Types of High Potential Testing

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A hipot test is conducted to determine how effective the insulators are in isolating  currents. There are different hipot test methods for specific applications but the aim of each test is the same. This is to isolate bad insulators by making them fail.

Hipot testing is a stress test in which a very high test voltage is applied to the conductor. Defects like poor splicing and chaffing will break down after a few minutes causing a sudden rise in resistive currents flowing. Hipot tests are classified according to the test voltage used. DC hipot uses a direct current test voltage. The test is usually higher than other hipot tests. This test is usually done on new cables before installation. This is to ensure that manufacturing defects will be detected before operation. This test is not suitable for old cable installations because the very high voltage will cause a good cable to get damaged. An AC hipot is the appropriate test for used cables which uses the standard 50/60 Hertz alternating current. Since the voltage is lower, it is much safer on old cables and minimizes the risk of getting the insulator damaged.

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