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Cut domestic energy with speed control

Posted: 01 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power management? home appliance? variable-speed control?

Demand is growing for appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and air-conditioning units to help improve domestic energy efficiency. Moving from conventional fixed-speed motors to variable-speed operation could save as much as 30 percent of energy consumed, but appliance vendors must deliver this increased efficiency at little or no extra cost to end-users. Several solutions have emerged to ease the digital design aspects of such a project, but designers also need integrated modules and associated design tools to ease design of the power stage.

Component vendors seek to reduce the cost of the variable-speed controller, which is the most expensive part of the system, by easing design and reducing build complexity. For example, several digital signal controller platforms have emerged, combining DSP and RISC processors with integrated motor-control peripherals including pulse-width modulator modules. These provide a programmable platform capable of hosting a third-party or in-house motor control algorithm.

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