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A new preventive maintenance strategy for the sensorless condition monitoring of inverter dc-link aluminum electrolytic capacitors based on equivalent series resistance (ESR) and capacitance C estimation is proposed. The main concept of the proposed method is to estimate the ESR and C of the capacitor, using the inverter whenever the motor is stopped. The parameters are estimated from the dc-link voltage and stator current measurements available in the inverter with the switched dc-link voltage applied to the motor stator winding. The temperature of the capacitor can also be estimated under thermal equilibrium based on the stator resistance estimate to take the influence of temperature variation into account. An experimental study on a 250-W permanent magnet synchronous motor performed under accelerated capacitor degradation is presented to verify the proposed technique. It is shown that the proposed method provides a reliable and sensitive indication of capacitor aging without additional hardware requirements for reliable, efficient, and safe operation of the inverter and driven process.
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2008