A thyristor drive is a motor drive circuit where AC supply current is regulated by a thyristor phase control to provide variable voltage to a DC motor.
Thyristor drives are very simple and were first introduced in the 1960s. They remained the predominant type of industrial motor controller until the end of the 1980s when the availability of low cost electronics led to their replacement by chopper drives for high performance systems and inverters for high reliability with AC motors. They are still employed in very high power applications, such as locomotives, where the high power capability of the thyristors and the simplicity of the design can make them a more attractive proposition than transistor based controllers.
A derivative of the thyristor drive is the simple AC phase controller. This uses a single phase controlled triac to provide a variable voltage AC output for regulating a universal motor. This is the type of motor speed control most commonly used in domestic appliances, such as food mixers, and small AC powered tools, such as electric drills.
An electric motor is an electrical machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Most electric motors operate through the interaction between the motor's magnetic field and electric current in a wire winding to generate force in the form of torque applied on the motor's shaft. Electric motors can be powered by direct current (DC) sources, such as from batteries, motor vehicles or rectifiers, or by alternating current (AC) sources, such as a power grid, inverters or electrical generators. An electric generator is mechanically identical to an electric motor, but operates with a reversed flow of power, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
A stepper motor, also known as step motor or stepping motor, is a brushless DC electric motor that divides a full rotation into a number of equal steps. The motor's position can then be commanded to move and hold at one of these steps without any position sensor for feedback, as long as the motor is carefully sized to the application in respect to torque and speed.
A power inverter, or inverter, is a power electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
A static VAR compensator is a set of electrical devices for providing fast-acting reactive power on high-voltage electricity transmission networks. SVCs are part of the Flexible AC transmission system device family, regulating voltage, power factor, harmonics and stabilizing the system. A static VAR compensator has no significant moving parts. Prior to the invention of the SVC, power factor compensation was the preserve of large rotating machines such as synchronous condensers or switched capacitor banks.
A motor controller is a device or group of devices that serves to govern in some predetermined manner the performance of an electric motor. A motor controller might include a manual or automatic means for starting and stopping the motor, selecting forward or reverse rotation, selecting and regulating the speed, regulating or limiting the torque, and protecting against overloads and electrical faults.
A brushless DC electric motor, also known as electronically commutated motor and synchronous DC motors, are synchronous motors powered by direct current (DC) electricity via an inverter or switching power supply which produces electricity in the form of alternating current (AC) to drive each phase of the motor via a closed loop controller. The controller provides pulses of current to the motor windings that control the speed and torque of the motor.
A DC motor is any of a class of rotary electrical motors that converts direct current electrical energy into mechanical energy. The most common types rely on the forces produced by magnetic fields. Nearly all types of DC motors have some internal mechanism, either electromechanical or electronic, to periodically change the direction of current in part of the motor.
Power electronics is the application of solid-state electronics to the control and conversion of electric power.
A variable-frequency drive (VFD) or adjustable-frequency drive (AFD), variable-voltage/variable-frequency (VVVF) drive, variable speed drive (VSD), AC drive, micro drive or inverter drive is a type of adjustable-speed drive used in electro-mechanical drive systems to control AC motor speed and torque by varying motor input frequency and voltage.
The SNCF BB 26000 locomotives are a class of dual voltage, four axle B'B' electric locomotives capable of a top speed of 200 km/h built by GEC Alsthom between 1988 and 1998 for SNCF. The locomotives are also commonly known as the Sybics.
An electronic speed control or ESC is an electronic circuit that controls and regulates the speed of an electric motor. It may also provide reversing of the motor and dynamic braking. Miniature electronic speed controls are used in electrically powered radio controlled models. Full-size electric vehicles also have systems to control the speed of their drive motors.
Adjustable speed drive (ASD), also known as variable-speed drive (VSD), describes equipment used to control the speed of machinery. Many industrial processes such as assembly lines must operate at different speeds for different products. Where process conditions demand adjustment of flow from a pump or fan, varying the speed of the drive may save energy compared with other techniques for flow control.
A servomotor is a rotary actuator or linear actuator that allows for precise control of angular or linear position, velocity and acceleration. It consists of a suitable motor coupled to a sensor for position feedback. It also requires a relatively sophisticated controller, often a dedicated module designed specifically for use with servomotors.
An H bridge is an electronic circuit that switches the polarity of a voltage applied to a load. These circuits are often used in robotics and other applications to allow DC motors to run forwards or backwards.
A motor soft starter is a device used with AC electrical motors to temporarily reduce the load and torque in the power train and electric current surge of the motor during start-up. This reduces the mechanical stress on the motor and shaft, as well as the electrodynamic stresses on the attached power cables and electrical distribution network, extending the lifespan of the system.
A brushed DC electric motor is an internally commutated electric motor designed to be run from a direct current power source. Brushed motors were the first commercially important application of electric power to driving mechanical energy, and DC distribution systems were used for more than 100 years to operate motors in commercial and industrial buildings. Brushed DC motors can be varied in speed by changing the operating voltage or the strength of the magnetic field. Depending on the connections of the field to the power supply, the speed and torque characteristics of a brushed motor can be altered to provide steady speed or speed inversely proportional to the mechanical load. Brushed motors continue to be used for electrical propulsion, cranes, paper machines and steel rolling mills. Since the brushes wear down and require replacement, brushless DC motors using power electronic devices have displaced brushed motors from many applications.
Vector control, also called field-oriented control (FOC), is a variable-frequency drive (VFD) control method in which the stator currents of a three-phase AC electric motor are identified as two orthogonal components that can be visualized with a vector. One component defines the magnetic flux of the motor, the other the torque. The control system of the drive calculates the corresponding current component references from the flux and torque references given by the drive's speed control. Typically proportional-integral (PI) controllers are used to keep the measured current components at their reference values. The pulse-width modulation of the variable-frequency drive defines the transistor switching according to the stator voltage references that are the output of the PI current controllers.
A solid-state AC-to-AC converter converts an AC waveform to another AC waveform, where the output voltage and frequency can be set arbitrarily.
DC injection braking is a method of slowing AC electric motors. A DC voltage is injected into the winding of the AC motor after the AC voltage is disconnected, providing braking force to the rotor.
A voltage controller, also called an AC voltage controller or AC regulator is an electronic module based on either thyristors, TRIACs, SCRs or IGBTs, which converts a fixed voltage, fixed frequency alternating current (AC) electrical input supply to obtain variable voltage in output delivered to a resistive load. This varied voltage output is used for dimming street lights, varying heating temperatures in homes or industry, speed control of fans and winding machines and many other applications, in a similar fashion to an autotransformer. Voltage controller modules come under the purview of power electronics. Because they are low-maintenance and very efficient, voltage controllers have largely replaced such modules as magnetic amplifiers and saturable reactors in industrial use.
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