Permanent magnet ac (PMAC) motors have existed in various configurations for many years. The advent of rare-earth magnets and their associated highly elevated levels of magnetic flux makes the permanent magnet motor attractive for many high performance applications from computer disk drives to all electric racing cars. The use of batteries as a prime storage element carries a cost penalty in terms of the unladen weight of the vehicle. Minimizing this cost function requires the minimum electric motor size and weight to be specified, while still retaining acceptable levels of output torque. This tradeoff can be achieved by applying a technique known as flux weakening which will be investigated in this paper. The technique allows the speed range of a PMAC motor to be greatly increased, giving a constant power range of more than 4:1. A dynamic model reference controller is presented which has advantages in ease of implementation, and is particularly suited to dynamic low inertia applications such as clutchless gear changing in high performance electric vehicles. The benefits of this approach are to maximize the torque speed envelope of the motor, particularly advantageous when considering low inertia operation. The controller is examined experimentally, confirming the predicted performance.
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