It might surprise you to learn that motors have been around for almost 200 years now. The first electric motor was invented in the year 1834 in Vermont by Thomas Davenport.
Since then, a variety of different types of motors have been invented and used in a number of applications. These motor types have different ways of operating and different benefits that they provide. But what is a motor? And what are the most common types of motors found today?
Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place to learn about how to choose a motor and the best type of motor for your needs. Continue reading to learn everything about the types of motors available today.
What Is a Motor?
A motor is a device or a machine that generates mechanical energy using electricity. Nowadays, electric motors are used in a wide variety of applications across all industries. It is important that you know the different types of motors in order for you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
You’ll need to know the difference between AC motors and DC motors, as well as single phase and three phase motors.
Types of Motors: AC Motors
There are a number of motor types to learn about when it comes to alternating current motors. Each provides a different function and operates in a different way. Here is a deeper dive into the types of AC motors.
AC Induction Motor
The AC induction motor is one of the most common motor types on the market today. It is also known as an asynchronous motor. These types of motors work at a speed that is below the synchronous speed. This means that an electric current is used to create torque.
Induction motors are reliant on electromagnetic induction in order to take electrical energy and create mechanical energy out of it. This motor is also classified by the type of rotor that it uses. They often use a squirrel cage or slip ring rotor system.
AC induction motors are sought after for use in industry because they offer a high load capacity compared to other types of motors. These motors are found in use for conveyor belts, pumps, and lifting gears.
AC Synchronous Motor
AC synchronous motors require a three-stage power supply in order to work properly. The power is generated by the use of a stator that creates a field of energy. That energy is then accessed by the rotor in order to produce rotation. The speed that the rotor spins at is directly related to the current supplied to it.
The speed at which synchronous motors work and the momentum they operate don’t change with the load applied to them. The most common uses for AC synchronous motors are in robotics and automation.
Types of DC Motors
There are also DC motors that are in common use across the world in a bunch of different applications. The most common direct current motors are brushless DC motors and brushed DC motors. Here is a closer look at each.
Brushed DC Motors
Brushed DC motors work by using a stator brush arrangement. The stator brush arrangement determines the flow of electrical current into the motor. The torque that the motor produces is procured directly from the direct current power supply and is created using electromagnets. This type of motor is not only cheap but also very efficient.
There are a number of common and powerful machines that use brushed DC motors in everyday life. The most common ones that you’ll likely see throughout your day are engines in cranes, hoists, as well as lifts. They’re also great options for use as the motor in vacuum cleaners and conveyor belts since they provide a consistent supply of power.
Brushless DC Motors
Brushless DC motors bring a lot to the table, especially when compared to their brushed counterparts. Brushless direct current motors produce a high level of torque and performance despite being small in size. These motors work by using slip rings, commutators, and a controller that is embedded in the motor.
These motors are efficient and have an improved dynamic response. On top of that, they produce very little noise when operating or in use. These traits make them a great choice for just about any industry and application.
Other Types of Motors
In addition to the popular alternating current and direct current motors, there are other great types of motors available on the market today. Here is a closer look at some of these electric motor alternatives.
Servo motors are different from other types of motors because they have feedback sensors that help with the positioning. This makes them a wonderful motor option for use in robotics. Servo motors offer accurate and precise control of angular position and acceleration.
Because of the traits they bring to the table, they’re an excellent option for components of machines that require rotation. The most common application of Servo motors is in the tools that make toys, cars, and airplanes.
A stepper motor is aptly named. It earned its name because it operates in steps. It uses electric energy to convert it into mechanical steps. A stepper motor uses ten steps to move 180 degrees, while other types of motors use one step to move 180 degrees.
These motors work by using electrical pulses to take each step in the process of moving. These motors are often found in circuit fabrications, medical scanners, and fluid pumps.
Find the Best Type of Motor for Your Needs
There are many types of motors out on the market, and you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect type of motor for your next project. Whether you need a direct current motor that is brushless for quiet and efficient operation or a Servo motor for use in building a robot, there is a perfect motor for you. For more informative and helpful articles on a range of topics, be sure to explore more of our website.