Know Basics of 3 Phase AC Induction Motor and Its Control using SVPWM

Some of the advantages like low cost, rugged design less complex, and easy to maintain AC motors results in many of the industrial operations are performed with the use of AC drives than DC drives. AC induction motor is a special type of electric motor having its own typical characteristics and performance in terms of starting, speed control, protections, and so on.

AC Induction Motor
AC Induction Motor

The performance over a wide range of applications makes three-phase induction motors accountable for 85 percent of the installed capacity of the industrial driving systems. Let us discuss on basic information about this motor and its special controlling technique of SVPWM.

Three Phase AC Induction Motor

The three-phase AC induction motor is a rotating electric machine that is designed to operate on a three-phase supply. This 3 phase motor is also called as an asynchronous motor. These AC motors are of two types: squirrel and slip-ring type induction motors. The principle of operation of this motor is based on the production of a rotating magnetic field.

3 Phase Induction Motor Construction

These three-phase motors consist of a stator and a rotor and between which no electrical connection exists. These stator and rotors are constructed with the use of high-magnetic core materials in order to reduce hysteresis and eddy current losses.

3 Phase Induction Motor Construction
3 Phase Induction Motor Construction

Stator frame can be constructed using cast iron, aluminum, or rolled steel. The stator frame provides necessary mechanical protection and support for stator laminated core, windings, and other arrangements for ventilation. The stator is wounded with three-phase windings which are overlapped with one another at a 120-degree phase shift fitted into slotted laminations. The six ends of the three windings are brought out and connected to the terminal box so that these windings are excited by three-phase main supply.

These windings are of copper wire insulated with varnish fitted into insulated slotted laminations. At all working temperatures, this impregnated varnish remains rigid. These windings have high-insulation resistance and high resistance to the saline atmosphere, moisture, alkaline fumes, oil, and grease, etc. Whichever suits the voltage level, these windings are connected in either star or delta connections.

Squirrel Cage Induction Motor
Squirrel Cage Induction Motor

The rotor of the three-phase AC induction motor is different for the slip-ring and squirrel-cage induction motors. The rotor in the slip-ring type consists of heavy aluminum or copper bars shorted on both ends of the cylindrical rotor. The shaft of the induction motor is supported on two bearings at each ends to ensure free rotating within the stator and to reduce the friction. It consists of a stack of steel laminations evenly spaced slots that are punched around of its circumference into which un-insulated heavy aluminum or copper bars are placed.

A slip-ring-type rotor consists of three-phase windings that are internally starred at one end, and the other ends are brought outside and connected to the slip rings mounted on the rotor shaft. And for developing a high-starting torque these windings are connected to rheostat with the help of carbon brushes. This external resistor or rheostat is used at the starting period only. Once the motor attains the normal speed, the brushes are short-circuited, and the wound rotor works as a squirrel cage rotor.

Principle of Operation of 3-Phase Induction Motor

Principle of Operation of 3-Phase Induction Motor
Principle of Operation of 3-Phase Induction Motor
  • When the motor is excited with a three-phase supply,three-phase stator winding produces a rotating magnetic field with 120 displacements at a constant magnitude which rotates at synchronous speed. This changing magnetic field cuts the rotor conductors and induces a current in them according to the principle of Faraday’s laws of electromagnetic induction. As these rotor conductors are shorted, the current starts to flow through these conductors.
  • In the presence of the magnetic field of the stator, rotor conductors are placed, and therefore, according to the Lorenz force principle, a mechanical force acts on the rotor conductor. Thus, all the rotor conductors force, i.e., the sum of the mechanical forces produces torque in the rotor which tends to move it in the same direction of the rotating magnetic field.
  • This rotor conductor’s rotation can also be explained by Lenz’s law which tells that the induced currents in the rotor oppose the cause for its production, here this opposition is rotating magnetic field. This result the rotor starts rotating in the same direction of the stator rotating magnetic field. If the rotor speed more than the stator speed, then no current will induce in the rotor because the reason for rotor rotation is the relative speed of the rotor and stator magnetic fields. This stator and the rotor field difference are called slip. This how a 3-phase motor is called an asynchronous machine due to this relative speed difference between the stator and the rotors.
  • As we discussed above, the relative speed between the stator field and the rotor conductors causes to rotate the rotor in a particular direction. Hence, for producing the rotation, the rotor speed Nr must always be less than the stator field speed Ns, and the difference between these two parameters depends on the load on the motor.

The difference of speed or the slip of the AC induction motor is given as

  • When the stator is stationary, Nr=0; so the slip becomes 1 or 100%.
  • When Nr is at synchronous speed, the slip becomes zero; so the motor never runs at synchronous speed.
  • The slip in the 3 phase induction motor from no load to full load is about 0.1% to 3%; that’s why the induction motors are called as constant-speed motors.

SVPWM Control of 3 Phase Induction Motor

Most commonly for controlling the induction motors, PWM inverter-based drives are used.  As compared with fixed frequency drives, these PWM dives control the both magnitude of voltage and frequency of the current as well as the voltage applied to the induction motor. By changing the PWM signals applied to the power switch gates, the amount of power delivered by these drives is also varied so that the three-phase induction motor speed control is achieved.

SVPWM Control of 3 Phase Induction Motor by
SVPWM Control of 3 Phase Induction Motor by

A number of Pulse width modulation (PWM) schemes are used for controlling three-phase motor drives. But most widely Sine PWM (SPWM) and space vector PWM (SVPWM) are used. As compared with SPWM, SVPWM control gives a higher level of fundamental voltage and reduced harmonic content. Here we have given a practical implementation of this SVPWM control using 8051 microcontrollers.

In the below circuit, a three-level voltage inverter is used for obtaining three output voltages depends on DC bus voltage. Single-phase supply is rectified to supply DC power to both microcontroller circuit and inverter circuits.8051 Microcontroller is programmed to produce SVPWM signals which are given to gate driver IC.

Block Diagram of SVPWM Control of 3 Phase Induction Motor by
Block Diagram of SVPWM Control of 3 Phase Induction Motor by

The inverter circuit comprises six MOSFETs to produce a variable three-phase supply, for each phase two MOSFETs are deployed. These MOSFETs gates are connected to gate driver IC. Upon receiving the PWM signals from the microcontroller gate driver switches the MOSFETs so that the variable AC output voltage is produced. Therefore, this variable AC with a change in voltage and frequency varies the speed of the motor.

This is basic information on AC induction motor with construction and working principle. In addition to this, the SVPWM technique of controlling the speed of the motor has many advantages than other PWM techniques as we seen above. If you have doubts about the programming microcontroller for implementing the SVPWM technique in it, you can contact us by commenting below.

Photo Credits:

  • AC Induction Motor by wikimedia
  • 3 Phase Induction Motor Construction by electronicdesign
  • Slip-ring and Squirrel-cage Induction Motors by tpub
  • Principle of Operation of 3-Phase Induction Motor by blogspot


  1. Need 8051 svpwm program for project. Complete

  2. Hello please I need help. I need a pwm speed control for a three phase AC induction using 89c52 microcontroller and IGBT

  3. thank you for the effort. i think this is an open loop control.
    can you provide me with a closed loop project for the motor. Plz.?

  4. im doing this project…

    how to program 8051 microcontroller to get svpwm pulses??.

  5. these project is good

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Nirmala,

      Thank you for your appreciation.
      For customization of this project please email us on

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