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50/60Hz motors on 60/50Hz



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3 Phase Motor

Electrical Motor

Induction Motor

Magnetic Motor

Running Induction Motors on frequencies other than their Design Frequency.

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Induction motors use an iron core and require flux in the

iron to operate. In order to achieve the commercial goals
of smallest size and lowest price at best efficiency,
induction motors are designed to operate at a high level
of flux in the iron. The flux is determined by the turns,
voltage and frequency. In a modern motor, if the flux is
increased by a small amount, the iron losses increase and
the iron tends towards saturation. At saturation, the
inductance begins to fall and the current increases
further. To reduce the flux at a given voltage and
frequency, the turns on the stator are increased. This
reduces the Iron loss, but a longer length of thinner wire
is used and the copper loss increases. Design becomes a
balancing act between copper loss and iron loss and so
the design is optimised for a given voltage and frequency.

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If the voltage applied to the motor is held constant and the frequency is increased, the inductive
reactance increases and so the flux reduces. This effectively reduces the maximum torque capacity
of the motor and so the motor power rating at the higher frequency remains the same.
If the voltage applied to the motor is held constant and the frequency is reduced, the current will
increase and in theory, the torque will also increase. The motor should be able to deliver the same
power also, BUT the flux in the iron is now too high resulting in excessive iron loss, and the motor
will fail prematurely. Above a very low frequency, (5 - 10Hz) the impedance of the magentising
circuit of the motor is primarily inductive and so in order to keep the flux within limits, it is
important to keep a linear V/F ratio (Voltage to Frequency ratio). If the frequency is reduced by
10%, the voltage must also be reduced by 10%. Because the flux in the iron remains the same, the
torque capacity remains the same and so the power rating of the motor also drops by 10%.
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Motor Winding

Small AC Motor

High Speed Motor

60Hz rated motor on 50Hz

Provided the voltage is dropped by the same proportion as the frequency, it is OK to run a 60Hz
motor on 50Hz. The speed will be reduced by the reduction in frequency and the power capacity
will also reduce by the ratio of the reduction in frequency.
60 Hz

50 Hz

Line Voltage

Line Voltage









50Hz rated motor on 60Hz

Provided the voltage is increased by the same proportion as the frequency, it is OK to run a 50Hz
motor on 60Hz. The speed will be increased by the increase in frequency and the power capacity
will also increase by the ratio of the increase in frequency.
50 Hz

60 Hz

Line Voltage

Line Voltage






50/60Hz motors on 60/50Hz





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50/60Hz motors on 60/50Hz

L M Photonics Ltd | P.O. Box 13 076, Christchurch, New Zealand | phone : (NZ) +64 274 363 067