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Parameters of Armature Winding

There are three important parameters of an armature winding of an alternator. These are,
1. Armature resistance Ra
2. Armature leakage reactance XL
3. Reactance corresponding to armature reaction

Armature Resistance
Every armature winding has its own resistance. The effective resistance of an armature winding per phase is denoted
as Raph /ph or Ra /ph.
Generally the armature resistance is measured by applying the known d.c. voltage and measuring the d.c. current
through it. The ratio of applied voltage and measured current is the armature resistance. But due to the skin effect, the
effective resistance under a.c. conditions is more than the d.c. resistance. Generally the effective armature resistance under
a.c. conditions is taken 1.25 to 1.75 times the d.c. resistance.
While measuring the armature resistance, it is necessary to consider how the armature winding is connected whether in
star or delta. Consider a star connected armature winding as shown in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Star connected alternator

When the voltage is applied across any two terminals of an armature winding, then the equivalent resistance is the
series combination of the two resistance of two different phase windings,
.

..

RRY = Resistance between R-Y terminals


= Ra + Ra = 2Ra
where Ra = armature resistance per phase

..

Ra = RRY/2 /ph
Thus in star connected alternator, the armature resistance per phase is half of the resistance observed across any two

line terminals.
Consider the delta connected alternator as shown in the Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Delta connected alternator

When voltage is applied across any two terminals, then one phase winding appears in parallel with series combination
of other two.
Hence the equivalent resistance across the terminals is parallel combination of the resistance R a and 2Ra.
.

..

RRY Ra | | Ra /ph
Thus in delta connected alternator, the armature resistance per phase is to be calculated from the equivalent resistance

observed across any two line terminals.

Armature Leakage Reactance


When armature carries a current, it produces its own flux. Some part of this flux completes its path through the air
around the conductors itself. Such a flux is called leakage flux. This is shown in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Armature leakage flux

Note : This leakage flux makes the armature winding inductive in nature. So winding possesses a leakage reacatnce, in
addition to the resistance.
So if 'L' is the leakage inductance of the armature winding per phase, then leakage reactance per phase is given
by XL = 2 f L /ph. The value of leakage reactance is much higher than the armature resistance. Similar to the d.c.
machines, the value of armature resistance is very very small.

Armature Reaction
When the load is connected to the alternator, the armature winding of the alternator carries a current. Every current
carrying conductor produces its own flux so armature of the alternator also produces its own flux, when carrying a current.
So there are two fluxes present in the air gap, one due to armature current while second is produced by the filed winding
called main flux. The flux produced by the armature is called armature flux.
Note : So effect of the armature flux on the main flux affecting its value and the distribution is called armature reaction.
The effect of the armature flux not only depends on the magnitude of the current flowing through the armature winding
but also depends on the nature of the power factor of the load connected to the alternator.
Now we will study the effect of nature of the load power factor on the armature reaction.
1.1 Unity Power Factor Load
Consider a purely resistive load connected to the alternator, having unity power factor. As induced e.m.f. E ph drives a
current of Iaph and load power factor is unity, Eph and Iph are in phase with each other.

If f is the main flux produced by the field winding responsible for producing E phthen Eph lags f by 90 .
Now current through armature Ia, produces the armature flux say a. So flux aand Ia are always in the same direction.
This relation between f , a, Eph and Iaph can be shown in the phasor diagram. (See Fig. 1)

Fig. 1 Armature reaction for unity power factor


o

It can be seen from the phasor diagram that there exists a phase difference of 90 between the armature flux and the
main flux. The waveforms for the two fluxes are also shown in the Fig. 1. From the waveforms it can be seen that the two
fluxes oppose each other on the left half of each pole while assist each other on the right half of each pole. Hence average
flux in the air gap remains constant but its distribution gets distrorted.
Note : Hence such distorting effect of armature reaction under unity p.f. condition of the load is called cross magnetising
effect of armature reaction.
Due to such distortion of the flux, there is small drop in the terminal voltage of the alternator.
1.2 Zero Lagging Power Factor Load
Consider a purely inductive load connected to the alternator having zero lagging power factor. This indicates that
o

Iaph driven by Eph lags Eph by 90 which is the power factor angle .
o

Induced e.m.f. Eph lags main flux f by 90 while a is in the same direction as that of Ia. So the phasor diagram and the
waveforms are shown in the Fig. 2.
It can be seen from the phasor diagram that the armature flux and the main flux are exactly in opposite direction to each
other.
Note : So armature flux tries to cancel the main flux. Such an effect of armature reaction is called demagnetising effect of
the armature reaction.
As this effect causes reduction in the main flux, the terminal voltage drops. This drop in the terminal voltage is more
than the drop corresponding to the unity p.f. load.

Fig. 2 Armature reaction for zero lagging p.f. load


1.3 Zero Leading Power Factor Load
Consider a purely capacitive load connected to the alternator having zero leading power factor. This means that
o

armature current Iaph driven by Eph, leads Eph by 90 , which is the power factor angle .
o

Induced e.m.f. Eph lags f by 90 while Iaph and a are always in the same direction. The phasor diagram and the
waveforms are shown in the Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 Armature reaction for zero leading p.f. load


It can be seen from the phasor diagram and waveforms shown in the Fig. 2, the armature flux and the main field flux
are in the same direction i.e. they are helping each other. This results into the addition in main flux.
Note : Such an effect of armature reaction due to which armature flux assists field flux is called magnetising effect of the
armature reaction.
As this effect adds the flux to the main flux, greater e.m.f. gets induced in the armature. Hence there is increase in the
terminal voltage for leading power factor loads.
For intermediate power factor loads i.e. between zero lagging and zero leading the armature reaction is partly cross
magnetising and partly demagnetising for lagging power factor loads or partly magnetising for leading power factor loads.
1.4 Armature Reaction Reactance (Xar)
In all the conditions of the load power factors, there is change in the terminal voltage due to the armature reaction.
Mainly the practical loads are inductive in nature, due to demagnetising effect of armature reaction, there is reduction in the
terminal voltage. Now this drop in the voltage due to the interaction of armature and main flux. This drop is not across any
physical element.
But to quantify the voltage drop due to the armature reaction, armature winding is assumed to have a fictitious
reactance. This fictitious reactance of the armature is called armature reaction reactance denoted as Xar /ph. And the drop
due to armature reaction can be accounted as the voltage drop across this reactance as I arXar.
Note : The value of this reactance changes as the load power factor changes, as armature reaction depends on the load
power factor.

Concepts of Synchronous Reactance and Impedance


The sum of fictitious armature reaction reactance accounted for considering armature reaction effect and the leakage
reactance of the armature called synchronous reactance of the alternator demoted as X s.
So

Xs = XL + Xar /ph
As both XL and Xar are ohmic values per phase, synchronous reactance is also specified as ohms per phase.
Now from this, it is possible to define an impedance of the armature winding. Such an impedance obtained by

combining per phase values of synchronous reactance and armature resistance is called synchronous impedance of the
alternator denoted as Zs.
So

Zs = Ra + j Xs /ph

And

| Zs | = (Ra + j (Xs) )

For getting a standard frequency, alternator is to be driven at synchronous speed. So word synchronous used in
specifying the reactance and impedance is referred to the working speed of the alternator. Generally impedance of the

winding is constant but in case of alternator, synchronous reactance depends on the load and its power factor condition,
hence synchronous impedance also varies with the load and its power factor conditions.

Equivalent Circuit of an Alternator


From the previous discussion it is clear that in all there are three important parameters of armature winding namely
armature resistance Ra, leakage reactance XL and armature reaction reactance Xar. If Eph is induced e.m.f. per phase on no
load condition then on load it changes to E' due to armature reaction as shown in the equivalent circuit. As current flows
through the armature, there are two voltage drops across R a and XL as Ia Ra and respectively. Hence finally terminal voltage
Vt is less than E' by the amount equal to the drops across Ra and XL.

Fig. 1 Equivalent circuit

In practice, the leakage reactance XL and the armature reaction reactance Xarare combined to get synchronous
reactance Xs.
Hence the equivalent circuit of an alternator gets modified as shown in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 2 Equivalent circuit of an alternator

Thus in the equivalent circuit shown,


Eph = induced e.m.f. per phase on no load
Vtph = terminal voltage per phase on load
Iaph = armature resistance per phase
Zs = synchronous impedance per phase

In a d.c. generators, we have seen that due to the armature resistance drop and brush drop it is not possible to have all the
induced e.m.f. available across the load. The voltage available to the load is called terminal voltage. The concept is same in
case of alternators. The entire induced e.m.f. can not be made available to the load due to the various internal voltage
drops. So the voltage available to the load is called terminal voltage denoted as. In case of three phase alternators as all the
phases are identical, the equations and the phasor diagrams are expressed on per phase basis.

So if Eph is the induced e.m.f. per phase in the alternator, there are following voltage drops occur in an alternator.
i) The drop across armature resistance Ia Ra both Ia and Ra are per phase values.
ii) The drop across synchronous reactance Ia Xs, both Ia and Xs are per phase values.
After supplying these drops, the remaining voltage of Eph is available as the terminal voltage Vph.
o

Note : Now drop Ia Ra is always in phase with Ia due to a resistive drop while current Ialags by 90 with respect to
drop Ia Xs as it is a drop across purely inductive reactance.
Hence all these quantities can not be added or subtracted algebraically but must be added or subtracted vectorially
considering their individual phases. But we can write a voltage equation in its phasor from as,

This is called voltage equation of an alternator.


From this equation, we can draw the phasor diagram for various load power factor conditions and establish the
relationship between Eph and Vph, in terms of armature current i.e. load current and the power factor cos().

Phasor Diagram of a Loaded Alternator

The above voltage equation is to be realised using phasor diagrams for various load power factor conditions. For
drawing the phasor diagram consider all per phase values and remember following steps.
Steps to draw the phasor diagram :
1. Choose current as a reference phasor.
2. Now if load power factor is cos it indicates that angle between V ph and Ia is as Vph is the voltage available to the load.
So show the phasor Vph in such a way that angle between Vph and Ia is . For lagging '', Ia should lag Vph and for
leading '', Ia should lead Vph. For unity power factor load is zero, so Vph and Ia are in phase.
3. Now the drop Ia Ra is a resistive drop and hence will always be in phase with I a. So phasor Ia Ra direction will be always
same as Ia, i.e. parallel to Ia. But as it is to be added to Vph, Ia Ra phasor must be drawn from the tip of the Vph phasor drawn.
o

4. The drop Ia Xs is drop across purely inductive reactance. In pure inductance, current lags voltage by 90 . So 'Ia Xs' phasor
o

direction will be always such that Ia will lag Ia Xs phasor by 90 . But this phasor is to be drawn from the tip of the Ia Raphasor
to complete phasor addition of Vph, Ia Ra and Ia Xs.
5. Joining the starting point to the terminating point, we get the phasor Eph.
Whatever may be the load power factor, Ia Ra is a resistive drop, will be in phase with Ia while Ia Xs is purely inductive
o

drop and hence will be perpendicular to Ia in such a way that Ia will lag Ia Xs by 90 . This is shown in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1

By using the above steps, the phasor diagrams for various load power factor conditions can be drawn.

1.1 Lagging Power Factor Load


The power factor of the load is cos lagging so Ia lags Vph by angle . By using steps discussed above, phasor diagram
can be drawn as shown in the Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Phasor diagram for leading p.f. load

To derive the relationship between Eph and Vph, the perpendicular are drawn on the current phasor from points A and B.
These intersect current phasor at points D and E respectively.
.

(Eph) = (OD + DE) + (BE - BC)

(Eph) = (Vph cos + Ia Ra) + (Vphsin - Ia Xs)

..
..

It can be observed that the sign of the Ia Xs is negative as against its positive sign for lagging p.f. load. This is because
Xs consists of Xar i.e. armature reaction reactance. Armature reaction is demagnetising for lagging while magnetising for
leading power factor loads. So sign of Ia Xs is opposite for lagging and leading p.f. conditions.
1.3 Unity Poer Fcator Load
The power factor of the load is unity i.e. cos = 1. So = 0, which means V ph is in phase with Ia. So phasor diagram
can be drawn as shown in the Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 Phasor diagram for unity p.f. load


Consider OBC, for which we can write,
2

(OC) = (OB) + (BC)


.

(Eph) = (OA + AB) + (BC)

(Eph) = (Vph + Ia Ra) + (Ia Xs)

..
..

2
2

2
2

As cos = 1, so sin = 0 hence does not appear in the equation.


Note : The phasor diagrams can be drawn by considering voltage V ph as a reference phasor. But to derive the relationship,
current phasor selected as a reference makes the derivation much more simplified. Hence current is selected as a reference
phasor.
It is clear from the phasor diagram that Vph is less than Eph for lagging and unity p.f. conditions due to demagnetising
and cross magnetising effects of armature reaction. While V ph is more than Eph for leading p.f. condition due to the
magnetising effect of armature reaction.
Thus in general for any power factor condition,
2

(Eph) = ( Vph cos + Ia Ra) + (Vph sin Ia Xs)

+ sign for lagging p.f. loads


- sign for leading p.f. loads
and Vph = per phase rated terminal voltage
Ia = per phase full load armature current

Voltage Regulation of an Alternator


Under the load condition, the terminal voltage of alternator is less than the induced e.m.f. Eph. So if load is disconnected
, Vph will change from Vph to Eph, if flux and speed is maintained constant. This is because when load is disconnected, Ia is
zero hence there are no voltage drops and no armature flux to cause armature reaction. This change in the terminal voltage
is significant in defining the voltage regulation.
Note : The voltage regulation of an alternator is defined as the change in its terminal voltage when full load is removed,
keeping field excitation and speed constant, divided by the rated terminal voltage.,
So if

Vph = Rated terminal voltage


Eph = No load induced e.m.f.

the voltage regulation is defined as,

The value of the regulation not only depends on the load current but also on the power factor of the load. For lagging and
unity p.f. conditions there is always drop in the terminal voltage hence regulation values are always positive. While for
leading capacitive load conditions, the terminal voltage increases as load current increases. Hence regulation is negative in
such cases. The relationship between load current and the terminal voltage is called load characteristics of an alternator.
Such load characteristics for various load power factor conditions are shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Load characteristics of an alternator

KVA Rating of an Alternator


The alternators are designed to supply a specific voltage to the various loads. This voltage is called its rated terminal
voltage denoted as VL. The power drawn by the load depends on its power factor. Hence instead of specifying rating of an
alternator in watts, it is specified in terms of the maximum apparent power which it can supply to the load. In three phase
circuits, the apparent power is 3VL IL, measured in VA (volt amperes). This is generally expressed in kilo volt amperes and
is called kVA rating of an alternator where IL is the rated full load current which alternator can supply. So for a given rated
voltage and kVA rating of an alternator, its full load rated current can be decided.
Consider 60 kVA, 11 kV three phase alternator.
In this case

kVA rating = 60

-3

........ 10 to express the product in kilo volt amperes


.

60 = 3 x 11 x 10 x IL x 10

IL = 3.15 A

..
..

-3

This is the rated full load current of an alternator. But load current is same as the armature current. So from kVA rating,
it is possible to determine full load armature current of an alternator which is important in predicating the full load regulation
of an alternator for various power factor conditions. Similarly if load condition is different than the full load, the corresponding
armature current can be determined from its full load value.
Note : Ia at half load = 1/2 x Ia at full load. It reduces in the same proportion in which load condition reduces.
Hence regulation at any p.f. and at any load condition can be determined.

Regulation of Synchronous Generator : Introduction


The regulation of an alternator can be determined by various methods. In case of small capacity alternators it can be
determined by direct loading test while for large capacity alternators it can be determined by synchronous impedance
method.

The synchronous impedance method has some short comings. Another method which is popularly used is ampereturns method. But this method also has certain disadvantages. The disadvantages of these two methods are overcome in a
method called zero power factor method. Another important theory which gives accurate results is called Blondel's two
reaction theory. Thus there are following methods available to determine the voltage regulation of an alternator,
1. Direct loading method
2. Synchronous impedance method or E.M.F. method
3. Ampere-turns method or M.M.F. method
4. Zero power factor method or potier triangle method
5. ASA modified from of M.M.F. method
6. Two reaction theory

Voltage Regulation by Direct Load


The Fig. 1 shows the circuit diagram for conducting the direct loading test on the three phase alternator. The star
connected armature is to be connected to a three phase load with the help of triple pole single throw (TPST) switch. The
field winding is excited by separate d.c. supply. To control the flux i.e. the current through field winding, a rheostat is
inserted in series with the field winding. The prime mover is shown which is driving the alternator at its synchronous speed.
Procedure : The alternator is first driven at its synchronous speed Ns by means of a prime mover.

Fig. 1 Circuit diagram for direct loading test on alternator


Now

Eph

..... (From e.m.f. equation)

By giving d.c. supply to the field winding, the field current is adjusted to adjust the flux so that rated voltage is available
across the terminals. This can be observed on the voltmeter connected across the lines. The load is then connected by
means of a TPST switch. The load is then increased so that ammeter reads rated value of current. This is full load condition
of the alternator. Again adjust the voltage to its rated value by means of field excitation using a rheostat connected. The
throw off the entire load by opening the TPST switch, without changing the speed and the field excitation. Observe the
voltmeter reading. As load is thrown off, there is no armature current and associated drops. So the voltmeter reading in this
situation indicates the value of internally induced e.m.f. called no load terminal voltage. Convert both the reading to phase
values. The rated voltage on full load is Vph while reading when load is thrown off is Eph. So by using the formula,

the full load regulation of the alternator can be determined. The value of the regulation obtained by this method is accurate
as a particular load at required p.f. is actually connected to the alternator to note down the readings.
Note : But for high capacity alternators, that much full load can not be simulated or directly connected to the alternator.
Hence method is restricted only for small capacity alternators.
Example : While supplying a full load, running at synchronous speed, the terminal voltage of an alternator is observed to be
1100 V. When the load is thrown off, keeping field excitation and speed constant, the terminal voltage is observed to be
1266 V. Assuming star connected alternator, calculate its regulation on full load.
Solution : On full load, terminal voltage is 1100 V.
So
.

..

VL = 1100 V
Vph = VL/3 = 635.0853 V
When load is thrown off, VL = 1266 V. But on no load,
VL = Eline

..

Eline = 1266 V

Eph = 1266/3

..

= 730.925 V

Synchronous Impedance Method or E.M.F. Method


The method is also called E.M.F. method of determining the regulation. The method requires following data to calculate
the regulation.
1. The armature resistance per phase (Ra).
2. Open circuit characteristics which is the graph of open circuit voltage against the field current. This is possible by
conducting open circuit test on the alternator.
3. Short circuit characteristics which is the graph of short circuit current against field current. This is possible by conducting
short circuit test on the alternator.
Let us see, the circuit diagram to perform open circuit as well as short circuit test on the alternator. The alternator is
coupled to a prime mover capable of driving the alternator at its synchronous speed. The armature is connected to the
terminals of a switch. The other terminals of the switch are short circuited through an ammeter. The voltmeter is connected
across the lines to measure the open circuit voltage of the alternator.
The field winding is connected to a suitable d.c. supply with rheostat connected in series. The field excitation i.e. field
current can be varied with the help of this rheostat. The circuit diagram is shown in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Circuit diagram for open circuit and short circuit test on alternator
1.1 Open Circuit Test
Procedure to conduct this test is as follows :
i) Start the prime mover and adjust the speed to the synchronous speed of the alternator.
ii) Keeping rheostat in the field circuit maximum, switch on the d.c. supply.
iii) The T.P.S.T switch in the armature circuit is kept open.
iv) With the help of rheostat, field current is varied from its minimum value to the rated value. Due to this, flux increasing the
induced e.m.f. Hence voltmeter reading, which is measuring line value of open circuit voltage increases. For various values
of field current, voltmeter readings are observed.
The observation for open circuit test are tabulated as below :
Observation table for open circuit test :

From the above table, graph of (Voc)ph against If is plotted.


Note : This is called open circuit characteristics of the alternator, called O.C.C. This is shown in the Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 O.C.C. and S.C.C. of an alternator


1.2 Short Circuit Test
After completing the open circuit test observation, the field rheostat is brought to maximum position, reducing field
current to a minimum value. The T.P.S.T switch is closed. As ammeter has negligible resistance, the armature gets short
circuited. Then the field excitation is gradually increased till full load current is obtained through armature winding. This can
be observed on the ammeter connected in the armature circuit. The graph of short circuit armature current against field
current is plotted from the observation table of short circuit test. This graph is called short circuit characteristics, S.C.C. This
is also shown in the Fig. 2.
Observation table for short circuit test :

The S.C.C. is a straight line graph passing through the origin while O.C.C. resembles B-H curve of a magnetic material.
Note : As S.C.C. is straight line graph, only one reading corresponding to full load armature current along with the origin is
sufficient to draw the straight line.
1.3 Determination of From O.C.C. and S.C.C.
The synchronous impedance of the alternator changes as load condition changes. O.C.C. and S.C.C. can be used to
determine Zs for any load and load p.f. conditions.
In short circuit test, external load impedance is zero. The short circuit armature current is circulated against the
impedance of the armature winding which is Zs. The voltage responsible for driving this short circuit current is internally
induced e.m.f. This can be shown in the equivalent circuit drawn in the Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 Equivalent circuit on short circuit

From the equivalent circuit we can write,


Zs = Eph/ Iasc
Now value of Iasc is known, which can observed on the alternator. But internally induced e.m.f. can not be observed
under short circuit condition. The voltmeter connected will read zero which is voltage across short circuit. To determine Z s it
is necessary to determine value of E which is driving I asc against Zs.
Now internally induced e.m.f. is proportional to the flux i.e. field current I f.
Eph If

...... from e.m.f. equation

So if the terminal of the alternator are opened without disturbing If which was present at the time of short circuited
condition, internally induced e.m.f. will remain same as Eph. But now current will be zero. Under this condition equivalent
circuit will become as shown in the Fig. 4.

Fig. 4

It is clear now from the equivalent circuit that as I a = 0 the voltmeter reading (Voc)ph will be equal to internally induced
e.m.f. (Eph).

This is what we are interested in obtaining to calculate value of Z s. So expression for Zs can be modified as,

So O.C.C. and S.C.C. can be effectively to calculate Zs.


The value of Zs is different for different values of If as the graph of O.C.C. is non linear in nature.
So suppose Zs at full load is required then,
Iasc = full load current.
From S.C.C. determine If required to drive this full load short circuit Ia. This is equal to 'OA', as shown in the Fig.2.
Now for this value of If, (Voc)ph can be obtained from O.C.C. Extend kine from point A, till it meets O.C.C. at point C. The
corresponding (Voc)ph value is available at point D.
(Voc)ph = OD
While (Iasc)ph = OE

at full load
General steps to determine Zs at any load condition are :
i) Determine the value of (Iasc)ph for corresponding load condition. This can be determined from known full load current of the
alternator. For half load, it is half of the full load value and so on.
ii) S.C.C. gives relation between (Iasc)ph and If. So for (Iasc)ph required, determine the corresponding value of If from S.C.C.
iii) Now for this same value of If, extend the line on O.C.C. to get the value of (Voc)ph. This is (Voc)ph for same If, required to
drive the selected (Iasc)ph.
iv) The ratio of (Voc)ph and (Iasc)ph, for the same excitation gives the value of Zs at any load conditions.
The graph of synchronous impedance against excitation current is also shown in the Fig. 2.
1.4 Regulation Calculations
From O.C.C. and S.C.C., Zs can be determined for any load condition.
The armature resistance per phase (Ra) can be measured by different methods. One of the method is applying d.c.
known voltage across the two terminals and measuring current. So value of R a per phase is known.

So synchronous reactance per phase can be determined.


No load induced e.m.f. per phase, Eph can be determined by the mathematical expression derived earlier.

where

Vph = Phase value of rated voltage


Ia = Phase value of current depending on the load condition
cos = p.f. of load

Positive sign for lagging power factor while negative sign for leading power factor, R a and Xs values are known from the
various tests performed.
The regulation then can be determined by using formula,

1.5 Advantages and Limitations of Synchronous Impedance Method


The main advantages of this method is the value of synchronous impedance Z sfor any load condition can be calculated.
Hence regulation of the alternator at any load condition and load power factor can be determined. Actual load need not be
connected to the alternator and hence method can be used for very high capacity alternators.
The main limitation of this method is that the method gives large values of synchronous reactance. This leads to high
values of percentage regulation than the actual results. Hence this method is called pessimistic method.

M.M.F. Method of Determining Regulation


This method of determining the regulation of an alternator is also called Ampere-turn method or Rothert's M.M.F.
method. The method is based on the results of open circuit test and short circuit test on an alternator.
For any synchronous generator i.e. alternator, it requires m.m.f. which is product of field current and turns of field winding for
two separate purposes.
1. It must have an m.m.f. necessary to induce the rated terminal voltage on open circuit.
2. It must have an m.m.f. equal and opposite to that of armature reaction m.m.f.
Note : In most of the cases as number of turns on the field winding is not known, the m.m.f. is calculate and expressed i
terms of the field current itself.
The field m.m.f. required to induce the rated terminal voltage on open circuit can be obtained from open circuit test
results and open circuit characteristics. This is denoted as F O.
We know that the synchronous impedance has two components, armature resistance and synchronous reactance. Now
synchronous reactance also has two components, armature leakage reactance and armature reaction reactance. In short
circuit test, field m.m.f. is necessary to overcome drop across armature resistance and leakage reactance and also to
overcome effect of armature reaction. But drop across armature resistance and also to overcome effect of armature
reaction. But drop across armature resistance and leakage reactance is very small and can be neglected. Thus in short
circuit test, field m.m.f. circulates the full load current balancing the armature reaction effect. The value of ampere-turns
required to circulate full load current can be obtained from short circuit characteristics. This is denoted as FAR.
Under short circuit condition as resistance and leakage reactance of armature do not play any significant role, the
armature reaction reactance is dominating and hence the power factor of such purely reactive circuit is zero lagging. Hence
FARgives demagnitising ampere turns. Thus the field m.m.f. is entirely used to overcome the armature reaction which is
wholly demagntising in nature.
The two components of total field m.m.f. which are F O and FAR are indicated in O.C.C. (open circuit characteristics) and
S.C.C. (short circuit characteristics) as shown in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1
If the alternator is supplying full load, then total field m.m.f. is the vector sum of its two components FO and FAR. This
depends on the power factor of the load which alternator is supplying. The resultant field m.m.f. is denoted as FR. Let us
consider the various power factors and the resultant FR.

Zero lagging p.f. : As long as power factor is zero lagging, the armature reaction is completely demagnetising. Hence the
resultant FR is the algebraic sum of the two components FO and FAR. Field m.m.f. is not only required to produce rated
terminal voltage but also required to overcome completely demagnetising armature reaction effect.

Fig. 2
This is shown in the Fig. 2.
OA = FO
AB = FAR demagnetising
OB = FR = FO + FAR
Total field m.m.f. is greater than FO.
Zero leading p.f. : When the power factor is zero leading then the armature reaction is totally magnetising and helps main
flux to induce rated terminal voltage. Hence net field m.m.f. required is less than that required to induce rated voltage
normally, as part of its function is done by magnetising armature reaction component. The net field m.m.f. is the algebraic
difference between the two components FO and FAR. This is shown in the Fig. 3.

Fig. 3
OA = FO
AB = FAR magnetising
OB = FO - FAR = FR
Total m.m.f. is less than FO
Unity p.f. : Under unity power factor condition, the armature reaction is cross magnetising and its effect is to distort the main
flux. Thus and F are at right angles to each other and hence resultant m.m.f. is the vector sum of F O and FAR. This is shown
in the Fig.4.

Fig. 4
OA = FO
AB = FAR cross magnetising

General Case : Now consider that the load power factor is cos . In such case, the resultant m.m.f. is to be determined by
vector addition of FO and FAR.
cos, lagging p.f. : When the load p.f. is cos lagging, the phase current I aph lags Vph by angle . The component FO is at
right angles to Vph while FAR is in phase with the current Iaph. This is because the armature current Iaph decides the armature
reaction. The armature reaction FAR due to current Iaph is to be overcome by field m.m.f. Hence while Finding resultant field

m.m.f., - FAR should be added to vectorially. This is because resultant field m.m.f. tries to counterbalance armature reaction
to produce rated terminal voltage. The phasor diagram is shown in the Fig. 5.
From the phasor diagram the various magnitude are,
OA = FO , AB = FAR , OB = FR
Consider triangle OCB which is right angle triangle. The F AR is split into two parts as,
AC = FAR sin and BC = FAR cos

Fig. 5
.

..

( FR) = (FO + FAR sin ) + (FAR cos)

................ (1)

From this relation (1), FR can be determined.


cos, leading p.f. : When the load p.f. is cos leading, the phase current I aph leads Vph by . The component FO is at right
angles to Vph and FAR is in phase with Iaph. The resultant FR can be obtained by adding - FAR to FO. The phasor diagram is
shown in the Fig.6.

Fig. 6
From the phasor diagram, various magnitudes are,
AC = FAR sin and BC = FAR cos
OA = FO, AB = FAR and OB = FR
Consider triangle OCB which is right angles triangle.
.

..
.

..

(OB) = (OC) + (BC)


2

2
2

( FR) = (FO - FAR sin ) + (FAR cos)

.................... (2)

From the relation (2), FR can be obtained.


Using relations (1) and (2), resultant field m.m.f. F R for any p.f. load condition can be obtained.
Once FR is known, obtain corresponding voltage which is induced e.m.f. E ph, required to get rated terminal voltage Vph.
This is possible from open circuit characteristics drawn.

Fig. 7
Once Eph is known then the regulation can be obtained as,

Note : To obtain Eph corresponding to FR, O.C.C. must be drawn to the scale, from the open circuit test readings.
Note : This ampere-turn method gives the regulation of an alternator which is lower than the actually observed. Hence the
method is called optimistic method.
Important note : When the armature resistance is neglected then FO is field m.m.f. required to produce rated Vph at the
output terminals. But if the effective armature resistance is given then F O is to be calculated from O.C.C. such that
FO represents the excitation (field current) required a voltage of Vph + Iaph Raph cos where
Vph = rated voltage per phase
Iaph = full load current per phase
Ra = armature resistance per phase
cos = power factor of the load
It can also be noted that, FR can be obtained using the cosine rule to the triangle formed by F O, FAR and FO as shown in
the Fig. 8.

Fig. 8

Using cosine rule to triangle OAB,

Students can use equations 1, 2 or 3 to calculate F R.

The angle between Eo and Vph is denoted as and is called power angle. Neglecting Ra we can write,
Ia Xs cos = Eo sin
Pd = Vph Ia cos = internal power of machine

Note : This equation shows that the internal power of the machine is proportional to sin .

Zero Power Factor (ZPF) Method


This method is also called potier method. In the operation of any alternator, the armature resistance drop and armature
leakage reactance drop IXL are actually e.m.f. quantities while the armature reaction is basically m.m.f. quantity. In the
synchronous impedance all the quantities are treated as e.m.f. quantities as against this in M.M.F. method all are treated as
m.m.f. quantities. Hence in both the methods, we are away from reality.
Note : This method is based on the separation of armature leakage reactance and armature reaction effects. The armature
leakage reactance XL is called Potier reactance in this method, hence method is also called potier reactance method.
To determine armature leakage reactance and armature reaction m.m.f. separately, two tests are performed on the
given alternator. The two tests are,
1. Open circuit test
2. Zero power factor test
1.1 Open Circuit Test
The experimental setup to perform this test is shown in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1
The steps to perform open circuit test are,
1. The switch S is kept open.
2. The alternator is driven by its prime mover at its synchronous speed and same is maintained constant throughout the
test.
3. The excitation is varied with the help of potential divider, from zero upto rated value in definite number of steps. The open
circuit e.m.f. is measured with the help of voltmeter. The readings are tabulated.

4. A graph of If and (Voc) i.e. field current and open circuit voltage per phase is plotted to some scale. This is open circuit
characteristics.
1.2 Zero Power Factor Test
To conduct zero power factor test, the switch S is kept closed. Due to this, a purely inductive load gets connected to an
alternator through an ammeter. A purely inductive load has power factor of cos i.e. zero lagging hence the test is called zero
power factor test.
The machine speed is maintained constant at its synchronous value. The load current delivered by an alternator to
purely inductive load is maintained constant at its rated full load value by varying excitation and by adjusting variable
inductance of the inductive load. Note that, due to purely inductive load, an alternator will always operate at zero p.f.
lagging.
Note : In this test, there is no need to obtain number of points to obtain the curve. Only two points are enough to construct a
curve called zero power factor saturation curve.
This is the graph of terminal voltage against excitation when delivering full load zero power factor current.
One point for this curve is zero terminal voltage (short circuit condition) and the field current required to deliver full load
short circuit armature current. While other point is the field current required to obtain rated terminal voltage while delivering
rated full load armature current. With the help of these two points the zero p.f. saturation curve can be obtained as,
1. Plot open circuit characteristics on graph as shown in the Fig. 2.

Fig. 2
2. Plot the excitation corresponding to zero terminal voltage i.e. short circuit full load zero p.f. armature current. This point is
shown as A in the Fig. 1 which is on the x-axis. Another point is the rated voltage when alternator is delivering full load
current at zero p.f. lagging. This point is P as shown in the Fig. 1.
3. Draw the tangent to O.C.C. through origin which is line OB as shown dotted in the Fig. 1. This is called air line.
4. Draw the horizontal line PQ parallel and equal to OA.
5. From point Q draw the line parallel to the air line which intersects O.C.C. at point R. Join RQ and join PR. The triangle
PQR is called potier triangle.
6. From point R, drop a perpendicular on PQ to meet at point S.
7. The zero p.f. full load saturation curve is now be constructed by moving a triangle PQR so that R remains always on
O.C.C. and line PQ always remains horizontal. The doted triangle is shown in the Fig. 1. It must be noted that the potier
triangle once obtained is constant for a given armature current and hence can be transferred as it is.

8. Through point A, draw line parallel to PR meeting O.C.C. at point B. From B, draw perpendicular on OA to meet it at point
C. Triangles OAB and PQR are similar triangles.
9. The perpendicular RS gives the voltage drop due to the armature leakage reactance i.e. IX L.
10. The length PS gives field current necessary to overcome demagnetising effect of armature reaction at full load.
11. The length SQ represents field current required to induce an e.m.f. for balancing leakage reactance drop RS.
These values can be obtained from any Potier triangle such as OAB, PQR and so on.
So armature leakage reactance can be obtained as,

This is nothing but the potier reactance.


1.3 Use of Potier Reactance to Determine Regulation
To determine regulation using Potier reactance, draw the phasor diagram using following procedure :
Draw the rated terminal voltage Vph as a reference phasor. Depending upon at which power factor (cos) the regulation
is to be predicted, draw the Current phasor Iph lagging or leading Vph by angle .
Draw Iph Raph voltage drop to Vph which is in phase with Iph. While the voltage drop Iph XLph is to be drawn perpendicular to
Iph Raph vector but leading Iph Raph at the extremely of Vph.
The Raph is to be measured separately by passing a d.c. current and measuring voltage across armature winding. While
XLph is Potier reactance obtained by Potier method.
Phasor sum of Vph rated, Iph Raph and Iph XLph gives the e.m.f. which is say E1ph.

Obtain the excitation corresponding to 1ph from O.C.C. drawn. Let this excitation be Ff1. This is excitation required to
induce e.m.f. which does not consider the effect of armature reaction.
The field current required to balance armature reaction can be obtained from Potier triangle, which is say F AR.
.

..

FAR = l (PS) = l (AC) = .....


The total excitation required is the vector sum of the F f1 and FAR. This can be obtained exactly similar to the procedure

used in M.M.F. method.


o

Draw vector Ff1 to some scale, leading E1ph by 90 . Add FAR to Ff1 by drawing vector FAR in phase opposition to Iph. The
total excitation to be supplied by field is given by FR.
The complete phasor diagram is shown in the Fig. 3.

Fig. 3
Once the total excitation is known which is FR, the corresponding induced e.m.f. Eph can be obtained from O.C.C. This
o

Eph lags FR by 90 . The length CD represents voltage drop due to the armature reaction. Drawing perpendicular from A and
B on current phasor meeting at points G and H respectively, we get triangle OHC as right angle triangle. Hence E 1ph can be
determined analytically also.
Once Eph is known, the regulation of an alternator can be predicted as,

This method takes into consideration the armature resistance an leakage reactance voltage drops as e.m.f. quantities
and the effect of armature reaction as m.m.f. quantity. This is reality hence the results obtained by this method are nearer to
the reality than those obtained by synchronous impedance method and ampere-turns method.
The only drawback of this method is that the separate curve for every load condition is necessary to plot if potier
triangles for various load conditions are required.

ASA Modification of M.M.F. Method


We have seen that neither of the two methods, M.M.F. method and E.M.F. method is capable of giving the reliable
values of the voltage regulation. The error in the results of these methods is mainly due to the two reasons,
1. In these methods, the magnetic circuit is assumed to be unsaturated. This assumption is unrealistic as in practice. It is
not possible to have completely unsaturated magnetic circuit.
2. In salient pole alternators, it is not correct to combine field ampere turns and armature ampere turns. This is because the
field winding is always concentrated on a pole core while the armature winding is always distributed. Similarly the field and
armature m.m.f.s act on magnetic circuits having different reluctances in case of salient pole machine hence phasor
combination of field and armature m.m.f. is not fully justified.
Inspite of these short comings, due to the simplicity of constructions the ASA modified from of M.M.F. method is very
commonly used fore the calculation of voltage regulation.

Fig. 1
Consider the phasor diagram according to the M.M.F. method as shown in the Fig. 1 for cos lagging p.f. load. The
FR is resultant excitation of FO and FAR where FO is excitation required to produce rated terminal voltage on open circuit while
is m.m.f. required for balancing armature reaction effect.
Thus OB = FR = resultant m.m.f.
The angle between FAR and perpendicular to FO is , where cos is power factor of the load.
But OB = F resultant is based on the assumption of unsaturated magnetic circuit which is not true in practice. Actually
m.m.f. equal to BB' is additional required to take into account the effect of partially saturated magnetic field. Thus the total
excitation required is OB' rather than OB.
Let us see method of determining the additional excitation needed to take into account effect of partially saturated
magnetic circuit.
Construct the no load saturation characteristics i.e. O.C.C. and zero power factor characteristics. Draw the potier
triangle as discussed earlier and determine the leakage reactance X L for the alternator. The excitation necessary to balance
armature reaction can also be obtained from the potier triangle. The armature resistance is known.

Construct ASA diagram, and draw phasor diagram related to the above equation.
The ASA diagram has x-axis as field current and y-axis as the open circuit voltage. Draw O.C.C. on the ASA diagram.
Then assuming x-axis as current phasor, draw Vph at angle , above the horizontal. The Vph is the rated terminal voltage.
Add Ia Ra in phase with Ia i.e. horizontal and Ia XL perpendicular to Ia Ra to Vph. This gives the voltage E1ph.
Now with O as a central and radius E1ph draw an arc which will intersect y-axis at E1. From E1, draw horizontal line
intersecting both air gap line and O.C.C. These points of intersection are say B and B'. The distance between the points BB'
corresponding to the field current scale gives the additional excitation required to take into account effect of partially
saturated field. Adding this to FR we get the total excitation as FR'. From this FR', the open circuit voltage E1ph can be
determined from O.C.C. using which the regulation can be determined. The ASA diagram is shown in the Fig. 2.

Fig. 2

The resultant obtained by ASA method are reliable for both salient as well as nonsalient pole machines.