Critical field resistance is a term that is associated with a shunt DC generator. In a DC Shunt Generator, the voltage induced across the ArmatureVa is directly proportional to the Fluxacting across it, The Flux in a DC Generator is directly proportional to the field current If. By Ohm's LawV = IR . The critical field resistance is defined as The maximum field circuit resistance (for a given speed) with which the shunt generator would excite. The shunt generator will build up voltage only if field circuit resistance is less than critical field resistance.
It is a Tangent to the Open Circuit Characteristics of the Generator(at a given speed).
There are several methods of excitation of DC generators. The excitation current of a DC shunt generator is decided by the output voltage and the field resistance of the generator. And, lastly the value of resistance of shunt field winding beyond which the shunt generator fails to build up its voltage is known as critical resistance.