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A new family of speed-sensorless sliding-mode observers for induction motor drives has been developed. Three topologies are investigated in order to determine their feasibility, parameter sensitivity, and practical applicability. The most significant feature of all schemes is that they do not require the rotor speed adaptation, i.e., they are inherently sensorless observers. The most versatile and robust is a dual-reference-frame full-order flux observer. The other two schemes are flux observers implemented in stator frame and rotor frame, respectively. These are simpler than the first one and make use of the sliding-mode invariance over a specified range of modeling uncertainties and disturbances. Main theoretical aspects, results of parameter sensitivity analysis, and implementation details are given for each observer in order to allow the comparison. Experimental results with the dual-reference-frame observer, considered the most adequate for practical applications, are presented and discussed. Sensorless operation with a sliding-mode direct-torque-controlled drive at very low speeds is demonstrated. It is concluded that the new proposed observers represent a feasible alternative to the classical speed-adaptive flux observers.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2009