On-site Training

Motor Fundamentals

  • 1 day

The reduced costs of electronics, the increase in the use of electronics and the DOE’s 2019 requirement to significantly reduce the electrical energy for furnaces has driven major changes in the motors we use.  These changes have made a greater need for knowledge on how motors work in order to analyze motor problems and reduce maintenance costs. 

This course begins with a brief review of electrical fundamentals including AC and DC electricity and the use of electronics to modify the power for motors.  Then it expands to cover magnetism, electromagnetism, induced voltage, inductive and capacitive reactance and capacitors.  It then covers motor principles, induction motors, ECM motors, stepper motors and common single-phase and 3-phase motors, 3-phase soft start methods, VFD operation, overcurrent protection and nameplate data.  Then, motor electric troubleshooting instruments are described and common electrical and mechanic motor problems along with normal motor servicing procedures.


After attending, students should be able to:

  • Describe the basic operation of electrical AC and DC circuits including the relationship between volts, amps and ohms.
  • Describe how electrical power can be modified by the use of SCRs and VFDs and the means to properly measure the output of these devices.
  • Describe how magnets and electromagnets are used to operate a motor and the usefulness of inductive and capacitive reactance as it relates to motors.
  • Describe the components that make up a motor and the operation of the various types of single-phase and 3-phase motors and the common methods for soft-starting 3-phase motors.
  • Describe how ECM and stepper motors operate.
  • Demonstrate how to interpret the information found on old and new motor nameplates.
  • Identify the various electrical instruments used to troubleshoot and test motor operation and describe the procedure for using them.
  • Describe how common motor protective devices work.
  • Describe the operation of common DC motors

Locations & Dates