Four things to consider when choosing drives for SynRM motors

One of the great things about the drive for more energy efficient motor and drive solutions is the growing use of synchronous reluctance (SynRM) motors.

The reason is pretty simple: SynRM motors offer the energy efficiency advantages of permanent magnet motors with the maintenance simplicity of induction motors. Because of the motor design you will need a variable speed drive to control the SynRM motor. But when it comes to selecting the drive to control the motor, here are four things to consider:

  1. Can you use the drive with constant torque applications? This is important if you are planning on using the motor with applications other than pumps and fans. If you are planning on using SynRM motors with extruders or conveyors or any other constant torque process, talk about this with the drive supplier. Ask for references that are similar to your process.
  2. How is the control performance at low speeds? When SynRM motors need to run at slow speeds (less than 40 rpm, for example), if the drive cannot provide the control performance needed, it may trip. This means you may have downtime while the problem is being debugged. Check with the manufacturer to find out the control performance and make sure it meets your processes needs.
  3. Are you being offered a selection of drives? Processes are different, and each has its own demands for the drive. The drive supplier should be able to offer you a selection of drives for you to choose from. Your processes shouldn’t have to force fit one drive just because that’s all that’s offered, in a “one size fits most” approach. Ask about the selection of drives and have your drive supplier explain the benefits and advantages of each according to your processes needs.
  4. Can you get a verified package efficiency from the drive supplier? The efficiency of the motor and drive at different operating points is great information to know. This can help you estimate energy use, be combined into your own overall machine efficiency and is the focus of the new European standard EN50598-2. Ask your drive supplier for the manufacturer statements showing the verified motor and drive efficiency.

Above all else, ask.

If you have questions, ask your sales person. Be sure you are getting the drive control performance that you’ll need for the process, not only for today, but also for the future.

We believe that the energy saving performance of SynRM motors can help you unlock your own savings, and that’s why we have developed a selection of drives to choose from, all with control performance down to zero speed, for both constant and quadratic torque applications. Plus, you can download the verified package efficiency right now.

What do you think? Interested in learning more? Leave a comment below, or contact your local ABB representative and ask them about SynRM motors and drives.

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About the author

Linda Stenman

I’m currently a Product Manager responsible for putting together drive and motor packages. I started working for ABB in 2008 as an Area Sales Manager for motors focusing on South Asia. During that time I got to see and learn about the value drive and motor packages give our customers. Now, SynRM packages are a main focus for me. I’m excited about the potential these packages offer our customers for energy savings and improved process performance.
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