Design of a 300-kW Calorimeter for Electrical Motor Loss Measurement

Wenping Cao, Xiaoyan Huang, I. French

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    This paper describes the design of a calorimeter that is
    suitable for measuring power losses in electrical motors of up to 300 kW
    (402 hp). Refined from the two previous generations, this calorimeter is of
    air-cooled open type. Accurate control of the air flow rate and temperature
    gradients between the inside and outside walls of the calorimeter ensures
    that a repeatable and durable measurement environment is achieved. Dur-
    ing the design stage, attention is focused on heat leakage prevention and
    reduction in the length of the testing procedures. Heat leakage is mitigated
    by appropriate insulation and active temperature control over all walls and
    connection ports. In selecting the materials for the structure, lightweight
    aluminum and polystyrene are used in sandwich form to reduce the
    thermal time constant and, thus, the operational time for the calorimeter
    to reach its equilibrium. After the calorimeter is commissioned, further
    reduction in the lengthy test procedures is realized by boosting the initial
    power loss value of the motor under test. That is, some additional resistive
    heaters are installed inside the calorimeter and operate in conjunction
    with the test motor. This push–pull technique can guarantee a constant
    combined power loss during operation, which is assumed to be the final
    value of motor loss. By predefining a suitable motor loss and a tolerance,
    it is possible to dynamically control the input power to the dc heaters from
    the start and to shut down the heaters once the motor loss value enters
    the tolerance selected. Calibration results confirm the effectiveness and
    accuracy of the calorimeter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2365-2367
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009

    Bibliographical note

    Author can archive publisher's version/PDF. For full details see [Accessed 17/02/2010]


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