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Ceiling fan capacitor help

Most ceiling fans use a type of motor known as a "permanent split capacitor motor". These motors have two coils, a "start" and a "run" winding. A capacitor is connected in series with the start winding to insert a phase shift, but once the motor is up to speed it becomes an auxiliary winding. In order to reverse the motor, the capacitor is applied to the "run" winding which then becomes the "start" winding. In some cases the windings may have taps to provide different speeds, in others the value of the start/run capacitor is lowered to provide lower speeds. Yet other designs will have additional capacitors wired in series with the motor as a whole to regulate speeds.

Split-phase induction motor


Another common single-phase AC motor is the split-phase induction motor, commonly used in major appliances such as washing machines and clothes dryers. Compared to the shaded pole motor, these motors can generally provide much greater starting torque by using a special startup winding in conjunction with a centrifugal switch. In the split-phase motor, the startup winding is designed with a higher resistance than the running winding. This creates an LR circuit which slightly shifts the phase of the current in the startup winding. When the motor is starting, the startup winding is connected to the power source via a set of spring-loaded contacts pressed upon by the stationary centrifugal switch. The starting winding is wound with fewer turns of smaller wire than the main winding, so it has a lower inductance (L) and higher resistance (R). The lower L/R ratio creates a small phase shift, not more than about 30 degrees, between the flux due to the main winding and the flux of the starting winding. The starting direction of rotation may be reversed simply by exchanging the connections of the startup winding relative to the running winding. The phase of the magnetic field in this startup winding is shifted from the phase of the mains power, allowing the creation of a moving magnetic field which starts the motor. Once the motor reaches near design operating speed, the centrifugal switch activates, opening the contacts and disconnecting the startup winding from the power source. The motor then operates solely on the running winding. The starting winding must be disconnected since it would increase the losses in the motor.

Capacitor start motor

Schematic of a capacitor start motor. A capacitor start motor is a split-phase induction motor with a starting capacitor inserted in series with the startup winding, creating an LC circuit which is capable of a much greater phase shift (and so, a much greater starting torque). The capacitor naturally adds expense to such motors.

Resistance start motor


A resistance start motor is a split-phase induction motor with a starter inserted in series with the startup winding, creating capacitance. This added starter provides assistance in the starting and initial direction of rotation.

Permanent-split capacitor motor


Another variation is the permanent-split capacitor (PSC) motor (also known as a capacitor start and run motor).This motor operates similarly to the capacitor-start motor described above, but there is no centrifugal starting switch, and what correspond to the start windings (second windings) are permanently connected to the power source (through a capacitor), along with the run windings. PSC motors are frequently used in air handlers, blowers, and fans (including ceiling fans) and other cases where a variable speed is desired. A capacitor ranging from 3 to 25 microfarads is connected in series with the "start" windings and remains in the circuit during the run cycle. The "start" windings and run windings are identical in this motor, and reverse motion can be achieved by reversing the wiring of the 2 windings, with the capacitor connected to the other windings as "start" windings. By changing taps on the running winding but keeping the load constant, the motor can be made to run at different speeds. Also, provided all 6 winding connections are available separately, a 3 phase motor can be converted to a capacitor start and run motor by commoning two of the windings and connecting the third via a capacitor to act as a start winding. What is the working principle of ceiling fan? Answer The celing fan motor works on principle of single phase induction motor using capacitor. Working of capacitor start motor: The stator consists of the main winding and a starting winding (auxiliary). The starting winding is connected in parallel with the main winding and is placed physically at right angles to it. A 90-degree electrical phase difference between the two windings is obtained by connecting the auxiliary winding in series with a capacitor and starting switch. When the motor is first energized, the starting switch is closed. This places the capacitor in series with the auxiliary winding. The capacitor is of such value that the auxiliary circuit is effectively a resistive-capacitive circuit (referred to as capacitive reactance and expressed as XC). In this circuit the current leads the line voltage by about 45 (because XC about equals R). The main winding has enough

resistance-inductance (referred to as inductive reactance and expressed as XL) to cause the current to lag the line voltage by about 45 (because XL about equals R). The currents in each winding are therefore 90 out of phase - so are the magnetic fields that are generated. The effect is that the two windings act like a two-phase stator and produce the rotating field required to start the motor. When nearly full speed is obtained, a centrifugal device (the starting switch) cuts out the starting winding. The motor then runs as a plain single-phase induction motor. Since the auxiliary winding is only a light winding, the motor does not develop sufficient torque to start heavy loads. Split-phase motors, therefore, come only in small sizes.