Which of the following motor can operate on lagging as well as leading power factor?
Right Answer is:
Synchronous motor can operate on lagging as well as leading power factor.
In a synchronous motor, there are two possible sources of excitation; alternating current in the stator or direct current in the rotor. The required flux may be produced either by stator or rotor or both.
(i) If the rotor exciting current is of such magnitude that it produces all the required flux, then no magnetizing current or reactive power is needed in the stator. As a result, the motor will operate at the unity power factor.
(ii) If the rotor exciting current is less (i.e., the motor is under-excited), the deficit in the flux is made up by the stator. Consequently, the motor draws reactive power to provide for the remaining flux. Hence motor will operate at a lagging power factor.
(iii) If the rotor exciting current is greater (i.e., the motor is over-excited), the excess flux must be counterbalanced in the stator. Now the stator, instead of absorbing reactive power, actually delivers reactive power to the 3-phase line. The motor then behaves like a source of reactive power, as if it were a capacitor. In other words, the motor operates at a leading power factor.
To sum up, a synchronous motor absorbs reactive power when it is under-excited and delivers reactive power to the source when it is over-excited.
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