The most obvious cause for the degradation of electrical insulations is partial discharges or the PDs. The long term degradation of this insulation will eventually lead to failure of the electrical insulations and this can have catastrophic consequences. When you want to measure the condition of a particular insulation material, you will need PD testing and the partial discharge monitoring over the long term. By tracking the condition of the insulation, the PD testing is also useful in estimating the lifespan of the electrical insulations in your installations.
The accuracy of the partial discharge monitoring is that the switchgear can be used in this exercise online, while the voltage is in it. The online testing is generally more cost effective and more beneficial than the offline testing of the insulation material. For companies with HV installations, this is a big advantage. They are able to monitor the status of the insulation and even forestall any potential disasters in the future without spending too much money. The testing done online also gives them a very clear indicator of the health of their electrical assets.
A lot of the operators of the electrical assets generally have a zero clue regarding the condition of their electrical assets until it begins displaying noticeable signs indicating that something could wrong. Partial discharge monitoring using the PD testing switchgear changes that and allows one to easily track the condition of these installations based on solid empirical data. By using good testing devices, the operators are guaranteed to prevent the switchgear and HV cable failures.
When you are mapping out an asset management strategy, then it is very important to incorporate the partial discharge monitoring and the partial discharge testing as part of the management practice. This is because the PD is bound to occur in every HV electrical installation at one point or another. Some of the common causes of the failure include the following –
Age and Deterioration
Due to use over a long period of time, the electrical installations are bound to fail at one point or another. Based on the design of the assets, some assets are bound to deteriorate at a faster rate than others. Some will be more prone to failure than others. With the partial discharge monitoring, it is important to pick out those assets that are not in the best condition and then make the timely interventions that will make it right. Through this, you will be able to maximize on the lifeline on your electrical assets and forestall any potential disasters.
One of the causes of the degradation in the electrical assets is flooding in the substation which can damage some of the insulation in the electrical assets. The residue left from the flooding can permeate the switchgear and cause further damages to the insulation.
Defects in the manufacturing
Although manufacturers go to great lengths to test their electrical materials and partial discharge testing switchgear, some may still have defects by the time they are shipped to the customer. Apart from the manufacturing defects, the defects can also occur during the installation process of the switchgear.
An investment in partial discharge monitoring is always the best option of insuring the longevity and safety of your electrical installations. At http://www.livehv.com.au, you can find useful information on how you can monitor and protect your equipment from the adverse effects of the partial discharges.