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Design of a Computer Control and Monitoring System for use on a Dynamometer Apparatus

McGuire, Michael (2011) Design of a Computer Control and Monitoring System for use on a Dynamometer Apparatus. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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The topic of this thesis involves developing a computer based control and monitoring system for a motor-generator dynamometer, so that it can be used as a learning tool. Its purpose was for a study of the system to be undertaken so that future students from varying disciplines of engineering – power, industrial computer systems, instrumentation and control, and renewable energy – could benefit from interacting with the apparatus. To achieve this goal it was decided that the hardware and software which most suited the projects principle objectives, and would prove most successful, was National Instruments NI 6014 Data Acquisition unit and National Instruments LabVIEW version 9.

The fundamental stages of this project involved gaining an understanding of the various pieces of equipment being utilised. First was the induction motors, then came the DC generator and AC car alternator with rectifying power electronics, and the two VSD units used to control the motors of both systems. With understanding of this key systems it was possible to determine the key characteristics which needed to be studied so as to implement a suitable control and monitoring system for the two apparatus’ used in the thesis. The four key characteristics which were necessary for expanding the control and monitoring system were:
1. Torque
2. Speed
3. Voltage
4. Current

With these four system values it was made possible – through system equations and mathematics – to derive the input and output power of the system, the synchronous operating speed of the induction motors, the slip of the induction motors, and the overall system efficiency.

During the final stage of the project a number of tests were carried out to ensure the functionality of the control and monitoring system which was implemented. The output plots of the four key characteristics against time displayed waveforms which were expected, particularly the plot of the performance characteristic – voltage against current – and the load torque-speed characteristic which showed a favourable plot response. While it was hoped that the system would allow for the display of the torque-speed characteristic curve of an induction motor, it was unfortunately met with no success in deriving the induced torque within the time allotment of the project.

Publication Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor: Cole, Graeme and Chuang, Ning
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