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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 5 (1999), Issue 1, Pages 41-52

Detection of Mechanical Abnormalities in Induction Motors by Electric Measurements

Electrical Engineering Department/260, University of Nevada, Reno 89557-0153, NV, USA

Received 23 April 1998; Revised 10 May 1998

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper gives an overview of the issues and means of detection of mechanical abnormalities in induction motors by electric measurements. If undetected and untreated, the worn or damaged bearings, rotor imbalance and eccentricity, broken bars of the rotor cage, and torsional and lateral vibration lead to roughly a half of all failures of induction motor drives. The detection of abnormalities is based on the fact that they cause periodic disturbance of motor variables, such as the speed, torque, current, and magnetic flux. Thus, spectral analysis of those or related quantities may yield a warning about an incipient failure of the drive system. Although the traditional non-invasive diagnostics has mostly been based on the signature analysis of the stator current, other media can also be employed. In particular, the partial instantaneous input power is shown, theoretically and experimentally, to offer distinct advantages under noisy operating conditions. Use of torque and flux estimates is also discussed.