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AIRCRAFT AVIONICS

from a battery or filtered power supply. In other words, the amplitude of voltage

and current remain steady. This is often referred to as "pure DC," meaning that

no alternating current or noise is present.

DC Terms and Values

vary from a zero reference level to a maximum or peak value

Average Value of DC - the average of the current or voltage

excursion made by a pulsating DC waveform as it moves from zero

to its maximum value. The average value is computed by multiplying the maximum value of the pulsating waveform by 0.637.

Series DC Circuits

A series circuit is a circuit that has only one path for electrons to flow.

Volts - the algebraic sum of the applied voltage and the voltage

drop around any closed circuit is equal to zero

Amperes - The algebraic sum of the currents at any junction of

conductors in a circuit is zero.

Resistance - Total resistance in a series circuit equals the sum of

the individual resistances in the circuit.

Power - the amount of power available in the circuit is calculated

using the formula: P = VI

Parallel DC Circuits

The most widely used circuit arrangement is the parallel circuit. All of the load

components in a parallel circuit are directly across the source, and if one

component fails, it has no effect on the others.

Volts - Since each path has only one load device, the voltage must

equal the source voltage.

Amperes The current flow in a circuit is equal to the sum of the

current flow through each path/load.

Resistance - Unlike a series circuit, the more resistance added to a

parallel circuit, the lower the total resistance.

using the formula: P = VI

Changing DC to AC

It is often necessary to change direct current into alternating current. For

example, many aircraft require alternating current to power equipment such

as flight instruments and navigation receivers. During an emergency, when

normal aircraft power is not available, power is taken from the battery to

operate all electrical loads. Since batteries are capable of storing only direct

current, a means must be provided to change DC to AC.

The device used to change DC to AC is called an inverter.

built in. They are powered by a DC source, and have AC as an output.

Static inverters - are electronic devices containing a specialized

circuit known as an oscillator. An oscillator is capable of changing

DC to AC through electronics.

Alternating Current (AC) is current flow which continually changes its value

and periodically reverses direction.

Advantages of AC

1. Much easier to generate in the large quantities needed for homes

and industries, and for large transport aircraft.

2. The ease with which AC current and voltage can be changed to get

the most effective use of electrical energy. For example, since the

current flowing in a conductor determines the amount of heat

generated, current dictates the size of conductor needed to

transport it. Delivering the same amount of power with less current

would allow the use of smaller conductors, saving money and

weight.

Generation of AC Electricity

Common household electricity is produced by a rotary generator in which a

coiled conductor rotates inside a magnetic field. The changing values of voltage

produced as the coil rotates can be observed on an oscilloscope. The values

start at zero, rise to a peak, and then drop back off to zero. As the coil continues to rotate, the voltage builds up in the opposite direction to a peak

and then back to zero. One complete cycle of voltage change is produced

with each complete revolution of the coil.

from zero, through a positive peak, back to zero, through a negative peak, and back to zero again.

Alternation - one-half of an AC cycle in which the voltage or

current rises or falls from zero to a peak and back to zero.

Period - The time required for one cycle of events to occur

Frequency - the number of cycles completed in one second.

Frequency is expressed in hertz (Hz) with one hertz equal to

one cycle per second. The frequency of alternating current

produced by a generator is determined by the number of pairs

of magnetic poles in the generator and the number of

revolutions completed per minute by the rotating coils.

Phase - In alternating current where the values are constantly

changing, certain circuit components cause a phase shift

between the voltage and the current. The amount of shift is

referred to as the phase angle.

Power - the values for both voltage and current are given in

effective values. The product of these effective values is called the

apparent power and is expressed in volt-amps rather than in

watts.

Transformers

Transformers allow the values of AC voltage and current to be changed through

the use of mutual inductance. A typical transformer consists of two coils of wire

wound around a common core, but not connected electrically. The coil in which

alternating current flows into a transformer is called the primary coil,

whereas the coil in which the alternating current flows out is the secondary

coil.

When an alternating current flows in the primary coil, a voltage is induced into

the secondary coil. The amount of voltage generated in the secondary coil is

equal to the voltage in the primary times the turn ratio between the two coils.

For example, 100 turns in a primary coil and 1,000 turns in a secondary equates

to a turns ratio of 1:10. Therefore, if 115 volts flows across the primary, 1,150

volts are induced across the secondary.

than in the primary coil. This results in an increase in voltage and a

decrease in current.

Step-Down Transformer - the secondary coil has fewer turns than

the primary coil. In this case the voltage decreases and current

rises.

Converting AC to DC

It is often necessary to convert alternating current into direct current to power

various circuits in the aircraft or within electronic equipment. The conversion of

alternating to direct current is accomplished by a circuit referred to as a

rectifier. Rectifier circuits employ vacuum tube or solid-state diodes that

allow current flow in only one direction.

Three-Phase AC

When it is necessary to get the maximum amount of power from alternating

current, it is typically converted into three-phase AC. Generators that produce

three-phase AC have three sets of output windings excited by a single rotating

field. The voltage in each winding is 120 degrees out of phase with that in the

other windings.

Advantages of Three-Phase AC

are in single-phase AC, The pulses overlap so the current never

drops to an instantaneous value of zero.

The higher the pulse frequency, the easier it is to filter the AC and

make it smooth.

Three-Phase Transformer

Three-phase transformers can have their primary and secondary windings

connected in either a Y or a delta to provide the needed output.

Rectifier means Alternating current (AC) to Direct current (DC) conversion and

apply the use of diodes.

A converter can be AC to DC or DC to AC or conversion from one level of

either AC or DC to another level. a voltage converter is a device which

converts AC Power to DC Power. It changes the voltage of an electrical power

source and is usually combined with other components to create a power

supply. Some claims also proves that it is also possible to do a AC-DC-AC

conversion. The use of the term voltage converter is also known in other

electrical term which is power supply. A voltage converter and power

supply can also be called as transformer. However, it does not actually pertain

to the device called transformer which also has a different meaning.

Source:

Jepessen

General Chapter 3: Basic Electricity

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