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Capacitor induction motor
Jan 04, 2019

Capacitor induction motor

This motor is similar to the three-phase motor except that it has only two windings (a-a′ and b-b′) on its stator displaced 90° from each other. The a-a′ winding is connected directly to the single-phase supply. For starting, the b-b′ winding (commonly called the auxiliary winding) is connected through a capacitor (a device that stores electric charge) to the same supply. The effect of the capacitor is to make the current entering the winding b-b′ lead the current in a-a′ by approximately 90°, or one-quarter of a cycle, with the rotor at standstill. Thus, the rotating field and the starting torque are provided.

As the motor speed approaches its rated value, it is no longer necessary to excite the auxiliary winding to maintain the rotating field. The currents produced in the rotor squirrel-cage bars as they pass the winding a-a′ are retained with negligible change as they rotate past the winding b-b′. The rotor can continue to generate the rotating field with only winding a-a′connected. The winding b-b′ is usually disconnected by a centrifugal switch that opens when the speed is about 80 percent of rated value.

Power ratings for these capacitor-start induction motors are usually restricted to about two kilowatts for a 120-volt supply and 10 kilowatts for a 230-volt supply because of the limitations on voltage drop in the supply lines, which would otherwise occur on starting. Typical values of synchronous speed on a 60-hertz supply are 1,800 or 1,200 revolutions per minute for four- and six-pole motors, respectively. Lower-speed motors can be constructed with more poles but are less common.

The efficiency of the motor can be somewhat increased and the line current decreased by the use of two capacitors, only one of which is taken out of the circuit (by means of a centrifugal switch) as the rated speed is approached. The remaining capacitor continues to provide a leading current to phase b-b′, approximating a two-phase supply. This arrangement is known as a capacitor-start, capacitor-run motor.

Capacitor induction motors are widely used for heavy-duty applications requiring high starting torque. Examples are refrigerator compressors, pumps, and conveyors.