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THE CONSTRUCTION OF LABORATORY EQUIPMENT FOR THE DETERMINATION / INVESTIGATION OF ELECTRICAL INSULATOR BREAKDOWN

ABSTRACT

Insulation deterioration happens when insulators are subjected to anomalous strains in a power system. Because insulators cannot withstand an infinite amount of energy, any insulating substance will eventually yield to the electrical pressure and electron flow will occur. Once current is driven through an insulating material, the molecular structure of that material will be broken. The material may or may not behave as an insulator after breakdown.

This research demonstrates how to build effective and efficient laboratory equipment for detecting insulator breakdown and calculating insulator dielectric strength when exposed to excessive voltage.

A high frequency transformer is used to supply the various test voltages, a voltmeter is used to measure the applied voltage to the electrodes as well as the flashover voltage, a transistor is used to turn on the high frequency transformer, a feedback circuit is used to maintain a stable voltage supply, and an LED is used to indicate when insulators have failed.

The electrodes’ location, or the distance between the two electrodes/conductors, was also taken into account because it aids in determining the insulator’s dielectric strength.

This work is divided into five chapters, as follows: Chapter 1 is devoted to the work’s general introduction; Chapter 2 is devoted to a study of the literature based on previous information provided by other researchers; and Chapter 3 is devoted to the work’s conclusion.

Chapter One

INTRODUCTION

Insulation refers to the separation of conductors in an electrical power supply. It could be a solid, a liquid, a gas, or even a vacuum. Insulation deterioration and its consequences are two phenomena that any electrical or maintenance engineer must be familiar with if proper equipment and crew safety and continuous service to customers are to be maintained.

There has been a growing demand for electrical energy since the introduction of electricity in the nineteenth century. Researchers developed new types of insulators in response to higher voltages. Many natural insulators, which were popular at the turn of the century, have been phased out in favor of ceramic or porcelain materials.

Many of them have low impact strength, are inflexible, and crack during the production process, among other issues. Organic insulating materials are used as electrical insulation in cables, machines, switch boards, and outgoing lines, and because these devices are used in harsh environments, insulating material breakdown has become a serious problem that has a significant impact on the insulators’ safety and reliability.

Insulators deteriorate as a result of aging and the stressors they are subjected to during their typical working lives. The damage or shortening of the life lifetime of electrical equipment covered by these insulators is the ultimate effect of the incident. Personnel and the environment in which such a system is used are occasionally adversely affected.

This research investigates / determines the voltage that can break down a specific insulator in order to determine the dielectric strength of the insulator. The findings of this preliminary investigation on solid insulators demonstrate that each insulator has a maximum voltage that it can withstand before its molecular structure is broken.

A survey of prior equipment utilized by various researchers revealed that it was exceedingly complicated and expensive, and that such equipment could not be afforded by local Nigerian researchers because of the expense. This needed the development of locally manufactured equipment to detect insulator breakdown owing to excessive voltage in a practical system. The structure is straightforward, low-cost, and dependable.

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