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Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Sample Transcript

Electric motors are key components of many consumer products and industrial processes, from kitchen mixers to pump motors generating thousands of horsepower. Motors that use alternating current, or AC, are the most common type of industrial electric motor, because they are very low maintenance and extremely reliable. Low-power applications can be satisfied with single-phase motors, whereas higher-power applications or applications where the size or weight of the motor is important may require a three-phase motor. Before describing how an AC motor works, we must first understand the difference between direct and alternating current, and between single and three-phase power.

AC Motor Operation and Types

Training Time: 23 minutes

DC, or direct current is the electricity that flows in a single direction within a circuit or motor. AC, or alternating current, is the electricity that flows back and forth. The main components of an AC induction motor are the rotor and the stator. The motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy when the rotor is pulled by the fluctuating magnetic field in the stator. This course will discuss single-phase and three-phase motor construction and operation.

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Training Content + Interactive Quizzes
Single-phase power refers to circuits with one power conductor and one neutral line.

Single-phase power refers to circuits with one power conductor and one neutral line.

A single phase motor, the stator is made of two electromagnets that are perpendicular from each other.

A single phase motor, the stator is made of two electromagnets that are perpendicular from each other.

In a three-phase motor, there are no start windings, capacitors, or centrifugal switches.

In a three-phase motor, there are no start windings, capacitors, or centrifugal switches.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe alternating and direct current (AC and DC)
  • Describe single and three-phase power
  • Describe single-phase motor construction and operation
  • List and define the different types of single-phase motors
  • Describe three-phase motor construction and operation
  • Describe the differences between single-phase and three-phase motors
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AC Motor Operation & Type

What is an AC motor used for?
It’s an electric motor that is the key component in many consumer products and industrial process. Motors that use Alternating Current, or AC, are the most common type of industrial electric motor because they are very low maintenance and extremely reliable.

What is the difference between AC electricity and DC electricity?
DC, or direct current (flows in a single direction), is the power that comes from batteries, fuel cells, and solar cells, and AC, or alternating current (electricity that flows back and forth), is the power that comes from AC electric generators and power plants.

What is single-phase power, and what does it do?
Single-phase power refers to circuits with one power conductor and one neutral line, with a current that flows back and forth.

What are the three types of single-phase AC motors?
They can be split-phase, shaded pole, or capacitor motors.

Why are three-phase motors different from single-phase motors?
Three-phase motors require three-phase AC power and don't need start windings, capacitors, or centrifugal switches. Instead, there are three stator windings placed 120 degrees apart on the frame.

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