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Research Laboratories

 
Grainger Electric Motor Drives Teaching Laboratory
 

One of the fastest growing areas in engineering and technology is motor drives and their power electronic converters. Electric motor drives enable smarter utilization of electric and electronic systems. Such motor drives, in turn, help create a demand for increased use of electric and electronic systems. Motor drives and their power electronic converters are facilitating electric power transfer systems, which are replacing conventional mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic power transfer systems. They are used in a broad variety of applications from low-power home appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioning, hand power tools, and cordless drives, robots, fitness machines, and medical instrumentation, to medium-power automotive applications such as electric power steering, active suspension, brake by wire, starter/alternator, and anti-lock braking systems, to high-power industrial motor drives and automation systems, electric and hybrid electric cars, propulsion systems for trains and locomotives, mass transit, movers, machine tools, elevators, pumps, and compressors. For all these applications, motor drives and their power electronic converters have real and significant potential for improving efficiency, reliability, performance, and safety.

At Illinois Institute of Technology, in order to provide state-of-the-art courses and laboratories in electrical and computer engineering, we have established the Grainger Electric Motor Drives Laboratory with the support of a generous gift from the Grainger Foundation, which is gratefully acknowledged. In addition, in the academic year 2003/2004, we have improved this laboratory and added three new experiments based on the NSF DUE-0311169 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The three new experiments (#12-14) have been adapted and implemented from the exemplary materials, laboratory experiences, and educational practices that had been developed and proven successful at the University of Minnesota under the NSF CCLI-EMD-9952704 grant, which is gratefully acknowledged.

Facilities of this laboratory are advanced specialized experimental teaching setups for undergraduate electric machines and power electronic drives programs. Therefore, this laboratory is one of the best-equipped and most advanced labs for undergraduate teaching purposes in the nation. In fact, few universities have equipment of this sophistication for their teaching laboratories.

This lab consists of 14 experiments and one major design experience. The laboratory experiments give simple practical introduction to operation and control of electric motor drives. They are done in groups of 2-3 students. This lab assumes that the student is familiar with the general circuit analysis techniques. Therefore, it is appropriate for junior- or senior-level undergraduate electrical engineering and computer engineering students. It is also recommended as an elective course for all ECE students.

 
 
2005 Electric Power and Power Electronics Center at Illinois Institute of Technology
3301 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60616-3793
Updated on May 26, 2006