A motor without a motor controller is like a bicycle without a handlebar.
A Motor Controller is a device that can control an electric motor.
Some of the elements that the controller can manage is:
- Starting and stopping the motor
- Selecting forward or reverse direction of movement.
- Speed regulation
- Torque limiting
Types of motor controllers
- Motor Starters
- Reduced voltage starters
- Adjustable-speed drives
- Intelligent controllers
Controlling the speed of the motor
When it comes to the part of controlling the speed of a motor we deal with two terms.
- VSD(Variable Speed Drive)
- VFD(Variable Frequency Drive)
Variable Speed Drive
Also called VSD, a variable speed drive is a mechanism that controls the speed and torque either an DC or AC Motor.
Variable Speed Drives can control the speed of a motor by varying the voltage supplied to it.
Variable Frequency Drive
Also called VFD is a type of motor controller that is being used to control the rotational speed and torque of synchronous and asynchronous(Induction) motors. Different from VSD a VFD controls the motor by varying the frequency of the power supplied to it.
VFD works for AC motors only. There exists the following types:
- Single Phase
- Three Phase
Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles uses Variable Frequency Drive. Here one advantage of using an VFD over an VSD is that if the driver performs a breaking maneuver the motor will act like an generator in that moment, and actually generate power.
A VFD acts like an inverter due to the fact that it converts DC to AC power.
Torque Control vs. Speed Control
In a speed controller a motor is being controlled directly by varying the voltage.
In a torque controller a motor is controlled through applied voltage, meaning that it is not directly controlled by voltage.
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