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Sensors 2009, 9(12), 9559-9571; doi:10.3390/s91209559

A Capacitive Displacement Sensing Technique for Early Detection of Unbalanced Loads in a Washing Machine

1
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Broughton Hall 1217, Box 7910, NCSU Campus, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Box 7910, NCSU Campus, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2009 / Revised: 19 November 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 30 November 2009
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract

Horizontal axis washing machines are water and energy efficient and becoming popular in the USA. Unlike a vertical axis washer, these do not have an agitator and depend solely on tumbling for the agitation of laundry during the wash cycle. However, due to the constant shifting of laundry during washing, the load distribution is often unbalanced during the high speed spin cycle. We present a displacement-based sensing method to detect unbalance early while the spin rate (rpm) is well below the resonance frequency so that corrective actions may be taken prior to the high speed spin cycle. Experimental and analytical characterizations of the sensor configuration are presented. Results show that the displacement sensor is more appropriate than an accelerometer for this application and offer the potential for a simple, reliable, low cost detection of unbalance. View Full-Text
Keywords: capacitive-displacement-sensor; horizontal-axis-washing-machine; vibrationdetection capacitive-displacement-sensor; horizontal-axis-washing-machine; vibrationdetection
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ramasubramanian, M.K.; Tiruthani, K. A Capacitive Displacement Sensing Technique for Early Detection of Unbalanced Loads in a Washing Machine. Sensors 2009, 9, 9559-9571.

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