Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, 1957

Volume 1 Naval Ordnance NavPers 10797-A
Chapter 10 - A!O"A!#C CON!$O% &'#P"&N!
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Amplidyne generator
!he construction and operation o" the amplidyne generator can #est #e understood #y
"ollo$ing through the steps necessar y to convert an ordinary direct current generator into an
amplidyne generator.
%hen a coil o" $ire is rotated in a magnetic "ield& voltage are induced in the coil& and& i" the
ends o" the coil are connected together& these voltages cause electric currents to "lo$ in the coil. !his
is the #asic principle o" a generator.
!he principal parts o" a generator are the stator& or stationary part& and the armature& or
rotating part. In a common "orm o" generator& a coil o" $ire is $ound on a part o" the stator and is
supplied $ith a small e'citing current $hich magneti(es the iron in the stator and armature to provide
the necessary magnetic "ields. !he armature carries other coils $hich are rotated in the magnetic "ield
as the armature is turned. As a result& voltages are induced in the armature coils.
!he ends o" the armature coils in a )* generator are connected to copper #ars on a
commutator $hich rotates $ith the armature. !he voltages induced in the coils are ta+en o"" #y
stationary car#on #rushes engaging the commutator as it turns. I" the #rushes are connected together an e'ternal circuit& current $ill "lo$ in the circuit and through the armature coils.
!he connections to the commutators are such that the ma'imum voltage appears across t$o
points on opposite sides o" the commutator. !he positions o" these points depend on the direction o"
the magnetic "ield and do not change as the commutator rotates. !he #rushes are located at or near
these points to ta+e advantage o" the ma'imum voltage.
,igure l. - )evelopment o" amplidyne generator.
In "igure 1& the upper vie$ represents an ordinary direct-current generator such as the one .ust
descri#ed. !he inner circle is the commutator& $ith #rushes at top and #ottom. !he ne' t circle
represents the armature& and the outer structure is the stator $ith a coil carrying the e'citing current
$ound on its pole piece. Other conditions #eing e/ual& the po$er output o" the generator $ill #e
proportional to the po$er input to the e'citation $inding& $ithin the limits o" normal operation. !his
generator is assumed to #e a l0 +$ machine 110&000 $atts output2& and the e'citation re/uired is
a#out 100 $atts. !he ampli"ication& there"ore& is 100 to 1.
!he e'citation current produces a magnetic "ield $hose direction is indicated #y the arro$ ,e.
It is this magnetic "ield $hich induces the 100 volts $hich appears across the #rushes. At the same
time& the 100 amp load current "lo$ing in the armature coils creates another magnetic "ield ,3 at
right angles to ,e. It has a#out the same strength as the "ield ,e. !his second magnetic "ield& called
armature reaction& does no use"ul $or+ in the ordinary generator and is& in "act& a source o" trou#le.
I" no$ the #rushes are short-circuited& as sho$n 4n the second vie$& an immense armature
current $ill "lo$ unless the e'citation is reduced. I" the e'citation is cut do$n to a#out 1 $att& ,* is
reduced accordingly& and the normal "ull-load current o" 100 amperes "lo$s through the short-circuit
path. !his current produces the same armature reaction ,3 as #e"ore.
!he armature reaction ,3 induces a voltage in the armature in the same manner as "lu' ,* #ut
this voltage appears on the commutator at 50 degrees "rom the voltage induced #y ,*. A voltmeter
connected to points on the sho$n in the second vie$& $ill indicate appro'imately "ull-
load voltage.
In the ne't vie$& ne$ #rushes have #een added to points 50 degrees "rom the original
#rushes& and the original load o" 1 ohm has #een connected #et$een them. !he high voltage "ormerly
e'isting #et$een these points has almost disappeared. !he reason "or this is that current "lo$ing in
the armature coils #et$een these #rushes has created a second armature reaction ,A $hich opposes
the e'citing "ield ,* and reduces its e""ect. !he decrease in the e""ect o" ,* reduces ,3 and
conse/uently reduces the voltage across the ne$ #rushes.
!he lo$er vie$ sho$s the last modi"ication necessary to produce an amplidyne generator. !he
armature current "rom the ne$ #rushes has #een ta+en through a compensating "ield $inding and
creates a magnetic "ield ,6 opposed to ,A. !his "ield may #e ad.usted to #alance out ,A and thus
restore the "ull e""ect o" the e'citing "ield ,*. ,3 is restored to normal& and "ull-load current may #e
dra$n "rom the ne$ #rushes. 3ince #oth ,A and ,6 depend on armature current& they $ill al$ays #e
appro'imately #alanced and the output voltage is nearly independent o" the armature current. ,ull-load
output has #een o#tained $ith only I-$att e'citation instead o" 100. !he ampli"ication is 10&000 to 1
instead o" 100 to l.
Other re"inements are necessary to produce the "ast& sta#le operation necessary in a "ollo$-up
system& #ut the machine sho$n in the lo$er vie$ o" "igure 1 is the #asic "orm o" all amplidyne
generators. In the e/uipment no$ in use& e'citation is supplied to t$o control $indings $hich are
oppositely $ound. !he direction o" the magnetic "ield ,* and the polarity o" the output o" the
generator depend upon $hich $inding receives the stronger current. !hus& the direction o" rotation o"
the "ollo$-up motor& $hich receives its po$er supply "rom the amplidyne generator& can #e controlled
at $ill #y supplying the stronger current to one or the other o" the control "ields. 6y #alancing the
control currents& the amplidyne output is #rought to (ero and the motor stands still. !he di""erence
#et$een the t$o control currents determines the amount o" po$er supplied to the motor.

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