AB Electrolux has filed a patent for a laundry machine with an inverter-based apparatus to control the motor. The apparatus includes an input stage, an electrolytic capacitor-less inverter, a DC-link, a DC-link capacitor, a regulator system, and an active voltage limiter unit. The patent claims a method for controlling the laundry machine by regulating the motor reference value to limit the DC-link capacitor voltage within a predetermined range. GlobalData’s report on AB Electrolux gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on AB Electrolux, Cleaning robots was a key innovation area identified from patents. AB Electrolux's grant share as of September 2023 was 65%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A patent for controlling a laundry machine with an inverter-based apparatus

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: AB Electrolux

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230318508A1) describes a method for controlling a laundry treating machine. The method involves using an inverter-based apparatus to control the electric motor of the machine. The apparatus includes an input stage that converts alternating mains voltage to rectified DC voltage, an electrolytic capacitor-less inverter that generates output currents for the motor based on duty cycles of switching signals, a DC-link that connects the inverter to the input stage, a DC-link capacitor, and a regulator system.

The method focuses on regulating the motor reference value to limit the DC-link capacitor voltage within a predetermined range. The determined/estimated motor values correspond to the output currents, while the motor reference values correspond to the current references. The method involves determining the amplitude of the DC-link capacitor voltage and the output currents provided to the motor. The regulator system then controls the duty cycles of the switching units based on these values to regulate the current references and limit the DC-link capacitor voltage.

The patent also describes additional features of the method, such as clamping the DC-link capacitor voltage to a prefixed value when the motor regenerates back current, determining active current based on the output currents and duty cycles, and determining maximum absolute correction signals based on the active current and duty cycles. The method also includes determining an instantaneous maximum allowable regeneration current based on a measured voltage level and a parameter indicative of the maximum absolute active current for regeneration.

Furthermore, the method involves determining unconstrained and constrained axis-wise current corrections, modifying the current references based on these corrections, and regulating the torque reference of the regulator system to limit the DC-link capacitor voltage. The method also includes determining a torque limit value based on voltage and current signals, calculating a current value indicative of the difference between the active current and the maximum allowable regeneration current, and performing a proportional-integral function to calculate the torque limit.

Overall, this patent presents a method for controlling a laundry treating machine that focuses on regulating the motor reference value and using an inverter-based apparatus to control the electric motor. The method aims to limit the DC-link capacitor voltage within a predetermined range, ensuring efficient and safe operation of the machine.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.