While more and more cars are being powered by electricity, all cars rely on electricity as the energy source for their drive systems. In fact, electric motor drive systems account for the largest energy consumption in the U.S. and worldwide in appliances, manufacturing processes, and many other applications. They are flexible and reliable, making them incredibly popular for industrial and commercial uses.
But there is an economic and environmental cost to the ubiquity of these systems. Most electrical energy is generated from fossil fuels, which are costly and non-renewable. Technologies that support reductions in fossil fuel use are advantageous and can support minimizing environmental impacts.
University of Connecticut associate professor of electrical and computer engineering Ali Bazzi, Ph.D. and two of his former graduate students, Yiqi Liu, Ph.D. and Artur Ulatowski, have been granted a patent for a new method to model power loss in electric motor drive systems that could be used to greatly increase their efficiency.
A modern motor drive system is composed of three parts – a motor, a power electronic drive, and a controller. The motor is the electro-mechanical energy conversion device that rotates to move mechanical loads. The drive and controller control the amount of electrical energy given to the motor to determine its speed or torque, and power.
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