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Thinking of using industrial 3-phase motor

5591 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DIYguy
Hi All!
Has anyone considered using an industrial 3-phase induction motor? Granted, they may be a little heavier than purpose designed EV motors but their cost makes them an attractive proposition and they're pretty common too, you could pick one up just about anywhere. The VSD (Varable Speed Drive) used to control them are nothing more than a rectified input onto a DC bus, so I'm thinking of hooking the batteries directly to the DC bus (With a little modification for control circuitry). Some of the VSD's I've seen are purpose-built for DC input and most have regen capability.
These things have been around for ages (i.e. relatively cheap) and apart from a slightly higher pack voltage (600V input for 380V motor) might be a good start for an EV conversion.

Please let me know what you think.
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Has anyone considered using an industrial 3-phase induction motor?
Hi Bent,

Yeah, and there is plenty of discussion about it. This thread is active And there have been plenty of others. A member named etischer had a thread which outlined his build with an AC drive. And a guy named Samborambo talks about it. Also you can find links to build sites. Try to use the search function here.


well, the 600v pack voltage is a major buzzkill if you want to use LA batteries (600v with 'standard' 50 ah floodies = 2000 lbs), no problem for lithium tho. (lower capacity and weight, easier to get higher volts without too much weight)
perhaps a high power dc/dc booster to get the 600+ volts? looking for suitable parts atm, but I'm not sure if this is the way to go.. (started my own topic)
For the Lithium prismatic cell models I've come across, the relation between their weight and total pack voltage is not linear. A 120V @ 200Ah pack will weigh less than a 240V @ 100Ah. By the time you get to that high voltage you're looking at several hundred extra pounds to carry, among other 'cons' of such setup.

Most of the industrial motor controllers come in 3 flavors. 200 - 240 volt input, 380 - 480 volt and 500 - 600. They also have typically +/- 10% tolerance on voltage. Find one with a lower voltage input and your battery wont have to be that high of a voltage.
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