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Monitoring insulator contamination level under dry conditions with a microwave reflectometer

Jiang, Y., McMeekin, S., Reid, Alistair, Nakahi, A., Judd, M. and Wilson, A. 2015. Monitoring insulator contamination level under dry conditions with a microwave reflectometer. Presented at: 11th International Conference on the Properties and Applications of Dielectric Materials (ICPADM), Sydney, Australia, 19-22 July 2015. 2015 IEEE 11th International Conference on the Properties and Applications of Dielectric Materials (ICPADM). pp. 959-962.

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Abstract

—Build-up of surface contamination on high voltage insulators can lead to an increase in leakage current and partial discharge, which may eventually develop into flashover. Conventional contamination level monitoring systems based on leakage current, partial discharge, infrared and ultraviolet camera are only effective when the contamination layer has been wetted by rain, fog or condensation; under these conditions flashover might occur before there is time to implement remedial measures such as cleaning. This paper describes studies exploring the feasibility of applying microwave reflectometry techniques to monitor insulator contamination levels. This novel method measures the power generated by a 10.45 GHz source and reflected at the insulator contamination layer. A theoretical model establishes the relationship between equivalent salt deposit density (ESDD) levels, dielectric properties and geometry of contamination layers. Experimental results demonstrate that the output from the reflectometer is able to clearly distinguish between samples with different contamination levels under dry conditions. This contamination monitoring method could potentially provide advance warning of the future failure of wet insulators in climates where insulators can experience dry conditions for extended periods.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
ISBN: 9781479989034
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/94364

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