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Gate Driver Solutions for Different Motor Controls

Electric motors are devices that convert electrical energy into mechanical energy that can be used to move articulated mechanisms to which they are linked. The electric motor must be capable of producing significant torque from zero speed and be highly efficient across the entire load range. It must also have an easy-to-use driving and control system.

Direct current motors use continuous electrical energy. They are typically low-power and well-suited to all applications that require a degree of operational flexibility of low driving torque. AC motors are classified as synchronous or asynchronous, and they can operate on single-phase or three-phase alternating current.

Synchronous motors, in particular, have rotation speeds that are inextricably linked to the frequency of the sinusoidal current. Engineers must first determine the weight and size of the load, as well as the speed at which it will move, before selecting the best motor. As a result, the working area of the motor under load must be lower than the torque curve of the motor.

A standard method of sizing a motor is to assume “limit” situations to ensure a fair margin of operation (that is, to determine the peak values required by the application for torque and speed).

AC Motor

Reliable AC motors are essential to many industrial production processes, from ventilation to fluid and solid material transportation. 

Designers of AC motor drives are always looking for ways to save energy and reduce size. For compact, standard, and premium AC motor drives, IGBT power modules and gate driver solutions are developed to provide outstanding efficiency and an unrivaled level of integration.

An IGBT power module functions as an electronic switching device. By alternate switching direct current (DC) can be transformed to alternating current (AC) and vice versa. The power conversion taking place is important for the applications to function correctly. In order to drive an AC motor, 3 phase AC current is needed. 

There are a number of  driver gate solutions and one commonly used is a gate drive optocoupler. The driver gate must provide high output current to drive the IGBT power module and with integrated fail-safe IGBT. It must also provide reinforced galvanic isolation to protect the system from the high voltages applied to the IGBT module.

DC Motor

Brushless DC motors (BLDC) outperform brushed motors in terms of efficiency and dependability. Household appliances and consumer electronics are increasingly being used in their applications. As efficiency standards for these applications improve, better power conversion technology will be required to reduce total power losses and simplify the design.

The driver is a fundamental component of BLDC control. It is a power amplifier that generates a voltage output to drive the H-bridge circuit’s high current high-side and low-side IGBT gates.

Industrial Motors

Industrial motors and medium voltage drives are built to last, with high reliability and availability in harsh environments. Power Integrations has a long history of providing reliable gate driver solutions for industrial motors, including support for multi-level topologies and H-bridge series connection MVDs.

Servo Motor

The operation principle of a servo motor is similar to that of a stepper motor, but there are some key differences to consider. The controller sends signals to the servo drive  via pulse/direction or analogue position, speed, or torque commands in traditional servo systems.

The servo drive sends the correct amount of current for each motor phase. Motor feedback is sent back to the drive and, if necessary, to the controller via isolated amplifiers. This information is used by the drive to correctly switch the rotor and send reliable data about the moving shaft’s position. As a result, servomotors are referred to as “closed-loop” because they include an encoder (feedback) that constantly sends the position to the controller.