Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 182

Table a/Contents

CHAPTER 1
Basic DC Terminology
Introduction ......... . .......................................................................... ... ... ......... ........ 1-1
The Electri c Circuit ...... . . .. ........ .... ........ ......... ............ ...... .... .......... ... . . .. ......... 1-1
Current (I)..... ... .. ............ ............... ......... .......... ..... ............ ........... .............................. . ........ 1-2
Electromotive Force (EMF) ................................................................ ......................... ..... .. 1-3
Potenti al Difference (PO) . . ... 1-3
Voltage (V) .................... .................................... .............................. ....................... . ... .... .... ................... 1-3
Resistance (R) .. .... .................................... ............... ........ ........ ....... ... ....... .. ..... .................. . ......... 1-4
Connecting Resistances in Series or Parallel in a DC Circuit ........................... . ....... 1-5
Ohm's Law . . ....... ... .. .. .. ... ...... .................................................................... .. ..... .... ....... 1-7
Loads .......... ......................................................................................................................................... .. .. ... 1-7
Kirchhoffs Laws . .. .......................... ......... ......................... .. ........ ...................... ....... 1-7
Electri c Power (P) ......... .... ........ .. ...... .... ......... .................................. .. .................... ..... 1-8
El ectri cal Work ... .. ...... ...................... ............ ...... .. .. ... ...... ............................................ .. ...... ... ...1 -9
El ectri c Unit Prefi xes .......................... ............................... .. .................... ...................................... 1-9
Typi cal Ci rcuit Symbols ..... .. ............ .. .... ......................................................................................... 1-9
CHAPTER 2
Electri cal Components
Introduction.. . ............... ............................... ........................... ................................. 2-1
El ectri c Systems ....... .. ................... ............ .... ......................................................... .................. .. ... 2-1
El ectri c Circuit Faults ........ .. ............... ............ ........ ............ ............ ........ .. 2-2
Busbars . . .......................................................................................................... 2-3
Protecti on Devices ............... ............................................ .. ... .... .............................. ....... ............................ 2-4
Reverse Current Ci rcuit Breaker (RCCB).... .. ................................... ............................ ...2-6
Switches ... ... ... .............. ....... ................ .................. . ........................................................................ . .. 2-6
El ectri c Generator ..... .. .. ............ .............................. ...... .......... .......................... .. ............. 2-1 0
Alternator ... .. ... ........ ... .......................... .................................... . . .............. 2-1 0
Electri c Motor ... ........... ........................ ................................................................................................... 2- 1 0
CHAPTER 3
Aircraft Batteries
Introduction .......... ...................................... . ......................................... ......... ................... 3-1
Lead Acid Battery .... .. ............................................................. ................ ................... . .... ........ .. .. ............ 3-2
Alkaline Battery (Nickel-Cadmium) .. ................................................ ............................. ............. .3-3
Battery Venting ................................................................................................................... ... .. .. ............... 3-4
El ectrol yte Spill age ................................. .. ........... ...... ..... .. ... .. ............................ .... ........ .. .. . . .......... 3-5
Battery Capacity ................................................. ................................. . .......................... 3-5
Battery Charging ........ ................................................................................................................................. 3-6
Thermal Runaway........ .. ..... .......... ..................... ............ .. ............................... .. ..... 3-6
Battery State of Charge ................................................................. ........... ........................ ...... 3-6
Battery Condition Check ...................... ... .............. ...................................................... ........... .. .. 3-7
Emergency Use .................. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. ........ .. .. ............................................ 3-7
Connecti on of Batteries ............................ . .................... ... .. ...................................................... ... ... ..... .. .. 3-7
Spare Batteri es ... ............ ....... ............ .. ..... ........ ... .......... ....... ........................................ . ....... 3-8
Battery Compartment Inspection. .. ..................................................................................... .. .. ......... 3-8
Electrics VII
Table o/Contents
CHAPTER 4
Magnetism
Introduction.................... ... .. ............. ....... . ................................. .. .... .............. ............. 4-1
Magnetism .......................... ................ ..... .. ........................... .................... ........................... 4-2
Fundamental Laws of Magnetism ... ............................................... .... .. ......................... 4-2
Characteristics of Lines of Magnetic Flux... ................................... .. .... .......... ......................... 4-3
Classification of Magnetic Materials. .. ...... ................................................................................ 4-5
Magnetic Flux ............ ...................... ........................ . .......................... ............ ................. ... 4-5
Flux Density ............. ............. .............. ............................ .. .................................................. 4-5
Reluctance ........................................................................................................................................... 4-5
Permeability ................................. ............................................................. ................... .......... .. ......... 4-5
Hysteresis ................. ......... .................. .. ........................... 4-6
Saturation . .............................. ... ............................... .... ....... ... . ......... 4-7
Magnetism Produced by Current Flow . ............ .... ................................... .. ...................................... 4-7
The Electromagnet .................. .................. ............... .................... .. ................ .......... 4-10
The Relay.......................... ........................................ ........ ........ . .............................. .. ....... 4-12
Electromagnetic Induction ...................... .................. ........................... .. .................... 4-1 2
CHAPTER 5
DC Generator Systems
Introduction .......................................... . ................ ...................................................... 5-1
Generator Systems .................................. .......... ........................ ............. .. ........ 5-1
Basic Generator Theory ..... ............. ........ .................................................. .. ..... 5-1
A Simple Generator ..................................................... ...... .. .. ........................... .. ......... 5-2
Conversion of AC to DC ..................... . ..................................................................................... 5-3
DC Generator System Architecture ............................. .. .. . ............ ..................... . ........... 5-5
DC Generator Construction ......................... . ..... .. .. ................................................................... 5-5
Principle of Operation of a DC Generator .. ........ .. ................ 5-6
Types of DC Generator .......................... ....................... ....................................... 5-6
Voltage Regulator . ...... ................ ........... .. ...................... ................................................................. 5-8
Cut-Out ............................................................ ..... .................... ................ .. .... 5-9
Reverse Current Circuit Breaker ...... ...................... ... .... .... .. ......... . ............ ............ 5-10
Busbars ....... ...................... . . ........................ .............................. 5-10
Power Failure Warning ......................................................................... .......................... 5-11
Ground Power. .. ................................................................................................. 5-11
DC Generator System Fault Protection .......................... ....................................................... .................. 5-12
Twin-Engine DC Electrical System ........................ . .............. ........ . ...................... .... ............. ......... 5-1 3
Operation of DC Generators in Parallel . ........................... ............................ .. .............................. 5-14
DC Load Sharing. .. ........................................................................................ ................... 5-14
Operation of an Equalising Circuit. .. .......................................................................... 5-15
Single-Engine Aircraft DC Electrical System ... ...... ........................................... .................. . .. ... 5-15
Operation of the Alternator .......... ..... .. .................. .................................... .................. ....................... 5-16
Vlll Electri cs
Tab/e o/Contents
CHAPTER 6
DC Motors
Introduction .... ......... ... ............... . .............. . .... ........................................................................................ 6-1
Motors ................................... .................................... ........................... . ..... .... ........................................ 6-1
The Motor Principle ................ . ... .................................................. ................. ....................................... 6-1
DC Motors .......... ............................ .... ........... ...................................... . ............ 6-2
Back EMF ............. ........................... ..................... ... . ............ .................................................................. 6-3
Direction of Rotation .................. ..... ................ . ................................................................ 6-3
Types of DC Motor. ........... ... ........... ..... ... ... .. .. ............. . ............ ............................................... 6-4
Motor Speed Control................ ......... ...... ........... .. .. .. . ....... ................... . ........................ 6-6
Actuators ................................................................ . .......................................................................... 6-8
Split-Field Series Motor ................... ........................ . ......................... ............................................. 6-9
Electromagnetic Brakes ......................................... ............... ................. . ......... .................................... 6-10
Clutches ........... ........................................................................ . .......... ..................................... 6-10
Instrument Motors ........ .. ..... ..................................... . .............................................................. 6-1 0
Architecture of a Starter/Generator System .................................................. ........................................... 6-11
Operation of a Starter/Generator System ....................................... .................. ........................................ 6-11
Inverters ................................. . .... ......................................................................................................... 6-14
Multiple Inverter Installations ...................................... ...... ......................................................................... 6-15
CHAPTER 7
Inductance and Capacitance
Introduction ................................................... .... .............. .. ........... ... ........................................................... 7-1
Inductance ............................ .................... ...... ........ .................... .... ... . . ............... . 7-1
Self Induction ........... ....... ............ ..... .......................... . ................................................................ 7-2
Inductors ........................................ ................... ...... .. ..... ............... . ..................... ............................. .. . 7-2
Time Constant of an Inductor ...... ............................................... ..... ........................ . ............ 7-3
Inductors in Series and Parallel ................. ..... .. ................. .. ............ .. . ........................................... 7-4
Capacitance . . .. .. ........ ............................................................ . .............. ........................................ . 7-5
Factors Affecting Capacitance .......................................... . .................. ........................................... 7-5
Types of Capacitor ................. ................................................. . ...................... ............ .. 7-6
The Charging of a Capacitor ..................................................... . .................................................... 7-7
Discharging of a Capacitor ............. ........................... . ........... .................................................... 7-8
The Time Constant of a Capacitor ....................................... .................. ...... . .................................... 7-8
Capacitors in Series and Parallel in a DC Circuit ...... ......... ...... . . ........................................... 7-9
CHAPTER 8
Basic AC Theory
Introduction ............................. ..................................... . .... ............................................. 8-1
Alternating Current ........................................................ .... ........ ..................... . ........ 8-1
Advantages of AC Over DC ............................................... . . .. ............ . ......... 8-1
Generating AC ................... ........................................................................ .............................................. 8-1
Simple AC Generator ......................... ................................ .................. . ......... ................................ ..8-2
AC Terminology ... ..... .......... .............. .......................... ............ .... .. .... ........... ........ . .. ... 8-3
Phasor Representation ............ ................................ ............. . ... .... ............................... ..... 8-6
El ectrics IX
Table o/Contents
CHAPTER 9
Single Phase AC Circuits
Introduction ................. ......................................... . ............................................................................. 9-1
Single Phase AC Circuits ..................................................... . ........................................................ 9-1
The Effect of AC on a Purely Resistive Circuit .................... . .............................................. 9-1
Power in an AC Resistive Circuit ....... .................................................... ..... ................................... 9-1
The Effect of AC on a Purel y Inductive Circuit ................................................ . ....................... 9-2
Power in an AC Inductive Circuit ....................... ....... ............................. ......... . .................................. 9-3
Inductive Reactance (XL) ............................. ........................... ....... ............................................................. 9-3
The Effect of AC on a Purely Capacitive Ci rcuit .............. . ......................................... 9-4
Power in an AC Capacitive Circuit ................ ........................ ...................... ............................................. 9-4
Capacitive Reactance ........................ ... . ............. ....................................................... ...... ......... 9-5
Relationship Between Voltage and Current in Capacitive and Inductive AC Circuits ... ........ ....................... 9-5
Resistive and Inductive (RL) Series AC Circuit ........................................................................................ ... 9-5
Resisti ve and Capacitive (RC) Series AC Ci rcuit ........................................................................................ 9-6
Phase Shift ............................................................................................................................................... 9-
Resistive, Inductive, and Capacitive (RLC) Series AC Circuits ................................................................... 9-
Impedance (Z) in a Resistive, Inductive, and Capaci tive (RLC) Series AC Circuit ...................................... 9-7
Resistive, Inductive, and Capacitive (RLC) Parallel AC Circuit ................................................................. .. 9-7
Impedance (Z) in a Resistive, Inductive, and Capacitive (RLC) Parallel AC Circuit .................................. 9-7
Power in a Resistive, Inductive, and Capacitive (RLC) AC Circuit ................................................. ........... 9-8
Power Factor .............................. ........................ . ............................................................................... 9-9
AC Series Circuit Example ........................ .................... ...... ... .......... ..... . ........................ 9-9
AC Parallel Circuit Example .. ........ . ............ ... ............. .... ... ...... ..... ......................... . .................. ........ 9-11
CHAPTER 10
Resonant AC Circuits
Introduction ............................... ............................................................. ............................................... 10-1
Resonant Circuit... ........................ ................................................................................................. ... ... .... 10-1
Series Resonant Circuit .......................................................................................................................... 10-1
Q Factor in a Series Resonant Circuit ...................................................................................................... 10-3
Parallel Resonant Circuit (Tank Circuit) .......................................................................... . ............... 10-3
Q Factor in a Parallel Resonant Circuit ..................................................................................................... 10-5
Self Resonance of Coils ................................................... . .......... ....................................................... 10-5
Use of Resonant Circuits ................................................... ..... .. .................. ........................................... 10-5
Tuning Circuits ... ..... ............................................... .... ... .. .. ... .. .............. ............................. . ........... 10-7
CHAPTER 11
Transformers
Introduction ........................... ..................................... ............................ ............ . . ...... ........ 11 -1
Transformers..................... .............. .. ................. ..................................... . ................ ....... 11 -1
Construction and Operation .................. ............ ................. ................... . ................... 11-1
Types of Transformers ...... ................ . ................... ..... ..................................................... 11-3
Transformer Rectifier Units ............................................... .. ...... ................. ......................... .................... 11-5
x Electrics
Table o/Contents
CHAPTER 15
Semiconductor Devices
Introduction ...................................... ............ ............................................................. ............................... 15-1
Semiconductor Devices ................... .. ........ ... ................ ................... . ... ...... .. .. .. ............ ....... 15-1
Advantages and Disadvantages .................... ............................................................... .... .. .. .... ..... ........... 15-1
Construction of a Semiconductor .................. ................... ........... ............................ ...... .. ....... ............ ... . 15-1
Doping .................................................. . ....................... . .. ........ .... .... . ........ .................... ......... ...... 15-2
P-Type Material.......... ................. . ............. .. ..... ......................... .... ............ .. . ........... 15-2
N-Type Material ....... ...................... . ................. ................................... ........................ .... ..... 15-3
P-N Junction Diode .............. .............. . ......... .. .................................................................. ... ...... .... 15-4
Use of Diodes. . .................................................................................. ............ 15-6
Zener Diode ................................. . ............................................ .... ... ...... ...................................... .......... 15-6
Variable Capacilance (VARICAP) Diode ............. ...... ........... ... .. ........ ......................................................... 15-7
Bi-Polar Transistors . .............. . . ........... ...................................... .... .. ...... .............................................. 15-7
Operation of a PNP Bi-Polar Transislor ....................................................................................... .............. 15-8
Operation of a NPN Bi-Polar Transislor ......................................................................... ... .. ...................... 15-9
Disadvantages of Diodes and Transistors .............. .... ....................................................... ......... ............... 15-9
Transistor Applicalions ........ .... .... ......... .... ................................................................. ............... ............... 15-10
Integraled Circuits .................. ........... ....... ............................................................................... ................ 15-11
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Inlegraled Circuits ............ .. .. .. .. .... .... ...... .... .. ...... ... ................... 15-11
Types of Integrated Circuits ............................................................ ...... ................................. ... .......... .... 15-11
CHAPTER 16
Logic Circuits
Introduction ........................... .................. .................. .............. . ................. ........... . . ........... .... 16-1
Logic Circuits ............................................... ............... . ..... .... ..... . ...................... . ........... 16 1
Number Systems ....................... ............ .... ...................... . . ......... ................ ................... 16 1
Binary Representation ....................... .............................................. ....... ...... ........... .. . ............... .. 16-2
Basic Logic Gates ....... ..................... ... . .......................................................................................... 16-2
Adder and Subtracter Circuits .......................... ..... ... ... .............................................. . ................... 16-4
Digital Latch and Flip-Flop Ci rcuils .. ............................. ............................................. . ..................... 16-6
CHAPTER 17
Computer Technology
Introduclion ........................... ........................................ . ......................... ..................................... 17-1
Computers ...... .................... .............................................................. .......................... . .... 17-1
Analogue Computers ........................................................................................................ 17-1
Digital Computers........... .... ....... ........ ........................... . ............................................... 17-1
Computer Architecture . . .... ................................................. ................. ........... . . .... 17-3
Input Devices .... ............................................... ..................... ...................................... 17-3
Central Processing Unit .............. ........... .......................... . .................... ....................... ..... .. 17-4
Oulput Devices...... ....... .. ....... ............. ..................... .... . ............... ....... ................................ ...... ... 17-5
Storage Devices......... ..... .... ... ...... ................ ................ . ........................... . ........... .. 17-5
Operating Systems........ ... ..... . ....................... ..................... ...................................................... 175
Programming.. ....... .... ... .. ...................... . .......... ......... ................................................. 17-5
CHAPTER 18
HF and Satellite Airborne Communications
Introduction ............................................................ ........................... . ............ ...... ..... ................. 18-1
Airborne Communications .......................... .......................................... . ............... 18-2
Long Range Communications (Up 10 4000 Km) ...... ............. ................ ......................... ...... . ......... 18-2
Short Range Communications (Up to 450 Km) ..................... ............... .................................................... 18-3
Selective Calling (SELCAL) System .................. ...... ..... .............. ........... ..... . ............. . .. 18-4
Satellite Communications (SATCOM) ........................................... ......................................................... 18-5
Satellile Ai rcom (SI TA) ...................................... ........................ ....................... ...................................... 18-7
XII El ectrics
INTRODUCTION
It is essential to know the basic terminology applied to electricity and electrical components
before studying further into specific functions and systems. Thi s chapter explains the most
common termi nology to provide a basis for further study.
THE ELECTRIC CIRCUIT
An electrical circuit usually consists of a power source, a load, a swi tch, and a conductor, which
connects the components together.
---
---"------,
LOAD LOAD
Open circuit
I
n
!ill
[
I
LOAD
I
\"
LOAD
I \ "
BATIERY
~
Closed circuit
BATIERY
The power source, which can be a battery or a generator, provides the pressure that causes
electrons to fiow in a circuit. When electrons fiow, it is referred to as an electri c current. In the
pi cture above with the switch open, electrical pressure can be measured on the positive side of
the switch but no current fiows because there is not a complete circuit and so the filament will not
illuminate. As the switch is closed, the circuit is completed and current can fiow through the
closed contacts of the switch and through the filament , causing it to il luminate. Notice that current
has to fi ow from the supply, through the load, and back to the supply to form a circuit.
The filament is considered a load as it uses power and creates heat in the process. Notice that it
does not matter whether the switch is between the positive and the load, or between the load and
the negative. Also notice that with the switch closed the voltage can be measured on the positive
side of the load (indicated in red), but not on the negati ve side. Thi s is because all the voltage is
dissipated across the load.
Electri cs 1- 1
Chapter 1 Basic DC Termino/ogl
Wires made from copper or steel normally provide the path for the current to flow, and in most
cases, the airframe structure is used to complete the circuit back to the supply. A distinction must
be made here between electron flow and conventional current flow. In the earliest days of
electrical experimentation, electricity was considered to share the same properties as fluid in
motion. Fluid flows from high pressure to low, and as voltmeters measure the positive side of the
supply as high, the assumption was made that electricity flows from positive to negative, and
came to be accepted as conventional flow. With further scientific study came the realisation that
electrons, which carry a negative charge, are attracted to the positive end of a supply, and
therefore flow from negative to positive. By this time, however, conventional flow theory had
become the rule, as it is today. In all diagrams, unless specified otherwise, conventional flow is
assumed.
Electron Flow Conventional Flow
CURRENT (I)
Electric current is the flow of electrons in a conductor, but there must be a means to measure this
flow. The Coulomb is a charge of 6.25 x 10
'
electrons, so it is convenient to use this charge as a
yardstick. Therefore, 1 Coulomb passing a given point in 1 second equals 1 ampere, often
abbreviated to as amp.
Amperes = Coulombs
Seconds
Current in a circuit is measured by connecting an ammeter in line, or in series, with the load, as
shown below.
1-2
Ammeters are always connected
in series with the load.
Electrics
Basic DC Terminology Chapter 1
ELECTROMOTIVE FORCE (EMF)
EMF is the force or pressure that sets electrons in motion, and is a natural result of Coulomb's
Law, which states that like charges repel and unlike charges attract. EMF is measured in terms of
voltage.
POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE (PO)
1 ~ 10
\
BATTERY
Potential for current flow exists even
though no current is actually flowing
1 ~ 10
.;:
'-.\
BATTERY
Potential is forcing current around
the circuit and through the load
Even though a circuit is open, and no current is flowing, a power source still has the potential for
current flow. Therefore, whether a battery is connected in a circuit or not, a potential difference
still exists between its terminals. The same is true within a circuit or between circuits. For
instance, if one part of a circuit is at higher voltage than another part a potential difference exists,
and current would flow if a connection was made between them. As with EMF, potential
difference is expressed as a voltage.
VOLTAGE (V)
The volt is the basic unit of electrical pressure. In order to understand how to measure one volt, it
is important to know about resistance. Using fluid flow as an analogy, if water flowing in a pipe
meets any resistance, the water flow decreases. Electricity behaves in the same way. Therefore,
if current flows through an electrical resistance, the flow rate decreases. One volt of electrical
pressure forces 1 ampere through 1 unit of resistance. Voltage is measured using a voltmeter,
which must be connected in parallel with (or across) the load or supply.
+
Electrics 1-3
Chapter 1 Basic DC Terminology
RESISTANCE (R)
The unit of resistance is the Ohm. One Ohm exists when it restricts the current fiow to 1 amp
when a pressure of 1 volt is applied.
Resistance opposes current fiow and in doing so dissipates the voltage across it, which is why it
is said that voltage is dropped across a load. A low resistance would allow a relatively large
current to pass through it which in turn creates heat, and heat is energy. Energy over time gives
power so it can be said that if heat is being produced then power is being developed. On the
other hand, if the value of resistance is very high then little or no current will fiow.
Metals such as silver and copper have virtually no resistance and are used to conduct electricity.
As they have virtually no resistance they must be in series wi th a resisti ve load and should be
thick enough to withstand the expected current fiow, otherwise heating of the conductor will
occur. Rubber has a very high resistance and is a non-conductor used for insulation between
conductive materials. Cables and wires are comprised of both materials: the metal conductor
permits the fiow of current along a given path, and the insulation covering it stops the voltage
from forcing current out into other paths causing short circuits.
A material that is half way between being a conductor and an insulator is known as a semi-
conductor. On their own, semi-conductors are not particularly useful, but when doped with other
elements and fused together, they form the basis of the electronic age.
The resistance of a material at a constant temperature is affected by its:
>- Specific Resistance (p), the resistance offered by a cube of material at DOC
>- Length (L)
>- Cross Sectional area (A)
R
_ pxL
- A
Resistors can have either fixed or variable values. An example of a variable resistor is a rheostat,
which is used to control the intensity of a lighting circuit.
A material's temperature can affect its resistance. The resistance of most materials increases
with increasing temperature, and these materials have a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC).
A few materials however, exhibit a decreasing resistance with increasing temperature, and these
have a Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC). In general, most resisti ve components have a
PTC characteristic, and semi-conductors and insulators have a NTC characteristic. NTC is used
to advantage with semi-conductors called thermistors, which have a greater change in resistance
with temperature than normal resistors, and are used to sense temperature changes, such as in
fuel low-level warning systems.
t-4 Electrics
Basic DC Terminology Chapter J
CONNECTING RESISTANCES IN SERIES OR PARALLEL IN A DC CIRCUIT
Resistances can either be connected in series, in parallel, or in series-parallel combinations.
When resistors are connected in series as shown below, the same current fiows through each of
them, and the total opposition to current fiow is equal to the sum of t he individual resistances. The
supply voltage dissipates across all of the resistors in the series network, and therefore each
individual resistor will have a different amount of voltage dropped across it. The sum of al l the
voltages dropped across each resi stor will equal the supply voltage.
Total Resistance (R
T
) = R, + Rz + R3
= 15 + 22 + 31 = 68 Q
If the resistances connect in parallel with each other, the current fiows along two or more paths,
as shown below.
SUPPLY
As the number of resistances in parallel is increased, the total resistance will decrease, whi ch wi ll
draw more current from the supply. The total resistance of a parallel network will always be lower
than the smallest resistor in the network. The supply voltage is the same across each resistor in
the network. To calculate total resistance of a parallel network, use the following formula:
Electrics
_1_ = _1_ + _1_ + _1_
RT R1 R2 R3
12 '
R
T
= '6 = 2 ohms
J -5
Chapter J Basic DC Terminology
In many circuits, a parallel circuit is connected in seri es with one or more resistors.
Rl =9otms
R3=2AoIvns
R2=6otms
SUPPLY
To find the total resistance, first calculate the equivalent resistance in the parallel part of the
circuit, and then add thi s value to the series resistance. In the circuit shown above, the total
resistance is calculated as follows:
PARALLEL PART OF CIRCUIT
Total Parallel Resistance (RTP) = 15
8
= 3.6 Q
TOTAL CIRCUIT RESISTANCE
RT = RTP + R3= 3.6 + 2.4 = 6 ohms
An al ternati ve and easier method to calculate two resistors in parallel is:
RT = R, X R2 + R, + R
2
.
For instance, in the paral lel circuit above, 9 x 6 + 9 + 6 = 54 + 15 = 3.6.
Remember, this onl y works for two resistors in parallel.
1-6 Electrics
Basic DC Terminology Chapter I
OHM'S LAW
Ohm's law states that the current flowing in a circuit is directly proportional to the applied voltage,
and inversely proportional to the resistance through which the current flows. Simply stated this
means that as voltage is increased current will increase, and as resistance is increased current
will decrease. Ohm's law may be stated by the following formul ae:
v = IR, R = VII, or I = VI R
It is handy to remember the Ohm's law triangle. To find an unknown value from the triangle, cover
it with your finger and the required formula remains:
R
Here, V = IR
LOADS
The term load refers to any electrical component which consumes power. Loads are connected
across the supply voltage, and as more loads are switched on across the supply, the total current
increases. Remember that with resistors in parallel, the total resistance is always less than the
lowest resistor in the network.
KIRCHHOFF'S LAWS
The first law states that the sum of the currents entering a junction must equal the sum of the
currents leaving the junction.
7A
SA
) E
~ ~ _ ~ ) .. _20_A
KIRCHHOFF'S FIRST LAW
The second law states that in a closed circuit, the sum of the voltage drop always equals the
supply voltage.
Electrics 1-7
Chapler 1 Basic DC Tenninology
r +_
I
10 Volts 10 Volts
L .-J
VOLTAGE RISE = VOLTAGE DROP
In the circuit shown above, a 10-volt battery is connected across a lamp, and as current flows
through the circuit, a voltage drop develops across the lamp. The lamp therefore consumes all
the energy provided by the battery, and the voltage drop across the lamp equals the supply
voltage.
r +
~
5 Volts
10 Volts ---
L
+-1
5 Volts
.-J
VOLTAGE RISE = VOLTAGE DROP
If two identical lamps are connected in series, each consumes half the power in the circuit and
there is an equal voltage drop across each. The sum of the voltage dropped across each lamp
equals the supply voltage.
ELECTRIC POWER (P)
The terms work and power are often confused with each other. To clarify the difference, imagine
that two people dig holes of equal dimensions. Both have done an equal amount of work.
However, if person A dug the hole 'in 1 hour, and person B dug his in 2 hours, person A used
double the power in order to complete the job sooner. Therefore, power can be seen as the work
done divided by the time. As 1 ampere represents work done in 1 second with 1 volt applied,
increasing the voltage increases the amount of work done, which equals power. Power is
measured in Watts and is calculated using the following formula:
P = VI
Using Ohm's law, the above formula is also expressed as:
1-8
P = 12 R, if IR is substituted for V, and
P = V
2
+ R, if VI R is substituted for I
Electrics
Basic DC Terminology Chapter I
ELECTRICAL WORK
If a potential difference of IV is applied to the ends of a conductor and one coulomb of electricity
passes along it, one Joule of work has been done. Electrical work done creates heat and can also
result in electromagnetic radiation, as well as motion.
ELECTRIC UNIT PREFIXES
For ease of usage and display, electrical units are normally divided into multiples and sub-
multiples. Some of the most commonl y used prefixes are as foll ows:
Multiples Sub-multiples
Kilo
Mega
Giga
Tera
- 1 x 10
3
1 X 10
6
1 X 10'
1 X 10
12
TYPICAL CIRCUIT SYMBOLS
Milli
Micro
Nano
Pico
1 x 10.
3
1 X 10.
6
1 X 10.
9
1 X 10-
12
The following symbols normall y represent typical ci rcuit components:
Electrics
BATTERIES IN SERIES
BATTERES IN PARAlLEL
O - { : : ~
FUSE
o----D NEW
rv OLD
CIRcurr BREAKER
RESISTOR
VARIABLE RESISTOR
RELAY
-,--
.-<> I "--
~
TRANSFORMER
311
A.C. GENERATOR
D.C GENERATOR
DIODE
OLD
OLD
J
- { = = = ~ ~ NEW
1-9
=
INTRODUCTION
Electrical circuits form an integral part of an aircraft and must be adequately protected. The fiight
crew must also be able to select and operate any electrical system safely.
ELECTRIC SYSTEMS
Current can return to the source by two methods: the single pole system, better known as earth
return, and the dipole system.
Single Pole or Earth Return System is used on aircraft constructed from metal, where the
airframe acts as a return path between the load and the power source.
LOAD
AIRCRAFT METAL AIRFRAME (EARTH)
This gives an overall reduction in the amount of wiring required and reduces aircraft wei ght.
Dipole or Two-wire System is used on aircraft constructed from non-conducti ve or non-metall ic
materials.
LOAD
In this system, one wire connects the electrical supply to the load, whilst a second wire provides
the return path from the load to the power source. This increases the aircraft's overall mass.
Electrics 2- 1
Chapter 2 Electrical Components
Ground (Earth) is simply a zero or reference point within an electrical circuit and is the metal
frame or chassis to which all the various electrical circuits are connected. On an aircraft, the
metal airframe is called ground or earth and is at zero volts.
I I r--e
+12 VOLTS
METAL AIRFRAME
I I I ~ -12VOLTS
All voltages are measured with respect to the metal structure. In electrics, ground is important
because it allows us to have both negative and positive voltages with respect to the metal
structure. If a 12-volt battery has a PD between its terminals of 12 volts, then it is not referred to
as +12 or -12 volts but simply as 12 volts. The ground reference allows us to express voltages as
positive and negative with respect to ground. Remember, ground is a reference point that is
considered to be zero or neutral. For example, if the positive terminal of a 12 volt battery is
ground, the negative terminal is 12 volts more negative. It follows that the voltage at this termi nal
with respect to ground is -12 volts. Conversely, if the negative terminal of the battery is connected
to ground, the other terminal of the battery will be +12 volts.
ELECTRIC CIRCUIT FAULTS
The following faults can occur in an electrical ci rcui t:
2-2
Short Circuit
If the insulation around a wire breaks down or is damaged, it exposes an area of bare
conductor. If the wire is at a voltage higher than earth, and the damaged area contacts the
airframe in an earth single pole system or the return line in a dipole system, a path of very low
resistance will exist. In such circumstances, a very high current flows from the supply through
the short circuit bypassing the load and back to the supply.
I
Earth return circuit Dipole return circuit
It is not always guaranteed that a fuse wi ll rupture, or circuit breaker trip straight away. It may
happen that the short to earth will initially have a value of resistance which causes a hi gher
than normal current to flow, but just wi thin the rating of the protection device. This could lead
to burned wiring and possible fire.
Electrics
-
Electrical Components Chapter 2
Open Circuit
I
Earth return circuit Dipole return circuit
In any situation where a wire becomes disconnected or breaks, an open circuit fault exists. Its
effect is exactly like turning off a switch. Current does not have a complete circuit to flow
around, so the system does not work. As there is no current flow, the circuit protection
devices do not operate. When a positive wire disconnects, an open circuit exists, but if that
wire subsequently touches the airframe, a short circuit occurs from the initial open ci rcuit
fault.
Static interference
During fiight, significant levels of static voltage build up on the airframe. If two adjacent areas
are electrically isolated from each other, the potential difference between the two could build
up to the point that the voltages equalise by discharging across the gap between them,
creating a spark in the process. The spark is heard as interference on the radi o equipment.
The cure for this is bonding. All parts of the airframe and equipment are kept at the same
electrical potential using metal braided straps. It is important not to confuse the need for
bonding with the static discharge wicks found at the extremities of the airframe. These are
fitted to help reduce the build up of static voltage on the airframe by continually discharging it
to atmosphere as far away as possible from sensitive equipment.
Induced interference
All forms of electricity generate magnetic fields. In AC circuits especially, pulsating magnetic
fields are created and this can give rise to voltages being induced into adjacent wires, a
condition known as cross talk. Obviously, if the circuits affected are sensitive signal circuits
such as radio navigation systems, it is important to protect them against such interference.
The most common methods of protection are to use twisted pairs or bundles of wires, and
enclose them in a metal braided sleeve or screen, which is connected to earth at one end.
This accepts the induced voltages and feeds them away to earth.
BUSBARS
Busbars form the distribution points from which various systems derive their power and are
formed from a solid copper bar. On a simple light aircraft DC system, there may be onl y one DC
busbar, fed from the battery, or the generator if online. On aircraft that are more complex there
are many busbars distributed around the aircraft. Busbars are categorised as either AC or DC.
Within these categories, there is further SUb-division depending on the rel ative importance of the
systems being supplied. For instance, the battery is likely to be the last remaining power source
in an emergency, so there will be a vital or emergency busbar, which is hard-wired to the battery.
This supplies the most vital services in an emergency, such as the fire extinguishers, shut off
valves, etc. Other busbars will be categorised as essential or non-essential. The difference is that
the non-essential services, such as galley ovens, can be switched off as a group by
disconnecting the non-essential busbar when it is required to reduce the overall load on the
generator(s).
Electrics 2-3
Chapter 2 Electrical Componel1ls
PROTECTION DEVICES
Aircraft electrical circuits use the following protection devices:
Fuse
Thi s protection device opens or breaks the electrical circuit when excessive current flows. Too
much current may ultimately damage either the circuit itself or the system to which it is
connected. A fuse is designed to form a weak link in an electrical circuit to protect the majority of
the cable between the supply and the load against overheating and burnout. In its simplest form,
it consists of a strip or filament of low melting point metal , which is encased in a glass or ceramic
envelope.
FILAMENT
Fuses are rated in amperes, according to the maximum current they can carry without
overheating and rupturing. They are located as near to the supply (bus bar) as possible, so that if
an excessive current flows due to a short circuit, the fuse can protect all of the cable to the load.
Aircraft are required by law to carry spare fuses; minimum stocks of each type being 3 fuses or
10%, whichever is the greater.
If a fuse ruptures in flight:
Switch off the circuit.
Replace the fuse with one of the same val ue.
Switch on the circuit.
A ruptured fuse may be replaced onl y once. If the fuse ruptures a second time, the flight must
continue without the affected system.
Current Limiters
These devices protect high power circuits where transient high-current conditions may exist, such
as certain electric motors that draw a heavy current on initial switch on. They consist of a filament
of tinned copper that has a relati vely slow temperature rise, allowing an initial over current
condition to exist but will rupture if the high current condition persists. The fil ament is contained in
a ceramic housing.
CERAMIC
HOUSING
FILAMENT
2-4 Electrics
Electrical Components Chapter 2
Circuit breaker
Thi s device has the same function as a fuse but can be used to restore a circuit when it is reset.
Li ke fuses, circuit breakers are also rated in amperes and are fitted as close to the supply as
possible. A circuit breaker is basical ly a switch that can be opened (tripped) via a bi-metallic strip,
as shown below. If an overl oad current exists, the bi-metallic strip will heat up and distort, causing
the latch mechanism to release and open the main contaets of the circuit breaker. A push-pull
button pops out, revealing a white band that indicates the circuit breaker has tripped. To reset the
circuit breaker, push in the button. Early ci rcuit breaker designs could be manually held in against
a fault condition. Although tempti ng for the pilot on the last leg home, this practice carried
inherent ri sks of system damage or fire. Modern designs are known as tri p free and cannot be
held in against a fault condition. It is important to learn the di fference between trip free and non-
tri p free.
MAIN CONTACTS
PUSH-PULL
BUTTON "'"
CONTROL SPRING
LATCH THERMAL
MECHANISM ELEMENT
CIRCUIT BREAKER SET
VISIBLE l
WHITE BAND
\ '
CIRCUIT BREAKER TRIPPED
If a circuit breaker trips:
Electrics
l' Switch the ci rcuit off.
l' Allow a period of approximately 20-30 seconds to allow the bi-metallic element to
cool.
l' Reset the ci rcuit breaker.
l' Swi tch the ci rcuit on.
2-5
Chapter 2 Electrical Co111fKNlDU3
If the circuit breaker trips again, switch off the circuit and do not attempt a further reset. In either
case, report the fault on landing.
Unlike fuses, circuit breakers can be reset after tripping, so there is no requirement to carry
spares. The circuit breaker button functions just like a switch; however, this facility should only be
used by ground crew carrying out maintenance in order to isolate a system from the supply.
REVERSE CURRENT CIRCUIT BREAKER (RCCB)
Reverse current circuit breakers are used in DC power supplies to protect against short circuits
within the generator, and between it and the busbar, which would cause dangerously high
currents to flow from the busbar. They operate at high speed and once operated, they
mechanically lock and can only be reset manually on the ground with the engine off. Some of the
more sophisticated types of RCCB have a separate thermal overload as an additional precaution
against a forward current in excess of the power sources safe working capacity.
SWITCHES
In most electrical systems, switches are the means of control. Selecting a system on may be
made using a simple on/off switch, however some systems or sub-systems should not be
selected on together, in which case more complex switches may ensure that one system is
isolated before another system can be enabled.
A simple switch consists of two contacting surfaces, which can be isolated from each other or
brought together by a moveable-connecting link, called a pole. A switch may have an effect on
more than one circuit and the number of contacts that can be switched by moving the pole is
called the throw. Some examples of these are shown below.
SINGLE POLE SINGLE THROW
DOUBLE POLE SINGLE THROW
-_._.-P
0--
SINGLE POLE DOUBLE THROW
---e...,.P
: 0---
,
- - . - ~ - -
0---
DOUBLE POLE DOUBLE THROW
If a switch has only one set of contacts, it is a single pole switch. A switch that operates two or
three sets of contacts in one switching action is a double or triple pole switch. Switches
operating emergency systems or for non-normal operations are often guarded. A guard must be
moved to gain access to operate the switch thereby minimising the risk of inadvertent operation.
2-6 Electrics
.
Electrical Components Chapter 2
The following types of switches may be found on aircraft:
Toggle switches (tumbler switches) are general-purpose switches and are used extensivel y.
They range from simple on/off selectors to ganged double or triple throw switches often
incorporating a spring-loaded position for intermittent selections, for instance selecting test.
Steel
cover
Plastic
case
Push switches are used for momentary actions when a circuit is to be completed or interrupted
for a finite time. An example of this type of circuit is the start circuit of many turbine aircraft. The
start push is held in electromagnetically when operated and released when the engine has
reached self-sustaining speed. Many push switches incorporate illuminated lens caps to indicate
that the specific circuit has been selected. As with toggle switches, the contacts can be arranged
to make or break when operated.
Lamp Contacts
Electrics
Switch Housing
Switch Actuating Plunger
Illuminated Lens
Assembly
Translucent
Screen
2-7
Chapter 2 Elearlcol Co ...
Rocker switches are single throw or double throw and may have one or both throws spring
loaded to the centre-off position. The spring return allows one shot operations such as reset
circuits.
Rotary switches are manually operated and are often used as selector switches, such as
selecting a single voltmeter to measure voltage across different busbars or generators.
Micro switches are extensively used throughout aircraft systems in both remote control circuits
and remote position sensing and indication. The switch has a snap action and is operated by a
spring leaf or roll er and cam impinging on the switch-actuating plunger. The actual movement of
the spring is very small , typically in the range of a few mill imetres.
2-8
ACTUATING
PLUNGER
MOVABLE
CONTACT
STATIONARY
Electrics
=
Electrical Components Chapter 2
Some typical circuits using micro switches include:
:>- Landing gear systems
:>- Door warning systems
:>- Power lever sequencing of system operation (arming of power augmentation
systems)
:>- Weight on wheels sensing, which isolates circuits that should not operate on the
ground
Rheostats are used to alter the amount of current in a ci rcuit by varying the total resistance (e.g.
to vary the intensity of panel or flight deck lighting). They normally also have an OFF position to
completely remove the current.
Time switches are used to perform timing functi ons. They can be operated by a clockwork
mechanism, electric motors or electronically. Obviousl y, clockwork mechanisms are old
technology and are only found in older generations of aircrafl . Examples of aircraft-specific timed
operations are power switching between heater mats and propeller de-icing, where an electric
motor is often the drive for the timing switch and turbine-engine start systems, where electronic
timing and switching is employed in modern aircraft. The timing cycles of both electric motor-
driven time switches and electronic timers can be varied to suit different operati ng conditions.
Mercury switches rely on the fluid properties and electrical conductivity of mercury. Contained in
a slightly curved tube of insulating material such as glass or ceramic, mercury can electri cally
connect between two or three electrodes fixed into the container, forming a switch whi ch is
dependent on the tilt of the switch. They are found in instruments such as the Artificial Horizon,
where gravity is used as the controlling force, and in any other circuit where gravity is a
controlling force.
+
Pressure switches are used in control and protection circuits and indication circuits where
pressure is an important parameter. There are many different types of pressure swi tches
dependent on their application and on the systems in which they are fitted. For instance, a
pressure switch installed in a hydraulic circuit is subjected to very high pressure, so the switch
itself has to be very robust. They often take the form of solid metal cylinders containing the swi tch
mechanism. An altogether different pressure switch is employed in cabin pressurisation circuits
where the weight of a solid metal container can be saved by using a much lighter construction.
Thermal switches are sensitive to temperature. Such switches are employed where temperature
must be measured or sensed. Most switches in common use are either electronic or are based
upon the bending properties of a bi-metallic strip which in turn operates a micro switch (see bi-
metallic switches below).
Electrics 2-9
Chapter 2 Electrical Componenzs
Proximity switches are similar to micro switches in application. They are either magnetically or
electronically operated when a steel or ferrous metal is brought into close proximity to the sensing
element. Their reliability is greater than micro switches because they contain no moving parts.
Bi-metallic switches are also thermal switches, but specifically use the principle of a bi-melalJic
strip. Two different metals with different rates of expansion with temperature are fastened
together so that the strip will bend when subjected to varying temperatures. By careful design, the
strip can be made to operate a snap spring to open or close a micro switch at a specific
temperature. They are most often found in cool ing ci rcuits for either control or indication.
ELECTRIC GENERATOR
An electrical generator is a mechanical device that changes mechanical energy into electrical
energy by using permanent magnets or electromagnets with rotating conductors. Engine driven
generators produce a voltage that causes current to flow when electrical circuits are switched on.
Depending on design, generators may produce DC or AC.
ALTERNATOR
As with a generator, an alternator produces electricity. Unlike the generator, alternators are DC
machines only. However, the method of producing DC differs from the DC generator as
discussed later.
ELECTRIC MOTOR
These are electro rnechanical devices that convert electrical energy into mechanical energy and
are employed extensively throughout aircraft systems.
2-10 Electri cs
INTRODUCTION
All aircraft electrical systems include a battery used to:
~ Supply power to essential services in the event of generator failure
~ Stabilise the power supplies during,switching of transitory loads
~ Supply power for engine starting
Batteries are made up of a number of units called cells. Each cell consists of a series of negative
and positive plates, immersed in a liquid known as electrolyte.
ACELL
All cells and batteries store energy in a chemical form, which can be released as electrical
energy. The following basic types of cells exist:
Electrics
INDMDUAL CELLS
~ A Primary Cell is not rechargeable and has a limited use in aircraft, where it is
mainly used for emergency lighting.
~ Secondary Cell batteries are rechargeable, and are the type mainly used in aircraft.
They are either of the lead-acid or Nickel-Cadmium (Ni -Cd)/alkaline variety.
3-1
Chapter 3 A ircrajt Balleries
LEAD ACID BATTERY
Each cell of a lead acid battery consists of positive plates of lead peroxide and negative pl ates of
spongy lead, as shown below.
LEAD
PEROXIDE
LEAD ACID CELL
SPONGY
LEAD
DILUTE
SULPHURI C
ACID
-
A NUMBER OF CELLS MAKE A BATIERY
2.2V
CELL
2.2V
The pl ates are interleaved, and insulated from each other by plastic separators. An odd number
of negative plates is used with one positioned either side of the posi tive plates to prevent buckling
by evening out the thermal distributi on. The complete structure is supported in an acid-resistant
casing that contains an el ectrolyte of distill ed water and concentrated sulphuric acid to a level just
above the plates. Each cell is 2.2 V full y charged and 1.8 V fully discharged. Aircraft batteries of
thi s type consist of either six cell s (12 V) or twelve cell s (24 V).
When a battery is connected to an external circuit, electrons in each cell are transferred through
the electrolyte from the spongy lead to the lead peroxide. The net result of the chemical reaction
is that a voltage is created across the cell s of the battery. Consequentl y, lead sulphate forms on
both plates of each cell. At the same time, the formulati on of water dilutes the electrolyte, which
takes place during the chemi cal reaction. For practi cal purposes, each cell is full y discharged
when the specific gravity (SG) or relative density of the electrolyte fall s from 1.27 SG (fully
charged) to 1.1 SG (fully discharged) , whi ch equates to 2.2 and 1.8 V respectively. Any change
in the temperature of the electrol yte al so varies its specific gravi ty, so a correcti on must be made
if the temperature is non-standard. The specific gravity of the electrolyte also determines its
freezing point, therefore, a discharged battery is more prone to freezi ng.
Batteries constructed from thi s type of cell must not be left in a discharged condi tion for extended
periods, since the lead sulphate hardens on the pl ates and cuts down their active area. This
process is known as sulphation, and can drastically shorten the life expectancy of a battery.
3-2 Electrics
Aircraft Balferies Chapter 3
Lead acid batteries may be recharged by connecting the positive and negative terminals
respectively, to the positive and negative terminals of a DC source of a slightly higher voltage
than the battery. All of the fore-going reactions are reversed; the lead sulphate is removed from
both plates, the positive plate is restored to lead peroxide, the negative plate is restored to
spongy lead, and the electrolyte is restored to its original Specific Gravity (SG).
ALKALINE BATTERY (NICKEL-CADMIUM)
Each cell of a nickel-cadmium battery in a fully charged condi tion consists of positive plates of
Nickel Oxide and negative plates of pure Cadmium, as shown below.
CADMIUM
DILUTE
POTASSIUM
HYDROXIDE
n-
-I\.
-!+
CELL
1.2 v
"
NICKEL OXIDE
ALKALINE CELL
n+
-1
-b

+
+
CELL CELL
"'-
1.2 v
,
1.2 v
The plates are interleaved and fully immersed in an electrolyte of dilute potassium hydroxide. The
plates and electrolyte are housed in a stainless steel or plastic container. Each cell is 1.2 V (fully
charged) and 1.1 V (fully discharged). Batteries of this type for use on an ai rcraft consist of
either twenty cells (24 V) or twenty-two cells (26 V).
During discharge, the negative plates turn into cadmium hydroxide, and the positive plates turn
into nickel hydroxide. The electrolyte in an alkaline cell has a specific gravity of 1.26, which
remains constant whether it is in a charged or di scharged condition.
Like lead-acid batteries, alkaline batteries are recharged by connecti ng the positive and negati ve
terminals respectively to the posi ti ve and negati ve terminal s of a DC source of slightly higher
voltage than the battery. The chemical reaction is reversed, and the plates return to their former
states; the negative plates to cadmium, and the positive plates to nickel oxide.
Electrics
3-3
Chapter 3 Aircraft BanerieJ
BATTERY VENTING
As batteries are charged, their temperature increases and volatile hydrogen gas is given off,
which is safely vented to atmosphere by way of various systems. In each case, however, a
certain amount of water is lost by evaporation, and it is, therefore, necessary to top the battery up
to a specific level from time to time with distilled water.
~ Lead-Acid Battery Venting
Lead-acid batteries are vented using one of the foll owing methods:
The Non-Spill Vent is most commonly used on small ai rcraft and allows the
hydrogen gas to escape, whilst retaining the electrolyte.
VENT OPEN . VENT CLOSED

The Cross-Flow Cell System is used on larger aircraft where cabin
pressurisation air fiows over the tops of the cel ls and vents the battery to
atmosphere.
NON RETURN VALVE
/
- ~ ~
PREssURlZA
AIR
TION
~ Alkaline Battery Venting
--+ A I R F ~ W --+
CROssFLOWVENTING
-=
-
Alkaline batteries give off a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases toward the end of
charging. As with lead-acid batteries, there are different types of alkaline batteries:
Semi-Open Battery cells are allowed to gas freely in order to avoid
overheati ng, which can result from overcharging. The gases given off during
the chemical reaction are vented safely to atmosphere using a cross-flow
venting system. These batteries must al so be topped up at regular servicing
intervals with distilled water.
Sealed Battery cell s are completel y sealed and require no maintenance.
3-4 Electrics
Aircraft Batteries Chapter 3
ELECTROLYTE SPILLAGE
Any electrolyte spilled from a battery, normally due to heavy landings and severe turbulence,
must be neutralised before it damages the ai rcraft structure. The neutral ising agents for this
purpose are as follows:-
~ Lead-Acid Battery - Use a solution of Bicarbonate of Soda.
~ Alkaline Battery Use a solution of Boric Acid.
It is important that once the area is neutralised, copious quantities of fresh water are used to
cleanse the area and prevent corrosion from setting in.
BATTERY CAPACITY
The capacity of a battery is measured in Ampere-Hours (AH) , and is a measure of the total
amount of energy that it contains. It is based on the maxi mum rated current in amperes delivered
by a battery for a known period until it has discharged to a permissibl e minimum vol tage level ,
which vari es according to the size and number of plates in each cell. The foll owing definitions
apply:
~ Rated Capacity is the manufacturer's stated capacity that is usually stamped on the
side of the battery (e.g. 40 AH). This signifies that the battery is designed to last 10
hours when discharged at a 4-Ampere rate, or 1 hour when discharged at a 40-
Ampere rate.
~ Actual Capacity is the capacity of the battery as determined by a Capacity Test.
Batteries used in aircraft are normall y removed and their capacity checked at specified intervals
in a specific battery-charging bay, where the following process takes place:
Electrics
~ Fully discharge the battery.
~ Fully charge the battery.
~ Di scharge the battery at known current level to a minimum permissible voltage level ,
and note the time taken.
~ Multiply the current by the time taken to obtai n the Actual Battery Capacity.
~ Compare this value against the battery's Rated Capacity.
Actual Capac,ity x 100 = 38 x 100 = 95%
Rated Capacity 40
Note: For continued use in ai rcraft, this value must be 80%, or more.
3-5
Chapter 3 A ircrafi Balleries
BATTERY CHARGING
The following methods are used to charge the batteries whilst instal led in the aircraft:
Constant Voltage is used mainly on aircraft fitted with lead-acid batteries. The
battery-charging rate is proportional to the difference between the battery and the
generator voltage, which in aircraft using 24 V batteries is 4 V (i.e. the generator
voltage is normally regulated at 28 V).
Pulse Charging is used mainly on alkaline batteries. Aircraft using this method are
fitted with a battery charger supplied by Alternating Current (AC). This source is
rectified to provide a constant Direct Current (DC) of approximately 50 amps that
continues flowing until the battery is nearl y fully charged. The charger goes into a
pulse DC current mode to keep the battery topped up. A temperature sensor withi n
the battery is normally designed to reduce or even stop the charging if the battery
starts to overheat.
THERMAL RUNAWAY
Batteries are capable of performing to their rated capacity when the temperature conditions and
charging rates are maintained within the values specified by the manufacturer. If these values are
exceeded, Thermal Runaway can occur, which causes violent gassing and boiling of the
electrolyte. If this condition continues, the temperature of the battery ri ses to such a level that it
may melt or even explode and cause damage to the aircraft structure. When a battery exceeds a
certain temperature, its internal resistance reduces, allowing a higher charging current to fl ow and
the battery temperature to rise. This effect is self-perpetuating, and in some aircraft, particularl y
those employing alkaline batteries, temperature-sensing devices are located within the batteries
to provide a battery-overheat warning on the flight deck. This indicates that the battery should be
electrically isolated.
BATTERY STATE OF CHARGE
The state of charge of lead-acid batteries can be found by:
Measuring the terminal voltage
Measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte
Alkaline batteries have a fairly constant voltage output until they are discharged, and the specific
gravity of the electrolyte does not alter significantly from fully charged to fully discharged. This
makes it difficult to ascertain the state of a battery using the above means, so an alkaline battery
must be assumed serviceable unless the voltage is obviously low.
3-6 Electrics
Aircraft Batteries Chaprer 3
BATTERY CONDITION CHECK
An aircraft battery is a vital piece of equipment. Check the following for serviceability prior to
fiight:
~ Examine the battery OFF load and note its voltage readi ng.
~ Select a specified load and note the new voltage reading.
~ Compare both ON and OFF load readings, and ensure that the difference between
the readings is within a set tolerance.
EMERGENCY USE
In an emergency, the aircraft batteries must be capable of maintaining a supply for a minimum
period of time, according to JAR:
~ Main batteries must last at least 30 minutes after total failure of the electrical
generating system. (Refer JAR 25.1303).
~ Emergency Lighting Batteries must last for at least 10 minutes.
CONNECTION OF BATTERIES
Batteries that are connected together must be of the same type (i.e. acid and alkaline batteries
must never be mixed). Batteries may be connected together as follows:
SERIES CONNECTION
Electrics
If three identical batteries are connected in series, their voltages are added together, but
their capacity remains the same as that of an individual battery, as shown below.
(
40 AlH
+
TOTAL VOLTAGE = 36VOLTS
36 VOLTS
12V
40AIH
+
40 AIH
+
TOTAL CAPACITY = 40 AIH
3-7
Chapler 3 A ircrafi Balleries
PARALLEL CONNECTION
If identical batteries are connected in parallel , their capaci ties are added together, but the
voltage remains the same as that of an indi vidual battery.
SPARE BATTERIES
12 VOLTS
12V
40 AlH
12V
40 AlH
12V
40 AlH
TOTAL VOLTAGE = 12 VOLTS
TOTAL CAPACITY = 120 AlH
Spare batteries are sometimes carried for operations away from ground servicing facilities, and
no attempt should be made to change the batteries in fiight.
BATTERY COMPARTMENT INSPECTION
Prior to flight, check the battery compartment as follows:
~ Check the batteries for security.
~ Check the electrical connections.
~ Check for any electrolyte spillage.
~ Check the vent pipe for security and routing.
3-8 Electrics
.n
INTRODUCTION
Any study of electricity cannot be conducted without considering the close relationship between it
and magnetism. When a current flows in a wire, a magnetic field develops around it. If a magnetic
field has movement near a wire, an electric voltage develops in the wire. A magnet has a
magnetic field around it that attracts metal objects toward it and can be visualised by sprinkling
iron filings on a piece of paper over a magnet. This also shows that the invisible lines of magnetic
force flow in circuits or loops, and that they do not cross each other. Magnetic flux is the flow of
magnetism around a circuit.
IRONFIUNGS
POLES
The above illustration also shows that magnetism is concentrated at the extremities of a magnet,
called the poles. If it is freely suspended, a magnet always aligns itself in a North-South
orientation.
~ R T H
POLE
The North-seeking or red pole always points North, and the South-seeking or blue pole always
points South.
The earliest known form of magnetism is Lodestone, which is a natural mineral found in Asia. It
was found that if a piece of this ore was suspended horizontally by a thread, or fl oated on a piece
of wood in water, it would align itself in a North-South direction.
Electri cs 4-1
Chapler 4 Magnetism
E
N
w
LODESTONE
Thi s characteristi c led to its use as a compass. Lodestone means leading stone.
The north-south al ignment occurs because the Earth itself is a huge magnet with its own
magnetic fi eld. The fields interact with each other and the Lodestone al igns itsel f according to the
fundamental laws of magnetism. Other than the Earth itself, Lodestone is the only natural
magnet. All other magnets are produced artificiall y. For example, an iron bar becomes
magneti sed if it is repeatedly rubbed against a piece of Lodestone, and a magnetic fi eld is
created if an electric current is passed through a coil of wire. Magnets are additi onally classified
by their shape and can exist as horseshoe, bar or even ring magnets.
Conversely a magnet can be demagneti sed by:
: Heating it to a temperature known as its Curie Point
: Hitting it with a hammer
: Placing it in an alternating field created by feeding an alternating current through a
coil , known as Degaussing
MAGNETISM
FUNDAMENTAL LAWS OF MAGNETISM
The fundamental laws of magneti sm are as foll ows:
: The line through the poles is called the magnetic axis.
: Red or blue poles cannot exist separately.
4-2
: Li ke poles repel each other, and unl ike poles attract, as shown bel ow.
UNLIKE POLES
ATTRACT
LIKE POLES
REPEL
El ectrics
-
Magnetism Chaprer4
CHARACTERISTICS OF LINES OF MAGNETIC FLUX
Lines of magnetic fiux have the following characteristics:
Electrics
~ They have direction or polarity, and the lines of magnetic fiux travel externall y from
the North Pole to the South Pole, as indicated in the following diagram.
~ They always form complete loops, where each line of magnetic fiux travels back
through the body of the magnet to form a complete loop.
~ They never cross each other; which is why like poles repel, since lines of magnetic
flux having the same polarity can neither connect nor cross. When one field intrudes
into another, as shown below, the lines repel , and the magnets tend to move apart.
4-3
Chapfer 4 Magnetism
They tend to form the smallest possible loops, which is why unlike poles attract. Li nes of
magnetic ftux having the same polarity link up, as shown below, and the resulting loops attempt to
shorten by pulling the two magnets togelher.
4-4
~ They can be distorted by interacting with other ftux lines, as shown below. This is
because the lines of magnetic ftux pass through soft iron more readil y than air, and at
the same time, the lines tend to contract to make the smallest possible loops. The
iron bar is attracted toward the magnet, and strengthens its overall magneti c fiel d.
Electrics
Magnetism Chapter 4
CLASSIFICATION OF MAGNETIC MATERIALS
Theoretically, all materials are affected to some extent by a magnetic fi eld, and can be placed in
one of the following categories:
>- Ferromagnetism is the property of a material that enables it to become a permanent
magnet (i.e. when placed in a magnetic fi eld, ferromagnetic materials will develop a
very strong internal field and retain some of it when the external field is removed).
The most common ferromagnetic substances are iron, cobalt, nickel, and alloys of
these metals. Above the Curie temperature, thermal agitati on destroys the domain
structure and the substance becomes paramagnetic. In practice, it is convenient to
sub-divide ferromagnetic materials into two classes:
Hard Iron is a material that is diffi cult to magnetise. However, once
magnetised, it will retain its magnetism unl ess subjected to a strong
demagnetising force. Thi s is a Permanent magnet.
Soft Iron is a material , which is easily magnetised, but al so easily loses it
magnetism when not subjected to a strong magnetising force. Thi s is a
Temporary magnet.
>- Paramagnetic is the property of a material that has an internal field stronger than
that outside and slightly attracts lines of magnetic force when placed in a magnetic
field. However , once the magnetic field is removed , random thermal motion destroys
the magnetism. Typical materials are platinum, manganese, and aluminium.
>- Diamagnetic is the property of a material that has an internal field proportional to,
but less than that outside and slightly repels lines of magnetic force when placed in a
magnetic field. Typical materials are copper and bismuth.
MAGNETIC FLUX
Magnetic flux can be considered the equivalent of electric current and is the fiow of magnetism. It
moves under the infiuence of Magneto-motive force which can be considered the magnetic
equivalent of voltage. The ease with which it fiows through a medium is dependent on the
material 's reluctance, the equivalent of electrical resistance. Magnetic fiux is measured in Webers
(Wb).
FLUX DENSITY
Flux density is the number of Webers per square metre (Wb/m2) and is known as the Tesla (13) .
RELUCTANCE
Reluctance is the opposition to magnetic fiux, and is similar to resistance in an electrical circuit. It
is the ratio of the Magneto-Motive Force (MMF) acting on a magnetic circuit to the magneti c fiux
(<1 produced.
Reluctance - MMF
- rp
PERMEABILITY
Permeability ( ~ ) is the ease by which a material accepts lines of magnetic fiux and may be
compared to conductance in an electrical circuit, which is the ease with which a material or circui t
allows current to fiow. It is the ratio of B/H, where B is the induced magnetic fiux, and H is the
magnetising force. The table on the next page shows how the permeability of a material
determines its characteristic.
Electrics 4-5
Chapfer4 Magnetism
Material Permeability Characteristic Action
Bismuth 0.999833 Diamagnetic Slightly Repelled
Water 0.999991 Diamagnetic Slightly Repelled
Copper 0.999995 Diamagnetic Slightly Repelled
Air 1.000000 Paramagnetic Non-Magnetic
Aluminium 1.000021 Paramagnetic Slightl y Attracted
Cobalt 170 Ferromagnetic Strongly Attracted
Nickel 1000 Ferromagneti c Strongly Attracted
Iron 7000 Ferromagnetic Strongly Attracted
HYSTERESIS
Any ferrous material becomes magnetised to some degree when subjected to a magnetising
force. In the diagram below, it is possible to see the effect of a magnetisi ng force on a non-
magnetised iron bar.
The H-H axis is the magnetising force and is assumed to be an electromagnet whose magnetic
strength can be increased by increasing the electri c current through the coil , and vice-versa. As
the magnetising force increases from 0 to +H, the magnetism induced in the bar increases along
the curved line O-C. Notice at C that although current could be increased further, the curve has
flattened out, indicating that the bar cannot be further magnetised. This is known as saturation.
+8
-H
F
-B
G
~ _ = " . c
REMANENT
FLUX
+H
If the magnetising force is now reduced to zero, there is a residual magnetism left in the bar at D,
which is known as remnant flux. If it is intended to completely remove the remnant flux, the
magnetising force would have to be applied in the opposite polarity, known as the coercive force.
At E, the magnetism in the bar has been removed, but any further increase in the magnetising
force toward -H will magnetise the bar in the opposite polarity to that originally achieved, and as
before, saturation will eventually be reached. It is worth pointing out that the shape of this
hysterisis loop is dependent on the magneti c properties of the bar. Consider a bar which is easy
to magnetise, but loses its magnetism on removal of the magnetising force; a paramagnet. The
loop would appear thinner as the line O-C would be more upright and D would appear much
lower down on the B-B axis.
The word Hysterisis means to lag, and this is what happens to the flux density as it lags behind
the changing values of the magnetising force.
4-6 Electri cs
Magnetism Chapler 4
SATURATION
Saturation plays an important role in ferromagnetic circuits, where the magnitude of magnetism
induced in a piece of iron is proportional to the current creating it. However, if the current is
increased beyond a certain point, no further appreciable increase in magneti sm occurs, as the
iron becomes fully saturated. This is a very important property, and is the principle on which a
magnetic amplifier operates.
MAGNETISM PRODUCED BY CURRENT FLOW
When current flows through a conductor, a magnetic field is produced around the conductor, and
its magnitude is proportional to the current fi ow.
Electrics
DIRECTION
OF
CURRENT
4-7
Chapfer4 Magnetism
The direction of the field depends on the directi on of current fl ow. The Right Hand Grasp Rule is
used to determine the direction of the field when a conventi onal current is fl owing.
FINGERS IN DIRECTION
OF LINES OF ___
MAGNETIC FLUX --........
DIRECTION OF .",..
CURRENT FLOW
'" LINES OF
MAGNETIC FLUX
RIGHT HAND
The thumb points in the direction of the current fl ow, whil st the fingers wrapping around point in
the direction of the magneti c field. In explaining some aspects of electromagnetism, it is also
useful to picture current flow looking at the end of a wire, by visualising a feathered arrow. If a
cross sectional view of a wire is shown, a cross would indicate flow into the wire, like looking at
the back of a feathered arrow. Current flowing out of the wire would be shown as a dot, like
looking at the pointed end of an arrow. This principle is illustrated below.
Bel INBleATES CURRENT IS
FLOWlNG OUT OF CONDUCTOR
If two wires are placed side by side, the resulting magnetic fields either attract or repel each other
dependent on the direction of the current fl ow, as shown bel ow.
4-8 Electrics
Magnetism
REPULSION
... +
ATTRACTION
Chapter 4
Although a circulating magnetic field around wires has no polarity, where they flow in the same
direction they can be considered to share the same polarity and therefore repel each other.
Where the currents flow in opposite directions they can be considered to have different polarities
and attract each other.
The magnetic field produced in a straight piece of wi re is of little practical use; it has direction, but
no North or South Pol e. Unless the current is extremely high, the magnetic field has little strength.
The magnetic characteristics are greatl y improved by shaping the wire into a loop.
The coil of wire, as shown below, now possesses the following characteri stics:
l' The lines of flux are closer together in the centre of the loop.
Electrics
l' There is an increased flux in the centre of the loop.
l' North and South Poles are created at the ends of it, and it assumes the same
magnetic characteristics as a permanent magnet where lines of magnetic flux
emerge from the North Pole, and return via the South Pol e, as illustrated below.
4-9
Chapter 4 Magnetism
THE ELECTROMAGNET
The principle of an electromagnet is that passing current through a loop of wi re, establishes a
magnetic field. By increasing the number of loops in the wire a coil is formed. The fi ux density
within the core of the coil greatly increases, creating a stronger magneti c fi el d.
This is a Solenoid, and the greater the current that fiows through the coil , the greater the fiux
density. The strength of the magnetic field around a coil (electromagnet), therefore, grows with
either an increase in current or an increase in the number of turns. Another method of increasing
the strength of the magnetic fiux around a coil is to insert a bar of ferromagnetic material into it.
Thi s increases permeability within the coi l and allows an increased fiux density. The magnetic
polarity of a solenoid can be established using the right hand grasp rule.
4-10 Electri cs
j
l
Magnetism
.,..------
/' -
\
/
SOFT= _ _-
IRON _ ,,- ........
CORE
(I ) )
'- //
" ----- /'
AN IRON CORE INSIOE A COIL
BECOMES MAGNETISED
AND ADDS LINES OF MAGNETIC FLUX
./ - - - - - - -=:- --
/ ..... ,.........------ - -.:-::::--
~ , . . - : - - - - - - - - '
,
) I) \ 1
- I 1/
" ... ..:::----- -_ ..... //
" ,-..:: - - -- ---//
........ -- - - - - _ .... ,..,...
-- ------
-- - ---
Chapfer 4
--
If the fingers of the right hand are wrapped around the coil in the direction of current fl ow, the
thumb will point in the direction of the North Pole.
Electrics
4- 11
Chapler4 Magnetism
THE RELAY
A relay uses the principle of the electromagnet (solenoid) to attract together or pull apart electrical
contacts, and is often used for remote or automatic switching. In the following diagram, a low
current through the relay coil can switch a high current through the contacts with the advantage
that a smaller, more compact switch can be placed in the cockpit. There is a difference between
the voltage at whi ch a relay pull s in (pull in voltage) and the vol tage at which it releases (drop out
voltage). Due to the greater physical distance between the armature and contacts, the voltage to
pull in is greater than that required to release.
B
A
R
I
~ r - ~ ~ ~ - - - ~ ~ ~ R E ~ Y
\----+
SUPPLY -
ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION

SOLEN 10
SPRING
If relati ve motion exists between a conductor and a magnetic field, an electromotive force (EMF)
is induced in the conductor, whose magnitude is determined by the following factors:
~ The strength of the magnetic field
~ The speed of the conductor with respect to the field
~ The angle at which the conductor cuts the field
~ The length of the conductor in the field
These factors are all a natural consequence of Faraday's law, which states that the voltage
(EMF) induced in a conductor is directly proporti onal to the rate at which the conductor cuts the
magnetic lines of fiux. This principal is the foundation upon whi ch all generators work.
4-12 Electrics
INTRODUCTION
Modern aircraft electrical systems are extremely complex and varied. DC systems have now been
mostl y superseded by AC systems in large commercial aircraft; however, many smaller general
aviation aircraft still use DC as their primary electrical system.
GENERATOR SYSTEMS
BASIC GENERATOR THEORY
All generators work on the principle of magnetic induction, however, the output voltage can vary
in both magnitude and form. Where the output is at a constant level, it is called direct current (DC)
and is the subject of this chapter. The output may also be in the form of a constantly varying
voltage through maximum and minimum levels, known as alternating current (AC) which is dealt
with in a later chapter.
The magnitude of the voltage produced is dependent on a number of factors:
~ The strength of the magnetic field
~ The speed at which the conductor cuts the magnetic field
~ The length of the conductor within the magnetic field
~ The angle at whi ch the conductor cuts the magnetic field
t
MOTION
MAGNETIC FJELD
The polarity of the induced vol tage can be found using Fleming's Right-Hand Rule for
generators. This involves the thumb and the first two fingers of the right hand placed at 90 to
each other. The thumb points in the direction in which the conductor is moving. The first finger
points in the direction of the magnetic field (N to S). The second finger indicates the polarity of
the induced voltage pointing from positive to negati ve. The second finger also indicates the
direction in which conventional current fiows in the conductor when it is connected into a circuit.
Electrics 5-1
Chapter 5 DC Generator Systems
There is a similar rule for motors known as Fleming's Left-Hand Rule. To remember which hand
to use, memorise the right-hand rul e as the gener-righter hand.
A SIMPLE GENERATOR
In its simplest form, a generator consists of a single loop of wire, mounted so that it can be
rotated within a magnetic field. When rotated, a voltage is induced, which can be taken off the
loop by carbon brushes bearing on copper or brass slip rings. The carbon brushes feed the
supply to the output terminals. In the diagram below, a voltmeter measures the voltage at the
output and it can be seen that the voltage is not at a constant level.
ARMATURE
When the armature moves through one revolution at a constant speed, the output voltage rises to
a maximum as it cuts the magnetic fiux at 90and falls to zero as it moves in the same direction
as the magnetic fiux. There are two maximums and two minimums for one revolution of the loop.
This varying voltage can be plotted as a sine wave, and is called an AC voltage.
The loop is formed on a shaft called the armature which rotates in the centre of the magnetic
field. As the loop rotates, the voltages vary according to the angular rotation of the armature, as
illustrated in the following diagram.
5-2 Electrics
DC Generator Systems Chapter 5
o 90 180 270 36D
CONVERSION OF AC TO DC
To convert the AC waveform into a DC waveform, the output must be switched so that the carbon
brushes maintain a constant polarity. A device which accomplishes this is called a commutator.
The ends of each loop or series of loops terminate in a copper segment. Each is insulated from
the other and earth. If a single loop is considered, it should be evident that as each side of the
loop passes through the minimum voltage angle, the induced voltage in the loop reverses
polarity. At the same time, the segments in contact with the brushes change over, thereby
reversing the polarity of each segment and maintaining a constant polarity at the brushes.
Brush
When the loop is at 90 to the magnetic field, no voltage is induced and no current flows. At this
point, the brushes are in the process of changi ng segments and in contact with both segments.
This effectively short circuits the loop, ensuring no current flow during the change of segments
and reducing arcing at the brushes
Electrics 5-3
Chapter 5
Brush
Voltage
and
Lead
Current
DC Generator Systems

Current
~
@
O ~ ________ ________ ________ ______
ABC 0 E

Current
~
Degrees of
Rotation
The operation of the commutator can be established by referri ng to the diagram above. At B,
apply Fleming's right-hand rule to the left half of the loop as it moves up through the field . This
confirms that the current through this part of the loop is from the commutator to the far end. Now,
consider the situation at D where the same part of the loop considered above is now on the right
and going down. Applying Fleming's right-hand rule again shows that the current has reversed
and is now flowing from the far end of the loop toward the commutator. Notice that although the
segment has changed polarity, it has also changed brushes, so the polarity of the brushes has
not changed.
Although an effective DC voltage has been achieved, there are still points of zero voltage shown
at A, C, and E giving ri se to a pulsed DC, shown in the graph above. To produce a smoother and
more constant output voltage, more loops and consequently more segments are added to the
commutator. In the diagram below, the output from five loops is shown, and the DC voltage is
smoother and more constant.
5-4
1
2
'0
>
Zero 90
Y.
180
'12
270 360
% One
revolution
Electri cs
DC Generator Systems Chapter 5
DC GENERATOR SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE
All aircraft generator systems must be capabl e of suppl yi ng a constant voltage in spite of varying
engine speed and electrical load conditions. Thi s is achieved by varyi ng the field strength
(excitation) of the generator. The components of a basic single generator system are shown
below:
GROUND
POWER
OIFFERENTtAL
CUTOUT
DrFFERENTlAL
COIL
REVERSE CURRENT
CIRCUIT BREAKER
(ReeB]
LINE CONTACTOR
SATT<RY/ 1---1
SWITCH
DC GENERATOR CONSTRUCTION
The construction of a typical DC generator is shown in the diagram on the next page and consists
of the following components:
Electrics
}> The Yoke is a cylinder of cast iron, which supports the pole pieces of the
electromagnetic field.
}> The Armature is driven by the aircraft engine, and holds the windings (in which the
output voltage of the machine is induced) and the commutator.
}> The Commutator changes the AC voltage induced in the armature into DC voltage.
}> The Quill Drive is a weak point, which is designed to shear and protect the engine if
the generator seizes.
}> The Suppressor reduces radio interference, which may result from sparking
between the brushes and commutator.
5-5
Chapler 5 DC Generator Systems
SUPPRESSOR
ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD
QUILL
DRIVE
BRUSHES
TERMINALS
COMMUTATOR
YOKE
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION OF A DC GENERATOR
ARMATURE
COOLING
FAN
When the armature rotates in the magneti c field, the DC voltage induced in the windings is
collected at the brushes and fed to the output terminals. Any loads connected across the output
terminals will cause a current to flow. This flow of current through the load also fl ows through the
windings. Therefore, the armature develops a magnetic field around it in proportion to the load.
The magnetic fields around the armature and the main field winding exist separately and oppose
each other, although the strength of the armature field is never greater than the main field. The
effect of these two fields causes a motor force that opposes the drive from the engine. This
accounts for why a car engine at idle will perceptibly slow down when a heavy electrical load is
switched on.
TYPES OF DC GENERATOR
Three basic types of DC generator exist, with each differing in how the armature and field
windings are electricall y connected:
Shunt Wound
In this arrangement, the field windings are connected in parallel with the armature windings, as
shown below.
r----,----O. v.
OUTPUT
L_--L ___ O_v.
SYMBOL
L----r-.ARMAnJRE
VOLTst---__ _
CHARACTERISTIC
AT CONSTANT SPEED
~ . - - - O U T P U T --+
-Vr. +Ye
LOAD
It is used in all aircraft DC generators, and at a constant speed has a sli ghtly fall ing voltage output
with increasing load.
5-6 El ectrics
DC Generator Systems Chapter 5
Series Wound
In this arrangement, the field windings are connected in series with the armature windings, as
shown below.
ARMATURE
VOLTS
-v. +v.
SERIES GENERATOR
SYMBOL
r---1D +v.
OUTPUT
'-----0 -v.
CHARACTERISTIC
AT CONSTANT
SPEED
LOAD
This type of generator is not used on aircraft, because at a constant speed it has a rising voltage
output characteristic with increasing load making it difficult to regulate.
Compound Wound
This arrangement of the field windings combines the relative advantages of both the shunt and
series wound generators. They are more expensive to manufacture than shunt wound generators
so their use tends to be restricted to the more expensive end of the commercial aircraft market.
Their precise output characteristics can be matched to the aircraft's specific load versus engine
speed range by altering the ratio of the shunt and series windings.
,--,----10 + v.
OUTPUT
""40;---- OUTPUT - - - - ) ~
-v.
+v.
COMPOUND GENERATOR
-v.
SYMBOL
Electrics 5-7
Chapter 5 DC Generator Systems
VOLTAGE REGULATOR
It is essential that the voltage output of a generator be maintained within defined li mits for all
conditions of load and engine speed. As load and speed are necessari ly variable, the output can
only realistically be controlled by varying the strength of the magnetic field . The voltage regulator
achieves this by varying the current through the field windings. Two methods of regulator control
are briefly described below.
Carbon Pile Voltage Regulator
A diagram of a typical carbon pile voltage regulator is shown bel ow. Carbon is granular in
structure, so its resistance depends on how compressed it is. If it is compressed, its resistance
decreases. Therefore, the resistance of the carbon pile is inversely proportional to compression.
The carbon pile forms a variable resistor in series with the field windings. To allow a more rapid
build up of voltage on engine start, it is pre-compressed when the generator is offline.
SPRING t
___ __
,
-- - - -- --- - --- ----- -
-
ELECTRO l
MAGNETIC
FORCE
VOLTAGE
REGULATOR
G+
OUTPUT
At engine start, the generator needs to build up the voltage rapidl y to the regulated val ue,
typically 28V. As the carbon pile is pre-compressed under spring tension, the resistance in series
with the field windings is at a minimum. This allows a high current through the field winding.
Control over the pile compression is achieved by the voltage coil, which is connected across the
output of the generator and attracts an armature, which itself is attached to the spring. An
increased current through the voltage coil attracts the armature and the spring away from the
carbon pile, therefore, increasing its resistance.
With the engine started, the generator voltage builds up until it reaches 28V, at whi ch point the
current through the voltage coil stabilises and holds the compression at the required val ue to
maintain 28V. This equilibrium can be upset by either a change in engine speed or electrical load.
Consider the operation of the regulator at the start of the take-off roll. As the engine speed
increases, the generator speed also increases, and, therefore, voltage ri ses. As the voltage rises,
Ohms law tells us that there must be an increase in current through the vol tage coil. This
immediately increases the pull on the armature and, therefore, increases the pile resistance. This
in turn reduces field current and the excitation. Although the voltage would reduce to the
regulated level, system lag will allow a small voltage over-swing.
5-8 Elec[rics
E
DC Generator Systems
Chapter 5
An alternative to varying engine speed is the electrical load. If the pil ot turns on a large electrical
load, current demand increases and the voltage tends to fall. The falling voltage reduces the
current through the voltage coil, consequently reducing the attraction on the armature and
increasing the spring compression on the pile. The current through the field wi ndings increases
and restores the generator voltage to 28V.
Transistorised Voltage Regulator
Technological advances have consigned the carbon pile regulator to history as far as new
generation aircraft are concerned. The electronic regulator achieves the same aims as older
regulators but with the following advantages:
>- Less maintenance
~ Less weight
>- More reliable
>- Little or no radio interference
A typical electronic regulator senses the generator output vol tage using a network of transistors
and diodes. It achieves voltage regulation in the same way as the carbon pile regulator in that it
varies the current in the field windings.
CUT-OUT
The DC generator in an aircraft electrical supply system must be isolated from the battery voltage
whenever its output fails or when the engine shuts down. This is normally achieved by a cutout,
which is fitted between the generator and the busbar. Many different types of cutout exist, of
which the most common is the differential current cut-out, as shown below. The main
components in this device are a series (current) coil (DCO) that is wound physically on top of a
differential (voltage) coil, which in turn controls the generator line contactor (GLC).
The contacts in the cutout are initially closed via the differential coil when the generator output
voltage exceeds battery voltage by approximately 0.5V. This in turn causes the GLC to close and
connects the generator to the busbar through the series coil . The resulting magnetic field
produced by the series coil adds to that already produced by the differential coil and helps to hold
the GLC in its closed position.
To operate at very low voltages, the differential coil necessarily has thousands of turns of fine
wire. However, this means that should the potential difference equalise or reverse across the coil,
self-inductance would delay its operation to isolate the generator. To overcome this delay, if the
battery voltage exceeds generator voltage, a reverse current through the series coil of around 20
to 30 amps instantly de-energises the cutout contactor. When generator voltage increases again
to 0.5V above battery voltage, the cutout energises to re-connect the generator to the busbar.
Electrics 5-9
Chapter 5 DC Generator Systems
SERIES
POWER FAILURE
WARNING LAMP
GENERATOR
SWITCH
DIFFERENTIAL
CUTOUT
DIFFERENTIAL
COIL
LOADS
REVERSE CURRENT
CIRCUIT BREAKER
(RCCB)
CONTACTOR
REVERSE CURRENT CIRCUIT BREAKER
The differential cut-out does not provide complete protection to the generator system, since any
short circuit between the differential cut-out and the busbar does not open or Trip the GLC. A
Reverse Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB) is fitted as close as possible to the aircraft busbars,
and between them and the GLC in order to provide complete protection. The RCCB is designed
to operate at a very high speed if the reverse current reaches a value of approximately 300 amps.
It remains mechanically locked out until reset. Some RCCB's are fitted with auxiliary contacts,
which open the generator field circuit and stop the generator output from feeding the fault
condition.
BUS BARS
Busbars are current distribution points and are usually standard rectangular sections of high
conductivity copper or aluminium, which are categorised as follows:
5-\0
~ Vital Busbars are powered directly from the aircraft battery and used for emergency
services such as undercarriage selection, emergency lighting, fire detection, and
extinguishing circuits, etc.
~ Essential Busbars supply equipment essential to ensure the safe fiight of an aircraft.
~ Non-Essential Busbars can be isolated (LOAD SHED) in emergency fiight
conditions, since the equipment they feed is of very low priority, such as galley
supplies and cabin entertainment services.
Electrics
DC Generator Systems Chapter 5
POWER FAILURE WARNING
All generator systems are fitted with a red warning lamp, whi ch illumi nates whenever the
Generator Line Contactor is open, and the generator is no longer feeding the busbar. Test all
warning lamps prior to fiight. In older types of aircraft, this is done by pressing a warning light test
switch. On modern aircraft, this is automaticall y initi ated whenever the electrical power is first
switched on.
GROUND POWER
The battery on a modern aircraft has a limited capacity, and is used only in emergencies and for
engine starting. On the ground, the battery is onl y able to supply a minimum of services. Another
source of power is necessary during servicing or if power is needed during extended parking. A
typical Ground Power system is shown below.
GROUND
POWER
-.1-,1
1
RELAY
GROUND . .. ____ .
POWER
GEN
SWITCH
DC MAIN BUS BAR
BATTERY
SWITCH
It is important that the aircraft supplies (battery and generator) be disconnected whilst the ground
supplies are connected to the aircraft. This is achieved by a short auxiliary pin in the ground
power socket, which operates a hold-off relay in the aircraft electrical system. This is necessary
because the ground power unit's (GPU) regulated voltage may not be identical to that of the
aircraft generators. For example, if the ground power is too high, there is a risk of overcharging
the aircraft battery and damaging electrical equipment. On the other hand, if the ground power
voltage output is too low, the first generator to come tDn line would feed into the GPU and cause
instability.
El ectrics 5- 11
Chapter 5 DC Generator Systems
DC GENERATOR SYSTEM FAULT PROTECTION
A typical DC generator system is protected against the following faults:
5- 12
~ Overheat
An overheat thermostat is fitted in most aircraft generators, which will cause an
overheat warning light to il luminate on the flight deck if the generators cooling air
exhaust exceeds approximately 160C. If this occurs, the generator should be
manuall y switched off.
~ Seizure
If the generator seizes due to a mechanical fault, the aircraft's engine may be
damaged. A Quill Drive is fitted between the engine and the generator, which is
designed to shear if the generator seizes and automaticall y disconnects the
generator from the engine.
~ Over-Voltage
This condition is usually caused by a malfunction of the voltage regulator and may
cause damage to the loads and battery if allowed to continue. An over-voltage sensor
is fitted in the system, which will trip the generator off the busbar and de-excite its
field. One reset attempt is normally allowed by Recycling the system (i .e. switching
the generator OFF and then ON again).
~ Under-voltage
This is explained in the operation of the series coil in the Differential Cut-out.
~ High Reverse Currents
This is explained in the operation of the Reverse Current Circuit Breaker.
Electri cs
.
DC Generator Systems Chapter 5
TWIN-ENGINE DC ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
On a multi-engine aircraft, a generator is normally fitted to each engi ne gearbox. A typical twin-
engine turbo-propeller DC electrical system layout is shown below:
.------1 IJC f----+-i
r---r---,--t DCO
IJC
LOADS
\ CLOSE WITH '
~ UNE CONTACTOR .,;
EQUAUSING CIRCtn
IJC DCO h---,----,
,
~ f - - - - - (LOAD SHARING LOOP) ---* e""
B ~ T T
O F ~ /GEN1
., -GEN2
'GNDPOWER
VOLTMETER SELECTOR
The generators are usuall y connected in parallel and supply the loads together so that:
~ There will be no break in the supplies if a generator fails.
~ The system can handle the switching of high transient loads.
~ The generators can share the loads equally to improve their life expectancy.
The main disadvantage of paralleling generators is that additional ci rcuitry is required to ensure
that both machines equally share the loads. Each generator is therefore fitted with an ammeter so
that the flight crew can regularl y check that the load sharing is correct.
Electrics 5- 13
Chapfer 5 DC Generator Systems
OPERATION OF DC GENERATORS IN PARALLEL
Refer to the diagram above. Generators G1 and G2 are fitted to the No.1 and No.2 engi nes
respectively. When the No.1 engine starts, the generator rotates and produces an output voltage,
causing current to fiow to the generator field coil via its own voltage regulator. After a short time,
the generator's output reaches its regulated value, which the fiight crew can check using the
aircraft's voltmeter, and sufficient current fiows in the differential coil to close the different ial relay.
If the generator control switch is in Ihe ON position, the generator line contactor (GLC)
subsequently closes, allowing the generator to charge the battery and feed the loads. The fiight
crew can confirm that the generator is feeding the busbar by the foll owing methods:
l> The dedicated generator warning light extinguishes.
l> The generator ammeter reads the current being taken by the battery and loads.
After starting the No.2 engine, the second generator can be brought onto the busbar in the same
way as the No.1 generator.
DC LOAD SHARING
Whenever the generators are operating in parallel , they must share the aircraft el ectrical load
equally This is achieved by ensuring that their individual output currents are equal under all
operating conditions by incorporating an Equalising Circuit (Load Sharing Loop) , as shown
below, where the equali sing coils are wound on the same core as the voltage coil in the vol tage
regulator. This circuit monitors the generator outputs and automaticall y adjusts the voltage
regulators to ensure equal load sharing.
.--""T-...,-t DCO
LIC DCO h---.----,
LOADS
EQUALISING (CIRCULATING) CURRENT
5-14 Electri cs
DC Generator Systems Chapter j
The flight crew can also check that any load sharing is equal by referring to the individual
generator ammeters.
OPERATION OF AN EQUALISING CIRCUIT
If both generators are equally sharing the load, points X and Y will be at the same potential,
because the voltage dropped across R1 and R2 will be the same. If the No.1 generator, for
example, takes more than its share of load, the voltage drop across R1 increases, and the
voltage drop across R2 decreases. This causes point X to become more negati ve wi th respect to
point Y and current flows from Y to X through the equalising circuit. The resulting current through
each equali sing coil in the regulators acts to reduce the voltage of Gen 1 and increase the voltage
of Gen 2. The current flowing in the equalising circuit continues until the generator load is equally
shared again and the potential difference between X and Y is again zero.
Note: The Equalising Circuit only operates when the generators are operating in parallel.
SINGLE-ENGINE AIRCRAFT DC ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Most modern single piston engine aircraft have a 14-volt DC electrical system, whi ch consists of
an Alternator and battery combination, as shown below.
LIGHTS RADIO
PRIMARY
POWER
SUPPLY
VOLT
REG
+
PROT
UNIT
The alternator is the primary electrical source when the engine is running and charges the
battery. The battery provides the secondary power supply, which is used for initial engine start,
and as an emergency power source.
There are many differences between the modern alternator and the DC generator discussed
earlier. Instead of providing a static excitation field within which the armature provides the output,
the low current supply is fed via slip rings and brushes to the rotor. This has the advantage of
taking the high current output from the stator windings, so the losses across the commutator of a
DC generator are replaced by very small losses across the slip rings.
The Alternator is made up of field windings, which are wrapped around a number of pole pieces
on a rotati ng shaft (rotor), and rotate within fi xed output windings (stator). The output is fed
directl y to the rectifier diodes and then to the output terminals.
Electri cs 5-1 5
Chapter 5
VOLTAGE REGULATOR
__________ , ALl
, , SWITCH
r---------------------4,:
_______ _ ___ _____ ___ _ : : _____ ____
/ , (OUTPUT) RECTlRE: i
SLIP : ROTOR :
l FIELD STATOR i:
'\ BATTERY
MASTER
____ ___ SWITCH
-=- -= BATTERY
+
OPERATION OF THE ALTERNATOR
B
U
S
A
R
DC Generator Systems
RADIO
LIGHTS
In a typical light aircraft system the alternator is selected online by a rocker switch positioned
alongside the battery on switch.
Unlike the DC generator, where residual magnetism in the yoke is sufficient to start the generator
without any external supply to the field, the alternator, due to its lighter construction, does not
have any residual magnetism from which it can initially self-excite. Therefore, the alternator first
needs to be separately excited until its output is high enough to be fed back to its own field
windings, at which point it becomes self-exciting.
Once the alternator is self-exciting, the supply to the field windings is taken from the busbar
through the regulator, which controls field current electronically. The field windings are on the
rotor, so it is known as a rotating field machine, and the output voltage is induced into the stator
windings. The stator windings consist of three coils equally spaced around the rotor, so the
voltage produced internally can be considered as three separate AC supplies which must be
converted into DC.
It is the job of the diode pack to do the conversion. A diode is a semi-conductor device that allows
current to flow through it in one direction only. As the internally generated supply is effectively 3
separate AC supplies, an arrangement of 6 diodes is required to convert the supply to DC. A
diode that only allows unidirectional current is known as a rectifier. The diode pack is
alternatively known as the rectifier pack.
5- 16 Electrics
DC Generator Systems Chapter 5
The output from the alternator is monitored using one of the followi ng ammeter arrangements:
~ Zero Left Ammeter or Loadmeter
In this installation, the ammeter is connected between the generator and the busbar,
as shown below. It measures the total load being supplied by the alternator.
If the reading drops to zero in flight, it indicates that either the alternator has failed or
that no systems are selected.
ALTERNATOR AMMETER
B
I U BATTERY
3. 50 1--1 S t-- -;I;!- n---...
B
A
R
AMMETER MEASURING ALTERNATOR OUTPUT ONLY
~ Centre Reading Ammeter
This installation places the ammeter in ci rcuit between the busbar and the battery, as
shown below. Under normal conditions, the alternator would supply all the loads and
a charging current to the battery as indicated by a positive current reading. If the
alternator fails, the battery supplies the busbar and the current draw is indi cated as a
negative value.
ALTERNATOR
_-..;A,;;,M,;;,MET.;,;E;;,;R_ .....
BATTERY
+30
AMMETER MEASURING CURRENT FLOW TO OR FROM THE BAlTERY
Electrics
Following an engine start, it is normal for a large charging current to the battery to be
indicated until the battery recovers. If the pointer is left of centre, it shows that the
battery is discharging, which is a good indi cation that the alternator has failed. In this
situation, the loads should be reduced as much as possible to conserve battery life.
5- 17
INTRODUCTION
A wide variety of components and systems depend upon mechanical energy, which is often
supplied by electric motors. The range and scale of electric motors found in aircraft applications is
vast. The table below shows a sample of typical systems that employ electric motors.
Equipment Function
Actuators Fuel trimming, cargo door operation, heat-exchanger
control-fl ap operation, and landing-flap operation
Control valves Hot and cold air mixing for air conditioning and thermal
de-icing
Many of the above systems combi ne electro-mechanical functions into an integral component.
When a motor is used for only short periods of ti me, the motor can be reduced in size and power
to save weight. However, this does mean that they are operating at the top end of thei r rated
loads, so a cooling off period is often required before selecting repeated operations. The propeller
feathering pump motor is an example of this.
The construction of a DC motor is virtually the same as that of a DC generator and many
machines may be operated as either, such as a starter-generator. Continuously rated motors may
be fan cooled, ram air cooled or fuel cooled as in the case of fuel booster pumps, whi ch are
immersed in the fuel. On some occasions, an intermediate gearbox is requi red to match the
output speed of the motor to the application.
MOTORS
THE MOTOR PRINCIPLE
DC motors work in the opposite sense to DC generators. Instead of mechanically rotating the
armature in a magnetic field to produce an electrical output, the armature is connected to an
electric supply, creating mechanical energy from electrical energy.
If a conductor carrying an electric current is placed in a magnetic field, the field around the
conductor interacts with the main magnetic field and causes the conductor to move.
Electrics 6-1
Chapter 6 DC ,\tI%rs
= = ~
- ~ -
- - --
a ; - f f ~ -
- c:::::) - -.: -
- - --
Although the circulating field around a conductor does not possess a North or a South Pole where
it flows in the same direction as the main field, they share the same polarity and repel each other.
Conversely, if the field flows in opposite directions, they are of opposite polari ty and attract. The
direction of the current in the conductor therefore determines the direction in which the conductor
moves.
The direction of this motion can be found using Fleming's Left-Hand Rule. As with the Right-
Hand Rule discussed earlier, the thumb and first two fingers are placed at 90to each other. The
thumb points in the direction in which the conductor moves. The first finger is field and points in
the direction of magnetic flux, north to south. The second finger is current and points in the
direction in which current does or would flow. Remember again that the Right-Hand Rule is for
generators and can be remembered as the gener-righter hand.
FIRST FINGER
(FIELD)
DC MOTORS
THUMB
(MOTION)
There is little difference between DC generators and motors, since they both consist of the same
essential parts: an armature, field windings, a commutator, and brush gear. The armature and
field windings are usually supplied from a commqn suppl y.
In its simplest form, a motor consists of a single loop of wire (PQ in the diagram below) which is
arranged so it can rotate between the pole pieces of a permanent magnet.
6-2 Electrics
DC Molors
D

Current Reversed
by Commutator
90
ardi
I I
I I
I I
I I
I I

180
P
Current Reversed
by Commutator
270
0
prO'
I I
I I
I I
I I
I I
I I

Chapler6

P Q
360
0
P'Q_-_-_-_-_-;Q
The ends of the wire are connected to a DC power supply through the commutator segments and
the brushes. Consider the current flow around the loop from P to Q in the above diagram on the
far lefl. Using Fleming's Left-Hand Rule, see that the loop will rotate anti-clockwi se. As the loop
moves to 90' to the main field, the motive force on the loop is lost. However, inertia carri es the
loop through this position. As the current through the loop is reversed by the commutator from Q
to P, the rotation of the loop continues anti-clockwise. Just as the generator output improves by
adding loops to the armature, the action and power of a DC motor improve in the same way.
BACK EMF
The movement of the conductor through a magnetic field induces a voltage in it, which opposes
the supply voltage. This can be verified by using both Fleming's Left- and Right-Hand Rules. In
the far left diagram above use the left-hand rule with the thumb pointing down with the first finger
in the direction of field N to S. Note the direction of the finger Now appl y the
right-hand rule and notice that any voltage induced will opposes the current through the loop. This
is back EMF and serves to reduce the armature current. Consider that the back EMF is
proportional to speed and the magnetic field The greater the speed of the motor or the strength of
the field, the greater the back EMF.
(EB a N x <1 , where <1> = field strength and N = armature speed. EB = Back EMF
The back EMF can never exceed the supply voltage. At a steady motor speed and load,
equilibrium exists between the magneti c field and the current flowing in the armature.
DIRECTION OF ROTATION
A motor will turn in a specific direction dependent on the current flow in the armature relative to
the field windings, which can be ascertained using Fleming's Left-Hand rule. If the direction of
current flow in either component changes independently of the other, the motor rotates in the
opposite direction. It is important to note that changing current flow simultaneously through both
components has no effect on direction of rotation.
Electrics 6-3
Chapler 6 DC MOlors
TYPES OF DC MOTORS
In the same way that DC generators can have the field windings in series with or across the
armature, so can DC motors, which include series, shunt, and compound motors.
Series Motors
With the field windings and armature connected in series, the total current drawn by the motor
flows through both the field windings and the armature. This high current requires that the field
windings be made from a thicker wi re with less turns.
Now consider a series motor starting up with no mechanical load attached. Initially, there is a high
current demand that creates a strong armature current but a relatively weak field due to the small
number of turns in the field winding. Nevertheless, a high torque is produced, because the weak
field means that very little back EMF is produced and, therefore, a strong armature current
compared to the magnetic field.
Remember that at a steady speed, there is a balance between field strength and armature current
and that armature current and field strength reduce as back EMF increases. Back EMF is
proportional to armature speed As speed builds up, armature current decreases and the field
strength weakens further. From a high torque condition at start up, torque reduces as speed
increases. Although the machine may run fast off load, its torque or power is low, so any increase
in load would rapidly reduce motor speed.
Now look at the series motor starting on load. As before, initial current demand will be high, but
now the armature cannot accelerate so quickly. This reduces the back EMF all owing a net
increase in armature current and therefore field strength, giving high torque to drive the load. As
back EMF is proportional to armature speed and inversely proportional to mechanical load, torque
must be inversely proportional to back EMF. These factors together give the typical
characteristics of series motors:
>- They will race away if started off load
>- Increasing a mechanical load at speed will rapidl y slow the motor down
>- When equilibrium is established for a given load, the series motor exhibits high
torque but at reduced speed
For all of these reasons, a series motor must be started on load. This usually means that the
series motor is permanently connected to the mechanical load, such as actuators connected to
flap drives and undercarriage retraction systems. Starter motors are also series machines. The
start system will always couple the starter motor with the engine on start up and as soon as the
engine starts, the starter motor shuts down and is de-coupled to avoid motor over speed. The
diagram below illustrates the speed-to-Ioad characteristic .
.----0+
SUPPLY
SYMBOL
6-4
SPEED
LOAD
CHARACTERISTIC
Electrics
DC Molors Chapter 6
The speed-load characteristic of a seri es wound motor is such that vari ations in mechanical load
are accompanied by substantial speed vari ati ons. A light load will cause it to run at a dangerously
high speed, and a high load will cause it to run at low speed.
For a given motor:
~ Torque is proportional to field strength and armature current, both of which vary
in direct proportion to speed.
~ If the load is increased on a motor, the speed reducti on reduces back EMF, and
torque will increase to drive the load harder but at a reduced speed.
In all the above conditions of speed and torque, always remember that at a steady speed and
load, the effect of field and armature current is in balance.
Shunt Motors
In this type of motor, the field windings are connected in parall el with the armature. The current
flowing in the field windings will be fairly constant as the full suppl y voltage will always be felt
across it, and independent of armature current.
i
SUPPLY
1
SYMBOL
SPEED
LOAD
CHARACTERISTIC
As the current through the fiel d windings is independent of the armature current, they are not
subject to the high current demand of the armature. This means that the wire can be Ihinner,
allowing more turns, whi ch increases magnetic field for a given electri cal current.
Now consider the shunt motor on start-up off load. As soon as the supply to the motor is switched
on, a strong magnetic field is produced by the field wi ndings, and this immediately induces a large
back EMF in the armature, severely limiting armature current. The result of this is to reduce the
available torque on start up. However, as there is no mechanical load attached, the torque
required is a minimum, and a steady state speed is achieved.
Once at a steady state speed, suppose that a mechani cal load is attached. The immediate effect
is that the armature slows down and back EMF reduces, thereby increasing armature current.
The increased armature current in the constant magnetic field increases motor torque and gives
the machine a constant speed against load characteri sti c, as shown by the graph above.
If a mechanical load is attached before start up, the rapid build up of back EMF in the strong
magnetic field severely limils torque and, consequentl y, the ability of the motor to run up on load.
For this reason, nearly all heavy-duty shunt-wound motors must be run up to speed before the
load is connected. The speed to load di agram above 1s drawn for the normal conditions with the
motor already running when the load is connected.
Electrics 6-5
Chapter 6 DC l\4%rs
For a given motor:
The field strength is constant, so torque is directly proportional to armature current.
The load directly affects the induced back EMF in a proportional manner, givi ng an
increasing torque to counter an increasing load.
A shunt-wound motor must be run up off load before the load is attached, unless the
load to be driven is light and within the starting torque of the motor.
Compound Motors
These motors combine the principal beneficial characteristics of both series and shunt-wound
motors, giving higher starting torque with good steady speed to load characteri stics.
i
SUPPLY
l
SPEED THE CHARACTERISTIC
DEPENDS UPON THE MIX OF
SERIES AND SHUNT
WINDINGS
LOAD
For example, a motor may be required to develop the high starting torque of a series-wound
motor but without the tendency to over-speed when removing the load. Another application may
require a motor, which is capable of reducing. its speed with increasing load, whilst still retaining
the smooth speed control and reliability of a shunt-wound motor when operating off load. These
and other requirements can be met by Compounding, or in other words, by combining both
series and shunt field windings in the one machine, using one of the following arrangements:
Normal Compounding
In this arrangement, a motor is biased toward the shunt-wound type, where the shunt
winding produces approximately 60 to 70 per cent of the total flux, whilst the series
winding produces the remainder. This retains the desired characteristi cs of both
series and shunt-wound motors.
Stabilised Shunt
In this arrangement, the motor is also biased toward the shunt-wound type, and onl y
has a relatively minor series winding. The purpose of this winding is to overcome the
tendency of a shunt motor to become unstable when running at or near its maximum
operating speed, when subjected to an increased load.
Shunt Limited
In this arrangement, the motor is biased toward the series-wound motor and only has
a minor shunt field winding incorporated in the field system. The purpose of this
winding is to limit the maximum speed when running under off load conditions whilst
leaving the torque and general speed characteristics unaltered. Shunt limiting is
applied only to the larger type of compound motors (e.g. engine starter motors).
MOTOR SPEED CONTROL
Because series motors have a varying speed to load characteristic and are usually permanentl y
attached to the load, they are matched by the system designer, and external speed control is not
normally required. Speed control is normally associated with shunt motors.
Since there is equilibrium of armature current and field strength at a steady speed, altering either
of these increases or decreases motor speed until achieving equilibrium once again. Two
methods of control are armature control and field control.
6-6 Electrics
DC Motors Chapter 6
Armature Control
Current through the armature can be directly controll ed by connecting a variable resistor in series
with it.
VAR I o-------<.-- A.I'./V'.!'---4I>-,
Supply
M
Assume the motor in the diagram above is rotati ng at a steady state. By decreasing the
resistance of the vari able resistor, the armature current increases. The higher current increases
torque until equilibrium is established again but at a hi gher speed.
If the vari able resistance is increased, the armature current decreases. The decreased armature
current reduces torque and the motor slows down until equilibrium is established again but at a
slower speed.
This form of speed control is rarely used, as the high armature current requires a larger vari able
resi stor to handle it.
Field Control
The preferred method of speed control is.to control the field strength, which requires a smaller
variabl e resistor due to the small er field current.
Variable Resistor
Supply M
If the resistance is reduced, the current through the field windings would increase and the
strength of the magnetic field would also increase. Variable resistance would not directly affect
the current through the armature. However, as the magnetic field strength has increased, so
would the back EMF. The current in the armature would reduce and motor speed would also
reduce.
Electrics 6-7
Chapter 6 DC Motors
By increasing the resistance in series wi th the field winding, the field strength would reduce and,
consequently, back EMF in the armature would also reduce. The increase in armature current
causes the speed to increase.
There is an apparent contradiction in the field control system as an increase in field strength
decreases motor speed. It may help to compare the magnetic field to a viscous fluid: The thicker
it gets, the harder it is for the armature to turn. The thinner it gets, the easier it is for the armature
to turn.
ACTUATORS
These are high-speed reversible series-wound motors whose output is normally converted into a
driving torque via a step-down gearbox. Motor actuators are self-contained units, which combine
electrical and mechanical devices capable of exerting reversible linear thrust over a short
distance or alternatively a reversible low-speed turni ng effort. The following types of actuators
exist:
Rotary Actuators have a rotary movement and are mainly used to rotate valves in air
conditioning and fuel systems.
SPUNED
DRIVE
Linear Actuators are driven directly from a reduction gearbox via a lead screw that extends or
retracts a ram or plunger when rotated.
ELECTRO-MAGNETIC
BRAKE
EPICYCLIC REDUCTION
GEARING
RAM
LIMIT SWITCHES
This type of actuator is capable of working against heavy loads and is used to operate trailing
edge flaps, trim tabs, and to move variable incidence tailplanes.
6-8 Electrics
DC MOlors Chapler 6
SPLlT FIELD SERIES MOTOR
In this type of motor, the field winding is split into two separate electrical sections establishing two
independentl y controlled magneti c fields. Each winding is selected independentl y of the other to
control the direction in which the motor runs. In the diagram below, a single-pole, double-throw
switch controls the motor. However, automated system control may determine motor control via
remote switching.
Both linear and rotary type actuators are equipped with limit switches to stop their respective
motors when the operating ram or output shaft has reached its limit of travel. The swi tches are of
the mi cro-switch type and are usuall y operated by a cam driven by a shaft from the actuator
gearbox. In some cases, limit-switch contacts are also utilised to complete circuits to indicator
lights or magnetic indicators.
For example, consider the operation of an air conditioning duct valve, as shown in the following
diagram. If the switch is placed in the Open position, current flows in the Open fi eld winding, and
then through the armature winding. The two fi elds wil l interact, and the armature will rotate, which
will cause the cams to rotate at the same time. These cams determine the position of two limit
switches, which control the current through the field windings and the position of magnetic
indicators or lights that show the position of the valve.
28V d.c.
Limit Switch "Shut"
"A"
I'
I
I
I
a m ~ ,
Close
Winding
Close
~
Magnetic
Off 'I Indicators
or Lights
Open
../'"
\
a m ~
I
c
0---4
1
'
Limit Switch
"6"
"Open"
As soon as the motor starts to rotate, Limit Switch A breaks the circuit to the SHUT indicator and
causes the light to go out. When the valve is in its full y open position, the limit switches are
arranged so that Limit Switch A completes the circuit to the CLOSE field winding, whilst Limit
Swi tch B breaks the circuit to the OPEN field wi nding and operates the OPEN indicator. If the
switch is then placed in the CLOSE position, current flows through the CLOSE field winding and
then through the armature Thi s causes the motor to rotate in the opposite direction to close the
valve. The two field windings are independent of each other.
The change of direction occurs because the polarity of the field windings is reversed, but the
direction of the current through the armature remai ns, the same. The resultant interaction of the
fields causes the armature to run in the reverse direction. When the valve is full y closed, the
positi on of the limit switches reverses, thus completing the circuit to the open field winding and
operating the CLOSED indicator.
Electrics 6-9
Chapter 6 DC Motors
ELECTROMAGNETIC BRAKES
Most actuators are fitted with electromagnetic brakes that are designed to prevent over-travel
when the motor is switched off, such as when a heavy load is being driven. The design of the
brake system varies with the type and size of the actuator, but in all cases, the brakes are spring-
loaded to the ON condition whenever the motor is de-energised, thus preventing the actuator
from over-running. This means that to motor the actuator, the brakes must be energised OFF to
run. The operation of the electromagnetic brake is shown in the following diagram.
EXTEND
FIELD
Notice that as soon as current flows in the armature, it must also flow in the electromagneti c
brake solenoid, consequently releasing the brake.
CLUTCHES
Friction clutches are also incorporated in the transmission systems to protect against the effects
of mechani cal over-loading. They are usually of the single-plate or multi-plate type depending on
the size of the actuator.
INSTRUMENT MOTORS
Not many instruments utilise DC motors, but of those that do, gyroscopic instruments are the
most common. One case in particular is important as a specifically DC instrument and that is the
artificial horizon. Consider that even with all the technology incorporated into the latest EFIS-
equipped aircraft, there is still a need to carry a back-up DC attitude indicator or artificial horizon
in case of a complete AC electrical failure.
Of necessity, the motors found in instruments are speciali sed and tailored to the instrument in
which they are fitted. To save weight and space, they are small and, whenever possible, form part
of the instrument itself.
To illustrate this point, consider the artificial hori zon. Thi s instrument relies on a gyroscope that
must be rotated at high rpm for its operation. A gyroscope is a spinning mass. It gains the
property of rigidity as it rotates, much li ke a bicycle wheel gains rigidity when roll ing, stopping
the bike from falling over. To increase rigidity, the mass of the wheel is concentrated as far from
the centre of rotation as possible. A typical artificial hori zon DC motor has the commutator and
armature fixed at the centre of the gyroscope. The yoke itself forms the rotating mass of the gyro
and rotates about the armature, fulfilling the requirements of gyroscopic principles.
6-10 Electrics
J .
DC Molors Chapler 6
ARCHITECTURE OF A STARTER/GENERATOR SYSTEM
A DC generator can run as a motor and vice-versa. This property is used in many turbo-prop
aircraft to combine the starter and generator into one unit, thus saving weight. Such a unit is
called a starter / generator, and is illustrated below.
,I
Jovvvv\Al
~ ~ -
---
I
-=?"
ESSENTIAL BUS BAR
GENERATORD
SWITCH 0
ENGINE
START
SWITCH
STARTER BUSBAR
It is a compound wound machine, which is coupled to the engine by way of a drive shaft and gear
train.
OPERATION OF A STARTER/GENERATOR SYSTEM
When the engine start swi tch is operated, the following sequence of events takes place:
Electri cs
~ Initially, the battery master switch energises both relays connected to it. This places
the batteries in parallel and supplies 24 V to both busbars
~ When the starter swi tch is pushed, the start relay energises, connecting the starter
busbar to the starter motor. The supply is at 24 V at first to reduce the initial starting
current and torque, extending the life of the starter motor.
6- 11
Chapter 6 DC Motors
6- 12
-.
BATTERY
SWITCH
1-
ESSENTIAL BUSBAR
GENERATORD
SWITCH D
ENGINE
START
SWITCH
STARTER BUSBAR
~ When the engine reaches 10% rpm, a speed sensor energises the paral lel ing relay
(Al. This reconnects the batteries in series, supplying 48 V to the motor and
dramaticall y increasing torque and acceleration. In the partial diagram below, trace
the lines between the two batteri es to see that they are now in parallel.
UAAAA.I = ! o I ~ ~
_
A I.,
BATTERY ....c---
SWITCH
~ ~ 1...-...,
I
Electrics
DC MOlors Chapler6
At 60% engine rpm and with the engine self sustaining, the starter and paralleling
relay are de-energised, which removes the power from the starter motor and
reconnects the batteries in parallel. If the engine start push was electromechanicall y
hel d in for the start cycle, it would now be released, and the starter engaged light, if
fitted, would extinguish.
When the engine has accelerated to idle speed, the generator control switch is
operated. If DC generator output if within limits, the control and protection unit (CPU)
is connected to the busbar.
Notice that when the start relay has de-energi sed, the supply from the armature is removed in
preparation for the generator output from the armature to be connected by the CPU to the
essenti al busbar.
Electrics
l
-.UAM.A./ =
BATfERY
SWITCH
.
LIGHTS
RADIO

SWITCH .
Q--cooo)
SWITCH U "'l
STARTER BUSBAR
6-1 3
Chap/er6 DC MOlors
INVERTERS
An aircraft may have a DC electrical system or what is called a frequency wi ld system, which is
fully described later. In either case, there may be a requirement for an AC supply of a specific
voltage and frequency. Such supplies are derived from machines called inverters, two types of
which are described below.
The Rotary Inverter is a DC motor that drives an AC generator on a common shaft.
D.C.
N'I1T
A.C.
0UTl'\1T
SLIP
RJoIGS
The motor drives the AC generator at a constant speed to give a constant frequency output. This
is achieved by adjusting the field excitation of the DC motor. The output voltage of the AC
generator is maintained by similarly adjusting its field excitation. This type of inverter has a DC
input of 28 volts and produces a 3-Phase AC output of 115 V at 400 Hz. There are large electro-
mechanical losses in most rotary inverters and they are typicall y only 50% efficient. For instance,
a DC input power of 100 W will output just 50 VA at the AC generator. Notice that power is
defined differently in DC and AC systems and will be discussed later.
Static Inverters differ from the rotary type in that they use solid-state transistorised ci rcuitry and
have no moving parts. They are more robust , more reliable and require less servicing. Static
inverters cannot match the power output of rotary inverters although most have an improved
efficiency of approximately 70%.
6- 14 Electri cs
DC MOlors
Chapter 6
MULTIPLE INVERTER INSTALLATIONS
A typical multiple inverter system is shown below and is of the type commonly fitted on twi n-
engine turbo-prop aircraft.
NON ESSENTIAL AC BUS BAR


,----"
NO.2
MAIN BUSBAR

EMERGENCY
INVERTER
EMERGENCY
INVERTER
CONTROL
NO.2GEN BUS
This system consists of three inverters that suppl y normal constant frequency AC power. The
No.1 and No. 2 inverters are the same type. The No. 3 inverter is an emergency back up to
supply the essential busbar only. It can be a smaller lighter type to save weight. Inverters cannot
be operated in parallel. To even out the running time between No. 1 and No. 2 inverters, many
operators require alternate selection of the inverters for each flight.
More advanced systems may monitor the inverter output and provide automatic switching
between inverters if a failure occurs and provide appropriate indications in the cockpit.
Electrics 6-1 5
INTRODUCTION
Inductors and capacitors are components often found in electronic circuits. They react differentl y
to voltage and frequency and are used in detection and control equipment. A coil has inductance
and a capacitor has capacitance. However, inductance and capacitance are not restricted to
small electronic components. As previousl y discussed, windings in a motor create a back EMF,
which is a direct result of self-inductance.
INDUCTANCE
Inductance is the property of a coil that opposes a change in current fl ow by generati ng an
internal voltage in opposition to the supply voltage. The voltage generated within the coil is due to
self-inductance and is at a maximum when the current from the supply is changing rapidly. For
this reason, if a constant DC voltage is applied to a coil , there is no variation in suppl y voltage
and, therefore, no varying current to induce an internal voltage in the coil. In other words, no
inductance wil l exist with a DC supply.
The vari ation in voltage when an AC or un-stabilised DC suppl y are input to a coil will create
inductance. Other factors which influence the amount of inductance in a coil are the number of
turns in it, and the cross-sectional area of the wire used, both of which are fi xed values
dependant on circuit or component requirements.
The unit of inductance is the Henry (H) and exists when a rate of change in current of 1 amp per
second induces 1 volt in the coil. Thi s usual ly results in a very small figure, so most often the
value is expressed in mH (mill i-Henrys) or j.lH (micro-Henrys). The symbol for inductance in
formulae is L. For instance, a value of 15 mill i-Henrys can be written as:
L = 15 mH
The following rules are instrumental to understanding inductance:
;.. When current flows through a conductor, a magnetic field builds up around it.
Electrics 7-1
Chapler 7 inductance and Capacitance
~ When a conductor is moved through a magnetic field, an EMF is induced in it.
SELF INDUCTION
Imagine a situation where an AC current is flowing in a 'li ve' wire and next to this is another wi re
that has no current flow in it, which can be considered as the 'dormant' wire. The magnetic field
will build around the live wire to a maximum in one direction before col lapsi ng as the current falls
to zero. It then builds to a maximum in the other direction as current flow reverses and flows in
the opposite direction. The dormant wire is lying in the influence of the magnetic field produced by
the live wire and a voltage is therefore induced in it of an opposite polarity to that in the live wire.
Picture a situation where two loops are side by side in a coil. Although they are both part of the
same length of wire, the interaction between them is just like the live wire/dormant wire situation
described above. Each loop of wire in the coil will be inducing voltage in the adjacent loop which
acts to oppose the voltage at the supply.
Now take the above process one step further. It has been established that the induced voltage
opposes the supply voltage, but such opposition is not always against a rising supply voltage.
Opposition can also exist against a falling voltage. A voltage induced in an adjacent loop opposes
a rising voltage as the magnetic field strength is increasing. However, when the supply voltage
reduces to zero the magnetic field collapses, and this induces a vol tage in the adjacent loop of an
opposite polarity. This has the effect of maintaining the coil voltage when the supply voltage is
reducing.
It is easiest to consider the supply voltage and coil voltage as opposite forces, but that the coi l
voltage is always less than the supply. The interaction between the supply voltage and coil
voltage means that current flow does not vary in direct proportion with the supply. The opposition
of the coil to rising voltage delays the equivalent rise in current flow. As the supply voltage falls,
the current flow is maintained by the collapsing magnetic field about the coil. The net effect of
these opposing voltages is that current flow will lag behind the supply voltage. A side effect of the
coil field collapsing is that as a switch in the coil circuit opens, a spark occurs at the switch
contacts.
INDUCTORS
Where using inductors in a circuit, they are chosen with a specific value of inductance. The
inductance of a coil can be increased by either raising the number of turns on the coil , and/or by
inserting a piece of permeable material , such as soft iron, into the coil.
7-2 Electrics
Inductance and Capacitance Chapter i
INDUCTOR
SUPPLY
TIME CONSTANT OF AN INDUCTOR
The time it takes for the current in an inductor to reach a steady value depends on the value of
the inductance and the value of any resistance in series with it.
Battery
Switch Closed
Steady
Current
~ ,..
I ~ \ !/ .... \\
111'\ \\\
I" 11\
I II A "I Steady Flux
I" /I' Through Coil
\ \' II I
\\\ ~ U I I
\\'/1 \ ~ I
... ~
As the voltage induced in an inductor opposes the supply voltage, if a DC supply is supplied to
the coil, it takes a finite time for the current to reach a steady value. The time taken is the time
constant and can be changed by either altering the value of inductance of the coil or by altering
the resistance in series. Bear in mind that once the full supply voltage is reached, it remains
steady. No further voltage is induced until the next change in voltage, whi ch occurs when the
circuit is switched off.
The time constant is not linear because the induced voltage is dependent on a rate of change,
which itself is not at a constant rate. As a supply to an inductor is initially switched on, the supply
voltage rises rapidly from zero to full voltage in a sine wave curve. The initial rapid ri se in supply
voltage immediately induces a high voltage in the inductor in opposition, but as the sine curve of
the supply voltage flattens, the opposition reduces. The reverse occurs when switching off the
supply
The time constant is not measured from zero voltage to full voltage but to 63.2% on voltage rise
and 36.8% on voltage fall. The time constant can be found by dividing the inductance (H) by the
resistance ('0). The time for full current and voltage to be developed across the inductor is 5 times
the time constant:
5 X LlR
The time constant is inversely proportional to resistance.
Electrics 7-3
Chapter 7
SWiI<h
On
~ = ~
S3.2"J. OF MAX
VALUE
lL
R
r I
4L SL
if If
Time (Sec31-
Swi;:n l
Off R
LT;me-1
l"'Con$tanil
Inductance and Capacilallce
36.8% OF MAX
VALUE
2L
R
lL 4L ~
R R R
T;me (Seesl-
These graphs show that the resistive voltage (V
R
) increases and decreases in line with the
current (I), whereas the voltage drop across the inductor (Vc) falls as the current rises, and vice
versa.
INDUCTORS IN SERIES AND PARALLEL
Inductors can be connected in a DC electrical ci rcuit in either series or parall el.
L1
SUPPLY
When connected in series, the values of inductance for each inductor are added:
Total Inductance (L
T
) = L, + L, + L3
When connected in parallel the reciprocals of the individual values of inductance are added
together, and the reciprocal of the total gives the total inductance:
,
_1_ = _1_ + _1_ + _1_
LT LI L2 L3
Inductance calculations are thus similar to resi stance calculations in a DC circuit.
7-4 Electrics
Inductance and Capacitance Chapter 7
CAPACITANCE
If two opposing surfaces that contain charges of opposite polari ty are close to, but insulated from
each other, an electrostatic field would exi st between them, maintaining the charges on each
surface due to the attraction between the opposite polarities. Remember that opposi tes attract.
The electrostatic field developed maintains the charges on each surface, and the greater the
charge maintained, the greater the capacitance.
A static charge of 6.28 X 10
18
electrons is one Coulomb, and when one coulomb of charge
develops between two surfaces with 1 volt applied, 1 unit of capacitance exists, call ed the Farad.
In practice, one unit of Farad is an extremely large value and, therefore, practical val ues of
capacitance are typically very small.
The component specifically designed to have a capacitance value is called a capacitor. Because
practical values of capacitance are very small , they are rated in terms of microFarads (J.l F),
nanoFarads (nF), and picoFarads (pF). A capacitor comprises two plates of a conductive material
separated by an insulator, call ed a dielectric. The dielectric has a direct infl uence on the
capacitance, because the better the insulator, the greater the charge that can be held on the
plates without the voltage causing the charge on the plates to flash over. Because a charge is
maintained on the plates by the electrostatic field, the charge remains on the plates even if the
component is removed from a circuit. A capacitor is often considered an energy storage device. It
will take a fi nite amount of time for a supply to full y charge a capacitor and, as with the inductor, is
known as the ti me constant.
The total number of electrons held on a plate creates an electri cal pressure. The charge held by a
capacitor is measured in volts. A Capacitor wi ll be charged to a specific voltage level , up to the
maximum voltage, which will equal the supply voltage. To help appreciate the difference between
the voltage on a capacitor and its capacitance it is useful to consider the formula for capacitance:
Capacitance (C) = ~
Where V = voltage across plates and Q = charge in Coulombs
It can be inferred from this formula that the largest charge that can be maintained on a capacitor
by the small est possible applied voltage will give the greatest capacitance.
FACTORS AFFECTING CAPACITANCE
Capacitors in their simplest form consist of two metal plates separated by a non-conducting
material call ed a dielectric.
DIELECTRIC
Metal foil is often used for the plates, whi lst the dielectric may be paper, glass, mica, or another
good insulator. A capacitor has a specific amount of capacitance, so if the applied voltage is
increased, the charge will similarl y increase, so that the ratio of the charge to the voltage remains
the same.
Electrics 7-5
Chapter 7 Inductance and Capacitance
The actual amount of capacitance is dependent on the physical shape and size of the capacitor
and varies according to the following formula:
where: k = type of dielectric
A = area of the plates
C= kA
d
d = distance between the plates
The capacitance of a capacitor is directly proportional to the dielectric constant or the area of the
plates and inversely proportional to the distance between the plates.
TYPES OF CAPACITOR
Capacitors can be either fixed or vari able. The most common types include:
}> Paper Capacitors are constructed of alternate layers of metal foil separated with
similar strips of waxed paper, which act as the dielectric.
}> Electrolytic Capacitors have a large capacitance for a smal l physical size. Since
electrolytic capaci tors are manufactured using an electro-chemical process, they are
sensitive to polarity .. This limits their use to DC circuits only. Be careful when
connecting them into a circuit, since connecting incorrectly will damage the capacitor.
}> Variable Capacitors consist of multiple plates, which are moved via a rotating shaft.
,-=""ROTATING
PLATES
_-_FIXED
1 . . - ~ ~ PLATES
Note: Capacitors are rated by voltage as well as by their capacitance value. A voltage rating must
not be exceeded, or the dielectric may break down and arcing may occur. To withstand higher
voltages, the insulati ng properties of the dielectric must be increased or its thickness increased,
both of which wi ll reduce capacitance. To maintain capacitance, the overlapping area of the
plates must be increased.
7-6 Electri cs
Inductance and Capacitance Chap!er 7
THE CHARGING OF A CAPACITOR
If a capacitor is uncharged, the same number of free electrons will exist on both plates, and a
voltmeter connected across the plates will read zero volts, as shown in the diagram bel ow.
+
8 V ~
-
CAPACITOR
If a DC voltage is subsequently applied to the plates of the capacitor, it charges up until the
potential across the plates is equal and opposite of the suppl y voltage.
8V -=-
CURRENT FLOWS UNTIL
CAPACITOR CHARGES
When the switch is closed, the positive terminal of the battery is connected to the upper plate of
the capacitor, and the battery attracts the free electrons from the upper plate. This leaves the
upper positive plate with a deficiency of electrons and the negative lower pl ate wi th an excess of
electrons. The positive plate attracts the electrons on the negative plate, but due to the insulator
(dielectric) between the plates, no electrons flow between them. The attraction of the positive
charge on the upper plate instead tends to pull electrons from the negative terminal of the battery
to the lower negative plate. The difference in potential between the plates causes an electric field
to build up across the dielectric between them. The capacitor continues to charge until the
potential difference between the plates equals the supply voltage.
R1
ELECTRIC
FIELD
When this occurs, no further current flows. Current only flows in the ci rcuit whil st the capacitor is
charging, and does not pass through the capacitor in a DC ci rcuit.
Electrics 7-7
Chapter 7 inductance and Capacitance
A capacitor retains a charge for a long period of time, and can be charged in either polarity simpl y
by reversing the supply (unless the capacitor is electrolytic). If the suppl y is removed from the
capacitor, the electrical charge on the plates remains for a long time. This can pose a hazard to
the unsuspecting, especially with regard to High Energy Ignition Units (HEIU) used for engine
starting, where the high capacity can lead to severe injury. With these devices, a safety resi stor of
high resistance is connected from the capacitor output to earth al lowing the capacitor to
discharge after approximately 1 minute. Do not touch the HEIU within this time.
DISCHARGING OF A CAPACITOR
Theoretically, all of the energy stored in a capacitor can be recovered. A perfect capacitor would
use no power, but store it to be released later. This could be used for timing or signalli ng
purposes.
CAPACITOR FULLY CHARGED
CAPACITOR DISCHARGING
Q
BV-=- C1

BV -- C1
SYMBOL FOR"A
L-___ --l ____ --' CAPACITOR
w
Removing it from the supply and connecting it across a resistor can discharge a capacitor. This
causes the current to flow until the capacitor is fully discharged, and its charge has been reduced
to zero.
THE TIME CONSTANT OF A CAPACITOR
The length of time required for a capacitor to charge or discharge can be calculated if certain
circuit values are known. Exponential curves of voltage against time show how the voltage across
the plates varies. The two factors affecting the charge and discharge time are the resistance (R)
and the capacitance (C). R multiplied by C gives the time required for the capacitor to charge to
63.2% of fully charged state or discharge to 36.8% of its fully charged state. Thi s is known as its
time constant (T) and is expressed as:
T=RxC
where: T = time in seconds
R = resistance in Ohms
C = capacitance in Farads
CHARGE DISCHARGE
VOLTS
7
63
.
2
%
TIME
,
TIME
I
In practice, the time taken for the capacitor to become fully charged or discharged is equal to
5CR.
7-8 Electrics
Inductance and Capacitance Chapter 7
CAPACITORS IN SERIES AND PARALLEL IN A DC CIRCUIT
Like resistors and inductors, capacitors can also be connected in various combinations, as shown
below.
SERIES
PARALLEL
Cl C2
C3
HH
Cl
C2
0
SUPPLY
C3
SUPPLY
~ Capacitors in Parallel increase the effective area of the plates, and thus increase
the overall total capacitance. The formula for calculating the total value of capacitors
connected in parallel is:
~ Capacitors in Series increase the overall thickness of the dielectric, decreasing the
total capacitance. The formula for calculating the total value of capacitors connected
in series is:
Notably, if two capacitors of different values are connected in series in a circuit, the smaller
capacitor will have a higher value across it rather than the larger one. To understand why this
occurs, consider capacitance in terms of voltage:
Voltage is inversel y proportional to the capacitance, so the smaller the capacitor, the higher its
voltage.
Electrics 7-9
INTRODUCTION
Alternating Current (AC) continually changes its polarity and can vary in both magnitude and how
often it changes direction. This differs from Direct Current (DC), which is usuall y of a constant
value flowing in one direction only. The voltage and current in an AC circuit increase from zero to
maximum and back to zero again in one direction before reversing and reaching a maximum in
the other direction. The effect of an AC supply on resistors, inductors, and capacitors also differs
from that of a DC supply.
ALTERNATING CURRENT
ADVANTAGES OF AC OVER DC
AC is extremely versatile and has the following advantages over DC:
~ AC can be simply and efficiently changed from one voltage to another using a
transformer.
~ AC generators are simpler and lighter in construction than DC generators for the
equivalent power output.
~ AC can be easily and efficiently changed into DC using rectifiers.
~ The magnitude or frequency of AC voltages can be easily modified to carry or transmit
information as AC signals.
~ The frequency at which electro-magnetic radio waves can be made to propagate outward
from a suitable aerial begins at 3000 Hz or 3 kHz, known as a radio frequency (RF). It is
relatively easy to increase an AC supply frequency to the RF level.
GENERATING AC
An AC generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. by using the electromagnetic
induction properties of a coil rotating in a magnetic field.
The magnitude of the voltage produced is dependent on the following factors:
Electrics
~ The strength of the magnetic field
~ The speed at which the conductor cuts the magnetic field
~ The length of the conductor within the magnetic field
J
~ The angle at which the conductor cuts the magnetic field
8-1
Chapter 8 Basic AC Theol)'
As with a DC generator, the polarity of the induced voltage can be found using Fleming's Right-
Hand Rule (see page 5-1 ).
i
MOTION
\
MAGNETIC FTELO
SIMPLE AC GENERATOR
In its simplest form, an AC generator consists of a single loop of wire or armature, which is
mounted on a shaft, such that it can be rotated within a magnetic field. When it is rotated, an AC
voltage is induced in it, which can be easily transferred to an external circuit by means of carbon
brushes that bear on sli p rings connected to the loop.
When the armature moves through 360', or through one revolution, at a constant speed the
output voltage and current rise to a maximum value in one direction and back to zero, before
reversing in polarity. The voltage and current rise to a maximum value in the opposite direction
before again returning to zero. The paths plotted by the voltage and current are in the shape of a
sine wave whose magnitude and polarity are determined by the actual position of the armature as
shown in the following diagram.
8-2 Electri cs
Basic AC TheOlY Chapter 8
o 90 180 270 360
AC TERMINOLOGY
The diagram below shows how the voltage output varies when the armature is rotated through
360' .
90
INSTANTANEOUS
_ ~ ~ ~ T A G E
-------- --- ---f ---- ------
: PEAK
I VOLTAGE
45 90 180
PEAK TO PEAK
VOLTAGE
270
1 CYCLE - ____
360
By convention, the following terminology applies to the resulting sine wave:
Electrics
Cycle
This is a complete variation of voltage from zero through a maxi mum value in each
direction and returning to zero. It occurs when the armature of a basic AC generator
rotates through one complete revolution (360' ).
Instantaneous Value
This is the val ue at a specific instant in time.
Peak Value
The voltage curve ri ses to a maximum value in one half cycle, and the level at whi ch this
occurs is the peak voltage.
8-3
Chapter S Basic A C TheOl)
8-4
Peak-to-Peak Value
This is the total voltage variati on between the peak positive voltage and the peak
negati ve voltage.
Peak to Peak = 2 x Peak Value
Average Value
The average val ue of voltage or current can be calculated by taking a large number of
instantaneous values, either positive or negati ve, and di viding by the number of values
taken. Using advanced calculus, it can be shown that the average over a sine curve is
0.637 of the maximum peak value.
Root Mean Squared Value RMS (Effective Value)
This amount of power or heat wil l be dissipated by an AC peak current of 1 ampere,
compared to the amount of power or heat dissipated by a DC current of 1 ampere when
fiowing through an identical resistor.
As the AC current only reaches 1 A when it reaches the peak voltage, the overal l heating
effect is reduced compared to the constant 1A current fiow in the DC supply. To define
the equivalent power of an AC supply when compared to a DC supply, the term Root
Mean Squared (RMS) is applied to an AC supply when the above comparison is taken
into consideration. For instance, the standard domestic electricity supply is 230 V, and
would give an equivalent heating effect as DC at 230 V and is, therefore, the RMS value.
The peak voltage value of the domestic supply is approximately 325 V.
The RMS value is 0.707 of the peak value:
325 V domestic peak voltage x 0.707 = 230 V
Unless specifically stated, all values of AC vol tage and current are given as RMS values.
In fact, AC voltmeters and ammeters indicate RMS values.
Frequency
The number of complete cycles in one second is called the frequency of the supply and is
measured in hertz. The frequency of an AC waveform is directly related to the speed at
which the generator is driven. The standard AC electrical supply in modern aircraft is 200
volts 400 Hz. '
Electri cs
Basic AC TheOlY Chapter 8
Periodic Time
This is the time taken to complete one complete cycle and is the reciprocal of frequency:
Periodi c Time = F 1
requency
PHASE AND PHASE ANGLE
Consider two AC voltages having the same frequency but with different magnitudes.
v,
wI
o (rad)
Both waveforms cross the zero axis at the same time and are in phase with each other. They
also reach their maximum and minimum peak values at the same time. If the waveforms are
displaced from each other and cross the zero axis at different points, they are out of phase, as
shown below.
v,
wI
o (rad)
The maximum and minimum peak values also occur at different phase angles. By convention, the
angular difference between the two waveforms where they cross the horizontal axis and go
positive is the phase displacement or phase angle. In the above example, V, leads V
2
by 90
or, alternatively, V
2
lags V, by 90'. If the frequency of V, and V
2
is identical , the phase shift
remains constant.
Electrics 8-5
Chapter 8 Basic AC TheOlY
If the wavefor[Tls are 180' out of phase, they are said to be in anti-phase.
v,
wt
o ft---+--Jf---+---t-- Iradl
PHASOR REPRESENTATION
Any AC quantity that produces a sine wave output can be represented as a phasor, which is
simpl y a vector representation that rotates at a constant veloci ty.
___ v,
,/ ,
I '
I \
I /' , \
,I v2 \ WT
, I I I 0 ......
I' I r 2
\ -r./6 I "
\ \ , I
, ' ... _.-/ I
, /
, /
,.
The length of each phasor represents the amplitude of the waveform and its angle wi th respect to
a given reference axis. In this example, the phasors V, and V, are both rotating at the same rate,
and V, is leading V, by
Thi s can be more simply represented by using a phasor diagram, where V, is taken as the
reference phasor.
w Iradi sl
By convention, the reference phasor is placed in the 3 o'clock position and all phasors rotate in
an anti-clockwise direction. In this case, V, is taken as the reference vector, since it has a phase
angle of zero. V, is behind it and, therefore, lags V,. Any number of voltages andl or currents
can be drawn on the same phasor diagram provided that they are all at the same frequency.
8-6 Electri cs
INTRODUCTION
As voltage is a pressure that forces current to flow in a circuit, then in any circuit, there will be a
relationship between voltage and current that depends on whether the total load is capacitive,
inductive, or resistive.
SINGLE PHASE AC CIRCUITS
THE EFFECT OF AC ON A PURELY RESISTIVE CIRCUIT
When an AC supply is applied to a purely resisti ve component, the current flows through the
resistor in one direction and then the other, as illustrated below.
R
~ ___ --.J _____ ----,_ wI
o (rad)
The current varies in both amplitude and direction in sympathy wi th the AC voltage. Where the
load is purely resistive in nature, both reach their maximum and minimum values at the same
time. When this condition exists, the two sine waves are in phase and are represented by the
phasor diagram as below:
-
I
POWER IN AN AC RESISTIVE CIRCUIT
v
~
As the voltage and current are in phase in a purely resistive circuit, power can be calculated in
exactly the same way as it is for a DC circuit, I x V, and is measured in watts. Al l the power used
in a resistive component is dissipated in the form of heat.
Electrics
9-1
Chapter 9 Single Phase A C Circuits
p
wt
o (rad)
Notice in the power curve above that all the power consumed is positive, even though for the
second half of the cycle voltage and current are negative. It is a mathematical fact that the
product of two negative values results in a positive value. Therefore all the power in a purely AC
resistive circuit does useful work and is called true or real power.
THE EFFECT OF AC ON A PURELY INDUCTIVE CIRCUIT
The induced voltage in an inductor caused by the fluctuating magnetic field is always in
opposition to the voltage at the supply. Effectively, this opposition voltage delays the current flow
and causes a shift between the voltage and current curves in such a manner that current lags
behind the voltage.
v
L

(rad)
In theory, if the total load is purely inducti ve, the phase shift is 90 . V leads I when the circuit is
inductive L, or VIL.
This can be represented on a phasor diagram as below.
v
9-2 El ectrics
Single Phase AC Circuits Chapter 9
POWER IN AN AC INDUCTIVE CIRCUIT
The instantaneous power is obtained by multiplying the instantaneous val ues of voltage and
current together.
p
O ~ - - ~ - - - i ~ - - ~ - - - r - - - r o t
(rad)
In the first quarter cycle, the values of voltage and current are both positive quantities producing
positi ve power. In the second quarter cycle, the value of the current is still positive, but the value
of voltage is now negative, thus producing negati ve power. This pattern continues and repeats
every half cycle of the waveform. The average power is zero, and a perfect inductor dissipates
zero real or effecti ve power. The power produced is alternatively known as Reactive Power, and
is measured in volts amperes reactive (VAR).
INDUCTIVE REACTANCE (XL)
An inductive component (inductor) tends to oppose the change in current flow and, like a
capacitor, offers opposition to the flow of alternating current. The counter-EMF induced in an
inductor by the varying current opposes the supply voltage. This opposition to current flow is
called Inductive Reactance (Xc) , which is directly proportional to the inductance of the inductor
and the frequency of the suppl y vol tage, as shown below.
where: f
L
XL
Inductive Reactance (XL) = 2nfL ohms
= frequency in hertz
= inductance in henrys
= inductive reactance in ohms
In an AC circuit, an inductor has the same effect on current flow as a resistor. In a purely
inducti ve circuit, the current in the circuit is directly proportional to the applied voltage and
inversely proportional to the inducti ve reactance.
IL= l= __ V_
XL 2nfL
If the supply frequency is increased, the inductive current decreases and vice versa. An inductive
component may thus be damaged if the frequency is reduced.
Electrics 9-3
Chapter 9 Single Phase A C Circllits
THE EFFECT OF AC ON A PURELY CAPACITIVE CIRCUIT
When an AC voltage is applied to a purel y capaciti ve circuit, the capaci tor will charge up first in
one direction and then in the other.
v
q c

(rad)
If the voltage and current are monitored, the current does not rise in phase with the applied
voltage as it does in a resistive circuit. In a purel y capacitive circuit, the current reaches its
maximum value nl2 radians (90' ) before the voltage across the capacitor reaches its maximum
value. The voltage and current are out of phase, and the voltage lags the current by nl 2 radians
(90' ), or the current leads the voltage by the same angle.
Thi s can also be represented on a phasor diagram as foll ows:
,,/2
v
POWER IN AN AC CAPACITIVE CIRCUIT
The instantaneous power is given by multiplying the instantaneous values of voltage and current
together.

(rad)
In the first quarter cycle, the ,values of voltage and current are both positive quantities, produci ng
positive power. In the second quarter cycle, the value of the voltage is still positive, but the value
of current is now negative, producing negative power. This pattern continues and repeats every
half cycle of the waveform. Although capaci ti ve components do not dissipate any real power, they
do develop a voltage that opposes the supply. This opposition has a simil ar effect as the voltage
that drops across a power-consuming device. This effect is called reacti ve, or wat!less power and
is measured in volt amp reacti ve (VAR).
9-4 Electrics
Single Phase AC Circuits Chapter 9
CAPACITIVE REACTANCE (CAPACITORS AC RESISTANCE)
In an AC circuit, the capacitor constantly charges and discharges. This is due to the time lag that
exists and the voltage across the capacitor being in constant opposition to the supply voltage.
This creates an opposition to current fiow (i.e. electrical resistance, which is known as Capacitive
Reactance (Xc)). Capaciti ve reactance is inversely proportional to the capaci tance of the
component and the frequency of the applied voltage, as shown below.
Capacitive Reactance (Xc) = 2n\C ohms
where: f
C
Xc
= frequency in hertz
= capacitance in farads
= capacitive reactance in ohms
In an AC circuit, a capacitor has the same effect on current fiow as a resistor. In a purely
capacitive circuit, the current in the circuit is directly proportional to the applied voltage and the
capacitive reactance.
IC= l= V x 2nfC
Xc
If the supply frequency is increased, the capacitive current will increase and vice versa. A
capacitive component may thus be damaged if the frequency is increased.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VOLTAGE AND INDUCTIVE AC CIRCUITS IN
CAPACITIVE
Depending on whether the circuit is inductive or capacitive, the acronym CIVIL is a memory aid
as to whether the current leads or lags the voltage.
CIVIL
In a Capacitive (C) Circuit, I before V (I leads V). In an Inductive (L) Circuit V before I (V
leads I).
This is particularly useful when dealing with series or parallel AC circuits. In series AC circuits,
current is used as the reference phasor, and in parallel AC circuits, voltage is used.
RESISTIVE AND INDUCTIVE (RL) SERIES AC CIRCUIT
When an AC voltage is applied across an RL circuit, a voltage drop takes place across each
component, and the same current passes through both. Current is thus taken as the reference
phasor in the phasor diagram.
VOLTAGE VECTORS
,
The voltage drop across the resistor (V
R
) is in phase with the current, and the voltage drop across
the inductor (Vel leads the current by nl2 radians (90). The supply voltage (Vs) can then be
calculated using the vector sum of these voltages.
Electrics 9-5
Chapter 9 Single Phase A C Circuits
RESISTIVE AND CAPACITIVE (RC) SERIES AC CIRCUIT
When an AC voltage is applied across an RC circuit, a voltage drop takes place across each
component, and the same current passes through both. Current is thus taken as the reference
phasor in the phasor diagram.
VC=IXc - - - - -- - - - - ' v
VOLTAGE VECTORS s
IS
The voltage drop across the resistor (V
R
) is in phase with the current, and the voltage drop across
the capacitor (Ve) lags the current by rrl2 radians (90). The supply voltage (Vs) can then be
calculated using the vector sum of these voltages, as in the case of the RL series circuit.
PHASE SHIFT
The phase shift of a circuit is the angle between the voltage and current vectors. It is a function of
the reactive and resisti ve components. In the case of a seri es RC circuit, it can be expressed
mathematicall y as tan <I> = XRC and for a series RL circuit as tan <I> = XRL .
RESISTIVE, INDUCTIVE, AND CAPACITIVE (RLC) SERIES AC CIRCUITS
In an RLC series circuit, current is a common vector, and the voltage drops across the resistor,
the inductor, and the capacitor are as shown below.
=l-VL ~ V c l
V
L
[
VR
R
I-'-(ro:) '--i I I
VL-Vc -- --- ----
L C
0
VR
IS
AC SUPPLY
Vc
The voltage drop across the resistor (V
R
) is in phase with the current. The voltage drop across the
capacitor (V
c
) lags the current by nl 2 radians (90) and the voltage drop across the inductor (Vc)
leads the current by nl2 radians (90). The vert ical components, V
L
and V
c
, are in direct
opposition to each other, so the resulting vertical component is (VL - Vc). The supply voltage (Vs)
is found using Pythagoras, as follows.
9-6 Electri cs
Single Phase AC Circuits Chapter 9
IMPEDANCE (Z) IN A RESISTIVE, INDUCTIVE, AND CAPACITIVE (RLC)
SERIES AC CIRCUIT
Impedance is the total opposition to current fiow in an AC ci rcuit containing resistance and
reactance. In a series AC circuit, it is the vector sum of the inductive reactance (Xc), capacitive
reactance (Xc), and resistance (R) as shown below.
R
XL
r.
Z
R
xt.-Xc
e L
R
Is
Xc
IMPEDANCe(Z I = Jri- +
(xt.- Xc)2
RESISTIVE, INDUCTIVE, AND CAPACITIVE (RLC) PARALLEL AC CIRCUIT
In a parallel RLC circuit, voltage is the common vector. The currents through the resistor (I
R
), the
inductor (lL), and the capacitor (Ie) are as shown below.
Ie
Ae SUPPLY
IL-Ie ----- ---
The current through the resistor (IR) is in phase with the Voltage. The current through the
capacitor (Ie) leads the voltage by rr/2 radians (90), and the current through the inductor (1c)lags
the voltage by rr/2 radians (90). The vert ical components, IL and Ie, are in direct opposition to
each other, so the resulting vertical component is thus (IL - Ie) . The supply current (Is) is found
using Pythagoras, as follows.
IMPEDANCE (Z) IN A RESISTIVE, INDUCTIVE, AND CAPACITIVE (RLC)
PARALLEL AC CIRCUIT
In a parallel AC circuit, the reciprocal of impedance is the vector sum of the reciprocals of the
inductive reactance (XL)' the capaci ti ve reactance (Xc), and the resistance (R) as shown below.
Electrics 9-7
Chapter 9 Single Phase AC Circliits
POWER IN A RESISTIVE, INDUCTIVE, AND CAPACITIVE (RLC) AC CIRCUIT
The types of power that exist in an RLC circuit are shown below:
Ie
e
Ie
o
's
VA
=V r==::::::WATIS=V
s
x 'R
., SX's
V.A.R.=V
s
X('c'e)
True or Effective Power (watts) is the amount of power being consumed by the
resistive component in an AC circuil. The unit of true power is the watt.
Reactive Power (VAR) (wattless power) is the power consumed by the reactive
components. The unit of reactive power is volts-amperes reactive (VAR)
Apparent Power (VA) is found by measuring the voltage and current being applied to a
circuit and multiplying them together. The unit of apparent power is volt-amperes (VA),
and most AC equipment is rated in VA. Apparent power (VA) consists of the vector sum
of true power (watts) and reactive power (VAR).
Power in an AC circuit can alternatively be represented as a triangle, as shown below.
9-8
Apparent
Power
(VA) ~
Real or True
Power
(Watts)
Reactive
Power
(VAR)
Electri cs
Single Phase AC Circuits
Chapter 9
POWER FACTOR
This is a means of indicating the amount of true power consumed in an AC ci rcuit when the
apparent power (VA) is gi ven. The formula is:
Power Factor (Cos $) = True Power
Apparent Power
For example, if the apparent power of a circuit is 1000 vol t-amperes and the generator has a
power factor of 0.6, the true power is 600 watts (i.e. the generator is only 60% effective). If the
power factor is alternatively 1.0 or unity, the true power would be 1000 watts. It is therefore
important that the power factor is as close to unity as possible, although this is normally a fixed
quantity and cannot be altered.
AC SERIES CIRCUIT EXAMPLE
An AC series circuit with a supply voltage of 100 volts has a resistance (R) of 30n. a capacitive
reactance (Xc) of 60 n, and an inductance reactance (Xc) of 100 n, as shown below.
60n
R C
100V AC-
Calculate the:
a) Total impedance (Z)
b) Supply current (I)
c) P.D across each component (VR' Vc and Vc)
d) True, reacti ve, and apparent power
e) Power factor
Electrics
XL = 100n
L
9-9
Chapter 9 Single Phase AC Circllits
Solution:
XL = 1000
R=300
s
b) Is = Vs = 100 = 2 amps
Z 50
c) V
R
= I x R = 2 x 30 = 60 volts
v c = I x Xc = 2 x 60 = 120 volts
V
L
= I X XL = 2 x 100 = 200 volts
d) True Power = V
R
x I = 60 x 2 = 120 watts
Reactive Power = (VL - Vel x I = 80 x 2 = 160 volt-amperes reacti ve (VAR)
Apparent Power = V 5 X I = 100 x 2 = 200 volt-amperes (VA)
e) Power Factor = True Power = 120 = 0.6 laggi ng
Apparent Power 200
This is because the supply voltage is ahead of the supply current in the phasor diagram.
9-1 0 Electri cs
Single Phase AC CirclIits Chapter 9
AC PARALLEL CIRCUIT EXAMPLE
An AC parallel circuit with a supply voltage of 100 volts has a resistance (R) of 30.3 n, a
capacitive reactance (Xc) of 10 n, and an inductance reactance (Xc) of 16.7 n, as shown below:
Calculate the:
100V
-AC
r----z----r----aIR
IL Ie
xt.-
18.70 Xc-
100
a) Current through each component (IR' IL and Ic)
b) Total current (IT)
c) True, reactive and apparent power
d) Power factor
Electrics
-
33.30
9- 11
Chapter 9 Single Phase A C Circllits
Solution:
Ie lOA
'R3A
1 OOV
a) IR = Vs = 100 = 3 amps
R 33.3
le= = .!..QQ. = 10 amps
Xc 10
IL = = 100 = 6 amps
XL 16.7

... l00V
b) IT = + (Ic -I
L
)2 = J3
2
+ .(10 - 6) 2 = 5 amps
c) True Power = 100 x 3 = 300 watts
Reactive Power = Vs x (I e -Ie) = 100 x 4 = 400 volt-amperes reacti ve (VAR)
Apparent Power = Vs x IT = 100 x 5 = 500 volt-amperes (VA)
d) Power Factor = True Power = 300 = 0 6 leading
Apparent Power 500 .
This is because the suppl y voltage is behind the supply current in the phasor diagram.
9-12 El eetri es
INTRODUCTION
When a DC voltage is applied to a parallel circuit containing both inductance and capacitance, the
capacitor acts like an open circuit and the inductor li ke a short circuit. This means that Xc is
infinite while XL is zero. If a very low frequency AC is applied instead of DC and the frequency
gradually increased, XL increases and Xc decreases. A point is eventually reached where the
value of XL is the same as Xc. It follows that for any combination of L and C, there is a frequency
at which XL equals Xc. This is true whether the two components are connected in series or
parallel. The condition where XL equal s Xc is known as resonance, and the frequency at which
this occurs is known as the resonant frequency (fo) .
The resonant frequency can be cal culated using the following formula:
XL.X
c
2TTfL = _ 1_
2IIfC
fo = 1
2nv'LC
Where: f = frequency in hertz, L = inductance in Henrys
and C = capacitance in Farads
RESONANT CIRCUIT
SERIES RESONANT CIRCUIT
When current fiows in a series circuit containing a resistor, a capacitor, and an inductor, a voltage
develops across each component.
VL Vc
V
L
f
VR
11
R ys
':=:J 0
VR
Is
AC SUPPLY
Vc
Vs = + (V
c
, - V
L
) 2
Electri cs 10 - I
Chapter 10 Resonant AC Circuits
At resonance, the voltage drop across the capacitor is equal and opposite of the voltage drop
across the inductor, and they cancel each other out.
Supply
At resonance, the voltage across the resistance (V
R
) equals the supply voltage (Vs). The
capacitor and inductor therefore do not affect the supply, since they provide no opposition to
current flow at resonance. The voltage across the individual reactive components can also be
many times higher than the supply voltage. Simi larly in terms of impedance (Z):
Both the capaci ti ve and inductive reactances are dependent on the frequency and both alter with
changes in frequency, as shown below.
ohms
z
R
o I(Hz)
With increasing frequency, Xc reduces whi lst XL increases and vice versa. The value of Z
similarl y alters, and at resonance, Xc = XL, thus Z = R. Minimum impedance thus all ows
maximum current to flow in the circuit when the resonant frequency is achieved.
A series resonant circuit is also known as an acceptor circuit, and is particularly useful in
communication equipment, because it increases the sensitivity of the receiver (Rx). This is done
by enabling signals of a given frequency to be magnified and separated from other signals. The
range of frequencies over which it is selective is called the bandwidth of the resonant circuit, as
shown in the following diagram.
10-2 Electrics
Resonant AC Circuits Chapter 10
HA)
Bandwidth
v
o f (Hz)
By convention, the bandwidth of a series circuit is the separation between two frequencies either
side of the resonant frequency, at which the output power falls to half its maximum value.
Q FACTOR IN A SERIES RESONANT CIRCUIT
The Q or magnification factor is very important in a series resonant circuit and is defined as the
ratio of the reactance to resistance.
Q = XL or Xc
R R
This is the reason the voltage across the reactive components can be very much larger than the
supply voltage, because it magnifies the voltage by the factor of Q.
PARALLEL RESONANT CIRCUIT (TANK CIRCUIT)
In an ideal parall el resonant circuit containing only pure capacitance and pure inductance, XL wi ll
be equal to Xc.
,
0
1 ' l ~ l
c ~
SUPPLY
::r= l ~
I L =

o[
~
~
r
Under these conditions, an equal amount of energy would first be stored in the capacitor in an
electrostatic field and then passed to the inductor to be stored as an electro-magnetic field. This
is known as the flywheel effect , and because there is no resistance in the circuit, the oscillation
of energy between the capacitor and inductor would continue indefinitely. It follows that since no
energy needs to be replaced in the circuit, none is drawn from the AC suppl y other than the initial
amount of energy required to start the oscillation. The circuit appears to the supply to be an open
circuit. Practical parallel inductive-capacitive ci rcuits, however, have resistance. Unlike the
hypothetical circuit shown, which only stores energy, resistance dissipates it in the form of heat.
In a practical tank circuit, the oscillation quickly dies away unless the lost energy is replaced by
the supply. If the resistance in the circuit is high, the oscil lations quickl y damp out, because the
energy is rapidly dissipated.
Electrics 10-3
Chapter 10 Resonant A C Circuits
In a normal parallel RLC circuit, the supply current (Is) can be established using a phasor diagram
and Pythagoras's Theorem, as shown below.
Ie
Ae SUPPLY
IL-Ie - ------ --
At resonance, the current through the capacitor is equal and opposite to the current through the
inductor, thus they cancel each other out.
Ie
e
R
SUPPLY
At resonance, the current through the resistance (l R) equals the suppl y current (Is). The capacitor
and inductor affect the supply, since they provide maximum opposition to current fiow at
resonance. The circulating current in the inductor and capacitor can also be many times greater
than the supply current at resonance. The impedance (Z) is maximum and the resultant current a
minimum at resonance.
Bandwidth
HIGH
C
U
R
R
E
N
T
fo
LOW
FREQUENCY
,
10-4 Electrics
Resonant AC Circuits Chapter 10
A parallel resonant circuit is also known as a reject or ci rcuit and is particularly useful in
communi cati on equipment, because it increases the selectivity of the receiver (Rx). This is done
by enabling signals of a given frequency to be easil y separated from other signals, by magnifying
the suppl y current. The range of frequencies over which it is selecti ve is cal led the bandwidth of
the resonant circuit, as shown in the previous diagram.
Often a parall el resonant circuit is too selective and responds to only a very narrow band of
frequenci es. In these cases, connecting a relatively small value resistor across the tank circuit
can increase the bandwidth.
Q FACTOR IN A PARALLEL RESONANT CIRCUIT
In a parallel resonant circui t, the supply is appl ied directl y across both C and L, so unlike a seri es
resonant circuit, the current, rather than the voltage, is magnified by a factor of Q. This is
determined by dividing the tank current by the source current, as shown below.
Q = I
Tank
ISource
Thi s is the reason why the current circul ating around the reactive components can be very much
larger than the supply current.
SELF RESONANCE OF COILS
Every coil has a certai n val ue of capaci tance and therefore at some value of frequency, the
inductor (coi l) begins to self resonate.
USE OF RESONANT CIRCUITS
The characteri stics of resonant circuits make them useful for fi ltering specific frequenci es in
electroni c ci rcuits, and in thi s capacity, they are known as filters. The basic filters are:
Low-Pass Filter
In this circuit, an inductance coil is placed in series, and a capacitor is placed in parallel with the
supply.
INPUT
- - - - - . - - ~ ~ ~ - - - - - - - -
I
T
OUTPUT
Low frequencies pass easil y through the inductance coil but are blocked by the capacitor,
whereas the reverse occurs at hi gher frequencies. Thi s is because the reactance of the
components vari es with frequency and thus determines which component passes current more
readil y. At low frequencies, the inductive reactance (XL = 2I1fL) is low, whereas at higher
frequencies the capaci tive reactance (Xc = _1_ ) is low. A low-pass filter thus passes
2nfC
frequencies in the lower ranges, but attenuates or reduces the current at frequencies in the higher
ranges.
Electrics 10-5
Chapter 10 Resonant AC CirclIits
High-Pass Filter
In this circuit, a capacitor is placed in series, and an inductance coil is placed in parallel with the
supply.
INPUT
OUTPUT
Low frequencies will pass easily through the inductance coil, but will be blocked by the capacitor,
whereas at higher frequencies, the reverse occurs. A high-pass filter passes frequencies in the
higher ranges, but attenuates or reduces the current at frequencies in the lower ranges.
Band-Pass Filter
Thi s filter consists of a series LC and a parallel LC circuit, arranged as shown below.
I
,. -if--
INPUT ~ . = =
~
OUTPUT
I
In this arrangement, the impedance of the series LC circuit remains high, except at or near the
resonant frequency, whereas the impedance of the parallel LC circuit remains low until this
frequency band is reached. The number of circuit components and their resistance also
determines the bandwidth of this filter (i.e. the greater the resistance, the greater the bandwidth).
Band-Reject Filter
This filter consists of a series LC and a parallel LC circuit, arranged as shown below.
I
INPUT
J
OUTPUT
In this arrangement, the impedance of the parallel LC circuit remains low, except at or near the
resonant frequency, whereas the impedance of the series LC circuit remains high until this
frequency band is reached. The resonant frequencies are thus bypassed and blocked from
reaching the output. The number of circuit components and their resistance also determines the
bandwidth of this filter (i.e. the greater the resistance, the greater the bandwidth).
10-6 Electrics
Resonant AC Circuits Chapter 10
TUNING CIRCUITS
A filter may be used as a tuning circuit if either a variable capacitor or inductor is used. A typical
circuit is shown below.
s
p
c
In this circuit, a variable capacitor is used with a fi xed resistor. In other circuits, a fi xed capacitor
is used with a variable inductor, which is altered using a moveable core. Tuning circuits usually
have a high selectivity and only allow a narrow band of frequencies to pass, whilst rej ecting all
others.
During its operation, radio signals cut across the antenna and induce signals (currents) of vari ous
frequencies to pass through the primary (P) winding of the antenna coil to earth. The resulting
electromagnetic waves induce an EMF in the secondary (S) winding of the antenna coil and the
variable capacitor (e). When the resonant frequency of the coil is reached, a maximum voltage is
developed across the capacitor, and a maximum voltage is applied to the emitter-base of the
transistor. This voltage is the input signal to the transistor, which in turn amplifies the relati vely
weak signal being passed to the tuner.
In other cases, a series-resonant circuit is used in the primary circuit, which only allows maximum
current to fiow in this section at the resonant frequency. This prevents unwanted frequencies from
being induced in the secondary winding and increases the system's selecti vity.
Electri cs 10-7
INTRODUCTION
Transformers are extremely versatile devices that can be used to either step up and step down
AC voltages or to step up and step down AC current. They can also allow AC to pass and block
DC.
TRANSFORMERS
CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION
The most common type of transformer is the voltage transformer, which consists of two windings,
the primary winding and the secondary winding. The windings are not electrically connected
together, which is a safety feature in AC electrical circuits, but are wound on the same laminated
soft iron core.
WINDING WINDING
If an AC voltage is applied to the primary winding, the resultant changing flux links with the
secondary winding. The changing flux is concentrated by the iron core and causes an EMF to be
induced in the secondary winding. The magnitude of the EMF is proportional to the rati o of the
number of turns between the primary and secondary windings.
Where:-
Electrics
Turns Ratio = Np = Vp
Ns Vs
Vp = Primary voltage
Vs = Secondary voltage
Np = Primary turns
Ns = Secondary turns
I I - I
Chapter II Transformers
Voltage transformers are categorised depending on the ratio of the turns and are represented by
the following symbols.
IRON CORE
;. fir ~ . -
:ill =a ~
STEP UP
STEP DOWN
If there are more turns on the secondary than the primary, it is a step-up transformer. If there are
more turns on the primary than the secondary, it is a step-down transformer.
Transformers are also extremely efficient (i.e. the amount of power in is approximately equal to
the amount of power out), and they are rated in volt-amperes (VA). The following relationship
exists between the turns ratio, voltage, and current.
where Is = Secondary Current
Ip = Primary Current
If the voltage is stepped up, the current is stepped down. For example, if a transformer has a
turns ratio of 1 :2, and inputs of 240 V and 5 amps, the outputs will be, respectivel y:
Vs = f x 240 = 480 volts
!.. = Np
Ip NS
18 = ~ x 5 = 2.5 amps
Transformers also consist of inductive components, so it is important that they are operated at
their correct frequency and voltage. Any under-frequency condition results in the primary current
increasing and the transformer overheating.
11-2 Electrics
Transformers
Chap!er J J
TYPES OF TRANSFORMERS
In addition to voltage transformers, the following types of transformers also exist:
Three-phase transformers (isolation transformers) .are widely used on aircraft and consist of
three individual isolation transformers, where the primary windi ngs are connected together across
a three-phase AC supply, as shown below.
PRIMARY SECONDARY
OUTPUT
STAR DELTA
The secondary windings are also connected together. They produce a three-phase output vol tage
of a value dependent on the supply and the turn's ratio between the three corresponding winding
pairs, which are normally the same. The primary and secondary windings can be alternati vel y
connected in a delta-star configuration, as shown in the following diagram, or connected in star-
star or delta-delta. This is dependent on the transformer's parti cular appli cation.
Auto transformers. are a special type, since they have no electrical isolation between the
primary and secondary windings. A single continuous winding is wound on a laminated iron core,
where part of the winding is used as the primary, whilst the other part is used as the secondary,
as shown below.
b
~
;:
INPUT
OUTPUT
~
OUTPUT
INPUT
:
STEP DOWN
STEP UP
These transformers can be used to either step-up or step-down the applied voltage, depending
on the winding configuration. In a step-down device, the whole of the winding serves as the
primary winding, whilst the lower half of the winding serves as the secondary winding. In this
case, there are fewer turns in the secondary than in the primary; so the voltage is stepped-down,
but the current is stepped-Up. This configurati on is typically used to power aircraft instruments
where the voltage is stepped-down from 115 V 400 Hz to 26 VAC. The disadvantage of thi s
format is that the full voltage is placed across the load-if the coil goes open circuit, since there is
no voltage isolation between the two windings.
Electrics 11-3
Chapter]] Transfomlers
Conversely, in a step-up auto transformer, the lower half of the coil is used as the primary, and
the entire coil is used as the secondary. In this case, the secondary has more turns than the
primary, so the transformer steps-up the voltage and steps-down the current. On aircraft, this
arrangement is typically used in wi ndshield anti-icing systems.
If the output from the auto transformer can be varied via a moveable tapping, as shown below, it
is also known as a variac and is typically used on the fiight deck to control the intensity of ultra-
violet li ghting.
INPUT
OUTPUT
Current transformers differ from the voltage transformer, because the primary circuit consists of
a supply feeder cable rather than a winding connected across a supply, as shown below.
CURRENT
;<i= TRANSFORMER
(SECONDARY)
B
r - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~ ~ . - - - - - - ~ U
CURRENT ~ ~ !
TRANSFORMER ~ R
In thi s arrangement, the alternating magneti c fi eld associated wi th the load current is linked to the
current transformer secondary winding via a laminated soft iron core, through which the feeder
(primary) passes. The secondary current is used to feed a meter and typically registers the
current fi owing from an AC generator to the busbar or load. The secondary current can
additi onal ly be used to supply power meters and to monitor the load-Sharing in an electrical
circuit. In AC power generation systems, this type of transformer can also be used as a sensor in
a differential protection circuit, as shown on the next page.
11 -4 Electrics
Transfor/ners
Chapter J J
I
I
II
II ill I I I I
1
I r + = - ~ I {GEN \
1 1111 1 I L , . ~
r T ,---=-7 \ I
I 1111 I L -=--.J
--.;;-
,/
I I
CuRRENT
CURRENT
TRANS TRANS
VOLT
REG
,
_.- .-._.- ._--
- -
I
DIFF
I
.
G PROT
I
CIRCUiT
I
. PROTECTION UNIT
-.-.-.-.-.---.-._.-
This system protects against line-to-line and line-to-earth short circuits on the feeder lines
between the generator and the generator circuit breaker (GCB). Doughnut current transformers
are placed around the feeder lines and secondary windings of each pair in series opposition to
ensure that the full output from the generator passes to the load. Under no fault conditions, the
currents at each end of the feeder lines are equal, so the induced EMF is in balance and no
current flows to the differential protection relay. If a difference in current of 30-40 amps exists,
a signal flows to the protection relay, which instantaneously trips the generator control relay
(GCR) and the GCB, thus automatically disconnecting the generator from the system.
TRANSFORMER RECTIFIER UNITS
A transformer rectifier unit (TRU) is used to convert AC into relatively smooth DC An example
of a simple TRU circuit is that which is used in a car battery charger, as shown below.
240 VOLTS AC
SUPPLY
This device takes the mains 240 VAC and converts 11 to approximately 14 VDC to charge the
battery. This is achieved by a transformer, which first steps down the AC voltage to a reasonable
level and then converts it via a bridge rectifier assembly into DC.
Electrics 11-5
--------
Chapler J J Transformers
Most large aircraft AC generator systems have dedi cated TRUs, which operate on the same
principle, although they are slightly more sophisticated. A typical unit is illustrated below.
TRU OVERHEAT
RI i-----il,
+VE +-______
THREE
PHASE
THERMOSTAT
200 VOLTS
A
COOLING
FAN
B
__ /
The TRU that is fitted to an aircraft is typicall y supplied with 200 V 400 Hz three-phase AC, which
is stepped-down through a three-phase star-star wound transformer and changed to 28 VDC by a
six-rectifier bridge assembly. The output from the TRU is then fed to the aircraft's DC busbars.
Each TRU has the following basic protections:
11 -6
Overheat
When operating, most TRUs are cooled by air from a thermostatically controlled
cooling fan. If the TRU overheats (150-200) due to fan or other failure, a warning
light illuminates on the flight deck. The TRU should then be switched off, either
manually or automatically.
Reverse Current.
When the TRUs are operating in parallel with some other power source, the failure of
a rectifier in a TRU can cause a reverse current to fiow into it and may even cause a
fire. Reverse current protection in the failed TRU is designed to sense the fault
current when it reaches approximately 1 amp, and disconnect the TRU automatically
from the DC bus bars.
Electrics
I
'jEJplEif 12
,. !ila !JJEifJafEJ 110 fJ
INTRODUCTION
The majority of large modern aircraft now employ three-phase AC generators, because they are
more efficient than their DC equivalents. The most powerful of these are called three-phase
machines. The followi ng explanation of three-phase circuits is based on a simple three-phase
generator.
POWER GENERATION
SIMPLE THREE PHASE GENERATOR
A three-phase generator consists of two main parts, as shown below:
(YELLOW)
(BLUEI
The rotor carries the electromagnetic field that is driven by the aircraft engine, whilst the stator
carries three sets (pai rs) of coils (phase windings) . These windings are fixed to one another at
angles of 120", and the phases are AAlo BB" and CC, or coloured Red (RR,), Yellow (YY,) , and
Blue (BB,) respectively, where the A or Red phase is classified as the reference phase. As the
rotor rotates, it induces an EMF in each set of windings in turn and produces a sine wave output
from each, as shown in the diagram on the next page.
Electrics 12- 1
Chapter 12
' Start"
to
"Finish"
+
"Finish"
to
"Start"
A C PO\\'er Generation
E.M.F. in YV, E.M.F. in BB,
...... -....... .. ...... - .....
;' '" , .. ' ..
/ , "
/ V'
,'\
" ,
,/ ,
/240
0
270
0
, 360
, \
\
At any instant, the sum of the EMFs or the currents in a balanced system will add up to zero.
These windings supply the output of the generator and are connected in either a Star or Delta
configuration, as shown below.
STAR
OUTPUT
Most aircraft similarl y use three-phase AC motors wi th delta or star-wound stators.
STAR CONNECTION
In the star configuration, one end of each phase winding is connected to a common poi nt called
the Neutral (N) or Star Point, whil st the other end of each phase winding is connected to output
terminals distributing AC power of different phases.
PHASE VOLTAGE (VP) = 115V i
~ LINE VOLTAGE (VL) =200V
B 1
LINE CURRENT (IL)
12-2 Electrics
AC Power Generation
In thi s configuration, the output voltages and currents are respectively:
Phase Voltage (Vp) = .,J3 x Line Voltage (VLl
Line Current (Ill = Phase Current (Ip)
On most aircraft generators, the output voltages are:
Phase Voltage
Line Voltage
= 11 5 V
= 200 V
Chapter /2
The vast majority of ai rcraft AC generators are connected in the star configuration with the neutral
point (N) connected directl y to earth, which all ows:
The generator to feed unbalanced loads
Easy access to the phase voltages
When a three-phase star-connected generator is feeding a balanced load (ABC phases feeding
the same current), the net current of all three phases is zero. In this case, no current fiows in the
neutral line. When unbalanced currents feed the load, the resultant of these currents will fiow in
the neutral line. If the currents being used are always balanced, there is no need for a neutral
point to be fi tted. On aircraft, although desirable, it is not practical for the generator to feed
balanced loads all of the time, so it is necessary on most generators to connect the neutral point
to earth.
DELTA CONNECTION
In the delta configurati on, the phases are connected in a tri angular (delta) format wi th no common
or neutral poi nt.
A
i
PHASE
VOLTAGE (VP)
i
LINE
VOLTAGE (VL)
VL=VP
1
(IL)
PHASE CURRENTS liP)
Unli ke the star connection, the phase and line voltages in the delta connection are the same:
Line Voltage (VLl = Phase Voltage (Vp)
However, the line and phase currents differ:
Line Current (Ill = .,J3 x Phase Current (Ip)
Electrics 12-3
Chapter 12 AC Power Generation
ADVANTAGES OF THREE-PHASE OVER SINGLE-PHASE AC
GENERATORS
Three-phase AC generators are preferable to single-phase machines for the following reasons:
Less conductor weight is required for the transmission of a given power.
They can produce a rotat ing magnetic field, which can be used to operate effi cient
three-phase AC motors.
Three-phase AC gives smoother rectification than single phase AC
VOLTAGE AND FREQUENCY OF AC GENERATORS
Adjusting the field excitation of an AC generator using a voltage regulator controls its voltage
output.
The output frequency of an AC generator is alternatively dependent on the rotational speed of the
rotor and the number of magnetic field poles, as shown in the following formula.
Frequency (f) = NP I 60
where: N = Rotational Speed (rpm)
P = Number of pole pairs on the rotor
PHASE ROTATION
Three-phase power supplies in an aircraft power system must have a positive phase sequence
(i.e. A.B.C, B.C.A, or CAB). If any of the phases are crossed over (i.e. A.C. B, C.B.A, or BAC), a
negative phase sequence would exist and result in the three-phase motor running in the wrong
direction.
FAULTS ON THREE-PHASE AC GENERATORS
The two main faults that can occur in the output phases and lines of an AC generator are earth
and open circuits. The diagram below shows how these faults would affect a star-connected
generator.
A
12-4
~ EARTH FAULT CAUSES LOSS
OF THE RELEVANT PHASE
('A' PHASE)
---""0
'" OPEN CIRCUIT CAUSES LOSS
OF THE RELEVANT PHASE
('B' PHASE)
Electrics
A C Power Generation
The diagram below shows how these faults would affect a delta-connected generator.
A
EARTH FAULT HAS
NO EFFECT
y r x m m m - - - - l ~ B - - - 'OPEN CIRCS CAUSES LOSS
OF TWO PHASES
GENERATOR REAL AND REACTIVE LOAD SHARING
Chapter 12
AC loads consume apparent power, which is measured in volt-amperes (VA) , and so most AC
machines are also rated in VA. On many large aircraft with 3 or 4 engines, the generators are
normally run in parallel , and must share the apparent power in terms of true power (watts) and
reactive power (volt-amperes reactive, VAR). WATTNAR meters, as shown below, are fitted to
each generator system and allow the flight crew to check that the load sharing between the
generators is equal.
AC BUSBAR
Electrics 12-5
Chapter 12 A C Power Generation
TYPES OF AC GENERATOR
The basic types of aircraft AC generators are:
Salient-Pole Three-Phase AC Generators are Frequency Wild or Brushed generators, which
are mainly used on aircraft with turbo-propeller engines (e.g. F-27) and generate frequency wil d
AC power. They consist of a rotor with electromagnets fitted to each salient pole, which alternate
in polarity around the circumference of the rotor and rotate inside a fixed three-phase stator, as
shown in the following diagram.
DC EXCITATION
ROTOR
The outer shell of the machine holds the stator that consists of three fixed star-connected
windings, and the generator is cooled by ram air.
12-6
SAUENT POLE
ROTOR
STATOR
___ BRUSHGEAR
COOLING AIR INLET
Electrics
A C Po-wer Genera(;oJ1
Chapter 12
A typical three-phase brushed AC generator, as shown above, would be rated at 22 KVA with an
output of 208 V and would supply a full load at this voltage through a frequency range of
280 - 400 Hz. The generator frequency and output voltage vary with rotational speed, so this type
cannot be used to operate circuits containing inductive and capacitive components.
This type of generator can thus only be used to operate purely resistive circuits, such as the
propeller de-icing system on turbo propeller aircraft (e.g. the F27).
During its operation, some of the AC output is fed back to the vol tage regulator via a three-phase
full rectifier pack, which provides a medium to low DC voltage and self excitation of the generator,
as shown in the following diagram, although the majority is passed directly to the main AC
busbars.
,
Stalor
Output To Bus Bar.
Field
.1
,fVV'
B
c
Slip Rings And B,
ushes =
=
IA . 1A
I ''''
' .......
I, ...... IA
..:::
;;:
""
, .......
aatlerv
Volt
Yf---11--<
'--
Reg
ConlrOI Sw
The voltage regulator senses the output from the generator and automaticall y adjusts the
excitation field for varying engine speed and load conditions. The battery is thus no longer
required and is manually disconnected from the circuit via the control switch.
A temperature sensor and a quill drive protect this type of machine. If the generator overheats, it
should be off-loaded, or even switched off and allowed to cool. The quill dri ve connects the
generator to the engine and is designed to shear if the generator seizes, protecting the engine. It
is also designed to absorb any mechanical vibrations and produce a smoother output.
BRUSHLESS THREE-PHASE AC GENERATOR
Thi s is a highly sophisticated machine and is used on large jet aircraft for generating constant
frequency suppli es. The brushless generator has the advantage over the brushed type, since it
requires less maintenance and is more reliable. It is driven by the aircraft engine via a Constant
Speed Drive Unit (CSDU), which maintains a constant generator speed for varying engine
speeds and produces a constant frequency output of 400 Hz.
I
Electrics 12-7
Chap'e,. 12 AC Pmver Generation
This type of generator comprises three individual parts as shown in the following diagram. A
permanent magnet generator (PMG) initiall y induces a single-phase AC voltage into the pilot
exciter when the rotor is driven via the CSDU. The AC voltage is then full-wave rectified and fed
to the main exciter by way of the voltage regulator. As the three-phase windings, which are
mounted on a common drive shaft, are rotated within the field, a three-phase AC voltage is
induced in the windings. The output is then rectified via a three-phase bridge rectifier circuit,
which consists of six diodes that are mounted inside the drive shaft and produces the main DC
field. The temperature of the diodes is carefully controlled by ram air-cooling, which is directed
down the centre of the shaft. The field coil is also fixed to the common drive shaft .As it rotates, it
induces a voltage in the AC output windings. Some of the output is fed back to the voltage
regulator and increases the output from the pilot exciter, which in turn increases the output from
the main exciter. This sequence of events continues until the generator reaches its regulated AC
output line voltage of 200 V and phase voltage of 115 V at 400 Hz.
12-8
VOLTAGE
REGULATOR
THREE PHASE 200 VOLT
400 Hz OUTPU
AC DC
-----r-

, ,
,
: PERMANENT
: ,
MAIN EXCITER
__ ____ ____ ____ ____ ______ __________ _
Electrics
A C Power Generation
Chapter 12
CONSTANT SPEED DRIVE UNIT
The Constant Speed Drive Unit (CSDU) is a mainly mechanical device, which is positioned
between the aircraft engine and the brush less AC generator. On older aircraft, the CSDU and
generator are normall y separate items, as shown below, and the generator is air-cooled.
CONSTANT-SPEED DRIVE
OIL LEVEL
SIGHT GLASS
GENERATOR
The CSDU is designed to keep the generator running at a constant speed, which is usually 8000
rpm for varying engine speeds, and gives a constant output frequency of 400 Hz. One particular
type of device is mechanically/hydraulically driven and consists of a self-contained oi l system, as
shown in the following diagram. A pump assembly provides high-pressure oil, which controls the
pumping action of a pump/motor assembly via a centrifugal governor.
Electrics 12-9
Chapler 12 A C Power Generation
The governor is a mechanical device and is not sensitive enough to give the fine speed trimming
required to control the frequency wi thin close limits, 395 - 425 Hz. To achieve the required trim,
an electromagnetic coi l receives signals from the electrical system load controller and modifies
the position of the flyweights in the governor.
OUTPUT
TO
GENERA TOR (NA)
DISCONNECT
PUSH
OIL PRESS
SWITCH
HYDRAULIC
MOTOR
CSDU DISCONNECT
HYDRAUliC " = = ~ .
PUMP r
SERVO PISTON
o 0
o
o
o
I PUMP
The CSDU cylinder block is mechanicall y linked to the engine drive and as it rotates, the end of
the pump pistons stroke against a stati onary incli ned pump wobbler (swash) plate, as shown
below, thus produci ng a pumping action.
x
12-10
/ /
CYLINDER
'BLOCK
GOVERNOR
o VERD/{t VE UNDERDRIVE
PUMP
/.
Electrics
A C Power Generation Chapter 12
The angle or inclination of this plate is controlled by a mechanical governor, which varies the
hydraulic pressure to the two sides of a piston inside a control cylinder (servo mechanism). As the
block rotates, the end of the motor pistons also stroke against an inclined fi xed angle motor
wobbler (swash) plate assembl y, where an eccentri c centre plate is sandwiched between two
stationary plates. The centre pl ate is coupled to an output shaft, which drives the generator, and
is free to rotate against ball bearings. The pressure exerted on the motor pistons by the pump
determines the rotational speed of the centre plate. The hi gher the pressure, the faster it rotates.
A typical analogy of this is a piece of soap on the side of the bath, where the harder it is
squeezed, the faster it tends to move away.
OPERATION OF THE HYDRO-MECHANICAL CSDU
If the throttle setting is decreased, the engine speed similarl y decreases, thus rotating the casing
of the CSDU slower and decreasing the pumping action of the hydrauli c pump. The engine output
speed is now slower than the required generator speed and an over-drive condition exists. The
governor senses this, and the angle of the swash plate is increased. Oil is directed to the left-
hand side of the piston via the over-drive inlet port, thus increasi ng the stroke of the pistons. This
increases the output pressure from the pump and forces the motor pistons to exert more force on
the downhill side of the motor-wobbler assembl y. This causes the centre plate to rotate faster
than the cylinder block, thus maintaining a constant generator speed.
Conversely, if the throttle setting is increased the engine speed similarl y increases, thus rotating
the casing of the CSDU faster and increasing the pumping action of the hydrauli c pump. The
engine output is now faster than the required generator speed, and an under-drive condition
exists. The governor senses this, and the angle of the swash plate is decreased. Oil is directed to
the right-hand side of the piston via the under-drive inlet port, thus decreasing the stroke of the
pistons. This decreases the output pressure from the pump and forces the motor pistons to exert
less force on the downhill side of the motor wobbler assembly. This causes the centre plate to
rotate slower than the cylinder block, thus maintaining a constant generator speed.
When the engine output speed equals the required generator speed, the oil pressure and oil fl ow
within the hydraulic system are such that the motor is hydrauli call y locked (i.e. the cylinder block
is locked to the motor and both rotate together as a fi xed coupling).
PROTECTION OF THE HYDRO-MECHANICAL CSDU
To guard against mechanical failure, the oil pressure and temperature of the CSDU are monitored
on the flight deck, as shown in the diagram on the next page.
Electrics 12- 11
.
Chapter 12 AC POlver Generation
~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ,
I I
I I
I r
I
I
I
(SO
ENGINE 2
If the CSDU fails mechani cally, it may cause an over-speed or under-speed (over
frequency/under frequency) condition, and the reacti ve components in the aircraft could be
severely damaged. Sensors are fitted to detect any speed change and automati cally di sconnect
the generator from the busbar via the Generator Circuit Breaker (GCB).
Conversely, if there is an indication of imminent failure, the CSDU disconnect switch can be
manually selected by the flight crew. This operates a solenoid switch, as shown below, and
allows the threaded pawl to engage with the coarse thread on the input shaft, separating the dog
tooth clutch mechanism.
12-12
DOG TOOTH CLUTCH
SEPARATION POINT
RESET SPRING
THREADED PAWL
HANDLE
SPRING
RESET HANDLE
SHOWN DISCONNECTED
PAWL SPRING
J
TRANSMISSION CASE
Electrics
AC Power Generation Chapter 12
This separates the drive between the engine and CSDU and allows the generator to run down.
Once the CSDU has been disconnected, it cannot be reset until the aircraft is on the ground wi th
its engine shut down, although the disconnect mechanism can be activated at any time. In order
to prevent inadvertent CSDU disconnect, the switches are normally guarded and locked with thi n
copper wire.
INTEGRATED DRIVE GENERATOR
On modern aircraft, the CSDU and generator are norrnally cornbined as one unit, whi ch is known
as an Integrated Drive Generator (lOG) , as shown below, and the generator is alternatively oil-
cooled.
Axial Gear Dinere,'lial'""",
Hydraulic
Log Speed
Adjusl--,
This is a much lighter and more compact unit.
VARIABLE SPEED CONSTANT FREQUENCY POWER SYSTEMS
Variabl e Speed Constant Frequency (VSCF) systems are fitted to some commercial jet aircraft. In
this system, no mechanical CSDU is fitted and the generator's variable frequency output is
converted into a constant frequency AC output of 400 Hz, via solid-state circuitry, as shown
below.
SRUSHLESS
AC GENERATOR
I
VARIABLE
FREQUENCY
34> AC
I
I
FULL-WAVE
CRYSTAL-DIODE
RECTIFIER
WITH FILTER
VOLTAGE I
REGULATOR I
FILTEREO
DC
CONVERSION
CIRCUITRY
VOLTAGE
SENSING
A}
B 34> AC
~ 400 Hz
VSCF systems are more reliabl e and offer greater flexibility than a typical CSDU and generator
configuration. The generator is sti ll driven directly from the aircraft engine, but the control units of
the VSCF system can be mounted virtuall y anywhere in the aircraft, thus allowing for a more
compact engine nacelle.
Electrics 12-1 3
Chapter 12 AC Power Generation
AUXILIARY POWER UNIT
The auxiliary power unit (APU) is a compact unit, as shown below, which is usually fi tted in the
tail section of an aircraft and provides electrical power (200 V, 3 Phase, 400 Hz) on the ground.
FREE TURBINE
SPEED CONTROLLER
ECU
Ng SPEED
SENSOR
FUEL CONTROL
ENGINE
ACCESORY
SECTION
FREE TURBINE
SPEED SENSOR (2)
IGV ACTUATOR
LOAD COMPRESSOR
CONTROLLER
GUIDE
" VANES


COMBUSTION
SECTION
COOLING FAN
The APU can also be used to supply compressed air on the ground for engine starting and
electrical power in flight during an emergency.
Most APUs have their own dedicated 24-volt battery for starting or can alternati vel y be started
from ground power. The main aircraft battery switch must be on to operate the APU control
circuits. The APU can drive one or two generators, depending on the type of aircraft, and these
are the same type as those fitted to the main engines. The APU does not require a CSDU to
maintain a constant frequency output, since the drive from the APU runs at a constant speed via
a governor, and can be used up to 25 000 ft.
12-14 Electrics
AC Power Generation Chapter 12
EMERGENCY RAM AIR TURBINE
In the case of total main electrical AC failure, a Ram Air Turbine (RAT), as shown in the
following diagram, can be extended automatically or manuall y into the airstream.
HYDRAULIC
PUMP
BLADE
\ ~ { .. -4r----+-LOCK CABLE
A variable pitch propeller drives a hydraulic pump, whi ch in turn drives an AC generator at a
constant speed and supplies 200 V, 3 Phase, 400 Hz for emergency loads. During the approach
to landing, the RAT may become inefficient, so the aircraft batteries take over and supply the
necessary loads during the final approach.
The RAT can additionally only be restored on the ground and is also inhibited from deployment
on the ground.
Electrics 12-1 5
.

'3!J!Jf)
INTRODUCTION
AC supply systems vary in complexity depending on aircraft type and electrical requirements.
There are two categories of AC systems commonly used dependent on whether the output
frequency of the generator is controlled or not. They are known as frequency wi ld and constant
frequency systems and are full y described below.
A TYPICAL FREQUENCY-WILD AC SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE
In this system, the AC generators are fitted directl y to each engi ne, and unless the engines run at
a constant speed, the output frequency varies (frequency-wild).
ENGINE ICE
PROTECTION
200 VOLTS 3 P H A S E ~
FREQUENCY WILD
OUTPUT
TRANSFORMER
RECTIFIER
DC OUTPUT CAN BE
PARALLELED
ENGINE ICE
PROTECTION
The output from each generator is normally 200 V three-phase and varies in frequency between
280 and 540 Hz, which corresponds respectively to low and high engine rpm. The generators in
this system should not be run in parallel under any circumstance, so their AC output is normally
used to feed heating elements only. This is because the elements are purely resistive and are
unaffected by changes in frequency. In some systems, part of the frequency-wild output is
rectified in a transformer rectifier unit (TRU) and provides an alternative DC supply. The DC
supplies may also be paralleled provided that the voltages are matched.
Electri cs 13-1
Chapterl3 AC POH'er Generation Systems
OPERATION OF A TYPICAL FREQUENCY-WILD AC SYSTEM
With the engine started and running, the generator is initially excited by a separate power source
(i.e. the battery or ground power) , as shown below.
FIELD
LINE
CONTACTOR
ANTIICING
DEICING
f-..... H-t-- TRANSFORMER B REDUNDANCY
RECTIFIER i---t
u
DC SUPPLY
S
VOLTAGE
REGULATOR
CONTROL
AND
PROTECTIO
UNIT
INITIAL EXCITATION
UNIT B
ON
GENERATOR
WARNING
OFF
~ a
RELAY -=
A
R
ESSENTIAL BUSBAR
Ii
JINVERTER J
...
AC
Switching the generator control switch to RESET and thus closing the field relay achieves thi s.
When the generator is producing an output, part of it is fed back through the voltage regulator and
Bridge Rectifier Pack to provide the generator field, providing self-excitation. Once the
generator is operating at its regulated output voltage of 200 V, the line-contactor closes, and the
generator warning light goes out. Moving the control switch to the ON position subsequently de
excites the field relay and removes the source of the initial excitation current. The generator will
now be fully self-excited, and the voltage regulator will continue to adjust the field excitation for
varying speed load conditions.
FAULT PROTECTION IN A TYPICAL FREQUENCY-WILD AC SYSTEM
The following fault protections exist in a twinengine turbo-propeller frequency-wild AC system:
13-2
~ Overheat
If the generator overheats due to inadequate cooling or overload, a warning light
il luminates on the flight deck, and the generator should be manuall y switched off.
~ Earth-Leakage
If there is low insulation in the alternator system or loads, a warning light illuminates.
If this occurs, switch off the generator.
Electri cs
-
AC Power Generation Systems
Chapter 13
~ Under-Voltage
This fault normally uses the same warning light as that used to indicate an earth
leakage fault. The system voltmeter is used to discriminate between an earth leakage
fault and an under-voltage fault .
~ Over-Voltage
If an over voltage occurs, a sensing circuit automatically de-excites the generator and
removes it from the busbar. One attempt is usually allowed to reset the system by
cycling the control switch between RESET and RUN.
~ Differential Protection.
This system is used to:
Monitor line-to-line faults
Monitor line-to-earth faults
Ensure that the output current flowi ng from the generator is the same as that
flowing to the loads and returning to the generator
DIFFERENTIAL FAULT
DIFFERENTIAL
PROTECTION
DE-EXCITES FIELD
AND REMOVES GENERATOR
FROM BUS BAR
B
U
S
B
A
R
L
0
A
D
-
If one of the above faults exists, the generator is automatically de-excited and is removed from
the busbar. One reset may be attempted, but even if the system resets satisfactoril y for the rest of
the flight , the fault must still be reported on landing.
Electrics 13-3
Chapler 13 AC Power Generation Systems
THE CONSTANT FREQUENCY SPLIT BUSBAR AC SYSTEM
The following electri cal system is typically used on a twin-jet engine aircraft whose AC power
supply is 200 V 400 Hz three-phase.
GROUND
POWER
-r.-{

BUS-TIE BREAKER
ESSENTI AL BUSBAR
NON ESSENTIAL
AC CONSUMERS
__
BATIERY ISOLATION
RELAY RELAY NONESSENTIAL
DC CONSUMERS
The power supply can be derived from four sources: two engine-driven integrated drive
generators (lOGs), an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), and an external power receptacle. These
sources should never be paralleled at any time. Under normal operation, the generators
independently feed the left and ri ght section loads of the electrical system. The loads fed by these
generators are normally indicated on ammeters fitted to each generator output. The APU is used
to drive a third generator, which can supply the electrical power necessary for ground operations
or act as a substitute for a failed engine-<lriven generator. External power can also be used
instead of APU power on the ground. but not simultaneously.
OPERATION OF A CONSTANT FREQUENCY SPLIT BUSBAR AC SYSTEM
The circuit above is shown in the power off condition. On most ai rcraft, the APU is started by an
electrical starter, which is suppli ed from its own dedicated battery or from the aircraft battery.
When the APU is up and running, the generator is selected by the APU generator circuit breaker
(GCB) to feed No. 1 and No.2 main AC busbars. The APU generator then supplies all of the
aircraft AC requirements, and the Transformer Rectifier Units (TRUs) supply any OC
requi rements.
If the No.1 engine is initiall y started and run up, its dedicated lOG produces the correct output
(200 V 400 Hz three-phase) and feeds the No.1 main AC busbar. However, before it can supply
this busbar, the APU power must be removed from the No. 1 main AC busbar by opening the
appropri ate GCB, followed by the closing of the No.1 lOG GCB. The No.1 lOG now feeds the
No. 1 main AC busbar and the APU generator continues to feed the No.2 main AC busbar. When
the No.2 engine is up and running, its lOG alternatively feeds the No.2 main AC busbar. The
APU generator supply must, however, fi rst be removed from the No.2 busbar before the lOG is
allowed to feed it. At thi s point. the APU is no longer needed to feed the electrical system and is
shut down. Both engine-driven lOG AC supplies now operate independentl y of each other and
are kept separated by the Bus-Tie Breaker (BTB).
13-4 Electrics
AC Pmver Generation Systems Chapter 13
If one lOG fails. the BTB between the two systems automaticall y closes and the serviceable
generator feeds both of the main AC busbars. If the APU is started again. it substitutes for the
failed generator and the BTB opens. The main aircraft DC supply is maintai ned by two TRUs (one
for each lOG). as follows.
~ The No.1 TRU feeds the DC essential busbar
~ The No.2 TRU feeds the DC non- essential busbar
The TRUs are kept independent from each other by an isolation relay. If either TRU fails. the
isolation relay between the two sides automatically closes. and the serviceable TRU feeds both
busbars.
REGULATION AND PROTECTION OF CONSTANT FREQUENCY UNITS
Most of these systems have separate or combined solid-state regulat ion and protecti on units
dedicated to each generator.
The regulator is divided into the following parts:
~ A speed regulator. which senses the output speed or frequency of the l OG and
adjusts the lOG to give a frequency output of between 380 and 420 Hz
~ A voltage regulator. which regulates the output voltage to 200 V 5 V by adj usting
the lOG's field excitation
A dedicated protection unit houses the circuitry. whi ch detects any faults occurring up to. and
including the busbars. Faults within this zone usually have time delays so that any faults
occurring after the busbars have time to trip the circuit breakers or blow the fuses.
FAULTS ON A CONSTANT FREQUENCY SPLIT-BUSBAR AC GENERATOR
SYSTEM
Some faults in a split-busbar generator system cause the lOG to de-excite and its related GCB to
open. removing the lOG from its own busbar. These faults are as follows:
~ Over-Voltage
If this type of fault is all owed to persist. it could cause serious damage to cable insulation
and components.
~ Differential Protection
Thi s type of protection monitors the following faults:
A line-to-l ine or line-to-earth fault . whi ch normally occurs inside the lOG
If the current flowing to the busbar is different from the current flowing from the
lOG
Electrics 13-5
Chapter 13
B
U
~ ~ ~ ~ - - ~ ~ - - + r ~ S
DIFFERENTIAL
PROTECTION
DE-EXCITES FIELD
AND REMOVES GENERATOR
FROM BUSBAR
B
AC Power Generation Systems
L
o
A
D
Differenti al faults are detected by current transformers, whi ch sense an imbalance in current
between the generator and the busbar. If one of the above faults exists, the generator field is
automatically de-excited and the generator removed from the busbar
>- Over-Frequency
If this fault is allowed to continue, it may damage any capacitive circuits due to high
currents.
l>- Under-Frequency
This fault causes high currents and the overheati ng of any inductive circuits.
>- Resetting
Many of the faults mentioned have a facility by which the system can be reset. One
reset only is usually allowed (i.e. the system is cycled).
Other faults that might occur are:
>- Generator Overheat
If the generator overheats due to frictional heating or inefficient cool ing, an overheat
warning is annunciated to the ftight crew. If this occurs, switch off the system
manuall y.
>- lOG Disconnect (CSDU Disconnect)
The oil pressure and oil temperature of the lOG is monitored. If the oil pressure drops
during a fault , accompanied with an oil temperature rise, the fli ght crew may elect to
operate the lOG disconnect. Once this has been initiated, the system can only be
manuall y reset on the ground with the engine stopped.
>- Generator Bearing Failure
If an excessive clearance exists in the bearings of the engine or APU generators, a
bearing fail ure warning light illuminates on the ftight deck.
13-6 Electrics
-
AC Power Generation Systems Chapter 13
EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
In the unlikely event that both IDGs and the APU generator fail , AC can sti ll be obtained from:
~ The aircraft battery, which automatically feeds the AC essential busbar via a static
inverter
~ A Ram Air Turbine (RAT) can be automatically or manually dropped into the
airstream to drive an AC generator, which produces a constant frequency output for
the AC essential busbar.
If the emergency power supplies are selected, it is normal to shed any non-essential loads (e.g.
galleys) in order to prevent overloading the remaining generators, whi ch is known as Load
Shedding.
BATTERY CHARGER
Modern aircraft are fitted with battery chargers that are supplied from AC power supplies. These
provide a DC supply to charge a battery in the shortest possible time, within certain voltage
constraints, and without causing excessive gassing.
The charger provides a DC current of 45-50 Amps until the charge reaches completion. It then
reverts to the pulse mode to prevent the battery voltage from becoming excessive.
Comprehensive protection circuitry is provided in the battery charger to give protection against:
~ Over voltage
~ Overheating
~ Battery disconnection
If the battery over-volts, the battery charger is automatically switched off and can only be reset by
a push-switch situated on the front of the battery charger. If the charger overheats, it is
automatically shut down but resets itself when cooled. If the battery is disconnected, the charger
cannot be switched on.
BATTERY POWER
The batteries supply secondary DC power. On most aircraft, they also feed essential DC and,
through a static inverter, essential AC for a period of 30 minutes or more. Some batteries are
additionally fitted in non-pressurised areas in the fuselage and are provided with electrically
heated blankets to prevent freezing.
GROUND HANDLING BUS
The ground handling busbar is powered from either an APU generator or an external power unit.
The busbar is powered automatically whenever external or APU power is avai lable. Thi s busbar
is used mainly on the ground to power lights and the refuelling system.
Electrics 13-7
Chapter 13 A C Power Generation Systems
CONSTANT FREQUENCY PARALLEL AC SYSTEM
The constant frequency system is almost exclusive to three and four-engine jet aircraft. In older
systems, the AC generator and the CSDU are separate items, but on modern aircraft, the two
components are combined to form an lOG. In addition to the engine-driven generators, an APU
drives a generator, which is capable of supplying the aircraft with power on the ground and at
altitudes up to approximately 35 000 ft. The APU may, however, experience difficulties in starting
at altitudes above 25 000 ft . Some aircraft also have emergency ram air turbines, which can be
deployed in an emergency. The generators are fitted on each engine and are normally run in
parallel. However, the system does have the following advantages and disadvantages over Split
Busbar AC System:
~ Advantages
When operating in parallel this system:
~ Provides a continuity of electrical supply
~ Prolongs the generator life expectancy, since each generator is normally run
on part load
~ Readil y absorbs large transient loads
~ Disadvantages
The disadvantages of the system are:
~ Expensive protection circuitry is required since any single fault may
propagate through the complete system.
~ Parallel operation does not meet the requirements for totally independent
supplies.
On most aircraft, only the engine-driven generators can normally be paralleled. The APU or the
ground power unit cannot be paralleled with the engine-driven generators or each other. Circuit
interlocks prevent this from occurring in the case of incorrect system management.
OPERATION OF A CONSTANT FREQUENCY PARALLEL AC SYSTEM
Once all of the above conditions have been satisfied, a ground power available light comes on.
When GROUND POWER is selected, the ground power breaker (GPB) closes and allows the
ground power to feed the generator busbars.
With the No.1 engine running, its generator is excited when the generator control relay (GCR) is
closed, which enables the generator to give an output (200 V three-phase 400 Hz). On closing
the generator switch, the external services breaker (ESB) opens, removing ground power. The
No. 1 generator circuit breaker closes. This allows the No.1 generator to supply the necessary
aircraft power.
13-8 EleClrics

AC Power Generation Systems Chapter / 3
With the No. 2 engine running and its generator producing the necessary output, it can be
paralleled with the No.1 generator via the synchroni sing busbars by closing the No.2 generator's
GCB. The following conditi ons, however, must exist before parallel ing can take place between
two generators:
~ Voltages must be wi thin tolerance.
~ Frequencies must be within tolerance.
~ Phase displacement must be within tolerance.
~ Phase rotation must be correct.
Once all of the above conditions have been sati sfied, selecting the No.2 generator switch to ON
causes the GCB to close and the No.1 and No.2 generators to run in parall el. Both generators
must share the real (watts) and reacti ve (VAR) loads equally. These are monitored on individual
generator WattsN AR meters on the flight deck.
Electri cs 13-9

"
.;;.
.




u
'"
,..,
-

f}
"'" u
REG
ESSENTIAL .. 41----j
BUS BAR
REG
REG

VOLT
REG
ESSENTIAL ... 41---- ESSENTlAL .... I------j
BUSBAR BUS BAR
SYNCRONISING BUSBAR (A)
GROUND
POWER
ESB . 1 APU
GPB
1
-@)
GC
r-G
j @

ESSENTIAL
BUSBAR ,
SYNCHRONISING BUSBAR (B)

u
c
U
.!!
UJ
o
,
'"
-
AC Power Generation Systems Chapter 13
The NO.3 and NO.4 generators are paralleled using the same method as the No. 1 and NO.2.
generators. When all of the generators are running, the No. 1 and No. 3 generators are kept
separate from the No.2 and No.4 generators by a spl it system breaker (SS8). If any engine-
driven generator fails, the SSB automatically closes.
REACTIVE LOAD SHARING
Reactive load sharing is achieved by a load-sharing loop, which automatically adjusts the
excitation of the paralleled generator fields simultaneousl y via their individual voltage regulators.
A PHASE
~ : : : : ; -
BTB
GEN 1
EXCITER FIELD
REAL LOAD SHARING
A PHASE A PHASE
"';""..f-I.-
BTB BTB
GEN 2 GEN 3
EXCITER FIELD EXCITER FIELD
A PHASE
";";";;'-1-1--
GEN4
EXCITER FIELD
Real load sharing is achieved by a load-sharing loop, which adjusts the magnetic trim in the
mechanical governor of the CSDUs simultaneously via their load controllers.
Electrics
GEN 1
A PHASE
CSDU 1
MAGNETIC TRIM
GEN2
A PHASE
CSDU2
MAGNETIC TRIM
GEN 3
A PHASE
CSDU3
MAGNETIC TRIM
GEN4
A PHASE
BTB
CSDU4
MAGNETIC TRIM
13-11
Chapter 13 AC Power Generation Systems
PARALLELING
The following methods are used to parallel AC generators:
Manual Paralleling is an old method of paralleling generators. To faci litate this method,
a lamp is fitted across the main contacts of the GCB. When both generators' outputs are
the same, the lamp will darken and go out. When this occurs, the engineer closes the on-
coming generator's control switch. This is known as the lamps dark method of
paralleling.
Automatic Paralleling
When using the automatic paralleling method, the generator switch is selected to on at
any time, and once the auto-paralleling circuits sense that both generators are ready for
paralleling, the GCB automatically closes.
FAULT PROTECTIONS IN A CONSTANT FREQUENCY AC PARALLEL
SYSTEM
The following fault protections exist in a parallel generator system:
13-12
Over-Excitation (Parallel Fault) protection devices operate whenever the excitation to
the field of one of the generator increases. This is sensed when the over-excited
generator takes more than its share of reactive load. The fault signal has an inverse time
function that trips the BTB of the over-excited generator. The voltage regul ator or reactive
load-sharing circuit could cause this fault.
Over-Voltage protection devices operate whenever the system voltage exceeds 225 V.
They protect the components in the system from damage due to excessi ve voltages. Thi s
protection device operates on an inverse time function , which means that the magnitude
of voltage determines the time in which the offending generator is de-energised by
tripping the GCR and GCB. The GCR de-energises the field , and the GCB trips the
generator off the busbar.
Under-Excitation (Parallel Fault) protection devices operate whenever the excitation of
one of the generator fields is reduced. This is sensed when the under-excited generator
takes less than its share of reactive load, and a fault signal causes the BTB to trip in a
fixed time (3-5 sec). This type of fault could be caused by a fault in the:
Reactive load sharing circuit
Generator
Voltage regulator
Under-Voltage protection devices operate to prevent damage to equipment from high
currents and losses in motor loads, which may cause over-heating and burn out. When
this device operates, it trips the GCR and GCB in a fixed time (3-5 sec), resulting in the
shut-down of that generator.
Differential Protection devices operate in the same way as stated in the split-busbar
generator system. They operate if any of the following faults exist:
A line-to-line or line-to-earth fault
If the current flowing to the busbar is different from the current fl owing from
the generator '
Electrics
AC Power Generation Systems Chapter 13
Instability Protection (Parallel Fault) devices are incorporated in the system to guard
against oscillating outputs from the generators, whi ch may cause sensitive equipment to
malfunction or tri p off. This especially appl ies to autopi lot and radio installations. If the
system is operating in parallel , and the No.1 generator becomes unstable, the instability
protection circuits in all generators sense this and trip all of the BTBs. This isolates the
unstable generator from the other generators, and the instabil ity protection device
continues to operate, tripping its GCR and GCB. The generator, voltage regulator, or
CSDU may cause instability.
Negative Sequence Voltage Protection devices detect any line-to-line or line-to-earth
faults after the differentially protected zone and cause all the BTBs to trip.
Overheat warning lights illuminate if a temperature sensor fitted in the generator senses
an overheat condition. This fault may be caused by overloading the generator on the
ground (no ram air-cooling) or by a blockage in the ram air-cooling duct in flight. If this
warning occurs, the pilot should operate the GCR switch, which wi ll cause the GCR and
GCB to trip.
Over-speed (Over Frequency) devices operate if a fault occurs in the CSDU, which may
cause the generator to exceed its specified frequency limits. If left unchecked, this fault
damages the aircraft capacitive loads. In older systems, a pressure switch in the CSDU
detects this type of fault, but in modern systems frequency sensiti ve circuits detect it. If
an over-speed condition occurs, it causes the GCB to trip and puts the CSDU into under-
drive.
Under-speed (Under-Frequency) of the CSDU is sensed by an oil pressure swi tch in
the CSDU. This causes the GCB to trip, removing the generator from the busbar, and
protecting the loads from an under-frequency.
Time delays are fitted in the generator protection system to give the normal circuit protection
devices (i.e. circuit breakers and fuses) time to operate, rather than removing a generator from
the system.
Electrics 13- 13
Chapter /3
A C POHleI' Generation Systems
DC POWER SUPPLIES
Primary aircraft DC power supplies are derived from transformer rectifier units, which are supplied
from the 200 V AC busbars. The TRUs are normall y run in parallel, although some systems have
isolation rel ays install ed, which are designed to separate the DC busbars during faul t conditions.
NO 1 AC BUSBAR NO 3 AC BUSBAR
NO 1 DC BUS N03 DC BUS
~
~ 8 T B
~
~ 8 T B
GROUND POWER
BATTERY
RELAY
VITAL DC aUSBAR
13-14
NO 2 AC BUSBAR
NO 2 DC BUS
~
Ji BTB
OCESSENnALBUSBAR
EMERGENCY
INVERTER
NO 4 AC BUSBAR
N04 DC BUS
~
~ B m
VITAL AC BUSBAR
EleClri cs
=
INTRODUCTION
Since AC motors rel y on a constant frequency supply, they are mainl y used on larger aircraft.
Motors are generally classified as follows:
Large motors have an output of 3 KW or more and are normally three-phase machines.
Medium to small motors range from 3 KW down to 50 W and are mostly single-phase
machines. Motors rated at less than 750 Ware referred to as fractional horsepower
(FHP) machines.
Miniature motors are rated at less than 50 Wand are used in instruments and
servomechanisms.
On aircraft, these motors are either induction or synchronous machines.
ALTERNATING CURRENT MOTORS
STATOR-PRODUCED ROTATING MAGNETIC FIELD
When a magnet is rotated within a three-phase stator, a three-phase voltage is produced. If this
process is reversed (i.e, by connecting the three-phase supply to a three-phase stator), a rotating
field is produced, as shown in the following diagram,
A
Resultant Al
--- I
Field 1
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
Position 1
,
,
A
A,
A
A,
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
'2 3
I Pnase A 1
A
A
A A
I I
: I
I I
I I
I I
I I
AJ I I
I I I
I I I
I I I I
4 5 6 7
: j ... Phase C .;
+ ". /4"'- I ...... ' ,- 1 I
"" I / I " .
I I .< I 1
1 1'/ " I I
Three-Phose """"., 1 : 1 ... / ",1 I Time
Input
Currents I ". / I '" .,/ I I " / I
I '" / I 'x" I ' I V I
I ""T.... : ,,' ,'_. '-....... ! : /'
_ B __ .. + ... ... .. _ .... ( I
-- \ iii I I
Electrics 14-1
Chapter 14
AC Motors
If the stator wi ndings are symmetricall y arranged, as shown on the previous page, the magnetic
field produced is of constant strength and rotates at a uniform speed, which is dependent on the
supply frequency. The magnetic field rotates through one complete revolution during each
complete cycle of the AC supply.
For exampl e, if the supply has a frequency of 50 Hz, it produces a rotating field of 50 revolutions
per second or 3000 (50 x 60) rpm. Every 60one set of poles is inacti ve, and does not generate a
magnetic field due to the distribution of the input currents, as shown above. However, the other
two do produce magnetic fields of equal strength, and the resultant field acts in the direction of
the arrow.
If a rotor is then placed in the centre of the rotating magnetic field, a magnetic field is induced in
it, which locks onto the rotating outer fi eld and turns with it.
INDUCTION (SQUIRREL CAGE) MOTOR
The induction motor is one of the most widely used types of AC motor, which is used on ai rcraft to
dri ve fuel pumps, actuators, and ai r conditioning. The following diagram shows a typical machine.
A
PHASE F---:'-\-+--:'f--:'--\---
B
PHASE
C
PHASE f..-'P'--:'f--+--T-t--,-
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
-- - -- ----'-
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
The stator is almost identical to that of a three-phase AC generator. When a three-phase AC
supply is connected to the stator, it produc,es a rotating magnetic field, whose speed
(synchronous speed) is proportional to the frequency of the supply. The rotor consists of a
cyli ndri cal laminated-iron core having a number of copper or aluminium longitudinal bars, which
are evenly spaced around its circumference. These bars are joined by end plates, and together
form a squirrel cage rotor.
14-2 Electrics
AC Motors Chapter 14
The rotating outer magnetic field cuts the stationary rotor and induces an EMF or voltage
proportional to the rate of change of flux in the squirrel cage. The shorted bars offer little
resistance and a large current flows in the bars, as shown below. The passage of current through
the bars results in the production of a magnetic field, which in turn interacts with the outer rotati ng
magneti c field.
Rotation of
flux
-
Copper or
A torque now exists between the rotor and the stator magnetic fields. This causes the rotor to turn
and accelerate in the direction of the stator field, as shown below.
Rotation of flux
.-
t t
'L IN\ ~
~
i X " !--1 Stator
/1,' Rotor
Force on I (
Rotor
When the applied torque equals the load torque, the motor runs at a speed sl ightl y less than the
stator field. The inducti on motor is an asynchronous machi ne and possesses simi lar
characteristics to that of a DC shunt-wound motor, as listed below:
Electrics
~ Slip speed is the difference between the rotor speed and the synchronous (stator)
speed.
Slip Speed = Synchronous Speed - Rotor Speed
Synchronous Speed = 6 ~ f
Where f = frequency of suppl y (Hz), and P = number of pole pairs in
stator.
~ Reversal of rotation occurs if any two of the motor phases are crossed over.
14-3
Chapter 14 AC M%rs
Loss of a phase occurs when the machine is:
Running
The motor continues to run at a reduced torque.
Not running
The machine does not start, and fuses or ci rcuit breakers blow in the
other two phases, causing possible damage to the motor.
TWO-PHASE INDUCTION MOTOR
A rotating magnetic field is produced in a two-phase induction motor stator by placing the
windings 90 apart, as shown below.
A
REFERENCE
WINDING

60------l
CONTROL
SIGNAL
CAGE ROTOR
CONTROL
WINDING
One phase is the reference phase, and the other is the control phase. By varyi ng the phasing and
the amplitude of the control phase currents, the direction and speed of rotation can be controlled.
This type of motor is, however, not as smooth nor as powerful as a three-phase machine and is
used mainly for autopilot servomotors or fuel trim motors.
SPLIT -PHASE MOTOR
Thi s is a split-phase induction motor. Two windings; one capacitive and the other resistive, are
both connected in parallel across a single-phase AC supply, as shown below.

A PHASE
NEUTRAL
14-4 El ectri cs
AC Motors Chapter 14
The current in the capacitive winding leads the current in the resisti ve wi nding by approxi mately
90
0
and is known as phase splitting. This type of motor operates like a two-phase AC motor and
is used to drive actuators.
THE SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR
The stator in this type of motor is identical to that used in an inducti on motor, except the rotor in
this machine alternatively carri es its own magnetic field windings, which are supplied from a DC
source. When the rotor is energised with DC, it acts like a bar magnet, as shown below, and tries
to line itself up with the magnetic field being produced by the stator. The stator is fed wi th three-
phase AC and produces a rotating magnetic field, which the rotor foll ows. Thi s type of motor is a
single speed machine, where the actual speed is determined by the speed of the rotating field
(i.e. the frequency of the three-phase input). Due to the high inertia between the rotor and stator
field, this type of motor does not normally start on its own accord. It has to be started and run up
to speed by a pony motor, whi ch is usually an induction motor. When the speed of the driven
motor nearly reaches that of the rotating field , it locks on to it and conti nues to rotate in
synchronism with the rotating field.
Synchronous motors are used in situations where a constant speed is essential (e.g.
gyroscopes ).
Electrics 14-5
INTRODUCTION
Semiconductors are used extensively in most aircraft electronic equipment. The three most
common devices are diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits.
SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
The advantages and disadvantages of semiconductor devices are:
Advantages
Components made from semiconductor materials are often referred to as sol id-state
components, because they are made from solid materials. Semiconductors have largel y
replaced vacuum tubes, which were made of glass and therefore very fragile, and which
consumed large amounts of power, since they required heaters to operate them.
Semiconductors are additionally much smaller, lighter, and are much cheaper than
vacuum tubes.
Disadvantages
Semiconductors are highly susceptible to temperature changes, and are easily damaged
by excessive heat. For optimal operation they require highly sophisticated temperature
control. Solid-state devices are also damaged if supply voltage polarity is not correct.
CONSTRUCTION OF A SEMICONDUCTOR
Electrons
Neutrons
o 0
Simplified view
A semiconductor is a material that, under certain conditions, can act as either a conductor or an
insulator. Silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge) are both semiconductive elements, of whi ch silicon is
the most popular. Each atom of silicon has four electrons in the outer (valence) shell , as shown in
the diagram. Semiconductors are electronically stable, however, doping creates a surplus or
deficit of electrons which gives the specific characteristics of semiconductor devices.
Electrics 15- 1
Chapler 15 Semiconductor Devices
Single atoms of silicon are of little use, so they are grown into large crystals, which are then cut
into wafers for the manufacture of electronic components. The silicon atoms link up with
neighbouring atoms to share electrons. A cluster of silicon atoms sharing outer electrons forms a
matrix called a Crystal , as shown below.
COVALENT
BONDS
The four electrons in the outer shell of each atom are shared with the electrons from the adjoining
atoms via Covalent Bonding, and result in the valence shell of each atom in the crystal
effectively holding eight electrons. These bonds are so strong that at absolute zero
temperature (-273C), there are no free electrons, and the silicon crystal assumes the properties
of an electrical insulator. If the crystal of silicon is subsequently heated or a voltage applied
across it, the covalent bonds break down and its characteristics change. The electrons break
away from the atom and leave behind a hole in the atom's outer shell . The free electrons then
travel through the silicon as negative electrical charges. As the electrons move from one atom to
another, the holes appear as if they are moving from one atom to another in the opposite
direction. The movement of holes and electrons forms the basis of a semiconductor.
DOPING
Silicon in its pure state is not particularly useful in electronics, so doping is carried out, where the
silicon atoms are contaminated with other materials such as phosphorous (P) or boron (B), to
give them useful electronic properties. Thi s contamination leaves the silicon atoms with
incomplete outer valence shells and a hole is formed in the shell. The holes, which replace the
missing electrons, act as positive charges and attract any free electrons within the crystal.
P-TYPE MATERIAL
If silicon is doped with indium, it produces a P-type material. Indium atoms only have 3 electrons
in their outer shells (trivalent) and are acceptor atoms. This results in vacant electron openings
or holes, which are positively charged, being left in the silicon crystal , as shown below.
If a voltage is applied across P-type material, as shown below, the electrons wi thin the crystal
tend to move toward the positive terminal of the tiattery and jump into the available holes of the
indi um atom near the terminal.
15-2 Electrics
Semiconductor Devices Chapter 15

8... .thole ,G4), e
\+0 _/\, .",
/ '- *' / ". +3 e)i;+3
.... t\..... " .....
/' ,." ','\,,',1 t '-.:, \
Q-.... indium *
.,.. atom atom
'-electron flow \11-I"Cac::,:ce=::.:to::,rL-___ ---'
+
An electron from an adjacent silicon atom then falls into the hole, and the hole appears to move
to another location. The electrons move through the material from left to right, whilst the holes
move in the opposite direction.
N-TYPE MATERIAL
If silicon is doped with phosphorous, it produces an N-type material. Phosphorous atoms have 5
electrons in their outer shell (pentavalent) and are known as donor atoms. Extra electrons, which
are negatively charged, are left floating around in the crystal , as shown below.
An N-type semiconductor contains many donor atoms that contribute free electrons, and these
are free to drift through the material. The loss of an electron leaves the donor atoms with an
overall positive charge and forms positive ions. Electrical current flows in the normal manner due
to the movement of the free electrons. Like P-type silicon, it can also flow due to the migration of
holes.
Electri cs 15-3
Chapter 15 Semiconductor Devices
P-N JUNCTION DIODE
Both P and N-type si licon conduct electricity at different rates, depending on the amount of
doping. Both types function as resistors and conduct in both directions. The N-type material
contains mobile electrons and an equal number of positive ions, whi ch provide an overall neutral
charge. The P-type material similarly contains mobile holes and an equal number of negative
ions. Each part is initially neutral. If a junction is made by joining a piece of P and N-type material
together, electrons will only flow in one direction through the junction, from N to P.
/
p-type
/
n-type
G
I
G
I
G G
GIG I
Hole
0 0
I
0

I


G G:G
G
I
G G
I
0 0 I

0
I

When the two materials are placed together, some of the free electrons in the N-type material
cross the junction and fill the holes in the P-type material close to the junction. As the free
electrons cross the junction, the N-type material becomes depleted of electrons near the juncti on
and the holes in the P-type material become filled, depleting the holes near the junction. The
region where the holes and electrons become depleted is known as the depletion layer.
Depletion Layer
..-'-.
ptype -
-I-
n type
-
-I-
0
0
-
-1-.
Free
-
+ Free
o holes:
::: electrons
+
-

0
0
-
+
- +
This leaves the N-type material with an excess of positive ions and the P-type material with an
excess of negative ions near the junction. The material close to the junction is in a charged state.
The N-side is positively charged and the P-side negatively charged, which is known as a diode.
This is an electronic one-way valve and is represented by the symbol shown below.
Easy current flow
,.
Anode ~ Cathode
Circuit symbol
The anode is the negative side of the diode, whiah is associated with the P-type material. The
cathode is the positive side, which is associated with the N-type material. If voltages, known as
bias voltages, are applied across a diode, it behaves differently depending on the polarity of the
power source. When the positive terminal is connected to the N-type material , the diode is
reverse biased and no current flows (i.e. it is in a non-conducting state), as shown in the
following diagram.
15-4 Electri cs
- -----------
Sem;conducfor Dev;ces Chapter / 5
t
Conventional current flow +-
+
Cathode
El ectron flow
If the negative terminal is connected to the N-type material , the diode is forward biased and
current flows (i.e. it is in a conducting state), as shown above. If the diode is reverse biased, the
positive terminal attracts electrons in the N-type material away from the junction. The negative
terminal similarly attracts the holes in the P-type material , increasing the thickness of the
depletion layer, as shown below.
p -
n
-
-
- T
L-______ ~ - - - - - - ~
If the diode is forward biased, electrons are attracted from the N-type material across the
depletion layer to the positive terminal and the holes are attracted to the negative terminal, as
shown below.
-
-
+
A forward biased diode acts as a closed switch and a reverse biased diode as an open switch.
Electrics 15-5
Chapter 15 Semiconductor Devices
USE OF DIODES
Diodes in their basi c forms are used for rectification (or conversion) of AC into DC, for example, in
a battery charger circuit, as shown below.
240 VOLTS AC
SUPPLY
,
The diodes offer an easy path for currents to flow in one direction and offer a high resistance path
in the opposite direction. During the positive cycle (1), current flows through diodes 1 and 3,
whilst diodes 2 and 4 are switched off. The reverse occurs during the negative cycle, producing a
DC output. The following special types of diode exist:
ZENER DIODE
This is a special type of diode, which consists of a reverse-biased silicon P-N junction and is
represented by the following symbol.
Anode
C>11I1040
This type of diode is designed to operate normall y when it is forward-biased, but unlike a
conventional diode, it will also operate when high reverse currents are applied. When the reverse-
bias voltage reaches a set value, the Zener diode will break down, and thermal avalanche
occurs. When this happens, one electron gains sufficient energy to knock others out of the
valence band, causing a rapid increase in current flow through the diode, as shown in the
following diagram. This typically occurs from 4 to 75 V, depending on the design.
-0
~
~
~
Q)
~
0
~
"
u.
<>
Breakdown
voltage
V
Forward
Reverse I
bias volts
bias volts:
I
III
~

Q)
~
~
~
"
a: u
15-6 Electri cs
Semiconductor Devices Chapter 15
Zener di odes are used to provide a fixed reference voltage over a range of input voltages and to
precisely regulate or stabilise the output from a power supply, as shown below.
+ o - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ~
Variable
voltage
Zener
diode
VARIABLE CAPACITANCE (VARICAP) DIODE
R
+
t
constant
voltaga
In this type of diode, the depletion layer situated between the P-N junction acts like the dielectric
in a capacitor, whilst the P and N materials act as its plates. When the diode is reverse-biased,
the depletion layer widens and gives the effect that the plates of the capacitor have moved further
apart , reducing the capacitance value. Conversely, if the reverse bias vol tage reduces, the
capacitance value increases. It is possible to vary the capacitance of this diode simpl y by altering
the magnitude of the reverse bias voltage. This is the method commonly used in radio tuners
usi ng DC, rather than using a mechanical vari able capacitor. A variable capacitance diode is
represented by the following symbol.
BI-POLAR TRANSISTORS
Transistors are made up of a sandwich of P and N-type materials. They can be used as relays,
switches, or vari able resistors. The two configurations of bi-polar transistors are PNP and NPN,
as shown below.
pfl
le =lb+lc
COLLECTOR COLLECTOR
BASE BASE
EMIITER EMmER
SYMBOL PNP TRANSISTOR SYMBOL NPN TRANSISTOR
Electrics 15-7
Chapter 15 Semiconductor Devices
The three layers of a bi-polar transistor are the emitter, base, and collector, where the arrowhead
depicts the flow of conventional current. The base is extremely thin and has fewer doping atoms
than the emitter and collector. A very small vol tage or current appl ied to the material in the centre
of the sandwich (base) can control a much larger current flowing through the complete device,
allowing a transistor to act as an amplifi er.
OPERATION OF A PNP BI-POLAR TRANSISTOR
If the transistor is reverse biased by connecting across two power sources, the positive terminals
of each attract electrons in the N-type materi al away from the P-N junction. The negative
terminal s similarly attract the holes in the P-type material , as shown below.
P N I>
(-0+
.. -
+o-t
4--0"-
- ~
i-M
t - o ~
-+
+0--+
4-h
+.
.j.
h-+ -
e
-
-
+
+
This increases the thickness of the depletion layer between the different layers and the transistor
does not conduct. For the transistor to operate, the emitter-base junction has to be forward
biased, whilst the collector-base is reverse biased, as shown in the foll owing diagram.
+
emitter junction
p
rnA
collector junction
p
+0-+
V c ~
-
rnA
The positive junction of the emitter battery (Ve) repels the holes in the P-type emitter toward the
P-N or emitter-base junction and crosses through into the lightl y doped N-type base. The majority
of the holes (approximately 95%) do not combine with electrons in this region and pass directly to
the P-type collector. The holes are then rapidly neutrali sed with electrons from the negative
terminal of the collector battery and are swept away from the collector. For each hole, which is
neutral ised by an electron, a covalent bond near the emitter electrode breaks down, and an
electron is released to the positive terminal of the emitter battery. This in turn produces a hole,
whi ch quickly moves through the materi al from left to right. A small number of holes
(approximatel y 5%) also combine with electrons in the N-type base material and are lost. The
major charge carriers in a PNP bi-polar transi stor are the holes. A very small emitter-base
current (I b) causes a large emitter (Ie) to collector (Ie) current to flow, but in all cases of operation:
,
15-8 Electrics
Semiconductor Devices Chapter jj
OPERATION OF A NPN BI-POLAR TRANSISTOR
An NPN transistor conducts like the PNP transistor with the emitter-base junction forward biased
and the base-collector junction reverse biased. This is achieved by reversing the battery polarity,
as shown below.
emitter junction
\. collector junction
n "" P '" n
--
...---rl--
e ~ l t t ~
1'&
-.... -
---
s e O +
,--
--1----.
colle-tor'
e-..
Electrons are repelled from the negative terminal of the emitter battery (Ve) and fiow toward the
positive terminal of the collector battery (Ve). The electrons are forced into the emitter junction.
Since the P-region base is only lightly doped, the majority of the electrons (approximatel y 95%)
diffuse through the base and reach the collector junction. A small amount of the electrons
(approximately 5%) combine with the holes in the P layer and are lost as charge carriers. For
every electron that leaves the collector, one electron enters the emitter junction, maintai ning a
continuous fiow of electrons from left to right through the transistor. The major charge carriers in
an NPN junction transistor are, therefore, the electrons.
DISADVANTAGES OF DIODES AND TRANSISTORS
Diodes and transistors share several key features (e.g. too much current causes a transi stor to
become hot and burn out, like a diode). This is because semiconductors have a negative
temperature coefficient and can go into thermal avalanche (i.e. one electron gains enough
energy to knock others out of the valence band) , causing an increase in current fiow through the
transistor. If a transistor overheats, it does not operate properly. Engineers sometimes use a
freezing spray to locate a failing component in a circuit. If the PNP transistor is to conduct, the
emitter must be connected to a positive voltage and the collector to a negative voltage. If the
base is connected to a voltage that is more positive than the emitter, a small current fiows into the
base. The fiow of current then causes a large current to fiow between the other two connecti ons
(emitter and collector).
Electrics
15-9
Chapler 15 Semiconductor Devices
TRANSISTOR APPLICATIONS
If the base of an NPN transistor is earthed (0 V), no current fiows from the emitter to the coll ector,
and the transistor is switched off. The transistor operates as an open switch, as shown below.
SWITCH OFF SWITCH ON " I /
/ 1 '
LI-----'
TRANSISTOR USED AS A SWITCH
...
SMALL
SIGNAL IN

t
LARGE
SIGNAL OUT
COMMON EMmER AMPLIFIER
1
If the base emitter's forward bias voltage is gradually increased, the emitter collector current,
whi ch is much higher, follows the same variation as the smaller base current, and the transistor
acts as an amplifier. This explanation appl ies to a transistor in which the emitter is the common
connection for both input and output, which is known as a common emitter. Transistors can also
be used in either the common base mode or the common collector mode.
15- 10 Electrics
Semiconductor Devices Chapter 15
INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
Integrated Circuits (ICs) are manufactured by combining transistors, diodes, and resistors on a
small piece of silicon. The complete device is known as a chip and can contain a few or many
thousands of transistors.
THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
The advantages of ICs are that they:
>- Are extremely small and light
>- Consume littl e power
>- Can operate at high speed
>- Are extremel y reliable
The disadvantages of ICs are that they:
>- Are easil y damaged by high voltages or currents
>- Cannot be repaired
The advantages, however, outweigh the disadvantages and IC chi ps are extensively used in the
aviation industry.
TYPES OF INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
ICs are grouped into the following categories:
Electrics
Analogue (or Linear) ICs are typically used in the manufacture of amplifiers, timers,
oscillators, and voltage regulators. They amplify or respond to variable voltages and
produce outputs.
Digital (or Logic) ICs are typicall y used in the manufacture of mi croprocessors and
computer memories. They normally respond to two discrete voltage levels (or gates)
representing ones or zeros, and act as electronic switches to produce outputs.
15-11
INTRODUCTION
Logic gates are represented diagrammaticall y and their logic inputs are shown on a truth table.
Logic gates may also have more than two inputs, which increases the decisi on making capability
of a gate and also increases the number of ways of connecting one to another to form advanced
digital logic circuits.
lOGIC CIRCUITS
NUMBER SYSTEMS
The decimal number system requires ten different numbers (0-9) and ten discrete voltage
levels. It then repeats itself by going into 10s, 100s, and 1000s, etc. This system can be typicall y
used to represent the position or groundspeed of an aircraft.
The binary number system uses numbers that are to the base of two, as shown below.
2
6
2
5
24
2
3
22 21
2
Binary
Number
64 32 16 8 4 2 1 Decimal
Equivalent
In digital electronic applications, binary numbers are used as codes to represent decimal
numbers, letters of the alphabet, voltages, and many other forms of information. For example, a
simple switch can be assigned a binary val ue 0 to the OFF position and a binary 1 to the ON
position. Alternatively, the polarity of a DC switching circuit can be altered so that a (+) indicates a
binary 1 and a (-) indicates a binary O. An alternative method is to vary the mean voltage in a
circuit, causing it to increase by a pre-set increment for a binary 1 and to decrease by a similar
increment to achieve a binary O. The latter method is the most common. The voltages used for
this purpose vary between manufacturers but are normally in the range from +5 V to +12 V. They
are also designed to use either positive or negative logic. Positive logic is where a Logic 1
voltage is more positive than a Logic 0 voltage, and negative logic is where a Logi c 1 is more
negative than Logic O.
Other possible numbering systems are the:
Electrics
~ Octal system, in which the numbers are to the base 8
~ Hexadecimal system, in which the numbers are to the base 16
~ Duodecimal system, which is based on the figure 12 (e.g. the clock, and is used on
a daily basis)
16- 1
-
Chapler 16 Logic Circuits
BINARY REPRESENTATION
Digital computers are electronic units, and in electronics it is a relatively easy procedure to
operate circuits in such way as to encode them in a binary format.
BASIC LOGIC GATES
The following basic gates exist:
AND Gate
This type of gate is represented by two switches connected in series and requires two Logic 1s
(A & 8) to produce an output (0), as shown below.
Switch Equivalent

+5v
:
Output
A
)
IQ)
B
Q
A B Q
0 0 0
0
1 0
Truth Table
Logic 1=+5Volts
1
0
0
Logic 0= ovons 1 1 1
OR Gate
This type of gate is represented by two switches connected in parallel and requires only one
Logic 1 (A or 8) to produce an output (Q), as shown below.
+5V
Switch Equivalent

,.----" , --...,
----I
All
OutputlQ)
1---
NOT Gate
A B Q
o 0 0
o 1 1
1 0 1
1
Logic Symbol.
Truth Table.
A single switch represents thi s type of gate where the input Signal (A) is inverted to provide an
output (0), as shown in the following diagram.
\ 6-2 Electri cs
Logic Circuits Chapter 16
Switch Equivalent
Logic Symbol
Output/Q) f!, v-Q
I: I: I , .. " ~
1 ~
NAND (Not or Negated AND) Gate
This type of gate is represented by two switches connected in parallel and requires only one
Logic 0 (A or 8) to produce an output (0), as shown below.
Switch Equivalent
+;,
-----i
NOR (Not or Negated OR) Gate
Output(Q)
\---
A B
0
0
0 1
1 0
1 1
Logic Symbol
Q
1
1
Truth Tab)e
1
0
This type of gate is represented by two switches connected in series and requires two Logic Os
(A or 8) to produce an output (0), as shown below.
Switch Equivalent
Loqic Symbol
+5V ___ Output/Q)
- ~ "--r-"
f!,1l ~ ~
"':'" -=-
f!, ~ Q
~ !! 1
~ 1
~
Truth Table
1
~
~
1
1 ~
- ->,
Electrics 16-3
Chapter 16 Logic Circuits
EXCLUSIVE OR Gate
This type of gate is a combination of NOT and NAND gates and requires only one Logic 1
(A or 8) to produce an output (Q), as shown below.
Logic Symbol
Truth Table
))---Q
A
B iQ
0 0 0
0-
1
,
1 0 1
EQUIVALENT USING SIMPLE GATES
1 1 0
A
A
B
OP
AB
ADDER AND SUBTRACTER CIRCUITS
Adder circuits are used to add binary digits (1s and Os) together and subtracter circuits are used
to subtract binary digits. These circuits are used in computer systems to carry out basic arithmetic
functions. When carrying out addition functions, it is always necessary to carry a digit to the next
adjacent higher order (e.g. 011 + 100 = 111 or in decimal terms 3 + 4 = 7). Conversel y, in a
subtracter circuit, it is necessary to borrow a digit from the next adjacent lower order column (if
applicable) (e.g. 111 - 011 = 100 or in decimal terms 7 - 3 = 4).
A half adder circuit is capable of adding two digits but is unable to carry a digit to the next order.
It is necessary to join two half adder circuits together to form a full adder circuit in order to satisfy
this requirement. A half adder electronic ci rcuit consists of a combination of AND, OR, and
EXCLUSI VE OR gates, as shown below.
i 6-4
A ,--.....
B - -----'--I L-"
)---.. CO

Cl ..... -------.L...--/, OUTPUTS
INPUTS
Eiectrics
.
Logic Circuits Chapter 16
Two Stage Adder Circuit
A two stage adder electronic circuit simil arly consists of a combination of AND, OR, and
EXCLUSI VE OR gates, as shown below.
Add AB
+CD
S 1
so
Example
The foll owing table can be established using the above circuit by inputting a series of Os and 1 s.
A B
+
C D
=
C1 S1 SO
(i) (2) (2') (2) (2') (2') (2)
a 1 a a a a 1
a 1 a 1 a 1 a
1 a a 1 a 1 1
1 a 1 a 1 a a
1 1 1 a 1 a 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 a
Electrics 16-5
Chapter 16 Logic Circuits
DIGITAL LATCH AND FLIP-FLOP CIRCUITS
These circuits both use a combination of logic gates to perform basic memory functions for
computers and their peripherals. A typical latch circuit is the RS latch circuit, as shown below,
which retains the output signal even after the input signal has been removed.
S _---'.
R __ ' - - /
INPUTS
A Logic 0
B logic 1
OUTPUTS
On initial power up with a positive supply at 'S' (Set), output 'A' would be at logic 0 and output '8'
would be at logic 1. If the positive input is switched from 'S' to ' R' (Reset), the logic states at 'A'
and '8' would reverse.
A flip-flop circuit is similar to a Latch circuit, although the output is changed if a trigger pulse is
applied to the circuit, as shown below.
Clock Pulse CP
s
R
INPUTS
A
B
OUTPUTS
This circuit has three inputs and two outputs, with the Sand R inputs identical to the Latch Circuit.
The circuit switch time is controlled by inputting a Clock Pulse (CP) , which simultaneousl y
changes over the output signals, 'A' and '8' at a specified time interval. This arrangement is
particularly useful in computers when several memory circuits are being used simultaneously,
since if the outputs are changed out of sequence, the entire memory may become invali d.
16-6 Electrics
INTRODUCTION
The modern aircraft is highly dependent on the digital computer, which governs almost every
facet of its operation.
COMPUTERS
ANALOGUE COMPUTERS
Analogue computers are non-programmable and deal wi th infinite continuous values rather than
di screte ones. They use digits from 0 to 9 and operate as a mechanical computer using a rotating
gear or wheel to represent different values (e.g. if the wheel is between O' and 10', it represents
o or between 11 ' and 20', it represents 1). The analogue computer suffers from friction between
the moving parts and mechanical wear. The speedometer in a car is an everyday example of an
analogue computer. It is attached to a sensor that counts the revolutions of the road wheels and,
using an assumed wheel radius, calcul ates the distance covered since the last reset. It adds this
to the distance at the start of the run and indicates the total distance the car has covered since
the beginning. It also uses the distance per unit time to provide an indication of speed. The
speedometer is a calculating machine, which uses a data input, and by carrying out a calculation
it converts the input into another form of information; speed via a moving needle and distance as
a di gital read out.
Analogue computers are still widely and effectively used, although they suffer from the following
limitations and shortcomings:
~ They are specific to a particular role and a separate computer is required for different
applications.
~ They use moving parts.
~ They tend to be bulky and heavy.
DIGITAL COMPUTERS
A Digital computer is also a calculating machine, but instead of using synchro and gears, different
voltages are used to represent the digits from 0 to 9. For example, 0 - 0.9 V would represent the
digit 0 and a vol tage from 1.0 - 1.9 V would represent the digit 1, etc. This machine uses actual
high-speed arithmetic to do the necessary calculations typicall y using a decimal number system.
It is also possible to convert decimal val ues into digital val ues or to convert analogue val ues into
binary code. Every1hing that a digital computer does is based on one operation, which is
represented by the ability to determine if a switch or gate is open or closed. That is, the
computer can recognise only two states in any of its microscopic circuits (i.e. an on/off, high
voltage or low voltage, or in the case of numbers, 0 or, 1). It is equally valid to reverse the process
and produce an analogue value from a digital process using bi nary arithmetic.
Electrics 17-1
Chapter 17 Computer Technology
The speed at which the computer performs this simple act, however, is what makes it such an
essential element of the modem technology aircraft. Computer speeds are measured in
megahertz or millions of cycles per second. A computer wi th a clock speed of 133 MHz is
capable of executing 133 million discrete operations every second.
Digital computers are also normall y integrated with other systems on an aircraft, via signal-
interfacing devices such as analogue-to-digital (AID) converters and digital-to-analogue (D/A)
converters. The input interface converts analogue data into a digital format and the output
interface converts the digital data into an analogue format.
The processing speed of a digital computer and its calculating power are further enhanced by the
amount of data that is handled during each cycle. If a computer checks only one switch at a time,
that switch only represents two commands or numbers. For example, ON would symbolise one
operation and OFF would symbolise another. By checking groups of switches linked within a
single unit simultaneously, the computer is able to increase the number of operations it can
recognise during each cycle. For example, a computer that checks two switches at one time can
represent four numbers (0 to 3) or can execute one of four instructions at each cycle, one for
each of the following switch patterns: OFF-OFF (0), OFF-ON (1), ON-OFF (2), or ON-ON (3).
When digital computers were first introduced, they were capable of checking eight switches
(binary digits) or bits of data during every cycle, or a byte, which contains 256 possible patterns
of ONs and OFFs (or 1s and Os). A computer uses a standard information format that consists of
a group of bits, or a word, which equates to:
~ An instruction
~ Part of an instruction
~ A particular type of datum (e.g. a number, a character, or a graphics symbol)
The pattern 11010010, for example, might be binary data (i n this case, the decimal number 210)
or it might tell the computer to compare data stored in its switches to data stored in a certain
memory chip location.
The total list of recognisable operations or patterns, which a computer is capable of, is called its
instruction set.
17-2 Electrics
Computer Technology Chapter 17
COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE
The physical components of a computer are known as hardware. A digital computer is not a
single component machine but is made up of the five distinct elements, as shown in the foll owing
diagram.
DATA
OPERATING
PROGRAM
CLOCK
CONTROL
UNIT
CENTRAL
MEMORY
PROCESSING
UNIT
The programmes used in a computer are known as software.
INPUT DEVICES
OUTPUT
Input devices are the means by which a computer is fed with the information required for problem
solving and consist of the following typical hardware:
~ Keyboard
~ Scanner
~ Touch sensitive screen
~ Speech recognition
~ Mouse
~ Joy stick
~ Data from sensors
As long as the data is identifiable, the computer's processor is able to recognise it and
accordingly routes it along the appropriate internal buses or data lines. These form a network of
communication lines that connect the internal elements of the processor and lead to external
connectors linking the processor to the other elements of the computer system. The following
types of CPU buses exist:
Electri cs
~ A control bus consists of a line that senses input signals and another line that
generates control signals from within the CPU.
~ The address bus is a one-way line from the processor that handles the location
of data in memory addresses.
~ The data bus is a two-way transfer line that both reads data from memory and
writes new data into memory.
17-3
Chapter 17 Computer Techn%K}'
CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) may consist of a single chip or a series of chips that are able
to perform arithmetic and logical calcul ations. It can also control the operations of the other
system elements. A microprocessor is a miniature CPU chip, which incorporates additional
circuitry and memory. CPU chips and microprocessors consist of the functi onal sections shown
below.
PROGRAM I ..
+
CENTRAL
PROCESSING UNIT
1. CENTRAL CONTROL -+1 DATA
UNIT -
2. MEMORY
3. ALU
t t
.1 CLOCK 1
INPUTS
OUTPUTS
The CPU receives input data and uses that data to carry out specific instructions, from which an
output is derived. Typical input data might be wind velocity and direction or even the distance to
run to a destination. The CPU then carries out calculations on this data using the following parts
to give output data, such as TAS or time to run to the next waypoint.
A central control unit coordinates the functions carried out in each section of the computer via a
communication link or data transfer bus. The control unit decodes or reads the patterns of
data held in a designated register, or temporary storage area, and keeps track of any
instructions. The register also holds the location and results of these operations. The control unit
translates the pattern into an activity, such as adding or comparing. It also indi cates the order in
which indi vidual operations use the CPU and regulates the amount of CPU time that each
operation may consume.
Memory is normally divided into either volatile memory, which is lost whenever the computer
loses power, or non-volatile memory, which remains in the system until it is over-written with
new data. The main types of internal memory are:
17-4
RAM (random access memory) is volatile memory. The data deposited in it is lost
whenever the power is turned off or alternative states are written in.
ROM (read-only memory) is non-volatile memory and normally contains data that has
been inserted on the chip during its manufacture. The ROM typically contains start-up
details and mathematical formulae, which are maintained even after the power has been
switched off. Replacing the entire chip is the only way to change the instructions on
ROM.
PROM (programmable read-only memory) is non-volatile, but unlike the ROM can be
reprogrammed once only, with the chip still fitted in the aircraft's computer.
EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) is also non-volatile and can be
reused indefinitel y. It can be totally erased and then reprogrammed with the chip still
fitted in the computer.
Electri cs
Computer Technology Chapler /7
Arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) chips gi ve the computer its calculating capability, allowing both
arithmetical and logical calculations using a combination of digital logi c circuits. These ci rcuits are
used to make specific true-false decisions based on the presence of multiple true-false signals at
the inputs. The signals may be generated by either mechanical switches or by solid-state
transducers, which are combined together to form an integrated circuit (IC)
OUTPUT DEVICES
The output devices enable the user to see the results of the computer's calcul ations or data
manipulations. The most common output device is the video display screen, which is a monitor
that displays characters and graphics on a cathode-ray tube (CRT), or television-like screen,
which is usually small. Portable computers commonly use liquid crystal displays (LCD) or other
forms of screen.
Examples of such screens are the EFIS and ECAM displays on modern aircraft.
The standard output devices include printers and modems. A modem links two or more
computers by translating digital signals into analogue signals so that data can be transmitted via
telecommunications.
Outputs may also be in the form of signals that are sent to the operating devices and are typicall y
used to control the engines or automatic fiight control system on the aircraft.
STORAGE DEVICES
Computer systems can store data internall y (in memory) and externally (on storage devices).
External storage devices may physically reside within the computer's main processing unit or
externally to the main circuit board. These devices store data as electrical charges on a
magnetically sensitive medium such as an audiotape, a disk coated with a fine layer of metalli c
particles, or as an imprint on a laser readable disk. The most common external storage devices
are floppy and hard disks. Floppy disks can contain from several hundred thousand bytes to
well over a million bytes of data, depending on the system. Hard or fi xed disks cannot be
removed from their disk-drive cabinets, which contain the electronics to read and write data onto
the magnetic disk surfaces. Hard disks can store from several mill ion bytes to a few hundred
million bytes. CD-ROM technologies, whi ch use the same laser techniques that are used to
create audio compact disks (CDs) , also provide storage capacities in the range of several
gigabytes (billion bytes) of data.
OPERATING SYSTEMS
An operating system is a master control program, which is permanently stored in the memory. It
interprets user commands and requests vari ous kinds of services, for example, to display, print ,
or copy a data fi le; list all files in a directory; or execute a particular program. Different types of
peripheral devices, such as disk drives, printers, communications networks, and so on handle
and store data differently from the way the computer handles and stores it. Internal operating
systems are usually stored in ROM memory, and are developed primarily to co-ordinate and
translate data flows from dissimilar sources, such as disk drives or co-processors (processing
chips that perform simultaneous but different operations from the central unit).
PROGRAMMING
A program is a sequence of instructions that tells the hardware of a computer which operations to
perform on the data. Programs can be built into the hardware itself, or they may exist
independently as software. In some specialised computers, the operating instructions are
embedded in their circuitry; as in the Flight Management System (FMS).
I
Once a computer has been programmed, it can only do as much, or as little, as the software
instructions enable it to do. Software in widespread use includes a wi de range of applications
programmes and instructions to the computer on how to perform various tasks.
Electrics 17-5
-.
IJ lJ I J J!:'EJ !J!)f)2)
INTRODUCTION
Air carrier operations ideally require uninterrupted communications when:
Contacting Air Traffic Control to ensure a safe fiow and separation from other traffic
and to be kept up to date with conditions along the route and at the desti nation.
Being able to communicate is also essential in the event of any incident that might
endanger the aircraft or those on board.
Communicating with the Company concerning people, freight, or maintenance-
related items
Assisting other aviators
In 1994 for example, 99% plus of such communications were achieved by voice, using either
short range VHF or HF for long distance communications. This situation has now dramatically
changed, and information is now digitised and routed over data links including satellites, with
printouts available as required. The antenna map below shows the typical equipment installati on
in a modern jet transport aircraft for communication purposes.
Aerial Locations - Communications Only
SATCOM
ATC 1 & 2 VHF 1
o ............ I I.
VHF2
Many equipment manufacturers produce communications and navigation equipment, so the
following descriptions are generally representati ve of the many and various models that are
available.
Electrics 18-1
Chapter 18 HF and Satellite Airborne Communications
AIRBORNE COMMUNICATIONS
LONG RANGE COMMUNICATIONS (UP TO 4000 KM)
At present, when flying over 370 km (200 miles) from land, aircraft use HF transceivers, which are
linked with unreliable propagation characteristics. Such HF installations are usually duplicated,
with one set used for ATC purposes and the other for company messages. HF communications
are also used in areas where VHF communications are not possible (e.g. sectors over the oceans
or over sparsely populated conti nents such as Africa). Si nce HF communications rely on skywave
propagation, it is essential to use the correct frequency (i .e. at night, the frequency needs to be
reduced to maintain the skip distance). A typical HF radio control panel is shown below.
FREQUENCY DISPLAY
FUNCTION SWITCH
TYPICAL HF RADIO CONTROL PANEL
The frequency range covers the part of the spectrum between 2.8 MHz and 24 MHz (and very
often between 2 and 30 MHz) in 1 kHz steps. There is also a facility for AM and LSB operations.
However, USB is the standard operating mode. Similar to other recei vers, a squelch control cuts
off background noise in the absence of ground transmissions. The power output is approximately
400 watts on voice peaks, which gives ranges greater than 3700 km (2000 nm) in good
conditions.
18-2 Electri cs
HF and Satellite Airborne Communications Chapter 18
An audio selector panel is situated at each crew station and enables switching between the
various radio devices.
RADIO RADIO RADIO
NO. 1
NO. 2
NO. 3 ETC.
I I I
AUDI O SELECTOR PANEL
~
AND INTERCOM AMPLIFIER
I I
SAMPLE OF SPEECH IS
I
I MICROPHONE I
FED BACK TO HEADSET
I MICROPHONE I
NO. 1
'SIDETONE'
NO, 2
I
HEADSET I
NO. 1
HEADSET I
NO.2
BLOCK SCHEMATIC - AUDIO SELECTOR PANEL
SHORT RANGE COMMUNICATIONS (UP TO 450 KM)
Most communications are accomplished on VHF frequencies when over land, except possibly for
remote or sparsely populated areas, where HF must be used. Like HF, operations are in a
simplex mode (i.e. transmission and reception are not possible simultaneously).
Commonly, a VHF control unit displays two frequency readouts. Each is controlled by its own
selector knob. A transfer switch is used to select one VHF frequency as acti ve, whilst the other is
at standby. A light over the frequency window shows which frequency is active.
J
Electrics 18-3
Chapter 18 HF and Satellite Airborne Communications
LIGHT INDICATES SELECTED TRANSCEIVER
FREQUENCY DISPLAY
-tJ::
VIlFCOMM
0
I
i 1 Is 12 17
(
1 Ids b b
)
(
1
)
TRANSFER

SQUELCH
CONCENTRIC TUNING CONTROLS
VHF COMMS CONTROLLER
The radio also has a fine-tuning (filter) facility and incorporates features such as:
An automatic volume control (AVC) that maintains the receiver output signal at a given
strength and automatically reduces the receiver gain if the signal becomes stronger.
An automatic frequency control (AFC) that keeps the receiver tuned to the selected
signal irrespective of any slight wandering of the transmitted frequency.
Connection to the microphone(s) and the headset/speaker is through individual crewmembers'
audio selector facilities. The transceivers are remotely located and connected to vertically
polarized blade antennas. An aircraft may be equipped with as many as three identi cal VHF
transceivers, which operate in the frequency range 118 MHz to 137 MHz. The International
Aeronautical Emergency frequency of 121.5 MHz also lies within this band. The frequencies are
channelised at 8.33 kHz intervals. The type of transmission is AM, and uses an output power of
approximately 25 watts. The range is quasi-optical and is typically 407 to 460 km (220 to 250 nm)
at jet cruising levels.
SELECTIVE CALLING (SELCAL) SYSTEM
The Selcal system is designed to relieve the flight crew from continually monitoring the
communication channels and is operative on HF and VHF radios. The ground station transmits a
four-tone audio signal, and if the aircraft radio is tuned to the same radio frequency, the four-tone
signal is routed to the decoder circuits of the Selcal unit, which over-ride the setti ng of the squelch
control. When the transmitted tones match the pre-selected aircraft tone combination (Selcal
code), an intermittent li ght on the Selcal indication panel and a two-tone chime visuall y and
audibly alert the flight deck crew.
18-4 Electrics
HF and Satellite Airborne Communications Chapter 18
HF 1 & VHF 1
HF2 & VHF 2
LIGHTS ILLUMINATE WHEN CALLED
SELCALNO.1 SELCAL NO. 2
SELCAL INDICATOR PANEL
A SELCAL Code consists of a 4letter group (e.g. HMJE). A registrar of SELCAL codes makes an
assignment to the ai r carri er from 10 920 possible combinations. The carrier in turn assigns a 4-
letter group to each aircraft in the fleet to set on the decoder unit. The system is not used on VHF
air traffic channels, because immediate response to control instructions is essential. The system
operates on two separate channels that may be switched to anyone of the available transceivers.
Operational Check
System operation should be checked by calling the ground station and requesting a SELCAL
check using the code set in the decoder. Operation of both SELCAL units is checked
simultaneously if receivers are on and selected to the same frequency. An intermittent light and
two-tone chime indicate proper operation. Operation continues until the SELCAL light cap is
pushed or until a microphone is keyed to transmit on the appropriate HF or VHF system. Either
action resets the system for the next call.
SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS (SATCOM)
The deficiencies of VHF and HF over oceans and unpopulated areas may be overcome by the
use of satellites for airl ground communications. An internationall y owned co-operative called
Inmarsat (International Maritime Satellite Organisation) maintains a number of geostationary
satellites in orbit, which amongst other functions provide operational services and passenger
telephone facilities to aeronautical users. In support of the space segment, there is a requirement
for a number of ground stations linked to terrestrial communication networks. The British Telecom
station at Goonhill y, in Cornwall , England, is one example. Groups of such stations band together
to furnish near global coverage, and they contract their services to the various airline users. This
enables passengers to directly dial out-going calls in flight from pay phones in the cabin. There is
also a choice of voice or data, and the wide use of printers favours the data format. Other groups
of ground earth stations support either Sita or Arinc, either of which can accept or distribute air
traffic network (ATN) messages as well as company messages. Those airlines favouring the use
of the Sita network (generally non-US carriers) use ground earth stations located in California,
Western Austral ia, France, and Quebec, as shown on the next page.
Electrics 18-5
Chapter 18 -HF and Satellite Airborne CommunicOIions
-,
"
(
- - - - t - j ~
=
=
, .
~
,
"
=
~
z
~
=
0
~
l;
.'

u
\ w ~
~
'"
U
W
j
w
.>
.0
~

. ~
z

=
i
=
~
I
= = = = ~ ~
18-6 Electrics
HF and Satellite Airborne Communications
Chapter /8
SATELLITE AIRCOM (SITA)
Messages to and from the satellites are relayed to airl ine offices over the existing Sita network.
US carriers favouring the Arinc network use another similar group of ground earth stations for the
same function. It is the intention that both networks shall be mutually supportive. The flight crew
may well be unaware of the service provider, since they merely log-on to the visible satellite at the
start of a sector; and any subsequent receipt and dispatch of information is normally done
automatically. The aircraft-to-satellite link is accompli shed on L-Band channels between 1530
MHz to 1660.5 MHz. The satellite-earth li nk is also able to use C-Band frequencies of 4000 MHz
upward via large steerable terrestrial dishes.
t
L-BAND
~
t
C - BAND
t
PRIVATE
NETWORKS
(AOC - AAC)
1------
ACCOR
OCEANIC
CENTRE
TOWERS
Ground Earth Station
I
,
GES
CAA
DISTRIBUTION
NETWORK
AFTN
(CIDIN)
I
~ - - - - -
SAR, MET,
AIS, ETC_
)
PUBLIC
SWITCHED
NETWORKS
(AAC, APC)
I
OTHER
NETWORKS
Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication
Network
GES
AOC
AAC
APC
CAA
ACC
Aeronautical Operation Control
Aeronautical Administrative Communication
Aeronautical Passenger Communication
Civil Aviation Administration
AFTN
CI DIN
SAR
MET
AIS
Common ICAO Data Interchange Network
Search and Rescue
Area Control Centre
Meteorology
Aeronautical Information Services
Electrics
18-7
Chapter 18 HF and Satellite Airborne Communications
To operate high-speed data and digitised voice, a high-gain directional antenna must be installed
on the aircraft. This antenna is steered electronically from knowledge of satellite position and
aircraft position derived from the aircraft's flight management computer. An option al so exists to
use low-gain antennas, which are significantly cheaper than the high-gain variety, but this
precludes voice link-up and operation is restricted to low-speed data transfer. Each aircraft may
be indi vidually addressed by its 24-bit unique transponder mode S code and is able to download
FMC information and engine/performance related information on request.
E UA
,
,
AREA OF
GEOSTATIONARY
SATELLITE
LATITUDE LIMITATION OF GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE
One shortcoming of the geostationary satellite is the inability to cover polar areas. The limit is
81 Y, degrees north and south at sea level , which is increased by 2 or 3 degrees for high fiying
aircraft. 80is most commonly quoted for the purposes of JAA examinations.
18-8 Electrics
Electrics
Airframes and Systems, Electrics, Powerplant, and Emergency Equipment (ASEPE) - Aeroplanes, subject 021, covers
a broad swathe of infonnation that is examined in one paper. To make this infonnation manageable, the 021 subject
is broken down into tbree volumes; these are Airframes and Systems (which incorporates Emergency Equipment),
Electrics, and Powerplant. This volume covers Electrics.
It is recognised that not everybody has a natural inclination towards technical subjects such as electricity. These
notes are written in an informative style which leads you from the most basic DC circuits to understanding and
appreciating the concepts behind advanced aircraft electrical systems. On completion of study, you will have all the
required infonnation to pass this part of the Aircraft Systems and Powerplant examination.
Jeppesen and Atlantic Flight Training (AFT) have teamed to produce these ATPL training volumes. The philosophy of
both Jeppesen and AFT is to train pilots to fly, not to simply pass the exams.
Jeppesen was founded in 1934 by barnstormer and pioneer airmail pilot EIrey B. Jeppesen to provide accurate
airport and airway information to the growing aviation induslry. Since then, the company bas become the world
leader in navigation information and flight planning products. In the 1960s, Jeppesen emerged as the foremost
creator of state-of-the-art flight training materials using the latest technologies. With offices in the United States,
the United Kingdom, Gennany, Australia, China, and Russia, Jeppesen is committed to introducing a fully integrated
line of JAA training products.
Atlantic Flight Training, based at Covenlry Airport U.K., is an independent Joint Aviation Authority approved Flight
Thaining Organisation for professional training &om a Private Pilots Licence to an Airline Transport Pilots Licence,
including Multi Crew Co-operation and Crew Resource Management. AFT has over twenty years experience in
training Commercial Pilots, including the conversion of ICAO to JM Licences, and specialises in full time and
distance learning ground school (Aeroplane and Helicopter).
We at Jeppesen and Atlantic Flight Training wish you the best in your flying career, and hope that our materials
contribute to your understanding, safety, and success.
:= ..JEPPESEN ..
Jeppesen GmbH
Frankfurter Str. 233
63263 Neu-Isenburg, Germany
+4961025070
www.jeppesen.com
" Atlantic Flight Training Ltd
ISBN 088487-356-0
JA310106000