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March 2014

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Abstract of the Technology
  • Title: Increased Ripple-Free Torque or Speed in BLDC Motors Operating Under Current or Voltage Saturation (CSA case ID: 51105)
  • Inventor: Dr. Farhad Aghili

As an alternative to dual-wound motor technology used in Canadarm, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has developed a novel intelligent motor control system that provides not only fault-tolerant capacity but permits ripple-free torque production and power dissipation reduction. This is made possible by optimal distribution of the motor winding currents in such a way that when failure of one phase occurs due to open/short circuit or voltage/current saturation, the excitation current of the remaining phases is reshaped accordingly for full recovery from the fault. The optimal current shaping of motor windings enhances motors' torque and speed ratings by 20%, leading to weight and size reduction of the overall drive system. Moreover, ripple-free torque control capability reduces the noise and vibration and enhances the accuracy and lifespan of the system.

Potential Market Applications
  • BLDC motion controllers, motors and/or drivers
  • Electric cars or other electric vehicles
  • Motor drives in space robots, e.g., manipulator arms and rovers
  • Motor drives in industrial applications, e.g., CNC machines, precision gimbals
  • Motor drives in precision motion systems
  • Aerospace industry, e.g., spacecraft  gyros and flywheels, aeroplane  brake system, radar tracker  
About the Licensee

Alizem is an embedded software intellectual property (IP) company specialized in power electronics applications such as motor control and solar power conversion for home appliances and for industrial, medical and automotive markets. Alizem solutions are application-specific off-the-shelf software drivers that can be easily and quickly integrated on electronic devices without the need for advanced motor control and embedded software engineering expertise. They enable system designers to significantly reduce development and maintenance costs, risks and time-to-market in any of their power electronics-based system development. Visit www.alizem.com.

Alizem's Application of the CSA Technology

Among its many business endeavours, the Lévis-based company recently licensed the CSA's electronic commutator technology, which was employed to develop its Embedded Motor Control Software IP for Critical Applications. Alizem's software solution is designed to be used in markets where efficiency and reliability of applications performed by electric motor-based systems are essential, such as the aerospace, automotive, industrial, energy generation and defence industries. Examples of these applications include airplane brake systems, industrial and space robotics, vehicles including electric vehicles (power steering and power train), instrumentation (gyroscopes), and HVAC systems in energy plants.

On the Record

"It is an honour for us to commercialize a technology from CSA, a Government of Canada agency recognized worldwide for having developed many leading space robotics technologies. By offering its technologies to the market, CSA proves it is also a commercial innovator that is in line with the spirit of open innovation by leveraging its intellectual property assets to generate new revenues and encouraging other organizations not to reinvent the wheel."
Dr. Marc Perron, President of Alizem

For a more detailed description of the CSA's technology, please visit:
www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/industry/ipmtt/factsheets/51105.asp?lb

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