How Does a Brushless Motor Work ?

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Brushless motors are one of the most popular types of motors out there. They’re used in a wide variety of applications whether AC or DC oriented.

In the following article, I’ll walk you through a brief guide that shows you what brushless motors are and how they work. Let’s dive in!

What Is a Brushless Motor ?

A brushless motor is usually a rotating device that utilizes both electric and magnetic energy to produce electric energy.

It’s an electronically commutated motor that can operate synchronously through an inverter by direct current (DC). However, it can also operate in the form of an alternating current (AC) by using a switching power supply.

The Brushless Motor Mechanism of Working

To better understand how a brushless motor works, you should first understand how a brushed motor works.

Brushed motors have permanent magnets on the outer part of their structure (known as “stator”) and a spinning arm on the inside. This arm is known as “the rotor”, and it contains an electromagnet.

When power is connected, the electric current is converted from electric energy to magnetic energy, causing the poles of the electromagnet to flip in 180 degrees.

Once it flips, the brushes of the motor come in contact with the stator, which causes the motor to flip the rotor, completing a 360-degree spin. The problem is, these brushes wear out with time.

In a brushless motor, the structure is flipped inside out. In other words, the permanent magnets are on the rotor arms while the electromagnet is now on the stator.

Instead of brushes, a computer becomes responsible for charging the electromagnetic to have the entire 360-degree spin made by the rotor. This eliminates the need for the brushes to flip the poles of the electromagnet to spin.

What Are The Advantages of Brushless Motors vs. Brushed Motors?

There are many reasons why the brushless motor is more popular than its brushed counterpart. For starters, when you compare it to a brushed motor, a brushless unit of the same weight will produce more power.

They also offer better electronic control and require less frequent maintenance, as they’re much less prone to malfunction and overheating.

Also, brushless motors have a higher motor efficiency range of about 85 to 90%. On the other hand, a brushed motor would offer an efficiency of up to 80% at maximum quality.

A brushed motor is a two-pole electromagnet obtained using wires coiled around an armature. Whereas a brushless motor uses a permanent magnet as an external rotor along with three-phase driving coils. Due to the absence of brush in a brushless motor, it is considered better as compared to the brushed motor as it operates for longer life span, has reduced wear and tear, the commutator does not erode, require lower maintenance, and has increased reliability.

The absence of brushes reduces friction, thus the motor operates without producing ionizing sparks so it eradicates the problem of energy losses, overheating, and sudden breakdowns that are present in a brushed motor. Moreover, the brushless motor has high torque to weight ratio, thus increased torque per watt of power input is produced making it more efficient as compared to the brushed motor.

Furthermore, the compact shape and size of the brushless motor make it easier to carry around. During the work, it produces less noise and vibration as compared to the brushed motor due to the presence of integrated controllers. The precise positioning of electronic commutators makes the motor achieve high speed up to 50,000 rpm which can be controlled and altered, unlike brushed motor that operates on a fixed speed. Also, the electronic module makes it work on a range of torque values. Lastly, brushless motors have reduced electromagnetic interference (EMI) as there is less external disturbance by conduction and coupling to hinder the transmission of electricity around the circuit. Due to the following reasons, brushless motor is preferred over brushed motors.

What Are Brushless Motors Used for ?

Since they lack brushes that wear out, brushless motors don’t give off dangerous sparking and have a longer lifespan.

Additionally, brushless motors operate quietly with a lighter construction. That’s why they’re used in a wide range of devices, including:

– Hand-help power tools
– Electric scooters
– Some cars
– Aircrafts / Camera Drones
– Computer disk drives and printers.

Wrap Up

With that said, you now have a better idea about brushless motors, their composition, and the principle their operation is based on.

As you can see, the brushless motor has a lot of advantages with little to no drawbacks. That’s why they’re considered one of the best types of electric motors around.

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