BLDCs Improve Performance Compared to Brushed Motors
BLDCs Improve Performance Compared to Brushed Motors

Nov 24, 2020

70% of industrial electric usage is attributed to motors, and this demand, when combined with the rising level of automation, pushes the need for an overall cost-effective motor. Manufacturers across the industrial and automotive sectors are rapidly migrating to brushless DC motors (BLDCs) for precisely controlled motor operation, improved performance, and less wear when compared with conventional motors. Increasing industrial applications of these motors and surging adoption in HVAC, automotive, and consumer electronics are expected to be the key factors driving this BLDC market. The worldwide BLDC market is projected to reach $16.38B by 2026 from $10.69B in 2020 with a CAGR of 7.1%. [1]

BLDC Required Components

Three major components are required for driving a BLDC motor. They are a microcontroller unit (MCU) for generating required pulse wave modulation (PWM), a sensor device to sense the actual motor speed, and a motor drive to control the motor operation coupled with suitably specified MOSFETs to deliver the required power.

Control Units: Control units are implemented using microelectronics, and it provides several tech choices, such as a microcontroller, a dedicated microcontroller, a hardwired microelectronic unit, PLC, or similar units, etc. These control units are used to handle high-performing control algorithms, like vector, field-oriented, and high-speed control. All of these parameters are related to the electromagnetic state of the motor.

Pulse Wave Modulation (PWM): Power integrated circuits (PIC) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are high-performance controllers. These controllers use a PWM regulator in a single IC capable of replacing the entire control unit. PWM waves are used to control the speed of the motor. The average current flowing through the motor will change depending on the ON and OFF time of the pulses controlling the motor. You can vary the speed of the motor when changing the duty cycles (ON time).

MOSFET Arrangement: The motor operation is controlled using an optocoupler and MOSFET arrangement. Here the input DC power is controlled through the PWM technique from the microcontroller, and the motor rotates. An infrared LED is present on the shaft, and as it rotates, the photodiode receives this infrared light. It changes resistance, thus causing a change in supply voltage to the connected transistor, and sends feedback to the microcontroller to generate the rotations per minute.

Migrating Modern Device Motors

Brushless DC motors are quiet, lighter, and have much longer lifespans with typically 85-90% efficiency, while brushed motors are usually only 75-80% efficient. As computers control the electrical current, brushless DC motors can achieve much more precise motion control. BLDCs are therefore preferred for modern devices where low noise and low heat are required. BLDC engines will see increased integration with sensors and actuators in the coming years, enabling autonomy and detecting and collecting detailed information about conditions and surroundings.

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