What is commutation?

Commutation is the method used to direct current through the phases of a three-phase motor. There are two types of commutation – trapezoidal (six state) or sinusoidal.

Trapezoidal Commutation: current flows through only two phases at a time and is directed based on Hall sensor feedback.

Sinusoidal Commutation: all three phases must be sinusoidally synchronized by the drive to provide a constant torque. Current is directed through all three phases using the position feedback from an encoder.

For more information, read the ‘Trapezoidal vs Sinusoidal Commutation‘ technical article.

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