Two eDrive Testing users share thoughts: How to increase the efficiency of electrical machines and inverters

Professor Radu Bojoi and Professor Paolo Guglielmi of the Polytechnical University of Turin

1. Where do you see the greatest challenges today in testing electric drives?

I consider one of the greatest challenges to be analyzing the fundamental oscillation of the voltage for motors with PWM supply. Development will have to pay more attention in the future to correct synchronization of all electrical and mechanical quantities as well as certification of results such as efficiency and torque.

2. What is the best way to increase the efficiency of electrical machines and inverters, from your point of view?

New technologies have to be developed in the area of power electronic components and new materials have to be developed for constructing electric motors. The integration of power electronics and the electric motor is also crucial. Assuming sufficient information is available for the motor and inverter, their efficiency can be improved by optimizing the control strategy.

3. You use the eDrive Testing solution from HBM. In your opinion, what are the main advantages compared to the conventional power meter / oscilloscope combination for this measurement task?

We have benefited from powerful data acquisition and storage. Some very useful post-processing functions are available for analyzing data. There is one great advantage here compared to the conventional power meter / oscilloscope combination: Many more non-electrical quantities can be recorded, such as torque, rotational speed and temperature. And time offsets can now be compensated for. They are a thing of the past in data acquisition.

4. The eDrive solution from HBM can be used to record current, voltage, rotational speed, torque and other signals such as temperatures. How much of a role does that play in your applications?

It‘s very important for us to correlate electrical, mechanical and thermal quantities to have a complete image of the drive machine.

5. The live power calculation is a decisive functional expansion of the eDrive Testing solution. How much benefit do you derive from it?

We haven‘t used the live power calculation yet, but it could provide useful information for online testing.

6. Imagine us for a moment in the year 2020: What will power measurement technology have learned by then – from sensors through amplifiers to software?

We expect there will be wireless data acquisition from the sensor to the data recorder. Sample rates and sensor bandwidths implemented by 2020 should at least double. Measurement technology of the future will also offer us fast data processing in real time and
options for EMC testing.

Prof. Paolo Guglielmi, Associate Professor for Electrical Machines and Drives in the Energy department of the Polytechnical University of Turin.
Prof. Radu Bojoi, Associate Professor for Electrical Machines and Drives in the Energy department of the Polytechnical University of Turin.
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