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New motor designs to help save energy

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Professor Robert Lorenz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States of America, presents his keynote address at the SLED Symposium in Nadi.

The design of motors can help save a lot of energy, said Professor Robert Lorenz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States of America, during the 7th Symposium on Sensorless Control for Electrical Drives on 6 June 2016.

Professor Lorenz, who was the keynote speaker on day two of the Symposium, presented on “Self-Sensing Success by Design.”

The Symposium was organised by The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Engineering and Physics and was held at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi.

He highlighted that the principal way engineers can save energy is to change the way they design motors.

Classically the motors were designed to do old applications. As part of his presentations, Professor Lorenz demonstrated about the new applications, adding that these new motors are designed differently. With the new designed motors, he said, one can achieve multiple goals simultaneously.

Over the past 15 years, the demands on new electric machine design have rapidly increased, providing many new opportunities to design motors for self-sensing.

To facilitate the design of motors for self-sensing, two items must be addressed, which are, the identification and dissemination of key design parameters and methodologies, and standards of metrics for evaluating the designs.

According to Professor Lorenz, there are three key principles for Self-Sensing that all methods must follow. These three are; (1) the motor must have a systematic spatial dependency, either inductive or resistive; (2) inverter excitation must enable the spatial dependency to be observed from standard feedback signals such as current or voltage; and (3) methods to track the saliency must meet motion state feedback control requirements of bandwidth, noise, and accuracy.

Professor Lorenz, who is one of pioneers of the development of self-sensing motors, said that the goal of his presentation and participation in the Symposium is to get the participants to collaborate with each other.

“I am hoping that USP’s Head of School of Engineering and Physics (SEP), Professor Cirrincione would want to send some of his students from Fiji to work with me and come back and help grow the Engineering programme at the University,” he added.

One of the recommendations made by Professor Lorenz is that Fiji has the potential to be one of the early producers of certain types of motors, which would only be available here. 

Final year Engineering student at USP, Dhirendran Kumar said that an interesting thing he noted from the presentation was that it focused on dynamical equations whereas past studies revolved around steady state motor equations.

“We got to learn a lot of new techniques in the Engineering field and specifically on Sensorless Control as I have a keen interest in this area,” he added.

Dhirendran further said that the Symposium was a timely one as it is related to his final year studies, in Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and getting such an exposure is a unique opportunity for Engineering students.

Photo Gallery: 2016 7th Symposium on Sensorless Control for Electrical Drives (SLED)

This news item was published on 7 Jun 2016 09:07:29 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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