Shushing electric motors

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On November 19, 2007

A UMR mechanical engineer and two of his colleagues have received a patent for a system that could improve the performance of electric motors.

Daniel Stutts, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, received a patent for a sensor and control system that can minimize the torque ripple that is found in many electric motors and generators.

“Torque ripple, a harmonic variation in motor output torque, contributes to vibration, noise and variation in the drive rotation of machines,” Stutts explains.

Stutts and his colleagues developed an inexpensive piezoelectric sensor to sense the reaction forces through its mounting hardware. “The sensor picks up the torque ripple with very high fidelity, enabling the signal to be used in a feedback control system to mitigate torque ripple,” Stutts adds. “We think it is a competitive option for reducing torque ripple.”

Stutts’ co-inventors are Jason Neely of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., and Steven Pekarek of Purdue University.

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On November 19, 2007. Posted in Research, Winter 2007