Electrical machines and MATLAB

What is MATLAB?

MATLAB is an IDE designed to provide users with iterative analysis and design processes. It includes a programming language that expresses matrix and array mathematics directly.

Users of MATLAB can take their designs to production and deploy  directly to embedded devices and automatically convert MATLAB algorithms to C/C++, HDL, and CUDA code to run on your embedded processor or FPGA/ASIC.

The use of MATLAB is an important part of modern electrical engineering courses through colleges and universities worldwide. As part of the Modern Electrical Machines offering from Matrix, we felt it was important that users at levels 4, 5 and above were able to gain an understanding of various machine characteristics and their effect when addressed using the MATLAB environment.

Matrix’s Electrical Machines and MATLAB

The Electrical Machines and Matlab course is designed to both improve Matlab skills and gain familiarity with controlling modern electrical machines. The course covers basic motor operation through to advanced closed loop control and beyond. The electrical machine equipment allows the exploration of various types of motor without any risk of electrical shock or mechanical entanglement. The electrical machine control box exposes it’s functionality via a command API that is accessible via the USB connection. Matlab can tap into this API to allow the various features of the motor controller box to be controlled alongside Matlab’s powerful mathematic engine.

The aim of the course is to teach the operation of motors, theory behind the motor drive electronics as well as high level means of control using Matlab. Matlab then provides a series of tools which can be used to take things further in terms of modelling the motor and increasing efficiency in existing machinery.

It is recommended that student have prior knowledge in using Matlab, writing Matlab .m script files and using Matlab to create chart plots. They should also have a basic understanding of the motors they are controlling as well as how they are driven.

It is expected that the series of experiments given in this course is integrated with teaching or small group tutorials which introduce the theory behind the practical work, and reinforce it with written examples, assignments and calculations. The worksheets should be printed / photocopied / laminated, preferably in colour, for the students’ use. Students should be encouraged to make their own notes, and copy the results tables and sections marked ’For your records’ for themselves. They are unlikely to need their own permanent copy of each worksheet. It is for the instructor to monitor that students’ understanding is keeping pace with their progress through the worksheets. One way to do this is to ‘sign off’ each worksheet, as a student completes it, and in the process have a brief chat with the student to assess grasp of the ideas involved in the exercises it contains.

Electrical machines results, created within MATLAB 

Here, we can see the Speed v Torque curve generated from a DC Motor driven at 10v.
Here we can see the Torque over Time of our 3 Phase AC Motor from a standing start, running at 50Hz

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