Infineon BLDC Shield + XMC 4700 Relax Kit + Motor - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Infineon BLDC Shield + XMC 4700 Relax Kit + Motor

Author: navadeepganeshu

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: BLDC SHIELD TLE9879, Brushless Motor Shield TB6605FTG.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: BLDC Motor started overheating after using for some time, Integration of BLDC Motor + IFX4700T Shield with XMC4700 Relax Kit was quite hassling and I had to get appropriate values of the resistor to solder on the board for sensor operation.

Detailed Review:

Looking into the RoadTest posting, Infineon BLDC Shield + XMC 4700 Relax Kit + Motor turned out to be an excellent kit comprising full-stack devices with the microcontroller board, the main BLDC driver and also BLDC motor with a hall sensor. It was exciting and I thought of having some hands-on experience and building some projects with it. Here, I am going to leave a glimpse on my experience with this kit starting from breaking the "warranty void" seal to building an application + project with this kit. I am going to focus on all 3 products in this kit stressing on Infineon IFX007T BLDC Shield.

 

 

1] What? Why? Where?

 

  1. The IFX007T BLDC Shield comes with:
    • Arduino Uno compatible headers.
    • Three smart IFX007T half-bridges and capable of high-frequency PWM e.g. 30kHz

    • 8–40V nominal input voltage (optimized for 24V) with over-temperature and overcurrent protection.
    • Brushed and brushless DC motor control up to 300W continuous load.
    • Best suited for applications in Powertools, Robots, Fans, Pumps, Industrial Automation etc.

 

     2. The XMC4700 Relax Kit comes with:

    • XMC4700-F144 Microcontroller based on ARM® Cortex®-M4 @ 144MHz, 2MB Flash and 352KB RAM.
    • On-Board Debugger and Power over USB.
    • Arduino hardware compatible 3.3V and 5.0 V pinout.
    • Best suited for applications in Automation,  Construction and agricultural vehicles (CAV), Industrial, Motor Control and Drives etc.

 

     3. The Nanotec BLDC Motor comes with:

    • 16 pole motor with 3 hall sensor.
    • 6100 RPM No-Load operation.
    • 65W rated power.

 

2] First Look!

 

{gallery} First Look!

IMAGE TITLE: Fresh package from UPS!

IMAGE TITLE: See what's in!

IMAGE TITLE: Unboxed BLDC Shield.

IMAGE TITLE: XMC4700 Relax Kit and IFX4700T Shield.

IMAGE TITLE: XMC4700 Relax Kit and IFX4700T Shield.

IMAGE TITLE: Shield attached.

IMAGE TITLE: Nanotec BLDC Motor.

 

3] Getting Started!

 

My journey in getting started with this BLDC operation was quite easy and quick. Some minimal knowledge of electronics to figure out what's where would be good enough. Documentation by Infineon is strong and verbose. I will directly go on with using of Nanotec 16-pole BLDC motor with Infineon Relax Kit and BLDC Shield.

By default, the IFX007T BLDC Shield comes suited for sensorless BLDC motor operation. Although there is an allowance for setting it up for sensor interface, we'll have to solder a couple of resistors and some jumpers. This step was mandatory to use provided Nanotec BLDC motor.

 

 

On the IFX007T BLDC Shield, remove R36/R37/R38 which are 0-ohm resistors and solder R18/R19/R20 of 3K3-ohm, R21/R22/R23 of 11K-ohm and 0-ohm resistors of R25/R26/R27 as mentioned in its user manual, shown in schematics and depicted above. Now, this is set for 3 x hall sensor-enabled operation and header pins can be soldered for connection (green one shown above). Next comes the BLDC motor wiring/interfacing with the shield. The pin configuration is as shown in Nanotec BLDC datasheet and has to be done carefully(I messed up initially and ended up getting random jerks in motor).

 

 

4] Concepts and Specifications

 

{gallery} Data and Specifications

IMAGE TITLE: IFX007T Shield Schematic

IMAGE TITLE: IFX007T chip's block diagram showing various functional units

IMAGE TITLE: Basic BLDC operation with sensor control. Various momentary states of bridges are depicted in this image

IMAGE TITLE: Application diagram of IFX007T for driving single-phase BLDC motor

 

Basically, BLDC motor works by pulse width modulated(PWM) signals which are generated externally and supplied to the motor driver chip. In the chip, power MOSFETs are configured in H-bridge mode as shown in the above image (figure3) which switch alternatively in such a way that BLDC poles get magnetised in pairs one after the other to bring in the rotation. Here, the XMC4700 microcontroller generates the PWM signal which is fed to 3 of the IFX007T driver ICs on the shield and they facilitate in the smooth running of the Nanotec 16-pole BLDC motor.

 

5] Software and Tools

 

After setting up the wiring as shown in the table, its time to write and load some firmware for operation. As Infineon provided code examples, it's quite easy to modify and gear up with it initially. Considering simplicity, I have used Arduino IDE here. As such, XMC4700 Relax kit isn't compatible with Arduino IDE and supporting segger documentation pack has to be installed which will interlink and upload code to the XMC4700. The other i.e, DAVE IDE is also available for Infineon XMC4700 but, that is quite a heavy installation (1.2GB) and a little bit laggy. Here is the GitHub repo of IFX007T and example codes are thereby.

 

Following software/tools need to be installed in prior:

Getting these up on PC should be easy, straight forward and will make things ready for testing!

 

6] Testing

 

These being done, I tried running a couple of examples one for counting the poles in the BLDC motor (16 poles are present), running BLDC motor using Arduino UNO and with the XMC4700 Relax kit. Here is a video on controlling BLDC motor speed using serial terminal commands "+" to increase speed and "-" to reduce speed on Arduino IDE. Here is a short video on it:

 

Driving BLDC Motor - Video

 

Next, I tested the BLDC motor under the load to analyse the current characteristics and understand the current consumption and range of operation. Here is a short video on it:

 

 

It turns out that the current consumption increases linearly from 0.65A to 1.5A with the linear increase in the applied load. At 1.5A, the system reached its threshold supply current(12V, 1.5A supply) and could bear no more load. This lead to discrete movement of the motor and started showing up jerky movements until the load was removed.

 

This chart depicts various protection features available in IFX007T BLDC driver and respective Input/Output characteristics. The nice feature of IFX007T shield is that it has reverse polarity and overcurrent protection. On the input side next to the power supply pin, there is an IPD90P04P4L P-Channel MOSFET responsible for shutting down of system if supply polarity is reversed and also an external reverse biased zener tied up to regulate the supply voltage.

 

7] Summary

 

Since all the hardware was included in the roadtest and things were well documented, there weren't significant issues in getting started and building project. Few of the things which I came across are:

  • The IFX007T BLDC shield came for sensorless operation by default and act of soldering jumpers, finding and soldering resistors with specific values(11K, 3.3K) for sensor operation could be eliminated if pluggable jumper points were provided onboard as many boards do.
  • The Nanotec BLDC motor starts overheating after using for some 5 minutes. Not sure if it was signalling/noise issues or due to unrated power(I was using at 12V, 1.5A)

 

Overall this was a great product by review and has super cool applications. I would highly recommend this range of Infineon products for new designs and applications. I also got contacted by a startup asking about the feasibility of these BLDC drivers for their Electric Bikes and need to explore more on this aspect.

 

 

Links and References

Product Pages

IFX007T BLDC Shield: https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/evaluation-boards/bldc-shield_ifx007t/

XMC4700 Relax Kit: https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/evaluation-boards/kit_xmc47_relax_5v_ad_v1/

Nanotec BLDC Motor: https://en.nanotec.com/products/1787-df45l024048-a2-brushless-dc-motor-with-connecting-wires

GitHub Pages

XMC4700 Relax Kit: https://github.com/Infineon/XMC-for-Arduino

IFX007T BLDC Shield: https://github.com/Infineon/IFX007T-Motor-Control

J-Link SDP: https://www.segger.com/downloads/jlink#J-LinkSoftwareAndDocumentationPack
BLDC Fundamentals: https://www.monolithicpower.com/pub/media/document/Brushless_DC_Motor_Fundamentals.pdf

 

Further, I am also working on BLE interface for this motor and vintage upcycling an old 240V AC tabletop fan with super efficient BLDC.

Thanks to E14, Infineon and all supporters for giving me this opportunity to RoadTest.

 

Do share your Thoughts/ Comments / Improvements / Interesting development ideas etc.

 

Cheers!!!

Happy making

Anonymous