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Importance of the SCR with respect to the generator performance The SCR (Short Circuit Ratio)
is the ratio of the field current needed to generate rated open-circuit armature voltage, to the field
current needed to produce rated current on a sustained short circuit. The SCR value of a
synchronous generator can reveal information about the machines performance. When the SCR
value is lower, in order to maintain a constant terminal voltage for a given change in load, a larger
change in field current is required when compared with a higher SCR value. Also, lower SCR
means the steady state stability limit of the machine is lower. Therefore, a machine of low SCR is
dependent on an excitation system that is able to provide large changes of field current quickly
and reliably. An appropriate excitation system can also increase steady state stability. The
physical dimensions and properties are relatively smaller on low SCR machines, so their cost is
also lower.
Variation of synchronous reactance with field currentThe synchronous reactance is defined to be
as follows;
Xs=Voc/Isc =ACAB
When we observe the short-circuit and the open-circuit characteristic curves, we can seethat the
ratio AC/AB is nearly constant for lower values of the field current; i.e. before the machinebegins
saturation, when the open-circuit characteristic curve is nearly linear. But once themachine begins
saturation, the synchronous reactance begins to drop rapidly
Synchronous generator has characteristics of a current transformer
If we take the rotor winding of a synchronous generator to be the primary winding of a
transformer, the field winding to be the secondary, the field current to be the primary current, and
the armature current to be the secondary current, then a synchronous generator can be taken to
resemble a step-up current transformer since the armature current is much higher than the field
current. In a current transformer, when the secondary winding is short circuited, that short circuit
current is proportional to the primary current. Similarly, when the armature is short circuited in
asynchronous generator, we can observe that the armature current is proportional to the field
current by the short circuit characteristic curve. Hence, the synchronous generator shows
characteristics of a current transformer. A synchronous generators field current depends on the
connected load. Similarly in a current transformer, the primary current depends on the load
connected to the secondary winding.