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induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?
6

induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
This question arises from discussion in the thread on degraded voltage. Please be assured that if you respond I will not argue with you

An induction generator can apparently operate without being interconnected to another power source, provided that capacitors are attached to the terminals.

I assume that voltage can be controlled by adjusting the terminal capacitance.

What determines and/or controls real power and torque of the generator?  It seems like the induction machine torque-slip characteristic is irrelevant if there is no "syncronous" frequency and therefore no slip.  What determines the generator torque-speed characteristic?

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

hey pete,

I have some links I will share with you tonight or tomorrow, I do not have them with me now. Anyway, an induction motor will not operate as a generator without being attached to another AC power source. I believe that I am the one that brought up the example of rotary phase converters in the other thread. For these devices a single phase is connected to two of the motor legs (L1 and L2) and the third leg is the generated leg (T3). The capacitors are connected between one (or both) of the energized legs and the generated leg (L1-T3 and/or L2-T3). Presumably this provides excitation to the generated leg. The "3-phase" output is taken from L1, L2, and T3 respectively.

I believe that you set the output of the generated leg by choosing the amount of capacitance.

I will send you the links later and will be returning to the other thread when I have enough time to write a detailed post.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Hi again electricpete,

No! Voltage regulation in this condition is very poor if not erratic, this is why an induction generator is rarely used as a stand alone generator.

Induction alternators are ideal for wind generators connected to a solid grid because they can adjust automatically to the wind conditions. When the wind increases say to a gale force, the machine will try and increase the frequency and the voltage on the grid and thereby grab more load, which, in turn, exerts a resistive torque on the rotor and prevents a potentially catastrophic overspeed condition. When the wind drops the reverse happens.

The point I'm making in answer to the good question is that there is no control of torque or speed as such. If you are experienced in running fossil fuel gen sets then you cannot decide to take half load today and reduce the throttle, the best you can do is feather the wind vane, not quite the same

Cheers,
G

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
rhatcher - I think probably you're right. An induction machine requires a stator field at different frequency than rotor to induce slip frequency currents into the rotor. Without a separate power source I have a hard time imagining how it could work.

I did hear a few people claim on alt.engineering.electrical that an induction machine could operate without being connected to an another power supply, but I can't see how that is possible as discussed above.

Here was one example http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&th=343513e3f6509db9&rnum=4

Has anyone ever heard of an induction generator operating without being connected to another power supply?

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

to ratcher

I quote verbatim from "Electrical Machines and their Applications" - Hindmarsh, Pergamon Press (1977)
"To operate as an induction generator then, it is necessary to have a system connected across the line that can provide a lagging current, or what amounts to the same thing, can accept a leading current. This is not usually a problem, because induction generators, which have a limited application, are normally connected in parallel with synchronous machinery for which the reactive volt-amperes are readily controllable.

However, it is possible to employ self-excitation using a capacitor of suitable value to provide the necessary current/voltage relationship. ....." end of quote

The text then goes on to describe methods of determining the conditions for stable operation!

Cheers,
G

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

I don't believe there is any way to run an isolated induction generator in a stable condition using capacitors for the excitation - at least not without some very sophisticated controls.  It is not uncommon to use capacitors to provide the reactive excitation on an induction generator connected to a grid to reduce the reactive load on the grid.  

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
gjones - One way to interpret your reference is that the generator requires vars to be supplied to it either from caps or from the system. That much seems very reasonable.  But it doesn't come out and say whether that is the only requirement....ie does the machine also require connection to an independent voltage source even if the vars are supplied by a cap.

As mentioned above, the rotor current is generated by "slip" between rotor speed and the power frequency...if there is no other frequency applied then there is no slip and it seems like there will be no rotor current and therefore no ability to deliver (motor) or absorb (generator) torque.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
Well, I vote stars to everybody for a good discussion.

busbar's link certainly looks like an induction generator driven by lawnmower engine with no interconnect to any outside power source.  He talks about getting a reliable engine so you don't have a problem starting it when the lights go out... so I assume it's intended for use when there is no outside power.

He also talks about powering about 1kw of lights with a 1hp indcuction generator (driven by 3hp engine) for several hours I think.

I'll have to think about it. Generating a voltage using residual magnetism of the rotor with caps connected to the terminals (at no load) makes sense. How the generator can absorb torque and generate power is perplexing. As discussed above there must be current in the rotor to create torque.  If there is no slip to induce current in the rotor... maybe it is not the difference in speed but the difference in phase that creates the current.  I'll think some more.

What do you guys think now?

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
I'm trying to keep an open mind to all possibilities on this one.

One thing that makes me a little skeptical of busbar's link is the statement that he has to get the machine a little bit above syncrounous speed (1800rpm or 3600rpm) to generate voltage or power.

1800rpm and 3600 rpm should have no special significance to the generator itself without any connection to outside power source.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Forgive me for not being able to provide a technical explanation, but I do know that induction generators have been used in "island" mode, i.e. in isolation, frequently in micro-hydro projects in 3rd world countries.  

They are typically rated at a few kW, and the primary reason for using the induction machine is its simplicity/repairability.  I read an article (which I didn't keep!) in one of last month's IEE publications in the UK.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

to electricpete

The text I quoted relates to an isolated induction generator. It is followed by a circuit diagram which I could not reproduce on here and there is only a capacitor connected to the motor terminals and it is followed by a graph table showing the stable points and how to achieve them.
Cheers
G

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Proposed is the concept of 'alternating-current flashing' for the initial semi-resonant induction-stator/power-capacitor interaction.  
  

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Suggestion: Reference:
1. M.G. Say "Alternating Current Machines," John Wiley & Sons, 1978
Sect. 8.20 Induction Generator.
It treats the induction generator what is its worth including excitation, electrical equivalent circuit, and it correlates it to the motor circle diagram (which is very helpful). It also states the drawbacks, e.g. the need for ac magnetization, moderate efficiency and (for mechanical reasons) the short air-gap.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
I don't know why I was thinking that there can be no slip in the absence of connection to an external power source.  There certainly can.

I was stuck in the mindset that syncrounous speed is fixed and machine speed must vary according to the load.

But if we have a constant-speed engine driving the rotor and Wr, and we hook up an electrical load P, then the rotor will be under torque T=P/Wr, and the electrical frequency will droop below Wr by an amount given by the T-s curve.

Another way of looking at it....if the induction generator can supply a load while connected to both caps and an external power source, with no real or reactive power flowing to the external power source, why can't the generator do the same thing when we remove the power source.  But as mentioned by gjones there are control challenges.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
busbar - I don't know what you mean by flashing... but I agree it looks like they selected the cap to be in exact resonance with the magnetizing inductance (calculated from no-load current).  

In my message above I was perplexed at why the machine would not generate any voltage until it reached 3600rpm (after all what is special about 3600rpm if not connected to the grid). The answer to my question is that the resonant amplification only words near the resonant frequency..... And we computed capacitance to give resonance at 60hz (duh).  

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Hello all,
If you can't operate induction motors as generators without being tied to an external power source, please don't tell all those people who are doing it.  Their lights might go out.
For a good reference on doing this, albeit it is done for 50Hz only, please see the book "Induction motors as Generators" by Nigel Smith.  My copy is out on loan, so I can't give you the ISBN number right now.  The book is only about $10 U.S.
The book treats the aspects of sizing the excitation capacitors, different ways of connecting the capacitors, and covers various simple control schemes.
Frequency out is a function of number of poles in the motor and the RPM it is being turned at, plus slip.  Voltage out is only a function of RPM.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)
Thanks Lewish, that's good info.

Is voltage a linear relation with speed or does it jump up as we appropach operating speed? (resonant type behavior).

Doesn't voltage out also depend on the capacitor values?

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

(OP)

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Very interesting discussion in the other forum, electricpete.  I will now live in fear of being called a WOFFLER.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Electricpete,
The output voltage is not a linear increase but is a smooth curve.  There are no jumps in it.
If you have access to Matlab and the Power System Blockset, you can produce the curve by inputting a negative torgue value to the asynchronous machine model.  I don't have any way to reproduce it here.
Yes, voltage out does depend on the capacitor values, but the dependency is less with increasing RPM.  You need enough to excite the motor when starting, but not too much or your voltage will rise too quickly as you increase your RPM.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

One other point worth mentioning, maybe, is that if you are interested in achieving the maximum efficiency when using an induction motor as a generator, you will need to turn the motor about 10 per cent faster than normal.  That is, if you have a 60Hz motor with a nominal RPM rating of 1750 and an efficiency rating of 84 per cent, if you turn it at 1850 RPM you will produce 60Hz power but at only about 80 per cent efficieny.  To get up to the 84 per cent rating, you will have to increase the speed until you are outputing about 65-66Hz.  But, in so doing, your output voltage will rise well above the nameplate rating, so you will need to reduce the excitation capacitance or, you know what will happen.

RE: induction generator torque-speed relation when not sync'd to grid?

Comment: The previous posting content is consistent with the posted Prof. M.G. Say book content pertaning to induction generators, especially the low efficiency.

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