Performance analysis of composite insulators up to 1200 kV ac using electric field calculations

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This research work illustrates the use of software packages based on the concept of nu-merical analysis technique to evaluate the electric field and voltage distribution along composite insulators for system

This research work illustrates the use of software packages based on the concept of nu-merical analysis technique to evaluate the electric field and voltage distribution along composite insulators for system voltages ranging from 138 kV up to 1200 kV ac. A part of the calculations was made using the 3D software package, COULOMB 8.0, based on the concept of Boundary Element Method (BEM). The electric field was calculated under dry and wet conditions. Compo-site insulators experience more electrical stress when compared to porcelain and are also more prone to damage caused by corona activity. The work presented here investigates the effect of corona rings of specific dimensions and bundled conductors on the electric field along composite insulators. Inappropriate placement or dimensions of corona rings could enhance the electric field instead of mitigating it. Corona ring optimization for a 1000 kV composite insulator was per-formed by changing parameters of the ring, such as the diameter of the ring, thickness of the ring tube and the projection of the ring from the high voltage energized end fitting. Grading rings were designed for Ultra High Voltage (UHV) systems that use two units of composite insulators in pa-rallel. The insulation distance, which bears 50% of the total applied voltage, is raised by 61% with the grading ring installed, when compared to the distance without the grading ring. In other words, the electric field and voltage distribution was found to be more linear with the application of grad-ing rings. The second part of this project was carried out using the EPRI designed software EPIC. This is based on the concept of Charge Simulation method (CSM). Comparisons were made be-tween electric field magnitude along composite insulators used for suspension and dead end configuration for system voltages ranging from 138 kV to 500 kV. It was found that the dead end composite insulators experience significantly higher electrical stress when compared to their suspension counterpart. It was also concluded that this difference gets more prominent as the system voltage increases. A comparison made between electric field distribution along composite insulators used in single and double dead end structures suggested that the electric stress experienced by the single dead end composite insulators is relatively higher when compared to double dead end composite insulators.