Motor rotation


The direction of motor rotation of a dc motor depends on the direction of the magnetic field and the direction of current flow in the armature. If either the direction of the field or the direction of current flow through the armature is reversed, the rotation of the motor will reverse. However, if both of these factors are reversed at the same time, the motor will continue rotating in the same direction.

In actual practice, the field excitation voltage is reversed in order to reverse motor direction. Ordinarily, a motor is set up to do a particular job that requires a fixed direction of rotation. However, there are times when it is necessary to change the direction of rotation, such as a drive motor for a gun turret or missile launcher. Each of these must be able to move in both directions. Remember, the connections of either the armature or the field must be reversed, but not both. In such applications, the proper connections are brought out to a reversing switch.


A motor whose speed can be controlled is called a variable-speed motor; dc motors are variable-speed motors. The speed of a dc motor is changed by changing the current in the field or by changing the current in the armature.

When the field current is decreased, the field flux is reduced, and the counter emf decreases. This permits more armature current. Therefore, the motor speeds up. When the field current is increased, the field flux is increased. More counter emf is developed, which opposes the armature current. The armature current then decreases, and the motor slows down.

When the voltage applied to the armature is decreased, the armature current is decreased, and the motor again slows down. When the armature voltage and current are both increased, the motor speeds up.

In a shunt motor, speed is usually controlled by a rheostat connected in series with the field windings, as shown in the illustration below. When the resistance of the rheostat is increased, the current through the field winding is decreased. The decreased flux momentarily decreases the counter emf. The motor rotation then speeds up, and the increase in counter emf keeps the armature current the same. In a similar manner, a decrease in rheostat resistance increases the current flow through the field windings and causes the motor rotation to slow down.

Controlling motor speed.

In a series motor, the rheostat speed control may be connected either in parallel or in series with the armature windings. In either case, moving the rheostat in a direction that lowers the voltage across the armature lowers the current through the armature and slows the motor. Moving the rheostat in a direction that increases the voltage and current through the armature increases motor speed.

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