You are on page 1of 9

DC Generators

Alen Bea Ducao[1], Michelle Batad[2]

Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines [1] [2]

Abstract -- For this experiment, the proper wiring of the self-

and separately excited DC Generators and Induction motors
was demonstrated. The separately excited DC Generator
was first set up and preliminary measurements were done on
the machines. The effects of varying the prime mover
orientation, field excitation, and electrical load with the
variations done one at a time on the output voltage of the
DC generator were then observed. Finally, the prime mover
and the self excited DC Generator were wired up, then the Fig 1. Circuit Representation of a separately-excited DC generator.
variations were also implemented, and the effects were (Source: EEE43 slides[2])
compared to the previous observations from the separately
excited DC Generator. DC machine operating as a generator is driven by a prime
mover at a constant speed and the armature terminals are
connected to a load. In many applications of DC
This experiment helped the students improve their generators, knowledge of the variation of terminal voltage
knowledge and gain practical experience on the wiring with load current known as the external or terminal
and operation of the self and separately excited DC characteristics is essential. The generated excitation is
Generators. At the end of the experiment, they were able described by:
to have a better understanding on the effects of varying
the prime mover orientation, field excitation, and = (linear model)
generator loading on the output voltage of the DC
And the terminal voltage is equal to:
Generator. They were also able to compare the resulting
effects of these variations on both the self and separately =
excited machines. Lastly and most importantly, the
students made sure to practice and observe safety In a separately excited DC generator, can be easily
protocols in handling and operating the machines all varied by changing the field excitation or the field
throughout the experiment. rheostat. Since is directly proportional to , should
increase when increases given that is held constant.
Theoretical Background
Alternatively, we can alter while keeping inconstant
DC generators are functionally the reverse of DC in order to control .
motors. They use magnetic fields to convert mechanical
energy to electrical energy. The steady-state equivalent However, in generators, it is usually much more useful if
circuit of a DC generator is shown in the Figure 1. terminal voltage, , is observed when loading effects is
being considered on the generator. At no load , would
be equal to , by using the circuit in Figure 1. Once a
load is connected, it will now draw current from the
generator and the current will cause a voltage drop across
the armature windings.
This drop is directly proportional to the current drawn and MV 1007 Induction 3 Phase: 1.1 kW
this current drawn in inversely proportional to the Machine (Serial: 1400 RPM 50Hz
combined resistance of the load and armature windings. 34923) 1680 RPM 60Hz
Since this voltage drop decreases the terminal voltage Y: 380 415 V; 3.2A
supplied by the generator, a higher terminal voltage is : 220-240V 5.5A
expected, provided everything is held constant, at higher cos = 0.64
electrical load. Sec. 260V; 3 A
MV1905 Shunt 220V DC; MAX 2A; 440
Regulator (Serial: 153)
MV1105 1p Power 2.2kW 230V 10x1A
MV1300 Power Supply 220V DC; MAX 3.5A
0-220V DC; MAX 16A
3 x 230V AC; MAX 10A
3 x (230/133V) AC; MAX

Fig 2. Circuit Representation of a self-excited DC generator. (Source:

EEE43 slides[2]) The equipment and their respective ratings were
taken first before starting the experiment to determine the
For self-excited DC generators, it is difficult to
maximum sustained voltage that can safely applied to the
imagine how it would generate electrical energy without
machines without risking the possibility electric
the excitation on the field windings at the start. If the
machine is to operate as a self-excited generator, some of
the residual magnetism in the magnetic circuit of the B. Setting Up the Prime Mover and Separately Excited DC
generator must exist. This small amount of magnetic field Generator
is enough to generate excitation and this excitation would
The three-phase induction motor served as the prime
supply power to the field and this would then increase the
mover of the DC generator. The induction motor is
magnetic field in the field winding and increase generated
connected in wye both in the rotor and stator windings
excitation further. This process continues until steady
and connected to the variable AC supply. It was then
state excitation is achieved. Due to the generator having
coupled to the sensing unit of the MV 1054 Torque meter.
to supply power to itself, terminal voltage regulation
The other end of this sensing unit was then couple to the
would be higher than a separately excited generator with
DC machine.
the same parameters.
B. Setting Up the Shunt Regulator
The following actions were undertaken to explore The fixed resistance terminals of a shunt regulator
operation of the self-excited DC Motor. were connected to the fixed DC terminals of the power
supply while its variable-resistance terminals were
A. Determining the Equipment Ratings connected to the field winding of the DC machine. The
TABLE I MV1905 shunt regulator provided the variable DC supply
EQUIPMENT RATINGS to the field winding. The power supply was turned on and
knob of the output shunt regulator was adjusted to achieve
Equipment Rating and output voltage of 200B. Figure 3 shows the diagram
MV1028-226 DC Generator: 2.2kW 1800RPM of the final set-up.
Machine (Serial: Motor: 2kW 1700RPM
34970) Rotor: 220V 12A
Excitation: DC 220V 0.8A

Field Excitation (V) Output Voltage (V)

50 V 102 V
100 V 135 V
150 V 150 V
200 V 155 V

Fig. 3. Final set-up of the prime mover and separately-excited DC G. Effect of Generator Loading
The resistive load (MV 1105) was connected to the
C. Preliminary Measurements output terminals of the generator. The field excitation was
held constant at 150 V and prime mover voltage at 200
The DC machine field excitation was set to 200V
for all measurements. The load resistance was varied by
while armature winding is open. The induction motor is
varying the MV1105. The measured prime mover speed
start at low voltage and input is varied until speed is
and output voltage are tabulate din Table 4.
around 1680 RPM. The output voltage measured on the
DC generator is 210 V and near the rated output voltage TABLE IV
of the machine.
D. Effect of the Prime Mover Orientation Load Resistance Prime Mover Output Voltage
() Speed (RPM) (V)
The direction of the rotation of the prime mover is Infinite 1756 180
changed by exchanging any two of the three phases of the 214 1705 172
supply voltage. The induction motor is started at low 75.6 1617 160
voltage. The input voltage is varied until the field 56.4 1564 155
excitation is 200V and speed is 1680 RPM. The output
voltage of the DC generator is a negative value.
H. Setting up the Prime Mover and Self-Excited DC generator
E. Effect of Prime Mover Speed
For the setup, the supply was first turn off and the MV
The field excitation is held constant at 150V while 1905 shunt regulator and resistive load were
prime mover speed is varied decreasingly by varying the disconnected. The field winding of the DC machine was
variable AC supply. The output voltage measured at then connected in parallel to its armature winding. The
varying speed is tabulated in Table 2. diagram of the final setup was shown in Figure 4 below.

Prime Mover Speed (RPM) Output Voltage (V)

1580 162
1466 150
1372 142
1226 125

F. Effect of Field Excitation

The field excitation was varied increasingly by

varying the field rheostat. The output voltage was
Figure 4. Final setup of the prime mover and self-excited DC
measured at a constant prime mover speed of 1400 RPM.
The results are tabulated in Table 3.
The MV1007 wound rotor induction motor was the DC generator prime mover does not supply the proper
started at a low voltage starting. The input voltage was output voltage to the generator.
varied until the sped is around 1680 RPM. The output
The shunt DC generator develops different magnitudes
voltage measured on the DC generator was 187.4 V which
is near the rated output voltage of 220 V of the machine. and polarities of voltage when running in different
directions because by Lenzs Law, the polarity or
The direction of the rotation of the prime mover was direction of the induced voltage in the generator is
changed by exchanging any of the three phases in the dependent on whether the flux increases or decreases in
variable power supply. The output voltage measured was time. For example, if we produce a positive voltage by
-3.2667 V. The correct prime mover orientation was rotating the rotor in the counterclockwise and it can then
reverted and the prime mover speed was varied and produce a negative voltage when spun in the opposite
output voltage was measured. The results are tabulated in direction.
Table 5.
B. Effect of Prime Mover Speed
PRIME MOVER SPEED VS OUTPUT VOLTAGE FOR SELF-EXCITED Figure 5 shows the trend of the output voltage with
DC GENERATOR respect to a varying prime mover speed. The plot
displayed below shows that the output voltage increases
Prime Mover Speed (RPM) Output Voltage (V) as the prime mover rotates faster.
1465 158.2
1372 145.1 The speed of the prime mover, is directly proportional
to the generator voltage as stated in the equation, =
1225 125.7
, provided that the field excitation is held constant.
With a higher speed, the magnetic flux through the rotor
Then resistive load was varied while the prime mover windings changes more rapidly and higher change in flux
voltage was held constant at 200 for all measurements. with respect to time, we have a higher induced generator
The prime mover speed and output voltage was measured voltage. Based on the equation, = , since
at varying the load resistance, this are tabulated in Table increases, so increases as well.
TABLE IV Prime Mover Speed vs Output Voltage
Output Voltage (V)

Load Resistance Prime Mover Output Voltage 160

() Speed (RPM) (V) 150
Infinite 1710 191.5 140
214 1663 182 130
75.6 1572 166 120
56.4 1522 157.8 110
1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700
Prime Mover Speed (RPM)
The observations from the data gathered were Figure 5. Effect of Varying Prime Mover Speed on Output Voltage
analyzed and presented in this section.
A. Effect of Prime Mover Orientation

With the field excitation at 200 V and the speed at

1680 RPM, the output of the DC voltage was measured to
be 210 V. When the direction of the prime mover was
change, the output voltage became negative which means
B. Effect of Field Excitation
Effect of Generator Loading on Prime
Effect of Varying Field Excitation on Mover Speed
Output Voltage 250

Load Resistance ()
Output Voltage (V)

130 50
110 0
1550 1600 1650 1700 1750
0 50 100 150 200 250 Prime Mover Speed (RPM)
Field Excitation Voltage (V)
Figure 7. Effect of Varying Load Resistance on Prime Mover Speed
Figure 6. Effect of Varying Field Excitation on Output Voltage

From the plot shown above, the output voltage is Effect of Generator Loading on Prime
directly proportional to the field excitation. The field Mover Speed
current produces a flux in the machine core in accordance 300

Load Resistance ()
with its magnetization curve, and since field current is
directly proportional to the generator voltage as state in 200
the equation, = , given that the speed of prime 100
mover is held constant. Qualitatively, if increases then
the flux in the machine increases and a larger field current 150 155 160 165 170 175
means larger magnetic field produced by the field Prime Mover Speed (RPM)
winding. The larger the field means larger induced EMF
and larger generator voltage and an increases in terminal Figure 8. Effect of Varying Load Resistance on Output Voltage
voltage as well.
B. Effect of Prime Mover Orientation and Prime Mover Speed
B. Effect of Generator Loading on Self-Excited DC Generator

The plots displayed in Figure 7 and 8 shows that The output voltage of the DC generator was measured
the load resistance is directly proportional to the prime to be 187.4 V and when reversed, the output voltage
mover speed and output voltage. With decreasing load became -3.3267V. This is because the DC generator
resistance, output voltage decreases and prime mover develops different magnitudes and polarities of voltage
slows down. This is due to the fact that the load draws in when running in different directions because of the
more current with the decrease in resistance. This current Lenzs Law.
then induces a magnetic field on the rotor windings. The
magnetic field is induced to compensate for the changing The plot displayed in Figure 9 shows that the output
field the rotor windings experience. This induced field voltage increases as prime mover speeds up just like in
then generates torque that opposes the direction of the the separately-excited DC Generator. With the same
prime mover. Since the output power of the induction speeds used, the corresponding output voltages in the
machine is used to drive the generator does not change, self-excited DC generator were a bit higher than the
the speed decreases with the increases in torque to separately excited DC generator.
Effect of Prime Mover Speed on Output Effec of Varying Load Resistance on
Voltage Output Voltage
170 250
Output Voltage (V)

Load Resistance ()
160 200
150 150
140 100
130 50
120 0
110 155 160 165 170 175 180 185
1200 1250 1300 1350 1400 1450 1500
Prime Mover Speed (RPM)
Figure 10. Effect of Varying Load Resistance on Output Voltage of
Self-Excited DC Generator
Figure 9. Effect of Varying Prime Mover Speed on Output
Voltage of Self-Excited DC Generator During a normal running condition, when load resistance
is decreased, the load current increases. But as load
E. Effect of Varying Generator Loading
resistance keep on decreasing, the terminal voltage falls.
The effects of adding a resistive load (MV1105) is Hence, the load resistance can only be decreased up to a
show in Figure 9 and 10. It can be shown below that the certain limit, after which the terminal voltage drastically
effect of generator loading on the self-excited DC decreases due to excessive armature reaction at very high
generator is the same as that of the separately-excited DC armature current and increase 2 losses. Beyond this
generator. The primer mover slows down and the output limit any further decrease in load resistance results in
voltage decreases as the load resistance decreases but the decreasing load current. The load characteristics of a self-
corresponding prime mover speeds were a bit lower excited DC generator is shown in Figure 11.
compared to that of the separately-excited DC generator.

Effect of Varying Load Resistance on

Prime Mover Speed
Load Resistance ()

1500 1550 1600 1650 1700
Prime Mover Speed (RPM) Figure 11. Load Characteristics of a DC Shunt Generator (Source:
Figure 8. Effect of Varying Load Resistance on Prime Mover
Speed of Self-Excited DC Generator
IV. DISCUSSION. that allows a self-excited shunt generator to be self-
exciting. In order to build up voltage in the generator, the
total resistance in the field must be less than the critical
resistance. This can be done using a tangent line drawn to
the magnetization curve starting from the origin. The
slope of this tangent line represents the critical field
Magnetization curve of a DC generator does not start
from zero initially. It starts from a value of generated
voltage due to residual magnetism. In ferromagnetic
materials, the magnetic power and generated voltage
increases with the increase of the current flow through the
coils. When the current is reduced to zero, there is still
magnetic power left in those coils core. This is called the
residual magnetism. The core of a DC machine is made
of ferromagnetic material.
Figure 12. Magnetization (No-Load) characteristics of a DC There are three possible ways in changing the output
Machine (Source: voltage, change in speed of rotation, change in field
The typical magnetization of the DC generator is current and a change in load resistance. The equations for
shown in Figure XX. It is the relation of the field current generated voltage, = and terminal voltage, =
and the armature terminal voltage on open circuit. When relates the following parameters to each other.
DC generator is driven by a prime mover an EMF is The generated voltage is directly proportional to the field
induced in the armature. It has a great importance because flux and field current. As field current is gradually
it represents the saturation of the magnetic circuit. For this increased, the terminal voltage decreases, hence by
reason this curve is also called saturation curve. Ohms Law field voltage also increases.
According to the molecular theory of magnetism the
The speed of the DC generator can be varied through the
molecules of a magnetic material, which is not
prime mover. Increasing the mechanical speed increases
magnetized are not arranged or aligned in definite order.
the induced voltage and in effect terminal voltage is
When current passed through the magnetic material then
increased. However, if the speed of the prime mover is
its molecules are arranged in definite order. Up to a
further reduced to a certain critical speed, no voltage built
certain value of field current the maximum molecules are
up is possible in a shunt generator. Speed rating is also
arranged. In this stage the flux established in the pole
based on the limit for field current, as speed is increased,,
increased directly with the field current and the generated
a higher field current is necessary to produce the same
voltage is also increased.
The magnetization curve rises very steeply while the
It can be observed from the characteristics of a shunt
magnetic circuit is unsaturated. As the magnetic circuit
DC generator, that with an increase in load (increase in
saturates, the curve flattens out and this portion of the
load current) the terminal voltage of the machine
magnetization curve is almost linear. Above a certain
increases. However, according to the load characteristics
point the un-magnetized molecules become very fewer
of the DC generator, after it reaches its maximum value it
and it became very difficult to further increase in pole
will start to decrease due excessive demagnetizing effect
flux. This point is called saturation point. Point C is also
of armature reaction. This is because load is increased and
called the knee of the magnetization curve. A small
field current is increased as well as the flux as field is
increase in magnetism requires very large field current
series connected to the load. Thus induced voltage will
above the saturation point. The upper portion of the curve
increase and hence the terminal voltage. Terminal voltage
is bend and starting to show non-linear characteristics as
will increase till field winding reaches saturation and then
shown in Figure XX. There is a critical field resistance
dropped due to the significant effect of the armature instance, it is necessary to reverse the field
reaction which causes significant fall in load voltage. connections with respect to the armature.
In a self- excited DC generator, the build-up of voltage For a separately-excited DC generator, the shunt field
depends highly on the presence of a residual flux in the requires a separate source and it will build-up even when
poles of the generator. An internal voltage will be residual magnetism is absent. The magnitude of the field
generated at the first turn of this generator, which is given current is not affected by the changes in the load since
by = . is dependent only on the field circuit voltage and
resistance that is powered by a separate source. And the
This voltage is approximately equal to the terminal
voltage regulation is better compared to the self-excited
voltage and the output voltage by neglecting the small
machine. Voltage regulation is defined by the formula
armature resistance drop. But this voltage is also
equivalent to the voltage across the field, it causes a =
100 where is the no load terminal
current to flow in the generator's field coil. This field voltage and is the terminal voltage at full-load
current produces a magnetomotive force in the pole, condition. Ideally, one would want a 0% or a constant
which causes an increase in the flux. This increase in flux terminal voltage at different loading conditions.
aids the residual magnetism in increasing the induce On the other hand, a self-excited DC generator does
voltage , hence increasing the output voltage. When the not need a separate source but is dependent on the residual
output voltage rises, increases further, increasing the magnetism for it to start building up. It is also important
flux more, which increases until the point where to note that the direction of the residual flux must be in
produces just enough to sustain the generated voltage, the same direction with that of flux produced by the shunt
the build-up process stops. field. As previously discussed, reversal of polarity of the
shunt field terminals will produce a flux that will negate
However, there are instances when the voltage fails to the residual flux so the induced voltage will even decrease
build up and these can be due to some factors. One reason instead of building up. The field current and decreases
is the absence or lack of residual magnetism needed to with load. The generator must be operated in the
generate a voltage that can produce the field current. The saturation region to minimize the reduction in .
machine can lose its residual magnetism during shutdown Meanwhile, the voltage regulation is poorer compared to
or when not used for a long time. This can be resolved by the separately-excited generator for the field current now
separately exciting the field circuit and this process is varies with different loading conditions and since =
called flashing the field. = , terminal voltage will also significantly
Another possible cause of build-up failure is that the field change at varying field currents because they are directly
resistance is higher than the critical field resistance. The proportional. High deviation of the terminal voltage at
critical field resistance is the maximum resistance (for a full load from no load condition results in higher voltage
given speed) with which the DC generator will excite, regulation which is not a desired output.
only at values lower than the critical field resistance will The power flow diagram of a DC generator is shown
the voltage build up. The presence of a field resistance below in Figure 13.
above the maximum allowable resistance could be
because the field circuit is open circuited so this gives a
much larger resistance. By simply making sure that the
field circuit terminals are properly connected could you
solve this problem.
Improper connection or reversed polarity of field circuit
terminals could also prevent the build-up of the DC
generator. If the field connections are reversed, the lines
of flux produced by the current flow will oppose the
residual flux so that the generated voltage will decrease
rather than increase when the field circuit is dosed. In this
[4] No-Load Voltage of Shunt Generator. 2017. Image.

Figure 13. Power flow from the 3-phase mains input to the load
(Source: http://circuit

The first phase shows that the input to the generator

was a mechanical source specifically the mechanical
energy produced by the induction motor. Since in this
experiment the DC machine acts as a generator, the we
expect to have an electrical power output. However, it can
be seen on the second phase that before the mechanical
power input is converted into electrical power,
mechanical losses and electrical is incurred due to
friction, windage, stray losses, core losses and 2 losses.
Therefore, = .

In conclusion, the proponents learned the effects of
the prime mover speed, field excitation, and electrical
load to the output voltage of a DC generator. It is
observed that the prime mover speed and the field
excitation voltage are directly related to the output
voltage, i.e. as the speed or the excitation voltage
increases, the output voltage increases. The proponents
also observed that the load resistor is directly proportional
to the output voltage. Also, proper handling of the
machines were observed by the students during the entire
[1] S. Umans, Fitzgerald & Kingsleys Electric Machinery 7th
ed., 2014
[2] Orillaza and A. Magabo, "Direct Current Machines", UP
EEEI, 2017. Lecture.
[3] "Power Flow Diagram of DC Generator and DC Motor",
Circuit Globe, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://circuit
motor.html. [Accessed: 20- Apr- 2017].