Connect with us

Student question on DC motors

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by qwerty, May 8, 2007.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. qwerty

    qwerty Guest

    I'm reading a book on DC motors design.

    It shows the schematic of a motor and it follows that a brush short-
    circuits 2 wires of the armature, those that go on the same part of
    the commutator. The book says that if those wires were under voltage
    then a large current would flow through the brush and this would wear
    out the brushes and waste a lot of energy.

    So it says that the brushes should be positioned in such a way to
    always short-circuit wires that are under zero voltage, those that
    are on the neutral zones of the magnetic field.

    My question is, if the brushes always make contact with zero voltage
    wires, then how can we have voltage in the output of the generator?

    And another point. As the commutator rotates the brush will make
    contact with two parts of the commutator which means it will short
    circuit four wires, which complicates matter even more. Isn't this
    taken into account?

    Please excuse some terminology errors as the book is not in English
    and I'm translating.
  2. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    The coil that is shorted is only one of a series of coils which make up a
    winding. Don't look at just this coil but at the armature winding as a
    whole. If you look at the winding, you will see half the conductors moving
    in the stator field. If you simply had long leads attached to the windings,
    in addition to the problem of them tangling up, the voltage seen at the
    terminals would be an approximate square wave AC. Moving contacts are needed
    and as DC is wanted, rectification is alos needed. The commutator does both.
    Think of a continuous winding which is half under the N pole and half under
    the S pole of the field. Each coil in the winding produces a voltage but as
    each coil passes through the neutral axis, its voltage will reverse
    polarity. If the contacts to the coil are on the neutral axis, as the coil
    reverses, its connection to the outside world also reverses. The coil being
    shorted by the brushes, is ideally at the point where the voltage reverses
    and shorting it will not change the total voltage due to the other windings.
    If you have a winding with 40 coils, only 2 will be shorted at any instant,
    leaving two current paths with 19 voltage generating coils in each path at
    any instant.
    This is hard to describe in words but look up "Gramme Ring" for an obsolete
    design in which the switching is very apparent. --

    Don Kelly
    remove the X to answer
  3. qwerty

    qwerty Guest

    Maybe I'm dumb, really, but I still can't understand anything.

    Aren't the coils shorted by the commutator anyway?
  4. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    The commutator segments are connected between coils in the winding.
    in the diagram below 0 is a coil and "_ is the connection between coils
    N pole of field
    --> movement of coils
    _ | |_
    --|_ 0 0_ |-- brush |
    S pole of field
    Here there are 12 coils - 6 per side so at any instant of time 5 coils are
    moving under each pole and 2 are under the brushes (shorted) so that the top
    and bottom windings each generate 5E and as they are in parallel, the total
    voltage is 5E with 2 current paths (say both to the right and right brush
    + ) between brushes. As the rotor turns, each coil will pass, sequentially
    from the generating position, to the shorted position, where the current
    reverses in that coil before it passes under the next pole and generates
    In effect the winding axis stays stationary perpendicular to the field but
    voltage is being generated in the coils under the poles.
    Any text dealing with DC machines should deal with commutation in detail
    with better pictures than those I can produce here.

    Don Kelly
    remove the X to answer
  5. qwerty

    qwerty Guest

    Here is a common type of winding, the lap winding:

    At the moment that the picture is showing, can you tell me which
    conductors carry what voltage? and which conductors are shorted?
  6. qwerty

    qwerty Guest


    Thanks for the great reply. Saved for future reference.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day