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Surface charge accumulation on spacers under switching impulses in sulphur hexafluoride gas Cherukupalli, Sudhakar Ellapragada


Metal encapsulation with compressed sulphur hexafluoride gas insulation has reduced the size of power substations and improved their reliability. Due to the superior insulating properties of this gas, its application in Gas Insulated Transmission lines (GITL) and Gas Insulated Substations (GIS) is increasing. Such systems invariably require solid support spacers for supporting high voltage conductors and for compartmentalizing sections of the systems. It has been found that, although the dielectric strength of sulphur hexafluoride is high compared to other gases, in the presence of a solid spacer, the dielectric integrity of the system is impaired. For DC GIS and GITL, free of any particulate contamination, anomalous flashover during a polarity reversal of the applied voltage has been attributed to charge accumulation on the spacer surface. The present work examines the effect of switching impulse voltages on the charge accumulation on support spacers in sulphur hexafluoride gas and the effect of AC precharging on impulse flashover. The charge accumulation on the spacer has been measured using a capacitive probe. A three-dimensional surface charge simulation technique has been developed to convert the probe potential measurements to an equivalent charge distribution. Electric field variation on the spacer surface due to this computed charge can be then obtained with this program. The results indicate that spacers acquire charges even under impulse voltage application in non-uniform field gaps. These charges affect the prebreakdown phenomenon and the breakdown behavior of spacer gaps. Under AC voltages, spacers in uniform fields do not acquire charges as has been reported by previous investigators. Under non-uniform field conditions however, AC precharging of spacers does affect the impulse flashover. The variation however, seems to fall within the statistical scatter of pure impulse flashover.

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