Electrical Tree Growth and Partial Discharge in Epoxy Resin Under Combined AC and DC Voltage Waveforms

Simon Rowland, Ibrahim Iddrissu, Hualong Zheng, Zepeng Lv, Roger Schurch Brandt

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    The effect of DC bias on electrical tree growth and partial discharge (PD) characteristics in epoxy resin (Araldite LY ® 5052/Aradur® HY 5052 supplied by Huntsman) is investigated using three waveforms: AC, AC with positive DC bias, and AC with negative DC bias. Needle-plane samples are used. Tree growth is shown to be accelerated by the combined effect of DC and 50 Hz AC, beyond the AC growth rate. Positive and negative DC biased tests result in 62% and 54% reductions in average time to breakdown, respectively. Different tree structures and stages of development are associated with different partial discharge characteristics, with thick dark tree branches associated with high PD magnitudes, whereas fine tree channel growth is linked with PD magnitudes below 1 pC. AC tests showed five distinct stages of tree growth compared to four stages seen in DC biased tests. In particular, trees growing in the ‘reverse direction’ from the planar to the point electrode, which is observed in the latter stages of AC tests, is not seen in the DC biased tests. It is concluded that for composite voltages, the AC component is the essential driver of tree growth but the DC component can accelerate propagation. AC noise may therefore compromise the reliability of insulation in HVDC networks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2183-2190
    Number of pages8
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018


    • AC
    • DC
    • composite waveforms
    • electrical treeing
    • epoxy resin
    • space charge


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