Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
 Lecture notes 
Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering
WaltherPauerStr.5
D03046 Cottbus
GERMANY
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 1
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
1. Introduction 
4 

1.1. Chair and Teaching Programme 
4 

1.2. Objective and Structure of the Lectures 
7 

1.3. Fundamental Principles 
9 

1.3.1. Maxwell’s Equations 
9 

1.3.2. Static Fields 
11 

1.3.3. Stationary (SteadyState) Fields 
11 

1.3.4. Slowly Varying (QuasiStationary) Fields 
12 

1.3.5. Rapidly Varying Fields 
14 

2. Determination of the Electric Field Distribution 
19 

2.1. 
Analytical Calculations 
19 
2.1.1. Coaxial Cylinders and Spheres 
19 

2.1.2. Boundary Problem for Plate Electrodes 
20 

2.1.3. Influence of Space Charges 
21 

2.1.4. Schwaiger’s utilization factor 
23 

2.2. Graphic Determination of Field Distribution 
28 

2.3. Measurement of the Field Distribution 
30 

2.4. Method of Conformal Mapping 
31 

2.5. Method of Substitution Charges 
32 

2.6. Differential Method 
34 

2.7. Method of Finite Elements 
35 

3. Boundary surfaces and imperfections in highvoltage insulators 
36 

3.1. Boundary conditions 
36 

3.2. Laminated Dielectric 
37 

3.3. Tangential Fields at Boundary Surfaces 
42 

3.4. Imperfections (Defects) 
43 

4. Discharge Reactions in Gases (Basic Mechanisms) 
46 

4.1. Statistical Basics 
46 

4.2. NonSelfMaintained Gas Discharge 
51 

4.3. SelfMaintained Gas Discharge 
54 

4.4. Towsend Discharge 
59 

4.5. Streamer Mechanism 
66 

5. Discharge Reactions in Gases (technical details) 
69 

5.1. Breakdown of Mixed Gases 
69 

5.2. Influence of the Electrode Roughness 
70 

5.3. Breakdown in Inhomogeneous Fields 
72 

5.4. Streamer and Leader discharge 
75 

5.4.1. Positive Streamer Discharge 
75 

5.4.2. Negative Streamer Discharge 
76 

5.4.3. Leader Discharge 
76 

5.5. Breakdown Behaviour for Transient Voltages 
78 

5.6. Spark Discharge and Arc Discharge 
80 

5.6.1. Spark Discharge 
80 

5.6.2. Arc Discharge 
84 

5.7. 
Surface Discharges 
87 
5.7.1. Breakover (FlashOver) 
87 

5.7.2. Pollution Layer Breakover 
88 

5.7.3. Surface Discharge (Sliding Discharge) 
91 

6. Breakdown Reactions in Solid and Fluid Insulating Materials 
93 

6.1. 
Purely Electrical Breakdown 
93 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 2
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
6.2. 
Global Thermal Breakdown 
96 

6.3. 
Masked Gas Breakdown 
98 

6.4. 
Local Thermal Breakdown 
99 

6.5. 
FibreBridge Breakdown 
100 

6.6. 
Erosion Breakdown 
104 

6.7. 
Partial Discharges 
106 

7.1. 
Gases 
113 

7.1.1. Natural Gases 
113 

7.1.2. Liquefied Gases 
115 

7.1.3. SF _{6} (Sulfurhexafluorid) 
116 

7.2. 
Insulating Fluids 
118 

7.2.1. Physical and Chemical Parameters 
118 

7.2.2. Insulating Oil Made from Mineral Oils 
128 

7.2.3. Synthetic Insulating Fluids 
134 

7.2.4. Other Insulating Fluids 
135 

7.3. 
Solid Insulating Materials 
136 

7.3.1. Physical and Chemical Parameters 
136 

7.3.2. Inorganic Solid Insulating Materials 
141 

7.3.3. Organic Solid Insulating Materials 
154 

7.4. 
Mischdielektrika 
169 

7.4.1. Imprägnierte Foliendielektrika 
169 

7.4.2. Oil Paper Dielectrics 
170 

8. 
Testing Insulating Materials 
171 

8.1. 
Dielectric Measurement 
171 

8.1.1. Dielectric Loss Factor and Capacitance 
171 

8.1.2. Insulation Resistance 
174 

8.2. Disruptive Discharge Test 
175 

8.3. Creep Tracking Resistance 
176 

8.3.1. Comparative tracking index (CTI) 
176 

8.3.2. Tracking under Difficult Conditions 
177 

8.4. Resistance to Arcing 
177 

8.5. Chemical Analysis 
179 

8.5.1. Water Content 
179 

8.5.2. GasinOil Analysis 
180 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 3
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
1. Introduction 1.1. Chair and Teaching Programme
Head of 
Prof. Harald Schwarz 
694502 
harald.schwarz@tucottbus.de 
chair: 

Secretary: 
Marika Scholz 
694502 
marika.scholz@tucottbus.de 
Scientific 
Dipl.Ing. Dirk Lehmann 
694032 
lehmand@tucottbus.de 
assistants: 

Dipl.Ing. (FH) Maik Honscha 
694029 
honscha@tucottbus.de 

Dr.Ing. Klaus Pfeiffer 
694035 
klaus.pfeiffer@tucottbus.de 

Dipl.Ing. Stefan Fenske 
693580 
fenske.stefan@tucottbus.de 

Dr.Ing. Gunnar Löhning 
694030 
loehning@tucottbus.de 

Dipl.Ing. Henryk Stürmer 
693528 
stuermer@tucottbus.de 

Dipl.Ing. Lars Roskoden 
694044 
lars.roskoden@tucottbus.de 

Technicians: 
Dipl.Ing. (FH) Alexander Feige 
694029 
feige@tucottbus.de 
Dipl.Ing. (FH) Lothar Kleinod 
694025 
kleinod@tucottbus.de 

Dipl.Ing. (FH) Holger Häusler 
694027 
haeusler@tucottbus.de 

Electrician: 
KarlHeinz Kleinschmidt 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
• Ground plan
The Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering is situated at the building no. 3, WaltherPauerStraße 5 (figure 1).
Figure 1: Ground plan of the BTU Cottbus (detail)
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
• Teaching Programme of the Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering
o 
Basics of Electrical Energy Technique 
(L/T 3 ^{r}^{d} semester) 
o 
HighVoltage Engineering and Insulating Materials 
(L/T 5 ^{t}^{h} semester) 
o 
HighVoltage Devices and Switchgear 
(L/T 6 ^{t}^{h} semester) 
o 
Planning of Energy Transmission Networks (L/T 5 ^{t}^{h} /7 ^{t}^{h} semester) 

o 
Protection of Energy Transmission Networks 
(L/T 6 ^{t}^{h} /8 ^{t}^{h} semester) 
o 
EMC in Plants and Systems 
(L/T 7 ^{t}^{h} semester) 
o 
HighVoltage Measuring and Testing Devices (L/T 8 ^{t}^{h} semester) 

o 
Selected Topics from Energy Transmission and 

HighVoltage Engineering 
(T 8 ^{t}^{h} /9 ^{t}^{h} semester) 

o 
Low and MediumVoltage Engineering – LA (L 7 ^{t}^{h} /8 ^{t}^{h} semester) 

o 
Power Automation – LA 
(L 7 ^{t}^{h} /8 ^{t}^{h} semester) 
o 
EUEast Expansion and Intercultural Competence (Excursion) 
Figure 2: Route of the technical excursion
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
1.2. Objective and Structure of the Lectures
• Objective of the Lectures
 Calculation of elektric fields
 Discharge and breakdown reactions in gases, fluids and solid materials
 Insulating materials and their electrical, physical and chemical parameters
• Structure of Lectures (L) and Tutorials (T)
L01 
Introduction, fundamental principles 
L02 
Determination of the electric field distribution 
L03 
Boundary surfaces and imperfections in highvoltage insulators 
L04 
Discharge reactions in gases (basic mechanisms) 
L05 
(Statistical basics; nonselfmaintained discharge; selfmaintained discharge) Discharge reactions in gases (basic mechanisms) 
L06 
(Townsend discharge, Streamer discharge) Discharge reactions in gases (technical details) 
L07 
(Mixed gases; electrode roughness; inhomogeneous field; streamer; leader; transient voltages) Discharge reactions in gases (technical details) 
L08 
(Spark discharge; arc discharge; surface discharge) Breakdown reactions in solid and liquid insulating materials 
L09 
(Purely electrical breakdown; global thermal breakdown; masked gas breakdown; local thermal breakdown; fibrebridge breakdown) Breakdown reactions in solid and fluid insulating materials 
L10 
(Erosion breakdown; Partial discharge) Insulating materials 
L11 
(Gases; insulating fluids) Insulating materials 
L12 
(Insulating fluids; solid insulating materials) Insulating materials 
L13 
(Anorganic solid insulants) Insulating materials 
L14 
(Organic solid insulants) Testing insulating materials 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
T 
01 
 
T 
02 
Repetition of fundamental principles / Field patterns 
T 
03 
Analytical calculations 
T 
04 
Calculation of electric fields 
T 
05 
Boundary surfaces 
T 
06 
Statistics / Drift velocity 
T 
07 
Gas discharges 
T 
08 
Breakdown reactions 
T 
09 
Laboratory experiment 1 (Introduction into highvoltage testing devices; determination of the breakdown field strength E _{d} for various electrode configurations)  Group A 
T 
10 
Laboratory experiment 1  Group B 
T 
11 
Laboratory experiment 2 (Paschen curve, impulse voltage time characteristic) – Group A 
T 
12 
Laboratory experiment 2  Group B 
T 
13 
Laboratory experiment 3 (Partial discharges, Surface discharges)  Group A 
T 
14 
Laboratory experiment 3  Group B 
T 
15 
Repetitions 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
1.3. Fundamental Principles
1.3.1. Maxwell’s Equations
Ampere’s law
dA
Integral form of Maxwell’s Equations (field equations : Interconnection between electric and magnetic field quantities by the law of induction (left side) and Ampere’s law (right side).
• Law of induction
A changing magnetic flux ( _{∫}_{∫} B dA produces a rotational electric field E.
)
• Ampere’s law
An electric current _{∫}_{∫}
A
⎛
⎜
⎝
J +
∂ D ⎞
⎟
t
⎠
∂
dA
produces a rotational magnetic field H.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
∫∫
A
B dA = 0
Continuity equation for the magnetic flux density
dA = 0
Continuity equation for conduction and displacement current density
Integral form of the continuity equations for the magnetic flux density (left side, three dimensional view) and the conduction and displacement current density (right side, sectional view)
• Continuity of magnetic flux density
The magnetic field is source free, i.e. there are no magnetic monopoles. The magnetic field lines must be closed loops. Given any volume element, the magnetic flux entering the surface must be equal to the magnetic flux emerging from the surface.
• Continuity of conduction current density and displacement current density
A temporal changing conduction current in conducting materials con tinues as displacement current in a nonconducting material.
Material equations
B
=
µµ _{0}
r
H
D
=
εε _{0}
r
E
J =κ E
Material equations for magnetic and electric field quantities
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
1.3.2. Static Fields
 absolutely no temporal changes
 no displacement current
 no conduction current
 no energy transport
Examples:
 magnetic fields of permanent magnets,
 electric fields of separated charges, provided that the conductivity of the dielectric material is χ =0 and there is no charge equaliza tion.
1.3.3. Stationary (SteadyState) Fields
 In contrast to the static fields a constant conduction current density (direct current) is permitted.
 The law of induction has the form
∫
χ
E dx = 0
From there the loop rule (Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law) of the network theory is derived
∑
i
U
i
= 0
 Ampere’s law has the form
∫
χ
H dx
=
∫∫
A
J dA
=Ι
 The continuity equation for conduction and displacement current has the form
∫∫
A
J dA = 0
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
From there Kirchhoff’s Current Law (Kirchhoff’s point rule) is derived
∑
i
Ι=0
i
 The continuity equation for the magnetic flux density remains un changed.
1.3.4. Slowly Varying (QuasiStationary) Fields
1.3.4.1. Inductive Fields in Conductors
In materials of high conductivity the displacement current ∂D / ∂t can be neglected in comparison with the conduction current (for frequencies up to the GHz range).
Inductive fields
∫
x
∫∫
A
H dx
≅
J dA
=Ι
Ampere’s law
_{∫}_{∫} B dA =0 
_{∫}_{∫} J dA ≅0 
A 
A 
Continuity equation for the magnetic flux density 
Continuity equation for the conduction current density 
Maxwell’s equations for slowly varying inductive fields (disregarding the displacement current in conductors)
Quasistationary inductive fields can be found in transformer windings, conductive connectors and electrodes of highvoltage devices.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
1.3.4.2. Capacitive Fields in Insulating Materials
In highperformance insulating materials with low residual conductivity the conduction current density is very low in comparison with the dis placement current density. That means that the electric field is mainly a source field and the induced electric field strength can be neglected.
Capacitive fields
⎛
∂ D ⎞
⎟
t
⎠
_{∫} E dx ≅0
x
Law of induction
∫
x
⎝
∂
∫∫
A
dA
Ampere’s law
_{∫}_{∫} B dA =0
A
Continuity equation for the magnetic flux density
⎛
⎜
⎝
J +
∂ D ⎞
⎟
⎠
∂ t
∫∫
A
dA
= 0
Continuity equation for the conduction current density
Maxwell’s equations for slowly varying capacitive fields (disregarding the magnetic induction)
The transition from inductive to capacitive fields shall be demonstrated for the example of an open conductor loop.
Slowly varying fields inside and outside of an open conductor loop (inductive und capacitive fields).
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Quasistationary fields can be found at highvoltage devices for
• D.C. voltage,
• A.C. voltage (50 Hz),
• Switching impulse voltage 250 / 2500 µs and
• Lightning impulse voltage 1,2 / 50 µs
if the physical size of the devices is in the range of several meters.
1.3.5. Rapidly Varying Fields
The travel time τ of an electromagnetic wave for a distance x is given by
τ=
x
v
with v = propagation speed of the wave.
In energy distribution systems the wave propagation speed is
v
=
mit
µ
r
=1
c = velocity of light
ε _{r} = relative permittivity of the insulation
i.e.
v = c =300000 km =300 = 0,3
m 
m 

s 
s 
ns 
µ
for air insulation and
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
v =
km
c 
= 
200 000 
= 
200 
m 
= 
0,2 
m 

1,5 
s 
µ s 
ns 
for cable insulation (ε _{r} = 2,3) respectively.
For lightning impulse voltages, which are rapidly changing in the microsecond range, rapidly varying fields can be found at system sizes of around 100 meters. Should transient voltages with fluctuations in the nanosecond range occur, such fields can be found at system sizes of several meters.
 Maxwell’s equations in the complete form have to be used.
 The coupling between electric and magnetic field becomes time and spacedependent.
 Travelling waves occur.
In general the following equations are valid:
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
v =
z=
Propagation speed
Wave impedance
 In energy systems travelling waves can be found mainly at long lines.
 In the equivalent circuits of the lines the electric and magnetic fields are respresented by inductances and capacitances.
 The wave impedance z of a line is given:
z =
 Neglecting R’ and G’ results in
z =
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
 Typical values of the wave impedance are
z 
≈ 300 Ω 
overhead line 
z 
≈ 30 Ω 
cable 
 If a wave front (incoming wave) comes to the connection of two lines (cables) with different wave impedances, the ratio of current to voltage is changed at the reflection point.
Reflection and refraction of an incoming travelling wave at a discontinuity of the line wave impedance
 The the currenttovoltage ratios of the refracted and the passing wave are determined by the wave impedances of the two lines.
 If the incoming and the passing wave have different voltage amplitudes, a refracted wave has to be superimposed to the incoming wave so that the amplitudes at the reflection point are equal.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 17
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz

Naturally these refracted voltage wave is accompanied by a re fracted current wave.
It holds
Current i 
Voltage u 

Refraction factor 
^{b} i 
= 
2 z 1 
b u 
= 
2 z 2 

z 
1 + 2 z 
z 1 
+ z 
2 

Reflection factor 
= 
z 
1 − z 2 
= 
z 
2 
− z 
1 

r i 
z 
1 + z 2 
r u 
z 
1 
+ 2 z 
Reflection and refraction of an incoming travelling wave at a discontinuity of the wave impedance for three special cases: openended line, shortcircuited line and match terminated line
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 18
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2. Determination of the Electric Field Distribution
2.1. Analytical Calculations
2.1.1. Coaxial Cylinders and Spheres

Cylinder 

E 
() r = 
U r ln r a 

r i 

Sphere 

U 

E 
() r = 
2 
⎛ ⎜ ⎜ ⎝ 1 r i − 1 ⎞ ⎟ r ⎠ ⎟ a 

r 
Boundary problem for the termination of a coaxial cylinder by a hemi sphere because of
Cylinder 
Sphere 

E 
max 
U 
U 

r 
⎛ r ⎜ 1 − i ⎜ ⎝ r 
r ⎞ ⎟ ⎠ i a 

r ln i 
a r i 
⎟ 

Optimal radius ratio 
r 
r a =2 r i 

a 
= e = 2,71 

r 

i 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 19
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.1.2. Boundary Problem for Plate Electrodes
Field pattern at the boundary region of a parallelplate capacitor
Field strength at the boundary region of a plate electrode arrangement
Using the method of conformal mapping a profile can be found, which guarantees that the field strength in the boundary region is not higher than at the homogeneous region.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 20
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
⎛ ⎜ 
π 

2 
π s exp 
⎝ 
s 
y = s +
Rogowski profile for ν =π / 2
x
⎞
⎟
⎠
valid for one sparking distance only
2.1.3. Influence of Space Charges
Onedimensional electric field
Poisson equation
∆ ϕ =
∂
ϕ
ρ
=−
∂ x
2
ε
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 21
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
For
it follows
ρ ≠ f (x)
(homogeneous space charge)
ϕ
=−
1
ρ
2
2
+c 1 x +c
ε
x
2
Boundary conditions
ϕ 
U ⎫ ⎪ 

ϕ = 0 ⎬ ⎪ ⎭ 
ϕ 

U 
1 ρ 
+ 
ρ 
s 

s 
2 ε 
ε 
= 0 → =
x
(
1
)
x
= U − +
s
x = s →
Field strength
E = −
x
⎞
⎛ ()⎟ _{⎠}
⎝
⎜
2
1
ρ
s
2
x
x
−
2
ε
s
s
Damage risk for
^{U}
s
≥ E
zul
without ρ
→ E _{m}_{a}_{x} > E _{z}_{u}_{l} with ρ
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.1.4. Schwaiger’s utilization factor
E _{m}_{a}_{x} = f (U, s, remaining term η )
Parallelplate electrodes
Coaxial cylinders
Concentric spheres
E _{m}_{a}_{x} =
E _{m}_{a}_{x} =
E _{m}_{a}_{x} =
U 

_{s} 
* (1) 

U s 
⎛ ⎜ ⎜ ⎞ ⎟ a ⎟ r − r i r a 

⎜ ⎝ r i ln r 
i ⎟ ⎠ 

⎛ 

U 
⎜ ⎜ r a 
− r i 

s 
⎜ ⎜ r ⎛ ⎜ 1 − 
⎞ ⎟ 
⎝ ⎜ ⎝ ⎜
i
⎞
⎟
⎟
r ⎟
⎟
i r a ⎠ ⎟ ⎠ ⎟
General expression
E max =
E
E
= 
average 
average 

s ^{U} * η 
η 
→η= 
E 
max
→ Definition of Schwaiger’s utilization factor (degree of homogeneity)
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
With the variables
bigger radius 
R 
smaller radius 
r 
R 

q = 

r 

s 
+ 
r 

p = 

r 
→
η = f (q, p)
→
Diagrams
Air unit capacitance 
C _{L}_{E} = f (p, q) 
Cylinder 
C = ε _{r} * l * C _{L}_{E} 
Spheres 
C = ε _{r} * r * C _{L}_{E} 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Utilization factor η for cylinder arrangements
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.2. Graphic Determination of Field Distribution
Objective: fast determination of a qualitative field distribution
Prerequisite: twodimensional electrode arrangement
Graphic determination of field lines and equipotential lines for twodimensional fields
 Field lines and equipotential lines are perpendicular to each other.
 Electrode surfaces are equipotential lines with 0 % (ground side) or 100 % (highvoltage side) respectively.
 The distance a between two equipotential lines corresponds always to the same potential difference ∆U.
 The distance b between two field lines (displacement flux density lines) corresponds always to the same charge ∆Q at the electrodes.
→
∆ =
C
∆ Q
∆ is constant for the whole field map.
U
→ b/a = const.
_{→} For b/a = 1 the field determination can be drawn using circles.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 28
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Step 1
First the known potential distribution at the homo geneous part of the field is drawn (1). The further drawing of equipotential lines is oriented to the form of the electrodes (2). Note: It is sensible to start with only a few equipo tential lines (e.g. with the lines for 0 %, 25 %, 50%, 75% and 100%). Afterwards the drawn field distri bution can be further refined by interpolation.
Step 2
Field lines are added perpendicular to the equipo tential lines, observing the ratio b/a = 1. It is sensi ble to work along one electrode (e. g. the highvolt age electrode). By drawing circles between field lines and equipotential lines it can be found, that the ratio b/a does not equal 1 in most cases (3).
Step 3
The correction of the first picture is made by in creasing the distance between the 25%line and the lower electrode toward the outside of the elec trode arrangement (4). The 75%line is drawn closer to the edge of the upper electrode, while the distance to the upper side of the electrode is in creased considerably (5). It should be noted that the field strength at the edge of the electrode decreases from the upper towards the lower electrode, i.e. the distance between the field lines shall increase. Checking the ratios of sides and angles shows the necessity of further refinements.
Step 4
By iterative refinements of the field distribution according to the drawing rules the final picture is drawn. In the current example it is sensible to draw the circles at the homogeneous part of the field first. Afterwards the drawing can be continued at the inhomogeneous region (6).
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 29
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.3. Measurement of the Field Distribution
Basis:
Analogy of slowly varying dielectric displacement fields (A.C. voltage) and stationary electric flow field (D.C. voltage)
r 
r 
r 
r 
D 
=ε ⇒ =κ E J 
E 
Q=
∫∫
r
r
DdA⇒Ι=
∫∫
r r
J dA
→ Potential distributions of dielectric displacement fields (caused by separated charges) are equivalent to potential distributions of stationary electric flow fields.
Measurement at semiconductive paper (resistance paper)
 Drawing of conductive electrode outlines;
 Applying a D.C. voltage to the electrodes;
 Measuring of equipotential lines with measuring bridge and null indicator;
 Modelling of different values ε _{r} by using multiple layers of the resistance paper;
 Usable for twodimensional fields
Measurement in semiconductive liquids (electrolytic tank)
 Immersion of the electrode arrangement in a semiconductive liquid;
 Usable for threedimensional fields;
 Measurements require a lot of time and money.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 30
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.4. Method of Conformal Mapping
 Analytical calculation of several important field configurations
 Especially important before the advance of numerical field calculation
Idea
 Transformation of a complex electrode arrangement at the x,yplane into a simpler arrangement at an u,vplane,
 Calculation of the simpler electrode arrangement at the u,vplane,
 Inverse transformation of the results into the x,yplane
Example:
Cylinder in a corner
 with
2
w= z
(
= x + jy
)
2
mapping as parallelplate electrodes
Conformal mapping of field lines and equipotential lines for a rectangular electrode:
After inverse transformation
E =U *
a
2
w= z
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 31
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.5. Method of Substitution Charges
Idea: 
Modelling of potential field by superposition of single point, line and surface charges 
Example: 
Field of two point charges 
 Modelling the equipotential surfaces by conductive spheres would not change the field distribution.
 For given electrode outlines the position of the substitution charges can be manipulated iteratively until the boundary conditions are met.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
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Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 33
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.6. Differential Method
ϕ
o
=
1
4
8
∑
i = 5
ϕ
i
 Covering of the field space with a square grid;
 Modelling of the electrodes using a square grid;
 Setup of a system of linear equations;
 Insertion of boundary conditions (electrode potentials).
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 34
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
2.7. Method of Finite Elements
 Triangle or tetrahedron as basic elements;
 Iterative optimisation of field distribution for minimum field energy.
Field distribution of a disconnector of a metalenclosed switchgear assembly with SF6 insulation: a Mesh grid of the field space; b Equipotential lines in the field space
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 35
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
3. Boundary surfaces and imperfections in highvoltage insulators
3.1. Boundary conditions
with
E _{t}_{1} = E _{t}_{2}
J _{W}_{n}_{1} = J _{W}_{n}_{2}
J
W
=
σ
r
E
+
r
∂
D
∂
r
E
r
E
=
σ
+
ε
∂
t
∂
t
electric field strength
current density
a) periodical alternating (A.C.) field and σ ≈ 0
D
n
1
= D
n
2
⇒
b) constant (D.C.) field
E
n 1
σ
2
=
E
n 2
σ
1
E
ε
n 1
2
=
E
n 2
ε
1
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 36
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Vectors of electric field strength at the boundary surface between two insulating materials
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 37
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
from
∫
U = ^{E}^{d}^{s}
follows
U = E _{1} s _{1} + E _{2} s _{2}
With boundary surface conditions follows
U 
ε 2 
/ 
ε 
1 

s 
s 1 ⎛ ⎜ ε 2 
⎞ ⎟ − 1 + 1 

U 
s 
⎜ ⎝ ε 1 1 ⎟ ⎠ 

s 
s 
1 ⎛ ⎜ ε 
2 
− 1 ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠ 
+ 1 

s 
⎜ ⎝ ε 
1 

ε ε 
^{2} 1 
= 4 
and _{s} 
1 = 
1 9 _{s} 
E =
1
E =
2
Example for
Range field strength depending on position of boundary layer
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 38
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Conclusions (general validity)
 For inhomogeneous dielectric the Efield depends on the electrode arrangement and the properties of the insulating materials.
 High field strengths can be found at areas of small physical dimensions with small ε _{r} .
 The electric field between parallelplate electrodes becomes inhomogeneous for ε _{1} ≠ε _{2} .
 In inhomogeneous fields the displacement current density D is no direct measure of E.
b) D.C. voltage
Displacement current density is discontinuous
D
^{1}
ε
1
E
1
εσ
1
2
=
=
D
2
ε
2
E
2
ε σ
2
1
≠ 1
from Maxwell’s equation
r r _{∫}_{∫} DdA=Q
follows the boundary surface charge
Q _{g} = A (D _{2} – D _{1} ) ≠ 0
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 39
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Example
Shortcircuiting the electrodes for a short period of time gives residual field strengths E _{1}_{R} , E _{2}_{R}
or
0
=
E
1
R
*s
1
+
E
2
E 1 ^{R} =−
s
2
E
2 R
s
1
R
*s
2
Residual field strength for short circuit (s _{1} = s _{2} )
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 40
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
From there it follows
D 
^{1} = 
ε 
1 
E 
1 R 
=− 
ε 
1 
s 2 

D 
2 
ε 2 
E 
2 R 
ε 
2 
s 
1 
≠ 1
i.e. there exists an interfacial charge. After clearing the short circuit this charge will generate influence charges at the electrodes.
Attention
 Devices with laminated dielectrics have to be permanently short circuited after a D.C. voltage was applied.
 Shortcircuiting for a short period of time will neutralize the electrode charges but not the interfacial charge.
 After a shorttime shortcircuiting the interfacial charge will generate influence charges at the electrodes, which will result in dangerous high voltages at the device.
 There will be no interfacial charge for the special case
ε
1
σ
1
=
ε
2
σ
2
only.
 For highvoltage devices usually different rated voltages are defined for A.C. and D.C.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 41
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
3.3. Tangential Fields at Boundary Surfaces
Conclusions
 Inclination reduces the tangential field strength = surface field strength.
 Field problem in gas insulation
B: 
Tapered insulator at inner conductor (highvoltage) → Increase of high initial field strength. 
C: 
Tapered insulator at outer conductor (ground potential) → Increase of low initial field strength. 
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 42
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
3.4. Imperfections (Defects)
Inclusion of a defect with ε _{r}_{s} results in a mixed dielectric.
Assumption: 
Small defects cause no alteration of basic electrode field E _{o} . 
Inner effects 
 Disktype defect (Field lines perpendicular to defect area)
E si =
ε
r
ε
rs
E
0
Example:
Gas enclosure in cast resin
ε
r
=4; =1
ε
rs
→ E _{s}_{i} = 4 E _{o}
At the same time reduced dielectric strength at the gas space.
 Spherical defect
E si =
3
ε
r
ε
rs
+ 2
ε
r
E 0
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 43
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Example:
Gas enclosure in cast resin
ε
r
=4; =1
ε
rs
E _{s}_{i} = 1.33 E _{o}
At the same time reduced dielectric strength at the gas space.
 Cylindrical defect (Axis ⊥ Field)
E si =
Example:
Gas enclosure in cast resin
2 ε
r
ε
rs
+
ε
r
E 0
ε
r
=4; =1
ε
rs
E _{s}_{i} = 1.6 E _{o}
At the same time reduced dielectric strength at the gas space.
In general: E _{s} > E _{o} for ε _{r}_{s} < ε _{r} !
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 44
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
Outer effects
Field strength in the vicinity of the defect
E
sa
=
ε
rs
3
ε
r
ε ε
r
rs
+
2
ε
r
E
o for sphere
Example: Metal inclusion or electrode roughness
ε →∞
rs
E
sa
=3E
o
for metallic sphere
also valid in front of a metallic hemisphere at an electrode.
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 45
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
4. Discharge Reactions in Gases (Basic Mechanisms)
4.1. Statistical Basics
Statistical methods are used because of large variation of e.g.
• Inception / Extinction
• Breakdown voltage
• Breakdown time
Examples for the statistical character of discharge reactions
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 46
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
For the mathematical treatment a theoretical distribution function has to be chosen.
Gaussian (normal) distribution
Gaussian (normal) distribution with density function D(x) and distribution function F(x)
Distribution function
F
()
x
=
x
∫
−∞
D
()dx
x
Weibull distribution
Weibull distribution with density function D(x) and distribution function F(x)
Density function
D
()
x
=
d F
()
x
dx
Distribution function
F
()
x = −
1
exp
⎛
⎜
⎜
⎝
−
x − x
0
x
63
− x
0
⎞
⎟
⎟
⎠
δ
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 47
Chair of Energy Distribution and HighVoltage Engineering Prof. Dr.Ing. Harald Schwarz
‘Probability paper’ is used for testing the validity of the chosen distribu tion function.
Display of a theoretical distribution function (top) as a line in a „probability net“ (below)with distribution tests of two measurement series
Probability net for the Weibull distribution with logarithmic scaling of the axis
HighVoltage Technique and Insulating Materials
Page 48
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