Spacer flashover in Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) with humid SF6 under different electrical stresses

A.P. Purnomoadi, A. Rodrigo Mor, J.J. Smit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Humid insulating gas (SF6) has been observed in a case study of 631 CB-bays of Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) operating under tropical conditions. The routine gas quality check in the case study reported that 20% of the non-Circuit Breaker enclosures have humidity above the value recommended by the IEEE and IEC standards. Therefore, an investigation into the flashover characteristics of a spacer in humid SF6 has been initiated in the High Voltage Laboratory of TU Delft, The Netherlands. The setup is a small model resembling the insulation system of a GIS with controlled parameters of humidity content and gas pressure. The electrical stresses in the test are AC, LI+, LI−, and SI with homogeneous, quasi-homogeneous-, and inhomogeneous field configurations. In general, the humidity does not influence the withstand strength of the spacer as long there is no condensation. When condensation occurred, the flashover voltage dropped by 28% during the test under AC at 2.6 bars, and by 38% during the test under LI+ at 2.5 bars; both with quasi-homogeneous field configuration. In the test with homogeneous field setup, the flashover voltage was dropped by 67% under LI+ at 3.4 bars. In our setup, it has also been observed that the flashover-drop due to condensation is higher than due to a 2-mm aluminum particle attached to the sample close to the high electric field region simulating the inhomogeneous field configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105559
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Gas insulated switchgear
  • Gas insulated substation
  • GIS
  • Tropical conditions
  • Humid insulting gas
  • Spacer flashover
  • SF6


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