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Multistress aging/weathering of outdoor composite polymeric insulators has been a topic of interest for power transmission research community in the last few decades. This paper deals with the long-term accelerated weathering of full-scale distribution class silicone rubber composite insulators. To evaluate the long-term synergistic effect of electric stress, temperature and UV radiation on insulators, they were subjected to accelerated weathering in a specially designed multistress-aging chamber for 30,000 h. All the insulators were subjected to the same level of electrical and thermal stresses but different UV radiation levels. Chemical, physical and electrical changes due to degradation have been assessed using various techniques. It was found that there was a monotonous reduction of the content of low molecular weight (LMW) molecules with the duration of the weathering. Further, due to oxidation and weathering there is an appreciable increase in surface roughness and atomic percentage of oxygen. There is no change in the leakage current of new and aged insulators under both wet and dry conditions at the end of the aging. The results also indicate that there is no influence of UV radiation on the silicone rubber for the durations and conditions under which the studies were made.
Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:18 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: April 2011