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Project: Autonomous reconfiguration of electrical modular motor drives

2019-11-01 – 2024-10-31


Modular motor drives are composed of several identical stator windings, equipped with a dedicated power converter and controller, making them particularly suitable to meet the need for flexibility and reliability. To exploit the full range of possibilities of these drives, not only the hardware (i.e. the motor and the power electronics) should be modular, but also the control. Therefore, in this research, distributed control will be applied to enable online, autonomous reconfiguration of these existing modular motor drives. Decision strategies will be developed in order to reconfigure both the winding connections and the connection of the power electronics to the power supply on the fly, without any human intervention. The goal of these reconfiguration strategies is two-fold. • Enhance the flexibility and functionality of the drive: the configuration of the windings and the power electronics has to adapt autonomously to modify the torque/speed range. • Enhance the reliability: reconfiguration of the connections between the modules is used to keep the drive operating under faulty conditions. The option of “hot-swapping” will be investigated, i.e. the online (dis)connection of a faulty power electronic converter. An existing modular test setup will be modified to validate the feasibility of the autonomous reconfiguration strategy.