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What Are the Types of Motors?

The primary function of a motor is to convert the electrical energy received into mechanical energy. There are various kinds of motors available, each having its unique advantages and purpose.

The two major types remain the DC and AC motors. These motors work by interacting with the magnetic field and current flow to create a force that is used on the bottom layer of the motor.


Types of Motors

Generally, there are two main types of motors, The AC motor and the DC motor. AC motors are known to be quite flexible and require low power to start up while DC motors are used over AC motors because of the low cost of power unit plus it is easy to install. These motors can be used interchangeably in some circumstances; however, DC motors are most preferred in recent times.

Types of Motors

AC Motors

An AC motor is an electrical motor designed with a stator that transforms electric power into mechanical power with the aid of the alternating current that is supplied to the stator.

An AC motor can either be in a single phase or a three-phase. In comparison to DC motors, AC motors are malleable and efficient when it relates to speed control and they require little power at the start.

1. Synchronous Motors

This is where the frequency of the shaft rotation is constant with the current supply. With motors such as this, the speed is the same with varying loads. Motors are driven at a constant speed and are efficiently used in most machines. These kinds of motors do not start automatically unlike their counterparts where power is directly attached to the stator.

2. Asynchronous Motors

To generate rotary motion, asynchronous motors make use of induced current. This particular motor is based strictly on the well-known principle of electromagnetic induction. An asynchronous motor is the most familiar kind of AC motor as it solely depends on the current that is attached to the stator for the supply of power. 

Asynchronous motors are divided into two kinds based on the capacity of loads they can handle. They include:

  • Single-phase
  • Three-phase

The single-phase motors are used for handling small loads like appliances used in homes. It is a less expensive type of motor and small in size as compared to some other types of motors. It is made up of one main and one auxiliary winding which is positioned vertically to the main winding.

Three-phase motors are mostly used for commercial purposes and in high-power machines like lifting gears, centrifugal pumps, etc. These kinds of motors are implemented in machines that require the existence of speed control for effective use.

3. Application of AC Motors

AC motors are super-efficient and can be found in various applications both industrial and domestic. Some of the applications in which AC motors are used include.

Application of AC Motors

Commercial drill machines. The version of AC motors used here is more generic, and the speed of its rotation is constant and stable.

Marine and cargo pumps. AC motors are used for equipment such as these because they can switch up their speed when pre-determined instructions are given. It is very efficient when it comes to speed management and control.

Roller coasters. The AC motors found in roller coasters perform a function that aids in either pushing or pulling something for a periodic time; this is known as a torque-based action.


DC Motors

A DC motor is a kind of electric motor that transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy. It relies on magnetic forces that are created by the current in the coils. There are varieties of DC motors; they include:

1. Brushless Motors

These types of motors are known to have simple concepts and designs that last for very long periods when used in conjunction with higher applications. They are also referred to as synchronous DC motors. Brushless motors differ from other types as they do not possess commutators; they instead have electronic servomechanism. 

Commutators make use of what is known as ‘brushes” which with time wear down. This gives brushless motors an advantage over others as it is deemed safer and has a high life span expectancy. In addition, these kinds of motors require little maintenance and still operate with high efficacy. 

2. Brushed Motors 

The brushed motor series is known to be the original and first type of DC motor which dates back to Sprague’s design. It has an inbuilt commutator which helps in reversing the current and the creation of single-direction torque. 

The brushed DC motor is well-known for its use in applications like cranes, mills, etc. and while it is still effective, it has been replaced with the more efficient brushless DC motor. The speed of a brushed motor can change based on the force of the magnetic field. Other types of brushed DC motors that are still in use today include:

Shunt motor. This is a type of brushed motor that has field windings attached in a parallel position to the armature; their parallel windings cause them to generate lower currents. When applications need a constant and stable torque, a shunt motor is used.

Series motor. In a series DC motor, the field windings are attached in series. This entails that the entirety of the current is transferred to the field windings; making the speed faster.

Permanent magnet motor. This kind of motor uses a permanent magnet to produce a magnetic field that is necessary for the working of a DC motor. For instance, the motors that run a battery-functioning toy is known as permanent magnet motor; they are relatively simple to construct.

Compound motor. Compound motor is the combination of series and shunt field windings. A compound motor can also be classified into differential and cumulative compound motor. 

3. Application of DC Motors

As a result of the various types of DC motors available, there are numerous ways in which these motors can be applied or used. Generally, in a home setting, DC motors are used in the making of different household equipment, tools, toys, etc. We have other specific uses of DC motors in recent times, some of them include.

Dc motor applications

DC motors in fans. Normally, fans are built using AC motors. However, ceiling fans made with DC motors have been increasing in demand since their production. They are gaining more popularity because they save costs and are more efficient based on their system of working.

DC motors make use of magnetic fields to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy; with the use of brushless motors, ceiling fans with DC motors can operate using the standard AC electricity in the home.

DC motors in bikes. The use of electric bikes has skyrocketed in recent times due to their use without the need for a license. Brushless DC motors are best for electrical bikes to ensure the amount of torque and power level required is attained.

In terms of the connection, the DC motor is usually placed in the hub of the front or the back wheel of the bike or placed in the center and attached to the pedal socket.

DC motors in pumps. A very important tool for various industrial activities known as a hydraulic pump is powered using DC motors because of how easy it is to control the speed and the efficient response of the machine to instructions. This stress-free experience is due to the DC motor used in pumps. It is also easy to maintain this machine when it comes to a large industrial scale because of brushless DC motors.

DC motors in electric cars. Although, there are various types of motors used in electric cars, the most widely preferred is the DC motor. This is because they are most efficient and they conserve energy more than other types of motors.

DC motors are also known to enhance the longevity of electric cars. When it comes to voltage input and torque, these kinds of motors ace the game and provide electric cars with more proficiency and productivity.

DC motors in toys. Most manufacturers make use of DC motors in the production of their toys. It is mostly used in toys such as model trains, controlling cars, etc. There are varieties of DC motors that can be used in toys that aid in providing a better user experience.

You can also read our article: The Difference Between AC Motor And DC Motor


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Function Of A Motor?

The basic function of a motor is to transform electrical energy into mechanical energy by working on the magnetic effect of current.

2. What Is The Most Common Type Of Motor?

Asynchronous motors also known as induction motors are the most common type of motors as they can be seen in almost all lifting equipment and household appliances. It is most reliable and carries out its functions effectively both at the industrial and commercial levels.

3. What Is The Difference Between A Shunt DC Motor And A Series DC Motor?

The major difference is that the shunt DC motor is attached through the field supply while the series DC motor is attached in series to the armature.

Related Reading: Advantages Of DC Motors Over AC Motors


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