Nov 12, 2018

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DC and AC Motors – What is the Difference?

DC and AC Motors – What is the Difference?

Electric motors power many kinds of industrial facilities today. These motors vary in size and capabilities and perform a wide range of functions. However, there are two kinds of electric power, DC and AC. So, what is the difference between a General Electric DC motor 504AY and an AC motor? Here is information to help you understand.

Magnetic Fields

Both DC and AC motors use the power of electromagnetism. But how this magnetism turns electricity into motion differs between each type. Both motors have stator (stationary) and rotor (rotating part) sections.

DC Motors

A General Electric DC motor 504AY gets its power from direct current. This is the same kind of current batteries produce. It is a steady flow of electrons from one terminal to the other. The rotor section (armature) turns when the magnetic field in the stator attracts or repels it. However, to keep motion constant, a commutator (with brushes) switches the electrical field back and forth. The commutator keeps electric magnetic force always in one direction.

AC Motors

Alternating current is not constant like direct current. Instead, the polarities switch 60 times per second (60-hertz power). This creates a pulse electrical charge which is less susceptible to voltage drop over long distances. Standard industrial electrical AC power uses three phases instead of one (residential power).

Three Phase AC Induction Motors

The stator uses three phase windings for a specific amount of poles. The rotor fits inside the stator, and as the stator produces a rotating magnetic field, it affects the rotor, causing it to spin. AC motors do not require commentators or brushes, and they are smaller and lighter than their DC counterparts like the General Electric DC motor 504AY.

DC Benefits

DC motors give you better speed control. They also deliver exceptional torque. They see use in many applications like elevators, conveyors, and heavy equipment.


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