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Partial Discharge Effects



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Partial Discharge activity causes progressive deterioration of components


Partial Discharge activity provides clear evidence that an asset is deteriorating in a way that is likely to lead to failure.

Once Partial Discharge activity is present, even if it is intermittent, damage will ALWAYS increase over time. For example, PD activity in voids in insulation causes erosion, which leads to increased PD activity.

The process of deterioration can propagate and develop, until the insulation is unable to withstand the electrical stress, leading to flashover. Where protection systems are in place, this will cause them to trip out, causing outages.

Health & Safety Issues

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Partial Discharge activity can indicate when assets present the risk of electrocution or sudden, catastrophic failure

Where protection systems are not fitted or are ineffective, the failure of HV/MV assets is often sudden and catastrophic, producing major damage, injury or death. Sudden failures of live assets often release large amounts of energy, leading to explosions and fires.

Undetected Partial Discharge activity can also be hazardous to personnel, who are exposed to the danger of electrocution by assets which are unexpectedly energized.