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EE 3183-Laboratory Practice V

BREAKDOWN CHARACTERISTICS OF AIR GAPS

Semester 5

Instructed by: Mr. S.B. Wijesundara


Group Members:
H.N.T.Wijesekara
L.S.Wijesinghe
W.M.K.M.Wijesooriya
D.T.P.Wijesooriya
V.Y.Wong

120716U
120720C
120724R
120726B
120737J

Name
Index No.
Group
Field
Date of Perform
Date of Submission

: H. N. T. Wijesekara
: 120716 U
: G-22
: Electrical Engineering
: 29/07/2015
: 11/08/2015

CALCULATIONS
Gas density correction factor is given by,
(

)
)

(
Here

- Atmospheric pressure in mmHg

- Room temperature in 0C

Hence Breakdown voltage ( ) at standard pressure and temperature is given by,

Here V is the Breakdown voltage at pressure P and temperature T.

Specimen calculation for a rod type electrode when the gap distance of 0.5 mm
(
(

)
)

Since the transformer ratio is 220V/100 kV, breakdown voltage at S.T.P is given by

= 10.811 kV
Similarly breakdown voltage at S.T.P can be calculated for other instances

Breakdown Voltage at S.T.P (kV)

Gap Distance
(mm)

Rod type

Plate type

Sphere type

0.5

10.811

11.751

12.221

1.0

13.632

15.982

22.093

1.5

15.982

25.853

31.964

2.0

18.802

35.724

39.955

2.5

22.563

40.425

51.706

3.0

26.323

46.066

58.757

3.5

30.084

56.407

63.928

4.0

32.434

61.107

69.568

4.5

33.844

62.048

76.149

Breakdown Voltages of Air Gaps For Different Electrode Types


Breakdown Voltage at S.T.P (kV)

Gap Distance
(mm)

Rod type

Plate type

Sphere type

0.5

10.811

11.751

12.221

1.0

13.632

15.982

22.093

1.5

15.982

25.853

31.964

2.0

18.802

35.724

39.955

2.5

22.563

40.425

51.706

3.0

26.323

46.066

58.757

3.5

30.084

56.407

63.928

4.0

32.434

61.107

69.568

4.5

33.844

62.048

76.149

Breakdown Characteristics of Air Gaps For Diffenrent Electrode Types


Rod

Plate

Sphere

Power (Sphere)

Power (Plate)

Power (Rod )

90

Breakdown Voltage (kV)

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

Gap distance (mm)

3.5

4.5

DISCUSSION
1. HV lab arrangement with diagrams

HV DC

Impulse

Capacitor

Generator &
Equipment

Iron Mesh

used for

other related
equipment

breakdown of

air gaps
Earthing rod

practical
Other
equipment

Inter lock

Entrance

The laboratory has of two sections, namely the controlling section (located in upstairs) and
the testing area (located in downstairs). All the controlling panels are located in controlling
section. This is to ensure the safety of us.
The testing area is covered using a perfectly earthed metal mesh for the protection purposes
and to avoid the unexpected entrances during the testing periods. There is an earthing rod to
earth the testing equipment before touching.
2. Necessity & usefulness of safety procedures taken in conducting the experiment
High voltage experiments always deal with very high voltages and the hazards can occur if not
carefully conducted. Occurrence of flashovers through air is possible when conducting these
experiments. Even though the supply is disconnected there can be static charges in the
equipment and might cause electric if touched even if the person is wearing shoes. Hence it is
essential to obey necessary safety precautions.
Indication bulb
There is a bulb in front of the High Voltage laboratory which indicates whether there is an
ongoing practical or not.
Iron Mesh and Warning sign
The High Voltage test area is separated from the laboratory area, by using 2m high mesh
fence. Also there is a warning sign in the gate to mentioning that is a high voltage test area
and do not enter.

Ground rod
It is necessary to earth all the equipment in order to ensure the safety first. Therefore, there
is a grounding system (a special ground rod) to eliminate getting an electric shock, while
working with the high voltage equipment. That is normally located at the entrance of the
test area.
During the practical we have to make some adjustment in the high voltage equipment, such
as changing the gap distance etc. But there might be some remaining static electric charge,
due to the previous testing and people might get shock when touching that equipment. So
we have to discharge all these remaining charges by using the special ground rod.

Interlocking system
There is a special interlocking system (interlocking switch) in laboratory, to ensure the
safety. If someone accidently enters to the high voltage test area during the test, he or she
has to plug out the interlocking switch first. When opening that switch, the power supply
for high voltage equipment will be automatically disconnected.

Separate floors
High voltage lab designed with two floors where the high voltage supply transformers and
equipment are placed in ground floor and the control and supervision is done in upper floor.
And also ground floor is visible to the upper floor. This separation is provided protection
for people.
Safety relays
All the HV generators are protected with safety relays in order to give the maximum
protection. These relays automatically disconnect immediately after a HV discharge during
an experiment.

3. Methods of HVDC and HVAC generation


HVAC generation
Cascade arrangement
Cascade arrangement can be continued further if a high voltage is required. This method
used to reduce the insulation cost and to make transportation easier. Following figure shows
the principle cascade arrangement. But the actual arrangement may be differ from that due
to practical reasons.

Resonant transformers
Resonance principle of a series tuned L-C circuit can be made use of to obtain a higher
voltage with a given transformer. Following figure shows the resonance principle at power
frequency. Air cored coils are used to simplify the construction and the insulation.

HVDC Generation
Economical voltage transformation can only be done using AC power transformers. Hence, to
generate HVDC first high voltage AC is generated and then this HVAC is converted to HVDC
by using rectification methods available. Most commonly used method of rectification used
here is thyristor rectification.
One of the methods of producing high direct voltages for testing is to use either a half wave or
full wave rectifier circuit, with a high AC voltage source. This produced a peak inverse voltage
of at least twice the peak value of the AC supply. A low pass filter may be used to smooth the
output, but when the test device is highly capacitive then no smoothing is needed. Figures are
shows the half-wave and the full wave arrangements.

For Power transmission, direct current is used for transmission of electric power in bulk, rather
than the more commonly used alternating current systems. For remote transmission, HVDC
systems can be less expensive since they suffer fewer electrical losses. Power cables HVDC
submarine to avoid heavy currents required by the cable capacity. HVDC allows power
transmission between the alternative distribution systems which are not synchronized, and can
increase system stability by preventing the spread of a cascading failure in a network of power
transmission to the next set.

4. Need of 2 M Resistor
Breakdown voltage of gaseous insulation such as air is very high and is at about 30 kV/cm
stress. Breakdown of gasses occurs due to avalanche effect and much higher current flows in
breakdown. This higher current can damage to the equipment used in the experiment and
nonlinear 2M resistor is used to limit this current.

5. Factors that affect the breakdown voltage of air for a given pair of electrodes
Electrode separation
For vacuum gaps less than about 1 mm the breakdown voltage is approximately proportional to
the length, all other parameters remain constant gives constant breakdown strength. For gaps
greater than about 1mm the breakdown voltage does not increase at an equal rate and the
apparent breakdown strength for larger gaps is much reduced.

Temperature
The variation of breakdown voltage with temperature is very small but cooling the electrodes to
liquid Nitrogen temperature increases the breakdown voltage
Frequency of applied voltage
It is known that a given gap stands a higher impulse voltage than an alternating voltage, and a
higher alternating voltage than a direct voltage. However, it has been shown that for a small
gap (2 mm) there is no dependence of the breakdown voltage on the frequency in the range 50
Hz to 50 kHz.
Vacuum Pressure
For small gaps, decreasing in vacuum pressure increases the breakdown voltage until below a
certain pressure there is no change. The vacuum breakdown region is the region in which the
breakdown voltage becomes independent of the nature of the pressure of the gap between the
electrodes. However, for large gaps (about 200 mm spacing) it is found that below a certain
pressure the breakdown voltage starts decreasing again, so that the breakdown stress at this
stage could in fact be improved by actually worsening the vacuum.
Conditioning of electrode
The breakdown voltage of a gap increases on successive flashovers, until a constant value is
reached. The electrodes are then said to be conditioned.
Material and surface finish
The breakdown characteristics of a given gap space is highly depend on the material of that
electrodes. And also smoothness of the surface of the electrode is greater the breakdown
voltage.
Surface contamination
Presence of the contamination on the electrode surface causes the breakdown voltage to reduce
by nearly 50% of the clean electrode value.
Area and configuration of electrodes
A breakdown voltage significantly decreases with increase in surface area. So therefore, it is
very difficult to maintain the given breakdown voltage.