The brushless direct-current electricity (BLDC) motor is nowadays widely used in many sectors, from very critical implementations in small capsular surgical microrobots to large scale industrial and automotive applications. It is better than the conventional DC motor with brushes because of its lifespan, high efficiency, and low maintenance. However it has some drawbacks over the advantages: a controller is required and driving it is more complex than driving the conventional one.
A particular application is in the fan driver of a condensing boiler, for which a new control board has been designed and realized. A condensing boiler is a water heating device designed to recover the energy normally released into the atmosphere through the flue. It is improved by the use of a secondary heat exchanger which most commonly uses residual heat in the flue gas to heat the cooler returning water stream or by increasing the surface of the primary heat exchanger, so that condensing takes place easily. The higher the control of the main characteristics (condensation, warm, etc.) and of the BLDC fan driver, the better the system efficiency.
The new control system allows to integrate, on a single board, both the fan driver and microcontroller for thermoregulation, whose functions are declared as Software Class C evaluated to the European standards EN298 and EN60730-1 for automatic gas burner control systems. At present, also the final steps to obtain the certification of the Italian Institute for the Quality Mark (IMQ) are in progress.
The intelligent control of the main characteristics (condensation, warmth, etc..) increases energy efficiency and lowers emissions.
Moreover, this innovative solution provides a remote control that could be useful in several applications: monitoring, home automation, etc.
A failure diagnosis can also be carried out.
The innovation consists in embedding, on the same board, fan driver and microcontroller (Class C Firmware) for the system control (thermoregulation, remote control, failure diagnosis).
The main advantages are:
- very low cost
- high degree of integration with the existing means
- high reliability
The innovative device proposed allows the complete control of the BLDC motor in general, and in particular of the condensing boiler, at low cost, with higher energy efficiency and comfort.
Moreover, integrating the new control board in a system (as home automation) improves the performance of the whole system.