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High Voltage Engineering

UnitUnit-IV

UNIT-IV
MEASUREMENT OF HIGH VOLTAGES
37. INTRODUCTION
In industrial testing and research laboratories, it is essential to measure the voltages
and currents accurately, ensuring perfect safety to the personnel and equipment. Hence a
person handling the equipment as well as the metering devices must be protected against
over-voltages and also against any induced voltages due to stray coupling. Therefore, the
location and layout of the devices are important. Secondly, linear extrapolation of the devices
beyond their ranges is not valid for high voltage meters and measuring instruments, and they
have to be calibrated for the full range.
Electromagnetic interference is a serious problem in impulse voltage and current
measurements, and it has to be avoided or minimized. Therefore, even though the principles
of measurements may be same, the devices and instruments for measurement of high voltages
and currents differ vastly from the low voltage and low current devices. Different devices
used for high voltage measurements may be classified as in Tables 7.1 and 7.2.
Table 7.1: High Voltage Measurement Techniques
Type of Voltage

Method or Technique
(i) Series Resistance Micro-ammeter

DC Voltages

(ii) Resistance Potential Divider


(iii)Generating Voltmeters
(iv) Sphere & spark gaps
(i) Series Impedance ammeters
(ii) Potential Dividers (R or C type)

AC Power Frequency

(iii)Potential Transformers
(Electromagnetic or CVT)
(iv) Electrostatic Voltmeters
(v) Sphere Gaps

A.C. High Frequency Voltages, Impulse


Voltages, and other rapidly changing
voltages

(i) Sphere gaps


(ii) potential dividers with a cathode ray
oscillo-graph (capacitive, or resistive
dividers)
(iii)Peak voltmeters

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Table 7.2: High Current Measurement Techniques
Type of Current

Method or Technique
(i) Resistive shunts with milli-ammeter

(a) Direct Currents

(ii) Hall effect generators


(iii) Magnetic Links

(b) Alternating currents (Power


Frequency)

(i) Resistive shunts


(ii) Electromagnetic current transformers
(i) Resistive shunts

(c) High frequency AC, impulse


and rapidly changing currents

(ii) Magnetic potentiometers or Rogoswki coils


(iii) Magnetic Links
(iv) Hall effect generators

REFERENCE:

HVE KAMARAJU NAIDU; 7.1; P-157-158

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38. ELECTROSTATIC VOLTMETER-PRINCIPLE, CONSTRUCTION AND


LIMITATION
Coulombs law defines the electrical field as a field of forces, and since electrical
fields may be produced by voltages, the measurement of voltages can be related to a force
measurement. In 1884 Lord Kelvin suggested a design for an electrostatic voltmeter based
upon this measuring principle. If the field is produced by the voltage V between a pair of
parallel plane disc electrodes, the force F on an area A of the electrode, for which the field
gradient E is the same across the area and perpendicular to the surface, can be calculated
from the derivative of the stored electrical energy Wel taken in the field direction (x). Since
each volume element Adx contains the same stored energy dWel = (E 2 Adx )/ 2 , the attracting
force F = dWel / dx becomes
F =

AE 2
2

A
2S

V2,

(3.7)

Where = permittivity of the insulating medium and S = gap length between the parallel
plane electrodes.
The attracting force is always positive independent of the polarity of the voltage. If
the voltage is not constant, the force is also time dependent. Then the mean value of the force
is used to measure the voltage, thus:

1
A 1
A
2
F (t )dt = 2 2 (t )dt = 2 (Vr .m.s. ) ,

T0
2S T 0
2S
T

(3.8)

where T is a proper integration time. Thus, electrostatic voltmeters are r.m.s.-indicating


instruments.
The design of most of the realized instruments is arranged such that one of the
electrodes or a part of it is allowed to move. By this movement, the electrical field will
slightly change which in general can be neglected. Besides differences in the construction of
the electrode arrangements, the various voltmeters differ in the use of different methods of
restoring forces required to balance the electrostatic attraction; these can be a suspension of
the moving electrode on one arm of a balance or its suspension on a spring or the use of a
pendulous or torsional suspension. The small movement is generally transmitted and
amplified by a spotlight and mirror system, but many other systems have also been used. If
the movement of the electrode is prevented or minimized and the field distribution can
exactly be calculated, the electrostatic measuring device can be used for absolute voltage

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measurements, since the calibration can be made in terms of the fundamental quantities of
length and forces.
The paramount advantage is the extremely low loading effect, as only electrical fields
have to be built up. The atmospheric air, high-pressure gas or even high vacuum between the
electrodes provide very high resistivity, and thus the active power losses are mainly due to
the resistance of insulating materials used elsewhere. The measurement of voltages lower
than about 50 V is, however, not possible, as the forces become too small.
The measuring principle displays no upper frequency limit. The load inductance and
the electrode system capacitance, however, form a series resonant circuit, thus limiting the
frequency range. For small voltmeters the upper frequency is generally in the order of some
MHz.
In spite of the inherent advantages of this kind of instrument, their application for
H.V. testing purposes is very limited nowadays. For D.C. voltage measurements, the
electrostatic voltmeters compete with resistor voltage dividers or measuring resistors, as the
very high input impedance is in general not necessary. For A.C. voltage measurements, the
r.m.s. value is either of minor importance for dielectric testing or capacitor voltage dividers
can be used together with low-voltage electronic r.m.s. instruments, which provide acceptable
low uncertainties. Thus the actual use of these instruments is restricted and the number of
manufacturers is therefore extremely limited.

REFERENCE:

High Voltage Engineering Fundamentals Kuffel, Zaengl, Kuffel; 3.2; P-94-96

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39. GENERATING VOLTMETER


PRINCIPLE & CONSTRUCTION
Similar to electrostatic voltmeters the generating voltmeter, also known as the rotary
voltmeter or field mill, provides a lossless measurement of D.C. and, depending upon the
construction, A.C. voltages by simple but mainly mechanical means.
The principle of operation is explained by Fig. 3.11. An adequately shaped, coronafree H.V. electrode excites the electrostatic field within a highly insulating medium (gas,
vacuum) and ground potential. The earthed electrodes are subdivided into a sensing or pickup electrode A, a guard electrode G and a movable
electrode M, all of which are at same potential.
Every field line ending at these electrodes binds free
charges, whose density is locally dependent upon
the field gradient E acting at every elementary
surface area. For measurement purposes, only the
elementary surface areas dA = a of the electrode A
are of interest. The local charge density is then, (a)
= E(a), with the permittivity of the dielectric.
If the electrode M is fixed and the voltage V

Figure 3.11 Principle of generating


voltmeters and field sensors

(or field-distribution E(a)) is changed, a current i(t)

would flow between electrode A and earth. This current results then from the time-dependent
charge density, (t,a), which is sketched as a one-dimensional distribution only. The amount
of charge can be integrated by

q(t ) = (t , a)da = E (t , a)da ,


A

Where A is the area of the sensing electrode exposed to the field. This time-varying charge is
used by all kinds of field sensors, which use pick-up electrodes (rods, plates, etc.) only. If the
voltage V is constant, again a current i(t) will flow but only if M is moved, thus steadily
altering the surface field strength from full to zero values within the covered areas. Thus the
current is
i (t ) =

dq d
=
dt dt

(a)da = dt E (a)da

A( t )

(3.23)

A( t )

The integral boundary denotes the time-varying exposed area A(t) and (a) as well as
E(a) are also time dependent if the voltage is not constant. The field lines between H.V. and
sensing electrode comprise a capacitive system. Thus the charge q can be computed by an

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electrostatic field computation or by calibration of the system. The integration across the
time-varying area A(t), however, provides a time-varying capacitance C(t), and also if the
voltage changes with time, q(t) = C(t)V(t) and
i (t ) =

d
[C (t )V (t )]
dt

(3.24)

Various kinds of generating voltmeters use these basic equations and the manifold designs
differ in the constructional means for providing C(t) and interpreting the current i(t).
Generating voltmeters are very linear instruments and applicable over a wide range of
voltages. The sensitivity may be changed by the area of the sensing electrodes (or iris) as well
as by the current instrument or amplification. Their early application for the output voltage
measurement of a Van-de-Graffs thus may well be understood. Excessive space charge
accumulation within the gap between H.V. electrode and generating voltmeter, however,
must be avoided. The presence of space charges will be observed if the voltage is switched
off.
Vibrating electrometers are also generating voltmeters, but will only be mentioned here as
they are not widely used. The principle can well be understood with reference to Fig. 3.11
neglecting the movable disc. If the sensing electrode would oscillate in the direction of the
H.V. electrode, again a current i(t) = dq/dt is excited with constant voltage V due to a
variation of the capacitance C =C(t). The sensing electrode may also pick up charges when
placed just behind a small aperture drilled in a metal plate. Commercial types of such an
instrument are able to measure D.C. voltages down to 10 V, or currents down to 10-17A, or
charges down to 10-15pC, and its terminal resistance is as high as 1016 .

REFERENCE:

HVE Fundamentals Kuffel, Zaengl, Kuffel; 3.4; P-108-110

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40. SERIES RESISTANCE MICRO AMMETER FOR HV DC


MEASUREMENTS
High D.C. voltages are usually measured by connecting a very high resistance (few
hundreds of mega-ohms) in series with a micro-ammeter as shown in Fig. 7. 1. Only the
current / flowing through the large calibrated resistance R is measured by the moving coil
micro-ammeter. The voltage of the source is given by V=IR.
The voltage drop in the meter is negligible, as the impedance of the meter is only few
ohms compared to few hundred mega-ohms of the series resistance R. A protective device
like a paper gap, a neon glow tube, or a zener diode with a suitable
series resistance is connected across the meter as a protection against
high voltages in case the series resistance R fails or flashes over. The
ohmic value of the series resistance R is chosen such that a current of
one to ten microamperes is allowed for full-scale deflection. The
resistance is constructed from a large number of wire wound resistors
in series. The voltage drop in each resistor element is chosen to avoid
surface flashovers and discharges.
A Value of less than 5kV/cm in air or less than 20kV/cm in
good oil is permissible. The resistor chain is provided with corona
free terminations. The material for resistive elements is usually a
carbon-alloy with temperature coefficient less than 10-4/0C. Carbon and other metallic film
resistors are also used. A resistance chain built with 1% carbon resistors located in airtight
transformer oil filled P.V.C. tube, for 100 kV operations had very good temperature stability.
The limitations in the series resistance design are:
(i)

Power dissipation and source loading, A

(ii)

Temperature effects and long time stability,

(iii)

Voltage dependence of resistive elements, and

(iv)

Sensitivity to mechanical stresses.

Series resistance meters are built for 500 kV D.C. with an accuracy better than 0.2%.

REFERENCE:

HVE KAMARAJU NAIDU; 7.1.1; P-158-159

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41. STANDARD SPHERE GAP MEASUREMENTS OF HV AC, HV DC,


AND IMPULSE VOLTAGES
A uniform field spark gap will always have a sparkover voltage within a known
tolerance under constant atmospheric conditions. Hence a spark gap can be used for
measurement of the peak value of the voltage, if the gap distance is known. A sparkover
voltage of 30 kV (peak) at 1 cm spacing in air at 200C and 760 torr pressure occurs for a
sphere gap or any uniform field gap. But experience has shown that these measurements are
reliable only for certain gap configurations. Normally, only sphere gaps are used for voltage
measurements. In certain cases uniform field gaps and rod gaps are also used, but their
accuracy is less. The spark gap breakdown, especially the sphere gap breakdown, is
independent of the voltage waveform and hence is highly suitable for all types of waveforms
from D.C. to impulse voltages of short rise times (rise time 0.5s). As such, sphere gaps
can be used for radio frequency A.C. voltage peak measurements also (up to 1 MHz).

Sphere Gap Measurements


Sphere gaps can be
arranged either (i) vertically
with lower sphere grounded,
or (ii) horizontally with both
spheres connected to

the

source voltage or one sphere


grounded.

In

horizontal

configurations, it is generally
arranged

such

that

both

spheres are symmetrically at


high voltage above the ground. The two spheres used are identical in size and shape. The
schematic arrangement is shown in Figs. 7.18a and 7.18b. The voltage to be measured is
applied between the two spheres and the distance or spacing S between them gives a measure
of the sparkover voltage. A series resistance is usually connected between the source and the
sphere gap to (i) limit the breakdown current, and (ii) to suppress unwanted oscillations in the
source voltage when breakdown occurs (in case of impulse voltages). The value of the series
resistance may vary from 100 to 1000 kilo ohms for A.C. or D.C. voltages and not more than
500 in the case of impulse voltages.

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In the case of A.C. peak value and D.C. voltage measurements, the applied voltage is
uniformly increased until sparkover occurs in the gap. Generally, a mean of about five
breakdown values is taken when they agree to within 3%.
In the case of impulse voltages, to obtain 50% flashover voltage, two voltage limits,
differing by not more than 2% are set such that on application of lower limit value either 2 or
4 flashovers take place and on
application of upper limit value
8 or 6 flashovers take place
respectively. The mean of these
two limits is taken as 50%
flashover voltage. In any case, a
preliminary sparkover voltage
measurement is to be made
before actual measurements are
made.

Sphere gaps are made


with two metal spheres of identical diameters D with their shanks, operating gear, and
insulator supports (Fig. 7.18a or b). Spheres are generally made of copper, brass, or
aluminum; the latter is used due to low cost The standard diameters for the spheres are
2,5,6.25,10,12.5,15,25,50,75,100,150, and 200 cm. The spacing is so designed and chosen
such that flashover occurs near the sparking point P. The spheres are carefully designed and
fabricated so that their surfaces are smooth and the curvature is uniform. The radius of
curvature measured with a spherometer at various points over an area enclosed by a circle of
0.3 D around the sparking point should not differ by more than 2% of the nominal value.
The surface of the sphere should be free from dust, grease, or any other coating. The surface
should be maintained clean but need not be polished. If excessive pitting occurs due to
repeated sparkovers, they should be smoothened. The dimensions of the shanks used, the
grading ring used (if necessary) with spheres, the ground clearances, etc. should follow the
values indicated in Figs. 7.18a and 7.18b and Table 7.5. The high voltage conductor should
be arranged such that it does not affect the field configuration. Series resistance connected
should be outside the shanks at a distance 2D away from the high voltage sphere or the
sparking point P.

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Irradiation of sphere gap is needed when measurements of voltages less than 50kV are
made with sphere gaps of 10 cm diameter or less. The irradiation may be obtained from a
quartz tube mercury vapour lamp of 40 W rating. The lamp should be at a distance B or more
as indicated in Table 7.5.

REFERENCE:

HVE KAMARAJU NAIDU; 7.1.1; P-176-180

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42. FACTORS AFFECTING THE MEASUREMENTS


Factors Influencing the Sparkover Voltage of Sphere Gaps:
Various factors that affect the sparkover voltage of a sphere gap are:

(i)

EFFECT OF NEARBY EARTHED OBJECTS:


The effect of nearby earthed objects was investigated by Kuffel (14) by enclosing the

earthed sphere inside an earthed cylinder. It was observed that the sparkover voltage is
reduced. The reduction was observed to be
V= m log (B/D) + C
where,

(7.21)

V = percentage reduction,
B = diameter of earthed enclosing cylinder,
D = diameter of the spheres,
And m and C are constants.
The reduction was less than 2% for S/D < 0.5 and BID time 0.8. Even for S/D 1.0

and B/D 1.0 the reduction was only 3%. Hence, if the specifications regarding the
clearances are closely observed the error is within the tolerances and accuracy specified. The
variation of breakdown voltage with AID ratio is given in Figs. 7.19a and b for a 50 cm
sphere gap. The reduction in voltage is within the accuracy limits, if S/D is kept less than
0.6.A in the above ratio A/D is the distance from sparking point to horizontal ground plane
(also shown in Fig. 7.19)

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(ii)

ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS AND HUMIDITY:


The sparkover voltage of a spark gap depends on the air density which varies with the

changes in both temperature and pressure. If the sparkover voltage is V under test conditions
of temperature T and pressure p torr and if the sparkover voltage is V0 under standard
conditions of temperature T = 200C and pressure p = 760 torr, then
V = kVo
where k is a function of the air density factor d, given by:
d=

(iii)

p 293

760 273 + T

(7.22)

IRRADIATION:

Illumination of sphere gaps with ultra-violet or x-rays aids easy ionization in gaps. The effect
of irradiation is pronounced for small gap spacings. A reduction of about 20% in sparkover
voltage was observed for spacings of 0.1D to 0.3D for a 1.3 cm sphere gap with D.C.
voltages. The reduction in sparkover voltage is less than 5% for gap spacings more than 1 cm,
and for gap spacings of 2 cm or more it is about 1.5%. Hence, irradiation is necessary for
smaller sphere gaps of gap spacing less than 1 cm for obtaining consistent values.

(iv)

POLARITY AND RISE TIME OF VOLTAGE WAVEFORMS:


It has been observed that the sparkover voltages for positive and negative polarity

impulses are different. Experimental investigation showed that for sphere gaps of 6.25 to 25
cm diameter, the difference between positive and negative D.C. voltages is not more than 1%.
For smaller sphere gaps (2 cm diameter and less) the difference was about 8% between
negative and positive impulses of 1/50 s waveform. Similarly, the wave front and wave tail
durations also influence the breakdown voltage. For wave fronts of less than 0.5 s and wave
tails less than 5 s the breakdown voltages are not consistent and hence the use of sphere gap
is not recommended for voltage measurement in such cases.

REFERENCE:

HVE KAMARAJU NAIDU; 7.1.1; P-181-183

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43. POTENTIAL DIVIDERS: RESISTANCE DIVIDERS, CAPACITANCE


DIVIDERS & MIXED RC POTENTIAL DIVIDERS
In a resistance potential
divider,

R1

and

R2

are

considered as resistors of small


dimensions

in

the

previous

section. For voltages above 100


kV, R1 is no longer small in
dimension and is usually made
of a number of sections. Hence
the divider is no longer a small
resistor of lumped parameters, but has to be considered as an equivalent distributed network
with its terminal to ground capacitances and inter-sectional series capacitances as shown in
Fig. 7.26. The total series resistance R1 is made of n resistors of value R1 and R = nR1'. Cg is
the terminal to ground capacitance of each of the resistor elements R1, and CS is the
capacitance between the terminals of each section. The inductance of each element (L1) is
not shown in the figure as it is usually
small compared to the other elements
(i.e. R1, CS and Cg). This type of
divider produces a non-linear voltage
distribution along its length and also
acts like an R-C filter for applied
voltages. The output of such a divider
for various values of Cg/Cs ratio is
shown in Fig. 7.27 for a step input. By
arranging guard rings at various elemental points, the equivalent circuit can be modified,
where Ch represents the stray capacitance introduced between the high voltage lead and the
guard elements. This reduces the distortion introduced by the original divider.

CAPACITANCE VOLTAGE DIVIDERS: Capacitance voltage dividers are ideal for


measurement of fast rising voltages and pulses. The capacitance ratio is independent of the
frequency, if their leakage resistance is high enough to be neglected. But usually the dividers
are connected to the source voltage through long leads which introduce lead inductances and

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residual resistances. Also, the capacitance used for very high voltage work is not small in
dimension and hence cannot be considered as a lumped element. Therefore, the output of the
divider for high frequencies and impulses is distorted as in the case of resistance dividers.

MIXED RC POTENTIAL DIVIDERS: Passive circuits are nowadays rarely used in the
measurement of peak values of high A.C. or impulse voltages. The rapid development of very
cheap integrated operational amplifiers and circuits during the last decades has offered many
possibilities to sample and hold such voltages and thus displace passive circuits.
Nevertheless, a short treatment of basic passive crest voltmeters will be included because the
fundamental problems of such circuits can be shown. The availability of excellent
semiconductor diodes has eliminated the earlier difficulties encountered in the application of
the circuits to a large extent. Simple, passive circuits can be built cheaply and they are
reliable. And, last but not least, they are not sensitive to electromagnetic impact, i.e. their
electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is excellent. In contrast, sophisticated electronic
instruments are more expensive and may suffer from EMC problems. Passive as well as
active electronic circuits and instruments as used for peak voltage measurements are unable
to process high voltages directly and they are always used in conjunction with voltage
dividers which are preferably of the capacitive type.
A.C. VOLTAGES:

A capacitor divider reduces the high voltage V to a low magnitude. If R2 and Rd are neglected
and the voltage V increases, the storage capacitor Cs is charged to the crest value of V2
neglecting the voltage drop across the diode. Thus the D.C. voltage Vm +V2max could be
measured by a suitable instrument of very high input resistance. The capacitor Cs will not
significantly discharge during a period, if the reverse current through the diode is very small
and the discharge time constant of the storage capacitor very large. If V2 is now decreased, C2
will hold the charge and the voltage across it and thus Vm no longer follows the crest value of

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V2. Hence, a discharge resistor Rd must be introduced into the circuit. The general rules for
the measuring technique require that a measured quantity be indicated within a few seconds.
Thus the time constant RdCs should be within about 0.5 1 sec. Three new errors, however,
are now introduced: an experiment would readily show that the output voltage Vm decreases
steadily if a constant high voltage V is switched to the circuit. This effect is caused by a
continuous discharge of Cs as well as of C2. Thus the mean potential of V2(t) will gain a
negative D.C. component, which finally equals to about +V2max. Hence a leakage resistor R2
must be inserted in parallel with C2 to equalize these unipolar discharge currents. The second
error refers to the voltage shape across the storage capacitor. Almost independent of the type
of instrument used (i.e. mean or r.m.s. value measurement), is due to the ripple and recorded
as the difference between peak and mean value of Vm. The error is approximately
proportional to the ripple factor (see eqn (2.2)) and thus frequency dependent as the discharge
time constant is a fixed value. For RdCs = 1 sec, this discharge error amounts to ~1 per cent
for 50 Hz, ~0.33 per cent for 150 Hz and ~0.17 per cent for 300 Hz. The third source of
systematic error is related to this discharge error: during the conduction time of the diode the
storage capacitor is recharged to the crest value and thus Cs is in parallel to C2. If the
discharge error is ed, this recharge error er is approximately given by:

e r 2e d

Cs
C1 + C 2 + C s

IMPULSE VOLTAGES:
The measurement of peak values of impulse voltages with short times to crest (lightning
impulses) with passive elements only was impossible up to about 1950. Then the availability
of vacuum diodes with relatively low internal resistance and of vacuum tubes to build active
D.C. amplifiers offered the opportunity to design circuits for peak impulse voltage
measurement but of relatively low accuracy. Now, active highly integrated electronic devices
can solve all problems involved with passive circuits. The problems, however, shall shortly
be indicated by the following explanations. Impulse voltages are single events and the crest
value of an impulse is theoretically available only during an infinitely short time. The actual
crest value may less stringently be defined as a crest region in which the voltage amplitude is
higher than 99.5 per cent. For a standard 1.2/50 sec wave the available time is then about
1.1 sec. Consider now the simple crest voltmeter circuit of Fig. 3.14 discussed earlier,
omitting the discharge resistor Rd as well as R2. The diode D will then conduct for a positive
voltage impulse applied to the voltage divider, and the storage capacitor must be charged
during the rising front only. But instantaneous charging is only possible if the diode has no

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forward (dynamic) resistance. The actual forward resistance RD gives rise to a changing time
constant RdCs and it is known that a response time, which is equal to the time constant RdCs
for such an RC circuit, of about 0.2 sec would be necessary to record the crest value with
adequate accuracy. For a low Cs value of 1000pF the required RD = 200. As also the diodes
junction capacitance must be very small in comparison to Cs, diodes with adequate values
must be properly selected. The more difficult problem, however, is the time required to read
the voltage across Cs. The voltage should not decrease significantly, i.e. 1 per cent for at least
about 10 sec. Hence
the

discharge

time

constant of Cs must
be longer than 103
sec,

and

interaction

thus

the

between

the diodes reverse


resistance

and

the

input resistance of the instrument necessary to measure the voltage across Cs should provide a
resultant leakage resistance of 1012. A measurement of this voltage with electrostatic or
electronic electrometers is essential, but the condition for the diodes reverse resistance can
hardly be met. To avoid this problem, a charge exchange circuit shown in Fig. 3.15 was
proposed.

REFERENCE:
REFERENCE:

HVE KAMARAJU NAIDU; P-189-191

HVE KAMARAJU NAIDU; P-191

HVE Fundamentals Kuffel, Zaengl, Kuffel; 3.4; P-116-113

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44. SURGE CURRENT MEASUREMENT


In power system the amplitude of currents may vary between a few amperes to a few
hundred kilo-amperes and the rate of rise of currents can be as high as 1010A/sec and the rise
time can vary between a few microseconds to a few macro seconds. Therefore, the device to
be used for measuring such currents should be capable of having a good frequency response
over a very wide frequency band. The methods normally employed are(i) resistive shunts;
(ii) elements using induction effects; (iii) Faraday and Hall Effect devices. With these
methods the accuracy of measurement varies
between 1 to 10%. Fig. 4.27 shows the
circuit diagram of the most commonly used
method

for

high

impulse

current

measurement. The voltage across the shunt


resistance R due to impulse current i(t) is fed
to the oscilloscope through a delay cable D.
The delay cable is terminated through an impedance Z equal to the surge impedance of the
cable to avoid reflection of the voltage to be measured and thus true measurement of the
voltage is obtained.
Since the dimension of the resistive element is large, it will have residual inductance
L and stray capacitance C. The inductance could be neglected at low frequencies but at higher
frequencies the inductive reactance would be comparable with the resistance of the shunt.
The effect of inductance and capacitance above 1 MHz usually should be considered. The
resistance values range between 10 micro ohm to a few milliohms and the voltage drop is of
the order of few volts. The resistive shunt used for measurements of impulse currents of large
duration is achieved only at considerable expense for thermal reasons. The resistive shunts
for impulse current of short duration can be built with rise time of a few nanoseconds of
magnitude. The resistance element can be made of parallel carbon film resistors or low
inductance wire resistors of parallel resistance wires or resistance foils.
REFERENCE:

HVE C L WADHWA; 4.9; P-141

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PROBLEMS

Q. 1

What are the requirements of a sphere gap for measurement of high voltages? Discuss
the disadvantages of sphere gap for measurements.

Q. 2

Explain clearly the procedure for measurement of (i) impulse; (ii) A.C. high voltages
using sphere gap.

Q. 3

Discuss the effect of (i) nearby earthed objects (ii) humidity and (iii) dust particles on
the measurements using sphere gaps.

Q. 4

Describe the construction of a uniform field spark gap and discuss its advantages and
disadvantages for high voltage measurements.

Q. 5

Explain with neat diagram how rod gaps can be used for measurement of high
voltages. Compare its performance with a sphere gap.

Q. 6

Explain with neat diagram the principle of operation of an Electrostatic Voltmeter.


Discuss its advantages and limitations for high voltage measurements.

Q. 7

Draw a neat schematic diagram of a generating voltmeter and explain its principle of
operation. Discuss its application and limitations.

Q. 8

Discuss the problems associated with peak voltmeter circuits using passive elements.
Draw circuit developed by Rabus and explain how this circuit overcomes these
problems.

Q. 9

What are the problems associated with measurement of very high impulse voltages?
Explain how these can be taken care of during measurements.

Q. 10 Discuss and compare the performance of (i) resistance (ii) capacitance potential
dividers for measurement of impulse voltages.
Q. 11 Discuss various resistance potential dividers and compare their performance of
measurement of impulse voltages.
Q. 12 Discuss various capacitance, potential dividers and compare their performance for
measurement of impulse voltages.
Q. 13 Draw a simplified equivalent circuit of a resistance potential divider and discuss its
step response.
Q. 14 Discuss various methods of measuring high D.C. and A.C. currents.
Q. 15 Discuss various methods of measuring high impulse currents.

Deependra Singh

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