In hall sensor based BLDC motor, motor is controlled by feedback of hall sensor. At a time only 2 stator pole pairs will be excited and 3rd pair will be ideal. So in third pair Back EMF will be generated. In my opinion we don't need that back EMF. So how that Back EMF is dealt with or reduced? Do they use Flyback diodes on motor? Or that Back EMF is used in any other operation?


1 Answer 1


Back EMF is always generated any time the rotor is moving. The back EMF for the phase wire that is not being driven can just be ignored if you are doing 6 step commutation with hall sensors. The part of the H-bridge connected to that phase wire will have top and bottom fet off so no current will flow, and the back EMF sees an open circuit.

The magnitude of the back EMF can be approximated using the Kv rating of the motor. For example a Kv of 50 means 50 rpm / Volt. So if a motor with Kv of 50 is rotating at 1000 RPM, the back EMF will be around 20V. If the battery voltage is over 20V, then no current will flow. If the battery voltage is less than 20V, then the motor will go into regeneration and current will flow through the body diode of the MOSFET (or whatever).

Generally, this only happens if the motor is being overhauled by the mechanical load (in other words, something externally is trying to make the motor spin faster... like an EV going down a hill or something).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, the back EMF seeing an open circuit might DIY close the circuit by using a very high voltage.spark, if no fly back diodes are around. So we just ignore the spark? \$\endgroup\$
    – tlfong01
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 3:59
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @tlfong01 It’s back EMF, proportional to RPM, not inductive kick, so if the bridge is capable of driving the motor to a given speed, it can handle the BEMF at that speed. The bridge typically has body diodes or parallel diodes for any inductive kick. \$\endgroup\$
    – John D
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 4:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, many thanks for clarify my confusing mind. I only know about DC motors which has back EMF problem when stopping. But (1) A BLDC motor creates BEMF even continuously running, (2) This continuous creating BEMF is proportional to the speed, high BEMF for high speed (I guess), (3) The BLDC motor windings has flyback diodes to handle the BEMFs. This picture is what I didn't know that I didn't know. So I have no more worries now. Many thanks for your helpful tutorial again. Cheers. \$\endgroup\$
    – tlfong01
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 4:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is no spark. It is all mellow. If you spin a BLDC using an external force such as a drill, you can look at the back emf on an oscilloscope. There is no drama. Just something that pretty much looks like a sine wave. I added a bit more detail to my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – user57037
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 8:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The spark you see is inductive flyback (Lenz's law, V= -L dI/dT) when the commutator in a DC motor breaks the current. dI/dT is high so V is high (kV). In a BLDC when the transistors switch off, their body diodes take care of it. Back EMF is simply that voltage the motor would generate if spun at the same speed as a generator - in both BLDC and brushed motors. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 11:55

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