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CHAPTER 8

HIGH VOLTAGE TESTING OF


ELECTRICAL APPARATUS
1. Introduction
2. Classification of High Voltage Tests
3. Test Voltages
4. High Voltage Testing of Electrical Apparatus
1. INTRODUCTION
 Purpose of the testing: To ensure that the electrical
equipments are capable of withstanding the overvoltages that
are met with in service.
 Covers basic requirements procedures for testing on several
electrical apparatus. Normally, high voltage (HV) testing is to
investigate the insulation performance.
 International/national specifications for testing are outlined
(details of test, specific equipment, procedure and acceptable
limits) to meet the users’ and manufacturers’ requirements.
2.1 CLASSIFICATION OF HIGH VOLTAGE
TESTS
 Destructive Test
 Normally the equipment underwent destructive
test cannot be used in the service.
 Test voltage is higher than its normal working
voltage.
 Breakdown test.
Con’t
 Non-Destructive Test
 Mainly done to assess the electrical properties,
eg. Resistivity, dielectric constant and loss
factor.
 The apparatus is not destroyed during the test
and can be used again.
2.2 TYPES OF TESTS
 Routine Tests
 Made by the manufacturer on every finished piece of product.
 To fulfills the specifications
 Type Tests
 Performed on each type of equipment before their supply on a
general commercial scale – demonstrate performance
characteristics.
 No need to repeat the test unless changes are made in the
design of the product.
Con’t
 Maintenance Tests
 Usually carried out after maintenance/repair of
the equipment.
 Conducted according to schedule provided.
 Purpose of the test : To ensure the equipment
lifetime is achieved.
3.0 TEST VOLTAGES
 Can be divided into three, eg. Direct voltages (DC), power-
frequency alternating voltages (AC) and impulse voltages.
Con’t
 Test with Direct Voltage (DC).
 Mainly to test equipment used in HVDC
transmission systems.
 Insulation testing, fundamental investigations in
discharge physics and dielectric behaviour.
 Rate of voltage rise above 75% of its estimated
final value should be about 2% per second.
Con’t
 Test with Alternating Voltage (AC).
 Frequency range : 40-60 Hz, sinusoidal shape.
 Dry withstand test : Most common routine test
for all types of electrical equipment especially
insulators, bushing, rod gaps etc.
 Applied voltage between two to three times of
the normal working voltage.
Con’t
 Test with Alternating Voltage (AC) – cont.
 Wet withstand test : To simulate the effect of natural rain on
external insulation.
 Recommended for tests on apparatus which are designed for outdoor
used.
 Use artificial rain.
 Applied for 30-60 seconds.
Con’t
 Test with Impulse Voltage.
 Is designed to investigate the
insulation performance due to the
lightning stroke or Lightning
impulse chopped on the front
switching operation.
 3 types of impulse voltages, ie;
 1) Full wave
 2) Chopped wave
 3) Switching wave
 BS 923: Part 2: 1980
Con’t
 BS 923: Part 2: 1980

Lightning impulse chopped


on the tail

Full switching impulse


Con’t
 Rated impulse withstand test
 For test on non-self-restoring insulation, 3 impulses are applied.
 For withstand tests on self-restoring insulation, 2 procedures
are used:
 1) 15 impulses (rated withstand voltage) with the specified shape and
polarity are applied
 2) Test procedure for determining 50% disruptive discharge voltage is
applied
 The method used for determining the levels of applied voltage
is up-and-down methods.
Con’t
 Atmospheric Correction Factors
 By applying correction factors, a measured flashover voltage
that influenced by the atmospheric conditions can be
determined.
4.0 HIGH VOLTAGE TESTING OF
ELECTRICAL APPARATUS
 Impulse testing on transformer
 According to BS 171: Part 3. Carried out at
room temperature with the transformer not
energized.
 Used standard impulse waveshapes. Full and
chopped waves.
 During the tests, impulse voltage and current
are recorded.
Con’t
 Failure detection (Insulation failure)
 A change in the waveshape of the voltage and current both
before and after the chopped waves have been applied.
 The existing of acoustic noise.
 Visual signs of flashover
 Failure location : Voltage waveform propagation may provide
clue to the position of a breakdown.
Con’t
 Testing on switchgear or circuit breaker
 According to BS 5227: Part 2, IEC 56.
 Conducted in two conditions:
 Circuit breaker closed (ON position)
 Circuit breaker opened (OFF position)
 15 negative and positive standard lightning impulse are applied.
 Test on one phase, the other two phases and structure of the
panel is connected to earth.
Con’t
 Routine and Type test on cables
 According to BS 923: Part 2, IEC 60-2, IEC 55-1, IEC 230 and
BS6480.
 Power frequency, direct current and impulse voltage tests.