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Categorization of electric motors

The classic division of electric motors has been that of Alternating Current (AC
) types vs Direct Current (DC) types. This is more a de facto convention, rather
than a rigid distinction. For example, many classic DC motors run on AC power,
these motors being referred to as universal motors.
Rated output power is also used to categorise motors, those of less than 746 Wat
ts, for example, are often referred to as fractional horsepower motors (FHP) in
reference to the old imperial measurement.
The ongoing trend toward electronic control further muddles the distinction, as
modern drivers have moved the commutator out of the motor shell. For this new br
eed of motor, driver circuits are relied upon to generate sinusoidal AC drive cu
rrents, or some approximation thereof. The two best examples are: the brushless
DC motor and the stepping motor, both being poly-phase AC motors requiring exter
nal electronic control, although historically, stepping motors (such as for mari
time and naval gyrocompass repeaters) were driven from DC switched by contacts.
Considering all rotating (or linear) electric motors require synchronism between
a moving magnetic field and a moving current sheet for average torque productio
n, there is a clearer distinction between an asynchronous motor and synchronous
types. An asynchronous motor requires slip between the moving magnetic field and
a winding set to induce current in the winding set by mutual inductance; the mo
st ubiquitous example being the common AC induction motor which must slip to gen
erate torque. In the synchronous types, induction (or slip) is not a requisite f
or magnetic field or current production (e.g. permanent magnet motors, synchrono
us brush-less wound-rotor doubly-fed electric machine).

A servomechanism, or servo is an automatic device that uses error-sensing feedba

ck to correct the performance of a mechanism. The term correctly applies only to
systems where the feedback or error-correction signals help control mechanical
position or other parameters. For example, an automotive power window control is
not a servomechanism, as there is no automatic feedback which controls position t
he operator does this by observation. By contrast the car's cruise control uses
closed loop feedback, which classifies it as a servomechanism.
A synchronous electric motor is an AC motor distinguished by a rotor spinning wi
th coils passing magnets at the same rate as the alternating current and resulti
ng magnetic field which drives it. Another way of saying this is that it has zer
o slip under usual operating conditions. Contrast this with an induction motor,
which must slip to produce torque. A synchronous motor is like an induction moto
r except the rotor is excited by a DC field. Slip rings and brushes are used to
conduct current to rotor. The rotor poles connect to each other and move at the
same speed hence the name synchronous motor.
An induction motor (IM) is a type of asynchronous AC motor where power is suppli
ed to the rotating device by means of electromagnetic induction. Another commonl
y used name is squirrel cage motor because the rotor bars with short circuit rin
gs resemble a squirrel cage (hamster wheel). An electric motor converts electric
al power to mechanical power in its rotor (rotating part). There are several way
s to supply power to the rotor. In a DC motor this power is supplied to the arma
ture directly from a DC source, while in an induction motor this power is induce
d in the rotating device. An induction motor is sometimes called a rotating tran
sformer because the stator (stationary part) is essentially the primary side of
the transformer and the rotor (rotating part) is the secondary side. Induction m
otors are widely used, especially polyphase induction motors, which are frequent
ly used in industrial drives.
An electrostatic motor or capacitor motor is a type of electric motor based on t
he attraction and repulsion of electric charge. Usually, electrostatic motors ar
e the dual of conventional coil-based motors. They typically require a high volt
age power supply, although very small motors employ lower voltages. Conventional
electric motors instead employ magnetic attraction and repulsion, and require h
igh current at low voltages. In the 1750s, the first electrostatic motors were d
eveloped by Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Gordon. Today the electrostatic motor f
inds frequent use in micro-mechanical (MEMS) systems where their drive voltages
are below 100 volts, and where moving, charged plates are far easier to fabricat
e than coils and iron cores. Also, the molecular machinery which runs living cel
ls is often based on linear and rotary electrostatic motors.
A series-wound motor is referred to as a universal motor when it has been design
ed to operate on either AC or DC power. The ability to operate on AC is because
the current in both the field and the armature (and hence the resultant magnetic
fields) will alternate (reverse polarity) in synchronism, and hence the resulti
ng mechanical force will occur in a constant direction.
Operating at normal power line frequencies, universal motors are very rarely lar
ger than one kilowatt (about 1.3 horsepower). Universal motors also form the bas
is of the traditional railway traction motor in electric railways. In this appli
cation, to keep their electrical efficiency high, they were operated from very l
ow frequency AC supplies, with 25 and 16.7 hertz (Hz) operation being common. Be
cause they are universal motors, locomotives using this design were also commonl
y capable of operating from a third rail powered by DC.
An advantage of the universal motor is that AC supplies may be used on motors wh
ich have some characteristics more common in DC motors, specifically high starti
ng torque and very compact design if high running speeds are used. The negative
aspect is the maintenance and short life problems caused by the commutator. As a
result, such motors are usually used in AC devices such as food mixers and powe
r tools which are used only intermittently, and often have high starting-torque
demands. Continuous speed control of a universal motor running on AC is easily o
btained by use of a thyristor circuit, while (imprecise) stepped speed control c
an be accomplished using multiple taps on the field coil. Household blenders tha
t advertise many speeds frequently combine a field coil with several taps and a
diode that can be inserted in series with the motor (causing the motor to run on
half-wave rectified AC).
Universal motors generally run at high speeds, making them useful for appliances
such as blenders, vacuum cleaners, and hair dryers where high RPM operation is
desirable. They are also commonly used in portable power tools, such as drills,
circular and jig saws, where the motor's characteristics work well. Many vacuum
cleaner and weed trimmer motors exceed 10,000 RPM, while Dremel and other simila
r miniature grinders will often exceed 30,000 RPM.
Motor damage may occur due to overspeeding (running at an RPM in excess of desig
n limits) if the unit is operated with no significant load. On larger motors, su
dden loss of load is to be avoided, and the possibility of such an occurrence is
incorporated into the motor's protection and control schemes. In some smaller a
pplications, a fan blade attached to the shaft often acts as an artificial load
to limit the motor speed to a safe value, as well as
A torque motor (also known as a limited torque motor) is a specialized form of i
nduction motor which is capable of operating indefinitely while stalled, that is
, with the rotor blocked from turning, without incurring damage. In this mode of
operation, the motor will apply a steady torque to the load (hence the name).
The slip ring is a component of the wound rotor motor as an induction machine (b
est evidenced by the construction of the common automotive alternator), where th
e rotor comprises a set of coils that are electrically terminated in slip rings.
These are metal rings rigidly mounted on the rotor, and combined with brushes (
as used with commutators), provide continuous unswitched connection to the rotor
Closely related in design to three-phase AC synchronous motors are stepper motor
s, where an internal rotor containing permanent magnets or a magnetically-soft r
otor with salient poles is controlled by a set of external magnets that are swit
ched electronically. A stepper motor may also be thought of as a cross between a
DC electric motor and a rotary solenoid. As each coil is energized in turn, the
rotor aligns itself with the magnetic field produced by the energized field win
ding. Unlike a synchronous motor, in its application, the stepper motor may not
rotate continuously; instead, it "steps" starts and then quickly stops again fro
m one position to the next as field windings are energized and de-energized in s
equence. Depending on the sequence, the rotor may turn forwards or backwards, an
d it may change direction, stop, speed up or slow down arbitrarily at any time.
A linear motor is essentially an electric motor that has been "unrolled" so that
, instead of producing a torque (rotation), it produces a straight-line force al
ong its length by setting up a traveling electromagnetic field.
Linear motors are most commonly induction motors or stepper motors. You can find
a linear motor in a maglev (Transrapid) train, where the train "flies" over the
ground, and in many roller-coasters where the rapid motion of the motorless rai
lcar is controlled by the rail. On a smaller scale, at least one letter-size (8.
5" x 11") computer graphics X-Y pen plotter made by Hewlett-Packard (in the late
1970s to mid 1980's) used two linear stepper motors to move the pen along the t
wo orthogonal axes.
To calculate a motor's efficiency, the mechanical output power is divided by the
electrical input power:
where ? is energy conversion efficiency, Pe is electrical input power, and Pm is
mechanical output power.

Motor standards
The following are major design and manufacturing standards covering electric mot
International Electrotechnical Commission: IEC 60034 Rotating Electrical Machine
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (USA): NEMA MG 1 Motors and Genera
Underwriters Laboratories (USA): UL 1004 - Standard for Electric Motors

Electric motors are used in many, if not most, modern machines. Obvious uses wou
ld be in rotating machines such as fans, turbines, drills, the wheels on electri
c cars, locomotives and conveyor belts. Also, in many vibrating or oscillating m
achines, an electric motor spins an irregular figure with more area on one side
of the axle than the other, causing it to appear to be moving up and down.
Electric motors are also popular in robotics. They are used to turn the wheels o
f vehicular robots, and servo motors are used to turn arms and legs in humanoid
robots. In flying robots, along with helicopters, a motor causes a propeller or
wide, flat blades to spin and create lift force, allowing vertical motion.
Electric motors are replacing hydraulic cylinders in airplanes and military equi
In industrial and manufacturing businesses, electric motors are used to turn saw
s and blades in cutting and slicing processes, and to spin gears and mixers (the
latter very common in food manufacturing). Linear motors are often used to push
products into containers horizontally.
Many kitchen appliances also use electric motors to accomplish various jobs. Foo
d processors and grinders spin blades to chop and break up foods. Blenders use e
lectric motors to mix liquids, and microwave ovens use motors to turn the tray f
ood sits on. Toaster ovens also use electric motors to turn a conveyor to move f
ood over heating elements.
An induction motor (or asynchronous motor or squirrel-cage motor) is a type of a
lternating current motor where power is supplied to the rotor by means of electr
omagnetic induction.
An electric motor converts electrical power to mechanical power in its rotor (ro
tating part). There are several ways to supply power to the rotor. In a DC motor
this power is supplied to the armature directly from a DC source, while in an i
nduction motor this power is induced in the rotating device. An induction motor
is sometimes called a rotating transformer because the stator (stationary part)
is essentially the primary side of the transformer and the rotor (rotating part)
is the secondary side. The primary side's currents evokes a magnetic field whic
h interacts with the secondary side's emf to produce a resultant torque, hencefo
rth serving the purpose of producing mechanical energy. Induction motors are wid
ely used, especially polyphase induction motors, which are frequently used in in
dustrial drives.
Induction motors are now the preferred choice for industrial motors due to their
rugged construction, absence of brushes (which are required in most DC motors)
and thanks to modern power electronics the ability to control the speed of the m

Three Phase
[edit] Direct-on-line starting
The simplest way to start a three-phase induction motor is to connect its termin
als to the line. This method is often called "direct on line" and abbreviated DO
In an induction motor, the magnitude of the induced emf in the rotor circuit is
proportional to the stator field and the slip speed (the difference between sync
hronous and rotor speeds) of the motor, and the rotor current depends on this em
f. When the motor is started, the rotor speed is zero. The synchronous speed is
constant, based on the frequency of the supplied AC voltage. So the slip speed i
s equal to the synchronous speed, the slip ratio is 1, and the induced emf in th
e rotor is large. As a result, a very high current flows through the rotor. This
is similar to a transformer with the secondary coil short circuited, which caus
es the primary coil to draw a high current from the mains.
When an induction motor starts DOL, a very high current is drawn by the stator,
in the order of 5 to 9 times the full load current. This high current can, in so
me motors, damage the windings; in addition, because it causes heavy line voltag
e drop, other appliances connected to the same line may be affected by the volta
ge fluctuation. To avoid such effects, several other strategies are employed for
starting motors.
[edit] Star-delta starters
An induction motor's windings can be connected to a 3-phase AC line in two diffe
rent ways:
wye (star in Europe), where the windings are connected from phases of the supply
to the neutral;
delta (sometimes mesh in Europe), where the windings are connected between phase
s of the supply.
A delta connection of the machine winding results in a higher voltage at each wi
nding compared to a wye connection (the factor is ). A star-delta starter initi
ally connects the motor in wye, which produces a lower starting current than del
ta, then switches to delta when the motor has reached a set speed. Disadvantages
of this method over DOL starting are:
Lower starting torque, which may be a serious issue with pumps or any devices wi
th significant breakaway torque
Increased complexity, as more contactors and some sort of speed switch or timers
are needed
Two shocks to the motor (one for the initial start and another when the motor sw
itches from wye to delta)
[edit] Variable-frequency drives
Variable-frequency drives (VFD) can be of considerable use in starting as well a
s running motors. A VFD can easily start a motor at a lower frequency than the A
C line, as well as a lower voltage, so that the motor starts with full rated tor
que and with no inrush of current. The rotor circuit's impedance increases with
slip frequency, which is equal to supply frequency for a stationary rotor, so ru
nning at a lower frequency actually increases
[edit] Resistance starters

A resistance starter and its 4MW / 11kV induction motor, driving a ball mill.
This method is used with slip ring motors where the rotor poles can be accessed
by way of the slip rings. Using brushes, variable power resistors are connected
in series with the poles. During start-up the resistance is large and then reduc
ed to zero at full speed.
At start-up the resistance directly reduces the rotor current and so rotor heati
ng is reduced. Another important advantage is the start-up torque can be control
led. As well, the resistors generate a phase shift in the field resulting in the
magnetic force acting on the rotor having a favorable angle[citation needed].
[edit] Autotransformer starters
such starters are called as auto starters or compensators, consists of an auto-t
[edit] Series Reactor starters
In series reactor starter technology, an impedance in the form of a reactor is i
ntroduced in series with the motor terminals, which as a result reduces the moto
r terminal voltage resulting in a reduction of the starting current; the impedan
ce of the reactor, a function of the current passing through it, gradually reduc
es as the motor accelerates, and at 95 % speed the reactors are bypassed by a su
itable bypass method which enables the motor to run at full voltage and full spe
ed. Air core series reactor starters or a series reactor soft starter is the mos
t common and recommended method for fixed speed motor starting. The applicable s
tandards are [IEC 289] AND [IS 5553 (PART 3) ]
[edit] Single Phase
In a single phase induction motor, it is necessary to provide a starting circuit
to start rotation of the rotor. If this is not done, rotation may be commenced
by manually giving a slight turn to the rotor. The single phase induction motor
may rotate in either direction and it is only the starting circuit which determi
nes rotational direction.
For small motors of a few watts the start rotation is done by means of a single
turn of heavy copper wire around one corner of the pole. The current induced in
the single turn is out of phase with the supply current and so causes an out-of-
phase component in the magnetic field, which imparts to the field sufficient rot
ational character to start the motor. Starting torque is very low and efficiency
is also reduced. Such shaded-pole motors are typically used in low-power applic
ations with low or zero starting torque requirements, such as desk fans and reco
rd players.
Larger motors are provided with a second stator winding which is fed with an out
-of-phase current to create a rotating magnetic field. The out-of-phase current
may be derived by feeding the winding through a capacitor, or it may derive from
the winding having different values of inductance and resistance from the main
In some designs the second winding is disconnected once the motor is up to speed
, usually either by means of a switch operated by centrifugal force acting on we
ights on the motor shaft, or by a positive temperature coefficient thermistor wh
ich after a few seconds of operation heats up and increases its resistance to a
high value, reducing the current through the second winding to an insignificant
level. Other designs keep the second winding continuously energised during runni
ng, which improves torque.
Control of speed in induction motor can be obtained in 3 ways:
1.scalar control 2.vector control torque control