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Study on conducting characteristics of electrical trees in cross-linked polyethylene cable insulation

Chen Xiang-Rong Xu Yang Liu Ying Cao Xiao-Long

Study on conducting characteristics of electrical trees in cross-linked polyethylene cable insulation

Chen Xiang-Rong, Xu Yang, Liu Ying, Cao Xiao-Long
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  • Received Date:  14 June 2011
  • Accepted Date:  28 April 2012
  • Published Online:  20 April 2012

Study on conducting characteristics of electrical trees in cross-linked polyethylene cable insulation

    Corresponding author: xuyang@mail.xjtu.edu.cn
  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China;
  • 2. Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg 41296, Sweden
Fund Project:  Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 50877057).

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

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