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Introduction to Electrical Machines - ELE00034C

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Simon Bale
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module summary

The module introduces students to the fundamental principles of electric and magnetic fields at low frequencies and provides an overview of the working principles of transformers and DC electrical machines.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To introduce students to the main parameters and properties of electric and magnetic fields at low frequencies.

  • To introduce students to AC circuit analysis and complex power.

  • To introduce students to the concept of magnetic circuits and the operational principles and characteristics of transformers.

  • To introduce students to the properties of magnetic materials and the concepts of magnetic saturation and hysteresis.

  • To introduce students to the principles of electro-mechanics and electromechanical energy conversion to show how electromagnetic fields can be used to induce forces and torques on current carrying conductors.

  • To introduce students to the basics of electrical machine construction and the structure and operational principles of DC machines.

Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop skills in basic numerical and analytical techniques.

  • To develop professional laboratory working practices.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between charge, current and electromagnetic fields.

  • Understand and use Ampere’s Law to calculate the flux in simple types of magnetic circuits with and without air gaps, so as to be able to analyse magnetic circuits using the concepts of magnetomotive force and magnetic reluctance.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of magnetic fringing fields and how this increases the effective area of an air gap, decreases the flux density in the gap and is proportional to the length of the gap.

  • Understand and be able to state Faraday’s Law and know that the induced EMF in a coil is proportional to the rate of change of magnetic flux through that coil.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relations between flux linkage, inductance and energy.

  • Be able to analyse AC circuits using the concepts of phasors and complex impedance.

  • Explain the concept of complex power and be able to calculate the real, reactive, and apparent power in simple circuits.

  • Explain the concept of power factor and for an inductive, capacitive, or resistive load be able to state if the power factor is lagging or leading.

  • Understand the concept of mutual inductance and for a two winding transformer be able to draw the equivalent circuit and calculate the voltage, current and impedance ratio.

  • Explain the difference between soft and hard magnetic materials and demonstrate how magnetic materials constrain and shape a magnetic field.

  • Be able to draw a simple magnetisation curve for a ferromagnetic material and explain the concepts of magnetic saturation and hysteresis.

  • Describe the loss mechanisms (eddy currents, hysteresis losses) associated with time-varying fluxes in magnetic materials.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how magnetic fields induce a force on a current carrying coil and be able to calculate the torque on such a coil.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic electrical machine construction and terminology and be able to explain the operation of a DC machine.

Graduate skills learning outcomes:

  • Be able to explain commonly encountered technical concepts concisely and accurately

  • Be able to select and apply a range of mathematical techniques to solve problems

  • Effectively plan and manage their time in a laboratory setting

  • Have developed skills in problem solving, critical analysis and applied mathematics

Module content

Students will receive timetabled revision support contact in weeks 2 and 4 of the summer


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Introduction to Electrical Machines
8 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Introduction to Electrical Machines
8 hours 100

Module feedback

The Department of Electronic Engineering aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. Students are provided with their examination results within 20 working days of the end of any given examination period. The Department will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline. The Department would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The Department will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Indicative reading

Recommdended texts to be available via VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.