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Application of UV-C Pulse Radiation Detection in Checking Faulty Insulators

Tao Chen, Hua-yong Liu, Chang-Ping An and Wen-zuo Tang

Chongqing Electric Power Test & Research Institute,chongqing400044,China(e-mail:

AbstractFaulty insulators change voltage distribution and field distribution in the vicinity of insulator string, which will exacerbate corona discharge, and in extreme cases the amplify can exceed 100%. This paper introduces an UV detector, which detects defective insulators by measuring the UV-light from the discharging insulator. Some tests were carried out. The results indicate that this method can identify corona discharge with good performance.

TABLE I The methods and characteristic quantities to detect the insulation condition of insulators Method Characteristics Contaction Climbing tower Yes No No No No No No No No No

AULTY insulators usually threaten the safe operation of electric power system. Present methods used to detect faulty insulators are not so satisfying in their efficiency, especially for live line work. In this paper, an UV pulse detection method checking faulty insulators is presented. When faulty insulators arise in an insulator string, the voltage distribution and electric field intensity distribution change, which will exacerbate corona discharge from insulator surface. Therefore by detecting the variety of UV-C radiation intensity from insulator surface, it can be confirmed where there are defective insulators in a string. Based on this method, an UV radiation pulse tester was developed, which can detect faulty insulator of power lines of different voltage rating effectively, and all the checking operation is on the ground. Tests with the UV radiation tester were carried out in HV hall and Henan Pingdingshan 110 kV line, results from the tests indicate that the UV radiation tester can detect defective insulators.
II. THE UV-C RADIATION PULSE DETECTION FOR FAULTY INSULATOR OF POWER LINES A. The characteristic quantity of the faulty insulator detection methods Present predication of faulty insulators usually infer Faulty insulators by detecting some characteristic quantities of insulation condition as shown in Table.I.


Voltage surface voltage Yes distribution Sensitive surface voltage Yes insulator Corona pulse corona pulse Yes current Leak current Leak current Yes electric field surface electric fieldYes detection Infrared imaging Temperature No UV imaging UV-C No Sound wave or Sound wave or No ultrasonic ultrasonic UHF detection UHF wave No X radial X radial No detection

B. The characteristic of the distribution of voltage and space electric field intensity with faulty insulator If there are faulty insulators in an insulator string, the surface voltage distribution and electric field in the vicinity change, and electric field at points near to insulator string change greater than other points. Simulations regarding an insulator string of 110 kV voltage rating have been carried out to analyze the affect caused by faulty insulators, there are 8 discs in the string. Number the discs from 1 to 8 from the line end to ground end. Fig.1 and Fig.2 show results of simulations, filed distribution and potential distribution in the vicinity of insulators are computed when all discs are normal and when there is a faulty insulator at different position in the string .



According to the results shown in Fig.1 and Fig.2, electric field distribution changes with the distance between the insulators and field points, when the distance is less than 0.5m, the amplify is great. Same conclusion has been drawn for the voltage distribution. For different position of faulty disc in the string, change of electric field distribution are different , so according to the change of electric field change, it can be confirmed the position of defective insulators. Because the intensity of UV pulse depend on the electric field on the insulators surface, so by measuring the change of UV pulse it can also infer the faulty insulators. [7] to [9] have explored relationship between surface corona discharge spectrum and the voltage applied on the insulators. The partial discharge of the insulators surface can be simulated by the model of pale paling discharge. [7] detected the corona discharge spectrum of air with different voltage rating:



Fig.1 Voltage distribution in the vicinity of insulator string for different situation . (a) All discs are normal. (b)o.2 insulator is defective. (c) No.4 insulator is defective. (d) No.7 insulator is defective.

U=6000V, d=2.5mm

U=6000V, d=2.5mm



Fig.2 Electric field distribution in the vicinity of insulator string for different situations . (a) All discs are normal. (b)o.2 insulator is defective. (c) No.4 insulator is defective. (d) No.7 insulator is defective.

U=8000V, d=4.0mm Fig. 3 Corona spectrum of under different voltage and distance [7]

The result obtained in [7] shows that corona discharge spectrum includes ultraviolet ray, visible light, and infrared ray. With the increase of voltage rating, the radiation of ultraviolet ray exacerbate too. When the length of air space

increased, the radiation of ultraviolet ray decreased. The spectrum infrared ray has an inverse rule, it would decreased with the increasing of impressed-voltage. The spectrum of visible light is not sensitive to the variation of voltage rating and length of air space. According to results in [8] and [9] on the voltage of surface air discharge of HV apparatus, ultraviolet ray is fit for the discharge detection of HV apparatus than visible light, and infrared ray. It also showed that ultraviolet ray is sensitive to voltage rating, so we can denote voltage with ultraviolet ray.

B. Experiment proceed in the high voltage hall To simulate the running conditions of transmission line of 110kV voltage rating, tests were carried out at the HV hall of Henan electric power research institute in March, July, and October of 2005 respectively. Insulators used in each test are the same. Set discharge proportion FP and change rate of discharge RC as follows: FP = F/P (1) Where F is discharge count in unit time; P is the discharge count of insulator string composed of seven good insulator discs in unit time

RC = 1 FP
Solar battery Storage battery

Power supply changeover module

Fig.4 Typical emission spectrum of OH(A 2X2 0-0) ,O(3p 5P 3 s 5S 02 777.4nm),H(3P 2S 656.3nm) and N2( C3u B3) generated by pulsed corona discharge in N2 andH2O mixture at 16 kV discharge voltage and 64 Hz pulse repetition rate [8]

High voltag e insulat

Drive of UV-C sensor Chip microco mputer Collection module for temperatur e and humidity

GP RS mo dul e

Interne t Host Com puter

Because electric field depends on the voltage distribution of the insulator string and the shape of the insulators, there for given insulators, its electric field can indicate the voltage distribution along insulator string. The detection for surface discharge, isolation deterioration is converted into the detection for ultraviolet ray, which finally can confirm faulty insulators. In addition, polluted insulators also exacerbate surface corona discharge, and its affected mostly by the air relative humidity (RH). Therefore, information regarding temperature and air RH are collected to avoid affection of contamination. III. TESTS AND RESULTS A. The experiment equipment An UV pulse tester was developed to check faulty insulators, and Fig.5 shows its structure. Its composed of three parts: UV pulse detecting equipments, transmission module, and MCU. The UV pulse detecting equipments are installed under the top of the iron tower. When discharge occurred on the surface of insulator, the UV-C emitted from the surface will active the UV sensor. So a pulse would be outputted to the control and data processing module, at the same time humidity and temperature are measured. The MCU controls the GPRS module to transmit data to the host computer.

Fig.5 Schematic Diagram of UV pulse tester Table.I Comparison of discharge frequency of 110kV chain insulators in 30 min between Normal condition and the No.1 is defective, the test was carried out in March

Situation Normal No.1

Pulse Count(30min) Average Max Min 71 80 62 126 132 120

FP 1 1.77

RC 0 77%

Table.II Comparison of discharge frequency of 110kV chain insulators in 30 min between Normal condition and the No.1 is defective, the test was carried out in March

Situation Normal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Pulse Count (30min) 56 124 107 110 95 135 70 84

FP 1 2.21 1.91 1.96 1.70 2.41 1.25 1.50

RC 0% 121% 91% 96% 70% 141% 25% 50%

Table.III Comparison of discharge of 110kV insulator string in 30 min between normal condition and situation when the No.1 to No.7 is defective respectively, the test was carried out in July

Situation Pulse Count T(0C) H(%) FP (30m) Normal 22 23 43 1.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 48 31 32 25 13 31 47 23 24 25 25.5 24 24 24 43 42 41 36 40 40 40 2.18 1.41 1.45 1.14 0.55 1.41 2.14

RC 0% 118% 41% 45% 14% 41% 41% 114%

A method based on UV pulse measurement to check faulty is presented, which infers faulty insulator by measuring UV pulse among corona discharge, and denote the surface voltage distribution along an insulator string. An UV pulse radiation tester was developed. A series of high voltage laboratory tests and field tests have been carried out, and results indicate it can detect the feeble discharge signal from insulators in early stage and confirm the defects in advance avoiding further exacerbation of insulator and power accident. REFERENCES
[1] Yang baochu, High Voltage technology : Chongqing University Press , 2002. [2] Gu Leguan, Sun Caixin, The Dirtiness Insulation of Power System. Chongqing: Chongqing University Press , 1990 [3] Zhang Jin-xian, Li Yu-dan, Glimmer and IR imaging technology, Beijing: Beijing Science and Engineering University Press, 1995 [4] Chen Tao, He Wei et al, An on-line ultraviolet detecting system of EHV transmission lines [J]. Automation of Electric Power System, 2005, 29(7): 88-92. [5] Sun xinfan, Plasma and application, Beijing: Higher Education Press, 1982. [6] Xu jialuan, Jin shangxian, Plasma Physics, Beijing: Atomic Energy Press, 1981. [7] Zhao wenhua, Zhang xudong, Jiang jianguo, Spectrum Analysis of Tip-Plane Corona Discharges, Spectroscopy and Spectral Analysis, 2003, 23(5):955-957. [8] WANG Wen-chun, LIU Dong-ping, WU Yan. A study of density distributions of high energy electrons produced from corona discharge in the air along the radial of reactor by advanced emission spectral method, Journal of Molecular Science, 1999,15(3): 125-128. [9] Wang wenchun, Liu feng, Zhang jialiang, Ren cunsheng., Study of Radicals in Pulsed Corona Discharge by Emission Spectroscopy. Spectroscopy and Spectral Analysis, 2004, 24(11): 1289-1292. [10] Liu changsheng, Liu wenbao, Atmospheric Radiation Study, Nanjing: Nanjing University Press, 1990.

We also carried out experiment with insulators of 220kV voltage rating which has 14 insulator discs. We changed the position of faulty insulator and recorded the FP and RC, and found that the change of air discharge caused by faulty insulator of 220kV is similar to that of 110kV.
Table.IV Comparison of discharge frequency of 110kV chain insulators in 30 min between normal condition and situation when the No.1 to No.7 is defective respectively (October)

Situation Normal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Pulse Count (30min) 56 124 107 110 95 135 70 84

FP 1 2.21 1.91 1.96 1.70 2.41 1.25 1.50

RC 0% 121% 91% 96% 70% 141% 25% 50%

Table.IV Comparison of discharge frequency of 220kV chain insulators in 30 min between normal condition and situation when the No.1, No.7, No.14 is defective

Pulse Count T(0C) H(%) FP Situation (30m) Normal 620 1 7 14 1333 667 836 18 18 18 17 54 53 54 55 1


0 115 2.15 % 1.08 8%

1.35 35%

In upwards tables, we can notice that the Fp and RC would change accordingly when either insulator in the chain become faulty insulator. With those detecting experiments carried on the high voltage hall in different season, we ensured the ability of UV pulse method to detecting faulty insulator of high voltage power line.