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Motor Control Circuits and Functions

SKU: C-604Duration: 32 Minutes Certificate Included

PPV format perfect for individual users.

Get immediate access to this interactive eLearning course online. Must be used within 30 days, expires 48 hours after launch.

Great for in-person classroom training or as an alternative to DVD.

Includes printable documents and Convergence Video Player for Windows systems. Content expires after 1 year.

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Course Details


Training Time: 32 minutes

 Mobile Compatible

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices


  • English

A small motor can be started by simply plugging it into an electrical receptacle or by using a switch or circuit breaker. A large motor requires a specialized switching unit called a motor starter or motor contactor. Once they are running, there are many other aspects to safe and efficient motor operation. Motor control refers to manual or automatic methods for starting, stopping, controlling speed, reversing, and protecting a motor. These controls are achieved using a variety of circuits, connections and sensors.

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain how circuits help control starting, stopping, reversing, speed control, motor protection, and safety
  • Identify and describe common circuit types (start/stop, jogging, interlocking, multiple station, and sequencing)
  • Differentiate between 2 and 3 wire start/stop circuits
  • Differentiate between Permissive and Restrictive interlocks

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What are motor controls?
Manual or automatic methods for starting, stopping, controlling speed, reversing, and protecting a motor.

What is a 2-wire control circuit?
A circuit with a single switch in series with the motor and the starter or relay that provides power to the motor.

What is an interlock?
A method of preventing certain events or conditions from occurring in electrical or mechanical devices; an example is a two-hand control.

How can the speed of an AC motor be controlled?
One common way is by using a variable frequency drive (VFD) with a potentiometer.

What is a motor protection device?
A device that will stop a motor in the event of a problem. Examples include thermal overload switches, overspeed switches, over- or under-voltage detectors, vibration monitors, and other devices designed to prevent damage to the motor itself.

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

The three-wire control has a start device, stop device, and an electrical interlock. After the start device is initiated, it will energize the coil of the relay or starter. This will close a contact that is wired in parallel with the start device. This closed contact will allow the start device to be released and returned to its normally open state. The contact will maintain continuity in the circuit and hold in the coil of the relay. The stop device will open the circuit and remove voltage to the coil. This will, in turn, open the contact around the start device and not allow the circuit to restart when the stop device is returned to its normally closed state.

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

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