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Universal Motor
by Tarun Agarwal | at ELECTRICAL

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A universal motor is a series wound electric motor that can operate on both AC and DC power. Thes
comparative to those of DC series motors but the series motor develops less torque when working from a
than when working from an equivalent DC supply. The direction of rotation can be changed by in
connections to the field with respect to the armature as in DC series motor.

Ads by Google The working of a universal motor is similar to a series dc motor. On the othe

1.Motor Speed Control universal motor is designed for AC operation. It is competent to work at eithe
current. In this manner its development is a little distinctive. The field w
2.Universal Motor
armature winding are connected in series; both windings are energized whe
applied to the motor. The field and armature windings produce magnetic field w
armature to rotate. Modest universal motors usually have no remuneration and replacement winding; the
salient poles with excitation winding. The response between magnetic fields is caused by either AC or DC po

Universal Motor
The universal motor produces the electric torque proportional to the quadrate of the supply current. Sinc
current flows through the field winding and the armature, it follows that ac reversals from positive to nega
negative to positive, will simultaneously affect both the field flux polarity and the current direction through th
This means that the direction of the developed torque will remain positive, and rotation will continue i
direction. Thus, a universal motor can run both on dc and ac. So the electric torque has the same torque dire
current polarity and in addition at AC power. The starting torque of a universal motor is determined by the
flows through the armature and field windings. Due to the inductive reactance of these windings the AC sta
will always be less than the DC starting current. Consequently, the starting torque on AC power will be low
starting torque on DC power. The characteristics of universal motor are very much similar to those of
motors, but the series motor develops less torque when operating from an A.C. supply than when work
equivalent D.C. supply.

There are various applications where universal motors are used, such as power drills, wash machines, b
kitchen appliances etc. And they are also used for numerous different purposes where speed control and h
of speed are necessary. We can found universal motors in less than 1000watts also. Universal motors of a
power rating are significantly smaller than other kinds of AC motors operating at the same frequency.

Speed control of Universal Motors can be possible by following ways

1. Phase angle Control

2. PWM Chopper control

In phase angle control method Speed control is achieved by varying the firing angle for the TRIAC. Phase a
is very cost effective solution but not very efficient .In PWM method rectified AC line voltage is switche
frequency by a Power MOFSET or IGBT device to generate time varying voltage for the motor. In this metho
the motors by providing stable speed control, preventing large currents and drawing minimum harmonic cur
mains supply are required. To meet these requirements using AC chopper with current and speed feedback

The AC universal motor drive controls the rotation speed by means of phase-angle partialization. This meth
of changing the RMS voltage applied to the motor. In this case, the voltage is a function of the firing angle
Continuous speed control of a universal motor running on DC is very easily accomplished using a thyrist
thyristor supplies the motor during the positive mains half cycle. Both the thyristor and its control are conne
a way that the motor back-EMF compensates the motor load variations to adjust the speed. The pulse width
(PWM) technique , also known as chopper drive is used to adjust the voltage applied to the motor. With the
the PWM duty cycle, the effective voltage seen by the motor can be changed. The advantage of PWM mod
respect to phase-angle partialization is higher efficiency, less acoustic noise and better EMC behavior, but
an impact on brush life duration.
In below application, the field and armature windings of the motor are connected in series through th
commutator. Therefore the universal motor is also known as an AC series motor or an AC commutator
universal motor can be controlled either as a phase-angle drive. In this application, we used phase-a
technique to control the voltage given to the motor. A phase shift of the gates pulses allows the effective vo
by the motor to be varied. The phase-angle drive requires just a TRIAC. These are part of the thyristor fam
closely related to silicon-controlled rectifiers. However, unlike SCRs, which are unidirectional devices that
current only in one direction, TRIACs are bidirectional and so current can flow in either direction, thes
commonly seen in circuits like motor drives. TRIACs are usually seen in simple, low-power applications like
dimmer switches.

MOC3021 is an Optocouplers. An optocoupler connects input and output sides with a beam of light modula
current. It transforms useful input signal into light, sends it across the dielectric channel, captures light on
side and transforms it back into electric signal These are typically come in a small 6-pin or 8-pin IC packa
essentially a combination of two distinct devices an optical transmitter, typically a gallium arsenide LED an
receiver such as a phototransistor or light-triggered diac. The two are separated by a transparent barrier w
any electrical current flow between the two, but does allow the passage of light. The MOC3020 Series
gallium arsenide infrared emitting diodes, optically coupled to a silicon bilateral switch. They are d
applications requiring isolated triac triggering.

Now you have an idea about the universal motors if you have any furthermore queries on this topic or on t
and electronic projects leave the comments section below.

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Photo Credit

Universal Motor by o-digital

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Tarun Agarwal Says:

Hi Sravani,
Please check the user friendly website for project ideas on all the latest
technologies. You can download project abstract and seminar presentation also from the website.
Raji (Mobile: +91 9959178000)

Ray Says:
Lovely! Very well-done!

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