Press Releases

New High Reliability Downhole Motor Drive

Performance Controls designs ruggedized, high performance motor drives and servo amplifiers.

Performance Controls, Inc. (PCI) introduces its DHT24-02 four-quadrant digital motor controller developed for the Oilfield down-hole market.

When operating thousands of feet below ground the last thing a service provider wants is to have their drill stop because of a component failure, particularly with the high financial and reputation costs associated with recovery. One of the most common failure modes for brushless motors when operating in a harsh down-hole environment is not the motor itself, but the feedback device. Halls are the most common choice for oil services tool applications because of size, but there are tradeoffs in performance and reliability. A resolver can provide increased reliability, but they are often as large as the motor and add complexity to the drive electronics.

Down-hole services companies have been in search of a sensorless solution because typical sensorless motor drives have been unsatisfactory. The most significant drawback to sensorless designs has been the high current needed to start a sensorless motor, while power efficiency and performance are also important.

In response to these demands, Performance Controls has developed the DHT24-02.

Features and Benefits

  • High Temperature Operation – independently tested to operate at 350 deg F (175 deg C)
  • Sensorless Control – Option to eliminate the Hall sensors and associated cable without sacrificing the advantages of the advanced commutation or losing starting torque
  • Programmable Starting Current – The OEM can program the ramp rate and current limit for the starting routine
  • Ruggedization – The printed circuit board and components are designed and situated to survive the shock and vibration associated with down-hole services, such as MWD and LWD, and are ready to be potted into an OEM tool
  • Small Size - 7 x 1.22 x 0.093 inches (178 x 31 x 2.4 mm)
  • Advanced Commutation –Space Vector Commutation and Flux Vector Current Control improves bus voltage utilization for improved torque/speed curves, improved energy efficiency, reduced heat dissipation, and provides smoother operation compared with standard sinusoidal or trapezoidal commutation
  • Control Loop – For pump applications, the drive can receive an analog signal from a pressure transducer and can be programmed to vary the speed in proportion to the signal
  • Customization - PCI can modify the drive to make it compatible with an OEM’s system

Additional benefits of sensorless control include reduced system cost and size. The motor cost is reduced because of the removal of the feedback device and the further reduction of material and labor associated with the wiring of the feedback device. The reduction of wiring also reduces the space required to install the drive system.

A sensorless drive is well suited for applications that do not require position control, have varying load, or require operation near zero speed. Therefore, a sensorless drive is ideally suited for pump applications.

About Performance Controls

Since 1980 Performance Controls, Inc. (PCI) has been a leader in designing and manufacturing high performance motor controllers and power amplifiers for customers worldwide. The company has a well-earned reputation for its deep amplifier engineering expertise and innovation, and offers products used in a wide range of demanding applications. These include medical imaging such as MRI, oil and gas exploration, power generation, electric vehicles, radar and antenna positioning, factory automation, vibration testing equipment, and various custom applications.

For More Information

For more information on this press release or to learn more about Performance Controls, contact:

Performance Controls, Inc.
151 Domorah Drive
Montgomeryville, PA 18936, USA
Tel:  +1 215-619-4920
Email:  sales@pcipa.com