Sensors (Basel). 2021 Jun 24;21(13):4317. doi: 10.3390/s21134317.
Induction motors are broadly used as drivers of a large variety of industrial equipment. A proper measurement of the motor rotation speed is essential to monitor the performance of most industrial drives. As an example, the measurement of rotor speed is a simple and broadly used industrial method to estimate the motor’s efficiency or mechanical load. In this work, a new low-cost non-intrusive method for in-field motor speed measurement, based on the spectral analysis of the motor audible noise, is proposed. The motor noise is acquired using a smartphone and processed by a MATLAB-based routine, which determines the rotation speed by identifying the rotor shaft mechanical frequency from the harmonic spectrum of the noise signal. This work intends to test the hypothesis that the emitted motor noise, like mechanical vibrations, contains a frequency component due to the rotation speed which, to the authors’ knowledge, has thus far been disregarded for the purpose of speed measurement. The experimental results of a variety of tests, from no load to full load, including the use of a frequency converter, found that relative errors on the speed estimation were always lower than 0.151%. These findings proved the versatility, robustness, and accuracy of the proposed method.