An Overview of ECM Technology....
What is ECM technology? ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) technology is based on a brushless DC permanent magnet design that is inherently more efficient than the shaded-pole and permanent-split-capacitor (PSC) motors commonly found in air handlers, furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners and refrigeration applications throughout the HVACR industry.
By combining electronic controls with brushless DC motors, ECMʼs can maintain efficiency across a wide range of operating speeds. Plus, the electronic controls make the ECM programmable, allowing for advanced characteristics that are impossible to create using conventional motor technologies.
Early HVAC literature listed these motors as ICM (Integrated Control Module), meaning that a control was integrated or used in conjunction with a motor to control its operation. This was later changed to ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) as they are typically referred to today. The definition of commutate is to reverse the direction of an electric current (the means by which all electric motors rotate). In an ECM this process is controlled electronically by a microprocessor and electronic controls, which provides the ability to increase or decrease the speed of the motor.
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