RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
Force Engineering was briefed with developing a Linear Induction Motor (LIM) solution for the accelerated testing of highways and airport runways in South Africa.
The requirement was to reliably drive the test bogies which apply over 100,000 wheel loads a day, each equivalent to a 12-ton axle load, on a patch of road surface just 3.6 metres long. LIMs from Force Engineering became an obvious choice given the benefits of contact-less drive, low maintenance and long term reliability.
The main challenge came in designing motors that could provide the high torque and acceleration required whilst not causing damage to the machinery itself. The motors also had to be able to operate on the almost continuous duty cycle the application demanded. As electro-magnetic performance reduces the hotter a motor gets, Force Engineering designed and manufactured water cooled motors utilising a separate water jacket fed from a standard radiator system to ensure the continuous, reliable motor performance.
The bespoke control software was written to provide a jerk free soft start to the drive belt, protecting it and other mechanic equipment from damage. The specifically configured inverter drive unit also allows for variable control of the motors changing the parameters for different tests as required.
Utilising the contactless characteristics of LIMs, Force Engineering were able to provide a drive system that eliminated the fatigue and wear issues associated with other motor technologies whilst providing reliable and controlled operation. Completed working systems have been sold across the globe, testing the strength and capabilities of motorways and runways helping to ensure their safety.