Study of thermal stresses developed during a fatigue test on an electrical motor rotor cage
© 2018 Structural defects in the rotor cage of large electrical machines significantly impact their expected operational lifetime. This work presents the results of simulating the thermal stresses developed in a rotor cage during a fatigue test in which a bar breakage was achieved. A combined model featuring electrical, thermal and mechanical stages as well as three different meshes reflecting a progressing narrowing of one of the bars in its junction to the end ring are used for this purpose. The experimentally implemented startup and plug stopping transients are reproduced as well as, for comparison, the stall operation. The resulting stress levels are in agreement with the progression of the damage and concur with the stator measurements. Based on the analysis of the simulated rotor magnitudes, a strategy to diminish the thermal stresses in a damaged cage is proposed.