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A Practical Primer On Motor Drives
by Ken Johnson, Teledyne LeCroy, Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.

Many excellent textbooks have been written on the subject of motor drives. But most of these require prerequisite knowledge and/or are difficult sources of basic understanding for newcomers.

While there is also useful information on the internet, such material is typically aimed at narrow applications or specific products and markets.

In addition, many of the public domain materials lack “real-world” examples that are vital to gain a full understanding of the topic. Both textbooks and the internet are more useful references given a broad overview.

This extensive article series aims to provide such an overview by explaining the basics of a motor drive from the input signals (ac line inputs) through motor shaft sensing (mechanical power) and all relevant areas in between.

It targets newcomers to these fields desiring a broad overview before seeking deeper technical information from other sources. Part 1 offers an introduction to this series including an outline of the topics that will be addressed in the upcoming parts.


Part 1: What New Design Engineers Need To Know

Part 2: Single-Phase AC Line Voltage

Part 3: Three-Phase AC Line Voltage

Motor Drives


Motor Drives

Motor Drives

Part 11: AC And DC Motor Types

Part 12: Variable Frequency Motor Drives

Coming Soon...

Part 13: Motor Drive Control Architecture And Algorithms

Part 14: Power Measurements On Distorted Signals

Part 15: Low-Pass And Harmonic Filtering Of Power Measurements

Part 16: Torque, Speed, Position, And Direction Sensing

To learn more about motor drive design, see these articles published by How2Power and other sources…

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