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CIGRE International Conference on Large High Tension Electric Systems 112, boulevard Haussmann ~ Pai 1972 Session — 28 August - 6 Soptembs 33-13 ° FIELD INVESTIGATIONS OF LINE INSULATORS IN POLLUTION AREAS by J. SAFERNA & R, KOSZTALUK Power institute (Poland) ‘SUMMARY Data from measurements of severity and conductivity of industrial air pollution and of rain conductivity obtained over the period 1953-1970 a method of investigation of the performance of insulators in natural pollution conditions according to which insulators in test stations are energized at their rated voltage and exposed to natural pollution and weather conditions. Results of time measurements since mounting insulators in test stands till lashover of insulators of various types. Effect of design features of insulators and of weather conditions on the time to flashover. Criteria for the selection of line insulators working in varlous pollution zones. Experlence gained from the application of various measures taken 10 reduce the failure rate of electric power lines in regions with severe industrial pollution, such as : waterrepellent ‘coatings, cleaning of insulators, special suspension arrangements, Air pollution, Insulator, Pollution, Pollution zone, Rain conductivity, Test, Selection of insulators. REPORT 1. INTRODUCTION The first important failures due to pollution occurred in Poland after 1950 in 110 kV networks, The highest intensification of these faults was observed in most industrialised regions during the period 1952-1980, Since, systematic investigations have been made, aiming at the reduction of the pollution failure rate of line and station insulation, Research is carried out along the following lines : = measurement of parameters of air pollution and hydrometeorological measurements for the determination of actual service conditions of insulators, = tests of naturally polluted insulators made for the choice of insulators best adapt- ed to operate under industrial air pollution, = establishment of principles for the choice of insulators depending on the density and conductivity of industrial air contamination, = application of measures taken for reducing the failure rate of insulators in highly polluted regions, such as : water-repellent coating, washing of insulators, special ways of suspension, Research carried out, allowed for the reduction of the failure-rate in networks by over 70% in reference to that of 1952-1960, 33-13 2. SERVICE CONDITIONS OF INSULATORS ‘The thermal flashover mechanism of a polluted insulator requires for its development a certain amount of moisture forming, together with the pollution layer, electrolytes which increase the surface conductance of the insulator (1, 2, 3], That is why, in 1953 measurements of industrial air pollution and in 1963 of the conductivity of atmospheric precipitations, i.e. ef factors responsible for the drop of the clectric withstand strength of insulators, were start- ed, These measurements are continued up to date, Measurements of the pollution deposition are carried out by means of a funnel and a container, The inlet area of the funnel is 200 cm? and the volume of the container - 1000 cm’, Deposition meters are placed at least 2 m above ground level, The number of measuring posts depends on the distribution of industrial plants, and ranges from 5 to 10 per km? industrialis- ed regions and from 1 to 2 per 10 kn? in regions distant from pollution centres, The pollu- tion deposition is measured every month, The number of measurements indispensible for determining maximum pollution at a given point should not be less than 12, i,e, measurements cannot last less than one year, ‘The pollution deposition rate is determined by weighing the insoluble sediment deposited on filter paper and the dried remainder of soluble substances obtained after the evaporation of the filtered solution, Adding both values the total weight of pollution deposition per month is determined and, then, converted to the pollution deposition rate expressed in grams per 1 m? and day, account taken of the measuring time and the inlet area of the meter, Measuring results depend on the distance from pollution sources, Long-term investiga- tions allowed for the statement that there exist four characteristic pollution zones. The situa- tion of the latter and the maximum pollution deposition rate in each of them are listed in table 1. Table 1, Pollution deposition rate, pollution conductivity and rain-water conductivity Maximum | Maximum | Maximum deposition | pollution | conductivity Pottution | se characteristics | TM conductivity | of rain-water zone g/m? and : day hS.em*t US. en 7 Non-industrial | up to 0.7 [up to 1200 250 regions 1 2-10 km from pollution 1200-1500 400 sources Ur 0,8-2 km from pollution 1.2.- 6 |1500-1900 800 Vv up to 0.8 km from pollution over 6 over 1900 | over 800 sources ‘The pollution deposition rate at a given measuring point changes in particular months of the years, The maximum deposition rate occurs usually during one of the first four months of the years, and often is 1,5 - 2,5 times higher than in summer, The lowest deposition rate was observed during summer months, ‘The pollution conductivity is determined by measuring the conductivity of the solution of 0,2 g of the dried remainder of soluble pollution substances in 100 cm! of distilled water, 33-13 ‘The maximum pollution conductivity for each of the pollution zones is given in Table 1, Considerable changes of the pollution conductivity were stated at the same measuring point in particular months, The maximum conductivity appears usually during the last and first months of the year, It is often 1,5 - 2 times higher than in summer, The lowest conductivity was observed during summer months, ‘The measurement of the rain water conductivity is carried out according to two methods. The first one consists in measuring the conductivity of water collected during the first minutes of the rainfall, The second method consists in a continous measurement and recording of the variation of the water conductivity during the rainfall and in recording the variation of the rain precipitation, ‘The last method, as yet, was not applied in other countries. ly ° 7 er or Why 8 ® i ay BT Figure 1 - Occurrence frequency of rainfalls of given Figure 2 - Conductivity of rain versus the intensity conductivity in particular pollution zones and duration of precipitation 1 = Fain conductivity at 20°C Rein intensities #1 - up t0 0,1 mm/h, 2» up ‘h = total mumber of measurements Ia a given tot mm/n, $= up to 10 mm/s, 4! - over 10 mm/h pollution zone ke ~ number of measurement of @ given conductivity An analysis of measurements made according to the first method proved a strict relation between the air pollution and the conductivity of rain water, Data obtained are presented in Figure 1, Measurements carried out at several dozen measuring posts distributed over regions of various degrees of air pollution displayed that atmospheric precipitations of conductivity ranging from 100 to 200 5:em"! (27, 5%) and from 200 to 300 uS+em~! (23.1%) are most fre- quent, A conductivity superior to 1000 US: cm" was recorded in over 5% of the total number of rainfalls recorded, An analysis of measurements made according to the second method allowed for the collection of data on the variation of the rain water conductivity in dependence on the varia- tion of the rain precipitation and its duration as well as on the duration of rainless periods (Fig. 2). Measurements of the degree of dissociation were made using the method suggested by Estorff and Cron ( 4], They were started in 1969, Measuring posts were distributed over regions of a various air pollution severity, It was observed that the extreme water conductivity of 200 uS-em"! is reached after 4 to 35 days depending on the situation of the measuring post. Relations obtained display a much greater spread than that stated by the authors of the method,