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An Electric DC motor is a machine which converts electric energy into mechanical energy. The working of

DC motor is based on the principle that when a current-carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field,

it experiences a mechanical force. The direction of mechanical force is given by Flemings Left-hand Rule

and its magnitude is given by F = BIl Newton. There is no basic difference in the construction of a DC

generator and a DC motor. In fact, the same d.c. machine can be used interchangeably as a generator or as a

motor. Like generators DC motors are also classified in to shunt-wound, series-wound and compoundwound. DC motors are seldom used in ordinary applications because all electric supply companies furnish

alternating current. However, for special applications such as in steel mills, mines and electric trains, it is

advantageous to convert alternating current into direct current in order to use dc motors. The reason is that

speed/torque characteristics of d.c. motors are much more superior to that of a.c. motors. Therefore, it is not

surprising to note that for industrial drives, d.c. motors are as popular as 3-phase induction motors.

Working of DC Motor

Consider a part of a multipolar d.c. motor as shown in Figure below.

When the terminals of the motor are connected to an external source of d.c. supply:

(i) the field magnets are excited developing alternate N and S poles;

(ii) the armature conductors carry currents. All conductors under N-pole carry currents in one direction while all the

conductors under S-pole carry currents in the opposite direction.

Suppose the conductors under N-pole carry currents into the plane of the paper and those under S-pole

carry currents out of the plane of the paper as shown in Figure. Since each armature conductor is carrying

current and is placed in the magnetic field, mechanical force acts on it. On applying Flemings left hand

rule, it is clear that force on each conductor is tending to rotate the armature in anticlockwise direction. All

these forces

add

together

to

produce

driving torque

which

sets

the

armature

rotating.

When the conductor moves from one side of a brush to the other, the current in that conductor is reversed

and at the same time it comes under the influence of next pole which is of opposite polarity. Consequently,

the direction of force on the conductor remains the same.It should be noted that the function of a

commutator in the motor is the same as in a generator. By reversing current in each conductor as it passes

from one pole to another, it helps to develop a continuous and unidirectional torque.

A DC motor in simple words is a device that converts direct current(electrical energy) into mechanical

energy. Its of vital importance for the industry today, and is equally important for engineers to look into the

working principle of DC motor in details that has been discussed in this article. In order to understand the

operating principle of DC motor we need to first look into its constructional feature.

The very basic construction of a DC motor contains a current carrying armature which is connected to the

supply end through commutator segments and brushes it is placed within the north south poles of a

permanent or an electro-magnet as shown in the diagram below.Now to go into the details of the operating

principle of DC motor its important that we have a clear understanding of Flemings left hand rule to

determine

the

direction

of

force

acting

on

the

armature

conductors

of

DC

motor.

Flemings left hand rule says that if we extend the index finger, middle finger and thumb of our left hand in

such a way that the current carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field (represented by the index

finger) is perpendicular to the direction of current (represented by the middle finger), then the conductor

experiences a force in the direction (represented by the thumb) mutually perpendicular to both the direction

of field and the current in the conductor.For clear understanding the principle of DC motor we have to

determine the magnitude of the force, by considering the diagram below. We know that when an infinitely

small charge dq is made to flow at a velocity v under the influence of an electric field E, and a magnetic

field B, then the Lorentz Force dF experienced by the charge is given by:-

i.e. its the cross product of dq v and magnetic field B.

From the 1st diagram we can see that the construction of a DC motor is such that the direction of current

through the armature conductor at all instance is perpendicular to the field. Hence the force acts on the

armature conductor in the direction perpendicular to the both uniform field and current is constant.

So if we take the current in the left hand side of the armature conductor to be I, and current at right hand

side of the armature conductor to be I, because they are flowing in the opposite direction with respect to

each other. Then the force on the left hand side armature conductor,

we can see that at that position the force on either side is equal in magnitude but opposite in direction.

And since the two conductors are separated by some distance w = width of the armature turn, the two

opposite forces produces a rotational force or a torque that results in the rotation of the armature conductor.

Now let's examine the expression of torque when the armature turn crate an angle of with its initial

position. The torque produced is given by,

Where, is the angle between the plane of the armature turn and the plane of reference or the initial

position of the armature which is here along the direction of magnetic field. The presence of the term cos

in the torque equation very well signifies that unlike force the torque at all position is not the same. It in

fact varies with the variation of the angle . To explain the variation of torque and the principle behind

rotation of the motor let us do a step wise analysis.

Step 1: Initially considering the armature is in its starting point or reference position where the angle = 0.

Since, = 0, the term cos = 1, or the maximum value, hence torque at this position is maximum given by

= BILw. This high starting torque helps in overcoming the initial inertia of rest of the armature and sets it

into rotation

Step 2: Once the armature is set in motion, the angle between the actual position of the armature and its

reference initial position goes on increasing in the path of its rotation until it becomes 90 from its initial

position. Consequently the term cos decreases and also the value of torque. The torque in this case is

given by = BILwcos which is less than BIL w when is greater than 0.

Step 3: In the path of the rotation of the armature a point is reached where the actual position of the rotor is

exactly perpendicular to its initial position, i.e. = 90, and as a result the term cos = 0. The torque acting

on the conductor at this position is given by,

i.e. virtually no rotating torque acts on the armature at this instance. But still the armature does not come to

a standstill, this is because of the fact that the operation of DC motor has been engineered in such a way

that the inertia of motion at this point is just enough to overcome this point of null torque. Once the rotor

crosses over this position the angle between the actual position of the armature and the initial plane again

decreases and torque starts acting on it again.

Back EMF and Its Significance in DC Motor

What is Back EMF ?

When the armature of a d.c. motor rotates under the influence of the driving torque, the armature

conductors move through the magnetic field and hence e.m.f. is induced in them as in a generator. The

induced e.m.f. acts in opposite direction to the applied voltage V (Lenzs law) and in known as back or

counter e.m.f. Eb. The back emf Eb(= PZN/60 A) is always less than the applied voltage V, although this

difference is small when the motor is running under normal conditions.

Back EMF in DC Motor

A shunt wound dc motor shown in figure below. When dc voltage V is applied across the motor terminals,

the field magnets are excited and armature conductors are supplied with current. Therefore, driving torque

acts on the armature which begins to rotate. As the armature rotates, back emf Eb is induced which

opposes the applied voltage V

The applied voltage V has to force current through the armature against the back emf Eb. The electric work

done in overcoming and causing the current to flow against Eb is converted into mechanical energy

developed in the armature. It follows, therefore, that energy conversion in a d.c. motor is only possible due

to the production of back emf Eb.

Net voltage across armature circuit = V - Eb

If Ra is the armature circuit resistance, then, Ia = (V - Eb)/Ra

Since and Ra are usually fixed, the value of Eb will determine the current drawn by the motor. If the speed

of the motor is high, then back e.m.f. Eb (= PZN/60 A) is large and hence the motor will draw less

armature current and viceversa.

Significance of Back EMF

The presence of back emf makes the d.c. motor a self-regulating machine i.e., it makes the motor to draw

as much armature current as is just sufficient to develop the torque required by the load.

Armature current, Ia=VEbRa

When the motor is running on no load, small torque is required to overcome the friction and

windage losses. Therefore, the armature current Ia is small and the back emf is nearly equal to the

applied voltage.

If the motor is suddenly loaded, the first effect is to cause the armature to slow down. Therefore, the

speed at which the armature conductors move through the field is reduced and hence the back emf

Eb falls. The decreased back emf allows a larger current to flow through the armature and larger

current means increased driving torque. Thus, the driving torque increases as the motor slows down.

The motor will stop slowing down when the armature current is just sufficient to produce the

increased torque required by the load.

If the load on the motor is decreased, the driving torque is momentarily in excess of the requirement

so that armature is accelerated. As the armature speed increases, the back emf Eb also increases and

causes the armature current Ia to decrease. The motor will stop accelerating when the armature

current is just sufficient to produce the reduced torque required by the load.

It follows, therefore, that back emf in a d.c. motor regulates the flow of armature current i.e.,

it automatically changes the armature current to meet the load requirement.

When a DC machine is loaded either as a motor or as a generator, the rotor conductors carry current. These

conductors lie in the magnetic field of the air gap. Thus each conductor experiences a force. The

conductors lie near the surface of the rotor at a common radius from its center. Hence torque is produced at

the circumference of the rotor and rotor starts rotating. The term torque as best explained by Dr. Huge d

Young is the quantitative measure of the tendency of a force to cause a rotational motion, or to bring about

a change in rotational motion. It is in fact the moment of a force that produces or changes a rotational

motion.The equation of torque is given by,

Where, F is force in linear direction. R is radius of the object being rotated, and is the angle, the force F is

To establish the torque equation, let us first consider the basic circuit diagram of a DC motor, and its

voltage equation.

Referring to the diagram beside, we can see, that if E is the supply voltage, Eb is the back emf produced and

Ia, Ra are the armature current and armature resistance respectively then the voltage equation is given by,

But keeping in mind that our purpose is to derive the torque equation of DC motor we multiply both sides

of equation (2) by Ia.

Now Ia2.Ra is the power loss due to heating of the armature coil, and the true effective mechanical power

that is required to produce the desired torque of dc machine is given by,

Now equating equation (4) & (5) we get,

Where, P is no of poles, is flux per pole, Z is no. of conductors, A is no. of parallel paths, and N is the

speed of the D.C. motor.

The torque we so obtain, is known as the electromagnetic torque of DC motor, and subtracting the

mechanical and rotational losses from it we get the mechanical torque. Therefore, T m = Tg - mechanical

losses. This is the torque equation of DC motor. It can be further simplified as:

Which is constant for a particular machine and therefore the torque of DC motor varies with only flux

and armature current Ia. The Torque equation of a DC motor can also be explained considering the figure

below.

Current / conductor Ic = Ia / A Therefore, force per conductor = fc = BLIa/A Now torque Tc = fc.r = BLIa.r/A

Which is constant for a particular machine and therefore the torque of DC motor varies with only flux

and armature current Ia.

The DC motor as we all know is a rotational machine, and torque of DC motor is a very important

parameter in this concern, and its of utmost importance to understand the torque equation of DC motor

for establishing its running characteristics.

Characteristics of DC motors

Generally, three characteristic curves are considered important for DC motors which are, (i) Torque vs.

armature current, (ii) Speed vs. armature current and (iii) Speed vs. torque. These are explained below for

each type of DC motor. These characteristics are determined by keeping the following two relations in

mind.

Ta .Ia and N Eb/

These above equations can be studied at - emf and torque equation of dc machine. For a DC motor,

magnitude of the back emf is given by the same emf equation of a dc generator i.e. E b = PNZ / 60A. For a

machine, P, Z and A are constant, therefore, N Eb/

Characteristics of DC series motors

Torque vs. armature current (Ta-Ia)

This characteristic is also known as electrical characteristic. We know that torque is directly proportional

to the product of armature current and field flux, Ta .Ia. In DC series motors, field winding is connected

in series with the armature, i.e. Ia = If. Therefore, before magnetic saturation of the field, flux is directly

proportional to Ia. Hence, before magnetic saturation Ta Ia 2. Therefore, the Ta-Ia curve is parabola for

smaller values of Ia.After magnetic saturation of the field poles, flux is independent of armature current

Ia. Therefore, the torque varies proportionally to Ia only, T Ia.Therefore, after magnetic saturation, Ta-Ia

curve becomes a straight line.The shaft torque (Tsh) is less than armature torque (Ta) due to stray losses.

Hence, the curve Tsh vs Ia lies slightly lower.In DC series motors, (prior to magnetic saturation) torque

increases as the square of armature current, these motors are used where high starting torque is required.

Speed vs. armature current (N-Ia)

We know the relation, N Eb/

For small load current (and hence for small armature current) change in back emf Eb is small and it may be

neglected. Hence, for small currents speed is inversely proportional to . As we know, flux is directly

proportional to Ia, speed is inversely proportional to Ia. Therefore, when armature current is very small the

speed becomes dangerously high. That is why a series motor should never be started without some

mechanical load.

But, at heavy loads, armature current Ia is large. And hence, speed is low which results in decreased back

emf Eb. Due to decreased Eb, more armature current is allowed.

Speed vs. torque (N-Ta)

This characteristic is also called as mechanical characteristic. From the above two characteristics of DC

series motor, it can be found that when speed is high, torque is low and vice versa.

In case of DC shunt motors, we can assume the field flux to be constant. Though at heavy loads,

decreases in a small amount due to increased armature reaction. As we are neglecting the change in the flux

, we can say that torque is proportional to armature current. Hence, the Ta-Ia characteristic for a dc shunt

motor will be a straight line through the origin.Since heavy starting load needs heavy starting current,

shunt motor should never be started on a heavy load.

Speed vs. armature current (N-Ia)

As flux is assumed to be constant, we can say N Eb. But, as back emf is also almost constant, the

speed should remain constant. But practically, as well as Eb decreases with increase in load. Back emf Eb

decreases slightly more than , therefore, the speed decreases slightly. Generally, the speed decreases only

by 5 to 15% of full load speed. Therefore, a shunt motor can be assumed as a constant speed motor. In

speed vs. armature current characteristic in the following figure, the straight horizontal line represents the

ideal characteristic and the actual characteristic is shown by the dotted line.

DC compound motors have both series as well as shunt winding. In a compound motor, if series and shunt

windings are connected such that series flux is in direction as that of the shunt flux then the motor is said to

be cumulatively compounded. And if the series flux is opposite to the direction of the shunt flux, then the

motor is said to be differentially compounded. Characteristics of both these compound motors are

explained below.

Cumulative compound motors are used where series characteristics are required but the load is likely to be

removed completely. Series winding takes care of the heavy load, whereas the shunt winding prevents the

motor from running at dangerously high speed when the load is suddenly removed. These motors have

generally employed a flywheel, where sudden and temporary loads are applied like in rolling mills.

(b) Differential compound motor

Since in differential field motors, series flux opposes shunt flux, the total flux decreases with increase in

load. Due to this, the speed remains almost constant or even it may increase slightly with increase in load

(N Eb/). Differential compound motors are not commonly used, but they find limited applications in

experimental and research work.

Basic operational voltage equation of a DC motor is given as

E = Eb + IaRa and hence,

Ia = (E - Eb) / Ra

Now, when the motor is at rest, obviously, the back emf E b = 0. Hence, armature current at the moment of

starting can be given as Ia = E / Ra. In practical DC machines, armature resistance is basically very low,

generally about 0.5 . Therefore, a large current flows through the armature during starting. This current is

large enough to damage the armature circuit.

Due to this excessive starting current 1. the fuses may blow out and the armature winding and/or commutator brush arrangement may get

damaged.

2. very high starting torque will be produced (as torque is directly proportional to the armature

current), and this high starting torque may cause huge centrifugal force which may throw off the

armature winding.

3. other loads connected to the same source may experience a dip in the terminal voltage.

A large DC motor will pick up speed rather slowly due to its large rotor inertia. Hence, building up the back

emf slowly causing the level of high starting current maintained for quite some time. This may cause

severe damage. To avoid this, a suitable DC motor starter must be used. Very small dc motors, however,

may be started directly by connecting them to the supply with the help of a contactor or a switch. It does

not result in any harm because they gather speed quickly due to small rotor inertia. In this case, the large

starting current will die down quickly because of the fast rise in the back emf.

DC motor starters

To avoid the above dangers while starting a DC motor, it is necessary to limit the starting current. So, a DC

motor is started by using a starter. There are various types of dc motor starters, such as 3 point starter, 4

point

starter,

no-load

release

coil

starter,

thyristor

controller

starter

etc.

The basic concept behind every DC motor starter is adding external resistance to the armature winding

during starting.From the followings, 3 point starters and 4 point starters are used for starting shunt wound

motors and compound wound motors.

3 Point Starter

The

internal

wiring

of

point

starter

is

as

shown

in

the

figure.

When the connected dc motor is to be started, the lever is turned gradually to the right. When the lever

touches point 1, the field winding gets directly connected across the supply, and the armature winding gets

connected with resistances R1 to R5 in series. During starting, full resistance is added in series with

the armature winding. Then, as the lever is moved further, the resistance is gradually is cut out from the

armature circuit. Now, as the lever reaches to position 6, all the resistance is cut out from the armature

circuit and armature gets directly connected across the supply. The electromagnet 'E' (no voltage coil) holds

the lever at this position. This electromagnet releases the lever when there is no (or low) supply voltage.

It can be seen that, when the arm is moved from the position 1 to the last position, the starter resistance gets

added in series with the field winding. But, as the value of starter resistance is very small as compared to

the shunt resistance, the decrease in shunt field current may be negligible. However, to overcome this

drawback a brass or copper arc may be employed within a 3 point starter which makes a connection

between the moving arm and the field winding, as shown in the figure of 4 point starter below.

When the motor is overloaded beyond a predefined value, 'overcurrent release electromagnet' D gets

activated, which short-circuits electromagnet E and, hence, releases the lever and the motor is turned off.

4 Point Starter

The main difference between a 3 point starter and a 4 point starter is that the no voltage coil (electromagnet

E) is not connected in series with the field coil. The field winding gets directly connected to the supply, as

the lever moves touching the brass arc (the arc below the resistance studs). The no voltage coil (or Hold-on

coil) is connected with a current limiting resistance Rh. This arrangement ensures that any change of

current in the shunt field does not affect the current through hold-on coil at all. This means,

electromagnetic pull of the hold-on coil will always be sufficient so that the spring does not unnecessarily

restore the lever to the off position. A 4 point starter is used where field current is to be adjusted by means

of a field rheostat for the purpose of operating the motor above rated speed by reducing the field current.

DC series motor starter

Construction of DC series motor starters is very basic as shown in the figure. The start arm is simply

moved towards right to start the motor. Thus, maximum resistance is connected in series with the armature

during starting and then gradually decreased as the start arm moves towards right. This starter is sometimes

also called as a 2 point starter. The no load release coil holds the start arm to the run position and leaves it

when the voltage is lost.

Speed of a DC motor

We know, back emf Eb of a DC motor is the induced emf in the armature conductors due to the rotation of

armature in magnetic field. Thus, magnitude of the Eb can be given by the EMF equation of a DC

generator.

conductors, A = parallel paths) Eb can also be given as,

Eb = V- IaRa thus, from the above equations

N = Eb 60A/PZ

but, for a DC motor A, P and Z are constants Therefore, N K

E

(where, K=constant)

b/

This shows the speed of a dc motor is directly proportional to the back emf and inversely proportional to

the flux per pole.

Speed control methods of DC motor

Speed control of Shunt motor

1. Flux control method

It is already explained above that the speed of a dc motor is inversely proportional to the flux per pole.

Thus by decreasing the flux, speed can be increased and vice versa.

To control the flux, a rheostat is added in series with the field winding, as shown in the circuit diagram.

Adding more resistance in series with the field winding will increase the speed as it decreases the flux. In

shunt motors, as field current is relatively very small, I sh2R loss is small and, hence, this method is quite

efficient. Though speed can be increased above the rated value by reducing flux with this method, it puts a

limit to maximum speed as weakening of flux beyond the limit will adversely affect the commutation.

2. Armature control method

Speed of a dc motor is directly proportional to the back emf E b and Eb = V - IaRa. That means, when the

supply voltage V and the armature resistance Ra are kept constant, speed is directly proportional to the

armature current Ia. Thus, if we add a resistance in series with the armature, I a decreases and, hence, the

speed also decreases. Greater the resistance in series with the armature, greater the decrease in speed.

3. Voltage Control Method

a) Multiple voltage control:

In this method, the shunt field is connected to a fixed exciting voltage and armature is supplied with

different voltages. Voltage across armature is changed with the help of a suitable switchgear. The speed is

approximately proportional to the voltage across the armature.

b) Ward-Leonard System:

This system is used where very sensitive speed control of motor is required (e.g electric

excavators, elevators etc.). The arrangement of this system is as shown in the figure at right.

M2 is the motor whose speed control is required.

M1 may be any AC motor or DC motor with constant speed.

G is a generator directly coupled to M1.

In this method, the output from the generator G is fed to the armature of the motor M 2 whose speed is to be

controlled. The output voltage of the generator G can be varied from zero to its maximum value by means

of its field regulator and, hence, the armature voltage of the motor M 2 is varied very smoothly. Hence, very

smooth speed control of the dc motor can be obtained by this method.

Speed control of series motor

1. Flux control method

Field divertor: A veritable resistance is connected parallel to the series field as shown in fig (a). This

variable resistor is called as divertor, as the desired amount of current can be diverted through this

resistor and hence current through field coil can be decreased. Hence, flux can be decreased to

the desired amount and speed can be increased.

Armature

divertor:

Divertor

is

connected

across

the

armature

as

in

fig

(b).

For a given constant load torque, if armature current is reduced then flux must increase. As, Ta

Ia

This will result in an increase in current taken from the supply and hence flux will increase and

subsequently speed of the motor will decrease.

Tapped field control: As shown in fig (c) field coil is tapped dividing number of turns. Thus we can

select different value of by selecting different number of turns.

Paralleling field coils: In this method, several speeds can be obtained by regrouping coils as shown

in fig (d).

By introducing a resistance in series with the armature, voltage across the armature can be reduced. And,

hence, speed reduces in proportion with it.

3. Series-parallel control

This system is widely used in electric traction, where two or more mechanically coupled series motors are

employed. For low speeds, the motors are connected in series, and for higher speeds the motors are

connected in parallel.When in series, the motors have the same current passing through them, although

voltage across each motor is divided. When in parallel, the voltage across each motor is same although the

current gets divided.

Losses in DC Machine

As we know Energy neither can be created nor it can be destroyed, it can only be transferred from one

form to another. In DC machine, mechanical energy is converted into the electrical energy. During this

process, the total input power is not transformed into output power. Some part of input power gets wasted

in various forms. The form of this loss may vary from one machine to another. These losses give in rise in

temperature of machine and reduce the efficiency of the machine. In DC Machine, there are broadly four

main categories of energy loss.

Copper Losses or Electrical Losses in DC Machine or Winding Loss

The copper losses are the winding losses taking place during the current flowing through the winding.

These losses occur due to the resistance in the winding. In DC machine, there are only two winding,

armature and field winding. Thus copper losses categories in three parts; armature loss, field winding loss,

and brush contact resistance loss. The copper losses are proportional to square of the current flowing

through the winding.

Armature Copper Loss in DC Machine

Armature copper loss = Ia2Ra Where, Ia is armature current and Ra is armature resistance. These losses are

about 30% of the total full load losses.

Field Winding Copper Loss in DC Machine

Field winding copper loss = If2Rf Where, If is field current and Rf is field resistance. These losses are about

25% theoretically, but practically it is constant.

Brush Contact Resistance Loss in DC Machine

Brush contact loss attributes to resistance between the surface of brush and commutator. It is not a loss

which could be calculated separately as it is a part of variable losses. Generally, it contributes in both the

types of copper losses. So, they are factor in the calculation of above losses.

Core Losses or Iron Losses in DC Machine or Magnetic Losses

As iron core of the armature is rotating in magnetic field, some losses occurs in the core which is called

core losses. Normally, machines are operated with constant speed, so these losses are almost constant.

These losses are categorized in two form; Hysteresis loss and Eddy current loss.

Hysteresis Loss in DC Machine

Hysteresis losses occur in the armature winding due to reversal of magnetization of the core. When the core

of the armature exposed to magnetic field, it undergoes one complete rotation of magnetic reversal. The

portion of armature which is under S-pole, after completing half electrical revolution, the same piece will

be under the N-pole, and the magnetic lines are reversed in order to overturn the magnetism within the

core. The constant process of magnetic reversal in the armature, consume some amount of energy which is

called hysteresis loss. The percentage of loss depends upon the quality and volume of the iron.

The Frequency of Magnetic Reversal

Steinmetz Formula

The Steinmetz formula is for the calculation of hysteresis loss.

= Maximum flux Density in armature winding F = Frequency of magnetic reversals V = Volume of

armature in m3.

Eddy Current Loss in DC Machine

According to Faradays law of electromagnetic induction, when an iron core rotates in the magnetic field,

an emf is also induced in the core. Similarly, when armature rotates in magnetic field, small amount of emf

induced in the core which allows flow of charge in the body due to conductivity of the core. This current is

useless for the machine. This loss of current is called eddy current. This loss is almost constant for the DC

machines. It could be minimized by selecting the laminated core.

Mechanical Losses in DC Machine

The losses associated with mechanical friction of the machine are called mechanical losses. These losses

occur due to friction in the moving parts of the machine like bearing, brushes etc, and windage losses

occurs due to the air inside the rotating coil of the machine. These losses are usually very small about 15%

of full load loss.

Stray Load Losses in DC Machine

There are some more losses other than the losses which have been discussed above. These losses are called

stray-load losses. These miscellaneous losses are due to the short-circuit current in the coil undergoing

commutation, distortion of flux due to armature and many more losses which are difficult to find. These

losses are difficult to determine. However, they are taken as 1 % of the whole load power output.

This method is an indirect method of testing a dc machine. It is named after Sir James Swinburne.

Swinburne's test is the most commonly used and simplest method of testing of shunt and compound wound

dc machines which have constant flux. In this test the efficiency of the machine at any load is predetermined. We can run the machine as a motor or as a generator. In this method of testing no load losses

are measured separately and eventually we can determine the efficiency.The circuit connection for

Swinburne's test is shown in figure below. The speed of the machine is adjusted to the rated speed with the

help of the shunt regulator R as shown in figure.

Calculation of Efficiency

Let, I0 is the no load current ( it can be measured by ammeter A1 ) Ish is the shunt field current ( it can be

measured by ammeter A2 )

Then, no load armature current = (I 0 - Ish) Also let, V is the supply voltage. Therefore, No load power input

= VI0 watts. In Swinburne's test no load power input is only required to supply the losses. The losses occur

in the machine mainly are: Iron losses in the core Friction and windings losses Armature copper loss. Since

the no load mechanical output of the machine is zero in Swinburne's test, the no load input power is only

used to supply the losses. The value of armature copper loss = (I 0 - Ish)2 Ra Here, Ra is the armature

resistance. Now, no to get the constant losses we have to subtract the armature copper loss from the no load

power input. Then, Constant losses WC = VI0 -(I0 - Ish)2 Ra After calculating the no load constant losses now

we can determine the efficiency at any load. Let, I is the load current at which we have to calculate the

efficiency of the machine. Then, armature current (Ia) will be (I - Ish), when the machine is motoring. And I a

= (I + Ish), when the machine is generating.

Calculation of Efficiency When the Machine is Motoring on Load

Power input = VI Armature copper loss, P CU = I2 Ra = (I - Ish)2Ra Constant losses, WC = VI0 -(I0 - Ish)2 Ra

Total losses = PCU + WC Efficiency of the motor:

Power input = VI Armature copper loss, PCU = I2 Ra = (I + Ish)2 Ra Constant losses, WC = VI0 - (I0 - Ish)2 Ra

Total losses = PCU + WC Efficiency of the generator:

The main advantages of this test are :

1. This test is very convenient and economical as it is required very less power from supply to perform

the test.

2. Since constant losses are known, efficiency of Swinburne's test can be pre-determined at any load.

Disadvantages of Swinburne's Test

The main disadvantages of this test are :

1. Iron loss is neglected though there is change in iron loss from no load to full load due to

armature reaction.

2. We cannot be sure about the satisfactory commutation on loaded condition because the test

is done on no-load.

3. We cant measure the temperature rise when the machine is loaded. Power losses can vary

with the temperature.

4. In DC series motors, the Swinburnes test cannot be done to find its efficiency as it is a no

load test.

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