Friday, August 15, 2014

Pin Type insulators; Pin type insulators failure problem

Insulators are used for transmission of High voltages as during transmission of higher voltages bare conductors are used and to hold these bare conductors insulators are used. Pin Type insulator is one of the type. Which will be discussed in brief below:-


Pin Insulator

Pin Insulator is the most earliest developed overhead insulator and is still popularly used in power network up to 33KV system.
Pin type insulator Types:-
(i)                 One part
(ii)               Two parts
(iii)             Three parts type depending upon application voltage.
 Generally for 11KV voltage system we generally use one part type insulator where whole pin insulator is one piece of properly shaped porcelain or glass.

Pin type insulator is show above:-

 As the leakage path of insulator is through its surface, it is desirable to increase the vertical length of the insulator surface area for lengthening leakage path. In order to obtain lengthy leakage path, one, two or more rain sheds are provided on the insulator body.
These sheds serve another purpose that these rain sheds are so designed, that during raining the outer surface of the rain shed becomes wet but the inner surface remains dry and non-conductive. So there will be discontinuations of conducting path through the wet pin insulator surface.
In higher voltage like 33KV and 66KV manufacturing of one part porcelain pin insulator becomes difficult. Because in higher voltage, the thickness of the insulator become more and a quite thick single piece porcelain insulator cannot manufactured practically. In this case we use multiple part pin insulator, where a number of properly designed porcelain shells are fixed together by Portland cement to form one complete insulator unit. For 33KV two parts and for 66KV three parts pin insulator are generally used.

Designing Consideration of Electrical Insulator

The live conductor attached to the top of the pin insulator is at a potential and bottom of the insulator fixed to supporting structure of earth potential. The insulator has to withstand the potential stresses between conductor and earth. The shortest distance between conductor and earth, surrounding the insulator body, along which electrical discharge may take place through air, is known as flash over distance.
1. When insulator is wet, its outer surface becomes almost conducting. Hence the flash over distance of insulator is decreased. The design of an electrical insulator should be such that the decrease of flash over distance is minimum when the insulator is wet. That is why the upper most petticoat of a pin insulator has umbrella type designed so that it can protect, the rest lower part of the insulator from rain. The upper surface of top most petticoat is inclined as less as possible to maintain maximum flash over voltage during raining.
2. To keep the inner side of the insulator dry, the rain sheds are made in order that these rain sheds should not disturb the voltage distribution they are so designed that their subsurface at right angle to the electromagnetic lines of force.

Causes of Insulator Failures

Insulators are required to withstand both mechanical and electrical stresses.

 The latter type is primarily due to line voltage and may cause the breakdown of the insulator. The electrical breakdown of the insulator can occur either by flash-over or puncture. In flashover, an arc occurs between the line conductor and insulator pin (i.e., earth) and the discharge jumps across the air gaps, following shortest distance. Figure shows the arcing distance (i.e. a + b +c) for the insulator. In case of flash-over, the insulator will continue to act in its proper capacity unless extreme heat produced by the arc destroys the insulator. In case of puncture, the discharge occurs from conductor to pin through the body of the insulator. When such breakdown is involved, the insulator is permanently destroyed due to excessive heat. In practice, sufficient thickness of porcelain is provided in the insulator to avoid puncture by the line voltage. The ratio of puncture strength to flashover voltage is known as safety factor.