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Analysis of the Dynamic Interferences between the Stator and Rotor of a Refrigeration Compressor Motor


Swen Thompson

Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Reginald G. Mitchiner, Chair
Dr. Robert L. West
Dr. Alfred L. Wicks

May 7, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


This thesis involves the development and study of a finite element model of a hermetic, single-vane compressor and a single-phase alternating current induction motor assembled in a common housing. The manufacturer of this unit is experiencing a high scrap rate due to interference during operation between the stator and rotor of the motor. The rotor shaft of the motor is non-typical because of its cantilever design. The finite element model was first subjected to eigenvalue analysis. This revealed that the interference producing displacements were not the result of torque application to the rotor at a frequency close to an eigenvalue of the mechanical system. After a review of the literature and discussions with Electrical Engineering Department faculty possessing extensive motor experience, it was surmised that the physical phenomenon causing the rotor displacement was unbalanced magnetic pull. This phenomenon occurs in the air gap of rotating electric machines due to eccentricity in the air gap. The model was then subjected to simultaneous harmonic force inputs with magnitudes of unity on the rotor and stator surfaces to simulate the presence of unbalanced magnetic pull. It was found that the rotor shaft acts as a cantilever beam while the stator and housing are essentially rigid. The displacements due to these forces were examined and then scaled to develop the motor parameters necessary to produce the radial forces required for stator/rotor interference. Several recommendations were then made regarding possible solutions to the interference problem.

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