Variable-Speed Switched Reluctance Motor Drives for Low-Cost, High-Volume Applications

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Virginia Tech

Demand for energy-saving variable speed drives in low-cost, high-volume appliances has increased due to energy and environmental concerns and hence the need to comply with new regulations. Switched reluctance motor (SRMs) have been considered by many as attractive alternatives for brush commutated motors or permanent magnet brushless dc motors (PMBDCMs) in such cost-sensitive applications. The SRMs' unique features such as simple and fault-tolerant structure and unidirectional flow of their phase currents endow them with the possibility of various configurations on both machine and converter topologies for different applications. In the present study, three different variable-speed motor drive systems are proposed, studied, and implemented for their deployment in low-cost, high-volume applications with the power rating of 1.5kW or less. Two different two-phase SRMs and three different power converters are employed to realize three different low-cost drive systems. The first drive system is realized using a novel converter requiring only a single-controllable switch and an asymmetric two-phase 8/4 SRM capable of self-starting and four-quadrant operation. The second drive system is realized using another novel converter requiring two controllable switches, that way to achieve better control and utilization of the asymmetric 8/4 motor. The target applications for both drive systems are low power, low performance drives such as fans, hand tools, small appliances, etc. The third system is realized using a high-speed two-phase 4/2 SRM and a split ac source converter, which is designed for high-speed applications such as vacuum cleaners, ultracentrifuges, etc. The control and design aspects for each drive system are studied. Selection of optimal firing angles and optimal number of winding turns are also investigated. All of the drive systems are first demonstrated on the position sensor-based speed-control scheme. To make the drive system even more cost-competitive, operation without the position sensor using the novel parameter insensitive sensorless control scheme is proposed and implemented. Concept, analysis, simulation, and experimental verification of the proposed sensorless scheme are discussed in detail.

optimal efficiency, variable-speed drives, Switched reluctance motor, power converter