 
=

\
(1)
where is the mean value and is the standard deviation.
Logistic distribution: The cdf of logistic distribution is defined by
1
( )
1 exp [ ( ) / ]
P v
v
=
+
(2)
where is the mean value like normal distribution and is the shape parameter.
Threeparameter Weibull distribution: The cdf of 3PW distribution is
( ) 1 exp
v
P v
(
 
=
(

\
(
(3)
where
, ,
are the scale, shape and location (threshold) parameters, respectively.
Gumbel distribution: The cdf of Gumbel distribution is given by
( ) 1 exp exp
v
P v
(  
=
 (
\
(4)
where and are scale and location parameters, respectively.
Analyzing the works of the researchers [69], in this article four different types
of probability distributions are considered to decide on the best fitted distribution to the
present impulse breakdown voltage data: Normal, logistic, 3PW and Gumbel
distributions. For the selection of the distribution, parameter estimates are performed
applying the method of maximum likelihood estimation (MLE). The MLE method
basically depends on the solution of the likelihood function which is defined as the
product of probability density functions of selected distributions (see Appendix 6.1).
The parameter estimates that maximize the likelihood function are obtained by
6
numerical methods [8]. Comparative parameter estimates of the distributions are
performed with both NewtonRaphson (NR) and Monte Carlo (MC) optimization
methods to ensure the correctness of parameter estimates of the distributions.
2.4 Goodnessoffit procedure
The most suitable types of statistical distributions which are applied for evaluation of
impulse breakdown data under different experimental test conditions are found [69,11]
to fit logistic, normal, Gumbel and 3PW distributions. Hence, in this work, for statistical
evaluation of 50% impulse breakdown voltage, these four types of distributions are
selected. Since logistic, normal and Gumbel distributions are of twoparameter type,
they are compared by means of KS and LR tests. LR test is only applied to compare
logistic and 3PW distributions. The compatibility between curves of the empirical and
theoretical distributions is investigated by KS test. The largest deviation between these
curves is taken as a goodnessoffit measure [12].
3. Experimental setup
3.1 Twostage swingmotion impulse generator
As shown in Figure 1(a), the impulse generator used in the experiments is of twostage
and arranged to fire with a specially designed swingmotion stagegap system. The
values of charging capacitor and resistor is 0.26 F and 600 k, respectively providing
a time constant of RC=156 ms. The impulse voltage was applied in 12 minutes
intervals, hence the rate of rise of applied voltage increase was always lower than this
value. The generator stage voltage is 120 kV and equipped with 0.26 F polystyrene
capacitors and is capable of delivering maximum 1.872 kJ. The position of spheres at
each stage resembles to classical impulse generator circuit with one distinct feature is
that the column of one group sphere makes free swingmotion which allows the
7
generator to trigger for any impulse voltage requirement. The standard lightning
impulse voltage (1.2 / 50 s) was applied to the test gap by means of this generator. The
impulse wave shape was recorded by a digital oscilloscope the impulse voltage and
timelag were measured with the aid of a computer feed from the digital oscilloscope.
3.2 Experimental setup of external DC sweep voltage
Sweep voltages which emerge from some cases as explained in previous sections cause
voltage to appear at the output terminal of the impulse generator prior to triggering [4].
These voltages were found [4,5] to affect the impulse insulation strength of air and
hence lead to variation of impulse breakdown voltage to be applied across terminals of
power equipment undergoing tests. In order to investigate influence of sweep voltages
on impulse breakdown voltage, and on the type of distribution functions, a DC voltage
source was connected across rodplane test gap and a small spheretosphere gap was
inserted to isolate impulse generator as shown in Figure 1(b). The DC sweep voltage
was applied via a 50 M current limiting resistor which was selected in order to prevent
damaging the DC source. The impulsegenerator leakage current isolatorspheres were
placed 1 m away from the test gap and both spheres were 2 cm in diameter.
During the tests a rodplane gap was used. The reason for selecting this gap is
because of its distinct boundaries of its critical volume around the tip of the rod
electrode. The boundaries of critical volumes are not explicitly defined in planeplane
and rodrod gaps. The rod electrode was 3 cm in diameter and Rogowski profiled plane
electrode was 30 cm in diameter. The gap length was fixed to 3 cm. The impulse
breakdown voltage data was obtained by the upanddown test method and the voltages
were recorded and measured with a digital storage oscilloscope (UNIT) via generator
capacitive voltage divider (a=1/3500), and peak voltage and timelags were recorded
8
with PC interfaced with the oscilloscope. The laboratory tests were performed without
interruption to avoid undesirable environmental conditions on the test results and all
results were normalized to STP conditions.
A DC sweep voltage was permanently connected to the test gap during the tests.
Positive and negative DC sweep voltages were applied for only positive impulse tests.
Negative impulse voltage was not used since it provides extra electrons into the critical
volume in addition to spaceborn electrons.
The values of DC sweep voltages were selected similar to those used in
reference [4]. For adjustment of DC sweep voltage, an electrostatic voltmeter (TREK
520 IT9265099) was used and voltage adjustments were done by means of the
calibration curve. But it was found that there is not much difference between applied
and measured DC sweep voltages.
Results and discussions
4.1 Upanddown breakdown test data
The results of normalized upanddown breakdown test data obtained for different
ambient test conditions under positive and negative sweep voltages are illustrated in
Figures 2 and 3. In the figures, 50% impulse breakdown voltage estimates determined
by the logistic distribution which is suggested to be the most likely distribution as a
result of this paper are given.
4.2 Results of parameter estimates
The parameter estimates are determined by the MLE algorithm for four different
distributions (Section 2.3) which are expected to fit the impulse breakdown voltage
data. For optimizing the MLE equations, MC and NR methods are applied. The results
of parameter estimates for positive and negative sweep voltages are shown in Tables 1
9
and 2, respectively. The reason for illustrating the results of both methods is to ensure to
reach of optimum point during iterations, and hence, of attaining the correct estimates. It
can be seen that the parameter estimates of four distributions obtained with both
methods seem to be close to each other. Notably, the effect of sweep voltages on
parameter estimates appears to be negligible for four distributions.
4.3 KolmogorovSmirnov test results
For selecting the appropriate distributions among normal, logistic and Gumbel which
are fitted to impulse breakdown voltage test data, KS goodnessoffit test is applied.
The results of KS test between the fitted and the empirical distributions are shown in
Table 3 and 4. Because of its unacceptably large KS values, Gumbel is the most
improper among these distributions under both positive and negative sweep voltages.
Logistic distribution seems to be more appropriate than the other two
distributions under positive sweep voltages as illustrated in Table 3. However, under
negative sweep voltage, logistic distribution performs better than the others for only the
negative sweep voltages,  75 V and  300 V, but for 0 V and  150 V sweep voltages,
normal distribution outperforms the other distributions [1315] as shown in Table 4.
4.4 Likelihood ratio test results
In Section 4.3 the results of KS test indicated that logistic distribution serves better
than normal and Gumbel distributions for all values of sweep voltages except 0 V and 
150 V sweep voltages. Because of successful performance of 3PW distribution in self
restoring gas insulated systems [69], logistic distribution is also compared with 3PW
distribution applying LR test at 5% significance level for both sweep voltage data
samples. The results for both distributions are shown in Table 5 and 6.
10
2
limit which is 3.841 at 5% significance level and the corresponding pvalue
(0.05) are critical values to test whether the data comes from the logistic distribution or
the 3PW distribution (see Appendix 6.3) for our LR test statistic. R values smaller than
3.841 indicate that the data is the most likely to come from logistic distribution,
otherwise 3WP is the candidate. Hence, for positive sweep voltages (Table 5) + 150 V
and + 300 V, and for negative sweep voltages (Table 6) 0 V and 300 V, logistic
distribution serves better than 3PW distribution. Also, pvalues greater than 0.05
demonstrate that the data fits the logistic distribution better than 3PW distribution. In
Tables 5 and 6, loglikelihood (LL) values leading computation of R values are also
introduced.
Comparative study for the best fitted distribution to the impulse breakdown
voltage data under positive and negative sweep voltages is also carried out with QQ
plots. The results of QQ plots confirm LR test results given in Tables 5 and 6 such that
logistic distribution has outstanding features among the others.
It is observed that logistic distribution suits best in some sweep voltage data sets
according to the consequences of KS test. Logistic distribution is also compared with
3PW distribution by means of LR test and according to the results of LR test; logistic
distribution operates better than 3PW for + 150 V, + 300 V, 0 V and  300 V sweep
voltage data samples. Therefore, it is not guaranteed that logistic distribution will
behave always better than normal, 3PW, or Gumbel distributions but at least it can be
said under some circumstances logistic distribution might work better than other three
distributions.
11
4. Conclusions
The impulse breakdown voltage data obtained from upanddown tests to determine
V
50%
impulse breakdown voltage is generally observed to follow normal or 3PW
probability distributions. However, in the present study it is shown that logistic
distribution can sometimes perform better than other two distributions under the
influence of externally applied DC sweep voltages. Logistic distribution may be
suggested to be as an alternative distribution to normal and 3PW distributions.
5. Appendix
6.1 Maximum likelihood estimates
Normal distribution: The probability density function (pdf) of normal distribution is
given by
2
2
( )
2
1
( )
2
v
p v e
= (5)
The likelihood function L corresponding to n breakdowns occurring at each voltage
level
i
v is given (6)
2
2
( )
2
1 2
1
1
( , , ... ,  , )
2
i
v
n
n
i
L v v v e
=
(
= (
(
(6)
Since
i
v and n are known, L is a function of and only. For complete impulse
breakdown voltage samples, natural logarithm of the likelihood function
2
1
1
ln ln( 2 ) ln( )
2 2
n
i
i
v n
L n
=
 
=

\
(7)
yield the LL functions
( )
2
1
ln 1
0
n
i
i
L
v
=
= =
(8)
12
( )
2
3
1
ln 1
0
n
i
i
L n
v
=
= + =
(9)
Logistic distribution: The pdf of logistic distribution is given by
( ) /
( ) / 2
( )
( 1 )
v
v
e
p v
e
=
+
(10)
Likelihood function for logistic distribution is
( ) /
1 2 ( ) / 2
1
( , , ... ,  , )
( 1 )
i
i
v n
n v
i
e
L v v v
e
=
(
=
(
+
(11)
where
1 2
, ,...,
n
v v v are the impulse breakdown voltages. The logarithm of the likelihood
function is defined by
( )
( ) /
1 1 1
ln ln( ) 2 ln 1
i
n n n
v i
i i i
v
L e
= = =
 
= +

\
(12)
To find the parameters that maximize the LL function, the following MLE equations
need to be solved simultaneously.
( ) /
( ) /
1
1
ln
2 0
1
i
i
v
n
v
i
e
L n
e
=
 

= =

+

\
(13)
( ) /
2
( ) / 2
1 1
( )
( ) ln
2 0
1
i
i
v
i
n n
i
v
i i
v
e
v L n
e
= =
 

= + =

+

\
(14)
ThreeParameter Weibull distribution: The pdf of 3PW distribution is given by
1
( ) exp
v v
p v
(
   
=
(
 
\ \
(
(15)
The likelihood function is given by
13
1
1 2
1
( , , ...,  , , ) exp
n
i i
n
i
v v
L v v v
=
( (
   
= ( (
 
\ \
( (
(16)
1 2
, ,...,
n
v v v are the lightning impulse breakdown voltages. The logarithm of likelihood
function is denoted by
( ) ( ) ( )
1 1
1
ln ln 1 ln
n n
i i
i i
L n v v
= =
 
= +

\
(17)
LL equations are given by
( )
2
1
ln 1
0
n
i
i
L n
v
= + =
(18)
( ) ( ) ( )
1 1
ln 1
ln ln 0
n n
i i i
i i
L n
v v v
= =
(
= + =
(19)
( ) ( ) ( )
1 1
1 1
ln
ln 1 0
n n
i i
i i
L
v v
= =
= =
(20)
Gumbel distribution: The pdf of Gumbel distribution has the form
1
( ) exp exp exp
v v
p v
(      
=
   (
\ \ \
(21)
Likelihood function is given by
1 2
1
1
( , , ...,  , ) exp exp exp
n
i i
n
i
v v
L v v v
=
( (      
=
(    (
\ \ \
(22)
where
1 2
, ,...,
n
v v v are the impulse breakdown voltages obtained from upanddown test.
The logarithm of likelihood function is denoted by
1 1
1
ln ln exp
n n
i i
i i
v v
L n
= =
     
= +
  
\ \ \
(23)
14
The first derivatives of LL function w.r.to distribution parameters and yield the
following two equations
2
1 1
ln
exp 0
n n
i i i
i i
v v v L
n
= =
     
= + =
  
\ \ \
(24)
1
ln 1
exp 0
n
i
i
v L n
=
 
= + =

(25)
6.2 Monte Carlo optimization
Alternatively, we can use MC optimization method to determine the parameters of
probability distribution functions. Maximizing the LL function in this method is
realized by means of random search. Numbers are produced randomly in the specified
interval for parameters, and inserted into LL function. This method repeatedly evaluates
the LL function at randomly selected values of parameters [16], and requires no
derivatives of LL function. It needs no iterative initial values for finding parameters.
Generated random values that maximize the LL function are selected as the estimated
parameters of distribution.
6.3 Likelihood ratio test
Distributions which are compared by means of LR test should have different number of
parameters. Logistic and 3PW distributions have different number of parameters:
Logistic distribution has two parameters and 3PW distribution has three parameters. For
this reason, comparing logistic and 3PW using LR test is appropriate. This test method
benefits from LL values of distributions.
H
0
: Data come from a logistic distribution model
H
1
: Data come from a 3PW distribution model
15
3
2 ln
L
PW
L
R
L
 
=

\
3
2 ln 2 ln
L PW
L L = + (26)
where ln
L
L and
3
ln
PW
L are LL function values of logistic and 3PW distributions,
respectively.
If R is greater than
2
, 0.05 k
, then H
0
is rejected and H
1
is accepted. Otherwise, H
1
is rejected and H
0
is accepted. All data is considered at 5% significance level for this
work.
( 3 ) ( ) k parameter number of PW distribution parameter number of logistic distribution =
(27)
( )
2
1 , p R k = (28)
where R is the value of LR test and k is the degrees of freedom of
2
distribution.
7. References
[1] W.J. Dixon, A.M. Mood, A method for obtaining and analyzing sensitivity data,
Journal of American Statistical Association, Vol. 43, pp. 109126, 1948.
[2] IEC Pub. 601, HighVoltage Test Techniques, Part 1: General Definitions and Test
Requirements, International Electrotechnical Commission, International Standard,
1989.
[3] IEEE Std 41995, IEEE Standard Techniques for HighVoltage Testing, The
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1995.
[4] I.C. Somerville, D.J. Tedford, The spatial and temporal variation of ion densities in
nonuniformfield gaps subjected to steady state or transient voltages, 3rd Int. Symp.
On High Voltage Engineering, IEE Publ., Vol. 2, pp. 53.02, 1979.
16
[5] I.C. Somerville, D.J. Tedford, Timelags to breakdown: The detachment of
atmospheric negative ions, 5th Int. Conf. On Gas Discharges, IEE Publ. 165, pp. 250
253, 1978.
[6] H. Hirose, More accurate breakdown voltage estimation for the new stepup test
method in the Gumbel distribution model, European Journal of Operational Research,
Vol. 177, pp. 406419, 2007.
[7] Y. Zhang, Z. Liu, Y. Geng, L. Yang, J. Wang, Lightning impulse voltage
breakdown characteristics of vacuum interrupters with contact gaps 10 to 50 mm,
IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, Vol. 18, pp. 21232130,
2011.
[8] C. Korasli, Statistical inference for breakdown voltage in SF
6
GIS from first
breakdown data, IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, Vol. 5, pp.
596602, 1998.
[9] F. Yildirim, C. Korasli, Statistical approach for determining breakdown voltage of
gasinsulated cables, IEEE Trans. on Electrical Insulation, Vol. 27, pp. 11861192,
1992.
[10] J.M. Meek, J.D. Craggs, Electrical Breakdown of Gases, New York, John Wiley &
Sons, 1978.
[11] S. Vibholm, P. Thyregod, A study of the upanddown method for nonnormal
distribution functions, IEEE Transactions on Electrical Insulation, Vol. 23, pp. 357364,
1988.
[12] J. P. Marques de S, Applied Statistics using SPSS, Statistica, MATLAB and R,
2nd Edition, Berlin Heidelberg, SpringerVerlag, 2007.
17
[13] A.M. Abouammoh, A.M. Alshingiti, Reliability estimation of generalized inverted
exponential distribution, Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, Vol. 79,
pp. 13011315, 2009.
[14] R.D. Gupta, D. Kundu, Exponentiated exponential family: An alternative to
gamma and Weibull distributions, Biometrical Journal, Vol. 43, pp. 117130, 2001.
[15] W. Lu, D. Shi, A new compounding life distribution: The WeibullPoisson
distribution, Journal of Applied Statistics, Vol. 39, pp. 2138, 2012.
[16] S.C. Chapra, Numerical Methods for Engineers, 6th Edition, Mc Graw Hill, 2006.
18
1
R
2
R
load
R
Figure 1. (a) Swingmotion twostage impulse generator. (b) Experimental setup and
sweep voltage deterring spheresphere gap
19
0 50 100 150
0
50
100
V
s
= 0 V
0 50 100 150
40
60
80
V
s
= + 75 V
0 50 100 150
40
50
60
V
s
= + 150 V
0 50 100 150
40
50
60
Number of Voltage Application N
V
s
= + 300 V
V
50%
= 51.21 kV
V
50%
= 48.99 kV
V
50%
= 49.26 kV
V
50%
= 49.03 kV
(T=17
o
C, p=100.35 kPa, RAH=49%)
(T=19
o
C, p=100.35 kPa, RAH=46%)
(T=20
o
C, p=100.35 kPa, RAH=44%)
(T=21
o
C, p=100.35 kPa, RAH=41.5%)
Figure 2. Upanddown test data for positive sweep voltages. 50% impulse breakdown
voltage estimate determined by logistic distribution indicated on the vertical breakdown
voltage axis. (RAH: Relative Air Humidity)
20
0 50 100 150
40
50
60
V
s
= 0 V
0 50 100 150
40
50
60
V
s
=  75 V
0 50 100 150
40
50
60
V
s
=  150 V
0 50 100 150
20
40
60
Number of Voltage Application N
V
s
=  300 V
V
50%
= 47.85 kV
V
50%
= 46.84 kV
V
50%
= 47.19 kV
V
50%
= 47.61 kV
(T=19
o
C, p=100.3 kPa, RAH=40%)
(T=19
o
C, p=100.3 kPa, RAH=46%)
(T=19.5
o
C, p=100.3 kPa, RAH=37.5%)
(T=20.5
o
C, p=100.3 kPa, RAH=37.5%)
Figure 3. Upanddown test data for negative sweep voltages. 50% impulse breakdown
voltage estimate determined by logistic distribution indicated on the vertical breakdown
voltage axis. (RAH: Relative Air Humidity)
21
Table 1. Maximum likelihood estimates for positive sweep voltage data
Sweep
Voltage
Dist.
Type
MC Opt NR Opt
0 V
ND
1
= ( 49.1949, 4.3738 )
1
= ( 49.1959, 4.3685 )
LD
2
= ( 48.9953, 2.3993 )
2
= ( 48.9952, 2.3986 )
3PWD
3
= ( 4.7628, 51.4372 )
4
= ( 4.7614, 51.4373 )
+ 75 V
ND
1
= ( 51.3760, 3.7909 )
1
= ( 51.3757, 3.7891 )
LD
2
= ( 51.2159, 2.2155 )
2
= ( 51.2156, 2.2160 )
3PWD
3
= ( 7.6477,1.8408, 44.6049 )
GD
4
= ( 3.9077, 53.2685 )
4
= ( 3.9055, 53.2834 )
+ 150 V
ND
1
= ( 49.2607, 2.8397 )
1
= ( 49.2561, 2.8474 )
LD
2
= ( 49.2636, 1.5728 )
2
= ( 49.2674, 1.5727 )
3PWD
3
= ( 3.1151, 50.6441 )
4
= ( 3.1115, 50.6539 )
+ 300 V
ND
1
= ( 49.1023, 3.2930 )
1
= ( 49.1052, 3.2984 )
LD
2
= ( 49.0370, 1.8892 )
2
= ( 49.0322, 1.8910 )
3PWD
3
= ( 3.5515, 50.7447 )
4
= ( 3.5545, 50.7460 )
22
ND: Normal Distribution, ( )
1
, = ( in kV );
LD: Logistic Distribution, ( )
2
, =
( in kV );
3PWD: Threeparameter Weibull Distribution,
( ) 3
, , = ( in kV );
GD: Gumbel Distribution,
( ) 4
, =
( in kV ).
23
Table 2. Maximum likelihood estimates for negative sweep voltage data
Sweep
Voltage
Dist.
Type
MC Opt NR Opt
0 V
ND
1
= ( 47.5616, 2.4315 )
1
= ( 47.5565, 2.4288 )
LD
2
= ( 47.6041, 1.3791 )
2
= ( 47.6108, 1.3792 )
3PWD
3
= ( 2.2504, 48.6952 )
4
= ( 2.2489, 48.6958 )
 75 V
ND
1
= ( 47.2615, 2.3956 )
1
= ( 47.2639, 2.3989 )
LD
2
= ( 47.2016, 1.4149 )
2
= ( 47.1949, 1.4198 )
3PWD
3
= ( 2.3343, 48.4341 )
4
= ( 2.3406, 48.4308 )
 150 V
ND
1
= ( 46.8637, 2.2760 )
1
= ( 46.8743, 2.2706 )
LD
2
= ( 46.8474, 1.3253 )
2
= ( 46.8435, 1.3273 )
3PWD
3
= ( 2.2936, 47.9866 )
4
= ( 2.2979, 47.9829 )
 300 V
ND
1
= ( 47.8055, 3.7486 )
1
= ( 47.8077, 3.7555 )
LD
2
= ( 47.8476, 2.0669 )
2
= ( 47.8507, 2.0680 )
3PWD
3
= ( 3.6964, 49.6185 )
4
= ( 3.7015, 49.6169 )
24
ND: Normal Distribution, ( )
1
, = ( in kV );
LD: Logistic Distribution, ( )
2
, =
( in kV );
3PWD: Threeparameter Weibull Distribution,
( ) 3
, , = ( in kV );
GD: Gumbel Distribution,
( ) 4
, =
( in kV ).
25
Table 3. Kolmogorov Smirnov test results for positive sweep voltage data
Sweep
Voltage
Dist.
Type
MLE KS
0 V
ND
1
, = ( in kV );
LD: Logistic Distribution, ( )
2
, = ( in kV );
GD: Gumbel Distribution,
( ) 3
, = ( in kV ).
26
Table 4. Kolmogorov Smirnov test results for negative sweep voltage data
Sweep
Voltage
Dist.
Type
MLE KS
0 V
ND
1
, = ( in kV );
LD: Logistic Distribution, ( )
2
, = ( in kV );
GD: Gumbel Distribution,
( ) 3
, = ( in kV ).
27
Table 5. Likelihood ratio test results for positive sweep voltage data
Sweep
Voltage
Dist.
Type
MLE LL value R pvalue
0 V
LD
1
= ( 48.9952, 2.3986 )
216.3519 4.0218 0.0449
3PWD
2
= ( 51.2156, 2.2160 )
206.4928 10.1708 0.0014
3PWD
2
= ( 49.2674, 1.5727 )
181.4788 3.7128 0.0540
3PWD
2
= ( 49.0322, 1.8910 )
178.3459 2.4346 0.1187
3PWD
2
, = ( in kV );
3PWD: Threeparameter Weibull Distribution,
( ) 2
, , = ( in kV ).
28
Table 6. Likelihood ratio test results for negative sweep voltage data
Sweep
Voltage
Dist.
Type
MLE LL value R pvalue
0 V
LD
1
= ( 47.6108, 1.3792 )
170.4623 0.0388 0.8438
3PWD
2
= ( 47.1949, 1.4198 )
172.5591 4.5044 0.0338
3PWD
2
= ( 46.8435, 1.3273 )
169.5264 3.9018 0.0482
3PWD
2
= ( 47.8507, 2.0680 )
191.6012 3.6278 0.0568
3PWD
2
, = ( in kV );
3PWD: Threeparameter Weibull Distribution,
( ) 2
, , = ( in kV ).
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