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P. Pillay, R. Samudio, M. Ahmed and R. Patel

Department of Electrical Engineering
University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA 70148
Ph:(504) 286-7161, Fax:(504) 286-3950

ABSTRACT were proposed for the reduction of this noise. In this

One of the problems with the SRM is its higher paper a new technique is proposed, based on reducing
acoustic noise when compared to an induction motor of the phase voltage in sympathy with the speed, using a
the same size Another problem of increasing concern for chopper between the rectifier and the converter.
all drives is the ability to ride-through dips or short power The use of the chopper also allows controlled
duration outages. In this paper, a chopper controlled charging of the dc link capacitors and hence the
SRM drive is presented with the aim of reducing the possibility of improving the ride-through capabilty.
acoustic noise as well as improving its ride-through Particular attention is paid to providing power to the
capability. Super capacitors are used in the power electronics and driver circuits during power interruptions
supplies of the driver and logic circuits to increase their so that they are operational during the outage as well as
duration of operation in the absence of mains power. being able to detect and reapply the mains power to the
Practical measurements of the reduced noise as well as motor in a controlled manner.
the improved ride-through capability are included. The paper is organized as follows: section 2
gives more details on the acoustic noise and the theory
1. INTRODUCTION behind the measurement and noise reduction. Section 3
The switched reluctance motor (SRM) has discusses the drive design, including the use of super-
considerable potential for industrial applications because capacitors for the supply of power during the outage.
of its high reliability as a result of the absence of rotor Section 4 presents the algorithm for improving the ride-
windings. In addition, most of the losses are confined to through capability of the SRM drive. Section 5 has the
the stator from where they are more easily removed. The results while 6 has the conclusions.
SRM is thus more thermally and mechanically robust that
a squirrel-cage induction motor [I]. One of the problems 2. NOISE IN SRMS
with the SRM is its higher acoustic [2,3,4] noise when 2.1 Origin and characteristics
compared to an induction motor of the same size. The generation of acoustic noise is an inherent
Another problem of increasing concern for all drives is the characteristic of all electric motors but is particularly
ability to ride-through dips or short power duration severe in switched reluctance motors. It has been shown
outages. previously [2,3] that radial vibrations of the stator, the
Most of the current drives on the market have origin of which is purely magnetic, is the dominant source
instantaneous trips for undervoltage. Negative spikes of acoustic noise in the switched reluctance motor. These
produce nuisance tripping. At the same time, drives ate vibrations, which are enhanced when a sufficiently large
being used in more critical applications because of tbe harmonic component of the radial force coincides with a
improved performance they provide. The industry, and in resonant frequency of the stator, are caused by the radial
particular the continuous process industry is concerned magnetic force which tries to reduce the gap separation
about the ability of motors and drives to ride through between stator and rotor poles, especially when both
short term outages or voltage dips [5]. The loss of a poles approach alignment This attempt at gap reduction,
critical motor or drive can cause expensive downtime ar:d while existing for all positions of the rotor during the
hours or even days are sometimes required before full excitation of a phase, is particularly prevalent at the
production is achieved again. aligned position and rotor positions close to the aligned
Acoustic noise is always of concern even in ttie position, where the reluctance is lowest and the flux the
industry. In domestic applications it is even more critical. highest.
Previous work [2,3,4]has demonstrated that most of the Having determined the origins and the dominant
SRM noise is produced by ovalizing of the stator as a source of the acoustic noise in [3], an extensive time
result of attraction of the stator to the rotor. This attractive domain analysis on the characteristics of vibrations and
force is proportionalto the mutual flux between the stator acoustic noise was done in [I]. A summary of their
and rotor poles, which is maximum in the aligned position. experimental results is as follows:
When the aligned position is reached, the current in the a) A step change in the gradient of current,
excited phase is rapidly quenched to prevent current particularly associated with a decrease in gradient,
flowing in the negative aUd3 region which will result in induces a vibration, the instantaneous value of which
negative torque This results in a step change in the decreases, becomes negative and subsequently
attractive force from a maximum to zero, producing the oscillates and dies out as a damped vibration.
noise characteristic of SRMs. In [2] various techniques b) The magnitude of the vibration is directly

0-7803-1993-1/94 $4.00 0 1994 IEEE 313

proportional to the gradient and the magnitude of the
exciting current In addition, vibrations increase as a rotor
pole approaches alignment with a stator pole for a given
current magnitude.
c) If the switches of the exciting phase are

turned off when the phase angle of the acceleration of the
existing stator vibrations behind the stator poles is
between 90 and 270 degrees, the acceleration produced H
in this case will assist the existing vibrations. The stator
vibrations consequently increase. I
d) The vibrations induced at 90 mechanical
degrees to the excited pole is exactly 180 degrees out of
phase with the vibrations of the excited poles. This is due
to the ovalizing characteristics of the stator.
e) The largest vibrations are produced when an
odd harmonic of the exciting phase current and the Fig. 2.1 Block diagram of SRM drive
resonant frequency of the stator are coincident. Smaller
vibrations are produced with the coincidence of an even 2.3 Sound pressure and power measurement
harmonic of the exciting current and the resonant A comparative evaluation of the noise is made
frequency of the stator. in a anechoic chamber with a commercial converter and
with the new chopper controlled converter. The theory of
2.2 Techniques for mitigation the noise measurement is now presented [6].
As a result of the noise characteristics above, There are three different processes for the
several techniques were developed for reducing the measurementof sound power in a free field. They are, (a)
noise in SRMs. spherical surface measurement, (b) hemispherical
surface measurement, and (c) conformal and other
a) Selection of a current conduction angle away measurement surfaces. For spherical surface
from the aligned position. This is inefficient and measurement, the machine is required to be placed at the
unacceptable since full use of the phase is not utilized. center of an anechoic chamber or suspended in a large
b) Control the firing of the phases based on the open area and multiple-point sound-pressure level
mechanical vibration. This requires knowledge of the measurements made over a spherical surface enclosing
phase of the vibration. the machine. Hemisphericalsurface measurements are
c) Implementing turn off in two stages so that made with the machine mounted on the ground in an
the induced vibrations cancel each other out. This will open area or in a semi-anechoic chamber, i.e. an
lead to deterioration of overall performance and in anechoic chamber having a hard (reflecting) floor. If a
particular the possibility of current flowing in the negative sound absorbent floor is used then the dB error is the
aUd0 region. noise pressure is less than 1 dB. This is the method used
In this paper, a chopper controlled SRM drive in this paper. The third method is used for vertical
is proposed for noise reduction. The idea arose from machines and for large machines mounted on the floor.
point 2 in section 2.1 which states that the magnitude of The machine under investigation is rated at 5
the vibration is proportional to the gradient of the exciting HP and is mounted in a semi-anechoic chamber with a
current. This was observed qualitatively in that the SRM sound absorbent floor. Hence the hemispherical surface
motor noise was much lower at high speeds where the measurement process must be used where sound-
motor back emf counters the applied voltage to reduce pressure level measurements can be made over a
the rise and fall times of the phase currents. At low hemisphericalsurface of radius r enclosing the machine.
speeds, the noise was particularly severe where full Table 1 gives the coordinates of 10 key measurement
voltage was being applied to the phase with very little points and figure 2.2 illustratesthe relative locations of the
counter emf to reduce the current gradient. microphone positions.
In this paper a chopper is inserted between the These locations give the Cartesian coordinates
rectifier output and the SRM converter as shown in figure (x, y, z) with the origin at the center of the source. The z
2.1. The chopper is fully on at full speed but at low axis is chosen perpendicularly upward from a horizontal
speeds the chopper mark-space ratio is controlled to plane (z=O). It should be at least twice the largest linear
reduce the average dc voltage applied to the converter. dimension of the motor but not less than 1 m.
Thus when the SRM converter is fired, the lower dc link The sound pressure level at a given point is
voltage results in a lower rate of change of the current defined as the instantaneous pressure minus the static
which according to part 2 above should result in a pressure atthat point and generally it is expressed as the
reduced noise. sound-pressure level in dB which can be described by the
following equation:

Lp - 10 log,, P2
dB (2.1)
P ref

where p is the r.m.s sound pressure and pnr is the r.m.s where W is the average sound power emitted by an
reference sound pressure which is internationally taken object in watts and W,d is the reference sound power in
as 2x1O 5 Nm". watts. InternationallyWM is taken as
1x10-l2watts. \
The sound intensity at a given point in a sound
field in a specified direction is defined as the average
sound power passingthrough a unit area perpendicular
to the specified direction at that point. For a plane and
spherical sound wave propagating in a free field, the
sound intensity along the direction of wave propagation
is given by

where p is the r.m.s sound pressure in Nm-2, p is the

constant equilibrium denstty of the medium in kgm-', and
c is the velocity of sound in the medium in ms-'.
Now, for a machine completely enclosed by a
surface, the total sound power emitted is

where the integration is over the whole surface area A

and pi is the sound pressure on the ith elementary area
dA,. if the whole surface area is divided into n equal parts
dA and the value of n is sufficiently large, the above
equation becomes -

where p." is the r.m.s sound pressure over the whole

surface area.
Dividing both sides by W,d and taking
logarithms, we have the sound power level
L,- lologlo-
(2 6 )
IOlOg,,A + lOlOg,, (- p,'p

I -0.56r ,
0 89r wrePc

Based on the definition of the sound-pressure level, the

value of :p. can be expressed in terms of the sound-
pressure levels on the surface by

where Lp, is the sound-pressurelevel at the ith elementary

Fig. 2.2 Location of microphones for a 10-point area. Combining the above two equatiogs,
hemispherical measurement. Lw -1OlOg,,A + IOlOg,, (- Pref
The sound power level is defined as the average
sound power minus the reference sound power and can
be expressed as the sound power level in dB by the
following equation
n 1-1
L w - 10 log,, (-1 dB (2.2) The second term of this equation is approximately equal
Wrer to zero when ~,*,=2xlO-~Nm-', W,=lxlO-'' W, and

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pc=415 kgm-*s-’. the dc link capacitor. Once the dc link reaches the
So, the sound-power level can now be nominal operating voltage, the resistor is shorted with a
expressed as: relay.

L~ - L~ + 10 log,, 2 n r 2 (2.9)
During a supply disturbance like an outage for
a few cycles or a dip for several cycles, the dc link voltage
will rapidly reduce as it supplies power to the motor. In the
commercial drive, the entire drive is disconnected at
around 90% of nominal voltage. The reason is that if the
power is reclosed onto a low dc link voltage, a large surge
in the rectifier current will result, which can easily exceed
the diode ratings.
Thus to improve the ride-through capability,
either the series resistor must be reinserted at some
defined dc link voltage or an alternative technique used to
control the inrush current. An alternative is to use a
chopper which can control the inrush current by varying
the mark-space ratio. Thus the input voltage can be
matched to the residual dc link voltage (on the output of
the chopper) with a proper mark-space ratio. Thus the
chopper in this design performs the dual function of
improving the ride-through capability as well as reducing
the acoustic noise.

3.2 Super capacitors

Super capacitors, also known as Double Layer
Capacitors (DLCs), are a new electric energy storage
device with extremely high volumetric efficiency (over
three faradslin’), virtually unlimited service life, fast
chargddEcharge capabillty and very low leakage current
[7]. The commercial names for these capacitors are:
super capacitors, ultra capacitors or capattery. The
generic name is double layer capacitor.
Conventional energy storage devices such as
batteries and aluminum electrolybc capacitors often must
be replaced during the life of a product. Super capacitors
never need replacing because unlike batteries, they do
not undergo lie-limiting, irreversible, chemical reactions,
and unlike aluminum electrolybc capacitors, they do not
experience dry-up problems.
The construction of a super capacitor is shown
in Fig. 3.2 Two identical electrolyte-moistened carbon
electrodesface each other across an ionically conductive,
porous separator. Electroconductive rubber endcaps
MTBF 1000
provide the seal and electrical contact. The entire
arrangement comprises one unit cell.

Conduclive Separalor

lnsulaling Ring
(Carbon and Eleclrolyle]

Down t i n e tn seconds + Porous Separalor

(Carbon and Eleclrolyle)

Fig. 3.1 Mean time between failures (MTBF) versus down

time of the public power supply.

The commercial SRM drive used in this paper

Util’iesa series resistor to control the charging current of Fig. 3.2 Super capacitor unit cell construction.

3.3 Overall block diagram to the converter IGBT's via the driver circuit.
The motor drive consists of the speed, switching The split link converter is used for the phase
angle and current feedback controllers as well as the machine to allow the use of 4 power switching devices
rectifier, chopper, split-link converter, motor and encoder with 4 phases and only 2 current transducers.
as is shown in Fig. 3.3 [e]. Speed and position feedback
are obtained from an absolute optical encoder. The 3.4 Power circuit
commanded speed W', is compared with the actual In this Converter, T1 is used to allow current to
speed W; the difference behrveen these two signals is the flow into phase 1. For current control, T I is turned off and
speed error. This error is the input of a PI speed the current freewheels through D I , capacitor C2 and
controller. The output of the PI controller is the phase 1,When the current flows through C2, -lR Vdc is
commanded torque from which a current "i"' is produced. effectivelyapplied to phase 1 so that the current reduces
The switching angle controller produces the more quickly than if 0 V is applied. In order to turn the
reference currents i,*, i,* i,* ,,; i the rotor position 8r and phase off completely, T1 is turned off and the current
i*. These are compared with the actual i,, ib i, and id takes the same path as during freewheeling so that the
currents for current control. While many different forms of rate of fall is the same as during current control.
current control are available, a simple hysteresis controller
is used here. The actual ,i ,ib , ic and idcurrents are 3.5 Semikron driver circuit
measured using current transducers. 3.5.1 Conventional design
Some overlap betweer! the phase currents is The IGBT is a voltage controlled device and
often desirable to minimize the torque ripple; this overlap exhibits MOSFET-like capacitive gate-to-emitter
is achieved by advancing the firing angle of each phase characteristics. The SKHl 21 driver shown in figure 3.4,
and is controlled by a DSP. The motor used is a is a hybrid IC capable of driving a 150 A, 600 V IGBT or
commercial SRM with 8 stator poles and 6 rotor poles. 8 75 A, 1200 V IGBT [Q].Since the signal delay in the
drive circuit is 1 ps or less, the hybrid IC is suitable for
switching at up to about 40 kHz.









Fig. 3.4 SKH121 Driver circuit block diagram

Fig. 3.3 Block diagram of the DSP based control system.
The drive system described thus far is now
The rectifier is supplied from a 3-phase 460 V enhanced for improved ride through capability.
AC supply. lt convetts this voltage to a 600 V DC supply.
The constant DC supply from the rectifier is then :3.5.2 Enhancements to improve the ride-through
converted to a variable DC supply by means of a series capability of the driver circuits
chopper. The chopper operates at 5 kHz frequency and Up to now, a conventional drive design [lo] has
varies the input voltage to the SRM converter based on been described. The power supply discussed here is the
the speed. There is an L-C filter between the chopper 15 Volts floating power supply designed for the driier
and the converter to smooth the current waveform input circuit.
to the split-link converter, which supplies power to In order to improve the ride-through capability of
different windings of the SRM stator depending on the ihe driver circuits, super capacitors are connected on the
rotor position. toutput. To ensure the voltage across individual devices
The rotor position is sensed by an optical in the series string does not exceed the maximum voltage
encoder mounted on the shaft of the motor. Depending 1 6 each capacitor, zener diodes are connected in parallel
on the rotor position, the control circuit generates firing 'to each super capacitor.
signals for a particular phase of the stator winding. This The value of the super capacitors chosen for the
signal is amplified and isolated from the converter (Power 'drive power supply was determined experimentally to
Circuit) by the driver circuit. The control signal is passed provide the desired output voltage for a 15 cycle

31 7
interruption. The value is 1.1 F. Three 5.5 V super
capacitor were used in series because of the availability
of the 5.5 V rating.
The drivers used for the chopper and for the
four switches T I to T4 are the SKHl21 manufactured by
SEMIKRON. Each driver controls two IGBTs, so only
three drivers are required. The power supply for these
drivers is 15 V. The supply current is 160 mA. The
minimum supply voltage is 13 V. If it falls below this value
the turn-on pulses for the IGBTs are blocked. The voltage
of the super capacitors during the power interruption
must be greater than 13 V.
To make certain that the voltage across the
individual device (capacitor) in the series string does not
exceed the maximum voltage of each capacitor, 5.6 V
zener diodes are connected in parallel to each super

3.6 Super capacitors for the logic circuit Fig. 4.1 gives the algorithm for improved ride
The DSP TMS320E15 and all the logic requires through capability during the power interruption or dip. To
5V DC and the supply current is 1.3 amps. Hence four detect the interruption or dip in the power supply, a
super capacitors rated at 3.3 F, 5.5V are used to resistor R2=100K and an optocoupler LM3093 IC9 are
provide standby power. The current transducers, the connected as shown in Fig. 3.3. A current i flows through
analog to digital converter and the analog switch requires the resistor and the optocoupler. A voltage V proportional
+ I 2 V DC and -12 V DC and the supply current is 130 to the current i appears at the output of the optocoupler.
mA. Thus three super capacitors of 3.3 F 5.5 V DC Hence the voltage V is also proportional to the dc link
connected in series are used to provide backup power. voltage at the output of the bridge rectifier.
To ensure equal voltage distribution, 5.6 V zener diodes The voltage V, is compared to a reference
are connected across each capacitor. The discharge voltage Vref. When V > Vrefthe output of the comparator
rates of the 5 V logic, as well as the +I5 V supply, both is low. If V .C Vref the comparator output goes high;
with and without super capacitors are in figures 3.5 and under this condition a dip or an interruption in the power
3.6 respectively. supply has been detected. To avoid oscillations, the
- _____.. __ output of the comparator feeds a Schmitt-trigger. The
r - qF F T R O N 1 X 2232 1 output of the comparator is used to turn on LED 1, which
is used to indicate a disturbance at the input voltage. The
output of the comparator is also used to interrupt the
DSP. The DSP then turns the chopper off and continues
to fire the converter, thus transferring energy from the dc
link to the motor. Energy for the electronic and drivers
circuits are obtained from the super capacitors described
After the power returns, the highest p r i o r i is the
charging of the D.C. link capacitors. To control the
charging current, the chopper is turned on for a short
time and turned off again, so the current does not exceed
the ratings of the devices.
During the period of the dc link capacitor
Fig 3.5 5V and 15V supply voltage without super charging, the firing of the converter is inhibited. To avoid
capacitors. 2VIdiv (top), 5V/div (lower). 0.1 s/div. the use of a second voltage sensor on the output of the
chopper, an open loop charging for the capacitor is
4. ALGORITHM FOR IMPROVED RIDE THROUGH executed, assuming a worst case of the dc link capacitor
CAPABILITY being completely discharged.
During a power interruption or dip, the chopper In order to limit the current flowing through the
isturned off, butthe controller continues firing the phases chopper and the diode bridge , the firing of the motor
through the converter, based on the rotor position. converter is inhibited to remove an additional parallel path
Becausethe chopper is off, there is no current flow from to the dc link capacitor. The time duration to fire is
the power supply, and the dc link capacitors supplies determined from a PSPlCE simulation as shown in Fig.
energy to the motor. The energy stored in the dc link 4.2. Once the nominal voltage for the capacitor is
capacitors is relatively small, therefore the capacitor obtained, the SRM converter is fired again.
voltage decays. Hence the speed also decays, since the
motor energy requirements are not being met.

31 8


Fig. 4.3 Difference of sound pressure level vs. speed
._ __ ~- -

Fig. 4.1 Logic used to improve the ride through capability

during power interruption or dip of the input voltage.

Fig 4.4 Difference of sound pressure level vs. speed

Fig. 4.2 Charging current and voltage waveforms using

PSPICE simulation.

4.1 Noise measurements results

During normal operation, the dc link capacitor voltage is Fig 4.5 Difference of sound power level
controlled to be proportional to the speed command with
the use of the chopper. The difference in the sound 4.2 Ride through capability results
pressure level b e e n the commercial converter and the To startthe machine the capacitors C1 and C2
chopper controlled converter was measured at 10 points shown in Fig. 3.1 must be charged. To control the
as shown in figures 4.3 and 4.4 over a speed range from charging current, the capacitors are charged in two steps.
200 RPM to 750 RPM. From this the difference in the Fig. 4.6 shows the measured results of the capacitors
actual power level was calculated using the formulas being charged with the current being controlled by turning
presented earlier and the results as a function of speed is the chopper ON and OFF in two steps. This measured
in figure 4.5. result is in agreement with the predicted results from
Thus a reduction of around 35 dB was achieved PSPICE shown in figure 4.2.
at 200 RPM and a reduction of around 14 dB at 750 Using the super capacitors to supply energy to
RPM. Obviously as the speed rises and the chopper is the logic circuit and to the driver circuits the ability of the
turned on for longer duration, the noise will approach that motor drive to ride through as short duration outage is
for the commercial drive at full speed. now shown. A circuit breaker supplying the output to the
rectifier was opened for 160 ms (10 cycles

with power as shown in figure 4.10. The gate drive
signakfor phase A are shown in figure 4.1 1. During the
fault, there is a reduction in the driver voltage but it is still
operating properly with the help of the super capacitors.
There is a short duration when phase A is turned off to
allow charging of the dc link Capacitors. The phase A
current is shown in figure 4.12. During normal operation
the phase A current is proportional on the load of the
motor. During the fault, the phase A current gradually
reduces as the dc link capacitors discharge. When firing
begins again after the dc link capacitors are charged up,
a larger current is drawn to accelerate the motor back up
to the commanded speed.

Fig.4.6 Charging voltage and current for the D.C. link

capacitors. 20 Vldiv (top), INdiv (lower), 10ms/div.

Fig. 4.7 shows the output voltage of the bridge

rectifier on the top trace and the dc link capacitor voltage
on the bottom. Duringthe interruption,the rectifier output
voltage falls to zero while the voltage of the capacitors
decays towards zero as it supplies power to the motor.
Once the power retums, the output voltage of the rectifier
jumps to its normal value and the dc link capacitors are
charged assuming a zero initial voltage. Thus the
charging in the two steps can be seen in the bottom Fig. 4.7 Rectifier output and dc link capacitor voltages.
trace, which is similar to that shown in Fig. 4.6. The 50 V/div (top and botton), 100 ms/div.
capacitor is charged to its nominal value. Because the
phases are off when the power comes back, no current
flows through the chopper after the dc link capacitor is
charged. Thus the output and input voltages of the
chopper are the same. Once the dc link capacitor is fully
charged, the phases are turned on, and the output
voltage of the chopper reduces to a level selected by the
control signal to minimize the noise.
Fig. 4.8 shows the line to line voltage of the
input diode bridge rectifier on the top trace, and the
current of the inductor L1 on the bottom. During normal
operation the current of the inductor is the chopper
current when the chopper is on and the freewheeling
current of the diode D5 when the chopper is off. When
the power goes off, the inductor current reaches zero
rapidly. When the power comes back two peaks are
shown in figure 4.8. This represents the charging current Fig. 4.8 Line to line input voltage of bridge rectifier and
of the dc link capacitors. inductor current. 20 Wdiv , INdiv. 100 ms/div.
Fig. 4.9 shows the chopper control signal,
where the voltage is proportionalto the chopper on-time.
Before the fault, the magnitude of the signal is
proportional to the speed. When the interruption is
detected the chopper is turned off, but the phases are still
fired as shown in Fig. 4.1 1, which shows the gate drive
signal. The drop in voltage in the gate drive signal is due
to the loss in mains power but with the super capacitors
still supplying power to the gate drive. When the power
comes back on,the firing of the phases is inhibited and
the chopper turned on in 2 steps as shown in figure 4.8
to charge the capacitors. During the period of loss in
power, the super capacitors also supply the logic circuitry Fig. 4.9 Duty cycle chopper control. 1 V/div. 100 ms/div.

The speed of the motor is shown in figure 4.13. For the
fault applied here, a 20% reduction in the speed was


In this paper, a chopper controlled SRM drive is

used for two entirely different purposes; to reduce the
acoustic noise and to improve the ride-through capability
during short term outages. Around 35 dB reduction in
acoustic noise was measured at low speeds and detailed
practical measurements presented to demonstrate the
ability of the drive to ride through power discontinuities.
Fig 4.10 Output voltage of the super capacitors. 1 V/div,
100 msldiv. 6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The authors acknowledge EPRl and Entergy

Corporation for financial support.

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. . . . . , .
. .; 1
. , . :
.., ;1..4,
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Fig. 4.13 Speed of the motor. 5.6 rpm/div 1 s/div.