Contract Awarded for High Performance Electric Motors Test Stand

Heinrich Georg (UK) Limited has been awarded a contract by the University of Nottingham to design and build an innovative Test Stand that houses five dynamometer test beds as part of the UK Electrification of Aerospace Propulsion Facility (UKEAPF) based within the new Power Electronics and Electrical Machines Centre.

The facility aims to support Research and Development work at the University on future electrified transport platforms. It will also be made open access for industry and other academic institutions to use. The contract involves the design of a flexible and re-configurable set of high performance motor-drives which are able to dynamically emulate different loading conditions. The facility can either be set to test motors individually or as part of a sub-system.

A special machine mounting system will allow flexibility in the mounting of test articles by enabling the coupling and alignment on different shafts and will be finished to a high tolerance to ensure accuracy in motor alignment. The test bed will also allow for flange and foot mounted machines under test.

The test stands can act as a motor (emulating a prime mover) or generator (emulating a propulsion / traction load). The power and speed nodes specified are met without the use of gearing (ie a direct drive). The facility will be able to cover a wide power-speed range; up to 500kW from 1,500 to 20,000 rpm.

Clive Beese, Sales Director at Georg UK, explains: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of enquiries for dynamometer testing from organisations interested in testing the performance of engines, particularly electric motors, under loads. This project is one of a number of Test Rigs we are currently working on.

“The Georg team have designed an active front end (AFE) which is sized to allow for the operation of the connected drives and power supplies. Given it has an AFE, the test bed is four quadrant allowing for the regeneration of power as well as power delivery from all attached drives/systems. It also has a user-friendly interface for programming profiles and collecting data.”

The University of Nottingham’s test bed is currently being built and, following rigorous testing, will be installed later this year.