Mathematical modelling of permanent-magnet brushless DC motor drives
Brushless dc motor drives have become increasingly popular, following recent developments in rare-earth permanent-magnet materials and the semiconductor devices used to control the stator input power and to sense the rotor position. They are now frequently used in applications such as flight control systems and robot actuators, and for drives which require high reliability, long life, little maintenance and a high torque-to-weight ratio. In many motor drives the presence of torque and speed ripples, especially at low speed, is extremely undesirable. The mathematical model developed in this thesis was used to investigate their occurrence in a typical brushless dc drive system, with the objective of establishing factors which effect their magnitude and ways by which they may be reduced. The model is based on the numerical solution of the differential equations for the system, with those for the motor being formulated in the phase reference frame. Tensor methods are used to account for both the varying topology and the discontinuous operation of the motor arising from changes in the conduction pattern of the inverter supply switches. The thesis describes the design, construction and testing of an experimental voltage source PWM inverter, using MOSFET switching devices, to drive a 1.3 kW 3-phase brushless dc motor. A practical circuit is described which implements current profiling to minimize torque ripple, and the optimum phase current waveforms are established. The effect of changes in the firing angle of the inverter switches on the torque ripple are also examined. Throughout the thesis, theoretical predictions are verified by comparison with experimental results.