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Self-Diagnosing “Smart” Electric Motors Could Be Powering Our Future EVs

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Scientists all around the world have realized that it’s time to make changes, and implement them. It’s time to create technologies that won’t threaten to destroy our mother Earth, and that will give us the push to a new era, an era of sustainable development.

One of those teams, led by professor Mathias Nienhaus from the Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany, have been working on developing a smart motor, a motor that will itself work as a sensor. By doing this, they are transforming a motor into a sensor, thus creating a smart motor that won’t need any additional sensors.

The world is full of sensors, and it’s those sensors that usually stop working or have a malfunction after sometime, this leads to a production stop and financial loss. The team of engineers from Saarland University has realized that by leaving out the sensors we can cut out the middle man, in a matter of speaking, thus decreasing a risk of the engine malfunction, time and financial losses.

Nienhaus implies that there are many advantages of these new intelligent motors. First of all, the data will be collected directly from the motor and no additional sensors will be needed anymore. They are working in the field of electromagnetic miniatures and Microdrive systems.

The data obtained from the motor is being used to determine the health of the drive system. They are developing an enormous amount of mathematical models, each one of them simulating a different motor state. All of this data is then fed into a Microcontroller, which is actually the core of the system in which the data is processed.

By following the patterns of signal changes, they are identifying various faults that can occur. These intelligent motors can be linked through a network operating system, this opens a whole set of new possibilities. It’s highly possible that a system can be developed where, in the case of malfunctioning motor, another one will take over the role automatically. This means there will be no stops in production, nor time and financial losses.

By monitoring the distribution of magnetic field strength in the motor, Nienhaus and his team are able to collect data from the motor. They record the changes of fields while the motor is rotating, thus enabling them to determine the position of the rotor. This allows them to make conclusions about the status of the motor, detecting the faults in an instance.

Nienhaus and the team of engineers will exhibit their findings on the Hannover Messe, April 25th to April 29th. You can find them in the Innovation Stand, Hall 2, Stand B46.

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