How to cost-effectively transition to brushless DC motors for your applications

January 11, 2016 //By Adriano De Rosa
How to cost-effectively transition to brushless DC motors for your applications
Adriano De Rosa, IC Architect – Micronas GmbH considers how to cost-effectively transition to brushless DC motors for your applications.

The various options of semiconductor integration are opening up an ever-growing array of applications for distributed intelligent small drive solutions based on synchronous motors. These include brushless DC motors (BLDC), permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) and stepper motors. Because of their technical advantages and increased efficiency, these types of motors are replacing brush-type motors in many existing applications. Automobiles are a great example.

Typically automotive components must support low system cost, small, light and reliable, and show a high degree of efficiency. It is also important to reduce exhaust emissions and lower the fuel consumption. The need for drive concepts that work with a wide range of motors, and the extreme demands made on efficiency, system design and network ing options have major impact upon the actuator electronics.
 
The BLDC motor market

There are plenty of BLDC manufacturers in the US. Most companies are still focused on motor technology like brush- type  DC  motors,  stepper  motors,  etc. But many of them are establishing the BLDC  motor  as  a  basis  for  new  product  developments.  Even  though  there are  many  BLDC  motor  manufacturers in place, especially for the tiny BLDC motors, there are not so many integrated control electronic solutions on the market. Companies capable to manufacture BLDC motors with integrated intelligent electronics inside, together with a low cost approach are still not easy to find.
 
The level of adoption of BLDC motor technology is increasing. Many auto- motive functions such as fuel or water pumps,  HVAC  (Heating  Ventilation  and Air Conditioning), curve light, head-lamp levelling,  and  many  others,  are  converting  from  brush-type  DC  motor  or  step- per motor technology to BLDC motor technology.  Yes,  this  is  not  a  general proof that all brush DC or stepper motors will  convert  to  BLDC  motor  technology. But  the  main  argument  that  the  electronic to control the motor is too expensive compared to the price of the motor itself is becoming less valid

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