A slip ring is an electrical device which allows the transmission of data or power and electrical signals from a stationary structure to a rotating structure. It can be used in any electromechanical device that requires spinning while transferring power or data signals.
The slip rings are designed in different size and with different technology which is based on the function and the purpose of the slip ring application. For the alternators, an electrical slip ring is used that allows the alternation of current to electrical energy via a mechanical energy. This is how slip rings work transferring the energy from a stationary object to a rotating one.
There are a number of ways a slip ring helps the alternators. The function of slip rings in the alternators are discussed below.
Functions of slip ring in alternators
In an alternator, a slip ring served as a band which is made up of an electrically conductive material that is provided on the shaft-like object. The electrical connections are provided with the help of the windings and the slip ring connects with the rotating assembly.
There is a coil provided which helps with the supply of current generating the magnetic field which helps in the rotation of the rotor in the stator.
The rings are made with either copper or some forms of copper alloy. It is then placed on a plastic material which insulates them from the shaft of the rotor. The wires which come out of the slip ring to the coils are connected to the ring inside. With the help of the streams in the plastic material which routes the wire is kept away from the moving parts.
There are a couple of brushes which is used to keep the contact between the slip rings. It is made up of carbon which provides conductivity for the rings without being harsh. It is held tight with the help of springs and is placed against the rings.
The outer surface of the slip ring is kept in continuous contact while sliding with the carbon brushes and other conductors. Thus, the slip ring provides the DC excitation to the spinning component of an alternator.
The supply of the DC which is generated after the correction of the output of the alternator is kept firm while the other part of the same keeps rotating. The brush helps in a continuous connection with the rotor of the slip ring in order to supply the DC current to the rotating motor.
In this way, the arrangement of the slip rings and the brushes are considered as the proper ordering of the DC current with that of the rotor.
Importance of slip ring in alternators
So far, we have seen the various functions of the slip ring, we can now easily understand the importance of the slip ring in the alternators. The alternators, however, can be both AC and DC. In case of the DC alternators, the work of the slip ring is considered as the split ring which can alternate the polarity in a reverse direction, thus providing the DC current output on the loading. The AC alternator output current, the slip ring normally carries the AC output.
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