In electrical engineering, electric machine is a general term for machines using electromagnetic forces, such as electric motors, electric generators, and others. They are electromechanical energy converters: an electric motor converts electricity to mechanical power while an electric generator converts mechanical power to electricity. The moving parts in a machine can be rotating (rotating machines) or linear (linear machines). Besides motors and generators, a third category often included is transformers, which although they do not have any moving parts are also energy converters, changing the voltage level of an alternating current.
Electric machines, in the form of generators, produce virtually all electric power on Earth, and in the form of electric motors consume approximately 60% of all electric power produced. Electric machines were developed beginning in the mid 19th century and since that time have been a ubiquitous component of the infrastructure. Developing more efficient electric machine technology is crucial to any global conservation, green energy, or alternative energy strategy.
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