Evolution of partial discharges during early tree propagation in epoxy resin

Zepeng Lv, Simon Rowland, Siyuan Chen, Hualong Zheng, Ibrahim Iddrissu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Electrical tree growth is a precursor to dielectric breakdown in high voltage polymeric insulation. Partial discharge (PD) has a close relationship with electrical tree propagation and can be both used to understand the aging process, and as a diagnostic tool for asset management. In this paper it is shown that PD patterns change through the early stages of tree growth, and consideration of these changes gives insight into the processes of tree growth. Here, trees have been grown in epoxy resin in needle-plane geometries with 2 mm gaps, at 15 kV peak AC. The PD phase-resolved pattern can be regarded as a combination of the well-known turtle-like and wing-like PD patterns. As a tree extends its length, a wing-like pattern is seen and the maximum discharge magnitude has an almost linear relationship with the maximum length of the growing branch. Comparison of the energy released by discharges and the vaporization energy needed for tree growth supports the proposal that the wing-like pattern corresponds to PDs responsible for growth in length of the trees. Implications for mechanisms for tree growth are considered. Results suggest that asset managers may be able to use partial discharge analysis to distinguish different stages of tree growth, providing a valuable prognostic tool for optimising high voltage plant management and replacement
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
    Issue number5
    Early online date27 Nov 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • PD phase resolved pattern
    • electrical tree
    • wing-like PD
    • turtle-like PD
    • asset management
    • prognostics


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