Characterization of Small DC Brushed and Brushless Motors

Report No. ARL-TR-6389
Authors: Aaron M. Harrington; Christopher Kroninger
Date/Pages: March 2013; 48 pages
Abstract: Micro brushed and brushless motors of the size typically used on micro-ground vehicles and micro-air vehicles have been found to have very low efficiencies. This lack of efficiency not only stems from low manufacturing tolerances, but is also because motors at these scales are generally operated over a large range of loading conditions causing them to operate off design point. This technical report: (1) provides a basis for a simple motor analysis, comparing analysis with actual motor test data, (2) examines the efficiencies of many of the off-the-shelf brushed and brushless motors used in micro vehicle applications, and (3) provides a methodology for proper motor selection, emphasizing the importance in ensuring motor loading conditions are matched to the motor design in order to maximize power efficiency.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2013