Induction motors (IMs) are essential components in industrial applications. These motors have to perform numerous tasks under a wide variety of conditions, which affects performance and reliability and gradually brings faults and efficiency losses over time. Nowadays, the industrial sector demands the necessary integration of smart-sensors to effectively diagnose faults in these kinds of motors before faults can occur. One of the most frequent causes of failure in IMs is the degradation of turn insulation in windings. If this anomaly is present, an electric motor can keep working with apparent normality, but factors such as the efficiency of energy consumption and mechanical reliability may be reduced considerably. Furthermore, if not detected at an early stage, this degradation could lead to the breakdown of the insulation system, which could in turn cause catastrophic and irreversible failure to the electrical machine. This paper proposes a novel methodology and its application in a smart-sensor to detect and estimate the healthiness of the winding insulation in IMs. This methodology relies on the analysis of the external magnetic field captured by a coil sensor by applying suitable time-frequency decomposition (TFD) tools. The discrete wavelet transform (DWT) is used to decompose the signal into different approximation and detail coefficients as a pre-processing stage to isolate the studied fault. Then, due to the importance of diagnosing stator winding insulation faults during motor operation at an early stage, this proposal introduces an indicator based on wavelet entropy (WE), a single parameter capable of performing an efficient diagnosis. A smart-sensor is able to estimate winding insulation degradation in IMs using two inexpensive, reliable, and noninvasive primary sensors: a coil sensor and an E-type thermocouple sensor. The utility of these sensors is demonstrated through the results obtained from analyzing six similar IMs with differently induced severity faults.
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