Brushless ESCs - Electronic Speed Controllers vs Brushless DC Motor Controllers

You Say Brushless DC ESC - We (typically) Say Brushless DC (BLDC) Motor Controller

If you’ve either come across our website as part of a search for a brushless ESC or found us online because you are looking for something similar then the chances are you will have visited our online shop and wondered where the ESCs are?

So, are we just being pedantic, snooty or elitist? Well, no.

Brushless ESCs are typically much simpler than the type of brushless motor controllers we offer – being concerned only with speed control. In contrast, our aim is to deliver much more comprehensive control of brushless motors with a range of options including closed loop feedback, constant speed, safety features such as over current protection or over temperature protection and a whole lot more…

So, If I Thought I Wanted a Brushless ESC, I Might Actually Be Better Off With More Control?

You might, or you might not.

If you are looking for a super low cost driver for an application such as an RC project or similar then a simple brushless ESC might be best. 

However, if your application could benefit from additional safety features to prolong the life of the controller and motor, more energy efficient performance or additional intelligent control, then a Zikodrive brushless DC motor controller might well be the way to go.

What Extra Features Are Possible On a Brushless DC Motor Controller That I Can't Get On a Brushless ESC?

When discussing the difference between the two, we often refer to complete motor control, rather than just speed control. This dramatically broadens the number of potential applications that your brushless motor and controller can be used in. To give you an idea of what’s possible, here are some of the additional features that you can benefit from with a brushless DC motor controller that you probably won’t find on a brushless ESC;

Closed loop control

Constant speed, either using sensored or sensorless brushless DC motors.

Four quadrant control – actively brake the motor using the controller.

Over temperature protection – onboard and via external inputs.

Over current protection.

Reverse polarity protection.

Under voltage protection – especially important in battery powered applications to protect the user (under-voltage can lead to motor locking, processor shut down and a range of other potential flaws).

Error or fault outputs.

Stall detection.

Active current monitoring.

Constant torque.

A range of communication protocols – analogue controls, Modbus, CANbus etc.

External user interfaces – for example LCD screens, touch screens, buttons and more.

If there is a specific issue that you are attempting to address or safety / control feature that is required for your specific application please contact us to discuss your brushless motor control project.

A Brushless DC Motor Controller Will Almost Certainly Deliver Longer Life

As a direct result of the intended duty cycles of brushless DC (BLDC) motor controllers, but also as a result of inbuilt safety features included in them, it is generally true that they will last much longer than brushless ESC options.

On top of this, the process of optimisation that we typically as part of our sales process can deliver enhanced energy efficiency. This is hugely beneficial in a number of ways. Firstly, everyone wants to save energy, especially in battery powered applications. Secondly, the most common symptom caused by poor energy efficiency is heat – something that does not mix well with electronics!

Why not talk to one of our engineers today to see how we could help deliver a long lasting brushless DC motor control solution for your application?

In Conclusion; Brushless Motor Controllers Offer Significantly Improved Performance and Flexibility Than Simple Brushless ESCs

We design and manufacture brushless motor controllers (amongst other things) so you would naturally expect us to sing their praises. However, we have demonstrated in this short discussion , that their are major benefits to using an intelligent brushless motor controller over a brushless ESC.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss your project with one of our team please contact us and we will be happy to help.