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The industrial applicability of PEA space charge measurements, for performance optimization of HVDC power cables

  • Autori: Imburgia A.; Romano P.; Chen G.; Rizzo G.; Riva Sanseverino E.; Viola F.; Ala G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Cable manufacturing industries are constantly trying to improve the electrical performance of power cables. During the years, it was found that one of the most relevant degradation factors influencing the cable lifetime is the presence of space charge in the insulation layer. To detect the accumulated charge, the pulsed electro-acoustic (PEA) method is the most used technique. Despite the wide use of the PEA cell, several issues are still present. In particular, the PEA output signal is strongly disturbed by the acoustic waves reflections within the PEA cell. This causes the distortion of the output signal and therefore the misinterpretation of the charge profiles. This, in turn, may result in an incorrect cable characterization from the space charge phenomenon point of view. In 2017, due to the proved degradation effect of the space charge accumulation phenomenon, the IEEE Std 1732 was developed. This standard describes the steps to be followed for the space charge measurement in cables specimens during pre-qualification or type tests. Therefore, cable manufacturing industries started to take a particular interest in these measures. In the light of this, the aim of the present work is to highlight that the enacted standard is not easily applicable since various problems are still present in the PEA method for cables. In particular, in this work, the effect of multiple reflected signals due to the different interfaces involved, but also the effect of the signal attenuation due to cable dielectric thickness, as well as the effect of the PEA cell ground electrode thickness in the output charge profile, are reported. These issues have been demonstrated by means of an experimental test carried out on a full-size cable in the Prysmian Group High Voltage laboratory. To better understand the PEA cell output signal formation, a PEA cell model was developed in a previous work and it has been experimentally validated here. In particular, simulations have been useful to highlight the effect of the reflection phenomena due to the PEA cell ground electrode thickness on the basis of the specimen under test features. Moreover, by analyzing the simulation results, it was possible to separate the main signal from the reflected waves and, in turn, to calculate the suitable ground electrode thickness for the cable specimen under test.