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Variable-reluctance (VR) and switch-reluctance (SR) motors have been proposed for use in applications requiring a degree of fault tolerance. A range of topologies, of brushless SR and VR permanent-magnet (PM) motors are not susceptible to some types of faults, such as phase-to-phase shorts, and can often continue to function in the presence of other faults. In particular, coil-winding faults in a single stator coil may have relatively little effect on motor performance but may affect overall motor reliability, availability, and longevity. It is important to distinguish between and characterize various winding faults for maintenance and diagnostic purposes. These fault characterization and analysis results are a necessary first step in the process of motor fault detection and diagnosis for this motor topology. This paper examines rotor velocity damping due to stator winding turn-to-turn short faults in a fault-tolerant axial flux VR PM motor. In this type of motor, turn-to-turn shorts, due to insulation failures, have similar I-V characteristics as coil faults resulting from other problems, such as faulty maintenance or damage due to impact. In order to investigate the effects of these coil faults, a prototype axial flux VR PM motor was constructed. The motor was equipped with experimental fault simulation stator windings capable of simulating these and other types of stator winding faults. This paper focuses on two common types of winding faults and their effects on rotor velocity in this type of motor.
Date of Publication: Sep 2002