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Abstract-The partial discharge test is an efficient technique

for detecting early failure of high-voltage apparatuses.


Depending on the application, acoustic, optical and electrical
methods may be used. For electrical detection, UHF method is
widely used for PD measurements. For the noise issue, it is the
more sensitive than other methods. However, the UHF antenna
often installs at the specific location near the device under test
(DUT). It is difficult to detect the PD everywhere with the same
sensitivity. Also, the lower frequency PD signal such as high
frequency (HF: 0.3-30MHz) is not easy to measure using the UHF
antenna. In this study, we design wide bandwidth coils to detect
the radiating frequency (RF) from partial discharge. The copper
coils wind uniformly around the whole DUT from the top to the
bottom. Using this structure, the localization issue for acoustic
and UHF methods may be solved. Also, due to uniform
distribution of coils, it can pick up the PD signal effectively.
Therefore, the sensitivity can be significantly improved.
Compared to the UHF antenna in which all coils wind closely, the
coils loose distribute in this study. This greatly increases the
bandwidth of the PD detection.
Index 1erms-Partial discharge, Distributed coils, RF
detection.

I. INTRODUCTION
HE early diagnostic oI the high-voltage apparatuses is
important to the reliability oI the power system. Partial
discharge (PD) tests are the useIul methods to identiIy
the origin oI Iailure. To reduce the interIerence oI background
noise, the conventional PD measurement combines the de
noising technique with the on-line application |1|. For the
optical method, some researchers use the photo multiplier tube
and still camera to detect the PD signal Irom the switching
coils |2|. To sense the PD current impulses, Rogowski coil
and wide bandwidth current transIormer are used to measure
partial discharge Irom on-line turbo generator in the VHF
Irequency range |3|. Also, the RF sensor is installed to the
high-voltage apparatuses which intentionally make diIIerent
deIects to pick up the PD radiation |4-7|. So Iar, detecting
partial discharge is limited by the localization. BeIore the PD
signal reaches the detector, it has to spread through the
insulation layer. II the position oI partial discharge is Irom the
detector, the PD signals will be seriously attenuated. In this
study, another approach is proposed. In stead oI traditional
centralization oI detector design, the sensor elements are
uniIormly distributed around the current transIormer (CT).

The authors are with the Department oI Electrical Engineering, St. John`s
University, Taipei, Taiwan.
With this arrangement, the sensitivity and bandwidth oI PD
detection are improved
II. DESIGN OF RF SENSOR AND PD TEST SYSTEM
It is well-known that the partial discharge occurs anywhere
in the weak points oI DUT. In the traditional method, the
capacitor voltage divider is used to collect total partial
discharges produced in DUT. Because oI the insulation oI
material, only the partial discharge (PD) signal which is strong
enough can be picked up at the output terminal. II the PD
signal is produced deep in DUT, it is seriously decayed by the
time it reaches the output terminal. Some researchers use the
UHF or VHF antenna to detect the PD signal. Because the
antenna can be installed at only one speciIic location, the
partial discharge Irom another site around DUT is not easy to
detect. Also, the directionality oI the UHF antenna limits the
pick up oI the PD signal. The other method used to partial
discharge is ultrasonic detection. Sensor pads are attached to
the surIace oI DUT. The sensitivity oI sensor is restricted by
the noise oI the power system.
As shown in Fig. 1, sparse (a) and tight (b) windings are
uniIorm distributed on the CT. In this design, the above issues
can be solved. In addition to no directionality issue, the
bandwidth oI this device is larger than the traditional UHF
antenna. The Irequency range can be lower than 1 MHz and
over GHz. The windings wind around the surIace oI the CT
Irom the top to the bottom. ThereIore, we can detect the
generation oI partial discharge everywhere in CT. Fig. 1(b) is
used to check the eIIect oI the turn numbers to PD detection.
According to the experiments, there is signiIicant
improvement with increasing turn number.
(b) (a)

Fig. 1. Windings on the surIace oI the current transIormer, (a)
6 turn (b) 15 turn.
To evaluate the perIormance, as shown in Fig. 2, we adjust
the output voltage oI the High-Voltage Generator to excite the
partial discharge in the DUT. The PD signal is detected by the
voltage divider oI the test system and RF coils, respectively.
The output oI the RF signal connects to the Spectrum
RF Detection oI Partial Discharge in Current
TransIormer
Mu-Kuen Chen, Wen-Yeau Chang, Jeng-Ming Chen and Chao-Yuan Cheng,

T
193
978-981-05-9423-7 c 2007 RPS

Analyzer through a communication cable. The output oI
voltage divider is processing in the test System.
Spectrum
Analyzer
Partial Discharge
Analyzer
Voltage
Divider
High Voltage
Generator

Fig. 2. Block diagram oI the Partial discharge test system.
III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
As shown in Fig. 3, the HIPOTRONIC partial discharge test
system output is the adjustable AC voltage. Through the
isolation transIormer and Step-up transIormer, high AC
voltage applies to the top terminal oI the capacitor voltage
divider where it connects to the current transIormer (12KV,
100 A/5A, 40VA). The voltage divider senses the partial
discharge Irom the CT return to the test system. Also, the
radiation oI the PD signal pick up by the coils around the CT.
Using a 10 meters wide bandwidth cable (10 GHz ), the PD
signal is output to the Rohde & Schwarz ESPI spectrum
analyzer ( 9 KHz3GHz ).
In this study, the test CT is intentionally doped with a 2mm
diameter bubble deIect to identiIy the spectrum Ior diIIerent
deIect models. Then, Iollowing the general partial discharge
test procedure, the test voltage raises to 1.7 times the rated
voltage to ignite the partial discharge, then down to the
voltage which is enough to continue 20 pc oI partial discharge.
The traditional interIerence oI background is shown in Fig. 4,
in which the noise level Ior Irequency below 5 MHz. is less
than -67 dBm. To evaluate the endurance oI insulation
material, the CT is stressed Ior 1-hour. We measure the
spectrum oI the PD signal Irom 500 KHz to over GHz. During
the experiment, we do two measurements. One is just aIter the
PD eIIect occurs. Another measurement takes place 1-hour
later. All measurements are perIormed three times to gain the
repeatable results.

Fig. 3. Partial discharge measurement using RF coils and
conventional voltage divider.

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5.0E05 1.5E06 2.5E06 3.5E06 4.5E06
Frequency ( Hz )
P
o
w
e
r

(

d
B
m

)

Fig. 4: background noise oI lab at 300K
For a Irequency oI 500 KHz to 5MHz, as shown in Fig. 5(a)
- (b), the power level oI PD signal much larger than the
background noise in Fig. 4. There is no PD signal noted below
500 KHz. AIter 1 hour stress, as shown in Fig. 5(b), in
addition to the increase oI the power level oI PD signal, its
width become wider Ior many Irequency duration. This shows
the range oI PD increase by high-voltage stress. ThereIore,
we can evaluate the characteristics oI DUT by the power level
and duration oI the PD Irequency.
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5.0E05 1.5E06 2.5E06 3.5E06 4.5E06
Frequency ( Hz )
P
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(

d
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)

(a)
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5.0E05 1.5E06 2.5E06 3.5E06 4.5E06
Frequency ( Hz )
P
o
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(

d
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)

(b)
Fig. 5 : partial discharge Ior Irequency 500 KHz to 5 MHz, (a)
at start oI partial discharge, (b) 1-hour later.
For a Irequency oI 5 MHz to 50 MHz, as shown in Fig. 6(a)
- (b), the PD eIIect still occurs in this Irequency range. This is
similar to the results in the literature. AIter 1-hour, as shown
Fig. 6(b), the behavior oI partial discharge becomes more
serious. Similar to the case in Fig. 5, the power level oI PD
signal increases. However, the duration oI PD signal increases
only at some speciIic Irequency. This shows that the serious
degradation oI deIects shrink to some localized area.
194 The 8
th
International Power Engineering Conference (IPEC 2007)

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0
5.0E06 1.5E07 2.5E07 3.5E07 4.5E07
Frequency ( Hz )
P
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r

(

d
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m

)

(a)
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0
5.0E06 1.5E07 2.5E07 3.5E07 4.5E07
Frequency ( Hz )
P
o
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e
r

(
d
B
m

)

(b)
Fig. 6 : partial discharge Ior Irequency 5 to 50MHz, (a) at start
oI partial discharge, (b) 1-hour later.
For Irequency 50 MHz to 500 MHz, as shown in Fig. 7(a)
- (b), the power level oI the PD signal decreases with the test
Irequency. This is diIIerent Irom the curve Ior a Irequency
below 50 MHz, where the power level oI PD signals is not
sensitive to the test Irequency. Also, there is no power level
shiIt oI PD signal aIter the 1-hour stress. Only at some
Irequency range such as 120-140, 250-300,470-500 MHz, the
degradation behavior appears. This shows the smaller the size
oI the partial discharge, the less possibility to start the PD
eIIect in the vicinity.
At the start oI partial discharge, as shown in Fig. 7(a), no
PD Irequency occurs between 400 to 470 MHz, only the
background noise dominates. AIter 1-hour stress, as shown in
Fig. 7(b), a diIIerent PD spectrum appears. It has originated
Irom other source oI partial discharge.


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0
5.0E07 1.5E08 2.5E08 3.5E08 4.5E08
Frequency ( Hz )
P
o
w
e
r

(

d
B
m

)

(a)

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-10
0
5.0E07 1.5E08 2.5E08 3.5E08 4.5E08
Frequency ( Hz )
P
o
w
e
r

(

d
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m

)

(b)
Fig. 7 : partial discharge Ior Irequency 50 to 500 MHz, (a) at
start oI partial discharge, (b) 1-hour later.
For a Irequency oI 500 MHz to 1GHz, as shown in Fig.
8(a) - (b), the power spectrum oI the PD signal only occurs at
some speciIic Irequencies which match with small localized
deIects. The background noise dominates in the major part oI
this Irequency range. AIter 1-hour stress, as shown in Fig. 8(b),
in addition to the power level oI PD signal increases, the width
oI each PD Irequency become broadens. Also, partial
discharge takes place in more localized sites.
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5E08 6E08 7E08 8E08 9E08 1E09
Frequency ( Hz )
P
o
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r

(

d
B
m

)

(a)
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5.E08 6.E08 7.E08 8.E08 9.E08 1.E09
Frequency ( Hz )
P
o
w
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(

d
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m

)

(b)
Fig. 8 partial discharge Ior Irequency 500MHz1GHz, (a) at
start oI partial discharge, (b) 1-hour later.
IV. CONCLUSION
The sensitive RF detection method is proposed to evaluate
the perIormance oI the high-voltage apparatuses. From the
variation oI PD spectrum aIter 1-hour stress, the mechanism oI
degradation in the DUT can be identiIied. The width and level
The 8
th
International Power Engineering Conference (IPEC 2007) 195

oI the PD signal points to the strength oI insulation. The peaks
oI spectrum in the UHF Irequency match with the PD eIIect
occurring in small localized positions.
V. REFERENCES

|1| H. Zhang, T. R. Blackburn, B. T. Phung and D. Sen, 'A novel wavelet
transIorm technique Ior on-line partial discharge measurements, part 1:
wt de-noising algorithm, IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul., Vol. 14,
No. 1, pp. 3-13, 2007.
|2| N. Hayakawa, M. Morikawa and H. Okubo, 'Partial discharge inception
and propagation characteristics oI magnet wire Ior inverter-Ied motor
under surge voltage application, IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul.,
Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 39-45, 2007.
|3| H. J. van Breen, E. Gulski, J. J. Smit, H. F. A. Verhaart, W. de Leeuw
and M. Krieg-Wezelenburg, ' Standardization oI on-line VHF PD
measurements on turbo generators, IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul.,
Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 140-149, 2002.
|4| J. Tang, Q. Zhou, M. Tang and Y. Xie, 'Study on mathematical model
Ior VHF partial discharge oI typical insulated deIects in GIS, IEEE
Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul., Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 30-38, 2007.
|5| S. A. Boggs, 'Partial discharge: overview and signal generation, IEEE
Electr. Insul. Mag., vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 33-39, 1990
|6| K. Raja, F. Devaux and S. Lelaidier, 'Recognition oI discharge sources
using UHF PD signatures, IEEE Electr. Insul. Mag., vol. 18, no. 5, pp.
8-14, 2002
|7| P. J. Moore, I. E. Portugues and I. A. Glover, 'A non-intrusive partial
discharge measurement system based on RF technology, Proc. IEEE
Power Eng. Soc. General Meeting, Torento, ON, Canada, Jul. 2003, 0-
7803-7989-6.


196 The 8
th
International Power Engineering Conference (IPEC 2007)