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Power flux test on a stator core

by Kobus Stols, Eskom The purpose of a power flux test is to test the integrity of the insulation between the lamination plates in the core of a stator. The EL-CID (electromagnetic core imperfection detection) is the preferred test, but in some cases there is a need for a power flux test. The resistance between laminations is not always linear under different voltage levels and a power flux test with a higher axial potential difference between laminations may therefore reveal core faults that are not detectable by an EL-CID test. The axial potential differences between adjacent lamination plates are explained with the aid of Figs.1 and 2. The relevant polarity of the voltages that drive the Eddy current is shown in the Fig. 2. Note the opposing polarities on two adjacent sides of the insulation. Flux of between 80% and 105% of rated flux is normally used to perform a power flux test. The percentage flux level refers to the flux in the back of the core and not to the flux per pole. Test equipment setup The ideal setup to perform the test is illustrated in Fig. 4. The following provides the essential calculations for a power flux test Definition of symbols C = Number of conductors in series per phase

Ntp = The number of turns per phase Np = The number of parallel paths per phase = Useful flux per pole p n f = Number of pole pairs = Speed in r.p.s. (revolution per second) = Frequency

Kd = The winding distribution or spread factor Kp = The coil pitch or cording factor Basis formula The following formula forms the basis of theory behind the flux test.

Fig. 1

The following illustrates the derivation of this formula: The amount of magnetic flux that cuts a conductor in 1 revolution: = x (Number of poles) There are 2 poles in 1 pole pair. The formula therefore becomes: =x2xp

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

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The amount of magnetic flux that cuts a conductor in 1 second is therefore: = x 2p x n Therefore the average emf generated per conductor is: Eaverage = 2 x x pn The average emf generated per phase therefore becomes: Eaverage = 2 x x pn x C If a sinusoidal waveform is assumed, the average emf can be converted to an RMS value by multiplication with the following factor: The figure for Kp is 1,0 if the coil is fully pitched (i.e. 180 electrical). When the coil pitch or cording factor is accommodated, the formula changes as follows: Erms = 4,44 x f x Kd x Kp x Ntp x The number of parallel paths per phase (Np) must also be considered. The formula then becomes: Test voltage The ideal is to have a variable supply, but since this is seldom available a fixed voltage is normally used. Any of the readily available supplies can be used for the test. The chosen supply is referred to as the test voltage (VS). The effect of the different voltage sources is to change the number of turns and the current required for the test. The availability of a specific cable for the test normally dictates the voltage source. Number of turns The number of turns for the rated flux test can be calculated as follows:

Flux in the back of the core It is important to know the rated flux in the back of the core before the number of turns for the test can be calculated. The rated flux per pole when the formula of the previous section is manipulated to extract the flux element:

= 0,707/0,635 = 1,11 The RMS voltage generated per phase is therefore: Erms = 1,11 x 2 x x pn x C = 2,22 x C x np x The numbers of conductors in series (C), can be replaced with the number of turns per phase (Ntp) in the formula. Since there are 2 conductors in series per turn, a factor of 2 should be used when using (Ntp) instead of (C). Erms = 2,22 x (C) x np x = 2,22 x (2Ntp) x np x = 2,22 x 2 x Ntp x np x = 4,44 x Ntp x np x Convert the speed and the number of poles to frequency. Note that n is already expressed in revolutions per second, and not per minute: f = np When replacing np with f , the formula changes as follows: Erms = 4,44 x np x Ntp x = 4,44 x f x Ntp x

NT is the number of is turns, VS is the test voltage and VF is the flux voltage. Flux density calculation

The flux from a pole divides into 2 as soon as it enters the stator core. This is illustrated in Fig. 5. The flux in the circumferential direction of the stator core yoke is therefore half of the flux per pole. The flux voltage (VF) required for rated flux in the back of the core is:

The flux is distributed through the crosssectional area as shown by the light red colour in Fig. 6. The slots in the core cause a high reluctance path in the inner path of the core. This high reluctance path is shown in a light yellow colour in Fig. 7. The flux during the test will tend to follow the path with the least reluctance i.e. the path shown in red. The high reluctance path (the yellow area) should therefore be ignored

The figure x in the formula is the percentage flux level chosen for the test. Good results can be obtained when the test is performed at flux levels that vary between 75% and 105% of the rated flux level. The sinusoidal voltage of a given magnitude and frequency dictates the magnitude of the steady state flux regardless of the core dimensions and the property of the core material.

Fig. 6

The winding distribution or spread factor (Kd) has the following ratio:

When the winding distribution is accommodated, the formula changes as follows: Erms = 4,44 x f x Kd x Ntp x The coil pitch or cording factor (Kp) is the following ratio:

Fig. 5

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Fig. 7

when the cross-sectional area is calculated. The length of the core is determined by the lamination thickness, number of laminations, ventilation space distance, number of ventilation spaces and the thickness of interlamination insulation The total core length is not made of magnetic material. The stacking factor is basically used to obtain the effective length of the core from a magnetic material perspective.
Fig. 10

Fig. 11

Take the flux density (B) calculated previously and read the corresponding magnetic field intensity (H) from the B-H curve that is relevant to the specific core material (Fig.10). The magnetic field intensity (H) is expressed in ampere-turns/meter. It is therefore required to calculate the length of the magnetic path before the magneto magnetic force (MMF) can be calculated. The length of the flux path is: Length of ux path = Average back of core diameter x Core evaluation The temperatures in the core depend on the flux density. The temperature in the teeth will therefore be lower than the temperature in the area at the back of the core as can be seen in the infrared picture shown in Fig. 12. The influence of the emissivity of the core material and the reflection of light from external sources should be considered when using an infrared temperature measuring device. A calibrated temperature meter that utilises a different technology can be used to confirm the temperature of a suspected hotspot. It is important to compare areas with similar flux density levels when evaluating the core. A difference in hot spot versus average core temperature of less than 10C is normally acceptable when the test is performed at flux levels between 85% and 100% of the rated level. Disclaimer It should be noted that a power flux test has the potential to destroy a stator core if not performed correctly or if any test values are incorrectly calculated. The author of this article therefore does not take any responsibility if the information provided in the article is used, perused, disseminated, copied or stored as a reference by anybody. References
[1] ISBN 0-471-61447-5, Operation and Maintenance of Large Turbo-Generators (by Geoff Klempner & Isidor Kerszenbaum) ISBN 0-582-41144-0, Electrical Technology (by Edward Hughes)
Fig. 12

The area mentioned in Fig. 6 is calculated as follows: Area = Core length x Back of Core depth x Stacking factor The flux density (B) in Tesla at the back of the core is given by:

Test current calculation The magnetising current depends on the size of the core and the type of material used. It is important to know how many amperes will be drawn by the winding in order to size the cable correctly.

Back of core diameter = Outside diameter {Inside diameter + (2 x slot depth)} The total ampere-turns (MMF) required to induce the required flux density (B) in the back of the core area is: MMF = H x length of uxpath The steady state supply current in ampere during the test is:

The test current will decrease with an increase in the number of turns as can be seen in the example shown in Fig. 11. The initial current, immediately after the supply is switched on, will be higher than the steady state current (IS) due to the transient inrush currents. The level of the inrush current is not predictable in practical terms. The reason for this is that the cores remnant flux and its polarity are not known and the point of the sine wave, where the supply voltage will be switched on, is not predictable. In the worst condition, the newly applied voltage may attempt to set up a flux in the same direction of the remnant flux, thereby driving the core into saturation with a significant increase in magnetising current being a result. Test duration The duration of the test depends on the size of the core and whether the stator bars are still fitted, but usually varies between 30 and 70 minutes. energize - August 2006 - Page 48

Fig. 8


Fig. 9