Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Braking

In this article, we shall study the advantages and disadvantages of Electric Braking. The electric brake is better than a mechanical friction brake in many respects. however, it has some disadvantages with respect to mechanical brakes.

Advantages of Electric Braking

  1. The mechanical braking system has brake blocks and brake lining. The mechanical brake functions on the friction principle. There is frequent replacement need of brake blocks and liners in the mechanical brake. The electric brake system is maintenance-free.
  2. In the mechanical brake system, the block or brake drum loses after a certain number of operations because of wear in braking system components. Therefore, it needs frequent readjustment to compensate for the wear.
  3. By employing electric braking the capacity of the system can be increased by way of higher speeds and haulage of heavy loads.
  4.  In the regenerative type of electric braking, a part of energy returns to the supply system thus it saves the operational cost. This is not possible in mechanical braking. In mechanical braking, all the braking energy is lost in the form of heat energy.
  5. Electric braking is smooth and jerks less. There is no shock or jerk during electric braking. In passenger lifts, smooth braking is desired for passenger comfort. On the other hand, the mechanical braking system remains not smooth for incorrect adjustment, and as a result, it causes shock on the rope and mechanical parts of the passenger lift.
  6. During mechanical braking, metal dust may produce at the time of rubbing of brake drum and liners. The metal dust may ingress in the bearings. It may cause premature bearing failure. No such dust produce in electric braking.
  7. The heat produced during mechanical braking is harmful to mechanical braking components, which may cause the failure of the brake. The heat produced in the electric braking has no such effect on motor parts.
  8. Electric braking is fast as compared to mechanical friction braking.

Disadvantages of Electric Braking 

  1. The motor functions as a generator during electric braking. The electric braking can stop the motor, but it can not hold it stationary. Therefore, a mechanical friction brake is required in addition to an electric braking system for holding the load after braking.
  2.  The various motors have different speed-torque characteristics, and we need to select the motor as per the application. The motor working alright for motoring and braking for one type of load may not be suitable for other loads.
  3.  A specially designed motor is required for electrical braking. It increases the high initial cost.

The above are the advantages and disadvantages of electric braking over mechanical braking.