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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Development and Implementation of a Low Cost μC- based Brushless DC Motor Sensorless Controller: A Practical Analysis of Hardware and Software Aspects

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Electrical Machines Laboratory, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi 67100, Greece
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Department of Industrial Engineering & Management, International Hellenic University, Thessaloniki, 57400, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(12), 1456; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8121456
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 29 November 2019 / Published: 1 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Systems & Control Engineering)
The ongoing technological advancements of brushless DC motors (BLDCMs) have found a wide range of applications. For instance, ground-based electric vehicles, aerial drones and underwater scooters have already adopted high-performance BLDCMs. Nevertheless their adoption demands control systems to monitor torque, speed and other performance characteristics. Precise design structure and the particular motor functional characteristics are essential for the suitable configuration and implementation of an appropriate controller to suit a wide range of applications. Techniques which do not use Hall sensors should be used then. This paper deals with the analysis of hardware and software aspects during the development of such a microcontroller based and low cost speed controller for motors up to 500 W, along with its practical implementation. The sensorless method employed is based on the zero crossing point (ZCP) detection of the back-electromotive forces’ (back-EMF) differences, as the ZCPs of these quantities match to the time points at which the commutation sequence changes. Additionally, the study presents hardware and software details through calculations, figures, flowcharts and code, providing an insight of the practical issues that may arise in such a low cost prototype. Finally, results obtained by experiments validate the presented hardware/software architecture of the controller.
Keywords: brushless DC (BLDC) motor; sensorless control; zero crossing point; microcontrollers; low-cost prototyping brushless DC (BLDC) motor; sensorless control; zero crossing point; microcontrollers; low-cost prototyping
MDPI and ACS Style

Karnavas, Y.L.; Topalidis, A.S.; Drakaki, M. Development and Implementation of a Low Cost μC- based Brushless DC Motor Sensorless Controller: A Practical Analysis of Hardware and Software Aspects. Electronics 2019, 8, 1456.

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