Single-phase BLDC motor drive design solutions simplify fault diagnosis and design

BLDC motors have higher efficiency and reliability than brushed motors. They are increasingly being used in household appliances and consumer electronics. As the efficiency standards of these applications continue to improve, better power conversion technologies are needed to minimize total power consumption and simplify designs. The driver is the basic element of BLDC control. It is a power amplifier that can generate a voltage output to drive the high-current high-side and low-side IGBT gates of the H-bridge circuit.

Author: Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

During PCIM, Power Integrations demonstrated an embedded “C” code application, library and control GUI, allowing designers to use the company’s BridgeSwitch brushless DC (BLDC) motor driver IC to precisely control and adjust single-phase motors . In an interview with “Power Electronics News”, Cristian Ionescu-Catrina, senior marketing manager of Power Integrations, focused on how the new eco-design for each motor driver entered the consumer field. Ionescu-Catrina said: “The new regulations increase the efficiency challenge: the dishwasher is required to increase the efficiency by 30%, and the EU’s goal is to save 20B of energy by 2035.” This allows us to simplify fault diagnosis and Designed to meet market demands with lower auditory noise and precise control, and supported by BLDC motors as a cost-optimized solution for single-phase applications.

The BridgeSwitchBLDC motor driver IC has an integrated flexible half-bridge to meet the needs of emerging markets. The driver can drive up to 400 W of power without a heat sink. BridgeSwitch drives single-phase or three-phase motors by hard-wired protection and monitoring of the entire inverter. Ionescu-Catrina pointed out that the design of motor control applications requires complex solutions and simplifies the hardware and software processes for all hardware designers. Currently, the software examples are suitable for specific motors, and there is no built-in customization mechanism. In addition, traditional inverter solutions lack diagnostic functions and can only rely on software to pass the IEC-60730 level B safety certification, which takes two to three months longer than the certification of hardware solutions.

“Customers need a total solution with software examples and design tools,” Ionescu-Catrina said. “The motor control application needs to be customized and has the best working range; the proportional integral loop needs to be configured; the PWM frequency and thermal specifications are different; fast and smooth startup is required.

“For example, in Figure 1, there is airflow on the x-axis; there is airflow on the x-axis. On the y-axis, you have air pressure, and each fan has an optimal working area.” He elaborated. “Therefore, in order for the fan to enter this working mode, it must be customized and adjusted. Therefore, the motors must be optimized. They must be adjusted to work in the best working area, which requires great effort by the designer. The designer Other use cases must also be considered, such as speed control related to proportional integral control constants. And this also requires configuration such as Kp parameters. In addition, many designers also want to optimize the MCU from the perspective of memory and bandwidth to minimize PCB space and heat generation. Power integration can achieve all of this with the new software shown on PCIM this year.”

Single-phase BLDC motor drive design solutions simplify fault diagnosis and design
Figure 1: Motor control applications require customization. (Source: Power Integrations)

Brushless DC motor

BLDC motors have higher efficiency and reliability than brushed motors. They are increasingly being used in household appliances and consumer electronics. As the efficiency standards of these applications continue to improve, better power conversion technologies are needed to minimize total power consumption and simplify designs. The driver is the basic element of BLDC control. It is a power amplifier that can generate a voltage output to drive the high-current high-side and low-side IGBT gates of the H-bridge circuit.

In order to meet future needs, Power Integrations demonstrated a new GUI on PCIM for single-phase motor system design using the BridgeSwitch series, suitable for BLDC motors with power up to 400 W. The efficiency of the high-voltage half-bridge motor is 99.2%, no radiator is needed, and software certification time and cost are reduced. Power Integrations’ BridgeSwitch driver series has an advanced fast recovery epitaxial diode field effect transistor (FREDFET) integrated with a non-destructive current detection function.

Through this interface, the start and stop of the motor and the protection parameters can now be controlled, so that the status of the motor can be monitored without any external instruments. Figure 2 shows the list of possible states that the interface allows you to program and their layout. BridgeSwitch Motor-Expert software reduces the cost and complexity of BLDC drives.

Single-phase BLDC motor drive design solutions simplify fault diagnosis and design
Figure 2: The functions and layout of the new GUI (Source: Power Integrations)

Single-phase BLDC motor drive design solutions simplify fault diagnosis and design
Figure 3: System architecture example-sensor control (source: Power Integrations)

Ionescu-Catrina said: “The interface allows you to make all changes in several configurations in real time.” “Every time a change is made, the configuration is updated in the microcontroller and its software. No need to recompile, everything is fine. In real time.”

The interface also enables users to visualize system operations and Display data status, including current, speed, status, current error and speed error. The diagnostic field in the software interface can help you understand the operation of the frequency converter and the motor.

The new software comes with ready-to-use application examples for constant speed and constant torque operation, all of which comply with the IEC6730 Class A standard. The GUI can be downloaded along with examples and documentation. Of course, the control system still needs an MCU (Figure 3).

The software complies with static (MISRA) and dynamic performance analysis, covering delay, jitter, and execution time. It only requires 14 kB of code memory and 5 kB of SRAM, which is suitable for microcontrollers with smaller storage capabilities.

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