Sensorless technique for BLDC motors

Gambetta, Daniele Morco (2006) Sensorless technique for BLDC motors. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Commutation is a fundamental feature of all DC machines. In conventional DC machines the commutation function is performed by the commutator and brushes. These act as both position sensors and switches. The mechanical commutator has obvious disadvantages. Overcoming those disadvantages has been a major reason behind the development of brushless DC (BLDC) machines. In brushless DC machines commutation is performed by power electronic devices forming part of an inverter bridge. However, switching of the power electronic devices has to be synchronised with rotor position. Position sensing is therefore an essential requirement. This can be done by using sensors such as Hall Effect devices or a sensorless approach may be adopted. Advantages of sensorless techniques include reduced cost and wiring. The most common sensorless method is based on detection of the zero crossing of back EMF signals. But this technique works only above a certain speed since back EMF is directly proportional to speed. As a result BLDC systems which rely solely on back EMF signals for commutation suffer from relatively poor starting performance characterised by back rotation of up to one hundred and eigthty electrical degrees and large fluctuations in electromagnetic torque resulting from non-ideal commutation instants. This may not be acceptable for some applications and many researchers have attempted to overcome those problems. The aim of this project has been to investigate the possibility of a sensorless technique which does not cost more than the back EMF method but with a performance at start-up comparable with that obtained when Hall sensors are used. Initial investigations led to a saliency based method. Detailed theoretical analysis is presented which shows that the method is insensitive to variations in operational parameters such as load current and circuit parameters such as power device voltage drops and winding resistances. There is a close parallel between it and the back EMF method and this makes it easy to swap to the latter method at high speed if necessary. A starting strategy, relying on saliency related measurements, is proposed which offers starting performance much better than the back EMF method and almost as good as Hall sensor based techniques. Experimental evidence is provided to confirm that commutation instants determined by the proposed method are practically coincident with those obtained when Hall sensors are used.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Master of Philosophy thesis. Transferred from ADT 24/11/2006.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Ahfock, Tony
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:42
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2020 22:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: EMF method, DC machine, development of brushless DC (BLDC), inipolar switching, bipolar switching
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401799 Mechanical engineering not elsewhere classified

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