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BLDC motor technical bottleneck, design direction and market trend

Date:2022-07-01   Author:XINDA MOTOR
With many advantages such as high efficiency, high reliability, low maintenance cost, strong heat resistance, etc., BLDC (brushless DC motor) is widely used in fields such as robots, home appliances and automobiles, and its market is experiencing huge growth.
What technical bottlenecks are encountered in the field of BLDC motors at present? Are there corresponding solutions?
From a technical point of view, there should be no problem, and now they are relatively mature. The current bottleneck is that the controller components are too expensive, and the soaring cost is a big problem. Since the chip was suppressed by the United States, the price of chip manufacturers has risen in a mess. Now it can only be said that domestic chips can be launched as soon as possible, so that the situation can be changed. Technically, it is mainly reflected in the vigorous low speed, high speed and high power. These two problems occur. The first one is mainly 8-stage and 10-stage motors. Like industrial products, it requires a large output torque, but its speed is lower than the ordinary speed. At present, a few domestic manufacturers can only do non-standard products, and even many domestic agent solutions use a servo motor, but they still cannot meet the size requirements. Usually these motors are required to be flat, so according to the domestic idea, the volume may be increased, but it does not match the installation size of some foreign countries.
Another high speed is reflected in ultra-high precision machinery. Because the traditional DC motor does not have such high-speed operation capability, the size is limited. It is also possible to add copper and iron to the top, but it is mainly the stator and rotor. There are few such large ones in China.
There are corresponding solutions. Because foreign countries have always had mature technologies in this area, we are slowly introducing them. It's just that the input and customer output ratio can be equal. If there are good customers and an environment for mutual growth, then companies can invest money to do this.

What is the direction of BLDC motor design? What innovative applications are there?
Generally speaking, BLDC motors will be moved towards sinusoidal control in the future, because this will greatly improve the speed stability and vibration and noise. In the future, most BLDC motors can replace some relatively low-end applications, but relatively speaking, BLDC motors are relatively expensive and not cost-effective in terms of cost.
For motor design, considering that the resonance of the motor at various speeds, energy consumption and heat generation should be more and more optimized, I think the cost down is definitely the general trend.
In application, BLDC motors will replace the previous asynchronous motors. Industries that use motors, such as early water pumps, air pumps and other applications, will gradually transition to BLDC permanent magnet synchronous motors. Because one is that the cost gap has indeed narrowed, and the other is that the cost of drive control is actually falling. In the past, a complete set of solutions plus motors may be expensive, but now it has gradually become popular, so in many fields that have never used BLDC motors, they may try to apply them. In the future, motor design will develop in the direction of higher power density.
The future development direction or market trend of BLDC motors 
Now many small motors are gradually being replaced by BLDC motors, and its overall trend should be a process of rapidly replacing traditional asynchronous motors.
Because the manufacturing process of BLDC motors is gradually mature, the cost may be more different in terms of magnetic materials or permanent magnets. In addition, many miniaturized BLDC motor drives are now extremely well done, and a large number of solution providers are providing corresponding solutions. Undoubtedly, unless some very special scenarios cannot be applied, the future of motors will definitely be dominated by BLDC motors.
In the future, BLDC motors will definitely have a big explosion in terms of volume, and more and more manufacturers will come in in the market segment; they can also have more choices for upstream customers. Then software technicians will become more and more important, because it is not enough to understand their own motors, but also to be able to interface with the customer's combination program.
At present, BLDC motors are on the rise in applications such as new energy vehicles, high-end home appliances, power tools, and office supplies, so the market for BLDC motors has very good prospects for development.

Let's take a closer look at the 7 potential application markets of BLDC motors, and seize the BLDC opportunities in 2022!
automotive field
Guess how many motors are used in a car?
10 is the base, up to 200.

In future cars, drive motors, electric power steering systems, electronic suspension systems, automotive stability control systems, automotive cruise control systems, ABS, body systems (windows, door locks, seats, rearview mirrors, wipers, sunroofs, etc. ) will use a large number of motors.
Generally speaking, economical fuel vehicles will be equipped with about 10 motors, ordinary vehicles will be equipped with 20 to 30 motors, and luxury vehicles will be equipped with 60 to 70 or even hundreds of motors, while new energy vehicles generally 130 to 200 motors are required.
At present, the main drive motors of domestic new energy vehicles basically use BLDC motors. Because traditional motors use permanent magnets, they must consider some large-scale use problems such as heat generation and demagnetization due to the use environment. Because brushless DC motors have the advantages of high efficiency and high torque, the application of brushless motors in new energy vehicles has become a important direction.
Electric bicycle field
BLDC motors are also used in e-bikes/electric treadmills. BLDC motors have higher precision, anti-spark technology and automatic starting, making them ideal for use in future green vehicles.
The electric bicycle mainly provides corresponding power assistance according to the riding signal through the sensor, which reduces the cyclist's output and makes the user's riding easier. Compared with bicycles, electric bicycles add motors, batteries, sensors, controllers, meters, etc., making riding more intelligent.
The motor is the core component of the electric treadmill's electrical system. Since the miniaturization, light weight, operating efficiency and appearance reliability of the motor directly determine the performance of the electric treadmill, motor companies generally need to customize the development of the motor according to the needs of the electric treadmill. The motor accounts for 10% to 30% of the cost of the electric treadmill.

At present, the global demand for electric bicycles is strong. According to statistics from the European Bicycle Industry Association, from 2006 to 2018, the sales of electric bicycles in the European market increased from 98,000 to 2.5 million. The compound annual growth rate is 31%. The Japanese market is also growing steadily. Japan is mostly hilly terrain, with rough roads and serious aging. Electric treadmills have become a necessary choice. The domestic market is in its infancy, and there is considerable room for growth in the future.
Robot field
Robotics is an area that has received much attention in the application of BLDC motors. One of the core components of robot products is the motor, which is also the most frequently used part of the robot. Its size and quantity determine the flexibility of the robot's actions.
At present, the robot market is mainly divided into industrial robots, service robots, and consumer robots. The output of industrial robots in China is gradually increasing, from about 33,000 sets in 2015 to 187,000 sets in 2018, a rapid growth rate.
In terms of service robots, BLDC motors have been widely used. For example , the development focus of sweeping robots/vacuum cleaners in recent years is mainly focused on high-speed motors, which puts forward higher requirements for the speed, positioning and force performance of motors. Compared with other motors, BLDC motors are more suitable.

In terms of consumer robots, many drones are now converting to brushless motors to obtain longer and lighter bodies and longer battery life. According to the Droneii report, in 2018, the global drone market was $14.1 billion, and it is expected that by 2024, the global drone market will reach $43.1 billion, with the fastest growth in Asia and North America. The compound growth rate is 20.5.
Home appliance field
In China, the largest application areas of BLDC motors are mainly in household appliances, such as washing machines, air conditioner compressors, refrigerator compressors and fans (fans, outdoor and indoor fans, smoke machines, air purifiers), dishwashers, etc.
In the white goods market, frequency conversion has become the mainstream, and BLDC motors have experienced rapid growth year by year. It is expected that the frequency conversion of white goods will reach 70% in 2022. At present, most inverter refrigerator compressors use BLDC motors, so they have higher efficiency, lower noise and longer service life. There are also air conditioner compressors. At present, inverter air conditioners have been basically popular, and the frequency conversion of air conditioners has become the general trend. Moreover, there are still a large number of refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and other home appliances motors that have not completed the conversion from low-efficiency AC motors to high-efficiency brushless DC motors, so the demand for BLDC motors is huge.
Fans are also a very large market. The output of domestic fans in China is very large. According to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2018, the output of domestic fans in my country was 180 million units. At present, domestic mainstream small home appliance manufacturers, such as Midea, Pioneer, Ricai, Emmet, etc., basically have products that use brushless motors on the market. With the entry of some cross-border manufacturers such as Xiaomi, the conversion rate of brushless motors in the field of household fans has begun to accelerate. There are also many fresh fans and air purifiers that use brushless motor solutions.
Medical equipment field
The new crown epidemic has made people all over the world realize the importance of medical technology. For example, BLDC motors improve the lives of patients who depend on ventilators for life.
Before manufacturers started using BLDC motors in portable ventilators, caregivers and their families needed to deal with bulky and unwieldy respirators during patient transfers. The BLDC motor, with its compact size, enables the new-age mini ventilator to be as small as a box of chocolates. Also, unlike brushed motors, BLDC motors are less prone to sparking, making them safe for use in flammable equipment such as breathing equipment.

In fact, BLDC motors are used throughout the healthcare industry, including hospital beds, surgical tools, PAP respirators (used to treat sleep apnea), medical analyzers, automatic dispensers, prosthetics, clinical diagnostics, laboratory automation , MRI machines, biopsy equipment, etc.
industrial manufacturing
Brushless DC motors are becoming more popular in industrial manufacturing due to the elimination of the mechanical commutator used in conventional motors. In the industrial engineering industry, BLDC motors are frequently used in automation and manufacturing engineering applications to improve overall productivity and quality.
Brushless motors can last for about ten years and are therefore particularly useful for positioning in motor control, actuation systems and manufacturing. Because of their durability, brushless motors are currently used across the country for a range of industrial and manufacturing uses, including power generation, wind energy, vacuum, plastics and steel production.

Pump field
The pump is a machine that converts the mechanical energy of the prime mover into kinetic energy and potential energy flowing through its internal liquid to realize liquid transportation or pressurization. This industry is the most widely used general machinery in the national economy.
Pumps can be subdivided into air pumps, water pumps and oil pumps, etc. From a technical point of view, BLDC motors are more suitable for applications in the field of pumps. Compared with carbon brush motors and other brushed motors, brushless DC motors have the advantages of small size, light weight, large output and high efficiency (the motor itself has no excitation loss and carbon brush loss, eliminating multi-stage deceleration loss, comprehensive power saving rate up to 20%~60%), high reliability, good stability, strong adaptability, simple repair and maintenance, etc.

In recent years, my country's pump industry has maintained a state of booming production and sales, rapid development, and rapid growth in production capacity. From 2012 to 2015, the total output increased from 85 million units to about 120 million units, with a compound annual growth rate of 20%.
In addition to the 7 major application fields listed above, BLDC motors are also favored by other industries and used in a variety of products.