# 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
throu.gh 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.
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,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
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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 commutator..is sho\$n in the second vie\$& \$ill indicate appro'imately "ull-
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
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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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