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Electric Motor Testing has diminished with the ever increasing frequency of corporate re-engineering. What this means for electric motor testing maintenance programs is billions of dollars of lost revenue through increased electrical repair costs, downtime, and waste in industrial and commercial companies. Modern electrical maintenance practices often do not take into account the importance of electric motor testing for proper equipment uptime and plant competitiveness.
Electric motor testing maintenance and management programs are designed to improve equipment readiness and uptime while reducing capital overhead. This program consists of particular maintenance and management tools designed to aid the maintenance engineer in electric motor systems and their care.
The following are some important electric motor testing items:
Electric Motor Testing Recommended Items:
Electric Motor Impulse Testing Electric Motor impulse testing is an integral part of predictive maintenance of electrical motors. Through the following questions the influence that extensive impulse testing has on a motor is investigated. Can impulse testing damage healthy or deteriorated insulation? Can DC Resistance, Inductance, Megger or HiPot tests diagnose weak turn-to-turn insulation? After failing an impulse test, are motor with weak insulation able to operate? Are motors with a turn-turn short capable of continued operation? This was accomplished by putting a low voltage motor through extensive testing rigors, until inducing a failure. Following the failure, additional testing investigated the possible deteriorating effects on turn-turn insulation due to impulse testing beyond the motor¶s dielectric breakdown. NOTE: This paper was edited from the original version of the IEEE paper published in 2003.
Electric Motor Rotation Testing Check for fan or pump motor rotation when testing offline with the MCE. Fans may continue to slowly rotate due to drafting in the Plenum. Pumps that are connected to a common header may continue to rotate if other pumps connected to the header are operating. This will adversely affect the Standard Test results, possibly creating higher than normal resistive and inductive imbalances.
Wound Rotor Motor Testing Wound rotor motors have a three-phase winding wound on the rotor which is connected to three phases of start-up
meaning as temperature increases. most often the resistance will initially increase after running due to moisture being evaporated by the increasing temperature of the windings. Before sending a motor to be refurbished. These faults can have a significant impact on the overall operation of the motor and should be given considerable focus when troubleshooting these motors. Failed components in the resistor bank are common and often overlooked when troubleshooting. This would lead you to believe that insulation resistance of a de-energized motor will decrease after starting the motor. resistance decreases. However. Electric Motor Insulation Resistance Testing Electric motor insulation exhibits a negative temperature coefficient.resistors in order to provide current and speed control on start-up. which could quickly turn acceptable measured resistance readings into unacceptably low corrected resistance readings. The recommended off-line in-service electric motor tests are - y y y y y Stator winding resistive imbalance Stator winding insulation resistance (Meg-Ohm checks) Polarization Index (PI) Step Voltage test Surge test The recommended spare electric motor tests are - y y y y y Stator winding resistive imbalance Stator winding insulation resistance (Meg-Ohm checks) Polarization Index (PI) Step Voltage test Surge test The recommended new/refurbished electric motor tests are ± y y y y y y Stator winding resistive imbalance Stator winding insulation resistance (Meg-Ohm checks) Polarization Index (PI) Step Voltage test Surge test. The governing standard (IEEE43) on insulation resistance testing requires a temperature correction to 40 degrees Celsius. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ . consider space heaters.
describes if frame is open. RPM .how to connect for different voltages or speeds. darkened paint in the middle of the motor (indicating heat) and evidence or dirt and other foreign matter having been pulled into the motor windings through openings in the housing.how much work it can perform.voltage and phase requirements. Wiring diagram . Typical information found on most motors include (but not limited to): o o o o o o o o o o Manufacturer's Name . etc. Current . it will be difficult to determine its suitability to a task. 2.1ffor Check the outside of the motor. wrong application or both. And more.information that identifies this motor. Horsepower . There are . A bearing is located at both motor ends sometime called bell housings or end bells.amperage requirements. Frame Style . Check the nameplate on the motor. 2 Name Plate from a large 50 HP 3 phase motor. The bearings allow the shaft or rotor assembly to turn freely and smoothly in the frame. Important information about the motor is on the label and without it. Model and Serial Number .the name of the company the made the motor. If the motor has any of these issues. drip proof. 3 Check the bearings of the motor. total enclosed fan cooled. Type .Steps for checking Electric motor. Voltage . The nameplate is a metal or other durable tag or label that is riveted or affixed to the outside of motor housing called the stator or frame. Look for broken mounting holes or feet. there may be problems that can shorten the life of the motor due to previous overloading.physical dimensions and mounting pattern.the number of revolutions the rotor makes in one minute. Name Plate from a 1/2 HP motor.
With an ohm meter set to the Resistance or Ohms test setting.check the meter's operation manual). Next. 5 Check that the windings are not open or blown. Ideally. There are other parts of a motor that should be inspected before powering up . Make sure it is securely fastened to the shaft and not clogged with dirt and other debris. 6 Check other components of the motor. Check out the fan. there is probably an issue with the capacitor and may need to be replaced. feel and listen for any indication of rubbing. place test probes into the appropriate jacks (Common and Ohms . Values in the single digits are normal and possibly those in the low double digit range might be acceptable under the right conditions. otherwise the motor will overheat. after zeroing the meter again. the meter should barely move off the highest resistance indication. Check out the rear bell housing of the motor. Values greater than this indicate a problem and values significantly greater than this indicate that the winding has failed opened. measure the resistance between the leads of the motor. one at a time. Some motors have centrifugal switches used to switch the start / run capacitor or other windings in and out of the circuit at a specific RPM. Closely watch. scraping or unevenness of the spinning rotor. freely and evenly. Choose the highest scale (R X 1000 or similar) and zero the meter by touching both probes against each other and adjust the needle to 0 (most digital meters do not offer the ability to zero so skip this if yours is a digital type). Some things to do: o Check the start or run capacitor used for starting or running some motors. if equipped. Check that the switch contacts are not "welded" closed or are contaminated with dirt and grease preventing a good connection. A small amount of movement in and out (most household fractional horsepower types should be less than 1/8" or so) is permitted. fan cooled" type.several types of bearings used. Checking a capacitor can be done with the ohm meter. *may* be acceptable. The openings in the rear metal guard need to have full and free air movement. Many simple "across the line" single phase and 3 phase motors (used in household appliances and industry respectively) can be checked simply by changing the range of the ohm meter to the lowest offered (R X 1) and. and eventually fail. spin the shaft/rotor with the other hand. push and pull the shaft in and out of the frame. A motor with a shorted winding will not run and probably open the fuse or trip the circuit breaker instantly. A motor that has bearing related issues when run will be loud. o o . Two popular types are brass sleeve bearings and steel ball bearings. If it stays shorted or does not rise. but the meter should always indicate a resistance value in the millions of ohms (or "megohms"). A "TEFC" type motor is a "totally enclosed. In some cases. Many have fittings for lubrication while others are "permanently lubricated". but the closer to "none" the better.or not run with speed control (as is the case when a 3 phase motor winding opens while running). The capacitor will have to be allowed 10 or more minutes to discharge before attempting this test again. Placing the test probes on the capacitor terminals. 4 Check the windings for short circuit to the frame. The rotor should spin quietly. Expect to see a very low value of resistance in ohms. overheat the bearings and potentially fail catastrophically. It may move a fair amount. The fan blades are behind metal guard on the back of the motor. consult the wiring diagram of the motor to be sure that the meter is measuring across each winding. See if the switch mechanism can move freely. but a higher number is more desirable. place the motor on a solid surface and place one hand on the top of the motor. Locate a ground screw (often hex head type and green in color) or any metal part of the frame (scrape away paint if needed to contact metal) and press one of the test probes to this spot and the other test probe to each lead. In this case. To perform a cursory check of the bearings. the resistance should start low.000 or so).especially if the history of the motor is unknown. and gradually increase as the small voltage supplied by the meter's battery gradually charges the capacitor. A motor with high resistance will not run . values as low as several hundred thousand ohms (500.
can be used in all of the previously mentioned areas but must not be submerged unless designed specifically for the purpose. Attached to the front center of the motor is the wiring compartment box called a "peckerhead" Click any photo for a larger.3. Open motors are.completely open. The fins on the outside give it away easily. TEFC motors on the other hand. The wiring compartment of this motor is inside the back end of this motor. 7 A rather large TEFC motor. but can go higher. and as such does not have a peckerhead.The fan is behind the thinner metal end cover on the left of the motor. T3 through T9. as the name implies . so long as they are installed in such a way that water (and other liquids) can not enter due to gravity or not subjected to a stream of water (or other liquids) directed at or in it. T2. A small open motor. The winding lead numbers can be seen printed on the insulation. The ventilation slots on the stator or frame make it easy to tell. more detailed view. These motors should not be installed in wet. . Most all 3 phase motor leads are numbered T1. The ends of the motor have rather large openings and the windings in the stator are visible. dirty or dusty areas. Choose the right motor for the conditions it will be run. Drip proof motors can be installed in damp or wet locations.
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