PARALLEL OPERATION OF ALTERNATORS

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3-16 depends mainly on three things: (1) the number of conductors in series per winding, (2) the speed (alternator rpm) at which the magnetic field cuts the winding, and (3) the strength of the magnetic field. Any of these three factors could be used to control the amount of voltage induced in the alternator windings. The number of windings, of course, is fixed when the alternator is manufactured. Also, if the output frequency is required to be of a constant value, then the speed of the rotating field must be held constant. This prevents the use of the alternator rpm as a means of controlling the voltage output. Thus, the only practical method for obtaining voltage control is to control the strength of the rotating magnetic field. The strength of this electromagnetic field may be varied by changing the amount of current flowing through the field coil. This is accomplished by varying the amount of voltage applied across the field cod. Q20.   How is output voltage controlled in practical alternators? PARALLEL OPERATION OF ALTERNATORS Alternators are connected in parallel to (1) increase the output capacity of a system beyond that of a single unit, (2) serve as additional reserve power for expected demands, or (3) permit shutting down one machine and cutting in a standby machine without interrupting power distribution. When alternators are of sufficient size, and are operating at different frequencies and terminal voltages, severe damage may result if they are suddenly connected to each other through a common bus. To avoid this, the machines must be synchronized as closely as possible before connecting them together. This may be accomplished by connecting one generator to the bus (referred to as bus generator), and then synchronizing the other (incoming generator) to it before closing the incoming generator’s main power contactor. The generators are synchronized when the following conditions are set: 1. Equal terminal voltages. This is obtained by adjustment of the incoming generator’s field strength. 2. Equal frequency. This is obtained by adjustment of the incoming generator’s prime-mover speed. 3. Phase voltages in proper phase relation. The procedure for synchronizing generators is not discussed in this chapter. At this point, it is enough for you to know that the above must be accomplished to prevent damage to the machines. Q21.   What generator characteristics must be considered when alternators are synchronized for parallel operation? SUMMARY This chapter has presented an introduction to the subject of alternators. You have studied the characteristics and applications of different types. The following information provides a summary of the chapter for your review. MAGNETIC INDUCTION is the process of inducing an emf in a coil whenever the coil is placed in a magnetic field and motion exists between the coil and the magnetic lines of flux. This is true if either the coil or the magnetic field moves, as long as the coil is caused to cut across magnetic flux lines.

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