Advanced Embedded Motor Drive technologies to reduce energy consumption

The worlds energy needs are increasing and to cope with demand, as we transition to a sustainable future, industry needs to adopt technologies to avoid the waste of raw materials and energy in manufacturing processes.

Power electronics integration addresses some of the main obstacles to be overcome as systems are electrified, particularly for industrial, automotive, aerospace, and renewable energy applications. In fact, in all applications where a lighter, more power dense, more efficient power converter can be exploited.

The electrification of these sectors is gathering pace, but much of the world’s energy, estimated at 42% is used in industrial processes and 28% of global electricity is used in industrial motors.


90% of these motors are driven at full speed and then use mechanical systems to regulate the output which is very wasteful. Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) technology allows these motors to be driven at an optimum speed.

It has been shown that very significant energy savings can be made using VFD technologies but, these always require a clean, temperature-controlled environment and expensive filters and cables to connect to the motors. The installation costs are prohibitively expensive and typically it takes many years to recover the investment.

To address these problems, the University of Nottingham Energy Institute has partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering and ITT Industrial process to become the UK centre of embedded motor drive technologies research.

Our research has shown that embedding the VFD within the motor envelope allows a direct motor replacement without the disadvantages of a VFD installation resulting in vast energy savings at a much lower cost.

University of Nottingham Energy Institute lead, Dr Liliana de Lillo, commented,

We have demonstrated the concept of embedded motor drives in laboratory tests and field trials. There are a great number of research areas still to be addressed to deliver the advantages that this topology promises and ensure global uptake to maximise energy savings and CO2 emissions reductions."

This new partnership will be underpinned by over a decade of research in power electronics integration.

Contact Liliana de Lillo to find out more.


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