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Proceedings of the XIVth International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering,

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, August 25-29, 2005


H-07

PDC Measurements at Generator Bars

C. Sumereder, M. Muhr, R. Woschitz


Graz University of Technology
Institute of High Voltage Engineering and System Management
Inffeldgasse 18, 8010 Graz, Austria
surname@hspt.tu-graz.ac.at

Abstract: The dielectric response function of an circuit of an insulation system and the measured
electric insulation system can be determined by the currents during insulation resistance test according to
measurement of the polarization and depolarization [1].
current (PDC). Beside partial discharge and dissipation
factor measurements the time domain dielectric The total current of insulation resistance measurements
response function can be taken to gain information is the sum of leakage, conductance, capacitance and
about the aging process and the condition of the absorption current, according to equation {1}. The
insulation medium. The best results for the condition quantitative characteristic of each is illustrated in
evaluation can be achieved at the frequency domain figure 2.
description in the shape of the complex capacitance and
dissipation factor. For this reason the dielectric response I T = IC + IG + IL + IA …{1}
function has to be converted with the Discrete Fourier
Transformation (DFT).

Until now the PDC method was successfully applied to


determine the water content of oil-paper systems in
transformers. This paper should give a view to PDC
measurements at insulation systems for rotating
machines and the implication for the condition
evaluation. First results of the diagnosis with the PDC
method are discussed and a comparison to classical
dielectric measurements is given.

Dielectric Measurements at Generator Bars

Dielectric measurements are a very important tool to


evaluate the condition of electric insulation systems,
different standards were state of the art, e.g. the testing
of the insulation resistance [1] or the dissipation factor. Figure 2: Types of currents at DC resistance
The test methods can be divided in AC tests with (0.1) measurement of insulation systems [1]
50/60 Hz or higher and DC methods.
The absorption current decays at a decreasing rate. The
current vs. time relationship is a function according to
equation {2}; it may be plotted as a straight line on a
double logarithmic scale graph.

IA = K. t –n …{2}

IA … absorption Current
K … function (insulation system, test voltage)
t … time of applied direct voltage
n … characteristic function of insulation system
Figure 1: Equivalent circuit and DC currents for
insulation systems [1] The absorption current consists of two components,
which are due to the polarization of the impregnating
The most popular dielectric measurements were materials and the gradual drift of electrons and ions
dissipation factor, insulation resistance (polarization through most organic materials. Organic molecules,
index) and partial discharge test. Beside these there such as epoxy, polyester, and asphalt, tend to change
were also the absorption (polarization) current, orientation in the presence of a direct electric field. It
conduction current, geometric capacitance current and usually takes several minutes after application of the
surface leakage current. Figure 1 shows the equivalent electric field for the molecules to become reoriented.

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Proceedings of the XIVth International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering,
Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, August 25-29, 2005
H-07

systems. The characteristic of the polarization


The conduction current in well-bonded polyester and behaviour depends on the geometry and insulation
epoxy-mica insulation systems normally is zero unless conditions.
the insulation has become saturated with moisture.
The time domain response function is converted to the
The surface leakage current is constant over time, where frequency domain description, the Discrete Fourier
a high level can be caused by moisture or some other Transformation (DFT) is applied [4]:
type of partly conductive contamination present in the
machine. − id (t )
f (t ) =
C0 ⋅U 0 f (ω ) = ∫ f (t ) ⋅ e − jωt dt
The quantity of each current is dependant of the used
insulation materials and factors as geometrical
arrangement. The characteristic of the total current The advantage of this mathematical procedure is that
admits statements about the condition of the insulation the frequency domain is a complex description of the
system. E.g. a low percentage of the leakage and/or response function where the parameters conductivity,
conduction current can be interpreted as cleanliness and permittivity and polarization can be described according
dryness, if the windings were wet or contaminated the to the formula:
absorption current is relatively smaller. For clean and κ + ωε 0ε r ″
dry rotating machine insulation, the insulation tan δ = tan δ L + tan δ POL =
resistance is between about 30 s and a few minutes ωε 0ε r ′
primarily determined by the absorption current.
ε r * = ε r ′ − jε r ″ {3}
Dielectric Response Function with: κ … conductivity, tan δ … dissipation factor, εr*
… complex permittivity
The measurement of dielectric response function and its
interpretation for the condition evaluation is a very old The dissipation factor can be expressed according to
method. Beginning in the year 1889 [2] physicist started {3} where the conductivity and the real part of the
to investigate the polarisation and depolarisation complex permittivity show a very low dependence to
behaviour of insulants. In 1927 a contribution about the frequency. The imaginary part has a strong dependence
anomaly of dielectrics was mathematical described. The to frequency caused of different polarization mechanism
so called Curie - von Schweidler Law [3] describes the in the insulating medium. The results of a simulation for
dependence of currents during polarization and the variation of the parameters κ, c´ and c´´ are
depolarization as linear function in double logarithmic illustrated in figure 4 and 5. The rise of the conductivity
scale. The theory and results from measurements are causes a change in the shape of the tan δ function in the
shown in figure 3. lower frequency area. The process of a rising
conductivity should be characteristic for degradation of
the insulating medium. The rise of c´ and c´´ proceeds
in the opposite way. A rising of c´, which can be
interpreted as a rise of the relative permittivity, causes a
parallel decrease of tan δ and vice versa for c´´.

Figure 3: dielectric response function in theory and real

The dielectric response of an electrical insulation


system at the PDC method is measured in time domain.
The polarization and depolarization current in
Figure 4: Variation of dissipation factor in dependence
dependence of time is recorded, transformed and
evaluated. Several measurements have shown that the of conductance κ
so called Curie - von Schweidler law does not meet this
behavior in real, because dielectrics were heterogeneous Up to now there were many considerations done about
possible connection between the dielectric relaxation

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Proceedings of the XIVth International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering,
Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, August 25-29, 2005
H-07

and condition or residual disruptive strength of the higher temperature disturbs the orientation process as
insulation medium, but all this expectations could not well as the dipoles can not follow the field at high
be fulfilled, no physical parameter is known which can frequencies [5]. The parallel linked Ri and Ci describe
represents an absolute parameter. For this reason the further polarization effects, Ri delays the polarisation
dielectric parameter κ and εr´ were taken into account and depolarisation processes of the serial linked Ci.
for the evaluation of the measurements.
Test Objects and Measurements

The test objects are generator bars of resin rich


technology. The generator bars were in operation in
different periods of time. The preparation of the test
objects and arrangement of the measuring equipment
can be seen in figure 7. The PDC measurements were
done periodically approximately all 100 h.

Test Voltage
CX Measuring Air Gap
Electrode

Figure 5: Variation of dissipation factor in dependence


of parameters c´ and c´´
Grounded Electrodes

Taking a look to the equivalent circuit of the generator


bar insulation several serial and parallel resistances and Figure 7: Preparation of generator bars and connection
capacitances can be observed (pancake model). This of power supply test lead for dielectric measurements
insulation system is built of two components: mica tape
and resin. The R0 represents the geometric resistance, The air gap was necessary to separate the geometric
C0 the vacuum capacitance and Ri, Ci the polarization resistance and vacuum capacitance of the total
mechanism. The size of these parameters is determined resistance and capacitance values (with generator bar
by the proportion of the used components. The per cent ends) on the one hand and on the other to prevent
by volume of mica at resin rich bars is about 70% and at leakage currents.
VPI bars 85-95%. The dielectric strength is mainly
destined by the electric field strength and the resulting Results
voltage distribution. Figure 6 illustrates the electric field
strength in the material components resin and mica tape For the evaluation of the test results the polarization and
(left) and the equivalent circuit with the parallel linked depolarization currents, the complex capacitance,
geometric resistances and vacuum capacitances (right). insulation resistance, dissipation factors were
investigated in detail. In diagram 1 the depolarization
currents of one generator bar in dependence of load
time was observed. The current shows an almost linear
decreasing characteristic. In dependence of load time
the Depolarization current were rising.

Figure 6: Dielectric model of a generator bar and


equivalent circuit of heterogeneous dielectrics

This equivalent circuit meets the theory of the Maxwell Diagram 1: Depolarization Currents
two-layer model: The dissipation factor is dependant on
the temperature and the power frequency for a dielectric In diagram 2 the insulation resistances of the same
with orientation polarization; a temperature rise is generator bar were shown in dependence of load and
equivalent to a decrease of the power frequency. A measuring time. The Resistances were calculated:

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Proceedings of the XIVth International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering,
Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, August 25-29, 2005
H-07

IR´ = Uc/IPOL, IR´´ = Uc/(IPOL-IDEPOL), in the diagram the


R´´ values are illustrated because of the very small
differences between R´ and R´´. From this diagram the
Polarization Index (PI) could be calculated. For all
curves the PI was within the demanded values
according to the standard [1]. According to the Current
measurements the insulation resistances had the similar
behaviour. In dependence of load time the resistances
get smaller and smaller.

Diagram 5: Dissipation Factors

Conclusions

The results of the PDC measurements and the


calculation of dielectric parameters can be summarized
as follows:

The theoretical considerations about the behaviour of


Diagram 2: Insulation Resistances dissipation factor in dependence of resistivity and
complex capacitance were met very well. The resistance
In diagram 3 the real part of the complex capacitance is of the generator bars falls, the complex capacitance
shown. The c´ rises with load time in the lower raised with load time. The mathematical formulation of
frequency areas. At higher frequency there was almost dissipation factor according to equation 3 is confirmed.
no change in quantity.
It was observed that the generator bars fail out without
sudden. This behaviour can be interpreted that the
mechanism which causes the damage and finally the fall
out happens very fast.

With the PDC method the aging behaviour of an


electrical insulation system can be observed. It is an
integrative method, for this reason no absolute
statements (as a withstand voltage test or PD
measurement enables) about the condition of the
observed system can be done. It is important to do
periodical measurements.
Diagram 3: Complex Capacitances, Real Part
The PDC method can be applied at generator bars in
The processes of aging concerning the imaginary part of general. The application to measure a whole winding
the complex capacitance is shown in diagram 4. The respectively a whole generator has to be verified. Future
curves rise with load time over the whole frequency measurement should show
area. The dissipation factor in dependence of load time
is illustrated in the diagram 5. The curves show a rising References
behaviour with load time over the total frequency area. [1] IEEE Std 43-2000, Recommended Practice for
Testing Insulation Resistance of Rotating Machinery
[2] J. Curie, Recherches sur la Conductibilite des Corps
Cristallises, Annales de Chimie et de Physique, 1889
[3] E. von Schweidler, Studien über die Anomalien im
Verhalten der Dielektrika, Annalen der Physik 1907,
24, 711-770
[4] A. Helgeson, Analysis of Dielectric Response
Measurement Methods and Dielectric Properties of
Resin-Rich Insulation During Processing, Doctor
Thesis, Kungl Tekniska Högskolan Stockholm Sweden,
2000, ISSN 1100-1593
[5] A. Küchler, Hochspannungstechnik, VDI Verlag
Diagram 4: Complex Capacitances, Imaginary Part 1996, ISBN 3-18-401530-0