All About Induction Motors: Background, Types, Applications

22 Mar.,2023


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Who invented the induction motor?

Nikola Tesla is credited with the invention of the induction motor, dating back over 100 years. He was only 21 years old when he realized that there must be a better way to create more efficient and reliable motors, as the existing ones were costly and not very powerful. Did you know that the power generators at Niagara Falls are based entirely on Tesla’s invention? And to this day, Tesla’s patented AC motor system is still used in most electric motors.

Types of induction motors and their applications

Induction motors are categorized into two main types: single-phase and three-phase induction motors. And there are further classifications based on their way of starting.

Single-phase induction motors

The single-phase induction motor is not self-starting. A single-phase AC current supplies the primary winding and produces a pulsating magnetic field. These motors are designed to operate from single-phase supply and are manufactured in large quantities for use in homes, offices, factories, etc. There are four types of single-phase induction motors:

  • Split phase induction motor
  • Capacitor-start induction motor
  • Capacitor-run induction motor
  • Shaded pole induction motor


Applications of single-phase induction motors

Single-phase induction motors are used more widely than the three-phase system for domestic, commercial, and sometimes industrial purposes. Single-phase induction motors are favoured because the single-phase system is more economical, and the power demand load is lower in these environments.

  • Pumps
  • Compressors
  • Small fans
  • Mixers
  • Toys
  • High-speed vacuums
  • Electric shavers
  • Drilling machines


Three-phase induction motors

Three-phase induction motors are self-starting, so they require no starting device like single-phase motors. In a three-phase system, three wires provide the same voltage, but each phase is ramped up. The three-phase induction motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. The two types of three-phase induction motors are:

  • Squirrel cage motors
  • Slip ring motors


Applications of three-phase induction motors

Three-phase induction motors are used for commercial and industrial purposes, ideal for higher-power applications.

  • Lifts
  • Cranes
  • Hoists
  • Large exhaust fans
  • Lathe machines
  • Crushers
  • Oil extracting mills
  • Textiles
  • Commercial electric and hybrid vehicles


So, we’ve covered the very technical basics of induction motors. But did you know you have to take good care of your induction motors to keep them healthy and in working order?


Learn more about what happens when you don’t grease your industrial motor.


And after that, read up on how to keep your industrial motor healthy!

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