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AC motor

• An AC motor is an electric motor driven by an alternating

current (AC). The AC motor commonly consists of two basic
parts, an outside stator having coils supplied with alternating
current to produce a rotating magnetic field, and an
inside rotor attached to the output shaft producing a second
rotating magnetic field. The rotor magnetic field may be
produced by permanent magnets, reluctance saliency, or DC or
AC electrical windings.
• Less common, AC linear motors operate on similar principles as
rotating motors but have their stationary and moving parts
arranged in a straight line configuration, producing linear motion
instead of rotation
• Two pairs of electromagnet coils, shown here in red and blue, are energized in
turn by an AC supply (not shown, but coming in to the leads on the right). The
two red coils are wired in series and energized together and the two blue coils
are wired the same way. Since it's AC, the current in each coil doesn't switch on
and off abruptly (as this animation suggests), but rises and falls smoothly in the
shape of a sine wave: when the red coils are at their most active, the blue coils
are completely inactive, and vice-versa. In other words, their currents are out of
step (90° out of phase).
• As the coils are energized, the magnetic field they produce between them
induces an electric current in the rotor. This current produces its own magnetic
field that tries to oppose the thing that caused it (the magnetic field from the
outer coils). The interaction between the two fields causes the rotor to turn.
• As the magnetic field alternates between the red and blue coils, it effectively
rotates around the motor. The rotating magnetic field makes the rotor spin in the
same direction and (in theory) at almost the same speed.
Ac motors
• These are the most frequently used motors because electrical power
is normally supplied as alternating current. The most common types
- Synchronous motors
- Induction motor
Important parameters
1. Voltage
- The voltage at which the motor is designed to operate is an important
parameter. Common 60 hz voltages for single-phase motors are 115
volt, 230 volt, and 115/230 volt. Common 60 hz voltage for three-
phase motors are 230 volt, 460 volt and 230/460 volt. Two hundred
volt and 575 volt motors are sometimes encountered.
2. Frequency
- Input frequency is usually 50 or 60 Hz. When more than one
frequency is nameplated, other parameters that will differ at different
input frequencies must be defined on the nameplate.
3. Phase
- This represents the number of ac power lines supplying the motor. Single
and three-phase are the norms.
4. Current
- the full load amps and/or service factor amps are key parameters for
determining the proper loading on the motor.
5. Horsepower
- Exactly 746 watts of electrical power will produce 1 HP if a motor could
operate at 100% efficiency, but of course no motor is 100% efficient. A 1 HP
motor operating at 84% efficiency will have a total watt consumption of 888
watts. This amounts to 746 watts of usable power and 142 watts loss due to
heat, friction, etc. (888 × 0.84 = 746 = 1 HP)
6. Speed
- The speed at which rated full-load torque is delivered at rated power
output is full-load speed. It is generally given as “RPM” on the nameplate.
This speed is sometimes called “slip” speed or actual rotor speed rather
than synchronous speed. Synchronous speed is the speed at which the
motor would run if it were fixed to the ac power line frequency; that is, if it
turned at the same speed as the rotating magnetic field created by the
combination of winding pattern and power line frequency.
7. Service factor
- The service factor (SF) is a measure of continuous overload capacity at
which a motor can operate without overload or damage, provided the other
design parameters such as rated voltage, frequency and ambient
temperature are within norms.
8. Capacitor
- Capacitor correction. The nameplate may list the maximum power-factor
correcting capacitor size.
Never use a capacitor with a voltage less than that
recommended with the replacement motor! A higher voltage is acceptable.
9. Efficiency
- A motor’s efficiency is a measurement of useful work produced by the
motor versus the energy it consumes (heat and friction). An 84% efficient
motor with a total watt draw of 400W produces 336 watts of useful energy
(400 × 0.84 = 336W).
10. Thermal protection
- A thermal protector, automatic or manual, mounted in the end frame
or on a winding, is designed to prevent a motor from getting too
hot, causing possible fire or damage to the motor. Protectors are
generally current and temperature sensitive. Some motors have no
inherent protector, but they should have protection provided in the
overall system’s design for safety.
11. Torque – speed
- The amount of torque produced by a motor generally varies with
speed. This Torque-Speed characteristic depends on the type and
design of a motor, and is often shown on a Torque-Speed graph.
Some important factors indicated by the graph include:
Starting torque – the torque produced at zero speed
Pull-up torque – the minimum torque produced during acceleration
from standstill to operating speed
Breakdown torque – the maximum torque that the motor can produce
before stalling
- Running speed is dependent on the power supply frequency, the number of
motor poles and the amount of slip.
- Another characteristic is the starting torque of the motor. In comparison to other
motor types, starting torque is the chief limitation of an AC motor. A single phase
motor will not start on and must have help. Single phase motors are defined by the
methods they use to start. Some common types of single phase motors are the
shaded pole motor, the split phase motor, the permanent split capacitor motor
(also called the single value capacitor motor), and the two value capacitor motor.
All these motor types either use an out of phase secondary coil or a capacitor to
create a secondary phase to start the motor. Remember, if your application
requires the motor to start with a load on it, consult your motor manufacturer to
ensure the motor has enough torque to start at load and to ensure the correct
motor type is specified for your application.
How to control it and what device can use?
• AC motors work using the interaction of the induced magnetic fields in their two main components.
The inner part that moves, called the rotor has no electrical connection to the surrounding stator which does not
move. When the motor is energized by an AC energy source, there is a magnetic field which moves axially
around the stator.
This magnetic field is not consistent and yet it is in a way. This analogy is far from perfect, but think of a boat in
the water. There may be small waves around the boat, but there is an overall elevation at which it is suspended.
When an AC motor is fed irregular but steady electrical energy, the motor turns at a steady speed.
If you change the properties of the waves of the water, it will affect how steady the position of the boat is. If you
change the properties of the waves of electrical energy applied to the motor, you will change how steady the
motor's speed will be.
A variable frequency drive or VFD is a device that changes the electrical energy from its typical steady
sine wave pattern to waves of any shape.
If you look at the sine wave of electrical energy with respect to time, you can add up the moments of how much
energy over a given period. The speed of the motor will be a function of how much of the time in that period, that
energy was actually applied.
Think of pedaling a bike up a slight incline. If you pushed the pedals with a steady alternating vertical force, say
with either pedal reaching top dead center once per second, the bike would move along a a certain speed.
Now suppose you pedaled with a back-and-forth ratcheting motion instead. Once every revolution (still once per
second) your feet only exerted a brief instant of pedaling force.
Even though the frequency of your effort was the same, the duration of each pedaling event would be partial and
sometimes you would just be coasting. The bike wouldn't move as quickly. If you did little bursts of pedaling
more frequently, you could make up for the loss. There are lots of ways to pedal a bike, and they all affect how
quickly the bike will move.
VFDs do more than change the frequency of electrical energy. They can change the actual wave shape of AC
energy, from a full sine wave to any portion thereof, and this affects how quickly the motor turns.
To control speed of ac motor
• Change the number of poles (in discrete increments - inefficient &
rarely done) ƒ
• Change the frequency of the AC signal ƒ
• Change the slip
Devices use to control speed
• inverters, ƒ
• variable frequency drives (VFD) , or
• adjustable speed drives (ASD).
Ac motor drives
• AC motor drives are defined as amplifiers or frequency inverters that
interface between a controller and an AC motor. They convert step and
direction input from the controller to currents and voltages compatible
with the motor. These units are sometimes called variable frequency
drives, referring to a majority of AC motor drives which adjust input
frequency. In industry, a 'drive controller' is a motor drive which
incorporates functions of a controller and drive to determine the speed,
torque, horsepower, and direction of an AC motor.
• AC motors tend to require less maintenance than DC motors, making them
preferable for hard-to-service locations. They are better suited for high
speed operation since no brushes are involved and commutation is not a
problem. They are also generally smaller, lighter, and more commonly
available than DC motors.
Types of ac drives
• nduction motors derive their name from the fact that current is induced into the rotor windings
without any physical connection with the stator windings (which are directly connected to an AC
power supply); adaptable to many different environments and capable of providing considerable
power as well as variable speed control. Typically there is "slip," or loss of exact speed tracking
with induction motors.
• Synchronous motors operate at constant speed up to full load. The rotor speed is equal to the
speed of the rotating magnetic field of the stator; there is no slip. Reluctance and permanent
magnet are the two major types of synchronous motors. A synchronous motor is often used
where the exact speed of a motor must be maintained.
• Sensorless vector drives employ independent control of both the voltage and frequency supplied
to the motor for good speed control, and low-speed torque output approaching that of DC
motors. Sensorless indicates that no feedback sensor such as an encoder or resolver is used.
• Servo motors are typically permanent magnet synchronous motors that can often have low
torque-to-inertia ratios for high acceleration ratings. They frequently employ brushless
commutation with feedback provided by Hall Effect sensors, and sinusoidal winding excitation.