Undoubtedly, electric motors are crucial when it comes to planting or industrial operations. In the event that they should experience failure, so will other day-to-day operations and procedures within the workplace. With such an incident occurring, one may need to resort to electrical motor rewinding for the equipment to be in top form once again. At the same time, consequences may involve poorer work productivity, time wastage, and lost revenue.
While regular servicing like electric motor overhauling is necessary for keeping your equipment at tip-top condition, so is proper storage. With the right storage methods in place, it will keep the motor properly protected, in excellent working order, and even increase its lifespan significantly. Read on to gain a better understanding of proper electric motor storage and the steps you can take to ensure it.
Period of storing electric motors
If your electric motor will not be in use for less than 30 days, have it stored within a climate-controlled environment – specifically from 10 to 20 degrees F above room temperature for better winding temperature protection.
Such temperatures can be easily achieved by “trickle heating” using a low voltage by heating one phase of the winding or with the help of space heaters. Areas with humidity levels of over 60 percent should rotate the shaft 10-15 revolutions each week. At the same time, you should also implement some kind of desiccants or humidity control technique.
For extra precautionary measures, do check with your manufacturer regarding additional considerations on motors with hydrodynamic bearings. Also, you may come to realise that certain motors will need more oil to be added to the bearing before rotating.
If storage duration is fewer than 12 months, you’ll have to take additional measures.
For less than a month, you will have to adhere to the out of service inspection procedure – but also, keep in mind to undergo a much detailed monthly inspection, as well as, measure and jot down the stator winding insulation resistance.
If your electric motor has been exposed to severe moisture conditions, an insulation resistance meter or megger tester may have to be used.
In certain situations, you may be required to store your electric motor for over a period of 12 months. Likewise, stick to the above-mentioned procedures – but also, ensure you change the oil and keep your bearings re-lubricated yearly to ensure no damage from the presence of contamination gases within the storage area.
However, at the end of the day, consult storage procedures as the steps you take may not apply to every brand of electric motor. Similarly, steps taken will also vary depending on the size of your electric motor.
Duration of storage aside, you should be mindful of a few basic rules when it comes to proper electric motor storage:
- Store electric motors vertically, or if not, quarterly: This helps to prevent a tiny dent within the bearing’s outer race as a result of excess weight of the shaft assembly and rotor.
- Keep your motors stored indoors within a dry, clean, and vibration-free environment. Specifically, either in a closed storage area or cabinet which has no signs of airborne debris or insects.
- Avoid having your motor surface area be exposed to the atmosphere even if specifications are met as per mentioned for storage. Add a rust inhibitor to the exposed surface and reapply the inhibitor from time to time in the midst of storage.
- Using grease, pack the bearing cavities to ensure extra protection from moisture.
Proper storage is highly important for your electric motor to be at its best condition, and the same goes for any one of your other equipment. However, be mindful that regular maintenance still plays a huge role in keeping your equipment in good shape. When much needed, know when to call in for servicing such as electric motor or generator rewinding.