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Typical cases of load types with torque and power characteristics. Constant power load The load requires the same amount of power at low, as at high speed ( but torque decreases with speed ).

Typical for machines that must develop constant traction force ( enrollers in textile, or paper; extruders ), etc. Constant torque load The load requires constant torque at low as at high speed.. ( but power increase with speed ).

Typical for conveyors, cranes, hoists, often volumetric pumps, etc. ( 90% of applications ) Variable torque (proportional) load The load requires growing torque proportionally to growing speed.. ( but power increases square exponentially with speed ).

and protect itself. it is important to consider the load connected to the motor. When we look at applications. There are three major categories of mechanical loads – Constant Torque. Constant Horsepower and Variable Torque. then to the drive (controller). style. and power producing device the motor should be. work backward to the motor (prime mover). and then to the automated or manual control (speed control or PLC).. . we will review some of the more common applications. some mixers. size. it is best to start with the application (load). etc. Any drive application will fall into one of these three categories. The drive is the device that will control the motor. often fans ( note: fan power may vary with 5th power of speed). All machines using centrifugal force. Though it would be almost impossible to cover all possible types. Load Types There are literally hundreds of applications for AC and DC drives. often positive displacement pumps.Typical for laminating machines. The load is the determining factor in what type. ( but power increases cube exponentially with speed ). keep in mind that the drive’s primary responsibility it to control the application. Variable torque (square) load The load requires square exponentially growing torque to growing speed. When reviewing the following application types. In simple terms. etc. protect the motor. so centrifugal pumps.

. we can see that torque required in this application is 100% and remains constant from zero to base speed (100%). etc. Figure 2-34. this application will be operated from only zero to base speed. the torque required to power the load remains constant.e. . as much as 150% torque is required to break the load away from a stand-still. horsepower is directly proportional to the speed (i. It is also evident that this type of application possesses a variable horsepower characteristic. While the horsepower consumed by the motor varies directly with speed. Figure 2-34 shows a graph of the characteristics of a constant torque application. at 50% speed. base speed). In many cases. the rated torque (100%) is required to operate this application. The standard belt conveyor shown in topic 1 (Figure 1-1) is a prime example. if connected to this type of load. Many applications fall into the constant torque category. Figure 2-35 shows this process of grinding aggregate into powder for cement. In reality. The 150% dashed line indicates a possible overload requirement from a motor and drive.). In most cases. Constant torque application As shown in Figure 2-34. the load may vary from above rated torque (100%) to below rated level and anywhere in between.Constant Torque Applications These types of applications will make up the majority of what we would consider to be industrial applications. until the motor attains full speed (in many cases. 50% HP is required. In other words. no matter what the speed. A ball mill in a cement plant is another example. In a constant torque application.

The torque required from the motor can be constant from zero to the maximum speed. often requires overload capability. an opti- Figure 2-36. This type of AC-drive application is highly efficient because of the ability of the drive to accurately regulate motor speed. the flow rate of the granules can be controlled by the motor speed that is dictated by the AC drive.Figure 2-35. such as a screw extruder for plastic. As seen in Figure 2-37. especially when the raw plastic has cooled somewhat and is less than fluid. while maintaining a constant rate of production accuracy. Ball mill in a cement plant In Figure 2-35. the AC drive provides variable speed motor operation. Plastic screw extruder . Figure 2-37 shows a Rotating Feed Table. With accurate motor-speed control. Another application combines the use of a rotating feed turntable and a conveyor. Speeds of less than 120 rpm cause the ball mill cylinder to internally grind the large raw material into smaller particles and eventually into fine granulated powder. Figure 2-36 shows a plastic screw extruder. In Figure 2-36. It drives the screw vanes at speeds regulated by the temperature of the plastic or the rate of production and die size (output extrusion hole). Extruders also fall into the constant torque category. Overload torque is needed to initially start the mill rotating—with the amount of overload dictated by the amount of material inside the mill at startup. the degree of grinding is controlled by the speed of the AC drive. A typical extruder. AC drives provide a high degree of efficiency. which combines both liner motion (conveyor) and rotating motion of a turntable.

Figure 2-37. Figure 2-38 shows the constant horsepower type of load. the horsepower required remains constant. Figure 2-39 shows a typical constant horsepower application—machine tools. Constant horsepower load . Constant Horsepower Applications In this type of application. such as heating or coating. which may then be fed to another process. Rotating feed table mum amount of granules can be distributed to the conveyor. The fact that torque drops off as 1/speed2 is an advantage in applications of this type. Figure 2-38. while the torque drops off as a ratio of 1/speed2. Applications of this type operate in the above base speed and below base speed area.

This would be like that of a window shade that is let-go from only one corner. Center driven winder (cross section of web roll) the take-up roll. Very low inertia exists when the take-up roll is first started. a slow speed is required when the tool bit is taking off large amounts of material. Machine tool application (cross section of work piece) As seen in Figure 2-39. a greater amount of torque is required (operating in the “Below Base Speed” section of Figure 2-38). a complete break in the web. This process produces a fine. basically the same scenario exits as with machine tool applications (above and below base speed operation). it is not necessarily an application for a simple speed-controlled drive. Once the winding process is started. translating into more torque required. Figure 2-40 shows another use of above and below base speed operation. smooth surface (operating in the “Above Base Speed” section of Figure 2-38). increasing amounts of inertia are seen at Figure 2-40. stretching of the material could result. or even worse. This translates to little torque required to start the winding process. In doing so.Figure 2-39. If little torque is available at the take-up roll. DC drives have found their use in these types of winding applications because of the ease of controlling speed and torque simultaneously. Another example of a constant horsepower application is a center driven winder. As seen in Figure 2-40. thereby allowing a high speed. thereby causing the need for a slower speed. Since speed and torque are interactive in this application. “telescoping” or bunching of the material is a result. Newer types of AC drives (vector or torque controllers) have also found their way into the control of this type of . the speed is increased. The key to a proper winding process is to have adequate control of torque and speed on the web at all times. Once the work piece is at the approximate diameter. If too much torque is available on the take-up roll. and the tool bit is required to take off minimal amounts of material.

However. only 1/8 or 12. Variable torque application To obtain increased speed above base. users may have a tendency to increase speed above base. and horsepower). below base speed. this type of application is sometimes referred to as the cubed exponential application. causing a very large requirement for torque and horsepower. As shown in the figure. Nearly all of the fan systems engineered today take this phenomenon into account. unless the above characteristics are addressed (duct work changes or over-sizing the motor. Variable Torque Applications In this type of application. Because it is easy to over-speed a motor using a drive. Figure 2-41 shows the characteristics of this type of application. flow. to obtain 50% flow rate. torque required varies as speed2. This type of application is a prime candidate for energy savings using AC drives. As seen in the example. With several Hz output above base. or both). typical overload . is required (M> x M> x M>).application in recent years. flow would continue to increase in a somewhat “linear” manner. (Details on this characteristic will be discussed in topic 3 – General Principles of Operation. It is rare to need to over-speed a fan. just a few hertz increase in output frequency would cause a much greater demand for motor torque and horsepower. Because HVAC fan systems are engineered for below base speed operation. It should also be noted that the torque and horsepower curves normally end at the 100% spot (100% speed and 100% torque. to obtain more CFM output. This is not normally recommended because of the mechanical limitations of the motor and the characteristics of the application. a higher output frequency (Hz) must be supplied by the drive. the torque and horsepower curves would follow the natural path indicated by the dashed lines.) The end result is a slight increase in drive output frequency. It should also be noted that the horsepower required varies as speed3. Because of this relationship. at the same time motor torque is dropping rapidly.5% horsepower. A more complete discussion of drives specifics in winder applications will be covered in later topics. This tremendous increase in torque and horsepower from the motor is now coupled with the fact that decreased motor torque is a natural result of above base speed operation. Figure 2-41.

The system curve indicates the status of the outlet damper and also the size and shape of the sheet metal duct work. part open. 24 hours a day. This additional load translates to more horsepower required to operate with less airflow. It can also be seen that the amount of pressure in the duct work never exceeds 100%. in case of an over-current condition. Figure 2-43 shows a graph of how the fan actually operates on the basis of the system shown in Figure 2-42. The device that controls airflow has no effect on the speed of the motor and fan. The area in the dashed box indicates a three-phase start contactor and motor overloads to protect the motor. the pressure in the system duct work has increased. the actuator must close down the outlet damper. If 50% airflow is desired. As seen. To reduce the airflow in this fixed-speed system. If the start contactor assembly were replaced by a variable-frequency AC drive. Also shown is the fact that what’s inside the dashed box can be replaced by an AC drive. which changes the system curve (indicated by the dashed curve). because there is no device controlling the speed of the motor. As can be imagined. a new fan curve occurs (indicated by the dashed curves). In this example. For every output frequency of the AC drive. the fan Figure 2-42. typically an actuator. This method of variable flow control is quite inefficient. if there is . the position of the outlet damper must be modified by the actuator. Figure 2-42 shows a standard HVAC fan application. closed). HVAC fan application will blow the amount of air dictated by some control system. where the new fan curves cross the fixed system curve. The fan curve indicates the fixed speed fan. As shown in the discussion above. Depending on the status of the outlet damper (open. In essence. The air output is reduced. the fan continues to run at full speed. thereby restricting air output. regardless of the status of the outlet damper.requirements are set at 10%. will allow 110% current for 1 minute as an overload capability. AC drives that are rated to NEMA standards. the outlet damper would be locked in full open position (indicated by the existing system curve). we see that the centrifugal fan is coupled to the motor by means of a belt. this type of application has two main examples: centrifugal fans and pumps. a different percentage of flow output is achieved. The air inlet allows air to enter the fan assembly. placing additional load on the motor. This is required. however.

and Horsepower Understanding speed. Torque. Figure 2-44 shows this example and demonstrates the process of applying torque. Suppose we have a worker that is required to raise a construction elevator by hand. . torque. Reduced speed is a definite advantage when operating a pump. Operation of a centrifugal fan less pressure. This same principle works for centrifugal pumps. Any energy savings gained can be lost if operation is done outside these efficiency islands because of greater pump inefficiency. The difference between the two can be explained using the illustration in the next section. The following discussion will help you gain a basic insight into these relationships. Pumps have “efficiency islands” around the crossing of the pump and system curves. the optimum efficiency of the pump must be taken into consideration. Torque Torque is basically a turning effort. Torque and horsepower are two very important characteristics that determine the size of the motor required for a particular drive application. which leads to reduced energy use. This worker must supply the required torque to raise the elevator from the first floor to the second floor (Figure 2-44). when speed reduction is contemplated. Speed. and will help prepare you for a discussion of inertia. and horsepower is essential to understanding mechanical systems. compared with full-speed operation. the motor doesn’t work as hard and energy is saved.Figure 2-43. However.

the torque remains the same. more than enough torque to turn the crank and raise the elevator. The worker has two choices: either place more force on the crank or increase the length of the crank.Figure 2-44. Figure 2-45 shows this procedure. The elevator now moves. which is 1 foot in length. the worker applies 1 lb of force on the crank. Regardless of how fast the worker turns the crank. the worker cannot raise the elevator even though he applies 1 lb-ft of torque. Note: Torque = Force x Distance. as long as the worker is turning it at a steady rate. Horsepower (HP) Horsepower takes into account the speed at which the worker turns the crank. Turning the crank faster takes more horsepower than turning it slowly. even though the worker does not apply any more force. . Horsepower is a rate of doing work. Using torque to turn a hand crank In this example. more torque must be applied to the hand crank. If the worker turns the crank twice as fast. In this case. We say the torque is one pound times one foot or one lb-ft. the worker has developed 5 lb-ft of torque. In this case. the torque is unchanged. The worker chooses to increase the length of the extension on the hand crank. If the worker wants to raise the elevator.

inertia opposes changes in speed.010 HP. Increased length of the hand crank Note: By definition. By using the formula below. Inertia Inertia is the measurement of an object’s resistance to change in velocity (speed). we can determine the horsepower developed by the worker.” Inertia is resistant to changes in speed or direction. As seen by the formula. 1 horsepower equals 33. As logic would dictate. By definition. The measurement holds true whether the object is at a stop or moving at a constant velocity. he will develop almost .000 ft-lb per minute. Formula: T = torque in lb-ft N = speed in rpm The worker turns the crank at 5 rpm as shown in Figure 2-44. horsepower is directly related to the speed of turning the crank. Note: In electrical terms. If the worker turns the crank twice as fast (10 rpm).005 HP (5 x 5 -f 5252 = . to lift a 33. an inductor opposes changes in current.5-L engine . also due to resistance. By inserting the known information into the formula. Inertia is the reason why your auto can’t immediately accelerate from 065 mph.Figure 2-45.000-lb weight 1 ft in 1 minute would take 1 HP. due to resistance.0047). we find that the worker is developing approximately . In other words. inertia deals with the presence of mechanical “resistance. We know the system in Figure 2-44 is developing 5 lb-ft of torque. In mechanical terms. a 4.5-L engine would be needed to power a large luxury auto. and only a 2.

it should also be noted that the extra horsepower of the 4. It should be noted here that the principles of inertia. a higher amount of horsepower is needed to overcome inertia and accelerate the auto. Figure 2-46 shows a comparison of horsepower and speed. In relation to rotating machinery. but only a small tap every cycle is needed to keep the person going. The previous would be true if the engines were sized properly in both the large and small autos.would be needed for a small auto. However.5-liter engine as in the large auto. If we apply previously learned concepts of speed. change in speed). to achieve a speed of 65 mph in 15 s (example A of the figure). A large amount of horsepower is needed for quick acceleration. We will take a brief look at some commonly used formulas to calculate acceleration and inertia. The small auto would achieve quicker acceleration because of its oversized engine (example B of the figure).5-L engine would be needed only on acceleration. but only a small amount is needed to keep the auto moving at a constant speed. The amount of inertia is greater when at a standstill. Inertia has a significant impact on which size of drive is chosen to accelerate a high inertia load. torque. we would use the same 4. This principle is similar to pushing someone on a swing. Relationship of inertia with speed and horsepower As seen in Figure 2-46. if the small car needed quicker acceleration capability. and speed apply to an electromechanical motor. With that in mind. Figure 2-46. WR2 refers to the inertia of a rotating object that was calculated by assuming the weight of the object was concentrated around the rim—at a certain distance. horsepower. The following information will assist you in your general understanding of inertia-related calculations. than when the swing is already in motion. in relation to inertia. torque. a flywheel would be termed a high-inertia load. It would take a large amount of energy to quickly bring the flywheel up and back down in speed. the larger the auto. That distance is termed R and is . When looking at inertia. Both terms relate the formula to inertia. The main reason is that high inertia loads have high resistance to change (in this case. and horsepower. more horsepower is needed to accelerate from 0-65 mph in 15 seconds. two different ways of labeling are commonly used: WK2 and WR2. The logical place to start is to label terms and units of measure. A large amount of effort is needed to get the person started in a swinging motion.

inertia. used in calculations for the moment of inertia (motion control applications using servos). or gears. Acceleration Time The next formula is a rearranged version of the previous one. These formulas will be used as examples for calculations based on rotating machinery.) In this definition. inertia is that property by which an object in motion will stay in motion. until acted upon by another force. horsepower. WR2 is the weight of an object [W] times its radius [R] squared. and time. calculations using lb-ft2 will be used to demonstrate calculations of inertia. An example of an inertia calculation of this type is a flywheel. Accelerating Torque The following formula calculates the torque required for rotating motion to begin: A term above that may not be familiar. and change in speed. The units of measurement for inertia is the lb-ft2 (pronounced pound-feet squared). WK2 is the weight of an object times its radius of gyration value squared. More on this subject will be discussed later in this topic. (By strict definition. and is a standard term found throughout the rotating machinery industry. Basically.the distance from the center of the object. A speed reducer (gear box or belt coupler) changes the inertia that the motor shaft actually sees.) Examples of this type of inertia calculation would be cylinders. only it allows for the calculation of the time needed to accelerate. given a specified amount of torque. inertia. . Initially. this term is used to describe the inertia found at the motor shaft. WK2 refers to the inertia of a rotating object that was calculated by assuming the weight of the object is concentrated at some smaller distance. Another unit sometimes found in inertia calculations is in-lb-sec2. is the term reflected inertia. (By strict definition. The smaller distance is termed K. which need to be considered before drive selection can begin. pulleys. The next section will present some commonly used formulas using torque.

which is the units of measure for the moment of inertia (J). For the most part.The following are examples of how inertia is calculated and how much time is needed to accelerate a machine with the specified requirements. which is the units of measure for WK2 or WR2. One note regarding calculations should be added here. inertia is defined in terms of in-lb-sec2. be consistent with the formulas and units of measure used. When performing inertia calculations. in many motion control (servo) applications. . two measurement units are commonly used: lb-ft2 and in-lb-sec2. many calculations are defined in lb-ft2. For most practical motion-control applications involving inertia Solid Cylinder Inertia Calculations To calculate the inertia of a solid cylinder.000681 x p x L x D4 where: WK2 = inertia of a cylinder in lb-ft2 p = density of cylinder material in lb/in3 L = length of the cylinder in inches D = diameter of the cylinder in inches Note: The units of measure for WK2 are in lb-ft2. WK2 = . Refer to Figure 2-47. However. the following formula is used. When performing inertia calculations.

with an acceleration torque available of 30 lb-ft. the time it would take to accelerate the system can be determined as follows: From 0 to 1200 rpm. the formula for acceleration time will be used: Therefore: If the time calculated is too long. The motor would have to be upsized to have increased available acceleration torque. then the easiest item to control would be the amount of available acceleration torque—meaning the motor. Motor torque will again be discussed in the topic on DC and AC motors. Hollow Cylinder Inertia Calculations To calculate the inertia of a hollow cylinder. Inertia of solid cylinders Now that the inertia has been calculated (WK2).Figure 2-47. The formula would be: . but without the inertia of the hollow section. basically the same formula can be used.

we can again find the time it would take to accelerate the system. We will assume the same information regarding the cylinder: Solid aluminum roll has a length of 72 inches. we would go through the following calculations: WK2 = .Figure 2-48 shows a hollow cylinder with the formula parts. where: WK2 = inertia of a cylinder in lb-ft2 p = density of cylinder material in lb/in3 L = length of the cylinder in inches D2 = outside diameter of the cylinder in inches D1 = inside diameter of the cylinder in inches. we would go through the following calculations. and an inside hollow diameter of 12 inches. an outside diameter of 18 inches. Inertia of hollow cylinders If we use the above inertia.0977 x 72 x (184 – 124) Figure 2-48. If we take the previous example and only solve inertia for the hollow cylinder above. Therefore.000681 x 0. the formula for acceleration time will be used: Therefore: We have determined that the amount of time to accelerate the hollow-cylinder system is . with an acceleration torque available of 30 lb-ft. We will use the same example: From 0 to 1200 rpm.

This indicates a characteristic of iner-tia—the largest amount of inertia is concentrated around the rim. sheaves. we will look at gear boxes and speed reducers in more detail and determine what relationship exists between speed. However. Figure 2-49. This term is standard throughout the industry. belts. The same formulas would be used to determine the inertia of pulleys. if an adjustable speed drive was sized for an inertia of 12 lb-ft2. Then add all the inertia components calculated and determine the time required for acceleration of the system. and horsepower. it may be much larger than actually necessary. The term reflected inertia is the inertia actually found at the motor shaft. Simply break up the objects into solid and hollow cylinders and apply the formulas previously discussed. Power transmission devices (gear boxes. as opposed to the center part of the object. With 66% of the cylinder removed. Reflected inertia also includes inertia of the actual motor. A speed reducer (gear box or belt type of coupling device) changes the inertia that the motor actually sees. Reflected inertia of a system As seen in Figure 2-49.definitely less. . compared with a solid cylinder. Figure 2-49 shows this phenomenon. and other rotating objects. In our next section. there was only a reduction of about 13 s of acceleration time. and pulleys) serve to make the motor’s job easier. torque. Reflected Inertia One additional note should be stated about inertia. it should be noted that the amount of time reduction is not as much as expected.

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