AC Motors and Drives

This module introduces the student to the fundamentals of AC motors and AC variable speed control systems. In addition to the basic introduction motor, the module also covers servo-, universal and synchronous motors. Areas of study include three-phase, single-phase and shaded-pole induction motors.  The principles of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and their control circuits are presented along with troubleshooting techniques. The use of VFDs in industry are covered with a focus on their applications in HVAC systems, Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) and Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs)

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • List the three classifications of single-phase motors.
  • Explain the basic operating principle of the induction motor.
  • Define synchronous speed and slip.
  • Describe the difference between starting torque and breakdown torque.
  • List three advantages of universal motors over induction motors.
  • Define speed regulation.
  • Describe the difference between pulse-width modulation, pulse-amplitude modulation and pulse width control.
  • Explain the difference between a cycloconverter and an inverter.
  • Describe the basic operation of a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)
  • List five applications for VFDs in industry
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