The VNH3SP30 is a great H-bridge motor driver for motors running from 6-16 V and drawing up to about 15 A. The chip is able to withstand 40-V transients, has a peak current of 30 A, and features various fault protection features such as over-temperature and over-current shutdown. For a higher-output version, see the VN2HSP30.
We use these motor drivers in several of our products, including the single and dual motor driver carrier boards, the jrk 12v12 motor controller w/feedback, the TReX motor controller, the qik 2s12v10, and the Orangutan X2 robot controller. We offer the chips by themselves for more direct integration into your project or product.
VNH3SP30 and VNH2SP30 Comparison
*Manufacturer specification. In our experience, shoot-through currents make PWM operation impractical above 16 V.
Real-world power dissipation considerations
The motor drivers have maximum current ratings of 30 A continuous. However, the chips by themselves will overheat at lower currents (see table above for an example set of values). The actual current you can deliver will depend on how well you can keep the motor driver cool. Good air flow and a heat sink will allow the chip to operate at currents closer to its maximum rating without overheating.
Many motor controllers or speed controllers can have peak current ratings that are substantially higher than the continuous current rating; this is not the case with these motor drivers, which have a 30 A continuous rating and a over-current protection that can kick in as low as 30 A (45 A typical). Therefore, the stall current of your motor should not be more than 30 A. (Even if you expect to run at a much lower average current, the motor can still draw high currents when it is starting or if you use low duty cycle PWM to keep the average current down.)
Note: This motor driver IC comes in a MultiPowerSO-30 package that requires surface mounting; it is not a through-hole component. Our carrier boards give you convenient access to the VNH2SP30 and VNH3SP30 motor drivers without any surface-mount soldering.