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Title: Study of electrical strength and lifetimes of polymeric insulation for DC applications
Author: Iddrissu, Ibrahim
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 9530
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2016
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Polymeric insulating materials are being re-evaluated in the context of the re-emergence of HVDC and its advantages in bulk power transfer over long distances. This has been met with new sets of requirement such as; the use of polymeric insulation, compaction of HV equipment (e.g. HV cables), and innovations in converter technology. This equipment requires high power rating and hence will be exposed to high electric stresses. One of the properties of polymeric DC insulation is its ability to retain injected charges at high DC fields leading to local field modification and subsequent breakdown of the insulation through electrical treeing. Electrical treeing is one of the important failure mechanisms of solid polymeric insulations resulting from high voltage stresses and a precursor to failure of electrical equipment. Hence, the performance and reliability of polymeric insulation designs will be affected by electrical treeing. Literature shows that electrical trees initiate easily with switching voltages such as impulses, voltage surges and reversal of power flow direction. Innovations in converter technology employs fast switching devices such as insulated gated bipolar transistors (IGBTs) which generates substantial amount of harmonics and may also impact insulation systems reliability. This research investigates the reliability of epoxy resin (LH/HY 5052) for suitability in HVDC applications due to its excellent properties as jointing compound in medium and high voltage cables systems. The development of test facilities for short term breakdown strength, space charge measurement and electrical treeing experiment have allowed short term breakdown strength on homogeneous layers of thin epoxy-epoxy samples and long term breakdown through electrical treeing under DC, AC and AC superimposed on DC to be investigated so that an understanding of the link between space charge, material strength and life times can be clarified. The results on short term breakdown showed the layered samples have 6% reduction in strength compared to un-layered samples. For long term treeing test, 100% of the samples stressed with negative DC did not fail while 67% of the sample stressed with positive DC failed with average lifetime of 250 minutes. Samples stressed under AC showed forward and reverse directions of tree growth with average lifetime of 143 minutes from 70% failed samples. For AC superimposed on ±DC all samples failed with average lifetimes of 54 and 78 minutes for positive and negative bias tests, respectively. It is concluded that, the differences in lifetime obtained under positive and negative pure DC tests and that of the positive and negative DC bias tests are associated with space charge causing field relief under negative DC and negative bias tests. The huge reduction in lifetimes under AC superimposed on DC as ripples tests highlights the potential threat of power quality issues on the reliability of DC systems. Electrical tree growth from the ground planer electrode (reverse tree) observed under AC test was associated with relatively low voltage under AC test compared with the other tests see Table 8-1 for test voltages employed.
Supervisor: Cotton, Ian ; Rowland, Simon Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DC treeing ; AC treeing ; Defects ; Inception ; Partial discharge monitoring ; Epoxy resin ; Space charge ; DC and AC breakdown strength