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A large amount of parameters related to both operating conditions and material design affects the electrical ageing of the low voltage rotating machine insulation. Accelerated ageing tests are usually undertaken in order to develop a theory to describe the electrical ageing process and to determine a lifetime model of these materials. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no complete model allowing the prediction of an insulation lifetime from accelerated ageing tests, since there are many possible failure mechanisms and various synergetic effects between them. Another problem with accelerated ageing tests is that results of the tests tend to have a great deal of scatter. In the present work, we propose the use of the design of experiments (DoE) method, which is a useful statistical approach that would lead to a reliable and significant interpretation of the different ordering parameters of the insulation ageing process. Using the DoE method, the analysis of accelerated ageing test results allows identifying the factors that most influence the results, and those that do not, as well as details such as the existence of interactions and synergies between these factors. In the following, results from accelerated ageing tests on PEI varnishes, largely used in rotating machines insulation, are presented and analyzed with the DoE method.
Date of Conference: 4-9 July 2010