Condition measuring and lifetime modelling of electrical power transmission equipment

Abstract: The electric grid is important in modern society, so the outages should be few. The transmission grid should have a real high availability, since it transports electrical energy across the country. Then, it is difficult to plan outages for maintenance and installation. This thesis lists twenty surveys about failures of circuit breakers and disconnectors, with data about the cause and the lifetime. It also contains a survey of about forty condition-measuring methods for circuit breakers and disconnectors, mostly applicable to the electric contacts and the mechanical parts.As there is no published method to monitor the electric contacts at voltages around 400 kV, a system with IR sensors has been installed at the nine contacts of six disconnectors. The purpose is to avoid outages for maintenance by estimating the condition of the contacts while the disconnectors are still connected to high voltage. The measured temperatures are collected by radio and regressed against the square of the current, since the best exponent for the current was found to be 2.0. The coefficient of determination $R^2$ is high, greater than 0.9. This gives for each contact a regression coefficient, which can serve as an estimate of the condition of the contact. The higher the coefficient is, the more heat is produced at the contact, which can damage the material. This enables a ranking of the different contacts and shows which the worst ones are. This coefficient can also give a dynamic rating of the disconnector.