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ZUG4028 – Electrical Machines

Undergraduate – Module

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this module is offered.


Business, Engineering and Technology


South Africa
On-campus block of classes

  • Semester 1, 2021 (Mainstream Programme)
  • Semester 1, 2022 (Extended Programme)

8 credits, NQF Level 8


The module begins by considering electrical machines, looking at DC machines, induction motors, synchronous motors and other types of motors under fixed and variable speed operation. Thyristor rectifiers and switched power converters are then presented, looking at their use for electrical energy conversion in general and variable speed motor control in particular. Topics covered include Three Phase Transformer: phase shift; equivalent circuit and transformers in parallel, Induction Motor: development of a phasor diagram for starting and running conditions; development of equivalent and approximate equivalent circuits; current and torque characteristics; rotor resistance variation and methods of starting and speed control, Synchronous Machine: development of phasor diagram for cylindrical synchronous machines; concept of synchronous reactance; short circuit ratio; and operation as an isolated generator.


On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

1Interpret basic machine theory: electro motive force generation in machines, distribution, coil span and winding factors, magneto motive force developed by distributed windings, development of rotating fields, torque developed, simple AC windings.
2Apply electrical power to various rotating equipment
3Control the rotating equipment speed
4Explain the fundamentals of transformers


Coursework assessment: 30%
Examination: 70%

Workload requirements

The module prepares the student for real-world application of electrical power to control rotating machines and transformers. There will be a combination of lectures that include interactive elements, tutorials in which students will do individual work (self-assessments; reflecting on learning aspects) and group work (PowerPoint presentations on aspects of the module, role-play and group discussions) and Moodle, for sharing learning aids, to help students test their own knowledge through informal quizzes, and to administer short formal tests. All outcomes will be assessed by means of tutorial work, assignment, class tests and final examination.

Chief examiner(s)





Power Systems