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Study of Double Cage Induction Motors with

Different Rotor Bar Materials


K. N. Gyftakis, D. Athanasopoulos, J. Kappatou

Abstract -- This paper consists a study of the influence of


specific design parameters on the double-cage induction motor
behavior. The study is carried out using FEM analysis. Three
double rotor bar induction motors have been simulated and
their electromagnetic characteristics are compared to each
other. The differences in the three motors' design are: the first
one has a single rotor cage and the other two have double
rotor cage with different materials for the upper and inner
rotor bars. The simulations performed, offer an insight and
comparison between the three motors electromagnetic
variables and behavior under the same speed operation, as
well as under the same applied mechanical load.
Index Terms--Bar material, Design, Double-cage, FEM
analysis, Induction motors.

I.

INTRODUCTION

he induction motors in which each rotor slot has two


conducting bars are characterized by higher starting
torque, lower starting current and normal efficiency at
nominal speed, compared to the standard NEMA's class A
induction motors [1]. The upper rotor bar contributes during
the starting of the motor because the magnetic flux does not
penetrate deep into the rotor core, due to increased leakage
flux, and also because of the skin effect. Upper and inner
rotor bars contribute at nominal speed both, because of the
low slip frequency and also because of the strongly
magnetized rotor body. Due to the above characteristics,
common double cage induction motors applications are:
conveyors, crushers, stirrers, compressors, loaded pumps,
etc [2], [3]. Despite their higher manufacturing cost, these
motors give solution in applications, where the motor needs
to start loaded and continue to carry the load at nominal
speed. This is an advantage compared to the standard
NEMA class A induction motor, which is characterized by
difficult starting due to the increased starting stator current
[2].
Double bar induction motors can be divided into two
large categories, depending on the construction of the rotor
cage. If both, the upper and the deep bar, are from the same
material, they are short-circuited to the same end-ring and
the rotor has one cage, similar to the standard class A
induction motor. On the other hand, if the two bars are from
different materials, then the upper bars are short-circuited
independently from the deep bars and the rotor is
manufactured with two cages. Usually, when two different
conducting materials are implemented into the rotor, the
material of the greatest resistivity, forms the outer cage, in
order to improve the motor's starting behavior. The middle
area of the rotor slot between the upper and the deep rotor
bars can be of iron or dielectric material and it is a subject
of interest and research [4].

This work was supported by the research program: "K. Karatheodoris


2010", of the Research Committee of the University of Patras, Greece.

978-1-4673-0142-8/12/$26.00 2012 IEEE

Several works have been published in the literature


concerning double cage induction motors. In [5] the authors
have presented a numerical method for the estimation of
double cage induction motor parameters from standard
manufacturer data. In the same work, it is also indicated
that the leakage flux of the inner cage is always greater than
the one of the upper cage. Furthermore, through the
appropriate design of the rotor slots, the skin effect can be
used to benefit for high starting torque or high breakdown
torque in double cage induction motors [6]. On the other
hand, it has been shown in previous publications that the
outer cage of double cage induction motors is vulnerable to
failure due to its structure and applications [3], [7], [8].
Also, because the manufacturing cost is increased with the
double cage structure [1], special care should be given
through the design process of these motors concerning not
only their electromagnetic characteristics but also their
general behavior (thermal, vibrations, etc) and reliability.
This can be achieved, as mentioned in [9], with oversized
rotor bars and good quality magnetic plates.
In this paper, the dependence of the electromagnetic
characteristics of double cage inductions motors, on the
specific manufacturer design options is studied. For this
purpose, three different induction motor models have been
created and studied with FEM analysis. The stator of the
three models has been kept intact, as well as the number
and shape of rotors bars. In the first model, both the upper
and inner rotor bars are from aluminum, whereas in the
other two the upper bar is from aluminum and the inner bar
from copper. Moreover, what differs in the last two models
is the middle slot area, between aluminum and cooper,
which is considered as iron for the first and dielectric for
the second. In sections III-V, the three models will be
examined under FEM AC time-harmonic analysis, whereas
in section VI they will be examined under FEM transient
analysis which takes the rotor movement into account, in
order to extract both their spatial and time-dependent
electromagnetic characteristics. In all simulations, FEM
analysis will take into account the non-linear magnetic B-H
characteristic of the rotor and stator iron core, which was
extracted from the manufacturers data.
II.

THE MODELS' DESIGN

In Fig. 1, the three models are presented. One may


observe in Fig. 1-a that the rotor bar is consisted by a single
material, which is in this case aluminum. In Fig. 1-b and
Fig. 1-c the other two models are presented. In these
models the upper and inner rotor bars are independent and
from different materials. The upper bar is from aluminum
whereas the inner from copper. Moreover, the middle bar
area between upper and inner bars is considered to be air
for the case presented in Fig. 1-b model and iron for the
case of Fig. 1-c model. The number of rotor slots for all
models is 28 and the rotors are considered un-skewed.

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Furthermore, the stator is designed accoording to a real 4pole single-cage induction motor and has
h been kept the
same for all models with 36 stator slots. The stator circuits
form a delta wound and the phase resistaance was measured
in the laboratory through DC current injeection. The models
are fed by symmetrical sinusoidal 3-phasse 380V and 50Hz
system.

along the depth of the rotor baars is presented for the three
models. The skin effect is preesent in all cases, provoking
significant current displacemeent inside the bars towards
their surface. At the same tim
me, there is not any current
flowing through the middle bar area, which does not
contribute to the torque producction in the models B and C,
since it is not made from conduucting material.

a)
a
a)

b)

b
b)

c)
Fig. 1. The three simulated motors. a) Single aluuminum rotor bars. b)
Upper bar from aluminum, inner bar from copper annd air between them. c)
Upper bar from aluminum, inner bar from copper annd iron between them.

The three models, for simplicity reasonns, will be referred


to as: model A, B and C from now, where model A
corresponds to Fig. 1-a, model B to Figg. 1-b and finally
model C to Fig. 1-c.

c
c)
Fig. 2. The magnetic flux distribution at starting for a) model A, b) model
B and c) model C.

III. THE MOTORS STARTING BEEHAVIOR


In Fig. 2, the magnetic flux distribuution for the three
models at starting, is presented. It is obvious that the
p
less into
magnetic flux lines in models B and C penetrate
the rotor core, compared to model A.
d
amplitude
Furthermore, in Fig. 3 the current density

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IV. TORQUE AND CUR


RRENT VERSUS SPEED
CHARACTE
ERISTICS

The electromagnetic torque and stator current amplitude


versus speed for the three motoors are presented respectively
in Fig. 4-a and Fig. 4-b. Moddel A is characterized by the
greatest starting and pull-out toorque as well as the greatest
stability area. On the other hand,
h
for speed greater than
1350rpm, one may observe that the model A presents
significantly lower electromaggnetic torque than the other
two models, as well as lower sttator current.
The starting behavior of models B and C, has no
significant difference than thee model A and at the same
time, for the same speed valuues they are characterized by
importantly greater output pow
wer. The present remark is of
great value if one considers thaat for applications such as the
pumps, the motors are comppared under specific speed
values (eg. 1450rpm and 2950rrpm).
Furthermore, in Fig.4-c,d,e,f, the motors' power factor,
efficiency, input and outpput power are presented
respectively. Model A is characterized by greater power
factor and greater efficiency foor every speed. Also, its input
power is greater than the others
o
for speed less than
1200rpm and the same stands for
f its output power for speed
less than 1300rpm. Models B and
a C, compared to model A,
have both greater input pow
wer for speed greater than
1200rpm and greater output power
p
for speed greater than
1300rpm.

a)

b)

c)
Fig. 3. The current density amplitude along the deppth of the rotor bars at
starting for: a) model A, b) model B and c) model C.

In TABLE I, one can see the values off torque and stator
current amplitude for the three simulated models at starting.
The stator current is practically the saame for the three
models. Also, the electromagnetic torquee has been slightly
reduced in models B and C. The modell B has 5.3% less
starting torque than the model A, whereaas model C 3.2%.
Models B and C present lower total baar resistance, than
model A. As, a consequence their electrom
magnetic torque at
starting was expected to be significantly less than model's
A. This does not happen and the differrence between the
starting torque of the three models is small. This small
difference presented in the motors startinng behavior occurs
from the fact that, although in models B and
a C the total bars
resistance is lower due to the copper, thhe leakage flux is
greater compared to model A as seen befoore in Fig. 2.
TABLE I
TORQUE AND STATOR CURRENT AMPLITUDE FO
OR THE 3 MODELS

Model
A
B
C

Torque (Nm)
79.26
75.05
76.69

a)

b)

Staator current (A)


56.1
56.3
55.6

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V.

c)

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHARACTERISTICS AT 1470RPM

In the following TABLE II, the analysis results of the


three models at the same speed 1470rpm, are presented.
The electromagnetic torque as well as the mechanical
output power of model B is 40% greater than the model A,
whereas for the model C it is 35.7%. At the same time,
model B draws 21.4% more stator current and model C,
20% respectively than the model A. The power factor has
increased for both models B and C, but on the other hand
their efficiency has decreased, compared to the model A.
The results indicate that for fixed speed, double-cage
induction motors present much greater output power than
double bar single cage motors, at the cost of lower
efficiency and increased stator current. In order to be more
precise and accurate in order to compare the three models,
it is important to make one more step and examine the
motors behavior under the same load operation.
TABLE II
ANALYSIS RESULTS FOR THE 3 MODELS AT 1470RPM

models
Speed (rpm)
Torque (Nm)
Stator Current (A)
Output Power (W)
Cos
Efficiency

d)

e)

A
1470
27.38
8.84
4213
0.63
0.94

B
1470
38.36
10.73
5902
0.74
0.92

C
1470
37.15
10.61
5717
0.72
0.92

In Fig. 5, the spatial harmonic content of the radial


component of the magnetic flux density, in the middle of
the air-gap and for speed 1470rpm, is presented for the
three simulated models. The relative position of the rotor
and stator are the same and as a consequence the even rank
harmonics do not present any difference between the three
models. The even rank harmonics are indicative of the airgap asymmetry in space, for a specific relative position
between rotor and stator. Furthermore, harmonic rank
numbers indicative of the saturation, such as 3 and 9, have
slightly increased in models B and C compared to model A,
but this is easily explained if one thinks that the stator
current is increased in models B and C (Table II).
Moreover, the stator MMF harmonics such as 5, 7 etc as
well as the rotor MMF harmonics such as 13, 15 etc have
increased about 4dB in the models B and C compared to
model A. In order to compare the spatial harmonic index of
the three models, their THD has been calculated as an
amplitude ratio. The model A presents THD equal to
44.1%, whereas for model B it is 48.7% and for model C it
is 48.3%.

f)
Fig. 4. Characteristics versus speed: a) Electromagnetic torque, b) Stator
current amplitude, c) Power factor, d) Efficiency, e) Input power and f)
Output power for the three motors.

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applied mechanical load has been chosen to be: firstly


30Nm and secondly 60Nm. The presented results have been
extracted after the models reachhed steady-state.
In Fig. 6, the electromagnnetic torque versus time is
presented for all models forr applied load 30Nm. The
electromagnetic torque oscillattions are similar for the three
models because the load torquee is low.

a)

a)

b))

b)
c)
Fig. 6. The electromagnetic torque foor a) model A, b) model B and c)
model C, for applied mechanical load 30Nm.
3

magnetic torque versus time is


Also, in Fig. 7, the electrom
presented for all models for appplied load 60Nm. Model A
and B present similar torque oscillation while Model C
presents about 6% greater electtromagnetic torque pulsation.

c)
Fig. 5. The spatial harmonic index of the radial com
mponent of the magnetic
flux density for the: a) Model A, b) Model B and c) Model C.

a)

VI. SIMULATION UNDER THE SAM


ME LOAD
In this paragraph, the three models willl be simulated and
compared while operating under thhe same applied
mechanical load. The analysis, also for these cases, takes
into account the non-linear B-H magnetiic characteristic of
the stator and rotor iron core. Two cases are
a examined. The
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b))

previous case (30Nm), the staator current of the models B


and C is greater than the moddel A. The model C presents
26% greater stator current thann the model A. Furthermore,
the model A is characterized by the greater power factor,
which is 15% greater than the model
m
C.
TABLE
E III
ANALYSIS RESULTS FOR APPLIED MEECHANICAL LOAD 30NM FOR THE 3
MODE
ELS

c)

models
Speed (rpm)
Torque (Nm)
Stator Current (A)
Output Power (W)
Cos
Efficiency (%)

A b) model B and c)
Fig. 7. The electromagnetic torque for a) model A,
model C, for applied mechanical load 60Nm.

Moreover, in Fig. 8 the speed versus time is presented


for the two cases examined. In Fig. 8-aa, the applied load
torque is 30Nm, whereas in Fig. 8-b, it is 60 Nm.

A
1470.44
30
5.66
4617
0.8366
85.6

B
1480
30
5.76
4646
0.87
81.3

C
1478
30
6
4641
0.74
91.7

TABLE
E IV
ANALYSIS RESULTS FOR APPLIED MEECHANICAL LOAD 60NM FOR THE 3
MODE
ELS

models
Speed (rpm)
Torque (Nm)
Stator Current (A)
Output Power (W)
Cos
Efficiency (%)

a)

b)
Fig. 8. The speed versus time for the three models for the case of: a) load
torque equal to 30Nm and b) load torque equal to 600Nm.

A
1423.66
60
11.5
8940
0.9
75.6

B
1446.5
60
11.6
9084
0.89
77.5

C
1428.3
60
14.5
8970
0.75
72.3

Finally, in Fig. 9, the spattial harmonic content of the


radial component of the air-ggap magnetic flux density is
presented for the three modeels, when the applied load
torque is 30Nm. The 3rd harrmonic, which indicates the
saturation, has the greatest valuue in model A. The model A
presents THD equal to 43% whhereas for model B it proved
to be 49.1% and for model C it is 43.3%.

It is clear that the model B operates att greater speed for


the same applied mechanical load comppared to the other
two models. Furthermore, one may obserrve in Fig.8-b, that
the model C operates at a middle speed value between the
other two models. But, as the mechaniccal load decreases,
the model C tends to operate at speed sim
milar to the model
B (Fig. 8-a).
In Table III and IV, the analysis resuults for the case of
applied load torque 30Nm and 60N
Nm are presented
respectively.
In Table III, for applied load equal too 30Nm, both the
models B and C operate at greater speedd and draw greater
stator current than the model A. Moreoverr, the efficiency of
model C is much greater than the model A (about 6.1%).
On the other hand, model's B power factor is greater than
b
the power
the model A about 3.4%. The difference between
factor and the efficiency of models B and C can be
explained. Model C is characterized byy greater leakage
rotor flux because of the iron area betweeen the upper and
inner rotor bars. As a consequence, its poower factor will be
less than model B, which leads to improveed efficiency.
In Table IV, it is obvious that the efficiiency of the model
B is greater than the other two modeels. Same as the
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a)

VIII.
[1]

[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]

b)

[7]
[8]
[9]

REFERENCES

J. Park, B. Kim, J. Yang, S.B. Lee, E.J. Wiedenbrug, M. Teska and


S. Han, Evaluation of the Detectability of Broken Rotor Bars for
Double Squirrel Cage Rotor Induction Motors, 2010 IEEE Energy
Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2010 - Proceedings ,
art. no. 5617950, pp. 2493-2500, 2010.
Motors and generators, NEMA standards pub. MG 1-2006, 2006.
H.A. Toliyat, G.B. Kliman, Handbook of electric motors, 2nd
edition, Marcel Dekker, 2004.
I. Boldea and S.A. Nasar, "The Induction Machines design
handbook", 2nd Edition 2010 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC, pp.
23-24.
J. Pedra and F. Corcoles, Estimation of Induction Motor DoubleCage Model Parameters From Manufacturer Data, IEEE Trans. on
Energy Conversion, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp 310-317, June 2004.
S. Williamson and C.I. McClay, Optimization of the Geometry of
Closed Rotor Slots for Cage Induction Motors, IEEE Trans. on
Industry Applications, Vol. 32, No. 3, May/June 1996
T.A. Lipo, "Introduction to AC machine design", Wisconsin
Power Electronics Research Center, University of Wisconsin, 2004.
] M.G. Say, "The performance and design of alternating
current machines", Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons LTD., London, 1955.
M.A. Saidel, M.C.E.S. Ramos and S.S. Alves, Assessment and
Optimization of Induction Electric Motors Aiming Energy Efficiency
in Industrial Applications, 19th International Conference on
Electrical Machines, ICEM 2010, Rome, Italy, 6-8 Sep. 2010.

IX. BIOGRAPHIES
Konstantinos N. Gyftakis was born in Patras, Greece, in May 1984. He
received the diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the
University of Patras, Patras, Greece in 2010. He is a PhD candidate in the
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Patras.
His research activities are in FEM design, fault diagnosis and optimization
of electrical machines. He is an IEEE member, member of IEEE PES and
Magnetics Society, member of the HELIEV (Hellenic Institute of Electric
Vehicles) and finally member of the Technical Chamber of Greece. (Email: kosgyftak@upatras.gr)

c)
Fig. 9. The spatial harmonic index of the radial component of the magnetic
flux density for the: a) Model A, b) Model B and c) Model C, when 30Nm
mechanical load is applied.

VII.

Dimitrios Athanasopoulos was born in Patras, Greece in November 1989.


He is a senior undergraduate student at the Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering, University of Patras, Greece. Currently, he pursues
his diploma thesis focusing on FEM design and electromagnetic analysis
of double-cage induction motors. (E-mail: athanas_3@yahoo.gr)

CONCLUSION

In this paper, 3 different models of double cage


induction motors have been studied using FEM analysis.
Since the models B and C have two different rotor cages,
their manufacturing cost will be greater than model A. On
the other hand, the comparison between their characteristics
reveals that the use of different materials for the upper and
inner rotor bars presents several advantages compared to a
single aluminum double bar induction motor. The
comparison of the 3 motors for the same speed operation
showed that: the models B and C present much greater
output power as well as greater power factor and almost the
same efficiency, than the model A. The simulation results
under the same mechanical load for the three motors
indicated that: for high load operation model B presented
2% greater efficiency than the model A, while for low load
operation the model C was characterized by 6.1% greater
efficiency than the model A. For both models B and C, the
advantage of greater efficiency came at the cost of lower
power factor and slightly greater stator current. Finally,
depending on the specific application criteria, the
optimization of the design of models B and C could lead to
even better characteristics, and this is considered as
promising future work.

Joya C. Kappatou was born in Argostoli, Greece. She received the


diploma in Electrical Engineering from the University of Patras, Patras,
Greece and the PhD from the same University in 1991 in the field of
Electrical machines and Power Electronics. She is Assistant Professor in
the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the
University of Patras. Her teaching and research activities are in
electrical machines, power electronics, modeling and design using FEM,
faults diagnosis in electrical machines. (University of Patras,
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, 26500 RionPatras, Greece, Tel: +30 2610/996413, Fax: +30 2610/997362, E-mail:
joya@ece.upatras.gr)

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