Introduction To Electronic Speed Control (ESC) Working and Applications

The term ESC stands for “electronic speed control is an electronic circuit used to change the speed of an electric motor, its route and also to perform as a dynamic brake. These are frequently used on radio-controlled models which are electrically powered, with the change most frequently used for brushless motors providing an electronically produced 3-phase electric power low voltage source of energy for the motor. An ESC can be a separate unit which lumps into the throttle receiver control channel or united into the receiver itself, as is the situation in most toy-grade R/C vehicles. Some R/C producers that connect exclusive hobbyist electronics in their entry-level vehicles, containers or aircraft use involved electronics that combine the two on a sole circuit board.

Electronic Speed Controller
Electronic Speed Controller

Features of an Electronic Speed Control

As we know, an ESC controls the speed of the motors spin of an airplane. It helps a similar purpose as the throttle servo of a glow powered airplane. It is an edge between the radio receiver of an airplane and the power plant. Electronic speed control will have 3- sets of wires. One wire will plug into the main battery of an airplane. The second wire will have a typical servo wire that plugs into the receiver’s throttle channel. And lastly, a third of wire is used for powering the motor. The main features of an electronic speed control include battery eliminator circuit, low voltage cutoff, brake, and to.

Components used in ESC

The components used in ESC mainly include the following

  • Solder pads for the 3-BLDC motor phases
  • Negative (-) LIPO connections
  • Positive (+) LIPO Connection
  • Servo signal or input of the PWM signal
  • GND reference of PWM Signal
  • Solder jumper, for altering the direction of Rotation (CW/CCW)
  • Solder jumper, for varying the type of the PWM input signal
    State LED
Assembly of ESC
Assembly of ESC

Types of an Electronic Speed Controller

There are two kinds of electronic speed controller based on the specific requirements, you can acquire the exact one existing in RC Models shops such as brushed ESC and brushless Electronic Speed Control.

Types of an Electronic Speed Controller
Types of an Electronic Speed Controller

Brushed ESC

Brushed ESC is the first electronic speed controller, which has been around for several years. It is very cheap to use in various RTR electric RC vehicles.

Brushless ESC

Brushless ESC is the modern advancement in technology once it comes to Electronic Speed Controls. It is also a bit more costly. Connected to a brushless motor, it carries more power higher performance as compared to the brushed ones. It can also last a longer period.


Electronic Speed Controller Circuit

The term ESC is frequently used as a contraction for ‘electronic speed controller. The basic function of ESC is to change the amount of power to the electric motor from the aircraft battery based upon the location of the throttle stick. In earlier, speed controllers are mainly used in remote control boats and cars which use a variable resistor with a wiper that was stimulated by a servo motor.

Electronic Speed Controller Circuit
Electronic Speed Controller Circuit

This technique works reasonably at full throttle as the battery is associated straight to the motor, though at part throttle situations the flow of current through the resistor producing power to be lost in the form of heat. As a model, aircraft will use most of its time at the portion of the throttle. This is not a very practical means of power control.

Current speed controllers differ the power to the motor by fast switching the power ON and OFF. Here, MOSFET Transistor is used as a switch instead of a mechanical device, and the amount at which it is switched is about 2000 times a second. So, the power to the motor is diverse by changing the amount of ON time, against off time in a specified cycle. Here is the simple ESC circuit with a waveform diagram that may help with the description.

When the MOSFET is switched ON, the current rises as the magnetic field in the windings of the motor increases. When the MOSFET is switched OFF, magnetic energy stored in the windings has to be absorbed by the ESC. By cabling a diode across the motor, we return the energy into the motor as current, which rises down as the magnetic field failures.

Choosing the Right ESC

The number one significant consideration to keep in mind is to match the Electronic Speed Control to the sort of motor you used. Be sure to purchase the correct ESC for the exact motor: brushed ESC is used for the brushed motor, brushless ESC is used for the brushless motor, never vice versa. Usually, apart from the labels, you will directly know that it’s a brushed motor if it has 2-wires. If the motor has three wires, then it is brushless.

For people who are not aware of electronic speed control, most of the models like the RTR RC model are provided with a pre-installed Electronic Speed Control. Most of these are brushed digital units that carry a decent act in their operations. If RC car comes with analog speed control, which needs a servo to work the swing arm, consider receiving a digital one as soon as you can.

It is also fine to get an ESC with the opposite functionality. This way you will remove all the disturbances and preventions going down from the area of the driver’s stand to recover your RC car every time it becomes stuck in the track.

Applications of ESC

The electronic speed control systems are used in remote control and vehicle applications.

  • Electric cars
  • Electric bicycles
  • Electric aircraft
  • Cars
  • Helicopters
  • Airplanes
  • Boats
  • Quadcopters
  • ESC Firmware

Thus, this is all about the electronic speed controller. We hope that you have got a better understanding of this concept. Furthermore, any doubts regarding this concept or to implement any electrical projects, please give your valuable suggestions by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, What is the function of ESC?

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  1. Hey, which voltage of motor that can flying throne?

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Michael
      I didn’t get you, please be specify your query so that I can give you answer.

  2. georgios papamichael says:

    I have one driil motor 18v what controller does it need? for rc boat?

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Georgis
      That depends on the current draw of your motor, and it is not possible for us to suggest the controller.

  3. Constantinescu says:

    Hi, I have a Turnigy ESC from an old Quadrocopter which I want to use as a triphase AC generator. Unfortunately it is impossible to obtain any AC from the ESC if it is not connected to a brushless motor.
    I should be very indebted to you if you would let me know :
    a) which are the initialisation tests of the ESC
    b) how to avoid the necessity of having connected a motor
    Yours sincerely, Georges

  4. Waleed Raza says:

    Perfectly explained, easy to understand, thanks alot!

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