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A motor is a rotary machine, which converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. The
primary function of a motor is to drive a load.
A dc motor is very similar in construction to a dc generator. The major differences are:
(a) Electrical energy is applied to the brushes of the motor rather than collected from it.
(b) Motors often operate in locations, which expose them to mechanical damage, dust,
moisture or explosive fumes. The motor may therefore have a frame or additional
designed to protect it from these conditions.
A machine that runs well as a generator will operate satisfactorily as a motor.
Motor Principle (Motor Action)

If a current-carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field the flux around the conductor distorts
the main field. This distortion produces a net flux that exerts a force on the conductor, which
tends to move it out of the field. Any conductor carrying current in a field tends to move at right
angles to the field. This action is the basis on which motion is produced in a motor.

DC motors are named .by the method of exciting their field, there are three main types of dc
motors namely:
Series Motor - This motor has its field coil connected in series with the armature. Since it
has to carry the load current which passes through the armature it must be large enough
and so is made of a few turns of large wire.
Shunt Motor - is the most common type of dc motor. It has its field windings connected
in parallel with the armature across the source. The field coil has many turns of fine wire.
Compound Motor - Like the compound generator, the compound motor has both an outer series
and an inner shunt field winding. This motor is designed to have the advantages of both the
series and shunt motors.

The schematic diagrams of these motors are similar to those of the corresponding d.c. generators.

Reversal of Armature Rotation

Reversal of the motor can be achieved by interchanging the connections; between either; the
field and armature windings relative to each other. If both are changed the rotation is


If a motor armature is rotating, the conductors cut the magnetic lines of force of the main field.
Voltage is induced in each conductor cutting these lines of force (generator action). Flemming's
right-hand-rule can be used to determine the direction of this emf. It can be seen that this emf is
opposite to source emf. It therefore opposes to the source voltage and is therefore called a
counter emf (cemf) or back emf. The value of the counter emf is determined by Faraday's Law
just as with the generator.

This induced voltage counteracts the applied voltage and produces a net voltage across the
armature conductors. The net voltage drop in the armature is equal to the difference between the
applied voltage and the cemf and reduces the current that flows in the armature.
To determine the value of the cemf, subtract the armature IR (voltage) drop from the applied
V, is the applied voltage, cemf is the induced voltage in the armature, Ia Ra is the armature
voltage drop, Ia is the armature current and Ra is the armature resistance.
From this we can obtain a formula for Ia
I = Vt - cemf

D.C. Motor Principle of Operation (Fig. 11.11). When a

current-carrying conductor

is placed in a magnetic field interaction takes place between the main field and the
field due to the current flowing in the armature conductors. The lines of force due to
the current flowing in the armature conductors strengthen one part of the main
field and weaken the other part. This effect produces a concentration of lines of force
on one side of the conductor (in this instance, the top) and, as these lines of force tend
to straighten out, a force is placed on the conductor. The lines of force act like
stretched elastic bands which, when bent, attempt to straighten themselves out.
This ' motor effect' is increased when a current-carrying loop is placed in a magnetic
field (Fig. 11.12). Under these conditions, the interaction between the two fields (the
main field and the field due to the current flowing in the armature conductors) tends
to make the loop rotate. The armature in a motor is made up of a series of loops.

Note the use of commutator to supply d.c. to the rotating loop. This ensures that
the direction of the armature field remains fixed although the armature conductors
Construction: The d.c. motor is similar in construction to the d.c. generator, the
only difference being in the provision made for ventilation: motors are built for
conditions where water and inflammable gases exist.
Direction of Rotation (Fig. 11.13): The direction of rotation of the armature may
be found by using Fleming's left-hand rule (right hand for generators):
INDEX finger

Main field (N to S)

SECOND finger

Direction of current through armature conductors


Direction of rotation

Reversal of rotation can be achieved by reversing either the field or the armature
connections (this can be verified by using Fleming's left-hand rule).
Armature Reaction. Armature reaction, that is, the distortion of the main field due
to the field of the current flowing in the armature conductors, also takes place in a
motor, but it is in the opposite direction (Fig. 11.14) to that of the generator. The
magnetic neutral axis is behind the direction of rotation, and is an angle of 'lag'.
Perfect (or sparkless) commutation is attained when the brushes are placed on the
magnetic neutral axis. But since interpoles are used, the brushes may be placed between
the main poles.

The polarity of the interpoles in a motor (Fig. 11.15) are of the same polarity as

the main pole behind it, in the direction of rotation.

Back E.M.F. This is the e.m.f. which is generated in the armature conductors as they
cut the lines of force of the main field. The back e.m.f. (b.e.m.f.) is in opposition to the
applied e.m.f. (Lenz's Law).

Speed of D.C. Motor. The speed of a d.c. motor is dependent on four factors:
1. Strength of the main field. This is an inverse relationship: Strong field - slow speed;
weak field - increased speed.

2. Number of poles in the main field.

3. Number of armature conductors.
4. Voltage across the armature.
Since the number of poles and the number of armature conductors cannot be varied the
speed must be controlled by varying the strength of the main field. Speed may also be
varied by placing resistance in the armature circuit (point 4 above) but this is extremely
inefficient because of the large currents involved.
Torque in D.C. motor: Torque (or twisting power in pound-feet) is proportional to
armature current. Increased armature current means increased torque.

D.C. Motor Field Systems

Three types of field systems are used in d.c. motors: (1) shunt; (2) series; (3) compound.
Shunt Motor: The shunt motor (Fig. 11.16a) has the field (connections Z-ZZ)
connected in parallel with (i.e., shunted across) the armature (A-AA). The field is
made up of many turns of thin wire. The current through the field is constant, since
the voltage across it is constant, giving a relatively level speed on all loads: the speed
drops approximately 5 per cent from no-load to full-load (Fig. 11.16b).
Starting and Speed Control: When a d.c. motor armature is run up to speed a back
e.m.f. is induced into the armature conductors, which opposes the applied e.m.f. and so
limits the current flowing. During the starting period, additional resistance must be
placed in the low-resistance armature circuit (which is generally less than 1 ) to limit
armature current until the speed (and the b.e.m.f.) builds up.

Starter: The purpose of the starter is to reduce armature current until the b.e.m.f. builds
up. This can be illustrated by calculating the current through a 500V d.c. motor having
an armature resistance of 0.1 . If the supply voltage is applied across the stationary
armature (b.e.m.f. being zero) the current will be 5000 A. (The field current is negligible
and can be ignored.) This high current would damage both the motor and the control
Calculation of Back E.M.F. (Fig. 11.17): Since the voltages dropped in a series circuit
are equal to the applied voltage:
VT (applied voltage)
= E (back e.m.f.) + IaRa (voltage drop across the armature)
V = 500, Ia = 40 A, and Ra = 0.1 .

Ia (in a motor) = IL (line current) - If (field current)

500V = E + 40 A x 0. l
E = 500V - 4V
E = 496V

where volt drop across brushgear is considered:

V = E + IARA + Vb (brush drop)
Face Plate Starter: A shunt motor is started by placing a variable resistance in the armature
circuit, thus decreasing the armature current (Ia), until the b.e.m.f. builds up. Fig. 11.18a
shows the basic circuit: when the resistance is taken out of the armature it is inserted in
the field, this weakens the field and increases the speed. Fig. 11.186 shows the practical
circuit complete with protection. There are two types of protection included in the face
plate starter:


No-volt Protection. The purpose of this protection is to ensure that the starting
handle is replaced to the OFF position when the supply is cut off. The no-volt coil,
which is usually connected in series with the field, forms an electromagnet which
holds the spring-loaded starter handle in the 'run' position. When the supply is cutoff the no-volt coil is de-magnetized and the spring-loaded handle moves to the 'off'
position. The no-volt coil also allows the motor to be stopped from a distance by
connecting a stop-button which, when pressed, shorts the no-volt coil.

Over-current Protection: The purpose of this protection is to guard the motor

circuit against excess current. The line current to the motor flows through a coil
(the current coil) which attracts a soft-iron armature when the motor is being
overloaded. This soft-iron armature carries a contact which shorts out the no-volt
coil, thus releasing the starter handle to the 'off' position.
The no-volt coil has many turns of fine wire. The current coil has a few turns of
heavy wire, and is usually set to operate at 150 per cent of full-load current.

Speed Control: Speed control of a d.c. shunt motor is achieved by varying the field
strength (Fig. 11.18b). A variable resistance is inserted in the field circuit. When
the resistance is increased, speed is increased. A decrease in field strength will lead to
a decrease in b.e.m.f. because the armature conductors are cutting fewer lines of
force. As b.e.m.f. decreases armature current increases, increasing torque and, if the
load remains constant, the speed will increase.

The variable resistor must always be set at zero resistance (minimum speed

position) before the motor is started.

Series Motor: In this machine, the field (Y-YY) and the armature (A-AA) are
connected in series (Fig. 11.19). On light loads the armature current is small and,
since the field is connected in series with the armature, the main field is weak. The
result is high speeds at light loads and dangerously high speeds on no-load (i.e., very
weak field). The speed of the y-series motor varies with the load (Fig. 11.19b) and
some form of mechanical load must always be connected to the shaft or the motor will
damage itself. The series motor acts somewhat like an automatic gear box - high
speeds on no-load and low speeds on full-load.

Starting and Speed Control.

The motor is started by connecting a variable resistance

in series with the motor (Fig. 11.20). Speed control is obtained by connecting a '
diverter' resistance in parallel with the field. In this way the current is diverted from the
field, giving a weak field and therefore increased speed.

At the same time torque is increased in the armature by increasing armature current.
Compound Motor. The compound motor (Fig. 11.21a) contains both a series field (YYY) and a shunt field (Z-ZZ). The output of the compound motor depends on the method
in which the fields are interconnected. There are two types of compounding:
1. Differential compounding: where the series field opposes the shunt field (Fig.
2. Cumulative compounding: where the series field assists the shunt field (Fig. 11.21b).

Starting and Speed Control: The face plate starter can be used for the compound motor.
Speed variation can be achieved by placing a variable resistance in series with the shunt
Reversing Direction of Rotation of a D.C. Motor
This is done by reversing either the field or the armature (including inter-poles, if fitted)
connections. The d.c. compound motor is usually reversed by reversing the armature
connections, otherwise both shunt and series fields would require to be reversed.


Methods of Cooling Motors

Electric motors are often classified according to the type of enclosure used. The type of
enclosure used is determined by the conditions under which the motor is to be used and
also the degree of ventilation required.
Totally Enclosed Type: This type of motor is generally cooled by the conduction of
heat through the motor case. All joints are a machine fit, as the motor, particularly the
commutator enclosure, must be gas tight to limit the risks from inflammable gases. It is
used in hot and humid conditions.
Screen-protected Type: Ventilation is achieved by fitting a fan internally. The openings
at the end of the motor are fitted with a wire mesh or a perforated sheet. This is the most
common type of protection.
Drip-proof Type: This type is similar to the screen-protected type, but the additional
precaution of a cover over the screen is used to stop drips of water from entering the
motor. This type is not waterproof.
Pipe-ventilated Type: Air is brought from a dust-free area and piped into the motor.
The internally fitted fan ensures circulation of cooling air.
Failure to start

1. Open-circuit on starter resistance (particularly in series
motor circuit)
2. Open circuit on field circuit

Fuses on starting

1. Short circuit on field circuit or short circuit on armature

2. Mechanical overload
3. Seized bearings


1.Partial short-circuit field or armature

2. Mechanical overload
3. Armature coil short-circuited


Sparking at brushes

1. Open-circuited, shorted, or earthed armature coil

2. Wrong brush position
3. Motor overloaded
4. Dirty, or worn, commutator
Losses in D.C. Machines

There are three types of loss in a d.c. machine:

1. Iron losses: These are losses arising in the magnetic circuit of the machine and are
of two types: (a) eddy currents (see p. 188 Donnelly); and (b) hysteresis losses (see p. 188
2. Copper losses: These losses are due to the flow of current through the copper
conductors of the motor and are sometimes termed 'IR losses'.
3. Mechanical losses: These are made up of: (a) bearing friction; and (b) windage.
This is a friction loss due to the movement of the armature through air.