A New Topology for Unipolar Brushless DC Motor Drive - abstract

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A New Topology for Unipolar Brushless DC Motor Drive - abstract

© All Rights Reserved

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ABSTRACT

A new converter topology is proposed for driving a permanent magnet brushless dc

(BLDC) motor with unipolar currents. It is based on a front-end single-ended primary inductance

converter (SEPIC) and a switch in series with each phase. All the switches are ground-

referenced, which simplifies their gate drives. The available input voltage can be boosted for

better current regulation, which is an advantage for low voltage applications. For operation with

an ac supply, the SEPIC converter is designed to operate in the discontinuous conduction mode.

In this operation mode, it approximates a voltage follower and the line current follows the line

voltage waveform to a certain extent. The reduction in low-order harmonics and improved power

factor is achieved without the use of any voltage or current sensors. The simplicity and reduced

parts count of the proposed topology make it an attractive low-cost choice for many variable

speed drive applications

INTRODUCTION

Cost minimization is the key to the large volume manufacture and application of brushless

dc (BLDC) motors in variable speed drives. BLDC motors are conventionally excited with

bipolar currents which requires a six-switch inverter as shown in Fig. 1. The unipolar motor

needs fewer electronic parts and uses a simpler circuit than the bipolar motor. For these reasons,

unipolar-driven motors are widely used in low-cost instruments [1]. The savings in converter

cost opens up a lot of applications for variable speed drives (VSD) such as HVAC, fans, pumps,

and appliances which have been dominated by constant speed drives.

The simplest unipolar drive consists of a single switch in series with each winding and

a zener diode or dump resistor in the freewheeling path as shown in Fig. 2 [2]. This drive is

inefficient because the stored energy in the phases is dissipated. Better performance can be

obtained by using topologies that have previously been used for driving switched reluctance

motors (SRM).An example is the C-dump converter shown in Fig. 3 [3], which offers full

regenerative control. However, it has the disadvantage of requiring a complicated control for the

dump capacitor voltage, the failure of which could be catastrophic. A buck converter- based drive

for the unipolar BLDC motor was proposed in [4]. Both these topologies require a higher voltage

on the dump capacitors than what is applied to the motor phases during turn-on. While this is a

requirement for the SRM motor in order to achieve a fast turn-off of the phase current to avoid

negative torque spikes, it is not so for the BLDC motor. In fact, by allowing the phase currents to

overlap during the commutation intervals, the commutation torque pulsations can be reduced.

The topology proposed in this paper takes advantage of this fact to use a smaller voltage on the

dump capacitor. A three-switch converter for the unipolar BLDC motor for ac supply operation

was investigated in [5], but it requires a modification in the machine windings and a split-

capacitor voltage balancing control scheme.

Fig. 1. Conventional six-switch inverter used for BLDC motor drive

For applications requiring operation from the utility supply, it is important to

design the equipment to satisfy harmonics standards such as the IEC 1000-3-2, which limit the

magnitude of current harmonics that can be injected into the utility. These standards are typically

not satisfied by the conventional method of ac/dc conversion using a bridge rectifier followed by

a large dc bus capacitor. Passive power factor correction (PFC) circuits based on the use of

reactive elements are impractical in 5060 Hz single-phase lines because of size, weight and cost

[6]. Active PFC methods are becoming increasingly popular because of the availability of low-

cost switches. They consist of a dcdc converter between the diode bridge and the bulk capacitor

which is controlled such that the input current is shaped to follow the input voltage. The

frequency spectrum of the input current would then consist of the fundamental plus easily

filtered higher order harmonics. The typical configuration of an ac motor drive with a power

factor correction stage is shown in Fig. 4. For low power levels, the extra cost and complexity of

the additional PFC stage is not justified by the improvement in power factor. These applications

need to take advantage of inherent features of the topology to improve the power factor. A

method of input current shaping utilizing inverter current control has been discussed in [7].

This paper makes use of the desirable properties of the singleended primary

inductance converter (SEPIC) [8] operating in the discontinuous conduction mode (DCM). At

constant duty cycle, the average input current automatically tracks to some extent the sinusoidal

shape of the input voltage [9]. This is realizedwithout the need of sensing and controlling the

input current, thus simplifying the control circuit. Such a feature can be used to integrate the PFC

stage with the output voltage regulation or inverter stage, which can lead to considerable cost

reduction. The schematic of an ac motor drive with the PFC stage integrated with the inverter is

shown in Fig. 5.

This paper is organized as follows. The unipolar excitation scheme of BLDC motors is

discussed in Section II. The proposed topology is introduced and its operation with a dc supply is

discussed in Section III. The operation with an ac supply to improve the utility interface is

discussed in Section IV. A design example is discussed in Section V, simulation and experimental

results are presented in Section VI, and Section VII gives concluding remarks

Fig. 6. Back-emf, phase current and output torque waveforms with: (a) bipolar

excitation and (b) unipolar excitation

Unipolar current conduction limits the phases to only one direction of current, and

the commutation frequency is half that of a bipolar or full-wave drive. The width of the current

pulse is 180' for 2-phase, 120" and 180'' for 3-phase, 90' and 180" for 4-phase, and 72" and 180"

for 5-phase motors. Fig. 1 shows the different current waveforms that are used to excite the

motors. The peak currents for unipolar conduction are higher than for the corresponding bipolar

schemes. The schematics of the full-wave and half-wave converters used with 3-phase BLDC

motors are shown in Fig. 2. In the simple unipolar converter, a single switch is placed in series

with each motor winding, while a reverse-parallel diode provides a freewheeling path at turn-off.

The motor windings can only be excited for a maximum of half of the total excitation cycle and

therefore the windings are poorly utilized. In addition, inductive energy stored in the windings at

turn-off must be dissipated within the motor rather than being returned to the supply. This drive

has no regenerative control. but with other unipolar converter topologies, it is possible to obtain

fonrquadrant operation of the drive

Fig.2. (a) 3-Phase Bipolar Converter, (b) 3-Phase Unipolar Converter

Another factor that has to be considered before choosing unipolar excitation is that the motor

neutral has to be available.

Bipolar circuits allow each winding to be excited in the positive and negative sense

during a cycle, giving aconsiderable improvement in winding utilization. All bipolar circuits are

capable of returning stored inductive energy at turn-off and of regenerative braking. However,

they have the following disadvantages [SI:

1.Winding current is conducted through two series devices, causing an increase in total

conduction losses.

2. There is a risk of shoot-through faults.

3. Switching of devices connected to the supply rails generally requires some isolation circuitry.

DYNAMICS IMULATIONS

The motor models are created using the MAXWELL 2-D Field Simulator package [71. The

back-emf data obtained from Finite Element Method (EM) is then used in dynamic simulations

in MATLAB [81. To simplify the interpretation of results, it is assumed that the reference

currents in Fig. 1 flow through the wye-connected motor windings. The electromagnetic torque

output of the motors is given by 191 ~ , = ( e , i , + e , i , +.. ..+ e , i , ) /w, . (1)

We first consider a 2-phase motor with 4 slots as shown in Fig. 3. This is an integral slots/pole

motor and the coil span is 2 slots. The currents of Fig. l(a) are used to excite this motor. This

drive requires only one position sensor and a single current sensor. The number of turns/phase is

higher than the reference for the same amount of copper. This results in higher peak torque, but

as Table I shows, the torque ripple of this motor with unipolar currents is very high. This is

because commutation between the phases takes place during the zero crossing of the back-emf.

This can be avoided by increasing the number of phases.

V. THREE-PHASE MOTORS

Let us consider a 3-phase, 12-slot motor as shown in Fig. 4(a) and use the currents of

Fig. l(c). In this case, the commutation takes place before the back-emf of each phase reaches

zero, and the ripple is reduced as shown in Fig. 6(b). When we use the currents in Fig. l(d), the

torque ripple is worse as shown in Fig. 6(c). This is because different numbers of phases

contribute to the torque at different instants of time. From the previous two cases, we realize that

we need a combination of 180' unipolar currents and small back-emf width to reduce the torque

pulsation.

To investigate this case, we consider the 6-slot motor shown in Fig. 4(h). The

back-emf plots as a function of rotor position for both the 3-phase motors are shown in Fig. 5.

We find that the 6-slot motor has a higher peak and smaller backemf width than the 12-slot

motor. This can be explained as follows.

The end-turns are shorter for the 6-slot motor, because of which the number of

turns per coil is more for the same amount of copper. This increases the peak value of the

backemf. The maximum coil span or winding pitch is determined by dividing the number of slots

by the number of poles and rounding off to the next lowest integer [6]. For the 12-slot motor, the

slots/pole is 3, and th-, coils are full-pitched, which maximizes the width of the back-emf. In the

6-slot motor, the slots/pole is 1.5, and the coil span used is 1 because of which the width of the

back-emf waveform is smaller.

This effect can also be achieved by short-pitching the coils in an integral slots/pole

design. The possible short-pitch coil spans for the 12-slot motor are 1 and 2. Using a coil span of

1 would make the back-emf width too narrow and increase the torque ripple. A coil span of 2

would be ideal, but would leave half the slots unutilized. Using a fractional slots/pole motor has

the additional advantage of reducing the cogging torque [6]. If the number of slots is increased to

24 or 32, many more combinations are possible for obtaining smaller back-emf width, and the

designer can then make a choice based on other considerations. However, in general, the smallest

number of slots gives the lowest labor cost in winding, and a coil span of 1 or 2 slots minimizes

the end turns [6]. Note that similar results could also be obtained by using full-pitch stator coils

and a magnet pole arc of 120' electrical as discussed in [6].

From Table 11, we see that the 3-ph 6-slot motor excited with 180' unipolar currents

gives better performance in terms of torque ripple, with some loss in peak and average torque.

This is explained as follows. In Fig. l(d), we have one phase conducting during intervals 2,4 and

6 and two phases conducting during intervals 1,3 and 5. In particular, when the back-emf of

phase A reaches its peak during interval 2, only phase A is conducting. When the back-emf of

phase A starts decreasing in interval 3, phase B also comes into conduction. The decreasing

torque contribution of phase A is compensated by the increasing contribution from phase B. The

result is an almost constant torque over the entire cycle. The remaining case of the 6-slot motor

excited with 126 unipolar currents results in high torque ripple because the back-emf during the

commutation instants is low.

Both the unipolar and the bipolar drives require three hall-effect sensors, with the

second and third displaced by 120" and 240" electrical respectively from the first. The bipolar

drive requires six switches while the unipolar drive requires only three, albeit with higher current

ratings. The advantage of using 120" currents is that we require only one current sensor in the dc

link. However, the torque ripple is not low enough. It can be reduced further by increasing the

number of phases to four.

FOUR-PHASE MOTORS

Two 4-phase motors are considered: One with I6 slots, and the other with 8 slots as shown in

Fig. 7. Both motors are integral slots/pole designs. The 16-slot motor is short-pitched by a factor

of 2, while the 8 slot motor is full-pitched, which

Fig.6. Torque outputs of 3-Phase Moton (a) 12-slot motor with 120" bipolar current, (b)

12-slot motor with 120" unipolar current, (c) 12-slot motor with 180' unipolar current. (d) 6-

slot motor with 120' unipolx current, (e) 6-slot motor with 180' unipolar current.

explains the difference in the width of their back-emf waveforms shown in Fig. 8. The number of

turns/phase is more in the 16-slot motor because of the shorter end-turns, which explains the

higher peak of its back-emf. These motors are excited with the current waveforms of Fig. l(e)

and (0. The torque outputs are shown in Fig. 9 and Table 111 gives the numerical values. For

both motors, using 90' conduction gives better results because the commutation between phases

takes place when the back-emfs are high. In addition, it requires the use of only a single current

sensor in the dc link. In the 180" conduction scheme, two phases conduct at all times, and the

back-emfs of the incoming and outgoing phases are low, resulting in large torque ripple. It also

requires the use of a current sensor in each phase.

The most basic converter that we looked at last month is the buck converter. It is so

named because it always steps down, or bucks, the input voltage. The output of the converter is

given by:

Interchange the input and the output of the buck converter, and you get the second basic

converter the boost. The boost always steps up, hence its name. The output voltage is always

higher than the input voltage, and is given by:

What if you have an application where you need to both step up and step down, depending on the

input and output voltage? You could use two cascaded converters a buck and a boost.

Unfortunately, this requires two separate controllers and switches. It is, however, a good solution

in many cases.

The buck-boost converter has the desired step up and step down functions:

The output is inverted. A flyback converter (isolated buck-boost) requires a transformer instead

of just an inductor, adding to the complexity of the development.

One converter that provides the needed input-to-output gain is the Sepic (single- ended

primary inductor converter) converter. A Sepic converter is shown in Fig. 1. It has become

popular in recent years in battery-powered systems that must step up or down depending upon

the charge level of the battery.

Fig. 2 shows the circuit when the power switch is turned on. The first inductor,

L1, is charged from the input voltage source during this time. The second inductor takes energy

from the first capacitor, and the output capacitor is left to provide the load current. The fact that

both L1 and L2 are disconnected from the load when the switch is on leads to complex control

characteristics, as we will see later.

When the power switch is turned off, the first inductor charges the capacitor C1

and also provides current to the load, as shown in Fig. 3. The second inductor is also connected

to the load during this time.

The output capacitor sees a pulse of current during the off time, making it inherently

noisier than a buck converter

Figure 1. The Sepic converter can both step up and step down the input voltage, while

maintaining the same polarity and the same ground reference for the input and output.

Figure 2. When the switch is turned on, the input inductor is charged from the source, and the

second inductor is charged from the first capacitor. No energy is supplied to the load capacitor

during this time. Inductor current and capacitor voltage polarities are marked in this figure.

Figure 3. With the switch off, both inductors provide current to the load capacitor

The input current is non-pulsating, a distinct advantage in running from a battery supply.

Figure 4. In order to take advantage of Vorprians PWM switch model, the circuit elements must

first be rearranged. The function of the original topology is retained when the capacitor is

moved, and the second inductor is redrawn.

Figure 5. For DC analysis, the small signal sources are set to zero, inductors become short

circuits, and capacitors become open circuits. After the circuit is redrawn, it is a trivial matter to

write KVL around the outer loop of the circuit to solve for the conversion gain of the converter.

The best way to analyze both the AC and DC characteristics of the Sepic converter is by using

the PWM switch model, developed by Dr. Vatch Vorprian in 1986. Some minor circuit

manipulations are first needed to reveal the location of the switch model, and this is First,

capacitor C1 is moved to the bottom branch of the converter. Then, inductor L2 is pulled over to

the left, keeping its ends connected to the same nodes of the circuit. This reveals the PWM

switch model of the converter, with its active, passive, and common ports, allowing us to use

well-established analysis results for this converter.

For more background on the PWM switch model, the text book Fast Analytical

Techniques for Electrical and Electronic Circuits [1] is highly recommended.

DC STUDY OF THE PWM SEPIC

Figure 2.a shows the basic structure of a Single Ended Primary Inductance Converter

(SEPIC) [ 11. The same circuit is represented in figure 2.b, but in this figure the transformer

magnetizing inductance is explicitly represented by the inductance L2.

PWM SEPIC (a) and this same converter with the transformer magnetizing inductance

(b)

First of all, let us calculate the average value of the current iz, i2a, as a function of the average

output current i, ia, ( ia= i because it is constant).

Thus, we can write:

and, therefore

But ic1, and ic2, are flowing in two capacitors working in steady-state, and, therefore:

On the other hand, we can calculate similarly the average value of the voltage vcl , vcIa as a

function of the input voltage vg :

Equations (6) and (1 1) are also valid in ZCS and ZVS QRC's because no considerations have

been made about the type of switch used. The dc voltage-conversion ratio in continuous

conduction mode,m , can be easily obtained from figure 3. Volts-second balance applied to the

inductor can be expressed by:

and, therefore:

where d is the duty cycle. From equations [14], 1151 y [16], we obtain:

averaging the current id, injected into the output cell r-cz (see reference [5]). This current can be

seen in figure 4

Volts-second balance appliedto L2 yields to the following equation

Fig. 3 Equivalent circuits in a PWM SEPIC. A and b in continuous conduction (8) mode. a,

b and c in discontinuous

Fig.4 Current i, waveforms

And the output voltage can be calculated by multiplying the average value of i, by the output

load r :

The boundary value of K between continuous and discontinuous conduction modes, K c ,, can be

easily calculated (mr = m):

(note that the values of m, md and K c , are the same in SEPIC, Cuk and flyback converters)

The waveforms in the circuit shown in figure 2.b, when it is operating in continuous conduction

mode, can be seen in figure 5, in which i1a, and i2a represent the average value of the currents

i1, and , i2, and io, the peak value of is and iD (neglecting ripple), and Vsn and Vdm the peak

value of the voltages Vs and v,, . The values of these magnitudes and of the dc voltage

conversion ratio m are summarized in Table 1, in which these values have been expressed as

functions of the input magnitudes vs, , i1a, and the output magnitudes V , i .

All this values can be easily obtained from figure 3 and from equation [13]. For

example, current i , flowing in the capacitor C, is i2 duringdr (fig. 3.a) and i, during

(fig. 3.b) This current can be seen in figure5 Likewise, thepeak current value (neglecting ripple)

inthe power transistor Si is the addition of i1a, and i2a. :

You wont find a complete analysis of the Sepic converter anywhere in printed

literature. What you will find are application notes with comments like, the Sepic is not well-

understood. Despite the lack of documentation for the converter, engineers continue to use it

when applicable

Proper small-signal analysis of the Sepic converter is a difficult analytical task, only

made practical by advanced circuit analysis techniques originally developed by Dr. David

Middlebrook and continued by Vorprian. [1]

If youre going to build a Sepic, as a minimum, you need to understand the control

characteristics. Fortunately, Vorprians work is now available for this converter, and you can

download the complete analysis notes .[2]

The simplified analysis of the Sepic converter, derived in detail in [2], ignores

parasitic resistances of the inductors and capacitors, and yields the following result for the

control-to-output transfer function:

Where

Figure 6. The small-signal AC sources are included in the switch model, and we can either solve

the analysis by

hand, or . The hand analysis is crucial for symbolic expressions and design equations.

As you can see from these expressions,+ the simplified analysis is anything but simple.

Including the parasitic resistances greatly complicates the analysis, but may be necessary for

worst-case analysis of the Sepic converter. The analysis of this converter involves the use of the

powerful extra element theorem, and Vorprians book

on circuit analysis techniques. [1]

In addition to the inevitable fourth order denominator of the Sepic, the most

important features to note in the control transfer function are the terms in the numerator. The first

term is a single right half- plane (RHP) zero. Right-half-plane zeros are a result of converters

where the response to an increased duty cycle is to initially decrease the output voltage.

When the power switch is turned on, the first inductor is disconnected from the load

and this directly gives rise to the first order RHP zero. Notice that the expression only depends

on the input inductor, L1, the load resistor, R, and the duty cycle.

The complex RHP zeros arise from the fact that turning on the switch disconnects the

second inductor from the load. These zeros will actually move with the values of parasitic

resistors in the circuit, so careful analysis of your converter is needed to ensure stability under all

conditions.

Brushless DC (BLDC)

Brushless Direct Current (BLDC) motors are one of the motor types rapidly gaining

popularity. BLDC motors are used in industries such as Appliances, Automotive, Aerospace,

Consumer, Medical, Industrial Automation Equipment and Instrumentation. As the name implies,

BLDC motors do not use brushes for commutation; instead, they are electronically commutated.

BLDC motors have many advantages over brushed DC motors and induction motors. A few of

these are:

High dynamic response

High efficiency

Long operating life

Noiseless operation

Higher speed ranges

In addition, the ratio of torque delivered to the size of the motor is higher, making it

useful in applications where space and weight are critical factors. In this application note, we

will discuss in detail the construction, working principle, characteristics and typical applications

of BLDC motors. Refer to Appendix B: Glossary for a glossary of terms commonly used

when describing BLDC motors.

BLDC motors are a type of synchronous motor. This means the magnetic field

generated by the stator and the magnetic field generated by the rotor rotate at the same frequency.

BLDC motors do not experience the slip that is normally seen in induction motors.

BLDC motors come in single-phase, 2-phase and 3-phase configurations. Corresponding

to its type, the stator has the same number of windings. Out of these, 3-phase motors are the most

popular and widely used. This application note focuses on 3-phase motors.

Stator

The stator of a BLDC motor consists of stacked steel laminations with windings

placed in the slots that are axially cut along the inner periphery (as shown in Figure 3).

Traditionally, the stator resembles that of an induction motor; however, the windings are

distributed in a different manner. Most BLDC motors have three stator windings connected in

star fashion. Each of these windings are constructed with numerous coils interconnected to form

a winding. One or more coils are placed in the slots and they are interconnected to make a

winding. Each of these windings are distributed over the stator periphery to form an even

numbers of poles. There are two types of stator windings variants: trapezoidal and sinusoidal

motors. This differentiation is made on the basis of the interconnection of coils in the stator

windings to give the different types of back Electromotive Force (EMF). Refer to the What is

Back EMF? section for more information.

As their names indicate, the trapezoidal motor gives a back EMF in trapezoidal

fashion and the sinusoidal motors back EMF is sinusoidal, as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2. In

addition to the back EMF, the phase

current also has trapezoidal and sinusoidal variations in the respective types of motor. This

makes the torque output by a sinusoidal motor smoother than that of a trapezoidal motor.

However, this comes with an extra cost, as the sinusoidal motors take extra winding

interconnections because of the coils distribution on the stator periphery, thereby increasing the

copper intake by the stator windings.

Depending upon the control power supply capability, the motor with the correct

voltage rating of the stator can be chosen. Forty-eight volts, or less voltage rated motors are used

in automotive, robotics, small arm movements and soon. Motors with 100 volts, or higher

ratings, are used in appliances, automation and in industrial applications.

Rotor

The rotor is made of permanent magnet and can vary from two to eight pole pairs with

alternate North (N) and South (S) poles.

Based on the required magnetic field density in the rotor, the proper magnetic material is

chosen to make the rotor. Ferrite magnets are traditionally used to make permanent magnets. As

the technology advances, rare earth alloy magnets are gaining popularity. The ferrite magnets are

less expensive but they have the disadvantage of low flux density for a given volume. In contrast,

the alloy material has high magnetic density per volume and enables the rotor to compress

further for the same torque. Also, these alloy magnets improve the size-to-weight ratio and give

higher torque for the same size motor using ferrite magnets.

Neodymium (Nd), Samarium Cobalt (SmCo) and the alloy of Neodymium, Ferrite and

Boron (NdFeB) are some examples of rare earth alloy magnets. Continuous research is going on

to improve the flux density to compress the rotor further.

Figure 4 shows cross sections of different arrangements of magnets in a rotor.

Hall Sensors

Unlike a brushed DC motor, the commutation of a BLDC motor is controlled

electronically. To rotate the BLDC motor, the stator windings should be energized in a sequence.

It is important to know the rotor position in order to understand which winding will be energized

following the energizing sequence. Rotor position is sensed using Hall effect sensors embedded

into the stator.

Most BLDC motors have three Hall sensors embedded into the stator on the non-driving

end of the motor. Whenever the rotor magnetic poles pass near the Hall sensors, they give a high

or low signal, indicating the N or S pole is passing near the sensors. Based on the combination of

these three Hall sensor signals, the exact sequence of commutation can be determined.

Figure 5 shows a transverse section of a BLDC motor with a rotor that has alternate N

and S permanent magnets. Hall sensors are embedded into the stationary part of the motor.

Embedding the Hall sensors into the stator is a complex process because any misalignment in

these Hall sensors, with respect to the rotor magnets, will generate an error in determination of

the rotor position. To simplify the process of mounting the Hall sensors onto the stator, some

motors may have the Hall sensor magnets on the rotor, in addition to the main rotor magnets.

These are a scaled down replica version of the rotor. Therefore, whenever the rotor rotates, the

Hall sensor magnets give the same effect as the main magnets. The Hall sensors are normally

mounted on a PC board and fixed to the enclosure cap on the non-driving end. This enables users

to adjust the complete assembly of Hall sensors, to align with the rotor magnets, in order to

achieve the best performance.

Based on the physical position of the Hall sensors, there are two versions of output.

The Hall sensors may be at 60 or 120 phase shift to each other. Based on this, the motor

manufacturer defines the commutation sequence, which should be followed when controlling the

motor.

]

Theory of Operation

Each commutation sequence has one of the windings energized to positive power

(current enters into the winding), the second winding is negative (current exits the winding) and

the third is in a non-energized condition. Torque is produced because of the interaction between

the magnetic field generated by the stator coils and the permanent magnets. Ideally, the peak

torque occurs when these two fields are at 90 to each other and falls off as the fields move

together. In order to keep the motor running, the magnetic field produced by the windings should

shift position, as the rotor moves to catch up with the stator field. What is known as Six-Step

Commutation defines the sequence of energizing the windings. See the Commutation

Sequence section for detailed information and an example on six-step commutation

Until now we have seen commutation based on the rotor position given by the Hall

sensor. BLDC motors can be commutated by monitoring the back EMF signals instead of the

Hall sensors. The relationship between the Hall sensors and back EMF, with respect to the phase

voltage, is shown in Figure 7. As we have seen in earlier sections, every commutation sequence

has one of the windings energized positive, the second negative and the third left open. As shown

in Figure 7, the Hall sensor signal changes the state when the voltage polarity of back EMF

crosses from a positive to negative or from negative to positive. In ideal cases, this happens on

zero-crossing of back EMF, but practically, there will be a delay due to the winding

characteristics. This delay should be compensated by the microcontroller. Figure 10 shows a

block diagram for sensorless control of a BLDC motor.

Another aspect to be considered is very low speeds. Because back EMF is

proportional to the speed of rotation, at a very low speed, the back EMF would be at a very low

amplitude to detect zero-crossing. The motor has to be started in open loop, from standstill and

when sufficient back EMF is built to detect the zero-cross point, the control should be shifted to

the back EMF sensing. The minimum speed at which back EMF can be sensed is calculated from

the back EMF constant of the motor.

With this method of commutation, the Hall sensors can be eliminated and in some

motors, the magnets for Hall sensors also can be eliminated. This simplifies the motor

construction and reduces the cost as well. This is advantageous if the motor is operating in dusty

or oily environments, where occasional cleaning is required in order for the Hall sensors to sense

properly. The same thing applies if the motor is mounted in a less accessible location.

BLDC motors find applications in every segment of the market. Automotive, appliance,

industrial controls, automation, aviation and so on, have applications for BLDC motors. Out of

these, we can categorize the type of BLDC motor control into three major types:

Constant load

Varying loads

Positioning applications

These are the types of applications where a variable speed is more important than

keeping the accuracy of the speed at a set speed. In addition, the acceleration and deceleration

rates are not dynamically changing. In these types of applications, the load is directly coupled to

the motor shaft. For example, fans, pumps and blowers come under these types of applications.

These applications demand low-cost controllers, mostly operating in open-loop.

Applications With Varying Loads

These are the types of applications where the load on the motor varies over a speed

range. These applications may demand a high-speed control accuracy and good dynamic

responses. In home appliances, washers, dryers and compressors are good examples. In

automotive, fuel pump control, electronic steering control, engine control and electric vehicle

control are good examples of these. In aerospace, there are a number of applications, like

centrifuges, pumps, robotic arm controls, gyroscope controls and so on. These applications may

use speed feedback devices and may run in semi-closed loop or in total closed loop. These

applications use advanced control algorithms, thus complicating the controller. Also, this

increases the price of the complete system.

Positioning Applications

Most of the industrial and automation types of application come under this category.

The applications in this category have some kind of power transmission, which could be

mechanical gears or timer belts, or a simple belt driven system. In these applications, the

dynamic response of speed and torque are important. Also, these applications may have frequent

reversal of rotation direction. A typical cycle will have an accelerating phase, a constant speed

phase and a deceleration and positioning phase, as shown in Figure 11. The load on the motor

may vary during all of these phases, causing the controller to be complex. These systems mostly

operate in closed loop. There could be three control loops functioning simultaneously: Torque

Control Loop, Speed Control Loop and Position Control Loop. Optical encoder or synchronous

resolvers are used for measuring the actual speed of the motor. In some cases, the same sensors

are used to get relative position information. Otherwise, separate position sensors may be used to

get absolute positions. Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machines are a good example of

this. Process controls, machinery controls and conveyer controls have plenty of applications in

this category.

MATLAB

Matlab is a high-performance language for technical computing. It integrates

computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment where problems and

solutions are expressed in familiar mathematical notation. Typical uses include Math and

computation Algorithm development Data acquisition Modeling, simulation, and prototyping

Data analysis, exploration, and visualization Scientific and engineering graphics Application

development, including graphical user interface building.

Matlab is an interactive system whose basic data element is an array that does not require

dimensioning. This allows you to solve many technical computing problems, especially those

with matrix and vector formulations, in a fraction of the time it would take to write a program in

a scalar no interactive language such as C or Fortran.

The name matlab stands for matrix laboratory. Matlab was originally written to provide

easy access to matrix software developed by the linpack and eispack projects. Today, matlab

engines incorporate the lapack and blas libraries, embedding the state of the art in software for

matrix computation.

Matlab has evolved over a period of years with input from many users. In university

environments, it is the standard instructional tool for introductory and advanced courses in

mathematics, engineering, and science. In industry, matlab is the tool of choice for high-

productivity research, development, and analysis.

important to most users of matlab, toolboxes allow you to learn and apply specialized

technology. Toolboxes are comprehensive collections of matlab functions (M-files) that extend

the matlab environment to solve particular classes of problems. Areas in which toolboxes are

available include signal processing, control systems, neural networks, fuzzy logic, wavelets,

simulation, and many others.

Development Environment. This is the set of tools and facilities that help you use matlab

functions and files. Many of these tools are graphical user interfaces. It includes the matlab

desktop and Command Window, a command history, an editor and debugger, and browsers for

viewing help, the workspace, files, and the search path.

algorithms ranging from elementary functions, like sum, sine, cosine, and complex arithmetic, to

more sophisticated functions like matrix inverse, matrix eigenvalues, Bessel functions, and fast

Fourier transforms.

The matlab Language. This is a high-level matrix/array language with control flow

statements, functions, data structures, input/output, and object-oriented programming features. It

allows both "programming in the small" to rapidly create quick and dirty throw-away programs,

and "programming in the large" to create large and complex application programs.

Matlab has extensive facilities for displaying vectors and matrices as graphs, as well as

annotating and printing these graphs. It includes high-level functions for two-dimensional and

three-dimensional data visualization, image processing, animation, and presentation graphics. It

also includes low-level functions that allow you to fully customize the appearance of graphics as

well as to build complete graphical user interfaces on your matlab applications.

The matlab Application Program Interface (API). This is a library that allows you to

write C and Fortran programs that interact with matlab. It includes facilities for calling routines

from matlab (dynamic linking), calling matlab as a computational engine, and for reading and

writing MAT-files.

4.2 SIMULINK:

4.2.1 Introduction:

Math works,(http://www.mathworks.com) a company based in Natick. Matlab is powered by

extensive numerical analysis capability. Simulink is a tool used to visually program a dynamic

system (those governed by Differential equations) and look at results. Any logic circuit, or

control system for a dynamic system can be built by using standard building blocks available in

Simulink Libraries. Various toolboxes for different techniques, such as Fuzzy Logic, Neural

Networks, dsp, Statistics etc. are available with Simulink, which enhance the processing power

of the tool. The main advantage is the availability of templates / building blocks, which avoid the

necessity of typing code for small mathematical processes.

In Simulink, data/information from various blocks are sent to another block by lines

connecting the relevant blocks. Signals can be generated and fed into blocks dynamic /

static).Data can be fed into functions. Data can then be dumped into sinks, which could be

scopes, displays or could be saved to a file. Data can be connected from one block to another,

can be branched, multiplexed etc. In simulation, data is processed and transferred only at

Discrete times, since all computers are discrete systems. Thus, a simulation time step (otherwise

called an integration time step) is essential, and the selection of that step is determined by the

fastest dynamics in the simulated system.

Fig 4.1 Simulink library browser

Connecting blocks:

To connect blocks, left-click and drag the mouse from the output of one block to the input

of another block.

Sources and sinks:

The sources library contains the sources of data/signals that one would use in a dynamic

system simulation. One may want to use a constant input, a sinusoidal wave, a step, a repeating

sequence such as a pulse train, a ramp etc. One may want to test disturbance effects, and can use

the random signal generator to simulate noise. The clock may be used to create a time index for

plotting purposes. The ground could be used to connect to any unused port, to avoid warning

messages indicating unconnected ports.

The sinks are blocks where signals are terminated or ultimately used. In most cases, we

would want to store the resulting data in a file, or a matrix of variables. The data could be

displayed or even stored to a file. the stop block could be used to stop the simulation if the input

to that block (the signal being sunk) is non-zero. Figure 3 shows the available blocks in the

sources and sinks libraries. Unused signals must be terminated, to prevent warnings about

unconnected signals.

Continuous and discrete systems:

All dynamic systems can be analyzed as continuous or discrete time systems. Simulink

allows you to represent these systems using transfer functions, integration blocks, delay blocks

etc.

Non-linear operators:

A main advantage of using tools such as Simulink is the ability to simulate non-linear

systems and arrive at results without having to solve analytically. It is very difficult to arrive at

an analytical solution for a system having non-linearities such as saturation, signup function,

limited slew rates etc. In Simulation, since systems are analyzed using iterations, non-linearities

are not a hindrance. One such could be a saturation block, to indicate a physical limitation on a

parameter, such as a voltage signal to a motor etc. Manual switches are useful when trying

simulations with different cases. Switches are the logical equivalent of if-then statements in

programming.

Mathematical operations:

Mathematical operators such as products, sum, logical operations such as and, or, etc.

.can be programmed along with the signal flow. Matrix multiplication becomes easy with the

matrix gain block. Trigonometric functions such as sin or tan inverse (at an) are also available.

Relational operators such as equal to, greater than etc. can also be used in logic circuits

fig 4.6 Simulink math blocks

In complicated block diagrams, there may arise the need to transfer data from one portion

to another portion of the block. They may be in different subsystems. That signal could be

dumped into a goto block, which is used to send signals from one subsystem to another.

matrix(column/row) visualization easier.

fig 4.7 signals and systems

Drag a subsystem from the Simulink Library Browser and place it in the parent block

where you would like to hide the code. The type of subsystem depends on the purpose of the

block. In general one will use the standard subsystem but other subsystems can be chosen. For

instance, the subsystem can be a triggered block, which is enabled only when a trigger signal is

received.

Open (double click) the subsystem and create input / output PORTS, which transfer

signals into and out of the subsystem. The input and output ports are created by dragging them

from the Sources and Sinks directories respectively. When ports are created in the subsystem,

they automatically create ports on the external (parent) block. This allows for connecting the

appropriate signals from the parent block to the subsystem.

differential equation. The system can be simulated as a continuous system or a discrete system

based on the blocks inside. The simulation start and stop time can be specified. In case of

variable step size, the smallest and largest step size can be specified. A Fixed step size is

recommended and it allows for indexing time to a precise number of points, thus controlling the

size of the data vector. Simulation step size must be decided based on the dynamics of the

system. A thermal process may warrant a step size of a few seconds, but a DC motor in the

system may be quite fast and may require a step size of a few milliseconds.

The motor under investigation is of the surface-mount permanent magnet variety

with concentrated stator windings such that the induced back-emfs with respect to rotor position

are trapezoidal with a flat-top width that is as wide as possible. Smooth torque production

requires forcing a constant current through each phase winding when its back-emf is at its peak

value and turning off the current when the back-emf is changing. For bipolar excitation, positive

current is injected when the back-emf is positive, and negative current when the back-emf is

negative, with each conduction period lasting 120 . This results in two phases conducting current

and producing torque at any instant of time as shown in the waveforms of Fig. 6(a). Unipolar

current conduction limits the phases to only one direction of current as shown in Fig. 6(b).

Constant torque production is still possible because one phase is conducting current at any

instant. It is of course possible to have an overlap in the phase conduction to have a smoother

torque production [10]. In any case, the motor windings are poorly utilized compared to the

bipolar case. This is reflected in the lower output torque of the unipolar motor for the same peak

phase currents. The primary motivation for choosing unipolar excitation is that in practice, the

inverter typically costs more than the motor and there is a great potential for reducing its cost and

hence the overall cost of the drive. In addition to cost reduction, unipolar excitation offers the

following advantages:

There is only one device in series with each phase, minimizing conduction losses.

The risk of shoot-through faults is eliminated.

Switching of devices connected to the supply rails, which generally requires some isolation

circuitry, can

be avoided.

Another factor that has to be considered before choosing unipolar excitation is that the

motor neutral has to be available because the phase currents are no longer balanced.

Fig. 7. Schematic of SEPIC converter based BLDC motor drive.

The proposed converter with four controlled switches and diodes is shown in Fig. 7. The front-

end consists of a SEPIC dc/dc converter comprised of inductors L1and L2 , switch S1 ,

intermediate capacitor C1, diode D1 and output capacitor C2. The modification from the usual

SEPIC configuration is that the diode D1 is placed in the return path instead of in the ositive ail.

This is to block the flow of current through the phases during the periods of negative back-emf.

A, B, and C are the three machine windings, and the currents through them are controlled by

turn-on and turn-off of the switches Sa Sb, and Sc, respectively. Since there is only one switch

per phase, the currents through them are unidirectional. The diodesDa, Db and Dc serve to

freewheel the winding currents when the switches are turned off during current regulation and

phase commutation. The output of the converter is used to energize the three phases of the motor,

and the voltage of capacitor C1 is used to demagnetize the phases during turn-off and for current

control.

Each phase is energized by turning on the corresponding switch in series with it. The

equivalent circuit of phase A when switch Sa is turned on is shown in Fig. 8(a). To regulate the

current,Sa is turned off, which forces the turn-on of diode Da , and the flow of current through

C1as shown in the equivalent circuit of Fig. 8(b). This applies a voltage of across the

machine winding, enabling a fast decay of the phase current. For proper demagnetization of the

phase after each conduction interval and to prevent conduction during periods of negative back-

emf, the instantaneous value of should be greater than the peak value of the back-emf E, or

Since the average voltages in the two inductors are zero, we get

From (1) and (2), we obtain the peak back-emf at the maximum speed of the motor, which is

given by , assuming that the ripple in the intermediate capacitor voltage

Fig. 8. Equivalent circuits of each machine phase when (a) the switch is on and (b) when the

diode is conducting.

where Kc is the phase back-emf constant of the motor.

If the motor is operated beyond this speed, it would result in negative torque spikes

because of conduction during periods of negative back-emf.

phase resistance and inductance, and I is the phase current. At low speeds, when the back-emf is

low, the switching frequency of the phase switches increases in order to regulate the phase

current. The switching frequency and hence the losses at low speeds can be minimized by

bucking the input voltage to lower levels at the output Vdc . At higher speeds, the current

regulator loses its ability to force current into the phases especially during turn-on because of the

high back-emf voltage. The ability of the SEPIC front-end to boost the available input voltage

makes it possible to maintain current-regulated operation of the drive at higher speeds. This

feature makes the proposed topology particularly suitable for low voltage dc applications such as

automotive circuits. The key operating waveforms at low speeds and at high speeds

are illustrated in Fig. 9(a) and (b), respectively.

The front-end SEPIC converter can be designed for operation either in the continuous

conduction mode (CCM) or in the discontinuous conduction mode (DCM). In CCM, its voltage

conversion ratio is given by

where , R being the equivalent load resistance and T the time period of

switch S1 .The boundary value of K between continuous and discontinuous conduction modes,

can be calculated

The converter operates in CCM when and in DCM when . In both modes

of operation, can be regulated at a value higher (Boost operation) or lower (Buck operation)

than the input voltage . From the controls viewpoint, it is advantageous to have the converter

operating in the same mode under all load conditions. In addition, the size of the inductors and

hence the overall converter can be reduced if it is operated in DCM [12]. Hence it is proposed

that the converter be designed for operation in the critical conduction mode at maximum load, so

that it operates in DCM at rated load and all values less than rated load.

For applications requiring operation from an ac supply, it is desired to obtain

improved power factor by using the proposed topology as shown in Fig. 10. By operating the

SEPIC front-end in DCM, the following desirable characteristics are obtained

[9]: The converter works as a voltage follower, meaning that the input current naturally follows

the input voltage profile (No current loop is needed), and the theoretical power factor is unity.

For ideal voltage follower operation, the intermediate capacitor voltage should follow the half-

sinusoidal input voltage, and goes to zero in each half-cycle. This is illustrated for the case of a

resistive load in Fig. 11. However, with a unipolar BLDC motor load, the intermediate capacitor

voltage has to be greater than the phase back-emf for proper demagnetization of the phases. This

causes a distortion of the input current waveform around his zero-crossings of the input voltage.

This is acceptable because the input current shaping is achieved at no cost to the drive, and as

will be seen, the resulting power factor is better than with the conventional circuit configuration.

There is a practical limit to the power level up to which dc/dc converters can be

operated in DCM. This limit is reached around 300W. The use of unipolar excitation for BLDC

motors beyond this power rating is also not recommended, as bipolar excitation would better

utilize the machine windings. So the proposed topology is well-suited to low-power, low-

performance applications where cost is a major consideration

Fig. 11 Operation with resistive load: (a) input voltage and current

V. DESIGN EXAMPLE

emf constant of 12 V/Krpm is used in the design example. Because of the low back-emf

constant, the input voltage is chosen to be 50 V peak. A drive with a power rating of 100 W is

designed. The following equations are used for the design [9]

The actual value of C1 should be higher to minimize the voltage ripple caused by the

freewheeling phase currents and is determined by simulation to be 10 .

Fig. 14. Speed response to step change in load torque at 0.3 s.

Fig. 13. Speed reference and speed (rpm).

The operation of the proposed topology has been verified both by simulations and

experiments. A block diagram of the drive system implementation is shown in Fig. 12. The rotor

position is sensed by means of three hall sensors, and the position information is used to

determine the phase winding to be excited. The motor speed is derived from the position inputs

and is compared with the speed reference to generate the current references. Hysteresis control

is used to regulate the phase currents to the reference current waveforms of Fig. 6(b). The dc bus

voltage is regulated by PWM control of the switch S1.

The motor shaft is coupled to a hysteresis brake acting as a load. The controller is

implemented using a TMS320C240 DS evaluation module board from Texas Instruments. It has

two built-in analog to digital converters (ADCs) with eight multiplexed channels each that are

used for converting the analog signals from the current and voltage sensors into the digital values

required by the DSP. Hall-effect based current transducers are used for the phase current sensing,

and an isolation amplifier is used to sense the output voltage. The inbuilt PWM outputs of the

DSP are used to derive the gate signals for the MOSFETs used in the power converter. Opto-

isolators are used to interface the PWM outputs with the MOSFET gates. The commutation

sequence, current, voltage and speed control loops are implemented in DSP software.

A PI controller is used to compare the reference and actual

speed and generate the current reference. The resulting speed response is shown in Fig. 13, and

the speed response to a step change in load torque in Fig. 14. The input current plotted in Fig.

15(a) is seen to follow the input voltage waveform. Fig. 15(b) shows the intermediate capacitor

voltage waveform. In an ideal PFP, this would go to zero in each half-cycle of the input voltage,

but in this case, its minimum value is limited to the peak phase back-emf. This results in some

distortion of the input current around the zero-crossing of the input voltage. The phase currents at

500 rpm are shown in Fig. 15(c).

The experimentally obtained waveforms are shown in Fig. 16. The unipolar operation

of the motor is shown by the current waveform of Fig. 16(a), which also shows the output

voltage. The intermediate capacitor voltage waveform is shown in Fig. 16(b). As seen from Fig.

16(c), the input current follows the input voltage waveform except around the zero-crossings.

The experimentally measured harmonics of the input current are given in Table I. They are

expressed as a percentage of the fundamental current so that the data is independent of the line

voltage magnitude. The corresponding total harmonic distortion (THD) and power factor data are

tabulated in Table II. The performance improvement achieved by using the proposed topology is

evident. A high power factor is also achieved over the entire speed range.

SIMULATION CIRCUIT

In1 Out1

13TH

In1 Out1

11TH

1.8

2.7

In1 Out1

3.733

9TH 4.833

14.53

7TH

Display1

In1 Out1

5TH

Discrete ,

Ts = 2e-006 s In1 Out1

powergui

3RD signal THD Scope 5 Scope6

0.92

Total Harmonic In1 Out1

Distorsion Display

Subsystem

Scope 7 Diode 1

Diode 2 gates

Diode 3 Goto

Gates Decoder

Scope 3

l1 c1

Gates emf_abc emf_abc Hall

+ i

- A a

Current Measurement

Series RLC Branch 5

B is_ a e_ a

b

S

A +

+ Mosfet C <Stator current is _a (A)>

+v - v c2 c Step Tm

- l2

D

g

25V/50HZ Series RLC Branch 6 Voltage Measurement1 Three -Phase A <Stator back EMF e _ a (V)> N (rpm)

S

B -

S

Mosfet1 Mosfet3 B

Mosfet2 K-

Universal Bridge <Rotor speed wm (rad/s)>

C rad2rpm

D

D

g

g

D

g

Synchronous Machine

Te (N.m)

Diode

gates

speed

+ From

- v Goto1

Voltage Measurement

Scope2

Scope 1

i

Scope Goto2

Step1

Add1 speed error

f(u) PI

>=

Fcn Add 24

Relational Discrete

Triangle

Operator PI Controller Constant

Scope 4

VII. CONCLUSION

A new converter topology based on a SEPIC converter operating in DCM has been proposed for

unipolar excitation of brushless dc motors. The proposed scheme has the following advantages.

1) The proposed converter uses only four controlled switches, all of which are referenced to

ground. This considerably simplifies their gate drive circuitry and results in low cost and

compact packaging.

2) It is capable of bucking or boosting the available input dc voltage to maximize the current-

regulated operation of

the drive.

3) The input current naturally follows the input voltage to a certain extent, reducing the amount

of low-order harmonics and resulting in a high power factor.

4) Eliminates the possibility of shoot-through faults which could occur in bipolar converters.

5) Lower conduction and switching losses because of the presence of only one switch and diode

per phase as opposed to two in the bipolar case

TABLE I

A PERCENTAGE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL

TABLE II

COMPARISON OF THD AND POWER FACTOR

REFERENCES

[1] T. Kenjo and S. Nagamori, Permanent-Magnet and Brushless DC Motors. Oxford, U.K.:

Clarendon Press, 1985.

[2] J. R. Hendershot Jr. and T. J. E. Miller, Design of Brushless Permanent Magnet Motors.

Hillsboro, OR: Magna Physics Publishing, 1994.

[3] R. Krishnan and S. Lee, PM Brushless dc motor drive with a new power converter

topology, in Proc. IEEE IAS Annu. Meeting, Oct. 1995, pp. 380387.

[4] R. Krishnan and P. Vijayraghavan, A new power converter topology for PM Brushless dc

motor drives, in Proc. IEEE IECON98 Conf., vol. 2, 1998, pp. 709714.

[5] R. Krishnan, A novel single switch per phase converter topology for four-quadrant PM

Brushless dc motor drive, in Proc. IEEE IAS Annu.

Meeting, vol. 1, Oct. 1996, pp. 311318.

[6] J. Sebastin, M. Jaureguizar, and J. Uceda, An overviewof power factor correction in single-

phase off-line power supply systems, in Proc. IEEE IECON94 Conf., vol. 3, 1994, pp. 1688

1693.

[7] J. Skinner and T. A. Lipo, Input current shaping in Brushless dc motor drives utilizing

inverter current control, in Proc. 5th Intl. Conf. Elect.

Mach. Drives, 1991, pp. 121125.

[8] R. P. Massey and E. C. Snyder, High voltage single-ended dc-dc converter, in Proc. IEEE

PESC77 Conf., 1977, pp. 156159.

[9] D. S. L. Simonetti, J. Sebastin, and J. Uceda, The discontinuous conduction mode SEPIC

and Cuk pow er factor preregulators: analysis and

design, IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 44, pp. 630637, Oct. 1997.

[10] T. Gopalarathnam, S. Waikar, H. A. Toliyat, M. S. Arefeen, and J. C. Moreira,

Development of low-cost multi-phase Brushless dc (BLDC)

motors with unipolar current excitations, in Proc. IEEE IAS Annu. Meeting, Oct. 1999, pp. 173

179.

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