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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5 N m and the brake threshold is 2 N m. Oscillating load torque An oscillating load torque is obtained by superimposing an oscillating torque of frequency fo to a constant torque (e. Second.g. used. The supply frequency is 50 Hz [2. the motors have been supplied with inverter.6]. 4.216 L. .5 kW three-phase squirrel-cage induction motor: the data collected have been used for the training and the validation of the neural networks. In [3].1. The expression of the load torque Tl is Tl = Tr + αTr cos(2πfo t) (4. speed and current values can be linearised. the problem can be treated in analytical way because the link between torque. The best known unsupervised neural network is the Kohonen self-organised map (Fig. G. Experimental set-up For the experimental phase a test bench equipped with an induction motor coupled with a brake has been Fig. The brake is regulated by a control and measurement system.1) 3. For most tests. 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. Frosini. If the oscillation amplitude is small with respect to the constant torque. A Kohonen self-organised map with m inputs and n outputs. The first measurements have been made with a 1. m inputs and n outputs. the motors have been supplied directly from the mains. 2. In the following.8]. 2). the rated torque Tr ). where α is the oscillating torque referred to the rated one and t is the time. unsupervised learning algorithm can be effectively used for data classification. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Fig. An MLP network with a single hidden layer. 1. the rated torque of the second motor is 19. 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. 4. Using the fast Fourier transform (FFT) of the stator current highlights these effects (current signatures). the generalisation abilities of these neural networks have been tested through the data collected with a 3 kW induction motor. 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. Only for particular tests. The rated torque of the first motor is 10 N m. some considerations about the emergence of harmonic components in the current spectrum when a load failure occurs are reported.

the instantaneous current value will show two spectral components at frequencies (f + f o ) and (f − f o ). 2. On the other hand. a validation set composed of 18 cases (4 with constant torque. a training set composed of 25 cases (5 with constant torque. 3). Therefore. the load torque Tl and the variation of the rotor speed ωr is J dωr = Te − Tl dt (4. 5 and 6). 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. Their amplitude and their displacement are dependent on the frequency itself.3 to 4. Representation scale: linear or logarithmic When linear representation scale is used. where f a = f o /duty ratio (see Fig. The simulation is realised through a model of the motor implemented with SIMULINK [5]. . Frosini. This fact could be interesting in order to use a neural network trained where J is the combined machine–load inertia. The duty ratio influences the amplitude of the harmonic components located at distances which are multiple of frequency fa . 5. • 17 cases with periodic dip of torque.1. 10 with oscillating torque and 10 with periodic dip of torque). 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. FFT has to be used. Classification of load anomalies: experimental phase In order to obtain a wide and representative set of measurements.3) where φ 0 . Moreover. This gain is a function of the motor and supply parameters and also depends on (f + f o ) and (f − f o ) frequencies. four experimental tests and one simulation have been made. 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 . obtained by superimposing an oscillating torque of frequency variable from 1.L. 7 with oscillating torque and 7 with periodic dip of torque).5 Hz.8 Hz and amplitude variable from 1 to 3 N m to a constant torque variable from 3 to 10 N m. In consequence of a periodic dip of torque. on the combined machine–load inertia and on other machine parameters (pole pairs and rotor resistance). for fo f the amplitudes of these two components are quite equal (see Figs. For each case. 7).2) 5. • 17 cases with oscillating load torque.1. the current spectrum contains a sequence of harmonic components placed from the supply frequency at intervals multiple of fo . when the load torque varies close to its rated value. and therefore. φ 1 and φ 2 are the angular displacements referred to the torque pattern reference. the following 43 cases have been considered: • 9 cases with constant load torque variable from 2 to 10 N m. The duration of the dip is expressed by a percentage of the period of the square wave and is called “duty ratio”. G. the current spectrum obtained from the experimental measurement is quite superimposed to the related spectrum obtained from the simulation (Fig. 5.2. duty ratio 20% and amplitude variable from 1 to 3 N m to a constant torque variable from 2 to 10 N m. obtained by superimposing a square wave of frequency 2. a speed variation introduces a current modulation at frequency fo [4]. The 43 cases have been subdivided into the following two sets: 1.6]. the electromagnetic torque and the speed oscillate with the same frequency fo . Analysis of the harmonics components in the current spectrum In order to use the stator current for identifying the load anomalies.1. The amplitude of the components Is1 and Is2 depends on the gain of the transfer function of the motor and supply system. 4. on load torque oscillation frequency fo . As demonstrated in [3].

So. On the contrary. Fig. so it is impossible to use this scale for the training set of a neural network (see Section 6.5 Hz has been considered. 4. 4). .5 Hz frequency resolution in a case of oscillating torque with f o = 1. through simulated data to detect the load anomalies of a real motor. G. a frequency resolution of 1 Hz has been chosen.5 Hz On the basis of the experience of other authors [3].218 L. a frequency resolution of 0. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Fig. 5).1). The advantage offered by this representation scale is that harmonic components are highlighted (Fig.1. Fig. Frequency resolution: 1 or 0.3 Hz. 6. 3. Comparison between 1 and 0. 5. The considerations about the opportunity Fig. Frosini. Linear representations of simulated and experimental current spectra in a case of periodic dip of torque.2. This choice is good when the frequency fo of the oscillating torque or periodic dip of torque is larger than 1 Hz. 5. When fo is close to 1 Hz or smaller. Logarithmic representations of simulated and experimental current spectra in a case of constant torque. with logarithmic representation scale there are many differences between experimental and simulated current spectra (Fig. Logarithmic representations of simulated and experimental current spectra in a case of oscillating torque. But this representation does not permit to adequately highlight the harmonic components typical of these anomalies. with this resolution the visibility of the harmonic components becomes worse.

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

The current spectra have been averaged on the four experimental tests. magnetising inductance Lm ): Te = 3pRr (2πf − pωr ) × 2I 2 Lm s Rr 2 /(2πf − pωr )2 + (Lr + Lm )2 (7. polynomial). For each of the 43 cases considered (see Section 5) four new experimental tests have been made with the motor supplied through its inverter. . . .3. G. y(t)]. an approximate value for Te . and therefore. in order to obtain better performance than classic models (e. Moreover. Sometimes the manufacturers can provide these values. a neural network has a better performance than a polynomial model when the system to be identified is non-linear. but often it is necessary to calculate them through special tests. it is very difficult to know the exact values of the equivalent circuit parameters. The network “A” has correctly classified all the cases using the averaged data on the four experimental tests. a frequency resolution of 0.1) According to the above expression the torque is calculated through the values of the phase stator current Is . we can obtain only approximate values for the equivalent circuit parameters. rotor leakage inductance Lr . Test on generalisation ability of the networks As induction motors are often supplied through inverter. . supply frequency f. x2 (t). N (7. such as the equivalent circuit parameters (rotor resistance Rr . Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Consequently. It has been proven that the network “A” (resolution frequency of 1 Hz) is able to correctly classify 42 cases on 43.5 Hz does not appear suitable in comparison to a frequency resolution of 1 Hz. 7. . 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. Normally. Consequently. . 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. the supply voltage contains some harmonic components. .220 L. when the motor is supplied through inverter. the physical model of Te requires the knowledge of some variables usually not available in normal operating conditions. . . The network “B” has correctly classified 17 cases over 18. • six cases with oscillating torque. In fact.g. 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. Whereas we can easily measure the first three variables. Frosini. it is more difficult to extract the signature of the load anomalies. number of pole pairs p and equivalent circuit parameters. four experimental tests related to 18 new cases have been made on a 3 kW motor: • six cases with constant torque. the current spectrum contains further harmonic components. For these reasons. t = 1. x2 (t). such as MLP.2) . . 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). because it increases the required memory and the training time without improving the performance of the network. Because of the dependence of Te from the stator current Is and the rotor speed ωm . . 6. In fact. rotor speed ωr . in this way. can be employed as parametric black-box models in system identification. xn (t). . Identification of electromagnetic torque through supervised neural networks Supervised neural networks.5 Hz) is able to correctly classify 39 cases on 43. the generalisation ability of neural networks is normally better than polynomial models. and thus. we can use a black-box identification approach to determine the dependence of Te upon these variables. In order to check the generalisation ability of neural networks. • six cases with periodic dip of torque. The network “B” (resolution frequency of 0. xn (t) and the corresponding output values y(t): Z N = [x1 (t).

5) Eq. the weight of the regularisation term is lower. electromagnetic torque Te is equal to load torque Tl when the rotor speed ωr is constant.6).6). • value of parameter γ in (7. etc. We note that.g. This performance is slightly better than the best polynomial model performance (MSRV = 0. the following parameters have been modified from time to time: • number of hidden neurons and their activation function (linear or hyperbolic). a measure of closeness in terms of mean of squared residuals (MSR) is introduced: MSR(θ. To solve this problem. So. Finally. Z N ) = γ 1 N N (et )2 + (1 − γ ) t =1 1 n n (wj )2 j =1 (7.g.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 )).3) can be written as follows: MSR(θ. 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. Its MSR calculated on the validation data is: MSRV = 0. The method stops when the performance function of the network calculated on the validation data becomes worse. 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]. and the performance function (7. Identification of electromagnetic torque: results In order to identify the model of Te MLP networks with a single hidden layer have been used. For the estimate of the parameters of the networks we employed the Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm. that can be varied from 0 to 1: when the value of γ is near to 1.4) The parameters are then found as ˆ = argθ min MSR(θ.L. MLP network). Identification of electromagnetic torque: experimental phase The experimental test is based on the measurements of the following values: average electromagnetic torque Te . In the opinion of the authors. Z N ) = 1 N N (et )2 t =1 (7. rms value of the stator current Is . The best neural network model has three hyperbolic neurons and γ = 0.5) is solvable in closed form when the dependence of y(t ˆ |θ ) from θ is linear (e. 10 N m. The performance of MLP network defined as average absolute error (AAE) in percentage on all (y(t) − y(t ˆ |θ ))T (7.0126) [7]. Z N ) θ (7. respectively. n the number of weights of the neural network and wj is the generic weight of the network.2). The 26 observed groups of data have been subdivided into two sets of 13 vectors that have been used for identification and validation. so that the performance function becomes [1]: MSR(θ. this dependence can be explained with sufficient precision through a classical polynomial model. 8. 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. (7. . G. two linear neurons. the derived model has to be validated on a fresh set of data. Frosini. according to (4.9. 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. 9. for the collected data. So. (7.0125. average rotor speed ωr . two hyperbolic neurons. Eq.). called validation set.6) where γ is a constant. polynomial model) or by iterative algorithm when this dependence is non-linear (e. In order to improve the generalisation ability of neural networks a “regularisation” term is added to the MSR. due to its rapid convergence property and robustness.

1). Fig. the data has been compared to equivalent circuit theory: • neural model: AAE = 1.82%. Petrecca / Applied Soft Computing 1 (2001) 215–223 Fig.88%. Frosini. 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. Comparison of the calculated values through the three models and the collected values of torque (polynomial model is almost superimposed on neural model). G. These losses are included in the expression of the electromagnetic torque (7.222 L. • equivalent circuit theory: AAE = 36. that are strictly dependent from the rotor speed and become more relevant in low load conditions. 9. The value of the AAE produced by the equivalent circuit theory may be partly explained by the friction and windage losses. Comparison of the outputs of the polynomial and neural models and the collected values of torque (3 kW motor) . 8. 8).

Yin. 1995. Tassoni. M. Franceschini. Demuth. L. Several networks are tested using a different scale to represent the FFT of the current (linear or logarithmic). July 1999 (in Italian). Copenhagen. Italy.40% (see Fig. Moreover. Thesis in Electrical Engineering. 741–748. G. Ljung. Both polynomial and neural models are identified and validated on the data collected from a 1. G. New Orleans. H. Conclusions In this paper. Frosini.5 kW motor directly supplied is able to recognise the same load anomalies revealed by the same motor supplied through an inverter. 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).D. This approximation is. USA. X. 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. 1998. Hjalmerson. Ph. Berlin. in: Proceedings of the 10th IFAC Symposium on SYSID. C. Feasibility of using unsupervised learning. [3] F. without knowing the equivalent circuit parameters.5 kW motor. Monitoring of an actuator’s load by neural network. G. therefore. The results show that a network trained on data collected from a 1. Beale. Neural networks aided on-line diagnostics of induction motor rotor faults. 9). and increasing dimension of the network. Filippetti. 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. 141 (6) (1994) 317–322. Power Appl. a network trained on data collected from 1. Prediction and Control. Franceschini. Penman.5 or 1 Hz).90%. [5] L. G. 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. [8] J. M. Neural Networks in System Identification.Sc. G. better than the approximation obtained by the equivalent circuit theory. October 1999 (in Italian). the generalisation ability of the polynomial model is unacceptable: AAE = 93. obtaining an AAE lower than 2%.L. The performance is calculated as AAE in percentage on these data: AAE = 21. Because of the dependence of Te on the stator current Is and the rotor speed ωr . [9] D. The last sections of this paper (from Section 7 to 9) present the results of black-box identification of steady-state electromagnetic torque (Te ). Petrecca. 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). C. The MathWorks Inc. a different frequency resolution (0. Sorveglianza della coppia di un motore asincrono con reti neurali (Torque monitoring of induction motor with neural networks). 31 (4) (1995) 892–899. Springer. The generalisation ability is checked testing these models on a different size of motor (3 kW).T. the latter are based on MLP networks trained by Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm (a supervised algorithm). G. in: Proceedings of the IEA/AIE-2000. C. Impiego delle reti neurali per applicazioni nel campo della conversione dell’energia (Applications of neural networks in the energy conversion field).5 kW motor is able to recognise similar load anomalies coming from a 3 kW motor. [10] J. Filippetti.M. Frosini. Neural Networks for Identification. 10. Salles. . Tassoni. January 1999 (in Italian). Reti neurali artificiali ad apprendimento non-supervisionato per la diagnostica dei motori asincroni (Unsupervised neural networks for diagnostics of induction motors). References [1] H. Sjöberg. Grellet. IEEE Trans. Denmark. University of Pavia. Pham. [7] L. Italy. Italy. University of Pavia.Sc. Fanoli. On the contrary. Liu. Appl. Electr. pp. Neural Network Toolbox for Use with MATLAB® . a black-box identification approach can be used to determine the dependence of Te upon these variables. 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. In this research. Franchi. 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. M. Thesis in Electrical Engineering. IEEE Proc.. 1994. University of Pavia. in: Proceedings of the SDEMPED’97. polynomial and neural models have been employed. June 2000. Thesis in Electrical Engineering. artificial neural networks for the condition monitoring of electrical machines. 296–301. Black-box identification of the electromagnetic torque of induction motors: polynomial and neural models. [6] L. [2] M. pp. [4] F. Frosini. The neural network inputs are the harmonic components of the spectrum of one-phase stator current. Ind.