Working Principle of a Single Phase Induction Motor

A Single Phase Induction Motor consists of a single phase winding which is mounted on the stator of the motor and a cage winding placed on the rotor. A pulsating magnetic field is produced, when the stator winding of the single-phase induction motor shown below is energised by a single phase supply.


The word Pulsating means that the field builds up in one direction falls to zero and then builds up in the opposite direction. Under these conditions, the rotor of an induction motor does not rotate. Hence, a single phase induction motor is not self-starting. It requires some special starting means.

If the 1 phase stator winding is excited and the rotor of the motor is rotated by an auxiliary means and the starting device is then removed, the motor continues to rotate in the direction in which it is started.

The performance of the single phase induction motor is analysed by the two theories. One is known as the Double Revolving Field Theory, and the other is Cross Field Theory. Both the theories are similar and explain the reason for the production of torque when the rotor is rotating.

Double Revolving Field Theory of Single Phase Induction Motor

The double revolving field theory of a single phase induction motor states that a pulsating magnetic field is resolved into two rotating magnetic fields. They are equal in magnitude but opposite in directions. The induction motor responds to each of the magnetic fields separately. The net torque in the motor is equal to the sum of the torque due to each of the two magnetic fields.

The equation for an alternating magnetic field is given as


Where βmax is the maximum value of the sinusoidally distributed air gap flux density produced by a properly distributed stator winding carrying an alternating current of the frequency ω, and α is the space displacement angle measured from the axis of the stator winding.

As we know,


So, the equation (1) can be written as


The first term of the right-hand side of the equation (2) represents the revolving field moving in the positive α direction. It is known as a Forward Rotating field. Similarly, the second term shows the revolving field moving in the negative α direction and is known as the Backward Rotating field.

The direction in which the single phase motor is started initially is known as the positive direction. Both the revolving field rotates at the synchronous speed. ωs = 2πf in the opposite direction. Thus, the pulsating magnetic field is resolved into two rotating magnetic fields. Both are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction but at the same frequency.

At the standstill condition, the induced voltages are equal and opposite as a result; the two torques are also equal and opposite. Thus, the net torque is zero and, therefore, a single phase induction motor has no starting torque.

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