Brushless DC (BLDC) motors are referred to by many aliases: brushless permanent magnet, permanent magnet ac motors, permanent magnet synchronous motors etc. The confusion arises because a brushless dc motor does not directly operate from a dc voltage source. However, as we shall see, the basic principle of operation is similar to a dc motor.
A BLDC has a rotor with permanent magnets and a stator with windings. It is essentially a dc motor turned inside out. The brushes and commutator have been eliminated and the windings are connected to the control electronics. The control electronics replace the function of the commutator and energize the proper winding.
As shown in the animation, the winding are energized in a pattern which rotates around the stator. The energized stator winding leads the rotor magnet, and switches just as the rotor aligns with the stator.
There are no sparks, which is one advantage of the BLDC motor. The brushes of a dc motor have several limitations; brush life, brush residue, maximum speed, and electrical noise. BLDC motors are potentially cleaner, faster, more efficient, less noisy and more reliable. However, the BLDC motor requires electronic control.