The important characteristics of the synchronous motor is its constant speed irrespective of the load conditions, and variable power factor operation. As seen earlier its power factor can be controlled by controlling its excitation. For overexcitation its power factor is leading in nature, which is very important from the power factor correction point of view.
Due to constant speed characteristics, it is used in machine tools, motor generator sets, synchronous clocks, stroboscopic devices, timing devices, belt driven reciprocating compressors, fans and blowers, centrifugal pumps, vacuum pumps, pulp grinders, textile mills, paper mills line shafts, rolling mills, cement mills etc.
The synchronous motors are often used as a power factor correction device, phase advancers and phase modifiers for voltage regulation of the transmission lines. This is possible because the excitation of the synchronous motor can be adjusted as per the requirement.
The disadvantages of synchronous motor are their higher cost, necessity of frequent maintenance and a need of d.c. excitation source, auxiliary device or additional winding provision to make it self starting. Overall their initial cost is very high.