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Assessment of HDPE aged under DC voltage combined with AC harmonic stresses of various frequencies

Zhao, Weijia and Siew, Wah Hoon and Given, Martin J and Corr, Edward and Li, Qingmin and He, Jinliang (2017) Assessment of HDPE aged under DC voltage combined with AC harmonic stresses of various frequencies. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation. ISSN 1070-9878 (In Press)

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Abstract

One of the challenges on the increasing reliance on isolated renewable generation sources is the transmission of power from these sources to centers of power demand. One possible approach is the use of high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission. The power electronic converters are key components in HVDC transmission system. The converters produce the intended DC voltage for transmission but there may also be AC harmonics superimposed. The superimposed harmonics on the HVDC may have synergistic effects and may lead to further degradation in the cable insulation. Previous research has shown that partial discharge was the main cause of degradation in polymeric insulation under AC stress. However, few publications have demonstrated the effect of combined stress on cable insulation degradation. Additionally, the most popular cable insulation material, cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), cannot be recycled. Alternative materials which can be recycled have been proposed and one such solution could be thermoplastic materials. In this study, HDPE was investigated as a reference material for thermoplastics and their potential use as insulation in HVDC cables. In this paper the effect of frequency on HDPE degradation under superimposed stresses was studied using the following approaches; equivalent phase resolved partial discharge (PRPD) plots, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy - attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR) and dielectric spectroscopy (DS) measurements were carried out. The results show that during aging and with a frequency increase, the voltage of PD events increased which in turn created more polar molecule groups on the surface. The amount of polar molecule groups was found to affect ε' and tanδ, with both increasing when more polar molecules were created. The results show that applying a higher AC frequency enhances polymer degradation