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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 for high
voltage apparatus using Doble test equipment.
Today, this test is recognized as one of the single
most effective methods for locating defective
insulation and for trend analysis.

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 PF and DF are used for evaluating the condition of the
insulation system.

 Effective in locating weakness in the electrical insulation and

potential hazards in the power apparatus before impending

 It can measure dielectric loss, capacitance and ac resistance of

the insulation of the electrical apparatus.

 It can measure the presence of “weak” insulation even when

there may be a layer of “good” insulation in series with the
“weak” insulation.

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 Provides information on the overall condition of the
insulation in terms of a ratio (i.e., PF or DF value of
insulation) that is independent of the volume of the
insulation being tested.

 Provides assessment of the insulation under normal

frequency (50 / 60 Hz) operating conditions which are not
time dependent like the direct current (dc) voltage tests.

 The PF and DF tests do not overstress the insulation and can

determine if the insulation is slowly degrading by comparison
with previous years test results or with test results of similar

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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...

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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  =

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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 %
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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


Tanδ2 = Tanδ value at 25% of the Phase to ground voltage

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 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 cleanliness.

 The degree of curing of materials.

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 Temperature

 Humidity

 Cleanliness of the Insulation

 Surface Leakage Current

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 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.

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 PI value of the winding should be more than 1.5

 Terminals disconnected and Isolate the winding

 Cleaned Winding

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 Reduce the risk of catastrophic failures.
 Extend the life time of winding insulation.
 Extend interval between maintenance outages.
 Simple, Safe and Inexpensive to test.
 Conform effectiveness of repairs.
 Assess under normal operating conditions.
 Non-destructive test.

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 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.
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“How Do I Know If
There Is a Problem?”

Better Way: Trending

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• 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.

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The Practice of Tanδ Test

IEEE Standards
• IEEE – Std. 286 Recommended practice for
Measurement of Power Factor Tip-Up of
Electrical Machinery.

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