Electrical Treeing Behavior at High Temperature in XLPE Cable Insulation Samples
Journal article, 2015
This paper reports on investigations aiming to understand the behavior of electrical trees formed in XLPE cable insulation at elevated temperatures. Samples cut from a real high voltage cable equipped with an embedded electrode system and composed of a needle separated by 2 mm from counter electrode were used. The temperature was varied between 50 and 90 C and the range of voltage changed between 9 and 18 kV. The electrical treeing process was followed by means of microscopic observation from the moment of initiation until the leading branches connected the counter electrode and partial discharge (PD) activity was monitored simultaneously. The shape and fractal dimension of the resulting trees were analyzed. It was found that temperature and voltage level had pronounced effect on the process of electrical tree formation. At lower voltages different type of trees could be formed, whereas at higher voltages branch trees dominated. Increase of test temperature reduced the time for tree initiation, whereas the tree growth time was less affected, except for the lowest voltage level at which the slowest tree development was observed at the highest test temperature. It is postulated that the impeding effect of elevated temperature on tree growth is due to a change of tree channel sidewall conductivity, whereas the observed reduction of tree initiation time with the increase of temperature and voltage level is attributed to lowering of the threshold energy for damage at higher temperature as well as increasing of the injection current at higher voltage level.
XLPE cable insulation