Condition Monitoring for Motor and Generators
Condition monitoring is one of the most effective and advanced methods of preventing unplanned downtimes in factories. The generator makes it possible to fulfill the power requirements in the modern era, and generator types and ratings vary concerning its use, location, and economics. Besides, the motor role is inevitable in the feasible operations of any industry. On top of that, it is an integral part of the processes such as power generation, oil & gas, cement, food processing, and fertilizer sector. Its use varies across the industry, and motor ratings start from a few watts to megawatts depending upon the nature of work. In mega industries, generators and heavy-duty motors must work under high loads and operates non-stop 24/7. Therefore, To manage the non-stop operation of motors and generators, we need to have reliable monitoring systems. In this article, we examine in detail what condition monitoring is, why it is important, and which methods are preferred in condition monitoring.
Due to non-stop usage of the motors and generators, wear and tear in parts are common abnormalities that need to be addressed. To predict and prevent massive failure of equipment is a vital need for today’s industry. Now, the question arises that how we can monitor or foresee faults? The first basic rule is to apply the pro-active approach to maintenance. The pro-active maintenance applies with physical inspection and with the help of performing periodic maintenance to determine any damaged or defective parts. Accordingly, the inadequate parts will be replaced before a major breakdown happens. It’s a little risky because periodic maintenance is planned as per the time specified but over time, the generator and motor’s part’s condition remain deteriorated. So, what’s the solution? The absolute solution comes up with comprehensive condition monitoring.
Why Condition Monitoring for Motor and Generators?
Condition monitoring is an advancement to know the health, safety, and performance of generators and motors where reliable, continuous, and efficient operations are required. There are two types of monitoring systems, the first one is offline monitoring and the second one is an online monitoring system. In this monitoring technique, different parameters are measured, transmitted, and monitored in the control station where the operator is aware of the working conditions of the generator and motor.
The condition monitoring system is more important for high rating generators which are connected to the national grid where continuous operation is required. Because any voltage or frequency fluctuation can cause a total blackout in the whole country in the worst scenario. For this reason generator frequency, current, voltage, MVAR, winding temperature, bearing temperature, bearing vibration, lube oil levels, lube oil pressure, etc. needs to be measured, watched, and monitored continuously. Similarly for heavy-duty motors, bearing temperature, vibration, and cooling oil /or mechanism; needs to be monitored continuously. Online condition monitoring system is used where sensors measure the desired readings, convert those reading into signals which are transmitted to dedicated software which displays the values in the graph, numeric and in the bar as per requirements.
Data storage is a major positive point of this system. For example, if the previous data shows that the generator or motor bearing temperature is high relative to its normal temperature, it shows there is something abnormal that needs to be addressed. Now the maintenance engineers are in a position to look in other parameters as well and will work on root cause analysis technique to find the exact cause of overheating. It may be low lube oil level or pressure or the cooling water or lube oil is flowing properly.
Importance of Motor Condition Monitoring
Such fault conditions are actually cascading effects of even a single abnormal condition. Presently, the reading data history will devise the mechanism when, how, and which parts need to be repaired or replaced. Just imagine, in case there is no condition monitoring system is there then the maintenance staff will come to know after generator or motor is partially completely damaged. It not only cost the price of equipment but also the major loss is the tripping of plant, in result no power electricity generation in case of the generator and for motor case, stoppage of production in process, cement, fertilizer industry.
Therefore; the condition monitoring system is the backbone of the safe operation of the generator & motor, to save the process cost in terms of efficiency, planning maintenance schedules, increase equipment life, and save huge amounts in terms of tripping stoppage of process.
Why Artesis e-PCM?
The Artesis e-PCM is an AI-based online condition monitoring system for wind turbines and generators. e-PCM uses patented technology to offer a unique solution that safeguards generators from electrical and mechanical faults. e-PCM continuously identifies existing and developing faults on generators and their prime movers, effectively using the generator itself as a sophisticated transducer.
e-PCM utilizes an intelligent, model-based approach to provide anomaly detection by measuring the current and voltage signals from the electrical supply from the generator. It is permanently mounted, generally in the generator control center, and is applicable to 3- phase AC generators. Accompanying Artesis Enterprise Server Software and IoT Portal are used to view the data.
Frequently Asked Questions for Motor Condition Monitoring
What is motor condition monitoring?
Motor condition monitoring is a technology that aims to find faults at the beginning of the fault, thanks to the data they collect by monitoring electric motors and rotating equipment.
What are condition monitoring techniques?
Motor current analysis, vibration analysis, infrared thermography, acoustic analysis are some common condition monitoring techniques.
What is the purpose of motor condition monitoring?
Rotating equipment and electric motors are devices with the highest electricity consumption. Thanks to the condition monitoring, the failures that may occur in the motors are predicted in advance and the failure is intervened months in advance. Condition monitoring both prevents unplanned downtime and highly provides energy efficiency. Moreover, unnecessary maintenance is prevented by motor condition monitoring.
What are the key benefits of motor condition monitoring?
The key benefits of motor condition motor monitoring is improved reliability, decreased replacement costs, reduced system downtime, improved spares management, increased maintainability.