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High Voltage Testing

ABB Ltd - 1
10-03-2003 - Users Guide

Training Module/CTR



Definitions, General requirement, Generation and measurement, Test

procedure, Methods of evaluation, Uncertainty in tests and

High voltage tests on high voltage products

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Definitions, Significance of insulation, Why testing?

High voltage testing techniques


Test objects and various high voltage tests, General safety and
precautions, Test objects standard requirement, Evaluation of test

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10-03-2003 - Users Guide

Training Module/CTR

High Voltage Testing


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Definitions and general standards requirements

Generation of high voltages

Measurement of high voltages

Test procedures



IEC 60060-1 High-voltage testing techniques

Part 1 General definitions and test requirements

Describes general definitions and test requirements in high voltage

testing techniques

IEC 60060-2 High-voltage testing techniques

Part 2 Measuring devices

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Describes general definitions and measuring systems requirement in

high voltage testing techniques


Disruptive discharge (also referred as electrical breakdown)

Failure of insulation under electrical stress, in which the discharge completely bridges the
insulation under test, reducing the voltage between the electrodes practically to zero

It applies to electrical breakdown in solid, liquid and gaseous dielectrics and

combinations of these

Non-disruptive discharge (also referred as partial discharges)

Disruptive discharge occurs over the surface of a dielectric in a gaseous or liquid medium


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Disruptive discharge occurs in a gaseous or liquid medium


A discharge that does not completely bridge the insulation between electrodes, the voltage
between the electrodes does not drop to zero



Disruptive discharge occurs through the solid dielectrics


External insulation

Is the insulation which completely recovers its insulating properties after a

disruptive discharge caused by the application of test voltage

Non-self-restoring insulation

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Is the internal solid, liquid or gaseous elements of the insulation of equipment

Self-restoring insulation

Is the air insulation and the exposed surfaces of the solid insulation of the

Internal insulation


Is the insulation which losses its insulating properties, or does not recover them
completely, after a disruptive discharge caused by the application of test voltage



Is an intentionally applied aperiodic transient voltage or current which

usually rises rapidly to a peak value and then falls slowly to zero

Lightning and switching impulses

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Impulses with front duration up to 20 s are defined lightning impulses

and those with longer fronts are defined as switching impulses


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General requirements for test procedures

The requirements of test procedures are dependent on the follwing


Required accuracy of tests results

Random nature of observed phenomena / polarity dependence of


Progressive deterioration with repeated voltage application


Test object should be complete in all respects;

Complete in all details

Should be processed in normal manner for similar equipment

General arrangement in terms of clearances to other live / grounded

parts should be taken care of

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Requirements for test objects

A clearance of not less than 1.5 times of the shortest possible

discharge path should be maintained from extraneous structures

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Dry tests

Test object should be dry and clean

Test should be made at ambient temeprature

The procedure for voltage application is as per IEC 60060 1

The voltage value and various configuration to be tested is as per

relevant product standard

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Wet tests

Intended to simulate performance of test object when overvoltages occur in rain


The procedure for voltage application is as per IEC 60060 1

The voltage value and various configuration to be tested is as per relevant product

Precipitation condition for standard procedure

Water resistivity 100 15 m

Precipitation rate 1 to 2 mm/min in horizontal and vertical

Water temperature ambient temperature 15 C

Test specimen should be wetted for minimum15 minutes before start of testing

Reproducibility of wet test results is low

Adequate precautions on collecting vessel and method precipitation measurement are

taken to minimize this dispersion

The test object may be cleaned with a surface-active detergent. This is to be removed
before beginning of wetting


The standard reference atmosphere is;

Temperature to

20 C

Pressure bo

101.3 kPa

Absolute humidity 11 g/m3

As products are tested under exsisting ambient conditions the

applied voltage has to be corrected for the prevailing conditions

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Atmospheric conditions

Refer to relevant product standard for applicability of correction factors


The total correction factor Kt is the product of

air density correction factor k1 and humidity correction factor k2

The applied voltage is calculated as

Correction factors

U = Uo Kt where Uo is the specified test voltage

Air density correction factor at temperature t and pressure b is

k 1 m

b 273 t o
bo 273 t

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m is taken from figure


Correction factors

Humidity correction factor

k2 kw

w is based on value of g (refer graph in previous slide)

where k is dependent on type of test voltage and ratio

500 L k
where UB is the 50% distruptiv e discharge voltage

(if not available assume 1.1times test voltage)

L is the minimum discharge path in metres

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No humidity correction shall be applied for

wet tests


Correction factors

Conflicting requirments for testing internal and external insulation

Due to laboratory altitude and or extreme climatic conditions, the

correction factor results in withstand level for internal insulation in
excess to discharge voltages of external insulation

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In such condition the test object may be immersed in oil or

compressed gas so that there are no discharges in external
insulation during test

Reverse may happen in some cases, where external insulation is to be

tested at significantly higher voltages. In order to assess the external

Either the internal insulation is reinforced for test purpose or

The test is made with dummies


Altitude Correction factors

For installation at an altitude higher than 1 000 m, the insulation level of external
insulation is determined by multiplying the insulation withstand voltages required
at the service location by a factor K a in accordance with figure (see next slide)

Also see product standard for specific requirements

Ka is also give by following formula;

Ka = e m(H - 1 000)/8150

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H is the altitude in metres

m is taken as fixed value in each case for simplification as follows:

m = 1 for power-frequency, lightning impulse and phase-to-phase switching

impulse voltages

m = 0,9 for longitudinal switching impulse voltage

m = 0,75 for phase-to-earth switching impulse voltage.

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Altitude Correction factors

For internal insulation, the

dielectric characteristics are
identical at any altitude and
no special precautions need
to be taken. For external and
internal insulation, see IEC

For low-voltage auxiliary and

control equipment, no special
precautions need to be taken
if the altitude is lower than
2000 m. For higher altitude,
see IEC 60664-1

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Definitions and general standards requirements

Generation of high voltages

Measurement of high voltages

Test procedures



High ac voltage of power frequency

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Types of high voltage waveshapes

High ac voltage of higher frequency

Impulse voltage

Lightning impulse ( High transient or

impulse voltage of very short duration)

Switching impulse ( Transient voltage

of longer duration)

High dc voltage

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Alternating voltages

A sinusoid in the range 45 to 65 Hz

Value of peak to rms ratio should be 2 5%

For test durations upto 60 s the measured value of test voltage shall
be maintained within 1%

For test durations exceeding 60 s the measured value of test

voltage shall be maintained within 3%

The total uncertainty of measurement of test value should be no

more than 3%


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Generation Power frequency voltages

Single phase testing transformer

Cascaded transformer

Resonance test transformer

Testing transformers are generally designed to withstand frequent short

circuit failures.

Short circuit current rating is 10 to 20 times rated current.

Three Phase test transformer

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Test circuit requirement

The voltage in the test circuit should be stable enough to be

practically unaffected by varying leakage currents

Non-sustained disruptive discharges may cause over-voltages in

the test circuit due to uncontrolled resonance conditions produced
by the interaction of leakage inductance of the source and the
varying impedance of the high-voltage circuit

This can be eliminated

by providing sufficient damping resistance in the high-voltage circuit or

short-circuiting the primary voltage to the high-voltage test transformer

immediately following a disruptive discharge

Controlled high-voltage resonant circuits do not produce over-voltages

following disruptive discharges since they de-tune whenever the load
impedance changes


They are designed to withstand frequent short circuits when the test object
fails or experiences flashover

They should have higher impedance than typical HV power transformer.

Typical range is 20-30%. Too high is not good for regulation.

Short circuit current should be

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Testing transformer requirement

Minimum 0.1 A for dry tests on solid and liquid insulation

On external self restoring insulation 0.1 A for dry tests and 0.5 A for wet tests. 1 A
may be necessary for wet test on large specimens.

For artificial pollution test this value should be upto 15 A. Also R/X 0.1

In order to prevent large dip in applied voltage during non-disruptive partial

discharges the total capacitance of test object and any other capacitor in
test circuit should be in the range of 0.5 to 1 nF

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Single phase testing transformers

Though power station equipment are three phase, single phase testing
transformer is normally used for testing


They differ from power transformer in the sense that they have higher short
circuit impedance to withstand frequent short circuit

It can be operated with overload for short duration

Major advantage of this below 200 kVA is less cost

Major disadvantage above 300 kVA is more cost

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General arrangement

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Tank type

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Tank type

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Tank type

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Tank type

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Cylindrical type

The test transformer are of the

insulating shell design with metallic
cover and base

The insulating cylinder is made of

reinforced Fibreglass, covered with a
moisture-rejecting paint

It is important to keep the surface of

insulating cylinder dry and dust free all
the time

During high moisture periods infra-red

lamps are used to keep the cylinder
surface warm and prevent

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Cylindrical type


Cost of insulation for a single unit is square of operating voltage

When the voltage higher than 400 kV cascade is done

as the insulation required is very high in conventional type

Transportation and assembly are easy as the whole unit is divided into smaller

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Cascaded Transformer

Natural cooling is sufficient

The units are enclosed by large size metal rings to prevent corona

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Block diagram


Construction of Cascaded Transformer

Fig shows the three cascaded connected transformer

Each units are shown separately in dotted line


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Cascaded transformer

First unit is energized from low voltage primary

In the same unit second unit excitation winding is available with the
same no of turns as the primary of the first unit

Second unit primary is fed from the first unit

The potential of Second unit is fixed by the potential of secondary

of the first unit

Secondary of second stage transformer is connected in series with

secondary of first unit

Some times the second transformer unit is grounded at the half of

the potential to reduce the insulation to half

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Cascaded transformer

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Cascaded transformer


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High voltage resonant circuits

Series resonant circuit

Consists of an inductor in series with a capacitive test object, or a capacitor in

series with an inductive test object

By varying circuit parameters or the supply frequency, the circuit can be tuned to
achieve a voltage considerably greater than that of the source and with a
substantially sinusoidal shape

This circuit is useful when testing objects such as cables, capacitors in which the
leakage currents on the external insulation are very small in comparison with the
capacitive currents through the test object

Unsuitable for testing external insulation under contaminated conditions

Parallel resonant circuit

Consists of a capacitive test object in parallel with a variable inductance and a

high-voltage source

By varying the inductance, the circuit can be tuned, resulting in a considerable

reduction in the current drawn from the high-voltage source


Equivalent circuit with Capacitive load

Transformers simplified equivalent circuit can be modeled as shown in


The output voltage, V0 for the circuit is given

by the expression

I Vo/ V I = 1/ {( RC)2 + (2LC - 1)2 }0.5

For the light loads C is very less.

As the load increases output voltage

Vo = I * Xc
= V/R * Xc
= 1/(CR) * V

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Q is the quality factor of the circuit. It is designed with the value of 50 to 70

So the output voltage is Q times input voltage applied



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High voltage resonant circuits


Low input power requirements

Negligible harmonic distortion

Fault Current is limited in the series

resonant mode preventing damage to the
test sample

Smaller in size compared to similar rating

of conventional transformer

Used for routine and type tests of MV and

HV and general purpose laboratory tests
including wet tests

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High Voltage Impulse Generation

Transient over voltages due to lightning and switching surges causes fast
rising voltage on transmission tower and hence on electrical equipments

To simulate the service transient condition on the equipment for its

withstand strength it is necessary to generate the impulse voltage

On the basis of the front and tail time following classification is made

Lightning impulse generation

Switching impulse generation

Very fast transient generation


The impulse is usually generated by an

impulse generator consisting of

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High Voltage Impulse Generation

a number of capacitors that are charged in

parallel from a direct voltage source and then
discharged in series into a circuit that includes
the test object and the measuring system

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Impulse generator Block diagram


Single Stage Marx Circuit


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Front resistor
Tail resistor
Generator capacitor
Load capacitance
Sphere gap


V0 V(t) -


V (t)

Rectified voltage
Impulse voltage


Three stage Marx Circuit

Uo charging voltage
Cs impulse capacitor
f sphere gap
Re discharging resistor
RL charging resistor
RD damping resistor

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Lightning impulse waveshape

Impulses with front duration up to 20 s are defined as lightning

Standard Lightning Impulse

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U Peak value

( 30%)

T1 Front time

50 s is time to half-value( 20%)

T2 Time to half-value (tail time)

Peak value

T Time between point A and B

(30% and 90% of peak value

O1 Virtual origin

1.2/50 s

1.2 s is front time

( 3%)


A chopped lightning impulse is a prospective full lightning impulse

during which any type of discharge causes a rapid collapse of the

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Chopped lightning impulse waveshape

The collapse of the voltage can occur on the front, at the peak, or on
the tail

Tc Time to chopping virtual origin to instant of chopping


A standard chopped lightning impulse is a standard impulse that is

chopped by an external gap after 2 to 5 s

Other time values for chopping may be specified by the product


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Chopped lightning impulse waveshape

Because of practical difficulties in measurement, the virtual duration of

voltage collapse has not been standardized.


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Chopped lightning impulse waveshape

Chopped impulse is defined by

Peak voltage U

Front time T1

Virtual steepness S = U/T1. This is the

slope of a straight line drawn between
points E and F

This front-chopped impulse is

considered linearly rising if the front,
from 30% amplitude up to the instant
of chopping, is entirely enclosed
between two lines parallel to the line
E-F, but displaced from it in time by
0.05 T1

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Switching impulse waveshape

Impulses with longer front duration (20 s) are defined as switching


Standard switching impulse

250/2500 s

250 s is time to peak


U Peak value

( 20%)

Tp Time to peak

2500 s is time to half-value( 60%)

T2 Time to half-value (tail time)

Peak value

Td Time above 90% of peak


( 3%)


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Impulse current


Defined by the front time T1 and the time to half-value T2

1/20 impulse: front time : 1 s time to half-value : 20 s

4/10 impulse: front time : 4 s time to half-value : 10 s

8/20 impulse: front time : 8 s time to half-value : 20 s

30/80 impulse: front time : 30 s time to half-value : 30 s


Peak value


Front time (T1)


Time to half-value (T2) 10%



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Impulse current
Defined by the duration of the peak Td and the total duration Tt

Rectangular impulse currents with durations of the peak of 500 s,

1000 s, or 2000 s and total durations from 2000 s to 3200 s


Peak value

+20% - 0%

Duration of peak

+20% - 0%

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Definitions and general standards requirements

Generation of high voltages

Measurement of high voltages

Test procedures



Low Voltage system: Voltage < 1 kV

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Introduction to HV Measurement
Moving iron and moving coil type instruments are used with series
resistance (multiplier) for low voltage measurement

Factors in high voltage measurements

The measurement of voltage and current in the HV tests are difficult by

conventional measuring and recording systems

When the voltage increases power consumed by multipliers increases

Reduction of stray capacitance is not easy

The other difficulties are related to large sizes necessary to

control electrical fields

avoid flashover

to control heat dissipation within the circuits


Measuring system

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HV measuring system
Complete set of devices suitable for performing a high-voltage or
impulse-current measurement is called as measuring system

Components of HV measuring systems consists of

Converting device

Transmission device

Recording device


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Classification HV Measurement

Direct method

Voltage is measured when the meter is connected directly

with high voltage system


Electrostatic voltmeter

Sphere gap / rod-rod gap

Indirect method

10 kV Electrostatic voltmeter

Voltage is measured by scaling it down to suitably lower



Series resistance

Micro ammeter

Voltage transformer

Peak volt meter

Potential dividers

Oscilloscopes , HV probe

HV probe


Sphere gaps

IEC 60052 - Voltage measurement by means of

standard air gaps

A uniform field spark gap will have sparkover

voltage within tolerance under constant
atmospheric conditions

By precise experiments, the breakdown voltage

variation with gap spacing, for different diameters
and distances, can be measured

Two identical metal spheres made of copper,

aluminium or brass is used separated by an air

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The potential difference between the spheres is

raised until a spark appears

Standard values of Diameter of spheres are 6.25,

12.5, 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, and 200 cm

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Sphere gaps


The density of the gas (generally air) and humidity affects the spark-over
voltage for a given gap setting

The spark over voltage for a given gap setting under STP must be
multiplied by the correction factor to obtain the actual spark-over voltage

Spark over voltage at NTP, U = KtU0

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Effect of atmosphere

The atmospheric correction factors have been described earlier

In the uniform field configuration, sparkover voltage is 30 kVpeak/cm in air at

20 0C and 101.3 kPa pressure


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Sphere gaps Protection

A series resistance of 100 to 1000 k is connected in series with

sphere gap to

limit the break down current as causes pitting of sphere gap

suppress unwanted oscillation in the source voltage when break down

occurs in the case of impulse voltage

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Factors affecting measurement

Tolerance on size, shape and conditions of spheres and their surfaces

Nearby earthed objects


Irradiation and polarity

Dust particle

Rise time of voltage waveforms

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Peak values disruptive discharge voltages

Reference: Table 2 from IEC 60052


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Sphere gaps


The sphere gap method of measuring high voltage is the most reliable
and is used as the standard for calibration purposes

It can be used to measure peak ac voltage up to 1 MHz

Accuracy of measurement is proved as 3 %


It can not be used for the voltage having rise time of lesser than 0.5 s

DC spark over voltage reduction was about 20 % for lesser gap

distances (1.3mm) with irradiation

At long gap spark over voltage is not linear with dc voltage

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Rod gap measurement

The rods shall be made of steel or brass, with a

solid square section, sides between 10 mm and
25 mm and have a common axis. The ends
shall be cut at right angles to the axis leaving
the edges sharp in order to get a reproducible
breakdown mechanism

The clearance from the tip of the high voltage to

earthed objects and walls, other than the ground
plane, shall be not less than 5 m


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Rod gap measurement

The disruptive discharge voltage Uo for positive and negative direct

voltage at standard reference atmosphere is given, for either the
vertical and horizontal gap by;

Uo = 2 + 0,534 d

Where, Uo is in kilovolts and d is the gap spacing in millimeters

This equation is valid for gap distances d between 250 mm and 2 500
mm and for a humidity range h/ between 1 g/m 3 and 13 g/m3

Under these conditions, the disruptive discharge voltage Uo has an

estimated uncertainty of 3% for a level of confidence not less than 95%

The rod-rod gap shall not be used as an approved measuring device

at gap spacing less than 250 mm because of the absence of
streamer pre-discharges

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Resistance in series with Micro ammeter

High series resistance (specially designed to withstand high voltage) and

resistance of 20 k/V is used with micro ammeter (having 50 A movement).

This method is applicable for both ac and dc

A safety gap or neon lamp is connected across the micro-ammeter



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Resistance in series with Micro ammeter

By using a stable supply (of accuracy 0.1%) 1% accuracy can be


When the above method is used for alternating voltages, there would
be the effect of the distributed capacitances

Their stability of resistances are temperature dependant

The two resistors are set by heat dissipation and heat transfer outside

Current limits can be up to 1 to 2 mA

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Peak reading voltmeters

Peak value measurement is important in HV measurement

Types of Peak voltage measurement

Capacitor charging method

Neon Lamp Method

Rectifier-Capacitor current method

Rectifier with divider method - Impulse voltage measurement


Voltage/potential transformer

Voltage is measured by stepping down the voltage from one side to

another side by Faradays law principle

Inductive voltage transformer

Potential transformer

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Capacitor voltage transformer


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Inductive voltage transformer

High voltage is measured by stepping down

according to the ratio of turns between the
primary and secondary

Very simple design and construction

Error due to Phase angle and ratio

It does not permit fast rising transient

Insulation required for very high voltages more

than 100 kV is more and hence not cost effective


Capacitance divider with a inductive voltage

transformer is used

These are field measuring equipment unlike

dividers are laboratory measuring equipments
with very good accuracy


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Capacitor voltage transformer

The high voltage capacitor can be used in PLCC

application instead of coupling capacitor

Simpler design and easy installation


Voltage ratio will vary with temperature

Ferro resonance occurrence in power system

Limited power output

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Capacitor voltage transformer


High Voltage divider

Potential divider consists of two impedances , HV arm (Z1) and LV

arm (Z2) connected in series

High voltage is applied to HV arm and measuring voltage is taken

from LV arm

The height of the divider depends on the flashover voltage between

the electrodes

Connection between LV arm and and measuring instrument is

made by shielded cable to avoid stray capacitance

Resistive dividers

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Types of Dividers

Capacitance dividers
Mixed dividers

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Resistive potential divider

Used for the measurement of all kind of high

impulse voltages with steep wave fronts
measurement of front chopped impulses

Used when an additional capacitance in the test

circuit is not permissible

A distributed screen of sections and using an

auxiliary potential divider to give fixed potential to
the screens

These are housed in flexi-glass cylinders

containing a matched set of precision metal film
resistors, alternatively anti inductively wound CrNi
wire wound resistors

200 kV and 100 kV


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Resistive potential divider


Resistive Voltage Dividers can measure up to 100 kV ac or 200 kV dc

with accuracy better than 0.5%

It is possible to measure the impulse voltage 2 MV by the careful design

of low voltage arm

They are generally used when an additional capacitance in the test

circuit is not permissible due to the slowdown effect on the rise time


Distributed capacitance significantly affect the resultant ratio.

More than 200 kV resistive divider design is difficult


Capacitive potential divider

A single capacitor unit or stack of units can be used for

the measurement

In capacitor voltage divider two capacitances C1 and C2

are used in series, and the measuring system is
connected across the lower arm capacitor

Pure capacitive voltage dividers cannot be used for

measuring impulses due to generation of oscillations
created by with pure LC circuit

L being stray inductance of lead and C the capacitance

of the divider

Neglecting the capacitance of the cable (approx.

50pF/m) the effective capacitance of C1 and C2 in series
is C1C2/(C1+C2), and since the charge is the same,

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VC2 = C1/(C1+C2) V

1000 kV divider



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Capacitive potential divider

Very good high frequency response for small capacitance and small
dimensional divider


Pure capacitive dividers are sensitive to input voltage with short rise

It forms series resonance circuit with lead inductance in the low voltage


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Mixed divider circuit

Combination of resistor and capacitor are used to

eliminate the effect of distributed stray capacitances.
The distributed capacitors compensate for the current
drawn by stray capacitances
It can be classified into two types

Parallel Resistive-capacitive voltage divider

Damped capacitive voltage dividers

1 MV

3 MV

3.5 MV

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Parallel Resistive-capacitive voltage divider

To reduce the nonlinear frequency dependant characteristics

resistive divider capacitance is connected in parallel with resistor

This is achieved by selecting equal time constants in both high

voltage and low voltage arms


At high frequencies it acts like a capacitive divider and at low frequency

like resistive divider.

Loading effect can be reduced by step by step


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Damped capacitive voltage dividers

Combination of very low resistors and pure

capacitance are connected in series

This used to reduce the voltage

oscillations and reflections due to traveling

It is possible to design more than 6.5 MV

voltage measurements


Pure capacitive dividers are sensitive to

input voltage with short rise time.

It forms series resonance circuit with lead

inductance in the low voltage arms

6.5 MV outdoor type

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Requirements of divider as per IEC 60-2

Measuring system should measure Peak impulse voltage with the

overall uncertainty of 3%

Uncertainty of front chopped impulse measurement should be 5%

Uncertainty of tail chopped impulse measurement should be 3%

Time parameters should be measured within 10 % accuracy

To reproduce oscillations partial response time should be < 15 ns

Rise time and response time are important so that measuring circuit
will transfer the same voltage to be measured

Eliminating the stray capacitance in the secondary of the divider is



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Selection of Dividers

Selection of divider is based on

Maximum value of each voltage type to be measured

Required or specified transfer behavior of the voltage measuring

configuration consisting of high voltage lead/divider, measuring
cable/measuring unit

Adaptability of low voltage arm to measuring instruments and

measuring cable

Capacitive load of test circuit

Application of divider : -indoor, -outdoor, -stationary, -mobile and

-suspended installation at ceiling or wall


Methods of measurements

Method of





Sphere gap




Voltage transformer

Resistor in series with



Capacitive divider

Mixed divider

Resistive divider

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Peak voltmeter
Electrostatic voltmeter




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Accuracy requirements

Alternating voltage

Total uncertainty of peak or mean value measurement should be < 3 %

Harmonics < 10 %

Direct voltage

Total uncertainty of mean value measurement should be < 3 %

Lesser than 10 % of actual ripple or 1% error of the mean value

whichever is more


Accuracy requirements

Lightning and switching impulse voltage

Uncertainty of Peak of full impulse or chopped impulse on the tail < 3 %

Impulse chopped on the front when the chopping time Tc , Tc > 2 s,

uncertainty should be 3 %

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when the chopping time Tc, 0.5 s Tc 2 s, uncertainty should

be less than 5 %

Time parameter less than 10 %

If the frequency of oscillation is less than 0.5 MHz and duration of

overshoot is 1s mean curve should be drawn to see the magnitude.
Overshoot is nearer to peak of less than 5 % of peak value

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Definitions and general standards requirements

Generation of high voltages

Measurement of high voltages

Test procedures



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Test with alternating voltage

Withstand voltage tests

The voltage is applied starting at a value sufficiently low to prevent effects of

over-voltages due to switching transients

It should be raised sufficiently slowly to permit accurate reading of the measuring

instrument, but not so slowly as to cause unnecessarily prolonged stress on the
test object at the test voltage

The rate of rise should be 2% per second above 75% of the estimated final test

The test voltage should be maintained for the specified time and then reduced

It should not be suddenly interrupted as this may generate switching transients

that could cause damage or erratic test results

The requirements of the test are satisfied if no disruptive discharge occurs on

the test object

Deviations from this recommendation may be specified by the appropriate

apparatus standard


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Test with alternating voltage

Disruptive discharge voltage tests

The voltage should be raised in the manner described in withstand

voltage tests until a disruptive discharge occurs on the test object

The value of the test voltage reached at the instant of the disruptive
discharge shall be recorded

Assured disruptive discharge voltage tests

The voltage should be raised in the manner described in withstand

voltage tests until a disruptive discharge occurs on the test object

The value of the test voltage reached just prior to the disruptive
discharge should be recorded

The requirements of the test are generally satisfied if this voltage is not
higher than the assured disruptive discharge voltage on each one of a
specified number of voltage applications


There are four methods are specified by IEC 60060-1

Procedure A

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Tests with impulse voltages

This procedure is applicable to the non-self restoring insulation

3 impulses of specified shape and polarity at the rated withstand voltage level
are applied to the test object

If there is no indication of discharges observed, test object passes

Procedure B

15 impulses of the specified shape and polarity at the withstand level are applied
to the test object

Test object passes if not more than two disruptive discharge occurs in the self
restoring part of the insulation and no indication of failure in the non-restoring


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Tests with impulse voltages

Procedure C

3 specified shape and polarity at the withstand voltage level is applied

to the test object

If no disruptive discharge occurs test object passed the test

If more than one disruptive discharge occurs, test object failed the

If one disruptive discharge occurs in the self restoring part of the

insulation, then 9 additional impulses are applied. If no discharge
occurs test object has passed the test


Procedure D Statistical method

For self restoring insulation the 10% impulse disruptive discharge voltage U10 is
evaluated by using statistical test procedures

Direct evaluation of U10 or U50 and indirect evaluation of U10 can be done.

In direct method number of test voltage are applied to find 10% disruptive
discharge voltage

In indirect method

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Tests with impulse voltages

U10 = U50( 1 - 1.3z ) z= 0.03 in general

U50 can be evaluated by

multiple level method

up-and-down method

Test object is passed if U10 is not less than the specified impulse withstand

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Combined Voltage Tests

Simulate conditions where one terminal of the open switch is

energized at the specified power frequency voltage and the other
terminal may be subject to either a lightning or switching

The test voltages are characterized by their amplitude, waveshape,

polarity, and any time delay between the application of the two

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Combined Voltage Tests

There is possibility of a disruptive

discharge during the test

suitable protective devices (decoupling

resistors, inductors, capacitors,
orprotective gaps) protect the test

Definition of the applied waveshape is

left to the appropriate product standard

Measuring device is based on the

requirements for the fastest and slowest
waveshapes to be observed

In all cases, voltages are measured as

referred to ground

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Definitions and general standards requirements

Generation of high voltages

Measurement of high voltages

Test procedures



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Concept of Uncertainty


The concept of error is now old and no longer used.

Error is deviation from true value. While calculating error we assume

that the true value is known. However true value is never known.


This concept says that any quantity is known to exist within a definite
interval (nominal value and a range around that) with a given degree of

Thus in this concept any quantity is described to lie within an interval

and the level of confidence associated with it.


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Uncertainty (of measurement)

parameter, associated with the result of a measurement, that
characterizes the dispersion of the values that could reasonably be
attributed to the measurand [IEV 311-01-02, VIM 3.9]


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Components of uncertainty

Systematic components

Uncertainty arising out of attributable factors which are known

They are estimated by knowledge of effects of such factors on the


They represent the accuracy of the system

Random components

These components are ones which cannot be attributed to any known


These are evaluated by statistical measurements

They represent the precision of the system


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Old and new ways

Old way

The measurement is represented by the indicated single value say 10


If a 0.5 class instrument has been used for this measurement we

assume that the true value lies within 100.5%.

However the meter is not the only source of error in measurement.

There are other sources like, personnel, ambient conditions which

affect meter performance and various unknown (random) factors


Old and new ways

New way

The concept of uncertainty accounts for all these.

The meter when calibrated is characterized with total uncertainty of

calibration accounting all factors which affected calibration.

Further, when measurement is made the total uncertainty of the

measurement is evaluated considering all factors that affect the
measurement (including the uncertainty of the calibration)

A typical report of measurement with uncertainty figure is

10 V 0.5 V with 95% confidence level.

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Here 0.5 V is the total uncertainty in estimating the voltage value. And
there is 95% confidence that the measurement lies within the range 9.5
to 10.5 V