# 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Motors, Electric

MOTORS, ELECTRIC. Fundamentally, electric motors are electric generators reversed in function: they convert into mechanical energy the continued stresses between two electromagnetic fields relatively movable, just as generators convert into electromagnetic stresses the mechanical energy applied to them. Since no transformation of energy is ever absolutely quantitative, the conversions just considered are not accomplished without loss of energy to about the same extent in both cases. The sources of this loss are ohmic loss in the conductors, hysteresis, friction of bearings and brushes, air friction and eddy currents; the sum of these losses in large modern machines does not exceed 5 or 6%. The torque of the motor is the dynamical result of the electromagnetic stresses between the magnetic field of the motor and that due to the armature currents, the latter field being proportional to the strength of the current sheet due to the numerical strength of the current and the number of its effective convolutions. This applies to all types of motors, if one remembers that whenever either of these two stress factors is a periodic variable, as in the case of alternating motors, the torque is proportional to their geometrical co-directed product and not merely to their numerical product. At this point it will be convenient to distinguish between the various types of motors. The first broad distinction is between continuous-current and alternating-current motors, a distinction rather of convenience than of necessity, for in point of fact the two depend upon the same broad principles and can be considered on precisely the same lines.

Electric motors may be conveniently divided as follows:—

(A) Continuous Current.
1. Separately excited.
2. Series-wound constant current.
3. Series-wound constant potential.
4. Series-wound interdependent current and potential.
5. Shunt-wound constant potential.
(B) Alternating Current.
1. Synchronous constant potential.
2. Induction-poly phase constant potential.
3. Induction-mono phase constant potential.
4. Repulsion-com mutating.
5. Series-com mutating.

Of these, the series-wound constant potential, shunt-wound constant potential, and polyphase induction motors do a Very large proportion of the active work of power transmission: the first mentioned furnish power for electric railways; the second chiefly power distribution from public electric supply stations; while the third are mainly relied upon in long-distance transmission systems. The fourth and fifth groups of class (B) are old in principle but have been slow in practical development. They include many modifications and transition forms not involving radical changes in the principles or properties of the machines. Their chief use has been for electrical traction, with reference to which they have, in the main, been developed, and their performance is best at low frequency, 15 to 25 cycles per second.

The actual output obtainable from a motor structure of given dimensions under these conditions with respect to heating depends chiefly upon the practicable rotative speed of the armature, since the chief losses are proportional to the torque, while the mechanical output at given torque is approximately proportional to the speed. Most makers utilize a single structure for several standard motors varying in speed and output, a r 5 h.p. machine at, say, 1200 r.p.m. becoming a 10 h.p. at 800 r.p.m. or a 20 h.p. at I6OO r.p.m. There is no practically fixed relation between the rating and the speed, although it is approximately linear, for in winding the same carcass for different speeds the ratings are settled rather by commercial convenience than by exact determinations. Motors generally have approximately the same efhciencies as the corresponding sizes of generators. Small motors, say from 1 to 5 h.p., are commonly of 70-80% efficiency at full load, medium sized machines of 5 to 50 h.p. about 80 to 90%, and the larger sizes run up to 95% or thereabouts. In the effort to get low-speed motors without immoderately increasing the cost they are generally dropped a little in efficiency and allowed to run hotter than if wound for higher speeds.

The weight of motors per h.p. of output is therefore very variable. In machines of medium size and speed it is likely to be 50 to 75 lb per h.p., falling to 30 or 40 in large or specially high speed machines, and rising to 80 or 100 lb in small or very low speed motors. High-voltage motors, particularly if small, lose somewhat in relative output on account of the space taken up by the necessary insulation.

In all ordinary motors the magnetization of the iron is, for economy of material, pushed high; and hence the field, even at heavy loads, is fairly stable and the conditions of commutation remain good. When, however, motors are designed to stand severe overloads, or to admit of a wide range of speed regulation by varying the field strength, the commutation is likely to be unstable, and severe sparking may result. To meet this condition the com mutating-pole motor-really a recrudescence of an old idea-has been introduced on a considerable scale. In this construction auxiliary pole pieces, excited by series coils from the motor circuit, are set midway between the ordinary field poles. The office of these poles is to neutralize the magneto motive force due to the armature winding, thus checking field distortion, and also to ensure the proper reversal of the current in the armature coil directly under the brush. Of the total magneto-motive force due to the windings of the com mutating pole, the major part, perhaps three-fourths, is devoted to the former work and the remainder to the latter, the proportion varying widely according to the design of the motor. The result of this construction is excellent, spark less commutation being ensured over a wide range of load and field strength. The com mutating-pole motor is intrinsically more expensive and slightly less efficient than the ordinary type, but for the particular kind of service it is designed to perform is extremely effective. It gives promise of especial value in high-voltage traction motors.

(A) I. Separately excited M olors are interesting principally on account of the very efficient method of speed regulation possible by their use. In this method the field of the motor is excited from the supply mains, and the armature current is furnished by a motor generator running at constant speed. A rheostat in the shunt field of the latter element enables the applied electromotive force to be varied to any desired extent, and hence the working motor can be given full torque at any speed up to that assigned by the maximum value of the electromotive force which can be applied to the armature. Moreover, if the armature resistance be small, the motor is fairly self-regulating at all speeds. The effect is rather startling since the motor may be giving a very great torque when it is merely turning over at a few revolutions per minute; and although the process is complicated, it leads to excellent result; and is widely used where delicate speed regulation is required (A) 2. Series-'wound Constant-current Motors were early worked to a considerable extent on arc-lights circuits, but have now passed out of use save in a small number of constant-current power-transmission Systems on the continent of Europe. In these motors the motor electromotive force is directly proportional to the output, the torque being constant. They will not start with more than a certain definite load, but once started the speed will increase until added work (internal or external) balances the torque. The type is intrinsically bad in speed regulation, and must be treated by the same methods as are adopted to secure constant current in arc machines. The most successful device in most cases is to vary the field strength by shunting the field coils or to vary the number of effective armature conductors by shifting the brushes. Both methods are carried out mechanically rather than by purely electrical means-in the first case by an automatic rheostat, and in the second by an automatic brush shifter, but neither is wholly satisfactory. Nevertheless, such motors have proved capable of excellent commercial service in some of the European plants, especially in the larger sizes. (A) 3. Series-'wound Constant-potential Motors comprise nearly all motors used for electric traction-aggregating not less, probably, than one and a half million horse-power; hence they are of great practical importance. These traction motors are usually highly specialized machines with very powerful armatures and fields strongly saturated at all working values of the current. The brushes have an invariable position. Such motors behave much like separately excited motors, having a rather large armature resistance. Speed regulation has to be obtained by varying the applied electromotive force. In early traction motors this variation depended upon inserting a rheostat; in modern practice it is customary to employ two, or even four, identical motors on each car, operated in series for low speeds and in parallel for full speed. In practice, however, resistances are inserted when necessary, to prevent too sudden changes of speed and to secure intermediate steps between those obtained by the series-parallel connexions. In rare instances a still further variation is secured by the use of a field only partially saturated at ordinary loads.

(A) 4. Series-wound Motors with Interdependent Current and Potential are used only in connexion with generators of similar design, motor and generator forming a dynamical unit. This system is occasionally used with good results- in power transmission. Assuming the motor field to be saturated, if the speed is to be constant the applied electromotive force must rise with the load to an amount depending on the resistances in circuit. If the corresponding generator has a field less fully saturated, the increase in current demanded by the increment of torque in the motor can be made not only to raise the applied electromotive force enough to compensate for armature resistance, but for the total resistances in circuit, including the line. With this difference in saturation the motor will automatically maintain constant speed. The fields of the machines need not be designed for a given saturation, since shunting them with a suitable resistance will give the same result.

(A) 5. Shunt-wound Motors at Constant Potential are the mainstay of continuous-current distributions for industrial purposes. At constant potential the field remains sensibly constant and the torque is directly proportional to the current. The motor then behaves much like a separately-excited motor, and the armature resistance being generally very small, the speed is very nearly constant, varying less than 5 % from no load to full load in the best commercial machines. Operating on a compound-wound generator, a single motor of this type can be made to regulate with great precision, as in the previous case. If the motor field be only moderately saturated, its strength, and hence the motor electromotive force, rises and falls with the applied electromotive force; and therefore at constant load these motors run at very nearly constant speed, in spite of small variations of voltage. If speed variation be required, it can be obtained to a moderate extent by a rheostat in the field circuit. At starting a rheostat is necessary in the armature circuit. The differentially wound modification is now seldom used.

Synchronous motors sometimes cause serious trouble by “ pumping, " a phenomenon closely allied to the surging of current between alternators in parallel, and due to similar causes. If not due to defective governing of the prime mover, it usually starts with a change of load or of phase, producing fluctuations in the electromotive force in the system great enough to interfere seriously with incandescent lighting, and continuing with nearly uniform amplitude and frequency for hours if unchecked. The amplitude varies with the conditions, but in the same machine the frequency is nearly constant. The fluctuation affects both the armature and the field circuits, the latter inductively by changes in the armature magneto motive force, but it can as a rule be controlled by varying the excitation until a neutral point is found, usually when the phase angle is near to zero. Motors with solid pole pieces give little trouble of this sort, the oscillations being rapidly damped by the eddy currents. In motors with laminated fields the most effective remedy is chamfering away the edges of the pole pieces so as to admit heavy copper shoes running along and under the edges, and even bridging the spaces between the pole pieces. The eddy currents in these shoes completely check the “ pumping.”

Synchronous and other Converters.-It seems here appropriate to refer to these converting devices, not in their general functions, but merely in so far as they are directly related to motor practice. The synchronous converter proper is in effect a synchronous motor, in spite of its com mutating function. Owing to the fact that the direct current voltage is dependent on the alternating current voltage of supply, the converter cannot advantageously be used to control the power factor by variation of the field strength, but the field can be adjusted once for all to hold the power factor reasonably near unity, provided independent means are available for so adjusting the applied alternating voltage as to give the required result at the commutator. If close regulation of the direct-current voltage IS not demanded the converter field can be used more freely. As a matter of fact the synchronous converter finds its chief use in electric traction where close regulation is not important, and motor-generators in one form or another have been found more suitable for electric-lighting work. The synchronous converters have the liability to “ pumping" or “ hunting, ” to which reference has already been made, sometimes even of sufficient amplitude to throw the machine out of step, and are often provided with the shoes or bridges found useful with ordinary synchronous motors. Synchronous motor-generators, so far as the motor function 1S concerned, present no peculiarities at all. Synchronous commutators, “ permutators, " and the like, usually have motor-parts of very moderate capacity, and must be kept rigorously free of hunting in order to preserve the conditions of commutation. In many instances, particularly in American practice, motor generators with induction motors have been used for ease of starting and to secure immunity from hunting. A modification of interest from the motor standpoint is found in the “cascade converter." In this machine the rotor of an induction motor is directly coupled to the armature of a commuting converter of equal output, the windings of the two being in series and approximately equivalent. In this case the normal motor-electromotive force is reached at approximately half synchronous speed, and half the energy is delivered to the output end of the machine by the rotor acting as frequency changer, the rest by torque on the shaft. Qommutation takes place therefore at half the initial frequency, which is often a great advantage.

In efficiency and closeness of speed regulation and good general running properties poly phase induction motors approximate very closely to the best continuous-current practice. They produce, however, a certain amount of lag between primary electromotive force and current, which causes the apparent input to be larger than the real input, as generally happens in alternating-current work. The ratio between the real and the apparent watts input is the power factor of the motor. In well-designed modern machines this is usually from 85 to at rated load; it should seldom fall below the former figure, and rarely rises more than I or 2 % above the latter, though in rare instances power-factors as high as Q4 or 95 % have been obtained. Condensers have sometimes been employed in connexion with such motors to increase the power-factor, and with considerable success, particularly in maintaining the power-factor at low and moderate loads; but their use is generally unnecessary, and condensers of sufficient capacity at any reasonable value of the voltage have proved troublesome to build and maintain. The weakest point in these poly phase induction motors is the importance of employing a very small clearance between armature and field, in order to increase the power-factor by making the structure more efficient, considered merely as a transformer. The clearances in ordinary use are seldom greater than T16 in., even in motors as large as 100 h.p., and in smaller machines are frequently not more than 512 in. Induction motors, however possess many valuable proper tics, and are the mainstay of long-distance power-transmission work at the present time. g

(B) 3. Monophase Induction Motors closely resemble the poly phase motor in construction, but have only a single-phase winding in the primary. The theories of their action are very similar to those of poly phase motors. The essential point of difference is that the stable angular displacement between the field magnetization and the armature currents which co-act with it is obtained in the poly phase motor by the time-displacements in the several phase windings, while in the single-phase motor it is obtained by the angular space-displacement of the armature, which has to be set up by an initial rotation. Single-phase motors therefore are not inherently self-starting, and run in either direction equally well when once started. The torque is always in the direction of the initial rotation. This rotation is sometimes given by hand and sometimes by auxiliary phase-windings supplied by derived current from the main circuit, or merely short-circuited on themselves and receiving induced currents from the main winding. Both these devices give a small initial torque in a definite direction, setting up a so-called elliptical rotary field, i.e. one produced by the composition of two unequal magnetization's, in this case at some indeterminate angle, seldom large. Once up to speed, the single-phase motors act much like the poly phase. They are conspicuously weak in the matter of power-factor, however, as well as in that of starting torque, and have as yet not come into very extensive commercial use, although under special conditions they have been and are successfully employed. A theoretically interesting form of induction motor is a modification which runs at absolutely synchronous speed, receiving the necessary energy in the secondary not in virtue of slip behind synchronous speed, but from great difference in wave form between the primary and secondary circuits, so that energy due, to harmonics of the fundamental frequency is periodicalllvl received by the armature in spite of synchronise in speed. Suc motors are not employed commercially, but sometimes find a field for usefulness in the laboratory.

(B) 4. Repulsion-com mutating Motors constitute a class of single phase alternating-current motors which has risen to considerable commercial importance. They are fundamentally induction motors in the sense that the armature currents are supplied by the inductive action of the field. The armature winding is, however, provided with a commutator and (for a two-pole motor) two diametrically opposite brushes, which are short-circuited on each other and placed at an angle with the line of field magnetization. By this device the magnetic axis of the armature is held at a fixed angle with the field flux, so that the condition for steady torque is always fulfilled, its amount depending on the position of the brushes. Were these either in line with, or exactly at right angles to, the field poles, the torque would be zero-in the first case from lack of angular displacement, in the second from lack of secondary current. The brushes being skewed, however, the secondary current is maintained at a suitable value, and the motor runs in a definite direction. The general principle is merely that of a transformer with a movable secondary under magnetic thrust. During reversal of the current the torque relation remains fixed, since the primary and secondary currents both change sign, preserving the magnetic relations as in a series-wound continuous-current machine.

If such a motor is of moderate reactance, the currents are large and the torque very considerable. The repulsion-com mutating connexion is considerably used as a starting device for single-phase induction motors, the commutator being short-circuited as a whole when the armature reaches synchronous speed. Thereafter the machine operates as a pure induction motor of the sort just described. The advantage of this change is that the commutator is eliminated, save at starting, and the motor becomes practically a constant speed machine like any other properly-designed simple induction motor. Such motors can be made to start if necessary with several times the normal running torque and a nearly proportionate increase of current. The short-circuiting of the commutator is generally performed automatically by a centrifugal governor. When at speed, efficiency and power factor are those of the typical motor of class(B)3. The pure repulsion-com mutating motor, worked as such, on the other hand, resembles a series-wound motor in its characteristics, having no fixed speed and being capable of running far above nominal synchronise. This results from the fixed an ular relation maintained by the brushes between the armature and field magnetisation's, whereby the torque conditions are preserved. Above the nominal synchronous speed, however, difficulties of commutation set in, so that some modifications of this simple type are desirable for wide ranges of speed. The power factors of these motors compare well, both in starting and in' running, with those of the best pure induction motors, and their efficiencies are similar. These machines are reversible, serving as alternating generators when driven mechanically at “ negative ” speed.

Instead of simply skewing the brush line in the repulsion motor, an entirely analogous effect may be produced by dividing the field coils into pairs placed. in quadrature, the brush line being parallel to one pair and at right angles to the other. This merely amounts to dividing the function of the original field physically into its components, a change which sometimes tends to improve the stability of the running conditions.

A more radical departure is found in the group of so-called “ compensated-repulsion " motors, of which there are several members,

due to various inventors, all material improvements on the pure repulsion type just described. Their common characteristic is that while possessing like simple commutator-repulsion motors, a transformer field acting upon the armature as secondary, and a pair of short-circuiting brushes holding the resulting armature magnetization in definite alignment, they also send the primary current in series through the armature via a second pair of brushes in quadrature with the first. The substantial effect of this series connexion is to cut down the virtual reactance of the armature as the speed rises, practically annulling it at synchronous speed. In alternating motors the motor-electromotive force is not merely that due to the motion of the armature conductors but the geometrical resultant of this and the reactance E.M.F.'s. In the motor here considered and analogous machines an auxiliary E.M.F. is applied either as here, conductively or inductively, in such direction as to compensate more or less perfectly the armature reactance E.M.F. The result is to secure, at least for a certain speed, a power factor near unity, as in the motor under discussion, although the starting conditions are not particularly good and the performance deteriorates above synchronise. In some motors of this type the compensating E.M.F. is introduced by an auxiliary winding in series and in quadrature with the main field, instead of by supplementary brushes. The modifications of the general scheme are rather numerous, and out of them have come some excellent single-phase motors now widely used for traction purposes.

(B) 5. Series Commutating M otors.-This important and interesting type is derived directly from the ordinary series motor for continuous current. The torque in these does not change sign with reversal of the current in both field and armature, and consequently alternating current can still produce in them unidirectional torque. Practically the first step toward an alternating current series motor is lamination of the field to reduce parasitic currents; the second is to keep down the reactance. A laminated field motor performs fairly well at a frequency of 10 periods or thereabouts, but to render it useful at ordinary frequencies requires modification in design. The motor being as before the geometrical sum of the reactance E.M.F. and that due to motion of the armature conductors, the first improvement can be made by making the latter dominant, i.e. by making the armature relatively very powerful. The plain series com mutating motor has then a relatively weak laminated field and a powerful armature. To check trouble with commutation due to short-circuiting coils under a brush, it usually has high resistance commutator leads, and thus equipped is capable of very fair performance, having the same general characteristics as the continuous-current series motor. Even so the armature reactance is somewhat excessive, so that with this simple construction the power factor is apt to be bad. Practically the plain series com mutating motor is hardly used at all, but rather modifications of it corresponding very closely to those mentioned in connexion with the repulsion motor. In other words, an auxiliary electromotive force tending to annul the reactance E.M.F. of the armature is imposed upon the armature circuit. This is accomplished generall by a “compensating coil ” in series and in space-quadrature with the main field. In another modification the compensating coil is closed upon itself, forming a short-circuited secondary, to which the armature itself acts as primary. The end to be attained is the addition of an E.M.F. such that the vector sum of the E.M.F.'s in the armature shall reduce as nearly as may be to the E.M.F. due to the motion of the armature conductors, as in a continuous-current motor. Obviously it is difficult to secure full compensation for all loads and speeds, but it can be made nearly complete for some particular load and speed.

These “ series-compensated " motors behave much like continuous current series motors, and, when properly designed, run well on continuous current. They have been developed particularly for heavy traction purposes, to which they are well adapted, owing to their ability to work well at all speeds. They give a very high maximum power factor and a reasonably good one over a considerable range of speed and load. Obviously both the field proper and the compensating field can be made subject to regulation to increase the range of successful action. Motors of this type have already come into successful use for fast and heavy railway service. Commutation appears to be reasonably good, although it is a far more difficult problem than with continuous-current machines. The efficiency and output for unit weight in all alternating current motors is a little less favourable than with continuous current motors. In the last resort the supply of energy to a single phase motor is essentially discontinuous, and there is inevitable extra loss from hysteresis and parasitic currents, whether the motor is single phase or poly phase. The result is that an alternating current motor requires, other things being similar, more or better material, and loses a little more energy than a continuous-current motor of equal output. Motor design is a compromise, and while any one property can be exaggerated, it will be at the expense of others. One could probably build, for instance, a series-compensated motor of as high efficiency or as large output per unit weight as any commercial motor, but there would be sacrifice somewhere, in cost if not conspicuously elsewhere. As a matter of fact, the difference in efficiency usually amounts only to a very few per cents., and the difference in output per unit weight to a few more. The gain in the use of alternating-current motors is in facility and economy of distribution, which in many cases is far more than enough to over weigh any inherent disabilities in the machines themselves. Hence they are coming steadily into extended use. (L. BL.)