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Alternating Current Fundamentals

Alternating Current Fundamentals

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Sections

  • 1. Alternating Current
  • 1.1 Current Flow and Polarity
  • 1.2 Sine Waves
  • Figure 1-5. Voltage and Current Sine Waves
  • 1.3 Peak Values, Peak-to-Peak Values, and Effective Values
  • 2. Inductance
  • 2.1 Inductance and Inductive Reactance
  • Figure 2-1 Magnetic Field Around a Conductor
  • 2.2 Factors that affect Inductive Reactance
  • Figure 2-2. Magnetic Fields Around a Coiled Conductor
  • Figure 2-3. Metal Core Placed Inside Coil
  • 2.3 Effects of Inductance on Current and Voltage
  • Figure 2-4. Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Resistive Circuit
  • Figure 2-5. Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Inductive Circuit
  • 3.1 Capacitors
  • Figure 3-1 Simplified Capacitor
  • 3.2 Effects of Capacitance on Current and Voltage
  • Figure 3-3. Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Capacitive Circuit
  • 4.1 True Power
  • 4-2. Reactive Power
  • in a Purely Inductive Circuit
  • 4.3. Apparent Power
  • 4.4 Power Factor
  • 5. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems
  • Figure 5-2. Simplified Three-Phase System
  • 5.1 Single-Phase Systems
  • Figure 5-3. Simplified Three-Wire System
  • 5.2 Three-Phase Systems
  • 5.2.1 Delta Connections
  • Figure 5-4. Delta-Connected Three-Phase System
  • 5.2.2 Wye Connections

Alternating Current Fundamentals

Edition II

© Copyright MMVII T&D PowerSkills, LLC 5501-A John Eskew Blvd. Alexandria, LA 71303 866-880-1380 All rights reserved. This book or any part thereof must not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of T&D PowerSkills, LLC. Printed in the United States of America

T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 1

T&D PowerSkills
General Guidelines for Students
This training unit is composed of a DVD and associated Student Manual. The DVD contains one Course. The course is divided into Lessons, where each Lesson consists of a number of Topics. The number of Lessons and Topics will vary with each course.

Recommended Sequence of Instruction
1. After the instructor’s introductory remarks, read the segment objectives found in the block at the beginning of the first segment. 2. Briefly discuss the segment objectives with the instructor and other class members. 3. View the first segment of the DVD. 4. Read the text segment that corresponds to the first segment of the DVD. 5. Answer the questions at the end of the text segment. Check your answers with the correct answers provided by the instructor. 6. Participate in a class discussion of the material just covered. Ask any questions you might have concerning the material in the DVD and the text, and note any additional information given by the instructor. 7. Before proceeding, be sure you understand the concepts presented in this segment. 8. Work through all segments in this manner. 9. A Course Test covering all the material will be administered by the instructor upon completion of the unit. 10. Additional instruction and testing may be provided, at the instructor’s discretion.

This T&D PowerSkills workbook is designed to be used in conjunction with the associated training DVD/video. OSHA Regulations Snap-Shot

OSHA Regulations, primarily in 1926.955, 1910.269 and 1910.268 will be used in conjunction with this training unit. Where applicable, regulations will be highlighted and placed in a box like this. Instructors and students are expected to review the current OSHA Regulations to familiarize the student with the safety requirements expected by USDOL OSHA, specifically as they relate to the topic being discussed. This information is an important part of this training unit.

T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 2

Field Performance Requirements (FPR)
NAME: _____________________________ #___________ Complete Incomplete SECTION: Maintenance Basics UNIT(S):
VG ACC NI NA = = = = Very Good Acceptable Needs Improvement Not Able to Complete on this Crew

Alternating Current Fundamentals

REQUIREMENTS

SUPERVISOR SIGN-OFF
VG ACC NI NA

SEGMENT 1 – ALTERNATING CURRENT 1.1 Can explain the differences between direct current and alternating current ……………………………………………………………………..

SEGMENT 2 – INDUCTANCE 2.1 2.2 Can define inductance and inductive reactance ……………………… Can differentiate between in-phase and out-of-phase current flow …

SEGMENT 3 – CAPACITANCE 3.1 Can describe the effects of capacitance on current and voltage .….

SEGMENT 4 – AC POWER 4.1 Can differentiate among true power, reactive power and apparent power ……………………………………………………………………..

SEGMENT 5 – SINGLE –PHASE AND THREE-PHASE SYSTEMS 5.1 Can describe the difference between single-phase and three-phase AC systems ……………………………………….………………………. 5.2 Can differentiate between delta-connected and wye-connected three-phase AC systems ………………………………………………..

______________________________ ______________________________ _______________ Employee’s Signature Supervisor’s Signature Date

T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 3

Performance Notes:
_____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

1910.269(a)(2)(vii) as of July, 2006: The employer shall certify that each employee has received the training required by paragraph (a)(2) of this section. This certification shall be made when the employee demonstrates proficiency in the work practices involved and shall be maintained for the duration of the employee’s employment. Note: Employment records that indicate that an employee has received the required training are an acceptable means of meeting this requirement.

T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 4

4.3 4.3 2.2 4.2. 5.TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1.1 2.2.2 Alternating Current Current Flow and Polarity Sine Waves Peak Values.4 5. 1.2 5.2 2.1 5.1 4. and Effective Values Inductance Inductance and Inductive Reactance Factors That Affect Inductive Reactance Effects of Inductance on Current and Voltage Capacitance Capacitors Effects of Capacitance on Current and Voltage AC Power True Power Reactive Power Apparent Power Power Factor Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems Single-Phase Systems Three-Phase Systems Delta Connections Wye Connections Title 7 7 11 14 16 16 18 20 24 25 27 31 31 32 35 36 38 39 40 41 42 Page T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 5 .1 1. 3.1 3.2 4. Peak-to-Peak Values.1 5.3 3. 2.2 1.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4 1-5 2-1 2-2 2-3 2-4 2-5 3-1 3-2 3-3 4-1 4-2 4-3 4-4 5-1 5-2 5-3 5-4 5-5 Title Simple DC Current Simplified AC Generator Rotation of a Conductor Induced Voltage Graph Voltage and Current Sine Waves Magnetic Field Around a Conductor Magnetic Fields Around a Coiled Conductor Metal Core Placed Inside Coil Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Resistive Circuit Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Inductive Circuit Simplified Capacitor Charging a Capacitor Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Capacitive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage. Current. Current. and reactive Power in a Purely Inductive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage. and True Power in a Purely Resistive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage. and Reactive Power in a Purely Capacitive Circuit Circuit for Apparent Power Simplified Single-Phase System Simplified Three-Phase System Simplified Three-Wire System Delta-Connected Three-Phase System Wye-Connected Three-Phase System T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 6 Page 8 9 10 & 11 12 13 17 19 20 21 22 25 26 29 32 33 34 36 38 39 40 41 42 . Current.

then flows in the opposite direction. • Explain what frequency is and how it is measured. concepts. lights. 1. how it works. • Define peak value. In an AC circuit. Alternating Current OBJECTIVES: • Explain the differences between direct current and alternating current. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 7 . Emphasis is placed on what alternating current is. stops. 1. and communications equipment.1 Current Flow and Polarity There are two types of current: direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC). current flow is always in one direction. and effective value with respect to AC voltage and current. Alternating Current Most of the electrical equipment used today operates on alternating current (AC). and principles associated with alternating current.ALTERNATING CURRENT FUNDAMENTALS 1. The purpose of this training unit is to review significant terms. peak-to-peak value. • Explain how current flow and polarity change in AC circuits. current flows first in one direction. In a DC circuit. and what factors affect the operation and maintenance of AC equipment such as motors.

As the polarity of the power source changes. Current flows from the negative terminal. on the other hand. and all other DC power sources. The power source is a battery and the load is a resistor. When a power source has fixed polarity. The negative terminal in this. Their positions do not change. do not have fixed polarity. the direction of the current it produces also changes. through the circuit. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 8 . Figure 1-1. The battery has two terminals. One way of referring to this is to say that a DC power source has fixed polarity. Their polarity changes periodically. Simple DC Circuit Simple DC Circuit AC power sources.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. is always the same terminal and the positive terminal is always the opposite terminal. the current it produces always flows in the same direction. to the positive terminal. one negative and one positive. It has two important parts – a power source and a load. Alternating Current (continued) Figure 1-1 shows a simple DC circuit. The current flow is always in this direction.

the slip rings are attached to the ends of the conductor.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1.) When the conductor turns. indicated by the blue lines in Figure 1-2. This generator produces voltage by means of induction. the two ends of the conductor have been labeled X and Y. Current produced by the generated voltage could flow through the brushes and through a circuit connected to the generator.) The relative motion occurs when the conductor is rotated through the magnetic field. Simplified AC Generator The magnetic field. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 9 . each half of the loop cuts through the magnetic lines of flux. its rotation can be demonstrated by using the 360 degrees that make up a circle. (For simplicity. they are curved. without the slip rings or brushes. a magnetic field. they slide against the brushes as the conductor rotates. and relative motion. Because the conductor moves in a circular pattern. is made up of a number of lines of flux. For ease of explanation. In this generator. a loop of wire is the conductor. Alternating Current (continued) Figure 2-1 shows a simplified AC generator. This movement is illustrated in Figure 1-3. which shows an end view of the conductor. The three requirements for inducing voltage are: a conductor. the lines are shown as straight lines. Figure 1-2. This simplified generator has two more components: slip rings and brushes. first in one direction and then in the opposite direction. and the magnetic field is provided by a permanent magnet. (The north and south poles of the magnet are visible in the figure. Actually.

When the conductor reaches 180 degrees. the conductor is cutting through no lines of flux. the X end of the conductor begins to cut the magnetic field in a downward direction. the ends of the conductor are not cutting across any of the lines of flux. Alternating Current (continued) Figure 1-3 Rotation of Conductor At zero degrees. the conductor cuts fewer and fewer flux lines.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. so the induced voltage increases. As the conductor starts to rotate. As rotation continues towards 180 degrees. no voltage is induced. while the Y end of the conductor cuts the magnetic field in an upward direction. so the induced voltage decreases. so no voltage is induced. As the conductor moves toward 90 degrees. Maximum voltage is induced at the instant that the conductor reaches the 90-degree point. Now. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 10 . voltage is being induced. Since there is no relative motion between the conductor and the magnetic field. more and more flux lines are cut.

From 180 to 270 degrees. At the instant that the conductor reaches 270 degrees. because no flux lines are being cut. or the direction in which a magnetic field cuts a conductor. The X end of the conductor starts cutting the magnetic field in an upward direction. the conductor once again cuts through more and more lines of flux.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. because the conductor is cutting through few and fewer lines of flux.2 Sine Waves The direction in which a conductor cuts a magnetic field. as easy method of showing how the polarity changes is to use a graph. so maximum voltage is induced. while the Y end cuts the field in a downward direction. it is again cutting the maximum number of flux lines. voltage begins decreasing. the polarity changes. When the conductor completes its rotation. at 360 degrees. Alternating Current (continued) At 180 degrees. As rotation continues from 270 degrees to 360 degrees. determines the polarity of the voltage that is induced. 1. no voltage is induced. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 11 .

(On this graph. it reaches its maximum negative value.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. From 90 degrees to 180 degrees. At 270 degrees. From 270 degrees to 360 degrees. the conductor is not cutting through the magnetic fields. Alternating Current (continued) Figure 1-4 is a graph that represents the voltage induced as the conductor in Figure 1-3 makes a complete rotation through the magnetic field. so no voltage is induced. At this point. At 270 degrees. because the conductor cuts across fewer and fewer lines of flux. Induced Voltage Graph At zero degrees. At 360 degrees. no flux lines are being cut. voltage increases in the negative direction. the conductor starts to cut across the flux lines in the opposite direction. because the conductor is not cutting across any flux lines. so voltage increases. the vertical line of the graph represents the magnitude of the induced voltage. the horizontal line also represents the time that elapses as the voltage changes. Voltage that is above the horizontal line is positive. the induced voltage reaches its maximum positive value. At 180 degrees. voltage decreases again. voltage is again zero. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 12 . and voltage that is below the horizontal line is negative. Voltage that is on the horizontal line is neither positive nor negative – it is zero.) Figure 1-4. it reaches its maximum negative direction. As the conductor rotates toward 90 degrees. voltage decreases. so no voltage is induced. From 180 degrees to 270 degrees. more and more lines of flux are cut. At 90 degrees.

As rotation continues. voltage and current increase in the negative direction. A sine wave has no sharp bens or straight portions. no voltage is induced. Voltage and Current Sine Waves When the conductor is at zero degrees. From 180 degrees to 270 degrees. Alternating Current (continued) The type of graph shown n Figure 1-4 is called a sinusoidal curve. At 180 degrees. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 13 . Both voltage and current reach their maximum values at 90 degrees. no voltage is induced. both voltage and current are again zero. Finally. At 360 degrees. as the conductor moves from 270 to 360 degrees. a current sine wave has been added to the voltage sine wave shown in Figure 1-4. voltage and current increase. If the simplified generator shown in Figure 1-2 were part of a complete circuit. it is just a smooth rise and fall. In Figure 1-5. The current sine wave represents current flow through the complete circuit. reaching their maximum negative values at 270 degrees. both voltage and current decrease. so no current flows. voltage and current decrease. so no current can flow. as the conductor begins to rotate. a sine curve. sine waves are often used to plot electrical quantities. the induced voltage would cause current to flow. Figure 1-5.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. or a sine wave.

Peak AC values and peak-to-peak AC values are related as follows: Peak-to peak = 2 x peak And RMS values are related to peak values like this: RMS = Peak x . Peak values occur twice in each cycle: once positive and once negative. A peak AC value is not equivalent to a DC value with the same numbers: 120 volts peak AC voltage is not the same as 120 volts DC. be referred to as 60 hertz. The amount of voltage or current represented by the distance between the positive peak and the negative peak is called the peak-to-peak value. Effective values for AC are often called RMS values.3 Peak Values.707 amperes of direct current. of alternating current produces the same heating effect as . Effective AC values are equal to peak AC values multiplied by . peak value. What is important is to understand that RMS values are used to rate operating voltages on almost all AC equipment. it completes a cycle. The reason for using effective values instead of peak values is that alternating current does not maintain a constant value. and Effective Values The amount of voltage or current at the maximum positive or negative point on a sine wave is called the peak value of the voltage or current. Frequency is measured in units called hertz. too. all AC values are RMS (effective) values. Peak values and peak-to-peak values are not commonly used for AC current or voltage except when designing AC equipment (for example. In a typical AC power system.707. This relationship. It does not build up to a peak and then stay there. they discovered that one ampere. 60 cycles are completed every second. Unless the data plate on a meter or piece of equipment indicates otherwise. Most often. Alternating Current (continued) In this example. which applies to both current and voltage (because voltage produces current) is the basis for effective values. 1. In summary. RMS stands for root-mean-square.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. which refers to the mathematical formula used to determine effective values. The number of cycles completed each second by a given AC voltage is called frequency. like direct current does. or 60 Hz. effective values are use. Sixty cycles per second can. When scientists conducted tests to find the exact relationship between peak AC values and DC values. each time the conductor rotates a full 360 degrees. the insulating rating on equipment is based on peak voltage). therefore. Most meters read RMS values. The formula itself is not important here. Peak-to-Peak Values.707 T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 14 .

___________________________________ b. 1-4. 1-5. ___________________________________ 1-3. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 15 . ___________________________________ c. 1-6. a. The ____________ of an AC power source changes periodically. d. When a conductor rotating in a magnetic field is cutting through the maximum number of flux lines. c.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. voltage below the horizontal line is negative The number of cycles completed each second by a given AC voltage is called (a) _____________ and is measured in (b) ______________. The letters used to express effective AC values are __________________. Alternating Current (continued) Questions 1-1. The conductor stops moving No voltage is induced Maximum voltage is induces None of the above True or False. When a sine wave is used to represent voltage. 1-2. a. List the three requirements for inducing a voltage. b. Circle the correct answer.

Explain how inductive reactance limits current flow. in hertz L is the inductance. AC current. Inductance is covered i this section. limits current flow. Inductive reactance is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by inductance. but AC current is also affected by inductance and capacitance. because the only two factors that affect DC current are resistance and voltage. capacitance is covered in Section 3. Like DC current. in ohms.1 Inductance and Inductive Reactance Inductance is a physical property of all AC circuits that opposes any change in current flow. In DC circuits.14 f is the frequency. Ohm’s Law holds true for all applications. in henrys T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 16 . It is measured in units called henrys. The symbol for inductance is a capital L. Ohm’s Law states that current is equal to voltage divided by resistance. 2. like resistance. The value of inductive reactance. Inductance OBJECTIVES: • • • Define inductance and inductive reactance. AC current is affected by voltage and resistance. Since inductive reactance.AC FUNDAMENTALS 2. it is measured in ohms. however. is affected by additional factors. which must be taken into account. The common symbol for inductive reactance is XL. Differentiate between in-phase and our-of-phase currents and voltages. can be calculated by using the following formula: XL = 2 π f L where: π is the constant 3.

a magnetic field. as the magnetic field builds up. which is the induction of voltage i a conductor by AC current following through that same conductor. Counter electromotive force is caused by self-induction. because the field itself is moving. the process is called self-induction.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2. more commonly. whenever there is a conductor. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 17 . The magnetic field continues to expand outward from the center of the conductor until the current that is producing it reaches its peak value. Current flow is actually limited by an induced voltage that opposes the applied voltage. is counter electromotive force. Inductance To understand how inductive reactance limits current flow. Since the current-carrying conductor is inducing a voltage in itself. When voltage is applied to a conductor. as shown in Figure 2-1. This induced voltage is called counter voltage or. there is relative motion between it and the conductor. Because the CEMF opposes the applied voltage. The current flow causes a magnetic field to build up around the conductor. and relative motion. And. the induced voltage. Figure 2-1 Magnetic Field Around a Conductor Conductor While the magnetic field is building up. it limits current. voltage is induced. current starts to flow through the conductor. which is opposite in polarity to the applied voltage. it is first necessary t understand a process call self-induction. In this case. its motion induces a voltage in the conductor. counter electromotive force (CEMF).

the induced voltage aid the applied voltage. inductive reactance can be increased by coiling a conductor. anything that decreases the number of magnetic lines of flux cutting a conductor decreases the inductive reactance.2 Factors that affect Inductive Reactance There are several factors that affect the amount of inductive reactance – the amount that current flow is limited by inductance – in a circuit. The basis behind both of these factors is that the number of lines of flux that cut a conductor affects the amount of inductive reactance. It can be increased even more by placing a metal core inside the coil. it decreases until it reaches zero. if current is trying to increase. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 18 . the magnetic field again builds up. Then. if current is trying to decrease. The decreasing current causes the magnetic field to collapse. Since the motion is opposite. the magnetic field also changes. the induced voltage opposes the applied voltage. this time with the opposite polarity. there is no motion and therefore. Anything that increases the number of magnetic lines of flux cutting a conductor increases the inductive reactance. The motion of the magnetic field collapsing is opposite to the motion of the field building up. So. Inductance After the current flowing through the conductor reaches its peak value. as the current again increases towards its peak value. no self-induction. 2. For example. When the magnetic field has collapsed completely. Whenever there is a change in the current. the self-induction is also opposite. Likewise. The voltage that is induced in the conductor by the changing magnetic field is always in such a direction as to oppose the current change. The voltage that is induced in the conductor now has the same polarity as the applied voltage.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2.

the higher the inductive reactance will be. Magnetic Fields Around a Coiled Conductor T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 19 . In a coiled conductor. Inductance A conductor that is wound into a coil provides more inductive reactance than a straight conductor. the magnetic field from each turn cuts across the other turns. A straight conductor is cut only once by its magnetic field when the magnetic field changes. The more turns there are in the coil. as shown in Figure 2-2. Figure 2-2.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2.

also more line of flux cut across the conductor as current changes.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2. Increasing the inductive reactance decreases the current. Any inductance in the circuit was considered to be so small that it was insignificant. the term ”purely resistive” means that resistance is the only factor that limits current flow.3 Effects of Inductance on Current and Voltage The current and voltage sine waves shown in Section 1 were associated with a circuit that had only resistance as a current-limiting factor. The magnetic field produced by the coil is concentrated and directed by the metal core. Figure 2-3. Such a circuit is called a purely resistive circuit. and decreasing the inductive reactance increases the current. 2. Metal Core Placed Inside Coil Since inductive reactance limits current. as shown in Figure 2-3. a change in inductive reactance also means a change i current. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 20 . Inductance The inductive reactance that a coil provides can be further increased by placing a metal core inside the coil.

Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Resistive Circuit T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 21 .AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2. they are said to be in phase. Figure 2-4. Inductance In purely resistive circuits. current also increases. always increasing or decreasing in the same direction at the same time. Figure 2-4 shows in-phase voltage and current sine waves for a purely resistive circuit. when voltage increases. Since voltage and current stay together.

A purely inductive circuit is a circuit that has only inductive reactance as a current-limiting factor. Whenever voltage and current increase and decrease at different time. In a purely inductive circuit. inductance causes voltage and current to be out of phase. Actually. it can be said that current lags behind voltage by 90 degrees during the entire cycle. because there is always some resistance in a circuit. Inductance Figure 2-5 shows sine waves for voltage and current in a purely inductive circuit. the decrease in current takes place later than the decrease in voltage. Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Inductive Circuit In a purely inductive circuit. the increase in current takes place later than the increase in voltage. However. Therefore. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 22 . there is no circuit that is purely inductive. when voltage starts to increase.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2. The counter EMF keeps current from increasing immediately. Therefore. the idea of a purely inductive circuit is helpful in understanding the effects of inductance on the relationship between voltage and current. When voltage starts to decrease the induced voltage opposes a decrease in current. Figure 2-5. they are said to be out of phase. current does not change right away. Because the changes in current always take place later than the changes in voltage.

When CEMF opposes the applied voltage in an AC circuit. a. When current flowing through a conductor is increasing. Whenever voltage and current increase or decrease at different times. they are said to be _______________. 2-6 ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ 2-2. No voltage is induced d. The magnetic field around the conductor is collapsing c. The magnetic field around the conductor is building up b. it has the effect of increasing current. There is no magnetic field around the conductor True or False.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2. ______________________ is the only currentlimiting factor. b. 2-7 T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 23 . Inductance Questions 2-1 The physical property of all AC circuits that opposes any change in ___________ is called inductance. List two ways to increase inductive reactance in an AC circuit. _________________________ is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by inductance. 2-3 2-4 2-5 In a purely inductive circuit. a. Circle the correct answer.

For example. In fact.14 f is the frequency. additional capacitance can be added to that circuit to bring current flow up to the level that is needed. Name the basic components of a capacitor. The device used to do this is called a capacitor. like the effects of inductance. cause current and voltage to be out of phase. The value of capacitive reactance. Explain the effects of capacitance o current and voltage. is measured in ohms. in ohms. However. can be calculated by using the following formula: XC = 1 ÷ 2 π f C where: π is the constant 3. in hertz C in the capacitance. Capacitance is measured in units called farads. like inductive reactance. Capacitive reactance is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by capacitance. when the inductance in a circuit would limit current flow more than a desirable amount. Capacitance OBJECTIVES: • • • Define capacitance and capacitive reactance.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. Capacitance and capacitive reactance are related in the same way that inductance and inductive reactance are related. The common symbol for capacitive reactance is XC . The symbol for capacitance is a capital C. the effects of capacitance are not the same as the effects of inductance. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 24 . Capacitive reactance. in farads The effects of capacitance. capacitance is often added to AC circuits to counter the effects of inductance. Capacitance is a physical property of all AC circuits that opposes a change in voltage. as will be explained in this section.

T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 25 . air acts as a dielectric whenever two conductors are side-by-side for any significant distance. (a) General. when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which are or may be energized. including air. In fact. Figure 3-1 Simplified Capacitor Dialectric (insulating material) Conducting Plates OSHA Regulations Snap-Shot 1910.1 Capacitance Capacitors Capacitors are devices that store energy. Safety-related work practices shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. It has three main components: two plates and an insulator. 2007) Selection and use of work practices. which is called a dielectric. 3. A simplified capacitor is shown in Figure 3-1. The specific safety-related work practices shall be consistent with the nature and extent of the associated electrical hazards.333 (as of January. the two conductors act like capacitor plates. The purpose of the dielectric is to keep electrons from flowing from one plate to the other. The dielectric can be made of any good insulating material.

The electrons that are forced away from the positive plate flow back to the power source. it has to have energy supplied to it. because the dielectric keeps them from getting to the other plate. Since like charges repel each other. so it becomes negatively charged. the negatively charged electrons on the first plate force electrons away from the second plate. Capacitance Before a capacitor can store energy. the second plate becomes positively charged. The electrons stay on the negative plate. electrons flow from the power source to one of the capacitor’s plates. The process of supplying energy to a capacitor is called charging.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. Charging a capacitor requires connecting it to a power source. This plate thus has an excess of electrons. Charging a Capacitor A/C Power Source Switch T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 26 . as show in Figure 3-2. When the power source is turned on and the switch is closed. Figure 3-2. Therefore.

the capacitors shall be disconnected from energized sources and. At this point. it can be said that voltage builds up across a capacitor as it is charged. In most cases. If the cases of capacitors are on ungrounded substation racks. the capacitance. short-circuited. the capacitor is fully charged. a difference in potential develops across it. (1) Capacitors. 2007) Special conditions. the dielectric could break down. the negative plate has gained a certain number of electrons. current flowing through a capacitor will destroy the capacitor. but opposite in polarity. two many electrons will be forced onto the negative plate. The polarity of this voltage is such that it opposes the source voltage. current can flow through the capacitor from one plate to the other. the racks shall be bonded to ground. As the capacitor continues to be charged. they have the effect of canceling each other out. Capacitance The flow of electrons from the power source to the negatively charged plate of the capacitor. and the current stops flowing. the specific number of electrons that the negative plate can hold is called the capacity of the capacitor. OSHA Regulations Snap-Shot 1910. (ii) Before the units are handled. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 27 . (i) Before employees work on capacitors. and the flow of electrons from the positively charged plate of the capacitor back to the power source continues until the peak voltage is reached. As a result.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. or simply. after a wait of at least 5 minutes from the time of disconnection. If the dielectric breaks down. each unit in series-parallel capacitor banks shall be short-circuited between all terminals and the capacitor case or its rack. Since a difference in potential is voltage. For any given voltage. Each electron that is added to the negative plate makes that plate more negative. the voltage across the capacitor increases until it is equal to the source voltage.2 Effects of Capacitance on Current and Voltage When a capacitor is being charged. When the peak voltage is reached. and each electron that leaves the positive plate makes that plate more positive. 3. (iii) Any line to which capacitors are connected shall be short-circuited before it is considered deenergized. The following additional requirements apply to work on capacitors and on lines connected to capacitors. and the flow of the capacitor. and the positive plate has lost the same number of electrons. If too much voltage is supplied to a capacitor. Knowing the capacity of a capacitor is important. Since the source voltage and the voltage across the capacitor are equal.269 (w) (as of February.

and current flow is again zero. The capacitor is again being charged. the capacitor again starts to discharge. but in the opposite direction. current flow is maximum in the opposite direction. the opposing voltage is at its peak value. At this point. When the source voltage reaches its peak value. Current and voltage are out of phase. current is at its peak positive value. After the source voltage passes its peak. Current now flows in the opposite direction. At the beginning of the cycle. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 28 . as the source voltage rises from zero. The sine waves show in Figure 3-3 indicates the relationship between the source voltage and the current that is produced during a full AC cycle in a purely capacitive circuit. the source voltage and the opposing voltage have the effect of canceling each other out. but with the opposite polarity. Capacitance When the source voltage passes its peak.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. it again begins to increase toward its peak value. because they do not increase and decrease in the same direction at the same time. current flow is maximum in the opposite direction. the capacitor starts to discharge. When the source voltage reaches zero. the opposing voltage has built up to the same value (but opposite polarity). By the time the source voltage reaches its peak positive value. so current is zero. Discharging is the reverse of charging: electrons flow onto the positively charged plate and electrons leave the negatively charged plate. When the source voltage reaches zero again. During the whole cycle. After the source voltage reaches zero. the changes in current take place ahead of the changes in voltage. the capacitor is completely charged in the opposite direction.

Because capacitance opposes a change in voltage. changes in current always occur ahead of changes in voltage. Capacitance Figure 3-3. Another way to say this is to say that in a capacitive circuit. current leads voltage by 90 degrees.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. Capacitance is the only factor that affects current and voltage. capacitance causes current and voltage to be out of phase. In a purely capacitive circuit. Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Capacitive Circuit The sine waves shown in Figure 3-3 represent the behavior of source voltage and current in a purely capacitive circuit – that is a circuit in which resistance and inductance have no significant effects. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 29 .

What is capacitive reactance? 3-2. When a capacitor is fully charged. Increases the flow of protons to the positive terminal Keeps electrons from flowing from one plate to the other Aids electrons in their flow from positive to negative Decreases the number of electrons on any plate 3-5. 3-4. Circle the correct answer. Capacitive reactance is measured in ___________________. the source voltage and the voltage across the capacitor are equal in amount but opposite in polarity. Notes: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 30 . Capacitance Questions 3-1. 3-7. A dielectric in a capacitor: a. 3-3. b. it must first be ______________________. True or False. True or False. Capacitance is a physical property of all AC circuits that opposes a change in voltage.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. 3-6. Capacitance causes (a) ______________ (b) _______________ to be out of phase. c. d. Before a capacitor can store energy.

however. In DC circuits. In AC circuits. inductance and capacitance must also be considered. AC Power OBJECTIVES: • • Differentiate between true power. The power used in a purely resistive circuit is true power.1 True Power True power in an AC circuit is the power actually used to do work. Because inductance and capacitance cause AC current and voltage to be out of phase. 4. reactive power. The only factor that limits current in a DC circuit is resistance. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 31 . and true power waves for a purely resistive circuit. voltage. and resistance. (A “purely resistive” AC circuit is one in which inductance and capacitance are not large enough to be significant. current. Explain how power factor is used in calculating true power in AC Circuits. so AC power calculations can be much more complicated than DC calculations. so the only factors that affect DC power are current.) Figure 4-1 shows simplified voltage. and apparent power. power is equal to voltage times current (P=EI).AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. and apparent power. reactive power. there are three different kinds of power in AC circuits: true power.

Current. will always be positive. AC Power Figure 4-1. the. 4-2. true power. Therefore. The term “positive power” is used as a convention. reactive power does no useful work. Positive power is power that is going to a load from a power source. Since voltage and current are in phase. This is done by multiplying the voltage at any instant by current at that same instant. Negative power. they are both positive at the same time and negative at the same time. and True Power in a Purely Resistive Circuit Voltage and current sine waves like the ones shown in Figure 4-1 can be used to determine the true power in the circuit at any instant. their product. Reactive Power Reactive power is the type of power that is found in a purely inductive circuit or a purely capacitive circuit. Unlike true power. is power that is returning to a power source from a load. since two positive numbers or two negative numbers multiplied together will always yield a positive result-positive power.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. Sine Waves for Voltage. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 32 .

Sine Waves for Voltage. and reactive power in a purely inductive circuit. Figure 4-2. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 33 . because two negative numbers multiplied together give a positive result. Voltage and current are out of phase. and Reactive Power in a Purely Inductive Circuit In the first quarter of the cycle represented in Figure 4-2. with current lagging behind voltage. The same relationships can be seen in the second half of the cycle.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. When voltage becomes negative. Current. so the product of voltage and current is negative power. current is still positive. voltage is positive and current is negative. but current is now also positive. During the second quarter of the cycle. their product is positive power. the result is positive power. at this point. AC Power Figure 4-2 shows simplified sine waves for voltage. Multiplying the two together will yield a negative value. If voltage and current are multiplied together during this portion of the cycle. When voltage and current are both negative. Thus. because the product of a positive number and a negative number is always a negative number. voltage is still positive. in the final quarter of the cycle. voltage times current equals negative power. current.

positive power goes from the power source to the inductance. as defined earlier. power just goes back and forth between the power source and the inductance. The inductance absorbs power from the power source as its magnetic field builds up. and Reactive Power in a Purely Capacitive Circuit T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 34 . Negative power. there is no power that can be identified as true power. AC Power As defined earlier. As indicated by the sine waves in Figure 4-2. in a purely capacitive circuit. and reactive power sine waves for purely capacitive circuit. In a purely inductive circuit. The power in a purely capacitive circuit is also reactive power. Sine Waves for Voltage. the amount of power that is returned from the inductance to the power source is equal to the amount of power that is supplied by the power source to the inductance. then. current. In a purely inductive circuit. The power in a purely inductive circuit is only reactive power. Figure 4-3 shows voltage. current leads voltage. Current.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. is power returning to the power source from a load. the negative power periods are those during which the power absorbed by the inductance returns to the power source as the magnetic field collapses. Since no power is used to do work. In an inductive circuit. As was explained earlier. positive power is power that goes from a power source to a load. Figure 4-3.

Finally. (In a purely resistive circuit. it is returning power to the power source. so power is again negative. both voltage and current are positive. so it is reactive power rather than true power. and a capacitor. the capacitor is charging. The effect is the same for a purely capacitive circuit as for a purely inductive circuit: the amount of power that is supplied by the power source to the capacitor is equal to the amount of power that is returned from the capacitor to the power source.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. in the last quarter of the cycle. power. When power is negative. Apparent Power Apparent power is the power used to do work plus the power stored during part of a cycle by inductance and capacitance and then returned to the power source. a resistor. In the second quarter of the cycle. because true power can be calculated this way only for purely resistive circuits. 4. an inductor. In a purely capacitive circuit. current is negative and voltage is positive. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 35 . The product of voltage times current in this circuit cannot be the true power of the circuit. either. AC Power During the first quarter of the cycle represented in Figure 4-3. so their product. which makes power positive again. The product cannot be reactive power. The product of voltage times current in this circuit is apparent power.) Figure 4-4 shows a circuit that includes a power source. when power is positive. the capacitor is discharging. The power in a capacitive circuit does not do any work. During the third quarter of the cycle. because thee is a resistor in the circuit. is positive. Apparent pow3r is voltage times current in any circuit. apparent power and true power are the same. so it is storing up power.3. current is positive and voltage is negative. both current and voltage are negative. so power is negative.

therefore. In mathematical terms. this is expressed as P = E x I x PF. AC Power Figure 4-4. true power is calculated by multiplying the apparent power times the power factor.4 Power Factor In a circuit like the one shown in figure 4-4.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. In most cases. the true power in an AC circuit is the ratio of the true power to the apparent power in that circuit. the combined effect of these three factors on current flow and. the effects of resistance. on power. Power factor is usually expressed as a decimal value. Impedance can be calculated. In other words. Power factor is used as follows: When the apparent power of a circuit and the power factor for that circuit are known. inductance. the true power in an AC circuit is equal to voltage times current times the power factor. Taken together. but this is not done very often by maintenance personnel. Circuit for Apparent Power 4. is called impedance. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 36 . and capacitance must all be considered in determining true power.

Returning to a power source from a load c. b. (in. (does. True power is the amount of power actually used to do work. Questions: 4-1. 4-4. 4-8. The power factor for a certain AC circuit is . does not) The voltage and current sine waves for reactive power are always __________ phase. Positive power is power that is a. 4-6. and capacitance on current flow in an AC circuit is called _________________. 4-2. In most cased. calculate true power. true power in AC circuits is calculated with the aid of the ________________ associated with the specific circuit. 4-7. inductance. what is the true power used by the circuit? Given the following values.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. 4-5. out of) True or False. Equal to voltage times resistance Reactive power is power that _____________ do useful work. The combined effect of resistance. The product of a negative current and a positive voltage d. E I PF = = = 110 volts 10 amps . 4-9. Going to a load from a power source. True or False. If the voltage is 480 volts and the current is 50 amps.5 T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 37 AC Power (continued) 4-3.8. Apparent power is the result of multiplying voltage times current in any circuit. Circle the correct answer. .

The purpose of this segment is to introduce some terms that are associated with these systems. which is represented by a resistor. a voltage source. A simplified single-phase system is illustrated in Figure 5-1.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. It consists of two wires. Differentiate between delta-connected and wye-connected three-phase AC systems. Simplified Single-Phase System T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 38 . There are two common types of AC power systems: single-phase systems and threephase systems. Figure 5-1. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems OBJECTIVES: • • • Explain the difference between single-phase and three-phase AC systems Explain how a three-wire single-phase AC system supplies two different voltages. and a load.

This system consists of three wires. Figure 5-2. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 39 .1 Single-Phase Systems Single-phase systems are the most commonly used AC power systems for general electrical needs. and a load (indicated by the three resistors). There are two basic types of single-phase systems: the two-wire system and the three-wire system. a voltage source (indicated by the three coils in the circle). the three-wire system was developed. In the two-wire system. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) A simplified three-phase system is shown in Figure 5-2.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. the voltage supplied has only one value. Simplified Three-Phase System 5. The three-wire system makes it possible to have two different voltages from one voltage source. Since it is often desirable to have more than one voltage for home and office use.

Because the three-wire system provides more than one voltage. a short circuit will occur and the circuit’s fuses or circuit breakers will open the circuit. 5. Figure 5-3. Simplified Three-Wire System One of the lines in a two-wire system and the neutral line in a three-wire system are usually grounded as a protective measure. The middle line on the secondary side is called the neutral line.2 Three-Phase Systems Three-phase systems are most often found in large industrial installations where large amounts of power are used. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) The component that changes a two-wire system into a three-wire system is a transformer. Voltage between the top and bottom lines is 220 volts. it is possible to get either 110 volts or 220 volts from this three-wire system. Voltage between the neutral line and either the top line or the bottom line is 110 volts.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. it has many applications for general electrical use. and three lines come off the transformer on the secondary side. The two types of connections commonly used for power sources and for loads in three-phase systems are delta connections and wye connections. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 40 . Thus. in a three-wire system. two lines come into the transformer on the primary side. The. As Figure 5-3 illustrates. if an un grounded line accidentally becomes grounded.

In this example. the phase voltage equals the line voltage.2. but the phase current does not equal the line current. and the voltage that is applied to the wires is called line voltage. the ends of two coils. The ends of each coil are connected to the ends of the other two coils. which are also delta-connected. Figure 5-4. In a delta-connected system. so the phase currents add together to T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 41 . Therefore. The current that flows through the coils or resistors is called phase current. are connected to one wire. The voltage that is applied across the resistors or induced in the coils is called phase voltage.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. The three wires coming out of the transformer are connected to three resistors. or two resistors. The current that flows through the wires is called line current.1 Delta Connections Figure 5-4 shows the wiring for a delta connection. the voltage in each coil or resistor (the phase voltage) is equal to the voltage in the wires (the line voltage). Delta-Connected Three-Phase System The current and voltage in the cols and the resistors of a system like this are not always the same as the current and voltage in the wires. However. Each coil or resistor shown in Figure 5-4 is connected across two wires. the three coils represent a three-phase transformer. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) 5.

The line current is actually equal to the square root of three (which is 1. EP is the phase voltage. EL is the line voltage.2 Wye Connections The wiring for a typical wye-connected three-phase system is shown in Figure 5-5. (A wye connection is also known as a star connection. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) form the line current. Wye Connected Three-Phase System.73) times the phase current.) In a wye connected system. 5. multiplying the phase current time 1. The free ends of the coils or resistors are connected to the three phase lines.73 equals the line current. The relationships between voltage and current in a delta connected system can be summarized in the following formulas: EL IL = = EP IP √3 In these formulas.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 42 . one end of each coil or resistor is connected to one end of both of the other coils or resistors. Then. Figure 5-5. IL is the line current. and IP is the phase current.2.

the current that flows through each line has to flow through the coil or the resistor in the line.73 equals the line voltage. Therefore. the phase voltage times 1. the voltage in each coil or resistor (the phase voltage) has to be added to the voltage in one of the other coils or resistors to form the voltage across any two wires (the line voltage). and IP is the phase current. EL is the line voltage. The relationships between voltage and current in a wye-connected system can be summarized in the following formulas: EL IL = = EP √3 IP In these formulas. In a wye-connected system. but the phase voltage is not equal to the line voltage. However. In wye-connected systems. EP is the phase voltage. the current in a wye-connected system cannot split or add together the way it does in a deltaconnected system. the phase current is equal to the line current. As shown in Figure 5-4. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) Wye connections have different effects on voltage and current than delta connections do. Notes: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 43 . IL is the line current.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continuted) 5.

5-5. multiply the phase voltage by __________________. but phase current does not equal line current. To calculate the line voltage of a wye-connected three-phase system. In a wye-connected three-phase system. b. 5-6.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. d. the current that flows through the coils or resistors is called _____________ current. The component that changes a two-wire single-phase system into a three-wire single phase system is a __________________. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) Questions: 5-1. The middle line on the secondary side of a three-wire single-phase system is a. c. 5-4. phase current and line current are ______________. Called the neutral line Connected in a delta pattern Never used 110 volts. (phase. In a delta-connected system. line) True or False. Circle the correct answer. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 44 . phase voltage equals line voltage. 5-3. 5-2. In a three-phase system.

inductance. The current that flows through the wires in a threephase system. The voltage that is applied to the wires in a three phase system. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 45 Capacitance Capacitive reactance Delta connection - Direct current (DC) Effective values - Frequency Impedance Inductance Inductive reactance Line current Line voltage - . The number of cycles completed each second by a given AC voltage. The measure of the opposition to current that is created by inductance. AC values for current and voltage based on the relationship that one ampere. A physical property of all AC circuits that opposes a change in current.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) Glossary Alternating current (AC) Apparent Power Current that flows in one direction.707 amperes of DC current. peak value. stops. The combined effect of resistance. also called RMS values. and then flows in the opposite direction. Power used to do work plus power stored during part of a cycle by inductance and capacitance and then returned to power source. measured in farads. and capacitance on current flow. measured in ohms. Voltage times current in any circuit. A connection used in three-phase systems in which three coils (or three resistors) are connected end-to end so that they effectively form a triangle. measured in henrys. measured in ohms. of AC current produces the same heating effect as . A physical property of all AC circuits that opposes a change in voltage. Current that always flows in the same direction. The measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by capacitance.

Phase current Phase voltage - T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 46 . The amount of voltage or current at the maximum positive or negative point on a sine wave.AC FUNDAMENTALS Glossary (continued) Negative power Peak value Peak-to peak value Power that is returning to a power source from a load. The current that flows through the coils or resistors in a three-phase system. The voltage that is applied across the resistors or induced in the coils of a three-phase system. The amount of voltage of current represented by the distance between the positive peak and the negative peak on a sine wave.

1-4. 1-6. b. Coil the conductor b. RMS Current flow Inductive reactance a False (These answers may be in any order.) a. Add a metal core to a coiled conductor Inductive reactance Out of phase Frequency Hertz 1-3. 1-2. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 47 . Conductor b. 2-7. 1-5. Polarity (These answers may be in any order. Relative motion c True a. 2-2. 2-3. 2-6. 2-5. 2-4. Magnetic field c.AC Fundamentals Review Workbook Section Quiz Answers 1-1.) a. 2-1.

3-5. 3-2. 4-7. 4-2. Current True a Does not Out of True Impedance Power factor 19. 4-4. Voltage b. 3-4. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 48 . 4-5. 4-3. Ohms b Charged True (These answers may be in either order. 4-6. 3-3. 3-7. True Capacitive reactance is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by capacitance. 3-6.200 watts 550 watts 4-1.AC Fundamentals Review Answers (continued) 3-1. 4-9.) a. 4-8.

5-5.73 Equal T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 49 . Transformer a Phase True 1.AC Fundamentals Review Answers (continued) 5-1. 5-3. 5-2. 5-6. 5-4.

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