# Characteristics Of A Shunt Generator

** Characteristics of a shunt generator: **We have seen in the previous section that one needs a separate d.c supply to generate d.c voltage. Is it possible to generate d.c voltage without using another d.c source? The answer is yes and for obvious reason such a generator is called self excited generator.

Field coil (F1, F2) along with a series external resistance is connected in parallel with the armature terminals (A1, A2) of the machine as shown in figure (A). Let us first qualitatively explain how such connection can produce sufficient voltage. Suppose there exists some residual field. Therefore, if the generator is driven at rated speed, we should expect a small voltage (kφ

_{res}n) to be induced across the armature. But this small voltage will be directly applied across the field circuit since it is connected in parallel with the armature. Hence a small field current flows producing additional flux. If it so happens that this additional flux aids the already existing residual flux, total flux now becomes more generating more voltage. This more voltage will drive more field current generating more voltage. Both field current and armature generated voltage grow cumulatively.

This growth of voltage and the final value to which it will settle down can be understood by referring to (B) where two plots have been shown. One corresponds to the O.C.C at rated speed and obtained by connecting the generator in separately excited fashion as detailed in the preceding section. The other one is the V-I characteristic of the field circuit which is a straight line passing through origin and its slope represents the total field circuit resistance.

fig(A) shunt generator fig(B) voltage build in shunt generator

Initially voltage induced due to residual flux is obtained from O.C.C and given by Od. The field current thus produced can be obtained from field circuit resistance line and given by Op. In this way voltage build up process continues along the stair case. The final stable operating point (M) will be the point of intersection between the O.C.C and the field resistance line. If field circuit resistance is increased, final voltage decreases as point of intersection shifts toward left. The field circuit resistance line which is tangential to the O.C.C is called the critical field resistance. If the field circuit resistance is more than the critical value, the machine will fail to excite and no voltage will be induced - refer to figure C. The reason being no point of intersection is possible in this case.

Suppose a shunt generator has built up voltage at a certain speed. Now if the speed of the prime mover is reduced without changing Rf, the developed voltage will be less as because the O.C.C at lower speed will come down (refer to figure D). If speed is further reduced to a certain critical speed (ncr), the present field resistance line will become tangential to the O.C.C at ncr. For any speed below ncr, no voltage built up is possible in a shunt generator.fig(A) shunt generator fig(B) voltage build in shunt generator

fig(C) critical field resistance fig(D) critical speed

A shunt generator driven by a prime mover, can not built up voltage if it fails to comply any of the conditions listed below.

1. The machine must have some residual field. To ensure this one can at the beginning excite the field separately with some constant current. Now removal of this current will leave some amount of residual field.

2. Field winding connection should be such that the residual flux is strengthened by the field current in the coil. If due to this, no voltage is being built up, reverse the field terminal connection.

3. Total field circuit resistance must be less than the critical field resistance.