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Alternating Current Fundamentals|Views: 486|Likes: 3

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- 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

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

2 2.TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1. 5.1 5. 2.1 5.3 2. 1. 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 .2 4.2 5.1 3. 3.2 1.1 2.2 Alternating Current Current Flow and Polarity Sine Waves Peak Values.3 4.1 4.2.2.4 5.2 4.1 1.3 3. Peak-to-Peak Values. 4.

and reactive Power in a Purely Inductive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage. Current. and True Power in a Purely Resistive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage. Current. 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.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.

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

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

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

As the conductor moves toward 90 degrees. so the induced voltage decreases. Since there is no relative motion between the conductor and the magnetic field. the conductor is cutting through no lines of flux. no voltage is induced. so no voltage is induced. voltage is being induced. As rotation continues towards 180 degrees. the conductor cuts fewer and fewer flux lines. Maximum voltage is induced at the instant that the conductor reaches the 90-degree point. while the Y end of the conductor cuts the magnetic field in an upward direction. Alternating Current (continued) Figure 1-3 Rotation of Conductor At zero degrees. so the induced voltage increases. Now. 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. As the conductor starts to rotate.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 10 . more and more flux lines are cut. When the conductor reaches 180 degrees.

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

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

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

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

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

The value of inductive reactance. in ohms. it is measured in ohms. Differentiate between in-phase and our-of-phase currents and voltages. Ohm’s Law holds true for all applications. Inductance is covered i this section.AC FUNDAMENTALS 2.1 Inductance and Inductive Reactance Inductance is a physical property of all AC circuits that opposes any change in current flow. in henrys T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 16 . Ohm’s Law states that current is equal to voltage divided by resistance. Inductance OBJECTIVES: • • • Define inductance and inductive reactance. is affected by additional factors. The common symbol for inductive reactance is XL. capacitance is covered in Section 3. Inductive reactance is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by inductance.14 f is the frequency. In DC circuits. limits current flow. which must be taken into account. because the only two factors that affect DC current are resistance and voltage. Explain how inductive reactance limits current flow. 2. The symbol for inductance is a capital L. like resistance. can be calculated by using the following formula: XL = 2 π f L where: π is the constant 3. but AC current is also affected by inductance and capacitance. AC current is affected by voltage and resistance. however. It is measured in units called henrys. Since inductive reactance. in hertz L is the inductance. AC current. Like DC current.

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

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

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

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

Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Resistive Circuit T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 21 . Figure 2-4. when voltage increases.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2. Since voltage and current stay together. Inductance In purely resistive circuits. current also increases. they are said to be in phase. 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.

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

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

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

3. Safety-related work practices shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts. 2007) Selection and use of work practices. Figure 3-1 Simplified Capacitor Dialectric (insulating material) Conducting Plates OSHA Regulations Snap-Shot 1910. (a) General. The specific safety-related work practices shall be consistent with the nature and extent of the associated electrical hazards. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 25 .1 Capacitance Capacitors Capacitors are devices that store energy. when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which are or may be energized. In fact. A simplified capacitor is shown in Figure 3-1. The dielectric can be made of any good insulating material. air acts as a dielectric whenever two conductors are side-by-side for any significant distance.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. which is called a dielectric. the two conductors act like capacitor plates. including air. It has three main components: two plates and an insulator.333 (as of January. The purpose of the dielectric is to keep electrons from flowing from one plate to the other.

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

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

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

Another way to say this is to say that in a capacitive circuit.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. Capacitance is the only factor that affects current and voltage. capacitance causes current and voltage to be out of phase. Because capacitance opposes a change in voltage. 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 . Capacitance Figure 3-3. In a purely capacitive circuit. changes in current always occur ahead of changes in voltage. current leads voltage by 90 degrees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The product of a negative current and a positive voltage d. inductance. and capacitance on current flow in an AC circuit is called _________________. If the voltage is 480 volts and the current is 50 amps. b. Going to a load from a power source. True or False. (does. Equal to voltage times resistance Reactive power is power that _____________ do useful work. Questions: 4-1. . out of) True or False. (in. true power in AC circuits is calculated with the aid of the ________________ associated with the specific circuit. 4-2. does not) The voltage and current sine waves for reactive power are always __________ phase. The combined effect of resistance. 4-8. Circle the correct answer. what is the true power used by the circuit? Given the following values. 4-7. 4-9. E I PF = = = 110 volts 10 amps . True power is the amount of power actually used to do work.5 T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 37 AC Power (continued) 4-3. 4-5. calculate true power. In most cased. Apparent power is the result of multiplying voltage times current in any circuit. 4-6. 4-4. Positive power is power that is a.8. The power factor for a certain AC circuit is . Returning to a power source from a load c.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4.

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

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

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

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

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

the phase voltage times 1. 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. but the phase voltage is not equal to the line voltage. the current in a wye-connected system cannot split or add together the way it does in a deltaconnected system. IL is the line current. EL is the line voltage. EP is the phase voltage. However. Notes: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 43 . In wye-connected systems. the phase current is equal to the line current. Therefore.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continuted) 5. and IP is the phase current. the current that flows through each line has to flow through the coil or the resistor in the line. As shown in Figure 5-4.73 equals the line voltage. 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). In a wye-connected system. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) Wye connections have different effects on voltage and current than delta connections do.

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

The voltage that is applied to the wires in a three phase system. The measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by capacitance. measured in farads. A physical property of all AC circuits that opposes a change in current. The number of cycles completed each second by a given AC voltage. Current that always flows in the same direction. AC values for current and voltage based on the relationship that one ampere. stops. measured in henrys. Voltage times current in any circuit. Power used to do work plus power stored during part of a cycle by inductance and capacitance and then returned to power source. peak value. of AC current produces the same heating effect as . 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 - . and capacitance on current flow.707 amperes of DC current. measured in ohms. inductance. 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. The measure of the opposition to current that is created by inductance. and then flows in the opposite direction. The current that flows through the wires in a threephase system. also called RMS values.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) Glossary Alternating current (AC) Apparent Power Current that flows in one direction. The combined effect of resistance. A physical property of all AC circuits that opposes a change in voltage. measured in ohms.

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

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

4-6. 4-2. 3-3. Ohms b Charged True (These answers may be in either order. 4-9. True Capacitive reactance is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by capacitance. 3-7. 4-8. 3-6.) a. Current True a Does not Out of True Impedance Power factor 19. 4-3.200 watts 550 watts 4-1. Voltage b. 4-7. 4-4. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 48 . 3-4. 4-5.AC Fundamentals Review Answers (continued) 3-1. 3-5. 3-2.

Transformer a Phase True 1. 5-3.AC Fundamentals Review Answers (continued) 5-1. 5-5. 5-4. 5-2.73 Equal T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 49 . 5-6.

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