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Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223

Neural networks for load torque monitoring of an induction motor
Lucia Frosini∗ , Giovanni Petrecca
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy Received 11 December 2000; received in revised form 30 August 2001; accepted 19 October 2001

Abstract In this paper, the possibility to use neural networks for the monitoring of the load torque of induction motors is investigated. In particular, unsupervised neural networks are used to detect possible torque anomalies and supervised neural networks are used to identify the average value of steady-state load torque. These networks are trained and validated on the data gathered from a 1.5 kW three-phase squirrel-cage induction motor. Their generalisation abilities have been tested through the data collected with a 3 kW induction motor. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Neural networks; Supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms; Multi-layer perceptron; Kohonen self-organised map; Induction motor; Load torque monitoring

1. Introduction In the field of electrical machines, many problems of process control and diagnostic can be solved through identification and classification tools. Load torque monitoring of induction motors, for example, is useful for the detection of possible incipient faults and for having information about the working conditions of mechanical loads. The aim of this paper is to present the performance and the generalisation abilities of neural networks applied for load torque monitoring of induction motors. 2. Neural networks: supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms Neural networks can be classified according to their learning algorithms [9].
∗ Corresponding author. E-mail address: lucia@unipv.it (L. Frosini).

The supervised learning algorithm adjusts the weights of inter-neuron connections according to the difference between the desired and actual network outputs corresponding to a given input. This point makes neural networks trained by supervised learning algorithm similar to black-box models: this kind of network is able to identify a system only through its input data and the corresponding output data, without knowing the physical insights of the system. The best known supervised neural network is the multi-layer perceptron (MLP). In general, MLP networks have an input layer, an output layer and one or more hidden layers. In Fig. 1, a MLP with a single hidden layer is reported. The unsupervised learning algorithm does not require, on the contrary, the knowledge of the desired outputs. During the training, only input patterns are presented to the neural network, which automatically adapts the weights of its interconnections in order to cluster the input patterns into groups with similar features. For this reason, neural networks trained by

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An MLP network with a single hidden layer.g. A Kohonen self-organised map with m inputs and n outputs. If the oscillation amplitude is small with respect to the constant torque. Classification of load anomalies through unsupervised neural networks Other authors have pointed out the possibility of classifying load anomalies of induction motors through neural networks [3. The brake is regulated by a control and measurement system. some considerations about the emergence of harmonic components in the current spectrum when a load failure occurs are reported.8]. 2). The rated torque of the first motor is 10 N m. The supply frequency is 50 Hz [2. 2. Oscillating load torque An oscillating load torque is obtained by superimposing an oscillating torque of frequency fo to a constant torque (e. unsupervised learning algorithm can be effectively used for data classification. Experimental set-up For the experimental phase a test bench equipped with an induction motor coupled with a brake has been Fig. Only for particular tests. the motors have been supplied with inverter. the problem can be treated in analytical way because the link between torque.5 kW three-phase squirrel-cage induction motor: the data collected have been used for the training and the validation of the neural networks. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Fig. The expression of the load torque Tl is Tl = Tr + αTr cos(2πfo t) (4. Using the fast Fourier transform (FFT) of the stator current highlights these effects (current signatures). the rated torque Tr ). speed and current values can be linearised.216 L. G. used. the rated torque of the second motor is 19. Second. 4. . The monitoring of the load torque of induction motors can be accomplished by neural networks: unsupervised neural networks can be used to detect possible torque anomalies and supervised neural networks can be used to identify the average value of steady-state load torque.5 N m and the brake threshold is 2 N m.1. m inputs and n outputs. The best known unsupervised neural network is the Kohonen self-organised map (Fig.6]. the authors show that two types of load anomalies (oscillating load torque and periodic dip of torque) have particular effects on the machine supply current. the motors have been supplied directly from the mains. the generalisation abilities of these neural networks have been tested through the data collected with a 3 kW induction motor. 4. Frosini.1) 3. In [3]. In the following. The first measurements have been made with a 1. 1. where α is the oscillating torque referred to the rated one and t is the time. For most tests.

four experimental tests and one simulation have been made. Their amplitude and their displacement are dependent on the frequency itself. 10 with oscillating torque and 10 with periodic dip of torque).5 Hz. 5. In consequence of a periodic dip of torque. duty ratio 20% and amplitude variable from 1 to 3 N m to a constant torque variable from 2 to 10 N m. a speed variation introduces a current modulation at frequency fo [4]. G. 7).L. for fo f the amplitudes of these two components are quite equal (see Figs. 5.2. 3). The duration of the dip is expressed by a percentage of the period of the square wave and is called “duty ratio”. on the combined machine–load inertia and on other machine parameters (pole pairs and rotor resistance). . where f a = f o /duty ratio (see Fig. FFT has to be used. • 17 cases with periodic dip of torque. 7 with oscillating torque and 7 with periodic dip of torque). on load torque oscillation frequency fo . φ 1 and φ 2 are the angular displacements referred to the torque pattern reference.1. The 43 cases have been subdivided into the following two sets: 1. the current spectrum contains a sequence of harmonic components placed from the supply frequency at intervals multiple of fo . the instantaneous current value will show two spectral components at frequencies (f + f o ) and (f − f o ).2) 5. This fact could be interesting in order to use a neural network trained where J is the combined machine–load inertia. • 17 cases with oscillating load torque. Classification of load anomalies: experimental phase In order to obtain a wide and representative set of measurements. when the load torque varies close to its rated value. Periodic dip of torque A periodic dip of torque is obtained by superimposing a square wave of frequency fo to a constant torque. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 217 The relationship between the electromagnetic torque Te .6]. For each case. and therefore. The duty ratio influences the amplitude of the harmonic components located at distances which are multiple of frequency fa . the current spectrum obtained from the experimental measurement is quite superimposed to the related spectrum obtained from the simulation (Fig. the load torque Tl and the variation of the rotor speed ωr is J dωr = Te − Tl dt (4. Representation scale: linear or logarithmic When linear representation scale is used. obtained by superimposing a square wave of frequency 2. Analysis of the harmonics components in the current spectrum In order to use the stator current for identifying the load anomalies. It has been observed that the variation of some parameters of FFT (representation scale and frequency resolution) strongly influences the extraction of the current signatures [2. Therefore.3 to 4. a training set composed of 25 cases (5 with constant torque. Moreover. the electromagnetic torque and the speed oscillate with the same frequency fo . 2. The simulation is realised through a model of the motor implemented with SIMULINK [5]. The amplitude of the components Is1 and Is2 depends on the gain of the transfer function of the motor and supply system.3) where φ 0 .1. obtained by superimposing an oscillating torque of frequency variable from 1. a validation set composed of 18 cases (4 with constant torque. This gain is a function of the motor and supply parameters and also depends on (f + f o ) and (f − f o ) frequencies. 4.1.8 Hz and amplitude variable from 1 to 3 N m to a constant torque variable from 3 to 10 N m. 5 and 6). Frosini. where f is the supply frequency: Is = Is0 cos(2π ft + φ0 ) + Is1 cos(2π(f + fo )t + φ1 ) +Is2 cos(2π(f − fo )t + φ2 ) (4. On the other hand. the following 43 cases have been considered: • 9 cases with constant load torque variable from 2 to 10 N m. As demonstrated in [3].

5 Hz frequency resolution in a case of oscillating torque with f o = 1. Fig. Fig.3 Hz. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Fig. Frosini. Logarithmic representations of simulated and experimental current spectra in a case of constant torque. through simulated data to detect the load anomalies of a real motor.1).5 Hz On the basis of the experience of other authors [3]. 5).218 L. When fo is close to 1 Hz or smaller.5 Hz has been considered. This choice is good when the frequency fo of the oscillating torque or periodic dip of torque is larger than 1 Hz.2. Logarithmic representations of simulated and experimental current spectra in a case of oscillating torque. 3. The advantage offered by this representation scale is that harmonic components are highlighted (Fig. Linear representations of simulated and experimental current spectra in a case of periodic dip of torque. a frequency resolution of 1 Hz has been chosen. with logarithmic representation scale there are many differences between experimental and simulated current spectra (Fig. 4. with this resolution the visibility of the harmonic components becomes worse. On the contrary. a frequency resolution of 0. The considerations about the opportunity Fig.1. But this representation does not permit to adequately highlight the harmonic components typical of these anomalies. so it is impossible to use this scale for the training set of a neural network (see Section 6. 5. 4). Frequency resolution: 1 or 0. 5. G. So. 6. Comparison between 1 and 0. .

two different dimensions of the networks have been used: 400 neurons (20 × 20) and 625 neurons (25 × 25). the more significant components of the current spectra are near to the supply frequency. the neurons activated by the vectors derived from the same type of load torque identify an area of the map specialised in the recognition of this type of load torque. in our case. a new set of data is presented to the network. The neural network inputs are the vectors of the components of the current spectra. periodic dip). 7. normally arranged as nodes of a squared grid. Comparison between 1 and 0. input vectors of 33 components have been used (from 34 to 66 Hz). For these reasons.1.5 Hz. during the validation phase. The goal of the training phase is to obtain a subdivision of the map in three well-distinct areas corresponding to the considered three types of load torque (constant. with a frequency resolution of 1 Hz. Then. The neural network outputs are the neurons of the network. in the following tests only logarithmic scale has been used.L. Frequency resolution of 0. an increasing in the number of components enlarges the dimension of the network. A network of 400 neurons trained with the data relating to an experimental test is able to correctly classify 15 cases over 18 during the validation phase. Frosini. G. If these vectors excite the neurons that belong to the desired area. A network of 625 neurons trained with the same data of the previous network has correctly classified all the 18 validation data. In the following this network is called “B”. while with a resolution of 0. oscillating. the network is able to classify. Frequency resolution of 1 Hz to use this frequency resolution instead of a 1 Hz resolution are reported in the following sections (Figs. as a consequence. In the following sections. The choice of the number of components that are to be included in each vector must take into account the following considerations: 1. 6. 6.5 Hz the input vectors were composed of 53 components.2. 6. from 37 to 63 Hz. In the following this network is called “A”. each vector of the training set activates one neuron of the network. Classification of load anomalies: results In order to classify the load anomalies considered. It has been proven that networks trained with simulation data are not able to correctly classify the experimental data: almost all the experimental data are classified as periodic dip of torque. So.5 Hz frequency resolution in a case of periodic dip of torque with f o = 2. . the more significant results obtained in this research are reported. the training time is also increased. 2. A network of 400 neurons trained with the averaged data relating to four experimental tests has correctly classified 17 cases on 18 during the validation phase. Once the training phase is ended.5 Hz A network of 625 neurons trained with the averaged data relating to four experimental tests has correctly classified 17 cases over 18 during the validation phase. 6 and 7). Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 219 Fig. unsupervised neural networks (Kohonen self-organised maps) have been trained. It has been proven that a linear scale does not permit to train a network able to recognise the type of load torque.

can be employed as parametric black-box models in system identification. Sometimes the manufacturers can provide these values. . In fact. such as MLP. The current spectra have been averaged on the four experimental tests. It has been proven that the network “A” (resolution frequency of 1 Hz) is able to correctly classify 42 cases on 43. the current spectrum contains further harmonic components. . x2 (t). in [7] MLP networks and polynomial models have been used for the identification of the electromagnetic torque (Te ) in induction motors as an alternative to the physical model provided by the equivalent circuit theory. For these reasons. Because of the dependence of Te from the stator current Is and the rotor speed ωm . Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Consequently. . Identification of electromagnetic torque through supervised neural networks Supervised neural networks. • six cases with oscillating torque. magnetising inductance Lm ): Te = 3pRr (2πf − pωr ) × 2I 2 Lm s Rr 2 /(2πf − pωr )2 + (Lr + Lm )2 (7. t = 1.g. it is more difficult to extract the signature of the load anomalies. supply frequency f. but often it is necessary to calculate them through special tests. . Moreover.220 L. Normally. . the generalisation ability of neural networks is normally better than polynomial models. . it is very difficult to know the exact values of the equivalent circuit parameters. such as the equivalent circuit parameters (rotor resistance Rr . For each of the 43 cases considered (see Section 5) four new experimental tests have been made with the motor supplied through its inverter. polynomial). y(t)]. when the motor is supplied through inverter. an approximate value for Te . 6. xn (t). Consequently. The black-box identification through neural models consists of determining the parameter vector θ of the weights of the network from a set of observed data (called training set) including a set of input values x1 (t). in this way. Whereas we can easily measure the first three variables. 7. and therefore. and thus.1) According to the above expression the torque is calculated through the values of the phase stator current Is .5 Hz does not appear suitable in comparison to a frequency resolution of 1 Hz. The network “B” has correctly classified 17 cases over 18. we can use a black-box identification approach to determine the dependence of Te upon these variables. the supply voltage contains some harmonic components. . The conclusion is that neural networks trained with the data gathered from the first motor display good generalisation ability when tested on a different size motor. The network “B” (resolution frequency of 0. because it increases the required memory and the training time without improving the performance of the network. a frequency resolution of 0. .5 Hz) is able to correctly classify 39 cases on 43. G. four experimental tests related to 18 new cases have been made on a 3 kW motor: • six cases with constant torque.3. rotor speed ωr .2) . number of pole pairs p and equivalent circuit parameters. xn (t) and the corresponding output values y(t): Z N = [x1 (t). N (7. . . a neural network has a better performance than a polynomial model when the system to be identified is non-linear. we have verified whether the neural networks trained with the current spectra of the motor directly supplied are able to classify the torque anomalies revealed by the current spectra of the same motor supplied by inverter. we can obtain only approximate values for the equivalent circuit parameters. rotor leakage inductance Lr . x2 (t). Frosini. In fact. • six cases with periodic dip of torque. . Test on generalisation ability of the networks As induction motors are often supplied through inverter. the physical model of Te requires the knowledge of some variables usually not available in normal operating conditions. In order to check the generalisation ability of neural networks. . The network “A” has correctly classified all the cases using the averaged data on the four experimental tests. in order to obtain better performance than classic models (e.

n the number of weights of the neural network and wj is the generic weight of the network. etc. Eq.6). To solve this problem.5) is solvable in closed form when the dependence of y(t ˆ |θ ) from θ is linear (e.4) The parameters are then found as ˆ = argθ min MSR(θ.6) where γ is a constant. Its MSR calculated on the validation data is: MSRV = 0. two hyperbolic neurons. for the collected data.g.). Z N ) = 1 N N t =1 This has been repeated with a load changing from 2 N m (the brake threshold) up to the rated electromagnetic torque. Z N ) = 1 N N (et )2 t =1 (7. polynomial model) or by iterative algorithm when this dependence is non-linear (e. according to (4.3) can be written as follows: MSR(θ. electromagnetic torque Te is equal to load torque Tl when the rotor speed ωr is constant.2). MLP network). G. 8. due to its rapid convergence property and robustness. So. The best neural network model has three hyperbolic neurons and γ = 0.5) Eq. 9. this dependence can be explained with sufficient precision through a classical polynomial model.6). For the choice of the number of the hidden neurons a “trial and error” method has been used: starting from the simplest model (one neuron with linear function) and increasing the complexity of the network (one hyperbolic neuron. So.L. the derived model has to be validated on a fresh set of data. and the performance function (7.g. Identification of electromagnetic torque: experimental phase The experimental test is based on the measurements of the following values: average electromagnetic torque Te . The 26 observed groups of data have been subdivided into two sets of 13 vectors that have been used for identification and validation.0126) [7]. the weight of the regularisation term is lower. 10 N m. . This performance is slightly better than the best polynomial model performance (MSRV = 0.9. The performance of MLP network defined as average absolute error (AAE) in percentage on all (y(t) − y(t ˆ |θ ))T (7. For the estimate of the parameters of the networks we employed the Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 221 The goal of the training phase is to determine a mapˆ from the set of training data to the set ping Z N → θ of possible parameters so that the model will produce outputs y(t ˆ |θ ) which in some sense are “close” to the true values y(t) [10]. average rotor speed ωr . rms value of the stator current Is . that can be varied from 0 to 1: when the value of γ is near to 1. Identification of electromagnetic torque: results In order to identify the model of Te MLP networks with a single hidden layer have been used. called validation set. (7. In order to improve the generalisation ability of neural networks a “regularisation” term is added to the MSR. the following parameters have been modified from time to time: • number of hidden neurons and their activation function (linear or hyperbolic). • value of parameter γ in (7. Z N ) θ (7. The method stops when the performance function of the network calculated on the validation data becomes worse. In the opinion of the authors. so that the performance function becomes [1]: MSR(θ. Frosini. a measure of closeness in terms of mean of squared residuals (MSR) is introduced: MSR(θ. Finally. We note that. (7. the mere slight improvement obtained by neural models depends on the quite regular dependence of the electromagnetic torque on the rms value of the stator current and on the rotor speed. respectively. Z N ) = γ 1 N N (et )2 + (1 − γ ) t =1 1 n n (wj )2 j =1 (7.0125.3) × (y(t) − y(t ˆ |θ )) If et is the generic residual (difference from the actual value y(t) and the corresponding output of the model y(t ˆ |θ )). two linear neurons.

G. 9. Comparison of the outputs of the polynomial and neural models and the collected values of torque (3 kW motor) . Comparison of the calculated values through the three models and the collected values of torque (polynomial model is almost superimposed on neural model). 8. the data has been compared to equivalent circuit theory: • neural model: AAE = 1. These losses are included in the expression of the electromagnetic torque (7. The value of the AAE produced by the equivalent circuit theory may be partly explained by the friction and windage losses. Fig.88%.222 L. while they have to be subtracted to this expression in order to obtain the value of the torque available at the load shaft (see Fig. that are strictly dependent from the rotor speed and become more relevant in low load conditions. 8).1). Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Fig.82%. Frosini. • equivalent circuit theory: AAE = 36.

Ind.L. obtaining an AAE lower than 2%. Fanoli. Italy. Tassoni. The conclusion is that it is possible to know an approximate average torque value of a motor by using a model identified and validated on another motor. New Orleans. 31 (4) (1995) 892–899.5 kW motor directly supplied is able to recognise the same load anomalies revealed by the same motor supplied through an inverter. 9). On the contrary. Because of the dependence of Te on the stator current Is and the rotor speed ωr . Hjalmerson. The physical model of Te provided by the equivalent circuit theory requires the knowledge of some variables usually not available in normal operating conditions (the equivalent circuit parameters). The last sections of this paper (from Section 7 to 9) present the results of black-box identification of steady-state electromagnetic torque (Te ).Sc. Ljung. C. M. without knowing the equivalent circuit parameters. the latter are based on MLP networks trained by Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm (a supervised algorithm). Prediction and Control. 1998. The neural network inputs are the harmonic components of the spectrum of one-phase stator current. the possibility to employ neural networks as a useful tool for the classification of load anomalies and the identification of load torque of induction motors has been investigated. Grellet. [6] L. Franceschini. Springer. Italy.D. Italy. Neural networks aided on-line diagnostics of induction motor rotor faults. Reti neurali artificiali ad apprendimento non-supervisionato per la diagnostica dei motori asincroni (Unsupervised neural networks for diagnostics of induction motors). The MathWorks Inc. Tassoni. Future work will consider the acquisition of data relating to other motors in order to develop an instrument for the monitoring of the load torque of induction motors in a certain range of power. Neural Networks in System Identification. M. Salles. Neural Networks for Identification. [7] L. [8] J. Black-box identification of the electromagnetic torque of induction motors: polynomial and neural models. a network trained on data collected from 1. Franceschini. [4] F. C. References [1] H. Pham. University of Pavia. Sjöberg. Filippetti. [10] J. Filippetti. G. Berlin. pp. Monitoring of an actuator’s load by neural network. H.T. Ph. Copenhagen.5 kW motor is able to recognise similar load anomalies coming from a 3 kW motor.90%. G. USA. Franchi. in: Proceedings of the IEA/AIE-2000. pp. G. X. G. 141 (6) (1994) 317–322. Neural Network Toolbox for Use with MATLAB® . The results show that a network trained on data collected from a 1. G. 741–748. January 1999 (in Italian). polynomial and neural models have been employed. Several networks are tested using a different scale to represent the FFT of the current (linear or logarithmic). 10. Power Appl. 296–301. Thesis in Electrical Engineering. The generalisation ability is checked testing these models on a different size of motor (3 kW). Demuth. Sorveglianza della coppia di un motore asincrono con reti neurali (Torque monitoring of induction motor with neural networks). M. 1994. [3] F. This approximation is. In this research.Sc. L. Beale. The performance is calculated as AAE in percentage on these data: AAE = 21. a different frequency resolution (0. Electr. Liu. Moreover. artificial neural networks for the condition monitoring of electrical machines. Feasibility of using unsupervised learning. June 2000. the results show poor generalisation ability in the polynomial case but pretty good generalisation ability in the neural case: the approximation is better than the approximation obtained by the equivalent circuit theory. Frosini. 1995. the generalisation ability of the polynomial model is unacceptable: AAE = 93.5 or 1 Hz). July 1999 (in Italian). University of Pavia. Appl. Impiego delle reti neurali per applicazioni nel campo della conversione dell’energia (Applications of neural networks in the energy conversion field). The earlier sections (particularly Sections 4–6) point out the results of unsupervised neural networks applied to classify two types of load anomalies (oscillating load torque and periodic dip of torque). Thesis in Electrical Engineering. G. in: Proceedings of the 10th IFAC Symposium on SYSID. IEEE Trans. . [2] M.. Yin. University of Pavia. therefore.40% (see Fig. [5] L. and increasing dimension of the network.M. Thesis in Electrical Engineering. better than the approximation obtained by the equivalent circuit theory. IEEE Proc. Conclusions In this paper. a black-box identification approach can be used to determine the dependence of Te upon these variables. Denmark. Penman. C. Frosini. in: Proceedings of the SDEMPED’97. Frosini. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 223 The generalisation ability of the neural network has been tested using nine groups of data collected from a 3 kW induction motor. Both polynomial and neural models are identified and validated on the data collected from a 1. October 1999 (in Italian). Petrecca. [9] D.5 kW motor.