Partial Discharge Testing and Monitoring of Electrical Assets

Knowing the sources of the electrical discharges in the medium to high frequency electrical installations is often akin to looking for a needle in the haystack. With the proper partial discharge test equipment, it is possible for companies to optimize on the use of the electrical assets in order to improve both performance as well as reliability of these assets by detecting partial discharges early on before there is insulation failure which could potentially be quite costly for companies.

The measurements of the partial discharges or PD

The PD is measured by the use of the partial discharge test equipment. Partial discharges generally involve the release of the electrical pulses from within the insulation of the high voltage assets that you plan to protect for maximum reliability in your electrical installations. The test equipment is built with detector circuits and will be introduced into the electrical assets or equipment installations for the purpose of taking in the right kinds of measurements that companies can subsequently use to make the right strategic decisions regarding their electrical assets.

The partial discharge testing switchgear can be implemented online. In this case, the equipment to be tested will be powered at the normal operating frequencies. This means the PD testing switchgear is installed on the equipment during the normal operating conditions of the electrical assets. All the main conditions that are generally existent during the equipment operation including the frequency, the temperature, vibration stresses and voltage stresses will be in full force during the online partial discharge testing.

Because the partial discharge test equipment is used in the non-destructive tests, their installation on your electrical assets will not in any way interfere with the operation of the equipment. If you are planning to carry out PD testing procedures, it is important to go with the online PD testing as it is less expensive compared to the off-line testing procedures which cost a lot as they generally require an interruption in the normal operation of the equipment as well as the production processes in order to carry implement.

The Mounting of the Sensors

Generally, the partial discharge test equipment will be mounted on the electrical assets for a long duration of time in order to carry out a comprehensive monitoring and testing of the PD in the equipment. Long term testing of the equipment allows you to plot the progression of the partial discharges and it will therefore be possible for you to determine whether the situation is getting worse, receding or stabilizing.

With the modern computerized operating environment, the equipment can remain online and submit real-time diagnostic information as well as online access. This is information that engineers can easily use in order to make the best decisions regarding the future of their electrical assets.

The installations of the testing equipment on the electrical assets must be carried out during the downtimes or the outages. Once this is done, there will be no further interruptions or downtimes in the operation of the assets as the testing switchgear is non-intrusive.

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