Electric potential and field calculation of HVDC composite insulators by charge simulation method

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Description

High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology is being considered for several long distance point-to-point overhead transmission lines, because of their lower losses and higher transmission capability, when compared to AC systems. Insulators are used to support and isolate the conductors

High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology is being considered for several long distance point-to-point overhead transmission lines, because of their lower losses and higher transmission capability, when compared to AC systems. Insulators are used to support and isolate the conductors mechanically and electrically. Composite insulators are gaining popularity for both AC and DC lines, for the reasons of light weight and good performance under contaminated conditions. This research illustrates the electric potential and field computation on HVDC composite insulators by using the charge simulation method. The electric field is calculated under both dry and wet conditions. Under dry conditions, the field distributions along the insulators whose voltage levels range from 500 kV to 1200 kV are calculated and compared. The results indicate that the HVDC insulator produces higher electric field, when compared to AC insulator. Under wet conditions, a 500 kV insulator is modeled with discrete water droplets on the surface. In this case, the field distribution is affected by surface resistivity and separations between droplets. The corona effects on insulators are analyzed for both dry and wet conditions. Corona discharge is created, when electric field strength exceeds the threshold value. Corona and grading rings are placed near the end-fittings of the insulators to reduce occurrence of corona. The dimensions of these rings, specifically their radius, tube thickness and projection from end fittings are optimized. This will help the utilities design proper corona and grading rings to reduce the corona phenomena.