Control a 12V 14A electrical actuator

Hello everyone,
I would like to control an electrical actuator (12V, 14A max) in PMW with an Arduino Uno (here is the link to the actuator). The final goal is to make a servo-control between the position of the actuator and another sensor.

Could you please help me to size the electronics, including a H bridge ? I have no problems with the programming side but I'm quite new with electronics and affraid of making a mistake :slight_smile:

I was thinking about using MOSFETs (I have some IRLZ44NPBF for instance), as it will limit the voltage drops, already includes a diode and have a really fast commutation for PWM.

For a servo you need position feedback from the actuator. Better choose an actuator with feedback.

The electric power side is easy: you need a power supply and H-bridge module of sufficient current and voltage.

Thank you. I'm going to use an external sensor for feedback, I would like to stay with this motor (even if I agree with you).

Where can I find the H-bridge module for this current values? I thought about designing it but if I can find it already made, it would certainly be easier.

Come back if you have a more precise idea of such a sensor and how to mount it to the actuator. Until then I strictly suggest to use an actuator with feedback.

Google is your friend. Eventually add "Arduino" for best information about connection and sample code for your Arduino.

You could use need something like this H bridge.

There are plenty of other versions of this driver.

While you could design on yourself I think it might be wiser for you to purchase of follow a proven design. Drivers and driving components take some understanding to pick from a catalog.

Thanks for your help, I was looking at a similar controller and it supports my choice !

Just to know, is it necessary to foresee a little more compared to the announced max current for the starting of the motor or something else?

Highest current occurs when the motor stalls, e.g. at the mechanical limits of the actuator.

1 Like

The specification does not state such, however being a typical DC motor I would expect:

  1. A short term startup current, usually multiples of the running current. Most drivers will be able to support such a short term overload unless they actively limit the current to some lower value. And they the motor will start a little more slowly.

  2. When the actuator hits the end clutch I would expect some higher current. However again most drivers will either not be effected by this current or limit the current. Either works.

  3. Personally unless there was a huge $$ difference I would choose a driver with at least 20 or 25 amp capability. Just to have some safety margin.

I'm not sure I would choose a very large capability driver (like 60 amps) unless it had current limiting. If something goes wrong with the system and the actuator is locked at a position you would like the driver to limit or even fail before the actuator is damaged.
You might even consider the addition of a slow blow 15A fuse, or even 10A if you are not using the full force of the actuator.

1 Like

Take a look at the Motor Driver BTS7960 module, they are rated at 43A. They are reliable and take a lot of abuse. They also are self protecting and will shut down if overloaded etc, there is a signal that will let you know what is going on. It comes with some on module logic where you will have to supply 3.5 to 5V. The Operating Voltage is stated as 24V and continuous current of 43A Max , PWM capability of up to 25 kHz combined with active freewheeling protection. Here is a link that may help. BTS7960 - Arduino Reference

1 Like