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Can a dc generator / dynamo be used as a dc motor? If so is this realistic without causing meltdown?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah, but you get a shunt wound motor, I guess that could be useful if you need variable speed. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2017 at 20:38

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A DC generator should work fine as a motor. The torque and speed ratings should be similar, but not identical to the torque and speed ratings for generator operation. Changes in control configuration will be required. In order to implement the change, it is necessary to consider the exact details of the machine. The most important task is to determine the locked-rotor current that the machine will draw upon initial energization. The starting or control system must limit that current to an acceptable level.

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Yes, possibly - it depends on the design - very early cars had a combined starter / dynamo called a dynostart... Issues can be poor speed characteristics, bearings not designed for the loads encountered when used as a motor etc

The efficiency is poor especially compared to starter motors that are used now and also the efficiency of alternators.

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