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Sensorless motor controller targets intelligent pumps

Posted: 24 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:International Rectifier? IR? IRMCF371? iMOTION? motor control?

IR's IRMCF371 iMOTION motor controller

International Rectifier (IR) has introduced a sensorless sinusoidal motor control platform that promises quieter operation and higher efficiency for variable-speed pump applications up to 300W. By effectively controlling pump operation over a wide range of flow requirements, variable-speed pumps can cut energy consumption by up to 50 percent.

The latest iMOTION integrated design platform consists of a mixed-signal controller, the IRMCF371 and companion intelligent power module for the power stage, as well as algorithms, development software and design tools.

Energy-efficient intelligent pumps
"Because variable-speed motor-driven pumps halve energy requirements, government legislation in many countries is driving the adoption of energy-efficient intelligent pumps, particularly in the water, waste-water and building automation segments," said Stephen Tsang, senior VP of Asia sales at IR. "The iMOTION platform achieves higher reliability and system performance by better controlling system load changes, improving control pump operations and providing control over a wide range of load conditions as well as enabling smooth start-up conditions."

The IRMCF371 mixed-signal control IC for pumps integrates all the control and analog interface functions required for sensorless sinusoidal control of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMS) using DC link current measurements. Analog functions on the IC include differential amplifier, dual sample and hold circuits and a 12bit ADC to sample the low-voltage signal across the DC link shunt.

Motion control engine
The new solution incorporates IR's patented Motion Control Engine (MCE), an algorithm editor that eliminates coding. An integrated 60MIPS, 8bit, 8051 MCU enables application layer software development, operating independently from the MCE, and does not compete for system resources such as interrupts or internal registers. The embedded Analog Signal Engine (ASE) integrates all the signal conditioning and conversion circuits required for single current shunt, sensorless control of a PMS motor.

The IRAMS06UP60B is a compact, intelligent power module optimized for electronic motor control in appliance applications that features a three-phase inverter with IC driver in a compact single in-line (SIP1) package. The device includes a shutdown function and overcurrent protection for safe operation.

Design tools include communications software running on the 8051 MCU that gives the PC-based MCEDesigner software access to the control parameters and system variables in the shared memory. This allows modification of the controller set points and control loop gains and other constants without needing to modify or compile software. MCEDesigner tools generate wash-cycle profiles and plot motor speed and current, accelerating rapid evaluation of direct-drive motor performance with real washing loads.

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