Characteristics of a Separately Excited D.C. Generator
The obvious disadvantage of a separately excited d.c. generator is that we require an external d.c. source for excitation. But since the output voltage may be controlled more easily and over a wide range (from zero to a maximum), this type of excitation finds many applications.
(i) Open circuit characteristic.
The O.C.C. of a separately excited generator is determined in a manner described in Sec. (3.2). Fig. (3.2) shows the variation of generated e.m f. on no load with field current for various fixed speeds. Note that if the value of constant speed is increased, the steepness of the curve also increases. When the field current is zero, the residual magnetism in the poles will give rise to the small initial e.m.f. as shown.
(ii) Internal and External Characteristics
The external characteristic of a separately excited generator is the curve between the terminal voltage (V) and the load current
IL (which is the same as armature current in this case). In order to determine the external characteristic, the circuit set up is as shown in Fig. (3.3) (i). As the load current increases, the terminal voltage falls due to two reasons:
(a) The armature reaction weakens the main flux so that actual e.m.f. generated E on load is less than that generated (E o) on no load.
(b) There is voltage drop across armature resistance (= ILRa = IaRa). Due to these reasons, the external characteristic is a drooping curve [curve 3 in Fig. 3.3 (ii)]. Note that in the absence of armature reaction and armature drop, the generated e.m.f. would have been E o (curve 1). The internal characteristic can be determined from external characteristic by adding ILRa drop to the external characteristic. It is because armature reaction drop is included in the external characteristic. Curve 2 is the internal characteristic of the generator and should obviously lie above the external characteristic.