Space charge accumulation on High Voltage Direct Current Gas Insulated Substations can produce electrical field reinforcements in the insulation that need to be taken into account in the equipment design. The TSM (Thermal Step Method) is one of the experimental techniques allowing to determine space charge distributions in insulating materials. However localized defects (i.e. microvoids, delaminations etc) cannot usually be detected by this technique. A new numerical approach to study the influence of structural defects on Thermal Step Method currents is proposed. The method is based on a Finite Element numerical simulation allowing to simultaneously solve electrical and thermal equations. The effect of three different defects were studied. It results that ring defects, with diameters smaller than 0.4 mm, produce less than 10% of change on TSM current signals. This confirms the difficulty to detect small defects by this method. It was also observed that delaminations can produce variations in signal as high as 70%, and even generate signals of opposing sign from the case without defect.
Characteristics of creeping discharges along epoxy surface in fluoronitrile/co2 gas mixture under lightning impulse
This paper deals with creeping discharges propagating over solid insulator samples in presence of a fluoronitrile mixture consisting of 10% of fluoronitrile and 90% of CO2, under positive and negative standard lightning impulse voltages, in point-plane geometry. The solid samples used are disks made of filled epoxy resin used for real GIS insulators. The experimental results are compared with those obtained with SF6 at pressure ranging 0.1 to 0.3 MPa, while the pressure of fluoronitrile mixture is chosen to match an equivalent dielectric strength of SF6. Different characteristic parameters are investigated namely the maximum length of creeping discharges versus the gas/mixture pressure and voltage polarity. In SF6, two regimes of discharges that depend on the voltage polarity are evidenced. Under positive impulse, the mixture presents similar properties as SF6. However, under negative polarity the maximum discharge length in SF6 is much longer than in the fluoronitrile mixture.
SuperGrid Institute is going global! Next week, Arthur Boutry will be crossing the Atlantic to collaborate with the Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), a laboratory at Virginia Tech (listed by The Times as one of the top 300 universities in the world in 2019!). During his time in the USA, Arthur will continue his work on designing MMC sub-modules for HVDC applications as part of his PhD which he began in 2018 at SuperGrid Institute, in collaboration with the Laboratoire Ampère. Arthur received a grant from the American government for his exchange year in the form of a Fulbright scholarship, one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs in the world. An impressive accomplishment!