The design and implementation of instructional advanced electric drives laboratory using commercial Texas Instruments (TI) C2000 microcontrollers and matlab based embedded coder toolbox is described in this paper. The main objective of this project is to familiarize the students with real-time implementation of advanced electric machines and drives concepts such as field-oriented vector control via programming of high performance industrial microcontrollers and furthermore, provide hands-on experience on electric drives in order to successfully drive and control electric machines. This laboratory is designed for the students to take as a follow up for advanced electric drives lecture course to improve their understanding of the theory learned from lectures. While the laboratory is mostly offered to graduate students, undergraduate students that are interested to specialize in electrical machines and drives area are also encouraged to take it. Moreover, it is very helpful for students to prepare for their senior design projects especially that deals with designing and controlling of complex electric drives to run electric machines.
In the past, due to convenience of torque and speed control, the DC machine had been used widely for adjustable speed drives (ASD). However, recently, with the development of power electronics technology, the AC machine drive system such as the induction machines and the synchronous machines driven by a variable voltage variable frequency (VVVF) inverter are being used. Besides their low cost compared to DC machines, AC machines can easily be supplied/re-generated directly from/to the grid and therefore they are widely used in the industry. And this trend shift from DC machine to AC machine has been continued because of the development of not only the previously mentioned power electronics but also the control theory of AC machine such as field-orientation control. With feedback orientation, AC machines can be modeled similar to separately excited DC machine through a series of coordinate transformations and is called as vector control. For the transformed AC machine model, DC machine control methods can be applied to control parameters like speed, torque, currents to obtain good transient performance.
While TI provides solutions to drive most of the machines that exist today through their own software, it is still a challenging task for the programming beginners to understand the working of each interlinked module. However, the students are familiarized with writing matlab codes and developing simulink models during the course study. Recently, matlab has developed embedded coder, a toolbox that can translate matlab code and simulink models into compact and fast C and C++ code for embedded microcontrollers. Therefore, in this project, simulink is used to design and model the complex machine control algorithms and is translated into C code using embedded coder toolbox. The students will be provided with the step-by-step procedures and exercises to meet learning objectives and are assigned specific tasks to finish at the end of each lab. Details of experiments, hardware components, instruments and devices about the laboratory will be presented in the final draft.
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