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The application of motors has spread to all kinds of fields. In order

to adopt different applications, various types of motors such as DC motors,
induction motors, synchronous motors, switched reluctance motors from
mill watts to several megawatts emerge. The synchronous motor has the
advantages of high torque, precision and accuracy but it has poor speed
regulation which limits its application. An induction motor has the advantages
of simple structure and low price but results in low power factor. A switched
reluctance motor without winding or permanent magnet in the rotor has a
simple structure and low price. It has high torque over a wide range of speed,
but noise and torque ripple limit its applications. DC motors are widely used
in electric traction, rolling mill, hoisting equipment and in automation and
In conventional DC motors, the mechanical commutation is
implemented using brushes which result in mechanical friction, noise, electric
spark and radio interference. These drawbacks can be overcome by brushless
DC motors (BLDC). Since permanent magnets are placed in the rotor, they
are also known as permanent magnet brushless DC (PMBLDC) motors. The
BLDC motor is developed on the basis of brushed DC motors. In NEMA
standard MG7-1987, a BLDC motor is defined as a type of self- synchronous
rotary motor controlled by electronic commutation, where the rotor is a
permanent magnet with rotor position sensor, and the related commutation
circuit could be either independent or integrated to the motor. In 1955,
Harrison and Rye developed a thyristor-based commutation circuit for a
BLDC motor.
BLDC motor is an inverted DC motor where the armature winding
is placed on the stator, and the permanent magnet is on the rotor. In order to
control the speed and direction of rotation, a rotor position sensor, a control
circuit and power controller are included in the BLDC motor system.
Figure 1 shows the block diagram of BLDC motor system

Figure 1: Block diagram of BLDC drive

The stator structure of the BLDC motor is similar to that of the
synchronous or induction motor. Single or multi-phase symmetrical windings
are embedded in the stator. Generally, star-connected windings are preferred
in which three phase windings are symmetrically connected without a neutral
point. The common winding types used in BLDC motors are concentrated full
pitch windings, distributed full pitch windings and distributed short pitch
windings. In the concentrated full pitch winding, the wires of same the phase
are placed in the same slot which leads to better trapezoidal back EMF. In the
distributed winding, the coils are dispersed evenly over the surface of the
stator which leads to better cooling of the winding. In short pitched winding,
the windings are shortened at the end of the winding which helps to save the
copper material and weaken the torque harmonics.
The rotor of the BLDC motor is constituted by the permanent
magnets with certain pole pairs. These magnets can be placed in many ways
on the rotor. The different types of radial field rotors are shown in Figure 2.
The surface mounted PM rotors and surface inset PM rotors are used in the
high power density machine. In the surface mounted machine, the magnets
are mounted on the outer periphery of the rotor lamination which provides the
highest air gap flux density as it directly faces the air gap without any
interruption such as part of the rotor lamination. The drawbacks of this
structure are lower structural integrity and mechanical robustness due to the
snugly fitment of PM in the rotor laminations. Hence they are not preferred
for the high speed applications.
In the surface inset machines, the PM is placed in the grooves of
the outer periphery of the rotor laminations and this provides uniform
cylindrical rotor surface. This structure is mechanically robust compared to
the surface mounted machines.
The position sensors in the BLDC motor are meant to detect the
rotor position and transform it into corresponding electrical signal. These
electrical signals provide the correct commutation information for the logic
circuit. Due to the correct commutation of the winding, the BLDC motor rotates
continuously. Various kinds of position sensors such as
electromagnetic, photoelectric and magnetic sensors are available. The hall
sensor which is a type of magnetic sensor is widely used in BLDC motors
because of its compact size, low price and convenient operation. Figure 3
shows the diagram of a typical hall sensor.

Figure 2: Different types of radial field rotor (a)-Surface PM (b)-

Surface inset PM (c)-Interior PM (d)-Interior PM with
circumferential orientation
Figure 3: Hall sensor

The working principle of BLDC motor is as that of the brushed DC

motor. In the brushed DC motor, the feedback is implemented using a
mechanical commutator and brushes whereas in a BLDC motor, it is achieved
using multiple feedback sensors.


 Better speed versus torque characteristics
 High dynamic response
 High efficiency
 Long operating life due to a lack of electrical and friction losses
 Noiseless operation
 Higher speed ranges
 The need for an electronic speed controller (ESC) to commutate the motor.
Usually extra equipment is also required to provide the throttle signal to the ESC.
 If the ESC is sensorless (most hobby ones are) very little starting torque is
 If the ESC is one designed to work with rotor position sensors (usually Hall
effect devices) it will give good starting torque, like a brushed motor. However
the sensor wiring to the ESC is often unreliable.
 Expensive
In recent years, the BLDC motor has achieved a sparkling
expansion in the automotive, aerospace and household equipment industries
due to its higher efficiency, longer lifetime, low noise and good speed-torque
characteristics. In addition to the hardcore of automotive drives, the BLDC
motors are used in air conditioners, wiper blades, electric doors and power

Air driven and hydraulic type transmission devices are being

replaced by motor driven equipment in the aerospace industry. Special
structure and position sensorless BLDC motors are widely used in the
aerospace industry. In gyroscope and robotic arms, high speed centrifugal
pumps and in high speed cameras with a few thousand revolutions per minute,
the BLDC motor is used.

Generally in the electric appliances and compressors, induction

motors are used. But due to the low efficiency and poor power factor, the
induction motors are replaced by the BLDC motors. They are used in the
household appliances like vacuum cleaner, agitator, hair drier, cameras and
electric fans. BLDC motors are also used as spindle motor drive in VCD,
DVD and CD players