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Koch backs AC Kinetics to deliver ‘third era for drives’

12 July, 2016

Koch Minerals – a subsidiary of the $115bn US conglomerate Koch Industries – has entered into strategic agreements with the US motor control software developer, AC Kinetics, to commercialise its software that runs on existing VFD (variable-frequency drive) hardware and is claimed to achieve energy savings of up to 50%, while maintaining performance in both steady-state and dynamic operation. The terms of the agreements have not been revealed.

AC Kinetics’ run-time software ­– which, it suggests, represents a “third era” for AC drives – combines non-linear optimisation with VFD motor control and is suitable for any drive application, including those requiring fast transient responses, limited overshoots and settling times, and insensitivity to load disturbances. The software, which is supported by real-time adaptive algorithms, runs on standard VFD hardware.

In comparison tests on a 60hp (44.7kW) motor reported last year, a drive equipped with the AC Kinetics software was shown to achieve “significant” energy savings compared to a VFD from “a multinational drive manufacturer”. The motor also ran at a lower temperature when driven by the VFD equipped with the new software.

“As a large user of VFDs, Koch quickly recognised the value of AC Kinetics’ software, including improved motor energy consumption, reduced motor temperatures, and the potential for extended motor life,” says Jason Russell, director of business development at Koch Minerals. “We are excited about the certified lab test results, end-user feedback from field testing, and on-going licensing discussions with drive manufacturers.”

Part of the test set-up that AC Kinetics is using to develop its motor control software

AC Kinetics, based in New York state, has been licensing a patented motor control vibration reduction software for more than 25 years. Its licensees include Nasa, the US Department of Energy, Danaher, Magnetek, Physik Instrumente, ACS Motion Control, Agilent/HP and Seagate. 

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