AC Motor – Explained

What is an AC motor? How do AC motors work? How do electric cars move? This video explains how AC motors work, using a simplified example which uses a permanent magnet as the rotor. AC motors are popular due to their efficiency, and how they require virtually no maintenance since there are no contact points within the assembly (brushes). AC motors are more popular than DC motors due to these advantages, and are becoming more prevalent in the automotive industry.

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34 thoughts on “AC Motor – Explained

  1. can yo explain how the synchronous motor in the Nissan Leaf starts, as synchronous motors generally are not self starting, thanks

  2. Ky Walker says:

    You are the best teacher.

  3. how does an AC motor works


  5. Is it possible to do this process backwards to where you spin the magnets you get a charge?

  6. Minimal MO says:

    This video is pure gold! Thanks mate!

  7. Jay Wall says:

    Cool video. Thanks for sharing. =)

  8. I downloaded the video to watch it in a more comfortable way, But I was really impressed of the analogy you did at the beginning of the video so I found my self in need for searching again for the video on Youtube to say:

  9. I know this has been answered before but I want to be sure. What controls how the currents are timed?

  10. Cool ! U look like a nerd!

  11. AlainHubert says:

    What about brush AC motor, like in the old 120 V corded power tools of my youth ? How do those work ?

  12. TOXOREED says:

    wow pal

  13. OMGosh… suddenly I think I know why it's not good for an AC motor to be powered by a square wave inverter. It's best to use a pure sine wave inverter. If your current just suddenly jumps from +110V to -110V (for example), and so forth, it never has that "in between" or transitional voltage between the two sets of coils for the magnet to move to 45 degree angles between electromagnet poles. I've heard that the motor's life can be drastically reduced and this gives me an idea of why. I can even "hear" this difference when the motor (i.e. a fan) is starting up if I use a square wave inverter.

  14. Max Fieg says:

    Been trying to understand ac motors for awhile. This video is what did it for me. Thanks

  15. Max Fieg says:

    Been trying to understand ac motors for awhile. This video is what did it for me. Thanks

  16. Kilian says:


  17. Empyriummann says:

    That was pretty good, nice video!

  18. Will Lesslie says:

    Thanks EE, Big fan, plus this video game me 96% in a section for my year 12 Engineering Assignment. Thanks Again Mate

  19. WEKRAYS says:

    Dude, why don't you do a engineering explanation how Tesla car/SUV work. and in another vid how sensors of Tesla work together with the car to make "Autopilot" possible. keep up the good work.CHEERS!!!

  20. Tarun Singh says:

    Is this a single phase or a 2-phase ac motor?

  21. You are great!!Keep up the good work!!You have the ability to make things easy and understandable!!

  22. he is explaning it in a great way… im mechnl engg ist year student… thanks

  23. J Brown says:

    Nice explanation, I just want to point out that you drew the stator and rotor one way in the 1st drawing and the second part its opposite since stator should be the stationary and rotor the rotational part of the motor.

  24. eliramone12 says:

    excellent explanation ! thanks!

  25. Did any else came to watch this video after watching a Tesla video?

  26. First basic explanation I found that makes sense for a noob like me trying to understand the basics, without it being too basic (like most things you find). Awesome explanation and to the point

  27. Aerohk says:

    Is this a two phases motor?

  28. Mark Lofaso says:

    Very well explained.  I believe the poles on the 4-step lower right side of the board have the poles mislabeled, unless you were labeling the pole on the outside.  I think by the time a viewer gets to this video he/she understands like poles repel but it did throw me for a second until I heard your verbal explanation of "North on the outside/South on the inside".  Not a big deal just something that for a few seconds confused me a bit.  Really enjoying your video series.

  29. awsome

  30. Great! I would detail a little bit more step 2 (the decreasing of green phase). Tks.

  31. mrrpm246246 says:

    could you explain the purpose of amps and voltages in ev vehicles

  32. Thank you says:

    Excellent explanation!

  33. Frank Mair says:

    Very good , thanks

  34. TheEndTimes says:

    Excellent thank you!

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