What is Synchronous Motor | Construction | Advantages:

A synchronous Motor is one of the important types of electric machines; in fact all generating machines at power stations are of synchronous kind and are known as synchronous generators or alternators.

The structure and certain operational features of Synchronous Machine have already been explained in this category, while the 3-phase ac windings used in the stator of the synchronous machine have been further elaborated in this category. Here the basic model used for performance analysis of the synchronous machine and some of the operational features peculiar to this type of machine will be discussed. The methods of obtaining model parameters and active and reactive power transfer characteristics will also be discussed at length.

Construction of Synchronous Machine:

We know already that essentially two types of constructions are employed in synchronous machines—one of these is known as the cylindrical-rotor type and the other is called the salient-pole type. The cylindrical-rotor machine has its rotor in cylindrical form with dc field windings (distributed type) embedded in the rotor slots. This type of construction provides greater mechanical strength and permits more accurate dynamic balancing. It is particularly adopted for use in high-speed turbo-generators wherein a relatively long but small diameter rotor is used to limit the centrifugal forces developed. Two or at most 4-pole machines use this type of construction.

The second type of synchronous machine, known as the salient-pole type, has its rotor poles projecting out from the rotor core. This type of construction is used for low-speed hydroelectric generators and the large number of poles necessary are accommodated in projecting form on a rotor of large diameter but small length. This construction is almost universally adopted for synchronous motors.

Because of the distinguishing constructional features explained above, the cylindrical-rotor machine has uniform air-gap, so that the permeance offered to the mmf acting on the magnetic circuit is independent of the angle between the axis of the mmf and that of the rotor poles. On the other hand, in the salient-pole construction, the permeance offered to the mmf varies considerably with the angle between the mmf axis and that of the rotor poles. It is on this account that the cylindrical-rotor machine is simpler to model and analyze, compared to the salient-pole type. The modelling and analysis of both these types will be presented in this category.

It has been seen already that the essential feature that distinguishes the synchronous machine from the other types of electric machines is the synchronous link between the rotor and stator rotating fields. As a result there is a fixed relationship between the rotor speed and the frequency of emfs and currents on the stator, which is reproduced below:What is Synchronous Motor

Advantages of Synchronous Motor:

A synchronous generator when supplying isolated load acts as a voltage source whose frequency is determined by its prime mover speed as per Eq. (8.1). Synchronous generators are usually run in parallel connected through long distance transmission lines. The system (called power system) is so designed as to maintain synchronism in spite of electrical or mechanical disturbances. Such an interconnected system offers the advantages of continuity of supply and economies in capital and operating costs. Synchronous motors find use in industry wherever constant-speed operation is desired. Another advantage of the synchronous motor is that its power factor can be controlled simply by variation of its field current. This is the reason why in most large industrial installations a part of the load is usually handled by synchronous motors which are operated at a leading power factor so as to yield an overall high power factor for the complete installation.