150 years Siemens’s dynamo-electric principle
150 years ago, Werner von Siemens discovered the dynamo-electric principle and developed the dynamo machine which allowed mechanical energy to be converted into electrical energy, to be used for electric lighting, metallurgical processes, power transmission and perhaps future purposes of which we are not yet aware. This innovation laid the foundation for the electrification of the world, helped bring about the advent of electrical machinery and had a lasting and fundamental impact on the speed of industrial processes. This completely changed accepted concepts of time and mobility for the whole of society.
The invention is based on two underlying concepts: Firstly, the current generated by the double-T armature simultaneously acts as the exciter current for the field magnets, whereby an electrical circuit is formed from the armature and exciter winding and the outer electrical circuit. Secondly, the residual magnetism of the magnets is sufficient to initiate the reciprocal amplification of the armature current and the magnetic field. This reciprocal build-up of the induction current and the strength of the magnetic field forms the basis of the dynamo-electric principle. If the principle is reversed, electrical energy can be converted into mechanical energy. This paved the way 150 years ago for the advent of electric motors in industrial production. Initially power transmission to the individual machines took place using transmission belts, while later each individual machine was fitted with its own electric drive.
In 1879, Siemens presented the world’s first electric railway, in 1880 the first electric lift and in 1905 the first ever electrically powered car. In 1906, Siemens unveiled the world’s first reversible electric drive for a blooming train at the Georgsmarienhütte steel works, whose maximum output at the time was 6.800 kW. In the same year, Siemens built its Dynamowerk, a dynamo factory designed to put the dynamoelectric principle into practice in the form of industrial products. This was the first production plant built in what was to become known as the Siemensstadt district in Berlin. Today, the Siemens portfolio includes drives for every conceivable application, including pumps, fans and compressors for the oil and gas industry, water and wastewater plants, the chemical industry and mining. The company also offers drives for material transport in rolling mills, conveyor belts used in the mining industry, paper machines, discrete material handling and machine tools in production. In addition, applications for mobility such as traction motors for highspeed trains, trams, regional and light rail systems, hybrid and electric buses complete the product range.
Adapting to changing industrial environment
With its Integrated Drive Systems (IDS), Siemens is addressing the trend towards smarter drives with optimum movement patterns and faster networking – particularly given the ever more rapid and fundamental changes to production and process technologies being implemented by customers. Users benefit from the ability to select and operate individual components which are seamlessly matched to create an integrated system with a high degree of efficiency and reliability. Well timed to coincide with Werner von Siemens’ 200th birthday, Siemens is introducing a new drive series to its ‘Integrated Drive Systems’ (IDS) portfolio based on reluctance motor technology. This new system comprises of a reluctance motor from the Simotics 1LE1 motor platform and specially coordinated Sinamics G120 converters with vector control. This coordinated and harmonized motor and converter system facilitate a highly cost-effective operation. In the partial load range, reluctance motors offer a substantially improved level of efficiency over induction motors with the same output, and in many applications, they offer a low-cost alternative to frequency-controlled induction motors. The highest efficiency drive system with system efficiency class IES2 guarantees maximum efficiency. This means that minimum operating costs are reached in processes that also require precise control. And finally, a high degree of productivity is guaranteed as a result of the greater dynamic performance with short accelerating times and a low moment of inertia. The commissioning is simplified using predefined parameters in the form of a code on the motor rating plate.
Even 150 years after the dynamo-electric principle was discovered, the world of electrical engineering continues to provide enormous scope for innovation, as evidenced by the incipient integration of motors into the digital factory, starting with the electronic rating plate through to the digital twin. With MindSphere, the Siemens Cloud for Industry, the company is providing an open IoT / cloud platform for the acquisition, transfer, secure storage and provision of data – and with it the ideal digital infrastructure to also enable the trouble-free integration of drives.