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An Introduction to Partial Discharge

What is Partial Discharge?

Inside all insulation systems exist imperfections known as voids. The
causes can be numerous but in the end these voids act as the catalyst for
the creation of partial discharge (PD).
PD is the localized movement of charge that damages surrounding
insulation. Over time this cumulative damage can lead to a failure.

The Doble Approach to Partial Discharge for

As transformers age their internal conditions degrade, increasing the risk
of failures. The onset on PD can be detected through easy-to-use survey
tools. Surveying is a non-invasive, cost-effective measurement technique
that allows problems to be detected while equipment remains in service.
Surveying is your first level of diagnostic testing and assists in the early
recognition of partial discharge. Using Dobles advanced PD surveying
tools, large areas can be surveyed in a short amount of time.
Areas of concern can then be investigated in greater detail by using
more focused on-line testing, and problematic areas can be targeted for
continuous PD monitoring.

Phase 2: TESTING
Once PD is surveyed, Dobles PD-Smart can be used for advanced, on-line
partial discharge testing. For on-line testing use our UHF drain valve sensor
as well as pre-installed hatch sensor, or pre-installed bushing tap sensor in
accordance with IEC60076.

Once problematic areas of critical assets have been identified with PD,
Dobles continous monitoring system can provide the highest level of
defense for your transformers.
Set up measurements once or several times daily for assessment and
trending over time. The system will alert you before PD reaches a critical
mass, providing you with the opportunity to take preventative action.
Solutions are scalable for your entire fleet.

Depending on the severity of the test results, we offer a 4 or 8 channel
acoustic locating device that will cross-triangulate to find almost exactly
where the PD is within your transformer.

Partial Discharge Solutions Support and Services

Its not always possible to maintain PD experts on your staff. Rely
on Dobles engineers for speciality diagnostic testing and advanced
engineering support. Options include Services Agreements for leased and
purchased equipment and expert Consulting and Testing services.

Surveying for Partial Discharge


The PDS100 is an RFI surveying tool that is
designed for use in a live substation. It comes
with PDS Viewer software to save results and
overlay them for comparison.
Without the need for outages or special
connections, the unit can detect partial
discharge in a few seconds using our HFCT and
TEV probes, making it an cost-effective and
useful tool for a condition based maintenance
This safe and effective device is advanced and
user-friendly making it ideal for every service or
test team.

The DFA100, Dielectric Fault Analyzer, is a handheld and battery
powered instrument used for monitoring acoustic emissions. The
acoustic emission diagnostic technique is a non-intrusive, in-service
test used for monitoring acoustic signals produced by partial discharge
and loose components.
The DFA100 is specifically designed to detect faults in grounded SF6
gas-insulated systems and can also be applied to grounded oil-filled
instrument transformers.
The DFA100 is an easy-to-use, advanced detection tool that can
differentiate between partial discharge, particles and mechanical


Doble Offers Partial Discharge Assessments
Doble can visit your site to download data from preinstalled monitors or make spot measurements using
our instrumentation.
A data assessment can be provided on an annual basis.


Testing for Partial Discharge

Phase 2: Testing for Partial Discharge

The PD-Smart provides advanced partial discharge (PD) analysis for
power transformers. The PD-Smart UHF and electrical measurements
lets you do both off-line and on-line-testing. When paired with
permanently installed sensors, such as the bushing tap sensor in
accordance with IEC60076, use the PD-Smart for periodic testing of inservice power transformers.
Due to highly advanced technology using multiple channel - and
synchronous - measurements, information can be extracted and derived
by the well known StarDiagram for easier interpretation and analysis.
Consult your Doble engineers for assistance in partial discharge tests
and for recommendations on testing results.

Why test for PD with Doble?

Do you need to test one transformer
or a fleet of transformers?
Would you like cost effective testing
Would you like to have the flexibility
to test transformers in the future?

Bushing Tap Impedance LDM-6/U


PD-Smart Features

UHF Drain Valve Sensors


Rugged & Portable

Interference Rejection
State-of-the-Art Electronics
Standards ready
Modular Voltage Options
Coupling Options


PD-Smart for Transformers Accessories

A typical PD-Smart testing system consists of:

PD-Smart UHF with software and accessories

3 Bushing PD Sensors

1 DN50 or DN80 Drain Valve UHF Sensor and/or Plate UHF

Sensor or Bushing Tap LDM-6

1 External Voltage Generator

1 Pre Amplifier

Monitoring for Partial Discharge


Phase 3: Monitoring for Partial Discharge

When you want to monitor the condition of your critical assets, rely on
the Doble PD-Guard, which is the heart of your on-line, continuous
partial discharge monitoring system.

Why monitor for PD with

Do you need to monitor your high
value power transformers?
Do you want the assurance that you
will not miss a rapidly progressing PD
Are you monitoring a known
problematic power transformer and
suspect the condition may quickly

With advanced signal processing, interference suppression and PD

analysis software, the PD-Guard is an important part of a thorough
condition-based maintenance program.
The PD-Guard will continuously watch your critical assets and its alarm
system will notify you before partial discharge levels are reaching a
critical level.
The PD-Guard can continuously monitor a single transformer, but can
also be expanded to include other transformers. Doble supports you by
offering commissioning, calibration and analysis.

Are you looking for a cost-effective

monitoring program?

The PD-Guard complies with all IEEE and IEC standards on partial
discharge testing.

Bushing Tap Impedance LDM-6/U

Computer(s) for
Remote Control
& Analysis



LAN / WAN / Internet

Alarm Box

UHF Drain Valve Sensors

PD Monitoring

PD-Guard Features


PD-Guard for Transformer Accessories

A typical PD-Guard testing system consists of:

1 PD-Guard/UHF Partial Discharge Monitor

1 DN50 or DN80 Drain Valve UHF Sensor and/or Plate UHF Sensor or Bushing
Tap LDM-6

1 License for the PD Evaluation Server and associated PD-Guard/UHF Analysis

1 External Voltage Generator

1 Pre Amplifier

1 Data Base and Evaluation Server

Highly sensitive PD Detection

Advanced Analysis Tools
Rugged and Reliable
Condition Based Maintenance
Interference Rejection
Automatic Calibration
Alarm Notifications


Locating Partial Discharge

Partial Discharge: Locating

Depending on the severity of the test results, Doble offers the
LDS-6. It is a 4 or 8 channel acoustic locating device that will
cross-triangulate to find almost exactly where the PD is within
your transformer.
The LDA-6 was developed for acoustic localization of partial
discharge inside power transformers. It uses an advanced
algorithm for high-precision localization of the source
of partial discharge, with the user interface presenting a
visualization of the measurement results.

Partial Discharge Accessories

Doble offers a series of probes and sensors to enhance your partial
discharge surveying, testing and monitoring.
A high frequency current transformer sensor can be
clipped on an apparatus ground wire and connected to
the PD-Smart to confirm internal PD activity.
Useful for locating partial discharge in metal clad
switchgear and internally in transformers, a Doble
capacitive Transient Earth Voltage (TEV) probe can be
connected directly to the PD-Smart.


Managing risk through condition assessment of transformers was recently
reviewed by CIGRE in A2-27 Brochure 343, 2008. This document identified
locations (i.e. facilities) for mounting PD sensors in the transformer purchase
Though a simple UHF PD monitoring system could include a single UHF
probe, the study recommends including several more. The system can be
scaled from as few as one to four UHF probes per PD-Guard/UHF monitor.
These facilities will allow easy installation of UHF probes at a suitable time.

Additional Testing and Monitoring


Additional Transformer Testing and Monitoring

The Doble Delphi
The Doble Delphi is an intelligent and robust on-line
dissolved gas analysis (DGA) instrument.
Designed for the harsh environments of substations
and power transformer applications, the Doble
Delphi is able to withstand full vacuum, has an
optional pump and provides both level and trend
alarms and indications.
The LCM500 is an on-line leakage current monitor
designed for assessing the condition of insulated
base metal oxide surge arrestors in transmission
and distribution lines.
It is wireless and gives readings within seconds for
immediate diagnostics and trending data.

Doble's Intelligent Diagnostic Devices (IDDs) are
cost-effective, online diagnostic systems used to
monitor electrical apparatus in the field. They are
used to detect incipient problems with bushings/
CTs, transformers and circuit breakers.
Each IDD is apparatus-specific and can be
mounted in existing enclosures or in Doble
provided enclosures.


Partial Discharge Solutions Support and Services

Expert Help When You Need It

It may not be possible to maintain PD experts on your staff. Rely
on Dobles engineers for specialty diagnostic testing and advanced
engineering support.

Client Services Support

If you buy or lease a Doble PD system, you are eligible for Doble
Client Services Support, which includes quarterly data reports and
recommendations, product and analysis training and access to PD
experts. Client Services Support is automatically included in your leased
contract price and is also available for purchase.

Doble Power Services

Dobles Power Services group can also provide on-site, non-invasive
testing services including on-line partial discharge surveys and
testing of transformers. Off-line testing is also possible along with site
commissioning, training and diagnostic services.

Doble Knowledge is Power

Founded in 1920, Doble Engineering Company works with clients
around the world to help minimize risk and maximize the performance
of their power systems. Doble has a reputation for excellence, earned
through the expertise of its engineers and the quality of its products
and services. Doble is the industrys knowledge leader and supports
the sharing of best practices and industry knowledge through a series
conferences around the globe.
Annual Life of a Transformer Seminar
Join industry experts for four days of in-depth training on on the most
critical aspects of large power transformers. This is the worlds premier
seminar on large power transformers from cradle to the grave.


The Doble Client Committee on Transformers

The Client Committee of Transformers reviews topics of greatest
interest and concern, shares service advisories, best practices and
lessons learned. Members are Doble Services Agreement clients
and participation is limited to representatives from utility, industrial or
testing companies to facilitate open discussion without the presence of
manufacturers. The committee meets twice a year at the International
Conference of Doble Clients and the Client Committee Meetings.
Doble Engineering Company
Worldwide Headquarters
85 Walnut Street
Watertown, MA 02472 USA
tel +1 617 926 4900
fax +1 617 926 0528

Specifications are subject to change without notice.

Doble is ISO Certified

Doble is an ESCO Technologies Company
MKT-SL-PD Solutions for Transformers-03/12