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AN IMPROVED V/F CONTROL SCHEME FOR SYMMETRIC LOAD SHARING OF MULTI-MACHINE INDUCTION MOTOR DRIVES

Jaishankar Iyer, Kamran Tabarraee, Sina Chiniforoosh, and Juri Jatskevich

Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

ABSTRACT

The traditional low-cost Volts-per-Hertz (V/F) induction motor (IM) drives typically operate based on speed command, whereas the developed torque is consequently determined according to the torque-speed characteristics of the machine. In multi-machine load-sharing applications, it is preferred to have number of identical IMs; whereas in practice, deviations among motor parameters is probable and will result in disproportionate sharing of the mechanical load and even overloading one or several machines. In this paper, an improved V/F scheme is presented, which compensates for possible variations in the motor parameter (e.g. rotor resistance) and balances the load accordingly. The new method is shown to be effective and easy to implement, and may be readily extended to an arbitrary number of motors driving a common load.

Index Terms— induction motors, V/F control, load sharing, variable frequency drives.

1. INTRODUCTION

Multi-motor-driven loads can be found in a wide range of applications in industry such as conveyor belts for transportation of raw material, mill motors used in iron and pulp and paper industries, mining drills, etc. The term “load sharing” is commonly used when describing such systems wherein typically a number of mechanically-coupled induction motors (IMs) are fed by corresponding variable frequency drives (VFDs) as shown in Figs. 1(a) and (b) [1]. These VFDs range from the more advanced and expensive vector-controlled schemes, wherein the torque control may be achieved practically instantaneously, to the conventional Volts-per-Hertz (V/F) control which relies on steady-state analysis and is often used along with a closed-loop speed regulator as shown in Fig. 1(c). The former is advantageous because it is capable of both speed and torque control and can implement load sharing schemes such as torque- follower or trim control [1]. Nevertheless, the latter is widely used in many industrial applications mainly because of simplicity and low cost. The properties of a load sharing system also depend on the type of coupling used between the motors [2].The focus in this paper is on the cases that the load sharing is carried

LOAD Speed feedback VFD 1 IM1 VFD 2 IM2 VFD n IMn (a)
LOAD
Speed feedback
VFD 1
IM1
VFD 2
IM2
VFD n
IMn
(a)
LOAD Speed feedback VFD IM 1 IM 2 IM n (b)
LOAD
Speed feedback
VFD
IM
1
IM
2
IM n
(b)
Speed Command
Speed Command
Speed feedback Speed Control V/F Control VSI IM1 Regulator (c)
Speed feedback
Speed
Control
V/F Control
VSI
IM1
Regulator
(c)

Fig. 1. Different load sharing configurations: (a) multiple motors driven by individual drives; (b) multiple motors driven by a single drive unit; and (c) block diagram of a conventional V/F speed control scheme.

out merely through rigid couplings, although the proposed concepts may be extended to other cases. As seen in Fig. 1, generally, the machines may be fed from either a set of drive units (a) or a single drive unit (b). In its strictest sense, however, a load sharing scheme requires that the fraction of torque applied to the load by each motor can be dictated by the drive-motor set [1], [3]. From this viewpoint, the configuration of Fig. 1(b) is not deemed effective since therein the torque developed by each machine is determined according to the corresponding torque-speed characteristics. For the purpose of this paper, the V/F control depicted in Fig. 1 is assumed to operate only in speed control mode. Here, the speed command and feedback signals are fed into the speed regulator block as seen in Fig. 1(c). The resulting speed reference is then converted to the voltage reference according to the following equation [4]:

(1)

V

s

V

b

=

ω

b

ω ref

.

Here, the base voltage and base angular frequency of the

machine have been denoted by

The torque-speed characteristic of the IM depends on the applied voltage, frequency and the rotor resistance. In practice, the equivalent rotor resistance values of two

V

b

and

ω

b

, respectively.

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similar machines may not be equal even if they come from the same manufacturer. Moreover, the rotor resistance changes with loading and temperature. The equivalent rotor resistance also changes with the frequency of the rotor currents and slip due to the deep-rotor-bar effect, which depends on the rotor design [5], [6]. In a load sharing system composed of several machines, such variations in the value of rotor resistance results into different torque-speed characteristics for the machines and hence different values of developed electromagnetic torque. In other words, the load will not be equally shared among the motors and/or the symmetry might gradually deteriorate due to changes in loading, temperature, etc. This issue is further discussed in the next section and a new and improved V/F control scheme is proposed to ensure a symmetric load sharing among the motors despite.

2. PROBLEM DEFINITION AND MOTIVATION

Herein, two identical IMs are considered to be mechanically coupled and fed by VFDS with corresponding V/F control as seen in Fig. 2. The analysis, however, may be further extended to any number of machines. The steady state operating torque developed by each IM is given by [5]

T

e

=

3

P

2

th

V

2

ω

e

r r

s

,

(

R

th

+

r

r

s

2

)(

+

X

th

+

X

r

)

2

(2)

where

circuit parameters obtained from the equivalent circuit of

is the electrical frequency of the source. In

the motoring region where the slip is typically low, (2) may be approximated by

Fig. 3, and

V

th

,

R

ω

e

th

,

and

X

th are the Thevenin equivalent

T

e

3

2 2 P V s s th r r th ⋅ = 3 P V
2
2
P
V
s
s
th
r r
th
=
3 P V
(
2
2
ω
e
s
)
2 ω
r r
e
r r

.

(3)

As seen in (3), the torque-speed characteristic is approximated by a linear equation in the low-slip region. The dependency of the developed torque on the voltage, frequency, and rotor resistance is evident in (2) and (3). In the V/F controlled scheme of Fig. 2, the voltage and frequency are dictated by the speed control regulator block according to (1) and the actual and command speed signals. Since these speed signals are the same for both drives, the same voltages and frequencies will be injected into both machines. Therefore, if the rotor resistance values are different, the corresponding amounts of electromagnetic torque developed by the machines will be different, and the load will not be equally shared between the machines. As a result of this, one machine will be responsible for carrying a higher fraction of the load. The above-mentioned problem is clarified in the torque- speed characteristics depicted in Fig. 4 for the induction machines with parameters given in the Appendix. Here, the two machines are identical except the rotor resistance, which are 5.06 Ω and 7.41 Ω for IM1 and IM2,

respectively. A mechanical load of 8.1N.m has been

. It is observed that,

sec as predicted by (3), the motor with the smaller rotor resistance, IM1, carries a higher percentage of the load than motor IM2.

applied to the machines at

188 rad

than motor IM2. applied to the machines at 188 r a d Fig. 2. Load sharing
than motor IM2. applied to the machines at 188 r a d Fig. 2. Load sharing
than motor IM2. applied to the machines at 188 r a d Fig. 2. Load sharing
than motor IM2. applied to the machines at 188 r a d Fig. 2. Load sharing

Fig. 2. Load sharing between two V/F controlled induction motors.

2. Load sharing between two V/F controlled induction motors. ' r r s Fig. 3. Equivalent

'

r

r

s

Fig. 3. Equivalent circuit of an Induction Machine.

r s Fig. 3. Equivalent circuit of an Induction Machine. Fig. 4. Torque-speed characteristics of IM1

Fig. 4. Torque-speed characteristics of IM1 and IM2 using the conventional V/F scheme.

The values of electromagnetic torque developed by the machines are provided in Table I. It can be seen that IM1 is overloaded by 18% whereas the other machine is operating below the rated torque. The problem could become more severe if a larger number of machines are interconnected. The asymmetry in the load sharing is even more pronounced for the IMs with a low rotor resistance where the slope of the torque-speed characteristic becomes higher in magnitude and the characteristic is very steep in the low-slip region according to (3). Indeed, high-slip motors are preferred for load sharing in applications such as conveyor belts to reduce

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the effects of belt stretch and improve the load sharing among belt-coupled drums [7]. However, high-slip motors have higher copper loss and lower efficiency. Therefore, using the traditional method for load sharing has the trade- off between the symmetric load sharing and high efficiency. This is the motivation for modifying the traditional V/F scheme in order to achieve a symmetric load sharing among possibly different motors.

Table I. Electromagnetic torque developed by IM1 and IM2 using the conventional V/F scheme.

IM1 (

r

r

= 5.06 Ω

)

IM2 (

r

r

= 7.41 Ω

)

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

 

4.77

118%

 

3.33

 

82%

3. PROPOSED SCHEME

The torque generated in the motoring region is a function of voltage, electrical frequency and rotor resistance (see (3)). For the IMs, with different rotor resistances, in order to have the same operating torque, the voltage and the frequency fed to the machines should be different. This in turn requires different speed references. For the torques to be equal, the following equation should be satisfied:

3

th 2 1

P V

s

1

th 2 2

P V

.

= 3

s

2

2

ω

e

1

r

r 1

2

ω

e

2

r

r 2

.

Solving (4) results in

ω

e

2

=

(

ω

e

1

ω

r

)

X

X

r

r

X

X

M 1

r

2

S

2

M 2

r

1

S

1

+ω

r

,

(4)

(5)

is the magnetizing

where

inductance,

2 denotes IM1 and IM2. This equation will be used to generate the reference speed for the second drive. The new scheme is shown in Fig. 5 where the “Speed reference correction block” is formed using (5). The second drive is now operating without the speed control regulator block and the actual speed feedback is taken as the “Speed reference correction block”. From (5), it is seen that the speed reference to the second drive is varied as per the change in the rotor resistance. Therefore, the motors will be operating with different voltages and synchronous speeds. Employing the proposed approach, the improved load sharing for the case discussed in the previous section is shown in Fig. 6. Notice that the maximum torque is now different for the motors indicating that different voltages and frequencies are injected into the machines. It is also observed that the machines are running with different synchronous speeds unlike the case in Fig. 4. Most importantly, the torque-speed characteristics of the machines now intersect near the commanded speed which results in almost equal values for torque. It should be noted,

ω is the electrical frequency, X

e

M

X

S

is the stator self inductance. The suffix 1 and

however, that the intersection does not take place exactly at the commanded speed. This is of course due to using the approximation (3) in the model.

of course due to using the approximation (3) in the model. Fig. 5. Block diagram of
of course due to using the approximation (3) in the model. Fig. 5. Block diagram of

Fig. 5. Block diagram of the proposed improved V/F scheme.

Fig. 5. Block diagram of the proposed improved V/F scheme. Fig. 6. Torque-speed characteristics of IM1

Fig. 6. Torque-speed characteristics of IM1 and IM2 using the proposed

improved V/F scheme.

Table II. Electromagnetic torque developed by IM1 and IM2 using the proposed improved V/F scheme.

IM1 (

r

r

= 5.06 Ω

)

IM2 (

r

r

= 7.41 Ω

)

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

 

4.1

101%

 

4

99%

Comparing the torque values in Table II with those of Table I, it is seen that, using the proposed scheme, the load sharing has become symmetrical between the machines and the overloading is removed. Each of the motors now shares roughly 50% of the load. Consequently, a lower-slip motor can be used, if desired, to increase the efficiency of the system without the risk of overloading and possible breakdown. The above scheme can be readily extended to multiple motors (more than two). It can be realized in practice, by implementing the “Speed reference correction block” in a PLC or similar logical device. The first drive is speed referenced as per the required speed and the second drive is speed referenced by the “Speed reference correction block”.

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4. OPERATION UNDER INCREASED LOADING

It is well understood that (3) only holds when the slip is small and the machine operates near the synchronous speed. With the increased loading, as slip increases, the torque- speed curve gradually loses its linearity. It is then expected that the performance of the proposed scheme would be superior under lighter loads and deteriorate as the machine gets more heavily loaded. In order to investigate the above-mentioned characteristic, the IMs considered in this paper have been subjected to 25%, 50% and 100% loading. The torque developed by the two machines using the conventional and proposed V/F schemes has been superimposed in Fig. 7.

and proposed V/F schemes has been superimposed in Fig. 7. Fig. 7. Load sharing under different

Fig. 7. Load sharing under different loading conditions.

As seen in this figure, using the proposed scheme the loading of the machines is essentially equal at 25% load and has a difference of 2% at full loading. However, using the conventional method, the load is never shared equally among the machines and the difference ranges from 10% at 25% loading to 36% at full loading. The percentage of loading for the motors at different loading conditions is shown in Table III. It is seen that in the conventional scheme, IM1 is overloaded when the system is subjected to the full loading. At the same time, this is completely avoided using the proposed scheme.

Table III. Comparison of the conventional (a) and proposed (b) schemes under different loading conditions.

 

(a)

Loading

 

IM1

   

IM2

 
 

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

25%

 

1.21

 

30%

 

0.82

 

20%

50%

 

2.40

 

59%

 

1.65

 

41%

100%

 

4.77

 

118%

 

3.33

 

82%

(b)

Loading

 

IM1

   

IM2

 
 

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

T

e

(

Nm

)

T

e

rated

T

25%

 

1.01

 

25%

 

1.01

 

25%

50%

 

2.03

 

50%

 

2.02

 

50%

100%

 

4.10

 

101%

 

4.00

 

99%

5. CONCLUSION

A new and improved V/F scheme was proposed for symmetric load sharing between mechanically-coupled induction motors. It is assumed that the trend in the rotor resistance variation with respect to slip is known. The proposed scheme has better load sharing under different loading conditions compared to the traditional method. The possibility of load sharing among drives under V/F control using measurable parameters like stator currents and voltages is under study and will be the topic of further research.

6. APPENDIX

Induction Machines (IM 1 and 2) Parameters:

Baldor Reliance, 1 hp, 480 V, 60 Hz, 1750 rpm, 4 Pole. Catalogue No.: CM3546, Spec No.: 34G795X269,

r

s

= 6.98 Ω

,

r

r

= 7.41 Ω

,

X

ls

= 11.84 Ω

,

X

lr

= 11.03 Ω

X

J = 0.00261kg.m .

m

= 207.23 Ω

, T

rated = 4.05 .

N m

2

, T

max =

17.15 N.m

7. REFERENCES

[1]

P, “Rockwell Automation-Load Sharing Applications for AC Drive

[2]

Publication Number DRIVES-WP001A-EN-P — June 2000 Jeftenic, B.; Bebic, M.; Statkic, S.; , "Controlled multi-motor drives," Power Electronics, Electrical Drives, Automation and Motion, 2006. SPEEDAM 2006. International Symposium on , vol., no., pp.1392- 1398, 23-26 May 2006

[3] N. Mitrovic, V. Kostic, M. Petronijevic, B. Jeftenic, "Multi-Motor Drives for Crane Application," Advances in Electrical and Computer Engineering, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 57-62, 2009.

[4]

P. Krause, O. Wasynczuk, S. Sudhoff, “Analysis of Electric

[5]

Machinery and drive system” Second Edition ISBN 9812-53-150-5 P. C. Sen, “Principles of electric machines and power electronics”,

2 nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1996. [6] Foroosh, S.C.; Liwei Wang; Jatskevich, J.; , "A simple induction

machine model for predicting low frequency dynamics," Electrical

and Computer Engineering, 2008. CCECE 2008. Canadian Conference on , vol., no., pp.001655-001660, 4-7 May 2008

[7]

Paulson, G. E. “Motor Selection for Belt-Conveyor Drives” presented

at the Tenth CIM Maintenance/Engineering Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan September 13-16, 1998.

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