Skip to Main Content
At low speed, the rotor-position estimation in sensorless control is often carried out based on the evaluation of the phase-current ripples resulting from the supply of high-frequency voltage test signals. However, the rotor-position estimation is affected by cross-saturation in the machine, resulting in less accurate position estimations at higher loads. As the importance of sensorless control of interior permanent-magnet synchronous machines (IPMSMs) increases, it is useful to design IPMSMs in such a way that they are optimized for accurate sensorless control. The goal of this paper is to determine design aspects in the rotor geometry of an IPMSM to minimize the position estimation error due to cross-saturation. Simulations of a sensorless drive are usually based on a state-space model with constant q- and d-axis inductances and no mutual inductances. In this paper, this technique is improved by calculating the inductance matrix from several finite-element models, which allows the study of the effect of variable q- and d-axis inductances and cross-saturation on the performance of the sensorless control. The rotor design is discussed, for both IPMSMs with and without flux barriers, in order to reduce the estimation error caused by cross-saturation.