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Tanδ / Power Factor and

Capacitance Test
• The PF insulation tests have been used in the
laboratories since early 1900s by cable
manufactures and in the field of testing since 1929.
• The AC dielectric loss & power factor test has been
applied in the field of electrical insulation.
• Today, this test is recognized as one of the single
most effective methods for locating defective
insulation and for trend analysis.
What will Tan δ reveals ?
• The inherent dielectric losses of the insulation
and its general conditions.

• The quality of the contact of the semi-

conductive with the core.

• The moisture content and the degree of


• The degree of curing of materials.

To assess the condition of the Insulation
System of

Generators & Motors Stator Windings

Transformer Winding & Bushings
Surge arresters & Capacitors
Lightening Arresters
Cables & Accessories
Circuit Breakers
Bus Insulators...

IT = specimen total current

IC = capacitive or quadrature component of
the total current
IR = resistive or in-phase (loss) component of
the total current
PF = Cos  =

DF = tan  =
Relation between DF and PF

Dissipation Factor Tan δ can be converted to

Power Factor Cosθ, and vice versa.

tan 
PF = Cos  =
1  tan 2 

DF = Tan  =
1  P.F 

Power Factor and Dissipation Factor are very

nearly the value up to 10 %
Power Factor Tip - Up
Difference in Power Factor between 25% and
100% rated line – to – ground voltage.
∆Tanδ = Tanδ1 – Tanδ2
Tanδ1 = Tanδ value at 100% of the Phase to
ground voltage
Tanδ2 = Tanδ value at 25% of the Phase to
ground voltage
Comparison of Power Factor and Dissipation Factor
Factors that influence PF

• Temperature
• Humidity
• Cleanliness of the Insulation
• Surface Leakage Current
Common Causes of Increase in
Power Factor

 Due to ageing of paper tape or of the

bonding material.

 Due to an Increase in the contact

resistance between coil and slot
combined with the deterioration of the
graphite paint.
Requirements for Tanδ / PF Test

• PI value of the winding should be more than 1.5

• Terminals disconnected and Isolate the winding

• Cleaned Winding
Benefits of Tan δ Test

• Reduce the risk of catastrophic failures.

• Extend interval between maintenance outages.
• Simple, Safe and Inexpensive to test.
• Confirm effectiveness of repairs.
• Assess under normal operating conditions.
• Non-destructive test.
Test Procedure For Rotating
Machinery Stator Insulation
Test Procedure For Bushings
Test Procedure For Transformer
Testing at Sub Station
Evaluation and Grading of PF & DF test
• Good : Insulation condition is good and suitable
for continued service.
• Deteriorated : Insulation condition is satisfactory for
service but should be checked within six
months to see if the condition has further
• Marginal : The insulation condition is not satisfactory
for service ;degraded conditions should be
investigated immediately if possible. If this
is not possible then it should be begun as
soon as possible.
• Bad : Remove from service and recondition to
restore insulation to good condition; if not
possible, then replace.
Various Results
Trending of 110 MW, 11 kV GTG

Increase in % PF
Shows Ageing symptoms
“How Do I Know If
There Is a Problem?”

Better Way: Trending


• Tanδ testing & monitoring has been established as

an effective maintenance tool by several industry
associations (e.g. IEEE, EPRI, CIGRE)
• An absolute definition of acceptable levels of Tanδ
on rotating machines cannot be established
• Trending of Tanδ is the most reliable way to
identify stator insulation deterioration.
The Practice of Tanδ Test

IEEE Standards
• IEEE – Std. 286 Recommended practice for
Measurement of Power Factor Tip-Up of
Electrical Machinery.
Questions ??
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Hyderabad, INDIA
An ISO 9001:2000 Certified Company


Office: +91-40-2371-3343 / 7752

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