Commutation and Interpoles

In larger machines the commutation process would involve too much sparking, which causes brush wear, noxious gases (ozone) that promote corrosion, etc.

Commutation And Interpoles

In larger machines the commutation process would involve too much sparking, which causes brush wear, noxious gases (ozone) that promote corrosion, etc. In these cases it is common to use separate commutation interpoles. These are separate, usually narrow or seemingly vestigal pole pieces which carry armature current. They are arranged in such a way that the flux from the interpole drives current in the commutated coil in the proper direction

Remember that the coil being commutated is located physically between the active poles and the interpole is therefore in the right spot to influence commutation. The interpole is wound with armature current (it is in series with the main brushes). It is easy to see that the interpole must have a flux density proportional to the current to be commutated. Since the speed with which the coil must be commutated is proportional to rotational velocity and so is the voltage induced by the interpole, if the right numbers of turns are put around the interpole, commutation can be made to be quite accurate.

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