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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The human problem our thesis work will solve is to reduce backlash in induction motor. Backlash been described as a mechanical form of dead band that can lead to error on hole location, if the motion required to machine the holes causes a reversal in axis direction it also causes loses of motion between reducer input and output shafts, making it difficult to achieve accurate positioning in equipment such as instruments, machines tools etc. The main problem electrically are vibrations from motor as a result of high ripple torque in the induction motor.
An induction motor is a kind of an AC machine in which alternating current is supplied to the stator directly and to the rotor by induction from the stator. Induction motor can appear in a single phase or a poly phase. (Toufouti, et al, 2013).
In construction, the motor has a stator which is the stationary portion consisting of a frame that houses the magnetically active angular cylindrical structure called the stator lamination. It stack punched from electrical steel sheet with a three phase winding sets embedded in evenly spaced internal slots.
The rotor which is the rotatory parts of a motor is made up of a shaft and cylindrical structure called the rotor lamination. It stack punched from electrical steel sheet with evenly spaced slots located around the periphery to accept the conductors of the rotor winding (Ndubisi, 2006).
The rotor can be a wound type or squirrel cage type.
in a poly phase motor, the three phase windings are displaced from each other by 120 electrical degrees in space around the air-gap circumference when excited from a balanced poly phase source, those windings (stator winding) will produce a magnetic field in the air-gap rotating at synchronous speed as determine by the number of stator poles and the applied stator frequency (Bimal, 2011).
In the controlling of electrical motor; the introduction of micro-controllers and high switching frequency semiconductor devices, variable speed actuators where dominated by DC motors.
Today, using modern high switching frequency power converters controlled by micro-controllers, the frequency phase and magnitude of the input to an AC motor can be changed and hence the motor’s speed and torque can be controlled. AC motors combined with their drives have replaced DC motors in industrial applications because they are cheaper, better reliability, less in weight, and lower maintenance requirement. Squirrel cage motors are most generally used than all the rest of the electric motors as they have all the advantages of AC motors and they are easy to build.
The main advantage is that motors do not require an electrical connection between stationary and rotating portion of the motor. Therefore, they do not need any mechanical commutators to the fact that they are maintenance free motors. The motors also have lesser weight and inertia, high efficiency and high over load capability. Therefore, they are cheaper and more robust, and less proves to any failure at high speeds.
Furthermore, the motor can be used to work in explosive environments because no sparks are produced.
Taking into account all the advantages outlined above, the motors must be considered as the perfect electrical to mechanical energy converter. However, mechanical energy is more than often required at variable speeds, where the speed control system is not a trivial matter. The effective way of producing an infinitely variable motor speed drive is to supply the motor with three phase voltage of variable amplitude.
A variable frequency is required because the rotor speed depends on the speed of the rotating magnetic field provided by the stator. A variable voltage is required because the motor impedance reduces at low frequencies and the current has to be limited by means of reducing the supply voltage. (Schauder, 2013).
Before the days of power electronics, a limited speed control of the motors was achieved by switching the three stator windings from delta connection to star connection, allowing the voltage at the motor windings to be reduced. Induction motors also available with more than three stator windings to allow a change of the number of pole pairs.
However, a motor with several windings is very costly because more than three connections to the motor are needed and only certain discrete speeds are available. Another method of speed control can be realized by means of a wound rotor induction motor, where the rotor winding ends are brought out to slip rings (Malik, 2013). However, this method obviously removes the main aim of induction motors and it also introduces additional losses by connecting resistor or reactance in series with the stator windings of the motors, poor performance is achieved.
With the enormous advances in converters technology and the development of complex and robust control algorithms, considerable research effort is devoted for developing optimal techniques of speed control for the machines. The motor control has traditionally been achieved using field oriented control (FOC). This method involves the transformation of stator currents in a such manner that is in line with one of the stator fluxes. The torque and flux producing components of the stator currents are decoupled, such that the component of the stator current controlling the rotor flux magnitude and the component controls the output torque will differ (Kazmier and Giuseppe, 2013).
The implementation of this system however is complicated. The FOC is also well known to be highly sensitive to parameter variations. It also based on accurate parameter identification to obtain the needed performance.
Another motor control techniques is the sensor less vector control. This control method is only for both high and low speed range. Using the method, the stator terminal voltages and currents estimate the rotor angular speed, slip angular speed and the rotor flux. In this case, around zero speed, the slip angular velocity estimation becomes very difficult.