What is an Electric Drive? – Block Diagram, Advantages and Disadvantages

What is an Electric Drive?

The combination of an electric motor, energy transmitting shaft and control device for motion control is known as electric drive. The following figure shows the block diagram of a typical electric drive.

Based on their assembly, electric drives can be of the following three types −

  • Individual Drive

  • Group Drive

  • Multi-motor drive

In this article, let's check where exactly the electric drives are used and what are benefits and drawbacks of using electric drives.

Advantages of Electric Drive

The advantages of using electric drives are listed below −

  • Electric drives are environment friendly as they do not produce smoke, fumes, ash, etc. Therefore, electric drives are most suited for the underground and tube railways.

  • Electric drives are flexible because their performance can be controlled effectively by using electronic devices such as SCRs, IGBTs and microcontrollers.

  • Available in wide range of torque, speed and power.

  • Compact in size; electric drives occupy less space.

  • Do not require warm-up time; they can be started immediately.

  • Electric drives can be remote controlled.

  • A reliable source of drive.

  • Powered by electrical energy which has a number of advantages over other sources of energy.

  • Adaptable to different operating conditions such as submerged in liquid, explosive chemical or mining environment, radioactive environment, etc.

  • Electric drives have high schedule speed, high traffic handling capacity and hence require less terminal space.

  • Require less maintenance cost and less maintenance time. Electric drives are economical.

Disadvantages of Electric Drive

Some of the disadvantages of using electric drives are listed below −

  • The capital cost of installing an electric drive is high.

  • Electric drives are suitable only on electrified tracks.

  • Electric drives require additional control circuitry.

  • Sometimes, electric drives can cause noise pollution.

  • Electric drives have poor dynamic response.

  • Power failure can completely disable an electric drive.

  • The output power obtained from an electric drive is low.

Applications of Electric Drive

Electric drives are widely used in a number of industrial and domestic applications such as −

  • Transportation system (like electric trains, trolleybus, etc.)

  • Rolling mills

  • Paper mills

  • Textile mills

  • Machine tools

  • Pumps, fans and robotics, etc.