Q. 384.5( 2 Votes )

Explain the principle and working of an electric motor with the help of a diagram. What is the function of a split–ring commutator ?

Answer :

A motor is a device that converts the electrical energy into mechanical energy. Principle
An electric motor is based on the fact that when a current carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field the conductor experiences a force which is given by Fleming's Left Hand Rule. For example, when a rectangular coil is placed in the magnetic field and current is passed through it, a torque acts on the coil, which rotates it continuously. When the coil rotates, the shaft attached to it also rotates and therefore the electrical energy supplied to the motor is converted into the mechanical energy of rotation.An electrical motor consists of a rectangular coil ABCD of insulated copper wire, wound on a soft iron core called armature. The coil is mounted between the poles of a magnet in such a way that it can rotate between the poles N and S. The two ends of the coil are soldered to the ends of a commutator whose main function is to reverse the direction of the current flowing through the coil every time the coil just passes the vertical position during its revolution. Working
Suppose the coil ABCD is initially at a horizontal position. When the switch is in ON position the current enters the coil through the carbon brushes and the half ring 'A' of the commutator.The current flows in the direction DCBA and leaves via the half ring 'B'. In the side PQ of the coil, the direction is from Q to P towards the south and the direction of the magnetic field is from the N to S pole towards the east. So, by applying Fleming's left hand rule, we find that it will experience a force in upward direction. Similarly, the side SR of the coil will experience a downward force. Thus we have two parallel wires experiencing forces in opposite directions. They form a couple tending to rotate the coil in the anticlockwise direction. When the coil goes beyond the vertical position, the two commutator half rings automatically changes contact from one brush to the other. This reverses the direction of current through the coil which, in turn, reverses the direction of forces acting on the two sides of the coil. The sides of the coil are interchanged, but rotate in the same anticlockwise direction. This process is repeated again and again and the coil continues to rotate as long as the current is passing.

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