The Challenges of driving motors with Low inductance

One of the more intricate challenges faced in the realm of motor control is effectively driving motors with low inductance. Low inductance motors, while beneficial in numerous applications due to their high power density, rapid response and high-speed capabilities, present unique challenges that require sophisticated control strategies and advanced engineering solutions.

Understanding Low Inductance in Motors 

Inductance in a motor is a measure of its ability to resist changes in electric current passing through its windings. Low inductance motors typically have fewer windings or thinner wire, which decreases their ability to store magnetic energy. Many newer designs may employ different methods for manufacturing the motor. This characteristic leads to several key issues, primarily related to the control and performance stability of these motors.

1. Increased Current Ripple 

Low inductance results in higher current ripple—the fluctuations in current due to the motor’s inability to smooth out the pulse-width modulated (PWM) signal used in most drive systems. This can cause a range of problems, from increased electromagnetic interference (EMI) to higher rates of wear and tear on both the motor and the drive electronics. 

2. Difficulty in Achieving Precise Control 

The inherent nature of low inductance motors to rapidly react to changes in drive voltage complicates maintaining precise control, particularly at lower speeds. This is a significant challenge for applications requiring extremely accurate positioning or smooth rotational capabilities. Our approach at Zikodrive involves the use of sophisticated feedback mechanisms and finely tuned control algorithms that compensate for these tendencies, enabling precise control even at lower speeds.

3. Thermal Management 

The increased current ripple and higher susceptibility to changes in voltage in low inductance motors also lead to enhanced thermal stresses. Effective thermal management is crucial, as excessive heat can degrade motor performance, reduce lifespan, and even lead to failure. 

4. Voltage Overshoot 

Another significant challenge is managing the voltage overshoot during switching events. Low inductance can exacerbate voltage spikes, potentially damaging the motor and the electronic components of the drive system. At Zikodrive, we employ snubber circuits and other protective components that clamp excessive voltages and absorb the energy, thus protecting the motor and prolonging the system’s reliability.

5. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) 

Motors with low inductance are prone to generating higher levels of EMI due to the high frequency and rapid switching of current. This EMI can interfere with nearby electronic equipment and degrade the performance of the motor system itself. To combat this, Zikodrive designs incorporate EMI filtering techniques and shielded cabling, as well as rigorous testing to ensure compliance with international EMC standards.

Engineering Solutions and Innovations 

To address these challenges effectively, Zikodrive employs a multi-faceted approach that includes advanced electronic design, innovative use of materials, and continuous improvement of firmware algorithms. Our engineers specialize in creating custom driver solutions that are optimized for specific applications, whether they involve small, precise medical devices or robust industrial machinery.

Conclusion - a complex challenge that needs careful optimisation and innovation to work

Driving motors with low inductance presents a complex array of engineering challenges, but also opens up opportunities for innovation and performance enhancement. At Zikodrive , we are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in motor control technology. By developing sophisticated control strategies and leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we ensure that our solutions not only meet but exceed the rigorous demands of our diverse clientele.

The Future of Motor Control: Sensored vs. Sensorless BLDC Motors and Zikodrive's Role