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Partial Discharge Testing
Partial discharge is an electrical discharge or spark that bridges a small portion of the insulation between two conducting electrodes. It can occur at any point in the insulation system where the electric field strength exceeds the breakdown strength of the local area of insulating material.
In the type of MV equipment we are concerned with, PD typically results from internal voids within solid insulation – such as small air pockets created during the cast resin manufacturing process, as well as from the surface breakdown of insulating material due usually to a combination of poor materials, poor installation practice or environmental conditions.
PD activity is a clear indication that your asset’s insulation is deteriorating in a progressive manner, which will eventually result in it being unable to withstand the electrical stress, leading to flash-over.