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Partial discharge (PD) measurement has long been used as a test to evaluate different insulation system designs, and as a quality control test for new equipment. However, in the past 20 years, PD measurement has been widely applied to diagnose the condition of the electrical insulation in operating apparatus such as switchgear, transformers, cables, as well as motor and generator stator windings. Improvements in the capabilities as well the lower cost of sensors, electronics and memory is partly the reason for the increased popularity of PD diagnostics. Another reason has been the development of methods-including the use of ultrawide band detection-to improve the reliability of the PD measurement in the presence of noise. In addition, rapid progress is being made in automated pattern recognition techniques that also helps to suppress noise. This paper reviews the various PD measurement technologies that have been specifically developed to improve PD diagnostic methods, and outlines how they have been implemented for stators, cables, transformers and switchgear. Areas for further research are also presented.