Motor-reaction in a generator
When a generator delivers current to a load, the armature current creates a magnetic force that opposes the rotation of the armature. This is called MOTOR REACTION.
A single armature conductor is represented in the illustration below, view A. When the conductor is stationary, no voltage is generated and no current flows. Therefore, no force acts on the conductor.
When the conductor is moved downward (view B) and the circuit is completed through an external load, current flows through the conductor in the direction indicated. This sets up lines of flux around the conductor in a clockwise direction.
Motor reaction in a generator.
The interaction between the conductor field and the main field of the generator weakens the field above the conductor and strengthens the field below the conductor. The main field consists of lines that now act like stretched rubber bands. Thus, an upward reaction force is produced that acts in opposition to the downward driving force applied to the armature conductor.
If the current in the conductor increases, the reaction force increases. Therefore, more force must be applied to the conductor to keep it moving. With no armature current, there is no magnetic (motor) reaction. Therefore, the force required to turn the armature is low. As the armature current increases, the reaction of each armature conductor against rotation increases. The actual force in a generator is multiplied by the number of conductors in the armature.
The driving force required to maintain the generator armature speed must be increased to overcome the motor reaction. The force applied to turn the armature must overcome the motor reaction force in all dc generators. The device that provides the turning force applied to the armature is called the PRIME MOVER. The prime mover may be an electric motor, a gasoline engine, a steam turbine, or any other mechanical device that provides turning force.
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