Year of Publication


Document Type





Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Arthur V. Radun


The switched reluctance motor (SRM) is receiving attention because of its merits: high operating temperature capability, fault tolerance, inherent shoot-through preventing inverter topology, high power density, high speed operation, and small rotor inertia. Rotor position information plays a critical role in the control of the SRM. Conventionally, separate position sensors, are used to obtain this information. Position sensors add complexity and cost to the control system and reduce its reliability and flexibility. In order to overcome the drawbacks of position sensors, this dissertation proposed and investigated a position sensorless control system that meets the needs of an electric actuator application. It is capable of working from zero to high speeds. In the control system, two different control strategies are proposed, one for low speeds and one for high speeds. Each strategy utilizes a state observer to estimate rotor position and speed and is capable of 4 quadrant operation. In the low speed strategy a Luenberger observer, which has been named the inductance profile demodulator based observer, is used where a pulse voltage is applied to the SRMs idle phases generating triangle shaped phase currents. The amplitude of the phase current is modulated by the SRMs inductance. The current is demodulated and combined with the output of a state observer to produce an error input to the observer so that the observer will track the actual SRM rotor position. The strategy can determine the SRMs rotor position at standstill and low speeds with torques up to rated torque. Another observer, named the simplified flux model based observer, is used for medium and high speeds. In this case, the flux is computed using the measured current and a simplified flux model. The difference between the computed flux and the measured flux generates an error that is input to the observer so that it will track the actual SRM rotor position. Since the speed ranges of the two control stragegies overlap, the final control system is capable of working from zero to high speed by switching between the two observers according to the estimated speed. The stability and performance of the observers are verified with simulation and experiments.