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Some Power PWM Drivers For Electric DC
Motors
Report by Stefan Spännare, January 2002

Contents

1. Warning!
2. Introduction
3. Switching theory
4. Building instructions
5. The PWM circuit
6. The +12 V power supply
7. Power PROFET PWM motor driver
8. Power MOSFET PWM motor driver
9. MOSFET driver 1
10. MOSFET driver 2
11. Electronic component data
12. Some oscilloscope views of signals
13. Some photos of the circuits

1. Warning!

The author makes no warranties that this document is free of errors! Be very careful if connecting
these circuits to larger lead accumulators! Very high short circuit currents could be dangerous and
destroy and burn your circuits! It is highly recommended to first test the circuits with a current limited
power supply and a small motor!

The power component must be connected to the power supply or accumulator and the motor with quite thick wires and cables.77 mm^2) tin plated copper wires between the power components and the cable connectors. The second method is preferred due to its higher frequency.5 Ohm. I. Switching Theory The best switching conditions are when the switch frequency is much higher than the dynamics of the motor. These drivers can for example be used to vary the speed of small electric vehicles. The PWM duty cycle can be varied from 0 % to 100 % with the 47 k potentiometer. PROFET or MOSFET transistor) on a separate card with the heatsink. Here two drivers are described for 24 V (15 V to 30 V) motors with a maximum current up to 80 A. The following resistors and capacitors were used: f = 1 / (RC) (kHz) R (kΩ) C (nF) 0. Always test with a current limited power supply and a small motor first to see that everything works. The author use 1. 24 V) L = 1 mH and R = 0. It is a good idea to have the power component (i.5 mm (1. especially when connected to larger accumulators. Building Instructions The circuits below can quite easily be built on a standard prototyping card. 3. For a typical DC motor (200 W. The cables should also have an area of at least 2 mm^2.5 22 100 20 2. For higher current motors the wires and cables must be thicker accordingly.e. The document can however be downloaded here (see the references). This also avoids noise from the motor in the audio range. The PWM Circuit The original PWM circuit was found on Internet. Usually a frequency around 20 kHz is used. The first driver use a power PROFET transistor switched at 500 Hz and the second use a power MOSFET transistor switched at 20 kHz. 4. Introduction PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) is an efficient way to vary the speed and power of electric DC motors. See for example the images (photos) below. The motor should “think” that it is powered from a true DC voltage. This again means that the frequency must be much higher than 1/Ta = R/L = 0.e. Unfortunately the link seems to have disappeared when this was written. As pointed out in the warning it is very important to not short circuit. A theoretically better explanation is that switching frequency must be much higher than 1/Ta where Ta = L/R is the electric time constant of the motor.2 22 .001 Hz = 500 Hz. This is probably enough for motors that use a current of up to 20 A on average. Due to different references the frequency must be at least 5 times higher than the rotation speed of the motor. 5.5 / 0. if the motor rotates at 6000 rpm (100 rps) the frequency must be higher than 5 * 100 Hz = 500 Hz. 2. Here L is the inductance and R the inner resistance of the motor.

Circuit layout . The regulator survives a current of maximum 1 A with a heatsink.PWM circuit layout 6. Then the input voltage must be larger than +15 V. The +12 V Power Supply The small current parts (not the motor itself) could be powered from a +12 V voltage regulator.

the BTS 555 and the large diodes (DS75-08B and DSI75-08B) require relatively large heatsinks for high current motors. Note. The reason for this low switch frequency is that the BTS 555 is a relatively slow component. However the power MOSFET version (below) is better. 7. Power MOSFET PWM Motor Driver . Power PROFET PWM Motor Driver This power driver circuit is based on the PROFET transistor BTS 555 and is working at a switch frequency of 500 Hz. This was the authors fist experimental PWM setup. Circuit layout 8.

The reason for this is that switching the gate voltage of the MOSFET transistor requires high transient current (2 A) due to relatively high capacitive load. MOSFET Driver 1 This was the first MOSFET driver used by the author. This circuit also avoids the voltage drop and power loss over the power diodes present in the PROFET driver. But driver 2 is better. The MOSFET transistor in this motor driver requires a special driver circuit between the PWM circuit and the MOSFET itself. A good article about MOSFET drivers is found on Internet (see the references below).This power MOSFET motor driver is better than the PROFET driver because it is working at a higher switch frequency of 20 kHz. Circuit layout 9. The MOSFET transistor requires a relatively large heatsink for high current motors. Circuit layout .

Circuit layout . MOSFET Driver 2 This is the best MOSFET driver using a dedicated circuit (EL7212CN) as driver. 10. Note that the circuit has an inverted output.

10 STP80NE06-10 60 80 150 0. Good heatsinks are quite expensive. 10 DSI75-08B 800 160 160 ? . 5 TL 084 36 . which probably also has some inductance. The operating voltage was 18 V powered from a large power supply which can handle a maximum average current of 15 A. The DC motor (15 V.1 Ohm. 1 EL7212CN 16.5 2 (< 1 µs) 1 . 1. The current was measured by measuring the voltage over a 0. Imax and Pmax are given with appropriate heatsinks. PWM pulse over DC motor at 500 Hz and 30 % duty cycle. The lamp is of normal car lamp type (12 V.0085 5 LT10A04 400 10 10 ? . The motor dynamics (voltage and current) have time to follow each individual pulse. Component Umax (V) Imax (A) Pmax (W) Ron (Ω) Price (\$) BTS 555 34 158 310 0. 10 W thread winded resistor. Electronic Component Data Here are presented some data (absolute maximum ratings) and approximate prices for the most critical and expensive components in the circuit layouts above. 1 BD 140 60 1 8 . 1 12. 11.5 . 0. Some Oscilloscope Views of Signals These images are taken with a Pico Technology ADC-212/3 oscilloscope for PC. The small transient spikes that are seen at the positive flank of the voltage curves at 20 kHz probably occur because the power supply is not fast enough to keep the voltage stable for a short time. 50 W). about 100 W) is running without load. . The resistor was connected in series with the motor or lamp. which indicates that the pulse frequency is to low.0029 10 DS75-08B 800 160 160 ? . 1 BD 139 60 1 8 .

At this low frequency the lamp behaves almost exactly as a true resistor. Here the pulse frequency is so high that the motor behaves almost as if powered from a true DC voltage. PWM pulse over car lamp at 500 Hz and 30 % duty cycle. However some transient current spikes occur at the flanks of the pulses. 3. . I. PWM pulse over DC motor at 20 kHz and 30 % duty cycle.e.2. the voltage and current follow each other.

13.4. At this high frequency the inductance in the lamp (and probably also the 0.1 ohm resistor) gives large transient current spikes at the flanks of the pulses. Some Photos of the Circuits . PWM pulse over car lamp at 20 kHz and 30 % duty cycle.

the EL7212CN circuit). Stefan Spännare Email: stefans@astro. 2. This driver use the “MOSFET driver 2” (i. An image of the PWM driver with MOSFET (STP80NE06-10) transistor. 3. about 100 W).lu. 50 W) and the DC motor (15 V. The MOSFET must have a larger heatsink than here for high current DC motors. An image of the PWM driver with PROFET (BTS 555) transistor and a large heatsink. An image of the (old) car lamp (12 V.se Latest update: 2002-04-05 View comments (4) / leave a comment Top of Form 1 Search Bottom of Form • Share • Home • Oscilloscopes .e. The large diodes (DS75-08B and DSI75-08B) also have a large heatsink together. 1.

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