Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 1 of 17

Chapter 8a
Electrical Braking
(Revision 2.0, 18/4/2010)

1 Introduction
In any motion control system (especially hoisting applications) braking is necessary
to accurately control the position and speed of the load. Braking can be achieved by
electrical or mechanical means. In traditional vehicle applications, braking is
achieved by using a hydraulically operated mechanical brake (e.g., as in a car). In
most modern motion control systems electrical braking is used on the motor, and the
mechanical brake is only used as a parking brake.

Most modern applications use these two methods as follows:

1. Electrical braking is used to decelerate and bring the load to a standstill. It
has the advantage that it does not lead to any wear in the system. In certain
cases the energy can also be recovered and stored or returned to the main
supply. It cannot be used as a safety brake as it relies on the presence of a
power supply that could be lost under certain conditions.
2. Mechanical braking is used as an emergency brake or as a parking brake.

This Chapter discusses electrical braking, while mechanical braking is discussed in
8b.

2 Excessive Energy during Braking
In any system which can overhaul, excess energy will be generated by the motor.
When a load is overhauling (braked lowering) excess energy will be generated. The
motor will act as a generator (e.g., if it is an induction motor it will be running above
the synchronous speed).
In the case of variable frequency inverter drives, this excess energy will be
returned as charge on the terminals of the capacitor. If not removed, this charge
causes the voltage on the DC link to rise, and could cause damage to the system.
Removing this excess charge protects the system, and also achieves the function of
braking the motor. Two methods exist for removing the charge: dynamic resistor
braking and regenerative braking. These are discussed in this Chapter as well, as
two of the methods of electrical braking.

3 Methods of Electrical Braking
Five methods of electrical braking are discussed in this Chapter:
1. DC injection braking.
2. Plugging.
3. Eddy current braking.
4. Dynamic resistor braking.
5. Regenerative braking.

The first method is mainly used in variable voltage AC drives. The last two methods
are mainly used in variable frequency drives.

3.1 Plugging
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

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Another method of braking is called plugging, which involves applying the reverse
phase sequence to the winding, as if trying to reverse the motor rotation. A typical
set-up is shown in Figure 1. This method does not require a pole changing motor (as
required in the dc injection braking method). However, care has to be taken not to
switch on any of the reverse sequence SCRs until the forward sequence SCR has
ceased to conduct; otherwise a short circuit will result, which would damage the
SCRs and trip the electrical protection. For these reasons, plugging systems will
invariably has a zero current detector fitted in the path of the motor current to check
that the current has dropped to zero before reversing the phase sequence. This
method also suffers from the disadvantage that it can inject high values of current in
the rotor, and rotor bars have been known to rupture due to the high currents induced
in the rotor bars.

R S T
1 2 3 4 5 6 1' 4' 2' 5'

Figure 1: The use of 5 pairs of back to back SCRs to drive and brake the motor.

3.2 Eddy Current Braking
Another method of braking which is not widely used is the so-called Eddy current
braking method. It is based on the principle of inducing a current in a rotating disk,
by which the circulating current will induce a back torque opposing the rotation. “This
method is used to obtain braking torque from the eddy current brake which is
attached on one end of the motor shaft. It has the characteristics of the DC dynamic
brake. The braking torque, which is substantially good enough at longer speed
ranges, becomes zero when the speed becomes zero. (Fukuda, 1979)”. This
method needs a complicated non-standard motor, cannot produce any torque at
standstill and dissipates all the heat in the machine, rather than returning it to the
supply.
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 3 of 17

Figure 2 shows an example of an Eddy current brake attached to a lift motor
that is driven by a variable drive. Figure 3 and Figure 4 show a Siemens Eddy
current brake used for teaching purposes in a laboratory.

Figure 2: Eddy current brake attached to the motor (Eddy current brake can be seen on the
right hand side) [97 Cromwell Road].

Figure 3: Eddy current brake used in the lab.

Figure 4: Eddy current brake terminals.

3.3 Resistor Dynamic Braking
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 4 of 17

This method is used in variable frequency drives. A resistor is used to dissipate the
extra charge, whereby the resistor is called a dynamic braking resistor. This is
achieved by placing the resistor in parallel with the DC link capacitor, and being
switched (chopped) by using a transistor. This is shown in Figure 5. The transistor is
switched on and off, where the ratio of the on time to the off time is adjusted in order
to achieve the necessary value of current to remove excess charge from the DC link.

+
-
Power flow
M (G)
Inverter
Rectifier
R
S
T
R

Figure 5: Dynamic (resistor) braking system.

The main disadvantage with this method of braking is that the energy is lost as heat
in the resistor, and the need to cool the resistor if the amount of braking is excessive.
However, the set-up is simple and cheap. The resistance of the resistor and its
power have to be calculated to suit the amount of braking expected and the size of
the motor.

Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 5 of 17

Figure 6: Dynamic braking resistor inside mesh enclosure [9 Appold Street].

Example 1
Calculate the size of braking resistor for a 13 person car, running at 2.5 m/s, and
counterweighted at 45%. Use Figure 7 for calculating the efficiency of the system.

Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 6 of 17

Relationship between lift system efficiency and speed (geared)
50%
55%
60%
65%
70%
75%
80%
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Speed (m/s)
E
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
c
y

Figure 7: System efficiency against speed.

Solution
From Figure 7, at a speed of 2.5m/s, the efficiency of the system will be around 67%.
The expected power produced by the lift when braking is:

) 1 ( 81 . 9 05 . 0 Re k Q n rating power sistor ÷ × × × × × = q

Where:
0.05 accounts for the fact that braking only takes place for 5% of the total time;
q is the efficiency of the lift system;
n is the lift speed in m/s;
Q is the capacity in kg;
k is the counterweight ratio.

Thus, the power rating for the resistor is:

W
rating power sistor
440 ) 45 . 0 1 ( 81 . 9 ) 75 13 ( 5 . 2 % 67 05 . 0
Re
= ÷ × × × × × ×
=

3.4 Regenerative Braking
The main disadvantage with the resistor braking method, is that the excess energy is
lost as heat. It will be more efficient to attempt to return the energy back in the
supply. This is called regenerative braking.
This method of braking is achieved by connecting a second inverter in parallel
with the rectifier in variable frequency drive systems. When it is detected that the DC
link voltage has exceeded a specified level, the regenerative inverter will go into
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 7 of 17

inverting mode and move the energy back onto the 3 phase main supply. This is
shown in the block diagram of Figure 8.

+
-
Power flow
M (G)
Inverter
Rectifier
Inverter
Power flow
R
S
T

Figure 8: Regenerative braking system.

The size and complexity of this method of braking compared to the more simple
resistor dynamic braking, necessitates that it is only used when a significant amount
of regenerated energy (due to overhauling and deceleration) is expected. Thus, this
method could be used in counterweighted elevator applications, where the system
regenerates for a significant period of time. However, for a luggage conveyor belt in
an airport, or a horizontal people mover, it would not be worth installing.

3.5 DC injection braking
The method used to achieve electrical braking is to inject a DC voltage into the low
speed winding of the motor, as shown in Figure 9.

This method has mainly developed because many of the variable voltage system,
when they first appeared where retrofitted on sites which had two speed AC motors
on them. It was easy them to use the low speed windings for braking, by injecting a
DC current in the low speed winding.

Injecting DC in a motor winding will tend to try to stall the rotor. This is because the
magnetic field set up inside the motor is a stationary constant field which is always
pointing in one direction. This will have a braking effect on the moving rotor, trying to
bring it to the synchronous speed of DC (i.e., which is 0 rpm). The disadvantages
with this method is that the energy is dissipated as heat in the windings, and that
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 8 of 17

braking torque approaches zero at the speed approaches zero, making it difficult to
brake the motor at standstill.

R S T
1 2 3 4 5 6

Figure 9: Diagram of a variable voltage variable speed system using a two speed induction
motor and DC injection braking in the low speed winding.

This above point can be seen in practice. If you carefully watch the motor when if
finally stops on a variable voltage system, you will be able to see that the flywheel
might slightly slip after the motor has come to a standstill and before the mechanical
brake is applied. Thus, the tendency in these systems is to adjust the mechanical
brake to apply immediately when the motor is at standstill. This is done by the
The configuration shown in Figure 9 shows the same three pairs of back to
back SCRs for controlling the driving voltage to the high speed winding of the motor,
and a half wave controlled rectifier for controlling the DC voltage applied to the low
speed winding of the motor.

Half Controlled Voltage Controller
The half controlled voltage controller differs from the full wave voltage controller in
that it has three SCRs and three diodes. Thus, firing pulses are only applied to the
SCRs, which will be allowed to stay on by virtue of the diodes complementing them.
The firing scheme for such a set-up is shown in Figure 10.

Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 9 of 17

1
2
3
4
5
6
60 120 180 240 300 0 60 120 0
Angle (in degrees)
Thyristor
number
R
T'
S
R'
T
S'

Figure 10: Firing timing diagram for a half controlled voltage controller.

Connection Method for DC Injection Braking
Historically, when variable voltage DC injection braking systems were first
introduced, the braking connection was always made to any two terminals of the low
speed winding, and the third terminal was not used. However, it has been found
from experience that this is not the best connection to use, as it does not make full
use of the third winding, and it causes overheating of the low speed windings due to
excessive current and heat concentration in the two coils of the winding. Now, most
systems coming onto the market are invariably connected using all three windings in
series, in order to utilise full potential of the low speed winding. This is explained in
the following discussion.

A criterion of performance for a braking connection is that is should give the highest
magnetic flux for every ampere of current. Thus, a figure of merit, or a performance
factor would be to divide the resultant flux by the flowing braking current. This can be
done relative terms, and not in absolute numbers, due to the difficulty of obtaining
values of flux and coil resistance.
In order to be able to evaluate and compare different connections and set-ups
of low speed windings for brake purposes, we can assume that the applied brake
voltage is the same for all cases, and that the base case (i.e., the case to which all
other set-ups will be compared) is the case in which only two coils are connected in
series. We will assume that the resistance of each coil is R (resistance is only
considered here, and not impedance, because the voltage is mainly DC). A resultant
resistance for any connection can be found by combining series and parallel coils.
Then, by dividing the voltage by the combined resistance, a resultant current will be
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 10 of 17

found which can be compared to the original resultant current. It is important to
remember that the three coils of the low speed winding are displaced in space by
120º each. Thus, when combining them, they have to be added vectorially (i.e., and
not added as scalars). Then to calculate the figure of merit, the resultant flux vector
magnitude is divided by the value of resultant current. The connection with the
highest value is the connection providing the highest value of magnetic flux per unit
of current. In other words, it is the connection which, for the same value of magnetic
braking flux (and thus magnetic braking torque), provides the lowest value of current,
and thus the least heat into the low speed windings.

Table 1: Different connection methods for the low speed winding in the DC injection braking
configuration.
CONNECTION DIAGRAM VOLTAGE RES. CURRENT FLUX RATIO FLUX VECTORS
1
R
R R
V
v
w
u
g
I g

100%
(Base
case)
2R 100%
(Base
Case)
173% 1.73

F=173%
I=100%
I=100%

2
R
R R
V
v
w
u
g
I g

100% 1.5R 133% 200% 1.5
I=133%
I=67% I=67%
F=200%

3
R
R R
V
v
w
u
g
I g

100% 3R 67% 133%

2

I=67%
I=67% I=67%
F=133%

4
R
R
R V
v
w
u
g
I g

100% 0.67R 300% 300%

1
I=200%
I=100%
I=300%

5
R
R
R V
v
w
u
g
I g

100% 0.5R 400% 346%

0.87
I=200%
I=200%
F=346%

This comparison has been carried out in Table 1, where all the possible connection
methods are shown (all the useful ones; some other connections might exist which
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 11 of 17

will lead to a negligible value of flux have not been show). The first column shows
the connection method. Note that the direction of connection of a winding makes a
difference; if the terminals of a winding are reversed, the current will be reversed,
leading to a reversal of the direction of the flux vector. This can change the resultant
value of the flux dramatically.
Note that in order to be able to achieve connection method number 3 in Table
1, all six terminals of the windings are needed or the windings should be pre-wired in
that method beforehand. This is because standard motors sometimes do not allow
access to the star-point of the motor (the low speed winding in this case).
Table 1 shows in the first column the method of connection; in the third
column the resultant resistance (assuming each coil has a resistance of R); in the
fourth column the resultant current (by dividing the voltage by the resistance); in the
fifth column the resultant magnitude of the flux, which is based on the vectorial
summation of flux vectors in the last column; and in the sixth column the ratio
between the flux and the current.
Connection method number 3 gives the highest flux to current ratio, and has
now become the industry de facto standard. All motors are now either re-wired in
that configuration, or all six terminal of the low speed winding provided at the terminal
box.

Example 2
By referring to connection number 3, show what would happen if the terminal of
winding R
w
were to be reversed. Does this affect the value of the resultant flux, and
thus the flux to current ratio? Is this an acceptable connection? [Remember that the
flux has to be summed vectorially.]

R
R R
V
v
w
u
g
I g

The direction of the fluxes will now be the same as the direction of the arrows shown
in the new figure above. The direction of the flux for the R
w
coil will be reversed.
Thus, the new flux diagram will become (the magnitude of the current will still be the
same, as the resistance of the windings is still the same):

I=67%
I=67%
I=67%
F=133%

The flux summation is first carried out between the fluxes R
w
and R
v
. The resultant
vector is horizontal, and is equal to:

Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 12 of 17

67% 30 67% 30 116% × + × = cos( ) cos( )

This, then is summed with the vertical Ru flux, giving a resultant value of:

115 0 67 1 33 133%
2 2
. . . + = =

Thus, although the orientation of the resultant flux changes, the absolute value of the
flux does not change, neither does the flux to current ratio. Thus, this connection is
also an acceptable connection.

Example 3
In the same way, show what would happen if the terminal of both coils, R
v
and R
w

were reversed. How would this affect the value of the resultant flux, and the flux to
current ratio? [Remember that the flux has to be summed vectorially.]

Solution
The modified connection diagram is an shown in the figure below. Both R
w
and R
v

winding connections have been reversed. This modification would not affect the
value of the current, because the value of the resistance of the coils has not
changed.

R
R R
V
v
w
u
g
I g

The direction of the vector fluxes will be in the direction of the current arrows shown
in the figure above. However, if these vectors are plotted, as shown below, they are
all of equal magnitude and pulling in opposing directions. The resultant flux is zero.
Thus, no braking torque will be produced with this connection, regardless of the
magnitude of current drawn. Thus, this is not an acceptable connection.

I=67%
I=67%
I=67%

Braking Voltage Value Calculations
In order to derive the braking voltage, a voltage source needs to be used. It is
customary to use the phase to phase voltage rather than the phase to neutral
voltage, for the following reasons:

 The phase to phase voltage (so-called line voltage, which usually has a value of
380-415V RMS) has a higher value compared to the phase to neutral voltage
(usually called phase voltage, which usually has a value of 220-240V RMS). The
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 13 of 17

larger value results in a larger possible braking voltage range, which provides
better flexibility in operating the drive.

 The neutral connection is not always available. In fact, some customers would
insist that a neutral not be used, and that any phase voltages are derived using
step down transformers.

Example 4
Assuming that the phase voltage from a supply is 230 V RMS, what is the maximum
average braking DC voltage possible?

Solution
The full wave rectified DC voltage waveform is shown in Figure 1. If we assume that
the RMS of the original phase voltage is 230 V, then the RMS value of the line
voltage is:

V V V RMS
L
= × = 230 3 398

However, the peak value of the line voltage will be:

V V RMS V peak
V
V
V mean
P
ave
= × =
=
|
\

|
.
|
=
398 2 563
563
2
358
( )
( )
t

0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
0
3
0
6
0
9
0
1
2
0
1
5
0
1
8
0
2
1
0
2
4
0
2
7
0
3
0
0
3
3
0
3
6
0
Angle (degrees)
R
a
t
i
o

o
f

p
h
a
s
e

v
o
l
t
a
g
e
|R-T|

Figure 1: Waveform of a full wave rectified brake voltage, at 0 degrees firing angle (i.e., full
voltage).
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 14 of 17

By varying the firing angle in each SCR in the full wave bridge rectifier, the mean and
RMS value of the resulting brake waveform can be varied, from the full voltage down
to zero volts.
The waveforms for various values of firing angles are shown in Figure 2,
Figure 3, Figure 4, Figure 5, Figure.6 and Figure 7. The waveforms assume a pure
resistive load, although this in not correct, as the low speed motor windings will have
a combined inductance and resistance.

Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 15 of 17

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
0
3
0
6
0
9
0
1
2
0
1
5
0
1
8
0
2
1
0
2
4
0
2
7
0
3
0
0
3
3
0
3
6
0
3
9
0
4
2
0
4
5
0
4
8
0
Angle (degrees)
V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
Average
value

Figure 2: 0 degrees.

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
0
3
0
6
0
9
0
1
2
0
1
5
0
1
8
0
2
1
0
2
4
0
2
7
0
3
0
0
3
3
0
3
6
0
3
9
0
4
2
0
4
5
0
4
8
0
Angle (degrees)
V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
Average
value

Figure 3: 30 degrees.

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
0
3
0
6
0
9
0
1
2
0
1
5
0
1
8
0
2
1
0
2
4
0
2
7
0
3
0
0
3
3
0
3
6
0
3
9
0
4
2
0
4
5
0
4
8
0
Angle (degrees)
V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
Average
value

Figure 4: 60 degrees.

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
0
3
0
6
0
9
0
1
2
0
1
5
0
1
8
0
2
1
0
2
4
0
2
7
0
3
0
0
3
3
0
3
6
0
3
9
0
4
2
0
4
5
0
4
8
0
Angle (degrees)
V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
Average
value

Figure 5: 90 degrees.

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
0
3
0
6
0
9
0
1
2
0
1
5
0
1
8
0
2
1
0
2
4
0
2
7
0
3
0
0
3
3
0
3
6
0
3
9
0
4
2
0
4
5
0
4
8
0
Angle (degrees)
V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
Average
value

Figure.6: 120 degrees.

0
100
200
300
400
500
600
0
3
0
6
0
9
0
1
2
0
1
5
0
1
8
0
2
1
0
2
4
0
2
7
0
3
0
0
3
3
0
3
6
0
3
9
0
4
2
0
4
5
0
4
8
0
Angle (degrees)
V
o
l
t
a
g
e

(
V
)
Average
value
Figure 7: 150 degrees.

Example 5
Calculate the average value of the full wave rectified braking waveform, at a firing
angle of 45°.

Solution
In order to calculate the average value of a waveform, the function should be
integrated throughout the period, and the result divided by 2t radians (i.e., 360°).
Chapter 8a: Electrical Braking 0903582: Electrical Drives

© Copyright held by the author 2010: Dr. Lutfi R. Al-Sharif Page 16 of 17

N.B.: All calculations involving integration should be applied to radians (and not
degrees).
The function is identical every t radians (i.e., 180°). Thus, the average can be found
by integrating for 180°, and dividing by t radians.
As the firing angle is 45° (i.e., t/4 radians), the function is zero for the first 45°,
and is then equal to sin(u) from then until 180° (i.e., t).

| |
V d
ave
= × = ÷ × =
}
1
563
1
563
4
4
t
u u
t
u
t
t
t
t
sin( ) cos( )
( ) ( ) ( )
V V
ave
= ÷ ÷ =
563
1 0 707 306
t
.

It has to be borne in mind that the number of poles of the low speed winding of the
motor will have an immediate effect on the braking torque available from the motor.
Usually suppliers will not recommend using a low speed winding if it has more than
16 poles without checking that the braking torque is sufficient. Most motors employ 4
poles for the high speed winding and 16 poles (sometime 24 poles ) for the low
speed winding.

References & Bibliography
Barney, G.C. & Loher, A.G., 1990, “Elevator Electric Drives: Concepts and
principles, control and practice”, Ellis Horwood.
Bird, B.M. & King, K.G., 1983, “An introduction to power electronics”, John Wiley &
Sons, 1983.
Datta, S.K., 1985, “Power electronics and control”, Reston Publishing Company,
1985.
Dewan, S.B. & Straughen, A., 1975, “Power Semiconductor Circuits”, John Wiley &
Sons.
Fukuda, T., 1979b, “AC feedback control in Japan: Part V”, Elevator World, Feb.
1979.
Lander, C.W., 1993, “Power Electronics”, Third Edition, McGraw Hill, 1993.
Shepherd, W., Hulley, L.N. & Liang, D.T.W., 1995, “Power electronics and motor
control”, Second Edition, Cambridge University Press.

Problems
1- Using a method similar to the example in the Chapter, derive a general formula
for the mean voltage of a DC waveform from a full wave controlled rectifier, as a
function of the firing angle, o. Assume a pure resistive load. Plot the resulting
function against the firing angle.

2- In the same way, repeat the last exercise, but derive a general formula for the
RMS value of the waveform as a function of the firing angle, o. Assume a pure
resistive load. Plot the resulting function against the firing angle.
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3- Discuss the two methods of braking in VF systems, outlining their advantages
and disadvantages. Which method is more suitable for the following:

- A lightly loaded counterweighted lift system.
- A half loaded counterweighted lift system.
- A highly loaded down escalator.
- A highly loaded up escalator.
-
What are the criteria for using one braking system or the other?

4- By using op-amp applications, design an analogue system which will measure
the amount of voltage on the DC link of an inverter, and switch a chopper
transistor in order to discharge the extra charge on the capacitor in the braking
resistor. Ensure that you provide proper isolation between the high voltage DC
link, the low voltage op-amp electronics, and the base of the chopper transistor.

5- Calculate the power rating of a braking resistor, for an elevator running at a
speed of 1.6 m/s, carrying 23 passengers, counterweighted at 50%, and
running at a duty cycle of 7.5%.