PhD Houssem Eddine NECHMI « Research of gas/ gas mixture without sulfur hexafluoride for High Voltage Insulation applications »
Thesis Houssem Eddine NECHMI
« Research of gas/ gas mixture without sulfur hexafluoride
for High Voltage Insulation applications »
SULPHUR hexafluoride, SF6, is the most common compressed gas used in high voltage power equipment since the 1950s and in HV transmissions and substations applications (GIS, GCB, GIL …), SF6 holds a prominent place because of its dielectric and chemical performance (high dielectric strength, non-toxicity, low condensation temperature, thermal stability, non-flammability, chemical inactivity with the other constituent materials of the apparatus, availability and moderate cost). It is one of the best insulators gas known today.
Despite its excellent properties in both electrical insulation and current interruption performance, the excessive size, the radiative effect and atmospheric lifetime of SF6 molecule makes this gas an aggravating agent for the greenhouse gas effect, with a very high global warming potential (GWP) (23900 times higher than CO2). Thus, the international and European recommendations (COP 3) and (Regulation (EU) No 517/2014) respectively tend to strongly restrict or prohibit its use to preserve the environment.
Since then, an important task was undertaken by manufacturers to find other gases or mixtures of substitution with less impact on the environment and dielectric performances comparable or superior to those of SF6. Naturally, the investigations were oriented towards halogenated products that have reduced GWP such as CF3I, Perfluorinated Ketones, Octafluorotetra-hydrofuran, Hydrofluoroolefin (HFOs) or heptafluoro-iso-butyronitrile (Fluoronitriles)), all offer a dielectric strength between 1.2 and 2.71 relative to SF6. These candidates open interesting perspectives for the substitution of SF6 in the GIS applications designed for high voltage T & D network. Their main disadvantage is their high molecular weight, which implies a higher operating temperature compared to SF6.
This work deals with the experimental study of dielectric performance of Fluoronitriles CO2 mixtures. Intrinsic parameters of the measured steady state Townsend swarm currents are identified. The evaluation of the currents produce the effective ionization rate constant in different Fluoronitriles-CO2 mixtures. In addition, this work provides a conventional assessing of insulating performance with typical breakdown experiments, conducted for different field configurations over a wide pressure range and for all standard voltage waveforms.
The experiments are conducted with different electrodes geometries namely plane-to-plane (Bruce profile), sphere-to-sphere, sphere-to-plane and rod-to-plane. AC and LI breakdown characteristics of CO2 and different Fluoronitriles /CO2 mixtures gas were experimentally analyzed in a real scale GIS coaxial test system. The main investigated parameters are the effect of roughness and effective surface area HV inner conductor on insulation performance, depending on various parameters (pressure, form and voltage polarity, gas temperature…).
Index Terms — SF6; CO2 ; mixtures of Fluoronitriles/CO2; Effective ionization coefficient; Paschen’s curves ; various geometries of electrodes; surface roughness effect; effective surface area effect; breakdown voltages; coaxial electrode geometry ; LI polarity effect.