10 May 2023
EPC makes available 3-phase BLDC motor drive inverter reference design board
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits for power management applications – has announced the availability of the EPC9186, a 3-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor drive inverter using the EPC2302 eGaN FET. The EPC9186 supports a wide input DC voltage ranging from 14V to 80V. The high-power capability of the EPC9186 supports applications such as electric scooters, small electric vehicles, agricultural machinery, forklifts, and high-power drones.
The EPC9186 uses four EPC2302 FETs in parallel per switch position and can deliver up to 200Apk maximum output current. The EPC9186 contains all the necessary critical function circuits to support a complete motor drive inverter including gate drivers, regulated auxiliary power rails for housekeeping supplies, voltage and temperature sense, accurate current sense, and protection functions. The boards can also be configured for multiphase DC–DC conversion and support both phase and leg shunt current sensing.
EPC says that the reference design exhibits the major benefits of a GaN-based motor drive, including lower distortion for lower acoustic noise, lower current ripple for reduced magnetic loss, lower torque ripple for improved precision, and lower filtering for lower cost.
EPC provides full demonstration kits, which include interface boards that connect the inverter board to the controller board development tool for fast prototyping that reduce design cycle times.
“GaN-based inverters increase motor efficiency and can increase power capability without increasing size,” says CEO Alex Lidow. “This enables motor systems that are smaller, lighter, less noisy, have more torque, more range, and greater precision for a wide range of consumer and industrial applications.”
The EPC9186 reference design board is priced at $900 and is available for order from distributor Digi-Key Corp.