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THE ELECTRIC MACHINES LABORATORY

Table of Contents
A1 THE LABORATORY
A.1.1 Physical Arrangement
A.1.2 Power Distribution System
A.1.3 Safety Considerations
A.1.4 Student Laboratory Work
A2 MEASUREMENT
A.2.1 Speed
A.2.2 Torque
A.2.3 Rotational Losses and Power
A.2.4 DC Voltage and Current
A.2.5 AC Voltage and Current
A.2.6 Elec Power and Related Quantities
A.2.7 Resistance and Impedance
A.2.8 Digital Instrumentation

A3 ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENT THEORY


A.3.1 Basic DC Meters
A.3.1.1
PMMC Movement
A.3.1.2
The DC Ammeter Circuit
A.3.1.2
The DC Voltmeter Circuit
A.3.1.3
Meter Insertion Disturbance
A.3.1.5
The Ohmmeter Circuit
A.3.2 Basic AC Meters
A.3.2.1
Moving-coil
A.3.2.2
Moving-iron
A.3.3 The Wattmeter

Figure A1: Laboratory Layout


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A.1

The Laboratory

The laboratory is the real world. This laboratory contains rotating machinery and electric power
supplies that can be dangerous if misused or used carelessly, therefore careful preparation and a
no-nonsense attitude are required. All equipment that is man-made is subject to the various laws of
Murphy; fortunately "machines" experiments tend to be well behaved and predictable so that you
should expect, if properly prepared, to be able to obtain useful results in each and every experiment.
It is suggested that you read this section carefully and study the content where it is not known to you
so that your time spent in the laboratory is both safe and efficiently used. This section describes what
is in the laboratory, what you should do in general, and some specific information on measurement,
instruments, and techniques that you will be required to use.

A.1.1

Physical Arrangement

Figure A1 shows a plan view of the laboratory. Locations 1-6 on this plan, identified by numbers on
the power panels in the laboratory, contain the 2 kW nominal rating equipment. At each of these
locations there is a table, a power panel, a console, and a set of rotating machines. See figure A.4.
Locations 7-9 are similar except that the equipment has a much lower rating, nominally 200 W or 0.2
kW (the manufacturer's rating is 1/4 HP or 187 W) and the rotating machines are placed in the
console instead of on the floor. Location 10 has a power panel and can contain a console for
demonstration purposes. Equipment for most regularly scheduled experiments is pre-placed on the
table or in the console. The console has space for 9 full size modules or up to 18 half size modules.
Most modules, apart from the power supply modules, are half size. Equipment not required for the
current set of experiments is either locked in the storage cabinet at the bottom of each console or
placed in open storage racks (SA - SD, S7 - S9). Storage units SA-SD contain 2 kW rated modules
whereas S7 - S9 contain 0.2 kW rated modules for use with the respective 0.2 kW consoles at
locations 7-9, and occasionally at other locations.
A.1.2

Power Distribution System

All power to the laboratory (except lighting and PCs) is fed from a common source with a tripable
contactor located on the east wall near power panel 10. This contactor is closed by pushing the single
ON button on the front of the case, and "power on" is indicated by a red pilot lamp. The adjacent
OFF button and the five "emergency stop" buttons distributed around the laboratory will cause the
contactor to trip and disconnect power. Power is distributed via ten 50 amp 3 pole breakers in an
adjacent panel.
Each Power Panel (see figure A2) contains two 20
amp 3 pole breakers, each feeding a five pin socket
(120/208V 3 1 4W). In the centre of each panel is a
15 amp single pole breaker feeding three duplex
receptacles (120 V single phase) Normally the duplex
receptacles are used for instrumentation supplies, and
one (the other is a spare) of the five pin sockets is preconnected to the power supply module in the console.
Figure A2: Power Panel
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Each Power Supply Module (see figure A3) is normally premounted in the lower left corner of the console unit as illustrated in
figure A4. There are two models; #8525 for the 2.0 kW units, and
#8821 for the 0.2 kW units. All units are protected by a 15 amp 3
pole breaker on the input and other appropriate breakers with a
common reset on the front panel. The voltage adjustment is common
to both AC and DC outputs. There is a switchable panel meter and
three orange pilot lamps monitor the three phase input. The current
ratings and terminal identification are as follows:
Terminals Type
Current Rating
(2 kW) (0.2 kW)
1, 2, 3, N
Fixed AC
15A
15A
4, 5, 6, N
Variable AC 15A
5A
Figure A3: Power Supply Module
7, N
Variable DC 25A
8A
8, N
Fixed DC
5A
2A
The colour coding used on the five way binding posts and banana jacks is as follows. Red signifies
+ 120V relative to neutral (White) and Black signifies -120V relative to neutral (White) for dc power.
Red, Black, and Blue are used for the three phases of the 120/208V ac power relative to neutral
(White). On some modules, where polarity cannot be predetermined, Yellow is used. The leads used
to interconnect modules are colour coded for length, Yellow for short, Red for medium, and Blue for
long.
1. AC Machine Base
2. AC Machine (fixed stator)
3. DC Machine Base
4. DC Machine (trunnion mounted)
5. Coupling
6. Locking Bars (2)
7. Tachometer
8. Torquemeter
9. Storage
10. Shelf
11. Modules
12. Power Supply Module

Figure A4: Typical 2kW Machine Set with Console

A.1.3

Safety Considerations

No unsupervised experimentation is permitted and specific approval (including circuit checking with
every significant change) is required before turning on any power. A telephone (dial 88 for
emergency) and a fire extinguisher (suitable for electrical fires) are located by the exit between power
panels 9 and 10. Note the location of the five emergency power disconnect (red) buttons in the
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laboratory. Do not exceed electrical or mechanical ratings of any equipment. This requires that you
prepare carefully for each experiment. While all equipment in the laboratory has been designed for
instructional use, it is still necessary to be careful of rotating equipment and electrical connections.

A.1.4

Student Laboratory Work

The objectives and evaluation of laboratory work are described in a separate sheet which is issued
with the experiment instruction sheets. The following procedural points should be noted before
commencing any work in the laboratory.
Laboratory Groups - For reasons of safety and efficiency, experiments will be done by groups of
students (ideally 2 students per group). Selection of these groups is determined by student choice
at the beginning of the term for the duration of that term.
Schedules - Group numbers and members' names will be posted on the lab notice board along with
the experiment schedule for the entire term. Lab locations to be used will also be posted.
Instruction Sheets - Instruction sheets are normally available prior to the experiment and are to be
studied beforehand with any required preliminary work done before entering the lab. Read the
information provided with each group of experiment instruction sheets for more specific details.
Foremen's Responsibilities - In each group a foreman will be elected or appointed for each
experiment. This duty will rotate between the group members. The foreman is responsible for
performing the experiment, submission of a report at the end of the lab period, restoration of the lab
to its initial condition prior to the experiment, and reporting any equipment malfunction to the
teaching assistant.

A.2

Measurement

This section deals with the use of instruments in the laboratory. Section (A.3) contains some
additional instrument theory for common DC and AC analog meters. All notes relating to
measurement are grouped together in this section for convenience in referencing. It may be necessary
to read other appropriate sections on poly-phase circuits, for example, to fully understand some of
these meter descriptions or connections. While the emphasis is on analog meters, brief mention is
made where appropriate to digital techniques.
We will now examine the basic methods used in the laboratory for measuring speed and mechanical
shaft torque, and the use of these measurements to determine rotational losses in a machine set. This
will be followed by measurement of electrical quantities.

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A.2.1

Speed

There are two methods commonly used in the laboratory. The first one uses a shaft mounted
permanent magnet generator to produce a voltage that is connected to a voltmeter calibrated in rpm.
This instrument, called a tachometer, is useful to measure speed approximately over a wide range of
speed but inherently has limited accuracy if one wishes to measure and compare small speed
differences. See figure A4.
The second method which actually measures the difference in speed from a reference (usually
synchronous speed) uses a strobotak flashing on a rotating shaft. At the reference speed (the flash
rate) the shaft seems to be still. If the shaft actually turns, for example, 60 rpm slower, it will appear
under the light to rotate backwards at 1 revolution per second. In this mode, the flash rate is fixed.
Another mode of operation (not used with this equipment) is to vary the flash rate (calibrating the dial
in rpm) and look for a stationary pattern. This is often difficult to use because of repeated multiple
patterns.
A third method, much more accurate and expensive, is to produce pulses of voltage using, for
example, a rotor mounted permanent magnet passing near a stator mounted coil. The pulse repetition
rate is proportional to speed and is measured using a digital counter. This method is used in our
research laboratory.

A.2.2

Torque

Three methods of torque measurement will be described. The first two involve measurement of
reaction torque, whereas the third measures actual shaft torque.
The 2 kW Dynamometer:
Refer to figure A.4 for a typical 2 kW machine set arrangement, the bracketed numbers in this section
refer to this figure. The basic method uses a "dynamometer" which is a dc machine (4) whose stator
is mounted in an extra set of bearings (referred to as trunnion mounted) and connected to a fixed base
(3) by a spring system so that the reaction torque of the stator is indicated on a scale (8). This scale
is calibrated in Newton-meters and indicates shaft torque transmitted by the coupling (5) between the
left-hand machine (2) and the right-hand machine (4).
Figure A4 illustrates the correct arrangement when the dc machine is used as a generator and the ac
machine is used as a motor. The ac machine is run in a counterclockwise (CCW) direction, the
tachometer switch is set to CCW, and the torque meter reads upscale. If it is required to use the dc
machine as a motor with the ac machine as a generator, the two machines are interchanged (from that
depicted in figure A4), the dc motor is operated in a clockwise (CW) direction and the tachometer
switch set to CW.
In both cases the machines are oriented with the connecting cables and the nameplates at the back and
the tachometer mounted at the left side. Realize that in order to mechanically "load" the motor
significantly, the generator must itself be loaded electrically by connecting an appropriate resistive
load and providing the necessary excitation.
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The 0.2 kW Electrodynamometer:


In order to mechanically load the various motors in the 0.2 kW units, an "electrodynamometer" is
used. This is a special purpose machine which is fundamentally a generator with its electrical load
built directly into the rotor. A variable reactor is mounted on the faceplate to enable the variation of
the excitation level and thence the loading. The stator is trunnion mounted and rotated against a
spring thus indicating the reaction torque.
True Shaft Torquemeter:
A third method used in the research laboratory utilizes a special section of shaft between the two
machines containing a bridge arrangement of resistances whose value is dependent on the stress/strain
in the shaft. Deflection of this portion of shaft unbalances the bridge which causes a current to flow.
This current is dependent on shaft torque and is indicated on a meter. In this particular instrument
the readout is digital through the use of an analog-digital converter. The analog output has fast
dynamic response and can be used for transient measurements while the digital output is only useful
for steady state as the "counting" period is one-third of a second.

A.2.3

Rotational Losses

The rotational loss of a machine has two components: (1) Friction and Windage which is dependent
on speed and; (2) Core Loss which is dependent upon the air gap flux density. In order to measure
these losses in one of the machines (the machine under test) run the coupled machine as a motor.
With no electrical connection to the machine under test, the torque meter indicates torque due to
friction and windage for that machine only. This torque will, in general, depend on speed and should
be measured for the desired value (or range) of speed. In many cases the normal speed range is small
and one value at the nominal speed will suffice. To obtain the power loss, multiply the torque reading
by the speed.
If this test is now repeated with the machine under test excited and run at rated speed, the torque
meter indicates the friction and windage component of torque plus the component due to core loss.
This additional component will depend on the amount of excitation (or the air gap flux density) hence
either a typical value of rated excitation or a series of values corresponding to different degrees of
excitation should be taken. To obtain the core loss in watts, subtract the friction and windage torque
from the test value (both in Newton meters) and multiply by the speed (in radians per second).
Shaft power in watts is obtained by multiplying the torque reading in Newton meters (N.m) by the
speed in radians per second (rad/s). Realize that in the steady state this product is always the
mechanical power transmitted at the coupling and thus represents the true external mechanical load
if the machine under test is a motor, and the actual mechanical input power if the machine under test
is a generator. The previous two paragraphs detail how two of the internal losses of the machine
under test can be evaluated.

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A.2.4

DC Voltage and Current


DC voltage and current are measured using a DC
meter module containing one voltmeter (20 V and 200
V ranges) and two ammeters as illustrated in figure
A5.

For the 2 kW module (#8513) the low current meter


in the centre has a 2 A range and the high current
meter ranges are 15 A and 30 A. The 0.2 kW meter
Figure A5: DC Meter Module
module (#8412) has a low current range of 0.5 A and
high current ranges of 2.5 and 5.0 A. As a general rule the low current meter is used for field current
measurements while the high current meter is used for stator or armature current measurement.
DC Current is measured using a pmmc (permanent magnet moving coil) meter movement with a
shunt. Positive current should enter the positive terminal which is marked with the current range.
For multi-range meters there are a number of different current shunts connected internally across the
meter movement. (Sometimes the shunt is external enabling the user to purchase one movement and
several shunts as an economical alternative to several complete meters. These are used in our other
laboratories.)
DC Voltage is measured using a pmmc movement and a built in series resistor to produce a current
proportional to the voltage.

A.2.5

AC Voltage and Current

AC Voltage is measured using module #8426 containing three identical units. Each voltmeter has
both a 250 V and a 100 V range. These units use exactly the same pmmc movement as for DC
voltage measurement with diodes in series with the series resistor.
AC Current is measured using a three meter module. For 2 kW units the part number and meter
ranges are: #8514 with 5, 10, and 30 A ranges (the center meter has additionally a 1 A range). The
corresponding module for 0.2 kW is: #8425 with 0.5, 2.5, and 8.0 A ranges (with an additional 25
A range in the centre unit). These meters use a moving iron (mi) meter movement. See section A.3.2
for internal details. A built in current transformer is used to obtain the multiple ranges.

A.2.6

Electrical Power and Related Quantities

The following quantities can be measured using the same general class of instrument:
Name
Symbol Unit
Real or Active Power
P
watt (W, kW, MW)
Imaginary or Reactive Power Q
var (VAR, kVAR, MVAR)
Power Factor
PF, cos0per unit (no unit)
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Since the basic wattmeter is fundamental to all the above power related measurements it will be
discussed first.
Single Phase Wattmeter Figure A.6 illustrates module #8431 used with 0.2 kW rated equipment.
On the left is the front panel layout with a simplified internal connection diagram on the right. The
current coil of the meter movement is connected between terminals 1 and 3. The potential coil is
connected in series with a resistor between terminal 1 and terminals 2 and 4 which are themselves
connected together. The meter movement is of the electrodynamometer type which is described in
section A.3.

Figure A6: Single Phase Wattmeter Module


Three Phase Wattmeter Figure A.7 illustrates module #8515 used with 2 kW rated equipment.
This is a so-called two element wattmeter that contains two of the previous (single phase) wattmeter
coil sets mounted on a single shaft. The meter reading is the sum of the two meter elements. The
connections are such that this sum is equal to the three phase power under balanced conditions for
a 4 wire system, and balanced or unbalanced conditions for a 3 wire system.

Figure A7: Three Phase Wattmeter Module

Three Phase Varmeter and Power Factor Measurement The modules for 2 kW rated equipment
(#8516 and #8523 respectively) are extensions of the previous use of the electrodynamometer
movement. The varmeter uses two current coils in a basically two element meter and manufactures
a 90 degree phase shift by appropriate connections to the potential coils. The power factor meter
uses only one current coil and appropriate connections for potential. For both instruments, the
reading depends on assumed voltage and current phase relationships and therefore is only correct for
balanced, 60 hertz, sinusoidal conditions.

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Power Flow Direction In an ac system, voltage and current alternate at the supply frequency. It
is important to realize that the direction of real and reactive power flows is quite specific.
Consequently wattmeters and varmeters must be connected correctly in the circuit and the reading
interpreted correctly. For the Lab-Volt instruments the convention is that power flows from left to
right. For the wattmeter, the terminals on the left side of the modules are connected towards the
source of power and the terminals on the right side are connected towards the load so that the meter
reads upscale. For varmeters, which have a zero scale, this same convention implies that when the
meter deflects to the left (counterclockwise) lagging vars are being delivered to the load. Note that
this convention is consistent with the power factor meter where the left side of the scale is marked
as lagging pf.

A.2.7 Resistance and Impedance


DC Resistance of a power device is determined by passing rated dc current through the device and
measuring the dc voltage drop with no machine motion (if any) present. The ratio of dc voltage to
dc current is the dc resistance between the points identified by the voltmeter connection.
V
Rdc
dc
Idc
AC Impedance of a power device is determined by measuring simultaneously the ac voltage, current,
and real power relevant to the device, and then calculating Z and  from these measurements. In
general, Rac  Rdc.
V
Pac
Z
ac
and

cos 1
then use Rac j X
Z S
Iac
Vac Iac
A.2.8 Digital Instrumentation
There are two models of digital instrument currently in use:
Digital Multimeter A Fluke #8010A digital multimeter which is primarily useful for dc and rms ac
voltage measurement and resistance estimation.
Power Analyzer A Valhalla #2101 wide band ac-dc digital wattmeter with readout of power and
either voltage or current. Its connection is similar to the single phase wattmeter discussed earlier
(except that the current coil is in the lower line of the drawing).

File EML.wpd R.T.H. Alden October 23, 1997

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