Building a Motor Test Rig In-House to Understand Actual Motor Performance

THE CLIENT
According to the International Energy Agency, electric motors account for over 40% of world electricity consumption and are widely used across all the sectors of the global economy. On the other hand, stricter energy-efficiency regulations and increasing competition among electric motor manufacturers are two main factors that influence the market. To maintain profits and keep up with competition, the companies are required developing a superior quality and higher performance products at lower cost.

A UK-based Motivity Ltd was founded in 2015 focusing on providing independent test house services and enabling the creation of optimised designs for companies who produce electric motors. With fourteen years of experience working directly with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) of motor and generator solutions, they ensure that your products will enhance their performance with new features or reduce development costs.

Motivity offers test facilities to provide high precision measurements of motor dynamic performance and efficiency of products, enabling their customers to get an optimal motor or generator solution, thus reducing costs, equipment size and energy consumption. Furthermore, by analysing both commercial and technical aspects of a product development, the company can come up with a solution based on an existing product on the market or a bespoke design solution.

THE CHALLENGE
Verifying motor performance is essential when a decision about producing a new product must be made. Usually, the customer sends their product to the testing facility, where accurate real-time data is obtained. Testing set up is chosen depending on a specific application, based on speed and a level of torque needs to be measured.

The Motivity team is currently working on building a bespoke test rig for an OEM electric motor manufacturer. Looking to maximise motor efficiency for their client, Motivity needed to perform analysis to achieve a full assessment of motor across various torque & speed levels.
Normally, the team was using a complete dynamometer Magtrol system but the cost of such system for the level of torque required to test was prohibitive. Therefore, they were looking for an accurate and reliable torque measurement device that won’t break the bank.
THE SOLUTION
After reviewing the alternatives for the dynamometer system, they selected a solution to refurbish an old test system using an inline torque transducer. However, they couldn’t compromise on accuracy of the data and needed a reliable and high-precision torque measurement solution that can be easily integrated into the re-worked test rig.

Following a personal recommendation, Motivity opted for a Datum M425 Inline Torque Transducer (Size 1C), capable of measuring the torque of 0 – 50 Nm. Designed to fit with most drive lines and test beds, the torque sensor offers accuracy of 0.1%, selectable sample rates and wide temperature operating range from -10C to + 75C. In addition to torque, speed and power can also be measured in real-time and displayed on a built-in display of the Datum Universal Interface (DUI), connected by a power cable.

In addition, Datum M425 torque sensor provides a wide range of data output options available, which makes it easier for data to be collected and analysed within the existing system. The available signal outputs include Ethernet, MODBUS, USB< RS485/232 and 4 analog channels configured 4-20mA (4-12-20 mA), +/-Vdc, +/-5Vdc, 0-10Vdc or 0-5Vdc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP3ExysrQhw

THE IMPACT
Testing is one of the most important phases of new product development. The test results help businesses in creating an innovative but price-competitive product and delivering it to the market.

A Datum M425 Torque Transducer enabled Motivity to develop a test solution that can be carried at a significantly lower cost. With the help of DUI, data from the test rig is displayed in real-time on a PC and is also available for logging for future analysis. Besides, this versatile torque measurement system can be used both again in the test rig or elsewhere as required in future.

More importantly, the customer was able to understand the performance of the motor. Using the testing data, they could benchmark alternative motors and develop a full specification for the motor they required for a new product.

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