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AC Motors

CHUI Chee Kong, PhD


Control & Mechatronics Group
Mechanical Engineering, NUS
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What you need to know

Appropriate AC motor type for various


applications
Variation of torque with speed of motors
Compute electrical and mechanical quantities of
AC motors
Understand the operation and characteristics of
three-phase induction motors, single-phase
motors, stepper motors and brushless DC
motors.
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Contents
1.
2.
3.
4.

Three-Phase Induction Motors


Single Phase Motors
Stepper Motors
Brushless DC Motors

1. Three-Phase Induction Motors

Three-phase induction motors are widely


used in applications require power ratings
over 5 hp.
Examples:

pumps, fans, compressors etc.

1.1 Rotating Stator Field


The stator of AC motors
contains a set of windings to
which three phase electrical
power is applied.
These windings establish a
rotating magnetic field in the
gap between the stator and
the rotor.
The windings create an
even number of poles P.
In the case of two pole field,
the stator contains three
windings (one for each
phase) embedded in slots
cut lengthwise on the inside
of the stator.

The field established by the stator windings of a threephase induction machine consists of an even number
of magnetic poles. The field rotates at a speed known
as synchronous speed.

Rotating Stator Field (continue)

Two views of a two-pole stator showing one of the three windings. For simplicity, we
represent the winding with a single turn, but in a real machine, each winding has many
turns distributed around the circumference of the stator such that the air-gap flux varies
sinusoidally with .
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Direction of Rotation, Poles and


Synchronous Speed
The direction of
rotation of a threephase induction motor
can be reversed by
interchanging any two
of the three line
connections to the
three-phase source.

Direction of Rotation, Poles and


Synchronous Speed (continue)
Synchronous Speed versus Number of Poles for f = 60 Hz.

1.2 Squirrel-Cage Induction Machines


The simplest, least expensive, and
most rugged AC machines.
The squirrel-cage rotor
Consists of aluminum bars with
shorting rings at the ends
Formed by casting molten
aluminum into slots of laminated
iron core
No external electrical
connections to the rotor
An advantage over DC
Motors: No brushes,
commutators etc. which
means longer service life.

The rotor conductors of a squirrelcage induction machine are


aluminum bars connected to rings
that short the ends together. These
conductors are formed by casting
molten aluminum into slots in the
laminated iron rotor.

Supplementary Notes AC Motors


Chui Chee Kong, ME, NUS

AC Motor: Three-Phase Squirel-Cage


Induction Motor
Stator

a
Stator winding
b

c
Rotor

b
a
Cross sectional view

Squirel-cage rotor
- Induction motor: magnetic field on the rotor is
created by an induced current
- Squirel-cage: a ring at either end of the rotor, and
bars connecting the rings over the length of the rotor

1.3 Slip and Slip Frequency

The frequency of the rotor current is called the


slip frequency.
In Hz, fslip = sf where f is the operating
frequency of the induction motor.
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1.4 Torque-Speed Characteristics


First, when s=0, relative velocity
between the conductors and the field is
zero, the induced voltage is zero.
Consequently, the rotor currents are
zero and the torque is zero.
For small slips, the inductive reactance
of the conductors sLc are negligible.
Maximum rotor current is aligned with
maximum stator field, which is the
optimum situation for producing torque.
Since the induced voltage is
proportional to slip and the
impedance is independent of slip, the
currents are proportional to
slip. Torque is proportional to current.
Hence, assuming small slip , torque
is proportional to slip

Torque-versus-speed characteristic
for a typical three-phase induction
motor.
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Torque-Speed Characteristics
(continue)
As the motor slows further, the inductive
reactance eventually dominates. Then,
current is nearly independent of
slip. Thus, the torque tends to level out
as the motor slows.
Because the poles on the rotor tend to
become aligned with the stator poles,
the torque decreases as the motor
slows to a stop.
Starting torque or stall torque: torque
for zero speed

Pull-out torque or the breakover


turque: the maximum
torque

Torque-versus-speed characteristic
for a typical three-phase induction
motor.
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Example: Slip and Frequency of rotor current in a 3-phase induction motor


A 5-hp four pole 60-Hz 3-phase induction motor runs at 1750 rpm under fullload conditions. Determine the slip and frequency of the rotor current at full
load.
Estimate the speed if the load torque drops in half.

Slip frequency (in Hz), fslip = s f = 0.02778 x 60 = 1.667 Hz.

In the normal range of operation, slip is approximately proportional to output


power and torque.
At half power, we estimate that s = 0.02778/2 = 1.389%.
This corresponds to a speed of 1775 rpm.

Example: DC to AC power conversion for 3-phase induction motor


A 4-pole induction motor drives a load at 2500 rpm. This is accomplished by
using an electronic converter to convert a 400-V DC source into a set of 3-phase
AC voltages.
Given that the frequency of the AC voltages is 86.8 Hz assuming that the slip is
4%. The load is 2 hp. If the DC-to-AC converter has a power efficiency of 88%
and the motor has a power efficiency of 80%, estimate the current taken from
the DC source.

Solution:

Pout,motor = 2 hp x 746 = 1492 W


The input power to the motor is:
Pin,motor = Pout,motor/motor = 1492/0.80 = 1865 W
Pout,converter = Pin,motor
The input power to the converter is:
Pin,converter = Pout,converter/convertor = 1865/0.88 = 2119.32 W

Finally, the current taken from the 400-V source is:

I = Pin,converter/400 = 2119.32/400 = 5.298 A

2. Single-Phase Motors

Single phase motors are important


Three phase power is not available for homes
and most offices
The stator of single phase motor has one main
winding
An auxiliary winding is needed for starting
It has a squirrel-cage rotor that is identical to the
rotor of the three phase induction motor
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OperationofaSimpleInductionMotor
Stator

Rotor

Is

Is
B
Is

(duetofieldcurrentIs)

Is

(Is is an AC current,
and is increasing)

Time

Faradays Law: current is induced on the rotor.

Lenzs Law: direction of induced current is such that Binduced opposes B.


Binduced
+

Apushat
thetop
endof
rotor:

Is

Time
Is
B
B
Binduced

..

..

2.1 Torque-Speed Characteristics


Rotor spins
counterclockwise
with speed m.

The main winding produces two


counter-rotating flux components
each of which induces torque in
the rotor. The main winding alone
induces no net starting torque.

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The net starting torque is zero


Hence the main winding will not start a load from a
standing start
Once started, however, the motor develops torque and
accelerates loads within its ratings to nearly synchronous
speed
Its running characteristics (in the vicinity of synchronous
speed) are similar to those of the three phase induction
motor
Because of the symmetry of its torque-speed
characteristics, the basic single phase induction motor is
capable of running equally well in either direction
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2.2 Auxiliary Windings

Lack of starting torque is a serious flaw


Need to incorporate methods of providing starting
torque
Two windings that are 90 apart physically and carrying
currents 90 apart in phase produce a rotating magnetic
field.
All single phase motors have an auxiliary winding
rotated in space by 90o from the main winding
Various provisions can be made to achieve the
requisite phase shift between the current
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2.3 Split Phase Motors


Wind the auxiliary winding with smaller wire that has a higher ratio of
resistance to inductive reactance than the main winding.
Then the current in the auxiliary winding has a different phase angle than
that of the main current
The auxiliary winding is only used at the start and, after speed picks up,
a switch turns off the auxiliary winding
A common failure is for the switch to fail to open and then the auxiliary
winding overheats and burns out.
Due to the "two step" approach, there is a lot more vibration.

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3. Stepper Motors

Stepper motors are used for accurate, repeatable positioning


applications
Read/write heads of a computer floppy drive
Moving the head in an ink-jet printer
An electronic controller applies electrical pulses to the stator windings
so the rotor moves at steps
Motor shaft can be rotated in either directions
Steps range from 0.72 (500 steps per revolution) to 15 (24 steps
per revolution).
Rotational accuracies on the order of 3% of a step which is noncumulative as the motor is stepped back and forth.
Speed can be controlled by controlling the rate of the pulses
Direction can be reversed by reversing the switching sequence
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StepperMotorOperation

Off

On

S
Off

Off
Off

Off

On
Off

t= t0 = t4

Off

t= t1

Off

N
N

Off

On

Off

Off

On
t= t2

On

Off

t= t3

Half stepping to double the resolution.

N
Off

On
Off

3.1 Variable-reluctance Stepper Motor


Stator has 8 poles that are 45
degrees apart, contains 4
windings.
Rotor has 6 poles 60 degrees
apart.

Controller applies power to one


of the coils at a time

When current is applied to A and held, the rotor is held in position 1


If power is removed from A and applied to B, the rotor moves 15 degrees
clockwise so that 2 is aligned with B.
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3.2 Permanent-magnet Stepper Motor


Has a cylindrical rotor that is permanently
magnetized with north and south poles
alternating around its circumference
The stator is similar to that of the
reluctance motor
The rotor position is stepped by applying a
sequence of pulses to the stator windings

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4. Brushless DC Motors

Conventional DC motors are useful in applications that


require high speeds and when DC power is available
Due to commutators and brushes, conventional DC
motors have several disadvantages
Short service lives due to brush and commutator wear
Arcing as the brushes move between commutator
segments can pose a hazard in explosive
environments and can create severe radio
interference
Brushless DC motor, provides an excellent alternative
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Brushless DC Motors (continue)

Brushless DC motors are essentially permanent-magnet stepping


motors equipped with position sensors and enhanced control units.
Power is applied to one stator winding at a time
When the position sensor indicates that the rotor has
approached alignment with the stator field, the controller
switches power to the next stator winding so that smooth motion
continues
Speed can be controlled by varying the amplitude and duration
of the pulses
Characteristics similar to those of a conventional shunt dc motor.
They are used primarily in low-power applications
Advantages: High efficiency, long service life with little
maintenance, freedom from radio interference, ability to operate in
explosive chemical environments, and capability for very high
speeds (50,000 rpm or more).
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ComparisonofElectricMotors

SteppermotorSmallpowerdevice;Accurate,repeatablepositioningapplication,forexample,
movingtheheadinaninkjetprinter.
BrushlessDCmotorpermanentmagnetsteppingmotorwithpositionsensorandenhancedcontrol
unit.Lowpowerapplicationindifficultenvironment.

Thesynchronousmotorhaszero
startingtorqueandwouldnot
beabletostartahighinertia
load.

n s

AC3phaseinductionmotor
Theseriesfielddc
motorshouldnotbe
operatedwithouta
loadbecauseitsspeed
becomesexcessive.

ACsinglephaseinductionmotor
withauxiliarywindingforself
starting
=Splitphasemotor

Holdingtorque

Cutoff speed

nm

Stepper motor