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Electric Motor

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-An electric motor is a rotating device that converts electrical energy to mechanical energy. Electric motor is used as an important component in electric fans, refrigerators, mixers, washing machines, computers, MP3 players etc.

-An electric motor consists of a rectangular coil ABCD of insulated copper wire. The coil is placed between the two poles of a magnetic field such that the arm AB and CD are perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field

-The ends of the coil are connected to the two halves P and Q of a split ring. The inner sides of these halves are insulated and attached to an axle. The external conducting edges of P and Q touch two conducting stationary brushes X and Y, respectively

-Current in the coil ABCD enters from the source battery through conducting brush X and flows back to the battery through brush Y. Notice that the current in arm AB of the coil flows from A to B. In arm CD it flows from C to D, that is, opposite to the direction of current through arm AB.

-On applying Fleming’s left hand rule for the direction of force on a current-carrying conductor in a magnetic field

-We find that the force acting on arm AB pushes it downwards while the force acting on arm CD pushes it upwards. Thus the coil and the axle O, mounted free to turn about an axis, rotate anti-clockwise. At half rotation, Q makes contact with the brush X and P with brush Y. Therefore the current in the coil gets reversed and flows along the path DCBA

-A device that reverses the direction of flow of current through a circuit is called a commutator. In electric motors, the split ring acts as a commutator. The reversal of current also reverses the direction of force acting on the two arms AB and CD.

-Thus the arm AB of the coil that was earlier pushed down is now pushed up and the arm CD previously pushed up is now pushed down. Therefore the coil and the axle rotate half a turn more in the same direction. The reversing of the current is repeated at each half rotation, giving rise to a continuous rotation of the coil and to the axle.

-The commercial motors use

(i) an electromagnet in place of permanent magnet

(ii) large number of turns of the conducting wire in the current carrying coil

(iii) a soft iron core on which the coil is wound. The soft iron core, on which the coil is wound, plus the coils, is called an armature. This enhances the power of the motor.


If you would like to contribute notes or other learning material, please submit them using the button below. | Magnetic Effects of Current part 10 (Electric motors)

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Magnetic Effects of Current part 10 (Electric motors) [00:14:42]
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