Investigation of the Partial Discharge Characteristics on PTFE and PMMA Surfaces Under Positive Ramp High Voltages with Variable Rate of Rise

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 599)


Polymeric insulators when exposed to electric stress their surface dielectric behaviour greatly determines system insulation performance. Depending on insulating surface material and state as well as type and polarity of the applied voltage, partial discharges may develop adhering to the insulating surface or mainly in air away from the surface. In withstand or flashover tests on HVDC equipment, the rate of rise of the applied voltage is expected to affect partial discharge activity, thus also the estimated values of withstand or flashover voltages. In this study, the characteristics of partial discharges along PTFE and PMMA insulating surfaces bridging a non-uniform electric field electrode arrangement (short sphere-plane gap), under positive ramp high voltages. Discharge regimes are identified based on current measurements conducted at applied voltages just sufficient for discharge inception up to voltages causing flashover. From the obtained I-V characteristics the discharge inception and flashover voltages could be determined. Surface discharge initiates in the form of small current pulses, at applied voltages lower for the PMMA than PTFE insulator and lower than those corresponding to the inception of the burst corona in air. However, the glow discharge, established in air around the sphere electrode, initiates at higher applied voltages for the insulating surfaces than in air alone, and also higher for the PMMA than PTFE specimen. Consequently, flashover occurs through a spark developing in air away from the insulating surface, at voltages closely related to the glow inception voltage. When the applied voltage is normalized with respect to the glow inception voltage, the effects of the rate of rise of the applied voltage on discharge currents are well accounted for; an empirical expression has been introduced describing well the I-V characteristics for all investigated cases (air alone and insulating surfaces).


Insulator Flashover Partial discharges PTFE PMMA Rate of rise 



This research has been co‐financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE (project code: T1EDK-02998).


  1. 1.
    Sudarshan, T.S., Dougal, R.A.: Mechanisms of surface flashover along solid dielectrics in compressed gases: a review. IEEE Trans. Electr. Insul. 21(5), 727–746 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Miller, H.G.: Surface flashover of insulators. IEEE Trans. Electr. Insul. 24(5), 765–786 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jorgenson, R.E., Warne, L.K., Neuber, A.A., Krile, J., Dickens, J., Kompholz, H.G.: Effect of dielectric photoemission on surface breakdown: an LDRD report. Sandia Report SAND2003-1731 (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gubanski, S.M.: Outdoor polymeric insulators: role of corona in performance of silicone rubber housings. In: 2015 IEEE Electrical Insulation Dielectric Phenomena Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, USA (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Farish, O., Al-Bawy, I.: Effect of surface charge on impulse flashover of insulators in SF6. IEEE Trans. Electr. Insul. 26(3), 443–452 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blennow, J., Sörqvist, T.: Effect of surface flashover of polymer materials. In: 19th Nordic Insulation Symposium, Trondheim, Norway (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kumara, S., Alam, S., Hoque, I.R., Serdyuk, Y.V., Gubanski, S.M.: DC flashover characteristics of a polymer insulator in presence of surface charges. IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul. 19(3), 1084–1090 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Galimberti, I., Marchesi, G., Niemeyer, L.: Streamer corona at an insulator surface. In: 7th International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering, Dresden, Germany (1991)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gao, L., Gomes, C., Cooray, V., Roman, F.: Comparison of long spark in the air and over insulator surface. In: 11th International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering, London, UK (1999)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nishi, T., Hanaoka, R., Takata, S., Miyamoto, T.: Characteristics of creeping discharge along aerial insulated wire under impulse voltages with various wave front durations. Electr. Eng. Jpn. 158(3), 29–37 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lazaridis, L.A., Mikropoulos, P.N.: Flashover along cylindrical insulating surfaces in a non-uniform field under positive switching impulse voltages. IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul. 15(3), 694–700 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lazaridis, L.A., Mikropoulos, P.N.: Negative impulse flashover along cylindrical insulating surfaces bridging a short rod-plane gap under variable humidity. IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul. 17(5), 1585–1591 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mavrikakis N.C., Mikropoulos, P.N.: Positive corona characteristics on RTV SIR coated glass insulating surface under ramp high voltage. In: 52nd International Universities Power Engineering Conference, Heraklion, Greece (2017)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mavrikakis N.C., Mikropoulos, P.N.: Characteristics of negative corona on RTV SIR coated insulating surface under ramp high voltages. In 2018 IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application, Athens, Greece (2018)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Abdel-Salam, M., Zitoun, A.G., El-Ragheb, M.M.: Analysis of the discharge development of a positive rod-plane gap in air. IEEE Trans. Power Appar. Syst. PAS 95(4), 1019–1027 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Goldman, M.: Corona discharges and their applications. IEE Proc. A Phys. Sci. Meas. Instrum. Manag. Educ. Rev. 128(4), 298–302 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jones, J.E., Boulloud, A., Waters, R.T.: Dimensional analysis of corona discharges: the small current regime for rod-plane geometry in air. J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. 23(12), 1652–1662 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhang, G.J., Wang, X.R., Yan, Z.: Optical studies of surface discharge under DC voltage in vacuum. In: IEEE 19th International Symposium on Discharges and Electrical Insulation in Vacuum, Xi’an, China (2010)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Townsend, J.S.: The potentials required to maintain current between coaxial cylinders. Philos. Mag. J. Sci. 28(163), 83–87 (1914)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yamamoto, O., Takuma, T., Tanabe, Y.: Real-Time observation of surface charging on a cylindrical insulator in vacuum. IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul. 5(6), 961–965 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pedersen, A., Blaszczyk, A.: An engineering approach to computational prediction of breakdown in air with surface charging effects. IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul. 24(5), 2775–2783 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Allen, N.L., Faircloth, D.C.: Corona propagation and charge deposition on a PTFE surface. IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul. 10(2), 295–304 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.High Voltage Laboratory, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

Personalised recommendations