, Volume 373, Issue 7, pp 639-646

Application of infrared spectroscopy to monitoring gas insulated high-voltage equipment: electrode material-dependent SF6 decomposition

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Sulfur hexafluoride is a chemically inert gas which is used in gas insulated substations (GIS) and other high-voltage equipment, leading to a significant enhancement of apparatus lifetime and reductions in installation size and maintenance requirements compared to conventional air insulated substations. However, component failures due to aging of the gas through electrical discharges may occur, and on-site monitoring for risk assessment is needed. Infrared spectroscopy was used for the analysis of gaseous by-products generated from electrical discharges in sulfur hexafluoride gas. An infrared monitoring system was developed using a micro-cell coupled to an FTIR spectrometer by silver halide fibers. Partial least-squares calibration was applied by using a limited number of optimally selected spectral variables. Emphasis was placed on the determination of main decomposition products, such as SOF2, SOF4, and SO2F2. Besides the different electrical conditions, the material of the plane counter electrode of the discharge chamber was also varied between silver, aluminum, copper, tungsten, or tungsten/copper alloy. For the spark experiments the point electrode was the same material as chosen for the plane electrode, whereas for partial discharges a stainless steel needle was employed. Complementary investigations on the chemical composition within the solid counter electrode material by secondary neutral mass spectrometry (SNMS) were also carried out. Under sparking conditions, the electrode material plays an important role in the decomposition rates of the gas-phase, but no relevant material dependence could be observed under partial discharge conditions.

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