Study on conducting characteristics of electrical trees in cross-linked polyethylene cable insulation
Journal article, 2012
The conducting characteristics of two typical electrical trees in cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable insulation are studied by a combination of optical microscopy observation, partial discharge measurement and con-focal Raman spectroscopy analysis. Although they are grown under similar conditions, these two trees display very different shapes. One is a typical branch-pine tree grown at 9 kV, and the other is a branch tree grown at 11 kV. The growth and the partial discharge regularities show obvious differences. The disordered graphitic carbon is condensed in the main tree channels of the branch-pine tree. From the relative intensity of the graphitic carbon G band to D band, the graphitic domain is estimated to be about 8 nm in size. The tree channel resistance per unit length is less than 10 Ω· μm-1, which is sufficient to prevent the partial discharge from developing within the tree structure. The branch-pine tree shows the features of the conducting tree. The fluorescence background is observed in the channels of branch tree, which shows the existence of the products of the material degradation, but no disordered graphitic carbon is observed in these tree channels. These tree channels display obvious non-conducting characteristics, which is not sufficient to prevent the continuous effect of the partial discharges. Finally, a single channel growth model is proposed for the conducting and non-conducting trees grown in XLPE cable insulation. Based on the equivalent circuit theory, the growth mechanisms of the two trees with different conducting characteristics in XLPE cable insulation are discussed.
con-focal Raman spectroscopy
cross-linked polyethylene cable