After a while of operation, the ability of insulators to resist electrical current decreases. This is caused by natural weathering and contaminants. You should regularly test your insulators for defects because normal inspection doesn’t detect problems until it’s too late. One of the testers used for finding hidden faults is a power factor test set. This detects problems by measuring the phase angle loss. Since the insulator and the conductor of an electrical component form a capacitor, the phase angle should only shift by 90 degrees. Any resistive current flowing will cause a different angle shift.
The Doble M4000 power factor test set is one of the popular testers on the market. It is an insulator diagnostic system with a maximum test voltage of 12 kiloVolts. It measures capacitance, power factor/tan delta and excitation current. You can attach optional modules like oil test cells and Type C resonators to extend the testing capabilities of this tester. It also utilizes Line Frequency Modulation to help reject EMI that might affect the tests.
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