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Quantification of the performance of iterative and non-iterative computational methods of locating partial discharges using RF measurement techniques

El Mountassir, Othmane and Stewart, Brian G. and Reid, Alistair J. and McMeekin, Scott G. (2017) Quantification of the performance of iterative and non-iterative computational methods of locating partial discharges using RF measurement techniques. Electric Power Systems Research, 143. 110–120. ISSN 0378-7796

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Partial discharge (PD) is an electrical discharge phenomenon that occurs when the insulation materialof high voltage equipment is subjected to high electric field stress. Its occurrence can be an indication ofincipient failure within power equipment such as power transformers, underground transmission cableor switchgear. Radio frequency measurement methods can be used to detect and locate discharge sourcesby measuring the propagated electromagnetic wave arising as a result of ionic charge acceleration. Anarray of at least four receiving antennas may be employed to detect any radiated discharge signals, thenthe three dimensional position of the discharge source can be calculated using different algorithms. These algorithms fall into two categories; iterative or non-iterative. This paper evaluates, through simulation, the location performance of an iterative method (the standardleast squares method) and a non-iterative method (the Bancroft algorithm). Simulations were carried outusing (i) a "Y" shaped antenna array and (ii) a square shaped antenna array, each consisting of a four-antennas. The results show that PD location accuracy is influenced by the algorithm's error bound, thenumber of iterations and the initial values for the iterative algorithms, as well as the antenna arrangement for both the non-iterative and iterative algorithms. Furthermore, this research proposes a novel approachfor selecting adequate error bounds and number of iterations using results of the non-iterative method, thus solving some of the iterative method dependencies.