Motor drives are electronic devices that have a wide range of applications. They are used in DC motors to maintain their continuous, seamless operation.
The motor generates rotational or linear force to help power a device or a piece of machinery. The drive is responsible for controlling the amount of force that can be generated by harnessing and regulating the amount of electrical energy that gets supplied to the motor.
A motor drive supplies the motor with energy in a highly controlled manner. The electrical energy may vary in frequency to adjust and regulate the speed and torque of the motor.
Types of Motor Drives
There are four main types of motor drives and controllers – AC, DC, Servo, and Stepper. Each one has unique methods of operation and is appropriate for different applications.
An AC motor drive modified the amount of power that is supplied to a motor. It regulates power input by adjusting the speed and torque of the motor at varying levels. AC motor drives are sometimes called variable motor drives.
DC motor drives are also used to adjust the power input into a motor by using either a continuous or alternative current. The current is provided in phases or pulses.
Servo motor drives are small electronic devices that can adjust the power input into a motor. As with DC motor drives, they modify the current either in a constant or alternating fashion. Servo motor drives are also called servo motor amplifiers, and they can be AC or DC in brushed or brushless types
The final type of drive that can be used in a motor is the stepper motor drive. It modifies power input by using a pulsed current (also referred to as a stepped current, hence the name stepper motor drive).
Applications of Motor Drives
Depending on the specific application, a certain type of motor drive will be used. In some applications, more than one type of motor drive may be suitable.
AC motor drives are mainly used in fans and blowers where the speed of rotation in the motor needs to be varied. For example, a standard house fan will have more than one speed setting. It’s the presence of the AC motor drive that enables the fan to increase or decrease in speed.
DC motor drives are more commonly found in pumps, industrial machinery. They are also used in the manufacturing of their automobiles, including in electric motors.
For example, the pumps in a car’s engine will be powered by a DC motor drive. The adjustable powered seating, windscreen wipers, and windows may also function via a DC motor drive.
Servo motor drives are commonly found in equipment that is used in construction and manufacturing. This type of motor drive is used in different pieces of motorized machinery, such as conveyor belts, robotics, and material handling tools.
Stepper motor drives are also used in conveyor belts and robotics. They are also known as step amplifiers of pulse supplies.
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