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Electric Motor Noise: How to Identify the Cause and Implement a Solution

A methodical approach can narrow down which of the primary sources is to blame: magnetic, mechanical or windage noise

  • May 2021
  • Number of views: 21987
  • Article rating:

Tom Bishop, P.E.
EASA Senior Technical Support Specialist

Determining the source of noise in an electric motor is often more challenging than correcting it. A methodical investigative approach, however, can narrow the possibilities and make it easier to resolve the issue—with one caveat. If the noise is due to something in the motor design (e.g., a manufacturing defect or anomaly), a solution may be impossible or impractical. With that in mind, let’s review the primary sources of noise in electric motors—magnetic, mechanical, and windage—as well as their causes and ways to reduce or eliminate them.

Areas examined in this article include:

  • Magnetic noise
    • Slip noise
    • Skewing
    • Unequal air gap
  • Mechanical noise
    • Loose stator core
    • Bearings
    • Airborne noise
  • Windage noise

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