AC motors are driven by an alternating current and are a highly efficient way of turning electrical energy into mechanical motion. AC motors differ from DC (Direct Current) Motors in that they are brushless, meaning less need for maintenance and a typically longer life expectancy. Unlike DC motors, the output speed for AC motors is typically controlled by a frequency drive control.
What are the types of AC motors?
The RS Range of AC motors includes the following:
- AC induction motors are typically used in kitchen appliances, automobiles and industrial machinery, induction motors have an output rotation speed that is proportional to the applied frequency of the alternate current.
- AC synchronous motors are so-called because the speed of the rotor is proportional to the stator, synchronous AC motors are used where accuracy is an important factor, such as clocks and timers.
- AC squirrel cage motors are a type of induction motor that uses a cage rotor instead of a wound rotor, and as such is considered to be more rugged and less maintenance heavy. Squirrel cage induction motors are often used in applications where a low starting torque is required and no speed control is needed, such as pumps and air compressors.
- AC shaded pole motors are a single-phase squirrel cage motor that uses an auxiliary winding composed of either a copper ring or bar, called a shading coil. Unlike standard squirrel cage motors, they are suited for multiple speeds and are often used in fans.
- AC geared motors integrate a gear reducer with an electric AC motor to deliver high torque at low speed or low horsepower. Operating at low speed allows these motors to exert greater power.
- AC servo motors feature a rotary actuator that allows for precise control of angular position. The motor is attached by gears to the control wheel, as the motor rotates, the position sensors resistance changes, so the control circuit can precisely regulate movement.
- AC Stepper Motors are commonly used as an output in electronic circuits, it divides a full rotation into a number of equal steps.
- Compressor drives and systems.
- Conveyor systems.
- Fans and air conditioners.
- Hydraulic and irrigation pumps.
- Transportation equipment.
For more information, check out our AC motors guide.