Getting a Handle on Partial Discharge Activity

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  • 2 min read

Failure of high voltage insulation is the number one cause of HV system failures with IEEE statistics indicating that electrical insulation deterioration causes up to 90% of electrical failures of certain high voltage equipment.  Protec Equipment Resources understands the impact of these statistics and provides a wide inventory of test equipment to test, measure and evaluate the overall health of HV insulation systems.  The newest addition to our inventory is the EA Technology UltraTEV Plus+™.  UltraTEV Plus+™ is an advanced hand held, dual sensor, Partial Discharge (PD) detector, which enables more detailed identification and comparison of PD activity across multiple substation assets.

What is Partial Discharge and why should you test for it?

Partial Discharge or PD is an electrical discharge that occurs across a portion of the insulation between two conducting electrodes, without completely bridging the gap.  Partial Discharge can occur in voids in solid insulation (paper, polymer … etc.); it can occur in gas bubbles in liquid insulation; or it can occur around an electrode in a gas (corona).

This activity can initiate under normal working conditions in HV equipment where the insulation has deteriorated with age and/or has been aged prematurely by thermal over-stressing.  PD can also be detected with the commissioning of new equipment if the installation was not performed properly.

When renting the UltraTEV Plus+™ kit from Protec Equipment Resources you can set the unit for single shot assessment of critical PD activity, or continuous PD detection, allowing a rapid sweep of entire substations. The kit also features an external ultrasonic detector port for use with a range of kitted accessories. These include the UltraDish for investigating overhead or hard to reach assets, and the Ultrasonic Contact Probe, for investigating sealed units.  Contact Protec for more information.