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 This presentation gives a detailed and illustrative introduction on working of alternators.  It is capable to generate AC power at a specified frequency.  They are also referred as Synchronous generators.How does an Alternator work ? Alternators are the workhorse of the power generation industry.  .

To generate electricity in a coil either : ◦ the coil should rotate with respect to a magnetic field or ◦ a magnetic field should rotate with respect to the coil. Two methods to produce electricity: Rotating coil and Rotating magnetic field concept .The Basic Principle  Electricity is produced in alternators by electromagnetic induction.

Rotor and Armature coils are the 2 main parts of an alternator . ◦ Armature coils are stationary ◦ Rotating magnetic flux associated with the rotor induces electricity in the armature coils.Main Parts and Working  Rotor and Armature coils are the 2 main parts of an alternator. ◦ Rotor produces a rotating magnetic field.

for a rotary armature.  Field exciter winding is placed in rotor.  . it easier to insulate stationary armature winding. there will be large brush contact drop at higher voltages. also the sparking at the brush surface will occur.  The armature winding can be braced well.Armature Winding in Alaternator is Stationary.  The high voltage output can be directly taken out from the stationary armature. which may be as high as 30 kV or more. and the low dc voltage can be transferred safely. so as to prevent deformation caused by the high centrifugal force. Whereas. why? At high voltages.

Sometimes. The rotor winding is provided on these poles and it is supported by pole shoes.Type of pole rotor  Salient Pole Rotor ◦ In salient pole type of rotor consist of large number of projected poles (salient poles) mounted on a magnetic wheel.  Non-Salient Pole (Cylindrical) Rotor ◦ Non-salient pole rotors are cylindrical in shape having parallel slots on it to place rotor windings. The projected poles are made up from laminations of steel. It is made up of solid steel. Construction of a salient pole rotor is as shown in the figure at right. . The construction of non-salient pole rotor (cylindrical rotor) is as shown in figure above. they are also called as drum rotor.

frequency is proportional to number of poles).  . more number of poles are required to attain the required frequency. f=Ns*p/120   i.  Salient pole rotors generally need damper windings to prevent rotor oscillations during operation. (Ns=120f/P therefore. say 100 RPM to 1500 RPM.  As the rotor speed is lower. Typically number of salient poles is between 4 to 60.  Flux distribution is relatively poor than non-salient pole rotor.  They are generally used in lower speed electrical machines.  Salient pole synchronous generators are mostly used in hydro power plants. hence the generated emf waveform is not as good as cylindrical rotor.Salient Pole Rotor Salient pole rotors have large diameter and shorter axial length.e.

Their construction is robust as compared to salient pole rotors. Windage loss as well as noise is less as compared to salient pole rotors. Flux distribution is sinusoidal and hence gives better emf waveform. Cylindrical rotors are used in high speed electrical machines. Number of poles is usually 2 or 4. usually 1500 RPM to 3000 RPM. Damper windings are not needed in non-salient pole rotors. gas and thermal power plants .Non-Salient Pole (Cylindrical) Rotor         They are smaller in diameter but having longer axial length. Non-salient pole rotors are used in nuclear.

 The kind of rotor shown in below is known as Salient pole rotor. Magnetic field produced around it would be as shown. For gaining better insight of its working let’s consider a rotor with just 4 poles.C power supply . Rotor coils are excited with a DC power source. A 4 pole salient pole rotor and magnetic filed produced around it when excited by a D.

This makes the rotor flux also rotate along with it. Such revolving magnetic flux now intersects the armature coils.F across the winding.M. This will generate an alternating E. at the same speed. When rotor is made to rotate electricity gets induced in armature coils . which is fitted around the rotor.  The rotor is made to rotate by a prime mover.

frequency of electricity produced is synchronized with mechanical rotational speed. rotor speed N(rpm) and number of poles P are connected through the following relationship. when the rotor turns a half revolution the induced E.Frequency of Induced E. So it is clear that frequency of the induced E.M.M.F is directly proportional to the number of poles and rotor speed. .F f(Hz).N 120 It is clear from this relationship that. f  P. It can be easily established that frequency of induced E.M.F  Since 4 pole rotor has got 2 pairs of N-S pole.M.F takes one complete cycle.

C current. 2 more such armature coils which are in 120 degree phase difference with the first is put in the stator winding.Production of 3 Phase Electricity  For producing 3 phase A. For producing 3 phase electricity 2 more armature windings which are 120 degree apart from the first is introduced  Generally one end of these 3 coils are star connected and 3 phase electricity is drawn from the other ends. Neutral cable can be drawn from the star connected end. .

C engines. such as water turbines and I. which demands lower rpm. Or salient pole rotors are used when the prime mover rotates at relatively lower speed (120 . Rotors with less number of poles require high RPM. . Such huge RPM will induce a tremendous centrifugal force on poles of the rotor and it may fail mechanically overtime.When to use a Salient pole rotor ?  It is clear from the equation above that in order to produce 60 Hz electricity a 4 pole rotor should run at following a speed of 1800 RPM.400 RPM). this in turn induces huge centrifugal force on poles of the rotor  So salient pole rotors are generally having 10-40 poles.

Such insulated lamina reduces energy loss due to eddy current formation.Pole core & Stator core  Pole core is used to effectively transfer magnetic flux and they are made with fairly thick steel lamina. At the stator side also core lamina are used to enhance the magnetic flux transfer. Pole and stator core enhances magnetic flux transfer and they are made of laminated steel lamina .

It is quite possible to transfer low voltage DC excitation current via slip rings. If rotating coil method were used.Self Excited Generator   DC current is supplied to rotor via a pair of slip rings. slip rings have to fitted along with the armature coils in order to collect electricity. But transferring such high voltage electricity via slip ring is rather impractical. This DC current is supplied either from an external source or from a small DC generator which is fitted on the same prime mover. Such alternators are called self excited. . This is the reason why rotating magnetic field approach is used in alternator.

This will result in increase in terminal voltage.Slip rings are used to supply DC current to the rotor coil. Voltage regulation can be easily achieved by controlling the field current. If terminal voltage is below the specified limit the reverse is done. It is desired to keep the terminal voltage in a specified limit. . thus the field strength. An automatic voltage regulator helps in achieving this. If terminal voltage is below the desired limit AVR increases the field current. this DC current could come from an inbuilt DC generator  With variation of load generator terminal output voltage will vary.

4 Wires System) We may Also derived 3 Phase 3 Wire System from Star Connection Line Current is Equal to Phase Current. the end of each coil is connected with the start of another coil.Comparison between Star and Delta Connections  Star (Y) Connection In STAR connection. the opposite ends of three coils are connected together. i. the starting or finishing ends (Similar ends) of three coils are connected together to form the neutral point.e. In other words. i. and three wires are taken out from the coil joints No Neutral Point in Delta Connection  Three phase three wire system is derived from Delta Connections (3-Phase.  There is a Neutral or Star Point  Three phase four wire system is derived from Star Connections (3-Phase. Line Voltage = Phase Voltage VL = VPH . 3 Wires System) Line Voltage is Equal to Phase Voltage. Line Current = Phase Current IL = IPH Delta (Δ) Connection In DELTA connection.e. A common wire is taken out from the neutral point which is called Neutral.

i. it needs more number of turns.e. Delta (Δ) Connection . VL = √3 VPH The Total Power of three phases could be found by P = √3 x VL x IL x CosФ …. the phase voltage is low as 1/√3 of the line voltage.       Line Voltage is √3 times of Phase Voltage. it needs low number of turns. hence. IL = √3 IPH The Total Power of three phases could be found by P = √3 x VL x IL x CosФ … or P = 3 x VPH x IPH x CosФ The speeds of Delta connected motors are high because each phase gets the total of line voltage In Delta connection. The phase voltage is equal to the line voltage. hence.e. i. saving in copper. In Star Connection. Star (Y) Connection        Line Current is √3 times of Phase Current. Or P = 3 x VPH x IPH x CosФ The speeds of Star connected motors are slow as they receive 1/√3 voltage. so.

   Low insulation required as phase voltage is low In Power Transmission. Star Connection system is general and typical to be = Line Voltage. Star (Y) Connection  Heavy insulation required as Phase volta In Power Distribution and industries. Delta (Δ) Connection . Delta Connection is general and typical to be used.