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This paper presents a novel, low-cost, high-performance single-phase adjustable-speed motor drive by using a three-phase permanent magnet brush-less DC (BLDC) machine. This system has been designed and implemented by the multidisciplinary student team of Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) for the 2003 IEEE/DOE/DOD international future energy challenge and won the first prize overall award for the motor competition. Machine configurations and driver topologies have been investigated to develop a low-cost innovative system. To satisfy the requirements of the challenge, a commercially available motor has been selected and redesigned including the stator winding and permanent magnet rotor. The redesigned motor has been fabricated and tested successfully. For the designed power electronic driver, the main goal was to achieve high performance and reliability at low cost. Simulation and experimental results are provided to verify the proposed approach.