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2015 Electrical Insulation Conference (EIC), Seattle, Washington, USA, 7 -10 June 2015

How Critical Are IEC 60034-27-3 Maximum Values

for Dielectric Dissipation Factor and Tip-up to
Determine the Reliability of Motor Stator Insulation?

Ramtin Omranipour and Saeed Vi Haq

Large Motors & Gemators
GE Power Conversion
107 Park St. N Peterborough, ON, Canada

Abstract- the authors believe that the dissipation factor and manufacturing processing of stator coils, bars, and windings.
tip-up values specified in the Technical Specification IEC 60034- However, analyses of DF and tip-up values versus endurance
27-3 are not realistic and only applicable to certain types of life for various insulation systems found no correlation. The
stator winding insulation systems. To determine how critical absence of such a correlation has wide perception in the
these dissipation factor and tip-up values are, test results of industry that DF and tip-up measurements on their own have
sample stator coils and bars having been exposed to long-term
little value as a quality control tool and should not be
aging tests in accordance with IEEE Std. 1553 were studied. The
considered as a sole method for evaluation of insulation
samples were from various types of insulation systems having
systems [1].
service proven life. Using Weibull statistics, characteristic life
was determined at different stress levels. After determining the A new International Electrotechnical Commission (lEC)
life for various insulation systems, an attempt was made to Technical Specification (TS) 60034-27-3 [2] is being
establish a correlation with the respective dissipation factor & developed to define the guidelines for DF measurements on
tip-up values. The results clearly revealed that an insulation form-wound stator bars or coils as well as for complete
system with higher dissipation factor & tip-up values than the windings. This document replaces lEC 60894 (1987) [3]. Once
specified requirements of IEC 60034-27-3 can still be considered
approved, the TS 60034-27-3 will be released as a standard,
a reliable system in service. The absolute level of dissipation
which will significantly influence the development of
factor and tip-up are functions of the system being tested, and
applicable European and North American specifications.
variation among systems can be completely uncorrelated with the
long-term performance. It is therefore recommended that the The introductory part of the TS covers the purpose of DF,
best approach is to establish a database for benchmarking and to which is a measure of the dielectric losses in the stator winding
determine a normal production range. It is reasonable for an insulation. Measurement of dielectric dissipation factor is
end-user to request that a new machine's stator coils or winding considered one of the diagnostic tools to assess the quality of
fall within the respective historical dissipation factor & tip-up new and also aged stator winding insulation of rotating electric
distribution for that particular insulation system.
machines [4-5]. This method is considered useful for
manufacturers to establish a statistical distribution based on
Keywords-Dissipation factor; tip-up; partial discharge;
factory test data and to ensure the uniform quality of
endurance life; reliability; service life.
manufacturing and the dielectric behaviour of the insulation as
a whole. Measurement of dielectric dissipation factor is also
I. INTRODUCTION considered for aged stator windings, which may provide
Stator winding insulation systems of medium voltage information about insulation condition.
rotating machines are complex due to the use of various It is necessary to note that the DF measurements give no
dielectric material combinations. With a general trend to indication of the distribution of loss within the insulation, and,
achieve higher electrical stress and to develop a more in contrast to the off-line partial discharge (PD) measurements,
optimized machine design, understanding long-term reliability it does not permit localization of weak points in the insulation
of rotating machines has become increasingly important. In this system [2]. It is recommended in [2] and [3] to measure the DF
regard, it has been demonstrated that the dissipation factor over a wide range of voltages to derive different characteristic
(DF) and tip-up cannot be interpreted clearly in terms of dielectric loss parameters along with tip-up as the basis for the
service performance and that standards based on these tests evaluation.
may not avoid some important risks [1].
The proposed characteristic values for DF and tip-up in [2]
Many end-users and their technical advisors are appear to be quite stringent and do not seem to be realistic for
accustomed to review DF and tip-up measurements from certain types of insulation systems. To determine how critical
OEMs. Indeed these are useful measures of proper these DF and tip-up values are, the values for selected stator

978-1-4799-7354-5/15/$31.00 ©2015 IEEE 364

coils having different insulation systems were analyzed and an the DF values obtained at 0.6 of phase-to-phase voltage (UN)
attempt was made to correlate them to long-term performance and about 0.2UN. In some cases, the phase-to-phase (rated)
of the coils that were aged in accordance with IEEE Std. 1553 voltage may be used as the upper limit potential, with several
[6]. The results indicated that an insulation system with higher differences taken from standard intervals along the entire curve
DF and tip-up can still be considered a reliable system in [2-3].
service. It is vital to note that the objective of this study is to
The initial DF value, obtained at the lowest voltage, is
recommend a better approach, being the establishment of a
characteristic of the combination of materials used in the
database for benchmarking and the determination of a normal
insulation system construction and processing used to cure it.
production range. It is reasonable for an end-user to request
As the applied voltage is increased, voids and discontinuities in
that the DF and tip-up values for a new machine's stator coils
the insulation become more active, and the DF increases,
or winding fall within this historical distribution, rather than
resulting in a non-zero tip-up value. For this reason, calculated
relying on the limits specified in [2].
tip-up values can be considered complementary to PD tests [5].

II. TS 60034-27-3 CHARACTERISTIC VALUES FOR Much of the theory of DF as a measure of insulation loss
DrssIPA TION FACTOR AND T IP -UP comes from tests on individual bars or coils. The technique is
also used for evaluation of cable insulation on installed
It is useful to define the difference between the dissipation machines [7]. There are some key differences between the set
factor (DF), power factor (PF) and tangent (tan) delta. The up and interpretation of data from individual coils or bars and
terms PF and DF may be used interchangeably for very low from complete stator windings that are not the point of this
values « 0.1), because the values are almost the same [5]. For discussion. The initial test voltage is usually 20% of UN (rated
the purposes of this paper, the expression DF is used. voltage) and is gradually increased in steps, obtainingg a
The mass of insulation between the coil conductor and measurement at each voltage. Steps are chosen to provide a
ground deviates to some extent from an "ideal" insulator. The sufficient number of data points to make a smooth plot but few
insulating materials may be represented as either a series or a enough to be practical about the time required for testing. The
parallel circuit, where the resistance R is the component of operating line-to-ground (Uo) voltage is usually the last voltage
dielectric loss, and C is the lossless (ideal) capacitance of the at which the measurement is obtained, but it may be increased
winding insulation. The parallel circuit case illustrated in Fig. 1 to UN for additional information. Fig. 2 shows a schematic plot
is more meaningful to the voltage application in the following of DF vs. voltage, with the tip-up indicated.

ƚĂŶδϬ͕ϰ ƚĂŶδϬ͕ϲ

Fig 2. Plot of DF (tan &) vs. voltage, showing tip-up (� tan &) [5].
Fig. I. Parallel circuit and vector diagrams used to model dissipation factor
The maximum dielectric dissipation factor values of new
single bars and coils having a rated voltage up to U N 21 kV =

The loss vector diagram can be represented by a plot measured at room temperature specified in [2] are given in
showing the current across the capacitor leading the voltage by Table I.
an angle e < 90°. The angle between e and 90° is the dielectric According to [2], the values specified in Table I are valid for
loss angle 8. Tangent (tan) 8 equals the ratio of the resistive press-cured resin rich and global VPI test objects (coils and
component of the current to the current across the capacitor, so bars).
higher tan 8 means that the insulation is more "lossy." Tan 8 is
also known as the DF. PF is actually a measure of real power
(W) divided by apparent power (volt-amps, or VA), but since VOLTAGEUN=21 KV
for a decent dielectric these values are usually very low, either
Characteristic Values Measured at Room Temperature
term can be used to describe the insulation system losses.
I initial value of DF at 0.2U N 2.0%
A plot of DF characteristically increases over the range of
applied voltage. The tip-up, or � tan 8, is the increase 2 tip-up per 0.2UN increment up to UN 0.5%
calculated as the difference in DF between two selected test 3 tip-up between DF at 0.6U N and DF at 0.2U N 0.5%
voltages. Machine manufacturers often calculate tip-up from


A. Test Samples & Aging Test

Samples for this study were selected from several insulation
systems having a service proven life, i.e. no report of a
systemic failure during field service. The samples were form­
wound multi-turn stator coils and bars manufactured using
vacuum pressure impregnation (VPI) or press-cured (hard
coil) technology at various manufacturing plants. They had
gone through DF testing followed by voltage endurance
testing. The measured DF and tip-up values were within the
normal distribution established for the respective insulation
Fig 4. Sample stator bar used for dissipation factor and aging tests.
system. All samples were furnished with a layer of semi­
conducting tape or paint with specific resistivity applied to
their straight section. They were also furnished with an B. Guarding Technique for DF Measurements
appropriate grading system. Dummy slot platens, to simulate To perform DF measurements, guard electrodes were
the stator core slot section, were attached to the straight applied on top of the stress control coating as specified in [2].
section of each leg of the test coils. For the VPI sample coils, The beginning of the guard ring electrodes were positioned as
the platens were attached prior to the VPI process. near as possible to the end of the overlapped part of grading
and the conductive slot coating. Several attempts were made
Table II lists the voltage rating, number of coils and to optimize the guard ring location to ensure that this
insulation technology for each group of samples. Selected configuration reduced the loss contribution from the grading
samples from each group, in most cases all of them, were also system during the DF measurements. This simplified guarding
subjected to other diagnostic tests such as polarization index method is also considered useful in routine production testing
(PI) and partial discharge (PD) before conducting the aging when each test object needs to be measured individually. The
tests to ensure adequate processing and resin cure. application of guard ring electrodes is illustrated in Fig. 5.

Group Rating
No. of
System �........ �m�
Slot co ductive
B 13.8 Glass-mica 2 Hybrid VPI Overlap
CI 13.8 Glass-mica 5 Press-cured
C2 13.8 Glass-mica 5 Press-cured Fig 5. Application of guard ring on top of stress control system.
D 13.8 PET-mica 2 Press-cured
E 10.0 Glass-mica 2 Press-cured
G 13.8 Glass-mica 6 VPI
H 15.0 Glass-mica 206 Press-cured A. Experience with Test Samplesfrom Groups A-G
The selected coil groups were considerably different in size An attempt at seeking a correlation between DF and tip-up
and shape. Groups Al & A2 coils were from a large high with the endurance life on Groups A-G is reported in this
speed motor design with the straight section shortened for ease section. DF and tip-up results along with their aging
of handling and VPI process. Groups C, E, F, & G coils were performance for each group are summarized in Table III.
relatively small coils; whereas, Group B & D coils were large
Group Al & A2 coils, having the same insulation system
chosen from a high speed motor design. Group H samples
but manufactured at two different facilities, did not meet either
were bars from several large turbo-generator designs. Figs. 3
DF or tip-up requirements specified in [2] but showed
& 4 illustrate one of the coils from Group C and bars tested in
excellent characteristic VE life that was well beyond the IEEE
Group G, respectively.
Std. 1553 requirement [6].
Group B coils were manufactured using a hybrid insulation
system where the slot sections were press-cured at elevated
temperature and the end arms required VPI. All coils passed
the DF and tip-up requirements; however, the VE life was
much lower than Group Al & A2 coils. These coils did pass
the requirement of [6].
Group CI & C2 coils have the same press-cured (non-VPI)
Fig 3. Sample coil with slot section plates, in Faraday cage. insulation system. The heat pressing of the coils slot section

was performed with different manufacturing equipment. The
slot section pressing of Group C2 coils was performed at a 14.0 ,/
higher pressure and to a well optimized temperature profile 12.0 ,/
compared to Cl. The main purpose was to fully cure and press 5" ,/
coils to achieve excellent DF and tip-up values. Despite 2:-
excellent DF & tip-up compared to CI , the coils were unable :5 8.0 ,/

to meet the minimum requirement specified in [6]. On the >

.., 6.0 ,/
contrary, Group CI coils with higher tip-up met the �

E 4.0
requirement. (; l.

Group D coils having a press-cured PET-mica insulation

2.0 ,/
J----j -
1 - -
system did not pass the DF requirement as specified in [2] but Al A2 B (2 o G
showed excellent characteristic life that was well beyond
IEEE Std. 1553 requirement [6].
Fig. 6. Normalized endurance life.


TS 60034-27-3 DF & TU
In this group, the experimental results of DF and tip-up for
Group Values Aging Test 206 autoclave processed bars are plotted against endurance life,
'DF at 0.2UN =2%, VE: IEEE 1 553, Schedule B Figs. 7 & 8. To determine a correlation for DF and tip-up with
life, regression analysis was used as a statistical tool. This tool
Al Pass DF, TU> 0.5% Excellent VE life
helps estimate the relationships among variables. Once a
A1 DF> 2%, TU> 0.5% Excellent VE life
Pass Schedule B test, with regression model has been constructed, the goodness of fit of
B Pass DF, Pass TU lower charac. VE Life the model and the statistical significance of the estimated
compared to Group AI & A1 parameters is confirmed. Commonly used checks of goodness
CI Pass Schedule B of fit include the R-squared value. One will see that R-squared
Pass DF, TU> 0.5%
VE test suspended
C2 Same system as CI.
values shown in the figures are very low indicating that there
Pass DF, Pass TU Did not meet Schedule B is no relationship between DF and endurance life and between
D DF> 2%, Pass TU Excellent VE life tip-up and endurance life. A similar attempt was made in [I ]
E Pass DF, Pass TU Same as systems CI & C2 with to correlate voltage endurance time-to-failure with DF and tip­
lower voltage rating.
up. The authors concluded that there was no strong correlation
Pass Schedule B test. VE test
suspended between the two.
F Pass DF, TU> 0.5% Different system compared to
Al & A1 • R-square = 0.1%, R-square (adj) = 0.0%
Pass Schedule B test, with •
lower charac. life when •
compared to Group AI & A1
G Pass DF, Pass TU Excellent VE life •
I •
. . � ..... . . .

.:1 ·, . I. .·... .
1. mlLlal value of OF at O.2UN- 2.010

'.\! . it.
2. tip-up per O.2UN increment up to UN= 0.5%
3. tip-up between OF at O.6UN and DF at O.2UN= 0.5%
r ........
· .· · ..
• •
Group E coils had an insulation system the same as Group
:I�.'.It,,: -:. "
•• I. .I . ·• \

41.1 �',
. ' . .I· .
Cl & C2 with a lower voltage rating of 10.0 kV. These coils •1 •

.•• .
passed the requirements of [6].
e. : . . .

Group F coils were relatively small coils having a different • •
PET-mica VPI system than Group Al & A2 coils. These coils • •
marginally passed the DF, but they did not meet the tip-up •
requirements specified in [2]. The coils met the IEEE 1553
requirement with much lower characteristic VE life when
compared to Group Al & A2.
Coils in Group G were manufactured with a different VPI
Fig 7. Regression analysis plot for DF versus life.
insulation system than the preceding coils and they passed the
requirements of [2] and [6]. The results of VE testing of
groups for which characteristic life was established are
comparatively illustrated in Fig. 6.

1. Based on this study, defining specific values for DF and
tip-up values does not have any justification as the
absolute values depend on the characteristics of the
insulation system.
2. The study of the DF and tip-up values of insulation
systems having service proven life and the correlation
study between DF, tip-up, and aging tests clearly revealed
that the service performance of the insulation systems
cannot be guaranteed by giving specific values of DF and
3. The performance of insulation systems should not be
arbitrated only by a single DF and tip-up value; instead, it
is recommended that the best approach be to establish a
database for benchmarking and to determine a normal
production range for specific insulation systems.
4. It is reasonable to say that having specific values for DF
Fig 8. Regression analysis plot for tip-up versus Iife.
and tip-up could be considered counterproductive, as it can
simply become the imposition of a particular insulation
system, which is equivalent to outlawing competition.

The study of DF and tip-up for various insulation systems ACKNOWLEDGMENT

having service proven life indicated that it is difficult, if not The authors would like to thank all GE coil manufacturing
impossible, to establish a favorable correlation between either teams around the world who manufactured the sample coils.
the DF or the tip-up and the long-term performance of the Thanks also to the GE Peterborough and Schenectady
insulation system. It is reasonable to say that detailed review Engineering Laboratory teams for completion of dielectric tests
of DF and tip-up values showed a statistical variation and on the samples.
determined no correlation with the time-to-failure. This has
been proven in Figs. 7-8 where a large sample size was used REFERENCES
for analysis. [I] D.R. Johnston and N. V. Gjaja, "Hazard of interpretation of dissipation­
factor tip-up detenninations", IEEE Trans. Electr. Insulation, Vol. EI-13,
If the DF and tip-up were predictive of service life No. IFebruary 1978.
performance, an insulation system with high VE life should [2 ] IEC 60034 Part 27-3 "Dielectric dissipation factor measurement on
present lower DF and tip-up which was not the case for the stator winding insulation of rotating electrical machines", Unpublished
insulation systems studied in this paper. This conclusion is (Draft in process).
also supported by [8] and [9] referred in [1]. [3] IEC/TR 60894 Ed. 1.0 "Guide for test procedure for the measurement of
loss tangent of coils and bars for machine windings".
The authors' have no reservation in stating that the [4] M. K. W. Stranges, S. U. Haq and A. O. Vouk, "Choosing diagnostic
measurement of DF and tip-up can be used as one of the tests to monitor stator insulation in critical motors", IEEE-PCrC, Sep.
available diagnostic tools to assess stator winding insulation 2012.

systems. DF and tip-up determinations can have their uses in [5] IEEE Std. 286-2000 "Recommended Practice for Measurement of
Power Factor Tip-Up of Electric Machinery Stator Coil Insulation".
identifying unusual sample(s) during a normal production run
[ 6] IEEE Std. 1553-2002 (Reaffinned 2007) "IEEE Standard for Voltage
if the values fall outside of the historical distribution as Endurance Testing of Fonn-Wound Coils and Bars for
established for that particular insulation system. In addition, Hydrogenerators".
the DF and tip-up can be used to establish a trend as part of [7] D. Eaton, D.W. Schiro, C.S. Perilloux, T.W. Goodwin, c., "Advanced
the functional evaluation of insulation systems throughout the cable diagnostics - evaluation, selection, application and experience on
medium voltage shielded power cables at a petrochemical facility",
life of the stator winding.
Proceedings of the IEEE Industry Applications Society 58th Annual
pcrc, Toronto, ON, Canada 19-21 Sept. 2011, pp. 1-10.
VI. CONCLUSIONS [8 ] K. W. Edwin, "The importance of the acceptance test on generator high
voltage windings", ETZ, Vol. 84, No. 17, 549-560, 1963.

Analysis of DF and tip-up data on various types of [9] K. W. Edwin and W. Zwicknagl, "New development trends in the
supervision of operation of high voltage generator windings", Bull.
coilslbars and insulation systems led to the following Scientifique de I' AIM, No. 5, 31-43, 1966.