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How to measure insulation resistance of a motor

How to measure insulation resistance of a motor (photo credit: elecls.cc.oita-u.ac.jp)

Winding insulation resistance
If the motor is not put into operation immediately upon arrival, it is important to protect it against external factors
like moisture, high temperature and impurities in order to avoid damage to the insulation. Before the motor is put into
operation after a long period of storage, you have to measure the winding insulation resistance.

If the motor is kept in a place with high humidity, a periodical inspection is necessary.

It is practically impossible to determine rules for the actual minimum insulation resistance value of a motor because
resistance varies according to method of construction, condition of insulation material used, rated voltage, size and
type. In fact, it takes many years of experience to determine whether a motor is ready for operation or not.

A general rule-of-thumb is 10 Megohm or more.

Insulation resistance value Insulation level

During the measurement and immediately afterwards.5 Megohm/kV. 1.35 Megohm 2. 2 Megohm or less Bad 2-5 Megohm Critical 5-10 Megohm Abnormal 10-50 Megohm Good 50-100 Megohm Very good 100 Megohm or more Excellent The measurement of insulation resistance is carried out by means of a megohmmeter – high resistance range ohmmeter.69 kV. some of the terminals carry dangerous voltages and MUST NOT BE TOUCHED. the minimum insulation resistance is: 0. Now. R. is Ground insulation test of a motor calculated by multiplying the rated voltage Un. The winding temperature should be 25°C ± 15°C. Insulation resistance The minimum insulation resistance of new. with the constant factor 0. The minimum insulation resistance.5 Megohm/kV = 0. Measurement and Checking. This is how the test works: DC voltage of 500 or 1000 V is applied between the windings and the ground of the motor.69 kV x 0. three points are worth mentioning in this connection: Insulation resistance. Maximum insulation resistance should be measured with 500 V DC with the windings at a operating temperature of 80 – 120°C depending on the motor type and efficiency. . Measurement Minimum insulation resistance of the winding to ground is measured with 500 V DC. cleaned or repaired windings with respect to ground is 10 Megohm or more. For example: If the rated voltage is 690 V = 0.

in order to avoid that people get hurt due to the high leakage voltage. the motor can continue to run. Checking If the insulation resistance of a new. the motor has to be stopped immediately. Reference: Grudfos – Motor Book . cleaned or repaired motor that has been stored for some time is less then 10 Mohm. As long as the measured value does not fall below the calculated value of minimum insulation resistance. the reason might be that the windings are humid and need to be dried. if it drops below this limit. However.3. the minimum insulation resistance may drop to a critical level. If the motor has been operating for a long period of time.