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Every day engineers design products that employ single-phase induction motors.

S peed control of single-phase induction motors is desirable in most motor control applications since it not only provides variable speed but also reduces energy consumption and audible noise. Most single-phase induction motors are unidirectional, which means they are desi gned to rotate in one direction. Either by adding extra windings, external relay s and switches, or by adding gear mechanisms, the direction of rotation can be c hanged. Using microcontroller-based control systems, one can add speed variation to the system. In addition to the option of speed variation, the direction of r otation can also be changed, depending upon the motor control algorithms used. Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motors are the most popular type of single-phase induction motors. This article will discuss different techniques and drive topo logies to control the speed of a PSC motor in one and two directions. Microcontroller Interface A microcontroller is the brain of the system. Often, the controllers used for mo tor control applications have specialized peripherals like motor-control PWMs, h igh-speed analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), and diagnostic pins. The PIC18F24 31 and dsPIC30F2010 from Microchip both have these features built in. Having access to the microcontroller's specialized, on-chip peripherals makes th e implementation of control algorithms easier. ADC channels are used to measure motor current, motor temperature and heat sink temperature (connected to the power switches). A third ADC channel is used to re ad potentiometer levels, which is then used to set the speed of the motor. Addit ional ADC channels can be used in the final application to read different sensor s, such as the proximity switch, turbidity sensors, water level, freezer tempera ture, etc. General-purpose inputs and outputs (I/Os) can be used for interfacing switches a nd displays in an application. For example, in a refrigerator application, these general-purpose I/Os can be used to control an LCD display, seven-segment LED d isplay, push-button interface, etc. Communication channels like I2C or SPI are use d to connect the motor control board with another board to exchange data. Fault and diagnostics interfaces include input lines with special features like the ability to shut down the PWMs in case of catastrophic faults in the system. For example, in a dish-washer, if the drive is blocked due to accumulated waste, it could prevent the motor from rotating. This blockage can be detected in the form of over current in the motor control system. Using the diagnostics features , these types of faults can be logged and/or displayed, or transferred to the tr ouble-shooting PC of a service person. Often, this will prevent hard failures an d reduce the downtime of the product, resulting in reduced service costs. The hardware interface for the PIC 18F2431 or dsPIC30F2010. PWMs are the main peripherals used to control the motor. Using the above inputs, the microcontroller's motor control algorithm determines the PWM duty cycle and pattern of output. The PWM's most valuable features include complementary chann els with programmable dead time. PWMs can be edge-aligned or center-aligned. Cen ter-aligned PWMs have the advantage of reduced electromagnetic noise (EMI) being emitted by the product. Option #1: Unidirectional Control VF control in one direction makes the drive topology and control algorithm relat ively easy. The task is to generate a variable voltage and frequency power suppl y from a fixed voltage and frequency power supply (such as a wall-outlet power s upply). The figure on page 85 shows the block diagram representation of this dri

ve topology, with the three basic building sections discussed earlier. Motor win dings are connected to the center of each half bridge on the output-inverter sec tion. Many motors available off the shelf have both the main and start windings connected together with a capacitor connected in series with the start winding. With this configuration, the motor may have only two protruding wires (M1 and M2 ). The MCU shown in the block diagram has a Power Control PWM (PCPWM) module, which is capable of outputting up to three pairs of PWMs with deadband in between the pairs. Deadband is essential in an induction motor control application to avoid cross conduction of the dc bus through the power switches when one turns OFF an d the other turns ON. The diagnostic circuit may include motor current monitorin g, dc-bus voltage monitoring, and temperature monitoring on the heat sink connec ted to the power switches and the motor.