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EEK260 Electrical Machines

Chapter 4
Synchronous Generators (Part A)

PM Ir. Dr. Dahaman Ishak
AC machines fundamentals
AC machines are :
 Generators that convert mechanical
energy to electrical energy
 Motors that convert electrical energy to
mechanical energy

There are two major classes of ac machines:

 Synchronous machines
 Induction machines
Ir. Dr. Dahaman Ishak
Synchronous & induction machines
What is synchronous machines?
Synchronous machines are motors and
generators whose rotor field current is
supplied by a separate dc power source.

What is induction machines?

Induction machines are motors and generators
whose rotor field current is supplied by
magnetic induction (transformer action) into
their rotor field windings.

Ir. Dr. Dahaman Ishak
Difference Between AC and DC machines
Armature windings are located on the stator,
while their field windings are located on the
The rotating magnetic field from the rotor field
winding of an ac machine induces a three-
phase set of ac voltages in the stator

A rotating magnetic field BS which interacts with the

rotor magnetic field BR produce Torque in the
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Synchronous generator
Synchronous machines can be classified into:
a) Synchronous generator or ac alternator
b) Synchronous motor

A dc current is applied to the rotor winding,

which produces a rotor magnetic field. The
rotor of the generator is then turned by a
prime mover, producing a rotating magnetic
field within the machine. This rotating magnetic
field induces a three-phase set of ac voltages
inside the stator windings of the generator

Synchronous generator

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Synchronous generator- brushless excitation

Brushless excitation system means that

there is no physical contact between the
external source and field windings.

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3-phase synchronous machine

Type of rotor for Synchronous
Cylindrical Rotor or Nonsalient Rotor

Two –pole rotor

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Type of rotor for Synchronous

Salient Rotor

six-pole rotor

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Speed of rotation in
synchronous generator
Synchronous generator is by definition synchronous,
meaning that the electrical frequency produced is locked
in or synchronized with the mechanical rate of rotation of
the generator :-
For example, in order to generate 50 Hz
supply in 2 poles machine, the rotor
nP 120 f should turn at 3000 rev per min (rpm).
f  n
120 p 2 poles 3000 rpm
4 poles 1500 rpm
where, 6 poles 1000 rpm
f = electrical frequency in Hz 8 poles 750 rpm
n = mechanical speed (rpm) 10 poles 600 rpm
P = number of poles

Ir. Dr. Dahaman Ishak
No-load saturation curve of the
synchronous generator

• Rotor is spun at constant speed by a prime mover

• Field current is slowly increased, then measure terminal voltage

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No-load saturation curve of a 36MVA, 21kV, 3-phase

E0 is proportional to IF

In the textbook, the author

uses EA instead of E0

Ir. Dr. Dahaman Ishak
Equivalent circuit of an ac generator

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Equivalent Circuit of Synchronous

Stator winding has self inductance,

leading to XS.
Copper wire in stator winding gives RA.

E0  V  X S I A  RA I A
V  E0  jX S I A  RA I A
Vф Eo is the induced phase voltage
Vф is the phase terminal voltage
XS is the synchronous reactance
Per-phase equivalent circuit
RA is the phase winding resistance
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Phasor diagram of synchronous
generator supplying a load

Unity Power Factor E A o  V 0  RA I A0  jX S I A0

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Phasor diagram of synchronous
generator supplying a load

Lagging Power Factor

E A o  V 0  RA I A     jX S I A   

Leading Power Factor

E A o  V 0  RA I A   jX S I A 

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Power flow diagram of a synchronous generator

i.e. wind turbine,
Steam turbine,
Diesel engine, etc

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Power and Torque in Synchronous
If the armature resistance RA is ignored (since Xs >>RA),
then a very useful equation can be derived to approximate
the output power of the generator

To derive this equation, the phasor diagram should be


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Simplified phasor diagram with armature
resistance RA ignored
E A o  V 0  RA I A     jX S I A     V 0  jX S I A   

torque angle δ
EA sin   X S I A cos

E A sin 
I A cos  
3V E A sin 
Pout ,3  3V I A cos  

Max power that generator 3V E A

can supply occurs when
Static stability limit Pout , 3 ,max 
δ=90° XS
Induced torque in electrical
Pconv   ind m
Pconv3V E A sin 
Pconv  3E A I A cos   ind  
m m X S

Pout  3V I A cos 

Pout  3VL I L cos 

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Measuring Synchronous Generator
Model Parameters
Three quantities must be determined to completely
describe the behavior of real synchronous generator

a) The relation between If and EA

b) The synchronous reactance, XS &
c) The armature resistance RA test

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Open-circuit test
To perform this test,
The generator is turned at
the rated speed
The terminals are
disconnected from all loads

The field current If is

increased from zero to rated
value, then measure terminal

During open-circuit, armature current IA is zero, so EA = VΦ

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Short-circuit test

To perform this test,

 generator is turned at rated
 Adjust the field current to
zero. If =0
 Short-circuit the terminals
 IA is measured as a field
current IF is increased

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Short-circuit characteristic (SCC)

IA 
RA  jX S
IA 
RA2  X S2
Z S  RA2  X S2 
X S  RA
E A E ,OC
XS  
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Determination of synchronous
Approximate method to determine the synchronous
reactance XS at a given field current IF :-
a) Obtain the internal generated voltage EA from
OCC at that field current
b) Obtain the short-circuit current flow IA,SC from
SCC at that field current

c) Determine XS by applying this equation

Z S  RA2  X S2  XS  

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Example 1
A 200kVA, 480V, 50Hz, Y-connected synchronous
generator with a rated field current of 5A was tested and
the following data were taken:
a) ET,OC at the rated IF was measured to be 540V
b) IL,SC at the rated IF was found to be 300A
c) When a dc voltage of 10V was applied to two of the
terminals, a current of 25A was measured.
Find the values of the armature resistance RA and the
approximate synchronous reactance Xs in ohms that
would be used in the generator model at the rated
conditions. E A E ,OC
XS    X S  1.04
Answers : RA =0.2Ω IA IA

E E 
Z S  RA2  X S2  A  X S   A   RA2  1.02
IA  IA 
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Ir. Dr. Dahaman Ishak