CAPACITOR START MOTOR BASICS AND TUTORIALS

The capacitor motor is slightly different from a split-phase motor. A capacitor is placed in the path of the electrical current in the start winding (see Fig. 12-13).

(A) Single-phase diagram for the AH air conditioner and heat-pump compressor. (Tecumseh) (B) Terminal box showing the position of the terminals on the AH series of compressors. (Courtesy of Tecumseh)

Except for the capacitor, which is an electrical component that slows any rapid change in current, the two motors are the same electrically.

A capacitor motor can usually be recognized by the capacitor can or housing that is mounted on the stator (see Fig. 12-14).


Adding the capacitor to the start winding increases the effect of the two-phase field described in connection with the split-phase motor. The capacitor means that the motor can produce a much greater twisting force when it is started. It also reduces the amount of electrical current required during starting to about 1.5 times the current required after the motor is up to speed. Split-phase motors require three or four times the current in starting that they do in running.


Reversibility. An induction motor will not always reverse while running. It may continue to run in the same direction, but at a reduced efficiency. An inertia-type load is difficult to reverse.

Most motors that are classified as reversible while running will reverse with a non-inertial-type load. They may not reverse if they are under no-load conditions or have a light lead or an inertial load.

One problem related to the reversing of a motor while it is still running is the damage done to the transmission system connected to the load. In some cases, it is possible to damage a load. One way to avoid this is to make sure the right motor is connected to a load.


Reversing (while standing still) the capacitor-start motor can be done by reversing its start winding connections. This is usually the only time that a field technician will work on a motor.

The available replacement motor may not be rotating in the direction desired, so the technician will have to locate the start winding terminals and reverse them in order to have the motor start in the desired direction.

Uses. Capacitor motors are available in sizes from 1/6 to 20 horsepower. They are used for fairly hard starting loads that can be brought up to run speed in under 3 seconds. They may be used in industrial machine tools, pumps, air conditioners, air compressors, conveyors, and hoists.

Figure 12-15 shows a capacitor-start, induction-run motor used in a compressor. This type uses a relay to place the capacitor in and out of the circuit.


Figure 12-16 shows how the capacitor is located outside the compressor.


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