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250 Watt Mainstream Compressor Reference Design

The 250-watt compressor reference design with a three-phase inverter offers advanced control for BLDC motors, enhancing energy use and motor management.

250W mainstream compressor

In the functional ecosystem of a refrigerator, a 250-watt compressor plays a pivotal role in driving the refrigeration cycle, the core process responsible for cooling and food preservation. This compressor operates by compressing the refrigerant, a critical step that elevates its pressure and temperature, setting the stage for the subsequent cooling phases. As the heart of the refrigerator, the compressor’s efficient power rating ensures effective cooling and aligns with energy-efficient practices, crucial in modern appliances. Its operation involves cyclically transforming the refrigerant between gaseous and liquid states, a process fundamental to extracting heat from the refrigerator’s interior and thus maintaining a consistently low temperature. This continuous cycle, powered by the 250-watt compressor, exemplifies the synergy between energy use, operational efficiency, and the essential preservation capabilities of contemporary refrigeration technology.

The STEVAL-CTM011V1, developed by STMicroelectronics, is a versatile 250-watt compressor reference design featuring a three-phase inverter at its heart. This inverter is efficiently powered by the STSPIN32F0601Q controller, which skillfully merges a 3-phase 600-volt gate driver with an Arm Cortex-M0 STM32 Microcontroller Unit (MCU). The power stage is further optimized by incorporating a high-speed STGD5H60DF Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT).

The design is suited for controlling variable-speed 3-phase Brushless DC (BLDC) compressor motors, which apply to refrigeration systems, air compressors, air conditioning units, and other similar applications. It distinguishes itself with its system-in-package approach, offering an energy-efficient solution with superior integration and complete protection. Enhanced performance is achieved, especially in its 2-shunt version, setting it apart from other market alternatives.

The system’s power supply stage includes a VIPER122 high-voltage converter in a buck configuration, generating necessary supply voltages for the compressor’s operation. It supports one-shunt and 2+1 shunt sensing topologies, providing flexibility in sensing configurations.

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Equipped with the reference firmware STSW-CTM011, the board facilitates the implementation of sensorless field-oriented control (FOC). This firmware is particularly effective for driving Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSMs) and BLDC motors, extending the board’s applicability across various domains, including industrial appliances.

The design incorporates several key features. It offers low standby power consumption, supplemented by overcurrent and undervoltage protections. The inverter power stage is rated at 600 V and 5 A, ensuring robust performance. Additionally, the standby power consumption is notably low, under 300 mW. The system can also drive motors with a power output of up to 250 W. The solution reduces the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) footprint and cuts down the overall bill of materials, presenting a more efficient and compact design.

STMicroelectronics has tested this reference design. It comes with a Bill of Materials (BOM), schematics, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design, click here.

Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal is a journalist at EFY. She is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with over five years of academic experience. Her expertise lies in working with development boards and IoT cloud. She enjoys writing as it enables her to share her knowledge and insights related to electronics, with like-minded techies.


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