Detection of Rotor and Load Faults in BLDC Motors Operating Under Stationary and Non-Stationary Conditions

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Rajagopalan, Satish
Habetler, Thomas G.
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Brushless Direct Current (BLDC) motors are one of the motor types rapidly gaining popularity. BLDC motors are being increasingly used in critical high performance industries such as appliances, automotive, aerospace, consumer, medical, industrial automation equipment and instrumentation. Fault detection and condition monitoring of BLDC machines is therefore assuming a new importance. The objective of this research is to advance the field of rotor and load fault diagnosis in BLDC machines operating in a variety of operating conditions ranging from constant speed to continuous transient operation. This objective is addressed as three parts in this research. The first part experimentally characterizes the effects of rotor faults in the stator current and voltage of the BLDC motor. This helps in better understanding the behavior of rotor defects in BLDC motors. The second part develops methods to detect faults in loads coupled to BLDC motors by monitoring the stator current. As most BLDC applications involve non-stationary operating conditions, the diagnosis of rotor faults in non-stationary conditions forms the third and most important part of this research. Several signal processing techniques are reviewed to analyze non-stationary signals. Three new algorithms are proposed that can track and detect rotor faults in non-stationary or transient current signals.
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