Types of Braking in a DC Motor

In this article, we shall discuss the types of electrical braking in a  DC motor. There are various types of electrical braking used for DC motors. Electrical braking is preferred to stop a  DC motor over mechanical braking because it has many advantages. In electrical breaking, we stop the motor with electrical energy rather than stopping using the mechanical friction brakes.

Types of Electric braking in a DC motor

There are three types of electrical motor braking we use for DC motors.

  1. Regenerative Braking
  2. Plugging
  3. Dynamic braking 

Now, we shall discuss the above electrical motor braking techniques. 

1.Regenerative Braking in DC motor

DC motor works as a generator if the motor speed is more than the no-load speed of the motor. This condition happens when;

  • DC motor shaft experiencing an external force which also rotates the motor and it causes the speed of the motor is more than the no-load speed of the motor.
  • When motor speed does not reduce when its speed set-point is reduced. This may happen due to load inertia.  

In the above cases, the motor work as a generator. The motor converts kinetic energy to electrical energy, and it returns the electrical energy to the power supply system. During regeneration, the back EMF(Eb) is more than the armature voltage(V) and armature current flows from the motor to supply side.

When Eb>V,  the motor feeds electrical energy to supply till supply voltage becomes greater than the back EMF of the motor.

During motoring the armature current is,

Ia = (V-Eb)/Ra

During regenerative braking the armature current is,

Ia = (Eb-V)/Ra

Though regenerative braking is not used for braking, regenerative braking is used to maintain the constant speed of the motor. 


Plugging is the simplest type of braking. The armature voltage polarity is reversed at the time of plugging to stop the motor. During plugging the back EMF supports the armature voltage, and thus the total voltage across the motor terminal is (V+Eb). In this condition, the armature current reverses its direction and exerts counter-torque, which brings the motor to stop. The plugging method is highly inefficient because at the time of braking the source also supplies current which gets dissipated in the braking resistor(Rb) and armature resistance(Ra).

2. Dynamic Braking

The DC motor keeps on rotating after switching off the armature power supply because of inertia. To immediately stop the motor, a braking resistor(Rb) is connected across the armature. In this condition, the motor acts as a generator and converts kinetic energy into electrical energy. The electrical energy dissipates in the braking resistor(Rb) and armature resistance(Ra) and motor stop. This method of braking is also known as Rheostatic braking.

Dynamic braking is also an inefficient method of braking because the energy is dissipated as heat in resistance(Ra+Rb). However, it is more efficient than plugging because in dynamic braking supply source does not supply current in the armature circuit.  

These are the three types of braking methods used in industrial applications.

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