Sixth Edition, last update July 25, 2007


Lessons In Electric Circuits, Volume II – AC
By Tony R. Kuphaldt Sixth Edition, last update July 25, 2007

i c 2000-2010, Tony R. Kuphaldt This book is published under the terms and conditions of the Design Science License. These terms and conditions allow for free copying, distribution, and/or modification of this document by the general public. The full Design Science License text is included in the last chapter. As an open and collaboratively developed text, this book is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the Design Science License for more details. Available in its entirety as part of the Open Book Project collection at:

PRINTING HISTORY • First Edition: Printed in June of 2000. Plain-ASCII illustrations for universal computer readability. • Second Edition: Printed in September of 2000. Illustrations reworked in standard graphic (eps and jpeg) format. Source files translated to Texinfo format for easy online and printed publication. • Third Edition: Equations and tables reworked as graphic images rather than plain-ASCII text. • Fourth Edition: Printed in November 2001. Source files translated to SubML format. SubML is a simple markup language designed to easily convert to other markups like A LTEX, HTML, or DocBook using nothing but search-and-replace substitutions. • Fifth Edition: Printed in November 2002. New sections added, and error corrections made, since the fourth edition. • Sixth Edition: Printed in June 2006. Added CH 13, sections added, and error corrections made, figure numbering and captions added, since the fifth edition.


1 BASIC AC THEORY 1.1 What is alternating current (AC)? 1.2 AC waveforms . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3 Measurements of AC magnitude . 1.4 Simple AC circuit calculations . . 1.5 AC phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.6 Principles of radio . . . . . . . . . 1.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 COMPLEX NUMBERS 2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 Vectors and AC waveforms . . . 2.3 Simple vector addition . . . . . . 2.4 Complex vector addition . . . . . 2.5 Polar and rectangular notation . 2.6 Complex number arithmetic . . 2.7 More on AC ”polarity” . . . . . . 2.8 Some examples with AC circuits 2.9 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 6 12 19 20 23 25 27 27 30 32 35 37 42 44 49 55 57 57 59 64 71 74 77 79 81 81 83 87 92

3 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE 3.1 AC resistor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 AC inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3 Series resistor-inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . . 3.4 Parallel resistor-inductor circuits . . . . . . . . . 3.5 Inductor quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.6 More on the “skin effect” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE 4.1 AC resistor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2 AC capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3 Series resistor-capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . . 4.4 Parallel resistor-capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . iii

iv 4.5 4.6

Capacitor quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 97 99 99 101 106 110 119 120 120 121 121 126 131 135 136 145 151 153 153 158 168 174 185 188 189 189 190 196 199 202 204 215 215 217 218 232 237 239 243 248

5 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R, L, AND C 5.1 Review of R, X, and Z . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2 Series R, L, and C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3 Parallel R, L, and C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.4 Series-parallel R, L, and C . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5 Susceptance and Admittance . . . . . . . . . . 5.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 RESONANCE 6.1 An electric pendulum . . . . . . . . . . . 6.2 Simple parallel (tank circuit) resonance 6.3 Simple series resonance . . . . . . . . . 6.4 Applications of resonance . . . . . . . . 6.5 Resonance in series-parallel circuits . . 6.6 Q and bandwidth of a resonant circuit 6.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS 7.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.2 Square wave signals . . . . . . . . 7.3 Other waveshapes . . . . . . . . . 7.4 More on spectrum analysis . . . . 7.5 Circuit effects . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.6 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 FILTERS 8.1 What is a filter? . 8.2 Low-pass filters . 8.3 High-pass filters 8.4 Band-pass filters 8.5 Band-stop filters 8.6 Resonant filters . 8.7 Summary . . . . 8.8 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9 TRANSFORMERS 9.1 Mutual inductance and basic operation 9.2 Step-up and step-down transformers . 9.3 Electrical isolation . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.4 Phasing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.5 Winding configurations . . . . . . . . . 9.6 Voltage regulation . . . . . . . . . . . .

9.7 Special transformers and applications 9.8 Practical considerations . . . . . . . . 9.9 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

v 251 268 281 281 283 283 289 296 300 306 313 318 343 345 347 347 352 355 360 365 367 367 374 382 385 387 396 406 406 407 408 412 420 421 426 438 442 460 464 469 471 479

10 POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 10.1 Single-phase power systems . . . . . . . . 10.2 Three-phase power systems . . . . . . . . 10.3 Phase rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.4 Polyphase motor design . . . . . . . . . . 10.5 Three-phase Y and Delta configurations . 10.6 Three-phase transformer circuits . . . . . 10.7 Harmonics in polyphase power systems . 10.8 Harmonic phase sequences . . . . . . . . 10.9 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11 POWER FACTOR 11.1 Power in resistive and reactive AC circuits 11.2 True, Reactive, and Apparent power . . . . 11.3 Calculating power factor . . . . . . . . . . . 11.4 Practical power factor correction . . . . . . 11.5 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 AC METERING CIRCUITS 12.1 AC voltmeters and ammeters . . . . 12.2 Frequency and phase measurement 12.3 Power measurement . . . . . . . . . 12.4 Power quality measurement . . . . 12.5 AC bridge circuits . . . . . . . . . . . 12.6 AC instrumentation transducers . . 12.7 Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 AC MOTORS 13.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.2 Synchronous Motors . . . . . . . . 13.3 Synchronous condenser . . . . . . 13.4 Reluctance motor . . . . . . . . . . 13.5 Stepper motors . . . . . . . . . . . 13.6 Brushless DC motor . . . . . . . . 13.7 Tesla polyphase induction motors 13.8 Wound rotor induction motors . . 13.9 Single-phase induction motors . . 13.10 Other specialized motors . . . . . 13.11 Selsyn (synchro) motors . . . . . 13.12 AC commutator motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 482

14 TRANSMISSION LINES 14.1 A 50-ohm cable? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.2 Circuits and the speed of light . . . . 14.3 Characteristic impedance . . . . . . . 14.4 Finite-length transmission lines . . . 14.5 “Long” and “short” transmission lines 14.6 Standing waves and resonance . . . . 14.7 Impedance transformation . . . . . . 14.8 Waveguides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A-1 ABOUT THIS BOOK A-2 CONTRIBUTOR LIST A-3 DESIGN SCIENCE LICENSE INDEX

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483 483 484 486 493 499 502 522 529 537 541 547 550

Chapter 1

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 What is alternating current (AC)? AC waveforms . . . . . . . . . . . . . Measurements of AC magnitude . Simple AC circuit calculations . . AC phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Principles of radio . . . . . . . . . . Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6 12 19 20 23 25


What is alternating current (AC)?

Most students of electricity begin their study with what is known as direct current (DC), which is electricity flowing in a constant direction, and/or possessing a voltage with constant polarity. DC is the kind of electricity made by a battery (with definite positive and negative terminals), or the kind of charge generated by rubbing certain types of materials against each other. As useful and as easy to understand as DC is, it is not the only “kind” of electricity in use. Certain sources of electricity (most notably, rotary electro-mechanical generators) naturally produce voltages alternating in polarity, reversing positive and negative over time. Either as a voltage switching polarity or as a current switching direction back and forth, this “kind” of electricity is known as Alternating Current (AC): Figure 1.1 Whereas the familiar battery symbol is used as a generic symbol for any DC voltage source, the circle with the wavy line inside is the generic symbol for any AC voltage source. One might wonder why anyone would bother with such a thing as AC. It is true that in some cases AC holds no practical advantage over DC. In applications where electricity is used to dissipate energy in the form of heat, the polarity or direction of current is irrelevant, so long as there is enough voltage and current to the load to produce the desired heat (power dissipation). However, with AC it is possible to build electric generators, motors and power 1







Figure 1.1: Direct vs alternating current

distribution systems that are far more efficient than DC, and so we find AC used predominately across the world in high power applications. To explain the details of why this is so, a bit of background knowledge about AC is necessary. If a machine is constructed to rotate a magnetic field around a set of stationary wire coils with the turning of a shaft, AC voltage will be produced across the wire coils as that shaft is rotated, in accordance with Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic induction. This is the basic operating principle of an AC generator, also known as an alternator: Figure 1.2
Step #1 S N N + no current! Load I Load I S Step #2

Step #3 N S S I

Step #4


no current! Load

+ I Load

Figure 1.2: Alternator operation

The faster the alternator’s shaft is turned. WHAT IS ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC)? 3 Notice how the polarity of the voltage across the wire coils reverses as the opposite poles of the rotating magnet pass by. With a DC generator. If the atmosphere surrounding the machine contains flammable or explosive . All this is necessary to switch the coil’s changing output polarity to the external circuit so the external circuit sees a constant polarity: Figure 1. the faster the magnet will spin.1. and electrical connections are made to this spinning coil via stationary carbon “brushes” contacting copper strips on the rotating shaft. The diagram shown above is a bit more simplified than what you would see in real life. resulting in an alternating voltage and current that switches directions more often in a given amount of time. this reversing voltage polarity will create a reversing current direction in the circuit. especially if the shaft of the generator is revolving at high speed. there are multiple sets of coils making intermittent contact with the brushes. While DC generators work on the same general principle of electromagnetic induction.1. The problems involved with making and breaking electrical contact with a moving coil should be obvious (sparking and heat). the coil of wire is mounted in the shaft where the magnet is on the AC alternator. their construction is not as simple as their AC counterparts. Connected to a load. both pulses in the same direction (polarity). In order for a DC generator to produce constant voltage. rather than brief pulses of voltage once every 1/2 revolution.3 Step #1 N S N S N S I Load Step #3 N S N S N S I Load Step #2 N S + + Load Step #4 N S + + Load Figure 1.3: DC generator operation The generator shown above will produce two pulses of voltage per revolution of the shaft.

7. respectively: Figure 1. When transmitting electrical power over long distances. this device is known as a transformer: Figure 1. AC motors do not. The fundamental significance of a transformer is its ability to step voltage up or down from the powered coil to the unpowered coil. and the DC motor being dependent on the brush contacts making and breaking connections to reverse current through the rotating coil every 1/2 rotation (180 degrees). whereby two or more coils of wire placed so that the changing magnetic field created by one induces a voltage in the other. the AC motor being dependent upon the reversing magnetic field produced by alternating current through its stationary coils of wire to rotate the rotating magnet around on its shaft. If the secondary coil is powering a load. The AC voltage induced in the unpowered (“secondary”) coil is equal to the AC voltage across the powered (“primary”) coil multiplied by the ratio of secondary coil turns to primary coil turns. If we have two mutually inductive coils and we energize one coil with AC. There is an effect of electromagnetism known as mutual induction.4 CHAPTER 1. This relative simplicity translates into greater reliability and lower cost of manufacture. the transformer “steps up” the voltage from the source level to a higher level at the load: Figure 1. we will create an AC voltage in the other coil. An AC generator (alternator) does not require brushes and commutators to work. business.4: Transformer “transforms” AC voltage and current. then step the voltage back down and the current back up for industry. AC and DC motor designs are very similar to their generator counterparts (identical for the sake of this tutorial).4 Transformer AC voltage source Induced AC voltage Figure 1. So we know that AC generators and AC motors tend to be simpler than DC generators and DC motors.6 The transformer’s ability to step AC voltage up or down with ease gives AC an advantage unmatched by DC in the realm of power distribution in figure 1. BASIC AC THEORY vapors. using torque and speed to represent voltage and current. The benefits of AC over DC with regard to generator design is also reflected in electric motors. Transformer technology has made long-range electric power distribution practical. and so is immune to these problems experienced by DC generators. Without . or consumer use. While DC motors require the use of brushes to make electrical contact with moving coils of wire. When used as such. This relationship has a very close mechanical analogy. But what else is AC good for? Surely there must be more to it than design details of generators and motors! Indeed there is. the current through the secondary coil is just the opposite: primary coil current multiplied by the ratio of primary to secondary turns. In fact. the practical problems of spark-producing brush contacts are even greater. it is far more efficient to do so with stepped-up voltages and steppeddown currents (smaller-diameter wire with less resistive power losses).5 If the winding ratio is reversed so that the primary coil has less turns than the secondary coil.

WHAT IS ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC)? Speed multiplication geartrain Large gear (many teeth) Small gear (few teeth) + high voltage AC voltage source low voltage many turns few turns high current Load 5 "Step-down" transformer + high torque low speed low torque high speed low current Figure 1. .7: Transformers enable efficient long distance high voltage transmission of electric energy.1.5: Speed multiplication gear train steps torque down and speed up. Speed reduction geartrain Large gear (many teeth) Small gear (few teeth) + AC voltage source low voltage few turns high current many turns Load + "Step-up" transformer high voltage low torque high speed high torque low speed low current Figure 1.1. Step-up transformer steps voltage up and current down. to other customers low voltage Step-down Home or Business low voltage Figure 1.6: Speed reduction gear train steps torque up and speed down. high voltage Power Plant Step-up . Step-down transformer steps voltage down and current up. . .

it would be cost-prohibitive to construct power systems for anything but close-range (within a few miles at most) use.” meaning voltage or current that maintains constant polarity or direction. the “wave” traced by this voltage of alternating polarity from an alternator takes on a distinct shape.1. and direct current (DC) can only produce steady magnetic fields. over time. • Secondary voltage = Primary voltage (secondary turns / primary turns) • Secondary current = Primary current (primary turns / secondary turns) 1. When graphed over time. The reason why an electromechanical alternator outputs sine-wave AC is due to the physics of its operation. As useful as transformers are. we would find the exact same pattern as in Table 1. Of course. • A transformer is a pair of mutually-inductive coils used to convey AC power from one coil to the other. That rate is greatest when the magnet poles are closest to the coils. transformers simply will not work with direct current. the voltage switches polarity over time. Perhaps more than any other reason. • AC and DC motor design follows respective generator design principles very closely. The voltage produced by the stationary coils by the motion of the rotating magnet is proportional to the rate at which the magnetic flux is changing perpendicular to the coils (Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction). known as a sine wave: Figure 1. Often. Because the phenomenon of mutual inductance relies on changing magnetic fields.8 In the voltage plot from an electromechanical alternator. are of simpler construction than DC electromechanical generators. • AC stands for “Alternating Current.” meaning voltage or current that changes polarity or direction. they only work with AC.2 AC waveforms When an alternator produces AC voltage. • REVIEW: • DC stands for “Direct Current. If we were to graph the trigonometric function of “sine” over a horizontal range of 0 to 360 degrees. known as alternators. the change from one polarity to the other is a smooth one. this is why AC finds such widespread application in power systems. direct current may be interrupted (pulsed) through the primary winding of a transformer to create a changing magnetic field (as is done in automotive ignition systems to produce high-voltage spark plug power from a low-voltage DC battery). respectively. but pulsed DC is not that different from AC. respectively. not DC. and least when the magnet poles are furthest away from the coils. . but does so in a very particular manner. the voltage level changing most rapidly at the zero (“crossover”) point and most slowly at its peak. • AC electromechanical generators.6 CHAPTER 1. BASIC AC THEORY the ability to efficiently step voltage up and down. the number of turns in each coil is set to create a voltage increase or decrease from the powered (primary) coil to the unpowered (secondary) coil. over time.

1.5000 + 330 -0.8660 0. AC WAVEFORMS 7 (the sine wave) + Time Figure 1. sin(angle) wave Angle (o ) sin(angle) 0.0000 +peak 270 -1.7071 + 225 -0.2588 + 195 -0.5000 0.2588 0.8660 + 300 -0.0000 wave zero -peak zero .7071 0.0000 zero 180 0.0000 0.0000 zero 360 0.1: Trigonometric “sine” function.8660 + 240 -0.2.0000 0.8660 0. Angle (o ) 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 Table 1.9659 0.5000 0.9659 + 285 -0.9659 1.9659 + 255 -0.7071 + 315 -0.2588 0.2588 + 345 -0.8: Graph of AC voltage over time (the sine wave).7071 0.5000 + 210 -0.

frequency was simply expressed as “cycles per second. BASIC AC THEORY Mathematically. but the amount of time one period occupies depends on the rate voltage oscillates back and forth. A similar change occurred when the unit of “Celsius” replaced that of “Centigrade” for metric temperature measurement. Since the horizontal axis of this graph can mark the passage of time as well as shaft position in degrees. but may be measured between any corresponding points on the graph. the standard power-line frequency is 60 Hz. we would have marked exactly one cycle of that wave. this is often called the period of a wave.9: Alternator voltage as function of shaft position (time). The period of a wave in degrees is always 360. gives no hint as to the unit’s origin or meaning. This is called frequency. and also the angular position of our simple two-pole alternator shaft as it rotates: Figure 1. the AC voltage only completes 50 cycles every second. The degree marks on the horizontal axis of the graph represent the domain of the trigonometric sine function. respectively. where the power system frequency is 50 Hz. most often seconds or fractions of a second. In Europe. which represents the number of wave cycles completed during one second of time. This is most easily shown by spanning the distance between identical peaks. Many people believe the change from self-explanatory units like CPS to Hertz constitutes a step backward in clarity. The name Centigrade was based on a 100-count (“Centi-”) scale (“-grade”) representing the melting and boiling points of H2 O. . Prior to the canonization of the Hertz unit. A more popular measure for describing the alternating rate of an AC voltage or current wave than period is the rate of that back-and-forth oscillation. A radio station transmitter broadcasting at a frequency of 100 MHz generates an AC voltage oscillating at a rate of 100 million cycles every second. If we were to follow the changing voltage produced by a coil in an alternator from any point on the sine wave graph to that point when the wave shape begins to repeat itself. The name Celsius. When expressed as a measurement. on the other hand. so the voltage produced by the coils follows that same function. the dimension marked for one cycle is often measured in a unit of time. In the United States of America.8 CHAPTER 1.9 one wave cycle 0 90 180 270 360 90 180 (0) one wave cycle 270 360 (0) Alternator shaft position (degrees) Figure 1.” Older meters and electronic equipment often bore frequency units of “CPS” (Cycles Per Second) instead of Hz. meaning that the AC voltage oscillates at a rate of 60 complete back-and-forth cycles every second. the rate of magnetic flux change due to a rotating magnet follows that of a sine function. The modern unit for frequency is the Hertz (abbreviated Hz).

Low-pitch notes such as those produced by a tuba or bassoon consist of air molecule vibrations that are relatively slow (low frequency).10. By measuring the period of the wave on the horizontal axis of the oscilloscope screen and reciprocating that time value (in seconds). like sound. The ECG is a special-purpose oscilloscope expressly designed for medical use. For this reason. you can determine the frequency in Hertz. it shares many of the properties of other wave phenomena. interpreted by our ears as a physical sensation. Because alternating current is a wave phenomenon.5 Hz period 16 ms Figure 1. Voltage and current are by no means the only physical variables subject to variation over time.10: Time period of sinewave is shown on oscilloscope. You may be familiar with the appearance of an ECG or EKG (electrocardiograph) machine. AC WAVEFORMS 9 Period and frequency are mathematical reciprocals of one another. or 1/10 of a cycle per second: Frequency in Hertz = 1 Period in seconds An instrument called an oscilloscope. frequency is equivalent to pitch. Generalpurpose oscilloscopes have the ability to display voltage from virtually any voltage source. Much more common to our everyday experience is sound. is used to display a changing voltage over time on a graphical screen.1 Hz. That is to say. used by physicians to graph the oscillations of a patient’s heart over time.1. In musical terms. if a wave has a period of 10 seconds. . which is nothing more than the alternating compression and decompression (pressure waves) of air molecules. plotted as a graph with time as the independent variable.2. its frequency will be 0. Figure 1. sound (especially structured music) provides an excellent analogy for relating AC concepts. The relationship between period and frequency is very useful to know when displaying an AC voltage or current waveform on an oscilloscope screen. OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger 16 divisions @ 1ms/div = a period of 16 ms DC GND AC timebase 1m X s/div DC GND AC Frequency = 1 1 = = 62.

two notes whose frequencies are exactly double each other sound remarkably similar. this is not the only kind of alternating wave in existence. A view of a piano keyboard helps to put this scale into perspective: Figure 1.08 Hz) and the next A sharp (466.00 415. The familiar musical mnemonic (doe-ray-mee-fah-so-lah-tee) – yes.12 As you can see.13 .16 493. and for all note pairs found in the table.00 466.63 277. only vibrating at a much faster rate (higher frequency). While electromechanical alternators and many other physical phenomena naturally produce sine waves. Astute observers will notice that all notes on the table bearing the same letter designation are related by a frequency ratio of 2:1. Here are but a few sample waveforms and their common designations in figure 1.11: The frequency in Hertz (Hz) is shown for various musical notes.88 523. the next lowest “A” (one octave below 220 Hz) will be 110 Hz.63 349. the first frequency shown (designated with the letter “A”) is 220 Hz. The next highest “A” note has a frequency of 440 Hz – exactly twice as many sound wave cycles per second.99 392. Note A A sharp (or B flat) B C (middle) C sharp (or D flat) D D sharp (or E flat) E F F sharp (or G flat) G G sharp (or A flat) A A sharp (or B flat) B C # # # # Musical designation A1 A or B B1 C C# or Db D D or E E F F# or Gb G G or A A A or B B C 1 b b b b Frequency (in hertz) 220. Other “waveforms” of AC are commonly produced within electronic circuitry.18 293. For example. Following this rule. Figure 1. the shortest span on a musical scale separating such note pairs being called an octave.25 Figure 1.13 329.66 311. Audibly.94 261.30 440.00 233. This similarity in sound is musically recognized. the next highest “A” note (one octave above 440 Hz) will be 880 Hz. one octave is equal to seven white keys’ worth of distance on a piano keyboard. The same 2:1 ratio holds true for the first A sharp (233. the same pattern immortalized in the whimsical Rodgers and Hammerstein song sung in The Sound of Music – covers one octave from C to C.23 369.10 CHAPTER 1.16 Hz).11 is a table showing the actual frequencies for a range of common musical notes. BASIC AC THEORY High-pitch notes such as those produced by a flute or whistle consist of the same type of vibrations in the air.08 246.

12: An octave is shown on a musical keyboard. Square wave Triangle wave one wave cycle Sawtooth wave one wave cycle Figure 1. .13: Some common waveshapes (waveforms).2.1. AC WAVEFORMS 11 C# D# Db Eb F# G# A# Gb Ab Bb C# D# Db Eb F# G# A# Gb Ab Bb C# D# Db Eb F# G# A# Gb Ab Bb C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B one octave Figure 1.

• One cycle of a wave is one complete evolution of its shape until the point that it is ready to repeat itself. square. we need to be aware of the fact that AC waves come in a variety of shapes. anything different being labeled as non-sinusoidal. a square wave peaking at 10 volts is obviously a greater amount of voltage for a greater amount of time than a triangle wave . Some waveforms are so complex that they defy classification as a particular “type” (including waveforms associated with many kinds of musical instruments). the real-life result is often a distorted version of the intended waveshape. However. where quantities of voltage and current are generally stable.3 Measurements of AC magnitude So far we know that AC voltage alternates in polarity and AC current alternates in direction. Even in circuits that are supposed to manifest “pure” sine.14 Another way is to measure the total height between opposite peaks.12 CHAPTER 1. Generally speaking.” In music. we have little trouble expressing how much voltage or current we have in any part of a circuit. This is known as the peak or crest value of an AC waveform: Figure 1. Being that the waveform of an AC voltage or current is crucial to its impact in a circuit. any waveshape bearing close resemblance to a perfect sine wave is termed sinusoidal. and express this as cycles per unit time. BASIC AC THEORY These waveforms are by no means the only kinds of waveforms in existence. or sawtooth voltage/current waveforms.15 Unfortunately. of an AC quantity is to measure its peak height on a waveform graph. But how do you grant a single measurement of magnitude to something that is constantly changing? One way to express the intensity. For example. 1 Hz being equal to one complete wave cycle per second. or magnitude (also called the amplitude). This is known as the peak-to-peak (P-P) value of an AC waveform: Figure 1. • Frequency is the number of complete cycles that a wave completes in a given amount of time. We also know that AC can alternate in a variety of different ways. Usually measured in Hertz (Hz). • The period of a wave is the amount of time it takes to complete one cycle. we encounter a measurement problem if we try to express how large or small an AC quantity is. frequency is the same as pitch. or “frequency. With DC. • Frequency = 1/(period in seconds) 1. either one of these expressions of waveform amplitude can be misleading when comparing two different types of waves.” We can measure the rate of alternation by measuring the time it takes for a wave to evolve before it repeats itself (the “period”). and by tracing the alternation over time we can plot it as a “waveform. triangle. • REVIEW: • AC produced by an electromechanical alternator follows the graphical shape of a sine wave. They’re simply a few that are common enough to have been given distinct names. which is the essential property distinguishing one note from another.

3. Peak-to-Peak Time Figure 1.15: Peak-to-peak voltage of a waveform. 10 V Time (same load resistance) 10 V (peak) more heat energy dissipated 10 V (peak) less heat energy dissipated Figure 1. . MEASUREMENTS OF AC MAGNITUDE 13 Peak Time Figure 1.16: A square wave produces a greater heating effect than the same peak voltage triangle wave.14: Peak voltage of a waveform.1.

as if the waveform looked like this: Figure 1. aggregate number. all values assumed to be positive. indicating the true (algebraic) average value of zero for a symmetrical waveform.14 CHAPTER 1. either positive or negative). The effects of these two AC voltages powering a load would be quite different: Figure 1. “average” is usually defined as the mathematical mean of all the points’ absolute values over a cycle. the average value for most waveforms is technically zero.True average value of all points (considering their signs) is zero! Figure 1. polarity-sensitive meter movements vibrate uselessly if exposed to AC voltage or current.18 + + + + ++ + + + ++ + + ++ + + + Practical average of points. to consider their sign. Figure 1.16 One way of expressing the amplitude of different waveshapes in a more equivalent fashion is to mathematically average the values of all the points on a waveform’s graph to a single.18: Waveform seen by AC “average responding” meter. we calculate the practical average value of the waveform by considering all points on the wave as positive quantities. This.17: The average value of a sinewave is zero. Polarity-insensitive mechanical meter movements (meters designed to respond equally to the positive and negative half-cycles of an alternating voltage or current) register in proportion to the waveform’s (practical) average value. If we average all the points on the waveform algebraically (that is. because the inertia of the pointer against the tension of the spring naturally averages the force produced by the varying voltage/current values over time. because all the positive points cancel out all the negative points over a full cycle: Figure 1. When the “average” value of a waveform is referenced in this text. their needles oscillating rapidly about the zero mark. of course. In other words. This amplitude measure is known simply as the average value of the waveform.. it will be assumed that the “practical” definition of average . as a practical measure of a waveform’s aggregate value. will be true for any waveform having equal-area portions above and below the “zero” line of a plot. Conversely. BASIC AC THEORY peaking at 10 volts. However.17 + + + + ++ + + + - .

because the power dissipated by a given load (work performed per unit time) is not directly proportional to the magnitude of either the voltage or current impressed upon it. To rate a jigsaw based on its peak blade speed would be quite misleading when comparing one jigsaw to another (or a jigsaw with a bandsaw!). the back-andforth motion of any two jigsaws may not be of the same type. they are equal in one respect: they all cut wood. motor-powered metal blade to cut wood. Another method of deriving an aggregate value for waveform amplitude is based on the waveform’s ability to do useful work when applied to a load resistance. and P = I2 R). A jigsaw blade. Rather. depending on the mechanical design of the saws. two pieces of modern woodworking equipment.19 Bandsaw Jigsaw blade motion wood wood blade motion (analogous to DC) (analogous to AC) Figure 1. aggregate measurement is also present in this saw analogy: how might we express the speed of a jigsaw blade? A bandsaw blade moves with a constant speed. while another with a triangle-wave motion. We might say that the two saws were equivalent or equal in their cutting capacity.19: Bandsaw-jigsaw analogy of DC vs AC. power is proportional to the square of the voltage or current applied to a resistance (P = E2 /R.3. etc. equipped with identical blades (same tooth pitch. Unfortunately. equally capable of cutting the same thickness of the same type of wood at the same rate.). on the other hand. toothed. Consider a bandsaw and a jigsaw. Both types of saws cut with a thin. an AC measurement based on work performed by a waveform is not the same as that waveform’s “average” value. The problem of trying to describe the changing quantities of AC voltage or current in a single. Despite the fact that these different saws move their blades in different manners. The comparison of alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) may be likened to the comparison of these two saw types: Figure 1. What is more. One jigsaw might move its blade with a sine-wave motion. . similar to the way DC voltage pushes or DC current moves with a constant magnitude. Although the mathematics of such an amplitude measurement might not be straightforward. the jigsaw uses a back-and-forth motion. MEASUREMENTS OF AC MAGNITUDE 15 is intended unless otherwise specified. angle. Picture a jigsaw and bandsaw side-by-side. But while the bandsaw uses a continuous motion of the blade to cut. and a quantitative comparison of this common function can serve as a common basis for which to rate blade speed. its blade speed constantly changing.1. moves back and forth. the utility of it is.

analog meters must be specifically calibrated (or mis-calibrated. averaging those squared values. iron vane. peak voltage measurements are the most appropriate. irrespective of time. For RMS measurements. BASIC AC THEORY Might this comparison be used to assign a “bandsaw equivalent” blade speed to the jigsaw’s back-and-forth blade motion. Peak and peak-to-peak measurements are best performed with an oscilloscope. to relate the wood-cutting effectiveness of one to the other? This is the general idea used to assign a “DC equivalent” measurement to any AC voltage or current: whatever magnitude of DC voltage or current would produce the same amount of heat energy dissipation through an equal resistance:Figure 1. electrodynamometer) will work so long as they have been calibrated in RMS figures. we have the same amount of load resistance (2 Ω) dissipating the same amount of power in the form of heat (50 watts). Because the AC voltage source pictured above is equivalent (in terms of power delivered to a load) to a 10 volt DC battery. RMS current measurement is the best to use. we would denote its voltage value as being 10 volts RMS. peak or peak-to-peak measurements may be the best to employ. More specifically.20: An RMS voltage produces the same heating effect as a the same DC voltage In the two circuits above.20 5A RMS 10 V RMS 2Ω 5A RMS 10 V 50 W power dissipated 5A 2Ω 5A 50 W power dissipated Equal power dissipated through equal resistance loads Figure 1. one powered by AC and the other by DC. The qualifier “RMS” stands for Root Mean Square. because the principal concern with current is overheating of the wire. Because the mechanical inertia and dampening effects of an electromechanical meter movement makes the deflection of the needle naturally proportional to the average value of the AC.” but the quantity and principle are both the same. because the principal concern here is insulator “flashover” caused by brief spikes of voltage. when dealing with measurements of electric power. depending on how you look at it) to indicate voltage . However.16 CHAPTER 1. we would call this a “10 volt” AC source. Weston. which is a function of power dissipation caused by current through the resistance of the wire. RMS amplitude measurement is the best way to relate AC quantities to DC quantities. when rating insulators for service in high-voltage AC applications. when determining the proper size of wire (ampacity) to conduct electric power from a source to a load. analog meter movements (D’Arsonval. not the true RMS value. or other AC quantities of differing waveform shapes. which can capture the crests of the waveform with a high degree of accuracy due to the fast action of the cathode-ray-tube in response to changes in voltage. the algorithm used to obtain the DC equivalent value from points on a graph (essentially. For instance. the procedure consists of squaring all the positive and negative points on a waveform graph. For other considerations. Sometimes the alternative terms equivalent or DC equivalent are used instead of “RMS. then taking the square root of that average to obtain the final answer).

The RMS and average values of distorted waveshapes are not related by the same ratios: Figure 1. Sinusoidal waveforms have an RMS value of 0. Square-shaped waveforms always have crest and form factors equal to 1. and triangle waves hold true only for pure forms of these waveshapes. square waves.577 (Peak) AVG = 0. Peak-to-Peak.707/0. for instance.21 RMS = 0.21: Conversion factors for common waveforms.637 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = Peak AVG = Peak P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = 0. and RMS measurements to one another: Figure 1.577/0.1. Average (practical. and peak-to-peak measures of an AC waveform.22: Arbitrary waveforms have no simple conversions.707 (the reciprocal of the square root of 2) and a form factor of 1.707 (Peak) AVG = 0. peak (crest). simple conversion coefficients exist for equating Peak.577 (the reciprocal of square root of 3) and form factors of 1.5). and average amplitudes of sine waves. Triangle. For “pure” waveforms.15 (0. Bear in mind that the conversion constants shown here for peak. The accuracy of this calibration depends on an assumed waveshape. usually a sine wave. This is a very important concept to understand when using an analog D’Arsonval meter . not algebraic). Some instrument manufacturers have designed ingenious methods for determining the RMS value of any waveform. Electronic meters specifically designed for RMS measurement are best for the task.3. is the ratio of its peak (crest) value divided by its RMS value.636). In addition to RMS. The accuracy of this type of RMS measurement is independent of waveshape. The heating effect of that resistance element is measured thermally to give a true RMS value with no mathematical calculations whatsoever. since the peak is the same as the RMS and average values. The form factor of an AC waveform is the ratio of its RMS value divided by its average value.and sawtooth-shaped waveforms have RMS values of 0. One such manufacturer produces “True-RMS” meters with a tiny resistive heating element powered by a voltage proportional to that being measured.11 (0. just the laws of physics in action in fulfillment of the definition of RMS.22 RMS = ??? AVG = ??? P-P = 2 (Peak) Figure 1. The crest factor of an AC waveform. RMS.5 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) Figure 1. average. MEASUREMENTS OF AC MAGNITUDE 17 or current in RMS units. there are ratios expressing the proportionality between some of these fundamental measurements.

However.1107 (the form factor: 0. which will be equal to be the RMS value for a particular waveshape and a particular waveshape only. For example. and thus a meter calibrated for sine-wave voltage or current will not indicate true RMS when reading a non-sinusoidal wave. the average amplitude of any waveform with equal-area portions above and below the “zero” line on a graph is zero. If the waveform of the voltage or current being measured is anything but a pure sine wave. Since the sine-wave shape is most common in electrical measurements. peak-to-peak.636: the ratio of RMS divided by average for a sinusoidal waveform).18 CHAPTER 1. electromechanical meter movements respond proportionally to the average value of an AC voltage or current. Any waveshape other than a pure sine wave will have a different ratio of RMS and average values. • Peak amplitude is the height of an AC waveform as measured from the zero mark to the highest positive or lowest negative point on a graph. a waveform’s average value is often calculated as the mathematical mean of all the points’ absolute values (taking all the negative values and considering them as positive). • The form factor of an AC waveform is the ratio of its RMS value to its average value. not the RMS. • Average amplitude is the mathematical “mean” of all a waveform’s points over the period of one cycle.707/0. as a practical measure of amplitude. the meter’s calibration . calibrated to indicate sine-wave RMS amplitude. Bear in mind that this limitation applies only to simple. • Peak-to-peak amplitude is the total height of an AC waveform as measured from maximum positive to maximum negative peaks on a graph. When RMS indication is desired. For a sine wave. • The crest factor of an AC waveform is the ratio of its peak (crest) to its RMS value.707 of its peak value. or RMS quantity. average. Also known as the crest amplitude of a wave. the RMS value is approximately 0. analog AC meters not employing “True-RMS” technology. • “RMS” stands for Root Mean Square. and is a way of expressing an AC quantity of voltage or current in terms functionally equivalent to DC. RMS meter calibration is obtained by “skewing” the span of the meter so that it displays a small multiple of the average value. For a sine wave. the indication given by the meter will not be the true RMS value of the waveform. because the degree of needle deflection in an analog D’Arsonval meter movement is proportional to the average value of the waveform. An analog D’Arsonval movement. BASIC AC THEORY movement to measure AC voltage or current. An amplitude measurement can take the form of peak. and the small multiple used in the calibration of the meter is 1. Also known as the “equivalent” or “DC equivalent” value of an AC voltage or current. • Analog. • REVIEW: • The amplitude of an AC waveform is its height as depicted on a graph over time. the average value so calculated is approximately 0. Often abbreviated as “P-P”. 10 volts AC RMS is the amount of voltage that would produce the same amount of heat dissipation across a resistor of given value as a 10 volt DC power supply. will only be accurate when measuring pure sine waves.637 of its peak value. Technically. it is the waveshape assumed for analog meter calibration.

you will learn that AC circuit measurements and calculations can get very complicated due to the complex nature of alternating current in circuits with inductance and capacitance. current. however.23) involving nothing more than an AC power source and resistance. and so we can treat the numbers as though we were dealing with simple DC quantities. SIMPLE AC CIRCUIT CALCULATIONS 19 must be “skewed” accordingly. This means that the accuracy of an electromechanical meter’s RMS indication is dependent on the purity of the waveform: whether it is the exact same waveshape as the waveform used in calibrating. R2 500 Ω Rtotal = R1 + R2 + R3 Rtotal = 1 kΩ Etotal Rtotal 10 V 1 kΩ Itotal = Itotal = Itotal = 10 mA ER3 = ItotalR3 ER3 = 4 V ER1 = ItotalR1 ER1 = 1 V ER2 = ItotalR2 ER2 = 5 V Series resistances still add.4 Simple AC circuit calculations Over the course of the next few chapters. parallel resistances still diminish. as we will discover later on. with simple circuits (figure 1.1. and the Laws of Kirchhoff and Ohm still hold true. its just that we have to express the quantities of voltage.23: AC circuit calculations for resistive circuits are the same as for DC. and opposition to current in more advanced mathematical forms. With purely resistive circuits. these complexities of AC are of no practical consequence. However.4. Actually. the same laws and rules of DC apply simply and directly. 1. these rules and laws always hold true. R1 100 Ω 10 V R3 400 Ω Figure 1. .

average. but they are out of step with each other.24 illustrates an example of this. this is called a phase shift. or RMS).” I mean that the two waveforms are not synchronized: that their peaks and zero points do not match up at the same points in time. we may need to represent the AC quantities in more complex form. we can make use of our familiar “table” method of organizing circuit values just as with DC: R1 E I R 1 10m 100 R2 5 10m 500 R3 4 10m 400 Total 10 10m 1k Volts Amps Ohms One major caveat needs to be given here: all measurements of AC voltage and current must be expressed in the same terms (peak. all values of voltage and current in AC circuits are generally assumed to be RMS rather than peak. Ohm’s Law) still hold true for AC. etc. Unless otherwise stated. More on this later. 1.20 CHAPTER 1. peak measurements are assumed.5 AC phase Things start to get complicated when we need to relate two or more AC voltages or currents that are out of step with each other. or peak-topeak. average. Kirchhoff ’s Laws. BASIC AC THEORY Because all these mathematical relationships still hold true. In some areas of electronics. • REVIEW: • All the old rules and laws of DC (Kirchhoff ’s Voltage and Current Laws. This holds true for any calculation based on Ohm’s Laws. Earlier A B . In technical terms. However. then all calculated currents and voltages are cast in AC RMS units as well. The graph in figure 1. with more complex circuits. but in most applications (especially industrial electronics) the assumption is RMS. By “out of step. peak-to-peak. A B A B A B A B A B Figure 1. If the source voltage is given in peak AC volts. I promise! • The “table” method of organizing circuit values is still a valid analysis tool for AC circuits. then all currents and voltages subsequently calculated are cast in terms of peak units. If the source voltage is given in AC RMS volts.24: Out of phase waveforms The two waves shown above (A versus B) are of the same amplitude and frequency.

26 Because the waveforms in the above examples are at the same frequency.5. That is. they will be out of step by the same angular amount at every point in time. We can use this angle scale along the horizontal axis of our waveform plot to express just how far out of step one wave is with another: Figure 1. is always a measurement relative between two things. and back to the starting point of zero at 360 degrees. A sampling of different phase shifts is given in the following graphs to better illustrate this concept: Figure 1. and not just an expression of shift between any two particular points along the waves. that voltage stated as “xxx volts at 0 degrees. zero at 180 degrees. the “A” wave being ahead of the “B” wave.25: Wave A leads wave B by 45o The shift between these two waveforms is about 45 degrees. Phase shift. Typically in the analysis of AC circuits.1. subtraction. . and division must operate on these quantities of phase shift as well as amplitude. a full circle. When applying Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff ’s Laws. For this reason.25 degrees A 0 90 180 270 (0) 360 90 180 270 (0) 360 A B B 0 90 180 270 360 (0) degrees 90 180 270 360 (0) Figure 1. full negative at 270 degrees. we can express phase shift for two or more waveforms of the same frequency as a constant quantity for the entire wave. There’s really no such thing as a waveform with an absolute phase measurement because there’s no known universal reference for phase. the voltage waveform of the power supply is used as a reference for phase. “voltage ’A’ is 45 degrees out of phase with voltage ’B’. The starting point of a sine wave was zero amplitude at zero degrees. quantities of AC voltage and current must reflect phase shift as well as amplitude. like voltage. progressing to full positive amplitude at 90 degrees. This is what makes AC circuit calculations more complicated than DC. Fortunately. it is safe to say something like. multiplication.” Any other AC voltage or current in that circuit will have its phase shift expressed in terms relative to that source voltage.” Whichever waveform is ahead in its evolution is said to be leading and the one behind is said to be lagging. AC PHASE 21 we saw how we could plot a “sine wave” by calculating the trigonometric sine function for angles ranging from 0 to 360 degrees. Mathematical operations of addition.

22 CHAPTER 1. BASIC AC THEORY Phase shift = 90 degrees A B A is ahead of B (A "leads" B) Phase shift = 90 degrees B A B is ahead of A (B "leads" A) A Phase shift = 180 degrees A and B waveforms are mirror-images of each other B Phase shift = 0 degrees A B A and B waveforms are in perfect step with each other Figure 1.26: Examples of phase shifts. .

Stated more formally. who “unified” the study of electricity and magnetism in four relatively tidy equations. A lagging waveform is one that is behind another.6. Because the subject of complex numbers is so essential to the understanding of AC circuits. • A leading waveform is defined as one waveform that is ahead of another in its evolution. Likewise. some of the basic principles will be covered. if a conductor was exposed to a change in magnetic flux perpendicular to the conductor. as defined by the degree units on the horizontal axis of the waveform graph used in plotting the trigonometric sine function. When an electric current was passed through a conductor. a voltage was produced along the length of that conductor. Maxwell’s discovery was this: . The limited scope of this lesson on alternating current does not permit full exploration of the concept. PRINCIPLES OF RADIO 23 there is a mathematical system of quantities called complex numbers ideally suited for this task of representing amplitude and phase. In essence. With Oersted’s accidental discovery of electromagnetism. the next chapter will be devoted to that subject alone. scientists knew that electricity and magnetism always seemed to affect each other at right angles.6 Principles of radio One of the more fascinating applications of electricity is in the generation of invisible ripples of energy called radio waves. and its unveiling was one of the pivotal moments in modern science. Example: Phase shift = 90 degrees A B A leads B. it was realized that electricity and magnetism were related to each other. However. • REVIEW: • Phase shift is where two or more waveforms are out of step with each other. a major discovery lay hidden just beneath this seemingly simple concept of related perpendicularity. The man responsible for this conceptual revolution was the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). • The amount of phase shift between two waves can be expressed in terms of degrees. with or without the presence of a conductive path for electrons to flow. what he discovered was that electric and magnetic fields were intrinsically related to one another. B lags A • • Calculations for AC circuit analysis must take into consideration both amplitude and phase shift of voltage and current waveforms to be completely accurate. This breakthrough in physics is hard to overstate. So far.1. This requires the use of a mathematical system called complex numbers. a magnetic field was generated perpendicular to the axis of flow. 1.

Two fundamental types of antennae are the dipole and the loop: Figure 1. we can create electromagnetic waves (of a much lower frequency than that of light) with ease. a changing electric field is produced at right angles. converting AC voltage and current into electromagnetic wave energy.27: Dipole and loop antennae While the dipole looks like nothing more than an open circuit. an antenna acts as a receiving device: Figure 1. The closed wire path of the loop antenna acts like an inductor with a large air core. By using a source of AC voltage and a special device called an antenna.28 . In this mode. and the loop a short circuit. All of this can take place in open space. The two open wires of the dipole act as a sort of capacitor (two conductors separated by a dielectric). As the powered loop antenna radiates its changing magnetic field into space. with the same end-result of a continuous electromagnetic wave sent away from the antenna. with the electric field open to dispersal instead of being concentrated between two closely-spaced plates. thus sustaining the electric field further into space. these pieces of wire are effective radiators of electromagnetic fields when connected to AC sources of the proper frequency. Even light is electromagnetic in nature. An antenna is nothing more than a device built to produce a dispersing electric or magnetic field. Antennas also have the ability to intercept electromagnetic waves and convert their energy into AC voltage and current. As the powered dipole radiates its changing electric field into space. When attached to a source of high-frequency AC power. the alternating electric and magnetic fields supporting each other as they travel through space at the speed of light.24 CHAPTER 1. again providing ample opportunity for the field to disperse away from the antenna instead of being concentrated and contained as in a normal inductor. and so on as the wave propagates at the speed of light. Either antenna achieves the same basic task: the controlled production of an electromagnetic field. The only difference between these kinds of electromagnetic radiation is the frequency of their oscillation (alternation of the electric and magnetic fields back and forth in polarity). There are many kinds of natural radiative energy composed of electromagnetic waves.27 Basic antenna designs DIPOLE LOOP Figure 1. BASIC AC THEORY A changing electric field produces a perpendicular magnetic field. an antenna acts as a transmitting device. a changing magnetic field is produced at right angles. So are X-rays and “gamma” ray radiation. and A changing magnetic field produces a perpendicular electric field. This dynamic structure of electric and magnetic fields propagating through space is better known as an electromagnetic wave.

or intercept an electromagnetic field and convert it to an AC voltage or current. designed to radiate a changing electric field or changing magnetic field when powered by a high-frequency AC source. oscillating at right angles to each other and traveling at the speed of light. Harvey Lew (February 7.28: Basic radio transmitter and receiver While there is much more that may be said about antenna technology. and secondarily producing an electric field in space. CONTRIBUTORS AC voltage produced Radio receivers AC current produced 25 electromagnetic radiation electromagnetic radiation Radio transmitters Figure 1. and vice versa. even in empty space.7. primarily generating a magnetic field when energized. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. • The dipole antenna consists of two pieces of wire (not touching). . and secondarily producing a magnetic field in space. 1. constitutes an electromagnetic wave. • A twin set of electric and magnetic fields. • An antenna is a device made of wire. primarily generating an electric field when energized. • The loop antenna consists of a loop of wire. • REVIEW: • James Maxwell discovered that changing electric fields produce perpendicular magnetic fields. from most recent to first.1. 2004): Corrected typographical error: “circuit” should have been “circle”. this brief introduction is enough to give you the general idea of what’s going on (and perhaps enough information to provoke a few experiments).

” Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. Mark D. John Symonds (March 28. Zarella (April 28. . which led to a much betterlooking second edition. 2002): Suggestion for improving explanation of “average” waveform amplitude. 2002): Suggestion for improving explanation of the unit “Hertz.26 CHAPTER 1. 2003): Pointed out magnetic polarity error in DC generator illustration. BASIC AC THEORY Duane Damiano (February 25.

1 2. Scalar numbers are the kind of numbers you’ve used in most all of your mathematical applications so far. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 30 32 35 37 42 44 49 55 2. . . . . . . I would also have to provide information about the direction to travel. . . . is a scalar quantity. and even resistance (called impedance in AC) are not the familiar onedimensional quantities we’re used to measuring in DC circuits. . .5 2. . . . . . . . .Chapter 2 COMPLEX NUMBERS Contents 2.2 2. . . . . I could provide an answer consisting of a single number in miles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . current. . . . . . . . for example. . . Some examples with AC circuits Contributors . . . . . . . So is the resistance of a piece of wire (ohms). Vectors and AC waveforms . More on AC ”polarity” . . . . . .9 Introduction . or the current through it (amps). . However. such as linear distance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . these quantities. is called a scalar quantity in mathematics. . .1 Introduction If I needed to describe the distance between two cities.3 2. . . . . I would have to provide more information than just the distance between those two cities. . . Simple vector addition . . Rather. . . . The kind of information that expresses a single dimension. . .4 2. . . . . . . . . . . when we begin to analyze alternating current circuits. . . . . if I were to describe how to travel from one city to another. . . . . . . . . . . as well. . . .8 2. . . . . . . . . . .6 2. . . . . because they’re dynamic (alternating in direction and amplitude). . . Complex number arithmetic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Complex vector addition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . kilometers. . . we find that quantities of voltage. . . . . Polar and rectangular notation . . . . . . . . . . However. . The voltage produced by a battery. . . . or some other unit of linear measurement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . possess other dimensions that 27 . . .

I have a graphic representation of a complex number which is commonly known in physics as a vector: (Figure 2. In this case. We all learned this in grade school with the “number line:” (Figure 2. directly right is considered to be 0o .5) Later yet we learned that the number line could extend to the left of zero as well: (Figure 2. Complex numbers are easier to grasp when they’re represented graphically. we learned that there were ways to designate the values between the whole numbers marked on the line. Just like the example of giving directions from one city to another.4) Later.1: A vector has both magnitude and direction. Like distances and directions on a map. there must be some common frame of reference for angle figures to have any meaning. Even with relatively simple AC circuits. A complex number is a single mathematical quantity able to express these two dimensions of amplitude and phase shift at once. Frequency and phase shift are two of these dimensions that come into play. we need to work with mathematical objects and techniques capable of representing these multi-dimensional quantities.43 angle = 302.6) . and angles are counted in a positive direction going counter-clockwise: (Figure 2. we still have the dimension of phase shift to contend with in addition to the amplitude.2) The idea of representing a number in graphical form is nothing new.01 degrees (-57. These were fractional or decimal quantities: (Figure 2. Here is where we need to abandon scalar numbers for something better suited: complex numbers. In order to successfully analyze AC circuits.3) We even learned how addition and subtraction works by seeing how lengths (magnitudes) stacked up to give a final answer: (Figure 2. If I draw a line with a certain length (magnitude) and angle (direction). AC quantities in a single-frequency circuit have both amplitude (analogy: distance) and phase shift (analogy: direction).66 angle = 45 degrees length = 9. COMPLEX NUMBERS must be taken into account. where we’re only dealing with a single frequency.1) length = 7 angle = 0 degrees length = 10 angle = 180 degrees length = 5 angle = 90 degrees length = 4 angle = 270 degrees (-90 degrees) length = 5.28 CHAPTER 2.99 degrees) Figure 2.

4: Addition on a “number line”.. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 2.5: Locating a fraction on the “number line” .. INTRODUCTION 29 The vector "compass" 90o 180o 0o 270o (-90o) Figure 2.1.3: Number line... 5+3=8 8 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 7 8 9 10 .2: The vector compass .2. 3-1/2 or 3. Figure 2.5 ... 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 2.

One-dimensional. and a definite direction. a tip.6: “Number line” shows both positive and negative numbers. • REVIEW: • A scalar number is the type of mathematical object that people are used to using in everyday life: a one-dimensional quantity like temperature.7) The greater the amplitude of the waveform. it is referenced to the power supply voltage waveform (arbitrarily stated to be “at” 0o ). we need a number line that can point in different directions.. the greater the angle difference between the corresponding vectors. phase shift (vector angle) only has meaning in reference to some standard waveform. a definite length. Being a relative measurement. or the amplitude and phase of an AC waveform. length. the greater the length of its corresponding vector. rational. etc. It looks like an arrow. etc. 2. so how exactly can we represent AC quantities of voltage or current in the form of a vector? The length of the vector represents the magnitude (or amplitude) of the waveform. but all “motion” along that line is restricted to a single axis (horizontal). (Figure 2. COMPLEX NUMBERS . If there is more than . You can move up or down the number line. we need multidimensional representations.. like this: (Figure 2. The straightness of the number line illustrates this graphically. Figure 2.. -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 . Generally this “reference” waveform is the main AC power supply voltage in the circuit. represents the phase shift in degrees between the waveform in question and another waveform acting as a “reference” in time. scalar numbers are perfectly adequate for counting beads. To represent these kinds of quantities. real. Remember that phase is always a relative measurement between two waveforms rather than an absolute property.9) The greater the phase shift in degrees between two waveforms. irrational. representing weight.2 Vectors and AC waveforms OK. like voltage. Sometimes the word phasor is used in electrical applications where the angle of the vector represents phase shift between waveforms.30 CHAPTER 2. with a starting point. • A vector is a graphical representation of a complex number. In other words. when the phase of a waveform in a circuit is expressed. Usually. The angle of the vector. • A complex number is a mathematical quantity representing two dimensions of magnitude and direction.) learned in grade school share a common trait: they’re all one-dimensional. and that’s exactly what a vector is.. integer. weight. or measuring DC battery voltage.8) (Figure 2. however. These fields of numbers (whole. but they fall short of being able to represent something more complex like the distance and direction between two cities.

2. .8: Vector angle is the phase with respect to another waveform. Waveforms Phase relations Vector representations (of "A" waveform with reference to "B" waveform) Phase shift = 0 degrees A B A and B waveforms are in perfect step with each other A B Phase shift = 90 degrees A B A is ahead of B (A "leads" B) A 90 degrees B Phase shift = 90 degrees B A B is ahead of A (B "leads" A) A B Phase shift = 180 degrees A and B waveforms are A mirror-images of each other A 180 degrees B -90 degrees B Figure 2.7: Vector length represents AC voltage magnitude. VECTORS AND AC WAVEFORMS Waveform Vector representation 31 Amplitude Length Figure 2.2.

if the current in an AC circuit is described as “24. if AC voltage sources with the same phase angle are connected together in series. multiplied. Addition is perhaps the easiest vector operation to visualize. and divided.3 mA. their voltages add just as you might expect with DC batteries: (Figure 2.10) length = 6 angle = 0 degrees length = 8 angle = 0 degrees total length = 6 + 8 = 14 angle = 0 degrees Figure 2. This concept of a reference point is not unlike that of the “ground” point in a circuit for the benefit of voltage reference. being understood that those voltages (always relative between two points) are referenced to “ground.3 Simple vector addition Remember that vectors are mathematical objects just like numbers on a number line: they can be added.” it becomes possible to talk about voltage “on” or “at” single points in a circuit. so we’ll begin with that. COMPLEX NUMBERS A B A angle B phase shift Figure 2.11) Please note the (+) and (-) polarity marks next to the leads of the two AC sources.10: Vector magnitudes add like scalars for a common angle.” it means that the current waveform has an amplitude of 24. with a clearly defined point of reference for phase it becomes possible to speak of voltages and currents in an AC circuit having definite phase angles. usually assumed to be the main source voltage waveform.32 CHAPTER 2. Even though we know AC doesn’t have “polarity” in the same sense that DC does. 2. If vectors with common angles are added. subtracted.9: Phase shift between waves and vector phase angle one AC voltage source. • REVIEW: • When used to describe an AC quantity. the length of a vector represents the amplitude of the wave while the angle of a vector represents the phase angle of the wave relative to some other (reference) waveform. these marks are . Similarly. With a clearly defined point in the circuit declared to be “ground.3 milliamps at -64 degrees. then one of those sources is arbitrarily chosen to be the phase reference for all other measurements in the circuit. For example. their magnitudes (lengths) add up just like regular scalar quantities: (Figure 2. and it lags 64o behind the reference waveform.” Correspondingly.

Notice how the polarity markings in the above diagram seem to indicate additive voltages (from left to right.8 = -2 at 0 degrees or 2 at 180 degrees Figure 2. We could have just as well shown the opposing voltages subtracting in series like this: (Figure 2. Since both sources are described as having equal phase . their magnitudes (lengths) subtract just like positive and negative scalar quantities subtract when added: (Figure 2.12: Directly opposing vector magnitudes subtract. is a total voltage of 2 volts.3. If vectors directly opposing each other (180o out of phase) are added together. This will become more apparent in the next example. we see .12) length = 6 angle = 0 degrees length = 8 angle = 180 degrees total length = 6 .and + on the 8 volt source). essential to knowing how to reference the given phase angles of the voltages. of course.and + on the 6 volt source. their voltages subtract as you might expect with DC batteries connected in an opposing fashion: (Figure 2.11: “In phase” AC voltages add like DC battery voltages. if opposing AC voltage sources are connected in series. due to the reversal of wire connections on the 8 volt source. Similarly.2. Even though these polarity markings would normally indicate an additive effect in a DC circuit (the two voltages working together to produce a greater total voltage). . SIMPLE VECTOR ADDITION 33 6V 0 deg + - 8V 0 deg + + - 6V + - 8V + 14 V 0 deg - 14 V + Figure 2. The result.13) Determining whether or not these voltage sources are opposing each other requires an examination of their polarity markings and their phase angles. in this AC circuit they’re actually pushing in opposite directions because one of those voltages has a phase angle of 0o and the other a phase angle of 180o .14) Note how the polarities appear to be opposed to each other now.

COMPLEX NUMBERS 6V 0 deg + - 8V 180 deg + - 6V + + 8V - 2V + 180 deg + 2V - Figure 2. 6V 0 deg + - 8V 0 deg + 6V + - 8V + - + 2V 180 deg + 2V Figure 2. .34 CHAPTER 2.14: Opposing voltages in spite of equal phase angles.13: Opposing AC voltages subtract like opposing battery voltages.

15: Just as there are two ways to express the phase of the sources.15) 6V 0 deg + - 8V 0 deg + - + 2V 180 deg - + 2V 0 deg Figure 2. (Figure 2. 2.16: Example of equivalent voltage sources.17) If two AC voltages – 90o out of phase – are added together by being connected in series. their voltage magnitudes do not directly add or subtract as with scalar voltages in DC. (Figure 2.13o : (Figure 2. this is very strange indeed. there are two ways to express the resultant their sum. these voltage quantities are complex quantities. across the two AC voltage sources. and just like the above vectors. their magnitudes (lengths) add up quite differently than that of scalar magnitudes: (Figure 2. COMPLEX VECTOR ADDITION 35 angles (0o ). a 6 volt source at 0o added to an 8 volt source at 90o results in 10 volts at a phase angle of 53.2. respectively. The resultant voltage can be expressed in two different ways: 2 volts at 180o with the (-) symbol on the left and the (+) symbol on the right.4. which add up in a trigonometric fashion. they truly are opposed to one another. Note that it is possible to obtain voltmeter indications of 6 and 8 volts. and the overall effect is the same as the former scenario with “additive” polarities and differing phase angles: a total voltage of only 2 volts. A reversal of wires from an AC voltage source is the same as phase-shifting that source by 180o . .4 Complex vector addition If vectors with uncommon angles are added.18) Compared to DC circuit analysis. or 2 volts at 0o with the (+) symbol on the left and the (-) symbol on the right. Instead.16) 8V 180 deg + These voltage sources are equivalent! 8V 0 deg + - Figure 2.

17: Vector magnitudes do not directly add for unequal angles.13 deg Figure 2.13 degrees length = 6 angle = 0 degrees Figure 2.18: The 6V and 8V sources add to 10V with the help of trigonometry. 6V 0 deg + - 8V 90 deg + + 10 V 53. . COMPLEX NUMBERS Vector addition length = 10 angle = 53.36 CHAPTER 2.13 degrees 6 at 0 degrees length = 8 angle = 90 degrees + 8 at 90 degrees 10 at 53.

DC voltages can only directly aid or directly oppose. we first need some kind of standard mathematical notation. 2. POLAR AND RECTANGULAR NOTATION 37 yet only read 10 volts for a total voltage! There is no suitable DC analogy for what we’re seeing here with two AC voltages slightly out of phase.06 ∠ 330. With AC. polar notation for the vector from New York City to San Diego would be something like “2400 miles. • REVIEW: • DC voltages can only either directly aid or directly oppose each other when connected in series.19o (7.06 ∠ -29.49 ∠ 45o Note: the proper notation for designating a vector’s angle is this symbol: ∠ 5.2o 7. it would be very difficult to perform mathematical calculations for AC circuit analysis. two voltages can be aiding or opposing one another to any degree between fullyaiding and fully-opposing. In the next section.81o) Figure 2.2.5 Polar and rectangular notation In order to work with these complex numbers without drawing vectors. with nothing in between. southwest. but more precise methods of symbolism must be used if any serious calculations are to be performed on these quantities. Without the use of vector (complex number) notation to describe AC quantities. There are two basic forms of complex number notation: polar and rectangular.19: Vectors with polar notations. To use the map analogy.81 ∠ 230.26o) 8. AC voltages may aid or oppose to any degree depending on the phase shift between them. inclusive.” Here are two examples of vectors and their polar notations: (Figure 2. . Polar form is where a complex number is denoted by the length (otherwise known as the magnitude.39 ∠ 158. or modulus) and the angle of its vector (usually denoted by an angle symbol that looks like this: ). absolute value. we’ll learn how to represent vector quantities in symbolic rather than graphical form.81 ∠ -129.74o (8. Vector and triangle diagrams suffice to illustrate the general concept.19) 8.5.

20: The vector compass Rectangular form. The vertical component is referred to as the imaginary component. but rather are mathematical operators used to distinguish the vector’s vertical component from its horizontal component. scalar (“real”) numbers. the angled vector is taken to be the hypotenuse of a right triangle. In order to distinguish the horizontal and vertical dimensions from each other. (Figure 2. These lower-case letters do not represent a physical variable (such as instantaneous current. COMPLEX NUMBERS Standard orientation for vector angles in AC circuit calculations defines 0o as being to the right (horizontal).” These two dimensional figures (horizontal and vertical) are symbolized by two numerical figures. a vector angled 270o (straight down) can also be said to have an angle of -90o .81 230. is where a complex number is denoted by its respective horizontal and vertical components. making 90o straight up. on the other hand. or negative numbers less than 180. described by the lengths of the adjacent and opposite sides. also symbolized by a lower-case letter “i”).20) The above vector on the right (7. and 270o straight down. the vertical is prefixed with a lower-case “i” (in pure mathematics) or “j” (in electronics). (Figure 2.22) The “real” axis of the graph corresponds to the familiar number line we saw earlier: the one with both positive and negative values on it. totally alien to the scale of the real numbers. As a complete complex number. 180o to the left.38 CHAPTER 2. since that dimension is compatible with normal. the horizontal and vertical quantities are written as a sum: (Figure 2. Please note that vectors angled “down” can have angles represented in polar form as positive numbers in excess of 180. The “imaginary” axis of the graph corresponds to another number line situated at 90o to the “real” one.21) The horizontal component is referred to as the real component. Vectors being two-dimensional things. The vector "compass" 90o 180o 0o 270o (-90o) Figure 2.81o . In essence. .19o ) can also be denoted as 7. For example. it is described in terms of “how far left/right” and “how far up/down. Rather than describing a vector’s length and direction by denoting magnitude and angle. since that dimension lies in a different direction.81 -129.

2. the first number representing the the horizontal (“real”) and the second number (with the “j” prefix) representing the vertical (“imaginary”) dimensions."imaginary" Figure 2.j4 "4 right and 4 down" -4 + j0 "4 left and 0 up/down" -4 -j4 "4 left and 4 down" Figure 2. POLAR AND RECTANGULAR NOTATION 39 4 + j4 "4 right and 4 up" 4 + j0 "4 right and 0 up/down" -4 + j4 "4 left and 4 up" 4 .22: Vector compass showing real and imaginary axes .21: In “rectangular” form the vector’s length and direction are denoted in terms of its horizontal and vertical span."real" + "real" -j .5. + "imaginary" +j .

This may be understood more readily by drawing the quantities as sides of a right triangle. Either method of notation is valid for complex numbers.23) 5 4 3 "imaginary" number line 2 1 . the horizontal and vertical sides representing the “real” and “imaginary” rectangular components. respectively: (Figure 2. the hypotenuse of the triangle representing the vector itself (its length and angle with respect to the horizontal constituting the polar form). Figure 2.. find the real component by multiplying the polar magnitude by the cosine of the angle. thus the two number lines perpendicular to each other: (Figure 2. and the imaginary component by multiplying the polar magnitude by the sine of the angle. COMPLEX NUMBERS we must have a two-dimensional “map” upon which to express them. The primary reason for having two methods of notation is for ease of longhand calculation..40 CHAPTER 2. Conversion between the two notational forms involves simple trigonometry.24) ... rectangular form lending itself to addition and subtraction. and polar form lending itself to multiplication and division. To convert from polar to rectangular.23: Vector compass with real and imaginary (“j”) number lines. -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 "real" number line 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 1 2 3 4 5 .

2.87o +4 +j3 Figure 2.87o • REVIEW: 42 + 32 3 4 (polar form) • Polar notation denotes a complex number in terms of its vector’s length and angular direction from the starting point. POLAR AND RECTANGULAR NOTATION 41 length = 5 angle = 36. .87o 5 ∠ 36. and the angle by taking the arctangent of the imaginary component divided by the real component: 4 + j3 (rectangular form) c= a2 + b2 (pythagorean theorem) polar magnitude = polar magnitude = 5 polar angle = arctan polar angle = 36. find the polar magnitude through the use of the Pythagorean Theorem (the polar magnitude is the hypotenuse of a right triangle.87 ) = 3 4 + j3 o (polar form) (real component) (imaginary component) (rectangular form) To convert from rectangular to polar.87o) = 4 (5)(sin 36. Example: fly 45 miles 203o (West by Southwest). and the real and imaginary components are the adjacent and opposite sides. respectively). 5 ∠ 36.24: Magnitude vector in terms of real (4) and imaginary (j3) components.5.87o (5)(cos 36.

simply subtract the real component of the second complex number from the real component of the first to arrive at the real component of the difference. squared. polar is the favored notation to work with. but these operations can also be done “by hand. and such. they can be added. Some scientific calculators are programmed to directly perform these operations on two or more complex numbers.” sometimes called the j operator.j3) -2 + j8 175 . 2. and add the angles of the complex numbers to determine the angle of the product: . divided. multiplied. • In rectangular notation. the horizontal side representing the rectangular “real” component. • Both polar and rectangular forms of notation for a complex number can be related graphically in the form of a right triangle. the first quantity is the “real” component (horizontal dimension of vector) and the second quantity is the “imaginary” component (vertical dimension of vector).j19 -36 + j1 0 .j15) 95 .j72 For longhand multiplication and division.j49 -36 + j10 + 20 + j82 -16 + j92 When subtracting complex numbers in rectangular form. The imaginary component is preceded by a lower-case “j.(20 + j82) -56 . Addition and subtraction with complex numbers in rectangular form is easy. simply multiply the polar magnitudes of the complex numbers to determine the polar magnitude of the product.j34 . and subtract the imaginary component of the second complex number from the imaginary component of the first to arrive the imaginary component of the difference: 2 + j5 . with the hypotenuse representing the vector itself (polar form: hypotenuse length = magnitude.42 CHAPTER 2. subtracted. then turn and drive 18 miles South. simply add up the real components of the complex numbers to determine the real component of the sum.j15 255 . angle with respect to horizontal side = angle). Example: drive 41 miles West. inverted. and the vertical side representing the rectangular “imaginary” component.(80 .” This section will show you how the basic operations are performed. For addition. and add up the imaginary components of the complex numbers to determine the imaginary component of the sum: 2 + j5 + 4 . COMPLEX NUMBERS • Rectangular notation denotes a complex number in terms of its horizontal and vertical dimensions. just like any other kind of number. When multiplying complex numbers in polar form.j3 6 + j2 175 .6 Complex number arithmetic Since complex numbers are legitimate mathematical entities.(4 . It is highly recommended that you equip yourself with a scientific calculator capable of performing arithmetic functions easily on complex numbers. It will make your study of AC circuit much more pleasant than if you’re forced to do all calculations the longer way.j34 + 80 . just like scalar numbers.

division. multiplication. including powers. a complex number. subtraction. and you’ll have little trouble with AC circuit analysis.1 ∠ 12o 10 ∠ -12o 10 ∠ -12o 1 0. COMPLEX NUMBER ARITHMETIC 43 (35 ∠ 65o)(10 ∠ -12o) = 350 ∠ 53o (124 ∠ 250o)(11 ∠ 100o) = 1364 ∠ -10o or 1364 ∠ 350o (3 ∠ 30o)(5 ∠ -30o) = 15 ∠ 0o Division of polar-form complex numbers is also easy: simply divide the polar magnitude of the first complex number by the polar magnitude of the second complex number to arrive at the polar magnitude of the quotient. and inversion. roots.6 ∠ 60o To obtain the reciprocal. and subtract the angle of the second complex number from the angle of the first complex number to arrive at the angle of the quotient: 35 ∠ 65o 10 ∠ -12o 124 ∠ 250o 11 ∠ 100o 3 ∠ 30o 5 ∠ -30o = 3. Be sure that you’re familiar with the basic arithmetic operations of addition.0032 ∠ 10o = 1 ∠ 0o 0. and inversion. Operations with complex numbers are by no means limited just to addition.273 ∠ 150o = 0.6. which is nothing more than a complex number with no imaginary component (angle = 0): 1 1 ∠ 0o = = 0.0032 ∠ 10o = 312. Virtually any arithmetic operation that can be done with scalar numbers can be done with complex numbers. multiplication.5 ∠ -10o These are the basic operations you will need to know in order to manipulate complex numbers in the analysis of AC circuits.2. subtraction.02857 ∠ -65o o o 35 ∠ 65 35 ∠ 65 1 1 ∠ 0o = = 0. or “invert” (1/x).5 ∠ 77o = 11. • REVIEW: . simply divide the number (in polar form) into a scalar value of 1. and even trigonometric functions (although this involves a whole new perspective in trigonometry called hyperbolic functions which is well beyond the scope of this discussion). division. solving simultaneous equations with complex coefficients. however.

Voltage is an inherently relative quantity.26) -6 V + Figure 2. add the real components and add the imaginary components. as there are two points between which the voltage exists.44 CHAPTER 2. and two test leads on the instrument with which to make connection. In DC circuits. COMPLEX NUMBERS • To add complex numbers in rectangular form. Although it would be mathematically correct to represent a battery’s voltage as a negative figure with reversed polarity markings. • To multiply complex numbers in polar form. it would be decidedly unconventional: (Figure 2. Subtraction is similar. and use color-coded meter test leads (red and black). However. To divide. as well as polarity markings. we denote the polarity of voltage sources and voltage drops explicitly. Earlier in this chapter we saw how AC voltage sources are given voltage figures in complex form (magnitude and phase angle).25) + 6V Figure 2. This section is written in the attempt to clarify some of these issues. these polarity markings and their relationship to phase angle tends to be confusing.25: Conventional battery polarity. using “+” and “-” symbols. When we measure a voltage. we know that its test leads are connected “backward” to the voltage (red lead connected to the “-” and black lead to the “+”). for most people the equivalence between abstract vectors and real circuit quantities is not an easy one to grasp.26: Decidedly unconventional polarity marking. . divide the magnitudes and subtract one angle from the other. multiply the magnitudes and add the angles. we have a choice in how we connect a voltmeter or other voltage-measuring instrument to the source of voltage.7 More on AC ”polarity” Complex numbers are useful for AC circuit analysis because they provide a convenient method of symbolically denoting phase shift between AC quantities like voltage and current. Being that alternating current has no set “polarity” as direct current does. Batteries have their polarity designated by way of intrinsic symbology: the short-line side of a battery is always the negative (-) side and the long-line side always the positive (+): (Figure 2. If a digital voltmeter indicates a negative DC voltage. 2.

In AC circuits. so we add 24 volts to -17 volts to obtain 7 volts: still the correct . Because of this fact.27) The mathematical sign of a digital DC voltmeter’s display has meaning only in the context of its test lead connections. Thus.28) This first measurement of +24 across the left-hand voltage source tells us that the black lead of the meter really is touching the negative side of voltage source #1. If one AC voltage directly opposes another AC voltage. we simply say that one is 180o out of phase with the other.31) It should be obvious to any experienced student of DC electricity that these two batteries are opposing one another.32) According to this diagram. the phase angle of an AC voltage has meaning only in the context of knowing which of the two points is considered the “reference” point. We never describe an AC voltage as being negative in sign. We could. we know that source #2 is a battery facing in the opposite direction: (Figure 2. Using the voltmeter to measure across the first source: (Figure 2. opposing voltages subtract from one another. while the red test lead is actually touching the negative. Let’s review these principles with some graphical aids. and the red lead of the meter really is touching the positive. the principle of relating test lead connections to the mathematical sign of a DC voltmeter indication: (Figure 2. is a negative (-) 17 volts. voltage is relative between two points. The mathematical sign of a DC voltmeter’s reading has meaning only in the context of its test lead connections: which terminal the red lead is touching. Likewise. assuming that both sources are unlabeled as to their polarities. however. and which terminal the black lead is touching.29) Measuring the other unknown voltage source: (Figure 2. the “+” meaning “red” and the “-” meaning “black. draw the two sources as nondescript boxes. Instead. however. so we subtract 17 volts from 24 volts to obtain the total voltage across the two: 7 volts. which tells us that the black test lead is actually touching the positive side of voltage source #2. First.2.30) This second voltmeter reading. we don’t deal with “negative” quantities of voltage. labeled with the exact voltage figures obtained by the voltmeter. though. By definition. Actually. “+” and “-” polarity marks are often placed by the terminals of an AC voltage in schematic diagrams to give the stated phase angle a frame of reference. aiding voltage sources add with one another to form the total voltage.7. the polarity marks (which indicate meter test lead placement) indicate the sources aiding each other. Consider the use of a DC voltmeter in determining whether or not two DC voltage sources are aiding or opposing each other. Thus. MORE ON AC ”POLARITY” 45 Interpreting such notation might be easier if the “+” and “-” polarity markings were viewed as reference points for voltmeter test leads. we know source #1 is a battery facing in this orientation: (Figure 2. the polarity marks indicating voltmeter test lead placement: (Figure 2. Still. we describe to what degree one voltage aids or opposes another by phase: the time-shift between two waveforms. and we have a choice in how we might connect a voltage-measuring instrument between those two points. By definition. this form of notation and interpretation is not as unusual as you might think: it is commonly encountered in problems of DC network analysis where “+” and “-” polarity marks are initially drawn according to educated guess.” A voltmeter connected to the above battery with red lead to the bottom terminal and black lead to the top terminal would indeed indicate a negative voltage (-6 volts). because the facility of polar notation allows for vectors pointing in an opposite direction. and later interpreted as correct or “backward” according to the mathematical sign of the figure calculated.

46 CHAPTER 2. The meter tells us +24 volts V V OFF A A A COM Source 1 Source 2 Total voltage? Figure 2. COMPLEX NUMBERS V V OFF A A V V OFF A A A COM A COM 6V 6V Figure 2.27: Test lead colors provide a frame of reference for interpreting the sign (+ or -) of the meter’s indication. . red is (+).28: (+) Reading indicates black is (-).

2.31: 17V source is polarized (+) to (-) 24 V Source 1 -17 V + Source 2 + Figure 2.7. red is (-).30: (-) Reading indicates black is (+).29: 24V source is polarized (-) to (+). .32: Voltmeter readings as read from meters. 24 V Source 1 17 V Source 2 - Total voltage = 7 V + Figure 2. MORE ON AC ”POLARITY” 47 24 V Source 1 Source 2 Total voltage? Figure 2. The meter tells us -17 volts V V OFF A A A COM Source 1 Source 2 Total voltage? Figure 2.

59o . If we let the polarity markings guide our decision to either add or subtract voltage figures – whether those polarity markings represent the true polarity or just the meter test lead orientation – and include the mathematical signs of those voltage figures in our calculations.59o Figure 2. Again.33) Take for example the following circuit: 10 V ∠ 0o + 6 V ∠ 45o + 14.861 V 16. correlate with the given phase angle to represent the true phase relationship of that voltage with other voltages in the circuit. except that phase angle substitutes for mathematical sign.59o Figure 2. any polarity marks must be included as additional symbols on the diagram. (Figure 2. and still arrive at the same total voltage: (Figure 2. The same is true for AC voltages. In order to relate multiple AC voltages at different phase angles to each other. the polarity markings serve as frames of reference to place the voltage figures’ mathematical signs in proper context. it would be perfectly acceptable to represent the 6 volt source as 6 V 225o . However.861 V ∠ 16.861 V ∠ 16. The polarity markings show these two voltage sources aiding each other. . and there is no one “correct” way in which to place them.35) Unlike DC voltage sources. however. They must. 6 V 45o with negative on the left and positive on the right is exactly the same as 6 V 225o with positive on the left and negative on the right: the reversal of polarity markings perfectly complements the addition of 180o to the phase angle designation: (Figure 2.33: Phase angle substitutes for ± sign. so to determine the total voltage across the resistor we must add the voltage figures of 10 V 0o and 6 V 45o together to obtain 14. AC voltage symbols have no intrinsic polarity marking.34) 10 V ∠ 0o + 6 V ∠ 225o + - 14.48 CHAPTER 2. with a reversed set of polarity markings. we need polarity markings to provide frames of reference for those voltages’ phase angles. Therefore. COMPLEX NUMBERS answer.34: Reversing the voltmeter leads on the 6V source changes the phase angle by 180o . the result will always be correct. whose symbols intrinsically define polarity by means of short and long lines.

If this is the case. The only qualification is that all variables must be expressed in complex form. Notice that although magnitude and phase angle is given for each AC voltage source.36: KVL allows addition of complex voltages. no frequency value is specified. . 6 V ∠ 225o + - Figure 2.35: Reversing polarity adds 180o to phase angle • REVIEW: • Polarity markings are sometimes given to AC voltages in circuit schematics in order to provide a frame of reference for their phase angles. network analysis methods).8. thus meeting our qualifications for applying DC rules to an AC circuit (all figures given in complex form. The setup of our equation to find total voltage appears as such: . The polarity marks for all three voltage sources are oriented in such a way that their stated voltages should add to make the total voltage across the load resistor.2. All the rules and laws learned in the study of DC circuits apply to AC circuits as well (Ohm’s Law. with the exception of power calculations (Joule’s Law). SOME EXAMPLES WITH AC CIRCUITS 49 6 V ∠ 45o + . all of the same frequency). . is equivalent to . it is assumed that all frequencies are equal. . taking into account phase as well as magnitude. . (Figure 2. Kirchhoff ’s Laws. and all voltages and currents must be of the same frequency (in order that their phase relationships remain constant).36) 22 V ∠ -64 + E1 + E2 + E3 load o 12 V ∠ 35o 15 V ∠ 0o Figure 2. 2.8 Some examples with AC circuits Let’s connect three AC voltage sources in series and use complex numbers to determine additive voltages.

50 CHAPTER 2. 22 ∠ -64o 15 ∠ 0o 12 ∠ 35o Figure 2. the vectors add up as shown in Figure 2.37: Graphic addition of vector voltages. we can convert each one of these polar-form complex numbers into rectangular form and add. The sum of these vectors will be a resultant vector originating at the starting point for the 22 volt vector (dot at upper-left of diagram) and terminating at the ending point for the 15 volt vector (arrow tip at the middle-right of the diagram): (Figure 2. In order to determine what the resultant vector’s magnitude and angle are without resorting to graphic images. COMPLEX NUMBERS Etotal = E1 + E2 + E3 Etotal = (22 V ∠ -64o) + (12 V ∠ 35o) + (15 V ∠ 0o) Graphically.38: Resultant is equivalent to the vector sum of the three original voltages. we’re adding these figures together because the polarity marks for the three voltage sources are oriented in an additive manner: .37.38) resultant vector 22 ∠ -64o 15 ∠ 0o 12 ∠ 35o Figure 2. Remember.

8829 V 22 V ∠ -64o = 9.8052 volts -20. we get a total voltage of 36. it is not very applicable to practical measurements. The same principle holds true for AC ammeters: they indicate the polar magnitude of the current.8906 V In polar form. This is extremely important in relating calculated figures of voltage and current to real circuits.2.8298 + j6. not the angle.39) ac voltage addition v1 1 0 ac 15 0 sin v2 2 1 ac 12 35 sin v3 3 2 ac 22 -64 sin r1 3 0 10k .j19. An oscilloscope could be used to display two voltage waveforms and thus provide a phase shift measurement.0) vp(3.5o (with reference to the 15 volt source.0) .4740 .8298 + j6. the choice of frequencies for the simulation (60 Hz) is quite arbitrary.end freq 6.5018o .6442 . not the phase angle.7735 V 15 + j0 V 9. the 10 kΩ resistor value is quite arbitrary. and was indeed the final step in our sample problem here. but that is another subject! (Figure 2. whose phase angle was arbitrarily stated at zero degrees so as to be the “reference” .8.7735 V 34.6442 . lagging the 15 volt (0o phase reference) by 20.681E+01 I’m using a frequency of 60 Hz as a default value vp(3) -2.000E+01 v(3) 3.print ac v(3. this equates to 36. lin 1 60 60 . Although rectangular notation is convenient for addition and subtraction. It’s there so that SPICE does not declare an open-circuit error and abort analysis. A voltmeter connected across these points in a real circuit would only indicate the polar magnitude of the voltage (36. but not a voltmeter.5018o .81 volts -20. Rectangular figures must be converted to polar figures (specifically polar magnitude) before they can be related to actual circuit measurements. SOME EXAMPLES WITH AC CIRCUITS 51 15 V ∠ 0o = 15 + j0 V 12 V ∠ 35o = 9. What this means in real terms is that the voltage measured across these three voltage sources will be 36. because resistors respond uniformly for all frequencies of AC voltage and current.8052 volts).8052 volts. In this test circuit.j12. We can use SPICE to verify the accuracy of our results. There are other components (notably capacitors and inductors) which do not respond uniformly to different frequencies.j19.8829 V + 9.050E+01 Sure enough.

as voltage figures will either directly add or subtract.40: Polarity of E2 (12V) is reversed.40) 22 V ∠ -64o Polarity reversed on source E2 ! + E1 E2 + + E3 load 12 V ∠ 35o 15 V ∠ 0o Figure 2. this is counter-intuitive. Even though the angle is still written as 35o . depending on polarity. and 22 volt supplies connected in series? With DC.41) The resultant (sum) vector should begin at the upper-left point (origin of the 22 volt vector) . COMPLEX NUMBERS 3 22 V ∠ -64o 2 12 V ∠ 35o 1 15 V ∠ 0o 0 + V3 + V2 R1 + V1 - 3 10 kΩ 0 Figure 2. our “polarity” (phase shift) can vary anywhere in between full-aiding and full-opposing. 12 volt.39: Spice circuit schematic.52 CHAPTER 2. Remember that the phase angle of any voltage drop is stated in reference to its noted polarity. What if we took the same circuit and reversed one of the supply’s connections? Its contribution to the total voltage would then be the opposite of what it was before: (Figure 2. waveform). But with AC. and this allows for such paradoxical summing. Note how the 12 volt supply’s phase angle is still referred to as 35o . the vector will be drawn 180o opposite of what it was before: (Figure 2. this would be impossible. even though the leads have been reversed. At first glance. How is it possible to obtain a total voltage of just over 36 volts with 15 volt.

42: Resultant is vector sum of voltage sources.41: Direction of E2 is reversed.42) 22 ∠ -64o resultant vector 12 ∠ 35o (reversed) = 12 ∠ 215o or -12 ∠ 35ο 15 ∠ 0o Figure 2.8. and terminate at the right arrow tip of the 15 volt vector: (Figure 2. SOME EXAMPLES WITH AC CIRCUITS 53 22 ∠ -64o 12 ∠ 35o (reversed) = 12 ∠ 215o or -12 ∠ 35o 15 ∠ 0o Figure 2. The connection reversal on the 12 volt supply can be represented in two different ways in .2.

000E+01 v(3) 3. it can be expressed in either of two different ways: adding 180o to the angle.6442 . then: 15 + j0 V -9.8298 . COMPLEX NUMBERS polar form: by an addition of 180o to its vector angle (making it 12 volts 215o ). Once again. Rectangular expressions of complex quantities in an AC circuit have no direct.6564 V In polar form. • When reversing the direction of a vector (equivalent to reversing the polarity of an AC voltage source in relation to other voltage sources). empirical equivalent. with the exception of power calculations (Joule’s Law). or a reversal of sign on the magnitude (making it -12 volts 35o ).8298 .ac lin 1 60 60 . or reversing the sign of the magnitude.9368o .54 CHAPTER 2.j6. we will use SPICE to ac voltage addition v1 1 0 ac 15 0 sin v2 1 2 ac 12 35 sin Note the reversal of node numbers 2 and 1 v3 3 2 ac 22 -64 sin to simulate the swapping of connections r1 3 0 10k .8143 .8829 V + 9.end freq 6. as Kirchhoff ’s Voltage and Current Laws require. although they are convenient for performing addition and subtraction.0) vp(3.4964 V verify the results of our calculations: -60.094E+01 • REVIEW: • All the laws and rules of DC circuits apply to AC circuits.j19.8829 V The resulting addition of voltages in rectangular form.7735 V 14. conversion to rectangular form yields the same result: 12 V ∠ 35o (reversed) = 12 V ∠ 215o = -9. and all voltages and currents are at the same frequency. .0) .8298 .050E+01 vp(3) -6.j6. Either way.j26. so long as all values are expressed and manipulated in complex form.8829 V or -12 V ∠ 35o = -9.print ac v(3. this equates to 30.j6. • Meter measurements in an AC circuit correspond to the polar magnitudes of calculated values.

. which led to a much betterlooking second edition.9. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. CONTRIBUTORS 55 2. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. from most recent to first.9 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions.2.


. . . . . .4 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1: Pure resistive AC circuit: resistor voltage and current are in phase. . 57 59 64 71 74 77 79 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 3. .2) 57 .7 AC resistor circuits . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . More on the “skin effect” . . . . . . . . . . AC inductor circuits . . . . . . . . Contributors .1 AC resistor circuits ET I ER IR ET = ER I = IR R 0° IR ET Figure 3. . . . . . . . . Parallel resistor-inductor circuits Inductor quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . If we were to plot the current and voltage for a very simple AC circuit consisting of a source and a resistor (Figure 3. . . . . . . . . .Chapter 3 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE Contents 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1). . . . .2 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . it would look something like this: (Figure 3. .3 3. . . . . . . . Series resistor-inductor circuits . .

and so on. This consistent “polarity” of power tells us that the resistor is always dissipating power. We can also calculate the power dissipated by this resistor. Whether the .58 CHAPTER 3. when the current is negative (below the line). At any given point in time along the waves. which results in a positive value for power (a negative number multiplied by a negative number equals a positive number). the voltage is also positive. taking it from the source and releasing it in the form of heat energy.2: Voltage and current “in phase” for resistive circuit. and plot those values on the same graph: (Figure 3.3: Instantaneous AC power in a pure resistive circuit is always positive. When the current is positive (above the line). resulting in a power (p=ie) of a positive value. the instantaneous voltage across the resistor is also zero.3) e= i= p= + Time - Figure 3. Because the resistor simply and directly resists the flow of electrons at all periods of time. the waveform for the voltage drop across the resistor is exactly in phase with the waveform for the current through it. meaning the values at that instant in time). Likewise. We can look at any point in time along the horizontal axis of the plot and compare those values of current and voltage with each other (any “snapshot” look at the values of a wave are referred to as instantaneous values. Conversely. the voltage across the resistor is also at its positive peak. Note that the power is never a negative value. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE e= i= + Time - Figure 3. When the instantaneous value for current is zero. at the moment in time where the current through the resistor is at its positive peak. Ohm’s Law holds true for the instantaneous values of voltage and current. the voltage is also negative.

the power equals zero whenever the instantaneous current or voltage is . If we were to plot the current and voltage for this very simple circuit. in amps per second. it would look something like this: (Figure 3. if current is increasing in magnitude. on the current sine wave). is in volts.7) Because instantaneous power is the product of the instantaneous voltage and the instantaneous current (p=ie). if current is decreasing. or level slope. rather than resistance. Expressed mathematically. let’s analyze a simple inductor circuit: (Figure 3. That is. and the instantaneous voltage (e).6) Things get even more interesting when we plot the power for this circuit: (Figure 3. a resistor still dissipates energy. Looking at the graph. this induced voltage is always of such a polarity as to try to maintain current at its present value. where it crosses the zero line).5) Remember.2 AC inductor circuits Inductors do not behave the same as resistors.2.4) ET I EL IL ET = EL I = IL L EL IL 90° Figure 3. Whereas resistors simply oppose the flow of electrons through them (by dropping a voltage directly proportional to the current). the voltage wave seems to have a “head start” on the current wave. Therefore. This opposition to current change is called reactance. but it means the exact same thing. meaning the rate of change of instantaneous current (i) over time. This results in a voltage wave that is 90o out of phase with the current wave. AC INDUCTOR CIRCUITS current is positive or negative. The inductance (L) is in Henrys. 59 3. of course. To show what happens with alternating current. the induced voltage will “push against” the electron flow. In accordance with Lenz’s Law. Sometimes you will find the rate of instantaneous voltage expressed as “v” instead of “e” (v = L di/dt). inductors oppose changes in current through them. the instantaneous voltage is zero whenever the instantaneous current is at a peak (zero change. and the instantaneous voltage is at a peak wherever the instantaneous current is at maximum change (the points of steepest slope on the current wave. the voltage “leads” the current. the voltage dropped across an inductor is a reaction against the change in current through it. by dropping a voltage directly proportional to the rate of change of current.4: Pure inductive circuit: Inductor current lags inductor voltage by 90o .3. (Figure 3. the relationship between the voltage dropped across the inductor and rate of current change through the inductor is as such: e = L di dt The expression di/dt is one from calculus. the polarity will reverse and “push with” the electron flow to oppose the decrease. and the current “lags” behind the voltage.

(+) voltage = max.60 CHAPTER 3. waveforms.6: Current lags voltage by 90o in a pure inductive circuit. current slope = 0 voltage = 0 current slope = max. instantaneous power may be positive or negative .5: Pure inductive circuit.7: In a pure inductive circuit. (-) voltage = max. (+) e= i= Time + current slope = 0 voltage = 0 current slope = max. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE + e= i= Time Figure 3. + e= i= p= Time Figure 3. (-) Figure 3.

. the lower-case Greek letter Omega. reactance associate with an inductor is usually symbolized by the capital letter X with a letter L as a subscript. Mind you.7699 120 7.1: Reactance of a 10 mH inductor: Frequency (Hertz) Reactance (Ohms) 60 3. the result will be a figure in radians per second. An inductor’s opposition to change in current translates to an opposition to alternating current in general. while a positive power means that it is absorbing power from the circuit. Table 3. The exact formula for determining reactance is as follows: XL = 2πfL If we expose a 10 mH inductor to frequencies of 60. To be specific. they will drop more voltage for faster-changing currents. or 360o . the inductor releases just as much power back to the circuit as it absorbs over the span of a complete cycle. Because of the differences. but different in that it always results in a phase shift between current and voltage. and it dissipates zero power.3.1. which appears similar to our Roman lowercase “w”: ω. it will manifest the reactances in Table Figure 3. which is every 2π radians. this is for perfect inductors only. which is by definition always changing in instantaneous magnitude and direction. quite unlike the resistance of a resistor. known as the angular velocity of the AC system. because the current and voltage waves are 90o out of phase. Reactance to AC is expressed in ohms. What this means in a practical sense is that the reactance of an inductor dissipates a net energy of zero. It is the number of radians per second that the alternating current is “rotating” at. if you imagine one cycle of AC to represent a full circle’s rotation. like this: XL . it will produce one cycle for every full turn of shaft rotation. Angular velocity may be represented by the expression 2πf. This opposition to alternating current is similar to resistance. 120. the term “2πf ” (everything on the right-hand side except the L) has a special meaning unto itself. Whenever the instantaneous current and voltage are both positive (above the line). If the alternator producing the AC is a double-pole unit.5398 2500 157. which have no wire resistance. just as there are 360o in a full circle. A radian is a unit of angular measurement: there are 2π radians in one full circle. there are times when one is positive while the other is negative. it has a different name: reactance. If this constant of 2π is multiplied by frequency in Hertz (cycles per second). and 2500 Hz. or it may be represented by its own symbol. Thus. just like resistance is. Since the positive and negative power cycles are equal in magnitude and duration over time. the power is positive. As with the resistor example.2. and less voltage for slower-changing currents. Since inductors drop voltage in proportion to the rate of current change. AC INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 61 zero. the reactance formula XL = 2πfL could also be written as XL = ωL. resulting in equally frequent occurrences of negative instantaneous power. which dissipates energy in the form of heat. except that its mathematical symbol is X instead of R. the power is also positive when the instantaneous current and voltage are both negative (below the line). However. But what does negative power mean? It means that the inductor is releasing power back to the circuit. What this means is that reactance in ohms for any inductor is directly proportional to the frequency of the alternating current.0796 In the reactance equation.

6526 A However. It is not necessarily representative of the actual shaft speed of the alternator producing the AC. a full cycle being equal to 2π radians. just as either alternating or direct current in a simple resistive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the resistance (in ohms). ω is sometimes expressed in units of electrical radians per second rather than (plain) radians per second. Alternating current in a simple inductive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the inductive reactance (in ohms).7699 Ω I= I= I = 2.9) If we represent these phase angles of voltage and current mathematically in the form of complex numbers. the angular velocity will be a multiple of the shaft speed. we need to keep in mind that voltage and current are not in phase here. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE It must be understood that this “angular velocity” is an expression of how rapidly the AC waveforms are cycling. an inductor will offer greater opposition to the passage of current.62 CHAPTER 3. we find that an inductor’s opposition to current has a phase angle. so as to distinguish it from mechanical motion.7699 Ω E X 10 V 3. As the frequency (or alternator shaft speed) is increased in an AC system. An example circuit is shown here: (Figure 3.8) 10 V 60 Hz L 10 mH Figure 3. it is apparent that it is directly proportional to reactance in an inductor. For this reason. Any way we express the angular velocity of the system.8: Inductive reactance (inductive reactance of 10 mH inductor at 60 Hz) XL = 3. As was shown earlier. If the alternator has more than two poles. (Figure 3. and vice versa. the voltage has a phase shift of +90o with respect to the current. too: .

2. Reactance is symbolized by the capital letter “X” and is measured in ohms just like resistance (R).7699 Ω For an inductor: 90o 90o E 0o I Opposition (XL) Figure 3. • Inductive reactance can be calculated using this formula: XL = 2πfL • The angular velocity of an AC circuit is another way of expressing its frequency. AC INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 63 Opposition = Voltage Current 10 V ∠ 90o 2. meaning that an inductor’s opposition to current is a positive imaginary quantity. This phase angle of reactive opposition to current becomes critically important in circuit analysis.9: Current lags voltage by 90o in an inductor. especially for complex AC circuits where reactance and resistance interact.7699 Ω ∠ 90o or 0 + j3.3.6526 A ∠ 0ο Opposition = Opposition = 3. in units of electrical radians per second instead of cycles per second. • REVIEW: • Inductive reactance is the opposition that an inductor offers to alternating current due to its phase-shifted storage and release of energy in its magnetic field. . It will prove beneficial to represent any component’s opposition to current in terms of complex numbers rather than scalar quantities of resistance and reactance. It is symbolized by the lowercase Greek letter “omega.” or ω. we say that the phase angle of an inductor’s opposition to current is 90o . Mathematically.

the higher the frequency. Take this circuit as an example to work with: (Figure 3. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE • Inductive reactance increases with increasing frequency. or 5 + j0 Ω).7699 Ω 90o . while the inductor will offer 3. The resistor will offer 5 Ω of resistance to AC current regardless of frequency.3 Series resistor-inductor circuits In the previous section.10) R ET I IR EL IL ET = ER+ EL I = IR = IL L EL 37° I ER ET 10 V 60 Hz R 5Ω L 10 mH Figure 3. This combined opposition will be a vector combination of resistance and reactance. In other words.7699 Ω). the combined effect of the two components will be an opposition to current equal to the complex sum of the two numbers.7699 Ω or 6. the total circuit impedance is: Ztotal = (5 Ω resistance) + (3. its symbol is Z. In the above example. In order to express this opposition succinctly. and it is also expressed in the unit of ohms.10: Series resistor inductor circuit: Current lags applied voltage by 0o to 90o .016o .7699 Ω ∠ 900) or (5 + j0 Ω) + (0 + j3.7699 Ω (XL) Ztotal = (5 Ω ∠ 0o) + (3. Now we will mix the two components together in series form and investigate the effects.262 Ω ∠ 37.7699 Ω inductive reactance) Ztotal = 5 Ω (R) + 3. the more it opposes the AC flow of electrons. or 0 + j3. and the inductor’s reactance is an imaginary number (3. 3.7699 Ω) Ztotal = 5 + j3. we explored what would happen in simple resistor-only and inductoronly AC circuits. This term is called impedance. Because the resistor’s resistance is a real number (5 Ω 0o .64 CHAPTER 3.7699 Ω of reactance to AC current at 60 Hz. we need a more comprehensive term for opposition to current than either resistance or reactance alone. just like resistance and reactance.

016o I = 1.262 Ω ∠ 37. (Figure 3. To calculate current in the above circuit. regardless of the given phase angles for voltage or current). we first need to give a phase angle reference for the voltage source.597 A ∠ -37. the current wave lags behind the voltage wave (of the source). (The phase angles of resistive and inductive impedance are always 0o and +90o . in a manner similar to resistance in Ohm’s Law: Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ I= E Z Z= E I All quantities expressed in complex. I= I= E Z 10 V ∠ 0o 6. can be and should be represented as a single impedance in an AC circuit.11: Current lags voltage in a series L-R circuit. respectively. Any resistance and any reactance.016o as opposed to a full 90o as was the case in the purely inductive circuit.3. just as impedance is a far more comprehensive expression of opposition to the flow of electrons than resistance is.016o As with the purely inductive circuit. form In fact.3. separately or in combination (series/parallel).11) phase shift = 37. For the resistor and the inductor. Voltage across the resistor is in phase (0o shift) with the current through . the phase relationships between voltage and current haven’t changed.016o + e= i= Time Figure 3. although this time the lag is not as great: only 37. SERIES RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 65 Impedance is related to voltage and current just as you might expect. this is a far more comprehensive form of Ohm’s Law than what was taught in DC electronics (E=IR). not scalar. which is generally assumed to be zero.

597 A ∠ -37.016o . and the voltage across the inductor is +90o out of phase with the current going through it.66 CHAPTER 3. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE it. E = IZ EL = ILZL EL = (1.9847 V ∠ -37.0203 V ∠ 52.9847 V ∠ -37. while the current through the inductor has a phase angle of -37. a difference of exactly 90o between the two.12) .016o) + (6. The voltage across the resistor has the exact same phase angle as the current through it.0203 V ∠ 52.984o) Etotal = 10 V ∠ 0o Let’s check the validity of our calculations with SPICE: (Figure 3.984o . just as Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law would predict: Etotal = ER + EL Etotal = (7.597 A ∠ -37. This tells us that E and I are still 90o out of phase (for the inductor only). We can also mathematically prove that these complex values add together to make the total voltage.016o Notice that the phase angle of ER is equal to the phase angle of the current.984o Notice that the phase angle of EL is exactly 90o more than the phase angle of the current.016o)(3.7699 Ω ∠ 90o) EL = 6.016o)(5 Ω ∠ 0o) ER = 7. We can verify this mathematically: E = IZ ER = IRZR ER = (1. The voltage across the inductor has a phase angle of 52. telling us that E and I are in phase (for the resistor only).

2) v(2. don’t insert actual resistance or inductance values in Ohms and Henrys.702E+01 v(2) 6.597E+00 ip(v1) 1.02o and 52. First. it would be beneficial for us to use the “table” method. convert them into complex figures of impedance and write those in): . Note how both the resistor and inductor voltage phase readings match our calculations (-37.98o .016o .2) vp(2. draw up a table for E/I/Z figures and insert all component values in these terms (in other words.12: Spice circuit: R-L. With all these figures to keep track of for even such a simple circuit as this.print ac vp(1. rather.985E+00 vp(1. Applying a table to this simple series resistorinductor circuit would proceed as such.02o EL = 6. respectively).430E+02 Interpreted SPICE results ER = 7.98o I = 1.3.020 V ∠ 52. ac r-l circuit v1 1 0 ac 10 sin r1 1 2 5 l1 2 0 10m .ac lin 1 60 60 .985 V ∠ -37.020E+00 vp(2) 5.2) -3. SPICE outputs current figures as though they were negative (180o out of phase) with the supply voltage. into the table.3. SERIES RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 67 1 10 V 60 Hz 0 R 5Ω L 2 10 mH 0 Figure 3.298E+01 i(v1) 1.000E+01 v(1.0o Note that just as with DC circuits.2) 7. we get a current phase angle of 143o (-37o + 180o ).print ac v(1.0) ip(v1) .end freq 6. Instead of a phase angle of -37.000E+01 freq 6. just as we expected them to.597 A ∠ 143.0) i(v1) . respectively. This is merely an idiosyncrasy of SPICE and does not represent anything significant in the circuit simulation itself.

However. we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) to determine total current: .7699 6. and multiplication and division in polar form).68 R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 3.016o Ohms Now that we know total voltage and total impedance.7699 ∠ 90o Ohms Although it isn’t necessary. If you are using a calculator that has the ability to perform complex arithmetic without the need for conversion between rectangular and polar forms.7699 3. Since this is a series circuit.7699 3. writing each quantity in both forms will be useful indeed. if you are forced to perform complex arithmetic “longhand” (addition and subtraction in rectangular form. we know that opposition to electron flow (resistance or impedance) adds to form the total opposition: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 + j3. Now that our “given” figures are inserted into their respective locations in the table. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 + j3. we can proceed just as with DC: determine the total impedance from the individual impedances. I find it helpful to write both the rectangular and polar forms of each quantity in the table.262 ∠ 37.7699 ∠ 90o Rule of series circuits Ztotal = ZR + ZL 5 + j3. then this extra documentation is completely unnecessary.

applied vertically in each column of the table: .016o 5 + j3.j0.9614 1.j0.016o 0 + j3. respectively.016o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 1.597 ∠ -37.597 ∠ -37. we can transfer the figures for current into the columns for the resistor and inductor alike: R E I Z 1.7699 ∠ 90o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 1.2751 .016o 5 + j3.2751 .016o Volts Amps Ohms 69 Ohm’s Law E I= Z Just as with DC.7699 3.016o Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IR = IL Now all that’s left to figure is the voltage drop across the resistor and inductor. therefore the rate of their flow must uniform throughout.262 ∠ 37.7699 ∠ 90o 1.7699 6.9614 1.9614 1. SERIES RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 0 + j3.2751 .7699 6. This is still true because in a series circuit there is only a single path for electrons to flow.j0.7699 3. This is done through the use of Ohm’s Law (E=IZ).3.2751 .j0. Consequently.597 ∠ -37.597 ∠ -37.9614 1.262 ∠ 37. the total current in a series AC circuit is shared equally by all components.3.

Thus.8071 6.3756 (real rectangular) or 4. the best choice would be polar. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE L 3. The figures here that directly relate to real-life measurements are those in polar notation. resistance. As I stated before. is a more abstract form of notation than polar in relation to real-world measurements.j4.0203 ∠ 52. because it is the only one that can be directly correlated to real measurements.9847 volts. Rectangular notation. and impedance are proportional to voltage. This is not absolutely necessary.j0.j0.70 R E I Z 6. given the resistance (R) and the inductive reactance (XL ). there is no fundamental difference in how we approach basic AC circuit analysis versus DC. respectively.597 ∠ -37. Find the impedance at 60 hertz. it would indicate 7. but may be helpful for those following along without the benefit of an advanced calculator.016o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 3. To describe this in graphical terms.984o 1.7699 6.016o 5 + j3.9614 1. E=IXL .2751 . Since E=IR.13) Example: Given: A 40 Ω resistor in series with a 79.262 ∠ 37. measurement instruments simply tell you how long the vector is for that particular quantity (voltage or current).016o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ And with that. The exact same rules we applied in the analysis of DC circuits apply to AC circuits as well.9614 1.9614 1. if you were to connect a voltmeter across the resistor in this circuit.j0.2751 . reactance.8071 (imaginary rectangular) volts. not rectangular! In other words. the voltage phasor diagram can be replaced by a similar impedance diagram. while convenient for arithmetical addition and subtraction.7699 ∠ 90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 1.597 ∠ -37. (Figure 3.3756 . our table is complete.9847 ∠ -37. and E=IZ.8071 7.6244 + j4. Now is a good time to review the relationship between these calculated figures and readings given by actual instrument measurements of voltage and current.016o 1.2751 . XL XL XL Z Z = = = = = 2πfL 2π·60·79. Impedance (Z) of a series R-L circuit may be calculated. with the caveat that all quantities must be represented and calculated in complex rather than scalar form.016o 0 + j3.7699 3. If we were to restrict ourselves to the use of only one form of notation. not 6.58 millihenry inductor.597 ∠ -37.58×10−3 30 Ω R + jXL 40 + j30 . I will indicate both polar and rectangular forms of each quantity in my AC circuit tables simply for convenience of mathematical calculation. So long as phase shift is properly represented in our calculations.

The circuit current will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o . • Series AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as series DC circuits: current is uniform throughout the circuit. and the resistor and inductor both have the same values of resistance and inductance. voltage drops add to form the total voltage. It is symbolized by the letter “Z” and measured in ohms. .4. • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in series circuit analysis: series impedances add to form the total impedance. just like resistance (R) and reactance (X). Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = Z1 + Z2 + . and impedances add to form the total impedance. the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and +90o . Z = E/I • When resistors and inductors are mixed together in circuits.4 Parallel resistor-inductor circuits Let’s take the same components for our series example circuit and connect them in parallel: (Figure 3. • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ .3. respectively. I = E/Z . |Z| = sqrt(402 + 302 ) = 50 Ω Z = arctangent(30/40) = 36. PARALLEL RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS 71 R ET I IR EL IL XL EL 37° I Voltage ET XL 37° Z ER Impedance R Figure 3.13: Series: R-L circuit Impedance phasor diagram. . 3.87o • REVIEW: • Impedance is the total measure of opposition to electric current and is the complex (vector) sum of (“real”) resistance and (“imaginary”) reactance. Zn • A purely resistive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly 0o (ZR = R Ω 0o ).87o Z = 40 + j30 = 50 36.14) Because the power source has the same frequency as the series example circuit. . • A purely inductive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly +90o (ZL = XL Ω 90o ).

72 CHAPTER 3.14: Parallel R-L circuit. they must also have the same values of impedance.7699 ∠ 90o L Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms The only difference in our analysis technique this time is that we will apply the rules of parallel circuits instead of the rules for series circuits. we can begin our analysis table with the same “given” values: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 0 + j3.7699 ∠ 90o Rule of parallel circuits: Etotal = ER = EL 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Now we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically to two columns of the table.7699 3. so we can transfer the figure of total voltage (10 volts 0o ) to all components columns: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 0 + j3. The approach is fundamentally the same as for DC. So. We know that voltage is shared uniformly by all components in a parallel circuit. calculating current through the resistor and current through the inductor: .7699 3. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE E I R -53° E I R 10 V 60 Hz R 5Ω L 10 mH IR IL L IL I I = IR+ IL E = ER = EL Figure 3.

just as with DC circuits.6526 ∠ -90o 0 + j3.7699 ∠ 90o Rule of parallel circuits: Itotal = IR + IL Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 .6526 3.3221 ∠ -52. branch currents in a parallel AC circuit add to form the total current (Kirchhoff ’s Current Law still holds true for AC as it did for DC): R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 .7699 3.7699 ∠ 90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 73 Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z Just as with DC circuits.4.3.984o Volts Amps Ohms Finally.6526 2. PARALLEL RESISTOR-INDUCTOR CIRCUITS R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 .” be prepared for a very large amount of work! But.j2. and this example is no different.j2. No matter which way you calculate total impedance (Ohm’s Law or the reciprocal formula).j2. parallel impedance can also be calculated by using a reciprocal formula identical to that used in calculating parallel resistances. you will arrive at the same figure: . we often have multiple options in calculating the quantities in our analysis tables. Incidentally..7699 3. Zparallel = 1 1 1 1 + + .6526 2. And if you’re determined to run through a formula like this “longhand. total impedance can be calculated by using Ohm’s Law (Z=E/I) vertically in the “Total” column. Z1 Z2 Zn The only problem with using this formula is that it typically involves a lot of calculator keystrokes to carry out..6526 ∠ -90o 0 + j3.

the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and +90o .0102 ∠ 52. That is. Compounding this problem is something called the skin effect. Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = 1/(1/Z1 + 1/Z2 + . . The circuit current will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o .6526 ∠ -90o 0 + j3. inductors are not quite so pure in their reactive behavior.j2. the impedance of any real inductor will always be a complex combination of resistance and inductive reactance. like this: (Figure 3. using the reciprocal formula. • Parallel AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as parallel DC circuits: voltage is uniform throughout the circuit.8122 + j2.984o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law Z= E I or Rule of parallel circuits: 1 Ztotal = 1 1 + ZR ZL • REVIEW: • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in parallel circuit analysis: parallel impedances diminish to form the total impedance. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE L 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 .4035 3. .6526 3. and not electron friction as is the case with resistive components. an inductor acts as a purely reactive device. and we know that all wire possesses some measurable amount of resistance (unless its superconducting wire).74 R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 3. its opposition to AC current is strictly based on inductive reaction to changes in current. and impedances diminish (through the reciprocal formula) to form the total impedance.6526 2. they’re made of wire. This built-in resistance acts as though it were connected in series with the perfect inductance of the coil.322 ∠ -52.j2.15) Consequently. 3. To begin with. I = E/Z . which is AC’s tendency to flow through the outer areas of a conductor’s cross-section rather than through the middle. However.7699 ∠ 90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 .984o 1. Z = E/I • When resistors and inductors are mixed together in parallel circuits (just as in series circuits). branch currents add to form the total current. .7699 3.5 Inductor quirks In an ideal case. 1/Zn ) • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ .

and thus where standard combustion heating technology would be useless. this process of “inductive heating” is often used in high-purity metal foundry operations. Also. on the other hand. As you might have expected. When an inductor is energized with AC. In high-frequency service. the alternating magnetic fields produced tend to induce circulating currents within the iron core known as eddy currents. especially if the AC is of high frequency. special . the alternating magnetic field of an inductor energized with AC may radiate off into space as part of an electromagnetic wave. and so it manifests itself as resistance (power dissipation) in the circuit. It is a “non-contact” technology. each one separated from the other by a thin layer of electrically insulating varnish.5. contributing to additional resistive effects. To counteract this tendency. Eddy current losses are primarily counteracted by dividing the iron core up into many thin sheets (laminations). which is not as good a conductor as copper.3. With the cross-section of the core divided up into many electrically isolated sections. limiting the effective cross-sectional area available. These electric currents in the iron core have to overcome the electrical resistance offered by the iron. current cannot circulate within that cross-sectional area and there will be no (or very little) resistive losses from that effect. tend to avoid travel through the very middle of a conductor. The effect is more pronounced at higher frequencies. where metallic elements and alloys must be heated in a vacuum environment to avoid contamination by air. INDUCTOR QUIRKS 75 Equivalent circuit for a real inductor Wire resistance R Ideal inductor L Figure 3. the heated substance not having to touch the coil(s) producing the magnetic field. When electrons flow in a single direction (DC). and can be so extreme that it is sometimes exploited in manufacturing processes to heat metal objects! In fact. eddy current losses in metallic inductor cores manifest themselves in the form of heat. there are other effects at work in ironcore inductors which manifest themselves as additional resistance between the leads. This radiated energy does not return to the inductor. eddy currents can even develop within the cross-section of the wire itself. The skin effect becomes more pronounced as frequency increases.15: Inductor Equivalent circuit of a real inductor. Electrons switching directions of flow. they use the entire cross-sectional area of the conductor to move. Added to the resistive losses of wire and radiation.

individually insulated strands called Litz wire (short for Litzendraht) can be used.16) Equivalent circuit for a real inductor "Effective" resistance R Ideal inductor L Figure 3.16: Equivalent circuit of a real inductor with skin-effect. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE wire made of very fine. eddy current. and hysteresis losses. radiation losses. It is worthy to note that the skin effect and radiation losses apply just as well to straight lengths of wire in an AC circuit as they do a coiled wire.” the “purer” the inductor is. Usually their combined effect is too small to notice. Effective resistance in an inductor can be a serious consideration for the AC circuit designer. for example. For some reason. The insulation separating strands from each other prevent eddy currents from circulating through the whole wire’s cross-sectional area. Counteracting this effect is best done by means of proper core material selection and limits on the peak magnetic field intensity generated with each cycle. the stray resistive properties of a real inductor (wire resistance. Altogether. radiation. which tends to be confusing. To help quantify the relative amount of effective resistance in an inductor. and hysteresis losses) are expressed under the single term of “effective resistance:” (Figure 3. the Powers That Be decided to use the same letter of the alphabet to denote a totally different quantity. eddy currents. a high-Q inductor is better than a low-Q inductor for design . A radio transmitter antenna. Because its so easy to add additional resistance if needed. The higher the value for “Q. but at radio frequencies they can be quite large. is designed with the express purpose of dissipating the greatest amount of energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation.76 CHAPTER 3. another value exists called the Q factor. Additionally. any magnetic hysteresis that needs to be overcome with every reversal of the inductor’s magnetic field constitutes an expenditure of energy that manifests itself as resistance in the circuit. Some core materials (such as ferrite) are particularly notorious for their hysteretic effect. or “quality factor” which is calculated as follows: Q= XL R The symbol “Q” has nothing to do with electric charge (coulombs).

3. Q does not vary proportionally with reactance. the skin effect is where alternating current tends to avoid travel through the center of a solid conductor. and therefore further “taints” the reactive purity of real inductors. 3. since the resistive effects of inductors (wire skin effect. or some other kind of electrical insulation). limiting itself to conduction near the surface. with zero effective resistance.17: Skin effect: skin depth decreases with increasing frequency. varnish. eddy current. AC capacitance will be explored in the next chapter. An ideal inductor would have a Q of infinity. but it suffices to say at this point that it behaves very differently from AC inductance. radiation losses. . increasing the resistance of that conductor above what it would normally be for direct current: (Figure 3. it must be specified at a particular test frequency. Stray resistance isn’t the only inductor quirk we need to be aware of. MORE ON THE “SKIN EFFECT” 77 purposes.6. This effectively limits the cross-sectional conductor area available to carry alternating electron flow.17) Cross-sectional area of a round conductor available for conducting DC current "DC resistance" Cross-sectional area of the same conductor available for conducting low-frequency AC "AC resistance" Cross-sectional area of the same conductor available for conducting high-frequency AC "AC resistance" Figure 3.6 More on the “skin effect” As previously mentioned. we have the potential for capacitance to develop between turns. Because inductive reactance (X) varies with frequency. In order for a Q value to have precise meaning. so will Q. Due to the fact that the multiple turns of wire comprising inductors are separated from each other by an insulating gap (air. and hysteresis) also vary with frequency. However.

As you can see.” the “AC resistance” of the same conductor referring to a higher figure resulting from the skin effect. The degree to which frequency affects the effective resistance of a solid wire conductor is impacted by the gauge of that wire. the wire might as well be hollow! In some radio applications (antennas. why not just use hollow metal rods instead of solid metal wires and save both weight and cost? (Figure 3. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE The electrical resistance of the conductor with all its cross-sectional area in use is known as the “DC resistance. for excellent conductivity at the “skin” of the tube: Figure 3.18) Most antenna structures and RF power conductors are made of hollow metal tubes for this reason. large-gauge wires exhibit a more pronounced . Since radiofrequency (“RF”) AC currents wouldn’t travel through the middle of a conductor anyway. In the following photograph you can see some large inductors used in a 50 kW radio transmitting circuit. As a rule. at high frequencies the AC current avoids travel through most of the conductor’s cross-sectional area. For the purpose of conducting current. The inductors are hollow copper tubes coated with silver.18: High power inductors formed from hollow tubes.78 CHAPTER 3. most notably) this effect is exploited.

This is simply an estimated figure of pure resistance for the conductor (that opposition to the AC flow of electrons which does dissipate power in the form of heat).7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. and the combined effects of reactance and resistance (impedance).3. are entirely different matters. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. 3. The equation for approximating skin effect at high frequencies (greater than 1 MHz) is as follows: RAC = (RDC)(k) Where.5 8 34.6 1/0 88.2: “k” factor for various AWG wire sizes.86 6 47. and it does not consider any reactive effects. .0 10 27. f RAC = AC resistance at given frequency "f" RDC = Resistance at zero frequency (DC) k = Wire gage factor (see table below) f = Frequency of AC in MHz (MegaHertz) Table 3. CONTRIBUTORS 79 skin effect (change in resistance from DC) than small-gauge wires at any given frequency. Reactance.9 4 55.0 14 17.5 22 6.9 - For example.6) RAC = 2. gage size k factor gage size k factor 4/0 124. Table 3.6 2 69.8 18 10. from most recent to first.182 kΩ f 10 Please remember that this figure is not impedance.7.2 gives approximate values of “k” factor for various round wire sizes.8 2/0 99. a length of number 10-gauge wire with a DC end-to-end resistance of 25 Ω would have an AC (effective) resistance of 2. inductive or capacitive.182 kΩ at a frequency of 10 MHz: RAC = (RDC)(k) RAC = (25 Ω)(27. corrected for the skin effect.

. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE Jim Palmer (June 2001): Identified and offered correction for typographical error in complex number calculation.80 CHAPTER 3. which led to a much betterlooking second edition.

. .Chapter 4 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE Contents 4. . . .1: Pure resistive AC circuit: voltage and current are in phase. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 4. . . . . . . Parallel resistor-capacitor circuits Capacitor quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 AC resistor circuits ET I ER IR ET = ER I = IR R 0° IR ET Figure 4. . . . . . . . . . . . Series resistor-capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 4. . . . . . . . . . . . .6 AC resistor circuits . . . . . . 81 83 87 92 95 97 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . If we were to plot the current and voltage for a very simple AC circuit consisting of a source and a resistor. . . . . . . . . . (Figure 4. .4 4. .1) it would look something like this: (Figure 4. . . . . . .2) Because the resistor allows an amount of current directly proportional to the voltage across it at all periods of time.5 4. . . . . . . . the waveform for the current is exactly in phase with the waveform for 81 . . . . . . . AC capacitor circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contributors . . . . . . . .

and so on. This consistent “polarity” of power tells us that the resistor is always dissipating power. .2: Voltage and current “in phase” for resistive circuit. Likewise. the voltage. When the current is positive (above the line).3) e= i= p= + Time - Figure 4. the instantaneous current through the resistor is also zero. which results in a positive value for power (a negative number multiplied by a negative number equals a positive number). Conversely. meaning the values at that instant in time). We can look at any point in time along the horizontal axis of the plot and compare those values of current and voltage with each other (any “snapshot” look at the values of a wave are referred to as instantaneous values. a resistor still dissipates energy. the current through the resistor is also at its positive peak. when the current is negative (below the line). We can also calculate the power dissipated by this resistor. Whether the current is positive or negative. Note that the power is never a negative value. Ohm’s Law holds true for the instantaneous values of voltage and current.3: Instantaneous AC power in a resistive circuit is always positive. the voltage is also positive. At any given point in time along the waves. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE e= i= + Time - Figure 4. taking it from the source and releasing it in the form of heat energy. resulting in a power (p=ie) of a positive value. When the instantaneous value for voltage is zero. the voltage is also negative. and plot those values on the same graph: (Figure 4. at the moment in time where the voltage across the resistor is at its positive peak.82 CHAPTER 4.

2.4) ET I VC IC EC ET = EC I = IC C -90° IC Figure 4. in volts per second. AC CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 83 4. Remember.4. it would look something like this: (Figure 4. capacitors oppose changes in voltage by drawing or supplying current as they charge or discharge to the new voltage level. This opposition to voltage change is another form of reactance. let’s analyze a simple capacitor circuit: (Figure 4. The flow of electrons “through” a capacitor is directly proportional to the rate of change of voltage across the capacitor. Whereas resistors allow a flow of electrons through them directly proportional to the voltage drop. Sometimes you will find the rate of instantaneous voltage change over time expressed as dv/dt instead of de/dt: using the lower-case letter “v” instead or “e” to represent voltage. of course. the current through a capacitor is a reaction against the change in voltage across it.2 AC capacitor circuits Capacitors do not behave the same as resistors. To show what happens with alternating current. the instantaneous current is zero whenever the instantaneous voltage is .4: Pure capacitive circuit: capacitor voltage lags capacitor current by 90o If we were to plot the current and voltage for this very simple circuit. the relationship between the current “through” the capacitor and rate of voltage change across the capacitor is as such: i=C de dt The expression de/dt is one from calculus. but it means the exact same thing. is in amps. but one that is precisely opposite to the kind exhibited by inductors. The capacitance (C) is in Farads. meaning the rate of change of instantaneous voltage (e) over time. Therefore.5: Pure capacitive circuit waveforms. and the instantaneous current (i).5) + e= i= Time Figure 4. Expressed mathematically.

6: Voltage lags current by 90o in a pure capacitive circuit. (Figure 4. This means that a capacitor does not dissipate power as it reacts against changes in voltage.7: In a pure capacitive circuit.7) + e= i= p= Time Figure 4. (-) current = max. (+) e= i= Time + voltage slope = 0 current = 0 voltage slope = max. the current “leads” the voltage. and the voltage “lags” behind the current. (-) Figure 4. As with the simple inductor circuit. . too: (Figure 4. the same unusual power wave that we saw with the simple inductor circuit is present in the simple capacitor circuit. Looking at the graph. alternately. or level slope. This results in a voltage wave that is -90o out of phase with the current wave. As you might have guessed. the instantaneous power may be positive or negative.6) voltage slope = 0 current = 0 voltage slope = max. it merely absorbs and releases power. and the instantaneous current is at a peak wherever the instantaneous voltage is at maximum change (the points of steepest slope on the voltage wave. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE at a peak (zero change. on the voltage sine wave). the current wave seems to have a “head start” on the voltage wave. (+) current = max. where it crosses the zero line). the 90 degree phase shift between voltage and current results in a power wave that alternates equally between positive and negative.84 CHAPTER 4.

2. inductive reactance (in ohms) increases with increasing AC frequency.8) 10 V 60 Hz C 100 µF Figure 4. the reactance of a capacitor is expressed in ohms and symbolized by the letter X (or XC to be more specific). just as either alternating or direct current in a simple resistive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the resistance (in ohms). The following circuit illustrates this mathematical relationship by example: (Figure 4.1: Reactance of a 100 uF capacitor: Frequency (Hertz) Reactance (Ohms) 60 26. Capacitive reactance (in ohms) decreases with increasing AC frequency.4. the equation XC = 1/(2πfC) could also be written as XC = 1/(ωC). and less current for slower-changing voltages. the reactance equation’s 2πf term may be replaced by the lower-case Greek letter Omega (ω). capacitors oppose faster changing voltage drops by allowing greater currents. the AC current through a capacitor is a function of the AC voltage across it. and the reactance offered by the capacitor. which is referred to as the angular velocity of the AC circuit.6366 Please note that the relationship of capacitive reactance to frequency is exactly opposite from that of inductive reactance. (Table 4. with ω cast in units of radians per second. a capacitor of given size will “conduct” a certain magnitude of AC current. Just as the current through a resistor is a function of the voltage across the resistor and the resistance offered by the resistor.2629 2500 0. Conversely.5258 120 13. For any given magnitude of AC voltage at a given frequency. Inductors oppose faster changing currents by producing greater voltage drops. Since capacitors “conduct” current in proportion to the rate of voltage change. What this means is that reactance in ohms for any capacitor is inversely proportional to the frequency of the alternating current. they will pass more current for faster-changing voltages (as they charge and discharge to the same voltage peaks in less time). As with inductors. which is by definition always changing in instantaneous magnitude and direction. AC CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 85 A capacitor’s opposition to change in voltage translates to an opposition to alternating voltage in general. Alternating current in a simple capacitive circuit is equal to the voltage (in volts) divided by the capacitive reactance (in ohms). .1) XC = 1 2πfC Table 4. As with inductors.8: Capacitive reactance. Thus.

we can calculate the phase angle of the capacitor’s reactive opposition to current. and not just scalar quantities of resistance and reactance.5258 Ω I= I= E X 10 V 26.9) This phase angle of reactive opposition to current becomes critically important in circuit analysis. If we represent these phase angles of voltage and current mathematically.5258 Ω ∠ -90o For a capacitor: 90o -90o I 0o E Opposition (XC) Figure 4. .5258 Ω I = 0.3770 A ∠ 90o Opposition = Opposition = 26. the current has a phase shift of +90o with respect to the voltage.3770 A However. Mathematically.9: Voltage lags current by 90o in an inductor. Opposition = Voltage Current 10 V ∠ 0o 0.86 CHAPTER 4. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE XC = 26. we say that the phase angle of a capacitor’s opposition to current is -90o . It will prove beneficial to represent any component’s opposition to current in terms of complex numbers. especially for complex AC circuits where reactance and resistance interact. we need to keep in mind that voltage and current are not in phase here. meaning that a capacitor’s opposition to current is a negative imaginary quantity. As was shown earlier. (Figure 4.

Reactance is symbolized by the capital letter “X” and is measured in ohms just like resistance (R).10: Series capacitor inductor circuit: voltage lags current by 0o to 90o . the combined effect of the two components will be an opposition to current equal to the complex sum of the two numbers. or 5 + j0 Ω). Now we will combine the two components together in series form and investigate the effects.3 Series resistor-capacitor circuits In the last section.5258 Ω). SERIES RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS • REVIEW: 87 • Capacitive reactance is the opposition that a capacitor offers to alternating current due to its phase-shifted storage and release of energy in its electric field. Because the resistor’s resistance is a real number (5 Ω 0o . The resistor will offer 5 Ω of resistance to AC current regardless of frequency. (Figure 4.4. The term for this complex opposition to current is impedance. or 0 . the total circuit impedance is: .j26.3° R 10 V 60 Hz 5Ω C 100 µF ET Figure 4. the higher the frequency. and the capacitor’s reactance is an imaginary number (26.5258 Ω -90o . just like resistance and reactance.10) R ET I IR VC IC ET = ER+ EC I = IR = IC EC C I ER -79. while the capacitor will offer 26. In other words. 4.5258 Ω of reactance to AC current at 60 Hz. the less it opposes (the more it “conducts”) the AC flow of electrons. • Capacitive reactance can be calculated using this formula: XC = 1/(2πfC) • Capacitive reactance decreases with increasing frequency. we learned what would happen in simple resistor-only and capacitor-only AC circuits. its symbol is Z.3. In the above example. and it is also expressed in the unit of ohms.

5258 Ω ∠ -90o) or (5 + j0 Ω) + (0 . separately or in combination (series/parallel). can be and should be represented as a single impedance.993 Ω ∠ -79. although this time the difference is 79. the current wave is leading the voltage wave (of the source).5258 Ω) Ztotal = 5 .88 CHAPTER 4.933 Ω ∠ -79. which is generally assumed to be zero.5 mA ∠ 79. the “table” method of organizing circuit quantities is a very useful tool for AC analysis just as it is for DC analysis.j26.325o instead of a full 90o . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE Ztotal = (5 Ω resistance) + (26. To calculate current in the above circuit. Let’s place out known figures for this series circuit into a table and continue the analysis using this tool: . (The phase angles of resistive and capacitive impedance are always 0o and -90o . this is a far more comprehensive form of Ohm’s Law than what was taught in DC electronics (E=IR).325o Impedance is related to voltage and current just as you might expect.325o As with the purely capacitive circuit.j26. Any resistance and any reactance. we first need to give a phase angle reference for the voltage source.5258 Ω capacitive reactance) Ztotal = 5 Ω (R) + 26. (Figure 4.5258 Ω or 26. respectively. regardless of the given phase angles for voltage or current). form In fact.5258 Ω (XC) Ztotal = (5 Ω ∠ 0o) + (26. just as impedance is a far more comprehensive expression of opposition to the flow of electrons than simple resistance is. I= I= E Z 10 V ∠ 0o 26. not scalar.11) As we learned in the AC inductance chapter. in a manner similar to resistance in Ohm’s Law: Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ I= E Z Z= E I All quantities expressed in complex.325o I = 370.

5m ∠ 79.623m + j364.06m 370.325o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 68. we can apply Ohm’s Law (E=IR) vertically to determine voltage across the resistor and capacitor: .06m 370.623m + j364.623m + j364.5m ∠ 79.3. so the figures placed in the “Total” column for current can be distributed to all other columns as well: R E I Z 68. R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 68.5m ∠ 79.5258 26.4.623m + j364.325o 5 .325o 0 .5258 26.j26.06m 370.993 ∠ -79.5258 ∠ -90o C Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 68.325o Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IR = IC Continuing with our analysis. SERIES RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 89 phase shift = 79.5258 ∠ -90o 5 .5m ∠ 79.j26.325 degrees + e= i= Time Figure 4.5258 26.325o Volts Amps Ohms 0 .j26.11: Voltage lags current (current leads voltage)in a series R-C circuit.5258 26.06m 370.325o Current in a series circuit is shared equally by all components.993 ∠ -79.j26.

The voltage across the capacitor has a phase angle of -10.06m 370. ac r-c circuit v1 1 0 ac 10 sin r1 1 2 5 c1 2 0 100u .325o 5 .j26.12) 1 10 V 60 Hz 0 R 5Ω C 2 100 µF 0 Figure 4.5258 ∠ -90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 68.print ac vp(1.5258 26.325o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Notice how the voltage across the resistor has the exact same phase angle as the current through it. exactly 90o less than the phase angle of the circuit current.623m + j364. telling us that E and I are in phase (for the resistor only).8269 ∠ -10.8203 1. This tells us that the capacitor’s voltage and current are still 90o out of phase with each other.6569 .5m ∠ 79.06m 370.623m + j364.325o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER lin 1 60 60 . Let’s check our calculations with SPICE: (Figure 4.5m ∠ 79.0) i(v1) .2) vp(2.90 R E I Z 343.print ac v(1.325o 68.j26.993 ∠ -79.2) v(2.623m + j364.8203 9.675o . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE C 9.0) ip(v1) .06m 370.11m + j1.12: Spice circuit: R-C.675o 68.325o 0 .5258 26.end .5m ∠ 79.j1.8523 ∠ 79.

852 V ∠ 79. Thus.827E+00 vp(2) -1. E=IXC . resistance.5 mA ∠ -100. While the rectangular form of complex number notation is useful for performing addition and subtraction.852E+00 vp(1. In this case.933E+01 v(2) 9. . the voltage phasor diagram can be replaced by a similar impedance diagram.3.7o output by SPICE for current phase angle equates to a positive 79. and impedance are proportional to voltage. its a simple matter to correct this figure and check to see if our work is correct.2) 1. our voltmeter would indicate 1.067E+01 i(v1) 3. which alone has direct correspondence to true measurements.67o I = 370.13) ER ET I R IR EC IC C -37° I ER -37° I R XC ET Voltage EC Z Impedance Figure 4.000E+01 v(1. Impedance (Z) of a series R-C circuit may be calculated.3o . Find the impedance at 60 hertz.33o EC = 9. it is a more abstract form of notation than polar. Since E=IR. Example: Given: A 40 Ω resistor in series with a 88.827 V ∠ -10. not 343.007E+02 91 Interpreted SPICE results ER = 1. SERIES RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS freq 6.8523 volts.4. respectively. SPICE confusingly prints the current phase angle at a value equal to the real phase angle plus 180o (or minus 180o ).13: Series: R-C circuit Impedance phasor diagram. given the resistance (R) and the capacitive reactance (XC ).2) 7.11 millivolts (real rectangular) or 1.325o .42 microfarad capacitor. it must be emphasized that the calculated figures corresponding to real-life voltage and current measurements are those in polar form. (Figure 4.705E-01 ip(v1) -1. However. which does correspond to our previously calculated figure of 79. and E=IZ. reactance. Again. Real instruments connected to real circuits provide indications corresponding to the vector length (magnitude) of the calculated figures. not rectangular form! For example.7o Once again.000E+01 freq 6. the -100.8203 volts (imaginary rectangular). if we were to actually build this series resistor-capacitor circuit and measure voltage across the resistor.

• A purely resistive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly 0o (ZR = R Ω 0o ). and the resistor and capacitor both have the same values of resistance and capacitance. resistive impedance.jXC Z = 40 . we will connect them in parallel and see what happens: (Figure 4. and capacitive impedance are to be treated the same way mathematically. Zn • Please note that impedances always add in series. • A purely capacitive impedance will always have a phase angle of exactly -90o (ZC = XC Ω -90o ). REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE XC = 1/2πfC) XC = 1/(2π·60·88. regardless of what type of components comprise the impedances. • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in series circuit analysis: series impedances add to form the total impedance. . That is. we can begin our analysis table with the same “given” values: .j30 = 50 36. they must also have the same values of impedance.14) Because the power source has the same frequency as the series example circuit. respectively. • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ . 4.4 Parallel resistor-capacitor circuits Using the same value components in our series example circuit. Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = Z1 + Z2 + . • Series AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as series DC circuits: current is uniform throughout the circuit. So. voltage drops add to form the total voltage.92 CHAPTER 4.87o • REVIEW: • Impedance is the total measure of opposition to electric current and is the complex (vector) sum of (“real”) resistance and (“imaginary”) reactance. and impedances add to form the total impedance. .j30 |Z| = sqrt(402 + (-30)2 ) = 50 Ω Z = arctangent(-30/40) = -36. the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o .42×10−6 XC = 30 Ω Z = R . inductive impedance.87o Z = 40 . I = E/Z . Z = E/I • When resistors and capacitors are mixed together in circuits.

4.7° I 10 V 60 Hz E IR R 5Ω 100 µF C I = IR+ IL E = ER = EC Figure 4. R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 .5258 ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: Etotal = ER = EC Ohms Now we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically to two columns in the table.4. we know that voltage is shared equally by all components.5258 26.14: Parallel R-C circuit.5258 26.5258 ∠ -90o Ohms This being a parallel circuit now. so we can place the figure for total voltage (10 volts 0o ) in all the columns: R E I Z 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 0 . PARALLEL RESISTOR-CAPACITOR CIRCUITS 93 E I R IR IC C IC 10.j26. calculating current through the resistor and current through the capacitor: .j26.

.99m 2.99m ∠ 90o 0 .99m 376. all the terms are common and can be applied uniformly to the same formula.. parallel capacitors. In other words. parallel impedance can also be calculated by using a reciprocal formula identical to that used in calculating parallel resistances. we will arrive at the same figure: .5258 ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: Itotal = IR + IC Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j376. or some combination thereof: in the form of impedances (Z).5258 ∠ -90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z Just as with DC circuits.j26.5258 26. Regardless of how we calculate total impedance for our parallel circuit (either Ohm’s Law or the reciprocal formula).5258 26. total impedance can be calculated by using Ohm’s Law (Z=E/I) vertically in the “Total” column.99m ∠ 90o 0 . branch currents in a parallel AC circuit add up to form the total current (Kirchhoff ’s Current Law again): R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 + j376. It is noteworthy to mention that this parallel impedance rule holds true regardless of the kind of impedances placed in parallel. As we saw in the AC inductance chapter. the parallel impedance formula looks like this: Zparallel = 1 1 1 1 + .675o Volts Amps Ohms Finally. parallel inductors. Once again. especially without the assistance of a calculator capable of manipulating complex quantities.94 R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o CHAPTER 4.j26. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 + j376.99m 376. + Z1 Z2 Zn The only drawback to using this equation is the significant amount of work required to work it out. it doesn’t matter if we’re calculating a circuit composed of parallel resistors.0352 ∠ 10.

5 Capacitor quirks As with inductors.j26. . However.9135 ∠ -10.j910. . and impedances diminish (through the reciprocal formula) to form the total impedance. the total impedance will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and -90o . It is a lot easier to design and construct a capacitor with low internal series resistance than it is to do the same with an inductor. I = E/Z . of course.4. Consequently. branch currents add to form the total current. they will tend to dissipate less power than an equivalent inductor.99m ∠ 90o 0 . capacitors have the virtue of generally being purer reactive components than inductors.99m 2. .675o Volts Amps Ohms 95 Ohm’s Law E Z= I or Rule of parallel circuits: Ztotal = 1 1 1 + ZR ZC • REVIEW: • Impedances (Z) are managed just like resistances (R) in parallel circuit analysis: parallel impedances diminish to form the total impedance. nothing is so perfect. the ideal capacitor is a purely reactive device. and since their electric fields are almost totally contained between their plates (unlike inductors.14m 4. containing absolutely zero resistive (power dissipative) effects. using the reciprocal formula. Z = E/I • When resistors and capacitors are mixed together in parallel circuits (just as in series circuits).8284 . The circuit current will have a phase angle somewhere between 0o and +90o . -90o ) than inductors. Just be sure to perform all calculations in complex (not scalar) form! ZT otal = 1/(1/Z1 + 1/Z2 + .99m 376. whose magnetic fields naturally tend to extend beyond the dimensions of the core).0352 ∠ 10.5. CAPACITOR QUIRKS R E I Z 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j0 2 ∠ 0o 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o C 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 0 + j376.5258 ∠ -90o Total 10 + j0 10 ∠ 0o 2 + j376. Capacitors also tend to be smaller and lighter weight than their equivalent inductor counterparts.675o 4. The practical result of this is that real capacitors typically have impedance phase angles more closely approaching 90o (actually.5258 26. In the real world. • Parallel AC circuits exhibit the same fundamental properties as parallel DC circuits: voltage is uniform throughout the circuit. 4. 1/Zn ) • Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ .

in reference to their tendency to dissipate (“lose”) power like a resistor. circuit designers tend to favor capacitors over inductors wherever a design permits either alternative. electrolytic capacitors should never be used with AC unless it is mixed (biased) with a constant DC voltage preventing the capacitor from ever being subjected to reverse voltage. connected to a source of high-frequency AC voltage. Not all dielectric materials are equally “lossy. For these reasons. Even then. Temperature is controlled by varying the voltage or frequency of the source. are also known for their notorious lossiness. much less significant than the stray resistances present in an average inductor. This effect is undesirable for capacitors where we expect the component to behave as a purely reactive circuit element. This heating effect represents a loss in power. Dielectric materials tend to react to changing electric fields by producing heat. their resistive characteristics may be too severe a shortcoming for the application anyway. .” A relative scale of dielectric loss from least to greatest is given in Table 4.96 CHAPTER 4. Unless specially made for AC service. One of the ways to mitigate the effect of dielectric “loss” is to choose a dielectric material less susceptible to the effect. due to both the characteristics of the microscopically thin dielectric film and the electrolyte paste. as wire length in a capacitor is very minimal. Capacitors with significant resistive effects are said to be lossy. The effect is more pronounced at higher frequencies and in fact can be so extreme that it is sometimes exploited in manufacturing processes to heat insulating materials like plastic! The plastic object to be heated is placed between two metal plates. and is equivalent to resistance in the circuit. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE they are less prone to transmitting or receiving electromagnetic “noise” to/from other components.2.2: Dielectric loss Material Loss Vacuum Low Air Polystyrene Mica Glass Low-K ceramic Plastic film (Mylar) Paper High-K ceramic Aluminum oxide Tantalum pentoxide high Dielectric resistivity manifests itself both as a series and a parallel resistance with the pure capacitance: (Figure 4.15) Fortunately. The source of capacitor loss is usually the dielectric material rather than any wire resistance. Table 4. these stray resistances are usually of modest impact (low series resistance and high parallel resistance). known for their relatively high capacitance and low working voltage. Electrolytic capacitors. and the plates never have to contact the object being heated.

CONTRIBUTORS 97 Equivalent circuit for a real capacitor Rseries Ideal capacitor Rparallel Figure 4. which led to a much betterlooking second edition.15: Real capacitor has both series and parallel resistance. . 4.4.6 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. from most recent to first.6.


. . .1 Review of R. . . X. . . . . and Z Before we begin to explore the effects of resistors. . . . . . Reactance is mathematically symbolized by the letter “X” and is measured in the unit of ohms (Ω). . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 5. . . . . . . . . .2 5. . . L. 110 Susceptance and Admittance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Series-parallel R. . . . . . It is present anywhere electric or magnetic fields are developed in proportion to applied voltage or current. . . . 120 5. . 120 Contributors . and C . . . 119 Summary . . . . a voltage drop is produced that is 90o out of phase with the current. . . . . . When alternating current goes through a pure reactance. . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Series R.6 5. . . Reactance is essentially inertia against the motion of electrons. . . X. 101 Parallel R. . . . . . . . . . . . but most notably in capacitors and inductors. . . . Resistance is mathematically symbolized by the letter “R” and is measured in the unit of ohms (Ω). . . . . . . . . . . . . AND C Contents 5. . . . . . . . let’s briefly review some basic terms and facts. . . . . . . .7 Review of R. . . . . . . . . .5 5. . . . . . . . 99 . . Resistance is essentially friction against the motion of electrons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chapter 5 REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. . . inductors. . . . . . . . and Z . . . L. . . and capacitors connected together in the same AC circuits. a voltage drop is produced that is in-phase with the current. . respectively. . . . . . . . . . It is present in all conductors to some extent (except superconductors!). . and C . . . .1 5. When alternating current goes through a resistance. . . and C .3 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . most notably in resistors. . . . L. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . L. . . . . . . . . .

Perfect inductors and perfect capacitors (Figure 5. a voltage drop is produced that is somewhere between 0o and 90o out of phase with the current. voltage drop always lags current by 90o . voltage drop always leads current by 90o . Impedance is mathematically symbolized by the letter “Z” and is measured in the unit of ohms (Ω). not scalar. Because reactance doesn’t dissipate power as resistance does. For a perfect resistor. looks like this: Ohm’s Law for AC circuits: E = IZ I= E Z Z= E I All quantities expressed in complex. inductor. It is present in all circuits.15 Hz R=0Ω X = 100 Ω Z = 100 Ω ∠ -90o Figure 5.100 CHAPTER 5. so long as quantities are represented in complex rather than scalar form. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. inductance. When alternating current goes through an impedance. Resistor 100 Ω Inductor R = 100 Ω X=0Ω Z = 100 Ω ∠ 0 o 100 mH 159. The only real difference between DC and AC circuit calculations is in regard to power. and so the impedance angle of a resistor is said to be 0o . but not reactance. and so an inductor’s impedance phase angle is said to be +90o . form Kirchhoff ’s Laws and all network analysis methods and theorems are true for AC circuits as well. While this qualified equivalence may be arithmetically challenging. For a perfect capacitor. based on impedance rather than resistance. and so a capacitor’s impedance phase angle is said to be -90o . the concept of power in AC circuits is radically different from that of DC circuits. For an perfect inductor. A revised version of Ohm’s Law. including both resistance and reactance. it is conceptually simple and elegant. in complex form. and they diminish in parallel. Impedances in AC behave analogously to resistances in DC circuits: they add in series. capacitance) into common terms of impedance as the first step in analyzing an AC circuit.15 Hz R=0Ω X = 100 Ω Z = 100 Ω ∠ 90 o Capacitor 10 µF 159.1) possess resistance. All components possess impedance. More on this subject in a later chapter! . L. Perfect resistors (Figure 5.1) possess reactance but no resistance. The impedance phase angle for any component is the phase shift between voltage across that component and current through that component. and in all components. AND C Impedance is a comprehensive expression of any and all forms of opposition to electron flow. and capacitor.1: Perfect resistor. and because of this universal quality. the voltage drop and current are always in phase with each other. it makes sense to translate all component values (resistance.

04 Ω or 245.j1.2) R 250 Ω 120 V 60 Hz C 1. of course. (Figure 5.2: Example series R. L.2 Series R. Resistance.7684k Ω or 1.04 Ω ∠ 90o ZC = 0 . while a capacitive reactance translates into a negative imaginary impedance (impedance at -90o ).2.3) Remember that an inductive reactance translates into a positive imaginary impedance (or an impedance at +90o ). SERIES R.5 µF Figure 5. L. and C circuit.5.5 µF) XC = XC = XC = 1. AND C 101 5.7684 kΩ The next step is to express all resistances and reactances in a mathematically common form: impedance. L 650 mH XL = 2πfL XL = (2)(π)(60 Hz)(650 mH) XL = 245.04 Ω 1 2πfC 1 (2)(π)(60 Hz)(1.7684 kΩ ∠ -90o . The first step is to determine the reactances (in ohms) for the inductor and the capacitor. and C Let’s take the following example circuit and analyze it: (Figure 5. L. is still regarded as a purely “real” impedance (polar angle of 0o ): ZR = 250 + j0 Ω or 250 Ω ∠ 0o ZL = 0 + j245.

I’ll assume perfectly reactive inductors and capacitors from now on in my example calculations except where noted otherwise.7684 kΩ ∠ -90o Figure 5. and the impedances of the resistor.04 Ω) + (0 . with impedance phase angles of exactly +90 and -90o . Remember that there is no such thing as an “absolute” angle of phase shift for a voltage or current. Phase angles for impedance.7684k Ω) Ztotal = 250 . This is an ideal time to draw up an analysis table for this circuit and insert all the “given” figures (total voltage. L. they can be handled in the same way as plain resistances in a DC circuit. inductor. are known absolutely. R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245. ZL 245. and C circuit with component values replaced by impedances.3: Example series R.7684k 1. Although real components won’t be perfect in this regard. and so will be written at an angle of 0o . For simplicity. and capacitor).j1.5437 kΩ ∠ -80. with all quantities of opposition to electric current expressed in a common. and capacitor).102 CHAPTER 5. respectively. however (like those of the resistor.04 ∠ 90o 0 .j1. AND C ZR 250 Ω ∠ 0o 120 V 60 Hz ZC 1. inductor. they should be fairly close. so: Ztotal = ZR + ZL + ZC Ztotal = (250 + j0 Ω) + (0 + j245.04 Ω ∠ 90o Now. since its always a quantity relative to another waveform. and not as resistances or reactances). Since the above example circuit is a series circuit. we know that the total circuit impedance is equal to the sum of the individuals.7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Unless otherwise specified.680o Inserting this figure for total impedance into our table: . complex number format (as impedances. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.5233k Ω or 1. because the phase relationships between voltage and current at each component are absolutely defined. the source voltage will be our reference for phase shift.04 245.j1. Notice that I’m assuming a perfectly reactive inductor and capacitor. L.

7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 12.04 ∠ 90o 12.734m ∠ 80.680o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 103 We can now apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/R) vertically in the “Total” column to find total current for this series circuit: R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245. L. we can take the figure obtained for total current and distribute it to each of the other columns: R E I Z 12.589m + 76.7684k 1.734m ∠ 80.708m 77.04 ∠ 90o 0 .7684k 1.680o 0 .7684k ∠ -90o Rule of series circuits: Ztotal = ZR + ZL + ZC 250 .708m 77.5233k 1.j1.734m ∠ 80.734m ∠ 80.708m 77.7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 12.589m + 76.2.j1.680o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E I= Z Being a series circuit.5437k ∠ -80.680o 0 + j245.j1.7684k 1.589m + 76.680o Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IR = IL = IC Now we’re prepared to apply Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) to each of the individual component columns in the table.680o 250 .708m 77.589m + 76. to determine voltage drops: . SERIES R. current must be equal through all components.j1.680o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 12.04 ∠ 90o 0 .5437k ∠ -80.04 245. AND C R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245.j1.04 245.5437k ∠ -80.589m + 76. Thus.708m 77.680o 250 .j1.734m ∠ 80.5233k 1.04 245.5.5233k 1.

a bit of complex number addition proves otherwise: . When these two contrary impedances are added (in series).262 137.680o 250 .680o 12. Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) still holds true.j22.708m 77.7684k 1.5233k 1. except that the quantities dealt with are vector instead of scalar. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. equations in AC circuits are the same as those in DC circuits.680o Volts Amps Ohms -18.0848 19.177 19. Even though this may not look like it is true at first sight.680o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o L CHAPTER 5.734m ∠ 80. To demonstrate Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law in an AC circuit.734m ∠ 80. KVL tells us that the algebraic sum of the voltage drops across the resistor.734m ∠ 80. inductor.708m 77.46 volts! How can this be? The answer lies in the interaction between the inductive and capacitive reactances. Expressed as impedances.734m ∠ 80. voltages greater than the source voltage may be obtained across some of the individual components! Further consequences of inductors’ and capacitors’ opposite reactances in the same circuit will be explored in the next chapter. using impedances (Z) instead of resistances (R).589m + 76. they tend to cancel each other out! Although they’re still added together to produce a sum.589m + 76.434 ∠ 80.708m 77. the voltage across the capacitor is 137.j1. we can look at the answers we derived for component voltage drops in the last circuit.708m 77. the inductor’s impedance has a positive imaginary term and the capacitor has a negative imaginary term. and so do Kirchhoff ’s Voltage and Current Laws. Once you’ve mastered the technique of reducing all component values to impedances (Z).1472 + j19. and capacitor should equal the applied voltage from the source. we can see that the inductor opposes current in a manner precisely opposite that of the capacitor.04 ∠ 90o Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Notice something strange here: although our supply voltage is only 120 volts. It is analogous to adding together a positive and a negative (scalar) number: the sum is a quantity less than either one’s individual absolute value. AND C C 135.680o 0 .68o 12.7684k ∠ -90o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 12.j1.3199o 12.589m + 76. that sum is actually less than either of the individual (capacitive or inductive) impedances alone.680o 0 + j245. then the total current in that circuit must be greater than what it would be with only the inductive or only the capacitive elements there.797 + j3. If the total impedance in a series circuit with both inductive and capacitive elements is less than the impedance of either element separately. Expressed in rectangular form.04 245. With the exception of equations dealing with power (P).65 . analyzing any AC circuit is only about as difficult as analyzing any DC circuit.104 R E I Z 3.46 ∠ -9.5437k ∠ -80. With this abnormally high current through each of the components.589m + 76.048 ∠ 170. L.

SERIES R.2) 1. L.65 . and C SPICE circuit.print ac vp(1.773E-02 ip(v1) -9.2.068E+01 v(2.3) 1.2) v(2.905E+01 vp(2.0848 V + 135. the sum of these voltage drops does equal 120 volts.797 + j3. the answer you will receive should be exactly 120 + j0 volts.320E+00 i(v1) 7.177 V ER -18.print ac v(1.5.3) 1.2) 8.707E+02 v(3) 1.5u .4) 1 120 V 60 Hz R 250 Ω L C 2 650 mH 0 1.375E+02 vp(3) -9.262 V 120 + j0 V EL EC Etotal Aside from a bit of rounding error.3) vp(3.5 µF 3 Figure 5.943E+01 vp(1. Performed on a calculator (preserving all digits).2) vp(2.0) ip(v1) . AND C 105 ER + EL + EC should equal Etotal 3.end freq 6.000E+01 v(1.1472 + j19.j22. ac r-l-c circuit v1 1 0 ac 120 sin r1 1 2 250 l1 2 3 650m c1 3 0 1.0) i(v1) . We can also use SPICE to verify our figures for this circuit: (Figure lin 1 60 60 .000E+01 freq 6.4: Example series R. L.3) v(3.932E+01 .

except that all quantities of voltage. because series inductive and capacitive impedances tend to cancel each other out. 5. As you can see. L. and C We can take the same components from the series circuit and rearrange them into a parallel configuration for an easy example circuit: (Figure 5. and resistance (actually.5) 120 V 60 Hz R 250 Ω L 650 mH C 1. The only exception to this consistency is the calculation of power.68o EL = 19.5: Example R.43 V ∠ 80. L. so long as values are expressed in complex form rather than scalar. AND C Interpreted SPICE results ER = 19.5 V ∠ -9. . Zn • Although impedances add in series.106 CHAPTER 5. impedance) must be handled in complex rather than scalar form so as to account for phase angle.5 µF Figure 5. The only exception to this principle is the calculation of power. there is little difference between AC circuit analysis and DC circuit analysis. which is very different for AC. current.3 Parallel R. since it means all you’ve learned about DC electric circuits applies to what you’re learning here. the total impedance for a circuit containing both inductance and capacitance may be less than one or more of the individual impedances. The fact that these components are connected in parallel instead of series now has absolutely no effect on their individual impedances.68o) The SPICE simulation shows our hand-calculated results to be accurate.73 mA ∠ -99. This may lead to voltage drops across components exceeding the supply voltage! • All rules and laws of DC circuits apply to AC circuits.320o I = 77. L. So long as the power supply is the same . . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. • REVIEW: • Impedances of any kind add in series: ZT otal = Z1 + Z2 + . and C parallel circuit. This is good.32o (actual phase angle = 80. which is so unique that it deserves a chapter devoted to that subject alone.7o EC = 137.05 V ∠ 170.

we can transfer the figure for total voltage to all component columns in the table: R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245.7684 kΩ ∠ -90o 245.04 245.7684k 1. AND C 107 120 V 60 Hz ZR 250 Ω ∠ 0o ZL ZC 1.7684k ∠ -90o L C Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Knowing that voltage is shared equally by all components in a parallel circuit. we can set up an analysis table and proceed as in the last example problem.3.04 245.j1.04 Ω ∠ 90o Figure 5.7684k 1.04 ∠ 90o 0 . frequency as before. L.7684k ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: Etotal = ER = EL = EC 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o L 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o C 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Now.5. the inductive and capacitive reactances will not have changed at all: (Figure 5.04 ∠ 90o 0 .6: Example R.j1.6) With all component values expressed as impedances (Z). PARALLEL R. and C parallel circuit with impedances replacing component values. L. we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically in each column to determine current through each component: . except this time following the rules of parallel circuits instead of series: R E I Z 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o 0 + j245.

j489.04 245. then convert back to polar form for the final inversion.j1. This is especially true if you’re unfortunate enough not to have a calculator that handles complex numbers and are forced to do it all by hand (reciprocate the individual impedances in polar form. then convert them all to rectangular form for addition.71m 489.85m 639. with all the reciprocations (1/Z).79 ∠ 41. L. will provide the correct answers.j489.7684k ∠ -90o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 480m . REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.7684k 1. However. then invert). working through the parallel impedance equation with complex numbers is no easy task. R E I Z 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 480m + j0 480 ∠ 0o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o L 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 . performed properly. then use Ohm’s Law to determine total impedance from total voltage and total current (Z=E/I).7684k 1. First.7) . The second way to calculate total current and total impedance is to add up all the branch currents to arrive at total current (total current in a parallel circuit – AC or DC – is equal to the sum of the branch currents).j421. AND C C 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 + j67.j1.05 + j123.311o 141.71m ∠ -90o 0 + j245.04 ∠ 90o Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z Ohm’s Law E I= Z There are two strategies for calculating total current and total impedance.311o Volts Amps Ohms Either method. we could calculate total impedance from all the individual impedances in parallel (ZT otal = 1/(1/ZR + 1/ZL + 1/ZC ).7684k ∠ -90o Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 .04 245.858m ∠ 90o 0 .71m ∠ -90o 0 + j245. Let’s try analyzing this circuit with SPICE and see what happens: (Figure 5.04 ∠ 90o C 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 0 + j67. and then calculate total current by dividing source voltage by total impedance (I=E/Z).858m 67.858m ∠ 90o 0 .858m 67.108 R E I Z 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 480m + j0 480 ∠ 0o 250 + j0 250 ∠ 0o L CHAPTER 5.96 187.03m ∠ -41.71m 489.

and C SPICE circuit.131E+01 i(vir) 4. ac r-l-c circuit v1 1 0 ac 120 sin vi 1 2 ac 0 vir 2 3 ac 0 vil 2 4 ac 0 rbogus 4 5 1e-12 vic 2 6 ac 0 r1 3 0 250 l1 5 0 650m c1 6 0 1.000E+01 i(vi) 6.390E-01 ip(vi) -4.5u . AND C 109 2 Vir Vi 3 1 120 V 60 Hz 0 R 2 Vil 4 2 Vic Rbogus 5 250 Ω L 650 mH 0 C 2 6 1.5 µF 0 0 Figure 5.897E-01 ip(vil) -9.000E+00 i(vil) 4. Battery symbols are “dummy” voltage sources for SPICE to use as current measurement points.800E-01 ip(vir) 0.print ac i(vi) i(vir) i(vil) i(vic) .786E-02 ip(vic) 9.print ac ip(vi) ip(vir) ip(vil) ip(vic) . lin 1 60 60 .000E+01 freq 6. All are set to 0 volts.000E+01 i(vic) 6. PARALLEL R.7: Example parallel R. L.end freq 6.000E+01 .

L. The first order of business. our current phase readings came out to exactly match our hand calculations. To do this. just using complex numbers instead of scalar to represent voltage. and C Now that we’ve seen how series and parallel AC circuit analysis is not fundamentally different than DC circuit analysis.4 Series-parallel R.7 µF 120 V 60 Hz L C2 650 mH 1.31o IR = 480 mA ∠ 0o IL = 489. current. and impedance. as usual. we were able to avoid that idiosyncrasy of SPICE of printing current figures 180o out of phase.8: Example series-parallel R.7 mA ∠ -90o IC = 67. AND C Interpreted SPICE results Itotal = 639. 5. This way. which SPICE cannot tolerate). REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. L. Even more than that. is to determine values of impedance (Z) for all components based on the frequency of the AC power source. and C circuit.110 CHAPTER 5.86 mA ∠ 90o It took a little bit of trickery to get SPICE working as we would like on this circuit (installing “dummy” voltage sources in each branch to obtain current figures and installing the “dummy” resistor in the inductor branch to prevent a direct inductor-to-voltage source loop. we need to first determine values of reactance (X) for all inductors and capacitors.5 µF R 470 Ω Figure 5. by installing the dummy voltage sources (current meters) in the proper directions.8) C1 4. it should come as no surprise that series-parallel analysis would be the same as well. but we did get the proper readings. L.0 mA ∠ -41. Take this series-parallel circuit for example: (Figure 5. then convert reactance (X) and resistance (R) figures into proper impedance (Z) form: .

j1. by adding their impedances together. In order that our table may follow all these steps.7684k 1. Finally.04 ∠ 90o 0 . The first step is to combine L and C2 as a series combination of impedances. L.7684 kΩ ZC1 = 0 .7684 kΩ ∠ -90o ZR = 470 + j0 Ω or 470 Ω ∠ 0o Now we can set up the initial values in our table: C1 E I Z 0 .38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245. that impedance will be combined in parallel with the impedance of the resistor. SERIES-PARALLEL R. Then. each column designated by its respective component combination: .j564. it will be necessary to add additional columns to it so that each step may be represented.5 µF) XC2 = XC2 = R = 470 Ω XC2 = 1. AND C Reactances and Resistances: XC1 = XC1 = 1 2πfC1 1 (2)(π)(60 Hz)(4.5. Adding more columns horizontally to the table shown above would be impractical for formatting reasons.7 µF) XL = 2πfL XL = (2)(π)(60 Hz)(650 mH) XL = 245.7684k Ω or 1.04 Ω or 245. that quantity will be added to the impedance of C1 to arrive at the total impedance.38 Ω 1 2πfC2 1 (2)(π)(60 Hz)(1.04 Ω 111 XC1 = 564.04 245.38 564. so I will place a new row of columns underneath.j564.04 Ω ∠ 90o ZC2 = 0 . to arrive at another combination of impedances. we must reduce it to a total impedance in more than one step.38 Ω or 564.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o L C2 R Total 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Being a series-parallel combination circuit.j1.38 Ω ∠ -90o ZL = 0 + j245.4.

j132.15 .C2 E I Z 0 .C2)] Volts Amps Ohms L -. and the “reciprocal” formula for complex impedances in parallel.11 ∠ -17.34 Ω -58.5233k 1.C2 E I Z R // (L -.112 CHAPTER 5. Now that we know the total impedance (818. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps 429.41 449.371o Ohms Rule of series circuits: ZL--C2 = ZL + ZC2 Rule of parallel circuits: 1 ZR//(L--C2) = 1 1 + ZR ZL--C2 Rule of series circuits: Ztotal = ZC1 + ZR//(L--C2) Seeing as how our second table contains a column for “Total.j1.[R // (L -. L.5233k ∠ -90o R // (L -. This gives us one table with four columns and another table with three columns.j696. there is no avoidance of the reciprocal formula: the required figures can be arrived at no other way! L -.C2) Total C1 -.147o 429.371o ) and the total voltage (120 volts 0o ).34 ∠ -58.[R // (L -.79 818. we can apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically in the “Total” column to arrive at a figure for total current: .15 .C2) Calculating these new (combination) impedances will require complex addition for series combinations.” we can safely discard that column from the first table. AND C Total C1 -. This time.

j1. L.15 .C2) Ohm’s Law E I= Z At this point we ask ourselves the question: are there any components or component combinations which share either the total voltage or the total current? In this case.7684k 1.04 ∠ 90o 0 .899m + j124.899m + j124.64m ∠ 58.j696.86m 146.64m ∠ 58.11 ∠ -17.371o Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IC1 = IR//(L--C2) Now.38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245.86m 146.5233k 1.j132.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 76.79 818.C2) Total C1 -.15 .C2 E I Z 0 .371o Volts Amps Ohms 113 L -.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o L C2 R Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: Itotal = IC1 = IR//(L--C2) L -.j1.C2 E I Z R // (L -.899m + j124.86m 146. we can transfer the figure for total current into both columns: C1 E I Z 76.4.899m + j124.34 ∠ -58. AND C Total C1 -.15 . we can calculate voltage drops across C1 and the series-parallel combination of R//(L−−C2 ) using Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) vertically in those table columns: . SERIES-PARALLEL R.5233k ∠ -90o 429.79 818.5233k 1.[R // (L -.64m ∠ 58.34 ∠ -58. since the total impedance is composed of the two sets of impedances in series.41 449.371o 0 . both C1 and the parallel combination R//(L−−C2 ) share the same (total) current. Thus.15 .147o 76.371o 429.41 449.86m 146.371o 0 .[R // (L -.5233k ∠ -90o R // (L -.04 245.371o 429.j564.j696.j132.64m ∠ 58.5.j1.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76.38 564.147o 429.11 ∠ -17.

11 ∠ -17. Occasional cross-checks like that one can save a person a lot of work and unnecessary frustration by identifying problems prior to the final step of the problem.400 V + 49. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.j132.371o 429.41 449.5233k ∠ -90o R // (L -.j43.371o 0 . they should! Etotal should be equal to EC1 + ER//(L--C2) 70.899m + j124.467 .34 ∠ -58.899m + j124. L.15 .38 564.147o Total C1 -.114 C1 E I Z 70.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ L -.38 ∠ -90o L CHAPTER 5.760 ∠ -31.j1.400 65.371o 429.15 .225o 76.64m ∠ 58.86m 146. we again ask ourselves the question: what other components share the same voltage or current? In this case.533 + j43.j43.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76.[R // (L -.C2 E I Z 0 .467 .5233k 1. According to Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law. we can transfer the voltage figure just solved for into the columns for R and L−−C2 : . AND C C2 R Volts Amps 0 + j245.857 ∠ 41. Therefore.533 + j43.899m + j124. it is! That last step was merely a precaution. the resistor (R) and the combination of the inductor and the second capacitor (L−−C2 ) share the same voltage.04 245.04 ∠ 90o 0 .7684k 1. In a problem with as many steps as this one has.j696.86m 146.86m 146.64m ∠ 58.j1. because those sets of impedances are in parallel with each other.j564.400 V 120 + j0 V Indeed. After having solved for voltage drops across C1 and the combination R//(L−−C2 ).629o 76.371o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E = IZ A quick double-check of our work at this point would be to see whether or not the voltage drops across C1 and the series-parallel combination of R//(L−−C2 ) indeed add up to the total. there is much opportunity for error.C2) 49.79 818.64m ∠ 58.400 82.

j43.38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245.15 .400 65.400 65. L.34 ∠ -58.41 449.j1.899m + j124.64m ∠ 58.C2) 49.225o 76.857 ∠ 41.371o 429.400 65.04 ∠ 90o 0 .j564.64m ∠ 58.j43.79 818.12m ∠ 41.225o 105.j564. All we need to do is apply Ohm’s Law (I=E/Z) vertically in both of those columns: C1 E I Z 70.857 ∠ 41.04 ∠ 90o 0 .341m 140.225o Volts Amps Ohms 115 L -.533 + j43.04 245.400 65.371o 0 .400 82.5233k 1.j1.857 ∠ 41.5233k ∠ -90o Rule of parallel circuits: ER//(L--C2) = ER = EL--C2 49.225o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Ohm’s Law E I= Z .38 564.533 + j43.760 ∠ -31. SERIES-PARALLEL R.j132.64m ∠ 58.15 .86m 146.38 564.C2 E I Z 0 .j1.760 ∠ -31.38 ∠ -90o 0 + j245.629o 76.899m + j124.64m ∠ 58.7684k ∠ -90o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Rule of parallel circuits: ER//(L--C2) = ER = EL--C2 L C2 R 49. AND C C1 E I Z 70.7684k 1.86m 146.533 + j43.7684k 1.225o R // (L -.86m 146.899m + j124.86m 146.533 + j43.j696.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76.371o Volts Amps Ohms Now we’re all set for calculating current through the resistor and through the series combination L−−C2 .7684k ∠ -90o L C2 R 49.371o 429.39m + j92.4.11 ∠ -17.899m + j124.04 245.467 .629o 76.147o Total C1 -.467 .[R // (L -.857 ∠ 41.371o 0 .5.400 82.

533 + j43.225o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms Rule of series circuits: IL--C2 = IL = IC2 With one last step (actually.7684k 1.22o 43.5233k ∠ -90o 429.79 818.225o 105.22o 146. all we have to do is apply Ohm’s Law (E=IZ) vertically in those two columns to calculate voltage drops.64m ∠ 58.34 ∠ -58.38 ∠ -90o -28. they should: IR//(L--C2) should be equal to IR + I(L--C2) 105.232m ∠ 131.j1.760 ∠ -31. .39m + j92.147o Ohm’s Law E I= Z Another quick double-check of our work at this point would be to see if the current figures for L−−C2 and R add up to the total current.64m ∠ 58.232m ∠ 131.86m 146.j564. and since we know the current through their series combination impedance.490m + j32.857 ∠ 41.516m 43.899m + j124.467 .490m + j32.400 65.C2) 49.371o 429.490m + j32.j43.232m ∠ 131.38 564.5233k 1.400 82.490m + j32.341m 140.516m -28.899m + j124.371o 0 .04 245.116 CHAPTER 5. we can distribute that current figure to the L and C2 columns following the rule of series circuits whereby series components share the same current: C1 E I Z 70.899m + j124. two calculations).629o 76.04 ∠ 90o 0 .j1.7684k ∠ -90o L C2 R 49.86m 146.86m Indeed. With impedance and current figures in place for L and C2 .86m 43.341m + -28.C2)] 120 + j0 120 ∠ 0o 76.[R // (L -.225o R // (L -.15 . it is! Since the L and C2 are connected in series.533 + j43.C2 E I Z 49.j132.533 + j43.857 ∠ 41. L. According to Kirchhoff ’s Current Law.516m 76.899m + j124.12m ∠ 41.857 ∠ 41.22o 0 + j245.64m ∠ 58.371o 0 .39m + j92. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. AND C Total C1 -.j696.15 . we can complete our analysis table for this circuit.371o Volts Amps Ohms L -.11 ∠ -17.400 65.225o -28.516m 76.41 449.400 65.

C2 .04 ∠ 90o 0 . and R.501 + j50. and current phase angle for C1 .451 ∠ 41.j564.516m -28. L.899m + j124. it must be emphasized that there is nothing really new going on here besides the use of complex numbers.04 245.232m ∠ 131.5. Each line of the SPICE output listing gives the voltage.467 . While there is more potential for human error in carrying out the necessary complex number calculations.533 + j43.371o 0 . Ohm’s Law (in its new form of E=IZ) still holds true.968 . . voltage phase angle.516m 43.7684k 1.225o 470 + j0 470 ∠ 0o Volts Amps Ohms 117 -28.22o 43.64m ∠ 58.39m + j92. as do the voltage and current Laws of Kirchhoff.9: Example series-parallel R. L. 3 Vir 4 6 R 470 Ω 3 Vit 1 120 V 60 Hz Vilc L 5 C2 650 mH 1.382 76.22o 0 + j245.86m 146.490m + j32.7 µF more "dummy" voltage sources to act as current measurement points in the SPICE analysis (all set to 0 volts).981 10.232m ∠ 131.857 ∠ 41. current.22o C2 57.5 µF 0 0 0 Figure 5.400 82. C SPICE circuit. As you can see.400 65.760 ∠ -31.4.38 564. the basic principles and techniques of series-parallel circuit reduction are exactly the same.490m + j32.225 R 49.38 ∠ -90o L -7.j6. As daunting a task as series-parallel AC circuit analysis may appear.7684k ∠ -90o Ohm’s Law E = IZ Ohm’s Law E = IZ Now. in that order.594 ∠ 221.629o 76.j1.j43.341m 140. let’s turn to SPICE for a computer verification of our work: 2 C1 4. L.12m ∠ 41. these figures do concur with our hand-calculated figures in the circuit analysis table. SERIES-PARALLEL R.225o 105. AND C C1 E I Z 70.

and capacitor.323E-02 ip(vilc) 1.print ac v(5.000E+01 v(4.3) .586E+01 vp(6) 4. .print ac v(2. all component values will be expressed in common terms (Z) instead of an incompatible mix of resistance (R).print ac v(4.5) -1.122E+01 i(vir) 1.0) vp(6.163E+01 i(vit) 1.401E-01 ip(vir) 4.5u r 6 0 470 .3) 8.312E+02 L freq 6.end circuit i(vit) ip(vit) i(vilc) ip(vilc) i(vilc) ip(vilc) i(vir) ip(vir) freq 6.0) vp(5. AND C ac series-parallel r-l-c v1 1 0 ac 120 sin vit 1 2 ac 0 vilc 3 4 ac 0 vir 3 6 ac 0 c1 2 3 4. inductor.122E+01 i(vilc) 4.059E+01 vp(4.000E+01 v(5) 7.118 CHAPTER 5. L.645E+01 vp(5) 4. inductance (L).837E+01 C1 freq 6.388E+02 i(vilc) 4.0) .122E+01 R • REVIEW: • Analysis of series-parallel AC circuits is much the same as series-parallel DC circuits. The only substantive difference is that all figures and calculations are in complex (not scalar) form.312E+02 C2 freq 6.5) 1. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R.3) vp(2.0) . • It is important to remember that before series-parallel reduction (simplification) can begin.000E+01 v(6) 6.323E-02 ip(vilc) 1.7u l 4 5 650m c2 5 0 1.3) -3.276E+01 vp( lin 1 60 60 . That way.5) vp(4. you must determine the impedance (Z) of every resistor.print ac v(6. and capacitance (C).466E-01 ip(vit) 5.5) .000E+01 v(2.

we had to have a new term: impedance. To be consistent. Now. Mathematically. rather than with a constant. the student of electricity comes across a term meaning the opposite of resistance: conductance. If one were tasked with determining the total effect of several parallel-connected. When symbolized in a mathematical formula. Again. the reciprocal of reactance. and like resistance we also measure it in the unit of ohms. Whereas the term “resistance” denotes the amount of opposition to flowing electrons in a circuit. there is also a complementary expression of reactance. Reactive components such as inductors and capacitors oppose the flow of electrons with respect to time. which diminishes as more parallel components are included in the circuit.5. and each 1/R term in the “parallel resistance formula” is actually a conductance. While reactance is the measure of how much a circuit reacts against change in current over time. either a purely resistive (conductive) circuit. we see a certain logic to the naming of this new term: while impedance is a measure of how much alternating current is impeded in a circuit. SUSCEPTANCE AND ADMITTANCE 119 5. Admittance is measured in (guess what?) the unit of Siemens. susceptances (B) add in parallel and diminish in series. just like resistance and conductance.5 Susceptance and Admittance In the study of DC circuits. As conductance is the complement of resistance. Mathematically. measured in ohms and symbolized by the letter “Z”. susceptance is the measure of how much a circuit is susceptible to conducting a changing current. Resistance is the measure of how much a circuit resists current. unfortunately the same symbol used to represent magnetic flux density. while conductance is the measure of how much a circuit conducts current. It is a useful term when exploring the mathematical formula for parallel resistances: Rparallel = 1 / (1/R1 + 1/R2 + . pure reactances. In order to express and quantify the effects of mixed resistive and reactive components. unchanging friction as resistors do. Conductance used to be measured in the unit of mhos. 1/Xn ). and its symbol is “Y”. Likewise. “conductance” represents the ease of which electrons may flow. the proper letter to use for conductance is “G”. Like impedance. Unlike resistance. conductance is the reciprocal of resistance.5. The name for this measure is admittance. . it used to be measured in the unit of mhos. called susceptance. Also like conductance. admittance is a complex quantity rather than scalar. but now is measured in Siemens. it is equal to 1/X. The terms “reactance” and “susceptance” have a certain linguistic logic to them. reactance. we need a complementary measure representing the reciprocal of impedance. their combined effects can no longer be analyzed with scalar quantities of resistance (R) and reactance (X). the proper unit of measurement is Siemens. then add susceptances rather than diminish reactances: Xparallel = 1/(1/X1 + 1/X2 + . you may never have to work with figures of susceptance (B) or admit- . or a purely reactive (susceptive) circuit. conductance simply adds. . Given a scientific calculator capable of handling complex number arithmetic in both polar and rectangular forms. one could convert each reactance (X) to a susceptance (B). or “ohms” spelled backward.e. When resistive and reactive components are interconnected. i. . We call this time-based opposition. susceptance is a scalar quantity. Its mathematical symbol is “B”. admittance is a measure of how much current is admitted. 1/Rn ). Like conductance. . figures of conductance (G) and susceptance (B) are most useful in circuits where the two types of opposition are not mixed. Like conductances (G).

Power is another subject altogether. Be aware. and capacitor component values into impedances (Z). Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting.120 CHAPTER 5. proceed with the same steps and strategies learned for analyzing DC circuits. current. inductor. Kirchhoff ’s Laws. is the most practical way to express complex quantities for circuit analysis.6 Summary With the notable exception of calculations for power (P). I=E/Z . which led to a much betterlooking second edition. of their existence and their meanings. Because power in a reactive circuit is both absorbed and released – not just dissipated as it is with resistors – its mathematical handling requires a more direct application of trigonometry to solve. L. AND C tance (Y). The only significant difference is that fact that AC calculations use complex quantities while DC calculations use scalar quantities. and Z=E/I Remember that only the calculated figures expressed in polar form apply directly to empirical measurements of voltage and current. the first step in analysis is to convert all resistor. . See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. 5. When faced with analyzing an AC circuit. Rectangular notation is merely a useful tool for us to add and subtract complex quantities together. based on the frequency of the power source. REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. from most recent to first. After that. and even the network theorems learned in DC still hold true for AC when voltage. The same troubleshooting strategies applied toward DC circuits also hold for AC. all AC circuit calculations are based on the same general principles as calculations for DC circuits. although AC can certainly be more difficult to work with due to phase angles which aren’t registered by a handheld multimeter.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. using the “new” form of Ohm’s Law: E=IZ . and the angle directly relates to the phase shift in degrees. though. and will be covered in its own chapter in this book. and impedance are all expressed with complex numbers. Polar notation. where the magnitude (length of vector) directly relates to the magnitude of the voltage or current measured. 5. Ohm’s Law.

. . . . .4 6. . . . . .1 Series resonant circuits . . . .5 6. . the capacitor will very quickly charge and the inductor will oppose change in current. . If either the capacitor or inductor starts out in a charged state. . . . . . . . from a momentarily connected battery). . . . . . creating their own AC voltage and current cycles. . . . . . .2 6.1 An electric pendulum Capacitors store energy in the form of an electric field. . . its voltage decreasing. . . . . When these two types of reactive components are directly connected together. . . . . Q and bandwidth of a resonant circuit . . . . . . . . . .3 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6. . Inductors store energy in the form of a magnetic field. . Capacitors and inductors are flip-sides of the same reactive coin. . . . .6 An electric pendulum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Resonance in series-parallel circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . storing and releasing energy in complementary modes. . . . back and forth. . .7 Contributors . . 6. . . . . Simple parallel (tank circuit) resonance Simple series resonance . . . . . . . . . . . . . their complementary tendencies to store energy will produce an unusual result. . . . . . Meanwhile. . . . . . . . . the inductor will begin to build up a “charge” in the form of a magnetic field as current increases in the circuit: (Figure 6. . . . . . . . . . and electrically manifest that stored energy as a potential: static voltage. . .1) The capacitor will begin to discharge. . . . . . . the two components will exchange energy between them. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. . . .1 6. . If we assume that both components are subjected to a sudden application of voltage (say. . .Chapter 6 RESONANCE Contents 6. . . . . 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . leaving the capacitor in the charged state and the inductor in the discharged state: (Figure 6. . . . .2) 121 . . . and electrically manifest that stored energy as a kinetic motion of electrons: current.2 Parallel resonant circuits . . . . . . . . Applications of resonance . . . . . . . 121 126 131 135 136 145 146 148 151 6. . .6. . . . . . .

2: Capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing. The capacitor. The inductor will maintain current flow even with no voltage applied. leaving zero voltage across it: (Figure 6.1: Capacitor charged: voltage at (+) peak. will keep electrons flowing in the circuit until the capacitor has been completely discharged. still charging. inductor fully charged: maximum current. e= i= + capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing inductor charging: current increasing Time Figure 6.3) e= i= Time capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage inductor fully charged: maximum current Figure 6.6) Eventually the capacitor will discharge to zero volts. In fact. The capacitor. it will generate a voltage (like a battery) in order to keep current in the same direction. Inductor charging: current increasing.122 Battery momentarily connected to start the cycle + i CHAPTER 6.5) Now we’re at a condition very similar to where we started: the capacitor at full charge and zero current in the circuit. The inductor. leaving the inductor fully charged with .4) When the inductor is finally depleted of its energy reserve and the electrons come to a halt. as before. RESONANCE e= i= e Time capacitor charged: voltage at (+) peak inductor discharged: zero current Figure 6. being the recipient of this current. causing an increase in current (in the opposite direction as before) and a decrease in voltage as it depletes its own energy reserve: (Figure 6. the capacitor will have reached full (voltage) charge in the opposite polarity as when it started: (Figure 6. will begin to discharge through the inductor. inductor discharged: zero current. will begin to accumulate a charge in the opposite polarity as before: (Figure 6.3: Capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage.

e= i= + capacitor fully charged: voltage at (-) peak inductor fully discharged: zero current Time Figure 6. inductor discharging: current decreasing.5: Capacitor fully charged: voltage at (-) peak.4: Capacitor charging: voltage increasing (in opposite polarity).6: Capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing. inductor fully discharged: zero current. inductor charging: current increasing. e= i= + capacitor discharging: voltage decreasing inductor charging: current increasing Time Figure 6.1.6. . AN ELECTRIC PENDULUM 123 e= i= + capacitor charging: voltage increasing (in opposite polarity) inductor discharging: current decreasing Time Figure 6.

inductor discharging: current decreasing. inductor fully discharged: zero current. until the process stops altogether.124 full current through it: (Figure 6. there is a transformation . will act like a source again. The inductor.7: Capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage. The voltage will once again be at its positive peak and the current at zero. desiring to maintain current in the same direction. inductor fully charged: current at (-) peak. In doing so. This completes one full cycle of the energy exchange between the capacitor and inductor: (Figure 6. generating a voltage like a battery to continue the flow.9: Capacitor fully charged: voltage at (+) peak. Eventually the capacitor will become fully charged again as the inductor expends all of its energy reserves trying to maintain current.8) e= i= + capacitor charging: voltage increasing inductor discharging: current decreasing Time Figure 6.8: Capacitor charging: voltage increasing. this behavior is akin to that of a pendulum: as the pendulum mass swings back and forth.7) e= i= CHAPTER 6. RESONANCE Time capacitor fully discharged: zero voltage inductor fully charged: current at (-) peak Figure 6. This oscillation will continue with steadily decreasing amplitude due to power losses from stray resistances in the circuit.9) e= i= + capacitor fully charged: voltage at (+) peak inductor fully discharged: zero current Time Figure 6. the capacitor will begin to charge up and the current will decrease in magnitude: (Figure 6. Overall.

maximum kinetic energy potential energy = kinetic energy = Figure 6. the mass briefly stops and switches directions. It is at this point that potential energy (height) is at a maximum and kinetic energy (motion) is at zero. it passes quickly through a point where the string is pointed straight down.1. AN ELECTRIC PENDULUM 125 of energy taking place from kinetic (motion) to potential (height). The same is true for the capacitor/inductor circuit. hence the similarity in effect. As the mass swings back the other way. in a similar fashion to the way energy is transferred in the capacitor/inductor circuit back and forth in the alternating forms of current (kinetic motion of electrons) and voltage (potential electric energy). potential energy (height) is at zero and kinetic energy (motion) is at maximum.6. the result of air friction (resistance) dissipating energy. a pendulum’s back-and-forth oscillation will continue with a steadily dampened amplitude. That is why a pendulum will keep swinging at the same frequency as the oscillations decrease in amplitude. the pendulum’s position and velocity measurements trace two sine waves (90 degrees out of phase) over time: (Figure 6.10: Pendelum transfers energy between kinetic and potential energy as it swings low to high.10) maximum potential energy. Also like the circuit. and not the weight of the mass itself. At this point. The oscillation rate is independent of the amount of energy stored in it. zero kinetic energy mass zero potential energy. It is an interesting property of any pendulum that its periodic time is governed by the length of the string holding the mass. this kind of natural sine-wave oscillation for a mechanical system is called Simple Harmonic Motion (often abbreviated as “SHM”). not on the amount of voltage (or current) at each respective peak in the waves. In physics. At the peak height of each swing of a pendulum. Like the circuit. The rate of oscillation is strictly dependent on the sizes of the capacitor and inductor. The same underlying principles govern both the oscillation of a capacitor/inductor circuit and the action of a pendulum. The ability for such a circuit to store energy in the form of .

This is true regardless of the circuit’s intended purpose.11: Simple parallel resonant circuit (tank circuit). In fact. and be aware of what the effects of resonance are. Its property of maintaining a single. If the power supply frequency for a circuit exactly matches the natural frequency of the circuit’s LC combination. at a particular frequency is not limited to circuits exclusively designed for that purpose. nearly any AC circuit with a combination of capacitance and inductance (commonly called an “LC circuit”) will tend to manifest unusual effects when the AC power source frequency approaches that natural frequency. there will only be one frequency where these two reactances will be equal. • When the power supply frequency for an AC circuit exactly matches that circuit’s natural oscillation frequency as set by the L and C components. the circuit is said to be in a state of resonance. However. RESONANCE oscillating voltage and current has earned it the name tank circuit. a condition of resonance will have been reached.2 Simple parallel (tank circuit) resonance A condition of resonance will be experienced in a tank circuit (Figure 6. Since we know the equations for determining the reactance of each at a given frequency. or resonate. we have a 10 µF capacitor and a 100 mH inductor. and we’re looking for that . In the above circuit. Because inductive reactance increases with increasing frequency and capacitive reactance decreases with increasing frequency. At that frequency.11) when the reactances of the capacitor and inductor are equal to each other. which oscillates (or resonates) at one particular frequency. energy is alternately shuffled between the capacitor and the inductor in the form of alternating voltage and current 90 degrees out of phase with each other. this tendency to oscillate. natural frequency regardless of how much or little energy is actually being stored in it gives it special significance in electric circuit design. • REVIEW: • A capacitor and inductor directly connected together form something called a tank circuit. 10 µF 100 mH Figure 6. 6. we need to be able to predict what the resonant frequency will be for various combinations of L and C.126 CHAPTER 6. For this reason. The unusual effects will reach maximum in this condition of resonance.

given the values of inductance (L) in Henrys and capacitance (C) in Farads. . 2πfL = 1 2πfC Multiplying both sides by f eliminates the f term in the denominator of the fraction . 2πf2L = 1 2πC Dividing both sides by 2πL leaves f2 by itself on the left-hand side of the equation . we can set the two reactance formulae equal to each other and solve for frequency algebraically: XL = 2πfL XC = 1 2πfC . . . we arrive at a resonant frequency of 159. . meaning that the tank circuit draws no current from the AC power source! We can calculate the individual impedances of the 10 µF capacitor and the 100 mH inductor and work through the parallel impedance formula to demonstrate this mathematically: . simplifying . . . the total impedance increases to infinity. .155 Hz. f2 = 1 2π2πLC Taking the square root of both sides of the equation leaves f by itself on the left side . setting the two equal to each other. What happens at resonance is quite interesting. . With capacitive and inductive reactances equal to each other. SIMPLE PARALLEL (TANK CIRCUIT) RESONANCE 127 point where the two reactances are equal to each other. . . f= 1 2π2πLC . . . representing a condition of equal reactance (resonance) .2. f= 2π 1 LC So there we have it: a formula to tell us the resonant frequency of a tank circuit. . . Plugging in the values of L and C in our example circuit.6.

What this means in practical terms is that. I chose these component values to give resonance impedances that were easy to work with (100 Ω even). (Figure 6. Now.128 CHAPTER 6. Current magnitude on the graph increases from . but we can say that the result approaches a value of infinity as the two parallel impedances get closer to each other. This SPICE simulation plots circuit current over a frequency range of 100 to 200 Hz in twenty even steps (100 and 200 Hz inclusive). that it cannot analyze a circuit containing a direct inductor-voltage source loop.12) A very low resistance value was chosen so as to have minimal effect on circuit behavior. We can plot the consequences of this over a wide power supply frequency range with a short SPICE simulation: (Figure 6.01 ∠ -90 1 0 o 1 + 0. the total impedance of a tank circuit is infinite (behaving as an open circuit) at resonance. RESONANCE XL = 2πfL XL = (2)(π)(159.155 Hz)(100 mH) XL = 100 Ω XC = XC = 1 2πfC 1 (2)(π)(159. we use the parallel impedance formula to see what happens to total Z: Zparallel = 1 1 1 + ZL ZC 1 1 100 Ω ∠ 90o + 1 100 Ω ∠ -90o Zparallel = Zparallel = 0.12) The 1 pico-ohm (1 pΩ) resistor is placed in this SPICE analysis to overcome a limitation of SPICE: namely.155 Hz)(10 µF) XC = 100 Ω As you might have guessed.01 ∠ 90o Zparallel = Undefined! We can’t divide any number by zero and arrive at a meaningful result.

132E-03 . 1. . .526E+02 8. . . .590E-04 . .. * .. .. .579E+02 1. ..- 3.. ... 1. 1.. ... * 1. . . * . * .. * 1. 1... ..540E-03 .632E+02 4.. * .. * .316E+02 3. . 1. . .749E-03 .033E-03 . .. . . * . * . * .350E-03 . * .373E-04 .271E-03 . .0E-02 .063E-03 . * . . . * ..6.. 2. . 1.789E+02 2.969E-04 .828E-03 .158E+02 6. freq i(v1) 3.. 1.. .505E-03 . ..162E-03 1.. * . ....211E+02 5..- . .663E-03 . . 1..947E+02 4.. . . . * .* . 1.000E+02 9. 1..000E+02 4... . . .. .684E+02 1... .609E-03 .... * ... .....542E-03 ..263E+02 4.. 1. .. . . 1. * . 1. . .2. .470E-03 .506E-03 . . .105E+02 7.. .737E+02 1. * . . .162E-04 1.. .. .368E+02 3...934E-03 . .12: Resonant circuit sutitable for SPICE simulation.053E+02 8..474E+02 1. . .. .421E+02 2. 1.* . 1. . .1.000E-03 .. 1.632E-03 . SIMPLE PARALLEL (TANK CIRCUIT) RESONANCE 129 1 1 Rbogus 2 C1 0 0 0 10 uF L1 0 100 mH 1 1 pΩ Figure 6.455E-03 . .... .842E+02 2. . .. .895E+02 3.

13) spice -b -r resonant. -r raw file.plot) in the last line producing the text plot on any printer or terminal. It is at this point that total current from the power source falls to zero. while frequency increases from top to bottom.155 Hz. A better looking plot is produced by the “nutmeg” graphical post-processor.cir ( -b batch mode. The above spice ( *. • REVIEW: • Resonance occurs when capacitive and inductive reactances are equal to each other.9 Hz. the command (. though it does no harm.end CHAPTER 6. which SPICE can’t handle rbogus 1 2 1e-12 l1 2 0 100m .raw resonant. RESONANCE left to lin 20 100 200 . The following commands produce the plot below: (Figure 6.cir) does not require the plot (.plot ac i(v1) . The current in this circuit takes a sharp dip around the analysis point of 157. The steepness of a Bode plot curve characterizes a circuit’s “frequency response. the graph output produced by this SPICE computer analysis is more generally known as a Bode plot. .130 tank circuit frequency sweep v1 1 0 ac 1 sin c1 1 0 10u * rbogus is necessary to eliminate a direct loop * between v1 and l1. which is the closest analysis point to our predicted resonance frequency of 159.plot) command. • For a tank circuit with no resistance (R). resonant frequency can be calculated with the following formula: fresonant = • 1 2π LC • The total impedance of a parallel LC circuit approaches infinity as the power supply frequency approaches resonance. Such graphs plot amplitude or phase shift on one axis and frequency on the other. part of the spice package.raw From the nutmeg prompt: >setplot ac1 (setplot {enter} for list of plots) >display (for list of signals) >plot mag(v1#branch) (magnitude of complex current vector v1#branch) Incidentally.cir) nutmeg resonant.cir). The plot above is produced from the above spice circuit file ( *.” or how sensitive it is to changes in frequency. input is resonant.

14) When a state of resonance is reached (capacitive and inductive reactances equal).6. SIMPLE SERIES RESONANCE 131 Figure 6.14: Simple series resonant circuit. . • A Bode plot is a graph plotting waveform amplitude or phase on one axis and frequency on the other.3.3 Simple series resonance A similar effect happens in series inductive/capacitive circuits.13: Nutmeg produces plot of current I(v1) for parallel resonant circuit. 6. (Figure 6. the two impedances cancel each other out and the total impedance drops to zero! 10 µF 100 mH Figure 6.

the result is a short circuit across the AC power source at lin 20 100 200 . series lc circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m . while frequency increases from left to right.end As before.155 Hz. which is the case: . (Figure 6. This would suggest that our resonant frequency formula holds as true for simple series LC circuits as it does for simple parallel LC circuits.132 CHAPTER 6. circuit current amplitude increases from bottom to top. this would not be good.155 Hz.15) in series along with the capacitor and the inductor to keep the maximum circuit current somewhat limited.155 Hz: ZL = 0 + j100 Ω Zseries = ZL + ZC Zseries = (0 + j100 Ω) + (0 . RESONANCE At 159.9 Hz.plot ac i(v1) . I’ll add a small resistor (Figure 6.j100 Ω 1 R1 1Ω C1 3 L1 2 10 µF 100 mH 0 1V 0 Figure 6. and perform another SPICE analysis over the same range of frequencies: (Figure 6. In the circuit drawn above.16) The peak is still seen to be at the plotted frequency point of 157.16) ZC = 0 .j100 Ω) Zseries = 0 Ω With the total series impedance equal to 0 Ω at the resonant frequency of 159. the closest analyzed point to our predicted resonance point of 159.15: Series resonant circuit suitable for SPICE.

3) v(3) . L = 100mH. SIMPLE SERIES RESONANCE 133 Figure 6.3.end According to SPICE. voltage across the capacitor and inductor reach a peak somewhere around 70 volts! This is quite impressive for a power supply that only generates 1 volt. What is the expected value? Given: fr = 159. Needless to lin 20 100 200 .ac lin 20 100 200). it is possible to produce dangerously high voltage drops across the capacitor and the inductor. R = 1 XL = 2πfL = 2π(159.plot ac i(v1) v(2.6.155 Hz.16: Series resonant circuit plot of current I(v1).155)(100mH)=j100Ω XC = 1/(2πfC) = 1/(2π(159. This SPICE voltage is lower than the expected value due to the small (20) number of steps in the AC analysis statement (. fresonant = 1 2π LC A word of caution is in order with series LC resonant circuits: because of the high currents which may be present in a series LC circuit at resonance. caution is in order when experimenting with circuits such as this. We can edit the SPICE netlist in the above example to include a plot of voltage across the capacitor and inductor to demonstrate what happens: (Figure 6.155)(10µF)) = -j100Ω .17) series lc circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m . as each component possesses significant impedance.

This voltage will stress these components to that level and they must be rated accordingly. However. I=I(V1#branch) 0. • The same formula for determining resonant frequency in a simple tank circuit applies to simple series circuits as well. The ratio of the capacitor (or inductor) voltage to the applied voltage is the “Q” factor. Q = VL /VR = VC /VR • REVIEW: • The total impedance of a series LC circuit approaches zero as the power supply frequency approaches resonance. VL =v(3) 70 V peak.17: Plot of Vc=V(2. RESONANCE Figure 6. .532 A peak Z = 1 +j100 -j100 = 1 Ω I = V/Z = (1 V)/(1 Ω) = 1 A VL = IZ = (1 A)(j100) = j100 V VC = IZ = (1 A)(-j100) = -j100 V VR = IR = (1 A)(1)= 1 V Vtotal = VL + VC + VR Vtotal = j100 -j100 +1 = 1 V The expected values for capacitor and inductor voltage are 100 V. the applied voltage.3) 70 V peak. these voltages are out of phase and cancel yielding a total voltage across all three components of only 1 V. due to high current flows and substantial individual component impedances. • Extremely high voltages can be formed across the individual components of series LC circuits at resonance.134 CHAPTER 6.

18) .18: Resonant circuit serves as stable frequency source. As was noted before. so can a tank circuit be used to stabilize the electrical frequency of an AC oscillator circuit. with the capacitor and inductor directly connected together. or select. the phenomenon of resonance appears to be a useless curiosity.. this is how analog radio receiver tuner circuits work to filter. Resonance is a very valuable property of reactive AC circuits. these particular circuits are called filters. In fact.. Usually. or at most a nuisance to be avoided (especially if series resonance makes for a short-circuit across our AC voltage source!). and their design constitutes a discipline of study all by itself: (Figure 6.4. the frequency set by the tank circuit is solely dependent upon the values of L and C. this is not the case. one station frequency out of the mix of different radio station frequency signals intercepted by the antenna. One use for resonance is to establish a condition of stable frequency in circuits designed to produce AC signals.. APPLICATIONS OF RESONANCE 135 6. A resonant circuit can be used to “block” (present high impedance toward) a frequency or range of frequencies. However. blocking them from getting to the load load Figure 6.19) the natural frequency of the "tank circuit" helps to stabilize oscillations AC source of mixed frequencies Tank circuit presents a high impedance to a narrow range of frequencies. exchanging energy between each other.. • REVIEW: . . In essence. and not on the magnitudes of voltage or current present in the oscillations: (Figure 6. a parallel (tank) circuit is used for this purpose. employed in a variety of applications. thus acting as a sort of frequency “filter” to strain certain frequencies out of a mix of others.6. Figure 6. to the rest of the "oscillator" circuit ..19: Resonant circuit serves as filter.4 Applications of resonance So far.. Just as a pendulum can be used to stabilize the frequency of a clock mechanism’s oscillations. Another use for resonance is in applications where the effects of greatly increased or decreased impedance at a particular frequency is desired.

5 Resonance in series-parallel circuits In simple reactive circuits with little or no resistance. though. According to our simple equation. so the addition of a series resistor is necessary to “break . In a series LC circuit.136 CHAPTER 6.155 Hz. Circuits designed to screen certain frequencies out of a mix of different frequencies are called filters.20: Parallel LC circuit with resistance in series with L.22)is necessary to prevent SPICE from encountering trouble in analysis. In a parallel (tank) LC circuit. We’ll take a look at several LC circuits with added resistance. SPICE can’t handle an inductor connected directly in parallel with any voltage source or any other inductor. 6. respectively. where current reaches maximum or minimum in the following SPICE analyses: Parallel LC with resistance in series with L 1 1 R1 V1 1V C1 0 0 0 10 µF 2 L1 0 100 mH 1 100 Ω Figure 6. the resonant frequency should be 159. • Resonance can be exploited for its impedance properties: either dramatically increasing or decreasing impedance for certain frequencies. it means zero impedance at resonance: fresonant = 1 2π LC However. as soon as significant levels of resistance are introduced into most LC circuits. an extra resistor (Rbogus ) (Figure 6. the effects of radically altered impedance will manifest at the resonance frequency predicted by the equation given earlier. Watch. just as a pendulum can be used to maintain constant oscillation speed in a timekeeping mechanism. this means infinite impedance at resonance. RESONANCE • Resonance can be employed to maintain AC circuit oscillations at a constant frequency. using the same values for capacitance and inductance as before: 10 µF and 100 mH. this simple calculation for resonance becomes invalid. Here.

RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 137 resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin c1 1 0 10u r1 1 2 100 l1 2 0 100m .ac lin 20 100 200 .5.6.8 Hz instead of 159.end Figure 6.21: Resistance in series with L produces minimum current at 136.plot ac i(v1) .2 Hz! .8 Hz instead of calculated 159.2 Hz Minimum current at 136.

25). a 1 Ω resistor (R1 ) is placed in series with the inductor and capacitor to limit total current at resonance. R2 . The astute observer will notice a pattern between the four SPICE examples given above.27) The tendency for added resistance to skew the point at which impedance reaches a maximum or minimum in an LC circuit is called antiresonance.26) The shifted resonance is shown in (Figure 6. RESONANCE Parallel LC with resistance in series with C 1 1 R1 V1 1V C1 0 0 0 2 100 Ω 3 10 µF L1 0 100 mH 1 Rbogus Figure 6. (Figure 6. in terms of how resistance affects the resonant peak of a circuit: . up” the voltage source/inductor loop that would otherwise be formed.2 Hz! Switching our attention to series LC circuits.plot ac i(v1) .22: Parallel LC with resistance in serieis with C. In the following series circuit examples. a series LC circuit with the significant resistance in parallel with the capacitor. The “extra” resistance inserted to influence resonant frequency effects is the 100 Ω resistor. The results are shown in (Figure 6. (Figure 6.end Minimum current at roughly 180 Hz instead of 159. And finally.138 CHAPTER 6.24) we experiment with placing significant resistances in parallel with either L or lin 20 100 400 . resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 100 c1 2 0 10u rbogus 1 3 1e-12 l1 3 0 100m . This resistor is chosen to be a very low value for minimum impact on the circuit’s behavior.

23: Resistance in series with C shifts minimum current from calculated 159.5.24: Series LC resonant circuit with resistance in parallel with L. Series LC with resistance in parallel with L 1 R1 1Ω C1 V1 1V 3 L1 0 0 100 mH R2 10 µF 3 100 Ω 0 2 Figure 6. RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 139 Figure 6. .6.2 Hz to roughly 180 Hz.

end Maximum current at 136. resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u r2 2 3 100 l1 3 0 100m .8 Hz instead of 159. RESONANCE Maximum current at roughly 178.140 resonant circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m r2 3 0 100 .plot ac i(v1) .9 Hz instead of lin 20 100 200 .2 Hz! Figure 6.2 Hz! .end CHAPTER lin 20 100 400 .2 Hz to roughly 180 Hz.plot ac i(v1) .25: Series resonant circuit with resistance in parallel with L shifts maximum current from 159.

6. RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 141 Series LC with resistance in parallel with C 1 R1 1Ω C1 V1 1V 3 L1 0 0 100 mH 2 2 10 µF R2 100 Ω 3 Figure 6. Figure 6.8 Hz.27: Resistance in parallel with C in series resonant circuit shifts curreent maximum from calculated 159.5.26: Series LC resonant circuit with rsistance in parallel with C. .2 Hz to about 136.

but changing. Added resistance in an LC circuit is no academic matter. As if the resistance of an inductor’s wire weren’t enough to cause problems. the resistance of wire tends to increase as frequency goes up. which manifest themselves as added resistance in the circuit.29) has not changed from the earlier series LC circuit (the one with the 1 Ω token resistance in it). It should suffice the beginning student of electronics to understand that the effect exists. thereby reducing the wire’s effective cross-sectional area. you’ll see that the frequencies are shifted by the same amount. If you look even closer to the four SPICE examples given. Obviously. inductors not only have resistance. we also have to contend with the “core losses” of iron-core inductors. and what its general tendencies are. One notable exception to the rule of circuit resistance causing a resonant frequency shift is the case of series resistor-inductor-capacitor (“RLC”) circuits.2 Hz once again! Note that the peak of the current graph (Figure 6. Since iron is a conductor of electricity as well as a conductor of magnetic flux. The equations for determining antiresonance “shift” are complex. This effects can be minimized with laminated cores. This effect can be thought of as though the iron core of the transformer were a sort of secondary transformer coil powering a resistive load: the less-than-perfect conductivity of the iron metal. even though the resistance is now 100 times greater. The only thing that has changed is the “sharpness” of the curve. (Figure 6.29). due to a strange phenomenon known as the skin effect where AC current tends to be excluded from travel through the very center of a wire. Maximum current at 159. Thus. the resonant frequency of the circuit will be unaffected by the resistance. and that the shape of the complementary graphs are mirror-images of each other! Antiresonance is an effect that resonant circuit designers must be aware of. inductors are typically plagued with substantial amounts of resistance due to the long lengths of wire used in their construction. So long as all components are connected in series with each other. but never completely eliminated. changing flux produced by alternating current through the coil will tend to induce electric currents in the core itself (eddy currents).28) The resulting plot is shown in (Figure 6. What is more. RESONANCE • Series LC circuit: • R in parallel with L: resonant frequency shifted up • R in parallel with C: resonant frequency shifted down Again. this illustrates the complementary nature of capacitors and inductors: how resistance in series with one creates an antiresonance effect equivalent to resistance in parallel with the other. While it is possible to manufacture capacitors with negligible unwanted resistances. frequency-dependent resistance at that. this circuit does not resonate as strongly as one with less series resistance (it is said to be “less selective”).142 • Parallel (“tank”) LC circuit: • R in series with L: resonant frequency shifted down • R in series with C: resonant frequency shifted up CHAPTER 6. and will not be covered in this brief lesson. but at least it has the same natural frequency! . good core design and high-grade materials.

6.plot ac i(v1) .5.2 Hz. . broadening the curve. RESONANCE IN SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS 143 Series LC with resistance in series 1 R1 100 Ω C1 V1 1V 3 L1 0 0 100 mH 2 10 µF Figure 6.29: Resistance in series resonant circuit leaves current maximum at calculated 159.end Figure 6. series rlc circuit v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 100 c1 2 3 10u l1 3 0 100m .28: Series LC with resistance in lin 20 100 200 .

30) switch R L Figure 6. resistor. If resistor R is large enough. If enough energy losses are present in a tank circuit. exchanging voltage and current peaks just like a pendulum exchanges kinetic and potential energy. the placement of circuit conductors may create stray capacitance.31) Why is this? There’s no capacitor in the circuit. While clean circuit layout is important in eliminating much of this stray capacitance. But frictionless machines are difficult to find in the real world. cars would bounce wildly at their resonant frequency after hitting any bump in the road. Energy lost through resistance (or inductor core losses or radiated electromagnetic waves or . this oscillation would continue forever. just as a frictionless pendulum would continue to swing at its resonant frequency forever. The rate of inductor charging will be set by the ratio L/R. Without shock absorbers. Interestingly enough.) in a tank circuit will cause the oscillations to decay in amplitude until they are no more. you might find unexpected oscillations (AC) of voltage across the inductor when the switch is closed. A very common application of this is the use of shock absorbers in automobiles. where any moving object with mass is a potential resonator. . However. In a perfect tank circuit (no resistance). and battery? All inductors contain a certain amount of stray capacitance due to turn-to-turn and turnto-core insulation gaps. Also. which is the time constant of the circuit in seconds. and so are lossless tank circuits. so how can we have resonant oscillation with just an inductor. Antiresonance’s dampening effect is more than just a curiosity: it can be used quite effectively to eliminate unwanted oscillations in circuits containing stray inductances and/or capacitances. Take note of the following L/R time delay circuit: (Figure 6. it will fail to resonate at all. as almost all circuits do.30: L/R time delay circuit The idea of this circuit is simple: to “charge” the inductor when the switch is closed. The shock absorber’s job is to introduce a strong antiresonant effect by dissipating energy hydraulically (in the same way that a resistor dissi- . there will always be some that you cannot eliminate.144 CHAPTER 6. If this causes resonant problems (unwanted AC oscillations). the principle of employing resistance to eliminate unwanted resonance is one frequently used in the design of mechanical systems. it will cause a condition of antiresonance. if you were to build such a circuit. . RESONANCE It is noteworthy that antiresonance has the effect of dampening the oscillations of freerunning LC circuits such as tank circuits. (Figure 6. added resistance may be a way to combat it. In the beginning of this chapter we saw how a capacitor and inductor connected directly together would act something like a pendulum. dissipating enough energy to prohibit the inductance and stray capacitance from sustaining oscillations for very long.

31: Inductor ringing due to resonance with stray capacitance. A higher value for this figure of merit correspondes to a more narrow bandwith. Q is the ration of power stored to power dissipated in the circuit reactance and resistance. quality factor.6. resistance does not produce antiresonance. Q AND BANDWIDTH OF A RESONANT CIRCUIT 145 ideal L/R voltage curve = actual L/R voltage curve = Figure 6. respectively: Q = Pstored /Pdissipated = I2 X/I2 R Q = X/R where: X = Capacitive or Inductive reactance at resonance R = Series resistance.6. More formally. This formula is applicable to series resonant circuits.6 Q and bandwidth of a resonant circuit The Q. Resonance still occurs when capacitive and inductive reactances are equal. pates energy electrically). caused by the exclusion of AC current from the center of conductors. • REVIEW: • Added resistance to an LC circuit can cause a condition known as antiresonance. as we . of a resonant circuit is a measure of the “goodness” or quality of a resonant circuit. • In a simple series LC circuit containing resistance (an “RLC” circuit). Another source is that of core losses in iron-core inductors. • Resistance inherent in real-world inductors can contribute greatly to conditions of antiresonance. which is desirable in many applications. 6. where the peak impedance effects happen at frequencies other than that which gives equal capacitive and inductive reactances. One source of such resistance is the skin effect. and also parallel resonant ciruits if the resistance is in series with the inductor. This is the case in practical applications.

This is correct for a large value of R in parallel with C and L. Current is maximum at resonance. Figure 6. A practical application of “Q” is that voltage across L or C in a series resonant circuit is Q times total applied voltage. A low resistance. high Q circuit has a narrow bandwidth. (Figure 6. leaving a net capacitive value. Bandwidth in terms of Q and resonant frequency: . RESONANCE are mostly concerned with the resistance of the inductor limiting the Q.34) This also affects the broadness of the curve. leaving only the resistance to contribute to the impedance.32) Since the definition of resonance is XL =XC . In a parallel resonant circuit. the series resonant circuit looks capacitive since the impedance of the capacitor increases to a value greater than the decreasing inducitve reactance. Note: Some text may show X and R interchanged in the “Q” formula for a parallel resonant circuit. impedance increases.32: At resonance the series resonant circuit appears purely resistive. current through L or C is Q times the total applied current. The resonant current peak may be changed by varying the series resistor. which changes the Q.33) Below the resonant frequency. Below resonance it looks capacitive.146 CHAPTER 6. (Figure 6. the reactive components cancel.6. (Figure 6. Above or below resonance. capacitive reactance decreases. the inductive rectance increases. 6. as compared to a high resistance. Current is set by the value of the resistance. Above resonance. leaving a net inductive component. low Q circuit. impedance at a minumum. The impedance is also at a minimum at resonance. Our formula is correct for a small R in series with L. Above resonance it appears inductive.1 Series resonant circuits A series resonant circuit looks like a resistance at the resonant frequency.

6.34: A high Q resonant circuit has a narrow bandwidth as compared to a low Q . BW = fc /Q Where fc = resonant frquency Q = quality factor Figure 6. Q AND BANDWIDTH OF A RESONANT CIRCUIT 147 Figure 6.6.33: Impedance is at a minumum at resonance in a series resonant circuit.

35. The upper and lower band edges read from the curve are 291 Hz for fl and 355 Hz for fh . BW = ∆f = fh -fl = fc /Q Where fh = high band edge.35) Figure 6.2 Parallel resonant circuits A parallel resonant circuit is resistive at the resonant frequency. The bandwidth is 64 Hz.7% amplitude points of series resonant circuit. The 70.6. (Fig- . and the half power points are ± 32 Hz of the center resonant frequency: BW = ∆f = fh -fl = 355-291 = 64 fl = fc .148 CHAPTER 6.707)2 = (0. fl = low band edge fl = fc . the 100% current point is 50 mA. The impedance is maximum at resonance.5).4 mA.36) At resonance XL =XC . RESONANCE Bandwidth is measured between the 0.∆f/2 = 323-32 = 291 fh = fc + ∆f/2 = 323+32 = 355 Since BW = fc /Q: Q = fc /BW = (323 Hz)/(64 Hz) = 5 6. (Figure 6.707 current amplitude points. (0.7% level is 0707(50 mA)=35.∆f/2 fh = fc + ∆f/2 Where fc = center frequency (resonant frequency) In Figure 6. (Figure 6. ∆f is measured between the 70. The 0. the reactive components cancel.35: Bandwidth.707 current points correspond to the half power points since P = I2 R.

38) conversely. the 100% impedance point is 500 Ω. The 70. Impedance is maximum at resonance in a parallel resonant circuit. This produces a higher peak in the narrower response curve. but decreases above or below resonance. Above resonance. a high Q is due to a low resistance in series with the inductor. inductive below resonance.6.7% voltage points since power is proportional to E2 . The upper and lower band edges read from the curve are 281 Hz for fl and 343 Hz for fh .7% level is 0707(500)=354 Ω.37) A low Q due to a high resistance in series with the inductor prodces a low peak on a broad response curve for a parallel resonant circuit. Voltage is at a peak at resonance since voltage is proportional to impedance (E=IZ). capacitive above resonance.∆f/2 = 312-31 = 281 fh = fc + ∆f/2 = 312+31 = 343 Q = fc /BW = (312 Hz)/(62 Hz) = 5 . Figure 6.707)2 =0. the series resonant circuit looks inductive since the impedance of the inductor is lower. thus. The bandwidth is 62 Hz. The bandwidth of the parallel resonant response curve is measured between the half power points.37) Below the resonant frequency.36: A parallel resonant circuit is resistive at resonance.39.39) In Figure 6. taking on a capacitive characteristic.50) Since voltage is proportional to impedance. the capacitive rectance decreases. drawing the larger proportion of current. we may use the impedance curve. ((0. (Figure 6. Q AND BANDWIDTH OF A RESONANT CIRCUIT 149 ure 6. (Figure 6. lower resistance wire.6. (Figure 6. This corresponds to the 70. and the half power points are ± 31 Hz of the center resonant frequency: BW = ∆f = fh -fl = 343-281 = 62 fl = fc . The high Q is achieved by winding the inductor with larger diameter (smaller gague). drawing the larger current.

Figure 6.150 CHAPTER 6. RESONANCE Figure 6. .38: Parallel resonant response varies with Q.37: Parallel resonant circuit: Impedance peaks at resonance.

from most recent to first. CONTRIBUTORS 151 Figure 6. 6.7% impedance points of a parallel resonant circuit.6. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. .39: Bandwidth. ∆f is measured between the 70.7. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information.7 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions.


2 7. . . . . . . . . . . . .1 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Introduction In our study of AC circuits thus far. . . . . . . . . but never changing polarity. . . . . its “frequency” is said to be zero. . . . . . . . . . . In many applications of electronics. . . . . Contributors . though. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . analysis is more complex than what we’ve seen up to this point. . circuit waveforms may be something other than sine-wave shaped. . The result of such a mix is a signal varying in intensity. . . Quite often we may encounter circuits where multiple frequencies of voltage coexist simultaneously. . . . . . . . . . . . .5 7. . . . . . . . . or changing polarity asymmetrically (spending more time positive than negative. . . More on spectrum analysis Circuit effects . . . . . . . . . Additionally. . . . . . . and any signal containing DC along with a signal of varying intensity (AC) may be rightly called a mixed-frequency signal as well. . . . . . . .4 7. . . we may encounter situations where DC is mixed with AC: where a waveform is superimposed on a steady (DC) signal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 158 168 174 185 188 7. . . . . This may be the result of unintended connections between circuits – called coupling – made possible by 153 . . . . . . . . . . . Square wave signals . . . . . .Chapter 7 MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Contents 7. . . . . single-frequency signals are the exception rather than the rule. . . .3 7. . . . . Other waveshapes . . Since DC does not alternate as AC does. . . .6 Introduction . . . . for example). . . . . . . . . . In any of these cases where there is a mix of frequencies in the same circuit. . . . . . . . . . in which case we call them non-sinusoidal waveforms. . Also. we’ve explored circuits powered by a single-frequency sine voltage waveform. . Sometimes mixed-frequency voltage and current signals are created accidentally. . .

When stray AC voltages from a “noise” source mix with DC signals conducted along signal wiring. while the parallal proximity of the two conductors effectively cancels any electromagnetic (mutually inductive) coupling because any induced noise voltage will be approximately equal in magnitude and opposite in phase along both conductors. Stray capacitance formed by the electrical insulation separating power conductors from signal conductors may cause voltage (with respect to earth ground) from the power conductors to be impressed upon the signal conductors.154 CHAPTER 7. dedicated metal conduit. power wiring and low-level signal wiring should always be routed through separated.1: Stray inductance and capacitance couple stray AC into desired DC signal. Coupling may also occur between two sets of conductors carrying AC signals. Polarity marks placed near each inductive portion of signal conductor length shows how the induced voltages are phased in such a way as to cancel one another. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS stray capacitance and/or inductance between the conductors of those circuits.3) . the results are usually undesirable. For this reason. (Figure 7. The result is a mix of DC and AC at the signal load. A classic example of coupling phenomenon is seen frequently in industry where DC signal wiring is placed in close proximity to AC power wiring. The nearby presence of high AC voltages and currents may cause “foreign” voltages to be impressed upon the length of the signal wiring. canceling each other at the receiving end for a net (differential) noise voltage of almost zero.2) The grounded cable shield – a wire braid or metal foil wrapped around the two insulated conductors – isolates both conductors from electrostatic (capacitive) coupling by blocking any external electric fields. while stray inductance formed by parallel runs of wire in conduit may cause current from the power conductors to electromagnetically induce voltage along the signal conductors. and signals should be conducted via 2-conductor “twisted pair” cable rather than through a single wire and ground connection: (Figure 7. The following schematic shows how an AC “noise” source may “couple” to a DC circuit through mutual inductance (Mstray ) and capacitance (Cstray ) along the length of the conductors.1) "Noise" source Mstray Zwire Cstray Zwire Zwire "Clean" DC voltage DC voltage + AC "noise" Figure 7. in which case both signals may become “mixed” with each other: (Figure 7.

1. Signal A Zwire Zwire Zwire A+B Mstray Zwire Zwire Cstray Zwire Signal B B+A Figure 7. INTRODUCTION 155 "Noise" source Mstray Cstray - + Shielded cable + Figure 7.7.2: Shielded twisted pair minimized noise.3: Coupling of AC signals between parallel conductors. .

each frequency a whole-number multiple of the first (called harmonics. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Coupling is but one example of how signals of different frequencies may become mixed. The particular mix of frequencies in the voltage signal output by the microphone is dependent on the sound being reproduced. pure sine wave vibrations but rather are a mix of different frequency vibrations at different amplitudes. If the sound waves consist of a single. the voltage waveform will likewise be a sine wave at a single frequency. An illustration of these terms is shown in Table 7.1 with a fundamental frequency of 1000 Hz (an arbitrary figure chosen for this example). the resulting voltage waveform produced by the microphone will consist of those frequencies mixed together.4: Series connection of voltage sources mixes signals. The “first” overtone is the first harmonic frequency greater than the fundamental. so as to convey computer data along existing lengths of power cabling. we find that even a single piano note (produced by a plucked string) consists of one predominant frequency mixed with several other frequencies. mixedfrequency signals are the result of intentional design or they may be an intrinsic quality of a signal. In other cases. signal coupling via stray inductance and capacitance is usually accidental and undesired. If the sound wave is a chord or other harmony of several notes. Very few natural sounds consist of single. If we had an instrument producing the entire range of harmonic frequencies shown in the table above. However. Musical chords are produced by blending one frequency with other frequencies of particular fractional multiples of the first. . pure note or tone. the first overtone would be 2000 Hz (the 2nd harmonic). In some cases.4) 60 Hz AC + DC voltage 90 Hz mixed-frequency AC voltage Figure 7. this application of the term “overtone” is specific to particular instruments. which convert audio-frequency air pressure waves into corresponding voltage waveforms. mixed-frequency signals may be produced by a single voltage source. under conditions that are deliberately established. Some computer communications networks operate on the principle of superimposing highfrequency voltage signals along 60 Hz power-line conductors. etc. Perhaps the easiest way is to simply connect voltage sources in series: (Figure 7. or two AC signals mixing with each other.156 CHAPTER 7. Certainly these are examples of mixed-frequency AC voltages. Sometimes the term “overtone” is used to describe the a harmonic frequency produced by a musical instrument. However. Whether it be AC mixed with DC. while the first frequency is called the fundamental). investigating a little further. It is generally quite easy to create mixed-frequency signal sources. This technique has been used for years in electric power distribution networks to communicate load data along high-voltage power lines. while the second overtone would be 3000 Hz (the 3rd harmonic). Such is the case with microphones.

These differences in tone. piano. and so on. dulcimer. we would say that the first overtone (the first frequency greater than the fundamental) in such an instrument would be 3000 Hz (the 3rd harmonic). For example. however. As such.1.) or of a column of air in a tube (trumpet. flute. described by the physics of motion for each unique object producing the sound. 5000 Hz.1: For a “base” frequency of 1000 Hz: Frequency (Hz) Term 1000 1st harmonic. but the relative amplitudes of those harmonic frequencies are different for different instruments. etc. or any other even-multiple frequencies of the fundamental. All these instruments produce harmonic frequencies (whole-number multiples of the fundamental frequency) when a single note is played. pipe organ. What gives each instrument its distinctive tone is the same phenomenon that gives each person a distinctive voice: the unique blending of harmonic waveforms with each fundamental note. the tone produced by a guitar string changes depending on where along its length it is plucked. banjo. A pure sine wave (single frequency). etc. INTRODUCTION Table 7. lute. the measure of a tone’s harmonic content is called timbre or color. 7000 Hz. The result is a distinctive tone that some people find acoustically offensive. In musical terms. steel strings have a different sound than nylon strings. as well. tuba. 4000 Hz. Musical tones become even more complex when the resonating element of an instrument is a two-dimensional surface rather than a one-dimensional string. and some types of bells). produce a much broader range of frequencies. while the second overtone would be 5000 Hz (the 5th harmonic). Instruments based on the vibration of a string (guitar. sounds very “flat” and “featureless” to the human ear. Such an instrument set up to produce a fundamental frequency of 1000 Hz would also produce frequencies of 3000 Hz. not limited to whole-number multiples of the fundamental. being entirely devoid of any harmonics. Brass instruments do not possess the same “harmonic content” as woodwind instruments. 6000 Hz. which produces sound when air is blown across the opening) is incapable of producing even-numbered harmonics. or fundamental 2000 2nd harmonic 3000 3rd harmonic 4000 4th harmonic 5000 5th harmonic 6000 6th harmonic 7000 7th harmonic 157 It so happens that certain instruments are incapable of producing certain types of harmonic frequencies. Instruments based on the vibration of a flat plate (steel drums. an instrument made from a tube that is open on one end and closed on the other (such as a bottle. Also. are a result of different harmonic content produced by differences in the mechanical vibrations of an instrument’s parts. etc. Most musical instruments are incapable of producing sounds this simple.) tend to produce sounds composed of a single frequency (the “fundamental”) and a mix of harmonics. A distinctive blend of frequencies is what gives a musical instrument its characteristic tone. and neither produce the same harmonic content as stringed instruments.7. clarinet. As anyone who has played guitar can tell you. . but would not produce 2000 Hz.

or simply exist out of necessity. for instance. • A non-sinusoidal waveform can be anything from a distorted sine-wave shape to something completely different like a square wave. Successive overtones may or may not correspond to incremental harmonics. Some devices and systems do not permit the establishment of certain harmonics. and the other sine-waves whose frequencies are whole-number multiples of the fundamental wave are called harmonics. • An overtone is a harmonic produced by a particular device. while the “second” overtone is the next greater frequency produced. 7. • REVIEW: • A sinusoidal waveform is one shaped exactly like a sine wave. • When multiple sine waveforms are mixed together (as is often the case in music). Later sections of this chapter will refer to musical instruments as sources of waveforms for analysis in more detail. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS As you can see. and/or cosine waves (sine waves with a 90 degree phase shift) at various amplitudes and frequencies. are not composed of a single frequency sine-wave. • Mixed-frequency waveforms can be accidently created. and so their overtones would only include some (not all) harmonic frequencies. but are rich blends of different frequencies. purposely created. So long as it repeats itself regularly over time. the lowest frequency sine-wave is called the fundamental. depending on the device producing the mixed frequencies. This is true no matter how strange or convoluted the waveform in question may be. sine waves. plus an infinite series of odd-multiple frequency sine waves at diminishing amplitude: . it has been found that square waves are mathematically equivalent to the sum of a sine wave at that same frequency. non-sinusoidal waveform can be equated to a combination of DC voltage. The “first” overtone is the first frequency greater than the fundamental. In particular.2 Square wave signals It has been found that any repeating. music provides a rich field of study for mixed frequencies and their effects.158 CHAPTER 7. it is reducible to this series of sinusoidal waves. Most musical tones.

5th. . In this particular SPICE simulation. like this: (Figure 7. I’ve summed the 1st. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 159 1 V (peak) repeating square wave at 50 Hz is equivalent to: 4 (1 V peak sine wave at 50 Hz) π + + 4 (1/3 V peak sine wave at 150 Hz) π 4 (1/5 V peak sine wave at 250 Hz) π 4 (1/7 V peak sine wave at 350 Hz) π 4 (1/9 V peak sine wave at 450 Hz) π + + + . .5) V1=1.2. ad infinitum . 7th.5: A square wave is approximated by the sum of harmonics.27V 50Hz V3=424mV 150Hz V5=255mV 250Hz V7=182mV 350Hz V9=141mV 450Hz plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform plot voltage waveform Figure 7. This reasoning is not only sound. if a square wave is actually an infinite series of sine wave harmonics added together. . The circuit we’ll be simulating is nothing more than several sine wave AC voltage sources of the proper amplitudes and frequencies connected together in series. it stands to reason that we should be able to prove this by adding together several sine wave harmonics to produce a close approximation of a square wave. but easily demonstrated with SPICE. This truth about waveforms at first may seem too strange to believe. and 9th harmonic . . We’ll use SPICE to plot the voltage waveforms across successive additions of voltage sources. However. 3rd.7.

end I’ll narrate the analysis step by step from here. + 9th harmonics .plot tran v(2.471m 450 0 0) 9th harmonic r1 5 0 10k . for each of the increasing odd harmonics). with no additional harmonic content. rather.648m 250 0 0) 5th harmonic v7 4 3 sin (0 181. they have been arrived at through the equations shown in the frequency series (the fraction 4/π multiplied by 1. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS voltage sources in series for a total of five AC voltage sources.6) Figure 7. explaining what it is we’re looking at.413m 150 0 0) 3rd harmonic v5 3 2 sin (0 254. an integer multiple of that frequency.plot tran v(1. .27324 50 0 0) 1st harmonic (50 Hz) v3 2 1 sin (0 424. The amplitude (voltage) figures are not random numbers.0) Plot 1st + .plot tran v(5.plot tran v(4. we see what happens when this clean and simple waveform is combined with the .0) Plot 1st + 3rd + 5th + 7th harmonics .0) Plot 1st + 3rd + 5th harmonics .tran 1m 20m . This is the kind of waveform produced by an ideal AC power source: (Figure 7. we see the fundamental-frequency sine-wave of 50 Hz by itself.6: Pure 50 Hz sinewave. of course.160 CHAPTER 7.0) Plot 1st + 3rd harmonics . Next. 1/3. building a squarewave v1 1 0 sin (0 1. 1/7. etc. The fundamental frequency is 50 Hz and each harmonic is. .plot tran v(3. It is nothing but a pure sine shape.891m 350 0 0) 7th harmonic v9 5 4 sin (0 141.0) Plot 1st harmonic . 1/5. In this first plot.

2. Watch what happens as we add the next odd harmonic frequency: (Figure 7.7) Figure 7. Suddenly. it doesn’t look like a clean sine wave any more: (Figure 7.7: Sum of 1st (50 Hz) and 3rd (150 Hz) harmonics approximates a 50 Hz square wave.8: Sum of 1st.8) Figure 7. or 150 Hz). The rise and fall times between positive and negative cycles are much steeper now. 3rd and 5th harmonics approximates square wave. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 161 third harmonic (three times 50 Hz. and the crests of the wave are closer to becoming flat like a squarewave.7. .

sine waves. which we already know is composed of odd-harmonic sine waves: The pulse option in the netlist line describing voltage source v1 instructs SPICE to simulate . Let’s try this on a square wave. of course) is a close approximation of a square wave. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS The most noticeable change here is how the crests of the wave have flattened even more.162 CHAPTER 7. When a square wave AC voltage is applied to a circuit with reactive components (capacitors and inductors). non-sinusoidal waves are equivalent to a definite series of additive DC voltage. those components react as if they were being exposed to several sine wave voltages of different frequencies. SPICE has the ability to sample a waveform and reduce it into its constituent sine wave harmonics by way of a Fourier Transform algorithm.9: Sum of 1st. Here we can see the wave becoming flatter at each peak. There are more several dips and crests at each end of the wave. The point in doing this is to illustrate how we can build a square wave up from multiple sine waves at different frequencies. and its application in AC power quality and signal analysis is widespread.9) Figure 7. 5th. outputting the frequency analysis as a table of numbers. The mathematical process of reducing a non-sinusoidal wave into these constituent frequencies is called Fourier analysis. the fifth sine wave voltage source in our circuit. which in fact they are. adding the 9th harmonic. but those dips and crests are smaller in amplitude than they were before. The fact that repeating. Finally. the details of which are well beyond the scope of this text. However. 3rd. electrical or otherwise. computer algorithms have been created to perform this analysis at high speeds on real waveforms. to prove that a pure square wave is actually equivalent to a series of sine waves. and/or cosine waves is a consequence of how waves work: a fundamental property of all wave-related phenomena.10) The end result of adding the first five odd harmonic waveforms together (all at the proper amplitudes. and 7th harmonics approximates square wave. we obtain this result: (Figure 7. Watch again as we add the next odd harmonic waveform to the mix: (Figure 7.

2. squarewave analysis netlist v1 1 0 pulse (-1 1 0 .tran 1m 40m .10: Sum of 1st.7. 3rd. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 163 Figure 7.0) .four 50 v(1.1m .plot tran v(1.0) . 5th.end . 7th and 9th harmonics approximates square wave.1m 10m 20m) r1 1 0 10k .

892E-02 0. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS a square-shaped “pulse” waveform. Note how small the figures are for all the even harmonics (2nd.164 CHAPTER 7.116E-02 0.780 -96.936E-02 0.12) SPICE has broken the waveform down into a spectrum of sinusoidal frequencies up to the ninth harmonic.366 9 4.040175 -107.038757 -98.500E+02 1.561 -105.366 -13.195 3 1.561 total harmonic distortion = 43.976 7 3. this frequency is 50 Hz).010E-02 0. 4th.171 8 4. plus a small DC voltage labelled DC component.000E+02 4.039337 -103. (Figure 7.000000 -2. so it knew how to classify the harmonics.171 -100.756 -17.390 -92.976 -8.000 2 1.000E+01 1.562E-01 0.195 0.500E+02 2.038415 -94.253E-01 0.201179 -10.439E-02 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase normalized no (hz) component component (deg) phase (deg) 1 5.000E+02 5. 9th is smallest).11) Figure 7.113316 -19. we’ll print the Fourier analysis generated by SPICE for this square wave: fourier components of transient response v(1) dc component = -2.780 6 3.443E-01 0.585 -4. 8th).500E+02 1. and how the amplitudes of the odd harmonics diminish (1st is largest.500E+02 4. 6th.144549 -15. .390 4 2.274E+00 1.585 5 2.805747 percent Here.11: Squarewave for SPICE Fourier analysis Next. First we’ll plot the square wave to be analyzed: (Figure 7.333987 -6.000E+02 5. in this case one that is symmetrical (equal time for each half-cycle) and has a peak amplitude of 1 volt.000E+02 4. I had to inform SPICE of the fundamental frequency (for a square wave with a 20 millisecond period.841E-01 0.

You need not be concerned with exactly how these computer routines work. there will be a “bar graph” display next to each control lever.5 kHz kHz Figure 7.5 kHz kHz 10 12.13: Hi-Fi audio graphic equalizer.13) Graphic Equalizer Bargraph displays the amplitude of each frequency Control levers set the attenuation factor for each frequency 50 Hz 150 300 Hz Hz 500 Hz 750 Hz 1 1.5 kHz 5 7.5 kHz kHz 3. you may have already seen a device designed to do just that without realizing what it was! A graphic equalizer is a piece of high-fidelity stereo equipment that controls (and sometimes displays) the nature of music’s harmonic content. displaying the amplitude of each particular frequency.2. A common computer algorithm (sequence of program steps to perform a task) for this is the Fast Fourier Transform or FFT function. (Figure 7. the equalizer is able to selectively attenuate (reduce) the amplitude of certain frequencies present in music. Typically. In fact. . to “customize” the sound for the listener’s benefit. but be aware of their existence and application. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 165 Figure 7. This same technique of “Fourier Transformation” is often used in computerized power instrumentation. This same mathematical technique used in SPICE to analyze the harmonic content of waves can be applied to the technical analysis of music: breaking up any particular sound into its constituent sine-wave frequencies.7.12: Plot of Fourier analysis esults. Equipped with several knobs or slide levers. sampling the AC waveform(s) and determining the harmonic content thereof.

they often have an appearance like that of an oscilloscope: (Figure 7.” Ideally. It is only when we have an equation describing a waveform in its entirety that . Thus. Unlike an oscilloscope. an oscilloscope’s plot of amplitude (vertical) over time (horizontal) is a “timedomain” analysis. the spectrum analyzer uses a CRT (or a computer display mimicking a CRT) to display a plot of the signal. Spectrum analyzers are often designed to analyze extremely high-frequency signals.166 CHAPTER 7. this plot is amplitude over frequency rather than amplitude over time. In that form. but the less cycles available to the computer for analysis. the amplitudes of all the even harmonics should be absolutely zero.14) Spectrum Analyzer amplitude frequency Figure 7. and so should the DC component. a frequency analyzer gives the operator a Bode plot of the signal: something an engineer might call a frequency-domain rather than a timedomain analysis. such as those produced by radio transmitters and computer network hardware. Please take note of how the Fourier analysis from the last SPICE simulation isn’t “perfect. The term “domain” is mathematical: a sophisticated word to describe the horizontal axis of a graph. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS A device built strictly to display – not control – the amplitudes of each frequency range for a mixed-frequency signal is typically called a spectrum analyzer. this is not so much a quirk of SPICE as it is a property of waveforms in general. whereas a spectrum analyzer’s plot of amplitude (vertical) over frequency (horizontal) is a “frequency-domain” analysis.14: Spectrum analyzer shows amplitude as a function of frequency. the less precise the analysis. A waveform of infinite duration (infinite number of cycles) can be analyzed with absolute precision. we are performing frequencydomain analysis. When we use SPICE to plot signal amplitude (either voltage or current amplitude) over a range of frequencies. or as complex as a special-purpose digital computer running an FFT algorithm to mathematically split the signal into its harmonic components. The design of spectrum analyzers may be as simple as a set of “filter” circuits (see the next chapter for details) designed to separate the different frequencies from each other. Again. Like an oscilloscope. In essence.

but rather acts as an infinite range of frequencies.999E-02 0.800 0.536E-01 0.7. We could improve the precision of our analysis here by letting the wave oscillate on and on for many cycles.tran 1m 1 .200 79.000E+01 1.146 80.182 -5.500E+02 1. • Computer algorithms exist which are able to sample waveshapes and determine their constituent sinusoidal components.273E+00 1.1m .015663 7 3.332897 4 2.238E-01 0.500E+02 4.382 88.0) .564 -9.141737 8 4.015627 9 4.997E-02 0.600 82.0) .500E+02 1.199 -14.764 84.400 -3.000E+02 1. not just AC voltages and currents.plot tran v(1. Again.000E+02 1.015704 3 1.600 -10.2.994E-02 0.989E-02 0. SQUARE WAVE SIGNALS 167 Fourier analysis can reduce it to a definite series of sinusoidal waveforms.000 -7.000E+02 1.529 77. all because we let the computer sample more cycles of the wave. This principle is common to all wave-based phenomena.329 -16. a short pulse – a waveform that doesn’t even complete a cycle – actually has no frequency.000000 2 1.109662 phase normalized (deg) phase (deg) -1.804E-01 0.946 -12. The fewer times that a wave cycles. the less certain its frequency is.option limpts=1001 .000 86.four 50 v(1. Taking this concept to its logical extreme.399 Notice how this analysis (Figure 7.500E+02 2.000E+02 1.999E-03 harmonic frequency fourier normalized no (hz) component component 1 5. • REVIEW: • Square waves are equivalent to a sine wave at the same (fundamental) frequency added to an infinite series of odd-multiple sine-wave harmonics at decreasing amplitudes.end fourier components of transient response v(1) dc component = 9. I’ve omitted the waveform plot for brevity’s sake – its just a really long square wave: squarewave v1 1 0 pulse (-1 1 0 .015688 5 2. Suffice it to say that the number of cycles and the certainty of a waveform’s frequency component(s) are directly related. In the following analysis.800 75. The Fourier Transform algorithm (particularly the .396E-01 0. and the result would be a spectrum analysis more consistent with the ideal.15) shows less of a DC component voltage and lower amplitudes for each of the even harmonic frequency sine waves.199215 6 3. the imprecision of the first analysis is not so much a flaw in SPICE as it is a fundamental property of waves and of signal analysis.1m 10m 20m) r1 1 0 10k .

Electronic power control devices such as transistors and silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCRs) often produce voltage and current waveforms that are essentially chopped-up versions of the otherwise “clean” (pure) sine-wave AC from the power supply. Nonlinear components such as SCRs find popular use in power electronics due to their ability to regulate large amounts of electrical power without dissipating much heat. producing current waveforms bearing little resemblance to the source voltage waveform powering the circuit. any repeating. are equivalent to a series of sinusoidal waveforms of higher (harmonic) frequencies. Fast Fourier Transform. due to voltage drops created by the non-sinusoidal current through circuit impedances. thus “turning on” or “turning off ” almost instantaneously. regardless of their actual shape. the waveshape distortions they introduce can cause problems. If not taken into consideration by the circuit designer. Square waves are a very common and well-understood case. These current waveforms then produce changes in the voltage waveform to other circuit components.168 CHAPTER 7.15: Improved fourier analysis. 7. These devices have the ability to suddenly change their resistance with the application of a control signal voltage or current. these harmonic waveforms created by electronic switching components may cause erratic circuit behavior. Circuit components that distort the normal sine-wave shape of AC voltage or current are called nonlinear. or FFT) is commonly used in computer circuit simulation programs such as SPICE and in electronic metering equipment for determining power quality. These non-sinusoidal waveforms. While this is an advantage from the perspective of energy efficiency. It is becoming increasingly common in the electric power industry to observe overheating of transformers and motors due to distortions in the sine- .3 Other waveshapes As strange as it may seem. non-sinusoidal waveform is actually equivalent to a series of sinusoidal waveforms of different amplitudes and frequencies added together. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. but not the only one.

halfwave rectifier v1 1 0 sin(0 15 60 0 0) rload 2 0 10k d1 1 2 mod1 . where a single diode blocks half of the AC current (over time) from passing through the load.16) Oddly enough. there would be nothing but the fundamental frequency showing (being a perfect sine wave).0) v(2. Ideally. too small to show on the harmonic plot above.0) v(2.tran .four 60 v(1. OTHER WAVESHAPES 169 wave shape of the AC power line voltage stemming from “switching” loads such as computers and high-efficiency lights. Figure 7.18) Notice the extremely small harmonic and DC components of this sinusoidal waveform in the table above.plot tran v(1. but our Fourier analysis figures aren’t perfect because SPICE doesn’t have the luxury of sampling a waveform of infinite duration. we’ll compare this with the Fourier analysis of the half-wave . This is generally done with components called diodes. the conventional diode schematic symbol is drawn such that electrons flow against the direction of the symbol’s arrowhead: 1 diode 2 + load - 0 0 The diode only allows electron flow in a counter-clockwise direction. One very common way harmonics are generated in an AC power system is when AC is converted.7.end halfwave rectifier First.16: Half-wave rectifier.model mod1 d . a pure sine wave voltage: (Figure 7. The simplest type of AC/DC rectification is half-wave. Next. or “rectified” into DC.3. which only allow the passage of current in one direction. though. (Figure 7.0) . In this section. This is no theoretical exercise: it is very real and potentially very troublesome.0) . I will investigate a few of the more common waveshapes and show their harmonic components by way of Fourier analysis using SPICE.5m 17m . we’ll see how SPICE analyzes the source waveform.

000082 -56.400E+02 1.319 5 3.000000 -0.400E+02 1.000091 -54.347 -104.669 -54.200E+02 2.800E+02 1.288 -56.800E+02 6.465E-04 0.660 -52. This is not part of the simulation.000E+02 1.000168 -104.664 9 5.000080 -70.354E-03 0. fourier components of transient response v(1) dc component = 8.283 8 4.086 6 3.000E+01 1.092E-03 0.016E-04 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase normalized no (hz) component component (deg) phase (deg) 1 6.17: Half-wave rectifier waveforms.170 CHAPTER 7.658 4 2.602 7 4.000 2 1.482E+01 1.000074 -63.600E+02 1.607 -63.492E-03 0.000099 -52.467E-03 0. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7.185E-03 0.091 -70.663 -86.132E-03 0.220E-03 0.000076 -61. V(1)+0.324 -61.342 3 1.005 0.4 shifts the sinewave input V(1) up for clarity.000044 -86.200E+02 1.655 .

OTHER WAVESHAPES 171 Figure 7.456 volts. Also take note of the large DC component: 4.051E-02 0.400E+02 5.005787 -115. Another method of AC/DC conversion is called full-wave (Figure 7.382E-02 0. By cutting out half of our AC wave.295 5 3. pure sine-wave.224 -61. but we can examine the waveform (Figure 7.420 8 4.18: Fourier analysis of the sine wave input. reversing the polarity of half the AC cycle to get electrons to flow through the load the same direction all the time.810 -87.009117 -152.006417 -132. Because our AC voltage waveform has been “rectified” (only allowed to push in one direction across the load rather than back-and-forth).19) fourier components of transient response v(2) dc component = 4.790 6 3.200E+02 3.800E+02 7. I won’t bore you with details of exactly how this is done.010703 -61. we’ve introduced the equivalent of several higher-frequency sinusoidal (actually.100 -152.005 4 2.000E+00 1.765 3 1. we have a 2nd harmonic component to this waveform that’s over 85 times the amplitude of the original AC source frequency! .492E-02 0.800E+02 1.430849 -89.206E-01 0.195 2 1.000E+01 7.479 9 5.493E-02 0.600E+02 1.017223 -168.284 -114.400E+02 4. cosine) waveforms into our circuit from the original.7.20).200E+02 4.000E+02 6. “rectified” voltage across the load resistor: (Figure 7.024676 -79.3.000 -89.456E+00 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.727E-01 0.595 -79.889 Notice the relatively large even-multiple harmonics in this analysis.362 7 4.085 normalized phase (deg) 0.073556 -87.22) What a difference! According to SPICE’s Fourier transform. which as you may have guessed utilizes the full cycle of AC power from the source.167 -132.016E+00 0.000000 -0.21) and its harmonic analysis through SPICE: (Figure 7.149E-01 0.570 -167. it behaves a lot more like DC.

four 60 v(2.3) .19: Fourier analysis half-wave output. fullwave bridge rectifier v1 1 0 sin(0 15 60 0 0) rload 2 3 10k d1 1 2 mod1 d2 0 2 mod1 d3 3 1 mod1 d4 3 0 mod1 .20: Full-wave rectifier circuit.0) v(2.plot tran v(1.3) .model mod1 d .end . MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7.5m 17m .172 CHAPTER 7. 1 D1 V1 15 V 60 Hz 2 D2 0 1 D3 R + load 10 kΩ D4 0 3 Figure 7.tran .

492 1.023 -0.787 -0.997E+00 85.767350 -100.267 4 2.800E+02 1.319 9 5.364E-02 1.504 8 4.800E+02 7.006043 -118.200E+02 7.200E+02 5.230 3.7.3) dc component = 8.026 -1.752 7 4.052023 -95.839 -25.21: Waveforms for full-wave rectifier fourier components of transient response v(2.000000 -93.289 3 1.034465 -93.000E-02 1.400E+02 1.600E+02 3.241E-02 1.457E-02 1.070827 -94.612 .000E+01 7.271 -6.907 2.400E+02 7.404E-01 2.496E-02 1.000 2 1.3. OTHER WAVESHAPES 173 Figure 7.000E+02 7.669415 -90.519 0.065240 -90.027 5 3.273E+00 harmonic frequency fourier normalized phase normalized no (hz) component component (deg) phase (deg) 1 6.337E-01 4.507 6 3.465161 -92.013E+00 14.

The DC component of this wave shows up as being 8. Notice all the other harmonics further on down the table.fourier option is also programmed into a variety of electronic test instruments to perform real-time Fourier analysis on measured signals. it is of the utmost importance to realize the principles at work and to grasp the practical effects that harmonic signals may have on circuits. . The odd harmonics are actually stronger at some of the higher frequencies than they are at the lower frequencies. While the complex mathematics behind all this Fourier transformation is not necessary for the beginning student of electric circuits to understand. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. This same mathematical routine programmed into the SPICE simulator as the . simple AC sine-wave may end up as a complex mess of harmonics after passing through just a few electronic components. 7.273 volts (almost twice what is was for the half-wave rectifier circuit) while the second harmonic is almost 6 volts in amplitude. • Rectification of AC to DC is a very common source of harmonics within industrial power systems. As you can see. Different waveshapes consist of different blends of sine-wave harmonics. but before we do that we’ll take a closer look at waveforms and their respective harmonics.22: Fourier analysis of full-wave rectifier output. • REVIEW: • Any waveform at all. can be reduced to a series of sinusoidal waveforms added together. so long as it is repetitive. what may begin as a neat.4 More on spectrum analysis Computerized Fourier analysis. particularly in the form of the FFT algorithm. is a powerful tool for furthering our understanding of waveforms and their related spectral components. The practical effects of harmonic frequencies in circuits will be explored in the last section of this chapter. which is interesting.174 CHAPTER 7. This section is devoted to the use of such tools and the analysis of several different waveforms.

The height of the peak represents the signal amplitude (voltage). This. a C- . This particular frequency value is a “C” pitch on a piano keyboard.23) Figure 7. The curve itself. the horizontal axis of the display is marked with the word “Frequency. If the scale of this analyzer instrument were marked with numbers. the signal measured for this demonstration was created by an electronic keyboard set to produce the tone of a panflute.4. Close observation reveals imperfections in the sine-wave shape. of course. represents the cyclic increase and decrease of voltage over time. you would see that this peak occurs at 523. is a result of the specific equipment used to analyze the waveform. the result is quite different: (Figure 7.25 Hz. The plot below was taken from an oscilloscope display.7.25 Hz. The single peak on the curve represents the predominance of a single frequency within the range of frequencies covered by the width of the display.24) As you can see. Characteristics like these due to quirks of the test equipment are technically known as artifacts: phenomena existing solely because of a peculiarity in the equipment used to perform the experiment. Actually. the closest instrument “voice” I could find resembling a perfect sine wave. The horizontal axis of this oscilloscope display is marked with the word “Time” and an arrow pointing in the direction of time’s progression. If we mix three different sine-wave tones together on the electronic keyboard (C-E-G. one octave above “middle C”. a sine wave looks like a wavy curve traced horizontally on the screen. If we view this same AC voltage on a spectrum analyzer. unfortunately.23: Oscilloscope display: voltage vs time.” denoting the domain of this measurement. showing signal amplitude (voltage) over time: (Figure 7. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 175 First we have a simple sine wave at a frequency of 523. Viewed with an oscilloscope.

one octave above “middle C. non-sinusoidal waveform is equivalent to a series of sinusoidal waveforms at different amplitudes and frequencies. Other musical instrument “voices” are not as simple as this one. This is a result of the three different waveforms alternately reinforcing and canceling each other as their respective phase shifts change in time. For example.24: Spectrum analyzer display: voltage vs frequency.25) The oscilloscope display (time-domain) shows a waveform with many more peaks and valleys than before. Knowing that any repeating. we should expect to see multiple . let’s view the signal for a trumpet tone: (Figure 7. the unique tone produced by any instrument is a function of its waveshape (or spectrum of frequencies).25 Hz. As was stated before. In fact.176 CHAPTER 7. both the oscilloscope display and the spectrum analyzer display reflect this increased complexity: (Figure 7. As you will notice. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. the device used to generate these waveforms is an electronic keyboard: a musical instrument designed to mimic the tones of many different instruments. The spectrum display (frequency-domain) is much easier to interpret: each pitch is represented by its own peak on the curve. some of these peaks are higher than the peaks of the original single-pitch waveform. The panflute “voice” was chosen for the first demonstrations because it most closely resembled a pure sine wave (a single frequency on the spectrum analyzer display). while others are lower.26) The difference in height between these three peaks is another artifact of the test equipment: a consequence of limitations within the equipment used to generate and analyze these waveforms. major chord) and measure the result. though.27) The fundamental frequency of this tone is the same as in the first panflute example: 523.” The waveform itself is far from a pure and simple sinewave form. a direct result of the mixing of these three frequencies. and not a necessary characteristic of the musical chord itself. (Figure 7.

4. Figure 7.25: Oscilloscape display: three tones.7.26: Spectrum analyzer display: three tones. . MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 177 Figure 7.

28) Figure 7.28: Spectrum of a trumpet tone.178 CHAPTER 7. . MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. peaks on the spectrum analyzer display: (Figure 7.27: Oscilloscope display: waveshape of a trumpet tone.

Although this display doesn’t show frequencies past the sixth harmonic. The analytical power of the oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer permit us to derive general rules about waveforms and their harmonic spectra from real waveform examples.(Figure 7. this waveform contains no even harmonics. only odd. We already know that any deviation from a pure sine-wave results in the equivalent of a mixture of multiple sine-wave waveforms at different amplitudes and frequencies. Trying a different instrument voice (the accordion) on the keyboard.29) and spectrum analyzer (frequencydomain) display: (Figure 7. However. the time. the pattern of odd-only .75 Hz).32) plots for a waveform approximating a square wave: According to the spectrum analysis.7. but the proportions aren’t the same. for example. we obtain a similarly complex oscilloscope (time-domain) plot (Figure 7. the third harmonic three times the fundamental (1569.31) and frequency-domain (Figure 7. The second harmonic is twice the frequency of the fundamental (1046. Both instrument tones contain harmonics all the way from 1st (fundamental) to 6th (and beyond!).” Multiple notes played on an accordion.30) Figure 7.29: Oscilloscope display: waveshape of accordion tone. would create a much more complex mixture of frequencies than what is seen here. but there are many more comprising this complex tone. Note the differences in relative harmonic amplitudes (peak heights) on the spectrum displays for trumpet and accordion. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 179 Indeed we do! The fundamental frequency component of 523. This display only shows the first six harmonics. for example.25 Hz is represented by the left-most peak.4. with each successive harmonic represented as its own peak along the width of the analyzer screen. and so on. Note.5 Hz). Bear in mind that all this complexity is in reference to a single note played with these two instrument “voices. close observation allows us to be more specific than this. Each instrument has a unique harmonic “signature” to its tone.

180 CHAPTER 7.30: Spectrum of accordion tone. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7. Figure 7.31: Oscilloscope time-domain display of a square wave .

34) the only significant frequency peaks on the spectrum analyzer display belong to odd-numbered multiples of the fundamental frequency.35) When the spectrum analysis of this waveform is plotted.32: Spectrum (frequency-domain) of a square wave. Let’s examine another waveform.7.33) In this waveform there are practically no even harmonics: (Figure 7. just like a perfect square wave. and sixth harmonics. A perfect triangle waveshape produces no even harmonics. we see a result that is quite different from that of the regular triangle wave. its oscilloscope plot reveals it to be aptly named: (Figure 7. but this is due to imperfections in this particular triangle waveshape (once again. except that its rise-time is not the same as its fall-time. Let’s continue our investigation with an analysis of a triangle wave: (Figure 7. Tiny peaks can be seen for the second. This difference in harmonic content is noteworthy. as we’ve already seen with SPICE that a square wave is comprised of an infinitude of odd harmonics. the two different waveforms are common in their lack of even harmonics.4. for this analysis shows the strong presence of even-numbered harmonics (second and fourth): (Figure 7. However. artifacts of the test equipment used in this analysis). Known as a sawtooth wave. The trumpet and accordion tones. fourth. This should come as no surprise. this one very similar to the triangle wave. It should be obvious from inspection that the harmonic spectrum of the triangle wave is not identical to the spectrum of the square wave: the respective harmonic peaks are of different heights. A waveform that is . That difference is symmetry above and below the horizontal centerline of the wave. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 181 Figure 7. harmonics in descending amplitude continues indefinitely.36) The distinction between a waveform having even harmonics versus no even harmonics resides in the difference between a triangle waveshape and a sawtooth waveshape. contained both even and odd harmonics. however.

33: Oscilloscope time-domain display of a triangle wave. Figure 7. .182 CHAPTER 7. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Figure 7.34: Spectrum of a triangle wave.

36: Frequency-domain display of a sawtooth wave. . Figure 7.4.35: Time-domain display of a sawtooth wave. MORE ON SPECTRUM ANALYSIS 183 Figure 7.7.

40) .39) Pure sine wave = 1st harmonic only Figure 7.37) Pure sine wave = 1st harmonic only Figure 7. (Figure 7.38: Asymmetric waveforms contain even harmonics. Again. (Figure 7. I will show the same sets of waveforms.39: These waveforms are composed exclusively of odd harmonics. shifted with DC voltage. but this has nothing to do with harmonic content. Square waves. In the examples shown. and the sawtooth wave are unsymmetrical around their centerlines and therefore do contain even harmonics. triangle waves. This rule of harmonic content (even harmonics only with unsymmetrical waveforms) applies whether or not the waveform is shifted above or below zero volts with a “DC component. the amount of DC voltage present in a waveform has nothing to do with that waveform’s harmonic frequency content.38) Figure 7. and pure sine waves all exhibit this symmetry.” For further clarification. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS symmetrical above and below its centerline (the shape on both sides mirror each other precisely) will contain no even-numbered harmonics. the horizontal centerline of the waveform happens to be zero volts on the time-domain graph. This principle of centerline symmetry should not be confused with symmetry around the zero line. (Figure 7. and all are devoid of even harmonics. (Figure 7. the accordion tone. and note that their harmonic contents are unchanged.184 CHAPTER 7.37: Waveforms symmetric about their x-axis center line contain only odd harmonics. Waveforms like the trumpet tone.

5 Circuit effects The principle of non-sinusoidal. Also. • REVIEW: • Waveforms that are symmetrical above and below their horizontal centerlines contain no even-numbered harmonics.40: These waveforms contain even harmonics. and . and that clue may be helpful in locating the source of a problem (look for components or conditions more likely to distort one half-cycle of the AC waveform more than the other). CIRCUIT EFFECTS 185 Figure 7. Since most sources of sine-wave distortion in AC power circuits tend to be symmetrical. there being no symmetry at all above and below center. Thankfully. even-numbered harmonics are rarely seen in those applications. Why is this harmonic rule-of-thumb an important rule to know? It can help us comprehend the relationship between harmonics in AC circuits and specific circuit components. Now that we have this rule to guide our interpretation of nonsinusoidal waveforms.5. if you happen to measure even harmonics in an AC circuit with a spectrum analyzer or frequency meter. When an AC circuit is subjected to a source voltage consisting of a mixture of frequencies. regarding the multiple-frequency source as a set of single-frequency voltage sources connected in series. even harmonics being practically nonexistent. Any reactive component such as a capacitor or an inductor will simultaneously present a unique amount of impedance to each and every frequency present in a circuit.7. • The amount of DC “bias” voltage present (a waveform’s “DC component”) has no impact on that wave’s harmonic frequency content. This is good to know if you’re a power system designer and are planning ahead for harmonic reduction: you only have to concern yourself with mitigating the odd harmonic frequencies. it makes more sense that a waveform like that produced by a rectifier circuit should contain such strong even harmonics. the components in that circuit respond to each constituent frequency in a different way. It means that any time we have a waveform that isn’t perfectly sine-wave-shaped. 7. the analysis of such circuits is made relatively easy by applying the Superposition Theorem. you know that something in that circuit must be unsymmetrically distorting the sine-wave voltage or current. repeating waveforms being equivalent to a series of sine waves at different frequencies is a fundamental property of waves in general and it has great practical import in the study of AC circuits. the circuit in question will react as though its having an array of different frequency voltages imposed on it at once.

653k ∠ -90o Total 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 926.186 CHAPTER 7.446k ∠ -50.328o 2.1168m 1.4509m ∠ 50.328o 2.2 kΩ C 1 µF R 2.2 kΩ C XC = 1.1168m 1.1168m 1.768 kΩ 1 µF Figure 7.0377 + j2.328o Volts Amps Ohms Analyzing the circuit for 90 Hz source alone: R 5V 90 Hz 2. summing the results at the end to determine the aggregate total: R 5V 60 Hz 5V 90 Hz Figure 7.328o 926.4509m ∠ 50.j2.43: Circuit of solving 90 Hz. .4569 3.653 kΩ 1 µF Figure 7.2 kΩ 5V 60 Hz C XC = 2.8486 ∠ -39.2k ∠ 0o C 2.22µ + j1.22µ + j1. Analyzing circuit for 60 Hz source alone: 2.6716o 926. R E I Z 2.328o 0 .j2.j2.4509m ∠ 50.1919 ∠ 50.9623 .22µ + j1.653k 2. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS analyzing the circuit for one source at a time.653k 3.2k + j0 2.42: Circuit for solving 60 Hz.41: Circuit driven by a combination of frequencies: 60 Hz and 90 Hz.4569 3.2k .

. If we know the Fourier series (multiple sine/cosine wave equivalent) of that wave.793o Volts Amps Ohms 187 Superimposing the voltage drops across R and C. this can be a laborious task for some waveforms (an accurate squarewave Fourier Series is considered to be expressed out to the ninth harmonic.5.7714m ∠ 38.1325 ∠ -51.3807m + j1.3807m + j1. This is worthy to note. I mention this not to scare you. Needless to say.6716o (60 Hz)] + [3.2k + j0 2. We can also apply the superposition theorem to the analysis of a circuit powered by a nonsinusoidal voltage.4415 3. This has been known to translate into unexpected circuit resonances.8486 V ∠ -39.8971 ∠ 38.8971 V ∠ 38. What we can tell from this application of the superposition theorem is that there will be a greater 60 Hz voltage dropped across the capacitor than a 90 Hz voltage.7714m ∠ 38.j1. Complex number notation give us the ability to represent waveform amplitude (polar magnitude) and phase angle (polar angle). Technicians and engineers need to be made aware of the potential effects of non-sinusoidal waveforms in reactive circuits. Studies have been performed on the potential hazards of using portable computers aboard passenger aircraft.1098m 1. CIRCUIT EFFECTS R E I Z 3. but to inform you of the potential complexity lurking behind seemingly simple waveforms.793o 2. Just the opposite is true for the resistor’s voltage drop. especially in light of the fact that the two source voltages are equal.3807m + j1. and the like.1098m 1. such as a square wave. A real-life circuit will respond just the same to being powered by a square wave as being powered by an infinite series of sine waves of odd-multiple frequencies and diminishing amplitudes.j1.2k ∠ 0o C 1.207o 1. Harmonics are known to manifest their effects in the form of electromagnetic radiation as well.1098m 1.823k ∠ -38.7.793o (90 Hz)] EC = [3. we cannot consolidate them into a single voltage figure as we could if we were adding together two voltages of different amplitude and/or phase angle at the same frequency. but worse yet is the fact that the harmonic multiples of those fundamental frequencies span an even larger range.768k 2. but not frequency. It is this kind of unequal circuit response to signals of differing frequency that will be our specific focus in the next chapter. and phase shifts. or five sine waves in all!).0375 + j2. we can regard it as originating from a series-connected string of multiple sinusoidal voltage sources at the appropriate amplitudes.j2.9625 . but it is possible.7714m ∠ 38.4415 3. electromagnetic noise over broad ranges of the frequency spectrum. It’s bad enough that typical microprocessor clock signal frequencies are within the range of aircraft radio frequency bands.793o 2. due to the fact that clock signal voltages are square-wave in shape and not sine-wave.1919 V ∠ 50.207o (90 Hz)] Because the two voltages across each component are at different frequencies.793o 0 .1325 V ∠ -51. frequencies.793o 1. transformer and inductor core overheating due to eddy currents.2k .328o (60 Hz)] + [3. citing the fact that computers’ high frequency square-wave “clock” voltage signals are capable of generating radio waves that could interfere with the operation of the aircraft’s electronic navigation equipment. we get: ER = [3.768k 1.768k ∠ -90o Total 5 + j0 5 ∠ 0o 1.

but high frequencies do. plus a DC offset voltage if necessary. electromagnetic radiation. Suddenly there may be weird electrical noise being impressed upon signal wiring that never used to be there. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. • REVIEW: • Any regular (repeating). NOTE: superimposed voltages and currents of different frequencies cannot be added together in complex number form. Signal wiring nearby power wiring will tend to “pick up” harmonic interference from the power wiring to a far greater extent than pure sine-wave interference. Low frequency power line voltage and current doesn’t radiate into space very well as electromagnetic energy.6 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. not frequency! • Harmonics can cause problems by impressing unwanted (“noise”) voltage signals upon nearby circuits. MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS Electromagnetic “emissions” of this nature can be a problem in industrial applications. This problem can manifest itself in industry when old motor controls are replaced with new.188 CHAPTER 7. too. and amplitudes. capacitive and inductive “coupling” caused by close-proximity conductors is usually more severe at high frequencies. . The fundamental power line frequency may only be 60 Hz. and those high-frequency harmonic voltages and currents tend to inductively and capacitively “couple” better to nearby conductors than any 60 Hz signals from the old controls used to. inductive coupling. non-sinusoidal waveform is equivalent to a particular series of sine/cosine waves of different frequencies. with harmonics abounding in very large quantities due to (nonlinear) electronic control of motor and electric furnace power. since complex numbers only account for amplitude and phase shift. phases. • Multiple-frequency voltage sources can be simulated for analysis by connecting several single-frequency voltage sources in series. 7. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. but those harmonic frequency multiples theoretically extend into infinitely high frequency ranges. from most recent to first. solid-state electronic motor controls providing greater energy efficiency. Analysis of voltages and currents is accomplished by using the superposition theorem. Also. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. or a combination thereof. The mathematical process for determining the sinusoidal waveform equivalent for any waveform is called Fourier analysis. because the old controls never generated harmonics. These unwanted signals may come by way of capacitive coupling.

. .2 8. . . . .1 8. . . . . . . . . . Both equalizers and crossover networks are examples of filters.3 8. .4 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A common need for filter circuits is in high-performance stereo systems. . . . . . . . . . . 199 Band-stop filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chapter 8 FILTERS Contents 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . where certain ranges of audio frequencies need to be amplified or suppressed for best sound quality and power efficiency. . . . . . . You may also be familiar with crossover networks. . . . 215 Contributors . . . . . . . A tweeter (high-frequency speaker) is inefficient at reproducing low-frequency signals such as drum beats. . . . so a crossover circuit is connected between the tweeter and the stereo’s output terminals to block low-frequency signals. . . . . . . . . . . You may be familiar with equalizers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This gives better audio system efficiency and thus better performance. . . . . . . . . only passing high-frequency signals to the speaker’s connection terminals. . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . 190 High-pass filters . . . . . .6 8. 189 Low-pass filters . . . . . .1 What is a filter? It is sometimes desirable to have circuits capable of selectively filtering one frequency or range of frequencies out of a mix of different frequencies in a circuit. . or simply a filter. . 196 Band-pass filters . . .7 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . which allow the amplitudes of several frequency ranges to be adjusted to suit the listener’s taste and acoustic properties of the listening area. designed to accomplish filtering of certain frequencies. . . . which block certain ranges of frequencies from reaching speakers. . . . . . . . . . . . .5 8. . 215 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A circuit designed to perform this frequency selection is called a filter circuit. . . . . . . . .8 What is a filter? . . . . . . . . 202 Resonant filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1: Inductive low-pass filter The inductor’s impedance increases with increasing frequency. Bear in mind. much like the previous example with two sources (60 and 90 Hz). I will make extensive use of SPICE as an analysis tool. that these circuits can be analyzed over several points of frequency by repeated series-parallel analysis. This high impedance in series tends to block high-frequency signals from getting to the load.1 and the capacitive low-pass filter in Figure 8. • A Bode plot is a graph plotting waveform amplitude or phase on one axis and frequency on the other. 8. • REVIEW: • A filter is an AC circuit that separates some frequencies from others within mixed-frequency signals. This can be demonstrated with a SPICE analysis: (Figure 8.2 Low-pass filters By definition. To reduce the load of math on the reader. We will be studying the design of several elementary filter circuits in this lesson. and many variations of each one: The inductive low-pass filter in Figure 8.3 1 L1 3H 2 V1 1V Rload 1 kΩ 0 0 Figure 8.2) . a low-pass filter is a circuit offering easy passage to low-frequency signals and difficult passage to high-frequency signals. If a distorted sine-wave voltage behaves like a series of harmonic waveforms added to the fundamental frequency. though. Some electronic devices are sensitive to the presence of harmonics in the power supply voltage. if the student is willing to invest a lot of time working and re-working circuit calculations for each frequency. FILTERS Another practical application of filter circuits is in the “conditioning” of non-sinusoidal voltage waveforms in power circuits. then it should be possible to construct a filter circuit that only allows the fundamental waveform frequency to pass through. and so require power conditioning for proper operation. blocking all (higher-frequency) harmonics. displaying Bode plots (amplitude versus frequency) for the various kinds of filters. • Audio equalizers and crossover networks are two well-known applications of filter circuits.190 CHAPTER 8. There are two basic kinds of circuits capable of accomplishing this objective.

1 R1 500 Ω 1V C1 7 µF Rload 2 1 kΩ V1 0 0 Figure 8.plot ac v(2) .8.end Figure 8. LOW-PASS FILTERS 191 inductive lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 3 rload 2 0 1k .3: Capacitive low-pass filter. .2: The response of an inductive low-pass filter falls off with increasing lin 20 1 200 .2.

the inductive low-pass filter is often preferred in AC-DC power supplies to filter out the AC “ripple” waveform created when AC is converted (rectified) into DC. making them almost 100% reactive.end Figure 8. This low impedance in parallel with the load resistance tends to short out high-frequency signals. However. passing only .4: The response of a capacitive low-pass filter falls off with increasing frequency. with only one component comprising the filter. and are less expensive. However.4) capacitive lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 c1 2 0 7u rload 2 0 1k . By “pure” I mean that capacitors exhibit little resistive effects than inductors. (Figure 8. FILTERS The capacitor’s impedance decreases with increasing frequency. on the other hand. both in the long lengths of wire used to make them.plot ac v(2) . capacitive filter designs are generally preferred over inductive because capacitors tend to be “purer” reactive components than inductors and therefore are more predictable in their behavior. typically exhibit significant dissipative (resistor-like) effects. The inductive low-pass filter is the pinnacle of lin 20 30 150 . and in the magnetic losses of the core material. The capacitive version of this filter is not that much more complex. Inductors. with only a resistor and capacitor needed for operation.192 CHAPTER 8. dropping most of the voltage across series resistor R1 . despite their increased complexity. Capacitors also tend to participate less in “coupling” effects with other components (generate and/or receive interference from other components via mutual electric or magnetic fields) than inductors.

it is the frequency at which capacitive reactance in ohms equals resistance in ohms. the frequency above which the output voltage falls below 70.2.7 is not really arbitrary. sometimes AC signals can “couple” from one circuit to another via capacitance (Cstray ) and/or mutual inductance (Mstray ) between the two sets of conductors. LOW-PASS FILTERS 193 the pure DC component. SPICE produces a Bode plot whose numbers make more sense: (Figure 8. That is. skewing it down from what the formula told us it would be. One frequent application of the capacitive low-pass filter principle is in the design of circuits having components or sections sensitive to electrical “noise. the capacitive low-pass filter might make more sense.8. However.473 Hz. In the design of a high-current circuit like a DC power supply where additional series resistance is undesirable. If a cutoff frequency equation fails to give consideration to load impedance.6) . we arrive at a cutoff frequency of lin 20 40 50 . below the calculated cutoff point. All low-pass filters are rated at a certain cutoff frequency.” As mentioned at the beginning of the last chapter. when we look at the plot generated by the SPICE simulation. all though it may seem so at first glance. one capacitor). What’s wrong? The problem here is that the load resistance of 1 kΩ affects the frequency response of the filter.7% of the input voltage. The primary reason for this is the requirement of low filter resistance for the output of such a power supply.5) capacitive lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 c1 2 0 7u * note: no load resistor! . it is always important to note that the response of the filter depends on the filter’s component values and the impedance of the load. it assumes no load and will fail to give accurate results for a real-life filter conducting power to a load. This cutoff percentage of 70. we see the load voltage well below 70. Without that load resistance in place.7% of the source voltage (1 volt) even at a frequency as low as 30 Hz.end fcutof f = 1/(2πRC) = 1/(2π(500 Ω)(7 µF)) = 45.plot ac v(2) . In a simple capacitive low-pass filter (one resistor. On the other hand. if low weight and compact size are higher priorities than low internal supply resistance in a power supply design. In a simple capacitive/resistive low-pass filter. the cutoff frequency is given as: fcutoff = 1 2πRC Inserting the values of R and C from the last SPICE simulation into this formula. A prime example of this is unwanted AC signals (“noise”) becoming impressed on DC power lines supplying sensitive circuits: (Figure 8.473 Hz When dealing with filter circuits. the inductive low-pass filter is the better design choice. whereas the inductive low-pass filter does not. A capacitive low-pass filter requires an extra resistance in series with the source.

.7% at 45.5: For the capacitive low-pass filter with R = 500 Ω and C = 7 µF. FILTERS Figure 8. the Output should be 70.194 CHAPTER 8.6: Noise is coupled by stray capacitance and mutual inductance into “clean” DC power. "Noise" source Mstray Zwire Cstray Zwire Load Zwire "Clean" DC power Esupply "Dirty" or "noisy" DC power Eload Figure 8.473 Hz.

but size and economics limit decoupling capacitors to meager values. A cursory glance at a crowded printed-circuit board (PCB) will typically reveal decoupling capacitors scattered throughout. the capacitor behaving as a very low impedance to any AC noise. though.8. power conductor impedance allows the two voltages to differ. and difficult passage of high-frequency signals. However. all we need to do is connect a low-pass filter near the load to block any coupled signals. because the uninterrupted conductors connecting them should make the two sets of points electrically common.7: Decoupling capacitor. capacitive low-pass filters insert a resistor in series and a capacitor in parallel with the load. Greater capacitance will do a better job at filtering noise. The former . a minimum amount of capacitance needed to produce a low enough impedance to short out any noise. the voltage as measured at the load terminals is now a mix of AC and DC. and shorting it out.7) "Noise" source Mstray Zwire Cstray Zwire Load Zwire "Clean" DC power Esupply "Cleaner" DC power with decoupling capacitor Eload Figure 8. usually located as close as possible to the sensitive DC loads. After coupling with the AC noise source via stray mutual inductance and stray capacitance. If we wish to prevent such “noise” from reaching the DC load. • Inductive low-pass filters insert an inductor in series with the load. one would expect Eload to be precisely identical to Esource .1 µF or more. Normally. filters noise from DC power supply. LOW-PASS FILTERS 195 The oscilloscope-meter on the left shows the “clean” power from the DC voltage source. Such a capacitor is called a decoupling capacitor: (Figure 8. this is nothing more than a capacitor connected directly across the power terminals of the load. In its simplest form.2. which means the noise magnitude can vary at different points in the DC system. Capacitor size is usually 0. • REVIEW: • A low-pass filter allows for easy passage of low-frequency signals from source to load. the AC being unwanted. applied to load.

7% of the input. the output voltage is lower than 70. Above the cutoff frequency.5u rload 2 0 1k . above which the output voltage increases above 70. again. And. and vice versa. 8.3 High-pass filters A high-pass filter’s task is just the opposite of a low-pass filter: to offer easy passage of a high-frequency signal and difficult passage to a low-frequency signal. Just as in the case of the capacitive . requiring only one component above and beyond the load. (Figure 8.7% of the input (source) voltage.9) This high impedance in series tends to block low-frequency signals from getting to load.8: Capacitive high-pass filter.196 CHAPTER 8. As one might expect.8) versions of the high-pass filter are just the opposite of their respective low-pass filter designs: C1 1 0. The capacitor’s impedance (Figure 8. high-pass filters have a rated cutoff frequency.10) and capacitive (Figure 8. FILTERS filter design tries to “block” the unwanted frequency signal while the latter tries to short it out.11) This low impedance in parallel tends to short out low-frequency signals from getting to the load resistor.10) decreases with decreasing frequency. As with low-pass filters. • The cutoff frequency for a low-pass filter is that frequency at which the output (load) voltage equals 70. capacitive highpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin c1 1 2 0.end The inductor’s impedance (Figure 8. the inductive (Figure 8. most of the voltage gets dropped across series resistor R1 .5 µF V1 1V Rload 1 kΩ 2 0 0 Figure 8.7% of the input voltage. especially with high-pass filters where high frequencies commonly cause inductors to behave strangely due to the skin effect and electromagnetic core losses. (Figure lin 20 1 200 . As a consequence. the reactive purity of capacitors over inductors tends to favor their use in filter design.8) increases with decreasing frequency. the capacitive design is the simplest.plot ac v(2) . This time.

1 R1 200 Ω 1V L1 100 mH Rload 2 V1 1 kΩ 0 0 Figure 8.3.10: Inductive high-pass filter.end .ac lin 20 1 200 . HIGH-PASS FILTERS 197 Figure 8.9: The response of the capacitive high-pass filter increases with frequency.8. inductive highpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 200 l1 2 0 100m rload 2 0 1k .plot ac v(2) .

A real stereo would have six speakers: 2 woofers. More elaborate filter networks are sometimes used. For better performance yet. FILTERS Figure 8.or high-frequency signal power is wasted on a speaker incapable of efficiently reproducing those sounds. a capacitor connected in series with the tweeter (treble) speaker will serve as a high-pass filter. What we would be looking for is called a band-pass filter. Using a stereo system as a practical example. In this simple example circuit. and 2 tweeters. an inductor connected in series with the woofer (bass) speaker will serve as a low-pass filter for the low frequencies that particular speaker is designed to reproduce. the capacitive high-pass filter’s cutoff frequency can be found with the same formula: fcutoff = 1 2πRC In the example circuit. Also bear in mind that I’m only showing you one channel (either left or right) on this stereo system. • REVIEW: • A high-pass filter allows for easy passage of high-frequency signals from source to load. there is no resistance other than the load resistor. .11: The response of the inductive high-pass filter increases with frequency. so that is the value for R in the formula. thereby preventing that power from being wasted on a speaker inefficient for reproducing such sounds. which is the topic of the next section. but this should give you the general idea. imposing a high impedance to lowfrequency bass signals. 2 midranges. In like fashion. low-pass filter circuit. we might like to have some kind of filter circuit capable of passing frequencies that are between low (bass) and high (treble) to the midrange speaker so that none of the low.198 CHAPTER 8. the midrange speaker is subjected to the full spectrum of frequencies from the stereo’s output.

14) Signal input Low-pass filter blocks frequencies that are too high High-pass filter blocks frequencies that are too low Signal output Figure 8. BAND-PASS FILTERS 199 low-pass Woofer Stereo Midrange high-pass Tweeter Figure 8. inductive high-pass filters insert a resistor in series and an inductor in parallel with the load.4 Band-pass filters There are applications where a particular band. and vice versa. Filter circuits can be designed to accomplish this task by combining the properties of low-pass and high-pass into a single filter.12: High-pass filter routes high frequencies to tweeter. .8. • The cutoff frequency for a high-pass filter is that frequency at which the output (load) voltage equals 70.7% of the input. or frequencies need to be filtered from a wider range of mixed signals. The result is called a band-pass filter. • Capacitive high-pass filters insert a capacitor in series with the load. Above the cutoff frequency.4.7% of the input (source) voltage. while low-pass filter routes lows to woofer. Creating a bandpass filter from a low-pass and high-pass filter can be illustrated using block diagrams: (Figure 8. 8. or spread. and difficult passage of low-frequency signals. the output voltage is greater than 70. The former filter design tries to “block” the unwanted frequency signal while the latter tries to short it out.13: System level block diagram of a band-pass filter.

It will still filter out all frequencies too high or too low.16.5 µF Rload 1 kΩ V1 0 0 0 Figure 8. The response of the band-pass filter is shown in (Figure 8. If we were to design a bandpass filter using inductors.plot ac v(3) . The fact that the high-pass section comes “first” in this design instead of the low-pass section makes no difference in its overall operation. Using real components.15) Source Low-pass filter section 1 R1 200 Ω 1V C1 2 High-pass filter section C2 3 1 µF 2.59 volts. While the general idea of combining low-pass and high-pass filters together to make a bandpass filter is sound. here is what a typical schematic might look like Figure 8.end Band-pass filters can also be constructed using inductors. FILTERS What emerges from the series combination of these two filter circuits is a circuit that will only allow passage of those frequencies that are neither too high nor too low. although the source voltage is a full volt.5u c2 2 3 1u rload 3 0 1k . it is not without certain limitations.200 CHAPTER 8. but as mentioned before. Notice the curve peak on the previous SPICE analysis: the load voltage of this filter never rises above lin 20 100 500 . even at the peak of the “pass-band” frequency range. . and their combined effort makes for an attenuated (reduced amplitude) signal at best. it can be difficult to design such a filter to allow unhindered passage within the desired frequency range. the reactive “purity” of capacitors gives them a design advantage. capacitive bandpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 200 c1 2 0 2.14: Capacitive band-pass filter. Because this type of band-pass filter works by relying on either section to block unwanted frequencies.14. it might look something like Figure 8. Both the lowpass and high-pass sections will always be blocking signals to some extent.

.4. Source High-pass filter section R1 Low-pass filter section L2 L1 Rload Figure 8.16: Inductive band-pass filter. BAND-PASS FILTERS 201 Figure 8.15: The response of a capacitive bandpass filter peaks within a narrow frequency range.8.

just like the band-pass design. Constructed using two capacitive filter sections. FILTERS This signal attenuation becomes more pronounced if the filter is designed to be more selective (steeper curve. and R3 in a “T” configuration as well. Not surprisingly. (Figure 8. • Band-pass filters can be made by stacking a low-pass filter on the end of a high-pass filter. giving sharp response when the component values are chosen in the following ratios: Signal output Component value ratios for the "Twin-T" band-stop filter R1 = R2 = 2(R3) C2 = C3 = (0. band-reject.5 Band-stop filters Also called band-elimination. you are “attenuating” the signal being sent to the speakers. 8. • REVIEW: • A band-pass filter works to screen out frequencies that are too low or too high. R2 . or vice versa. this kind of filter passes all frequencies above and below a particular range set by the component values. There are other methods to achieve band-pass operation without sacrificing signal strength within the pass-band. this arrangement is commonly known as a “Twin-T” filter.5)C1 .202 CHAPTER 8. When you turn down the volume control on your stereo.18). The low-pass filter section is comprised of R1 . Together. • “Attenuate” means to reduce or diminish in amplitude. it can be made out of a low-pass and a high-pass filter. C3 .17) passes low frequencies Low-pass filter Signal input High-pass filter passes high frequencies Figure 8. The highpass filter section is comprised of C2 . or notch filters.17: System level block diagram of a band-stop filter. except that this time we connect the two filter sections in parallel with each other instead of in series. it looks something like (Figure 8. We will discuss those methods a little later in this chapter. giving easy passage only to frequencies within a certain range. narrower band of passable frequencies). and C1 in a “T” configuration.

8. lin 20 200 1. .plot ac v(3) . • Band-stop filters can be made by placing a low-pass filter in parallel with a high-pass filter.18: “Twin-T” band-stop filter. giving easy passage only to frequencies outside of that range.end • REVIEW: • A band-stop filter works to screen out frequencies that are within a certain range. BAND-STOP FILTERS 203 R1 C2 source R3 C1 R2 C3 Rload Figure 8. both the low-pass and high-pass filter sections are of the “T” configuration. Commonly.5k . Given these component ratios. giving the name “Twin-T” to the band-stop combination. the frequency of maximum rejection (the “notch frequency”) can be calculated as follows: fnotch = 1 4πR3C3 The impressive band-stopping ability of this filter is illustrated by the following SPICE analysis: (Figure 8. Also known as band-elimination.19) twin-t bandstop filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 200 c1 2 0 2u r2 2 3 200 c2 1 4 1u r3 4 0 100 c3 4 3 1u rload 3 0 1k . • The frequency of maximum attenuation is called the notch frequency. or notch filters.

6 Resonant filters So far.204 CHAPTER 8.22) to short a signal. the two basic resonant strategies are this: series LC to pass a signal (Figure 8. or parallel LC (Figure 8.20: Series resonant LC band-pass filter. and this property can be exploited in designing band-pass and band-stop filter circuits. Knowing this.19: Response of “twin-T” band-stop filter. the filter designs we’ve concentrated on have employed either capacitors or inductors. The two schemes will be contrasted and simulated here: filter 1 V1 0 L1 1H 1V 2 C1 3 1 µF Rload 1 kΩ 0 Figure 8. 8. For band-pass filters. while parallel LC (“tank”) circuits give maximum impedance at their resonant frequency. Series LC circuits give minimum impedance at resonance. .20). but never both at the same time. we have two basic strategies for designing either band-pass or band-stop filters. FILTERS Figure 8. We should know by now that combinations of L and C will tend to resonate.

However. Under or over resonant frequency. (Figure 8. the resonant frequency of which is unaffected by circuit resistance.22) The tank circuit will have a lot of impedance at resonance. (Figure 8.end Figure 8. The other basic style of resonant band-pass filters employs a tank circuit (parallel LC combination) to short out signals too high or too low in frequency from getting to the load: (Figure 8. different values for the load resistor will change the “steepness” of the Bode plot (the “selectivity” of the filter). Also.8. however. allowing the signal to get to the load with minimal attenuation.plot ac v(3) .15 Hz.6. A couple of points to note: see how there is virtually no signal attenuation within the “pass band” (the range of frequencies near the load voltage peak). the tank circuit will have a low impedance. unlike the band-pass filters made from capacitors or inductors alone. since this filter works on the principle of series LC resonance.21) series resonant bandpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 1 c1 2 3 1u rload 3 0 1k .ac lin 20 50 250 .21: Series resonant band-pass filter: voltage peaks at resonant frequency of 159. shorting out the signal and dropping most of it across series resistor R1 . the value of the load resistor will not skew the peak frequency.23) . and block signals of any other frequencies from getting to the load. RESONANT FILTERS 205 Series LC components pass signal at resonance.

plot ac v(2) .end Figure 8.15 lin 20 50 250 .22: Parallel resonant band-pass filter. parallel resonant bandpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 l1 2 0 100m c1 2 0 10u rload 2 0 1k .23: Parallel resonant filter: voltage peaks a resonant frequency of 159.206 CHAPTER 8. . FILTERS 1 V1 1V 0 R1 500 Ω L1 filter 2 C1 100 mH 0 2 Rload 2 1 kΩ 0 10 µF 0 Figure 8.

we can also use them to block frequencies within a certain range. its very low impedance shorts out the signal. Again. Conversely.6. The variable capacitor and air-core inductor shown in Figure 8.24 photograph of a simple radio comprise the main elements in the tank circuit filter used to discriminate one radio station’s signal from another. we have two major strategies to follow in doing this. Just as we can use series and parallel LC resonant circuits to pass only those frequencies within a certain range.28) Once again. It should be noted that this form of band-pass filter circuit is very popular in analog radio tuning circuitry. (Figure 8. we’ll look at the series variety: (Figure 8. is . for selecting a particular radio frequency from the multitudes of frequencies available from the antenna. dropping it across resistor R1 and preventing its passage on to the load. Figure 8. to use either series or parallel resonance.27) The parallel LC components present a high impedance at resonant frequency. this resonant circuit can never provide full input (source) voltage to the load. (Figure 8.26) Next. RESONANT FILTERS 207 Just like the low-pass and high-pass filter designs relying on a series resistance and a parallel “shorting” component to attenuate unwanted frequencies. notice how the absence of a series resistor makes for minimum attenuation for all the desired (passed) signals.25) When the series LC combination reaches resonance. on the other hand. First.8. The amplitude at the notch frequency.24: Variable capacitor tunes radio receiver tank circuit to select one out of many broadcast stations. it passes signals to the load at any other frequencies. That series resistance will always be dropping some amount of voltage so long as there is a load resistance connected to the output of the filter. thereby blocking the signal from the load at that frequency. creating a band-stop filter. In most analog radio tuner circuits. we will examine the parallel resonant band-stop filter: (Figure 8. the rotating dial for station selection moves a variable capacitor in a tank circuit.

15 Hz).26: Series resonant band-stop filter: Notch frequency = LC resonant frequency (159. series resonant bandstop filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin r1 1 2 500 l1 2 3 100m c1 3 0 10u rload 2 0 1k . FILTERS 1 R1 500 Ω 2 L1 100 mH Rload 3 C1 10 µF 0 2 V1 1V 1 kΩ 0 0 Figure 8.25: Series resonant band-stop filter.208 CHAPTER 8.plot ac v(2) .ac lin 20 70 230 .end Figure 8. .

27: Parallel resonant band-stop filter. parallel resonant bandstop filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 100m c1 1 2 10u rload 2 0 1k .plot ac v(2) .28: Parallel resonant band-stop filter: Notch frequency = LC resonant frequency (159. RESONANT FILTERS 209 C1 1 V1 0 1V 10 µF 2 L1 100 mH Rload 1 kΩ 0 Figure lin 20 100 200 .8.6. .end Figure 8.15 Hz).

Let’s plot a SPICE analysis and see what happens over a wide frequency range: (Figure 8.plot ac v(3) . more effective design of low-pass or high-pass filter might be realized by combining capacitive and inductive elements together like Figure 8. this seems to be a good strategy.29. regardless of L2 ’s attenuating influence.30) lc lowpass filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin l1 1 2 100m c1 2 0 1u l2 2 3 100m rload 3 0 1k . the selectivity depends greatly upon the “purity” of the inductance and capacitance used. as we have seen before. 1 V1 0 1V L1 100 mH filter 2 L2 100 mH 1 µF Rload 3 C1 1 kΩ 0 0 Figure 8. In other words. can cause strange things to happen. If there is any stray resistance (especially likely in the inductor). The output voltage to the load at this point actually . as well as introduce antiresonant effects that will skew the peak/notch frequency. and eliminates the need for a series lin 20 100 1k . Resonance.210 CHAPTER 8.29: Capacitive Inductive low-pass filter. both working together to allow only low frequency signals to reach the load. After assessing the standard RC and LR low-pass and high-pass filter designs. this will diminish the filter’s ability to finely discriminate frequencies. this is a very “selective” filter. At first. In all these resonant filter designs. while the capacitor should short out any high frequencies as well. FILTERS very low. A word of caution to those designing low-pass and high-pass filters is in order at this point. However. the more insightful student will recognize that any combination of capacitors and inductors together in a circuit is likely to cause resonant effects to happen at a certain frequency. which is seen at the load. it might occur to a student that a better. creating a large voltage drop around C1 . The inductors should block any high frequencies.end What was supposed to be a low-pass filter turns out to be a band-pass filter with a peak somewhere around 526 Hz! The capacitance and inductance in this filter circuit are attaining resonance at that point.

vm(3): Figure 8.30: Unexpected response of L-C low-pass filter.31: Current inceases at the unwanted resonance of the L-C low-pass filter.8. they will impose a very heavy (very low impedance) load on the AC source. RESONANT FILTERS 211 Figure 8. along with load voltage.31. which might not be good either. exceeds the input (source) voltage! A little more reflection reveals that if L1 and C2 are at resonance. only this time plotting C1 ’s voltage. vm(2) in Figure 8. . and the source current. I(v1). We’ll run the same analysis again.6.

and the required .0u L2 2 3 100m Rload 3 0 316 .32 we have added Rg = 316 Ω to the generator. If we were expecting this filter to provide a simple low-pass function. the L/C ratio could have been adjusted to match that resistance. we might be disappointed by the results. Rg and Rload to match it. filter 316 Ω 1 Rg Vp-p Voffset 1 Hz L1 1V C1 L2 1. we can find the impedance of the filter. and the filter output impedance must be matched by “rload” for a flat response.29). The voltage source impedance must match the input impedance of the filter. Z = (L/C)1/2 Taking the component values from (Figure 8. LC matched lowpass filter V1 1 0 ac 1 SIN Rg 1 4 316 L1 4 2 100m C1 2 0 1. and changed the load Rload from 1000 Ω to 316 Ω.0 uF Rload 316 Ω 4 100 mH 2 100 mH 3 0 Figure 8. C= 1µF Z = (L/C)1/2 =((100 mH)/(1 µF))1/2 = 316 Ω In Figure 8. The input and output impedance is given by the square root of (L/C). The problem is that an L-C filter has a input impedance and an output impedance which must be matched.212 CHAPTER lin 20 100 1k . we see the voltage across C1 and the source current spiking to a high point at the same frequency where the load voltage is maximum.plot ac v(3) . For L= 100 mH. Note that if we needed to drive a 1000 Ω load.32: Circuit of source and load matched L-C low-pass filter.end . FILTERS Sure enough.

so there’s no way it can make an LC circuit resonate. DC of course. The decrease in inductance decreases reactance XL . Figure 8. This property is directly applicable to L-C filtered power supplies– the regulation is poor. very low. Why is this. The ripple voltage. inductor. the inductance is decreased by the heavy DC current. making the filter’s resonant frequency very.30) to the matched filter (Figure 8. has a “frequency” of zero. Decreasing reactance.8. thus. if this particular filter design possesses a potentially troublesome resonant point? The answer lies in the selection of filter component sizes and the frequencies encountered from an AC/DC converter (rectifier).33 shows the “flat” response of the L-C low pass filter when the source and load impedance match the filter input and output impedances. The filter inductors and capacitors are generally quite large (several Henrys for the inductors and thousands of µF for the capacitors is typical). What we’re trying to do in an AC/DC power supply filter is separate DC voltage from a small amount of relatively high-frequency AC voltage. This is a choke. This poor load regulation can be mitigated by a swinging choke. Since induction is proportional to dΦ/dt. is a non-sinusoidal AC voltage consisting . so that the AC component of current cannot vary the flux. increasing the voltage at the filter output. on the other hand. we mean that the DC current creates a “too” high level of flux in the magnetic core. reduces the voltage drop across the inductor. designed to saturate when a large DC current passes through it. low-pass filters made up of capacitors and inductors are frequently used as final stages in AC/DC power supplies to filter the unwanted AC “ripple” voltage out of the DC converted from AC. The point to make in comparing the response of the unmatched filter (Figure 8. RESONANT FILTERS 213 Figure 8.33) is that variable load on the filter produces a considerable change in voltage. The power supply voltage changes with a change in load.33: The response of impedance matched L-C low-pass filter is nearly flat up to the cut-off frequency. Despite the unintended resonance.6. This is undesirable. By saturate. This improves the voltage regulation with respect to variable loads.

The following SPICE analysis calculates the voltage output (AC and DC) for such a filter. the lowest frequency the filter will ever see is 120 Hz (100 Hz in Europe). Therefore. FILTERS of a fundamental frequency at least twice the frequency of the converted AC voltage.34: AC/DC power suppply filter provides “ripple free” DC power. 2 V2 1 V1 0 L1 3H 12 V C1 1V 120 Hz 3 L2 2H 9500 µF Rload 4 1 kΩ 0 0 Figure 8. which is well above its resonant point.12 microvolts With a full 12 volts DC at the load and only 34. .412E-05 DC voltage at load = 12 volts AC voltage at load = 34. the potentially troublesome resonant point in a such a filter is completely avoided.200E+01 v(4) 3. ac/dc power supply filter v1 1 0 ac 1 sin v2 2 1 dc l1 2 3 3 c1 3 0 9500u l2 3 4 2 rload 4 0 1k .print ac v(4) .214 CHAPTER 8.200E+02 v(4) 1.dc v2 12 12 1 .12 µV of AC left from the 1 volt AC source imposed across the load.200E+01 freq lin 1 120 120 .end v2 1. For plug-in-the-wall power supplies running on 60 Hz AC power (60 Hz United States. with harmonics many times that in addition. 50 Hz in Europe).print dc v(4) . with series DC and AC (120 Hz) voltage sources providing a rough approximation of the mixedfrequency output of an AC/DC converter. this circuit design proves itself to be a very effective power supply filter.

It has been my intent here to present the basic principles of filter design with as little math as possible. for the beginning student or for the working engineer. it only begins to scratch the surface of filter design. from most recent to first. leaning on the power of the SPICE circuit analysis program to explore filter performance.8 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. strange things will happen! • REVIEW: • Resonant combinations of capacitance and inductance can be employed to create very effective band-pass and band-stop filters without the need for added resistance in a circuit that would diminish the passage of desired frequencies. Circuit simulation software empowers the student to explore circuit designs far beyond the reach of their math skills. which is something often lost when a student is burdened with the task of solving lengthy equations by hand. take the time to become so! It will be of great benefit to your study. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. fresonant = • 1 2π LC 8. With the ability to generate Bode plots and precise figures. If you are not familiar with the use of SPICE or other circuit simulation programs.8. The benefit of such computer simulation software cannot be understated. the filter will work OK. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. To see SPICE analyses presented in this book is an aid to understanding circuits.7 Summary As lengthy as this chapter has been up to this point. SUMMARY 215 The lesson learned here about resonant effects also applies to the design of high-pass filters using both capacitors and inductors. an intuitive understanding of circuit concepts can be attained. The mathematics involved with component selection and frequency response prediction is daunting to say the least – well beyond the scope of the beginning electronics student. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. But if any signal of significant magnitude close to the resonant frequency is applied to the input of the filter. So long as the desired and undesired frequencies are well to either side of the resonant point.7. but to actually set up and analyze your own circuit simulations is a much more engaging and worthwhile endeavor as a student. 8. . A quick perusal of any advanced filter design textbook is sufficient to prove my point.


. . . . . . . 259 Tesla Coil . . . . . . . . . . .5 9. . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Voltage regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 Inrush current . . . .3 9. . . . . . . . . . . . 251 9.2 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . 275 Heat and Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . .8. . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 Core saturation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 9. . . . . . . . .7 9. . . . . 256 Current transformers . .3 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . .8. .8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 Saturable reactors Scott-T transformer . . . . . . . .5 9. .8. . . . . 260 . . .7. . . . . . . . . . .6 9. . . . . . .2 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . .8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 9. . . . . . . . . 239 Winding configurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 Potential transformers . 265 Linear Variable Differential Transformer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 Step-up and step-down transformers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Contributors . . . . 268 Energy losses . .9 Impedance matching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7. . .4 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 9. 237 Phasing . . . . . . . . . . . 277 Practical considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 9. . . . . . .7 Mutual inductance and basic operation .3 9. . . . . . . . .8. . .6 9. . . . . 281 Bibliography . . . . . . . . 248 Special transformers and applications . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 9. 232 Electrical isolation .4 9. . . . . . . . . . . 269 Stray capacitance and inductance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 217 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chapter 9 TRANSFORMERS Contents 9. . . . . . . . . .4 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 9. . . . . . . . .6 9. . .7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Air core transformers . . . . . 267 Power capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Michael Faraday discovered the mathematical relationship between magnetic flux (Φ) and induced voltage with this equation: e= N dΦ dt e = (Instantaneous) induced voltage in volts N = Number of turns in wire coil (straight wire = 1) Φ = Magnetic flux in Webers t = Time in seconds Where. and magnetic flux in the device. limiting AC current. we could apply this fundamental law of electricity to describe the respective voltages of the source and of the inductor coil. limiting current through the coil as predicted by the equations XL = 2πfL and I=E/X (or I=E/Z). TRANSFORMERS 9. in order that it may balance against the source voltage and produce an algebraic loop voltage sum of zero.1: Insulated winding on ferromagnetic loop has inductive reactance. When AC current changes. the opposing voltage comes from another mechanism: the reaction to a changing magnetic flux in the iron core. flux Φ changes. Kirchhoff ’s voltage law describes how the algebraic sum of all voltages in a loop must equal zero. the voltage drop originates from electrical energy loss.1 (a)) iron core wire coil resistor (a) (b) Figure 9. For the purposes of this example.1 Mutual inductance and basic operation Suppose we were to wrap a coil of insulated wire around a loop of ferromagnetic material and energize this coil with an AC voltage source: (Figure 9. we would expect this iron-core coil to oppose the applied voltage with its inductive reactance. With a perfect inductor (no resistance in the coil wire). one-load circuit.1 (b)). the “friction” of electrons flowing through the resistance. From where does this opposing voltage arise? If the load were a resistor (Figure 9. Changing flux induces a counter EMF. Here. as in any one-source. As an inductor.218 CHAPTER 9. the voltage dropped across the load must equal the voltage supplied by the source. though. assuming zero voltage dropped along the resistance of any connecting wires. In other words. . we need to take a more detailed look at the interactions of voltage. In this example. current. the load (inductor coil) must produce an opposing voltage equal in magnitude to the source.

Magnetic flux through a ferromagnetic material is analogous to current through a conductor: it must be motivated by some force in order to occur. Due to its function in providing magnetizing force (mmf) for the core. this current is sometimes referred to as the magnetizing current.2: Magnetic flux lags applied voltage by 90o because flux is proportional to a rate of change. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION 219 The instantaneous voltage (voltage dropped at any instant in time) across a wire coil is equal to the number of turns of that coil around the core (N) multiplied by the instantaneous rate-of-change in magnetic flux (dΦ/dt) linking with the coil.3) This is why alternating current through an inductor lags the applied voltage waveform by 90o : because that is what is required to produce a changing magnetic flux whose rate-ofchange produces an opposing voltage in-phase with the applied voltage. In fact. (Figure 9. this motivating force is voltage (a.” this motivating force is magnetomotive force. In magnetic “circuits. if the . due to the nonlinear B/H magnetization curve of iron. dΦ/dt. or EMF).2) this shows itself as a set of sine waves (assuming a sinusoidal voltage source). electromotive force. Magnetomotive force (mmf) and magnetic flux (Φ) are related to each other by a property of magnetic materials known as reluctance (the latter quantity symbolized by a strange-looking letter “R”): A comparison of "Ohm’s Law" for electric and magnetic circuits: E = IR Electrical mmf = Φℜ Magnetic In our example.a.1. In electric circuits. the flux wave 90o lagging behind the voltage wave: e = voltage e Φ = magnetic flux Φ Figure 9.k. or mmf.9. It should be mentioned that the current through an iron-core inductor is not perfectly sinusoidal (sine-wave shaped). Because the mathematical relationship between magnetic flux and mmf is directly proportional. and because the mathematical relationship between mmf and current is also directly proportional (no rates-of-change present in either equation). the mmf required to produce this changing magnetic flux (Φ) must be supplied by a changing current through the coil. Graphed. Magnetomotive force generated by an electromagnet coil is equal to the amount of current through that coil (in amps) multiplied by the number of turns of that coil around the core (the SI unit for mmf is the amp-turn). the current through the coil will be in-phase with the flux wave as in (Figure 9.

220 CHAPTER 9. accounting for the bell-shaped half-cycles of the current waveform in the above plot. inductor is cheaply built. TRANSFORMERS e = voltage e Φ = magnetic flux Φ i i = coil current Figure 9. the magnetic flux density might reach high levels (approaching saturation). the magnetizing current waveform becomes distorted. resulting in a magnetizing current waveform that looks something like Figure 9. etc. Because mmf is proportional to current through the magnetizing coil (mmf = NI. using as little iron as possible. coil current increases dramatically at the peaks in order to maintain a flux waveform that isn’t distorted. like current. disproportionately greater levels of magnetic field force (mmf) are required to deliver equal increases in magnetic field flux (Φ).3: Magnetic flux. The situation is further complicated by energy losses within the iron core. Thus. lags applied voltage by 90o . eddy current losses.4: As flux density approaches saturation. The distortion of an iron-core inductor’s exciting current may be minimized if it is designed for and operated at very low flux densities. making it even less sinusoidal and altering its phase to be lagging slightly less than 90o behind the applied voltage waveform. the large increases of mmf required to supply the needed increases in flux results in large increases in coil current.) is called the exciting current. this . When a ferromagnetic material approaches magnetic flux saturation. This coil current resulting from the sum total of all magnetic effects in the core (dΦ/dt magnetization plus hysteresis losses. Generally speaking. The effects of hysteresis and eddy currents conspire to further distort and complicate the current waveform. where “N” is the number of turns of wire in the coil and “I” is the current through it).4 e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux i = coil current e i Φ Figure 9.

a voltage of equal magnitude and phase to the applied voltage will be induced along its length.5) wrapped around the same iron core. (Figure 9. it will dissipate zero power. Let us now consider the same inductor device.5: Ferromagnetic core with primary coil (AC driven) and secondary coil. but unlike normal inductance it is symbolized by the capital letter “M” rather than the letter “L”: .9. etc. which tends to make the inductor bulky and expensive.). As we’ve seen already in the inductors chapter. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION 221 requires a core with large cross-sectional area. and has the same number of turns around the core. except this time with a second coil (Figure 9. If this secondary coil experiences the same magnetic flux change as the primary (which it should. assuming perfect containment of the magnetic flux through the common core). having a current waveform 90o out of phase with the voltage waveform creates a condition where power is alternately absorbed and returned to the circuit by the inductor. it is measured in the unit of Henrys. In the following graph. For the sake of simplicity. Like normal (self-) inductance. we’ll assume that our example core is far from saturation and free from all losses.6) the induced voltage waveform is drawn slightly smaller than the source voltage waveform simply to distinguish one from the other: This effect is called mutual inductance: the induction of a voltage in one coil in response to a change in current in the other coil. If the inductor is perfect (no wire resistance. The first coil will be labeled the primary coil. resulting in a perfectly sinusoidal exciting current.1. while the second will be labeled the secondary: iron core wire coil wire coil Figure 9. though. no magnetic core losses.

e2 = voltage induced in secondary coil i1 = current in primary coil No current will exist in the secondary coil. because the primary coil’s induced voltage must remain at the same magnitude and phase in order to balance with the applied voltage. (Figure 9. Indeed. so the only way the secondary coil’s mmf may exist is if a counteracting mmf is generated by the primary coil. one might expect this secondary coil current to cause additional magnetic flux in the core. TRANSFORMERS ep = primary coil voltage Φ = magnetic flux ep Φ es ip ip = primary coil current es = secondary coil voltage Figure 9.8) If you find this process a bit confusing. though. If more flux were induced in the core. this mmf is accompanied by magnetic flux. what does change is the amount of mmf in the magnetic circuit. Therefore induced secondary voltage es is the same magnitude and phase as the primary voltage ep. Transformer dynamics is a complex .222 CHAPTER 9. in-phase with the induced voltage (because the voltage across a resistor and the current through it are always in-phase with each other). However. Usually. Polarity marks and current direction arrows have been added to the illustration to clarify phase relations: (Figure 9. Consequently. an alternating current will go through the coil. This cannot happen. this is what happens. In fact. if we connect a load resistor to it. additional flux is not permitted. Inductance di e=L dt Mutual inductance di e2 = M 1 dt Where. an alternating current forming in the primary coil – 180o out of phase with the secondary coil’s current – to generate this counteracting mmf and prevent additional core flux. However. do not worry. it would cause more voltage to be induced voltage in the primary coil (remember that e = dΦ/dt). the magnetic flux in the core cannot be affected by secondary coil current. since it is open-circuited. of equal magnitude and opposite phase. it does not.7) At first. in accordance with Kirchhoff ’s voltage law. in accordance with the mmf=ΦR “magnetic Ohm’s Law” equation.6: Open circuited secondary sees the same flux Φ as the primary. Magnetomotive force is produced any time electrons move through a wire. In this case.

.7: Resistive load on secondary has voltage and current in-phase. However.8: Flux remains constant with application of a load. a counteracting mmf is produced by the loaded secondary. + + + + wire coil wire coil iron core mmfprimary mmfsecondary Figure 9.1. MUTUAL INDUCTANCE AND BASIC OPERATION 223 iron core wire coil wire coil Figure 9.9.

Of course. drawing current from the source. Additionally.10) Both coils of wire can be seen here with copper-colored varnish insulation. there are some that do not. Notice how the primary coil is behaving as a load with respect to the AC voltage source. it creates a magnetic flux in the core. Its schematic symbol looks like two inductors (coils) sharing the same magnetic core: (Figure 9. While most transformer designs enclose the coils and core in a metal frame for protection. which induces AC voltage in the secondary coil inphase with the source voltage. As modeled in our initial example. Because its operation depends on electromagnetic induction between two stationary coils and a magnetic flux of changing magnitude and “polarity. Here. a transformer is shown cut in half. Rather than energy merely being alternately absorbed and returned the primary coil circuit. In the next photograph.11. The following photograph shows a power transformer of the type used in gas-discharge lighting.” transformers are necessarily AC devices. the iron core can be seen in this photograph to be made of many thin sheets (laminations) rather than a . Like the transformer shown previously.9) Transformer Figure 9. this unit also utilizes primary and secondary windings of differing turn counts. because it transforms electrical energy into magnetic energy. The pair of vertical lines represent an iron core common to both inductors. wound around an iron core. the inductor coils are often referred to as windings. this particular transformer is open for viewing and so serves its illustrative purpose well: (Figure 9. exposing the crosssection of the iron core as well as both windings. In transformers. separated by lines indicating a ferromagnetic core. having a greater number of “turns” around the core. in reference to the manufacturing process where wire is wound around the core material. Figure 9. As far as the source “knows.9: Schematic symbol for transformer consists of two inductor symbols. The wire gauge can also be seen to differ between primary and secondary windings. The reason for this disparity in wire gauge will be made clear in the next section of this chapter. and how the secondary coil is behaving as a source with respect to the resistor.224 CHAPTER 9. then back into electrical energy again. The two inductor coils are easily distinguished in the above symbol.” its directly powering the resistor. We call this type of device a transformer. What is important to understand is this: when an AC voltage is applied to the primary coil. While many transformers have ferromagnetic core materials. The top coil is larger than the bottom coil. just enough to magnetize the core to create the necessary voltage for balancing against the source (the exciting current). TRANSFORMERS subject. Any current drawn through the secondary coil to power a load induces a corresponding current in the primary coil. the two inductor coils can be clearly seen. there is also an additional primary coil current lagging the applied voltage by 90o . the powered inductor of a transformer is called the primary winding. while the unpowered coil is called the secondary winding. their constituent inductors being magnetically linked together through the air. energy is now being coupled to the secondary coil where it is delivered to a dissipative (energy-consuming) load.



Figure 9.10: Example of a gas-discharge lighting transformer. solid piece. The reason for this will also be explained in a later section of this chapter.

Figure 9.11: Transformer cross-section cut shows core and windings. It is easy to demonstrate simple transformer action using SPICE, setting up the primary and secondary windings of the simulated transformer as a pair of “mutual” inductors. (Fig-



ure 9.12) The coefficient of magnetic field coupling is given at the end of the “k” line in the SPICE circuit description, this example being set very nearly at perfection (1.000). This coefficient describes how closely “linked” the two inductors are, magnetically. The better these two inductors are magnetically coupled, the more efficient the energy transfer between them should be.
(for SPICE to measure current)


(very small)



Vi1 0V


V1 0

10 V

L1 100 H 0
(very large)

L2 100 H 5


1 kΩ


Figure 9.12: Spice circuit for coupled inductors. transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 ** This line tells SPICE that the two inductors ** l1 and l2 are magnetically ‘‘linked’’ together k l1 l2 0.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2,0) i(v1) .print ac v(3,5) i(vi1) .end Note: the Rbogus resistors are required to satisfy certain quirks of SPICE. The first breaks the otherwise continuous loop between the voltage source and L1 which would not be permitted by SPICE. The second provides a path to ground (node 0) from the secondary circuit, necessary because SPICE cannot function with any ungrounded circuits. Note that with equal inductances for both windings (100 Henrys each), the AC voltages and currents are nearly equal for the two. The difference between primary and secondary currents is the magnetizing current spoken of earlier: the 90o lagging current necessary to magnetize the core. As is seen here, it is usually very small compared to primary current induced by the load, and so the primary and secondary currents are almost equal. What you are seeing here

freq 6.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3,5) 9.962E+00 i(v1) 9.975E-03 i(vi1) 9.962E-03


Primary winding

Secondary winding

is quite typical of transformer efficiency. Anything less than 95% efficiency is considered poor for modern power transformer designs, and this transfer of power occurs with no moving parts or other components subject to wear. If we decrease the load resistance so as to draw more current with the same amount of voltage, we see that the current through the primary winding increases in response. Even though the AC power source is not directly connected to the load resistance (rather, it is electromagnetically “coupled”), the amount of current drawn from the source will be almost the same as the amount of current that would be drawn if the load were directly connected to the source. Take a close look at the next two SPICE simulations, showing what happens with different values of load resistors: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 ** Note load resistance value of 200 ohms rload 4 5 200 .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2,0) i(v1) .print ac v(3,5) i(vi1) .end freq 6.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3,5) 9.348E+00 i(v1) 4.679E-02 i(vi1) 4.674E-02

Notice how the primary current closely follows the secondary current. In our first simulation, both currents were approximately 10 mA, but now they are both around 47 mA. In this second simulation, the two currents are closer to equality, because the magnetizing current remains the same as before while the load current has increased. Note also how the secondary voltage has decreased some with the heavier (greater current) load. Let’s try another simulation with an even lower value of load resistance (15 Ω): Our load current is now 0.13 amps, or 130 mA, which is substantially higher than the last time. The primary current is very close to being the same, but notice how the secondary

228 transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 15 .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2,0) i(v1) .print ac v(3,5) i(vi1) .end freq 6.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3,5) 1.950E+00 i(v1) 1.301E-01 i(vi1) 1.300E-01


voltage has fallen well below the primary voltage (1.95 volts versus 10 volts at the primary). The reason for this is an imperfection in our transformer design: because the primary and secondary inductances aren’t perfectly linked (a k factor of 0.999 instead of 1.000) there is “stray” or “leakage” inductance. In other words, some of the magnetic field isn’t linking with the secondary coil, and thus cannot couple energy to it: (Figure 9.13)

wire coil

leakage flux

wire coil

leakage flux core flux

Figure 9.13: Leakage inductance is due to magnetic flux not cutting both windings. Consequently, this “leakage” flux merely stores and returns energy to the source circuit via self-inductance, effectively acting as a series impedance in both primary and secondary circuits. Voltage gets dropped across this series impedance, resulting in a reduced load voltage:

voltage across the load “sags” as load current increases. (Figure 9.14)


ideal transformer leakage inductance Source leakage inductance Load

Figure 9.14: Equivalent circuit models leakage inductance as series inductors independent of the “ideal transformer”. If we change the transformer design to have better magnetic coupling between the primary and secondary coils, the figures for voltage between primary and secondary windings will be much closer to equality again: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 ** Coupling factor = 0.99999 instead of 0.999 k l1 l2 0.99999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 15 .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2,0) i(v1) .print ac v(3,5) i(vi1) .end freq 6.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3,5) 9.987E+00 i(v1) 6.658E-01 i(vi1) 6.658E-01

Here we see that our secondary voltage is back to being equal with the primary, and the secondary current is equal to the primary current as well. Unfortunately, building a real transformer with coupling this complete is very difficult. A compromise solution is to design both primary and secondary coils with less inductance, the strategy being that less inductance overall leads to less “leakage” inductance to cause trouble, for any given degree of magnetic coupling inefficiency. This results in a load voltage that is closer to ideal with the same (high current heavy) load and the same coupling factor: Simply by using primary and secondary coils of less inductance, the load voltage for this heavy load (high current) has been brought back up to nearly ideal levels (9.977 volts). At this

230 transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 ** inductance = 1 henry instead of 100 henrys l1 2 0 1 l2 3 5 1 k l1 l2 0.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 15 .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2,0) i(v1) .print ac v(3,5) i(vi1) .end freq 6.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3,5) 9.977E+00 i(v1) 6.664E-01 i(vi1) 6.652E-01


point, one might ask, “If less inductance is all that’s needed to achieve near-ideal performance under heavy load, then why worry about coupling efficiency at all? If its impossible to build a transformer with perfect coupling, but easy to design coils with low inductance, then why not just build all transformers with low-inductance coils and have excellent efficiency even with poor magnetic coupling?” The answer to this question is found in another simulation: the same low-inductance transformer, but this time with a lighter load (less current) of 1 kΩ instead of 15 Ω: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 1 l2 3 5 1 k l1 l2 0.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2,0) i(v1) .print ac v(3,5) i(vi1) .end With lower winding inductances, the primary and secondary voltages are closer to being equal, but the primary and secondary currents are not. In this particular case, the primary current is 28.35 mA while the secondary current is only 9.990 mA: almost three times as much current in the primary as the secondary. Why is this? With less inductance in the primary winding, there is less inductive reactance, and consequently a much larger magnetizing cur-

freq 6.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3,5) 9.990E+00 i(v1) 2.835E-02 i(vi1) 9.990E-03


rent. A substantial amount of the current through the primary winding merely works to magnetize the core rather than transfer useful energy to the secondary winding and load. An ideal transformer with identical primary and secondary windings would manifest equal voltage and current in both sets of windings for any load condition. In a perfect world, transformers would transfer electrical power from primary to secondary as smoothly as though the load were directly connected to the primary power source, with no transformer there at all. However, you can see this ideal goal can only be met if there is perfect coupling of magnetic flux between primary and secondary windings. Being that this is impossible to achieve, transformers must be designed to operate within certain expected ranges of voltages and loads in order to perform as close to ideal as possible. For now, the most important thing to keep in mind is a transformer’s basic operating principle: the transfer of power from the primary to the secondary circuit via electromagnetic coupling. • REVIEW: • Mutual inductance is where the magnetic flux of two or more inductors are “linked” so that voltage is induced in one coil proportional to the rate-of-change of current in another. • A transformer is a device made of two or more inductors, one of which is powered by AC, inducing an AC voltage across the second inductor. If the second inductor is connected to a load, power will be electromagnetically coupled from the first inductor’s power source to that load. • The powered inductor in a transformer is called the primary winding. The unpowered inductor in a transformer is called the secondary winding. • Magnetic flux in the core (Φ) lags 90o behind the source voltage waveform. The current drawn by the primary coil from the source to produce this flux is called the magnetizing current, and it also lags the supply voltage by 90o . • Total primary current in an unloaded transformer is called the exciting current, and is comprised of magnetizing current plus any additional current necessary to overcome core losses. It is never perfectly sinusoidal in a real transformer, but may be made more so if the transformer is designed and operated so that magnetic flux density is kept to a minimum. • Core flux induces a voltage in any coil wrapped around the core. The induces voltage(s) are ideally in- phase with the primary winding source voltage and share the same waveshape. • Any current drawn through the secondary winding by a load will be “reflected” to the primary winding and drawn from the voltage source, as if the source were directly powering a similar load.




Step-up and step-down transformers

So far, we’ve observed simulations of transformers where the primary and secondary windings were of identical inductance, giving approximately equal voltage and current levels in both circuits. Equality of voltage and current between the primary and secondary sides of a transformer, however, is not the norm for all transformers. If the inductances of the two windings are not equal, something interesting happens: transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 10000 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .ac lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(2,0) i(v1) .print ac v(3,5) i(vi1) .end freq 6.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.000E+01 v(3,5) 9.962E-01 i(v1) 9.975E-05 i(vi1) 9.962E-04

Primary winding Secondary winding

Notice how the secondary voltage is approximately ten times less than the primary voltage (0.9962 volts compared to 10 volts), while the secondary current is approximately ten times greater (0.9962 mA compared to 0.09975 mA). What we have here is a device that steps voltage down by a factor of ten and current up by a factor of ten: (Figure 9.15)

Primary winding

Secondary winding

Figure 9.15: Turns ratio of 10:1 yields 10:1 primary:secondary voltage ratio and 1:10 primary:secondary current ratio. This is a very useful device, indeed. With it, we can easily multiply or divide voltage and current in AC circuits. Indeed, the transformer has made long-distance transmission of electric power a practical reality, as AC voltage can be “stepped up” and current “stepped down” for reduced wire resistance power losses along power lines connecting generating stations with



loads. At either end (both the generator and at the loads), voltage levels are reduced by transformers for safer operation and less expensive equipment. A transformer that increases voltage from primary to secondary (more secondary winding turns than primary winding turns) is called a step-up transformer. Conversely, a transformer designed to do just the opposite is called a step-down transformer. Let’s re-examine a photograph shown in the previous section: (Figure 9.16)

Figure 9.16: Transformer cross-section showing primary and secondary windings is a few inches tall (approximately 10 cm). This is a step-down transformer, as evidenced by the high turn count of the primary winding and the low turn count of the secondary. As a step-down unit, this transformer converts highvoltage, low-current power into low-voltage, high-current power. The larger-gauge wire used in the secondary winding is necessary due to the increase in current. The primary winding, which doesn’t have to conduct as much current, may be made of smaller-gauge wire. In case you were wondering, it is possible to operate either of these transformer types backwards (powering the secondary winding with an AC source and letting the primary winding power a load) to perform the opposite function: a step-up can function as a step-down and visa-versa. However, as we saw in the first section of this chapter, efficient operation of a transformer requires that the individual winding inductances be engineered for specific operating ranges of voltage and current, so if a transformer is to be used “backwards” like this it must be employed within the original design parameters of voltage and current for each winding, lest it prove to be inefficient (or lest it be damaged by excessive voltage or current!). Transformers are often constructed in such a way that it is not obvious which wires lead to the primary winding and which lead to the secondary. One convention used in the electric power industry to help alleviate confusion is the use of “H” designations for the higher-voltage winding (the primary winding in a step-down unit; the secondary winding in a step-up) and “X” designations for the lower-voltage winding. Therefore, a simple power transformer will have



wires labeled “H1 ”, “H2 ”, “X1 ”, and “X2 ”. There is usually significance to the numbering of the wires (H1 versus H2 , etc.), which we’ll explore a little later in this chapter. The fact that voltage and current get “stepped” in opposite directions (one up, the other down) makes perfect sense when you recall that power is equal to voltage times current, and realize that transformers cannot produce power, only convert it. Any device that could output more power than it took in would violate the Law of Energy Conservation in physics, namely that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted. As with the first transformer example we looked at, power transfer efficiency is very good from the primary to the secondary sides of the device. The practical significance of this is made more apparent when an alternative is considered: before the advent of efficient transformers, voltage/current level conversion could only be achieved through the use of motor/generator sets. A drawing of a motor/generator set reveals the basic principle involved: (Figure 9.17)

Power in

A motor/generator set

Power out

Shaft coupling Motor Generator

Figure 9.17: Motor generator illustrates the basic principle of the transformer. In such a machine, a motor is mechanically coupled to a generator, the generator designed to produce the desired levels of voltage and current at the rotating speed of the motor. While both motors and generators are fairly efficient devices, the use of both in this fashion compounds their inefficiencies so that the overall efficiency is in the range of 90% or less. Furthermore, because motor/generator sets obviously require moving parts, mechanical wear and balance are factors influencing both service life and performance. Transformers, on the other hand, are able to convert levels of AC voltage and current at very high efficiencies with no moving parts, making possible the widespread distribution and use of electric power we take for granted. In all fairness it should be noted that motor/generator sets have not necessarily been obsoleted by transformers for all applications. While transformers are clearly superior over motor/generator sets for AC voltage and current level conversion, they cannot convert one frequency of AC power to another, or (by themselves) convert DC to AC or visa-versa. Motor/generator sets can do all these things with relative simplicity, albeit with the limitations of efficiency and mechanical factors already described. Motor/generator sets also have the unique property of kinetic energy storage: that is, if the motor’s power supply is momentarily interrupted for any reason, its angular momentum (the inertia of that rotating mass) will maintain rotation of the generator for a short duration, thus isolating any loads powered by the genera-



tor from “glitches” in the main power system. Looking closely at the numbers in the SPICE analysis, we should see a correspondence between the transformer’s ratio and the two inductances. Notice how the primary inductor (l1) has 100 times more inductance than the secondary inductor (10000 H versus 100 H), and that the measured voltage step-down ratio was 10 to 1. The winding with more inductance will have higher voltage and less current than the other. Since the two inductors are wound around the same core material in the transformer (for the most efficient magnetic coupling between the two), the parameters affecting inductance for the two coils are equal except for the number of turns in each coil. If we take another look at our inductance formula, we see that inductance is proportional to the square of the number of coil turns:


N2µA l L = Inductance of coil in Henrys N = Number of turns in wire coil (straight wire = 1) µ = Permeability of core material (absolute, not relative) A = Area of coil in square meters l = Average length of coil in meters


So, it should be apparent that our two inductors in the last SPICE transformer example circuit – with inductance ratios of 100:1 – should have coil turn ratios of 10:1, because 10 squared equals 100. This works out to be the same ratio we found between primary and secondary voltages and currents (10:1), so we can say as a rule that the voltage and current transformation ratio is equal to the ratio of winding turns between primary and secondary.

Step-down transformer many turns high voltage low current few turns low voltage high current load

Figure 9.18: Step-down transformer: (many turns :few turns). The step-up/step-down effect of coil turn ratios in a transformer (Figure 9.18) is analogous to gear tooth ratios in mechanical gear systems, transforming values of speed and torque in much the same way: (Figure 9.19) Step-up and step-down transformers for power distribution purposes can be gigantic in proportion to the power transformers previously shown, some units standing as tall as a home. The following photograph shows a substation transformer standing about twelve feet tall: (Figure 9.20)

236 CHAPTER 9. TRANSFORMERS LARGE GEAR (many teeth) SMALL GEAR (few teeth) high torque low speed low torque high speed Figure 9.19: Torque reducing gear train steps torque down. . while stepping speed up. Figure 9.20: Substation transformer.

print ac v(2.5) i(vi1) . • The transformation ratio of a transformer will be equal to the square root of its primary to secondary inductance (L) ratio. transformers also provide an extremely useful feature called isolation.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .0) i(v1) .end . Voltage transformation ratio = Nsecondary Nprimary Nprimary Nsecondary Current transformation ratio = Where. imposing a high DC voltage between one circuit and ground through the use of an additional voltage source:(Figure 9.3. Voltage transformation ratio = Lsecondary Lprimary • lin 1 60 60 .print ac v(3. A transformer designed to reduce voltage from primary to secondary is called a step-down transformer.21) v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 v2 5 0 dc 250 l1 2 0 10000 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0. We can demonstrate an application of this effect with another SPICE simulation: this time showing “ground” connections for the two circuits. ELECTRICAL ISOLATION • REVIEW: 237 • Transformers “step up” or “step down” voltage according to the ratios of primary to secondary wire turns. • N = number of turns in winding • A transformer designed to increase voltage from primary to secondary is called a stepup transformer. which is the ability to couple one circuit to another without the use of direct wire connections.3 Electrical isolation Aside from the ability to easily convert between different levels of voltage and current in AC and DC circuits.

238 CHAPTER 9.962E-01 9.962E-04 0): 250.21: Transformer isolates 10 Vac at V1 from 250 VDC at V2 .0000 (5) 250.0000 Primary winding Secondary winding .000E+01 9.000E+01 1.0000 AC voltages: freq v(2) i(v1) 6.0000 (2) 0.5) i(vi1) 6. TRANSFORMERS (for SPICE to measure current) 1 Rbogus 2 3 Vi1 0V 4 V1 0 10 V L1 10 kH 0 V2 L2 100 H 5 250 V 0 Rload 1 kΩ 5 Figure 9.000E+01 9.975E-05 freq v(3. DC voltages referenced to ground (node (1) 0.0000 (3) (4) 250.

we need to be aware of the phase relationships between the primary and secondary circuits. There are applications where electrical isolation is needed between two AC circuit without any transformation of voltage or current levels. and the transformation of AC power from primary to secondary circuits remains the same as before. Using our SPICE example from before. For the record. 9. The transformer isolates the common-mode voltage so that it is not impressed upon the primary circuit at all. it does not matter that the common-mode voltage is DC. It could be AC. even at a different frequency. PHASING 239 SPICE shows the 250 volts DC being impressed upon the secondary circuit elements with respect to ground. A benchtop isolation transformer is shown in Figure 9.4. In these instances. The impressed voltage in this example is often called a common-mode voltage because it is seen at more than one point in the circuit with reference to the common point of ground. we can . and the transformer would isolate it from the primary circuit all the same.22: Isolation transformer isolates power out from the power line. either.4 Phasing Since transformers are essentially AC devices. • Transformers designed to provide electrical isolation without stepping voltage and current either up or down are called isolation transformers. (Figure 9.21) but as you can see there is no effect on the primary circuit (zero DC voltage) at nodes 1 and 2.9. • REVIEW: • By being able to transfer power from one circuit to another without the use of interconnecting conductors between the two circuits.22. but rather isolated to the secondary side. Figure 9. transformers provide the useful feature of electrical isolation. transformers called isolation transformers having 1:1 transformation ratios are used.

24) Both .5) Figure 9.23) .5) is in-phase with primary voltage V(2).5m 17m . to secondary.end nutmeg commands: setplot tran1 plot v(2) v(3. the voltage was stepped down by a factor of ten. In going from primary. (Figure 9. V(2). (Figure 9. TRANSFORMERS plot the waveshapes (Figure 9.23) for the primary and secondary circuits and see the phase relations for ourselves: spice transient analysis file for use with nutmeg: transformer v1 1 0 sin(0 15 60 0 0) rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 v2 5 0 dc 250 l1 2 0 10000 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.5). V(3.tran 0. and the current was stepped up by a factor of 10.240 CHAPTER 9. and stepped down by factor of ten.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 1k .23: Secondary voltage V(3.

If we were to look at an unmarked transformer. at least for our resistive load. the polarity of a transformer can be ambiguous. and inductors don’t usually come with polarity markings of any kind. . It would appear that both voltage and current for the two transformer windings are inphase with each other.25) + + or ??? + - - Figure 9. nutmeg commands: setplot tran1 plot I(L1#branch) I(L2#branch) Figure 9.4. a transformer is nothing more than a set of magneticallylinked inductors.24: Primary and secondary currents are in-phase.24) and voltage (Figure 9.23) waveforms are in-phase in going from primary to secondary. we would have no way of knowing which way to hook it up to a circuit to get in-phase (or 180o out-of-phase) voltage and current: (Figure 9.25: As a practical matter. After all.9. but it would be nice to know which way we should connect a transformer in order to ensure the proper phase relationships be kept. PHASING 241 current (Figure 9. Secondary current is stepped up by a factor of ten. This is simple enough.

The similar placement of these dots next to the top ends of the primary and secondary windings tells us that whatever instantaneous voltage polarity seen across the primary winding will be the same as that across the secondary winding. TRANSFORMERS Since this is a practical concern. Typically. Of course. but when “H” and “X” labels are used to label transformer winding wires. It is called the dot convention. the phase shift from primary to secondary will be zero degrees. all you have to do is swap the winding connections like this: (Figure 9. On the diagram will be a pair of dots similar to what is seen above. and is nothing more than a dot placed next to each corresponding leg of a transformer winding: (Figure 9.27) Figure 9. the subscript numbers are supposed to represent winding polarity. the transformer will come with some kind of schematic diagram labeling the wire leads for primary and secondary windings. In other words.28) • REVIEW: . transformer manufacturers have come up with a sort of polarity marking standard to denote phase relationships. secondary black to dot. if the dots on each winding of the transformer do not match up.27: Out of phase: primary red to dot. On the other hand. the phase shift will be 180o between primary and secondary. If you want to reverse the phase relationship yourself. the dot convention only tells you which end of each winding is which.242 CHAPTER 9.26: A pair of dots indicates like polarity. Sometimes dots will be omitted. The “1” wires (H1 and X1 ) represent where the polarity-marking dots would normally be placed. relative to the other winding(s).26) Figure 9. like this: (Figure 9.

29) load #1 load #2 Figure 9. Not only are voltages and currents of completely different magnitudes possible with such a transformer. provides multiple output voltages.9. secondary red to dot. • The phase relationships for voltage and current between primary and secondary circuits of a transformer are direct: ideally. this design of transformer was quite common in vacuum tube power supply circuits. but transformers don’t have to be made with just two sets of windings.28: In phase: primary red to dot. It is entirely possible to assemble a transformer such as the one above (one primary winding. magnetically “coupling” or “linking” them together. Here. zero phase shift. three inductor coils share a common magnetic core.29: Transformer with multiple secondaries. Consider this transformer circuit: (Figure 9.5 Winding configurations Transformers are very versatile devices. two secondary windings) in which one secondary winding is a step-down and the other is a step-up. The relationship of winding turn ratios and voltage ratios seen with a single pair of mutual inductors still holds true here for multiple pairs of coils.5. In fact. The basic concept of energy transfer between mutual inductors is useful enough between a single primary and single secondary coil. but all circuits are electrically isolated from one another. WINDING CONFIGURATIONS 243 Figure 9. relative to the other windings. 9. . which were required to supply low voltage for the tubes’ filaments (typically 6 or 12 volts) and high voltage for the tubes’ plates (several hundred volts) from a nominal primary voltage of 110 volts AC. • The dot convention is a type of polarity marking for transformer windings showing which end of the winding is which.

30 is intended to provide both high and low voltages necessary in an electronic system using vacuum tubes.31: A single tapped secondary provides multiple voltages. being hidden from view. TRANSFORMERS Figure 9. Low voltage is required to power the filaments of vacuum tubes. A tap is nothing more than a wire connection made at some point on a winding between the very ends. Not surprisingly.32) Carrying the concept of winding taps further. we end up with a “variable transformer. a similar effect can be obtained by “tapping” a single secondary winding at multiple points along its length.244 CHAPTER 9. while high voltage is required to create the potential difference between the plate and cathode elements of each tube. The transformer in Figure 9. the winding turn/voltage magnitude relationship of a normal transformer holds true for all tapped segments of windings. a primary and five secondaries. This fact can be exploited to produce a transformer capable of multiple ratios: (Figure 9.30: Photograph of multiple-winding transformer with six windings.31. like Figure 9. load #1 load #2 Figure 9.” . If electrical isolation between secondary circuits is not of great importance. One transformer with multiple windings suffices elegantly to provide all the necessary voltage levels from a single 115 V source. The wires for this transformer (15 of them!) are not shown in the photograph.

the highest voltage obtainable from the secondary winding being substantially less than the primary voltage of 110 to 120 volts AC. Adjustments need to be made periodically in power systems to accommodate changes in loads over months or years in time. The variable-sweep contact provided a simple means of voltage control with little wasted power. These transformers were essentially step-down units. The effect is equivalent to having a winding tap at every turn of the winding. but multi-pole switches and winding taps are common for voltage adjustment.33) Variable transformer load Figure 9. and these switching circuits provide a convenient means. especially the train sets of the 1950’s and 1960’s.33: A sliding contact on the secondary continuously varies the secondary voltage. where a sliding contact is moved along the length of an exposed secondary winding. One consumer application of the variable transformer is in speed controls for model train sets. and a switch with poles at every tap position: (Figure 9. Typically. WINDING CONFIGURATIONS 245 multi-pole switch load Figure 9. . much more efficient than control using a variable resistor! Moving-slide contacts are too impractical to be used in large industrial power transformer designs. able to connect with it at any point along its length.32: A tapped secondary using a switch to select one of many possible voltages.9.5.

but must be actuated only when the transformer has been de-energized (no power). .34) Autotransformer load Figure 9. TRANSFORMERS such “tap switches” are not engineered to handle full-load current. saving copper. Seeing as how we can tap any transformer winding to obtain the equivalent of several windings (albeit with loss of electrical isolation between them). The autotransformer depicted above performs a voltage step-up function. A step-down autotransformer would look something like Figure 9. it makes sense that it should be possible to forego electrical isolation altogether and build a transformer from a single winding. and the resulting device is called an autotransformer: (Figure 9. sacrificing isolation. Indeed this is possible.34: This autotransformer steps voltage up with a single tapped winding.35: This auto transformer steps voltage down with a single copper-saving tapped winding.246 CHAPTER 9.35. Autotransformer load Figure 9.

WINDING CONFIGURATIONS 247 Autotransformers find popular use in applications requiring a slight boost or reduction in voltage to a load. In Figure 9.37 the secondary coil’s polarity is oriented so that its voltage directly subtracts from the primary voltage: "bucking" 120 V 30 V 90 V Figure 9. making it cheaper and lighter to manufacture than a regular (isolating) transformer having both primary and secondary windings.36: Ordinary transformer wired as an autotransformer to boost the line voltage.9. (Figure 9. In Figure 9.38) Small variacs for benchtop use are popular pieces of equipment for the electronics experimenter. First. fine range of control by a simple twist of a knob. Like regular transformers. The prime advantage of an autotransformer is that the same boosting or bucking function is obtained with only a single winding.36 the secondary coil’s polarity is oriented so that its voltage directly adds to the primary voltage. they can be made continuously variable with a sliding contact to tap the winding at any point along its length. the “bucking” configuration.5. "boosting" 120 V 30 V 150 V Figure 9. and load voltages are given to illustrate how this would work. the “boosting” configuration. Additionally. autotransformer windings can be tapped to provide variations in ratio.37: Ordinary transformer wired as an autotransformer to buck the line voltage down. Primary. . The latter configuration is popular enough to have earned itself its own name: the Variac. Next. The alternative with a normal (isolated) transformer would be to either have just the right primary/secondary winding ratio made for the job or use a step-down configuration with the secondary winding connected in series-aiding (“boosting”) or series-opposing (“bucking”) fashion. secondary. being able to step household AC voltage down (or sometimes up as well) with a wide.

248 CHAPTER 9. among other factors. For power transformer applications. • REVIEW: • Transformers can be equipped with more than just a single primary and single secondary winding pair. TRANSFORMERS The "Variac" variable autotransformer load Figure 9.38: A variac is an autotransformer with a sliding tap. not the least of which includes winding resistance and the degree of mutual inductance (magnetic coupling) between the primary and secondary windings. intersected at many points to segment a single winding into sections. of course. except without providing electrical isolation. • An autotransformer is a single. • Variable transformers can be made by providing a movable arm that sweeps across the length of a winding. • A Variac is a variable autotransformer. It can be calculated from the following formula: Regulation percentage = Eno-load . The measure of how well a power transformer maintains constant secondary voltage over a range of load currents is called the transformer’s voltage regulation. 9.Efull-load Efull-load (100%) . it is good to have the secondary voltage vary as little as possible for wide variances in load current. has to be bare (no insulation) in the area where the arm sweeps. • Transformer windings can also be “tapped:” that is. This allows for multiple step-up and/or step-down ratios in the same device. tapped inductor coil used to step up or step down voltage like a transformer. where the transformer is seen by the load (ideally) as a constant source of voltage. the output voltage of a transformer varies some with varying load resistances.6 Voltage regulation As we saw in a few SPICE analyses earlier in this chapter. The degree of variance is affected by the primary and secondary winding inductances. The winding. even with a constant voltage input. making contact with the winding at any point along its length.

348 volts at the point we decided to call “full load.5) 9.5) 9.000E+01 freq 6.000E+01 v(2) 1.5) i(vi1) .6.348 V (100%) Regulation percentage = 6.print ac v(2.990E+00 i(v1) 2.5) 9.print ac v(3.110E-12 Output with (almost) no load So.000E+01 freq 6.348 V 9. a good power transformer should exhibit .674E-02 Output with 1k ohm load Output with 200 ohm load Notice how the output voltage decreases as the load gets heavier (more current). this would be considered rather poor (or “loose”) regulation for a power transformer. This operating point will be determined primarily by the winding wire size (ampacity) and the method of transformer cooling.9.9. Recall if you will that our constant primary voltage was 10.962E+00 v(3. let’s compare the output voltage with a 1 kΩ load versus a 200 Ω load (assuming that the 200 Ω load will be our “full load” condition). Powering a simple resistive load like this.999 vi1 3 4 ac 0 rload 4 5 9e12 .” Calculating voltage regulation with these figures.990 V .653E-04 i(vi1) 1. we see that our output (secondary) voltage spans a range of 9.348E+00 i(vi1) lin 1 60 60 . Now let’s take that same transformer circuit and place a load resistance of extremely high magnitude across the secondary winding to simulate a “no-load” condition: (See ”transformer” spice list”) transformer v1 1 0 ac 10 sin rbogus1 1 2 1e-12 rbogus2 5 0 9e12 l1 2 0 100 l2 3 5 100 k l1 l2 0.000E+01 v(3. VOLTAGE REGULATION 249 “Full-load” means the point at which the transformer is operating at maximum permissible secondary current.962E-03 i(vi1) 4.000E+01 v(3. Taking our first SPICE transformer simulation as an example.end freq 6.8678 % Incidentally. we get: Regulation percentage = 9.00 volts AC: freq 6.990 volts at (virtually) no load and 9.0) i(v1) .

where poor regulation is actually desired. which is available for sustaining output winding voltage for brief periods of input voltage loss (milliseconds’ worth of time. In this case. Ferroresonant transformers offer several features useful in AC power conditioning: constant output voltage given substantial variations in input voltage. a step-up transformer with poor voltage regulation suffices nicely for the task of conditioning power to the lamp. cranked in or out of the winding assembly by the operator. Thus. and the ability to “ride through” brief losses in power by keeping a reserve of energy in its resonant tank circuit. this resonant circuit also “filters out” harmonic frequencies generated by nonlinear (switching) loads in the secondary winding circuit and any harmonics present in the source voltage. however. This is because discharge lamps’ voltage requirements tend to be much lower after a current has been established through the arc path. where a step-up transformer is required to initially generate a high voltage (necessary to “ignite” the lamps). and provides the added benefit of storing energy in the form of AC oscillations. This “tank circuit” serves as a filter to reject harmonics created by the core saturation. but like the discharge lamp. Moving the iron slug away from the windings reduces the strength of magnetic coupling between the windings. One such case is in discharge lighting. There are some applications. That is. A high voltage is desired to assist in “striking” the arc (getting it started). “Ferroresonance” is a phenomenon associated with the behavior of iron cores while operating near a point of magnetic saturation (where the core is so strongly magnetized that further increases in winding current results in little or no increase in magnetic flux). No exposition on transformer regulation could be called complete without mention of an unusual device called a ferroresonant transformer. the ferroresonant transformer is a power transformer engineered to operate in a condition of persistent core saturation. then the voltage is expected to drop off once the lamp begins to draw current. These transformers are also highly tolerant . ferroresonant transformers have an auxiliary secondary winding paralleled with one or more capacitors. its iron core is “stuffed full” of magnetic lines of flux for a large portion of the AC cycle so that variations in supply voltage (primary winding current) have little effect on the core’s magnetic flux density. While being somewhat difficult to describe without going deep into electromagnetic theory. so this analysis with purely resistive loads was a “best-case” condition.39) In addition to blocking harmonics created by the saturated core. providing “clean” power to the load. core saturation in a transformer results in distortion of the sinewave shape. forming a resonant circuit tuned to the power supply frequency. Normally. which are nothing more than step-down transformers supplying low-voltage. TRANSFORMERS a regulation percentage of less than 3%. and the ferroresonant transformer is no exception. Inductive loads tend to create a condition of worse voltage regulation. harmonic filtering between the power source and the load. Another application is in current control for AC arc welders. which means the secondary winding outputs a nearly constant voltage despite significant variations in supply (primary winding) voltage. a decrease of secondary voltage under high load current would be a good thing. Some arc welder designs provide arc current adjustment by means of a movable iron core in the transformer.250 CHAPTER 9. high-current power for the welding process. but certainly better than nothing). To combat this side effect. an arc doesn’t require as much voltage to sustain itself once the air has been heated to the point of ionization. (Figure 9. which diminishes no-load secondary voltage and makes for poorer voltage regulation.

The purpose of a load (usually) is to do something productive with the power it dissipates.9. the practical purpose for the power dissipated is to .7. Semiconductor circuits exist to “condition” AC power as an alternative to ferroresonant devices. The lower the percentage (closer to zero).7.1 Special transformers and applications Impedance matching Because transformers can step voltage and current to different levels. though. they can be used to “convert” the impedance of a load to a different level. in fact. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 251 AC power output AC power input Resonant LC circuit Figure 9. They are so tolerant. • A ferroresonant transformer is a special transformer designed to regulate voltage at a stable level despite wide variation in input voltage.7 9. these devices have equally noteworthy disadvantages: they waste a lot of energy (due to hysteresis losses in the saturated core). and because power is transferred equivalently between primary and secondary windings. necessitating expensive capacitors and presenting the service technician with very dangerous working voltages. the more stable the secondary voltage and the better the regulation it will provide. Some applications.39: Ferroresonant transformer provides voltage regulation of the output. • REVIEW: • Voltage regulation is the measure of how well a power transformer can maintain constant secondary voltage given a constant primary voltage and wide variance in load current. and are intolerant of frequency variations. That last phrase deserves some explanation. that some may be briefly paralleled with unsynchronized AC power sources. may prioritize the ferroresonant transformer’s advantages over its disadvantages. generating significant heat in the process. In the case of a resistive heating element. so let’s investigate what it means. of excessive loading and transient (momentary) voltage surges. but none can compete with this transformer in terms of sheer simplicity. which means they don’t work very well when powered by small engine-driven generators having poor speed regulation. allowing a load to be switched from one source of power to another in a “make-before-break” fashion with no interruption of power on the secondary side! Unfortunately. Voltages produced in the resonant winding/capacitor circuit tend to be very high. 9.

5).625 Ω load impedance. at different voltage and current ratings. or 125 volts and 8 amps). not the actual 62.5 Ω Pload = 1000 W I=8A 125 V Rload 15. The 250 volt heater would be said to be a higher impedance load than the 125 volt heater.5 Ω load! The voltage and current figures for the primary winding are indicative of 15.41. As far as the power supply “knows. The transformation ratio of impedance is the square of the voltage/current transformation ratio.40: Heating elements dissipate 1000 watts. Loads are engineered to safely dissipate a certain maximum amount of power. respectively. not only has our step-up transformer transformed voltage and current. 125 x 2). but it has transformed impedance as well. The impedance of the heater and the voltage of our source would be mismatched.5 Ω of impedance (resistance). With a step-up transformer.625 Ω (R=E/I) load at 125 volts. and we couldn’t obtain the full rated power dissipation from the heater. With 62.5 Ω and 15. Take a close look at the primary circuit figures: 125 volts at 8 amps.5 Ω 1000 watts dissipation at the load resistor ! Figure 9. we arrive at figures of 62. and the power dissipation would only be 250 watts (P=IE.40) I=4A 250 V Rload 62. Both heaters dissipate exactly 1000 watts of power. In other words. although in this case that’s all they’re composed of (no reactance). Consider these two 1000 watt resistive heating elements: (Figure 9. we could operate the 250 volt heater element on the 125 volt power system like Figure 9. 125/62. the same as the winding inductance ratio: . the current would only be 2 amps (I=E/R. we would end up being disappointed. but they do so at different voltage and current levels (either 250 volts and 4 amps. If we desired to operate the 250 volt heater element directly on a 125 volt power system. not a 62. TRANSFORMERS heat something up.41: Step-up transformer operates 1000 watt 250 V heater from 125 V power source The ratio of the transformer’s windings provides the voltage step-up and current step-down we need for the otherwise mismatched load to operate properly on this system.5 Ω of the load itself. If these are AC loads. Using Ohm’s Law to determine the necessary resistance of these heating elements (R=E/I).625 Ω Pload = 1000 W Figure 9.” its powering a 15. All hope is not lost. but two loads of equal power rating are not necessarily identical. we might refer to their opposition to current in terms of impedance rather than plain resistance.252 CHAPTER 9. I=8A 125 V I=4A 250 V Rload 62. though.625 Ω. or one-quarter of its rated power.

we must be able to properly match the load impedance and source (Thevenin/Norton) impedance together. we can use a transformer to match these mismatched impedances.7. This is generally more of a concern in specialized electric circuits such as radio transmitter/antenna and audio amplifier/speaker systems. we’ll need to use a step-down transformer: (Figure 9. the speaker will load the amplifier to just the right degree. Recall from our study of network analysis the Maximum Power Transfer Theorem. or 7. we would need a winding ratio equal to the square root of 500:8 (the square root of 62.5 Ω to 15. If we’re trying to obtain theoretical maximum power dissipation from a load. Such a load would drop higher voltage and draw less current than an 8 Ω speaker dissipating the same amount of power.42) With an internal impedance of 500 Ω. Substitute the word “impedance” for “resistance” in that definition and you have the AC version of that Theorem. drawing power at the correct voltage and current levels to satisfy the Maximum Power Transfer Theorem and make for the . Since we’re going from a high impedance (high voltage. low current) supply to a low impedance (low voltage. the amplifier can only deliver full power to a load (speaker) also having 500 Ω of impedance. which states that the maximum amount of power will be dissipated by a load resistance when that load resistance is equal to the Thevenin/Norton resistance of the network supplying the power. the amplifier would tend to dissipate more than its fair share of power in the form of heat trying to drive the low impedance speaker. Let’s take an audio amplifier system and see how it works: (Figure 9. With such a transformer in place. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 253 Voltage transformation ratio = Nsecondary Nprimary Nprimary Nsecondary 2 Current transformation ratio = Impedance transformation ratio = Nsecondary Nprimary 2 Inductance ratio = Where.906:1). for it allows a load to dissipate its full rated power even if the power system is not at the proper voltage to directly do so. Nsecondary Nprimary N = number of turns in winding This concurs with our example of the 2:1 step-up transformer and the impedance ratio of 62.625 Ω (a 4:1 ratio. high current) load.43) To obtain an impedance transformation ratio of 500:8. which is 2:1 squared). the impedance mismatch would result in very poor (low peak power) performance. To make this system work better. Additionally. Impedance transformation is a highly useful ability of transformers. If an 8 Ω speaker were connected directly to the 500 Ω amplifier as shown.5:1.9.

. Speaker Z=8Ω ZThevenin EThevenin 500 Ω Speaker Z=8Ω Figure 9. impedance "matching" transformer Audio amplifier Thevenin/Norton Z = 500 Ω impedance ratio = 500 : 8 Speaker Z=8Ω winding ratio = 7. equivalent to .254 CHAPTER 9. .43: Impedance matching transformer matches 500 Ω amplifier to 8 Ω speaker for maximum efficiency. .42: Amplifier with impedance of 500 Ω drives 8 Ω at much less than maximum power. . TRANSFORMERS Audio amplifier Thevenin/Norton Z = 500 Ω . .906 : 1 Figure 9.



most efficient power delivery to the load. The use of a transformer in this capacity is called impedance matching. Anyone who has ridden a multi-speed bicycle can intuitively understand the principle of impedance matching. A human’s legs will produce maximum power when spinning the bicycle crank at a particular speed (about 60 to 90 revolution per minute). Above or below that rotational speed, human leg muscles are less efficient at generating power. The purpose of the bicycle’s “gears” is to impedance-match the rider’s legs to the riding conditions so that they always spin the crank at the optimum speed. If the rider attempts to start moving while the bicycle is shifted into its “top” gear, he or she will find it very difficult to get moving. Is it because the rider is weak? No, its because the high step-up ratio of the bicycle’s chain and sprockets in that top gear presents a mismatch between the conditions (lots of inertia to overcome) and their legs (needing to spin at 60-90 RPM for maximum power output). On the other hand, selecting a gear that is too low will enable the rider to get moving immediately, but limit the top speed they will be able to attain. Again, is the lack of speed an indication of weakness in the bicyclist’s legs? No, its because the lower speed ratio of the selected gear creates another type of mismatch between the conditions (low load) and the rider’s legs (losing power if spinning faster than 90 RPM). It is much the same with electric power sources and loads: there must be an impedance match for maximum system efficiency. In AC circuits, transformers perform the same matching function as the sprockets and chain (“gears”) on a bicycle to match otherwise mismatched sources and loads. Impedance matching transformers are not fundamentally different from any other type of transformer in construction or appearance. A small impedance-matching transformer (about two centimeters in width) for audio-frequency applications is shown in the following photograph: (Figure 9.44)

Figure 9.44: Audio frequency impedance matching transformer. Another impedance-matching transformer can be seen on this printed circuit board, in the upper right corner, to the immediate left of resistors R2 and R1 . It is labeled “T1”: (Figure 9.45)



Figure 9.45: Printed circuit board mounted audio impedance matching transformer, top right.


Potential transformers

Transformers can also be used in electrical instrumentation systems. Due to transformers’ ability to step up or step down voltage and current, and the electrical isolation they provide, they can serve as a way of connecting electrical instrumentation to high-voltage, high current power systems. Suppose we wanted to accurately measure the voltage of a 13.8 kV power system (a very common power distribution voltage in American industry): (Figure 9.46)

high-voltage power source

13.8 kV


Figure 9.46: Direct measurement of high voltage by a voltmeter is a potential safety hazard. Designing, installing, and maintaining a voltmeter capable of directly measuring 13,800 volts AC would be no easy task. The safety hazard alone of bringing 13.8 kV conductors into an instrument panel would be severe, not to mention the design of the voltmeter itself. However, by using a precision step-down transformer, we can reduce the 13.8 kV down to a safe level of voltage at a constant ratio, and isolate it from the instrument connections, adding an additional level of safety to the metering system: (Figure 9.47)



high-voltage power source

13.8 kV



fuse precision step-down ratio

PT grounded for safety

V 0-120 VAC voltmeter range

Figure 9.47: Instrumentation application:“Potential transformer” precisely scales dangerous high voltage to a safe value applicable to a conventional voltmeter. Now the voltmeter reads a precise fraction, or ratio, of the actual system voltage, its scale set to read as though it were measuring the voltage directly. The transformer keeps the instrument voltage at a safe level and electrically isolates it from the power system, so there is no direct connection between the power lines and the instrument or instrument wiring. When used in this capacity, the transformer is called a Potential Transformer, or simply PT. Potential transformers are designed to provide as accurate a voltage step-down ratio as possible. To aid in precise voltage regulation, loading is kept to a minimum: the voltmeter is made to have high input impedance so as to draw as little current from the PT as possible. As you can see, a fuse has been connected in series with the PTs primary winding, for safety and ease of disconnecting the PT from the circuit. A standard secondary voltage for a PT is 120 volts AC, for full-rated power line voltage. The standard voltmeter range to accompany a PT is 150 volts, full-scale. PTs with custom winding ratios can be manufactured to suit any application. This lends itself well to industry standardization of the actual voltmeter instruments themselves, since the PT will be sized to step the system voltage down to this standard instrument level.


Current transformers

Following the same line of thinking, we can use a transformer to step down current through a power line so that we are able to safely and easily measure high system currents with inexpensive ammeters. Of course, such a transformer would be connected in series with the power line, like (Figure 9.48). Note that while the PT is a step-down device, the Current Transformer (or CT) is a step-up device (with respect to voltage), which is what is needed to step down the power line current. Quite often, CTs are built as donut-shaped devices through which the power line conductor is run, the power line itself acting as a single-turn primary winding: (Figure 9.49) Some CTs are made to hinge open, allowing insertion around a power conductor without



grounded for 0-5 A ammeter range safety A Instrument application: the "Current Transformer" CT

13.8 kV



fuse precision step-down ratio

PT grounded for safety

V 0-120 VAC voltmeter range

Figure 9.48: Instrumentation application: “Currrent transformer” steps high current down to a value applicable to a conventional ammeter.

Figure 9.49: Current conductor to be measured is threaded through the opening. Scaled down current is available on wire leads.



disturbing the conductor at all. The industry standard secondary current for a CT is a range of 0 to 5 amps AC. Like PTs, CTs can be made with custom winding ratios to fit almost any application. Because their “full load” secondary current is 5 amps, CT ratios are usually described in terms of full-load primary amps to 5 amps, like this:

600 : 5 ratio (for measuring up to 600 A line current) 100 : 5 ratio (for measuring up to 100 A line current) 1k : 5 ratio (for measuring up to 1000 A line current)
The “donut” CT shown in the photograph has a ratio of 50:5. That is, when the conductor through the center of the torus is carrying 50 amps of current (AC), there will be 5 amps of current induced in the CT’s winding. Because CTs are designed to be powering ammeters, which are low-impedance loads, and they are wound as voltage step-up transformers, they should never, ever be operated with an open-circuited secondary winding. Failure to heed this warning will result in the CT producing extremely high secondary voltages, dangerous to equipment and personnel alike. To facilitate maintenance of ammeter instrumentation, short-circuiting switches are often installed in parallel with the CT’s secondary winding, to be closed whenever the ammeter is removed for service: (Figure 9.50)

power conductor CT ground connection (for safety)


close switch BEFORE disconnecting ammeter!

0-5 A meter movement range
Figure 9.50: Short-circuit switch allows ammeter to be removed from an active current transformer circuit. Though it may seem strange to intentionally short-circuit a power system component, it is perfectly proper and quite necessary when working with current transformers.


Air core transformers

Another kind of special transformer, seen often in radio-frequency circuits, is the air core transformer. (Figure 9.51) True to its name, an air core transformer has its windings wrapped around a nonmagnetic form, usually a hollow tube of some material. The degree of coupling (mutual inductance) between windings in such a transformer is many times less than that



of an equivalent iron-core transformer, but the undesirable characteristics of a ferromagnetic core (eddy current losses, hysteresis, saturation, etc.) are completely eliminated. It is in highfrequency applications that these effects of iron cores are most problematic.



Figure 9.51: Air core transformers may be wound on cylindrical (a) or toroidal (b) forms. Center tapped primary with secondary (a). Bifilar winding on toroidal form (b). The inside tapped solenoid winding, (Figure (a) 9.51), without the over winding, could match unequal impedances when DC isolation is not required. When isolation is required the over winding is added over one end of the main winding. Air core transformers are used at radio frequencies when iron core losses are too high. Frequently air core transformers are paralleled with a capacitor to tune it to resonance. The over winding is connected between a radio antenna and ground for one such application. The secondary is tuned to resonance with a variable capacitor. The output may be taken from the tap point for amplification or detection. Small millimeter size air core transformers are used in radio receivers. The largest radio transmitters may use meter sized coils. Unshielded air core solenoid transformers are mounted at right angles to each other to prevent stray coupling. Stray coupling is minimized when the transformer is wound on a toroid form. (Figure (b) 9.51) Toroidal air core transformers also show a higher degree of coupling, particularly for bifilar windings. Bifilar windings are wound from a slightly twisted pair of wires. This implies a 1:1 turns ratio. Three or four wires may be grouped for 1:2 and other integral ratios. Windings do not have to be bifilar. This allows arbitrary turns ratios. However, the degree of coupling suffers. Toroidal air core transformers are rare except for VHF (Very High Frequency) work. Core materials other than air such as powdered iron or ferrite are preferred for lower radio frequencies.


Tesla Coil

One notable example of an air-core transformer is the Tesla Coil, named after the Serbian electrical genius Nikola Tesla, who was also the inventor of the rotating magnetic field AC motor, polyphase AC power systems, and many elements of radio technology. The Tesla Coil is a resonant, high-frequency step-up transformer used to produce extremely high voltages. One of Tesla’s dreams was to employ his coil technology to distribute electric power without the need for wires, simply broadcasting it in the form of radio waves which could be received and conducted to loads by means of antennas. The basic schematic for a Tesla Coil is shown in Figure 9.52.



discharge terminal "Tesla Coil"

Figure 9.52: Tesla Coil: A few heavy primary turns, many secondary turns. The capacitor, in conjunction with the transformer’s primary winding, forms a tank circuit. The secondary winding is wound in close proximity to the primary, usually around the same nonmagnetic form. Several options exist for “exciting” the primary circuit, the simplest being a high-voltage, low-frequency AC source and spark gap: (Figure 9.53)

HIGH voltage! HIGH frequency! RFC

high voltage low frequency RFC

spark gap

Figure 9.53: System level diagram of Tesla coil with spark gap drive. The purpose of the high-voltage, low-frequency AC power source is to “charge” the primary tank circuit. When the spark gap fires, its low impedance acts to complete the capacitor/primary coil tank circuit, allowing it to oscillate at its resonant frequency. The “RFC” inductors are “Radio Frequency Chokes,” which act as high impedances to prevent the AC source from interfering with the oscillating tank circuit. The secondary side of the Tesla coil transformer is also a tank circuit, relying on the parasitic (stray) capacitance existing between the discharge terminal and earth ground to complement the secondary winding’s inductance. For optimum operation, this secondary tank circuit is tuned to the same resonant frequency as the primary circuit, with energy exchanged not only between capacitors and inductors during resonant oscillation, but also back-and-forth between



primary and secondary windings. The visual results are spectacular: (Figure 9.54)

Figure 9.54: High voltage high frequency discharge from Tesla coil. Tesla Coils find application primarily as novelty devices, showing up in high school science fairs, basement workshops, and the occasional low budget science-fiction movie. It should be noted that Tesla coils can be extremely dangerous devices. Burns caused by radio-frequency (“RF”) current, like all electrical burns, can be very deep, unlike skin burns caused by contact with hot objects or flames. Although the high-frequency discharge of a Tesla coil has the curious property of being beyond the “shock perception” frequency of the human nervous system, this does not mean Tesla coils cannot hurt or even kill you! I strongly advise seeking the assistance of an experienced Tesla coil experimenter if you would embark on building one yourself.


Saturable reactors

So far, we’ve explored the transformer as a device for converting different levels of voltage, current, and even impedance from one circuit to another. Now we’ll take a look at it as a completely different kind of device: one that allows a small electrical signal to exert control over a much larger quantity of electrical power. In this mode, a transformer acts as an amplifier.



The device I’m referring to is called a saturable-core reactor, or simply saturable reactor. Actually, it is not really a transformer at all, but rather a special kind of inductor whose inductance can be varied by the application of a DC current through a second winding wound around the same iron core. Like the ferroresonant transformer, the saturable reactor relies on the principle of magnetic saturation. When a material such as iron is completely saturated (that is, all its magnetic domains are lined up with the applied magnetizing force), additional increases in current through the magnetizing winding will not result in further increases of magnetic flux. Now, inductance is the measure of how well an inductor opposes changes in current by developing a voltage in an opposing direction. The ability of an inductor to generate this opposing voltage is directly connected with the change in magnetic flux inside the inductor resulting from the change in current, and the number of winding turns in the inductor. If an inductor has a saturated core, no further magnetic flux will result from further increases in current, and so there will be no voltage induced in opposition to the change in current. In other words, an inductor loses its inductance (ability to oppose changes in current) when its core becomes magnetically saturated. If an inductor’s inductance changes, then its reactance (and impedance) to AC current changes as well. In a circuit with a constant voltage source, this will result in a change in current: (Figure 9.55)

L load I
Figure 9.55: If L changes in inductance, ZL will correspondingly change, thus changing the circuit current. A saturable reactor capitalizes on this effect by forcing the core into a state of saturation with a strong magnetic field generated by current through another winding. The reactor’s “power” winding is the one carrying the AC load current, and the “control” winding is one carrying a DC current strong enough to drive the core into saturation: (Figure 9.56) The strange-looking transformer symbol shown in the above schematic represents a saturablecore reactor, the upper winding being the DC control winding and the lower being the “power” winding through which the controlled AC current goes. Increased DC control current produces more magnetic flux in the reactor core, driving it closer to a condition of saturation, thus decreasing the power winding’s inductance, decreasing its impedance, and increasing current to the load. Thus, the DC control current is able to exert control over the AC current delivered to the load. The circuit shown would work, but it would not work very well. The first problem is the natural transformer action of the saturable reactor: AC current through the power winding will induce a voltage in the control winding, which may cause trouble for the DC power source.



saturable reactor

load I
Figure 9.56: DC, via the control winding, saturates the core. Thus, modulating the power winding inductance, impedance, and current. Also, saturable reactors tend to regulate AC power only in one direction: in one half of the AC cycle, the mmf ’s from both windings add; in the other half, they subtract. Thus, the core will have more flux in it during one half of the AC cycle than the other, and will saturate first in that cycle half, passing load current more easily in one direction than the other. Fortunately, both problems can be overcome with a little ingenuity: (Figure 9.57)

load I
Figure 9.57: Out of phase DC control windings allow symmetrical of control AC. Notice the placement of the phasing dots on the two reactors: the power windings are “in phase” while the control windings are “out of phase.” If both reactors are identical, any voltage induced in the control windings by load current through the power windings will cancel out to zero at the battery terminals, thus eliminating the first problem mentioned. Furthermore, since the DC control current through both reactors produces magnetic fluxes in different directions through the reactor cores, one reactor will saturate more in one cycle of the AC



power while the other reactor will saturate more in the other, thus equalizing the control action through each half-cycle so that the AC power is “throttled” symmetrically. This phasing of control windings can be accomplished with two separate reactors as shown, or in a single reactor design with intelligent layout of the windings and core. Saturable reactor technology has even been miniaturized to the circuit-board level in compact packages more generally known as magnetic amplifiers. I personally find this to be fascinating: the effect of amplification (one electrical signal controlling another), normally requiring the use of physically fragile vacuum tubes or electrically “fragile” semiconductor devices, can be realized in a device both physically and electrically rugged. Magnetic amplifiers do have disadvantages over their more fragile counterparts, namely size, weight, nonlinearity, and bandwidth (frequency response), but their utter simplicity still commands a certain degree of appreciation, if not practical application. Saturable-core reactors are less commonly known as “saturable-core inductors” or transductors.


Scott-T transformer

Nikola Tesla’s original polyphase power system was based on simple to build 2-phase components. However, as transmission distances increased, the more transmission line efficient 3-phase system became more prominent. Both 2-φ and 3-φ components coexisted for a number of years. The Scott-T transformer connection allowed 2-φ and 3-φ components like motors and alternators to be interconnected. Yamamoto and Yamaguchi: In 1896, General Electric built a 35.5 km (22 mi) three-phase transmission line operated at 11 kV to transmit power to Buffalo, New York, from the Niagara Falls Project. The two-phase generated power was changed to three-phase by the use of Scott-T transformations. [1]

3-phase23 = V∠0° 3-phase31 = V∠120° 3-phase12 = V∠240°

Y1 86.6% tap

R3 2-phase2 = V∠90°

R4 50% tap Y2 R2 T1 T2 Y3 2-phase1 = V∠0° R1

Figure 9.58: Scott-T transformer converts 2-φ to 3-φ, or vice versa.

60 we graphically show the 2-φ vectors at (a).6% secondary winding is a 3-φ output.866V(0+j1) VCB = VBA = 0.5(1+j0)+0. Subtracting 86. The primaries of both transformers are connected to the 2-φ voltages. along with input 1 0o (a). the other end is connected to the T1 secondary center tap.59.6% tapped transformer T2 on the 3-φ side of the circuit.5 0o + 0.866)=V∠−120°=V∠240° Figure 9. At (c) 1 120o = -0. The three output phases are 1 120o and 1 240o from (c). we use vectors in both polar and complex notation to prove that the Scott-T converts a pair of 2-φ voltages to 3-φ. This 0o is vectorially subtracted from T2 secondary voltage due to the KVL equations V31 . The T2 secondary voltage is 0.5)V∠0°+0. VP 12 = V2P 1 . V31 : V12=V2P1 =Vsin(θ+0°)=V∠0°=V(1+j0) (1) KVL: -V12 +VAC = 0 (2) KVL: -V31 -VCB +VBD = 0 (3) KVL: -V23 = -VDB . In Figure 9.6% of 90o to 50% of 180o we get 120o .866V2P 2 due to the 86. In Figure 9. We show “DC” polarities all over this AC only circuit. .866 90o .866 respectively. Keep in mind that this 2nd phase of the 2-φ is 90o .866V∠90° = 0. First. V23 .5(1+j0)-0.5V(1+j0) V12 = V2P1 = V∠0° V31 = (-0.6% of 90o from 50% of 180o yields -120o or 240o .866(0+j1))=V(-0.5 and 0.266 CHAPTER 9.R4 + + Y1 R1 A Y2 R2 T1 + − + − V12 V2P1 C VDB = 0.866 90o . Both ends of the T1 secondary are the other two 3-φ connections.866V2P 2 is added at V31 .866V2P2 = 0.6% tap. Application of 2-φ Niagara generator power produced a 3-φ output for the more efficient 3-φ transmission line. More common these days is the application of 3-φ power to produce a 2-φ output for driving an old 2-φ motor. V23 .VBA 86. Subtracting 0o is equivalent to adding 180o .VBA = 0 (1) KVL: V12 = VAC (2) KVL: V31 = -VCB +VBD (3) KVL: V23 = -VDB . D V23 + − T2 Y3 + R3 + V31 + − + V2P2 − Given two 90° phased voltages: V2P1 =Vsin(θ+0°)=V∠0°=V(1+j0) V2P2 =Vsin(θ+90°)=Vcos(θ)=V∠90°=V(0+j1) Derive the three phase voltages V12 .5 0o .866V∠90°=V(-0. subtracted at V23 in the KVL equations. TRANSFORMERS The Scott-T transformer set.0. One end of the T2 86. consists of a center tapped transformer T1 and an 86. This 0.5+j0. to keep track of the Kirchhoff voltage loop polarities.866(0+j1))=V(-0.5V2P1 = 0.866)=V∠120° V23 =(-0. one of the 3-φ voltages is identical to a 2-φ voltage due to the 1:1 transformer T1 ratio. At (b) the vectors are scaled by transformers T1 and T2 to 0.866V∠90°=V(-0. Figure 9.58.5)V∠0°-0. The bottom line is when we add 86.5+-j0.50% +B - .59: Scott-T transformer 2-φ to 3-φ conversion equations.5V∠0° = 0.5V2P 1 on the secondary ends.6% . and 1 240o = -0. The T1 center tapped secondary produces opposite polarities of 0.

with a 180o phase reversal in passing the center. it is 180o out of phase with with V1 .866V∠90° 1∠90° 1∠0° -0.5∠0° 1∠240° 1∠120° 267 a -0. SPECIAL TRANSFORMERS AND APPLICATIONS 0. Units are available for measuring displacement over a distance of a fraction of a millimeter to a half a meter. If the core is moved toward the bottom winding. and 180o out of phase with V3 . a centered slug yields equal voltages across both coils.9. while the voltage on the bottom coil decreases. 1∠90° yields 1∠−120° . However.1∠240° Figure 9. the series-opposing wired secondaries cancel yielding V13 = 0. LVDT’s are rugged and dirt resistant compared to linear optical encoders. Moving the slug from top to bottom shows a minimum at the center point.60: Graphical explanation of equations in Figure 9.7.59. Note that it is in-phase with with V1 .7. Theoretically. With a centered slug. bottom winding. The LVDT is a displacement or distance measuring transducer.61: LVDT: linear variable differential transformer. A ferrite core is suitable at these frequencies. It is extended outside the body by an non-magnetic rod.8 Linear Variable Differential Transformer A linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) has an AC driven primary wound between two secondaries on a cylindrical air core form.61) A movable ferromagnetic slug converts displacement to a variable voltage by changing the coupling between the driven primary and secondary windings. the voltage on this coil increases as the voltage decreases across the top coil. The excitation voltage is in the range of 0. In practice leakage inductance prevents the null from dropping all the way to 0 V.5 to 10 VAC at a frequency of 1 to 200 Khz. .5∠0° -0. bottom winding. up V1 V1 V2 V13 V3 V3 center down Figure 9. Moving the slug up increases V13 . the top winding. (Figure 9. the top winding. Moving the slug down from the center position increases V13 .866V∠90° b c 1∠0°. the voltage across this coil increases due to increased coupling. As the core is moved toward the top winding. 9. and in-phase with V3 .

perfectly sinusoidal exciting current. For example. Not only do the windings have to be well insulated from the iron core. tight voltage regulation. 9. Additionally. winding conductor insulation is a concern where high voltages are encountered. Respecting these limitations. It has a movable ferromagnetic core to vary the coupling between the excited primary and a pair of secondaries. the magnetic core can be saturated. but each winding has to be sufficiently insulated from the other in order to maintain electrical isolation between windings. compromises must be made. • A Scott-T transformer converts 3-φ power to 2-φ power and vice versa. in the business of practical transformer design. • A linear variable differential transformer. is a distance measuring device. perfect voltage regulation. step-up transformer designed to produce very high AC voltages at high frequency. TRANSFORMERS • Transformers can be used to transform impedance as well as voltage and current. transformers must be well designed in order to achieve acceptable power coupling. • A saturable reactor is a special type of inductor.268 • REVIEW: CHAPTER 9. the ideal transformer would have to be infinitely large and heavy to meet these design goals. • A Tesla Coil is a resonant. the inductance of which can be controlled by the DC current through a second winding around the same core. An ideal transformer would have perfect coupling (no leakage inductance). also known as an LVDT. • A Current Transformer (CT) is another special instrument transformer designed to step down the current through a power line to a safe level for an ammeter to measure. This means the winding conductors must be made of the proper gauge wire to avoid any heating problems. • A Potential Transformer (PT) is a special instrument transformer designed to provide a precise voltage step-down ratio for voltmeters measuring high power system voltages. Also. decreasing the inductance of the power winding in a controlled fashion. and wire thick enough to handle any amount of current. Thus.8 9. transformers are rated for certain levels of primary and secondary winding voltage and current.1 Practical considerations Power capacity As has already been observed. as they often are in step-up and step-down power distribution transformers. When this is done to improve power transfer to a load. and low exciting current distortion. no hysteresis or eddy current losses. it is called impedance matching. take a step-down transformer with .8. transformers must be designed to carry the expected values of primary and secondary winding current without any trouble. Unfortunately. • An air-core transformer is one lacking a ferromagnetic core. air-core. though the current rating is usually derived from a voltamp (VA) rating assigned to the transformer. With enough DC current.

There is. Unless superconducting wires are used. and a VA rating of 1 kVA (1000 VA). but this is typically seen on small transformers.8.62) shows an “induction heating” unit raising the temperature of a large pipe section. Resistive losses aside. they do so with a minimum of loss. and weight. and what causes it to be lost. however. modern power transformer designs typically exceed 95% efficiency.2 Energy losses When transformers transfer power. In order to maximize the eddy current effect. Because transformers require such long lengths of wire. Hence.9. we have a source of inefficiency in the transformer that is difficult to eliminate. The photograph of (Figure 9. inducing eddy currents within the pipe wall by electromagnetic induction. Increasing the gauge of the winding wire is one way to minimize this loss. high-frequency alternating current is used rather than power line frequency (60 Hz). they dissipate power in the form of heat. In overcoming the resistance offered by the iron. Perhaps the most significant of these “core losses” is eddy-current loss. size. this loss can be a significant factor. a secondary voltage rating of 48 volts. As it was stated earlier. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 269 a primary voltage rating of 120 volts. there will always be power dissipated in the form of heat through the resistance of current-carrying conductors. It is good to know where some of this lost power goes. these “eddy currents” must overcome significant electrical resistance as they circulate through the core. there will be currents induced in the iron just as there are currents induced in the secondary windings from the alternating magnetic field. which is resistive power dissipation due to the passage of induced currents through the iron of the core. power lost due to resistance of the wire windings.” . but not as good as the copper or aluminum from which wire windings are typically made. Large transformers are almost always rated in terms of winding voltage and VA or kVA. Their circular motion gives them their unusual name: like eddies in a stream of water that circulate rather than move in straight lines. Loops of wire covered by high-temperature insulation encircle the pipe’s circumference.8. This phenomenon is so pronounced that it is often exploited as a means of heating ferrous (iron-containing) materials. The box units at the right of the picture produce the high-frequency AC and control the amount of current in the wires to stabilize the pipe temperature at a pre-determined “set-point. These induced currents – as described by the perpendicularity clause of Faraday’s Law – tend to circulate through the cross-section of the core perpendicularly to the primary winding turns. 9. Because iron is a conductor of electricity as well as being an excellent “conductor” of magnetic flux.833 A (maximum secondary winding current) Sometimes windings will bear current ratings in amps. of course.333 A (maximum primary winding current) = 20. The maximum winding currents can be determined as such: 1000 VA 120 V 1000 VA 48 V = 8. but only with substantial increases in cost. Iron is a fair conductor of electricity. Consequently. the bulk of transformer power loss is due to magnetic effects in the core.

each sheet covered with an insulating varnish so that the core is divided up into thin slices. Eddy current losses increase with frequency. The result is very little width in the core for eddy currents to circulate in: (Figure 9. This has the undesirable effect of increasing the manufacturing cost of the transformer. used in many military and aircraft applications) must use thinner laminations to keep the losses down to a respectable minimum.270 CHAPTER 9.63) solid iron core "eddy" current laminated iron core Figure 9.62: Induction heating: Primary insulated winding induces current into lossy iron pipe (secondary). Laminated cores like the one shown here are standard in almost all low-frequency transformers. The main strategy in mitigating these wasteful eddy currents in transformer cores is to form the iron core in sheets.63: Dividing the iron core into thin insulated laminations minimizes eddy current loss. . Recall from the photograph of the transformer cut in half that the iron core was composed of many thin sheets rather than one solid piece. so transformers designed to run on higher-frequency power (such as 400 Hz. TRANSFORMERS Figure 9.

As we’ve seen in earlier chapters. Flux containment (making sure a transformer’s magnetic flux doesn’t escape so as to interfere with another device. Magnetic core losses are also exaggerated with higher frequencies.8. the effect of having capacitance along with the windings’ designed inductance gives transformers the ability to resonate at a particular frequency. Like the lamination sheets.8. nonsinusoidal waveforms are equivalent to additive series of multiple sinusoidal waveforms at different amplitudes and frequencies. transformers of significant size are designed to operate efficiently in a limited range of frequencies. Unfortunately it does. and winding to core. definitely a design concern in signal applications where the applied frequency may reach this point (usually the resonant frequency of a power transformer is well beyond the frequency of the AC power it was designed to operate on). This type of loss can be mitigated through good core material selection (choosing a core alloy with low hysteresis. In most power distribution systems where the line frequency is very stable. Transformer energy losses tend to worsen with increasing frequency. This tendency to stay magnetized is called “hysteresis. We’ve already seen the detrimental effects of leakage inductance on voltage regulation with SPICE simulations . and making sure other devices’ magnetic flux is shielded from the transformer core) is another concern shared both by inductors and transformers. Power transformers can be engineered to handle certain levels of power system harmonics. than the design frequency of the transformer. Like their simpler counterparts – inductors – transformers exhibit capacitance due to the insulation dielectric between conductors: from winding to winding. meaning that they will always be higher. these granules of iron are individually coated in an electrically insulating material. turn to turn (in a single winding). In significant measure. but small signal applications (especially those of high frequency) may not tolerate this quirk well. The skin effect within winding conductors reduces the available cross-sectional area for electron flow. one would think excessive frequency would never pose a problem.9. Also. not lower. which makes the core nonconductive except for within the width of each granule. Closely related to the issue of flux containment is leakage inductance. For this reason. Another “core loss” is that of magnetic hysteresis. eddy currents and hysteresis effects becoming more severe. In power systems. All ferromagnetic materials tend to retain some degree of magnetization after exposure to an external magnetic field. similar technique for minimizing eddy current losses which works better for highfrequency applications is to make the core out of iron powder instead of thin iron sheets. 9.3 Stray capacitance and inductance Aside from power ratings and power losses. thereby increasing effective resistance as the frequency goes up and creating more power lost through resistive dissipation. as evidenced by a “thin” B/H hysteresis curve). and this capability is sometimes denoted with a “K factor” rating. and designing the core for minimum flux density (large cross-sectional area). in the form of harmonics created by nonlinear loads. transformers often harbor other undesirable limitations which circuit designers must be made aware of. they can cause severe transformer overheating. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 271 Another. Powdered iron cores are often found in transformers handling radio-frequency currents. Usually this capacitance is of no concern in a power application.” and it takes a certain investment in energy to overcome this opposition to change every time the magnetic field produced by the primary winding changes polarity (twice per AC cycle). these other frequencies are whole-number multiples of the fundamental (line) frequency.

good voltage regulation is desired in transformer design. the more current drawn by the load.272 CHAPTER 9.8.64: Voltage and flux waveforms for a peaking transformer. For ferromagnetic core transformers. If this happens. which will in turn produce the poor regulation needed for discharge lighting. TRANSFORMERS early in this chapter. One way to meet this design criterion is to engineer the transformer with flux leakage paths for magnetic flux to bypass the secondary winding(s). discharge lighting circuits require a step-up transformer with “loose” (poor) voltage regulation to ensure reduced voltage after the establishment of an arc through the lamp. In other words. the less voltage available at the secondary winding terminals. but there are exceptional applications. and secondary voltage pulses only when the flux is changing (below saturation levels): (Figure 9. Usually. the core flux may reach saturation levels during peak moments of the AC sinewave cycle. creating harmonics in the secondary winding’s output. As was stated before. at voltage levels well below peak. we must be mindful of the saturation limits of the core. Remember that ferromagnetic materials cannot support infinite magnetic flux densities: they tend to “saturate” at a certain level (dictated by the material and core dimensions). harmonic content in AC power systems typically causes problems. The resulting leakage flux will produce leakage inductance. the overloaded transformer will distort the waveshape from primary to secondary windings. When a transformer’s primary winding is overloaded from excessive applied voltage. .4 Core saturation Transformers are also constrained in their performance by the magnetic flux limitations of the core. The core is designed to saturate quickly and sharply. 9.64) ep = primary voltage es = secondary voltage Φ = magnetic flux es ep Φ Figure 9. Thus. As we discussed before. Special transformers known as peaking transformers exploit this principle to produce brief voltage pulses near the peaks of the source voltage waveform. This results in a severely cropped sine-wave flux waveform. meaning that further increases in magnetic field force (mmf) do not result in proportional increases in magnetic field flux (Φ). the voltage induced in the secondary winding will no longer match the wave-shape as the voltage powering the primary coil. it manifests itself as a series impedance with the load. Because leakage inductance is equivalent to an inductance connected in series with the transformer’s winding.

but for longer periods of time. if the flux has to climb at the same rate as before. but taking a longer amount of time to complete each half-cycle. demands that the flux maintain the same rate of change as before. and relate the original waveform to its derivative. Yet another cause of transformer saturation is the presence of DC current in the primary winding.66) Mathematically. and the flux waveform is the integral of the voltage waveform. the flux must reach greater peak levels than before in order to produce the same opposing voltage needed to balance against the source voltage. but for longer periods of time.8. Any amount of DC voltage dropped across the primary winding of a transformer will . the voltage waveform is the derivative of the flux waveform. For example.9. “derivative” being that calculus operation defining one mathematical function (waveform) in terms of the rate-of-change of another. it will climb to a greater peak value. This is true even if the source voltage is the same as before. (Figure 9. though. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 273 Another cause of abnormal transformer core saturation is operation at frequencies lower than normal. this is another example of calculus in action. Since instantaneous winding voltage is proportional to the instantaneous magnetic flux’s rate of change in a transformer. we say that the voltage waveform is the derivative of the flux waveform. The integral of any mathematical function is proportional to the area accumulated underneath the curve of that function. Thus. a voltage waveform reaching the same peak value. if a power transformer designed to operate at 60 Hz is forced to operate at 50 Hz instead. Because the voltage is proportional to the flux’s rate-of-change. Since each half-cycle of the 50 Hz waveform accumulates more area between it and the zero line of the graph than the 60 Hz waveform will – and we know that the magnetic flux is the integral of the voltage – the flux will attain higher values in Figure 9.65: Magnetic flux is higher in a transformer core driven by 50 Hz as compared to 60 Hz for the same voltage. we may call the original waveform the integral of the derivative waveform. In this case.66. (Figure 9.65) e 60 Hz Φ e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux Φ e 50 Hz Figure 9. If we take the opposite perspective.

66: Flux changing at the same rate rises to a higher level at 50 Hz than at 60 Hz. . shifts the waveform peaks toward the upper saturation limit. cause additional magnetic flux in the core. abnormal conditions such as frequency variation and DC offset. For most transformers.274 CHAPTER 9. which is good because it makes for less distortion in the magnetization current waveform.67: DC in primary. Also. and it is avoided through good design: engineering the windings and core so that magnetic flux densities remain well below the saturation levels. core saturation is a very undesirable effect.67) saturation limit flux centerline 60 Hz e Φ saturation limit Figure 9. (Figure 9. This additional flux “bias” or “offset” will push the alternating flux waveform closer to saturation in one half-cycle than the other. TRANSFORMERS e 60 Hz Φ less area less height e 50 Hz Φ more area more height Figure 9. engineering the core for low flux densities provides a safe margin between the normal flux peaks and the core saturation limits to accommodate occasional. This ensures that the relationship between mmf and Φ is more linear throughout the flux cycle.

68) Since flux (Φ) is proportional to the magnetomotive force (mmf) in the core. the flux and current levels were at their negative peaks when voltage was at its zero point. The result is that winding current increases rapidly.9.69) Alternatively.8.8. As the voltage builds to its positive peak.68: Continuous steady-state operation: Magnetic flux. there may be a substantial surge of current through the primary winding called inrush current. (Figure 9. like current. both magnetic flux and winding current should . in a transformer that has been sitting idle. the voltage waveform is the derivative of the flux waveform. and the mmf is proportional to winding current. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 275 9. lags applied voltage by 90o . between continuous-mode operation and the sudden starting condition assumed in this scenario: during continuous operation.5 Inrush current When a transformer is initially connected to a source of AC voltage.69) Both core flux and coil current start from zero and build up to the same peak values experienced during continuous operation. these two waveforms are phaseshifted by 90o . In order for the transformer to create an opposing voltage drop to balance against this applied source voltage. the current waveform will be in-phase with the flux waveform. and both will be lagging the voltage waveform by 90o : e = voltage e Φ = magnetic flux Φ i i = coil current Figure 9. however. (Figure 9. a magnetic flux of rapidly increasing value must be generated. In a continuously-operating transformer. Thus. During continuous operation (when the transformer has been powered for quite some time). although transformer inrush is caused by a different phenomenon. and on upward to their positive peaks as the voltage descends to a level of zero: A significant difference exists. this is the point in time where both flux and winding current are at their negative peaks. but actually no more rapidly than under normal conditions: (Figure 9. We know that the rate of change of instantaneous flux in a transformer core is proportional to the instantaneous voltage drop across the primary winding. as stated before. however. the flux and current waveforms build to their maximum positive rates-of-change. there is no “surge” or “inrush” or current in this scenario. Or.72) This is analogous to the inrush current exhibited by an electric motor that is started up by sudden connection to a power source. (Figure 9. and the flux waveform is the integral of the voltage waveform. let us consider what happens if the transformer’s connection to the AC voltage source occurs at the exact moment in time when the instantaneous voltage is at zero. Let us suppose that the primary winding of a transformer is suddenly connected to an AC voltage source at the exact moment in time when the instantaneous voltage is at its positive peak value. experiencing zero rate-of-change (dΦ/dt = 0 and di/dt = 0).

same as steady-state operation.276 CHAPTER 9. during continuous operation. Figure 9. .3 These expected waveforms are incorrect– Φ and i should start at zero. e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux i = coil current e i Φ Instant in time when voltage is zero.70: Starting at e=0 V is not the same as running continuously in Figure 9. Figure 9. TRANSFORMERS e = voltage Φ = magnetic flux i = coil current e i Φ Instant in time when transformer is connected to AC voltage source.69: Connecting transformer to line at AC volt peak: Flux increases rapidly from zero.

generating the necessary mmf to create this higher-than-normal flux. Because of this. the magnetizing current would rise to approximately twice its normal peak value as well.9. When the magnetic flux increases in response to a rising voltage. from a "cold start" condition. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 277 start at zero. so as to tolerate current surges such as this without opening the circuit. ensuring that the core does . in a transformer that’s just “starting. not from a previously negative (magnetized) condition as we would normally have in a transformer that’s been powered for awhile. However. but heat is a potentially serious problem because winding insulation will be damaged if allowed to overheat.72) This is the mechanism causing inrush current in a transformer’s primary winding when connected to an AC voltage source. and so the core will almost certainly saturate during this first half-cycle of voltage. Φ starts at initial condition Φ=0. which creates the mmf to cause flux in the core. This means that winding current.8. 9.6 Heat and Noise In addition to unwanted electrical effects. Heating may be minimized by good design. disproportionate amounts of mmf are needed to generate magnetic flux. will disproportionately rise to a value easily exceeding twice its normal peak: (Figure 9. the most notable being the production of heat and noise. it will increase from zero upward. During saturation. Thus. If the transformer happens to have some residual magnetism in its core at the moment of connection to the source.8. transformer overcurrent protection devices are usually of the “slow-acting” variety.” the flux will reach approximately twice its normal peak magnitude as it “integrates” the area under the voltage waveform’s first half-cycle: (Figure 9. most transformers aren’t designed with enough of a margin between normal flux peaks and the saturation limits to avoid saturating in a condition like this.71) Φ e flux peak approximately twice normal height! Instant in time when voltage is zero. the inrush could be even more severe. increasing to twice the normal value. transformers may also exhibit undesirable physical effects. assuming it doesn’t saturate the core. Noise is primarily a nuisance effect.71: Starting at e=0 V. the magnitude of the inrush current strongly depends on the exact time that electrical connection to the source is made. In an ideal transformer. As you can see. Figure 9.

73) Oil-less. at 40o Celsius (maximum)ambient air temperature. Audible noise is an effect primarily originating from the phenomenon of magnetostriction: the slight change of length exhibited by a ferromagnetic object when magnetized. Large power transformers have their core and windings submerged in an oil bath to transfer heat and muffle noise. B. and also to displace moisture which would otherwise compromise the integrity of the winding insulation. • Class B: No more than 80o Celsius winding temperature rise. or H. and that the windings are not overloaded or operated too close to maximum ampacity. not approach saturation levels. • Class F: No more than 115o Celsius winding temperature rise. or considerably higher in the (designed for) case of saturation. Figure 9. or “dry. TRANSFORMERS i Φ e current peak much greater than normal! flux peak approximately twice normal height! Instant in time when voltage is zero. The familiar “hum” heard around large power transformers is the sound of the iron core expanding and . at 40o Celsius (maximum)ambient air temperature.” transformers are often rated in terms of maximum operating temperature “rise” (temperature increase beyond ambient) according to a letter-class system: A. from a "cold start" condition. • Class H: No more than 150o Celsius winding temperature rise. that eddy currents are minimized. F. Heat-dissipating “radiator” tubes on the outside of the transformer case provide a convective oil flow path to transfer heat from the transformer’s core to ambient air: (Figure 9. Current also increases to twice the normal value for an unsaturated core.278 CHAPTER 9.72: Starting at e=0 V. at 40o Celsius (maximum)ambient air temperature. These letter codes are arranged in order of lowest heat tolerance to highest: • Class A: No more than 55o Celsius winding temperature rise. at 40o Celsius (maximum) ambient air temperature.

73: Large power transformers are submerged in heat dissipating insulating oil. .9. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 279 Primary terminals Secondary terminals Heat Core Heat Radiator tube Radiator tube flow Oil Figure 9.8.

the winding generates an mmf. maintaining low magnetic flux levels in the core is the key to minimizing this effect. Among the effects are eddy currents (circulating induction currents in the iron core) and hysteresis (power lost due to overcoming the tendency of iron to magnetize in a particular direction). which can be problematic in signal applications. which explains why ferroresonant transformers – which must operate in saturation for a large portion of the current waveform – operate both hot and noisy. • Increased frequency results in increased power losses within a power transformer. However. Transformer designers have to consider these physical forces in the construction of the winding coils.280 CHAPTER 9. which is 60 Hz in the United States) – one cycle of core contraction and expansion for every peak of the magnetic flux waveform – plus noise created by mechanical forces between primary and secondary windings. The presence of harmonics in a power system is a source of frequencies significantly higher than normal. which becomes counteracted by a “reflected” mmf in the primary winding to prevent core flux levels from changing. If the secondary winding is open-circuited. Any flux not involved with transferring energy from one winding to another will store and release energy. and consequently no magneto-motive force (mmf) produced by it. physical force between the windings which will tend to make them vibrate. This capacitance can be significant enough to give the transformer a natural resonant frequency. there will be no current through it. Large units are typically rated in VA (volt-amps) or kVA (kilo volt-amps). • Leakage inductance is caused by magnetic flux not being 100% coupled between windings in a transformer. to ensure there is adequate mechanical support to handle the stresses. and/or by the presence of a DC current in any of . operation at too low of a frequency. • Both transformers and inductors harbor certain unavoidable amounts of capacitance due to wire insulation (dielectric) separating winding turns from the iron core and from each other. wasting energy. Leakage inductance tends to worsen a transformer’s voltage regulation (secondary voltage “sags” more for a given amount of load current). Another noise-producing phenomenon in power transformers is the physical reaction force between primary and secondary windings when heavily loaded. These opposing mmf ’s generated between primary and secondary windings as a result of secondary (load) current produce a repulsive. TRANSFORMERS contracting at 120 Hz (twice the system frequency. • REVIEW: • Power transformers are limited in the amount of power they can transfer from primary to secondary winding(s). when the secondary is “loaded” (current supplied to a load). though. • Magnetic saturation of a transformer core may be caused by excessive primary voltage. which is how (self-) inductance works. Under heavy load (high current) conditions. • Resistance in transformer windings contributes to inefficiency. Again. as current will dissipate heat. which may cause overheating in large transformers. • Magnetic effects in a transformer’s iron core also contribute to inefficiency. these stresses may be great enough to cause audible noise to emanate from the transformer.

http://www. 9. Inrush current is most severe when connection to the AC source is made at the moment instantaneous source voltage is zero.html which provides an adequate margin of safety between peak magnetic flux density values and the saturation limits of the core. CONTRIBUTORS 281 the windings. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. Bart Anderson (January 2004): Corrected conceptual errors regarding Tesla coil operation and safety.9 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. from most recent to first.9. Rapid Electrification a Century Ago”.ieee. Physical forces causing winding vibration may also generate noise under conditions of heavy (high current) secondary winding load. EDN. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. • Noise is a common phenomenon exhibited by transformers – especially power transformers – and is primarily caused by magnetostriction of the core. Bibliography [1] Mitsuyoshi Yamamoto. Saturation may be minimized or avoided by conservative design. • Transformers often experience significant inrush currents when initially connected to an AC voltage source. (4/11/2002). “Electric Power In Japan. Mitsugi Yamaguchi.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1: Single phase power system schematic diagram shows little about the wiring of a practical power circuit. . .4 10. . . . . . . . . Contributors .Chapter 10 POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Contents 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . If the load resistor’s power dissipation were substantial. . . . . . . we might call this a “power circuit” or “power system” instead of regarding it as just a regular circuit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The distinction between a “power circuit” and a “regular circuit” may seem arbitrary. . . . . Depicted above (Figure 10. . . . . . . . . . .1) is a very simple AC circuit.2 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Harmonics in polyphase power systems Harmonic phase sequences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phase rotation . . . . . . . . .5 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Three-phase Y and Delta configurations Three-phase transformer circuits . . . . . . 283 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 10. . . . . Polyphase motor design .1 10. . . . . . . but the practical concerns are definitely not. Three-phase power systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 10. . 283 289 296 300 306 313 318 343 345 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Single-phase power systems . . . .1 Single-phase power systems load #1 load #2 Figure 10. .3 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

the wiring for the 20 kW loads at 120 Vac is rather substantial (167 A). and would necessitate copper wire conductors of at least 1/0 gage.33 amps for each load resistor in Figure 10. and cheaper wire: (Figure 10. weighing over 300 pounds per thousand feet.2 adds up to 166. This is no small amount of current. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS One such concern is the size and cost of wiring necessary to deliver power from the AC source to the load. we can determine the wiring needs for this particular circuit: (Figure 10. lighter. One way to do this would be to increase the voltage of the power source and use loads built to dissipate 10 kW each at this higher voltage.2) 120 V load #1 P = 10 kW load #2 P = 10 kW Figure 10.67 A Ptotal = (10 kW) + (10 kW) Ptotal = 20 kW 83. However.66 amps total circuit current. we do not give much thought to this type of concern if we’re merely analyzing a circuit for the sake of learning about the laws of electricity.33 A Itotal = Iload#1 + Iload#2 Itotal = (83. If we give the source in the above circuit a voltage value and also give power dissipation values to the two load resistors. The loads. permitting the use of smaller.3) . Such wire is well over 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter. I= I= P E 10 kW 120 V (for each load resistor) I = 83. Bear in mind that copper is not cheap either! It would be in our best interest to find ways to minimize such costs if we were designing a power system with long conductor lengths. of course.33 A) Itotal = 166.284 CHAPTER 10.33 A) + (83. in the real world it can be a major concern. Normally. would have to have greater resistance values to dissipate the same power as before (10 kW each) at a greater voltage than before.2: As a practical matter. The advantage would be less current required.

which weighs less than half of what 1/0 gage wire does per unit length.67 A) Itotal = 83.3: Same 10 kW loads at 240 Vac requires less substantial wiring than at 120 Vac (83 A). there is still the issue of what voltage to use for powering loads.1. this is not usually the sort of thing we concentrate on while learning about the laws of electricity. this solution is not without disadvantages. This is why power distribution system designers elect to transmit electric power using very high voltages (many thousands of volts): to capitalize on the savings realized by the use of smaller. I= I= P E 10 kW 240 V (for each load resistor) I = 41. This is a considerable reduction in system cost with no degradation in performance. especially when large amounts of power are being dealt with. half of what it was before. Power distribution companies tackle this problem by stringing their power lines along high poles or towers.33 A Ptotal = (10 kW) + (10 kW) Ptotal = 20 kW Now our total circuit current is 83. We can now use number 4 gage wire.67 A) + (41. However. Again. Another practical concern with power circuits is the danger of electric shock from high voltages. SINGLE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 285 240 V load #1 P = 10 kW load #2 P = 10 kW Figure 10. lighter.10. At the point of use (the electric power customer). but it might not always be practical to keep power wiring out of reach at the point of use the way it can be elevated out of reach in distribution systems. and insulating the lines from the supporting structures with large. but it is a very valid concern in the real world. porcelain insulators. cheaper wire.33 amps. This tradeoff between efficiency and danger is one that European power system designers have decided to . High voltage gives greater system efficiency by means of reduced conductor current. The gain in efficiency realized by stepping up the circuit voltage presents us with increased danger of electric shock.67 A Itotal = Iload#1 + Iload#2 Itotal = (41.

33 A Figure 10. For the most part.4) 83. The current through each load is the same as it was in the simple 120 volt circuit. For this reason. Notice the polarity markings (+ and -) for each voltage shown. not 240. so I’m introducing this notation early on in the chapter for your familiarity.33 A load +120 V #1 10 kW load +120 V #2 10 kW 83.3 A total current. There’s only one disadvantage to this design: the consequences of one load failing open. An alternative solution would be to use a higher voltage supply to provide power to two lower voltage loads in series. The voltage across each load is only 120 volts. all their households and appliances operating at a nominal voltage of 240 volts instead of 120 volts as it is in North America. Being a series circuit. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS risk. In later sections of this chapter. However. as well as the unidirectional arrows for current. Mind you. if either load were to open. but each load is operating at a reduced voltage. I’ve avoided labeling “polarities” in the AC circuits we’ve been analyzing. even though the notation is valid to provide a frame of reference for phase.5) + 240 V - + 240 V - . or being turned off (assuming each load has a series on/off switch to interrupt current) are not good. this would be expensive and inconvenient for anything but very small loads (where the transformers can be built cheaply) or very large loads (where the expense of thick copper wires would exceed the expense of a transformer). driven by 240 Vac source at 83. current would stop in the other load as well. so the safety factor is better. but the currents are not additive because the loads are in series rather than parallel. we still have a full 240 volts across the power system wires. to step the 240 VAC (volts AC) power down to a more suitable 120 VAC. the odds are that it will be from coming into contact with the conductors of a particular load rather than from contact across the main wires of a power system. we need to modify the design a bit: (Figure 10.4: Series connected 120 Vac loads. This approach combines the efficiency of a high-voltage system with the safety of a low-voltage system: (Figure 10. If anyone is going to get shocked. Is there any way to realize the advantages of both increased efficiency and reduced safety hazard at the same time? One solution would be to install step-down transformers at the endpoint of power use. That is why tourists from America visiting Europe must carry small step-down transformers for their portable appliances. just as the American tourist must do while in Europe.286 CHAPTER 10. phase relationships will become very important.

This is a common feature in power systems containing “neutral” wires.6) If the AC power comes directly from a generator (alternator). the coils can be similarly center-tapped for the same effect. The extra expense to include a center-tap connection in a .33 A load +120 V #1 ∠ 0o load +120 V #2 ∠ 0o - 120 V ∠ 0o + 240 V - Figure 10. with perfectly “balanced” loads consuming equal amounts of power. An essential component to a split-phase power system is the dual AC voltage source. In the above case. so we’re still ahead on efficiency. Notice how the neutral wire is connected to earth ground at the power supply end. Etotal = (120 V ∠ 0o) + (120 V ∠ 0o) Etotal = 240 V ∠ 0o I= P E Ptotal = (10 kW) + (10 kW) Ptotal = 20 kW 10 kW I= 120 V I = 83.5: Addition of neutral conductor allows loads to be individually driven. designing and building one is not difficult.33 A (for each load resistor) Instead of a single 240 volt power supply. The astute observer will note that the neutral wire only has to carry the difference of current between the two loads back to the source. since grounding the neutral wire ensures the least possible voltage at any given time between any “hot” wire and earth ground. Since most AC systems receive their power from a step-down transformer anyway (stepping voltage down from high distribution levels to a user-level voltage like 120 or 240). This is called a split-phase power system. Fortunately. the neutral wire carries zero current. we use two 120 volt supplies (in phase with each other!) in series to produce 240 volts. Three smaller wires are still cheaper than the two wires needed with the simple parallel design.33 A + + 120 V ∠ 0o "hot" "neutral" 0A "hot" 83.1. then run a third wire to the connection point between the loads to handle the eventuality of one load opening. that transformer can be built with a center-tapped secondary winding: (Figure 10.10. SINGLE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 287 83.

Here is where the (+) and (-) polarity markings really become important. with polarity marks (+) to (-) just like series-aiding batteries can alternatively be represented as such: (Figure 10.7) 120 V 120 V + 240 V - "hot" + + 120 V ∠ 0o 120 V ∠ 180o + 240 V ∠ 0o "hot" Figure 10. Otherwise. because their polarity marks show them to be opposed to each other: Polar 120 ∠ 0o .6: American 120/240 Vac power is derived from a center tapped utility transformer. phase relations between multiple AC sources might be very confusing. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Step-down transformer with center-tapped secondary winding + + 2. we must subtract voltages.7: Split phase 120/240 Vac source is equivalent to two series aiding 120 Vac sources. If not for these polarity markings.(-120 + j0) V 240 + j0 V If we mark the two sources’ common connection point (the neutral wire) with the same polarity mark (-).120 ∠ 180o 240 ∠ 0o Rectangular 120 + j0 V . we must express their relative phase shifts as being 180o apart.4 kV + Figure 10. This notation is often used to reference the phasings of multiple AC voltage sources. so it is clear whether they are aiding (“boosting”) each other or opposing (“bucking”) each other.288 CHAPTER 10. To mathematically calculate voltage between “hot” wires. we’d be denoting two voltage sources in direct opposition with each other. transformer or alternator winding is minimal. Why am I taking the time to elaborate on polarity marks and phase angles? It will make more sense in the next section! . Note that the split-phase sources in the schematic (each one 120 volts 0o ). which would give 0 volts between the two “hot” conductors.

This principle. this kind of AC power supply is called single phase because both voltage waveforms are in phase.2 Three-phase power systems Split-phase power systems achieve their high conductor efficiency and low safety risk by splitting up the total voltage into lesser parts and powering multiple loads at those lesser voltages. providing so-called 120/240 VAC power. THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 289 Power systems in American households and light industry are most often of the split-phase variety.8) Since each voltage source is 120 volts. applied to power systems. They are used primarily to achieve balance between system efficiency (low conductor currents) and safety (low load voltages). The term “single phase” is a counterpoint to another kind of power system called “polyphase” which we are about to investigate in detail.85 V ∠ -30o . In a more general sense. However. The advantages of polyphase power systems are more obvious if one first has a good understanding of single phase systems. by the way. delivering power to loads at more than one voltage.33 amps. 10. This technique. Such systems are usually referred to as three-wire systems rather than split-phase because “phase” is a concept restricted to AC. or in step. Suppose that we had two sources of AC voltage connected in series just like the split-phase system we saw before. and each load resistor is connected directly in parallel with its respective source. each load must still be dissipating 10 kilowatts of power. while drawing currents at levels typical of a full-voltage system. can be put to use to make power systems with even greater conductor efficiencies and lower shock hazard than with split-phase. Instead. with more than two wires. except that each voltage source was 120o out of phase with the other: (Figure 10. • REVIEW: • Single phase power systems are defined by having an AC source with only one voltage waveform.120 180o ) because the phase difference between the two sources is not 180o . the voltage is: Etotal = (120 V ∠ 0o) . But we know from our experience with vectors and complex numbers that AC voltages don’t always add up as we think they would if they are out of phase with each other. The term “split-phase” merely refers to the split-voltage supply in such a system. the voltage across each load must be 120 volts as well. Given load currents of 83. Apologies for the long introduction leading up to the title-topic of this chapter.10. works just as well for DC power systems as it does for single-phase AC systems. • A split-phase power system is one with multiple (in-phase) AC voltage sources connected in series. with each other. voltage between the two “hot” wires is not 240 volts (120 0o .(120 V ∠ 120o) Etotal = 207.2. • Split-phase AC sources can be easily created by center-tapping the coil windings of transformers or alternators.

Ineutral = 0 .33 A ∠ 1200) Ineutral = 83. even with balanced load resistances.33 A ∠ 120o Figure 10.Iload#2 Ineutral = .(83.(83.Ineutral = Iload#1 + Iload#2 Ineutral = -Iload#1 .33 A ∠ 240o or 83. "hot" -Iload#1 . Nominally. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 83. we say that the voltage between “hot” conductors is 208 volts (rounding up).33 A ∠ 0o + + "hot" 120 V ∠ 0o 120 V ∠ 120o "neutral" load +120 V #1 ∠ 0o load 120 V #2 ∠ 120o + + 207.33 A ∠ 120o Figure 10. and thus the power system voltage is designated as 120/208. Kirchhoff ’s Current Law tells us that the currents entering and exiting the node between the two loads must be zero: (Figure 10.33 A ∠ 0o load + 120 V ∠ 0o #1 "neutral" Node Ineutral load o #2 120 V ∠ 120 + "hot" 83.Iload#2 .9: Neutral wire carries a current in the case of a pair of 120o phased sources. we find that it is not zero. similar to split-phase.85 V ∠ -30o - "hot" 83.9) 83.290 CHAPTER 10.33 A ∠ 0o) .8: Pair of 120 Vac sources phased 120o .33 A ∠ -120o . If we calculate the current through the “neutral” conductor.

the neutral wire will not have to carry any current at all. However.33 A ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 0o 83. we have realized a gain in safety. . equal currents). A full mathematical analysis of all the voltages and currents in this circuit would necessitate the use of a network theorem.12) At that current and voltage. we could transmit more power (another 10 kW) without having to add any more conductors.10: With a third load phased 120o to the other two. With the same amount of current through each “hot” wire. why not use that third wire as another “hot” conductor. each load will be dissipating 10 kW of power.33 amps of current raises an interesting possibility: since its carrying current anyway. drawn-out calculations because you should be able to intuitively understand that the three voltage sources at three different phase angles will deliver 120 volts each to a balanced triad of load resistors. For proof of this.10. we find that the “neutral” wire is carrying a full 83. What we have here is a situation similar to our split-phase power circuit with no “neutral” conductor: if one load should happen to fail open. (Figure 10. we need a neutral wire to connect the source node and load node together: So long as the loads remain balanced (equal resistance. we can use SPICE to do the math for us: (Figure 10. with (approximately) 208 volts between any two “hot” conductors and conductor currents equal to 83.11. The fact that the neutral wire is carrying 83. just like each “hot” wire.10) 83. Notice that this circuit has no “neutral” conductor to ensure stable voltage to all loads if one should open.2.33 A ∠ 240o + 120 V ∠ 240o 120 V + ∠ 120o 83. This circuit we’ve been analyzing with three voltage sources is called a polyphase circuit. SPICE listing: 120/208 polyphase power system) Sure enough. the voltage drops across the remaining load(s) will change.33 A ∠ 120o load #1 load #3 120 V 10 kW load #2 120 V 10 kW 120 V 10 kW + 208 V ∠ -30o - Figure 10. we get 120 volts across each load resistor.33 amps as before. the easiest being the Superposition Theorem. Let’s see how this might look: (Figure 10. powering another load resistor with a third 120 volt source having a phase angle of 240o ? That way. To ensure load voltage stability in the event of another load opening.33 amps. I’ll spare you the long. with each load’s “hot” wire carrying 83. the currents are the same as for two loads.33 amps. THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 291 So. so we haven’t reduced system cost over the split-phase 120/240 system. because the overall voltage between the two “hot” conductors is 32 volts lower than it was in the split-phase system (208 volts instead of 240 volts). It is there just in case one or more load resistors should fail open (or be shut off through a disconnecting switch). we must use the same gage copper conductors. Note that we are still conveying 20 kW of total power to the two loads.

333E+01 .4) v(2.200E+02 v(3. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 1 + 0 + 2 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o 3 3 R3 1.078E+02 CURRENT THROUGH EACH VOLTAGE SOURCE freq i(v1) i(v2) 6.2) v(2.4) v(3.078E+02 2.292 CHAPTER 10.333E+01 v(3.44 Ω 4 1.44 .000E+01 1.1) .44 Ω R2 R1 1 1.3) v(3.2) v(2.3) 6. 120/208 polyphase power system v1 1 0 ac 120 0 sin v2 2 0 ac 120 120 sin v3 3 0 ac 120 240 sin r1 1 4 1.print ac v(1.44 r2 2 4 1.4) 6.print ac i(v1) i(v2) i(v3) .44 Ω 2 120 V ∠ 120o Figure 10.print ac v(1.200E+02 VOLTAGE BETWEEN ‘‘HOT’’ CONDUCTORS freq v(1.200E+02 1.078E+02 i(v3) 8.end VOLTAGE ACROSS EACH LOAD freq v(1.000E+01 8.4) 1.333E+01 8.1) 2.000E+01 2.11: SPICE circuit: Three 3-Φ loads phased at 120o .4) .44 r3 3 4 1.4) v( lin 1 60 60 .

A single-phase system with three loads connected directly in parallel would have a very high total current (83.33 times 3. pentagon and hexagon). and with a considerable price tag attached. Let’s survey the advantages of a three-phase power system over a single-phase system of equivalent load voltage and power capacity.33 A ∠ 0o "hot" + 120 V ∠ 0o 83. If the distance from source to load was 1000 feet.12: SPICE circuit annotated with simulation results: Three 3-Φ loads phased at 120o . three 10 Kw loads on a 120 Vac system draw 250 A. Since the voltage sources are all at different phase angles (in this case.13: For comparison. (Figure 10.13) 120V 250 A load #1 10 kW load #2 10 kW load #3 10 kW Figure 10. it is a three-phase circuit. On the other hand. This would necessitate 3/0 gage copper wire (very large!). More specifically. the kind used predominantly in large power distribution systems.33 A ∠ 120o 0A "neutral" load #1 load #3 120 V 10 kW load #2 120 V 10 kW 120 V 10 kW Figure 10. this is a “polyphase” circuit. or 250 amps. three different phase angles). 120 volt loads. we could build a split-phase system with two 15 kW.14) Our current is half of what it was with the simple parallel circuit. “polygon” (a geometrical shape made of multiple line segments: for example. We could get away with using number 2 gage copper wire at a total mass of about 600 . The prefix “poly” simply means “more than one. at about 510 pounds per thousand feet. which is a great improvement. THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS 293 83.” as in “polytheism” (belief in more than one deity). and “polyatomic” (a substance composed of multiple types of atoms). we would need over a half-ton of copper wire to do the job.2.10. (Figure 10.33 A ∠ 240o + 120 V "hot" ∠ 240o 120 V + ∠ 120o "hot" 83.

The interconnections between pairs of windings (as shown for the single-phase alternator: the jumper wire between windings 1a and 1b) have been omitted from the three-phase alternator drawing for simplicity. When we contrast these two examples against our three-phase system (Figure 10.294 CHAPTER 10. we also have to consider the increased safety hazard of having 240 volts present in the system. but then those phase shifts would depend on the phase angles of our load impedances as well (substituting a capacitive or inductive load for a resistive load would change everything!).14: Split phase system draws half the current of 125 A at 240 Vac compared to 120 Vac system. the six “pole” windings of a three-phase alternator are connected to comprise three winding pairs.12). the conductor currents are quite a bit less (83. even though each load only receives 120 volts. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS + + 125 A ∠ 0o "hot" 120 V ∠ 0o 120 V ∠ 180o "neutral" 0A load #1 load #2 120 V 15 kW 120 V 15 kW + 240 V ∠ 0o - "hot" 125 A ∠ 180o Figure 10. This represents a significant cost savings over the split-phase system. since that can only give us voltage waveforms that are either in phase or 180o out of phase. each pair producing AC voltage with a phase angle 120o shifted from either of the other two winding pairs. which will total 500 pounds (four runs of 1000 feet each) for our example circuit. pounds. First. In our example circuit. Perhaps we could figure out some way to use capacitors and inductors to create phase shifts of 120o . with one lead of each source tied to . the advantages are quite clear. permitting the use of much thinner and lighter wire. each set spaced 120o apart around the circumference of the machine as in Figure 10. there is greater potential for dangerous electric shock to occur. Together. One question remains to be answered: how in the world do we get three AC voltage sources whose phase angles are exactly 120o apart? Obviously we can’t center-tap a transformer or alternator winding like we did in the split-phase system.33 amps versus 125 or 250 amps). we showed the three voltage sources connected together in a “Y” configuration (sometimes called the “star” configuration). However. The best way to get the phase shifts we’re looking for is to generate it at the source: construct the AC generator (alternator) providing the power in such a way that the rotating magnetic field passes by three sets of wire windings. with the additional benefit that the maximum voltage in the system is lower (208 versus 240). We can use number 4 gage wire at about 125 pounds per thousand feet. Overall.15. figuring about 200 pounds per thousand feet with three runs of 1000 feet each between source and loads.

More to come on this subject later in the chapter. (b) Three-phase alternator. THREE-PHASE POWER SYSTEMS Three-phase alternator (b) Single-phase alternator (a) winding 1a S winding 1b winding 2a winding 1a S winding 3a winding 1b 295 N winding 3b N winding 2b Figure 10.2. The advantage of this is the ability to have lower conductor currents while maintaining low load voltages for safety reasons. but it is probably the easiest to understand at first.or splitphase systems. The “Y” configuration is not the only option open to us. • REVIEW: • A single-phase power system is one where there is only one AC voltage source (one source voltage waveform). A polyphase power system can deliver more power at less voltage with smaller-gage conductors than single.16: Alternator ”Y” configuration. + 120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o 120 V ∠ 240o Figure 10. powering a two series-connected loads. 180o phase-shifted from each other.16.10.15: (a) Single-phase alternator. • A split-phase power system is one where there are two voltage sources. The common way to depict this connection scheme is to draw the windings in the shape of a “Y” like Figure 10. • A polyphase power system uses multiple voltage sources at different phase angles from each other (many “phases” of voltage waveforms at work). . a common point (the node where we attached the “neutral” conductor).

which will hits its peak 120o after winding 1. These winding sets are spaced around the circumference of the rotor’s rotation at the desired angle(s). Since voltmeters and ammeters would be useless in telling us what the phase rotation of an operating power system is. then winding 3).17) and watch what happens as the magnet rotates. This sequence of phase shifts has a definite order. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS • The phase-shifted voltage sources necessary for a polyphase power system are created in alternators with multiple sets of wire windings. (Figure 10. (Figure 10. the voltage and current magnitudes will all be the same.18) However.18). if we reverse the rotation of the alternator’s shaft (turn it counter-clockwise). winding 3 will generate its peak instantaneous voltage exactly 120o (of alternator shaft rotation) after winding 2. phase rotation will make no difference at all. Whether 1-2-3 or 3-2-1. as we will see shortly. Now. 10. Where we decide to place the windings will dictate the amount of phase shift between the windings’ AC voltage waveforms. winding 2a winding 1a S winding 3a winding 1b winding 3b N winding 2b Figure 10. we .296 CHAPTER 10. If the magnet is rotating clockwise. or 240o leading) and winding 3 an angle of -240o (or 120o leading).3 Phase rotation Let’s take the three-phase alternator design laid out earlier (Figure 10. This order keeps repeating itself as long as we continue to rotate the alternator’s shaft. the order is 1-2-3 (winding 1 peaks first. we’ll have 3-2-1. For clockwise rotation of the shaft. If we’re using a polyphase voltage source to power resistive loads. If we make winding 1 our “reference” voltage source for phase angle (0o ). The magnet passes by each pole pair at different positions in the rotational movement of the shaft.17: Three-phase alternator The phase angle shift of 120o is a function of the actual rotational angle shift of the three pairs of windings (Figure 10. There are some applications of three-phase power.19) The order of voltage waveform sequences in a polyphase system is called phase rotation or phase sequence. Instead of 1-2-3. winding 2’s waveform will be leading 120o ahead of 1 instead of lagging. them winding 2. that depend on having phase rotation being one way or the other. the magnet will pass by the pole pairs in the opposite sequence. and 3 will be another 120o ahead of 2. then winding 2 will have a phase angle of -120o (120o lagging.

2.3 1 2 3 TIME Figure 10.2. .3.18: Clockwise rotation phase sequence: 1-2-3.1.1 3 2 1 TIME Figure 10. phase sequence: Counterclockwise rotation phase sequence: 3-2-1.3. PHASE ROTATION 297 phase sequence: 1.2.2.

the circuit being balanced.1 volts and the voltage across phase 2 lamp (between nodes .21: SPICE circuit for phase sequence detector. One ingenious circuit design uses a capacitor to introduce a phase shift between voltage and current.298 CHAPTER 10. the capacitor introduces a phase shift between voltage and current in the third leg of the circuit equal to 90o .20. the two lamps would glow at equal brightness. ”phase rotation detector – sequence = v1-v2-v3” 1 + 0 + 2 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o 120 V ∠ 120o R1 3 3 C1 1 2650 Ω 4 1 µF R2 2 2650 Ω Figure 10.20: Phase sequence detector compares brightness of two lamps. which is then used to detect the sequence by way of comparison between the brightness of two indicator lamps in Figure 10.21). POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS need to have some other kind of instrument capable of doing the job. This phase shift. skews the voltage and current values across the two lamps according to their phase shifts relative to phase 3. The capacitor is sized to have approximately the same amount of reactance at system frequency as each lamp’s resistance. The following SPICE analysis demonstrates what will happen: (Figure 10. The two lamps are of equal filament resistance and wattage. greater than 0o but less than 120o . to phase #1 C to phase #2 to phase #3 Figure 10. However. The resulting phase shift from the capacitor causes the voltage across phase 1 lamp (between nodes 1 and 4) to fall to 48. If the capacitor were to be replaced by a resistor of equal value to the lamps’ resistance.

However.4) v(3.795E+02 4.4) .4) v(2.610E+02 Here.1 volts.4) v(3.4) v(3.end freq v(1.5 volts. .4) . 3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1 .ac lin 1 60 60 . . What is commonly designated as a “1-2-3” phase rotation could just as well be called “2-3-1” or “3-1-2.10. making the first lamp dim and the second lamp bright. PHASE ROTATION phase rotation detector -. the opposite rotation .print ac v(1.sequence = v1-v2-v3 v1 1 0 ac 120 0 sin v2 2 0 ac 120 120 sin v3 3 0 ac 120 240 sin r1 1 4 2650 r2 2 4 2650 c1 3 4 1u .000E+01 4.610E+02 299 2 and 4) to rise to 179.” going from left to right in the number string above. Just the opposite will happen if the phase sequence is reversed: ”phase rotation detector – sequence = v3-v2-v1 ” phase rotation detector -.4) v(2.3.4) v(2. We’ve investigated how phase rotation is produced (the order in which pole pairs get passed by the alternator’s rotating magnet) and how it can be changed by reversing the alternator’s shaft rotation.print ac v(1. This trick makes more sense if we take another look at a running phase sequence of a three-phase voltage source: 1-2-3 rotation: 3-2-1 rotation: 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 .4) v(3.4) v(2.sequence = v3-v2-v1 v1 1 0 ac 120 240 sin v2 2 0 ac 120 120 sin v3 3 0 ac 120 0 sin r1 1 4 2650 r2 2 4 2650 c1 3 4 1u .(”phase rotation detector – sequence = v3-v2-v1”) the first lamp receives 179.000E+01 1. .810E+01 1. There is a much easier way to reverse phase sequence than reversing alternator rotation: just exchange any two of the three “hot” wires going to a three-phase load. reversal of the alternator’s shaft rotation is not usually an option open to an end-user of electrical power supplied by a nationwide grid (“the” alternator actually being the combined total of all alternators in all power plants feeding the grid).5 volts while the second receives only 48.810E+01 1.795E+02 1. .4) lin 1 60 60 .4) 6.end freq v(1. Likewise.

4 Polyphase motor design Perhaps the most important benefit of polyphase AC power over single-phase is the design and operation of AC motors. but we will leave those details to another lesson).22: All possibilities of swapping any two wires. is the order in which the voltage waveforms of a polyphase AC source reach their respective peaks.22. • REVIEW: • Phase rotation. the phase rotation ends up being reversed (1-2-3 gets changed to 2-1-3. • Phase rotation can be reversed by swapping any two of the three “hot” leads supplying three-phase power to a three-phase load. as shown in the operation of a phase rotation detector circuit. 10. Original 1-2-3 phase rotation 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 End result 2 1 3 1 3 2 3 2 1 (wires 1 and 2 swapped) phase rotation = 2-1-3 (wires 2 and 3 swapped) phase rotation = 1-3-2 (wires 1 and 3 swapped) phase rotation = 3-2-1 Figure 10. (Other AC motor designs are not quite this simple. but it will have impact on unbalanced reactive loads. No matter which pair of “hot” wires out of the three we choose to swap. consisting of stationary wire windings and a rotating magnet assembly. or phase sequence. For a three-phase system. all equivalent).” Starting out with a phase rotation of 3-2-1. 1-3-2 or 3-2-1. some types of AC motors are virtually identical in construction to their alternator (generator) counterparts. . we can try all the possibilities for swapping any two of the wires at a time and see what happens to the resulting sequence in Figure 10. there are only two possible phase sequences: 1-2-3 and 3-2-1. corresponding to the two possible directions of alternator rotation. • Phase rotation has no impact on resistive loads.300 CHAPTER 10. As we studied in the first chapter of this book. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS (3-2-1) could just as easily be called “2-1-3” or “1-3-2.

24. . It could just as easily be powered in a counter-clockwise direction by the same AC voltage waveform a in Figure 10.24: Counterclockwise AC motor operation.10.23: Clockwise AC motor operation. (Figure 10. If the rotating magnet is able to keep up with the frequency of the alternating current energizing the electromagnet windings (coils). it will continue to be pulled around clockwise. Step #1 N S S I I + N N S Step #2 N S Step #3 S N S S N N Step #4 S N + I I - Figure 10.4. clockwise is not the only valid direction for this motor’s shaft to spin.23) However. POLYPHASE MOTOR DESIGN Step #1 N S N I I + S N S Step #2 N S 301 Step #3 S N N S S N Step #4 S N + I I - Figure 10.

The natural question should arise at this point: how can the motor get started in the intended direction if it can run either way just as well? The answer is that these motors need a little help getting started. the magnetic rotor can spin in either direction.25: Unidirectional-starting AC two-phase motor. What makes the difference between the two types of bulb strings? Answer: phase shift! Examine a string of lights where every other bulb is lit at any given time as in (Figure 10. more efficient motors). In fact. it comes from an additional set of windings positioned differently from the main set. Once helped to spin in a particular direction. The line current and safety advantages of polyphase power over single phase power were discovered later. Usually. Have you ever seen a row of blinking light bulbs such as the kind used in Christmas decorations? Some strings appear to “move” in a definite direction as the bulbs alternately glow and darken in sequence. What can be a confusing concept is made much clearer through analogy. current.26) That phase shift creates magnetic fields from coils 2a and 2b that are equally out of step with the fields from coils 1a and 1b. (Figure 10.27) .25) winding 2’s voltage waveform is 90 degrees out of phase with winding 1’s voltage waveform winding 2a winding 1a S winding 1b N winding 2b winding 2’s voltage waveform is 90 degrees out of phase with winding 1’s voltage waveform Figure 10. It is this phase rotation that pulls the rotating magnet around in a definite direction. These supplementary coils are typically connected in series with a capacitor to introduce a phase shift in current between the two sets of windings. The result is a set of magnetic fields with a definite phase rotation. so do the respective magnetic fields generated by the motor’s stationary windings. It was this concept of a rotating magnetic field that inspired Nikola Tesla to design the world’s first polyphase electrical systems (simply to make simpler. and energized with an AC voltage that is out of phase with the main power. and magnetic poles produced by the coils). Polyphase AC motors require no such trickery to spin in a definite direction. This is a common trait of all single-phase AC “induction” and “synchronous” motors: they have no normal or “correct” direction of rotation. the combination of all three phase winding sets working together creates what is often called a rotating magnetic field. Where that “help” comes from for a single-phase AC motor to get going in one direction can vary. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Notice that with the exact same sequence of polarity cycles (voltage. Other strings just blink on and off with no apparent motion. Because their supply voltage waveforms already have a definite rotation sequence. (Figure 10.302 CHAPTER 10. they will continue to spin that way as long as AC power is maintained to the windings.

4. Figure 10.27: Phase sequence 1-2-1-2: lamps appear to move. .10.26: Capacitor phase shift adds second phase. POLYPHASE MOTOR DESIGN 303 1a 2a 1b C I 2b I these two branch currents are out of phase with each other Figure 10.

The blinking pattern will either appear to move clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the phase sequence. Now imagine this blinking string of bulbs arranged into a circle as in Figure 10. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS When all of the “1” bulbs are lit. With polyphase motors. Plus. and these three sets are equally out of phase with each other in Figure 10. It should come as no surprise that the appearance of motion will reverse if the phase sequence of the bulbs is reversed.28)).29 appear to be “moving” in a clockwise direction because they are arranged around a circle instead of a straight line. the bulbs will appear to “move” from left to right. the rotating magnetic field necessary for self-starting must to be created by way of capacitive phase shift. This is analogous to a three-phase AC motor with three sets of windings energized by voltage sources of three different phase shifts in Figure 10.29. the direction of shaft rotation for polyphase motors is very easily reversed: just swap any two “hot” wires going to the motor. With singlephase motors. 1 all "1" bulbs lit 1 all "2" bulbs lit 1 all "3" bulbs lit 1 all "1" bulbs lit 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Time 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 phase sequence = 1-2-3 bulbs appear to be "moving" from left to right Figure 10. With phase shifts of less than 180o we get true rotation of the magnetic field. which can run just as easily in either direction.” Now let’s examine a string of lights where there are three sets of bulbs to be sequenced instead of just two. Now the lights in Figure 10. the necessary phase shifts are there already. there is no definite “motion” to the bulbs’ light. and vice versa. Your eyes could follow a “motion” from left to right just as easily as from right to left.304 CHAPTER 10. This is analogous to the singlephase AC motor. If the lighting sequence is 1-2-3 (the sequence shown in (Figure 10. With this blinking sequence.28. Technically.28: Phase sequence: 1-2-3: bulbs appear to move left to right. and it will run in the opposite direction! • REVIEW: .30. the “2” bulbs are dark. but which cannot start on its own because its magnetic field alternation lacks a definite “rotation. the “1” and “2” bulb blinking sequences are 180o out of phase (exactly opposite each other).

bulbs appear to rotate clockwise. 3-2-1 spins the magnet counterclockwise.29: Circular arrangement.30: Three-phase AC motor: A phase sequence of 1-2-3 spins the magnet clockwise. winding 2a winding 1a S winding 3a winding 1b winding 3b N winding 2b Figure 10. POLYPHASE MOTOR DESIGN 305 2 3 all "1" bulbs lit 1 1 3 2 2 3 The bulbs appear to "move" in a clockwise direction all "2" bulbs lit 1 1 3 2 2 3 all "3" bulbs lit 1 1 3 2 Figure 10.4.10. .

although it certainly helps alleviate potential problems should one element of a three-phase load fail open. . (Figure 10. • Single-phase induction motors often use an auxiliary winding connected in series with a capacitor to create the necessary phase shift. The three conductors leading away from the voltage sources (windings) toward a load are typically called lines.32. • Swapping any two “hot” wires on a polyphase AC motor will reverse its phase sequence. This configuration of voltage sources is characterized by a common connection point joining one side of each source.5 Three-phase Y and Delta configurations Initially we explored the idea of three-phase power systems by connecting three voltage sources together in what is commonly known as the “Y” (or “star”) configuration. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS • AC “induction” and “synchronous” motors work by having a rotating magnet follow the alternating magnetic fields produced by stationary wire windings.306 CHAPTER 10. there may or may not (Figure 10. while the windings themselves are typically called phases. If we draw a circuit showing each voltage source to be a coil of wire (alternator or transformer winding) and do some slight rearranging. • Single-phase AC motors of this type need help to get started spinning in a particular direction. • By introducing a phase shift of less than 180o to the magnetic fields in such a motor.33) be a neutral wire attached at the junction point in the middle. 10.31) 120 V ∠ 0o + + + 120 V ∠ 240o 120 V ∠ 120o Figure 10. In a Yconnected system. • Polyphase motors don’t need such measures. as discussed earlier. a definite direction of shaft rotation can be established. their direction of rotation is fixed by the phase sequence of the voltage they’re powered by. the “Y” configuration becomes more obvious in Figure 10.31: Three-phase “Y” connection has three voltage sources connected to a common point. thus reversing its shaft rotation.

three-wire “Y” connection does not use the neutral wire.5. 3-wire "Y" connection "line" + 120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o 120 V ∠ 240o "line" Figure 10.32: Three-phase. "line" "neutral" 3-phase. THREE-PHASE Y AND DELTA CONFIGURATIONS 307 "line" + 120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o 120 V ∠ 240o "line" Figure 10. "line" (no "neutral" wire) .33: Three-phase. four-wire “Y” connection uses a ”common” fourth wire.10.

we need to be specific as to where we’re measuring. and line currents equal to phase currents. and the latter to current through any one component. Take close notice of the polarity for each winding in Figure 10. the line voltage is roughly 208 volts. Phase voltage refers to the voltage measured across any one component (source winding or load impedance) in a balanced three-phase source or load. this is not the case. The terms line current and phase current follow the same logic: the former referring to current through any one line conductor. Starting with the top winding and progressing counter-clockwise. For the circuit shown above. three-wire ∆ connection has no common. then there will be no voltage available to push current around and around that loop. Y-connected sources and loads always have line voltages greater than phase voltages.308 CHAPTER 10. the “Y” configuration is not the only valid one for connecting three-phase voltage source or load elements together. With the above circuit. One quick check of this is to use Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law to see if the three voltages around the loop add up to zero. the phase voltage is 120 volts. Line voltage refers to the amount of voltage measured between any two line conductors in a balanced three-phase system.” for its geometric resemblance to the Greek letter of the same name (∆). the line voltage will be equal to the phase voltage times the square root of 3: For "Y" circuits: Eline = 3 Ephase Iline = Iphase However. "line" 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o + + 120 V ∠ 120o "line" Figure 10. our KVL expression looks something like this: "line" - . At first glance it seems as though three voltage sources like this would create a short-circuit. Another configuration is known as the “Delta. and consequently there will be no circulating current. If the Y-connected source or load is balanced. electrons flowing around the triangle with nothing but the internal impedance of the windings to hold them back. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS When we measure voltage and current in three-phase systems. If they do. however.34. Due to the phase angles of these three voltage sources.34: Three-phase.

35: Voltage across open ∆ should be zero. Not surprisingly. telling us that no current will circulate within the triangular loop of windings when that connection is made complete. Starting with the right winding (120 V equation looks like this: 120o ) and progressing counter-clockwise.35) 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V ∠ 240o + 120 V ∠ 120o + - Ebreak should equal 0 V Figure 10. the resulting equations for a ∆ configuration are as follows: . because each line conductor attaches at a node between two windings. Conversely.5. if we add these three vector quantities together. Another way to verify the fact that these three voltage sources can be connected together in a loop without resulting in circulating currents is to open up the loop at one junction point and calculate voltage across the break: (Figure 10.10. our KVL (120 V ∠ 120o) + (120 ∠ 0o) + (120 V ∠ 240o) + Ebreak = 0 0 + Ebreak = 0 Ebreak = 0 Sure enough. there will be zero voltage across the break. the line current will be the vector sum of the two joining phase currents. Having established that a ∆-connected three-phase voltage source will not burn itself to a crisp due to circulating currents. THREE-PHASE Y AND DELTA CONFIGURATIONS 309 (120 V ∠ 0o) + (120 V ∠ 240o) + (120 V ∠ 120o) Does it all equal 0? Yes! Indeed. the line voltage will be equal to the phase voltage. we turn to its practical use as a source of power in three-phase circuits. they do add up to zero. Because each pair of line conductors is connected directly across a single winding in a ∆ circuit.

310 CHAPTER 10. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS For ∆ ("delta") circuits: Eline = Ephase Iline = 3 Iphase Let’s see how this works in an example circuit: (Figure 10.34 amps. Although this circuit would require three number 1 gage copper conductors (at 1000 feet of distance between source and load this equates to a little over 750 pounds of copper for the whole system). it is still less than the 1000+ pounds of copper required for a single-phase system delivering the same power (30 kW) at the same voltage (120 volts conductor-to-conductor).34 A So each line current in this three-phase power system is equal to 144. which is substantially more than the line currents in the Y-connected system we looked at earlier. One might wonder if we’ve lost all the advantages of three-phase power here.36) 120 V ∠ 0o + 120 V o ∠ 240 + 120 V ∠ 120o 10 kW + - 10 kW 10 kW Figure 10.36: The load on the ∆ source is wired in a ∆.33 amps: I= I= P E 10 kW 120 V I = 83.33 A (for each load resistor and source winding) Iline = Iline = 3 Iphase 3 (83. . given the fact that we have such greater conductor currents.33 A) Iline = 144. the current in each phase of this circuit will be 83. The answer is no. necessitating thicker. With each load resistance receiving 120 volts from its respective phase winding at the source. more costly wire.

the line voltage is still 120 V. Perhaps the greatest advantage of the ∆-connected source is its fault tolerance.39) with the same winding failure in a Y-connected source In this case. This is not necessary (or even possible!) in a ∆-connected circuit.38. However. Compare this fault tolerance with a Y-connected system suffering an open source winding in Figure 10. 120/208) or preferred for lower line currents. two of the resistances suffer reduced voltage while one remains at the original line voltage. if dual voltages are needed (e. and load phase voltage is still 120 V. ∆-connected sources are preferred for reliability.5. Y-connected systems are . With each load phase element directly connected across a respective source phase winding. a neutral wire was needed in case one of the phase loads were to fail open (or be turned off). THREE-PHASE Y AND DELTA CONFIGURATIONS 311 One distinct advantage of a ∆-connected system is its lack of a neutral wire.37) without affecting load voltage or current! 120 V ∠ 0o + + 120 V ∠ 120o 120 V winding failed open! 120 V 120 V - Figure 10.g. in order to keep the phase voltages at the load from changing. With a ∆-connected load. two load resistances suffer reduced voltage while the third loses supply voltage completely! For this reason. It is possible for one of the windings in a ∆-connected three-phase source to fail open (Figure 10. The only consequence of a source winding failing open for a ∆-connected source is increased phase current in the remaining windings.37: Even with a source winding failure.10. the phase voltage will be constant regardless of open failures in the load elements. The only difference is extra current in the remaining functional source windings.38: Open “Y” source winding halves the voltage on two loads of a ∆ connected load. 208. A Y-connected load suffers an even worse fate (Figure 10. 208 V + 120 V o ∠0 + 120 V ∠ 120o - - 104 V 104 V winding failed open! Figure 10. With a Yconnected system.

39: Open source winding of a ”Y-Y” system halves the voltage on two loads. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS + 120 V o ∠0 - - + 120 V ∠ 120o 104 V 0V 104 V winding failed open! Figure 10. while line current is equal to phase current times the square root of 3. • Phase current is the current through any one component comprising a three-phase source or load.312 CHAPTER 10. For ∆ ("delta") circuits: Eline = Ephase • Iline = 3 Iphase . • Line current is the current through any one line between a three-phase source and load. while line current is equal to phase current. • In balanced “Y” circuits. line voltage is equal to phase voltage times the square root of 3. the configuration of choice. line voltage is equal to phase voltage. and looses one load entirely. • Line voltage is the voltage measured between any two lines in a three-phase circuit. For "Y" circuits: Eline = 3 Ephase • Iline = Iphase • In balanced ∆ circuits. • Phase voltage is the voltage measured across a single component in a three-phase source or load. • REVIEW: • The conductors connected to the three points of a three-phase source or load are called lines. • The three components comprising a three-phase source or load are called phases.

the other two can still maintain full line voltages to the load).6 Three-phase transformer circuits Since three-phase is used so often for power distribution systems.Secondary • • • • Y Y ∆ ∆ Y ∆ Y ∆ The reasons for choosing a Y or ∆ configuration for transformer winding connections are the same as for any other three-phase application: Y connections provide the opportunity for multiple voltages.40: Three phase transformer core has three sets of windings. special three-phase transformers are built for those tasks. Those sets of primary and secondary windings will be connected in either ∆ or Y configurations to form a complete unit. and less weight than their modular counterparts. However. less size. as regular single-phase transformers can be ganged together to transform power between two three-phase systems in a variety of configurations.6. Whether the winding sets share a common core assembly or each winding pair is a separate transformer.40. THREE-PHASE TRANSFORMER CIRCUITS 313 • ∆-connected three-phase voltage sources give greater reliability in the event of winding failure than Y-connected sources. Essentially it looks like three single-phase transformers sharing a joined core as in Figure 10. eliminating the requirement for a special three-phase transformer.10. while ∆ connections enjoy a higher level of reliability (if one winding fails open. However. it makes sense that we would need three-phase transformers to be able to step voltages up or down. Y-connected sources can deliver the same amount of power with less line current than ∆-connected sources. A three-phase transformer is made of three sets of primary and secondary windings. the winding connection options are the same: • Primary . and are able to perform with less material requirement. Three-phase transformer core Figure 10. . The various combinations of ways that these windings can be connected together in will be the focus of this section. This is only partially true. each set wound around one leg of an iron core assembly. 10.

A3 may be wired either “∆” or “Y”.43 how all the winding ends marked with dots are connected to their respective phases A.44) Note how the secondary windings (bottom set. First. A1 B1 C1 T1 A2 B2 C2 Figure 10. B. forming the ∆ loop.314 CHAPTER 10. B3 . At T2 T3 . B2 . Remember the proper phase relationships between the phase windings of ∆ and Y: (Figure 10. I’ll show the wiring connections for a Y-Y configuration: Figure 10.42. as may outputs B1 . Figure 10. A2 .42: Inputs A1 . Let me illustrate. we’ll take a look at a Y-∆ configuration: (Figure 10.44) are connected in a chain. Three individual transformers are to be connected together to transform power from one three-phase system to another.41) + ∠ 0o + - + ∠ 120o o +∠0 o ∠ 240 (Y) ∠ 240 o + ( ∆) - + ∠ 120o Figure 10. Getting this phasing correct when the windings aren’t shown in regular Y or ∆ configuration can be tricky. the “dot” side of one winding connected to the “non-dot” side of the next. (∆) The winding polarities must stack together in a complementary manner ( + to -). and C. while the non-dot ends are connected together to form the centers of each “Y”.41: (Y) The center point of the “Y” must tie either all the “-” or all the “+” winding points together.43 Note in Figure 10. Now. Having both primary and secondary winding sets connected in “Y” formations allows for the use of neutral conductors (N1 and N2 ) in each power system. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Probably the most important aspect of connecting three sets of primary and secondary windings together to form a three-phase transformer bank is paying attention to proper winding phasing (the dots used to denote “polarity” of windings). starting with Figure 10.

.43: Phase wiring for “Y-Y” transformer.44: Phase wiring for “Y-∆” transformer. T2 T3 Y-∆ A1 B1 C1 N1 T1 T2 T3 A2 B2 C2 Figure 10.6.10. THREE-PHASE TRANSFORMER CIRCUITS 315 Y-Y A1 B1 C1 N1 T1 N2 A2 B2 C2 Figure 10.

weight. Bear in mind. from a source power system having no neutral.45.48) shows a bank of step-up transformers at the Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam in Washington state. The following photograph (Figure 10. representing a ∆-∆ configuration with a missing winding in both the primary and secondary sides: (Figure 10. Several transformers (green in color) may be seen from this vantage point. ∆-∆ connection schemes (Figure 10. we turn to the ∆-∆ configuration: (Figure 10. ∆-Y A1 B1 C1 T1 N2 A2 B2 C2 T2 T3 Figure 10. If one of the two transformers were to fail. some power system designers choose to create a three-phase transformer bank with only two transformers. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS every connection point between pairs of windings. Considering that a ∆ configuration can operate satisfactorily missing one winding.46) are preferred because of the inherent reliability of the ∆ configuration. each of the two transformers have to be oversized to handle the same amount of power as three in a standard ∆ configuration. wired together in some form of three-phase configuration. The photograph doesn’t reveal the primary winding connections. the load voltage and current would definitely be affected.45: Phase wiring for “∆-Y” transformer. and they are grouped in threes: three transformers per hydroelectric generator. Such a configuration (Figure 10. Now. being that there is only one large high-voltage insulator protruding from . that with one winding set missing from the ∆ shape. but it appears the secondaries are connected in a Y configuration. let’s examine a ∆-Y system in Figure 10. however.316 CHAPTER 10.45) would allow for the provision of multiple voltages (lineto-line or line-to-neutral) in the second power system. And finally. this system no longer provides the fault tolerance of a normal ∆-∆ system. and cost advantages are often worth it.” Of course. but the overall size. B.47) This configuration is called “V” or “Open-∆. and C).46) When there is no need for a neutral conductor in the secondary power system. a connection is made to a line of the second power system (A.

46: Phase wiring for “∆-∆” transformer.47: “V” or “open-∆” provides 2-φ power with only two transformers.10.6. "Open ∆" A1 B1 C1 T1 T2 A2 B2 C2 Figure 10. . THREE-PHASE TRANSFORMER CIRCUITS 317 ∆-∆ A1 B1 C1 T1 T2 T3 A2 B2 C2 Figure 10.

causing non-sinusoidal current waveforms. With AC power systems where the source voltage waveform coming from an AC generator (alternator) is supposed to be a single-frequency sine wave. which could only be true in a Y system. Examples of nonlinear components include gas-discharge lamps. transformers (primary winding magnetization current is usually non-sinusoidal due to the B/H saturation curve of the core). POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS each transformer. we explored the concept of harmonics in AC systems: frequencies that are integer multiples of the fundamental source frequency. there should be no harmonic content . TRIACs). semiconductor power-control devices (diodes. This would be true were it not for nonlinear components. Even incandescent lamps generate slightly nonsinusoidal currents.49) Most nonlinear loads produce . the sloping concrete wall is the downstream face of the dam: Figure 10.48: Step-up transfromer bank at Grand Coulee hydroelectric dam. ideally. The building to the left is the powerhouse. As we learned in the mixed-frequency chapter.318 CHAPTER 10. with no even integer multiples. This suggests the other side of each transformer’s secondary winding is at or near ground potential. .7 Harmonics in polyphase power systems In the chapter on mixed-frequency signals. as the filament resistance changes throughout the cycle due to rapid fluctuations in temperature. where the generators and turbines are housed. 10. USA. (Figure 10. transistors. when magnetic fields within the motor’s core operate near saturation levels). SCRs. Nonlinear components draw current disproportionately with respect to the source voltage. the harmonic frequencies will be odd integer multiples of the fundamental source frequency only. When the nonsinusoidal waveform in question is symmetrical above and below its average centerline. undistorted. . Washington state. and electric motors (again. On the right. any distortion of an otherwise sine-wave shaped waveform constitutes the presence of harmonic frequencies.

Being completely linear in nature.49: Examples of symmetrical waveforms – odd harmonics only. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 319 current waveforms like this.7.10. 10th. A SPICE simulation of this circuit (SPICE listing: “linear load simulation”) with Fourier analysis on the voltage measured across Rline should show us the harmonic content of this circuit’s line current. 6th. and so even-numbered harmonics (2nd. Even though half of the possible harmonic frequencies are eliminated by the typically symmetrical distortion of nonlinear loads. 8th. In this case. Transformer overheating due to eddy current losses. 4th. See SPICE output “Fourier components of transient response v(2. Some of these problems are general to all power systems.51) The Rsource and Rline resistances in this circuit do more than just mimic the real world: they also provide convenient shunt resistances for measuring currents in the SPICE simulation: by reading voltage across a 1 Ω resistance. assuming a 60 Hz source. however. First. we should expect no harmonics other than the 1st (fundamental) of 60 Hz. Examples of nonsymmetrical waveforms with even harmonics present are shown for reference in Figure 10. and normally this would result in a sinewave graph output. and it is these problems to which this section is specifically devoted. there are some problems caused by harmonic currents that are specific to polyphase power systems.) are absent or only minimally present in most AC power systems. It is helpful to be able to simulate nonlinear loads in SPICE so as to avoid a lot of complex mathematics and obtain a more intuitive understanding of harmonic effects. However. 12th. can occur in any AC power system where there is significant harmonic content. I’ve purposely omitted the waveform display for .52. the odd harmonics can still cause problems. A . since E = IR. single-phase or otherwise. etc. we’ll begin our simulation with a very simple AC circuit: a single sine-wave voltage source with a purely linear load and all associated resistances: (Figure 10.50. you obtain a direct indication of current through it. for example. Figure 10.plot command appears in the SPICE netlist. Pure sine wave = 1st harmonic only Figure 10.50: Examples of nonsymmetrical waveforms – even harmonics present.3)” and Figure 10.

3) .000 123.453E-11 0.691 .400E+02 3.343 8 4.000000 4.461 108.651E-11 0.338E-11 0.407E-12 0.657 125.400E+02 9.800E+02 7.3) .461 6 3.267 -11.399 7 4.324 93.000000 51.000000 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.000 2 1.four 60 v(2.198E-01 1.028E-12 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000000 -72.000000 -34.267 5 3.3) dc component = 4.end Fourier components of transient response v(2.320 CHAPTER 10.793E-12 0. linear load simulation vsource 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource 1 2 1 rline 2 3 1 rload 3 0 1k .931E-11 0.51: SPICE circuit with single sine-wave source. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 2 Rsource 1 Vsource 0 120 V 1Ω Rline 1Ω 1 kΩ 3 Rload 0 Figure 10.tran 0.000000 21.000E+01 1.056E-12 0.624 4 2.122 37.000000 -83.399 30.options itl5=0 .000000 -41.plot tran v(2.000000 53.800E+02 4.600E+02 3.000000 36.200E+02 2.200E+02 5.324 9 5.716E-11 0.122 3 1.691 total harmonic distortion = 0.000E+02 1.5m 30m 0 1u .376 76.

I’ll show the waveform plot in Figure 10. Another is to add some AC current sources in parallel with the load resistor.52: Frequency domain plot of single frequency component. given a source voltage of 120 volts and a load resistance of 1 kΩ. No discrete Fourier transform is perfect. Here we see the same 0. (See Figure 10. 180 Hz current source at work. which is as far as SPICE goes in performing Fourier analysis. Connected in parallel with the 1 kΩ load resistor. but appearing in the 3rd harmonic row we see 49. We show 0.1198 amps (1. See SPICE listing: “linear load simulation”. but since current sources can be fine-tuned to produce any arbitrary amount of current (a convenient feature). This can be done in two fundamentally different ways. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 321 Figure 10. and so we see very small harmonic currents indicated (in the pico-amp range!) for all frequencies up to the 9th harmonic (in the table ). brevity’s sake – the .54 just so you can see the effects of this 3rd-harmonic current on the total current. which is our expected load current: about 120 mA.plot command is in the netlist simply to satisfy a quirk of SPICE’s Fourier transform function. since current sources of known value lend themselves better to mathematical network analysis than components with highly complex response characteristics. its current will add with the resistor’s to make a nonsinusoidal total line current. I’d like to simulate a nonlinear load so as to generate harmonic currents. Next. Since we’re letting SPICE do all the math work. we have a current source of 50 mA magnitude and a frequency of 180 Hz. One way is to design a load using nonlinear components such as diodes or other semiconductor devices which are easy to simulate with SPICE. the complexity of a semiconductor component would cause no trouble for us.7. which would ordinarily be a plain sine wave.10. which is three times the source frequency of 60 Hz.1198 amps of 60 Hz (fundamental) current as we did in the first simulation.9 mA: our 50 mA.198E-01) for the “Fourier component” of the 1st harmonic. The latter method is often preferred by engineers for simulating harmonics.53 and SPICE listing: “Nonlinear load simulation”.3)”) the mixed frequencies are unmixed and presented separately. In this circuit. Why don’t .55 and “Fourier components of transient response v(2. In the Fourier analysis. I’ll choose the latter approach shown in Figure 10. or the fundamental frequency.

53: SPICE circuit: 60 Hz source with 3rd harmonic added.5m 30m 0 1u .four 60 v(2. Nonlinear load simulation vsource 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource 1 2 1 rline 2 3 1 rload 3 0 1k i3har 3 0 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) .3) .plot tran v(2.3) . POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS 2 Rsource 1 Vsource 0 120 V 60 Hz 1Ω Rline 1Ω 1 kΩ 3 3 Rload 50 mA 180 Hz 0 0 Figure 10.322 CHAPTER 10.options itl5=0 .54: SPICE time-domain plot showing sum of 60 Hz source and 3rd harmonic of 180 Hz.tran 0. .end Figure 10.

000000 169.000 4 2.000000 -72.582 6 3.570 216.570 3 1.329E-10 0.546 241.198E-01 1.600E+02 5.871E-11 0. .3) dc component = 1.074E-10 0.200E+02 8.000E+01 1.349E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000 -97.000 2 1.736E-11 0.619E-10 0.000000 160.582 212.000000 156.7.071 228.546 5 3.609E-11 0.498 Figure 10.000000 140.400E+02 1.800E+02 4.000E+02 3.800E+02 1.10.000000 67.666663 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.55: SPICE Fourier plot showing 60 Hz source and 3rd harmonic of 180 Hz.000 139. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 323 Fourier components of transient response v(2.407E-11 0.416667 144.990E-02 0.498 total harmonic distortion = 41.772 9 5.772 232.200E+02 1.845 7 4.000000 177.400E+02 2.845 249.071 8 4.000000 -169.

and each of those harmonic currents would appear in the Fourier analysis breakdown.plot tran v(2.options itl5=0 . 5th. 5th. 7th. If we were to add more current sources to the “load. As before. Nonlinear load: 1st. and 9th harmonics present 3 3 3 3 3 2 Rsource 1 Vsource 0 1Ω Rline 1Ω 1 kΩ 120 V 60 Hz Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 0 0 0 0 0 Figure 10. so some of its current is shunted through the load and never goes through the line back to the source. 3rd. See Figure 10.58 and SPICE listing “Y-Y source/load 4-wire system with harmonics”. 7th. and 9th harmonics present. So far.” we would see further distortion of the line current waveform from the ideal sine-wave shape.9 mA each.57) every harmonic current source is equally represented in the line current. Things get more interesting when we make it a three-phase simulation. . and one for the voltage across the neutral resistor. where one part of the load is “normal” (a resistor) and the other part is imitated by a current source.5m 30m 0 1u . It’s an inevitable consequence of this type of simulation. See Figure 10.3) .end As you can see from the Fourier analysis.56 and SPICE listing: “Nonlinear load simulation”. Two Fourier analyses will be performed: one for the voltage across a line resistor. 3rd.tran 0.56: Nonlinear load: 1st. at 49. (Figure 10.324 CHAPTER 10. Nonlinear load simulation vsource 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource 1 2 1 rline 2 3 1 rload 3 0 1k i3har 3 0 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har 3 0 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har 3 0 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har 3 0 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) . this is just a single-phase power system simulation. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS we see the entire 50 mA through the line? Because that current source is connected across the 1 kΩ load resistor.3) .four 60 v(2. reading voltages across fixed resistances of 1 Ω each gives direct indications of current through those resistors.

.800E+02 2.000 33.200E+02 4.062 -72.873 72.600E+02 6.800E+02 4.200E+02 1.000 157.000 8 4.000000 -38.000000 -93.3)”.000 2 1.908 3 1.469E-09 0.000 4 2.400E+02 5.416666 -144.299E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.908 216.198E-01 1.7.000E+02 4.900E-09 0.416666 72.400E+02 4.000000 85.416667 144.57: Fourier analysis: “Fourier components of transient response v(2.990E-02 0.990E-02 0.000000 -72.000 -21.416667 0.742E-09 0.990E-02 0.000 total harmonic distortion = 83.000E+01 1.219 144.000 -44.000000 -116.10.271E-09 0.990E-02 0. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 325 Fourier components of transient response v(2.062 7 4.000 Figure 10.781 9 5.000 6 3.873 5 3.3) dc component = 6.333296 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.

55555m 0) i5har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 300 5.55555m 0) rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / 240 deg) vsource3 5 0 sin(0 120 60 11.plot tran v(2.55555m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 10 7 1k i3har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 180 11.55555m 0) i7har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 420 5.8) .end .four 60 v(2.plot tran v(0.1111m 0) i9har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 540 11.7) .1111m 0) * * analysis stuff . POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Y-Y source/load 4-wire system with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / 0 deg) vsource1 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / 120 deg) vsource2 3 0 sin(0 120 60 5.1111m 0) i5har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 300 11.tran 0.four 60 v(0.55555m 0) i9har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 540 5.5m 100m 12m 1u .options itl5=0 .7) .326 CHAPTER 10.1111m 0) rsource3 5 6 1 * * line and neutral wire resistances rline1 2 8 1 rline2 4 9 1 rline3 6 10 1 rneutral 0 7 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 8 7 1k i3har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 9 7 1k i3har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 180 5.8) .1111m 0) i7har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 420 11.

990 0.000 2 1.200E+02 4.000 6 3.236E-10 0.000 total harmonic distortion = 83.1198 amps.60) In a balanced 3-phase Y load.985 3 1. Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier components of transient response v(2. Each .58: SPICE circuit: analysis of “line current” and “neutral current”.000000 0. (Figure 10.146 0.8)” What should be surprising here is the analysis for the neutral conductor’s current.000 Fourier analysis of neutral current: This is a balanced Y-Y power system. and odd harmonic currents of approximately 50 mA each.000E+02 4. it should come as no surprise that the Fourier analysis for line current in one phase of the 3-phase system is nearly identical to the Fourier analysis for line current in the single-phase system: a fundamental (60 Hz) line current of 0.000 -148.000 -147.415423 0. we would expect the neutral current to be zero.404E-12 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.975E-02 0. Consequently.784E-10 0.985 0.400E+02 4.000000 -147.415422 0.000 172.800E+02 2.146 7 4. Y-Y source/load 4-wire system with harmonics. See Figure 10.400E+02 4.800E+02 4.877E-10 0.811 9 5.000000 172.000000 166. as determined by the voltage drop across the Rneutral resistor between SPICE nodes 0 and 7.200E+02 2.990 5 3.416667 0.990E-02 0.000 8 4.10.000E+01 1. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS Rline 1Ω Rline 1Ω 8 9 327 2 Rsource 1 Vsource 120 V 60 Hz 0o Vsource 0 60 Hz 120 V 240o 1Ω 1Ω 4 Rsource 3 120 V 60 Hz 120o Rneutral 1Ω 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 1 kΩ Rload 1Ω 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 7 Vsource 5 Rsource 6 Rline 1Ω 10 Figure 10.218E-10 0.811 0.975E-02 0.416666 0.000000 -148.198E-01 1.600E+02 1.8) dc component = -6.000 166. each phase identical to the single-phase AC system simulated earlier.7.990E-02 0.59 and Fourier analysis: “Fourier components of transient response v(2.000 4 2.209009 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.

584 9 5.023E-07 2.7638 -180.600E+02 3.000431 91.000E+02 9.913955 59.188 -240.000783 15.080596 119.396E-10 0.4889 -179.7) dc component = 1.103 5 3.800E+02 5.018 -81.200E+02 1.000000 60.337E-07 1.434 -240.400E+02 1.981 6 3.025 -24.257E-09 0.819E-10 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.975E-10 0.000 31.136 -0. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Figure 10.001378 35.999 normalized phase (deg) 0.59: Fourier analysis of line current in balanced Y-Y system Fourier components of transient response v(0.206 3 1.000E+01 4.869E-10 0.800E+02 1.018 2 1.002898 -21.993 8 4.000 4 2.493E-01 344147.200E+02 1.882 7 4.328 CHAPTER 10.121 59.493E-01 344147.264E-06 2.963 -44.017 .400E+02 1.

(Figure 10. In contrast. In a system with no harmonic currents. What this means is that the 3rd-harmonic waveforms of three 120o phase-shifted fundamental-frequency waveforms are actually in phase with each other. With three sources per harmonic frequency in the load. Our Fourier analysis shows only 0. The phase shift figure of 120o generally assumed in three-phase AC systems applies only to the .4337 µA of 1st harmonic when reading voltage across Rneutral . or the 1st harmonic) current is virtually absent from the neutral conductor.7) ” This is exactly what’s happening. with a phase sequence of 1-2-3. both of those currents having negligible magnitude.61) With the three fundamental waveforms equally shifted across the time axis of the graph.3 mA (1. Note that the fundamental frequency (60 Hz. we cannot say the same for harmonic currents in the same system.62. the 3rd and 9th harmonics are strongly represented within the neutral conductor. leaving zero current through the neutral conductor. it is easy to see how they would cancel each other to give a resultant current of zero in the neutral conductor. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 329 Figure 10. it appears our 3rd and 9th harmonic currents in each phase are adding to form the neutral current.10. See Fourier analysis: “Fourier components of transient response v(0. The same may be said about the 5th and 7th harmonics. Examine this plot of balanced phase currents over time. The key to understanding this is made clear in a time-domain graph of phase currents. what a 3rd harmonic waveform for phase 1 would look like superimposed on the graph in Figure 10. or three times the current sources’ values. However. with 149. though.59 phase current – which by itself would go through the neutral wire back to the supplying phase on the source Y – should cancel each other in regard to the neutral conductor because they’re all the same magnitude and all shifted 120o apart. Observe how this harmonic waveform has the same phase relationship to the 2nd and 3rd fundamental waveforms as it does with the 1st: in each positive half-cycle of any of the fundamental waveforms. this is what happens.60: Fourier analysis of neutral current shows other than no harmonics! Compare to line current in Figure 10.7. though it might not be apparent why this is so. individually. you will find exactly two positive half-cycles and one negative half-cycle of the harmonic waveform.493E-01 volts across 1 Ω) each! This is very nearly 150 mA. Let’s consider.

1 2 3 TIME Figure 10. .1.61: Phase sequence 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 of equally spaced waves.2. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS phase sequence: 1.3.62: Third harmonic waveform for phase-1 superimposed on three-phase fundamental waveforms.330 CHAPTER 1 2 3 TIME Figure 10.

Thus. the 15th harmonics. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 331 fundamental frequencies. A phase shift of 360o is the same as a phase shift of 0o . Suppose that A represents one waveform and B another. So. both at the same frequency. unified waveform (shown in bold in (Figure 10. 15th. When relating waveforms of different frequency. not only are the 3rd harmonic waveforms of each fundamental waveform in phase with each other. the 21st harmonics. the most accurate way to represent phase shift is in terms of time. but 3 times that. and the time-shift between A’ and B’ is equivalent to 120o at a frequency three times lower.10. In polyphase power systems with some number of phases other than three. etc. not to their harmonic multiples! If we were to plot all three 3rd-harmonic waveforms on the same graph.63) 1 2 3 TIME Figure 10. The phase shift between A’ and B’ is not 120o (that is the phase shift between A and B). 2. and so on. 3 all coincide when superimposed on the fundamental three-phase waveforms. or 360o at the frequency of A’ and B’. Let’s call the 3rd harmonic of each waveform A’ and B’. The shift between waveforms is only accurately expressed in terms of phase angle when the same angular velocity is assumed.) to significantly contribute to neutral currents. etc.) are generally not significant. 9th. the 18th harmonics. because the A’ and B’ waveforms alternate three times as fast as A and B. the 12th harmonics. Since only odd harmonics appear in systems where waveform distortion is symmetrical about the centerline – and most nonlinear loads create symmetrical distortion – even-numbered multiples of the 3rd harmonic (6th. we would see them precisely overlap and appear as a single.63: Third harmonics for phases 1. but shifted 120o from each other in terms of phase. the 9th harmonics. 12th. this principle may be expressed symbolically. this effect occurs . but so are the 6th harmonics. respectively. For the more mathematically inclined.7. 21st. leaving only the odd-numbered multiples (3rd. A’ and B’ must be in phase with each other: Phase sequence = A-B-C Fundamental A 0o B 120o C 240o 3rd harmonic A’ B’ C’ o o 3x0 3 x 120 3 x 240o (0o) (360o = 0o) (720o = 0o) This characteristic of the 3rd harmonic in a three-phase system also holds true for any integer multiples of the 3rd harmonic. which is to say no phase shift at all. 18th.

“3ω ” represents the 3rd harmonic. but the 3rd and 9th harmonic currents are of negligible magnitude. So.332 CHAPTER 10. For instance. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS with harmonics of the same multiple. right? Unfortunately. Second. The symbol “ω” is used to represent angular velocity. In power systems containing substantial nonlinear loading. and is mathematically equivalent to 2πf. Due to their abundance and significance in three-phase power systems. the 3rd harmonic and its multiples have their own special name: triplen harmonics. In an effort to mitigate these additive triplen currents. The following illustration shows how triplen harmonic currents created at the load add within the neutral conductor. If there is no neutral wire in which triplen currents can flow together. and so on: (Figure 10. All triplen harmonics add with each other in the neutral conductor of a 4-wire Y-connected load. 20th. “ω” represents the fundamental frequency. We’ll re-run the last SPICE simulation without the 1 Ω Rneutral resistor and see what happens: Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier analysis of voltage between the two “Y” center-points: Fourier analysis of load phase voltage: Strange things are happening. The 5th and 7th harmonic currents are present at their normal levels (approximately 50 mA). and thus there is no provision for automatic interruption of these high currents. 8th. doing so just causes a different problem: the load’s “Y” center-point will no longer be at the same potential as the source’s. 12th. the triplen harmonic currents may be of great enough magnitude to cause neutral conductors to overheat. 16th. we see that there is substantial harmonic . the harmonic currents that add in the neutral conductor of a star-connected 4-phase system where the phase shift between fundamental waveforms is 90o would be the 4th. we see that the triplen harmonic currents (3rd and 9th) all but disappear in the lines connecting load to source. meaning that each phase of the load will receive a different voltage than what is produced by the source. as other safety concerns prohibit neutral conductors from having overcurrent protection.64) Source ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line line Load ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω neutral 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω Figure 10. “5ω” represents the 5th harmonic. This is very problematic. First. indeed. then they won’t. one might be tempted to remove the neutral wire entirely.64: “Y-Y”Triplen source/load: Harmonic currents add in neutral conductor. and so on.

options itl5=0 .8) .7.55555m 0) i5har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 300 5.55555m 0) rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / 240 deg) vsource3 5 0 sin(0 120 60 11.four 60 v(2.1111m 0) * * analysis stuff .7) .four 60 v(8.end 333 .1111m 0) i5har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 300 11.1111m 0) i9har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 540 11.plot tran v(2.tran 0.7) .55555m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 10 7 1k i3har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 180 11.10.5m 100m 12m 1u .55555m 0) i9har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 540 5.7) . HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS Y-Y source/load (no neutral) with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / 0 deg) vsource1 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / 120 deg) vsource2 3 0 sin(0 120 60 5.7) .plot tran v(0.1111m 0) rsource3 5 6 1 * * line resistances rline1 2 8 1 rline2 4 9 1 rline3 6 10 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 8 7 1k i3har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 9 7 1k i3har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 180 5.55555m 0) i7har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 420 5.plot tran v(8.1111m 0) i7har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 420 11.8) .four 60 v(0.

747 5 3.016 -90.000000 -19.000000 -111.080596 119.388E-10 0.000 90.136E-07 0.7879 -180.023E-04 2.7) dc component = 6.000000 -124.990E-02 0.138E-07 0.7) dc component = 6.136 -0.070E-08 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.8) dc component = 5.000 31.000 -19.043467 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.200E+02 6.789 35.198E-01 1.600E+02 1.800E+02 5.000000 13.453E-04 1.000000 158.001378 35.850 6 3.000000 60.600E+02 8.485 7 4.800E+02 8.188 -240.000008 -90.606E-11 0.000000 90.009 -111.200E+02 9.999 total harmonic distortion = ************ percent Fourier components of transient response v(8.000E+01 344147.017 normalized phase (deg) 0.747 179.400E+02 9.999 total harmonic distortion = 59.800E+02 5.000E+01 1.018 2 1.417500 -180.462 9 5.016 3 1.200E+02 6.000E+01 344147.093E-08 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.400E+02 5.278E-07 0.800E+02 3.000431 91.000000 -159.210E-07 0.000E+01 1.126E-11 0.005 normalized phase (deg) 0.995E-02 0.417499 -179.234E-04 2.000 2 1.981 6 3.473 -180.018 -81.000E+01 0.002898 -21.000E+01 0.800E+02 1.850 13.103 5 3.200E+02 4.000000 35.000 4 2.510 0.000000 0.400E+02 4.000 -124.913955 59.000 -159.000E+02 9.638 9 5.000835 179.473 3 1.334 CHAPTER 10.000E+02 4.005 total harmonic distortion = 58.000E+02 3.000 8 4.963 -44.000003 -90.434 -240.416668 0.200E+02 4.990E-02 0.000 6 3.993 8 4.000E+01 1.263E-08 0.400E+02 5.565 0.206 3 1.023E-07 0.406E-07 0.231E-08 0.400E+02 4. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Fourier components of transient response v(2.000 2 1.000832 179.963E-11 0.485 179.991E-07 0.565 7 4.001E-07 0.4728 -179.400E+02 5.790 8 4.800E+02 2.925539 percent Fourier components of transient response v(0.198E+02 1.000783 15.025 -24.638 -90.423E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.999 .000 158.510 5 3.000000 0.959E-02 0.584 9 5.000 4 2.121 59.009 4 2.462 -179.882 7 4.200E+02 2.600E+02 1.416665 0.

846 60 0 0)”.65 is a graphical summary of the aforementioned effects. and also to harmonic load phase voltages of equal magnitude. keeping the load in its present Y configuration. skip this paragraph! When simulating circuits having AC sources of differing frequency and differing phase. (Figure 10. The measured parameters will be line current (voltage across Rline . Triplen voltages appear across load phases. the voltage as measured across one of the load’s phases (between nodes 8 and 7 in the SPICE analysis) likewise shows strong triplen harmonic voltages of 50 volts each. Source ω 5ω 7ω line line ω 5ω 7ω Load V ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω 3ω 9ω V 3ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 5ω 7ω Figure 10. Figure 10. nodes 0 and 8). Non-triplen currents appear in line conductors. Finally. Y-connected system. In the previous simulation where we had a 4-wire. and source phase current (voltage across Rsource . 60 Hz. the only way to do it in SPICE is to set up the sources with a delay time or phase offset specified in seconds. In summary. Let’s try a ∆ source instead of a Y. nodes 1 and 2).55555 milliseconds. to ensure the load phase voltages remain at 120 volts each). which is definitely not normal in a linear (no harmonics). there is 50 volts of both 3rd and 9th harmonic frequency between these two points.7. If you just want to find out what happens in the circuit.10. 0 time delay. but at least each phase of the load received voltage nearly free of harmonics. the undesirable effect from harmonics was excessive neutral current.846 60 5. 207. or 1/3 of the full . which means 0 volts DC offset.66) Note: the following paragraph is for those curious readers who follow every detail of my SPICE netlists. According to SPICE. the 0o source has these five specifying figures: “(0 207.846 volts peak amplitude (120 times the square root of three. Thus. all the same as the first except for the time delay factor of 5. between which the neutral conductor used to connect. and see what happens. all comprised of triplen frequencies.65: Three-wire “Y-Y” (no neutral) system: Triplen voltages appear between “Y” centers. and 0 damping factor. balanced Y system. perhaps switching to a ∆ configuration will. Since removing the neutral wire didn’t seem to work in eliminating the problems caused by harmonics. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 335 voltage between the two “Y” center-points. removal of the neutral conductor leads to a “hot” center-point on the load “Y”.55555m 0)”. load phase voltage (nodes 8 and 7). The 120o phase-shifted source has these figures: “(0 207.

POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Delta-Y source/load with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / vsource1 1 0 sin(0 207.end 0 deg) 120 deg) 0) 240 deg) 0) .2) .plot tran v(0.846 60 11.1111m rsource3 5 0 1 * * line resistances rline1 0 8 1 rline2 2 9 1 rline3 4 10 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 8 7 1k i3har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 9.2777m 0) i9har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 540 15.72222m 0) i7har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 9.options itl5=0 .2) .16666m 0) i9har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 540 4.7) v(1.2777m 0) i5har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 300 15.16666m 0) * * analysis stuff .72222m 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 9 7 1k i3har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 180 15.846 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / vsource2 3 2 sin(0 207.5m 100m 16m 1u .8) v(8.2777m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 10 7 1k i3har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 180 4.8) v(8.846 60 5.7) v(1.16666m 0) i5har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 300 4.2777m 0) i7har2 9 7 sin(0 50m 420 15.72222m 0) i5har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 9.16666m 0) i7har3 10 7 sin(0 50m 420 4.four 60 v(0.tran 0.336 CHAPTER 10.55555m rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / vsource3 5 4 sin(0 207.72222m 0) i9har1 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 9.

.72222 milliseconds (210o ).7. equivalent to a fraction of 240/360 of 16. VBA . or 11. One final note: when delaying AC sources in SPICE.16666 milliseconds (90o ).6667 milliseconds for a 60 Hz waveform. which should come as no surprise. This is an intrinsic property of all ∆-Y circuits and not a quirk of SPICE. on the other hand. Otherwise. and VCB are referenced at 0o . because the phase voltages in a Y load are not in phase with the phase voltages of a ∆ source. Source phase current is a fraction of the line current.6667 milliseconds. (Figure 10. when I specified the delay times for the harmonic sources. 4. with a full 50 volts of triplen harmonic (3rd and 9th) frequencies across each load component. This is for the ∆-connected source.tran transient analysis line to hold off analysis until 16 milliseconds after start. respectively. 120o . they don’t “turn on” until their delay time has elapsed. The result of this analysis is almost as disappointing as the last. then “Y” load voltages VA . which means any mathematical analysis up to that point in time will be in error.66: Delta-Y source/load with harmonics period of 16.67) Line currents remain unchanged (the only substantial harmonic content being the 5th and 7th harmonics). and 9.2777 milliseconds (-30o . Therefore. and load phase voltages remain unchanged as well. I set the . 90o . the load components receive the same harmonically-rich voltages and the lines see the same currents as in a three-wire Y system. the only advantage of the ∆-Y configuration from the standpoint of harmonics is that there is no longer a center-point at the load posing a shock hazard. with negligible triplen harmonics: Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier analysis of load phase voltage: Fourier analysis of source phase current: Really.1111 milliseconds. I had to set them at 15. requires a different set of time-delay figures for its harmonic current sources. and VC will have phase angles of -30o . respectively. or +330o ). The Y-connected load. If ∆ source voltages VAC . Both 5th and 7th harmonics are represented there. Consequently. The 240o source must be time-delayed twice that amount. VB . and 210o . and 240o .10. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 0 Rline 1Ω Rline 1Ω 8 120 V 60 Hz 0o Vsource 0 Rsource 5 Vsource 4 4 1 kΩ Rload 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 1Ω 60 Hz 120 V 240o 9 337 2 Rsource 120 V 60 Hz o 3 120 1Ω 4 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 1Ω 2 Vsource Rsource 7 Rline 4 1Ω 10 Figure 10. which gives all sources in the netlist time to engage before any analysis takes place.

000062 0.000 9.506E-06 0.417398 -179.416682 30.400E+02 1. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Fourier components of transient response v(0.993E-02 0.267E-06 0.338 CHAPTER 10.000000 150.390 -179.815 -110.307 -239.000000 -91.162 7 4.745 -179.324E-11 0.453 -324.400E+02 4.000E+02 2.548 8 4.400E+02 2.7) dc component = 1.024E-11 0.000038 -179.000 -100.200 -329.000000 57.493 -179.000000 -110.722 -149.998 -324.600E+02 2.525E-11 0.925038 percent Fourier components of transient response v(8.466E-02 0.000E+02 4.000000 150.000000 159.000 2 1.417440 -179.186 .000E+01 0.000021 -179.600E+02 1.000540 -151.198E+02 1.949E-11 0.994E-02 0.906E-02 1.815 -91.112 -81.005 4 2.422E-06 0.000000 68.570 5 3.398E-07 0.259E-08 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.883E-02 0.000 -156.800E+02 2.140E-11 0.931E-02 0.000E+02 6.000000 66.200E+02 1.996 4 2.200E+02 6.491E-11 0.000000 -174.998 8 4.883E-02 0.994 8 4.2) dc component = 3.838 -1.897 -59.772 5 3.000E+01 6.000013 0.006 total harmonic distortion = 59.723 3 1.518E-06 0.200E+02 2.433E-07 0.112 6 3.8) dc component = -6.519E-07 0.002 6 3.995 normalized phase (deg) 0.181 2 1.200E+02 4.234E-11 0.000000 -174.850E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.000E+01 1.000000 49.417221 90.000 2 1.400E+02 5.198 -179.000000 52.400E+02 2.397 5 3.998 4 2.996 -97.802 7 4.000578 148.200E+02 1.200E+02 2.995 normalized phase (deg) 0.000000 -0.000000 -156.674 3 1.800E+02 1.564E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.416644 -29.996 6 3.417222 -89.033E-11 0.031969 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.200 9 5.400E+02 4.998 -83.941E-07 0.603 -301.228 -119.800E+02 8.800E+02 4.813 -39.693 3 1.004109 percent Fourier components of transient response v(1.998 -92.926 7 4.000E+01 0.006 total harmonic distortion = 59.000000 -39.694 0.800E+02 1.995 total harmonic distortion = 58.897 9 5.875 9 5.198E-01 1.600E+02 2.800E+02 5.000E+01 1.

See SPICE listing: “Delta-Delta source/load with harmonics”. load phase voltage. nor in the load phase voltage. It would seem to be the ideal solution.67: “∆-Y” source/load: Triplen voltages appear across load phases. because the 3rd and 9th harmonic current sources are intentionally placed in the phases of the load.6)”. and source phase current. and “Fourier components of transient response v(2. This is where the triplen harmonic currents have gone: they stay within the ∆ of the load. analyzing line current. the load phase voltage is almost a pure sine-wave. But what happened to the triplen harmonics? The 3rd and 9th harmonic frequencies don’t appear in any substantial amount in the line current. The complete lack of any neutral wires or “center points” in a ∆-∆ system prevents strange voltages or additive currents from occurring. This is a major benefit of the ∆-∆ system configuration: triplen harmonic currents remain . since each load phase would be directly connected in parallel with each source phase. Note the directions that the arrows of the current sources within the load phases are pointing. with negligible harmonic content. (Figure 10. What we would have is current circulating within the loop formed by the ∆-connected phases. Non-triplen currents appear in line conductors and in source phase windings.69. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS 339 Source ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω line line ω 5ω 7ω Load ω 3ω 5ω ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω 3ω 9ω 7ω 9ω V ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 5ω 7ω Figure 10. If we were to reconfigure the system into a ∆-∆ arrangement.10. thanks to the direct connection with the source phases in a ∆-∆ system.68) that should guarantee that each load component receives non-harmonic voltage. Let’s simulate and observe. and think about what would happen if the 3rd and 9th harmonic sources were DC sources instead. These results may be graphically summarized as such in Figure 10.7. Fourier analysis of line current: Fourier analysis of load phase voltage: Fourier analysis of source phase current: As predicted earlier. nor in the source phase current! We know that triplen currents exist. never reaching the line conductors or the windings of the source. but where did those currents go? Remember that the triplen harmonics of 120o phase-shifted fundamental frequencies are in phase with each other.1)”. “Fourier analysis: Fourier components of transient response v(0.

69: ∆-∆ source/load: Load phases receive undistorted sinewave voltages. Source ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω line line ω 5ω 7ω Load ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω ω 5ω 7ω ω 5ω 7ω ω V ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω 3ω 9ω ω 3ω 5ω 7ω 9ω line ω 5ω 7ω Figure 10.68: Delta-Delta source/load with harmonics. . Non-triplen currents apprear in line conductors and in source phase windings.340 CHAPTER 10. Triplen currents are confined to circulate within load phases. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Rline 1Ω Rline 1Ω 0 Rload 1 kΩ 50 mA 180 Hz 50 mA 300 Hz 50 mA 420 Hz 50 mA 540 Hz 2 6 7 120 V 60 Hz 0o Vsource 0 Rsource 5 Vsource 4 1Ω 60 Hz 120 V 240o Rsource 120 V 60 Hz 120o 1 kΩ Rload 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 1 kΩ Rload 1 1Ω 2 Vsource 3 Rsource 180 Hz 300 Hz 420 Hz 540 Hz 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 50 mA 1Ω 4 4 8 Rline 4 1Ω Figure 10.

tran 0.6) v(7.5m 100m 16m 1u .55555m 0) i7har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 420 5.6) v(2.55555m 0) i9har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 540 5.four 60 v(0.55555m 0) i5har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 300 5.1111m 0) * * analysis stuff .1111m 0) i7har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 420 11.end 341 .6) v(2.1111m 0) rsource3 5 0 1 * * line resistances rline1 0 6 1 rline2 2 7 1 rline3 4 8 1 * * phase 1 of load rload1 7 6 1k i3har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 180 0 0) i5har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 300 0 0) i7har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 420 0 0) i9har1 7 6 sin(0 50m 540 0 0) * * phase 2 of load rload2 8 7 1k i3har2 8 7 sin(0 50m 180 5.6) v(7.10.1111m 0) i9har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 540 11. HARMONICS IN POLYPHASE POWER SYSTEMS Delta-Delta source/load with harmonics * * phase1 voltage source and r (120 v / 0 deg) vsource1 1 0 sin(0 120 60 0 0) rsource1 1 2 1 * * phase2 voltage source and r (120 v / 120 deg) vsource2 3 2 sin(0 120 60 5.1) .1) i(3har1) .1111m 0) i5har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 300 11.options itl5=0 .55555m 0) rsource2 3 4 1 * * phase3 voltage source and r (120 v / 240 deg) vsource3 5 4 sin(0 120 60 11.7.55555m 0) * * phase 3 of load rload3 6 8 1k i3har3 6 8 sin(0 50m 180 11.plot tran v(0.

760 7 4.877E-06 0.000E+02 8.000 6.760 -180.949 .000000 -4.800E+02 2.001667 -180.000 2 1.961298 percent normalized phase (deg) 0.342 CHAPTER 10.000E+01 2.000000 89.000003 89.940 2 1.257E-07 0.759 9 5.129E-07 0.923E-12 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.600E+02 4.000000 133.974 4 2.194E-01 1.000000 144.6) dc component = -6.800E+02 1.800E+02 3.000 -151.600E+02 2.475 7 4.666 3 1.999 6 3.416664 -149.000 6 3.368 5 3.001 8 4.000000 -63.6) dc component = -5.666 -60.200E+02 1.000008 89.997 7 4.416669 150.905 normalized phase (deg) 0.000 6 3.385E-11 0.571 -359.990 4 2.385 89.416918 -180.000000 -63.905 total harmonic distortion = 0.200E+02 4.400E+02 1.400E+02 4.000000 89.800E+02 7.000E+02 4.000000 -22.000000 23.400E+02 9.1) dc component = -1.000000 -31.951E-09 0.600E+02 1.000E+02 1.000009 89.385E-07 0.987 total harmonic distortion = 58.000000 36.001667 -180.813 -300.749 3 1.000 144.187 5 3.400E+02 4.415 -359.000 -4.000000 8.385 9 5.000 8 4.499E-09 0.089E-10 0.939 -202.000 -46.000 -181.626E-02 0.070E-01 1.974 36.992E-01 0.200E+02 8.195E+02 1.000000 -151.251E-06 0.000000 156.800E+02 1.955 -156.127 -180.680E-10 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.991 total harmonic distortion = 58.127 5 3.997 0.200E+02 2.940 9 5.578E-10 0.000E+01 1.595E-11 0.752E-06 0.000000 0.215E-10 0.980E-02 0.007E-11 harmonic frequency Fourier normalized phase no (hz) component component (deg) 1 6.235702 percent Fourier components of transient response v(2.010 -141.200E+02 5.925538 percent Fourier components of transient response v(7.940 -60.992E-01 0.449 -89.039E-09 0.416921 -180.000 2 1.013 normalized phase (deg) 0.939 -243.749 89.000003 89.626E-02 0.000E+01 1.657E-11 0.400E+02 2.480E-11 0.400E+02 3.001 -213.985 4 2.911E-11 0.491 3 1. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Fourier components of transient response v(0.000000 150.699 -89.980E-02 0.000000 179.800E+02 6.200E+02 1.569E-11 0.000 8 4.

Since any distortion of an originally pure sine-wave constitutes harmonic frequencies. HARMONIC PHASE SEQUENCES 343 confined in whatever set of components create them.70) and/or in mathematical terms: A B C TIME Figure 10. • In a 4-wire Y-Y system. that is. the only harmonics present will be odd-numbered. C all coincide. the third-harmonic multiples of those frequencies (180 Hz) fall perfectly into phase with each other. B. 10. 9th. and do not “spread” to other parts of the system. 15th) are known as triplen harmonics. B. • Triplen harmonic currents in a ∆-connected set of components circulate within the loop formed by the ∆. • When the sine-wave distortion is symmetrical above and below the average centerline of the waveform.70: Harmonic currents of Phases A. we saw how the 3rd harmonic and all of its integer multiples (collectively called triplen harmonics) generated by 120o phase-shifted fundamental waveforms are actually in phase with each other. and C are 120o apart. we can say that nonlinear components generate harmonic currents. despite the fact that their respective fundamental waveforms are 120o out of phase with each other. In a 60 Hz three-phase power system. They are in phase with each other. • The 3rd harmonic. triplen harmonic currents add within the neutral conductor. (Figure 10. • REVIEW: • Nonlinear components are those that draw a non-sinusoidal (non-sine-wave) current waveform when energized by a sinusoidal (sine-wave) voltage. and integer multiples of it (6th. no rotation. where phases A. 12th. not even-numbered.10.8 Harmonic phase sequences In the last section. This can be thought of in graphical terms.8. .

which “rotate” in the opposite sequence as the fundamental. which “rotate” with the same sequence as the fundamental.344 CHAPTER 10. are called zero sequence. are called positive sequence.240o) C-B-A (-120 ) B’’’ 7 x 120o (840o = 720o + 120o) o (-240 ) C’’’ 7 x 240o (1680o = 1440o + 240o) o 7th harmonic A-B-C 9th harmonic (240 ) C’’’’ no 9 x 240o o o rotation (1080o = 0o) (2160 = 0 ) (120 ) B’’’’ 9 x 120o o o Harmonics such as the 7th. lending itself to expression in a table like this: . we will notice an interesting pattern develop with regard to the rotation or sequence of the harmonic frequencies: Fundamental A 0o B 120o C 240o A-B-C no rotation 3rd harmonic A’ B’ C’ 3 x 0o 3 x 120o 3 x 240o (0o) (360o = 0o) (720o = 0o) A’’ 5 x 0o (0o) A’’’ 7 x 0o (0o) A’’’’ 9 x 0o (0o) B’’ 5 x 120o (600o = 720o . Harmonics such as the 5th. Triplen harmonics (3rd and 9th shown in this table) which don’t “rotate” at all because they’re in phase with each other. POLYPHASE AC CIRCUITS Phase sequence = A-B-C Fundamental A 0o B 120o C 240o 3rd harmonic A’ B’ C’ o o 3x0 3 x 120 3 x 240o (0o) (360o = 0o) (720o = 0o) If we extend the mathematical table to include higher odd-numbered harmonics.120o) 5th harmonic C’’ 5 x 240o (1200o = 1440o . are called negative sequence. This pattern of positive-zero-negative-positive continues indefinitely for all odd-numbered harmonics.

whereas negative-sequence frequencies actually work against the direction of the rotor’s rotation. An excess of negative-sequence harmonics (5th.10.9 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. 10. 2002): Suggested better ways to illustrate the meaning of the prefix “poly-”. Positive-sequence frequencies work to push the rotor in the proper direction. from most recent to first. which led to a much betterlooking second edition. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. the primary harmonic of concern is the 5th. CONTRIBUTORS 345 Rotation sequences according to harmonic number + 0 1st 7th 13th 19th 3rd 9th 15th 21st 5th 11th 17th 23rd Rotates with fundamental Does not rotate Rotates against fundamental Sequence especially matters when we’re dealing with AC motors. Since the higher-order harmonics tend to be attenuated more by system inductances and magnetic core losses. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. and generally originate with less amplitude anyway. and/or 23rd) in the power supplied to a three-phase AC motor will result in a degradation of performance and possible overheating. since the mechanical rotation of the rotor depends on the torque produced by the sequential “rotation” of the applied 3-phase power. Zero-sequence frequencies neither contribute to nor detract from the rotor’s torque.9. which is 300 Hz in 60 Hz power systems and 250 Hz in 50 Hz power systems. . 11th. Ed Beroset (May 6. 17th.


. . . . .3 Calculating power factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355 11. . 365 11. . . . . . . . . . .4 Practical power factor correction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1: Ac source drives a purely resistive load. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Power in resistive and reactive AC circuits . . . . . 60 Hz AC voltage source is delivering power to a resistive load: (Figure 11. . . 347 . . . where a 120 volt.2 True. . . . . . 352 11. . . .Chapter 11 POWER FACTOR Contents 11. . and Apparent power . . . . . . . . . 347 11. Reactive.1 Power in resistive and reactive AC circuits Consider a circuit for a single-phase AC power system. 360 11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Contributors . . . .1) 120 V 60 Hz R 60 Ω Figure 11. . . . . . . . . . .

current. the best way to proceed with AC power calculations is to use scalar notation.348 CHAPTER 11. its frequency is double that of either the voltage or current waveforms. it would look like Figure 11. Note that the waveform for power is always positive. current. This different frequency prohibits our expression of power in an AC circuit using the same complex (rectangular or polar) notation as used for voltage. Because this load is purely resistive (no reactance). never negative for this resistive circuit. it would take 240 watts worth of mechanical energy (about 1/3 horsepower) to turn the shaft. . When frequencies are not the same. Also note that the waveform for power is not at the same frequency as the voltage or current! Rather. and impedance. RMS. This means that power is always being dissipated by the resistive load. the current is in phase with the voltage.2. and power waveforms for this circuit.2: Current is in phase with voltage in a resistive circuit. The power dissipated at the load would be 240 watts.3. because this form of mathematical symbolism implies unchanging phase relationships. For comparison. and never returned to the source as it is with reactive loads. phase relationships constantly change. the current to the load would be 2 amps. POWER FACTOR ZR = 60 + j0 Ω or 60 Ω ∠ 0o I= I= E Z 120 V 60 Ω I=2A In this example. If the source were a mechanical generator. As strange as it may seem. and calculations look similar to that in an equivalent DC circuit. e= i= p= + Time - Figure 11. let’s consider a simple AC circuit with a purely reactive load in Figure 11. and to handle any relevant phase relationships with trigonometry. If we were to plot the voltage.

4) This means that power is being alternately absorbed from and returned to the source.319 Ω ZL = 0 + j60. .1. POWER IN RESISTIVE AND REACTIVE AC CIRCUITS 349 120 V 60 Hz L 160 mH Figure 11.989 A + e= i= p= Time Figure 11. Note that the power alternates equally between cycles of positive and negative.5. XL = 60. it would take (practically) no net mechanical energy to turn the shaft. because no power would be used by the load.319 Ω ∠ 90o I= I= E Z 120 V 60. Now. (Figure 11. Though it is alternately absorbed from and returned to the source.3: AC circuit with a purely reactive (inductive) load.319 Ω I = 1.319 Ω or 60.11. let’s consider an AC circuit with a load consisting of both inductance and resistance in Figure 11.4: Power is not dissipated in a purely reactive load. The generator shaft would be easy to spin. If the source were a mechanical generator. and the inductor would not become warm as a resistor would.

319 Ω or 60. If we’re not concerned with phase angles (which we’re not at this point). Therefore. we may calculate current in the circuit by taking the polar magnitude of the voltage source (120 volts) and dividing it by the polar magnitude of the impedance (85. XL = 60. as they equally absorb power from.319 Ω. This is the figure an RMS ammeter would indicate if connected in series with the resistor and inductor. This reactance combines with the 60 Ω of resistance to form a total load impedance of 60 + j60.319 Ω ZL = 0 + j60.152o I= I= E Z 120 V 85.319 Ω or 85. The only thing left to dissipate power here is the . any inductive reactance in this load will likewise dissipate zero power. or 85.350 CHAPTER 11.319 Ω of inductive reactance. With a power supply voltage of 120 volts RMS.319 Ω ∠ 90o ZR = 60 + j0 Ω or 60 Ω ∠ 0o Ztotal = 60 + j60.078 Ω ∠ 45. the 160 millihenrys of inductance gives us 60.078 Ω). We already know that reactive components dissipate zero power. our load current is 1.078 Ω 45.078 Ω I = 1.152o . and return power to.410 A At a frequency of 60 Hz.410 amps. POWER FACTOR Load Lload 120 V 60 Hz Rload 160 mH 60 Ω Figure 11. the rest of the circuit.5: AC circuit with both reactance and resistance.

the combined inductive/resistive load will consume more power than it returns back to the source. current. In a purely reactive circuit that alternation between positive and negative power is equally divided. all circuit power is dissipated by the resistor(s). though. The reactance dissipates no power. • REVIEW: • In a purely resistive circuit. As with any reactive circuit. and impedance that we’ve worked with so far. the amount of mechanical energy needed to turn the shaft would be the amount of power averaged between the positive and negative power cycles. In other words. If we look at the waveform plot of voltage. and total power for this circuit. the resistor does. Because of this way in which AC power differs from AC voltage or current.6: A combined resistive/reactive circuit dissipates more power than it returns to the source. the phase angle for power represents a ratio between power dissipated and power returned. we see how this combination works in Figure 11. indicating that there is more power absorbed by the load than there is returned to the circuit.1. it should be evident that the wave spends more time on the positive side of the center line than on the negative. + e= i= p= Time Figure 11. the phase angle for power means something quite different from the phase angle for either voltage or current. resulting in a net power dissipation of zero. Looking at the waveform plot for power. it is actually easier to arrive at figures for power by calculating with scalar quantities of voltage. no circuit power is dissipated by the load(s). If the source were a mechanical generator.11. Mathematically representing power in an AC circuit is a challenge.6. but the amount of positive power will exceed the amount of negative power. in circuits with mixed resistance and reactance like this one. Voltage and current are in phase with each other. current. power is alternately absorbed from and returned to the AC source. Whereas the angle for voltage or current represents a relative shift in timing between two waves. . or complex quantities of voltage. • In a purely reactive circuit. resistance. Furthermore. What little returning of power that occurs is due to the reactance. because the power wave isn’t at the same frequency as voltage or current. the imbalance of positive versus negative power is due to the resistance as it dissipates energy outside of the circuit (usually in the form of heat). current. the power alternates between positive and negative instantaneous values over time. Rather. POWER IN RESISTIVE AND REACTIVE AC CIRCUITS 351 resistive portion of the load impedance. the power waveform will still alternate between positive and negative. Voltage and current are 90o out of phase with each other. However. and reactance than it is to try to derive it from vector.

Apparent power is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps (VA) and is symbolized by the capital letter S. there will be more power dissipated by the load(s) than returned. and impedance must be represented by their polar magnitudes. and it is the product of a circuit’s voltage and current. in a circuit is called true power. and it is measured in a unit called Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR). This “phantom power” is called reactive power. I must use the polar magnitude for current. reactance.352 CHAPTER 11. As a rule. any complex starting quantities such as voltage. Reactive. not by real or imaginary rectangular components. Reactive power is a function of a circuit’s reactance (X). current. and impedance (all using scalar quantities): . without reference to phase angle. For instance. if I’m calculating true power from current and resistance. If I’m calculating apparent power from voltage and impedance. as always). Since we’re dealing with scalar quantities for power calculation. both of these formerly complex quantities must be reduced to their polar magnitudes for the scalar arithmetic. and not merely the “real” or “imaginary” portion of the current. 11. The combination of reactive power and true power is called apparent power. The mathematical symbol for reactive power is (unfortunately) the capital letter Q. or dissipated. Apparent power is a function of a circuit’s total impedance (Z). true power is a function of a circuit’s dissipative elements. usually resistances (R). POWER FACTOR • In a circuit consisting of resistance and reactance mixed. and it is measured in watts (symbolized by the capital letter P. Voltage and current in such a circuit will be out of phase by a value somewhere between 0o and 90o . There are several power equations relating the three types of power to resistance.2 True. but some power will definitely be dissipated and some will merely be absorbed and returned. yet the fact that they drop voltage and draw current gives the deceptive impression that they actually do dissipate power. rather than watts. The actual amount of power being used. and Apparent power We know that reactive loads such as inductors and capacitors dissipate zero power.

REACTIVE.7.2. a purely reactive load in Figure 11. P=IE being useful only for that purpose. Using the laws of trigonometry. We call this the power triangle: (Figure 11. or the length of one side and an angle. and apparent – relate to one another in trigonometric form. Resistive load only: I=2A 120 V 60 Hz R no reactance 60 Ω P = true power = I2R = 240 W Q = reactive power = I2X = 0 VAR S = apparent power = I2Z = 240 VA Figure 11.9. reactive power.11. TRUE. and a resistive/reactive load in Figure 11. reactive.8. There are three equations available for the calculation of apparent power.10). Examine the following circuits and see how these three types of power interrelate for: a purely resistive load in Figure 11. Reactive load only: Resistive/reactive load: These three types of power – true.7: True power. we can solve for the length of any side (amount of any type of power). . AND APPARENT POWER 353 P = true power P = I2R P= Measured in units of Watts E2 R E2 X Measured in units of Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR) Q = reactive power Q = I2X Q= S = apparent power S = I2Z S= E2 Z S = IE Measured in units of Volt-Amps (VA) Please note that there are two equations each for the calculation of true and reactive power. given the lengths of the other two sides. and apparent power for a purely resistive load.

8: True power. .256 VA Figure 11.998 VAR S = apparent power = I2Z = 169. and apparent power for a purely reactive load. and apparent power for a resistive/reactive load.354 CHAPTER 11. reactive power.9: True power.365 W Q = reactive power = I2X = 119.410 A Load Lload 120 V 60 Hz Rload 160 mH XL = 60.73 VA Figure 11. reactive power.989 A 120 V 60 Hz no resistance 160 mH XL = 60. POWER FACTOR I = 1.319 Ω 60 Ω P = true power = I2R = 119.73 VAR S = apparent power = I2Z = 238.319 Ω L P = true power = I2R = 0 W Q = reactive power = I2X = 238. I = 1.

both dissipated and absorbed/returned is referred to as apparent power.11.3 Calculating power factor As was mentioned before. Reactive power is symbolized by the letter Q and is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps-Reactive (VAR). Because true power and apparent power form the adjacent and .10: Power triangle relating appearant power to true power and reactive power. When expressed as a fraction. the angle of this “power triangle” graphically indicates the ratio between the amount of dissipated (or consumed) power and the amount of absorbed/returned power. • REVIEW: • Power dissipated by a load is referred to as true power. It also happens to be the same angle as that of the circuit’s impedance in polar form. • Total power in an AC circuit. The opposite angle is equal to the circuit’s impedance (Z) phase angle. • These three types of power are trigonometrically related to one another. • Power merely absorbed and returned in load due to its reactive properties is referred to as reactive power. this ratio between true power and apparent power is called the power factor for this circuit. 11. Apparent power is symbolized by the letter S and is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps (VA). Q = opposite length. P = adjacent length. CALCULATING POWER FACTOR 355 The "Power Triangle" Apparent power (S) measured in VA Reactive power (Q) measured in VAR Impedance phase angle True power (P) measured in Watts Figure 11. In a right triangle. and S = hypotenuse length. True power is symbolized by the letter P and is measured in the unit of Watts (W).3.

respectively. If there are no dissipative (resistive) components in the circuit. to zero). because true power equals zero. because the reactive power equals zero. Here. making any power in the circuit purely reactive. so we have to add a capacitor in parallel to our example circuit as the additional load. by adding another load to the circuit drawing an equal and opposite amount of reactive power. Since this capacitor will be directly in parallel with the source (of known voltage). Since we know that the (uncorrected) reactive power is 119. we need to calculate the correct capacitor size to produce the same quantity of (capacitive) reactive power. For the purely inductive circuit.365 W 169.705 It should be noted that power factor.998 VAR (inductive). like all ratio measurements. because any power factor less than 1 means that the circuit’s wiring has to carry more current than what would be necessary with zero reactance in the circuit to deliver the same amount of (true) power to the resistive load.256 watts to the load with the same 1. we’ll use the power formula which starts from voltage and reactance: . For the purely resistive circuit. the power factor is 1 (perfect). The same could be said for a purely capacitive circuit. The power triangle for a purely capacitive circuit would again be a vertical line (pointing down instead of up as it was for the purely inductive circuit). is a unitless quantity. the power triangle would look like a horizontal line. then the true power must be equal to zero. paradoxically. Poor power factor can be corrected. or at least closer. the power triangle would look like a vertical line.256 VA Power factor = Power factor = 0.152o = 0. Inductive reactance can only be canceled by capacitive reactance.365 watts that it is presently dissipating with that same current quantity.705 cos 45. The effect of these two opposing reactances in parallel is to bring the circuit’s total impedance equal to its total resistance (to make the impedance phase angle equal. Power factor can be an important aspect to consider in an AC circuit. because the adjacent (true power) side would have zero length. the power factor ratio is also equal to the cosine of that phase angle. Here. because the opposite (reactive power) side would have zero length. The poor power factor makes for an inefficient power delivery system.356 CHAPTER 11. the power factor is zero.410 amps of current. rather than the mere 119. POWER FACTOR hypotenuse sides of a right triangle. to cancel out the effects of the load’s inductive reactance. we would have been able to deliver a full 169. If our last example circuit had been purely resistive. Using values from the last example circuit: Power factor = True power Apparent power 119.

. solving for X . and may be ignored for the moment.11. .257 mA L load 22 µF 2 Rload Load Iload = 1. 2.319 Ω 60 Ω 120 V 60 Hz Figure 11. . 1. . V2 and node numbers: 0.41 A 160 mH XL = 60. . C= 1 2πfXC X = 120.11) Itotal = 994. solving for C . .105 µF Let’s use a rounded capacitor value of 22 µF and see what happens to our circuit: (Figure 11.3.998 VAR 1 2πfC XC = X= .002 Ω) C = 22. . . .002 Ω C= 1 2π(60 Hz)(120. CALCULATING POWER FACTOR 357 Q= E2 X .716 mA 1 V1 C 3 0 V2 IC = 995.11: Parallel capacitor corrects lagging power factor of inductive load. X= E2 Q (120 V)2 119. and 3 are SPICE related.

Note that the lagging current. This is no coincidence.ZR) Ztotal = (120. There is no single current common to all components. indicating that the circuit was more capacitive than inductive.7 milliamps.272o cos 0. See SPICE listing “pf. indicating a phase angle of near zero. Note that the total current (Itotal ) is in phase with the applied voltage (Vtotal ). Vtotal . If we had added too large of a capacitor in parallel. or purely resistive.57 Ω ∠ -90o) // (60. The SPICE circuit file has a zero volt voltage-source (V2) in series with the capacitor so that the capacitor current may be measured.64 Ω ∠ 0.11) shows total voltage and total current are nearly in phase.365 W S = apparent power = I2Z = 119.64 . This is because the applied voltage. is still more inductive than it is capacitive. POWER FACTOR Ztotal = ZC // (ZL -.41 amps to 994.365 W 119. We can compare those currents to Vtotal .cir power factor”. If our power factor correction efforts had been perfectly on-target.366 VA The power factor for the circuit. overall. has been substantially improved.9999887 Impedance (polar) angle = 0. to which all other measurements are compared.12). IL of the inductor would have caused the total current to have a lagging phase somewhere between (Itotal ) . appears across the parallel branches of the circuit.j573.272o = 0.319 Ω ∠ 90o -. The Nutmeg plot of the various currents with respect to the applied voltage Vtotal is shown in (Figure 11. The power factor is much closer to being 1: Power factor = Power factor = True power Apparent power 119. The reference is Vtotal . we would have arrived at an impedance angle of exactly zero. we would have ended up with an impedance angle that was negative. The main current has been decreased from 1.2724o P = true power = I2R = 119.9999887 Since the impedance angle is still a positive number.365 watts.366 VA Power factor = 0.60 Ω ∠ 0o) Ztotal = 120.58m Ω or 120. we know that the circuit. while the power dissipated at the load resistor remains unchanged at 119.358 CHAPTER 11. The start time of 200 msec ( instead of 0) in the transient analysis statement allows the DC conditions to stabilize before collecting data. overall. A SPICE simulation of the circuit of (Figure 11.

end factor 170 60) stop start 200m 160m Figure 11.tran 1m .12: Zero phase angle due to in-phase Vtotal and Itotal . .11.3. The lagging IL with respect to Vtotal is corrected by a leading IC .cir power V1 1 0 sin(0 C1 1 3 22uF v2 3 0 0 L1 1 2 160mH R1 2 0 60 # resolution . CALCULATING POWER FACTOR 359 pf.

Thus.6. that total current (Itotal ) was forced to be in-phase with the total applied voltage (Vtotal ). the product would have been negative where positive portions of one waveform overlapped negative portions of the other as in Figure 11. This is not normally a problem because the power factor correction is applied close to the offending load. However. or re-established at a value close to 1. we say that its power factor is lagging (because the current wave for the circuit lags behind the applied voltage wave). and the apparent power (which can be figured by taking a voltmeter reading in volts and multiplying by an ammeter reading in amps). we say that its power factor is leading. whose reading you can compare against a calculation of apparent power (from multiplying total voltage and . The parallel capacitor corrects this problem. You may be fortunate enough to have an instrument called a power factor meter to tell you what the power factor is (a number between 0 and 1). parallel capacitance is what is needed to correct poor power factor.705 lagging. like an induction motor. there is still circulating current between the capacitor and the inductive load. If the load’s reactance is inductive in nature (which is almost always will be). and was corrected to a power factor of 0. real power as in Figure 11. Since the total voltage and current are in phase. In other words.360 CHAPTER 11.999 lagging. if a circuit is predominantly capacitive. you will have access to a wattmeter for measuring true power. Moreover. though. by adding a parallel reactance opposite the effect of the load’s reactance. IC . You must also be very careful to use the proper capacitors for the job (rated adequately for power system voltages and the occasional voltage spike from lightning strikes. for continuous AC service. In less favorable circumstances you may have to use an oscilloscope to compare voltage and current waveforms. If a circuit is predominantly inductive. and capable of handling the expected levels of current). compensates for the lagging inductor current. The result is a total current phase-angle somewhere between the inductor and capacitor currents. Most likely. 11. you probably won’t have the luxury of knowing the load’s exact inductance in henrys to use for your calculations. the leading capacitor current. Had the phaseangle not been corrected to zero (PF=1). Negative power is fed back to the generator. our example circuit started out with a power factor of 0. will always be positive throughout a 60 Hz cycle. Conversely.4 Practical power factor correction When the need arises to correct for poor power factor in an AC power system. POWER FACTOR and IL . You must be careful not to over-correct when adding capacitance to an AC circuit. • REVIEW: • Poor power factor in an AC circuit may be “corrected”. Note that reduction of line losses applies to the lines from the generator to the point where the power factor correction capacitor is applied.2. the product of these two waveforms. It should be noted that too much capacitance in an AC circuit will result in a low power factor just as well as too much inductance. power. it does waste power in the resistance of electric lines between load and generator. measuring phase shift in degrees and calculating power factor by the cosine of that phase shift. It cannont be sold. by the calculation of an appropriate capacitor value.

308 kVA Power factor = Power factor = 0.14) To determine the unknown (reactive power) triangle quantity. we need to calculate the apparent power in kVA. Now. which tells us that the power factor in this circuit is rather poor (substantially less than 1). you can determine reactive power and power factor. Let’s do an example problem to see how this works: (Figure 11.13: Wattmeter reads true power. we use the Pythagorean Theorem “backwards.5 kW 2. 2.4.5 kW. First.11.615 A RMS Figure 11. we figure the power factor of this load by dividing the true power by the apparent power: Power factor = P S 1.5 kW Ammeter reading = 9. product of voltmeter and ammeter readings yields appearant power.615 A)(240 V) S = 2.308 kVA is a much larger figure than 1. We can do this by multiplying load voltage by load current: S = IE S = (9. and from that determine the reactive power of this load: (Figure 11.65 Using this value for power factor. we can draw a power triangle.13) wattmeter P 240 V RMS 60 Hz ammeter A Load Wattmeter reading = 1.308 kVA As we can see. PRACTICAL POWER FACTOR CORRECTION 361 total current measurements).” given the length of the hypotenuse (apparent power) and the length of the adjacent side (true power): . From the values of true and apparent power.

754 kVAR If this load is an electric motor. it will have a lagging (inductive) power factor.362 CHAPTER 11. POWER FACTOR Apparent power (S) 2.5 kW Figure 11.754 kVAR). wired in parallel. or most any other industrial AC load. Reactive power = (Apparent power)2 .308 kVA Reactive power (Q) ??? True power (P) 1.(True power)2 Q = 1.14: Reactive power may be calculated from true power and appearant power. which means that we’ll have to correct for it with a capacitor of appropriate size. we can calculate the size of capacitor needed to counteract its effects: . Now that we know the amount of reactive power (1.

giving a current of 7.16) . solving for C . .519 VAR This correction.157 Ω. PRACTICAL POWER FACTOR CORRECTION 363 Q= E2 X .737 kVAR (for the capacitor only). Since the capacitor’s current is 180o out of phase from the the load’s inductive contribution to current draw.11. . and of the total current drawn from the 240 Volt source: (Figure 11. X= E2 Q (240)2 1. .754 kVAR .845 Ω C= 1 2π(60 Hz)(32. C= 1 2πfXC X = 32.737 kVAR = 16. but it will result in a substantial reduction of apparent power. . we can place that size of capacitor in the circuit and calculate the results: (Figure 11. .238 amps. the capacitor’s reactive power will directly subtract from the load’s reactive power. of course.Capacitive kVAR = Total kVAR 1.4.754 kVAR 1 2πfC XC = X= . will not change the amount of true power consumed by the load.761 µF Rounding this answer off to 80 µF. . solving for X .15: Parallel capacitor corrects lagging (inductive) load. resulting in: Inductive kVAR . An 80 µF capacitor will have a capacitive reactance of 33.15) wattmeter P 240 V RMS 60 Hz C ammeter A Load 80 µF Figure 11.845 Ω) C = 80. . .1. and a corresponding reactive power of 1.

519 VAR Figure 11.737 kVAR (capacitive) Power triangle after adding capacitor Apparent power (S) True power (P) 1. POWER FACTOR Power triangle for uncorrected (original) circuit Apparent power (S) 2.364 CHAPTER 11. .5 kW Reactive power (Q) 16.754 kVAR (inductive) True power (P) 1.308 kVA Reactive power (Q) 1.5 kW 1.16: Power triangle before and after capacitor correction.

615 amps! This lower total current will translate to less heat losses in the circuit wiring. or 0. or 6. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting. from most recent to first.25 amps.5. 11. meaning greater system efficiency (less power wasted).50009 kVA / 240 Volts).5 Contributors Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions. and a new total current of (1.50009 kVA This gives a corrected power factor of (1. CONTRIBUTORS 365 The new apparent power can be found from the true and new reactive power values. .5kW / 1. a substantial improvement over the uncorrected value of 9. using the standard form of the Pythagorean Theorem: Apparent power = (Reactive power)2 + (True power)2 Apparent power = 1.5009 kVA).99994. which led to a much betterlooking second edition.11.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . 12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1) Permanent-magnet meter movements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In order to use a DC-style meter movement such as the D’Arsonval design. . . just remember that they each act like a one-way valve for electrons to flow: acting as a conductor for one polarity and an insulator for another. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12. . . . . . . . We saw diodes used in an example circuit demonstrating the creation of harmonic frequencies from a distorted (or rectified) sine wave. . . . . . . . Permanent-magnet moving coil (PMMC) meter movements will not work correctly if directly connected to alternating current. . . 12. . . . . . . . . . Without going into elaborate detail over how and why diodes work as they do. . . . . . . .3 Power measurement . . . .1 AC voltmeters and ammeters . . . . . . . . and those engineered specifically for AC use. . . . . . . . . . . . . four diodes will 367 . . . . . . Oddly enough. . 12. .7 Contributors . the arrowhead in each diode symbol points against the permitted direction of electron flow rather than with it as one might expect. . . . .Chapter 12 AC METERING CIRCUITS Contents 12. . . . 367 374 382 385 387 396 406 406 12. . . . . . . . . . . . the alternating current must be rectified into DC. . . . . .6 AC instrumentation transducers . . 12. . . (Figure 12. . . . like permanent-magnet motors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Power quality measurement . . . . . . . . . . Arranged in a bridge. .1 AC voltmeters and ammeters AC electromechanical meter movements come in two basic arrangements: those based on DC movement designs. This is most easily accomplished through the use of devices called diodes. . . . .5 AC bridge circuits . . because the direction of needle movement will change with each half-cycle of the AC. . . . . . . .2 Frequency and phase measurement 12. . . . . . . . . . you can think of it in terms of the direction of the current). . . . are devices whose motion depends on the polarity of the applied voltage (or. . .

1: Passing AC through this D’Arsonval meter movement causes useless flutter of the needle. serve to steer AC through the meter movement in a constant direction throughout all portions of the AC cycle: (Figure 12.368 CHAPTER 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS 50 0 100 "needle" magnet magnet wire coil Figure 12. .2: Passing AC through this Rectified AC meter movement will drive it in one direction. AC source Bridge rectifier Figure 12.2) 50 0 "needle" 100 magnet magnet wire coil + Meter movement needle will always be driven in the proper direction.

1. Probably the simplest design is to use a nonmagnetized iron vane to move the needle against spring tension. for some high-voltage AC applications.5) If the meter movement is electrostatic. electrostatic meter movements are capable of measuring very high voltages without need for range resistors or other. and thus inherently capacitive in nature. This strategy has the advantage of being non-dissipative (no true power consumed and no heat produced): (Figure 12. this technology possesses the advantage of extremely high input impedance. though. meaning that no current need be drawn from the circuit under test. just as a series-connected multiplier resistor gives a moving-coil (inherently resistive) meter movement a greater voltage range: (Figure 12.3. external apparatus. the vane being attracted toward a stationary coil of wire energized by the AC quantity to be measured as in Figure 12. AC VOLTMETERS AND AMMETERS 369 Another strategy for a practical AC meter movement is to redesign the movement without the inherent polarity sensitivity of the DC types. a single “multiplier” capacitor may be connected in series to give it a greater voltage measuring range. Also. and as such these “electrostatic” meter movements tend to be fragile and easily disturbed by physical movement. or should I say. just as poorly! The forces involved are very small. the electrostatic movement is an elegant technology. If nothing else. 50 0 "needle" 100 wire coil iron vane Figure 12. much smaller than the magnetic attraction between an energized coil and an iron vane.12. This works just as well for AC as it does for DC. to make voltmeter divider circuits. series-connected “multiplier” resistors and/or resistive voltage dividers may be employed just as in DC meter design: (Figure 12. especially if the electron beam is swept side-to-side across the screen . When a sensitive meter movement needs to be re-ranged to function as an AC voltmeter. But. Electrostatic attraction between two metal plates separated by an air gap is an alternative mechanism for generating a needle-moving force proportional to applied voltage.3: Iron-vane electromechanical meter movement.6) The Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) mentioned in the DC metering chapter is ideally suited for measuring AC voltages. This means avoiding the use of permanent magnets.4) Capacitors may be used instead of resistors.

6: An electrostatic meter movement may use a capacitive multiplier to multiply the scale of the basic meter movement.. .4: Multiplier resistor (a) or resistive divider (b) scales the range of the basic meter movement.5: AC voltmeter with capacitive divider. Sensitive meter movement Voltage to be measured Rmultiplier Figure 12. Electrostatic meter movement Cmultiplier Voltage to be measured Figure 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS AC voltmeter Voltage to be measured Sensitive meter movement Rmultiplier Voltage to be measured AC voltmeter Sensitive meter movement Rmultiplier (a) (b) Figure 12.370 CHAPTER 12.

especially for power systems).7) RMS = 0. CRT’s have the disadvantages of weight.1099 In other words.707 0. and electrostatic) all tend to mechanically average the instantaneous values into an overall average value for the waveform. Average.707 (Peak) AVG = 0. size.7: RMS.12. and then the meter movement scale is altered by the appropriate multiplication factor.109: 0. and triangle waves. the ratio between RMS and Average is not the same as for sine waves: . As we already know. However. square.637 times the peak. This is the issue of RMS measurement. Note that for triangle waves. there is another factor crucially important for the designer and user of AC metering instruments to be aware of. Since RMS seems to be the kind of measurement most people are interested in obtaining with an instrument. For sine waves we see that RMS is equal to 0.1. significant power consumption. and electromechanical meter movements naturally deliver average measurements rather than RMS. what are AC meter designers to do? Cheat. Meter movements relying on the motion of a mechanical needle (“rectified” D’Arsonval.5 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) Figure 12. and Peak-to-Peak values for sine.11 times higher than it would ordinarily (naturally) indicate with no special accommodations.637 = 1. AC VOLTMETERS AND AMMETERS 371 of the tube while the measured AC voltage drives the beam up and down. called RMS (Root-Mean-Square) for the sake of meaningful comparisons with DC and with other AC waveforms of varying shape. None of the meter movement technologies so far discussed inherently measure the RMS value of an AC quantity.577 (Peak) AVG = 0. A graphical representation of the AC wave shape and not just a measurement of magnitude can easily be had with such a device. the meter movement will be calibrated to indicate approximately 1. so we can divide one figure by the other to obtain an average-to-RMS conversion factor of 1. It must be stressed that this “cheat” only works well when the meter is used to measure pure sine wave sources. For these reasons. This average value is not necessarily the same as RMS. electromechanical AC meter movements still have a place in practical usage. and fragility (being made of evacuated glass) working against them.637 (Peak) P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = Peak AVG = Peak P-P = 2 (Peak) RMS = 0. AC measurements are often cast in a scale of DC power equivalence. of course! Typically the assumption is made that the waveform shape to be measured is going to be sine (by far the most common. With some of the advantages and disadvantages of these meter movement technologies having been discussed already.707 times the peak value while Average is 0. iron-vane. although many times it is mistaken as such. Average and RMS values rate against each other as such for these three common waveform shapes: (Figure 12.

With harmonics becoming an everpresent phenomenon in large AC power systems. Suppose that the AC source to be measured is connected across a resistor of known value. and square are the only examples with Peak/RMS/Average conversion factors given here!). square waves. The resistor converts the AC voltage or current quantity into a thermal (heat) quantity.577 0. the concept illustrated is very sound. Still. This includes triangle waves. Calibrating AC voltmeters and ammeters for different full-scale ranges of operation is much . the RMS and Average values are identical! An AC meter calibrated to accurately read RMS voltage or current on a pure sine wave will not give the proper value while indicating the magnitude of anything other than a perfect sine wave. While the device shown above is somewhat crude and would suffer from unique engineering problems of its own.8) sensitive meter movement AC voltage to be measured thermocouple bonded with resistive heating element Figure 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS 0. or any kind of distorted sine wave. for it will work with ANY waveform shape whatsoever: (Figure 12. The astute reader will note that I have omitted the CRT “movement” from the RMS/Average discussion. one major instrument manufacturer has implemented this technique into its high-end line of handheld electronic multimeters for “true-RMS” capability.5 = 1. and then the meter scale itself is calibrated to give an indication based on the square-root of the thermal measurement: perfect Root-Mean-Square indication all in one device! In fact.372 CHAPTER 12. triangle. The system’s mass works to average these values by the principle of thermal inertia. This would provide a far more direct measurement means of RMS than any conversion factor could. this matter of accurate RMS measurement is no small matter. One answer is to design the meter movement around the very definition of RMS: the effective heating value of an AC voltage/current as it powers a resistive load. a similar problem arises: how do you determine the RMS value of a waveform from it? Conversion factors between Peak and RMS only hold so long as the waveform falls neatly into a known category of shape (sine. This is because a CRT with its practically weightless electron beam “movement” displays the Peak (or Peak-to-Peak if you wish) of an AC waveform rather than Average or RMS. effectively squaring the values in realtime.154 With square waves.8: Direct reading thermal RMS voltmeter accommodates any wave shape. and the heat output of that resistor is measured with a device like a thermocouple.

• REVIEW: .10) Because of the expense (and often large size) of instrument transformers. and parallel “shunt” resistors are used to allow ammeter movements to measure currents beyond their natural range. For scaling a milliamp or microamp movement to a range of 120 volts or 5 amps. meter ranges can be electromagnetically rather than resistively “stepped up” or “stepped down. They can allow small. just as with DC. Three AC ammeters (rated 5 amps full-scale deflection each) on the front of the panel indicate current through each conductor going through a CT. Shown here is a voltage and current meter panel from a three-phase AC system.9: (CT) Current transformer scales current down. As this panel has been removed from service.8 kV load fuse fuse precision step-down ratio PT V 0-120 V AC movement range Figure 12. normal precision resistors (multipliers and shunts) are used. there are no current-carrying conductors threaded through the center of the CT “donuts” anymore: (Figure 12. Potential Transformers (PT’s) and Current Transformers (CT’s) are precision instrument devices manufactured to produce very precise ratios of transformation between primary and secondary windings. simple AC meter movements to indicate extremely high voltages and currents in power systems with accuracy and complete electrical isolation (something multiplier and shunt resistors could never do): (Figure 12. (PT) Potential transformer scales voltage down.12. The three “donut” current transformers (CT’s) can be seen in the rear of the panel.9) 0-5 A AC movement range A CT precision step-up ratio high-voltage power source 13. However.1. we are not limited to these techniques as we were with DC: because we can use transformers with AC. they are not used to scale AC meters for any applications other than high voltage and high current. AC VOLTMETERS AND AMMETERS 373 the same as with DC instruments: series “multiplier” resistors are used to give voltmeter movements higher range.” sometimes far beyond what resistors would have practically allowed for.

the frequency will be directly proportional to the shaft speed of the machine. but only if the shape of the AC waveform is precisely known beforehand! • So-called true RMS meters use different technology to provide indications representing the actual RMS (rather than skewed average or peak) of an AC waveform. AC METERING CIRCUITS Figure 12.2 Frequency and phase measurement An important electrical quantity with no equivalent in DC circuits is frequency. and frequency could be measured simply by measuring the speed of the shaft. 12. The tuning fork is a great example of this: strike it once and it will continue to vibrate at a tone specific to its length. • Electromechanical meter movements. Longer tuning forks have lower resonant frequencies: their tones will be lower on the musical scale than shorter forks. naturally provide the average value of a measured AC quantity. whether electromagnetic or electrostatic.10: Toroidal current transformers scale high current levels down for application to 5 A full-scale AC ammeters. . Frequency measurement is very important in many applications of alternating current. If frequency needs to be measured at some distance from the alternator. If the AC is being generated by an electromechanical alternator. Every physical object possessing the property of elasticity (springiness) has an inherent frequency at which it will prefer to vibrate. These instruments may be ranged to indicate RMS value. One simple but crude method of frequency measurement in power systems utilizes the principle of mechanical resonance. other means of measurement will be necessary.374 CHAPTER 12. though. especially in AC power systems designed to run efficiently at one frequency and one frequency only. • Polarized (DC) meter movements must use devices called diodes to be able to indicate AC quantities.

12. Well. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 375 Imagine a row of progressively-sized tuning forks arranged side-by-side. Frequency Meter 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 120 Volts AC Figure 12.11: Vibrating reed frequency meter diagram. . They are all mounted on a common base. and you have the vibrating reed frequency meter: (Figure 12. The one closest in resonant frequency to the applied AC will vibrate the most. The user of this meter views the ends of all those unequal length reeds as they are collectively shaken at the frequency of the applied AC voltage to the coil. and that base is vibrated at the frequency of the measured AC voltage (or current) by means of an electromagnet.2. we could see the relative motion of each by the length of the blur we would see as we inspected each one from an end-view perspective. make a collection of “tuning forks” out of a strip of sheet metal cut in a pattern akin to a rake. looking something like Figure 12.12.12: Vibrating reed frequency meter front panel. If the forks’ tines were flimsy enough.11) sheet metal reeds shaken by magnetic field from the coil to AC voltage Figure 12. Whichever tuning fork is closest in resonant frequency to the frequency of that vibration will tend to shake the most (or the loudest).

and the frequency is read from them after the device has been adjusted for maximum indication on the meter. Essentially. For that frequency standard. especially because it doesn’t require direct connection to the circuit. Sensitive AC meter movement variable capacitor with adjustment knob calibrated in Hertz. See Figure 12. . we may substitute electrical resonance and design a frequency meter using an inductor and capacitor in the form of a tank circuit (parallel inductor and capacitor). or at least a more modern variation of it called the quartz crystal. Quartz is a naturally occurring mineral possessing a very interesting property called piezoelectricity. So long as the inductor and/or capacitor can intercept enough stray field (magnetic or electric. it will work. This is the basic principle behind the DC (Wheatstone) bridge circuit and it is a sound metrological principle applied throughout the sciences. then measurement of any unknown frequency by comparison should be relatively easy. If we have access to an accurate frequency standard (a source of AC voltage holding very precisely to a single frequency). In frequency as in other types of electrical measurement.13: Resonant frequency meter “peaks” as L-C resonant frequency is tuned to test frequency. but it does exist. This technique is a popular one for amateur radio operators (or at least it was before the advent of inexpensive digital frequency instruments called counters). In lieu of mechanical resonance. the most accurate means of measurement are usually those where an unknown quantity is compared against a known standard.13. are not precision instruments. The adjustment knob(s) are calibrated to show resonant frequency for any given setting. very slight in most cases. their operational principle is not. we turn our attention back to the tuning fork. AC METERING CIRCUITS Vibrating reed meters. This deformation is very. While reed-type meters are imprecise. obviously. Piezoelectric materials produce a voltage across their length when physically stressed. the basic instrument doing nothing more than indicating when the two quantities are equal to each other. One or both components are made adjustable. They are often found on small engine-driven generator sets for the purpose of setting engine speed so that the frequency is somewhat close to 60 (50 in Europe) Hertz. and a meter is placed in the circuit to indicate maximum amplitude of voltage across the two components. respectively) from the circuit under test to cause the meter to indicate. Figure 12. this is a tunable filter circuit which is adjusted and then read in a manner similar to a bridge circuit (which must be balanced for a “null” condition and then read). and will physically deform when an external voltage is applied across their lengths. but they are very simple and therefore easy to manufacture to be rugged.376 CHAPTER 12.

C capacitance C caused by wire connections across quartz characteristics of the quartz L Figure 12. When packaged as such. that quartz chip is equivalent to a series LC resonant circuit. In other words. (Figure 12.14: Crystal (frequency determing element) schematic symbol. the quartz chip will tend to vibrate most when it is “excited” by an applied AC voltage at precisely the right frequency. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 377 Quartz rock is elastic (springy) within that small range of bending which an external voltage would produce. The schematic symbol is shown in Figure 12.12. if a chip of quartz is struck. In reciprocal manner. it will “ring” with its own unique frequency determined by the length of the chip.15) The dielectric properties of quartz contribute an additional capacitive element to the equivalent circuit.2. which means that it will have a mechanical resonant frequency of its own capable of being manifested as an electrical voltage signal. the resulting device is simply called a crystal (or sometimes “xtal”). and that chip mounted securely inside a protective shell with wires extending for connection to an external electric circuit. crystal or xtal Figure 12.14. just like the reeds on a vibrating-reed frequency meter. Chips of quartz rock can be precisely cut for desired resonant frequencies. and that resonant oscillation will produce an equivalent voltage across multiple points of the quartz chip which can be tapped into by wires fixed to the surface of the chip. .15: Quartz crystal equivalent circuit. Electrically.

which uses an atom of mercury (or cesium) suspended in a vacuum. we will obtain a simple figure on the screen of the CRT. The resulting frequency is detected as a radio-wave signal and that forms the basis for the most accurate clocks known to humanity. These patterns are called Lissajous figures and are a common means of comparative frequency measurement in electronics. and if their amplitudes are equal: . The capacitance shown in parallel due to the wire connections across the dielectric (insulating) quartz body is real. the crystal in question may be placed in a temperature stabilized environment (usually an oven). and it has an effect on the resonant response of the whole system. but what needs to be understood about crystals is this resonant circuit equivalence and how it can be exploited within an oscillator circuit to achieve an output voltage with a stable.16. Crystals. Rather. even greater frequency stability may be desired. the resonant frequency variation over time with a quartz crystal is very. making their resonant frequencies very definite and precise. a straight line will not be formed. Here is a sampling of Lissajous figures for two sine-wave signals of equal frequency. very low. The first picture is of the Lissajous figure formed by two AC voltages perfectly in phase with each other: (Figure 12. Because the resonant frequency is solely dependent on the physical properties of quartz (a very stable substance. To achieve this. If the two frequencies are the same. shown as they would appear on the face of an oscilloscope (an AC voltage-measuring instrument using a CRT as its “movement”). patterns will be produced on the screen of the CRT indicative of the ratio of these two AC frequencies. A full discussion on crystal dynamics is not necessary here. typically have much higher “Q” (quality) values than tank circuits built from inductors and capacitors. This is the principle of the so-called atomic clock.17) If the two AC voltages are not in phase with each other. though. known frequency. nothing discovered thus far surpasses the accuracy of a single resonating atom. This is how quartz movement watches obtain their high accuracy: by means of an electronic oscillator stabilized by the resonant action of a quartz crystal. Cathode Ray Tubes typically have means of deflecting the electron beam in the horizontal as well as the vertical axis. the shape of that figure being dependent upon the phase shift between the two AC signals. and broadcast frequency signals based on those atoms’ vibrations for scientists and technicians to tune in and use for frequency calibration purposes. Now we get to the practical part: once we have a source of accurate frequency. thus eliminating frequency errors due to thermal expansion and contraction of the quartz. how do we compare that against an unknown frequency to obtain a measurement? One way is to use a CRT as a frequency-comparison device. For laboratory applications. excited by outside energy to resonate at its own unique frequency. mechanically). If we allow one AC signal to deflect the beam up and down (connect that AC voltage source to the “vertical” deflection plates) and another AC signal to deflect the beam left and right (using the other pair of deflection plates). If metal plates are used to electrostatically deflect the electrons. becoming perfectly circular if the phase shift is exactly 90o between the two signals. as resonant elements. AC METERING CIRCUITS The “capacitance” and “inductance” shown in series are merely electrical equivalents of the quartz’s mechanical resonance properties: they do not exist as discrete components within the crystal.378 CHAPTER 12. the Lissajous figure will take on the appearance of an oval. there will be a pair of plates to the left and right of the beam as well as a pair of plates above and below the beam as in Figure 12. For the ultimate in a frequency standard though. principally due to the relative absence of stray resistance. National standards laboratories around the world maintain a few of these hyper-accurate clocks.

2.17: Lissajous figure: same frequency. . zero degrees phase shift. OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12.16: Cathode ray tube (CRT) with vertical and horizontal deflection plates. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 379 electron "gun" horizontal deflection plates (vacuum) electrons electrons vertical deflection plates viewscreen light Figure 12.12.

90 or 270 degrees phase shift. When we are faced with signal frequencies that are not the same.380 (Figure 12. only this time it will be oriented in the opposite direction: (Figure 12. 180 degrees phase shift. Consider the following examples and their given vertical/horizontal frequency ratios: (Figure 12. Lissajous figures get quite a bit more complex.20) The more complex the ratio between horizontal and vertical frequencies. Finally. Consider the following illustration of a 3:1 frequency ratio between horizontal and vertical: (Figure 12. . AC METERING CIRCUITS OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12. In cases where the frequencies of the two AC signals are not exactly a simple ratio of each other (but close). the more complex the Lissajous figure.21) .18) CHAPTER 12.19: Lissajous figure: same frequency. we will end up with a line again. vertical = 2) in Figure 12. and a 3:2 frequency ratio (horizontal = 3.19) OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12.22. .” slowly changing orientation as the . if the two AC signals are directly opposing one another in phase (180o shift). the Lissajous figure will appear to “move.18: Lissajous figure: same frequency.

OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12.2. FREQUENCY AND PHASE MEASUREMENT 381 OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12. .21: Lissajous figure: Horizontal frequency is three times that of vertical.20: Lissajous figure: Horizontal frequency is twice that of vertical.12.

indicating frequency by relative oscillation among a set of uniquely tuned “reeds” shaken at the measured frequency.3 Power measurement Power measurement in AC circuits can be quite a bit more complex than with DC circuits for the simple reason that phase shift complicates the matter beyond multiplying voltage by . Despite this limitation. 1:3. 2:3.22: Lissajous figure: Horizontal/vertical frequency ratio is 3:2. If the two frequencies are locked in an exact integer ratio between each other. 3:4. For ultra precision. Reference frequency signals can be made with a high degree of accuracy by oscillator circuits using quartz crystals as resonant devices. the Lissajous figure will be stable on the viewscreen of the CRT. and a sensitive meter is read for maximum voltage or current at the point of resonance. The physics of Lissajous figures limits their usefulness as a frequency-comparison technique to cases where the frequency ratios are simple integer values (1:1. 12. as is the case when using a CRT to generate Lissajous figures. Lissajous figures are a popular means of frequency comparison wherever an accessible frequency standard (signal generator) exists. etc. atomic clock signal standards (based on the resonant frequencies of individual atoms) can be used. 1:2.). • REVIEW: • Some frequency meters work on the principle of mechanical resonance. AC METERING CIRCUITS OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Lissajous figure: Horizontal/Vertical frequency ratio is 3:2 Figure 12. One or both components is made to be adjustable. with an accurately calibrated adjustment knob.382 CHAPTER 12. usually) to indicate frequency. • Other frequency meters use electric resonant circuits (LC tank circuits. • Frequency can be measured in a comparative fashion. phase angle between the two waveforms rolls between 0o and 180o .

23: Hall effect: Voltage is proportional to current and strength of the perpendicular magnetic field. An ingenious method of deriving an electronic power meter (one that generates an electric signal representing power in the system rather than merely move a pointer) is based on the Hall effect. It has been found that specially prepared “semiconductor” materials produce a greater Hall voltage than do metals. and so modern Hall Effect devices are made of these. obviously.12. the Hall voltage would be in direct proportion to the multiple of circuit current and . Hall in 1879. rectangular conductor is directly proportional to both the magnitude of the current through it and the strength of the magnetic field. Three phase power measurement can be accomplished using two dynamometer movements with a common shaft linking the two moving coils together so that a single pointer registers power on a meter movement scale. the common electrodynamometer movement with its stationary and moving coil does a fine job of this. What is needed is an instrument able to determine the product (multiplication) of instantaneous voltage and current. rectangular conductor. Mathematically. makes for a rather expensive and complex movement mechanism. It makes sense then that if we were to build a device using a Hall-effect sensor where the current through the conductor was pushed by AC voltage from an external circuit and the magnetic field was set up by a pair or wire coils energized by the current of the AC power circuit.3. The Hall effect is an unusual effect first noticed by E. The amount of “Hall Voltage” produced for any given set of conditions also depends on the type of material used for the flat. POWER MEASUREMENT 383 current figures obtained with meters. it is a product (multiplication) of these two variables. This. Fortunately. The voltage generated across the width of the flat. whereby a voltage is generated along the width of a current-carrying conductor exposed to a perpendicular magnetic field: (Figure 12.23) voltage S current N current S N Figure 12. H. but it is a workable solution.

If voltage and current in the power circuit are 90o out of phase (a power factor of zero. meaning no real power delivered to the load). the Hall output voltage will likewise be zero. At those points in time. The output of such a meter can be set in units of Joules. the other will be zero. Not only will the output voltage of the Hall effect device be the representation of instantaneous power at any point in time. Often it is useful to have a meter to totalize power usage over a period of time rather than instantaneously.24: Hall effect power sensor measures instantaneous power. generating a signal corresponding to the instantaneous absorption and release of power through the reactive load. Conditioned through a low-pass filter circuit. If both current direction and magnetic field polarity reverses – as it would ever half-cycle of the AC power – the output voltage polarity will stay the same. being the product (multiplication) of current and magnetic field strength.24) voltage Rmultiplier AC power source Load Figure 12. Any phase shift between voltage and current in the power circuit less than 90o will result in a Hall output voltage that oscillates between positive and negative. Between those points in time. The net DC output voltage will be zero. the Hall output voltage will fluctuate equally between positive and negative. the final output signal registered on a sensitive DC meter movement. indicating zero true power in the circuit. this net DC voltage can be separated from the AC mixed with it. this device is able to provide instantaneous power measurement: (Figure 12. Having no mass to move (unlike an electromechanical movement). AC METERING CIRCUITS voltage. or total energy .384 CHAPTER 12. but it will also be a DC signal! This is because the Hall voltage polarity is dependent upon both the polarity of the magnetic field and the direction of current through the conductor. but spends more time positive than negative. Consequently there will be a net DC output voltage. the alternate peaks of Hall device current and magnetic field will never coincide with each other: when one is at its peak.

and can be difficult to pinpoint.12. aside from power factor. With problems like these plaguing power systems. the output of the meter can be set in units of Watt-Hours. whereas the true-RMS meter always will. If the voltage is anything but sinewave-shaped. reduce electric motor horsepower output. Anything other than a clean sine wave could be an indication of trouble: (Figure 12. regardless of waveshape. The rule of thumb here is this: the greater the disparity between the two meters. This is not true anymore. the worse the power quality is. Another qualitative measurement of power quality is the oscilloscope test: connect an oscilloscope (CRT) to the AC voltage and observe the shape of the wave.4. Power Quality is the general term given to represent an AC power system’s freedom from harmonic content.4 Power quality measurement It used to be with large AC power systems that “power quality” was an unheard-of concept. 12. since power is a measure of work being done per unit time. Loads controlled by “nonlinear” electronic components are becoming more prevalent in both home and industry. POWER QUALITY MEASUREMENT 385 consumed. Excessive harmonics in an AC power system can overheat transformers. A power system with good quality power should generate equal voltage readings between the two meters. The “motor” used in these meters has a rotor made of a thin aluminum disk. cause exceedingly high neutral conductor currents in three-phase systems. with the rotating magnetic field established by sets of coils energized by line voltage and load current so that the rotational speed of the disk is dependent on both voltage and current. Remember that “averaging” type meters are calibrated so that their scales indicate volts RMS. the averaging meter will not register the proper value. Mechanical means for measuring Watt-Hours are usually centered around the concept of the motor: build an AC motor that spins at a rate of speed proportional to the instantaneous power in a circuit. Or. meaning that they did not distort the shape of the voltage sine wave. to within the rated error tolerance of the two instruments. more commonly. meaning that the voltages and currents in the power system(s) feeding these loads are rich in harmonics: what should be nice. create electromagnetic “noise” in the form of radio emissions that can interfere with sensitive electronic equipment. Almost all loads were of the “linear” variety.25) . A simple way for a technician to determine power quality in their system without sophisticated equipment is to compare voltage readings between two accurate voltmeters measuring the same system voltage: one meter being an “averaging” type of unit (such as an electromechanical movement meter) and the other being a “true-RMS” type of unit (such as a highquality digital meter). A “power quality” meter is one that gives some form of harmonic content indication. which is equivalent to the presence of an infinite series of high-frequency sine waves at multiples of the fundamental power line frequency. or cause non-sinusoidal currents to flow in the circuit. engineers and technicians require ways to precisely detect and measure these conditions. clean sinewave voltages and currents are becoming highly distorted. based on the assumption that the AC voltage being measured is sinusoidal. and the greater its harmonic content. then have that motor turn an “odometer” style counting mechanism to keep a running total of energy consumed.

” Just as a prism splits a beam of white light into its constituent color components (how much red. . yellow. there is no substitute for an instrument specifically designed for that purpose.26: Power quality meter is a low frequency spectrum analyzer.26) 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 Total distortion = 43. the spectrum analyzer splits a mixed-frequency signal into its constituent frequencies. and blue is in that light). numerical figures) is necessary. orange. What this instrument does is provide a graphical representation on a CRT or digital display screen of the AC voltage’s frequency “spectrum. if quantitative analysis (definite.7 % Power Quality Meter Figure 12. green. Such an instrument is called a power quality meter and is sometimes better known in electronic circles as a low-frequency spectrum analyzer.386 CHAPTER 12. and displays the result in the form of a histogram: (Figure 12. AC METERING CIRCUITS OSCILLOSCOPE vertical Y V/div trigger DC GND AC timebase X s/div DC GND AC Figure 12.25: This is a moderately ugly “sine” wave. Definite harmonic content here! Still.

and using a microprocessor (small computer) to perform numerical Fourier analysis (the Fast Fourier Transform or “FFT” algorithm) on those data points to arrive at harmonic frequency magnitudes. which are “calibrated. even-numbered harmonics tend to be canceled out. For American power systems. because a pure sine wave has no harmonic content. Power quality meters such as this might be better referred to as overtone meters. When the bridge is in a balanced condition (zero voltage as indicated by the null detector). In three-phase AC power systems (predominant for large power applications). the “5” for 300 Hz (the 5th harmonic). AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 387 Each number on the horizontal scale of this meter represents a harmonic of the fundamental frequency. because different types of nonlinear loads tend to generate different spectrum “signatures” which can clue the troubleshooter to the source of the problem. there will be no fundamental error introduced as a result of a lesser or greater power supply voltage unlike other types of resistance measurement schemes. with a null-detector meter movement connected between them to indicate a condition of “balance” at zero volts: (Figure 12. the higher the supply voltage.” or whose resistances are known to a precise degree. Practically speaking. the bridge circuit works as a pair of two-component voltage dividers connected across the same source voltage.5. and so on. These meters work by very quickly sampling the AC voltage at many different points along the waveform shape. and its value can be determined by a ratio of the other three. digitizing those points of information. Meters like these are very useful in the hands of a skilled technician.27) Any one of the four resistors in the above bridge can be the resistor of unknown value. A greater supply voltage leads to the possibility of increased measurement precision. This is true with AC as well. 60 Hz sine wave would show only a tall black bar over the “1” with no black bars showing at all over the other frequency markers on the scale.5 AC bridge circuits As we saw with DC measurement circuits. or fundamental). the “3” for 180 Hz (the 3rd harmonic). the easier it is to detect a condition of imbalance between the four resistors with the null detector. because they are designed to display only those frequencies known to be generated by the power system. The black rectangles represent the relative magnitudes of each of these harmonic components in the measured AC voltage. A pure. 12. . the circuit configuration known as a bridge can be a very useful way to measure unknown values of resistance. However. the “1” represents 60 Hz (the 1st harmonic. The process is not much unlike what the SPICE program tells a computer to do when performing a Fourier analysis on a simulated circuit voltage or current waveform.12. the ratio works out to be this: In a condition of balance: R1 R2 = R3 R4 One of the advantages of using a bridge circuit to measure resistance is that the voltage of the power source is irrelevant. and so only harmonics existing in significant measure are the odd-numbered. and we can apply the very same principle to the accurate measurement of unknown impedances. To review. and thus the more sensitive it will be.

as both magnitude and phase across the components of the two dividers must be equal in order for the null detector to indicate “zero.28: “Modern” low-Ohm headphones require an impedance matching transformer for use as a sensitive null detector.28) Press button To test Null detector for AC bridge made from audio headphones Headphones Test leads 1 kΩ 8Ω Figure 12. Headphone speakers are typically low-impedance units (8 Ω). on the indicator. must be a device capable of detecting very small AC voltages.” The null detector. requiring substantial current to drive.27: A balanced bridge shows a “null”. only the balance equation is with complex quantities. One way to maximize the effectiveness of audio headphones as a null detector is to connect them to the signal source through an impedance-matching transformer.388 CHAPTER 12. or minimum reading. although very sensitive electromechanical meter movements and even headphones (small speakers) may be used if the source frequency is within audio range. An oscilloscope is often used for this. and so a step-down transformer helps “match” low-current signals to the impedance of the headphone speakers. Impedance bridges work the same. of course. AC METERING CIRCUITS R1 R3 null R2 R4 Figure 12. An audio output transformer works well for this purpose: (Figure 12. .

the unknown component’s value may be determined directly from the setting of the calibrated standard. and an audio output transformer (1000:8 ohm impedance ratio). where impedances and not just resistances must be in proper ratio for balance. Connected to a resistive bridge. AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 389 Using a pair of headphones that completely surround the ears (the “closed-cup” type). obtained from a highquality. resistance. Depending on how the bridge is set up. It is insufficient that the impedance magnitudes alone be balanced. it must be stressed that the impedance quantities in the above equation must be complex.30) For this general form of AC bridge to balance. Headphones R1 R3 R2 R4 Figure 12. the whole circuit looks like Figure 12. each one with a certain impedance: (Figure 12. calibrated component that can be adjusted in value until the null detector device indicates a condition of balance.29.12. a condition of balance will be realized when the headphones fail to produce “clicks” (or tones.1 µA with this simple detector circuit.” As always in bridge measurement circuits. it is sometimes helpful to draw the respective bridge legs in the form of box-shaped components. this circuit is usable for detecting signals from DC to over 2 MHz: even if the frequency is far above or below the audio range. without phase angles in balance as well. I’ve been able to detect currents of less than 0. the impedance ratios of each branch must be equal: Z1 Z = 3 Z2 Z4 Again. Bridge circuits can be constructed to measure just about any device value desired. accounting for both magnitude and phase angle. or even “Q. When describing general AC bridges. inductance. Listening to the headphones as one or more of the resistor “arms” of the bridge is adjusted. or derived from . Roughly equal performance was obtained using two different step-down transformers: a small power transformer (120/6 volt ratio).29: Bridge with sensitive AC null detector. With the pushbutton switch in place to interrupt current. be it capacitance. there will still be voltage across the terminals of the null detector and the bridge will not be balanced.5. a “click” will be heard from the headphones each time the switch is pressed and released. the unknown quantity is always “balanced” against a known standard. if the bridge’s power source frequency is within audio range) as the switch is actuated.

AC METERING CIRCUITS Z1 null Z2 Z3 Z4 Figure 12.31: Symmetrical bridge measures unknown inductor by comparison to a standard inductor. The two bridge circuits shown above are balanced by adjusting the calibrated reactive component (Ls or Cs ). in the hypothetical world of perfect components. A couple of simple bridge circuits are shown below. as practical symmetrical bridge circuits often have a calibrated. They are a bit simplified from their real-life counterparts. variable resistor in series or parallel with the reactive component to balance out stray resistance in the unknown component. these simple bridge .30: Generalized AC impedance bridge: Z = nonspecific complex impedance.32) unknown inductance Lx null Ls standard inductance R R Figure 12. that standard through a mathematical formula. But. one for inductance (Figure 12.390 CHAPTER 12. Simple “symmetrical” bridges such as these are so named because they exhibit symmetry (mirror-image similarity) from left to right.31) and one for capacitance: (Figure 12.

33) All capacitors have some amount of internal resistance. and so the Wien bridge attempts to do so by providing a balancing impedance that isn’t “pure” either: Being that there are two standard components to be adjusted (a resistor and a capacitor) this bridge will take a little more time to balance than the others we’ve seen so far. This internal resistance may be of interest to measure. and is used to measure unknown inductances in terms of calibrated resistance and capacitance. the settings of Rs and Cs can be read from their calibrated knobs. The combined effect of Rs and Cs is to alter the magnitude and phase angle until the bridge achieves a condition of balance. where the internal resistance is relatively high. Once that balance is achieved. This ingenious bridge circuit is known as the Maxwell-Wien bridge (sometimes known plainly as the Maxwell bridge).34) Calibration-grade inductors are more .5. the capacitors are made fixed (and usually of equal value) and the top two resistors are made variable and are adjusted by means of the same knob.32: Symmetrical bridge measures unknown capacitor by comparison to a standard capacitor.12. used to precisely measure inductances. be it literal or equivalent (in the form of dielectric heating losses) which tend to spoil their otherwise perfectly reactive natures. An interesting variation on this theme is found in the next bridge circuit. Wien bridges are useful for determining the values of “lossy” capacitor designs like electrolytics. which uses a parallel capacitor-resistor standard impedance to balance out an unknown series capacitor-resistor combination. They are also used as frequency meters. When used in this fashion. (Figure 12. (Figure 12. the parallel impedance of the two determined mathematically. circuits do just fine to illustrate the basic concept. because the balance of the bridge is frequency-dependent. An example of a little extra complexity added to compensate for real-world effects can be found in the so-called Wien bridge. AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 391 unknown capacitance Cx Cs null standard capacitance R R Figure 12. It is assumed in the operation of the Wien bridge that the standard capacitor has negligible internal resistance. and the unknown capacitance and resistance determined mathematically from the balance equation (Z1 /Z2 = Z3 /Z4 ). or at least that resistance is already known so that it can be factored into the balance equation.

Lx Rx R null Cs R Rs Figure 12.392 CHAPTER 12. .33: Wein Bridge measures both capacitive Cx and resistive Rx components of “real” capacitor. AC METERING CIRCUITS Cx Rx Cs null Rs R R Figure 12.34: Maxwell-Wein bridge measures an inductor in terms of a capacitor standard.

a capacitive impedance can balance out an inductive impedance if they are located in opposite legs of a bridge. Unlike the plain Wien bridge. they form stray current paths to the AC voltage source which may affect bridge balance: (Figure 12.36) One way of greatly reducing this effect is to keep the null detector at ground potential. the bridge can be made to work if the capacitor is fixed (non-variable) and more than one resistor made variable (at least the resistor in parallel with the capacitor. which would be worse than any capacitive path.37) The Wagner earth circuit is nothing more than a voltage divider. However. this problem is eliminated.35) While reed-type meters are imprecise. The adjustment knob(s) are calibrated to show resonant frequency for any given setting. General-purpose impedance bridge circuits are manufactured which can be switched into more than one configuration for maximum flexibility of use. the total stray impedance for leakage currents made far less and any leakage currents through these stray capacitances made greater as a result: (Figure 12. directly connecting the null detector to ground is not an option. designed to have the volt- . In lieu of mechanical resonance. and both must be adjusted to achieve balance. and one of the other two). as the different variable resistors interact in balancing magnitude and phase. Instead. so there will be no AC voltage between it and the ground. Because the phase shifts of inductors and capacitors are exactly opposite each other. For easiest operation. the standard capacitor (Cs ) and the resistor in parallel with it (Rs ) are made variable. the balance of the Maxwell-Wien bridge is independent of source frequency. and so the use of a simple “symmetrical” inductance bridge is not always practical. There are more variations beyond these designs. and thus no current through stray capacitances. One or both components are made adjustable. (Figure 12. we may substitute electrical resonance and design a frequency meter using an inductor and capacitor in the form of a tank circuit (parallel inductor and capacitor). this is a tunable filter circuit which is adjusted and then read in a manner similar to a bridge circuit (which must be balanced for a “null” condition and then read). AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 393 difficult to manufacture than capacitors of similar precision. Because capacitances can “conduct” alternating current by charging and discharging. The problem is worsened if the AC voltage source is firmly grounded at one end. but a full discussion is not warranted here. However. their operational principle is not. A potential problem in sensitive AC bridge circuits is that of stray capacitance between either end of the null detector unit and ground (earth) potential. and in some cases this bridge can be made to balance in the presence of mixed frequencies from the AC voltage source. as they are here.5. However. Magnetic fields can be difficult to shield. and the frequency is read from them after the device has been adjusted for maximum indication on the meter. a special voltage divider circuit called a Wagner ground or Wagner earth may be used to maintain the null detector at ground potential without the need for a direct connection to the null detector. Essentially. as it would create a direct current path for stray currents.12. and even a small amount of coupling between coils in a bridge can introduce substantial errors in certain conditions. and a meter is placed in the circuit to indicate maximum amplitude of voltage across the two components. in the latter configuration it takes more trial-and-error adjustment to achieve balance. Another advantage of using a Maxwell bridge to measure inductance rather than a symmetrical inductance bridge is the elimination of measurement error due to mutual inductance between two inductors. With no second inductor to react with in the Maxwell bridge. the limiting factor being the inductor’s stability over a wide frequency range.

394 CHAPTER 12.35: Stray capacitance to ground may introduce errors into the bridge.36: Stray capacitance errors are more severe if one side of the AC supply is grounded. AC METERING CIRCUITS Cstray Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Cstray Figure 12. . Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Figure 12.

5. thus eliminating any errors due to leakage currents through stray detector-to-ground capacitances: • REVIEW: • AC bridge circuits work on the same basic principle as DC bridge circuits: that a balanced ratio of impedances (rather than resistances) will result in a “balanced” condition as indicated by the null-detector device. any other divider circuit (including either side of the bridge) having the same voltage proportions and phases as the Wagner divider. AC BRIDGE CIRCUITS 395 Cstray Wagner earth Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Cstray Figure 12. headphones (amplified or unamplified). the Wagner earth divider forces the null detector to be at ground potential. • Null detectors for AC bridges may be sensitive electromechanical meter movements. age ratio and phase shift as each side of the bridge. (Figure 12. There is often a provision made in the null detector connection to confirm proper setting of the Wagner earth divider circuit: a two-position switch. and powered by the same AC voltage source. its only required point of calibration accuracy is at zero. When the null detector registers zero signal in both switch positions.37: Wagner ground for AC supply minimizes the effects of stray capacitance to ground on the bridge.38) so that one end of the null detector may be connected to either the bridge or the Wagner earth. will be at ground potential as well. Thus. oscilloscopes (CRT’s). Because the midpoint of the Wagner divider is directly grounded. or any other device capable of registering very small AC voltage levels. without a direct connection between the detector and ground.12. . the bridge is not only guaranteed to be balanced. but the null detector is also guaranteed to be at zero potential with respect to ground. Like DC null detectors.

strain gauges. • Some impedance bridge circuits are frequency-sensitive while others are not. special devices have been made that do the same with AC. • AC bridge circuits often have more than one adjustment.). since both impedance magnitude and phase angle must be properly matched to balance.” using parallel impedances to balance series impedances. The frequencysensitive types may be used as frequency measurement devices if all component values are accurately known. • AC bridge circuits can be of the “symmetrical” type where an unknown impedance is balanced by a standard impedance of similar type on the same side (top or bottom) of the bridge. • A Wagner earth or Wagner ground is a voltage divider circuit added to AC bridges to help reduce errors due to stray capacitance coupling the null detector to ground. they can be “nonsymmetrical. pH probes. It is often necessary to be able to detect and transmit the physical position of mechanical parts via electrical signals. AC METERING CIRCUITS Cstray Cx Cs null Cstray R R Cstray Cstray Figure 12. This is especially true in the fields of automated machine tool control and robotics.39) .396 CHAPTER 12. or even capacitances balancing out inductances.6 AC instrumentation transducers Just as devices have been made to measure certain physical quantities and repeat that information in the form of DC electrical signals (thermocouples.38: Switch-up position allows adjustment of the Wagner ground. A simple and easy way to do this is with a potentiometer: (Figure 12. 12. Or. etc.

Thus. this physical contact between wiper and strip creates the possibility of arcing (sparking) between the two as the wiper is moved. The primary advantage of an LVDT over a potentiometer for position sensing is the absence of physical contact between the moving and stationary parts. which means they suffer the effects of physical wear over time. they rely on physical contact between the “wiper” and the resistance strip. It is variable because the core is free to move between the windings. but slides in and out within a nonconducting tube. you might hear “scratching” sounds coming out of the speakers.39: Potentiometer tap voltage indicates position of an object slaved to the shaft. The further away the core is from center position. this potential for arcing translates into a potential for an explosion! Using AC instead of DC. Being arranged to oppose each other (180o out of phase) means that the output of this device will be the difference between the voltage output of the two secondary windings. Devices made for this purpose are called LVDT’s. the current is so low that wiper arcing is negligible. but it is a possibility to be considered. we are able to completely avoid sliding contact between parts if we use a variable transformer instead of a potentiometer. the greater percentage of input (“excitation”) voltage will be seen at the output. It is differential because of the way the two secondary windings are connected. However. their proportional output versus shaft position becomes less and less certain. The AC voltage output by an LVDT indicates the position of the movable core. at frequencies ranging from power . potentiometers have their own unique problems. The core does not contact the wire windings. For one. which stands for Linear Variable Differential Transformers. this device is a transformer: it has a single primary winding powered by an external source of AC voltage. If the potentiometer is to be operated in an environment where combustible vapor or dust is present. Also. When the core is centered and both windings are outputting the same voltage.6. AC INSTRUMENTATION TRANSDUCERS 397 potentiometer shaft moved by physical motion of an object + V - voltmeter indicates position of that object Figure 12.40) Obviously. You might have already experienced this effect when adjusting the volume control on an old radio: when twisting the knob. As potentiometers wear. Those noises are the result of poor wiper contact in the volume control potentiometer. The design of an LVDT looks like this: (Figure 12. Zero volts means that the core is centered. and two secondary windings connected in series-bucking fashion. The phase of the output voltage relative to the excitation voltage indicates which direction from center the core is offset. With most potentiometer circuits. Excitation of the LVDT is typically 10 volts RMS or less.12. the LVDT does not “wear” like a potentiometer. the net result at the output terminals will be zero volts. It is called linear because the core’s freedom of motion is straight-line. nor is there the possibility of creating an arc.



AC output voltage AC "excitation" voltage

movable core
Figure 12.40: AC output of linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) indicates core position. line to the high audio (20 kHz) range. One potential disadvantage of the LVDT is its response time, which is mostly dependent on the frequency of the AC voltage source. If very quick response times are desired, the frequency must be higher to allow whatever voltage-sensing circuits enough cycles of AC to determine voltage level as the core is moved. To illustrate the potential problem here, imagine this exaggerated scenario: an LVDT powered by a 60 Hz voltage source, with the core being moved in and out hundreds of times per second. The output of this LVDT wouldn’t even look like a sine wave because the core would be moved throughout its range of motion before the AC source voltage could complete a single cycle! It would be almost impossible to determine instantaneous core position if it moves faster than the instantaneous source voltage does. A variation on the LVDT is the RVDT, or Rotary Variable Differential Transformer. This device works on almost the same principle, except that the core revolves on a shaft instead of moving in a straight line. RVDT’s can be constructed for limited motion of 360o (full-circle) motion. Continuing with this principle, we have what is known as a Synchro or Selsyn, which is a device constructed a lot like a wound-rotor polyphase AC motor or generator. The rotor is free to revolve a full 360o , just like a motor. On the rotor is a single winding connected to a source of AC voltage, much like the primary winding of an LVDT. The stator windings are usually in the form of a three-phase Y, although synchros with more than three phases have been built. (Figure 12.41) A device with a two-phase stator is known as a resolver. A resolver produces sine and cosine outputs which indicate shaft position. Voltages induced in the stator windings from the rotor’s AC excitation are not phase-shifted by 120o as in a real three-phase generator. If the rotor were energized with DC current rather than AC and the shaft spun continuously, then the voltages would be true three-phase. But this is not how a synchro is designed to be operated. Rather, this is a position-sensing device much like an RVDT, except that its output signal is much more definite. With the rotor energized by AC, the stator winding voltages will be proportional in magnitude to the angular position

Synchro (a.k.a "Selsyn") Resolver


AC voltage source rotor winding three-phase stator winding

rotor winding

two-phase stator winding

stator connections

rotor connections

stator connections

rotor connections

modern schematic symbol

Figure 12.41: A synchro is wound with a three-phase stator winding, and a rotating field. A resolver has a two-phase stator. of the rotor, phase either 0o or 180o shifted, like a regular LVDT or RVDT. You could think of it as a transformer with one primary winding and three secondary windings, each secondary winding oriented at a unique angle. As the rotor is slowly turned, each winding in turn will line up directly with the rotor, producing full voltage, while the other windings will produce something less than full voltage. Synchros are often used in pairs. With their rotors connected in parallel and energized by the same AC voltage source, their shafts will match position to a high degree of accuracy: (Figure 12.42)
Synchro "transmitter" Synchro "receiver"

The receiver rotor will turn to match position with the transmitter rotor so long as the two rotors remain energized.

Figure 12.42: Synchro shafts are slaved to each other. Rotating one moves the other. Such “transmitter/receiver” pairs have been used on ships to relay rudder position, or to



relay navigational gyro position over fairly long distances. The only difference between the “transmitter” and the “receiver” is which one gets turned by an outside force. The “receiver” can just as easily be used as the “transmitter” by forcing its shaft to turn and letting the synchro on the left match position. If the receiver’s rotor is left unpowered, it will act as a position-error detector, generating an AC voltage at the rotor if the shaft is anything other than 90o or 270o shifted from the shaft position of the transmitter. The receiver rotor will no longer generate any torque and consequently will no longer automatically match position with the transmitter’s: (Figure 12.43)
Synchro "transmitter" Synchro "receiver"

AC voltmeter

Figure 12.43: AC voltmeter registers voltage if the receiver rotor is not rotated exactly 90 or 270 degrees from the transmitter rotor. This can be thought of almost as a sort of bridge circuit that achieves balance only if the receiver shaft is brought to one of two (matching) positions with the transmitter shaft. One rather ingenious application of the synchro is in the creation of a phase-shifting device, provided that the stator is energized by three-phase AC: (Figure 12.44)
three-phase AC voltage source (can be Y or Delta) Synchro

voltage signal output

Figure 12.44: Full rotation of the rotor will smoothly shift the phase from 0o all the way to 360o (back to 0o ). As the synchro’s rotor is turned, the rotor coil will progressively align with each stator coil, their respective magnetic fields being 120o phase-shifted from one another. In between those positions, these phase-shifted fields will mix to produce a rotor voltage somewhere between 0o ,



120o , or 240o shift. The practical result is a device capable of providing an infinitely variablephase AC voltage with the twist of a knob (attached to the rotor shaft). A synchro or a resolver may measure linear motion if geared with a rack and pinion mechanism. A linear movement of a few inches (or cm) resulting in multiple revolutions of the synchro (resolver) generates a train of sinewaves. An Inductosyn R is a linear version of the resolver. It outputs signals like a resolver; though, it bears slight resemblance. The Inductosyn consists of two parts: a fixed serpentine winding having a 0.1 in or 2 mm pitch, and a movable winding known as a slider. (Figure 12.45) The slider has a pair of windings having the same pitch as the fixed winding. The slider windings are offset by a quarter pitch so both sine and cosine waves are produced by movement. One slider winding is adequate for counting pulses, but provides no direction information. The 2-phase windings provide direction information in the phasing of the sine and cosine waves. Movement by one pitch produces a cycle of sine and cosine waves; multiple pitches produce a train of waves.

P θ




slider sin(θ) (a) cos(θ) (b)

Figure 12.45: Inductosyn: (a) Fixed serpentine winding, (b) movable slider 2-phase windings. Adapted from Figure 6.16 [1] When we say sine and cosine waves are produces as a function of linear movement, we really mean a high frequency carrier is amplitude modulated as the slider moves. The two slider AC signals must be measured to determine position within a pitch, the fine position. How many pitches has the slider moved? The sine and cosine signals’ relationship does not reveal that. However, the number of pitches (number of waves) may be counted from a known starting point yielding coarse position. This is an incremental encoder. If absolute position must be known regardless of the starting point, an auxiliary resolver geared for one revolution per length gives a coarse position. This constitutes an absolute encoder. A linear Inductosyn has a transformer ratio of 100:1. Compare this to the 1:1 ratio for a resolver. A few volts AC excitation into an Inductosyn yields a few millivolts out. This low signal level is converted to to a 12-bit digital format by a resolver to digital converter (RDC). Resolution of 25 microinches is achievable.



There is also a rotary version of the Inductosyn having 360 pattern pitches per revolution. When used with a 12-bit resolver to digital converter, better that 1 arc second resolution is achievable. This is an incremental encoder. Counting of pitches from a known starting point is necessary to determine absolute position. Alternatively, a resolver may determine coarse absolute position. [1] So far the transducers discussed have all been of the inductive variety. However, it is possible to make transducers which operate on variable capacitance as well, AC being used to sense the change in capacitance and generate a variable output voltage. Remember that the capacitance between two conductive surfaces varies with three major factors: the overlapping area of those two surfaces, the distance between them, and the dielectric constant of the material in between the surfaces. If two out of three of these variables can be fixed (stabilized) and the third allowed to vary, then any measurement of capacitance between the surfaces will be solely indicative of changes in that third variable. Medical researchers have long made use of capacitive sensing to detect physiological changes in living bodies. As early as 1907, a German researcher named H. Cremer placed two metal plates on either side of a beating frog heart and measured the capacitance changes resulting from the heart alternately filling and emptying itself of blood. Similar measurements have been performed on human beings with metal plates placed on the chest and back, recording respiratory and cardiac action by means of capacitance changes. For more precise capacitive measurements of organ activity, metal probes have been inserted into organs (especially the heart) on the tips of catheter tubes, capacitance being measured between the metal probe and the body of the subject. With a sufficiently high AC excitation frequency and sensitive enough voltage detector, not just the pumping action but also the sounds of the active heart may be readily interpreted. Like inductive transducers, capacitive transducers can also be made to be self-contained units, unlike the direct physiological examples described above. Some transducers work by making one of the capacitor plates movable, either in such a way as to vary the overlapping area or the distance between the plates. Other transducers work by moving a dielectric material in and out between two fixed plates: (Figure 12.46)




Figure 12.46: Variable capacitive transducer varies; (a) area of overlap, (b) distance between plates, (c) amount of dielectric between plates. Transducers with greater sensitivity and immunity to changes in other variables can be obtained by way of differential design, much like the concept behind the LVDT (Linear Variable Differential Transformer). Here are a few examples of differential capacitive transducers: (Figure 12.47)






Figure 12.47: Differential capacitive transducer varies capacitance ratio by changing: (a) area of overlap, (b) distance between plates, (c) dielectric between plates. As you can see, all of the differential devices shown in the above illustration have three wire connections rather than two: one wire for each of the “end” plates and one for the “common” plate. As the capacitance between one of the “end” plates and the “common” plate changes, the capacitance between the other “end” plate and the “common” plate is such to change in the opposite direction. This kind of transducer lends itself very well to implementation in a bridge circuit: (Figure 12.48)
Pictoral diagram capacitive sensor Schematic diagram


Figure 12.48: Differential capacitive transducer bridge measurement circuit. Capacitive transducers provide relatively small capacitances for a measurement circuit to operate with, typically in the picofarad range. Because of this, high power supply frequencies (in the megahertz range!) are usually required to reduce these capacitive reactances to reasonable levels. Given the small capacitances provided by typical capacitive transducers, stray capacitances have the potential of being major sources of measurement error. Good conductor shielding is essential for reliable and accurate capacitive transducer circuitry! The bridge circuit is not the only way to effectively interpret the differential capacitance output of such a transducer, but it is one of the simplest to implement and understand. As with the LVDT, the voltage output of the bridge is proportional to the displacement of the transducer action from its center position, and the direction of offset will be indicated by phase



shift. This kind of bridge circuit is similar in function to the kind used with strain gauges: it is not intended to be in a “balanced” condition all the time, but rather the degree of imbalance represents the magnitude of the quantity being measured. An interesting alternative to the bridge circuit for interpreting differential capacitance is the twin-T. It requires the use of diodes, those “one-way valves” for electric current mentioned earlier in the chapter: (Figure 12.49)


R C1 + + C2 Rload Eout

Figure 12.49: Differential capacitive transducer “Twin-T” measurement circuit. This circuit might be better understood if re-drawn to resemble more of a bridge configuration: (Figure 12.50)

R + C1

R Rload + C2

Figure 12.50: Differential capacitor transducer “Twin-T” measurement circuit redrawn as a bridge.Output is across Rload . Capacitor C1 is charged by the AC voltage source during every positive half-cycle (positive as measured in reference to the ground point), while C2 is charged during every negative halfcycle. While one capacitor is being charged, the other capacitor discharges (at a slower rate than it was charged) through the three-resistor network. As a consequence, C1 maintains a positive DC voltage with respect to ground, and C2 a negative DC voltage with respect to



ground. If the capacitive transducer is displaced from center position, one capacitor will increase in capacitance while the other will decrease. This has little effect on the peak voltage charge of each capacitor, as there is negligible resistance in the charging current path from source to capacitor, resulting in a very short time constant (τ ). However, when it comes time to discharge through the resistors, the capacitor with the greater capacitance value will hold its charge longer, resulting in a greater average DC voltage over time than the lesser-value capacitor. The load resistor (Rload ), connected at one end to the point between the two equal-value resistors (R) and at the other end to ground, will drop no DC voltage if the two capacitors’ DC voltage charges are equal in magnitude. If, on the other hand, one capacitor maintains a greater DC voltage charge than the other due to a difference in capacitance, the load resistor will drop a voltage proportional to the difference between these voltages. Thus, differential capacitance is translated into a DC voltage across the load resistor. Across the load resistor, there is both AC and DC voltage present, with only the DC voltage being significant to the difference in capacitance. If desired, a low-pass filter may be added to the output of this circuit to block the AC, leaving only a DC signal to be interpreted by measurement circuitry: (Figure 12.51)


Low-pass filter

R C1 + + C2 Rload

Rfilter Cfilter Eout

Figure 12.51: Addition of low-pass filter to “twin-T” feeds pure DC to measurement indicator. As a measurement circuit for differential capacitive sensors, the twin-T configuration enjoys many advantages over the standard bridge configuration. First and foremost, transducer displacement is indicated by a simple DC voltage, not an AC voltage whose magnitude and phase must be interpreted to tell which capacitance is greater. Furthermore, given the proper component values and power supply output, this DC output signal may be strong enough to directly drive an electromechanical meter movement, eliminating the need for an amplifier circuit. Another important advantage is that all important circuit elements have one terminal directly connected to ground: the source, the load resistor, and both capacitors are all groundreferenced. This helps minimize the ill effects of stray capacitance commonly plaguing bridge measurement circuits, likewise eliminating the need for compensatory measures such as the Wagner earth. This circuit is also easy to specify parts for. Normally, a measurement circuit incorporating complementary diodes requires the selection of “matched” diodes for good accuracy. Not so with



this circuit! So long as the power supply voltage is significantly greater than the deviation in voltage drop between the two diodes, the effects of mismatch are minimal and contribute little to measurement error. Furthermore, supply frequency variations have a relatively low impact on gain (how much output voltage is developed for a given amount of transducer displacement), and square-wave supply voltage works as well as sine-wave, assuming a 50% duty cycle (equal positive and negative half-cycles), of course. Personal experience with using this circuit has confirmed its impressive performance. Not only is it easy to prototype and test, but its relative insensitivity to stray capacitance and its high output voltage as compared to traditional bridge circuits makes it a very robust alternative.



Contributors to this chapter are listed in chronological order of their contributions, from most recent to first. See Appendix 2 (Contributor List) for dates and contact information. Jason Starck (June 2000): HTML document formatting, which led to a much betterlooking second edition.

[1] Waltt Kestler, “Position and Motion Sensors”, Analog De Docs/ vices. 324695618448506532114843952501435805318549066180119988Fsect6.PDF

Chapter 13

13.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.1.1 Hysteresis and Eddy Current . . . . . . . 13.2 Synchronous Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.3 Synchronous condenser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.4 Reluctance motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.4.1 Synchronous reluctance . . . . . . . . . . . 13.4.2 Switched reluctance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.4.3 Electronic driven variable reluctance motor 13.5 Stepper motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.5.1 Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.5.2 Variable reluctance stepper . . . . . . . . . 13.5.3 Permanent magnet stepper . . . . . . . . . 13.5.4 Hybrid stepper motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.6 Brushless DC motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.7 Tesla polyphase induction motors . . . . . . . 13.7.1 Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.7.2 Theory of operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.7.3 Nola power factor corrrector . . . . . . . . . 13.7.4 Induction motor alternator . . . . . . . . . . 13.7.5 Motor starting and speed control . . . . . . 13.7.6 Linear induction motor . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.8 Wound rotor induction motors . . . . . . . . . 13.8.1 Speed control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.8.2 Doubly-fed induction generator . . . . . . . 13.9 Single-phase induction motors . . . . . . . . . 13.9.1 Permanent-split capacitor motor . . . . . . 13.9.2 Capacitor-start induction motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 408 409 412 420 421 421 422 424 426 426 428 431 435 438 442 443 445 453 454 455 460 460 462 462 464 465 466


13.9.3 Capacitor-run motor induction motor . . . . 13.9.4 Resistance split-phase motor induction motor 13.9.5 Nola power factor corrrector . . . . . . . . . . 13.10 Other specialized motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.10.1 Shaded pole induction motor . . . . . . . . . 13.10.2 2-phase servo motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.10.3 Hysteresis motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.10.4 Eddy current clutch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.11 Selsyn (synchro) motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.11.1 Transmitter - receiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.11.2 Differential transmitter - receiver . . . . . . 13.11.3 Control transformer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.11.4 Resolver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.12 AC commutator motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.12.1 Single phase series motor . . . . . . . . . . . 13.12.2 Compensated series motor . . . . . . . . . . 13.12.3 Universal motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.12.4 Repulsion motor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.12.5 Repulsion start induction motor . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Original author: Dennis Crunkilton

Figure 13.1: Conductors of squirrel cage induction motor removed from rotor.



After the introduction of the DC electrical distribution system by Edison in the United States, a gradual transition to the more economical AC system commenced. Lighting worked as well on AC as on DC. Transmission of electrical energy covered longer distances at lower loss with

persist in small appliances along with small Tesla induction motors. Also. If a soft iron nail is temporarily magnetized by a solenoid. motors were a problem with alternating current. Alas. (Figure 13. Magnetic hysteresis is a lagging behind of magnetic field strength as compared to magnetizing force.1 Hysteresis and Eddy Current Early designers of AC motors encountered problems traced to losses unique to alternating current magnetics. electric motors are not 100% efficient. as compared to the static fields in DC motor motor field coils. (Figure 13. reducing the heat loss. the silicon (a semiconductor) added to the alloy used in the laminations increases electrical resistance which decreases the magnitude of eddy currents. and low maintenance. the Tesla motor reigns supreme. Br due to hysteresis remains.3) a motor takes in electrical energy in terms of a potential difference and a current flow. And. one would expect the nail to lose the magnetic field once the solenoid is de-energized. in overcoming this residual magnetization before . converting it to mechanical work. The laminations are coated with insulating varnish before stacking and bolting into the final form. However. the AC induction motor. Above one horsepower (750 W). similar to the DC variety. Charles P. These problems were encountered when adapting DC motors to AC operation. Modern solid state electronic circuits drive brushless DC motors with AC waveforms generated from a DC source. Cruise ships and other large vessels replace reduction geared drive shafts with large multimegawatt generators and motors. again.1. another form of energy. is the workhorse of industry to this day. AC motors were constructed like DC motors. a digital version of motor. (Figure 13. AC motors also have some losses not encountered by DC motors: hysteresis and eddy currents. However. Its ruggedness and simplicity (Figure 13.1) make for long life. a small amount of residual magnetization. Yet small brushed AC motors. The brushless DC motor. 13. Steinmetz contributed to solving these problems with his investigation of hysteresis losses in iron armatures. It must be removed from the motor and may adversely affect longevity. is replacing the conventional brushed DC motor in many applications. Both rotor and stator cores of AC motors are composed of a stack of insulated laminations.5) An alternating current has to expend energy. one goal is to maximize motor efficiency.4) The current loops look like shorted transformer secondary turns.2 shows the family tree of the AC motors described in this chapter. The heat is an undesired byproduct of the conversion. Such has been the case with diesel-electric locomotives on a smaller scale for many years. not spun by water or steam. but by a rotating magnetic field. At the system level.13. hysteresis losses are minimized. Nikola Tesla envisioned an entirely new type of motor when he visualized a spinning turbine. the stepper motor. generated by solid state circuitry Figure 13. due to I2 R losses in the motor windings. -Hc the coercive force. Initially. Numerous problems were encountered due to changing magnetic fields.1. actually an AC motor. If the laminations are made of silicon alloy grain oriented steel. is driven by alternating current square waves. The thin isolated laminations break these loops. INTRODUCTION 409 alternating current. these problems had to be solved before AC motors of any type could be properly designed before they were built. Eddy currents are minimized by breaking the potential conductive loop into smaller less lossy segments. Though few AC motors today bear any resemblance to DC motors. Some of the electric energy is lost to heat. high reliability. Thus. His new type of motor.

AC MOTORS Wound rotor Capacitor start Shaded pole PM rotor PM Switched reluctance Synchros & resolvers Capacitor run Variable reluctance Synchronous condenser Hybrid . Asynchronous AC brushed Universal Synchronous Other DC motors Polyphase Single phase Sine wave Stepper Brushless Reluctance Squirrel cage Permanent split capacitor Split phase Wound rotor Variable reluctance Synchronous reluctance CHAPTER 13.410 Electric motor family tree Electric motor AC DC Figure 13.2: AC electric motor family diagram.

INTRODUCTION 411 Mechanical enegy Electrical energy Heat Figure 13. Hysteresis loss is encountered each time the polarity of the AC reverses.5: Hysteresis curves for low and high loss alloys. “Soft” iron alloys have lower losses than “hard” high carbon steel alloys. has still lower losses. B Teslas BR -HC H A-turns/m B H HC -BR low hysteresis loss high loss Figure 13. The loss is proportional to the area enclosed by the hysteresis loop on the B-H curve. rolled to preferentially orient the grain or crystalline structure. let alone in the opposite direction.4: Eddy currents in iron cores.1.3: Motor system level diagram. Silicon grain oriented steel. solid core laminated core Figure 13. it was possible to design . 4% silicon.13. Once Steinmetz’s Laws of hysteresis could predict iron core losses. it can magnetize the core back to zero.

2 Synchronous Motors Single phase synchronous motors are available in small sizes for applications requiring precise timing such as time keeping. Above 10 Horsepower (10 kW) the higher efficiency and leading powerfactor make large synchronous motors useful in industry. (3) advance or retard the phase of one unit until both AC outputs are in phase. or an alternator driving a synchronous motor. Or. if an external power source were connected. Large synchronous motors are a few percent more efficient than the more common induction motors. (4) close the switch before they drift out of phase. The figure below shows small alternators with a permanent magnet rotating field. requiring considerable torque to break one unit loose (out of synchronization) from the other. the AC line operated variety has better long term accuracy−− over a period of months. the alternators will be locked to each other. conversely. That is. the synchronous motor is more complex. The procedure for synchronizing two alternators is to (1) open the switch. This is due to power plant operators purposely maintaining the long term accuracy of the frequency of the AC distribution system. Today this is but a minor category of AC motors. they will make up the lost cycles of AC so that clocks lose no time. (clocks) and tape players. 13. A synchronous motor is similar to an alternator with a rotating field.6 could either be two paralleled and synchronized alternators driven by a mechanical energy sources. and be in phase with each other. If more torque in the direction of rotation is applied to the rotor of one of the above rotating . Though battery powered quartz regulated clocks are widely available. it should be possible to use a generator as a motor. Once synchronized. AC MOTORS AC motors which performed as designed. (2) drive both alternators at the same rotational rate. it could be two motors. they must be synchronized. This knowledge of eddy current and hysteresis was first applied to building AC commutator motors similar to their DC counterparts. This was akin to being able to design a bridge ahead of time that would not collapse once it was actually built. use a motor as a generator. This figure 13. Though. The point is that in either case the rotors must run at the same nominal frequency. Since motors and generators are similar in construction. Others invented new types of AC motors bearing little resemblance to their DC kin. If it falls behind by a few cycles.6: Synchronous motor running in step with alternator. torque angle N S N S 1 S S N N 2 S S N N 3 Figure 13.412 CHAPTER 13.

7 (1). like a motor. the lower south coil pushes the south rotor pole. Synchronization and torque are lost beyond this angle. In a similar manner the rotor south pole is repelled by the upper south coil and attracted to the lower north coil. while the upper south coil attracts that rotor north pole. If excessive torque or drag is applied.6 right. Assuming that the motor is up to synchronous speed. loading the rotor will cause the rotor to lag the positions shown by angle α. the above figure illustrates the rotor position for a no-load condition (α=0o ).7: Sinewave drives synchronous motor. By the time that the sine wave reaches a peak at (2). Once up to speed. Note. This torque decreases as the sine wave decreases to 0 VDC at (3) with the torque at a minimum.2. the angle of the rotor will lag the stator field as at (3). the synchronous motor is not self starting and must still be brought up to the approximate alternator electrical speed before it will lock (synchronize) to the generator rotational rate. the lower north coil pushes the north rotor pole. This angle increases with loading until the maximum motor torque is reached at α=90o electrical. Torque is developed only when synchronization of the motor is maintained. If a load such as a brake is applied to one of the above units. However. the synchronous motor will maintain synchronism with the AC power source and develop torque. the angle of the rotor will advance (opposite of (3)) with respect to the magnetic field in the stator coils while still synchronized and the rotor will deliver energy to the AC line like an alternator. In actual practice.13. The current in the coils of a single phase synchronous motor pulsates while alternating . as the sine wave changes to positive in Figure 13. As the sine wave changes to negative between (3&4). In the case of a small synchronous motor in place of the alternator Figure 13. extracting energy from the AC line. α S N N 1 2 1 3 4 S S N S S N 2 N N N S N S 3 S 4 Figure 13. In a similar manner the rotor north pole is repelled by the upper north coil and attracted to the lower south coil. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS 413 alternators. As the sine wave changes from negative to 0 VDC to positive. The process repeats for a new cycle of sine wave. At (4) the sinewave reaches a negative peak with holding torque again at a maximum. while attracting rotor north rotor pole. it is not necessary to go through the elaborate synchronization procedure for alternators. The rotor will also be advanced with respect to the rotor in the other alternator. the rotor will exceed the maximum torque angle advancing or lagging so much that synchronization is lost. the torque holding the north pole of the rotor up is at a maximum.

A similar 2-pole permanent magnet synchronous motor will also rotate at 3600 rpm. it synchronizes to this alternation. The style of construction shown (Figure 13. The stator (Figure 13. a 12-pole motor at 600 rpm. Construction is similar to the previous figure with a single coil. a permanent magnet rotor bar will encounter 6-pole pairs corresponding to 6-cycles of AC in one physical rotation of the bar magnet. Since the coil field pulsates and does not rotate. it is necessary to bring the permanent magnet rotor up to speed with an auxiliary motor.10) shows a 12-pole Westclox synchronous clock motor. Figure 13. Example: 60 Hz would rotate a 2-pole motor at 3600 rpm. This is a small induction motor similar to those in the next section.414 CHAPTER 13. A 2-pole (pair of N-S poles) alternator will generate a 60 Hz sine wave when rotated at 3600 rpm (revolutions per minute). The 3600 rpm corresponds to 60 revolutions per second.8) is for illustration. Rotor speed will be 1/6 of that experienced with a 2-pole synchronous motor. the bottom south.9. AC MOTORS polarity. Higher efficiency higher torque multi-pole stator synchronous motors actually have multiple poles in the rotor. The one coil style of construction is . wind a single coil with twelve interdigitated steel poles pieces as shown in Figure 13. N S Figure 13. A 4-pole motor would rotate at 1800 rpm. Though the polarity of the coil alternates due to the appplied AC. These 6-souths are interleaved with 6-north tabs bent up from the top of the steel pole piece of the coil. Thus. Pole pieces route the south flux from the bottom and outside of the coil to the top. The rotation speed will be 1/6 of the electrical speed of the AC. Rather than wind 12-coils for a 12-pole motor. or 600 rpm for a 12-pole motor. If the permanent magnet rotor speed is close to the frequency of this alternation. assume that the top is temporarily north.9: One-winding 12-pole synchronous motor. A lower speed motor may be constructed by adding more pole pairs.8: Addition of field poles decreases speed.

how many poles would be required? A 10-pole motor would have 5-pairs of N-S The rotor (Figure 13. The synchronous motor bar rotating within the pole tabs keeps accurate economical for low torque motors.) Figure 13.12 generates an electrically rotating field in the stator. It would rotate at 50/5 = 10 rotations per second or 600 rpm (10 s−1 x 60 s/minute.10: Reprinted by permission of Westclox History at www.11) consists of a permanent magnet bar and a steel induction motor cup. A 3-phase synchronous motor as shown in Figure 13.13. If the Westclox motor were to run at 600 rpm from a 50 Hz power source. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS 415 Figure 13.11: Reprinted by permission of Westclox History at www. This 600 rpm motor drives reduction gears moving clock hands.2. The induction motor cup outside of the bar magnet fits outside and over the tabs for self starting. Such motors are not self starting if started from a fixed frequency power . At one time non-self-starting motors without the induction motor cup were manufactured.clockHistory.

multiply by 60. Two or three phase drive may be used by supplying the appropriate number of windings in the stator. the field will be at a peak pointing between these poles. Since the sine waves actually overlap. but an electromagnet. The multi-phase drive signals are generated by electronic circuits. 50 or 60 Hz for industrial power line operated motors. the rotor is not a permanent magnet as shown below for the multi-horsepower (multi-kilowatt) motors used in industry. The number of poles is n. The three phases of stator excitation add vectorially to produce a single resultant magnetic field which rotates f/2n times per second. The rotor with multiple magnet poles (below right) is used in any efficient motor driving a substantial load. Large industrial synchronous motors are self started by embedded squirrel cage conductors in the armature.12) will rotate at 1800 rpm with 60 Hz power or 1500 rpm with 50 Hz power. AC MOTORS source such as 50 or 60 Hz as found in an industrial setting. where f is the power line frequency. Having a leading power factor. True synchronous motors are driven by sine waveforms. but smoothly.416 CHAPTER 13. Large industrial synchronous motors are more efficient than induction motors. The bar magnet rotor shown is only appropriate for small motors.12) may be started by ramping the drive frequency from zero to the final running frequency. when the φ-1 and φ-2 sinewaves coincide. 4-pole synchronous motor Small multi-phase synchronous motors (Figure 13. Furthermore. acting like an induction motor.12: Three phase. For rotor speed in rpm. φ-2. not in steps. the resultant field will rotate. For example. Such motors are known as brushless DC motors. These will be slip ring fed electromagnets in large industrial motors. If the coils are energized one at a time in the sequence φ-1. φ-3. they can correct the AC line for a lagging power factor. They are used when constant speed is required. the rotor should point to the corresponding poles in turn. and will be square waves in all but the most demanding applications. φ1 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 N S S N S N φ3 Figure 13. Only 3-phase is shown above. . S = f120/n where: S = rotor speed in rpm f = AC line frequency n = number of poles per phase The 3-phase 4-pole (per phase) synchronous motor (Figure 13. The electromagnetic armature is only energized after the rotor is brought up to near synchronous speed.

or an optical encoder. inductosyn (magnetic encoder).13: Electronic synchronous motor The block diagram (Figure 13. regardless of whether the drive waveforms are generated by electronic means. which provides a low level signal with a frequency proportional to the speed of rotation of the motor. A motor driven by square waves of current. is fed back to a phase locked loop. The position sensor could be as simple as as solid state magnetic field sensors such as Hall effect devices providing commutation (armature current direction) timing to the drive electronics The position sensor could be a high resolution angular sensor such as a resolver. it is classified as a synchronous AC motor.14: Phase locked loop controls synchronous motor speed. If constant and accurate speed of rotation is required. Ripple torque. Would ripple torque be a problem for a fan motor? No. The PM rotor may be rotated by hand but will encounter attraction to the pole pieces when near them. reference frequency phase locked loop waveform gen & power drive φ1 φ2 φ3 motor torque output position sensor tachometer Figure 13. This is analogous to the mechanical situation.15) Note that there are no stator coils. a pulse train proportional to motor speed. This is not a problem for many applications. as proviced by simple hall effect sensors. we are primarily interested in synchronous motors in this section.13) shows the drive electronics associated with a low voltage (12 VDC ) synchronous motor. is known as a brushless DC motor. we do not want the motor to alternately speed and slow as it moves audio tape past a tape playback head. not even a motor.14) This tachometer signal. (as for a disk drive) a tachometer and phase locked loop may be included. A synchronous motor will generate a sinusoidal back emf if the stator . or cogging is caused by magnetic attraction of the rotor poles to the stator pole pieces. (Figure 13. (Figure 13. This type of motor has higher ripple torque torque variation through a shaft revolution than a sine wave driven motor.2. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS waveform gen & power drive φ1 φ2 φ3 motor torque output 417 hall effect Figure 13. which compares the tachometer frequency and phase to a stable reference frequency source such as a crystal oscillator. These motors have a position sensor integrated within the motor. Though. If a motor is driven by sinewaves of current synchronous with the motor back emf. Would ripple torque be a problem for a motor used in a tape player? Yes.13.

16: Windings distributed in a belt produce a more sinusoidal field. AC MOTORS N S Ripple torque mechanical analog Figure 13. 3-φ distributed winding Single phase belt Figure 13.418 CHAPTER 13. .15: Motor ripple torque and mechanical analog.

For a 2-phase motor. (Figure 13.17) Each phase requires drive electronics for this wave form phase-shifted by the appropriate amount per phase.2. which mounts inside a drive wheel. Winding belts may take on an alternate concentric form as shown in Figure 13. In all these applications the electronic variable speed drive is essential. driven by a sinewave. Synchronous motor efficiency is higher than that of induction motors. . The synchronous motor can also be smaller. This arrangement cancels many of the stator field odd harmonics. Slots having fewer windings at the edge of the phase winding may share the space with other phases.13. a small synchronous motor. The sine wave drive may actually be from a PWM. Induction motors are mostly used in railway traction. Encoders provide a digital angular position indication in either serial or parallel format.78. It will be more sinusoidal if pole windings are distributed in a belt (Figure 13. SYNCHRONOUS MOTORS 419 magnetic field has a sinusoidal distribution.[1] The largest experimental superconducting synchronous motor is capable of driving a naval destroyer class ship. However.17: PWM approximates a sinewave. especially if high energy permanent magnets are used in the rotor. Pulse Width Modulator. the torque is constant throughout a revolution by the trigonometric identity: sin2 θ + cos2 θ = 1 The generation and synchronization of the drive waveform requires a more precise rotor position indication than provided by the hall effect sensors used in brushless DC motors.16) across many slots instead of concentrated on one large pole (as drawn in most of our simplified illustrations). A resolver. PWM Figure 13. The high temperature superconducting version of this motor is one fifth to one third the weight of a copper wound motor. makes it attractive for such applications. or optical or magnetic encoder provides resolution of hundreds to thousands of parts (pulses) per revolution. A resolver provides analog angular position signals in the form of signals proportional to the sine and cosine of shaft angle. The advent of modern solid state electronics makes it possible to drive these motors at variable speed. a high efficiency method of approximating a sinewave with a digital waveform.

the leading power factor can be adjusted by varying the field excitation. Thus. it loses synchronization.[2] A larger version of the linear synchronous motor with a movable carriage containing high energy NdBFe permanent magnets is being developed to launch aircraft from naval aricraft carriers. There is no explosion hazard as long as the hydrogen concentration is maintained above 70%. and controlled. The efficiency of long power transmission lines may be increased by placing synchronous condensers along the line to compensate lagging currents caused by line inductance. typically above 91%. the position of the rotor needs to be known accurately. It is implemented with a fast microprocessor driving a pulse width modulator for the stator phases. And the position of the rotor with respect to the stator field needs to be calculated. As a result the industrial grade electronic speed control used with induction motors is also applicable to large industrial synchronous motors. If the rotor and stator of a conventional rotary synchronous motor are unrolled. Furthermore. Furthermore. This makes it possible to nearly cancel an arbitrary lagging power factor to unity by paralleling the lagging load with a synchronous motor. Originally. The stator of a synchronous motor is the same as that of the more popular induction motor. To develop maximum torque. More real power may be transmitted through a fixed size line if the power factor is brought closer to unity by synchronous condensers absorbing reactive power. the output shaft may be dispensed with and the unit easily enclosed in a gas tight shell. a synchronous linear motor results. This type of control is known as vector phase control. the thermal conductivity of hydrogen is ten times that of air.[3] 13. As a result. a hydrogen filled synchronous condenser can be driven harder than an air cooled unit. the windage loss for a hydrogen filled unit is 7% of that encountered in air. the rotor needs to lag the stator field direction by 90o .3 Synchronous condenser Synchronous motors load the power line with a leading power factor. or it may be physically smaller for a given capacity. It can compensate either a leading or lagging power factor.420 CHAPTER 13. Thus. Since a synchronous condenser does not supply a torque. This is often usefull in cancelling out the more commonly encountered lagging power factor caused by induction motors and other inductive loads. AC MOTORS The variable speed drive must also reduce the drive voltage at low speed due to decreased inductive reactance at lower frequency. . heat removal is ten times more efficient. The synchronous condenser may then be filled with hydrogen to aid cooling and reduce windage losses. Any more. This type of motor is applied to precise high speed linear positioning. This leading power factor can be exaggerated by removing the mechanical load and over exciting the field of the synchronous motor. Since the density of hydrogen is 7% of that of air. Much less results in reduced torque. by absorbing or supplying reactive power to the line. Such a device is known as a synchronous condenser. This enhances power line voltage regulation. A synchronous condenser is operated in a borderline condition between a motor and a generator with no mechanical load to fulfill this function. large industrial synchronous motors came into wide use because of this ability to correct the lagging power factor of induction motors.

(Figure 13. an iron core. The superconducting wire carries 160 times the current of comparable copper wire. approximate µr =1000.4 Reluctance motor The variable reluctance motor is based on the principle that an unrestrained piece of iron will move to complete a magnetic flux path with minimum reluctance. The manufacturer describes it as being a “reactive power shock absorber”. 13.4. the magnetic analog of electrical resistance. This supplements longer response times of quick acting voltage regulation and excitation of generating equipment.13. RELUCTANCE MOTOR 421 The ability of synchronous condensers to absorb or produce reactive power on a transient basis stabilizes the power grid against short circuits and other transient fault conditions. Such a synchronous condenser has a higher power density (smaller physically) than a switched capacitor bank. while producing a flux density of 3 Teslas or higher. Such a machine is said to have considerable additional transient ability to supply reactive power to troublesome loads like metal melting arc furnaces. The ability to absorb or produce reactive power on a transient basis stabilizes the overall power grid against fault conditions. in the rotor. The synchronous condenser aids voltage regulation by drawing leading current when the line voltage sags. This is due to variable reluctance throughout . Generator Voltage 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 20% 40% 60% Line current 80% 100% sync w/o hronous cond syn ense chr r ono us con den ser Figure 13. it will still develop 10 or 15% of synchronous torque.18: Synchronous condenser improves power line voltage regulation. Transient sags and dips of milliseconds duration are stabilized. is of no more use than air. which must be cooled to the liquid nitrogen boiling point of 77o K (-196o C). or any other material with a relative permeability µr =1. (Figure 13.19) 13.18) A capacitor bank does not have this ability. An iron core would saturate at 2 Teslas in the rotor air gap.4. The capacity of a synchronous condenser can be increased by replacing the copper wound iron field rotor with an ironless rotor of high temperature superconducting wire. which increases generator excitation thereby restoring line voltage.1 Synchronous reluctance If the rotating field of a large synchronous motor with salient poles is de-energized. Thus.

one which only switches in one direction. Sine wave drive (d) may be generated by a pulse width modulator (PWM). a synchronous reluctance motor results. Low power factor. When a stator coil pole pair is energized. The reluctance of the rotor to stator flux path varies with the position of the rotor. low pull-out torque.19) A switched reluctance motor is also known as a variable reluctance motor. corresponding to the stator slots. it is practical in small sizes. 13. The mangetic flux seeks the path of least reluctance. Various waveforms may drive variable reluctance motors. the magnetic analog of electric resistance. we can explain operation as if it were a stepper motor. For smooth vibration free operation the 6-step approximation of a sine wave (c) is desirable and easy to generate. This attracts the rotor to the clockwise rotating magnetic field in 60o increments.422 CHAPTER 13.20) The other coil connections are successively pulled to ground. This is an over simplified rotor and waveforms to illustrate operation. If slots are cut into the conductorless rotor of an induction motor. (Figure 13. The power driver must pull alternately high and low. and low efficiency are characteristics of the direct power line driven variable reluctance motor. φ3 S S φ3 N high reluctance N low reluctance Figure 13.2 Switched reluctance If an iron rotor with poles.20) of the stator phases moves the rotor from one position to the next. a switched reluctance motor. capable of synchronizing with the stator field results. There is no practical application for a large synchronous reluctance motor. the rotor will move to the lowest magnetic reluctance path. It starts like an induction motor but runs with a small amount of synchronous torque. or drawn from the power line. one at a time. That is. requiring only a single ended unipolar switch. Waveforms (a & b) are applicable to the stepper motor version of the variable reluctance motor. is fitted to a multi-phase stator. However. The synchronous torque is due to changes in reluctance of the magnetic path from the stator through the rotor as the slots align. in a wave drive pattern.21) Wave drive (a) is simple. AC MOTORS a rotor revolution. (Figure 13. More torque is provided by the bipolar drive (b). but requires a bipolar switch. Sequential switching (Figure 13. If one end of each 3-phase winding of the switched reluctance motor is brought out via a common lead wire. Such was the status of the variable reluctance motor for a century before the development of semiconductor power control.19: Reluctance is a function of rotor position in a variable reluctance motor. . (Figure 13.4. but without any conductors. This motor is an inexpensive means of developing a moderate synchronous torque.

.21: Variable reluctance motor drive waveforms: (a) unipolar wave drive. (b) bipolar full step (c) sinewave (d) bipolar 6-step. over-simplified operation. φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 (b) (a) φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 (d) (c) Figure 13.20: Variable reluctance motor.4.13. RELUCTANCE MOTOR 423 V+ φ3 φ2 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ1 φ1 φ2 φ3 Figure 13.

an electronic feedback system. microprocessors and solid state power drive makes this motor an economical high performance solution in some high volume applications.23) resembles a brushless DC motor without a permanent magnet rotor. stop.424 CHAPTER 13. Electronic control solves this problem and makes it practical to drive the motor well above and below the power line frequency. controls torque and speed. Though difficult to control. it is difficult to control. a variable reluctance motor is optimized for continuous high speed rotation with minimum ripple torque. there is an electronic driven version of the switched reluctance motor. A variable reluctance motor intended to move in discrete steps. or derive this from monitoring the stator back EMF. Figure 13. However. If smooth rotation is the goal. The relationship between torque and stator current is highly nonlinear– difficult to control. It is necessary to measure the rotor position with a rotary position sensor like an optical or magnetic encoder. this is offset by the cost of the electronic control.23 This is the opposite of the high ripple torque desired in stepper motors. A microprocessor performs complex calculations for switching the windings at the proper time with solid state devices. φ2 φ3 φ1 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ3 φ1 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ3 φ1 φ2 Figure 13. minimizing ripple torque.3 Electronic driven variable reluctance motor Variable reluctance motors are poor performers when direct power line driven. While the variable reluctance motor is simple.4. This makes the motor simple and inexpensive. this motor is easy to spin. even more so than an induction motor. This might eliminate a gear reduction drive. However.22: Electronic driven variable reluctance motor. which is not nearly as simple as that for a brushless DC motor. Rather than a stepper. 13. AC MOTORS Doubling the number of stator poles decreases the rotating speed and increases torque. Variable reluctance motors or steppers actually use rotors like those in Figure 13.22. A variable reluctance motor driven by a servo. Sequential switching of the field coils creates a rotating magnetic field which drags the irregularly shaped rotor around with it as it seeks out the lowest magnetic reluctance path. and start is a variable reluctance stepper motor. An electronic driven variable reluctance motor (Figure 13. covered in another section. This must be done precisely to minimize audible noise and ripple .

no rotor windings. The strict drive requirements make this motor only practical for high volume applications like energy efficient vacuum cleaner motors. no permanent magnets. which is only justified for large manufacturing volumes. it requires considerable optimization. But. • Cost effective compared to bushless DC motor in high volumes. • Low cost accurate speed control possible if volume is high enough. • Adaptable to very high ambient temperature. simplifies motor brushes. RELUCTANCE MOTOR 425 µprocessor control stator drive variable reluctance motor stator current rotor position Figure 13. • High efficiency and reliability compared to conventional AC or DC motors. No brushes. Advantages • Simple construction. One such vacuum cleaner uses a compact high efficiency electronic driven 100.000 rpm fan motor. commutator. Disadvantages • Current versus torque is highly nonlinear • Phase switching must be precise to minimize ripple torque • Phase current must be controlled to minimize ripple torque • Acoustic and electrical noise • Not applicable to low volumes due to complex control issues . or permanent magnets.13. • High starting torque. The simplicity of the motor compensates for the drive electronics cost. For lowest ripple torque.23: Electronic driven variable reluctance motor. torque. or pump motors. fan motors. The efficiency of this electronic driven motor can be high. winding current must be monitored and controlled. using specialized design techniques.4. no commutator. no Cu or Al in the rotor.

Wide spread acceptance of the stepper motor within the last two decades was driven by the ascendancy of digital electronics. moderate speed. and low cost. Otherwise. The capacitor generates a 90o second phase. Today this is a higher cost solution to high performance motion control applications.426 CHAPTER 13. The rotor is a cylindrical solid. A stepper motor positions the read-write heads in a floppy drive. However. High acceleration or unusually high accuracy still requires a servo motor. a stepper motor controller is less complex and costly than a servo motor controller. A considerable design effort is required to optimize the servo amplifier gain vs phase response to the mechanical components. being either “on” or “off ”. the predecessor of the stepper motor was the servo motor.5. microprocessors readily interface to stepper motor driver circuits. good torque. which may also have either salient poles or . AC MOTORS 13. we treat stepper motors as a class of AC synchronous motor. 13. The rotor moves in discrete steps as commanded.1 Characteristics Stepper motors are rugged and inexpensive because the rotor contains no winding slip rings. the default is the stepper due to low cost. They were once used for the same purpose in harddrives. Thus. rather than rotating continuously like a conventional motor. And. DC can be switched to the motor so that it sees AC. the rotor synchronizes with the consequent stator magnetic field. Slo-syn synchronous motors can run from AC line voltage like a single-phase permanentcapacitor induction motor. The expense and complexity of a servomotor is due to the additional system components: position sensor and error amplifier. simple drive electronics. Drive waveforms of bipolar (±) square waves of 2-24V are more common these days. command stepper motor load command error servo motor load position sensor Figure 13.24) It is still the way to position heavy loads beyond the grasp of lower power steppers.24: Stepper motor vs servo motor. As the windings are energized in sequence. The stepper motor drivers are less complex solid state switches. With the direct line voltage. Modern solid state driver electronics was a key to its success. (Figure 13. we have a 2-phase drive. The servo amplifier is a linear amplifier with some difficult to integrate discrete components.25) In other words. or commutator. Thus.5 Stepper motors A stepper motor is a “digital” version of the electric motor. Application wise. When stopped but energized. (Figure 13. a stepper (short for stepper motor) holds its load steady with a holding torque. the high speed and accuracy required of modern harddrive head positioning dictates the use of a linear servomotor (voice coil). The bipolar magnetic fields may also be generated from unipolar (one polarity) voltages applied to alternate ends of a center tapped winding. good accuracy.

Determine that the rotor is a permanent magnet by unpowered hand rotation showing detent torque. It can be from 90o to 0. corresponding to 4 to 500 steps per revolution. number of teeth. Torque maximum speed holding torque cutoff speed Speed Figure 13. three pairs per phase. STEPPER MOTORS V+ V V V+ Vbipolar + 427 unipolar Figure 13. when the drive waveforms are changed. Most steppers are a few inches in diameter with a fraction of a n-m or a few in-oz torque. (Figure 13.25: Unipolar drive of center tapped coil at (b). Drive electronics may halve the step angle by moving the rotor in half-steps. fine teeth. except for can stack construction. torque pulsations. Since stepper motors do not necessarily rotate continuously. holding stepper has a relatively high holding torque rating. and drive electronics as illustrated on the speed vs torque curve. emulates AC current in single coil at (a). More often than not the rotor is a permanent magnet. There may also be multiple pole pairs per phase. Thus. A small “dime” size stepper has a torque of a hundredth of a newton-meter or a few inch-ounces. decreasing to zero at some high speed.26: Stepper speed characteristics. they do not even approach a sub-fractional hp rated capability. number of poles. Steppers cannot achieve the speeds on the speed torque curve instantaneously. For example a 12-pole stepper has 6-pairs of poles. They have torque ratings to a thousand in-oz (inch-ounces) or ten n-m (newton-meters) for a 4 kg size unit.75o . Stepper motor coils are wound within a laminated stator. If they do rotate continuously. there is no horsepower rating. They are truly small low power devices compared to other motors. Stepper motors move one step at a time.5. These phases are frequently split into pairs. the step angle. a 4-pole stepper motor may have two phases composed of in-line pairs of poles spaced 90o apart. The step angle is related to motor construction details: number of coils.13. There is less torque available for a running motor.26) An energized. The maximum start frequency is the highest rate at which a stopped and unloaded stepper can be . The torque available is a function of motor speed. There may be as few as two winding phases or as many as five. load torque. load inertia. This speed is frequently not attainable due to mechanical resonance of the motor load combination.

This means that an irregularly shaped soft magnetic rotor will move to complete a magnetic circuit.(Figure 13. Once the motor is up to speed. minimizing the length of any high reluctance air gap. the step rate is ramped up during starting from well below the maximum start frequency. For a variable reluctance stepper motor.428 CHAPTER 13.28. When stopping a stepper motor. The variable reluctance stepper has s solid soft steel rotor with salient poles. The hybrid stepper has soft steel teeth added to the permanent magnet rotor for a smaller step angle.ΘS where: ΘS = stator angle.27) A de-energized stepper with no detent torque when hand rotated is identifiable as a variable reluctance type stepper. Sequentially switching the stator phases produces a rotating magnetic field which the rotor follows. There are three types of stepper motors in order of increasing complexity: variable reluctance. and hybrid. the rotor four salient poles. φ3 V+ φ2 φ2 φ3 φ1 φ1 30o step φ3 15o step φ4 φ1 V+ φ2 φ1 φ4 φ2 φ3 Figure 13. This torque load on the stepper is due to frictional (brake) and inertial (flywheel) loads on the motor shaft. The maximum torque at which a stepper can start and stop is the pull-in torque. the step angle is given by: ΘS = 360o /NS ΘR = 360o /NR ΘST = ΘR .5. NP = number rotor poles ΘR = Rotor angle. AC MOTORS started. permanent magnet. 13. the rotor moves less than the stator angle for each step. the step rate may be decreased before stopping. angle NS = number stator poles.2 Variable reluctance stepper A variable reluctance stepper motor relies upon magnetic flux seeking the lowest reluctance path through a magnetic circuit. Any load will make this parameter unattainable. yielding a 30o step angle. The permanent magnet stepper has a cylindrical permanent magnet rotor.27: Three phase and four phase variable reluctance stepper motors. However. The drive for a 4-φ stepper is shown in Figure 13. In practice. pull-out torque is the maximum sustainable torque without losing steps. ΘST = step . due to the lesser number of rotor poles. The drive waveforms for the 3-φ stepper can be seen in the “Reluctance motor” section. The stator typically has three windings distributed between pole pairs .

(Figure 13. but a simple on-off switch capable of high enough current to energize the stepper. is much longer than our simplified illustration. the driver is either discrete transistor switches or an integrated circuit. With 3-pulses per stator tooth. the driver could be a relay or even a toggle switch for each phase. which is 45o . The rotor has protruding poles so that they may be attracted to the rotating stator field as it is switched. How far would the stepper rotate if the rotor and stator had the same number of teeth? Zero– no notation. The driver is not a linear amplifier. clockwise φ3 Figure 13. the φ2 stator field attracts a different tooth in moving the rotor CCW. Starting at rest with phase φ1 energized. Thus. Note what does not happen! The dotted rotor tooth does not move to the next stator tooth. step rate. It outputs current to the proper phases in sequence. it does not know the position of the carriage. moving from φ1 to φ2 . the stator magnetic field rotates clockwise. By reversing the sequence of pulses. 24-pulses or steps move the rotor through 360o . In Figure 13. The rotor tooth angle of 45o enters into the calculation by the above equation. The shaft is frequently fitted with a drive screw.13. the actual step angle is the difference between a stator angle of 45o and a rotor angle of 30o . When the controller powers-up. STEPPER MOTORS φ1 S 429 φ3 S Ν S Ν S φ2 Ν φ4 Ν φ1 V+ φ4 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ4 counterclockwise 15o step φ1 φ2 φ3 φ4 reverse step. φ3 . three pulses are required (φ2 . The rotor moved CCW to the next rotor tooth at 45o . In principle. The direction.. The rotor moves counterclockwise (CCW).28.29. However. Otherwise. the direction of rotation is reversed above right. and 8-stator teeth.5. This could be combined into a single circuit board. Instead. calibrating the . The controller could be a microprocessor or a specialized integrated circuit. it can drive the carriage toward the optical interrupter. as used in a floppy disk drive is such an application. Disassemble a reluctance stepper to view the internal components. Both driver and controller may be combined into a single integrated circuit accepting a direction command and step pulse. In practice. An actual motor. Variable reluctance stepper motors are applied when only a moderate level of torque is required and a coarse step angle is adequate. and number of steps are controlled by a stepper motor controller feeding a driver or amplifier.28: Stepping sequence for variable reluctance stepper. but it aligns with a CW by 30o stator tooth.30) This may move the heads of a floppy drive upon command by the floppy drive controller. φ4 ) to align the “dotted” rotor tooth to the next CCW stator Tooth. which is a smaller angle (15o ) than the stator angle of 30o . etc. we show the internal construction of a variable reluctance stepper motor in Figure 13. A screw drive.

430 CHAPTER 13. AC MOTORS Figure 13.30: Variable reluctance stepper drives lead screw. optical interrupter stepper motor guide rails carriage knife edge Figure 13.29: Variable reluctance stepper motor. .

or half step.5o to 90o . say. The stator usually has two windings.3 Permanent magnet stepper A permanent magnet stepper motor has a cylindrical permanent magnet rotor. A bipolar drive of alternating polarity is required to power windings without the center tap. If the detent angle is large. Permanent magnet stepper motors require phased alternating currents applied to the two (or more) windings. • This is the least complex.5.. (b) φ2 + . this is almost always square waves generated from DC by solid state electronics. it is likely a permanent magnet stepper rather than a hybrid stepper (next subsection).5. As long as the load torque does not exceed the motor torque. In practice. . (c) φ1 . The controller counts step pulses from this position. • The only type stepper with no detent torque in hand rotation of a de-energized motor shaft. A pure permanent magnet stepper usually has a large step angle. Rotation of the shaft of a de-energized motor exhibits detent torque. The timing of the bipolar or unipolar wave is wave drive.5 V to -2. The windings could be center tapped to allow for a unipolar driver circuit where the polarity of the magnetic field is changed by switching a voltage from one end to the other of the winding. Unipolar drive supplies a (+) and (-) alternating magnetic flux to the coils developed from a pair of positive square waves applied to opposite ends of a center tapped coil. full step. Bipolar drive is square waves alternating between (+) and (-) polarities. Wave drive φ−1 φ−1 φ−1 φ−1 S N + − − N S N S N S S N φ−2 Wave drive a b + S N S c N S N − φ−2 + φ−2 + φ−2 − d Figure 13. STEPPER MOTORS 431 position at which the knife edge cuts the interrupter as “home”. (d) φ2 -. +2.5 V. say 7. the controller will know the carriage position. 13. • Large step angle • A lead screw is often mounted to the shaft for linear stepping motion. Summary: variable reluctance stepper motor • The rotor is a soft iron cylinder with salient (protruding) poles. most inexpensive stepper motor.13.31: PM wave drive sequence (a) φ1 + .

The coil magnetic field reverses because the polarity of the drive current reverses.432 CHAPTER 13.31) The rotation sequence left to right is positive φ-1 points rotor north pole up. AC MOTORS Conceptually.32) are bipolar because both polarities . the simplest drive is wave drive. The wave drive waveforms below show that only one coil is energized at a time.34: Stepper motor wiring diagrams. While simple. the most . These may be produced by either unipolar or bipolar waves. φ1 φ2 φ1’ φ2’ V+ φ2 V+ φ2’ φ1 6-wire φ1’ Figure 13.34) φ2 φ2’ φ1 V+ φ2 V+ φ2’ φ1 φ2 V+ φ2’ φ1 φ2a φ2a’ φ2b’ φ2b’ φ1a φ1a’ φ1b φ1’ 2-wire bipolar 6-wire unipolar φ1’ 5-wire unipolar φ1’ 8-wire bipolar or unipolar φ1b’ Figure 13. (+) φ-2 points rotor north right. The motor requires alternating magnetic fields. (+) and (-) drive the stepper. The waveforms (Figure 13. φ1 + + a b c d φ2 φ2’ φ1 φ2 φ1’ Figure 13. motor coils must have center taps for unipolar drive. The (Figure 13. (Figure 13.33: Waveforms: unipolar wave drive. The 6-wire motor.32: Waveforms: bipolar wave drive. this does not produce as much torque as other drive techniques. but requires twice as many drivers. Permanent magnet stepper motors are manufactured with various lead-wire configurations. However. negative φ-1 attracts rotor north down. The 4-wire motor can only be driven by bipolar waveforms. (Figure 13.33) waveforms are unipolar because only one polarity is required. This simplifies the drive electronics. (-) φ-2 points rotor left. There are twice as many waveforms because a pair of (+) waves is required to produce an alternating magnetic field by application to opposite ends of a center tapped coil.

(Figure 13. This attracts the rotor poles midway between the two field poles. but provides maximum flexibility. The unipolar waveforms for half step drive are shown above. less expensive driver circuit. it may be driven by bipolar waves if the center taps are ignored.36) Half stepping provides greater resolution in positioning of the motor shaft. or in parallel for low voltage high current drive. A pair of coils may be connected in series for high voltage bipolar low current drive. The rotor aligns with the field poles as for wave drive and between the poles as for full step drive. followed by both windings energized. Half step drive The step angle for a given stepper motor geometry is cut in half with half step drive. (Figure 13. is intended for unipolar drive because of the center taps. half stepping the motor moving the print head across the paper of an inkjet printer would double the dot density. Unipolar drive (not shown) would require a pair of unipolar waveforms for each of the above bipolar waveforms applied to the ends of a center tapped winding. often a red and green enamelled wire. This method produces exact 1:1 turns ratios for center tapped windings.35 has the same step angle as wave drive. Though.35: Full step. For example. Half step drive is a combination of wave drive and full step drive with one winding energized. . This corresponds to twice as many step pulses per revolution. bipolar drive.35) φ−1 S φ−1 S φ−1 N S φ−1 + N + N S S − S N S − S − N − a N N + φ−1 0 + φ−2 0 - N φ−2 b S φ−2 N S + b N + c S N N S d + a − − + − φ−2 + + φ−2 − c d Figure 13. STEPPER MOTORS 433 common arrangement. The additional cost of bipolar drive is justified when more torque is required. A bifilar winding is produced by winding the coils with two wires in parallel. Unipolar drive uses a less complex. yielding twice as many steps. Full step bipolar drive as shown in Figure 13.5.13. as the common center tap interferes if both windings are energized simultaneously. The 5-wire motor can only be driven by unipolar waves. Full step drive Full step drive provides more torque than wave drive because both coils are energized at the same time. The 8-wire configuration is rare. It may be wired for unipolar drive as for the 6-wire or 5-wire motor. This winding method is applicable to all but the 4-wire arrangement above.

This style of construction is known as can stack. Construction The contruction of a permanent magnet stepper motor is considerably different from the drawings above. or at least not increase the number of windings for ease of manufacture. By varying the currents to the windings sinusoidally many microsteps can be interpolated between the normal positions. will have a north side and a south side. on a transient basis.36: Half step. It is desirable to increase the number of poles beyond that illustrated to produce a smaller step angle. AC MOTORS φ−1 S N S N φ−2 a S + − + N − S N S N S N S − N N S φ−2 + 0 + 0 - − + b + − φ−2 + c N S + N S − φ−2 + d a b c d Half step Figure 13. A phase winding is wrapped with a mild steel shell.434 φ−1 φ−1 φ−1 CHAPTER 13.37) only has two windings. N S north south ceramic permanent magnet rotor φ-1 coil φ-2 coil Figure 13. 24-pole can-stack construction. One phase. Each side wraps around to the center . Microstepping is possible with specialized controllers. bipolar drive. yet has 24-poles in each of two phases. with fingers brought to the center. It is also desirable to reduce the number of windings.37: Permanent magnet stepper motor. The permanent magnet stepper (Figure 13.

Note that the rotor is a gray ferrite ceramic cylinder magnetized in the 24-pole pattern shown. the rotor will move 7. • Can-stack construction provides numerous poles from a single coil with interleaved fingers of soft iron. (Figure 13. However.5o from φ-1.5.38: (a) External view of can stack. This can be viewed with magnet viewer film or iron filings applied to a paper wrapping. If the polarity of the phase were reversed. Can-stack style construction of a PM stepper is distinctive and easy to identify by the stacked “cans”. which is not usefull. Application of any of the above waveforms will rotate the permanent magnet rotor. This is key to making the rotor follow the switching of the fields between the two phases.5. often a ferrite sleeve magnetized with numerous poles. STEPPER MOTORS 435 of the doughnut with twelve interdigitated fingers for a total of 24 poles. Summary: permanent magnet stepper motor • The rotor is a permanent magnet. We do not know which direction. the colors will be green for both north and south poles with the film. φ−1 coil x’ x’ x 90° offset φ−1 coil PM rotor dust cover φ−2 coil φ−2 coil x Can stack permanent magnet stepper Figure 13. it will rotate in a reproducible direction if the phases are alternated. 13. The rotor is a cylindrical perma- . the rotor would jump 360o /24 = 15o . Though.4 Hybrid stepper motor The hybrid stepper motor combines features of both the variable reluctance stepper and the permanent magnet stepper to produce a smaller step angle. if we energize φ-1 followed by φ-2. (b) field offset detail. These alternating north-south fingers will attract the permanent magnet rotor. And.13. See below for offset. • Large to moderate step angle.38) Note the rotational offset between the two phase sections. • Often used in computer printers to advance paper.5o because the φ-2 is offset (rotated) by 7.

one pole of the rotor. In the next two figures. The stator teeth on the 8-poles correspond to the 48-rotor teeth. The center tap is achieved by a bifilar winding. or Figure 13.39: Hybrid stepper motor. there could be as many as five phases. As if this were not complicated enough. the rotor effectively has 96 interleaved poles of opposite polarity. However. This detail is only discernable on the schematic diagrams below. The above drawing is representative of an actual hybrid stepper motor. we attempt to illustrate the quarter tooth rotation produced by the two stator phases offset by a quarter tooth. magnetized along the axis with radial soft iron teeth (Figure 13. the stator main poles are divided into two phases (φ-1. The result is that the rotor moves in steps of a quarter of a tooth when the phases are alternately energized. φ-2). we provide a simplified pictorial and schematic representation (Figure 13. a pair of wires wound physically in parallel. The north-south poles of a phase swap polarity when the phase drive current is reversed.30. The stator coils are wound on alternating poles with corresponding teeth. This rotor tooth offset is also shown below. However. the rotor moves in 2×96=192 steps per revolution for the above stepper. Bipolar drive is required for un-tapped windings. These stator phases are offset from one another by one-quarter of a tooth. Note that the 48-teeth on one rotor section are offset by half a pitch from the other.40) to illustrate details not obvious above. N S rotor pole detail N permanent magnet rotor. Two phase windings are common as shown above and below. In other words.39). Due to this offset. There are typically two winding phases distributed between pole pairs. Though. Features of hybrid stepper schematic (Figure 13. AC MOTORS nent magnet. This offset allows for rotation in 1/96 th of a revolution steps by reversing the field polarity of one phase. See rotor pole detail above. except for missing teeth in the space between the poles. 96-pole 8-pole stator S Figure 13. Thus. and the rotor half tooth offset. This winding may be center tapped for unipolar drive. This half tooth offset shows in the rotor pole detail above.40) . the teeth of the south pole are offset from the north teeth by half a tooth. Therefore. say the south pole. Note the reduced number of coils and teeth in rotor and stator for simplicity. but wired in series. may align with the stator in 48 distinct positions.436 CHAPTER 13. the rotor may align with the stator in 96 distinct positions. The quarter tooth stator offset in conjunction with drive current timing also defines direction of rotation.

5. total rotation=1/4 tooth. bottom north. • The φ-2 stator teeth are not aligned with the rotor teeth when φ-1 is energized. • If the φ-1 stator is temporarily energized north top. . • (a) φ-1=on=north-top. • If the polarity of φ-1 were reversed. • The rotor north-south teeth are offset by half a tooth. In fact. • The top φ-1 stator teeth align north to rotor top south teeth. • Enough torque applied to the shaft to overcome the hold-in torque would move the rotor by one tooth. Polarity of φ-1 and ¡phi-2¿ drive determines direction of rotation. north stator bottom to south rotor. south bottom. • The top of the permanent magnet rotor is the south pole. off. Align (top to bottom): φ-1 stator-N:rotor-top-S. the rotor would move by one-half tooth. reverse.13. Rotate 1/4 tooth. the φ-2 stator teeth are offset by one-quarter tooth. φ-2=off. Start position. Fields φ1. rotation=0. φ-2=on. • (b) φ-1=off. φ-2’ stator-S: rotor-bottom-N. Align (right to left): φ-2 stator-N-right:rotor-top-S. Hybrid stepper motor rotation (Figure 13. direction unknown. This will allow for rotation by that amount if φ-1 is de-energized and φ-2 energized.40: Hybrid stepper motor schematic diagram. the bottom north. • The bottom φ-1’ stator teeth align south to rotor bottom north teeth.41) • Rotor top is permanent magnet south. The alignment would be south stator top to north rotor bottom. φ-1’ stator-S: rotor-bottom-N. STEPPER MOTORS 1/4 tooth offset alignment stator North PM South PM North 437 N φ1 φ2′ 1/2 tooth offset alignment Stator South φ2 S φ1′ Figure 13. φ-2 are switchable: on.

5o of permanent magnet steppers. φ-2=off. • The stator windings are divided into no less than two phases. • The stator poles have matching fine teeth of the same pitch as the rotor. The major . Rotate 1/4 tooth from last position. • (c) φ-1=reverse(on). why do we discuss brushless DC motors in a chapter on AC motors? Brushless DC motors are similar to AC synchronous motors. Align (bottom to top): φ-1 stator-S:rotor-bottom-N.41: Hybrid stepper motor rotation sequence. Align (left to right): Total rotation: 3/4 tooth. The hybrid stepper will have a small step angle. • Not shown: φ-1=off. Total rotation from start: 1/2 tooth. 13. φ-2=off (same as (a)). φ-2=reverse(on). corresponding to a few hundred steps per revolution. • The rotor is a permanent magnet with fine teeth. The step angle could be a fraction of a degree. much less than the 7.6 Brushless DC motor Brushless DC motors were developed from conventional brushed DC motors with the availability of solid state power semiconductors. Align (top to bottom): Total rotation 1-tooth. An un-powered stepper motor with detent torque is either a permanent magnet stepper or a hybrid stepper.438 N φ1 φ1 CHAPTER 13. φ-1’ stator-N:rotor-top-S. • The poles of one stator windings are offset by a quarter tooth for an even smaller step angle. AC MOTORS off S φ1 off off φ2′ φ2 S φ2′ N φ2 off off φ2′ φ2 S φ1′ align top (a) off align right φ1′ (b) N φ1′ align bottom (c) Figure 13. North and south teeth are offset by half a tooth for a smaller step angle. • Not shown: φ-1=on. So. Summary: hybrid stepper motor • The step angle is smaller than variable reluctance or permanent magnet steppers.

43: Pancake motor construction: (a) single stator. However. The style of construction is either cylindrical or pancake. Brushless DC motors tend to be small– a few watts to tens of watts. This style motor is used in hard disk drives. with permanent magnet rotors.6.13. This style of construction may be short and fat. the direction of the magnetic flux is radial with respect to the rotational axis.42). cylindrical. often with electromagnet rotors. The speed of a brushless DC motor is not fixed unless driven by a phased locked loop slaved to a reference frequency. above right. can take on two forms (Figure 13. BRUSHLESS DC MOTOR 439 difference is that synchronous motors develop a sinusoidal back EMF. The most common cylindrical style is with the rotor on the inside.42 and 13.43) Stator Stator Rotor Rotor (a) (b) Figure 13. High torque pancake motors may have stator coils on both sides of the rotor (Figure 13. Synchronous motors are usually large multi-kilowatt size. Rotor Stator (a) (b) Stator Rotor Stator Figure 13.43b). a submultiple of the powerline frequency. or trapezoidal. sans the shaft. (b) double stator.42: Cylindrical construction: (a) outside rotor. back EMF for brushless DC motors. Such is the case with brushless DC fan motors. Both have stator created rotating magnetic fields producing torque in a magnetic rotor. (b) inside rotor. True synchronous motors are considered to be single speed. It is also possible the put the rotor on the outside surrounding the stator. (Figures 13. Lower torque applications like floppy disk drive motors suffice with a stator coil on one side . The most usual construction. as compared to a rectangular.

More modern Hall effect sensors may contain an integrated amplifier.. and approximate the rotor poles. parallel to the axis of rotation. Similar circuitry could drive the pancake floppy disk drive motor (Figure 13. V+ H1 A1 V+ V+ H1 V+ S N V+ NC H3 H2 H3 V+ H2 A2 A3 V+ Figure 13. AC MOTORS of the rotor.43-a). (Figure 13. The simple cylindrical 3-φ motor Figure 13. The direction of the magnetic flux is axial. A . Not shown here.44 is commutated by a Hall effect device for each of the three stator phases. It looks like a four terminal variable resistor network. it may drive a compound transistor stage if properly biased. If the three stator phases were successively energized. This Hall signal is amplified so that the stator coils are driven with the proper current. or Hall effect magnetic sensors. magnetic encoder (resolver. The above cylindrical motor could drive a harddrive if it were equipped with a phased locked loop (PLL) to maintain constant speed.44: Hall effect sensors commutate 3-φ brushless DC motor. The flat stator coils are trapezoidal to more closely fit the coils. synchro. The permanent magnet rotor would follow as in the case of a synchronous motor. We do not show that the rotor is capped by a mild steel plate for mounting to the bearing in the middle of the stator. the Hall signals may be processed by combinatorial logic for more efficient drive waveforms. The Hall output may drive a comparator to provide for more stable drive to the power device. The sensor must be mounted close to the permanent magnet rotor to sense its position.45). The stator poles are also mounted atop a steel plate.45) has 6-stator poles and 8-rotor poles. The commutation function may be performed by various shaft position sensors: optical encoder. This 3lead device may directly drive the power transistor feeding a phase winding. that is. helping to close the magnetic circuit.440 CHAPTER 13. The rotor is a flat ferrite ring magnetized with eight axially magnetized alternating poles. The 3-φ pancake motor (Figure 13. Again. Application of a magnetic field to the sensor causes a small voltage change at the output. Small inexpensive motors use Hall effect sensors.44) A Hall effect sensor is a semiconductor device where the electron flow is affected by a magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of current flow. The voltages at the two outputs are complementary. a rotating magnetic field would be generated. The changing position of the permanent magnet rotor is sensed by the Hall device as the polarity of the passing rotor pole changes. etc). (Figure 13. The 6-stator coils comprise three winding phases. it would need a PLL to maintain constant speed. Or. and digital circuitry. The steel plate also helps complete the magnetic circuit.

The goal of a brushless fan motor is to minimize the cost of manufacture.13. The brushless DC fan motor (Figure 13. • The stator has 2-phases distributed between 4-poles • There are 4-salient poles with no windings to eliminate zero torque points. However. • The rotor has 8-poles superimposed to help eliminate zero torque points.46) has these feature: S N S H2 N N S S N S H1 N N S 2-φ brushless fan motor Figure 13. which is placed over the stator.46: Brushless fan motor. This is an incentive to move lower performance products from a 3-φ to a 2-φ configuration.45: Brushless pancake motor two pole rotor would follow this field at the same rotation rate as the rotating field. • The fan housing is placed atop the rotor. it may be called a 4-φ motor. BRUSHLESS DC MOTOR φ−1 φ−2 φ−3 441 S N S N N S N S Stator Rotor φ−1′ Hall effect sensor Figure 13. • The rotor has four main drive poles. 2-φ. • The Hall effect sensors are spaced at 45o physical. .6. Depending on how it is driven. our 8-pole rotor will rotate at a submultiple of this rate due the the extra poles in the rotor.

where it cannot be started from rest. the easier the motor starting. 13. Since we have a 4-pole permanent magnet rotor. etc) if they are to be self-starting. Moreover. The addition of eight permanant magnet poles to the normal 4-pole permanent magnet rotor superimposes a small second harmonic ripple torque upon the normal 4-pole ripple torque. Tesla sold the manufacturing rights to George . The sensors are spaced 90o electrical apart. This further removes the torque minima. one sensor provides commutation for two opposing windings. the sensors must be placed 45o physical to achieve the 90o electrical spacing.7 Tesla polyphase induction motors Most AC motors are induction motors. The 8-poles rotor section is only for improving motor starting.7 being common. The more successful we are in removing the torque minima.47. and had a half horsepower (400 watt) model by 1888. Nikola Tesla conceived the basic principals of the polyphase induction motor in 1883. The majority of the torque is due to the interaction of the inside stator 2-φ coils with the 4-pole section of the rotor. V+ A1 N V+ A2 S V+ V+ H1 A3 H1 H2 V+ V+ H2 A2 Figure 13.5. As long as the torque minima does not drop to zero. When this ripple torque is added to normal energized-torque curve. which is 90o physical for a single pole rotor.442 CHAPTER 13. 3. The addition of the four small salient poles with no windings superimposes a ripple torque upon the torque vs position curve. In fact. the Hall sensors would be placed 90o physical. we should be able to start the motor.4. Note Hall spacing above. AC MOTORS You may recall that conventional DC motors cannot have an even number of armature poles (2. 90% of industrial motors are induction motors. the result is that torque minima are partially removed. it is possible for a hypothetical 4-pole motor to come to rest at a torque minima. If the rotor was a 2-pole rotor. the 4-pole section of the rotor must be on the bottom so that the Hall sensors will sense the proper commutation signals.47: Brushless DC motor 2-φ push-pull drive. Thus. Induction motors are favored due to their ruggedness and simplicity. This makes it possible to start the motor for all possible stopping positions. the 2-φ push-pull drive (also known as 4-φ drive) uses two Hall effect sensors to drive four windings. The 2-φ stator requires that the Hall sensors be spaced apart by 90o electrical. Since the Hall sensor has two complementary outputs. In Figure 13.

However. The stator in Figure 13. unlike a brushed DC commutator motor.48.7. Most large ( > 1 hp or 1 kW) industrial motors are poly-phase induction motors.48 has salient. one pair for each of the two phases of AC. like a transformer. By polyphase. we must emphasize that nearly all poly-phase motors are three-phase. Large industrial motors are 3-phase. for larger motors less torque pulsation and higher efficiency results if the . one coil corresponds to a N-pole. The stator in Figure 13. obvious protruding poles.1 Construction An induction motor is composed of a rotor. the source of the two phases of AC was a 2-phase alternator.13. known as an armature. The individual coils of a pair are connected in series and correspond to the opposite poles of an electromagnet. The 2-phase induction motor stator above has 2-pairs of coils. This pair of coils is connected to AC shifted in time by 90o in the case of a 2-phase motor. While we include numerous illustrations of two-phase motors for simplicity. and a stator containing windings connected to a poly-phase energy source as shown in Figure 13.7. the other to a S-pole until the phase of AC changes polarity. 13. as used on Tesla’s early induction motor.000. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 443 Westinghouse for $65.48: Tesla polyphase induction motor. By induction motor. this is two or three phases. This design is used to this day for sub-fractional horsepower motors (<50 watts). In practice. we mean that the stator contains multiple distinct windings per motor pole. Rotor Stator Figure 13.48 is wound with pairs of coils corresponding to the phases of electrical energy available. The other pair of coils is oriented 90o in space to the first pair. That is. In Tesla’s time. The simple 2phase induction motor below is similar to the 1/2 horsepower motor which Nikola Tesla introduced in 1888. driven by corresponding time shifted sine waves. we mean that the stator windings induce a current flow in the rotor conductors.

50: Stator with (a) 2-φ and (b) 3-φ windings. which may also hold the end housings. the windings for both a two-phase motor and a three-phase motor have been installed in the stator slots.49) Figure 13.50. A stack of these is secured by end screws. Actual stator windings are more complex than the single windings per pole in Figure 13. the number of coils is the . The coils are wound on an external fixture. The stator laminations are thin insulated rings with slots punched from sheets of electrical grade steel. Insulation wedged between the coil periphery and the slot protects against abrasion. φ−3 φ−1 φ−2 (a) φ−1 (b) φ−2 Figure 13. In Figure 13.50. then worked into the slots. Comparing the 2-φ motor to Tesla’s 2-φ motor with salient poles.49: Stator frame showing slots for windings. (Figure 13. AC MOTORS coils are embedded into slots cut into the stator laminations.444 CHAPTER 13.

(b) conductive cage removed from rotor. arcing. there is no commutator. The squirrel cage conductors may be skewed. The lines of flux cutting the conductor will induce a voltage. a steel laminated rotor. The disk follows with a little less speed than the permanent magnet.2 Theory of operation A short explanation of operation is that the stator creates a rotating magnetic field which drags the rotor around. The rotor consists of a shaft. twisted. If the moving magnetic lines of flux cut a conductive disk. One means of creating a rotating magnetic field is to rotate a permanent magnet as shown in Figure 13. and an embedded copper or aluminum squirrel cage. with respsect to the shaft. Edge slots may contain windings from two phases. 13.7. the phase belts overlap.52. The key to the popularity of the AC induction motor is simplicity as evidenced by the simple rotor (Figure 13. it will follow the motion of the magnet. This current flow creates an electromagnet whose polarity opposes the motion of the permanent magnet– Lenz’s Law. See Figure 13. The distributed coils of the phase belt cancel some of the odd harmonics.16. That is. a pole winding. This group is called a phase belt. shown at (b) removed from the rotor.51: Laminated rotor with (a) embedded squirrel cage.51). TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 445 same.13. and consequent current flow. The theory of operation of induction motors is based on a rotating magnetic field. . This eliminates the brushes.7. This is shown in the synchronous motor section. (a) (b) Figure 13. sparking. In actual large motors. The polarity of the electromagnet is such that it pulls against the permanent magnet. graphite dust. and re-machining of the commutator. The misalignment with the stator slots reduces torque pulsations. The alloy used in the laminations is selected for low hysteresis losses. producing a more sinusoidal magnetic field distribution across the pole. Both rotor and stator cores are composed of a stack of insulated laminations. in the conductive disk. As compared to a DC motor armature. The slots at the edge of the pole may have fewer turns than the other slots. The laminations are coated with insulating oxide or varnish to minimize eddy current losses. is divided into identical coils inserted into many smaller slots than above. brush adjustment and replacement.

If the disk were to spin at the same rate as the permanent magnet.53. Then with minimum “X” and maximum negative “Y”. slowing it. Torque is proportional to slip. which follows the permanent magnet. the degree to which the disk falls behind the rotating magnet. The combination of 90o phased sine waves and right angle deflection. If this were not the case. In Figure 13. developing more torque. Thus. disk and needle deflection is proportional to magnet rotation rate. 0. This should not be surprising if you are familiar with oscilloscope Lissajous patterns. no induced current flow. This point (0. so that lines of flux cut the disk induce a current. Starting at (a) with maximum “X” and minimum “Y” deflection. a circular Lissajous is produced by driving the horizontal and vertical oscilloscope inputs with 90o out of phase sine waves. the disk speed will always fall behind that of the rotating permanent magnet. More slip corresponds to more flux cutting the conductive disk. the trace moves up and left toward (b).707) falls on the radius of the circle between (a) and (b) The trace moves to (b) with minimum “X” and maximum “Y” deflection.707 Vpk at 45o . completing one cycle. Between (a) and (b) the two waveforms are equal to 0. create an electromagnetic field in the disk. With maximum negative “X” and minimum “Y” deflection. no torque. it moves to (d). A rotating magnetic field is created by two coils placed at right angles to each other. and on back to (a). results in a two dimensional pattern– a circle. The torque developed by the disk is proportional to the number of flux lines cutting the disk and the rate at which it cuts the disk. no electromagnet field. more torque will be developed as more lines of flux cut the disk. If a load is applied to the disk. This circle is traced out by a counterclockwise rotating .52: Rotating magnetic field produces torque in conductive disk.707. there would be no flux cutting the disk. With the disk restrained by a spring.446 CHAPTER 13. Figure 13.54 shows the two 90o phase shifted sine waves applied to oscilloscope deflection plates which are at right angles in space. a one dimensional line would display. An analog automotive eddy current speedometer is based on the principle illustrated above. driven by currents which are 90o out of phase. AC MOTORS Figure 13. the trace moves to (c).

7. .54: X-axis sine and Y-axis cosine trace circle. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 447 OSCILLOSCOPE b vertical Y V/div c a trigger DC GND AC a horiz’tl X a’ b c d a timebase d s/div DC GND AC Figure 13.13. b a’ c a a’ a b c a d a’ b a d horizontal deflection verticall deflection c d a Figure 13.53: Out of phase (90o ) sine waves produce circular Lissajous pattern.

448 CHAPTER 13. back down left to origin at (c). Such is the case for a 2phase motor. and back up right to origin. AC MOTORS electron beam. and fed with corresponding 120o phased currents will also produce a rotating magnetic field. .56: Rotating magnetic field from 90o phased sinewaves. By analogy three windings placed 120o apart in space. Figure 13.1) at (b). φ−1 φ−1 φ−2 φ−1 φ−2 a φ−1 φ−2 a’ b φ−2 a a’ b c d φ−1 φ−1 φ−2 c d φ−2 Figure 13. If a pair of 90o out of phase sine waves produces a circular Lissajous. y=x is a straight line. a similar pair of currents should be able to produce a circular rotating magnetic field. OSCILLOSCOPE vertical b V/div a trigger c timebase d s/div horiz’tl X DC GND AC Y DC GND AC a a’ b c d a Figure 13. Equal “X” and “Y” deflection moves the illuminated spot from the origin at (a) up to right (1.55shows why in-phase sine waves will not produce a circular pattern.-1) at (d). The line is produced by equal deflections along both axes.55: No circular motion from in-phase waveforms.down left to (-1. For reference.

The 3600 and 3000 rpm. φ-2 70% • (b) φ-1 zero. However. it rotates at 50 rotations per second.13. φ-2 maximum negative Motor speed The rotation rate of a stator rotating magnetic field is related to the number of pole pairs per stator phase.56.there is but one pole pair per phase– the number we need. The synchronous speed is given by: Ns = 120·f/P Ns = synchronous speed in rpm f = frequency of applied power. the magnetic field rotates counterclockwise (figures a-d) as follows: • (a) φ-1 maximum. are the synchronous speed of the motor. The “full speed” Figure 13.57: Doubling the stator poles halves the synchronous speed. Though the rotor of an induction motor never achieves this speed. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 449 As the 90o phased sinewaves. the field rotates at 60 times per second or 3600 revolutions per minute (rpm). progress from points (a) through (d). For 50 Hz power. The magnetic field will rotate once per sine wave cycle. the synchronous speed is cut in half because the magnetic field rotates 180o in space for 360o of electrical sine wave. If we double the number of motor poles. Hz P = total number of poles per phase. φ-2 maximum • (c) φ-1 maximum negative. it certainly is an upper limit. or 3000 rpm. In the case of 60 Hz power. φ1 φ2 φ1 φ2 φ3 φ3 full speed half speed Figure 13. Figure 13.7. φ-2 zero • (d) φ-1 zero. φ-2 zero • (a’) φ-1 70%. a multiple of 2 .57 has a total of six poles or three pole-pairs and three phases.

at the synchronous speed. The 2. As the rotor speeds up.5 Hz. the frequency of the induced current in the rotor fr = 0. or other losses.05·50 = 2. a loaded motor will slip in proportion to the mechanical load. The rotating stator magnetic field interacts with this rotor field. It is the magnetic flux cutting the rotor conductors as it slips which develops torque. If the rotor were to run at synchronous speed. while the stator magnetic field rotates at the synchronous speed Ns . fr = 0. The current induced in the rotor shorted turns is maximum. no flux will cut the rotor at all. The rotor speed is 5% less. The rotating magnetic field is only cutting the rotor at 2. Thus for f = 50 Hz line frequency. The result is rotation of the squirrel cage rotor. windage. The ratio of actual flux cutting the rotor to synchronous speed is defined as slip: s = (Ns .5 Hz is the difference between the synchronous speed and the actual rotor speed. no current induced in the rotor. However. the safe continuous torque rating. This induced rotor current in turn creates a magnetic field.N)/Ns where: Ns = synchronous speed. no bearing. no torque. or (Ns . the line frequency. The longer more correct explanation is that the stator’s magnetic field induces an alternating current into the rotor squirrel cage conductors which constitutes a transformer secondary. N = rotor speed The frequency of the current induced into the rotor conductors is only as high as the line frequency at motor start. f = stator power line frequency Slip at 100% torque is typically 5% or less in induction motors. as is the frequency of the current. the rate at which stator flux cuts the rotor is the difference between synchronous speed Ns and actual rotor speed N. The rotor field attempts to align with the rotating stator field. there would be no stator flux cutting the rotor.58 graph shows that starting torque known as locked rotor torque (LRT) is higher than 100% of the full load torque (FLT). The stator field is cutting the rotor at the synchronous speed Ns . the rotor is at rest. The locked . Torque When power is first applied to the motor. the slip between the rotor and the synchronous speed stator field develops torque. If the rotor spins a little faster. Why is it so low? The stator magnetic field rotates at 50 Hz. If there were no mechanical motor torque load.N). The synchronous speed for 50 Hz power is: S = 120·50/4 = 1500 rpm The short explanation of the induction motor is that the rotating magnetic field produced by the stator drags the rotor around with it. The Figure 13. AC MOTORS Example: The “half speed” Figure 13.57 has four poles per phase (3-phase).5 Hz.450 CHAPTER 13. Rotor frequency is given by: fr = s·f where: s = slip. Thus. the rotor would rotate at the synchronous speed. decreasing as the rotor approaches synchronous speed.

As the rotor gains 80% of synchronous speed. The current is high because this is analogous to a shorted secondary on a transformer. Slip will be only a few percent during normal operation. any portion of the torque curve below 100% rated torque is normal. The motor load determines the operating point on the torque curve.13.59) showing consideable variation from the torque curve above. and D to meet these . There are several basic induction motor designs (Figure 13. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 500% %full load torque & current locked rotor current 400% 300% 200% 100% qu e 451 curre nt tor breakdown torque pullup torque full load torque/ current locked rotor torque 80 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns 100 0 Figure 13. %Ns =%Synchronous Speed. torque increases from 175% up to 300% of the full load torque. corresponding to the torque curves (Figure 13. As the rotor starts to rotate the torque may decrease a bit for certain classes of motors to a value known as the pull up torque. The different designs are optimized for starting and running different types of loads. NEMA design classes Various standard classes (or designs) for motors. As the rotor accelerates to within a few percent of synchronous speed. The current has decreased only slightly at this point. While the motor torque and current may exceed 100% for a few seconds during starting. This is the lowest value of torque ever encountered by the starting motor. both torque and current will decrease substantially. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has specified motor classes A. and current will approach zero for a “no mechanical torque” load condition. The torque. slip. Any motor torque load above the breakdown torque will stall the motor.7. Starting current known as locked rotor current (LRC) is 500% of full load current (FLC).59) have been developed to better drive various type loads. C. The locked rotor torque (LRT) for various motor designs and sizes ranges from 60% to 350% of full load torque (FLT). rotor torque is about 175% of FLT for the example motor graphed above. This condition is analogous to an open secondary transformer. For a running motor. Starting current or locked rotor current (LRC) can range from 500% to 1400% of full load current (FLC).58: Torque and speed vs %Slip. the safe running current. continuous operation above 100% can damage the motor. This current draw can present a starting problem for large induction motors. This breakdown torque is due to the larger than normal 20% slip. B. but will decrease rapidly beyond this point.

The high slip results in lower speed. the motor excels at driving highly variable speed loads like those requiring an energy storage flywheel. without excessive starting current (LRT). except class D. • Class C (IEC Class H) has higher starting torque than class A and B at LRT = 200% of FLT. LRT. It typically drives pumps. • Class F motors have much lower LRC. and break down torque than class B. crushers. All motors. it can start most loads. and elevators. shears. Efficiency and power factor are high. and machine tools. fans. Speed regulation is poor.The power factor in large fully loaded high speed motors can be as favorable as 90% for large high speed motors. This motor handles transient overloads as encountered in injection molding machines. • Class D motors have the highest starting torque (LRT) coupled with low starting current due to high slip ( 5% to 13% at FLT). operate at %5 slip or less at full load. • Class A starting torque is the same as class B. • Class E motors are a higher efficiency version of class B. They drive constant easily started loads. . • Class B (IEC Class N) motors are the default motor to use in most applications. AC MOTORS drive requirements.59: Characteristics for NEMA designs. and reciprocating pumps and compressors. With a starting torque of LRT = 150% to 170% of FLT.452 CHAPTER 13. Applications include punch presses. However. This motor is applied to hard-starting loads which need to be driven at constant speed like conveyors. Similar International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) classes N and H correspond to NEMA B and C designs respectively. Drop out torque and starting current (LRT)are higher. 400% %full load torque 300% 200% 100% D C A B 100 0 80 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13. Power factor Induction motors present a lagging (inductive) power factor to the power line.

while current associated with magnetizing remains fixed.7.60: Induction motor power factor and efficiency. Efficiency Large three phase motors are more efficient than smaller 3-phase motors. It is based on the premise that a less than fully loaded induction motor is less efficient and has a lower power factor than a fully loaded motor. An unloaded motor is analogous to a transformer with no resistive load on the secondary. the power factor can be in the range of 10% to 25%. though 90% is more common.3 Nola power factor corrrector Frank Nola of NASA proposed a power factor corrector (PFC) as an energy saving device for single phase induction motors in the late 1970’s. Efficiency at 75% FLT can be slightly higher than that at 100% FLT. As the torque load is increased. Little resistance is reflected from the secondary (rotor) to the primary (stator). the voltage to a partially loaded motor may be reduced to decrease the energy required to maintain the magnetic field. 13. Thus. as low as 10% PF. 100% efficience. increasing the power factor. Efficiency is decreased a few percent at 50% FLT. At starting. efficiency suffers only slightly down to 25% FLT. power factor 80% 60% 40% 20% 0 20 40 60 80 100 % load efficiency power factor Figure 13. there is energy to be saved in partially loaded motors. The energy consumed in maintaining the stator magnetic field is relatively fixed with respect to load changes. Efficiency only becomes poor below 25% FLT. This was a good concept for the notoriously inefficient single phase motors for which it was intended. .60 Induction motors are typically oversized to guarantee that their mechanical load can be started and driven under all operating conditions. If a polyphase motor is loaded at less than 75% of rated torque where efficiency peaks. Large induction motor efficiency can be as high as 95% at full load. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 453 At 3/4 full load the largest high speed motor power factor can be 92%. This will increase power factor and efficiency. and decreased a few more percent at 25% FLT. more current is consumed in generating torque. 1-φ motors in particular.60). Efficiency for a lightly load or no-loaded induction motor is poor because most of the current is involved with maintaining magnetizing flux. While there is nothing to be saved in a fully loaded motor. Thus the power line sees a reactive load. rising as the rotor achieves speed.13. The power factor for small low speed motors can be as low as 50%. Power factor (PF) varies considerably with the motor mechanical load (Figure 13. and most all single phase motors. The variation of efficiency with loading is shown in Figure 13. As the rotor is loaded an increasing resistive component is reflected from rotor to stator.7.

90% = 5%. AC MOTORS This concept is not very applicable to large 3-phase motors. Moreover. 500% %full load torque & current 400% 300% 200% 100% -20 120 100 80 0 20 Motor mode 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns -100% -200% tor qu e qu e curre nt tor Generator mode -40 -60 140 160 -80 180 -100 % slip 200 % Ns %full load torque & current -300% -400% curre nt -500% Figure 13. This is not 5% of the full load wattage but 5% of the wattage at the reduced load.61) This corresponds to a few % of “negative” slip. the rotor is advancing 1% faster than the stator rotating magnetic field. there is not much energy to be saved. [7] 13. This type of alternator appears to be unsuited as a standby power source. Since the rotor is cutting the stator magnetic field in the opposite direction (leading). This means that as we are rotating the motor faster than the synchronous speed. No power can be generated in the event of a power company power failure. The pay-back period for the expensive electronic controller has been estimated to be unattractive for most applications. the rotor induces a voltage into the stator feeding electrical energy back into the power line. Such an induction generator must be excited by a “live” source of 50 or 60 Hz power. Because of their high efficiency (90%+). say -1% slip. The Nola power factor corrector might be applicable to a 3-phase motor which idles most of the time (below 25% FLT). It normally lags by 1% in a motor.61: Negative torque makes induction motor into generator. like a punch press. Though. (Figure 13. . As an auxiliary power wind turbine generator. it might be economical as part of an electronic motor starter or speed Control. The potential energy savings in going from 100% FLT to 25% FLT is the difference in efficiency 95% . a 95% efficient motor is still 94% efficient at 50% full load torque (FLT) and 90% efficient at 25% FLT.7. It is fail-safe.4 Induction motor alternator An induction motor may function as an alternator if it is driven by a torque at greater than 100% of the synchronous speed. it has the advantage of not requiring an automatic power failure disconnect switch to protect repair crews.454 CHAPTER 13.

Closure of the S contacts applies reduced voltage during the start interval. This current is allowed to flow by the capacitors without dissipating power. followed by application of full line voltage as in Figure 13. an induction alternator presents a leading power factor. 200% of full load current.62. The power rating needs to be 50% larger than for a comparable single phase motor to make up for one unused winding. 13. feeding power back into the power line. a few hundred percent is more common. and subject to wind speed variation by gusts. However. Since the autotransformer is only used for the short start interval.5 Motor starting and speed control Some induction motors can draw over 1000% of full load current during starting. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 455 Small remote (from the power grid) installations may be make self-exciting by placing capacitors in parallel with the stator phases.7. The speed of the steam turbine drive is steady and controllable as required by synchronous alternators. say. a direct line connected induction generator is considered to be fixed-speed in a wind turbine. Sometimes 3-phase motors are purchased for use on single phase if three-phase provisioning is anticipated. Synchronous alternators are also more efficient. Induction generators are not widely used in conventional power plants. Any wind induced turbine speed in excess of synchronous speed will develop negative torque. This breaker accepts high over-current for the duration of starting. Motor-start rated circuit breakers (analogous to slow blow fuses) should replace standard circuit breakers for starting motors of a few kilowatts. The load may be applied at this point. this allowable speed variation only amounts to about 1%. If the load is removed residual magnetism may generate a small amount of current flow. Motors over 50 kW use motor starters to reduce line current from several hundred to a few hundred percent of full load current. Starting larger motors can cause line voltage sag.[6] Start up procedure is to bring the wind turbine up to speed in motor mode by application of normal power line voltage to the stator. Multiple generators or multiple windings on a common shaft may be switched to provide a high and low speed to accomodate variable wind conditions. it may be sized considerably smaller than a continuous duty unit. An intermittent duty autotarnsformer may reduce the stator voltage for a fraction of a minute during the start interval. Voltage regulation is poor.13. This reduces starting current to. The speed of a wind turbine is difficult to control. the current flow increases to supply a magnetizing current to the stator. This stresses the gear train and mechanical components less than a synchronous genertor. Thus. See Doubly-fed induction generator for a true variable speed alternator.7. The only problem for either motor is starting. An induction alternator is better able to cope with these variations due to the inherent slip. though. reversing the normal direction of the electric kilowatt-hour meter. Whereas an induction motor presents a lagging power factor to the power line. Small motors of a few kilowatts or smaller can be started by direct connection to the power line. As the generator is brought up to full speed. Single . The S contacts open and the R contacts close after starting. An induction motor may be converted to a self-excited generator by the addition of capacitors. Running 3-phase motors on 1-phase Three-phase motors will run on single phase as readily as single phase motors. affecting other loads.

If it is small enough. Matt Isserstedt shows a complete design for powering a home machine shop. See Figure 13. R= run optional run capacitor start capacitor φ1 φ1 φ2 M1 φsynthetic φ1’ synthetic 3-φ φ3 standard 3-φ Figure 13. Hanrahan provides construction details. While running.64.65. it may be started with a capacitor considerably smaller than a normal start capacitor. [8] Since a static phase converter has no torque load.63. The capacitor supplies a synthetic phase approximately midway 90o between the 180o single phase power source terminals for starting. the motor generates approximately standard 3-φ. smaller run-capacitors result in better 3-phase power output as in Figure 13. a large start capacitor is required for about a second to quickly start the converter.63 upon motor start. AC MOTORS R S R M1 S Figure 13. the motor acts as a 3-phase generator. However. as shown in Figure 13. phase is applied to a pair of windings simultanous with a start capacitor in series with the third winding. Sometimes a smaller capacitor than the start capacitor is retained while running. Three phase power may be tapped off from the three stator windings for powering other 3-phase equipment. φ1 R φsynthetic S φ1’ R return S = start. Moreover. Moreover. R= run CHAPTER 13.[9] However.62: Autotransformer induction motor starter. it may be left in circuit as a run-capacitor. The circuit in Figure 13.456 φ3 T1 φ1 S T2 S φ2 S = start.63: Starting a three-phase motor on single phase. The start switch is opened in Figure 13.[9] .63 for running a three-phase motor on single phase is known as a static phase converter if the motor shaft is not loaded. adjustment of these capacitors to equalize the currents as measured in the three phases results in the most efficient machine.

7. Hanrahan [9] 220V single phase in L2 L3 3-phase L2 out L1 run run 1 HP motor start L1 Start capacitor = 50-100 µF/HP. Figure 13.64: Self-starting static phase converter. TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 457 L3 3-phase L2 out L1 220V single phase in L2 L1 Run capacitor = 25-30 µF per HP 1 HP motor Figure 13. Start capacitor = 50-100µF/HP. Adapted from Figure 7. Run capacitor = 25-30µF per HP. Run capacitors = 12-16µF/HP.65: More efficient static phase converter. Hanrahan [9] . Run capacitors = 12-16 µF/HP. Adapted from Figure 1.13.

Conversely. This reduces the torque available to the load which reduces the speed. (Figure 13. our induction motor may run at multiple speeds. However. If the motor is driven by 50 Hz. This may cause the stator magnetic circuit to saturate with disastrous results.5o segments are switchable to 45o segments. When switching the above 60 Hz motor from 4 poles to 2 poles the synchronous speed increases from 1800 rpm to 3600 rpm.66: Multiple fields allow speed change. AC MOTORS Induction motors may contain multiple field windings.67) Electronic speed control Modern solid state electronics increase the options for speed control. the voltage needs to be increased to overcome increasing reactance to keep . what would be the corresponding 4-pole and 2-pole synchronous speeds? Ns = 120f/P = 120*50/4 = 1500 rpm (4-pole) Ns = 3000 rpm (2-pole) Variable voltage The speed of small squirrel cage induction motors for applications such as driving fans. it may be rewired (or switched) from 4pole to 2-pole as shown above for a 2-phase motor. the drive frequency may be increased to increase the synchronous speed of the motor. The 22. In practice.458 Multiple fields CHAPTER 13. decreasing the frequency of the current fed to the motor also decreases reactance XL which increases the stator current.66. the voltage to the motor needs to be decreased when frequency is decreased. Thus. φ1 φ1 4-pole 2-pole Figure 13. may be changed by reducing the line voltage. If the field is segmented with leads brought out. for example a 4-pole and an 8-pole winding corresponding to 1800 and 900 rpm synchronous speeds. the synchronous speed of the motor may be changed. By changing the 50 or 60 Hz line frequency to higher or lower values. However. Only the wiring for one phase is shown above for clarity. Energizing one field or the other is less complex than rewiring the stator coils in Figure 13.

This is computation intensive. many control methods are available. • Direct Torque Control An elaborate adaptive motor model allows more direct control of flux and torque without feedback. Summary: Tesla polyphase induction motors • A polyphase induction motor consists of a polyphase winding embedded in a laminated stator and a conductive squirrel cage embedded in a laminated rotor. This is a chopped waveform which is either on or off. high or low. The flux and torque producing components of stator current are measured or estimated on a real-time basis to enhance the motor torque-speed curve.eps¡x1¿) approximates sinewaves to the motor with pulse width modulation outputs. This method quickly responds to load changes. Once electronics is applied to induction motor control.7.67: Variable voltage controls induction motor speed. • Vector Control Also known as vector phase control. AC line speed Inverter. without feedback. . TESLA POLYPHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 459 100% % torque 75% 50% 25% 100 0 80 20 motor torque 100% V reduced speed 50% V load to 60 40 rque 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13. variable frequency & voltage M1 Figure 13. current up to a normal value and maintain torque.13. varying from the simple to complex: Summary: Speed control • Scaler Control Low cost method described above to control only voltage and frequency. The inverter (Figure¡ref¿02480.68: Electronic variable speed drive. the percentage of “on” time corresponds to the instantaneous sine wave voltage.

. the breakdown torque peak is shifted left to zero speed. The linear induction motor has been proposed as a drive for high speed passenger trains. While this is not a severe problem for small motors. the linear induction motor is scheduled to replace steam driven catapult aircraft launch systems on the next generation of naval aircraft carrier. Placing resistance in series with the rotor windings not only decreases start current. • A static phase converter is three phase motor running on single phase having no shaft load. in 2013. • Motor starters minimize loading of the power line while providing a larger starting torque than required during running.70 shows that by increasing the rotor resistance from R0 to R1 to R2 . (Figure 13. it is for large (10’s of kW) motors. • Three phase motors will run on single phase. CVNX-1. Up to this time. Why put resistance in series with the rotor? Squirrel cage induction motors draw 500% to over 1000% of full load current (FLC) during starting. However.Note that this torque peak is much higher than the starting torque available with no rotor resistance (R0 ) Slip is proportional to rotor resistance. generating a 3-phase output. the linear induction motor with the accompanying magnetic repulsion levitation system required for a smooth ride has been too costly for all but experimental installations. but also increases the starting torque. polyphase induction motors are self-starting. Line current reducing starters are only required for large motors. and pullout torque is proportional to slip.[4] [5] 13. locked rotor current (LRC).69) This resistance is shorted out once the motor is started to make the rotor look electrically like the squirrel cage counterpart. 13. Their sole purpose is to allow resistance to be placed in series with the rotor windings while starting.6 Linear induction motor The wound stator and the squirrel cage rotor of an induction motor may be cut at the circumference and unrolled into a linear induction motor. but a rotor with insulated windings brought out via slip rings and brushes. Figure 13. • Multiple field windings can be rewired for multiple discrete motor speeds by changing the number of poles. This will increase efficiency and reduce maintenance. high torque is produced while starting. AC MOTORS • Three phase currents flowing within the stator create a rotating magnetic field which induces a current. • Unlike single phase motors.7.8 Wound rotor induction motors A wound rotor induction motor has a stator like the squirrel cage induction motor. if started. no power is applied to the slip rings. Thus. and consequent magnetic field in the rotor.460 CHAPTER 13. locked rotor torque (LRT). The direction of linear travel is controlled by the sequence of the drive to the stator phases. Rotor torque is developed as the rotor slips a little behind the rotating stator field. However.

WOUND ROTOR INDUCTION MOTORS 461 φ1 φ2 M1 φ3 Stator Rotor Start resistance Figure 13.8. .70: Breakdown torque peak is shifted to zero speed by increasing rotor resistance.69: Wound rotor induction motor. 400% 300% 200% 100% R2 breakdown torque R1 R0 %full load torque 100 0 80 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13.13.

71: Rotor resistance controls speed of wound rotor induction motor. having electrical connections only to the stator windings. This motor is suited for starting high inertial loads. 400% 300% 200% 100% R3 speed reduction R0. This reduces rotor current and speed. See R2 curve at 90% Ns. a squirrel cage rotor only exhibits pull out (peak) torque at 80% of its’ synchronous speed.462 CHAPTER 13. For comparison. Resistors R0 R1 R2 R3 increase in value from zero. Since there are connections to both the stator and rotor. AC MOTORS The resistance decreases the torque available at full running speed.1 Speed control Motor speed may be varied by putting variable resistance back into the rotor circuit. Speed control works well with variable speed loads like elevators and printing presses. The high starting torque available at zero speed. A high starting resistance makes the high pull out torque available at zero speed. 2.71. Figure 13.8. the down shifted break down torque.2 Doubly-fed induction generator We previously described a squirrel cage induction motor acting like a generator if driven faster than the synchronous speed. (See Induction motor alternator) This is a singly-fed induction generator. Heat generated during starting is mostly dissipated external to the motor in the starting resistance. 3 = motor torque R1 R0 %full load torque rque load to 100 80 0 20 60 40 40 60 20 80 0 % slip 100 % Ns Figure 13. A wound rotor induction motor may also act as a generator when driven above the synchronous speed. Speed regulation is poor with respect to changing torque loads. R2 1. is not available at high speed. But that resistance is shorted out by the time the rotor is started. This speed control technique is only usefull over a range of 50% to 100% of full speed. A shorted rotor operates like a squirrel cage rotor. The singly-fed induction generator only had a useable slip range of 1% when driven by troublesome wind torque. Since the speed of a wound rotor induction motor may be controlled . 13. A higher resistance at R3 reduces the speed further. such a machine is known as a doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG). 13. The complication and maintenance associated with brushes and slip rings is a disadvantage of the wound rotor as compared to the simple squirrel cage rotor.8.

which passes it on to the stator. • Excellent starting torque for high inertia loads. negative resistance inserted into the rotor circuit can make up the energy deficit. Over-speed torqure Rotor Stator φ1 φ2 100% Torque energy Converter 70% φ1 Electric energy φ3 φ2 φ3 30% Electric energy Figure 13. we can also overspeed it by 50%. ±30% is more practical. resistance placed in the rotor circuit will absorb excess energy while the stator feeds constant 60 Hz to the power line.73) absorbing power from the rotor.8. In actual practice. Wound rotor induction motor qualities. leaving the line with 100% for the theoretical lossless DFIG. The stator appears to be supplying 130% of power to the line. (Figure 13. Not only can we slow the rotor by 50%.72: Rotor resistance allows over-speed of doubly-fed induction generator.73: Converter recovers energy from rotor of doubly-fed induction generator. leaving. over a range of 50-100% by inserting resistance in the rotor. (Figure 13. . If the generator over-speeds. The converter may “borrow” power from the line for the under-speed rotor.13. and feeding power into the power line instead of dissipating it.72) In the case of underspeed. we can vary the speed of a doubly fed induction generator by ±50% from the synchronous speed. we may expect the same of the doubly-fed induction generator. That is. passes to the stator which is connected to the power line. Keep in mind that the rotor “borrows” 30%. the rotor resistance may be replaced by a converter (Figure 13. along with the larger shaft energy. In actual practice. WOUND ROTOR INDUCTION MOTORS 463 Over-speed torqure Rotor Stator φ1 φ2 100% Torque energy 70% Electric energy φ3 30% Waste heat Figure 13. This improves the efficiency of the generator.74) The borrowed power. still allowing the stator to feed the power line with 60 Hz power.

it will not self-start. It will only develop 2/3 of the 3-φ power rating because one winding is not used. 1-φ powered Figure 13. coming up to speed in a few seconds. • Higher maintenance of brushes and slip rings compared to squirrel cage motor. allowing it to function well under synchronous speed. • Low starting current compared to squirrel cage induction motor. The single coil of a single phase induction motor does not produce a rotating magnetic field.75) However. It may be hand started in either direction. but a pulsating field reaching maximum intensity at 0o and 180o electrical.9 Single-phase induction motors A three phase motor may be run from a single phase power source.75: 3-φmotor runs from 1-φ power. • The generator version of the wound rotor machine is known as a doubly-fed induction generator. open no-start 1-φ motor 3-φ motor. • Speed is resistance variable over 50% to 100% full speed.464 CHAPTER 13.74: Converter borrows energy from power line for rotor of doubly fed induction generator. (Figure 13. a variable speed machine. 13.76) . but does not start. (Figure 13. AC MOTORS Under-speed torqure Rotor Stator φ1 φ2 100% Torque energy Converter 130% φ1 Electric energy φ3 φ2 φ3 30% Electric energy Figure 13.

coinciding twice per revolution at 0o (Figure 13. Single phase induction motors have a copper or aluminum squirrel cage embedded in a cylinder of steel laminations. it will develop a similar large torque as it nears the speed of the backward rotating phasor.13. It will develop maximum torque at 10% slip with respect to the forward rotating phasor.76-a) and 180o (figure e). The losses are less than for a shaded pole motor. with torque pulsations at full speed. The rotor will see 200% .76: Single phase stator produces a nonrotating. An analogous situation exists in figure d. The sum of these two phasors is a phasor stationary in space. deriving 2-phase power from single phase. but alternating polarity in time. This type of motor suffers increased current magnitude and backward time shift as the motor comes up to speed. Thus. Thus. If the rotor is started in the reverse direction.77: Permanent-split capacitor induction motor. Another view is that the single coil excited by a single phase current produces two counter rotating magnetic field phasors. Little torque (see torque vs slip curve) other than a double freqency ripple is developed from the counter rotating phasor. 13. the single phase coil will develop torque. SINGLE-PHASE INDUCTION MOTORS ∠90o 465 ∠180o ∠0o ∠-90o a b c d e Figure 13. This requires a motor with two windings spaced apart 90o electrical. pulsating magnetic field. no starting torque is developed. . The solution is to keep the capacitor (impedance) small to minimize losses. This is called a permanent-split capacitor motor in Figure 13.1 Permanent-split capacitor motor One way to solve the single phase problem is to build a 2-phase motor. Figure 13.77.10% slip with respect to the counter rotating magnetic field phasor. Less torque will be developed above or below 10% slip. once the rotor is started. fed with two phases of current displaced 90o in time. if the rotor is rotated forward at a bit less than the synchronous speed. typical of poly-phase induction motors. At 45o and -45o (figure c) they are partially additive along the +x axis and cancel along the y axis. However. When the phasors rotate to 90o and -90o they cancel in figure b.9.9.

the smaller sizes use less complex to build concentrated windings with salient poles. the auxiliary winding may be many more turns of heavier wire than used in a resistance split-phase motor to mitigate excessive temperature rise.78: Single phase induction motor with embedded stator coils.2 Capacitor-start induction motor In Figure 13. .466 CHAPTER 13. usually applied to smaller motors. AC MOTORS This motor configuration works well up to 1/4 horsepower (200watt). Moreover. The direction of the motor is easily reversed by switching the capacitor in series with the other winding. This motor configuration works so well that it is available in multi-horsepower (multi-kilowatt) sizes.78 for larger size motors. described elsewhere is this chapter. Single phase induction motors may have coils embedded into the stator as shown in Figure 13. Figure 13. This type of motor can be adapted for use as a servo motor. though. 13. Figure 13. The result is that more starting torque is available for heavy loads like air conditioning compressors.9. Though.79: Capacitor-start induction motor.79 a larger capacitor may be used to start a single phase induction motor via the auxiliary winding if it is switched out by a centrifugal switch once the motor is up to speed.

5 Nola power factor corrrector Frank Nola of NASA proposed a power factor corrector for improving the efficiency of AC induction motors in the mid 1970’s. Such AC rated electrolytic capacitors have such high losses that they can only be used for intermittent duty (1 second on. but not as much as a two phase motor built from the same parts. (Figure 13. but leave a smaller value capacitor in place after starting to improve running characteristics while not drawing excessive current. The additional complexity of the capacitor-run motor is justified for larger size motors. It could be reduced by decreasing the applied voltage.80) is to start the motor with a relatively large capacitor for high starting torque.9. it can start a single phase induction motor.13.9. This fixed current is a larger proportion of total motor current as motor load is decreased. A motor starting capacitor may be a double-anode non-polar electrolytic capacitor which could be two + to + (or .9. The current density in the auxiliary winding is so high during starting that the consequent rapid temperature rise precludes frequent restarting or slow starting loads. This coil produces a moderate starting torque. but a lower loss polymer type. About 30o of phase difference may be obtained. the full magnetizing current is not required. This motor has more starting torque than a shaded pole motor (next section). improving .9. 13. This inefficiency correlates with a low power factor. which is disconnected by a centrifugal switch at 3/4 of synchronous speed. 13. At light load. SINGLE-PHASE INDUCTION MOTORS 467 13.81) With lower inductance and higher resistance. This simple (no capacitor) arrangement serves well for motors up to 1/3 horsepower (250 watts) driving easily started loads.4 Resistance split-phase motor induction motor If an auxiliary winding of much fewer turns of smaller wire is placed at 90o electrical to the main winding. A capacitor for motor running must not be of electrolytic construction. 60 seconds off) like motor starting. The less than unity power factor is due to magnetizing current required by the stator. It is based on the premise that induction motors are inefficient at less than full load. Figure 13.80: Capacitor-run motor induction motor.3 Capacitor-run motor induction motor A variation of the capacitor-start motor (Figure -) series connected polarized electrolytic capacitors. the current will experience less phase shift than the main winding.

and decreases motor voltage. The power factor corrector senses power factor. • The auxiliary winding of a permanent-split capacitor motor has a capacitor in series with it during starting and running. The higher the initial line voltage. The voltage cannot be reduced. a 117 VAC refrigerator.468 CHAPTER 13. That means that it is not fully loaded when operated at greater than 104 VAC. 25% FLC or less. • A capacitor-start induction motoronly has a capacitor in series with the auxiliary winding during starting. single phase induction motor is a candidate for a PFC. it needs to operate a large number of hours per year. there is potential energy savings for 1-φ motors. for example. Any substantially idle. Once started the auxiliary winding is optional. as low as 104 VAC. . It is safe for the power factor controller to lower the line voltage to 104-110 VAC. the power factor and efficiency. The cost of a PFC cannot be recovered for a motor operating only a few hours per day. the greater the potential savings. Of course. or conveyor. Since single-phase motors are about 2 to 4 times as inefficient as three-phase motors. if the power company delivers closer to 110 VAC. A nominal 117 VAC motor is designed to work at as high as 127 VAC. AC MOTORS IT VT IStart φ IRun φ ≅ 30ο VT IR IS I Run tar t IT IX IS tar t Figure 13. And the more time it idles. the greater the possibility of paying for the controller in a few years operation. But there is potential savings from a less than fully loaded motor. [7] Summary: Single-phase induction motors • Single-phase induction motors are not self-starting without an auxiliary stator winding driven by an out of phase current of near 90o .81: Resistance split-phase motor induction motor. There is no savings for a fully loaded motor since all the stator magnetizing current is required. as in a lumber saw. punch press. Though. thus restoring a higher power factor and decreasing losses. the motor will operate more efficiently without any add-on device. It should be easier to pay for it by a factor of three as compared to the more efficient 3-φ-motor.

then a smaller non-electrolytic capacitor during running.82: Shaded pole induction motor.10. shorting bars rotor (a) stator coils (b) Figure 13. • The auxiliary winding of a resistance split-phase motor develops a phase difference versus the main winding during starting by virtue of the difference in resistance.84) The iron core is reinserted within the cup as a static (non-rotating) component to complete the magnetic circuit. (Figure 13. Starting torque is so low that shaded pole motors are only manufactured in smaller sizes. These shading coils produce a time lagging damped flux spaced 30o to 60o from the main field. air circulators.2 2-phase servo motor A servo motor is typically part of a feedback loop containing electronic. (b) smaller single coil version.13.83. This lagging flux with the undamped main component. produces a rotating field with a small torque to start the rotor.10 13. the construction is typical of a two phase motor. and electrical components. 13. and other low torque applications. OTHER SPECIALIZED MOTORS 469 • A capacitor-run motor typically has a large non-polarized electrolytic capacitor in series with the auxiliary winding for starting. (a) dual coil design. Motor speed can be lowered by switching reactance in series to limit current and torque. A requirement of many such systems is fast response. The low mass rotor can accelerate more rapidly than a squirrel cage rotor.10. To reduce acceleration robbing inertial. .1 Other specialized motors Shaded pole induction motor An easy way to provide starting torque to a single phase motor is to embed a shorted turn in each pole at 30o to 60o to the main winding. 13. mechanical. Otherwise. The servo loop is a means of controlling the motion of an object via the motor.10. or by switching motor coil taps as in Figure 13. (Figure 13. the iron core is removed from the rotor leaving only a shaft mounted aluminum cup to rotate. below 50 watts.82) Typically 1/3 of the pole is enclosed by a bare copper strap. Low cost and simplicity suit this motor to small fans.

This variable sine wave is the output of an error amplifier. The resulting low torque synchronous motor develops constant torque from stall to synchronous speed. The drive motor is . The phase of the waveform may invert (180o phase shift) to reverse the direction of the motor. AC MOTORS L1 Figure 13.83: Speed control of shaded pole motor. and is only used for constant speed applications like clock drives. The other winding is driven by a variable amplitude sine wave to control motor speed. or lagging behind of rotor magnetization. φ−1 φ−2 rotor cup iron core φ−1 φ−2 rotor cup Figure 13. phonograph turntables. Because of the low torque. the other is driven by an amplifier.84: High acceleration 2-φ AC servo motor. In the above figure. the hysteresis motor is only available in very small sizes.10. hysteresis. The squirrel cage rotor is attached to the driving motor. The coils are excited with DC and attached to the mechanical load.3 Hysteresis motor If the low hysteresis Si-steel laminated rotor of an induction motor is replaced by a slotless windingless cylinder of hardened magnet steel. an eddy current clutch results. is greatly accentuated.10.470 CHAPTER 13.4 Eddy current clutch If the stator of an induction motor or a synchronous motor is mounted to rotate independently of the rotor. One phase is connected to the single phase line. 13. Aircraft control surfaces may be positioned by 400 Hz 2-φ servo motors. this is accomplished by a series capacitor in the power line winding. See synchro CT section for example. 13. One of the windings is driven by a 90o phase shifted waveform. and formerly.

87. Though we show three phase rotors above.85) This is usefull for printing presses and draw bridges. If one rotor is moved through an angle θ. The higher the resistance during starting. Since the rotors are not shorted out nor resistor loaded.11 Selsyn (synchro) motors Normally. resistance may be placed in series with the rotor windings to limit starting current.86) They are not intended to be self rotating. used in under 50 watt low torque applications. If drag is applied to one selsyn. develops a second phase from shorted turns in the stator. During starting. the other selsyn shaft will move through an angle θ. but the rotors still paralleled. SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 471 started with no DC excitation to the clutch. the rotor windings of a wound rotor induction motor are shorted out after starting. the higher the synchronizing torque for a pair of motors. If the starting resistors are removed. the main appplication is small units of a few watts for instrumentation applications– remote position indication. which is an abbreviation for “self synchronous”. The rotors may be stationary. Instrumentation selsyns have no use for starting resistors. where two motors need to be synchronized during starting. .13. This is a selsyn. this will be felt when attempting to rotate the other shaft. 13. (Figure 13.11. manual rotation of one shaft will produce an unbalance in the rotor currents until the parallel unit’s shaft follows. Note that a common source of three phase power is applied to both stators. Once started. If these windings are connected to a common starting resistance. (Figure 13. the synchronizing torque is absent. • Hysteresis motors are a small low torque synchronous motor once used in clocks and phonographs. no starting torque is developed. the two rotors will remain synchronized during starting. While multi-horsepower (multi-kilowatt) selsyns exist. Summary: Other specialized motors • The shaded pole induction motor. The operation of the eddy current clutch is similar to an analog eddy current automotive speedometer. a single phase powered rotor is sufficient as shown in Figure 13. However there is a substantial synchronizing torque. and the rotors are shorted. The DC excitation is adjusted from zero to the desired final value providing a continuously and smoothly variable torque. there is no starting torque. φ1 φ3 M1 φ2 Stator Rotor Start resistance Rotor Stator M2 φ2 φ3 φ1 Figure 13.85: Starting wound rotor induction motors from common resistors. • The eddy current clutch provides an adjustable torque. However.

87: Synchros have single phase powered rotors. a synchro transmitter coupled to a radar antenna indicates antenna position on an indicator in a control room. 115 Vac 400 Hz.RX RX Alternate abreviated symbols Figure 13. Synchro transmitters and receivers are electrically identical. Should one rotor be displaced from the other.88) For example. Stator current will flow developing torque. (Figure 13. Remote position sensing is the main synchro application. A synchro torque transmitter may be substituted for a torque receiver. a synchro receiver has inertial damping built in. also known as sychros.1 Transmitter . which are not externally energized.86: Selsyns without starting resistance. retaining the 3-phase paralleled stators. However. and 26 Vac 400 Hz power. A synchro transmitter coupled to a weather vane indicates wind direction at a remote console. . 13. the phases of the induced stator voltages will be identical for both.472 φ1 φ3 M1 φ2 Stator θ Rotor CHAPTER 13. AC energized rotors. (Figure 13. Either the transmitter or receiver shaft may be rotated to turn the opposite unit. If the rotors of both the torque transmitter (TX) and torque receiver (RX) are at the same angle. The receiver shaft is electrically slaved to the transmitter shaft.TX S2 Rotor Stator Torque receiver . the stator phase voltages will differ between transmitter and receiver.11. The single rotor winding of a torque transmitter or receiver is brough out by brushed slip rings. Synchros are available for use with 240 Vac 50 Hz. Synchro stators are wound with 3-phase windings brought out to external terminals. use single phase paralleled. AC MOTORS φ3 φ1 M2 θ Rotor Stator φ2 Figure 13. S3 M1 S1 R1 60 Hz R2 R1 S3 S1 M2 R1 TX R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 R1 RX R2 R2 TX S2 Stator Rotor Torque transmitter . and no current will flow. 115 Vac 60 Hz.87) Synchros function as rotary transformers.receiver Small instrumentation selsyns.

(Figure 13. The addition of a ship’s compass heading by a synchro differential transmitter. 13. regardless of ship’s heading.11. . SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 473 N W S transmitter receiver E Figure 13.11. Reversing the S1-S3 pair of stator leads between a TX and TDX subtracts angular positions.88: Synchro application: remote position indication.89) A synchro differential transmitter adds a shaft angle input to an electrical angle input on the rotor inputs. S3 S3 S1 R3 TDX Torque Differential Transmitter R2 R1 R1 M2 R2 M3 S1 S3 S1 R1 M1 R2 S2 TX Torque Transmitter S2 ∠Μ3 = ∠Μ1 + ∠Μ2 S2 TR Torque Receiver Figure 13.2 Differential transmitter . displays antenna postion on an RX relative to true north.89: Torque differential transmitter (TDX).13. This stator electrical angle may be displayed by sending it to an RX. a synchro receiver displays the position of a radar antenna relative to a ship’s bow.receiver A synchro differential transmitter (TDX) has both a three phase rotor and stator. outputting the sum on the stator outputs. For example.

an electrical angle input on the three stator connections.474 CHAPTER 13. and an electrical angle output on the three rotor Figure 13. The difference between a TDX and a TDR is that the TDX is a torque transmitter and the TDR a torque receiver. (Figure 13. ship’s heading is 30o . antenna + gyro differential transmitter N W ∠tx ∠gy ∠rx E S receiver . The torque output angular difference is TR. antennaN is: 45o = 30o + 15o Addition vs subtraction For reference we show the wiring diagrams for subtraction and addition of shaft angles using both TDX’s (Torque Differential transmitter) and TDR’s (Torque Differential Receiver).rx transmitter .91 are TX and TDX. antennaN is: rx = tx + gy 30o = 30o + 0o Example. antenna position relative to ship’s bow is 15o . ship’s heading is 30o . The TDX has a torque angle input on the shaft. We need to add the ships heading from a gyrocompass to the bow-relative antenna position to display antenna angle with respect to true north. .90: Torque differential transmitter application: angular addition.90) It is desired to display the antenna position with respect to true north. antenna-N = antenna + gyro rx = tx + gy For example. The torque inputs in Figure 13. The TDR has electrical angle inputs on both the stator and rotor. antenna position relative to ship’s bow is 0o . The angle output is a torque on the TDR shaft.tx ∠rx = ∠tx + ∠gy gyrocompass . AC MOTORS A shipboard radar antenna coupled to a synchro transmitter encodes the antenna angle with respect to ship’s bow.

R1 TX R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDX R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TR R2 TDX addition: ∠TX + ∠TDX = ∠TR Figure 13.∠TDX = ∠TR Figure 13.∠TX2 Figure 13. R1 TX1 R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDR R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TX2 R2 TDR subtraction: ∠TDR = ∠TX1 . .13.93: TDR subtraction.91: TDX subtraction.11. SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 475 R1 TX R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDX R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TR R2 TDX subtraction: ∠TX .92: TDX Addition.

The CT (Control Transformer) rotor output is zero when it is oriented at a angle right angle to the stator magnetic field vector. The CT compares the commanded to actual position and signals the servo amplifier to drive the motor until that commanded angle is achieved. The torque inputs in Figure 13. the servo has driven the antenna and control transformer rotor to the commanded position. It has three equally spaced stator windings like a TX. the poor efficiency of AC servo motors limits them to smaller loads. Heavy loads are more efficiently driven by large DC servo motors. they can be controlled to some extent by varying the voltage to one phase with line voltage on the other phase. the shaft of the TX is set to the desired position of the radar antenna. However. or null. When it measures a minimum. no CT. Any rotor displacement produces an AC error voltage proportional to displacement.94: TDR addition. output to be amplified. In Figure 13.11. There is no error between measured and commanded position. The torque output angular sum is TDR. there is no rotor output. R1 TX1 R2 S1 S2 S3 S1 S2 S3 TDR R1 R2 R3 S1 S2 S3 R1 TX2 R2 TDR addition: ∠TDR = ∠TX1 + ∠TX2 Figure 13. Unlike a TX or RX. 13.95. any CT detected error drives the amplifier which drives the motor until the error is minimized. sent by the TX stator.3 Control transformer A variation of the synchro transmitter is the control transformer. by a servo system.476 CHAPTER 13.93 are TX1 and TX2 . stops rotating. AC MOTORS The torque inputs in Figure 13. control transformer. The torque inputs in Figure 13. The torque output angular difference is TDR.96) seeks to minimize the error between a commanded and measured variable due to negative feedback. This corresponds to the servo system having driven the antenna coupled CT to match the angle commanded by the TX. A servo (Figure 13. typically. It is simply a sensitive angular position detector. They are also difficult to control since they are constant speed devices. . The servo system will cause the servo motor to drive the antenna to the commanded position. The control transformer compares the shaft angle to the the stator magnetic field angle. a 2-phase motor. The torque output angular sum is TR. the CT neither transmits nor receives torque.92 are TX and TDX. However. However.94 are TX1 and TX2 . The servo motor may drive a reduction gear train and be large compared to the TX and CT synchros. Its rotor is wound with more turns than a transmitter or receiver to make it more sensitive at detecting a null as it is rotated. When the control transformer rotor detects a null at 90o to the axis of the stator field. The servo motor.

mechanical coupling 2-φ servo motor φ1 M3 S3 S1 R1 S3 S1 M2 CT φ2 S2 R1 R2 R2 M1 TX S2 − + Figure 13.95: Control transformer (CT) detects servo null.96: Servo uses CT to sense antenna position null . SELSYN (SYNCHRO) MOTORS 477 an ten na input angle W AC servo motor φ2 φ1 S1 S2 S3 R2 N S E CT R1 − + TX R1 R2 120 Vac Figure 13.13.11.

is a rotary transformer used to transmit shaft torque. The bearing angle shaft is coupled to the resolver shaft. AC MOTORS Airborne applications use 400Hz components– TX. θ φ2 = sinθ φ1 φ1 = cosθ Figure 13. The sine wave is fed to the rotor of a resolver.98) It is possible to derive resolver-like quadrature angular components from a synchro transmitter by using a Scott-T transformer.478 CHAPTER 13. like moving control surfaces. TX transmits a torque form an input shaft to a remote RX output shaft. Summary: Selsyn (synchro) motors • A synchro. 13.4 Resolver A resolver (Figure 13. Convert to X and Y co-ordinates.97: Resolver converts shaft angle to sine and cosine of angle. Thus. • An RX. CT. Y) are available on the resolver stator coils: X=V(cos( bearing)) Y=V(sin( bearing)) The Cartesian coordinates (X. torque transmitter. • A TX. (Figure 13. with the bearing angle as a shaft angle. also known as a selsyn. torque receiver. saves size and weight. Therefore. a black-box within a radar encodes the distance to a target as a sine wave proportional voltage V. The rotary version of the inductosyn has a finer resolution than a resolver. See Scott-T chapter 9 for details. There is also a linear version of the resolver known as an inductosyn. The three TX outputs. 3-phases. A TX (torque transmitter) may be adapted for service as a resolver. . use of 400 Hz components for aircraft applications. accepts a torque input at its shaft for transmission on threephase electrical outputs. The coordinates (X. are processed by a Scott-T transformer into a pair of quadrature components. accepts a three-phase electrical representation of an angular input for conversion to a torque output at its shaft. For example. An angle input at the rotor shaft produces rectangular co-ordinates sinθ and cosθ proportional voltages on the stator windings. and servo motor.97) has two stator winding placed at 90o to each other.11. and a single rotor winding driven by alternating current. Y) may be plotted on a map display. Size and weight of the AC magnetic components is inversely proportional to frequency. A resolver is used for polar to rectangular conversion.

Low hysteresis alloys and breaking the alloy into thin insulated laminations made it possible to accurately design AC commutator motors before building. sums an electrical angle input with a shaft angle input producing an electrical angle output • A TDR. He formlated the laws of magnetic hysteresis in finding a solution.12. 13. The single-phase AC version suffers a double line frequency torque pulsation. torque differential transmitter.98: Scott-T converts 3-φ to 2-φ enabling TX to perform resolver function. • The three-phase output of a TX is converted to a resolver style output by a Scott-T transformer.13. • A TDX. AC COMMUTATOR MOTORS 479 R3 Y1 S1 R1 R2 θ S3 V2 = 86. torque differential receiver. The success or failure of a motor design was not known until after it was actually built at great expense and tested. control transformer.12 AC commutator motors Charles Proteus Steinmetz’s first job after arriving in America was to investigate problems encountered in the design of the alternating current version of the brushed commutator motor. detects a null when the rotor is positioned at a right angle to the stator angle input. not present in . AC commutator motors may be either single-phase or poly-phase. The series motor operates well above the synchronous speed of a conventional AC motor. A CT is typically a component of a servo– feedback system. sums two electrical angle inputs producing a shaft angle output • A CT. This produces a loss not present in DC magnetics. like comparable DC motors.6% Vsin(θ+120°) Y3 TX synchro Scott-T transformer S2 V1 =Vsin(θ) Y2 ct R1 V1 =Vsin(θ) R2 V’2 = Vsin(θ+90°) =Vcos(θ) R4 V3 = M2 Vsin(θ+240°) Figure 13. Hysteresis is a lagging behind of the magnetic field strength as compared to the magnetizing force. • A Resolver outputs a quadrature sinθ and cosine(theta) representation of the shaft angle input instead of a three-phase output. have higher starting torque and higher speed than AC induction motors. AC commutator motors. The situation was so bad that motors could not be designed ahead of the actual construction.

While starting. which shares the arcing and sparking between commutator segments The lagging reactance and arcing brushes are only tolerable in very small uncompensated series AC motors operated at high speed. the offsetting effects result in a nearly constant speed from DC to 60 Hz. However commutator motors are not as maintenance free as induction motors. 13. the development of solid state rectifiers and inexpensive permanent magnets is making the DC permanent magnet motor a viable alternative. such as drills.000 rpm use universal motors.2 Compensated series motor The arcing and sparking is mitigated by placing a compensating winding the stator in series with the armature positioned so that its magnetomotive force (mmf) cancels out the armature AC mmf. Very small universal motors may be uncompensated. Thus.480 CHAPTER 13. the lagging reactance of the field coil will considerably reduce the field current.1 Single phase series motor If a DC series motor equipped with a laminated field is connected to AC.3 Universal motor It is possible to design small (under 300 watts) universal motors which run from either DC or AC. or larger. 13. Small line operated appliances. due to brush and commutator wear. All but very small AC commutator motors employ compensating windings. Since a commutator motor can operate at much higher speed than an induction motor. Larger higher speed universal motors use a compensating winding. While such a motor will rotate. and mixers. A motor will run slower on AC than DC due to the reactance encountered with AC. 13. This is less of a problem as speed increases. Series AC motors smaller than hand drills and kitchen mixers may be uncompensated. armature windings connected to commutator segments shorted by the brushes look like shorted transformer turns to the field. Though. AC MOTORS poly-phase motor. it can output more power than a similar size induction motor. This results in considerable arcing and sparking at the brushes as the armature begins to turn. use compensated stator windings. increasing the speed of the “series” motor. the peaks of the sine waves saturate the magnetic path reducing total flux below the DC value. (Figure 13. requiring 3000 to 10.99: Uncompensated series AC motor. However. operation is marginal. .12. Motors as large as those employed in a kitchen mixer.99) field field Figure 13.12. vacuum cleaners.12.100) A smaller motor air gap and fewer field turns reduces lagging reactance in series with the armature improving the power factor. (Figure 13.

At near running speed.13.5 Repulsion start induction motor When an induction motor drives a hard starting load like a compressor. 13. The brushes may also be lifted to prolong bush life.12.101) consists of a field directly connected to the AC line voltage and a pair of shorted brushes offset by 15o to 25o from the field axis.4 Repulsion motor A repulsion motor (Figure 13. This motor has superior commutation below synchronous speed.12. the high starting torque of the repulsion motor may be put to use. The field induces a current flow into the shorted armature whose magnetic field opposes that of the field coils. The induction motor rotor windings are brought out to commutator segments for starting by a pair of shorted brushes. shorting brushes field compensating winding Figure 13.12. giving the effect of a squirrel cage rotor .100: Compensated series AC motor.101: Repulsion AC motor. Speed can be conrolled by rotating the brushes with respect to the field axis. Starting torque is 300% to 600% of the full speed value as compared to under 200% for a pure induction motor. inferior commutation above synchronous speed. Low starting current produces high starting torque. a centrifugal switch shorts out all commutator segments. AC COMMUTATOR MOTORS 481 compensating winding field Figure 13. Summary: AC commutator motors . 13.

www.beedall.pdfopt txt Ship motor”. www.aerotech. P. • It is possible to produce small appliance motors powered by either AC or DC. AC MOTORS • The single phase series motor is an attempt to build a motor like a DC commutator motor. http://navy-matters.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA151563&cfd=1 [4] “Future Aircraft Carrier www.html [2] “Linear motor applications guide”. at as generators”.com/index. at PA) Most AC commutator motors are this type. M Photonics Ltd.redrok.lmphotonics. but is not maintenance free.html [9] Jim Hanrahan“Building a Phase Converter”. This is known as a repulsion start induction motor. The resulting motor is only practical in the smallest sizes.O. Bibliography [1] “American Superconductor achieves full power of 5MW 1995. • Retractable shorted brushes may start a wound rotor induction motor. Christchurch.htm [8] Matt Isserstedt“Building an Auto-Start Rotary Three Phase Converter”.com/energy. at . (4/11/2002). Navy Matters”. • The AC line is directly connected to the stator of a repulsion motor with the commutator shorted by the brushes.482 CHAPTER 13. [3] “Linear motor outperforms steam-piston catapults”.com/news/energy-tech-04zzn.spacedaily. EDN. Box 13 076. • The addition of a compensating winding yields the compensated series motor. overcoming excessive commutator sparking.. (Aerotech.htm [5] Bill May 2008. Inc.html?pubdate=04%2F11%2F2002 [6] “Operating 60 cycle motors www. “Electronics poised to replace steam-powered aircraft launch system”. December Design News. Red Rock Energy [7] “Energy Saver systems for Induction motors”.CVF. New Zealand at http://www.edn. This is known as a universal motor.designnews. At high speed this motor provides more power than a same-size induction motor.

. . . . .6 14. Measuring each of the two conductors’ resistances from one end of the cable to the other indicated nearly zero ohms of resistance: again. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 14. . . . . . . . . . . .8 A 50-ohm cable? . Nowhere was I able to measure 50 Ω of resistance on this cable. . . . . . . . “Long” and “short” transmission lines . . . . . . with a plastic insulating material separating the two. . . . . . . . . I came across a length of coaxial cable with the label “50 ohms” printed along its outer sheath. . . . . . .1 A 50-ohm cable? Early in my explorations of electricity. This type of cabling is often used to conduct weak (low-amplitude) voltage signals. . . . . . . . . . have 50 ohms of resistance between them? Measuring resistance between the outer and inner conductors with my ohmmeter. . .2 14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 483 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1) Now. . . . . . . . . Waveguides . exactly what I would have expected from continuous. the two conductors insulated from each other for the entire length of the cable. . . . . . . . due to its excellent ability to shield such signals from external interference. . . .7 14. . .Chapter 14 TRANSMISSION LINES Contents 14. . . . Circuits and the speed of light . . . . . How could two conductors. . . . . . . .3 14. . .5 14. . . . unbroken lengths of wire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . just as I would have expected from two insulated conductors. . . . . . . I was mystified by the “50 ohms” label on this coaxial cable. . . . . . As such. regardless of which points I connected my ohmmeter between. . . . . . . . . . I found it to be infinite (open-circuit). . Finite-length transmission lines .1 14. . coaxial cable is a two-conductor cable made of a single conductor surrounded by a braided wire jacket. 483 484 486 493 499 502 522 529 14. . . . . the outer (braided) conductor completely surrounds the inner (single wire) conductor. . . . . . . . . insulated from each other by a relatively thick layer of plastic. . . . . . . Characteristic impedance . . . . . . Standing waves and resonance . Impedance transformation . (Figure 14. . . . .

Many transmission line effects do not appear in significant measure in AC circuits of powerline frequency (50 or 60 Hz). Continuous direct current (DC) – such as that used by my ohmmeter to check the cable’s resistance – shows the two conductors to be completely insulated from each other. due to the effects of capacitance and inductance distributed along the length of the cable.2 Circuits and the speed of light Suppose we had a simple one-battery. 14. When the switch is opened. so the effect is not RG -58 /U . When expressing such properties. including computer networks. we refer to the wire pair as a transmission line. Practical applications of transmission line effects abound in radio-frequency (“RF”) communication circuitry. However. the effects are very significant. the lamp immediately lights.eps¡x1¿) Actually. the cable’s response to rapidly-changing voltages is such that it acts as a finite impedance. the lamp immediately darkens: (Figure¡ref¿02352. and so we haven’t had to concern ourselves with them in our study of electric circuits thus far. with nearly infinite resistance between the two. However. What we would normally dismiss as being just a pair of wires becomes an important circuit element in the presence of transient and high-frequency AC signals. one-lamp circuit controlled by a switch.484 CHAPTER 14. with characteristic properties all its own. When the switch is closed. an incandescent lamp takes a short time for its filament to warm up and emit light after receiving an electric current of sufficient magnitude to power it. TRANSMISSION LINES Inner conductor Outer conductor (wire braid) 50 Ω Insulation (polyethylene) Protective jacket (polyvinyl chloride) Figure 14.1: Coaxial cable contruction. What I didn’t understand at the time was the cable’s response to short-duration voltage “pulses” and high-frequency AC signals. drawing current proportional to an applied voltage. and in low-frequency circuits subject to voltage transients (“surges”) such as lightning strikes on power lines. in circuits involving high frequencies and/or extremely long cable lengths. This chapter explores transmission line behavior. or in continuous DC circuits.

Assuming no warm-up time for the lamp filament. Although the construction and operation of superconducting wires 372.3: At the speed of light.000 miles long? Since we know the effects of electricity do have a finite speed (albeit very fast). it pushes on the one ahead of it and pulls on the one behind it. if the wires carrying power to the lamp were 186..000 miles per second!).2.14.2: Lamp appears to immediately respond to switch. but not before the slack is relieved from the couplings. lamp responds after 1 second. delaying the switch’s action on the lamp: (Figure¡ref¿02353.000 miles in length would pose enormous practical problems. then it will de-energize. For all practical purposes.eps¡x1¿) 186.. not the response time of the lamp filament. Thus. and so this “thought experiment” is valid. When one rail car (electron) begins to move.. the lamp would light up approximately one second after the switch closure. a set of very long wires should introduce a time delay into the circuit. though. What would happen. Although electrons move through wires very slowly. One way of envisioning this is to imagine the electrons within a conductor as rail cars in a train: linked together with a small amount of “slack” or “play” in the couplings. the lamp will continue to receive power for one second of time after the switch opens. it is theoretically possible. the effect of switch action is instant at the lamp’s location. Figure 14. CIRCUITS AND THE SPEED OF LIGHT 485 Switch Lamp Battery Figure 14.. instant. and no resistance along the 372. the overall effect of electrons pushing against each other happens at the speed of light (approximately 186. motion is transferred from car to car (from electron to electron) at a maximum velocity limited by the coupling slack. When the switch is opened again.000 mile length of both wires. resulting in a much faster transfer of motion from the left end of the train (circuit) to the right end than . Switch Lamp Battery . However. what I’d like to focus on is the immediacy of the electric current itself.000 miles .

perhaps more fitting for the subject of transmission lines. . . although the electrons themselves don’t move that quickly. . that we had a set of parallel wires of infinite length. . although electrons within the conductors do not travel anywhere near that velocity.eps¡x1¿) First car begins to move . In a very long circuit. electron motion “coupling” travels approximately at the speed of light.eps¡x1¿) . transferring wave motion along the water’s surface far faster than the water molecules themselves are actually traveling: (Figure¡ref¿02355. wall-shaped object is suddenly moved horizontally along the surface of water. .486 CHAPTER 14. the effects of electron motion travel approximately at the speed of light. though. . Suppose a flat. TRANSMISSION LINES the actual speed of the cars (electrons): (Figure¡ref¿02354. The wave will travel as water molecules bump into each other. is that of waves in water. Another analogy. then the second car moves . this “coupling” speed would become noticeable to a human observer in the form of a short time delay between switch action and lamp action. What would happen when we close the switch? Being that there is no longer a load at the end of the wires. • REVIEW: • In an electric circuit. so as to produce a wave ahead of it. and then the last car moves! Figure 14.eps¡x1¿) Likewise. . 14. with no lamp at the end. this circuit is open.3 Characteristic impedance Suppose.4: Motion is transmitted sucessively from one car to next. Would there be no current at all? (Figure¡ref¿02356.

3. .6: Driving an infinite transmission line. Switch Battery . CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE 487 Object water surface water molecule wave wave wave Figure 14.14... Figure 14.. infinite length .5: Wave motion in water..

¡ref¿02361. Figure 14. Energy is stored in this electric field. TRANSMISSION LINES Despite being able to avoid wire resistance through the use of superconductors in this “thought experiment. Thus. an instant rise in applied voltage (as produced by perfect switch closure) gives rise to an infinite charging current. The reaction of a capacitance against changes in voltage is described by the equation i = C(de/dt). Energy is stored in this magnetic field.eps¡x1¿. Switch Battery . According to the equation. Since the wires are infinitely long. ¡ref¿02363. Any pair of conductors separated by an insulating medium creates capacitance between those conductors: (Figure¡ref¿02359. and this storage of energy results in an opposition to change in voltage.eps¡x1¿. and in so doing drops voltage according to the inductance equation e = L(di/dt). behaving as a constant load. the current drawn by a pair of parallel wires will not be infinite.” we cannot eliminate capacitance along the wires’ lengths. but now constitute a circuit component in themselves. Each wire develops a magnetic field as it carries charging current for the capacitance between the wires. and their distributed inductance will never allow unlimited charging current. because there exists series impedance along the wires due to inductance. Voltage applied between two conductors creates an electric field between those conductors. (Figure 14. This voltage drop limits the voltage rate-of-change across the distributed capacitance.488 CHAPTER 14. However..eps¡x1¿) infinite length . respectively.eps¡x1¿. like this: (Figures¡ref¿02360. (Figure 14. ¡ref¿02362. preventing the current from ever reaching an infinite magnitude: Because the electrons in the two wires transfer motion to and from each other at nearly the speed of light.8) Remember that current through any conductor develops a magnetic field of proportional magnitude..eps¡x1¿) The end result of these interactions is a constant current of limited magnitude through the battery source. No longer are the wires merely conductors of electrical current and carriers of voltage. the capacitance between conductors will react against the sudden voltage increase by charging up and drawing current from the source... their distributed capacitance will never fully charge to the source voltage. this pair of wires will draw current from the source so long as the switch is closed. the “wave front” of voltage and current change will propagate down the length of the wires at that same velocity. In other words. which tells us that current will be drawn proportional to the voltage’s rate of change over time.9) and this storage of energy results in an opposition to change in current.7: Equivalent circuit showing stray capacitance between conductors. . resulting in the distributed capacitance and inductance progressively charging to full voltage and current. when the switch is closed.

. CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE 489 infinite length . infinite length . .8: Equivalent circuit showing stray capacitance and inductance.. current charges inductance.. . .9: Voltage charges capacitance.. Figure 14. Switch electric field Battery .... magnetic field Figure 14. Switch Battery ....10: Uncharged transmission line. Figure 14..3..14.

.. + + . Figure 14.. Figure 14.. . .. .12: Continue wave propagation... + + + + ...490 CHAPTER 14..11: Begin wave propagation.13: Propagate at speed of light. Speed of light (approximately) Figure 14. TRANSMISSION LINES Switch closes! . + + + + + + ...

Z0 = Characteristic impedance of line d1 = Inside diameter of outer conductor d2 = Outside diameter of inner conductor k = Relative permittivity of insulation between conductors In both equations. For a parallel-wire line with air insulation. but rather a transmission line.3. identical units of measurement must be used in both terms of the fraction. the characteristic impedance follows a different equation: d1 d2 d Z0 = 138 log 1 d2 k Where. both the characteristic impedance . Z0 = Characteristic impedance of line d = Distance between conductor centers r = Conductor radius k = Relative permittivity of insulation between conductors If the transmission line is coaxial in construction. The impedance (resistance) of this line in ohms is called the characteristic impedance. As a constant load. the transmission line’s response to applied voltage is resistive rather than reactive. No longer are the two wires merely a pair of conductors. CHARACTERISTIC IMPEDANCE 491 with unique characteristics. If the insulating material is other than air (or a vacuum). and it is fixed by the geometry of the two conductors. the characteristic impedance may be calculated as such: d r d Z0 = 276 log r k Where. We can say this because there is no difference from the battery’s perspective between a resistor eternally dissipating energy and an infinite transmission line eternally absorbing energy. despite being comprised purely of inductance and capacitance (assuming superconducting wires with zero resistance).14.

The ratio of a transmission line’s true propagation velocity and the speed of light in a vacuum is called the velocity factor of that line.. owing to distributed capacitance and inductance as the voltage and current “waves” propagate along its length at a propagation velocity equal to some large fraction of light speed.. bringing the two conductors closer together increases the parallel capacitance and decreases the series inductance...... and the distributed inductance will increase (less cancellation of the two opposing magnetic fields).Velocity factor = Where. equating to a lesser impedance.. Barring any dissipative effects such as dielectric “leakage” and conductor resistance.. L C Z0 = Characteristic impedance of line L = Inductance per unit length of line C = Capacitance per unit length of line .. Conversely. The velocity factor of any cable type – coaxial or otherwise – may be calculated quite simply by the following formula: ++++++++++++++++++++++ Velocity of wave propagation . Both changes result in a larger current drawn for a given applied voltage... Less parallel capacitance and more series inductance results in a smaller current drawn by the line for any given amount of applied voltage..492 CHAPTER 14.. TRANSMISSION LINES and the propagation velocity will be affected. v = Velocity of wave propagation c = Velocity of light in a vacuum k = Relative permittivity of insulation between conductors Characteristic impedance is also known as natural impedance. defined as the ratio of a material’s electric field permittivity to that of a pure vacuum.. which by definition is a greater impedance. It can be seen in either of the first two equations that a transmission line’s characteristic impedance (Z0 ) increases as the conductor spacing increases.... the distributed capacitance will decrease (greater spacing between capacitor “plates”). Velocity factor is purely a factor of the insulating material’s relative permittivity (otherwise known as its dielectric constant). the characteristic impedance of a transmission line is equal to the square root of the ratio of the line’s inductance per unit length divided by the line’s capacitance per unit length: v = c 1 k Z0 = Where.. and it refers to the equivalent resistance of a transmission line if it were infinitely long. If the conductors are moved away from each other..

and so it measured as “open” (infinite resistance). The train does not come to a halt together. For any cable type. which I like for its descriptive value. but not indefinitely. and as such do not behave precisely the same as an infinite line. If that piece of 50 Ω “RG-58/U” cable I measured with an ohmmeter years ago had been infinitely long. causing the one behind it to come to a stop as soon as the first coupling slack is taken up. and would exist even if the dielectric were perfect (infinite parallel resistance) and the wires superconducting (zero series resistance).80 for typical two-wire lines and coaxial cables. it will come to a stop. the line will draw a current proportional to the surge voltage magnitude divided by the line’s surge impedance (I=E/Z). the characteristic impedance rating of a transmission line is important even when dealing with limited lengths. If a transient voltage (a “surge”) is applied to the end of a transmission line. as the electrons successively find no place to go. and so on until the last rail car stops. • If a DC voltage is applied to one end of an infinitely long transmission line.eps¡x1¿) . But it was not infinite in length.4 Finite-length transmission lines A transmission line of infinite length is an interesting abstraction. is surge impedance. Ohm’s Law relationship between current and voltage will hold true for a limited period of time. This abrupt cessation of current at the line’s end causes a “pile-up” to occur along the length of the transmission line. • Velocity factor is a fractional value relating a transmission line’s propagation speed to the speed of light in a vacuum. An older term for characteristic impedance. and the metallic resistance of the wires themselves. • The characteristic impedance (Z0 ) of a transmission line is the resistance it would exhibit if it were infinite in length. Characteristic impedance is purely a function of the capacitance and inductance distributed along the line’s length. but rather in sequence from first car to last: (Figure¡ref¿02364.14. Values range between 0. Nonetheless. FINITE-LENGTH TRANSMISSION LINES • REVIEW: 493 • A transmission line is a pair of parallel conductors exhibiting certain characteristics due to distributed capacitance and inductance along its length. left unconnected – the current “wave” propagating down the line’s length will have to stop at the end. All transmission lines have some finite length. both a voltage “wave” and a current “wave” propagate along the line at nearly light speed.66 and 0. which causes the next rail car to stop as soon as the next coupling’s slack is taken up. the line will draw current from the DC source as though it were a constant resistance. Imagine a train traveling down the track with slack between the rail car couplings: if the lead car suddenly crashes into an immovable barricade. I actually would have been able to measure 50 Ω worth of resistance between the inner and outer conductors. it is equal to the reciprocal (1/x) of the square root of the relative permittivity of the cable’s insulation. since electrons cannot flow where there is no continuing path. This is entirely different from leakage resistance of the dielectric separating the two conductors. This simple.4. If the end of a transmission line is open-circuited – that is. • When a voltage is suddenly applied to one end of a transmission line. but physically impossible. 14.

66 (signal propagation velocity is 66% of light speed. . A signal propagating from the source-end of a transmission line to the load-end is called an incident wave.760 of a second (8. Instruments designed for such purposes are called time-domain reflectometers (TDRs). . or 16.146 microseconds) for a signal to travel from one end to the other. . For the current signal to reach the line’s end and “reflect” back to the source. . current at the battery ceases. or 122. The basic principle is identical to that of sonar rangefinding: generating a sound pulse and measuring the time it takes for the echo to return. since a current will “reflect” off the wire break just as it will off the end of an open-circuited cable. When this electron “pile-up” propagates back to the battery. The propagation of a signal from load-end to source-end (such as what happened in this example with current encountering the end of an open-circuited transmission line) is called a reflected wave. A similar phenomenon takes place if the end of a transmission line is short-circuited: when the voltage wave-front reaches the end of the line. then the second car stops . All this happens very quickly for transmission lines of reasonable length. it is reflected back to the source.494 CHAPTER 14. High-speed measurement instruments are able to detect this transit time from source to line-end and back to source again. and so an ohmmeter measurement of the line never reveals the brief time period where the line actually behaves as a resistor. it takes only 1/122. the round-trip time is twice this figure.292 µs.14: Reflected wave. . and then the last car stops! Figure 14. When this reflected wave reaches . For a mile-long cable with a velocity factor of 0. and the line acts as a simple open circuit. .760 miles per second). and may be used for the purpose of determining a cable’s length. . TRANSMISSION LINES First car stops . because voltage cannot exist between two electrically common points. This technique may also be used for determining the presence and location of a break in one or both of the cable’s conductors.

never reflecting back to the source. if the far end of the rope is secured to a solid object at a point prior to the incident wave’s total . Take a length of rope by one end and “whip” it with a rapid up-and-down motion of the wrist.15: Lossy transmission line. FINITE-LENGTH TRANSMISSION LINES 495 the source. Again. this happens as quickly as the signal can propagate round-trip down and up the transmission line at whatever velocity allowed by the dielectric material between the line’s conductors. This is analogous to a long transmission line with internal loss: the signal steadily grows weaker as it propagates down the line’s length. However. A simple experiment illustrates the phenomenon of wave reflection in transmission lines. A wave may be seen traveling down the rope’s length until it dissipates entirely due to friction: (Figure¡ref¿02365.4.eps¡x1¿) wave wave wave Figure 14.14. the source sees the entire transmission line as a short-circuit.

“loss” along the length of a transmission line is undesirable. However. (Figure 14. For example.496 CHAPTER 14. A transmission line of 50 Ω characteristic impedance and infinite length behaves exactly like a 50 Ω resistance as measured from one end. all signal energy being dissipated by the resistor. TRANSMISSION LINES dissipation. as are reflected waves. the ideal situation would be for all of the original signal energy to travel from the source to the load. there will be no reflected energy. and not to power some significant load device.16: Reflected wave. Usually. infinite-length transmission line example. if a 50 Ω resistor is connected at the end of the cable. since reflected energy is energy not delivered to the end device.17) If we cut this line to . and then be completely absorbed or dissipated by the load for maximum signal-to-noise ratio. Even if the signals are intended for information only.eps¡x1¿) wave wave wave wave Figure 14. This makes perfect sense if we return to our hypothetical. the purpose of a transmission line is to convey electrical energy from one point to another. a 50 Ω coaxial cable that is either open-circuited or short-circuited will reflect all of the incident energy back to the source. Thus. a second wave will be reflected back to your hand: (Figure¡ref¿02366. Reflections may be eliminated from the transmission line if the load’s impedance exactly equals the characteristic (“surge”) impedance of the line.

if we terminate the line with a 50 Ω resistor. FINITE-LENGTH TRANSMISSION LINES 497 some finite length.18: One mile transmission.or a short-circuit.66 Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Like a 50 Ω resistor for 16. indefinitely: the same as if it were of infinite length again: (Figure 14. Switch Battery 1 mile open 50 Ω coaxial cable Velocity factor = 0. it will behave as a 50 Ω resistor to a constant source of DC voltage for a brief time. depending on what condition we leave the cut end of the line: open (Figure 14. 50 Ω coaxial cable Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Exactly like a 50 Ω resistor Figure 14. This happens whether or not the terminating resistance is greater or less than the line’s characteristic impedance. Though the energy reflection will not be total with a terminating impedance of slight mismatch. In essence.19) However. Reflected waves will also manifest if the terminating resistance isn’t precisely equal to the characteristic impedance of the transmission line. the line will once again behave as a 50 Ω resistor.. because a resistor has the ability to eternally dissipate energy in the same way a transmission line of infinite length is able to eternally absorb energy.14.20) Switch Battery infinite length .18) or shorted.17: Infinite transmission line looks like resistor. a terminating resistor matching the natural impedance of the transmission line makes the line “appear” infinitely long from the perspective of the source.292 µs. then like an open (infinite resistance) Figure 14. not just if the line is left unconnected (open) or jumpered (shorted). it will be partial. . (Figure 14.4. but then behave like an open..

292 µs.20: Line terminated in characteristic impedance. then like a short (zero resistance) Figure 14. Switch Battery 1 mile 50 Ω coaxial cable Velocity factor = 0. TRANSMISSION LINES Switch Battery 1 mile shorted 50 Ω coaxial cable Velocity factor = 0.66 50 Ω Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Exactly like a 50 Ω resistor Figure 14.66 Cable’s behavior from perspective of battery: Like a 50 Ω resistor for 16. .19: Shorted transmission line.498 CHAPTER 14.

if a transmission line is connected to a DC voltage source. • REVIEW: • Characteristic impedance is also known as surge impedance. As we saw in the last section.14. This re-reflected wave will appear. as it makes it appear that the source has transmitted another pulse. “LONG” AND “SHORT” TRANSMISSION LINES 499 Re-reflections of a reflected wave may also occur at the source end of a transmission line. • A reflected wave may become re-reflected off the source-end of a transmission line if the source’s internal impedance does not match the line’s characteristic impedance. This is due to the relatively short timespans in which reflections take place in the line. • Reflected waves will also appear in transmission lines terminated by resistors not precisely matching the characteristic impedance. often employed to protect weak voltage signals from being corrupted by induced “noise” caused by stray electric and magnetic fields. whatever that may be. and “shorted” when its end is short-circuited. like another pulse signal transmitted from the source. • A finite-length transmission line will appear to a DC voltage source as a constant resistance for some short time. as compared to the period of the waveforms or pulses of the significant signals in the circuit. • A finite-length transmission line may be made to appear infinite in length if terminated by a resistor of equal value to the line’s characteristic impedance.292 µs for the mile-long coaxial cable of the last example). but will be reflected back toward the line end like another incident wave. the characteristic impedance of parallel wires is usually ignored. then as whatever impedance the line is terminated with. is called a reflected wave. if the source impedance does not match the line. This includes the use of coaxial cables in instrument circuits. 14. back to the source. A signal traveling on a transmission line from source to load is called an incident wave. due to the temporarily resistive behavior of any length transmission line. After that time (a brief 16. This eliminates all signal reflections. if the source’s internal impedance (Thevenin equivalent impedance) is not exactly equal to the line’s characteristic impedance. • A transient (“surge”) signal applied to one end of an open-ended or short-circuited transmission line will “reflect” off the far end of the line as a secondary wave. it will behave as a resistor equal in value to the line’s characteristic impedance only for as long as it takes the incident pulse to reach the end of the line and return as a reflected pulse. an open-ended cable simply reads “open” when measured with an ohmmeter. the source “sees” only the terminating impedance. at least partially. . A reflected wave returning back to the source will be dissipated entirely if the source impedance matches the line’s. of course. This type of reflection may be particularly troublesome. traveling from load to source.5. Therefore. a signal “bounced” off the end of a transmission line.5 “Long” and “short” transmission lines In DC and low-frequency AC circuits.

power lines would have to exceed 775 miles in length before the effects of propagation time became significant. If the velocity factor of the transmission line is less than 1. because line-length propagations occur within a very small fraction of the AC waveform’s period. the actual phase difference between start-of-line and end-of-line signals is negligible. two-conductor line are equal and in-phase with each other at any given point in time. in whatever unit of length used in the velocity figure (if miles per second. But even if we used the coaxial cable’s velocity factor from the last example (0. In these cases. such short time delays introduced by a transmission line between when the AC source outputs a voltage peak and when the source “sees” that peak loaded by the terminating impedance (round-trip time for the incident wave to reach the line’s end and reflect back to the source) are of little consequence. and the distance less by the same factor. Velocity of propagation is usually the speed of light when calculating signal wavelength in open air or in a vacuum. A simple formula for calculating wavelength is as follows: λ= Where. For all practical purposes.65 miles in length before line reflections would significantly impact a 10 kHz . If a “long” line is considered to be one at least 1/4 wavelength in length. but will be less if the transmission line has a velocity factor less than 1.500 CHAPTER 14. we can say that voltage along all respective points on a low-frequency. the distance is still a very long 2046 miles! Whatever distance we calculate for a given frequency is called the wavelength of the signal. you can see why all connecting lines in the circuits discussed thusfar have been assumed “short.” For a 60 Hz AC power system. all connecting lines were assumed to be electrically short. an electrically long line is one where the propagation time is a large fraction or even a multiple of the signal period. Even though we know that signal magnitudes along the line’s length are not equal at any given time due to signal propagation at (nearly) the speed of light. because their propagation effects are much quicker than the periods of the conducted signals.66). At light speed (186. Cables connecting an audio amplifier to speakers would have to be over 4. then wavelength in meters). the propagation velocity will be less than 186. To put this into perspective. An AC waveform with a frequency of 60 Hz completes one cycle in 16. By contrast. this equates to a distance of 3100 miles that a voltage or current signal will propagate in that time.000 m/s). TRANSMISSION LINES If the circuit in question handles low-frequency AC power. Up until this chapter in the Lessons In Electric Circuits book series. we need to express the distance traveled by a voltage or current signal along a transmission line in relation to its source frequency. then wavelength in miles. v f λ = Wavelength v = Velocity of propagation f = Frequency of signal The lower-case Greek letter “lambda” (λ) represents wavelength. if meters per second.000 miles per second. we can say that the transmission lines in question are electrically short. A “long” line is generally considered to be one where the source’s signal waveform completes at least a quarter-cycle (90o of “rotation”) before the incident signal reaches line’s end.66 ms.

this critical length shrinks to 1. If the load impedance is equal to the line impedance. and will have the exact same amount of current drawn from it. line impedance exclusively defines circuit behavior. its own characteristic impedance is of little consequence to the circuit’s behavior.66. nearly any physical length of cable would be considered “short” from the standpoint of characteristic impedance and reflected waves. then any signal source connected to the other end of the line will “see” the exact same impedance.000 m/s). In this scenario.62 feet. . In other words. We see this when testing a coaxial cable with an ohmmeter: the cable reads “open” from center conductor to outer conductor if the cable end is left unterminated. the source (connected to the other end) will only see 50 Ω of impedance.5. because the line’s infinite length prevents the signal from ever reaching the end where the load is connected. Note how the electrical “shortness” of a cable is relative to the application: in a DC circuit where voltage and current values change slowly. Since the combined response time of an ohmmeter and the human being using it greatly exceeds the round-trip propagation time up and down the cable. an electrically “long” line acts as the principal component in the circuit. current drawn from the source is a function primarily of the line and not the load. the cable is considered “electrically short” and its impedance is irrelevant to circuit function. even at the full propagation velocity of light (186. its own characteristics overshadowing the load’s. the line’s own characteristic impedance dominates over load impedance in determining circuit behavior. perfect matching of line and load impedances is not always practical or possible. Consider a 100 MHz radio signal: its wavelength is a mere 9. surely the ultimate example of a “long” transmission line: no matter what kind of load we connect to one end of this line. rendering the load completely irrelevant. It is the extreme speed of the propagated signal that makes us unable to detect the cable’s 50 Ω transient impedance with an ohmmeter. Though the line acts as a resistor for a very brief period of time after the meter is connected (about 50 Ω for an RG-58/U cable). though. Taking the same length of cable. When an electrical source is connected to a load via a “short” transmission line. when the line is short. and using it to conduct a high-frequency AC signal could result in a vastly different assessment of that cable’s “shortness!” When a source is connected to a load via a “long” transmission line. Consider our hypothetical 50 Ω cable of infinite length. “LONG” AND “SHORT” TRANSMISSION LINES 501 audio signal! When dealing with radio-frequency systems. it immediately thereafter behaves as a simple “open circuit:” the impedance of the line’s open end. regardless of line length.8202 feet. This is increasingly true the longer the transmission line is. and no component in the circuit is capable of measuring or responding quickly enough to “notice” a reflected wave. line length only affects the amount of time delay from signal departure at the source to signal arrival at the load. The most effective way to minimize the impact of transmission line length on circuit behavior is to match the line’s characteristic impedance to the load impedance. This is to say. especially when line length happens to match specific fractions or multiples of signal wavelength. The next section discusses the effects of “long” transmission lines. it is “electrically short” for this application. though. With a source connected to one end of the cable and a load to the other. If we use a coaxial cable to conduct a DC voltage or current to a load. However. and we only register the terminating (load) impedance.14. A transmission line carrying this signal would not have to be more than about 2-1/2 feet in length to be considered “long!” With a cable velocity factor of 0. transmission line length is far from trivial. In this condition of perfect impedance matching. the load’s impedance dominates the circuit.

“standing” wave. represents the only voltage along the line. the line is considered electrically short. but does not propagate down the cable’s length like the incident or reflected waveforms causing it. and “f ” is the signal frequency.6 Standing waves and resonance Whenever there is a mismatch of impedance between transmission line and load.22) This third. for the excellent immunity to induced “noise” that it provides for signals. for simplicity’s sake. the source only “sees” the cable’s characteristic impedance. the line’s own characteristic impedance dominates circuit behavior. when the propagation time is a large fraction or multiple of the signal’s period. in fact. the terminating (load) impedance dominates circuit behavior. The following illustration shows how a triangle-shaped incident waveform turns into a mirror-image reflection upon reaching the line’s unterminated end. It oscillates in instantaneous magnitude. • In a circuit with a “long” line. • When the period of a transmitted voltage or current signal greatly exceeds the propagation time for a transmission line. If the incident signal is a continuous AC waveform. TRANSMISSION LINES • Coaxial cabling is sometimes used in DC and low-frequency AC circuits as well as in high-frequency circuits. we find that a third.21) If we add the two waveforms together. Conversely. The incident wave is shown traveling from left to right. The transmission line in this illustrative sequence is shown as a single.” • In a circuit with a “short” line. • A rule-of-thumb for transmission line “shortness” is that the line must be at least 1/4 wavelength before it is considered “long. • When a transmission line is terminated by a load precisely matching its impedance. while the reflected wave travels from right to left: (Figure 14. • A signal’s wavelength is the physical distance it will propagate in the timespan of one period. 14. being the representative sum of incident and reflected voltage waves. “v” is the propagation velocity. reflections will occur. stationary waveform is created along the line’s length: (Figure 14. The source effectively sees nothing but the load’s impedance. where “λ” is the wavelength.502 • REVIEW: CHAPTER 14. the line is considered electrically long. The ultimate example of this is a transmission line of infinite length: since the signal will never reach the load impedance. there are no reflected waves and thus no problems with line length. Note the dots along the line length marking the “zero” points of the standing wave . barring any resistive losses in the transmission line. these reflections will mix with more of the oncoming incident waveform to produce stationary waveforms called standing waves. thick line rather than a pair of wires. Wavelength is calculated by the formula λ=v/f.

.6.. Unterminated line Incident wave Reflected wave Time Incident wave Reflected wave Figure 14.21: Incident wave reflects off end of unterminated transmission line.14.. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 503 Direction of propagation Source .

Unterminated line Incident wave Reflected wave Time Incident wave Reflected wave Figure 14.. .504 CHAPTER 14.. TRANSMISSION LINES Direction of propagation Source .22: The sum of the incident and reflected waves is a stationary wave.

The major difference between a plucked string and a shaken string is that the plucked string supplies its own “correct” frequency of vibration to maximize the standing-wave effect: (Figure 14. this time. with “nodes” of maximum and minimum vibration along their length. and how those points never change position: (Figure 14. Whether the standing wave terminates in a node (minimum amplitude) or an antinode (maximum amplitude) depends on whether the other end of the tube is open or closed: (Figure 14.6. The effect is most pronounced when the free end is shaken at just the right frequency. while the free end (if there is any) must be an antinode. while an open tube end must be an antinode.23) Source . the anchored end of a vibrating string must be a node. the waves are vibrations of air molecules (sound) within the tube rather than vibrations of a solid object. Unterminated line Time Figure 14.26) A closed tube end must be a wave node. shaken at one end.. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 505 (where the incident and reflected waves cancel each other).23: The standing wave does not propgate along the transmission line. and tied down at the other (only one half-cycle of hand motion shown. By analogy.14. Standing waves are quite abundant in the physical world. Note how there is more than one wavelength suitable for producing standing waves of .. moving downward): (Figure 14.24) Both the nodes (points of little or no vibration) and the antinodes (points of maximum vibration) remain fixed along the length of the string or rope. Plucked strings exhibit the same “standing wave” behavior. Consider a string or rope.25) Wind blowing across an open-ended tube also produces standing waves.

25: Standing waves on a plucked string.506 CHAPTER 14.24: Standing waves on a rope. Plucked string Figure 14. . TRANSMISSION LINES Figure 14.

14.26: Standing sound waves in open ended tubes.6. . STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 507 Standing sound waves in open-ended tubes 1/4 wave 1/2 wave 3/4 wave 1 wave 5/4 waves 3/2 waves 7/4 waves 2 waves 9/4 waves 5/2 waves Figure 14.

508 CHAPTER 14. This complexity is made easier to understand by way of computer simulation. the type commonly used for cable television distribution – with a velocity factor of 0.66. All higher frequencies are integer-multiples of the lowest (fundamental) frequency for the system. All components have an impedance of 75 Ω: (Figure 14. The sequential progression of harmonics from one resonant frequency to the next defines the overtone frequencies for the system: (Figure 14. This is a convenient method for expressing the physical length of a transmission line: the amount of time it takes a wave to propagate down its entire length. which is the speed of sound in air. If this were a real 75 Ω cable – perhaps a type “RG-59B/U” coaxial cable. though. is a bit more complex than resonance of strings or of air in tubes.27: Harmonics (overtones) in open ended pipes The actual frequencies (measured in Hertz) for any of these harmonics or overtones depends on the physical length of the tube and the waves’ propagation velocity. and force these waves to possess nodes and antinodes according to the type of termination impedance at the load end. they also exhibit resonance at frequencies determined by physical length and propagation velocity. Because transmission lines support standing waves. Transmission line resonance. Another way of saying this is that there are multiple resonant frequencies for any system supporting standing waves. To begin. because we must consider both voltage waves and current waves. let’s examine a perfectly matched source.28) Using SPICE to simulate the circuit. This is true for all standing-wave systems: standing waves will resonate with the system for any frequency (wavelength) correlating to the node/antinode points of the system. we’ll specify the transmission line (t1) with a 75 Ω characteristic impedance (z0=75) and a propagation delay of 1 microsecond (td=1u). and load.27) 1/4 wave 1st harmonic 3/4 wave 3rd harmonic 5/4 waves 5th harmonic 7/4 waves 7th harmonic 9/4 waves 9th harmonic Fundamental 1/2 wave 1st harmonic 1 wave 2nd harmonic 3/2 waves 3rd harmonic 2 waves 4th harmonic 5/2 waves 5th harmonic 1st overtone 2nd overtone 3rd overtone 4th overtone Figure 14. Since 1 µs is the period of a . TRANSMISSION LINES vibrating air within a tube that precisely match the tube’s end points. it would be about 648 feet long. transmission line.

the line’s source-end voltage.29) In a system where all impedances are perfectly matched. both the supply voltage vm(1) and the line’s load-end voltage vm(3) remain steady at 1 volt. the source voltage.end Here. I’ll choose to sweep the frequency of the AC source from (nearly) zero to that lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis .30) We should definitely see some reflections on the line now as the frequency is swept from 1 mHz to 1 MHz: (Figure 14. there can be no standing waves.6. 1 MHz signal.end Running this simulation and plotting the source impedance drop (as an indication of current). to see how the system reacts when exposed to signals ranging from DC to 1 wavelength. to simulate an open-ended transmission line.28: Perfectly matched transmission line. while every other voltage registers a steady 0. we see that the source voltage – shown as vm(1) (voltage magnitude between node 1 and the implied ground point of node 0) on the graphic plot – registers a steady 1 volt.14. (Figure 14. Now. and the load voltage. The other voltages dip and peak at different frequencies along the sweep range of 1 . and therefore no resonant “peaks” or “valleys” in the Bode plot.31) Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 999meg .ac lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis .5 volts: (Figure 14. let’s change the load impedance to 999 MΩ. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 509 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 0 75 Ω Figure 14. Here is the SPICE netlist for the circuit shown above: Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 75 .

30: Open ended transmission line. TRANSMISSION LINES Figure 14. .29: No resonances on a matched transmission line. 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 999 MΩ (open) 0 Figure 14.510 CHAPTER 14.

6.14. 750 kHz. I=0. the signal is practically DC.2)). as indicated by zero voltage drop across the source impedance (Zsource : vm(1. There is no circuit current. mHz to 1 MHz. yet still full voltage at the load-end: (Figure 14. I=0. how can this be? How can we get full source voltage at the line’s open end while there is zero voltage at its entrance? The answer is found in the paradox of the standing wave. and 1 MHz. (Figure 14. 500 kHz. and full source voltage present at the source-end of the transmission line (voltage measured between node 2 and node 0: vm(2)).32: At f=0: input: V=1. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 511 Figure 14. We will investigate each one with regard to voltage and current at different points of the circuit. and the circuit behaves much as it would given a 1-volt DC battery source. the line’s length is precisely right for .31: Resonances on open transmission line. end: V=1.32) 0V=0A Zsource 75 Ω Esource 1V Transmission line (75 Ω) 1V Figure 14. There are five points of interest along the horizontal axis of the analysis: 0 Hz. we see zero voltage and maximum current at the source-end of the transmission line. With a source frequency of 250 kHz. At 250 kHz. At 0 Hz (actually 1 mHz). 250 kHz.33) You might be wondering.

a full standing wave exists on the transmission line. In essence. the plot looks a lot like it was at 250 kHz: zero source-end voltage (vm(2)) and maximum current (vm(1.36) When the supply frequency sweeps up to 1 MHz.38 and illustrations of what happens (Figure 14. although the node and antinode assignments for voltage and current are reversed: at the shorted end of the line.eps¡x1¿) Zero E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. the source “sees” an open circuit at the point where it connects to the transmission line. 1/4 wavelength to fit from end to end. voltage antinode at open end.2)). With the line’s load end open-circuited.37) In a similar fashion. but there will be voltage. This is due to 3/4 of a wave poised along the transmission line. Therefore. At 500 kHz.33 mA. and here we see another point in the analysis where the source current drops off to nothing and the source-end voltage of the transmission line rises again to full voltage: (Figure 14. I=13. exactly one-half of a standing wave rests on the transmission line. there can be no current. What follows is the SPICE simulation (circuit Figure 14.39 at resonances) at all the interesting frequencies: 0 Hz (Figure¡ref¿02388. At this point. a short-circuited transmission line generates standing waves. there will be zero voltage (node) and maximum current (antinode). end: V=1 I=0.33: At f=250 KHz: input: V=0.34: Open end of transmission line shows current node. (Figure 14. even though the other end of the line is open-circuited: (Figure 14.512 CHAPTER 14. resulting in the source “seeing” a short-circuit where it connects to the transmission line.33 mA Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω 0V Transmission line (75 Ω) 1V Figure 14.35) At 750 kHz. the source-end of the line experiences the same voltage and current amplitudes as the load-end: full voltage and zero current.eps¡x1¿) . 250 kHz . the load-end of an open-circuited transmission line is a current node (zero point) and a voltage antinode (maximum amplitude): (Figure¡ref¿02383. TRANSMISSION LINES 1 V = 13.

STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 513 Maximum E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Zero I Figure 14. .14.36: 1 1/2 standing waves on 3/4 wave open transmission line. Zero E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero E Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero I Zero I Maximum I Maximum I Zero I Figure 14.35: Full standing wave on half wave open transmission line.6.37: Double standing waves on full wave open transmission line.

TRANSMISSION LINES (Figure lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis .40).eps¡x1¿).39: Resonances on shorted transmission line . and 1 MHz (Figure¡ref¿02391.eps¡x1¿).end Figure 14. Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 1u .eps¡x1¿).514 CHAPTER 14.38) 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 0 1 µΩ (shorted) Figure 14. 500 kHz (Figure¡ref¿02389. 750 kHz (Figure¡ref¿02390.38: Shorted transmission line. The short-circuit jumper is simulated by a 1 µΩ load impedance: (Figure 14.

14. . Maximum E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Maximum I Zero I Figure 14.33 mA.42: Full wave standing wave pattern on half wave shorted transmission line. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 515 1 V = 13. I=13. I=13.33 mA. end: V=0.33 mA Zsource Esource 0 Hz 75 Ω 0V Transmission line (75 Ω) 0V Figure 14. Zero E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero E Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Figure 14.40: At f=0 Hz: input: V=0.6.41: Half wave standing wave pattern on 1/4 wave shorted transmission line.

44: Double standing waves on full wave shorted transmission line. .43: 1 1/2 standing wavepattern on 3/4 wave shorted transmission line. TRANSMISSION LINES Maximum E Zero E Maximum E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Zero I Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Figure 14.516 CHAPTER 14. Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω Maximum I Zero I Zero I Maximum I Maximum I Figure 14.

this time printing numerical results rather than plotting them. the transmission line is terminated in some impedance other than an open or a short. remains steady at 1 volt. If.6.48. Figure 14. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 517 In both these circuit examples. also remains steady. 500 lin 101 1m 1meg * Using ‘‘Nutmeg’’ program to plot analysis .45: Transmission line terminated in a mismatch Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 100 . However.2) v(1) v(2) v(3) .46) 1 Esource 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line (75 Ω) 0 3 Rload 0 100 Ω Figure 14.end At all lin 5 1m 1meg . Figure 14. we can discover exactly what is happening at all the interesting frequencies: (DC. 750 kHz. both the line input voltage (v(2)) and the voltage dropped across the source’s 75 Ω impedance (v(1. Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=75 td=1u rload 3 0 100 . v(3).5714 volts. Figure 14.2).14. the reflections will be less intense. . however.50). (Figure 14.45) Examine the results of the corresponding SPICE analysis to see the effects of impedance mismatch at different source frequencies: (Figure 14. indicating current drawn from the source) vary with frequency. v(1). Figure 14. the source voltage. an open-circuited line and a short-circuited line. Suppose we were to terminate our example line with a 100 Ω resistor instead of a 75 Ω resistor.end If we run another SPICE analysis. Figure 14. as it should. the energy reflection is total: 100% of the incident wave reaching the line’s end gets reflected back toward the source.47. but at a lesser voltage: 0. 250 kHz.print ac v(1.49. as will be the difference between minimum and maximum values of voltage and current along the line. and 1 MHz. The load voltage.47.

714E-01 5.500E+05 1. end: V=0.000E+00 1. TRANSMISSION LINES Figure 14.000E+00 1.714E-01 4.000E+00 1.47: At f=0 Hz: input: V=0.714E-01 5.2) 4.4286 V = 5.5714 V 100 Ω Figure 14.715 mA. I=5.14.714E-01 5.286E-01 5.000E-03 2.000E+06 v(1.714E-01 4.500E+05 5.57.5714.714E-01 0.46: Weak resonances on a mismatched transmission line freq 1.286E-01 5.715 mA.714E-01 4. I=5.518 CHAPTER 14.286E-01 5.000E+00 v(2) 5.000E+00 1. .286E-01 5.714E-01 4.5714 V 0.714E-01 5.000E+05 7.286E-01 v(1) 1.715 mA Zsource Esource 0 Hz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.714E-01 v(3) 5.

14.619 mA Zsource Esource 250 kHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0. I=0.715 mA Zsource Esource 500 kHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0. end: V=0.5714 V 100 Ω Figure 14.50: At f=750 KHz: input: V=0.619 mA.619 mA. I=5. 0.619 mA Zsource Esource 750 kHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.715 mA. .51: At f=1 MHz: input: V=0.4286.4286 V 0.5714. end: V=0. I=7.5714. end: V=0. I=7.619 mA.5714 V = 7.5714 V 100 Ω Figure 14. I=5.5714 V 0.4286 V 0. STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 519 0.6. 0.714. I=5. 0.49: At f=500 KHz: input: V=0.715 mA. I=7.715 mA.4286.5714.48: At f=250 KHz: input: V=0.5714.5714 V 100 Ω Figure 14.5714 V = 7.715 mA Zsource Esource 1 MHz Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.5714 V 0.5714.4286 V = 5. end: V=5. I=7.5714 V 100 Ω Figure 14.5715 mA.4286 V = 5.619 mA.

or short-circuited transmission lines – are often designed to operate at high standing wave ratios. copper tubes with ceramic insulator caps at . since the minimum amplitude will be zero. SWR = Emaximum Eminimum = Imaximum Iminimum SWR = Zload Z0 or Z0 Zload which ever is greater A perfectly terminated transmission line will have an SWR of 1. but because the high values of voltage and current created by the antinodes of standing waves may over-stress the transmission line’s insulation (high voltage) and conductors (high current). and likewise for current. matching the previous calculation very closely. for the very reason of maximizing signal radiation and reception. When a line is terminated by an open or a short.50) we see differing levels of voltage at each end of the transmission line. (Figure 14. “undefined”) quotient.5714 volts) and dividing by the minimum line voltage (0. An interesting footnote to this point is that antenna structures – which typically resemble open. the terminating impedance of 100 Ω divided by the characteristic impedance of 75 Ω yields a quotient of exactly 1. this standing wave ratio. and any finite value divided by zero results in an infinite (actually. corresponding to the standing current wave’s nodes and antinodes. Also. One way of expressing the severity of standing waves is as a ratio of maximum amplitude (antinode) to minimum amplitude (node). producing signal interference. with a 75 Ω line terminated by a 100 Ω impedance.4286 volts).520 CHAPTER 14. radiating electromagnetic energy away from the line. Figure 14. the maximum and minimum voltage levels along this transmission line do not reach the same extreme values of 0% and 100% source voltage.46) The same holds true for current: if the line’s terminating impedance is mismatched to the line’s characteristic impedance. Unlike the open-circuited and short-circuited transmission line examples.333. as the radiated energy may “couple” with nearby conductors. because at those frequencies the standing waves terminate at one end in a node and at the other end in an antinode. In this example. respectively. The large. for voltage or for current. rather than channeling all of it to the load.333. In this example. this is usually considered ideal. not only because reflected waves constitute energy not delivered to the load. we will have points of minimum and maximum current at certain fixed locations on the line. or SWR is valued at infinity. a transmission line with a high SWR tends to act as an antenna. Again. since voltage at any location along the line’s length will be the same. and dividing the larger of the two values by the smaller. calculated by taking the maximum line voltage at either 250 kHz or 750 kHz (0.48 and 750 kHz. Figure 14. respectively. This is usually undesirable. TRANSMISSION LINES At odd harmonics of the fundamental frequency (250 kHz. the SWR will be finite: 1. The following photograph (Figure 14. Standing wave ratio may also be calculated by taking the line’s terminating impedance and the line’s characteristic impedance. but we still have points of “minimum” and “maximum” voltage.52) shows a set of transmission lines at a junction point in a radio transmitter system.

there are no reflected waves. In a perfectly terminated line. The lines are gas-filled to avoid collecting moisture inside them. . STANDING WAVES AND RESONANCE 521 the ends are rigid coaxial transmission lines of 50 Ω characteristic impedance. Why flat straps of copper and not round wires? Because of the skin effect. which would be a definite problem for a coaxial line. but are the result of interference between incident and reflected waves along a transmission line. plastic tube joining two of the rigid lines together carries “filling” gas from one sealed line to the other. they are stationary). the phenomenon of standing waves in transmission lines is not always undesirable. wooden shelter at the base of an antenna structure. these are operated at low SWR conditions. • Standing waves can only exist in a transmission line when the terminating impedance does not match the line’s characteristic impedance.6. copper “straps” used as jumper wires to connect the conductors of the flexible coaxial cables to the conductors of the rigid lines. Note the flat. Like many transmission lines.52: Flexible coaxial cables connected to rigid lines. Flexible coaxial cable connected to the rigid lines (also of 50 Ω characteristic impedance) conduct the RF power to capacitive and inductive “phasing” networks inside the shelter. • An antinode is a point on a standing wave of maximum amplitude. as it may be exploited to perform a useful function: impedance transformation. and from that shelter on to other shelters with other antenna structures: Figure 14. The white. • A node is a point on a standing wave of minimum amplitude.e. though. These lines carry RF power from the radio transmitter circuit to a small. As we will see in the next section. which renders most of the cross-sectional area of a round conductor useless at radio frequencies. • REVIEW: • Standing waves are waves of voltage and current which do not propagate (i.14. and therefore no standing waves at all.

14. TRANSMISSION LINES • At certain frequencies. In either case. • Transmission lines may be damaged by the high maximum amplitudes of standing waves. and current antinodes may overheat conductors. . or vice versa. which corresponds to the condition of an open circuit. or SWR. there is maximum voltage and minimum current at either end of the line.53) and 1 wavelength (Figure 14. is the ratio of maximum standing wave amplitude to minimum standing wave amplitude.54) frequencies: Maximum E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Zero I Figure 14.53: Source sees open. the line has voltage antinodes at both ends. the nodes and antinodes of standing waves will correlate with the ends of a transmission line. so that the source “sees” an open circuit where it connects to the transmission line. same as end of half wavelength line. resulting in resonance. just as if it were directly open-circuited. Voltage antinodes may break down insulation between conductors. The fact that this condition exists at both ends of the line tells us that the line faithfully reproduces its terminating impedance at the source end.522 CHAPTER 14. • The lowest-frequency resonant point on a transmission line is where the line is one quarter-wavelength long. A line with no standing waves (perfectly matched: Zload to Z0 ) has an SWR equal to 1. It may also be calculated by dividing termination impedance by characteristic impedance.or short-circuited transmission line produce unusual effects. Resonant points exist at every harmonic (integer-multiple) frequency of the fundamental (quarter-wavelength). When the signal frequency is such that exactly 1/2 wave or some multiple thereof matches the line’s length. The following pair of illustrations shows an open-circuited line operating at 1/2 (Figure 14. That is to say. • Standing wave ratio. and current nodes at both ends. which ever yields the greatest quotient. the source “sees” the load impedance as it is.7 Impedance transformation Standing waves at the resonant frequency points of an open.

IMPEDANCE TRANSFORMATION 523 Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero I Zero I Maximum I Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. the transmission line is actually functioning as an impedance transformer. if the signal frequency is such that the line resonates at 1/4 wavelength or some multiple thereof. . Of course.59).7. at three-quarter wavelength line (Figure 14. with minimum voltage and maximum current present at the connection points between source and transmission line: Zero E Zsource Esource 500 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero E Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Figure 14. at three-quarter wavelength line (Figure 14.58) Line short-circuited. transforming an infinite impedance into zero impedance. the source will “see” an open circuit: (Figure 14. The same is true if the transmission line is terminated by a short: at signal frequencies corresponding to 1/2 wavelength (Figure¡ref¿02390a. That is.14.eps¡x1¿ below) thereof.60) At these frequencies. the source will “see” a short-circuit at the point where it connects to the line. and if the line is short-circuited.54: Source sees open.57).eps¡x1¿ below) or some multiple (Figure¡ref¿02392a. source “sees” a short circuit: at quarter wavelength line (Figure 14. source “sees” an open circuit: at quarter wavelength line (Figure 14. However. the source will “see” the exact opposite of the termination impedance. same as end of half wave length line.55: Source sees short. the source “sees” a short circuit. or vice versa. if the line is open-circuited.57) Line open-circuited. same as end of full wavelength (2x half wavelength line).

.524 CHAPTER 14. reflected from open at end of quarter wavelength line. same as end of full wavelength line (2x half wavelength). Zero E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Zero E Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. reflected from open at end of three-quarter wavelength line. Zero E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω Maximum E Maximum I Zero I Figure 14.58: Source sees short.57: Source sees short.56: Source sees short. TRANSMISSION LINES Maximum E Maximum E Zero E Zero E Zero E Zsource Esource 1 MHz 75 Ω Maximum I Zero I Zero I Maximum I Maximum I Figure 14.

59: Source sees open. reflected from short at end of three-quarter wavelength line. IMPEDANCE TRANSFORMATION 525 Maximum E Zsource Esource 250 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Maximum I Zero I Figure 14. .60: Source sees open. reflected from short at end of quarter wavelength line.7.14. Maximum E Zero E Maximum E Zsource Esource 750 kHz 75 Ω Zero E Zero I Maximum I Zero I Maximum I Figure 14.

25 Ω 7. 5/4.619 mA Zsource Esource 250 kHz Fundamental frequency (1st harmonic) Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.61).62). this phenomenon may be used to match otherwise unmatched impedances to each other. but if the signal frequency is known and unchanging.619 mA 100 Ω Figure 14.).4286 V 0.715 mA 100 Ω Figure 14.64) 0. TRANSMISSION LINES this only occurs at resonant points resulting in a standing wave of 1/4 cycle (the line’s fundamental. From the numerical figures obtained via SPICE.63) full wavelength (Figure 14.5714 V = 100 Ω Source "sees" 5.5714 V = 7. three-quarter wavelength (Figure 14. let’s determine what impedance the source “sees” at its end of the transmission line at the line’s resonant frequencies: quarter wavelength (Figure 14.4286 V = 5. 0.5714 V 1/2 λ 0. resonant frequency) or some odd multiple (3/4.61: Source sees 56.4286 V = 56.25 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of quarter wavelength line.5714 V 0.62: Source sees 100 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of half wavelength line.526 CHAPTER 14. . Take for instance the example circuit from the last section where a 75 Ω source connects to a 75 Ω transmission line. halfwave length (Figure 14. 7/4.715 mA Zsource Esource 500 kHz 2nd harmonic Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0. terminating in a 100 Ω load impedance. . .5714 V 1/4 λ Source "sees" 0. 9/4 .

500.7.25 Ω 7. we obtain a figure of 22.25 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of full-wavelength line (same as half-wavelength).5714 V = 7.4286 V = 5.715 mA Zsource Esource 1 MHz 4th harmonic Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.500 yields 150 Ω for a characteristic line .4286 V = 56.715 mA 100 Ω Figure 14. First. and input impedance (Zinput ) for an unmatched transmission line operating at an odd harmonic of its fundamental frequency: Z0 = Zinput Zload One practical application of this principle would be to match a 300 Ω load to a 75 Ω signal source at a frequency of 50 MHz.619 mA 100 Ω Figure 14.5714 V 0.619 mA Zsource Esource 750 kHz 3rd harmonic Transmission line 75 Ω (75 Ω) 0.63: Source sees 56.14. calculating the line impedance: taking the 75 Ω we desire the source to “see” at the source-end of the transmission line. load impedance (Zload ). All we need to do is calculate the proper transmission line impedance (Z0 ).5714 V 3/4 λ Source "sees" 0. IMPEDANCE TRANSFORMATION 527 0. and multiplying by the 300 Ω load resistance.5714 V = 100 Ω Source "sees" 5.5714 V 1λ 0.25 Ω reflected from 100 Ω load at end of three-quarter wavelength line (same as quarter wavelength). Taking the square root of 22. A simple equation relates line impedance (Z0 ).4286 V 0.64: Source sees 56. 0. and length so that exactly 1/4 of a wave will “stand” on the line at a frequency of 50 MHz.

000E+00 v(2) 5. however. Since the frequency is 50 MHz. One-quarter of that time (5 ns) will be the time delay of a transmission line one-quarter wavelength long: Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 75 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=150 td=5n rload 3 0 300 .2) v(1) v(2) v(3) . Here is a schematic diagram for the circuit.000E-01 v(1) 1. TRANSMISSION LINES impedance. as indicated by the 1. according to the Maximum Power Transfer Theorem. Taking this velocity and dividing by the signal frequency gives us a wavelength of 0. Since we only need one-quarter of this length for the cable to support a quarter-wave.2)) and the other half of its voltage across the input terminals of the transmission line (v(2)). to calculate the necessary line length: assuming that our cable has a velocity factor of 0. the velocity of propagation will be 158. . The 1/4-wavelength. This means the source “thinks” it is powering a 75 Ω load. 150 Ω. indicating a perfect match of impedance.print ac v(1. We can specify the cable length in SPICE in terms of time delay from beginning to end.695 lin 1 50meg 50meg .65: Quarter wave section of 150 Ω transmission line matches 75 Ω source to 300 Ω load. and using a speed-of-light figure of 186.2) 5. The actual load impedance.000E+07 v(1. transmission line segment has successfully matched the 300 Ω load to the 75 Ω source. or 20 nanoseconds (20 ns). Now.000E+00 At a frequency of 50 MHz.528 CHAPTER 14.000E-01 v(3) 1.1738 feet.333 mW of power: the same as dissipated by 1 volt across the 300 Ω load.100 miles per second. the source is dissipating 3. receives a full 1 volt.000 miles per second.5 volt dropped across 75 Ω. the signal period will be the reciprocal of that. With 0.003162 miles.000 figure at v(3). showing node numbers for the SPICE analysis we’re about to run: (Figure¡ref¿02403. or 16.85.eps¡x1¿) 1 Esource 50 MHz 0 Zsource 2 75 Ω Transmission line Z0 = 150 Ω 0 150 = (75)(300) 3 Zload 0 300 Ω Figure 14. our 1-volt signal source drops half of its voltage across the series 75 Ω impedance (v(1. the requisite cable length is 4.end freq 5.

000E+07 v(1. This technique of impedance matching is often used to match the differing impedance values of transmission line and antenna in radio transmitter lin 1 50meg 50meg . the exact same line can also match a 75 Ω load to a 300 Ω source.000E-01 v(3) 2.8.67 .2) v(1) v(2) v(3) . 14. demonstrating how this phenomenon of impedance transformation is fundamentally different in principle from that of a conventional. indicating that the load “appears” as a 300 Ω impedance from the source’s perspective where it connects to the transmission line. as indicated by voltage figure v(3). For any other signal frequency to receive the same benefit of matched impedances. the impedance values of source and load have been matched by the transmission line segment. the line’s characteristic impedance necessary for impedance transformation must be equal to the square root of the product of the source’s impedance and the load’s impedance. the 150 Ω line would have to lengthened or shortened accordingly so that it was exactly 1/4 wavelength long. the same as the 0. while the empty space between the tube walls provide distributed capacitance: Figure 14.8 Waveguides A waveguide is a special form of transmission line consisting of a hollow. (Figure 14.2)) and the line’s input (v(2)). we see the 1-volt source voltage equally split between the 300 Ω source impedance (v(1.5 volt drop across the source’s 300 Ω internal impedance yields a power figure of 833.000E+00 v(2) 5. WAVEGUIDES 529 Bear in mind. The use of an impedance “transformer” 1/4 wavelength in length provides impedance matching using the shortest conductor length possible. metal tube. because the transmitter’s frequency is generally well-known and unchanging.end freq 5. • When operated at a frequency corresponding to a standing wave of 1/4-wavelength along the transmission line.33 µW. This 0.500E-01 Here. that this only works for 50 MHz and its odd-numbered harmonics.2) 5. Strangely enough. of course.000E-01 v(1) 1.14.25 volts across the 75 Ω load. two-winding transformer: Transmission line v1 1 0 ac 1 sin rsource 1 2 300 t1 2 0 3 0 z0=150 td=5n rload 3 0 75 .print ac v(1. Once again.66) • REVIEW: • A transmission line with standing waves may be used to match different impedance values if operated at the correct frequency(ies). The tube wall provides distributed inductance.

..530 CHAPTER 14. TRANSMISSION LINES 1/4 λ Radio Transmitter . . Z0 = 150 Ω Dipole antenna 300 Ω Impedance "transformer" Figure 14.. Z0 = 75 Ω .66: Quarter wave 150 Ω transmission line section matches 75 Ω line to 300 Ω antenna.. Waveguide Waveguide Wave propagation Figure 14.67: Wave guides conduct microwave energy at lower loss than coaxial cables.

directing the waves as the banks of a river direct a tidal wave.8. two-conductor transmission lines of any substantial length operating in standard TEM mode become impractical.” Waveguides may be thought of as conduits for electromagnetic energy. or TEM (Transverse Electric and Magnetic) mode. All electromagnetic waves consist of electric and magnetic fields propagating in the same direction of travel. and so waveguides are often spared the necessity of gas “filling. since the only dielectric in a waveguide is air. waveguides are considerably simpler than two-conductor cables – especially coaxial cables – in their manufacture and maintenance.68: Twin lead transmission line propagation: TEM mode. At microwave signal frequencies (between 100 MHz and 300 GHz). Figure 14.14. (Figure 14. Below such frequencies. because waveguides are single-conductor elements. but perpendicular to each other. WAVEGUIDES 531 Waveguides are practical only for signals of extremely high frequency. This mode of wave propagation can exist only where there are two conductors. there are no concerns with proper conductorto-conductor spacing. Moisture is not as severe a problem in waveguides as it is within coaxial cables. waveguides are useless as electrical transmission lines. the propagation of electrical energy down a waveguide is of a very different nature than the propagation of electrical energy down a two-conductor transmission line. This is known as the principal mode. all transmission lines function as conduits of electromagnetic energy when transporting pulses or high-frequency waves. the waveguide itself acting as nothing more than a “director” of the energy rather than as a signal conductor in the normal sense of the word.68) TEM mode Magnetic field Wave propagation Electric field Magnetic field Both field planes perpendicular (transverse) to direction of signal propagation. and it is the dominant mode of wave propagation where the cross-sectional dimensions of the transmission line are small compared to the wavelength of the signal. When functioning as transmission lines. With only a single conductor (the waveguide’s “shell”). either. In a sense. where the wavelength approaches the cross-sectional dimensions of the waveguide. or of the consistency of the dielectric material. Along the length of a normal transmission line. However. both electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular (transverse) to the direction of wave travel. Lines small enough in cross-sectional dimension to maintain TEM mode signal propagation . though.

(Figure 14. Whichever field remains transverse to the direction of travel determines whether the wave propagates in TE mode (Transverse Electric) or TM (Transverse Magnetic) mode. Many variations of each mode exist for a given waveguide.69: Waveguide (TE) transverse electric and (TM) transverse magnetic modes. Other times.70) In some cases. the coupler is a single stub (a half-dipole. Sometimes these coupling elements take the form of a dipole. and suffer from large. or a short loop of wire terminated on the inside surface of the waveguide: (Figure 14. The other field will “loop” longitudinally to the direction of travel. similar in principle to a “whip” antenna. and a full discussion of this is subject well beyond the scope of this book. which is nothing more than two open-ended stub wires of appropriate length.” if a conductive tube is used rather than two parallel conductors. It is at these high frequencies that waveguides become practical. a dead-ended waveguide may also res- .532 CHAPTER 14. When an electromagnetic wave propagates down a hollow tube. though. having no contact with the beam itself: (Figure¡ref¿02408. only one of the fields – either electric or magnetic – will actually be transverse to the wave’s direction of travel. but still be perpendicular to the other field.eps¡x1¿ below) Just as transmission lines are able to function as resonant elements in a circuit. 1/4λ in physical length). especially when terminated by a short-circuit or an open-circuit. a “cavity” formed of conductive material may intercept electromagnetic energy from a modulated beam of electrons. TRANSMISSION LINES for microwave signals tend to have low voltage ratings. Signals are typically introduced to and extracted from waveguides by means of small antennalike coupling devices inserted into the waveguide. at these short wavelengths there exist other modes of propagation that are not as “lossy. Fortunately. parasitic power losses due to conductor “skin” and dielectric effects.69) Magnetic field Magnetic field Electric field TE mode Electric field Wave propagation TM mode Magnetic flux lines appear as continuous loops Electric flux lines appear with beginning and end points Figure 14. such as a class of vacuum tube devices called inductive output tubes (the so-called klystron tube falls into this category).

WAVEGUIDES 533 Waveguide Waveguide Coupling "stub" Coaxial cable Coupling loop Coaxial cable Figure 14.71: Klystron inductive output tube. The inductive output tube (IOT) coaxial output cable RF signal input electron beam toroidal cavity RF power output DC supply Figure 14. .8.70: Stub and loop coupling to waveguide.14.

screws. • REVIEW: • Waveguides are metal tubes functioning as “conduits” for carrying electromagnetic waves. dust. The following photograph shows a home-made waveguide formed from a tin can. When used as such. A cavity’s resonant frequency may be altered by changing its physical dimensions. yet allow electromagnetic energy to pass unimpeded. The coupling element is a quarter-wave stub: nothing more than a piece of solid copper wire about 1-1/4 inches in length extending from the center of a coaxial cable connector penetrating the side of the can: (Figure 14. used as an antenna for a 2. being nonconductive. .11b” computer communication network. Inductive output tubes use toroid-shaped cavity resonators to maximize the power transfer efficiency between the electron beam and the output cable. its metallic inner lining provides the necessary conductivity to function as a waveguide.72) Figure 14. Some of the cans in the background still have their plastic lids in place. snow.534 CHAPTER 14. “Real” waveguide antennae use similar barriers to physically enclose the tube.4 GHz signal in an “802. where the signal wavelength approaches the cross-sectional dimensions of the waveguide. If a resonant cavity is made open on one end. cavities with movable plates. but functions as a physical barrier to prevent rain. it functions as a unidirectional antenna. and other physical contaminants from entering the waveguide. Although this can is of cardboard (paper) construction. They are practical only for signals of extremely high frequency. and other mechanical elements for tuning are manufactured to provide coarse resonant frequency adjustment. To this end. A few more tin-can antennae may be seen in the background. one of them a “Pringles” potato chip can.72: Can-tenna illustrates stub coupling to waveguide. the device is called a cavity resonator. The plastic. TRANSMISSION LINES onate at particular frequencies. does not interfere with the RF signal.

14. or TM (Transverse Magnetic). WAVEGUIDES 535 • Wave propagation through a waveguide may be classified into two broad categories: TE (Transverse Electric). two-conductor transmission line is of the TEM (Transverse Electric and Magnetic) mode. • A cavity resonator with an open end functions as a unidirectional antenna. sending or receiving RF energy to/from the direction of the open end. TEM mode is only possible with two conductors and cannot exist in a waveguide. where both fields are oriented perpendicular to the direction of travel. depending on which field (electric or magnetic) is perpendicular (transverse) to the direction of wave travel. • A dead-ended waveguide serving as a resonant element in a microwave circuit is called a cavity resonator.8. . Wave travel along a standard.


that adage is true. I was forced to use a sub-standard textbook during my first year of teaching. Adding insult to injury was the $100+ price. Even though the particular text I was using had been in print and in popular use for a couple of years. I decided to make it “open” following the same development model used in the making of free software (most notably the various UNIX utilities released by the Free Software Foundation. Contacting the publisher proved to be an exercise in futility.Appendix A-1 ABOUT THIS BOOK A-1. having spent much time at home struggling to comprehend the material within. I had experienced the benefit of receiving free instruction and encouragement in my pursuit of learning electronics from many people. At least in the case of this book. . Worse yet were the many incorrect answers in the back of the book to selected problems. and those that were still being printed were quite expensive. I decided to make the book freely available.1 Purpose They say that necessity is the mother of invention. and I resolved to find an alternative text. My primary goal was to put readable. My request to review the draft for the next edition of their book was met with disinterest on their part. Their selfless assistance played a key role in my own studies. whose fame is growing even as I write). Over the years. Finding a suitable alternative was more difficult than I had imagined. Sure. If only I could extend the gift of their help by giving to other people what they gave to me . paving the way for a rewarding career and fascinating hobby. . The goal was to copyright the text – so as to protect my authorship – but expressly allow anyone to distribute and/or modify the text to suit their own needs with a minimum of legal encumbrance. My students were daily frustrated with the many typographical errors and obscure explanations in this book. It was out of frustration that I compiled Lessons in Electric Circuits from notes and ideas I had been collecting for years. and the Linux operating system. As an industrial electronics instructor. they claimed my complaint was the first they’d ever heard. high-quality information into the hands of my students. there were plenty of texts in print. This willful and formal revoking of 537 . including several teachers of mine in elementary and high school. but the really good books seemed a bit too heavy on the math and the less intimidating books omitted a lot of information I felt was important. but a secondary goal was to make the book as affordable as possible. So. Some of the best books were out of print. More than that.

but several Licenses already exist. I guaranteed that no instructor would be limited by a text insufficient for their needs. I’m sure this book in its initial form will not satisfy everyone. is intended to copyleft works of computer software. labwork is the traditionally accepted venue for this type of learning. For the beginning student of electronics. When other. as I had been with error-ridden textbooks from major publishers. learn what you can from this book. It must be mentioned that although I strive to maintain technical accuracy in all of this book’s content. explosion.538 APPENDIX A-1. you will be giving them something better than what you received. editing it as you feel necessary if you come across a useful piece of information. and deserves the utmost respect. not everyone has the means or opportunity to set up a laboratory in their own homes. its wording is not as clear as it could be for that application. although in many cases labs are designed by educators to reinforce principles previously learned through lecture or textbook reading. Although electronic components are typically inexpensive. fire. then apply those principles to specific instances that the student may or may not be able to explore by themselves. etc. Then. The first such License I applied to my work was the GPL – General Public License – of the Free Software Foundation (GNU). The next chapter covers this process in more detail. Anyone can “copyleft” their creative work simply by appending a notice to that effect on their work. but only with circuits powered by small batteries where there is no risk of electric shock. if you pass it on to someone else. and when things go wrong there’s no one to ask for help. the original author. or DSL) as the official notice for my project. For the instructor or electronics professional. In “copylefting” this text. but anyone has the freedom to change it. Having taught myself most of the electronics that I know. ABOUT THIS BOOK standard distribution limitations under copyright is whimsically termed copyleft. I appreciate the sense of frustration students may have in teaching themselves from books. adding or editing to your heart’s content. the subject matter is broad and harbors many potential dangers. The inductive approach. rather than to allow the student to learn on their own through a truly exploratory process. In science education. and anyone else whose modifications are contained in your version). less specific copyleft Licenses began appearing within the free software community. Electricity maims and kills without provocation. and you must ensure that whoever you give the text to is aware of their freedom to similarly share and edit the text. The GPL. as useful as it is. A-1. leveraging my efforts to suit variant and individual requirements.2 The use of SPICE One of the best ways to learn how things work is to follow the inductive approach: to observe specific instances of things working and derive general conclusions from those observations. however. is . feel free to use this as a reference manual. covering the fine legal points in great detail. you must give credit where credit is due (to me. and although its introductory language is broad enough to cover works of text. I chose one of them (the Design Science License. Most textbooks seem to approach the task of education from a deductive perspective: tell the student how things are supposed to work. I strongly encourage experimentation on the part of the reader. The only “catch” is this: if you plan to distribute your modified version of this text. High-power electric circuits should be left to the care of trained professionals! The Design Science License clearly states that neither I nor any contributors to this book bear any liability for what is done with its contents.

It is a text-based piece of software intended to model circuits and provide analyses of voltage. The problem with faith. whose patience during those many and long evenings (and weekends!) of typing has been extraordinary. the readers could learn the concepts inductively (by interpreting SPICE’s output) as well as deductively (by interpreting my explanations). I also wish to thank those whose open-source software development efforts have made this endeavor all the more affordable and pleasurable. Demonstrations also serve to clarify the meaning of the text with concrete examples. are liable to err and/or communicate poorly.A-1. Without demonstrations. Another advantage to including computer analyses in a textbook is the empirical verification it adds to the concepts presented.3. Furthermore. a chapter in the Reference volume (volume V) contains an overview of SPICE with many example circuits. For those wishing to learn more. In learning how to use this powerful tool. I wish to thank my wife. I made a discovery: SPICE could be used within a textbook to present circuit simulations to allow students to “observe”the phenomena for themselves. . etc. • TEX text processing system – Donald Knuth and others. This way. computer simulation is an excellent alternative. of course. • Vim text editor – Bram Moolenaar and others. and hopefully in a gentle enough way that it doesn’t create confusion. Although nothing is quite as good as building real circuits to gain knowledge in electronics. Richard Stallman. the reader is left to take the author’s statements on faith. they should be able to understand how to use it themselves. • Xcircuit drafting program – Tim Edwards. a virtue complementing the charitable philosophy of this book very nicely. The following is a list of various free computer software used to make this book. • Nutmeg post-processor program for SPICE – Wayne Christopher. providing a perfectly safe means of experimentation on their own computers with circuit simulations of their own design. SPICE is introduced early in volume I (DC) of this book series. trusting that what has been written is indeed accurate. Authors. current. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 539 hard to find in the pages of a book. • SPICE circuit simulation program – too many contributors to mention. and a host of others too numerous to mention. A-1.3 Acknowledgements First. is that it is only as good as the authority in which it is placed and the accuracy of interpretation through which it is understood. however. but SPICE is free. However. in seeing SPICE used over and over again. With demonstrations. like all human beings. textbooks don’t have to be this way. I discovered this when I started to learn a computer program called SPICE. There may be more flashy (graphic) circuit simulation programs in existence. the reader can immediately see for themselves that what the author describes is indeed true. frequency. and the respective programmers: • GNU/Linux Operating System – Linus Torvalds.

Thanks to Michael Stutz for drafting his Design Science License.540 APPENDIX A-1. and to make the first effort in contributing to its form and content. Thanks to the staff of the Bellingham Antique Radio Museum. and to Richard Stallman for pioneering the concept of copyleft. who were generous enough to let me terrorize their establishment with my camera and flash unit. • Gimp image manipulation program – too many contributors to mention. many thanks to my parents and those teachers of mine who saw in me a desire to learn about electricity. Tony Kuphaldt.) Appreciation is also extended to Robert L.lightandmatter. April 2002 “A candle loses nothing of its light when lighting another” Kahlil Gibran . Constantin Zeldovich. constructive criticism. I honor you by helping others as you have helped me. Washington for a very informative tour of their expanded (50 kW) facilities as well as their vintage transmitter and Ben Crowell (website: (http://www.andamooka. whose first edition of Introductory Circuit Analysis taught me more about electric circuits than any other book. A • LTEX document formatting system – Leslie Lamport and others. Other important texts in my electronics studies include the 1939 edition of The “Radio” Handbook. and who kindled that flame into a passion for discovery and intellectual adventure. Similar thanks to Jim Swartos and KARI radio in Blaine. and Forrest Mims’ original Engineer’s Notebook. ABOUT THIS BOOK • Texinfo document formatting system – Free Software Foundation. Last but certainly not for providing encouragement. and a wider audience for the online version of this book. Bernard Grob’s second edition of Introduction to Electronics I. Thanks also to David Sweet (website: (http://www. • Winscope signal analysis software – Dr. (Free for personal and academic use. I wish to specifically thank Jeffrey Elkner and all those at Yorktown High School for being willing to host my book as part of their Open Book Project. Boylestad.

In addition. If you wish to modify this book in any way. the Design Science License: Permission is granted to modify or sample from a copy of the Work. you may refer to the Work. because the Work comes WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY -.1 How to contribute to this book As a copylefted work. distribute and modify copies of the Work. and ideally. The only “catch” is that credit must be given where credit is due. except as specifically described below. and to distribute the derivative work under the terms described in the section for distribution above. Here is a sample from the Design Science License: The Work is copyright the Author. All rights to the Work are reserved by the Author. talk about it. perform. This License describes the terms and conditions under which the Author permits you to copy.see Section 7 (‘‘NO WARRANTY’’) below. this book is open to revision and expansion by any interested parties. Again. This is a copyrighted work: it is not in the public domain! If you wish to cite portions of this book in a work of your own. information concerning how you may be contacted. you must document the nature of those modifications in the “Credits” section along with your name. producing a derivative work. read or otherwise interpret and/or execute the Work is unrestricted. you must follow the same guidelines as for any other copyrighted work. however. just as you would any copyrighted material under copyright law. Your right to operate. 541 . you do so at your own risk. and (as dictated by ‘‘fair use’’) quote from it.Appendix A-2 CONTRIBUTOR LIST A-2.

but we would all stand to benefit from your contributions if your ideas were incorporated into the online “master copy” where all the world can see A-2. appropriate notice must be included with the new work indicating the nature and the dates of any modifications of the Work made by you. in any . Given the complexities and security issues surrounding the maintenance of files comprising this book. A-2. Any and all contributions are gratefully accepted. Major contributions are listed by individual name with some detail on the nature of the contribution(s). etc. • Contact at: liec0@lycos. and resources to make this a better book! A-2. welcome to modify this book directly by editing your own personal copy.” it is in no way inferior to the effort or value of a “major” contribution.542 APPENDIX A-2. (b) The derivative work is given a new name. authorship is attributed to you. CONTRIBUTOR LIST provided that the following terms are met: (a) The new. (c) Appropriate authorship credit is given: for the differences between the Work and the new derivative work.tux. etc. Kuphaldt • Date(s) of contribution(s): 1996 to present • Nature of contribution: Original author. it is recommended that you submit any revisions or expansions to the original author (Tony R. while the material sampled or used from the Work remains attributed to the original Author. just smaller in the sense of less text changed. Please understand that when I classify a contribution as “minor.2.2 Credits All entries arranged in alphabetical order of surname.2. date. You are. derivative work is published under the terms of this License. Kuphaldt).) are listed by name only for reasons of brevity. or with a version of the Work. time. I am indebted to all those who have given freely of their own knowledge. contact info. so that its name or title can not be confused with the Work.1 Tony R. Minor contributions (typo corrections. of course. some error corrections.2 Jason Starck • Date(s) of contribution(s): May-June 2000 • Nature of contribution: HTML formatting. • Contact at: jstarck@yhslug.

5. • Nature of contribution: Mini table of contents. Reprinted by permission of Westclox History at www.2. Incremented edition number to 6 for major format change. • Nature of contribution: Broke “Special transformers and applications” section into subsections. • Nature of contribution: Chapter 13: AC motors. ps. A-2. • Bart Anderson (January 2004) Corrected conceptual and safety errors regarding Tesla coils. 04/2005. latex.3 Dennis Crunkilton • Date(s) of contribution(s): April 2005 to present • Nature of contribution: Spice-Nutmeg plots. CH Added Doubly-Fed Induction Generator subsection. • The students of Bellingham Technical College’s Instrumentation program. • Nature of contribution: Chapters: all. describing how you contributed to the book. • Contact at: dcrunkilton(at)att(dot)net A-2.A-2.pdf. (s/visa-versa/vice versa/). 01/2006. html. CREDITS 543 A-2. www. gnuplot Fourier plots chapters 6.5 Your name here • Date(s) of contribution(s): Month and year of contribution • Nature of contribution: Insert text here.“Running 3-phase motors on 1-phase”. 06/2006. 02/2009. added to. See Devel/tutorial. • Contact at: my email@provider.2. pdf. 7. . minor change. Scott-T and LVDT subsections inserted. • Date(s) of contribution(s): June 2005 • Nature of contribution: Granted permission to reprint synchronous westclox motor jpg’s.4 Bill Stoddard. • Nature of contribution: Chapter 13: AC motors. 01/ (June 2005) Typographical error correction in Volumes 1. various chapters. 09/2005.6 Typo corrections and other “minor” contributions • line-allaboutcircuits. Added floating captioned LaTeX figures for more book-like appearance of .html. Ch12. chapter 13 • Contact at: bill(at)billsclockworks(dot)com A-2.3.2. 10. all chapters except appedicies. added to Air core transformers subsections chapter 9.

eps “Mutual inductance and basic operation” section. change Vic to Vir above resistor in image) (January 2005).) (January 2005). • Jeff DeFreitas (March 2006)Improve appearance: replace ”/” and ”/” various chapters.eps.¡/itemi¿ • Michiel van Bolhuis (April 2007).544 APPENDIX A-2. images: 12008. (Across voltage across the resistor/ Voltage across the resistor). 02516. (dropping most of the voltage gets across series resistor / dropping most of the voltage across series resistor) • Brendan Finley (March 2007) Suggested content change in Transformers chapter.eps. 02516. s/positive negative/positive or negative. AND C. Chapter 4: REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – CAPACITIVE (calculate the phase angle of the inductor’s reactive opposition / calculate the phase angle of the capacitor’s reactive opposition).Typographical error correction in “Other waveshapes” section. s/capcitive/capacitive. Chapter 7: MIXED-FREQUENCY AC SIGNALS. s/phase shift makes complicates/phase shift complicates/. s/it’s/its. (January 2005). s/750 kiloWatt/750 Watt. 02068.18). (If we were restrict ourselves /If we were to restrict ourselves). (from others in within mixed-frequency signals. 02258. / from others within mixedfrequency signals. 02209.eps. • Sean Donner (January 2005) Typographical error correction in “Series resistor-inductor circuits” section.eps open-delta image. 02515.eps.).eps. L. 02263. . • Colin Creitz (May 2007) Chapters: several. L. s/will be drive it/will drive it/. 02257.Typographical error correction in “What is a filter?” section. Correction of 02210.eps. s/because we can to use/because we can use/.eps. Corrections numerous chapters. 02074. s/Alterantor/Alternator. Chapter 3: REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – INDUCTIVE “Voltage and current” section.eps.eps.eps 3-phase transformer images. s/dividing it my the/dividing it by the/.eps./ which only allow the passage of current in one direction.Typographical error correction in “ Parallel R. • Duane Damiano (February 2003) Pointed out magnetic polarity error in DC generator illustration. (02083. 02053.Typographical error correction in “AC capacitor circuits” section. s/over 50 Kw use/over 50 kW use/.eps. • Kieran Clancy (August 2006) Ch 4. s/in an open ended/in open ended/.18/(Figure 8. text: s/(Figure 8. • Richard Cooper (December 2005) Clarification of 02206. (which only allow passage current in one direction. (January 2005). Chapter 5: REACTANCE AND IMPEDANCE – R. • anonymous (September 2007) Typo correction in Basic AC chapter.eps. Chapter 8: FILTERS. 02056. changed image 02305. 02062. clarified text. and C” section.eps. (corrected for the skin effect/corrected for the skin effect). More on the “skin effect” section.eps. CONTRIBUTOR LIST • Ed Beroset (May 2002) Suggested better ways to illustrate the meaning of the prefix “poly-” in chapter 10.

Zarella (April 2002) Suggested an improved explanation for the “average” value of a waveform. Clarification of light load as refering to less current. Power Factor. • Don Stalkowski (June 2002) Technical help with PostScript-to-PDF file format (April 2007) Transformer voltage regulation example (Aug 2007) Ch . s/eight white/seven white/ .com (Oct 2007) Ch 1 . • Devin Bayer (September 2007) Correction to sml2html.2. • John Symonds (March 2002) Suggested an improved explanation of the unit “Hertz. added to Ch12“AC metering”. s/Vary/Very/ . • Mark D. • stacymckenna@allaboutcircuits. ¨ • Elmo Mantynen (August 2006) Numerous corrections in chapters: (April 2007) Resonance. • recca02@allaboutcircuits. s/as a the/as the/.png not displayed in html. image: 12105. Polyphase AC Circuits. • Joseph Teichman (June 2002) Suggestion and technical help regarding use of PNG images instead of JPEG. 3plcs Ch 1. “AC Phase” image 02022. image: 12081.000. • Bob Schmid (April 20027) Suggested we add Inductosyn.” • Puddy Tat@allaboutcircuits. • rrgibbs@allaboutcircuits. AC Motors. Change one million to to $65.eps. • earsintraining@allaboutcircuits. (Nov 2007) Ch 13 . . • (July 2007) Ch 1. missing formula. • Jim Palmer (May 2002) Typo correction on complex number math. CREDITS 545 • Steven Jones (November 2006) Suggested content addition in Power factor (Feb 2008) Ch 9 . • mike@allaboutcircuits. • jut@allaboutcircuits.sed. • Harvey Lew (February 2003) Typo correction in Basic AC chapter: word “circuit” should have been “circle”.A-2. added graph to “Calculating factor correction” section.eps. • Dave@allaboutcircuits. Corrected error concerning Tesla’s sale of AC induction motor. ¡backslash¿} to } in <tabular>. s/100/180 trigonometric sin function (May 2007) Pointed out error in Form Factor definition and calculation.3 .com (Sept 2007) Ch 1 .

image 02419. s/by/be in ”More on AC polaity” section. • whanes@allaboutcircuits. image (Feb 2008) Ch (Feb 2008) Ch 1 . • The Electrician@allaboutcircuits.546 APPENDIX A-2. s/that its/that it is/.com (January 2010) Ch 13. • Timothy Kingman (Feb 2008) Changed default roman font to (November 2009) Ch 1. s/Over-speed/Under-speed (Feb 2009) Ch 2 .png (April 2009) Ch 2 . Clarification: average responding metermovement is a d’Arsonval movement.png • Unregistered Guest@allaboutcircuits. • ShaunManners@allaboutcircuits. • Imranullah Syed (Feb 2008) Suggested centering of uncaptioned schematics. Error in the sign of value in sine table. CONTRIBUTOR LIST • Unregistered@allaboutcircuits.png moved single phase motors for polyphase to singnle phase tree.png • peter o@allaboutcircuits. • Dennis Crunkilton (Feb 2009) Ch 13 . .

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λ, symbol for wavelength, 500 ω, symbol for angular velocity, 61, 85, 332 400 Hz AC power, aircraft, 270 Absolute value, vector, 37 AC, 1 AC circuit analysis, 120 AC motor, 408 add-a-phase, AC motor, 455 Admittance, 119 Alternating current, 1 Alternator, 2, 294 Alternator, induction, 454, 462 Ammeter, 367 Amp-turn, unit, 219 Amplifier, 262 Amplifier, magnetic, 265 Amplitude, 12 Amplitude, average, 14 Amplitude, peak, 12 Amplitude, peak-to-peak, 12 Amplitude, RMS, 16 Amplitude, vector, 30 Analysis, AC circuit, 120 Analysis, Fourier, 162 Analysis, frequency domain, 166 Analysis, parallel, 106 Analysis, series, 101 Analysis, series-parallel, 110, 120 Analysis, time domain, 166 Analyzer, spectrum, 166 Angle, vector, 37 Angular velocity, 61, 85, 332 Antenna, 24, 78 Antinode, 505 Antiresonance, 138 Antiresonance, mechanical, 144 Arithmetic, with complex numbers, 42 Artifact, measurement, 175 Atomic clock, 378 Attenuation, 200 Autotransformer, 246 Average amplitude, AC, 14, 371 B, symbol for magnetic flux density, 119 B, symbol for susceptance, 119 Band-elimination filter, 202 Band-pass filter, 199 Band-reject filter, 202 Band-stop filter, 202 Bandwidth, resonant circuit, 145 Bifilar winding, stepper motor, 433, 435 Bode plot, 130, 166, 190 Boosting, AC voltage sources, 288 Boosting, transformer connection, 246 Bridge circuit, 387, 403 Bridge, Maxwell-Wien, 391 Bridge, symmetrical, 390 Bridge, Wheatstone, 376 Bridge, Wien, 391 Brush, generator, 3 Brushless DC motor, 417, 438 Bucking, AC voltage sources, 288 Bucking, transformer connection, 246 C, symbol for capacitance, 83 Cable, coaxial, 483 Cable, shielded, 154 Cable, twisted pair, 154 Calculus, 59, 83 Can stack, stepper motor, 434 Capacitance, 83 Capacitive coupling, 153, 188 Capacitive reactance, 83, 84 551

552 Capacitor, 83 Capacitor, decoupling, 195 Capacitor, multiplier, 369 Capacitor, variable, 402 Cathode Ray Tube, 369 Celsius, unit, 8 Centigrade, unit, 8 Characteristic impedance, 491 choke, swinging, 213 Chord, music, 156 Class, transformer heat rating, 278 Clock, atomic, 378 Coaxial cable, 483 Coil, primary, 221 Coil, secondary, 221 Coil, Tesla, 260 Color (musical), 157 Common-mode voltage, 237 Complex number, 21, 28, 351 Complex number arithmetic, 42 Conductance, 119 Conservation of Energy, Law of, 234 Control transformer, synchro, 476 Core loss, 142 Counter, 376 Coupling, signal, 153, 188 CPS, unit, 8 Crest, 12 Crest factor, 17 Crossover network, 189 CRT, 369 Crystal, 376 CT, 257, 372 CT, control transformer, synchro, 476 Current transformer, 257, 372 Current, line, 306 Current, phase, 306 Cutoff frequency, 193, 196 Cycle, 8 D’Arsonval meter movement, 16, 367 DC, 1 DC equivalent, AC measurement, 16 Decoupling capacitor, 195 Degree vs. radian, 61 Delta configuration, 306 Derivative, calculus, 273 Detector, null, 387 Dielectric “loss”, 96 Dielectric constant, 492 Dielectric heating, 96 Diode, 168, 169, 367 Dipole antenna, 24 Direct current, 1 Distortion, inductor current, 219 Domain, frequency, 166 Domain, time, 166 Dot convention, transformer, 241 Doubly fed induction generator, 462 Duty cycle, 405


e, symbol for instantaneous voltage, 57, 59, 81, 83 E, symbol for voltage, 65, 88 ECG, 9 Eddy current, 75, 409, 445 Eddy current clutch, 470 Eddy current loss, 142, 269 Eddy current speedometer, 445 Effective resistance, 76 EKG, 9 Electric field, 23, 121 Electrocardiograph, 9 Electrolytic capacitor, 96 Electromagnetic induction, 2 Electromagnetic wave, 24 Electrostatic meter movement, 371 Encoder, magnetic, 417 Encoder, optical, 417 Energy, kinetic, 124 Energy, potential, 124 Equalizer, 189 Equalizer, graphic, 165 Equivalent, AC to DC, 16 Exciting current, 220, 224 f, symbol for frequency, 61, 85 Factor, crest, 17 Factor, form, 17 Factor, power, 347 Farad, 83 Fast Fourier Transform, 164, 387

Ferrite, 76 Ferroresonant transformer, 250 FFT, 164, 387 Field, electric, 23, 121 Field, magnetic, 23, 121 Figure, Lissajous, 378 Filter, 135, 189 Filter “selectivity”, 205 Filter, band-elimination, 202 Filter, band-pass, 199 Filter, band-reject, 202 Filter, band-stop, 202 Filter, high-pass, 196 Filter, low-pass, 190 Filter, notch, 202 Filter, resonant, 204 Form factor, 17 Fourier analysis, 162 Fourier Transform, 162 Frequency, 8, 374 Frequency meter, 374 Frequency, cutoff, 193, 196 Frequency, fundamental, 156, 508 Full-wave rectification, 171 Function, sine, 6 Fundamental frequency, 156, 508 G, symbol for conductance, 119 Generator, 3, 294 Generator, induction, 454, 462 Graphic equalizer, 165 Ground, 32 Half-wave rectification, 169 Hall effect, 383 Harmonic, 156, 318, 508 Harmonic sequence, 344 Harmonic, even vs. odd, 181, 318 Harmonics and waveform symmetry, 181, 318 Harmonics, triplen, 332, 343 Headphones, as sensitive null detector, 388 Heating, dielectric, 96 Heating, inductive, 75 Henry, 59 Hertz, unit, 8 High-pass filter, 196 Hot conductor, 286 Hybrid stepper motor, 435 Hyperbolic function, trigonometry, 43 Hysteresis, 271


i, imaginary operator, 38 I, symbol for current, 65, 88 i, symbol for instantaneous current, 57, 81, 83 i, symbol for instantaneous voltage, 59 Imaginary number, 38 Impedance, 27, 64, 87, 101, 119 Impedance matching, 252, 253 Impedance, characteristic, 491 Incident wave, 493 Inductance, 59 Inductance, leakage, 227, 229, 271 Induction alternator, 454, 462 Induction generator, 454, 462 Induction motor efficiency, 453 Induction motor power factor corrector, 467 Induction motor slip, 450 Induction motor speed, 449, 458 Induction motor starting, 455 Induction motor synchronous speed, 449 Induction motor torque, 450 Induction motor, 2-phase, 442 Induction motor, linear, 460 Induction motor, NEMA designs, 451 Induction motor, poly-phase, 442 Induction motor, power factor, 452 Induction motor, repulsion start, 481 Induction motor, single phase, 464 Induction motor, speed control, 458, 462 Induction motor, wound rotor, 460 Induction, electromagnetic, 2 Induction, mutual, 4 Inductive coupling, 153, 188 Inductive heating, 75 Inductive reactance, 59, 61 Inductor, 59 Inductosyn, 401 Inrush current, transformer, 275 Instantaneous value, 57, 81 Integral, calculus, 273 Iron-vane meter movement, 16, 371 Isolation transformer, 239

554 Isolation, transformer, 237 j, imaginary operator, 38 Joule, 384 Joule’s Law, 49 KCL, 19, 101 Keyboard, piano, 10 Kirchhoff ’s Current Law, 19, 101 Kirchhoff ’s Voltage Law, 19, 49, 101 Klystron tube, 532 KVL, 19, 49, 101 L, symbol for inductance, 59 Lagging phase shift, 21, 59, 83, 360 Laminated iron core, 269 Leading phase shift, 21, 59, 83, 360 Leakage inductance, 227, 229, 271 Lenz’s Law, 59, 445 Line, polyphase system, 306 Linear induction motor, 460 linear variable differential transformer, 267 Lissajous figure, 378 Litz wire, 75 Load, nonlinear, 385 Loop antenna, 24 Low-pass filter, 190 LVDT, 267, 397 M, symbol for mutual inductance, 221 Magnetic amplifier, 265 Magnetic encoder, 417 Magnetic field, 23, 121 Magnetic field, rotating, 302 Magnetizing current, 219 Magnetomotive force, 219 Magnetostriction, 277 Magnitude, 12 Maximum Power Transfer Theorem, 253 Maxwell-Wien bridge circuit, 391 Meter movement, 367 Meter, power factor, 360 Mho, unit, 119 Microwaves, 531 MMF, 219 Modulus. vector, 37

Motor, 300 Motor, AC, 408 Motor, AC commutator, 479 Motor, AC series, 480 Motor, AC servo, 469 Motor, AC, compensated series motor, 480 Motor, AC, servo, 476 Motor, AC, synchronous, 412 Motor, AC, universal, 480 Motor, capacitor-run, 467 Motor, capacitor-start, 466 Motor, DC, brushless, 417, 438 Motor, hysteresis, 470 Motor, induction, 302 Motor, induction, efficiency, 453 Motor, induction, NEMA designs, 451 Motor, induction, power factor, 452 Motor, induction, slip, 450 Motor, induction, speed, 449, 458 Motor, induction, speed control, 458, 462 Motor, induction, starting, 455 Motor, induction, synchronous speed, 449 Motor, induction, torque, 450 Motor, induction, wound rotor, 460 Motor, permanent-split capacitor, 465 Motor, power factor corrector, 453, 467 Motor, reluctance, 421 Motor, repulsion, 481 Motor, repulsion start induction, 481 Motor, shaded pole, 469 Motor, split-phase, 467 Motor, stepper, hybrid, 435 motor, stepper, permanent magnet, 431 Motor, stepper, variable reluctance, 428 motor, stepper, variable reluctance, 421 Motor, switched reluctance, 421 Motor, synchronous, 302, 412 Motor, variable reluctance, 421 Motor/generator set, 234 Multiplier, 369 Mutual inductance, 221 Mutual induction, 4 Natural impedance, 492 Negative sequence, 344 NEMA induction motor designs, 451

Network, “crossover”, 189 Neutral conductor, 286 Node, vs. antinode, 505 Noise, transformer, 277 Nola power factor corrector, 453, 467 Non-sinusoidal, 10 Nonlinear components, 168, 318, 385 Nonsinusoidal, 153 Norton’s Theorem, 253 Notation, polar, 37 Notation, rectangular, 37 Notch filter, 202 Null detector, 387 Null detector, AC bridge, 387 Null meter, 387 Number, complex, 21, 28, 351 Number, imaginary, 38 Number, real, 38 Number, scalar, 27, 351 Octave, 10 Ohm’s Law, 19, 49, 88, 101 Ohm’s Law , 64 Ohm, unit, 119 Optical encoder, 417 Oscillation, 124 Oscillator, 135 Oscilloscope, 9, 378 Overtone, 156, 387, 508 p, symbol for instantaneous power, 58, 82 P, symbol for true power, 352 Parallel analysis, 106 Parallel circuit rules, 101 Parallel LC resonance, 128 PCB, 195 Peak, 12 Peak-to-peak, 12 Peaking transformer, 272 Pendulum, 121 Period, 8 Permanent magnet moving coil, 367 Permanent magnet stepper motor, 431 Permittivity, relative, 492 Phase, 20 Phase rotation, 296 Phase sequence, 296 Phase shift, 20 Phase shift, vector, 30 Phase, transformer, 239 Piano, 10 Piezoelectricity, 376 Pitch (musical), 9 PMMC, 367 Polar notation, 37 Polarity, AC, 44, 53, 286 Pole, alternator, 294 Poly-phase induction motor, 442 Polyphase, 289, 291 Positive sequence, 344 Potential transformer, 256, 372 Potentiometer, 396 Powdered iron core, 270 Power factor, 347 Power factor meter, 360 Power factor, induction motor, 452 Power quality, 385 Power quality meter, 385 Power triangle, 353 Power, apparent, 352 Power, negative, 59 Power, reactive, 352 Power, true, 352 Primary coil, 221 Primary transformer coil, 4 Principal mode, 531 Printed circuit board, 195 PT, 256, 372 Pythagorean Theorem, 41 Q, quality factor, 378 Q, resonant circuit, 145 Q, symbol for quality factor, 76 Q, symbol for reactive power, 352 Quality factor, 76 Quartz crystal, 376 R, symbol for resistance, 64, 87, 119 Radian, angular measurement, 61, 85 Radio, 23, 78 Radio wave, 23 Ratio, transformer, 232


556 Reactance, 119 Reactance, capacitive, 83, 84 Reactance, inductive, 59, 61 Real number, 38 Rectangular notation, 37 Rectification, full-wave, 171 Rectification, half-wave, 169 Rectifier, 367 Rectifier, silicon-controlled, 168 Reflected wave, 493 Reflectometer, time-domain, 494 Relative permittivity, 492 Reluctance, 219 Reluctance motor, 421 Repulsion motor, 481 Repulsion start induction motor, 481 Resistance, 119 Resistance, AC, 77 Resistance, DC, 77 Resistance, effective, 76 Resistor, multiplier, 369, 372 Resistor, shunt, 372 Resolver, 398, 417 Resolver, synchro, 478 Resonance, 126, 505 Resonance, mechanical, 144, 374 Resonance, parallel, 126 Resonance, parallel LC, 128 Resonance, series LC, 131 Resonance, series-parallel, 136 Resonance, transformer and inductor, 271 Resonant filter, 204 Resonant frequency formula, 126 Resonant frequency meter, 376 Resonate, 126 Resultant vector, 52 RF: Radio Frequency, 78, 484 Ripple torque, 417 RMS, 16, 371 Root-Mean-Square, 16, 371 Rotating magnetic field, 302 Rules, parallel circuits, 101 Rules, series circuits, 101 RVDT, 398 S, symbol for apparent power, 352 Saturable reactor, 262 Sawtooth wave, 10 Sawtooth wave , 181 Scalar number, 27, 351 Scott-T transformer, 265, 478 SCR, 168 Secondary coil, 221 Secondary transformer coil, 4 Selectivity, 205 Self-inductance, 219 Selsyn, 398, 471 Selsyn, differential transmitter, 473 Selsyn, receiver, 472 Selsyn, transmitter, 472 Sequence, harmonic, 344 Sequence, phase, 296 Series analysis, 101 Series circuit rules, 101 Series LC resonance, 131 Series-parallel analysis, 110, 120 Servo motor, AC, 476 Shield grounding, 154 Shielded cable, 154 SHM, 125 Siemens, unit, 119 Silicon-controlled rectifier, 168 Simple Harmonic Motion, 125 Sine function, 6 Sine wave, 6 Single-phase, 283, 288 Sinusoidal, 10, 153 Skin effect, 74, 77, 142, 260, 521, 531 Sound waves, 9 Spectrum analyzer, 166, 385 Spectrum, frequency, 385 Speed control, induction motor, 458 Speed control,induction motor, 462 Speedometer, eddy current, 445 SPICE, 51 SPICE simulation, 128 Split-phase, 287 Square wave, 10, 158 Standard, measurement, 376 Standing wave ratio, 520 Standing waves, 502 Star configuration, 294, 306


static phase converter, 456 Stepper motor, 426 Stepper motor, bifilar winding, 433, 435 Stepper motor, can stack, 434 Stepper motor, hybrid, 435 stepper motor, permanent magnet, 431 Stepper motor, variable reluctance, 421, 428 Superposition Theorem, 185, 291 Surge impedance, 493 Susceptance, 119 swinging choke, 213 Switch, tap, 245 Switched reluctance motor, 421 SWR, 520 Synchro, 398 Synchro (selsyn), 471 Synchro, control transformer, 476 Synchro, differential transmitter, 473 Synchro, receiver, 472 Synchro, resolver, 478 Synchro, transmitter, 472 Synchronous condenser, 420 Synchronous motor, 412 Synchronous speed, induction motor, 449 Tank circuit, 125, 250 Tap switch, 245 TE mode, 532 TEM mode, 531 Tesla Coil, 260 Tesla, Nikola, 260, 302, 408, 442 Theorem, Maximum Power Transfer, 253 Theorem, Norton’s, 253 Theorem, Pythagorean, 41 Theorem, Superposition, 185, 291 Theorem, Thevenin’s, 253 Thevenin’s Theorem, 253 Three-phase, 289, 291 Three-wire DC system, 289 Timbre, 157 Time-domain reflectometer, 494 TM mode, 532 Transducer, 396 Transductor, 265 Transform, Fourier, 162 Transformer, 4, 224

557 Transformer coils, primary and secondary, 4 Transformer core, laminated, 269 Transformer core, powdered iron, 270 Transformer inrush current, 275 Transformer isolation, 237 Transformer ratio, 232 Transformer, ferroresonant, 250 Transformer, peaking, 272 Transformer, Scott-T, 478 transformer, Scott-T, 265 Transformer, step-down, 232 Transformer, step-up, 232 Transformer, variable, 244, 397 Transistor, 168 Transmission line, 483 Triangle wave, 10 Triangle wave , 181 Triangle, power, 353 Triplen harmonics, 332, 343 True-RMS meter, 16 Tube, vacuum, 243 Tuner circuit, radio, 135, 207 Twin-T circuit, differential capacitance, 404 Twisted pair cable, 154 Unit, amp-turn, 219 Unit, Celsius, 8 Unit, Centigrade, 8 Unit, CPS, 8 Unit, farad, 83 Unit, henry, 59 Unit, Hertz, 8 Unit, joule, 384 Unit, mho, 119 Unit, ohm, 119 Unit, siemens, 119 Unit, volt-amp, 268, 352 Unit, volt-amp-reactive, 352 Unit, watt, 352 Universal AC motor, 480 v, symbol for instantaneous voltage, 59, 83 VA, unit, 352 Vacuum tube, 243 Value, instantaneous, 57, 81 VAR, unit, 352

558 Variable capacitor, 402 Variable reluctance motor, 421 Variable reluctance stepper motor, 421, 428 Variable transformer, 244, 397 Variac, 247 Vector, 28, 351 Vector amplitude, 30 Vector angle, 37 Vector length, 37 Vector magnitude, 37 Vector modulus, 37 Vector phase shift, 30 Vector sum, 52 Vector, absolute value, 37 Velocity factor, transmission line, 491 Vibrating reed frequency meter, 374 Volt-amp, 268 Volt-amp, unit, 352 Volt-amp-reactive, unit, 352 Voltage “polarity,” AC, 44, 53, 286 Voltage regulation, 248 Voltage, common-mode, 237 Voltage, line, 306 Voltage, phase, 306 Voltmeter, 367 Wagner earth, 393 Watt, unit, 352 Wave, electromagnetic, 24 Wave, sawtooth, 10, 181 Wave, sine, 6 Wave, square, 10, 158 Wave, triangle, 10, 181 Waveform symmetry and harmonics, 181, 318 Waveform, nonsinusoidal, 153 Waveform, sinusoidal, 153 Waveguide, 529 Wavelength, 500 Weston meter movement, 16 Wheatstone bridge, 376 Wien bridge circuit, 391 Winding, primary, 225 Winding, secondary, 225 Wire, Litz , 75 Wound rotor induction motor, 460

X, symbol for reactance, 61, 64, 84, 87, 119 Xtal, 377 Y configuration, 294, 306 Y, symbol for admittance, 119 Z, symbol for impedance, 64, 65, 87, 88, 119 Zero sequence, 344

559 .INDEX .