Electromagnetic interference from variable speed motor drives

  • J.D. Maggs

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A methodology is presented which can be used to produce the level of electromagnetic interference, in the form of conducted and radiated emissions, from variable speed drives, the drive that was modelled being a Eurotherm 583 drive.
The conducted emissions are predicted using an accurate circuit model of the drive and its associated equipment. The circuit model was constructed from a number of different areas, these being: the power electronics of the drive, the line impedance stabilising network used during the experimental work to measure the conducted emissions, a model of an induction motor assuming near zero load, an accurate model of the shielded cable which connected the drive to the motor, and finally the parasitic capacitances that were present in the drive modelled. The conducted emissions were predicted with an error of +/-6dB over the frequency range 150kHz to 16MHz, which compares well with the limits set in the standards which specify a frequency range of 150kHz to 30MHz.
The conducted emissions model was also used to predict the current and voltage sources which were used to predict the radiated emissions from the drive.
Two methods for the prediction of the radiated emissions from the drive were investigated, the first being two-dimensional finite element analysis and the second three-dimensional transmission line matrix modelling.
The finite element model took account of the features of the drive that were considered to produce the majority of the radiation, these features being the switching of the IGBT's in the inverter, the shielded cable which connected the drive to the motor as well as some of the cables that were present in the drive.The model also took account of the structure of the test rig used to measure the radiated emissions. It was found that the majority of the radiation produced came from the shielded cable and the common mode currents that were flowing in the shield, and that it was feasible to model the radiation from the drive by only modelling the shielded cable. The radiated emissions were correctly predicted in the frequency range 30MHz to 200MHz with an error of
The transmission line matrix method modelled the shielded cable which connected the drive to the motor and also took account of the architecture of the test rig. Only limited simulations were performed using the transmission line matrix model as it was found to be a very slow method and not an ideal solution to the problem. However the limited results obtained were comparable, to within 5%, to the results obtained using the finite element model.
Date of AwardJun 1996
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMichael T Wright (Supervisor) & T N Oliver (Supervisor)


  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • conducted emissions
  • radiated emissions
  • electric fields
  • mathematical modelling

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