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issue: March 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

Motor Technology
Three-Phase Inverter Driver IC

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International Rectifier's IR2136 family of three-phase inverter-driver ICs are said to give appliance producers a low-cost, simple solution for variable speed motor drives.

The IR2136 ICs from International Rectifier are said to be well-suited for 110- to 360-V input inverters up to 2 kW, used for a.c. induction, brushless d.c., or switched reluctance motor drivers.

According to International Rectifier (IR), the ICs integrate six MOSFET or IGBT high-voltage gate drivers with a range of protection functions at a 30-percent lower system cost than opto-coupler solutions. The ICs are also said to simplify design with as much as a 30-percent lower component count and shrink gate drive circuit size by up to 50 percent compared to alternative solutions.

The IR2136 IC family is designed to decrease the cost and complexity of energy-efficient, electronically-driven variable speed electric motors for home appliances such as washing machines and air-conditioners, as well as light industrial and automotive motor drives.

"Appliance [makers] are transitioning to variable speed motors, which can save more than 50 percent of the energy and enable new features," according to Alberto Guerra, director, Appliance Business Unit, International Rectifier. "The latest water-saving clothes washers use high-voltage gate driver ICs to implement energy-efficient electronically-driven, variable speed motors. IR's inverter-driver ICs contain the functionality and protection to make variable speed motor technology practical for the competitive appliance market."

The 600-V IR2136 ICs are CMOS- or LSTTL-output compatible, down to 3.3-V logic for direct interface with a microcontroller or other logic devices, and offer 120-mA/250-mA output source/sink current. The ICs reportedly enable rugged designs with up to 50-V/ns dV/dt immunity and low di/dt drive current for noise immunity.

According to the supplier, the ICs deliver higher performance than opto-couplers or transformers, and allow high-frequency operation with a deadtime as low as 250 ns and a typical turn-on/turn-off time of 400 ns. The output drivers feature a high-pulse current buffer stage designed for minimum driver cross-conduction. The IC integrates cross-conduction prevention logic to eliminate short-circuit conditions. In addition, matched propagation delays for all six channels in the single IC package reportedly ensure consistent high-frequency operation, which can provide better motor torque performance at low speed and can reduce audible noise.

Other features include: an over-current trip function that terminates all six outputs and can be derived from an external current sense resistor; an open-drain fault signal to the main controller that indicates an over-current or under-voltage shutdown has occurred; an enable function to terminate all six outputs simultaneously; and over-current fault conditions are cleared automatically after a delay programmed externally via an R-C network.

This information is provided by International Rectifier, El Segundo, CA, U.S.


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