Airgap search coil-based detection of damper bar failures in salient pole synchronous motors

Jangho Yun, Sang Wook Park, Chanseung Yang, Sang Bin Lee, Jose A. Antonino-Daviu, Mladen Sasic, Greg C. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Damper bars are often used in high output salient pole synchronous motor (SM) rotors for motor starting and stabilization of performance. Several cases of broken damper bars in the rotor of SMs that lead to motor starting failure and/or forced outage have recently been reported. However, detection of damper bar failures is difficult, since the damper bars are active only under the starting or load transients. Damper bar testing in the field currently relies on off-line visual inspection, and there is no means available for detecting failures on line. In this paper, a new method for detecting damper bar failures based on the analysis of airgap search coil measurements under the starting transient is proposed. Since airgap search coils are being increasingly installed in large SMs for detecting field winding short circuits, the proposed method can be implemented without additional hardware. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified with two-dimensional finite element analysis and experimental testing on a custom-built 30 kW salient pole SM under controlled fault conditions. It is shown that the proposed method can provide reliable and sensitive detection of broken damper bars whenever the motor is started at low additional cost. The off-line single phase rotation test is also shown to provide reliable monitoring of damper bar condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8693849
Pages (from-to)3640-3648
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1


  • Airgap flux
  • condition monitoring
  • fault diagnostics
  • salient pole synchronous motor (SM)
  • search coil
  • spectral analysis
  • starting transient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Airgap search coil-based detection of damper bar failures in salient pole synchronous motors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this