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Iqbal et al.

, Cogent Engineering (2016), 3: 1134040


Vector control of asymmetrical six-phase
synchronous motor
Arif Iqbal1*, G.K. Singh1 and Vinay Pant1

Received: 22 October 2015 Abstract:Vector control scheme has been well adopted for higher performance
Accepted: 09 December 2015
applications of AC motor. Therefore, this paper presents an extensive development
First Published: 19 January 2016
and investigation of vector control scheme for asymmetrical six-phase synchronous
*Corresponding author: Arif Iqbal,
Department of Electrical Engineering, motor in a new two-axis (MT) coordinate system. Phasor diagram has also been
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, developed in a simplified way, followed by its implementation technique. Analytical
Roorkee 247667, Uttarakhand, India
E-mails:, results have been presented for four-quadrant operation of synchronous motor,
employing the developed vector control scheme. In analytical control model, com-
Reviewing editor: mon mutual leakage reactance between the two winding sets occupying same sta-
Wei Meng, Wuhan University of
Technology, China tor slot has been considered.

Additional information is available at Subjects: Automation Control; Mechatronics; Systems & Controls
the end of the article
Keywords: six-phase synchronous motor; vector control; motor drive

1. Introduction
The multiphase (more than three phase) AC motor drives are used as a substitute of conventional
three-phase motor in different applications particularly, in propulsion system of ship and vehicle,
textile and steel industries, rolling mills, power plants, etc. This is because it offers certain potential
advantages when compared with its three-phase counterpart, like reduction in space and time har-
monics, reduced torque pulsation, increased power handling capability, higher reliability, etc. (Levi,
2008; Singh, 2002).

Field-oriented control (i.e. vector control) technique has been widely used in high performance of
AC motor drives. In this regard, an abundant number of literatures are available for three-phase
motor (Bose, 2002; Das & Chattopadhyay, 1997; Jain & Ranganathan, 2011; Krause, Wasynczuk, &
Sudhoff, 2004), but a few for six-phase induction motor (Bojoi, Lazzari, Profumo, & Tenconi, 2003;
Singh, Nam, & Lim, 2005), wherein dq model of machine has been used in synchronously rotating


Arif Iqbal received his BTech and MTech degrees It is always advantageous to use the electrical
both in electrical engineering in 2005 and 2007, machine with its performance at higher level
respectively, from Aligarh Muslim University, using a suitable technique. Among different
Aligarh, India. After having experience in industry techniques, vector control is widely used as it
and teaching in the field AC drives and power provides the decoupled control of torque and flux
system for a few years, he is currently pursuing component of machine current. Therefore, the
his PhD from Indian Institute of Technology paper explores a detailed asymmetrical six-phase
Roorkee, India. His area of interest is multiphase synchronous motor operation employing this
AC machine and drives, power electronics, and technique. Analysis and simulation of complete
renewable energy system. drive system has been carried out in Matlab/
Simulink environment, where dynamic behavior
of motor was found to be substantially improved.
It is believed that the paper will serve as a
Arif Iqbal source toward higher performance of six-phase
synchronous motor.

2016 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution
(CC-BY) 4.0 license.

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Iqbal et al., Cogent Engineering (2016), 3: 1134040

reference frame. But the utilization of this scheme has not been reported for field excited six-phase
synchronous motor. Therefore, the paper is dedicated to explore and develop the control technique
for asymmetrical six-phase synchronous motor. In the control scheme, a new two axis (MT coordi-
nate) has been introduced along which the decoupled control of flux and torque is achieved.
Following the inclusion of control technique, a detailed analytical results have been presented for
motor operation in four quadrants.

2. Mathematical modeling
For the purpose of realizing the six-phase motor, it is a common practice to split the existing three-
phase stator winding into two, namely a b c and abc. Both splitted stator winding sets (a b c and
abc) are physically displaced 30 apart to realize asymmetrical six-phase winding configuration.
Asymmetrical six-phase winding configuration yields the reduced torque pulsation (Singh, 2002,
2011) due to the elimination of lower order harmonics. On the rotor side, it is equipped with field
winding fr together with the damper windings Kd and Kq along d and q-axis, respectively.
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The equation of the motor can be written using machine variables. But this will yield a set of non-
linear differential equations. Nonlinearity is due to the existence of inductance term which is time
varying in nature. Such equations are computationally complex and time-consuming. Therefore, to
simplify the motor equations with constant inductance term, it will be conveniently written in rotor
reference frame using Parks variables (Iqbal, Singh, & Pant, 2014, in press; Schiferl & Ong, 1983;
Singh, 2011).

r p
v dqk = r sk i dqk + + (1)
b dqk b dqk

v dqr = r dqr i dqk + (2)
b dqr

[ ]T
vdqk = vdk vqk (3)

[ ]T
dqk = dk qk (4)

[ ]T
rdqk = rdk rqk (5)

1, for winding set a b c
for k =
2, for winding set a b c
[ ]T
vdqr = vKd vKq vfr (6)

vfr = exfd [3, 12] (7)

[ ]T
dqr = Kd Kq fr (8)

[ ]T
rdqk = rKd rKq rfr (9)

Equations of motor flux linkage per second may be conveniently written as the function of currents,

= xi (10)

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[ ]T [ ]T
where i = idqk idqk , = dqk dqk

x is defined in Appendix 1.

The developed motor torque is expressed as

e = e1 + e2 (11)

where e1 and e2 are the developed motor torque associated with winding sets a b c and abc,
respectively, and expressed as

e1 = c(iq1 d1 id1 q1 ) (12)

e2 = c(iq2 d2 id2 q2 ) (13)

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3P 1
with c =
2 2 b

The rotor dynamics having P number of poles is expressed as

[ ]
r 1 1 P 1( )
= e l (14)
b p b 2 J

wherein, l is the load torque, p represents the derivative function w.r.t. time and all symbols stand
to their usual meaning (Iqbal et al., in press). Evaluation of motor parameters is determined from the
standard test procedure (Aghamohammadi & Pourgholi, 2008; Alger, 1970; Jones, 1967).

3. Vector control scheme

The operating performance of vector-controlled motor is greatly improved and similar to that of a
separately excited DC motor (Bose, 2002). This is because of decoupled control of both flux compo-
nent and torque component of stator current. The inclusion of vector control scheme is not similar
to that of induction motor drive. The main difference lies on the fact that the air gap flux is attributed
by both stator flux as well as field flux. Therefore, the resultant air gap flux will align along the axis
which is different from conventional d-axis. Hence, a new (MT) coordinate axis has been introduced
wherein, the resultant flux vector and torque current component will align along M and T axis, re-
spectively. Machine variables in newly defined coordinate axis (MT axis) may be readily transformed
to its equivalent dq or vice versa by relation
[ ] [ ][ ]
Mk cosk sink dk
= (15)
Tk sink cosk qk
In above relation, the torque angle 1 and 2 are associated with winding sets a b c and abc,
respectively, and defined as

1 = 0 (16)

1 = 0 + + (17)

0 is the initial value of load angle, whereas is the phase difference between voltage fed to phase
a and a. Hence, torque attributed by each stator winding sets a b c and abc is given by Equations
(12) and (13) may be readily written in MT axes,

e1 = c(M1 IT1 T1 IM1 ) (18)

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Figure 1. Phasor diagram of T2

vector-controlled six-phase T1
synchronous motor. , j qs
Va = Va e
IM1 Is1 M2
Is2 I m1 s2
I T1 I I T1 ,
M2 a
I T2 1 I m2 I T2
r 1 2 ,
I fr fr

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e2 = c(M2 IT2 T2 IM2 ) (19)

where, the flux linkage Mk and Tk, and stator current IMk and ITk are aligned along MkTk axes respec-
tively, for winding sets a b c (for k=1) and abc (for k=2). Since, the resultant armature air gap flux
is only aligned along flux axis (i.e. Mk axis). Therefore,

T1=0 and M1=s1, where

s1 = 2
M1 2
+ T1 (20)

T2=0 and M2=s2, where

s2 = 2
M2 2
+ T2 (21)

Hence, motor torque equation may be simplified as

e = e1 + e2 = c(s1 IT1 + s2 IT2 ) (22)

The developed motor torque is dependent on flux linkage s1 (and s2) and current IT1 (and IT2) which
are orthogonal. This is the introduction of vector-controlled six-phase synchronous motor. The mo-
tor operation during steady state has been shown in the developed phasor diagram in Figure 1.

4. Implementation of vector control scheme

The implementation of developed vector-controlled synchronous motor drive system has been
shown in Figure 2. In this paper, motor operation has been investigated in constant torque region up
to base speed, but same may be extended in field weakening region above base speed. In the figure,
the outer speed loop is used to generate the reference value torque component of stator current ITk

through a speed controller (PI controller), whereas the reference value magnetizing current Imk is

generated by the flux controller (PI controller) associated with each winding sets a b c (for k=1) and
abc (for k=2). The reference magnetizing current is used to establish the required flux sk in air
gap, which related to field current by the relation,

Im1 = Ifr cos 1
Im2 = Ifr cos 2

In phasor diagram, current component IT1 (and IT2) is in the direction of T1 (and T2) axis along which
the voltage vector is also aligned. Further, the magnetizing component of current Im1 (and Im2) is

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Figure 2. Schematic diagram

of vector-controlled six-phase
synchronous motor drive.
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aligned along M1 (and M2) axis which is used to establish the flux vector s1 (and s2). At steady state,
both the stator flux and armature flux vectors are orthogonal to each other, i.e. s1 (and s2) is per-
pendicular to a1 (and a2) as shown in phasor diagram. Therefore, at steady state, both the vectors
ITk and Isk are equal i.e. IT1=Is1 for winding set a b c (and IT2=Is2 for winding set abc) and becomes
in phase with voltage vector, signifying the motor operation at unity power factor. In control scheme,
it may be noted that the magnetizing current component Im1 (and Im2) is related to field current Ifrk

associated with winding sets a b c and abc. Field current commands Ifr1 and Ifr2 are synthesized
using Equation (23) in feedback loop. In field control loop, the field current error is fed to the field
controller (PI controller) to establish the required field excitation. It may be noted here that the
magnitude of field current magnitude associated with each winding set a b c and abc is assumed

to be same Ifr (= 0.5Ifr ). Now, the flux component of stator current is generated by


IM1 = Im1 Ifr cos 1
IM2 = Im2 Ifr cos 2

Above relation will yield a finite value of IM1and IM2. But at steady state, it becomes zero (i.e.

IM1 = IM2 = 0) and Equation (23) will be satisfied. As soon as stator current component ITk
and IMk

are synthesized for winding sets a b c (k=1) and abc (k=2), the reference value of current in sta-
tionary reference frame is generated. For this purpose, following two-step transformation is carried

(1)Current component ITk and IMk are transformed to dq component in stationary reference

frame, using angle k in transformation in relation (15).

(2)Above obtained stationary dq component of current is transformed into its equivalent three-
phase current (Krause et al., 2004).

The reference current generated in above steps in stationary reference frame are then compared
with actual phase current of stator windings which results in current error. This current error is fed to
the hysteresis current controller to regulate switching of inverter circuit feeding the motor.

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5. Simulation results
The developed system of vector-controlled six-phase synchronous motor drive was implemented in
Matlab/Simulink environment. For this purpose, a 3.7-kW motor (parameters are given in Appendix
1) was operated in four quadrant. Initially, speed command was given at time t=0.1s. in ramp way,
following to which motor starts to run at synchronous speed after time t=0.65s, showing its opera-
tion in first quadrant. A load of 50% of base torque was applied at time t=1.5s which results a small
dip in speed by 0.03rad/s, but regains its original speed (i.e. synchronous speed) after time t=0.5s,
as shown in Figure 3. In order to examine the motor operation in second quadrant, the direction of
load torque was reversed at time t=3s, resulting in a small increase in rotor speed by 0.05rad/s. A
small change in rotor speed due to sudden change in load torque signifies the disturbance rejection
property of the drive system. A zoomed view of speed variation has been shown in Figure 3(a).
Following to the change in load torque, not only the variation in q-component of stator current but
also resulted a small variation in d-component of current, as shown in Figure 5. Change in stator
current is also reflected in T-axis component of motor current flowing in winding sets a b c and abc,
in Figures 4 and 6. In order to shift the motor operation to third quadrant, a speed reversal command
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was initiated at time t=4s in ramp way. The motor is then finally operates in reverse motoring mode
after time t=5s at synchronous speed. Further, at time t=6s the load torque is reversed to operate
the drive in fourth quadrant. It is important to note here that the switching of motor operation to
different quadrant results in a large variation in d-component stator current whose effect is com-
pensated by rotor field current, as shown in Figure 7(b). But the field circuit has a larger time con-
stant, making the response slow (Das & Chattopadhyay, 1997; Jain & Ranganathan, 2011; Krause et
al., 2004). This sluggish response of field circuit is substantially improved due to the magnetizing
current injection along flux direction, as depicted by reference value of current in Figure 4(b and c)
as well as in actual current in Figure 6(c and d). Input phase voltage fed to winding sets a b c and
abc, is shown in Figure 8(a) and (b), respectively.

6. Conclusion
The scheme of vector control applicable for asymmetrical six-phase synchronous motor has been
developed and extensively investigated in four quadrant operation. In this control technique, stator
current is maintained for motor operation at unity power factor, which minimizes the stator current

Figure 3. Motor response (a)

rotor speed r and (b) torque Te.


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Figure 4. Reference current in (a)

MT coordinate (a) IT1

, (b) IM1

and (c) IM2.


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Figure 5. Stator current in dq (a)

coordinate (a) iq1 (b) id1 (c) iq2
(d) id2.




Figure 6. Actual current in MT (a)

coordinate (a) IT1, (b) IT2 (c) IM1
and (d) IM2.




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Figure 7. Voltagecurrent in (a)

field circuit (a) reference Ifr , (b)
actual Ifr (c) voltage Efr.


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Figure 8. Inverter output (a)

voltage (a) phase a (b) phase a'.


and hence less losses. The dynamic behavior of six-phase synchronous motor in different quadrant
operation was found to be substantially improved because of the decoupled/independent control of
flux as well as torque component of current along MT axis, respectively. Furthermore, sluggish re-
sponse of the rotor field circuit was also noted to be improved because of the magnetizing current
injection from armature side.

The present work may be further extended and investigated under different practical application
with their experimental validation.

Funding G.K. Singh1

The authors received no direct funding for this research. E-mail:
Vinay Pant1
Author details E-mail:
Arif Iqbal1 1
Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of
E-mail:, Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247667, Uttarakhand, India.

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Citation information Jain, A. K., & Ranganathan, V. T. (2011). Modeling and field
Cite this article as: Vector control of asymmetrical six-phase oriented control of salient pole wound field synchronous
synchronous motor, Arif Iqbal, G.K. Singh & Vinay Pant, Cogent machine in stator flux coordinates. IEEE Transactions on
Engineering(2016), 3: 1134040. Industrial Electronics, 58, 960970.
References Jones, C. V. (1967). The unified theory of electric machine.
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identification using HookJeeves optimization method. of electrical machinery and drive Systems. Piscataway, NJ:
International Journal of System Applications, Engineering IEEE Press and Wiley.
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Appendix 1

Motor parameter of 3.7kW, 6 poles, 36 slots are

r1=0.210 xmq=3.9112 rfr=0.056

r2=0.210 xmd=6.1732 xldq=0
rKq=2.535 xlKq=0.66097 xlm=0.001652
rKd=140.0 xlKd=1.550 xlfr=0.2402

xl1 + xlm + xmd 0 xlm + xmd xldq xmd 0 xmd

0 xl1 + xlm + xmd xldq xlm + xmq 0 xmq 0

xlm + xmd xldq xl2 + xlm + xmd 0 xmd 0 xmd

xldq xlm + xmq 0 xl2 + xlm + xmq 0 xmq 0

xmd 0 xmd 0 xlKd + xmd


xmd 0 xmq 0xmq 0 xlKq + xmq 0

xmd 0 xmd 0 xmd 0 xlfr + xmd

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