A concerted global effort is invested to reduce power consumption, and a number of countries/regions require household appliances to meet efficiency standards set by organizations such as the China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), the ENERGY STAR and the German Blue Angel. To meet these standards, an increasing number of system designers stop using simple and easy-to-use single-phase AC induction motors and start to adopt more energy-efficient low-voltage China brushless DC motor (BLDC) in their designs. To achieve longer service life and lower operating noise, designers of small appliances such as floor sweepers are also turning to more advanced BLDC motors in many of their systems. Meanwhile, advances in permanent magnet technology are simplifying the manufacturing process of BLDC motors, reducing system size while providing the same torque (load), as well as increasing efficiency and reducing system noise.
It’s highly challenging to design systems that use BLDC motors because it often requires complex hardware and optimized software designs to provide reliable real-time control. One option to speed up the design cycle is to use BLDC motor modules from specialized suppliers, but these modules are not optimized for the needs of a specific system. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of motor design and control is still required in order to build high-performance systems optimized for specific application requirements, even when using modules.
In this article, ACT Motor, one of China top 10 stepper motor drive manufacturers, will offers three methods that can accelerate the design of BLDC motor systems while providing smarter and smaller energy efficient solutions, hoping to help you better understand how to shorten design cycle with BLDC motors.1. Sensorless control without programmingMotor drivers that do not require programming include built-in control commutation algorithms, thus eliminating the need for motor control software development, maintenance and certification. These motor drivers typically receive feedback from the motor (such as Hall signals or motor phase voltage and current signals), calculate complex control equations in real time to determine the drive state of the next motor, and provide pulse-width modulated signals for analog front-end components such as gate drivers or metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs).
When using a motor driver with integrated sensorless control, e.g., the MCF8316A motor driver with field oriented control (FOC), for real-time control, no Hall effect sensors are required in the China brushless DC motor, thus increasing system reliability and reducing total system cost. Motor drivers that do not require programming can also manage important functions such as motor fault detection and implement protection mechanisms, making the overall system design more reliable. These devices can come with pre-certified control algorithms implemented by certification bodies such as Underwriters Laboratories, enabling OEMs to reduce the design time of their home appliances.2. Easy motor tuning using intelligent motor control function
The system performance parameter requirements (e.g., speed, efficiency, and noise) are difficult to address by tuning the BLDC motor, but can be solved by developing a sensorless trapezoidal control algorithm in which commutation is determined by the motor’s back-electromotive force voltage, making the tuning operation independent of motor parameters. The integrated motor driver that incorporates sensorless trapezoidal control, e.g., the MCT8316A, can provide optimized system performance without the use of complex interface connection microcontroller. It should also be noted that during motor tuning, the integrated motor driver provides feedback signals such as motor phase voltage, current and motor speed as displayed on an oscilloscope.The integration of advanced control techniques in the sensorless FOC algorithm allows for significantly faster motor tuning, for example, by self-measuring motor parameters or automatically performing tuning of the control loop. The guided tuning graphical user interface (GUI) provides default motor start-up options, which helps to smooth the tuning process and get the motor spinning as quickly as possible. Motor drivers that do not require programming, such as the MCF8316A for FOC and the MCT8316A for ladder control, include several configurable options for motor start as well as closed-loop and motor stop operation. With these options, the performance of best brushless DC motor can be optimized in minutes, significantly reducing the design cycle.
3. Reduce the sizeFor many system designers, BLDC system hardware construction is overwhelming. A typical system requires gate drivers, MOSFETs, current-sensing amplifiers, voltage-sensing comparators, and analog-to-digital converters. Most systems require a dedicated power supply architecture (including devices such as low dropout regulators or DC/DC buck regulators) to power all components on the board. The integrated BLDC driver combines all of these components to provide a compact but easy-to-use solution.
Motor drivers with integrated control include protection features, such as overcurrent and overvoltage protection for MOSFETs and temperature monitoring, making it easy for designers to provide a robust solution. For motor applications that consume less than 70W, devices with integrated MOSFETs can be selected to further reduce board space. The MCF8316A and MCT8316A devices support peak currents of up to 8A in 24V applications. For high-power applications, the power MOSFET can be placed on the board, allowing the gate driver and motor control functions to be integrated into a single chip.The concepts discussed in this article help speed up the system design cycle while providing a smaller and smarter China brushless DC motor system. With sensorless BLDC motor drivers such as the MCF8316A and MCT8316A, optimized high-performance real-time control systems can be designed quickly. These devices can provide up to 70W of power for 24V applications. With integrated intelligent control technology, both motor drivers are easily tuned for high-performance and reliable system solutions, making them ideal for building the next low-voltage, energy-efficient BLDC-based system.Committed to helping customers from all industries to meet the needs of the current and future society, ACT Motor can provide professional OEM services to customize and produce high quality products for customers. As one of the most innovative companies in the market, ACT Motor company is always maintaining close contact with customers to ensure effective industry solutions and has mastered the core technologies of hybrid stepper motor, permanent magnet stepper motor, servo motor, brushless DC motor and motor drive and integration.