motor rotor


The following schematic illustrates the relationship of the coils. In this example six coils are used, two coils for each of the three phases. The coils operate in pairs. The coils are wrapped around the soft iron core material of the stator. These coils are referred to as motor windings. Each motor winding becomes a separate electromagnet. The coils are  wound in such a way that when current flows in them one coil is a north pole and its pair is a south pole. For example, if A1 were a north pole then A2 would be a south pole. When current reverses direction the polarity of the poles would also reverse. wpeF.jpg (12237 bytes)


The stator is connected to a 3-phase AC power supply. In the following illustration phase A is connected to phase A of the power supply. Phase B and C would also be connected to phases B and C of the power supply respectively.

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Phase windings (A, B, and C) are placed 120° apart. In this example, a second set of three-phase windings is installed. The number of poles is determined by how many times a phase winding appears. In this example, each phase winding appears two times. This is a two-pole stator. If each phase winding appeared four times it would be a four-pole stator.

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When AC voltage is applied to the stator, current flows through the windings. The magnetic field developed in a phase winding depends on the direction of current flow through that winding. The following chart is used here for explanation only. It will be used in the next few illustrations to demonstrate how a rotating magnetic field is  developed. It assumes that a positive current flow in the A1, B1 and C1 windings result in a north pole.

Winding Current Flow Direction
Positive Negative
A1 North South
A2 South North
B1 North South
B2 South North
C1 North South
C2 South North


It is easier to visualize a magnetic field if a start time is picked when no current is flowing through one phase. In the following illustration, for example, a start time has been selected during which phase A has no current flow, phase B has current flow in a negative direction and phase C has current flow in a positive direction. Based on the above chart, B1 and C2 are south poles and B2 and C1 are north poles. Magnetic lines of flux leave the B2 north pole and enter the nearest south pole, C2. Magnetic lines of flux also leave the C1 north pole and enter the nearest south pole, B1. A magnetic field results, as indicated by the arrow.

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If the field is evaluated at 60° intervals from the starting point, at Time 1, it can be seen that the field will rotate 60°. At Time 1 phase C has no current flow, phase A has current flow in a positive direction and phase B has current flow in a negative direction. Following the same logic as used for the starting point, windings A1 and B2 are north poles and windings A2 and B1 are south poles.  

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At Time 2 the magnetic field has rotated 60°. Phase B has no current flow. Although current is decreasing in phase A it is still flowing in a positive direction. Phase C is now flowing in a negative direction. At start it was flowing in a positive direction. Current flow has changed directions in the phase C windings and the magnetic poles have reversed polarity.

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360 degree ROTATION:

At the end of six such time intervals the magnetic field will have rotated one full revolution or 360°. This process will repeat 60 times a second on a 60 Hz power supply.

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