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The form of magnet used will materially affect the size and area of the magnetic field. It will be noted that the field will be concentrated to a greater extent with the horseshoe form because of the proximity of the poles. It should be understood that these lines have no actual existence, but are imaginary and assumed to exist only to show the way the magnetic field is distributed. The magnetic influence is always greater at the poles than at the center, and that is why a horseshoe or U-form magnet is used in practically all magnetos or dynamos. This greater attraction at the poles can be clearly demonstrated by sprinkling iron filings on bar and U magnets, as outlined at E, Fig. 7. A large mass gathers at the pole pieces, gradually tapering down toward the point where the attraction is least.
From the diagrams it will be seen that the flow of magnetism is from one pole to the other by means of curved paths between them. This circuit is completed by the magnetism flowing from one pole to the other through the magnet, and as this flow is continued as long as the body remains magnetic it constitutes a magnetic circuit. If this flow were temporarily interrupted by means of a conductor of electricity moving through the field there would be a current of electricity induced in the conductor every time it cut the lines of force. There are three kinds of magnetic circuits. A non-magnetic circuit is one in which the magnetic influence completes its circuit through some substance not susceptible to the force. A closed magnetic circuit is one in which the influence completes its circuit through some magnetic material which bridges the gap between the poles. A compound circuit is that in which the magnetic influence passes through magnetic substances and non-magnetic substances in order to complete its circuit.
How Iron and Steel Bars are Made Magnetic.-Magnetism may be produced in two ways, by contact or induction. If a piece of steel is rubbed on a magnet it will be found a magnet when removed, having a north and south pole and all of the properties found in the energizing magnet. This is magnetizing by contact. A piece of steel will retain the magnetism imparted to it for a considerable length of time, and the influence that remains is known as residual magnetism. This property may be increased by alloying the steel with tungsten and hardening it before it is magnetized. Any material that will retain its magnetic influence after removal from the source of magnetism is known as a permanent magnet. If a piece of iron or steel is brought into the magnetic field of a powerful magnet it becomes a magnet without actual contact with the energizer. This is magnetizing by magnetic induction. If a powerful electric current flows through an insulated conductor wound around a piece of iron or steel it will make a magnet of it. This is magnetizing by electro-magnetic induction. A magnet made in this manner is termed an electro-magnet and usually the metal is of such a nature that it will not retain its magnetism when the current ceases to flow around it. Steel is used in all cases where permanent magnets are required, while soft iron is employed in all cases where an intermittent magnetic action is desired. Magneto field magnets are always made of steel alloy, so treated that it will retain its magnetism for lengthy periods.
Electricity and Magnetism Closely Related. There are many points in which magnetism and electricity are alike. For instance, air is a medium that offers considerable resistance to the passage of both magnetic influence and electric energy, although it offers more resistance to the passage of the latter. Minerals like iron or steel are very easily influenced by magnetism and easily penetrated by it. When one of these is present in the magnetic circuit the magnetism will flow through the metal. Any metal is a good conductor for the passage of the electric current, but few metals are good conductors of magnetic energy. A body of the proper metal will become a magnet due to induction if placed in the magnetic field, having a south pole where the lines of force enter it and a north pole where they pass out.
We have seen that a magnet is constantly surrounded by a magnetic field and that an electrical conductor when carrying a current is also surrounded by a field of magnetic influence. Now if the conductor carrying a current of electricity will induce magnetism in a bar of iron or steel, by a reversal of this process, a magnetized iron or steel bar will produce a current of electricity in a conductor. It is upon this principle that the modern dynamo or magneto is constructed. If an electro-motive force is induced in a conductor by moving it across a field of magnetic influence, or by passing a magnetic field near a conductor, electricity is said to be generated by magneto-electric induction. All mechanical generators of the electric current using permanent steel magnets to produce a field of magnetic influence are of this type.
Basic Principles of Magneto Action Outlined.—The accompanying diagram, Fig. 8, will show these principles very clearly. As stated earlier in this chapter, if the lines of force in the magnetic field are cut by a suitable conductor an electrical impulse will be produced in that conductor. In this simple machine the lines of force exist between the poles of a horseshoe magnet. The conductor, which in this case is a loop of copper wire, is mounted upon a spindle in order that it may be rotated in the magnetic field to cut the lines of magnetic influence present between the pole pieces. Both of the ends of this loop are connected, one with the insulated drum shown upon the shaft, the other to the shaft. Two metal brushes are employed to collect the current and cause it to flow through the external circuit. It can be seen that when the shaft is turned in the direction of the arrow the loop will cut through the lines of magnetic influence and a current will be generated therein.
The pressure of the current and the amount produced vary in accordance to the rapidity with which the lines of magnetic influence are cut. The armature of a practical magneto, therefore, differs materially with that shown in the diagram. A large number of loops of wire would be mounted upon this shaft in order that the lines of magnetic influence would be cut a greater number of times in a given period and a core of iron used as a backing for the wire. This would give a more rapid alternating current and a higher electro-motive force than would be the case with a smaller number of loops of wire.
The illustrations at Fig. 9 show a conventional double winding armature and field magnets of a practical magneto in part section and will serve to more fully emphasize the points previously made. If the armature or spindle were removed from between the pole pieces there would exist a field of magnetic influence as shown at Fig. 7, but the introduction of this component provides a con
ductor (the iron core) for the magnetic energy, regardless of its position, though the facility with which the influence will be transmitted depends entirely upon the position of the core. As shown at
Fig. 8.—Elementary Form of Magneto Having Principal Parts Simplified
to Make Method of Current Generation Clearer.
A, the magnetic flow is through the main body in a straight line, while at B, which position the armature has attained after oneeighth revolution, or 45 degrees travel in the direction of the arrow, the magnetism must pass through in the manner indicated. At C, which position is attained every half revolution, the magnetic energy abandons the longer path through the body of the core for the shorter passage offered by the side pieces, and the field thrown out by the cross bar disappears. On further rotation of the armature, as at D, the body of the core again becomes energized as the magnetic influence resumes its flow through it. These changes in the strength of the magnetic field when distorted by the armature core, as well as the intensity of the energy existing in the field, affect the windings and the electrical energy induced therein corresponds in strength to the rapidity with which these changes in magnetic flow occur. The most pronounced changes in the strength of the field will occur as the armature passes from position B to D, because the magnetic field existing around the core will be destroyed and again reëstablished.
During the most of the armature rotation the changes in strength will be slight and the currents induced in the wire correspondingly small; but at the instant the core becomes remagnetized, as the armature leaves position C, the current produced will be at its maximum, and it is necessary to so time the rotation of the armature that at this instant one of the cylinders is in condition to be fired. It is imperative that the armature be driven in such relation to the crankshaft that each production of maximum current coincides with the ignition point, this condition existing twice during each revolution of the armature, or at every 180 degrees travel. Each position shown corresponds to 45 degrees travel of the armature, or one-eighth of a turn, and it takes just one-half revolution to change the position from A to that shown at D. (See Fig. 10 also.)
Essential Parts of a Magneto and their Functions. The magnets which produce the influence that in turn induces the electrical energy in the winding or loops of wire on the armature, and which may have any even number of opposed poles, are called field magnets. The loops of wire which are mounted upon a suitable drum and rotate in the field of magnetic influence in order to cut the lines of force is called an armature winding, while the core is the metal portion. The entire assembly is called the armature. The exposed ends of the magnets are called pole pieces and the arrangement used to collect the current is either a commutator or a col