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Alternator

An alternator is an electrical machine which


converts mechanical energy into alternating
electric energy. They are also known
as synchronous generators.
How Does An AC Generator Work?
The working principle of an alternator or AC
generator is similar to the basic working
principle of a DC generator.
According to the Faraday's law of electromagnetic
induction, whenever a conductor moves in a magnetic field
EMF gets induced across the conductor. If the close path is
provided to the conductor, induced emf causes current to
flow in the circuit.
From the Figure, Let the conductor coil ABCD is placed in a
magnetic field. The direction of magnetic flux will be form
N pole to S pole. The coil is connected to slip rings, and the
load is connected through brushes resting on the slip rings.
Now, consider the case 1 from above figure. The coil
is rotating clockwise, in this case the direction of
induced current can be given by Fleming's right
hand rule, and it will be along A-B-C-D.
As the coil is rotating clockwise, after half of the time
period, the position of the coil will be as in second
case of above figure. In this case, the direction of the
induced current according to Fleming's right hand
rule will be along D-C-B-A. It shows that, the
direction of the current changes after half of the
time period, that means we get an alternating
current.
Stator

Stator is the stationary part of the alternator and


contains 3-phase armature windings. Stator core is
built up of silicon steel laminations to reduce eddy
current losses. The laminations are provided with slots
on its inner periphery and are packed tightly together
by cast iron frame.
Coils are insulated before inserting in the slots and are
further protected by fiber.
The three phase windings are placed in these slots and
serves as the armature windings of the alternator. The
armature windings are always connected in star and
the neutral is connected to ground.
Rotor

The rotor is rotating part of the alternator. It


carries a field winding which is supplied with dc
current through two slip rings by a separate dc
source. This dc source (exciter) is generally a
small dc generator mounted on the shaft of the
alternator.
There are two types of rotors:
Salient pole type rotor (Projected Pole)
Non-salient pole type rotor. (Cylindrical
pole)
Salient pole Alternator:
Salient pole Alternator
Salient means sticking out or projected out. A salient pole is a
magnetic pole that is projected out of the rotor surface.
The salient pole alternators are slow-speed machines, speed
varying from 150 to 600 rpm. These alternators are driven by
hydraulic turbines.
Salient type rotor has large diameter, small length and low
speed. Diameter is usually between 3-15 m.
Salient type rotor has non-uniform air-gap and two or four
poles.
Low and medium speed alternators (120 400 rpm) driven by
diesel engines or water turbines have salient pole type rotors
due to following reasons:
The salient field poles would cause an excessive windage loss if
driven at high speed and would tend to produce noise.
Salient-pole construction can not be made strong enough to
withstand the mechanical stress at higher speeds.
Non-Salient pole Alternator
Non-salient pole is non-projecting surface type.
Non-salient type rotor has small diameter and
large length.
Non-salient type rotor is used for high speed and
has uniform air-gap.
Non-salient pole rotors have four or more poles.
High speed alternators (1500 3000 rpm) are
driven by steam turbines and use non-salient
type rotors due to following reasons: