# Principles of ac voltage control and summary of alternating current generators .

PRINCIPLES OF AC VOLTAGE CONTROL

In an alternator, an alternating voltage is induced in the armature windings when magnetic fields of alternating polarity are passed across these windings. The amount of voltage induced in the windings depends mainly on three things: (1) the number of conductors in series per winding, (2) the speed (alternator rpm) at which the magnetic field cuts the winding, and (3) the strength of the magnetic field. Any of these three factors could be used to control the amount of voltage induced in the alternator windings.
The number of windings, of course, is fixed when the alternator is manufactured. Also, if the output frequency is required to be of a constant value, then the speed of the rotating field must be held constant. This prevents the use of the alternator rpm as a means of controlling the voltage output.
Thus, the only practical method for obtaining voltage control is to control the strength of the rotating magnetic field. The strength of this electromagnetic field may be varied by changing the amount of current flowing through the field coil. This is accomplished by varying the amount of voltage applied across the field cod.
Q.20 How is output voltage controlled in practical alternators?
PARALLEL OPERATION OF ALTERNATORS
Alternators are connected in parallel to (1) increase the output capacity of a system beyond that of a single unit, (2) serve as additional reserve power for expected demands, or (3) permit shutting down one machine and cutting in a standby machine without interrupting power distribution.
When alternators are of sufficient size, and are operating at different frequencies and terminal voltages, severe damage may result if they are suddenly connected to each other through a common bus. To avoid this, the machines must be synchronized as closely as possible before connecting them together. This may be accomplished by connecting one generator to the bus (referred to as bus generator), and then synchronizing the other (incoming generator) to it before closing the incoming generator's main power contactor. The generators are synchronized when the following conditions are set:
Equal terminal voltages. This is obtained by adjustment of the incoming generator's field strength.

Equal frequency. This is obtained by adjustment of the incoming generator's prime-mover speed.

Phase voltages in proper phase relation. The procedure for synchronizing generators is not discussed in this chapter. At this point, it is enough for you to know that the above must be accomplished to prevent damage to the machines.

Q.21 What generator characteristics must be considered when alternators are synchronized for parallel operation?

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SUMMARY of ALTERNATING CURRENT GENERATORS

This chapter has presented an introduction to the subject of alternators. You have studied the characteristics and applications of different types. The following information provides a summary of the chapter for your review.
MAGNETIC INDUCTION is the process of inducing an emf in a coil whenever the coil is placed in a magnetic field and motion exists between the coil and the magnetic lines of flux. This is true if either the coil or the magnetic field moves, as long as the coil is caused to cut across magnetic flux lines.
The ROTATING ARMATURE-ALTERNATOR is essentially a loop rotating through a stationary magnetic fealties cutting action of the loop through the magnetic field generates ac in the loop. This ac is removed from the loop by means of slip rings and applied to an external load.

The ROTATING-FIELD ALTERNATOR has a stationary armature and a rotating field. High voltages can be generated in the armature and applied to the load directly, without the need of slip rings and brushes.
The low dc voltage is applied to the rotor field by means of slip rings, but this does not introduce any insulation problems.

ROTOR CONSTRUCTION in alternators may be either of two types. The salient-pole rotor is used in slower speed alternators. The turbine driven-type is wound in a manner to allow high-speed use without flying apart.

GENERATOR RATINGS are dependent on the amount of current they are capable of providing at full output voltage; this rating is expressed as the product of the voltage

times the current. A 10-volt alternator capable of supplying 10 amperes of current would be rated at 100 volt-amperes. Larger alternators are rated in kilovolt-amperes.
EXCITER GENERATORS are small dc generators built into alternators to provide excitation current to field windings. These dc generators are called exciters.
The SINGLE-PHASE ALTERNATOR has an armature that consists of a number of windings placed symmetrically around the stator and connected in series. The voltages generated in each winding add to produce the total voltage across the two output terminals.

A TWO-PHASE ALTERNATOR consists of two phases whose windings are so placed around the stator that the voltages generated in them are 90° out of phase.

TWO-PHASE ALTERNATOR CONNECTIONS may be modified so that the output of a two-phase alternator is in a three-wire manner, which actually provides three outputs, two induced phase voltages, plus a vectorial sum voltage.

In THREE-PHASE ALTERNATORS the windings have voltages generated in them which are 120° out of phase. Three-phase alternators are most often used to generate ac power.

THREE-PHASE ALTERNATOR CONNECTIONS may be delta or wye connections depending on the application. The ac power aboard ship is usually taken from the ship's generators through delta connections, for the convenience of step-down transformers.

ALTERNATOR FREQUENCY depends upon the speed of rotation and the number of pairs of rotor poles.

VOLTAGE REGULATION is the change in output voltage of an alternator under varying load conditions.
VOLTAGE CONTROL in alternators is accomplished by varying the current in the field windings, much as in dc generators.

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