Possibility of electric arc detection in power transformers by directly embedded photoconductive elements in the transformer tank

Possibility of electric arc detection in power transformers by directly embedded photoconductive elements in the transformer tank

Vol. 9 Issue 1

Limitations and obstacles – An experimental investigation

 

Nowadays, light-sensitive elements are extensively used as a transmitter or detector for a variety of applications in optoelectronic areas [1]. With the recent advances, highly efficient photovoltaic modules are now popular for electricity generation with high efficiency as well [2]. Conventionally, photodetectors such as photoresistors are implemented as a light detection system for switching purposes [1], data transmission, telecommunication, and electrical isolation in a variety of equipment such as switched-mode power supplies. Furthermore, well-known Kerr or Pockels effects change the polarisation of certain crystallised materials, which can be used for the measurement of electrical parameters such as voltage and current [3]. Also, temperature changes the amount of incident reflected light through a photosensor. Thus, thermal monitoring of power cables has been commercialised for more than two decades in distributed temperature sensing (DTS) systems [4].

Recently, thanks to advances in semiconductor technologies, the mentioned sensors can be used in a variety of areas under different working conditions. For example, the explosion of the transformer tank due to an electric arc can have several serious consequences. A fast and reliable detection method is of high importance to reduce extra financial costs and prevent accidents, which could endanger the life of personnel. One special idea could be the application of photosensitive elements as an electric arc detection system in power transformers. However, such an application entails choosing an appropriate element with respect to the requirements of transformer service conditions. This contribution focuses on the performance of photoconductive elements, which are embedded or inserted in the transformer tank.

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