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AlternatorA synchronous machine used to convert mechanical power into alternating current electric power.
Ambient TemperatureThe temperature of the surrounding cooling medium. Commonly known as room temperature when the air is the cooling medium in contact with the equipment.
Base LineA vibration reading taken when a machine is in good operating condition that is used as a reference for monitoring and analysis.
Breakdown TorqueThe maximum torque that an ac motor will develop with rated voltage applied at rated frequency without an abrupt drop in speed. Also termed pull-out torque or maximum torque.
Code LetterA letter which appears on the nameplates of ac motors to show their locked-rotor kilovolt-amperes per horsepower at rated voltage and frequency.
Constant Horsepower MotorA term used to describe a multispeed motor in which the rated horsepower is the same for all operating speeds. When applied to a solid state drive unit, it refers to the ability to deliver constant horsepower over a predetermined speed range.
Constant Torque MotorA multispeed motor for which the rated horsepower varies in direct ratio to the synchronous speeds. The output torque is essentially the same at all speeds.
A three-phase winding connection in which the phases are connected in series to form a closed circuit.
DesignNEMA design letters A, B, C, D, and E define certain starting and running characteristics of polyphase squirrel cage induction motors. These characteristics include locked-rotor torque, locked-rotor current, pull-up torque, breakdown torque, slip at rated load, and the ability to withstand full-voltage starting.
DutyA continuous or short-time rating of a machine. Continuous-duty machines reach an equilibrium temperature within the temperature limits of the insulation system. Machines which do not, or can not, reach an equilibrium temperature have a short-time or intermittent-duty rating. Short-time ratings are usually one hour or less for motors.
EfficiencyThe ratio between useful work performed and the energy expended in producing it. It is the ratio of output power divided by the input power.
Foot-PoundThe amount of work, in the English system, required to raise a one pound weight a distance of one foot.
FrequencyThe number of cycles in a time period (usually one second). Alternating current frequency is expressed in cycles per second, termed Hertz (Hz).
Full-Load CurrentThe current required for any electrical machine to produce its rated output or perform its rated function.
Full-Load SpeedThe speed at which any rotating machine produces its rated output.
Full-Load TorqueThe torque required to produce rated power at full-load speed.
HarmonicA multiple of the fundamental electrical frequency. Harmonics are present whenever the electrical power waveforms (voltage and current) are not pure sine waves.
Hertz (Hz)The preferred terminology for cycles per second (frequency).
HorsepowerA unit for measuring the power of motors or the rate of doing work. One horsepower equals 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute (550 ft. lbs. per second) or 746 watts.
IECInternational Electrotechnical Commission.
IEEEInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
InsulationNon-conducting materials separating the current-carrying parts of an electric machine from each other or from adjacent conducting material at a different potential.
Insulation ClassA letter or number that designates the temperature rating of an insulation material or system with respect to thermal endurance.
KilowattA unit of electrical power. Also, the output rating of motors manufactured and used off the North American continent.
Locked-Rotor CurrentSteady-state current taken from the line with the rotor of a motor at standstill and at rated voltage and frequency.
Locked-Rotor TorqueThe minimum torque that a motor will develop at standstill for all angular positions of the rotor, with rated voltage applied at rated frequency.
MegohmmeterAn instrument for measuring insulation resistance.
MotorA rotating machine that converts electrical power (either alternating current or direct current) into mechanical power.
NECNational Electrical Code.
NEMANational Electrical Manufacturers Association.
Newton-MeterUnit of torque, in the metric system, that is a force of one newton, applied at a radius of one meter and in a direction perpendicular to the radius arm.
Part-Winding StartingA part-winding start polyphase motor is one arranged for starting by first energizing part of its primary winding and, subsequently, energizing the remainder of the primary winding. The leads are normally numbered 1, 2, 3 (starting) and 7, 8, 9 (remaining).
PolesThe magnetic poles set up inside an electric machine by the placement and connection of the windings.
Pound-FootUnit of torque, in the English system, that is a force of one pound, applied at a radius of one foot, and in a direction perpendicular to the radius arm.
Power FactorThe ratio of watts to volt-amperes of an ac electric circuit.
Rated Temperature RiseThe permissible rise in temperature above ambient for an electric machine operating under load.
Resistance Temperature
Detector (RTD)
A device used for temperature sensing consisting of a wire coil or deposited film of pure metal for which the change in resistance is a known function of temperature. The most common type is nickel, with other types being copper, platinum, and nickel-iron.
RotorThe rotating element of any motor or generator.
Service FactorA multiplier which, when applied to rated power, indicates a permissible power loading that may be carried under the conditions specified for the service factor.
SlipThe difference between synchronous and operating speeds, compared to synchronous speed, expressed as a percentage. Also the difference between synchronous and operating speeds, expressed in rpm.
Starting TorqueThe torque produced by a motor at rest when power is applied. For an ac machine, this is the locked-rotor torque.
StatorThe stationary part of a rotating electric machine. Commonly used to describe the stationary part of an ac machine that contains the power windings.
Synchronous Speed
The speed of the rotating machine element of an ac motor that matches the speed of the rotating magnetic field created by the armature winding.

Synchronous speed =

(Frequency x 120)
(Number of Poles)
ThermistorA resistive device used for temperature sensing that is composed of metal oxides formed into a bead and encapsulated in epoxy or glass. A typical thermistor has a positive temperature coefficient; that is, resistance increases dramatically and non-linearly with temperature. Though less common, there are negative temperature coefficient thermistors.
TorqueThe rotating force produced by a motor. The units of torque may be expressed as pound-foot, pound-inch (English system), or newton-meter (metric system).
TrendingAnalysis of the change in measured data over at least three data measurement intervals.
Variable-Torque MotorA multispeed motor in which the rated horsepower varies as the square of the synchronous speeds.
WYE ConnectionA three-phase winding connection formed by joining one end of each phase to make a “Y” point. The other ends of each phase are connected to the line. Also termed a star connection.
WYE-DELTA StartingWye-delta is a connection which is used to reduce the inrush current and torque of a polyphase motor. A wye (star) start, delta run motor is one arranged for starting by connecting to the line with the winding initially connected wye (star). The winding is then reconnected to run in delta after a predetermined time. The lead numbers for a single run voltage are normally 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

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