Understanding the Concept of Hipot Testing

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When testing insulators in high voltage installations, a high potential or hipot test is often conducted to determine the strength of the dielectric in resisting currents. This is often a destructive test wherein faulty components are destroyed during the test. 

Below are the 2 types of AC high potential tests often conducted on cables and other insulators.

AC Hipot
This test uses an alternating current test voltage to stress the insulator. This test uses the standard 50/60 Hertz line frequency. The equipment used is pretty much straightforward. The line voltage is stepped-up by a transformer and the output is used for testing. This test however, consumes a lot of power because the reactance of the test sample affects the test voltage. 

VLF Hipot
To reduce the effect of reactance loading down the source voltage, a test voltage with a very low frequency of 0.1 Hertz is used. This test allows you to get the same test results at a lesser power. This means test equipment used for this test is lighter and more portable.

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