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A Comparison of Standardized Test Methods For The Incline Plane Test For Insulator Materials

Authors: G Heger NamPower HJ Vermeulen Stellenbosch University P Pieterse Stellenbosch University


"Our deepest fear is not thatJP are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are University measure we Holtzhausen Stellenbosch powerful beyond Nelson Mandela. South African Statesman , 1993 Nobel Prize for Peace, b.1918

WL Vosloo Eskom

www.nampower.com.na

AIM OF PAPER

Comparison of two different test methods for the Incline Plane Test for tracking and erosion in insulator materials, as described in IEC 60587:

Constant Tracking Voltage Method Stepwise Tracking Voltage Method

Comparison according to results for several evaluation criteria Goal: determining the superior test method for use in future experiments

PRESENTATION OVERVIEW

Test Setup & Apparatus Test Methodology Evaluation Criteria Results Summary of Results Conclusion

TEST SETUP & APPARATUS

TEST METHODLOGY Comparison of following methods:

Constant Tracking Voltage:

Stepwise Tracking Voltage:

Excitation voltage kept constant for 6 hours Typical standardised voltages: 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 kV Material classification max. voltage withstood by all samples

Voltage raised with 250 V every hour Series resistance & contaminant flow rate need to be adjusted Failure must occur on/after 3rd voltage step (i.e. 4th hour) Highest voltage withstood by all samples: Stepwise tracking voltage

One test series of 5 samples per test method

TEST METHODOLOGY

Test samples made from industrial grade HTV silicone rubber Samples cleaned with ethanol & distilled water Surfaces abraded with P800 sandpaper (reduces hydrophobicity) Test voltages chosen:

3.5 kV/6 hours for constant voltage method 2.5 3.75 kV/6hours for stepwise voltage method Series A: Constant Voltage method Series B: Stepwise Voltage method

Sample designation:

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Comparison criteria:

Sample material loss [mg] Surface erosion depth [mm] RMS leakage current measurements [mA] Peak current level counts

One sample of each series selected for chemical analysis ATR-FTIR spectroscopy Samples not cleaned after testing to prevent interference with results Chosen samples not represented in mass loss & erosion depth criterion!

RESULTS: LOSS OF MATERIAL


Determined by Results show: weighing samples before & after testing

Samples cleaned after testing using distilled water Series A/constant voltage: higher mass loss Series average & standard deviation calculated for comparison Series B/stepwise voltage: smaller deviation around mean

RESULTS: EROSION DEPTH


Measured using Results show: Coordinate Measuring (CM) machine
Similar sample means ( 0.03 mm difference) Measurements taken aftercleaning of samples Series average & standard deviation calculated Similar standard deviations

RESULTS: RMS CURRENTS

Current measured using an Online Leakage Current Analyzer (OLCA) RMS values calculated over 1 minute interval Hourly series average current calculated from sample data First 2 hours ignored different series resistor & flow rate for that period

RESULTS: RMS CURRENTS

Results show for hour 3 - 6:


Similar hourly means & standard deviations Series B slightly higher mean ( 0.5 mA)

RESULTS: PEAK CURRENT BIN COUNTS OLCA registers peak current values per 1 minute interval (+ & -) 4 Major current categories/bins for this experiment:

Results:
Counts in lower current bins similar for both series Series B shows larger counts for highest peak current bin

RESULTS: ATR-FTIR SPECTROSCOPY


One sample per test series analysed 3 specimen per sample: lower 17 mm, middle 17 mm & upper 16 mm region Spectra of tested specimen compared to spectrum of virgin specimen Focus areas for analysis:

Loss of alumina trihydrate (ATH) filler peak height ratio Loss of methyl groups degree of conversion, Oxidation through carbonyl formation peak area ratio

Chemical change indicated by decrease of peak height ratio or increase in and peak area ratio

RESULTS: ATR-FTIR SPECTROSCOPY

Similar results for both series Series A reveals slightly stronger changes

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

Test methods show similar results in most evaluation criteria Some slight differences:

Constant Voltage method yielded slightly larger mass loss & stronger chemical change Stepwise Voltage method has slightly higher peak & rms currents

Results indicate that neither method is superior when compared to the other

N.B. Small number of samples could influence results!

CONCLUSIONS

Choice of method up to user Problems for using Stepwise Voltage method:


No standardised starting voltages time consuming to determine by experimentation Difficult to maintain constant arcing at ground electrode required by this methodology Hourly rise of 250 V not representative of field conditions difficult to relate test data to field data

Constant Tracking Voltage method preferred for future work & studies, including a comparative study of the erosion & tracking resistance of insulator materials for both High Voltage AC & DC

THANK YOU!