Modelling and Simulation of PD Characteristics in Non-Conductive Electrical Trees

Zepeng Lv, Simon Rowland, Siyuan Chen, Hualong Zheng

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    Electric tree growth is a key ageing mechanism leading to breakdown of high voltage electrical insulation. Partial discharges (PDs) are invariably associated with electrical tree inception and propagation. In turn, the physical structure of an electrical tree influences the characteristics of partial discharge activity. Interpretation of PD patterns is therefore central to developing an understanding of the tree propagation process, and also to the use of PD patterns as an asset management tool. Our previous research indicates that the phase resolved PD (PRPD) patterns and pulse sequence analysis (PSA) patterns evolve with tree propagation. A method was proposed to estimate the point-on-wave inception and extinction voltages of PDs in tree channels within each power cycle. It was shown that the evolution of PD patterns is a consequence of changes to PD inception and extinction voltages as a tree develops. This paper provides a deterministic model of partial discharge in tree channels. Simulations of PDs in a straight non-conductive tree channel are based on experimental PD inception, extinction and residual voltages. The quantitative simulations reproduce almost all the characteristics of observed PRPD and PSA patterns. It is concluded that PD events are determined by five key parameters: tree structure, applied voltage, PD inception voltage, PD extinction voltage and PD residual voltage. Key parameters estimated by the method, and the models proposed explain PD activity in non-conductive trees. It is suggested that the PSA and PRPD patterns should be discussed together to fully understand the PD events. This model forms a platform for generating robust information for asset managers using PD measurements from high voltage equipment in service
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018


    • trees (insulation)
    • epoxy resin insulation
    • partial discharge
    • modeling


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