Comparative analysis of electrical and mechanical fault signatures in induction motors



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Texas A&M University


This research deals with the comparison of fault signatures in induction motors. The primary objective is to study and analyze the similarities in the electrical and mechanical fault signatures, and to determine the suitability of the former for effective motor fault detection. Currently, vibration analysis is the dominant means for mechanical fault detection for use in condition-based maintenance. The use of electrical signatures for mechanical fault detection in electric motors is becoming of interest. Due to its cost-effective nature and ease of use, electrical sensors are preinstalled at the motor switchgear by manufacturers. However in order to achieve this for mechanical faults, a systematic comparison between the vibration signatures and electric current signatures must be performed to study the effectiveness of such an approach. The behavior of vibration signatures as measured through tri-ax accelerometers installed at both in-board and out-board sides, and the three phase motor current signatures as compared to their corresponding healthy baselines is analyzed through a sequence of signal processing algorithms. The procedure is carried out for different types of mechanical faults including broken rotor bars, air-gap eccentricity, mechanical imbalance and deteriorating bearings staged on motors of different make and power rating. A comparison is then made between the two fault indicators derived from mechanical and electrical measurements, respectively.