squirrel cage

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squirrel cage

Post by Phil White » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:25 pm

In a translation, I was reminded of a term I've not heard for a few years, namely a "squirrel cage motor". Now, I'm quite happy that I've got the right term, but how did it come about?

Wikipedia suggests that it's called a squirrel cage because it looks like a hamster wheel. Duh, what?

Do you guys the other side of the pond keep squirrels in cages - complete with hamster wheels - or what?
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Signature: Phil White
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squirrel cage

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:55 pm

Phil..
It's not a squirrel cage motor, but a squirrel cage fan. These fans shaped like the exercise wheels in rodent cages are common in air-moving systems like hot-air central heating and also as cooling fans in some motors.
Although it is illegal to keep wild animals without permits, there are situatiuons where people do keep squirrels, and without a way to exercise a lot, the critters go squirrely.
We call them nature's little speed-bumps.
Also, we pronounce it skwirl. I have heard an English fellow say, "skwairwell".
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squirrel cage

Post by Phil White » Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:28 pm

There are squirrel cage all-sorts-of-things, including fans and even a squirrel cage jail. The squirrel-cage motor has an armature wound like a hamster wheel (also called a squirrel cage armature). Still seems an odd thing to say if you don't (generally) keep the little buggers as pets.

However, I just found this thread on an auction site that seems to clear up the point. It does appear to be the shape of the cage itself that is meant.
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squirrel cage

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:03 pm

Skwirel I would say. A skwairwell is what you get water from in a rectangular bucket:-)
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squirrel cage

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:58 pm

I see, Phil. I'd not heard of anything but fans.
Yes, Bob, that's about right. But we just run that r and l sound together.
Water from that rectangular bucket makes the best ice cubes!
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squirrel cage

Post by mongrowl » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:19 pm

INTENSIONAL MEANING
Squirrel cage motors get their name from the appearance of early rotors. They are the most common type of industrial AC electric motor, being rugged and requiring neither a separate DC power source nor slip-rings. They are essentially constant speed devices when energised by a constant frequency AC supply, however electronic speed control is available.

PRAGMATICS MEANING
INDIVIDUAL MOTOR
We take it for granted nowadays that we can power a machine by its own dedicated electric motor, often energised from the AC mains. Indeed it is difficult to imagine how modern industrial plant - say an extensive conveyor system - could operate satisfactorily if powered throughout by mechanical energy from a centralised engine.
Lneil
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