Reducing unbalanced magnetic pull in induction machines
Chuan, Haw Wooi
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Induction machines are the most widely used type of electrical machines because of their robustness, simplicity, and relatively low cost. However, the small airgap in the induction machine makes them more susceptible to Unbalanced Magnetic Pull (UMP). This is because the magnitude of the UMP is a function of the degree of eccentricity, which is the ratio between the length of misalignment and the mean airgap length. The bearing-related failure accounts for approximately 41% of the total failures of induction machines; the percentages of bearing-related failure would be higher for applications in a harsher environment. In this thesis, the UMP caused by rotor eccentricity is investigated, because a small degree of rotor eccentricity is unavoidable due to the manufacturing tolerance and 80% of the mechanical faults could cause rotor eccentricity in electrical machines. When the rotor is not at the centre of the stator, the eccentric rotor causes an uneven airgap around the rotor, in which the magnetic permeance with the higher harmonics content will be created. The magnetomotive force (MMF) produces additional pole-pair ±1 magnetic flux around the airgap. The interaction between each magnetic flux with its pole pair ±1 magnetic flux produces UMP. As only the magnetic flux that crosses the airgap causes UMP, the magnetic flux is categorised into magnetising flux and airgap leakage flux, because both types of flux possess different characteristics at a different rotor slip. As the airgap leakage flux is difficult to calculate analytically, an empirical method is proposed to estimate the UMP caused by the airgap leakage flux. Then, the UMP caused by the magnetising flux can also be estimated by using the empirical method. The parameters for the empirical method can be found by using either the FEA or the experimental results. The damping effect of the magnetising flux in a parallel connected rotor bar is discussed and a damping coefficient is introduced to explain this scenario. The damping coefficient can also be used to calculate the UMP in a steady state analysis. UMP comparisons between the cage rotor and wound rotor induction machines are made. The wound rotor has a much higher UMP because the pole-specific wound rotor could not damp the additional pole pair ±1 magnetic flux. Therefore, a damper winding at the stator slot is also proposed in order to damp the UMP by producing a counteracting flux. In addition, analytical equations have also been derived for different scenarios, such as static eccentricity, dynamic eccentricity, axial-varying eccentricity, and skew rotor bars. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and experimental work are used to demonstrate the derived analytical equation. Furthermore, the power losses caused by the rotor eccentricity are investigated. Iron losses, copper losses, and frictional loss are discussed and compared with both the analytical equation and the FEA results. In order to reduce the UMP in the induction machines, the two proposed methods are the slip control method and damper windings topology. The slip control method utilises the non-linearity characteristic of the UMP at different rotor slip. To find the optimum operating slip with the lowest UMP, the UMP/Torque ratio is introduced. The characteristics of the UMP/Torque ratio varies with the type and design of the induction machines. However, this method is only applicable when the machine is lightly loaded, because the magnetising flux is limited by the capped terminal voltage and the core saturation of the machine. For the damper winding topology, a circulating current flowing in the damper winding could produce a counteracting flux to damp the UMP. The proposed damper windings configuration is only suitable for the induction machine with an even pole pair number. Finally, comparisons between both UMP reduction methods are made.