PARTIAL DISCHARGE MEASUREMENTS ON GENERATORS USING A NOISE GATING SYSTEM

Q. SU Department of Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering Monash University, Clayton VIC 3168 Email: qi.su@eng.monash.edu.au Abstract Partial discharge level is one of the most important indicators of generator insulation condition. However, PD measurements often fail because of the interference problem. A new PD detector GDD-3 has been jointly developed by Monash University and Insultest Australia. This detector uses advanced digital signal processing techniques and multiple noise gating channels for noise discrimination and blocking. With aid of a specially designed high frequency sensor installed at the neutral of a generator and several directional noise detectors, partial discharges of an in-service generator can be better identified and the insulation condition continuously monitored. 1. INTRODUCTION insulation condition continuously monitored. Also, the test results are recorded and analysed by computer software. After analysis, the discharge magnitude and various statistical distributions can be displayed on the screen or printed out. The main results can also be saved in a computer database so that further analysis can be done to determine the trend of insulation deterioration. The detector includes a main unit, a personal computer, two PD sensing units of different frequency bands and various noise sensors. 2. NOISE ON IN-SERVICE GENERATORS

Partial discharge is one of the most sensitive indicators of generator insulation deterioration. However, PD measurements on in service generators are very difficult because of the large interference. Noise of various origins can enter a generator from the HV terminals and ground, which significantly effect the accuracy and reliability of PD measurements. During the last ten years, the author and his research team have intensively investigated several PD detection techniques. Based on the outcomes of research, a new PD detector GDD-3 has been developed that uses advanced digital signal processing techniques and multiple noise gating channels for noise discrimination and blocking. The noise detected by noise sensors is used to block a small window in the PD measurement circuit. With a specially designed high frequency sensor installed at the neutral of a generator, partial discharges of an inservice generator can be better identified and the Noise from the thyristor excitor

An in-service generator can experience noise of various origins. The most important noise sources are from the exciter, auxiliary equipment such as transformers, motors and corona discharges of HV busbars. The main entries of noise to a generator are the HV terminals and the rotor winding, as shown in Fig.1.

Stator winding Noise coupled through the rotor winding Rotor winding

Noise from the HV busbars

DC alternator

Noise from the ground Fig.1 Various noises can enter the stator winding making it difficult to measure PDs on in-service generators

After the noise passes. From comparison between their peak voltages and time delays. With a specially designed dual CT sensor or capacitive coupler installed at the neutral of a generator. discharges from different positions can be grouped and displayed in different forms for its identification. eg 1-50µs. noise gating channels and digital signal processing techniques. All noise detected will generate gating signals. can be easily moved around and connected to the panel outlets for PD measurements. This detector uses advanced digital signal processing techniques and multiple noise gating channels for noise discrimination and blocking. a RF antenna and Rogowski coils. • Database software: The analysis results can be stored in a comprehensive database for future analysis. • Portability: The detector is light in weight and very portable.2. most interference are removed from the measuring unit giving more reliable measurement results of PDs inside generator windings.4. as shown in Fig. The detector has the following key features: • Easy to use: The signals are detected. In order to block noise from thyristor excitors. the switch is reclosed and is ready to measure the subsequent PDs. • User-friendly interface: The window-based computer software has all functions in pull-down manual or push button format. 4. Noise gating circuit PD + Noise PD for insulation condition monitoring of generators. The high frequency sensors are installed at the neutral of the generator and connected to a terminal panel on the generator neutral cubicle. The main results can also be saved in a computer database so that further analysis can be done to determine the trend of insulation deterioration. The computer-based detector. depending on the behaviour of the noise and its oscillating nature. most interference such as the thyristor switching pulses and noise from the HV terminals can be identified and blocked. The PD measurement circuit is then temporarily blocked and no noise can enter the detecting circuit. or coupling plate sensors are used for different generators. including the GDD3 main unit and a notebook computer. • Noise discrimination: Using advanced sensors. the discharge magnitude and various statistical distributions can be displayed on the screen or printed out. GDD-3 PARTIAL DISCHARGE DETECTOR Based on the techniques above explained. the blocking window should be 20-100µs long. The switch is kept open for a certain period. The circuit is controlled by a triggering circuit that is activated whenever a noise is detected. The measurement circuit connection is shown in Fig. With a certain width of windows closed to the noise.3. Noise entering the generator HV terminals are detected by a directional sensor. a new partial discharge detector GDD-3 has been developed . partial discharges of an in-service generator can be continuously monitored. For the detection of air-born noise and those entering the HV terminals. it usually last for 1-5µs for high frequency band measurements (up to 10MHz) and 10-20µs for lower frequency band measurements (up to 500kHz). The trend of test results for a particular generator can Noise triggering circuit Fig. NOISE SUPPRESSION USING A GATING TECHNIQUE Noise suppression can be realised in a gating circuit. After analysis. analysed and calculated by the computer-based measurement system. The HF and LF components of each PD are analysed. 2 Block diagram of the noise gating system The noise blocking can also be illustrated in the diagram of Fig. On-line instructions and help are also available. There is no need for expert explanation of test results.3 in which the noise pulses are blocked in several windows marked leaving clean PDs detected by the system. Test results are recorded and analysed by the computer software. The PD measurement circuit in the detector is inserted with a fast analogue or digital switching circuit S. For noise from corona discharges and PD from outside of the generator.

be also determined for better assessment of its insulation condition. .3 Noise is blocked by blocking windows leaving PD signals to be measured by an A/D converter. Signals + noise Noise detected by antenna Noise gate inputs Noise detected by directional sensor Gate operating voltage Signals output to A/D converter Fig.

HV capacitor coupler and a notebook computer .Exciter Generator HV bus noise sensor HF CTs and pre-amp Noise sensor and pre-amplifier Noise gating input 1 Noise gating inputs 2 GDD-3H Replace the HF CTs when using the HV capacitor and sensing impedance box. GDD-3H main unit PC for control and data processing Fig.5 A photo of GDD-3 including the main unit. 4 Measurement circuit connection of GDD-3 partial discharge detector Fig.

motors and DC exciters are eliminated. GDD3 can be adjusted to block all noise from outside of a de-energised generator. PDs inside the stator winding can then be reliably measured. This means that noise from other generators. After the generator is put into service. PD MEASUREMENT RESULTS ON INSERVICE GENERATORS On-line PD measurements were carried out on several generators using GDD-3 partial discharge detector. In most cases. It can be seen that the DC exciter noise was completely removed from the measurement results after the gating is activated by the noise sensor.6 shows some typical test results from an 80MW hydro-generator.5. Noise from DC exciter nC (a) Noise from DC exciter is removed nC (b) Fig. Fig. The test results are encouraging. 6 Typical PD measurement results on an 80MW hydro-generator (a) without and (b) with blocking of noise from the DC exciter .

Seoul. 25-30 May 1997.Simpson. This noise gating technique can be extended to the measurement of PDs in any HV equipment such as transformers and power cables.Su. Dresden. 18-20 September. 6. • Advanced noise discrimination techniques including directional sensing. 1991. L. 10. 1995. "Development of a Computer-Based Measurement System for the Location of Partial Discharges in HydroGenerator Stator Windings.E.James. In conjunction with the GDD-3 detector that has 2-4 noise gating channels. [5] Q. IEEE Trans.E.C. 27 Feb . . [9] Q. [1] J. H. "Stator winding testing using partial discharge techniques". whose noise origins can be identified. International Conference on Properties and Application of Dielectric Materials. Korea. Su.Schopper and S.Wilson. UWA.4..Tychsen. "Generator insulation condition assessment by partial discharge measurements". AUPEC'95. Paris.K.Foong and R. "Experience with new PD diagnostic and monitoring systems for rotating electrical machines". Chicago. Perth. Australia. Simpson. the Proceedings of Electrical Engineers. No. on Energy Conversion. " Evaluation of Partial Discharge Detection Techniques on Hydro Generators in the Australian Snowy Mountains Scheme TUMUT 1 Case Study". R. S. [8] W. W.Phung. CONCLUSIONS Noise identification and suppression are essential in PD measurements on in-service generators. Su. • Cheap and easy to maintain It is recommended that reliable on-line PD detectors and alarm systems should be installed on large generators.01. B.Su.Koglek.6. noise from the main sources are blocked in the gating circuits leading to more reliable measurements of PDs inside a generator. [2] H. No.1 March 1995. 1987. Su and R.206-211. 7th International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering. 1986.C. Chang and R. 1132-1135. paper75. "Some aspects on diagnosis methods and operational monitoring for large A. pp. pp 18-22. Volume. Su.Huttner. generators"." Proceedings of Australian Universities Power and Control Engineering Conference.Phung. Tychsen. Paper 11-01. "Location of Partial Discharges On an 80MW/12. [3] R. CIGRE. Hutter and R. 1991.5kV Hydro-Generator With the Aid of Digital Filtering Techniques". T. 1990.James. Tychsen. 1991 [6] Q. Dec. Q. Tychsen. T. REFERENCES [4] A. There is no need to overhaul the generator. • Comprehensive database and analysis software. E. "Techniques for insulation condition monitoring of electrical plant". Singapore. • The whole winding is monitored. the special noise sensors for the detection of air-borne noise and the noise entering the HV terminals are developed. • Continuous on-line monitoring of all generators in a station. James. pp157160. 3-4 Oct. Since the main noise sources are from the DC exciter and from outside the HV terminals. Q. pp.Blackburn. James. Su and R. Melbourne. 1. "Examination of Partial Discharge Propagation in Hydro-Generator Stator Windings Using Digital Signal Processing Techniques.Tychsen and J. “Travelling wave propagation of partial discharges along generator stator windings”. R. 26-30 Aug. The new PD detector GDD-3 has the advantages of noise gating and PD grouping. The main advantages of GDD-3 are • Easy to install. Vol. which can be very useful for on-line condition monitoring of HV equipment.E. IPEC'95. T. C. IEEE Conference.Wenger. Proc. C." Proceedings of the 26th Universities Power Engineering Conference. E. R. [7] Q. 27 -29 Sept 1995. U. Brighton. [10] Q. Schuler. R Blackburn And R.