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Integrated Inverter Control for Multiple Electric Machines

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryConventional electric or hybrid electric vehicles have a main motor and one or more accessory motors or generators, plus an inverter for each. A consequence of this design is that each vehicle requires a number of inverters and inverter controllers, plus the engine volume to house them all. DescriptionTo improve options for motor design, ORNL researchers invented an integrated inverter control for directing multiple inverters with a single processer. This invention reduces the number of components required in an electric engine, lowering the total component cost. It also supports the design of smaller engines. The integrated inverter control permits each inverter to share one or more of the following: a common DC bus, a DC bus filtering capacitor, a gate drive circuit, a process control circuit, voltage sensors, current sensors, speed sensors, or position sensors.

With a proper control algorithm, the motors/generators can be run in either a motoring mode, providing power to the motor shaft, or in a generating mode, in which power is transferred from the motor shaft to the inverter direct current source. The invention can be used in synchronous machines, induction machines, or permanent magnet machines.
  • Lower cost due to fewer components
  • Smaller engines
Applications and Industries
  • Electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles
  • Other applications that require multiple electric engines
More InformationInventors:
Gui-Jia Su and John S. Hsu
Power Electronics and Electrical Power Systems Research Center
Energy and Transportation Science Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,023,171
Integrated inverter for driving multiple electric machines
An electric machine drive (50) has a plurality of inverters (50a, 50b) for controlling respective electric machines (57, 62), which may include a three-phase main traction machine (57) and two-phase accessory machines (62) in a hybrid or electric vehicle. The drive (50) has a common control section (53, 54) for controlling the plurality of inverters (50a, 50b) with only one microelectronic processor (54) for controlling the plurality of inverters (50a, 50b), only one gate driver circuit (53) for controlling conduction of semiconductor switches (S.sub.1 S.sub.10) in the plurality of inverters (50a, 50b), and also includes a common dc bus (70), a common dc bus filtering capacitor (C.sub.1) and a common dc bus voltage sensor (67). The electric machines (57, 62) may be synchronous machines, induction machines, or PM machines and may be operated in a motoring mode or a generating mode.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 04/04/2006
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
UT-B ID 200301316DevelopmentAvailable10/20/201012/08/2010

Contact ORNL About This Technology

To: David L. Sims<>