Non-intrusive condition monitoring of power cables within the industrial sector
Van Jaarsveldt, Johannes Hendrik
MetadataShow full item record
Condition monitoring (CM) of electrical equipment is an important field in electrical engineering and a considerable amount of research is dedicated to this field. Power cables are one of the most important parts of any electrical network and the variety of techniques available for CM of electrical cables is therefore no surprise. Electrical cables are exposed to operational and environmental stressors which will cause degradation of the insulation material. The degradation will continue to the point where the cable fails. Blackouts caused by failing cables will have an effect on the safety, efficiency and production of an electrical network. It is therefore important to constantly monitor the condition of electrical cables, in order to prevent the premature failure of cables. The research presented in this dissertation sets out to investigate CM techniques for power cables and to design and implement a basic cable CM technique based on the principles of partial discharge (PD) measurements. A comprehensive literature study introduces the fundamental concepts regarding the CM of power cables. The basic construction of electrical cables, as well as the variety of different types is researched in order to lay a foundation for the research that follow. CM techniques for electrical equipment are investigated, with the emphasis on techniques used on cables. Conducted research led to the decision to focus on CM by means of PD measurements. PD as a phenomenon is investigated to be able to better understand the origins and effects of discharge activity. From there the focus shifts to the available techniques for monitoring the condition of electrical cables by means of PD measurements. The research conducted in the literature study chapter forms the basis from which the rest of the study is conducted. Simulation models were used to study PD characteristics. The models are derived from engineering and mathematical principles and are based on the well-known three-capacitor model of PD. The simulations were performed in order to study the effects of discharge activity. The designed simulation models allows for a variety of PD characteristics to be studied. The simulations were performed in the MATLAB® Simulink® environment. The research conducted in the dissertation was used to design an elementary CM technique which can be used to detect the presence of PD within electrical cables. The designed CM technique was used for the practical measurement of PD data. MATLAB® programs were designed in order to analyse the PD data in both the time- and frequency-domain. The analysis of the measured data revealed PD characteristics of the test specimen used for the measurements. The designed CM is used for the detection of PD activity within electrical cables and in combination with other techniques, may be used for complete CM of electrical cables. The experimental setup which was used to take practical PD measurements adds another dimension to the work presented in this dissertation.
- Engineering