UMR professor’s invention may quiet electric motor industry

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On July 16, 2007

A University of Missouri-Rolla researcher and two of his colleagues have received a patent for a system that could improve the performance of electric motors.

Dr. Daniel Stutts, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UMR, received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office for a sensor and control system that can mitigate the torque ripple that is found in many electric motors and generators.

“Torque ripple, a harmonic variation in motor output torque, contributes to vibration, noise and variation in the drive rotation of machines,” Stutts explains.

Previous methods of mitigating torque ripple have either depended on expensive sensors or inaccurate models. Stutts and his colleagues developed an inexpensive piezoelectric sensor to sense the reaction forces through its mounting hardware.

“The sensor picks up the torque ripple with very high fidelity, enabling the signal to be used in a feedback control system to mitigate torque ripple,” Stutts adds. “We think it is a competitive option for reducing torque ripple.”

Stutts and co-inventors Jason Neely of Sandia National Lab in Albuquerque, N.M., and Dr. Steven Pekarek of Purdue University are currently working with UMR’s Office of Technology Commercialization and Economic Development (OTCED). For information on licensing or commercializing the technology, call OTCED at 573-341-4690 or email .

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On July 16, 2007. Posted in Research