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TESTING OF INSULATOR
To ensure the desired performance of an electrical insulator, that is for avoiding unwanted insulator failure, each insulator has to undergo numbers of insulator test. Before going through testing of insulator we will try to understand different causes of insulator failure. Because insulator testing ensures the quality of electrical insulator and chances for failure of insulation depend upon the quality of insulator.
There are different causes due to which failure of insulation in electrical power system may occur. Let's have a look on them one by one-
The porcelain insulator mainly consists of three different materials. The main porcelain body, steel fitting arrangement and cement to fix the steel part with porcelain. Due to changing climate conditions, these different materials in the insulator expand and contract in different rate. These unequal expansion and contraction of porcelain, steel and cement are the chief cause of cracking of insulator.
If the insulation material used for insulator is defective anywhere, the insulator may have a high chance of being puncher from that place.
If the porcelain insulator is manufactured at low temperatures, it will make it porous, and due to this reason it will absorb moisture from air thus its insulation will decrease and leakage current will start to flow through the insulator which will lead to insulator failure.
If the surface of porcelain insulator is not properly glazed, moisture can stick over it. This moisture along with deposited dust on the insulator surface, produces a conducting path. As a result the flash over distance of the insulator is reduced. As the flash over distance is reduced, the chance of failure of insulator due to flash over becomes more.
If flash over occurs, the insulator may be over heated which may ultimately results into shuttering of it.
If an insulator has any weak portion due to manufacturing defect, it may break from that weak portion when mechanical stress is applied on it by its conductor. These are the main causes of insulator failure. Now we will discuss the different insulator test procedures to ensure minimum chance of failure of insulation.
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