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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

2 5.1 5.2. 4.2 2.TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1.3 4.2 Alternating Current Current Flow and Polarity Sine Waves Peak Values.1 1.1 3.3 3. 3.2 4.2.3 2.1 2.4 5. 1.2 1.1 4.1 5. Peak-to-Peak Values.2 4. 5. 2. 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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure 2-2. as shown in Figure 2-2. A straight conductor is cut only once by its magnetic field when the magnetic field changes.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 2. The more turns there are in the coil. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

air acts as a dielectric whenever two conductors are side-by-side for any significant distance. 3. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 25 . A simplified capacitor is shown in Figure 3-1.333 (as of January. Figure 3-1 Simplified Capacitor Dialectric (insulating material) Conducting Plates OSHA Regulations Snap-Shot 1910. Safety-related work practices shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts. including air. 2007) Selection and use of work practices. The dielectric can be made of any good insulating material. (a) General. which is called a dielectric. It has three main components: two plates and an insulator. when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which are or may be energized.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3.1 Capacitance Capacitors Capacitors are devices that store energy. In fact. The specific safety-related work practices shall be consistent with the nature and extent of the associated electrical hazards. the two conductors act like capacitor plates. The purpose of the dielectric is to keep electrons from flowing from one plate to the other.

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

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

Discharging is the reverse of charging: electrons flow onto the positively charged plate and electrons leave the negatively charged plate. At the beginning of the cycle. When the source voltage reaches its peak value. current flow is maximum in the opposite direction. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 28 . the capacitor is completely charged in the opposite direction. When the source voltage reaches zero again. 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.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. but in the opposite direction. During the whole cycle. the changes in current take place ahead of the changes in voltage. After the source voltage passes its peak. Capacitance When the source voltage passes its peak. so current is zero. Current and voltage are out of phase. the opposing voltage has built up to the same value (but opposite polarity). When the source voltage reaches zero. By the time the source voltage reaches its peak positive value. After the source voltage reaches zero. as the source voltage rises from zero. 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 now flows in the opposite direction. At this point. The capacitor is again being charged. the opposing voltage is at its peak value. current flow is maximum in the opposite direction. the capacitor again starts to discharge. current is at its peak positive value. but with the opposite polarity. and current flow is again zero. the capacitor starts to discharge. the source voltage and the opposing voltage have the effect of canceling each other out.

In a purely capacitive circuit. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 29 . 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. Another way to say this is to say that in a capacitive circuit. current leads voltage by 90 degrees. Capacitance Figure 3-3.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3. Because capacitance opposes a change in voltage. Capacitance is the only factor that affects current and voltage. changes in current always occur ahead of changes in voltage. capacitance causes current and voltage to be out of phase.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4-5. calculate true power. 4-6.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. Questions: 4-1. b. Positive power is power that is a. The combined effect of resistance. (does. True or False. The product of a negative current and a positive voltage d.8. Equal to voltage times resistance Reactive power is power that _____________ do useful work. The power factor for a certain AC circuit is . out of) True or False. does not) The voltage and current sine waves for reactive power are always __________ phase. and capacitance on current flow in an AC circuit is called _________________. 4-7. If the voltage is 480 volts and the current is 50 amps. In most cased. Returning to a power source from a load c. Circle the correct answer. E I PF = = = 110 volts 10 amps . 4-8. Apparent power is the result of multiplying voltage times current in any circuit. True power is the amount of power actually used to do work. (in. what is the true power used by the circuit? Given the following values. 4-4.5 T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 37 AC Power (continued) 4-3. Going to a load from a power source. inductance. true power in AC circuits is calculated with the aid of the ________________ associated with the specific circuit. 4-2. . 4-9.

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

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

The. and three lines come off the transformer on the secondary side. Figure 5-3.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. Thus. two lines come into the transformer on the primary side. in a three-wire system. Because the three-wire system provides more than one voltage. 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. it has many applications for general electrical use.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. if an un grounded line accidentally becomes grounded. Voltage between the neutral line and either the top line or the bottom line is 110 volts. it is possible to get either 110 volts or 220 volts from this three-wire system. a short circuit will occur and the circuit’s fuses or circuit breakers will open the circuit. The middle line on the secondary side is called the neutral line. As Figure 5-3 illustrates. 5. 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 . Voltage between the top and bottom lines is 220 volts.

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

multiplying the phase current time 1. EL is the line voltage.2. and IP is the phase current. EP is the phase voltage. IL is the line current.) In a wye connected system. one end of each coil or resistor is connected to one end of both of the other coils or resistors. 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. 5. The free ends of the coils or resistors are connected to the three phase lines.73) times the phase current. Then. Wye Connected Three-Phase System. The line current is actually equal to the square root of three (which is 1.2 Wye Connections The wiring for a typical wye-connected three-phase system is shown in Figure 5-5. Figure 5-5.73 equals the line current. (A wye connection is also known as a star connection.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 42 . Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) form the line current.

In a wye-connected system. the current in a wye-connected system cannot split or add together the way it does in a deltaconnected system. However.73 equals the line voltage. Notes: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 43 . 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. IL is the line current. EP is the phase voltage. and IP is the phase current. 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). but the phase voltage is not equal to the line voltage. In wye-connected systems. Therefore.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continuted) 5. EL is the line voltage. 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. the phase voltage times 1. the current that flows through each line has to flow through the coil or the resistor in the line.

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

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

The current that flows through the coils or resistors in 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. The voltage that is applied across the resistors or induced in the coils of a three-phase system.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 amount of voltage or current at the maximum positive or negative point on a sine wave.

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

4-6. 4-9. 3-2. 4-5. 4-8. 3-3. 4-4. 4-7.200 watts 550 watts 4-1.AC Fundamentals Review Answers (continued) 3-1.) a. Ohms b Charged True (These answers may be in either order. Current True a Does not Out of True Impedance Power factor 19. 4-3. 3-5. 3-6. 4-2. 3-7. 3-4. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 48 . Voltage b. True Capacitive reactance is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by capacitance.

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

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