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An Overview on Induction Machine's Diagnosis Methods

Szabó L.*, Tóth F.**, Kovács E.** and Fekete G.**


*
Department of Electrical Machines, Marketing and Management
Technical University of Cluj
RO-400750 Cluj, P.O. Box 358, Romania
e-mail: Lorand.Szabo@mae.utcluj.ro
**
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University of Miskolc
H-3515 Miskolc-Egyetemváros, Hungary
e-mail: elktoth@gold.uni-miskolc.hu

Abstract – Several methods for diagnosing the faults of Since the 80's the most widely used diagnosis method was
the squirrel-cage induction motors are cited in the based on the vibration analysis. In the 90's the motor
literature. The authors focused their researches on the current signature based fault detection methods (MCSA –
rotor faults of the squirrel cage induction machines. The Motor Current Signature Analysis) got more widespread.
aim of the paper is to compare these fault diagnosis In this paper the main methods used for the broken rotor
methods by means of data processing in LabVIEW the bars detection will de overviewed. The measurements were
results obtained by measurements. It will be emphasized performed by using advanced data acquisition boards and
that beside the current signature analysis also the three- methods. The measured data were processed using the
phase current vector, the instantaneous torque, LabView program.
respectively the outer magnetic filed can be used for
diagnosing the rotor faults. II. THE EFFECTS AND DIAGNOSIS OF BROKEN
ROTOR BARS
Keywords: induction machine, rotor faults, electrical
machine's faults detections and monitoring During the startup of the squirrel cage induction motors
their current is 5-8 times greater than the rated current. Due
I. INTRODUCTION to this a great quantity of heat is produced in the rotor. The
temperature of the bars is rapidly increasing and the bars
Due to their reliability, robustness and low price the are suspected to significant mechanical stresses. In
squirrel cage induction motors are widely used as energy steady-state regime the strong thermal and mechanical
converters. But also these reliable electrical machines can stresses are diminished. If the induction machine is rather
get faulty. old or is frequently started the connection between the bars
The statistical data show that 10% of the induction and the end rings can be damaged. Hence the resistance of
machine's faults are the rotor faults [1]. The typical rotor the of a part of the rotor circuit is increased, which leads to
faults are the damaged rotor bars, discontinuities in an asymmetry in the machine's field.
between the bars and the end rings, rotor eccentricity, etc.
In order to prevent more serious damages, and due to this A. The line current's spectrum analysis
long time plant shutdowns, it is recommended to detect
these faults as soon as possible. The electrical machines In the three-phase induction motor under perfectly
can be diagnosed via several methods. balanced conditions (healthy motor) only a forward
The rotor bar faults can be detected using the following rotating (direct sequence) magnetic field is produced,
methods: which rotates at synchronous speed, n1 = f1 p , where f1
• Sensing the machine's vibrations and using frequency is the supply frequency and p the pole-pairs of the stator
analysis of the vibrations [2, 3] windings. The rotor of the induction motor always rotates
• Measuring the line currents and analysing its harmonic at a speed (n) less than the synchronous speed. The slip,
content [3, 4, 5] s = (n1 − n) n1 , is the measure of the slipping back of the
• Studying the three-phase current vector (Park vector) rotor regarding to the rotating field. The slip speed
[6, 7, 8] ( n2 = n1 − n = s n1 ) is the actual difference between the
• Sensing the torque's variation and applying its speed of the rotating magnetic field and the actual speed of
frequency analysis [9, 10] the rotor.
• Maesuring the machine's external magnetic fields and The frequency of the rotor currents is called the slip
analysisng its harmonic content [11, 12, 13] frequency and is given by f 2 = n2 p = s n1 p . The speed of
the rotating magnetic field produced by the current carrying
rotor conductors with respect to the stationary stator • pole pass frequency: f p = 2 p ⋅ f slip (7)
winding is n + n2 = n + n1 − n = n1 . With respect to a From (6)÷(7) results the pole frequency:
stationary observer on the fixed stator winding, the speed
of the rotating magnetic field from the rotor equals the f p = 2 ⋅ s ⋅ f1 (8)
speed of the stator rotating magnetic field, namely, the The spectrum of the vibration's amplitude versus the
synchronous speed. Both fields are locked together to give frequency is given in Fig. 1.
a steady torque production by the induction motor.
With broken rotor bars in the motor there is an additional,
backward rotating magnetic field produced. This is rotating
at the slip speed with respect to the rotor. The backward
rotating magnetic field speed produced by the rotor due to
broken bars and with respect to the rotor is:
nb = n − n2 = n1 (1 − s ) − s n1 = n1 − 2sn1 = n1 (1 − 2 s ) (1)
The stationary stator winding now sees a rotating field at
nb = n1 (1 − 2s ) or f b = f1 (1 − 2s ) (expressed in terms of
frequency). This means that a rotating magnetic field at that Fig. 1. The vibration's spectrum of amplitude
frequency cuts the stator windings and induces a current at
that frequency (fb). This in fact means that fb is a twice slip C. Plotting the three-phase current vector
frequency component spaced 2 s f1 down from f1 . Thus
It is known that the m.m.f. generated by the symmetrical
speed and torque oscillations occur at 2 s f1 , and this induction machines stator winding is given by:
induces an upper sideband at 2 s f1 above f1 . 2 ξ s ⋅ N1
Classical twice slip frequency sidebands therefore occur Θ s (ϑ , t ) = ⋅
π p
around the supply frequency: (9)
⎡ 2π 2π ⎤
fb = f1 (1 ± 2ks) (2) ⋅ ⎢isa (t ) cos ϑ + isb (t ) cos(ϑ − ) + isc (t ) cos(ϑ + )
⎣ 3 3 ⎥⎦
where k = 1,2,3…
An estimate of the number of the broken rotor bars can be using the complex versor a = e j 2π / 3 equation (9) can be
analytically determined [4]. The ratio of the linear written as:
magnitude of the lower sideband at (1 − 2 s ) f1 to the 3 ξ s ⋅ N1
Θ s (ϑ , t ) = ⋅
magnitude of the supply current f1 . π p
(10)
sin α ⎧2 ⎫
⋅ Re⎨ ⎡⎢isa (t ) + a ⋅ isb (t ) + a isc (t )⎤⎥ e − jϑ ⎬
2
Rs ≈ `, (3)
2 p(2π − α ) ⎩ 3 ⎣ ⎦ ⎭
where: where
2π n p 2⎡
isa (t ) + a ⋅ isb (t ) + a isc (t )⎤⎥
2
α= , (4) i s (t ) = (11)
R 3 ⎢⎣ ⎦
and n is the number of the broken bars, p the number of is the so-called three-phased current vector (Park vector, or
pole pairs, respectively R the rotor's slot number. space vector). If the stator current varies in a sinusoid way,
isa (t ) = Iˆs cos(ωt + ϕi ) , then the three-phase current vector
B. The spectrum analysis of the vibrations
can be given as:
In electrical machines the torque is produced upon the i s (t ) = Iˆs e j (ωt +ϕ i ) (12)
interaction of the stator and rotor fields. The radial
(vibration generating) forces are balanced by the specific where Iˆs is the peak value of the line current.
design of the induction machines (pair number of slots and Relation (12) shows that the symmetric three-phase
uniform air-gap). If one or more rotor bars are broken, the winding and the sinusoidally varying three-phase currents
force balance inside the machine is damaged, hence the generate a vector rotating at constant frequency ω. If the
unbalanced forces generate significant vibrations. These currents in the windings are not equal, this change will be
vibrations can be measured with adequate sensors and observed also in the three-phase vector (12). The former
analyzed. The specific terms used in vibration analysis are: circular shape will be modified in an elliptical shape. The
n difference from the circular shape indicate the fault's rate.
• rotational frequency: f f = [Hz]; (5)
60 The stator current (12) has two (a real and an imaginary)
n − n f1 component:
• slip frequency: f slip = 0 = s; (6)
60 p
{}
i x = Re i s =
2
3
1
⋅ isa − (isb + isc )
3
(13)
The external magnetic flux is due to the unbalance between
the m.m.f. of the stator and the rotor, which are not in
equilibrium neither in the case of a healthy machine. When
{}
i y = Im i s =
1
(isb − isc ) (14)
faults occur in the spectrum of the external flux, typical
harmonic components can be detected.
3
The voltages induced by the radial external fluxes are given
The voltage signals proportional to these two components, in Fig. 3 (measured at no-load condition).
ix and iy, can be plotted.

D. Potting the torque during startup

The flux vector of the three-phase windings can be


expressed in a similar way as the current vector [14]:
2 2
Ψs = (Ψa + a ⋅ Ψb + a Ψc ) (15)
3
Knowing the flux and current vectors the torque can be
computed as [15]:

{ }
a) healthy machine
3
m= Im Ψ s ∗ ⋅ i s (16)
2
When asymmetry occurs the torque will be compound of a
direct and an inverse component and a balancing
component. The last component has double frequency and
generates noises and vibrations [14].

E. Sensing the external magnetic flux

The external magnetic filed of an electrical machine can be


sensed by a coils with great number of turns. The so-called
search coil can be placed at the end of the machine (see b) machine with broken rotor bars
Fig. 2a). In this case the axial components of the flux will Fig. 3. The voltage induced by the external radial flux
be detected. Also it can be placed in a radial direction for
detecting the radial external magnetic flux of the machine III. THE SAMPLED VALUES
(see Fig. 2b). The e.m.f in the coil depends on the distance
from the machine, but as we observed the waveform is not The measurements were performed using an induction
influenced by the distance. machine with the following nameplate data: Pn = 1.5 kW,
Un = 400/230 V (Y/Δ), f1 = 50 Hz, In = 4.2/7.3 A,
n = 1361 1/min, cos φn=0.69. The slot numbers were:
Zs = 24, Zr =18. The pictures of the stator and the rotor of
the sample machine are given in Fig. 4. In Fig. 4.b. both the
healthy and the damaged (right side) rotor can be seen.

a)

b)

b) a)
Fig. 2. Laboratory setup for mesuring the external flux Fig. 4. The stator and rotor of the sample machine
A. The time plots of the sampled values B. The spectrum of the sampled values

The data acquisition was performed using the LabVIEW The Fourier analysis was performed using the same
program. The time plots of the sampled values are shown LabVIEW program. The spectrum of the signals plotted in
in the next figures: in Fig. 5 the plots for the healthy Fig. 5 and 6 are given in Fig. 7 and 8 (those corresponding
machine, respectively in Fig. 6 those for the machine to the healthy machine in Fig. 7, respectively those for the
having broken rotor bars: faulty machine in Fig. 8). The plots correspond for:
• in figures a) the torque; • in figures a) the spectrum of the torque;
• in figures b) the phase current; • in figures b) the phase current's spectrum;
• in figures c) the voltage induced by the external • in figures c) the spectrum of the voltage induced by
radial flux; the external radial flux;
• in figures d) the vibrations of the machine mesured • in figures d) the spectrum of the machine's
by a sensor placed on the macine's housing vibrations

Fig. 5. Plots versus time of the sampled values Fig. 6. Plots versus time of the sampled values
(healthy machine) (machine having broken rotor bars)
Fig. 7. The spectrum of the sampled values (healthy Fig. 8. The spectrum of the sampled values (machine
machine having broken rotor bars)
C. The time plots of the sampled values during startup
• in figures a) the torque;
During startup the differences between a healthy and faulty • in figures b) the phase current;
machine can be observed much easy. These differences are • in figures c) the voltage induced by the external
highlighted in Fig. 9 and 10. In a same manner as in the radial flux;
previous figures the plotted values are: • in figures d) the vibrations of the machine

Fig. 9. Plots versus time of the sampled values during startup Fig. 10. Plots versus time of the sampled values during
(healthy machine) startup (machine having broken rotor bars)
D. The plots versus time of the phase currents and the ACKNOWLEDGMENT
three-phase current vectors
The work was possible due to the support given by the
The rotor bar faults of a squirrel cage induction machine Romanian Ministry of Education and Research, National
can be also diagnosed by plotting the three-phase current Authority for Scientific Research (CNCSIS) and the
vector. A suggestive example is given in Fig. 11 (Fig 11a Hungarian National Office for Research and Technology
for the healthy machine, respectively Fig. 11b for that (NKTH) in the framework of the "Romanian-Hungarian
having broken rotor bars). Intergovernmental S&T Cooperation Program 2008-2009".
As it can be seen very clearly in Fig. 11b the pulsations of The authors should like to sincerely thank this way for the
the phase current are highlighted also in the plot of the financial support.
current vector.
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