Ever since its creation in the early 1800’s the humble electric motor has evolved and changed to become smaller and more powerful. This downscaling allowed us to use motors for many different applications, such as remote control vehicles. Recently, we have been introduced to the next generation of motors, DC brushless.
There has been a lot of talk about brushless motors and their advantages when compared with brushed motors, but what is a brushless motor exactly?
Electric motors use the basic principle of electromagnetism to create their spinning motion. Opposing magnets in the motor push away from each other when energized. This “pushing” creates the spinning motion of a motor. Brushes refer to the copper windings inside the motor housing, which become electromagnets when exposed to an electric current.
As can be seen from this explanation, brushes are rather important parts in the construction of an electric motor. How then does a brushless motor operate? In a brushless motor, there is a set of stationary magnets, located in the motor housing. The rotating shaft of the motor is turned into an electromagnet by supplying a controlled electric current to it. This creates two magnets, and the opposing magnetic forces required to make the motor spin.
The critical advantage of brushless motors is that there is no friction or wear down of parts over time. This means that they should last longer and work better. Because of their construction and the addition of a circuit board to control the motor, they are however more expensive than brushed motors.
Using brushless motors in building your RC projects have clear advantages in that the motors are stronger and last longer. When building our RC projects, whether it is a car, plane, boat or truck we are faced with a myriad of different choices when it comes to parts. One of the most critical choices, however, is the motor that we choose to use. The motor is the heart of the project and you have to take some time to consider carefully what type and size of motor you require for your project.
In my personal experience as an avid RC enthusiast using brushless motors is the choice for the perfect balance between reliability and power delivery. The humble electric motor is re-inventing itself yet again and its latest incarnation is a definite improvement over the brushed versions we use so often.