Premium Membership

Save 50% on all courses at the EEP Academy with the Enterprise Plan and study specialized technical articles, papers & video courses.

Home / Technical Articles / 12 Basic Motor Types Used For Industrial Electric Drives

Few Words About Electric Drives

Almost all modern industrial and commercial undertakings employ electric drive in preference to mechanical drive because it possesses the following advantages :

12 Basic Motor Types Used For Industrial Electric Drives
12 Basic Motor Types Used For Industrial Electric Drives (photo from: DOE Navigant Master Presentation)
  • It is simple in construction and has less maintenance cost
  • Its speed control is easy and smooth
  • It is neat, clean and free from any smoke or flue gases
  • It can be installed at any desired convenient place thus affording more flexibility in the layout
  • It can be remotely controlled
  • Being compact, it requires less space
  • It can be started immediately without any loss of time
  • It has comparatively longer life.

However, electric drive system has two inherent disadvantages :

  1. It comes to stop as soon as there is failure of electric supply and
  2. It cannot be used at far off places which are not served by electric supply.

However, the above two disadvantages can be overcome by installing diesel-driven DC generators and turbine-driven 3-phase alternators which can be used either in the absence of or on the failure of normal electric supply.

Motor types for industrial electric drives

Ok, let’s take a short overview of twelve most basic motor types used for different industrial electric drives:

  1. DC Series Motor
  2. DC Shunt Motor
  3. Cumulative Compound Motor
  4. Three phase Synchronous Motor
  5. Squirrel Cage Induction Motor
  6. Double Squirrel Cage Motor
  7. Slip ring Induction Motor
  8. Single phase Synchronous Motor
  9. Single phase Series Motor
  10. Repulsion Motor
  11. Capacitor start Induction run Motor
  12. Capacitor start and run Motor

1. DC Series Motor

Since it has high starting torque and variable speed, it is used for heavy duty applications such as electric locomotives, steel rolling mills, hoists, lifts and cranes.

Go back to Motor Types ↑

2. DC Shunt Motor

It has medium starting torque and a nearly constant speed.

DC shunt motor is used for driving constant speed line shafts, lathes, vacuum cleaners, wood-working machines, laundry washing machines, elevators, conveyors, grinders and small printing presses etc.

Go back to Motor Types ↑

3. Cumulative Compound Motor

Cumulative compound motor is a varying speed motor with high starting torque and is used for driving compressors, variable head centifugal pumps, rotary presses, circular saws, shearing machines, elevators and continuous conveyors etc.

Go back to Motor Types ↑

4. Three-phase Synchronous Motor

Because its speed remains constant under varying loads, 3-phase synchronous motor is used for driving continuously operating equipment at constant speed such as ammonia and air compressors, motor generator sets, continuous rolling mills, paper and cement industries.

Go back to Motor Types ↑

5. Squirrel Cage Induction Motor

This motor is quite simple but rugged and possesses high overload capacity. It has a nearly constant speed and poor starting torque.

Squirrel cage induction motor is used for low and medium power drives where speed control is not required as for water pumps, tube wells, lathes, drills, grinders, polishers, wood planers, fans, blowers, laundary washing machines and compressors etc.

Go back to Motor Types ↑

6. Double Squirrel Cage Motor

It has high starting torque, large overload capacity and a nearly constant speed.

Double squirrel cage motor is used for driving loads which require high starting torque such as compressor pumps, reciprocating pumps, large refrigerators, crushers, boring mills, textile machinery, cranes, punches and lathes etc.

Double squirrel cage blower fan motor - 3 speed; 110V
Double squirrel cage blower fan motor – 3 speed; 110V

Go back to Motor Types ↑

7. Slip Ring Induction Motor

It has high starting torque and large overload capacity. The speed of slip ring induction motor can be changed up to 50% of its normal speed.

Slip ring induction motor is used for those industrial drives which require high starting torque and speed control such as lifts, pumps, winding machines, printing presses, line shafts, elevators and compressors etc.

6,000 kW slip ring induction motor for compressor test bench
6,000 kW slip ring induction motor for compressor test bench (photo credit:

Go back to Motor Types ↑

8. Single Phase Synchronous Motor

Because of its constant speed, single phase synchronous motor is used in teleprinters, clocks, all kinds of timing devices, recording instruments, sound recording and reproducing systems.

Synchronous motor / single-phase / IP65
Synchronous motor / single-phase / IP65 (photo credit:

Go back to Motor Types ↑

9. Single Phase Series Motor

It possesses high starting torque and its speed can be controlled over a wide range. Single phase series motor is generally used for driving small domestic appliances like refrigerators and vacuum cleaners etc.

Single-phase Series Motor 1,0 kW; 1000 Watt; 230 V
Single-phase Series Motor 1,0 kW; 1000 Watt; 230 V

Go back to Motor Types ↑

10. Repulsion Motor

It has high starting torque and is capable of wide speed control.

Moreover, it has high speed at high loads. Repulsion motor is commonly used for drives which require large starting torque and adjustable but constant speed as in coil winding machines.

Go back to Motor Types ↑

11. Capacitor Start Induction Run Motor

It has fairly constant speed and moderately high starting torque. Speed control is not possible. Capacitor-start induction-run motor is generally used for compressors, refrigerators and small portable hoists.

Go back to Motor Types ↑

12. Capacitor Start And Run Motor

Its operating characteristics are similar to the above motor except that it has better power factor and higher efficiency. Hence, capacitor-start-and-run motors are commonly used for drives requiring quiet operations.

Hitachi capacitor start capacitor run motor
Hitachi capacitor start capacitor run motor

Go back to Motor Types ↑

Reference // ASHRAE Handbook: Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Systems 2004

Premium Membership

Get access to premium HV/MV/LV technical articles, electrical engineering guides, research studies and much more! It helps you to shape up your technical skills in your everyday life as an electrical engineer.
More Information

Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.


  1. Palanisamy peritanna
    Jan 24, 2019

    It is not covering brushless d.c motors,permanent magnet d.c motors,a c servo-motors,stepper motors etc

  2. Ralph Saliente
    Nov 26, 2018

    very informative to all technical practitioners, like engineers an technicians.

  3. Samar Banik
    Oct 02, 2018

    This article is really very helpful and a reminder of Basics (those we forget with time and work area in the different areas).Thanks a lot

  4. Akshay Chaudhari
    Sep 09, 2018

    Realy Good Information.

  5. Saroj kumar pandit
    Jul 28, 2018


  6. Dnyanesh Lokare
    Jun 15, 2018

    Really good! It’s providing all the important articles for electrical students

  7. YAMAN
    Jan 25, 2018


    Jan 19, 2018

    Good information sir

  9. Kiruba Babu
    Jan 07, 2018

    Good explanation,I have got more than my expectation, your way of explanation (videos) is very good.

  10. Ramesh
    Dec 24, 2016

    Good information

  11. NILESH
    Sep 02, 2016


  12. Industrial Contractors Winnipeg
    Aug 29, 2016

    Great info. There are many differences between these motor types and you really need to dig into the matter to know which one is right for you.

  13. Mayur
    Jun 28, 2016

    Nice article

  14. Kotte anil kumar
    Jun 22, 2016

    Nice information.

  15. Saad
    Jun 22, 2016

    Great article

Leave a Comment

Tell us what you're thinking. We care about your opinion! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let's have a professional and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!

thirty  −  twenty nine  =  

Learn How to Design Power Systems

Learn to design LV/MV/HV power systems through professional video courses. Lifetime access. Enjoy learning!

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to our Weekly Digest newsletter and receive free updates on new technical articles, video courses and guides (PDF).