Thursday 14 January 2016

Treadmill with DC motor (DC) how to choose the best treadmill motor, beyond the measure of horsepower (HP)?

When buying a new treadmill it is good to take a look inside and watch some technical data in addition, in order of importance:
1) Has the engine a diameter of at least 8 cm (better 10 cm)?
2) Is the rated voltage at least 160V?
3) Is the speed less than 6000 RPM?
4) Is the brand reliable, such as Turdan, Te Wei or Lemmar? Or the motor is no brand and is present only the label of the treadmill manufacturer?
If you have said yes to all these questions certainly are doing a good deal, the engine is of good quality and probably other components (board, belt, deck) are too.
Let’s see in detail why:
HP (horsepower) motor of a treadmill is probably the most known figure when a consumer searches for the purchase of a new treadmill. Usually we believe that the larger the value is, the better is. However, the truth is that the numbers can be confusing and eventually turn out incredibly misleading.
Terms such as "Duty Treadmill", "PHP" (Peak HP) and "Duty Peak", different classes of thermal insulation and duty cycles were used in the past to deceive consumers and to increase the valuation of certain equipment at the expense of others. What does each of these mean?
  • Duty Treadmill: measures the power for an average user of treadmill using at an average speed over an average time period. But since it is an average, is not a real representation of the real power.
  • Duty Peak = PHP: theoretical maximum power that a motor can achieve when working at the maximum. This is a theoretical measure and sustainable only for a short period. It is measured a “peak” at the highest possible speed with minimum load. But an engine does not keep high rpm for all the time (you don’t keep running at max speed), so this is not an accurate measurement.
The most reliable standard of measurement is the so called "continuous duty". It measures the maximum power supplied once is reached the thermal regime of the engine. It’s used for commercial-grade equipment and applied to the treadmill used in gyms, health clubs and in the domestic high-end treadmills.
Unfortunately, often even this value is affected by uncertainly. This happens because different assessment on the maximum operating temperature (insulation class) or test mode at bench make this value subject to the discretion of the engine manufacturer or the imagination of the treadmill brand, which sometimes increase some values in order to attract more customers.
Another aspect to consider, are the revolutions per minute (RPM). They are really important in the design of a treadmill engine. The ratio of continuous power and RPM is the torque. This is the most important factor in determining the best motor suitable for your needs. The lower the nominal number of revolutions of an engine, the more torque is. Especially at low engine speeds required for a person using the treadmill for walking or for rehabilitation.
At the same user speed, an engine with very high rated speed will be subject to more intense adjustments and thus greater wear. It is therefore recommended when possible to select motors with a rated speed within the 6000 RPM. This allows the engine to last longer.
Since the mains voltage in Europe is 220 / 240V you should also avoid, whenever possible, the purchase of treadmills with motors with rated voltage of less than 160V. In fact, this involves an extra adjustment effort of the controller. It has to adjust heavily the voltage supplied to the motor, which is very far from the one supplied by the network.
A very practical selection methods available to everybody, is to consider motor size. The power of the motor mainly depends on the size of the armature, so the engines with a larger diameter will have a greater useful power. They will also tend to dissipate heat more effectively and so last longer.
You should avoid motors with a diameter of less than 8 cm. The best DC motors have a diameter of 10 cm or 12 cm.
One final aspect is the brand. Engines built with cheap materials, in fact, tend to deteriorate easily over time. The best brands are Turdan and Te Wei (the two leading brands in this market) and Lemmar.

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