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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

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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.

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**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

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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.

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2 4. and Effective Values Inductance Inductance and Inductive Reactance Factors That Affect Inductive Reactance Effects of Inductance on Current and Voltage Capacitance Capacitors Effects of Capacitance on Current and Voltage AC Power True Power Reactive Power Apparent Power Power Factor Single-Phase and Three-Phase Systems Single-Phase Systems Three-Phase Systems Delta Connections Wye Connections Title 7 7 11 14 16 16 18 20 24 25 27 31 31 32 35 36 38 39 40 41 42 Page T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 5 .2 Alternating Current Current Flow and Polarity Sine Waves Peak Values. 3. 5.2.1 5.2 2. 1.4 5.2.1 1. Peak-to-Peak Values.1 2.2 1.3 4.1 3.2 5.TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1.3 3.1 5. 2.1 4. 4.3 2.2 4.

and True Power in a Purely Resistive Circuit Sine Waves for Voltage. 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. and Reactive Power in a Purely Capacitive Circuit Circuit for Apparent Power Simplified Single-Phase System Simplified Three-Phase System Simplified Three-Wire System Delta-Connected Three-Phase System Wye-Connected Three-Phase System T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 6 Page 8 9 10 & 11 12 13 17 19 20 21 22 25 26 29 32 33 34 36 38 39 40 41 42 . Current.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and the flow of the capacitor. or simply. a difference in potential develops across it. (iii) Any line to which capacitors are connected shall be short-circuited before it is considered deenergized. OSHA Regulations Snap-Shot 1910. When the peak voltage is reached. the capacitance. current can flow through the capacitor from one plate to the other. they have the effect of canceling each other out. the capacitors shall be disconnected from energized sources and. each unit in series-parallel capacitor banks shall be short-circuited between all terminals and the capacitor case or its rack. the dielectric could break down. the specific number of electrons that the negative plate can hold is called the capacity of the capacitor. If the cases of capacitors are on ungrounded substation racks. 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. If too much voltage is supplied to a capacitor. The polarity of this voltage is such that it opposes the source voltage. Knowing the capacity of a capacitor is important. short-circuited. If the dielectric breaks down. Each electron that is added to the negative plate makes that plate more negative. 3. (i) Before employees work on capacitors. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 27 . As the capacitor continues to be charged. For any given voltage.269 (w) (as of February. As a result. the negative plate has gained a certain number of electrons. At this point. the racks shall be bonded to ground. current flowing through a capacitor will destroy the capacitor. In most cases. and the positive plate has lost the same number of electrons. it can be said that voltage builds up across a capacitor as it is charged. Since a difference in potential is voltage. the voltage across the capacitor increases until it is equal to the source voltage. the capacitor is fully charged. and each electron that leaves the positive plate makes that plate more positive. 2007) Special conditions. after a wait of at least 5 minutes from the time of disconnection. (1) Capacitors. The following additional requirements apply to work on capacitors and on lines connected to capacitors. but opposite in polarity. Since the source voltage and the voltage across the capacitor are equal. (ii) Before the units are handled.AC FUNDAMENTALS (continued) 3.2 Effects of Capacitance on Current and Voltage When a capacitor is being charged. 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. and the current stops flowing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4-7. 4-9. 3-3. 3-2. 4-6. Ohms b Charged True (These answers may be in either order.200 watts 550 watts 4-1. 3-6. 3-7. True Capacitive reactance is the measure of the opposition to current flow that is created by capacitance. 3-5.) a. 4-3. Current True a Does not Out of True Impedance Power factor 19. 3-4. 4-2. 4-8. T & D PowerSkills – Edition II Page 48 .AC Fundamentals Review Answers (continued) 3-1. 4-4. 4-5. Voltage b.

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

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