What is the difference between brushed motor and brushless DC motor?

1. Brushed dc motor

In brushed motors this is done with a rotary switch on the motor’s shaft called a commutator. It consists of a rotating cylinder or disc divided into multiple metal contact segments on the rotor. The segments are connected to conductor windings on the rotor. Two or more stationary contacts called brushes, made of a soft conductor such as graphite, press against the commutator, making sliding electrical contact with successive segments as the rotor turns. The brushes selectively provide electric current to the windings. As the rotor rotates, the commutator selects different windings and the directional current is applied to a given winding such that the rotor’s magnetic field remains misaligned with the stator and creates a torque in one direction.

2. Brushless dc motor

In brushless DC motors, an electronic servo system replaces the mechanical commutator contacts. An electronic sensor detects the angle of the rotor and controls semiconductor switches such as transistors which switch current through the windings, either reversing the direction of the current or, in some motors turning it off, at the correct angle so the electromagnets create torque in one direction. The elimination of the sliding contact allows brushless motors to have less friction and longer life; their working life is only limited by the lifetime of their bearings.

Brushed DC motors develop a maximum torque when stationary, linearly decreasing as velocity increases. Some limitations of brushed motors can be overcome by brushless motors; they include higher efficiency and lower susceptibility to mechanical wear. These benefits come at the cost of potentially less rugged, more complex, and more expensive control electronics.

A typical brushless motor has permanent magnets that rotate around a fixed armature, eliminating problems associated with connecting current to the moving armature. An electronic controller replaces the commutator assembly of the brushed DC motor, which continually switches the phase to the windings to keep the motor turning. The controller performs similar timed power distribution by using a solid-state circuit rather than the commutator system.

Brushless motors offer several advantages over brushed DC motors, including high torque to weight ratio, increased efficiency producing more torque per watt, increased reliability, reduced noise, longer lifetime by eliminating brush and commutator erosion, elimination of ionizing sparks from the
commutator, and an overall reduction of electromagnetic interference (EMI). With no windings on the rotor, they are not subjected to centrifugal forces, and because the windings are supported by the housing, they can be cooled by conduction, requiring no airflow inside the motor for cooling. This in turn means that the motor’s internals can be entirely enclosed and protected from dirt or other foreign matter.

Brushless motor commutation can be implemented in software using a microcontroller, or may alternatively be implemented using analog or digital circuits. Commutation with electronics instead of brushes allows for greater flexibility and capabilities not available with brushed DC motors, including speed limiting, microstepping operation for slow and fine motion control, and a holding torque when stationary. Controller software can be customized to the specific motor being used in the application, resulting in greater commutation efficiency.

The maximum power that can be applied to a brushless motor is limited almost exclusively by heat;[citation needed] too much heat weakens the magnets and will damage the windings’ insulation.

When converting electricity into mechanical power, brushless motors are more efficient than brushed motors primarily due to the absence of brushes, which reduces mechanical energy loss due to friction. The enhanced efficiency is greatest in the no-load and low-load regions of the motor’s performance curve.

Environments and requirements in which manufacturers use brushless-type DC motors include maintenance-free operation, high speeds, and operation where sparking is hazardous (i.e. explosive environments) or could affect electronically sensitive equipment.

The construction of a brushless motor resembles a stepper motor, but the motors have important differences due to differences in implementation and operation. While stepper motors are frequently stopped with the rotor in a defined angular position, a brushless motor is usually intended to produce continuous rotation. Both motor types may have a rotor position sensor for internal feedback. Both a stepper motor and a well-designed brushless motor can hold finite torque at zero RPM.

Post time: Mar-08-2023