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Fundamentals of high voltage

cable accessories

Diego Cisilino
PM High voltage cable Accessories
Brugg Cables

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Electrical field in cables

The week inhomogeneous electrical field
within a cable insulation can be calculated R1
U r1
E(x) 
x ln  
r E
 Highest at the inner conductor E(r1)
 The higher the higher the voltage level (at
same insulation thickness)
 The higher the smaller the insulation R2
 => Relevant for accessories: value of r2
electric field at the cable insulation
outer diameter

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Electrical field in cable end

1 – Glow at the cut edge

2 – Sliding discharge brunch

2 – Sliding leader + brunch
(Leader + Streamer)

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Electrical field in cable end

Local very high electrical field at cut edge
Equipotential lines
of cable outer semi conductive layer

field lines

Semiconductive Layer XLPE Insulation Cable Conductor

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Geometrical field control in HV cable
 Deflector Optimal Geometry:
 The rule is to maintain the same amplitude of the electrical field stress value at the cable
outer diameter along the contour of the deflector (Edef/Eo = 1)

1 – Deflector too small – High stress onto
cable insulation – Small volume low

2 – Deflector too big – Very low stress onto
cable insulation. – Big volume
necessary - Uneconomical

3 – Optimal shape – Balance between
safe operation and production cost

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Deflectors: Made full of semiconductive
The resistivity of the deflector is given by the following formula:
: volume resistivity of material
l: length
A: cross section area
Cross section of a deflector with Cross section of a deflector made
painted surface of semiconductive material

Small area A, High resistivity R large area A, small resistivity R

With high resistivity R there exists under BIL (lightning impulse) conditions the danger,
that the electrical field control is not sufficient. This can result in a breakdown!

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Distribution of electrical field at a cable with
geometrical field control
Deflector Stress cone

Cable insulation Cable conductor

red: high electrical field blue: low electrical field

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Distribution of electrical field at cable joint
with geometrical field control

Cable insulation Mid-electrode Cable conductor

red: high electrical field blue: low electrical field

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Electrical strength of interfaces in cable
accessories – Inner interfaces
 Electrical strength of the contact surface between insulations
under electrical stress
Insulating Insulating
Plate 2 Plate 1
SIR without interface Interface
SIR – PE d
breakdown voltage Ûb [kV]

50 Electrodes made of
aluminium foil
40 The picture can't be display ed.

Rubber-Bubble Valve Frame
The picture The picture
can't be can't be
display ed. display ed.

10 The picture can't be display ed.

0 Sample
0 1 2 3 bar 4 for testing
Variable air pressure
Pressure in the interface p

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Electrical strength of interfaces in cable
accessories – Inner interfaces
 Electrical strength of interface vs. material hardness
Breakdown Voltage Ub [kV]

Hardness 80

Hardness 40
Hardness 20

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3

Contact pressure p [bar]

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Electrical strength of interfaces in cable
accessories – Inner interfaces
 Electrical strength of interface vs. surface roughness
Breakdown Voltage Ub [kV]

P=1 bar with no migrating
filling compound

P= 3 bar

P=1 bar

Surface roughness rz [μm]

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XLPE insulation surface roughness vs
cloth grain size
Roughness rz (μm)

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Inner interfaces in cable accessories -
 Electrical strength dependant on the contact pressure between
insulation materials (Size & application range of insulating

 The material roughness in the interface is decisive for a reliable
electrical strength – The the smoother insulation surface the
the less contact pressure is necessary – (Special cable
preparation allow higher application range)

 The softer an insulating material, the less contact pressure is
required to achieve same electrical strength. (Highly flexible
insulating material is therefore required)

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Comparison of EPR and silicone rubber

Source: Silikonelastomer für Kabelgarnituren, Isolatoren und
Überspannungsableiter-Profil einer Werkstofffamilie; J.
Kindersberger, ETG Workshop Berlin, VDE Verlag 2003)

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Silicone rubber for joint body and stress

● Important properties of silicone rubber for internal
interfaces application (joint bodies and stress cones)
 Excellent thermal resistance and high ignition
 Optimal shore Hardness (30-40)
 Excellent chemical resistance to oils, greases and

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External interfaces in outdoor terminations

● Electrical field over the
insulator surface

 The electrical strength of
surrounding air depends
mainly on air pressure and
humidity and type of voltage

 Electrical strength of the
surface between insulator
and surrounding air is
mainly affected by pollution

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External interfaces in outdoor terminations
Creepage distance – Flashover distance
 The flashover distance is defined
as the shortest distance between
the two electrodes of the insulator.
 Determinant for BIL withstand in
dry and wet condition

 The creepage distance of an
insulator is the geometrical
distance between the two
electrodes along the surface
of the insulator.
 Determinant for AC
withstand in dry and wet
condition while polluted

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Quantitative determination of an insulator
creepage distance
Overview of different site pollution classes
● The unified specific according to site pollution severity [IEC
creepage distance is 60815_2008]
defined as the ratio of the Unified specific creepage
between the quantitative Site pollution class
distance (uscd)
creepage distance of the Very light a 22.0 mm/kV
Light b 27.8 mm/kV
insulator and the max. phase Medium c 34.7 mm/kV
to earth voltage. Heavy d 43.3 mm/kV
Very heavy e 53.7 mm/kV

● According to IEC 60815 the
quantitative minimum unified
specific creepage distance
depending on the pollution
class of the environment.

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Determination of the minimum crepage
distance of an insulator acc. IEC 60815
Site pollution class Altitude correction factor
(SPS) IEC 60815-1 Ka  1 altitud  1500m
Insulator Diameter correction factor
Specific creepage distance
RUSCD Kad  1 Da  300mm
IEC 60815-2 / IEC 60815-3
(2  Dt  Ds1 Ds2)
Da 
Correction factors
Installation altitude Ka
Average Insulator diameter Kad
USCD = RUSCD x Ka x Kad

U max
CDinsulator  USCD 
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Insulator pollution test acc. IEC 60507

● Test voltage withstand
under pollution.

U max
Ut 
● Procedure:
- Preconditioning flashover
- 12x 1 hour withstand at Ut
● Criteria:
No flashover must occur on
each 1 hour test

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Hydrophobicity of silicone elastomers

Silicone elastomers have an outstanding hydrophobicity!

Silicone elastomers have the unique property that the hydrophobicity
regenerates again after it was destroyed.

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Comparison of the hydrophobicity of
porcelain and silicone

Water droplet on a Water droplet on a
porcelain surface Silicone coated surface

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Silicone rubber for outdoor terminations

● Important properties of silicone rubber for outdoor
 Excellent UV resistance
 Excellent hydrophobicity and regeneration of
 Very good mechanical properties very low temperature
(e.g. -40 ⁰C)

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● Refer to IEC 60815-1/-2/-3 for creepage distance
selection and design criteria
● Oversizing of creepage distances may cause
unexpected new problems
 Handle extreme oil volumes – Expansion tanks required
 Tracking and erosion problems on insulator surface due
to constant dry band arcing
● Hydrophobicity of composite insulators are
provides better pollution performance particularly
in coastal areas
● If necessary periodical washing of insulator
surfaces is more effective solution

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Pollution Mitigation - Washing

● On-line or Off-line washing
procedures are available
● IEEE 957 – 2005 “Guide
for cleaning of insulators”

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