Functions of Stators in Pumps

December 1, 2015


Pumps use electrical energy to drive mechanical parts. A shaft extends outward from the motor and turns the mechanical assembly, usually an impeller, to begin pushing fluid through pipes. You'll find this basic explanation in a hundred engineering manuals, but an important step is being skipped. This process is as much a magnetic marvel as it is an example of electrical wizardry. Stators in pumps transform sizzling electricity, creating a rotating magnetic field, one that causes a shaft to rotate.

Stator-Driven Muscle

Two sets of coils are wound on the two parts of a motor. The rotor typically has a set of copper windings, though some types opt for a cylindrical or "caged" rotor made from solid conductors. Regardless of the design, the rotor is the rotating part of this electrical engine, but it requires energy to turn. The stator is the stationary part of this coiled layout. It wraps around the internal surfaces of the motor's housing and carries electrical current. As simple as this arrangement of copper conductors’ sounds, the engineering principles behind the technology are a touch more complex. Poles, magnetically charged North-to-South axial components are arranged in pairs around the inside of the motor's housing, and it's only through the clever weaving of this fine tapestry of varnished windings that the stator can function.

All Kinds of Motors

A group of different technologies dominates the engineering of motors, with each type taking its place in different industries due to the characteristics of the form. Induction motors, as one key example, pass electricity through the stator, and a rotating magnetic field is generated within these field windings. Stators in pumps typically use AC current and a polyphase power supply. Each "phase" of alternating current passes into a separate and distinct set of field windings to create what's known as a rotating magnetic field. The principles on this subject are complex, especially when a layperson tries to imagine three sinusoidal wave forms interacting inside a motor housing. Still, the result is a powerful magnetic field, one that reaches into the core of the device to force "induce" the rotor to turn.

In conclusion, the stator or stationary winding is responsible for pump characteristics. Stators in pumps use alternating poles, additional poles, and any number of additional electrical conductors to vary the torque and horsepower of the pump. Wound rotor or cage rotor designs interact with the rotating magnetic field at the shaft, changing the characteristics of the machine further. Clever modern designs have cut pump size, but a powerful pump usually requires a little mechanical muscle when dealing with high flow issues or stubborn sludge. Therefore, different stator designs benefit these two disparate applications. Winding density delivers more power. More power equals greater torque. Adding or subtracting a pair of poles opens up even greater avenues of change, designating the stator as the prime property modifier within a pump.

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