Can SimpleFOC support 3-phase Induction Motors?

Hi Guys,

Probably a stupid question, but FOC is being used for Induction Motor’s so wondering if SimpleFOC can work, or does it need some mods.

I have a large 600V 400A IGBT driver module that has the required phase current outputs. (Part of my Electric car build)

Hi there,

Could you please provide us with the motor make/model and specs?


I can’t give you that info at present, car is away getting some mechanical work done.

However, not sure why you need that info. The question is a more general one, can SimpleFOC support 3-phase (star or delta connected) induction motors …

Surely, the specifics of the motor are only required when I go to set operating parameters? …

Sure. well there is one way to check, run it and see if it spins. Make sure you set really low voltage in case there is a problem, worst that could happen is the motor won’t spin.


I don’t know if this would work. I presume you are talking about a single phase induction motor. It is expecting AC into its primary winding. What are you hoping to do? Try to chop the DC voltage so it looks like AC?
Also the motor might require you to “do something sensible” with a separate starter winding (if it has one of these)
BLDCs have 3 phases. Are you hoping to use a single phase to somehow power this?

Beefier induction motors sometimes require 3 phase AC - but this obviously requires industrial 3 phase AC (not domestic single phase AC). Is your induction motor 3 phase AC?

Yes, as mentioned above a 3-phase induction motor.

can SimpleFOC support 3-phase (star or delta connected) induction motors …

It does not have starter windings. I had an STM32 based controller running it awhile ago, in purely “slip” control mode, but FOC would be ideal. DC bus was 400V then turned into 3-phase PWM in 120deg sinewave mode …

I designed a large IGBT SimpleFOC driver way, way back, it worked on a normal bldc, so we know for sure the SimpleFOC can drive integrated IGBT drivers. There were two more people we worked kinda together on similar designs so we are very confident the IGBT side of your project will be fine.

What IGBT driver you got, make/model please?


Semikron SKiiP2 (or maybe SKiiP3, memory failing me)

That’s a very high end power stage. How/where did you get it?

Also, what driver(s) and MCU are you using to move the gates?


Hi, yep, got the skiip on ebay for only $80 if I remember correctly. They don’t come up often though.

There is already drivers in the modules, you just have to provide +15v to turn an IGBT on, 0 to turn off (high current turn on/off is taken care of in the module) So I just provide some 3v3 to 15v level shifters with TCA4427’s … The requirements for the +15 is just CMOS so low current …

As I said, was using an STM32 MCU, but want to use ESP32 with SImpleFOC for this 2nd attempt …

I’ve worked with watercooled 200kW Skiip3 modules in a dutch company.
The company went through several hands. Centric Automotive finally took over and we designed a smaller 100kW inverter instead.

I wonder if your driver is one of the units, we never used?

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In terms of the inverter design I think it would work, but what I am unsure of is whether the operating principles of the induction motor call for a different algorithm on the FOC side.

Induction motors work by reluctance, so I don’t know if it is the correct approach to try to keep Q-axis current at 90° to the rotor position.

If the same algorithms that run FOC on a BLDC are also suitable for induction motors, then SimpleFOC should work fine. If not, then at least there would be a lot of code you can use for reading sensors, setting the driver PWM, etc… in fact, you’d only have to implement a “InductionMotor” class, similar to our BLDCMotor and StepperMotor classes.

Thanks guys. Sorry for the late reply, been away.

My Skiip is the air-cooled version of above, I will try it out when I have some spare time.