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# Running 60 Hz motors on 50 Hz - Is it possible and what are the options?

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## Can A Motor Be Run On Lower/Higher Than Rated Frequency?

Written by: sriram balu Edited by: KennethSleight Updated Aug 25, 2009

We all know about the supply frequency which is essential for any electrical machinery. But can you run a motor rated for 50 Hz on a 60 Hz supply, or vice versa? Read here to know the in-depth analysis of the above conditions.

Introduction
The basic expression relating the speed of an induction motor and its frequency is N = 120f/P. From this expression, many facts can be derived and understood. And this expression is also helpful in understanding starting and full load torques of an induction motor. In this article, let us explore in-depth, of what happens to an induction motor if the supply frequency and supply voltage is varied.

## Effect of Change in Supply Voltage on Torque and Speed

As already discussed in my article on speed control of induction motors, it is evident that the torque (T) of an induction motor is directly proportional to the square of the supply voltage. During starting, the supply voltage is kept to minimum, so that the torque is also minimum. When the supply voltage is gradually increased, the torque increases following the relation: T s * V^2. Where T = torque, s = slip and V = the supply voltage. So it is evident from the above equation that the torque at any speed is proportional to the square of the applied voltage. If the stator voltage is decreased by 10%, then the torque decreases by 20%. This decrease in torque, due to decrease in supply voltage will not only happen during starting of the motor, but also during

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9/23/2011

## Running 60 Hz motors on 50 Hz - Is it possible and what are the options?

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running conditions. It should be appreciated that when the supply voltage V decreases, then the torque T also decreases. But there is a load connected to the motor and it requires a constant torque all the time. Thus in order to maintain a constant torque during reduced supply voltage, as a compensation, the speed of the motor decreases.

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It should be understood by referring to the torque equation, T s * V^2, as the supply voltage is reduced, the slip increases to maintain a constant torque. As the slip increases the speed of the motor reduces.

## Effect of Change in Supply Frequency on Torque and Speed

The change in supply frequency hardly occurs in large distribution systems used on land. If there are some major disturbances or very heavy load fluctuating continuously, then there might be a minimal frequency variation. But large frequency variations are possible on electrical systems used on board ships and emergency supply systems for factories and hospitals. Such large frequency variations are possible on low power systems where diesel engines and gas turbines are used as prime movers. As already mentioned, the relation between the speed of the motor and its frequency is given by the expression N = 120f/P. From this expression, it is evident that the speed of the motor is directly proportional to the supply frequency. Thus any decrease or increase in frequency will affect the speed of the motor. Let us now analyze what exactly happens when a motor of 50Hz made to run with 60Hz supply and vice-versa. Analysis 1: When a 50 Hz motor is made to run on 60 Hz supply: It is general practice in several countries to have all house-hold items and equipments rated for 50 Hz supply. So when such small domestic devices are connected to a 60 Hz supply, they cause a severe problem. For better understanding, let us visualize this small calculation: [(60Hz 50 Hz)/ 50 Hz] * 100 = 20 %. Thus all such equipments run 20 % faster than their normal rated speed. This is not safe for the equipment as the insulations may be rated for lesser capacity and windings may burn-out. To run safely, we either require a reduction gear or an expensive 50 Hz source. Also this 50 Hz motor will operate perfectly on a 60 Hz supply provided its supply voltage is stepped-up. 60 Hz/ 50 Hz = 6/5 * 100 = 120 %. Analysis 2:

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9/23/2011

## Running 60 Hz motors on 50 Hz - Is it possible and what are the options?

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60 Hz motor connected to 50 Hz supply: It is same as the above, but instead of stepping-up the supply voltage, it is necessary to step-down the supply voltage. 50Hz/ 60 Hz = 5/6 * 100 = 80 %. NEXT ARTICLE

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## 220V 110V Step Down & Up

Convertisseur Reversible 110 220 Ac 230V Cheap Voltage Conversion www.jr-international.fr/

## Bismark Anane Aug 5, 2011 6:21 PM

Can I run my 60hz machine on 50hz ac supply? I have a US manufaactured embroidery machine which is rated 60hz 110V I want to know if I can run it on 50hz 240V with 240V/110V stepdown transformer?

## Mohit Parikh Jun 1, 2011 6:07 AM

5o Hz motor on 60 Hz hello sir, I want to run 230 V,50 Hz ,1.5 T window type air conditioner with supply of 110 V,60 Hz supply.what will happened if I simply use step up transformer 110/230 v.Is it advisable or not ? Mohit Parikh

lashari Mar 26, 2011 10:33 AM motor frequency The speed of motor depends on frequency and its speed would be less than its rated speed at rated frequency. www.bestarticlez.com

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9/23/2011

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## lashari Mar 26, 2011 10:13 AM

Electricity reply to Mr.Chopheap. Dc motor are categorized in many types. according to construction and according to connection. according to construction two types squirrel cage type and wound type and according to connection series type shunt type and combined type. www.bestarticlez.com

Fagath ahamed Jan 4, 2011 2:24 AM What is the formula for rewinding of 220/380 Voltage to 220/480 Voltage Conversion? dear sir i have a 3 phase motor 75kw 60 220/380 Voltage and now i need to rewind the 220/480 Voltage please send the formula for rewind .

## gopi Nov 26, 2010 6:53 AM

60hz to 50 hz re winding I brought ice cream machine which is 60hz , but I could not use in india, is it possible to rewind the machine according to Indian electrical ,if is yes please let me know where i can get service in chennai or any where in india, Alos let us know , there is a electronic board (operation board with switches ) to operate the machine after we change the winding for motor alone ,will it be any problem for electronics board will even work in 50hz with out converting hz Please reply ,its very urgent Thank you Gopi

## sriram balu Nov 18, 2010 5:06 AM

@ Pramod Hi Mr.Pramod, A motor rated for 460V, 60 Hz, can be run at 50 Hz. There is no problem with the frequency reduced. But it is recommended to operate at as less voltage as possible. I mean theoretically, the ideal voltage would be 380 V. However practically, when you measure the voltage available at the terminals to motor, I don;t think you get more than 400 or 410 Volts in India. However do check it. Also do state that whether the motor is classed for continuous rating and insulation class. But when you operate at reduced frequency and reduced voltage, as a thumb rule, you cannot expect the same work output of the motor. Like when it is pumping 4 bar pressure, you cannot expect the same performance when you operate so. Thank you

## Pramod Nov 16, 2010 5:19 AM

Effect of 415Volt, 50 Hz 3 phase Motor instead of 460V,60Hz. Hi, I am using a US manufactured 3 phase Dayton 460V, 60Hz motor india. But Problem is in india both 460V and 60Hz supply is not available,so i am using 415

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9/23/2011

## Running 60 Hz motors on 50 Hz - Is it possible and what are the options?

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V ,50Hz supply. My query is that, i read your document effect of frequency on motor toque and speed in that it is mentioned as if i reduce the supply frequency by 20% i.e from 60Hz to 50Hz, in the same time i need to reduce the supply by 20% i.e to 375-380V to work properly. But the problem in my case is i am reducing the frequency by 20% i.e from 60 Hz to 50 Hz and Supply voltage by 10% i.e (460V to 415V). Could you please tell me whether my motor works properly or not in this system? Regards Pramod.

## Tenkei Oct 25, 2010 9:51 PM

Motors and frequency Chris K Most of the time you *don't* need a special "VFD" rated motor (check out Baldor, for example), you just have to be careful not to overheat due to the motor's cooling fan also spinning too slowly. He's also correct about decreasing V with f (as impedance will also decrease almost linearly with f). Where his advice might be problematic is using a 50Hz motor on a 60Hz utility. Unless you know for sure that the insulation is rated for the higher voltage, you can't safely increase the voltage. You could use it at the 100% voltage, and have a drop in available torque. With a VFD, they generally increase voltage until they get to 60 Hz, then go from a constant torque to a constant HP regime. As the motor speeds up, it's torque will drop accordingly.

## javed Sep 4, 2010 11:22 AM

whate is the formula for rewinding of 50 Hz motor to 60 Hz dear sir i have a 3 phase motor 75kw 50 Hz and now i need to rewind the 60 Hz please send the formula for rewind to new Hz