# Solving VFD-sourced Bearing Current Problems in AC Motors.

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1 Solving VFD-sourced Bearing Current Problems in AC Motors.

2 The 2 main sources of motor shaft voltage are: 1. Asymmetric Motor construction The stator and rotor magnetic circuits within the motor itself are unbalanced (current path stays within the motor) 2. Unbalanced supply voltage (current path is between the motor and VFD) Unbalance is between the motor and power source Operation from a VFD creates an unbalanced supply condition. The 3 phase output waveform is produced by switching DC voltage On & OFF Common Mode Voltage (CMV) results from the voltage wave forms from each of the three phases not summing to zero

3 Common Mode Voltage (CMV): Unbalanced line voltage VFD voltage is inherently unbalanced Voltages should sum to zero but don t if the 3 phases are unbalanced. Neutral might reach volts with severe unbalance. Problem is worse on 460 V VFD power. Motor neutral reaches 375 V!

4 CMV is an electrostatic voltage. A small portion is coupled from the stator windings to the rotor. A static charge builds up over the entire rotor surface Just like shuffling your feet across the carpet on a dry winter day. Charge builds up over your whole body Discharge occurs when you touch a grounded object The rotor charge discharges to ground through the bearings and returns to the VFD

5 What effect does this have on the bearings? Rotor charge builds up until it exceeds the insulation level of the bearing s oil film The stored energy produces an arc as the rotor voltage collapses It arcs from the inner race through the rolling elements to the outer race, then to ground Current flow is concentrated in a pinpointsized area where the ball meets the races Such high energy concentration melts the bearing metal, creating microscopic pits

6 Repeated discharges can be seen on the raceways: Both races and rolling elements are affected Inner race & rolling elements will become frosted Vibrations + arcing = Fluting Flutes form on outer race Noise, temperature & vibration increase dramatically

7 Roller bearings are affected too!

8 Which motors are susceptible? ALL OF THEM All motors powered by VFDs, which by design produce CMV All manufacturers/brands of AC Induction motors All motor frame size All horsepower ratings All speeds All bearing types All duty cycles All applications * Variable Torque * Constant Torque * Constant Horsepower All the time

9 To eliminate VFD-sourced bearing currents: 1. Reduce or cancel CMV before it reaches the rotor: Install CM loading filter (with RC network to ground) at the VFD output Add Marathon s patented Faraday shield in the stator windings ---OR Protect the motor bearings by one or a combination of devices: Ground brush (bleeds off charge) Insulated bearings (insulation blocks current) Shaft Grounding Ring (bleeds off charge)

10 Do Ground Brushes really work? Yes! One brush will reduce shaft voltage by ~99%...BUT They wear out, requiring regular maintenance AND External brushes are not permitted in Div 1/Zone 1 or Div 2/Zone 2 Hazardous locations What about insulated bearings? Yes! Insulated bearings are effective BUT They can be up to 10 times the cost..and Extended lead-time Insulated bearings aren t permitted in Hazardous locations either

11 What is AEGIS Bearing Protection Ring Technology? AEGIS SGR is a circumferential ring of conductive micro fibers that reduce the shaft voltage to a safe level AEGIS Shaft Grounding Ring provides a reliable discharge path for shaft voltages AND Because there is no wear pressure on the fibers AEGIS SGR is the most reliable and longest lasting solution to bearing currents AEGIS Protects both the motor and attached equipment

12 Comparison of Techniques.

13 Field add-on kits will be in stock soon! Fits 90% of all Marathon Electric footed motors Mounts on drive end bracket or on encoders Takes up only 3/8 of shaft No machining required Fits TEFC & encoders too No Div 1 or 2 Expect inventory during Q109

14 Kit components and instructions:

15 Bearing failures are costly take care of them you don t want to deal with this For more information, request power point file Brgcurrent25.

16 STOCK Accessory Kits - Multiplier Symbol S4 Grounding Kits Shaft Grounding Shaft grounding is recommended (NEMA MG ) as an effective means of bearing protection for motors operated from inverter power. One grounding device is adequate to bleed down inverter-sourced shaft voltages, thereby protecting both bearings for motors as large as 6085 frame. Kits includes grounding ring, mounting hardware and instructions. Shaft ground rings fit these NEMA shaft extension frames listed below, they are designed to mount on the shaft end. SHAFT GROUNDING RING (SGR) Frame Kit No. Cat No. Build-Up Kits MOD Central (installed) KIT SGR-11.2 A500-5 * \$92 \$195 \$ KIT SGR-14.4 A500-8 * \$92 \$195 \$ KIT SGR-20.7 A * \$92 \$207 \$ T KIT SGR-27.1 A * \$116 \$225 \$ T KIT SGR-33.4 A * \$140 \$254 \$ T KIT SGR-39.8 A * \$187 \$313 \$ T KIT SGR-46.1 A * \$234 \$374 \$ T KIT SGR-39.8 A * \$234 \$313 \$ TS KIT SGR-52.5 A * \$282 \$433 \$ KIT SGR-46.1 A * \$282 \$374 \$ TS KIT SGR-58.8 A * \$329 \$492 \$ KIT SGR-46.1 A * \$329 \$374 \$ TS KIT SGR-71.5 A * \$519 \$728 \$1, KIT SGR-52.5 A * \$519 \$433 \$1, TS KIT SGR-84.2 A * \$898 \$1,043 \$1, T KIT SGR-58.8 A * \$898 \$492 \$1, TS KIT SGR-84.2 A * \$898 \$1,043 \$1, /449T KIT SGR-58.8 A * \$898 \$492 \$1, /449TS KIT SGR-65.2 A \$1,300 \$728 N/A 5000S KIT SGR-71.5 A \$1,300 \$728 N/A 5000LS KIT SGR-96.9 A \$1,300 \$1,675 N/A 5000LX KIT SGR A \$1,300 \$1,675 N/A 5000L KIT SGR A \$1,419 \$2,132 N/A 6805 Grounding devices may not be installed on motors used in Division I or Division 2 hazardous locations.

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