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On-line time domain reflectometry diagnostics of

medium voltage XLPE power cables

VALENTINAS DUBICKAS

Licentiate Thesis
Stockholm, Sweden 2006

TRITA-EE 2006:010
ISSN 1653-5146
ISRN KTH/R-0504-SE
ISBN 91-7178-327-X

Elektroteknisk teori och konstruktion


KTH
SE-100 44 Stockholm
SWEDEN

Akademisk avhandling som med tillst


and av Kungl Tekniska hogskolan framl
agges
till offentlig granskning for avlaggande av teknologie licenciatexamen torsdagen
den 27 april 2006 klockan 10.00 i sal D2, Kungl Tekniska hogskolan, Lindstedtsv 5,
Stockholm.
Valentinas Dubickas, 2006

Tryck: Universitetsservice US AB

Abstract
Degradation of XLPE insulated power cables by water-trees is a primary cause of
failure of these cables. The detection of water-trees and information about the
severity of the degradation can be obtained with off-line measurement using dielectric spectroscopy. In many situations only a limited part of the cable may be
degraded by the water-trees. In such a situation a method for localization of this
water-treed section would be desirable. On-voltage Time Domain Reflectometry
(TDR) diagnostics proved to be capable of localizing the water-tree degraded sections of the cable. The possibility of using on-voltage TDR as a diagnostic method
opens up as a further step for the development of an on-line TDR method where
the diagnostics are performed using pre-mounted sensors on the operating power
cable. The benefits with such a method are: ability to perform diagnostics without disconnecting the cable from a power grid; the diagnostics performed during
a longer period of time could give an extra information; no need for an external
high-voltage supply unit.
In this thesis the sensors for the on-line TDR are investigated in terms of sensitivity and bandwidth. High frequency models were built and the simulation results
in frequency and time domains were verified by measurements.
Results of the on-voltage TDR measurements on the degraded XLPE cables in
laboratory as well as on-site are presented.
The on-line TDR system and the results of a four-days on-line measurement
sequence are presented. Variations due to load cycling of the cable were observed,
where an increase in the cable temperature cause an increase of the pulse propagation velocity in the cable.
A method has been developed for high frequency characterization of power cables with twisted screen wires, where the measurements are performed using inductive strip sensors. This technique allows the high frequency parameters of the
selected section of the cable to be extracted. The high frequency parameters are
extracted from frequency domain measurements of S-parameters as well as from
TDR measurements.

iii

Acknowledgments
First of all I would like to express my gratitude to the following persons and organisations for the help and encouragement during the work:
My supervisor Dr. Hans Edin for guidance, interesting and productive discussions,
enjoyable measurements together and also for giving the freedom to experiment
with my own ideas.
Prof. Roland Eriksson for giving me the opportunity to perform the work at Royal
Institute of Technology.
The financial support from the Elektra program of Elforsk AB, Energimyndigheten,
ABB AB and Banverket is gratefully acknowledged.
Dr. Ruslan Papazyan, Mr. Kenneth Johansson and Dr. Per Pettersson for interesting and rewarding discussions on time domain reflectometry, transient protection
and sensor topics.
Mr. Kjell Oberger, Fortum Distribution and Mr. Henrik Flodqvist, Vattenfall
Eldistribution AB for productive cooperation.
Mr. Olle Branvall for producing the parts for the sensors.
And finally I would like to thank my family and especially Aurelija for support
and encouragement during the work.

List of publications
1. V. Dubickas and H. Edin, Couplers for on-line time domain reflectometry
diagnostics of power cables, In Proceedings of Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, Boulder, Colorado, USA, October 2004.
2. V.Dubickas and H. Edin, Technique employing inductive coupler for propagation constant extraction on power cables with twisted screen wires, In
Proceedings of the Nordic Insulation Symposium (Nord-Is), Trondheim, Norway, July 2005.
3. V.Dubickas and H. Edin, High frequency model of Rogowski coil with small
number of turns, Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and
Measurements, October, 2005.

vii

Contents

Abstract

iii

Acknowledgments

List of publications

vii

Contents

ix

1 Introduction
1.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2 Power cables . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3 Water trees . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.4 Countermeasures to water treeing
1.5 Power cable diagnostics . . . . .
1.6 Aim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.7 Thesis outline . . . . . . . . . . .

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2 Transmission line theory


2.1 Transmission line equations
2.2 Time domain reflectometry
2.3 S-parameters matrix . . . .
2.4 Z- and ABCD-matrixes . .
2.5 Fourier transforms . . . . .

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3 Sensors
3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2 Coupling capacitor . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3 Capacitive strip sensor . . . . . . . . .
3.4 Inductive strip sensor . . . . . . . . .
3.5 Rogowski coil . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.6 Comparison of the investigated sensors

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4 Extraction of the propagation constant for a cable with twisted


screen wires
4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.2 Object . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.3 Reference measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.4 Propagation constant extraction from frequency domain measurements
4.5 Propagation constant extraction from time domain measurements . .
4.6 On-line setup for propagation constant extraction from time domain
measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.7 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5 On-voltage TDR
5.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.2 High frequency dielectric properties of water-tree degraded insulation
5.3 Measuring system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.4 Measurement objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.5 Water tree detection: Cable 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.6 Water tree detection: Cable 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.7 Water tree detection: Cable 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.8 Water tree detection: Cable 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.9 Influence of non-linear capacitance of the coupling capacitors to the
measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.10 Influence of the connecting loop inductance . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.11 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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6 On-line TDR
53
6.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
6.2 Measuring system No.1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
6.3 On-line measurement results: water trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.4 On-line measurement results: temperature variations . . . . . . . . . 56
6.5 Verification of the pulse propagation velocity in the cable dependence
on the temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
6.6 Limitations and advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
6.7 Measuring system No.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
6.8 High voltage testing of the coupling capacitors . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
6.9 Limitations and advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

xi
7 Summary and conclusions

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8 Future work

63

Bibliography

65

To Aurelija

Chapter 1

Introduction
1.1

Background

Power cables are an elegant solution for the electric power transmission and distribution. They have advantages in esthetic, environmental and safety aspects compared
with the overhead transmission lines. Therefore most of distribution networks of
medium and low voltages are constructed with power cables. However, a majority
of the distribution grid failures are attributed to the power cables [1, 2].

1.2

Power cables

Power cable history begins at the end of the 19th century [3]. Different materials
were used as an insulation: natural rubber, vulcanized rubber, oil and wax, cotton
and other.

PILC cables
One of the most successful designs were paper insulated lead covered (PILC) cables.
Use of paper insulated power cables can be traced back to 1891 in London. During
the years the paper impregnation was improved by changing vegetable substances
by mineral oil, later by wax-filled compounds. The sheath protecting the cable from
moisture ingress progressed from lead to aluminium [3].

XLPE cables
Development of synthetic polymer materials boosted the birth of extruded power
cables. The growth of solid dielectric insulated medium voltage cables began in the
early 1950s, with the introduction of butyl rubber and thermoplastic high molecular
weight polyethylene. Introduction of crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) as an insulation material in the mid-1960s seemed to be very promising due to good electrical,
thermal and mechanical properties. XLPE has low permittivity, high dielectric
1

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

Oversheath
Metallic screen
Screen bed
Insulation screen
XLPE insulation
Conductor screen
Conductor

Figure 1.1: Common design of second generation XLPE cable.

strength and negligible dielectric loss. Maximal continuous operating temperature


of XLPE is 90 C, while during emergency overload and short-circuit voltages the
temperature can reach 130 C and 250 C respectively. Good mechanical properties eliminated the tendency to stress-cracking. Therefore, introduction of XLPE
increased the capability of polymeric insulated cables because of their higher temperature ratings, resulting replacement of PILC cables by XLPE.

First generation XLPE cables


XLPE cables in Sweden were introduced in late 1960s [4, 5]. The first type of the
introduced cables had an extruded conductor screen providing a smooth boundary
between a conductor and the XLPE insulation. An insulation screen was made of
conducting tape, or graphite paint on XLPE with conducting textile tape wounded
on it. The oversheath usually was made of PVC. This type of cables are referred
to as the first generation XLPE cables.

Second generation XLPE cables


Due to developments in extrusion techniques, tandem and later triple extrusion in
the middle 1970s, conductor screen, XLPE insulation and also insulation screen
could be extruded at the same time. This caused an improved boundary between
XLPE and metallic screen and reduced the number of polluting particles at the
boundary. A dry curing of XLPE as well as cleaner insulation materials started to
be used. PE replaced PVC for cables sheath in this way reducing a water diffusion
into the cable.

Third generation XLPE cables


Further improvements to stop water diffusion into the cable were introduced in
1990s. An aluminium foil with a water absorbing powder or tape was placed under

1.3. WATER TREES

the cable sheath. The stranded conductors were filled with the water absorbing
powder in order to stop moisture movement along them.

1.3

Water trees

When XLPE power cables were introduced water treing phenomenon was still unknown. XLPE is an hydrophobic material therefore the first generation cables could
allow water diffusive sheath to be used, usually PVC. However water diffusion into
the XLPE cable in combination with an alternating electric field initiates the water
trees growth [6, 7]. The water trees are tree or bush shape diffuse structures in the
dielectric insulation. Two types of water trees are distinguished: vented, see Figure
1.2, and bow-tie. Vented water trees are initiated at the insulation surfaces, while
bow-tie are initiated inside the insulation. However vented water trees are considered far more dangerous than bow-tie, as vented trees grow through the insulation.
The growth of the bow-tie trees is strongly reduced after some time.

Water tree growth mechanisms


The bow-tie trees are initiated at impurities in the insulation. The vented water
tree initiation could begin from one of the following factors:
Mechanical damage of the cable insulation, for example scratching the insulation may initiate treeing.
Irregularity in semiconducting screen where it contacts with the insulation.

Water treeing phenomenon was discovered in 1969 [8] and their growth mechanisms are still under investigation. A water tree growth mechanism can not be
distinguished as a single process, it is an effect of several processes taking place
simultaneously, e.g.:
Osmosis. Water-soluble substances in micro-voids attract water from environment.
Dielectophoresis. Water droplets tend to move to higher electric field point.
Electrochemical degradation. Amorphous phase of polymer oxidation by free
radicals or oxidizing agents produced by electrolysis.

Properties of water trees


Water trees are considered as an insulating material [6]. Nevertheless they are
called water trees, water content is only 1% of water trees in field aged cables
[9]. Dielectric properties of water trees are similar to insulating material with a
permittivity =2.3-3.6 and loss-factor around tan=0.002-0.02 [7, 9]. However an
electric breakdown strength of the insulation is reduced by the water trees. The

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

Figure 1.2: Vented water trees in power cable insulation.

breakdown stress of the water treed insulation can be restored up to 50% of the
initial value by drying the insulation [6, 10]. However as soon water is present it will
be re-absorbed consequently reducing the breakdown strength. Water tree initiated
failures are not clearly understood. Water trees cause local stress enhancements
that could be initiation sites for electrical trees, either at power frequency or from
transient overvoltages. XLPE is also susceptible to localized degradation caused
by Partial Discharges (PD). The degradation of the XLPE appears as an erosion
of the surface within the cavities and a breakdown appears after a period of time
when a certain degree of surface roughness is attained manifesting the initiation of
electrical trees.

1.4

Countermeasures to water treeing in power cables

Water is one of the necessary agents for water treeing. Therefore different cable
designs were introduced to protect against water ingress and propagation in the
cable [11]. Three water blocking constructions can be distinguished:
Longitudinal water-blocked conductors. Moisture propagation inside of the
stranded conductor is blocked by filling the strands with semiconducting or
insulating materials, placing water absorbing powder between the strands or
using solid conductors.
Longitudinal water-blocking at the insulation shield is achieved using water
absorbing tapes.
Radial water blocking. Usually radial water-blocking is implemented by using
metallic laminated tapes. Aluminium or lead tapes are laminated between
insulating or semiconducting material depending where they are placed on
the shield wires or the insulation shield.

1.5. POWER CABLE DIAGNOSTICS

The introduction of water Tree Retardant XLPE (TR-XLPE) reduced the size and
amount of the water trees in the cables. TR-XLPE consists of XLPE insulation
with tree retardant additive [12].

1.5

Power cable diagnostics

The third generation cables are well protected from the water ingress and therefore
water treeing is seldom the cause of faults in these cables. However the second
generation and especially the first generation power cables are susceptible to water
treeing [5]. In Sweden 50% of the totaly installed 2500km XLPE cables during
the 1965-75 are still in service. The replacement of these cables alone would cost
500 million SEK [13]. Overview of the power cable diagnostics and testing can be
found in [14]. In this thesis only non-destructive diagnostics are discussed.

1.5.1 Off-line diagnostics


Off-line diagnostics are performed on the cables disconnected form the power grid.
Loss factor The measurements can be performed using classical Schering bridge
measurements of loss factor at a power frequency [3, 15].
Dielectric spectroscopy In dielectric spectroscopy measurements of complex
permittivity are performed at several frequencies enabling a frequency spectrum
of permittivity to be analyzed. The spectrum reflects the properties of the dielectric material in the measured frequency range. Water trees increase the loss and
the capacitance of the dielectric material sample. These two parameters are also
voltage dependent. The voltage dependence of the loss and the capacitance of the
water treed cable are used as a differentiating factor in the dielectric spectroscopy
diagnostics. The dielectric spectroscopy system for medium voltage XLPE power
cables was developed in Electromagnetic Engineering department at Royal Institute
of Technology [13, 16, 17, 18].
Polarisation/depolarisation current measurements are performed by charging the sample by DC voltage and measuring polarization current. After applying
DC voltage for a long period of time the sample is short-circuited and depolarization
current is measured [15].
Return voltage measurements are similar to depolarization current measurements. The DC voltage charges the sample; after a relatively short period of time
during which the sample is short-circuited, the test object is left in open-circuit
condition and the recovery voltage is measured [15].

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

Partial discharge diagnostics Partial Discharge (PD) diagnostics is a widely


used technique to detect discharges appearing in cavities or on surfaces of the insulation [19, 20, 3, 15]. Off-line PD diagnostics on the power cables are usually
performed by energizing the cable with the High Voltage (HV) supply. The measuring equipment is coupled to the cable using a coupling capacitor [19, 21]. The
method enables the PDs to be detected and localized.
Time Domain Reflectometry Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) is pulseradar similar technique. It is implemented by injecting the pulse into the cable and
measuring the reflections along the cable. The reflections arise due to joints along
the cable but also due to small irregularities in the cable itself. TDR for medium
voltage XLPE power cable diagnostics was also developed in Electromagnetic Engineering department at Royal Institute of Technology [22, 23]. More detailed
description of TDR can be found in Chapter 2.

1.5.2 On-line diagnostics


On-line diagnostics are performed on the cables in operation.
DC current measurement The method was possible to implement in Japan
where the distribution power cables operate mostly at relatively low voltages 6,6kV
and are non-grounded. DC voltage is applied to the cable conductor through an
inductance and is superimposed on the grid voltage. The AC component of the
current which passes thought the insulation of the cable is eliminated by a filter
and only the DC component is measured. The reduction of the insulation resistance
indicates the presence of water trees [24, 25].
Partial discharge diagnostics On-line partial discharges on the cables are detected using high frequency sensors [21, 2, 26, 27]. The sensors are of capacitive or
inductive type. The capacitive sensors are usually made of conductive tape placed
on the insulation screen between the HV termination and the screen wires. Another option is to place the capacitive sensor on the insulation screen in the cable
joint, under the metallic screen. The inductive sensors usually used for on-line PD
diagnostics are Rogowski coils. They can be placed on the power cable after the
earth connection, before the high voltage termination, or on the power cables earth
connection conductor. However PD diagnostics do not provide information about
the water tree content and location in the XLPE power cables.

1.6

Aim

The objective of this project was to investigate and apply the TDR diagnostic
methods on the cables on-line. The objective could be divided into three parts:
Investigation and modeling of the sensors.

1.7. THESIS OUTLINE

Development of the on-line TDR methods.


Practical application of the on-line TDR on power cables on-site.

1.7

Thesis outline

Chapter 1 gives a background to cable design, water treeing phenomenon and diagnostic techniques. Chapter 2 presents basic concepts in the transmission line theory.
In Chapter 3 sensors are investigated and modeled both in frequency and time domains. A method for a propagation constant extraction of a selected part of a cable
with the twisted screen wires is presented in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 investigates
on-voltage TDR diagnostics, laboratory and on-site measurements are presented.
In Chapter 6 on-line TDR systems are presented and the on-line measurement results are investigated. Chapter 7 contains summary and general conclusions, while
Chapter 8 proposes some topics of interest for future work.

Chapter 2

Transmission line theory


2.1

Transmission line equations

Transmission lines differ from ordinary electric networks in one essential feature.
The physical dimensions of electric networks are very much smaller than the operating wavelength, however transmission lines are usually a considerable fraction of
a wavelength and may even be many wavelengths long. Therefore the transmission
line must be described by circuit parameters that are distributed through its length.
The equivalent distributed elements circuit of a two wire transmission line is shown
in Figure 2.1.
i ( x, t )

i ( x + x, t )
Rx

Lx

v ( x, t )
Gx

C x

v( x + x, t )

Figure 2.1: Equivalent circuit of a two conductor transmission line of length x.

The distributed elements circuit in Figure 2.1 can be described by a pair of firstorder partial differential equations 2.1 and 2.2, which are called the transmission
line equations [28, 29].
v(x, t)
i(x, t)
= Ri(x, t) + L
x
t
v(x, t)
i(x, t)
= Gv(x, t) + C

x
t

(2.1)
(2.2)

10

CHAPTER 2. TRANSMISSION LINE THEORY

For harmonic time dependence the use of phasors simplifies the transmission
line equations to ordinary differential equations.
dV (x)
= (R + jL)I(x)
(2.3)
dx
dI(x)

= (G + jC)V (x)
(2.4)
dx
Solving equations 2.3 and 2.4 for V (x) and I(x) the following equations are
obtained.

d2 V (x)
= 2 V (x)
dx2

where:

d2 I(x)
= 2 I(x)
dx2
p
= + j = (R + jL)(G + jC)

(2.5)
(2.6)
(2.7)

is the propagation constant which is composed of real and imaginary parts.


and , are the attenuation constant (N p/m) and phase constant (rad/m) respectively. Solution of equations 2.5 and 2.6 are
V (x) = V + (x) + V (x) = V0+ ex + V0 e+x

(2.8)

I(x) = I + (x) + I (x) = I0+ ex + I0 e+x

(2.9)

where the plus and minus superscripts denote waves traveling in the positive
and negative x directions respectively. The ratio of the voltage and the current at
any x for and infinitely long line is independent of x and is called the characteristic
impedance of the line.
s
V (x)
R + jL
Z0 =
=
(2.10)
I(x)
G + jC
The phase velocity of the wave along the line is

v=

(2.11)

And the wavelenght

2
(2.12)

When the transmission line with the characteristic impedance Z0 and the propagation constant is terminated at the distance l by the load impedance ZL , the
generator looking into the line sees an input impedance Zi .
=

Zi = Z0

ZL + Z0 tanh l
Z0 + ZL tanh l

(2.13)

2.2. TIME DOMAIN REFLECTOMETRY

2.2

11

Time domain reflectometry

Usually time domain measurements provide intuitively understandable results that


are easier to interpret, compared with the frequency domain S-parameter measurements. The basic TDR system consists of a fast rise-time pulse (or step) generator
and a high speed oscilloscope, see Figure 2.2.
Vr

Vi
Pulse/step
generator

Z0

ZL

l
High speed
oscilloscope

Figure 2.2: Block diagram of a TDR system.

The incident pulse or step Vi is sent into the transmission line Z0 . If Z0 6= ZL ,


at the interface between Z0 and ZL the reflection of the voltage wave will appear.
The ratio of the reflected voltage wave and the incident voltage wave is called the
voltage reflection coefficient and can be expressed as:
=

Vr
ZL Z0
=
Vi
ZL + Z0

(2.14)

The reflected voltage wave Vr will propagate back to the measuring system and will
be recorded by the high speed oscilloscope after a traveling time tr . Knowing the
wave propagation velocity v in the transmission line the distance to the discontinuity
can be obtained as:
tr
l=v
(2.15)
2

2.3

S-parameters matrix

Usually the currents and the voltages can not be measured in a direct manner
at microwave frequencies. The directly measurable quantities are the amplitudes
and the phase angles of the waves reflected from and transmitted through the test
object, relative to the incident wave amplitudes and phase angles. The matrix
describing this linear relationship is called the S-parameters matrix [29, 30]. The
S-parameters matrix of the twoport is:

 


b1
S11 S12
a1
=
(2.16)
b2
S21 S22
a2

12

CHAPTER 2. TRANSMISSION LINE THEORY

V2+

V1+
S11
S
21

Z1

V1

S12
S 22

Z2

Port 1

Port 2

V2

Figure 2.3: Incident and reflected waves in a twoport.

where
b1 =
b2 =

V
1
Z1
V
2
Z2

a1 =
a2 =

V+
1
Z1
V+
2
Z2

(2.17)

Usually the impedances Z1 and Z2 of the connecting cables of the network


analyzers are matched to the input impedance Z0 of the Network Analyzer (NA)
itself i.e. Z1 = Z2 = Z0 . Therefore the S-parameter matrix becomes.
  
 + 
V1
S11 S12
V1
=
(2.18)
S21 S22
V2
V2+
The voltages on Port1 and Port2 are the sum of the incident and the reflected
waves.
V1 = V1+ + V1
(2.19)
V2 = V2+ + V2

2.4

Z- and ABCD-matrixes

The disadvantages of S-parameters are complicated calculations for some circuits,


e.g. cascades. Another possible parameters description of the twoport is the impedance
matrix or Z-matrix [30],


 

I1
z11 z12
V1
(2.20)
=
I2
V2
z21 z22
Particulary useful representation for cascaded twoports is the ABCD-matrix
[30]. The model using ABCD-matrixes can be expanded by multiplying the matrixes
in corresponding order.

 


V1
A B
V2
=
(2.21)
I1
C D
I2
ABCD to Z-matrix conversion:

A T
1 D
T = BC AD
Z=

1
C


(2.22)

2.5. FOURIER TRANSFORMS

13

The Z-matrix can be converted to the transfer function of the twoport, where
Rm is the measuring resistor at the end of the twoport.
G() =

2.5

V2
Rm z21
=
V1
z11 Rm + z12 z21 z11 z22

(2.23)

Fourier transforms

Fourier transforms are very useful tools for signal modelling, enabling transformation of aperiodic signal from time domain to frequency domain and vice versa.
Z
f (t) ejt dt

F () =

(2.24)

1
f (t) =
2

Z
F () ejt d

(2.25)

Discrete Fourier transformation is performed on a sampled signal. Integration


is replaced by summation of narrow rectangles under the signal function,
X(k) =

N 1
2nk
1 X
x(n) ej N
N n=0

x(n) =

N
1
X

X(k) ej

2nk
N

(2.26)

(2.27)

n=0

the frequencies are obtained by


k = k

2
T

fk =

k
T

(2.28)

where:
N - number of samples,
n - sample index in time domain,
k - sample index in frequency domain,
T - aperiodic signal length in time domain.

The maximal frequency bandwidth using the discrete Fourier transforms is defined by the sampling theorem - sampling frequency must be at least twice the
highest frequency component of the signal.

Chapter 3

Sensors
3.1

Introduction

The sensors are needed to perform the TDR power cable diagnostics on-line. The
sensors have to be installed without damaging the power cable as it has to operate
on-line. The purpose of the sensors is to couple the low voltage measuring equipment using electric or magnetic field to the power cable operating at a HV. The
sensors have to be high frequency and broadband as the voltage pulse used for TDR
is composed of high frequency components.
The sensors with the higher mentioned characteristics can be found in off-line and
on-line PD diagnostics [21, 31, 32, 2, 26]. The sensors can be divided into three
groups according to their coupling mechanism to the power cable. Capacitive sensors which couple through electric field, inductive sensors couple through magnetic
field, and directional couplers couple through both electric and magnetic fields [33].
Usually directional couplers are installed between insulation screen and metallic
cable sheath [31]. The technique can be regarded as invasive, and therefore the
directional couplers are out of the scope of the thesis.
In the thesis are investigated and modelled two capacitive sensors:
Coupling capacitor
Capacitive strip sensor

and two inductive sensors:


Inductive strip sensor
Rogowski coil

Their possible placement positions on the power cable are shown in Figure 3.1.

15

16

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
Coupling capacitor couples to
the cable conductor through
the electric field between
capacitor plates.

Capacitive sensor couples to the cable conductor through the electric field between the
sensor and the cable conductor.
U(V)

U(V)

U(V)
U(V)
Rogowski coil couples
through the magnetic field
induced from currents in the
ground wires.

Inductive sensor
couples through the
magnetic field induced
from curents the
twisted screen wires.

Figure 3.1: Sensors on the power cable.

The chapter is a summary of papers 1 and 3. The sensors on the power cable
are modelled and simulated in frequency and time domains in order to understand
their properties and limitations. At the end the comparison of the sensors is presented in terms of the sensitivity and the bandwidth.

3.2

Coupling capacitor

The coupling capacitors are widely used for the off-line PD diagnostics on HV cables
[3, 15]. The coupling capacitor C is connected to the power cable conductor, which
during the diagnostics is energized by HV. During the TDR diagnostics the pulse
is injected and the reflections are measured through the coupling capacitor. The
coupling capacitor represents high impedance for low frequency HV, and therefore
decouples the measuring equipment from the HV. The high frequency components
containing TDR signal meets low impedance and passes through the capacitor. The
schematics of the coupling capacitor connected to the cable are presented in Figure
3.2.

Frequency domain
The coupling capacitor on the power cable is modelled as a lumped element circuit.
The model represents the simulation when the signal is injected from the measurement equipment cable Zm , connected to R, through the coupling capacitor. The
signal is measured at the far end of the power cable on the resistor Rm . The coupling capacitor on the cable is described by the ABCDC matrix.

3.2. COUPLING CAPACITOR

17
Folded back
screen wires
Screen wires
Insulation screen
Insulation
Conductor screen

Coupling
capacitor

Z0
Zm

Ground wire

l
Figure 3.2: The coupling capacitor connected to the cable.

ABCDC =

1
jC + Z1
1
jL+ jC
+Z1
R

jL +

1
R

1+

!
(3.1)

The measurement cable is terminated with the resistor R = Zm = 50, therefore


in the model they are replaced by equivalent series impedance Z1 = Zm /2 = 25 1 .
At the high frequencies the inductance L between the power cable conductor and
the ground wire becomes considerable, and therefore is included in the model.
The power cable is modelled as a lossy transmission line of length d and propagation
constant and the characteristic impedance Z0 .


cosh(d)
Z0 sinh(d)
ABCDT =
(3.2)
1
cosh(d)
Z0 sinh(d)
The model of the coupling capacitor and the power cable is obtained by multiplying the ABCD matrixes in corresponding order. The transfer function of the
system is obtained using equations 2.22 and 2.23.
The transfer function obtained from the measurements with the Network Analyzer
(NA) is compared with the frequency domain model in Figure 3.3.
Examining the transfer function the following properties can be noticed. The
lower frequencies 0-5MHz are cutoff by the coupling capacitor itself. The transfer
function at frequency above 20MHz is damped by the inductance L and the semiconductive layers of the cable. The oscillating pattern of the transfer function is
caused by standing waves in the power cable. Using the fact from transmission line
theory that the successive maxima and minima in the standing wave pattern are
spaced by a half of the wavelength l = /2, and equations 2.11 and 2.12 the length
of the cable can be expressed. The wave propagation velocity in the investigated
cable is approximately v = 150m/s. The frequency difference between the standing wave maxima is f/2 = 13M Hz. With the later values the calculated length
1 Please

note that in equation (8) in Paper 1, Z1 should be instead of Z0 .

18

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
0.7
Measured
Model

0.6

Gain

0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

500

Phase (deg)

0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000

Frequency (MHz)

Figure 3.3: Comparison of the measured and modelled transfer functions of the
coupling capacitor on the power cable.

of the cable is:


l=

v
= 5.77m
2f/2

(3.3)

which is very similar to the real cable length l = 5.85m.


The model of the coupling capacitor is obtained removing the ABCDT matrix of
the power cable from the previous model. The results are presented in Figure 3.4.
The high frequencies are only slightly less damped than in Figure 3.3. Therefore it
can be concluded that the high frequencies are damped mostly by the inductance
L.

Time domain
Time domain measurements were performed by injecting a pulse of 0.5V amplitude, 200ps rise time, 13ns wide pulse through the coupling capacitor and detecting the propagating pulse at the far cable end. Time domain simulation results
were obtained by the use of Fourier transforms. Fourier transforms enable exact
representation of the input pulse to be used for an exact frequency domain model
of dispersion in the cable. The measurements are compared with the simulation in
Figure 3.5. The first pulse in the Figure 3.5 is the transmitted pulse through the
cable. The successive pulses are the detected reflections propagating in the power
cable due to impedance mismatches at the cable ends.

3.2. COUPLING CAPACITOR

19

0.7
0.6

Gain

0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0

20

40

60

80

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

100
120
Frequency (MHz)

140

160

180

200

100

Phase (deg)

50

50

100

Figure 3.4: Transfer function of the coupling capacitor.

0.35
Measured
Model
0.3

0.25

Output (V)

0.2

0.15

0.1

0.05

0.05

50

100

150

200

250

300

Time (ns)

Figure 3.5: Comparison of the time domain measurements and simulation of the
coupling capacitor on the power cable.

20

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
Capacitive
sensor

Foldedback
screen wires
Screen wires

Insulation screen
Insulation
Conductor screen
( f )
C
1

R2

( f )
C
2

L2

N type
connector

Figure 3.6: Capacitive strip sensor on the cable.

Limitations
The bandwidth of the coupling capacitor at the high frequencies is limited by the
inductance L between the conductor of the cable and the ground wire, see Figure
3.2. Therefore during the measurements the coupling capacitor should be fitted
with the minimal distance D and length l of the ground wire. The distance l is
usually defined by the cables HV termination length. The distance D is limited
by safety issues, as the low voltage potential electrode of the coupling capacitor
can distort the HV electric field from the termination and cause discharges or a
breakdown.

Advantages
The main advantage of using the coupling capacitor is that the capacitance C can
be selected relatively high, providing good sensitivity. The sensor can be applied
to any cable independent of the screen wires or HV termination design.

3.3

Capacitive strip sensor

The capacitive strip sensors are used for PD off-line and on-line diagnostics on
the power cables [34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39]. Usually the sensors are placed on the HV
terminations or inside of the cable joints. The sensor is made of a metal strip tightly
wound on the insulation screen of the cable, see Figure 3.6. The semi-conductive
material of the insulation screen at low frequencies act as a screen for the HV
electric field, but at high frequencies as a dielectric. Therefore in this region the
50Hz HV electric field will be enclosed by insulation screen, while the high frequency
propagating pulse electric field will penetrate insulation screen and will be detected
by the capacitive strip sensor.

3.3. CAPACITIVE STRIP SENSOR

I1

V1

21

C1

R1

Rd 1

Cd 1 L 2

R2

C2

Rd 2

I2

Rm

V2

Cd 2

Figure 3.7: Lumped element model of the capacitive strip sensor.

Frequency domain
The capacitive strip sensor was modeled with the lumped element model [40], see
f1 (f ), C
f1 (f ) were modFigure 3.7. Complex, frequency dependent capacitances C
eled by lumped elements: dc conductivity was modeled with resistors R1 , R2 , pure
capacitances were modeled with C1 and C2 , dielectric response functions were approximated with exponential decay functions - Debye functions, which were modeled
with an equivalent circuit consisting of Rd1 in series with Cd1 and Rd2 in series with
Cd2 . The inductance of a wire from the coupler to an N-type connection and the
N-type connection is modeled with L2 . Rm - measuring equipment impedance. The
transfer function of the capacitive strip sensor can be expressed:
Gcap () =
where:

V2
Z4 R m
=
V1
Z3 (Z1 + Z4 )


1
||
Rd1 +
Z1 = R1 || jC
1

1
Z2 = R2 || jC2 || Rd2 +

(3.4)

1
jCd1 
1
jCd2

Z3 = Rm + jL2
Z4 = Z2 ||Z3

(3.5)

The transfer function of the capacitive strip sensor and the power cable Gcap cable
was measured with the NA. The transfer function of the sensor was obtained by
dividing Gcap cable with the known transfer function of the power cable Gcable . As
the transfer function Gcable accounts only for the signal attenuation along the cable,
the standing wave pattern is left in the extracted transfer function of the capacitive sensor. The comparison of the measured and modelled transfer functions is
depicted in Figure 3.8.

Time domain
Time Domain measurements were performed by injecting a 0.25V , 200ps rise time,
30ns wide pulse into the cable and detecting the propagating pulse by the capacitive
sensor, placed on the far open end of the cable. The sensor has a differentiating

22

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
1
0.8

Gain

0.6
0.4
0.2
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

150
Measured
Model

Phase (deg)

100

50

50

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

Frequency (MHz)

Figure 3.8: Comparison of the measured and modelled transfer functions of the
capacitive strip sensor.

behavior as the elements C1 and Rm form a differentiating circuit. Simulations in


PSpice were used to verify model in the time domain, see Figure 3.9.

Limitations
The capacitance C1 of the capacitive strip sensor is proportional to the sensors
length. The higher C1 provides stronger coupling and eventually higher sensitivity.
Therefore the sensitivity of the sensor is limited by the available length of insulation
screen at the HV termination, see Figure 3.1. Moreover if the sensor is placed close
to the shield wires, the sensitivity is reduced by the stray capacitance C2 . In some
designs HV termination is placed close to screen wires leaving no exposed insulation
screen. In such designs the sensor can not be used.

Advantages
The capacitive strip sensors are made of a thin copper tape that makes their production very simple and cheap.

3.4. INDUCTIVE STRIP SENSOR

23

0.1

Measured
Model

V2(V)

0.05

0.05

0.1

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Time(ns)

Figure 3.9: Comparison of the time domain measurements and simulation of the
capacitive strip sensor on the power cable.

3.4

Inductive strip sensor

The description of the inductive strip sensor and the application for the measurements of PD on the power cable can be found in [41]. The sensor is designed to be
used only on the cables with the twisted screen wires. Return current IS flowing
in the twisted screen wires can be decomposed into axial IZ and radial I components. Axial magnetic field HZ resulting from the current I induces a voltage in
the inductive strip sensor, which basically is a one turn induction loop, see Figure
3.10.

Frequency domain
The sensor was modelled by a lumped element model, represented in Figure 3.11.
Where the elements represent: Z0 -characteristic impedance of the power cable, M mutual inductance between the twisted power cable screen and the sensor, L-self
inductance of the sensor, C-capacitance between the power cable screen and the
sensor, Rm -measuring equipment impedance.
The transfer function of the inductive strip sensor can be expressed in terms of
the equivalent circuit elements:
Gind () =

V2

=
V1
CZ0 jL +

M Rm
Rm
1+jCRm


Rm +

1
jC

(3.6)

24

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
Inductive
Coupler
Insulation
Screen wire
Inner conductor

I
HZ

IS
IZ

Conductor and
insulation screens
Oversheath

Figure 3.10: Inductive strip sensor on the power cable.

Z0
V1

Rm
V2

Figure 3.11: Lumped element model of the inductive strip sensor.

The extracted transfer function of the inductive strip sensor from the measurements with the NA is compared with the model in Figure 3.12.

Time domain
Time domain measurements performed by injecting a 0.25V amplitude, 200ps rise
time, 30ns wide pulse, into the cable and detecting the propagating pulse by the
sensor are compared with the model simulated in PSpice in Figure 3.13. The output
voltage of the sensor is the derivative of the pulse as the induced voltage is governed
by Faradays law.
Some of the cables have shield wires with periodically changing twisting direction. The magnetic field HZ resulting from the current I is dependent on the
shield wires spiralization angle. Therefore the induced voltage in the inductive
strip sensor is the highest where the shield wires are maximally twisted, equal to
zero where shield wires go parallel to the cable conductor, and is negative where
the wires are twisted to opposite direction. The phenomenon is depicted in Figure

3.4. INDUCTIVE STRIP SENSOR

25

0.14
Measured
Model

0.12

Gain

0.1
0.08
0.06
0.04
0.02
0

100

200

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

300

400

500

600

700

100

Phase (deg)

80
60
40
20
0
20

Frequency (MHz)

Figure 3.12: Comparison of the measured and modelled transfer functions of the
inductive strip sensor.

0.015
Measured
Model

0.01

V2 (V)

0.005

0.005

0.01

0.015
10

10

20

30

40

50

60

Time (ns)

Figure 3.13: Comparison of the time domain measurements and simulation of the
inductive strip sensor on the power cable.

26

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
300

200

Magnitude (mV)

100

100

200

300

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

Distance (m)

Figure 3.14: Magnitude of the inductive strip sensor output measured along the
cable with shield wires with periodically changing twisting direction.

3.14, where the magnitude of the sensors output is measured at specified intervals
along the cable.

Limitations
Low sensitivity of the inductive strip sensor is caused by the small mutual inductance M .

Advantages
The main advantage of the sensor is its wide bandwidth. Possibility to move sensor
along the cable during the diagnostics can sometimes be useful. The production of
the sensor is also relatively cheap.

3.5

Rogowski coil

The Rogowski coil basically consists of a winding wound on a toroid shape core.
The current carrying conductor goes though the center of the toroid. The magnetic
field created by the current circulates around the conductor and also in the toroid
core. The magnetic field in the toroid core induces the voltage in the Rogowski
coil windings. To provide the shielding from noise interference and to form the
constant capacitance to ground the Rogowski coils are usually shielded by metallic
enclosures.
The use of the Rogowski coil for on-line PD diagnostics is described in [2, 26, 32].
In Figure 3.1 the Rogowski coil is placed on the grounded cable screen wires. An

3.5. ROGOWSKI COIL

27
h

Core
Shield
N-type connector

Figure 3.15: Rogowski coil schematics.

Table 3.1: Dimensions and number of turns of the investigated Rogowski coils.
Dimensions in mm.
Coil
Rog1
Rog2
Rog3

D
120
120
74

d
40
40
32

h
15
30
20

H
5
5
3

rw
0.3
0.3
0.3

N
16
16
20

alternative position is on the power cable where the screen wires are removed,
instead of the capacitive strip sensor, or where the screen wires are folded back.

Objects
Three Rogowski coils Rog1, Rog2 and Rog3 were built and investigated. The
schematics are presented in Figure 3.15. Dimensions of the cores, a distance H
from the cores to a shield, a winding wire radius rw and the number of turns N are
presented in Table 3.1.

Frequency domain
At high frequencies wave propagation inside of the Rogowski coil becomes considerable. Therefore the Rogowski coil mounted on a power cable depicted in Figure
3.16, is modelled as a distributed element transmission line [42, 43, 44, 45]. The
model is presented in Figure 3.17, where:
Zc - characteristic impedance of the cable
Zload - impedance of the cable load
M 0 - distributed mutual inductance between the cables conductor and windings of
the Rogowski coil

28

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
Rogowski coil
Folded back
screen wires

Rm

V3

Z load

V2

V1

lc

Figure 3.16: Rogowski coil on the power cable.

L0 - distributed windings self inductance


0
Zskin
- distributed windings wire internal impedance due to skin effect
C 0 - distributed windings stray capacitance to the shield
0
Cstr
- distributed stray capacitance between the turns
Rm - resistance of measuring equipment
lc - length of the cable
lw - length of the windings wire
0
The theoretical values of the elements M 0 , L0 , Zskin
, C 0 can be calculated using the dimensions of the Rogowski coil and the properties of the materials. The
expressions are presented in Paper 4.

Transfer function
The transfer function of the distributed element model of the Rogowski coil can be
derived:
0
Rm Z0 sinh(lw )
(3.7)
Grog () = VV23 = Zload ZSjM
(Z0 sinh(lw )+Rm cosh(lw ))
where:
Wave impedance of the Rogowski coil
v
u
(Z 0
+ jL0 )
u
 skin
Z0 = t
0 C0 Z0
0
2 Cstr
skin + jL +
Propagation constant of the Rogowski coil
s
0
(Zskin
+ jL0 )
=
0
Zskin
+ jL0 + jC1 0

str

and,
ZS =

C0
0
Cstr

0
+ jL0 ) jC1 0
(Zskin

str

0
Zskin
+ jL0 +

1
0
jCstr

1
0
jCstr

(3.8)

(3.9)

(3.10)

3.5. ROGOWSKI COIL

29
x=0

L' x

M ' x

C 'str x

Z 'skin x

M ' x

C ' x

Z load

I2
Zc

V1

V2

lc

L' x

lw

C 'str x
M ' x

Z 'skin x

C ' x

V3
x = lw
Rm

Figure 3.17: Model of the cable and the Rogowski coil system.

Impedance of Rogowski coil


At high frequencies the Rogowski coil itself can be viewed as a transmission line
with shortened far end, and can be described by equation 2.13. To verify the
theoretical element values, the impedances of the Rogowski coils ZR were measured,
and compared with the theoretical ones.
ZR

theor

= jLN +

Z0 tanh(lw )
1 + jCN Z0 tanh(lw )

(3.11)

where, LN and CN are series inductance and the shunt capacitance of the Ntype connection. In order to improve the model the values of the elements can be
measured and estimated. The measurement and estimation of the element values
is described in detail in Paper 4. The comparison of the theoretical, measured and
estimated Rogowski coil impedances are presented in Figures 3.18, 3.19 and 3.20.

30

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS

10

Magnitude ()

Z
Rmeas
ZRestm
ZRtheor

10

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

100

Phase (deg)

50

50

100

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

Figure 3.18: Impedance of Rog1.

10

Magnitude ()

ZRmeas
ZRestm
ZRtheor

10

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

100

Phase (deg)

50

50

100

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

Figure 3.19: Impedance of Rog2.

10

3.5. ROGOWSKI COIL

31

10

Magnitude ()

ZRmeas
ZRestm
ZRtheor

10

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

100

Phase (deg)

50

50

100

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

Figure 3.20: Impedance of Rog3.

Transfer impedance of Rogowski coil


A parameter usually used to describe the qualitative properties of the Rogowski
coil is the transfer impedance Zt = V3 /I2 .
Zt

theor

jM 0 Rm Z0 sinh(lw )
ZS (Z0 sinh(lw ) + Rm cosh(lw ))

(3.12)

Comparison of the theoretical transfer impedances Zt theor and the ones extracted
from the measurements with the NA, Zt meas of the Rog1, Rog2 and Rog3 coils
can be found in Figures 3.21, 3.22 and 3.23 correspondingly.
Analyzing the figures with the Rogowski coil impedances and figures with the
Rogowski transfer impedances the standing wave pattern can be observed. For
the Rog2 coil the minimums are spaced by f/2 = 55M Hz. Using the wave
propagation in free space velocity v = 300m/s and the equation 3.3 the length of
the transmission line can be obtained.
v
= 2.72m
(3.13)
lestm =
2f/2
The estimated length lestm is similar to the actual length of Rog2 windings wire
lw = 2.24m. The actual winding wire lengths and the ones estimated from standing
wave pattern of all the coils are presented in Table 3.2.
Therefore the natural conclusion follows that the wave in the Rogowski coil
propagates along the windings wire.

32

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS

Magnitude ()

10

Z
t meas
Zt theor

10

10

10

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

100

Phase (deg)

50
0
50
100
150

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

Figure 3.21: Transfer impedance of Rog1.

Magnitude ()

10

Zt meas
Zt theor
0

10

10

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

100

Phase (deg)

50

50

100

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

Figure 3.22: Transfer impedance of Rog2.

10

3.5. ROGOWSKI COIL

33

Magnitude ()

10

Zt meas
Z
t theor

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

Frequency (MHz)
100

Phase (deg)

50
0
50
100
150

10

10
Frequency (MHz)

10

10

Figure 3.23: Transfer impedance of Rog3.

Table 3.2: Comparison of the actual windings lengths and the ones calculated from
the standing wave pattern.
Coil
lestm
lw

Rog1
2.14
1.76

Rog2
2.72
2.24

Rog3
1.92
1.76

Time domain
The time domain measurements were performed with the Rogowski coils mounted
on the power cable. Both the injected pulse V1 (t) of 0.25V, 13ns length and the
output signal V3 (t) of the Rogowski coil were measured with the oscilloscope. The
output signal V3 (t) is simulated using transfer functions of the cable Gcbl () and
Rogowski coil Grog (), the measured input V1 (t) and Fourier transforms. The
cable was modelled as a lossy transmission line. The detailed description of the
measurement setup and the simulation can be found in Paper 4.
V3 (t) = F 1 {F {V1 (t)} Gcbl () Grog ()}

(3.14)

The first pulse in Figures 3.24, 3.25 and 3.26 is the detected pulse propagating
in the cable. The following negative repetitive pulses are caused by the signal
propagating inside of the Rogowski coil along the coil windings.

34

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS

0.025
V
3 meas
V3 estm
V
3 theor

0.02

V3 (V)

0.015

0.01

0.005

0.005

0.01

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

Time (ns)

Figure 3.24: Time domain measurements and simulations of Rog1.

0.025
V
3 meas
V3 estm
V3 theor

0.02

0.015

V (V)

0.01

0.005

0.005

0.01

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

Time (ns)

Figure 3.25: Time domain measurements and simulations of Rog2.

3.6. COMPARISON OF THE INVESTIGATED SENSORS

35

0.025
V
3 meas
V3 estm
V3 theor

0.02

V3 (V)

0.015

0.01

0.005

0.005

0.01

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

200

Time (ns)

Figure 3.26: Time domain measurements and simulations of Rog3.

Limitations
As mentioned before the signal to the Rogowski coil is coupled through the magnetic
field produced by the current passing through the center of the coil. In the practical
application depicted in Figure 3.16 the current contour is composed of the cable
conductor, the load impedance Zload and earth path. The contour has high enough
inductance to distort and damp the high frequency signals used for the diagnostics.

Advantages
The Rogowski coil design can be optimized for the required bandwidth. The coils
can be clamped-on the operating cable, however it gives rise to safety issues.

3.6

Comparison of the investigated sensors

The sensors are compared in terms of the bandwidth and the sensitivity in Table 3.3.
The sensitivity is defined as the ratio: amplitude of the sensor output/amplitude
of the detected pulse propagating in the cable.
The bandwidth is defined as the frequency range where the magnitude of the
transfer function is 12 of the maximum value.
The capacitive strip sensor during the measurements was placed on the open
end of the cable. The detected pulse, due to reflection at the open end, had two

36

CHAPTER 3. SENSORS
Table 3.3: Properties of the investigated sensors

Sensor
Coupling capacitor 3.2nF
Capacitive strip sensor 25mm width
Rogowski coil Rog2
Rogowski coil Rog1
Rogowski coil Rog3
Inductive strip sensor 25mm width

Bandwidth
0.8-30MHz
100-350MHz
3-50MHz
6-65MHz
4-60MHz
Ultra-wide

Sensitivity
0.5
0.2
0.08
0.07
0.06
0.05

Zt
2.1
1.78
1.76

times higher amplitude than the propagating pulse in the cable. To compensate
this effect the sensitivity of the capacitive strip sensor is reduced by a factor 0.5.
The sensitivity of the Rogowski coils is influenced by the load impedance. During
the time domain measurements with Rogowski coils Zload = 50. A more objective
criterion of the Rogowski coil sensitivity is the transfer impedance Zt .
The magnitude of transfer function of the inductive strip sensor does not reach
the maximum, but instead it is increasing in the measurements range. Therefore
the bandwidth of the inductive strip sensor is referred to as an ultra-wide.
It is important to note that the high frequency properties of the sensors are not
only defined by the sensors design alone. Instead the properties are defined by the
whole sensor-cable system design. The factors such as:
the inductive contour of the cable connection to the sensor, or to the load coupling capacitor and Rogowski coil,
spiralization angle of the screen wires - inductive strip sensor,
thickness of the cable insulation - capacitive strip sensor,

can be mentioned as examples.

Chapter 4

Extraction of the propagation


constant for a cable with twisted
screen wires
4.1

Introduction

Knowledge of a cables propagation constant is important for PD [46] and TDR


[47], [23] diagnostics of power cables. The TDR pulse or PD attenuation during
propagation along the cable can be estimated if the propagation constant is known.
The propagation constant measurement of a power cable on-site is more complicated
as one has access only to one cable end in a substation. Recently available onsite measurement techniques extract the propagation constant from the full-length
cable measurements in the time domain [47], [23]. Presence of joints or degraded
regions along the cable together with the influence of surrounding medium [48]
would affect the propagation constant measurements. However the part of the cable
in a substation may operate in a dry surrounding, and therefore can be considered
non-degraded and joints-free. Measurements on the cable part in the substation
would provide the non-corrupted propagation constant.

4.2

Object

The power cable used for the experiments was an XLPE insulated, second generation, 1-phase, 5.75m long, 12kV with the twisted screen wires. The twisting
direction is periodically changing every 0.46m.

4.3

Reference measurements

The reference propagation constant was extracted from the measurements with the
NA. The technique is implemented by measuring S-parameters of the whole length
37

CHAPTER 4. EXTRACTION OF THE PROPAGATION CONSTANT FOR A


38
CABLE WITH TWISTED SCREEN WIRES

lb
lab

la
V1+

V2a

V2b

V1
Test
connection

Inductive
coupler

Power
cable

Terminating
resistance

Figure 4.1: Measurements setup.

power cable [49].


1
() = cosh1
l

2
2
+ S21
1 S11
2S21


(4.1)

The attenuation constant and the propagation velocity are obtained using equations
2.7 and 2.11 respectively.

4.4

Propagation constant extraction from frequency


domain measurements

An HP8712ES (0.3MHz-1.3GHz) NA was used for measuring the S-parameters.


Port1 of the NA was connected to the test connection, while Port2 was connected
to inductive strip sensor. The S-parameters are measured when the sensor is placed
at location a, refer to Figure 4.1. Afterwards the sensor is moved to the location b
and the the measurements are repeated.
The inductive strip sensor was placed at the locations where the screen wires
are maximally twisted, every 0.46m, as the coupling at these locations is the highest. Because of the changing screen wires direction of twisting the induced voltage
polarity is different at a and b locations.
It can be showed that the propagation constant of the cable part lab can be extracted using equation 4.2, where subscripts a and b denote S-parameters measured
at the respective locations.


S21b ()
1
ln k
(4.2)
() =
lab
S21a ()
where: k = 1 if the twisting direction at location a is opposite to b, and k = 1
if the twisting direction is the same at the both locations.
The extracted and the reference propagation constants are compared in Figure
4.2. It was found that reliable results are obtained from the frequency domain
measurements when the distance lab is approximately 2m or more.

4.5. PROPAGATION CONSTANT EXTRACTION FROM TIME DOMAIN


MEASUREMENTS
39

Attenuation constant (dB/m)

10
8
6
4
Reference
lab=2.76m

2
0
2

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

1400

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

1400

Propagation velocity (m/s)

200

180

160

140

120

100

Frequency (MHz)

Figure 4.2: Comparison of the propagation constants: the reference and extracted
from measurements with inductive strip sensor in frequency domain. The distance
between measurements lab = 2.76m (6 periods).

4.5

Propagation constant extraction from time domain


measurements

A pulse of 2.5V amplitude, 13ns length is injected to the cable through the test
connection. The signals Vo a and Vo b are measured with the inductive strip sensor
at the respective locations. It can be shown that the propagation constant can be
extracted using Fourier transforms of signals Vo a and Vo b in equation 4.3.

() =

1
lab


ln

F {Vo b (t)}
F {Vo a (t)}


(4.3)

The results are compared to the reference propagation constant in Figure 4.3.
One of the limitations is the bandwidth of the oscilloscope, which is 500MHz, therefore the extracted propagation constant was found to be valid only up to 800MHz.

CHAPTER 4. EXTRACTION OF THE PROPAGATION CONSTANT FOR A


40
CABLE WITH TWISTED SCREEN WIRES
Attenuation constant (dB/m)

10

Reference
lab=2.76m

100

200

300

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

400

500

600

700

800

900

Propagation velocity (m/s)

200
180
160
140
120
100

Frequency (MHz)

Figure 4.3: Comparison of the propagation constants: the reference and extracted
from measurements with inductive strip sensor in time domain. The distance between measurements lab = 2.76m (6 periods).

4.6

On-line setup for propagation constant extraction from


time domain measurements

The time domain measurement setup can be adapted for on-line measurements.
The pulse to the cable is injected through the coupling capacitor C = 3.2nF , and
the signals are detected by two identical inductive strip sensors placed at a and b
locations. The results are presented in Figure 4.4. The on-line setup reduces the
accuracy of the extracted propagation constant as the coupling capacitor reduces
the magnitude of the injected signal. Therefore the signal detected by the inductive
strip sensor has smaller signal to noise ratio.

4.7

Conclusions

Limitations
As the inductive strip sensor is used for measurements the technique can be applied
only on the cables with the twisted screen wires.
To extract the reliable results the cable length has to be 2m or longer. During
the on-site measurements the available length of the cable could be constrained by
the substation design.

4.7. CONCLUSIONS

41

Attenuation constant (dB/m)

10

Reference
lab=2.76m

100

200

300

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

400

500

600

700

800

900

Propagation velocity (m/s)

200
180
160
140
120
100

Frequency (MHz)

Figure 4.4: Comparison of the propagation constants: the reference and extracted
from measurements with inductive coupler in on-line setup. The distance between
measurements lab = 2.76m (6 periods).

Advantages
The main strength of the technique is the possibility to select the section of the
cable for the propagation constant extraction.

Chapter 5

On-voltage TDR
5.1

Introduction

On-voltage measurements are performed on the cable disconnected from the grid.
The name on-voltage emphasizes the fact that the cable during the diagnostics
is energized with a low-frequency HV. The HV applied to the cable is used as a
differentiating parameter to detect and localize the water trees, which have the
voltage dependent 0 (V ) and 00 (V ) [13], [16], [18].

5.2

High frequency dielectric properties of water-tree


degraded insulation

As mentioned before the permittivity of water-treed insulation is voltage dependent.


It was observed that the high frequency real part of permittivity of water-treed insulation 0 (V ) decreases when the HV is applied [22]. The phenomenon is explained
that the charges are trapped in the tips of the water trees during the application of
the HV. This effect would reduce the mobility of charges and their ability to follow
the high frequency field of the TDR pulse. Therefore the TDR pulse propagation
velocity, equation 5.1, is higher in the water-treed section of the cable when the
cable is energized by HV. It allows to use the non-linearity of 0 (V ) of the water
trees as a differentiating parameter for the diagnostics.
1

v=p

0 (V )

5.3

(5.1)

Measuring system

The pulse generator is synchronized with the HVAC supply unit, refer to Figure 5.1.
The pulses are sent to the cable through the coupling capacitors at the specified
positions of the applied HVAC: 0 , 90 , 180 and 270 . According to equation 5.1
43

44

CHAPTER 5. ON-VOLTAGE TDR

Ch1

Filtering
x100 probe

C
C

Pulse generator
Synchronised

DC

Trigering

HVAC 2kV
1Hz

Figure 5.1: On-voltage TDR system.

the pulses sent at the phases 90 and 270 , when the amplitude of the applied HVAC
is maximal will propagate faster than the pulses sent at 0 and 180 , when the
HVAC crosses zero potential. Detailed description of the on-voltage TDR system
can be found in [22].

5.4

Measurement objects

The measurements were performed on the Cable 1 in the laboratory, while measurements on the Cable 2, Cable 3 and Cable 4 were performed on-site, in Strangnas
and Tumba respectively.
1. Cable 1; three phase, first generation XLPE insulated, 24kV, 110m long.
2. Cable 2; three phase, first generation XLPE insulated, 12kV, 1280m long.
3. Cable 3; three phase, 24kV, 825m long. The cable consists of the second
and the first generation cables connected with a joint. The first part of the
cable, the second generation, is new and considered to be non-degraded.
4. Cable 4; three phase, 24kV, 350m long.

5.5. WATER TREE DETECTION: CABLE 1

45

Amplitude(mV)

300

0
90
180
270

200
100
0
100
200
0.2

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8
Time(s)

1.2

1.4

1.6

Figure 5.2: On-voltage TDR measurements the Cable 1.

10

0
90
180
270

Amplitude(mV)

5
0
5
10
15
20
1000

1050

1100

1150

1200 Time(ns)
1250 1300

1350

1400

1450

1500

Figure 5.3: Magnified section of the signal in Figure 5.2.

5.5

Water tree detection: Cable 1

During the diagnostics the cable was energized with 6kV , 10Hz HVAC. The pulses
of 100V amplitude, 20ns rise time and 100ns pulse length were injected through
the coupling capacitors at different phase positions of the HVAC.
The measurement results are presented in Figure 5.2. The first and the last
pulses are the injected pulse and the reflection from the open end of the cable. The
oscillations during 0.1 0.6s are generated in the LC circuit composed of the
coupling capacitors and the inductive loop formed by the capacitors connection to
the cable.
Examining the magnified signal in Figure 5.3 it can be noticed that the pulse
sent at the phase positions at 90 and 270 propagate faster, and the reflections are
detected 20ns sooner, than the ones at 0 and 180 , this indicates the presence of
water trees in the cable.

46

CHAPTER 5. ON-VOLTAGE TDR

0
90
180
270

Amplitude(V)

0.04
0.02
0

0.02

0.04
2

8
10
Time(s)

12

14

16

18

Figure 5.4: On-voltage TDR measurements on Cable 2.

5.6

Water tree detection: Cable 2

During the diagnostics the cable was energized with 2kV , 1Hz HVAC. The pulses
of 100V amplitude, 20ns rise time and 100ns pulse length were injected through
the coupling capacitors at different phase positions of the HVAC.
The measurement results are presented in Figure 5.4. The oscillations during
13s are generated in the earlier mentioned LC circuit. Oscillations last longer as
the inductance is higher in the on-site setup. The locations 1, 2 and 3 are magnified
in the Figures 5.5, 5.6 and 5.7.
From the measurements at location 1, in Figure 5.5, it can be noticed that
the pulse sent at the phases 90 and 270 propagate faster, and the reflections are
detected sooner, than the ones at 0 and 180 . The time interval between arrival of
the 0 , 180 and 90 , 270 reflections is 19ns. Therefore it can be concluded that
the water trees are present in this section of the cable.
In location 2, refer to Figure 5.6 the time interval between the reflections is
increased to 25ns, indicating water tree presence in this cable section.
The high frequency components of the propagating pulse in the cable are damped
by the the conductor and insulation screens. The pulse at the location 3 is highly
damped, refer to Figure 5.7, and the time difference between the reflections can not
be detected.

5.6. WATER TREE DETECTION: CABLE 2

47

Amplitude(mV)

3
0
90
180
270

4.05

4.1

4.15

4.2 Time(s)
4.25
4.3

4.35

4.4

4.45

4.5

Figure 5.5: Magnified location 1.

Amplitude(mV)

2.5
0
90
180
270

3.5

4.5

7.05

7.1

7.15

7.2 Time(s)
7.25
7.3

7.35

7.4

7.45

7.5

Figure 5.6: Magnified location 2.

0
90
180
270

Amplitude(mV)

1.5

2.5
10.5

10.55

10.6

10.65

10.7 Time(s)
10.75 10.8

10.85

10.9

Figure 5.7: Magnified location 3.

10.95

11

48

CHAPTER 5. ON-VOLTAGE TDR


300
0
90
180
270

Amplitude(mV)

200
100
0
100
200
2

4 Time(s) 6

10

12

Figure 5.8: On-voltage TDR measurements on Cable 3.

5.7

Water tree detection: Cable 3

During the diagnostics the cable was energized with 6kV and 9kV , 1Hz HVAC.
The pulses of 200V amplitude, 20ns rise time and 100ns pulse length were injected
through the coupling capacitors at different phase positions of the HVAC.
The on-voltage TDR measurements on Cable 3 are presented in Figure 5.8 where
the reflection from the joint is at 4.7s.
Diagnostics performed using the dielectric spectroscopy indicated presence of
the water trees, however no shift of the reflections were observed the using onvoltage TDR, refer to Figure 5.12. The possible explanation could be that the high
frequency components of the pulse are damped while the pulse propagates in the
new cable section, and also when the pulse passes the cable joint.

5.8

Water tree detection: Cable 4

During the diagnostics the cable was energized with 6kV , 2Hz HVAC. The pulses
of 100V amplitude, 20ns rise time and 100ns pulse length were injected through
the coupling capacitors at different phase positions of the HVAC.
The on-voltage TDR measurements are presented in Figure 5.9 and the magnified results are presented in Figure 5.10. Shift of the reflections caused by presence
of the water-trees was not observed. It well agrees with the results of dielectric response measurements performed on the cable. The tan 4 104 was at different
voltage levels, what indicates good condition of the cable.

5.9. INFLUENCE OF NON-LINEAR CAPACITANCE OF THE COUPLING


CAPACITORS TO THE MEASUREMENTS
49
0
90
180
270

Amplitude(mV)

100

50

50
1

2 Time(s) 3

Figure 5.9: On-voltage TDR measurements on Cable 4.

3
0
90
180
270

Amplitude(mV)

4
5
6
7
8
2.2

2.25

2.3

2.35

2.4 Time(s)
2.45
2.5

2.55

2.6

2.65

2.7

Figure 5.10: Magnified section of the signal in Figure 5.9.

5.9

Influence of non-linear capacitance of the coupling


capacitors to the measurements

The used coupling capacitors have voltage dependent capacitance. The non-linear
capacitance of the coupling capacitor was measured with the dielectric spectroscopy
system at 3kV, 6kV, 9kV and 12kV. The results are presented in Figure 5.11.
The non-linear capacitance affects the on-voltage measurements and the phenomenon can be observed in the measurements of the Cable 3, presented in Figure
5.12, as an increased undershoot at higher voltage levels: 0kV (0 ,180 at 6kV),
6kV (90 ,270 at 6kV) and 9kV (90 ,270 at 9kV).
The increase in the undershoot can be explained in the following way. The
measurement system can simplified be viewed as an RC differentiator, where R is the
characteristic impedance of the cable and C is the coupling capacitors capacitance.
The corner frequency of this RC differentiator is:
fRC

1
1
=
= 3.2M Hz
2RC
225 2 109

(5.2)

50

CHAPTER 5. ON-VOLTAGE TDR


2.5

3kV
6kV
9kV
12kV

Capacitance (nF)

2.45

2.4

2.35

2.3

10
Frequency (Hz)

Figure 5.11: Dielectric spectroscopy measurements of non-linear capacitance of the


coupling capacitor.

Amplitude(mV)

10

15

20
0kV
6kV
0kV
6kV
9kV
9kV

25

30
5.5

5.55

5.6

5.65

5.7

5.75
5.8
Time(s)

5.85

5.9

(0 6kV)
(90 6kV)
(180 6kV)
(270 6kV)
(90 9kV)
(270 9kV)
5.95

Figure 5.12: Magnified on-voltage TDR measurements on Cable 3.

When the pulse of frequency content 0-70MHz [22] from the pulse generator is
injected to the cable through the coupling capacitor, the part of frequency components below fRC c are differentiated, while frequency components above fRC c are
not. The differentiating effect to the pulse in the time domain can be seen as the
undershoot after the pulse, e.g. during 0.1-0.4 s in Figure 5.2.
The decrease in capacitance will shift fRC c to higher frequencies. As a consequence a wider band of the pulse frequency components are differentiated, what
can be observed as the stronger undershoot in the time domain.

5.10. INFLUENCE OF THE CONNECTING LOOP INDUCTANCE

5.10

51

Influence of the connecting loop inductance

In order to improve the coupling capacitors connection at the high frequencies the
inductance of the loop has to be reduced. It was done by placing the grounded
metallic cone [50] on the HV termination of the cable, see Figure 5.13. Using the
cone the length of the connection wires is reduced as the coupling capacitors, the
pulse generator and the filter/probe are mounted directly on the cone, close to
connection point to the cable conductor. In Figure 5.14 are compared on-voltage
TDR measurement results with and without the cone connection.

Figure 5.13: On-voltage TDR measuring system with the cone.

15

Amplitude(mV)

without the cone


with the cone
10

6.5

7.5

8
Time(s)

8.5

9.5

10

Figure 5.14: Comparison of the on-voltage TDR with and without the cone.

52

5.11

CHAPTER 5. ON-VOLTAGE TDR

Conclusions

The high frequency components of the pulse needed for the water tree detection are
strongly damped by semiconductive layers of the insulation and conductor screens,
when the pulse propagates in the cable. The longest distance of the cable the water
trees could be detected from on-site measurements of Cable 2 was 500m.
The inductance of the coupling capacitor connection loop should be as low as
possible in order to increase the high frequency content of the pulse in the cable;
what can be done using the setup with the cone.
If the results of different on-voltage TDR measurements are compared, the same
voltage levels of the applied HVAC should be used during diagnostics, as the measurements results are affected by non-linear capacitance of the coupling capacitors.

Chapter 6

On-line TDR
6.1

Introduction

On-line TDR measurements are performed on the operating cable. The pulses are
injected to the cable and the reflections are measured using the sensors. Due to
safety issues the cable is disconnected from the grid when the sensors are mounted.
Afterwards the diagnostics could be performed during several days or weeks.

6.2

Measuring system No.1

For the first on-line TDR attempt due to safety issues and comparatively high
sensitivity the capacitive strip sensors were used, refer to Figure 6.1. The capacitive
sensors are selected as they require no galvanic connection to the conductor of the
power cable. Moreover the sensors are placed on the insulation screen, which at low
frequencies is regarded as a ground potential, and therefore the insulation screen
encloses the low frequency HVAC electric field.
However in reality the potential of the insulation screen rises to several hundreds
of millivolts due to its resistance RIS , refer to Figure 6.2. The conductive tape
placed directly on the insulation screen acts as a contact, while the the insulation
screen itself at 50Hz forms the capacitive sensor; where CLF is a low frequency
capacitance between the cable conductor and the insulation screen. The capacitive
current of CLF flowing in RIS creates a voltage rise VP S . As CLF is in the range
of picofarads and RIS is in the range of ohms, the measured voltage VP S leads the
HVAC by angle almost equal to 90 .
The insulating tape is placed on the insulation screen, and afterwards the capacitive sensors are placed on the insulating tape, refer to Figure 6.2. Such configuration decouples 50Hz signal from measurement signal. The insulation screen at
the high frequencies can be regarded a dielectric and therefore the high frequency
components containing TDR pulses be injected and detected through the capacitive
53

54

CHAPTER 6. ON-LINE TDR

TDR measurements

21

Ch1

Ch2

Phase estimation

3kV

HVAC 50Hz
Pulse generator
Synchronised
AC

230V
50Hz

DC

Trigering

Figure 6.1: On-line TDR system No.1.

strip sensors. In Figure 6.2 CHF are the high frequency capacitances between the
sensors and the cable conductor.
The triggering of the pulse generator is synchronized with the frequency of the
power grid. The reference 50Hz frequency is measured at the 230V outlet. Usually
there is a phase shift between the reference signal at the outlet and the phase-toground HVAC at the cable. The phase shift could occur as consequence of a different
phase connected to the outlet than at the power cable; or due to different power
transformers primary and secondary windings connection, e.g. -Y. Therefore
the phase of the grid HVAC is measured using a capacitive sensor, the phase shift
is estimated and the triggering is adjusted so that the pulses are sent at 90 , 180
and 270 of the grid HVAC.
V PS

CLF

CHF

R IS

CLF

CHF

R IS

Insulation screen
XLPE insulation
Conductor screen
Conductor

Insulating tape

Figure 6.2: Capacitances between the cable conductor - capacitive sensor and cable
conductor - insulation screen.

6.3. ON-LINE MEASUREMENT RESULTS: WATER TREES

6.3

55

On-line measurement results: water trees

The measurements were performed on the 2km long, 24kV rated voltage, three
phase, second generation XLPE insulated power cable. The on-line TDR measurements were performed every 2 hours, during a four-days measurement sequence,
with the previously described measurement system No.1.
The measurement results are presented in Figure 6.3. The small reflections in
the cable are numbered as 1, 2, 3, 4. The last reflection 5 is the reflection from the
far end of the cable. Location 4 is magnified in Figure 6.4, where velocity shift of
5

10

Amplitude(mV)

3
15

1
2

20

25

30
90
180
270

35

40

10

15

20

25

30

35

Time(s)

Figure 6.3: On-line TDR measurements.

the reflections due to water trees was investigated. However no reflection velocity
shift at 90 and 270 can be observed due to non-linear properties of water trees.
0.5
90
180
270

Amplitude(mV)

0.5

1.5
20.4

20.5

20.6
20.7
Time (s)

20.8

Figure 6.4: Magnified location 4 of the on-line TDR measurements.

56

CHAPTER 6. ON-LINE TDR

6.4

On-line measurement results: temperature variations

Periodical velocity changes of the reflections were observed during the measurements sequence. The velocity changes are presented in Figure 6.5. The pulses
propagate slower at 6:00-8:00 oclock, and faster 20:00-22:00 oclock. Therefore it
was concluded that the pulse velocity changes due to temperature variations of the
cable caused by a load-cycling. The reflections in Figure 6.5 marked as 6:00 and
20:00 are compared in Figure 6.6. The time difference between the reflections is
10ns.

10

20

30

Time (h)

40

50

60

70

6:00

80
20:00
90

100
20.45

20.5

20.55

20.6

20.65
20.7
Time (s)

20.75

20.8

20.85

20.9

Figure 6.5: Reflections at location 4 during a four-days measurements sequence.

6.5. VERIFICATION OF THE PULSE PROPAGATION VELOCITY IN THE


CABLE DEPENDENCE ON THE TEMPERATURE
57
0.5
6:00
20:00

Amplitude (mV)

0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0.1
0.2
20.4

20.5

20.6

20.7
Time (s)

20.8

20.9

Figure 6.6: Comparison of reflections at 6:00 and 20:00 oclock, at location 4.

6.5

Verification of the pulse propagation velocity in the


cable dependence on the temperature

The TDR system was used for the measurements on the cables placed in the temperature chamber, refer to Figure 2.2. The pulse of 1.5V amplitude and 13ns length
was sent to the cable, and the reflections from the open end were measured when
the cable was heated to 30 C, 60 C and 90 C.
The measurements were performed on two cables:
First generation XLPE, 24kV, 6.05m long
Second generation XLPE, 24kV, 5.75m long

The TDR measurements results are presented in Figure 6.7 and the pulse velocities are presented in Figure 6.8.
The increase in pulse velocity can be explained by the temperature dependent
permittivities 0 (T ) of the semiconductive layers in the cable. The decrease in 0 (T )
of the screen bed and the conductor screen with the increase in temperature was
measured by [51], [52].

58

CHAPTER 6. ON-LINE TDR

Second generation cable

First generation cable


1.4

30C
60C
90C

1.2

Amplitude(V)

Amplitude(V)

1.2

1.4

0.8
0.6
0.4

30C
60C
90C

1
0.8
0.6
0.4

0.2

0.2

85

90 Time (ns) 95

95

100

100 Time (ns) 105

110

Figure 6.7: Reflection from the open end at different temperatures in the first and
the second generation cables.

158

187

157
Group velocity (m/s)

Group velocity (m/s)

First generation cable


188

186
185
184

156
155
154
153

183
182
20

Second generation cable

40

60
80
Temperature (C)

100

152
20

40

60
80
Temperature (C)

100

Figure 6.8: Group velocity variation at different temperatures in the first and the
second generation cables.

6.6

Limitations and advantages

Low capacitance of the capacitive strip sensors implies low sensitivity of the on-line
TDR measuring system No.1. Water trees could not be detected using the the online TDR No.1, nevertheless the temperature variations of the cable were observed
using the system. The advantage of the system is cheap and simple installation of
the capacitive strip sensors.

6.7. MEASURING SYSTEM NO.2

6.7

59

Measuring system No.2

The on-line TDR system No.2, presented in Figure 6.9 is generally a modification of
the on-voltage TDR system. The triggering of the pulses is synchronized with the
grid frequency. The signal measured with the oscilloscopes Ch2 is used to estimate
the phase difference between the HVAC and the outlet 230V AC.
Ch1

Ch2

Filtering
x100 probe

x100 probe

C
C

Pulse generator

Synchronised
DC

Trigering

AC

230V
50Hz

HVAC

21

3kV

50Hz

Figure 6.9: On-line TDR system No.2.

6.8

High voltage testing of the coupling capacitors

The coupling capacitors in the on-line TDR No.2 are connected directly to the
conductor of the power cable which is in service. Therefore the capacitors should
have the same insulation levels as the equipment to which they are connected.
As on-line TDR No.2 is designed for 12kV and 24kV power cables the coupling
capacitors were tested for 24kV equipment standard insulation levels, defined in
IEC 71-1 and IEC 358.
According to IEC 71-1 non self-restoring insulation should withstand three rated
lightning impulses and rated short-duration power-frequency voltage during 60 secTable 6.1: IEC 71-1 and IEC 358 standard insulation levels
Highest voltage for
equipment (r.m.s.)

Rated lightning impulse


withstand voltage (peak)

24kV

95kV

Rated short-duration
power-frequency
withstand voltage (r.m.s.)
50kV

60

CHAPTER 6. ON-LINE TDR

onds. To meet the criterions the coupling capacitors connected to the conductor of
the cable were replaced by banks of the capacitors, each consisting of three 20kV,
2nF capacitors connected in series. The coupling capacitors were subjected to and
passed previously defined tests.

6.9

Limitations and advantages

The coupling capacitors will be subjected to high voltage fast transients in the
cable generated by switching the cable to/from the grid. The coupling capacitors
can sustain significant overvoltages, defined in IEC 71-1 [53] and IEC 358 [54]
standards. However the high voltage fast transients will give rise to overvoltages on
the low voltage side of the capacitors, and therefore can damage the pulse generator
and the measuring equipment.
The main advantage of the system is its higher sensitivity compared with the
on-line TDR No.1.
The system has not yet been tested during on-line conditions. The further
development of the system is proposed in Chapter 8, Future work.

Chapter 7

Summary and conclusions


The investigated types of sensors differ in terms of bandwidth and sensitivity and
placement position on the cable, however the general tendency could be observed
that the sensors with the higher sensitivity have narrower bandwidth. The high
frequency properties of the sensors on the cable are defined not only by the design
of the sensor, but by the whole sensor-cable system design.
A technique was developed for the propagation constant extraction of a selected
part of the cable with twisted screen wires using the inductive strip sensor. The
technique includes the measurements with the inductive strip sensor at two locations
of the cable. In order to achieve good accuracy the minimal distance between the
locations was found to be 2m or more.
The on-voltage TDR system was adapted for on-site measurements by introducing the high-frequency-high-voltage connection. The on-voltage TDR measurements are affected by non-linear capacitance of the coupling capacitors, therefore
the same voltage levels of the applied HVAC should be used for the results to be
compared. The longest distance the water trees could be detected with the onvoltage TDR without the high-frequency-high-voltage connection was circa 500m.
The sensitivity of the on-line TDR No.1 was not sufficient to detect the water
tree degraded regions in the cable. However the temperature variations of the cable
caused by load-cycling were observed on the circa 2km long cable during a four-day
measurement sequence.
To investigate the possibility of water tree detection on-line, the coupling capacitors should be used, as they have the highest sensitivity among the investigated
sensors. The coupling capacitors introduce minor possibility of failure during diagnostics as they were tested according IEC 71-1 and IEC 358 standard insulation
levels for 24kV equipment. The issue is the measuring equipment subjection to
overvoltages rising on the low-voltage side of the coupling capacitors from high
voltage fast transients in the cable.

61

Chapter 8

Future work
The natural continuation of the project would be a development of the on-line TDR
No.2. The transients caused by cable switching to and from the grid should be measured for the different lengths of the cables and different types of circuit breakers.
According to transients appearing in the real-life conditions, the overvoltage protection should be designed at the low-voltage side of the coupling capacitors.
More measurements both on-line and on-voltage should be carried out in order
to investigate the systems limitations in the on-site conditions, e.g. the longest
distance the water trees can be detected using the high-voltage-high-frequency connection. Another interesting topic is to investigate the systems limits of detecting
different amount of water trees in the cable by correlating the TDR and the dielectric response measurements.
The diagnostics system could be made more compact by building a modular
instrument consisting basically of a high-speed digitizer and a signal generator for
the synchronized triggering.

63

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