Professor Jian-Xin Shen, Head of the Electrical Engineering Department, Zhejiang University, will discuss the motor design requirements of today’s 'state-of-the-art' compressors in a seminar at CWIEME Shanghai. In particular, he will talk about the type of motor, whether a BLDC, permanent magnet synchronous motor or a different type of PM AC motor drive, is best suited for particular compressor applications, as well as how to design and produce them.
Compressors are finding more and more applications in both industrial and domestic settings. For many years compressors have been used in factories to produce high-pressure air for cleaning or to drive an air cylinder. They are also used in air conditioning units and refrigerators, which compress the working medium from a gas to a liquid so that it can absorb heat and cool down the surroundings as it evaporates back to a gas. Now compressors are increasingly found in cars, and not just the sports variety.
The growth in popularity of these devices is also matched by a desire to improve their performance and efficiency for both financial and environmental reasons. Here the secret lies in pairing them with the right electric motor to drive them.
“Engine downsizing is one of the main ways that automotive manufacturers seek to improve vehicle efficiency,” says Professor Shen. “Using a turbocharger or electric supercharger, which boosts rpm by compressing air in the engine, allows a higher level of performance from a smaller engine. As such, they are becoming increasing common in both combustion engine cars and EVs.”
“Nowadays people tend to boost the rotating speed of the compressor in order to achieve better performance. To do this, without having to resort to a cumbersome gear box, you would need to increase the rotating speed of the accompanying motor to directly drive it. We need to design and produce new motors to suit this new compressor application trend,” Professor Shen says.
“For the newly-developed compressors PM AC motors are excellent solutions, due to their high efficiency, reliability, power density and ability to handle high speeds. But there are also other options to consider.”