Comparison of single and double electrostatic sensors for rotational speed measurement

Lijuan Wang, Yong Yan, Kamel Reda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Accurate and reliable measurement of rotational speed is crucial in many industrial processes. Recent research provides an alternative approach to rotational speed measurement of dielectric rotors through electrostatic sensing and signal processing. This paper aims to explore the electrostatic phenomenon of rotational machineries, design considerations of the spacing between double electrostatic sensors and effect of dielectric rotors on the performance of the rotational speed measurement systems based on single and double electrostatic sensors. Through a series of experimental tests with rotors of different material types, including polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Nylon, different surface roughness (Ra 3.2 and Ra 6.3) and difference diameters (60 mm and 120 mm), the accuracy and reliability of the two measurement systems are assessed and compared. Experimental results suggest that more electrostatic charge is generated on the PTFE rotors with a larger diameter and coarser surface and hence better performance of the measurement systems. The single-sensor system yields a relative error of within ±1% while the double-sensor system produces an error within ±1.5% over the speed range of 500–3000 rpm for all tested rotors. However, the single-sensor system outperforms the double-sensor system at high rotational speeds (>2000 rpm) with a relative error less than ±0.05%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Early online date9 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2017


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