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This paper presents a low-cost energy-efficient variable-speed drive for high-volume applications, such as home appliances, fans, and hand tools. A new low-cost power converter is proposed, and the drive system is realized using a two-phase switched reluctance motor and the proposed converter. The motor is capable of self-starting at any rotor position and four-quadrant operation. The converter is unique in that it has two capacitors for the energization of each phase and uses the main phase winding as energy storage for the secondary capacitor C2. The converter employs a single-switch-per-phase configuration, hence requiring only two controllable switching devices in total. The converter is inherently suited for two-phase motors having asymmetric stator phases to realize self-starting and speed reversal. Simple starting and C2 voltage control schemes are presented. This paper describes the analysis, modeling, control algorithm, and design considerations for a prototype drive system. Experimental verification and correlation with simulation results are presented. The proposed drive system offers a low-cost brushless variable-speed drive that is a potential alternative for conventional brush-commutator motors in high-volume applications.