# VFD as 3Ph shop supply

[snip]
Because the spinning motor stores significant energy. This is how RPC are able to generate the missing phases.
Recall the long discussions of sizing RPC motors to handle the startup surges of various machine tools, and the staged startup scenarios (where one starts the smaller motors first, to have enough spinning capacity to later start the larger motors).
It makes no difference in this picture if the first source of 3-phase is a RPC, or a VFD.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On Mon, 09 Feb 2009 09:53:29 -0500, Joseph Gwinn

To my knowledge, for an induction motor to act as a generator, and that is in essence what you're proposing, it must be rotating over its synchronous speed. Clearly this is not the case if the motor is powered by a VFD, and it won't be the case if you switch in a second motor while holding the frequency constant. I guess you could drop the drive frequency at the same time the second motor is started and take advantage of the idler's kinetic energy, but that hardly seems practical.
--
Ned Simmons

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

It only has to be spinning a bit faster than what it's trying to drive. It does not have to be at synchronous speed. If it did, no induction motor would work.
An unloaded "idler" motor will by definition spin faster than anything under load, or anything that is starting.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 09:28:12 -0500, Joseph Gwinn

If you plot motor torque versus speed you get an "S" curve which passes through zero at synchronous speed.
At all speeds below synchronism, torque is positive. The motor draws sufficient current from the supply to provide the mechanical output. In the case of an idler this is sufficient torque to overcome windage and friction.
The machine CANNOT return power to the supply unless it is externally driven to the negative torque region above synchronous speed.
These comments apply to a 3 phase motor driven from a true 3 phase supply. This differs from the case of a 3 phase motor connected to a single phase driven idler acting as a rotary converter.
In this case, although the idler is mechanically running below synchronous speed, the single phase excitation induces rotor currents at slip speed which cause the magnetic field rotation to occur at line frequency. It is THIS magnetic field rotation that generates the output at the phantom phase (at the other terminals it is of course the back EMF). The load that is delivered by the phantom phase is provided by a corresponding increase in single phase input power - it is still acting as a motor - there is no net power generation.
Jim
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes. The motor has to be slipping to develop any torque.

Yes.
Umm. The situation is that there is a motor that is turning slower than the idler. Why cannot the slower motor draw power from the faster motor, regardless of the VFD?

I'm not so sure about that, as the idler stores energy in either case, simply because the idler is spinning.

True for sure, but is it relevant? The situation under consideration is an idler driven by a three-phase power from a VFD. The question is if motors abruptly connected can draw power from the stored energy of one or more large spinning idler motors. One reason to believe that it can is the observation that it matters what order one starts motors with a RPC. The game at each step is to ensure that what is currently spinning is bigger than what one is now trying to start, the unspoken objective being to ensure that the new motor isn't able to stall the current collection by demanding too much too quickly.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 23:09:44 -0500, Joseph Gwinn
SNIP

The mechanical energy stored in the idler rotor rotation is largely useless. Useful energy can only be extracted from it if the rotor speed falls below the supply source/VFD defined synchronous speed

The reason for sequential rotary converter startups is reduction of phantom phase voltage drop due to the source impedance of the phantom phase winding. This is mainly determined by the series resistance and leakage inductance of that winding. The bigger the machine the lower the source impedance.
In a rotary converter multiple system all machines are directly connected in parallel. All machines that are spun up to speed contribute - its the total spinning HP that counts.
Jim
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

This part I'm not following. Generators can motor, and motors can generate, although they are usually best at one or the other role. Let's simplify the picture a bit:
Consider a number of 3-phase induction motors of similar size connected together, in parallel across a common power bus, all having been spun up while that bus was connected to commercial 3-phase power.
The motors are not mechanically connected in any way.
Disconnect the commercial power, so now the motors are all coasting, but still electrically connected to one another.
One of the motors drives an adjustable mechanical brake/dynamometer, which is then applied. How much energy is dissipated in the dynamometer? Is it only the mechanical energy of the one motor, the energy of all connected motors, or some other intermediate value? How do we know?
Said another way, can we stop one motor without affecting the connected motors?

These two paragraphs seem to contradict one another. The first implies that only the RPC motor matters, and does this by being a better transformer between the single-phase power coming in and the three-phase power going out, so the effect is that startup surges are supplied entirely by a corresponding instantaneous surge in demand on the single-phase input.
This no doubt happens, but if it's the whole story, why does total spinning HP matter, versus the HP of the RPC motor alone?
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Doesn't the back EMF of the idler motor contribute power to the motor being started?
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
In article

Yes, it does. This back EMF is precisely the motor acting as a generator.
I've been thinking about the issue, and there are a number of datapoints to consider:
VFDs will trip (complaining of overvoltage on the DC filter capacitor) if trying to stop a motor driving too much rotating mass. The classic solution is to provide a braking resistor to absorb the energy causing the overvoltage. The VFD manuals all say that the energy comes from the kinetic energy of that spinning mass. The more mass, the more energy to be handled, the hotter the braking resistor gets.
When starting, the rotor is stationary and so the motor draws the locked-rotor current. The difference between current at normal load and with the rotor locked is around six to one. As the rotor spins up, the current drops. What's happening is that the motor is generating a back EMF proportional to rotation speed, so at speed the motor is driven by about 1/6 the supply, and the back EMF is the other 5/6 of the supply voltage. This is true of almost all motors, not just polyphase induction motors.
Induction generators do exist, and are usually based on stock induction motors, most often three phase.
There are many articles on induction generators available. The best article on the theory I've found so far is "Induction Generator Theory and Application", J.E. Barkle and R.W. Ferguson, AIEE Transactions (Power Apparatus and Systems), February 1954, pages 12-19.
The big problem with induction generators in practice is that it's too hard to control them, and it's cheaper to use a wound rotor (allowing control by varying the field current).
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 11:48:46 -0500, Joseph Gwinn

Right, and it occurs because at any point in time (while the VFD is decelerating the motor) the motor's speed is greater than its synchronous speed, as determined by the VFD's output frequency at that instant.
--
Ned Simmons

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

Yes. The VFD provides the current to maintain the field the motor uses to be a generator.
If one instead has a resistor across the motor and abruptly disconnects the power, leaving resistor and connected motor to their own devices, the field is maintained by regeneration, and too much load on the "generator" will cause the regeneration effect to collapse.
Pentagrid has mentioned this regeneration and collapse in past postings, and I've also seen it discussed in textbooks.
With a VFD driving multiple parallel motors, some of which are more heavily loaded than others, all these effects will play out simultaneously, and the net result will depend on the details.
I have VFDs for my tools, so no RPC to play with. I may have to get a pair of three phase motors just to experiment upon. My local source of cheap motors vanished a few years ago, so it may be a while.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 11:48:46 -0500, Joseph Gwinn

Do the VFD's switch in the resistor when braking; or leave it on all the time keeping the room warm?
--
A host is a host from coast to snipped-for-privacy@nrk.com
& no one will talk to a host that's close........[v].(301) 56-LINUX
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

They all switch.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On Wed, 11 Feb 2009 09:10:51 -0500, Joseph Gwinn

Almost zero - as soon as the supply is removed the magnetic field which it induces into the rotors collapses. Without this magnetic field, although the rotors are still rotating, the motors can no longer generate back EMF.

Yes

The first paragraph refers to the basic case of a single idler motor starting a single load motor.
The second paragraph considers what happens if if there are multiple motors in circuit. Each of the motors that are spun up to speed are capable of supplying power to the phantom phase. Because of this the parallell connection results in a correspondingly lower phantom phase source impedance.
The customary distinction between an RPCidler motor and a load motor is entirely artificial. The setup is simply two or more motors all connected in parallel. Any of the motors that are spun up to speed act as RPCs and can supply power to the phantom phase. Equally, it is perfectly acceptable to place a mechanical load on a motor nominaly designated as an idler
Jim
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

This is the key. Now, you don't mean almost zero, but I know what you meant: the dynamometer will dissipate the mechanical energy of the motor mechanically connected to it, but not the mechanical energy of the other motors.
I recall discussions of people using induction motors as generators. Once started, they would generate their own field and keep on going. If one opened the circuit, the field would collapse, and peobably would not regenerate.
This needs to be tested experimentally. I would try this, but don't have enough big three-phase motors to do it, even though it is an easy experiment.

As discussed above.
This experiment is the key to the rest of the discussion as well.

And all motors are doing an instantaneous phase transformation, but not storing much mechanical energy?

Given that the single-phase supply is connected to one but not the other, one would think that there has to be a distinction.
Although I understand in general how RPCs work, I've never read a real theoretical analysis of this. One thing that nags me is that there has to be energy buffering by the RPC, or there would be no way to get from pulsating power (singlephase) to continuous power (polyphase). And the rotation of the rotor is essential, as no static transformer or collection of transformers can do this, while there are transformer configurations to convert between N-phase and M-phase, where M and N are all at least two. Something is smoothing those pulsations out, filling the gaps in. Can you suggest some learned articles for me to read?
Thanks,
Joe
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

How do you connect the single phase to one and not the other?
Dan
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

I think of a RPC as a three phase motor running on single phase and connected to a three phase induction generator. Where the three phase motor and the induction generator are one and the same motor. Try thinking of it first as a single phase motor mechanically coupled to a three phase motor. Once the single phase motor is running, there is no capacitors in the system.
With a sine wave single phase power in, there are not what I would consider " pulsations".
Dan
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Joseph Gwinn sez:
". . . .Can you suggest some learned articles for me to read?"
You've already seen the best description of RPCs in Jim's comments. Go back and read them again. The key here is Jim's reference to the currents flowing in parallel. Try to get past preconceived notions re. "generator and load". A RPC is a very complex network consisting of currents flowing through 2 or more 3-phase motors connected in parallel with each other and with 1 set of those legs in parallel with the input mains.
Bob Swinney
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
On Wed, 11 Feb 2009 23:18:32 -0500, Joseph Gwinn
SNIP

All motors can phase transform. They also store a significant amount of kinetic energy but this is not available as a useful electrical output

ALL motors are parallel connected so every motor receives single phase excitation.

The torque pulsations of the single phase drive are smoothed out by the rotor inertia.
Nothing really appropriate comes to mind but you might find my own book "Electric Motors" ISBN 13 978 185486 246 4 reasonably helpful..

Jim

<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

So, where is the energy buffered then?

Ahh. Right.
I suppose we could posit a 3-phase 220/440 motor, with single-phase power supplied to the 220-volt inputs (center taps), but with the 440-volt terminals of the various motors connected together.

So the energy is stored in the rotor's mechanical energy. That's the fundamental meaning of "inertia" in this context.
The electrical parallel of inertia is inductance, which is the ratio of energy stored in the magnetic field to the current causing the field. The higher the energy, the higher the inductance.

I'll get a copy. To be continued.
But I'm still interested in learned articles on how RPC work, at the physics level.
Joe Gwinn
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

## Site Timeline

• Share To

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.