Can a 3 phase motor be somehow used as a generator?

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While the Obamacare website still remains broken, three 20-year-old programmers have shown the government how it should be done.
Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser developed a site in matter of days - and it does things the expensive and faltering healthcare.gov can't do.
From a San Francisco office the men have built HealthSherpa.com, which presents the Affordable Health Care Act data in a much simpler way to the government website.
Problem solving: The three 20-year-old programmers developed a site in matter of days that does things the expensive and faltering healthcare.gov just can't do.

'They got it completely backwards in terms of what people want up front,' Liang told CBS News. The programmer continued: 'They want prices and benefits, so that they could make the decision.'
HealthSherpa.com, which is just two weeks old, allows a user to simply input their zip code and view all the health plans available to them.
Note this is a UK paper. Why isn't this all over the US media?
Reply to
F. George McDuffee
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"F. George McDuffee" wrote in message news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com...
The excuse I heard was that such a site would reveal the alarmingly high raw cost and couldn't adjust for subsidies without the user's data. Mustn't frighten the herd, you know.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
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The above fairly accurately describes how the system works where I live...
In essence, each state has a different set of insurers and laws, all of which adds a tremendous amount of complexity where it concerns attempting to cover all contingencies using a single software suite that must interface with databases which are independantly maintained by some 36 different states...
In other words, if your state decided not set up it's own exchange, then you mostly have yourselves to blame--especially considering that in many cases, the decision was made of belligerance and spite.
Reply to
PrecisionmachinisT
Synchronous AC motors work well as generators- and are often used that way in industry-having the advantage of var control. Their excitation comes from the DC field. Induction motors also can be used as motors-however an external excitation source is needed- preferably the power grid. In Some places (e.g Scotland), in remote areas, small streams drive induction generators- once up to speed, they are connected to the grid and feed power into the grid (drawing reactive from the grid). Capacitors can be used once running and the grid connection could be removed- but voltage stability is a problem. An extreme case that I know of was where a farmer with a single phase supply had a large induction motor which he connected mechanically to a smaller single phase motor and excited one phase with the result that he could generate 3 phase which he used to drive another 3 phase motor. It worked well and was cheap because the polyphase motors were surplus units. Sure the energy all came from the single phase supply but it was a lot less expensive than getting 3 phase in a remote area or buying a large single phase machine (and not a great deal less efficient). Nowadays there are electronic drives that do the job better for less money but then, many weird and wonderful arrangements and machines were used. Nightcrawler's reference is quite dated but includes material not generally taught these days (less emphasis, except in machine design texts, on some factors, and circle diagrams went out when or before electronic calculators came in, and transient response was generally ignored). It brings back some memories as much of the same was done in the early 50's. Approaches in texts after the 50's have changed considerably- emphasizing that essentially a motor and a generator are the same except for the direction of the energy flow and taking into account the various advances in control and power electronics.
Reply to
Don Kelly
Induction motors - that are designed to be motors - make lousy generators, regardless of how well 'tuned' their capacitive excitations circuits are, if they're used for any varying loads, or - for the most part - on any inductive loads.
They're about useless for anything but purely resistive loads like incandescent lights or resistive-limited battery charging.
Lloyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
You are right if you are talking about using an induction motor for a stand alone generator. But they work well if they are being used to feed power into the electric grid.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
IIRC when I was in high school or even a bit before, our class visited a Consolidated Edison power plant in Manhattan. The were using turbine driven alternators. At that time, a much smaller machine on the shaft to provide dc excitation for the alternator's armature. Years later, with what I think was the 1965 East Coast blackout, external auxiliary power seemed to have taken over.
I remember an IEEE trip to San san Onofre. They were rethinking reliance of offsite auxiliary power. They were thinking of diesel driven generation rather than attaching dc machine onto alternator shafts.
Reply to
Salmon Egg
it is all over the US media - at least the stations I listen to. Maybe Fox news doesn't want to air it
Reply to
.0.
Why didn't he just use a rotating phase converter? A three-phase motor is often the cheap solution. These are often used by hobbyists to make use of surplus three-phase power tools.
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Reply to
krw
In proper circumstances they work well- such situations would be similar to the Scottish application where advantage can be taken of small streams, using a turbine and induction motor. The motor can be run up as a motor-then the turbine gates are opened(or in reverse order). No synchronizing or voltage control needed. In such a remote application, it is simpler and cheaper than a synchronous machine. True- they must have a source of excitation and need to draw reactive from the grid or grid + capacitors and in the latter case varying loads are a problem. They cannot supply reactive to any load, nor can they (without some other source of reactive) operate if the grid connection goes down.
Reply to
Don Kelly
In early days, and external DC machine was commonly used but later on it was mounted on the alternator shaft - in some cases there were two DC machines- one supplying the alternator field and the second smaller machine supplying the field of the larger machine. Common in hydro plants such as those at Shipshaw, Kemano, Grand Coulee, etc. In later years, such things as magamps replaced the pilot exciters (faster response) and modern units use fully electronic control- there is feedback from the alternator through scr's supplying a stationary winding which induced AC in a 3 phase winding on the rotor- which feeds the alternator field through a bridge, essentially making it self excited and no commutators/brushes involved. Smaller, cheaper, less maintenance and more responsive than the old exciter/pilot exciter The idea of a separate on site power source for auxiliaries is common -Grand Coulee has some auxiliary units. Tthese were not used for excitation. Hydro plants do have the advantage that even a good battery bank will supply control needs and allow start up- the rest follows. Thermal plants have higher needs (feedwater pumps, etc) so a hefty source is needed to get a unit up and running. The problem in the 65 blackout was that many thermal plants were isolated and some form of external power (or internal diesel units) was needed to get a unit on line to supply other thermal plants. Hydro plants could quickly be brought on line- although for a while, they were restricted due to the need to get thermal plants up rather than immediately supply other loads.
Reply to
Don Kelly
Essentially a 3 phase induction motor at no load and excited on only one phase is a single to 3 phase converter. This is what I was referring to in the farmers case- I got off topic.
Reply to
Don Kelly
Ah, finally found a serious reference on this, with actual documented operation.
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This was a bit bigger gear than you probably were thinking of, 275 KVA.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I guess I misread what you posted. It sounded like you had a large motor driving a smaller single-phase motor. Haven't seen that before. I have seen the unloaded three-phase motor used as a phase converter many times.
Reply to
krw
It sounded to me like the small single phase motor just spun up the three-phase rotary converter. jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Yes, I guess that makes more sense. Don?
Reply to
krw
Yes-I didn't state it clearly, the single phase motor was used only to rotate the larger motor.
Reply to
Don Kelly
Not true. Induction motors CAN be used as generators Usually using a bank of capacitors. Look up induction generators.
Reply to
clare
Won't work. If you excite it with AC it WILL work - as long as the speed is right. (synctronous induction generator)
Reply to
clare
snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
Clare, exactly how many weeks does it take you to read and respond to a two-line post?
Did you even consider reading the rest before making an inane comment like that?
Sure, Clare... I make a "generator" out of a cork with two wraps of coathanger wire around it, too.
But in BOTH cases, they're lousy generators.
Why don't you spend a little "more time" reading. Hell... you've only spent three weeks, and you've gotten all the way throught the first three posts in a hundred-post thread!
Lloyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

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