According to Microchip Technology Inc., a provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, electric motors consume, by some estimates, over half of the energy generated in the United States. With increased energy regulations, OEM’s are adopting field-oriented control (FOC) of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSMs) for energy efficient torque control. This also satisfies consumer demands for quieter operation and longer life.
While this approach also satisfies regulatory compliance issues, it puts an economic strain on appliance manufacturers. Companies such as Microchip are addressing the crossfire between controlling product cost and improving product efficiency. Microchip provides a free, complex FOC motor control algorithm and DSC family. Using this platform, OEM’s can cost-effectively reduce energy consumption in motor-driven applications, such as appliances and automobiles, by replacing expensive optical or hall-effect encoders with inexpensive shunt resistors.
Microchip’s 40 MIPS dsPIC33FJ12MC family gives the DSP functions required for sensorless FOC, while maintaining deterministic operation, effective interrupt handling, and more. Additionally, FOC only requires two current sensors; the third is computed.
Microchip’s FOC algorithm allows for design flexibility. FOC Application Note AN1078 fully describes concepts and supporting algorithms; and transformation blocks, control functions, and estimation subroutines are improved for speed.
Microchip Technology Inc.
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Filed Under: I/O modules, Motion control • motor controls