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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
milliwatts 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 3.1 shows the block diagram of BLDC motor system.

Supply BLDC
Power Converter

Rotor Position
Control Circuit

Figure 3.1 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 3.2.
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.

In the interior PM machines, the rotors are placed in the middle of

the rotor lamination. This structure is mechanically robust and hence suited
for high speed applications. The manufacture of this structure is more
complex than the surface mount and inset magnet motors.

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 3.3
shows the diagram of a typical hall sensor.

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Figure 3.2 Different types of radial field rotor (a) Surface PM (b)
Surface inset PM (c) Interior PM (d) Interior PM with
circumferential orientation

Figure 3.3 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.


The BLDC motor model using differential equations and state

space equations is presented here. The stator has the star-connected
concentrated full pitch winding and the rotor has a nonsalient pole structure.
The hall sensors are placed symmetrically at 120 electrical degree interval.
The following assumptions are made.

1. Eddy current losses, hysteresis losses, armature reaction,

cogging effect and core saturation are neglected.
2. The distribution of the magnetic field in the air gap is
thought as a trapezoidal wave with the flat top width of 120
electrical degree.
3. The conductors are distributed continuously and evenly on
the surface of the armature.
4. The solid state switches in the power circuit possess ideal

The matrix form of phase voltage is expressed as

[ ] [ ][ ] [ ] [ ] [ ](3.1)

where is stator resistance per phase

is self inductance per phase and

is the mutual inductance and

and are phase currents

and are instantaneous induced electromotive force (EMF)

and all are assumed to be trapezoidal.

The instantaneous EMF can be represented as

( ) (3.2)

( ) (3.3)

( ) (3.4)

where ( ) ( ) and ( ) are the back EMF function of phase and

with the maximum magnitude of .

( ⁄ ) ( ⁄ )
( ⁄ ⁄ )
( ) ( ⁄ ) ( ⁄ ⁄ ) (3.5)
( ⁄ ⁄ )
[( ⁄ ) ( ⁄ ) ]

is the peak value of flux linkage from the rotor magnets.



v e

Figure 3.4 Equivalent circuit of BLDC motor

The equivalent circuit of the BLDC motor is shown in Figure 3.4.

The mathematical model based on phase voltages are not applicable to the
system with delta connected stator winding. The matrix form of line voltages
of delta-connected system is expressed as

[ ] [ ][ ] [ ] [ ]

[ ] ( )

The electromagnetic power transferred to the rotor


Ignoring the mechanical loss and stray loss, the electromagnetic power is
totally converted into kinetic energy


Hence the electromagnetic torque

[ ( ) ( ) ( ) ] (3.9)

In the electromechanical system, the motion equation can be expressed as


where is the load torque in

is the moment of inertia in

is the friction coefficient

The state space model of BLDC motor is obtained by algebraic

transformation of differential equations of the motor. Three phase currents,
angular velocity and position of the rotor are selected as state variables.

̇ (3.11)

where [ ]

( )
( )
( )
( ) ( ) ( )

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]


Mechanical characteristics denote the relationship between the

speed and electromagnetic torque with constant supply voltage. The control
scheme of any electrical motor mainly depends on the mechanical
characteristics of the motor. In each phase of the BLDC motor, the back EMF
is in the trapezoidal shape and the phase current is in the rectangular shape.
The conduction period of the phase current is aligned with the flat top of the
back EMF to generate the maximum torque and is shown in Figure 3.5. The
speed of the motor is controlled by the supply voltage. When the load torque
increases, the speed drops, and the drop in speed is directly proportional to the
phase resistance and the load torque.

Ep 210
30 150 -Ep 330

ebs Ep


ias ip
ibs ip

eas ias

ebs ibs

ecs ics

Po qr

Figure 3.5 Back EMF, current and power of PMBLDC motor


BLDC motors are ideally suited for the constant torque

applications, as the field is fixed and the torque is proportional to the armature
current. The operation beyond the base speed is the constant power region as
shown in Figure 3.6. At the base speed, the sum of the back EMF of two
conducting phases approaches the amplitude of the supply voltage, and the
power controller loses its ability to control the phase currents. Hence, PWM
or chopping is no longer possible. The current controller is said to be in
saturation state and the maximum current is injected to the motor for higher
value of torque. As the speed increases further, the torque and currents fall off
abruptly. Constant power region is generally maintained up to 2-3 times of the
base speed.


Intermittent Operating region


Continuous Operating region

Constant Constant Power

Torque Region Region

0 wb w

Figure 3.6 Speed – Torque characteristics of PMBLDC motor


The speed control of the BLDC motor is achieved with the power
electronic converter modules. The BLDC motor can be operated in full wave
mode, in other words with six step inverter or in half wave mode. In the full

wave mode, each phase is operated for 240 electrical degrees whereas, in half
wave mode, each phase is operated for 120 electrical degrees. Number of
converter topologies emerges for half wave mode.


Dr1 Cf Vs

D1 A phase


B phase C phase
T2 D2 D3 T3

Figure 3.7 Split phase converter

3.5.1 Half Wave Mode

The popular converter topologies for the half wave mode are split
phase converter, C-dump converter, variable DC link converter and variable
voltage converter with buck-boost at the front end. In the half wave mode, the
windings carry positive current alone. In the split phase converter topology,
the BLDC motor requires one switch per phase winding. The power switches
T1, T2 and T3 are connected to the three phase windings of the BLDC motor
and unidirectional current flows through the winding. The schematic diagram
of the converter is shown in Figure 3.7. The unidirectional current handling
capability of this converter results in underutilization of the motor. Four
quadrant operations are possible in this converter with proper switching of
power devices.

The C-dump converter was proposed by Walter & Stephen (2007)

and is shown in Figure 3.8. In the C-dump converter, more than one switch
per phase but less than two switches are resorted, in the other words
switches for phases. In this circuit, the energy stored in the capacitor during
turn off intervals of the phase switches is fed back to the supply during turn
on intervals. The drawback of this circuit is production of larger commutation

Vd Cd

C0 T1 T2 T3

Figure 3.8 C-Dump converter

Variable DC link converter has the advantage of variable DC

voltage input to the machine windings. The converter has two stages: the first
stage is a step down chopper which gives the variable DC voltage to the
machine, and the second stage is machine side converter for handling the
energy between DC link and the machine. The chopper switch is properly
synchronized with the switches in the machine side converter. Four quadrant
operations are possible with this converter. Instead of step down chopper,
buck-boost converter can be connected at the front end of the converter. In
this type, the DC link voltage can be varied from zero to twice the DC source
voltage. In low speed operation, the front end buck-boost converter acts as a
buck converter whereas in high speed operation, it acts as a boost converter to
increase the voltage given to the motor. The circuit diagram of the converter
is shown in Figure 3.9.

D1 D2 D3

T1 T2 T3

Vdc Cd
Phase Phase Phase

Vas Vbs Vcs

ic ias ibs ics

Figure 3.9 Variable DC link converter

3.5.2 Six Step Inverter Topology – Full Wave Mode

The schematic diagram of six step inverter is shown in Figure 3.10.

The power switches T1,T2,T3,T4,T5 and T6 are used to synchronize the three
phase currents according to the signals generated by hall sensors with the
back EMF of each phase. If the BLDC motor has 180 magnetic arc rotor, two
phase conduction mode is preferred, and if the motor has 120 magnetic arc
rotor, three phase conduction mode is preferred. Two phase conduction mode
is preferred, as the BLDC motor used here has 180 magnetic arc rotor.

T1 T3 T5

T4 T6 T2

Figure 3.10 Six step inverter

In the two phase mode, two of the motor windings are energized at
a time and upper bridge switch carries the positive current and lower bridge

switch carries the negative currents. The conduction interval of each phase is
determined by the hall sensor output. The sum of the torque generated by the
two windings constitutes the total torque.


The machine parameters of BLDC motor used in this work is given

in Table 3.1. Figure 3.11 shows the simulated output of six step inverter-fed
BLDC motor. The input voltage of 310V DC is given to the inverter. Initially,
the motor is operated at the no load and the speed of the motor reaches the
rated speed of 4600 RPM at 0.03sec. At 0.1 sec, a load of 2.2Nm is applied
and the speed of the motor reduces from its rated speed of 4600RPM to 4000
RPM. The reason for the reduction in speed is the absence of the speed
regulator. Positive torque is produced since the EMF and stator currents are
synchronized with each other. The ripple present in the torque characteristics
is due to the absence of the current controller.

Table 3.1 BLDC motor parameters

Motor rating 1.1HP

Voltage (line-line) 250 V
Rated Current 4.52 A
Peak Current 13.5A

Rated Torque 2.2Nm

Peak torque 6.6Nm

Pole Pairs 2

Speed 4600 RPM

Inertia 1.8 kgcm2

Stator Phase Resistance 3.07

Stator Phase Inductance 6.57mH


Speed in RPM




0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 0.16 0.18 0.2
Time in secs


Torque Nm


0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 0.16 0.18 0.2
Time in Secs

Back EMF Stator Current * 5

Stator Current in A
Back EMF in V




0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.1 0.11 0.12 0.13 0.14 0.15
Time in Secs


Figure 3.11 Simulated output of six step inverter fed BLDC motor for
(a)Speed(b)Torque (c)Back EMF and Stator current


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.


In this chapter, the construction and principle of operation of

BLDC motor are presented. The BLDC motor is modeled using differential
equation and state space equations. Full wave mode of operation and different
topologies of half wave mode are also presented. Inverter-fed BLDC motor is
simulated in MATLAB and the results are analyzed in this chapter.