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.
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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 also carry boards based on the similar VNH5019. We offer the chips by themselves for more direct integration into your project or product.
VNH3SP30, VNH2SP30, and VNH5019 Comparison
The VNH5019 is the only one of the three with a practical operating voltage above 16 V, and it is the only one that works with 3 V logic.
The current-related values in the table below (i.e. the entries to which footnote 3 applies) are the results of tests on only one or two of each driver version, so they do not capture potential unit-to-unit variation, and the tests were conducted with our carrier boards, so they are not necessarily indicative of how the IC will perform by itself or on a different PCB. As such, the values should be treated as rough estimates of performance, not as performance guarantees. While these tests seem to indicate that the VNH2SP30 runs a bit cooler—and hence can deliver more continuous current—than the VNH5019, it is important to note that the three driver versions were tested at different times under potentially different conditions, so the results are not necessarily accurate indications of relative performance.
In our tests, we noticed that the thermal protection on the VNH5019 was activating at a lower temperature (153°C) than on the VNH2SP30 (170°C), which could partially account for the shorter VNH5019 overheating times. However, we also observed that the VNH5019 was reaching slightly higher temperatures than the VNH2SP30 when used under the same conditions: the VNH5019 reached a temperature of 85°C after 3 minutes at 10 A while the VNH2SP30 reached a temperature of 80°C.
The following table offers a comparison of the three drivers:
|Operating voltage: (1)||5.5 – 16 V (2)||5.5 – 16 V||5.5 – 24 V|
|MOSFET on-resistance (per leg):||34 mΩ typ.||19 mΩ max.||18 mΩ typ.|
|Max PWM frequency||10 kHz||20 kHz||20 kHz|
|Current sense||n/a||0.13 V/A typ.||0.14 V/A typ.|
|Over-voltage shutoff||36 V min. (2) / 43 V typ.||16 V min. / 19 V typ.||24 V min. / 27 V typ.|
|Logic input high threshold||3.25 V min.||3.25 V min.||2.1 V min.|
|Time to overheat at 20 A (3)||8 s||35 s||20 s|
|Time to overheat at 15 A (3)||30 s||150 s||90 s|
|Current for infinite run time (3)||9 A||14 A||12 A|
1 The VNH3SP30 can survive input voltages up to 40 V, and the VNH2SP30 and VNH5019 can survive input voltages up to 41 V, but the over-voltage shutoff will kick in at lower voltages.
2 While VNH3SP30’s over-voltage shutoff doesn’t activate until 36 V, in our experience, shoot-through currents make PWM operation impractical above 16 V.
3 Typical results using the Pololu motor driver carrier boards with 100% duty cycle at room temperature (with no forced airflow or heat sinking beyond the carrier PCB).
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.