Motors & Energy Saving (5)

7. Diagnostic Tools

• Thermography – An infrared thermometer or camera allows for an accurate, non-contact assessment of temperature. Applications for motors include bearing and electrical contact assessments on motor systems and motor control centers.

• Ultrasonic analyzer – Electric motor systems emit very distinct sound patterns around bearings. In most cases, these sounds are not audible to the unaided ear or are drown-out by other equipment noises. Using an ultrasonic detector, the analyst is able to isolate the frequency of sound being emitted by the bearing. Changes in these ultrasonic wave emissions are indicative of changes in equipment condition-some of these changes can be a precursor to component degradation and failure.
• Vibration analyzer – The rotational motion within electric motors generates distinct patterns and levels of vibration. Using a vibration analyzer and signature analysis software, the analyst can discern the vibration amplitude of the point on the motor being monitored. This amplitude is then compared with trended readings. Changes in these readings are indicative of changes in equipment condition.
• Other motor analysis – Motor faults or conditions including winding short-circuits, open coils, improper torque settings, as well as many mechanical problems can be diagnosed using a variety of motor analysis techniques. These techniques are usually very specialized to specific motor types and expected faults.
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