Explain the synchronous machines, Electrical Engineering

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Explain the Synchronous Machines?

A synchronous machine, unlike an induction (or asynchronous) machine, only develops torque at a fixed, so called, synchronous speed - ns which is related to the supply frequency f and the number of pole-pairs p as follows:

ns = 60 . f / p

The main application of a synchronous machine is as a generating device for the bulk conversion of mechanical energy (from a gas, steam or water turbine or a diesel engine) to electrical energy. It is therefore found in all types of power generating stations and also standby generating plants. In the case of a steam plant, the machine is often referred to as a turbo-generator, turbine generator or turbo-alternator. Electrical machines are in general reversible in nature meaning that they are capable of operating both as a motor and as a generator. In this sense, the synchronous machine is no exception. A good example of this are pumped-storage hydro-electric schemes such as the one at Dinorwig in North Wales comprising 6 x 315-MW synchronous machines which can be operated as generators or motors. Synchronous motors are more expensive to install than induction motors and are only found in relatively small numbers in industry where there is a requirement both for a constant-speed drive and the ability of reactive power control.

If inverter-fed they can be used in high-speed variable speed drives for traction applications. Small single-phase synchronous motors have been widely used to provide a timing mechanism for processes such as washing machine cycles. A permanent magnet synchronous machine, usually termed as a DC brushless machine, serves as a basis for numerous high performance servo applications for machine tools and industrial robots. The objective of this module is to look at synchronous machines as a central part of a power generation system. In this sense, the following sections will discuss only the fundamental theory of classical synchronous generators and not the machine operating characteristics in motoring mode.

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