Electronic commutator

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How it works

Conventional DC motors employ a mechanical commutator, but new technologies has meant that it is now possible to have an electronic commutator. In both cases, the commutator converts DC into a rotating magnetic field, in order to support continuous rotation. However, the electronic solution affords all the advantages of solid-state construction and operation, plus enables the inherent advantages of brushless motors over their inferior counterparts, without the use of an amplifier. In stark contrast with typical brush DC motor drives, contactors and relays are also eliminated, due to the on-board power supply and built-in directional control.

With the advent of this technological milestone, new levels of performance, efficiency and power density are being made available, with reduced operational and maintenance costs. Applications such as hydraulic power units, integrated starter/alternators, low voltage and small hybrid vehicles, and numerous others, which were previously too complex and expensive, and therefore limited to high end niche markets such as aerospace and military platforms, are now commercially viable.

A brushless motor drive typically consists of two parts – the motor and the amplifier. A motor with an electronics commutator integrates the essential electronics with the motor this approach enables the motor to utilize an industry-standard DC controller. The result is a brushless motor that operates with the simplicity of a DC motor.

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