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Improving designs in motors with multiple windings: Concentric or a conventional half-slot lap winding will help

Publication date: 
July 2012
Chuck Yung, EASA Senior Technical Support Specialist
Type of media: 

One of the pleasures of helping EASA members is in discovering challenges or specific areas where we can improve on the original design of the motor manufacturer. The most recent of these, for me, has been a noticeable cluster of calls about motors with multiple windings. The call usually starts with something like this: "We wound this motor, and one speed was terribly burned." Another one I often hear is: "We rewound both speeds, and the surge test pattern for one speed indicates a winding problem." These are but a couple of examples of a design issue we are seeing with motors having more than one winding. While the use of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) is increasingly common, there are still applications using 2-speed, 2-winding motors. Cranes are a good example of one such application. When a core has more than one winding, the two windings behave as a transformer. Applying voltage to either winding induces voltage in the other winding because the two windings are inductively coupled. As long as both windings are connected 1 wye, and the leads of the second winding are left open, no magnetizing current is drawn by the second winding. When both windings are conventional and symmetrical, this arrangement works just fine. The problems start when either winding deviates from the symmetry that is so important to 3-phase motor performance. Topics covered include:

  • Transformer effect
  • Visualizing the current flow
  • Parallel circuits