Many motor applications require accurate speed measurement. For brushed dc motors, speed can be measured with conventional observers or sensorless observers. Sensorless observers have the advantage of not requiring any external devices to be attached to the motor. Instead, voltage and/or current are measured and used to estimate the speed. The sensorless observers are usually divided into two groups: those based on the dynamic model, and those based on the ripple component. This paper proposes a method that measures the current of brushed dc motors and analyses the position of its spectral components. From these spectral components, the method estimates the motor speed. Three tests, performed each with the speeds ranging from 2000 to 3000 rpm either at constant-speed, at slowly changing speeds, or at rapidly changing speeds, showed that the average error was below 1 rpm and that the deviation error was below 1.5 rpm. The proposed method: (i) is a novel method that is not based on either the dynamic model or on the ripple component; (ii) requires only the measurement of the current for the speed estimation; (iii) can be used for brushed dc (direct current) motors with a large number of coils; and (iv) achieves a low error in the speed estimation.

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Published in Applied Sciences, v. 7, issue 1, 14, p. 1-15.

© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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