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(NAVPERS 10622) in its entirety. It should provide one of the Internet's
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Contents. • U.S. Government Printing Office; 1945 - 618779
This line from the Basic Navy Training Courses is very
important when considering electrical machines: Many electrical devices and
machines operate on the principle of "transformer action." They in fact are not
transformers - but the theory of their operation is best explained by
considering them as if they were transformers. It is part of chapter 21,
entitled, "Some Electrical Machines - Transformer Action," which provides a
simple introduction to induction motors and generators, regulators, frequency
converters, and synchros. If you are a newcomer to the field of electricity
and/or electronics, or if you just want to brush up on old knowledge to be
conversant at office parties, this is a great short read. A quiz is provided at
Chapter 21: Some Electrical Machines - Transformer
Many electrical devices and machines operate
on the principle of TRANSFORMER ACTION. THEY ARE NOT TRANSFORMERS - but the theory
of their operation is best explained by considering them AS IF THEY WERE TRANSFORMERS.
This term "transformer action" comes from the current and voltage relationships
in a transformer. Bound up in the term are a number of separate meanings. Each one
is important and each one finds application in special electrical equipment.
If you thoroughly understand "transformer action" you can understand more than
half of all the electrical machinery built.
Let's take each item in the general term "transformer action" and analyze it.
Power transfer means that the device has TWO circuits. The power is fed into
one circuit and is transferred to the other by magnetic induction. This means that
you are always dealing with a magnetic circuit. And you'll run in to lots of iron
to preserve this magnetism. Whenever you see TWO, circuits in a machine, one of
them having no connection to the power source, you can be pretty sure that transformer
action makes the machine run.
Voltage changes usually take place whenever you have transformer action. Check
your primary and secondary circuits for differences in the number of conductors.
If the number of conductors goes up - you can count on the voltage going up. Then
too - check for movement between your primary and secondary. If one moves in relation
to the other, more flux is going to be cut-you can count on the secondary voltage
being higher than if there was no relative movement.
Remember that you do not get something for nothing. If the secondary voltage
goes up, there will be an increase in secondary current. Since secondary current
controls primary input, you can be sure that primary current goes up too.
The powers of the primary and secondary will always be equal (neglecting losses).
Whatever is TAKEN OUT in increased voltage and current must be paid for by increased
THEY'RE ALWAYS OPPOSITE. The two currents - primary and secondary - are always
flowing in opposite directions. This means that the magnetic poles produced in the
two circuits are always opposite to each other.
In transformer action you'll always find three voltages to consider. First there
is the applied voltage from the source. This is the primary voltage or Ep.
Second, there is the voltage of self-induction on the primary. It's produced by
the primary's own field - Esi. Third, there is the induced voltage in
the secondary - the Es (this Es is produced by the primary
field) Esi and Es are alike in direction but both are opposite
to the Ep.
If there is no relative movement between primary and secondary, frequencies are
equal. But, if there is MOVEMENT, the NUMBER of cuttings received by the secondary
depends on both PRIMARY FREQUENCY and the RELATIVE SPEED OF MOVEMENT. With relative
motion the frequency of the secondary either goes up or down.
The AMOUNT of current, EVERYWHERE, in transformer action, is controlled by conditions
in the secondary. Watch what happens to the current in the secondary - that's the
key to what goes on in the primary. Don't forget that Esi has the primary
current almost choked off. It's up to the secondary field to reduce the Esi
and permit current to flow in the primary.
Induction motors certainly don't look like transformers. But let's CONSIDER a
three-phase squirrel cage motor as a transformer. The one in figure 226 is a good
example. It is shown in a cross-sectional view. You must consider the stator as
the primary - it's connected to the source. And the rotor as the secondary - its
power comes from the field of the primary.
Figure 226 - lnduction motor as a transformer.
First, how about the two voltages? Well, is it a step-down or step-up? Step-down
- because the secondary (rotor) has fewer turns than the primary (stator). What
do you think would happen if this was reversed? Imagine a rotor with more turns
than the stator - a step-up job. The rotor, being short circuited by its end rings,
would have a tremendous current. So would the stator - it's controlled by rotor
current. This job would cook in short order! And that is exactly why squirrel cage
rotors have fewer turns than their stators. The designer not only understood transformer
action, but he made use of it.
Why does the rotor turn? Because it's a secondary, and its poles are opposite
to those of the primary. Attraction between primary and secondary produces torque,
and torque produces rotation.
Why does a large induction motor have to be protected against high starting current?
Because, at the start, the rotating field (primary) is cutting the rotor (secondary)
at a furious rate. Extremely high voltages are induced in the secondary - high current
flows. The primary, subject to secondary control, likewise carries a high current.
If this high primary current wasn't cut down by a starter, the primary would go
up in smoke. All right - then why isn't a starting resistance needed when the motor
is running? Because when the secondary is revolving WITH the primary field there
is less relative motion between them. Less flux is cut - secondary voltage and current
is less - and likewise the primary current is reduced to a safe value.
It's interesting to imagine what the conditions would be IF the rotor ever caught
up to the stator field. This would mean that each rotor conductor would ride right
along with the flux of the rotating field. No relative motion! No flux cut. No Es.
No current in the motor. No torque! Which tells you that an induction rotor can
NEVER rotate as fast as the stator's magnetic field.
How about the rotor frequency? When the rotor is standing still (at startup),
it is cut by every pulse of the stator's a-c field. Rotor and stator frequencies
are the same. But as the rotor picks up speed, it rides WITH the field. There is
less and less relative motion and the rotor frequency becomes lower and lower.
These are the most important facts about a squirrel cage motor. The engineer
designs the motor on the oasis of these facts. And all of them can be understood
by simply considering the motor as a transformer.
The wound-rotor induction motor can be considered the same as the squirrel cage.
Both motors operate on the same principle.
INDUCTION REGULATORS are transformer devices used to regulate the voltage in
a-c lines. Figure 227 shows a schematic of a regulator and its connection in a line.
The primary winding is mounted on a movable cylindrical iron core and connected
ACROSS the line. The secondary is wound in slots on a stationary core surrounding
the primary. It is connected IN the line. The secondary is connected so that its
voltage will add to the line to offset line drop. The machine looks like a motor
but it is used as a transformer.
Figure 227 - lnduction regulator.
The primary has a line current and establishes a field around the movable core.
When the primary is in position A, all its flux cuts the secondary. This induces
voltage in the secondary which adds to the line voltage (line and secondary are
in series). But when the primary is in position B, its flux does not cut the secondary.
No voltage is added to the line. Changing the primary position alters the amount
of flux which cuts the secondary. More or less voltage is induced in the secondary
depending on the primary position. In this way, the line can have any voltage added
to it that is necessary.
This is a much better method of voltage regulation than the use of a rheostat.
Rheostats consume power in their resistance. The power is wasted as heat. But the
induction regulator delivers back just about as much power as it consumes. When
it is in the zero position, B, the Esi reduces current in the primary
almost to zero. Therefore, there is only a slight loss whether the regulator is
boosting the voltage or is turned completely off. These devices are built for either
automatic or hand operation.
Usually a.c. is generated at a frequency of 60 cycles. But a higher frequency
is required for some high speed motors, radio circuits, and heating devices. One
of the easiest ways of producing this higher frequency is by means of a FREQUENCY
Frequency converters are built like wound-rotor motors. The primary is the stator
and the secondary is the rotor. The secondary voltage is taken off the rotor by
slip rings. With the secondary standing still the two frequencies are equal. But
if the secondary is connected to a motor and driven BACKWARDS, it meets the rotating
field of the primary. Thus it is cut by the primary field more rapidly than if it
just stood still. Suppose the secondary was turned AGAINST the rotating field at
exactly the same speed that the primary field is rotating. The secondary would be
cut just twice' as many times and the frequency would be double.
By adjusting the rpm of the secondary, any frequency can be taken from the co
er. In addition, if a voltage step-up or step-down is required, the number of turns
on the primary and secondary can be adjusted to fit the requirements.
Here is a problem. The gyrocompass is located deep in a ship. But the reading
of the gyro is needed on the bridge. It MIGHT BE POSSIBLE to transmit the reading
by a system of gears and shafts. But it wouldn't be practical. Gears and shafts
running the 300 or 400 feet between the gyro and bridge would never stay lined up.
A flexible cable would not work for any such length. Any mechanical device would
fail sooner or later because of the length, the twists, and the bends.
Figure 228 - Synchro windings.
But an electrical transmission line carries current just as well around corners
as it does in a straight line. For electrical transmission, you would need some
electrical device to pick up the gyro's reading. And another device to duplicate
this reading at the bridge end of the line. The SYNCHRO fills the bill. Thus synchros
are electrical devices built to transmit readings from one place to another.
Figure 228 is the schematic of a synchro. Notice that the stator winding is just
like the winding on a three-phase motor or alternator stator - a three-phase job.
The rotor has a single phase winding and is connected to a 60 cycle, 115 v., a-c
line. The rotor shaft is coupled to the gyro and turns every time the gyro turns.
This synchro is called the generator.
At the bridge end of the line, a second synchro repeats the gyro reading. Its
rotor is coupled to a repeater compass. This synchro is called the MOTOR. Although
these two synchros have different names, they are EXACTLY ALIKE ELECTRICALLY. Both
have three-phase windings on their stators and single phase windings on their rotors.
Notice in figure 229 that BOTH rotors are energized from the same single phase
a-c line. Also, the two stator windings are connected together in series. It is
important that the X winding of the generator be connected to the X winding of the
motor. And likewise that the two Y and the two Z windings are each connected together.
In synchros the leads from the X, Y, and Z windings are usually marked S1,
S2, and S3, And the rotor leads are marked R1 and
Figure 229 - Synchro generator and motor.
Now, consider each unit as a transformer - the rotor is the primary and the stator
is the secondary. The two rotors are in the same position-say opposite the S1
windings. Both primary fields are cutting the secondary windings and inducing a
voltage. But the VOLTAGES are UNABLE to move any CURRENT because they are EQUAL
and OPPOSITE. EQUAL because the voltages are induced by duplicate fields and OPPOSITE
because they both try to force current OUT on the line connecting the two S1
windings. Figure 229 shows the two voltages meeting head on.
The other S2 and S3 windings are acting just like the S1
winding. Notice that their voltages likewise cancel. Generator and motor voltages
balance - zero current flow. The total effect of this is ZERO. Nothing happens -
the two rotors remain in their positions opposite the S1 windings.
Now the ship changes course. The rotor of the generator synchro is turned by
the gyro - say half way to the S3 winding (30°). The two synchro rotors
are no longer in the same relative position. And the voltages induced in the two
stator windings no longer balance. The generator's S1 voltage is weaker
and its S3 voltage is stronger. Current flows from the generator's S3
to the motor's S3 and from the motor's S1 to the generator's
S1, Figure 230 shows the two synchros with their rotors in the new position.
This time the arrows indicate CURRENT direction.
The new conditions are this - both S1 and S3 windings have fields
which are trying to pull their rotors back into identical relative positions. The
transmitter CANNOT move - the gyro holds its rotor in the new position. But the
motor rotor can move. It does just that AND CARRIES THE REPEATER COMPASS WITH IT.
The motor rotor moves to the point where all the S1, S2, and
S3 voltages balance again and the stator currents become zero. This point
is where the transmitter and motor rotors are in identical positions again. The
total effect is a rotation of the motor's rotor exactly following the rotation of
the transmitter's rotor. You might look at it this ,way-each rotor is a primary
inducing a voltage in three secondaries. As long as the three secondary voltages
balance against each other, no current flows. But move the transmitter primary and,
thereby increase or decrease the voltage on any of its secondaries and current flows.
This current flows in both transmitter and motor - their secondaries are connected
together. A field is set up by this current and it acts on the motor primary. Actually
this is MOTOR ACTION. The motor primary is forced to move by the torque of the motor
action. The primary stops moving only' when the torque is again zero. And zero torque
is produced only when. no current flows in the secondaries. You know when that happens
- at the point where the two primaries are in identical positions. The secondary
voltages will then balance against each other.
Figure 230 - Torque produced in a synchro motor.
Thus every move of the transmitter's rotor produces torque on the motor's rotor.
The motor's rotor, answering this torque, follows every move of the transmitter's
rotor. Thus, for every shift of 337 the gyrocompass, a corresponding shift occurs
in the bridge repeater.
You'll run into synchros of a different type. They have a single phase winding,
with a.c. impressed, on the stator. And the rotor has a winding just like the three
phase wound rotor. With this type of synchro, you'll have to consider the stator
winding as the primary and the rotor winding as the secondary. The leads are numbered
differently too - R1, R2, and R3 come from the
rotor slip rings and S1 and S2 are the stator leads.
When the rotors of both generator and motor are in the same position, voltages
on the R1, R2, and R3 leads balance - no current
and no torque. But if the generator rotor is turned, this balance is upset - current
flows in the rotor windings and torque is produced. Motor action forces the motor
rotor to a balancing position - duplicating the generator rotor's position.
There's nothing electrically new in this type of synchro - it just has the rotor
and stator windings reversed. Study it as a transformer and you'll "get it."
These have been only a few examples of machines and transformer action. When
you run into something new, examine the new device for transformer action. It's
the easiest way to get the low-down on new equipment.
Chapter 21 Quiz