down.
4.3 Effect of Reduced Starting Voltage
It can be shown that if the starting voltage supplied to an induction motor is reduced, the torque available
from the motor reduces as the square of the voltage reduction. Refer to Figure 4.4. If the input voltage to
the motor is reduced to 71%, then the torque available is reduced to 50% (0.71 x 0.71) of its full value. The
start current is also reduced, but not to the same extent as the torque.
Any reduced voltage starting technique will cause the motor to operate at high slip for longer periods during
start up. At high slip, the torque is only moderate, power factor is poor and rotor heating is very high.
MOTOR 2
TORQUE T2
T1 = (VV21)
200%

V = 100%
150%

100%
V = 70%

50%
V = 50%

20% 40% 60% 80% 100% MOTOR SPEED


4501-048 Rev D

Figure 4.4: Torque vs Speed Curves as Function of Voltage


A variable frequency drive is a most effective way of starting any induction motor. Because the drive is
increasing the frequency at a controlled rate, the motor can be brought up to speed without incurring large
slip, thus the starting current can be minimised and starting torque controlled. Also, once started, the motor’s
speed can be continuously varied. The main disadvantage is the higher initial cost of such a drive.
A cheaper option is to run the motor from an electronic reduced voltage starter (RVS). This supplies the
motor from 3-phase mains, via a phase-controlled SCR stack. The triggering or gating of the SCRs can be
controlled to control starting voltage or to limit starting current.

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APPLICATIONS BULLETIN

4.5 Principles of SCR Phase Control


An SCR (silicon controlled rectifier, or thyristor) is a semiconductor switching device, with two power
terminals, called the anode (A) and cathode (K) and one control terminal called the gate (G).
Operating Principles: Refer to Figure 4.5.
If terminal K (cathode) is taken positive with respect to A, the SCR is reverse biased and will block current
from flowing.
If terminal A is taken positive with respect to K, the SCR is forward biased, and will block current flow until
terminal G (the gate) receives a positive pulse with respect to K. This trigger pulse will trigger the SCR into
conduction and current will pass from A to K. The SCR will continue to conduct after the trigger pulse has
ceased, until current through the SCR ceases, at which point it returns to a blocking state.
I
IT Forward conduction
anode 4501-050 Rev C region

Anode positive

IG > 0 IG = 0
IL
V BR V RSM IH
VH V T V DSM VBF V
Anode negative
cathode gate
Reverse blocking region
SCR Symbol and Terminals Static I-V Characteristics for SCR

Figure 4.5: Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR) Symbol and Characteristics


SCR2
Inverse Parallel Connection:
If two SCRs are connected in parallel, anodes to
cathodes as shown in Figure 4.6, this is called an
inverse parallel connection, (also called
antiparallel). In this configuration, the SCRs can AC
SCR1
Load
be used to control AC waveforms. On positive half input

cycles, SCR1 controls the current flow to the load. 4501-051 Rev C

On negative half cycles, SCR2 controls the current


flow. Figure 4.6: SCRs in Inverse Parallel Connection
Phase Control:
If the SCRs are connected in inverse parallel, and the triggering pulse for each SCR is at a controlled point
in each half cycle of the AC. waveform, we have the means to control the average voltage applied to the
load. Refer to Figure 4.7. This depicts the voltage appearing across the load in response to the adjustment
of the firing point of the SCRs in each half cycle.
Figure 4.7(a) shows the voltage on the load when the SCRs are triggered (fired) late in each half cycle. The
average voltage on the load (represented by the black portion of the waveform) is comparatively low.
Figure 4.7(b) shows the load voltage when the SCRs are triggered half way through each half cycle. The
average load voltage is now 50% of the input voltage.
Figure 4.7(c) shows the load voltage when the SCRs are triggered early in each half cycle. The average load
voltage is approximately 80% of the input voltage.
This method of controlling the load voltage by controlling the triggering points of the SCRs is called phase
control, and is the principle behind PDL Electronics' Reduced Voltage Starters.
v voltage to load v voltage to load v voltage to load

H H H
t t t
SCR SCR SCR
firing firing firing
angle angle angle
4501-052 Rev B
(a) Large firing angle: (b) Medium firing angle: (c) Small firing angle:
small voltage to load half voltage to load large voltage to load
Figure 4.7: Phase Control of AC Waveform

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APPLICATIONS BULLETIN

4.6 Configuration of Electronic Reduced Voltage Starters


Refer to Figure 4.8.
The PDL Electronic Reduced Voltage Starter has three pairs of inverse parallel SCRs, one pair in each line
between the three phase supply and the three phase motor.
These SCRs are phase controlled with the firing pulses generated by a Control Electronics PCB. These
firing pulses are directed to each of the six SCRs by a pulse transformer or opto-coupler, to give galvanic
isolation between the Control Electronics and power circuits. Thus the motor can be started and stopped,
and the voltage to the motor can be controlled automatically, via the Control Electronics PCB.
More sophisticated reduced Voltage Starters (e.g. PDL's RVSi range) measure the current flowing to the
motor, and can control this current and provide motor thermal overload protection. Input fuses are provided
to protect the SCRs and motor against overloads and short circuits.
SCR4 Output
to motor
U
L1

SCR1

SCR6

V M
L2

SCR3

SCR2

W
L3
4501-053 Rev C
3-phase
supply SCR5
Current
Firing pulses to SCRs Feedback

CONTROL ELECTRONICS PCB START


Adjustments:
Ramp Up Time
Ramp Down Time STOP
Start Volts
Motor Rated Current
Current Limit Point
RESET

Figure 4.8: Electronic Reduced Voltage Starter Circuit Configuration

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APPLICATIONS BULLETIN

4.7 Voltage Ramp Starting, Current Limit Starting


100%
Voltage ramp starting is a starting method which 100%

applies a steadily increasing voltage to the motor.

ts
ol
tV
Refer to Figure 4.9(a). In this example the output 75%

pu
75%

lts

ut
Vo

O
voltage of the starter is ramped from 0 to 100% in

t
pu
ut
50% 50%

O
four seconds. However it should be noted that
there is a time delay between the ramp starting 25%
25%
and the motor starting to rotate. The ramp time is 4501-054 Rev C

user adjustable. Normally a user adjustable "Start


1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Volts" level is applied. This causes the ramp to TIME TIME

start at a preset level, and ramp up from there. In (a): Voltage Ramp Starting (b): Application of "Start Volts"

the example in Figure 4.9(b), this "Start Volts" Figure 4.9: Voltage Ramp Starting
level is set to 40%. This ensures that the motor
starts turning immediately on start-up, but without
"grabbing".

TORQUE
TORQUE
In Current Limited Starting, the maximum
required start current is preset by the user. When
started, the Reduced Voltage starter will ramp up 100% 100%

ue
at the preset ramp rate until motor current

rq
e
rqu

To
r To

or
Moto
reaches the preset level. At this point the output

ot
M
50% 50%
voltage ramp is automatically adjusted to hold the motor will not accelerate
starting current at or below this level. This beyond this point

100% 100%
method is suitable if the maximum start current is 50%
MOTOR SPEED 4501-055 Rev C
50%
MOTOR SPEED
to be limited due to, for example, inadequate (a): Successful Current Limit Start (b): Unsuccessful Current Limit Start
mains capacity, or for starting high inertia loads Figure 4.10: Current Limited Starting
which are loaded up only when they reach full
speed, e.g. fans, saw blades, etc.
In Figure 4.10(a), a current limit of 400% has been set, and the load accelerates to full speed successfully.
However in Figure 4.10(b), the current limit has been set down to 200%, and at a point in the start cycle, the
torque required by the load exceeds the torque available from the motor. The motor will not accelerate
beyond this point, and will enter a "rolling stall".
The motor will continue to draw twice full load current, and because of its reduced speed will have reduced
cooling. Thus the motor will overheat very quickly. This illustrates the danger of setting too low a current
limit level.

28