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Table of Contents



Physical Arrangement


Basic DC Meters


Power Distribution System


PMMC Movement


Safety Considerations


The DC Ammeter Circuit


Student Laboratory Work


The DC Voltmeter Circuit



Meter Insertion Disturbance



The Ohmmeter Circuit




Basic AC Meters






Rotational Losses and Power




DC Voltage and Current


The Wattmeter


AC Voltage and Current


Elec Power and Related Quantities


Resistance and Impedance


Digital Instrumentation

3 4 2 5 6 9 8 7

Figure A1: Laboratory Layout



The Laboratory

The laboratory is the real world. This laboratory contains rotating machinery and electric power supplies that can be dangerous if misused or used carelessly, therefore careful preparation and a no-nonsense attitude are required. All equipment that is man-made is subject to the various laws of Murphy; fortunately "machines" experiments tend to be well behaved and predictable so that you should expect, if properly prepared, to be able to obtain useful results in each and every experiment. It is suggested that you read this section carefully and study the content where it is not known to you so that your time spent in the laboratory is both safe and efficiently used. This section describes what is in the laboratory, what you should do in general, and some specific information on measurement, instruments, and techniques that you will be required to use.


Physical Arrangement

Figure A1 shows a plan view of the laboratory. Locations 1-6 on this plan, identified by numbers on the power panels in the laboratory, contain the 2 kW nominal rating equipment. At each of these locations there is a table, a power panel, a console, and a set of rotating machines. See figure A.4. Locations 7-9 are similar except that the equipment has a much lower rating, nominally 200 W or 0.2 kW (the manufacturer's rating is 1/4 HP or 187 W) and the rotating machines are placed in the console instead of on the floor. Location 10 has a power panel and can contain a console for demonstration purposes. Equipment for most regularly scheduled experiments is pre-placed on the table or in the console. The console has space for 9 full size modules or up to 18 half size modules. Most modules, apart from the power supply modules, are half size. Equipment not required for the current set of experiments is either locked in the storage cabinet at the bottom of each console or placed in open storage racks (SA - SD, S7 - S9). Storage units SA-SD contain 2 kW rated modules whereas S7 - S9 contain 0.2 kW rated modules for use with the respective 0.2 kW consoles at locations 7-9, and occasionally at other locations.


Power Distribution System

All power to the laboratory (except lighting and PCs) is fed from a common source with a tripable contactor located on the east wall near power panel 10. This contactor is closed by pushing the single ON button on the front of the case, and "power on" is indicated by a red pilot lamp. The adjacent OFF button and the five "emergency stop" buttons distributed around the laboratory will cause the contactor to trip and disconnect power. Power is distributed via ten 50 amp 3 pole breakers in an adjacent panel.

Each Power Panel (see figure A2) contains two 20 amp 3 pole breakers, each feeding a five pin socket (120/208V 3 4W). In the centre of each panel is a 15 amp single pole breaker feeding three duplex receptacles (120 V single phase) Normally the duplex receptacles are used for instrumentation supplies, and one (the other is a spare) of the five pin sockets is pre- connected to the power supply module in the console.

a spare) of the five pin sockets is pre- connected to the power supply module in

Figure A2: Power Panel


Each Power Supply Module (see figure A3) is normally pre- mounted in the lower left corner of the console unit as illustrated in figure A4. There are two models; #8525 for the 2.0 kW units, and #8821 for the 0.2 kW units. All units are protected by a 15 amp 3 pole breaker on the input and other appropriate breakers with a common reset on the front panel. The voltage adjustment is common to both AC and DC outputs. There is a switchable panel meter and three orange pilot lamps monitor the three phase input. The current ratings and terminal identification are as follows:



Current Rating


(2 kW)

(0.2 kW)

1, 2, 3, N

Fixed AC



4, 5, 6, N

Variable AC



7, N

Variable DC



8, N

Fixed DC



Variable DC 25A 8A 8, N Fixed DC 5A 2A Figure A3: Power Supply Module The

Figure A3: Power Supply Module

The colour coding used on the five way binding posts and banana jacks is as follows. Red signifies + 120V relative to neutral (White) and Black signifies -120V relative to neutral (White) for dc power. Red, Black, and Blue are used for the three phases of the 120/208V ac power relative to neutral (White). On some modules, where polarity cannot be predetermined, Yellow is used. The leads used to interconnect modules are colour coded for length, Yellow for short, Red for medium, and Blue for long.

length, Yellow for short, Red for medium, and Blue for long. 1. AC Machine Base 2.

1. AC Machine Base

2. AC Machine (fixed stator)

3. DC Machine Base

4. DC Machine (trunnion mounted)

5. Coupling

6. Locking Bars (2)

7. Tachometer

8. Torquemeter

9. Storage

10. Shelf

11. Modules

12. Power Supply Module

Figure A4: Typical 2kW Machine Set with Console


Safety Considerations

No unsupervised experimentation is permitted and specific approval (including circuit checking with every significant change) is required before turning on any power. A telephone (dial 88 for emergency) and a fire extinguisher (suitable for electrical fires) are located by the exit between power panels 9 and 10. Note the location of the five emergency power disconnect (red) buttons in the


laboratory. Do not exceed electrical or mechanical ratings of any equipment. This requires that you prepare carefully for each experiment. While all equipment in the laboratory has been designed for instructional use, it is still necessary to be careful of rotating equipment and electrical connections.


Student Laboratory Work

The objectives and evaluation of laboratory work are described in a separate sheet which is issued with the experiment instruction sheets. The following procedural points should be noted before commencing any work in the laboratory.

Laboratory Groups - For reasons of safety and efficiency, experiments will be done by groups of students (ideally 2 students per group). Selection of these groups is determined by student choice at the beginning of the term for the duration of that term.

Schedules - Group numbers and members' names will be posted on the lab notice board along with the experiment schedule for the entire term. Lab locations to be used will also be posted.

Instruction Sheets - Instruction sheets are normally available prior to the experiment and are to be studied beforehand with any required preliminary work done before entering the lab. Read the information provided with each group of experiment instruction sheets for more specific details.

Foremen's Responsibilities - In each group a foreman will be elected or appointed for each experiment. This duty will rotate between the group members. The foreman is responsible for performing the experiment, submission of a report at the end of the lab period, restoration of the lab to its initial condition prior to the experiment, and reporting any equipment malfunction to the teaching assistant.



This section deals with the use of instruments in the laboratory. Section (A.3) contains some additional instrument theory for common DC and AC analog meters. All notes relating to measurement are grouped together in this section for convenience in referencing. It may be necessary to read other appropriate sections on poly-phase circuits, for example, to fully understand some of these meter descriptions or connections. While the emphasis is on analog meters, brief mention is made where appropriate to digital techniques.

We will now examine the basic methods used in the laboratory for measuring speed and mechanical shaft torque, and the use of these measurements to determine rotational losses in a machine set. This will be followed by measurement of electrical quantities.




There are two methods commonly used in the laboratory. The first one uses a shaft mounted permanent magnet generator to produce a voltage that is connected to a voltmeter calibrated in rpm. This instrument, called a tachometer, is useful to measure speed approximately over a wide range of speed but inherently has limited accuracy if one wishes to measure and compare small speed differences. See figure A4.

The second method which actually measures the difference in speed from a reference (usually synchronous speed) uses a strobotak flashing on a rotating shaft. At the reference speed (the flash rate) the shaft seems to be still. If the shaft actually turns, for example, 60 rpm slower, it will appear under the light to rotate backwards at 1 revolution per second. In this mode, the flash rate is fixed. Another mode of operation (not used with this equipment) is to vary the flash rate (calibrating the dial in rpm) and look for a stationary pattern. This is often difficult to use because of repeated multiple patterns.

A third method, much more accurate and expensive, is to produce pulses of voltage using, for

example, a rotor mounted permanent magnet passing near a stator mounted coil. The pulse repetition rate is proportional to speed and is measured using a digital counter. This method is used in our research laboratory.



Three methods of torque measurement will be described. The first two involve measurement of reaction torque, whereas the third measures actual shaft torque.

The 2 kW Dynamometer:

Refer to figure A.4 for a typical 2 kW machine set arrangement, the bracketed numbers in this section refer to this figure. The basic method uses a "dynamometer" which is a dc machine (4) whose stator is mounted in an extra set of bearings (referred to as trunnion mounted) and connected to a fixed base (3) by a spring system so that the reaction torque of the stator is indicated on a scale (8). This scale is calibrated in Newton-meters and indicates shaft torque transmitted by the coupling (5) between the left-hand machine (2) and the right-hand machine (4).

Figure A4 illustrates the correct arrangement when the dc machine is used as a generator and the ac machine is used as a motor. The ac machine is run in a counterclockwise (CCW) direction, the tachometer switch is set to CCW, and the torque meter reads upscale. If it is required to use the dc machine as a motor with the ac machine as a generator, the two machines are interchanged (from that depicted in figure A4), the dc motor is operated in a clockwise (CW) direction and the tachometer switch set to CW.

In both cases the machines are oriented with the connecting cables and the nameplates at the back and

the tachometer mounted at the left side. Realize that in order to mechanically "load" the motor significantly, the generator must itself be loaded electrically by connecting an appropriate resistive load and providing the necessary excitation.


The 0.2 kW Electrodynamometer:

In order to mechanically load the various motors in the 0.2 kW units, an "electrodynamometer" is

used. This is a special purpose machine which is fundamentally a generator with its electrical load built directly into the rotor. A variable reactor is mounted on the faceplate to enable the variation of the excitation level and thence the loading. The stator is trunnion mounted and rotated against a spring thus indicating the reaction torque.

True Shaft Torquemeter:

A third method used in the research laboratory utilizes a special section of shaft between the two

machines containing a bridge arrangement of resistances whose value is dependent on the stress/strain

in the shaft. Deflection of this portion of shaft unbalances the bridge which causes a current to flow.

This current is dependent on shaft torque and is indicated on a meter. In this particular instrument

the readout is digital through the use of an analog-digital converter. The analog output has fast dynamic response and can be used for transient measurements while the digital output is only useful for steady state as the "counting" period is one-third of a second.


Rotational Losses

The rotational loss of a machine has two components: (1) Friction and Windage which is dependent on speed and; (2) Core Loss which is dependent upon the air gap flux density. In order to measure these losses in one of the machines (the machine under test) run the coupled machine as a motor.

With no electrical connection to the machine under test, the torque meter indicates torque due to

friction and windage for that machine only. This torque will, in general, depend on speed and should

be measured for the desired value (or range) of speed. In many cases the normal speed range is small

and one value at the nominal speed will suffice. To obtain the power loss, multiply the torque reading


the speed.


this test is now repeated with the machine under test excited and run at rated speed, the torque

meter indicates the friction and windage component of torque plus the component due to core loss. This additional component will depend on the amount of excitation (or the air gap flux density) hence either a typical value of rated excitation or a series of values corresponding to different degrees of excitation should be taken. To obtain the core loss in watts, subtract the friction and windage torque from the test value (both in Newton meters) and multiply by the speed (in radians per second).

Shaft power in watts is obtained by multiplying the torque reading in Newton meters (N.m) by the speed in radians per second (rad/s). Realize that in the steady state this product is always the mechanical power transmitted at the coupling and thus represents the true external mechanical load

if the machine under test is a motor, and the actual mechanical input power if the machine under test

is a generator. The previous two paragraphs detail how two of the internal losses of the machine

under test can be evaluated.



DC Voltage and Current

A.2.4 DC Voltage and Current Figure A5: DC Meter Module DC voltage and current are measured

Figure A5: DC Meter Module

DC voltage and current are measured using a DC

meter module containing one voltmeter (20 V and 200

V ranges) and two ammeters as illustrated in figure



the 2 kW module (#8513) the low current meter

in the centre has a 2 A range and the high current

meter ranges are 15 A and 30 A. The 0.2 kW meter

module (#8412) has a low current range of 0.5 A and high current ranges of 2.5 and 5.0 A. As a general rule the low current meter is used for field current measurements while the high current meter is used for stator or armature current measurement.

DC Current is measured using a pmmc (permanent magnet moving coil) meter movement with a

shunt. Positive current should enter the positive terminal which is marked with the current range. For multi-range meters there are a number of different current shunts connected internally across the meter movement. (Sometimes the shunt is external enabling the user to purchase one movement and several shunts as an economical alternative to several complete meters. These are used in our other laboratories.)

DC Voltage is measured using a pmmc movement and a built in series resistor to produce a current

proportional to the voltage.


AC Voltage and Current

AC Voltage is measured using module #8426 containing three identical units. Each voltmeter has

both a 250 V and a 100 V range. These units use exactly the same pmmc movement as for DC

voltage measurement with diodes in series with the series resistor.

AC Current is measured using a three meter module. For 2 kW units the part number and meter

ranges are: #8514 with 5, 10, and 30 A ranges (the center meter has additionally a 1 A range). The corresponding module for 0.2 kW is: #8425 with 0.5, 2.5, and 8.0 A ranges (with an additional 25 A range in the centre unit). These meters use a moving iron (mi) meter movement. See section A.3.2 for internal details. A built in current transformer is used to obtain the multiple ranges.


Electrical Power and Related Quantities

The following quantities can be measured using the same general class of instrument:

Name Real or Active Power

Imaginary or Reactive Power

Power Factor

Symbol Unit



PF, cos0-

watt (W, kW, MW) var (VAR, kVAR, MVAR)

per unit (no unit)


Since the basic wattmeter is fundamental to all the above power related measurements it will be discussed first.

Single Phase Wattmeter

On the left is the front panel layout with a simplified internal connection diagram on the right. The current coil of the meter movement is connected between terminals 1 and 3. The potential coil is connected in series with a resistor between terminal 1 and terminals 2 and 4 which are themselves connected together. The meter movement is of the electrodynamometer type which is described in section A.3.

Figure A.6 illustrates module #8431 used with 0.2 kW rated equipment.

illustrates module #8431 used with 0.2 kW rated equipment. Figure A6: Single Phase Wattmeter Module Three

Figure A6: Single Phase Wattmeter Module

Three Phase Wattmeter

This is a so-called two element wattmeter that contains two of the previous (single phase) wattmeter coil sets mounted on a single shaft. The meter reading is the sum of the two meter elements. The connections are such that this sum is equal to the three phase power under balanced conditions for

a 4 wire system, and balanced or unbalanced conditions for a 3 wire system.

Figure A.7 illustrates module #8515 used with 2 kW rated equipment.

A.7 illustrates module #8515 used with 2 kW rated equipment. Figure A7: Three Phase Wattmeter Module

Figure A7: Three Phase Wattmeter Module

Three Phase Varmeter and Power Factor Measurement The modules for 2 kW rated equipment (#8516 and #8523 respectively) are extensions of the previous use of the electrodynamometer movement. The varmeter uses two current coils in a basically two element meter and manufactures

a 90 degree phase shift by appropriate connections to the potential coils. The power factor meter

uses only one current coil and appropriate connections for potential. For both instruments, the reading depends on assumed voltage and current phase relationships and therefore is only correct for balanced, 60 hertz, sinusoidal conditions.


Power Flow Direction In an ac system, voltage and current alternate at the supply frequency. It

is important to realize that the direction of real and reactive power flows is quite specific.

Consequently wattmeters and varmeters must be connected correctly in the circuit and the reading interpreted correctly. For the Lab-Volt instruments the convention is that power flows from left to right. For the wattmeter, the terminals on the left side of the modules are connected towards the source of power and the terminals on the right side are connected towards the load so that the meter reads upscale. For varmeters, which have a zero scale, this same convention implies that when the

meter deflects to the left (counterclockwise) lagging vars are being delivered to the load. Note that this convention is consistent with the power factor meter where the left side of the scale is marked

as lagging pf.


Resistance and Impedance

DC Resistance of a power device is determined by passing rated dc current through the device and measuring the dc voltage drop with no machine motion (if any) present. The ratio of dc voltage to

dc current is the dc resistance between the points identified by the voltmeter connection.

R dc

V dc

I d

AC Impedance of a power device is determined by measuring simultaneously the ac voltage, current, and real power relevant to the device, and then calculating Z and from these measurements. In general, R R.



Z V ac




cos 1

P ac

V ac I ac

then use R ac j X Z


Digital Instrumentation

There are two models of digital instrument currently in use:

Digital Multimeter A Fluke #8010A digital multimeter which is primarily useful for dc and rms ac voltage measurement and resistance estimation.

Power Analyzer A Valhalla #2101 wide band ac-dc digital wattmeter with readout of power and either voltage or current. Its connection is similar to the single phase wattmeter discussed earlier (except that the current coil is in the lower line of the drawing).

File EML.wpd

R.T.H. Alden

October 23, 1997