Given enough time, the engineer might go on to explain the technical aspects that differentiate these two gear motors. If speaking to a layperson, the engineer would begin by explaining that AC stands for alternating current, while DC stands for direct current. A more advanced audience might get information on the basic design of each gear motor – an AC gear motor typically features a rotor inside a stator with coils, while a DC gear motor might have rotating armature windings with a stationary magnetic field.
If you’re reading about gear motors, you’re probably an engineer yourself, so let’s skip to what would interest designers like you: AC gear motor advantages, compared to their DC counterparts.
- AC gear motor design has advanced greatly in the last few years, to the point where an AC motor can offer as much or even more speed control than a DC motor. Today’s AC motors can be regulated to within .1 percent of the desired speed.
- DC gear motors are still more expensive, on average. A big advantage of AC gear motors for manufacturers is their lower price. Today, an AC motor and drive together can cost the same as a DC motor on its own.
- Because they typically require fewer repairs, an AC motor is a better choice for potentially wet, hard-to-reach or otherwise hazardous environments.
- Technological improvements have brought AC gear motors up to speed with DC motors. For instance, modern AC motors can provide full torque immediately, at startup. That was impossible just a few years ago.
Even with all of these advantages, there are some situations that still demand a DC gear motor or a high performance AC motor. For one thing, engine cooling is crucial for long-term performance, so a premium-efficient or energy-efficient motor is recommended for adjustable-frequency drives. High starting loads and the demand for consistent horsepower while operating 150 percent above base speed are a few other applications that demand specialized motors. The best way to determine which gear motor is right for you is to contact a custom motor manufacturer such as Sinotech. After learning about your needs, an expert can recommend the best gear motor based on its intended application.