) is a synchronouselectric motor which is powered bydirect-current electricity(DC) and which has an electronically controlled commutation system, insteadof a mechanical commutation system based on brushes. In such motors, current and torque,voltage and rpm are linearly related.A BLDC motor powering a micro remote-controlled airplane. The motor is connected to amicroprocessor-controlled BLDC controller. This 5-gram motor is approximately 11 watts (15millihorsepower ) and produces about two times more thrust than the weight of the plane. Beinganoutrunner , the rotor-can containing the magnets spins around the coil windings on the stator.Two subtypes exist:
Thereluctance motor .In a conventional (brushed) DC motor, the brushes make mechanical contact with a set of electrical contacts on the rotor (called thecommutator ), forming an electrical circuit between theDC electrical source and the armature coil-windings. As the armature rotates on axis, thestationary brushes come into contact with different sections of the rotating commutator. Thecommutator and brush system form a set of electrical switches, each firing in sequence, such thatelectrical-power always flows through the armature coil closest to the stationary stator.In a BLDC motor, the electromagnets do not move; instead, the permanent magnets rotate andthearmatureremains static. This gets around the problem of how to transfer current to a movingarmature. In order to do this, the brush-system/commutator assembly is replaced by an electroniccontroller. The controller performs the same power distribution found in a brushed DC motor, but using a solid-state circuit rather than a commutator/brush system.
Because of induction of the windings, power requirements, and temperature management, someglue circuitry is necessary between digital controller and motor.BLDC motors offer several advantages over brushed DC motors, including higher efficiency andreliability, reduced noise, longer lifetime (no brush erosion), elimination of ionizing sparks fromthe commutator, more power, and overall reduction of electromagnetic interference(EMI). Withno windings on the rotor, they are not subjected to centrifugal forces, and because theelectromagnets are attached to the casing, they can be cooled by conduction, requiring no airflowinside the motor for cooling. This in turn means that the motor's internals can be entirelyenclosed and protected from dirt or other foreign matter. The maximum power that can beapplied to a BLDC motor is exceptionally high, limited almost exclusively by heat, which candamage the magnets. BLDC's main disadvantage is higher cost, which arises from two issues.First, BLDC motors require complexelectronic speed controllersto run. Brushed DC motors can be regulated by a comparatively simple controller, such as arheostat(variable resistor). Second,many practical uses have not been well developed in the commercial sector. For example, in theRC hobby scene, even commercial brushless motors are often hand-wound while brushed motorsuse armature coils which can be inexpensively machine-wound.BLDC motors are often more efficient at converting electricity into mechanical power than brushed DC motors. This improvement is largely due to the absence of electrical and frictionlosses due to brushes. The enhanced efficiency is greatest in the no-load and low-load region of the motor's performance curve.
Because the controller must direct the rotor rotation, the controller needs some means of determining the rotor's orientation/position (relative to the stator coils.) Some designs useHalleffect sensorsor arotary encoder to directly measure the rotor's position. Others measure the back EMFin the undriven coils to infer the rotor position, eliminating the need for separate Halleffect sensors, and therefore are often called
controllers. Like an AC motor, thevoltage on the undriven coils is sinusoidal, but over an entire commutation the output appearstrapezoidal because of the DC output of the controller.The controller contains 3 bi-directionaldriversto drive high-current DC power, which arecontrolled by a logic circuit. Simple controllers employ comparators to determine when theoutput phase should be advanced, while more advanced controllers employ amicrocontroller tomanage acceleration, control speed and fine-tune efficiency. Controllers that sense rotor position based on back-EMF have extra challenges in initiating motion because no back-EMFis producedwhen the rotor is stationary. This is usually accomplished by beginning rotation from an arbitrary phase, and then skipping to the correct phase if it is found to be wrong. This can cause the motor to run briefly backwards, adding even more complexity to the startup sequence.The controller unit is often referred to as an "ESC", meaningElectronic Speed Controller .
The poles on the stator of a two-phase BLDC motor. This is part of a computer coolingfan; therotor has been removed.Schematic for delta and wye winding styles. (This image does not illustrate a BLDC motor'sinductive and generator-like properties)