Electric motors literally help our world go-round. From the moment you step out of bed in the morning to things you use every day, you encounter electric motors at almost every turn. From your hair dryer to your washer, and even your microwave to your windshield washers, electric motors help things run. The appliances we use every day wouldn’t be able to function without an electric motor.
Even though the first electric motor was invented in the 1800’s we still use this technology every day! These motors may seem like an uninteresting part of life, but they keep our modern conveniences running. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about electric motors!
In the simplest terms, electric motors need energy to run – and they get their energy from magnets! Each electric motor is built with a series of magnets inside. When these magnets interact, they give off energy. The interaction of the magnets attracting and repelling each other produces movement. This movement is then translated into energy by the electric motor. Without magnets, electric motors wouldn’t be able to produce anything worthwhile. That’s why this simple magnetic energy has been harnessed for years to create energy!
In the world of electric motors, there are two main kinds – DC and AC motors. To start, DC or direct current electric motors run on one steady current. These motors are meant to produce a constant stream of energy. They can easily regulate speed, never failing to run the same.
On the other hand, AC or alternating current motors can do exactly what their name suggests – alternate speeds. Instead of being locked into one constant speed, AC motors have the ability to change speeds. Because of their alternating capabilities, there are a few different types of AC motors. You’ll most commonly find two phase or three phase AC motors, built for speed increases and reductions.
Simple DC motors are used to run appliances like drills, vacuums, and even heavy machinery like cranes. If you picture these machines, it’s clear why they use DC motors. When you’re working on a project at home, you need your drill to hold a steady speed. If your drill slowed down and sped up, you’d run into some DIY disasters!
AC motors are more complicated than DC motors and are used in applications where careful speed control is important. That’s why you’ll see AC motors used in more commercial and industrial applications, even interacting with other machinery like Gould pumps in manufacturing applications. At home, you’ll find AC motors in your washer and dryer and even in your refrigerator.
As you walk around your house, take note of all of the things that need an electric motor to run. Once you are aware of the electric motors you need and use every day, this technology doesn’t seem so mundane. It’s clear the motors invented in the 1800’s are still a pivotal piece of technology – they continue to power our world, even 200 years later!