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Wavelet transform coherence for magnitude and

phase spectrum prediction from high frequency

transient signals
Partial discharge in transformers

Jeyabalan Velandy Jayalakshmi Surendran

Hitesh Suryavanshi Global R & D centre, IGATE Global Solutions
Electronics and telecommunication Crompton Greaves limited, Igate Knowledge Park
Shri Guru Gobind Singhji Institute of Kanjur Marg (E), Mumbai, India. Navi Mumbai, India.
Engg & Tech,
Nanded, India

Abstract—Identification of partial discharge (PD) is an components like tank, core etc., [4, 5]. Identification of these
important diagnostic tool for reliable decision of transformer insulation failures is easier for testing engineer. In general, one
during impulse test. Since, transformer is not accessible directly of the insulation failures in transformer are due to the gradual
to investigate the pass or fail criteria of the transformer due to deterioration of insulation, which are mainly due to partial
PD or any other major faults. Only the measured high frequency discharge (PD). Hence, PD failure identification during the
nature of current signals (winding responses) due to different impulse test is one of the challenging tasks for testing
impulse test sequences can help to decide the fault through any engineers. A reliable method to identify PD source in
synchronization principles of whether two time domain or transformer would generally contribute to a better diagnostic
frequency domain responses are statistically independent or not.
tool for insulation failure. In this paper, wavelet transform
Extracting such actual information becomes difficult if the
transformer is nonlinear and non stationary. Hence, to study the
coherence analysis is performed through interval dependent
features of the measured non stationary nature of current signals denoising method. The signatures (magnitude and phase) of
due to PD, wavelet transform coherence analysis is performed. the measured high frequency nature of transient signals are
The spectrum of magnitude and phase are extracted from the extracted through wavelet transform coherence analysis.
measured current signals to identify the PD for showing the
efficacy. To prove the feasibility of the analysis, 22 kV interleaved II. PARTIAL DISCHARGE IN TRANSFORMERS
winding is utilized.
When the transformer insulations are highly stressed, the
Keywords—Transformer, Impulse testing, Partial discharge, voids present within the solid or liquid or gaseous insulation
Transient signals, Signal processing analysis, spectrum analysis. generate PD [5, 6]. PDs are small electrical sparks (discharge)
between two conducting materials resulting from the localized
I. INTRODUCTION dielectric breakdown of a small portion (void) in the
insulation. Once initiated, PD causes progressive deterioration
During manufacturing of transformers, great care has to be of insulating materials ultimately leading to electrical
exercised to guarantee that the transformer is not damaged due breakdown completely [6]. PD can occur in any electrical
to the transient over voltages at continuous operating voltage. equipment due to high electrical stress and it may occur
For a successful operation of transformer, the winding anywhere within the transformer winding where the insulation
insulation has to withstand the high electric stress during becomes weak.
operation at site without any major damage for expected life
When PD is initiated in a transformer, high frequency
time [1-4]. Hence, to assess the ability of the transformer
insulation for withstanding the lightning over voltage, transient pulses appear at a particular portion within the
winding insulation and persist for wide range of pulse
lightning impulse test is performed at High voltage test
durations (few ns-5µs). The main causes of PD in power
laboratory by using Marx’s generator. Impulse testing of
transformers after assembly is one of the accepted tests at transformers are overvoltage, over heating, chemical or
factory for assessment of their winding insulation strength to mechanical deterioration of the materials, particles in the oil,
static electrification, defect in the insulation, a loose
surge over-voltages. During impulse testing of transformer,
the winding insulation failure is the predominant part of faults connection and floating objects arcing under the oil etc. [4, 6-
and poses the highest risk for all types of transformer failures. 8]. Hence, PDs are considered to be harmful in insulation
Insulation failures result is two kinds of winding faults in a systems and it can be prevented through careful design, proper
transformer namely series fault (between the turns or sections) selection of materials and material process [9]. The PD signal
and shunt faults (between the winding) and earthed detection is one of the main challenges for power utilities and
equipment manufacturers during impulse test.
III. MEASUREMENT OF HIGH FREQUENCY NONSTATIONARY B. Noise removal from high frequency transient signals
TRANSIENT SIGNALS DURING IMPULSE TEST Generally, events such as PD or minor structural
deformations affect the winding response at high frequency
A. Assimilation of high frequency transient signals region [9]. A number of sophisticated methods have been
To analyze the efficacy of the proposed analysis, developed for PD measurement and data processing methods.
experimental studies are performed on 22kV transformer The often encountered difficulty in PD measurement is to
windings (interleaved winding) by creating a live discharge discriminate PD signals from various noises. The fundamental
across each winding section from section 1 to section 8 issues with various electrical methods are lesser Signal-to-
(tapping). A 120kV, 250kJ impulse voltage generator (MWB- Noise Ratio (SNR) at higher frequencies. Therefore,
make) is used for generating the standard lightning impulse sophisticated digital filtering method is required to fit the
voltage (LI). Figure 1 shows the experimental test setup for purpose of detecting PD signals correctly. Hence, it would be
generation of impulse voltage waveshape (front time 1.2µs useful to develop a method that can work under circumstances
and tail time 50µs). of improving the SNR. Amongst the various denoising
By applying standard LI across the entire winding of methods that have been developed for removing the noise,
transformer, live discharges are generated across different wavelet based denoising method have gained some acceptance
tappings of the winding. Tappings are provided to create a live [8, 10-12]. Hence, considering the signal dynamics interval
discharge across the sections. When a discharge is created dependent denoising method is effectively utilized in this
across any section (tapping), current passing through the study [11].
winding is in the form of a single spike (PD pulse) The wavelet transform is a multi-resolution analysis to
representing the discharge pulse across the section [9]. The analyze non-stationary nature of transient signals in both time
plane-needle electrode configuration is used to create a live domain and frequency domain. There are many wavelets
discharge across any section. The type of discharge across the utilized effectively to adopt for high frequency nature of
section is dependent on the dielectric medium between the transient signals [8,10]. Generally, the effectiveness of the
electrodes, gap between the electrode, magnitude of applied wavelet de-noising approach depends on the selection of the
voltage, temperature, moisture in the solid and liquid mother wavelet and an adequate thresholding of the detail
insulation etc.. The impulse PD responses are measured across wavelet coefficients. The thresholds values are calculated for
the current measuring of shunt resistor (RL). each level separately. In case of interval dependent de-noising,
The impulse voltage is increased till a discharge across the thresholds are calculated based on the levels and intervals.
electrodes occurs, thus generating PD pulse across a section of Therefore, noise is efficiently removed especially in the
the winding. The occurrence of PD is observed as high transient signals where constant thresholds do not perform
frequency oscillations in the winding response [4]. In practice, optimally.
the occurrence of PD is also input to the transformer winding. Figure 2 shows the applied impulse voltage waveshape
If the effect of PD with different durations is considered (positive wave shape). Figures 3(a) and 3(b) show the
during an input excitation, the transformer winding is denoised responses of the interleaved winding due to with
considered as Multiple-Input and Single-Output (MISO) discharge and without discharge across the winding section 7
system. During impulse fault condition, the transformer
respectively. Similarly, Figures 4(a) and 4(b) show the
winding is no longer a Single-Input and Single-Output (SISO)
system, but a MISO. denoised responses of the interleaved winding due to with
discharge and without discharge across the winding section 5
respectively. The enlarged view of high frequency oscillations
due to PD is shown in Figures 3(b) and 4(b). Similarly,
discharges are created across all the sections (1 to 8).

time in µs
Figure 2. Applied impulse wave shape
From the winding responses, one can observe that there is a
definite difference in the winding responses due to injection of
live PD across the winding sections. In general, the measured
T – Transformer, 230V/100kV, D1, D2 – Diodes, 140kV, 20mA, CS – PD signals can be categorized into capacitive components,
Charging Capacitor, 2500pF, S – Sphere Gap, CD1, CD2 – Capacitive traveling wave component (propagation of pulses along the
divider, 1200pF. conductor) and oscillating component. These components are
strongly dependent on the design of the transformer and PD
Figure 1. Impulse voltage generation and live discharge defect location.
generation experimental test setup.
Amplitude (kV)

Amplitude (kV)
Amplitude (kV)
Amplitude kV)





time in µs
time in µs
Figure 4. Responses of the interleaved winding and wavelet
Figure 3. Responses of the interleaved winding and wavelet spectrum analysis due to with discharge R(t) and without discharge
spectrum analysis due to with discharge, R(t) and without discharge, S(t) across the winding section 5.
across the winding section 7.
IV. ANALYSIS OF HIGH FREQUENCY NONSTATIONARY Figures 3(c) and 3(d) show the continuous wavelet transform
TRANSIENT SIGNALS DURING IMPULSE TEST of the measured winding responses due to with discharge, R(t)
and without discharge, S(t) across the winding section 7
A several high frequency transient signals that are
respectively. Similarly, Figures 4(c) and 4(d) show continuous
encountered during impulse test fall into the type of non
wavelet transform of the measured winding responses due to
stationary signals whose statistical properties constantly
with discharge and without discharge across the winding
change with respect to time. Such non stationary signals make
section 5 respectively. From these Figures, it is found that
the Fourier based analysis limited when temporal interaction
CWT has expanded a time series into frequency space where
information of how the transient signal frequency components
high frequency oscillations can be seen in a highly intuitive
evolve with time is necessary to be looked at. In general, there
way due to PD at 15.45 µs (for section 7) and 15.75 µs
is a trade off between spectral and temporal resolution based
(section 5).
on the window length. Short window provides a poor spectral
resolution and good temporal resolution and vice versa for
long window. Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT) uses a B. Cross wavelet transform (XWT)
fixed window to the signal. Hence, it cannot provide good If the testing engineers are interested to understand and
resolution in both time and frequency domain [8]. Therefore, characterize the responses of the transformer, CWT may be
the utilization of Fourier based analysis is limited to stationary sufficient. One of the common ways of obtaining information
signals only and temporal interactions are missed [8, 10]. about the transformer insulation during impulse test is based
Alternatively, wavelet transform provides a useful approach in on comparison of the recorded voltage waveshapes and
investigating non-stationary signals which is usually regarded winding responses between RFW (Reduced Full wave) and
as an optimal solution to the time and frequency resolutions rated FW voltages or between successive measurements at FW
[8]. Advantages of the wavelet transform over the voltage. Therefore, to analyze the synchronization between the
conventional transfer function method are demonstrated and it signals due to different impulse sequences CWT analysis is no
appears that the wavelet transform is better suited for the
longer sufficient and testing engineer needs to depend on
detection of PD [13].
multivariate or at least bivariate analysis principles. To
In general, the time varying natures of the measured signals understand the functioning of transformer insulation due to
are divided into two components. One has high frequency impulse excitations, XWT is performed between the normal
oscillations and other has lower frequency signals. Based on winding response (Figure 3(a) or Figure 4(a)) and one with PD
type of the fault at various locations within the winding, the response (Figure 3(b) or Figure 4(b)).
nature of the transient signals may vary in higher frequency
In general, XWT shows regions with high common power
components or lower frequency components. Hence, an
and further reveals information about phase relationship
attempt has been made to utilize wavelet transform to adjust
between the signals of interest. In this study, for analysis of
the band of analysis so that the high frequency and low
the covariance of time series of S(t) and R(t), the wavelet
frequency components can be precisely detected for fault
spectrum WS(t) and WR(t) represented as
identifications [13, 14]. Wavelets can also provide higher
precision time resolution for short duration higher frequency *
signals as well higher precision frequency resolution for long WSR (s, m) = WS (s, m ) WR (s, m) (2)
duration low frequency signals [8]. To analyze the usefulness
of the wavelet transform for PD signal detection, the normal Here, * represents complex conjugation. The coscalogram
winding response due to reduced impulse voltage, S(t) and one plot through |Wxy(s,m)| provides the coincident events over
with PD response due to Full wave voltage, R(t) are utilized. the frequency for each time in the signals S(t) and R(t). The
phase angle of WSR describes the phase relationship between
A. Continuous wavelet transform (CWT) the responses of S(t) and R(t) in time frequency space. Hence,
The wavelet transform can be used to analyze time series complex argument arg(WSR) can be interpreted as the local
that contain non stationary power at many different relative phase difference of the two time series (S(t) and R(t))
frequencies [14-17]. The CWT decomposes the time series [15,16].
into time-frequency space, enabling the identification of both The phase angle of coscalogram is a complex matrix and
the dominant modes of variability and how those modes vary then one can represent the phase angles as arrows to facilitate
with time. The CWT of the time series of the measured normal the interpretations. Phase arrows show the relative phase of
winding response S(t) with respect to wavelet (ψ) is defined as the signals S(t) and R(t). Figure 3(e) shows the XWT between
Wd ,ψ (s, m) = S(m) × ψ s ( m) (1) S(t) and R(t) due to injection of PD across the winding section
7. Similarly, Figure 4(e) shows the XWT between S(t) and
Where, m is the discrete sample. ψs is the Wavelet at the R(t) due to injection of PD across the winding section 5. The
scale s. S(m) is the bounded over the period of measured time extracted phase spectrum due to injection of PD signal is
interval. shown as arrows in the Figures 3(e) and 4(e). The horizontal
In general, the results of the wavelet analysis of a signal arrow pointing right side indicates signals are in phase, while
(S(t) or R(t)) are highly correlated to the choice of the wavelet horizontal arrows pointing left indicate anti phase. The
[16]. In this study, Morlet wavelet is used to provide a good weakest synchronization is found at 15.45 µs (for section 7)
balance between time and frequency localization [8, 15-17]. and 15.75 µs (section 5).
Figures 3(e) and 4(e) provide amplitude and phase Initially, to reduce the influence of noise in the winding
relationship between simultaneously measured signals of S(t) responses for fault identification based on similarity measure,
and R(t). From the Figures 3(e) and 4(e), XWT is able to measured responses are de-noised through interval dependent
detect correlation between strength of the signals as well as wavelet denoising techniques in order to improve the SNR
the phases with it’s direction. The limitation of XWT is to [18]. When there is a PD due to high stress level, the changes
differentiate the region of fault (here PD) from the common in the current signals will be short durations, low magnitude
power in the spectrum over the period of measured time. and fast decaying transient signals are detected through WTC.
Hence, testing engineer needs to depend on wavelet transform WTC is capable of clearly resolving even such minute
variations in the signals as a function of both time and
coherence (WTC) for proper identification of PD signals only.
frequency. The results of this study show that the present
WTC provides the correlation between the two wavelet
analysis can successfully detect the temporal and spectral
spectra preserving the phase information as that of XWT. interactions between the normal signal and one with PD
C. Wavelet transform coherence(WTC) signal. The proposed analysis of wavelet transform coherence
can be used to conclude if a transformer passes the impulse
The classical coherence should sometimes be preferred to
test or not through visual interpretation of WTC spectrum.
provide the new insights into scale dependent degree of
comparison between S(t) and R(t). However, if the signals WTC can successfully detect the PD pulse if the measured
include non stationary components the classical coherence PD signals are closer to noise magnitude through phase
spectrum and the method of amplitude and phase values can
becomes invalid. Hence, WTC is performed in this study and
be used to confirm the observations.
one can get bounded measure constrained with 0 to 1.
The proposed analysis is also useful for transformer
WTC is a function with zero mean that splits the data of
industry to detect the winding fault for any type and rating of
functions or operators into different frequency components transformer.
and then studies each frequency components with a good
resolution matched to its scale [16]. Therefore, WTC provides
the local correlation between two CWTs of the time series S(t) Acknowledgment
and R(t). WTC is measure of the intensity of the covariance
The second author express his thanks to Division of High
between S(t) and R(t) in time frequency space unlike XWT Voltage Engineering, College of Engineering, Anna
which is a measure of the common power and expressed as University, Chennai for providing experimental test setup to
H (s -1
W SR ( s , m )
2 carry out the research. The authors would like to express
R (s, m ) = (3) gratitude to Crompton Greaves limited, Global R & D centre,
-1 2 -1 2
H (s W S (s , m ) ) H (s W R (s, m ) ) Kanjur Marg (E), Mumbai, India for granting permission to
publish the paper.
Coherence is identically 1 at all the scale and time if there is
a common power between the signals. Here, H is a smoothing References
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