Compact ESC Design for BLDC Motors

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Brushless Esc
Brushless Esc

Electronics Speed controllers (ESC) play an important role in controlling the mobility mechanisms in Drones, Robots and autonomous vehicles. A well-calibrated ESC provides better stability and efficiency to the driven systems.

ST Microelectronics provided a reference design for the STEVAL-ESC001V1 evaluation board which is capable of driving any single-phase or 3-phase brushless motor working at an operating voltage up to 24 Volts and 30-ampere peak current. It comes with a configurable firmware so that ESC synchronization with the motor can be done for optimum use.

The Controller is based on Field Oriented Control (FOC) which is used to regulate and precisely control the torque being produced by brushless motors. It can be implemented in both hardware as well as software to increase accuracy and bandwidth.

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Some of the features for the Speed Controller are –

  • It has a compact PCB design with dimensions of 29.1mm x 58mm.
  • The ESC can be interfaced with the flight controller through PWM, I2C, UART and CAN protocols. This is a good feature as most ESC works only on PWM signals.
  • The ESC is designed with an inbuilt Overvoltage and Overcurrent protection. It also has an onboard thermal protection circuit which decreases the PWM duty cycle when the motors reach the stall condition.
  • It is designed to work for 3-6s LiPo Batteries which is 11.1 Volts to 24 Volts.
  • The circuit is designed for a continuous current of 20 amperes and a stall current for 30 amperes.
  • The evaluation board based on the reference design is approved by RoHS.
  • It is compatible with ST-LINK V2 debugger and programmer.
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The design package comes with all the necessary documents including design layouts, schematics, Bill of Materials and manual for firmware configuration. As it is compatible for 1-3 phase brushless motors, it has a wide area of application in remote control vehicles, UAVs and autonomous driving systems.

All the Firmware and evaluation tools can be downloaded here.

All the resources regarding PCB, schematics and BOM can be downloaded here.

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