In the previous post we discussed construction of induction motor. In this article we are going to discuss about "how induction motor works?".Consider a portion of 3-phase induction motor as shown in Fig. The operation of the motor can be explained as under.
(i) When 3-phase stator winding is energized from a 3-phase supply, a rotating magnetic field is set up which rotates round the stator at synchronous speed Ns (= 120 f/P).
(ii) The rotating field passes through the air gap and cuts the rotor conductors, which as yet, are stationary. Due to the relative speed between the rotating flux and the stationary rotor, e.m.f.s are induced in the rotor conductors. Since the rotor circuit is short-circuited, currents start flowing in the rotor conductors.
(iii) The current-carrying rotor conductors are placed in the magnetic field produced by the stator. Consequently, mechanical force acts on the rotor conductors. The sum of the mechanical forces on all the rotor conductors produces a torque which tends to move the rotor in the same direction as the rotating field.
(iv) The fact that rotor is urged to follow the stator field (i.e., rotor moves in the direction of stator field) can be explained by Lenz’s law. According to this law, the direction of rotor currents will be such that they tend to oppose the cause producing them. Now, the cause producing the rotor currents is the relative speed between the rotating field and the stationary rotor conductors. Hence to reduce this relative speed, the rotor starts running in the same direction as that of stator field and tries to catch it.
We have seen above that rotor rapidly accelerates in the direction of rotating field. In practice, the rotor can never reach the speed of stator flux. If it did, there would be no relative speed between the stator field and rotor conductors, no induced rotor currents and, therefore, no torque to drive the rotor.
The friction and windage would immediately cause the rotor to slow down. Hence, the rotor speed (N) is always less than the suitor field speed (Ns). This difference in speed depends upon load on the motor. The difference between the synchronous speed Ns of the rotating stator field and the actual rotor speed N is called slip. It is usually expressed as a percentage of synchronous speed i.e.
slip, s= (Ns-N)/Ns
(i) The quantity Ns - N is sometimes called slip speed.
(ii) When the rotor is stationary (i.e., N = 0), slip, s = 1 or 100 %.
(iii) In an induction motor, the change in slip from no-load to full-load is
hardly 0.1% to 3% so that it is essentially a constant-speed motor.
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