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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

4 5.2 1. 3.2.2 5.3 4.1 4.1 2. 5. 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 . 4. 1.2 4.TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1. 2.2 2.1 1.3 3. Peak-to-Peak Values.3 2.1 5.2 4.1 5.2 Alternating Current Current Flow and Polarity Sine Waves Peak Values.1 3.2.

and reactive Power in a Purely Inductive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage.LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1-1 1-2 1-3 1-4 1-5 2-1 2-2 2-3 2-4 2-5 3-1 3-2 3-3 4-1 4-2 4-3 4-4 5-1 5-2 5-3 5-4 5-5 Title Simple DC Current Simplified AC Generator Rotation of a Conductor Induced Voltage Graph Voltage and Current Sine Waves Magnetic Field Around a Conductor Magnetic Fields Around a Coiled Conductor Metal Core Placed Inside Coil Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Resistive Circuit Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Inductive Circuit Simplified Capacitor Charging a Capacitor Voltage and Current Sine Waves for a Purely Capacitive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage. Current. Current. 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 . and True Power in a Purely Resistive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

it completes a cycle.3 Peak Values. which refers to the mathematical formula used to determine effective values. 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. be referred to as 60 hertz. Sixty cycles per second can.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. all AC values are RMS (effective) values. the insulating rating on equipment is based on peak voltage). Effective values for AC are often called RMS values. Most meters read RMS values. Unless the data plate on a meter or piece of equipment indicates otherwise. which applies to both current and voltage (because voltage produces current) is the basis for effective values. Peak values occur twice in each cycle: once positive and once negative. In a typical AC power system. RMS stands for root-mean-square. peak value. Frequency is measured in units called hertz. each time the conductor rotates a full 360 degrees. too. Alternating Current (continued) In this example. 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.707 T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 14 . The formula itself is not important here. Most often.707 amperes of direct current. It does not build up to a peak and then stay there. What is important is to understand that RMS values are used to rate operating voltages on almost all AC equipment. they discovered that one ampere. The reason for using effective values instead of peak values is that alternating current does not maintain a constant value. therefore. When scientists conducted tests to find the exact relationship between peak AC values and DC values. like direct current does. Effective AC values are equal to peak AC values multiplied by . Peak-to-Peak 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 . The number of cycles completed each second by a given AC voltage is called frequency. 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. Peak values and peak-to-peak values are not commonly used for AC current or voltage except when designing AC equipment (for example. of alternating current produces the same heating effect as . effective values are use. This relationship. or 60 Hz. In summary. 1.707. 60 cycles are completed every second.

c. ___________________________________ c. The letters used to express effective AC values are __________________. ___________________________________ b. a. 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) ______________.AC FUNDAMENTALS 1. 1-6. List the three requirements for inducing a voltage. 1-5. 1-2. When a conductor rotating in a magnetic field is cutting through the maximum number of flux lines. 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. Circle the correct answer. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 15 . ___________________________________ 1-3. a. d. b. The ____________ of an AC power source changes periodically. 1-4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Capacitance Capacitors Capacitors are devices that store energy. the two conductors act like capacitor plates. including air. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 25 . In fact. which is called a dielectric. The specific safety-related work practices shall be consistent with the nature and extent of the associated electrical hazards. The purpose of the dielectric is to keep electrons from flowing from one plate to the other. 2007) Selection and use of work practices. A simplified capacitor is shown in Figure 3-1. It has three main components: two plates and an insulator. Safety-related work practices shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts. when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which are or may be energized. (a) General. The dielectric can be made of any good insulating material. Figure 3-1 Simplified Capacitor Dialectric (insulating material) Conducting Plates OSHA Regulations Snap-Shot 1910. 3.333 (as of January. air acts as a dielectric whenever two conductors are side-by-side for any significant distance.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Positive power is power that is a. 4-4. inductance. Equal to voltage times resistance Reactive power is power that _____________ do useful work. . In most cased. Returning to a power source from a load c. does not) The voltage and current sine waves for reactive power are always __________ phase. Going to a load from a power source. and capacitance on current flow in an AC circuit is called _________________. Questions: 4-1.8. True power is the amount of power actually used to do work. Apparent power is the result of multiplying voltage times current in any circuit. E I PF = = = 110 volts 10 amps . what is the true power used by the circuit? Given the following values.5 T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 37 AC Power (continued) 4-3. true power in AC circuits is calculated with the aid of the ________________ associated with the specific circuit. The combined effect of resistance. 4-7. The product of a negative current and a positive voltage d. calculate true power. (in. If the voltage is 480 volts and the current is 50 amps. 4-2. 4-8. out of) True or False. b. 4-5. 4-9. Circle the correct answer. 4-6. (does. True or False.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 4. The power factor for a certain AC circuit is .

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

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

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

Therefore. Figure 5-4. The current that flows through the wires is called line current.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 5. The current that flows through the coils or resistors is called phase current. so the phase currents add together to T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 41 . The voltage that is applied across the resistors or induced in the coils is called phase voltage. The three wires coming out of the transformer are connected to three resistors. The ends of each coil are connected to the ends of the other two coils. However. the phase voltage equals the line voltage. which are also delta-connected. the three coils represent a three-phase transformer. are connected to one wire. or two resistors. 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. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) 5. In this example. the voltage in each coil or resistor (the phase voltage) is equal to the voltage in the wires (the line voltage). In a delta-connected system. Each coil or resistor shown in Figure 5-4 is connected across two wires. and the voltage that is applied to the wires is called line voltage. but the phase current does not equal the line current.2.1 Delta Connections Figure 5-4 shows the wiring for a delta connection.

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

and IP is the phase current. However. the current in a wye-connected system cannot split or add together the way it does in a deltaconnected system.73 equals the line voltage. In a wye-connected system. In wye-connected systems. As shown in Figure 5-4. the phase current is equal to the line current. Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems (continued) Wye connections have different effects on voltage and current than delta connections do. 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. Therefore. 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). the current that flows through each line has to flow through the coil or the resistor in the line.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continuted) 5. Notes: _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 43 . but the phase voltage is not equal to the line voltage. EL is the line voltage. the phase voltage times 1. EP is the phase voltage. IL is the line current.

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

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

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

b. 1-4. 2-1. 2-2. Relative motion c True a.) a.) a. 2-4. 1-2. 1-6. Conductor b. Coil the 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.AC Fundamentals Review Workbook Section Quiz Answers 1-1. 2-3. Magnetic field c. 1-5. 2-5. Polarity (These answers may be in any order. 2-6. 2-7. RMS Current flow Inductive reactance a False (These answers may be in any order.

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

5-5. 5-4. 5-6. Transformer a Phase True 1.73 Equal T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 49 . 5-2.AC Fundamentals Review Answers (continued) 5-1. 5-3.

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