A critical study on detection of pollution level of overhead insulators by measuring pH and conductivity of the contaminants
The flow of electric power requires overhead insulators to maintain a safe distance between charged conductors and supporting structures. These insulators are installed in outdoor locations and are hence subjected to a variety of adverse environmental conditions, such as airborne dust and other contaminants. In moist conditions, these pollution factors can cause flashover, resulting in the loss of energy in the form of heat and light. Therefore, it is crucial to determine various types of contaminants based on geographical conditions and analyze their effects on the insulation capabilities of these insulators. This research work analyzes the accumulation of certain contaminants on the insulators installed at various geographical locations. Experimental approaches for detecting the level of contamination of insulators have also been examined, along with their limitations. Moreover, the findings of pollution tests performed in industrial, coastal, desert, inland, agricultural, and biological areas are presented as well. The flash-over voltage (FOV) of disc insulators made of porcelain for various pH and conductivity values has been observed to correlate FOV with pH and conductivity values of the pollutants. The pH and conductivity of contaminants are crucial factors impacting the insulator's flashover voltage, which is influenced by surrounding atmospheric conditions. Understanding the composition and monitoring these parameters can aid in developing preventive maintenance programs based on specified pH values, ensuring the reliability and performance of overhead insulators.