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How Do AC Motors Work?

November 24, 2022

AC motors are used in a wide variety of applications, including fans, pumps, compressors, generators, and power tools. Read this article to learn more about it.

Working of an AC Motor

An AC motor uses an alternating current to produce rotational force. The frequency of the current dictates the speed of rotation; the higher the frequency, the faster the rotation. The coils in the motor are energized by the current and create a magnetic field. This field interacts with the permanent magnets in the motor to create torque, which causes the rotor to turn. In simple words, a typical AC motor has two main parts: the stator and the rotor. The stator is the stationary part of the motor that houses the winding coils that create the magnetic field. The rotor is the rotating part of the motor that contains the armature (or coil). As the armature rotates within the magnetic field, it produces a force that drives the rotation of the shaft.

Induction motors are the most common type of AC motor. They work by using an electromagnetic field to create torque on the rotor or moving part of the motor. The rotor turns inside a set of stationary coils called the stator. The stator is what gives the induction motor its name; it’s where the magnetic field is induced.

Synchronous motors also use electromagnetism, but they work differently from induction motors. In a synchronous motor, the stator’s magnetic field spins at the same speed as the rotor. This means that there is no slip between the two parts, and that makes for a more efficient motor. Synchronous motors are often used in applications where high efficiency is key, like wind turbines.

Universal motors can run on either AC or DC power. They work similarly to DC motors, with an electromagnet creating torque on the motor's armature (rotating part). The difference is that universal motors can run on either alternating or direct currents. Universal motors are often found in small appliances like blenders and hair dryers.

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