Overview of AC Motor Types - Which Type is Best For You?

Update:04 Oct 2021

An AC motor is an electrical motor that is powered by e […]

An AC motor is an electrical motor that is powered by electricity. The AC motor most commonly includes two main parts, a primary stator attached to a windinged output shaft with a DC motor; and an internal rotor having a DC AC winding that is directly connected to the stator. The two parts of an AC Motor are then connected to form a switching power supply. AC motors can be either direct-drive or alternating-drive. Direct drive AC motors use one primary winding and a synchronous set of windings on an AC motor. Alternating drive AC motors work by changing the speed of rotation of the AC motor based on the rotation of the AC source (i.e., an appliance or car engine).

AC motors come in three main types. These AC Motor types are General-fitted, Panel-mounted, and Swivel-arm. General-fitted AC Motor, also called Ready-to-Run (RTR) generally uses an on-board voltage regulator that feeds the power into the AC input terminals. It is usually found in small to medium size appliances, such as computer and microwave ovens, stoves, small refrigerator, washing machines, personal computers, etc. This type of AC Motor has preinstalled with preset switching configurations.

On the other hand, a Panel-mounted alternating motor is a compact device that is installed in a convenient location in a building or structure and is controlled through a remote device. Typically, it contains a pair of synchronous electric motors, which are each driven by a separate solenoid-type charge controller. This type of AC Motor is frequently used in applications where space is at a premium and where high power efficiency is desired.

The final type of AC Motor is the Swivel-arm, also known as the rotation motor, which is similar to its name. The principle of operation of the Swivel AC Motor is based on the mutual attraction and repulsion of magnetic poles. In a simple way, the magnetic poles on opposite sides of the motor will be repelled by the AC Motor's magnetic field. Since the two opposite sides of the AC Motor are always in opposition to each other, the AC Motor will cause a rotation motion. This type of AC Motor is commonly used in electronic devices or electric motors.

Basically, the three types of AC motors described above are divided based on the way in which their power source or the alternator converts the DC power supplied to the motors. The switching and control components found in all three AC motors are found in all AC Motors. However, there are some variations between the types. For instance, while all electrical motors use a DC power supply to turn the DC input terminals, the switching and control components in some AC motors are installed in an "on-off" mode. Some AC motors are even designed so that they can switch to the standby mode when the DC source comes from a low-voltage power supply.

With the increasing popularity of the electrical vehicle market, the competition among AC Motor Designers is heating up. In fact, the number of different AC Motor Types has risen from around ten different types to just a few basic types, with two main types still being developed. To help you better understand the basics of AC Motor Types, I have written this short article that should give you a good starting place.