Since both AC and DC motors provide power, it’s easy to dismiss their differences in favor of getting the power you need and nothing else. However, the differences between these motors not only affect their functionality but play a key role in helping you decide which motor to use. The trouble is that they don’t exactly spell out the differences for you on the box. So, how can you learn about the differences to make an educated decision? Below, we have a guide that covers AC motor vs. DC motor and can help you find out which is the best for your use!
Keep reading to find out what you should know.
AC Motor vs. DC Motor and Power Generation
Both motors generate power by hitting the rotor of the motor with an electrical charge, causing it to spin and create a mechanical force that powers whatever the motor is in. However, AC motors, also called alternating current motors, obtain that power by spinning magnetic coils wound within the motor.
DC motors, also known as direct current motors, instead use a set internal power source (like a battery) to spawn the electric charge. They also possess parts called commutators to keep the rotor spinning when it would otherwise stop upon reaching alignment with the magnetic field.
From there, the motors split into subtypes. One subtype for AC motors is induction. The wind of the coil around the stator generates a charge for the rotor to move here.
The other type is synchronous. This keeps the rate of electrical current generation equal with the rotation speed of the motor with the use of slip rings.
DC motors have brushed or brushless variants. The brushed version uses brushes to keep a full range of motion with the rotor. Brushless opts instead for certain types of circuitry to achieve this purpose.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Due to these differences, AC and DC motors possess certain advantages over the other.
DC motors offer faster response times over the speed of their operations, as well as being able to provide higher power levels right out of the gate than AC motors. While they are less complicated to maintain, they also possess longer usage lives than their AC counterparts, especially the DC motors with brushes.
Meanwhile, AC motors offer a great deal more control when it comes to speed manipulation. This is partly due to special add-ons that allow you to alter the torque of the motor during different “stages” of use. You can even control the starting speed of AC motors.
AC motors also don’t require a big boost of power to start, which protects the interior components. This does however mean they don’t pack as much raw power overall compared to DC motors. Unlike popular myth, neither motor needs to worry much about damage from overheating.
The Journey Forward
Now that you have our guide to AC motor vs. DC motor differences, you’re ready to head out there and choose the motor that fits your needs.
And for more information on motors and how they affect mechanical tools like brakes, make sure to check out the other articles on our blog!