Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

John Chiasson

Committee Members

Leon M. Tolbert, J. Douglas Birdwell, Timothy P. Schulze


This thesis considers a differential-algebraic approach to estimating the speed and rotor time constant of an induction motor using only the measured terminal voltages and currents. It is shown that the induction motor speed satisfies both a second-order and a third-order polynomial equation whose coefficients depend the stator voltages, stator currents, and their derivatives. Further, it is shown that as long as the stator electrical frequency is nonzero, the speed is uniquely determined by these polynomials. The speed so determined is then used to stabilize a dynamic (Luenberger type) observer to obtain a smoothed speed estimate. With full knowledge of the machine parameters and filtering of the sensor noise, simulations and experiments indicate that this estimator has the potential to provide low speed (including zero speed) control of an induction motor under full load. A differential-algebraic approach is also used to obtain an estimate of the rotor time constant of an induction motor, again using only the measured stator voltages and currents. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate the practical use of the identification method.

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