Partial discharge characteristics of electrical treeing in XLPE insulation exposed to voltages of different rise times
Journal article, 2019

The use of pulse width modulated (PWM) waveforms allows more flexible energy applications and management. The downside is that under such operating conditions the voltage stress imposed on the insulation systems increases, particularly as the frequency content is considerably higher than at the conventional 50 Hz sinusoidal waveform. Among various degradation mechanisms, electrical treeing is one important processes and it can be linked with a presence of partial discharge (PD) activity. In this paper, the changes in PD characteristics at different stages of degradation by electrical treeing were investigated for XLPE based insulation exposed to rapidly changing voltages of varying magnitude. The tested material samples were subjected to five square voltage shapes, each characterized by their rise-time. Here the shortest was 0.75 µs, followed by 40, 80, 250 and the longest 500 µs, all tests run at 414 Hz. To compare the voltage endurance, the voltage level was gradually increased until detectable PD activity and tree initiation could be observed, both electrically and optically. Typically, continuous PD appearance was observed between 23 and 32 kV pp . The total number of PDs and their characteristics were monitored as the trees were gradually growing. Here the experimental results show that the PDs appears at lower voltage magnitudes for the shorter voltage rise times and that the trees had a significantly less branched appearance for these rise times as compared to longer rise times. These results resemble the observations that recently been presented with tests on DC voltage pre-stressed material samples exposed to impulses of reversed polarity. Additionally, the measured PD characteristics were distinct non-symmetric, having a clear polarity dependence for the shortest rise time. For 40 and 80 µs this tendency was much less clear and not observable for the two longest. This finding suggests a possibility to use the presented approach for a more detailed investigating of degradation processes in solid insulation systems suitable for both HVAC and HVDC applications.

: partial discharges

Electrical treeing



Pulse width modulation


Thomas Hammarström

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

Tord Bengtsson

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

Stanislaw Gubanski

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

IEEJ Transactions on Fundamentals and Materials

0385-4205 (ISSN) 1347-5533 (eISSN)

Vol. 139 2 85-91

Subject Categories

Other Chemical Engineering

Other Materials Engineering

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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