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Enabling 'green' designs with SRMs

Posted: 29 Jul 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:efficient green design  switched motors reluctance  SRM motor 

Consumers are increasingly choosing more sophisticated and highly efficient electronics. To achieve this, these electronics require motors that deliver high efficiency, wide variable speed and compactness. The industry continues to move from induction motors that are less efficient and more cumbersome from a design perspective to switched reluctance motors (SRMs). The latter offers efficiency and an ultra-compact size to accommodate the size and weight needs of today's electronics.

The SRM is an electric motor in which the torque is produced by the tendency of the rotor to move to a position where the inductance of the excited winding is maximised. During motor operation, each stator phase is excited, while its inductance increases and unexcited as its inductance decreases. The air gap is at a minimum at the aligned position and the magnetic reluctance of the flux flow is at its lowest. An easy way to make the rotor turn is to sequentially switch the current from one phase to the next phase and to synchronise each phase's excitation as a function of the rotor position. The direction of rotation is independent of the direction of the current flowing through the phase. Rather, it only depends on the sequence of the stator winding excitation. This uni-polar principle requires only one switch to be in series with a phase winding. This phase independence and uni-polar principle have encouraged the various converter topologies.

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