Skip to Main Content
This paper presents the results of an experimental study of the detection of mechanical faults in an induction motor. As is reasonably well known, by means of analysis of combinations of permeance and magneto-motive force (MMF) harmonics, it is possible to predict the frequency of air gap flux density harmonics which occur as a result of certain irregularities in an induction motor. In turn, analysis of flux density harmonics allows the prediction of induced voltages and currents in the stator windings. Reviewing this theory, equations which may aid in the identification of mechanical faults are presented. These equations include both those which indicate eccentric conditions and those which have been suggested to help identify bearing faults. The development of test facility to create eccentricity faults and bearing fault conditions is described. This test facility allows rapid access to the motor bearings, allowing an investigation into the ability to detect faulted bearing conditions using stator current monitoring. Experimental test results are presented, indicating that it may be possible to detect bearing degradation using relatively simple and inexpensive equipment.