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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Weibull statistical analysis of impulse driven surface breakdown data

Wilson, Mark and Given, M and Timoshkin, Igor and Macgregor, Scott and Wang, Tao and Sinclair, M.A. and Thomas, K.J. and Lehr, J.M. (2011) Weibull statistical analysis of impulse driven surface breakdown data. In: IEEE conference record PPC2011. IEEE, New York, pp. 218-222. ISBN 9781457706295

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Abstract

Surface breakdown of oil-immersed solids chosen to insulate high-voltage, pulsed-power systems is a problem that can lead to catastrophic failure. Statistical analysis of the breakdown voltages associated with such liquid-solid interfaces can reveal useful information to aid system designers in the selection of solid materials. Described in this paper are the results of a Weibull statistical analysis, applied to breakdown voltage data generated in gaps consisting of five different solid polymers immersed in mineral oil. Values of the location parameter γ provide an estimate of the applied voltage below which breakdown will not occur, and under uniform-field conditions, γ varied from 192 kV (480 kV/cm) for polypropylene to zero for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (i.e. the data for UHMWPE were better described by a two-parameter distribution). Longer times to breakdown were measured for UHMWPE when compared with the other materials. However, high values of the shape parameter β reported in the present paper suggest greater sensitivity to an increase in applied voltage – that is, the probability of breakdown increases more sharply with increasing applied voltage for UHMWPE compared to the other materials. Only PP consistently reflected a low value of β across the different sets of test conditions.