Gas measurements as a mean for identification of Partial Discharges in XLPE HV cable insulation

  • Patrick Janus
  • Hans Edin
  • Kruphalan Tamil Selva
Keywords: PD, Gas measurements


Partial Discharges (PD) on high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) cables insulated with cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) has a low occurrence, but consequences are usually severe since PD ultimately results in cable failures. Up until now the only efficient way to monitor HVAC cables for PD has been to install large coupling devices which are able to measure PDs directly from the power cables in order to verify if they are fault-free. These installations, usually of a temporary nature, are troublesome for several reasons like safety issues, measurement uncertainty, labor intensity etc. 
For the purpose to ultimately create a system that is able to be utilized for PD Detection by means of gas analysis, which is easily applicable in on site, on-line conditions, initial experiments were performed in order to investigate basic material properties of XLPE and to investigate the performance of tin oxide (SnO2) sensors for such an application. For this purpose a specialized test cell was developed in order to be able to investigate different conditions which can be expected in a cable insulation system.
It was found from the experiments that surface discharges are detectable by means of gas analysis and that these gases penetrate an XLPE sample. It was also demonstrated that the SnO2 based sensor system displays a good selectivity to the gases emitted by PD and remain inert towards other gases emitted from XLPE samples.


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