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StudyonPotentialandElectricalField

Distributionalong380kVVInsulatorString
UsingBoundaryElementMethod
Abstract
Computation of potential and electrical field strength along the insulator
strings is an important aspect for their designs. This study is concerned with
the voltage and the electric field distribution along 380 kV V-type suspension
strings composed of cap and pin type porcelain and glass insulators. Its one
of the main structure utilized in 380 kV Turkish National Power Transmission
Systems. Boundary Element Method based software, COULOMB 3D,
was used three dimensional modeling and simulations. The effects of corona
ring, transmission tower, insulator type and angle between V-strings on
potential and electric field distribution were analyzed. Experimental studies
were conducted at Fuat Kulunk High Voltage Laboratory of Istanbul
Technical University.
Index Terms
Boundary Element Method, Corona Ring Electric Field, Insulator String,
Potential Distribution.
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Study on Potential and Electrical Field


Distribution along 380 kV V-Insulator String
Using Boundary Element Method
S. Ilhan, A. Ozdemir

Index Terms Boundary Element Method, Corona Ring


Electric Field, Insulator String, Potential Distribution.

I. INTRODUCTION

ONTROL of electrical field distribution within and


around high voltage equipment is one of the basic
aspects of the design of such equipment. Audible noise,
radio noise, partial discharges and corona discharges are
some of the possible results of high level electrical fields
[1]. Several studies assign a value of 2.20 kVrms/mm - 2.28
kVrms/mm as the corona inception electric field under dry
condition [2, 3].
Cap-and pin type porcelain and toughened glass
insulators (U210 BL and U160 BL) are the most common
ones used in 380 kV Turkish National Power Transmission
Systems. According to past experience, one of the most
frequent failures related with V-suspension sets of cap-and
pin type insulators are the transient outages due to the
flashovers from the corona ring (grading device) of the set
to the transmission tower.
It is known that the potential distribution along the
insulator strings is not linear. The voltage is shared in
relationship to the self capacitance of each insulator unit and
the stray capacitances of each insulator to earth [5, 6].
Corona ring, transmission tower, insulator type and angle of
V-strings affect the potential and electrical field
distributions.
This work was supported in part by the Turkish National Power
Transmission Syatems
Aydogan Ozdemir is with Department of Electrical Engineering,
Istanbul Technical University, 34469 Maslak, Istanbul/Turkey
(e-mail: ozdemir@elk.itu.edu.tr).
Suat Ilhan is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Istanbul
Technical University, 34469 Maslak, Istanbul/ Turkey
(e-mail: ilhan@elk.itu.edu.tr).

II. INSULATOR, CONDUCTORS, AND CORONA RING


TO BE MODELLED
Fig. 1 shows the 380 kV V-suspension string composed of
20 cap and pin type porcelain insulator units. In the
simulations, porcelain and glass insulators are used. Three
bundle 3*1272 MCM transmission line hanged by porcelain
and glass insulators is considered and 35 mm aluminum
tubes are used to simulate the actual power lines.

6
4

10
9

12
11

17
16
15
14
13

18

19

20

20*170+60 = 3460 mm

170 mm

AbstractComputation of potential and electrical field


strength along the insulator strings is an important aspect for
their designs. This study is concerned with the voltage and the
electric field distribution along 380 kV V-type suspension
strings composed of cap and pin type porcelain and glass
insulators. Its one of the main structure utilized in 380 kV
Turkish National Power Transmission Systems. Boundary
Element Method based software, Coulomb 3D, was used three
dimensional modeling and simulations. The effects of corona
ring, transmission tower, insulator type and angle between Vstrings on potential and electric field distribution were
analyzed. Experimental studies were conducted at Fuat
Kulunk High Voltage Laboratory of Istanbul Technical
University.

This paper presents the potential and electrical field


distributions under the effects of corona ring, transmission
tower, insulator type and different angle between Vinsulator strings. Since the laboratory model is different
from the actual tower, several simulations for AC
excitations are conducted to validate the laboratory tests.
Later, power frequency flashover voltages and visible
corona inception voltages on the corona ring are
experimentally determined from the number of laboratory
tests. Corona inception voltages are also determined from
computer simulations. Experimental and simulation results
are seen to be in good concordance which can provide the
extension of the simulations for several different cases.
Coulomb 3D electrostatic simulation program was used for
the simulations.

280 mm
Fig. 1 Basic dimensions of cap and pin type insulator, insulator numbering
and angle of V-Insulator string

Fig.2 illustrates the full model of an odd shape grading


device and a yoke plate for three bundle 3*1272 MCM
conductors. Grading device is composed of corona tube
with diameter of 48 mm.

490

Fig.3 shows the laboratory model with basic dimensions.


Laboratory test setup is constructed in accordance with IEC
61284 (1997-09) [4]. 3*1272 MCM transmission line is
terminated by circular rings of 65 cm diameter to reduce
terminal effects. The length of the simulated power lines is
6.5 m.
Grading device, yoke plate, transmission lines and pin of
the first insulator at a high voltage level of 380 kVrms/3 =
220 kVrms whereas the cap of the top most insulator, tower
side (cage structure), bottom and all the other walls of the
laboratory are at reference potential. All the other caps and
pins of the insulators have floating potential levels which in
turn are determined by the 3D simulations. Other simulation
parameters are given in Table I.

270

270

units: mm

48

220

= 580

TABLE I
SIMULATION PARAMETERS

(a)
500 mm

Relative permittivity
r
Conductivity
(/m)

Outer Space
(Air)

Porcelain

Toughene
d Glass

1.0

6.0

3.8

10-10

10-17

500 mm

In case of volume conductivity of the dielectric medium,


permittivity will be complex. Complex permittivity is
calculated by the following equation [8].

(b)

Fig. 2 Geometry and the dimensions of a 380 kV (a) racket type corona
ring (b) 3*1272 MCM yoke plate with 35 mm conductors

= real j * im = real j *

(1)

III. MODEL SETUP


A. Laboratory Model

1.6

10.0

Units: m

Fig.3 Geometry and major dimensions of laboratory model

Simulations are conducted for 50 Hz power frequency


voltage excitation and insulator surfaces and outer space has
no conductivity. Porcelain - glass insulators show small
volume conductivities and thereby, real permittivity is
dominant and imaginary part has tiny contributions to the
potential and electrical field distributions along the insulator
strings. These cases can be considered as simulations for
purely resistive cases.
CoulombV6.4 (Integrated Engineering Software)
commercial program based on the boundary element method
was employed for all three dimensional simulation studies.
This program is suitable for large open field analysis and
exact modeling of the model boundaries [7]. A Pentium 4.0,
2.4 GHz and 8.0 GB of RAM PC was used for the computer
simulations.
Fig.4 shows the simulation results for the 900 Vsuspension set of glass insulators for the laboratory model.
Fig.5 illustrates potential distribution and voltage sharing of
the insulator units. Line voltage is not equally shared by the
insulators due to the line and ground stray capacitances [5,
6]. 16 % of the line voltage is developed across the terminal
of the line-end insulator and the voltage across each of the
remainder units progressively degreases toward the ground
end of the insulator string.

16

Potential (%)

14

w ith corona ring

12

w ithout corona ring

10
8
6
4
2
1

11

13

15

17

19

Insulator No
(b)
Fig.5 (a) Potential distribution along the center line of glass insulators from
the voltage side to the earth side (b) Voltage sharing across each cap and
pin type glass insulator unit.

Voltage sharing is improved by approximately 1 %


percent by the voltage grading device. Flat sections in Fig.5.
(a) show the floating potential values of metal parts (cap and
pin).

Potential (%)

(a)

14

w ithout corona ring

12

w ith corona ring

10
8
6
4
2
1

11

13

15

17

19

Insulator No

(b)

Fig.6 Voltage sharing across each cap and pin type porcelain insulator unit
Fig.4 Simulation results (a) Equipotential contours for 90o V glass insulator
strins (b) Solid view of equipotential surfaces

100

Potential (%)

90
80

w ith corona ring


w ithout corona ring

70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

500

1000 1500

2000 2500

Insulation Distance (mm)

(a)

3000 3500

Fig.6 shows the voltage sharing across each porcelain


insulator unit. Nearly, 14 % of the voltage is developed on
the live end insulator. The usage of corona ring brings more
uniform distribution along the string. Its more effective on
the % potential distribution of the first two-three insulators
near the power line. On the other hand, the usage of corona
ring results in slight increases on the shares of the insulators
near the ground side. Potential shares under porcelain and
glass insulators show 2 % differences due to the dielectric
constant of the mediums. Maximum electrical field strengths
on the corona ring are 6.108 kVrms/cm and 6.01 kVrms/cm
(points A and B in Fig.2 (a)) for glass and porcelain
insulators, respectively
Fig.7 illustrates % voltage shares of glass insulators for
900 and 1100-V insulator strings. From the simulation
results, voltage shares are very similar for the insulator
units. There is slightly a difference for potential
distributions. Maximum electrical field on the corona ring,
on the other hand, increases up to to 6.50 kVrms/mm for 1100
V-strings.

B. Practical (Real) Model


Its very important to know the potential and the
electrical field distribution under full-scale real model of the
system to compare with the laboratory results. In this study,
380 kV suspension tower with three bundle conductors are
used. The conductors are modeled as smooth conductors
and positioned parallel to the earth surface. The length of
each conductor is 30 m and 40 x 40 m plane with zero
potential is positioned under the leg of the tower. The tower
is assumed as a single volume at ground potential because
of the modeling difficulties of the tower cage structure.

Potential (%)

17
15

90-V string

13

110-V string

11
9
7
5
3
1
1

10

13

16

19

Insulator No
9.49
4.98

Fig.7 Voltage sharing across each cap and pin type glass insulator units for
900 and 1100 V-sets

7.5

7.5

3.9

units: m

27.0

44.5

Fig.8 shows the maximum electrical field magnitude


along the centre line of glass insulators from the voltage
side to the earth side. Maximum electrical field near the
voltage side is reduced by means of corona ring.
In the computer simulations, approximately 40000
triangular and quadrangle 2D boundary elements were used
and computation times are roughly 3 hours.

0.8

Without Corona Ring

8.0

Maximum Electrical Field


(kV/mm)

0.9
0.7

11.2

0.6
0.5
0.4

(a)

0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

500

1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500

Insulation Distance (mm)

(a)

Maximum Electrical Field


(kV/mm)

0.9
With Corona Ring

0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2

(b)

0.1
0
0

500

1000

1500 2000

2500 3000

3500

Fig.9 (a) Major dimensions of 380 kV 3B1 type suspension tower (b) Solid
view of the simplified tower model

Insulation Distance (mm)

(b)
Fig.8 Maximum electrical field strength (kVrms/mm) for 900 V glass
insulators (a) withou corona ring (b) with corona ring

Fig.9 shows the 380 kV suspension tower and simplified


tower model. Simulations were only conducted for V-string
located centre of the tower.
Fig.10 illustrates equipotential contours for 900 V-glass
insulator strings in the case of the real tower model.

IV. LABORATORY TESTS


Power frequency flashover voltages and visible corona
inception voltages of the corona ring for porcelain and glass
900 V-suspension insulator strings are experimentally
determined at Fuat Kulunk High Voltage Laboratory of
Istanbul Technical University. The main laboratory hall has
a floor area of 25 x 35 m and a ceiling height of 21 m. All
the outer surfaces of the laboratory are shielded against
electromagnetic filed. In the laboratory tests, 1000 kVA, 50
Hz, 1200 kVrms three stages cascade high voltage test
transformer is used power frequency tests. Fig. 12 shows the
laboratory model of 900 V porcelain insulators. A picture
of flashover path between corona ring and the simulated
tower is also given in the Fig.12.
Fig.10 Equipotential contours for 90o V glass insulator strings in the case
of real model

Potential (% )

Simulation results show that (Fig.11) laboratory model


results are in good concordance with the exact tower case.
This concordance brings the possibility of extending real
cases with laboratory models. Maximum electrical field
intensity on the corona ring for the laboratory model of 900
glass insulators is 6.37 kVrms/cm on the points of Fig.2 (a) A
and B points.

18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

w ith corona ring


w ithout corona ring

Fig.12 Laboratory model of 380 kV 900 V-porcelain insulator string

11

13

15

17

19

Insulator No
TABLE II
TEST RESULTS FOR 900 GLASS INSULATORS

(a)

Potential (%)

18
16

Laboratory model

14

practical (real) model

12
10
8
6
4
2
0
1

11

13

15

17

19

1st run

2st run

3st run

Average

Corona
Inception
Voltage

380 kVrms

390 kVrms

380 kVrms

383 kVrms

Flashover
Voltage

690 kVrms

710 kVrms

680 kVrms

693 kVrms

Flashover
Voltage
Without
The Ring

760 kVrms

750 kVrms

750 kVrms

753 kVrms

Insulator No

(b)
Fig.11 (a) Voltage sharing across each cap and pin type 900 V-glass
insulator units for real model (b) Comparison of laboratory model and real
tower model

Table II and Table III illustrates visible corona inception


voltages on the corona ring, flashover voltages with and
without corona ring for porcelain and glass insulators. In the
case of no corona ring, flashovers occurred between yoke
plate and simulated tower. All the visible corona inception
voltages were observed on the points of A and B in Fig.2 (a)
like the simulation results.

6
TABLE III
TEST RESULTS FOR 900 PORCELAIN INSULATORS

1st run

2st run

3st run

Average

Corona
Inception
Voltage

400 kVrms

405 kVrms

395 kVrms

400 kVrms

6) Although corona ring improves the potential


distribution for the line-end insulators, it degreases the
flashover voltage at about 7 % - 8 % because of the wrong
corona ring settings. The voltage sharing and flashover
voltage can however be significantly improved by specially
designing the voltage grading devices.

Flashover
Voltage

720 kVrms

710 kVrms

700 kVrms

700 kVrms

VI. REFERENCES

Flashover
Voltage
Without the
Ring

[1]

740 kVrms

760 kVrms

Potential (kVrms)

500

750 kVrms

750 kVrms

Observed Values
Estimated Values

450
400
350
300
250
0

Glass
1
Insulator

Porcelain
2
Insulator

Fig. 13 Observed and estimated visible corona inception voltages for glass
and porcelain insulators

Test results showed that the usage of corona ring caused 7


% -8 % percent reductions in the flashover voltages. Fig.13
shows observed and estimated corona inception voltages on
the corona ring. If corona inception electric field strength is
assumed to be 2.2 kVrms/mm, the voltage initiating corona
discharges can be calculated as 360.18 kVrms and 366.05
kVrms for 6.108 kVrms/mm and 6.01 kVrms/mm maximum
electric field strengths, respectively.
V. CONCLUSIONS
1) 14 %- 17 % of the transmission line voltage is
developed across the nearest insulator to the line-end. The
voltage sharing on the other insulators considerable
degreases toward the earth end. The potential is distributed
in relations to the self and stray capacitances.
2) With the usage of grading device, 12 % - 14 % of
the line voltage is shared by the line-end insulators. Increase
in the line stray capacitances results in slightly potential
rises on the insulators near the ground end.
3) Potential distribution under porcelain and toughened
glass insulators has nearly 2 % differences because of the
dielectric constant of the mediums.
4) Laboratory model and practical model are in a good
accordance. Observed and estimated voltage values related
to visible corona inception voltage are also in a good
cohesion.
5) Increasing the angle of V-suspension sets has no
significant effect on the potential distribution but has
important effect on the maximum electrical field on the
corona ring.

Zhao T. and Comber M.G. Calculation of Electric Field and


Potential Distribution Along Nonceramic Insulators Considering the
Effects of Conductors and Transmission Towers, IEEE Transactions
On Power Delivery, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp 313318, January 2000
[2] Sima W., Espino-Cortes F.P., Edward A.C. and Jayaram H.S.,
Optimization of Corona Ring Design for Long-Rod Insulators Using
FEM Based Computational Analysis IEEE Int. Symposium on
Electrical Insulation, Indianapolis, in USA, pp 480 483, 19-22
September 2004
[3] Que W., Sebo S. A., Hill R. J., Practical Cases of Electric Field
Distribution Along Dry and Clean Nonceramic Insulators of HighVoltage Power Lines, IEEE Transactions On Power Delivery, Vol.
22, No. 2, pp 10701078, April 2007
[4] IEC Overhead lines Requirements and test for fittings, IEC
International Standard 61284, 1997-09
[5] Dhalaan, S.M.A.; Elhirbawy, M.A.; Investigation on the
Characteristics of a String o Insulator due to the Effect of Dirt,
Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition, 2003
IEEE PESVolume 3, 7-12 Page(s):915 - 920 vol.3, Sept. 2003
[6] Dhalaan,S.M.A.; Elhirbawy, M.A.; Simulation of Voltage
Distribution Calculation Methods over a String of Suspension
Insulators Transmission and Distribution Conference and
Exposition, 2003 IEEE PESVolume 3, 7-12 Page(s):909 - 914 vol.3,
Sept. 2003
[7] Integrated Engineering SoftwareUsers and Technical Manual for
Coulomb 3D, Version 6.4, Winnipeg: Enginia Research Inc., 2008.
[8] G. Gorur, Raju, Dielectrics in Electric Field, New York: Marcel
Dekker, c2003.

VII. BIOGRAPHIES
Suat lhan was born in Malatya, Turkey, on
February 1979. He received the B.Sc. and
M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering
Department from Istanbul Technical
University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2001 and
2004, respectively. He is currently a research
assistant at the same university. His research
interest is in the area of high voltage
engineering.

Aydoan zdemir was born in Artvin,


Turkey on January 1957. He received the
B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical
Engineering from Istanbul Technical
university, Istanbul, Turkey in 1980, 1982
and 1990, respectively. He is currently a full
professor at the same university. His current
research interests are in the area of electric
power system with emphasis on reliability
analysis, modern tools (neural networks,
fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms etc.) for
power system modeling, analysis and control
and high-voltage engineering.