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The Workings of a DC Motor
Electric motors are all around us. In our homes alone, almost all the mechanical and electrical movements you see around are done by DC (Direct Current) electric motors and AC (Alternating Current) electric motors.
In 1873, Jenob Gram created the modern DC electric motor. Gram connected his constructed dynamo to another device and drove it like a motor. His invention, the Gram Yantra, was the first electric motor to be pulled on a farm.
Two good examples of electric DC inventions are the innovative ball-bearing motor and the unusual homo polar motor created by Michael Faraday.
In general, a simple DC electric motor has six basic parts. These are rotor or armature, brushes, axle, commutator, field magnet and DC power supply. An electric motor is driven by magnets that use the magnetic field to create torque, accelerating the motor. People who have played with magnets before are familiar with the basic principle of magnets, that like poles repel and opposites attract. The repelling and attracting electromagnetic forces inside the electric motor create the rotating motion of the DC motor.
Magnets are polarized, with negative and positive sections. Despite the relatively small size of the magnet, the repulsion of like poles and the attraction of opposite poles are clearly visible. A direct current electric motor uses these components to literally convert electric current into alternating motion.
A DC electric motor requires at least one electromagnet. An electromagnet acts as the source of an electric motor and when the motor is running it changes the current, changing its polarity to keep the motor running. Other magnetic fields are either electromagnets or permanent magnets. The electromagnet is usually found in the hub of the motor and rotates in a permanent magnet.
A DC electric motor consists of coils of wire moving in a magnetic field. The coil is placed in a stationary magnet. The current in the coil is distributed through two brushes which form a rotating connection with the split ring. A force applied to a coil of wire initiates a motion or torque on the coil. The coil also acts as a small magnetic dipole.
To better understand and visualize a simple DC electric motor, split a wheel between two magnets. In this case, the wheel of a DC motor is an electromagnet. The two permanent external magnets are negative and positive. Now, suppose the right magnet is positive and the left magnet is negative.
The coils of wire on the wheel of the DC motor are carried with current and this current ignites the magnetic drive. For a DC motor to turn and turn more, the wheels on the positive permanent magnet must be positively charged and the negative permanent magnet must also be negatively charged. And, since opposite charges attract and like charges repel, the negative part of the wheel alternates to turn to the right and the positive part of the wheel to move to the left. The magnetic force enables the wheel to rotate, thus the movements are used to function and operate.
The consistency and straightforward pattern of DC motors make them an ideal choice for a myriad of different purposes. DC motors are widely used for many applications such as remote control cars and electric razors.
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