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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W027283/1
Title: Modulator-free Performance-Oriented Control (MfPOC) for Direct Electric Drives
Principal Investigator: Yang, Dr J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Ricardo Group Trio Motion Technology Limited
Department: Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 01 March 2023 Ends: 28 February 2026 Value (£): 394,616
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Control Engineering Electric Motor & Drive Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Jun 2022 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 8 and 9 June 2022 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
With the rapid intensification of the global resource, energy, and environmental crisis, we must move quickly to a low carbon economy, a green society, and an era of clean and affordable energy. Electric drives; generally defined as an electric motor driven by a fast discrete actuator (e.g., a power electronic device) and regulated by a control strategy, deliver an indispensable solution to achieve zero or ultra-low carbon energy conversion. Industrial electric motors account for more than 60% of all electrical energy consumption in the world. With application of power electronics as their drives, electric drives result in typically a 30-40% reduction in energy uses. Electric drives are ubiquitous and are now deeply penetrating into new sectors like automotive, aerospace and renewable energy generation, as well as continuing their historic place in consumer products. Electrification of transports, while offering a major opportunity, demand very high efficiency, high power density, and high reliability, so a step change in key technical performance metrics, including higher control bandwidth (HCB), lower total harmonic distortion (THD) and lower device switching frequency (DSF) are urgently needed for the new generation of electric drives. Higher control bandwidth significantly enhances functionality and system robustness. For example, higher control bandwidth enables wider operation regions for electric vehicle applications, and stronger robustness against system uncertainties and environmental disturbances. Lower THD indirectly mitigates thermal impacts and directly improves energy efficiency by reducing machine copper losses. Furthermore, it also achieves higher sustainability because smoother torque output results in less mechanical stress and wear of the shaft and bearing. Lower device switching frequency reduces switching energy losses and extent the life of power electronic devices.

To advance an era of green, clean, and affordable energy, this project will develop a novel Modulator-free Performance-Oriented Control (MfPOC) framework as a paradigm shift of the advanced electric drive control strategy to deliver promising properties like higher control bandwidth, lower current distortion, and lower device switching frequency for electric machines. With these achievable performance specifications, when applying to vehicle electric motors, this new MfPOC technique will significantly improve the energy conversion efficiency, and provide much higher power/torque density and smoother speed/current/torque regulation performance, which will substantially increase battery life, enable wider range of driving scenarios, and enhance user comfort and vehicle durability by reducing unwanted noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) of electric vehicles.

The developed MfPOC will deliver an important enabling direct electric drive control technology, providing strong support to unlock the full potential of UK power generation and energy use in high energy efficiency, high power quality, and high device sustainability. These deliver a significant opportunity for the PI, UK academia and UK industry to establish a world leading capability in this challenging field with unique expertise.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk