Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

parallel paths
the number of separate paths through the armature winding that exist between the brushes of a DC machine.

In a DC machine's armature, the conductors and coils are placed in their slots and connected to the commutator using either the lap winding method or the wave winding method. The number of conductors that are connected in parallel depend on the number of poles the machine has, and whether the winding connections are lap or wave. For the lap wound armature, the number of parallel paths is found by multiplying the number of poles by the number of revolutions it takes to
fill all the slots of the armature. The number of revolutions it takes to fill the slots is known as the machine's "plex" value. In a simplex wound armature, the "plex" value is 1, duplex has a "plex" value of 2, triplex has a "plex" value of 3, and so on. For the wave wound armature, the number of parallel paths is two times the "plex" value. This same concept
can also be applied to AC machinery.