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Split-Phase Air Conditioner Motor

This is the simplest design where the RUN winding and START winding are connected in
parallel and 90 electrically apart. It is usually used in small pumps, fans and blowers
where the capacity is below 1 horsepower. It has a low starting torque but high starting
current. Since the torque is low, the ability to start the motor is only practical for low
load condition.
The RUN winding is make from bigger diameter wire and shorter turn for lower
resistance and high inductance properties. The START winding is make from smaller
diameter wire for higher resistance and low inductance properties.

When power is connected to the motor, both the windings will be energized with the
current in the RUN winding lags the current in the START winding by about 30
electrically. This out-of-phase effect on the stator produces a starting torque and causes
the rotor to start rotating.
Typically the speed of the motor is 1800 rpm or 3600 rpm when running without any
load. When the load is connected, the speed can go down to 1725 rpm and 3450 rpm
respectively.
The no-load speed of the motor is given by:

Speed(rpm) = (Frequency of AC power X 120)/number of poles

For example, if your supply is 60 Hz and the motor is using two-pole, the synchronous
speed = (60X120)/2
= 3600 rpm

There is a switch known as centrifugal switch which is connected in series with the
START winding. This mechanical switch will open when the motor speed reaches 75% of
the rated speed typically within 2 seconds. Once the switch opened, the START winding
in circuit is disconnected.
This is to protect the START winding from overheating. When the motor is powered off,
the switch will close the circuit to get ready for the next starting of the motor.
These days, electronic relay is also being widely used to disconnect the START winding.

Capacitor-Start Air Conditioner Motor


This motor is similar to the split-phase motor except that there is an external capacitor
that is connected in series with the START winding. This capacitor will cause the current
in the START winding to lead the voltage.
The current in the RUN winding lags the voltage. When this happens, the phase
difference between the two windings is 90 electrically hence a true two-phase starting
is achieved.

The starting torque of this motor is very high making it suitable to drive small
compressor which needs to start under full load. The capacity of this motor can go up to
1 horsepower.
Once the motor has reached 75% of the rated speed, the capacitor and the START
winding will be automatically disconnected from the circuit by using the centrifugal
swith, potential or current relay.
After the capacitor and START winding have been removed from the circuit, the
magnetic field being generated continuously will cause the motor to continue running.
This type of motor is also known as CSIR motor or Capacitor-Start-Induction-Run
motor.

Capacitor-Start, Capacitor-Run Air Conditioner Motor


This motor design is similar to the capacitor-start design except that there is a second
capacitor known as the RUN capacitor which is connected in parallel with the START
capacitor and the switch.
These capacitors are effectively connected in series with the START winding. During the
starting of the motor, both the capacitors are connected in the circuit. The START
winding and the RUN winding will remain connected to the circuit at all times.

Usually the capacitance of the RUN capacitor is lower than the START capacitor. During
starting, the effective capacitance is the combination of both capacitors causing a
greater phase angle shift between the windings.
This provides a higher starting torque and can be used to drive the compressor as well
as in belt-driven motors.
As the rotor speed reaches 75% of the rated speed, the switch will be automatically
open to disconnect the START capacitor from the circuit. The START winding remains in
the circuit.
The RUN capacitor helps to correct the power factor of the circuit making it more
efficient. The capacity of this type of motor can go up to 10 horsepower and is one of
the most efficient motors used in the HVAC industry.

Permanent Split Capacitor(PSC) Air Conditioner Motor


This motor has similar design to the phase-split motor except that there is a RUN
capacitor connected to the START and RUN windings. This motor does not have any
switch and the START winding, RUN winding and the RUN capacitor are active whenever
the motor is ON.

This type of motor has low starting torque and is suitable to be used in small fan
motors such as the fan coil unit of a split air conditioning system.

Multi-speed PSC is achieved by changing the winding resistance. If high speed is


required, the terminal is connected to the least winding resistance. If low speed is
required, the terminal is connected to the highest winding resistance.
By utilizing relays to choose the terminal to be connected to the line voltage, different
speed of fan motor can be achieved.
In the diagram above, there are 4 motor speed that can be selected. Super High(SH),
High(H), Medium(M) and Low(L). The selection can be done by using electronic relays
to connect L2 to one of the four terminals depending on the speed required.