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Low-inductance axial flux BLDC motor drive for more electric aircraft

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5 Author(s)
De, S. ; Honeywell Technol. Solutions, Bangalore, India ; Rajne, M. ; Poosapati, S. ; Patel, C.
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As aircraft technology is moving towards more electric architecture, use of electric motors in aircraft is increasing. Axial flux BLDC motors (brushless DC motors) are becoming popular in aero application because of their ability to meet the demand of light weight, high power density, high efficiency and high reliability. Axial flux BLDC motors, in general, and ironless axial flux BLDC motors, in particular, come with very low inductance Owing to this, they need special care to limit the magnitude of ripple current in motor winding. In most of the new more electric aircraft applications, BLDC motor needs to be driven from 300 or 600 Vdc bus. In such cases, particularly for operation from 600 Vdc bus, insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT)-based inverters are used for BLDC motor drive. IGBT-based inverters have limitation on increasing the switching frequency, and hence they are not very suitable for driving BLDC motors with low winding inductance. In this study, a three-level neutral point clamped (NPC) inverter is proposed to drive axial flux BLDC motors. Operation of a BLDC motor driven from three-level NPC inverter is explained and experimental results are presented.

Published in:

Power Electronics, IET  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 1 )