induction machines

What a solid rotor construction can do for your high-speed application and turbomachinery

In recent years, the number of companies seeking an exceptionally energy-efficient drive train solution for a challenging turbo or other high-speed application ramped up significantly. Suitable conventional electric motor drive systems – reliant on reduction or multi-layer gears – still remain limited or even non-existent today.

In fact, companies have found that traditional drive systems:

  • Lack efficiency
  • Remain large and bulky
  • Don’t scale well
  • Fail to handle centrifugal forces
  • Tend to be unnecessarily complex

Luckily, progress within industry doesn’t stand still. Recently, a solution has been introduced that addresses exactly these kinds of problems. What is it?

Turbo drive train solution

The Switch high-speed motor and drive package simplifies power delivery while achieving above 1 MW and 10,000 rpm – even 15,000 rpm or 20,000 rpm is possible. This is more than four times faster than a conventional system. What’s more, energy efficiency is higher than anything we’ve seen before in the industry.

This standalone solution features a high-speed solid rotor induction motor with a non-laminated rotor construction. The stiff rotor construction offers unmatched stability and balance while providing exceptional rotating system reliability for all types of high-speed applications.

In its simplest form, a solid rotor is purely a machined ferromagnetic steel bar. To further increase performance, additional enhancements may be applied to the bar, such as slitting, a high conductive end ring or a rotor cage.

Previously, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch introduced its rotor balancing machine back in late 2019, which helped customers get verification that their rotors have been properly tested – and that they are accurately balanced, which is crucial for such high speeds.

The tolerance limits of such testing are very strict. The rotor balance needs to be within 0.04 mm to be acceptable, which is a significantly smaller margin than the standards require. Rigorous testing and ensuring strict quality standards help those seeking to improve their system efficiencies even further.

Furthermore, the solution completely eliminates the need for a gearbox while allowing variable speed for all types of turbo and high-speed applications, such as pumps, fans and turbo blowers, compressors, vacuum systems and test benches.

Unlike conventional drive train solutions, the high-speed solid rotor induction motor:

  • Ensures operational efficiency and energy savings
  • Delivers a compact, lightweight design that’s up to 50% smaller
  • Increases availability and scalability while reducing maintenance costs
  • Features superior construction that withstands vibrations and centrifugal forces
  • Provides a variable speed drive and motor filters in panels

What’s more, it’s proven. The technology has been used in many industries ranging from gas to chemicals to paper to… and many more.

Ask us if this solution could be right for you. In addition to a standalone solution, we also continue to work with our customers to engineer high-speed solid rotor induction motors for a specific end use. Also, our integrated applications are always a direct-drive solution, completely gearless.

Giulio Martorelli