Awide speed range sensorless control technique of brushless dc motors for electric propulsors

Min Fu Hsieh, Hung Ju Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a sensorless drive technique for permanent-magnet brushless DC motors applied to electric propulsors of small ships or underwater vehicles. Propulsors enveloping electric motors (e.g., POD or subsea thrusters) have been increasingly applied due to their advantages of excellent maneuverability, high efficiency and low maintenance costs. To secure reliable operation under water, sensorless control is considered as an appropriate technique. However, conventional sensorless techniques often suffer problems of narrow speed range and low efficiency, particularly when the propulsors sustain heavy load at high speed operation. Hence, a sensorless technique with a wide speed range is developed in this paper using an enhanced commutation method. A brushless DC motor is first used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed technique. An electric thruster is further tested, where the results show that the efficiency matches that of the common Hall element commutation approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-745
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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