Single-phase motors:Types of Capacitor–start Motors

Types of Capacitor–start Motors

Some of the important types of such motors are given below :

1. Single-voltage, externally-reversible type

In this motor, four leads are brought outside its housing; two from the main winding and two from the starting-winding circuit. These four leads are necessary for external reversing. As usual, internally, the starting winding is connected in series with the electrolytic capacitor and a centrifugal switch. The direction of rotation of the motor can be easily reversed externally by reversing the starting winding leads with respect to the running winding leads.

2. Single-voltage, non-reversible type

In this case, the starting winding leads are connected internally to the leads of the running winding. Consequently, there are only two external leads in such motors. Obviously, direction of rotation cannot be reversed unless the motor is taken apart and leads of the starting winding reversed.

3. Single-voltage reversible and with thermostat type

Many motors are fitted with a device called thermostat which provides protection against over- load, overheating, and short-circuits etc. The thermostat usually consists of a bimetallic element that is connected in series with the motor and is often mounted on the outside of the motor.

The wiring diagram of a capacitor-start motor fitted with this protective device is shown in Fig.

36.17. When due to some reasons, excessive current flows through the motor, it produces abnormal heating of the bimetallic strip with the result that it bends and opens the contact points thus disconnecting the motor from the supply lines. When the thermostat element cools, it automatically closes the contacts*.

In the case of capacitor-start motors used for refrigerators, generally a terminal block is attached to the motor. Three out of the four block terminals are marked T, TL and L as shown in Fig. 36.18. Thermostat is connected to T and T L, capacitor between L and the unmarked terminal and the supply lines to TL and L.

4. Single-voltage, non-reversible with magnetic switch type

Such motors are commonly used in refrigerators where it is not possible to use a centrifugal switch. The circuit diagram is similar to that shown in Fig. 36.6. Since their application requires just one direction of rotation, these motors are not connected for reversing.


One disadvantage of a capacitor-start motor having magnetic switch lies in the possibility that slight overloads may operate the plunger thereby connecting the starting winding circuit to the sup- ply. Since this winding is designed to operate for very short periods (3 seconds or less) it is likely to be burnt out.

5. Two-voltage, non-reversible Type

These motors can be operated from two a.c. volt- age either 110 V and 220 V or 220 V and 440 V. Such motors have two main windings (or one main winding in two sections) and one starting winding with suitable number of leads brought out to permit changeover from one volt- age to another.

When the motor is to operate from lower voltage,


the two main windings are connected in parallel (Fig. 36.19). Whereas for higher voltage, they are connected in series (Fig. 34.20). As will be seen from the above circuit diagrams, the starting wind- ing is always operated on the low-voltage for which purpose it is connected across one of the main windings.

6. Two-voltage, reversible type

External reversing is made possible by means of two additional leads that are brought out from the starting winding.

Fig. 36.21 and 36.22 show connections for clockwise and anticlockwise rotations respectively when motor is operated from lower voltage. Similar wiring diagram can be drawn for higher voltage supply.

7. Single-voltage, three-lead reversible type

In such motors, a two-section running winding is used. The two sections R1 and R2 are internally connected in series and one lead of the starting winding is connected to the mid-point of R1 and R2.


The second lead of the starting winding and both leads of the running winding are brought outside as shown in Fig. 36.23. When the external lead of the starting winding is connected to point A , the winding is connected across R1 and the motor runs clockwise. When the lead of starter winding is connected to point B, it is connected across R2. Since current flowing through starting winding is reversed, the motor runs in counter-clockwise direction.


8. Single-voltage, instantly-reversible type

Normally, a motor must be brought to complete rest before it can be started in the reverse direction. It is so because the centrifugal switch cannot close unless the motor has practically stopped. Since starting winding is disconnected from supply when the motor is running, reversal of starting winding leads will not affect the operation of the motor. This reversal is achieved by a triple-pole, double-throw (TPDT) switch as shown in Fig. 36.24. The switch consists of three blades or poles which move together as one unit in either of the two positions. In one position of the switch (shown in one figure) motor runs clockwise and in the other, in counter-clockwise direction. Obviously, in this type of arrangement, it is necessary to wait till motor stops.

In certain applications where instant reversal is necessary while the motor is operating at full speed, a relay is fitted in the circuit to short-circuit the centrifugal switch and connect the starting winding in the circuit in the reversed direction (Fig. 36.25).

It will be seen that when at rest, the double-contact centrifugal switch is in the `start’ position. In this position, two connections are made :

(i) the starting winding and capacitor C are placed in series across the supply line and

(ii) the coil of the normally-closed relay is connected across C

With the manual TPDT switch in the ‘forward’ position (a) running winding is connected across the line (b) starting winding and C are in series across the line and (c) relay coil is connected across C. The voltage developed across C is applied across the relay coil which results in opening of the relay contacts. With increase in the speed of the motor, the centrifugal switch is thrown in the ‘running’ position. This cuts out C from the circuit and leaves starting winding in series with the relay coil. Since relay coil has high resistance, it permits only enough current through the starting winding as to keep the relay contacts open.

During the fraction-of-a-second interval while TPDT switch is shifted from ‘forward’ to ‘re- verse’ position, no current flows through the relay coil as a result of which the relay contacts close. When TPDT switch reaches the ‘reverse’ position, current flows through the now-closed relay contacts to the starting winding but in opposite direction. This produces a torque which is applied in a direction opposite to the rotation. Hence, (i) rotor is immediately brought to rest and (ii) centrifugal switch falls to the ‘start’ position. As before, C is put in series with the starter winding and the motor starts rotating in the opposite direction.

9. Two-speed type

Speed can be changed by changing the number of poles in the winding for which purpose two separate running windings are placed in the slots of the stator, one being 6-pole winding and the other, 8-pole winding. Only one starting winding is used which always acts in conjunction with the higher- speed running winding. The double-action or transfer type centrifugal switch S has two contact

imagepoints on the ‘start’ side and one on the ‘run’ side. As shown in Fig. 36.26, an external speed switch is used for changing the motor speed. The motor will always start on high speed irrespective of whether the speed switch is on the ‘high’ or ‘low’contact. If speed switch is set on ‘low’, then as soon as the motor comes up to speed, the centrifugal switch

(a) cuts out the starting winding and high-speed running winding and

(b) cuts in the low-speed running winding.

10. Two-speed with two-capacitor type

As shown in Fig. 36.27, this motor has two running windings, two starting windings and two capacitors. One capacitor is used for high-speed operation and the other for low-speed operation. A double centrifugal switch S is employed for cutting out the starting winding after start.

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Ahmed Farahat is EECS engineer With 18 years of experience in the field he worked on different technological discipline and and had honored Post Graduate Diploma In Computer Science And Engineering

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