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Lesson 1 Generators

A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Armature A rotating member of a machine which produces AC voltage through
magnetic induction.
Constructed of a core material with high magnetic properties. Usually contains
layers of flat laminated steel.
The polarity of the induced voltage is different for each conductor.
The commutator is affixed to one end of the shaft.
90 Voltage is at its highest positive point.
180 Voltage returns to Zero.
270 Voltage is at its highest negative point.
360 Voltage returns to Zero.

Commutator an attachment, connected to the armature of a motor or generator,

through which electrical connection is made and which ensures that the current flows as
direct current.
Constructed of copper.
Split into sections.
Insulated by mica.
The commutator maintains proper polarity to the connected brushes.
Brushes connect the voltage and current to the outside load.
Brushes are held against the commutator by mechanical means and made of a
softer material then the commutator. the brushes are easily replaced.
The leads of the brushes are typically marked A1 and A2.

Neutral plane the point in which the windings are parallel to the lines of flux and no
voltage induces the brushes.
Rectified D/C voltage fluctuates, turning on and off but does not change polarity.
To increase output it is common to increase the number turns per wire. Each loop
is connected in series, therefore voltage can be added.
It is also common to use more than one loop of wire making average output
voltage higher so there is less pulsation or fluctuation.
Ripple voltage fluctuation or pulsation.
Coil loops are placed in slots in a iron core. The iron core acts as a magnetic
conductor, providing a very low reluctance path for lines of flux to increase
inductance of the coil loops and produce higher output voltage.
Reluctance resistance to magnetism.
Left hand generator rule
a rule for determining the direction of current flow through the armature, when the
direction of motion and the polarity of the magnetic field are known.
1. Forefinger (pointer) is in the direction of flux assuming lines of flux are noth and

2. Thumb (motion) points to the direction of movement of rotating conductors.
3. Middle (field) direction of current flow.
Right hand generator rule
a rule used to determine the direction of motion or rotation of the armature when
magnetic polarity of the pole pieces and the direction of current through the armature
are known.
1. Forefinger (pointer) is the direction of the magnetic field, assuming lines of flux

are north and south.

2. Thumb points in the direction of armature rotation.
3. Middle direction of current flow thru the armature.

Interpoles small pole pieces placed between the field poles of a DC machine to reduce
armature reaction.
Few turns of larger wire.
connected in series with the armature which permits the strength of the pole
pieces to increase with the increase in current in the armature.
Internally connected.
Leads labeled C1,C2 or S3,S4.
Function of the interpoles is to restore the magnetic field to its normal condition.
Brushes Ride against the commutator, connecting the armature to the load. Brushes
are made of a softer material than the commutator since the brushes are easily changed
rather than the commutator. Usually marked A1 and A2.
Conductors cutting thru the north magnetic field will be always connected to the
negative brushes. And the conductors cutting thru the south magnetic field will
always be connected to the positive brushes.
Brush holders are adjustable to allow the setting of the neutral plane.
Pole pieces
Located in the housing of a DC machine.
Provide the magnetic field that is nessesary for the operation of a DC machine.
Armature reaction The bending of the magnetic field of a motor or generators
armature. Armature reaction is proportional to armature current.

Armature windings
Lap wound
constructed of larger wire due to high currents.
Has as many brushes as there are poles.
Connected in parallel allowing each winding to be added for higher operating
Has as many parallel paths through the armature as there are poles.

Wave wound
designed for high voltage low amperage.
Connected in series allowing the voltage of each winding to be added while
amperage stays the same.
Never contains more than one set of brushes.
Never contains more than 2 parallel paths for current capacity.
Frog leg wound
Most common.
Moderate current and voltage.
Connected in both series and parallel.
Most DC machines are frog leg wound.
Magneto A DC generator that uses permanent magnets.
Field winding Wound electromagnets used to provide a magnetic field.

2 types of field windings.

Series Field Type
Made up of few turns, of very large wire having a low resistance.
Connected in series with the armature.
Leads marked S1 and S2
Shunt Field Type
Made up of many turns of smaller wire, having a high Resistance.
Intended to be connected in parallel with the armature.
When both types of field windings are used, the pole pieces are wound with both sets.
As current flows, it generates alternating magnetic poles.

3 Types of DC generators
Determined by the arrangement and connection of the field coils.
Series Generator Type 1
Must be self exciting.
The amount of output of output voltage is proportional to 3 factors
1. Turns of wire
2. Strength of the magnetic field of the pole pieces.
3. Speed of the cutting action (rotation of the armature) thru the lines of flux.
When a load is connected to a series generator, voltage is produced by residual
magnetism. This causes current to to flow thru the load. Because it is in series,
current must flow through the series field causing the magnetic poles to grow
stronger producing more lines of flux increasing output voltage.
Field excitation current The amount of current used to turn the pole pieces into
Shunt generator Type 2 (Self excited)
Self excited.
Contains only a shunt field winding.
Connected in parallel with the armature.
When self excited, full output voltage can be reached with no load.
Has greater voltage drop because armature voltage is used to produce current.
Shunt generator Type 3 (Externally excited)
Externally excited, Connected to a external DC voltage source.
Better voltage control.
Contains only a shunt field winding.
Connected in parallel with the armature.
If and when it is important that voltage needs to stay constant regardless of the load,
An electric voltage regulator can be used to adjust shunt field current to stabilize

Voltage regulator
Connects in series with the shunt winding.
Senses voltage across the load and adjusts the current accordingly.
In generators, voltage regulation is determined by the resistance of the armature.
Voltage regulation is measured by the voltage drop under load.

3 types of power loss for generators


I R Losses associated with heat. Due to resistance in armature and the field winding.
Hysteresis Loss Losses due to molecular friction.
Eddy current loss Currents induced into the core, by changing the magnetic fields.


Compounding relationship of the strengths of the 2 fields in a generator, determines
the amount of compounding.
Over-compounding the series has too much control and the output voltages increase
each time a load is added.
Under-Compounding Series field is to weak so output voltage drops while under
Most generators are over-compounding, this allows the series field to be used to
control the amount of over-compounding.
The amount of compounding is controlled with a low value variable frequency
resistance in parallel with the series field (series field diverter)