An AC motor is an electric motor driven by an alternating current (AC). The AC motor commonly consists of two basic parts, an outside stator having coils supplied with alternating current to produce a rotating magnetic field, and an inside rotor attached to the output shaft producing a second rotating magnetic field. The rotor magnetic field may be produced by permanent magnets, reluctance saliency, or DC or AC electrical windings.
Less common, AC linear motors operate on similar principles as rotating motors but have their stationary and moving parts arranged in a straight line configuration, producing linear motion instead of rotation.
The two main types of AC motors are induction motors and synchronous motors. The induction motor (or asynchronous motor) always relies on a small difference in speed between the stator rotating magnetic field and the rotor shaft speed called slip to induce rotor current in the rotor AC winding. As a result, the induction motor cannot produce torque near synchronous speed where induction (or slip) is irrelevant or ceases to exist. In contrast, an independently excited rotor winding. The synchronous motor produces its rated torque at exactly synchronous speed. The brushless wound-rotor doubly fed synchronous motor system has an independently excited rotor winding that does not rely on the principles of slip-induction of current. The brushless wound-rotor doubly fed motor is a synchronous motor that can function exactly at the supply frequency or sub to super multiple of the supply frequency.
Other types of motors include eddy current motors, and AC and DC mechanically commutated machines in which speed is dependent on voltage and winding connection.