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Bye Bye Induction Motors!

For years, induction motors have been in use for surface pump applications because of their simplicity and relative ruggedness. However, these motors have a "shorted" rotor structure which leads to excessive heating in long-run applications. To overcome this problem, a BLDC motor was proposed and developed at IIT-B. BLDCs have a permanent magnet rotor which means negligible rotor heating and hence lesser power loss. The developed motor has 6% higher efficiency than a similar rated induction motor. Rotation of BLDCs requires position sensors (Opto/Hall effect sensors) to sense the rotor position in order to determine which phase to excite next. However, failure of any one position sensor can cause the motor to be run incorrectly.

To overcome this, the driver developed at IIT-B, implements a sensor less algorithm which detects the rotor position by sensing the back-emf. This cost-effective solution does away the problem of potential Opto/Hall effect sensor failure on site. MPPT algorithm implemented on the controller ensures maximum power extraction from PV Panels at all times. Further work is being done to replace Si-IGBTs with GaN FETs to improve efficiency.

The tremendous reduction in size, weight and power loss would open up doors to automotive and industrial applications too.

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Industrial Collaboration – Success is best when it's shared
NCPRE and SINTEF Materials Technology, Norway collaborated to develop a process based Czochralski growth of low oxygen silicon single crystal for high efficiency solar cell applications. It will address the fundamental questions on how the oxygen content and related efficiency limiting crystal defects in single crystalline silicon solar cell can be reduced.