A vacuum cleaner is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dirt and dust particles from a given surface. Vacuum cleaners are used in homes as well as in industries and come with a variety of power levels, small battery-operated hand-held devices, domestic central vacuum cleaners and huge stationary industrial appliances. A universal motor is typically used as suction motor across vacuum cleaners. The universal motor is a series DC-motor that is specially designed to operate on alternating current (AC) as well as on direct current (DC). Universal motors have high starting torque, operate at high speed, and are lightweight. Universal motors are also relatively easy to control. However, because of the wear in commutator brushes this type of motor is not preferred for continuous use. Because of commutation these motors are typically very noisy.
The associated disadvantages of DC motors are also applicable to universal motors because this type of motor is closer in concept to DC motors than AC motors. Major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are considering alternative motor types to overcome these disadvantages. This application note considers the use of a BLDC motor for vacuum cleaner application with good performance benefits.