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Induction Motor vs. Synchronous Motor: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 17, 2023
Induction motors use slip to operate and are self-starting, while synchronous motors run at a constant speed determined by the power supply frequency.

Key Differences

The induction motor and the synchronous motor are two primary types of AC motors, each possessing unique characteristics. Induction motors, often termed as asynchronous motors, are the more commonly used of the two in everyday applications.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
Induction motors work based on the principle of electromagnetic induction. When power is supplied, a rotating magnetic field is generated, inducing a current in the rotor. This induced current generates its own magnetic field, which interacts with the original field to produce torque. Interestingly, induction motors always run at a speed less than the supply frequency. On the other hand, synchronous motors, as the name suggests, operate in sync with the supply current's frequency.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
One standout feature of induction motors is their self-starting capability. They don't require any additional starting mechanisms. In contrast, synchronous motors are not self-starting and need external means, like a damper winding, to start.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
In terms of efficiency, synchronous motors generally are more efficient than induction motors for larger applications. Moreover, synchronous motors can operate at leading, lagging, or unity power factor, giving them a distinct advantage in power factor correction. In contrast, induction motors usually operate at a lagging power factor.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
While induction motors are more prevalent in household appliances due to their simplicity and ruggedness, synchronous motors are chosen for high precision tasks and where speed constancy is crucial.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Operating Principle

Electromagnetic Induction
Synchronous with supply frequency
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Speed

Always less than supply frequency
Constant, equal to supply frequency
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Self-Starting

Yes
No
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Power Factor

Typically lagging
Can be leading, lagging, or unity
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Common Usage

Household appliances, general applications
Precise tasks, power factor correction, large applications
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023
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Induction Motor and Synchronous Motor Definitions

Induction Motor

A machine that transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy using induction principles.
The induction motor in the washing machine ensures efficient spin cycles.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Synchronous Motor

A motor that operates in sync with the supply current's frequency.
High precision machinery often employs a synchronous motor.
Huma Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Induction Motor

An asynchronous motor relying on a rotating magnetic field.
The induction motor is favored for its ruggedness in many industrial applications.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Synchronous Motor

A motor whose rotor turns at the same rate as the rotating magnetic field.
In applications requiring steady speed, a synchronous motor is ideal.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

Induction Motor

An AC motor where torque is produced by electromagnetic induction.
The fan in our living room uses an induction motor for its operation.
Huma Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Synchronous Motor

A machine that provides constant speed and can correct power factor in circuits.
The factory utilizes synchronous motors for power factor correction.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

Induction Motor

A motor where the rotor's speed is not synchronous with the supply current.
The pump in our backyard operates with an induction motor.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Synchronous Motor

An AC motor that doesn't change speed based on the load.
The synchronous motor ensures the clock runs at a consistent pace.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Induction Motor

A self-starting motor that runs at a speed less than the supply frequency.
Many household appliances prefer induction motors for their simplicity.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Synchronous Motor

A motor requiring an external means for starting.
Starting a synchronous motor might require an additional mechanism.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

FAQs

What's the primary principle behind the induction motor?

The induction motor operates based on electromagnetic induction.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Do induction motors require starters?

Induction motors are self-starting and don't need external starters.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

How does a synchronous motor maintain its speed?

It runs in sync with the power supply's frequency.
Huma Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Why might a synchronous motor be preferred in industrial settings?

Its ability to provide constant speed and correct power factor makes it valuable.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

Are synchronous motors suitable for power factor correction?

Yes, synchronous motors can operate at varying power factors, aiding in correction.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Can synchronous motors operate without a DC supply?

Some designs require a DC supply for the excitation, but others use alternative methods.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023

How do I increase the efficiency of my induction motor?

Regular maintenance, balanced voltage, and proper sizing can enhance efficiency.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 17, 2023

How can synchronous motors aid in power stability?

By running at leading power factors, they can support grid stability.
Sara Rehman
Oct 17, 2023

Which motor is better for high-torque applications?

Synchronous motors can provide higher torque at low speeds.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

What causes the "slip" in induction motors?

The difference between rotor speed and supply frequency results in slip.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Can synchronous motors run at variable speeds?

Typically, they run at a constant speed determined by the supply frequency.
Janet White
Oct 17, 2023

Are there noise differences between the two motors?

Induction motors might produce more noise due to slip, while synchronous motors can be quieter at constant speeds.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Which motor is more common in household appliances?

Induction motors are more prevalent in household devices.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Do synchronous motors need regular maintenance?

While they require initial setup, their maintenance is comparable to induction motors.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Can induction motors operate at different speeds?

Yes, with variable frequency drives, their speed can be varied.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Why isn't a synchronous motor self-starting?

Its rotor speed needs to match the supply frequency, requiring external means to start.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Which motor type is generally more efficient in large applications?

Synchronous motors tend to be more efficient for larger tasks.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

Why are induction motors considered rugged?

Their simple design and fewer components make them durable.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

What's the role of the rotor in induction motors?

The rotor conducts induced currents, producing its magnetic field.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 17, 2023

How do external factors affect induction motor performance?

Factors like voltage imbalance can affect performance and lifespan.
Harlon Moss
Oct 17, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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