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Main Differences Between AC and DC motors

Posted on by Kurz Industrial Solutions

An alternating current (AC) motor and direct current (DC) motor both generally provide the same function, which is to transform electrical energy to mechanical energy. However, there are some fundamental differences between the two types of motors, as the experts at Kurz Industrial can explain. The primary difference between AC and DC motors is their power source. AC motors are generally powered by an alternating current, while DC motors derive their power from DC power supplies, a source of direct current such as a battery, or a power converter that turns energy from AC to DC.

What is an AC Motor?

AC motors are typically more durable than their DC counterparts. AC motors also usually have longer lifespans. Another main difference between the two kinds of motors is speed control. AC motors’ speed is regulated by varying the frequency of the winding current. This is generally done by adjusting the frequency drive control. An AC motor has an average rotational speed of 3,600 RPM at most. They have a brushless design, while most DC motors contain brushes. AC motors do not require a driver circuit to operate.

What is a DC Motor?

DC motors contain a commutator and sometimes a brush, which are not components of AC motors. These components add to the motors’ life expectancy and limit their speed. DC motors are controlled by varying the armature winding current. It’s important to note, explain experts at Kurz Industrial, that DC motors vary slightly based on whether or not they contain brushes. DC motors with brushes are operated by directly connecting to a source of DC power. A DC motor that does not contain brushes, on the other hand, needs a drive circuit to work. The circuit engines provide power to the correct current by using static windings based on the how the rotor’s magnetic poles are oriented. DC motors are further divided into two categories, which are permanent magnet motors and electromagnet brushed motors. Of the two types of DC motors, brushed motors are the most common. They are preferred for their good rotational control and the fact they are small but efficient.

Applications of AC and DC Motors

AC and DC motors are both used in a number of industrial and commercial settings. AC motors are frequently used in compressors, including air conditioning compressors and compressors for power drives. They are also used in commercial and industrial equipment such as irrigation pumps and hydraulic equipment.

DC motors are used for applications that require steady torque and speed. They are often used in paper machines and for steel mill equipment. Smaller DC motors are used for appliances and in power tools. The smallest engines are also found in toys that have small motors.

If you want to learn more about AC motors, DC motors, and the differences between the two, contact the helpful staff at Kurz Industrial for details. 


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