Sixth Edition, last update July 25, 2007


Lessons In Electric Circuits, Volume II – AC
By Tony R. Kuphaldt Sixth Edition, last update July 25, 2007

i c 2000-2013, Tony R. Kuphaldt This book is published under the terms and conditions of the Design Science License. These terms and conditions allow for free copying, distribution, and/or modification of this document by the general public. The full Design Science License text is included in the last chapter. As an open and collaboratively developed text, this book is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the Design Science License for more details. Available in its entirety as part of the Open Book Project collection at:

PRINTING HISTORY • First Edition: Printed in June of 2000. Plain-ASCII illustrations for universal computer readability. • Second Edition: Printed in September of 2000. Illustrations reworked in standard graphic (eps and jpeg) format. Source files translated to Texinfo format for easy online and printed publication. • Third Edition: Equations and tables reworked as graphic images rather than plain-ASCII text. • Fourth Edition: Printed in November 2001. Source files translated to SubML format. SubML is a simple markup language designed to easily convert to other markups like A L TEX, HTML, or DocBook using nothing but search-and-replace substitutions. • Fifth Edition: Printed in November 2002. New sections added, and error corrections made, since the fourth edition. • Sixth Edition: Printed in June 2006. Added CH 13, sections added, and error corrections made, figure numbering and captions added, since the fifth edition.


1 BASIC AC THEORY 1.1 What is alternating current (AC)? 1.2 AC waveforms . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3 Measurements of AC magnitude . 1.4 Simple AC circuit calculations . . 1.5 AC phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.6 Principles of radio . . . . . . . . . 1.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 COMPLEX NUMBERS 2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 Vectors and AC waveforms . . . 2.3 Simple vector addition . . . . . . 2.4 Complex vector addition . . . . . 2.5 Polar and rectangular notation . 2.6 Complex number arithmetic . . 2.7 More on AC ”polarity” . . . . . . 2.8 Some examples with AC circuits 2.9 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 6 12 19 20 23 25 27 27 30 32 35 37 42 44 49 55 57 57 59 64 71 74 77 79 81 81 83 87 92

3 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE 3.1 AC resistor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 AC inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3 Series resistor-inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . . 3.4 Parallel resistor-inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . 3.5 Inductor quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.6 More on the “skin effect” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE 4.1 AC resistor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2 AC capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3 Series resistor-capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . . 4.4 Parallel resistor-capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . iii

iv 4.5 4.6

Capacitor quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 97 99 99 101 106 110 119 120 120 121 121 126 131 135 136 145 151 153 153 158 168 174 185 188 189 189 190 196 199 202 204 215 215 217 218 232 237 239 243 248

5 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R, L, AND C 5.1 Review of R, X, and Z . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2 Series R, L, and C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3 Parallel R, L, and C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.4 Series-parallel R, L, and C . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5 Susceptance and Admittance . . . . . . . . . . 5.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 RESONANCE 6.1 An electric pendulum . . . . . . . . . . . 6.2 Simple parallel (tank circuit) resonance 6.3 Simple series resonance . . . . . . . . . 6.4 Applications of resonance . . . . . . . . 6.5 Resonance in series-parallel circuits . . 6.6 Q and bandwidth of a resonant circuit 6.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS 7.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.2 Square wave signals . . . . . . . . 7.3 Other waveshapes . . . . . . . . . 7.4 More on spectrum analysis . . . . 7.5 Circuit effects . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.6 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 FILTERS 8.1 What is a filter? . 8.2 Low-pass filters . 8.3 High-pass filters 8.4 Band-pass filters 8.5 Band-stop filters 8.6 Resonant filters . 8.7 Summary . . . . 8.8 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9 TRANSFORMERS 9.1 Mutual inductance and basic operation 9.2 Step-up and step-down transformers . 9.3 Electrical isolation . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.4 Phasing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.5 Winding configurations . . . . . . . . . 9.6 Voltage regulation . . . . . . . . . . . .

9.7 Special transformers and applications 9.8 Practical considerations . . . . . . . . 9.9 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

v 251 268 281 281 283 283 289 296 300 306 313 318 343 345 347 347 352 355 360 365 367 367 374 382 385 387 396 406 406 407 408 412 420 421 426 438 442 460 464 469 471 479

10 POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 10.1 Single-phase power systems . . . . . . . . 10.2 Three-phase power systems . . . . . . . . 10.3 Phase rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.4 Polyphase motor design . . . . . . . . . . 10.5 Three-phase Y and Delta configurations . 10.6 Three-phase transformer circuits . . . . . 10.7 Harmonics in polyphase power systems . 10.8 Harmonic phase sequences . . . . . . . . 10.9 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11 POWER FACTOR 11.1 Power in resistive and reactive AC circuits 11.2 True, Reactive, and Apparent power . . . . 11.3 Calculating power factor . . . . . . . . . . . 11.4 Practical power factor correction . . . . . . 11.5 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 AC METERING CIRCUITS 12.1 AC voltmeters and ammeters . . . . 12.2 Frequency and phase measurement 12.3 Power measurement . . . . . . . . . 12.4 Power quality measurement . . . . 12.5 AC bridge circuits . . . . . . . . . . . 12.6 AC instrumentation transducers . . 12.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 AC MOTORS 13.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.2 Synchronous Motors . . . . . . . . 13.3 Synchronous condenser . . . . . . 13.4 Reluctance motor . . . . . . . . . . 13.5 Stepper motors . . . . . . . . . . . 13.6 Brushless DC motor . . . . . . . . 13.7 Tesla polyphase induction motors 13.8 Wound rotor induction motors . . 13.9 Single-phase induction motors . . 13.10 Other specialized motors . . . . . 13.11 Selsyn (synchro) motors . . . . . 13.12 AC commutator motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 482

14 TRANSMISSION LINES 14.1 A 50-ohm cable? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.2 Circuits and the speed of light . . . . 14.3 Characteristic impedance . . . . . . . 14.4 Finite-length transmission lines . . . 14.5 “Long” and “short” transmission lines 14.6 Standing waves and resonance . . . . 14.7 Impedance transformation . . . . . . 14.8 Waveguides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A-1 ABOUT THIS BOOK A-2 CONTRIBUTOR LIST A-3 DESIGN SCIENCE LICENSE INDEX

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483 483 484 486 493 499 502 522 529 537 541 549 552

Chapter 1

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 What is alternating current (AC)? AC waveforms . . . . . . . . . . . . . Measurements of AC magnitude . Simple AC circuit calculations . . AC phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Principles of radio . . . . . . . . . . Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6 12 19 20 23 25


What is alternating current (AC)?

Most students of electricity begin their study with what is known as direct current (DC), which is electricity flowing in a constant direction, and/or possessing a voltage with constant polarity. DC is the kind of electricity made by a battery (with definite positive and negative terminals), or the kind of charge generated by rubbing certain types of materials against each other. As useful and as easy to understand as DC is, it is not the only “kind” of electricity in use. Certain sources of electricity (most notably, rotary electro-mechanical generators) naturally produce voltages alternating in polarity, reversing positive and negative over time. Either as a voltage switching polarity or as a current switching direction back and forth, this “kind” of electricity is known as Alternating Current (AC): Figure 1.1 Whereas the familiar battery symbol is used as a generic symbol for any DC voltage source, the circle with the wavy line inside is the generic symbol for any AC voltage source. One might wonder why anyone would bother with such a thing as AC. It is true that in some cases AC holds no practical advantage over DC. In applications where electricity is used to dissipate energy in the form of heat, the polarity or direction of current is irrelevant, so long as there is enough voltage and current to the load to produce the desired heat (power dissipation). However, with AC it is possible to build electric generators, motors and power 1







Figure 1.1: Direct vs alternating current

distribution systems that are far more efficient than DC, and so we find AC used predominately across the world in high power applications. To explain the details of why this is so, a bit of background knowledge about AC is necessary. If a machine is constructed to rotate a magnetic field around a set of stationary wire coils with the turning of a shaft, AC voltage will be produced across the wire coils as that shaft is rotated, in accordance with Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic induction. This is the basic operating principle of an AC generator, also known as an alternator: Figure 1.2
Step #1 S N N + no current! Load I Load I S Step #2

Step #3 N S S I

Step #4


no current! Load

+ I Load

Figure 1.2: Alternator operation

The diagram shown above is a bit more simplified than what you would see in real life. and electrical connections are made to this spinning coil via stationary carbon “brushes” contacting copper strips on the rotating shaft. Connected to a load. the faster the magnet will spin. With a DC generator. there are multiple sets of coils making intermittent contact with the brushes. their construction is not as simple as their AC counterparts.3: DC generator operation The generator shown above will produce two pulses of voltage per revolution of the shaft. All this is necessary to switch the coil’s changing output polarity to the external circuit so the external circuit sees a constant polarity: Figure 1.1. resulting in an alternating voltage and current that switches directions more often in a given amount of time. In order for a DC generator to produce constant voltage. this reversing voltage polarity will create a reversing current direction in the circuit.3 Step #1 N S N S N S I Load Step #3 N S N S N S I Load Step #2 N S + + Load Step #4 N S + + Load Figure 1. the coil of wire is mounted in the shaft where the magnet is on the AC alternator. especially if the shaft of the generator is revolving at high speed.1. If the atmosphere surrounding the machine contains flammable or explosive . While DC generators work on the same general principle of electromagnetic induction. WHAT IS ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC)? 3 Notice how the polarity of the voltage across the wire coils reverses as the opposite poles of the rotating magnet pass by. both pulses in the same direction (polarity). rather than brief pulses of voltage once every 1/2 revolution. The faster the alternator’s shaft is turned. The problems involved with making and breaking electrical contact with a moving coil should be obvious (sparking and heat).

or consumer use.4 Transformer AC voltage source Induced AC voltage Figure 1. AC and DC motor designs are very similar to their generator counterparts (identical for the sake of this tutorial). the practical problems of spark-producing brush contacts are even greater.4: Transformer “transforms” AC voltage and current.6 The transformer’s ability to step AC voltage up or down with ease gives AC an advantage unmatched by DC in the realm of power distribution in figure 1. Without . The AC voltage induced in the unpowered (“secondary”) coil is equal to the AC voltage across the powered (“primary”) coil multiplied by the ratio of secondary coil turns to primary coil turns. The fundamental significance of a transformer is its ability to step voltage up or down from the powered coil to the unpowered coil. If we have two mutually inductive coils and we energize one coil with AC. and the DC motor being dependent on the brush contacts making and breaking connections to reverse current through the rotating coil every 1/2 rotation (180 degrees).7.4 CHAPTER 1. and so is immune to these problems experienced by DC generators. This relative simplicity translates into greater reliability and lower cost of manufacture. respectively: Figure 1. then step the voltage back down and the current back up for industry. So we know that AC generators and AC motors tend to be simpler than DC generators and DC motors. business. it is far more efficient to do so with stepped-up voltages and steppeddown currents (smaller-diameter wire with less resistive power losses).5 If the winding ratio is reversed so that the primary coil has less turns than the secondary coil. This relationship has a very close mechanical analogy. When used as such. the AC motor being dependent upon the reversing magnetic field produced by alternating current through its stationary coils of wire to rotate the rotating magnet around on its shaft. BASIC AC THEORY vapors. Transformer technology has made long-range electric power distribution practical. If the secondary coil is powering a load. the transformer “steps up” the voltage from the source level to a higher level at the load: Figure 1. When transmitting electrical power over long distances. The benefits of AC over DC with regard to generator design is also reflected in electric motors. we will create an AC voltage in the other coil. But what else is AC good for? Surely there must be more to it than design details of generators and motors! Indeed there is. There is an effect of electromagnetism known as mutual induction. An AC generator (alternator) does not require brushes and commutators to work. the current through the secondary coil is just the opposite: primary coil current multiplied by the ratio of primary to secondary turns. In fact. AC motors do not. using torque and speed to represent voltage and current. While DC motors require the use of brushes to make electrical contact with moving coils of wire. this device is known as a transformer: Figure 1. whereby two or more coils of wire placed so that the changing magnetic field created by one induces a voltage in the other.

7: Transformers enable efficient long distance high voltage transmission of electric energy. Speed reduction geartrain Large gear (many teeth) Small gear (few teeth) + AC voltage source low voltage few turns high current many turns Load + "Step-up" transformer high voltage low torque high speed high torque low speed low current Figure 1. . Step-down transformer steps voltage down and current up.1.5: Speed multiplication gear train steps torque down and speed up. . WHAT IS ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC)? Speed multiplication geartrain Large gear (many teeth) Small gear (few teeth) + high voltage AC voltage source low voltage many turns few turns high current Load 5 "Step-down" transformer + high torque low speed low torque high speed low current Figure 1. high voltage Power Plant Step-up .6: Speed reduction gear train steps torque up and speed down. .1. Step-up transformer steps voltage up and current down. to other customers low voltage Step-down Home or Business low voltage Figure 1.

it would be cost-prohibitive to construct power systems for anything but close-range (within a few miles at most) use. the voltage level changing most rapidly at the zero (“crossover”) point and most slowly at its peak.” meaning voltage or current that changes polarity or direction. but pulsed DC is not that different from AC. If we were to graph the trigonometric function of “sine” over a horizontal range of 0 to 360 degrees. That rate is greatest when the magnet poles are closest to the coils. • AC electromechanical generators. and direct current (DC) can only produce steady magnetic fields. . direct current may be interrupted (pulsed) through the primary winding of a transformer to create a changing magnetic field (as is done in automotive ignition systems to produce high-voltage spark plug power from a low-voltage DC battery). the “wave” traced by this voltage of alternating polarity from an alternator takes on a distinct shape. this is why AC finds such widespread application in power systems. • REVIEW: • DC stands for “Direct Current. • AC and DC motor design follows respective generator design principles very closely. the number of turns in each coil is set to create a voltage increase or decrease from the powered (primary) coil to the unpowered (secondary) coil. over time. not DC. known as a sine wave: Figure 1. When graphed over time. the voltage switches polarity over time. transformers simply will not work with direct current. over time. they only work with AC.1. Perhaps more than any other reason.6 CHAPTER 1. • A transformer is a pair of mutually-inductive coils used to convey AC power from one coil to the other.2 AC waveforms When an alternator produces AC voltage. BASIC AC THEORY the ability to efficiently step voltage up and down. and least when the magnet poles are furthest away from the coils. Because the phenomenon of mutual inductance relies on changing magnetic fields. As useful as transformers are. respectively. we would find the exact same pattern as in Table 1. • Secondary voltage = Primary voltage (secondary turns / primary turns) • Secondary current = Primary current (primary turns / secondary turns) 1. the change from one polarity to the other is a smooth one. are of simpler construction than DC electromechanical generators. The voltage produced by the stationary coils by the motion of the rotating magnet is proportional to the rate at which the magnetic flux is changing perpendicular to the coils (Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction). Of course. Often. respectively.” meaning voltage or current that maintains constant polarity or direction. but does so in a very particular manner. known as alternators. • AC stands for “Alternating Current.8 In the voltage plot from an electromechanical alternator. The reason why an electromechanical alternator outputs sine-wave AC is due to the physics of its operation.

7071 0.8660 + 300 -0.2588 + 195 -0.5000 + 330 -0.8660 0. Angle (o ) 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 Table 1.5000 0.2588 0.8660 + 240 -0.0000 zero 360 0.9659 + 255 -0.8660 0. AC WAVEFORMS 7 (the sine wave) + Time Figure 1.1.9659 1. sin(angle) wave Angle (o ) sin(angle) 0.7071 + 315 -0.0000 +peak 270 -1.9659 + 285 -0.2588 0.0000 0.1: Trigonometric “sine” function.2.8: Graph of AC voltage over time (the sine wave).2588 + 345 -0.5000 + 210 -0.7071 0.0000 wave zero -peak zero .7071 + 225 -0.0000 0.0000 zero 180 0.9659 0.5000 0.

so the voltage produced by the coils follows that same function. meaning that the AC voltage oscillates at a rate of 60 complete back-and-forth cycles every second. The name Centigrade was based on a 100-count (“Centi-”) scale (“-grade”) representing the melting and boiling points of H2 O. The degree marks on the horizontal axis of the graph represent the domain of the trigonometric sine function. but the amount of time one period occupies depends on the rate voltage oscillates back and forth. and also the angular position of our simple two-pole alternator shaft as it rotates: Figure 1. .8 CHAPTER 1. we would have marked exactly one cycle of that wave. The modern unit for frequency is the Hertz (abbreviated Hz). but may be measured between any corresponding points on the graph.9 one wave cycle 0 90 180 270 360 90 180 (0) one wave cycle 270 360 (0) Alternator shaft position (degrees) Figure 1. on the other hand. frequency was simply expressed as “cycles per second. Many people believe the change from self-explanatory units like CPS to Hertz constitutes a step backward in clarity. When expressed as a measurement. the AC voltage only completes 50 cycles every second. gives no hint as to the unit’s origin or meaning. A similar change occurred when the unit of “Celsius” replaced that of “Centigrade” for metric temperature measurement. In the United States of America. the dimension marked for one cycle is often measured in a unit of time. this is often called the period of a wave. If we were to follow the changing voltage produced by a coil in an alternator from any point on the sine wave graph to that point when the wave shape begins to repeat itself. The period of a wave in degrees is always 360. This is called frequency. This is most easily shown by spanning the distance between identical peaks. the standard power-line frequency is 60 Hz. The name Celsius. In Europe. BASIC AC THEORY Mathematically. A radio station transmitter broadcasting at a frequency of 100 MHz generates an AC voltage oscillating at a rate of 100 million cycles every second. A more popular measure for describing the alternating rate of an AC voltage or current wave than period is the rate of that back-and-forth oscillation. Since the horizontal axis of this graph can mark the passage of time as well as shaft position in degrees. Prior to the canonization of the Hertz unit.9: Alternator voltage as function of shaft position (time). which represents the number of wave cycles completed during one second of time. respectively. where the power system frequency is 50 Hz. most often seconds or fractions of a second.” Older meters and electronic equipment often bore frequency units of “CPS” (Cycles Per Second) instead of Hz. the rate of magnetic flux change due to a rotating magnet follows that of a sine function.

used by physicians to graph the oscillations of a patient’s heart over time. you can determine the frequency in Hertz. Voltage and current are by no means the only physical variables subject to variation over time. Because alternating current is a wave phenomenon. OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger 16 divisions @ 1ms/div = a period of 16 ms DC GND AC timebase 1m X s/div DC GND AC Frequency = 1 1 = = 62.5 Hz period 16 ms Figure 1.10. That is to say. Much more common to our everyday experience is sound. sound (especially structured music) provides an excellent analogy for relating AC concepts. Generalpurpose oscilloscopes have the ability to display voltage from virtually any voltage source. which is nothing more than the alternating compression and decompression (pressure waves) of air molecules.1 Hz. AC WAVEFORMS 9 Period and frequency are mathematical reciprocals of one another. like sound. For this reason. The relationship between period and frequency is very useful to know when displaying an AC voltage or current waveform on an oscilloscope screen. it shares many of the properties of other wave phenomena. if a wave has a period of 10 seconds. By measuring the period of the wave on the horizontal axis of the oscilloscope screen and reciprocating that time value (in seconds). is used to display a changing voltage over time on a graphical screen. or 1/10 of a cycle per second: Frequency in Hertz = 1 Period in seconds An instrument called an oscilloscope. You may be familiar with the appearance of an ECG or EKG (electrocardiograph) machine. interpreted by our ears as a physical sensation.10: Time period of sinewave is shown on oscilloscope.2. The ECG is a special-purpose oscilloscope expressly designed for medical use. its frequency will be 0. frequency is equivalent to pitch. .1. Figure 1. In musical terms. plotted as a graph with time as the independent variable. Low-pitch notes such as those produced by a tuba or bassoon consist of air molecule vibrations that are relatively slow (low frequency).

11 is a table showing the actual frequencies for a range of common musical notes. Audibly.08 246.13 329. Figure 1. this is not the only kind of alternating wave in existence.13 . the same pattern immortalized in the whimsical Rodgers and Hammerstein song sung in The Sound of Music – covers one octave from C to C. For example.88 523. the next highest “A” note (one octave above 440 Hz) will be 880 Hz.00 466. BASIC AC THEORY High-pitch notes such as those produced by a flute or whistle consist of the same type of vibrations in the air. The next highest “A” note has a frequency of 440 Hz – exactly twice as many sound wave cycles per second. two notes whose frequencies are exactly double each other sound remarkably similar. Here are but a few sample waveforms and their common designations in figure 1.66 311. the shortest span on a musical scale separating such note pairs being called an octave.00 415. The same 2:1 ratio holds true for the first A sharp (233.99 392.94 261. Other “waveforms” of AC are commonly produced within electronic circuitry.63 349. only vibrating at a much faster rate (higher frequency). one octave is equal to seven white keys’ worth of distance on a piano keyboard.12 As you can see.23 369. the next lowest “A” (one octave below 220 Hz) will be 110 Hz. While electromechanical alternators and many other physical phenomena naturally produce sine waves.11: The frequency in Hertz (Hz) is shown for various musical notes. and for all note pairs found in the table.30 440. A view of a piano keyboard helps to put this scale into perspective: Figure 1. The familiar musical mnemonic (doe-ray-mee-fah-so-lah-tee) – yes.16 493. the first frequency shown (designated with the letter “A”) is 220 Hz. Astute observers will notice that all notes on the table bearing the same letter designation are related by a frequency ratio of 2:1.25 Figure 1.18 293.00 233. This similarity in sound is musically recognized.10 CHAPTER 1. Note A A sharp (or B flat) B C (middle) C sharp (or D flat) D D sharp (or E flat) E F F sharp (or G flat) G G sharp (or A flat) A A sharp (or B flat) B C # # # Musical designation A1 A or B B1 C C# or Db D D or E E F F# or Gb G G or A A A# or Bb B C 1 b b b Frequency (in hertz) 220. Following this rule.63 277.16 Hz).08 Hz) and the next A sharp (466.

Square wave Triangle wave one wave cycle Sawtooth wave one wave cycle Figure 1.1.13: Some common waveshapes (waveforms). AC WAVEFORMS 11 C# D# Db Eb F # G # A# G b Ab Bb C# D# Db Eb F # G # A# G b Ab Bb C# D# Db Eb F # G # A# G b Ab Bb C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B one octave Figure 1.12: An octave is shown on a musical keyboard.2. .

triangle. Even in circuits that are supposed to manifest “pure” sine.” In music. Generally speaking. square. For example. We also know that AC can alternate in a variety of different ways. or “frequency. • Frequency = 1/(period in seconds) 1. This is known as the peak or crest value of an AC waveform: Figure 1. This is known as the peak-to-peak (P-P) value of an AC waveform: Figure 1. a square wave peaking at 10 volts is obviously a greater amount of voltage for a greater amount of time than a triangle wave . They’re simply a few that are common enough to have been given distinct names. But how do you grant a single measurement of magnitude to something that is constantly changing? One way to express the intensity. which is the essential property distinguishing one note from another. • REVIEW: • AC produced by an electromechanical alternator follows the graphical shape of a sine wave. Some waveforms are so complex that they defy classification as a particular “type” (including waveforms associated with many kinds of musical instruments). • The period of a wave is the amount of time it takes to complete one cycle. either one of these expressions of waveform amplitude can be misleading when comparing two different types of waves. anything different being labeled as non-sinusoidal. and express this as cycles per unit time. Being that the waveform of an AC voltage or current is crucial to its impact in a circuit. • Frequency is the number of complete cycles that a wave completes in a given amount of time. the real-life result is often a distorted version of the intended waveshape. However.15 Unfortunately. or magnitude (also called the amplitude). and by tracing the alternation over time we can plot it as a “waveform. we need to be aware of the fact that AC waves come in a variety of shapes. • One cycle of a wave is one complete evolution of its shape until the point that it is ready to repeat itself.” We can measure the rate of alternation by measuring the time it takes for a wave to evolve before it repeats itself (the “period”). any waveshape bearing close resemblance to a perfect sine wave is termed sinusoidal. where quantities of voltage and current are generally stable. 1 Hz being equal to one complete wave cycle per second. Usually measured in Hertz (Hz). we have little trouble expressing how much voltage or current we have in any part of a circuit. BASIC AC THEORY These waveforms are by no means the only kinds of waveforms in existence. or sawtooth voltage/current waveforms. frequency is the same as pitch. we encounter a measurement problem if we try to express how large or small an AC quantity is. With DC.14 Another way is to measure the total height between opposite peaks.12 CHAPTER 1. of an AC quantity is to measure its peak height on a waveform graph.3 Measurements of AC magnitude So far we know that AC voltage alternates in polarity and AC current alternates in direction.

MEASUREMENTS OF AC MAGNITUDE 13 Peak Time Figure 1.3. .1. Peak-to-Peak Time Figure 1.15: Peak-to-peak voltage of a waveform.16: A square wave produces a greater heating effect than the same peak voltage triangle wave. 10 V Time (same load resistance) 10 V (peak) more heat energy dissipated 10 V (peak) less heat energy dissipated Figure 1.14: Peak voltage of a waveform.

This. “average” is usually defined as the mathematical mean of all the points’ absolute values over a cycle. will be true for any waveform having equal-area portions above and below the “zero” line of a plot. all values assumed to be positive. However. In other words..18 + + + + ++ + + + ++ + + ++ + + + Practical average of points. polarity-sensitive meter movements vibrate uselessly if exposed to AC voltage or current.14 CHAPTER 1. because the inertia of the pointer against the tension of the spring naturally averages the force produced by the varying voltage/current values over time. the average value for most waveforms is technically zero.18: Waveform seen by AC “average responding” meter. When the “average” value of a waveform is referenced in this text. aggregate number. their needles oscillating rapidly about the zero mark. If we average all the points on the waveform algebraically (that is. as a practical measure of a waveform’s aggregate value.16 One way of expressing the amplitude of different waveshapes in a more equivalent fashion is to mathematically average the values of all the points on a waveform’s graph to a single. BASIC AC THEORY peaking at 10 volts. either positive or negative). it will be assumed that the “practical” definition of average .17: The average value of a sinewave is zero. we calculate the practical average value of the waveform by considering all points on the wave as positive quantities. indicating the true (algebraic) average value of zero for a symmetrical waveform. Conversely. The effects of these two AC voltages powering a load would be quite different: Figure 1.True average value of all points (considering their signs) is zero! Figure 1. This amplitude measure is known simply as the average value of the waveform. Polarity-insensitive mechanical meter movements (meters designed to respond equally to the positive and negative half-cycles of an alternating voltage or current) register in proportion to the waveform’s (practical) average value. Figure 1.17 + + + + ++ + + + - . because all the positive points cancel out all the negative points over a full cycle: Figure 1. of course. to consider their sign. as if the waveform looked like this: Figure 1.

aggregate measurement is also present in this saw analogy: how might we express the speed of a jigsaw blade? A bandsaw blade moves with a constant speed.19 Bandsaw Jigsaw blade motion wood wood blade motion (analogous to DC) (analogous to AC) Figure 1. on the other hand. A jigsaw blade. two pieces of modern woodworking equipment. moves back and forth. Picture a jigsaw and bandsaw side-by-side. The comparison of alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) may be likened to the comparison of these two saw types: Figure 1. What is more. Unfortunately. . Although the mathematics of such an amplitude measurement might not be straightforward.1. Both types of saws cut with a thin. because the power dissipated by a given load (work performed per unit time) is not directly proportional to the magnitude of either the voltage or current impressed upon it. To rate a jigsaw based on its peak blade speed would be quite misleading when comparing one jigsaw to another (or a jigsaw with a bandsaw!). depending on the mechanical design of the saws. the jigsaw uses a back-and-forth motion. the back-andforth motion of any two jigsaws may not be of the same type. while another with a triangle-wave motion. Another method of deriving an aggregate value for waveform amplitude is based on the waveform’s ability to do useful work when applied to a load resistance. We might say that the two saws were equivalent or equal in their cutting capacity. equally capable of cutting the same thickness of the same type of wood at the same rate. and a quantitative comparison of this common function can serve as a common basis for which to rate blade speed. Consider a bandsaw and a jigsaw. angle. equipped with identical blades (same tooth pitch. etc. its blade speed constantly changing. motor-powered metal blade to cut wood. Rather. toothed. One jigsaw might move its blade with a sine-wave motion. an AC measurement based on work performed by a waveform is not the same as that waveform’s “average” value. the utility of it is. MEASUREMENTS OF AC MAGNITUDE 15 is intended unless otherwise specified. The problem of trying to describe the changing quantities of AC voltage or current in a single. they are equal in one respect: they all cut wood.19: Bandsaw-jigsaw analogy of DC vs AC. and P = I2 R).3. Despite the fact that these different saws move their blades in different manners. similar to the way DC voltage pushes or DC current moves with a constant magnitude. power is proportional to the square of the voltage or current applied to a resistance (P = E2 /R. But while the bandsaw uses a continuous motion of the blade to cut.).

analog meter movements (D’Arsonval. For other considerations. then taking the square root of that average to obtain the final answer). For instance. to relate the wood-cutting effectiveness of one to the other? This is the general idea used to assign a “DC equivalent” measurement to any AC voltage or current: whatever magnitude of DC voltage or current would produce the same amount of heat energy dissipation through an equal resistance:Figure 1.20 5A RMS 10 V RMS 2Ω 5A RMS 10 V 50 W power dissipated 5A 2Ω 5A 50 W power dissipated Equal power dissipated through equal resistance loads Figure 1. not the true RMS value. which is a function of power dissipation caused by current through the resistance of the wire. For RMS measurements. BASIC AC THEORY Might this comparison be used to assign a “bandsaw equivalent” blade speed to the jigsaw’s back-and-forth blade motion. depending on how you look at it) to indicate voltage . when dealing with measurements of electric power.” but the quantity and principle are both the same. Because the AC voltage source pictured above is equivalent (in terms of power delivered to a load) to a 10 volt DC battery. electrodynamometer) will work so long as they have been calibrated in RMS figures. when rating insulators for service in high-voltage AC applications. irrespective of time. Weston.16 CHAPTER 1. Because the mechanical inertia and dampening effects of an electromechanical meter movement makes the deflection of the needle naturally proportional to the average value of the AC. iron vane. Peak and peak-to-peak measurements are best performed with an oscilloscope. RMS amplitude measurement is the best way to relate AC quantities to DC quantities. we have the same amount of load resistance (2 Ω) dissipating the same amount of power in the form of heat (50 watts). when determining the proper size of wire (ampacity) to conduct electric power from a source to a load. The qualifier “RMS” stands for Root Mean Square. However. averaging those squared values. peak or peak-to-peak measurements may be the best to employ. Sometimes the alternative terms equivalent or DC equivalent are used instead of “RMS. because the principal concern with current is overheating of the wire. which can capture the crests of the waveform with a high degree of accuracy due to the fast action of the cathode-ray-tube in response to changes in voltage. we would call this a “10 volt” AC source. or other AC quantities of differing waveform shapes. the algorithm used to obtain the DC equivalent value from points on a graph (essentially. RMS current measurement is the best to use. we would denote its voltage value as being 10 volts RMS. analog meters must be specifically calibrated (or mis-calibrated. because the principal concern here is insulator “flashover” caused by brief spikes of voltage. the procedure consists of squaring all the positive and negative points on a waveform graph. More specifically. one powered by AC and the other by DC. peak voltage measurements are the most appropriate.20: An RMS voltage produces the same heating effect as a the same DC voltage In the two circuits above.

22: Arbitrary waveforms have no simple conversions.577 (the reciprocal of square root of 3) and form factors of 1. Peak-to-Peak.577 (Peak) AVG = 0.15 (0. and triangle waves hold true only for pure forms of these waveshapes. Some instrument manufacturers have designed ingenious methods for determining the RMS value of any waveform.11 (0. and average amplitudes of sine waves. usually a sine wave. Electronic meters specifically designed for RMS measurement are best for the task.22 RMS = ??? AVG = ??? P-P = 2 (Peak) Figure 1.21 RMS = 0. square waves. average.5 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) Figure 1.1. is the ratio of its peak (crest) value divided by its RMS value. Average (practical.707/0. The accuracy of this type of RMS measurement is independent of waveshape. just the laws of physics in action in fulfillment of the definition of RMS. For “pure” waveforms.637 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = Peak AVG = Peak P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = 0. One such manufacturer produces “True-RMS” meters with a tiny resistive heating element powered by a voltage proportional to that being measured.577/0.707 (the reciprocal of the square root of 2) and a form factor of 1. The accuracy of this calibration depends on an assumed waveshape. MEASUREMENTS OF AC MAGNITUDE 17 or current in RMS units. The heating effect of that resistance element is measured thermally to give a true RMS value with no mathematical calculations whatsoever. This is a very important concept to understand when using an analog D’Arsonval meter . since the peak is the same as the RMS and average values. RMS.636). Triangle. for instance.3. Square-shaped waveforms always have crest and form factors equal to 1.5). In addition to RMS. The RMS and average values of distorted waveshapes are not related by the same ratios: Figure 1. there are ratios expressing the proportionality between some of these fundamental measurements.707 (Peak) AVG = 0. The crest factor of an AC waveform. The form factor of an AC waveform is the ratio of its RMS value divided by its average value. peak (crest). simple conversion coefficients exist for equating Peak. and peak-to-peak measures of an AC waveform. Bear in mind that the conversion constants shown here for peak.21: Conversion factors for common waveforms. Sinusoidal waveforms have an RMS value of 0. not algebraic). and RMS measurements to one another: Figure 1.and sawtooth-shaped waveforms have RMS values of 0.

as a practical measure of amplitude. An amplitude measurement can take the form of peak. • Analog. • REVIEW: • The amplitude of an AC waveform is its height as depicted on a graph over time. the meter’s calibration . • The crest factor of an AC waveform is the ratio of its peak (crest) to its RMS value. • The form factor of an AC waveform is the ratio of its RMS value to its average value. and thus a meter calibrated for sine-wave voltage or current will not indicate true RMS when reading a non-sinusoidal wave. RMS meter calibration is obtained by “skewing” the span of the meter so that it displays a small multiple of the average value. Bear in mind that this limitation applies only to simple. because the degree of needle deflection in an analog D’Arsonval meter movement is proportional to the average value of the waveform. BASIC AC THEORY movement to measure AC voltage or current. a waveform’s average value is often calculated as the mathematical mean of all the points’ absolute values (taking all the negative values and considering them as positive).707/0.1107 (the form factor: 0. • Average amplitude is the mathematical “mean” of all a waveform’s points over the period of one cycle. which will be equal to be the RMS value for a particular waveshape and a particular waveshape only. Also known as the crest amplitude of a wave. Any waveshape other than a pure sine wave will have a different ratio of RMS and average values. Also known as the “equivalent” or “DC equivalent” value of an AC voltage or current. analog AC meters not employing “True-RMS” technology. • Peak-to-peak amplitude is the total height of an AC waveform as measured from maximum positive to maximum negative peaks on a graph. it is the waveshape assumed for analog meter calibration. Often abbreviated as “P-P”. the average amplitude of any waveform with equal-area portions above and below the “zero” line on a graph is zero. Technically. the average value so calculated is approximately 0. • “RMS” stands for Root Mean Square.637 of its peak value. If the waveform of the voltage or current being measured is anything but a pure sine wave. For a sine wave. An analog D’Arsonval movement. calibrated to indicate sine-wave RMS amplitude. For a sine wave. will only be accurate when measuring pure sine waves. electromechanical meter movements respond proportionally to the average value of an AC voltage or current. Since the sine-wave shape is most common in electrical measurements. However. 10 volts AC RMS is the amount of voltage that would produce the same amount of heat dissipation across a resistor of given value as a 10 volt DC power supply.707 of its peak value. When RMS indication is desired. the indication given by the meter will not be the true RMS value of the waveform. • Peak amplitude is the height of an AC waveform as measured from the zero mark to the highest positive or lowest negative point on a graph. the RMS value is approximately 0. or RMS quantity. peak-to-peak.18 CHAPTER 1. For example.636: the ratio of RMS divided by average for a sinusoidal waveform). and is a way of expressing an AC quantity of voltage or current in terms functionally equivalent to DC. average. and the small multiple used in the calibration of the meter is 1. not the RMS.

however. With purely resistive circuits. . these rules and laws always hold true. as we will discover later on.4 Simple AC circuit calculations Over the course of the next few chapters.23: AC circuit calculations for resistive circuits are the same as for DC. and the Laws of Kirchhoff and Ohm still hold true. parallel resistances still diminish.1. R2 500 Ω Rtotal = R1 + R2 + R3 Rtotal = 1 kΩ Etotal Rtotal 10 V 1 kΩ Itotal = Itotal = Itotal = 10 mA ER3 = ItotalR3 ER3 = 4 V ER1 = ItotalR1 ER1 = 1 V ER2 = ItotalR2 ER2 = 5 V Series resistances still add. and so we can treat the numbers as though we were dealing with simple DC quantities. these complexities of AC are of no practical consequence. This means that the accuracy of an electromechanical meter’s RMS indication is dependent on the purity of the waveform: whether it is the exact same waveshape as the waveform used in calibrating. 1. current.4. the same laws and rules of DC apply simply and directly. and opposition to current in more advanced mathematical forms.23) involving nothing more than an AC power source and resistance. Actually. SIMPLE AC CIRCUIT CALCULATIONS 19 must be “skewed” accordingly. with simple circuits (figure 1. its just that we have to express the quantities of voltage. However. R1 100 Ω 10 V R3 400 Ω Figure 1. you will learn that AC circuit measurements and calculations can get very complicated due to the complex nature of alternating current in circuits with inductance and capacitance.

By “out of step. average. or RMS). 1. all values of voltage and current in AC circuits are generally assumed to be RMS rather than peak. Earlier A B . I promise! • The “table” method of organizing circuit values is still a valid analysis tool for AC circuits. then all currents and voltages subsequently calculated are cast in terms of peak units.24 illustrates an example of this.” I mean that the two waveforms are not synchronized: that their peaks and zero points do not match up at the same points in time. However. • REVIEW: • All the old rules and laws of DC (Kirchhoff ’s Voltage and Current Laws. peak-to-peak. If the source voltage is given in peak AC volts. but in most applications (especially industrial electronics) the assumption is RMS. Kirchhoff ’s Laws. BASIC AC THEORY Because all these mathematical relationships still hold true. but they are out of step with each other. peak measurements are assumed. This holds true for any calculation based on Ohm’s Laws. If the source voltage is given in AC RMS volts. Ohm’s Law) still hold true for AC. In some areas of electronics. we can make use of our familiar “table” method of organizing circuit values just as with DC: R1 E I R 1 10m 100 R2 5 10m 500 R3 4 10m 400 Total 10 10m 1k Volts Amps Ohms One major caveat needs to be given here: all measurements of AC voltage and current must be expressed in the same terms (peak. The graph in figure 1.24: Out of phase waveforms The two waves shown above (A versus B) are of the same amplitude and frequency. or peak-topeak. A B A B A B A B A B Figure 1. In technical terms. we may need to represent the AC quantities in more complex form. with more complex circuits. More on this later.5 AC phase Things start to get complicated when we need to relate two or more AC voltages or currents that are out of step with each other. etc.20 CHAPTER 1. Unless otherwise stated. this is called a phase shift. average. then all calculated currents and voltages are cast in AC RMS units as well.

quantities of AC voltage and current must reflect phase shift as well as amplitude. the voltage waveform of the power supply is used as a reference for phase. When applying Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff ’s Laws.25: Wave A leads wave B by 45o The shift between these two waveforms is about 45 degrees. We can use this angle scale along the horizontal axis of our waveform plot to express just how far out of step one wave is with another: Figure 1. and back to the starting point of zero at 360 degrees. That is. zero at 180 degrees.” Whichever waveform is ahead in its evolution is said to be leading and the one behind is said to be lagging. For this reason. Fortunately. . AC PHASE 21 we saw how we could plot a “sine wave” by calculating the trigonometric sine function for angles ranging from 0 to 360 degrees. multiplication. progressing to full positive amplitude at 90 degrees. they will be out of step by the same angular amount at every point in time.5. Typically in the analysis of AC circuits. like voltage.25 degrees A 0 90 180 270 (0) 360 90 180 270 (0) 360 A B B 0 90 180 270 360 (0) degrees 90 180 270 360 (0) Figure 1. subtraction. it is safe to say something like. and division must operate on these quantities of phase shift as well as amplitude.26 Because the waveforms in the above examples are at the same frequency. “voltage ’A’ is 45 degrees out of phase with voltage ’B’. A sampling of different phase shifts is given in the following graphs to better illustrate this concept: Figure 1. we can express phase shift for two or more waveforms of the same frequency as a constant quantity for the entire wave. The starting point of a sine wave was zero amplitude at zero degrees. full negative at 270 degrees. Phase shift.1. that voltage stated as “xxx volts at 0 degrees. and not just an expression of shift between any two particular points along the waves. There’s really no such thing as a waveform with an absolute phase measurement because there’s no known universal reference for phase. Mathematical operations of addition. a full circle. is always a measurement relative between two things.” Any other AC voltage or current in that circuit will have its phase shift expressed in terms relative to that source voltage. This is what makes AC circuit calculations more complicated than DC. the “A” wave being ahead of the “B” wave.

26: Examples of phase shifts. BASIC AC THEORY Phase shift = 90 degrees A B A is ahead of B (A "leads" B) Phase shift = 90 degrees B A B is ahead of A (B "leads" A) A Phase shift = 180 degrees A and B waveforms are mirror-images of each other B Phase shift = 0 degrees A B A and B waveforms are in perfect step with each other Figure 1. .22 CHAPTER 1.

6.1. Example: Phase shift = 90 degrees A B A leads B. 1. some of the basic principles will be covered. • A leading waveform is defined as one waveform that is ahead of another in its evolution. scientists knew that electricity and magnetism always seemed to affect each other at right angles. However. with or without the presence of a conductive path for electrons to flow. a magnetic field was generated perpendicular to the axis of flow. the next chapter will be devoted to that subject alone. In essence. The limited scope of this lesson on alternating current does not permit full exploration of the concept. a major discovery lay hidden just beneath this seemingly simple concept of related perpendicularity. So far. a voltage was produced along the length of that conductor. it was realized that electricity and magnetism were related to each other. if a conductor was exposed to a change in magnetic flux perpendicular to the conductor. A lagging waveform is one that is behind another. Because the subject of complex numbers is so essential to the understanding of AC circuits. B lags A • • Calculations for AC circuit analysis must take into consideration both amplitude and phase shift of voltage and current waveforms to be completely accurate. • The amount of phase shift between two waves can be expressed in terms of degrees. who “unified” the study of electricity and magnetism in four relatively tidy equations. PRINCIPLES OF RADIO 23 there is a mathematical system of quantities called complex numbers ideally suited for this task of representing amplitude and phase. and its unveiling was one of the pivotal moments in modern science. The man responsible for this conceptual revolution was the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). This requires the use of a mathematical system called complex numbers. • REVIEW: • Phase shift is where two or more waveforms are out of step with each other. as defined by the degree units on the horizontal axis of the waveform graph used in plotting the trigonometric sine function.6 Principles of radio One of the more fascinating applications of electricity is in the generation of invisible ripples of energy called radio waves. what he discovered was that electric and magnetic fields were intrinsically related to one another. This breakthrough in physics is hard to overstate. With Oersted’s accidental discovery of electromagnetism. Maxwell’s discovery was this: . Stated more formally. When an electric current was passed through a conductor. Likewise.

In this mode. The closed wire path of the loop antenna acts like an inductor with a large air core. The two open wires of the dipole act as a sort of capacitor (two conductors separated by a dielectric). An antenna is nothing more than a device built to produce a dispersing electric or magnetic field.24 CHAPTER 1. a changing magnetic field is produced at right angles. Antennas also have the ability to intercept electromagnetic waves and convert their energy into AC voltage and current. we can create electromagnetic waves (of a much lower frequency than that of light) with ease. with the same end-result of a continuous electromagnetic wave sent away from the antenna. The only difference between these kinds of electromagnetic radiation is the frequency of their oscillation (alternation of the electric and magnetic fields back and forth in polarity). and the loop a short circuit. and so on as the wave propagates at the speed of light.28 .27: Dipole and loop antennae While the dipole looks like nothing more than an open circuit. So are X-rays and “gamma” ray radiation. As the powered dipole radiates its changing electric field into space. the alternating electric and magnetic fields supporting each other as they travel through space at the speed of light. Either antenna achieves the same basic task: the controlled production of an electromagnetic field. This dynamic structure of electric and magnetic fields propagating through space is better known as an electromagnetic wave. and A changing magnetic field produces a perpendicular electric field. an antenna acts as a transmitting device. BASIC AC THEORY A changing electric field produces a perpendicular magnetic field. an antenna acts as a receiving device: Figure 1. these pieces of wire are effective radiators of electromagnetic fields when connected to AC sources of the proper frequency. Even light is electromagnetic in nature.27 Basic antenna designs DIPOLE LOOP Figure 1. converting AC voltage and current into electromagnetic wave energy. with the electric field open to dispersal instead of being concentrated between two closely-spaced plates. When attached to a source of high-frequency AC power. again providing ample opportunity for the field to disperse away from the antenna instead of being concentrated and contained as in a normal inductor. Two fundamental types of antennae are the dipole and the loop: Figure 1. thus sustaining the electric field further into space. There are many kinds of natural radiative energy composed of electromagnetic waves. All of this can take place in open space. a changing electric field is produced at right angles. As the powered loop antenna radiates its changing magnetic field into space. By using a source of AC voltage and a special device called an antenna.

• The loop antenna consists of a loop of wire. Harvey Lew (February 7.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions.1. • A twin set of electric and magnetic fields.7. • The dipole antenna consists of two pieces of wire (not touching). • REVIEW: • James Maxwell discovered that changing electric fields produce perpendicular magnetic fields. primarily generating an electric field when energized. oscillating at right angles to each other and traveling at the speed of light. CONTRIBUTORS AC voltage produced Radio receivers AC current produced 25 electromagnetic radiation electromagnetic radiation Radio transmitters Figure 1. constitutes an electromagnetic wave. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. and secondarily producing an electric field in space. 1. and vice versa. • An antenna is a device made of wire. this brief introduction is enough to give you the general idea of what’s going on (and perhaps enough information to provoke a few experiments).28: Basic radio transmitter and receiver While there is much more that may be said about antenna technology. primarily generating a magnetic field when energized. or intercept an electromagnetic field and convert it to an AC voltage or current. 2004): Corrected typographical error: “circuit” should have been “circle”. even in empty space. and secondarily producing a magnetic field in space. from most recent to first. . designed to radiate a changing electric field or changing magnetic field when powered by a high-frequency AC source.

2002): Suggestion for improving explanation of “average” waveform amplitude.26 CHAPTER 1. BASIC AC THEORY Duane Damiano (February 25.” Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. Mark D. . which led to a much betterlooking second edition. 2002): Suggestion for improving explanation of the unit “Hertz. John Symonds (March 28. 2003): Pointed out magnetic polarity error in DC generator illustration. Zarella (April 28.

Chapter 2

2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vectors and AC waveforms . . . . Simple vector addition . . . . . . Complex vector addition . . . . . Polar and rectangular notation . Complex number arithmetic . . . More on AC ”polarity” . . . . . . . Some examples with AC circuits Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 30 32 35 37 42 44 49 55



If I needed to describe the distance between two cities, I could provide an answer consisting of a single number in miles, kilometers, or some other unit of linear measurement. However, if I were to describe how to travel from one city to another, I would have to provide more information than just the distance between those two cities; I would also have to provide information about the direction to travel, as well. The kind of information that expresses a single dimension, such as linear distance, is called a scalar quantity in mathematics. Scalar numbers are the kind of numbers you’ve used in most all of your mathematical applications so far. The voltage produced by a battery, for example, is a scalar quantity. So is the resistance of a piece of wire (ohms), or the current through it (amps). However, when we begin to analyze alternating current circuits, we find that quantities of voltage, current, and even resistance (called impedance in AC) are not the familiar onedimensional quantities we’re used to measuring in DC circuits. Rather, these quantities, because they’re dynamic (alternating in direction and amplitude), possess other dimensions that 27



must be taken into account. Frequency and phase shift are two of these dimensions that come into play. Even with relatively simple AC circuits, where we’re only dealing with a single frequency, we still have the dimension of phase shift to contend with in addition to the amplitude. In order to successfully analyze AC circuits, we need to work with mathematical objects and techniques capable of representing these multi-dimensional quantities. Here is where we need to abandon scalar numbers for something better suited: complex numbers. Just like the example of giving directions from one city to another, AC quantities in a single-frequency circuit have both amplitude (analogy: distance) and phase shift (analogy: direction). A complex number is a single mathematical quantity able to express these two dimensions of amplitude and phase shift at once. Complex numbers are easier to grasp when they’re represented graphically. If I draw a line with a certain length (magnitude) and angle (direction), I have a graphic representation of a complex number which is commonly known in physics as a vector: (Figure 2.1)

length = 7 angle = 0 degrees

length = 10 angle = 180 degrees

length = 5 angle = 90 degrees

length = 4 angle = 270 degrees (-90 degrees)

length = 5.66 angle = 45 degrees

length = 9.43 angle = 302.01 degrees (-57.99 degrees)

Figure 2.1: A vector has both magnitude and direction. Like distances and directions on a map, there must be some common frame of reference for angle figures to have any meaning. In this case, directly right is considered to be 0o , and angles are counted in a positive direction going counter-clockwise: (Figure 2.2) The idea of representing a number in graphical form is nothing new. We all learned this in grade school with the “number line:” (Figure 2.3) We even learned how addition and subtraction works by seeing how lengths (magnitudes) stacked up to give a final answer: (Figure 2.4) Later, we learned that there were ways to designate the values between the whole numbers marked on the line. These were fractional or decimal quantities: (Figure 2.5) Later yet we learned that the number line could extend to the left of zero as well: (Figure 2.6)



The vector "compass" 90o



270o (-90o)
Figure 2.2: The vector compass

... 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Figure 2.3: Number line.

5+3=8 8 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 7 8 9 10 ...

Figure 2.4: Addition on a “number line”.

3-1/2 or 3.5 ... 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Figure 2.5: Locating a fraction on the “number line”



... -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5


Figure 2.6: “Number line” shows both positive and negative numbers. These fields of numbers (whole, integer, rational, irrational, real, etc.) learned in grade school share a common trait: they’re all one-dimensional. The straightness of the number line illustrates this graphically. You can move up or down the number line, but all “motion” along that line is restricted to a single axis (horizontal). One-dimensional, scalar numbers are perfectly adequate for counting beads, representing weight, or measuring DC battery voltage, but they fall short of being able to represent something more complex like the distance and direction between two cities, or the amplitude and phase of an AC waveform. To represent these kinds of quantities, we need multidimensional representations. In other words, we need a number line that can point in different directions, and that’s exactly what a vector is. • REVIEW: • A scalar number is the type of mathematical object that people are used to using in everyday life: a one-dimensional quantity like temperature, length, weight, etc. • A complex number is a mathematical quantity representing two dimensions of magnitude and direction. • A vector is a graphical representation of a complex number. It looks like an arrow, with a starting point, a tip, a definite length, and a definite direction. Sometimes the word phasor is used in electrical applications where the angle of the vector represents phase shift between waveforms.


Vectors and AC waveforms

OK, so how exactly can we represent AC quantities of voltage or current in the form of a vector? The length of the vector represents the magnitude (or amplitude) of the waveform, like this: (Figure 2.7) The greater the amplitude of the waveform, the greater the length of its corresponding vector. The angle of the vector, however, represents the phase shift in degrees between the waveform in question and another waveform acting as a “reference” in time. Usually, when the phase of a waveform in a circuit is expressed, it is referenced to the power supply voltage waveform (arbitrarily stated to be “at” 0o ). Remember that phase is always a relative measurement between two waveforms rather than an absolute property. (Figure 2.8) (Figure 2.9) The greater the phase shift in degrees between two waveforms, the greater the angle difference between the corresponding vectors. Being a relative measurement, like voltage, phase shift (vector angle) only has meaning in reference to some standard waveform. Generally this “reference” waveform is the main AC power supply voltage in the circuit. If there is more than

Waveform Vector representation




Figure 2.7: Vector length represents AC voltage magnitude.
Waveforms Phase relations Vector representations (of "A" waveform with reference to "B" waveform) Phase shift = 0 degrees A B A and B waveforms are in perfect step with each other A B

Phase shift = 90 degrees A B A is ahead of B (A "leads" B)

A 90 degrees B

Phase shift = 90 degrees B A B is ahead of A (B "leads" A) A B Phase shift = 180 degrees A and B waveforms are A mirror-images of each other A 180 degrees

B -90 degrees


Figure 2.8: Vector angle is the phase with respect to another waveform.





A angle B

phase shift
Figure 2.9: Phase shift between waves and vector phase angle one AC voltage source, then one of those sources is arbitrarily chosen to be the phase reference for all other measurements in the circuit. This concept of a reference point is not unlike that of the “ground” point in a circuit for the benefit of voltage reference. With a clearly defined point in the circuit declared to be “ground,” it becomes possible to talk about voltage “on” or “at” single points in a circuit, being understood that those voltages (always relative between two points) are referenced to “ground.” Correspondingly, with a clearly defined point of reference for phase it becomes possible to speak of voltages and currents in an AC circuit having definite phase angles. For example, if the current in an AC circuit is described as “24.3 milliamps at -64 degrees,” it means that the current waveform has an amplitude of 24.3 mA, and it lags 64o behind the reference waveform, usually assumed to be the main source voltage waveform. • REVIEW: • When used to describe an AC quantity, the length of a vector represents the amplitude of the wave while the angle of a vector represents the phase angle of the wave relative to some other (reference) waveform.


Simple vector addition

Remember that vectors are mathematical objects just like numbers on a number line: they can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided. Addition is perhaps the easiest vector operation to visualize, so we’ll begin with that. If vectors with common angles are added, their magnitudes (lengths) add up just like regular scalar quantities: (Figure 2.10)
length = 6 angle = 0 degrees length = 8 angle = 0 degrees total length = 6 + 8 = 14 angle = 0 degrees

Figure 2.10: Vector magnitudes add like scalars for a common angle. Similarly, if AC voltage sources with the same phase angle are connected together in series, their voltages add just as you might expect with DC batteries: (Figure 2.11) Please note the (+) and (-) polarity marks next to the leads of the two AC sources. Even though we know AC doesn’t have “polarity” in the same sense that DC does, these marks are



6V 0 deg + -

8V 0 deg + +







14 V 0 deg


14 V


Figure 2.11: “In phase” AC voltages add like DC battery voltages. essential to knowing how to reference the given phase angles of the voltages. This will become more apparent in the next example. If vectors directly opposing each other (180o out of phase) are added together, their magnitudes (lengths) subtract just like positive and negative scalar quantities subtract when added: (Figure 2.12)

length = 6 angle = 0 degrees length = 8 angle = 180 degrees total length = 6 - 8 = -2 at 0 degrees or 2 at 180 degrees
Figure 2.12: Directly opposing vector magnitudes subtract. Similarly, if opposing AC voltage sources are connected in series, their voltages subtract as you might expect with DC batteries connected in an opposing fashion: (Figure 2.13) Determining whether or not these voltage sources are opposing each other requires an examination of their polarity markings and their phase angles. Notice how the polarity markings in the above diagram seem to indicate additive voltages (from left to right, we see - and + on the 6 volt source, - and + on the 8 volt source). Even though these polarity markings would normally indicate an additive effect in a DC circuit (the two voltages working together to produce a greater total voltage), in this AC circuit they’re actually pushing in opposite directions because one of those voltages has a phase angle of 0o and the other a phase angle of 180o . The result, of course, is a total voltage of 2 volts. We could have just as well shown the opposing voltages subtracting in series like this: (Figure 2.14) Note how the polarities appear to be opposed to each other now, due to the reversal of wire connections on the 8 volt source. Since both sources are described as having equal phase



6V 0 deg + -

8V 180 deg +







2V + 180 deg




Figure 2.13: Opposing AC voltages subtract like opposing battery voltages.

6V 0 deg + -

8V 0 deg + 6V + -

8V + -

+ 2V 180 deg



Figure 2.14: Opposing voltages in spite of equal phase angles.



angles (0o ), they truly are opposed to one another, and the overall effect is the same as the former scenario with “additive” polarities and differing phase angles: a total voltage of only 2 volts. (Figure 2.15)

6V 0 deg + -

8V 0 deg + -

+ 2V 180 deg -


2V 0 deg

Figure 2.15: Just as there are two ways to express the phase of the sources, there are two ways to express the resultant their sum. The resultant voltage can be expressed in two different ways: 2 volts at 180o with the (-) symbol on the left and the (+) symbol on the right, or 2 volts at 0o with the (+) symbol on the left and the (-) symbol on the right. A reversal of wires from an AC voltage source is the same as phase-shifting that source by 180o . (Figure 2.16)

8V 180 deg +

These voltage sources are equivalent!

8V 0 deg + -

Figure 2.16: Example of equivalent voltage sources.


Complex vector addition

If vectors with uncommon angles are added, their magnitudes (lengths) add up quite differently than that of scalar magnitudes: (Figure 2.17) If two AC voltages – 90o out of phase – are added together by being connected in series, their voltage magnitudes do not directly add or subtract as with scalar voltages in DC. Instead, these voltage quantities are complex quantities, and just like the above vectors, which add up in a trigonometric fashion, a 6 volt source at 0o added to an 8 volt source at 90o results in 10 volts at a phase angle of 53.13o : (Figure 2.18) Compared to DC circuit analysis, this is very strange indeed. Note that it is possible to obtain voltmeter indications of 6 and 8 volts, respectively, across the two AC voltage sources,



Vector addition

length = 10 angle = 53.13 degrees

6 at 0 degrees length = 8 angle = 90 degrees + 8 at 90 degrees 10 at 53.13 degrees

length = 6 angle = 0 degrees
Figure 2.17: Vector magnitudes do not directly add for unequal angles.

6V 0 deg + -

8V 90 deg + +

10 V 53.13 deg

Figure 2.18: The 6V and 8V sources add to 10V with the help of trigonometry.



yet only read 10 volts for a total voltage! There is no suitable DC analogy for what we’re seeing here with two AC voltages slightly out of phase. DC voltages can only directly aid or directly oppose, with nothing in between. With AC, two voltages can be aiding or opposing one another to any degree between fullyaiding and fully-opposing, inclusive. Without the use of vector (complex number) notation to describe AC quantities, it would be very difficult to perform mathematical calculations for AC circuit analysis. In the next section, we’ll learn how to represent vector quantities in symbolic rather than graphical form. Vector and triangle diagrams suffice to illustrate the general concept, but more precise methods of symbolism must be used if any serious calculations are to be performed on these quantities. • REVIEW: • DC voltages can only either directly aid or directly oppose each other when connected in series. AC voltages may aid or oppose to any degree depending on the phase shift between them.


Polar and rectangular notation

In order to work with these complex numbers without drawing vectors, we first need some kind of standard mathematical notation. There are two basic forms of complex number notation: polar and rectangular. Polar form is where a complex number is denoted by the length (otherwise known as the magnitude, absolute value, or modulus) and the angle of its vector (usually denoted by an angle symbol that looks like this: ). To use the map analogy, polar notation for the vector from New York City to San Diego would be something like “2400 miles, southwest.” Here are two examples of vectors and their polar notations: (Figure 2.19)

8.06 ∠ -29.74o (8.06 ∠ 330.26o) 8.49 ∠ 45o

Note: the proper notation for designating a vector’s angle is this symbol: ∠ 5.39 ∠ 158.2o 7.81 ∠ 230.19o (7.81 ∠ -129.81o)

Figure 2.19: Vectors with polar notations.

Vectors being two-dimensional things.21) The horizontal component is referred to as the real component. since that dimension is compatible with normal. is where a complex number is denoted by its respective horizontal and vertical components. 180o to the left. since that dimension lies in a different direction. described by the lengths of the adjacent and opposite sides. Rather than describing a vector’s length and direction by denoting magnitude and angle.38 CHAPTER 2. The “imaginary” axis of the graph corresponds to another number line situated at 90o to the “real” one. it is described in terms of “how far left/right” and “how far up/down. and 270o straight down. The vertical component is referred to as the imaginary component. As a complete complex number. on the other hand. totally alien to the scale of the real numbers. (Figure 2. the vertical is prefixed with a lower-case “i” (in pure mathematics) or “j” (in electronics).81 230. the horizontal and vertical quantities are written as a sum: (Figure 2.19o ) can also be denoted as 7. In essence. making 90o straight up. scalar (“real”) numbers. the angled vector is taken to be the hypotenuse of a right triangle. also symbolized by a lower-case letter “i”). a vector angled 270o (straight down) can also be said to have an angle of -90o .81 -129. Please note that vectors angled “down” can have angles represented in polar form as positive numbers in excess of 180. or negative numbers less than 180.” These two dimensional figures (horizontal and vertical) are symbolized by two numerical figures. For example. COMPLEX NUMBERS Standard orientation for vector angles in AC circuit calculations defines 0o as being to the right (horizontal).22) The “real” axis of the graph corresponds to the familiar number line we saw earlier: the one with both positive and negative values on it. (Figure 2.81o . . The vector "compass" 90o 180o 0o 270o (-90o) Figure 2. but rather are mathematical operators used to distinguish the vector’s vertical component from its horizontal component.20) The above vector on the right (7. In order to distinguish the horizontal and vertical dimensions from each other. These lower-case letters do not represent a physical variable (such as instantaneous current.20: The vector compass Rectangular form.

"imaginary" Figure 2."real" + "real" -j .j4 "4 right and 4 down" -4 + j0 "4 left and 0 up/down" -4 -j4 "4 left and 4 down" Figure 2. POLAR AND RECTANGULAR NOTATION 39 4 + j4 "4 right and 4 up" 4 + j0 "4 right and 0 up/down" -4 + j4 "4 left and 4 up" 4 .22: Vector compass showing real and imaginary axes . + "imaginary" +j .2. the first number representing the the horizontal (“real”) and the second number (with the “j” prefix) representing the vertical (“imaginary”) dimensions.21: In “rectangular” form the vector’s length and direction are denoted in terms of its horizontal and vertical span.5.

. This may be understood more readily by drawing the quantities as sides of a right triangle. Conversion between the two notational forms involves simple trigonometry. respectively: (Figure 2..23: Vector compass with real and imaginary (“j”) number lines. COMPLEX NUMBERS we must have a two-dimensional “map” upon which to express them. and the imaginary component by multiplying the polar magnitude by the sine of the angle. the horizontal and vertical sides representing the “real” and “imaginary” rectangular components. the hypotenuse of the triangle representing the vector itself (its length and angle with respect to the horizontal constituting the polar form).40 CHAPTER 2.. rectangular form lending itself to addition and subtraction.23) 5 4 3 "imaginary" number line 2 1 .24) . Either method of notation is valid for complex numbers. and polar form lending itself to multiplication and division. -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 "real" number line 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 1 2 3 4 5 . Figure 2. To convert from polar to rectangular. thus the two number lines perpendicular to each other: (Figure 2. The primary reason for having two methods of notation is for ease of longhand calculation. find the real component by multiplying the polar magnitude by the cosine of the angle..

87o +4 +j3 Figure 2.87o • REVIEW: 42 + 32 3 4 (polar form) • Polar notation denotes a complex number in terms of its vector’s length and angular direction from the starting point. find the polar magnitude through the use of the Pythagorean Theorem (the polar magnitude is the hypotenuse of a right triangle.87o (5)(cos 36.2. Example: fly 45 miles 203o (West by Southwest). .24: Magnitude vector in terms of real (4) and imaginary (j3) components. and the real and imaginary components are the adjacent and opposite sides.87o 5 ∠ 36. and the angle by taking the arctangent of the imaginary component divided by the real component: 4 + j3 (rectangular form) c= a2 + b2 (pythagorean theorem) polar magnitude = polar magnitude = 5 polar angle = arctan polar angle = 36.87 ) = 3 4 + j3 o (polar form) (real component) (imaginary component) (rectangular form) To convert from rectangular to polar. 5 ∠ 36.5. respectively).87o) = 4 (5)(sin 36. POLAR AND RECTANGULAR NOTATION 41 length = 5 angle = 36.

” sometimes called the j operator. The imaginary component is preceded by a lower-case “j.(20 + j82) -56 .j3 6 + j2 175 . Example: drive 41 miles West.42 CHAPTER 2. then turn and drive 18 miles South. and add the angles of the complex numbers to determine the angle of the product: . simply add up the real components of the complex numbers to determine the real component of the sum. 2.(80 . multiplied. just like scalar numbers. they can be added. but these operations can also be done “by hand.j19 -36 + j1 0 . and add up the imaginary components of the complex numbers to determine the imaginary component of the sum: 2 + j5 + 4 . • In rectangular notation. squared. angle with respect to horizontal side = angle).” This section will show you how the basic operations are performed. and subtract the imaginary component of the second complex number from the imaginary component of the first to arrive the imaginary component of the difference: 2 + j5 . When multiplying complex numbers in polar form.j15) 95 . subtracted. simply multiply the polar magnitudes of the complex numbers to determine the polar magnitude of the product. For addition.j3) -2 + j8 175 . polar is the favored notation to work with.j15 255 . Some scientific calculators are programmed to directly perform these operations on two or more complex numbers. COMPLEX NUMBERS • Rectangular notation denotes a complex number in terms of its horizontal and vertical dimensions. • Both polar and rectangular forms of notation for a complex number can be related graphically in the form of a right triangle. Addition and subtraction with complex numbers in rectangular form is easy. just like any other kind of number.6 Complex number arithmetic Since complex numbers are legitimate mathematical entities.j72 For longhand multiplication and division.j34 + 80 . simply subtract the real component of the second complex number from the real component of the first to arrive at the real component of the difference. the first quantity is the “real” component (horizontal dimension of vector) and the second quantity is the “imaginary” component (vertical dimension of vector). inverted.(4 . It will make your study of AC circuit much more pleasant than if you’re forced to do all calculations the longer way. divided. with the hypotenuse representing the vector itself (polar form: hypotenuse length = magnitude. It is highly recommended that you equip yourself with a scientific calculator capable of performing arithmetic functions easily on complex numbers. and such.j34 . the horizontal side representing the rectangular “real” component. and the vertical side representing the rectangular “imaginary” component.j49 -36 + j10 + 20 + j82 -16 + j92 When subtracting complex numbers in rectangular form.

subtraction.02857 ∠ -65o o o 35 ∠ 65 35 ∠ 65 1 1 ∠ 0o = = 0. division. subtraction. multiplication.2.1 ∠ 12o 10 ∠ -12o 10 ∠ -12o 1 0. and subtract the angle of the second complex number from the angle of the first complex number to arrive at the angle of the quotient: 35 ∠ 65o 10 ∠ -12o 124 ∠ 250o 11 ∠ 100o 3 ∠ 30o 5 ∠ -30o = 3. and inversion. including powers. • REVIEW: . a complex number.273 ∠ 150o = 0. or “invert” (1/x). and you’ll have little trouble with AC circuit analysis.6 ∠ 60o To obtain the reciprocal. Be sure that you’re familiar with the basic arithmetic operations of addition. roots. Virtually any arithmetic operation that can be done with scalar numbers can be done with complex numbers. multiplication.5 ∠ -10o These are the basic operations you will need to know in order to manipulate complex numbers in the analysis of AC circuits. simply divide the number (in polar form) into a scalar value of 1. division. COMPLEX NUMBER ARITHMETIC 43 (35 ∠ 65o)(10 ∠ -12o) = 350 ∠ 53o (124 ∠ 250o)(11 ∠ 100o) = 1364 ∠ -10o or 1364 ∠ 350o (3 ∠ 30o)(5 ∠ -30o) = 15 ∠ 0o Division of polar-form complex numbers is also easy: simply divide the polar magnitude of the first complex number by the polar magnitude of the second complex number to arrive at the polar magnitude of the quotient. and inversion.6. solving simultaneous equations with complex coefficients.0032 ∠ 10o = 1 ∠ 0o 0. Operations with complex numbers are by no means limited just to addition. and even trigonometric functions (although this involves a whole new perspective in trigonometry called hyperbolic functions which is well beyond the scope of this discussion).0032 ∠ 10o = 312.5 ∠ 77o = 11. however. which is nothing more than a complex number with no imaginary component (angle = 0): 1 1 ∠ 0o = = 0.

Subtraction is similar. add the real components and add the imaginary components.7 More on AC ”polarity” Complex numbers are useful for AC circuit analysis because they provide a convenient method of symbolically denoting phase shift between AC quantities like voltage and current. as there are two points between which the voltage exists. . using “+” and “-” symbols.26: Decidedly unconventional polarity marking. Although it would be mathematically correct to represent a battery’s voltage as a negative figure with reversed polarity markings. multiply the magnitudes and add the angles. If a digital voltmeter indicates a negative DC voltage. these polarity markings and their relationship to phase angle tends to be confusing.25: Conventional battery polarity. and use color-coded meter test leads (red and black). COMPLEX NUMBERS • To add complex numbers in rectangular form. we denote the polarity of voltage sources and voltage drops explicitly. Batteries have their polarity designated by way of intrinsic symbology: the short-line side of a battery is always the negative (-) side and the long-line side always the positive (+): (Figure 2. as well as polarity markings. divide the magnitudes and subtract one angle from the other. it would be decidedly unconventional: (Figure 2. In DC circuits. Voltage is an inherently relative quantity.25) + 6V Figure 2. 2. • To multiply complex numbers in polar form.26) -6 V + Figure 2. for most people the equivalence between abstract vectors and real circuit quantities is not an easy one to grasp. However. and two test leads on the instrument with which to make connection. To divide. This section is written in the attempt to clarify some of these issues. Earlier in this chapter we saw how AC voltage sources are given voltage figures in complex form (magnitude and phase angle). When we measure a voltage. Being that alternating current has no set “polarity” as direct current does. we know that its test leads are connected “backward” to the voltage (red lead connected to the “-” and black lead to the “+”). we have a choice in how we connect a voltmeter or other voltage-measuring instrument to the source of voltage.44 CHAPTER 2.

” A voltmeter connected to the above battery with red lead to the bottom terminal and black lead to the top terminal would indeed indicate a negative voltage (-6 volts). the polarity marks (which indicate meter test lead placement) indicate the sources aiding each other. voltage is relative between two points. we describe to what degree one voltage aids or opposes another by phase: the time-shift between two waveforms. assuming that both sources are unlabeled as to their polarities. however. If one AC voltage directly opposes another AC voltage. labeled with the exact voltage figures obtained by the voltmeter. while the red test lead is actually touching the negative. Thus.28) This first measurement of +24 across the left-hand voltage source tells us that the black lead of the meter really is touching the negative side of voltage source #1.32) According to this diagram. Consider the use of a DC voltmeter in determining whether or not two DC voltage sources are aiding or opposing each other. because the facility of polar notation allows for vectors pointing in an opposite direction.27) The mathematical sign of a digital DC voltmeter’s display has meaning only in the context of its test lead connections. and we have a choice in how we might connect a voltage-measuring instrument between those two points. Using the voltmeter to measure across the first source: (Figure 2. Instead. Because of this fact. By definition. MORE ON AC ”POLARITY” 45 Interpreting such notation might be easier if the “+” and “-” polarity markings were viewed as reference points for voltmeter test leads.30) This second voltmeter reading. though. is a negative (-) 17 volts.7. we know that source #2 is a battery facing in the opposite direction: (Figure 2.29) Measuring the other unknown voltage source: (Figure 2. we don’t deal with “negative” quantities of voltage. however. Actually. and the red lead of the meter really is touching the positive. Likewise. so we subtract 17 volts from 24 volts to obtain the total voltage across the two: 7 volts. the principle of relating test lead connections to the mathematical sign of a DC voltmeter indication: (Figure 2. First.2. the phase angle of an AC voltage has meaning only in the context of knowing which of the two points is considered the “reference” point. which tells us that the black test lead is actually touching the positive side of voltage source #2. We never describe an AC voltage as being negative in sign. the “+” meaning “red” and the “-” meaning “black. Thus. opposing voltages subtract from one another. Still. and later interpreted as correct or “backward” according to the mathematical sign of the figure calculated. Let’s review these principles with some graphical aids. By definition. this form of notation and interpretation is not as unusual as you might think: it is commonly encountered in problems of DC network analysis where “+” and “-” polarity marks are initially drawn according to educated guess. so we add 24 volts to -17 volts to obtain 7 volts: still the correct . The mathematical sign of a DC voltmeter’s reading has meaning only in the context of its test lead connections: which terminal the red lead is touching. the polarity marks indicating voltmeter test lead placement: (Figure 2. “+” and “-” polarity marks are often placed by the terminals of an AC voltage in schematic diagrams to give the stated phase angle a frame of reference. and which terminal the black lead is touching. draw the two sources as nondescript boxes. we know source #1 is a battery facing in this orientation: (Figure 2. we simply say that one is 180o out of phase with the other. In AC circuits. aiding voltage sources add with one another to form the total voltage.31) It should be obvious to any experienced student of DC electricity that these two batteries are opposing one another. We could.

The meter tells us +24 volts V V OFF A A A COM Source 1 Source 2 Total voltage? Figure 2.28: (+) Reading indicates black is (-).46 CHAPTER 2. red is (+).27: Test lead colors provide a frame of reference for interpreting the sign (+ or -) of the meter’s indication. COMPLEX NUMBERS V V OFF A A V V OFF A A A COM A COM 6V 6V Figure 2. .

7. MORE ON AC ”POLARITY” 47 24 V Source 1 Source 2 Total voltage? Figure 2.32: Voltmeter readings as read from meters.31: 17V source is polarized (+) to (-) 24 V Source 1 -17 V + Source 2 + Figure 2.2. 24 V Source 1 17 V Source 2 - Total voltage = 7 V + Figure 2. . The meter tells us -17 volts V V OFF A A A COM Source 1 Source 2 Total voltage? Figure 2.30: (-) Reading indicates black is (+). red is (-).29: 24V source is polarized (-) to (+).

any polarity marks must be included as additional symbols on the diagram. However. If we let the polarity markings guide our decision to either add or subtract voltage figures – whether those polarity markings represent the true polarity or just the meter test lead orientation – and include the mathematical signs of those voltage figures in our calculations. In order to relate multiple AC voltages at different phase angles to each other. and still arrive at the same total voltage: (Figure 2.34: Reversing the voltmeter leads on the 6V source changes the phase angle by 180o . . the result will always be correct.861 V ∠ 16.861 V ∠ 16. so to determine the total voltage across the resistor we must add the voltage figures of 10 V 0o and 6 V 45o together to obtain 14. The polarity markings show these two voltage sources aiding each other.34) 10 V ∠ 0o + 6 V ∠ 225o + - 14.861 V 16.48 CHAPTER 2. however.59o Figure 2. The same is true for AC voltages. (Figure 2. the polarity markings serve as frames of reference to place the voltage figures’ mathematical signs in proper context. AC voltage symbols have no intrinsic polarity marking. COMPLEX NUMBERS answer.59o .33: Phase angle substitutes for ± sign. except that phase angle substitutes for mathematical sign. correlate with the given phase angle to represent the true phase relationship of that voltage with other voltages in the circuit. it would be perfectly acceptable to represent the 6 volt source as 6 V 225o . They must.33) Take for example the following circuit: 10 V ∠ 0o + 6 V ∠ 45o + 14. Therefore.59o Figure 2. 6 V 45o with negative on the left and positive on the right is exactly the same as 6 V 225o with positive on the left and negative on the right: the reversal of polarity markings perfectly complements the addition of 180o to the phase angle designation: (Figure 2. and there is no one “correct” way in which to place them. whose symbols intrinsically define polarity by means of short and long lines. we need polarity markings to provide frames of reference for those voltages’ phase angles. Again. with a reversed set of polarity markings.35) Unlike DC voltage sources.

it is assumed that all frequencies are equal. . is equivalent to . . taking into account phase as well as magnitude. no frequency value is specified. all of the same frequency).8 Some examples with AC circuits Let’s connect three AC voltage sources in series and use complex numbers to determine additive voltages.35: Reversing polarity adds 180o to phase angle • REVIEW: • Polarity markings are sometimes given to AC voltages in circuit schematics in order to provide a frame of reference for their phase angles. The only qualification is that all variables must be expressed in complex form. .36: KVL allows addition of complex voltages. The setup of our equation to find total voltage appears as such: . 6 V ∠ 225o + - Figure 2.36) 22 V ∠ -64 + E1 + E2 + E3 load o 12 V ∠ 35o 15 V ∠ 0o Figure 2. and all voltages and currents must be of the same frequency (in order that their phase relationships remain constant).8.2. 2. with the exception of power calculations (Joule’s Law). The polarity marks for all three voltage sources are oriented in such a way that their stated voltages should add to make the total voltage across the load resistor. . Kirchhoff ’s Laws. All the rules and laws learned in the study of DC circuits apply to AC circuits as well (Ohm’s Law. SOME EXAMPLES WITH AC CIRCUITS 49 6 V ∠ 45o + . thus meeting our qualifications for applying DC rules to an AC circuit (all figures given in complex form. network analysis methods). Notice that although magnitude and phase angle is given for each AC voltage source. (Figure 2. If this is the case.

we can convert each one of these polar-form complex numbers into rectangular form and add.38) resultant vector 22 ∠ -64o 15 ∠ 0o 12 ∠ 35o Figure 2. In order to determine what the resultant vector’s magnitude and angle are without resorting to graphic images.37.37: Graphic addition of vector voltages. the vectors add up as shown in Figure 2.38: Resultant is equivalent to the vector sum of the three original voltages. Remember. we’re adding these figures together because the polarity marks for the three voltage sources are oriented in an additive manner: . The sum of these vectors will be a resultant vector originating at the starting point for the 22 volt vector (dot at upper-left of diagram) and terminating at the ending point for the 15 volt vector (arrow tip at the middle-right of the diagram): (Figure 2. COMPLEX NUMBERS Etotal = E1 + E2 + E3 Etotal = (22 V ∠ -64o) + (12 V ∠ 35o) + (15 V ∠ 0o) Graphically.50 CHAPTER 2. 22 ∠ -64o 15 ∠ 0o 12 ∠ 35o Figure 2.

8052 volts -20. Rectangular figures must be converted to polar figures (specifically polar magnitude) before they can be related to actual circuit measurements. What this means in real terms is that the voltage measured across these three voltage sources will be 36. the 10 kΩ resistor value is quite arbitrary. In this test circuit.4740 . Although rectangular notation is convenient for addition and subtraction.000E+01 v(3) 3. this equates to 36.81 volts -20.8. Also. It’s there so that SPICE does not declare an open-circuit error and abort analysis. A voltmeter connected across these points in a real circuit would only indicate the polar magnitude of the voltage (36.j19. because resistors respond uniformly for all frequencies of AC voltage and current. and was indeed the final step in our sample problem here.print ac v(3.8906 V In polar lin 1 60 60 . not the angle.0) . There are other components (notably capacitors and inductors) which do not respond uniformly to different frequencies. it is not very applicable to practical measurements.5018o .8052 volts).8829 V 22 V ∠ -64o = 9.j19.5o (with reference to the 15 volt source.5018o .681E+01 I’m using a frequency of 60 Hz as a default value vp(3) -2.8052 volts. The same principle holds true for AC ammeters: they indicate the polar magnitude of the current. we get a total voltage of 36. but that is another subject! (Figure 2.end freq 6.0) vp(3.8298 + j6. but not a voltmeter.050E+01 Sure enough.7735 V 15 + j0 V 9. SOME EXAMPLES WITH AC CIRCUITS 51 15 V ∠ 0o = 15 + j0 V 12 V ∠ 35o = 9.j12.6442 .2. whose phase angle was arbitrarily stated at zero degrees so as to be the “reference” . not the phase angle. the choice of frequencies for the simulation (60 Hz) is quite arbitrary. An oscilloscope could be used to display two voltage waveforms and thus provide a phase shift measurement.7735 V 34. lagging the 15 volt (0o phase reference) by 20.8829 V + 9.8298 + j6. This is extremely important in relating calculated figures of voltage and current to real circuits.39) ac voltage addition v1 1 0 ac 15 0 sin v2 2 1 ac 12 35 sin v3 3 2 ac 22 -64 sin r1 3 0 10k .6442 . We can use SPICE to verify the accuracy of our results.

52 CHAPTER 2. waveform). and this allows for such paradoxical summing. But with AC. this is counter-intuitive. this would be impossible.40: Polarity of E2 (12V) is reversed. COMPLEX NUMBERS 3 22 V ∠ -64o 2 12 V ∠ 35o 1 15 V ∠ 0o 0 + V3 + V2 R1 + V1 - 3 10 kΩ 0 Figure 2.39: Spice circuit schematic. and 22 volt supplies connected in series? With DC. What if we took the same circuit and reversed one of the supply’s connections? Its contribution to the total voltage would then be the opposite of what it was before: (Figure 2. as voltage figures will either directly add or subtract.40) 22 V ∠ -64o Polarity reversed on source E2 ! + E1 E2 + + E3 load 12 V ∠ 35o 15 V ∠ 0o Figure 2. 12 volt. How is it possible to obtain a total voltage of just over 36 volts with 15 volt. even though the leads have been reversed. Remember that the phase angle of any voltage drop is stated in reference to its noted polarity. the vector will be drawn 180o opposite of what it was before: (Figure 2. our “polarity” (phase shift) can vary anywhere in between full-aiding and full-opposing. Note how the 12 volt supply’s phase angle is still referred to as 35o . At first glance. depending on polarity. Even though the angle is still written as 35o .41) The resultant (sum) vector should begin at the upper-left point (origin of the 22 volt vector) .

and terminate at the right arrow tip of the 15 volt vector: (Figure 2.2. SOME EXAMPLES WITH AC CIRCUITS 53 22 ∠ -64o 12 ∠ 35o (reversed) = 12 ∠ 215o or -12 ∠ 35o 15 ∠ 0o Figure 2.42) 22 ∠ -64o resultant vector 12 ∠ 35o (reversed) = 12 ∠ 215o or -12 ∠ 35ο 15 ∠ 0o Figure 2.41: Direction of E2 is reversed. The connection reversal on the 12 volt supply can be represented in two different ways in .42: Resultant is vector sum of voltage sources.8.

j6. Rectangular expressions of complex quantities in an AC circuit have no direct. it can be expressed in either of two different ways: adding 180o to the angle.8298 .4964 V verify the results of our calculations: -60.9368o . conversion to rectangular form yields the same result: 12 V ∠ 35o (reversed) = 12 V ∠ 215o = -9. with the exception of power calculations (Joule’s Law).8298 .54 CHAPTER 2. so long as all values are expressed and manipulated in complex form.8298 .j19. we will use SPICE to ac voltage addition v1 1 0 ac 15 0 sin v2 1 2 ac 12 35 sin Note the reversal of node numbers 2 and 1 v3 3 2 ac 22 -64 sin to simulate the swapping of connections r1 3 0 10k . or a reversal of sign on the magnitude (making it -12 volts 35o ). as Kirchhoff ’s Voltage and Current Laws require. Either way.0) . then: 15 + j0 V -9.j26. Once again. this equates to 30.7735 V 14.0) vp(3.094E+01 • REVIEW: • All the laws and rules of DC circuits apply to AC lin 1 60 60 .8829 V The resulting addition of voltages in rectangular form.6564 V In polar form. and all voltages and currents are at the same frequency. • When reversing the direction of a vector (equivalent to reversing the polarity of an AC voltage source in relation to other voltage sources).6442 .j6. • Meter measurements in an AC circuit correspond to the polar magnitudes of calculated values.8829 V + 9.8143 .end freq 6.050E+01 vp(3) -6.000E+01 v(3) 3.8829 V or -12 V ∠ 35o = -9.j6. COMPLEX NUMBERS polar form: by an addition of 180o to its vector angle (making it 12 volts 215o ).print ac v(3. or reversing the sign of the magnitude. although they are convenient for performing addition and subtraction. empirical equivalent. .

9 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. from most recent to first. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. .9. CONTRIBUTORS 55 2. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information.2.


. .7 AC resistor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . More on the “skin effect” . . . AC inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Series resistor-inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 3. . .Chapter 3 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE Contents 3. . . . . . .4 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 3. . . . . . . . . . . If we were to plot the current and voltage for a very simple AC circuit consisting of a source and a resistor (Figure 3.2) 57 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 AC resistor circuits ET I ER IR E T = ER I = IR R 0° IR ET Figure 3. . . . . . .5 3. . . . Parallel resistor-inductor circuits Inductor quirks . . . . . . . . . 57 59 64 71 74 77 79 3. . . . . . . .1: Pure resistive AC circuit: resistor voltage and current are in phase. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contributors . . . . . .1). .3 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . it would look something like this: (Figure 3. . . . . . . .1 3. .

meaning the values at that instant in time). We can also calculate the power dissipated by this resistor. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE e= i= + Time - Figure 3. the voltage is also positive. Note that the power is never a negative value. We can look at any point in time along the horizontal axis of the plot and compare those values of current and voltage with each other (any “snapshot” look at the values of a wave are referred to as instantaneous values. when the current is negative (below the line). At any given point in time along the waves. taking it from the source and releasing it in the form of heat energy. and plot those values on the same graph: (Figure 3. Likewise. Conversely.58 CHAPTER 3. Because the resistor simply and directly resists the flow of electrons at all periods of time.3) e= i= p= + Time - Figure 3. Ohm’s Law holds true for the instantaneous values of voltage and current. the waveform for the voltage drop across the resistor is exactly in phase with the waveform for the current through it. Whether the . at the moment in time where the current through the resistor is at its positive peak. which results in a positive value for power (a negative number multiplied by a negative number equals a positive number). When the instantaneous value for current is zero. the voltage across the resistor is also at its positive peak. resulting in a power (p=ie) of a positive value. and so on. This consistent “polarity” of power tells us that the resistor is always dissipating power. the voltage is also negative.3: Instantaneous AC power in a pure resistive circuit is always positive.2: Voltage and current “in phase” for resistive circuit. the instantaneous voltage across the resistor is also zero. When the current is positive (above the line).

where it crosses the zero line). by dropping a voltage directly proportional to the rate of change of current. That is.6) Things get even more interesting when we plot the power for this circuit: (Figure 3. the power equals zero whenever the instantaneous current or voltage is . rather than resistance. Looking at the graph. If we were to plot the current and voltage for this very simple circuit.2 AC inductor circuits Inductors do not behave the same as resistors. meaning the rate of change of instantaneous current (i) over time. the instantaneous voltage is zero whenever the instantaneous current is at a peak (zero change. the voltage dropped across an inductor is a reaction against the change in current through it. 59 3. (Figure 3. Whereas resistors simply oppose the flow of electrons through them (by dropping a voltage directly proportional to the current). In accordance with Lenz’s Law. This opposition to current change is called reactance. this induced voltage is always of such a polarity as to try to maintain current at its present value. Expressed mathematically. or level slope.4) ET I EL IL E T = EL I = IL L EL 90° IL Figure 3. Therefore. the induced voltage will “push against” the electron flow. on the current sine wave). Sometimes you will find the rate of instantaneous voltage expressed as “v” instead of “e” (v = L di/dt). and the current “lags” behind the voltage. and the instantaneous voltage (e). a resistor still dissipates energy. if current is increasing in magnitude. in amps per second. if current is decreasing.4: Pure inductive circuit: Inductor current lags inductor voltage by 90o . the voltage wave seems to have a “head start” on the current wave. To show what happens with alternating current. the relationship between the voltage dropped across the inductor and rate of current change through the inductor is as such: e = L di dt The expression di/dt is one from calculus.7) Because instantaneous power is the product of the instantaneous voltage and the instantaneous current (p=ie). The inductance (L) is in Henrys. but it means the exact same thing. it would look something like this: (Figure 3. is in volts. the voltage “leads” the current.3. let’s analyze a simple inductor circuit: (Figure 3.2. AC INDUCTOR CIRCUITS current is positive or negative. the polarity will reverse and “push with” the electron flow to oppose the decrease. and the instantaneous voltage is at a peak wherever the instantaneous current is at maximum change (the points of steepest slope on the current wave.5) Remember. This results in a voltage wave that is 90o out of phase with the current wave. inductors oppose changes in current through them. of course.

(-) voltage = max. current slope = 0 voltage = 0 current slope = max. (-) Figure 3.5: Pure inductive circuit. waveforms. (+) voltage = max.7: In a pure inductive circuit. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE + e= i= Time Figure 3.60 CHAPTER 3.6: Current lags voltage by 90o in a pure inductive circuit. (+) e= i= Time + current slope = 0 voltage = 0 current slope = max. + e= i= p= Time Figure 3. instantaneous power may be positive or negative .

It is the number of radians per second that the alternating current is “rotating” at. they will drop more voltage for faster-changing currents. this is for perfect inductors only.1: Reactance of a 10 mH inductor: Frequency (Hertz) Reactance (Ohms) 60 3. Since inductors drop voltage in proportion to the rate of current change. the result will be a figure in radians per second. and it dissipates zero power. or it may be represented by its own symbol.2. Reactance to AC is expressed in ohms. As with the resistor example. it has a different name: reactance. Since the positive and negative power cycles are equal in magnitude and duration over time. What this means is that reactance in ohms for any inductor is directly proportional to the frequency of the alternating current. Whenever the instantaneous current and voltage are both positive (above the line). The exact formula for determining reactance is as follows: XL = 2πfL If we expose a 10 mH inductor to frequencies of 60. the power is also positive when the instantaneous current and voltage are both negative (below the line). quite unlike the resistance of a resistor. which dissipates energy in the form of heat. However. except that its mathematical symbol is X instead of R. or 360o . Mind you. which have no wire resistance. the power is positive. like this: XL . resulting in equally frequent occurrences of negative instantaneous power.3. . there are times when one is positive while the other is negative. just like resistance is. But what does negative power mean? It means that the inductor is releasing power back to the circuit. the term “2π f ” (everything on the right-hand side except the L) has a special meaning unto itself. while a positive power means that it is absorbing power from the circuit. AC INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 61 zero. known as the angular velocity of the AC system. An inductor’s opposition to change in current translates to an opposition to alternating current in general. because the current and voltage waves are 90o out of phase. Angular velocity may be represented by the expression 2π f. Because of the differences. which is by definition always changing in instantaneous magnitude and direction. the reactance formula XL = 2π fL could also be written as XL = ω L. if you imagine one cycle of AC to represent a full circle’s rotation. What this means in a practical sense is that the reactance of an inductor dissipates a net energy of zero. This opposition to alternating current is similar to resistance.7699 120 7. Thus. 120. it will produce one cycle for every full turn of shaft rotation. Table 3. just as there are 360o in a full circle.5398 2500 157. If the alternator producing the AC is a double-pole unit. the lower-case Greek letter Omega.1. it will manifest the reactances in Table Figure 3. the inductor releases just as much power back to the circuit as it absorbs over the span of a complete cycle. A radian is a unit of angular measurement: there are 2π radians in one full circle. but different in that it always results in a phase shift between current and voltage. If this constant of 2π is multiplied by frequency in Hertz (cycles per second). which is every 2π radians. and less voltage for slower-changing currents.0796 In the reactance equation. To be specific. which appears similar to our Roman lowercase “w”: ω . and 2500 Hz. reactance associate with an inductor is usually symbolized by the capital letter X with a letter L as a subscript.

8: Inductive reactance (inductive reactance of 10 mH inductor at 60 Hz) XL = 3. we find that an inductor’s opposition to current has a phase angle.62 CHAPTER 3. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE It must be understood that this “angular velocity” is an expression of how rapidly the AC waveforms are cycling. we need to keep in mind that voltage and current are not in phase here. it is apparent that it is directly proportional to reactance in an inductor. just as either alternating or direct current in a simple resistive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the resistance (in ohms). (Figure 3. As was shown earlier.7699 Ω I= I= I = 2. the angular velocity will be a multiple of the shaft speed. and vice versa. too: . Alternating current in a simple inductive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the inductive reactance (in ohms). an inductor will offer greater opposition to the passage of current. ω is sometimes expressed in units of electrical radians per second rather than (plain) radians per second. As the frequency (or alternator shaft speed) is increased in an AC system.7699 Ω E X 10 V 3. a full cycle being equal to 2π radians.8) 10 V 60 Hz L 10 mH Figure 3. For this reason.6526 A However.9) If we represent these phase angles of voltage and current mathematically in the form of complex numbers. It is not necessarily representative of the actual shaft speed of the alternator producing the AC. the voltage has a phase shift of +90o with respect to the current. If the alternator has more than two poles. so as to distinguish it from mechanical motion. An example circuit is shown here: (Figure 3. Any way we express the angular velocity of the system.

we say that the phase angle of an inductor’s opposition to current is 90o . • REVIEW: • Inductive reactance is the opposition that an inductor offers to alternating current due to its phase-shifted storage and release of energy in its magnetic field.7699 Ω ∠ 90o or 0 + j3.6526 A ∠ 0ο Opposition = Opposition = 3. . AC INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 63 Opposition = Voltage Current 10 V ∠ 90o 2. It is symbolized by the lowercase Greek letter “omega. Reactance is symbolized by the capital letter “X” and is measured in ohms just like resistance (R).” or ω .3. in units of electrical radians per second instead of cycles per second.7699 Ω For an inductor: 90o 90o E 0o I Opposition (XL) Figure 3. meaning that an inductor’s opposition to current is a positive imaginary quantity. • Inductive reactance can be calculated using this formula: XL = 2π fL • The angular velocity of an AC circuit is another way of expressing its frequency. Mathematically.2. especially for complex AC circuits where reactance and resistance interact.9: Current lags voltage by 90o in an inductor. This phase angle of reactive opposition to current becomes critically important in circuit analysis. It will prove beneficial to represent any component’s opposition to current in terms of complex numbers rather than scalar quantities of resistance and reactance.

the combined effect of the two components will be an opposition to current equal to the complex sum of the two numbers. we need a more comprehensive term for opposition to current than either resistance or reactance alone. or 0 + j3. while the inductor will offer 3.7699 Ω ∠ 900) or (5 + j0 Ω) + (0 + j3.10) R ET I IR EL IL ET = ER+ EL I = IR = IL L EL 37° I ER ET 10 V 60 Hz R 5Ω L 10 mH Figure 3. This combined opposition will be a vector combination of resistance and reactance.7699 Ω (XL) Ztotal = (5 Ω ∠ 0o) + (3. we explored what would happen in simple resistor-only and inductoronly AC circuits.7699 Ω) Ztotal = 5 + j3. or 5 + j0 Ω). its symbol is Z. Now we will mix the two components together in series form and investigate the effects.262 Ω ∠ 37. This term is called impedance. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE • Inductive reactance increases with increasing frequency. 3. the total circuit impedance is: Ztotal = (5 Ω resistance) + (3. Because the resistor’s resistance is a real number (5 Ω 0o . In other words.7699 Ω or 6.10: Series resistor inductor circuit: Current lags applied voltage by 0o to 90o .7699 Ω of reactance to AC current at 60 Hz.64 CHAPTER 3. The resistor will offer 5 Ω of resistance to AC current regardless of frequency.7699 Ω 90o . the higher the frequency. and it is also expressed in the unit of ohms. Take this circuit as an example to work with: (Figure 3.7699 Ω inductive reactance) Ztotal = 5 Ω (R) + 3. the more it opposes the AC flow of electrons. In order to express this opposition succinctly. In the above example. just like resistance and reactance.016o . and the inductor’s reactance is an imaginary number (3.3 Series resistor-inductor circuits In the previous section.7699 Ω).

in a manner similar to resistance in Ohm’s Law: Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ I= E Z Z= E I All quantities expressed in complex. I= I= E Z 10 V ∠ 0o 6.3. regardless of the given phase angles for voltage or current). can be and should be represented as a single impedance in an AC circuit. (The phase angles of resistive and inductive impedance are always 0o and +90o .016o + e= i= Time Figure 3. we first need to give a phase angle reference for the voltage source. (Figure 3.016o As with the purely inductive circuit. although this time the lag is not as great: only 37. For the resistor and the inductor. this is a far more comprehensive form of Ohm’s Law than what was taught in DC electronics (E=IR).3. To calculate current in the above circuit. the phase relationships between voltage and current haven’t changed. SERIES RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 65 Impedance is related to voltage and current just as you might expect. the current wave lags behind the voltage wave (of the source). which is generally assumed to be zero. respectively.11) phase shift = 37. Any resistance and any reactance. Voltage across the resistor is in phase (0o shift) with the current through . form In fact. not scalar.597 A ∠ -37.016o as opposed to a full 90o as was the case in the purely inductive circuit.11: Current lags voltage in a series L-R circuit.262 Ω ∠ 37. just as impedance is a far more comprehensive expression of opposition to the flow of electrons than resistance is. separately or in combination (series/parallel).016o I = 1.

E = IZ EL = ILZL EL = (1.9847 V ∠ -37. while the current through the inductor has a phase angle of -37.9847 V ∠ -37.597 A ∠ -37.016o)(5 Ω ∠ 0o) ER = 7.0203 V ∠ 52.016o Notice that the phase angle of ER is equal to the phase angle of the current. a difference of exactly 90o between the two.0203 V ∠ 52. The voltage across the resistor has the exact same phase angle as the current through it.597 A ∠ -37. We can also mathematically prove that these complex values add together to make the total voltage.7699 Ω ∠ 90o) EL = 6.12) . This tells us that E and I are still 90o out of phase (for the inductor only).984o Notice that the phase angle of EL is exactly 90o more than the phase angle of the current.016o .016o) + (6. telling us that E and I are in phase (for the resistor only).984o) Etotal = 10 V ∠ 0o Let’s check the validity of our calculations with SPICE: (Figure 3. just as Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law would predict: Etotal = ER + EL Etotal = (7.66 CHAPTER 3. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE it. and the voltage across the inductor is +90o out of phase with the current going through it. We can verify this mathematically: E = IZ ER = IRZR ER = (1. The voltage across the inductor has a phase angle of 52.016o)(3.984o .

98o I = 1.702E+01 v(2) 6.2) 7. Note how both the resistor and inductor voltage phase readings match our calculations (-37.597E+00 ip(v1) 1. SERIES RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 67 1 10 V 60 Hz 0 R 5Ω L 2 10 mH 0 Figure 3.0o Note that just as with DC circuits.02o EL = 6. draw up a table for E/I/Z figures and insert all component values in these terms (in other words.02o and 52.298E+01 i(v1) 1.12: Spice circuit: R-L.2) vp(2. respectively). don’t insert actual resistance or inductance values in Ohms and Henrys. First.print ac v(1.end freq 6. SPICE outputs current figures as though they were negative (180o out of phase) with the supply voltage.597 A ∠ 143.985E+00 vp(1.3.020 V ∠ 52. respectively.98o .0) i(v1) .2) v(2.985 V ∠ -37.000E+01 freq 6. ac r-l circuit v1 1 0 ac 10 sin r1 1 2 5 l1 2 0 10m .016o .2) -3. rather.020E+00 vp(2) 5. into the table. it would be beneficial for us to use the “table” method. Instead of a phase angle of -37.0) ip(v1) . Applying a table to this simple series resistorinductor circuit would proceed as such. just as we expected them to. This is merely an idiosyncrasy of SPICE and does not represent anything significant in the circuit simulation itself.3. we get a current phase angle of 143o (-37o + 180o ).000E+01 v(1.print ac vp(1. convert them into complex figures of impedance and write those in): .ac lin 1 60 60 .430E+02 Interpreted SPICE results ER = 7. With all these figures to keep track of for even such a simple circuit as this.

we can proceed just as with DC: determine the total impedance from the individual impedances. then this extra documentation is completely unnecessary. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 + j3. writing each quantity in both forms will be useful indeed.7699 6.262 ∠ 37.7699 3.7699 3.68 R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 3. if you are forced to perform complex arithmetic “longhand” (addition and subtraction in rectangular form. Now that our “given” figures are inserted into their respective locations in the table. we know that opposition to electron flow (resistance or impedance) adds to form the total opposition: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 + j3. I find it helpful to write both the rectangular and polar forms of each quantity in the table.016o Ohms Now that we know total voltage and total impedance.7699 ∠ 90o Rule of series circuits Ztotal = ZR + ZL 5 + j3. and multiplication and division in polar form).7699 ∠ 90o Ohms Although it isn’t necessary. Since this is a series circuit. we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) to determine total current: . However. If you are using a calculator that has the ability to perform complex arithmetic without the need for conversion between rectangular and polar forms.

016o 0 + j3.597 ∠ -37. Consequently.7699 3.016o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 1.7699 3.262 ∠ 37. the total current in a series AC circuit is shared equally by all components.7699 ∠ 90o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 1.2751 . This is done through the use of Ohm’s Law (E=IZ). SERIES RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 0 + j3.2751 . we can transfer the figures for current into the columns for the resistor and inductor alike: R E I Z 1.7699 6.016o Volts Amps Ohms 69 Ohm’s Law E I= Z Just as with DC.j0.016o 5 + j3. therefore the rate of their flow must uniform throughout.262 ∠ 37.597 ∠ -37.j0. respectively.3. applied vertically in each column of the table: .7699 ∠ 90o 1.9614 1.j0.7699 6.j0.597 ∠ -37.016o Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IR = IL Now all that’s left to figure is the voltage drop across the resistor and inductor.597 ∠ -37.2751 .9614 1. This is still true because in a series circuit there is only a single path for electrons to flow.9614 1.2751 .016o 5 + j3.9614 1.3.

3756 (real rectangular) or 4. if you were to connect a voltmeter across the resistor in this circuit. Rectangular notation. while convenient for arithmetical addition and subtraction.j4. XL XL XL Z Z = = = = = 2π fL 2π ·60·79. Thus.9614 1.58×10−3 30 Ω R + jXL 40 + j30 . Find the impedance at 60 hertz. but may be helpful for those following along without the benefit of an advanced calculator.70 R E I Z 6. with the caveat that all quantities must be represented and calculated in complex rather than scalar form.597 ∠ -37.8071 6.2751 . because it is the only one that can be directly correlated to real measurements.9847 ∠ -37. The exact same rules we applied in the analysis of DC circuits apply to AC circuits as well. If we were to restrict ourselves to the use of only one form of notation.8071 (imaginary rectangular) volts. is a more abstract form of notation than polar in relation to real-world measurements. not 6.597 ∠ -37. there is no fundamental difference in how we approach basic AC circuit analysis versus DC.7699 3. and E=IZ. This is not absolutely necessary.58 millihenry inductor.016o 0 + j3.2751 . Now is a good time to review the relationship between these calculated figures and readings given by actual instrument measurements of voltage and current. The figures here that directly relate to real-life measurements are those in polar notation.13) Example: Given: A 40 Ω resistor in series with a 79.016o 1. So long as phase shift is properly represented in our calculations. Since E=IR. resistance.6244 + j4.597 ∠ -37. reactance. our table is complete.9847 volts. and impedance are proportional to voltage. (Figure 3.016o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ And with that.262 ∠ 37. not rectangular! In other words. measurement instruments simply tell you how long the vector is for that particular quantity (voltage or current).7699 ∠ 90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 1. I will indicate both polar and rectangular forms of each quantity in my AC circuit tables simply for convenience of mathematical calculation.j0.016o 5 + j3.9614 1. E=IXL .016o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 3.984o 1. To describe this in graphical terms.9614 1. Impedance (Z) of a series R-L circuit may be calculated.0203 ∠ 52.8071 7. the voltage phasor diagram can be replaced by a similar impedance diagram. As I stated before. it would indicate 7.j0.3756 . given the resistance (R) and the inductive reactance (XL ). the best choice would be polar. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE L 3.2751 . respectively.j0.7699 6.

3.4.14) Because the power source has the same frequency as the series example circuit. • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ . PARALLEL RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 71 R ET I IR EL IL XL EL 37° I Voltage ET XL 37° Z ER Impedance R Figure 3. The circuit current will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o . . just like resistance (R) and reactance (X). Zn • A purely resistive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly 0o (ZR = R Ω 0o ). • A purely inductive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly +90o (ZL = XL Ω 90o ). voltage drops add to form the total voltage.87o • REVIEW: • Impedance is the total measure of opposition to electric current and is the complex (vector) sum of (“real”) resistance and (“imaginary”) reactance. . I = E/Z . Z = E/I • When resistors and inductors are mixed together in circuits. respectively.13: Series: R-L circuit Impedance phasor diagram. Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = Z1 + Z2 + . • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in series circuit analysis: series impedances add to form the total impedance. |Z| = sqrt(402 + 302 ) = 50 Ω Z = arctangent(30/40) = 36. and impedances add to form the total impedance.87o Z = 40 + j30 = 50 36. . and the resistor and inductor both have the same values of resistance and inductance. • Series AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as series DC circuits: current is uniform throughout the circuit.4 Parallel resistor-inductor circuits Let’s take the same components for our series example circuit and connect them in parallel: (Figure 3. the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and +90o .3. It is symbolized by the letter “Z” and measured in ohms.

72 CHAPTER 3. calculating current through the resistor and current through the inductor: . we can begin our analysis table with the same “given” values: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 0 + j3.7699 3. We know that voltage is shared uniformly by all components in a parallel circuit. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE E I R -53° E I R 10 V 60 Hz R 5Ω L 10 mH IR IL L IL I I = IR+ IL E = ER = EL Figure 3. so we can transfer the figure of total voltage (10 volts 0o ) to all components columns: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 0 + j3.7699 3. The approach is fundamentally the same as for DC.7699 ∠ 90o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms The only difference in our analysis technique this time is that we will apply the rules of parallel circuits instead of the rules for series circuits.14: Parallel R-L circuit. So. they must also have the same values of impedance.7699 ∠ 90o Rule of parallel circuits: Etotal = ER = EL 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Now we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically to two columns of the table.

parallel impedance can also be calculated by using a reciprocal formula identical to that used in calculating parallel resistances. total impedance can be calculated by using Ohm’s Law (Z=E/I) vertically in the “Total” column.4. just as with DC circuits.7699 ∠ 90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 73 Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z Just as with DC circuits.6526 2.984o Volts Amps Ohms Finally.7699 3.6526 3. Incidentally.6526 ∠ -90o 0 + j3.j2. And if you’re determined to run through a formula like this “longhand.3221 ∠ -52..j2.. No matter which way you calculate total impedance (Ohm’s Law or the reciprocal formula). Zparallel = 1 1 1 1 + + . and this example is no different. Z1 Z2 Zn The only problem with using this formula is that it typically involves a lot of calculator keystrokes to carry out. you will arrive at the same figure: .6526 2.j2.7699 3.” be prepared for a very large amount of work! But. we often have multiple options in calculating the quantities in our analysis tables.3. branch currents in a parallel AC circuit add to form the total current (Kirchhoff ’s Current Law still holds true for AC as it did for DC): R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 . PARALLEL RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 .6526 ∠ -90o 0 + j3.7699 ∠ 90o Rule of parallel circuits: Itotal = IR + IL Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 .

This built-in resistance acts as though it were connected in series with the perfect inductance of the coil. . Compounding this problem is something called the skin effect.984o 1. the impedance of any real inductor will always be a complex combination of resistance and inductive reactance.74 R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 3.6526 ∠ -90o 0 + j3.6526 3.4035 3. which is AC’s tendency to flow through the outer areas of a conductor’s cross-section rather than through the middle. Z = E/I • When resistors and inductors are mixed together in parallel circuits (just as in series circuits). inductors are not quite so pure in their reactive behavior. To begin with. Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = 1/(1/Z1 + 1/Z2 + .j2. • Parallel AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as parallel DC circuits: voltage is uniform throughout the circuit. and not electron friction as is the case with resistive components. 3. the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and +90o . . However. . That is. and we know that all wire possesses some measurable amount of resistance (unless its superconducting wire). an inductor acts as a purely reactive device. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 .8122 + j2.5 Inductor quirks In an ideal case. they’re made of wire.322 ∠ -52.984o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law Z= E I or Rule of parallel circuits: 1 Ztotal = 1 1 + ZR ZL • REVIEW: • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in parallel circuit analysis: parallel impedances diminish to form the total impedance.7699 ∠ 90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 .j2. like this: (Figure 3. its opposition to AC current is strictly based on inductive reaction to changes in current. and impedances diminish (through the reciprocal formula) to form the total impedance.0102 ∠ 52. The circuit current will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o .6526 2. using the reciprocal formula.7699 3. branch currents add to form the total current. I = E/Z . 1/Zn ) • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ .15) Consequently.

3. the alternating magnetic fields produced tend to induce circulating currents within the iron core known as eddy currents. on the other hand. especially if the AC is of high frequency. When an inductor is energized with AC. each one separated from the other by a thin layer of electrically insulating varnish. where metallic elements and alloys must be heated in a vacuum environment to avoid contamination by air. In high-frequency service. When electrons flow in a single direction (DC).5. and thus where standard combustion heating technology would be useless. which is not as good a conductor as copper. this process of “inductive heating” is often used in high-purity metal foundry operations. Electrons switching directions of flow. It is a “non-contact” technology. The skin effect becomes more pronounced as frequency increases. and so it manifests itself as resistance (power dissipation) in the circuit. limiting the effective cross-sectional area available. INDUCTOR QUIRKS 75 Equivalent circuit for a real inductor Wire resistance R Ideal inductor L Figure 3. With the cross-section of the core divided up into many electrically isolated sections. To counteract this tendency. The effect is more pronounced at higher frequencies. As you might have expected. the alternating magnetic field of an inductor energized with AC may radiate off into space as part of an electromagnetic wave. contributing to additional resistive effects. Added to the resistive losses of wire and radiation. they use the entire cross-sectional area of the conductor to move. eddy currents can even develop within the cross-section of the wire itself. Also. current cannot circulate within that cross-sectional area and there will be no (or very little) resistive losses from that effect.15: Inductor Equivalent circuit of a real inductor. Eddy current losses are primarily counteracted by dividing the iron core up into many thin sheets (laminations). there are other effects at work in ironcore inductors which manifest themselves as additional resistance between the leads. the heated substance not having to touch the coil(s) producing the magnetic field. These electric currents in the iron core have to overcome the electrical resistance offered by the iron. tend to avoid travel through the very middle of a conductor. This radiated energy does not return to the inductor. and can be so extreme that it is sometimes exploited in manufacturing processes to heat metal objects! In fact. eddy current losses in metallic inductor cores manifest themselves in the form of heat. special .

16: Equivalent circuit of a real inductor with skin-effect. is designed with the express purpose of dissipating the greatest amount of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation. the stray resistive properties of a real inductor (wire resistance. Additionally. To help quantify the relative amount of effective resistance in an inductor.” the “purer” the inductor is. individually insulated strands called Litz wire (short for Litzendraht) can be used. and hysteresis losses) are expressed under the single term of “effective resistance:” (Figure 3. a high-Q inductor is better than a low-Q inductor for design . for example. For some reason. Because its so easy to add additional resistance if needed. Altogether. A radio transmitter antenna. eddy currents. the Powers That Be decided to use the same letter of the alphabet to denote a totally different quantity.16) Equivalent circuit for a real inductor "Effective" resistance R Ideal inductor L Figure 3.76 CHAPTER 3. and hysteresis losses. another value exists called the Q factor. The insulation separating strands from each other prevent eddy currents from circulating through the whole wire’s cross-sectional area. but at radio frequencies they can be quite large. or “quality factor” which is calculated as follows: Q= XL R The symbol “Q” has nothing to do with electric charge (coulombs). radiation. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE wire made of very fine. Effective resistance in an inductor can be a serious consideration for the AC circuit designer. radiation losses. Some core materials (such as ferrite) are particularly notorious for their hysteretic effect. Counteracting this effect is best done by means of proper core material selection and limits on the peak magnetic field intensity generated with each cycle. which tends to be confusing. It is worthy to note that the skin effect and radiation losses apply just as well to straight lengths of wire in an AC circuit as they do a coiled wire. eddy current. Usually their combined effect is too small to notice. any magnetic hysteresis that needs to be overcome with every reversal of the inductor’s magnetic field constitutes an expenditure of energy that manifests itself as resistance in the circuit. The higher the value for “Q.

6 More on the “skin effect” As previously mentioned. Q does not vary proportionally with reactance.17) Cross-sectional area of a round conductor available for conducting DC current "DC resistance" Cross-sectional area of the same conductor available for conducting low-frequency AC "AC resistance" Cross-sectional area of the same conductor available for conducting high-frequency AC "AC resistance" Figure 3. In order for a Q value to have precise meaning.6. and therefore further “taints” the reactive purity of real inductors.17: Skin effect: skin depth decreases with increasing frequency. with zero effective resistance. increasing the resistance of that conductor above what it would normally be for direct current: (Figure 3. varnish. Stray resistance isn’t the only inductor quirk we need to be aware of. Due to the fact that the multiple turns of wire comprising inductors are separated from each other by an insulating gap (air. or some other kind of electrical insulation). AC capacitance will be explored in the next chapter. 3. so will Q. This effectively limits the cross-sectional conductor area available to carry alternating electron flow. the skin effect is where alternating current tends to avoid travel through the center of a solid conductor. However. we have the potential for capacitance to develop between turns. but it suffices to say at this point that it behaves very differently from AC inductance. An ideal inductor would have a Q of infinity. . limiting itself to conduction near the surface. it must be specified at a particular test frequency.3. radiation losses. and hysteresis) also vary with frequency. since the resistive effects of inductors (wire skin effect. Because inductive reactance (X) varies with frequency. eddy current. MORE ON THE “SKIN EFFECT” 77 purposes.

at high frequencies the AC current avoids travel through most of the conductor’s cross-sectional area. the wire might as well be hollow! In some radio applications (antennas. for excellent conductivity at the “skin” of the tube: Figure 3. The inductors are hollow copper tubes coated with silver.” the “AC resistance” of the same conductor referring to a higher figure resulting from the skin effect. As you can see. The degree to which frequency affects the effective resistance of a solid wire conductor is impacted by the gauge of that wire. large-gauge wires exhibit a more pronounced . most notably) this effect is exploited. In the following photograph you can see some large inductors used in a 50 kW radio transmitting circuit.78 CHAPTER 3. why not just use hollow metal rods instead of solid metal wires and save both weight and cost? (Figure 3.18) Most antenna structures and RF power conductors are made of hollow metal tubes for this reason. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE The electrical resistance of the conductor with all its cross-sectional area in use is known as the “DC resistance. Since radiofrequency (“RF”) AC currents wouldn’t travel through the middle of a conductor anyway. As a rule. For the purpose of conducting current.18: High power inductors formed from hollow tubes.

f RAC = AC resistance at given frequency "f" RDC = Resistance at zero frequency (DC) k = Wire gage factor (see table below) f = Frequency of AC in MHz (MegaHertz) Table 3. corrected for the skin effect.5 8 34. Reactance.2 gives approximate values of “k” factor for various round wire sizes. from most recent to first. Table 3. This is simply an estimated figure of pure resistance for the conductor (that opposition to the AC flow of electrons which does dissipate power in the form of heat). and it does not consider any reactive effects.5 22 6.9 4 55.6 2 69.86 6 47.7. CONTRIBUTORS 79 skin effect (change in resistance from DC) than small-gauge wires at any given frequency.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions.8 2/0 99.9 - For example.6) RAC = 2.182 kΩ f 10 Please remember that this figure is not impedance. 3.182 kΩ at a frequency of 10 MHz: RAC = (RDC)(k) RAC = (25 Ω)(27.2: “k” factor for various AWG wire sizes. a length of number 10-gauge wire with a DC end-to-end resistance of 25 Ω would have an AC (effective) resistance of 2.6 1/0 88.3. The equation for approximating skin effect at high frequencies (greater than 1 MHz) is as follows: RAC = (RDC)(k) Where. are entirely different matters. gage size k factor gage size k factor 4/0 124. inductive or capacitive. .0 14 17. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information.0 10 27. and the combined effects of reactance and resistance (impedance).8 18 10.

REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE Jim Palmer (June 2001): Identified and offered correction for typographical error in complex number calculation. . which led to a much betterlooking second edition.80 CHAPTER 3. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting.

. . . . .Chapter 4 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE Contents 4. . . . .1 4. . . . . . . . .1: Pure resistive AC circuit: voltage and current are in phase. . . . . . Parallel resistor-capacitor circuits Capacitor quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . If we were to plot the current and voltage for a very simple AC circuit consisting of a source and a resistor. . . . . . . . . . .5 4. . . .4 4. . . . . (Figure 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Series resistor-capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . the waveform for the current is exactly in phase with the waveform for 81 . . . AC capacitor circuits . .6 AC resistor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 83 87 92 95 97 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 4. . . . .1) it would look something like this: (Figure 4.1 AC resistor circuits ET I ER IR E T = ER I = IR R 0° IR ET Figure 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contributors . . . . .2) Because the resistor allows an amount of current directly proportional to the voltage across it at all periods of time.

Note that the power is never a negative value. This consistent “polarity” of power tells us that the resistor is always dissipating power.82 CHAPTER 4. a resistor still dissipates energy. Ohm’s Law holds true for the instantaneous values of voltage and current.2: Voltage and current “in phase” for resistive circuit. and plot those values on the same graph: (Figure 4.3: Instantaneous AC power in a resistive circuit is always positive. taking it from the source and releasing it in the form of heat energy. When the current is positive (above the line).3) e= i= p= + Time - Figure 4. at the moment in time where the voltage across the resistor is at its positive peak. Likewise. when the current is negative (below the line). We can also calculate the power dissipated by this resistor. . which results in a positive value for power (a negative number multiplied by a negative number equals a positive number). Whether the current is positive or negative. the voltage is also negative. We can look at any point in time along the horizontal axis of the plot and compare those values of current and voltage with each other (any “snapshot” look at the values of a wave are referred to as instantaneous values. the voltage is also positive. the current through the resistor is also at its positive peak. the instantaneous current through the resistor is also zero. When the instantaneous value for voltage is zero. resulting in a power (p=ie) of a positive value. meaning the values at that instant in time). and so on. the voltage. Conversely. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE e= i= + Time - Figure 4. At any given point in time along the waves.

the relationship between the current “through” the capacitor and rate of voltage change across the capacitor is as such: i=C de dt The expression de/dt is one from calculus. it would look something like this: (Figure 4. capacitors oppose changes in voltage by drawing or supplying current as they charge or discharge to the new voltage level. Whereas resistors allow a flow of electrons through them directly proportional to the voltage drop. the current through a capacitor is a reaction against the change in voltage across it. Expressed mathematically. but one that is precisely opposite to the kind exhibited by inductors. The flow of electrons “through” a capacitor is directly proportional to the rate of change of voltage across the capacitor. Sometimes you will find the rate of instantaneous voltage change over time expressed as dv/dt instead of de/dt: using the lower-case letter “v” instead or “e” to represent voltage. This opposition to voltage change is another form of reactance.2 AC capacitor circuits Capacitors do not behave the same as resistors.5) + e= i= Time Figure 4. AC CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 83 4.4: Pure capacitive circuit: capacitor voltage lags capacitor current by 90o If we were to plot the current and voltage for this very simple circuit.4) ET I VC IC C -90° EC IC E T = EC I = IC Figure 4.4.5: Pure capacitive circuit waveforms. Remember. meaning the rate of change of instantaneous voltage (e) over time. of course. and the instantaneous current (i). let’s analyze a simple capacitor circuit: (Figure 4. is in amps. in volts per second. Therefore. but it means the exact same thing. the instantaneous current is zero whenever the instantaneous voltage is . The capacitance (C) is in Farads.2. To show what happens with alternating current.

the 90 degree phase shift between voltage and current results in a power wave that alternates equally between positive and negative.84 CHAPTER 4. alternately.7) + e= i= p= Time Figure 4. or level slope. This means that a capacitor does not dissipate power as it reacts against changes in voltage. the current wave seems to have a “head start” on the voltage wave. the same unusual power wave that we saw with the simple inductor circuit is present in the simple capacitor circuit. (+) current = max. As you might have guessed. where it crosses the zero line). Looking at the graph.7: In a pure capacitive circuit. (-) current = max. on the voltage sine wave). As with the simple inductor circuit. too: (Figure 4. the instantaneous power may be positive or negative.6) voltage slope = 0 current = 0 voltage slope = max. and the instantaneous current is at a peak wherever the instantaneous voltage is at maximum change (the points of steepest slope on the voltage wave.6: Voltage lags current by 90o in a pure capacitive circuit. the current “leads” the voltage. and the voltage “lags” behind the current. . (+) e= i= Time + voltage slope = 0 current = 0 voltage slope = max. This results in a voltage wave that is -90o out of phase with the current wave. (Figure 4. (-) Figure 4. it merely absorbs and releases power. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE at a peak (zero change.

For any given magnitude of AC voltage at a given frequency. a capacitor of given size will “conduct” a certain magnitude of AC current. they will pass more current for faster-changing voltages (as they charge and discharge to the same voltage peaks in less time). the reactance equation’s 2π f term may be replaced by the lower-case Greek letter Omega (ω ).1: Reactance of a 100 uF capacitor: Frequency (Hertz) Reactance (Ohms) 60 26. Alternating current in a simple capacitive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the capacitive reactance (in ohms). What this means is that reactance in ohms for any capacitor is inversely proportional to the frequency of the alternating current. The following circuit illustrates this mathematical relationship by example: (Figure 4. and less current for slower-changing voltages. the AC current through a capacitor is a function of the AC voltage across it.2. AC CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 85 A capacitor’s opposition to change in voltage translates to an opposition to alternating voltage in general.4. . Just as the current through a resistor is a function of the voltage across the resistor and the resistance offered by the resistor.2629 2500 0. which is by definition always changing in instantaneous magnitude and direction.1) XC = 1 2πfC Table 4. inductive reactance (in ohms) increases with increasing AC frequency. Thus. Capacitive reactance (in ohms) decreases with increasing AC frequency. the equation XC = 1/(2π fC) could also be written as XC = 1/(ω C). with ω cast in units of radians per second.8) 10 V 60 Hz C 100 µF Figure 4.5258 120 13. Conversely. and the reactance offered by the capacitor. capacitors oppose faster changing voltage drops by allowing greater currents.6366 Please note that the relationship of capacitive reactance to frequency is exactly opposite from that of inductive reactance. which is referred to as the angular velocity of the AC circuit. the reactance of a capacitor is expressed in ohms and symbolized by the letter X (or XC to be more specific). (Table 4.8: Capacitive reactance. As with inductors. just as either alternating or direct current in a simple resistive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the resistance (in ohms). As with inductors. Since capacitors “conduct” current in proportion to the rate of voltage change. Inductors oppose faster changing currents by producing greater voltage drops.

3770 A However.5258 Ω I = 0. As was shown earlier. It will prove beneficial to represent any component’s opposition to current in terms of complex numbers.9) This phase angle of reactive opposition to current becomes critically important in circuit analysis. we say that the phase angle of a capacitor’s opposition to current is -90o . especially for complex AC circuits where reactance and resistance interact.86 CHAPTER 4.5258 Ω I= I= E X 10 V 26. we can calculate the phase angle of the capacitor’s reactive opposition to current.9: Voltage lags current by 90o in a capacitor. we need to keep in mind that voltage and current are not in phase here. Mathematically.5258 Ω ∠ -90o For a capacitor: 90o -90o I 0o E Opposition (XC) Figure 4. . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE XC = 26. (Figure 4. Opposition = Voltage Current 10 V ∠ 0o 0. meaning that a capacitor’s opposition to current is a negative imaginary quantity. If we represent these phase angles of voltage and current mathematically.3770 A ∠ 90o Opposition = Opposition = 26. the current has a phase shift of +90o with respect to the voltage. and not just scalar quantities of resistance and reactance.

the higher the frequency. just like resistance and reactance. The term for this complex opposition to current is impedance.5258 Ω -90o . 4. Now we will combine the two components together in series form and investigate the effects. • Capacitive reactance can be calculated using this formula: XC = 1/(2π fC) • Capacitive reactance decreases with increasing frequency. The resistor will offer 5 Ω of resistance to AC current regardless of frequency. and it is also expressed in the unit of ohms. or 5 + j0 Ω). the combined effect of the two components will be an opposition to current equal to the complex sum of the two numbers.3. SERIES RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS • REVIEW: 87 • Capacitive reactance is the opposition that a capacitor offers to alternating current due to its phase-shifted storage and release of energy in its electric field.10) R ET I IR VC IC ET = ER+ EC I = IR = IC EC C I ER -79. In other words. (Figure 4. and the capacitor’s reactance is an imaginary number (26. Because the resistor’s resistance is a real number (5 Ω 0o .5258 Ω). the total circuit impedance is: .j26.10: Series capacitor circuit: voltage lags current by 0o to 90o .5258 Ω of reactance to AC current at 60 Hz. its symbol is Z.3 Series resistor-capacitor circuits In the last section. Reactance is symbolized by the capital letter “X” and is measured in ohms just like resistance (R).3° R 10 V 60 Hz 5Ω C 100 µF ET Figure 4. while the capacitor will offer 26. In the above example. or 0 . we learned what would happen in simple resistor-only and capacitor-only AC circuits.4. the less it opposes (the more it “conducts”) the AC flow of electrons.

form In fact.11) As we learned in the AC inductance chapter. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE Ztotal = (5 Ω resistance) + (26.325o As with the purely capacitive circuit. this is a far more comprehensive form of Ohm’s Law than what was taught in DC electronics (E=IR). the “table” method of organizing circuit quantities is a very useful tool for AC analysis just as it is for DC analysis. Any resistance and any reactance. not scalar. just as impedance is a far more comprehensive expression of opposition to the flow of electrons than simple resistance is. in a manner similar to resistance in Ohm’s Law: Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ I= E Z Z= E I All quantities expressed in complex. To calculate current in the above circuit. the current wave is leading the voltage wave (of the source).j26.5258 Ω or 26.5258 Ω) Ztotal = 5 . (The phase angles of resistive and capacitive impedance are always 0o and -90o .88 CHAPTER 4.5 mA ∠ 79.325o instead of a full 90o .5258 Ω ∠ -90o) or (5 + j0 Ω) + (0 .993 Ω ∠ -79. we first need to give a phase angle reference for the voltage source.5258 Ω (XC) Ztotal = (5 Ω ∠ 0o) + (26. respectively. although this time the difference is 79. Let’s place out known figures for this series circuit into a table and continue the analysis using this tool: .325o I = 370. I= I= E Z 10 V ∠ 0o 26.j26.933 Ω ∠ -79.5258 Ω capacitive reactance) Ztotal = 5 Ω (R) + 26. regardless of the given phase angles for voltage or current). (Figure 4. separately or in combination (series/parallel). can be and should be represented as a single impedance. which is generally assumed to be zero.325o Impedance is related to voltage and current just as you might expect.

5m ∠ 79.993 ∠ -79.5258 26.5m ∠ 79.5258 ∠ -90o 5 .993 ∠ -79. we can apply Ohm’s Law (E=IR) vertically to determine voltage across the resistor and capacitor: .j26.623m + j364.06m 370.5258 26.623m + j364.j26.j26.5m ∠ 79.3.623m + j364.5m ∠ 79.06m 370. so the figures placed in the “Total” column for current can be distributed to all other columns as well: R E I Z 68. R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 68.4.623m + j364.325o 0 .06m 370.325o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 68.06m 370.j26.325o Current in a series circuit is shared equally by all components.5258 ∠ -90o C Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 68.325o Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IR = IC Continuing with our analysis.11: Voltage lags current (current leads voltage)in a series R-C circuit.5258 26.5258 26.325o 5 . SERIES RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 89 phase shift = 79.325o Volts Amps Ohms 0 .325 degrees + e= i= Time Figure 4.

5m ∠ 79.8203 1.0) ip(v1) .8523 ∠ 79.623m + j364.5258 26.12: Spice circuit: R-C.06m 370.623m + j364.2) v(2.end . telling us that E and I are in phase (for the resistor only).325o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 4.8203 9.11m + j1.print ac vp(1.12) 1 10 V 60 Hz 0 R 5Ω C 2 100 µF 0 Figure 4.5258 ∠ -90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 68.675o .8269 ∠ lin 1 60 60 .5258 26.0) i(v1) . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE C 9.2) vp(2.325o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Notice how the voltage across the resistor has the exact same phase angle as the current through it.j26. Let’s check our calculations with SPICE: (Figure 4.5m ∠ 79.325o 5 .993 ∠ -79.print ac v(1.90 R E I Z 343. exactly 90o less than the phase angle of the circuit current.06m 370. This tells us that the capacitor’s voltage and current are still 90o out of phase with each other.5m ∠ 79.j1. The voltage across the capacitor has a phase angle of -10.675o 68.325o 68.325o 0 .623m + j364. ac r-c circuit v1 1 0 ac 10 sin r1 1 2 5 c1 2 0 100u .j26.6569 .06m 370.

Example: Given: A 40 Ω resistor in series with a 88. However. E=IXC . While the rectangular form of complex number notation is useful for performing addition and subtraction. not rectangular form! For example. (Figure 4.13: Series: R-C circuit Impedance phasor diagram. given the resistance (R) and the capacitive reactance (XC ).7o output by SPICE for current phase angle equates to a positive 79.11 millivolts (real rectangular) or 1.827E+00 vp(2) -1. Impedance (Z) of a series R-C circuit may be calculated. Real instruments connected to real circuits provide indications corresponding to the vector length (magnitude) of the calculated figures. it is a more abstract form of notation than polar.067E+01 i(v1) 3.5 mA ∠ -100.67o I = 370. if we were to actually build this series resistor-capacitor circuit and measure voltage across the resistor.13) ER ET I R IR EC IC C -37° I ER -37° I R XC ET Voltage EC Z Impedance Figure 4. the voltage phasor diagram can be replaced by a similar impedance diagram. our voltmeter would indicate 1.33o EC = 9.42 microfarad capacitor.000E+01 freq 6. and impedance are proportional to voltage. resistance.4. which alone has direct correspondence to true measurements. which does correspond to our previously calculated figure of 79.8203 volts (imaginary rectangular). Again. SPICE confusingly prints the current phase angle at a value equal to the real phase angle plus 180o (or minus 180o ). its a simple matter to correct this figure and check to see if our work is correct. Since E=IR. and E=IZ.933E+01 v(2) 9.3o .705E-01 ip(v1) -1.8523 volts. reactance. not 343.2) 1.7o Once again. it must be emphasized that the calculated figures corresponding to real-life voltage and current measurements are those in polar form. In this case.3. SERIES RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS freq 6. the -100.2) 7.007E+02 91 Interpreted SPICE results ER = 1. .827 V ∠ -10.000E+01 v(1.325o . Find the impedance at 60 hertz.852E+00 vp(1. respectively.852 V ∠ 79. Thus.

we can begin our analysis table with the same “given” values: . and impedances add to form the total impedance.j30 sqrt(402 + (-30)2 ) = 50 Ω arctangent(-30/40) = -36.jXC 40 . Z = E/I • When resistors and capacitors are mixed together in circuits. voltage drops add to form the total voltage.87o • REVIEW: • Impedance is the total measure of opposition to electric current and is the complex (vector) sum of (“real”) resistance and (“imaginary”) reactance. Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = Z1 + Z2 + . Zn • Please note that impedances always add in series.92 CHAPTER 4. resistive impedance. respectively.14) Because the power source has the same frequency as the series example circuit. and capacitive impedance are to be treated the same way mathematically. we will connect them in parallel and see what happens: (Figure 4. the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o . they must also have the same values of impedance.j30 = 50 -36. regardless of what type of components comprise the impedances. • A purely resistive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly 0o (ZR = R Ω 0o ).87o 40 . 4.4 Parallel resistor-capacitor circuits Using the same value components in our series example circuit. inductive impedance. • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in series circuit analysis: series impedances add to form the total impedance. That is. • A purely capacitive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly -90o (ZC = XC Ω -90o ). So. . . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE XC XC XC Z Z |Z| Z Z = = = = = = = = 1/2π fC) 1/(2π ·60·88.42×10−6 30 Ω R . I = E/Z . • Series AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as series DC circuits: current is uniform throughout the circuit. and the resistor and capacitor both have the same values of resistance and capacitance. • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ .

5258 ∠ -90o Ohms This being a parallel circuit now. so we can place the figure for total voltage (10 volts 0o ) in all the columns: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 . R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 .4.5258 26.j26. PARALLEL RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 93 E I R IR IC C IC 10.4.14: Parallel R-C circuit.5258 ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: Etotal = ER = EC Ohms Now we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically to two columns in the table.5258 26. we know that voltage is shared equally by all components.7° I 10 V E IR 60 Hz R 5Ω 100 µF C I = IR+ IL E = ER = EC Figure 4. calculating current through the resistor and current through the capacitor: .j26.

99m ∠ 90o 0 .5258 26.99m ∠ 90o 0 .0352 ∠ 10.99m 376. + Z1 Z2 Zn The only drawback to using this equation is the significant amount of work required to work it out. parallel inductors. it doesn’t matter if we’re calculating a circuit composed of parallel resistors. parallel capacitors. In other words. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 + j376. parallel impedance can also be calculated by using a reciprocal formula identical to that used in calculating parallel resistances. It is noteworthy to mention that this parallel impedance rule holds true regardless of the kind of impedances placed in parallel. Regardless of how we calculate total impedance for our parallel circuit (either Ohm’s Law or the reciprocal formula).99m 376. branch currents in a parallel AC circuit add up to form the total current (Kirchhoff ’s Current Law again): R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 + j376.j26.94 R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 4.5258 ∠ -90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z Just as with DC circuits.. total impedance can be calculated by using Ohm’s Law (Z=E/I) vertically in the “Total” column. As we saw in the AC inductance chapter. Once again. all the terms are common and can be applied uniformly to the same formula..5258 26.99m 2.5258 ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: Itotal = IR + IC Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j376. the parallel impedance formula looks like this: Zparallel = 1 1 1 1 + . especially without the assistance of a calculator capable of manipulating complex quantities. we will arrive at the same figure: . or some combination thereof: in the form of impedances (Z).675o Volts Amps Ohms Finally.j26.

whose magnetic fields naturally tend to extend beyond the dimensions of the core). I = E/Z .99m ∠ 90o 0 .99m 2. nothing is so perfect. branch currents add to form the total current. the ideal capacitor is a purely reactive device. .675o Volts Amps Ohms 95 Ohm’s Law E Z= I or Rule of parallel circuits: Ztotal = 1 1 1 + ZR ZC • REVIEW: • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in parallel circuit analysis: parallel impedances diminish to form the total impedance. In the real world. they will tend to dissipate less power than an equivalent inductor.4. CAPACITOR QUIRKS R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 + j376. The circuit current will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and +90o .0352 ∠ 10. capacitors have the virtue of generally being purer reactive components than inductors. The practical result of this is that real capacitors typically have impedance phase angles more closely approaching 90o (actually.9135 ∠ -10. .14m 4.5258 26.j910.5258 ∠ -90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j376. It is a lot easier to design and construct a capacitor with low internal series resistance than it is to do the same with an inductor. and impedances diminish (through the reciprocal formula) to form the total impedance. . Capacitors also tend to be smaller and lighter weight than their equivalent inductor counterparts. • Parallel AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as parallel DC circuits: voltage is uniform throughout the circuit.5 Capacitor quirks As with inductors.675o 4. 4.99m 376.8284 . of course.j26. using the reciprocal formula. Consequently. the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o . -90o ) than inductors. However. 1/Zn ) • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ . Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = 1/(1/Z1 + 1/Z2 + .5. Z = E/I • When resistors and capacitors are mixed together in parallel circuits (just as in series circuits). and since their electric fields are almost totally contained between their plates (unlike inductors. containing absolutely zero resistive (power dissipative) effects.

due to both the characteristics of the microscopically thin dielectric film and the electrolyte paste. This heating effect represents a loss in power. connected to a source of high-frequency AC voltage. The effect is more pronounced at higher frequencies and in fact can be so extreme that it is sometimes exploited in manufacturing processes to heat insulating materials like plastic! The plastic object to be heated is placed between two metal plates. as wire length in a capacitor is very minimal. The source of capacitor loss is usually the dielectric material rather than any wire resistance. Electrolytic capacitors. circuit designers tend to favor capacitors over inductors wherever a design permits either alternative. known for their relatively high capacitance and low working voltage.2: Dielectric loss Material Loss Vacuum Low Air Polystyrene Mica Glass Low-K ceramic Plastic film (Mylar) Paper High-K ceramic Aluminum oxide Tantalum pentoxide high Dielectric resistivity manifests itself both as a series and a parallel resistance with the pure capacitance: (Figure 4.2. Even then. For these reasons. This effect is undesirable for capacitors where we expect the component to behave as a purely reactive circuit element. Capacitors with significant resistive effects are said to be lossy. Dielectric materials tend to react to changing electric fields by producing heat. their resistive characteristics may be too severe a shortcoming for the application anyway. much less significant than the stray resistances present in an average inductor.” A relative scale of dielectric loss from least to greatest is given in Table 4. in reference to their tendency to dissipate (“lose”) power like a resistor.96 CHAPTER 4. electrolytic capacitors should never be used with AC unless it is mixed (biased) with a constant DC voltage preventing the capacitor from ever being subjected to reverse voltage. are also known for their notorious lossiness. these stray resistances are usually of modest impact (low series resistance and high parallel resistance).15) Fortunately. Not all dielectric materials are equally “lossy. and is equivalent to resistance in the circuit. and the plates never have to contact the object being heated. One of the ways to mitigate the effect of dielectric “loss” is to choose a dielectric material less susceptible to the effect. Table 4. Unless specially made for AC service. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE they are less prone to transmitting or receiving electromagnetic “noise” to/from other components. Temperature is controlled by varying the voltage or frequency of the source. .

which led to a much betterlooking second edition. . from most recent to first. CONTRIBUTORS 97 Equivalent circuit for a real capacitor Rseries Ideal capacitor Rparallel Figure 4.15: Real capacitor has both series and parallel resistance. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information.6.6 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions.4. 4. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting.


. AND C Contents 5. . . but most notably in capacitors and inductors. . 110 Susceptance and Admittance . . . . . . Reactance is essentially inertia against the motion of electrons. . . . . . . . When alternating current goes through a resistance. . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Series R. a voltage drop is produced that is in-phase with the current. . . . inductors. . . 120 5. and C . . most notably in resistors. . . . . .4 5. . . . . . . L. . . . . It is present anywhere electric or magnetic fields are developed in proportion to applied voltage or current. . . . . . . . . . 120 Contributors . . . Reactance is mathematically symbolized by the letter “X” and is measured in the unit of ohms (Ω). . L. . . . Resistance is essentially friction against the motion of electrons. . . Resistance is mathematically symbolized by the letter “R” and is measured in the unit of ohms (Ω). . . . respectively. . L. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Z . . . X. . . . . . . . 99 . . . . . . L. . . . . When alternating current goes through a pure reactance.3 5. . . and C . . . . . . . 101 Parallel R. 106 Series-parallel R. . . .2 5. . . . .5 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Review of R. .Chapter 5 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. . . let’s briefly review some basic terms and facts. . . . . . and capacitors connected together in the same AC circuits. . . . and Z Before we begin to explore the effects of resistors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 5. It is present in all conductors to some extent (except superconductors!). . . . . . . . . . .6 5. . . . . .1 Review of R. . . a voltage drop is produced that is 90o out of phase with the current. . . . . . . 119 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X. . . and C . . . . . . . .

and so a capacitor’s impedance phase angle is said to be -90o . When alternating current goes through an impedance.1: Perfect resistor. capacitance) into common terms of impedance as the first step in analyzing an AC circuit. and so an inductor’s impedance phase angle is said to be +90o . For a perfect resistor. and in all components. but not reactance.100 CHAPTER 5. and they diminish in parallel. inductor.15 Hz R=0Ω X = 100 Ω Z = 100 Ω ∠ -90o Figure 5. For a perfect capacitor. not scalar. Perfect resistors (Figure 5. the voltage drop and current are always in phase with each other. The only real difference between DC and AC circuit calculations is in regard to power. including both resistance and reactance.15 Hz R=0Ω X = 100 Ω Z = 100 Ω ∠ 90 o Capacitor 10 µF 159. Resistor 100 Ω Inductor R = 100 Ω X=0Ω Z = 100 Ω ∠ 0 o 100 mH 159. L. a voltage drop is produced that is somewhere between 0o and 90o out of phase with the current. voltage drop always leads current by 90o . Impedance is mathematically symbolized by the letter “Z” and is measured in the unit of ohms (Ω). It is present in all circuits. it makes sense to translate all component values (resistance. based on impedance rather than resistance. and so the impedance angle of a resistor is said to be 0o . All components possess impedance. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. form Kirchhoff ’s Laws and all network analysis methods and theorems are true for AC circuits as well. Impedances in AC behave analogously to resistances in DC circuits: they add in series. looks like this: Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ I= E Z Z= E I All quantities expressed in complex. AND C Impedance is a comprehensive expression of any and all forms of opposition to electron flow.1) possess reactance but no resistance. and capacitor. For an perfect inductor. Perfect inductors and perfect capacitors (Figure 5. The impedance phase angle for any component is the phase shift between voltage across that component and current through that component. Because reactance doesn’t dissipate power as resistance does. More on this subject in a later chapter! . While this qualified equivalence may be arithmetically challenging. it is conceptually simple and elegant. A revised version of Ohm’s Law. so long as quantities are represented in complex rather than scalar form. inductance. voltage drop always lags current by 90o .1) possess resistance. and because of this universal quality. in complex form. the concept of power in AC circuits is radically different from that of DC circuits.

2: Example series R.5 µF Figure 5.7684k Ω or 1. while a capacitive reactance translates into a negative imaginary impedance (impedance at -90o ).2 Series R. of course.5 µF) XC = XC = XC = 1. L. and C circuit.3) Remember that an inductive reactance translates into a positive imaginary impedance (or an impedance at +90o ).2. and C Let’s take the following example circuit and analyze it: (Figure 5. Resistance.04 Ω or 245. L 650 mH XL = 2πfL XL = (2)(π)(60 Hz)(650 mH) XL = 245. The first step is to determine the reactances (in ohms) for the inductor and the capacitor.7684 kΩ The next step is to express all resistances and reactances in a mathematically common form: impedance. L. is still regarded as a purely “real” impedance (polar angle of 0o ): ZR = 250 + j0 Ω or 250 Ω ∠ 0o ZL = 0 + j245.j1. SERIES R.04 Ω 1 2πfC 1 (2)(π)(60 Hz)(1.5.2) R 250 Ω 120 V 60 Hz C 1. (Figure 5. AND C 101 5.7684 kΩ ∠ -90o .04 Ω ∠ 90o ZC = 0 . L.

7684k Ω) Ztotal = 250 . Since the above example circuit is a series circuit.04 Ω) + (0 . Notice that I’m assuming a perfectly reactive inductor and capacitor. This is an ideal time to draw up an analysis table for this circuit and insert all the “given” figures (total voltage. and the impedances of the resistor. complex number format (as impedances. L. are known absolutely. and capacitor). they should be fairly close. For simplicity. the source voltage will be our reference for phase shift.680o Inserting this figure for total impedance into our table: .5437 kΩ ∠ -80.5233k Ω or 1. R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245. we know that the total circuit impedance is equal to the sum of the individuals. and so will be written at an angle of 0o . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. AND C ZR 250 Ω ∠ 0o 120 V 60 Hz ZC 1. since its always a quantity relative to another waveform. ZL 245. inductor. L.3: Example series R. and capacitor).7684 kΩ ∠ -90o Figure 5. so: Ztotal = ZR + ZL + ZC Ztotal = (250 + j0 Ω) + (0 + j245.04 Ω ∠ 90o Now.j1. and C circuit with component values replaced by impedances. because the phase relationships between voltage and current at each component are absolutely defined. with impedance phase angles of exactly +90 and -90o .7684k 1. I’ll assume perfectly reactive inductors and capacitors from now on in my example calculations except where noted otherwise. they can be handled in the same way as plain resistances in a DC circuit. Although real components won’t be perfect in this regard. Phase angles for impedance.102 CHAPTER 5. with all quantities of opposition to electric current expressed in a common.j1.04 245.04 ∠ 90o 0 . respectively. inductor.j1. however (like those of the resistor. and not as resistances or reactances).7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Unless otherwise specified. Remember that there is no such thing as an “absolute” angle of phase shift for a voltage or current.

j1.734m ∠ 80.680o Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IR = IL = IC Now we’re prepared to apply Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) to each of the individual component columns in the table.5233k 1.708m 77. AND C R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245.j1.5437k ∠ -80.5.7684k 1.589m + 76.734m ∠ 80.04 ∠ 90o 0 .04 ∠ 90o 12.680o 250 .680o 0 + j245.04 245.04 245.680o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 12.04 245.04 ∠ 90o 0 .734m ∠ 80.7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 12.680o 0 .589m + 76.5437k ∠ -80. to determine voltage drops: .708m 77.708m 77. we can take the figure obtained for total current and distribute it to each of the other columns: R E I Z 12.5233k 1.7684k 1.j1.589m + 76.j1.680o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E I= Z Being a series circuit.734m ∠ 80.680o 250 .2.5233k 1.5437k ∠ -80.7684k ∠ -90o Rule of series circuits: Ztotal = ZR + ZL + ZC 250 .589m + 76.7684k 1.708m 77. Thus.7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 12.680o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 103 We can now apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/R) vertically in the “Total” column to find total current for this series circuit: R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245.708m 77. current must be equal through all components. SERIES R. L.589m + 76.j1.734m ∠ 80.j1.

except that the quantities dealt with are vector instead of scalar.j1.589m + 76.048 ∠ 170.177 19.708m 77. Expressed in rectangular form.680o 0 .680o 250 .708m 77. KVL tells us that the algebraic sum of the voltage drops across the resistor. Once you’ve mastered the technique of reducing all component values to impedances (Z).65 .734m ∠ 80.7684k ∠ -90o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 12. the voltage across the capacitor is 137. voltages greater than the source voltage may be obtained across some of the individual components! Further consequences of inductors’ and capacitors’ opposite reactances in the same circuit will be explored in the next chapter.68o 12.680o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o L CHAPTER 5. inductor. Even though this may not look like it is true at first sight.5437k ∠ -80.1472 + j19.434 ∠ 80. If the total impedance in a series circuit with both inductive and capacitive elements is less than the impedance of either element separately. and capacitor should equal the applied voltage from the source. When these two contrary impedances are added (in series). we can look at the answers we derived for component voltage drops in the last circuit. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. that sum is actually less than either of the individual (capacitive or inductive) impedances alone.104 R E I Z 3. AND C C 135.0848 19.j22. With the exception of equations dealing with power (P). and so do Kirchhoff ’s Voltage and Current Laws. we can see that the inductor opposes current in a manner precisely opposite that of the capacitor.46 ∠ -9.589m + 76. a bit of complex number addition proves otherwise: .680o 0 + j245.734m ∠ 80.262 137.j1. analyzing any AC circuit is only about as difficult as analyzing any DC circuit. Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) still holds true. To demonstrate Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law in an AC circuit. With this abnormally high current through each of the components.04 ∠ 90o Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Notice something strange here: although our supply voltage is only 120 volts.734m ∠ 80. they tend to cancel each other out! Although they’re still added together to produce a sum.3199o 12.7684k 1. equations in AC circuits are the same as those in DC circuits.797 + j3.708m 77.589m + 76. the inductor’s impedance has a positive imaginary term and the capacitor has a negative imaginary term.708m 77.04 245. L.589m + 76.46 volts! How can this be? The answer lies in the interaction between the inductive and capacitive reactances.680o 12.680o Volts Amps Ohms -18. using impedances (Z) instead of resistances (R).5233k 1.734m ∠ 80. then the total current in that circuit must be greater than what it would be with only the inductive or only the capacitive elements there. It is analogous to adding together a positive and a negative (scalar) number: the sum is a quantity less than either one’s individual absolute value. Expressed as impedances.

5u . AND C 105 ER + EL + EC should equal Etotal 3. Performed on a calculator (preserving all digits).943E+01 vp(1.2) vp(2.375E+02 vp(3) -9.end freq 6. the answer you will receive should be exactly 120 + j0 volts.print ac vp(1.0) ip(v1) .3) 1.0848 V + 135.320E+00 i(v1) 7. We can also use SPICE to verify our figures for this circuit: (Figure 5.177 V ER -18. SERIES R.068E+01 v(2.j22.000E+01 freq 6.5 µF 3 Figure 5.2) v(2.5.262 V 120 + j0 V EL EC Etotal Aside from a bit of rounding error.3) v( lin 1 60 60 .3) 1.65 .905E+01 vp(2.000E+01 v(1. L.1472 + j19.932E+01 .0) i(v1) .print ac v(1.3) vp(3.773E-02 ip(v1) -9. L. the sum of these voltage drops does equal 120 volts.797 + j3. and C SPICE circuit. ac r-l-c circuit v1 1 0 ac 120 sin r1 1 2 250 l1 2 3 650m c1 3 0 1.2) 8.707E+02 v(3) 1.4) 1 120 V 60 Hz R 250 Ω L C 2 650 mH 0 1.4: Example series R.2.2) 1.

• REVIEW: • Impedances of any kind add in series: ZT otal = Z1 + Z2 + . and resistance (actually. the total impedance for a circuit containing both inductance and capacitance may be less than one or more of the individual impedances.5: Example R. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. L.5 V ∠ -9. and C parallel circuit.73 mA ∠ -99. . because series inductive and capacitive impedances tend to cancel each other out. L.5 µF Figure 5.3 Parallel R. L. there is little difference between AC circuit analysis and DC circuit analysis. 5. AND C Interpreted SPICE results ER = 19.5) 120 V 60 Hz R 250 Ω L 650 mH C 1. The fact that these components are connected in parallel instead of series now has absolutely no effect on their individual impedances.7o EC = 137. impedance) must be handled in complex rather than scalar form so as to account for phase angle.32o (actual phase angle = 80. except that all quantities of voltage. since it means all you’ve learned about DC electric circuits applies to what you’re learning here.68o EL = 19. and C We can take the same components from the series circuit and rearrange them into a parallel configuration for an easy example circuit: (Figure 5. As you can see. which is very different for AC. So long as the power supply is the same .05 V ∠ 170. This may lead to voltage drops across components exceeding the supply voltage! • All rules and laws of DC circuits apply to AC circuits. The only exception to this principle is the calculation of power. Zn • Although impedances add in series. The only exception to this consistency is the calculation of power.106 CHAPTER 5. so long as values are expressed in complex form rather than scalar. This is good.320o I = 77. .68o) The SPICE simulation shows our hand-calculated results to be accurate.43 V ∠ 80. which is so unique that it deserves a chapter devoted to that subject alone. current.

04 ∠ 90o 0 . L.3. and C parallel circuit with impedances replacing component values.04 245.7684k ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: Etotal = ER = EL = EC 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o L 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o C 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Now.5.7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Knowing that voltage is shared equally by all components in a parallel circuit.04 245. except this time following the rules of parallel circuits instead of series: R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245. we can transfer the figure for total voltage to all component columns in the table: R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245.j1.j1. we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically in each column to determine current through each component: .7684k 1. the inductive and capacitive reactances will not have changed at all: (Figure 5. L. PARALLEL R.7684k 1.6) With all component values expressed as impedances (Z). we can set up an analysis table and proceed as in the last example problem. AND C 107 120 V 60 Hz ZR 250 Ω ∠ 0o ZL ZC 1.04 ∠ 90o 0 .7684 kΩ ∠ -90o 245.04 Ω ∠ 90o Figure 5. frequency as before.6: Example R.

04 245. then convert back to polar form for the final inversion. L. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.05 + j123. This is especially true if you’re unfortunate enough not to have a calculator that handles complex numbers and are forced to do it all by hand (reciprocate the individual impedances in polar form. we could calculate total impedance from all the individual impedances in parallel (ZT otal = 1/(1/ZR + 1/ZL + 1/ZC ).858m ∠ 90o 0 .858m 67.j421. will provide the correct answers.108 R E I Z 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 480m + j0 480m ∠ 0o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o L CHAPTER 5. with all the reciprocations (1/Z). then use Ohm’s Law to determine total impedance from total voltage and total current (Z=E/I).04 ∠ 90o Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z There are two strategies for calculating total current and total impedance.311o Volts Amps Ohms Either method. R E I Z 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 480m + j0 480 ∠ 0o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o L 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 .311o 141.03m ∠ -41.04 245.j1.71m ∠ -90o 0 + j245.79 ∠ 41.71m 489.04 ∠ 90o C 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 + j67. performed properly. First. However. AND C C 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 + j67.85m 639.858m 67.7684k 1.j1. The second way to calculate total current and total impedance is to add up all the branch currents to arrive at total current (total current in a parallel circuit – AC or DC – is equal to the sum of the branch currents).71m 489.96 187.j489.j489. Let’s try analyzing this circuit with SPICE and see what happens: (Figure 5. working through the parallel impedance equation with complex numbers is no easy task.7684k ∠ -90o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 . then invert).858m ∠ 90o 0 . and then calculate total current by dividing source voltage by total impedance (I=E/Z).71m ∠ -90o 0 + j245.7) .7684k ∠ -90o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 480m . then convert them all to rectangular form for addition.7684k 1.

print ac ip(vi) ip(vir) ip(vil) ip(vic) . PARALLEL R.5u . ac r-l-c circuit v1 1 0 ac 120 sin vi 1 2 ac 0 vir 2 3 ac 0 vil 2 4 ac 0 rbogus 4 5 1e-12 vic 2 6 ac 0 r1 3 0 250 l1 5 0 650m c1 6 0 1. AND C 109 2 Vir Vi 3 1 120 V 60 Hz 0 R 2 Vil 4 2 Vic Rbogus 5 250 Ω L 650 mH 0 C 2 6 lin 1 60 60 .131E+01 i(vir) 4.000E+01 .786E-02 ip(vic) 9.000E+01 i(vic) 6.print ac i(vi) i(vir) i(vil) i(vic) .5.000E+00 i(vil) 4. L.end freq 6.390E-01 ip(vi) -4.897E-01 ip(vil) -9. L.000E+01 freq 6.5 µF 0 0 Figure 5. Battery symbols are “dummy” voltage sources for SPICE to use as current measurement points.3.800E-01 ip(vir) 0. All are set to 0 volts.7: Example parallel R.000E+01 i(vi) 6. and C SPICE circuit.

we were able to avoid that idiosyncrasy of SPICE of printing current figures 180o out of phase.4 Series-parallel R.7 mA ∠ -90o IC = 67. This way. which SPICE cannot tolerate). AND C Interpreted SPICE results Itotal = 639. L. L.86 mA ∠ 90o It took a little bit of trickery to get SPICE working as we would like on this circuit (installing “dummy” voltage sources in each branch to obtain current figures and installing the “dummy” resistor in the inductor branch to prevent a direct inductor-to-voltage source loop. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.8) C1 4. then convert reactance (X) and resistance (R) figures into proper impedance (Z) form: . by installing the dummy voltage sources (current meters) in the proper directions.110 CHAPTER 5.0 mA ∠ -41.8: Example series-parallel R. it should come as no surprise that series-parallel analysis would be the same as well. current. L. our current phase readings came out to exactly match our hand calculations. we need to first determine values of reactance (X) for all inductors and capacitors.7 µF 120 V 60 Hz L C2 650 mH 1. just using complex numbers instead of scalar to represent voltage. The first order of business. and C circuit. Even more than that. but we did get the proper readings.5 µF R 470 Ω Figure 5. as usual. is to determine values of impedance (Z) for all components based on the frequency of the AC power source. and impedance. 5. To do this. and C Now that we’ve seen how series and parallel AC circuit analysis is not fundamentally different than DC circuit analysis. Take this series-parallel circuit for example: (Figure 5.31o IR = 480 mA ∠ 0o IL = 489.

Adding more columns horizontally to the table shown above would be impractical for formatting reasons.38 Ω or 564.j1.7 µF) XL = 2πfL XL = (2)(π)(60 Hz)(650 mH) XL = 245.38 564.04 Ω 111 XC1 = 564. that impedance will be combined in parallel with the impedance of the resistor.04 ∠ 90o 0 .38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245.7684k Ω or 1. that quantity will be added to the impedance of C1 to arrive at the total impedance. each column designated by its respective component combination: .5 µF) XC2 = XC2 = R = 470 Ω XC2 = 1.5.j564. so I will place a new row of columns underneath. it will be necessary to add additional columns to it so that each step may be represented.7684k 1.38 Ω 1 2πfC2 1 (2)(π)(60 Hz)(1. Finally.04 Ω or 245.7684 kΩ ZC1 = 0 . SERIES-PARALLEL R.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o L C2 R Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Being a series-parallel combination circuit. to arrive at another combination of impedances.4.04 Ω ∠ 90o ZC2 = 0 .j1.7684 kΩ ∠ -90o ZR = 470 + j0 Ω or 470 Ω ∠ 0o Now we can set up the initial values in our table: C1 E I Z 0 . L. by adding their impedances together. we must reduce it to a total impedance in more than one step.j564. The first step is to combine L and C2 as a series combination of impedances. Then. In order that our table may follow all these steps.04 245.38 Ω ∠ -90o ZL = 0 + j245. AND C Reactances and Resistances: XC1 = XC1 = 1 2πfC1 1 (2)(π)(60 Hz)(4.

we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically in the “Total” column to arrive at a figure for total current: .C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 429. Now that we know the total impedance (818. and the “reciprocal” formula for complex impedances in parallel.34 ∠ -58.11 ∠ -17.112 CHAPTER 5.34 Ω -58.[R // (L -. AND C Total C1 -.371o Ohms Rule of series circuits: ZL--C2 = ZL + ZC2 Rule of parallel circuits: 1 ZR//(L--C2) = 1 1 + ZR ZL--C2 Rule of series circuits: Ztotal = ZC1 + ZR//(L--C2) Seeing as how our second table contains a column for “Total.j696.5233k ∠ -90o R // (L -.371o ) and the total voltage (120 volts 0o ).15 .C2) Total C1 -.147o 429.5233k 1.[R // (L -.C2 E I Z 0 .” we can safely discard that column from the first table.j132. there is no avoidance of the reciprocal formula: the required figures can be arrived at no other way! L -.C2)] Volts Amps Ohms L -. L. This gives us one table with four columns and another table with three columns.C2 E I Z R // (L -.j1.15 .41 449. This time.C2) Calculating these new (combination) impedances will require complex addition for series combinations. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.79 818.

38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245.j696.j696.79 818.5233k 1. since the total impedance is composed of the two sets of impedances in series.j1.C2 E I Z R // (L -.899m + j124.371o 429.[R // (L -.C2) Ohm’s Law E I= Z At this point we ask ourselves the question: are there any components or component combinations which share either the total voltage or the total current? In this case.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o L C2 R Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IC1 = IR//(L--C2) L -.j132.5233k ∠ -90o R // (L -.371o Volts Amps Ohms 113 L -.64m ∠ 58.38 564.[R // (L -. we can transfer the figure for total current into both columns: C1 E I Z 76.371o 429.j132.41 449.15 .86m 146.5.15 .C2) Total C1 -.371o Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IC1 = IR//(L--C2) Now.899m + j124.86m 146.79 818.C2 E I Z 0 .34 ∠ -58.5233k 1. we can calculate voltage drops across C1 and the series-parallel combination of R//(L−−C2 ) using Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) vertically in those table columns: .64m ∠ 58.7684k 1. Thus.04 245.147o 429.41 449.899m + j124.j1.64m ∠ 58. SERIES-PARALLEL R.64m ∠ 58.86m 146.04 ∠ 90o 0 .4.147o 76.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 76.15 .11 ∠ -17.j1.371o 0 . AND C Total C1 -.34 ∠ -58.371o 0 .j564.899m + j124.5233k ∠ -90o 429. both C1 and the parallel combination R//(L−−C2 ) share the same (total) current.86m 146.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76. L.11 ∠ -17.15 .

11 ∠ -17.C2 E I Z 0 .64m ∠ 58. it is! That last step was merely a precaution.79 818. the resistor (R) and the combination of the inductor and the second capacitor (L−−C2 ) share the same voltage.34 ∠ -58.41 449.629o 76. there is much opportunity for error. we again ask ourselves the question: what other components share the same voltage or current? In this case.5233k ∠ -90o R // (L -.j43.371o 429. Occasional cross-checks like that one can save a person a lot of work and unnecessary frustration by identifying problems prior to the final step of the problem. L.C2) 49.147o Total C1 -.j1.899m + j124.533 + j43.38 ∠ -90o L CHAPTER 5. In a problem with as many steps as this one has.j43. we can transfer the voltage figure just solved for into the columns for R and L−−C2 : .7684k 1.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ L -.371o 0 . Therefore.760 ∠ -31. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.15 .114 C1 E I Z 70.38 564.86m 146.64m ∠ 58.j696.857 ∠ 41.400 V 120 + j0 V Indeed.04 ∠ 90o 0 .5233k 1.371o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ A quick double-check of our work at this point would be to see whether or not the voltage drops across C1 and the series-parallel combination of R//(L−−C2 ) indeed add up to the total.899m + j124.400 V + 49.400 82.15 . After having solved for voltage drops across C1 and the combination R//(L−−C2 ). because those sets of impedances are in parallel with each other. AND C C2 R Volts Amps 0 + j245.86m 146. According to Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law.467 .64m ∠ 58.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76.[R // (L -.400 65. they should! Etotal should be equal to EC1 + ER//(L--C2) 70.j564.899m + j124.467 .j132.86m 146.225o 76.04 245.371o 429.j1.533 + j43.

7684k ∠ -90o L C2 R 49.857 ∠ 41.760 ∠ -31.400 82.86m 146.225o 105. L.64m ∠ 58.371o 429. AND C C1 E I Z 70. All we need to do is apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically in both of those columns: C1 E I Z 70.857 ∠ 41.86m 146.34 ∠ -58.629o 76.899m + j124.7684k 1.371o 0 .j43.629o 76.371o 429.38 564.64m ∠ 58.j564.64m ∠ 58.j1.533 + j43.400 65.857 ∠ 41.371o 0 .5.j696.225o R // (L -.C2 E I Z 0 .400 65.64m ∠ 58.38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245.225o Volts Amps Ohms 115 L -.4.533 + j43.12m ∠ 41.j1.857 ∠ 41.5233k 1.371o Volts Amps Ohms Now we’re all set for calculating current through the resistor and through the series combination L−−C2 .j1.04 245. SERIES-PARALLEL R.400 65.39m + j92.15 .899m + j124.400 65.147o Total C1 -.400 82.j564.467 .15 .86m 146.j132.533 + j43.760 ∠ -31.341m 140.38 564.467 .C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76.11 ∠ -17.38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245.225o 76.86m 146.04 ∠ 90o 0 .533 + j43.79 818.04 245.899m + j124.5233k ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: ER//(L--C2) = ER = EL--C2 49.04 ∠ 90o 0 .41 449.899m + j124.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Rule of parallel circuits: ER//(L--C2) = ER = EL--C2 L C2 R 49.j43.7684k 1.[R // (L -.C2) 49.225o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E I= Z .

86m Indeed.38 ∠ -90o -28.516m 76.64m ∠ 58. all we have to do is apply Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) vertically in those two columns to calculate voltage drops.12m ∠ 41.22o 0 + j245.225o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: IL--C2 = IL = IC2 With one last step (actually.j696.371o Volts Amps Ohms L -.533 + j43.[R // (L -. .22o 43.79 818.899m + j124.C2 E I Z 49.232m ∠ 131. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.38 564.04 ∠ 90o 0 .86m 43.490m + j32.490m + j32.341m + -28.899m + j124.j1.15 .7684k 1. With impedance and current figures in place for L and C2 .C2) 49.64m ∠ 58.7684k ∠ -90o L C2 R 49.5233k ∠ -90o 429.34 ∠ -58.629o 76.760 ∠ -31.857 ∠ 41.5233k 1. According to Kirchhoff ’s Current Law. we can distribute that current figure to the L and C2 columns following the rule of series circuits whereby series components share the same current: C1 E I Z 70.857 ∠ 41. L.04 245.341m 140. AND C Total C1 -.86m 146.116 CHAPTER 5.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76. we can complete our analysis table for this circuit.533 + j43.516m 43.64m ∠ 58.232m ∠ 131.400 65.11 ∠ -17.371o 429.j564.490m + j32. they should: IR//(L--C2) should be equal to IR + I(L--C2) 105.899m + j124. and since we know the current through their series combination impedance. two calculations).899m + j124.371o 0 .400 65.516m -28.400 82.400 65.516m 76.232m ∠ 131.j132.86m 146.225o 105.225o R // (L -.39m + j92.22o 146.147o Ohm’s Law E I= Z Another quick double-check of our work at this point would be to see if the current figures for L−−C2 and R add up to the total current.857 ∠ 41.15 .225o -28. it is! Since the L and C2 are connected in series.533 + j43.39m + j92.371o 0 .j1.j43.490m + j32.467 .41 449.

501 + j50.j564. let’s turn to SPICE for a computer verification of our work: 2 C1 4. as do the voltage and current Laws of Kirchhoff. L.857 ∠ 41. While there is more potential for human error in carrying out the necessary complex number calculations.451 ∠ 41.38 ∠ -90o L -7.5 µF 0 0 0 Figure 5.9: Example series-parallel R.5. .7 µF more "dummy" voltage sources to act as current measurement points in the SPICE analysis (all set to 0 volts).38 564. and R.629o 76.232m ∠ 131.225o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 117 -28.760 ∠ -31.j6.490m + j32.899m + j124. L.j1.981 10.516m 43. in that order.64m ∠ 58. L.594 ∠ 221.86m 146.371o 0 .4.225 R 49. As daunting a task as series-parallel AC circuit analysis may appear.04 245. the basic principles and techniques of series-parallel circuit reduction are exactly the same. voltage phase angle.400 65. these figures do concur with our hand-calculated figures in the circuit analysis table. Each line of the SPICE output listing gives the voltage. C2 .400 82.j43. and current phase angle for C1 . 3 Vir 4 6 R 470 Ω 3 Vit 1 120 V 60 Hz Vilc L 5 C2 650 mH 1.04 ∠ 90o 0 .968 .490m + j32.382 76.7684k 1.225o 105.22o 43. SERIES-PARALLEL R.7684k ∠ -90o Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Now. C SPICE circuit.39m + j92.341m 140.467 . AND C C1 E I Z 70. Ohm’s Law (in its new form of E=IZ) still holds true.12m ∠ 41.533 + j43.232m ∠ 131. it must be emphasized that there is nothing really new going on here besides the use of complex numbers. As you can see.516m -28.22o C2 57.22o 0 + j245. current.

all component values will be expressed in common terms (Z) instead of an incompatible mix of resistance (R). and capacitor.388E+02 i(vilc) 4. inductor.5u r 6 0 470 .122E+01 i(vilc) 4.118 CHAPTER 5.0) .ac lin 1 60 60 .401E-01 ip(vir) 4.122E+01 R • REVIEW: • Analysis of series-parallel AC circuits is much the same as series-parallel DC circuits.print ac v(5.0) .3) .586E+01 vp(6) 4. L.000E+01 v(6) 6. inductance (L).0) vp(5.000E+01 v(5) 7. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.print ac v(6. • It is important to remember that before series-parallel reduction (simplification) can begin.466E-01 ip(vit) 5.print ac v(4.7u l 4 5 650m c2 5 0 1.5) vp(4.3) -3.645E+01 vp(5) 4. and capacitance (C).5) 1. .163E+01 i(vit) 1.end circuit i(vit) ip(vit) i(vilc) ip(vilc) i(vilc) ip(vilc) i(vir) ip(vir) freq 6.312E+02 L freq 6.print ac v(2.000E+01 v(2.122E+01 i(vir) 1.323E-02 ip(vilc) 1.5) . you must determine the impedance (Z) of every resistor.059E+01 vp(4. That way.0) vp(6. AND C ac series-parallel r-l-c v1 1 0 ac 120 sin vit 1 2 ac 0 vilc 3 4 ac 0 vir 3 6 ac 0 c1 2 3 4.312E+02 C2 freq 6.3) 8.323E-02 ip(vilc) 1.5) -1.3) vp(2.000E+01 v(4. The only substantive difference is that all figures and calculations are in complex (not scalar) form.837E+01 C1 freq 6.276E+01 vp(2.

Its mathematical symbol is “B”. Mathematically. It is a useful term when exploring the mathematical formula for parallel resistances: Rparallel = 1 / (1/R1 + 1/R2 + .5. the reciprocal of reactance. When symbolized in a mathematical formula. Again. the proper unit of measurement is Siemens. there is also a complementary expression of reactance. unfortunately the same symbol used to represent magnetic flux density. admittance is a complex quantity rather than scalar. rather than with a constant. Likewise. conductance simply adds.5 Susceptance and Admittance In the study of DC circuits.e. 1/Xn ). To be consistent. you may never have to work with figures of susceptance (B) or admit- . “conductance” represents the ease of which electrons may flow. unchanging friction as resistors do. called susceptance. In order to express and quantify the effects of mixed resistive and reactive components. Like conductances (G). . we see a certain logic to the naming of this new term: while impedance is a measure of how much alternating current is impeded in a circuit. While reactance is the measure of how much a circuit reacts against change in current over time. then add susceptances rather than diminish reactances: Xparallel = 1/(1/X1 + 1/X2 + . Now. or “ohms” spelled backward. the proper letter to use for conductance is “G”. one could convert each reactance (X) to a susceptance (B). just like resistance and conductance. and like resistance we also measure it in the unit of ohms. i. admittance is a measure of how much current is admitted. We call this time-based opposition. . If one were tasked with determining the total effect of several parallel-connected. The name for this measure is admittance. measured in ohms and symbolized by the letter “Z”. pure reactances. susceptance is a scalar quantity. while conductance is the measure of how much a circuit conducts current. 1/Rn ). Reactive components such as inductors and capacitors oppose the flow of electrons with respect to time. and its symbol is “Y”. The terms “reactance” and “susceptance” have a certain linguistic logic to them. or a purely reactive (susceptive) circuit. Conductance used to be measured in the unit of mhos. SUSCEPTANCE AND ADMITTANCE 119 5. it used to be measured in the unit of mhos. we had to have a new term: impedance. their combined effects can no longer be analyzed with scalar quantities of resistance (R) and reactance (X). Also like conductance. As conductance is the complement of resistance. but now is measured in Siemens. we need a complementary measure representing the reciprocal of impedance. . either a purely resistive (conductive) circuit. Whereas the term “resistance” denotes the amount of opposition to flowing electrons in a circuit. and each 1/R term in the “parallel resistance formula” is actually a conductance. it is equal to 1/X. . Like impedance. the student of electricity comes across a term meaning the opposite of resistance: conductance. conductance is the reciprocal of resistance. Unlike resistance.5. figures of conductance (G) and susceptance (B) are most useful in circuits where the two types of opposition are not mixed. susceptance is the measure of how much a circuit is susceptible to conducting a changing current. which diminishes as more parallel components are included in the circuit. Admittance is measured in (guess what?) the unit of Siemens. Resistance is the measure of how much a circuit resists current. reactance. Like conductance. Mathematically. susceptances (B) add in parallel and diminish in series. Given a scientific calculator capable of handling complex number arithmetic in both polar and rectangular forms. When resistive and reactive components are interconnected.

Because power in a reactive circuit is both absorbed and released – not just dissipated as it is with resistors – its mathematical handling requires a more direct application of trigonometry to solve. When faced with analyzing an AC circuit. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. 5. Ohm’s Law. 5. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. L. the first step in analysis is to convert all resistor.6 Summary With the notable exception of calculations for power (P). and Z=E/I Remember that only the calculated figures expressed in polar form apply directly to empirical measurements of voltage and current. Kirchhoff ’s Laws. using the “new” form of Ohm’s Law: E=IZ . and the angle directly relates to the phase shift in degrees. The same troubleshooting strategies applied toward DC circuits also hold for AC. After that. based on the frequency of the power source. and even the network theorems learned in DC still hold true for AC when voltage. from most recent to first.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. inductor. and impedance are all expressed with complex numbers. and capacitor component values into impedances (Z). . although AC can certainly be more difficult to work with due to phase angles which aren’t registered by a handheld multimeter. Polar notation. Rectangular notation is merely a useful tool for us to add and subtract complex quantities together. current.120 CHAPTER 5. Power is another subject altogether. is the most practical way to express complex quantities for circuit analysis. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. and will be covered in its own chapter in this book. though. all AC circuit calculations are based on the same general principles as calculations for DC circuits. where the magnitude (length of vector) directly relates to the magnitude of the voltage or current measured. proceed with the same steps and strategies learned for analyzing DC circuits. of their existence and their meanings. I=E/Z . AND C tance (Y). Be aware. The only significant difference is that fact that AC calculations use complex quantities while DC calculations use scalar quantities.

. . . . . .6. . . . . and electrically manifest that stored energy as a kinetic motion of electrons: current. creating their own AC voltage and current cycles. . . . . . . . . . .1 An electric pendulum Capacitors store energy in the form of an electric field. . . . . . .Chapter 6 RESONANCE Contents 6. . . . . . . . . If either the capacitor or inductor starts out in a charged state. . . . . . . . . . Capacitors and inductors are flip-sides of the same reactive coin. Resonance in series-parallel circuits . . . . the inductor will begin to build up a “charge” in the form of a magnetic field as current increases in the circuit: (Figure 6. . . . . . . . . . the capacitor will very quickly charge and the inductor will oppose change in current. . . . . When these two types of reactive components are directly connected together. . . . . . . . . .2) 121 . . . . . .1 6. . Meanwhile.6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Contributors . . . . Applications of resonance . . . . . their complementary tendencies to store energy will produce an unusual result. . . . . . . . . . . . .3 6. . leaving the capacitor in the charged state and the inductor in the discharged state: (Figure 6. . . . .2 Parallel resonant circuits . . Q and bandwidth of a resonant circuit . . . . its voltage decreasing. back and forth. . . . . . .5 6. . .1) The capacitor will begin to discharge. 6. . Simple parallel (tank circuit) resonance Simple series resonance . . . . . . 6. Inductors store energy in the form of a magnetic field. . . . . . and electrically manifest that stored energy as a potential: static voltage. . . storing and releasing energy in complementary modes. . . . . . 121 126 131 135 136 145 146 148 151 6.2 6. . . . . . . . . the two components will exchange energy between them. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . from a momentarily connected battery). . . . . . . . . . . . . If we assume that both components are subjected to a sudden application of voltage (say. . . . . . . . . . . .6 An electric pendulum . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. . . . . .1 Series resonant circuits .

1: Capacitor charged: voltage at (+) peak. will keep electrons flowing in the circuit until the capacitor has been completely discharged. will begin to accumulate a charge in the opposite polarity as before: (Figure 6. leaving the inductor fully charged with . will begin to discharge through the inductor. leaving zero voltage across it: (Figure 6. the capacitor will have reached full (voltage) charge in the opposite polarity as when it started: (Figure 6.122 Battery momentarily connected to start the cycle + i CHAPTER 6.3: Capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage. causing an increase in current (in the opposite direction as before) and a decrease in voltage as it depletes its own energy reserve: (Figure 6. In fact. The inductor will maintain current flow even with no voltage applied.4) When the inductor is finally depleted of its energy reserve and the electrons come to a halt.5) Now we’re at a condition very similar to where we started: the capacitor at full charge and zero current in the circuit. inductor discharged: zero current. being the recipient of this current. Inductor charging: current increasing. it will generate a voltage (like a battery) in order to keep current in the same direction. e= i= + capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing inductor charging: current increasing Time Figure 6. RESONANCE e= i= e Time capacitor charged: voltage at (+) peak inductor discharged: zero current Figure 6. The capacitor. inductor fully charged: maximum current. The capacitor. as before.2: Capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing. The inductor. still charging.6) Eventually the capacitor will discharge to zero volts.3) e= i= Time capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage inductor fully charged: maximum current Figure 6.

AN ELECTRIC PENDULUM 123 e= i= + capacitor charging: voltage increasing (in opposite polarity) inductor discharging: current decreasing Time Figure 6. inductor discharging: current decreasing. inductor fully discharged: zero current. e= i= + capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing inductor charging: current increasing Time Figure 6. .1. e= i= + capacitor fully charged: voltage at (-) peak inductor fully discharged: zero current Time Figure 6.5: Capacitor fully charged: voltage at (-) peak.6: Capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing. inductor charging: current increasing.4: Capacitor charging: voltage increasing (in opposite polarity).6.

8: Capacitor charging: voltage increasing.9) e= i= + capacitor fully charged: voltage at (+) peak inductor fully discharged: zero current Time Figure 6.9: Capacitor fully charged: voltage at (+) peak. until the process stops altogether. Eventually the capacitor will become fully charged again as the inductor expends all of its energy reserves trying to maintain current. this behavior is akin to that of a pendulum: as the pendulum mass swings back and forth. The inductor.7) e= i= CHAPTER 6. desiring to maintain current in the same direction. there is a transformation .124 full current through it: (Figure 6. This oscillation will continue with steadily decreasing amplitude due to power losses from stray resistances in the circuit. inductor fully charged: current at (-) peak. inductor fully discharged: zero current. RESONANCE Time capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage inductor fully charged: current at (-) peak Figure 6. generating a voltage like a battery to continue the flow. In doing so. Overall. The voltage will once again be at its positive peak and the current at zero. This completes one full cycle of the energy exchange between the capacitor and inductor: (Figure 6.7: Capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage. inductor discharging: current decreasing. will act like a source again. the capacitor will begin to charge up and the current will decrease in magnitude: (Figure 6.8) e= i= + capacitor charging: voltage increasing inductor discharging: current decreasing Time Figure 6.

1. not on the amount of voltage (or current) at each respective peak in the waves. a pendulum’s back-and-forth oscillation will continue with a steadily dampened amplitude. The rate of oscillation is strictly dependent on the sizes of the capacitor and inductor. At the peak height of each swing of a pendulum. The ability for such a circuit to store energy in the form of . The oscillation rate is independent of the amount of energy stored in it. Like the circuit. The same is true for the capacitor/inductor circuit. this kind of natural sine-wave oscillation for a mechanical system is called Simple Harmonic Motion (often abbreviated as “SHM”). the mass briefly stops and switches directions.10) maximum potential energy. It is at this point that potential energy (height) is at a maximum and kinetic energy (motion) is at zero. and not the weight of the mass itself. hence the similarity in effect. As the mass swings back the other way. At this point. The same underlying principles govern both the oscillation of a capacitor/inductor circuit and the action of a pendulum. the pendulum’s position and velocity measurements trace two sine waves (90 degrees out of phase) over time: (Figure 6. It is an interesting property of any pendulum that its periodic time is governed by the length of the string holding the mass. zero kinetic energy mass zero potential energy. in a similar fashion to the way energy is transferred in the capacitor/inductor circuit back and forth in the alternating forms of current (kinetic motion of electrons) and voltage (potential electric energy). AN ELECTRIC PENDULUM 125 of energy taking place from kinetic (motion) to potential (height). In physics. it passes quickly through a point where the string is pointed straight down. potential energy (height) is at zero and kinetic energy (motion) is at maximum.6. Also like the circuit. the result of air friction (resistance) dissipating energy.10: Pendelum transfers energy between kinetic and potential energy as it swings low to high. That is why a pendulum will keep swinging at the same frequency as the oscillations decrease in amplitude. maximum kinetic energy potential energy = kinetic energy = Figure 6.

2 Simple parallel (tank circuit) resonance A condition of resonance will be experienced in a tank circuit (Figure 6. Because inductive reactance increases with increasing frequency and capacitive reactance decreases with increasing frequency. In fact. If the power supply frequency for a circuit exactly matches the natural frequency of the circuit’s LC combination. RESONANCE oscillating voltage and current has earned it the name tank circuit. this tendency to oscillate. a condition of resonance will have been reached. nearly any AC circuit with a combination of capacitance and inductance (commonly called an “LC circuit”) will tend to manifest unusual effects when the AC power source frequency approaches that natural frequency. we need to be able to predict what the resonant frequency will be for various combinations of L and C. This is true regardless of the circuit’s intended purpose. Since we know the equations for determining the reactance of each at a given frequency. • REVIEW: • A capacitor and inductor directly connected together form something called a tank circuit.11) when the reactances of the capacitor and inductor are equal to each other. and we’re looking for that .11: Simple parallel resonant circuit (tank circuit). However. or resonate. Its property of maintaining a single.126 CHAPTER 6. The unusual effects will reach maximum in this condition of resonance. 6. and be aware of what the effects of resonance are. • When the power supply frequency for an AC circuit exactly matches that circuit’s natural oscillation frequency as set by the L and C components. at a particular frequency is not limited to circuits exclusively designed for that purpose. which oscillates (or resonates) at one particular frequency. For this reason. At that frequency. the circuit is said to be in a state of resonance. 10 µF 100 mH Figure 6. In the above circuit. we have a 10 µF capacitor and a 100 mH inductor. energy is alternately shuffled between the capacitor and the inductor in the form of alternating voltage and current 90 degrees out of phase with each other. there will only be one frequency where these two reactances will be equal. natural frequency regardless of how much or little energy is actually being stored in it gives it special significance in electric circuit design.

2πf2L = 1 2πC Dividing both sides by 2πL leaves f2 by itself on the left-hand side of the equation .2.6. . . 2πfL = 1 2πfC Multiplying both sides by f eliminates the f term in the denominator of the fraction . f= 1 2π LC So there we have it: a formula to tell us the resonant frequency of a tank circuit. . . setting the two equal to each other. given the values of inductance (L) in Henrys and capacitance (C) in Farads.155 Hz. . simplifying . f2 = 1 2π2πLC Taking the square root of both sides of the equation leaves f by itself on the left side . meaning that the tank circuit draws no current from the AC power source! We can calculate the individual impedances of the 10 µF capacitor and the 100 mH inductor and work through the parallel impedance formula to demonstrate this mathematically: . we arrive at a resonant frequency of 159. . . . . . representing a condition of equal reactance (resonance) . . we can set the two reactance formulae equal to each other and solve for frequency algebraically: XL = 2πfL XC = 1 2πfC . . the total impedance increases to infinity. f= 1 2π2πLC . With capacitive and inductive reactances equal to each other. . SIMPLE PARALLEL (TANK CIRCUIT) RESONANCE 127 point where the two reactances are equal to each other. . Plugging in the values of L and C in our example circuit. What happens at resonance is quite interesting.

that it cannot analyze a circuit containing a direct inductor-voltage source loop.128 CHAPTER 6.155 Hz)(10 µF) XC = 100 Ω As you might have guessed. RESONANCE XL = 2πfL XL = (2)(π)(159. but we can say that the result approaches a value of infinity as the two parallel impedances get closer to each other. This SPICE simulation plots circuit current over a frequency range of 100 to 200 Hz in twenty even steps (100 and 200 Hz inclusive). What this means in practical terms is that.01 ∠ 90o Zparallel = Undefined! We can’t divide any number by zero and arrive at a meaningful result. Now. Current magnitude on the graph increases from .12) The 1 pico-ohm (1 pΩ) resistor is placed in this SPICE analysis to overcome a limitation of SPICE: namely.155 Hz)(100 mH) XL = 100 Ω XC = XC = 1 2πfC 1 (2)(π)(159. (Figure 6. We can plot the consequences of this over a wide power supply frequency range with a short SPICE simulation: (Figure 6. I chose these component values to give resonance impedances that were easy to work with (100 Ω even).01 ∠ -90 1 0 o 1 + 0.12) A very low resistance value was chosen so as to have minimal effect on circuit behavior. the total impedance of a tank circuit is infinite (behaving as an open circuit) at resonance. we use the parallel impedance formula to see what happens to total Z: Zparallel = 1 1 1 + ZL ZC 1 1 100 Ω ∠ 90o + 1 100 Ω ∠ -90o Zparallel = Zparallel = 0.

000E+02 9.. .590E-04 . ..12: Resonant circuit sutitable for SPICE simulation... * .271E-03 . * ..0E-02 . . . . ....063E-03 . ... .. . 2..609E-03 ...000E+02 4. . * .373E-04 .474E+02 1.. . 1. 1.632E+02 4. freq i(v1) 3. .579E+02 1..1. .632E-03 .316E+02 3. 1. * .506E-03 . * 1. .* . ..105E+02 7.2. . . . .842E+02 2. ..969E-04 . . . . . .455E-03 .. ..470E-03 . .053E+02 8. . .211E+02 5... . * .. 1.828E-03 . . .. . ... .. * . 1. * . * .. *.737E+02 1. . * 1. .. . . . SIMPLE PARALLEL (TANK CIRCUIT) RESONANCE 129 1 1 Rbogus 2 C1 0 0 0 10 uF L1 0 100 mH 1 1 pΩ Figure 6.542E-03 .. 1.. . 1. . * .033E-03 . 1.. ..934E-03 . . . . . 1.749E-03 ..162E-04 1.350E-03 . .. * .. ... ..684E+02 1.505E-03 .. .132E-03 . . * . .540E-03 ...526E+02 8.421E+02 2. 1..000E-03 ... 1. . 1..162E-03 1.- .158E+02 6. . * .663E-03 .6. 1..* ...- 3. .368E+02 3. 1. * .895E+02 3... 1.. 1.947E+02 4... .789E+02 2.263E+02 4. *. .. . . . * . .....

cir).raw From the nutmeg prompt: >setplot ac1 (setplot {enter} for list of plots) >display (for list of signals) >plot mag(v1#branch) (magnitude of complex current vector v1#branch) lin 20 100 200 .plot) command.13) spice -b -r resonant. .cir) does not require the plot (. The above spice ( *.plot ac i(v1) .raw resonant. resonant frequency can be calculated with the following formula: fresonant = • 1 2π LC • The total impedance of a parallel LC circuit approaches infinity as the power supply frequency approaches resonance. • For a tank circuit with no resistance (R). which SPICE can’t handle rbogus 1 2 1e-12 l1 2 0 100m . while frequency increases from top to bottom. The current in this circuit takes a sharp dip around the analysis point of 157. The steepness of a Bode plot curve characterizes a circuit’s “frequency response. though it does no harm.plot) in the last line producing the text plot on any printer or terminal.130 tank circuit frequency sweep v1 1 0 ac 1 sin c1 1 0 10u * rbogus is necessary to eliminate a direct loop * between v1 and l1. It is at this point that total current from the power source falls to zero. the command (. Such graphs plot amplitude or phase shift on one axis and frequency on the other. The plot above is produced from the above spice circuit file ( *.cir) nutmeg resonant.end CHAPTER 6. • REVIEW: • Resonance occurs when capacitive and inductive reactances are equal to each other. the graph output produced by this SPICE computer analysis is more generally known as a Bode plot. which is the closest analysis point to our predicted resonance frequency of 159. RESONANCE left to right. input is resonant.” or how sensitive it is to changes in frequency. A better looking plot is produced by the “nutmeg” graphical post-processor.cir ( -b batch mode. -r raw file. part of the spice package.155 Hz.9 Hz. The following commands produce the plot below: (Figure 6.

3 Simple series resonance A similar effect happens in series inductive/capacitive circuits. . the two impedances cancel each other out and the total impedance drops to zero! 10 µF 100 mH Figure 6. SIMPLE SERIES RESONANCE 131 Figure 6.14) When a state of resonance is reached (capacitive and inductive reactances equal).14: Simple series resonant circuit.3.13: Nutmeg produces plot of current I(v1) for parallel resonant circuit. (Figure 6.6. 6. • A Bode plot is a graph plotting waveform amplitude or phase on one axis and frequency on the other.

RESONANCE At 159.j100 Ω) Zseries = 0 Ω With the total series impedance equal to 0 Ω at the resonant frequency of 159.end As before. series lc circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m .9 Hz.132 CHAPTER 6. In the circuit drawn above. the closest analyzed point to our predicted resonance point of 159. This would suggest that our resonant frequency formula holds as true for simple series LC circuits as it does for simple parallel LC circuits.15) in series along with the capacitor and the inductor to keep the maximum circuit current somewhat limited.155 Hz. and perform another SPICE analysis over the same range of frequencies: (Figure 6. (Figure 6.15: Series resonant circuit suitable for lin 20 100 200 . which is the case: .16) The peak is still seen to be at the plotted frequency point of 157. the result is a short circuit across the AC power source at resonance.155 Hz: ZL = 0 + j100 Ω Zseries = ZL + ZC Zseries = (0 + j100 Ω) + (0 . I’ll add a small resistor (Figure 6. circuit current amplitude increases from bottom to top.plot ac i(v1) .155 Hz. while frequency increases from left to right. this would not be good.j100 Ω 1 R1 1Ω C1 3 L1 2 10 µF 100 mH 0 1V 0 Figure 6.16) ZC = 0 .

6. voltage across the capacitor and inductor reach a peak somewhere around 70 volts! This is quite impressive for a power supply that only generates 1 volt. L = 100mH. caution is in order when experimenting with circuits such as this.3) v(3) .155 Hz. fresonant = 1 2π LC A word of caution is in order with series LC resonant circuits: because of the high currents which may be present in a series LC circuit at resonance. it is possible to produce dangerously high voltage drops across the capacitor and the inductor. R = 1 XL = 2π fL = 2π (159.155)(10µF)) = -j100Ω .ac lin 20 100 200 .plot ac i(v1) v(2.end According to SPICE. What is the expected value? Given: fr = 159.17) series lc circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m . SIMPLE SERIES RESONANCE 133 Figure 6.155)(100mH)=j100Ω XC = 1/(2π fC) = 1/(2π (159. This SPICE voltage is lower than the expected value due to the small (20) number of steps in the AC analysis statement (. We can edit the SPICE netlist in the above example to include a plot of voltage across the capacitor and inductor to demonstrate what happens: (Figure 6. as each component possesses significant impedance.3. Needless to lin 20 100 200).16: Series resonant circuit plot of current I(v1).

The ratio of the capacitor (or inductor) voltage to the applied voltage is the “Q” factor. RESONANCE Figure 6. I=I(V1#branch) 0. the applied voltage. • The same formula for determining resonant frequency in a simple tank circuit applies to simple series circuits as well. due to high current flows and substantial individual component impedances. • Extremely high voltages can be formed across the individual components of series LC circuits at resonance.17: Plot of Vc=V(2. Q = VL /VR = VC /VR • REVIEW: • The total impedance of a series LC circuit approaches zero as the power supply frequency approaches resonance. However. This voltage will stress these components to that level and they must be rated accordingly.134 CHAPTER 6.532 A peak Z = 1 +j100 -j100 = 1 Ω I = V/Z = (1 V)/(1 Ω) = 1 A VL = IZ = (1 A)(j100) = j100 V VC = IZ = (1 A)(-j100) = -j100 V VR = IR = (1 A)(1)= 1 V Vtotal = VL + VC + VR Vtotal = j100 -j100 +1 = 1 V The expected values for capacitor and inductor voltage are 100 V.3) 70 V peak. . VL =v(3) 70 V peak. these voltages are out of phase and cancel yielding a total voltage across all three components of only 1 V.

the frequency set by the tank circuit is solely dependent upon the values of L and C. However. blocking them from getting to the load load Figure 6. thus acting as a sort of frequency “filter” to strain certain frequencies out of a mix of others.. Another use for resonance is in applications where the effects of greatly increased or decreased impedance at a particular frequency is desired. . so can a tank circuit be used to stabilize the electrical frequency of an AC oscillator circuit. employed in a variety of applications. As was noted before.19) the natural frequency of the "tank circuit" helps to stabilize oscillations AC source of mixed frequencies Tank circuit presents a high impedance to a narrow range of frequencies.. or select. In essence.. APPLICATIONS OF RESONANCE 135 6. One use for resonance is to establish a condition of stable frequency in circuits designed to produce AC signals.6. and their design constitutes a discipline of study all by itself: (Figure 6. this is how analog radio receiver tuner circuits work to filter.18: Resonant circuit serves as stable frequency source..4 Applications of resonance So far. the phenomenon of resonance appears to be a useless curiosity.4. A resonant circuit can be used to “block” (present high impedance toward) a frequency or range of frequencies. Usually. exchanging energy between each other... with the capacitor and inductor directly connected together. to the rest of the "oscillator" circuit . • REVIEW: . these particular circuits are called filters. this is not the case. a parallel (tank) circuit is used for this purpose. Figure 6.18) . one station frequency out of the mix of different radio station frequency signals intercepted by the antenna.19: Resonant circuit serves as filter. Just as a pendulum can be used to stabilize the frequency of a clock mechanism’s oscillations. and not on the magnitudes of voltage or current present in the oscillations: (Figure 6. In fact. or at most a nuisance to be avoided (especially if series resonance makes for a short-circuit across our AC voltage source!). Resonance is a very valuable property of reactive AC circuits.

155 Hz. SPICE can’t handle an inductor connected directly in parallel with any voltage source or any other inductor. though.22)is necessary to prevent SPICE from encountering trouble in analysis. this means infinite impedance at resonance. the resonant frequency should be 159. Here. 6. as soon as significant levels of resistance are introduced into most LC circuits. so the addition of a series resistor is necessary to “break . respectively. • Resonance can be exploited for its impedance properties: either dramatically increasing or decreasing impedance for certain frequencies. Circuits designed to screen certain frequencies out of a mix of different frequencies are called filters. using the same values for capacitance and inductance as before: 10 µF and 100 mH. an extra resistor (Rbogus ) (Figure 6. According to our simple equation.136 CHAPTER 6. just as a pendulum can be used to maintain constant oscillation speed in a timekeeping mechanism. We’ll take a look at several LC circuits with added resistance. the effects of radically altered impedance will manifest at the resonance frequency predicted by the equation given earlier. it means zero impedance at resonance: fresonant = 1 2π LC However. where current reaches maximum or minimum in the following SPICE analyses: Parallel LC with resistance in series with L 1 1 R1 V1 1V C1 0 0 0 10 µF 2 L1 0 100 mH 1 100 Ω Figure 6. this simple calculation for resonance becomes invalid. In a series LC circuit. In a parallel (tank) LC circuit. RESONANCE • Resonance can be employed to maintain AC circuit oscillations at a constant frequency.5 Resonance in series-parallel circuits In simple reactive circuits with little or no resistance.20: Parallel LC circuit with resistance in series with L. Watch.

8 Hz instead of calculated 159.2 Hz! .ac lin 20 100 200 .6. RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 137 resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin c1 1 0 10u r1 1 2 100 l1 2 0 100m .8 Hz instead of 159.end Figure 6.5.2 Hz Minimum current at 136.21: Resistance in series with L produces minimum current at 136.plot ac i(v1) .

R2 . (Figure 6. a 1 Ω resistor (R1 ) is placed in series with the inductor and capacitor to limit total current at resonance.2 Hz! Switching our attention to series LC circuits.plot ac i(v1) . (Figure 6.24) we experiment with placing significant resistances in parallel with either L or C. The results are shown in (Figure 6.138 CHAPTER 6. a series LC circuit with the significant resistance in parallel with the capacitor.25). In the following series circuit examples. And finally.22: Parallel LC with resistance in serieis with C.27) The tendency for added resistance to skew the point at which impedance reaches a maximum or minimum in an LC circuit is called antiresonance. The astute observer will notice a pattern between the four SPICE examples given above. The “extra” resistance inserted to influence resonant frequency effects is the 100 Ω resistor. RESONANCE Parallel LC with resistance in series with C 1 1 R1 V1 1V C1 0 0 0 2 100 Ω 3 10 µF L1 0 100 mH 1 Rbogus Figure 6. in terms of how resistance affects the resonant peak of a circuit: . This resistor is chosen to be a very low value for minimum impact on the circuit’s behavior. up” the voltage source/inductor loop that would otherwise be formed. resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 100 c1 2 0 10u rbogus 1 3 1e-12 l1 3 0 100m .ac lin 20 100 400 .26) The shifted resonance is shown in (Figure 6.end Minimum current at roughly 180 Hz instead of 159.

. RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 139 Figure 6. Series LC with resistance in parallel with L 1 R1 1Ω C1 V1 1V 3 L1 0 0 100 mH R2 10 µF 3 100 Ω 0 2 Figure 6.23: Resistance in series with C shifts minimum current from calculated 159.24: Series LC resonant circuit with resistance in parallel with L.5.6.2 Hz to roughly 180 Hz.

8 Hz instead of 159.end Maximum current at lin 20 100 200 . RESONANCE Maximum current at roughly 178.end CHAPTER 6.plot ac i(v1) .2 Hz! .ac lin 20 100 400 . resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u r2 2 3 100 l1 3 0 100m .25: Series resonant circuit with resistance in parallel with L shifts maximum current from 159.plot ac i(v1) .9 Hz instead of 159.2 Hz! Figure 6.140 resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m r2 3 0 100 .2 Hz to roughly 180 Hz.

RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 141 Series LC with resistance in parallel with C 1 R1 1Ω C1 V1 1V 3 L1 0 0 100 mH 2 2 10 µF R2 100 Ω 3 Figure 6. Figure 6.2 Hz to about 136. .27: Resistance in parallel with C in series resonant circuit shifts curreent maximum from calculated 159.26: Series LC resonant circuit with rsistance in parallel with C.5.6.8 Hz.

but changing.2 Hz once again! Note that the peak of the current graph (Figure 6. which manifest themselves as added resistance in the circuit. changing flux produced by alternating current through the coil will tend to induce electric currents in the core itself (eddy currents). The equations for determining antiresonance “shift” are complex. the resistance of wire tends to increase as frequency goes up. So long as all components are connected in series with each other. It should suffice the beginning student of electronics to understand that the effect exists.142 • Parallel (“tank”) LC circuit: • R in series with L: resonant frequency shifted down • R in series with C: resonant frequency shifted up CHAPTER 6. due to a strange phenomenon known as the skin effect where AC current tends to be excluded from travel through the very center of a wire. While it is possible to manufacture capacitors with negligible unwanted resistances.28) The resulting plot is shown in (Figure 6. One notable exception to the rule of circuit resistance causing a resonant frequency shift is the case of series resistor-inductor-capacitor (“RLC”) circuits. If you look even closer to the four SPICE examples given. we also have to contend with the “core losses” of iron-core inductors. and that the shape of the complementary graphs are mirror-images of each other! Antiresonance is an effect that resonant circuit designers must be aware of. this illustrates the complementary nature of capacitors and inductors: how resistance in series with one creates an antiresonance effect equivalent to resistance in parallel with the other. This effect can be thought of as though the iron core of the transformer were a sort of secondary transformer coil powering a resistive load: the less-than-perfect conductivity of the iron metal. As if the resistance of an inductor’s wire weren’t enough to cause problems.29) has not changed from the earlier series LC circuit (the one with the 1 Ω token resistance in it). (Figure 6. and what its general tendencies are. What is more. good core design and high-grade materials. frequency-dependent resistance at that. even though the resistance is now 100 times greater. Maximum current at 159. The only thing that has changed is the “sharpness” of the curve. inductors not only have resistance. inductors are typically plagued with substantial amounts of resistance due to the long lengths of wire used in their construction. Since iron is a conductor of electricity as well as a conductor of magnetic flux. thereby reducing the wire’s effective cross-sectional area. you’ll see that the frequencies are shifted by the same amount. Obviously. RESONANCE • Series LC circuit: • R in parallel with L: resonant frequency shifted up • R in parallel with C: resonant frequency shifted down Again. the resonant frequency of the circuit will be unaffected by the resistance. but at least it has the same natural frequency! . and will not be covered in this brief lesson. Added resistance in an LC circuit is no academic matter. this circuit does not resonate as strongly as one with less series resistance (it is said to be “less selective”). but never completely eliminated.29). This effects can be minimized with laminated cores. Thus.

end Figure 6.29: Resistance in series resonant circuit leaves current maximum at calculated lin 20 100 200 .2 Hz. .28: Series LC with resistance in series.6. RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 143 Series LC with resistance in series 1 R1 100 Ω C1 V1 1V 3 L1 0 0 100 mH 2 10 µF Figure 6.plot ac i(v1) . series rlc circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 100 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m . broadening the curve.5.

In the beginning of this chapter we saw how a capacitor and inductor connected directly together would act something like a pendulum. If this causes resonant problems (unwanted AC oscillations). Antiresonance’s dampening effect is more than just a curiosity: it can be used quite effectively to eliminate unwanted oscillations in circuits containing stray inductances and/or capacitances. cars would bounce wildly at their resonant frequency after hitting any bump in the road. as almost all circuits do. dissipating enough energy to prohibit the inductance and stray capacitance from sustaining oscillations for very long. just as a frictionless pendulum would continue to swing at its resonant frequency forever.30) switch R L Figure 6. Energy lost through resistance (or inductor core losses or radiated electromagnetic waves or .144 CHAPTER 6. exchanging voltage and current peaks just like a pendulum exchanges kinetic and potential energy. If enough energy losses are present in a tank circuit. The shock absorber’s job is to introduce a strong antiresonant effect by dissipating energy hydraulically (in the same way that a resistor dissi- . it will cause a condition of antiresonance. RESONANCE It is noteworthy that antiresonance has the effect of dampening the oscillations of freerunning LC circuits such as tank circuits. the placement of circuit conductors may create stray capacitance. If resistor R is large enough. you might find unexpected oscillations (AC) of voltage across the inductor when the switch is closed. In a perfect tank circuit (no resistance). this oscillation would continue forever. and so are lossless tank circuits.) in a tank circuit will cause the oscillations to decay in amplitude until they are no more. there will always be some that you cannot eliminate.31) Why is this? There’s no capacitor in the circuit. and battery? All inductors contain a certain amount of stray capacitance due to turn-to-turn and turnto-core insulation gaps. Interestingly enough. which is the time constant of the circuit in seconds. the principle of employing resistance to eliminate unwanted resonance is one frequently used in the design of mechanical systems.30: L/R time delay circuit The idea of this circuit is simple: to “charge” the inductor when the switch is closed. so how can we have resonant oscillation with just an inductor. resistor. The rate of inductor charging will be set by the ratio L/R. it will fail to resonate at all. But frictionless machines are difficult to find in the real world. added resistance may be a way to combat it. Without shock absorbers. if you were to build such a circuit. Take note of the following L/R time delay circuit: (Figure 6. Also. . However. A very common application of this is the use of shock absorbers in automobiles. . (Figure 6. where any moving object with mass is a potential resonator. While clean circuit layout is important in eliminating much of this stray capacitance.

which is desirable in many applications. This formula is applicable to series resonant circuits. pates energy electrically). Resonance still occurs when capacitive and inductive reactances are equal. Another source is that of core losses in iron-core inductors. • Resistance inherent in real-world inductors can contribute greatly to conditions of antiresonance. More formally. of a resonant circuit is a measure of the “goodness” or quality of a resonant circuit. where the peak impedance effects happen at frequencies other than that which gives equal capacitive and inductive reactances. One source of such resistance is the skin effect.31: Inductor ringing due to resonance with stray capacitance. • In a simple series LC circuit containing resistance (an “RLC” circuit). respectively: Q = Pstored /Pdissipated = I2 X/I2 R Q = X/R where: X = Capacitive or Inductive reactance at resonance R = Series resistance. caused by the exclusion of AC current from the center of conductors. resistance does not produce antiresonance. as we . A higher value for this figure of merit corresponds to a more narrow bandwith. quality factor. • REVIEW: • Added resistance to an LC circuit can cause a condition known as antiresonance. 6. Q AND BANDWIDTH OF A RESONANT CIRCUIT 145 ideal L/R voltage curve = actual L/R voltage curve = Figure 6.6.6. and also parallel resonant circuits if the resistance is in series with the inductor. This is the case in practical applications.6 Q and bandwidth of a resonant circuit The Q. Q is the ratio of power stored to power dissipated in the circuit reactance and resistance.

33) Below the resonant frequency. Above resonance. Below resonance it looks capacitive. capacitive reactance decreases.146 CHAPTER 6. which changes the Q. leaving a net inductive component. RESONANCE are mostly concerned with the resistance of the inductor limiting the Q. (Figure 6.6. The resonant current peak may be changed by varying the series resistor. Figure 6. high Q circuit has a narrow bandwidth. the reactive components cancel. In a parallel resonant circuit.32: At resonance the series resonant circuit appears purely resistive. This is correct for a large value of R in parallel with C and L. 6.32) Since the definition of resonance is XL =XC . A practical application of “Q” is that voltage across L or C in a series resonant circuit is Q times total applied voltage. Above resonance it appears inductive. the series resonant circuit looks capacitive since the impedance of the capacitor increases to a value greater than the decreasing inducitve reactance. Above or below resonance.1 Series resonant circuits A series resonant circuit looks like a resistance at the resonant frequency. low Q circuit. Current is maximum at resonance. The impedance is also at a minimum at resonance. leaving only the resistance to contribute to the impedance. as compared to a high resistance. (Figure 6. impedance at a minumum. the inductive rectance increases. A low resistance. leaving a net capacitive value. Bandwidth in terms of Q and resonant frequency: . Note: Some text may show X and R interchanged in the “Q” formula for a parallel resonant circuit. Our formula is correct for a small R in series with L.34) This also affects the broadness of the curve. Current is set by the value of the resistance. (Figure 6. current through L or C is Q times the total applied current. impedance increases.

6.6. BW = fc /Q Where fc = resonant frquency Q = quality factor Figure 6.33: Impedance is at a minumum at resonance in a series resonant circuit.34: A high Q resonant circuit has a narrow bandwidth as compared to a low Q . Q AND BANDWIDTH OF A RESONANT CIRCUIT 147 Figure 6.

6. The bandwidth is 64 Hz. BW = ∆f = fh -fl = fc /Q Where fh = high band edge. the 100% current point is 50 mA. The upper and lower band edges read from the curve are 291 Hz for fl and 355 Hz for fh .35) Figure 6.707 current points correspond to the half power points since P = I2 R. The 0.707 current amplitude points.148 CHAPTER 6. (Fig- . (0.∆f/2 fh = fc + ∆f/2 Where fc = center frequency (resonant frequency) In Figure 6. RESONANCE Bandwidth is measured between the 0.36) At resonance XL =XC .35. and the half power points are ± 32 Hz of the center resonant frequency: BW = ∆f = fh -fl = 355-291 = 64 fl = fc . ∆f is measured between the 70.2 Parallel resonant circuits A parallel resonant circuit is resistive at the resonant frequency. The 70.707)2 = (0.7% level is 0707(50 mA)=35. (Figure 6.35: Bandwidth. The impedance is maximum at resonance.7% amplitude points of series resonant circuit.∆f/2 = 323-32 = 291 fh = fc + ∆f/2 = 323+32 = 355 Since BW = fc /Q: Q = fc /BW = (323 Hz)/(64 Hz) = 5 6. fl = low band edge fl = fc . (Figure 6.5).4 mA. the reactive components cancel.

The 70. but decreases above or below resonance. taking on a capacitive characteristic. the parallel resonant circuit looks inductive since the impedance of the inductor is lower.6. and the half power points are ± 31 Hz of the center resonant frequency: BW = ∆f = fh -fl = 343-281 = 62 fl = fc . the capacitive rectance decreases.707)2 =0. The bandwidth of the parallel resonant response curve is measured between the half power points. Q AND BANDWIDTH OF A RESONANT CIRCUIT 149 ure 6.∆f/2 = 312-31 = 281 fh = fc + ∆f/2 = 312+31 = 343 Q = fc /BW = (312 Hz)/(62 Hz) = 5 . lower resistance wire. Figure 6. (Figure 6.37) Below the resonant frequency. thus. (Figure 6. Above resonance. This produces a higher peak in the narrower response curve.6. inductive below resonance.7% voltage points since power is proportional to E2 . drawing the larger current. This corresponds to the 70.7% level is 0707(500)=354 Ω. the 100% impedance point is 500 Ω.39) In Figure 6. Impedance is maximum at resonance in a parallel resonant circuit. The high Q is achieved by winding the inductor with larger diameter (smaller gague).38) conversely. The upper and lower band edges read from the curve are 281 Hz for fl and 343 Hz for fh .36: A parallel resonant circuit is resistive at resonance. Voltage is at a peak at resonance since voltage is proportional to impedance (E=IZ). we may use the impedance curve.50) Since voltage is proportional to impedance. (Figure 6.39.37) A low Q due to a high resistance in series with the inductor produces a low peak on a broad response curve for a parallel resonant circuit. a high Q is due to a low resistance in series with the inductor. The bandwidth is 62 Hz. drawing the larger proportion of current. capacitive above resonance. ((0.

150 CHAPTER 6. RESONANCE Figure 6. .38: Parallel resonant response varies with Q. Figure 6.37: Parallel resonant circuit: Impedance peaks at resonance.

6. . See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. ∆f is measured between the 70. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting.7. CONTRIBUTORS 151 Figure 6.39: Bandwidth.7% impedance points of a parallel resonant circuit. from most recent to first. which led to a much betterlooking second edition.6.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions.


its “frequency” is said to be zero. and any signal containing DC along with a signal of varying intensity (AC) may be rightly called a mixed-frequency signal as well. . .Chapter 7 MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Contents 7. . In any of these cases where there is a mix of frequencies in the same circuit. . . . . . . . . . . Since DC does not alternate as AC does. . . . . . . More on spectrum analysis Circuit effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This may be the result of unintended connections between circuits – called coupling – made possible by 153 . . . . . . . . Additionally. . . . . single-frequency signals are the exception rather than the rule. Sometimes mixed-frequency voltage and current signals are created accidentally. . . . . . . . . . In many applications of electronics. . . Contributors . . . . Square wave signals . . . .1 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . though. . . . . . . Also. . . . . . . in which case we call them non-sinusoidal waveforms. . . .3 7. . . . . . . . . . . . 153 158 168 174 185 188 7. we’ve explored circuits powered by a single-frequency sine voltage waveform. . . . . . . . Quite often we may encounter circuits where multiple frequencies of voltage coexist simultaneously. . . . . . Other waveshapes . analysis is more complex than what we’ve seen up to this point. . . . . . . . . . we may encounter situations where DC is mixed with AC: where a waveform is superimposed on a steady (DC) signal. . circuit waveforms may be something other than sine-wave shaped. . . . . . . or changing polarity asymmetrically (spending more time positive than negative.2 7. . . . .6 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 7. . . . . . . . . The result of such a mix is a signal varying in intensity. . for example). . but never changing polarity. . . . . . . . . . . .1 Introduction In our study of AC circuits thus far. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 7. . .

while the parallal proximity of the two conductors effectively cancels any electromagnetic (mutually inductive) coupling because any induced noise voltage will be approximately equal in magnitude and opposite in phase along both conductors. dedicated metal conduit. The following schematic shows how an AC “noise” source may “couple” to a DC circuit through mutual inductance (Mstray ) and capacitance (Cstray ) along the length of the conductors. Stray capacitance formed by the electrical insulation separating power conductors from signal conductors may cause voltage (with respect to earth ground) from the power conductors to be impressed upon the signal conductors.2) The grounded cable shield – a wire braid or metal foil wrapped around the two insulated conductors – isolates both conductors from electrostatic (capacitive) coupling by blocking any external electric fields. while stray inductance formed by parallel runs of wire in conduit may cause current from the power conductors to electromagnetically induce voltage along the signal conductors. in which case both signals may become “mixed” with each other: (Figure 7. (Figure 7. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS stray capacitance and/or inductance between the conductors of those circuits. and signals should be conducted via 2-conductor “twisted pair” cable rather than through a single wire and ground connection: (Figure 7. Coupling may also occur between two sets of conductors carrying AC signals. canceling each other at the receiving end for a net (differential) noise voltage of almost zero.1: Stray inductance and capacitance couple stray AC into desired DC signal. Polarity marks placed near each inductive portion of signal conductor length shows how the induced voltages are phased in such a way as to cancel one another.3) .154 CHAPTER 7. The nearby presence of high AC voltages and currents may cause “foreign” voltages to be impressed upon the length of the signal wiring. A classic example of coupling phenomenon is seen frequently in industry where DC signal wiring is placed in close proximity to AC power wiring. The result is a mix of DC and AC at the signal load. When stray AC voltages from a “noise” source mix with DC signals conducted along signal wiring. power wiring and low-level signal wiring should always be routed through separated. the results are usually undesirable. For this reason.1) "Noise" source Mstray Zwire Cstray Zwire Zwire "Clean" DC voltage DC voltage + AC "noise" Figure 7.

.3: Coupling of AC signals between parallel conductors.7.1. Signal A Zwire Zwire Zwire A+B Mstray Zwire Zwire Cstray Zwire Signal B B+A Figure 7.2: Shielded twisted pair minimized noise. INTRODUCTION 155 "Noise" source Mstray Cstray - + Shielded cable + Figure 7.

. the first overtone would be 2000 Hz (the 2nd harmonic). pure note or tone. In some cases. Sometimes the term “overtone” is used to describe the a harmonic frequency produced by a musical instrument. which convert audio-frequency air pressure waves into corresponding voltage waveforms. If the sound wave is a chord or other harmony of several notes. or two AC signals mixing with each other.156 CHAPTER 7. However. The “first” overtone is the first harmonic frequency greater than the fundamental. under conditions that are deliberately established.1 with a fundamental frequency of 1000 Hz (an arbitrary figure chosen for this example). mixedfrequency signals are the result of intentional design or they may be an intrinsic quality of a signal. Whether it be AC mixed with DC. This technique has been used for years in electric power distribution networks to communicate load data along high-voltage power lines. Perhaps the easiest way is to simply connect voltage sources in series: (Figure 7. mixed-frequency signals may be produced by a single voltage source. so as to convey computer data along existing lengths of power cabling.4) 60 Hz AC + DC voltage 90 Hz mixed-frequency AC voltage Figure 7. An illustration of these terms is shown in Table 7. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Coupling is but one example of how signals of different frequencies may become mixed. while the second overtone would be 3000 Hz (the 3rd harmonic). the voltage waveform will likewise be a sine wave at a single frequency. Certainly these are examples of mixed-frequency AC voltages. If the sound waves consist of a single. The particular mix of frequencies in the voltage signal output by the microphone is dependent on the sound being reproduced. signal coupling via stray inductance and capacitance is usually accidental and undesired. investigating a little further. etc. Such is the case with microphones. Very few natural sounds consist of single. while the first frequency is called the fundamental). However. the resulting voltage waveform produced by the microphone will consist of those frequencies mixed together. It is generally quite easy to create mixed-frequency signal sources. we find that even a single piano note (produced by a plucked string) consists of one predominant frequency mixed with several other frequencies.4: Series connection of voltage sources mixes signals. Some computer communications networks operate on the principle of superimposing highfrequency voltage signals along 60 Hz power-line conductors. Musical chords are produced by blending one frequency with other frequencies of particular fractional multiples of the first. this application of the term “overtone” is specific to particular instruments. If we had an instrument producing the entire range of harmonic frequencies shown in the table above. In other cases. pure sine wave vibrations but rather are a mix of different frequency vibrations at different amplitudes. each frequency a whole-number multiple of the first (called harmonics.

A pure sine wave (single frequency). lute. flute. tuba. Instruments based on the vibration of a flat plate (steel drums. or fundamental 2000 2nd harmonic 3000 3rd harmonic 4000 4th harmonic 5000 5th harmonic 6000 6th harmonic 7000 7th harmonic 157 It so happens that certain instruments are incapable of producing certain types of harmonic frequencies. banjo.7. These differences in tone. clarinet. 4000 Hz. not limited to whole-number multiples of the fundamental. and some types of bells). Also. etc. the measure of a tone’s harmonic content is called timbre or color. however. Musical tones become even more complex when the resonating element of an instrument is a two-dimensional surface rather than a one-dimensional string. INTRODUCTION Table 7. . What gives each instrument its distinctive tone is the same phenomenon that gives each person a distinctive voice: the unique blending of harmonic waveforms with each fundamental note. 6000 Hz. 5000 Hz. which produces sound when air is blown across the opening) is incapable of producing even-numbered harmonics. Brass instruments do not possess the same “harmonic content” as woodwind instruments. as well. In musical terms. Such an instrument set up to produce a fundamental frequency of 1000 Hz would also produce frequencies of 3000 Hz. etc. but the relative amplitudes of those harmonic frequencies are different for different instruments. pipe organ. while the second overtone would be 5000 Hz (the 5th harmonic). produce a much broader range of frequencies.) or of a column of air in a tube (trumpet. and neither produce the same harmonic content as stringed instruments. or any other even-multiple frequencies of the fundamental. are a result of different harmonic content produced by differences in the mechanical vibrations of an instrument’s parts. All these instruments produce harmonic frequencies (whole-number multiples of the fundamental frequency) when a single note is played. 7000 Hz. being entirely devoid of any harmonics. As such.1: For a “base” frequency of 1000 Hz: Frequency (Hz) Term 1000 1st harmonic. steel strings have a different sound than nylon strings. we would say that the first overtone (the first frequency greater than the fundamental) in such an instrument would be 3000 Hz (the 3rd harmonic). Instruments based on the vibration of a string (guitar.1. the tone produced by a guitar string changes depending on where along its length it is plucked. etc. dulcimer. sounds very “flat” and “featureless” to the human ear.) tend to produce sounds composed of a single frequency (the “fundamental”) and a mix of harmonics. piano. A distinctive blend of frequencies is what gives a musical instrument its characteristic tone. but would not produce 2000 Hz. and so on. an instrument made from a tube that is open on one end and closed on the other (such as a bottle. The result is a distinctive tone that some people find acoustically offensive. For example. Most musical instruments are incapable of producing sounds this simple. described by the physics of motion for each unique object producing the sound. As anyone who has played guitar can tell you.

In particular. Most musical tones. music provides a rich field of study for mixed frequencies and their effects. while the “second” overtone is the next greater frequency produced. it has been found that square waves are mathematically equivalent to the sum of a sine wave at that same frequency.2 Square wave signals It has been found that any repeating. So long as it repeats itself regularly over time. are not composed of a single frequency sine-wave. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS As you can see. plus an infinite series of odd-multiple frequency sine waves at diminishing amplitude: . and/or cosine waves (sine waves with a 90 degree phase shift) at various amplitudes and frequencies. • An overtone is a harmonic produced by a particular device.158 CHAPTER 7. • Mixed-frequency waveforms can be accidently created. and so their overtones would only include some (not all) harmonic frequencies. it is reducible to this series of sinusoidal waves. depending on the device producing the mixed frequencies. but are rich blends of different frequencies. Some devices and systems do not permit the establishment of certain harmonics. sine waves. • REVIEW: • A sinusoidal waveform is one shaped exactly like a sine wave. The “first” overtone is the first frequency greater than the fundamental. and the other sine-waves whose frequencies are whole-number multiples of the fundamental wave are called harmonics. Later sections of this chapter will refer to musical instruments as sources of waveforms for analysis in more detail. • When multiple sine waveforms are mixed together (as is often the case in music). the lowest frequency sine-wave is called the fundamental. for instance. • A non-sinusoidal waveform can be anything from a distorted sine-wave shape to something completely different like a square wave. non-sinusoidal waveform can be equated to a combination of DC voltage. Successive overtones may or may not correspond to incremental harmonics. 7. purposely created. or simply exist out of necessity. This is true no matter how strange or convoluted the waveform in question may be.

. 3rd. ad infinitum . and 9th harmonic . SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 159 1 V (peak) repeating square wave at 50 Hz is equivalent to: 4 (1 V peak sine wave at 50 Hz) π + + 4 (1/3 V peak sine wave at 150 Hz) π 4 (1/5 V peak sine wave at 250 Hz) π 4 (1/7 V peak sine wave at 350 Hz) π 4 (1/9 V peak sine wave at 450 Hz) π + + + . it stands to reason that we should be able to prove this by adding together several sine wave harmonics to produce a close approximation of a square wave.7. This reasoning is not only sound. In this particular SPICE simulation. but easily demonstrated with SPICE.2.5: A square wave is approximated by the sum of harmonics.5) V1=1. This truth about waveforms at first may seem too strange to believe. like this: (Figure 7. We’ll use SPICE to plot the voltage waveforms across successive additions of voltage sources. 7th. if a square wave is actually an infinite series of sine wave harmonics added together. I’ve summed the 1st.27V 50Hz V3=424mV 150Hz V5=255mV 250Hz V7=182mV 350Hz V9=141mV 450Hz plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform Figure 7. . 5th. . The circuit we’ll be simulating is nothing more than several sine wave AC voltage sources of the proper amplitudes and frequencies connected together in series. However. .

end I’ll narrate the analysis step by step from here.891m 350 0 0) 7th harmonic v9 5 4 sin (0 141.plot tran v(2. . MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS voltage sources in series for a total of five AC voltage sources. This is the kind of waveform produced by an ideal AC power source: (Figure 7. 1/3. with no additional harmonic content.plot tran v(5.0) Plot 1st + 3rd + 5th + 7th harmonics . we see what happens when this clean and simple waveform is combined with the . rather.160 CHAPTER 7. they have been arrived at through the equations shown in the frequency series (the fraction 4/π multiplied by 1. an integer multiple of that frequency.0) Plot 1st + . we see the fundamental-frequency sine-wave of 50 Hz by itself. + 9th harmonics .0) Plot 1st + 3rd + 5th harmonics .413m 150 0 0) 3rd harmonic v5 3 2 sin (0 254. 1/7. The amplitude (voltage) figures are not random numbers.0) Plot 1st + 3rd harmonics . building a squarewave v1 1 0 sin (0 1.0) Plot 1st harmonic . Next. etc. It is nothing but a pure sine shape. explaining what it is we’re looking at. for each of the increasing odd harmonics). .6: Pure 50 Hz sinewave.27324 50 0 0) 1st harmonic (50 Hz) v3 2 1 sin (0 424. 1/5.471m 450 0 0) 9th harmonic r1 5 0 10k . of course.6) Figure 7.plot tran v(3. In this first plot. The fundamental frequency is 50 Hz and each harmonic is.plot tran v(4.plot tran v(1.648m 250 0 0) 5th harmonic v7 4 3 sin (0 181.tran 1m 20m .

Watch what happens as we add the next odd harmonic frequency: (Figure 7. or 150 Hz). The rise and fall times between positive and negative cycles are much steeper now. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 161 third harmonic (three times 50 Hz. and the crests of the wave are closer to becoming flat like a squarewave.2.7.8) Figure 7. 3rd and 5th harmonics approximates square wave. Suddenly. . it doesn’t look like a clean sine wave any more: (Figure 7.7) Figure 7.7: Sum of 1st (50 Hz) and 3rd (150 Hz) harmonics approximates a 50 Hz square wave.8: Sum of 1st.

the details of which are well beyond the scope of this text. computer algorithms have been created to perform this analysis at high speeds on real waveforms. which in fact they are. The fact that repeating. those components react as if they were being exposed to several sine wave voltages of different frequencies.10) The end result of adding the first five odd harmonic waveforms together (all at the proper amplitudes. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS The most noticeable change here is how the crests of the wave have flattened even more. which we already know is composed of odd-harmonic sine waves: The pulse option in the netlist line describing voltage source v1 instructs SPICE to simulate . 5th. to prove that a pure square wave is actually equivalent to a series of sine waves. The point in doing this is to illustrate how we can build a square wave up from multiple sine waves at different frequencies. 3rd. of course) is a close approximation of a square wave. SPICE has the ability to sample a waveform and reduce it into its constituent sine wave harmonics by way of a Fourier Transform algorithm. Here we can see the wave becoming flatter at each peak. sine waves. and 7th harmonics approximates square wave. but those dips and crests are smaller in amplitude than they were before. non-sinusoidal waves are equivalent to a definite series of additive DC voltage. the fifth sine wave voltage source in our circuit. electrical or otherwise.162 CHAPTER 7. There are more several dips and crests at each end of the wave. The mathematical process of reducing a non-sinusoidal wave into these constituent frequencies is called Fourier analysis. we obtain this result: (Figure 7. and its application in AC power quality and signal analysis is widespread. Watch again as we add the next odd harmonic waveform to the mix: (Figure 7.9: Sum of 1st. adding the 9th harmonic. outputting the frequency analysis as a table of numbers. When a square wave AC voltage is applied to a circuit with reactive components (capacitors and inductors). Let’s try this on a square wave.9) Figure 7. Finally. and/or cosine waves is a consequence of how waves work: a fundamental property of all wave-related phenomena. However.

2.1m .0) . SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 163 Figure 7.four 50 v(1.end .7.10: Sum of 1st.0) .1m 10m 20m) r1 1 0 10k . 7th and 9th harmonics approximates square wave. 5th.tran 1m 40m . squarewave analysis netlist v1 1 0 pulse (-1 1 0 .plot tran v(1. 3rd.

I had to inform SPICE of the fundamental frequency (for a square wave with a 20 millisecond period. this frequency is 50 Hz). Note how small the figures are for all the even harmonics (2nd.000E+02 4.366 9 4.171 -100.561 -105.500E+02 2. plus a small DC voltage labelled DC component.562E-01 0.936E-02 0.500E+02 1.805747 percent Here. and how the amplitudes of the odd harmonics diminish (1st is largest. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS a square-shaped “pulse” waveform. 4th.500E+02 1.12) SPICE has broken the waveform down into a spectrum of sinusoidal frequencies up to the ninth harmonic.976 -8.274E+00 1.000E+02 4.113316 -19.000 2 1.366 -13.195 3 1.038757 -98.171 8 4.390 -92.500E+02 4. in this case one that is symmetrical (equal time for each half-cycle) and has a peak amplitude of 1 volt.000E+01 1. 6th.039337 -103. 8th).443E-01 0.439E-02 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase normalized no (hz) component component (deg) phase (deg) 1 5. so it knew how to classify the harmonics.201179 -10.390 4 2.253E-01 0.780 6 3.756 -17. First we’ll plot the square wave to be analyzed: (Figure 7.000E+02 5.000000 -2.333987 -6. 9th is smallest).892E-02 0.164 CHAPTER 7. (Figure 7. .010E-02 0.040175 -107.144549 -15.976 7 3.195 0.11: Squarewave for SPICE Fourier analysis Next.116E-02 0.780 -96.841E-01 0.000E+02 5.585 -4.561 total harmonic distortion = 43. we’ll print the Fourier analysis generated by SPICE for this square wave: fourier components of transient response v(1) dc component = -2.585 5 2.11) Figure 7.038415 -94.

2.12: Plot of Fourier analysis esults.13) Graphic Equalizer Bargraph displays the amplitude of each frequency Control levers set the attenuation factor for each frequency 50 Hz 150 300 Hz Hz 500 Hz 750 Hz 1 1. there will be a “bar graph” display next to each control lever.5 kHz 5 7. sampling the AC waveform(s) and determining the harmonic content thereof. . In fact. displaying the amplitude of each particular frequency. This same technique of “Fourier Transformation” is often used in computerized power instrumentation. you may have already seen a device designed to do just that without realizing what it was! A graphic equalizer is a piece of high-fidelity stereo equipment that controls (and sometimes displays) the nature of music’s harmonic content. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 165 Figure 7. You need not be concerned with exactly how these computer routines work. the equalizer is able to selectively attenuate (reduce) the amplitude of certain frequencies present in music. (Figure 7.5 kHz kHz 10 12.5 kHz kHz Figure 7.7. This same mathematical technique used in SPICE to analyze the harmonic content of waves can be applied to the technical analysis of music: breaking up any particular sound into its constituent sine-wave frequencies. Equipped with several knobs or slide levers. to “customize” the sound for the listener’s benefit. but be aware of their existence and application. Typically. A common computer algorithm (sequence of program steps to perform a task) for this is the Fast Fourier Transform or FFT function.5 kHz kHz 3.13: Hi-Fi audio graphic equalizer.

this is not so much a quirk of SPICE as it is a property of waveforms in general.” Ideally. a frequency analyzer gives the operator a Bode plot of the signal: something an engineer might call a frequency-domain rather than a timedomain analysis. we are performing frequencydomain analysis. Please take note of how the Fourier analysis from the last SPICE simulation isn’t “perfect. The design of spectrum analyzers may be as simple as a set of “filter” circuits (see the next chapter for details) designed to separate the different frequencies from each other. Thus. an oscilloscope’s plot of amplitude (vertical) over time (horizontal) is a “timedomain” analysis. the amplitudes of all the even harmonics should be absolutely zero. A waveform of infinite duration (infinite number of cycles) can be analyzed with absolute precision. Like an oscilloscope. It is only when we have an equation describing a waveform in its entirety that . such as those produced by radio transmitters and computer network hardware. whereas a spectrum analyzer’s plot of amplitude (vertical) over frequency (horizontal) is a “frequency-domain” analysis. they often have an appearance like that of an oscilloscope: (Figure 7. Unlike an oscilloscope. this plot is amplitude over frequency rather than amplitude over time. the spectrum analyzer uses a CRT (or a computer display mimicking a CRT) to display a plot of the signal. When we use SPICE to plot signal amplitude (either voltage or current amplitude) over a range of frequencies.14) Spectrum Analyzer amplitude frequency Figure 7. but the less cycles available to the computer for analysis. In that form. The term “domain” is mathematical: a sophisticated word to describe the horizontal axis of a graph. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS A device built strictly to display – not control – the amplitudes of each frequency range for a mixed-frequency signal is typically called a spectrum analyzer. In essence. Spectrum analyzers are often designed to analyze extremely high-frequency signals.14: Spectrum analyzer shows amplitude as a function of frequency. and so should the DC component. Again.166 CHAPTER 7. the less precise the analysis. or as complex as a special-purpose digital computer running an FFT algorithm to mathematically split the signal into its harmonic components.

500E+02 4.000 -7.182 -5. Suffice it to say that the number of cycles and the certainty of a waveform’s frequency component(s) are directly related.946 -12. In the following analysis.option limpts=1001 .015663 7 3.109662 phase normalized (deg) phase (deg) -1.500E+02 1.997E-02 0.999E-02 0.399 Notice how this analysis (Figure 7. Taking this concept to its logical extreme.000000 2 1.804E-01 0.1m 10m 20m) r1 1 0 10k .329 -16. The fewer times that a wave cycles.2.764 84.015704 3 1.994E-02 0.500E+02 1.989E-02 0.000E+02 1.200 79. a short pulse – a waveform that doesn’t even complete a cycle – actually has no frequency.564 -9. but rather acts as an infinite range of frequencies.332897 4 2.000E+01 1.999E-03 harmonic frequency fourier normalized no (hz) component component 1 5.536E-01 0.015627 9 4.plot tran v(1. the less certain its frequency is. • REVIEW: • Square waves are equivalent to a sine wave at the same (fundamental) frequency added to an infinite series of odd-multiple sine-wave harmonics at decreasing amplitudes.0) .000E+02 1. The Fourier Transform algorithm (particularly the .400 -3.four 50 v(1.800 0.199 -14.146 80.000 86. We could improve the precision of our analysis here by letting the wave oscillate on and on for many cycles. This principle is common to all wave-based phenomena.382 88.600 -10.000E+02 1.500E+02 2. and the result would be a spectrum analysis more consistent with the ideal.273E+00 1. I’ve omitted the waveform plot for brevity’s sake – its just a really long square wave: squarewave v1 1 0 pulse (-1 1 0 .600 82.800 75.7.199215 6 3.015688 5 2. Again. not just AC voltages and currents. • Computer algorithms exist which are able to sample waveshapes and determine their constituent sinusoidal components.tran 1m 1 .529 77. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 167 Fourier analysis can reduce it to a definite series of sinusoidal waveforms.396E-01 0.000E+02 1. all because we let the computer sample more cycles of the wave.0) .end fourier components of transient response v(1) dc component = 9. the imprecision of the first analysis is not so much a flaw in SPICE as it is a fundamental property of waves and of signal analysis.15) shows less of a DC component voltage and lower amplitudes for each of the even harmonic frequency sine waves.141737 8 4.238E-01 0.1m .

these harmonic waveforms created by electronic switching components may cause erratic circuit behavior. Circuit components that distort the normal sine-wave shape of AC voltage or current are called nonlinear. producing current waveforms bearing little resemblance to the source voltage waveform powering the circuit. Square waves are a very common and well-understood case. Nonlinear components such as SCRs find popular use in power electronics due to their ability to regulate large amounts of electrical power without dissipating much heat. These devices have the ability to suddenly change their resistance with the application of a control signal voltage or current. or FFT ) is commonly used in computer circuit simulation programs such as SPICE and in electronic metering equipment for determining power quality.168 CHAPTER 7. While this is an advantage from the perspective of energy efficiency.15: Improved fourier analysis. These current waveforms then produce changes in the voltage waveform to other circuit components. If not taken into consideration by the circuit designer. It is becoming increasingly common in the electric power industry to observe overheating of transformers and motors due to distortions in the sine- . Fast Fourier Transform. any repeating. the waveshape distortions they introduce can cause problems. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. but not the only one. regardless of their actual shape. Electronic power control devices such as transistors and silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCRs) often produce voltage and current waveforms that are essentially chopped-up versions of the otherwise “clean” (pure) sine-wave AC from the power supply. non-sinusoidal waveform is actually equivalent to a series of sinusoidal waveforms of different amplitudes and frequencies added together. 7. are equivalent to a series of sinusoidal waveforms of higher (harmonic) frequencies. These non-sinusoidal waveforms.3 Other waveshapes As strange as it may seem. thus “turning on” or “turning off ” almost instantaneously. due to voltage drops created by the non-sinusoidal current through circuit impedances.

too small to show on the harmonic plot above. OTHER WAVESHAPES 169 wave shape of the AC power line voltage stemming from “switching” loads such as computers and high-efficiency lights. the conventional diode schematic symbol is drawn such that electrons flow against the direction of the symbol’s arrowhead: 1 diode 2 + load - 0 0 The diode only allows electron flow in a counter-clockwise direction. though. This is generally done with components called diodes. where a single diode blocks half of the AC current (over time) from passing through the load.0) v(2.3.0) v(2. Figure 7. I will investigate a few of the more common waveshapes and show their harmonic components by way of Fourier analysis using SPICE. we’ll compare this with the Fourier analysis of the half-wave .model mod1 d . halfwave rectifier v1 1 0 sin(0 15 60 0 0) rload 2 0 10k d1 1 2 mod1 .5m 17m . there would be nothing but the fundamental frequency showing (being a perfect sine wave). Next.16) Oddly enough. The simplest type of AC/DC rectification is half-wave.four 60 v(1. a pure sine wave voltage: (Figure 7.16: Half-wave rectifier. which only allow the passage of current in one direction. we’ll see how SPICE analyzes the source waveform.7.0) .plot tran v(1. or “rectified” into DC. but our Fourier analysis figures aren’t perfect because SPICE doesn’t have the luxury of sampling a waveform of infinite duration. (Figure 7. This is no theoretical exercise: it is very real and potentially very troublesome.0) . In this section.tran .18) Notice the extremely small harmonic and DC components of this sinusoidal waveform in the table above. Ideally. One very common way harmonics are generated in an AC power system is when AC is converted.end halfwave rectifier First.

319 5 3.200E+02 2. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7.400E+02 1.324 -61.482E+01 1.005 0.602 7 4.000082 -56.000074 -63.000099 -52.288 -56. This is not part of the simulation.000080 -70.000E+01 1.664 9 5.000168 -104.492E-03 0.016E-04 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase normalized no (hz) component component (deg) phase (deg) 1 6.600E+02 1. fourier components of transient response v(1) dc component = 8.283 8 4.086 6 3.658 4 2.000 2 1.000000 -0.354E-03 0.200E+02 1.669 -54.607 -63.185E-03 0.4 shifts the sinewave input V(1) up for clarity.663 -86.000091 -54.092E-03 0.660 -52.800E+02 1.655 .17: Half-wave rectifier waveforms.342 3 1.400E+02 1.132E-03 0.000044 -86.467E-03 0. V(1)+0.220E-03 0.800E+02 6.091 -70.170 CHAPTER 7.465E-04 0.000076 -61.347 -104.000E+02 1.

100 -152. which as you may have guessed utilizes the full cycle of AC power from the source.492E-02 0.167 -132.073556 -87.420 8 4.456E+00 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000E+01 7.430849 -89.21) and its harmonic analysis through SPICE: (Figure 7.382E-02 0. Another method of AC/DC conversion is called full-wave (Figure 7.800E+02 7.810 -87. pure sine-wave.005787 -115. we have a 2nd harmonic component to this waveform that’s over 85 times the amplitude of the original AC source frequency! .224 -61. Also take note of the large DC component: 4.009117 -152.362 7 4.017223 -168. “rectified” voltage across the load resistor: (Figure 7.010703 -61.600E+02 1.024676 -79.595 -79. reversing the polarity of half the AC cycle to get electrons to flow through the load the same direction all the time. it behaves a lot more like DC.18: Fourier analysis of the sine wave input.765 3 1.085 normalized phase (deg) 0.000000 -0. I won’t bore you with details of exactly how this is done. Because our AC voltage waveform has been “rectified” (only allowed to push in one direction across the load rather than back-and-forth).284 -114. but we can examine the waveform (Figure 7. cosine) waveforms into our circuit from the original.570 -167.493E-02 0.000E+02 6.479 9 5.200E+02 4.000 -89.005 4 2.456 volts. we’ve introduced the equivalent of several higher-frequency sinusoidal (actually.19) fourier components of transient response v(2) dc component = 4.400E+02 5.016E+00 0.000E+00 1.051E-02 0.727E-01 0.790 6 3.20).200E+02 3. OTHER WAVESHAPES 171 Figure 7.295 5 3.22) What a difference! According to SPICE’s Fourier transform.7.149E-01 0.400E+02 4.889 Notice the relatively large even-multiple harmonics in this analysis.800E+02 1.195 2 1.3.006417 -132.206E-01 0. By cutting out half of our AC wave.

four 60 v(2. fullwave bridge rectifier v1 1 0 sin(0 15 60 0 0) rload 2 3 10k d1 1 2 mod1 d2 0 2 mod1 d3 3 1 mod1 d4 3 0 mod1 .3) . 1 D1 V1 15 V 60 Hz 2 D2 0 1 D3 R + load 10 kΩ D4 0 3 Figure 7.0) v(2.plot tran v(1.5m 17m .172 CHAPTER 7.3) .model mod1 d .20: Full-wave rectifier circuit. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7.tran .19: Fourier analysis half-wave output.end .

907 2.400E+02 7.271 -6.000E-02 1.767350 -100.241E-02 1.507 6 3.800E+02 1.400E+02 1.21: Waveforms for full-wave rectifier fourier components of transient response v(2.200E+02 7.337E-01 4.752 7 4.026 -1.519 0.496E-02 1.612 .492 1.230 3.669415 -90.023 -0.787 -0.000000 -93.504 8 4.3) dc component = 8.000 2 1.997E+00 85.364E-02 1.800E+02 7.034465 -93.006043 -118.839 -25.000E+02 7.600E+02 3.273E+00 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase normalized no (hz) component component (deg) phase (deg) 1 6.000E+01 7.319 9 5.404E-01 2.065240 -90.7. OTHER WAVESHAPES 173 Figure 7.052023 -95.457E-02 1.013E+00 14.267 4 2.200E+02 5.3.070827 -94.289 3 1.027 5 3.465161 -92.

can be reduced to a series of sinusoidal waveforms added together. so long as it is repetitive.fourier option is also programmed into a variety of electronic test instruments to perform real-time Fourier analysis on measured signals.22: Fourier analysis of full-wave rectifier output. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. The practical effects of harmonic frequencies in circuits will be explored in the last section of this chapter. which is interesting. While the complex mathematics behind all this Fourier transformation is not necessary for the beginning student of electric circuits to understand. simple AC sine-wave may end up as a complex mess of harmonics after passing through just a few electronic components. The odd harmonics are actually stronger at some of the higher frequencies than they are at the lower frequencies.174 CHAPTER 7. • Rectification of AC to DC is a very common source of harmonics within industrial power systems. This section is devoted to the use of such tools and the analysis of several different waveforms. it is of the utmost importance to realize the principles at work and to grasp the practical effects that harmonic signals may have on circuits. what may begin as a neat. Notice all the other harmonics further on down the table. but before we do that we’ll take a closer look at waveforms and their respective harmonics.4 More on spectrum analysis Computerized Fourier analysis. This same mathematical routine programmed into the SPICE simulator as the . particularly in the form of the FFT algorithm.273 volts (almost twice what is was for the half-wave rectifier circuit) while the second harmonic is almost 6 volts in amplitude. Different waveshapes consist of different blends of sine-wave harmonics. As you can see. is a powerful tool for furthering our understanding of waveforms and their related spectral components. 7. • REVIEW: • Any waveform at all. The DC component of this wave shows up as being 8. .

the horizontal axis of the display is marked with the word “Frequency. a sine wave looks like a wavy curve traced horizontally on the screen. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 175 First we have a simple sine wave at a frequency of 523. Characteristics like these due to quirks of the test equipment are technically known as artifacts: phenomena existing solely because of a peculiarity in the equipment used to perform the experiment. the closest instrument “voice” I could find resembling a perfect sine wave.23) Figure 7. The single peak on the curve represents the predominance of a single frequency within the range of frequencies covered by the width of the display. Actually.23: Oscilloscope display: voltage vs time.7. The curve itself.4. Close observation reveals imperfections in the sine-wave shape.” denoting the domain of this measurement. This particular frequency value is a “C” pitch on a piano keyboard. the signal measured for this demonstration was created by an electronic keyboard set to produce the tone of a panflute. showing signal amplitude (voltage) over time: (Figure 7. This. The plot below was taken from an oscilloscope display. represents the cyclic increase and decrease of voltage over time. The horizontal axis of this oscilloscope display is marked with the word “Time” and an arrow pointing in the direction of time’s progression. one octave above “middle C”.25 Hz. If we mix three different sine-wave tones together on the electronic keyboard (C-E-G. of course. a C- .25 Hz. If the scale of this analyzer instrument were marked with numbers. is a result of the specific equipment used to analyze the waveform. If we view this same AC voltage on a spectrum analyzer. The height of the peak represents the signal amplitude (voltage). you would see that this peak occurs at 523. Viewed with an oscilloscope. unfortunately.24) As you can see. the result is quite different: (Figure 7.

” The waveform itself is far from a pure and simple sinewave form. The spectrum display (frequency-domain) is much easier to interpret: each pitch is represented by its own peak on the curve. Other musical instrument “voices” are not as simple as this one. the unique tone produced by any instrument is a function of its waveshape (or spectrum of frequencies). some of these peaks are higher than the peaks of the original single-pitch waveform. let’s view the signal for a trumpet tone: (Figure 7. though. As was stated before. both the oscilloscope display and the spectrum analyzer display reflect this increased complexity: (Figure 7. major chord) and measure the result.25) The oscilloscope display (time-domain) shows a waveform with many more peaks and valleys than before. and not a necessary characteristic of the musical chord itself. This is a result of the three different waveforms alternately reinforcing and canceling each other as their respective phase shifts change in time. Knowing that any repeating.24: Spectrum analyzer display: voltage vs frequency.25 Hz. For example. the device used to generate these waveforms is an electronic keyboard: a musical instrument designed to mimic the tones of many different instruments.27) The fundamental frequency of this tone is the same as in the first panflute example: 523.176 CHAPTER 7. we should expect to see multiple . a direct result of the mixing of these three frequencies. non-sinusoidal waveform is equivalent to a series of sinusoidal waveforms at different amplitudes and frequencies. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. In fact. (Figure 7. The panflute “voice” was chosen for the first demonstrations because it most closely resembled a pure sine wave (a single frequency on the spectrum analyzer display). As you will notice.26) The difference in height between these three peaks is another artifact of the test equipment: a consequence of limitations within the equipment used to generate and analyze these waveforms. one octave above “middle C. while others are lower.

Figure 7. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 177 Figure 7.26: Spectrum analyzer display: three tones.25: Oscilloscape display: three tones.4.7. .

28) Figure 7.28: Spectrum of a trumpet tone.178 CHAPTER 7.27: Oscilloscope display: waveshape of a trumpet tone. . MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. peaks on the spectrum analyzer display: (Figure 7.

29) and spectrum analyzer (frequencydomain) display: (Figure 7. This display only shows the first six harmonics. Note the differences in relative harmonic amplitudes (peak heights) on the spectrum displays for trumpet and accordion.5 Hz). only odd. Both instrument tones contain harmonics all the way from 1st (fundamental) to 6th (and beyond!). We already know that any deviation from a pure sine-wave results in the equivalent of a mixture of multiple sine-wave waveforms at different amplitudes and frequencies.32) plots for a waveform approximating a square wave: According to the spectrum analysis.4.31) and frequency-domain (Figure 7. the third harmonic three times the fundamental (1569. close observation allows us to be more specific than this.75 Hz). the pattern of odd-only . this waveform contains no even harmonics. the time. Note. but the proportions aren’t the same. Trying a different instrument voice (the accordion) on the keyboard. and so on. The second harmonic is twice the frequency of the fundamental (1046.(Figure 7.” Multiple notes played on an accordion. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 179 Indeed we do! The fundamental frequency component of 523. but there are many more comprising this complex tone.25 Hz is represented by the left-most peak. Although this display doesn’t show frequencies past the sixth harmonic. for example.29: Oscilloscope display: waveshape of accordion tone. Bear in mind that all this complexity is in reference to a single note played with these two instrument “voices. would create a much more complex mixture of frequencies than what is seen here. Each instrument has a unique harmonic “signature” to its tone.7. with each successive harmonic represented as its own peak along the width of the analyzer screen. The analytical power of the oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer permit us to derive general rules about waveforms and their harmonic spectra from real waveform examples.30) Figure 7. we obtain a similarly complex oscilloscope (time-domain) plot (Figure 7. However. for example.

31: Oscilloscope time-domain display of a square wave .30: Spectrum of accordion tone.180 CHAPTER 7. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. Figure 7.

7. Let’s examine another waveform. That difference is symmetry above and below the horizontal centerline of the wave. just like a perfect square wave. The trumpet and accordion tones.32: Spectrum (frequency-domain) of a square wave. for this analysis shows the strong presence of even-numbered harmonics (second and fourth): (Figure 7. contained both even and odd harmonics. its oscilloscope plot reveals it to be aptly named: (Figure 7. we see a result that is quite different from that of the regular triangle wave. the two different waveforms are common in their lack of even harmonics. Let’s continue our investigation with an analysis of a triangle wave: (Figure 7. artifacts of the test equipment used in this analysis). except that its rise-time is not the same as its fall-time.35) When the spectrum analysis of this waveform is plotted. A waveform that is . and sixth harmonics. but this is due to imperfections in this particular triangle waveshape (once again. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 181 Figure 7. Tiny peaks can be seen for the second. harmonics in descending amplitude continues indefinitely.34) the only significant frequency peaks on the spectrum analyzer display belong to odd-numbered multiples of the fundamental frequency. as we’ve already seen with SPICE that a square wave is comprised of an infinitude of odd harmonics.36) The distinction between a waveform having even harmonics versus no even harmonics resides in the difference between a triangle waveshape and a sawtooth waveshape. A perfect triangle waveshape produces no even harmonics. this one very similar to the triangle wave.33) In this waveform there are practically no even harmonics: (Figure 7. fourth.4. however. However. This should come as no surprise. It should be obvious from inspection that the harmonic spectrum of the triangle wave is not identical to the spectrum of the square wave: the respective harmonic peaks are of different heights. Known as a sawtooth wave. This difference in harmonic content is noteworthy.

Figure 7. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. .34: Spectrum of a triangle wave.182 CHAPTER 7.33: Oscilloscope time-domain display of a triangle wave.

36: Frequency-domain display of a sawtooth wave. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 183 Figure 7. .4.35: Time-domain display of a sawtooth wave. Figure 7.7.

” For further clarification. (Figure 7.37) Pure sine wave = 1st harmonic only Figure 7.184 CHAPTER 7. and the sawtooth wave are unsymmetrical around their centerlines and therefore do contain even harmonics. (Figure 7.40) .39: These waveforms are composed exclusively of odd harmonics. and pure sine waves all exhibit this symmetry. I will show the same sets of waveforms.39) Pure sine wave = 1st harmonic only Figure 7. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS symmetrical above and below its centerline (the shape on both sides mirror each other precisely) will contain no even-numbered harmonics. Waveforms like the trumpet tone. but this has nothing to do with harmonic content. the accordion tone. (Figure 7. the amount of DC voltage present in a waveform has nothing to do with that waveform’s harmonic frequency content. shifted with DC voltage. and all are devoid of even harmonics. Again. the horizontal centerline of the waveform happens to be zero volts on the time-domain graph. (Figure 7.37: Waveforms symmetric about their x-axis center line contain only odd harmonics. Square waves.38) Figure 7.38: Asymmetric waveforms contain even harmonics. and note that their harmonic contents are unchanged. triangle waves. In the examples shown. This principle of centerline symmetry should not be confused with symmetry around the zero line. This rule of harmonic content (even harmonics only with unsymmetrical waveforms) applies whether or not the waveform is shifted above or below zero volts with a “DC component.

• The amount of DC “bias” voltage present (a waveform’s “DC component”) has no impact on that wave’s harmonic frequency content. even-numbered harmonics are rarely seen in those applications. you know that something in that circuit must be unsymmetrically distorting the sine-wave voltage or current. the components in that circuit respond to each constituent frequency in a different way.40: These waveforms contain even harmonics.5. CIRCUIT EFFECTS 185 Figure 7.5 Circuit effects The principle of non-sinusoidal. even harmonics being practically nonexistent. Any reactive component such as a capacitor or an inductor will simultaneously present a unique amount of impedance to each and every frequency present in a circuit. Now that we have this rule to guide our interpretation of nonsinusoidal waveforms. and . Also. the circuit in question will react as though its having an array of different frequency voltages imposed on it at once. 7. repeating waveforms being equivalent to a series of sine waves at different frequencies is a fundamental property of waves in general and it has great practical import in the study of AC circuits. Thankfully. Why is this harmonic rule-of-thumb an important rule to know? It can help us comprehend the relationship between harmonics in AC circuits and specific circuit components. if you happen to measure even harmonics in an AC circuit with a spectrum analyzer or frequency meter. It means that any time we have a waveform that isn’t perfectly sine-wave-shaped. the analysis of such circuits is made relatively easy by applying the Superposition Theorem. • REVIEW: • Waveforms that are symmetrical above and below their horizontal centerlines contain no even-numbered harmonics. This is good to know if you’re a power system designer and are planning ahead for harmonic reduction: you only have to concern yourself with mitigating the odd harmonic frequencies.7. there being no symmetry at all above and below center. Since most sources of sine-wave distortion in AC power circuits tend to be symmetrical. When an AC circuit is subjected to a source voltage consisting of a mixture of frequencies. and that clue may be helpful in locating the source of a problem (look for components or conditions more likely to distort one half-cycle of the AC waveform more than the other). regarding the multiple-frequency source as a set of single-frequency voltage sources connected in series. it makes more sense that a waveform like that produced by a rectifier circuit should contain such strong even harmonics.

0377 + j2.22µ + j1.4569 3.4509m ∠ 50. summing the results at the end to determine the aggregate total: R 5V 60 Hz 5V 90 Hz Figure 7.4509m ∠ 50.2 kΩ XC = 1.653k ∠ -90o Total 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 926.2k . .9623 .j2.653 kΩ 1 µF Figure 7.41: Circuit driven by a combination of frequencies: 60 Hz and 90 Hz.446k ∠ -50.42: Circuit for solving 60 Hz.328o 926.328o 2.8486 ∠ -39.328o 0 .1168m 1.43: Circuit of solving 90 Hz.j2.186 CHAPTER 7.2 kΩ C 1 µF R 2.653k 2.22µ + j1.j2.328o Volts Amps Ohms Analyzing the circuit for 90 Hz source alone: R 5V 90 Hz 2. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS analyzing the circuit for one source at a time.2k ∠ 0o C 2.1919 ∠ 50.4509m ∠ 50. Analyzing circuit for 60 Hz source alone: 2.4569 3.22µ + j1.2k + j0 2.653k 3.6716o 926.768 kΩ C 1 µF Figure 7.1168m 1.328o 2.1168m 1.2 kΩ 5V 60 Hz C XC = 2. R E I Z 2.

207o (90 Hz)] Because the two voltages across each component are at different frequencies.793o 2.768k ∠ -90o Total 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 1.3807m + j1.207o 1.2k . We can also apply the superposition theorem to the analysis of a circuit powered by a nonsinusoidal voltage.793o 2.7714m ∠ 38. such as a square wave.4415 3.793o (90 Hz)] EC = [3. Harmonics are known to manifest their effects in the form of electromagnetic radiation as well. Complex number notation give us the ability to represent waveform amplitude (polar magnitude) and phase angle (polar angle). or five sine waves in all!). and the like.2k + j0 2. frequencies.1098m 1.8486 V ∠ -39.8971 ∠ 38.4415 3.j1. we can regard it as originating from a series-connected string of multiple sinusoidal voltage sources at the appropriate amplitudes. but worse yet is the fact that the harmonic multiples of those fundamental frequencies span an even larger range.1098m 1.328o (60 Hz)] + [3.0375 + j2.793o Volts Amps Ohms 187 Superimposing the voltage drops across R and C. due to the fact that clock signal voltages are square-wave in shape and not sine-wave. Studies have been performed on the potential hazards of using portable computers aboard passenger aircraft. citing the fact that computers’ high frequency square-wave “clock” voltage signals are capable of generating radio waves that could interfere with the operation of the aircraft’s electronic navigation equipment.3807m + j1. It’s bad enough that typical microprocessor clock signal frequencies are within the range of aircraft radio frequency bands. This has been known to translate into unexpected circuit resonances.6716o (60 Hz)] + [3.8971 V ∠ 38. CIRCUIT EFFECTS R E I Z 3. but to inform you of the potential complexity lurking behind seemingly simple waveforms.793o 0 .768k 2. electromagnetic noise over broad ranges of the frequency spectrum.5.1919 V ∠ 50. we cannot consolidate them into a single voltage figure as we could if we were adding together two voltages of different amplitude and/or phase angle at the same frequency.j2. If we know the Fourier series (multiple sine/cosine wave equivalent) of that wave.3807m + j1. This is worthy to note. I mention this not to scare you. What we can tell from this application of the superposition theorem is that there will be a greater 60 Hz voltage dropped across the capacitor than a 90 Hz voltage. this can be a laborious task for some waveforms (an accurate squarewave Fourier Series is considered to be expressed out to the ninth harmonic.7714m ∠ 38.768k 1. It is this kind of unequal circuit response to signals of differing frequency that will be our specific focus in the next chapter. but it is possible.7.1325 ∠ -51. Technicians and engineers need to be made aware of the potential effects of non-sinusoidal waveforms in reactive circuits. we get: ER = [3. Needless to say. Just the opposite is true for the resistor’s voltage drop. transformer and inductor core overheating due to eddy currents.2k ∠ 0o C 1.1325 V ∠ -51. and phase shifts.823k ∠ -38. but not frequency. especially in light of the fact that the two source voltages are equal.1098m 1. A real-life circuit will respond just the same to being powered by a square wave as being powered by an infinite series of sine waves of odd-multiple frequencies and diminishing amplitudes. .793o 1.j1.9625 .7714m ∠ 38.

with harmonics abounding in very large quantities due to (nonlinear) electronic control of motor and electric furnace power. Signal wiring nearby power wiring will tend to “pick up” harmonic interference from the power wiring to a far greater extent than pure sine-wave interference. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. and those high-frequency harmonic voltages and currents tend to inductively and capacitively “couple” better to nearby conductors than any 60 Hz signals from the old controls used to. phases. plus a DC offset voltage if necessary. • Multiple-frequency voltage sources can be simulated for analysis by connecting several single-frequency voltage sources in series. from most recent to first. too. capacitive and inductive “coupling” caused by close-proximity conductors is usually more severe at high frequencies. since complex numbers only account for amplitude and phase shift. Analysis of voltages and currents is accomplished by using the superposition theorem. NOTE: superimposed voltages and currents of different frequencies cannot be added together in complex number form. Low frequency power line voltage and current doesn’t radiate into space very well as electromagnetic energy. and amplitudes. 7. This problem can manifest itself in industry when old motor controls are replaced with new. non-sinusoidal waveform is equivalent to a particular series of sine/cosine waves of different frequencies. Suddenly there may be weird electrical noise being impressed upon signal wiring that never used to be there. which led to a much betterlooking second edition.6 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. but high frequencies do. The fundamental power line frequency may only be 60 Hz. The mathematical process for determining the sinusoidal waveform equivalent for any waveform is called Fourier analysis. These unwanted signals may come by way of capacitive coupling. because the old controls never generated harmonics. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. but those harmonic frequency multiples theoretically extend into infinitely high frequency ranges. Also. inductive coupling. or a combination thereof. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Electromagnetic “emissions” of this nature can be a problem in industrial applications.188 CHAPTER 7. not frequency! • Harmonics can cause problems by impressing unwanted (“noise”) voltage signals upon nearby circuits. . electromagnetic radiation. • REVIEW: • Any regular (repeating). solid-state electronic motor controls providing greater energy efficiency.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . which allow the amplitudes of several frequency ranges to be adjusted to suit the listener’s taste and acoustic properties of the listening area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 . .3 8. . . . . . . . . . . . .5 8. . . A circuit designed to perform this frequency selection is called a filter circuit. . . . . . . . . . . Both equalizers and crossover networks are examples of filters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 Band-stop filters . . . . A common need for filter circuits is in high-performance stereo systems. . . . . . .4 8. . . . . . . . 215 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . This gives better audio system efficiency and thus better performance. . . You may be familiar with equalizers. 189 Low-pass filters . . . . . . . .Chapter 8 FILTERS Contents 8. . . . . .1 What is a filter? It is sometimes desirable to have circuits capable of selectively filtering one frequency or range of frequencies out of a mix of different frequencies in a circuit. . . . . . . . . so a crossover circuit is connected between the tweeter and the stereo’s output terminals to block low-frequency signals. . . or simply a filter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Summary . . 215 8. . . . . . . . . .6 8. . .2 8. where certain ranges of audio frequencies need to be amplified or suppressed for best sound quality and power efficiency. . . . . . . . . . designed to accomplish filtering of certain frequencies. . . . . . . . . . only passing high-frequency signals to the speaker’s connection terminals. . . . . .8 What is a filter? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You may also be familiar with crossover networks. . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 High-pass filters . . . . . . .1 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 Resonant filters . . . .7 8. . . . . . . . . which block certain ranges of frequencies from reaching speakers. . . A tweeter (high-frequency speaker) is inefficient at reproducing low-frequency signals such as drum beats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196 Band-pass filters . . . .

3 1 L1 3H 2 1 kΩ V1 1V Rload 0 0 Figure 8. Some electronic devices are sensitive to the presence of harmonics in the power supply voltage. much like the previous example with two sources (60 and 90 Hz). This can be demonstrated with a SPICE analysis: (Figure 8.2 Low-pass filters By definition. that these circuits can be analyzed over several points of frequency by repeated series-parallel analysis. To reduce the load of math on the reader. • A Bode plot is a graph plotting waveform amplitude or phase on one axis and frequency on the other. • Audio equalizers and crossover networks are two well-known applications of filter circuits. and so require power conditioning for proper operation. blocking all (higher-frequency) harmonics. This high impedance in series tends to block high-frequency signals from getting to the load. • REVIEW: • A filter is an AC circuit that separates some frequencies from others within mixed-frequency signals. 8. I will make extensive use of SPICE as an analysis tool. and many variations of each one: The inductive low-pass filter in Figure 8. There are two basic kinds of circuits capable of accomplishing this objective. FILTERS Another practical application of filter circuits is in the “conditioning” of non-sinusoidal voltage waveforms in power circuits.2) . though.1 and the capacitive low-pass filter in Figure 8.1: Inductive low-pass filter The inductor’s impedance increases with increasing frequency.190 CHAPTER 8. If a distorted sine-wave voltage behaves like a series of harmonic waveforms added to the fundamental frequency. a low-pass filter is a circuit offering easy passage to low-frequency signals and difficult passage to high-frequency signals. displaying Bode plots (amplitude versus frequency) for the various kinds of filters. We will be studying the design of several elementary filter circuits in this lesson. if the student is willing to invest a lot of time working and re-working circuit calculations for each frequency. then it should be possible to construct a filter circuit that only allows the fundamental waveform frequency to pass through. Bear in mind.

3: Capacitive low-pass lin 20 1 200 . 1 R1 500 Ω 1V C1 7 µF Rload 2 1 kΩ V1 0 0 Figure 8.2.plot ac v(2) .8. LOW-PASS FILTERS 191 inductive lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 3 rload 2 0 1k . .2: The response of an inductive low-pass filter falls off with increasing frequency.end Figure 8.

and are less expensive. typically exhibit significant dissipative (resistor-like) effects. making them almost 100% reactive.plot ac v(2) . The inductive low-pass filter is the pinnacle of simplicity. The capacitive version of this filter is not that much more complex. both in the long lengths of wire used to make them. (Figure 8. with only a resistor and capacitor needed for operation. the inductive low-pass filter is often preferred in AC-DC power supplies to filter out the AC “ripple” waveform created when AC is converted (rectified) into DC. However. This low impedance in parallel with the load resistance tends to short out high-frequency signals. Capacitors also tend to participate less in “coupling” effects with other components (generate and/or receive interference from other components via mutual electric or magnetic fields) than inductors.192 CHAPTER 8. and in the magnetic losses of the core material. passing only . despite their increased complexity.end Figure 8. capacitive filter designs are generally preferred over inductive because capacitors tend to be “purer” reactive components than inductors and therefore are more predictable in their behavior. dropping most of the voltage across series resistor R1 . FILTERS The capacitor’s impedance decreases with increasing frequency. Inductors. By “pure” I mean that capacitors exhibit little resistive effects than inductors. with only one component comprising the filter. lin 20 30 150 .4: The response of a capacitive low-pass filter falls off with increasing frequency. on the other hand.4) capacitive lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 c1 2 0 7u rload 2 0 1k .

A prime example of this is unwanted AC signals (“noise”) becoming impressed on DC power lines supplying sensitive circuits: (Figure 8. the frequency above which the output voltage falls below 70.7% of the source voltage (1 volt) even at a frequency as low as 30 Hz. That is. all though it may seem so at first glance. In a simple capacitive/resistive low-pass filter.end fcutof f = 1/(2π RC) = 1/(2π (500 Ω)(7 µF)) = 45. Without that load resistance in place.” As mentioned at the beginning of the last chapter. On the other hand.7 is not really arbitrary. LOW-PASS FILTERS 193 the pure DC component. it is the frequency at which capacitive reactance in ohms equals resistance in ohms. All low-pass filters are rated at a certain cutoff frequency. If a cutoff frequency equation fails to give consideration to load impedance.7% of the input voltage. one capacitor). the capacitive low-pass filter might make more sense. if low weight and compact size are higher priorities than low internal supply resistance in a power supply design. This cutoff percentage of 70.6) . However. What’s wrong? The problem here is that the load resistance of 1 kΩ affects the frequency response of the filter. In the design of a high-current circuit like a DC power supply where additional series resistance is undesirable.473 lin 20 40 50 . below the calculated cutoff point.5) capacitive lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 c1 2 0 7u * note: no load resistor! . The primary reason for this is the requirement of low filter resistance for the output of such a power supply. when we look at the plot generated by the SPICE simulation.2. In a simple capacitive low-pass filter (one resistor. we arrive at a cutoff frequency of 45. A capacitive low-pass filter requires an extra resistance in series with the source. whereas the inductive low-pass filter does not.plot ac v(2) . we see the load voltage well below 70. SPICE produces a Bode plot whose numbers make more sense: (Figure 8. skewing it down from what the formula told us it would be.8. sometimes AC signals can “couple” from one circuit to another via capacitance (Cstray ) and/or mutual inductance (Mstray ) between the two sets of conductors. it is always important to note that the response of the filter depends on the filter’s component values and the impedance of the load. One frequent application of the capacitive low-pass filter principle is in the design of circuits having components or sections sensitive to electrical “noise. it assumes no load and will fail to give accurate results for a real-life filter conducting power to a load. the cutoff frequency is given as: fcutoff = 1 2πRC Inserting the values of R and C from the last SPICE simulation into this formula.473 Hz When dealing with filter circuits. the inductive low-pass filter is the better design choice.

7% at 45. FILTERS Figure 8. the Output should be 70. "Noise" source Mstray Zwire Cstray Zwire Load Zwire "Clean" DC power Esupply "Dirty" or "noisy" DC power Eload Figure 8.194 CHAPTER 8.6: Noise is coupled by stray capacitance and mutual inductance into “clean” DC power.5: For the capacitive low-pass filter with R = 500 Ω and C = 7 µF. .473 Hz.

Normally. one would expect Eload to be precisely identical to Esource .7) "Noise" source Mstray Zwire Cstray Zwire Load Zwire "Clean" DC power Esupply "Cleaner" DC power with decoupling capacitor Eload Figure 8. all we need to do is connect a low-pass filter near the load to block any coupled signals. filters noise from DC power supply. usually located as close as possible to the sensitive DC loads. the capacitor behaving as a very low impedance to any AC noise. a minimum amount of capacitance needed to produce a low enough impedance to short out any noise. • REVIEW: • A low-pass filter allows for easy passage of low-frequency signals from source to load. • Inductive low-pass filters insert an inductor in series with the load. Such a capacitor is called a decoupling capacitor: (Figure 8. the voltage as measured at the load terminals is now a mix of AC and DC. The former .7: Decoupling capacitor. this is nothing more than a capacitor connected directly across the power terminals of the load. In its simplest form. the AC being unwanted. Greater capacitance will do a better job at filtering noise. A cursory glance at a crowded printed-circuit board (PCB) will typically reveal decoupling capacitors scattered throughout.2. capacitive low-pass filters insert a resistor in series and a capacitor in parallel with the load. power conductor impedance allows the two voltages to differ. and difficult passage of high-frequency signals. applied to load. LOW-PASS FILTERS 195 The oscilloscope-meter on the left shows the “clean” power from the DC voltage source. because the uninterrupted conductors connecting them should make the two sets of points electrically common. which means the noise magnitude can vary at different points in the DC system. Capacitor size is usually 0. However.1 µF or more. but size and economics limit decoupling capacitors to meager values. though.8. After coupling with the AC noise source via stray mutual inductance and stray capacitance. If we wish to prevent such “noise” from reaching the DC load. and shorting it out.

8) versions of the high-pass filter are just the opposite of their respective low-pass filter designs: C1 1 0.5u rload 2 0 1k .5 µF V1 1V Rload 1 kΩ 2 0 0 Figure 8.8) increases with decreasing frequency.3 High-pass filters A high-pass filter’s task is just the opposite of a low-pass filter: to offer easy passage of a high-frequency signal and difficult passage to a low-frequency signal. the capacitive design is the simplest. the output voltage is lower than 70.7% of the input (source) voltage. above which the output voltage increases above 70. This time. (Figure 8.196 CHAPTER 8.7% of the input. • The cutoff frequency for a low-pass filter is that frequency at which the output (load) voltage equals 70. As one might lin 20 1 200 . and vice versa. most of the voltage gets dropped across series resistor R1 .end The inductor’s impedance (Figure 8. capacitive highpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin c1 1 2 0.10) and capacitive (Figure 8. The capacitor’s impedance (Figure 8. especially with high-pass filters where high frequencies commonly cause inductors to behave strangely due to the skin effect and electromagnetic core losses. the inductive (Figure 8.8: Capacitive high-pass filter. the reactive purity of capacitors over inductors tends to favor their use in filter design. As with low-pass filters.9) This high impedance in series tends to block low-frequency signals from getting to load.7% of the input voltage. (Figure 8. again. high-pass filters have a rated cutoff frequency. As a consequence. Above the cutoff frequency. FILTERS filter design tries to “block” the unwanted frequency signal while the latter tries to short it out. And.10) decreases with decreasing frequency. 8. requiring only one component above and beyond the load.plot ac v(2) .11) This low impedance in parallel tends to short out low-frequency signals from getting to the load resistor. Just as in the case of the capacitive .

plot ac v(2) .end .ac lin 20 1 200 .10: Inductive high-pass filter.9: The response of the capacitive high-pass filter increases with frequency.8. HIGH-PASS FILTERS 197 Figure 8. inductive highpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 200 l1 2 0 100m rload 2 0 1k .3. 1 R1 200 Ω 1V L1 100 mH Rload 2 1 kΩ V1 0 0 Figure 8.

A real stereo would have six speakers: 2 woofers. Also bear in mind that I’m only showing you one channel (either left or right) on this stereo system.or high-frequency signal power is wasted on a speaker incapable of efficiently reproducing those sounds. a capacitor connected in series with the tweeter (treble) speaker will serve as a high-pass filter. For better performance yet. More elaborate filter networks are sometimes used. Using a stereo system as a practical example. the midrange speaker is subjected to the full spectrum of frequencies from the stereo’s output. an inductor connected in series with the woofer (bass) speaker will serve as a low-pass filter for the low frequencies that particular speaker is designed to reproduce. we might like to have some kind of filter circuit capable of passing frequencies that are between low (bass) and high (treble) to the midrange speaker so that none of the low. the capacitive high-pass filter’s cutoff frequency can be found with the same formula: fcutoff = 1 2πRC In the example circuit. FILTERS Figure 8. which is the topic of the next section. In like fashion. low-pass filter circuit. there is no resistance other than the load resistor. 2 midranges.11: The response of the inductive high-pass filter increases with frequency. but this should give you the general idea. • REVIEW: • A high-pass filter allows for easy passage of high-frequency signals from source to load. In this simple example circuit. imposing a high impedance to lowfrequency bass signals.198 CHAPTER 8. so that is the value for R in the formula. and 2 tweeters. What we would be looking for is called a band-pass filter. . thereby preventing that power from being wasted on a speaker inefficient for reproducing such sounds.

or frequencies need to be filtered from a wider range of mixed signals. Filter circuits can be designed to accomplish this task by combining the properties of low-pass and high-pass into a single filter. or spread. .14) Signal input Low-pass filter blocks frequencies that are too high High-pass filter blocks frequencies that are too low Signal output Figure 8. inductive high-pass filters insert a resistor in series and an inductor in parallel with the load. 8.8. • Capacitive high-pass filters insert a capacitor in series with the load.13: System level block diagram of a band-pass filter.7% of the input. and vice versa. the output voltage is greater than 70.7% of the input (source) voltage. The result is called a band-pass filter. Above the cutoff frequency. The former filter design tries to “block” the unwanted frequency signal while the latter tries to short it out. Creating a bandpass filter from a low-pass and high-pass filter can be illustrated using block diagrams: (Figure 8. • The cutoff frequency for a high-pass filter is that frequency at which the output (load) voltage equals 70. BAND-PASS FILTERS 199 low-pass Woofer Stereo Midrange high-pass Tweeter Figure 8. and difficult passage of low-frequency signals.12: High-pass filter routes high frequencies to tweeter. while low-pass filter routes lows to woofer.4 Band-pass filters There are applications where a particular band.4.

even at the peak of the “pass-band” frequency range. it can be difficult to design such a filter to allow unhindered passage within the desired frequency range. Notice the curve peak on the previous SPICE analysis: the load voltage of this filter never rises above 0.end Band-pass filters can also be constructed using inductors. although the source voltage is a full volt. If we were to design a bandpass filter using lin 20 100 500 . but as mentioned before. and their combined effort makes for an attenuated (reduced amplitude) signal at best.15) Source Low-pass filter section 1 R1 200 Ω 1V C1 2 High-pass filter section C2 3 1 µF 2.5 µF Rload 1 kΩ V1 0 0 0 Figure 8. it is not without certain limitations. FILTERS What emerges from the series combination of these two filter circuits is a circuit that will only allow passage of those frequencies that are neither too high nor too low. it might look something like Figure 8.5u c2 2 3 1u rload 3 0 1k . Because this type of band-pass filter works by relying on either section to block unwanted frequencies. It will still filter out all frequencies too high or too low.plot ac v(3) .14. the reactive “purity” of capacitors gives them a design advantage. The fact that the high-pass section comes “first” in this design instead of the low-pass section makes no difference in its overall operation. Both the lowpass and high-pass sections will always be blocking signals to some extent. While the general idea of combining low-pass and high-pass filters together to make a bandpass filter is sound. here is what a typical schematic might look like Figure 8.59 volts.200 CHAPTER 8. Using real components. capacitive bandpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 200 c1 2 0 2.14: Capacitive band-pass filter. The response of the band-pass filter is shown in (Figure 8.16. .

8.4.15: The response of a capacitive bandpass filter peaks within a narrow frequency range. Source High-pass filter section R1 Low-pass filter section L2 L1 Rload Figure 8. .16: Inductive band-pass filter. BAND-PASS FILTERS 201 Figure 8.

The highpass filter section is comprised of C2 .17: System level block diagram of a band-stop filter. this kind of filter passes all frequencies above and below a particular range set by the component values. • “Attenuate” means to reduce or diminish in amplitude. Constructed using two capacitive filter sections. 8.18).5)C1 . just like the band-pass design.17) passes low frequencies Low-pass filter Signal input High-pass filter passes high frequencies Figure 8. When you turn down the volume control on your stereo. and R3 in a “T” configuration as well. and C1 in a “T” configuration. it looks something like (Figure 8. FILTERS This signal attenuation becomes more pronounced if the filter is designed to be more selective (steeper curve. We will discuss those methods a little later in this chapter. C3 . except that this time we connect the two filter sections in parallel with each other instead of in series. this arrangement is commonly known as a “Twin-T” filter. giving sharp response when the component values are chosen in the following ratios: Signal output Component value ratios for the "Twin-T" band-stop filter R1 = R2 = 2(R3) C2 = C3 = (0. giving easy passage only to frequencies within a certain range. The low-pass filter section is comprised of R1 .202 CHAPTER 8.5 Band-stop filters Also called band-elimination. R2 . • REVIEW: • A band-pass filter works to screen out frequencies that are too low or too high. you are “attenuating” the signal being sent to the speakers. it can be made out of a low-pass and a high-pass filter. band-reject. Not surprisingly. There are other methods to achieve band-pass operation without sacrificing signal strength within the pass-band. or notch filters. narrower band of passable frequencies). or vice versa. Together. (Figure 8. • Band-pass filters can be made by stacking a low-pass filter on the end of a high-pass filter.

• The frequency of maximum attenuation is called the notch frequency.5. band-reject. giving the name “Twin-T” to the band-stop lin 20 200 1. Commonly. both the low-pass and high-pass filter sections are of the “T” configuration.plot ac v(3) . Also known as band-elimination.end • REVIEW: • A band-stop filter works to screen out frequencies that are within a certain range. Given these component ratios. or notch filters. • Band-stop filters can be made by placing a low-pass filter in parallel with a high-pass filter.19) twin-t bandstop filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 200 c1 2 0 2u r2 2 3 200 c2 1 4 1u r3 4 0 100 c3 4 3 1u rload 3 0 1k . giving easy passage only to frequencies outside of that range. BAND-STOP FILTERS 203 R1 C2 source R3 C1 R2 C3 Rload Figure 8. the frequency of maximum rejection (the “notch frequency”) can be calculated as follows: fnotch = 1 4πR3C3 The impressive band-stopping ability of this filter is illustrated by the following SPICE analysis: (Figure 8.18: “Twin-T” band-stop filter.5k .8. .

19: Response of “twin-T” band-stop filter. The two schemes will be contrasted and simulated here: filter 1 V1 0 L1 1H 1V 2 C1 3 1 µF Rload 1 kΩ 0 Figure 8. We should know by now that combinations of L and C will tend to resonate. we have two basic strategies for designing either band-pass or band-stop filters.6 Resonant filters So far. the two basic resonant strategies are this: series LC to pass a signal (Figure 8.204 CHAPTER 8. but never both at the same time. . FILTERS Figure 8.22) to short a signal. For band-pass filters.20). Knowing this. or parallel LC (Figure 8. Series LC circuits give minimum impedance at resonance. while parallel LC (“tank”) circuits give maximum impedance at their resonant frequency. the filter designs we’ve concentrated on have employed either capacitors or inductors.20: Series resonant LC band-pass filter. 8. and this property can be exploited in designing band-pass and band-stop filter circuits.

since this filter works on the principle of series LC resonance. Under or over resonant frequency.22) The tank circuit will have a lot of impedance at resonance.15 Hz. however. the resonant frequency of which is unaffected by circuit resistance. different values for the load resistor will change the “steepness” of the Bode plot (the “selectivity” of the filter).ac lin 20 50 250 .6. and block signals of any other frequencies from getting to the load. the tank circuit will have a low impedance. allowing the signal to get to the load with minimal attenuation. shorting out the signal and dropping most of it across series resistor R1 .8. the value of the load resistor will not skew the peak frequency. A couple of points to note: see how there is virtually no signal attenuation within the “pass band” (the range of frequencies near the load voltage peak).plot ac v(3) .21: Series resonant band-pass filter: voltage peaks at resonant frequency of 159.end Figure 8. However. unlike the band-pass filters made from capacitors or inductors alone. (Figure 8.21) series resonant bandpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 1u rload 3 0 1k . The other basic style of resonant band-pass filters employs a tank circuit (parallel LC combination) to short out signals too high or too low in frequency from getting to the load: (Figure 8. (Figure 8.23) . RESONANT FILTERS 205 Series LC components pass signal at resonance. Also.

.end Figure 8. parallel resonant bandpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 l1 2 0 100m c1 2 0 10u rload 2 0 1k .plot ac v(2) . FILTERS 1 V1 1V 0 R1 500 Ω L1 filter 2 C1 100 mH 0 2 Rload 2 1 kΩ 0 10 µF 0 Figure 8.22: Parallel resonant band-pass lin 20 50 250 .206 CHAPTER 8.23: Parallel resonant filter: voltage peaks a resonant frequency of 159.15 Hz.



Just like the low-pass and high-pass filter designs relying on a series resistance and a parallel “shorting” component to attenuate unwanted frequencies, this resonant circuit can never provide full input (source) voltage to the load. That series resistance will always be dropping some amount of voltage so long as there is a load resistance connected to the output of the filter. It should be noted that this form of band-pass filter circuit is very popular in analog radio tuning circuitry, for selecting a particular radio frequency from the multitudes of frequencies available from the antenna. In most analog radio tuner circuits, the rotating dial for station selection moves a variable capacitor in a tank circuit.

Figure 8.24: Variable capacitor tunes radio receiver tank circuit to select one out of many broadcast stations. The variable capacitor and air-core inductor shown in Figure 8.24 photograph of a simple radio comprise the main elements in the tank circuit filter used to discriminate one radio station’s signal from another. Just as we can use series and parallel LC resonant circuits to pass only those frequencies within a certain range, we can also use them to block frequencies within a certain range, creating a band-stop filter. Again, we have two major strategies to follow in doing this, to use either series or parallel resonance. First, we’ll look at the series variety: (Figure 8.25) When the series LC combination reaches resonance, its very low impedance shorts out the signal, dropping it across resistor R1 and preventing its passage on to the load. (Figure 8.26) Next, we will examine the parallel resonant band-stop filter: (Figure 8.27) The parallel LC components present a high impedance at resonant frequency, thereby blocking the signal from the load at that frequency. Conversely, it passes signals to the load at any other frequencies. (Figure 8.28) Once again, notice how the absence of a series resistor makes for minimum attenuation for all the desired (passed) signals. The amplitude at the notch frequency, on the other hand, is




R1 500 Ω

2 L1 100 mH Rload 3 C1 10 µF 0




1 kΩ



Figure 8.25: Series resonant band-stop filter. series resonant bandstop filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 l1 2 3 100m c1 3 0 10u rload 2 0 1k .ac lin 20 70 230 .plot ac v(2) .end

Figure 8.26: Series resonant band-stop filter: Notch frequency = LC resonant frequency (159.15 Hz).



C1 1 V1 0 1V

10 µF 2

L1 100 mH


1 kΩ 0

Figure 8.27: Parallel resonant band-stop filter.

parallel resonant bandstop filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 100m c1 1 2 10u rload 2 0 1k .ac lin 20 100 200 .plot ac v(2) .end

Figure 8.28: Parallel resonant band-stop filter: Notch frequency = LC resonant frequency (159.15 Hz).



very low. In other words, this is a very “selective” filter. In all these resonant filter designs, the selectivity depends greatly upon the “purity” of the inductance and capacitance used. If there is any stray resistance (especially likely in the inductor), this will diminish the filter’s ability to finely discriminate frequencies, as well as introduce antiresonant effects that will skew the peak/notch frequency. A word of caution to those designing low-pass and high-pass filters is in order at this point. After assessing the standard RC and LR low-pass and high-pass filter designs, it might occur to a student that a better, more effective design of low-pass or high-pass filter might be realized by combining capacitive and inductive elements together like Figure 8.29.

1 V1 0 1V

L1 100 mH

filter 2

L2 100 mH 1 µF Rload

3 1 kΩ 0



Figure 8.29: Capacitive Inductive low-pass filter. The inductors should block any high frequencies, while the capacitor should short out any high frequencies as well, both working together to allow only low frequency signals to reach the load. At first, this seems to be a good strategy, and eliminates the need for a series resistance. However, the more insightful student will recognize that any combination of capacitors and inductors together in a circuit is likely to cause resonant effects to happen at a certain frequency. Resonance, as we have seen before, can cause strange things to happen. Let’s plot a SPICE analysis and see what happens over a wide frequency range: (Figure 8.30) lc lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 100m c1 2 0 1u l2 2 3 100m rload 3 0 1k .ac lin 20 100 1k .plot ac v(3) .end What was supposed to be a low-pass filter turns out to be a band-pass filter with a peak somewhere around 526 Hz! The capacitance and inductance in this filter circuit are attaining resonance at that point, creating a large voltage drop around C1 , which is seen at the load, regardless of L2 ’s attenuating influence. The output voltage to the load at this point actually



Figure 8.30: Unexpected response of L-C low-pass filter.

exceeds the input (source) voltage! A little more reflection reveals that if L1 and C2 are at resonance, they will impose a very heavy (very low impedance) load on the AC source, which might not be good either. We’ll run the same analysis again, only this time plotting C1 ’s voltage, vm(2) in Figure 8.31, and the source current, I(v1), along with load voltage, vm(3):

Figure 8.31: Current inceases at the unwanted resonance of the L-C low-pass filter.



Sure enough, we see the voltage across C1 and the source current spiking to a high point at the same frequency where the load voltage is maximum. If we were expecting this filter to provide a simple low-pass function, we might be disappointed by the results. The problem is that an L-C filter has a input impedance and an output impedance which must be matched. The voltage source impedance must match the input impedance of the filter, and the filter output impedance must be matched by “rload” for a flat response. The input and output impedance is given by the square root of (L/C). Z = (L/C)1/2 Taking the component values from (Figure 8.29), we can find the impedance of the filter, and the required , Rg and Rload to match it. For L= 100 mH, C= 1µF Z = (L/C)1/2 =((100 mH)/(1 µF))1/2 = 316 Ω In Figure 8.32 we have added Rg = 316 Ω to the generator, and changed the load Rload from 1000 Ω to 316 Ω. Note that if we needed to drive a 1000 Ω load, the L/C ratio could have been adjusted to match that resistance.

filter 316 Ω 1 Rg Vp-p Voffset 1 Hz L1 1V C1 L2 1.0 uF Rload 316 Ω 4 100 mH 2 100 mH 3


Figure 8.32: Circuit of source and load matched L-C low-pass filter. LC matched lowpass filter V1 1 0 ac 1 SIN Rg 1 4 316 L1 4 2 100m C1 2 0 1.0u L2 2 3 100m Rload 3 0 316 .ac lin 20 100 1k .plot ac v(3) .end



Figure 8.33 shows the “flat” response of the L-C low pass filter when the source and load impedance match the filter input and output impedances.

Figure 8.33: The response of impedance matched L-C low-pass filter is nearly flat up to the cut-off frequency. The point to make in comparing the response of the unmatched filter (Figure 8.30) to the matched filter (Figure 8.33) is that variable load on the filter produces a considerable change in voltage. This property is directly applicable to L-C filtered power supplies– the regulation is poor. The power supply voltage changes with a change in load. This is undesirable. This poor load regulation can be mitigated by a swinging choke. This is a choke, inductor, designed to saturate when a large DC current passes through it. By saturate, we mean that the DC current creates a “too” high level of flux in the magnetic core, so that the AC component of current cannot vary the flux. Since induction is proportional to dΦ/dt, the inductance is decreased by the heavy DC current. The decrease in inductance decreases reactance XL . Decreasing reactance, reduces the voltage drop across the inductor; thus, increasing the voltage at the filter output. This improves the voltage regulation with respect to variable loads. Despite the unintended resonance, low-pass filters made up of capacitors and inductors are frequently used as final stages in AC/DC power supplies to filter the unwanted AC “ripple” voltage out of the DC converted from AC. Why is this, if this particular filter design possesses a potentially troublesome resonant point? The answer lies in the selection of filter component sizes and the frequencies encountered from an AC/DC converter (rectifier). What we’re trying to do in an AC/DC power supply filter is separate DC voltage from a small amount of relatively high-frequency AC voltage. The filter inductors and capacitors are generally quite large (several Henrys for the inductors and thousands of µF for the capacitors is typical), making the filter’s resonant frequency very, very low. DC of course, has a “frequency” of zero, so there’s no way it can make an LC circuit resonate. The ripple voltage, on the other hand, is a non-sinusoidal AC voltage consisting



of a fundamental frequency at least twice the frequency of the converted AC voltage, with harmonics many times that in addition. For plug-in-the-wall power supplies running on 60 Hz AC power (60 Hz United States; 50 Hz in Europe), the lowest frequency the filter will ever see is 120 Hz (100 Hz in Europe), which is well above its resonant point. Therefore, the potentially troublesome resonant point in a such a filter is completely avoided. The following SPICE analysis calculates the voltage output (AC and DC) for such a filter, with series DC and AC (120 Hz) voltage sources providing a rough approximation of the mixedfrequency output of an AC/DC converter.

2 V2 1 V1 0

L1 3H 12 V C1 1V 120 Hz


L2 2H 9500 µF Rload


1 kΩ



Figure 8.34: AC/DC power suppply filter provides “ripple free” DC power. ac/dc power supply filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin v2 2 1 dc l1 2 3 3 c1 3 0 9500u l2 3 4 2 rload 4 0 1k .dc v2 12 12 1 .ac lin 1 120 120 .print dc v(4) .print ac v(4) .end v2 1.200E+01 freq 1.200E+02 v(4) 1.200E+01 v(4) 3.412E-05

DC voltage at load = 12 volts

AC voltage at load = 34.12 microvolts

With a full 12 volts DC at the load and only 34.12 µV of AC left from the 1 volt AC source imposed across the load, this circuit design proves itself to be a very effective power supply filter.



The lesson learned here about resonant effects also applies to the design of high-pass filters using both capacitors and inductors. So long as the desired and undesired frequencies are well to either side of the resonant point, the filter will work OK. But if any signal of significant magnitude close to the resonant frequency is applied to the input of the filter, strange things will happen! • REVIEW: • Resonant combinations of capacitance and inductance can be employed to create very effective band-pass and band-stop filters without the need for added resistance in a circuit that would diminish the passage of desired frequencies.

fresonant =

1 2π LC



As lengthy as this chapter has been up to this point, it only begins to scratch the surface of filter design. A quick perusal of any advanced filter design textbook is sufficient to prove my point. The mathematics involved with component selection and frequency response prediction is daunting to say the least – well beyond the scope of the beginning electronics student. It has been my intent here to present the basic principles of filter design with as little math as possible, leaning on the power of the SPICE circuit analysis program to explore filter performance. The benefit of such computer simulation software cannot be understated, for the beginning student or for the working engineer. Circuit simulation software empowers the student to explore circuit designs far beyond the reach of their math skills. With the ability to generate Bode plots and precise figures, an intuitive understanding of circuit concepts can be attained, which is something often lost when a student is burdened with the task of solving lengthy equations by hand. If you are not familiar with the use of SPICE or other circuit simulation programs, take the time to become so! It will be of great benefit to your study. To see SPICE analyses presented in this book is an aid to understanding circuits, but to actually set up and analyze your own circuit simulations is a much more engaging and worthwhile endeavor as a student.



Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions, from most recent to first. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting, which led to a much betterlooking second edition.



Chapter 9

9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Mutual inductance and basic operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 Step-up and step-down transformers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 Electrical isolation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Phasing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Winding configurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Voltage regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Special transformers and applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 9.7.1 9.7.2 9.7.3 9.7.4 9.7.5 9.7.6 9.7.7 9.7.8 9.8 9.8.1 9.8.2 9.8.3 9.8.4 9.8.5 9.8.6 9.9 Impedance matching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 Potential transformers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 Current transformers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Air core transformers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Tesla Coil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 Saturable reactors

Scott-T transformer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Linear Variable Differential Transformer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267 Power capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Energy losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269 Stray capacitance and inductance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 Core saturation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 Inrush current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275 Heat and Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277

Practical considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268

Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281


1 Mutual inductance and basic operation Suppose we were to wrap a coil of insulated wire around a loop of ferromagnetic material and energize this coil with an AC voltage source: (Figure 9. the opposing voltage comes from another mechanism: the reaction to a changing magnetic flux in the iron core. TRANSFORMERS 9. From where does this opposing voltage arise? If the load were a resistor (Figure 9. the load (inductor coil) must produce an opposing voltage equal in magnitude to the source.218 CHAPTER 9.1 (b)). . we need to take a more detailed look at the interactions of voltage. in order that it may balance against the source voltage and produce an algebraic loop voltage sum of zero. and magnetic flux in the device. In other words. As an inductor. the voltage dropped across the load must equal the voltage supplied by the source. as in any one-source. the “friction” of electrons flowing through the resistance. When AC current changes. limiting AC current. though. the voltage drop originates from electrical energy loss. we would expect this iron-core coil to oppose the applied voltage with its inductive reactance. flux Φ changes. For the purposes of this example. Changing flux induces a counter EMF. assuming zero voltage dropped along the resistance of any connecting wires. we could apply this fundamental law of electricity to describe the respective voltages of the source and of the inductor coil. Michael Faraday discovered the mathematical relationship between magnetic flux (Φ) and induced voltage with this equation: e= N dΦ dt e = (Instantaneous) induced voltage in volts N = Number of turns in wire coil (straight wire = 1) Φ = Magnetic flux in Webers t = Time in seconds Where.1: Insulated winding on ferromagnetic loop has inductive reactance. one-load circuit. limiting current through the coil as predicted by the equations XL = 2π fL and I=E/X (or I=E/Z). In this example. Here. Kirchhoff ’s voltage law describes how the algebraic sum of all voltages in a loop must equal zero. current. With a perfect inductor (no resistance in the coil wire).1 (a)) iron core wire coil resistor (a) (b) Figure 9.

due to the nonlinear B/H magnetization curve of iron. In electric circuits. Magnetomotive force generated by an electromagnet coil is equal to the amount of current through that coil (in amps) multiplied by the number of turns of that coil around the core (the SI unit for mmf is the amp-turn). this current is sometimes referred to as the magnetizing current. the mmf required to produce this changing magnetic flux (Φ) must be supplied by a changing current through the coil.” this motivating force is magnetomotive force. (Figure 9. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION 219 The instantaneous voltage (voltage dropped at any instant in time) across a wire coil is equal to the number of turns of that coil around the core (N) multiplied by the instantaneous rate-of-change in magnetic flux (dΦ/dt) linking with the coil. and because the mathematical relationship between mmf and current is also directly proportional (no rates-of-change present in either equation). Magnetomotive force (mmf) and magnetic flux (Φ) are related to each other by a property of magnetic materials known as reluctance (the latter quantity symbolized by a strange-looking letter “R”): A comparison of "Ohm’s Law" for electric and magnetic circuits: E = IR Electrical mmf = Φℜ Magnetic In our example. In magnetic “circuits. dΦ/dt. It should be mentioned that the current through an iron-core inductor is not perfectly sinusoidal (sine-wave shaped). this motivating force is voltage (a. the flux wave 90o lagging behind the voltage wave: e = voltage e Φ = magnetic flux Φ Figure 9.1.2: Magnetic flux lags applied voltage by 90o because flux is proportional to a rate of change.2) this shows itself as a set of sine waves (assuming a sinusoidal voltage source). Graphed. or EMF).3) This is why alternating current through an inductor lags the applied voltage waveform by 90o : because that is what is required to produce a changing magnetic flux whose rate-ofchange produces an opposing voltage in-phase with the applied voltage. Due to its function in providing magnetizing force (mmf) for the core. In fact.k. Because the mathematical relationship between magnetic flux and mmf is directly proportional. electromotive force. Magnetic flux through a ferromagnetic material is analogous to current through a conductor: it must be motivated by some force in order to occur.a. the current through the coil will be in-phase with the flux wave as in (Figure 9. or mmf.9. if the .

using as little iron as possible. The effects of hysteresis and eddy currents conspire to further distort and complicate the current waveform. Because mmf is proportional to current through the magnetizing coil (mmf = NI. disproportionately greater levels of magnetic field force (mmf) are required to deliver equal increases in magnetic field flux (Φ).) is called the exciting current.4: As flux density approaches saturation. the magnetizing current waveform becomes distorted. coil current increases dramatically at the peaks in order to maintain a flux waveform that isn’t distorted.3: Magnetic flux.4 e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux i = coil current e i Φ Figure 9. this . like current. Generally speaking. inductor is cheaply built. the magnetic flux density might reach high levels (approaching saturation). The distortion of an iron-core inductor’s exciting current may be minimized if it is designed for and operated at very low flux densities. Thus. accounting for the bell-shaped half-cycles of the current waveform in the above plot. When a ferromagnetic material approaches magnetic flux saturation. The situation is further complicated by energy losses within the iron core. where “N” is the number of turns of wire in the coil and “I” is the current through it). the large increases of mmf required to supply the needed increases in flux results in large increases in coil current.220 CHAPTER 9. This coil current resulting from the sum total of all magnetic effects in the core (dΦ/dt magnetization plus hysteresis losses. making it even less sinusoidal and altering its phase to be lagging slightly less than 90o behind the applied voltage waveform. resulting in a magnetizing current waveform that looks something like Figure 9. etc. TRANSFORMERS e = voltage e Φ = magnetic flux Φ i i = coil current Figure 9. eddy current losses. lags applied voltage by 90o .

6) the induced voltage waveform is drawn slightly smaller than the source voltage waveform simply to distinguish one from the other: This effect is called mutual inductance: the induction of a voltage in one coil in response to a change in current in the other coil.5) wrapped around the same iron core. (Figure 9. which tends to make the inductor bulky and expensive. a voltage of equal magnitude and phase to the applied voltage will be induced along its length. Let us now consider the same inductor device. As we’ve seen already in the inductors chapter. it is measured in the unit of Henrys. etc. Like normal (self-) inductance. while the second will be labeled the secondary: iron core wire coil wire coil Figure 9. we’ll assume that our example core is far from saturation and free from all losses.5: Ferromagnetic core with primary coil (AC driven) and secondary coil. but unlike normal inductance it is symbolized by the capital letter “M” rather than the letter “L”: . If this secondary coil experiences the same magnetic flux change as the primary (which it should.9. no magnetic core losses. except this time with a second coil (Figure 9. In the following graph.). and has the same number of turns around the core. it will dissipate zero power. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION 221 requires a core with large cross-sectional area. If the inductor is perfect (no wire resistance. The first coil will be labeled the primary coil. having a current waveform 90o out of phase with the voltage waveform creates a condition where power is alternately absorbed and returned to the circuit by the inductor.1. resulting in a perfectly sinusoidal exciting current. For the sake of simplicity. though. assuming perfect containment of the magnetic flux through the common core).

what does change is the amount of mmf in the magnetic circuit. additional flux is not permitted. Therefore induced secondary voltage es is the same magnitude and phase as the primary voltage ep. e2 = voltage induced in secondary coil i1 = current in primary coil No current will exist in the secondary coil. Indeed. Inductance di e=L dt Mutual inductance di e2 = M 1 dt Where. do not worry. However. so the only way the secondary coil’s mmf may exist is if a counteracting mmf is generated by the primary coil. though. in accordance with Kirchhoff ’s voltage law. However. This cannot happen. this is what happens. Consequently. TRANSFORMERS ep = primary coil voltage Φ = magnetic flux ep Φ es ip ip = primary coil current es = secondary coil voltage Figure 9. this mmf is accompanied by magnetic flux.222 CHAPTER 9. one might expect this secondary coil current to cause additional magnetic flux in the core. In fact.7) At first. since it is open-circuited. it would cause more voltage to be induced voltage in the primary coil (remember that e = dΦ/dt). in-phase with the induced voltage (because the voltage across a resistor and the current through it are always in-phase with each other). If more flux were induced in the core. (Figure 9. if we connect a load resistor to it. of equal magnitude and opposite phase. Polarity marks and current direction arrows have been added to the illustration to clarify phase relations: (Figure 9. in accordance with the mmf=ΦR “magnetic Ohm’s Law” equation.8) If you find this process a bit confusing. Transformer dynamics is a complex .6: Open circuited secondary sees the same flux Φ as the primary. the magnetic flux in the core cannot be affected by secondary coil current. In this case. it does not. because the primary coil’s induced voltage must remain at the same magnitude and phase in order to balance with the applied voltage. Usually. an alternating current will go through the coil. an alternating current forming in the primary coil – 180o out of phase with the secondary coil’s current – to generate this counteracting mmf and prevent additional core flux. Magnetomotive force is produced any time electrons move through a wire.

7: Resistive load on secondary has voltage and current in-phase. . + + + + wire coil wire coil iron core mmfprimary mmfsecondary Figure 9. a counteracting mmf is produced by the loaded secondary.8: Flux remains constant with application of a load.9.1. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION 223 iron core wire coil wire coil Figure 9. However.

Of course. having a greater number of “turns” around the core. drawing current from the source. it creates a magnetic flux in the core. Like the transformer shown previously.11. the iron core can be seen in this photograph to be made of many thin sheets (laminations) rather than a . because it transforms electrical energy into magnetic energy. this unit also utilizes primary and secondary windings of differing turn counts. there is also an additional primary coil current lagging the applied voltage by 90o . the powered inductor of a transformer is called the primary winding. The pair of vertical lines represent an iron core common to both inductors. As far as the source “knows. a transformer is shown cut in half. exposing the crosssection of the iron core as well as both windings. Figure 9. While most transformer designs enclose the coils and core in a metal frame for protection. the inductor coils are often referred to as windings. energy is now being coupled to the secondary coil where it is delivered to a dissipative (energy-consuming) load. Additionally. The top coil is larger than the bottom coil. wound around an iron core. which induces AC voltage in the secondary coil inphase with the source voltage. Any current drawn through the secondary coil to power a load induces a corresponding current in the primary coil.9) Transformer Figure 9. separated by lines indicating a ferromagnetic core. the two inductor coils can be clearly seen. Rather than energy merely being alternately absorbed and returned the primary coil circuit. their constituent inductors being magnetically linked together through the air. As modeled in our initial example. In transformers.9: Schematic symbol for transformer consists of two inductor symbols. there are some that do not. Here. and how the secondary coil is behaving as a source with respect to the resistor. In the next photograph.10) Both coils of wire can be seen here with copper-colored varnish insulation. Because its operation depends on electromagnetic induction between two stationary coils and a magnetic flux of changing magnitude and “polarity. this particular transformer is open for viewing and so serves its illustrative purpose well: (Figure 9. just enough to magnetize the core to create the necessary voltage for balancing against the source (the exciting current). in reference to the manufacturing process where wire is wound around the core material. While many transformers have ferromagnetic core materials. Notice how the primary coil is behaving as a load with respect to the AC voltage source. TRANSFORMERS subject. The wire gauge can also be seen to differ between primary and secondary windings.224 CHAPTER 9.” its directly powering the resistor. The two inductor coils are easily distinguished in the above symbol. The following photograph shows a power transformer of the type used in gas-discharge lighting. then back into electrical energy again. What is important to understand is this: when an AC voltage is applied to the primary coil. The reason for this disparity in wire gauge will be made clear in the next section of this chapter. while the unpowered coil is called the secondary winding.” transformers are necessarily AC devices. We call this type of device a transformer. Its schematic symbol looks like two inductors (coils) sharing the same magnetic core: (Figure 9.

Figure 9. solid piece. setting up the primary and secondary windings of the simulated transformer as a pair of “mutual” inductors.9.10: Example of a gas-discharge lighting transformer.11: Transformer cross-section cut shows core and windings. The reason for this will also be explained in a later section of this chapter. It is easy to demonstrate simple transformer action using SPICE.1. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION 225 Figure 9. (Fig- .

What you are seeing here .ac lin 1 60 60 . The first breaks the otherwise continuous loop between the voltage source and L1 which would not be permitted by SPICE.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k . necessary because SPICE cannot function with any ungrounded circuits. The second provides a path to ground (node 0) from the secondary circuit. The better these two inductors are magnetically coupled.5) i(vi1) . The difference between primary and secondary currents is the magnetizing current spoken of earlier: the 90o lagging current necessary to magnetize the core. it is usually very small compared to primary current induced by the load. and so the primary and secondary currents are almost equal.end Note: the Rbogus resistors are required to satisfy certain quirks of SPICE. TRANSFORMERS ure 9. the AC voltages and currents are nearly equal for the two.000). the more efficient the energy transfer between them should be. As is seen here. Note that with equal inductances for both windings (100 Henrys each). magnetically.print ac v(2.0) i(v1) .12: Spice circuit for coupled inductors. transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 ** This line tells SPICE that the two inductors ** l1 and l2 are magnetically ‘‘linked’’ together k l1 l2 0.226 CHAPTER 9. (for SPICE to measure current) 1 Rbogus1 (very small) 2 3 Vi1 0V 4 V1 0 10 V L1 100 H 0 (very large) L2 100 H 5 Rload 1 kΩ 5 Rbogus2 Figure 9. This coefficient describes how closely “linked” the two inductors are. this example being set very nearly at perfection (1.12) The coefficient of magnetic field coupling is given at the end of the “k” line in the SPICE circuit description.print ac v(3.

000E+01 freq 6.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 ** Note load resistance value of 200 ohms rload 4 5 200 .674E-02 Notice how the primary current closely follows the secondary current.end freq 6. Anything less than 95% efficiency is considered poor for modern power transformer designs. it is electromagnetically “coupled”).962E-03 227 Primary winding Secondary winding is quite typical of transformer efficiency.975E-03 i(vi1) 9. The primary current is very close to being the same.9. which is substantially higher than the last time.348E+00 i(v1) 4. Take a close look at the next two SPICE simulations.0) i(v1) . In this second simulation.5) i(vi1) . Let’s try another simulation with an even lower value of load resistance (15 Ω): Our load current is now 0.000E+01 freq 6.5) 9. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION freq 6. because the magnetizing current remains the same as before while the load current has increased. Even though the AC power source is not directly connected to the load resistance (rather.000E+01 v(2) 1. the amount of current drawn from the source will be almost the same as the amount of current that would be drawn if the load were directly connected to the source. Note also how the secondary voltage has decreased some with the heavier (greater current) load.1.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3.5) 9. but notice how the secondary .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2.print ac v(3.000E+01 v(3. If we decrease the load resistance so as to draw more current with the same amount of voltage.679E-02 i(vi1) 4. both currents were approximately 10 mA. the two currents are closer to equality. but now they are both around 47 mA. or 130 mA. In our first simulation.962E+00 i(v1) 9. and this transfer of power occurs with no moving parts or other components subject to wear. showing what happens with different values of load resistors: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.13 amps. we see that the current through the primary winding increases in response.

print ac v(2.999 instead of 1.300E-01 CHAPTER 9. TRANSFORMERS voltage has fallen well below the primary voltage (1. some of the magnetic field isn’t linking with the secondary coil.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 15 . effectively acting as a series impedance in both primary and secondary circuits. Consequently. and thus cannot couple energy to it: (Figure 9.301E-01 i(vi1) 1.000E+01 v(3.13) wire coil leakage flux wire coil leakage flux core flux Figure 9.95 volts versus 10 volts at the primary). this “leakage” flux merely stores and returns energy to the source circuit via self-inductance. resulting in a reduced load voltage: . The reason for this is an imperfection in our transformer design: because the primary and secondary inductances aren’t perfectly linked (a k factor of 0.228 transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.000) there is “stray” or “leakage” inductance.950E+00 i(v1) lin 1 60 60 .0) i(v1) .end freq 6.13: Leakage inductance is due to magnetic flux not cutting both windings.print ac v(3. In other words.000E+01 v(2) 1.5) 1.5) i(vi1) . Voltage gets dropped across this series impedance.000E+01 freq 6.

658E-01 i(vi1) 6. the strategy being that less inductance overall leads to less “leakage” inductance to cause trouble.5) 9.99999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 15 .print ac v( lin 1 60 60 .000E+01 freq 6.end freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1. (Figure 9.1.5) i(vi1) . If we change the transformer design to have better magnetic coupling between the primary and secondary coils.9. the figures for voltage between primary and secondary windings will be much closer to equality again: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 ** Coupling factor = 0.999 k l1 l2 0.658E-01 Here we see that our secondary voltage is back to being equal with the primary. Unfortunately. A compromise solution is to design both primary and secondary coils with less inductance.print ac v(3.977 volts). MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION voltage across the load “sags” as load current increases. the load voltage for this heavy load (high current) has been brought back up to nearly ideal levels (9.000E+01 v(3. for any given degree of magnetic coupling inefficiency.14: Equivalent circuit models leakage inductance as series inductors independent of the “ideal transformer”. This results in a load voltage that is closer to ideal with the same (high current heavy) load and the same coupling factor: Simply by using primary and secondary coils of less inductance.0) i(v1) .987E+00 i(v1) 6. and the secondary current is equal to the primary current as well.99999 instead of 0. building a real transformer with coupling this complete is very difficult.14) 229 ideal transformer leakage inductance Source leakage inductance Load Figure 9. At this .

and consequently a much larger magnetizing cur- .print ac v(3.end With lower winding inductances.977E+00 i(v1) 6. then why worry about coupling efficiency at all? If its impossible to build a transformer with perfect coupling. In this particular case.print ac v(2.000E+01 v(2) 1. TRANSFORMERS point.print ac v(2. there is less inductive reactance. Why is this? With less inductance in the primary winding.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 15 .000E+01 freq 6.0) i(v1) .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(3. but this time with a lighter load (less current) of 1 kΩ instead of 15 Ω: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 1 l2 3 5 1 k l1 l2 0.652E-01 CHAPTER 9. but easy to design coils with low inductance.990 mA: almost three times as much current in the primary as the secondary. “If less inductance is all that’s needed to achieve near-ideal performance under heavy load.end freq 6.664E-01 i(vi1) 6. but the primary and secondary currents are not.5) 9. the primary and secondary voltages are closer to being lin 1 60 60 .0) i(v1) . one might ask. then why not just build all transformers with low-inductance coils and have excellent efficiency even with poor magnetic coupling?” The answer to this question is found in another simulation: the same low-inductance transformer.230 transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 ** inductance = 1 henry instead of 100 henrys l1 2 0 1 l2 3 5 1 k l1 l2 0.5) i(vi1) .999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .000E+01 v(3. the primary current is 28.5) i(vi1) .35 mA while the secondary current is only 9.

000E+01 v(3. An ideal transformer with identical primary and secondary windings would manifest equal voltage and current in both sets of windings for any load condition. with no transformer there at all.1.990E+00 i(v1) 2.000E+01 v(2) 1. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION freq 6. • REVIEW: • Mutual inductance is where the magnetic flux of two or more inductors are “linked” so that voltage is induced in one coil proportional to the rate-of-change of current in another. transformers would transfer electrical power from primary to secondary as smoothly as though the load were directly connected to the primary power source. transformers must be designed to operate within certain expected ranges of voltages and loads in order to perform as close to ideal as possible. and is comprised of magnetizing current plus any additional current necessary to overcome core losses. • Any current drawn through the secondary winding by a load will be “reflected” to the primary winding and drawn from the voltage source. It is never perfectly sinusoidal in a real transformer. but may be made more so if the transformer is designed and operated so that magnetic flux density is kept to a minimum. and it also lags the supply voltage by 90o . you can see this ideal goal can only be met if there is perfect coupling of magnetic flux between primary and secondary windings. power will be electromagnetically coupled from the first inductor’s power source to that load. The induces voltage(s) are ideally in.9. • A transformer is a device made of two or more inductors. one of which is powered by AC. • Magnetic flux in the core (Φ) lags 90o behind the source voltage waveform. • Total primary current in an unloaded transformer is called the exciting current.990E-03 231 rent. The current drawn by the primary coil from the source to produce this flux is called the magnetizing current. The unpowered inductor in a transformer is called the secondary winding. However. . In a perfect world. the most important thing to keep in mind is a transformer’s basic operating principle: the transfer of power from the primary to the secondary circuit via electromagnetic coupling.835E-02 i(vi1) 9. Being that this is impossible to achieve. • Core flux induces a voltage in any coil wrapped around the core. inducing an AC voltage across the second inductor. For now. • The powered inductor in a transformer is called the primary winding. A substantial amount of the current through the primary winding merely works to magnetize the core rather than transfer useful energy to the secondary winding and load.5) 9. If the second inductor is connected to a load.phase with the primary winding source voltage and share the same waveshape. as if the source were directly powering a similar load.000E+01 freq 6.

TRANSFORMERS 9.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k . we’ve observed simulations of transformers where the primary and secondary windings were of identical inductance. the transformer has made long-distance transmission of electric power a practical reality.962E-04 Primary winding Secondary winding Notice how the secondary voltage is approximately ten times less than the primary voltage (0. If the inductances of the two windings are not equal.9962 mA compared to 0.000E+01 v(3.end freq 6.15: Turns ratio of 10:1 yields 10:1 primary:secondary voltage ratio and 1:10 primary:secondary current ratio.0) i(v1) .print ac v(2.5) 9.15) Primary winding Secondary winding Figure 9. something interesting happens: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 10000 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0. we can easily multiply or divide voltage and current in AC circuits. is not the norm for all transformers.000E+01 v(2) 1. as AC voltage can be “stepped up” and current “stepped down” for reduced wire resistance power losses along power lines connecting generating stations with .975E-05 i(vi1) 9. This is a very useful device. With it.000E+01 freq 6. giving approximately equal voltage and current levels in both circuits.232 CHAPTER lin 1 60 60 . however.09975 mA). What we have here is a device that steps voltage down by a factor of ten and current up by a factor of ten: (Figure 9.9962 volts compared to 10 volts). Equality of voltage and current between the primary and secondary sides of a transformer.5) i(vi1) .print ac v(3. indeed.962E-01 i(v1) 9. while the secondary current is approximately ten times greater (0.2 Step-up and step-down transformers So far. Indeed.

may be made of smaller-gauge wire. as evidenced by the high turn count of the primary winding and the low turn count of the secondary. so if a transformer is to be used “backwards” like this it must be employed within the original design parameters of voltage and current for each winding. efficient operation of a transformer requires that the individual winding inductances be engineered for specific operating ranges of voltage and current. a simple power transformer will have . In case you were wondering. the secondary winding in a step-up) and “X” designations for the lower-voltage winding.2. One convention used in the electric power industry to help alleviate confusion is the use of “H” designations for the higher-voltage winding (the primary winding in a step-down unit. As a step-down unit. it is possible to operate either of these transformer types backwards (powering the secondary winding with an AC source and letting the primary winding power a load) to perform the opposite function: a step-up can function as a step-down and visa-versa. low-current power into low-voltage. At either end (both the generator and at the loads).16: Transformer cross-section showing primary and secondary windings is a few inches tall (approximately 10 cm). Let’s re-examine a photograph shown in the previous section: (Figure 9. as we saw in the first section of this chapter. lest it prove to be inefficient (or lest it be damaged by excessive voltage or current!). This is a step-down transformer.9. a transformer designed to do just the opposite is called a step-down transformer. which doesn’t have to conduct as much current. The larger-gauge wire used in the secondary winding is necessary due to the increase in current. However. Therefore. high-current power. Transformers are often constructed in such a way that it is not obvious which wires lead to the primary winding and which lead to the secondary. A transformer that increases voltage from primary to secondary (more secondary winding turns than primary winding turns) is called a step-up transformer.16) Figure 9. voltage levels are reduced by transformers for safer operation and less expensive equipment. STEP-UP AND STEP-DOWN TRANSFORMERS 233 loads. The primary winding. this transformer converts highvoltage. Conversely.

on the other hand. The practical significance of this is made more apparent when an alternative is considered: before the advent of efficient transformers. In such a machine. etc. While transformers are clearly superior over motor/generator sets for AC voltage and current level conversion. the other down) makes perfect sense when you recall that power is equal to voltage times current. only convert it. and “X2 ”. they cannot convert one frequency of AC power to another. As with the first transformer example we looked at.). In all fairness it should be noted that motor/generator sets have not necessarily been obsoleted by transformers for all applications. TRANSFORMERS wires labeled “H1 ”. thus isolating any loads powered by the genera- . A drawing of a motor/generator set reveals the basic principle involved: (Figure 9. are able to convert levels of AC voltage and current at very high efficiencies with no moving parts. only converted. a motor is mechanically coupled to a generator. power transfer efficiency is very good from the primary to the secondary sides of the device. making possible the widespread distribution and use of electric power we take for granted. Transformers. the generator designed to produce the desired levels of voltage and current at the rotating speed of the motor. Motor/generator sets can do all these things with relative simplicity. namely that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Furthermore. because motor/generator sets obviously require moving parts. Motor/generator sets also have the unique property of kinetic energy storage: that is. and realize that transformers cannot produce power.17: Motor generator illustrates the basic principle of the transformer. which we’ll explore a little later in this chapter. “H2 ”. if the motor’s power supply is momentarily interrupted for any reason. its angular momentum (the inertia of that rotating mass) will maintain rotation of the generator for a short duration. mechanical wear and balance are factors influencing both service life and performance. albeit with the limitations of efficiency and mechanical factors already described.17) Power in A motor/generator set Power out Shaft coupling Motor Generator Figure 9. voltage/current level conversion could only be achieved through the use of motor/generator sets. Any device that could output more power than it took in would violate the Law of Energy Conservation in physics. the use of both in this fashion compounds their inefficiencies so that the overall efficiency is in the range of 90% or less. While both motors and generators are fairly efficient devices. The fact that voltage and current get “stepped” in opposite directions (one up. “X1 ”. There is usually significance to the numbering of the wires (H1 versus H2 . or (by themselves) convert DC to AC or visa-versa.234 CHAPTER 9.

Step-down transformer many turns high voltage low current few turns low voltage high current load Figure 9.18: Step-down transformer: (many turns :few turns). so we can say as a rule that the voltage and current transformation ratio is equal to the ratio of winding turns between primary and secondary. If we take another look at our inductance formula. The winding with more inductance will have higher voltage and less current than the other. we should see a correspondence between the transformer’s ratio and the two inductances. the parameters affecting inductance for the two coils are equal except for the number of turns in each coil.20) . The following photograph shows a substation transformer standing about twelve feet tall: (Figure 9. we see that inductance is proportional to the square of the number of coil turns: L= N2µA l L = Inductance of coil in Henrys N = Number of turns in wire coil (straight wire = 1) µ = Permeability of core material (absolute. Looking closely at the numbers in the SPICE analysis. The step-up/step-down effect of coil turn ratios in a transformer (Figure 9. This works out to be the same ratio we found between primary and secondary voltages and currents (10:1). and that the measured voltage step-down ratio was 10 to 1.19) Step-up and step-down transformers for power distribution purposes can be gigantic in proportion to the power transformers previously shown.2. So.9. because 10 squared equals 100. it should be apparent that our two inductors in the last SPICE transformer example circuit – with inductance ratios of 100:1 – should have coil turn ratios of 10:1.18) is analogous to gear tooth ratios in mechanical gear systems. STEP-UP AND STEP-DOWN TRANSFORMERS 235 tor from “glitches” in the main power system. Since the two inductors are wound around the same core material in the transformer (for the most efficient magnetic coupling between the two). transforming values of speed and torque in much the same way: (Figure 9. not relative) A = Area of coil in square meters l = Average length of coil in meters Where. Notice how the primary inductor (l1) has 100 times more inductance than the secondary inductor (10000 H versus 100 H). some units standing as tall as a home.

Figure 9.19: Torque reducing gear train steps torque down. TRANSFORMERS LARGE GEAR (many teeth) SMALL GEAR (few teeth) high torque low speed low torque high speed Figure 9. .236 CHAPTER 9. while stepping speed up.20: Substation transformer.

Voltage transformation ratio = Lsecondary Lprimary • 9. • N = number of turns in winding • A transformer designed to increase voltage from primary to secondary is called a stepup transformer.print ac v(2. ELECTRICAL ISOLATION • REVIEW: 237 • Transformers “step up” or “step down” voltage according to the ratios of primary to secondary wire turns.9.3 Electrical isolation Aside from the ability to easily convert between different levels of voltage and current in AC and DC circuits. transformers also provide an extremely useful feature called isolation. A transformer designed to reduce voltage from primary to secondary is called a step-down transformer. We can demonstrate an application of this effect with another SPICE simulation: this time showing “ground” connections for the two circuits. • The transformation ratio of a transformer will be equal to the square root of its primary to secondary inductance (L) ratio.3.end .print ac v(3. imposing a high DC voltage between one circuit and ground through the use of an additional voltage source:(Figure 9.0) i(v1) .ac lin 1 60 60 .999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .21) v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 v2 5 0 dc 250 l1 2 0 10000 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0. which is the ability to couple one circuit to another without the use of direct wire connections.5) i(vi1) . Voltage transformation ratio = Nsecondary Nprimary Nprimary Nsecondary Current transformation ratio = Where.

0000 Primary winding Secondary winding . DC voltages referenced to ground (node (1) 0.962E-01 9.0000 AC voltages: freq v(2) i(v1) 6.000E+01 9.238 CHAPTER 9.21: Transformer isolates 10 Vac at V1 from 250 VDC at V2 .0000 (3) (4) 250.962E-04 0): 250.975E-05 freq v(3.0000 (2) 0.000E+01 9.5) i(vi1) 6.000E+01 1.0000 (5) 250. TRANSFORMERS (for SPICE to measure current) 1 Rbogus 2 3 Vi1 0V 4 V1 0 10 V L1 10 kH 0 V2 L2 100 H 5 250 V 0 Rload 1 kΩ 5 Figure 9.

and the transformer would isolate it from the primary circuit all the same. There are applications where electrical isolation is needed between two AC circuit without any transformation of voltage or current levels.21) but as you can see there is no effect on the primary circuit (zero DC voltage) at nodes 1 and 2. (Figure 9. transformers provide the useful feature of electrical isolation. either. we need to be aware of the phase relationships between the primary and secondary circuits. The impressed voltage in this example is often called a common-mode voltage because it is seen at more than one point in the circuit with reference to the common point of ground. Using our SPICE example from before. • Transformers designed to provide electrical isolation without stepping voltage and current either up or down are called isolation transformers. but rather isolated to the secondary side. The transformer isolates the common-mode voltage so that it is not impressed upon the primary circuit at all. even at a different frequency.4 Phasing Since transformers are essentially AC devices. and the transformation of AC power from primary to secondary circuits remains the same as before.9.4. • REVIEW: • By being able to transfer power from one circuit to another without the use of interconnecting conductors between the two circuits. 9. it does not matter that the common-mode voltage is DC. PHASING 239 SPICE shows the 250 volts DC being impressed upon the secondary circuit elements with respect to ground.22: Isolation transformer isolates power out from the power line. transformers called isolation transformers having 1:1 transformation ratios are used. Figure 9. we can . In these instances. A benchtop isolation transformer is shown in Figure 9.22. It could be AC. For the record.

V(2).5). TRANSFORMERS plot the waveshapes (Figure 9. and stepped down by factor of ten.24) Both .23) .5) is in-phase with primary voltage V(2). In going from primary.end nutmeg commands: setplot tran1 plot v(2) v(3.tran 0.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .5m 17m .23) for the primary and secondary circuits and see the phase relations for ourselves: spice transient analysis file for use with nutmeg: transformer v1 1 0 sin(0 15 60 0 0) rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 v2 5 0 dc 250 l1 2 0 10000 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0. V(3.5) Figure 9.240 CHAPTER 9. to secondary. the voltage was stepped down by a factor of ten.23: Secondary voltage V(3. and the current was stepped up by a factor of 10. (Figure 9. (Figure 9.

a transformer is nothing more than a set of magneticallylinked inductors. . the polarity of a transformer can be ambiguous. After all. PHASING 241 current (Figure 9. It would appear that both voltage and current for the two transformer windings are inphase with each other. and inductors don’t usually come with polarity markings of any kind. nutmeg commands: setplot tran1 plot I(L1#branch) I(L2#branch) Figure 9. at least for our resistive load. If we were to look at an unmarked transformer. we would have no way of knowing which way to hook it up to a circuit to get in-phase (or 180o out-of-phase) voltage and current: (Figure 9. Secondary current is stepped up by a factor of ten.4. This is simple enough.24) and voltage (Figure 9.24: Primary and secondary currents are in-phase. but it would be nice to know which way we should connect a transformer in order to ensure the proper phase relationships be kept.25) + + or ??? + - - Figure 9.25: As a practical matter.9.23) waveforms are in-phase in going from primary to secondary.

like this: (Figure 9.27: Out of phase: primary red to dot. relative to the other winding(s). The similar placement of these dots next to the top ends of the primary and secondary windings tells us that whatever instantaneous voltage polarity seen across the primary winding will be the same as that across the secondary winding. all you have to do is swap the winding connections like this: (Figure 9.27) Figure 9. If you want to reverse the phase relationship yourself. the phase shift will be 180o between primary and secondary. the dot convention only tells you which end of each winding is which. On the other hand. Typically. In other words. but when “H” and “X” labels are used to label transformer winding wires. transformer manufacturers have come up with a sort of polarity marking standard to denote phase relationships.26) Figure 9. Of course. On the diagram will be a pair of dots similar to what is seen above. the subscript numbers are supposed to represent winding polarity.242 CHAPTER 9. the transformer will come with some kind of schematic diagram labeling the wire leads for primary and secondary windings. It is called the dot convention. if the dots on each winding of the transformer do not match up. and is nothing more than a dot placed next to each corresponding leg of a transformer winding: (Figure 9.28) • REVIEW: . TRANSFORMERS Since this is a practical concern. The “1” wires (H1 and X1 ) represent where the polarity-marking dots would normally be placed. the phase shift from primary to secondary will be zero degrees.26: A pair of dots indicates like polarity. secondary black to dot. Sometimes dots will be omitted.

28: In phase: primary red to dot. • The dot convention is a type of polarity marking for transformer windings showing which end of the winding is which. which were required to supply low voltage for the tubes’ filaments (typically 6 or 12 volts) and high voltage for the tubes’ plates (several hundred volts) from a nominal primary voltage of 110 volts AC.29: Transformer with multiple secondaries.5. • The phase relationships for voltage and current between primary and secondary circuits of a transformer are direct: ideally. this design of transformer was quite common in vacuum tube power supply circuits. secondary red to dot. zero phase shift.5 Winding configurations Transformers are very versatile devices. Not only are voltages and currents of completely different magnitudes possible with such a transformer. In fact. provides multiple output voltages.29) load #1 load #2 Figure 9. It is entirely possible to assemble a transformer such as the one above (one primary winding.9. Consider this transformer circuit: (Figure 9. WINDING CONFIGURATIONS 243 Figure 9. three inductor coils share a common magnetic core. The relationship of winding turn ratios and voltage ratios seen with a single pair of mutual inductors still holds true here for multiple pairs of coils. relative to the other windings. Here. . two secondary windings) in which one secondary winding is a step-down and the other is a step-up. 9. but transformers don’t have to be made with just two sets of windings. The basic concept of energy transfer between mutual inductors is useful enough between a single primary and single secondary coil. but all circuits are electrically isolated from one another. magnetically “coupling” or “linking” them together.

Not surprisingly. a primary and five secondaries. This fact can be exploited to produce a transformer capable of multiple ratios: (Figure 9. TRANSFORMERS Figure 9.32) Carrying the concept of winding taps further. The wires for this transformer (15 of them!) are not shown in the photograph. a similar effect can be obtained by “tapping” a single secondary winding at multiple points along its length. One transformer with multiple windings suffices elegantly to provide all the necessary voltage levels from a single 115 V source.244 CHAPTER 9.30: Photograph of multiple-winding transformer with six windings. Low voltage is required to power the filaments of vacuum tubes.30 is intended to provide both high and low voltages necessary in an electronic system using vacuum tubes. while high voltage is required to create the potential difference between the plate and cathode elements of each tube. the winding turn/voltage magnitude relationship of a normal transformer holds true for all tapped segments of windings. The transformer in Figure 9. If electrical isolation between secondary circuits is not of great importance. being hidden from view. load #1 load #2 Figure 9.31: A single tapped secondary provides multiple voltages.31. we end up with a “variable transformer.” . A tap is nothing more than a wire connection made at some point on a winding between the very ends. like Figure 9.

but multi-pole switches and winding taps are common for voltage adjustment. much more efficient than control using a variable resistor! Moving-slide contacts are too impractical to be used in large industrial power transformer designs. . Typically. The effect is equivalent to having a winding tap at every turn of the winding. able to connect with it at any point along its length. where a sliding contact is moved along the length of an exposed secondary winding. Adjustments need to be made periodically in power systems to accommodate changes in loads over months or years in time. and a switch with poles at every tap position: (Figure 9. and these switching circuits provide a convenient means.5. especially the train sets of the 1950’s and 1960’s.33) Variable transformer load Figure 9. the highest voltage obtainable from the secondary winding being substantially less than the primary voltage of 110 to 120 volts AC.32: A tapped secondary using a switch to select one of many possible voltages.33: A sliding contact on the secondary continuously varies the secondary voltage. WINDING CONFIGURATIONS 245 multi-pole switch load Figure 9.9. These transformers were essentially step-down units. One consumer application of the variable transformer is in speed controls for model train sets. The variable-sweep contact provided a simple means of voltage control with little wasted power.

35: This auto transformer steps voltage down with a single copper-saving tapped winding.34) Autotransformer load Figure 9.246 CHAPTER 9. but must be actuated only when the transformer has been de-energized (no power). saving copper. it makes sense that it should be possible to forego electrical isolation altogether and build a transformer from a single winding. A step-down autotransformer would look something like Figure 9. Indeed this is possible. . Autotransformer load Figure 9. sacrificing isolation. TRANSFORMERS such “tap switches” are not engineered to handle full-load current. and the resulting device is called an autotransformer: (Figure 9. The autotransformer depicted above performs a voltage step-up function.34: This autotransformer steps voltage up with a single tapped winding. Seeing as how we can tap any transformer winding to obtain the equivalent of several windings (albeit with loss of electrical isolation between them).35.

the “boosting” configuration. autotransformer windings can be tapped to provide variations in ratio.36 the secondary coil’s polarity is oriented so that its voltage directly adds to the primary voltage. the “bucking” configuration. The latter configuration is popular enough to have earned itself its own name: the Variac. secondary. Next.38) Small variacs for benchtop use are popular pieces of equipment for the electronics experimenter. The prime advantage of an autotransformer is that the same boosting or bucking function is obtained with only a single winding. In Figure 9. WINDING CONFIGURATIONS 247 Autotransformers find popular use in applications requiring a slight boost or reduction in voltage to a load. (Figure 9. and load voltages are given to illustrate how this would work.37: Ordinary transformer wired as an autotransformer to buck the line voltage down.36: Ordinary transformer wired as an autotransformer to boost the line voltage. "boosting" 120 V 30 V 150 V Figure 9. being able to step household AC voltage down (or sometimes up as well) with a wide. In Figure 9. fine range of control by a simple twist of a knob. .37 the secondary coil’s polarity is oriented so that its voltage directly subtracts from the primary voltage: "bucking" 120 V 30 V 90 V Figure 9.9. Additionally. they can be made continuously variable with a sliding contact to tap the winding at any point along its length. The alternative with a normal (isolated) transformer would be to either have just the right primary/secondary winding ratio made for the job or use a step-down configuration with the secondary winding connected in series-aiding (“boosting”) or series-opposing (“bucking”) fashion. First. Primary. making it cheaper and lighter to manufacture than a regular (isolating) transformer having both primary and secondary windings. Like regular transformers.5.

The degree of variance is affected by the primary and secondary winding inductances. of course. not the least of which includes winding resistance and the degree of mutual inductance (magnetic coupling) between the primary and secondary windings. tapped inductor coil used to step up or step down voltage like a transformer.248 CHAPTER 9.38: A variac is an autotransformer with a sliding tap. For power transformer applications. where the transformer is seen by the load (ideally) as a constant source of voltage. even with a constant voltage input. • Transformer windings can also be “tapped:” that is. except without providing electrical isolation. intersected at many points to segment a single winding into sections.6 Voltage regulation As we saw in a few SPICE analyses earlier in this chapter. • Variable transformers can be made by providing a movable arm that sweeps across the length of a winding. TRANSFORMERS The "Variac" variable autotransformer load Figure 9. The measure of how well a power transformer maintains constant secondary voltage over a range of load currents is called the transformer’s voltage regulation. 9. The winding. among other factors. the output voltage of a transformer varies some with varying load resistances.Efull-load Efull-load (100%) . it is good to have the secondary voltage vary as little as possible for wide variances in load current. It can be calculated from the following formula: Regulation percentage = Eno-load . making contact with the winding at any point along its length. • REVIEW: • Transformers can be equipped with more than just a single primary and single secondary winding pair. has to be bare (no insulation) in the area where the arm sweeps. • A Variac is a variable autotransformer. This allows for multiple step-up and/or step-down ratios in the same device. • An autotransformer is a single.

end freq 6.print ac v(2.00 volts AC: freq 6.5) 9.” Calculating voltage regulation with these figures. This operating point will be determined primarily by the winding wire size (ampacity) and the method of transformer cooling.990 volts at (virtually) no load and 9. Powering a simple resistive load like this.962E+00 v(3.000E+01 v(3.000E+01 v(3. we see that our output (secondary) voltage spans a range of 9.000E+01 freq 6.990 V . let’s compare the output voltage with a 1 kΩ load versus a 200 Ω load (assuming that the 200 Ω load will be our “full load” condition). Taking our first SPICE transformer simulation as an example.348 V 9. Recall if you will that our constant primary voltage was 10.348E+00 i(vi1) 9.5) 9.990E+00 i(v1) lin 1 60 60 .653E-04 i(vi1) 1.110E-12 Output with (almost) no load So. a good power transformer should exhibit .000E+01 freq 6.9.8678 % Incidentally.674E-02 Output with 1k ohm load Output with 200 ohm load Notice how the output voltage decreases as the load gets heavier (more current).print ac v(3. this would be considered rather poor (or “loose”) regulation for a power transformer.0) i(v1) .962E-03 i(vi1) 4. VOLTAGE REGULATION 249 “Full-load” means the point at which the transformer is operating at maximum permissible secondary current.348 V (100%) Regulation percentage = 6.5) i(vi1) .5) 9.000E+01 v(2) 1.6.9. we get: Regulation percentage = 9.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 9e12 .348 volts at the point we decided to call “full load. Now let’s take that same transformer circuit and place a load resistance of extremely high magnitude across the secondary winding to simulate a “no-load” condition: (See ”transformer” spice list”) transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.

its iron core is “stuffed full” of magnetic lines of flux for a large portion of the AC cycle so that variations in supply voltage (primary winding current) have little effect on the core’s magnetic flux density. which is available for sustaining output winding voltage for brief periods of input voltage loss (milliseconds’ worth of time. Some arc welder designs provide arc current adjustment by means of a movable iron core in the transformer. then the voltage is expected to drop off once the lamp begins to draw current. a step-up transformer with poor voltage regulation suffices nicely for the task of conditioning power to the lamp. but certainly better than nothing). but like the discharge lamp. core saturation in a transformer results in distortion of the sinewave shape. Ferroresonant transformers offer several features useful in AC power conditioning: constant output voltage given substantial variations in input voltage. which diminishes no-load secondary voltage and makes for poorer voltage regulation. which means the secondary winding outputs a nearly constant voltage despite significant variations in supply (primary winding) voltage. where poor regulation is actually desired. cranked in or out of the winding assembly by the operator. There are some applications. this resonant circuit also “filters out” harmonic frequencies generated by nonlinear (switching) loads in the secondary winding circuit and any harmonics present in the source voltage. and the ability to “ride through” brief losses in power by keeping a reserve of energy in its resonant tank circuit. an arc doesn’t require as much voltage to sustain itself once the air has been heated to the point of ionization. harmonic filtering between the power source and the load. and provides the added benefit of storing energy in the form of AC oscillations. the ferroresonant transformer is a power transformer engineered to operate in a condition of persistent core saturation. however. That is. (Figure 9. Moving the iron slug away from the windings reduces the strength of magnetic coupling between the windings. No exposition on transformer regulation could be called complete without mention of an unusual device called a ferroresonant transformer. These transformers are also highly tolerant . One such case is in discharge lighting. high-current power for the welding process. In this case. “Ferroresonance” is a phenomenon associated with the behavior of iron cores while operating near a point of magnetic saturation (where the core is so strongly magnetized that further increases in winding current results in little or no increase in magnetic flux).39) In addition to blocking harmonics created by the saturated core. Inductive loads tend to create a condition of worse voltage regulation.250 CHAPTER 9. Normally. and the ferroresonant transformer is no exception. TRANSFORMERS a regulation percentage of less than 3%. While being somewhat difficult to describe without going deep into electromagnetic theory. so this analysis with purely resistive loads was a “best-case” condition. Thus. where a step-up transformer is required to initially generate a high voltage (necessary to “ignite” the lamps). providing “clean” power to the load. Another application is in current control for AC arc welders. ferroresonant transformers have an auxiliary secondary winding paralleled with one or more capacitors. which are nothing more than step-down transformers supplying low-voltage. To combat this side effect. forming a resonant circuit tuned to the power supply frequency. This “tank circuit” serves as a filter to reject harmonics created by the core saturation. This is because discharge lamps’ voltage requirements tend to be much lower after a current has been established through the arc path. A high voltage is desired to assist in “striking” the arc (getting it started). a decrease of secondary voltage under high load current would be a good thing.

in fact. Voltages produced in the resonant winding/capacitor circuit tend to be very high. allowing a load to be switched from one source of power to another in a “make-before-break” fashion with no interruption of power on the secondary side! Unfortunately. may prioritize the ferroresonant transformer’s advantages over its disadvantages. The purpose of a load (usually) is to do something productive with the power it dissipates. They are so tolerant. but none can compete with this transformer in terms of sheer simplicity. Some applications. and because power is transferred equivalently between primary and secondary windings. though.7 9. generating significant heat in the process. The lower the percentage (closer to zero).1 Special transformers and applications Impedance matching Because transformers can step voltage and current to different levels. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 251 AC power output AC power input Resonant LC circuit Figure 9. they can be used to “convert” the impedance of a load to a different level. that some may be briefly paralleled with unsynchronized AC power sources. That last phrase deserves some explanation. • REVIEW: • Voltage regulation is the measure of how well a power transformer can maintain constant secondary voltage given a constant primary voltage and wide variance in load current. which means they don’t work very well when powered by small engine-driven generators having poor speed regulation. • A ferroresonant transformer is a special transformer designed to regulate voltage at a stable level despite wide variation in input voltage. these devices have equally noteworthy disadvantages: they waste a lot of energy (due to hysteresis losses in the saturated core). In the case of a resistive heating element. Semiconductor circuits exist to “condition” AC power as an alternative to ferroresonant devices. and are intolerant of frequency variations. the practical purpose for the power dissipated is to .39: Ferroresonant transformer provides voltage regulation of the output. so let’s investigate what it means.9. of excessive loading and transient (momentary) voltage surges. 9.7. the more stable the secondary voltage and the better the regulation it will provide. necessitating expensive capacitors and presenting the service technician with very dangerous working voltages.7.

but they do so at different voltage and current levels (either 250 volts and 4 amps.625 Ω load impedance. Take a close look at the primary circuit figures: 125 volts at 8 amps.40) I=4A 250 V Rload 62. With a step-up transformer.5). we arrive at figures of 62. The impedance of the heater and the voltage of our source would be mismatched. In other words. not a 62. If these are AC loads.5 Ω Pload = 1000 W I=8A 125 V Rload 15. we could operate the 250 volt heater element on the 125 volt power system like Figure 9. Consider these two 1000 watt resistive heating elements: (Figure 9.625 Ω (R=E/I) load at 125 volts. but it has transformed impedance as well.40: Heating elements dissipate 1000 watts.5 Ω load! The voltage and current figures for the primary winding are indicative of 15.5 Ω and 15. and we couldn’t obtain the full rated power dissipation from the heater. respectively. though. or 125 volts and 8 amps). TRANSFORMERS heat something up. The transformation ratio of impedance is the square of the voltage/current transformation ratio. or one-quarter of its rated power.41. the same as the winding inductance ratio: . not the actual 62.” its powering a 15. I=8A 125 V I=4A 250 V Rload 62. the current would only be 2 amps (I=E/R. All hope is not lost. 125/62. As far as the power supply “knows. Using Ohm’s Law to determine the necessary resistance of these heating elements (R=E/I). we would end up being disappointed. at different voltage and current ratings. although in this case that’s all they’re composed of (no reactance). With 62. Both heaters dissipate exactly 1000 watts of power. 125 x 2). and the power dissipation would only be 250 watts (P=IE. not only has our step-up transformer transformed voltage and current.625 Ω. we might refer to their opposition to current in terms of impedance rather than plain resistance. but two loads of equal power rating are not necessarily identical.625 Ω Pload = 1000 W Figure 9.5 Ω of the load itself.252 CHAPTER 9.41: Step-up transformer operates 1000 watt 250 V heater from 125 V power source The ratio of the transformer’s windings provides the voltage step-up and current step-down we need for the otherwise mismatched load to operate properly on this system. Loads are engineered to safely dissipate a certain maximum amount of power. If we desired to operate the 250 volt heater element directly on a 125 volt power system. The 250 volt heater would be said to be a higher impedance load than the 125 volt heater.5 Ω of impedance (resistance).5 Ω 1000 watts dissipation at the load resistor ! Figure 9.

Such a load would drop higher voltage and draw less current than an 8 Ω speaker dissipating the same amount of power. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 253 Voltage transformation ratio = Nsecondary Nprimary Nprimary Nsecondary 2 Current transformation ratio = Impedance transformation ratio = Nsecondary Nprimary 2 Inductance ratio = Where. Let’s take an audio amplifier system and see how it works: (Figure 9. we can use a transformer to match these mismatched impedances.9. Substitute the word “impedance” for “resistance” in that definition and you have the AC version of that Theorem. high current) load. we must be able to properly match the load impedance and source (Thevenin/Norton) impedance together. which states that the maximum amount of power will be dissipated by a load resistance when that load resistance is equal to the Thevenin/Norton resistance of the network supplying the power. the amplifier can only deliver full power to a load (speaker) also having 500 Ω of impedance. With such a transformer in place. or 7. the speaker will load the amplifier to just the right degree.5 Ω to 15. the amplifier would tend to dissipate more than its fair share of power in the form of heat trying to drive the low impedance speaker. Additionally.43) To obtain an impedance transformation ratio of 500:8. Nsecondary Nprimary N = number of turns in winding This concurs with our example of the 2:1 step-up transformer and the impedance ratio of 62. low current) supply to a low impedance (low voltage. we would need a winding ratio equal to the square root of 500:8 (the square root of 62. the impedance mismatch would result in very poor (low peak power) performance. This is generally more of a concern in specialized electric circuits such as radio transmitter/antenna and audio amplifier/speaker systems. If an 8 Ω speaker were connected directly to the 500 Ω amplifier as shown. To make this system work better. drawing power at the correct voltage and current levels to satisfy the Maximum Power Transfer Theorem and make for the . we’ll need to use a step-down transformer: (Figure 9. Recall from our study of network analysis the Maximum Power Transfer Theorem.5:1. If we’re trying to obtain theoretical maximum power dissipation from a load. Impedance transformation is a highly useful ability of transformers.625 Ω (a 4:1 ratio. which is 2:1 squared).42) With an internal impedance of 500 Ω.7.906:1). Since we’re going from a high impedance (high voltage. for it allows a load to dissipate its full rated power even if the power system is not at the proper voltage to directly do so.

impedance "matching" transformer Audio amplifier Thevenin/Norton Z = 500 Ω impedance ratio = 500 : 8 Speaker Z=8Ω winding ratio = 7.42: Amplifier with impedance of 500 Ω drives 8 Ω at much less than maximum power. equivalent to . Speaker Z=8Ω ZThevenin EThevenin 500 Ω Speaker Z=8Ω Figure 9. . TRANSFORMERS Audio amplifier Thevenin/Norton Z = 500 Ω .43: Impedance matching transformer matches 500 Ω amplifier to 8 Ω speaker for maximum efficiency. . . .254 CHAPTER 9. .906 : 1 Figure 9.

SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 255 most efficient power delivery to the load.45) . The purpose of the bicycle’s “gears” is to impedance-match the rider’s legs to the riding conditions so that they always spin the crank at the optimum speed.7. In AC circuits. transformers perform the same matching function as the sprockets and chain (“gears”) on a bicycle to match otherwise mismatched sources and loads. A small impedance-matching transformer (about two centimeters in width) for audio-frequency applications is shown in the following photograph: (Figure 9.9. is the lack of speed an indication of weakness in the bicyclist’s legs? No. its because the lower speed ratio of the selected gear creates another type of mismatch between the conditions (low load) and the rider’s legs (losing power if spinning faster than 90 RPM).44) Figure 9.44: Audio frequency impedance matching transformer. It is labeled “T1”: (Figure 9. Anyone who has ridden a multi-speed bicycle can intuitively understand the principle of impedance matching. but limit the top speed they will be able to attain. Impedance matching transformers are not fundamentally different from any other type of transformer in construction or appearance. to the immediate left of resistors R2 and R1 . On the other hand. Above or below that rotational speed. Is it because the rider is weak? No. A human’s legs will produce maximum power when spinning the bicycle crank at a particular speed (about 60 to 90 revolution per minute). The use of a transformer in this capacity is called impedance matching. If the rider attempts to start moving while the bicycle is shifted into its “top” gear. Another impedance-matching transformer can be seen on this printed circuit board. he or she will find it very difficult to get moving. Again. It is much the same with electric power sources and loads: there must be an impedance match for maximum system efficiency. its because the high step-up ratio of the bicycle’s chain and sprockets in that top gear presents a mismatch between the conditions (lots of inertia to overcome) and their legs (needing to spin at 60-90 RPM for maximum power output). in the upper right corner. selecting a gear that is too low will enable the rider to get moving immediately. human leg muscles are less efficient at generating power.

and the electrical isolation they provide. by using a precision step-down transformer. and isolate it from the instrument connections. not to mention the design of the voltmeter itself.8 kV power system (a very common power distribution voltage in American industry): (Figure 9.7. Suppose we wanted to accurately measure the voltage of a 13.47) . However.2 Potential transformers Transformers can also be used in electrical instrumentation systems. 9. top right. we can reduce the 13. they can serve as a way of connecting electrical instrumentation to high-voltage.46: Direct measurement of high voltage by a voltmeter is a potential safety hazard. and maintaining a voltmeter capable of directly measuring 13.45: Printed circuit board mounted audio impedance matching transformer.800 volts AC would be no easy task. adding an additional level of safety to the metering system: (Figure 9. TRANSFORMERS Figure 9. high current power systems. installing.8 kV conductors into an instrument panel would be severe.256 CHAPTER 9.8 kV load Figure 9. The safety hazard alone of bringing 13.46) high-voltage power source 13.8 kV down to a safe level of voltage at a constant ratio. Designing. Due to transformers’ ability to step up or step down voltage and current.

As you can see. we can use a transformer to step down current through a power line so that we are able to safely and easily measure high system currents with inexpensive ammeters. To aid in precise voltage regulation. Of course.8 kV load fuse fuse precision step-down ratio PT grounded for safety V 0-120 VAC voltmeter range Figure 9.48). This lends itself well to industry standardization of the actual voltmeter instruments themselves. Potential transformers are designed to provide as accurate a voltage step-down ratio as possible. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 257 high-voltage power source 13. or ratio.7. like (Figure 9. Note that while the PT is a step-down device. since the PT will be sized to step the system voltage down to this standard instrument level. PTs with custom winding ratios can be manufactured to suit any application. CTs are built as donut-shaped devices through which the power line conductor is run. of the actual system voltage. the transformer is called a Potential Transformer.3 Current transformers Following the same line of thinking.47: Instrumentation application:“Potential transformer” precisely scales dangerous high voltage to a safe value applicable to a conventional voltmeter. a fuse has been connected in series with the PTs primary winding.7. A standard secondary voltage for a PT is 120 volts AC. allowing insertion around a power conductor without . for safety and ease of disconnecting the PT from the circuit. The standard voltmeter range to accompany a PT is 150 volts. or simply PT. so there is no direct connection between the power lines and the instrument or instrument wiring. the power line itself acting as a single-turn primary winding: (Figure 9. its scale set to read as though it were measuring the voltage directly. The transformer keeps the instrument voltage at a safe level and electrically isolates it from the power system.9. such a transformer would be connected in series with the power line. Quite often. for full-rated power line voltage. which is what is needed to step down the power line current. When used in this capacity. full-scale.49) Some CTs are made to hinge open. Now the voltmeter reads a precise fraction. the Current Transformer (or CT ) is a step-up device (with respect to voltage). 9. loading is kept to a minimum: the voltmeter is made to have high input impedance so as to draw as little current from the PT as possible.

258 CHAPTER 9.49: Current conductor to be measured is threaded through the opening. .48: Instrumentation application: “Currrent transformer” steps high current down to a value applicable to a conventional ammeter. Figure 9. TRANSFORMERS grounded for 0-5 A ammeter range safety A Instrument application: the "Current Transformer" CT 13.8 kV load fuse fuse precision step-down ratio PT grounded for safety V 0-120 VAC voltmeter range Figure 9. Scaled down current is available on wire leads.

To facilitate maintenance of ammeter instrumentation.7. short-circuiting switches are often installed in parallel with the CT’s secondary winding. usually a hollow tube of some material. is the air core transformer. That is.50: Short-circuit switch allows ammeter to be removed from an active current transformer circuit. when the conductor through the center of the torus is carrying 50 amps of current (AC).4 Air core transformers Another kind of special transformer. it is perfectly proper and quite necessary when working with current transformers.9. Because their “full load” secondary current is 5 amps. which are low-impedance loads. Failure to heed this warning will result in the CT producing extremely high secondary voltages. The degree of coupling (mutual inductance) between windings in such a transformer is many times less than that . CTs can be made with custom winding ratios to fit almost any application. ever be operated with an open-circuited secondary winding. 9. CT ratios are usually described in terms of full-load primary amps to 5 amps.51) True to its name. an air core transformer has its windings wrapped around a nonmagnetic form. they should never. (Figure 9. Like PTs. like this: 600 : 5 ratio (for measuring up to 600 A line current) 100 : 5 ratio (for measuring up to 100 A line current) 1k : 5 ratio (for measuring up to 1000 A line current) The “donut” CT shown in the photograph has a ratio of 50:5. Because CTs are designed to be powering ammeters. and they are wound as voltage step-up transformers. Though it may seem strange to intentionally short-circuit a power system component.7. there will be 5 amps of current induced in the CT’s winding. to be closed whenever the ammeter is removed for service: (Figure 9.50) power conductor CT ground connection (for safety) current close switch BEFORE disconnecting ammeter! 0-5 A meter movement range Figure 9. dangerous to equipment and personnel alike. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 259 disturbing the conductor at all. The industry standard secondary current for a CT is a range of 0 to 5 amps AC. seen often in radio-frequency circuits.

51). The over winding is connected between a radio antenna and ground for one such application. This implies a 1:1 turns ratio. polyphase AC power systems. 9. Unshielded air core solenoid transformers are mounted at right angles to each other to prevent stray coupling.260 CHAPTER 9. the degree of coupling suffers. . could match unequal impedances when DC isolation is not required. Toroidal air core transformers are rare except for VHF (Very High Frequency) work. The secondary is tuned to resonance with a variable capacitor. Core materials other than air such as powdered iron or ferrite are preferred for lower radio frequencies. but the undesirable characteristics of a ferromagnetic core (eddy current losses. simply broadcasting it in the form of radio waves which could be received and conducted to loads by means of antennas. (Figure (a) 9. Small millimeter size air core transformers are used in radio receivers.51) Toroidal air core transformers also show a higher degree of coupling. Air core transformers are used at radio frequencies when iron core losses are too high. The largest radio transmitters may use meter sized coils. particularly for bifilar windings. TRANSFORMERS of an equivalent iron-core transformer. The Tesla Coil is a resonant. Bifilar winding on toroidal form (b). Three or four wires may be grouped for 1:2 and other integral ratios.52. (Figure (b) 9. Center tapped primary with secondary (a). Windings do not have to be bifilar. The basic schematic for a Tesla Coil is shown in Figure 9. The output may be taken from the tap point for amplification or detection. (a) (b) Figure 9. Bifilar windings are wound from a slightly twisted pair of wires. and many elements of radio technology. etc. One of Tesla’s dreams was to employ his coil technology to distribute electric power without the need for wires. high-frequency step-up transformer used to produce extremely high voltages. who was also the inventor of the rotating magnetic field AC motor.) are completely eliminated. Stray coupling is minimized when the transformer is wound on a toroid form.5 Tesla Coil One notable example of an air-core transformer is the Tesla Coil.51: Air core transformers may be wound on cylindrical (a) or toroidal (b) forms. However. hysteresis. It is in highfrequency applications that these effects of iron cores are most problematic. When isolation is required the over winding is added over one end of the main winding. saturation. The inside tapped solenoid winding. Frequently air core transformers are paralleled with a capacitor to tune it to resonance. This allows arbitrary turns ratios. named after the Serbian electrical genius Nikola Tesla. without the over winding.7.

its low impedance acts to complete the capacitor/primary coil tank circuit. relying on the parasitic (stray) capacitance existing between the discharge terminal and earth ground to complement the secondary winding’s inductance.53) HIGH voltage! HIGH frequency! RFC high voltage low frequency RFC spark gap Figure 9. with energy exchanged not only between capacitors and inductors during resonant oscillation. When the spark gap fires. in conjunction with the transformer’s primary winding. For optimum operation. The purpose of the high-voltage. but also back-and-forth between . the simplest being a high-voltage.9.” which act as high impedances to prevent the AC source from interfering with the oscillating tank circuit. The “RFC” inductors are “Radio Frequency Chokes. The secondary winding is wound in close proximity to the primary. this secondary tank circuit is tuned to the same resonant frequency as the primary circuit. The secondary side of the Tesla coil transformer is also a tank circuit.52: Tesla Coil: A few heavy primary turns. forms a tank circuit. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 261 discharge terminal "Tesla Coil" Figure 9. low-frequency AC power source is to “charge” the primary tank circuit. low-frequency AC source and spark gap: (Figure 9.53: System level diagram of Tesla coil with spark gap drive. many secondary turns. usually around the same nonmagnetic form. The capacitor. allowing it to oscillate at its resonant frequency. Several options exist for “exciting” the primary circuit.7.

Tesla Coils find application primarily as novelty devices. It should be noted that Tesla coils can be extremely dangerous devices. 9.54) Figure 9. unlike skin burns caused by contact with hot objects or flames.7. TRANSFORMERS primary and secondary windings. . basement workshops.6 Saturable reactors So far. The visual results are spectacular: (Figure 9. Burns caused by radio-frequency (“RF”) current. and even impedance from one circuit to another.54: High voltage high frequency discharge from Tesla coil.262 CHAPTER 9. we’ve explored the transformer as a device for converting different levels of voltage. current. this does not mean Tesla coils cannot hurt or even kill you! I strongly advise seeking the assistance of an experienced Tesla coil experimenter if you would embark on building one yourself. showing up in high school science fairs. In this mode. Now we’ll take a look at it as a completely different kind of device: one that allows a small electrical signal to exert control over a much larger quantity of electrical power. like all electrical burns. Although the high-frequency discharge of a Tesla coil has the curious property of being beyond the “shock perception” frequency of the human nervous system. and the occasional low budget science-fiction movie. a transformer acts as an amplifier. can be very deep.

it is not really a transformer at all. Actually. this will result in a change in current: (Figure 9. and the number of winding turns in the inductor. then its reactance (and impedance) to AC current changes as well. but rather a special kind of inductor whose inductance can be varied by the application of a DC current through a second winding wound around the same iron core. no further magnetic flux will result from further increases in current.55) L load I Figure 9. . decreasing its impedance. A saturable reactor capitalizes on this effect by forcing the core into a state of saturation with a strong magnetic field generated by current through another winding. an inductor loses its inductance (ability to oppose changes in current) when its core becomes magnetically saturated. additional increases in current through the magnetizing winding will not result in further increases of magnetic flux. When a material such as iron is completely saturated (that is. Now. the DC control current is able to exert control over the AC current delivered to the load.7.56) The strange-looking transformer symbol shown in the above schematic represents a saturablecore reactor. In other words. and increasing current to the load. The circuit shown would work. driving it closer to a condition of saturation. Like the ferroresonant transformer.55: If L changes in inductance. Increased DC control current produces more magnetic flux in the reactor core. inductance is the measure of how well an inductor opposes changes in current by developing a voltage in an opposing direction. ZL will correspondingly change. If an inductor’s inductance changes. and so there will be no voltage induced in opposition to the change in current. The first problem is the natural transformer action of the saturable reactor: AC current through the power winding will induce a voltage in the control winding. The ability of an inductor to generate this opposing voltage is directly connected with the change in magnetic flux inside the inductor resulting from the change in current. the saturable reactor relies on the principle of magnetic saturation. In a circuit with a constant voltage source. all its magnetic domains are lined up with the applied magnetizing force). but it would not work very well. and the “control” winding is one carrying a DC current strong enough to drive the core into saturation: (Figure 9. or simply saturable reactor. the upper winding being the DC control winding and the lower being the “power” winding through which the controlled AC current goes.9. thus decreasing the power winding’s inductance. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 263 The device I’m referring to is called a saturable-core reactor. thus changing the circuit current. which may cause trouble for the DC power source. If an inductor has a saturated core. The reactor’s “power” winding is the one carrying the AC load current. Thus.

56: DC. via the control winding. Thus. the mmf ’s from both windings add.264 CHAPTER 9. impedance. one reactor will saturate more in one cycle of the AC . Fortunately. Furthermore. Thus. and current.57: Out of phase DC control windings allow symmetrical of control AC.57) load I Figure 9. modulating the power winding inductance. saturable reactors tend to regulate AC power only in one direction: in one half of the AC cycle. both problems can be overcome with a little ingenuity: (Figure 9. passing load current more easily in one direction than the other.” If both reactors are identical. since the DC control current through both reactors produces magnetic fluxes in different directions through the reactor cores. any voltage induced in the control windings by load current through the power windings will cancel out to zero at the battery terminals. Notice the placement of the phasing dots on the two reactors: the power windings are “in phase” while the control windings are “out of phase. saturates the core. in the other half. Also. the core will have more flux in it during one half of the AC cycle than the other. and will saturate first in that cycle half. they subtract. thus eliminating the first problem mentioned. TRANSFORMERS saturable reactor load I Figure 9.

7. thus equalizing the control action through each half-cycle so that the AC power is “throttled” symmetrically. [1] 3-phase23 = V∠0° 3-phase31 = V∠120° 3-phase12 = V∠240° Y1 86. .7. or in a single reactor design with intelligent layout of the windings and core. the more transmission line efficient 3-phase system became more prominent. and bandwidth (frequency response).58: Scott-T transformer converts 2-φ to 3-φ. if not practical application.5 km (22 mi) three-phase transmission line operated at 11 kV to transmit power to Buffalo. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 265 power while the other reactor will saturate more in the other. weight. 9. Yamamoto and Yamaguchi: In 1896. Saturable reactor technology has even been miniaturized to the circuit-board level in compact packages more generally known as magnetic amplifiers. namely size. normally requiring the use of physically fragile vacuum tubes or electrically “fragile” semiconductor devices. Both 2-φ and 3-φ components coexisted for a number of years. as transmission distances increased. or vice versa. I personally find this to be fascinating: the effect of amplification (one electrical signal controlling another). General Electric built a 35. Saturable-core reactors are less commonly known as “saturable-core inductors” or transductors. The Scott-T transformer connection allowed 2-φ and 3-φ components like motors and alternators to be interconnected. can be realized in a device both physically and electrically rugged. but their utter simplicity still commands a certain degree of appreciation. from the Niagara Falls Project. Magnetic amplifiers do have disadvantages over their more fragile counterparts.9. nonlinearity. The two-phase generated power was changed to three-phase by the use of Scott-T transformations. New York. However.6% tap R3 2-phase2 = V∠90° R4 50% tap Y2 R2 T1 T2 Y3 2-phase1 = V∠0° R1 Figure 9. This phasing of control windings can be accomplished with two separate reactors as shown.7 Scott-T transformer Nikola Tesla’s original polyphase power system was based on simple to build 2-phase components.

6% .6% secondary winding is a 3-φ output.866 90o .6% tap. In Figure 9.5(1+j0)+0.6% of 90o from 50% of 180o yields -120o or 240o .5 0o + 0. The T1 center tapped secondary produces opposite polarities of 0.266 CHAPTER 9. One end of the T2 86. V23 .5+j0. VP 12 = V2P 1 .866V2P2 = 0.866 90o .VBA = 0 (1) KVL: V12 = VAC (2) KVL: V31 = -VCB +VBD (3) KVL: V23 = -VDB .866V(0+j1) VCB = VBA = 0.866V∠90° = 0.5 and 0. TRANSFORMERS The Scott-T transformer set.5)V∠0°-0. This 0o is vectorially subtracted from T2 secondary voltage due to the KVL equations V31 . At (c) 1 120o = -0.50% +B - . Figure 9. The three output phases are 1 120o and 1 240o from (c). V23 . The T2 secondary voltage is 0. one of the 3-φ voltages is identical to a 2-φ voltage due to the 1:1 transformer T1 ratio.5V(1+j0) D V23 − + T2 Y3 R3 + V31 + − + V2P2 − + 86. At (b) the vectors are scaled by transformers T1 and T2 to 0.6% of 90o to 50% of 180o we get 120o . to keep track of the Kirchhoff voltage loop polarities.866V∠90°=V(-0.58.5V∠0° = 0.5)V∠0°+0. In Figure 9.866 respectively.R4 + + Y1 R1 A Y2 R2 T1 + − + − V12 V2P1 V12 = V2P1 = V∠0° V31 = (-0.5(1+j0)-0.866V∠90°=V(-0. Subtracting 0o is equivalent to adding 180o .866V2P 2 due to the 86.5V2P1 = 0.866(0+j1))=V(-0. subtracted at V23 in the KVL equations. First. the other end is connected to the T1 secondary center tap. The primaries of both transformers are connected to the 2-φ voltages.60 we graphically show the 2-φ vectors at (a).0.6% tapped transformer T2 on the 3-φ side of the circuit. consists of a center tapped transformer T1 and an 86. Keep in mind that this 2nd phase of the 2-φ is 90o . we use vectors in both polar and complex notation to prove that the Scott-T converts a pair of 2-φ voltages to 3-φ. Both ends of the T1 secondary are the other two 3-φ connections. More common these days is the application of 3-φ power to produce a 2-φ output for driving an old 2-φ motor. . Subtracting 86.59.5 0o .59: Scott-T transformer 2-φ to 3-φ conversion equations.866(0+j1))=V(-0. Application of 2-φ Niagara generator power produced a 3-φ output for the more efficient 3-φ transmission line.866V2P 2 is added at V31 .866)=V∠−120°=V∠240° Figure 9. V31 : V12=V2P1 =Vsin(θ+0°)=V∠0°=V(1+j0) (1) KVL: -V12 +VAC = 0 (2) KVL: -V31 -VCB +VBD = 0 (3) KVL: -V23 = -VDB . Given two 90° phased voltages: V2P1 =Vsin(θ+0°)=V∠0°=V(1+j0) V2P2 =Vsin(θ+90°)=Vcos(θ)=V∠90°=V(0+j1) Derive the three phase voltages V12 . We show “DC” polarities all over this AC only circuit. along with input 1 0o (a).VBA C VDB = 0. The bottom line is when we add 86. This 0.5+-j0.866)=V∠120° V23 =(-0. and 1 240o = -0.5V2P 1 on the secondary ends.

61: LVDT: linear variable differential transformer.866V∠90° 1∠120° -0. the voltage on this coil increases as the voltage decreases across the top coil. As the core is moved toward the top winding. Moving the slug up increases V13 .9. and 180o out of phase with V3 . the top winding. It is extended outside the body by an non-magnetic rod. Units are available for measuring displacement over a distance of a fraction of a millimeter to a half a meter. . a centered slug yields equal voltages across both coils. bottom winding. LVDT’s are rugged and dirt resistant compared to linear optical encoders.866V∠90° 1∠240° 267 1∠90° 1∠0° a b c 1∠0°. the series-opposing wired secondaries cancel yielding V13 = 0. If the core is moved toward the bottom winding. With a centered slug. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 0. The LVDT is a displacement or distance measuring transducer. 1∠90° yields 1∠−120° .8 Linear Variable Differential Transformer A linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) has an AC driven primary wound between two secondaries on a cylindrical air core form. the voltage across this coil increases due to increased coupling. Note that it is in-phase with with V1 . However. The excitation voltage is in the range of 0. Theoretically.7. (Figure 9.5∠0° -0. it is 180o out of phase with with V1 .59. with a 180o phase reversal in passing the center.5 to 10 VAC at a frequency of 1 to 200 Khz. up V1 V1 V2 V13 V3 V3 center down Figure 9. bottom winding. In practice leakage inductance prevents the null from dropping all the way to 0 V.7. A ferrite core is suitable at these frequencies.61) A movable ferromagnetic slug converts displacement to a variable voltage by changing the coupling between the driven primary and secondary windings. while the voltage on the bottom coil decreases. and in-phase with V3 .5∠0° -0. Moving the slug from top to bottom shows a minimum at the center point. the top winding. 9.60: Graphical explanation of equations in Figure 9. Moving the slug down from the center position increases V13 .1∠240° Figure 9.

transformers must be designed to carry the expected values of primary and secondary winding current without any trouble. An ideal transformer would have perfect coupling (no leakage inductance). it is called impedance matching. For example. and low exciting current distortion. take a step-down transformer with . • A linear variable differential transformer. With enough DC current. Unfortunately. the ideal transformer would have to be infinitely large and heavy to meet these design goals. It has a movable ferromagnetic core to vary the coupling between the excited primary and a pair of secondaries. When this is done to improve power transfer to a load.8 9. the magnetic core can be saturated. transformers are rated for certain levels of primary and secondary winding voltage and current. and wire thick enough to handle any amount of current. perfect voltage regulation. though the current rating is usually derived from a voltamp (VA) rating assigned to the transformer. • A saturable reactor is a special type of inductor. Respecting these limitations. • A Tesla Coil is a resonant.1 Practical considerations Power capacity As has already been observed. TRANSFORMERS • Transformers can be used to transform impedance as well as voltage and current. decreasing the inductance of the power winding in a controlled fashion. as they often are in step-up and step-down power distribution transformers. transformers must be well designed in order to achieve acceptable power coupling. is a distance measuring device. 9.8. Thus. perfectly sinusoidal exciting current. also known as an LVDT. in the business of practical transformer design. • An air-core transformer is one lacking a ferromagnetic core. air-core. no hysteresis or eddy current losses.268 • REVIEW: CHAPTER 9. This means the winding conductors must be made of the proper gauge wire to avoid any heating problems. winding conductor insulation is a concern where high voltages are encountered. • A Current Transformer (CT) is another special instrument transformer designed to step down the current through a power line to a safe level for an ammeter to measure. • A Potential Transformer (PT) is a special instrument transformer designed to provide a precise voltage step-down ratio for voltmeters measuring high power system voltages. but each winding has to be sufficiently insulated from the other in order to maintain electrical isolation between windings. step-up transformer designed to produce very high AC voltages at high frequency. • A Scott-T transformer converts 3-φ power to 2-φ power and vice versa. Also. the inductance of which can be controlled by the DC current through a second winding around the same core. Additionally. Not only do the windings have to be well insulated from the iron core. tight voltage regulation. compromises must be made.

they dissipate power in the form of heat. power lost due to resistance of the wire windings. As it was stated earlier. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 269 a primary voltage rating of 120 volts. Perhaps the most significant of these “core losses” is eddy-current loss.333 A (maximum primary winding current) = 20.2 Energy losses When transformers transfer power. Resistive losses aside. modern power transformer designs typically exceed 95% efficiency. Because iron is a conductor of electricity as well as being an excellent “conductor” of magnetic flux. which is resistive power dissipation due to the passage of induced currents through the iron of the core. this loss can be a significant factor. Because transformers require such long lengths of wire. Iron is a fair conductor of electricity. the bulk of transformer power loss is due to magnetic effects in the core. The photograph of (Figure 9. In order to maximize the eddy current effect. Consequently. of course. Unless superconducting wires are used. and weight. The maximum winding currents can be determined as such: 1000 VA 120 V 1000 VA 48 V = 8. these “eddy currents” must overcome significant electrical resistance as they circulate through the core.833 A (maximum secondary winding current) Sometimes windings will bear current ratings in amps.” . In overcoming the resistance offered by the iron. Loops of wire covered by high-temperature insulation encircle the pipe’s circumference. These induced currents – as described by the perpendicularity clause of Faraday’s Law – tend to circulate through the cross-section of the core perpendicularly to the primary winding turns. and a VA rating of 1 kVA (1000 VA). size. Increasing the gauge of the winding wire is one way to minimize this loss. but not as good as the copper or aluminum from which wire windings are typically made. There is. This phenomenon is so pronounced that it is often exploited as a means of heating ferrous (iron-containing) materials. inducing eddy currents within the pipe wall by electromagnetic induction. Their circular motion gives them their unusual name: like eddies in a stream of water that circulate rather than move in straight lines.62) shows an “induction heating” unit raising the temperature of a large pipe section. but only with substantial increases in cost. however.8. It is good to know where some of this lost power goes. we have a source of inefficiency in the transformer that is difficult to eliminate. but this is typically seen on small transformers. they do so with a minimum of loss. Large transformers are almost always rated in terms of winding voltage and VA or kVA.8. and what causes it to be lost. a secondary voltage rating of 48 volts.9. The box units at the right of the picture produce the high-frequency AC and control the amount of current in the wires to stabilize the pipe temperature at a pre-determined “set-point. 9. Hence. high-frequency alternating current is used rather than power line frequency (60 Hz). there will always be power dissipated in the form of heat through the resistance of current-carrying conductors. there will be currents induced in the iron just as there are currents induced in the secondary windings from the alternating magnetic field.

Laminated cores like the one shown here are standard in almost all low-frequency transformers.270 CHAPTER 9.63) solid iron core "eddy" current laminated iron core Figure 9. The main strategy in mitigating these wasteful eddy currents in transformer cores is to form the iron core in sheets. Eddy current losses increase with frequency. . TRANSFORMERS Figure 9. used in many military and aircraft applications) must use thinner laminations to keep the losses down to a respectable minimum. so transformers designed to run on higher-frequency power (such as 400 Hz.62: Induction heating: Primary insulated winding induces current into lossy iron pipe (secondary). each sheet covered with an insulating varnish so that the core is divided up into thin slices.63: Dividing the iron core into thin insulated laminations minimizes eddy current loss. Recall from the photograph of the transformer cut in half that the iron core was composed of many thin sheets rather than one solid piece. This has the undesirable effect of increasing the manufacturing cost of the transformer. The result is very little width in the core for eddy currents to circulate in: (Figure 9.

but small signal applications (especially those of high frequency) may not tolerate this quirk well. transformers often harbor other undesirable limitations which circuit designers must be made aware of. and winding to core. 9. This type of loss can be mitigated through good core material selection (choosing a core alloy with low hysteresis. thereby increasing effective resistance as the frequency goes up and creating more power lost through resistive dissipation. For this reason. Another “core loss” is that of magnetic hysteresis. Unfortunately it does. nonsinusoidal waveforms are equivalent to additive series of multiple sinusoidal waveforms at different amplitudes and frequencies. In power systems. these other frequencies are whole-number multiples of the fundamental (line) frequency. which makes the core nonconductive except for within the width of each granule. as evidenced by a “thin” B/H hysteresis curve). definitely a design concern in signal applications where the applied frequency may reach this point (usually the resonant frequency of a power transformer is well beyond the frequency of the AC power it was designed to operate on). Magnetic core losses are also exaggerated with higher frequencies. Like their simpler counterparts – inductors – transformers exhibit capacitance due to the insulation dielectric between conductors: from winding to winding. Flux containment (making sure a transformer’s magnetic flux doesn’t escape so as to interfere with another device. similar technique for minimizing eddy current losses which works better for highfrequency applications is to make the core out of iron powder instead of thin iron sheets.9. than the design frequency of the transformer. In significant measure. transformers of significant size are designed to operate efficiently in a limited range of frequencies. The skin effect within winding conductors reduces the available cross-sectional area for electron flow. and this capability is sometimes denoted with a “K factor” rating. and designing the core for minimum flux density (large cross-sectional area). they can cause severe transformer overheating. All ferromagnetic materials tend to retain some degree of magnetization after exposure to an external magnetic field. in the form of harmonics created by nonlinear loads. Transformer energy losses tend to worsen with increasing frequency. turn to turn (in a single winding). Closely related to the issue of flux containment is leakage inductance. one would think excessive frequency would never pose a problem. the effect of having capacitance along with the windings’ designed inductance gives transformers the ability to resonate at a particular frequency. meaning that they will always be higher. these granules of iron are individually coated in an electrically insulating material.8. As we’ve seen in earlier chapters. We’ve already seen the detrimental effects of leakage inductance on voltage regulation with SPICE simulations . In most power distribution systems where the line frequency is very stable. eddy currents and hysteresis effects becoming more severe.” and it takes a certain investment in energy to overcome this opposition to change every time the magnetic field produced by the primary winding changes polarity (twice per AC cycle). and making sure other devices’ magnetic flux is shielded from the transformer core) is another concern shared both by inductors and transformers.8. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 271 Another. Powdered iron cores are often found in transformers handling radio-frequency currents. Usually this capacitance is of no concern in a power application. Power transformers can be engineered to handle certain levels of power system harmonics. not lower. Like the lamination sheets.3 Stray capacitance and inductance Aside from power ratings and power losses. Also. This tendency to stay magnetized is called “hysteresis.

creating harmonics in the secondary winding’s output. the core flux may reach saturation levels during peak moments of the AC sinewave cycle. meaning that further increases in magnetic field force (mmf) do not result in proportional increases in magnetic field flux (Φ). As was stated before. The core is designed to saturate quickly and sharply. the voltage induced in the secondary winding will no longer match the wave-shape as the voltage powering the primary coil. When a transformer’s primary winding is overloaded from excessive applied voltage. we must be mindful of the saturation limits of the core. Special transformers known as peaking transformers exploit this principle to produce brief voltage pulses near the peaks of the source voltage waveform. 9. discharge lighting circuits require a step-up transformer with “loose” (poor) voltage regulation to ensure reduced voltage after the establishment of an arc through the lamp. the more current drawn by the load. Remember that ferromagnetic materials cannot support infinite magnetic flux densities: they tend to “saturate” at a certain level (dictated by the material and core dimensions). As we discussed before. This results in a severely cropped sine-wave flux waveform.8. In other words.64) ep = primary voltage es = secondary voltage Φ = magnetic flux es ep Φ Figure 9.272 CHAPTER 9. but there are exceptional applications. at voltage levels well below peak. the overloaded transformer will distort the waveshape from primary to secondary windings. TRANSFORMERS early in this chapter. good voltage regulation is desired in transformer design. harmonic content in AC power systems typically causes problems. Usually. For ferromagnetic core transformers. and secondary voltage pulses only when the flux is changing (below saturation levels): (Figure 9.64: Voltage and flux waveforms for a peaking transformer. the less voltage available at the secondary winding terminals. The resulting leakage flux will produce leakage inductance. One way to meet this design criterion is to engineer the transformer with flux leakage paths for magnetic flux to bypass the secondary winding(s). . Thus. If this happens. which will in turn produce the poor regulation needed for discharge lighting.4 Core saturation Transformers are also constrained in their performance by the magnetic flux limitations of the core. it manifests itself as a series impedance with the load. Because leakage inductance is equivalent to an inductance connected in series with the transformer’s winding.

and relate the original waveform to its derivative. In this case. demands that the flux maintain the same rate of change as before. if a power transformer designed to operate at 60 Hz is forced to operate at 50 Hz instead. but for longer periods of time. the flux must reach greater peak levels than before in order to produce the same opposing voltage needed to balance against the source voltage. Thus.66. If we take the opposite perspective. Yet another cause of transformer saturation is the presence of DC current in the primary winding. Since instantaneous winding voltage is proportional to the instantaneous magnetic flux’s rate of change in a transformer. (Figure 9. a voltage waveform reaching the same peak value. it will climb to a greater peak value. Because the voltage is proportional to the flux’s rate-of-change. the voltage waveform is the derivative of the flux waveform. though. this is another example of calculus in action.65) e 60 Hz Φ e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux Φ e 50 Hz Figure 9. Any amount of DC voltage dropped across the primary winding of a transformer will . Since each half-cycle of the 50 Hz waveform accumulates more area between it and the zero line of the graph than the 60 Hz waveform will – and we know that the magnetic flux is the integral of the voltage – the flux will attain higher values in Figure 9. The integral of any mathematical function is proportional to the area accumulated underneath the curve of that function. but for longer periods of time. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 273 Another cause of abnormal transformer core saturation is operation at frequencies lower than normal. we say that the voltage waveform is the derivative of the flux waveform. This is true even if the source voltage is the same as before. we may call the original waveform the integral of the derivative waveform. if the flux has to climb at the same rate as before. but taking a longer amount of time to complete each half-cycle.66) Mathematically. For example. and the flux waveform is the integral of the voltage waveform.65: Magnetic flux is higher in a transformer core driven by 50 Hz as compared to 60 Hz for the same voltage. (Figure 9. “derivative” being that calculus operation defining one mathematical function (waveform) in terms of the rate-of-change of another.8.9.

engineering the core for low flux densities provides a safe margin between the normal flux peaks and the core saturation limits to accommodate occasional.66: Flux changing at the same rate rises to a higher level at 50 Hz than at 60 Hz. TRANSFORMERS e 60 Hz Φ less area less height e 50 Hz Φ more area more height Figure 9. cause additional magnetic flux in the core. shifts the waveform peaks toward the upper saturation limit. abnormal conditions such as frequency variation and DC offset. This ensures that the relationship between mmf and Φ is more linear throughout the flux cycle. For most transformers. core saturation is a very undesirable effect. which is good because it makes for less distortion in the magnetization current waveform. (Figure 9.67) saturation limit flux centerline 60 Hz e Φ saturation limit Figure 9. Also. . and it is avoided through good design: engineering the windings and core so that magnetic flux densities remain well below the saturation levels.274 CHAPTER 9. This additional flux “bias” or “offset” will push the alternating flux waveform closer to saturation in one half-cycle than the other.67: DC in primary.

the voltage waveform is the derivative of the flux waveform. and on upward to their positive peaks as the voltage descends to a level of zero: A significant difference exists. (Figure 9. these two waveforms are phaseshifted by 90o . Let us suppose that the primary winding of a transformer is suddenly connected to an AC voltage source at the exact moment in time when the instantaneous voltage is at its positive peak value. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 275 9. The result is that winding current increases rapidly. like current. there is no “surge” or “inrush” or current in this scenario. however. In a continuously-operating transformer.8. Or. (Figure 9. In order for the transformer to create an opposing voltage drop to balance against this applied source voltage. but actually no more rapidly than under normal conditions: (Figure 9.5 Inrush current When a transformer is initially connected to a source of AC voltage. We know that the rate of change of instantaneous flux in a transformer core is proportional to the instantaneous voltage drop across the primary winding.69) Alternatively.69) Both core flux and coil current start from zero and build up to the same peak values experienced during continuous operation.8.68: Continuous steady-state operation: Magnetic flux. there may be a substantial surge of current through the primary winding called inrush current.68) Since flux (Φ) is proportional to the magnetomotive force (mmf) in the core. the current waveform will be in-phase with the flux waveform. (Figure 9. As the voltage builds to its positive peak. lags applied voltage by 90o . both magnetic flux and winding current should . this is the point in time where both flux and winding current are at their negative peaks. a magnetic flux of rapidly increasing value must be generated. between continuous-mode operation and the sudden starting condition assumed in this scenario: during continuous operation. in a transformer that has been sitting idle. and the flux waveform is the integral of the voltage waveform. During continuous operation (when the transformer has been powered for quite some time).72) This is analogous to the inrush current exhibited by an electric motor that is started up by sudden connection to a power source. however. experiencing zero rate-of-change (dΦ/dt = 0 and di/dt = 0). Thus. and both will be lagging the voltage waveform by 90o : e = voltage e Φ = magnetic flux Φ i i = coil current Figure 9.9. as stated before. the flux and current levels were at their negative peaks when voltage was at its zero point. although transformer inrush is caused by a different phenomenon. the flux and current waveforms build to their maximum positive rates-of-change. and the mmf is proportional to winding current. let us consider what happens if the transformer’s connection to the AC voltage source occurs at the exact moment in time when the instantaneous voltage is at zero.

e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux i = coil current e i Φ Instant in time when voltage is zero. during continuous operation. Figure 9.3 These expected waveforms are incorrect– Φ and i should start at zero. same as steady-state operation. .70: Starting at e=0 V is not the same as running continuously in Figure 9. TRANSFORMERS e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux i = coil current e i Φ Instant in time when transformer is connected to AC voltage source. Figure 9.276 CHAPTER 9.69: Connecting transformer to line at AC volt peak: Flux increases rapidly from zero.

disproportionate amounts of mmf are needed to generate magnetic flux. generating the necessary mmf to create this higher-than-normal flux. the magnetizing current would rise to approximately twice its normal peak value as well. the inrush could be even more severe. most transformers aren’t designed with enough of a margin between normal flux peaks and the saturation limits to avoid saturating in a condition like this. assuming it doesn’t saturate the core. Figure 9. the magnitude of the inrush current strongly depends on the exact time that electrical connection to the source is made. 9.71) Φ e flux peak approximately twice normal height! Instant in time when voltage is zero. In an ideal transformer. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 277 start at zero. ensuring that the core does . in a transformer that’s just “starting. from a "cold start" condition. As you can see.8. Thus. so as to tolerate current surges such as this without opening the circuit.” the flux will reach approximately twice its normal peak magnitude as it “integrates” the area under the voltage waveform’s first half-cycle: (Figure 9.9. Noise is primarily a nuisance effect.6 Heat and Noise In addition to unwanted electrical effects. and so the core will almost certainly saturate during this first half-cycle of voltage. it will increase from zero upward. Because of this. will disproportionately rise to a value easily exceeding twice its normal peak: (Figure 9. However. increasing to twice the normal value. When the magnetic flux increases in response to a rising voltage. Heating may be minimized by good design. transformers may also exhibit undesirable physical effects. which creates the mmf to cause flux in the core. the most notable being the production of heat and noise. During saturation. transformer overcurrent protection devices are usually of the “slow-acting” variety.71: Starting at e=0 V.72) This is the mechanism causing inrush current in a transformer’s primary winding when connected to an AC voltage source. Φ starts at initial condition Φ=0. If the transformer happens to have some residual magnetism in its core at the moment of connection to the source. This means that winding current.8. not from a previously negative (magnetized) condition as we would normally have in a transformer that’s been powered for awhile. but heat is a potentially serious problem because winding insulation will be damaged if allowed to overheat.

• Class H: No more than 150o Celsius winding temperature rise. at 40o Celsius (maximum)ambient air temperature. TRANSFORMERS i Φ e current peak much greater than normal! flux peak approximately twice normal height! Instant in time when voltage is zero.73) Oil-less. Audible noise is an effect primarily originating from the phenomenon of magnetostriction: the slight change of length exhibited by a ferromagnetic object when magnetized.” transformers are often rated in terms of maximum operating temperature “rise” (temperature increase beyond ambient) according to a letter-class system: A. or “dry. that eddy currents are minimized. at 40o Celsius (maximum) ambient air temperature. Current also increases to twice the normal value for an unsaturated core. not approach saturation levels. The familiar “hum” heard around large power transformers is the sound of the iron core expanding and . and that the windings are not overloaded or operated too close to maximum ampacity. Heat-dissipating “radiator” tubes on the outside of the transformer case provide a convective oil flow path to transfer heat from the transformer’s core to ambient air: (Figure 9.72: Starting at e=0 V. and also to displace moisture which would otherwise compromise the integrity of the winding insulation. These letter codes are arranged in order of lowest heat tolerance to highest: • Class A: No more than 55o Celsius winding temperature rise. • Class B: No more than 80o Celsius winding temperature rise. or H. Large power transformers have their core and windings submerged in an oil bath to transfer heat and muffle noise.278 CHAPTER 9. • Class F: No more than 115o Celsius winding temperature rise. from a "cold start" condition. at 40o Celsius (maximum)ambient air temperature. Figure 9. F. B. or considerably higher in the (designed for) case of saturation. at 40o Celsius (maximum)ambient air temperature.

.73: Large power transformers are submerged in heat dissipating insulating oil.8.9. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 279 Primary terminals Secondary terminals Heat Core Heat Radiator tube Radiator tube flow Oil Figure 9.

The presence of harmonics in a power system is a source of frequencies significantly higher than normal. which is 60 Hz in the United States) – one cycle of core contraction and expansion for every peak of the magnetic flux waveform – plus noise created by mechanical forces between primary and secondary windings. these stresses may be great enough to cause audible noise to emanate from the transformer. there will be no current through it. Under heavy load (high current) conditions. • REVIEW: • Power transformers are limited in the amount of power they can transfer from primary to secondary winding(s). • Resistance in transformer windings contributes to inefficiency. though. If the secondary winding is open-circuited. as current will dissipate heat. TRANSFORMERS contracting at 120 Hz (twice the system frequency. and consequently no magneto-motive force (mmf) produced by it. Among the effects are eddy currents (circulating induction currents in the iron core) and hysteresis (power lost due to overcoming the tendency of iron to magnetize in a particular direction). This capacitance can be significant enough to give the transformer a natural resonant frequency. which explains why ferroresonant transformers – which must operate in saturation for a large portion of the current waveform – operate both hot and noisy. wasting energy. which can be problematic in signal applications. • Leakage inductance is caused by magnetic flux not being 100% coupled between windings in a transformer. and/or by the presence of a DC current in any of . which is how (self-) inductance works. • Magnetic effects in a transformer’s iron core also contribute to inefficiency. Leakage inductance tends to worsen a transformer’s voltage regulation (secondary voltage “sags” more for a given amount of load current). which may cause overheating in large transformers. when the secondary is “loaded” (current supplied to a load). Another noise-producing phenomenon in power transformers is the physical reaction force between primary and secondary windings when heavily loaded. • Increased frequency results in increased power losses within a power transformer. maintaining low magnetic flux levels in the core is the key to minimizing this effect. Transformer designers have to consider these physical forces in the construction of the winding coils. which becomes counteracted by a “reflected” mmf in the primary winding to prevent core flux levels from changing. to ensure there is adequate mechanical support to handle the stresses. • Both transformers and inductors harbor certain unavoidable amounts of capacitance due to wire insulation (dielectric) separating winding turns from the iron core and from each other. However. physical force between the windings which will tend to make them vibrate. Again. Large units are typically rated in VA (volt-amps) or kVA (kilo volt-amps). operation at too low of a frequency. the winding generates an mmf. Any flux not involved with transferring energy from one winding to another will store and release energy. These opposing mmf ’s generated between primary and secondary windings as a result of secondary (load) current produce a repulsive.280 CHAPTER 9. • Magnetic saturation of a transformer core may be caused by excessive primary voltage.

Physical forces causing winding vibration may also generate noise under conditions of heavy (high current) secondary winding load. Mitsugi Yamaguchi. • Noise is a common phenomenon exhibited by transformers – especially power transformers – and is primarily caused by magnetostriction of the core. Rapid Electrification a Century Ago”. Saturation may be minimized or avoided by conservative which provides an adequate margin of safety between peak magnetic flux density values and the saturation limits of the core.9.9. Bibliography [1] Mitsuyoshi Yamamoto. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. (4/11/2002). EDN. CONTRIBUTORS 281 the windings. Bart Anderson (January 2004): Corrected conceptual errors regarding Tesla coil operation and safety.9 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. Inrush current is most severe when connection to the AC source is made at the moment instantaneous source voltage is zero. http://www. which led to a much betterlooking second “Electric Power In Japan.html . from most recent to first. 9. • Transformers often experience significant inrush currents when initially connected to an AC voltage source.


. . . . . . . . . . .1: Single phase power system schematic diagram shows little about the wiring of a practical power circuit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 10. . . but the practical concerns are definitely not. . . . . .3 10. .8 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The distinction between a “power circuit” and a “regular circuit” may seem arbitrary. . . . . . Contributors . . . . .5 10. Harmonics in polyphase power systems Harmonic phase sequences . . . . . .1) is a very simple AC circuit. . 283 . . . . . . . If the load resistor’s power dissipation were substantial. . . . Depicted above (Figure 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 10. . . . . . . . . . . . Three-phase power systems . . . . . . . 283 289 296 300 306 313 318 343 345 10.Chapter 10 POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Contents 10. . . . . . . . .1 Single-phase power systems load #1 load #2 Figure 10. . .7 10. . . . . . . . . . . Polyphase motor design . . . Phase rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 10. . . Three-phase Y and Delta configurations Three-phase transformer circuits . . . . we might call this a “power circuit” or “power system” instead of regarding it as just a regular circuit. . . . .9 Single-phase power systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 10. . . . . . . . . . . . .

However. permitting the use of smaller. would have to have greater resistance values to dissipate the same power as before (10 kW each) at a greater voltage than before. One way to do this would be to increase the voltage of the power source and use loads built to dissipate 10 kW each at this higher voltage.3) . POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS One such concern is the size and cost of wiring necessary to deliver power from the AC source to the load. This is no small amount of current. and would necessitate copper wire conductors of at least 1/0 gage. Bear in mind that copper is not cheap either! It would be in our best interest to find ways to minimize such costs if we were designing a power system with long conductor lengths.2: As a practical matter. If we give the source in the above circuit a voltage value and also give power dissipation values to the two load resistors.2) 120 V load #1 P = 10 kW load #2 P = 10 kW Figure 10. I= I= P E 10 kW 120 V (for each load resistor) I = 83. the wiring for the 20 kW loads at 120 Vac is rather substantial (167 A). we do not give much thought to this type of concern if we’re merely analyzing a circuit for the sake of learning about the laws of electricity.66 amps total circuit current. The loads.67 A Ptotal = (10 kW) + (10 kW) Ptotal = 20 kW 83.33 A) Itotal = 166. lighter.33 A Itotal = Iload#1 + Iload#2 Itotal = (83. Normally. of course. and cheaper wire: (Figure 10. we can determine the wiring needs for this particular circuit: (Figure 10. Such wire is well over 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter.33 A) + (83.2 adds up to 166. The advantage would be less current required.284 CHAPTER 10. weighing over 300 pounds per thousand feet.33 amps for each load resistor in Figure 10. in the real world it can be a major concern.

This tradeoff between efficiency and danger is one that European power system designers have decided to . I= I= P E 10 kW 240 V (for each load resistor) I = 41. Again. Another practical concern with power circuits is the danger of electric shock from high voltages. cheaper wire. This is a considerable reduction in system cost with no degradation in performance. High voltage gives greater system efficiency by means of reduced conductor current. half of what it was before. At the point of use (the electric power customer). We can now use number 4 gage wire. This is why power distribution system designers elect to transmit electric power using very high voltages (many thousands of volts): to capitalize on the savings realized by the use of smaller.1.67 A Itotal = Iload#1 + Iload#2 Itotal = (41. but it is a very valid concern in the real world. which weighs less than half of what 1/0 gage wire does per unit length.3: Same 10 kW loads at 240 Vac requires less substantial wiring than at 120 Vac (83 A).10.67 A) Itotal = 83. porcelain insulators. but it might not always be practical to keep power wiring out of reach at the point of use the way it can be elevated out of reach in distribution systems. there is still the issue of what voltage to use for powering loads. this solution is not without disadvantages. SINGLE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 285 240 V load #1 P = 10 kW load #2 P = 10 kW Figure 10. and insulating the lines from the supporting structures with large. especially when large amounts of power are being dealt with.67 A) + (41.33 amps. Power distribution companies tackle this problem by stringing their power lines along high poles or towers.33 A Ptotal = (10 kW) + (10 kW) Ptotal = 20 kW Now our total circuit current is 83. The gain in efficiency realized by stepping up the circuit voltage presents us with increased danger of electric shock. However. lighter. this is not usually the sort of thing we concentrate on while learning about the laws of electricity.

POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS risk.286 CHAPTER 10. Is there any way to realize the advantages of both increased efficiency and reduced safety hazard at the same time? One solution would be to install step-down transformers at the endpoint of power use. That is why tourists from America visiting Europe must carry small step-down transformers for their portable appliances. all their households and appliances operating at a nominal voltage of 240 volts instead of 120 volts as it is in North America. Notice the polarity markings (+ and -) for each voltage shown.33 A Figure 10. but each load is operating at a reduced voltage. not 240. this would be expensive and inconvenient for anything but very small loads (where the transformers can be built cheaply) or very large loads (where the expense of thick copper wires would exceed the expense of a transformer). we still have a full 240 volts across the power system wires.5) + 240 V - + 240 V - .4) 83.33 A load +120 V #1 10 kW load +120 V #2 10 kW 83. driven by 240 Vac source at 83. to step the 240 VAC (volts AC) power down to a more suitable 120 VAC. There’s only one disadvantage to this design: the consequences of one load failing open. If anyone is going to get shocked. Mind you. For this reason. For the most part. Being a series circuit. the odds are that it will be from coming into contact with the conductors of a particular load rather than from contact across the main wires of a power system. so the safety factor is better. or being turned off (assuming each load has a series on/off switch to interrupt current) are not good. if either load were to open. I’ve avoided labeling “polarities” in the AC circuits we’ve been analyzing. just as the American tourist must do while in Europe. so I’m introducing this notation early on in the chapter for your familiarity. In later sections of this chapter.3 A total current. This approach combines the efficiency of a high-voltage system with the safety of a low-voltage system: (Figure 10. even though the notation is valid to provide a frame of reference for phase. as well as the unidirectional arrows for current. The current through each load is the same as it was in the simple 120 volt circuit.4: Series connected 120 Vac loads. However. phase relationships will become very important. An alternative solution would be to use a higher voltage supply to provide power to two lower voltage loads in series. but the currents are not additive because the loads are in series rather than parallel. we need to modify the design a bit: (Figure 10. The voltage across each load is only 120 volts. current would stop in the other load as well.

then run a third wire to the connection point between the loads to handle the eventuality of one load opening.33 A (for each load resistor) Instead of a single 240 volt power supply. Three smaller wires are still cheaper than the two wires needed with the simple parallel design. designing and building one is not difficult. This is a common feature in power systems containing “neutral” wires. Etotal = (120 V ∠ 0o) + (120 V ∠ 0o) Etotal = 240 V ∠ 0o I= P E Ptotal = (10 kW) + (10 kW) Ptotal = 20 kW 10 kW I= 120 V I = 83. we use two 120 volt supplies (in phase with each other!) in series to produce 240 volts. with perfectly “balanced” loads consuming equal amounts of power. that transformer can be built with a center-tapped secondary winding: (Figure 10. Since most AC systems receive their power from a step-down transformer anyway (stepping voltage down from high distribution levels to a user-level voltage like 120 or 240). the neutral wire carries zero current.6) If the AC power comes directly from a generator (alternator).33 A + + 120 V ∠ 0o "hot" "neutral" 0A "hot" 83. Fortunately.10. so we’re still ahead on efficiency. The astute observer will note that the neutral wire only has to carry the difference of current between the two loads back to the source. An essential component to a split-phase power system is the dual AC voltage source. This is called a split-phase power system. the coils can be similarly center-tapped for the same effect.1. The extra expense to include a center-tap connection in a . since grounding the neutral wire ensures the least possible voltage at any given time between any “hot” wire and earth ground. Notice how the neutral wire is connected to earth ground at the power supply end. SINGLE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 287 83.5: Addition of neutral conductor allows loads to be individually driven. In the above case.33 A load +120 V #1 ∠ 0o load +120 V #2 ∠ 0o - 120 V ∠ 0o + 240 V - Figure 10.

Otherwise. If not for these polarity markings.(-120 + j0) V 240 + j0 V If we mark the two sources’ common connection point (the neutral wire) with the same polarity mark (-). we must subtract voltages. because their polarity marks show them to be opposed to each other: Polar 120 ∠ 0o . To mathematically calculate voltage between “hot” wires.6: American 120/240 Vac power is derived from a center tapped utility transformer. we must express their relative phase shifts as being 180o apart. phase relations between multiple AC sources might be very confusing. Why am I taking the time to elaborate on polarity marks and phase angles? It will make more sense in the next section! . Here is where the (+) and (-) polarity markings really become important.7) 120 V 120 V + 240 V - "hot" + + 120 V ∠ 0o 120 V ∠ 180o + 240 V ∠ 0o "hot" Figure 10.7: Split phase 120/240 Vac source is equivalent to two series aiding 120 Vac sources.120 ∠ 180o 240 ∠ 0o Rectangular 120 + j0 V . transformer or alternator winding is minimal. we’d be denoting two voltage sources in direct opposition with each other. Note that the split-phase sources in the schematic (each one 120 volts 0o ). which would give 0 volts between the two “hot” conductors. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Step-down transformer with center-tapped secondary winding + + 2. with polarity marks (+) to (-) just like series-aiding batteries can alternatively be represented as such: (Figure 10.288 CHAPTER 10.4 kV + Figure 10. so it is clear whether they are aiding (“boosting”) each other or opposing (“bucking”) each other. This notation is often used to reference the phasings of multiple AC voltage sources.

delivering power to loads at more than one voltage. the voltage is: Etotal = (120 V ∠ 0o) . The advantages of polyphase power systems are more obvious if one first has a good understanding of single phase systems. THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 289 Power systems in American households and light industry are most often of the split-phase variety. • REVIEW: • Single phase power systems are defined by having an AC source with only one voltage waveform. Suppose that we had two sources of AC voltage connected in series just like the split-phase system we saw before. The term “split-phase” merely refers to the split-voltage supply in such a system.2 Three-phase power systems Split-phase power systems achieve their high conductor efficiency and low safety risk by splitting up the total voltage into lesser parts and powering multiple loads at those lesser voltages. Instead. However.(120 V ∠ 120o) Etotal = 207. The term “single phase” is a counterpoint to another kind of power system called “polyphase” which we are about to investigate in detail. • A split-phase power system is one with multiple (in-phase) AC voltage sources connected in series. each load must still be dissipating 10 kilowatts of power. this kind of AC power supply is called single phase because both voltage waveforms are in phase. • Split-phase AC sources can be easily created by center-tapping the coil windings of transformers or alternators. with each other.10.2. applied to power systems. Such systems are usually referred to as three-wire systems rather than split-phase because “phase” is a concept restricted to AC. works just as well for DC power systems as it does for single-phase AC systems. voltage between the two “hot” wires is not 240 volts (120 0o .85 V ∠ -30o . This technique.33 amps. 10.120 180o ) because the phase difference between the two sources is not 180o . But we know from our experience with vectors and complex numbers that AC voltages don’t always add up as we think they would if they are out of phase with each other. the voltage across each load must be 120 volts as well. This principle. with more than two wires. or in step. Given load currents of 83. providing so-called 120/240 VAC power. In a more general sense. and each load resistor is connected directly in parallel with its respective source. They are used primarily to achieve balance between system efficiency (low conductor currents) and safety (low load voltages). except that each voltage source was 120o out of phase with the other: (Figure 10. while drawing currents at levels typical of a full-voltage system. Apologies for the long introduction leading up to the title-topic of this chapter.8) Since each voltage source is 120 volts. can be put to use to make power systems with even greater conductor efficiencies and lower shock hazard than with split-phase. by the way.

(83.33 A ∠ 120o Figure 10.33 A ∠ 240o or 83.33 A ∠ 0o + + "hot" 120 V ∠ 0o 120 V ∠ 120o "neutral" load +120 V #1 ∠ 0o load 120 V #2 ∠ 120o + + 207. we say that the voltage between “hot” conductors is 208 volts (rounding up). Kirchhoff ’s Current Law tells us that the currents entering and exiting the node between the two loads must be zero: (Figure 10.Ineutral = Iload#1 + Iload#2 Ineutral = -Iload#1 . even with balanced load resistances.33 A ∠ 0o) .9) 83.33 A ∠ 120o Figure 10.33 A ∠ 0o load + 120 V ∠ 0o #1 "neutral" Node Ineutral load o #2 120 V ∠ 120 + "hot" 83.Iload#2 Ineutral = .Ineutral = 0 . If we calculate the current through the “neutral” conductor.290 CHAPTER 10. similar to split-phase.9: Neutral wire carries a current in the case of a pair of 120o phased sources. Nominally.85 V ∠ -30o - "hot" 83. "hot" -Iload#1 .8: Pair of 120 Vac sources phased 120o . we find that it is not zero.33 A ∠ 1200) Ineutral = 83.33 A ∠ -120o .(83. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 83.Iload#2 . and thus the power system voltage is designated as 120/208.

Let’s see how this might look: (Figure 10. For proof of this. we have realized a gain in safety.11. I’ll spare you the long.33 A ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 0o 83. (Figure 10. drawn-out calculations because you should be able to intuitively understand that the three voltage sources at three different phase angles will deliver 120 volts each to a balanced triad of load resistors. each load will be dissipating 10 kW of power.10: With a third load phased 120o to the other two. Notice that this circuit has no “neutral” conductor to ensure stable voltage to all loads if one should open. with (approximately) 208 volts between any two “hot” conductors and conductor currents equal to 83. What we have here is a situation similar to our split-phase power circuit with no “neutral” conductor: if one load should happen to fail open.10) 83. However.10.2. we get 120 volts across each load resistor. equal currents). we find that the “neutral” wire is carrying a full 83. It is there just in case one or more load resistors should fail open (or be shut off through a disconnecting switch). we could transmit more power (another 10 kW) without having to add any more conductors.33 amps. . because the overall voltage between the two “hot” conductors is 32 volts lower than it was in the split-phase system (208 volts instead of 240 volts). why not use that third wire as another “hot” conductor. the easiest being the Superposition Theorem. A full mathematical analysis of all the voltages and currents in this circuit would necessitate the use of a network theorem. Note that we are still conveying 20 kW of total power to the two loads.33 A ∠ 240o + 120 V ∠ 240o 120 V + ∠ 120o 83. with each load’s “hot” wire carrying 83. The fact that the neutral wire is carrying 83. we need a neutral wire to connect the source node and load node together: So long as the loads remain balanced (equal resistance. SPICE listing: 120/208 polyphase power system) Sure enough. the currents are the same as for two loads.33 amps of current raises an interesting possibility: since its carrying current anyway.12) At that current and voltage. just like each “hot” wire. we can use SPICE to do the math for us: (Figure 10.33 A ∠ 120o load #1 load #3 120 V 10 kW load #2 120 V 10 kW 120 V 10 kW + 208 V ∠ -30o - Figure 10. we must use the same gage copper conductors. THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 291 So. the voltage drops across the remaining load(s) will change. so we haven’t reduced system cost over the split-phase 120/240 system.33 amps. With the same amount of current through each “hot” wire. powering another load resistor with a third 120 volt source having a phase angle of 240o ? That way. This circuit we’ve been analyzing with three voltage sources is called a polyphase circuit.33 amps as before. the neutral wire will not have to carry any current at all. To ensure load voltage stability in the event of another load opening.

POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 1 + 0 + 2 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o 3 3 R3 1.11: SPICE circuit: Three 3-Φ loads phased at 120o .3) 6.1) 2.000E+01 1.44 Ω R2 R1 1 lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(1.200E+02 v(3.200E+02 1.333E+01 8.44 Ω 2 120 V ∠ 120o Figure 10.1) .292 CHAPTER 10.44 Ω 4 1.end VOLTAGE ACROSS EACH LOAD freq v(1.44 r2 2 4 1.44 .4) v(2.4) 1.print ac v(1.2) v(2.4) 6.print ac i(v1) i(v2) i(v3) .000E+01 2.333E+01 v(3.078E+02 CURRENT THROUGH EACH VOLTAGE SOURCE freq i(v1) i(v2) 6.44 r3 3 4 1.4) v(3.000E+01 8.3) v(3.2) v(2.4) v(2.333E+01 .078E+02 i(v3) 8.078E+02 2. 120/208 polyphase power system v1 1 0 ac 120 0 sin v2 2 0 ac 120 120 sin v3 3 0 ac 120 240 sin r1 1 4 1.4) .200E+02 VOLTAGE BETWEEN ‘‘HOT’’ CONDUCTORS freq v(1.

10. it is a three-phase circuit.13: For comparison. we would need over a half-ton of copper wire to do the job. We could get away with using number 2 gage copper wire at a total mass of about 600 . at about 510 pounds per thousand feet. 120 volt loads. pentagon and hexagon). On the other hand. (Figure 10. This would necessitate 3/0 gage copper wire (very large!). (Figure 10. and with a considerable price tag attached. A single-phase system with three loads connected directly in parallel would have a very high total current (83. or 250 amps. THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 293 83. we could build a split-phase system with two 15 kW.33 A ∠ 240o + 120 V "hot" ∠ 240o 120 V + ∠ 120o "hot" 83.33 times 3. which is a great improvement.33 A ∠ 120o 0A "neutral" load #1 load #3 120 V 10 kW load #2 120 V 10 kW 120 V 10 kW Figure 10.13) 120V 250 A load #1 10 kW load #2 10 kW load #3 10 kW Figure 10. this is a “polyphase” circuit. three different phase angles). the kind used predominantly in large power distribution systems. three 10 Kw loads on a 120 Vac system draw 250 A. Since the voltage sources are all at different phase angles (in this case.2. If the distance from source to load was 1000 feet. Let’s survey the advantages of a three-phase power system over a single-phase system of equivalent load voltage and power capacity. and “polyatomic” (a substance composed of multiple types of atoms). The prefix “poly” simply means “more than one.14) Our current is half of what it was with the simple parallel circuit.” as in “polytheism” (belief in more than one deity).33 A ∠ 0o "hot" + 120 V ∠ 0o 83. More specifically.12: SPICE circuit annotated with simulation results: Three 3-Φ loads phased at 120o . “polygon” (a geometrical shape made of multiple line segments: for example.

we showed the three voltage sources connected together in a “Y” configuration (sometimes called the “star” configuration). The best way to get the phase shifts we’re looking for is to generate it at the source: construct the AC generator (alternator) providing the power in such a way that the rotating magnetic field passes by three sets of wire windings.294 CHAPTER 10. Overall. figuring about 200 pounds per thousand feet with three runs of 1000 feet each between source and loads. the advantages are quite clear. Together. One question remains to be answered: how in the world do we get three AC voltage sources whose phase angles are exactly 120o apart? Obviously we can’t center-tap a transformer or alternator winding like we did in the split-phase system. there is greater potential for dangerous electric shock to occur. the six “pole” windings of a three-phase alternator are connected to comprise three winding pairs. with one lead of each source tied to . This represents a significant cost savings over the split-phase system. each set spaced 120o apart around the circumference of the machine as in Figure 10.33 amps versus 125 or 250 amps).12). Perhaps we could figure out some way to use capacitors and inductors to create phase shifts of 120o . with the additional benefit that the maximum voltage in the system is lower (208 versus 240).15. permitting the use of much thinner and lighter wire. However. pounds. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS + + 125 A ∠ 0o "hot" 120 V ∠ 0o 120 V ∠ 180o "neutral" 0A load #1 load #2 120 V 15 kW 120 V 15 kW + 240 V ∠ 0o - "hot" 125 A ∠ 180o Figure 10. which will total 500 pounds (four runs of 1000 feet each) for our example circuit. even though each load only receives 120 volts. In our example circuit. since that can only give us voltage waveforms that are either in phase or 180o out of phase. The interconnections between pairs of windings (as shown for the single-phase alternator: the jumper wire between windings 1a and 1b) have been omitted from the three-phase alternator drawing for simplicity. When we contrast these two examples against our three-phase system (Figure 10. each pair producing AC voltage with a phase angle 120o shifted from either of the other two winding pairs. the conductor currents are quite a bit less (83. but then those phase shifts would depend on the phase angles of our load impedances as well (substituting a capacitive or inductive load for a resistive load would change everything!). we also have to consider the increased safety hazard of having 240 volts present in the system.14: Split phase system draws half the current of 125 A at 240 Vac compared to 120 Vac system. We can use number 4 gage wire at about 125 pounds per thousand feet. First.

180o phase-shifted from each other. The advantage of this is the ability to have lower conductor currents while maintaining low load voltages for safety reasons. + 120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o 120 V ∠ 240o Figure 10. A polyphase power system can deliver more power at less voltage with smaller-gage conductors than single.15: (a) Single-phase alternator. The “Y” configuration is not the only option open to us. More to come on this subject later in the chapter. • A polyphase power system uses multiple voltage sources at different phase angles from each other (many “phases” of voltage waveforms at work). THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS Three-phase alternator (b) Single-phase alternator (a) winding 1a S winding 1b winding 2a winding 1a S winding 3a winding 1b 295 N winding 3b N winding 2b Figure 10.16: Alternator ”Y” configuration.2. The common way to depict this connection scheme is to draw the windings in the shape of a “Y” like Figure 10.16. but it is probably the easiest to understand at first. (b) Three-phase alternator. • A split-phase power system is one where there are two voltage sources. • REVIEW: • A single-phase power system is one where there is only one AC voltage source (one source voltage waveform). a common point (the node where we attached the “neutral” conductor).or splitphase systems. .10. powering a two series-connected loads.

we . Where we decide to place the windings will dictate the amount of phase shift between the windings’ AC voltage waveforms.17) and watch what happens as the magnet rotates. If we’re using a polyphase voltage source to power resistive loads. the voltage and current magnitudes will all be the same. winding 2a winding 1a S winding 3a winding 1b winding 3b N winding 2b Figure 10. Instead of 1-2-3. 10. as we will see shortly.18). which will hits its peak 120o after winding 1. and 3 will be another 120o ahead of 2. There are some applications of three-phase power.296 CHAPTER 10. the order is 1-2-3 (winding 1 peaks first.19) The order of voltage waveform sequences in a polyphase system is called phase rotation or phase sequence. Since voltmeters and ammeters would be useless in telling us what the phase rotation of an operating power system is. we’ll have 3-2-1. Now. or 240o leading) and winding 3 an angle of -240o (or 120o leading).18) However. winding 3 will generate its peak instantaneous voltage exactly 120o (of alternator shaft rotation) after winding 2. For clockwise rotation of the shaft.3 Phase rotation Let’s take the three-phase alternator design laid out earlier (Figure 10.17: Three-phase alternator The phase angle shift of 120o is a function of the actual rotational angle shift of the three pairs of windings (Figure 10. The magnet passes by each pole pair at different positions in the rotational movement of the shaft. then winding 3). if we reverse the rotation of the alternator’s shaft (turn it counter-clockwise). This sequence of phase shifts has a definite order. them winding 2. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS • The phase-shifted voltage sources necessary for a polyphase power system are created in alternators with multiple sets of wire windings. then winding 2 will have a phase angle of -120o (120o lagging. Whether 1-2-3 or 3-2-1. phase rotation will make no difference at all. This order keeps repeating itself as long as we continue to rotate the alternator’s shaft. the magnet will pass by the pole pairs in the opposite sequence. (Figure 10. (Figure 10. If the magnet is rotating clockwise. These winding sets are spaced around the circumference of the rotor’s rotation at the desired angle(s). If we make winding 1 our “reference” voltage source for phase angle (0o ). winding 2’s waveform will be leading 120o ahead of 1 instead of lagging. that depend on having phase rotation being one way or the other. 3 2 1 TIME Figure Counterclockwise rotation phase sequence: 3-2- PHASE ROTATION 297 phase sequence: 1.1. .2.10.18: Clockwise rotation phase sequence: 1-2-3.1. phase sequence: 3.2.3 1 2 3 TIME Figure 10.

greater than 0o but less than 120o . The following SPICE analysis demonstrates what will happen: (Figure 10. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS need to have some other kind of instrument capable of doing the job. the two lamps would glow at equal brightness. If the capacitor were to be replaced by a resistor of equal value to the lamps’ resistance. to phase #1 C to phase #2 to phase #3 Figure 10.20: Phase sequence detector compares brightness of two lamps. One ingenious circuit design uses a capacitor to introduce a phase shift between voltage and current. The resulting phase shift from the capacitor causes the voltage across phase 1 lamp (between nodes 1 and 4) to fall to 48.21: SPICE circuit for phase sequence detector. However.21).1 volts and the voltage across phase 2 lamp (between nodes .298 CHAPTER 10.20. The two lamps are of equal filament resistance and wattage. ”phase rotation detector – sequence = v1-v2-v3” 1 + 0 + 2 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o 120 V ∠ 120o R1 3 3 C1 1 2650 Ω 4 1 µF R2 2 2650 Ω Figure 10. the circuit being balanced. This phase shift. skews the voltage and current values across the two lamps according to their phase shifts relative to phase 3. the capacitor introduces a phase shift between voltage and current in the third leg of the circuit equal to 90o . which is then used to detect the sequence by way of comparison between the brightness of two indicator lamps in Figure 10. The capacitor is sized to have approximately the same amount of reactance at system frequency as each lamp’s resistance.

4) v(3. .sequence = v3-v2-v1 v1 1 0 ac 120 240 sin v2 2 0 ac 120 120 sin v3 3 0 ac 120 0 sin r1 1 4 2650 r2 2 4 2650 c1 3 4 1u . 3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1 .3.795E+02 1. There is a much easier way to reverse phase sequence than reversing alternator rotation: just exchange any two of the three “hot” wires going to a three-phase load.4) v( lin 1 60 60 .1 volts. reversal of the alternator’s shaft rotation is not usually an option open to an end-user of electrical power supplied by a nationwide grid (“the” alternator actually being the combined total of all alternators in all power plants feeding the grid).4) .4) 6. This trick makes more sense if we take another look at a running phase sequence of a three-phase voltage source: 1-2-3 rotation: 3-2-1 rotation: 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 . What is commonly designated as a “1-2-3” phase rotation could just as well be called “2-3-1” or “3-1-2.4) .print ac v(1.end freq v(1.5 volts.(”phase rotation detector – sequence = v3-v2-v1”) the first lamp receives 179.000E+01 1.4) v(2.000E+01 4.610E+02 Here.4) v(3. Just the opposite will happen if the phase sequence is reversed: ”phase rotation detector – sequence = v3-v2-v1 ” phase rotation detector -. Likewise.810E+01 1.810E+01 lin 1 60 60 . We’ve investigated how phase rotation is produced (the order in which pole pairs get passed by the alternator’s rotating magnet) and how it can be changed by reversing the alternator’s shaft rotation.5 volts while the second receives only 48. PHASE ROTATION phase rotation detector -.795E+02 4.4) v(3. .4) v(2.4) v(2. . the opposite rotation . However.” going from left to right in the number string above.end freq v(1. .print ac v(1. making the first lamp dim and the second lamp bright.610E+02 299 2 and 4) to rise to 179.4) 6.4) v(3.sequence = v1-v2-v3 v1 1 0 ac 120 0 sin v2 2 0 ac 120 120 sin v3 3 0 ac 120 240 sin r1 1 4 2650 r2 2 4 2650 c1 3 4 1u .

• Phase rotation has no impact on resistive loads. some types of AC motors are virtually identical in construction to their alternator (generator) counterparts. 10. as shown in the operation of a phase rotation detector circuit. but it will have impact on unbalanced reactive loads. Original 1-2-3 phase rotation 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 End result 2 1 3 1 3 2 3 2 1 (wires 1 and 2 swapped) phase rotation = 2-1-3 (wires 2 and 3 swapped) phase rotation = 1-3-2 (wires 1 and 3 swapped) phase rotation = 3-2-1 Figure 10.22: All possibilities of swapping any two wires. For a three-phase system. 1-3-2 or 3-2-1. No matter which pair of “hot” wires out of the three we choose to swap.” Starting out with a phase rotation of 3-2-1. consisting of stationary wire windings and a rotating magnet assembly.300 CHAPTER 10. • REVIEW: • Phase rotation. corresponding to the two possible directions of alternator rotation. we can try all the possibilities for swapping any two of the wires at a time and see what happens to the resulting sequence in Figure 10.22. . but we will leave those details to another lesson). POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS (3-2-1) could just as easily be called “2-1-3” or “1-3-2. or phase sequence. there are only two possible phase sequences: 1-2-3 and 3-2-1. (Other AC motor designs are not quite this simple.4 Polyphase motor design Perhaps the most important benefit of polyphase AC power over single-phase is the design and operation of AC motors. all equivalent). the phase rotation ends up being reversed (1-2-3 gets changed to 2-1-3. • Phase rotation can be reversed by swapping any two of the three “hot” leads supplying three-phase power to a three-phase load. As we studied in the first chapter of this book. is the order in which the voltage waveforms of a polyphase AC source reach their respective peaks.

4.23: Clockwise AC motor operation. Step #1 N S S I I + N N S Step #2 N S Step #3 S N S S N N Step #4 S N + I I - Figure 10. If the rotating magnet is able to keep up with the frequency of the alternating current energizing the electromagnet windings (coils). It could just as easily be powered in a counter-clockwise direction by the same AC voltage waveform a in Figure 10.23) However. (Figure 10. clockwise is not the only valid direction for this motor’s shaft to spin.24. it will continue to be pulled around clockwise. .24: Counterclockwise AC motor operation.10. POLYPHASE MOTOR DESIGN Step #1 N S N I I + S N S Step #2 N S 301 Step #3 S N N S S N Step #4 S N + I I - Figure 10.

The line current and safety advantages of polyphase power over single phase power were discovered later. the magnetic rotor can spin in either direction.26) That phase shift creates magnetic fields from coils 2a and 2b that are equally out of step with the fields from coils 1a and 1b. they will continue to spin that way as long as AC power is maintained to the windings. and magnetic poles produced by the coils). What can be a confusing concept is made much clearer through analogy. Because their supply voltage waveforms already have a definite rotation sequence. These supplementary coils are typically connected in series with a capacitor to introduce a phase shift in current between the two sets of windings. What makes the difference between the two types of bulb strings? Answer: phase shift! Examine a string of lights where every other bulb is lit at any given time as in (Figure 10. current. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Notice that with the exact same sequence of polarity cycles (voltage. Have you ever seen a row of blinking light bulbs such as the kind used in Christmas decorations? Some strings appear to “move” in a definite direction as the bulbs alternately glow and darken in sequence.25: Unidirectional-starting AC two-phase motor. Usually.25) winding 2’s voltage waveform is 90 degrees out of phase with winding 1’s voltage waveform winding 2a winding 1a S winding 1b N winding 2b winding 2’s voltage waveform is 90 degrees out of phase with winding 1’s voltage waveform Figure 10. In fact. Once helped to spin in a particular direction. the combination of all three phase winding sets working together creates what is often called a rotating magnetic field. Polyphase AC motors require no such trickery to spin in a definite direction. This is a common trait of all single-phase AC “induction” and “synchronous” motors: they have no normal or “correct” direction of rotation. The natural question should arise at this point: how can the motor get started in the intended direction if it can run either way just as well? The answer is that these motors need a little help getting started. It was this concept of a rotating magnetic field that inspired Nikola Tesla to design the world’s first polyphase electrical systems (simply to make simpler. It is this phase rotation that pulls the rotating magnet around in a definite direction.302 CHAPTER 10. (Figure 10.27) . Where that “help” comes from for a single-phase AC motor to get going in one direction can vary. The result is a set of magnetic fields with a definite phase rotation. it comes from an additional set of windings positioned differently from the main set. Other strings just blink on and off with no apparent motion. more efficient motors). (Figure 10. and energized with an AC voltage that is out of phase with the main power. so do the respective magnetic fields generated by the motor’s stationary windings.

Figure 10.27: Phase sequence 1-2-1-2: lamps appear to move. POLYPHASE MOTOR DESIGN 303 1a 2a 1b C I 2b I these two branch currents are out of phase with each other Figure 10. .4.10.26: Capacitor phase shift adds second phase.

29. the direction of shaft rotation for polyphase motors is very easily reversed: just swap any two “hot” wires going to the motor.29 appear to be “moving” in a clockwise direction because they are arranged around a circle instead of a straight line. It should come as no surprise that the appearance of motion will reverse if the phase sequence of the bulbs is reversed. Now imagine this blinking string of bulbs arranged into a circle as in Figure 10. and vice versa.” Now let’s examine a string of lights where there are three sets of bulbs to be sequenced instead of just two. 1 all "1" bulbs lit 1 all "2" bulbs lit 1 all "3" bulbs lit 1 all "1" bulbs lit 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Time 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 phase sequence = 1-2-3 bulbs appear to be "moving" from left to right Figure 10. The blinking pattern will either appear to move clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the phase sequence. With singlephase motors.28: Phase sequence: 1-2-3: bulbs appear to move left to right. which can run just as easily in either direction. With this blinking sequence. and these three sets are equally out of phase with each other in Figure 10. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS When all of the “1” bulbs are lit. Technically. the bulbs will appear to “move” from left to right. This is analogous to a three-phase AC motor with three sets of windings energized by voltage sources of three different phase shifts in Figure 10. the necessary phase shifts are there already. With phase shifts of less than 180o we get true rotation of the magnetic field. Now the lights in Figure 10.28.30. This is analogous to the singlephase AC motor. there is no definite “motion” to the bulbs’ light. the “2” bulbs are dark. With polyphase motors. the “1” and “2” bulb blinking sequences are 180o out of phase (exactly opposite each other).28)). the rotating magnetic field necessary for self-starting must to be created by way of capacitive phase shift. If the lighting sequence is 1-2-3 (the sequence shown in (Figure 10. Plus.304 CHAPTER 10. Your eyes could follow a “motion” from left to right just as easily as from right to left. but which cannot start on its own because its magnetic field alternation lacks a definite “rotation. and it will run in the opposite direction! • REVIEW: .

bulbs appear to rotate clockwise. winding 2a winding 1a S winding 3a winding 1b winding 3b N winding 2b Figure 10. . POLYPHASE MOTOR DESIGN 305 2 3 all "1" bulbs lit 1 1 3 2 2 3 The bulbs appear to "move" in a clockwise direction all "2" bulbs lit 1 1 3 2 2 3 all "3" bulbs lit 1 1 3 2 Figure 10.30: Three-phase AC motor: A phase sequence of 1-2-3 spins the magnet clockwise. 3-2-1 spins the magnet counterclockwise.29: Circular arrangement.4.10.

thus reversing its shaft rotation. The three conductors leading away from the voltage sources (windings) toward a load are typically called lines. while the windings themselves are typically called phases. (Figure 10.33) be a neutral wire attached at the junction point in the middle. If we draw a circuit showing each voltage source to be a coil of wire (alternator or transformer winding) and do some slight rearranging. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS • AC “induction” and “synchronous” motors work by having a rotating magnet follow the alternating magnetic fields produced by stationary wire windings. the “Y” configuration becomes more obvious in Figure 10. . In a Yconnected system.32.306 CHAPTER 10. • Single-phase AC motors of this type need help to get started spinning in a particular direction. their direction of rotation is fixed by the phase sequence of the voltage they’re powered by. • Swapping any two “hot” wires on a polyphase AC motor will reverse its phase sequence.31) 120 V ∠ 0o + + + 120 V ∠ 240o 120 V ∠ 120o Figure 10. a definite direction of shaft rotation can be established. • Single-phase induction motors often use an auxiliary winding connected in series with a capacitor to create the necessary phase shift. as discussed earlier. 10.31: Three-phase “Y” connection has three voltage sources connected to a common point. there may or may not (Figure 10. • Polyphase motors don’t need such measures. although it certainly helps alleviate potential problems should one element of a three-phase load fail open.5 Three-phase Y and Delta configurations Initially we explored the idea of three-phase power systems by connecting three voltage sources together in what is commonly known as the “Y” (or “star”) configuration. • By introducing a phase shift of less than 180o to the magnetic fields in such a motor. This configuration of voltage sources is characterized by a common connection point joining one side of each source.

10. THREE-PHASE Y AND DELTA CONFIGURATIONS 307 "line" + 120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o 120 V ∠ 240o "line" Figure 10.33: Three-phase. "line" "neutral" 3-phase.32: Three-phase.5. three-wire “Y” connection does not use the neutral wire. 3-wire "Y" connection "line" + 120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o 120 V ∠ 240o "line" Figure 10. "line" (no "neutral" wire) . four-wire “Y” connection uses a ”common” fourth wire.

Another configuration is known as the “Delta. "line" 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o + + 120 V ∠ 120o "line" Figure 10. and line currents equal to phase currents. One quick check of this is to use Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law to see if the three voltages around the loop add up to zero. the line voltage will be equal to the phase voltage times the square root of 3: For "Y" circuits: Eline = 3 Ephase Iline = Iphase However. The terms line current and phase current follow the same logic: the former referring to current through any one line conductor. If the Y-connected source or load is balanced. Line voltage refers to the amount of voltage measured between any two line conductors in a balanced three-phase system. and the latter to current through any one component. With the above circuit. however. Due to the phase angles of these three voltage sources. the line voltage is roughly 208 volts. At first glance it seems as though three voltage sources like this would create a short-circuit. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS When we measure voltage and current in three-phase systems. electrons flowing around the triangle with nothing but the internal impedance of the windings to hold them back.34. Take close notice of the polarity for each winding in Figure 10. Phase voltage refers to the voltage measured across any one component (source winding or load impedance) in a balanced three-phase source or load. our KVL expression looks something like this: "line" - . the “Y” configuration is not the only valid one for connecting three-phase voltage source or load elements together. Y-connected sources and loads always have line voltages greater than phase voltages.” for its geometric resemblance to the Greek letter of the same name (∆). this is not the case. If they do.308 CHAPTER 10. three-wire ∆ connection has no common. and consequently there will be no circulating current. Starting with the top winding and progressing counter-clockwise. For the circuit shown above. then there will be no voltage available to push current around and around that loop. we need to be specific as to where we’re measuring. the phase voltage is 120 volts.34: Three-phase.

there will be zero voltage across the break. Having established that a ∆-connected three-phase voltage source will not burn itself to a crisp due to circulating currents.35: Voltage across open ∆ should be zero.5. the line current will be the vector sum of the two joining phase currents. Conversely. if we add these three vector quantities together. the line voltage will be equal to the phase voltage. telling us that no current will circulate within the triangular loop of windings when that connection is made complete.35) 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o + 120 V ∠ 120o + - Ebreak should equal 0 V Figure 10. THREE-PHASE Y AND DELTA CONFIGURATIONS 309 (120 V ∠ 0o) + (120 V ∠ 240o) + (120 V ∠ 120o) Does it all equal 0? Yes! Indeed.10. our KVL (120 V ∠ 120o) + (120 ∠ 0o) + (120 V ∠ 240o) + Ebreak = 0 0 + Ebreak = 0 Ebreak = 0 Sure enough. Because each pair of line conductors is connected directly across a single winding in a ∆ circuit. Another way to verify the fact that these three voltage sources can be connected together in a loop without resulting in circulating currents is to open up the loop at one junction point and calculate voltage across the break: (Figure 10. they do add up to zero. we turn to its practical use as a source of power in three-phase circuits. because each line conductor attaches at a node between two windings. Not surprisingly. the resulting equations for a ∆ configuration are as follows: . Starting with the right winding (120 V equation looks like this: 120o ) and progressing counter-clockwise.

which is substantially more than the line currents in the Y-connected system we looked at earlier. given the fact that we have such greater conductor currents. Although this circuit would require three number 1 gage copper conductors (at 1000 feet of distance between source and load this equates to a little over 750 pounds of copper for the whole system). necessitating thicker.34 A So each line current in this three-phase power system is equal to 144.33 A (for each load resistor and source winding) Iline = Iline = 3 Iphase 3 (83.36) 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V o ∠ 240 + 120 V ∠ 120o 10 kW + - 10 kW 10 kW Figure 10. more costly wire. .33 A) Iline = 144. the current in each phase of this circuit will be 83.33 amps: I= I= P E 10 kW 120 V I = 83. With each load resistance receiving 120 volts from its respective phase winding at the source. One might wonder if we’ve lost all the advantages of three-phase power here. it is still less than the 1000+ pounds of copper required for a single-phase system delivering the same power (30 kW) at the same voltage (120 volts conductor-to-conductor). POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS For ∆ ("delta") circuits: Eline = Ephase Iline = 3 Iphase Let’s see how this works in an example circuit: (Figure 10. The answer is no.34 amps.36: The load on the ∆ source is wired in a ∆.310 CHAPTER 10.



One distinct advantage of a ∆-connected system is its lack of a neutral wire. With a Yconnected system, a neutral wire was needed in case one of the phase loads were to fail open (or be turned off), in order to keep the phase voltages at the load from changing. This is not necessary (or even possible!) in a ∆-connected circuit. With each load phase element directly connected across a respective source phase winding, the phase voltage will be constant regardless of open failures in the load elements. Perhaps the greatest advantage of the ∆-connected source is its fault tolerance. It is possible for one of the windings in a ∆-connected three-phase source to fail open (Figure 10.37) without affecting load voltage or current!
120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o

120 V

winding failed open!

120 V

120 V


Figure 10.37: Even with a source winding failure, the line voltage is still 120 V, and load phase voltage is still 120 V. The only difference is extra current in the remaining functional source windings. The only consequence of a source winding failing open for a ∆-connected source is increased phase current in the remaining windings. Compare this fault tolerance with a Y-connected system suffering an open source winding in Figure 10.38.

208 V + 120 V o ∠0 + 120 V ∠ 120o



104 V

104 V

winding failed open!

Figure 10.38: Open “Y” source winding halves the voltage on two loads of a ∆ connected load. With a ∆-connected load, two of the resistances suffer reduced voltage while one remains at the original line voltage, 208. A Y-connected load suffers an even worse fate (Figure 10.39) with the same winding failure in a Y-connected source In this case, two load resistances suffer reduced voltage while the third loses supply voltage completely! For this reason, ∆-connected sources are preferred for reliability. However, if dual voltages are needed (e.g. 120/208) or preferred for lower line currents, Y-connected systems are



+ 120 V o ∠0



+ 120 V ∠ 120o

104 V 0V

104 V

winding failed open!

Figure 10.39: Open source winding of a ”Y-Y” system halves the voltage on two loads, and looses one load entirely. the configuration of choice. • REVIEW: • The conductors connected to the three points of a three-phase source or load are called lines. • The three components comprising a three-phase source or load are called phases. • Line voltage is the voltage measured between any two lines in a three-phase circuit. • Phase voltage is the voltage measured across a single component in a three-phase source or load. • Line current is the current through any one line between a three-phase source and load. • Phase current is the current through any one component comprising a three-phase source or load. • In balanced “Y” circuits, line voltage is equal to phase voltage times the square root of 3, while line current is equal to phase current.

For "Y" circuits: Eline = 3 Ephase

• Iline = Iphase • In balanced ∆ circuits, line voltage is equal to phase voltage, while line current is equal to phase current times the square root of 3.

For ∆ ("delta") circuits: Eline = Ephase

Iline =





• ∆-connected three-phase voltage sources give greater reliability in the event of winding failure than Y-connected sources. However, Y-connected sources can deliver the same amount of power with less line current than ∆-connected sources.


Three-phase transformer circuits

Since three-phase is used so often for power distribution systems, it makes sense that we would need three-phase transformers to be able to step voltages up or down. This is only partially true, as regular single-phase transformers can be ganged together to transform power between two three-phase systems in a variety of configurations, eliminating the requirement for a special three-phase transformer. However, special three-phase transformers are built for those tasks, and are able to perform with less material requirement, less size, and less weight than their modular counterparts. A three-phase transformer is made of three sets of primary and secondary windings, each set wound around one leg of an iron core assembly. Essentially it looks like three single-phase transformers sharing a joined core as in Figure 10.40.

Three-phase transformer core

Figure 10.40: Three phase transformer core has three sets of windings. Those sets of primary and secondary windings will be connected in either ∆ or Y configurations to form a complete unit. The various combinations of ways that these windings can be connected together in will be the focus of this section. Whether the winding sets share a common core assembly or each winding pair is a separate transformer, the winding connection options are the same: • Primary - Secondary • • • • Y Y ∆ ∆ Y ∆ Y ∆

The reasons for choosing a Y or ∆ configuration for transformer winding connections are the same as for any other three-phase application: Y connections provide the opportunity for multiple voltages, while ∆ connections enjoy a higher level of reliability (if one winding fails open, the other two can still maintain full line voltages to the load).



Probably the most important aspect of connecting three sets of primary and secondary windings together to form a three-phase transformer bank is paying attention to proper winding phasing (the dots used to denote “polarity” of windings). Remember the proper phase relationships between the phase windings of ∆ and Y: (Figure 10.41)

+ ∠ 0o



+ ∠ 120o o

+∠0 o

∠ 240 (Y)

∠ 240


+ (∆)


+ ∠ 120o

Figure 10.41: (Y) The center point of the “Y” must tie either all the “-” or all the “+” winding points together. (∆) The winding polarities must stack together in a complementary manner ( + to -). Getting this phasing correct when the windings aren’t shown in regular Y or ∆ configuration can be tricky. Let me illustrate, starting with Figure 10.42.

A1 B1 C1 T1 A2 B2 C2
Figure 10.42: Inputs A1 , A2 , A3 may be wired either “∆” or “Y”, as may outputs B1 , B2 , B3 . Three individual transformers are to be connected together to transform power from one three-phase system to another. First, I’ll show the wiring connections for a Y-Y configuration: Figure 10.43 Note in Figure 10.43 how all the winding ends marked with dots are connected to their respective phases A, B, and C, while the non-dot ends are connected together to form the centers of each “Y”. Having both primary and secondary winding sets connected in “Y” formations allows for the use of neutral conductors (N1 and N2 ) in each power system. Now, we’ll take a look at a Y-∆ configuration: (Figure 10.44) Note how the secondary windings (bottom set, Figure 10.44) are connected in a chain, the “dot” side of one winding connected to the “non-dot” side of the next, forming the ∆ loop. At





Y-Y A1 B1 C1 N1 T1 N2 A2 B2 C2
Figure 10.43: Phase wiring for “Y-Y” transformer.



Y-∆ A1 B1 C1 N1 T1 T2 T3

A2 B2 C2
Figure 10.44: Phase wiring for “Y-∆” transformer.



every connection point between pairs of windings, a connection is made to a line of the second power system (A, B, and C). Now, let’s examine a ∆-Y system in Figure 10.45.

A1 B1 C1

T1 N2 A2 B2 C2



Figure 10.45: Phase wiring for “∆-Y” transformer. Such a configuration (Figure 10.45) would allow for the provision of multiple voltages (lineto-line or line-to-neutral) in the second power system, from a source power system having no neutral. And finally, we turn to the ∆-∆ configuration: (Figure 10.46) When there is no need for a neutral conductor in the secondary power system, ∆-∆ connection schemes (Figure 10.46) are preferred because of the inherent reliability of the ∆ configuration. Considering that a ∆ configuration can operate satisfactorily missing one winding, some power system designers choose to create a three-phase transformer bank with only two transformers, representing a ∆-∆ configuration with a missing winding in both the primary and secondary sides: (Figure 10.47) This configuration is called “V” or “Open-∆.” Of course, each of the two transformers have to be oversized to handle the same amount of power as three in a standard ∆ configuration, but the overall size, weight, and cost advantages are often worth it. Bear in mind, however, that with one winding set missing from the ∆ shape, this system no longer provides the fault tolerance of a normal ∆-∆ system. If one of the two transformers were to fail, the load voltage and current would definitely be affected. The following photograph (Figure 10.48) shows a bank of step-up transformers at the Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam in Washington state. Several transformers (green in color) may be seen from this vantage point, and they are grouped in threes: three transformers per hydroelectric generator, wired together in some form of three-phase configuration. The photograph doesn’t reveal the primary winding connections, but it appears the secondaries are connected in a Y configuration, being that there is only one large high-voltage insulator protruding from



A1 B1 C1




A2 B2 C2
Figure 10.46: Phase wiring for “∆-∆” transformer.

"Open ∆" A1 B1 C1



A2 B2 C2
Figure 10.47: “V” or “open-∆” provides 2-φ power with only two transformers.



each transformer. This suggests the other side of each transformer’s secondary winding is at or near ground potential, which could only be true in a Y system. The building to the left is the powerhouse, where the generators and turbines are housed. On the right, the sloping concrete wall is the downstream face of the dam:

Figure 10.48: Step-up transfromer bank at Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam, Washington state, USA.


Harmonics in polyphase power systems

In the chapter on mixed-frequency signals, we explored the concept of harmonics in AC systems: frequencies that are integer multiples of the fundamental source frequency. With AC power systems where the source voltage waveform coming from an AC generator (alternator) is supposed to be a single-frequency sine wave, undistorted, there should be no harmonic content . . . ideally. This would be true were it not for nonlinear components. Nonlinear components draw current disproportionately with respect to the source voltage, causing non-sinusoidal current waveforms. Examples of nonlinear components include gas-discharge lamps, semiconductor power-control devices (diodes, transistors, SCRs, TRIACs), transformers (primary winding magnetization current is usually non-sinusoidal due to the B/H saturation curve of the core), and electric motors (again, when magnetic fields within the motor’s core operate near saturation levels). Even incandescent lamps generate slightly nonsinusoidal currents, as the filament resistance changes throughout the cycle due to rapid fluctuations in temperature. As we learned in the mixed-frequency chapter, any distortion of an otherwise sine-wave shaped waveform constitutes the presence of harmonic frequencies. When the nonsinusoidal waveform in question is symmetrical above and below its average centerline, the harmonic frequencies will be odd integer multiples of the fundamental source frequency only, with no even integer multiples. (Figure 10.49) Most nonlinear loads produce



current waveforms like this, and so even-numbered harmonics (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, etc.) are absent or only minimally present in most AC power systems.

Pure sine wave = 1st harmonic only

Figure 10.49: Examples of symmetrical waveforms – odd harmonics only. Examples of nonsymmetrical waveforms with even harmonics present are shown for reference in Figure 10.50.

Figure 10.50: Examples of nonsymmetrical waveforms – even harmonics present. Even though half of the possible harmonic frequencies are eliminated by the typically symmetrical distortion of nonlinear loads, the odd harmonics can still cause problems. Some of these problems are general to all power systems, single-phase or otherwise. Transformer overheating due to eddy current losses, for example, can occur in any AC power system where there is significant harmonic content. However, there are some problems caused by harmonic currents that are specific to polyphase power systems, and it is these problems to which this section is specifically devoted. It is helpful to be able to simulate nonlinear loads in SPICE so as to avoid a lot of complex mathematics and obtain a more intuitive understanding of harmonic effects. First, we’ll begin our simulation with a very simple AC circuit: a single sine-wave voltage source with a purely linear load and all associated resistances: (Figure 10.51) The Rsource and Rline resistances in this circuit do more than just mimic the real world: they also provide convenient shunt resistances for measuring currents in the SPICE simulation: by reading voltage across a 1 Ω resistance, you obtain a direct indication of current through it, since E = IR. A SPICE simulation of this circuit (SPICE listing: “linear load simulation”) with Fourier analysis on the voltage measured across Rline should show us the harmonic content of this circuit’s line current. Being completely linear in nature, we should expect no harmonics other than the 1st (fundamental) of 60 Hz, assuming a 60 Hz source. See SPICE output “Fourier components of transient response v(2,3)” and Figure 10.52. A .plot command appears in the SPICE netlist, and normally this would result in a sinewave graph output. In this case, however, I’ve purposely omitted the waveform display for



2 Rsource 1 Vsource 0 120 V 1Ω

Rline 1Ω 1 kΩ




Figure 10.51: SPICE circuit with single sine-wave source.

linear load simulation vsource 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource 1 2 1 rline 2 3 1 rload 3 0 1k .options itl5=0 .tran 0.5m 30m 0 1u .plot tran v(2,3) .four 60 v(2,3) .end

Fourier components of transient response v(2,3) dc component = 4.028E-12 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000E+01 1.198E-01 1.000000 -72.000 2 1.200E+02 5.793E-12 0.000000 51.122 3 1.800E+02 7.407E-12 0.000000 -34.624 4 2.400E+02 9.056E-12 0.000000 4.267 5 3.000E+02 1.651E-11 0.000000 -83.461 6 3.600E+02 3.931E-11 0.000000 36.399 7 4.200E+02 2.338E-11 0.000000 -41.343 8 4.800E+02 4.716E-11 0.000000 53.324 9 5.400E+02 3.453E-11 0.000000 21.691 total harmonic distortion = 0.000000 percent

normalized phase (deg) 0.000 123.122 37.376 76.267 -11.461 108.399 30.657 125.324 93.691



Figure 10.52: Frequency domain plot of single frequency component. See SPICE listing: “linear load simulation”. brevity’s sake – the .plot command is in the netlist simply to satisfy a quirk of SPICE’s Fourier transform function. No discrete Fourier transform is perfect, and so we see very small harmonic currents indicated (in the pico-amp range!) for all frequencies up to the 9th harmonic (in the table ), which is as far as SPICE goes in performing Fourier analysis. We show 0.1198 amps (1.198E-01) for the “Fourier component” of the 1st harmonic, or the fundamental frequency, which is our expected load current: about 120 mA, given a source voltage of 120 volts and a load resistance of 1 kΩ. Next, I’d like to simulate a nonlinear load so as to generate harmonic currents. This can be done in two fundamentally different ways. One way is to design a load using nonlinear components such as diodes or other semiconductor devices which are easy to simulate with SPICE. Another is to add some AC current sources in parallel with the load resistor. The latter method is often preferred by engineers for simulating harmonics, since current sources of known value lend themselves better to mathematical network analysis than components with highly complex response characteristics. Since we’re letting SPICE do all the math work, the complexity of a semiconductor component would cause no trouble for us, but since current sources can be fine-tuned to produce any arbitrary amount of current (a convenient feature), I’ll choose the latter approach shown in Figure 10.53 and SPICE listing: “Nonlinear load simulation”. In this circuit, we have a current source of 50 mA magnitude and a frequency of 180 Hz, which is three times the source frequency of 60 Hz. Connected in parallel with the 1 kΩ load resistor, its current will add with the resistor’s to make a nonsinusoidal total line current. I’ll show the waveform plot in Figure 10.54 just so you can see the effects of this 3rd-harmonic current on the total current, which would ordinarily be a plain sine wave. In the Fourier analysis, (See Figure 10.55 and “Fourier components of transient response v(2,3)”) the mixed frequencies are unmixed and presented separately. Here we see the same 0.1198 amps of 60 Hz (fundamental) current as we did in the first simulation, but appearing in the 3rd harmonic row we see 49.9 mA: our 50 mA, 180 Hz current source at work. Why don’t

options itl5=0 .322 CHAPTER 10.plot tran v(2. . POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 2 Rsource 1 Vsource 0 120 V 60 Hz 1Ω Rline 1Ω 1 kΩ 3 3 Rload 50 mA 180 Hz 0 0 Figure 10.tran 0.3) .end Figure 10. Nonlinear load simulation vsource 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource 1 2 1 rline 2 3 1 rload 3 0 1k i3har 3 0 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) .54: SPICE time-domain plot showing sum of 60 Hz source and 3rd harmonic of 180 Hz.5m 30m 0 1u .3) .four 60 v(2.53: SPICE circuit: 60 Hz source with 3rd harmonic added.

000E+01 1.074E-10 0.845 7 4.666663 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.400E+02 2.772 232.736E-11 0.071 8 4.407E-11 0.200E+02 8.619E-10 0.600E+02 5.772 9 5.000000 140.582 6 3.000000 -169.845 249.800E+02 4.329E-10 0.000000 156.349E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000 139.582 212.200E+02 1.55: SPICE Fourier plot showing 60 Hz source and 3rd harmonic of 180 Hz.071 228.3) dc component = 1.000 4 2.000 2 1.498 Figure 10.000000 160.570 3 1.609E-11 0.800E+02 1. .546 241.871E-11 0.498 total harmonic distortion = 41.000000 169.198E-01 1.000000 -72.000 -97.000E+02 3.7.10. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 323 Fourier components of transient response v(2.546 5 3.400E+02 1.570 216.000000 67.990E-02 0.000000 177.416667 144.

3) . 5th. and one for the voltage across the neutral resistor. and 9th harmonics present.options itl5=0 .” we would see further distortion of the line current waveform from the ideal sine-wave shape.56 and SPICE listing: “Nonlinear load simulation”. where one part of the load is “normal” (a resistor) and the other part is imitated by a current source. If we were to add more current sources to the “load.tran 0.3) . Nonlinear load simulation vsource 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource 1 2 1 rline 2 3 1 rload 3 0 1k i3har 3 0 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har 3 0 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har 3 0 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har 3 0 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) . POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS we see the entire 50 mA through the line? Because that current source is connected across the 1 kΩ load resistor.four 60 v(2. (Figure 10.9 mA each. reading voltages across fixed resistances of 1 Ω each gives direct indications of current through those resistors. See Figure 10. 5th.57) every harmonic current source is equally represented in the line current.plot tran v(2. at 49. . 3rd. As before. It’s an inevitable consequence of this type of simulation.56: Nonlinear load: 1st. and each of those harmonic currents would appear in the Fourier analysis breakdown. Two Fourier analyses will be performed: one for the voltage across a line resistor.5m 30m 0 1u .end As you can see from the Fourier analysis. See Figure 10. Nonlinear load: 1st. 3rd.324 CHAPTER 10. 7th. this is just a single-phase power system simulation. so some of its current is shunted through the load and never goes through the line back to the source. Things get more interesting when we make it a three-phase simulation.58 and SPICE listing “Y-Y source/load 4-wire system with harmonics”. So far. and 9th harmonics present 3 3 3 3 3 2 Rsource 1 Vsource 0 1Ω Rline 1Ω 1 kΩ 120 V 60 Hz Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 0 0 0 0 0 Figure 10. 7th.

742E-09 0.800E+02 2.271E-09 0.000 8 4. .000 -44.062 -72.781 9 5.469E-09 0.57: Fourier analysis: “Fourier components of transient response v(2.900E-09 0.000 total harmonic distortion = 83.000000 85.416667 144.000000 -72.299E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000E+02 4.416666 72.000 157.908 3 1.416666 -144.000 Figure 10.990E-02 0.990E-02 0.000E+01 1.000 6 3.000000 -116.10.400E+02 5.873 72. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 325 Fourier components of transient response v(2.200E+02 1.873 5 3.000 4 2.600E+02 6.000000 -38.000000 -93.416667 0.000 -21.000 33.800E+02 4.198E-01 1.200E+02 4.062 7 4.3) dc component = 6.7.000 2 1.219 144.3)”.908 216.990E-02 0.400E+02 4.333296 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.990E-02 0.

55555m 0) i7har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 420 5.326 CHAPTER 10.1111m 0) * * analysis stuff . POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Y-Y source/load 4-wire system with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / 0 deg) vsource1 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / 120 deg) vsource2 3 0 sin(0 120 60 5.1111m 0) i5har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 300 11.5m 100m 12m 1u .55555m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 10 7 1k i3har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 180 11.1111m 0) i9har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 540 11.tran 0.7) .8) .55555m 0) rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / 240 deg) vsource3 5 0 sin(0 120 60 11.7) .55555m 0) i5har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 300 5.55555m 0) i9har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 540 5.four 60 v(2.8) .1111m 0) rsource3 5 6 1 * * line and neutral wire resistances rline1 2 8 1 rline2 4 9 1 rline3 6 10 1 rneutral 0 7 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 8 7 1k i3har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 9 7 1k i3har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 180 5.plot tran v(0.plot tran v(2.options itl5=0 .four 60 v(0.end .1111m 0) i7har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 420 11.

10.000 -147.404E-12 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000 Fourier analysis of neutral current: This is a balanced Y-Y power system. as determined by the voltage drop across the Rneutral resistor between SPICE nodes 0 and 7.990 5 3.58: SPICE circuit: analysis of “line current” and “neutral current”.415423 0.800E+02 4.990E-02 0.236E-10 0.975E-02 0.600E+02 1.000 6 3. (Figure 10.200E+02 2.400E+02 4.985 0.7.146 7 4. Each .000000 -148.415422 0. Y-Y source/load 4-wire system with harmonics.811 0. See Figure 10.60) In a balanced 3-phase Y load. each phase identical to the single-phase AC system simulated earlier.985 3 1.209009 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.000 172.200E+02 4.811 9 5.000000 166.59 and Fourier analysis: “Fourier components of transient response v(2. Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier components of transient response v(2. it should come as no surprise that the Fourier analysis for line current in one phase of the 3-phase system is nearly identical to the Fourier analysis for line current in the single-phase system: a fundamental (60 Hz) line current of 0.416666 0.000E+02 4.000 166.000 2 1.990 0.1198 amps.784E-10 0.000000 -147.877E-10 0.400E+02 4.800E+02 2.975E-02 0.146 0. Consequently.000 total harmonic distortion = 83.000000 0.990E-02 0.000 4 2. and odd harmonic currents of approximately 50 mA each.8) dc component = -6.000000 172.000 8 4.218E-10 0.8)” What should be surprising here is the analysis for the neutral conductor’s current.000 -148. we would expect the neutral current to be zero.416667 0.198E-01 1.000E+01 1. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS Rline 1Ω Rline 1Ω 8 9 327 2 Rsource 1 Vsource 120 V 60 Hz 0o Vsource 0 60 Hz 120 V 240o 1Ω 1Ω 4 Rsource 3 120 V 60 Hz 120o Rneutral 1Ω 1Ω 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 7 Vsource 5 Rsource 6 1 kΩ 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA Rload Rline 1Ω 10 Figure 10.

000E+01 4.993 8 4.7638 -180.001378 35.7) dc component = 1.257E-09 0.002898 -21.000783 15.103 5 3.584 9 5.017 .963 -44.023E-07 2.200E+02 1.59: Fourier analysis of line current in balanced Y-Y system Fourier components of transient response v(0.025 -24.200E+02 1.493E-01 344147.000 31.206 3 1.493E-01 344147.400E+02 1.4889 -179.136 -0.396E-10 0.869E-10 0.080596 119.000E+02 9.264E-06 2.999 normalized phase (deg) 0.981 6 3.800E+02 5. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Figure 10.018 -81.000431 91.975E-10 0.434 -240.328 CHAPTER 10.188 -240.121 59.819E-10 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.800E+02 1.000000 60.000 4 2.882 7 4.018 2 1.913955 59.400E+02 1.337E-07 1.600E+02 3.

Observe how this harmonic waveform has the same phase relationship to the 2nd and 3rd fundamental waveforms as it does with the 1st: in each positive half-cycle of any of the fundamental waveforms. The same may be said about the 5th and 7th harmonics.7. what a 3rd harmonic waveform for phase 1 would look like superimposed on the graph in Figure 10. See Fourier analysis: “Fourier components of transient response v(0.10. Note that the fundamental frequency (60 Hz. or the 1st harmonic) current is virtually absent from the neutral conductor.7) ” This is exactly what’s happening.59 phase current – which by itself would go through the neutral wire back to the supplying phase on the source Y – should cancel each other in regard to the neutral conductor because they’re all the same magnitude and all shifted 120o apart. In contrast. The key to understanding this is made clear in a time-domain graph of phase currents. Our Fourier analysis shows only 0. individually. both of those currents having negligible magnitude. you will find exactly two positive half-cycles and one negative half-cycle of the harmonic waveform. the 3rd and 9th harmonics are strongly represented within the neutral conductor. this is what happens. or three times the current sources’ values. with 149. we cannot say the same for harmonic currents in the same system. it is easy to see how they would cancel each other to give a resultant current of zero in the neutral conductor. The phase shift figure of 120o generally assumed in three-phase AC systems applies only to the . With three sources per harmonic frequency in the load.3 mA (1. with a phase sequence of 1-2-3. Let’s consider. In a system with no harmonic currents. though. Examine this plot of balanced phase currents over time.4337 µA of 1st harmonic when reading voltage across Rneutral .62. it appears our 3rd and 9th harmonic currents in each phase are adding to form the neutral current.60: Fourier analysis of neutral current shows other than no harmonics! Compare to line current in Figure 10. though it might not be apparent why this is so. leaving zero current through the neutral conductor. However.493E-01 volts across 1 Ω) each! This is very nearly 150 mA. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 329 Figure 10. (Figure 10. What this means is that the 3rd-harmonic waveforms of three 120o phase-shifted fundamental-frequency waveforms are actually in phase with each other.61) With the three fundamental waveforms equally shifted across the time axis of the graph.

POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS phase sequence: 1. .2.3.3 1 2 3 TIME Figure 10.1.62: Third harmonic waveform for phase-1 superimposed on three-phase fundamental waveforms.61: Phase sequence 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 of equally spaced waves.330 CHAPTER 1 2 3 TIME Figure 10.1.

A phase shift of 360o is the same as a phase shift of 0o . which is to say no phase shift at all. the 21st harmonics. this effect occurs . not to their harmonic multiples! If we were to plot all three 3rd-harmonic waveforms on the same graph. For the more mathematically inclined. not only are the 3rd harmonic waveforms of each fundamental waveform in phase with each other. unified waveform (shown in bold in (Figure 10. 18th. When relating waveforms of different frequency. A’ and B’ must be in phase with each other: Phase sequence = A-B-C Fundamental A 0o B 120o C 240o 3rd harmonic A’ B’ C’ o o 3x0 3 x 120 3 x 240o (0o) (360o = 0o) (720o = 0o) This characteristic of the 3rd harmonic in a three-phase system also holds true for any integer multiples of the 3rd harmonic. but 3 times that.63: Third harmonics for phases 1. leaving only the odd-numbered multiples (3rd. The phase shift between A’ and B’ is not 120o (that is the phase shift between A and B). 15th.) are generally not significant. the most accurate way to represent phase shift is in terms of time. 9th. the 18th harmonics. So. and so on. In polyphase power systems with some number of phases other than three. Thus. the 9th harmonics. and the time-shift between A’ and B’ is equivalent to 120o at a frequency three times lower. 12th. 21st. etc. Let’s call the 3rd harmonic of each waveform A’ and B’. the 12th harmonics. 2. the 15th harmonics.63) 1 2 3 TIME Figure 10.7.10. both at the same frequency. but so are the 6th harmonics. this principle may be expressed symbolically. etc. 3 all coincide when superimposed on the fundamental three-phase waveforms. because the A’ and B’ waveforms alternate three times as fast as A and B. we would see them precisely overlap and appear as a single. Suppose that A represents one waveform and B another. Since only odd harmonics appear in systems where waveform distortion is symmetrical about the centerline – and most nonlinear loads create symmetrical distortion – even-numbered multiples of the 3rd harmonic (6th.) to significantly contribute to neutral currents. respectively. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 331 fundamental frequencies. The shift between waveforms is only accurately expressed in terms of phase angle when the same angular velocity is assumed. or 360o at the frequency of A’ and B’. but shifted 120o from each other in terms of phase.

POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS with harmonics of the same multiple. 16th. Second. one might be tempted to remove the neutral wire entirely. and thus there is no provision for automatic interruption of these high currents.64) Source ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line line Load ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω neutral 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω Figure 10. The following illustration shows how triplen harmonic currents created at the load add within the neutral conductor. So. In an effort to mitigate these additive triplen currents. Due to their abundance and significance in three-phase power systems. “5ω ” represents the 5th harmonic. 20th. we see that there is substantial harmonic . doing so just causes a different problem: the load’s “Y” center-point will no longer be at the same potential as the source’s. but the 3rd and 9th harmonic currents are of negligible magnitude. the harmonic currents that add in the neutral conductor of a star-connected 4-phase system where the phase shift between fundamental waveforms is 90o would be the 4th.64: “Y-Y”Triplen source/load: Harmonic currents add in neutral conductor. The 5th and 7th harmonic currents are present at their normal levels (approximately 50 mA). First. the triplen harmonic currents may be of great enough magnitude to cause neutral conductors to overheat. This is very problematic. and so on: (Figure 10. If there is no neutral wire in which triplen currents can flow together. “3ω ” represents the 3rd harmonic. 12th. “ω ” represents the fundamental frequency. the 3rd harmonic and its multiples have their own special name: triplen harmonics. All triplen harmonics add with each other in the neutral conductor of a 4-wire Y-connected load. right? Unfortunately. We’ll re-run the last SPICE simulation without the 1 Ω Rneutral resistor and see what happens: Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier analysis of voltage between the two “Y” center-points: Fourier analysis of load phase voltage: Strange things are happening. and is mathematically equivalent to 2π f. For instance.332 CHAPTER 10. meaning that each phase of the load will receive a different voltage than what is produced by the source. as other safety concerns prohibit neutral conductors from having overcurrent protection. then they won’t. indeed. and so on. 8th. In power systems containing substantial nonlinear loading. The symbol “ω ” is used to represent angular velocity. we see that the triplen harmonic currents (3rd and 9th) all but disappear in the lines connecting load to source.

55555m 0) i7har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 420 5.plot tran v(8.7) .plot tran v(2.10.7) .plot tran v(0.55555m 0) i5har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 300 5.options itl5=0 .7) .four 60 v(0.1111m 0) i7har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 420 11.end 333 .1111m 0) * * analysis stuff .7.5m 100m 12m 1u .1111m 0) i9har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 540 11.8) .1111m 0) rsource3 5 6 1 * * line resistances rline1 2 8 1 rline2 4 9 1 rline3 6 10 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 8 7 1k i3har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 9 7 1k i3har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 180 5.1111m 0) i5har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 300 11.four 60 v(8.tran 0.four 60 v(2.55555m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 10 7 1k i3har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 180 11.55555m 0) rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / 240 deg) vsource3 5 0 sin(0 120 60 11. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS Y-Y source/load (no neutral) with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / 0 deg) vsource1 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / 120 deg) vsource2 3 0 sin(0 120 60 5.7) .8) .55555m 0) i9har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 540 5.

000 -124.005 total harmonic distortion = 58.913955 59.991E-07 0.000000 158.234E-04 2.485 179.584 9 5.400E+02 5.000000 35.138E-07 0.999 total harmonic distortion = ************ percent Fourier components of transient response v(8.000 158.200E+02 4.790 8 4.423E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.400E+02 9.417500 -180.009 -111.000000 -111.462 -179.000000 60.200E+02 4.000E+01 344147.800E+02 3.278E-07 0.136E-07 0.800E+02 5.990E-02 0. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Fourier components of transient response v(2.638 9 5.263E-08 0.000E+01 1.406E-07 0.959E-02 0.8) dc component = 5.000 8 4.136 -0.600E+02 1.993 8 4.009 4 2.850 6 3.925539 percent Fourier components of transient response v(0.200E+02 9.206 3 1.000783 15.963 -44.800E+02 2.016 3 1.606E-11 0.000832 179.017 normalized phase (deg) 0.990E-02 0.000000 -19.200E+02 6.747 179.200E+02 2.043467 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.000 4 2.400E+02 5.023E-07 0.198E-01 1.000 -19.747 5 3.198E+02 1.093E-08 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000E+02 4.434 -240.018 -81.850 13.000431 91.963E-11 0.999 .000000 0.000E+01 344147.025 -24.510 5 3.070E-08 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000E+01 0.4728 -179.000E+01 1.800E+02 8.000 90.995E-02 0.000000 13.000000 90.000000 0.000 4 2.400E+02 4.417499 -179.510 0.7879 -180.210E-07 0.001E-07 0.000003 -90.565 0.400E+02 4.005 normalized phase (deg) 0.000000 -124.080596 119.473 3 1.016 -90.882 7 4.981 6 3.121 59.485 7 4.334 CHAPTER 10.7) dc component = 6.000 -159.000E+01 1.565 7 4.200E+02 6.103 5 3.000 2 1.018 2 1.000008 -90.000835 179.800E+02 1.000E+02 3.002898 -21.000E+02 9.789 35.000E+01 0.000 2 1.800E+02 5.453E-04 1.000000 -159.7) dc component = 6.126E-11 0.999 total harmonic distortion = 59.400E+02 5.600E+02 1.416668 0.000 6 3.188 -240.638 -90.462 9 5.001378 35.416665 0.231E-08 0.000 31.473 -180.023E-04 2.600E+02 8.388E-10 0.

The measured parameters will be line current (voltage across Rline . all comprised of triplen frequencies. Source ω 5ω 7ω line line ω 5ω 7ω Load V ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω 3ω 9ω V 3ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 5ω 7ω Figure 10. the only way to do it in SPICE is to set up the sources with a delay time or phase offset specified in seconds. between which the neutral conductor used to connect. the 0o source has these five specifying figures: “(0 207. Let’s try a ∆ source instead of a Y. 60 Hz. nodes 1 and 2). and source phase current (voltage across Rsource . the undesirable effect from harmonics was excessive neutral current.65 is a graphical summary of the aforementioned effects. Finally. In summary.55555m 0)”. all the same as the first except for the time delay factor of 5.65: Three-wire “Y-Y” (no neutral) system: Triplen voltages appear between “Y” centers. removal of the neutral conductor leads to a “hot” center-point on the load “Y”.66) Note: the following paragraph is for those curious readers who follow every detail of my SPICE netlists. Y-connected system. to ensure the load phase voltages remain at 120 volts each). The 120o phase-shifted source has these figures: “(0 207.10.846 60 0 0)”. skip this paragraph! When simulating circuits having AC sources of differing frequency and differing phase. the voltage as measured across one of the load’s phases (between nodes 8 and 7 in the SPICE analysis) likewise shows strong triplen harmonic voltages of 50 volts each.55555 milliseconds. and also to harmonic load phase voltages of equal magnitude. and see what happens. If you just want to find out what happens in the circuit. 0 time delay. load phase voltage (nodes 8 and 7). there is 50 volts of both 3rd and 9th harmonic frequency between these two points. or 1/3 of the full . keeping the load in its present Y configuration. but at least each phase of the load received voltage nearly free of harmonics. 207. nodes 0 and 8). Since removing the neutral wire didn’t seem to work in eliminating the problems caused by harmonics.846 60 5. perhaps switching to a ∆ configuration will. balanced Y system.846 volts peak amplitude (120 times the square root of three. Thus. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 335 voltage between the two “Y” center-points. (Figure 10. which means 0 volts DC offset. In the previous simulation where we had a 4-wire. Non-triplen currents appear in line conductors. which is definitely not normal in a linear (no harmonics). According to SPICE. Figure 10. Triplen voltages appear across load phases. and 0 damping factor.7.

end 0 deg) 120 deg) 0) 240 deg) 0) .72222m 0) i9har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 9.72222m 0) i5har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 9.16666m 0) i5har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 300 4.options itl5=0 .2777m 0) i9har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 540 15.336 CHAPTER 10.2777m 0) i7har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 420 15.tran 0.four 60 v(0.7) v(1.8) v(8.846 60 11.55555m rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / vsource3 5 4 sin(0 207.plot tran v(0.846 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / vsource2 3 2 sin(0 207.2) .1111m rsource3 5 0 1 * * line resistances rline1 0 8 1 rline2 2 9 1 rline3 4 10 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 8 7 1k i3har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 9.16666m 0) i7har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 420 4.2777m 0) i5har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 300 15.8) v(8.2777m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 10 7 1k i3har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 180 4.846 60 5.16666m 0) * * analysis stuff .5m 100m 16m 1u .7) v(1.2) .72222m 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 9 7 1k i3har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 180 15.72222m 0) i7har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 9. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Delta-Y source/load with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / vsource1 1 0 sin(0 207.16666m 0) i9har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 540 4.

VBA . or +330o ).10. 4. Therefore. and load phase voltages remain unchanged as well. Consequently. (Figure 10. 120o .72222 milliseconds (210o ). respectively. and 240o .2777 milliseconds (-30o . the only advantage of the ∆-Y configuration from the standpoint of harmonics is that there is no longer a center-point at the load posing a shock hazard. VB .tran transient analysis line to hold off analysis until 16 milliseconds after start. because the phase voltages in a Y load are not in phase with the phase voltages of a ∆ source. with negligible triplen harmonics: Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier analysis of load phase voltage: Fourier analysis of source phase current: Really. I had to set them at 15. The 240o source must be time-delayed twice that amount. The result of this analysis is almost as disappointing as the last.67) Line currents remain unchanged (the only substantial harmonic content being the 5th and 7th harmonics). Otherwise. and 210o . HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 0 Rline 1Ω Rline 1Ω 8 120 V 60 Hz 0o Vsource 0 Rsource 5 Vsource 4 4 1 kΩ Rload 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 1Ω 60 Hz 120 V 240o 9 337 2 Rsource 120 V 60 Hz o 3 120 1Ω 4 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 1Ω 2 Vsource Rsource 7 Rline 4 1Ω 10 Figure 10. One final note: when delaying AC sources in SPICE.16666 milliseconds (90o ). The Y-connected load. respectively. on the other hand.66: Delta-Y source/load with harmonics period of 16. they don’t “turn on” until their delay time has elapsed.1111 milliseconds.7. and VC will have phase angles of -30o . . which means any mathematical analysis up to that point in time will be in error. This is an intrinsic property of all ∆-Y circuits and not a quirk of SPICE. requires a different set of time-delay figures for its harmonic current sources. I set the .6667 milliseconds for a 60 Hz waveform. or 11. which gives all sources in the netlist time to engage before any analysis takes place. then “Y” load voltages VA . and 9. Both 5th and 7th harmonics are represented there. equivalent to a fraction of 240/360 of 16. 90o . and VCB are referenced at 0o . the load components receive the same harmonically-rich voltages and the lines see the same currents as in a three-wire Y system. which should come as no surprise. If ∆ source voltages VAC .6667 milliseconds. This is for the ∆-connected source. Source phase current is a fraction of the line current. when I specified the delay times for the harmonic sources. with a full 50 volts of triplen harmonic (3rd and 9th) frequencies across each load component.

186 .995 normalized phase (deg) 0.000E+02 2.112 6 3.000E+01 0.000E+01 6.024E-11 0.198E-01 1.998 -324.228 -119.603 -301.694 0.000000 -174.600E+02 2.000000 159.466E-02 0.564E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.745 -179.416644 -29.996 4 2.000578 148.883E-02 0.162 7 4.994 8 4.140E-11 0.525E-11 0.416682 30.897 9 5.000 2 1.8) dc component = -6.267E-06 0.926 7 4.850E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.259E-08 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.004109 percent Fourier components of transient response v(1.200 -329.995 normalized phase (deg) 0.931E-02 0.112 -81.600E+02 2.198 -179.674 3 1.2) dc component = 3.000E+01 1.998 -92.802 7 4.883E-02 0.800E+02 4.000000 57.000E+02 4. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Fourier components of transient response v(0.800E+02 8.548 8 4.875 9 5.400E+02 5.417398 -179.000000 52.925038 percent Fourier components of transient response v(8.000E+01 0.000013 0.006 total harmonic distortion = 59.200E+02 1.000E+02 6.949E-11 0.000 2 1.200E+02 1.198E+02 1.000000 -91.200E+02 4.800E+02 5.000062 0.200E+02 6.417222 -89.000000 -110.506E-06 0.398E-07 0.417221 90.005 4 2.000000 66.838 -1.000000 68.996 6 3.800E+02 1.002 6 3.200E+02 2.400E+02 4.200E+02 2.000000 -156.433E-07 0.600E+02 1.693 3 1.772 5 3.722 -149.000000 49.234E-11 0.397 5 3.7) dc component = 1.000000 -39.000000 -0.897 -59.000021 -179.000000 150.400E+02 1.815 -110.906E-02 1.998 4 2.200 9 5.000 -100.000 9.033E-11 0.491E-11 0.519E-07 0.998 -83.307 -239.000000 -174.996 -97.994E-02 0.400E+02 2.006 total harmonic distortion = 59.000540 -151.723 3 1.453 -324.400E+02 4.400E+02 2.324E-11 0.995 total harmonic distortion = 58.390 -179.031969 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.000000 150.338 CHAPTER 10.493 -179.800E+02 1.941E-07 0.800E+02 2.417440 -179.570 5 3.000 -156.993E-02 0.422E-06 0.815 -91.998 8 4.000E+01 1.518E-06 0.813 -39.181 2 1.000038 -179.

thanks to the direct connection with the source phases in a ∆-∆ system. “Fourier analysis: Fourier components of transient response v(0. This is where the triplen harmonic currents have gone: they stay within the ∆ of the load. This is a major benefit of the ∆-∆ system configuration: triplen harmonic currents remain .6)”. but where did those currents go? Remember that the triplen harmonics of 120o phase-shifted fundamental frequencies are in phase with each other. If we were to reconfigure the system into a ∆-∆ arrangement. See SPICE listing: “Delta-Delta source/load with harmonics”. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 339 Source ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω line line ω 5ω 7ω Load ω 3ω 5ω ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω 3ω 9ω 7ω 9ω V ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 5ω 7ω Figure 10. analyzing line current. because the 3rd and 9th harmonic current sources are intentionally placed in the phases of the load. What we would have is current circulating within the loop formed by the ∆-connected phases. (Figure 10. Let’s simulate and observe. Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier analysis of load phase voltage: Fourier analysis of source phase current: As predicted earlier.68) that should guarantee that each load component receives non-harmonic voltage.69. load phase voltage. It would seem to be the ideal solution.7. the load phase voltage is almost a pure sine-wave. with negligible harmonic content.67: “∆-Y” source/load: Triplen voltages appear across load phases.10. since each load phase would be directly connected in parallel with each source phase. Note the directions that the arrows of the current sources within the load phases are pointing. never reaching the line conductors or the windings of the source. Non-triplen currents appear in line conductors and in source phase windings.1)”. But what happened to the triplen harmonics? The 3rd and 9th harmonic frequencies don’t appear in any substantial amount in the line current. nor in the source phase current! We know that triplen currents exist. These results may be graphically summarized as such in Figure 10. The complete lack of any neutral wires or “center points” in a ∆-∆ system prevents strange voltages or additive currents from occurring. and “Fourier components of transient response v(2. and think about what would happen if the 3rd and 9th harmonic sources were DC sources instead. nor in the load phase voltage. and source phase current.

69: ∆-∆ source/load: Load phases receive undistorted sinewave voltages.68: Delta-Delta source/load with harmonics. Non-triplen currents apprear in line conductors and in source phase windings. Triplen currents are confined to circulate within load phases. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Rline 1Ω Rline 1Ω 0 Rload 1 kΩ 50 mA 180 Hz 50 mA 300 Hz 50 mA 420 Hz 50 mA 540 Hz 2 6 7 120 V 60 Hz 0o Vsource 0 Rsource 5 Vsource 4 1Ω 60 Hz 120 V 240o Rsource 120 V 60 Hz 120o 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 kΩ Rload 1 1Ω 2 Vsource 3 Rsource 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 1Ω 4 4 8 Rline 4 1Ω Figure 10. . Source ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω line line ω 5ω 7ω Load ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω ω V ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 5ω 7ω Figure 10.340 CHAPTER 10.

6) v(7.1111m 0) i7har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 420 11.1111m 0) i5har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 300 11.four 60 v(0.options itl5=0 .6) v(7.55555m 0) i5har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 5.plot tran v(0.55555m 0) i9har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 5.55555m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 6 8 1k i3har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 180 11.7.55555m 0) i7har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 5.5m 100m 16m 1u .1111m 0) rsource3 5 0 1 * * line resistances rline1 0 6 1 rline2 2 7 1 rline3 4 8 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 7 6 1k i3har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 8 7 1k i3har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 5.6) v(2.end 341 .tran 0. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS Delta-Delta source/load with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / 0 deg) vsource1 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / 120 deg) vsource2 3 2 sin(0 120 60 5.10.1111m 0) * * analysis stuff .1) .1) i(3har1) .1111m 0) i9har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 540 11.6) v(2.55555m 0) rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / 240 deg) vsource3 5 4 sin(0 120 60 11.

000 2 1.480E-11 0.999 6 3.000 -181.000000 144.940 2 1.385 89.939 -243.760 7 4.800E+02 3.491 3 1.752E-06 0.997 0.974 36.000 6 3.416921 -180.000000 -151.877E-06 0.385 9 5.000000 89.578E-10 0.000000 23.449 -89.000000 -4.000 -151.939 -202.001 8 4.400E+02 4.251E-06 0.342 CHAPTER 10.000 -46.001667 -180.991 total harmonic distortion = 58.000000 133.187 5 3.961298 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.000E+02 1.759 9 5.800E+02 7.000009 89.400E+02 4.013 normalized phase (deg) 0.000000 179.925538 percent Fourier components of transient response v(7.257E-07 0.000 6 3.595E-11 0.905 normalized phase (deg) 0.200E+02 1.000E+02 8.980E-02 0.194E-01 1.680E-10 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000000 150.974 4 2.569E-11 0.039E-09 0.000003 89.000E+01 1.985 4 2.800E+02 1.000000 -22.215E-10 0.000 2 1.089E-10 0.195E+02 1.385E-11 0.499E-09 0.001 -213.385E-07 0.415 -359.200E+02 4.749 89.940 -60.992E-01 0.416669 150.475 7 4.571 -359.987 total harmonic distortion = 58.940 9 5.416664 -149.000000 -31.951E-09 0.000000 8.980E-02 0.800E+02 6.007E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.127 -180.000000 -63.000000 89.400E+02 2.000 144.657E-11 0.000 8 4.400E+02 1.905 total harmonic distortion = 0.200E+02 1.000 8 4.955 -156.6) dc component = -5.911E-11 0.699 -89.813 -300.923E-12 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.997 7 4.600E+02 1.200E+02 2.760 -180.800E+02 2.000000 0.000 -4.010 -141.200E+02 5.600E+02 4.666 -60.626E-02 0.949 .000008 89.400E+02 9.400E+02 3.990 4 2.200E+02 8.800E+02 1.368 5 3.6) dc component = -6.600E+02 2.666 3 1.000000 -63.000000 156.1) dc component = -1.000E+01 2. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Fourier components of transient response v(0.749 3 1.235702 percent Fourier components of transient response v(2.127 5 3.001667 -180.000003 89.129E-07 0.000E+02 4.416918 -180.000E+01 1.000 6.000000 36.992E-01 0.626E-02 0.070E-01 1.

C all coincide. Since any distortion of an originally pure sine-wave constitutes harmonic frequencies. • When the sine-wave distortion is symmetrical above and below the average centerline of the waveform. no rotation. the third-harmonic multiples of those frequencies (180 Hz) fall perfectly into phase with each other. • In a 4-wire Y-Y system. HARMONIC PHASE SEQUENCES 343 confined in whatever set of components create them. B. 10.8 Harmonic phase sequences In the last section. . They are in phase with each other.70) and/or in mathematical terms: A B C TIME Figure 10. and C are 120o apart. 12th. and do not “spread” to other parts of the system. (Figure 10. • REVIEW: • Nonlinear components are those that draw a non-sinusoidal (non-sine-wave) current waveform when energized by a sinusoidal (sine-wave) voltage. This can be thought of in graphical terms. • The 3rd harmonic. we can say that nonlinear components generate harmonic currents. B. 9th. despite the fact that their respective fundamental waveforms are 120o out of phase with each other. and integer multiples of it (6th. not even-numbered. the only harmonics present will be odd-numbered. • Triplen harmonic currents in a ∆-connected set of components circulate within the loop formed by the ∆.10.70: Harmonic currents of Phases A. In a 60 Hz three-phase power system. that is. we saw how the 3rd harmonic and all of its integer multiples (collectively called triplen harmonics) generated by 120o phase-shifted fundamental waveforms are actually in phase with each other. triplen harmonic currents add within the neutral conductor. 15th) are known as triplen harmonics. where phases A.8.

we will notice an interesting pattern develop with regard to the rotation or sequence of the harmonic frequencies: Fundamental A 0o B 120o C 240o A-B-C no rotation 3rd harmonic A’ B’ C’ 3 x 0o 3 x 120o 3 x 240o (0o) (360o = 0o) (720o = 0o) A’’ 5 x 0o (0o) A’’’ 7 x 0o (0o) A’’’’ 9 x 0o (0o) B’’ 5 x 120o (600o = 720o . which “rotate” in the opposite sequence as the fundamental. are called negative sequence. Triplen harmonics (3rd and 9th shown in this table) which don’t “rotate” at all because they’re in phase with each other. This pattern of positive-zero-negative-positive continues indefinitely for all odd-numbered harmonics. are called zero sequence.120o) 5th harmonic C’’ 5 x 240o (1200o = 1440o . Harmonics such as the 5th.240o) C-B-A (-120 ) B’’’ 7 x 120o (840o = 720o + 120o) o (-240 ) C’’’ 7 x 240o (1680o = 1440o + 240o) o 7th harmonic A-B-C 9th harmonic (240 ) C’’’’ no 9 x 240o rotation o o (1080o = 0o) (2160 = 0 ) (120 ) B’’’’ 9 x 120o o o Harmonics such as the 7th. lending itself to expression in a table like this: . which “rotate” with the same sequence as the fundamental.344 CHAPTER 10. are called positive sequence. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Phase sequence = A-B-C Fundamental A 0o B 120o C 240o 3rd harmonic A’ B’ C’ o o 3x0 3 x 120 3 x 240o (0o) (360o = 0o) (720o = 0o) If we extend the mathematical table to include higher odd-numbered harmonics.

Positive-sequence frequencies work to push the rotor in the proper direction. 17th. since the mechanical rotation of the rotor depends on the torque produced by the sequential “rotation” of the applied 3-phase power.9 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. Since the higher-order harmonics tend to be attenuated more by system inductances and magnetic core losses. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. and generally originate with less amplitude anyway. and/or 23rd) in the power supplied to a three-phase AC motor will result in a degradation of performance and possible overheating. 2002): Suggested better ways to illustrate the meaning of the prefix “poly-”. . whereas negative-sequence frequencies actually work against the direction of the rotor’s rotation. the primary harmonic of concern is the 5th. from most recent to first. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information.10. An excess of negative-sequence harmonics (5th. Zero-sequence frequencies neither contribute to nor detract from the rotor’s torque.9. which is 300 Hz in 60 Hz power systems and 250 Hz in 50 Hz power systems. 11th. Ed Beroset (May 6. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. 10. CONTRIBUTORS 345 Rotation sequences according to harmonic number + 0 1st 7th 13th 19th 3rd 9th 15th 21st 5th 11th 17th 23rd Rotates with fundamental Does not rotate Rotates against fundamental Sequence especially matters when we’re dealing with AC motors.


. 355 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Hz AC voltage source is delivering power to a resistive load: (Figure 11.1 Power in resistive and reactive AC circuits Consider a circuit for a single-phase AC power system. . . .1: Ac source drives a purely resistive load. . . . . . 360 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 True. . . .Chapter 11 POWER FACTOR Contents 11. . . . . . . .1) 120 V 60 Hz R 60 Ω Figure 11. . . . 352 11. 347 . . . 347 11. . . . . . . . . . and Apparent power . . . . . where a 120 volt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reactive. .1 Power in resistive and reactive AC circuits . . . . .3 Calculating power factor . . . 365 11. . . .4 Practical power factor correction . . . . . . . . . .5 Contributors . . .

2: Current is in phase with voltage in a resistive circuit. For comparison. let’s consider a simple AC circuit with a purely reactive load in Figure 11. never negative for this resistive circuit.3. its frequency is double that of either the voltage or current waveforms. Note that the waveform for power is always positive. This different frequency prohibits our expression of power in an AC circuit using the same complex (rectangular or polar) notation as used for voltage. and calculations look similar to that in an equivalent DC circuit. it would look like Figure 11.348 CHAPTER 11. the current to the load would be 2 amps. Also note that the waveform for power is not at the same frequency as the voltage or current! Rather. the current is in phase with the voltage. Because this load is purely resistive (no reactance). As strange as it may seem. current. e= i= p= + Time - Figure 11. RMS. This means that power is always being dissipated by the resistive load. POWER FACTOR ZR = 60 + j0 Ω or 60 Ω ∠ 0o I= I= E Z 120 V 60 Ω I=2A In this example. and impedance. current. the best way to proceed with AC power calculations is to use scalar notation. . and never returned to the source as it is with reactive loads. phase relationships constantly change. it would take 240 watts worth of mechanical energy (about 1/3 horsepower) to turn the shaft. If the source were a mechanical generator. If we were to plot the voltage. and power waveforms for this circuit. The power dissipated at the load would be 240 watts. because this form of mathematical symbolism implies unchanging phase relationships.2. and to handle any relevant phase relationships with trigonometry. When frequencies are not the same.

Now. The generator shaft would be easy to spin.3: AC circuit with a purely reactive (inductive) load. .319 Ω ∠ 90o I= I= E Z 120 V 60.319 Ω ZL = 0 + j60. Though it is alternately absorbed from and returned to the source.5. it would take (practically) no net mechanical energy to turn the shaft.1.4) This means that power is being alternately absorbed from and returned to the source. POWER IN RESISTIVE AND REACTIVE AC CIRCUITS 349 120 V 60 Hz L 160 mH Figure 11. XL = 60.11.989 A + e= i= p= Time Figure 11.319 Ω or 60.4: Power is not dissipated in a purely reactive load. If the source were a mechanical generator. because no power would be used by the load.319 Ω I = 1. and the inductor would not become warm as a resistor would. Note that the power alternates equally between cycles of positive and negative. let’s consider an AC circuit with a load consisting of both inductance and resistance in Figure 11. (Figure 11.

or 85. we may calculate current in the circuit by taking the polar magnitude of the voltage source (120 volts) and dividing it by the polar magnitude of the impedance (85. XL = 60. as they equally absorb power from. our load current is 1. If we’re not concerned with phase angles (which we’re not at this point).5: AC circuit with both reactance and resistance.410 amps. The only thing left to dissipate power here is the . This is the figure an RMS ammeter would indicate if connected in series with the resistor and inductor.319 Ω or 60. We already know that reactive components dissipate zero power.078 Ω).078 Ω ∠ 45. and return power to. any inductive reactance in this load will likewise dissipate zero power.319 Ω ∠ 90o ZR = 60 + j0 Ω or 60 Ω ∠ 0o Ztotal = 60 + j60. the 160 millihenrys of inductance gives us 60.152o .410 A At a frequency of 60 Hz. POWER FACTOR Load Lload 120 V 60 Hz Rload 160 mH 60 Ω Figure 11. the rest of the circuit.078 Ω 45.319 Ω or 85.319 Ω.319 Ω ZL = 0 + j60.078 Ω I = 1.152o I= I= E Z 120 V 85.319 Ω of inductive reactance. This reactance combines with the 60 Ω of resistance to form a total load impedance of 60 + j60.350 CHAPTER 11. Therefore. With a power supply voltage of 120 volts RMS.

the resistor does. no circuit power is dissipated by the load(s). it is actually easier to arrive at figures for power by calculating with scalar quantities of voltage. resistance. and impedance that we’ve worked with so far. current. Whereas the angle for voltage or current represents a relative shift in timing between two waves. + e= i= p= Time Figure 11. it should be evident that the wave spends more time on the positive side of the center line than on the negative. or complex quantities of voltage. If we look at the waveform plot of voltage. The reactance dissipates no power. indicating that there is more power absorbed by the load than there is returned to the circuit. Mathematically representing power in an AC circuit is a challenge. Voltage and current are 90o out of phase with each other. the amount of mechanical energy needed to turn the shaft would be the amount of power averaged between the positive and negative power cycles. Rather. the combined inductive/resistive load will consume more power than it returns back to the source. Looking at the waveform plot for power. all circuit power is dissipated by the resistor(s). As with any reactive circuit. power is alternately absorbed from and returned to the AC source. • In a purely reactive circuit. though. Furthermore.6.11. in circuits with mixed resistance and reactance like this one. the imbalance of positive versus negative power is due to the resistance as it dissipates energy outside of the circuit (usually in the form of heat). Voltage and current are in phase with each other.1. If the source were a mechanical generator. POWER IN RESISTIVE AND REACTIVE AC CIRCUITS 351 resistive portion of the load impedance. resulting in a net power dissipation of zero. Because of this way in which AC power differs from AC voltage or current. and total power for this circuit.6: A combined resistive/reactive circuit dissipates more power than it returns to the source. because the power wave isn’t at the same frequency as voltage or current. What little returning of power that occurs is due to the reactance. the power alternates between positive and negative instantaneous values over time. However. • REVIEW: • In a purely resistive circuit. the phase angle for power represents a ratio between power dissipated and power returned. the power waveform will still alternate between positive and negative. current. the phase angle for power means something quite different from the phase angle for either voltage or current. In a purely reactive circuit that alternation between positive and negative power is equally divided. In other words. but the amount of positive power will exceed the amount of negative power. we see how this combination works in Figure 11. . current. and reactance than it is to try to derive it from vector.

and it is measured in a unit called Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR). Voltage and current in such a circuit will be out of phase by a value somewhere between 0o and 90o . Reactive. current. The actual amount of power being used. both of these formerly complex quantities must be reduced to their polar magnitudes for the scalar arithmetic. This “phantom power” is called reactive power. and it is the product of a circuit’s voltage and current. Since we’re dealing with scalar quantities for power calculation. rather than watts. and impedance (all using scalar quantities): . POWER FACTOR • In a circuit consisting of resistance and reactance mixed. in a circuit is called true power. Apparent power is a function of a circuit’s total impedance (Z). I must use the polar magnitude for current. For instance. and it is measured in watts (symbolized by the capital letter P. but some power will definitely be dissipated and some will merely be absorbed and returned. as always). There are several power equations relating the three types of power to resistance.352 CHAPTER 11. true power is a function of a circuit’s dissipative elements. usually resistances (R). and impedance must be represented by their polar magnitudes. any complex starting quantities such as voltage. not by real or imaginary rectangular components. without reference to phase angle. if I’m calculating true power from current and resistance. Apparent power is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps (VA) and is symbolized by the capital letter S. yet the fact that they drop voltage and draw current gives the deceptive impression that they actually do dissipate power. and not merely the “real” or “imaginary” portion of the current. and Apparent power We know that reactive loads such as inductors and capacitors dissipate zero power. As a rule. If I’m calculating apparent power from voltage and impedance. or dissipated. there will be more power dissipated by the load(s) than returned. The combination of reactive power and true power is called apparent power.2 True. reactance. 11. The mathematical symbol for reactive power is (unfortunately) the capital letter Q. Reactive power is a function of a circuit’s reactance (X).

10).9. Examine the following circuits and see how these three types of power interrelate for: a purely resistive load in Figure 11.8. and apparent power for a purely resistive load. Using the laws of trigonometry. . and apparent – relate to one another in trigonometric form. we can solve for the length of any side (amount of any type of power). REACTIVE. P=IE being useful only for that purpose. or the length of one side and an angle. TRUE.7: True power. Resistive load only: I=2A 120 V 60 Hz R no reactance 60 Ω P = true power = I2R = 240 W Q = reactive power = I2X = 0 VAR S = apparent power = I2Z = 240 VA Figure 11.7. and a resistive/reactive load in Figure 11. reactive power. AND APPARENT POWER 353 P = true power P = I2R P= Measured in units of Watts E2 R E2 X Measured in units of Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR) Q = reactive power Q = I2X Q= S = apparent power S = I2Z S= E2 Z S = IE Measured in units of Volt-Amps (VA) Please note that there are two equations each for the calculation of true and reactive power.2. given the lengths of the other two sides. a purely reactive load in Figure 11.11. reactive. We call this the power triangle: (Figure 11. Reactive load only: Resistive/reactive load: These three types of power – true. There are three equations available for the calculation of apparent power.

9: True power. . I = 1. and apparent power for a purely reactive load.319 Ω L P = true power = I2R = 0 W Q = reactive power = I2X = 238. POWER FACTOR I = 1.410 A Load Lload 120 V 60 Hz Rload 160 mH XL = 60.989 A 120 V 60 Hz no resistance 160 mH XL = 60.8: True power.256 VA Figure 11.319 Ω 60 Ω P = true power = I2R = 119.73 VAR S = apparent power = I2Z = 238.365 W Q = reactive power = I2X = 119. reactive power. reactive power.998 VAR S = apparent power = I2Z = 169.354 CHAPTER 11.73 VA Figure 11. and apparent power for a resistive/reactive load.

and S = hypotenuse length. Apparent power is symbolized by the letter S and is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps (VA). CALCULATING POWER FACTOR 355 The "Power Triangle" Apparent power (S) measured in VA Reactive power (Q) measured in VAR Impedance phase angle True power (P) measured in Watts Figure 11.3 Calculating power factor As was mentioned before. • Power merely absorbed and returned in load due to its reactive properties is referred to as reactive power. both dissipated and absorbed/returned is referred to as apparent power. the angle of this “power triangle” graphically indicates the ratio between the amount of dissipated (or consumed) power and the amount of absorbed/returned power. Because true power and apparent power form the adjacent and . The opposite angle is equal to the circuit’s impedance (Z) phase angle.3. • These three types of power are trigonometrically related to one another.10: Power triangle relating appearant power to true power and reactive power. this ratio between true power and apparent power is called the power factor for this circuit. 11. True power is symbolized by the letter P and is measured in the unit of Watts (W). It also happens to be the same angle as that of the circuit’s impedance in polar form.11. When expressed as a fraction. • REVIEW: • Power dissipated by a load is referred to as true power. P = adjacent length. Q = opposite length. Reactive power is symbolized by the letter Q and is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR). • Total power in an AC circuit. In a right triangle.

The same could be said for a purely capacitive circuit. because the opposite (reactive power) side would have zero length. to cancel out the effects of the load’s inductive reactance. because the reactive power equals zero. Power factor can be an important aspect to consider in an AC circuit. so we have to add a capacitor in parallel to our example circuit as the additional load. For the purely resistive circuit. Inductive reactance can only be canceled by capacitive reactance.410 amps of current. Using values from the last example circuit: Power factor = True power Apparent power 119. is a unitless quantity. like all ratio measurements. respectively. then the true power must be equal to zero. The poor power factor makes for an inefficient power delivery system. paradoxically. because any power factor less than 1 means that the circuit’s wiring has to carry more current than what would be necessary with zero reactance in the circuit to deliver the same amount of (true) power to the resistive load.152o = 0. the power factor ratio is also equal to the cosine of that phase angle.365 watts that it is presently dissipating with that same current quantity. Since this capacitor will be directly in parallel with the source (of known voltage). the power factor is zero. by adding another load to the circuit drawing an equal and opposite amount of reactive power. or at least closer. The effect of these two opposing reactances in parallel is to bring the circuit’s total impedance equal to its total resistance (to make the impedance phase angle equal. POWER FACTOR hypotenuse sides of a right triangle. making any power in the circuit purely reactive. If there are no dissipative (resistive) components in the circuit. to zero). the power factor is 1 (perfect). Poor power factor can be corrected.705 It should be noted that power factor.365 W 169. Here. If our last example circuit had been purely resistive. Here. the power triangle would look like a vertical line. because the adjacent (true power) side would have zero length. the power triangle would look like a horizontal line.998 VAR (inductive). rather than the mere 119. Since we know that the (uncorrected) reactive power is 119.356 CHAPTER 11.256 VA Power factor = Power factor = 0.256 watts to the load with the same 1. we would have been able to deliver a full 169. we’ll use the power formula which starts from voltage and reactance: . we need to calculate the correct capacitor size to produce the same quantity of (capacitive) reactive power.705 cos 45. because true power equals zero. For the purely inductive circuit. The power triangle for a purely capacitive circuit would again be a vertical line (pointing down instead of up as it was for the purely inductive circuit).

002 Ω) C = 22. solving for X . .105 µF Let’s use a rounded capacitor value of 22 µF and see what happens to our circuit: (Figure 11. solving for C . 2.002 Ω C= 1 2π(60 Hz)(120. V2 and node numbers: 0. .11.41 A 160 mH XL = 60.998 VAR 1 2πfC XC = X= .319 Ω 60 Ω 120 V 60 Hz Figure 11. . . 1.716 mA 1 V1 C 3 0 V2 IC = 995. X= E2 Q (120 V)2 119. C= 1 2πfXC X = 120. . . . CALCULATING POWER FACTOR 357 Q= E2 X . .257 mA L load 22 µF 2 Rload Load Iload = 1.11) Itotal = 994. and 3 are SPICE related.11: Parallel capacitor corrects lagging power factor of inductive load. and may be ignored for the moment. .3.

12). we would have arrived at an impedance angle of exactly zero.58m Ω or 120. has been substantially improved. The Nutmeg plot of the various currents with respect to the applied voltage Vtotal is shown in (Figure 11.ZR) Ztotal = (120.365 watts. This is because the applied voltage. If we had added too large of a capacitor in parallel.11) shows total voltage and total current are nearly in phase.272o cos 0.64 Ω ∠ 0. See SPICE listing “pf.j573. Note that the lagging current. or purely resistive.365 W 119. POWER FACTOR Ztotal = ZC // (ZL -.64 .366 VA The power factor for the circuit. appears across the parallel branches of the circuit. This is no coincidence.2724o P = true power = I2R = 119. is still more inductive than it is capacitive.7 milliamps.9999887 Since the impedance angle is still a positive number.41 amps to 994.9999887 Impedance (polar) angle = 0. indicating that the circuit was more capacitive than inductive.60 Ω ∠ 0o) Ztotal = 120.358 CHAPTER 11.cir power factor”. overall. to which all other measurements are compared. while the power dissipated at the load resistor remains unchanged at 119. A SPICE simulation of the circuit of (Figure 11.319 Ω ∠ 90o -. Vtotal . we know that the circuit.272o = 0. There is no single current common to all components.57 Ω ∠ -90o) // (60. overall. The reference is Vtotal . We can compare those currents to Vtotal . The main current has been decreased from 1. Note that the total current (Itotal ) is in phase with the applied voltage (Vtotal ). If our power factor correction efforts had been perfectly on-target. The SPICE circuit file has a zero volt voltage-source (V2) in series with the capacitor so that the capacitor current may be measured. The power factor is much closer to being 1: Power factor = Power factor = True power Apparent power 119.365 W S = apparent power = I2Z = 119. indicating a phase angle of near zero. we would have ended up with an impedance angle that was negative.366 VA Power factor = 0. The start time of 200 msec ( instead of 0) in the transient analysis statement allows the DC conditions to stabilize before collecting data. IL of the inductor would have caused the total current to have a lagging phase somewhere between (Itotal ) .

CALCULATING POWER FACTOR 359 pf.11.cir power V1 1 0 sin(0 C1 1 3 22uF v2 3 0 0 L1 1 2 160mH R1 2 0 60 # resolution . The lagging IL with respect to Vtotal is corrected by a leading IC .3.12: Zero phase angle due to in-phase Vtotal and Itotal .end factor 170 60) stop start 200m 160m Figure 11.tran 1m . .

However. Conversely. 11. This is not normally a problem because the power factor correction is applied close to the offending load. IC . you will have access to a wattmeter for measuring true power.705 lagging. Negative power is fed back to the generator.360 CHAPTER 11. if a circuit is predominantly capacitive. • REVIEW: • Poor power factor in an AC circuit may be “corrected”. Note that reduction of line losses applies to the lines from the generator to the point where the power factor correction capacitor is applied. In less favorable circumstances you may have to use an oscilloscope to compare voltage and current waveforms. You must also be very careful to use the proper capacitors for the job (rated adequately for power system voltages and the occasional voltage spike from lightning strikes. it does waste power in the resistance of electric lines between load and generator. Moreover. You must be careful not to over-correct when adding capacitance to an AC circuit. whose reading you can compare against a calculation of apparent power (from multiplying total voltage and . by the calculation of an appropriate capacitor value. and the apparent power (which can be figured by taking a voltmeter reading in volts and multiplying by an ammeter reading in amps). It should be noted that too much capacitance in an AC circuit will result in a low power factor just as well as too much inductance. by adding a parallel reactance opposite the effect of the load’s reactance. though.2. that total current (Itotal ) was forced to be in-phase with the total applied voltage (Vtotal ). the leading capacitor current. power. compensates for the lagging inductor current. and was corrected to a power factor of 0. Had the phaseangle not been corrected to zero (PF=1).999 lagging. the product would have been negative where positive portions of one waveform overlapped negative portions of the other as in Figure 11. you probably won’t have the luxury of knowing the load’s exact inductance in henrys to use for your calculations. If a circuit is predominantly inductive. It cannont be sold. You may be fortunate enough to have an instrument called a power factor meter to tell you what the power factor is (a number between 0 and 1). In other words. we say that its power factor is leading. and capable of handling the expected levels of current). Since the total voltage and current are in phase. parallel capacitance is what is needed to correct poor power factor. we say that its power factor is lagging (because the current wave for the circuit lags behind the applied voltage wave). Most likely. If the load’s reactance is inductive in nature (which is almost always will be). for continuous AC service. measuring phase shift in degrees and calculating power factor by the cosine of that phase shift. The result is a total current phase-angle somewhere between the inductor and capacitor currents. will always be positive throughout a 60 Hz cycle. Thus.4 Practical power factor correction When the need arises to correct for poor power factor in an AC power system. or re-established at a value close to 1.6. the product of these two waveforms. like an induction motor. The parallel capacitor corrects this problem. POWER FACTOR and IL . real power as in Figure 11. there is still circulating current between the capacitor and the inductive load. our example circuit started out with a power factor of 0.

Now.615 A)(240 V) S = 2. we need to calculate the apparent power in kVA.5 kW 2. 2.” given the length of the hypotenuse (apparent power) and the length of the adjacent side (true power): .65 Using this value for power factor. From the values of true and apparent power.4.11.5 kW. we can draw a power triangle. we figure the power factor of this load by dividing the true power by the apparent power: Power factor = P S 1.13: Wattmeter reads true power. product of voltmeter and ammeter readings yields appearant power. you can determine reactive power and power factor. PRACTICAL POWER FACTOR CORRECTION 361 total current measurements). which tells us that the power factor in this circuit is rather poor (substantially less than 1). and from that determine the reactive power of this load: (Figure 11.615 A RMS Figure 11.308 kVA is a much larger figure than 1.308 kVA As we can see. First.13) wattmeter P 240 V RMS 60 Hz ammeter A Load Wattmeter reading = 1.5 kW Ammeter reading = 9.14) To determine the unknown (reactive power) triangle quantity. Let’s do an example problem to see how this works: (Figure 11. We can do this by multiplying load voltage by load current: S = IE S = (9.308 kVA Power factor = Power factor = 0. we use the Pythagorean Theorem “backwards.

14: Reactive power may be calculated from true power and appearant power.308 kVA Reactive power (Q) ??? True power (P) 1. wired in parallel. or most any other industrial AC load. which means that we’ll have to correct for it with a capacitor of appropriate size. Now that we know the amount of reactive power (1. it will have a lagging (inductive) power factor.754 kVAR If this load is an electric motor. Reactive power = (Apparent power)2 .5 kW Figure 11. we can calculate the size of capacitor needed to counteract its effects: . POWER FACTOR Apparent power (S) 2.754 kVAR).362 CHAPTER 11.(True power)2 Q = 1.

238 amps. solving for C .15: Parallel capacitor corrects lagging (inductive) load. giving a current of 7. . X= E2 Q (240)2 1. Since the capacitor’s current is 180o out of phase from the the load’s inductive contribution to current draw.15) wattmeter P 240 V RMS 60 Hz C ammeter A Load 80 µF Figure 11.845 Ω C= 1 2π(60 Hz)(32.761 µF Rounding this answer off to 80 µF.737 kVAR (for the capacitor only).754 kVAR 1 2πfC XC = X= . and of the total current drawn from the 240 Volt source: (Figure 11. An 80 µF capacitor will have a capacitive reactance of 33. but it will result in a substantial reduction of apparent power.1.737 kVAR = 16. C= 1 2πfXC X = 32.519 VAR This correction. solving for X .Capacitive kVAR = Total kVAR 1.16) . the capacitor’s reactive power will directly subtract from the load’s reactive power. and a corresponding reactive power of 1. . . .157 Ω. resulting in: Inductive kVAR . will not change the amount of true power consumed by the load.4. of course.754 kVAR .845 Ω) C = 80. . . . we can place that size of capacitor in the circuit and calculate the results: (Figure 11.11. PRACTICAL POWER FACTOR CORRECTION 363 Q= E2 X . .

5 kW 1.308 kVA Reactive power (Q) 1.737 kVAR (capacitive) Power triangle after adding capacitor Apparent power (S) True power (P) 1. .519 VAR Figure 11.754 kVAR (inductive) True power (P) 1.5 kW Reactive power (Q) 16.364 CHAPTER 11. POWER FACTOR Power triangle for uncorrected (original) circuit Apparent power (S) 2.16: Power triangle before and after capacitor correction.

or 6. meaning greater system efficiency (less power wasted).5 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting.11. a substantial improvement over the uncorrected value of 9. using the standard form of the Pythagorean Theorem: Apparent power = (Reactive power)2 + (True power)2 Apparent power = 1.5kW / 1. or 0. and a new total current of (1.99994. CONTRIBUTORS 365 The new apparent power can be found from the true and new reactive power values. .25 amps.5. from most recent to first.50009 kVA / 240 Volts).615 amps! This lower total current will translate to less heat losses in the circuit wiring. 11.5009 kVA).50009 kVA This gives a corrected power factor of (1. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information.


. . . . . . . 12. . . . . . . .4 Power quality measurement . . . . . . . Oddly enough. . . . . . . In order to use a DC-style meter movement such as the D’Arsonval design. . . . . . . . just remember that they each act like a one-way valve for electrons to flow: acting as a conductor for one polarity and an insulator for another. .6 AC instrumentation transducers . .1 AC voltmeters and ammeters . because the direction of needle movement will change with each half-cycle of the AC. . . . . 12. . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Contributors . . . . This is most easily accomplished through the use of devices called diodes. . . 367 374 382 385 387 396 406 406 12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12. . the alternating current must be rectified into DC. . . .5 AC bridge circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the arrowhead in each diode symbol points against the permitted direction of electron flow rather than with it as one might expect. . . . . four diodes will 367 . . . . . . . Permanent-magnet moving coil (PMMC) meter movements will not work correctly if directly connected to alternating current. . . and those engineered specifically for AC use. . . . . . . are devices whose motion depends on the polarity of the applied voltage (or. . . . .3 Power measurement . . . . . . . .Chapter 12 AC METERING CIRCUITS Contents 12. . Bibliography . . . . 12. . . Arranged in a bridge. . . . . . . . . . . like permanent-magnet motors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1) Permanent-magnet meter movements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . you can think of it in terms of the direction of the current). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Figure 12. . . . . .1 AC voltmeters and ammeters AC electromechanical meter movements come in two basic arrangements: those based on DC movement designs. . . . . .2 Frequency and phase measurement 12. . . . . . We saw diodes used in an example circuit demonstrating the creation of harmonic frequencies from a distorted (or rectified) sine wave. . . . . . . . 12. . Without going into elaborate detail over how and why diodes work as they do.

368 CHAPTER 12. . serve to steer AC through the meter movement in a constant direction throughout all portions of the AC cycle: (Figure 12.2) 50 0 "needle" 100 magnet magnet wire coil + Meter movement needle will always be driven in the proper direction. AC METERING CIRCUITS 50 0 100 "needle" magnet magnet wire coil Figure 12.2: Passing AC through this Rectified AC meter movement will drive it in one direction. AC source Bridge rectifier Figure 12.1: Passing AC through this D’Arsonval meter movement causes useless flutter of the needle.

6) The Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) mentioned in the DC metering chapter is ideally suited for measuring AC voltages. But. much smaller than the magnetic attraction between an energized coil and an iron vane. or should I say. and thus inherently capacitive in nature.1. AC VOLTMETERS AND AMMETERS 369 Another strategy for a practical AC meter movement is to redesign the movement without the inherent polarity sensitivity of the DC types. series-connected “multiplier” resistors and/or resistive voltage dividers may be employed just as in DC meter design: (Figure 12. to make voltmeter divider circuits. This means avoiding the use of permanent magnets. Probably the simplest design is to use a nonmagnetized iron vane to move the needle against spring tension. the vane being attracted toward a stationary coil of wire energized by the AC quantity to be measured as in Figure 12. a single “multiplier” capacitor may be connected in series to give it a greater voltage measuring range. and as such these “electrostatic” meter movements tend to be fragile and easily disturbed by physical movement.3: Iron-vane electromechanical meter movement. When a sensitive meter movement needs to be re-ranged to function as an AC voltmeter. especially if the electron beam is swept side-to-side across the screen . Electrostatic attraction between two metal plates separated by an air gap is an alternative mechanism for generating a needle-moving force proportional to applied voltage. Also.12. this technology possesses the advantage of extremely high input impedance. 50 0 "needle" 100 wire coil iron vane Figure 12. just as poorly! The forces involved are very small. though.5) If the meter movement is electrostatic. for some high-voltage AC applications. If nothing else. the electrostatic movement is an elegant technology. This strategy has the advantage of being non-dissipative (no true power consumed and no heat produced): (Figure 12. This works just as well for AC as it does for DC.4) Capacitors may be used instead of resistors. meaning that no current need be drawn from the circuit under test. just as a series-connected multiplier resistor gives a moving-coil (inherently resistive) meter movement a greater voltage range: (Figure 12. electrostatic meter movements are capable of measuring very high voltages without need for range resistors or other.3. external apparatus.

4: Multiplier resistor (a) or resistive divider (b) scales the range of the basic meter movement.. AC METERING CIRCUITS AC voltmeter Voltage to be measured Sensitive meter movement Rmultiplier Voltage to be measured AC voltmeter Sensitive meter movement Rmultiplier (a) (b) Figure 12.5: AC voltmeter with capacitive divider.370 CHAPTER 12.6: An electrostatic meter movement may use a capacitive multiplier to multiply the scale of the basic meter movement. . Sensitive meter movement Voltage to be measured Rmultiplier Figure 12. Electrostatic meter movement Cmultiplier Voltage to be measured Figure 12.

1. and electrostatic) all tend to mechanically average the instantaneous values into an overall average value for the waveform.637 times the peak. For these reasons. CRT’s have the disadvantages of weight. significant power consumption. although many times it is mistaken as such.637 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = Peak AVG = Peak P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = 0. the ratio between RMS and Average is not the same as for sine waves: .5 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) Figure 12.12. Since RMS seems to be the kind of measurement most people are interested in obtaining with an instrument.707 0. This average value is not necessarily the same as RMS. there is another factor crucially important for the designer and user of AC metering instruments to be aware of.707 (Peak) AVG = 0. With some of the advantages and disadvantages of these meter movement technologies having been discussed already.109: 0.7) RMS = 0.707 times the peak value while Average is 0. and electromechanical meter movements naturally deliver average measurements rather than RMS. AC VOLTMETERS AND AMMETERS 371 of the tube while the measured AC voltage drives the beam up and down. square. and then the meter movement scale is altered by the appropriate multiplication factor. iron-vane. and fragility (being made of evacuated glass) working against them. However.11 times higher than it would ordinarily (naturally) indicate with no special accommodations. Note that for triangle waves. As we already know. so we can divide one figure by the other to obtain an average-to-RMS conversion factor of 1. Meter movements relying on the motion of a mechanical needle (“rectified” D’Arsonval. and triangle waves. what are AC meter designers to do? Cheat. Average. It must be stressed that this “cheat” only works well when the meter is used to measure pure sine wave sources.637 = 1.1099 In other words. This is the issue of RMS measurement. the meter movement will be calibrated to indicate approximately 1. electromechanical AC meter movements still have a place in practical usage. especially for power systems).7: RMS. of course! Typically the assumption is made that the waveform shape to be measured is going to be sine (by far the most common. A graphical representation of the AC wave shape and not just a measurement of magnitude can easily be had with such a device. None of the meter movement technologies so far discussed inherently measure the RMS value of an AC quantity. called RMS (Root-Mean-Square) for the sake of meaningful comparisons with DC and with other AC waveforms of varying shape.577 (Peak) AVG = 0. Average and RMS values rate against each other as such for these three common waveform shapes: (Figure 12. and Peak-to-Peak values for sine. AC measurements are often cast in a scale of DC power equivalence. For sine waves we see that RMS is equal to 0. size.

This would provide a far more direct measurement means of RMS than any conversion factor could. The astute reader will note that I have omitted the CRT “movement” from the RMS/Average discussion. the RMS and Average values are identical! An AC meter calibrated to accurately read RMS voltage or current on a pure sine wave will not give the proper value while indicating the magnitude of anything other than a perfect sine wave. for it will work with ANY waveform shape whatsoever: (Figure 12.154 With square waves. Calibrating AC voltmeters and ammeters for different full-scale ranges of operation is much . this matter of accurate RMS measurement is no small matter. The system’s mass works to average these values by the principle of thermal inertia. square waves. AC METERING CIRCUITS 0. or any kind of distorted sine wave. Suppose that the AC source to be measured is connected across a resistor of known value. The resistor converts the AC voltage or current quantity into a thermal (heat) quantity. This is because a CRT with its practically weightless electron beam “movement” displays the Peak (or Peak-to-Peak if you wish) of an AC waveform rather than Average or RMS. One answer is to design the meter movement around the very definition of RMS: the effective heating value of an AC voltage/current as it powers a resistive load. This includes triangle waves. the concept illustrated is very sound.577 0.372 CHAPTER 12. a similar problem arises: how do you determine the RMS value of a waveform from it? Conversion factors between Peak and RMS only hold so long as the waveform falls neatly into a known category of shape (sine. While the device shown above is somewhat crude and would suffer from unique engineering problems of its own. triangle. one major instrument manufacturer has implemented this technique into its high-end line of handheld electronic multimeters for “true-RMS” capability. and the heat output of that resistor is measured with a device like a thermocouple.8: Direct reading thermal RMS voltmeter accommodates any wave shape. With harmonics becoming an everpresent phenomenon in large AC power systems. and then the meter scale itself is calibrated to give an indication based on the square-root of the thermal measurement: perfect Root-Mean-Square indication all in one device! In fact. Still. and square are the only examples with Peak/RMS/Average conversion factors given here!). effectively squaring the values in realtime.5 = 1.8) sensitive meter movement AC voltage to be measured thermocouple bonded with resistive heating element Figure 12.

and parallel “shunt” resistors are used to allow ammeter movements to measure currents beyond their natural range. Potential Transformers (PT’s) and Current Transformers (CT’s) are precision instrument devices manufactured to produce very precise ratios of transformation between primary and secondary windings. meter ranges can be electromagnetically rather than resistively “stepped up” or “stepped down. there are no current-carrying conductors threaded through the center of the CT “donuts” anymore: (Figure 12.9) 0-5 A AC movement range A CT precision step-up ratio high-voltage power source 13. normal precision resistors (multipliers and shunts) are used. As this panel has been removed from service.9: (CT) Current transformer scales current down.” sometimes far beyond what resistors would have practically allowed for.12. • REVIEW: . AC VOLTMETERS AND AMMETERS 373 the same as with DC instruments: series “multiplier” resistors are used to give voltmeter movements higher range. (PT) Potential transformer scales voltage down. The three “donut” current transformers (CT’s) can be seen in the rear of the panel. They can allow small. Shown here is a voltage and current meter panel from a three-phase AC system.8 kV load fuse fuse precision step-down ratio PT V 0-120 V AC movement range Figure 12.1. just as with DC. However. they are not used to scale AC meters for any applications other than high voltage and high current. Three AC ammeters (rated 5 amps full-scale deflection each) on the front of the panel indicate current through each conductor going through a CT. we are not limited to these techniques as we were with DC: because we can use transformers with AC. For scaling a milliamp or microamp movement to a range of 120 volts or 5 amps. simple AC meter movements to indicate extremely high voltages and currents in power systems with accuracy and complete electrical isolation (something multiplier and shunt resistors could never do): (Figure 12.10) Because of the expense (and often large size) of instrument transformers.

Every physical object possessing the property of elasticity (springiness) has an inherent frequency at which it will prefer to vibrate. AC METERING CIRCUITS Figure 12. other means of measurement will be necessary. If frequency needs to be measured at some distance from the alternator. If the AC is being generated by an electromechanical alternator.2 Frequency and phase measurement An important electrical quantity with no equivalent in DC circuits is frequency.374 CHAPTER 12. One simple but crude method of frequency measurement in power systems utilizes the principle of mechanical resonance. Longer tuning forks have lower resonant frequencies: their tones will be lower on the musical scale than shorter forks. naturally provide the average value of a measured AC quantity. 12. whether electromagnetic or electrostatic. • Polarized (DC) meter movements must use devices called diodes to be able to indicate AC quantities. the frequency will be directly proportional to the shaft speed of the machine. but only if the shape of the AC waveform is precisely known beforehand! • So-called true RMS meters use different technology to provide indications representing the actual RMS (rather than skewed average or peak) of an AC waveform. and frequency could be measured simply by measuring the speed of the shaft. These instruments may be ranged to indicate RMS value. though. especially in AC power systems designed to run efficiently at one frequency and one frequency only. The tuning fork is a great example of this: strike it once and it will continue to vibrate at a tone specific to its length. Frequency measurement is very important in many applications of alternating current. .10: Toroidal current transformers scale high current levels down for application to 5 A full-scale AC ammeters. • Electromechanical meter movements.

They are all mounted on a common base. The user of this meter views the ends of all those unequal length reeds as they are collectively shaken at the frequency of the applied AC voltage to the coil. make a collection of “tuning forks” out of a strip of sheet metal cut in a pattern akin to a rake.2. Frequency Meter 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 120 Volts AC Figure 12. and that base is vibrated at the frequency of the measured AC voltage (or current) by means of an electromagnet. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 375 Imagine a row of progressively-sized tuning forks arranged side-by-side. .12.11) sheet metal reeds shaken by magnetic field from the coil to AC voltage Figure 12. If the forks’ tines were flimsy enough. Whichever tuning fork is closest in resonant frequency to the frequency of that vibration will tend to shake the most (or the loudest). we could see the relative motion of each by the length of the blur we would see as we inspected each one from an end-view perspective. The one closest in resonant frequency to the applied AC will vibrate the most.12. looking something like Figure 12.12: Vibrating reed frequency meter front panel.11: Vibrating reed frequency meter diagram. and you have the vibrating reed frequency meter: (Figure 12. Well.

Sensitive AC meter movement variable capacitor with adjustment knob calibrated in Hertz. the most accurate means of measurement are usually those where an unknown quantity is compared against a known standard. They are often found on small engine-driven generator sets for the purpose of setting engine speed so that the frequency is somewhat close to 60 (50 in Europe) Hertz. In frequency as in other types of electrical measurement. we turn our attention back to the tuning fork.13. In lieu of mechanical resonance. and a meter is placed in the circuit to indicate maximum amplitude of voltage across the two components. For that frequency standard. are not precision instruments. and will physically deform when an external voltage is applied across their lengths. but they are very simple and therefore easy to manufacture to be rugged. especially because it doesn’t require direct connection to the circuit. Essentially. Quartz is a naturally occurring mineral possessing a very interesting property called piezoelectricity. and the frequency is read from them after the device has been adjusted for maximum indication on the meter. this is a tunable filter circuit which is adjusted and then read in a manner similar to a bridge circuit (which must be balanced for a “null” condition and then read). very slight in most cases. While reed-type meters are imprecise. This deformation is very. The adjustment knob(s) are calibrated to show resonant frequency for any given setting. the basic instrument doing nothing more than indicating when the two quantities are equal to each other. obviously.376 CHAPTER 12. So long as the inductor and/or capacitor can intercept enough stray field (magnetic or electric. respectively) from the circuit under test to cause the meter to indicate. it will work. Figure 12. or at least a more modern variation of it called the quartz crystal. This is the basic principle behind the DC (Wheatstone) bridge circuit and it is a sound metrological principle applied throughout the sciences.13: Resonant frequency meter “peaks” as L-C resonant frequency is tuned to test frequency. their operational principle is not. If we have access to an accurate frequency standard (a source of AC voltage holding very precisely to a single frequency). but it does exist. This technique is a popular one for amateur radio operators (or at least it was before the advent of inexpensive digital frequency instruments called counters). AC METERING CIRCUITS Vibrating reed meters. See Figure 12. Piezoelectric materials produce a voltage across their length when physically stressed. then measurement of any unknown frequency by comparison should be relatively easy. we may substitute electrical resonance and design a frequency meter using an inductor and capacitor in the form of a tank circuit (parallel inductor and capacitor). One or both components are made adjustable. .

that quartz chip is equivalent to a series LC resonant circuit. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 377 Quartz rock is elastic (springy) within that small range of bending which an external voltage would produce.12.15: Quartz crystal equivalent circuit. just like the reeds on a vibrating-reed frequency meter. When packaged as such.14. the resulting device is simply called a crystal (or sometimes “xtal”). Chips of quartz rock can be precisely cut for desired resonant frequencies. Electrically.14: Crystal (frequency determing element) schematic symbol. it will “ring” with its own unique frequency determined by the length of the chip. C capacitance C caused by wire connections across quartz characteristics of the quartz L Figure 12. which means that it will have a mechanical resonant frequency of its own capable of being manifested as an electrical voltage signal. In reciprocal manner. and that chip mounted securely inside a protective shell with wires extending for connection to an external electric circuit. the quartz chip will tend to vibrate most when it is “excited” by an applied AC voltage at precisely the right frequency. (Figure 12. and that resonant oscillation will produce an equivalent voltage across multiple points of the quartz chip which can be tapped into by wires fixed to the surface of the chip. if a chip of quartz is struck. The schematic symbol is shown in Figure 12. In other words. .15) The dielectric properties of quartz contribute an additional capacitive element to the equivalent circuit. crystal or xtal Figure 12.2.

the crystal in question may be placed in a temperature stabilized environment (usually an oven). If the two frequencies are the same. we will obtain a simple figure on the screen of the CRT. If we allow one AC signal to deflect the beam up and down (connect that AC voltage source to the “vertical” deflection plates) and another AC signal to deflect the beam left and right (using the other pair of deflection plates). as resonant elements. which uses an atom of mercury (or cesium) suspended in a vacuum. This is the principle of the so-called atomic clock.17) If the two AC voltages are not in phase with each other. Crystals. and if their amplitudes are equal: . patterns will be produced on the screen of the CRT indicative of the ratio of these two AC frequencies. The capacitance shown in parallel due to the wire connections across the dielectric (insulating) quartz body is real. typically have much higher “Q” (quality) values than tank circuits built from inductors and capacitors. A full discussion on crystal dynamics is not necessary here. there will be a pair of plates to the left and right of the beam as well as a pair of plates above and below the beam as in Figure 12. Cathode Ray Tubes typically have means of deflecting the electron beam in the horizontal as well as the vertical axis. principally due to the relative absence of stray resistance. National standards laboratories around the world maintain a few of these hyper-accurate clocks. To achieve this. making their resonant frequencies very definite and precise. If metal plates are used to electrostatically deflect the electrons. a straight line will not be formed. The resulting frequency is detected as a radio-wave signal and that forms the basis for the most accurate clocks known to humanity. even greater frequency stability may be desired.378 CHAPTER 12. the shape of that figure being dependent upon the phase shift between the two AC signals. AC METERING CIRCUITS The “capacitance” and “inductance” shown in series are merely electrical equivalents of the quartz’s mechanical resonance properties: they do not exist as discrete components within the crystal. and broadcast frequency signals based on those atoms’ vibrations for scientists and technicians to tune in and use for frequency calibration purposes. Because the resonant frequency is solely dependent on the physical properties of quartz (a very stable substance. the resonant frequency variation over time with a quartz crystal is very. nothing discovered thus far surpasses the accuracy of a single resonating atom. excited by outside energy to resonate at its own unique frequency. the Lissajous figure will take on the appearance of an oval. Now we get to the practical part: once we have a source of accurate frequency. The first picture is of the Lissajous figure formed by two AC voltages perfectly in phase with each other: (Figure 12. This is how quartz movement watches obtain their high accuracy: by means of an electronic oscillator stabilized by the resonant action of a quartz crystal. but what needs to be understood about crystals is this resonant circuit equivalence and how it can be exploited within an oscillator circuit to achieve an output voltage with a stable. and it has an effect on the resonant response of the whole system. shown as they would appear on the face of an oscilloscope (an AC voltage-measuring instrument using a CRT as its “movement”). These patterns are called Lissajous figures and are a common means of comparative frequency measurement in electronics. known frequency. becoming perfectly circular if the phase shift is exactly 90o between the two signals. Rather. though. how do we compare that against an unknown frequency to obtain a measurement? One way is to use a CRT as a frequency-comparison device. Here is a sampling of Lissajous figures for two sine-wave signals of equal frequency.16. very low. For laboratory applications. mechanically). For the ultimate in a frequency standard though. thus eliminating frequency errors due to thermal expansion and contraction of the quartz.

zero degrees phase shift.17: Lissajous figure: same frequency.16: Cathode ray tube (CRT) with vertical and horizontal deflection plates.2. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 379 electron "gun" horizontal deflection plates (vacuum) electrons electrons vertical deflection plates viewscreen light Figure 12. . OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12.12.

18: Lissajous figure: same frequency.22. we will end up with a line again.380 (Figure 12. if the two AC signals are directly opposing one another in phase (180o shift). Finally. Consider the following examples and their given vertical/horizontal frequency ratios: (Figure 12. When we are faced with signal frequencies that are not the same.21) . and a 3:2 frequency ratio (horizontal = 3.20) The more complex the ratio between horizontal and vertical frequencies. 90 or 270 degrees phase shift. . vertical = 2) in Figure 12.18) CHAPTER 12. Consider the following illustration of a 3:1 frequency ratio between horizontal and vertical: (Figure 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12. only this time it will be oriented in the opposite direction: (Figure 12.19) OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12. . the Lissajous figure will appear to “move. In cases where the frequencies of the two AC signals are not exactly a simple ratio of each other (but close).” slowly changing orientation as the . Lissajous figures get quite a bit more complex.19: Lissajous figure: same frequency. the more complex the Lissajous figure. 180 degrees phase shift.

2.21: Lissajous figure: Horizontal frequency is three times that of vertical.20: Lissajous figure: Horizontal frequency is twice that of vertical. . OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12.12. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 381 OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12.

Lissajous figures are a popular means of frequency comparison wherever an accessible frequency standard (signal generator) exists. One or both components is made to be adjustable. usually) to indicate frequency. 3:4. The physics of Lissajous figures limits their usefulness as a frequency-comparison technique to cases where the frequency ratios are simple integer values (1:1. 12. the Lissajous figure will be stable on the viewscreen of the CRT. If the two frequencies are locked in an exact integer ratio between each other.3 Power measurement Power measurement in AC circuits can be quite a bit more complex than with DC circuits for the simple reason that phase shift complicates the matter beyond multiplying voltage by . etc. as is the case when using a CRT to generate Lissajous figures. AC METERING CIRCUITS OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Lissajous figure: Horizontal/Vertical frequency ratio is 3:2 Figure 12. Despite this limitation. For ultra precision. 2:3. 1:2. • Frequency can be measured in a comparative fashion.382 CHAPTER 12. Reference frequency signals can be made with a high degree of accuracy by oscillator circuits using quartz crystals as resonant devices. with an accurately calibrated adjustment knob. and a sensitive meter is read for maximum voltage or current at the point of resonance. • REVIEW: • Some frequency meters work on the principle of mechanical resonance.22: Lissajous figure: Horizontal/vertical frequency ratio is 3:2.). phase angle between the two waveforms rolls between 0o and 180o . • Other frequency meters use electric resonant circuits (LC tank circuits. 1:3. atomic clock signal standards (based on the resonant frequencies of individual atoms) can be used. indicating frequency by relative oscillation among a set of uniquely tuned “reeds” shaken at the measured frequency.

It has been found that specially prepared “semiconductor” materials produce a greater Hall voltage than do metals. Hall in 1879. it is a product (multiplication) of these two variables. the common electrodynamometer movement with its stationary and moving coil does a fine job of this. The voltage generated across the width of the flat. An ingenious method of deriving an electronic power meter (one that generates an electric signal representing power in the system rather than merely move a pointer) is based on the Hall effect. and so modern Hall Effect devices are made of these. but it is a workable solution.3. This.12. POWER MEASUREMENT 383 current figures obtained with meters. the Hall voltage would be in direct proportion to the multiple of circuit current and . Fortunately.23) voltage S current N current S N Figure 12. obviously. H. Three phase power measurement can be accomplished using two dynamometer movements with a common shaft linking the two moving coils together so that a single pointer registers power on a meter movement scale. The amount of “Hall Voltage” produced for any given set of conditions also depends on the type of material used for the flat. rectangular conductor. The Hall effect is an unusual effect first noticed by E. rectangular conductor is directly proportional to both the magnitude of the current through it and the strength of the magnetic field. It makes sense then that if we were to build a device using a Hall-effect sensor where the current through the conductor was pushed by AC voltage from an external circuit and the magnetic field was set up by a pair or wire coils energized by the current of the AC power circuit. Mathematically. makes for a rather expensive and complex movement mechanism. What is needed is an instrument able to determine the product (multiplication) of instantaneous voltage and current. whereby a voltage is generated along the width of a current-carrying conductor exposed to a perpendicular magnetic field: (Figure 12.23: Hall effect: Voltage is proportional to current and strength of the perpendicular magnetic field.

At those points in time. but spends more time positive than negative. The net DC output voltage will be zero.24) voltage Rmultiplier AC power source Load Figure 12. Consequently there will be a net DC output voltage.24: Hall effect power sensor measures instantaneous power. meaning no real power delivered to the load). this net DC voltage can be separated from the AC mixed with it. Conditioned through a low-pass filter circuit.384 CHAPTER 12. the Hall output voltage will likewise be zero. If voltage and current in the power circuit are 90o out of phase (a power factor of zero. Having no mass to move (unlike an electromechanical movement). If both current direction and magnetic field polarity reverses – as it would ever half-cycle of the AC power – the output voltage polarity will stay the same. or total energy . the final output signal registered on a sensitive DC meter movement. Not only will the output voltage of the Hall effect device be the representation of instantaneous power at any point in time. the alternate peaks of Hall device current and magnetic field will never coincide with each other: when one is at its peak. Any phase shift between voltage and current in the power circuit less than 90o will result in a Hall output voltage that oscillates between positive and negative. The output of such a meter can be set in units of Joules. but it will also be a DC signal! This is because the Hall voltage polarity is dependent upon both the polarity of the magnetic field and the direction of current through the conductor. indicating zero true power in the circuit. Between those points in time. AC METERING CIRCUITS voltage. the other will be zero. the Hall output voltage will fluctuate equally between positive and negative. generating a signal corresponding to the instantaneous absorption and release of power through the reactive load. being the product (multiplication) of current and magnetic field strength. this device is able to provide instantaneous power measurement: (Figure 12. Often it is useful to have a meter to totalize power usage over a period of time rather than instantaneously.

create electromagnetic “noise” in the form of radio emissions that can interfere with sensitive electronic equipment. and can be difficult to pinpoint. Loads controlled by “nonlinear” electronic components are becoming more prevalent in both home and industry. Anything other than a clean sine wave could be an indication of trouble: (Figure 12. with the rotating magnetic field established by sets of coils energized by line voltage and load current so that the rotational speed of the disk is dependent on both voltage and current. A simple way for a technician to determine power quality in their system without sophisticated equipment is to compare voltage readings between two accurate voltmeters measuring the same system voltage: one meter being an “averaging” type of unit (such as an electromechanical movement meter) and the other being a “true-RMS” type of unit (such as a highquality digital meter). A “power quality” meter is one that gives some form of harmonic content indication. Another qualitative measurement of power quality is the oscilloscope test: connect an oscilloscope (CRT) to the AC voltage and observe the shape of the wave. 12. based on the assumption that the AC voltage being measured is sinusoidal. the worse the power quality is. This is not true anymore. Remember that “averaging” type meters are calibrated so that their scales indicate volts RMS. regardless of waveshape. to within the rated error tolerance of the two instruments.4. Or.12. A power system with good quality power should generate equal voltage readings between the two meters. since power is a measure of work being done per unit time. the averaging meter will not register the proper value. Excessive harmonics in an AC power system can overheat transformers.4 Power quality measurement It used to be with large AC power systems that “power quality” was an unheard-of concept. and the greater its harmonic content. If the voltage is anything but sinewave-shaped. Almost all loads were of the “linear” variety. meaning that they did not distort the shape of the voltage sine wave. The “motor” used in these meters has a rotor made of a thin aluminum disk. aside from power factor. clean sinewave voltages and currents are becoming highly distorted. cause exceedingly high neutral conductor currents in three-phase systems. reduce electric motor horsepower output. Mechanical means for measuring Watt-Hours are usually centered around the concept of the motor: build an AC motor that spins at a rate of speed proportional to the instantaneous power in a circuit. which is equivalent to the presence of an infinite series of high-frequency sine waves at multiples of the fundamental power line frequency. the output of the meter can be set in units of Watt-Hours. POWER QUALITY MEASUREMENT 385 consumed. The rule of thumb here is this: the greater the disparity between the two meters. or cause non-sinusoidal currents to flow in the circuit. more commonly. whereas the true-RMS meter always will. With problems like these plaguing power systems. then have that motor turn an “odometer” style counting mechanism to keep a running total of energy consumed. engineers and technicians require ways to precisely detect and measure these conditions. meaning that the voltages and currents in the power system(s) feeding these loads are rich in harmonics: what should be nice.25) . Power Quality is the general term given to represent an AC power system’s freedom from harmonic content.

386 CHAPTER 12. .” Just as a prism splits a beam of white light into its constituent color components (how much red.26: Power quality meter is a low frequency spectrum analyzer. and displays the result in the form of a histogram: (Figure 12. orange. Such an instrument is called a power quality meter and is sometimes better known in electronic circles as a low-frequency spectrum analyzer.25: This is a moderately ugly “sine” wave. if quantitative analysis (definite. yellow. the spectrum analyzer splits a mixed-frequency signal into its constituent frequencies. green. What this instrument does is provide a graphical representation on a CRT or digital display screen of the AC voltage’s frequency “spectrum.7 % Power Quality Meter Figure 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12. numerical figures) is necessary.26) 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 Total distortion = 43. and blue is in that light). there is no substitute for an instrument specifically designed for that purpose. Definite harmonic content here! Still.

the “1” represents 60 Hz (the 1st harmonic. 60 Hz sine wave would show only a tall black bar over the “1” with no black bars showing at all over the other frequency markers on the scale. The black rectangles represent the relative magnitudes of each of these harmonic components in the measured AC voltage.27) Any one of the four resistors in the above bridge can be the resistor of unknown value. because different types of nonlinear loads tend to generate different spectrum “signatures” which can clue the troubleshooter to the source of the problem.” or whose resistances are known to a precise degree. the circuit configuration known as a bridge can be a very useful way to measure unknown values of resistance. there will be no fundamental error introduced as a result of a lesser or greater power supply voltage unlike other types of resistance measurement schemes.5 AC bridge circuits As we saw with DC measurement circuits. which are “calibrated. because they are designed to display only those frequencies known to be generated by the power system. and using a microprocessor (small computer) to perform numerical Fourier analysis (the Fast Fourier Transform or “FFT ” algorithm) on those data points to arrive at harmonic frequency magnitudes. This is true with AC as well. the bridge circuit works as a pair of two-component voltage dividers connected across the same source voltage. and thus the more sensitive it will be. In three-phase AC power systems (predominant for large power applications). Power quality meters such as this might be better referred to as overtone meters. A pure. and so only harmonics existing in significant measure are the odd-numbered. digitizing those points of information. . A greater supply voltage leads to the possibility of increased measurement precision. the “5” for 300 Hz (the 5th harmonic). However. AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 387 Each number on the horizontal scale of this meter represents a harmonic of the fundamental frequency. with a null-detector meter movement connected between them to indicate a condition of “balance” at zero volts: (Figure 12. 12. The process is not much unlike what the SPICE program tells a computer to do when performing a Fourier analysis on a simulated circuit voltage or current waveform. because a pure sine wave has no harmonic content. For American power systems.12. or fundamental). and its value can be determined by a ratio of the other three. the easier it is to detect a condition of imbalance between the four resistors with the null detector. and so on. Practically speaking.5. the higher the supply voltage. Meters like these are very useful in the hands of a skilled technician. These meters work by very quickly sampling the AC voltage at many different points along the waveform shape. the “3” for 180 Hz (the 3rd harmonic). even-numbered harmonics tend to be canceled out. the ratio works out to be this: In a condition of balance: R1 R2 = R3 R4 One of the advantages of using a bridge circuit to measure resistance is that the voltage of the power source is irrelevant. When the bridge is in a balanced condition (zero voltage as indicated by the null detector). To review. and we can apply the very same principle to the accurate measurement of unknown impedances.

An oscilloscope is often used for this. or minimum reading. requiring substantial current to drive. . only the balance equation is with complex quantities. AC METERING CIRCUITS R1 R3 null R2 R4 Figure 12.27: A balanced bridge shows a “null”. although very sensitive electromechanical meter movements and even headphones (small speakers) may be used if the source frequency is within audio range. An audio output transformer works well for this purpose: (Figure 12.28: “Modern” low-Ohm headphones require an impedance matching transformer for use as a sensitive null detector.388 CHAPTER 12. Headphone speakers are typically low-impedance units (8 Ω).28) Press button To test Null detector for AC bridge made from audio headphones Headphones Test leads 1 kΩ 8Ω Figure 12. must be a device capable of detecting very small AC voltages.” The null detector. of course. and so a step-down transformer helps “match” low-current signals to the impedance of the headphone speakers. on the indicator. One way to maximize the effectiveness of audio headphones as a null detector is to connect them to the signal source through an impedance-matching transformer. Impedance bridges work the same. as both magnitude and phase across the components of the two dividers must be equal in order for the null detector to indicate “zero.

there will still be voltage across the terminals of the null detector and the bridge will not be balanced. resistance. where impedances and not just resistances must be in proper ratio for balance. and an audio output transformer (1000:8 ohm impedance ratio). calibrated component that can be adjusted in value until the null detector device indicates a condition of balance. it must be stressed that the impedance quantities in the above equation must be complex. inductance. if the bridge’s power source frequency is within audio range) as the switch is actuated. AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 389 Using a pair of headphones that completely surround the ears (the “closed-cup” type).” As always in bridge measurement circuits. Bridge circuits can be constructed to measure just about any device value desired. Connected to a resistive bridge. it is sometimes helpful to draw the respective bridge legs in the form of box-shaped components. be it capacitance.29: Bridge with sensitive AC null detector. or derived from .5. a condition of balance will be realized when the headphones fail to produce “clicks” (or tones. the whole circuit looks like Figure 12. this circuit is usable for detecting signals from DC to over 2 MHz: even if the frequency is far above or below the audio range. obtained from a highquality. without phase angles in balance as well. Depending on how the bridge is set up. When describing general AC bridges. each one with a certain impedance: (Figure 12. a “click” will be heard from the headphones each time the switch is pressed and released. Listening to the headphones as one or more of the resistor “arms” of the bridge is adjusted. It is insufficient that the impedance magnitudes alone be balanced. With the pushbutton switch in place to interrupt current. Headphones R1 R3 R2 R4 Figure 12. Roughly equal performance was obtained using two different step-down transformers: a small power transformer (120/6 volt ratio).30) For this general form of AC bridge to balance.29.12. the unknown quantity is always “balanced” against a known standard.1 µA with this simple detector circuit. I’ve been able to detect currents of less than 0. accounting for both magnitude and phase angle. or even “Q. the unknown component’s value may be determined directly from the setting of the calibrated standard. the impedance ratios of each branch must be equal: Z1 Z = 3 Z2 Z4 Again.

But.390 CHAPTER 12. variable resistor in series or parallel with the reactive component to balance out stray resistance in the unknown component.30: Generalized AC impedance bridge: Z = nonspecific complex impedance. Simple “symmetrical” bridges such as these are so named because they exhibit symmetry (mirror-image similarity) from left to right. these simple bridge .31) and one for capacitance: (Figure 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS Z1 null Z2 Z3 Z4 Figure 12. The two bridge circuits shown above are balanced by adjusting the calibrated reactive component (Ls or Cs ).32) unknown inductance Lx null Ls standard inductance R R Figure 12. A couple of simple bridge circuits are shown below. They are a bit simplified from their real-life counterparts. one for inductance (Figure 12. that standard through a mathematical formula. in the hypothetical world of perfect components.31: Symmetrical bridge measures unknown inductor by comparison to a standard inductor. as practical symmetrical bridge circuits often have a calibrated.

AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 391 unknown capacitance Cx Cs null standard capacitance R R Figure 12. The combined effect of Rs and Cs is to alter the magnitude and phase angle until the bridge achieves a condition of balance.34) Calibration-grade inductors are more . the capacitors are made fixed (and usually of equal value) and the top two resistors are made variable and are adjusted by means of the same knob. be it literal or equivalent (in the form of dielectric heating losses) which tend to spoil their otherwise perfectly reactive natures. Once that balance is achieved. This internal resistance may be of interest to measure. because the balance of the bridge is frequency-dependent. and is used to measure unknown inductances in terms of calibrated resistance and capacitance. (Figure 12.5. (Figure 12. Wien bridges are useful for determining the values of “lossy” capacitor designs like electrolytics. It is assumed in the operation of the Wien bridge that the standard capacitor has negligible internal resistance. circuits do just fine to illustrate the basic concept. An interesting variation on this theme is found in the next bridge circuit.32: Symmetrical bridge measures unknown capacitor by comparison to a standard capacitor. where the internal resistance is relatively high. and the unknown capacitance and resistance determined mathematically from the balance equation (Z1 /Z2 = Z3 /Z4 ). An example of a little extra complexity added to compensate for real-world effects can be found in the so-called Wien bridge. This ingenious bridge circuit is known as the Maxwell-Wien bridge (sometimes known plainly as the Maxwell bridge).33) All capacitors have some amount of internal resistance. used to precisely measure inductances. They are also used as frequency meters. the parallel impedance of the two determined mathematically. or at least that resistance is already known so that it can be factored into the balance equation. which uses a parallel capacitor-resistor standard impedance to balance out an unknown series capacitor-resistor combination. When used in this fashion. and so the Wien bridge attempts to do so by providing a balancing impedance that isn’t “pure” either: Being that there are two standard components to be adjusted (a resistor and a capacitor) this bridge will take a little more time to balance than the others we’ve seen so far. the settings of Rs and Cs can be read from their calibrated knobs.12.

34: Maxwell-Wein bridge measures an inductor in terms of a capacitor standard.392 CHAPTER 12. . Lx Rx R null Cs R Rs Figure 12.33: Wein Bridge measures both capacitive Cx and resistive Rx components of “real” capacitor. AC METERING CIRCUITS Cx Rx Cs null Rs R R Figure 12.

but a full discussion is not warranted here. General-purpose impedance bridge circuits are manufactured which can be switched into more than one configuration for maximum flexibility of use. the balance of the Maxwell-Wien bridge is independent of source frequency. Another advantage of using a Maxwell bridge to measure inductance rather than a symmetrical inductance bridge is the elimination of measurement error due to mutual inductance between two inductors. There are more variations beyond these designs. However. and so the use of a simple “symmetrical” inductance bridge is not always practical. so there will be no AC voltage between it and the ground. and even a small amount of coupling between coils in a bridge can introduce substantial errors in certain conditions. this problem is eliminated. directly connecting the null detector to ground is not an option. the standard capacitor (Cs ) and the resistor in parallel with it (Rs ) are made variable. as they are here. However. in the latter configuration it takes more trial-and-error adjustment to achieve balance. their operational principle is not. Unlike the plain Wien bridge. and a meter is placed in the circuit to indicate maximum amplitude of voltage across the two components. (Figure 12. this is a tunable filter circuit which is adjusted and then read in a manner similar to a bridge circuit (which must be balanced for a “null” condition and then read). which would be worse than any capacitive path. Because the phase shifts of inductors and capacitors are exactly opposite each other. For easiest operation. AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 393 difficult to manufacture than capacitors of similar precision. With no second inductor to react with in the Maxwell bridge. as the different variable resistors interact in balancing magnitude and phase. we may substitute electrical resonance and design a frequency meter using an inductor and capacitor in the form of a tank circuit (parallel inductor and capacitor). Essentially. One or both components are made adjustable.12. a capacitive impedance can balance out an inductive impedance if they are located in opposite legs of a bridge. Instead. the total stray impedance for leakage currents made far less and any leakage currents through these stray capacitances made greater as a result: (Figure 12.36) One way of greatly reducing this effect is to keep the null detector at ground potential. and thus no current through stray capacitances. the bridge can be made to work if the capacitor is fixed (non-variable) and more than one resistor made variable (at least the resistor in parallel with the capacitor. and in some cases this bridge can be made to balance in the presence of mixed frequencies from the AC voltage source. The adjustment knob(s) are calibrated to show resonant frequency for any given setting. and both must be adjusted to achieve balance. and the frequency is read from them after the device has been adjusted for maximum indication on the meter. as it would create a direct current path for stray currents. designed to have the volt- . In lieu of mechanical resonance. Because capacitances can “conduct” alternating current by charging and discharging. A potential problem in sensitive AC bridge circuits is that of stray capacitance between either end of the null detector unit and ground (earth) potential. The problem is worsened if the AC voltage source is firmly grounded at one end.5. and one of the other two).35) While reed-type meters are imprecise. the limiting factor being the inductor’s stability over a wide frequency range. a special voltage divider circuit called a Wagner ground or Wagner earth may be used to maintain the null detector at ground potential without the need for a direct connection to the null detector.37) The Wagner earth circuit is nothing more than a voltage divider. However. Magnetic fields can be difficult to shield. they form stray current paths to the AC voltage source which may affect bridge balance: (Figure 12.

36: Stray capacitance errors are more severe if one side of the AC supply is grounded. Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Figure 12.394 CHAPTER 12. . AC METERING CIRCUITS Cstray Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Cstray Figure 12.35: Stray capacitance to ground may introduce errors into the bridge.

AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 395 Cstray Wagner earth Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Cstray Figure 12. will be at ground potential as well. Like DC null detectors. headphones (amplified or unamplified). any other divider circuit (including either side of the bridge) having the same voltage proportions and phases as the Wagner divider. the Wagner earth divider forces the null detector to be at ground potential. There is often a provision made in the null detector connection to confirm proper setting of the Wagner earth divider circuit: a two-position switch. but the null detector is also guaranteed to be at zero potential with respect to ground. oscilloscopes (CRT’s). Because the midpoint of the Wagner divider is directly grounded. or any other device capable of registering very small AC voltage levels. without a direct connection between the detector and ground. its only required point of calibration accuracy is at zero.5. Thus. the bridge is not only guaranteed to be balanced.12. (Figure 12. .38) so that one end of the null detector may be connected to either the bridge or the Wagner earth. • Null detectors for AC bridges may be sensitive electromechanical meter movements. When the null detector registers zero signal in both switch positions.37: Wagner ground for AC supply minimizes the effects of stray capacitance to ground on the bridge. and powered by the same AC voltage source. age ratio and phase shift as each side of the bridge. thus eliminating any errors due to leakage currents through stray detector-to-ground capacitances: • REVIEW: • AC bridge circuits work on the same basic principle as DC bridge circuits: that a balanced ratio of impedances (rather than resistances) will result in a “balanced” condition as indicated by the null-detector device.

12.6 AC instrumentation transducers Just as devices have been made to measure certain physical quantities and repeat that information in the form of DC electrical signals (thermocouples. since both impedance magnitude and phase angle must be properly matched to balance. This is especially true in the fields of automated machine tool control and robotics.39) . Or.396 CHAPTER 12. strain gauges. etc. • AC bridge circuits can be of the “symmetrical” type where an unknown impedance is balanced by a standard impedance of similar type on the same side (top or bottom) of the bridge. • A Wagner earth or Wagner ground is a voltage divider circuit added to AC bridges to help reduce errors due to stray capacitance coupling the null detector to ground.” using parallel impedances to balance series impedances. • Some impedance bridge circuits are frequency-sensitive while others are not. The frequencysensitive types may be used as frequency measurement devices if all component values are accurately known.).38: Switch-up position allows adjustment of the Wagner ground. • AC bridge circuits often have more than one adjustment. It is often necessary to be able to detect and transmit the physical position of mechanical parts via electrical signals. AC METERING CIRCUITS Cstray Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Cstray Figure 12. or even capacitances balancing out inductances. they can be “nonsymmetrical. special devices have been made that do the same with AC. A simple and easy way to do this is with a potentiometer: (Figure 12. pH probes.

If the potentiometer is to be operated in an environment where combustible vapor or dust is present. It is variable because the core is free to move between the windings. However. Thus. The core does not contact the wire windings. With most potentiometer circuits. which means they suffer the effects of physical wear over time. at frequencies ranging from power . The AC voltage output by an LVDT indicates the position of the movable core. Those noises are the result of poor wiper contact in the volume control potentiometer. potentiometers have their own unique problems. which stands for Linear Variable Differential Transformers. you might hear “scratching” sounds coming out of the speakers. The further away the core is from center position. AC INSTRUMENTATION TRANSDUCERS 397 potentiometer shaft moved by physical motion of an object + V - voltmeter indicates position of that object Figure 12. this potential for arcing translates into a potential for an explosion! Using AC instead of DC. When the core is centered and both windings are outputting the same voltage. the LVDT does not “wear” like a potentiometer. It is called linear because the core’s freedom of motion is straight-line.12. the current is so low that wiper arcing is negligible. The primary advantage of an LVDT over a potentiometer for position sensing is the absence of physical contact between the moving and stationary parts. we are able to completely avoid sliding contact between parts if we use a variable transformer instead of a potentiometer. Zero volts means that the core is centered.6. Excitation of the LVDT is typically 10 volts RMS or less. nor is there the possibility of creating an arc. Also. The phase of the output voltage relative to the excitation voltage indicates which direction from center the core is offset. The design of an LVDT looks like this: (Figure 12. but it is a possibility to be considered. and two secondary windings connected in series-bucking fashion. they rely on physical contact between the “wiper” and the resistance strip. It is differential because of the way the two secondary windings are connected.40) Obviously. the net result at the output terminals will be zero volts. For one. this device is a transformer: it has a single primary winding powered by an external source of AC voltage. the greater percentage of input (“excitation”) voltage will be seen at the output.39: Potentiometer tap voltage indicates position of an object slaved to the shaft. Devices made for this purpose are called LVDT’s. You might have already experienced this effect when adjusting the volume control on an old radio: when twisting the knob. Being arranged to oppose each other (180o out of phase) means that the output of this device will be the difference between the voltage output of the two secondary windings. As potentiometers wear. this physical contact between wiper and strip creates the possibility of arcing (sparking) between the two as the wiper is moved. but slides in and out within a nonconducting tube. their proportional output versus shaft position becomes less and less certain.

except that the core revolves on a shaft instead of moving in a straight line. or Rotary Variable Differential Transformer. just like a motor. If the rotor were energized with DC current rather than AC and the shaft spun continuously. To illustrate the potential problem here. this is a position-sensing device much like an RVDT. which is a device constructed a lot like a wound-rotor polyphase AC motor or generator. imagine this exaggerated scenario: an LVDT powered by a 60 Hz voltage source. If very quick response times are desired. The rotor is free to revolve a full 360o .41) A device with a two-phase stator is known as a resolver. the stator winding voltages will be proportional in magnitude to the angular position . AC METERING CIRCUITS AC output voltage AC "excitation" voltage movable core Figure 12. which is mostly dependent on the frequency of the AC voltage source. then the voltages would be true three-phase. (Figure 12. The stator windings are usually in the form of a three-phase Y. A variation on the LVDT is the RVDT. This device works on almost the same principle. with the core being moved in and out hundreds of times per second. Continuing with this principle.398 CHAPTER 12. line to the high audio (20 kHz) range. we have what is known as a Synchro or Selsyn. RVDT’s can be constructed for limited motion of 360o (full-circle) motion. much like the primary winding of an LVDT. On the rotor is a single winding connected to a source of AC voltage. the frequency must be higher to allow whatever voltage-sensing circuits enough cycles of AC to determine voltage level as the core is moved. But this is not how a synchro is designed to be operated. except that its output signal is much more definite. The output of this LVDT wouldn’t even look like a sine wave because the core would be moved throughout its range of motion before the AC source voltage could complete a single cycle! It would be almost impossible to determine instantaneous core position if it moves faster than the instantaneous source voltage does. Rather. Voltages induced in the stator windings from the rotor’s AC excitation are not phase-shifted by 120o as in a real three-phase generator. A resolver produces sine and cosine outputs which indicate shaft position. although synchros with more than three phases have been built. One potential disadvantage of the LVDT is its response time. With the rotor energized by AC.40: AC output of linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) indicates core position.

k.12.41: A synchro is wound with a three-phase stator winding. or to . You could think of it as a transformer with one primary winding and three secondary windings. phase either 0o or 180o shifted. and a rotating field. like a regular LVDT or RVDT. while the other windings will produce something less than full voltage. Synchros are often used in pairs.a "Selsyn") Resolver 399 AC voltage source rotor winding three-phase stator winding rotor winding two-phase stator winding stator connections rotor connections stator connections rotor connections modern schematic symbol Figure 12. AC INSTRUMENTATION TRANSDUCERS Synchro (a. Such “transmitter/receiver” pairs have been used on ships to relay rudder position. Figure 12. each winding in turn will line up directly with the rotor. As the rotor is slowly turned. each secondary winding oriented at a unique angle.6. of the rotor. With their rotors connected in parallel and energized by the same AC voltage source. their shafts will match position to a high degree of accuracy: (Figure 12. producing full voltage. Rotating one moves the other.42) Synchro "transmitter" Synchro "receiver" The receiver rotor will turn to match position with the transmitter rotor so long as the two rotors remain energized. A resolver has a two-phase stator.42: Synchro shafts are slaved to each other.

their respective magnetic fields being 120o phase-shifted from one another. The receiver rotor will no longer generate any torque and consequently will no longer automatically match position with the transmitter’s: (Figure 12. the rotor coil will progressively align with each stator coil.44) three-phase AC voltage source (can be Y or Delta) Synchro voltage signal output Figure 12. The only difference between the “transmitter” and the “receiver” is which one gets turned by an outside force.43: AC voltmeter registers voltage if the receiver rotor is not rotated exactly 90 or 270 degrees from the transmitter rotor. generating an AC voltage at the rotor if the shaft is anything other than 90o or 270o shifted from the shaft position of the transmitter. One rather ingenious application of the synchro is in the creation of a phase-shifting device. This can be thought of almost as a sort of bridge circuit that achieves balance only if the receiver shaft is brought to one of two (matching) positions with the transmitter shaft.43) Synchro "transmitter" Synchro "receiver" AC voltmeter Figure 12. . these phase-shifted fields will mix to produce a rotor voltage somewhere between 0o . As the synchro’s rotor is turned. provided that the stator is energized by three-phase AC: (Figure 12. The “receiver” can just as easily be used as the “transmitter” by forcing its shaft to turn and letting the synchro on the left match position. it will act as a position-error detector.44: Full rotation of the rotor will smoothly shift the phase from 0o all the way to 360o (back to 0o ).400 CHAPTER 12. In between those positions. If the receiver’s rotor is left unpowered. AC METERING CIRCUITS relay navigational gyro position over fairly long distances.

45) The slider has a pair of windings having the same pitch as the fixed winding.1 in or 2 mm pitch.12. How many pitches has the slider moved? The sine and cosine signals’ relationship does not reveal that. It outputs signals like a resolver.16 [1] When we say sine and cosine waves are produces as a function of linear movement. However.45: Inductosyn: (a) Fixed serpentine winding. This is an incremental encoder. we really mean a high frequency carrier is amplitude modulated as the slider moves. (Figure 12. A linear movement of a few inches (or cm) resulting in multiple revolutions of the synchro (resolver) generates a train of sinewaves. This low signal level is converted to to a 12-bit digital format by a resolver to digital converter (RDC). (b) movable slider 2-phase windings. . One slider winding is adequate for counting pulses. The slider windings are offset by a quarter pitch so both sine and cosine waves are produced by movement. An Inductosyn R is a linear version of the resolver. A synchro or a resolver may measure linear motion if geared with a rack and pinion mechanism. Resolution of 25 microinches is achievable. and a movable winding known as a slider. The Inductosyn consists of two parts: a fixed serpentine winding having a 0. This constitutes an absolute encoder. The two slider AC signals must be measured to determine position within a pitch. The 2-phase windings provide direction information in the phasing of the sine and cosine waves. The practical result is a device capable of providing an infinitely variablephase AC voltage with the twist of a knob (attached to the rotor shaft). Adapted from Figure 6. A few volts AC excitation into an Inductosyn yields a few millivolts out. P θ fixed slider fixed slider sin(θ) (a) cos(θ) (b) Figure 12. If absolute position must be known regardless of the starting point. A linear Inductosyn has a transformer ratio of 100:1. though. multiple pitches produce a train of waves. an auxiliary resolver geared for one revolution per length gives a coarse position. or 240o shift. Movement by one pitch produces a cycle of sine and cosine waves. the fine position. Compare this to the 1:1 ratio for a resolver.6. it bears slight resemblance. but provides no direction information. the number of pitches (number of waves) may be counted from a known starting point yielding coarse position. AC INSTRUMENTATION TRANSDUCERS 401 120o .

better that 1 arc second resolution is achievable. For more precise capacitive measurements of organ activity. (b) distance between plates. With a sufficiently high AC excitation frequency and sensitive enough voltage detector. and the dielectric constant of the material in between the surfaces.47) .46) (a) (b) (c) Figure 12. Similar measurements have been performed on human beings with metal plates placed on the chest and back. the distance between them.402 CHAPTER 12. (a) area of overlap. Some transducers work by making one of the capacitor plates movable. recording respiratory and cardiac action by means of capacitance changes. Transducers with greater sensitivity and immunity to changes in other variables can be obtained by way of differential design. then any measurement of capacitance between the surfaces will be solely indicative of changes in that third variable. When used with a 12-bit resolver to digital converter. it is possible to make transducers which operate on variable capacitance as well. Medical researchers have long made use of capacitive sensing to detect physiological changes in living bodies. [1] So far the transducers discussed have all been of the inductive variety. much like the concept behind the LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer). metal probes have been inserted into organs (especially the heart) on the tips of catheter tubes. Other transducers work by moving a dielectric material in and out between two fixed plates: (Figure 12. a German researcher named H. capacitive transducers can also be made to be self-contained units. Here are a few examples of differential capacitive transducers: (Figure 12. unlike the direct physiological examples described above. AC METERING CIRCUITS There is also a rotary version of the Inductosyn having 360 pattern pitches per revolution. Counting of pitches from a known starting point is necessary to determine absolute position. AC being used to sense the change in capacitance and generate a variable output voltage. As early as 1907. (c) amount of dielectric between plates. Like inductive transducers. However. a resolver may determine coarse absolute position. capacitance being measured between the metal probe and the body of the subject.46: Variable capacitive transducer varies. not just the pumping action but also the sounds of the active heart may be readily interpreted. Cremer placed two metal plates on either side of a beating frog heart and measured the capacitance changes resulting from the heart alternately filling and emptying itself of blood. This is an incremental encoder. If two out of three of these variables can be fixed (stabilized) and the third allowed to vary. Alternatively. either in such a way as to vary the overlapping area or the distance between the plates. Remember that the capacitance between two conductive surfaces varies with three major factors: the overlapping area of those two surfaces.

47: Differential capacitive transducer varies capacitance ratio by changing: (a) area of overlap. As with the LVDT.48: Differential capacitive transducer bridge measurement circuit. As you can see. Good conductor shielding is essential for reliable and accurate capacitive transducer circuitry! The bridge circuit is not the only way to effectively interpret the differential capacitance output of such a transducer. Capacitive transducers provide relatively small capacitances for a measurement circuit to operate with. This kind of transducer lends itself very well to implementation in a bridge circuit: (Figure 12. but it is one of the simplest to implement and understand. typically in the picofarad range.6. (b) distance between plates. high power supply frequencies (in the megahertz range!) are usually required to reduce these capacitive reactances to reasonable levels. Because of this. and the direction of offset will be indicated by phase . Given the small capacitances provided by typical capacitive transducers.48) Pictoral diagram capacitive sensor Schematic diagram V Figure 12. the voltage output of the bridge is proportional to the displacement of the transducer action from its center position. the capacitance between the other “end” plate and the “common” plate is such to change in the opposite direction. As the capacitance between one of the “end” plates and the “common” plate changes. stray capacitances have the potential of being major sources of measurement error.12. AC INSTRUMENTATION TRANSDUCERS 403 (a) (b) (c) Figure 12. (c) dielectric between plates. all of the differential devices shown in the above illustration have three wire connections rather than two: one wire for each of the “end” plates and one for the “common” plate.

and C2 a negative DC voltage with respect to .49: Differential capacitive transducer “Twin-T” measurement circuit.404 CHAPTER 12.50) R + C1 R Rload + C2 Figure 12. As a consequence. It requires the use of diodes. those “one-way valves” for electric current mentioned earlier in the chapter: (Figure 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS shift. but rather the degree of imbalance represents the magnitude of the quantity being measured. While one capacitor is being charged. This kind of bridge circuit is similar in function to the kind used with strain gauges: it is not intended to be in a “balanced” condition all the time. An interesting alternative to the bridge circuit for interpreting differential capacitance is the twin-T.49) R R C1 + + C2 Rload Eout Figure 12. This circuit might be better understood if re-drawn to resemble more of a bridge configuration: (Figure 12. C1 maintains a positive DC voltage with respect to ground. Capacitor C1 is charged by the AC voltage source during every positive half-cycle (positive as measured in reference to the ground point).Output is across Rload . while C2 is charged during every negative halfcycle.50: Differential capacitor transducer “Twin-T” measurement circuit redrawn as a bridge. the other capacitor discharges (at a slower rate than it was charged) through the three-resistor network.

The load resistor (Rload ). one capacitor will increase in capacitance while the other will decrease. AC INSTRUMENTATION TRANSDUCERS 405 ground. Thus. the load resistor.51: Addition of low-pass filter to “twin-T” feeds pure DC to measurement indicator. connected at one end to the point between the two equal-value resistors (R) and at the other end to ground. If. resulting in a greater average DC voltage over time than the lesser-value capacitor. Across the load resistor. and both capacitors are all groundreferenced. Furthermore. Another important advantage is that all important circuit elements have one terminal directly connected to ground: the source. the capacitor with the greater capacitance value will hold its charge longer. This circuit is also easy to specify parts for. there is both AC and DC voltage present. First and foremost. when it comes time to discharge through the resistors. differential capacitance is translated into a DC voltage across the load resistor. the load resistor will drop a voltage proportional to the difference between these voltages. If the capacitive transducer is displaced from center position.12. As a measurement circuit for differential capacitive sensors. with only the DC voltage being significant to the difference in capacitance. a low-pass filter may be added to the output of this circuit to block the AC. If desired.6. will drop no DC voltage if the two capacitors’ DC voltage charges are equal in magnitude. This has little effect on the peak voltage charge of each capacitor. this DC output signal may be strong enough to directly drive an electromechanical meter movement. resulting in a very short time constant (τ ). a measurement circuit incorporating complementary diodes requires the selection of “matched” diodes for good accuracy. not an AC voltage whose magnitude and phase must be interpreted to tell which capacitance is greater. This helps minimize the ill effects of stray capacitance commonly plaguing bridge measurement circuits. transducer displacement is indicated by a simple DC voltage. However. given the proper component values and power supply output. as there is negligible resistance in the charging current path from source to capacitor. likewise eliminating the need for compensatory measures such as the Wagner earth. eliminating the need for an amplifier circuit. the twin-T configuration enjoys many advantages over the standard bridge configuration.51) R Low-pass filter R C1 + + C2 Rload Rfilter Cfilter Eout Figure 12. Not so with . on the other hand. one capacitor maintains a greater DC voltage charge than the other due to a difference in capacitance. Normally. leaving only a DC signal to be interpreted by measurement circuitry: (Figure 12.

from most recent to first. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. “Position and Motion Sensors”. supply frequency variations have a relatively low impact on gain (how much output voltage is developed for a given amount of transducer displacement). 12.PDF . Furthermore. Not only is it easy to prototype and test. the effects of mismatch are minimal and contribute little to measurement error. but its relative insensitivity to stray capacitance and its high output voltage as compared to traditional bridge circuits makes it a very robust alternative. Analog De Docs/ vices. and square-wave supply voltage works as well as sine-wave. assuming a 50% duty cycle (equal positive and negative half-cycles).406 CHAPTER 12. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. Personal experience with using this circuit has confirmed its impressive performance. 324695618448506532114843952501435805318549066180119988Fsect6.analog. Bibliography [1] Waltt Kestler. of course. AC METERING CIRCUITS this circuit! So long as the power supply voltage is significantly greater than the deviation in voltage drop between the two diodes. which led to a much betterlooking second edition.

. . . . . . . . . .1 Characteristics . . . .5 Stepper motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . .8. . . . .9 Single-phase induction motors .1. . . . . .5. . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Doubly-fed induction generator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . 13. . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Synchronous Motors .4. . . . . . . . . . . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Synchronous condenser .6 Linear induction motor . . . . . . . . 13.5. . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Introduction . .2 Capacitor-start induction motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . .1 Hysteresis and Eddy Current . . . . . . . . . . .8. . . . . .9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . .3 Electronic driven variable reluctance motor 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . 13. . . . .3 Permanent magnet stepper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9.2 Switched reluctance . . . . . . . . . . .4 Reluctance motor . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . .Chapter 13 AC MOTORS Contents 13. . . .2 Variable reluctance stepper . . . .4 Hybrid stepper motor . . . . . . .1 Synchronous reluctance . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Speed control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Induction motor alternator . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Permanent-split capacitor motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . .5 Motor starting and speed control . . 13. 13. . .3 Nola power factor corrector . . . . . . . . . .7 Tesla polyphase induction motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Wound rotor induction motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . .2 Theory of operation . . . . . . 13.5. . . . . . . 13. . . .4. . . . . . . . . . . .6 Brushless DC motor . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Construction . . 13. . . . . . . . . . 408 409 412 420 421 421 422 424 426 426 428 431 435 438 442 443 445 453 454 455 460 460 462 462 464 465 466 407 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Repulsion motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10. . . . . . . .receiver . . 467 467 467 469 469 469 470 470 471 472 473 476 478 479 480 480 480 481 481 482 Original author: Dennis Crunkilton Figure 13. . . .receiver . . . 13. . . . . . 13. . . . . 13. . .1: Conductors of squirrel cage induction motor removed from rotor. . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . Transmission of electrical energy covered longer distances at lower loss with . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lighting worked as well on AC as on DC. . . . . . . . .3 Capacitor-run motor induction motor . . . .3 Universal motor .11. . . . . . .1 Introduction After the introduction of the DC electrical distribution system by Edison in the United States. . . . . . . . . . . . .9. . . . . . .12 AC commutator motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Control transformer . . . . . . . . 13. . . .12. . . . . AC MOTORS .1 Single phase series motor . . . . .10. . . .12.10. .408 13. . . . . .4 Resolver . . . . . . . . . . .10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12. 13. . . . .5 Nola power factor corrrector . . . . . CHAPTER 13. . . . . . . . .12. . . . . . . . . . .4 Eddy current clutch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . . . . .11. . . . . . . . .1 Transmitter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Differential transmitter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. . . 13. . . . . . . . .11 Selsyn (synchro) motors .10 Other specialized motors . . . . . . . . . .9. 13. .2 Compensated series motor . . . . . . 13.12. . .2 2-phase servo motor . . . . . .9. a gradual transition to the more economical AC system commenced. . . . . . . .11. .11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Repulsion start induction motor .1 Shaded pole induction motor . . . . . . . . 13. . . . . . . . . . .3 Hysteresis motor . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.4 Resistance split-phase motor induction motor 13. . . . . .

actually an AC motor. Br due to hysteresis remains. a small amount of residual magnetization. However. (Figure 13. Thus. Some of the electric energy is lost to heat. Modern solid state electronic circuits drive brushless DC motors with AC waveforms generated from a DC source. If the laminations are made of silicon alloy grain oriented steel.1. Such has been the case with diesel-electric locomotives on a smaller scale for many years. but by a rotating magnetic field. a digital version of motor. the AC induction motor. However. The heat is an undesired byproduct of the conversion. The laminations are coated with insulating varnish before stacking and bolting into the final form. Numerous problems were encountered due to changing magnetic fields. Though few AC motors today bear any resemblance to DC motors. in overcoming this residual magnetization before . The thin isolated laminations break these loops. again. high reliability. At the system level. AC motors were constructed like DC motors. Both rotor and stator cores of AC motors are composed of a stack of insulated laminations.1) make for long life. INTRODUCTION 409 alternating current. These problems were encountered when adapting DC motors to AC operation.13. Nikola Tesla envisioned an entirely new type of motor when he visualized a spinning turbine. is replacing the conventional brushed DC motor in many applications. hysteresis losses are minimized. The brushless DC motor.1. one goal is to maximize motor efficiency. persist in small appliances along with small Tesla induction motors.4) The current loops look like shorted transformer secondary turns. His new type of motor. It must be removed from the motor and may adversely affect longevity. the Tesla motor reigns supreme. -Hc the coercive force. similar to the DC variety. another form of energy. Its ruggedness and simplicity (Figure 13.5) An alternating current has to expend energy. the stepper motor. Steinmetz contributed to solving these problems with his investigation of hysteresis losses in iron armatures. converting it to mechanical work. Magnetic hysteresis is a lagging behind of magnetic field strength as compared to magnetizing force. electric motors are not 100% efficient. If a soft iron nail is temporarily magnetized by a solenoid. Charles P. is the workhorse of industry to this day. 13. is driven by alternating current square waves. (Figure 13. Cruise ships and other large vessels replace reduction geared drive shafts with large multimegawatt generators and motors. And. these problems had to be solved before AC motors of any type could be properly designed before they were built. Yet small brushed AC motors. motors were a problem with alternating current. Alas. one would expect the nail to lose the magnetic field once the solenoid is de-energized. due to I2 R losses in the motor windings. the silicon (a semiconductor) added to the alloy used in the laminations increases electrical resistance which decreases the magnitude of eddy currents. Eddy currents are minimized by breaking the potential conductive loop into smaller less lossy segments.3) a motor takes in electrical energy in terms of a potential difference and a current flow. AC motors also have some losses not encountered by DC motors: hysteresis and eddy currents. reducing the heat loss. not spun by water or steam. generated by solid state circuitry Figure 13.2 shows the family tree of the AC motors described in this chapter. Above one horsepower (750 W). as compared to the static fields in DC motor motor field coils. and low maintenance.1 Hysteresis and Eddy Current Early designers of AC motors encountered problems traced to losses unique to alternating current magnetics. Also. (Figure 13. Initially.

AC MOTORS Synchros & resolvers Capacitor run Variable reluctance Synchronous condenser Hybrid .2: AC electric motor family diagram. Permanent split capacitor Split phase Wound rotor Variable reluctance Synchronous reluctance Capacitor start Shaded pole PM rotor Squirrel cage Wound rotor PM Switched reluctance CHAPTER 13.410 Electric motor family tree Electric motor AC DC Asynchronous AC brushed Universal Synchronous Other DC motors Polyphase Sine wave Stepper Single phase Brushless Reluctance Figure 13.

INTRODUCTION 411 Mechanical enegy Electrical energy Heat Figure 13. solid core laminated core Figure 13. 4% silicon. it was possible to design .13. Silicon grain oriented steel. let alone in the opposite direction.3: Motor system level diagram. B Teslas BR -HC H A-turns/m B H HC -BR low hysteresis loss high loss Figure 13.1. rolled to preferentially orient the grain or crystalline structure. it can magnetize the core back to zero. Hysteresis loss is encountered each time the polarity of the AC reverses. “Soft” iron alloys have lower losses than “hard” high carbon steel alloys.5: Hysteresis curves for low and high loss alloys. has still lower losses.4: Eddy currents in iron cores. The loss is proportional to the area enclosed by the hysteresis loop on the B-H curve. Once Steinmetz’s Laws of hysteresis could predict iron core losses.

2 Synchronous Motors Single phase synchronous motors are available in small sizes for applications requiring precise timing such as time keeping. This is due to power plant operators purposely maintaining the long term accuracy of the frequency of the AC distribution system. AC MOTORS AC motors which performed as designed. This figure 13. requiring considerable torque to break one unit loose (out of synchronization) from the other. That is. the AC line operated variety has better long term accuracy−− over a period of months. they will make up the lost cycles of AC so that clocks lose no time. This was akin to being able to design a bridge ahead of time that would not collapse once it was actually built. The point is that in either case the rotors must run at the same nominal frequency. If more torque in the direction of rotation is applied to the rotor of one of the above rotating . Or.6: Synchronous motor running in step with alternator. (3) advance or retard the phase of one unit until both AC outputs are in phase. it should be possible to use a generator as a motor. the synchronous motor is more complex. (2) drive both alternators at the same rotational rate. If it falls behind by a few cycles. conversely.412 CHAPTER 13. the alternators will be locked to each other. or an alternator driving a synchronous motor. Above 10 Horsepower (10 kW) the higher efficiency and leading powerfactor make large synchronous motors useful in industry. This knowledge of eddy current and hysteresis was first applied to building AC commutator motors similar to their DC counterparts. use a motor as a generator. it could be two motors. and be in phase with each other. if an external power source were connected. The procedure for synchronizing two alternators is to (1) open the switch. Once synchronized. 13. (clocks) and tape players. Others invented new types of AC motors bearing little resemblance to their DC kin. Large synchronous motors are a few percent more efficient than the more common induction motors. (4) close the switch before they drift out of phase.6 could either be two paralleled and synchronized alternators driven by a mechanical energy sources. Today this is but a minor category of AC motors. Though battery powered quartz regulated clocks are widely available. they must be synchronized. torque angle N S N S 1 S S N N 2 S S N N 3 Figure 13. Since motors and generators are similar in construction. A synchronous motor is similar to an alternator with a rotating field. The figure below shows small alternators with a permanent magnet rotating field. Though.

the torque holding the north pole of the rotor up is at a maximum. Assuming that the motor is up to synchronous speed. However. while attracting rotor north rotor pole. In a similar manner the rotor north pole is repelled by the upper north coil and attracted to the lower south coil. the rotor will exceed the maximum torque angle advancing or lagging so much that synchronization is lost. Synchronization and torque are lost beyond this angle. This angle increases with loading until the maximum motor torque is reached at α=90o electrical. α S N N 1 2 1 3 4 S S N S S N 2 N N N S N S 3 S 4 Figure 13. as the sine wave changes to positive in Figure 13. The current in the coils of a single phase synchronous motor pulsates while alternating .6 right. In actual practice. The process repeats for a new cycle of sine wave. extracting energy from the AC line. As the sine wave changes to negative between (3&4). while the upper south coil attracts that rotor north pole.7 (1). the angle of the rotor will advance (opposite of (3)) with respect to the magnetic field in the stator coils while still synchronized and the rotor will deliver energy to the AC line like an alternator. The rotor will also be advanced with respect to the rotor in the other alternator. Torque is developed only when synchronization of the motor is maintained. loading the rotor will cause the rotor to lag the positions shown by angle α. At (4) the sinewave reaches a negative peak with holding torque again at a maximum. the above figure illustrates the rotor position for a no-load condition (α=0o ). like a motor. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS 413 alternators. the synchronous motor is not self starting and must still be brought up to the approximate alternator electrical speed before it will lock (synchronize) to the generator rotational rate. By the time that the sine wave reaches a peak at (2). If a load such as a brake is applied to one of the above units.7: Sinewave drives synchronous motor. In a similar manner the rotor south pole is repelled by the upper south coil and attracted to the lower north coil. the angle of the rotor will lag the stator field as at (3). the lower north coil pushes the north rotor pole.13. This torque decreases as the sine wave decreases to 0 VDC at (3) with the torque at a minimum. In the case of a small synchronous motor in place of the alternator Figure 13. the synchronous motor will maintain synchronism with the AC power source and develop torque. Once up to speed.2. If excessive torque or drag is applied. Note. As the sine wave changes from negative to 0 VDC to positive. the lower south coil pushes the south rotor pole. it is not necessary to go through the elaborate synchronization procedure for alternators.

a permanent magnet rotor bar will encounter 6-pole pairs corresponding to 6-cycles of AC in one physical rotation of the bar magnet. These 6-souths are interleaved with 6-north tabs bent up from the top of the steel pole piece of the coil. Though the polarity of the coil alternates due to the appplied AC. If the permanent magnet rotor speed is close to the frequency of this alternation. assume that the top is temporarily north. Figure 13. N S Figure 13. Rather than wind 12-coils for a 12-pole motor. Rotor speed will be 1/6 of that experienced with a 2-pole synchronous motor. AC MOTORS polarity.414 CHAPTER 13. it is necessary to bring the permanent magnet rotor up to speed with an auxiliary motor. wind a single coil with twelve interdigitated steel poles pieces as shown in Figure 13. or 600 rpm for a 12-pole motor. The stator (Figure 13. The one coil style of construction is .9. Pole pieces route the south flux from the bottom and outside of the coil to the top. Thus. Since the coil field pulsates and does not rotate.8) is for illustration. A lower speed motor may be constructed by adding more pole pairs. Higher efficiency higher torque multi-pole stator synchronous motors actually have multiple poles in the rotor.10) shows a 12-pole Westclox synchronous clock motor. The rotation speed will be 1/6 of the electrical speed of the AC.9: One-winding 12-pole synchronous motor. it synchronizes to this alternation. the bottom south.8: Addition of field poles decreases speed. A similar 2-pole permanent magnet synchronous motor will also rotate at 3600 rpm. The style of construction shown (Figure 13. This is a small induction motor similar to those in the next section. A 2-pole (pair of N-S poles) alternator will generate a 60 Hz sine wave when rotated at 3600 rpm (revolutions per minute). Example: 60 Hz would rotate a 2-pole motor at 3600 rpm. The 3600 rpm corresponds to 60 revolutions per second. Construction is similar to the previous figure with a single coil. a 12-pole motor at 600 rpm. A 4-pole motor would rotate at 1800 rpm.

clockHistory. If the Westclox motor were to run at 600 rpm from a 50 Hz power source.11) consists of a permanent magnet bar and a steel induction motor cup. This 600 rpm motor drives reduction gears moving clock economical for low torque motors.clockHistory.10: Reprinted by permission of Westclox History at www. It would rotate at 50/5 = 10 rotations per second or 600 rpm (10 s−1 x 60 s/minute. At one time non-self-starting motors without the induction motor cup were manufactured.13.) Figure 13.11: Reprinted by permission of Westclox History at The rotor (Figure 13. how many poles would be required? A 10-pole motor would have 5-pairs of N-S poles. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS 415 Figure 13. The synchronous motor bar rotating within the pole tabs keeps accurate time. A 3-phase synchronous motor as shown in Figure 13. Such motors are not self starting if started from a fixed frequency power . The induction motor cup outside of the bar magnet fits outside and over the tabs for self starting.12 generates an electrically rotating field in the stator.2.

the field will be at a peak pointing between these poles. Large industrial synchronous motors are self started by embedded squirrel cage conductors in the armature. True synchronous motors are driven by sine waveforms. when the φ-1 and φ-2 sinewaves coincide. They are used when constant speed is required. acting like an induction motor. The multi-phase drive signals are generated by electronic circuits. The electromagnetic armature is only energized after the rotor is brought up to near synchronous speed. but an electromagnet. The number of poles is n. φ-3. not in steps. These will be slip ring fed electromagnets in large industrial motors. If the coils are energized one at a time in the sequence φ-1. The bar magnet rotor shown is only appropriate for small motors.12) may be started by ramping the drive frequency from zero to the final running frequency. Two or three phase drive may be used by supplying the appropriate number of windings in the stator. but smoothly. . For rotor speed in rpm. and will be square waves in all but the most demanding applications. φ-2. the resultant field will rotate. where f is the power line frequency. AC MOTORS source such as 50 or 60 Hz as found in an industrial setting.416 CHAPTER 13. the rotor is not a permanent magnet as shown below for the multi-horsepower (multi-kilowatt) motors used in industry. φ1 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 N S S N S N φ3 Figure 13. Such motors are known as brushless DC motors. The rotor with multiple magnet poles (below right) is used in any efficient motor driving a substantial load. multiply by 60. 50 or 60 Hz for industrial power line operated motors. The three phases of stator excitation add vectorially to produce a single resultant magnetic field which rotates f/2n times per second. Only 3-phase is shown above. Having a leading power factor. they can correct the AC line for a lagging power factor. For example. Since the sine waves actually overlap. Furthermore.12) will rotate at 1800 rpm with 60 Hz power or 1500 rpm with 50 Hz power. 4-pole synchronous motor Small multi-phase synchronous motors (Figure 13. the rotor should point to the corresponding poles in turn. S = f120/n where: S = rotor speed in rpm f = AC line frequency n = number of poles per phase The 3-phase 4-pole (per phase) synchronous motor (Figure 13.12: Three phase. Large industrial synchronous motors are more efficient than induction motors.

a pulse train proportional to motor speed. The PM rotor may be rotated by hand but will encounter attraction to the pole pieces when near them.13) shows the drive electronics associated with a low voltage (12 VDC ) synchronous motor. If constant and accurate speed of rotation is required. A synchronous motor will generate a sinusoidal back emf if the stator . which provides a low level signal with a frequency proportional to the speed of rotation of the motor. These motors have a position sensor integrated within the motor. This type of motor has higher ripple torque torque variation through a shaft revolution than a sine wave driven motor. reference frequency phase locked loop waveform gen & power drive φ1 φ2 φ3 motor torque output position sensor tachometer Figure 13. (as for a disk drive) a tachometer and phase locked loop may be included. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS waveform gen & power drive φ1 φ2 φ3 motor torque output 417 hall effect Figure 13. or cogging is caused by magnetic attraction of the rotor poles to the stator pole pieces. If a motor is driven by sinewaves of current synchronous with the motor back emf. A motor driven by square waves of current. This is analogous to the mechanical situation. we are primarily interested in synchronous motors in this section.2. Would ripple torque be a problem for a motor used in a tape player? Yes. or an optical encoder.14: Phase locked loop controls synchronous motor speed. we do not want the motor to alternately speed and slow as it moves audio tape past a tape playback head.13: Electronic synchronous motor The block diagram (Figure 13. which compares the tachometer frequency and phase to a stable reference frequency source such as a crystal oscillator. as provided by simple hall effect sensors. This is not a problem for many applications. Ripple torque.14) This tachometer signal. The position sensor could be as simple as as solid state magnetic field sensors such as Hall effect devices providing commutation (armature current direction) timing to the drive electronics The position sensor could be a high resolution angular sensor such as a resolver. inductosyn (magnetic encoder). it is classified as a synchronous AC motor. Though. (Figure 13. not even a motor. is fed back to a phase locked loop. Would ripple torque be a problem for a fan motor? No.13. (Figure 13. is known as a brushless DC motor. regardless of whether the drive waveforms are generated by electronic means.15) Note that there are no stator coils.

a b c d a b c d c’ b’ a’ ph1 ph2’ ph2 ph3’ ph3 ph1’ 3-φ distributed winding c’ b’ a’ ph1’ ph1 Single phase belt Figure 13.16: Windings distributed in a belt produce a more sinusoidal field. AC MOTORS N S Ripple torque mechanical analog Figure 13.15: Motor ripple torque and mechanical analog. .418 CHAPTER 13.

Induction motors are mostly used in railway traction. PWM Figure 13. . It will be more sinusoidal if pole windings are distributed in a belt (Figure 13.78. Winding belts may take on an alternate concentric form as shown in Figure 13. driven by a sinewave.16) across many slots instead of concentrated on one large pole (as drawn in most of our simplified illustrations). a high efficiency method of approximating a sinewave with a digital waveform. The high temperature superconducting version of this motor is one fifth to one third the weight of a copper wound motor. Slots having fewer windings at the edge of the phase winding may share the space with other phases.[1] The largest experimental superconducting synchronous motor is capable of driving a naval destroyer class ship. a small synchronous motor. This arrangement cancels many of the stator field odd harmonics. In all these applications the electronic variable speed drive is essential.17: PWM approximates a sinewave. makes it attractive for such applications.17) Each phase requires drive electronics for this wave form phase-shifted by the appropriate amount per phase. (Figure 13.13. Synchronous motor efficiency is higher than that of induction motors. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS 419 magnetic field has a sinusoidal distribution. Encoders provide a digital angular position indication in either serial or parallel format. The advent of modern solid state electronics makes it possible to drive these motors at variable speed. A resolver provides analog angular position signals in the form of signals proportional to the sine and cosine of shaft angle. or optical or magnetic encoder provides resolution of hundreds to thousands of parts (pulses) per revolution. the torque is constant throughout a revolution by the trigonometric identity: sin2 θ + cos2 θ = 1 The generation and synchronization of the drive waveform requires a more precise rotor position indication than provided by the hall effect sensors used in brushless DC motors. which mounts inside a drive wheel. A resolver. especially if high energy permanent magnets are used in the rotor.2. However. The sine wave drive may actually be from a PWM. The synchronous motor can also be smaller. Pulse Width Modulator. For a 2-phase motor.

the position of the rotor needs to be known accurately. and controlled. it loses synchronization. Much less results in reduced torque. The synchronous condenser may then be filled with hydrogen to aid cooling and reduce windage losses. This leading power factor can be exaggerated by removing the mechanical load and over exciting the field of the synchronous motor. Since a synchronous condenser does not supply a torque. The stator of a synchronous motor is the same as that of the more popular induction motor. To develop maximum torque. by absorbing or supplying reactive power to the line. the windage loss for a hydrogen filled unit is 7% of that encountered in air. If the rotor and stator of a conventional rotary synchronous motor are unrolled. This type of control is known as vector phase control. a hydrogen filled synchronous condenser can be driven harder than an air cooled unit. a synchronous linear motor results. the output shaft may be dispensed with and the unit easily enclosed in a gas tight shell. As a result. Originally. Thus. There is no explosion hazard as long as the hydrogen concentration is maintained above 70%. Furthermore. This makes it possible to nearly cancel an arbitrary lagging power factor to unity by paralleling the lagging load with a synchronous motor. or it may be physically smaller for a given capacity.[2] A larger version of the linear synchronous motor with a movable carriage containing high energy NdBFe permanent magnets is being developed to launch aircraft from naval aricraft carriers. Such a device is known as a synchronous condenser. Any more. It is implemented with a fast microprocessor driving a pulse width modulator for the stator phases. Thus. typically above 91%. Furthermore. Since the density of hydrogen is 7% of that of air. .3 Synchronous condenser Synchronous motors load the power line with a leading power factor. This enhances power line voltage regulation. large industrial synchronous motors came into wide use because of this ability to correct the lagging power factor of induction motors. AC MOTORS The variable speed drive must also reduce the drive voltage at low speed due to decreased inductive reactance at lower frequency. heat removal is ten times more efficient. This is often usefull in cancelling out the more commonly encountered lagging power factor caused by induction motors and other inductive loads. As a result the industrial grade electronic speed control used with induction motors is also applicable to large industrial synchronous motors. And the position of the rotor with respect to the stator field needs to be calculated. More real power may be transmitted through a fixed size line if the power factor is brought closer to unity by synchronous condensers absorbing reactive power. the leading power factor can be adjusted by varying the field excitation. A synchronous condenser is operated in a borderline condition between a motor and a generator with no mechanical load to fulfill this function.[3] 13. It can compensate either a leading or lagging power factor.420 CHAPTER 13. The efficiency of long power transmission lines may be increased by placing synchronous condensers along the line to compensate lagging currents caused by line inductance. the rotor needs to lag the stator field direction by 90o . the thermal conductivity of hydrogen is ten times that of air. This type of motor is applied to precise high speed linear positioning.

4 Reluctance motor The variable reluctance motor is based on the principle that an unrestrained piece of iron will move to complete a magnetic flux path with minimum reluctance. while producing a flux density of 3 Teslas or higher.19) 13. is of no more use than air.18) A capacitor bank does not have this ability. This supplements longer response times of quick acting voltage regulation and excitation of generating equipment. Such a synchronous condenser has a higher power density (smaller physically) than a switched capacitor bank. 13. RELUCTANCE MOTOR 421 The ability of synchronous condensers to absorb or produce reactive power on a transient basis stabilizes the power grid against short circuits and other transient fault conditions. Generator Voltage 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 20% 40% 60% Line current 80% 100% sync w/o hronous cond syn ense chr r ono us con den ser Figure 13. Transient sags and dips of milliseconds duration are stabilized. This is due to variable reluctance throughout .4. the magnetic analog of electrical resistance. which increases generator excitation thereby restoring line voltage. (Figure 13. or any other material with a relative permeability µr =1. The superconducting wire carries 160 times the current of comparable copper wire. The manufacturer describes it as being a “reactive power shock absorber”. Thus. (Figure 13. The ability to absorb or produce reactive power on a transient basis stabilizes the overall power grid against fault conditions.13. The synchronous condenser aids voltage regulation by drawing leading current when the line voltage sags. which must be cooled to the liquid nitrogen boiling point of 77o K (-196o C). The capacity of a synchronous condenser can be increased by replacing the copper wound iron field rotor with an ironless rotor of high temperature superconducting wire. it will still develop 10 or 15% of synchronous torque.18: Synchronous condenser improves power line voltage regulation. an iron core. An iron core would saturate at 2 Teslas in the rotor air gap.4. approximate µr =1000. Such a machine is said to have considerable additional transient ability to supply reactive power to troublesome loads like metal melting arc furnaces. in the rotor.1 Synchronous reluctance If the rotating field of a large synchronous motor with salient poles is de-energized.

This is an over simplified rotor and waveforms to illustrate operation. Sequential switching (Figure 13. requiring only a single ended unipolar switch.20) The other coil connections are successively pulled to ground. it is practical in small sizes.20) of the stator phases moves the rotor from one position to the next. φ3 S S φ3 N high reluctance N low reluctance Figure 13. is fitted to a multi-phase stator. the magnetic analog of electric resistance. The reluctance of the rotor to stator flux path varies with the position of the rotor. one which only switches in one direction. a switched reluctance motor. The synchronous torque is due to changes in reluctance of the magnetic path from the stator through the rotor as the slots align. When a stator coil pole pair is energized. low pull-out torque. This attracts the rotor to the clockwise rotating magnetic field in 60o increments. It starts like an induction motor but runs with a small amount of synchronous torque. For smooth vibration free operation the 6-step approximation of a sine wave (c) is desirable and easy to generate. in a wave drive pattern. If one end of each 3-phase winding of the switched reluctance motor is brought out via a common lead wire. This motor is an inexpensive means of developing a moderate synchronous torque. but without any conductors. AC MOTORS a rotor revolution. There is no practical application for a large synchronous reluctance motor. More torque is provided by the bipolar drive (b). or drawn from the power line. (Figure 13.21) Wave drive (a) is simple. Low power factor. the rotor will move to the lowest magnetic reluctance path. but requires a bipolar switch. . (Figure 13. Sine wave drive (d) may be generated by a pulse width modulator (PWM). That is. we can explain operation as if it were a stepper motor. capable of synchronizing with the stator field results.2 Switched reluctance If an iron rotor with poles. The power driver must pull alternately high and low. Various waveforms may drive variable reluctance motors. 13. one at a time. If slots are cut into the conductorless rotor of an induction motor. Such was the status of the variable reluctance motor for a century before the development of semiconductor power control.422 CHAPTER 13.19) A switched reluctance motor is also known as a variable reluctance motor. However. a synchronous reluctance motor results. and low efficiency are characteristics of the direct power line driven variable reluctance motor.4. (Figure 13. Waveforms (a & b) are applicable to the stepper motor version of the variable reluctance motor.19: Reluctance is a function of rotor position in a variable reluctance motor. corresponding to the stator slots. The mangetic flux seeks the path of least reluctance.

13. φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 (b) (a) φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 (d) (c) Figure 13.4. over-simplified operation. (b) bipolar full step (c) sinewave (d) bipolar 6-step.21: Variable reluctance motor drive waveforms: (a) unipolar wave drive.20: Variable reluctance motor. . RELUCTANCE MOTOR 423 V+ φ3 φ2 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ1 φ1 φ2 φ3 Figure 13.

a variable reluctance motor is optimized for continuous high speed rotation with minimum ripple torque. and start is a variable reluctance stepper motor. an electronic feedback system. covered in another section. Electronic control solves this problem and makes it practical to drive the motor well above and below the power line frequency.4. this is offset by the cost of the electronic control. Figure 13. stop. This makes the motor simple and inexpensive. AC MOTORS Doubling the number of stator poles decreases the rotating speed and increases torque. It is necessary to measure the rotor position with a rotary position sensor like an optical or magnetic encoder.424 CHAPTER 13. If smooth rotation is the goal. or derive this from monitoring the stator back EMF. However. However. A microprocessor performs complex calculations for switching the windings at the proper time with solid state devices. Though difficult to control. A variable reluctance motor driven by a servo. which is not nearly as simple as that for a brushless DC motor. The relationship between torque and stator current is highly nonlinear– difficult to control.23 This is the opposite of the high ripple torque desired in stepper motors. Variable reluctance motors or steppers actually use rotors like those in Figure 13.23) resembles a brushless DC motor without a permanent magnet rotor. An electronic driven variable reluctance motor (Figure 13. even more so than an induction motor. Sequential switching of the field coils creates a rotating magnetic field which drags the irregularly shaped rotor around with it as it seeks out the lowest magnetic reluctance path. This might eliminate a gear reduction drive. A variable reluctance motor intended to move in discrete steps. This must be done precisely to minimize audible noise and ripple . While the variable reluctance motor is simple.22. this motor is easy to spin. microprocessors and solid state power drive makes this motor an economical high performance solution in some high volume applications. φ2 φ3 φ1 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ3 φ1 φ2 Figure 13. Rather than a stepper. controls torque and speed.3 Electronic driven variable reluctance motor Variable reluctance motors are poor performers when direct power line driven. minimizing ripple torque. there is an electronic driven version of the switched reluctance motor. it is difficult to control.22: Electronic driven variable reluctance motor. 13.

or permanent magnets. commutator.13.000 rpm fan motor. Advantages • Simple construction. The simplicity of the motor compensates for the drive electronics cost. But. torque. simplifies motor manufacture. One such vacuum cleaner uses a compact high efficiency electronic driven 100. The strict drive requirements make this motor only practical for high volume applications like energy efficient vacuum cleaner motors. • Cost effective compared to bushless DC motor in high volumes. no commutator. No brushes. • Adaptable to very high ambient temperature. it requires considerable optimization. fan motors.23: Electronic driven variable reluctance motor. using specialized design techniques. Disadvantages • Current versus torque is highly nonlinear • Phase switching must be precise to minimize ripple torque • Phase current must be controlled to minimize ripple torque • Acoustic and electrical noise • Not applicable to low volumes due to complex control issues . RELUCTANCE MOTOR 425 µprocessor control stator drive variable reluctance motor stator current rotor position Figure 13. no Cu or Al in the rotor. The efficiency of this electronic driven motor can be high. For lowest ripple torque. • High starting torque. no rotor windings. no permanent magnets. which is only justified for large manufacturing volumes. • High efficiency and reliability compared to conventional AC or DC motors.4. • Low cost accurate speed control possible if volume is high enough. winding current must be monitored and brushes. or pump motors.

AC MOTORS 13. or commutator. Application wise. good accuracy. Otherwise. However. 13. The rotor moves in discrete steps as commanded.5. the rotor synchronizes with the consequent stator magnetic field. being either “on” or “off ”. microprocessors readily interface to stepper motor driver circuits. With the direct line voltage. (Figure 13. The stepper motor drivers are less complex solid state switches. the predecessor of the stepper motor was the servo motor. rather than rotating continuously like a conventional motor. A considerable design effort is required to optimize the servo amplifier gain vs phase response to the mechanical components.24: Stepper motor vs servo motor.25) In other words.5 Stepper motors A stepper motor is a “digital” version of the electric motor. The rotor is a cylindrical solid. Wide spread acceptance of the stepper motor within the last two decades was driven by the ascendancy of digital electronics. High acceleration or unusually high accuracy still requires a servo motor. moderate speed. They were once used for the same purpose in harddrives. which may also have either salient poles or . simple drive electronics. Drive waveforms of bipolar (±) square waves of 2-24V are more common these days. Thus. And. the default is the stepper due to low cost. a stepper (short for stepper motor) holds its load steady with a holding torque. The servo amplifier is a linear amplifier with some difficult to integrate discrete components. As the windings are energized in sequence.1 Characteristics Stepper motors are rugged and inexpensive because the rotor contains no winding slip rings. The capacitor generates a 90o second phase. Today this is a higher cost solution to high performance motion control applications. Thus. we have a 2-phase drive. Modern solid state driver electronics was a key to its success. command stepper motor load command error servo motor load position sensor Figure 13.426 CHAPTER 13. and low cost.24) It is still the way to position heavy loads beyond the grasp of lower power steppers. DC can be switched to the motor so that it sees AC. we treat stepper motors as a class of AC synchronous motor. When stopped but energized. (Figure 13. the high speed and accuracy required of modern harddrive head positioning dictates the use of a linear servomotor (voice coil). a stepper motor controller is less complex and costly than a servo motor controller. good torque. Slo-syn synchronous motors can run from AC line voltage like a single-phase permanentcapacitor induction motor. The expense and complexity of a servomotor is due to the additional system components: position sensor and error amplifier. A stepper motor positions the read-write heads in a floppy drive. The bipolar magnetic fields may also be generated from unipolar (one polarity) voltages applied to alternate ends of a center tapped winding.

a 4-pole stepper motor may have two phases composed of in-line pairs of poles spaced 90o apart. For example a 12-pole stepper has 6-pairs of poles. there is no horsepower rating. corresponding to 4 to 500 steps per revolution. number of poles. Drive electronics may halve the step angle by moving the rotor in half-steps. Most steppers are a few inches in diameter with a fraction of a n-m or a few in-oz torque. load inertia. A small “dime” size stepper has a torque of a hundredth of a newton-meter or a few inch-ounces. There may also be multiple pole pairs per phase. Stepper motor coils are wound within a laminated stator.26: Stepper speed characteristics. except for can stack construction.5. The torque available is a function of motor speed. Stepper motors move one step at a time. fine teeth. (Figure 13. There may be as few as two winding phases or as many as five. when the drive waveforms are changed. These phases are frequently split into pairs.26) An energized. torque pulsations. three pairs per phase.75o . they do not even approach a sub-fractional hp rated capability. number of teeth. Steppers cannot achieve the speeds on the speed torque curve instantaneously. Torque maximum speed holding torque cutoff speed Speed Figure 13. There is less torque available for a running motor. decreasing to zero at some high speed. They have torque ratings to a thousand in-oz (inch-ounces) or ten n-m (newton-meters) for a 4 kg size unit.13. emulates AC current in single coil at (a). load torque. The step angle is related to motor construction details: number of coils. Determine that the rotor is a permanent magnet by unpowered hand rotation showing detent torque. STEPPER MOTORS V+ V V V+ Vbipolar + 427 unipolar Figure 13. They are truly small low power devices compared to other motors. Since stepper motors do not necessarily rotate continuously. It can be from 90o to 0. If they do rotate continuously. This speed is frequently not attainable due to mechanical resonance of the motor load combination.25: Unipolar drive of center tapped coil at (b). The maximum start frequency is the highest rate at which a stopped and unloaded stepper can be . More often than not the rotor is a permanent magnet. holding stepper has a relatively high holding torque rating. the step angle. and drive electronics as illustrated on the speed vs torque curve. Thus.

due to the lesser number of rotor poles.27: Three phase and four phase variable reluctance stepper motors. This means that an irregularly shaped soft magnetic rotor will move to complete a magnetic circuit. For a variable reluctance stepper motor. The permanent magnet stepper has a cylindrical permanent magnet rotor.5. When stopping a stepper motor. the rotor moves less than the stator angle for each step. However. the step rate is ramped up during starting from well below the maximum start frequency. In practice. Any load will make this parameter unattainable.27) A de-energized stepper with no detent torque when hand rotated is identifiable as a variable reluctance type stepper. The drive waveforms for the 3-φ stepper can be seen in the “Reluctance motor” section. pull-out torque is the maximum sustainable torque without losing steps. NP = number rotor poles ΘR = Rotor angle. The stator typically has three windings distributed between pole pairs . the rotor four salient poles. The variable reluctance stepper has s solid soft steel rotor with salient poles. ΘST = step . angle NS = number stator poles. AC MOTORS started. This torque load on the stepper is due to frictional (brake) and inertial (flywheel) loads on the motor shaft. and hybrid. the step angle is given by: ΘS = 360o /NS ΘR = 360o /NR ΘST = ΘR . 13.28.428 CHAPTER 13. There are three types of stepper motors in order of increasing complexity: variable reluctance. minimizing the length of any high reluctance air gap. φ3 V+ φ2 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ1 30o step φ3 15o step φ4 φ1 V+ φ2 φ1 φ4 φ2 φ3 Figure 13. Sequentially switching the stator phases produces a rotating magnetic field which the rotor follows. permanent magnet. yielding a 30o step angle. The drive for a 4-φ stepper is shown in Figure 13.2 Variable reluctance stepper A variable reluctance stepper motor relies upon magnetic flux seeking the lowest reluctance path through a magnetic circuit. the step rate may be decreased before stopping. Once the motor is up to speed. The hybrid stepper has soft steel teeth added to the permanent magnet rotor for a smaller step angle.(Figure 13.ΘS where: ΘS = stator angle. The maximum torque at which a stepper can start and stop is the pull-in torque.

Otherwise..28: Stepping sequence for variable reluctance stepper. Starting at rest with phase φ1 energized. (Figure 13. The rotor moved CCW to the next rotor tooth at 45o . moving from φ1 to φ2 . is much longer than our simplified illustration. the actual step angle is the difference between a stator angle of 45o and a rotor angle of 30o . Thus. With 3-pulses per stator tooth. The shaft is frequently fitted with a drive screw. φ4 ) to align the “dotted” rotor tooth to the next CCW stator Tooth. the direction of rotation is reversed above right. The controller could be a microprocessor or a specialized integrated circuit. and number of steps are controlled by a stepper motor controller feeding a driver or amplifier. it does not know the position of the carriage. we show the internal construction of a variable reluctance stepper motor in Figure 13. An actual motor. When the controller powers-up. Variable reluctance stepper motors are applied when only a moderate level of torque is required and a coarse step angle is adequate. but a simple on-off switch capable of high enough current to energize the stepper. Instead. the stator magnetic field rotates clockwise. The rotor tooth angle of 45o enters into the calculation by the above equation. which is a smaller angle (15o ) than the stator angle of 30o . Disassemble a reluctance stepper to view the internal components. In practice. φ3 . In principle.29. A screw drive. The rotor moves counterclockwise (CCW). but it aligns with a CW by 30o stator tooth. and 8-stator teeth. However. The direction. etc.28. it can drive the carriage toward the optical interrupter. as used in a floppy disk drive is such an application. STEPPER MOTORS φ1 S 429 φ3 S Ν S Ν S φ2 Ν φ4 Ν φ1 V+ φ4 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ4 counterclockwise 15o step φ1 φ2 φ3 φ4 reverse step. calibrating the .5.30) This may move the heads of a floppy drive upon command by the floppy drive controller. clockwise φ3 Figure 13. Note what does not happen! The dotted rotor tooth does not move to the next stator tooth.13. step rate. By reversing the sequence of pulses. which is 45o . The rotor has protruding poles so that they may be attracted to the rotating stator field as it is switched. This could be combined into a single circuit board. the driver is either discrete transistor switches or an integrated circuit. the driver could be a relay or even a toggle switch for each phase. three pulses are required (φ2 . In Figure 13. The driver is not a linear amplifier. How far would the stepper rotate if the rotor and stator had the same number of teeth? Zero– no notation. Both driver and controller may be combined into a single integrated circuit accepting a direction command and step pulse. the φ2 stator field attracts a different tooth in moving the rotor CCW. 24-pulses or steps move the rotor through 360o . It outputs current to the proper phases in sequence.

AC MOTORS Figure 13. optical interrupter stepper motor guide rails carriage knife edge Figure 13.30: Variable reluctance stepper drives lead screw.430 CHAPTER 13. .29: Variable reluctance stepper motor.

the controller will know the carriage position. Unipolar drive supplies a (+) and (-) alternating magnetic flux to the coils developed from a pair of positive square waves applied to opposite ends of a center tapped coil..5 V to -2. • This is the least complex. +2. full step. The stator usually has two windings. A bipolar drive of alternating polarity is required to power windings without the center tap. or half step. (c) φ1 . Summary: variable reluctance stepper motor • The rotor is a soft iron cylinder with salient (protruding) poles. it is likely a permanent magnet stepper rather than a hybrid stepper (next subsection).5 V.3 Permanent magnet stepper A permanent magnet stepper motor has a cylindrical permanent magnet rotor. (d) φ2 -.5. In practice. • Large step angle • A lead screw is often mounted to the shaft for linear stepping motion. The controller counts step pulses from this position. this is almost always square waves generated from DC by solid state electronics.5. .5o to 90o . say.13. The timing of the bipolar or unipolar wave is wave drive. say 7. The windings could be center tapped to allow for a unipolar driver circuit where the polarity of the magnetic field is changed by switching a voltage from one end to the other of the winding. (b) φ2 + . As long as the load torque does not exceed the motor torque. 13. Bipolar drive is square waves alternating between (+) and (-) polarities. If the detent angle is large. Rotation of the shaft of a de-energized motor exhibits detent torque. most inexpensive stepper motor. A pure permanent magnet stepper usually has a large step angle. Wave drive φ−1 φ−1 φ−1 φ−1 S N + − − N S N S N S S N φ−2 Wave drive a b + S N S c N S N − φ−2 + φ−2 + φ−2 − d Figure 13. • The only type stepper with no detent torque in hand rotation of a de-energized motor shaft.31: PM wave drive sequence (a) φ1 + . Permanent magnet stepper motors require phased alternating currents applied to the two (or more) windings. STEPPER MOTORS 431 position at which the knife edge cuts the interrupter as “home”.

(-) φ-2 points rotor left. φ1 φ2 φ1’ φ2’ V+ φ2 V+ φ2’ φ1 6-wire φ1’ Figure 13. The waveforms (Figure 13. this does not produce as much torque as other drive techniques. the simplest drive is wave drive. While simple. Permanent magnet stepper motors are manufactured with various lead-wire configurations. However. The (Figure 13. The wave drive waveforms below show that only one coil is energized at a time. (+) and (-) drive the stepper. The coil magnetic field reverses because the polarity of the drive current reverses. This simplifies the drive electronics.432 CHAPTER 13.34: Stepper motor wiring diagrams. the most . (Figure 13. but requires twice as many drivers.34) φ2 φ2’ φ1 V+ φ2 V+ φ2’ φ1 φ2 V+ φ2’ φ1 φ2a φ2a’ φ2b’ φ2b’ φ1a φ1a’ φ1b φ1’ 2-wire bipolar 6-wire unipolar φ1’ 5-wire unipolar φ1’ 8-wire bipolar or unipolar φ1b’ Figure 13. (+) φ-2 points rotor north right. motor coils must have center taps for unipolar drive.31) The rotation sequence left to right is positive φ-1 points rotor north pole up. negative φ-1 attracts rotor north down. AC MOTORS Conceptually. (Figure 13. φ1 + + a b c d φ2 φ2’ φ1 φ2 φ1’ Figure 13.33: Waveforms: unipolar wave drive.32) are bipolar because both polarities . The motor requires alternating magnetic fields. There are twice as many waveforms because a pair of (+) waves is required to produce an alternating magnetic field by application to opposite ends of a center tapped coil.32: Waveforms: bipolar wave drive. The 6-wire motor.33) waveforms are unipolar because only one polarity is required. The 4-wire motor can only be driven by bipolar waveforms. These may be produced by either unipolar or bipolar waves.

35 has the same step angle as wave drive. often a red and green enamelled wire. The 5-wire motor can only be driven by unipolar waves. bipolar drive. Though. . less expensive driver circuit. The rotor aligns with the field poles as for wave drive and between the poles as for full step drive. (Figure 13. Full step bipolar drive as shown in Figure 13. Half step drive is a combination of wave drive and full step drive with one winding energized. followed by both windings energized. This method produces exact 1:1 turns ratios for center tapped windings. Unipolar drive uses a less complex. This corresponds to twice as many step pulses per revolution. Unipolar drive (not shown) would require a pair of unipolar waveforms for each of the above bipolar waveforms applied to the ends of a center tapped winding. For example. A bifilar winding is produced by winding the coils with two wires in parallel. is intended for unipolar drive because of the center taps. STEPPER MOTORS 433 common arrangement.13.35) φ−1 S φ−1 S φ−1 N S φ−1 + N + N S S − S N S − S − N − a N N + φ−1 0 + φ−2 0 - N φ−2 b S φ−2 N S + b N + c S N N S d + a − − + − φ−2 + + φ−2 − c d Figure 13. but provides maximum flexibility. half stepping the motor moving the print head across the paper of an inkjet printer would double the dot density. it may be driven by bipolar waves if the center taps are ignored. This winding method is applicable to all but the 4-wire arrangement above. The additional cost of bipolar drive is justified when more torque is required.5. as the common center tap interferes if both windings are energized simultaneously. (Figure 13. The 8-wire configuration is rare. Full step drive Full step drive provides more torque than wave drive because both coils are energized at the same time. It may be wired for unipolar drive as for the 6-wire or 5-wire motor. Half step drive The step angle for a given stepper motor geometry is cut in half with half step drive. This attracts the rotor poles midway between the two field poles. yielding twice as many steps. The unipolar waveforms for half step drive are shown above.36) Half stepping provides greater resolution in positioning of the motor shaft. or in parallel for low voltage high current drive. A pair of coils may be connected in series for high voltage bipolar low current drive.35: Full step.

One phase.36: Half step. 24-pole can-stack construction. N S north south ceramic permanent magnet rotor φ-1 coil φ-2 coil Figure 13.37) only has two windings. By varying the currents to the windings sinusoidally many microsteps can be interpolated between the normal positions. Microstepping is possible with specialized controllers. bipolar drive. This style of construction is known as can stack.37: Permanent magnet stepper motor. It is desirable to increase the number of poles beyond that illustrated to produce a smaller step angle. will have a north side and a south side. on a transient basis. yet has 24-poles in each of two phases. Each side wraps around to the center . A phase winding is wrapped with a mild steel shell. or at least not increase the number of windings for ease of manufacture. The permanent magnet stepper (Figure 13. AC MOTORS φ−1 S N S N φ−2 a S + − + N − S N S N S N S − N N S φ−2 + 0 + 0 - − + b + − φ−2 + c N S + N S − φ−2 + d a b c d Half step Figure 13. It is also desirable to reduce the number of windings.434 φ−1 φ−1 φ−1 CHAPTER 13. with fingers brought to the center. Construction The contruction of a permanent magnet stepper motor is considerably different from the drawings above.

the colors will be green for both north and south poles with the film.4 Hybrid stepper motor The hybrid stepper motor combines features of both the variable reluctance stepper and the permanent magnet stepper to produce a smaller step angle. (b) field offset detail. (Figure 13.38: (a) External view of can stack. 13.13.5o from φ-1. This can be viewed with magnet viewer film or iron filings applied to a paper wrapping. Can-stack style construction of a PM stepper is distinctive and easy to identify by the stacked “cans”.38) Note the rotational offset between the two phase sections. • Large to moderate step angle. Though. • Often used in computer printers to advance paper. if we energize φ-1 followed by φ-2. the rotor would jump 360o /24 = 15o . often a ferrite sleeve magnetized with numerous poles. However. This is key to making the rotor follow the switching of the fields between the two phases. See below for offset. Application of any of the above waveforms will rotate the permanent magnet rotor. These alternating north-south fingers will attract the permanent magnet rotor. φ−1 coil x’ x’ x 90° offset φ−1 coil PM rotor dust cover φ−2 coil φ−2 coil x Can stack permanent magnet stepper Figure 13. the rotor will move 7. STEPPER MOTORS 435 of the doughnut with twelve interdigitated fingers for a total of 24 poles. If the polarity of the phase were reversed. And.5o because the φ-2 is offset (rotated) by 7. The rotor is a cylindrical perma- . it will rotate in a reproducible direction if the phases are alternated. Note that the rotor is a gray ferrite ceramic cylinder magnetized in the 24-pole pattern shown.5. which is not usefull. • Can-stack construction provides numerous poles from a single coil with interleaved fingers of soft iron. We do not know which direction.5. Summary: permanent magnet stepper motor • The rotor is a permanent magnet.

In other words. Note that the 48-teeth on one rotor section are offset by half a pitch from the other. In the next two figures. we attempt to illustrate the quarter tooth rotation produced by the two stator phases offset by a quarter tooth. there could be as many as five phases. As if this were not complicated enough. Note the reduced number of coils and teeth in rotor and stator for simplicity. AC MOTORS nent magnet. This rotor tooth offset is also shown below. except for missing teeth in the space between the poles. Bipolar drive is required for un-tapped windings. The stator teeth on the 8-poles correspond to the 48-rotor teeth. The stator coils are wound on alternating poles with corresponding teeth. Though. Thus. say the south pole. and the rotor half tooth offset. However.40) . The north-south poles of a phase swap polarity when the phase drive current is reversed. These stator phases are offset from one another by one-quarter of a tooth. the rotor may align with the stator in 96 distinct positions. may align with the stator in 48 distinct positions. The center tap is achieved by a bifilar winding. the teeth of the south pole are offset from the north teeth by half a tooth.30. the rotor moves in 2×96=192 steps per revolution for the above stepper. one pole of the rotor. a pair of wires wound physically in parallel. This detail is only discernable on the schematic diagrams below. 96-pole 8-pole stator S Figure 13.39). but wired in series. φ-2).436 CHAPTER 13. N S rotor pole detail N permanent magnet rotor. Due to this offset. See rotor pole detail above. There are typically two winding phases distributed between pole pairs.39: Hybrid stepper motor. Two phase windings are common as shown above and below. The result is that the rotor moves in steps of a quarter of a tooth when the phases are alternately energized. This half tooth offset shows in the rotor pole detail above. This offset allows for rotation in 1/96 th of a revolution steps by reversing the field polarity of one phase. The above drawing is representative of an actual hybrid stepper motor. or Figure 13. we provide a simplified pictorial and schematic representation (Figure 13. magnetized along the axis with radial soft iron teeth (Figure 13. This winding may be center tapped for unipolar drive. However. the stator main poles are divided into two phases (φ-1. Therefore. Features of hybrid stepper schematic (Figure 13.40) to illustrate details not obvious above. the rotor effectively has 96 interleaved poles of opposite polarity. The quarter tooth stator offset in conjunction with drive current timing also defines direction of rotation.

the φ-2 stator teeth are offset by one-quarter tooth. In fact.41) • Rotor top is permanent magnet south. φ-1’ stator-S: rotor-bottom-N.13. north stator bottom to south rotor. φ-2’ stator-S: rotor-bottom-N. bottom north. south bottom. • The top of the permanent magnet rotor is the south pole. φ-2 are switchable: on. Start position. STEPPER MOTORS 1/4 tooth offset alignment stator North PM South PM North 437 N φ1 φ2′ 1/2 tooth offset alignment Stator South φ2 S φ1′ Figure 13. • If the polarity of φ-1 were reversed. total rotation=1/4 tooth. φ-2=off. • Enough torque applied to the shaft to overcome the hold-in torque would move the rotor by one tooth. Hybrid stepper motor rotation (Figure 13. reverse. Fields φ1. • The bottom φ-1’ stator teeth align south to rotor bottom north teeth. • The φ-2 stator teeth are not aligned with the rotor teeth when φ-1 is energized. The alignment would be south stator top to north rotor bottom. Rotate 1/4 tooth. φ-2=on.40: Hybrid stepper motor schematic diagram. Align (top to bottom): φ-1 stator-N:rotor-top-S. . Align (right to left): φ-2 stator-N-right:rotor-top-S. • The rotor north-south teeth are offset by half a tooth.5. direction unknown. the bottom north. • The top φ-1 stator teeth align north to rotor top south teeth. rotation=0. • (a) φ-1=on=north-top. • If the φ-1 stator is temporarily energized north top. off. • (b) φ-1=off. the rotor would move by one-half tooth. Polarity of φ-1 and ¡phi-2¿ drive determines direction of rotation. This will allow for rotation by that amount if φ-1 is de-energized and φ-2 energized.

An un-powered stepper motor with detent torque is either a permanent magnet stepper or a hybrid stepper. Align (top to bottom): Total rotation 1-tooth. φ-2=off. • The stator windings are divided into no less than two phases. much less than the 7. The hybrid stepper will have a small step angle. 13. corresponding to a few hundred steps per revolution. Summary: hybrid stepper motor • The step angle is smaller than variable reluctance or permanent magnet steppers. • Not shown: φ-1=on.6 Brushless DC motor Brushless DC motors were developed from conventional brushed DC motors with the availability of solid state power semiconductors.438 N φ1 φ1 CHAPTER 13. North and south teeth are offset by half a tooth for a smaller step angle. why do we discuss brushless DC motors in a chapter on AC motors? Brushless DC motors are similar to AC synchronous motors. • The stator poles have matching fine teeth of the same pitch as the rotor.41: Hybrid stepper motor rotation sequence. φ-2=reverse(on). • The poles of one stator windings are offset by a quarter tooth for an even smaller step angle. Total rotation from start: 1/2 tooth. φ-1’ stator-N:rotor-top-S.5o of permanent magnet steppers. Align (left to right): Total rotation: 3/4 tooth. • The rotor is a permanent magnet with fine teeth. The step angle could be a fraction of a degree. φ-2=off (same as (a)). So. Align (bottom to top): φ-1 stator-S:rotor-bottom-N. • (c) φ-1=reverse(on). • Not shown: φ-1=off. The major . AC MOTORS off S φ1 off off φ2′ φ2 S φ2′ N φ2 off off φ2′ φ2 S φ1′ align top (a) off align right φ1′ (b) N φ1′ align bottom (c) Figure 13. Rotate 1/4 tooth from last position.

(b) inside rotor. The most usual construction. It is also possible to put the rotor on the outside surrounding the stator.43b). The style of construction is either cylindrical or pancake. (b) double stator. The most common cylindrical style is with the rotor on the inside. This style motor is used in hard disk drives. Synchronous motors are usually large multi-kilowatt size. This style of construction may be short and fat. Such is the case with brushless DC fan motors. above right.13. can take on two forms (Figure 13. as compared to a rectangular. Both have stator created rotating magnetic fields producing torque in a magnetic rotor. However.43: Pancake motor construction: (a) single stator. True synchronous motors are considered to be single speed. (Figures 13. High torque pancake motors may have stator coils on both sides of the rotor (Figure 13. Brushless DC motors tend to be small– a few watts to tens of watts. often with electromagnet rotors. the direction of the magnetic flux is radial with respect to the rotational axis.6. with permanent magnet rotors. cylindrical. a submultiple of the powerline frequency. or trapezoidal.43) Stator Stator Rotor Rotor (a) (b) Figure 13. Rotor Stator (a) (b) Stator Rotor Stator Figure 13.42: Cylindrical construction: (a) outside rotor.42). Lower torque applications like floppy disk drive motors suffice with a stator coil on one side . sans the shaft.42 and 13. back EMF for brushless DC motors. BRUSHLESS DC MOTOR 439 difference is that synchronous motors develop a sinusoidal back EMF. The speed of a brushless DC motor is not fixed unless driven by a phased locked loop slaved to a reference frequency.

AC MOTORS of the rotor. that is. The permanent magnet rotor would follow as in the case of a synchronous motor. The 3-φ pancake motor (Figure 13. parallel to the axis of rotation. The changing position of the permanent magnet rotor is sensed by the Hall device as the polarity of the passing rotor pole changes. The Hall output may drive a comparator to provide for more stable drive to the power device.44 is commutated by a Hall effect device for each of the three stator phases. Similar circuitry could drive the pancake floppy disk drive motor (Figure 13. Application of a magnetic field to the sensor causes a small voltage change at the output. This Hall signal is amplified so that the stator coils are driven with the proper current. or Hall effect magnetic sensors. it may drive a compound transistor stage if properly biased. synchro. (Figure 13.45). a rotating magnetic field would be generated. and digital circuitry.440 CHAPTER 13. The above cylindrical motor could drive a harddrive if it were equipped with a phased locked loop (PLL) to maintain constant speed. etc). Small inexpensive motors use Hall effect sensors. Or. If the three stator phases were successively energized. The steel plate also helps complete the magnetic circuit. Again. The simple cylindrical 3-φ motor Figure 13. The rotor is a flat ferrite ring magnetized with eight axially magnetized alternating poles. The commutation function may be performed by various shaft position sensors: optical encoder. It looks like a four terminal variable resistor network. The voltages at the two outputs are complementary. helping to close the magnetic circuit.43-a). The sensor must be mounted close to the permanent magnet rotor to sense its position. This 3lead device may directly drive the power transistor feeding a phase winding. it would need a PLL to maintain constant speed.44) A Hall effect sensor is a semiconductor device where the electron flow is affected by a magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of current flow..45) has 6-stator poles and 8-rotor poles. Not shown here. magnetic encoder (resolver. More modern Hall effect sensors may contain an integrated amplifier.44: Hall effect sensors commutate 3-φ brushless DC motor. the Hall signals may be processed by combinatorial logic for more efficient drive waveforms. and approximate the rotor poles. The 6-stator coils comprise three winding phases. The direction of the magnetic flux is axial. A . The stator poles are also mounted atop a steel plate. The flat stator coils are trapezoidal to more closely fit the coils. (Figure 13. V+ H1 A1 V+ V+ H1 V+ S N V+ NC H3 H2 H3 V+ H2 A2 A3 V+ Figure 13. We do not show that the rotor is capped by a mild steel plate for mounting to the bearing in the middle of the stator.

45: Brushless pancake motor two pole rotor would follow this field at the same rotation rate as the rotating field. BRUSHLESS DC MOTOR φ−1 φ−2 φ−3 441 S N S N N S N S Stator Rotor φ−1′ Hall effect sensor Figure 13. The goal of a brushless fan motor is to minimize the cost of manufacture. This is an incentive to move lower performance products from a 3-φ to a 2-φ configuration. 2-φ. • The Hall effect sensors are spaced at 45o physical. Depending on how it is driven.46: Brushless fan motor. our 8-pole rotor will rotate at a submultiple of this rate due the the extra poles in the rotor. The brushless DC fan motor (Figure 13. • The stator has 2-phases distributed between 4-poles • There are 4-salient poles with no windings to eliminate zero torque points.13.6. • The rotor has 8-poles superimposed to help eliminate zero torque points. • The fan housing is placed atop the rotor. . which is placed over the stator.46) has these feature: S N S H2 N N S S N S H1 N N S 2-φ brushless fan motor Figure 13. • The rotor has four main drive poles. However. it may be called a 4-φ motor.

4. Since the Hall sensor has two complementary outputs. In Figure 13. Since we have a 4-pole permanent magnet rotor. The 2-φ stator requires that the Hall sensors be spaced apart by 90o electrical.47: Brushless DC motor 2-φ push-pull drive. we should be able to start the motor. Moreover. This makes it possible to start the motor for all possible stopping positions. In fact. and had a half horsepower (400 watt) model by 1888. one sensor provides commutation for two opposing windings. The sensors are spaced 90o electrical apart. which is 90o physical for a single pole rotor. AC MOTORS You may recall that conventional DC motors cannot have an even number of armature poles (2. V+ A1 N V+ A2 S V+ V+ H1 A3 H1 H2 V+ V+ H2 A2 Figure 13. the result is that torque minima are partially removed. it is possible for a hypothetical 4-pole motor to come to rest at a torque minima. Note Hall spacing above. If the rotor was a 2-pole rotor. the Hall sensors would be placed 90o physical. the easier the motor starting. the sensors must be placed 45o physical to achieve the 90o electrical spacing. Induction motors are favored due to their ruggedness and simplicity.47. When this ripple torque is added to normal energized-torque curve.5. 13. The 8-poles rotor section is only for improving motor starting. where it cannot be started from rest. As long as the torque minima does not drop to zero. Thus. 90% of industrial motors are induction motors. 3. This further removes the torque minima. The majority of the torque is due to the interaction of the inside stator 2-φ coils with the 4-pole section of the rotor. The more successful we are in removing the torque minima.442 CHAPTER 13.7 being common. The addition of eight permanant magnet poles to the normal 4-pole permanent magnet rotor superimposes a small second harmonic ripple torque upon the normal 4-pole ripple torque. the 4-pole section of the rotor must be on the bottom so that the Hall sensors will sense the proper commutation signals. Nikola Tesla conceived the basic principals of the polyphase induction motor in 1883. Tesla sold the manufacturing rights to George . the 2-φ push-pull drive (also known as 4-φ drive) uses two Hall effect sensors to drive four windings. The addition of the four small salient poles with no windings superimposes a ripple torque upon the torque vs position curve.7 Tesla polyphase induction motors Most AC motors are induction motors. etc) if they are to be self-starting.

13.48: Tesla polyphase induction motor. In Tesla’s time. The other pair of coils is oriented 90o in space to the first pair.7. obvious protruding poles.48.1 Construction An induction motor is composed of a rotor. Large industrial motors are 3-phase. one pair for each of the two phases of AC. as used on Tesla’s early induction motor. known as an armature. the other to a S-pole until the phase of AC changes polarity.48 is wound with pairs of coils corresponding to the phases of electrical energy available. While we include numerous illustrations of two-phase motors for simplicity. The stator in Figure 13. Rotor Stator Figure 13. However.7.48 has salient.13. we must emphasize that nearly all poly-phase motors are three-phase.000. The stator in Figure 13. In practice. and a stator containing windings connected to a poly-phase energy source as shown in Figure 13. Most large ( > 1 hp or 1 kW) industrial motors are poly-phase induction motors. By polyphase. By induction motor. like a transformer. unlike a brushed DC commutator motor. This design is used to this day for sub-fractional horsepower motors (<50 watts). TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 443 Westinghouse for $65. That is. this is two or three phases. This pair of coils is connected to AC shifted in time by 90o in the case of a 2-phase motor. The 2-phase induction motor stator above has 2-pairs of coils. one coil corresponds to a N-pole. The individual coils of a pair are connected in series and correspond to the opposite poles of an electromagnet. The simple 2phase induction motor below is similar to the 1/2 horsepower motor which Nikola Tesla introduced in 1888. driven by corresponding time shifted sine waves. the source of the two phases of AC was a 2-phase alternator. we mean that the stator contains multiple distinct windings per motor pole. for larger motors less torque pulsation and higher efficiency results if the . we mean that the stator windings induce a current flow in the rotor conductors.

A stack of these is secured by end screws. In Figure 13.49) Figure 13.50.49: Stator frame showing slots for windings. then worked into the slots. which may also hold the end housings. AC MOTORS coils are embedded into slots cut into the stator laminations. Insulation wedged between the coil periphery and the slot protects against abrasion. The stator laminations are thin insulated rings with slots punched from sheets of electrical grade steel. (Figure 13. Actual stator windings are more complex than the single windings per pole in Figure 13. Comparing the 2-φ motor to Tesla’s 2-φ motor with salient poles. the number of coils is the . The coils are wound on an external fixture. φ−3 φ−1 φ−2 (a) φ−1 (b) φ−2 Figure 13.444 CHAPTER 13.50: Stator with (a) 2-φ and (b) 3-φ windings. the windings for both a two-phase motor and a three-phase motor have been installed in the stator slots.50.

The polarity of the electromagnet is such that it pulls against the permanent magnet. One means of creating a rotating magnetic field is to rotate a permanent magnet as shown in Figure 13. graphite dust.52. This group is called a phase belt. a pole winding.7. . brush adjustment and replacement. The lines of flux cutting the conductor will induce a voltage. The laminations are coated with insulating oxide or varnish to minimize eddy current losses. In actual large motors. it will follow the motion of the magnet. and consequent current flow. twisted. is divided into identical coils inserted into many smaller slots than above. 13. arcing.51). there is no commutator. The misalignment with the stator slots reduces torque pulsations. The distributed coils of the phase belt cancel some of the odd harmonics. and re-machining of the commutator. See Figure 13. Both rotor and stator cores are composed of a stack of insulated laminations. The alloy used in the laminations is selected for low hysteresis losses.7. The theory of operation of induction motors is based on a rotating magnetic field.51: Laminated rotor with (a) embedded squirrel cage. a steel laminated rotor. (b) conductive cage removed from rotor. sparking. and an embedded copper or aluminum squirrel cage. The slots at the edge of the pole may have fewer turns than the other slots. As compared to a DC motor armature.2 Theory of operation A short explanation of operation is that the stator creates a rotating magnetic field which drags the rotor around. Edge slots may contain windings from two phases. This current flow creates an electromagnet whose polarity opposes the motion of the permanent magnet– Lenz’s Law.16. (a) (b) Figure 13. shown at (b) removed from the rotor. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 445 same. The rotor consists of a shaft. If the moving magnetic lines of flux cut a conductive disk.13. The squirrel cage conductors may be skewed. the phase belts overlap. with respsect to the shaft. in the conductive disk. The disk follows with a little less speed than the permanent magnet. That is. This eliminates the brushes. The key to the popularity of the AC induction motor is simplicity as evidenced by the simple rotor (Figure 13. producing a more sinusoidal magnetic field distribution across the pole. This is shown in the synchronous motor section.

developing more torque. the disk speed will always fall behind that of the rotating permanent magnet. it moves to (d). The torque developed by the disk is proportional to the number of flux lines cutting the disk and the rate at which it cuts the disk.707) falls on the radius of the circle between (a) and (b) The trace moves to (b) with minimum “X” and maximum “Y” deflection. This point (0. If this were not the case.446 CHAPTER 13. An analog automotive eddy current speedometer is based on the principle illustrated above. With maximum negative “X” and minimum “Y” deflection. so that lines of flux cut the disk induce a current. More slip corresponds to more flux cutting the conductive disk. Torque is proportional to slip. no electromagnet field. and on back to (a). The combination of 90o phased sine waves and right angle deflection. no induced current flow. Figure 13. This circle is traced out by a counterclockwise rotating . Starting at (a) with maximum “X” and minimum “Y” deflection. the trace moves to (c). create an electromagnetic field in the disk. Thus. a circular Lissajous is produced by driving the horizontal and vertical oscilloscope inputs with 90o out of phase sine waves.54 shows the two 90o phase shifted sine waves applied to oscilloscope deflection plates which are at right angles in space. there would be no flux cutting the disk. driven by currents which are 90o out of phase. slowing it. If a load is applied to the disk. Then with minimum “X” and maximum negative “Y”. a one dimensional line would display. more torque will be developed as more lines of flux cut the disk.707 Vpk at 45o . results in a two dimensional pattern– a circle. In Figure 13.52: Rotating magnetic field produces torque in conductive disk. disk and needle deflection is proportional to magnet rotation rate. no torque.707. AC MOTORS Figure 13.53. completing one cycle. This should not be surprising if you are familiar with oscilloscope Lissajous patterns. which follows the permanent magnet. With the disk restrained by a spring. the trace moves up and left toward (b). the degree to which the disk falls behind the rotating magnet. Between (a) and (b) the two waveforms are equal to 0. 0. A rotating magnetic field is created by two coils placed at right angles to each other. If the disk were to spin at the same rate as the permanent magnet.

b a’ c a a’ a b c a d a’ b a d horizontal deflection verticall deflection c d a Figure 13.53: Out of phase (90o ) sine waves produce circular Lissajous pattern. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 447 OSCILLOSCOPE b vertical Y V/div c a trigger DC GND AC a horiz’tl X a’ b c d a timebase d s/div DC GND AC Figure 13.13.54: X-axis sine and Y-axis cosine trace circle.7. .

448 CHAPTER 13. and fed with corresponding 120o phased currents will also produce a rotating magnetic field. The line is produced by equal deflections along both axes. For reference. back down left to origin at (c). y=x is a straight line. a similar pair of currents should be able to produce a circular rotating magnetic field. Figure 13.-1) at (d). AC MOTORS electron beam. OSCILLOSCOPE vertical b V/div a trigger c timebase d s/div horiz’tl X DC GND AC Y DC GND AC a a’ b c d a Figure 13. By analogy three windings placed 120o apart in space. φ−1 φ−1 φ−2 φ−1 φ−2 a φ−1 φ−2 a’ b φ−2 a a’ b c d φ−1 φ−1 φ−2 c d φ−2 Figure 13. Equal “X” and “Y” deflection moves the illuminated spot from the origin at (a) up to right (1.55shows why in-phase sine waves will not produce a circular pattern. If a pair of 90o out of phase sine waves produces a circular Lissajous. . and back up right to origin.55: No circular motion from in-phase waveforms.56: Rotating magnetic field from 90o phased sinewaves.down left to (-1. Such is the case for a 2phase motor.1) at (b).

7. Figure 13.57 has a total of six poles or three pole-pairs and three phases. The “full speed” Figure 13. the synchronous speed is cut in half because the magnetic field rotates 180o in space for 360o of electrical sine wave. The magnetic field will rotate once per sine wave cycle. For 50 Hz power. the field rotates at 60 times per second or 3600 revolutions per minute (rpm). it certainly is an upper limit. it rotates at 50 rotations per second. φ-2 maximum negative Motor speed The rotation rate of a stator rotating magnetic field is related to the number of pole pairs per stator phase. The 3600 and 3000 rpm.there is but one pole pair per phase– the number we need. Though the rotor of an induction motor never achieves this speed. Hz P = total number of poles per phase. are the synchronous speed of the motor. progress from points (a) through (d). the magnetic field rotates counterclockwise (figures a-d) as follows: • (a) φ-1 maximum.13. φ1 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ3 full speed half speed Figure 13. However. φ-2 zero • (d) φ-1 zero. φ-2 zero • (a’) φ-1 70%. φ-2 70% • (b) φ-1 zero. or 3000 rpm. If we double the number of motor poles. In the case of 60 Hz power. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 449 As the 90o phased sinewaves. The synchronous speed is given by: Ns = 120·f/P Ns = synchronous speed in rpm f = frequency of applied power.57: Doubling the stator poles halves the synchronous speed. a multiple of 2 .56. φ-2 maximum • (c) φ-1 maximum negative.

as is the frequency of the current. windage.5 Hz. the rotor is at rest. Thus for f = 50 Hz line frequency. fr = 0. the frequency of the induced current in the rotor fr = 0. no torque. However.05·50 = 2.57 has four poles per phase (3-phase). no current induced in the rotor. or (Ns . The longer more correct explanation is that the stator’s magnetic field induces an alternating current into the rotor squirrel cage conductors which constitutes a transformer secondary. Why is it so low? The stator magnetic field rotates at 50 Hz. The result is rotation of the squirrel cage rotor. Rotor frequency is given by: fr = s·f where: s = slip. a loaded motor will slip in proportion to the mechanical load. The rotating magnetic field is only cutting the rotor at 2. The synchronous speed for 50 Hz power is: S = 120·50/4 = 1500 rpm The short explanation of the induction motor is that the rotating magnetic field produced by the stator drags the rotor around with it. N = rotor speed The frequency of the current induced into the rotor conductors is only as high as the line frequency at motor start.5 Hz. It is the magnetic flux cutting the rotor conductors as it slips which develops torque. AC MOTORS Example: The “half speed” Figure 13. no flux will cut the rotor at all. the safe continuous torque rating.58 graph shows that starting torque known as locked rotor torque (LRT) is higher than 100% of the full load torque (FLT).5 Hz is the difference between the synchronous speed and the actual rotor speed. The ratio of actual flux cutting the rotor to synchronous speed is defined as slip: s = (Ns . Torque When power is first applied to the motor. The 2. The stator field is cutting the rotor at the synchronous speed Ns . the rotor would rotate at the synchronous speed. The current induced in the rotor shorted turns is maximum. the line frequency. This induced rotor current in turn creates a magnetic field.450 CHAPTER 13. If the rotor spins a little faster. decreasing as the rotor approaches synchronous speed. If the rotor were to run at synchronous speed. Thus.N)/Ns where: Ns = synchronous speed. while the stator magnetic field rotates at the synchronous speed Ns . the slip between the rotor and the synchronous speed stator field develops torque. The locked . If there were no mechanical motor torque load. As the rotor speeds up. no bearing. at the synchronous speed. The Figure 13. The rotor field attempts to align with the rotating stator field. the rate at which stator flux cuts the rotor is the difference between synchronous speed Ns and actual rotor speed N. f = stator power line frequency Slip at 100% torque is typically 5% or less in induction motors. The rotor speed is 5% less. there would be no stator flux cutting the rotor. The rotating stator magnetic field interacts with this rotor field. or other losses.N).

As the rotor gains 80% of synchronous speed.59) have been developed to better drive various type loads. %Ns =%Synchronous Speed. rotor torque is about 175% of FLT for the example motor graphed above. B. The different designs are optimized for starting and running different types of loads. The locked rotor torque (LRT) for various motor designs and sizes ranges from 60% to 350% of full load torque (FLT).59) showing consideable variation from the torque curve above.58: Torque and speed vs %Slip. but will decrease rapidly beyond this point. and current will approach zero for a “no mechanical torque” load condition. For a running motor. corresponding to the torque curves (Figure 13.13. This current draw can present a starting problem for large induction motors. continuous operation above 100% can damage the motor. As the rotor accelerates to within a few percent of synchronous speed. This is the lowest value of torque ever encountered by the starting motor. Slip will be only a few percent during normal operation. torque increases from 175% up to 300% of the full load torque. C. The current has decreased only slightly at this point. both torque and current will decrease substantially. any portion of the torque curve below 100% rated torque is normal. While the motor torque and current may exceed 100% for a few seconds during starting. The motor load determines the operating point on the torque curve. Starting current known as locked rotor current (LRC) is 500% of full load current (FLC). Starting current or locked rotor current (LRC) can range from 500% to 1400% of full load current (FLC). There are several basic induction motor designs (Figure 13. slip. the safe running current.7. As the rotor starts to rotate the torque may decrease a bit for certain classes of motors to a value known as the pull up torque. This condition is analogous to an open secondary transformer. Any motor torque load above the breakdown torque will stall the motor. NEMA design classes Various standard classes (or designs) for motors. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 500% %full load torque & current locked rotor current 400% 300% 200% 100% qu e 451 curre nt tor breakdown torque pullup torque full load torque/ current locked rotor torque 80 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns 100 0 Figure 13. The current is high because this is analogous to a shorted secondary on a transformer. The torque. This breakdown torque is due to the larger than normal 20% slip. and D to meet these . The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has specified motor classes A.

the motor excels at driving highly variable speed loads like those requiring an energy storage flywheel. Drop out torque and starting current (LRT)are higher. Speed regulation is poor. AC MOTORS drive requirements. • Class C (IEC Class H) has higher starting torque than class A and B at LRT = 200% of FLT. and machine tools.59: Characteristics for NEMA designs.452 CHAPTER 13. This motor is applied to hard-starting loads which need to be driven at constant speed like conveyors.The power factor in large fully loaded high speed motors can be as favorable as 90% for large high speed motors. LRT. crushers. They drive constant easily started loads. shears. • Class F motors have much lower LRC. . However. Efficiency and power factor are high. and break down torque than class B. and reciprocating pumps and compressors. and elevators. • Class D motors have the highest starting torque (LRT) coupled with low starting current due to high slip ( 5% to 13% at FLT). • Class A starting torque is the same as class B. • Class B (IEC Class N) motors are the default motor to use in most applications. The high slip results in lower speed. without excessive starting current (LRT). Similar International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) classes N and H correspond to NEMA B and C designs respectively. fans. It typically drives pumps. This motor handles transient overloads as encountered in injection molding machines. operate at %5 slip or less at full load. All motors. except class D. it can start most loads. Applications include punch presses. With a starting torque of LRT = 150% to 170% of FLT. • Class E motors are a higher efficiency version of class B. 400% %full load torque 300% 200% 100% D C A B 100 0 80 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13. Power factor Induction motors present a lagging (inductive) power factor to the power line.

Efficiency at 75% FLT can be slightly higher than that at 100% FLT. rising as the rotor achieves speed. Thus. efficiency suffers only slightly down to 25% FLT. Large induction motor efficiency can be as high as 95% at full load. 13.7. At starting. Efficiency for a lightly load or no-loaded induction motor is poor because most of the current is involved with maintaining magnetizing flux. Little resistance is reflected from the secondary (rotor) to the primary (stator). As the torque load is increased.60). TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 453 At 3/4 full load the largest high speed motor power factor can be 92%. and most all single phase motors. though 90% is more common. Efficiency only becomes poor below 25% FLT. While there is nothing to be saved in a fully loaded motor. and decreased a few more percent at 25% FLT. The energy consumed in maintaining the stator magnetic field is relatively fixed with respect to load changes. . Efficiency Large three phase motors are more efficient than smaller 3-phase motors. If a polyphase motor is loaded at less than 75% of rated torque where efficiency peaks. This was a good concept for the notoriously inefficient single phase motors for which it was intended. Efficiency is decreased a few percent at 50% FLT. power factor 80% 60% 40% 20% 0 20 40 60 80 100 % load efficiency power factor Figure 13. Power factor (PF) varies considerably with the motor mechanical load (Figure 13. there is energy to be saved in partially loaded motors. An unloaded motor is analogous to a transformer with no resistive load on the secondary.60 Induction motors are typically oversized to guarantee that their mechanical load can be started and driven under all operating conditions. This will increase power factor and efficiency. As the rotor is loaded an increasing resistive component is reflected from rotor to stator. increasing the power factor. the power factor can be in the range of 10% to 25%. 1-φ motors in particular. more current is consumed in generating torque. It is based on the premise that a less than fully loaded induction motor is less efficient and has a lower power factor than a fully loaded motor. The power factor for small low speed motors can be as low as 50%. The variation of efficiency with loading is shown in Figure 13. the voltage to a partially loaded motor may be reduced to decrease the energy required to maintain the magnetic field.60: Induction motor power factor and efficiency. Thus the power line sees a reactive load. 100% efficience.13.7.3 Nola power factor corrector Frank Nola of NASA proposed a power factor corrector (PFC) as an energy saving device for single phase induction motors in the late 1970’s. while current associated with magnetizing remains fixed. as low as 10% PF.

Moreover.90% = 5%. it has the advantage of not requiring an automatic power failure disconnect switch to protect repair crews.4 Induction motor alternator An induction motor may function as an alternator if it is driven by a torque at greater than 100% of the synchronous speed. [7] 13. a 95% efficient motor is still 94% efficient at 50% full load torque (FLT) and 90% efficient at 25% FLT. 500% %full load torque & current 400% 300% 200% 100% -20 120 100 80 0 20 Motor mode 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns -100% -200% tor qu e qu e curre nt tor Generator mode -40 -60 140 160 -80 180 -100 % slip 200 % Ns %full load torque & current -300% -400% curre nt -500% Figure 13. there is not much energy to be saved. Such an induction generator must be excited by a “live” source of 50 or 60 Hz power. AC MOTORS This concept is not very applicable to large 3-phase motors. This type of alternator appears to be unsuited as a standby power source. Since the rotor is cutting the stator magnetic field in the opposite direction (leading).454 CHAPTER 13. The pay-back period for the expensive electronic controller has been estimated to be unattractive for most applications. the rotor is advancing 1% faster than the stator rotating magnetic field. As an auxiliary power wind turbine generator. This is not 5% of the full load wattage but 5% of the wattage at the reduced load. . say -1% slip. It is fail-safe.7.61: Negative torque makes induction motor into generator. It normally lags by 1% in a motor. the rotor induces a voltage into the stator feeding electrical energy back into the power line. The potential energy savings in going from 100% FLT to 25% FLT is the difference in efficiency 95% .61) This corresponds to a few % of “negative” slip. (Figure 13. Because of their high efficiency (90%+). it might be economical as part of an electronic motor starter or speed Control. Though. The Nola power factor corrector might be applicable to a 3-phase motor which idles most of the time (below 25% FLT). No power can be generated in the event of a power company power failure. like a punch press. This means that as we are rotating the motor faster than the synchronous speed.

the current flow increases to supply a magnetizing current to the stator. The only problem for either motor is starting. This current is allowed to flow by the capacitors without dissipating power. affecting other loads. Induction generators are not widely used in conventional power plants. Closure of the S contacts applies reduced voltage during the start interval. it may be sized considerably smaller than a continuous duty unit. and subject to wind speed variation by gusts. Since the autotransformer is only used for the short start interval.62. feeding power back into the power line. Multiple generators or multiple windings on a common shaft may be switched to provide a high and low speed to accomodate variable wind conditions. The S contacts open and the R contacts close after starting.5 Motor starting and speed control Some induction motors can draw over 1000% of full load current during starting. The load may be applied at this point. an induction alternator presents a leading power factor. This reduces starting current to. This stresses the gear train and mechanical components less than a synchronous genertor. Motors over 50 kW use motor starters to reduce line current from several hundred to a few hundred percent of full load current. An intermittent duty autotarnsformer may reduce the stator voltage for a fraction of a minute during the start interval. Voltage regulation is poor. An induction alternator is better able to cope with these variations due to the inherent slip. Thus. This breaker accepts high over-current for the duration of starting. 200% of full load current. a direct line connected induction generator is considered to be fixed-speed in a wind turbine. Synchronous alternators are also more efficient. Sometimes 3-phase motors are purchased for use on single phase if three-phase provisioning is anticipated. followed by application of full line voltage as in Figure 13. a few hundred percent is more common. reversing the normal direction of the electric kilowatt-hour meter.7. See Doubly-fed induction generator for a true variable speed alternator.[6] Start up procedure is to bring the wind turbine up to speed in motor mode by application of normal power line voltage to the stator. Motor-start rated circuit breakers (analogous to slow blow fuses) should replace standard circuit breakers for starting motors of a few kilowatts.7. The speed of the steam turbine drive is steady and controllable as required by synchronous alternators. The speed of a wind turbine is difficult to control. However.13. If the load is removed residual magnetism may generate a small amount of current flow. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 455 Small remote (from the power grid) installations may be make self-exciting by placing capacitors in parallel with the stator phases. As the generator is brought up to full speed. this allowable speed variation only amounts to about 1%. Small motors of a few kilowatts or smaller can be started by direct connection to the power line. An induction motor may be converted to a self-excited generator by the addition of capacitors. Any wind induced turbine speed in excess of synchronous speed will develop negative torque. 13. The power rating needs to be 50% larger than for a comparable single phase motor to make up for one unused winding. Starting larger motors can cause line voltage sag. Single . Whereas an induction motor presents a lagging power factor to the power line. say. though. Running 3-phase motors on 1-phase Three-phase motors will run on single phase as readily as single phase motors.

the motor generates approximately standard 3-φ. Sometimes a smaller capacitor than the start capacitor is retained while running. the motor acts as a 3-phase generator. R= run optional run capacitor start capacitor φ1 φ1 φ2 M1 φsynthetic φ1’ synthetic 3-φ φ3 standard 3-φ Figure 13.63 upon motor start.[9] . Hanrahan provides construction details.63 for running a three-phase motor on single phase is known as a static phase converter if the motor shaft is not loaded.456 φ3 T1 φ1 S T2 S φ2 S = start. Matt Isserstedt shows a complete design for powering a home machine shop.[9] However. The circuit in Figure 13. The start switch is opened in Figure 13.64. AC MOTORS R S R M1 S Figure 13.63. it may be started with a capacitor considerably smaller than a normal start capacitor. Three phase power may be tapped off from the three stator windings for powering other 3-phase equipment. a large start capacitor is required for about a second to quickly start the converter. Moreover. However. as shown in Figure 13. Moreover. adjustment of these capacitors to equalize the currents as measured in the three phases results in the most efficient machine. While running. See Figure 13.65.63: Starting a three-phase motor on single phase. The capacitor supplies a synthetic phase approximately midway 90o between the 180o single phase power source terminals for starting. If it is small enough. R= run CHAPTER 13. [8] Since a static phase converter has no torque load. smaller run-capacitors result in better 3-phase power output as in Figure 13. phase is applied to a pair of windings simultanous with a start capacitor in series with the third winding.62: Autotransformer induction motor starter. it may be left in circuit as a run-capacitor. φ1 R φsynthetic S φ1’ R return S = start.

Figure 13. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 457 L3 3-phase L2 out L1 220V single phase in L2 L1 Run capacitor = 25-30 µF per HP 1 HP motor Figure 13. Run capacitors = 12-16 µF/HP. Adapted from Figure 1.64: Self-starting static phase converter. Start capacitor = 50-100µF/HP. Run capacitor = 25-30µF per HP.7. Adapted from Figure 7.13. Hanrahan [9] 220V single phase in L2 L3 3-phase L2 out L1 run run 1 HP motor start L1 Start capacitor = 50-100 µF/HP.65: More efficient static phase converter. Run capacitors = 12-16µF/HP. Hanrahan [9] .

By changing the 50 or 60 Hz line frequency to higher or lower values. If the motor is driven by 50 Hz. the synchronous speed of the motor may be changed. Conversely. the drive frequency may be increased to increase the synchronous speed of the motor. This reduces the torque available to the load which reduces the speed. If the field is segmented with leads brought out. the voltage needs to be increased to overcome increasing reactance to keep . When switching the above 60 Hz motor from 4 poles to 2 poles the synchronous speed increases from 1800 rpm to 3600 rpm. However. In practice. AC MOTORS Induction motors may contain multiple field windings.458 Multiple fields CHAPTER 13. The 22. However.67) Electronic speed control Modern solid state electronics increase the options for speed control. may be changed by reducing the line voltage. decreasing the frequency of the current fed to the motor also decreases reactance XL which increases the stator current. (Figure 13. Only the wiring for one phase is shown above for clarity. Energizing one field or the other is less complex than rewiring the stator coils in Figure 13. This may cause the stator magnetic circuit to saturate with disastrous results.66: Multiple fields allow speed change. what would be the corresponding 4-pole and 2-pole synchronous speeds? Ns = 120f/P = 120*50/4 = 1500 rpm (4-pole) Ns = 3000 rpm (2-pole) Variable voltage The speed of small squirrel cage induction motors for applications such as driving fans. our induction motor may run at multiple speeds. Thus.5o segments are switchable to 45o segments. it may be rewired (or switched) from 4pole to 2-pole as shown above for a 2-phase motor. the voltage to the motor needs to be decreased when frequency is decreased. φ1 φ1 4-pole 2-pole Figure 13.66. for example a 4-pole and an 8-pole winding corresponding to 1800 and 900 rpm synchronous speeds.

current up to a normal value and maintain torque.7. • Direct Torque Control An elaborate adaptive motor model allows more direct control of flux and torque without feedback. AC line speed Inverter. .67: Variable voltage controls induction motor speed. The flux and torque producing components of stator current are measured or estimated on a real-time basis to enhance the motor torque-speed curve. varying from the simple to complex: Summary: Speed control • Scaler Control Low cost method described above to control only voltage and frequency. without feedback.68: Electronic variable speed drive. Summary: Tesla polyphase induction motors • A polyphase induction motor consists of a polyphase winding embedded in a laminated stator and a conductive squirrel cage embedded in a laminated rotor. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 459 100% % torque 75% 50% 25% 100 0 80 20 motor torque 100% V reduced speed 50% V load to 60 40 rque 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13. Once electronics is applied to induction motor control.13. This is a chopped waveform which is either on or off. This is computation intensive. • Vector Control Also known as vector phase control. variable frequency & voltage M1 Figure 13.eps¡x1¿) approximates sinewaves to the motor with pulse width modulation outputs. This method quickly responds to load changes. the percentage of “on” time corresponds to the instantaneous sine wave voltage. The inverter (Figure¡ref¿02480. high or low. many control methods are available.

Note that this torque peak is much higher than the starting torque available with no rotor resistance (R0 ) Slip is proportional to rotor resistance. Line current reducing starters are only required for large motors. Thus. generating a 3-phase output.7. high torque is produced while starting. However. if started. Figure 13. polyphase induction motors are self-starting. • Unlike single phase motors. The direction of linear travel is controlled by the sequence of the drive to the stator phases. AC MOTORS • Three phase currents flowing within the stator create a rotating magnetic field which induces a current. the linear induction motor with the accompanying magnetic repulsion levitation system required for a smooth ride has been too costly for all but experimental installations. • Multiple field windings can be rewired for multiple discrete motor speeds by changing the number of poles. While this is not a severe problem for small motors. the breakdown torque peak is shifted left to zero speed. • A static phase converter is three phase motor running on single phase having no shaft load. (Figure 13. • Three phase motors will run on single phase. Why put resistance in series with the rotor? Squirrel cage induction motors draw 500% to over 1000% of full load current (FLC) during starting. However.[4] [5] 13. Rotor torque is developed as the rotor slips a little behind the rotating stator field. in 2013. but also increases the starting torque.8 Wound rotor induction motors A wound rotor induction motor has a stator like the squirrel cage induction motor.6 Linear induction motor The wound stator and the squirrel cage rotor of an induction motor may be cut at the circumference and unrolled into a linear induction motor. but a rotor with insulated windings brought out via slip rings and brushes. locked rotor torque (LRT). and pullout torque is proportional to slip.460 CHAPTER 13.69) This resistance is shorted out once the motor is started to make the rotor look electrically like the squirrel cage counterpart. Up to this time.70 shows that by increasing the rotor resistance from R0 to R1 to R2 . locked rotor current (LRC). and consequent magnetic field in the rotor. Their sole purpose is to allow resistance to be placed in series with the rotor windings while starting. . CVNX-1. the linear induction motor is scheduled to replace steam driven catapult aircraft launch systems on the next generation of naval aircraft carrier. • Motor starters minimize loading of the power line while providing a larger starting torque than required during running. Placing resistance in series with the rotor windings not only decreases start current. it is for large (10’s of kW) motors. no power is applied to the slip rings. 13. The linear induction motor has been proposed as a drive for high speed passenger trains. This will increase efficiency and reduce maintenance.

400% 300% 200% 100% R2 breakdown torque R1 R0 %full load torque 100 0 80 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13. .70: Breakdown torque peak is shifted to zero speed by increasing rotor resistance. WOUND ROTOR INDUCTION MOTORS 461 φ1 φ2 M1 φ3 Stator Rotor Start resistance Figure 13.13.69: Wound rotor induction motor.8.

Speed regulation is poor with respect to changing torque loads. 400% 300% 200% 100% R3 speed reduction R0. A shorted rotor operates like a squirrel cage rotor. See R2 curve at 90% Ns. 2. The singly-fed induction generator only had a usable slip range of 1% when driven by troublesome wind torque.8. 13.462 CHAPTER 13. This reduces rotor current and speed. Figure 13. This speed control technique is only usefull over a range of 50% to 100% of full speed.71: Rotor resistance controls speed of wound rotor induction motor. 3 = motor torque R1 R0 %full load torque rque load to 100 80 0 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13. the down shifted break down torque. The complication and maintenance associated with brushes and slip rings is a disadvantage of the wound rotor as compared to the simple squirrel cage rotor. For comparison. But that resistance is shorted out by the time the rotor is started. This motor is suited for starting high inertial loads.71. Since there are connections to both the stator and rotor.8. Heat generated during starting is mostly dissipated external to the motor in the starting resistance. having electrical connections only to the stator windings. A high starting resistance makes the high pull out torque available at zero speed. is not available at high speed. Speed control works well with variable speed loads like elevators and printing presses.1 Speed control Motor speed may be varied by putting variable resistance back into the rotor circuit. a squirrel cage rotor only exhibits pull out (peak) torque at 80% of its’ synchronous speed. (See Induction motor alternator) This is a singly-fed induction generator. Since the speed of a wound rotor induction motor may be controlled over . The high starting torque available at zero speed. R2 1. AC MOTORS The resistance decreases the torque available at full running speed. A higher resistance at R3 reduces the speed further. 13. Resistors R0 R1 R2 R3 increase in value from zero. A wound rotor induction motor may also act as a generator when driven above the synchronous speed. such a machine is known as a doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG).2 Doubly-fed induction generator We previously described a squirrel cage induction motor acting like a generator if driven faster than the synchronous speed.

we may expect the same of the doublyfed induction generator. resistance placed in the rotor circuit will absorb excess energy while the stator feeds constant 60 Hz to the power line. along with the larger shaft energy. Keep in mind that the rotor “borrows” 30%. leaving. WOUND ROTOR INDUCTION MOTORS 463 Over-speed torqure Rotor Stator φ1 φ2 100% Torque energy 70% Electric energy φ3 30% Waste heat Figure 13. and feeding power into the power line instead of dissipating it. . we can vary the speed of a doubly fed induction generator by ±50% from the synchronous speed. a range of 50-100% by inserting resistance in the rotor. Over-speed torqure Rotor Stator φ1 φ2 100% Torque energy Converter 70% φ1 Electric energy φ3 φ2 φ3 30% Electric energy Figure 13.73: Converter recovers energy from rotor of doubly-fed induction generator.73) absorbing power from the rotor.72: Rotor resistance allows over-speed of doubly-fed induction generator. In actual practice. which passes it on to the stator. leaving the line with 100% for the theoretical lossless DFIG. Wound rotor induction motor qualities. Not only can we slow the rotor by 50%.8. That is. The stator appears to be supplying 130% of power to the line. The converter may “borrow” power from the line for the under-speed rotor. we can also overspeed it by 50%.13. passes to the stator which is connected to the power line. still allowing the stator to feed the power line with 60 Hz power.72) In the case of underspeed. negative resistance inserted into the rotor circuit can make up the energy deficit. ±30% is more practical.74) The borrowed power. In actual practice. (Figure 13. • Excellent starting torque for high inertia loads. the rotor resistance may be replaced by a converter (Figure 13. If the generator over-speeds. This improves the efficiency of the generator. (Figure 13.

• Speed is resistance variable over 50% to 100% full speed. (Figure 13. AC MOTORS Under-speed torqure Rotor Stator φ1 φ2 100% Torque energy Converter 130% φ1 Electric energy φ3 φ2 φ3 30% Electric energy Figure 13. (Figure 13.75) However. • The generator version of the wound rotor machine is known as a doubly-fed induction generator. it will not self-start. It may be hand started in either direction.9 Single-phase induction motors A three phase motor may be run from a single phase power source. • Low starting current compared to squirrel cage induction motor. but a pulsating field reaching maximum intensity at 0o and 180o electrical. but does not start. 13. open no-start 1-φ motor 3-φ motor.464 CHAPTER 13.75: 3-φmotor runs from 1-φ power. a variable speed machine. allowing it to function well under synchronous speed. 1-φ powered Figure 13. coming up to speed in a few seconds. • Higher maintenance of brushes and slip rings compared to squirrel cage motor.74: Converter borrows energy from power line for rotor of doubly fed induction generator. It will only develop 2/3 of the 3-φ power rating because one winding is not used.76) . The single coil of a single phase induction motor does not produce a rotating magnetic field.

.9. If the rotor is started in the reverse direction. This type of motor suffers increased current magnitude and backward time shift as the motor comes up to speed. coinciding twice per revolution at 0o (Figure 13. fed with two phases of current displaced 90o in time.76: Single phase stator produces a nonrotating. It will develop maximum torque at 10% slip with respect to the forward rotating phasor. Another view is that the single coil excited by a single phase current produces two counter rotating magnetic field phasors. the single phase coil will develop torque. but alternating polarity in time. 13. The solution is to keep the capacitor (impedance) small to minimize losses. Thus. This is called a permanent-split capacitor motor in Figure 13.13. At 45o and -45o (figure c) they are partially additive along the +x axis and cancel along the y axis. Single phase induction motors have a copper or aluminum squirrel cage embedded in a cylinder of steel laminations. This requires a motor with two windings spaced apart 90o electrical.1 Permanent-split capacitor motor One way to solve the single phase problem is to build a 2-phase motor. Little torque (see torque vs slip curve) other than a double freqency ripple is developed from the counter rotating phasor. once the rotor is started. The rotor will see 200% . Thus. with torque pulsations at full speed.10% slip with respect to the counter rotating magnetic field phasor.9.76-a) and 180o (figure e).77: Permanent-split capacitor induction motor. When the phasors rotate to 90o and -90o they cancel in figure b. Less torque will be developed above or below 10% slip. it will develop a similar large torque as it nears the speed of the backward rotating phasor. An analogous situation exists in figure d.77. Figure 13. typical of poly-phase induction motors. no starting torque is developed. if the rotor is rotated forward at a bit less than the synchronous speed. deriving 2-phase power from single phase. The losses are less than for a shaded pole motor. pulsating magnetic field. However. SINGLE-PHASE INDUCTION MOTORS ∠90o 465 ∠180o ∠0o ∠-90o a b c d e Figure 13. The sum of these two phasors is a phasor stationary in space.

usually applied to smaller motors. Figure 13. . the smaller sizes use less complex to build concentrated windings with salient poles.2 Capacitor-start induction motor In Figure 13. The result is that more starting torque is available for heavy loads like air conditioning compressors.78 for larger size motors. The direction of the motor is easily reversed by switching the capacitor in series with the other winding.9. 13. Single phase induction motors may have coils embedded into the stator as shown in Figure 13. This motor configuration works so well that it is available in multi-horsepower (multi-kilowatt) sizes.466 CHAPTER 13. Moreover. Figure 13. described elsewhere is this chapter.78: Single phase induction motor with embedded stator coils. Though.79: Capacitor-start induction motor. though. AC MOTORS This motor configuration works well up to 1/4 horsepower (200watt). the auxiliary winding may be many more turns of heavier wire than used in a resistance split-phase motor to mitigate excessive temperature rise. This type of motor can be adapted for use as a servo motor.79 a larger capacitor may be used to start a single phase induction motor via the auxiliary winding if it is switched out by a centrifugal switch once the motor is up to speed.

13. 13. the full magnetizing current is not required. It could be reduced by decreasing the applied voltage. improving .5 Nola power factor corrrector Frank Nola of NASA proposed a power factor corrector for improving the efficiency of AC induction motors in the mid 1970’s. This coil produces a moderate starting torque. Figure 13.9. This motor has more starting torque than a shaded pole motor (next section). it can start a single phase induction motor. SINGLE-PHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 467 13. At light load. but not as much as a two phase motor built from the same parts. About 30o of phase difference may be obtained. It is based on the premise that induction motors are inefficient at less than full load. but leave a smaller value capacitor in place after starting to improve running characteristics while not drawing excessive current. This simple (no capacitor) arrangement serves well for motors up to 1/3 horsepower (250 watts) driving easily started loads.4 Resistance split-phase motor induction motor If an auxiliary winding of much fewer turns of smaller wire is placed at 90o electrical to the main winding. This fixed current is a larger proportion of total motor current as motor load is decreased.9.9. 60 seconds off) like motor starting. Such AC rated electrolytic capacitors have such high losses that they can only be used for intermittent duty (1 second on.80) is to start the motor with a relatively large capacitor for high starting torque.9. which is disconnected by a centrifugal switch at 3/4 of synchronous speed.13. This inefficiency correlates with a low power factor. the current will experience less phase shift than the main winding. (Figure 13. The less than unity power factor is due to magnetizing current required by the stator. A motor starting capacitor may be a double-anode non-polar electrolytic capacitor which could be two + to + (or . but a lower loss polymer type.81) With lower inductance and higher resistance. The current density in the auxiliary winding is so high during starting that the consequent rapid temperature rise precludes frequent restarting or slow starting loads. The additional complexity of the capacitor-run motor is justified for larger size -) series connected polarized electrolytic capacitors.3 Capacitor-run motor induction motor A variation of the capacitor-start motor (Figure 13.80: Capacitor-run motor induction motor. A capacitor for motor running must not be of electrolytic construction.

punch press. The voltage cannot be reduced. for example. Since single-phase motors are about 2 to 4 times as inefficient as three-phase motors. It should be easier to pay for it by a factor of three as compared to the more efficient 3-φ-motor. Though. . the power factor and efficiency. it needs to operate a large number of hours per year. the motor will operate more efficiently without any add-on device. as low as 104 VAC. But there is potential savings from a less than fully loaded motor. It is safe for the power factor controller to lower the line voltage to 104-110 VAC. Any substantially idle. if the power company delivers closer to 110 VAC. the greater the potential savings. [7] Summary: Single-phase induction motors • Single-phase induction motors are not self-starting without an auxiliary stator winding driven by an out of phase current of near 90o . as in a lumber saw. That means that it is not fully loaded when operated at greater than 104 VAC. or conveyor. There is no savings for a fully loaded motor since all the stator magnetizing current is required. The cost of a PFC cannot be recovered for a motor operating only a few hours per day. single phase induction motor is a candidate for a PFC. and decreases motor voltage. AC MOTORS IT VT IStart φ IRun φ ≅ 30ο VT IR IS I Run tar t IT IX IS tar t Figure 13. a 117 VAC refrigerator.81: Resistance split-phase motor induction motor. A nominal 117 VAC motor is designed to work at as high as 127 VAC. there is potential energy savings for 1-φ motors. The higher the initial line voltage. the greater the possibility of paying for the controller in a few years operation. And the more time it idles. Of course. The power factor corrector senses power factor. • A capacitor-start induction motoronly has a capacitor in series with the auxiliary winding during starting. thus restoring a higher power factor and decreasing losses. 25% FLC or less. Once started the auxiliary winding is optional. • The auxiliary winding of a permanent-split capacitor motor has a capacitor in series with it during starting and running.468 CHAPTER 13.

2 2-phase servo motor A servo motor is typically part of a feedback loop containing electronic. the iron core is removed from the rotor leaving only a shaft mounted aluminum cup to rotate. To reduce acceleration robbing inertial. 13. air circulators. This lagging flux with the undamped main component.10 13.10. the construction is typical of a two phase motor. or by switching motor coil taps as in Figure 13. .10.10. Motor speed can be lowered by switching reactance in series to limit current and torque.82) Typically 1/3 of the pole is enclosed by a bare copper strap. • The auxiliary winding of a resistance split-phase motor develops a phase difference versus the main winding during starting by virtue of the difference in resistance. These shading coils produce a time lagging damped flux spaced 30o to 60o from the main field. and electrical components. (a) dual coil design. The low mass rotor can accelerate more rapidly than a squirrel cage rotor. shorting bars rotor (a) stator coils (b) Figure 13. and other low torque applications.83. Otherwise.84) The iron core is reinserted within the cup as a static (non-rotating) component to complete the magnetic circuit.1 Other specialized motors Shaded pole induction motor An easy way to provide starting torque to a single phase motor is to embed a shorted turn in each pole at 30o to 60o to the main winding. Low cost and simplicity suit this motor to small fans. A requirement of many such systems is fast response. produces a rotating field with a small torque to start the rotor.13. Starting torque is so low that shaded pole motors are only manufactured in smaller sizes. (Figure 13. below 50 watts.82: Shaded pole induction motor. 13. The servo loop is a means of controlling the motion of an object via the motor. (b) smaller single coil version. mechanical. then a smaller non-electrolytic capacitor during running. OTHER SPECIALIZED MOTORS 469 • A capacitor-run motor typically has a large non-polarized electrolytic capacitor in series with the auxiliary winding for starting. (Figure 13.

Aircraft control surfaces may be positioned by 400 Hz 2-φ servo motors. One of the windings is driven by a 90o phase shifted waveform. 13.470 CHAPTER 13. See synchro CT section for example.10. The squirrel cage rotor is attached to the driving motor. is greatly accentuated. The resulting low torque synchronous motor develops constant torque from stall to synchronous speed. the other is driven by an amplifier. The phase of the waveform may invert (180o phase shift) to reverse the direction of the motor. and is only used for constant speed applications like clock drives. The coils are excited with DC and attached to the mechanical load. the hysteresis motor is only available in very small sizes. The drive motor is . and formerly. In the above figure. hysteresis.4 Eddy current clutch If the stator of an induction motor or a synchronous motor is mounted to rotate independently of the rotor. an eddy current clutch results. φ−1 φ−2 rotor cup iron core φ−1 φ−2 rotor cup Figure 13. phonograph turntables. Because of the low torque.84: High acceleration 2-φ AC servo motor. this is accomplished by a series capacitor in the power line winding. One phase is connected to the single phase line. The other winding is driven by a variable amplitude sine wave to control motor speed. This variable sine wave is the output of an error amplifier. AC MOTORS L1 Figure 13.83: Speed control of shaded pole motor.10. or lagging behind of rotor magnetization. 13.3 Hysteresis motor If the low hysteresis Si-steel laminated rotor of an induction motor is replaced by a slotless windingless cylinder of hardened magnet steel.

the higher the synchronizing torque for a pair of motors. If these windings are connected to a common starting resistance. While multi-horsepower (multi-kilowatt) selsyns exist. This is a selsyn. Once started. which is an abbreviation for “self synchronous”.13. there is no starting torque. but the rotors still paralleled. The DC excitation is adjusted from zero to the desired final value providing a continuously and smoothly variable torque.87.85) This is usefull for printing presses and draw bridges. resistance may be placed in series with the rotor windings to limit starting current. no starting torque is developed. During starting. (Figure 13. the synchronizing torque is absent.86) They are not intended to be self rotating. • Hysteresis motors are a small low torque synchronous motor once used in clocks and phonographs. The rotors may be stationary. (Figure 13. Note that a common source of three phase power is applied to both stators. Though we show three phase rotors above. • The eddy current clutch provides an adjustable torque. the two rotors will remain synchronized during starting. used in under 50 watt low torque applications. the rotor windings of a wound rotor induction motor are shorted out after starting. If one rotor is moved through an angle θ. If the starting resistors are removed. this will be felt when attempting to rotate the other shaft. However there is a substantial synchronizing torque. However. manual rotation of one shaft will produce an unbalance in the rotor currents until the parallel unit’s shaft follows. the main appplication is small units of a few watts for instrumentation applications– remote position indication.11 Selsyn (synchro) motors Normally. The higher the resistance during starting. and the rotors are shorted. SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 471 started with no DC excitation to the clutch. the other selsyn shaft will move through an angle θ.85: Starting wound rotor induction motors from common resistors. a single phase powered rotor is sufficient as shown in Figure 13. where two motors need to be synchronized during starting. If drag is applied to one selsyn. develops a second phase from shorted turns in the stator. The operation of the eddy current clutch is similar to an analog eddy current automotive speedometer. . Since the rotors are not shorted out nor resistor loaded. 13. Instrumentation selsyns have no use for starting resistors. φ1 φ3 M1 φ2 Stator Rotor Start resistance Rotor Stator M2 φ2 φ3 φ1 Figure 13.11. Summary: Other specialized motors • The shaded pole induction motor.

S3 M1 S1 R1 60 Hz R2 R1 S3 S1 M2 R1 TX R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 R1 RX R2 R2 TX S2 Stator Rotor Torque transmitter . 115 Vac 60 Hz. 115 Vac 400 Hz.87: Synchros have single phase powered rotors. Synchros are available for use with 240 Vac 50 Hz. However. (Figure 13. (Figure 13. Remote position sensing is the main synchro application. which are not externally energized. If the rotors of both the torque transmitter (TX) and torque receiver (RX) are at the same angle. the phases of the induced stator voltages will be identical for both. 13. also known as sychros. a synchro receiver has inertial damping built in. The single rotor winding of a torque transmitter or receiver is brough out by brushed slip rings.86: Selsyns without starting resistance. use single phase paralleled. Synchro stators are wound with 3-phase windings brought out to external terminals. Synchro transmitters and receivers are electrically identical.472 φ1 φ3 M1 φ2 Stator θ Rotor CHAPTER 13.TX S2 Rotor Stator Torque receiver . the stator phase voltages will differ between transmitter and receiver.87) Synchros function as rotary transformers. .1 Transmitter .88) For example.receiver Small instrumentation selsyns.11. and 26 Vac 400 Hz power. Should one rotor be displaced from the other. a synchro transmitter coupled to a radar antenna indicates antenna position on an indicator in a control room.RX RX Alternate abreviated symbols Figure 13. Either the transmitter or receiver shaft may be rotated to turn the opposite unit. retaining the 3-phase paralleled stators. A synchro transmitter coupled to a weather vane indicates wind direction at a remote console. and no current will flow. Stator current will flow developing torque. A synchro torque transmitter may be substituted for a torque receiver. AC energized rotors. The receiver shaft is electrically slaved to the transmitter shaft. AC MOTORS φ3 φ1 M2 θ Rotor Stator φ2 Figure 13.

This stator electrical angle may be displayed by sending it to an RX.receiver A synchro differential transmitter (TDX) has both a three phase rotor and stator. outputting the sum on the stator outputs.11. (Figure 13. For example. displays antenna postion on an RX relative to true north.88: Synchro application: remote position indication. . The addition of a ship’s compass heading by a synchro differential transmitter. 13. Reversing the S1-S3 pair of stator leads between a TX and TDX subtracts angular positions. S3 S3 S1 R3 TDX Torque Differential Transmitter R2 R1 R1 M2 R2 M3 S1 S3 S1 R1 M1 R2 S2 TX Torque Transmitter S2 ∠Μ3 = ∠Μ1 + ∠Μ2 S2 TR Torque Receiver Figure 13.89: Torque differential transmitter (TDX). a synchro receiver displays the position of a radar antenna relative to a ship’s bow. regardless of ship’s heading.2 Differential transmitter .89) A synchro differential transmitter adds a shaft angle input to an electrical angle input on the rotor inputs.13. SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 473 N W S transmitter receiver E Figure 13.11.

and an electrical angle output on the three rotor connections. ship’s heading is 30o . ship’s heading is 30o .tx ∠rx = ∠tx + ∠gy gyrocompass . The angle output is a torque on the TDR shaft. We need to add the ships heading from a gyrocompass to the bow-relative antenna position to display antenna angle with respect to true north. The TDX has a torque angle input on the shaft. AC MOTORS A shipboard radar antenna coupled to a synchro transmitter encodes the antenna angle with respect to ship’s bow. antenna position relative to ship’s bow is 15o . antenna-N = antenna + gyro rx = tx + gy For example. antennaN is: rx = tx + gy 30o = 30o + 0o Example. antenna + gyro differential transmitter N W ∠tx ∠gy ∠rx E S receiver . . The torque inputs in Figure 13.474 CHAPTER 13. The difference between a TDX and a TDR is that the TDX is a torque transmitter and the TDR a torque receiver. The TDR has electrical angle inputs on both the stator and rotor.90) It is desired to display the antenna position with respect to true north.91 are TX and Figure 13. The torque output angular difference is TR. antennaN is: 45o = 30o + 15o Addition vs subtraction For reference we show the wiring diagrams for subtraction and addition of shaft angles using both TDX’s (Torque Differential transmitter) and TDR’s (Torque Differential Receiver). an electrical angle input on the three stator connections.rx transmitter .90: Torque differential transmitter application: angular addition. (Figure 13. antenna position relative to ship’s bow is 0o .

SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 475 R1 TX R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDX R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TR R2 TDX subtraction: ∠TX .93: TDR subtraction.11.∠TX2 Figure 13. R1 TX R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDX R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TR R2 TDX addition: ∠TX + ∠TDX = ∠TR Figure 13.92: TDX Addition. R1 TX1 R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDR R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TX2 R2 TDR subtraction: ∠TDR = ∠TX1 .91: TDX subtraction.13. .∠TDX = ∠TR Figure 13.

They are also difficult to control since they are constant speed devices. The servo motor.476 CHAPTER 13. The torque inputs in Figure 13. However. Heavy loads are more efficiently driven by large DC servo motors. It has three equally spaced stator windings like a TX. AC MOTORS The torque inputs in Figure 13. The torque output angular sum is TR.11. However. a 2-phase motor. The torque inputs in Figure 13.96) seeks to minimize the error between a commanded and measured variable due to negative feedback. 13. However. by a servo system. the poor efficiency of AC servo motors limits them to smaller loads. The torque output angular sum is TDR. the servo has driven the antenna and control transformer rotor to the commanded position. stops rotating. The torque output angular difference is TDR. the CT neither transmits nor receives torque. In Figure 13. The CT (Control Transformer) rotor output is zero when it is oriented at a angle right angle to the stator magnetic field vector.93 are TX1 and TX2 . A servo (Figure 13. Its rotor is wound with more turns than a transmitter or receiver to make it more sensitive at detecting a null as it is rotated. This corresponds to the servo system having driven the antenna coupled CT to match the angle commanded by the TX. The control transformer compares the shaft angle to the the stator magnetic field angle. any CT detected error drives the amplifier which drives the motor until the error is minimized. There is no error between measured and commanded position. control transformer. R1 TX1 R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDR R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TX2 R2 TDR addition: ∠TDR = ∠TX1 + ∠TX2 Figure 13. Any rotor displacement produces an AC error voltage proportional to displacement. sent by the TX stator. there is no rotor output. When the control transformer rotor detects a null at 90o to the axis of the stator field.92 are TX and TDX. or null. the shaft of the TX is set to the desired position of the radar antenna. output to be amplified. typically. The servo system will cause the servo motor to drive the antenna to the commanded position. . The servo motor may drive a reduction gear train and be large compared to the TX and CT synchros. Unlike a TX or RX.3 Control transformer A variation of the synchro transmitter is the control transformer. no CT.95. It is simply a sensitive angular position detector. When it measures a minimum.94 are TX1 and TX2 .94: TDR addition. The CT compares the commanded to actual position and signals the servo amplifier to drive the motor until that commanded angle is achieved. they can be controlled to some extent by varying the voltage to one phase with line voltage on the other phase.

96: Servo uses CT to sense antenna position null .11.95: Control transformer (CT) detects servo null.13. mechanical coupling 2-φ servo motor φ1 M3 S3 S1 R1 S3 S1 M2 CT φ2 S2 R1 R2 R2 M1 TX S2 − + Figure 13. SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 477 an ten na input angle W AC servo motor φ2 φ1 S1 S2 S3 R2 N S E CT R1 − + TX R1 R2 120 Vac Figure 13.

See Scott-T chapter 9 for details. and a single rotor winding driven by alternating current. CT. with the bearing angle as a shaft angle. Therefore. There is also a linear version of the resolver known as an inductosyn. Summary: Selsyn (synchro) motors • A synchro.98) It is possible to derive resolver-like quadrature angular components from a synchro transmitter by using a Scott-T transformer.478 CHAPTER 13. like moving control surfaces. saves size and weight. TX transmits a torque form an input shaft to a remote RX output shaft. AC MOTORS Airborne applications use 400Hz components– TX. . Y) may be plotted on a map display. The sine wave is fed to the rotor of a resolver. Size and weight of the AC magnetic components is inversely proportional to frequency.97) has two stator winding placed at 90o to each other. A resolver is used for polar to rectangular conversion.97: Resolver converts shaft angle to sine and cosine of angle. For example. 13. torque transmitter. Convert to X and Y co-ordinates. is a rotary transformer used to transmit shaft torque. θ φ2 = sinθ φ1 φ1 = cosθ Figure 13. A TX (torque transmitter) may be adapted for service as a resolver. An angle input at the rotor shaft produces rectangular co-ordinates sinθ and cosθ proportional voltages on the stator windings. • A TX. also known as a selsyn. and servo motor. torque receiver. 3-phases. The three TX outputs. accepts a torque input at its shaft for transmission on threephase electrical outputs. Thus. accepts a three-phase electrical representation of an angular input for conversion to a torque output at its shaft. The bearing angle shaft is coupled to the resolver shaft. The coordinates (X. • An RX. The rotary version of the inductosyn has a finer resolution than a resolver. Y) are available on the resolver stator coils: X=V(cos( bearing)) Y=V(sin( bearing)) The Cartesian coordinates (X.4 Resolver A resolver (Figure 13. (Figure 13. use of 400 Hz components for aircraft applications. a black-box within a radar encodes the distance to a target as a sine wave proportional voltage V.11. are processed by a Scott-T transformer into a pair of quadrature components.

not present in . torque differential receiver. 13. • A Resolver outputs a quadrature sinθ and cosine(theta) representation of the shaft angle input instead of a three-phase output. torque differential transmitter. have higher starting torque and higher speed than AC induction motors. detects a null when the rotor is positioned at a right angle to the stator angle input. The situation was so bad that motors could not be designed ahead of the actual construction. Low hysteresis alloys and breaking the alloy into thin insulated laminations made it possible to accurately design AC commutator motors before building. sums an electrical angle input with a shaft angle input producing an electrical angle output • A TDR. Hysteresis is a lagging behind of the magnetic field strength as compared to the magnetizing force. AC commutator motors may be either single-phase or poly-phase. AC COMMUTATOR MOTORS 479 R3 Y1 S1 R1 R2 θ S3 V2 = 86. The success or failure of a motor design was not known until after it was actually built at great expense and tested. The single-phase AC version suffers a double line frequency torque pulsation. AC commutator motors.98: Scott-T converts 3-φ to 2-φ enabling TX to perform resolver function. like comparable DC motors. He formulated the laws of magnetic hysteresis in finding a solution. • A TDX. This produces a loss not present in DC magnetics. sums two electrical angle inputs producing a shaft angle output • A CT. The series motor operates well above the synchronous speed of a conventional AC motor. • The three-phase output of a TX is converted to a resolver style output by a Scott-T transformer. A CT is typically a component of a servo– feedback system.6% Vsin(θ+120°) Y3 TX synchro Scott-T transformer S2 V1 =Vsin(θ) Y2 ct R1 V1 =Vsin(θ) R2 V’2 = Vsin(θ+90°) =Vcos(θ) R4 V3 = M2 Vsin(θ+240°) Figure 13. control transformer.12.13.12 AC commutator motors Charles Proteus Steinmetz’s first job after arriving in America was to investigate problems encountered in the design of the alternating current version of the brushed commutator motor.

Though.99: Uncompensated series AC motor. or larger. Thus. the development of solid state rectifiers and inexpensive permanent magnets is making the DC permanent magnet motor a viable alternative. However commutator motors are not as maintenance free as induction motors. Small line operated appliances. such as drills.12.100) A smaller motor air gap and fewer field turns reduces lagging reactance in series with the armature improving the power factor. requiring 3000 to 10.2 Compensated series motor The arcing and sparking is mitigated by placing a compensating winding the stator in series with the armature positioned so that its magnetomotive force (mmf) cancels out the armature AC mmf.480 CHAPTER 13.12. vacuum cleaners. 13. This results in considerable arcing and sparking at the brushes as the armature begins to turn. operation is marginal. A motor will run slower on AC than DC due to the reactance encountered with AC. the peaks of the sine waves saturate the magnetic path reducing total flux below the DC value. Very small universal motors may be uncompensated. armature windings connected to commutator segments shorted by the brushes look like shorted transformer turns to the field. . Since a commutator motor can operate at much higher speed than an induction motor. the lagging reactance of the field coil will considerably reduce the field current. 13.1 Single phase series motor If a DC series motor equipped with a laminated field is connected to AC. due to brush and commutator wear. use compensated stator windings. However. AC MOTORS poly-phase motor. increasing the speed of the “series” motor. Larger higher speed universal motors use a compensating winding. the offsetting effects result in a nearly constant speed from DC to 60 Hz. Series AC motors smaller than hand drills and kitchen mixers may be uncompensated. Motors as large as those employed in a kitchen mixer.3 Universal motor It is possible to design small (under 300 watts) universal motors which run from either DC or AC. (Figure 13.12.99) field field Figure 13. While starting. 13. which shares the arcing and sparking between commutator segments The lagging reactance and arcing brushes are only tolerable in very small uncompensated series AC motors operated at high speed. While such a motor will rotate. and mixers.000 rpm use universal motors. All but very small AC commutator motors employ compensating windings. (Figure 13. This is less of a problem as speed increases. it can output more power than a similar size induction motor.

the high starting torque of the repulsion motor may be put to use. Low starting current produces high starting torque.101: Repulsion AC motor. giving the effect of a squirrel cage rotor . shorting brushes field compensating winding Figure 13.5 Repulsion start induction motor When an induction motor drives a hard starting load like a compressor. Starting torque is 300% to 600% of the full speed value as compared to under 200% for a pure induction motor.13. 13. The induction motor rotor windings are brought out to commutator segments for starting by a pair of shorted brushes.4 Repulsion motor A repulsion motor (Figure 13. The field induces a current flow into the shorted armature whose magnetic field opposes that of the field coils. The brushes may also be lifted to prolong bush life. AC COMMUTATOR MOTORS 481 compensating winding field Figure 13.12.12. This motor has superior commutation below synchronous speed. Speed can be conrolled by rotating the brushes with respect to the field axis. 13. inferior commutation above synchronous speed. a centrifugal switch shorts out all commutator segments. Summary: AC commutator motors .12.100: Compensated series AC motor. At near running speed.101) consists of a field directly connected to the AC line voltage and a pair of shorted brushes offset by 15o to 25o from the field axis.

html [2] “Linear motor applications guide”. • The addition of a compensating winding yields the compensated series motor. Most AC commutator motors are this type. [3] “Linear motor outperforms steam-piston catapults” Christchurch.metalwebnews.CVF. Box 13 076. at .com/article/CA207108. at http://www.html?pubdate=04%2F11%2F2002 [6] “Operating 60 cycle motors www. • It is possible to produce small appliance motors powered by either AC or DC. Bibliography [1] “American Superconductor achieves full power of 5MW www. overcoming excessive commutator sparking.O.htm [8] Matt Isserstedt“Building an Auto-Start Rotary Three Phase Converter”.designnews. M Photonics Ltd.pdf as generators”. AC MOTORS • The single phase series motor is an attempt to build a motor like a DC commutator motor. www. 1995. This is known as a repulsion start induction motor. Design [4] “Future Aircraft Carrier .aerotech. “Electronics poised to replace steam-powered aircraft launch system”.html [9] Jim Hanrahan“Building a Phase Converter”.htm [5] Bill Schweber. but is not maintenance free. (4/11/2002). Navy Matters”. P. • The AC line is directly connected to the stator of a repulsion motor with the commutator shorted by the brushes. EDN. This is known as a universal motor. • Retractable shorted brushes may start a wound rotor induction motor. Red Rock Energy [7] “Energy Saver systems for Induction motors”.lmphotonics.482 CHAPTER 13. http://navy-matters. ( December The resulting motor is only practical in the smallest sizes. May 2008.pdfopt txt Ship motor”. Inc. At high speed this motor provides more power than a same-size induction motor. New Zealand at at PA) Pittsburg.

. . . . . . . . This type of cabling is often used to conduct weak (low-amplitude) voltage signals. . . . . . . Nowhere was I able to measure 50 Ω of resistance on this cable. . . . insulated from each other by a relatively thick layer of plastic. . . . regardless of which points I connected my ohmmeter between. . . . . . . . . . . Standing waves and resonance . . . . . . “Long” and “short” transmission lines . . . I came across a length of coaxial cable with the label “50 ohms” printed along its outer sheath. unbroken lengths of wire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finite-length transmission lines . I was mystified by the “50 ohms” label on this coaxial cable. (Figure 14. . . . . As such. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1) Now. just as I would have expected from two insulated conductors. . . . . . . . Circuits and the speed of light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 14. . . . . . . the two conductors insulated from each other for the entire length of the cable. . . .1 A 50-ohm cable? Early in my explorations of electricity. . . . . Measuring each of the two conductors’ resistances from one end of the cable to the other indicated nearly zero ohms of resistance: again. . . . . . . . . . due to its excellent ability to shield such signals from external interference. . . . .5 14. . . . .6 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 14. . . . . . . . . . the outer (braided) conductor completely surrounds the inner (single wire) conductor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . with a plastic insulating material separating the two. . . . .7 14. . . .8 A 50-ohm cable? . . . I found it to be infinite (open-circuit). Waveguides . coaxial cable is a two-conductor cable made of a single conductor surrounded by a braided wire jacket. .2 14. . . . . . . . Characteristic impedance . . . . . . . .Chapter 14 TRANSMISSION LINES Contents 14. . . . . . 483 . . . . . . . .4 14. . . . Impedance transformation . . . have 50 ohms of resistance between them? Measuring resistance between the outer and inner conductors with my ohmmeter. . 483 484 486 493 499 502 522 529 14. . . . . . How could two conductors. . exactly what I would have expected from continuous. . . . . . .

an incandescent lamp takes a short time for its filament to warm up and emit light after receiving an electric current of sufficient magnitude to power it.484 CHAPTER 14. 14.1: Coaxial cable contruction. we refer to the wire pair as a transmission line. Continuous direct current (DC) – such as that used by my ohmmeter to check the cable’s resistance – shows the two conductors to be completely insulated from each other. one-lamp circuit controlled by a switch. so the effect is not RG -58 /U .2) Actually. the cable’s response to rapidly-changing voltages is such that it acts as a finite impedance. However. with characteristic properties all its own. with nearly infinite resistance between the two. This chapter explores transmission line behavior. When the switch is opened. and in low-frequency circuits subject to voltage transients (“surges”) such as lightning strikes on power lines. However. Practical applications of transmission line effects abound in radio-frequency (“RF”) communication circuitry. drawing current proportional to an applied voltage. the effects are very significant. What we would normally dismiss as being just a pair of wires becomes an important circuit element in the presence of transient and high-frequency AC signals. Many transmission line effects do not appear in significant measure in AC circuits of powerline frequency (50 or 60 Hz). TRANSMISSION LINES Inner conductor Outer conductor (wire braid) 50 Ω Insulation (polyethylene) Protective jacket (polyvinyl chloride) Figure 14. the lamp immediately lights. When the switch is closed. including computer networks. the lamp immediately darkens: (Figure 14. or in continuous DC circuits. and so we haven’t had to concern ourselves with them in our study of electric circuits thus far. When expressing such properties. in circuits involving high frequencies and/or extremely long cable lengths. What I didn’t understand at the time was the cable’s response to short-duration voltage “pulses” and high-frequency AC signals.2 Circuits and the speed of light Suppose we had a simple one-battery. due to the effects of capacitance and inductance distributed along the length of the cable.

When one rail car (electron) begins to move... Assuming no warm-up time for the lamp filament.3: At the speed of light. not the response time of the lamp filament. the overall effect of electrons pushing against each other happens at the speed of light (approximately 186. but not before the slack is relieved from the couplings. then it will de-energize. What would happen. CIRCUITS AND THE SPEED OF LIGHT 485 Switch Lamp Battery Figure 14. the lamp would light up approximately one second after the switch closure.2. it pushes on the one ahead of it and pulls on the one behind it. if the wires carrying power to the lamp were 186. Figure 14.14.3) 186. However. resulting in a much faster transfer of motion from the left end of the train (circuit) to the right end than . instant. and no resistance along the 372. For all practical purposes.000 miles long? Since we know the effects of electricity do have a finite speed (albeit very fast). motion is transferred from car to car (from electron to electron) at a maximum velocity limited by the coupling slack.000 miles . it is theoretically possible.000 miles per second!). Although the construction and operation of superconducting wires 372. what I’d like to focus on is the immediacy of the electric current itself. delaying the switch’s action on the lamp: (Figure 14.. though. lamp responds after 1 second. the lamp will continue to receive power for one second of time after the switch opens.000 miles in length would pose enormous practical problems.. and so this “thought experiment” is valid. Although electrons move through wires very slowly. Switch Lamp Battery .2: Lamp appears to immediately respond to switch. One way of envisioning this is to imagine the electrons within a conductor as rail cars in a train: linked together with a small amount of “slack” or “play” in the couplings.000 mile length of both wires. Thus. the effect of switch action is instant at the lamp’s location. When the switch is opened again. a set of very long wires should introduce a time delay into the circuit.

wall-shaped object is suddenly moved horizontally along the surface of water. this “coupling” speed would become noticeable to a human observer in the form of a short time delay between switch action and lamp action. that we had a set of parallel wires of infinite length. . is that of waves in water.4: Motion is transmitted sucessively from one car to next. although the electrons themselves don’t move that quickly. Would there be no current at all? (Figure 14. TRANSMISSION LINES First car begins to move . perhaps more fitting for the subject of transmission lines. although electrons within the conductors do not travel anywhere near that velocity.3 Characteristic impedance Suppose. What would happen when we close the switch? Being that there is no longer a load at the end of the wires. though. The wave will travel as water molecules bump into each other. Suppose a flat.6) . • REVIEW: • In an electric circuit. then the second car moves . transferring wave motion along the water’s surface far faster than the water molecules themselves are actually traveling: (Figure 14.486 the actual speed of the cars (electrons): (Figure 14. . this circuit is open. . 14.5) Likewise. so as to produce a wave ahead of it. Another analogy.4) CHAPTER 14. . . . and then the last car moves! Figure 14. with no lamp at the end. . In a very long circuit. electron motion “coupling” travels approximately at the speed of light. the effects of electron motion travel approximately at the speed of light.

Figure 14. infinite length .6: Driving an infinite transmission line..14. Switch Battery ..5: Wave motion in water.. . CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE 487 Object water surface water molecule wave wave wave Figure 14.3..

In other words. Figure 14. like this: (Figures 14. because there exists series impedance along the wires due to inductance. TRANSMISSION LINES Despite being able to avoid wire resistance through the use of superconductors in this “thought experiment. Each wire develops a magnetic field as it carries charging current for the capacitance between the wires.9) and this storage of energy results in an opposition to change in current. Since the wires are infinitely long. Switch Battery . which tells us that current will be drawn proportional to the voltage’s rate of change over time. and this storage of energy results in an opposition to change in voltage.” we cannot eliminate capacitance along the wires’ lengths. the current drawn by a pair of parallel wires will not be infinite. Thus. This voltage drop limits the voltage rate-of-change across the distributed capacitance. (Figure 14.11. their distributed capacitance will never fully charge to the source voltage..10. (Figure 14.7: Equivalent circuit showing stray capacitance between conductors.12. this pair of wires will draw current from the source so long as the switch is closed. 14. the “wave front” of voltage and current change will propagate down the length of the wires at that same velocity.. . respectively. No longer are the wires merely conductors of electrical current and carriers of voltage.13) The end result of these interactions is a constant current of limited magnitude through the battery source.7) infinite length .488 CHAPTER 14.. the capacitance between conductors will react against the sudden voltage increase by charging up and drawing current from the source. Any pair of conductors separated by an insulating medium creates capacitance between those conductors: (Figure 14. 14. Energy is stored in this magnetic field. preventing the current from ever reaching an infinite magnitude: Because the electrons in the two wires transfer motion to and from each other at nearly the speed of light. Energy is stored in this electric field. behaving as a constant load. Voltage applied between two conductors creates an electric field between those conductors. 14. resulting in the distributed capacitance and inductance progressively charging to full voltage and current. and their distributed inductance will never allow unlimited charging current. an instant rise in applied voltage (as produced by perfect switch closure) gives rise to an infinite charging current. However. and in so doing drops voltage according to the inductance equation e = L(di/dt).8) Remember that current through any conductor develops a magnetic field of proportional magnitude. but now constitute a circuit component in themselves. when the switch is closed. The reaction of a capacitance against changes in voltage is described by the equation i = C(de/dt).. According to the equation.

Switch electric field Battery . CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE 489 infinite length .10: Uncharged transmission line. magnetic field Figure 14.8: Equivalent circuit showing stray capacitance and inductance.. infinite length .. current charges inductance... Switch Battery ... Figure 14.. Figure 14.. . .9: Voltage charges capacitance. .3..14....

+ + + + + + .13: Propagate at speed of light. Figure 14. TRANSMISSION LINES Switch closes! . Figure 14..12: Continue wave propagation... Speed of light (approximately) Figure 14.... .. + + + + . ... .... + + .11: Begin wave propagation.490 CHAPTER 14.

the characteristic impedance follows a different equation: d1 d2 d Z0 = 138 log 1 d2 k Where. No longer are the two wires merely a pair of conductors. but rather a transmission line.14. As a constant load. both the characteristic impedance . For a parallel-wire line with air insulation. The impedance (resistance) of this line in ohms is called the characteristic impedance. the characteristic impedance may be calculated as such: d r d Z0 = 276 log r k Where. despite being comprised purely of inductance and capacitance (assuming superconducting wires with zero resistance).3. and it is fixed by the geometry of the two conductors. Z0 = Characteristic impedance of line d1 = Inside diameter of outer conductor d2 = Outside diameter of inner conductor k = Relative permittivity of insulation between conductors In both equations. We can say this because there is no difference from the battery’s perspective between a resistor eternally dissipating energy and an infinite transmission line eternally absorbing energy. CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE 491 with unique characteristics. identical units of measurement must be used in both terms of the fraction. the transmission line’s response to applied voltage is resistive rather than reactive. If the insulating material is other than air (or a vacuum). Z0 = Characteristic impedance of line d = Distance between conductor centers r = Conductor radius k = Relative permittivity of insulation between conductors If the transmission line is coaxial in construction.

.. The velocity factor of any cable type – coaxial or otherwise – may be calculated quite simply by the following formula: ++++++++++++++++++++++ Velocity of wave propagation .... If the conductors are moved away from each other.. defined as the ratio of a material’s electric field permittivity to that of a pure vacuum.. TRANSMISSION LINES and the propagation velocity will be affected. owing to distributed capacitance and inductance as the voltage and current “waves” propagate along its length at a propagation velocity equal to some large fraction of light speed. v = Velocity of wave propagation c = Velocity of light in a vacuum k = Relative permittivity of insulation between conductors Characteristic impedance is also known as natural impedance.. and the distributed inductance will increase (less cancellation of the two opposing magnetic fields). It can be seen in either of the first two equations that a transmission line’s characteristic impedance (Z0 ) increases as the conductor spacing increases. which by definition is a greater impedance..492 CHAPTER 14. Both changes result in a larger current drawn for a given applied voltage. Velocity factor is purely a factor of the insulating material’s relative permittivity (otherwise known as its dielectric constant).. Less parallel capacitance and more series inductance results in a smaller current drawn by the line for any given amount of applied voltage.. L C Z0 = Characteristic impedance of line L = Inductance per unit length of line C = Capacitance per unit length of line ..Velocity factor = Where. The ratio of a transmission line’s true propagation velocity and the speed of light in a vacuum is called the velocity factor of that line. bringing the two conductors closer together increases the parallel capacitance and decreases the series inductance... the characteristic impedance of a transmission line is equal to the square root of the ratio of the line’s inductance per unit length divided by the line’s capacitance per unit length: v = c 1 k Z0 = Where.... the distributed capacitance will decrease (greater spacing between capacitor “plates”).... equating to a lesser impedance. Barring any dissipative effects such as dielectric “leakage” and conductor resistance. and it refers to the equivalent resistance of a transmission line if it were infinitely long. Conversely.

I actually would have been able to measure 50 Ω worth of resistance between the inner and outer conductors. but not indefinitely.80 for typical two-wire lines and coaxial cables. If that piece of 50 Ω “RG-58/U” cable I measured with an ohmmeter years ago had been infinitely long. • The characteristic impedance (Z0 ) of a transmission line is the resistance it would exhibit if it were infinite in length. and the metallic resistance of the wires themselves.4. but rather in sequence from first car to last: (Figure 14. This is entirely different from leakage resistance of the dielectric separating the two conductors. as the electrons successively find no place to go. and as such do not behave precisely the same as an infinite line. • If a DC voltage is applied to one end of an infinitely long transmission line. If the end of a transmission line is open-circuited – that is. left unconnected – the current “wave” propagating down the line’s length will have to stop at the end. but physically impossible. Ohm’s Law relationship between current and voltage will hold true for a limited period of time. • When a voltage is suddenly applied to one end of a transmission line. Values range between 0. it will come to a stop. and would exist even if the dielectric were perfect (infinite parallel resistance) and the wires superconducting (zero series resistance).14) . and so on until the last rail car stops. The train does not come to a halt together. • Velocity factor is a fractional value relating a transmission line’s propagation speed to the speed of light in a vacuum. which I like for its descriptive value. Nonetheless.4 Finite-length transmission lines A transmission line of infinite length is an interesting abstraction. An older term for characteristic impedance. the line will draw a current proportional to the surge voltage magnitude divided by the line’s surge impedance (I=E/Z). FINITE-LENGTH TRANSMISSION LINES • REVIEW: 493 • A transmission line is a pair of parallel conductors exhibiting certain characteristics due to distributed capacitance and inductance along its length. If a transient voltage (a “surge”) is applied to the end of a transmission line. This simple. But it was not infinite in length. since electrons cannot flow where there is no continuing path. is surge impedance. causing the one behind it to come to a stop as soon as the first coupling slack is taken up. the line will draw current from the DC source as though it were a constant resistance. All transmission lines have some finite length. Imagine a train traveling down the track with slack between the rail car couplings: if the lead car suddenly crashes into an immovable barricade. which causes the next rail car to stop as soon as the next coupling’s slack is taken up. the characteristic impedance rating of a transmission line is important even when dealing with limited lengths. it is equal to the reciprocal (1/x) of the square root of the relative permittivity of the cable’s insulation.14. For any cable type. This abrupt cessation of current at the line’s end causes a “pile-up” to occur along the length of the transmission line. 14.66 and 0. Characteristic impedance is purely a function of the capacitance and inductance distributed along the line’s length. and so it measured as “open” (infinite resistance). both a voltage “wave” and a current “wave” propagate along the line at nearly light speed.

. and then the last car stops! Figure 14.146 microseconds) for a signal to travel from one end to the other. it is reflected back to the source. The basic principle is identical to that of sonar rangefinding: generating a sound pulse and measuring the time it takes for the echo to return.760 of a second (8. current at the battery ceases. A similar phenomenon takes place if the end of a transmission line is short-circuited: when the voltage wave-front reaches the end of the line. and so an ohmmeter measurement of the line never reveals the brief time period where the line actually behaves as a resistor.760 miles per second). it takes only 1/122. the round-trip time is twice this figure. .494 CHAPTER 14. . .14: Reflected wave.66 (signal propagation velocity is 66% of light speed. A signal propagating from the source-end of a transmission line to the load-end is called an incident wave. . When this electron “pile-up” propagates back to the battery. . For a mile-long cable with a velocity factor of 0.292 µs. then the second car stops . . For the current signal to reach the line’s end and “reflect” back to the source. and the line acts as a simple open circuit. or 16. This technique may also be used for determining the presence and location of a break in one or both of the cable’s conductors. or 122. and may be used for the purpose of determining a cable’s length. because voltage cannot exist between two electrically common points. The propagation of a signal from load-end to source-end (such as what happened in this example with current encountering the end of an open-circuited transmission line) is called a reflected wave. All this happens very quickly for transmission lines of reasonable length. TRANSMISSION LINES First car stops . High-speed measurement instruments are able to detect this transit time from source to line-end and back to source again. When this reflected wave reaches . since a current will “reflect” off the wire break just as it will off the end of an open-circuited cable. Instruments designed for such purposes are called time-domain reflectometers (TDRs).

15: Lossy transmission line. A wave may be seen traveling down the rope’s length until it dissipates entirely due to friction: (Figure 14. this happens as quickly as the signal can propagate round-trip down and up the transmission line at whatever velocity allowed by the dielectric material between the line’s conductors.15) wave wave wave Figure 14. This is analogous to a long transmission line with internal loss: the signal steadily grows weaker as it propagates down the line’s length. never reflecting back to the source. FINITE-LENGTH TRANSMISSION LINES 495 the source. Take a length of rope by one end and “whip” it with a rapid up-and-down motion of the wrist. However. if the far end of the rope is secured to a solid object at a point prior to the incident wave’s total .4. A simple experiment illustrates the phenomenon of wave reflection in transmission lines. Again.14. the source sees the entire transmission line as a short-circuit.

Thus. infinite-length transmission line example. TRANSMISSION LINES dissipation. A transmission line of 50 Ω characteristic impedance and infinite length behaves exactly like a 50 Ω resistance as measured from one end. a second wave will be reflected back to your hand: (Figure 14. Usually. However. “loss” along the length of a transmission line is undesirable. (Figure 14. Even if the signals are intended for information only. the ideal situation would be for all of the original signal energy to travel from the source to the load. For example. the purpose of a transmission line is to convey electrical energy from one point to another. as are reflected waves. if a 50 Ω resistor is connected at the end of the cable. a 50 Ω coaxial cable that is either open-circuited or short-circuited will reflect all of the incident energy back to the source.496 CHAPTER 14. there will be no reflected energy.16: Reflected wave. since reflected energy is energy not delivered to the end device. all signal energy being dissipated by the resistor. Reflections may be eliminated from the transmission line if the load’s impedance exactly equals the characteristic (“surge”) impedance of the line.17) If we cut this line to . and not to power some significant load device. This makes perfect sense if we return to our hypothetical. and then be completely absorbed or dissipated by the load for maximum signal-to-noise ratio.16) wave wave wave wave Figure 14.

(Figure 14..20) Switch Battery infinite length . Switch Battery 1 mile open 50 Ω coaxial cable Velocity factor = 0.18) or shorted. it will be partial. if we terminate the line with a 50 Ω resistor. Reflected waves will also manifest if the terminating resistance isn’t precisely equal to the characteristic impedance of the transmission line. indefinitely: the same as if it were of infinite length again: (Figure 14. not just if the line is left unconnected (open) or jumpered (shorted). Though the energy reflection will not be total with a terminating impedance of slight mismatch.66 Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Like a 50 Ω resistor for 16. In essence. This happens whether or not the terminating resistance is greater or less than the line’s characteristic impedance. because a resistor has the ability to eternally dissipate energy in the same way a transmission line of infinite length is able to eternally absorb energy.17: Infinite transmission line looks like resistor. then like an open (infinite resistance) Figure 14. 50 Ω coaxial cable Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Exactly like a 50 Ω resistor Figure 14.. it will behave as a 50 Ω resistor to a constant source of DC voltage for a brief time.or a short-circuit. depending on what condition we leave the cut end of the line: open (Figure 14. a terminating resistor matching the natural impedance of the transmission line makes the line “appear” infinitely long from the perspective of the source. but then behave like an open.18: One mile transmission.14.19) However.4. .292 µs. the line will once again behave as a 50 Ω resistor. FINITE-LENGTH TRANSMISSION LINES 497 some finite length.

.66 Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Like a 50 Ω resistor for 16. then like a short (zero resistance) Figure 14. Switch Battery 1 mile 50 Ω coaxial cable Velocity factor = 0.66 50 Ω Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Exactly like a 50 Ω resistor Figure 14.20: Line terminated in characteristic impedance.292 µs. TRANSMISSION LINES Switch Battery 1 mile shorted 50 Ω coaxial cable Velocity factor = 0.19: Shorted transmission line.498 CHAPTER 14.

if the source impedance does not match the line. • A finite-length transmission line may be made to appear infinite in length if terminated by a resistor of equal value to the line’s characteristic impedance. • A finite-length transmission line will appear to a DC voltage source as a constant resistance for some short time. due to the temporarily resistive behavior of any length transmission line. often employed to protect weak voltage signals from being corrupted by induced “noise” caused by stray electric and magnetic fields.292 µs for the mile-long coaxial cable of the last example).14. back to the source. if a transmission line is connected to a DC voltage source. Therefore. 14. then as whatever impedance the line is terminated with. After that time (a brief 16. • A reflected wave may become re-reflected off the source-end of a transmission line if the source’s internal impedance does not match the line’s characteristic impedance. This eliminates all signal reflections. an open-ended cable simply reads “open” when measured with an ohmmeter. it will behave as a resistor equal in value to the line’s characteristic impedance only for as long as it takes the incident pulse to reach the end of the line and return as a reflected pulse. • Reflected waves will also appear in transmission lines terminated by resistors not precisely matching the characteristic impedance.5 “Long” and “short” transmission lines In DC and low-frequency AC circuits. a signal “bounced” off the end of a transmission line.5. of course. This is due to the relatively short timespans in which reflections take place in the line. whatever that may be. . This re-reflected wave will appear. like another pulse signal transmitted from the source. the characteristic impedance of parallel wires is usually ignored. as compared to the period of the waveforms or pulses of the significant signals in the circuit. A signal traveling on a transmission line from source to load is called an incident wave. As we saw in the last section. This type of reflection may be particularly troublesome. at least partially. is called a reflected wave. • REVIEW: • Characteristic impedance is also known as surge impedance. • A transient (“surge”) signal applied to one end of an open-ended or short-circuited transmission line will “reflect” off the far end of the line as a secondary wave. but will be reflected back toward the line end like another incident wave. as it makes it appear that the source has transmitted another pulse. if the source’s internal impedance (Thevenin equivalent impedance) is not exactly equal to the line’s characteristic impedance. A reflected wave returning back to the source will be dissipated entirely if the source impedance matches the line’s. “LONG” AND “SHORT” TRANSMISSION LINES 499 Re-reflections of a reflected wave may also occur at the source end of a transmission line. This includes the use of coaxial cables in instrument circuits. the source “sees” only the terminating impedance. and “shorted” when its end is short-circuited. traveling from load to source.

66 ms. because line-length propagations occur within a very small fraction of the AC waveform’s period. Even though we know that signal magnitudes along the line’s length are not equal at any given time due to signal propagation at (nearly) the speed of light. all connecting lines were assumed to be electrically short. the actual phase difference between start-of-line and end-of-line signals is negligible. By contrast. the propagation velocity will be less than 186. Up until this chapter in the Lessons In Electric Circuits book series. in whatever unit of length used in the velocity figure (if miles per second.000 m/s). we can say that voltage along all respective points on a low-frequency. But even if we used the coaxial cable’s velocity factor from the last example (0. Cables connecting an audio amplifier to speakers would have to be over 4. power lines would have to exceed 775 miles in length before the effects of propagation time became significant. If the velocity factor of the transmission line is less than 1. In these cases. At light speed (186. this equates to a distance of 3100 miles that a voltage or current signal will propagate in that time. the distance is still a very long 2046 miles! Whatever distance we calculate for a given frequency is called the wavelength of the signal. then wavelength in miles. you can see why all connecting lines in the circuits discussed thusfar have been assumed “short. and the distance less by the same factor. then wavelength in meters). If a “long” line is considered to be one at least 1/4 wavelength in length.500 CHAPTER 14. we need to express the distance traveled by a voltage or current signal along a transmission line in relation to its source frequency. v f λ = Wavelength v = Velocity of propagation f = Frequency of signal The lower-case Greek letter “lambda” (λ) represents wavelength. For all practical purposes. An AC waveform with a frequency of 60 Hz completes one cycle in 16.65 miles in length before line reflections would significantly impact a 10 kHz . Velocity of propagation is usually the speed of light when calculating signal wavelength in open air or in a vacuum. two-conductor line are equal and in-phase with each other at any given point in time. A “long” line is generally considered to be one where the source’s signal waveform completes at least a quarter-cycle (90o of “rotation”) before the incident signal reaches line’s end. To put this into perspective. A simple formula for calculating wavelength is as follows: λ= Where. if meters per second. such short time delays introduced by a transmission line between when the AC source outputs a voltage peak and when the source “sees” that peak loaded by the terminating impedance (round-trip time for the incident wave to reach the line’s end and reflect back to the source) are of little consequence. an electrically long line is one where the propagation time is a large fraction or even a multiple of the signal period.” For a 60 Hz AC power system. but will be less if the transmission line has a velocity factor less than 1. TRANSMISSION LINES If the circuit in question handles low-frequency AC power. because their propagation effects are much quicker than the periods of the conducted signals. we can say that the transmission lines in question are electrically short.000 miles per second.66).

especially when line length happens to match specific fractions or multiples of signal wavelength. and using it to conduct a high-frequency AC signal could result in a vastly different assessment of that cable’s “shortness!” When a source is connected to a load via a “long” transmission line. then any signal source connected to the other end of the line will “see” the exact same impedance. its own characteristics overshadowing the load’s. and we only register the terminating (load) impedance. current drawn from the source is a function primarily of the line and not the load. However. when the line is short. line impedance exclusively defines circuit behavior. this critical length shrinks to 1. It is the extreme speed of the propagated signal that makes us unable to detect the cable’s 50 Ω transient impedance with an ohmmeter. We see this when testing a coaxial cable with an ohmmeter: the cable reads “open” from center conductor to outer conductor if the cable end is left unterminated. its own characteristic impedance is of little consequence to the circuit’s behavior. If we use a coaxial cable to conduct a DC voltage or current to a load. regardless of line length. “LONG” AND “SHORT” TRANSMISSION LINES 501 audio signal! When dealing with radio-frequency systems. Note how the electrical “shortness” of a cable is relative to the application: in a DC circuit where voltage and current values change slowly. Though the line acts as a resistor for a very brief period of time after the meter is connected (about 50 Ω for an RG-58/U cable). and no component in the circuit is capable of measuring or responding quickly enough to “notice” a reflected wave.000 m/s). the load’s impedance dominates the circuit. it is “electrically short” for this application. This is increasingly true the longer the transmission line is.62 feet. Consider our hypothetical 50 Ω cable of infinite length. Since the combined response time of an ohmmeter and the human being using it greatly exceeds the round-trip propagation time up and down the cable.14. . an electrically “long” line acts as the principal component in the circuit. nearly any physical length of cable would be considered “short” from the standpoint of characteristic impedance and reflected waves. Consider a 100 MHz radio signal: its wavelength is a mere 9.8202 feet. In this scenario. The most effective way to minimize the impact of transmission line length on circuit behavior is to match the line’s characteristic impedance to the load impedance. If the load impedance is equal to the line impedance. The next section discusses the effects of “long” transmission lines. In this condition of perfect impedance matching. even at the full propagation velocity of light (186. the line’s own characteristic impedance dominates over load impedance in determining circuit behavior. line length only affects the amount of time delay from signal departure at the source to signal arrival at the load. though. because the line’s infinite length prevents the signal from ever reaching the end where the load is connected. A transmission line carrying this signal would not have to be more than about 2-1/2 feet in length to be considered “long!” With a cable velocity factor of 0. In other words. surely the ultimate example of a “long” transmission line: no matter what kind of load we connect to one end of this line. Taking the same length of cable.5. and will have the exact same amount of current drawn from it. With a source connected to one end of the cable and a load to the other. though. perfect matching of line and load impedances is not always practical or possible.66. transmission line length is far from trivial. the source (connected to the other end) will only see 50 Ω of impedance. rendering the load completely irrelevant. This is to say. When an electrical source is connected to a load via a “short” transmission line. the cable is considered “electrically short” and its impedance is irrelevant to circuit function. it immediately thereafter behaves as a simple “open circuit:” the impedance of the line’s open end.

stationary waveform is created along the line’s length: (Figure 14. The incident wave is shown traveling from left to right.502 • REVIEW: CHAPTER 14. Conversely. there are no reflected waves and thus no problems with line length. “standing” wave.21) If we add the two waveforms together. The following illustration shows how a triangle-shaped incident waveform turns into a mirror-image reflection upon reaching the line’s unterminated end. the line’s own characteristic impedance dominates circuit behavior. “v” is the propagation velocity. It oscillates in instantaneous magnitude. where “λ” is the wavelength.6 Standing waves and resonance Whenever there is a mismatch of impedance between transmission line and load. while the reflected wave travels from right to left: (Figure 14. represents the only voltage along the line. If the incident signal is a continuous AC waveform. The source effectively sees nothing but the load’s impedance. but does not propagate down the cable’s length like the incident or reflected waveforms causing it.” • In a circuit with a “short” line. • When the period of a transmitted voltage or current signal greatly exceeds the propagation time for a transmission line. The transmission line in this illustrative sequence is shown as a single. these reflections will mix with more of the oncoming incident waveform to produce stationary waveforms called standing waves. 14. • A signal’s wavelength is the physical distance it will propagate in the timespan of one period. the line is considered electrically long. the source only “sees” the cable’s characteristic impedance. • In a circuit with a “long” line. being the representative sum of incident and reflected voltage waves. barring any resistive losses in the transmission line.22) This third. reflections will occur. • When a transmission line is terminated by a load precisely matching its impedance. we find that a third. in fact. • A rule-of-thumb for transmission line “shortness” is that the line must be at least 1/4 wavelength before it is considered “long. Note the dots along the line length marking the “zero” points of the standing wave . the line is considered electrically short. for simplicity’s sake. Wavelength is calculated by the formula λ=v/f. for the excellent immunity to induced “noise” that it provides for signals. the terminating (load) impedance dominates circuit behavior. thick line rather than a pair of wires. The ultimate example of this is a transmission line of infinite length: since the signal will never reach the load impedance. when the propagation time is a large fraction or multiple of the signal’s period. and “f ” is the signal frequency. TRANSMISSION LINES • Coaxial cabling is sometimes used in DC and low-frequency AC circuits as well as in high-frequency circuits.

. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 503 Direction of propagation Source . Unterminated line Incident wave Reflected wave Time Incident wave Reflected wave Figure 14..21: Incident wave reflects off end of unterminated transmission line.14..6.

.22: The sum of the incident and reflected waves is a stationary wave. Unterminated line Incident wave Reflected wave Time Incident wave Reflected wave Figure 14.. TRANSMISSION LINES Direction of propagation Source . .504 CHAPTER 14.

24) Both the nodes (points of little or no vibration) and the antinodes (points of maximum vibration) remain fixed along the length of the string or rope.23: The standing wave does not propgate along the transmission line. By analogy. Standing waves are quite abundant in the physical world.14. moving downward): (Figure 14. Unterminated line Time Figure 14. and how those points never change position: (Figure 14. Plucked strings exhibit the same “standing wave” behavior. The major difference between a plucked string and a shaken string is that the plucked string supplies its own “correct” frequency of vibration to maximize the standing-wave effect: (Figure 14..23) Source . with “nodes” of maximum and minimum vibration along their length. Note how there is more than one wavelength suitable for producing standing waves of . and tied down at the other (only one half-cycle of hand motion shown.6.. shaken at one end. The effect is most pronounced when the free end is shaken at just the right frequency. this time. the anchored end of a vibrating string must be a node. Consider a string or rope. while an open tube end must be an antinode. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 505 (where the incident and reflected waves cancel each other). while the free end (if there is any) must be an antinode. Whether the standing wave terminates in a node (minimum amplitude) or an antinode (maximum amplitude) depends on whether the other end of the tube is open or closed: (Figure 14.25) Wind blowing across an open-ended tube also produces standing waves.26) A closed tube end must be a wave node. the waves are vibrations of air molecules (sound) within the tube rather than vibrations of a solid object.

24: Standing waves on a rope. Plucked string Figure 14.506 CHAPTER 14. . TRANSMISSION LINES Figure 14.25: Standing waves on a plucked string.

STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 507 Standing sound waves in open-ended tubes 1/4 wave 1/2 wave 3/4 wave 1 wave 5/4 waves 3/2 waves 7/4 waves 2 waves 9/4 waves 5/2 waves Figure Standing sound waves in open ended tubes. .

we’ll specify the transmission line (t1) with a 75 Ω characteristic impedance (z0=75) and a propagation delay of 1 microsecond (td=1u).28) Using SPICE to simulate the circuit. Since 1 µs is the period of a . which is the speed of sound in air. The sequential progression of harmonics from one resonant frequency to the next defines the overtone frequencies for the system: (Figure 14.27: Harmonics (overtones) in open ended pipes The actual frequencies (measured in Hertz) for any of these harmonics or overtones depends on the physical length of the tube and the waves’ propagation velocity. If this were a real 75 Ω cable – perhaps a type “RG-59B/U” coaxial cable. is a bit more complex than resonance of strings or of air in tubes. To begin. transmission line. and force these waves to possess nodes and antinodes according to the type of termination impedance at the load end.27) 1/4 wave 1st harmonic 3/4 wave 3rd harmonic 5/4 waves 5th harmonic 7/4 waves 7th harmonic 9/4 waves 9th harmonic Fundamental 1/2 wave 1st harmonic 1 wave 2nd harmonic 3/2 waves 3rd harmonic 2 waves 4th harmonic 5/2 waves 5th harmonic 1st overtone 2nd overtone 3rd overtone 4th overtone Figure 14. This is true for all standing-wave systems: standing waves will resonate with the system for any frequency (wavelength) correlating to the node/antinode points of the system. All components have an impedance of 75 Ω: (Figure 14. because we must consider both voltage waves and current waves.508 CHAPTER 14. and load. This is a convenient method for expressing the physical length of a transmission line: the amount of time it takes a wave to propagate down its entire length. This complexity is made easier to understand by way of computer simulation. All higher frequencies are integer-multiples of the lowest (fundamental) frequency for the system. Another way of saying this is that there are multiple resonant frequencies for any system supporting standing waves. they also exhibit resonance at frequencies determined by physical length and propagation velocity. TRANSMISSION LINES vibrating air within a tube that precisely match the tube’s end points. let’s examine a perfectly matched source. the type commonly used for cable television distribution – with a velocity factor of 0.66. Transmission line resonance. Because transmission lines support standing waves. though. it would be about 648 feet long.

29) In a system where all impedances are perfectly matched.14. both the supply voltage vm(1) and the line’s load-end voltage vm(3) remain steady at 1 lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis .31) Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 999meg .5 volts: (Figure 14. I’ll choose to sweep the frequency of the AC source from (nearly) zero to that figure.6. we see that the source voltage – shown as vm(1) (voltage magnitude between node 1 and the implied ground point of node 0) on the graphic plot – registers a steady 1 volt. let’s change the load impedance to 999 MΩ.end Here. the line’s source-end voltage. there can be no standing waves. the source voltage. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 509 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 0 75 Ω Figure 14. Now. 1 MHz signal.30) We should definitely see some reflections on the line now as the frequency is swept from 1 mHz to 1 MHz: (Figure 14. to see how the system reacts when exposed to signals ranging from DC to 1 wavelength. The other voltages dip and peak at different frequencies along the sweep range of 1 . Here is the SPICE netlist for the circuit shown above: Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 75 .ac lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis . while every other voltage registers a steady 0. to simulate an open-ended transmission line. and the load voltage.28: Perfectly matched transmission line. and therefore no resonant “peaks” or “valleys” in the Bode plot.end Running this simulation and plotting the source impedance drop (as an indication of current). (Figure 14.

TRANSMISSION LINES Figure 14. 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 999 MΩ (open) 0 Figure 14.510 CHAPTER 14.30: Open ended transmission line.29: No resonances on a matched transmission line. .

I=0. We will investigate each one with regard to voltage and current at different points of the circuit.31: Resonances on open transmission line. I=0. mHz to 1 MHz. how can this be? How can we get full source voltage at the line’s open end while there is zero voltage at its entrance? The answer is found in the paradox of the standing wave. and 1 MHz.32) 0V=0A Zsource 75 Ω Esource 1V Transmission line (75 Ω) 1V Figure 14. At 0 Hz (actually 1 mHz). With a source frequency of 250 kHz.32: At f=0: input: V=1. the line’s length is precisely right for . 750 kHz. There is no circuit current.14. we see zero voltage and maximum current at the source-end of the transmission line. and full source voltage present at the source-end of the transmission line (voltage measured between node 2 and node 0: vm(2)). the signal is practically DC. (Figure 14. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 511 Figure 14. end: V=1. 500 kHz. There are five points of interest along the horizontal axis of the analysis: 0 Hz. 250 kHz.2)).33) You might be wondering. At 250 kHz. as indicated by zero voltage drop across the source impedance (Zsource : vm(1.6. yet still full voltage at the load-end: (Figure 14. and the circuit behaves much as it would given a 1-volt DC battery source.

At 500 kHz.34: Open end of transmission line shows current node.33 mA Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω 0V Transmission line (75 Ω) 1V Figure 14. a full standing wave exists on the transmission line. even though the other end of the line is open-circuited: (Figure 14. I=13.33: At f=250 KHz: input: V=0. and here we see another point in the analysis where the source current drops off to nothing and the source-end voltage of the transmission line rises again to full voltage: (Figure 14.35) At 750 kHz. the source “sees” an open circuit at the point where it connects to the transmission line. but there will be voltage.38 and illustrations of what happens (Figure 14. and 1 MHz (Figure 14.36) When the supply frequency sweeps up to 1 MHz. 1/4 wavelength to fit from end to end. there can be no current. The short-circuit . 500 kHz (Figure 14. the load-end of an open-circuited transmission line is a current node (zero point) and a voltage antinode (maximum amplitude): (Figure 14.41).34) Zero E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Figure 14.37) In a similar fashion.40) . TRANSMISSION LINES 1 V = 13.39 at resonances) at all the interesting frequencies: 0 Hz (Figure 14. At this point. exactly one-half of a standing wave rests on the transmission line. Therefore. This is due to 3/4 of a wave poised along the transmission line. the source-end of the line experiences the same voltage and current amplitudes as the load-end: full voltage and zero current.33 mA. a short-circuited transmission line generates standing waves. although the node and antinode assignments for voltage and current are reversed: at the shorted end of the line.2)).512 CHAPTER 14. there will be zero voltage (node) and maximum current (antinode). the plot looks a lot like it was at 250 kHz: zero source-end voltage (vm(2)) and maximum current (vm(1.43). 750 kHz (Figure 14. What follows is the SPICE simulation (circuit Figure 14. voltage antinode at open end. In essence. resulting in the source “seeing” a short-circuit where it connects to the transmission line.44). end: V=1 I=0. (Figure 14.42). 250 kHz (Figure 14. With the line’s load end open-circuited.

Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero I Zero I Maximum I Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. Zero E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero E Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 513 Maximum E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Zero I Figure 14.37: Double standing waves on full wave open transmission line. .14.6.36: 1 1/2 standing waves on 3/4 wave open transmission line.35: Full standing wave on half wave open transmission line.

the energy reflection is total: 100% of the incident wave reaching the line’s end gets reflected back toward .514 CHAPTER 14. TRANSMISSION LINES jumper is simulated by a 1 µΩ load impedance: (Figure 14.38) 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 0 1 µΩ (shorted) Figure 14. an open-circuited line and a short-circuited line. Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 1u .38: Shorted transmission line.39: Resonances on shorted transmission line In both these circuit examples.end Figure lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis .

.14. Zero E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero E Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Figure 14.33 mA.33 mA Zsource Esource 0 Hz 75 Ω 0V Transmission line (75 Ω) 0V Figure 14. Maximum E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. I=13.33 mA.41: Half wave standing wave pattern on 1/4 wave shorted transmission line. end: V=0.40: At f=0 Hz: input: V=0.6. I=13.42: Full wave standing wave pattern on half wave shorted transmission line. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 515 1 V = 13.

TRANSMISSION LINES Maximum E Zero E Maximum E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Zero I Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Figure 14.516 CHAPTER 14.44: Double standing waves on full wave shorted transmission line. Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω Maximum I Zero I Zero I Maximum I Maximum I Figure 14.43: 1 1/2 standing wavepattern on 3/4 wave shorted transmission line. .

end If we run another SPICE lin 5 1m 1meg . 500 kHz. indicating current drawn from the source) vary with frequency. Figure 14.46) 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 0 100 Ω Figure 14. 750 kHz.50).6. we can discover exactly what is happening at all the interesting frequencies: (DC.45: Transmission line terminated in a mismatch Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 100 . At odd harmonics of the fundamental frequency (250 kHz.49. but at a lesser voltage: 0. also remains steady. v(1). this time printing numerical results rather than plotting them.print ac v(1.5714 volts. as it should. Figure 14. the source voltage. and 1 MHz. Figure 14.2) v(1) v(2) v(3) .50) we see differing levels of voltage at each end of the transmission line.end At all frequencies. 250 kHz.47. Suppose we were to terminate our example line with a 100 Ω resistor instead of a 75 Ω resistor. v(3). (Figure 14.48 and 750 kHz. Figure 14. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 517 the source.2). the transmission line is terminated in some impedance other than an open or a short.45) Examine the results of the corresponding SPICE analysis to see the effects of impedance mismatch at different source frequencies: (Figure 14.14. The load voltage. Figure 14. as will be the difference between minimum and maximum values of voltage and current along the line. both the line input voltage (v(2)) and the voltage dropped across the source’s 75 Ω impedance (v(1. remains steady at 1 volt. Figure 14. however. Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 100 . However. because at .ac lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis . If. Figure 14.48.47. the reflections will be less intense.



Figure 14.46: Weak resonances on a mismatched transmission line

freq 1.000E-03 2.500E+05 5.000E+05 7.500E+05 1.000E+06

v(1,2) 4.286E-01 5.714E-01 4.286E-01 5.714E-01 4.286E-01

v(1) 1.000E+00 1.000E+00 1.000E+00 1.000E+00 1.000E+00

v(2) 5.714E-01 4.286E-01 5.714E-01 4.286E-01 5.714E-01

v(3) 5.714E-01 5.714E-01 5.714E-01 5.714E-01 5.714E-01

0.4286 V = 5.715 mA Zsource Esource 0 Hz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.5714 V 0.5714 V 100 Ω

Figure 14.47: At f=0 Hz: input: V=0.57.14, I=5.715 mA; end: V=0.5714, I=5.715 mA.



0.5714 V = 7.619 mA Zsource Esource 250 kHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.4286 V 0.5714 V 100 Ω

Figure 14.48: At f=250 KHz: input: V=0.4286, I=7.619 mA; end: V=0.5714, I=7.619 mA.

0.4286 V = 5.715 mA Zsource Esource 500 kHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.5714 V 0.5714 V 100 Ω

Figure 14.49: At f=500 KHz: input: V=0.5714, I=5.715 mA; end: V=5.714, I=5.715 mA.

0.5714 V = 7.619 mA Zsource Esource 750 kHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.4286 V 0.5714 V 100 Ω

Figure 14.50: At f=750 KHz: input: V=0.4286, I=7.619 mA; end: V=0.5714, I=7.619 mA.

0.4286 V = 5.715 mA Zsource Esource 1 MHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.5714 V 0.5714 V 100 Ω

Figure 14.51: At f=1 MHz: input: V=0.5714, I=5.715 mA; end: V=0.5714, I=0.5715 mA.



those frequencies the standing waves terminate at one end in a node and at the other end in an antinode. Unlike the open-circuited and short-circuited transmission line examples, the maximum and minimum voltage levels along this transmission line do not reach the same extreme values of 0% and 100% source voltage, but we still have points of “minimum” and “maximum” voltage. (Figure 14.46) The same holds true for current: if the line’s terminating impedance is mismatched to the line’s characteristic impedance, we will have points of minimum and maximum current at certain fixed locations on the line, corresponding to the standing current wave’s nodes and antinodes, respectively. One way of expressing the severity of standing waves is as a ratio of maximum amplitude (antinode) to minimum amplitude (node), for voltage or for current. When a line is terminated by an open or a short, this standing wave ratio, or SWR is valued at infinity, since the minimum amplitude will be zero, and any finite value divided by zero results in an infinite (actually, “undefined”) quotient. In this example, with a 75 Ω line terminated by a 100 Ω impedance, the SWR will be finite: 1.333, calculated by taking the maximum line voltage at either 250 kHz or 750 kHz (0.5714 volts) and dividing by the minimum line voltage (0.4286 volts). Standing wave ratio may also be calculated by taking the line’s terminating impedance and the line’s characteristic impedance, and dividing the larger of the two values by the smaller. In this example, the terminating impedance of 100 Ω divided by the characteristic impedance of 75 Ω yields a quotient of exactly 1.333, matching the previous calculation very closely.


Emaximum Eminimum


Imaximum Iminimum


Zload Z0


Z0 Zload

which ever is greater
A perfectly terminated transmission line will have an SWR of 1, since voltage at any location along the line’s length will be the same, and likewise for current. Again, this is usually considered ideal, not only because reflected waves constitute energy not delivered to the load, but because the high values of voltage and current created by the antinodes of standing waves may over-stress the transmission line’s insulation (high voltage) and conductors (high current), respectively. Also, a transmission line with a high SWR tends to act as an antenna, radiating electromagnetic energy away from the line, rather than channeling all of it to the load. This is usually undesirable, as the radiated energy may “couple” with nearby conductors, producing signal interference. An interesting footnote to this point is that antenna structures – which typically resemble open- or short-circuited transmission lines – are often designed to operate at high standing wave ratios, for the very reason of maximizing signal radiation and reception. The following photograph (Figure 14.52) shows a set of transmission lines at a junction point in a radio transmitter system. The large, copper tubes with ceramic insulator caps at the ends are rigid coaxial transmission lines of 50 Ω characteristic impedance. These lines carry RF power from the radio transmitter circuit to a small, wooden shelter at the base of an



antenna structure, and from that shelter on to other shelters with other antenna structures:

Figure 14.52: Flexible coaxial cables connected to rigid lines. Flexible coaxial cable connected to the rigid lines (also of 50 Ω characteristic impedance) conduct the RF power to capacitive and inductive “phasing” networks inside the shelter. The white, plastic tube joining two of the rigid lines together carries “filling” gas from one sealed line to the other. The lines are gas-filled to avoid collecting moisture inside them, which would be a definite problem for a coaxial line. Note the flat, copper “straps” used as jumper wires to connect the conductors of the flexible coaxial cables to the conductors of the rigid lines. Why flat straps of copper and not round wires? Because of the skin effect, which renders most of the cross-sectional area of a round conductor useless at radio frequencies. Like many transmission lines, these are operated at low SWR conditions. As we will see in the next section, though, the phenomenon of standing waves in transmission lines is not always undesirable, as it may be exploited to perform a useful function: impedance transformation. • REVIEW: • Standing waves are waves of voltage and current which do not propagate (i.e. they are stationary), but are the result of interference between incident and reflected waves along a transmission line. • A node is a point on a standing wave of minimum amplitude. • An antinode is a point on a standing wave of maximum amplitude. • Standing waves can only exist in a transmission line when the terminating impedance does not match the line’s characteristic impedance. In a perfectly terminated line, there are no reflected waves, and therefore no standing waves at all. • At certain frequencies, the nodes and antinodes of standing waves will correlate with the ends of a transmission line, resulting in resonance.



• The lowest-frequency resonant point on a transmission line is where the line is one quarter-wavelength long. Resonant points exist at every harmonic (integer-multiple) frequency of the fundamental (quarter-wavelength). • Standing wave ratio, or SWR, is the ratio of maximum standing wave amplitude to minimum standing wave amplitude. It may also be calculated by dividing termination impedance by characteristic impedance, or vice versa, which ever yields the greatest quotient. A line with no standing waves (perfectly matched: Zload to Z0 ) has an SWR equal to 1. • Transmission lines may be damaged by the high maximum amplitudes of standing waves. Voltage antinodes may break down insulation between conductors, and current antinodes may overheat conductors.


Impedance transformation

Standing waves at the resonant frequency points of an open- or short-circuited transmission line produce unusual effects. When the signal frequency is such that exactly 1/2 wave or some multiple thereof matches the line’s length, the source “sees” the load impedance as it is. The following pair of illustrations shows an open-circuited line operating at 1/2 (Figure 14.53) and 1 wavelength (Figure 14.54) frequencies:

Maximum E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω

Zero E

Maximum E

Maximum I Zero I Zero I

Figure 14.53: Source sees open, same as end of half wavelength line. In either case, the line has voltage antinodes at both ends, and current nodes at both ends. That is to say, there is maximum voltage and minimum current at either end of the line, which corresponds to the condition of an open circuit. The fact that this condition exists at both ends of the line tells us that the line faithfully reproduces its terminating impedance at the source end, so that the source “sees” an open circuit where it connects to the transmission line, just as if it were directly open-circuited. The same is true if the transmission line is terminated by a short: at signal frequencies corresponding to 1/2 wavelength (Figure 14.55) or some multiple (Figure 14.56) thereof, the source “sees” a short circuit, with minimum voltage and maximum current present at the connection points between source and transmission line:



Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω Maximum E

Zero I Zero I Maximum I Maximum I

Zero I

Figure 14.54: Source sees open, same as end of full wavelength (2x half wavelength line).

Zero E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω

Maximum E

Zero E

Maximum I Zero I

Maximum I

Figure 14.55: Source sees short, same as end of half wave length line.

Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω

Maximum I Zero I Zero I Maximum I

Maximum I

Figure 14.56: Source sees short, same as end of full wavelength line (2x half wavelength).



However, if the signal frequency is such that the line resonates at 1/4 wavelength or some multiple thereof, the source will “see” the exact opposite of the termination impedance. That is, if the line is open-circuited, the source will “see” a short-circuit at the point where it connects to the line; and if the line is short-circuited, the source will “see” an open circuit: (Figure 14.57) Line open-circuited; source “sees” a short circuit: at quarter wavelength line (Figure 14.57), at three-quarter wavelength line (Figure 14.58)

Zero E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E

Maximum I Zero I
Figure 14.57: Source sees short, reflected from open at end of quarter wavelength line.

Zero E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω

Maximum E Zero E Maximum E

Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Zero I

Figure 14.58: Source sees short, reflected from open at end of three-quarter wavelength line. Line short-circuited; source “sees” an open circuit: at quarter wavelength line (Figure 14.59), at three-quarter wavelength line (Figure 14.60) At these frequencies, the transmission line is actually functioning as an impedance transformer, transforming an infinite impedance into zero impedance, or vice versa. Of course, this only occurs at resonant points resulting in a standing wave of 1/4 cycle (the line’s fundamental, resonant frequency) or some odd multiple (3/4, 5/4, 7/4, 9/4 . . .), but if the signal frequency is known and unchanging, this phenomenon may be used to match otherwise unmatched impedances to each other. Take for instance the example circuit from the last section where a 75 Ω source connects to



Maximum E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω

Zero E

Maximum I Zero I
Figure 14.59: Source sees open, reflected from short at end of quarter wavelength line.

Maximum E Zero E Maximum E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω Zero E

Zero I Maximum I Zero I

Maximum I

Figure 14.60: Source sees open, reflected from short at end of three-quarter wavelength line.



a 75 Ω transmission line, terminating in a 100 Ω load impedance. From the numerical figures obtained via SPICE, let’s determine what impedance the source “sees” at its end of the transmission line at the line’s resonant frequencies: quarter wavelength (Figure 14.61), halfwave length (Figure 14.62), three-quarter wavelength (Figure 14.63) full wavelength (Figure 14.64)

0.5714 V = 7.619 mA Zsource Esource 250 kHz

Fundamental frequency (1st harmonic)

Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.4286 V 0.5714 V 1/4 λ Source "sees" 0.4286 V = 56.25 Ω 7.619 mA

100 Ω

Figure 14.61: Source sees 56.25 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of quarter wavelength line.

0.4286 V = 5.715 mA Zsource Esource 500 kHz

2nd harmonic

Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.5714 V 0.5714 V 1/2 λ 0.5714 V = 100 Ω Source "sees" 5.715 mA

100 Ω

Figure 14.62: Source sees 100 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of half wavelength line.



0.5714 V = 7.619 mA Zsource Esource 750 kHz

3rd harmonic

Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.4286 V 0.5714 V 3/4 λ Source "sees" 0.4286 V = 56.25 Ω 7.619 mA

100 Ω

Figure 14.63: Source sees 56.25 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of three-quarter wavelength line (same as quarter wavelength).

0.4286 V = 5.715 mA Zsource Esource 1 MHz

4th harmonic

Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.5714 V 0.5714 V 1λ 0.5714 V = 100 Ω Source "sees" 5.715 mA

100 Ω

Figure 14.64: Source sees 56.25 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of full-wavelength line (same as half-wavelength). A simple equation relates line impedance (Z0 ), load impedance (Zload ), and input impedance (Zinput ) for an unmatched transmission line operating at an odd harmonic of its fundamental frequency:

Z0 =

Zinput Zload

One practical application of this principle would be to match a 300 Ω load to a 75 Ω signal source at a frequency of 50 MHz. All we need to do is calculate the proper transmission line impedance (Z0 ), and length so that exactly 1/4 of a wave will “stand” on the line at a frequency of 50 MHz. First, calculating the line impedance: taking the 75 Ω we desire the source to “see” at the source-end of the transmission line, and multiplying by the 300 Ω load resistance, we obtain a figure of 22,500. Taking the square root of 22,500 yields 150 Ω for a characteristic line



impedance. Now, to calculate the necessary line length: assuming that our cable has a velocity factor of 0.85, and using a speed-of-light figure of 186,000 miles per second, the velocity of propagation will be 158,100 miles per second. Taking this velocity and dividing by the signal frequency gives us a wavelength of 0.003162 miles, or 16.695 feet. Since we only need one-quarter of this length for the cable to support a quarter-wave, the requisite cable length is 4.1738 feet. Here is a schematic diagram for the circuit, showing node numbers for the SPICE analysis we’re about to run: (Figure 14.65)

1 Esource 50 MHz 0

Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line Z0 = 150 Ω 0 150 = (75)(300)

3 Zload 0 300 Ω

Figure 14.65: Quarter wave section of 150 Ω transmission line matches 75 Ω source to 300 Ω load. We can specify the cable length in SPICE in terms of time delay from beginning to end. Since the frequency is 50 MHz, the signal period will be the reciprocal of that, or 20 nanoseconds (20 ns). One-quarter of that time (5 ns) will be the time delay of a transmission line one-quarter wavelength long: Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=150 td=5n rload 3 0 300 .ac lin 1 50meg 50meg .print ac v(1,2) v(1) v(2) v(3) .end freq 5.000E+07 v(1,2) 5.000E-01 v(1) 1.000E+00 v(2) 5.000E-01 v(3) 1.000E+00

At a frequency of 50 MHz, our 1-volt signal source drops half of its voltage across the series 75 Ω impedance (v(1,2)) and the other half of its voltage across the input terminals of the transmission line (v(2)). This means the source “thinks” it is powering a 75 Ω load. The actual load impedance, however, receives a full 1 volt, as indicated by the 1.000 figure at v(3). With 0.5 volt dropped across 75 Ω, the source is dissipating 3.333 mW of power: the same as dissipated by 1 volt across the 300 Ω load, indicating a perfect match of impedance, according to the Maximum Power Transfer Theorem. The 1/4-wavelength, 150 Ω, transmission line segment has successfully matched the 300 Ω load to the 75 Ω source.

000E-01 v(3) 2. we see the 1-volt source voltage equally split between the 300 Ω source impedance (v(1. The use of an impedance “transformer” 1/4 wavelength in length provides impedance matching using the shortest conductor length possible. of course. (Figure 14. that this only works for 50 MHz and its odd-numbered harmonics.500E-01 Here.000E+07 v(1. demonstrating how this phenomenon of impedance transformation is fundamentally different in principle from that of a conventional. 14.8 Waveguides A waveguide is a special form of transmission line consisting of a hollow. the line’s characteristic impedance necessary for impedance transformation must be equal to the square root of the product of the source’s impedance and the load’s impedance. while the empty space between the tube walls provide distributed capacitance: Figure 14. the 150 Ω line would have to lengthened or shortened accordingly so that it was exactly 1/4 wavelength long. WAVEGUIDES 529 Bear in mind. the impedance values of source and load have been matched by the transmission line segment. • When operated at a frequency corresponding to a standing wave of 1/4-wavelength along the transmission line.2) v(1) v(2) v(3) .000E-01 v(1) 1.000E+00 v(2) 5. Strangely enough. because the transmitter’s frequency is generally well-known and unchanging.print ac v(1.66) • REVIEW: • A transmission line with standing waves may be used to match different impedance values if operated at the correct frequency(ies). as indicated by voltage figure v(3). two-winding transformer: Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 300 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=150 td=5n rload 3 0 75 .25 volts across the 75 Ω load.5 volt drop across the source’s 300 Ω internal impedance yields a power figure of 833. indicating that the load “appears” as a 300 Ω impedance from the source’s perspective where it connects to the transmission line. The tube wall provides distributed inductance. For any other signal frequency to receive the same benefit of matched impedances.2)) and the line’s input (v(2)).67 .2) 5. the exact same line can also match a 75 Ω load to a 300 Ω source. the same as the 0. This 0.14.end freq 5.8. This technique of impedance matching is often used to match the differing impedance values of transmission line and antenna in radio transmitter systems. Once lin 1 50meg 50meg .33 µW. metal tube.

TRANSMISSION LINES 1/4 λ Radio Transmitter . Z0 = 150 Ω Dipole antenna 300 Ω Impedance "transformer" Figure 14..66: Quarter wave 150 Ω transmission line section matches 75 Ω line to 300 Ω antenna. Waveguide Waveguide Wave propagation Figure 14.67: Wave guides conduct microwave energy at lower loss than coaxial cables. Z0 = 75 Ω ..530 CHAPTER 14. ...

68: Twin lead transmission line propagation: TEM mode. Moisture is not as severe a problem in waveguides as it is within coaxial cables. Along the length of a normal transmission line. there are no concerns with proper conductorto-conductor spacing. All electromagnetic waves consist of electric and magnetic fields propagating in the same direction of travel. This mode of wave propagation can exist only where there are two conductors. Figure 14.14. waveguides are useless as electrical transmission lines. With only a single conductor (the waveguide’s “shell”). where the wavelength approaches the cross-sectional dimensions of the waveguide. (Figure 14. However. At microwave signal frequencies (between 100 MHz and 300 GHz). but perpendicular to each other. because waveguides are single-conductor elements. since the only dielectric in a waveguide is air. When functioning as transmission lines. and so waveguides are often spared the necessity of gas “filling.” Waveguides may be thought of as conduits for electromagnetic energy. or of the consistency of the dielectric material. the waveguide itself acting as nothing more than a “director” of the energy rather than as a signal conductor in the normal sense of the word. Lines small enough in cross-sectional dimension to maintain TEM mode signal propagation .68) TEM mode Magnetic field Wave propagation Electric field Magnetic field Both field planes perpendicular (transverse) to direction of signal propagation. directing the waves as the banks of a river direct a tidal wave. waveguides are considerably simpler than two-conductor cables – especially coaxial cables – in their manufacture and maintenance. though. and it is the dominant mode of wave propagation where the cross-sectional dimensions of the transmission line are small compared to the wavelength of the signal. the propagation of electrical energy down a waveguide is of a very different nature than the propagation of electrical energy down a two-conductor transmission line. or TEM (Transverse Electric and Magnetic) mode. In a sense. This is known as the principal mode. either. WAVEGUIDES 531 Waveguides are practical only for signals of extremely high frequency. two-conductor transmission lines of any substantial length operating in standard TEM mode become impractical. all transmission lines function as conduits of electromagnetic energy when transporting pulses or high-frequency waves.8. Below such frequencies. both electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular (transverse) to the direction of wave travel.

Sometimes these coupling elements take the form of a dipole.532 CHAPTER 14. at these short wavelengths there exist other modes of propagation that are not as “lossy. It is at these high frequencies that waveguides become practical. having no contact with the beam itself: (Figure 14. especially when terminated by a short-circuit or an open-circuit. a “cavity” formed of conductive material may intercept electromagnetic energy from a modulated beam of electrons.69: Waveguide (TE) transverse electric and (TM) transverse magnetic modes. (Figure 14.70) In some cases. TRANSMISSION LINES for microwave signals tend to have low voltage ratings. or a short loop of wire terminated on the inside surface of the waveguide: (Figure 14. but still be perpendicular to the other field. When an electromagnetic wave propagates down a hollow tube.71 below) Just as transmission lines are able to function as resonant elements in a circuit. a dead-ended waveguide may also res- . The other field will “loop” longitudinally to the direction of travel. Fortunately. the coupler is a single stub (a half-dipole. such as a class of vacuum tube devices called inductive output tubes (the so-called klystron tube falls into this category).69) Magnetic field Magnetic field Electric field TE mode Electric field Wave propagation TM mode Magnetic flux lines appear as continuous loops Electric flux lines appear with beginning and end points Figure 14. which is nothing more than two open-ended stub wires of appropriate length. Whichever field remains transverse to the direction of travel determines whether the wave propagates in TE mode (Transverse Electric) or TM (Transverse Magnetic) mode. Many variations of each mode exist for a given waveguide. and a full discussion of this is subject well beyond the scope of this book. 1/4λ in physical length). Signals are typically introduced to and extracted from waveguides by means of small antennalike coupling devices inserted into the waveguide. only one of the fields – either electric or magnetic – will actually be transverse to the wave’s direction of travel. though. Other times.” if a conductive tube is used rather than two parallel conductors. parasitic power losses due to conductor “skin” and dielectric effects. similar in principle to a “whip” antenna. and suffer from large.

70: Stub and loop coupling to waveguide. .71: Klystron inductive output tube. The inductive output tube (IOT) coaxial output cable RF signal input electron beam toroidal cavity RF power output DC supply Figure 14.14.8. WAVEGUIDES 533 Waveguide Waveguide Coupling "stub" Coaxial cable Coupling loop Coaxial cable Figure 14.

534 CHAPTER 14. “Real” waveguide antennae use similar barriers to physically enclose the tube.72) Figure 14. but functions as a physical barrier to prevent rain. being nonconductive. TRANSMISSION LINES onate at particular frequencies. and other physical contaminants from entering the waveguide. Inductive output tubes use toroid-shaped cavity resonators to maximize the power transfer efficiency between the electron beam and the output cable. screws. cavities with movable plates. the device is called a cavity resonator. yet allow electromagnetic energy to pass unimpeded. its metallic inner lining provides the necessary conductivity to function as a waveguide. The following photograph shows a home-made waveguide formed from a tin can. where the signal wavelength approaches the cross-sectional dimensions of the waveguide. When used as such. They are practical only for signals of extremely high frequency. The coupling element is a quarter-wave stub: nothing more than a piece of solid copper wire about 1-1/4 inches in length extending from the center of a coaxial cable connector penetrating the side of the can: (Figure 14. Some of the cans in the background still have their plastic lids in place.72: Can-tenna illustrates stub coupling to waveguide. Although this can is of cardboard (paper) construction.11b” computer communication network.4 GHz signal in an “802. and other mechanical elements for tuning are manufactured to provide coarse resonant frequency adjustment. If a resonant cavity is made open on one end. • REVIEW: • Waveguides are metal tubes functioning as “conduits” for carrying electromagnetic waves. A cavity’s resonant frequency may be altered by changing its physical dimensions. dust. it functions as a unidirectional antenna. one of them a “Pringles” potato chip can. To this end. used as an antenna for a 2. The plastic. snow. does not interfere with the RF signal. . A few more tin-can antennae may be seen in the background.

where both fields are oriented perpendicular to the direction of travel. WAVEGUIDES 535 • Wave propagation through a waveguide may be classified into two broad categories: TE (Transverse Electric). • A cavity resonator with an open end functions as a unidirectional antenna. two-conductor transmission line is of the TEM (Transverse Electric and Magnetic) mode. . • A dead-ended waveguide serving as a resonant element in a microwave circuit is called a cavity resonator. TEM mode is only possible with two conductors and cannot exist in a waveguide.8. sending or receiving RF energy to/from the direction of the open end. or TM (Transverse Magnetic).14. depending on which field (electric or magnetic) is perpendicular (transverse) to the direction of wave travel. Wave travel along a standard.


It was out of frustration that I compiled Lessons in Electric Circuits from notes and ideas I had been collecting for years. paving the way for a rewarding career and fascinating hobby. . but a secondary goal was to make the book as affordable as possible. Adding insult to injury was the $100+ price. At least in the case of this book. I decided to make the book freely available. Over the years. If only I could extend the gift of their help by giving to other people what they gave to me . including several teachers of mine in elementary and high school. having spent much time at home struggling to comprehend the material within. Finding a suitable alternative was more difficult than I had imagined. . I decided to make it “open” following the same development model used in the making of free software (most notably the various UNIX utilities released by the Free Software Foundation. and the Linux operating system. and those that were still being printed were quite expensive. high-quality information into the hands of my students. The goal was to copyright the text – so as to protect my authorship – but expressly allow anyone to distribute and/or modify the text to suit their own needs with a minimum of legal encumbrance. I had experienced the benefit of receiving free instruction and encouragement in my pursuit of learning electronics from many people. My request to review the draft for the next edition of their book was met with disinterest on their part. My students were daily frustrated with the many typographical errors and obscure explanations in this book. More than that. Their selfless assistance played a key role in my own studies. whose fame is growing even as I write). I was forced to use a sub-standard textbook during my first year of teaching. My primary goal was to put readable. Even though the particular text I was using had been in print and in popular use for a couple of years. As an industrial electronics instructor. This willful and formal revoking of 537 . and I resolved to find an alternative text. Sure.Appendix A-1 ABOUT THIS BOOK A-1. So. that adage is true. Some of the best books were out of print. but the really good books seemed a bit too heavy on the math and the less intimidating books omitted a lot of information I felt was important. there were plenty of texts in print. they claimed my complaint was the first they’d ever heard. Worse yet were the many incorrect answers in the back of the book to selected problems. Contacting the publisher proved to be an exercise in futility.1 Purpose They say that necessity is the mother of invention.

538 APPENDIX A-1. but several Licenses already exist. I chose one of them (the Design Science License. When other. feel free to use this as a reference manual. I appreciate the sense of frustration students may have in teaching themselves from books. covering the fine legal points in great detail. I guaranteed that no instructor would be limited by a text insufficient for their needs. you must give credit where credit is due (to me. its wording is not as clear as it could be for that application. editing it as you feel necessary if you come across a useful piece of information. etc. The inductive approach. A-1. but anyone has the freedom to change it. Then. and when things go wrong there’s no one to ask for help. In science education. the original author. labwork is the traditionally accepted venue for this type of learning. less specific copyleft Licenses began appearing within the free software community. and although its introductory language is broad enough to cover works of text. The next chapter covers this process in more detail. The only “catch” is this: if you plan to distribute your modified version of this text. fire. and deserves the utmost respect. explosion. Anyone can “copyleft” their creative work simply by appending a notice to that effect on their work. I strongly encourage experimentation on the part of the reader. Most textbooks seem to approach the task of education from a deductive perspective: tell the student how things are supposed to work. The first such License I applied to my work was the GPL – General Public License – of the Free Software Foundation (GNU). if you pass it on to someone else.2 The use of SPICE One of the best ways to learn how things work is to follow the inductive approach: to observe specific instances of things working and derive general conclusions from those observations. Electricity maims and kills without provocation. is . or DSL) as the official notice for my project. rather than to allow the student to learn on their own through a truly exploratory process. although in many cases labs are designed by educators to reinforce principles previously learned through lecture or textbook reading. but only with circuits powered by small batteries where there is no risk of electric shock. For the instructor or electronics professional. Although electronic components are typically inexpensive. In “copylefting” this text. as I had been with error-ridden textbooks from major publishers. High-power electric circuits should be left to the care of trained professionals! The Design Science License clearly states that neither I nor any contributors to this book bear any liability for what is done with its contents. and anyone else whose modifications are contained in your version). and you must ensure that whoever you give the text to is aware of their freedom to similarly share and edit the text. Having taught myself most of the electronics that I know. as useful as it is. the subject matter is broad and harbors many potential dangers. not everyone has the means or opportunity to set up a laboratory in their own homes. leveraging my efforts to suit variant and individual requirements. ABOUT THIS BOOK standard distribution limitations under copyright is whimsically termed copyleft. then apply those principles to specific instances that the student may or may not be able to explore by themselves. however. you will be giving them something better than what you received. For the beginning student of electronics. learn what you can from this book. is intended to copyleft works of computer software. I’m sure this book in its initial form will not satisfy everyone. adding or editing to your heart’s content. It must be mentioned that although I strive to maintain technical accuracy in all of this book’s content. The GPL.

are liable to err and/or communicate poorly. is that it is only as good as the authority in which it is placed and the accuracy of interpretation through which it is understood. trusting that what has been written is indeed accurate. Authors. SPICE is introduced early in volume I (DC) of this book series. Without demonstrations. they should be able to understand how to use it themselves. This way. and a host of others too numerous to mention. but SPICE is free. . a virtue complementing the charitable philosophy of this book very nicely. a chapter in the Reference volume (volume V) contains an overview of SPICE with many example circuits. current. whose patience during those many and long evenings (and weekends!) of typing has been extraordinary. Another advantage to including computer analyses in a textbook is the empirical verification it adds to the concepts presented. providing a perfectly safe means of experimentation on their own computers with circuit simulations of their own design. and the respective programmers: • GNU/Linux Operating System – Linus Torvalds. A-1. The following is a list of various free computer software used to make this book. Furthermore. computer simulation is an excellent alternative. There may be more flashy (graphic) circuit simulation programs in existence. Richard Stallman. • Vim text editor – Bram Moolenaar and others. It is a text-based piece of software intended to model circuits and provide analyses of voltage. however. With demonstrations. However. textbooks don’t have to be this way. of course. like all human beings. For those wishing to learn more. the readers could learn the concepts inductively (by interpreting SPICE’s output) as well as deductively (by interpreting my explanations). In learning how to use this powerful tool. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 539 hard to find in the pages of a book. the reader can immediately see for themselves that what the author describes is indeed true.3. • Nutmeg post-processor program for SPICE – Wayne Christopher. and hopefully in a gentle enough way that it doesn’t create confusion. • Xcircuit drafting program – Tim Edwards. I discovered this when I started to learn a computer program called SPICE. etc. I made a discovery: SPICE could be used within a textbook to present circuit simulations to allow students to “observe”the phenomena for themselves. • SPICE circuit simulation program – too many contributors to mention. in seeing SPICE used over and over again. Demonstrations also serve to clarify the meaning of the text with concrete examples.3 Acknowledgements First. I also wish to thank those whose open-source software development efforts have made this endeavor all the more affordable and pleasurable. Although nothing is quite as good as building real circuits to gain knowledge in electronics. I wish to thank my wife. the reader is left to take the author’s statements on faith. frequency.A-1. • TEX text processing system – Donald Knuth and others. The problem with faith.

540 APPENDIX A-1. Other important texts in my electronics studies include the 1939 edition of The “Radio” Handbook. and a wider audience for the online version of this book. ABOUT THIS BOOK • Texinfo document formatting system – Free Software Foundation. Tony Kuphaldt. Last but certainly not least. April 2002 “A candle loses nothing of its light when lighting another” Kahlil Gibran . constructive criticism. and to Richard Stallman for pioneering the concept of copyleft. and who kindled that flame into a passion for discovery and intellectual adventure. • Winscope signal analysis software – Dr.andamooka. I wish to specifically thank Jeffrey Elkner and all those at Yorktown High School for being willing to host my book as part of their Open Book Project. Boylestad. and to make the first effort in contributing to its form and content. A • L TEX document formatting system – Leslie Lamport and others. (Free for personal and academic use. and Forrest Mims’ original Engineer’s Notebook. Constantin Zeldovich. whose first edition of Introductory Circuit Analysis taught me more about electric circuits than any other book. Bernard Grob’s second edition of Introduction to Electronics for providing encouragement. who were generous enough to let me terrorize their establishment with my camera and flash unit. Washington for a very informative tour of their expanded (50 kW) facilities as well as their vintage transmitter equipment.lightandmatter. Thanks to the staff of the Bellingham Antique Radio Museum. • Gimp image manipulation program – too many contributors to mention.) Appreciation is also extended to Robert L. Thanks to Michael Stutz for drafting his Design Science and Ben Crowell (website: (http://www. many thanks to my parents and those teachers of mine who saw in me a desire to learn about electricity. Similar thanks to Jim Swartos and KARI radio in Blaine. Thanks also to David Sweet (website: (http://www. I honor you by helping others as you have helped me.

perform. you must follow the same guidelines as for any other copyrighted work. If you wish to modify this book in any way. This License describes the terms and conditions under which the Author permits you to copy. Again.see Section 7 (‘‘NO WARRANTY’’) below. the Design Science License: Permission is granted to modify or sample from a copy of the Work. and ideally. producing a derivative work. 541 . you do so at your own risk. This is a copyrighted work: it is not in the public domain! If you wish to cite portions of this book in a work of your own. this book is open to revision and expansion by any interested parties. All rights to the Work are reserved by the Author. information concerning how you may be contacted. and (as dictated by ‘‘fair use’’) quote from it. except as specifically described below. In addition. however. you may refer to the Work. Your right to operate. you must document the nature of those modifications in the “Credits” section along with your name. just as you would any copyrighted material under copyright law.Appendix A-2 CONTRIBUTOR LIST A-2. read or otherwise interpret and/or execute the Work is unrestricted.1 How to contribute to this book As a copylefted work. and to distribute the derivative work under the terms described in the section for distribution above. because the Work comes WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY -. Here is a sample from the Design Science License: The Work is copyright the Author. The only “catch” is that credit must be given where credit is due. distribute and modify copies of the Work. talk about it.

and resources to make this a better book! A-2. • Contact at: jstarck@yhslug. Minor contributions (typo corrections. Any and all contributions are gratefully accepted. or with a version of the Work. in any way.2. just smaller in the sense of less text changed. Kuphaldt). so that its name or title can not be confused with the Work. (c) Appropriate authorship credit is given: for the differences between the Work and the new derivative work. Kuphaldt • Date(s) of contribution(s): 1996 to present • Nature of contribution: Original author. etc.) are listed by name only for reasons of brevity. You are. welcome to modify this book directly by editing your own personal . Given the complexities and security issues surrounding the maintenance of files comprising this book. authorship is attributed to you.2 Credits All entries arranged in alphabetical order of surname. some error corrections.542 APPENDIX A-2. etc.1 Tony R.tux. date. Major contributions are listed by individual name with some detail on the nature of the contribution(s). derivative work is published under the terms of this License. A-2. Please understand that when I classify a contribution as “minor. I am indebted to all those who have given freely of their own knowledge. CONTRIBUTOR LIST provided that the following terms are met: (a) The new. while the material sampled or used from the Work remains attributed to the original A-2.” it is in no way inferior to the effort or value of a “major” contribution.2 Jason Starck • Date(s) of contribution(s): May-June 2000 • Nature of contribution: HTML formatting. • Contact at: liec0@lycos. of course. (b) The derivative work is given a new name. it is recommended that you submit any revisions or expansions to the original author (Tony R. appropriate notice must be included with the new work indicating the nature and the dates of any modifications of the Work made by you. but we would all stand to benefit from your contributions if your ideas were incorporated into the online “master copy” where all the world can see it. time. contact info.

Added floating captioned LaTeX figures for more book-like appearance of . all chapters except appedicies.5 Kurt Zierhut • Date(s) of contribution(s): June 2011 • Nature of contribution: Construction of 3-phase distributed motor windings.2. 8. latex. Reprinted by permission of Westclox History at www. Scott-T and LVDT subsections inserted. minor change.html.“Running 3-phase motors on 1-phase”.A-2. Incremented edition number to 6 for major format change. • Contact at: dcrunkilton(at)att(dot)net A-2. • Contact at: my email@provider.2.3 Dennis Crunkilton • Date(s) of contribution(s): April 2005 to present • Nature of contribution: Spice-Nutmeg plots. 01/2006. • Nature of contribution: Chapter 13: AC motors.6 Your name here • Date(s) of contribution(s): Month and year of contribution • Nature of contribution: Insert text here. 10. added to Air core transformers subsections chapter 9. • Nature of contribution: Chapter 13: AC motors.pdf. • Nature of contribution: Chapters: all. describing how you contributed to the book. html. 04/2005. www. ps. See Devel/tutorial. Added Doubly-Fed Induction Generator subsection. CREDITS 543 A-2. chapter 13 • Contact at: bill(at)billsclockworks(dot)com A-2. Ch10.4 Bill • Contact at: kzierhut(at) A-2. CH 13. Ch12. pdf. 01/ • Date(s) of contribution(s): June 2005 • Nature of contribution: Granted permission to reprint synchronous westclox motor jpg’s. • Nature of contribution: Mini table of contents. gnuplot Fourier plots chapters 6.clockHistory. 09/2005. 7. 06/2006. added to.2. • Nature of contribution: Broke “Special transformers and applications” section into subsections. 02/2009. .

s/capcitive/capacitive. text: s/(Figure 8. s/over 50 Kw use/over 50 kW use/. Chapter 7: MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS. 02263.eps.eps 3-phase transformer images.2. s/phase shift makes complicates/phase shift complicates/. (02083. images: 12008. • The students of Bellingham Technical College’s Instrumentation program. (s/visa-versa/vice versa/). s/it’s/its.eps. (Across voltage across the resistor/ Voltage across the resistor).eps.eps. • anonymous (September 2007) Typo correction in Basic AC chapter. s/will be drive it/will drive it/. 02074. • Richard Cooper (December 2005) Clarification of 02206.Typographical error correction in “Other waveshapes” section. (If we were restrict ourselves /If we were to restrict ourselves). • Kieran Clancy (August 2006) Ch 4. Chapter 4: REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE (calculate the phase angle of the inductor’s reactive opposition / calculate the phase angle of the capacitor’s reactive opposition). • Duane Damiano (February 2003) Pointed out magnetic polarity error in DC generator illustration. CONTRIBUTOR LIST A-2.2. s/dividing it my the/dividing it by the/.) .eps. various chapters.5.eps. L. 02257. 02258.eps.3.eps. s/because we can to use/because we can use/.18). s/in an open ended/in open ended/.¡/itemi¿ • Michiel van Bolhuis (April 2007). 02056.eps. (January 2005).Typographical error correction in “ Parallel R. 02209. • Jeff DeFreitas (March 2006)Improve appearance: replace ”/” and ”/” various chapters. AND C. 02062. Corrections numerous chapters. change Vic to Vir above resistor in image) (January 2005). s/Alterantor/Alternator. 02515. • Bart Anderson (January 2004) Corrected conceptual and safety errors regarding Tesla coils. Chapter 5: REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. More on the “skin effect” section. (corrected for the skin effect/corrected for the skin effect).com (June 2005) Typographical error correction in Volumes 1. s/750 kiloWatt/750 Watt.Typographical error correction in “AC capacitor circuits” section. L.eps. s/positive negative/positive or negative. • Sean Donner (January 2005) Typographical error correction in “Series resistor-inductor circuits” section. (which only allow passage current in one direction. 02053.eps. 02516.eps open-delta image. Correction of 02210.7 Typo corrections and other “minor” contributions • line-allaboutcircuits. 02516.544 APPENDIX A-2. • Ed Beroset (May 2002) Suggested better ways to illustrate the meaning of the prefix “poly-” in chapter 10. (January 2005).eps.18/(Figure 8.eps. 02068./ which only allow the passage of current in one direction.eps. • Colin Creitz (May 2007) Chapters: several. and C” section. Chapter 3: REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE “Voltage and current” section.

Zarella (April 2002) Suggested an improved explanation for the “average” value of a waveform.eps “Mutual inductance and basic operation” section. changed image 02305. (dropping most of the voltage gets across series resistor / dropping most of the voltage across series resistor) • Brendan Finley (March 2007) Suggested content change in Transformers chapter. (from others in within mixed-frequency signals. • Dave@allaboutcircuits. • Jim Palmer (May 2002) Typo correction on complex number math. ¨ • Elmo Mantynen (August 2006) Numerous corrections in chapters: Resonance. • Harvey Lew (February 2003) Typo correction in Basic AC chapter: word “circuit” should have been “circle”. s/as a the/as the/. s/100/180 trigonometric sin function table. • Joseph Teichman (June 2002) Suggestion and technical help regarding use of PNG images instead of JPEG. Parallel. • John Symonds (March 2002) Suggested an improved explanation of the unit “Hertz.).com (July 2007) Ch 1. CREDITS 545 (January 2005). . clarified text. • Bob Schmid (April 20027) Suggested we add Inductosyn. image: 12105.png not displayed in html. • machan@allaboutcircuits. Power (Oct 2007) Ch 1 . • recca02@allaboutcircuits. • Steven Jones (November 2006) Suggested content addition in Power factor chapter. added graph to “Calculating factor correction” section.A-2. 3plcs Ch 1.3 .Typographical error correction in “What is a filter?” (Aug 2007) Ch . “AC Phase” image 02022. s/Vary/Very/ . • Mark D. • jut@allaboutcircuits. Polyphase AC (April 2007) Transformer voltage regulation example error.eps. AC Motors. • Don Stalkowski (June 2002) Technical help with PostScript-to-PDF file format (April 2007) Resonance. added to Ch12“AC metering”.” • Puddy (Sept 2007) Ch 1 . / from others within mixedfrequency (May 2007) Pointed out error in Form Factor definition and calculation. • earsintraining@allaboutcircuits. image: 12081. • rrgibbs@allaboutcircuits. Chapter 8: FILTERS. missing formula. s/eight white/seven white/ .

sign of angle: s/36. • Unregistered (Feb 2008) Ch 2.546 APPENDIX A-2. • mike@allaboutcircuits. • Timothy Kingman (Feb 2008) Changed default roman font to (August 2010) Ch 5. s/ciruits/circuits/ .com (Feb 2008) Ch 9 . s/proviced/provided/ .com (august 2010) Ch 6. • The Electrician@allaboutcircuits.png • peter (August 2010) Ch 4 . s/formlated/formulated/ • (August 2010) Ch 4 . image 02419. • zyne@allaboutcircuits. • stacymckenna@allaboutcircuits. Clarification: average responding metermovement is a d’Arsonval movement. numerous missing (August 2010) Ch 14 . • skfir@allaboutcircuits.png moved single phase motors for polyphase to singnle phase tree. image 02046. • Unregistered (Feb 2011) Ch 13 . s/useable/usable/.com (November 2009) Ch 1.87/ • Skfir@allaboutcircuits. • whanes@allaboutcircuits. • Imranullah Syed (Feb 2008) Suggested centering of uncaptioned schematics. s/prodces/produces/ s/the series resonant circuit looks inductive/the parallel resonant circuit looks inuctive/ . • Unregistered-F034@allaboutcircuits. Corrected error concerning Tesla’s sale of AC induction motor. CONTRIBUTOR LIST • Devin Bayer (September 2007) Correction to (Feb 2011) Ch 6 .87/ (January 2010) Ch 13. Clarification of light load as refering to less current. • D Crunkilton (September 2010) Ch 13 .com (Feb 2009) Ch 2 .com (Feb 2008) Ch 1 .com (April 2009) Ch 2 .png 02420. • katterjohn@allaboutcircuits.png • Unregistered Guest@allaboutcircuits.png 02420. s/Series capacitor inductor/Series capacitor/.com (Feb 2011) Ch 4 . • Unregistered@allaboutcircuits. s/voltage lags currrent in an inductor/voltage lags current in a capacitor/ caption for 02073.png.png 2nd row 1st column s/480/480m/. • Dennis Crunkilton (Feb 2009) Ch 13 . Error in the sign of value in sine table. • ShaunManners@allaboutcircuits. image 12067. s/the put the/to put the/ .com (Nov 2007) Ch 13 . Change one million to to $65. ¡backslash¿} to } in <tabular>. s/by/be in ”More on AC polaity” section. s/Over-speed/Under-speed 02514. s/that its/that it is/.

CREDITS • Dcrunkilton (May 2011) Ch 13 . s/ration/ratio/ .2.A-2. s/corrrector/corrector/ 547 • Dcrunkilton (June 2011) hi.latex .sml s /correspondes/corresponds .net/electricCircuits • SgtWookie (May 2012) resonant. .latex header file -updated link to openbookproject.


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AC voltage sources. 61. symmetrical. mechanical. unit. vector. 175 Atomic clock. 2. RMS. 12 Amplitude. 83 Cable. 246 C. 288 Boosting. 391 Brush. 84 553 . 83 Can stack. series-parallel. magnetic. 145 Bifilar winding. 85. symbol for angular velocity. average. 262 Amplifier. 101 Analysis. 202 Band-stop filter. Wheatstone. stepper motor. 106 Analysis. Maxwell-Wien. resonant circuit. 83. 1 Alternator. 403 Bridge. stepper motor. 166 Angle. symbol for wavelength. generator. 200 Autotransformer. 119 B. 202 Band-pass filter. AC circuit. AC. 438 Bucking. 435 Bode plot. 371 B. 417. 1 AC circuit analysis. 433. coaxial. 12 Amplitude. 500 ω . 24. 505 Antiresonance. 483 Cable. frequency domain. 408 add-a-phase. 85. spectrum. 202 Bandwidth. twisted pair.Index λ. 12 Amplitude. 3 Brushless DC motor. Wien. 78 Antinode. 61. AC voltage sources. vector. 246 Bridge circuit. 83 Capacitive coupling. 332 Antenna. symbol for magnetic flux density. AC motor. symbol for susceptance. measurement. 14. peak. 246 Average amplitude. 294 Alternator. 188 Capacitive reactance. 376 Bridge. 30 Analysis. 378 Attenuation. 162 Analysis. symbol for capacitance. 14 Amplitude. 270 Absolute value. 37 Angular velocity. transformer connection. 190 Boosting. 120 AC motor. 119 Band-elimination filter. 462 Ammeter. peak-to-peak. 219 Amplifier. 288 Bucking. 434 Capacitance. shielded. 120 Analysis. 166. 37 AC. 130. 119 Alternating current. transformer connection. 332 400 Hz AC power. 390 Bridge. 391 Bridge. 154 Cable. 455 Admittance. 265 Amplitude. 59. 42 Artifact. 154 Calculus. with complex numbers. series. Fourier. 120 Analysis. aircraft. 16 Amplitude. vector. 153. 387. 367 Amp-turn. 144 Arithmetic. induction. 138 Antiresonance. parallel. 110. time domain. 166 Analyzer. 454. 199 Band-reject filter. 166 Analysis.

9 Electrolytic capacitor. 168. 42 Conductance. 462 Duty cycle. crest. signal. 241 Doubly fed induction generator. 8 Characteristic impedance. 88 ECG. inductor current. phase. 61. 83 Fast Fourier Transform. 65. 269 Eddy current speedometer. variable. 369 Celsius. 81. potential. kinetic. frequency. 8 D’Arsonval meter movement. 278 Clock. 189 CRT. 491 choke. 369 Crystal. 378 Coaxial cable. AC to DC. 59. 369 Capacitor. 372 Current. radian. 351 Complex number arithmetic. secondary. 9 Eddy current. 21. synchro. 306 Cutoff frequency. Law of. 119 Conservation of Energy. 189 Equalizer. 142 Counter. 17 Factor. Tesla. power. 213 Chord. 193. 9 Electric field. swinging. 409. 166 Domain. 1 Distortion. time. 372 CT. 492 Dielectric heating. 1 DC equivalent. 257. 24 Direct current. 188 CPS. 387 Dielectric “loss”. 83 Capacitor. transformer. 16 Exciting current. 221 Coil. 367 Dipole antenna. null. 273 Detector. AC measurement. 483 Coil. 57. 17 Factor. 169. 476 Core loss. symbol for voltage.554 Capacitor. 142. 376 CT. 76 EKG. 28. 470 Eddy current loss. 12 Crest factor. 405 INDEX e. line. atomic. 306 Derivative. 219 Domain. symbol for instantaneous voltage. 196 Cycle. 83 E. symbol for frequency. 234 Control transformer. unit. music. decoupling. 17 Crossover network. 164. 367 DC. form. 237 Complex number. 220. 157 Common-mode voltage. 402 Cathode Ray Tube. 445 Effective resistance. 417 Encoder. 16. multiplier. 257. graphic. 2 Electromagnetic wave. 75. 96 Electromagnetic induction. 96 Dielectric constant. unit. 347 Farad. 224 f. 165 Equivalent. 476 Current transformer. 153. optical. magnetic. 376 Coupling. 24 Electrostatic meter movement. 8 Crest. 260 Color (musical). synchro. 195 Capacitor. transformer heat rating. 8 Centigrade. 23. unit. primary. 445 Eddy current clutch. 85 Factor. 156 Class. 61 Delta configuration. 124 Energy. calculus. 96 Diode. 124 Equalizer. 417 Energy. 16 Decoupling capacitor. 166 Dot convention. 306 Current. 221 Coil. 387 . 195 Degree vs. 121 Electrocardiograph. 371 Encoder. control transformer.

band-elimination. 101. 27. 16. 171 Function. 181. odd. 59 Hertz. band-stop. 454. characteristic. 83 i. cutoff. mutual. 8 High-pass filter. 460 Induction. 202 Filter. 88 i. 493 Inductance. 378 Filter. 65. 59 Imaginary number. 59. low-pass. 449. as sensitive null detector. notch. 481 Induction motor. 181. even vs. 64. 135. 119 Generator. 162 Frequency. trigonometry. 57. leakage. 374 Frequency meter. 371 Isolation transformer. 286 Hybrid stepper motor. 383 Harmonic. repulsion start. 250 FFT. 462 Induction motor. 374 Frequency. 32 Half-wave rectification. 61 Inductor. 165 Ground. 229. 6 Fundamental frequency. 449 Induction motor torque. 3. 162 Fourier Transform. speed control. 190 Filter. 450 Induction motor. 455 Induction motor synchronous speed. 23. 275 Instantaneous value. 75 Henry. 202 Filter. 189 Filter “selectivity”. 508 Full-wave rectification. transformer. band-reject. poly-phase. 81 Integral. 121 Figure. fundamental. 401 Inrush current. 153. 199 Filter. 23. 508 G. 464 Induction motor. 318 Harmonics. 318. 75 Inductive reactance. 453 Induction motor power factor corrector. 460 Induction motor. 121 Field. 271 555 i. 38 I. symbol for instantaneous voltage. 193. symbol for current. 96 Heating. 119 Impedance matching. 442 Induction motor. 332. 156. inductive. 227. 491 Incident wave. 294 Generator. Lissajous. 508 Harmonic sequence. 273 Iron-vane meter movement. 462 Induction motor efficiency. 169 Hall effect. 202 Filter. 435 Hyperbolic function. 76 Ferroresonant transformer. unit. imaginary operator. sine. 462 Induction generator. 454. dielectric. symbol for instantaneous current. symbol for conductance. 462 Graphic equalizer. 387 Field. linear. 17 Fourier analysis.INDEX Ferrite. electromagnetic. induction. high-pass. NEMA designs. 252. 196 Filter. 196 Frequency. 343 Headphones. 253 Impedance. 451 Induction motor. 458. 2 Induction. 467 Induction motor slip. 57. 59 Inductosyn. 450 Induction motor speed. single phase. electric. 87. 442 Induction motor. 38 Impedance. 344 Harmonic. wound rotor. 202 Filter. 156. power factor. calculus. 4 Inductive coupling. resonant. 188 Inductive heating. 59 Inductance. 454. 204 Form factor. 164. 2-phase. triplen. 81. 458 Induction motor starting. 318 Harmonics and waveform symmetry. 156. 452 Induction motor. 239 . 196 Hot conductor. 8. 43 Hysteresis. 388 Heating. 205 Filter. band-pass. magnetic. 271 Induction alternator.

384 Joule’s Law. permanent magnet. 4 Natural impedance. 492 Negative sequence. AC series. AC servo. 369 Mutual inductance. 23. 378 Litz wire. 49. 75 Load. AC. 121 Magnetic field. piano. induction. 450 Motor. stepper. symbol for inductance. imaginary operator. 38 Joule. 450 Motor. switched reluctance. servo. shaded pole. 412 Motor. 360 Leakage inductance. 391 Meter movement. induction. wound rotor. 101 Keyboard. permanent-split capacitor. 219 Modulus. 302. 37 INDEX Motor. speed. 19. 19. 453. 449. induction. 265 Magnetic encoder. 101 Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law. stepper. hysteresis. 460 linear variable differential transformer. AC. 466 Motor. variable reluctance. 101 Klystron tube. 421 Motor. 462 Motor. 421 Motor. transformer. 531 MMF. induction. 221 Mutual induction. 83. 360 Laminated iron core. starting. capacitor-run. AC. nonlinear. DC. power factor. 229. 470 Motor. 458. NEMA designs. 227. 467 Motor. synchronous speed. 21.556 Isolation. 221 Magnetic amplifier. 101 L. 277 Magnitude. 253 Maxwell-Wien bridge circuit. variable reluctance. 469 Motor. 59. 397 M. 417 Magnetic field. 59. 385 Loop antenna. 302 Magnetizing current. brushless. variable reluctance. symbol for mutual inductance. 421 Motor. 49 KCL. 408 Motor. synchronous. 21. 469 Motor. 237 j. 234 Multiplier. 455 Motor. 467 Motor. induction. 24 Low-pass filter. induction. 481 Motor. split-phase. 83. 452 Motor. 421 Motor/generator set. efficiency. 476 Motor. 449 Motor. induction. 451 Motor. 267 Lissajous figure. repulsion start induction. power factor corrector. 451 . 367 Meter. polyphase system. stepper. 267. 467 Motor. 431 Motor. compensated series motor. 306 Linear induction motor. AC. 269 Leading phase shift. 445 Line. slip. 219 Magnetostriction. 300 Motor. 435 motor. 532 KVL. vector. 479 Motor. 10 Kirchhoff ’s Current Law. rotating. 302 Motor. 480 Motor. universal. 480 Motor. 460 Motor. induction. 59 Lagging phase shift. speed control. 417. 19. 119 Microwaves. 360 Mho. synchronous. AC commutator. reluctance. 12 Maximum Power Transfer Theorem. 219 Magnetomotive force. 344 NEMA induction motor designs. 438 Motor. 59. 271 Lenz’s Law. 428 motor. capacitor-start. induction. AC. hybrid. stepper. induction. 458 Motor. 480 Motor. torque. 412 Motor. power factor. 453 Motor. 481 Motor. unit. 190 LVDT. 19. induction. repulsion. 465 Motor. 49.

23 Ratio. 58. 49. 351 Octave. 121 Period. 64 Ohm. 352 Parallel analysis. 106 Parallel circuit rules. 19. angular measurement. 417 Oscillation. 385 Nonsinusoidal. 286 Pole. 88. 168. 76 Quartz crystal. true. 87. symbol for instantaneous power. 53. 431 Permittivity. AC. 239 Piano. quality factor. 101 Ohm’s Law . symbol for reactive power. 296 Phase shift. 277 Nola power factor corrector. 12 Peak-to-peak. 352 Primary coil. 376 R. vector. 372 Potentiometer. 37 Notation. 202 Null detector. 10 Ohm’s Law. 318. 442 Polyphase. reactive. 28. 387 Number. 156. 30 Phase. 12 Peaking transformer. real. 124 Oscillator. 352 Power. 4 Principal mode. 378 Q. 376 Pitch (musical). transformer. AC bridge. 61. 221 Primary transformer coil. 23. scalar. 41 Q. 367 Polar notation. 396 Powdered iron core. 9 PMMC. 145 Q. apparent. 270 Power factor. 452 Power quality. 135 Oscilloscope. 492 Phase. antinode. 367 Permanent magnet stepper motor. 128 PCB. transformer. relative. 20 Phase shift. “crossover”. symbol for true power. 195 PT. 378 Overtone. 347 Power factor meter. 385 Power triangle. 195 Peak. 8 Permanent magnet moving coil. 232 557 . negative. 21. 505 Noise. 286 Node. 467 Non-sinusoidal. 253 Notation. 352 Quality factor. 385 Power quality meter. induction motor. resonant circuit. 360 Power factor. 352 Power. 189 Neutral conductor. 78 Radio wave. 387. 294 Poly-phase induction motor. 353 Power. 10 Piezoelectricity. 272 Pendulum. 387 Null detector. polar. 387 Null meter. 38 Number. unit. 508 p. 296 Phase sequence. 453. 531 Printed circuit board. 44. 256. 256. symbol for quality factor. 372 Pythagorean Theorem. 119 Radian. 291 Positive sequence. transformer. 351 Number. 10 Nonlinear components. rectangular. 27. 85 Radio. 119 Optical encoder. 37 Polarity. imaginary. 76 Q.INDEX Network. 64. 9. 37 Notch filter. 59 Power. 82 P. complex. 153 Norton’s Theorem. vs. 344 Potential transformer. 38 Number. 289. symbol for resistance. alternator. 20 Phase rotation. 101 Parallel LC resonance.

120 Servo motor. 296 Series analysis. 520 Standing waves. measurement. 472 Sequence. 37 Rectification. DC. 83. symbol for apparent power. capacitive. 119 Reactance. 10. 4 Selectivity. 181 Scalar number. multiplier. 77. 166. 478 Resonance. 119 Silicon-controlled rectifier. 168 Reflected wave. inductive. eddy current. 101 Rules. 77 Resistance. 302 Rules. 142. 101 RVDT. mechanical. 260. 38 Rectangular notation. 262 Sawtooth wave. 472 Selsyn. 385 Spectrum. 101 Series LC resonance. 126 Resonance. 219 Selsyn. 417 Resolver. 119 Resistance. half-wave. 481 Resistance. 351 Scott-T transformer. induction motor. 101 Series circuit rules. time-domain. phase. 131 Resonance. AC. 74. 505 Resonance. 126 Resonant frequency meter. transformer and inductor. 10. 171 Rectification. 462 Speedometer. silicon-controlled. 84 Reactance. 52 RF: Radio Frequency. 221 Secondary transformer coil. 154 SHM. 344 Sequence. 421 Repulsion motor. 417 RMS. receiver. 476 Shield grounding. 125 Sine function. series-parallel. 16. parallel circuits. parallel. 376 Standing wave ratio. full-wave. 9 Spectrum analyzer. 473 Selsyn. 371 Root-Mean-Square. 398. 59. 374 Resonance. 502 Star configuration. 492 Reluctance. 128 Resonance. frequency. synchro. 352 Saturable reactor. 445 SPICE. 168 Simple Harmonic Motion. shunt. 131 Series-parallel analysis. 204 Resonant frequency formula. 398. 481 Repulsion start induction motor. series circuits. 154 Shielded cable. 158 Standard. 471 Selsyn. 372 Resolver. 51 SPICE simulation. 271 Resonant filter. 128 Split-phase. 168 Secondary coil. 385 Speed control. 521. 61 Real number. 398 S. unit. harmonic. 126. 493 Reflectometer. 369. 10 Sawtooth wave . 76 Resistor. 484 Ripple torque. 531 Sound waves. 153 Skin effect. 265. 136 Resonance. 494 Relative permittivity. 169 Rectifier. 372 Resistor. 478 SCR. 205 Self-inductance. 27. effective. 144. 219 Reluctance motor. 288 Sinusoidal. 110. 16. 287 Square wave. 458 Speed control. series LC.558 Reactance. 126 Resultant vector. 371 Rotating magnetic field. 125 Siemens. 6 Sine wave. 6 Single-phase. 376 Resonate.induction motor. 367 Rectifier. 78. 77 Resistance. 294. parallel LC. 306 INDEX . transmitter. AC. differential transmitter. 283.

ferroresonant. 125. 83 VA. variable. 253 Theorem. Centigrade. 244. primary and secondary. symbol for instantaneous voltage. 119 Unit. 232 Transformer. 472 Synchronous condenser. Fourier. 289 Timbre. 260. 4. hybrid. 16 Tube. siemens. step-up. 245 TE mode. 478 transformer. powdered iron. 245 Switched reluctance motor. 232 Transformer. receiver. 291 Theorem. 493 Susceptance. 59. 434 Stepper motor. radio. step-down. 435 stepper motor. 456 Stepper motor. Scott-T. 426 Stepper motor. 442 Theorem. Scott-T. 8 Unit. unit. 472 Synchro. 260 Tesla. differential transmitter. 253 Three-phase. 353 Triplen harmonics. power. 352 Unit. Pythagorean. 57. 412 Synchronous speed. can stack. 408. induction motor. 243 Value. 250 Tap switch. 384 Unit. 269 Transformer core. 119 Unit. volt-amp-reactive. 8 Unit. transmitter. 428 Superposition Theorem. 10 Triangle wave . 157 Time-domain reflectometer. Thevenin’s. 154 Unit. 332. 253 Theorem.INDEX static phase converter. 270 Transformer inrush current. 471 Synchro. mho. resolver. Superposition. 289. ohm. vacuum. 119 Unit. 162 Transformer. 83 Unit. 265 Transform. tap. differential capacitance. 185. 532 Transducer. 420 Synchronous motor. 291 Surge impedance. 8 Unit. CPS. 237 Transformer ratio. 520 Synchro. Nikola. 275 Transformer isolation. 41 Theorem. laminated. 397 Transistor. 396 Transductor. 398 Synchro (selsyn). 343 True-RMS meter. 213 Switch. volt-amp. joule. 352 Universal AC motor. farad. bifilar winding. 232 Transformer. instantaneous. amp-turn. 253 Thevenin’s Theorem. Celsius. 243 Tuner circuit. 185. control transformer. 473 Synchro. 449 Tank circuit. 352 Unit. 532 TEM mode. unit. 435 Stepper motor. 302. 272 Transformer. 478 Synchro. 250 Transformer. 81 VAR. 59 Unit. 4 Transformer core. 431 Stepper motor. 421 SWR. 404 Twisted pair cable. 433. 207 Twin-T circuit. 224 559 Transformer coils. permanent magnet. 168 Transmission line. 352 Vacuum tube. 480 v. henry. 135. peaking. variable reluctance. 352 . 268. watt. 476 Synchro. 421. 8 Unit. 119 swinging choke. Hertz. 265 Transformer. Maximum Power Transfer. 291 Three-wire DC system. Norton’s. 494 TM mode. 531 Tesla Coil. 219 Unit. 483 Triangle wave. 181 Triangle.

65. 244. 397 Variac. 181. 225 Wire. 119 Z. primary. symbol for admittance. 306 Y. 374 Volt-amp. absolute value. sinusoidal. 84. 247 Vector. 30 Vector sum. 16 Wheatstone bridge. 500 Weston meter movement. 181 Waveform symmetry and harmonics. line. 268 Volt-amp. 460 INDEX X. 61. sine. 10. 28. 225 Winding. 344 . 391 Winding. 248 Voltage. nonsinusoidal. 10. 294. 153 Waveguide. 491 Vibrating reed frequency meter. unit. secondary. 64. 286 Voltage regulation. 119 Zero sequence. electromagnetic. 428 Variable transformer. 351 Vector amplitude. unit. 37 Vector modulus. 64. 529 Wavelength. 421 Variable reluctance stepper motor. common-mode. 181 Wave. 153 Waveform. 306 Voltmeter. 367 Wagner earth. phase. 421. 376 Wien bridge circuit. 44. 87. 158 Wave. 306 Voltage. square. 37 Vector length. 237 Voltage. symbol for impedance.560 Variable capacitor.” AC. sawtooth. transmission line. 119 Xtal. 37 Vector magnitude. symbol for reactance. 37 Velocity factor. 352 Voltage “polarity. 318 Waveform. 10. 88. triangle. 75 Wound rotor induction motor. 24 Wave. 6 Wave. 402 Variable reluctance motor. 37 Vector phase shift. 352 Volt-amp-reactive. unit. 30 Vector angle. 352 Wave. 87. 393 Watt. 52 Vector. 377 Y configuration. Litz . 53.

INDEX . 561 .