AC fan pwm control using MOSFET

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by jobycm, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. jobycm

    jobycm Thread Starter New Member

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    I am trying to control ac fan using mosfet driven by a pwm signal. I have ended upon a circuit like the one attached with this. Is there any problem with this circuit regarding leakage of photo transistor during off time? Do i have an alternative? Please help.... Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  2. elec_mech

    elec_mech Senior Member

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    Welcome to AAC.

    No, unless there's a property of bridge rectifiers I'm unaware of, this will not work. Bridge rectifiers as well as rectifiers in general work in one direction only. They are used to rectify AC to DC. They will not allow you to use DC to control or vary AC. Look here for more information: http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_3/chpt_3/4.html

    To change the speed of a single-phase AC motor - I assume that is what you have - you need to change the frequency. In the U.S., a single-phase, 120VAC motor operates off of 60Hz. However, as you decrease the frequency, the motor will consume more current. We attempted to power a 60Hz motor with 50Hz at work and if it wasn't for the thermal fuse, the motor would have burned up.

    Before attempting to build a circuit to change the speed of an AC motor, do some research on single-phase AC motor speed control. In the little research I've done and past experience I've had, I don't think you can safely change the speed of a single-phase AC motor by much, if by any at all. Three-phase is a different story.
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  3. kubeek

    kubeek AAC Fanatic!

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    Well, I think this might actually work, because this is not a standard bridge rectifier, it is more of a "shorted" bridge rectifier.

    You don´t say anything about the target voltage, but plese DON´T use this with mains electricity. Even though there is the optocoupler to save you from a nasty shock, the transitor will die in a spectacular fashion if you connect it to 120 or 230 Vac.

    I would place the zener before the the opamp and mosfet, so that you have a stable 15V rail which you then switch to the mosfet. The zener in your configuration will probably be too slow to keep the mosfet from dying.
    Also the optocoupler in your configuration is subjected to 320Vdc when off and will die as well.
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  4. crutschow

    crutschow AAC Fanatic!

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    As kubeck noted the circuit shown could work. The bridge output is DC but the input is AC and the input of the bridge is in series with the load. Thus the MOSFET on the bridge output will rather act as a variable resistor in series with the motor. It's similar to varying the AC voltage to the motor, which is not the best method of controlling fan motor speed but is often used.

    It's similar to used a Triac type lamp dimmer to control the speed. A Triac would be more efficient than the MOSFET but often causes noticeable motor noise due to the high frequency harmonics generated by the Triac switching.

    One thing to note is the the MOSFET could be dissipating a fair amount of power, depending upon the amount of speed reduction so it needs a good heat sink.
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  5. kubeek

    kubeek AAC Fanatic!

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    I think the circuit is meant for PWM, otherwse you wouldn´t need an opto, nor call the control input PWM ;)

    Running the mosfet in linear region is a horrible idea.
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  6. crutschow

    crutschow AAC Fanatic!

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    Whether you control the circuit linearly or with PWM you would still want isolation between the control signal and the circuit.

    But I certainly agree that PWM control is much better than linear. I forgot about the thread's title.:p
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  7. jobycm

    jobycm Thread Starter New Member

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    tanks for the welcome elec_mech and i tank all otrs 4 ur suggestions.
    yes i did beliv tis s horible one. tats y i postd it.. :p
    m usin 230VAC. triac based regultor seems to hav a noisy control. i am on a smal reserch in tis. nw am on a pulse transformer to triggr a irfzp460. i ll need all ur suggstions on the noise effects on tis kinda transformers. wot if i go for a isolated mosfet driver..??
  8. elec_mech

    elec_mech Senior Member

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    Thank Kubeek and Crutschow, I still have much to learn. :)

    I'm still lost on this. So the bridge rectifier, as it is shown, is in series with the load. It is somehow acting as a switch to complete the AC circuit going to the load when the MOSFET effectively shorts the DC output? So, if you connect an AC load in series with a bridge rectifier and short the DC output, the bridge will "safely" act as a closed switch and complete the circuit to power the load? Is this an acceptable or common practice or one of those it could work but there are better ways?

    For my own curiousity, what type of circuit or control would you recommend to control the speed of a single-phase AC motor? For a DC motor, speed is controlled by voltage, roughly speaking. For an AC motor, speed is controlled by frequency. At least, this has been true in my limitied experience.
  9. kubeek

    kubeek AAC Fanatic!

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    Imagine the transistor is closed and see where the current goes for both polarities of the AC.

    I don´t have much experience with AC motors, but I am sure that changing the frequency is not the only way to control them. I used a typical triac dimmer with a power drill and it worked just fine.
  10. elec_mech

    elec_mech Senior Member

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    I'll have to study this - thank you.

    Doh, I have seen this before. They make cheap speed controls for wood routers which are variacs and thus change the speed by changing the voltage. That's probably how they do it with corded drills that have a speed adjustment knob on the trigger. Good point, thank you again.
  11. shortbus

    shortbus Senior Member

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    Don't think a router/tool type control will work with a fan. Power tools ,like drills and router use a universal(brushed) motor. A fan is an induction or shaded pole motor.
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  12. crutschow

    crutschow AAC Fanatic!

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    Those wood router controllers are not variacs (large variable voltage transformers), instead they typically use a Triac to chop the AC waveform and vary the average AC voltage.

    Corded drills are DC and use PWM to vary the average voltage to the motor.

    I've used light dimmers with small AC room fans to vary the speed. It works OK but the chopping of the AC waveform can cause audible noise from the motor.
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  13. jobycm

    jobycm Thread Starter New Member

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    Thanks to all for d concern. Dis circuit cud work if the mosfet cud b switched in ideal manner. Im trying high frequency pwm switching (>20kHz) for preventing noise wen v use low frequency pwm. By d way am nw in search for a high speed isolated high voltage mosfet driver. I dnt whether thrs such a driver meeting all my requirments. I need gud isolation n fast switching. Also the voltage to b switched is 230vac (IRFP460). Is thr any suitable driver? I checked HT0740 but lack speed. Thanking u...
  14. kubeek

    kubeek AAC Fanatic!

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    Try HPCL-3120
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  15. jobycm

    jobycm Thread Starter New Member

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    @kubeek in this mosfet driver i hav to give external vcc ryt? so dat i must use a supply for that. then my circuit wont b havin isolation. HT0704 dnt need an external supply. so it provides complete isolation. is there any high speed mosfet similar to HT0704.
  16. kubeek

    kubeek AAC Fanatic!

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    Isolation doesn´t mean you don´t need any supply. The mosfet will allways be at line potential, so it´s gate will be too.
    Notice the ht0704 has two 158K resistors in series with the drive signal, so you can´t use it to directly drive anything. That means you would need a separate driver and supply.
    The hpcl needs a similar zener source like in your original schematic, but it can drive up to 2A into the mosfet
  17. jobycm

    jobycm Thread Starter New Member

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    Since im controling ac i will b needing a separate dc supply for driver, ryt? so wil these two supplies hv isolation btw each other? coz that same dc supply will be provided for d pic generating pwm. so any pbm at d output side of d driver must not effect other circuits. dats y im little afraid of using such a driver. i came through drivers dat need VCC lyk dis. but didnt chose due to this. so im not clear abt dis VCC supply provided to driver. will dat b isolated frm d line...???
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  18. T.Jackson

    T.Jackson New Member

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    Not even a fuse. Don't like the look of this thing.
  19. T.Jackson

    T.Jackson New Member

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    Shouldn't one be using a TRIAC and a DIAC for this?
  20. T.Jackson

    T.Jackson New Member

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    You there boss?
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