US20100013427A1 - Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings - Google Patents

Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings Download PDF

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US20100013427A1
US20100013427A1 US12/207,913 US20791308A US2010013427A1 US 20100013427 A1 US20100013427 A1 US 20100013427A1 US 20791308 A US20791308 A US 20791308A US 2010013427 A1 US2010013427 A1 US 2010013427A1
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motor
ac induction
induction motor
voltage
system
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US12/207,913
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US20100117588A9 (en
US8810190B2 (en
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Paul H. Kelley
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POWERWISE GROUP Inc A DELAWARE Corp
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POWERWISE GROUP Inc A DELAWARE Corp
POWERWISE GROUP LLC
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Assigned to THE POWERWISE GROUP, LLC reassignment THE POWERWISE GROUP, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KELLEY, PAUL H.
Priority to US12/207,913 priority patent/US8810190B2/en
Application filed by POWERWISE GROUP Inc A DELAWARE Corp, POWERWISE GROUP LLC filed Critical POWERWISE GROUP Inc A DELAWARE Corp
Priority claimed from PCT/US2008/010720 external-priority patent/WO2009035696A1/en
Assigned to THE POWERWISE GROUP, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION reassignment THE POWERWISE GROUP, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: THE POWERWISE GROUP, LLC, A NEVADA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
Publication of US20100013427A1 publication Critical patent/US20100013427A1/en
Publication of US20100117588A9 publication Critical patent/US20100117588A9/en
Priority claimed from US12/873,510 external-priority patent/US8823314B2/en
Priority claimed from US13/451,041 external-priority patent/US8698447B2/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P23/00Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by a control method other than vector control
    • H02P23/02Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by a control method other than vector control specially adapted for optimising the efficiency at low load
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P23/00Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by a control method other than vector control
    • H02P23/0004Control strategies in general, e.g. linear type, e.g. P, PI, PID, using robust control
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P23/00Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by a control method other than vector control
    • H02P23/0077Characterised by the use of a particular software algorithm
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P23/00Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by a control method other than vector control
    • H02P23/08Controlling based on slip frequency, e.g. adding slip frequency and speed proportional frequency
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P23/00Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by a control method other than vector control
    • H02P23/14Estimation or adaptation of motor parameters, e.g. rotor time constant, flux, speed, current or voltage
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P23/00Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by a control method other than vector control
    • H02P23/26Power factor control [PFC]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P25/00Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by the kind of AC motor or by structural details
    • H02P25/16Arrangements or methods for the control of AC motors characterised by the kind of AC motor or by structural details characterised by the circuit arrangement or by the kind of wiring
    • H02P25/24Variable impedance in stator or rotor circuit
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P29/00Arrangements for regulating or controlling electric motors, appropriate for both AC and DC motors
    • H02P29/02Providing protection against overload without automatic interruption of supply
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P6/00Arrangements for controlling synchronous motors or other dynamo-electric motors using electronic commutation dependent on the rotor position; Electronic commutators therefor
    • H02P6/14Electronic commutators
    • H02P6/16Circuit arrangements for detecting position
    • H02P6/18Circuit arrangements for detecting position without separate position detecting elements
    • H02P6/182Circuit arrangements for detecting position without separate position detecting elements using back-emf in windings
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02PCONTROL OR REGULATION OF ELECTRIC MOTORS, ELECTRIC GENERATORS OR DYNAMO-ELECTRIC CONVERTERS; CONTROLLING TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS OR CHOKE COILS
    • H02P6/00Arrangements for controlling synchronous motors or other dynamo-electric motors using electronic commutation dependent on the rotor position; Electronic commutators therefor
    • H02P6/28Arrangements for controlling current

Abstract

A motor controller (4) and method for maximizing the energy savings in an AC induction motor (3) at every load wherein the motor is calibrated at two or more load points to establish a control line (6), which is then programmed into a non-volatile memory (30) of the motor controller. A DSP-based closed-loop motor controller observes the motor parameters of the motor such as firing angle/duty cycles (23), voltage (37), current (9) and phase angles to arrive at a minimum voltage necessary to operate the motor at any load along the control line. The motor controller performs closed-loop control to keep the motor running at a computed target control point, such that maximum energy savings are realized by reducing voltage through pulse width modulation.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Nos. 60/933,706 filed Sep. 14, 2007; and 61/135,402 filed Jul. 21, 2008.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to a system and method for maximizing the energy savings in AC induction motors at every load, more particularly one that uses a digital signal processor that calibrates control lines to determine the most efficient operational characteristics of the motors.
  • In prior systems and methods related to energy saving motor controllers using control lines of a motor, constant phase angle and/or constant power factor control were used to determine the control lines. This meant that the control lines were horizontal and the motor controllers were not able to control the motor to specific calibrated operating point at every load to maximize energy savings.
  • Thus, a need exists for a method and system for AC induction motors which controls the motor to a specific calibrated operating point at every load. Operating points taken across all loads will define a control line or a control curve. Furthermore, a need exists for a method and system for AC induction motors which is capable of recognizing when a motor begins to slip and is about to stall and uses that information to determine calibrated control line so as to maximize energy savings at every load.
  • The relevant patents of prior art includes the following references:
  • Patent/Ser. No. Inventor Issue/Publication Date
    2008/0100245 Turner May 01, 2008
    7,288,911 MacKay Oct. 30, 2007
    7,279,860 MacKay Oct. 09, 2007
    7,256,564 MacKay Aug. 14, 2007
    7,211,982 Chang et al. May 01, 2007
    7,081,729 Chang et al. Jul. 25, 2006
    6,643,149 Arnet et al. Nov. 04, 2003
    6,489,742 Lumsden Dec. 03, 2002
    5,506,484 Munro et al. Apr. 09, 1996
    5,350,988 Le Sep. 27, 1994
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The primary object of the present invention is to provide a system and method of maximizing energy savings in AC induction motors at every load.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a system and method which recognizes when a motor begins to slip and when the motor is about to stall.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide a system and method which controls the motor to a specific calibrated operating point at every load.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a motor controller that is capable of observing the operational characteristics of AC induction motors.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide a motor controller capable of making corrections to the RMS motor voltage as an AC induction motor is running and under closed loop control.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a motor controller capable of responding to changes in the load of an AC induction motor in real-time.
  • The present invention fulfills the above and other objects by providing a motor controller system and method for maximizing the energy savings in the motor at every load wherein a motor is calibrated at one or more load points, establishing a control line or curve, which is then programmed into a non-volatile memory of the motor controller. A digital signal processor (DSP) a part of a closed loop architecture of the motor controller possesses the capability to observe the motor parameters such as current, phase angles and motor voltage. This DSP based motor controller is further capable of controlling the firing angle/duty cycle in open-loop mode as part of a semi-automatic calibration procedure. In normal operation, the DSP based motor controller performs closed-loop control to keep the motor running at a computed target control point, such that maximum energy savings are realized. The method described here works equally well for single phase and three phase motors.
  • The preferred implementation of this method uses a DSP to sample the current and voltage in a motor at discrete times by utilizing analog to digital converters. From these signals, the DSP can compute key motor parameters, including RMS motor voltage, RMS current and phase angle. Furthermore, the DSP based motor controller can use timers and pulse width modulation (PWM) techniques to precisely control the RMS motor voltage. Typically the PWM is accomplished by using power control devices such as TRIACs, SCRs, IGBTs and MOSFETs.
  • The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become even more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a digital signal processor (DSP) with hardware inputs and outputs of the present invention showing hardware inputs and outputs;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a DSP-based motor controller of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a diagram showing a phase rotation detection method of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing a phase rotation detection method of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a graph showing power control device outputs for positive phase rotation;
  • FIG. 6 is a graph showing power control device outputs for negative phase rotation;
  • FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a window comparator;
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic of the window comparator;
  • FIG. 9 is a graph of a current waveform and zero-cross signals;
  • FIG. 10 is a schematic of a virtual neutral circuit;
  • FIG. 11 is a graph showing power control device outputs for single phase applications;
  • FIG. 12 is a three-dimensional graph showing a three-dimensional control line of the present invention;
  • FIG. 13 is a three-dimensional graph showing a control line projected onto one plane;
  • FIG. 14 is a graph showing a two-dimensional plotted control line;
  • FIG. 15 is a graph showing a sweeping firing angle/duty cycle in a semi-automatic calibration;
  • FIG. 16 is a graph showing a directed sweep of a firing angle/duty cycle;
  • FIG. 17 is a graph showing plotted semi-automatic calibration data;
  • FIG. 18 is a graph showing plotted semi-automatic calibration data;
  • FIG. 19 is a graph showing plotted semi-automatic calibration data;
  • FIG. 20 is a flow chart of a semi-automatic high level calibration;
  • FIG. 21 is a flow chart of a semi-automatic high level calibration;
  • FIG. 22 is a flow chart of a manual calibration;
  • FIG. 23 is a flow chart of a fixed voltage clamp:
  • FIG. 24 is a graph showing a RMS motor voltage clamp;
  • FIG. 25 is a graph showing a RMS motor voltage clamp;
  • FIG. 26 is a flow chart of a stall mitigation technique; and
  • FIG. 27 is a graph showing the stall mitigation technique.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment, the terminology used in reference to the numbered components in the drawings is as follows:
    • 1. digital system processor (DSP)
    • 2. hardware inputs
    • 3. motor
    • 4. motor controller
    • 5. observed phase angle
    • 6. control line
    • 7. observed calibration data curve from sweep of control space
    • 8. supply divider resistors
    • 9. current
    • 10. target phase angle
    • 11. phase error signal
    • 12. proportional integral derivative (PID) controller
    • 13. root square mean (RMS) motor voltage
    • 14. power control device outputs
    • 15. phase A line voltage zero crossing
    • 16. phase B line voltage zero crossing
    • 17. phase C line voltage zero crossing
    • 18. positive phase rotation
    • 19. negative phase rotation
    • 20. power-on-reset (POR)
    • 21. stall point
    • 22. a,c,b phase turn on times
    • 23. firing angle/duty cycle
    • 24. percent load
    • 25. parametrical control line
    • 26. operating point
    • 27. low output impedance amplifier
    • 28. phase error
    • 29. control voltage
    • 30. point b
    • 31. knee
    • 32. calibration button
    • 33. power control device
    • 34. point c
    • 35. voltage minimum (Vmin)
    • 36. phase zero crossing inputs
    • 37. phase line voltage
    • 38. phase motor voltage
    • 39. time is measured
    • 40. is time greater or less than 90°
    • 41. ABC rotation
    • 42. ACB rotation
    • 43. point d
    • 44. place in loaded configuration
    • 45. place in unloaded configuration
    • 46. run calibration
    • 47. control line ends calibrated
    • 48. calculate control line
    • 49. saves control line
    • 50. line voltages
    • 51. set firing angle/duty cycle to 90°
    • 52. measure motor parameters
    • 53. detects knee
    • 54. decrease firing angle/duty cycle by 2°
    • 55. save phase angle and motor voltage
    • 56. repeat four times
    • 57. compute average values
    • 58. firing angle/duty cycle is increased
    • 59. measure next step
    • 60. fixed voltage clamp
    • 61. synthesize control segment
    • 62. analog to digital converter
    • 63. phase computation
    • 64. phase error is computed
    • 65. voltage error is computed connection
    • 66. RMS motor voltage is compared to fixed voltage threshold
    • 67. is control target positive
    • 68. voltage loop is run
    • 69. control line loop is run
    • 70. motor placed on dynamometer
    • 71. motor is connected to computer
    • 72. firing angle/duty cycle is increased and voltage decreased
    • 73. record calibration point
    • 74. start motor
    • 75. firing angle/duty cycle is adjusted
    • 76. form control line
    • 77. differential-to-single-ended amplifiers
    • 78. input resistors
    • 79. attenuator
    • 80. feedback resistor
    • 81. ground reference resistor
    • 82. protection diodes
    • 83. summing amplifier
    • 84. DC blocking capacitors
    • 85. summing resistors
    • 86. neutral
    • 87. jumper block for alternate neutral
    • 88. window comparator
    • 89. motor current is provided
    • 90. positive voltage is provided
    • 91. negative voltage is provided
    • 92. voltage passes through two comparators
    • 93. voltage passes through operation (OR) gate
    • 94. zero-cross digital signal is created
    • 95. current waveform
    • 96. positive voltage half cycle
    • 97. negative voltage half cycle
    • 98. OR function
    • 99. DSP monitors for increase in current
    • 100. increase is observed
    • 101. motor voltage is turned to full on
    • 102. motor voltage is reduced to control line
    • 103. load on the motor
    • 104. power applied to motor
    • 105. point a
    • 106. count sweeps
  • With reference to FIG. 1, a block diagram of a digital signal processor (DSP) 1 and hardware inputs and outputs of the present invention is shown. The DSP 1 can observe the operational characteristics of a motor and make corrections to root mean square (RMS) voltage for the motor that is running and under closed loop control. Hardware inputs 2 capture phase zero crossing inputs 36, phase line voltage 37, phase motor voltage 38 and current 9 and passed through the DSP 1 for processing and then onto power control devices through the power control device outputs 14.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, a block diagram of a system and method of the DSP-based motor controller 4 of the present invention is shown. First, the motor controller 4 reads the voltages 37 of each phase A, B and C and current 9 to capture the zero-crossing inputs 36. At this point voltage 13 and current 9 may be converted from analog to digital using converters 62. Next, computations 63 of motor phase angle for each phase are calculated to yield an observed phase angle 5. Next, a target phase angle 10 which has been derived from a preprogrammed control line 6 is compared to the observed phase angle 5. The difference between the target phase angle 10 and observed phase angle 5 yields a resulting phase error signal 11 which is processed by a digital filter called a proportional integral derivative (PID) controller 12 which has proportional, integral and differential components. The output from the PID controller 12 is the new control voltage 13 to the motor 3, which can be obtained through the use of power control devices 33, such as TRIACs, SCRs, IGBTs or MOSFETS, to yield power control device outputs 14 of RMS motor voltage 13 supplied with line voltages 50 for each phase for maximum energy savings.
  • In this closed loop system, the voltage 13 of each phase of the motor 3 and the current are continually monitored. The motor controller 4 will drive the observed phase angle 5 to the point on the calibrated control line 6 corresponding to the load that is on the motor. At this point, maximum energy savings will be realized because the control line 6 is based on known calibration data from the motor 3. The motor controller 4 can control the motor 3 just as if a technician set the voltage 13 by hand. The difference is that the DSP 1 can dynamically respond to changes in the load in real-time and make these adjustments on a cycle by cycle basis.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, in a three-phase system, the motor controller 4 is used to automatically determine the phase rotation. Zero-crossing detectors on the line voltages provide an accurate measurement of the angle between the phase A line voltage zero crossings 15 and the phase B line voltage zero crossings 16. For positive phase rotation 18, the angle is nominally 120° and for negative phase rotation 19, the angle is nominally 60°.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, a flow chart for phase rotation detection is shown. After a power-on-reset (POR) 20, it is easy for the motor controller 4 to determine positive phase rotation 18 and the negative phase rotation 19. First, the time is measured from phase A line voltage zero crossings to phase B line voltage zero crossings 39. Next it is determined if the time is greater than or less than 90 degrees 40. If it greater than 90 degrees, than it is an ACB rotation 42. If the time is less than 90 degrees, than it is an ABC rotation 41. The motor controller 4 of the present invention can control three-phase or single-phase motors with the same basic software and hardware architecture. For the three-phase case, depending on the phase rotation, the motor controller 4 can drive power control device outputs 14.
  • Referring now to FIG. 5 which shows power control device outputs for positive drive rotation, the motor controller drives phase A power control device outputs 14 and phase B power control device outputs 14 together during the phase A line voltage zero crossings 15 turn-on time as indicated by the oval 22 a. Similarly, the motor controller drives power control devices which drive phase B 16 and phase C power control device outputs 14 together during the phase B turn-on time as indicated by the oval 22 b. Finally, the motor controller 4 drives phase C 17 and phase A power control device outputs 14 together during the phase C power control device outputs 14 turn-on time as indicated by the oval 22 c. Note that the example shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 depicts a firing angle/duty cycle 23 of 90°.
  • Referring now to FIG. 6 which shows the TRIAC drive outputs for negative phase rotation, the motor controller 4 drives phase A power control device outputs 14 and phase C power control device outputs 14 together during the phase A line voltage zero crossings 15 turn-on time as indicated by the oval 22 c. Similarly, the motor controller 4 drives phase B 16 and phase A power control device outputs 14 together during the phase B line voltage zero crossings 16 turn-on time, as indicated by oval 22 a. Finally, the motor controller drives phase C power control device outputs 14 and phase B power control device outputs 14 together during the phase C line voltage zero crossings 17 turn-on time, as indicated by oval 22 b.
  • Now referring to FIG. 7, a block diagram of a window comparator is shown. The DSP based motor controller of the present invention uses the window comparator 88 to detect zero-crossings of both positive and negative halves of a current wave form. When RMS motor voltage is reduced by the motor controller, it if difficult to detect zero crossings of current waveform because the current is zero for a significant portion of both half cycles. First, motor current is provided 89, a positive voltage is provided 90 as a reference for a positive half cycle and a negative voltage is provided 91 as a reference. Next, the current, positive voltage and negative voltage are presented to two comparators 92 and are then passed through an operation (OR) gate 93 to create a composite zero-cross digital signal 94.
  • As further illustrated in FIG. 8, a schematic of the window comparator 88 is shown. The motor current is provided 89, a positive voltage is provided 90 as a reference for a positive half cycle and a negative voltage is provided 91 as a reference. Next, the current, represented as a positive voltage and negative voltage, is processed by two comparators 92 and are then passed to an OR gate 93 to create a composite zero-cross digital signal 94.
  • Further, FIG. 9 shows graphs of a current waveform 95, a positive voltage half cycle 96, a negative voltage half cycle 97 and an OR function 98.
  • Now referring to FIG. 10, a schematic of a virtual neutral circuit is shown. A virtual neutral circuit may be used as a reference in situations where three phase power is available only in delta mode and there is no neutral present for use as a reference. The virtual neutral circuit comprises three differential-to-single-ended amplifiers 77. Because phase to phase voltages are high, input resistors 78 are used to form a suitable attenuator 79 together with feedback resistors 80 and ground reference resistors 81. Because the danger exists of a loss of phase, protection diodes 82 are used to protect the differential-to-single-ended amplifiers 77. The differential-to-single-ended amplifiers 77 are coupled to a summing amplifier 83 through DC blocking capacitors 84 and summing resistors 85 together with the feedback resistor 80. The output of of the summing amplifier 83 is boosted by amplifier 27 thereby providing a low impedance output which is at neutral potential. Additional resistors divide a supply rail thereby allowing the summing amplifier 83 to handle alternating positive and negative signals. An alternate connection is available in the event that a neutral 86 is available along with a jumper block for alternate neutral connection 87.
  • Referring now to FIG. 11 showing a power control device output 14 for a single-phase application, the output 14 for phase A is turned on each half-cycle based on a power control device output 14 derived from the voltage zero-crossing input 15. The power control device output 14 for phase B line voltage zero crossings and phase C line voltage zero crossings are disabled in the DSP 1 and the hardware may not be present. The power control device outputs 14 are not paired as they were in the three-phase case.
  • Referring now to FIG. 12 which illustrates a three-dimensional control line for the motor operating space of a motor bounded by an observed phase angle 5 on the y-axis. A controlled firing angle/duty cycle 23 showing the decrease in voltage is shown on the x-axis and the percent load 24 on a motor is shown on the z-axis.
  • Every motor operates along a parametrical control line 25 within its operating space. For example, when a given motor is 50% loaded and the firing angle/duty cycle 23 is set to 100°, a phase angle 5 of approximately 55° is observed.
  • The parametrical control line 25 shown in FIG. 12 is defined by five parametric operating points 26 ranging from a loaded case 44 in the upper left corner, to an unloaded case 45 in the lower right corner. Furthermore, the parametrical control line 25 has special meaning because it is the line where a motor is using the least energy possible. If the firing angle/duty cycle 23 is increased and the motor voltage 13 decreased then a motor would slow down and possibly stall. Similar results would be seen if the load on the motor 3 is increased.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 13, the parametric control line 25 may be parameterized and projected onto one plane described by phase angle 5 in the vertical direction and the firing angle/duty cycle 23 in the horizontal direction.
  • Further, as shown in FIG. 14, the parametrical control line 25 may be displayed on a two-dimensional graph. On the x-axis, increasing firing angle/duty cycle 23 may be equated with a decreasing motor voltage. This is because small firing angle/duty cycles result in high voltage and large firing angle/duty cycles result in low voltage. The motor controller will drive the observed phase angle 5 to the point on the control line 25 that corresponds to the load presently on a motor. To accomplish this, a DSP computes the phase angle 5 between the voltage and current.
  • Referring back to the block diagram of FIG. 2, the DSP 1 then computes the next target phase angle 5 based on the present value of the RMS voltage 13, or equivalently the present value of the firing angle/duty cycle. The difference between the observed phase angle and the target phase angle 10 results in a phase angle error, which is processed through a proportional-integral-differential (PID) controller 12 or similar device to generate a new control target. This control target changes the voltage in such a way as to minimize the phase angle error. The target phase angle 10 is dynamic and it changes as a function of the firing angle/duty cycle.
  • As stated above, the motor controller 4 will drive the observed phase angle 5 to the point on the control line 25 that corresponds to the load presently on the motor 3. This operating point 26 provides the maximum energy savings possible because the control line 25 is calibrated directly from the motor 3 that is being controlled.
  • This preferred method for calibration is called semi-automatic calibration. The semi-automatic calibration is based on the DSP 1 sweeping the control space of the motor. As shown in FIG. 15, sweeping the control space means that the DSP increases the firing angle/duty cycle 23 and records the current 9 and firing angle/duty cycle 23 of each phase at discrete points along the way. Thus, in this manner it is possible to see the beginning of the stall point 21 of the motor. A well-defined linear portion of observed calibration data curve obtained from sweeping the control space 7, which is used to determine points on the control line 6, has a constant negative slope at lower firing angle/duty cycles 23. Then, as the firing angle/duty cycle 23 continues to increase, the current 9 begins to flatten out and actually begins to increase as the motor 3 begins to slip and starts to stall, called the “knee” 31.
  • As shown in FIG. 16, subsequent sweeps can be directed at smaller ranges of motor voltages to “zoom in” on the knee. The motor controller 4 requires multiple sweeps in order to get data that is statistically accurate. There is a tradeoff between the number of sweeps and the time required to calibrate the control line 25. A measure of the quality of the calibration can be maintained by the DSP 1 using well known statistical processes and additional sweeps can be made if necessary. This is true because the DSP 1 has learned the approximate location of knee 31 from the first sweep.
  • There is little danger of stalling during the semi-automatic sweep because of the controlled environment of the setup. A technician or operator helps to insure that no sudden loads are applied to the motor 3 under test while a semi-automatic calibration is in progress.
  • The process of sweeping the control space can be performed at any fixed load. For example, it can be performed once with the motor 3 fully loaded and once with the motor 3 unloaded. These two points become the two points that define the control line 25. It is not necessary to perform the calibration at exactly these two points. The DSP 1 will extend the control line 25 beyond both these two points if required.
  • There are many numerical methods that can be applied to find the stall point 21 in the plot of the current motor voltage 23. As shown in FIG. 17, the preferred method is to use the “least squares” method to calculate a straight line that best fits the accumulated data tabulated from the first five motor voltages 23.
  • The continuation of this method is shown in FIG. 18. Using the previous data points the value of the current 9 may be predicted. Graphically, the DSP 1 is checking for one or more points that deviate in the positive direction from the predicted straight line.
  • As shown in FIG. 19, the DSP 1 is looking for the beginning of the knee in the curve. The first point that deviates from the predicted control line may or may not be the beginning of the knee 31. The first point with a positive error may simply be a noisy data point. The only way to verify that the observed calibration data curve obtained from sweeping the control space 7 is turning is to observe data obtained from additional sweeps.
  • Semi-automatic calibration may be performed in the field. Referring now to FIG. 20, a flow chart showing how semi-automatic calibration is performed is shown. First the motor 3 is placed in a heavily loaded configuration 44. Ideally this configuration is greater than 50% of the fully rated load. Next a calibration button 32 on the motor controller 4 is pressed to tell the DSP 1 to perform a fully-loaded measurement. The DSP 1 runs a calibration 46 which requires several seconds to explore the operating space of the motor 3 to determine the fully-loaded point. The motor controller 4 indicates that it has finished this step by turning on an LED.
  • Next the motor 3 is placed in an unloaded configuration 45. Ideally this configuration is less than 25% of the rated load. Then a calibration button 32 on the motor controller 4 is pressed 47 to tell the DSP 1 to perform an unloaded measurement. The DSP 1 runs the calibration 46 to determine the unloaded point. The motor controller 4 indicates that it has finished calibrating both ends 47 of the control line 25 by turning on a light emitting diode (LED). The DSP 1 then determines the control line 48 using the two measurements and applies this control line when it is managing the motor 3. The values of the control line 25 are stored in non-volatile memory 49.
  • FIG. 21 shows a more detailed flow chart of the semi-automatic calibration. First a first calibration sweep is run 46 with the motor voltage set at a certain degree 51, depending on if it is a first sweep or previous sweeps have been run 106, in which the motor controller measures the motor 52 until the motor controller detects a knee 53. If a knee 53 is detected the firing angle/duty cycle is decreased by two degrees 54 and the phase angle and the motor voltage are recorded to the memory 55. This process is repeated to obtain at least four sweeps 56 to get a computed average value 57 of the phase angle and the firing angle/duty cycle. If during any step along the calibration sweep, the knee is not detected, then the firing angle/duty cycle is increased by at least one degree 58 and the nest step is measured 59.
  • An alternative method for calibration is called manual calibration. FIG. 22 shows a flow chart of manual calibration. First a motor is placed on a dynamometer 70. Next the motor is connected to a computer for manual control 71 which allows the motor to be run in a open-loop mode and the firing angle/duty cycle of the AC induction motor to be manually set to any operating point. Then the motor is placed in a fully unloaded configuration 45. Next the firing angle/duty cycle is increased and the RMS motor voltage is reduced 72 until the motor is just about to stall. The firing angle/duty cycle and phase angle are recorded and this becomes a calibrated point which is recorded 73. Then the motor is started with drive elements fully on 74. Then the motor is placed in a fully loaded configuration 44. Next the firing angle/duty cycle is increased or decreased until the RMS motor voltage is chopped by the motor controller 75 until the motor is just about to stall. The firing angle/duty cycle are recorded and this becomes another calibrated point which is recorded 73. Finally the two calibrated points are used to form a control line 76.
  • When the RMS line voltage is greater than a programmed fixed-voltage, the DSP controller clamps the RMS motor voltage at that fixed voltage so energy savings are possible even at full load. For example, if the mains voltage is above the motor nameplate voltage of 115V in the case of a single phase motor then the motor voltage is clamped at 115V. This operation of clamping the motor voltage, allows the motor controller to save energy even when the motor is fully loaded in single-phase or three-phase applications.
  • FIG. 23 shows a flow chart of the fixed voltage clamp. First a phase error is computed 64. Next a voltage error is computed 65. Then the RMS motor voltage of the AC induction motor is determined and compared to a fixed voltage threshold 66. If the RMS motor voltage is greater than the fixed voltage threshold then it is determined whether or not control target is positive 67. If the control target is positive then a voltage control loop is run 68. If the RMS motor voltage of the AC induction motor is less than a fixed-voltage threshold, then the a control line closed loop is run 69 and the entire process is repeated. If the control target is determined not to be positive then a control line loop is run 69 and the entire process is repeated again.
  • In some cases, it may not be possible to fully load the motor 3 during the calibration process. Perhaps 50% is the greatest load that can be achieved while the motor is installed in the field. Conversely, it may not be possible to fully unload the motor; it may be that only 40% is the lightest load that can be achieved. FIG. 24 shows an example of both load points being near the middle of the operating range. On the unloaded end 45 at the right of the control line 25, the DSP 1 will set the fixed voltage clamp 60 of the voltage at minimum voltage 35. When the load on the motor increases, the DSP 1 will follow the control line moving to the left and up the control segment 61. This implementation is a conservative approach and protects the motor 3 from running in un-calibrated space.
  • As further shown in FIG. 25, on the fully loaded end 44 at the left, the DSP 1 will synthesize a control segment 61 with a large negative slope. This implementation is a conservative approach and drives the voltage to full-on.
  • Referring now to FIG. 26, the DSP-based motor controller uses a special technique to protect a motor from stalling. First, the DSP actively monitors for a significant increase in current 99 which indicates that load on the motor has increased. Next, if a significant increase is observed 100 then the DSP turns motor voltage to full on 101. Next, the DSP will attempt to reduce motor voltage to return to the control 102 and the DSP returns to actively monitoring for a significant increase in current 99. This technique is a conservative and safe alternative to the DSP attempting to track power requirements that are unknown at that time.
  • As further shown in FIG. 27, a graph of the stall mitigation technique, the load on the motor is represented on an x-axis and time is represented on a y-axis. The bottom line represents the load on the motor 103 and the top line represents the power applied to the motor by the DSP 104. Prior to point a 105, the DSP is dynamically controlling the motor at a fixed load. In between point a 105 and point b 30, the load on the motor is suddenly increased and the DSP turns the motor voltage to full on. At point c 34, the DSP reduces the motor voltage to point d 43.
  • Although a preferred embodiment of a motor controller method and system for maximizing energy savings has been disclosed, it should be understood, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings.

Claims (43)

1. A system for controlling an AC induction motor to maximize energy savings compromising:
a means for connecting a motor controller to an AC induction motor;
a means for placing a load on said AC induction motor;
a means for removing a load from said AC induction motor;
a means for sweeping a control space of the AC induction motor and taking measurements of operating parameters of the AC induction motor;
a means for establishing a control line from said measurements;
a means for storing said control line in said motor controller;
a means for controlling said operating parameters; and
a means for performing closed-loop control of said AC induction motor to keep the motor running in accordance with said control line.
2. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for placing said AC induction motor in a fully loaded configuration.
3. The of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for placing said AC induction motor in a fully unloaded configuration.
4. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
measuring a current of said AC induction motor.
5. The system of claim 4 wherein:
the current measurement of the AC induction motor is accomplished by a digital signal processor.
6. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
measuring phase angles of the AC induction motor.
7. The system of claim 6 wherein:
the phase angles measurements of the AC induction motor are accomplished by a digital signal processor.
8. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for controlling a firing angle/duty cycle of said AC induction motor.
9. The system of claim 8 wherein:
said means for controlling said firing angle/duty cycle of said AC induction motor is accomplished by a digital signal processor.
10. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said means for sweeping the control space of the AC induction motor and observing and measuring said operating parameters is accomplished by varying root square means motor voltage of the AC induction motor.
11. The system of claim 10 wherein:
said means for varying the root square means motor voltage of the AC induction motor is a digital signal processor.
12. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said means for establishing a control line from said measurements is accomplished by a digital signal processor.
13. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said means for storing said control line in said motor controller is a non-volatile memory.
14. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said means for performing closed-loop control of said AC induction motor to keep the motor running in accordance with said control line is a digital signal processor.
15. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said means for performing closed-loop control of said AC induction motor to keep the motor running in accordance with said control line is pulse width modulation.
16. The system of claim 15 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one TRIAC driver.
17. The system of claim 15 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one SCR driver.
18. The system of claim 15 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one IGBT driver.
19. The system of claim 15 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one MOSFET driver.
20. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for clamping voltage of the motor at maximum voltage.
21. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for preventing said AC induction motor to run at voltages below minimum voltage.
22. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for determining virtual neutral as a reference.
23. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for detecting zero-crossings of positive and negative halves of a current waveform in said AC induction motor.
24. The system of claim 23 wherein:
said means for detecting zero-crossings of positive and negative halves of a current waveform is at least one window comparator.
25. The system of claim 24 wherein:
a positive voltage is provided to the at least one window comparator as a reference for a positive half cycle;
a negative voltage is provided to the at least one window comparator as a reference for a negative half cycle;
signals form the at least one window comparator pass through an OR gate to create composite current zero-cross digital signals.
26. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
a means for protecting against stalling in said AC induction motor.
27. The system of claim 26 wherein:
a DSP actively controls said AC induction motor while constantly sweeping said AC induction motor for increases in motor current;
said DSP turns motor voltage to full on when an increase in motor current is detected; and
said DSP reduces the motor voltage to follow a control line after current returns to a lower level.
28. A method for controlling an AC induction motor to maximize energy savings comprising the steps of:
a. connecting a motor controller to an AC induction motor;
b. sweeping a control space of the AC induction motor and observing and measuring operating parameters of the AC induction motor throughout the control space;
c. establishing a control line for said AC induction motor from said parameters;
d. storing said control line in said motor controller;
e. controlling the operating parameters along the control line; and
f. performing closed-loop control of said AC induction motor to keep the motor running in accordance with said control line.
29. The method of claim 28 wherein step b comprises:
placing said AC induction motor in a fully loaded configuration;
determining said AC induction motor's fully loaded point;
placing said AC induction motor in a fully unloaded configuration; and
determining said AC induction motor's fully unloaded point.
30. The method of claim 28 further comprising:
connecting the AC induction motor's fully loaded and fully unloaded point to establish the control line of the motor.
31. The method of claim 28 further comprising a step after step d of:
increasing firing angle/duty cycle of the AC induction motor from eighty degrees to one-hundred-fifty degrees and recording current and phase angles along the control line.
32. The method of claim 28 further comprising a step of:
recording current and phase angles along the control line.
33. The method of claim 28 wherein step e comprises:
controlling the operating parameters of voltage along the control line using pulse width modulation.
34. The method of claim 28 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one TRIAC driver.
35. The method of claim 32 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one SCR driver.
36. The method of claim 32 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one IGBT driver.
37. The method of claim 32 wherein:
said pulse width modulation is performed using at least one MOSFET driver.
38. The method of claim 28 wherein step e further comprises:
clamping the operating parameters of voltage at minimum voltage and not allowing said AC induction motor to run at voltages below minimum voltage.
39. The method of claim 28 further comprising a step after step b of:
determining virtual neutral for use as a reference.
40. The method of claim 28 further comprising a step after step b of:
detecting zero-crossings of positive and negative halves of a current waveform in said AC induction motor.
41. The method of claim 40 wherein:
a positive voltage is provided to at least one window comparator as a reference for a positive half cycle;
a negative voltage is provided to the at least one window comparator as a reference for a negative half cycle;
signals form the at least one window comparator pass through an OR gate to create composite current zero-cross digital signals.
42. The method of claim 28 further comprising a step after step f of:
protecting against stalling in said AC induction motor.
43. The method of claim 42 wherein:
a DSP actively controls said AC induction motor while constantly sweeping said AC induction motor for increases in motor current;
said DSP turns motor voltage to full on when an increase in motor current is detected; and
said DSP reduces the motor voltage to follow a control line after current returns to a lower level.
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PCT/US2008/010720 WO2009035696A1 (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings
KR1020107008021A KR101591268B1 (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings
BRPI0816759A BRPI0816759A2 (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 motor controller system and method to maximize energy savings
CN 200880115946 CN101855813B (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings
EA201070369A EA026302B1 (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings
CA2699428A CA2699428C (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings
JP2010524881A JP5566887B2 (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor Controller System and method for energy savings in the maximum
EP08830045.4A EP2188884B1 (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings
MX2010002859A MX2010002859A (en) 2007-09-14 2008-09-15 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings.
CO10042683A CO6341508A2 (en) 2007-09-14 2010-04-13 System and method for maximizing energy savings in AC induction motors under all loads
US12/873,510 US8823314B2 (en) 2007-09-14 2010-09-01 Energy saving system and method for devices with rotating or reciprocating masses
US13/451,041 US8698447B2 (en) 2007-09-14 2012-04-19 Energy saving system and method for devices with rotating or reciprocating masses
US14/242,055 US9716449B2 (en) 2007-09-14 2014-04-01 Energy saving system and method for devices with rotating or reciprocating masses
US14/462,940 US20150194920A1 (en) 2007-09-14 2014-08-19 Motor controller system and method for maximizing energy savings
US14/472,933 US9628015B2 (en) 2007-09-14 2014-08-29 Energy saving system and method for devices with rotating or reciprocating masses

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