International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, Vol. 7 (2017) No. 3, pages: 971-979, DOI:10.18517/ijaseit.7.3.2325

Determining the Number of Parallel RC Branches in Polarization / Depolarization Current Modeling for XLPE Cable Insulation

S. Sulaiman, A. Mohd Ariffin, D. T. Kien


An important element in the electric power distribution system is the underground cable. However continuous applications of high voltages unto the cable, may lead to insulation degradations and subsequent cable failure. Since any disruption to the electricity supply may lead to economic losses as well as lowering customer satisfaction, the maintenance of cables is very important to an electrical utility company. Thus, a reliable diagnostic technique that is able to accurately assess the condition of cable insulation operating is critical, in order for cable replacement exercise to be done. One such diagnostic technique to assess the level of degradation within the cable insulation is the Polarization / Depolarization Current (PDC) analysis. This research work attempts to investigate PDC behaviour for medium voltage (MV) cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulated cables, via baseline PDC measurements and utilizing the measured data to simulate for PDC analysis. Once PDC simulations have been achieved, the values of conductivity of XLPE cable insulations can be approximated. Cable conductivity serves as an indicator to the level of degradation within XLPE cable insulation. It was found that for new and unused XLPE cables, the polarization and depolarization currents have almost overlapping trendlines, as the cable insulation’s conduction current is negligible. Using a linear dielectric circuit equivalence model as the XLPE cable insulation and its corresponding governing equations, it is possible to optimize the number of parallel RC branches to simulate PDC analysis, with a very high degree of accuracy. The PDC simulation model has been validated against the baseline PDC measurements.


Polarization, Depolarization, Insulation, XLPE Cable, Simulation.

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