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Old 04-09-2007, 10:49 AM
Company Representative
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2,891
Default Adnan Khan (Novak Electronics) GTB Spread Spectrum

Over the years, the Mosfets used in Novak's ESCs have steadily gotten better and now we have reached a point of diminishing returns as far as the Rds On of the Mosfet is concerned. The GTB uses Mosfets that have a Rds On of 1.2 milli ohm. The PCB and wires have much higher resistance than the Mosfets, so why does the ESC still get hot? That is because most of the heat is caused by the switching losses and not the Rds loss.

In an ideal situation, we would like to see zero switching rise and fall times. Fast rise and fall times cause large current spikes and produce lots of radio frequency interference. In a power supply or piece of industrial equipment, typically the manufacturer encloses the power section in a steel box and uses a large ferrite core to reduce the RFI noise. We donít have that option!

In the GTB design we have had to slow the rise and fall time significantly so that it would work with ALL the radios out in the field (slowing the switching rate brings the noise floor down by 30-35 dbm). Compared to other high performance ESCs out in the field, the GTB has the fastest switching rate as we use 6 layer power PCBs with lots of ground plane and high frequency capacitors to de-couple noise.

Slowing down the switching rate causes more heating because the Mosfets are in the linear region of operation for longer periods and that accounts for most of the heating in the ESC. Also as you slow the switching rate, the pulse width driving the Mosfets starts to look like a trapezoidal wave form instead of a square wave and that causes the trigger control resolution to go down.

The last issue is that the dead time between the electronic commutation required goes up as we have to wait for one bank of Mosfet to turn off before we can turn on the next bank. In our Brushless ESCs we have six commutation steps per revolution, so any improvement in dead time reduction and switching efficiency can be significant.

The Spectrum optimized GTB uses a very fast Mosfet drive circuit switching speed (in the order of 1uS or less) and that will translate into significant improvement in efficiency under high loads and much smoother throttle response. We at Novak are committed to bringing the best possible racing Brushless system out to market and we are continually pushing the envelope of technology. Spread Spectrum allows us to improve the system performance without affecting the radio performance.

One last note on the fast switching ESC: it does not interfere with the radios outside of the car, so you will not be causing interference to the car next to yours whose user has the traditional crystal radio.
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