# Speed and torque control

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As is discussed in Section 10.3, VRM operation requires control of the current applied to each phase. For example, one control strategy for constant torque production is to apply constant current to each phase during the time that $\text{dL}/{\mathrm{d\theta }}_{m}$ for that phase is constant. This results in constant torque proportional to the square of the phasecurrent magnitude. The magnitude of the torque can be controlled by changing the magnitude of the phase current.

The control required to drive the phase windings of a VRM is made more complex because the phase-winding inductances change both with rotor position and with current levels due to saturation effects in the magnetic material. As a result, it is not possible in general to implement an open-loop PWM scheme based on a precalculated algorithm. Rather, pulse-width-modulation is typically accomplished through the use of current feedback. The instantaneous phase current can be measured and a switching scheme can be devised such that the switch can be turned off when the current has been found to reach a desired maximum value and turned on when the current decays to a desired minimum value. In this manner the average phase current is controlled to a predetermined function of the rotor position and desired torque.

This section has provided a brief introduction to the topic of drive systems for variable-reluctance machines. In most cases, many additional issues must be considered before a practical drive system can be implemented. For example, accurate rotor-position sensing is required for proper control of the phase excitation, and the control loop must be properly compensated to ensure its stability. In addition, the finite rise and fall times of current buildup in the motor phase windings will ultimately limit the maximum achievable rotor torque and speed.

The performance of a complete VRM drive system is intricately tied to the performance of all its components, including the VRM, its controller, and its inverter.

In this sense, the VRM is quite different from the induction, synchronous, and dc machines discussed earlier in this chapter. As a result, it is useful to design the complete drive system as an integrated package and not to design the individual components (VRM, inverter, controller, etc.) separately. The inverter configurations of Fig. 11.21 are representative of a number of possible inverter configurations which can be used in VRM drive systems. The choice of an inverter for a specific application must be made based on engineering and economic considerations as part of an integrated VRM drive system design.

## Summary

This chapter introduces various techniques for the control of electric machines. The broad topic of electric machine control requires a much more extensive discussion than is possible here so our objectives have been somewhat limited. Most noticeably, the discussion of this chapter focuses almost exclusively on steady-state behavior, and the issues of transient and dynamic behavior are not considered.

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Source:  OpenStax, Electrical machines. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10767/1.1
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 By By David Martin