The AC induction motor is well suited to applications requiring constant speed operation. In general, the induction motor is cheaper and easier to maintain compared to other alternatives.

The induction motor is made up of the stator, or stationary windings, and the rotor. The stator consists of a series of wire windings of very low resistance permanently attached to the motor frame. As a voltage and a current is applied to the stator winding terminals, a magnetic field is developed in the windings. By the way the stator windings are arranged, the magnetic field appears to synchronously rotate electrically around the inside of the motor housing.

The rotor is comprised of a number of thin bars, usually aluminum, mounted in a laminated cylinder. The bars are arranged horizontally and almost parallel to the rotor shaft. At the ends of the rotor, the bars are connected together with a “shorting ring.” The rotor and stator are separated by an air gap which allows free rotation of the rotor.

The magnetic field generated in the stator induces an EMF in the rotor bars. In turn, a current is produced in the rotor bars and shorting ring and another magnetic field is induced in the rotor with an opposite polarity of that in the stator. The magnetic field, revolving in the stator, will then produces the torque which will “pull” on the field in the rotor and establish rotor rotation.

In the design of the induction motor, operational characteristics can be determined through a series of calculations. Performing these calculations can help the engineer

provide a motor that is best suited to a particular application. This paper will demonstrate their application.


The speed with which the stator magnetic field rotates, which will determine the speed of the rotor, is called the Synchronous Speed (SS). The SS is a function of the frequency of the power source and the number of poles (pole pairs) in the motor. The relationship to calculate the SS of an induction motor is:



The rotor in an induction motor can not turn at the synchronous speed. In order to induce an EMF in the rotor, the rotor must move slower than the SS. If the rotor were to somehow turn at SS, the EMF could not be induced in the rotor and therefore the rotor would stop. However, if the rotor stopped or even if it slowed significantly, an EMF would once again be induced in the rotor bars and it would begin rotating at a speed less than the SS.

The relationship between the rotor speed and the SS is called the Slip. Typically, the Slip is expressed as a percentage of the SS. The equation for the motor Slip is:



If the motor slip is known, the rotor speed can be expressed by the equation:


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