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Over the last few decades, the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been pushing the development of electric drives with increasingly high power ratings, up to several tens of megawatts. A consolidated technology in this field entails dual-star two-pole synchronous motors fed by load-commutated inverters with supply frequencies between 50 and 80 Hz. This paper presents a novel drive concept for very high-power and high-performance LNG applications based on a 45-MW four-pole 100-Hz quadruple-star synchronous motor supplied by four pulsewidth modulation multilevel voltage source inverters. The genesis, development, and industrial implementation of this new design concept are outlined. Full-load drive system testing and commissioning results are presented which successfully validate the proposed solution.
Date of Publication: May-June 2011