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Key Differences Between AC and DC Drives

November 13, 2019

There’s no denying the utility electric motors play in performing everyday operations we rely on. But seldom do we think about the ways in which these devices function. An essential component of electric gear motors is what is known as the drive. Electric drives can be sub-categorized into AC drives and DC drives. Both drive types serve to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, which aid in providing electrical control of the mechanical processes.


In today’s blog we’ll focus on key distinctions between AC and DC drives in the operation of mechanical processes.


Understanding the AC Drive


In electrical motors, AC-type drives are used to control the motor’s speed. The “AC” stands for alternating current. AC-type drives are also known as adjustable speed drives, adjustable frequency drives, and variable speed drives.

AC-type drives effectively serve to increase process control, minimize energy consumption and promote more efficient energy generation, minimize mechanical stress, and maximize the operations that rely on the electric motor. AC-type drives can be found in a range of applications including wind turbine power generation, HVAC systems, water supply pumping, boiler feed pumps, flow hydronic systems, power generators, and pressure booster systems


Understanding the DC Drive


In contrast, DC drives are used to convert alternating current into direct current (The “DC” in DC drives is an acronym for direct current). DC drives are known for their high start-up torque – making them particularly useful in applications that require constant speed.

Common applications of DC drives include extruders, wire drawings, and crane and hoist equipment. DC drives have been around longer than AC-type drives, but AC-type drives are more favourable among machine operators for most electric motor operations due to their myriad of benefits.


Looking for quality manufactured AC Drives?


 If you’re in need of a quality AC-type drive for your machine operation, look no further than Bauer GMC! As industry leading manufacturers of gear motors, we hold a higher standard of excellence when it comes to delivering on product needs and customer service. For all your gear motor needs, call Bauer GMC today! We’d be happy to help you find a solution that perfectly suits your needs.