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Electric Motors Powered By Green Energy Are The Future!

An electric motor is a device using electrical energy to produce mechanical energy, nearly always by the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors. The reverse process, that of using mechanical energy to produce electrical energy, is accomplished by a generator or dynamo. Traction motors used on vehicles often perform both tasks.

Electric motors are found in myriad uses such as industrial fans, blowers and pumps, machine tools, household appliances, power tools, and computer disk drives, among many other applications. Electric motors may be operated by direct current from a battery in a portable device or motor vehicle, or from alternating current from a central electrical distribution grid. The smallest motors may be found in electric wristwatches. Medium-size motors of highly standardized dimensions and characteristics provide convenient mechanical power for industrial uses. The very largest electric motors are used for propulsion of large ships, and for such purposes as pipeline compressors, with ratings in the thousands of kilowatts. Electric motors may be classified by the source of electric power, by their internal construction, and by application.

The physical principle of production of mechanical force by the interaction of an electric current and a magnetic field was known as early as 1821. Electric motors of increasing efficiency were constructed throughout the 19th century, but commercial exploitation of electric motors on a large scale required efficient electrical generators and electrical distribution networks.

Servo motor - A servomechanism, or servo is an automatic device that uses error-sensing feedback to correct the performance of a mechanism. The term correctly applies only to systems where the feedback or error-correction signals help control mechanical position or other parameters. For example, an automotive power window control is not a servomechanism, as there is no automatic feedback which controls positionthe operator does this by observation. By contrast the car's cruise control uses closed loop feedback, which classifies it as a servomechanism.

Synchronous electric motor -A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning with coils passing magnets at the same rate as the alternating current and resulting magnetic field which drives it. Another way of saying this is that it has zero slip under usual operating conditions. Contrast this with an induction motor, which must slip in order to produce torque. Synchronous motor is like an induction motor except the rotor is excited by a DC field. Slip rings and brushes are used to conduct current to rotor. The rotor poles connect to each other and move at the same speed hence the name synchronous motor.

Induction motor -An induction motor (IM) is a type of asynchronous AC motor where power is supplied to the rotating device by means of electromagnetic induction. Another commonly used name is squirrel cage motor because the rotor bars with short circuit rings resemble a squirrel cage (hamster wheel). An electric motor converts electrical power to mechanical power in its rotor (rotating part). There are several ways to supply power to the rotor. In a DC motor this power is supplied to the armature directly from a DCsource, while in an induction motor this power is induced in the rotating device. An induction motor is sometimes called a rotating transformer because the stator (stationary part) is essentially the primary side of the transformer and the rotor (rotating part) is the secondary side. Induction motors are widely used, especially polyphase induction motors, which are frequently used in industrial drives.

Electrostatic motor (capacitor motor) -An electrostatic motor or capacitor motor is a type of electric motor based on the attraction and repulsion of electric charge. Usually, electrostatic motors are the dual of conventional coil-based motors. They typically require a high voltage power supply, although very small motors employ lower voltages. Conventional electric motors instead employ magnetic attraction and repulsion, and require high current at low voltages. In the 1750s, the first electrostatic motors were developed by Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Gordon. Today the electrostatic motor finds frequent use in micro-mechanical (MEMS) systems where their drive voltages are below 100 volts, and where moving charged plates are far easier to fabricate than coils and iron cores. Also, the molecular machinery which runs living cells is often based on linear and rotary electrostatic motors.

Torque motors - A torque motor (also known as a limited torque motor) is a specialized form of induction motor which is capable of operating indefinitely while stalled, that is, with the rotor blocked from turning, without incurring damage. In this mode of operation, the motor will apply a steady torque to the load (hence the name).

A common application of a torque motor would be the supply- and take-up reel motors in a tape drive. In this application, driven from a low voltage, the characteristics of these motors allow a relatively-constant light tension to be applied to the tape whether or not the capstan is feeding tape past the tape heads. Driven from a higher voltage, (and so delivering a higher torque), the torque motors can also achieve fast-forward and rewind operation without requiring any additional mechanics such as gears or clutches. In the computer gaming world, torque motors are used in force feedback steering wheels.

Another common application is the control of the throttle of an internal combustion engine in conjunction with an electronic governor. In this usage, the motor works against a return spring to move the throttle in accordance with the output of the governor. The latter monitors engine speed by counting electrical pulses from the ignition system or from a magnetic pickup and, depending on the speed, makes small adjustments to the amount of current applied to the motor. If the engine starts to slow down relative to the desired speed, the current will be increased, the motor will develop more torque, pulling against the return spring and opening the throttle. Should the engine run too fast, the governor will reduce the current being applied to the motor, causing the return spring to pull back and close the throttle.

Slip ring - The slip ring or wound rotor motor is an induction machine where the rotor comprises a set of coils that are terminated in slip rings. These are metal rings rigidly mounted on the rotor, and combined with brushes (as used with commutators), provide continuous unswitched connection to the rotor windings.

In the case of the wound-rotor induction motor, external impedances can be connected to the brushes. The stator is the same as is used with a standard squirrel cage motor. By changing the impedance connected to the rotor circuit, the speed/current and speed/torque curves can be altered.

(Slip rings are also often used in alternators as well as in synchro angular data-transmission devices, among other applications.)

The slip ring motor is used primarily to start a high inertia load or a load that requires a very high starting torque across the full speed range. By correctly selecting the resistors used in the secondary resistance or slip ring starter, the motor is able to produce maximum torque at a relatively low supply current from zero speed to full speed. This type of motor also offers controllable speed.

Motor speed can be changed because the torque curve of the motor is effectively modified by the amount of resistance connected to the rotor circuit. Increasing the value of resistance will move the speed of maximum torque down. If the resistance connected to the rotor is increased beyond the point where the maximum torque occurs at zero speed, the torque will be further reduced.

When used with a load that has a torque curve that increases with speed, the motor will operate at the speed where the torque developed by the motor is equal to the load torque. Reducing the load will cause the motor to speed up, and increasing the load will cause the motor to slow down until the load and motor torque are equal. Operated in this manner, the slip losses are dissipated in the secondary resistors and can be very significant. The speed regulation is also very poor.

Stepper motors - Closely related in design to three-phase AC synchronous motors are stepper motors, where an internal rotor containing permanent magnets or a magnetically-soft rotor with salient poles is controlled by a set of external magnets that are switched electronically. A stepper motor may also be thought of as a cross between a DC electric motor and a rotary solenoid. As each coil is energized in turn, the rotor aligns itself with the magnetic field produced by the energized field winding. Unlike a synchronous motor, in its application, the stepper motor may not rotate continuously; instead, it "steps" starts and then quickly stops again from one position to the next as field windings are energized and de-energized in sequence. Depending on the sequence, the rotor may turn forwards or backwards, and it may change direction, stop, speed up or slow down arbitrarily at any time.

Simple stepper motor drivers entirely energize or entirely de-energize the field windings, leading the rotor to "cog" to a limited number of positions; more sophisticated drivers can proportionally control the power to the field windings, allowing the rotors to position between the cog points and thereby rotate extremely smoothly. This mode of operation is often called microstepping. Computer controlled stepper motors are one of the most versatile forms of positioning systems, particularly when part of a digital servo-controlled system.

Stepper motors can be rotated to a specific angle in discrete steps with ease, and hence stepper motors are used for read/write head positioning in computer floppy diskette drives. They were used for the same purpose in pre-gigabyte era computer disk drives, where the precision and speed they offered was adequate for the correct positioning of the read/write head of a hard disk drive. As drive density increased, the precision and speed limitations of stepper motors made them obsolete for hard drives—the precision limitation made them unusable, and the speed limitation made them uncompetitive thus newer hard disk drives use voice coil-based head actuator systems. (The term "voice coil" in this connection is historic; it refers to the structure in a typical (cone type) loudspeaker. This structure was used for a while to position the heads. Modern drives have a pivoted coil mount; the coil swings back and forth, something like a blade of a rotating fan. Nevertheless, like a voice coil, modern actuator coil conductors (the magnet wire) move perpendicular to the magnetic lines of force.)

Stepper motors were and still are often used in computer printers, optical scanners, and digital photocopiers to move the optical scanning element, the print head carriage (of dot matrix and inkjet printers), and the platen. Likewise, many computer plotters (which since the early 1990s have been replaced with large-format inkjet and laser printers) used rotary stepper motors for pen and platen movement; the typical alternatives here were either linear stepper motors or servomotors with complex closed-loop control systems.

So-called quartz analog wristwatches contain the smallest commonplace stepping motors; they have one coil, draw very little power, and have a permanent-magnet rotor. The same kind of motor drives battery-powered quartz clocks. Some of these watches, such as chronographs, contain more than one stepping motor.

Stepper motors were upscaled to be used in electric vehicles under the term SRM (switched reluctance machine).

Linear motors - A linear motor is essentially an electric motor that has been "unrolled" so that, instead of producing a torque (rotation), it produces a straight-line force along its length by setting up a traveling electromagnetic field.

Linear motors are most commonly induction motors or stepper motors. You can find a linear motor in a maglev (Transrapid) train, where the train "flies" over the ground, and in many roller-coasters where the rapid motion of the motorless railcar is controlled by the rail. On a smaller scale, at least one letter-size (8.5" x 11") computer graphics X-Y pen plotter made by Hewlett-Packard (in the late 1970s to mid 1980's) used two linear stepper motors to move the pen along the two orthogonal axes.

Doubly-fed electric motor - Doubly-fed electric motors have two independent multiphase windings that actively participate in the energy conversion process with at least one of the winding sets electronically controlled for variable speed operation. Two is the most active multiphase winding sets possible without duplicating singly-fed or doubly-fed categories in the same package. As a result, doubly-fed electric motors are machines with an effective constant torque speed range that is twice synchronous speed for a given frequency of excitation. This is twice the constant torque speed range as singly-fed electric machines, which have only one active winding set.

A doubly-fed motor allows for a smaller electronic converter but the cost of the rotor winding and slip rings may offset the saving in the power electronics components. Difficulties with controlling speed near synchronous speed limit applications.

Singly-fed electric motor - Singly-fed electric motors incorporate a single multiphase winding set that is connected to a power supply. Singly-fed electric machines may be either induction or synchronous. The active winding set can be electronically controlled. Induction machines develop starting torque at zero speed and can operate as standalone machines. Synchronous machines must have auxiliary means for startup, such as a starting induction squirrel-cage winding or an electronic controller. Singly-fed electric machines have an effective constant torque speed range up to synchronous speed for a given excitation frequency.

The induction (asynchronous) motors (i.e., squirrel cage rotor or wound rotor), synchronous motors (i.e., field-excited, permanent magnet or brushless DC motors, reluctance motors, etc.), which are discussed on the this page, are examples of singly-fed motors. By far, singly-fed motors are the predominantly installed type of motors.

Nanotube nanomotor - Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, recently developed rotational bearings based upon multiwall carbon nanotubes. By attaching a gold plate (with dimensions of the order of 100 nm) to the outer shell of a suspended multiwall carbon nanotube (like nested carbon cylinders), they are able to electrostatically rotate the outer shell relative to the inner core. These bearings are very robust; devices have been oscillated thousands of times with no indication of wear. These nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are the next step in miniaturization and may find their way into commercial applications in the future.

  • Molecular motors are biological molecular machines that are the essential agents of movement in living organisms. Generally speaking, a motor may be defined as a device that consumes energy in one form and converts it into motion or mechanical work; for example, many protein-based molecular motors harness the chemical free energy released by the hydrolysis of ATP in order to perform mechanical work. In terms of energetic efficiency, these types of motors can be superior to currently available man-made motors. One important difference between molecular motors and macroscopic motors is that molecular motors operate in the thermal bath, an environment where the fluctuations due to thermal noise are significant.
  • electrostatic motor or capacitor motor is a type of electric motor based on the attraction and repulsion of electric charge. Usually, electrostatic motors are the dual of conventional coil-based motors. They typically require a high voltage power supply, although very small motors employ lower voltages. Conventional electric motors instead employ magnetic attraction and repulsion, and require high current at low voltages. In the 1750s, the first electrostatic motors were developed by Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Gordon. Today the electrostatic motor finds frequent use in micro-mechanical (MEMS) systems where their drive voltages are below 100 volts, and where moving charged plates are far easier to fabricate than coils and iron cores. Also, the molecular machinery which runs living cells is often based on linear and rotary electrostatic motors.

Torque capability of motor types - When optimally designed for a given active current (i.e., torque current), voltage, pole-pair number, excitation frequency (i.e., synchronous speed), and core flux density, all categories of electric motors or generators will exhibit virtually the same maximum continuous shaft torque (i.e., operating torque) within a given physical size of electromagnetic core. Some applications require bursts of torque beyond the maximum operating torque, such as short bursts of torque to accelerate an electric vehicle from standstill. Always limited by magnetic core saturation or safe operating temperature rise and voltage, the capacity for torque bursts beyond the maximum operating torque differs significantly between categories of electric motors or generators.

Note: Capacity for bursts of torque should not be confused with Field Weakening capability inherent in fully electromagnetic electric machines (Permanent Magnet (PM) electric machine are excluded). Field Weakening, which is not readily available with PM electric machines, allows an electric machine to operate beyond the designed frequency of excitation without electrical damage.

Electric machines without a transformer circuit topology, such as Field-Wound (i.e., electromagnet) or Permanent Magnet (PM) Synchronous electric machines cannot realize bursts of torque higher than the maximum designed torque without saturating the magnetic core and rendering any increase in current as useless. Furthermore, the permanent magnet assembly of PM synchronous electric machines can be irreparably damaged, if bursts of torque exceeding the maximum operating torque rating are attempted.

Electric machines with a transformer circuit topology, such as Induction (i.e., asynchronous) electric machines, Induction Doubly-Fed electric machines, and Induction or Synchronous Wound-Rotor Doubly-Fed (WRDF) electric machines, exhibit very high bursts of torque because the active current (i.e., Magneto-Motive-Force or the product of current and winding-turns) induced on either side of the transformer oppose each other and as a result, the active current contributes nothing to the transformer coupled magnetic core flux density, which would otherwise lead to core saturation.

Electric machines that rely on Induction or Asynchronous principles short-circuit one port of the transformer circuit and as a result, the reactive impedance of the transformer circuit becomes dominant as slip increases, which limits the magnitude of active (i.e., real) current. Still, bursts of torque that are two to three times higher than the maximum design torque are realizable.

The Synchronous WRDF electric machine is the only electric machine with a truly dual ported transformer circuit topology (i.e., both ports independently excited with no short-circuited port). The dual ported transformer circuit topology is known to be unstable and requires a multiphase slip-ring-brush assembly to propagate limited power to the rotor winding set. If a precision means were available to instantaneously control torque angle and slip for synchronous operation during motoring or generating while simultaneously providing brushless power to the rotor winding set (see Brushless wound-rotor doubly-fed electric machine), the active current of the Synchronous WRDF electric machine would be independent of the reactive impedance of the transformer circuit and bursts of torque significantly higher than the maximum operating torque and far beyond the practical capability of any other type of electric machine would be realizable. Torque bursts greater than eight times operating torque have been calculated.