Textured Insulators for Overhead Lines and Substations

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

In this research programme, it is proposed to investigate the effect of texturing the surface of insulating materials on their performance under applied high voltage and outdoor weather conditions. This follows a Cardiff patent for insulating structures having anti-dry band properties and initial experimental work which proved the concept. It is proposed to investigate surfaces having protuberances in the shape of hemispheres arranged in such a way that both the total surface area and the creepage path of the resulting insulation surface are increased significantly. Such texturing can also have the added benefit of improving the hydrophobicity of the surface. Modelling work using analytical and numerical computation techniques will be used to assess the performance of various shapes of texturing with dimensions in the mm and cm ranges. This modelling work will then be used to shortlist candidate textures for experimental work. A vacuum casting facility will be used to prepare flat and insulator samples that will be tested in inclined-plane and pollution-chamber test environments. Various characterisation laboratory tasks, including long term pollution exposure and ageing investigations, will be undertaken in order to classify the various textures. This will involve synchronising visual, electrical and thermal measurements. It is, then, proposed to use the order of merit from the flat samples investigations to select two or three geometries for fabrication of complete insulators. The allter will be used to conduct a comparative test and modelling programme which will demonstrate/assess the superior properties of the textured surface insulator, particularly under polluted conditions. Furthermore, this programme includes investigation tests at an outdoor pollution test station and collaboration with both a UK manufacturer and an overseas academic group.

Publications

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Abd-Rahman R (2012) Stress control on polymeric outdoor insulators using Zinc oxide microvaristor composites in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

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Albano M (2014) Silicone rubber insulators for polluted environments part 2: textured insulators in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

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Albano M (2014) Silicone rubber insulators for polluted environments part 2: textured insulators in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

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Albano M (2016) Infrared analysis of dry-band flashover of silicone rubber insulators in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

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Charalampidis P (2014) Silicone rubber insulators for polluted environments part 1: enhanced artificial pollution tests in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

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Crespo-Sandova J (2010) Rate of energy absorption as indicator for the tracking/erosion test of silicone rubber in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

 
Description Demonstrated that the patented textured insulator surface concept has potential; for better performance of outdoor insulators under polluted conditions.
Exploitation Route Currently, we have on-going discussions with insulator manufacturer and national grid to explore exploitation.
Sectors Energy

 
Description Work is still continuing to improve the texturing geometry and its performance for various application on high voltage systems. Discussions have been initiated with a insulator manufacturer (Lapp Insulators, Germany) and a Cable accessories manufacturers (CellPack, Germany) to implement the textured concept on their products.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Energy
Impact Types Economic

 
Description particpation in CIGRE technical working groups and IEC standards committees
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
 
Description CF3I gas and mixture as an alternative to SF6
Amount £105,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 03/2014
 
Description Centre for integrated renewable energy generation and supply (CIREGS)"
Amount £3,600,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2008 
End 06/2013
 
Description Earthing measurement techniques and apparatus
Amount £55,000 (GBP)
Organisation Megger Group Limited 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2007 
End 03/2010
 
Description Feasibility of using trifluoromethyl iodide as a replacement for sulphur hexifluoride in high voltage switchgear
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Grid UK 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2009 
End 06/2009
 
Description Innovation in high voltage electrical insulation of electrical energy systems"
Amount £17,000 (GBP)
Organisation UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 12/2014
 
Description Lightning effects on aerospace carbon composite materials, the next generation of materials and components
Amount £761,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Wales 
Department Welsh European Funding Office
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2013 
End 12/2014
 
Description Lightning-effects research laboratory for composite materials"
Amount £1,200,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Wales 
Department Welsh European Funding Office
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2009 
End 09/2012
 
Description Low Carbon Research Institute & CIREGS
Amount £610,000 (GBP)
Organisation Welsh Assembly 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2008 
End 03/2013
 
Description Materials and advanced engineering knowledge exchange strategy (MAeKES)"
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Wales 
Department Welsh European Funding Office
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 11/2014
 
Description Study of electrical discharge phenomena in carbon fibre composite materials and components for aerospace applications
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Airbus Group 
Department EADS Innovation Works
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Description The National Grid Transco High Voltage Research Centre
Amount £225,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Grid UK 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 12/2013
 
Description The National Grid Transco High Voltage Research Centre - Additional funding
Amount £103,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Grid UK 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2009 
End 12/2010
 
Description Transformation of the top and tail of energy networks
Amount £521,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I031707/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 09/2015
 
Description Virtel Project
Amount £110,000 (GBP)
Organisation Airbus Group 
Department EADS Innovation Works
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2013 
End 04/2014
 
Description Visualisation of damage to carbon composite panels during lightning strikes using laser illumination and high speed camera
Amount £11,000 (GBP)
Organisation Airbus Group 
Department EADS Innovation Works
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 11/2010
 
Description Lighnting protection of aircraft 
Organisation Airbus Group
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Establishing a research centre dedicated to aircraft protection against lightning. In particular, the use of carbon composite materials and components in aircraft and wind turbines is being investigated.
Collaborator Contribution AIRBUS Innovations have donated generator equipment to the laboratory and have contributed significant staff time to the project. In all project work (funded by AIRBUS , Innovate UK and other sources , there is significant input from the company. Also, they had involvement in discussions with their suppliers working with us on components.
Impact A unique research centre within the university sector is established, with a strong research focus on lightning and EMC is now running at Cardiff University. A new research Network on Electro-Mechanical Characterisation of Carbon Composites (EMC3) has been established with some 20 aerospace companies and 8 universities. This is a multi-disciplinary network with specialists in electrical and mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics and material scientists.
Start Year 2008
 
Description National Grid 
Organisation National Grid UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007
 
Description several magazine, newspapers, radio and TV (CNN, BBC Discovery...)programmes on lightning protection of aircraft 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact better understanding of lightning impact on aircraft

Various organisations and media visit the lab regularly
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014