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The ring, which surrounds the energized end of the transformer bushing, serves two functions. It is a corona ring that is intended to electrically shield the bushing terminal and connections. It does so by reducing the voltage gradient to a level well below the ionizing gradient of the surrounding air at the maximum transformer output voltage. Its also a grading ring, which helps electrically grade the external voltage on the bushing from line to ground (at the bushing flange). The bushing is likely a condenser bushing, which contains a capacitance-graded core to grade the voltage radically from 100% at the central conductor to ground at the flange and, axially from ground to the top and bottom ends of the core. Grounding the test transformer following a circuit breaker test is necessary for safety but you are grounding the entire test circuit; not just the corona ring. I suspect the corona ring just happens to be a convenient attachment point for the hook on your ground stick. Die cast are usually 380, sand and permanent mold 356 or A356, and fabricated rings are usually made from 6061 thin wall tubing or pipe that is formed and welded; with appropriate brackets and other mounting provisions. Corona grading ring should be designed to reduce the critical dielectric voltage gradient (typ. 20 to 30 kVrms/cm) to prevent corona effect, internal discharge and reduce E-field in live parts and fitting that cause radio/ TV interference (RIV), audio noise and losses. Corona ring could also help to smooth the voltage profile distributing the voltage more uniform along the insulator preventing concentration of over stresses. For porcelain post insulators, some manufacturer recommends one corona ring and for 500 kV and above two rings. However, for composite insulator the corona ring is recommended for 220/230 kV. Most equipment manufacturer provide corona ring base on testing such surge arrester, switches, CTs/PTs, etc.

Difference between Arcing Horn Gap and Corona Ring:

At transmission line voltage the arcing horns, when the breaker is closed normally have nothing except corona from the tips and arc marks, the instant the breaker begins to open an arc is established across the gap between the arc horns, when the gap is long enough the arc breaks. The plan is to keep the sliding contacts from getting arc metal removal so the contacts maintain low resistance, arcing horns are sacrificial. At switchgear voltage, there are arc chutes and usually puffers to extinguish the arc during breaker opening, the arc chutes may be of a sand-crystal cast material (like space shuttle heat tiles), asbestos layers, and electrical insulating board to protect the works during an explosive event when temperatures get hotter than the sun. There is specific NFPA training for arc flash exposure. Arcing horns are also commonly used to protect insulation from impulse and other overvoltages. The horn gap (distance between arcing horns) is set to ensure that flashover occurs across the gap rather than along the insulation surface thereby protecting the insulation surface and preventing arc termination and associated damage to the end terminals or line and

ground end hardware. They may also be used to connect a surge arrester to protect transformers and other equipment from overvoltage surges (gapped arrester). A gapped connection is one method of preventing line lockout in the event of arrester failure Corona rings are meant to distribute the electrical field and neither the hardware protected or the corona ring should have corona, the typical line voltage that corona rings are applied is 150KV and higher, altitude or high temperatures can reduce the voltage to 138KV lines. Properly designed corona rings do not have corona. Corona can appear to start and stop at essentially the same voltage, there are other variables. Corona produces light (from UV thru visible and into the infrared), sound (thru all wavelengths), ozone, and nitric acid (in the presence of moisture). Arcing arrestors were used long ago, some of the old-old transmission lines. They were opposing arcing fingers mounted in parallel with the insulators; the gap determined the flashover voltage. The intent was to protect insulators from lightening surges. I dont know if those old lines are energized anymore. You dont see arcing fingers on modern (post WWII war) transmission lines. To break an arc the voltage must be decreased below about 60% of the voltage an arc starts at, thus if a transmission line insulator arcing arrestor flashes over and maintains an arc the line is going to be shutdown. Thus arcing arrestors (without an arc extinguishing capability) decrease the reliability of a transmission line. Posted 7th March by Prabhakar M