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Running a brushed DC motor as a generator

07 September 2021

It won’t surprise engineers with even a fundamental understanding of motor design that a brushed DC motor can be operated as a generator to produce a DC power supply. However, it is possible that they will not yet have appreciated the usefulness of the principle, considering the increasing number of intelligent, remote, powered devices.

(Image: Shutterstock)
(Image: Shutterstock)

Getting the most out of such a configuration requires a consideration of electrical and mechanical factors, when determining the operating points. Here, Sunil Kedia, Core Market New Product Development Manager at Portescap, looks at the basic relationship between speed, voltage, torque and current when using a brushed DC motor as a generator.

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has seen rapid growth in the number of intelligent sensors and devices that are interconnected and exchanging data. In the industrial environment, this Industrial IoT forms the backbone for the digital transformation of an enterprise as part of its journey towards Industry 4.0. With many of these devices operating wirelessly or in remote locations, the question of how they should be powered is key. Battery power is part of the solution but, eventually, the battery has to be replaced, or recharged.

Of course, this isn’t just an industrial problem. Outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking, take people off the grid, with the risk of batteries running out of power before the next plug-in location. Then, there is the growing number of people simply wishing to lower their carbon footprint and take more advantage of sustainable resources to generate the power they need.

Against this background, the ability of a brushed DC motor to act as a generator and provide a DC supply can be very useful indeed...

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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