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Condition Assessment of High Voltage (HV) Substations

Fast, comprehensive high voltage testing services at market competitive prices

Kinectrics has developed and applies several highly-effective diagnostic techniques for the condition assessment of high voltage substations and power equipment. Our advanced diagnostic techniques provide information on the aging, condition and management of power equipment.

  • Power Diagnostics and Testing
  • Substation Equipment Diagnostics and Testing (e.g GIS, breaker, CT, CVT, Surge arrester)
  • Root Cause Faulure analysis and Forensic Investigation

Asset Management

Kinectrics uses several proprietary computational tools to assess the effect of maintenance policies on equipment condition, performance and related risk implications. These tools allow users to derive the rate of the equipment aging process as a function of the temperature loading. This method allows an effective analysis and determination of optimum maintenance and refurbishment policies.

Partial Discharge (PD): electrical and acoustic

Partial discharges are formed as a result of an excessive local electric field which can originate either from a stress enhancement (sharp point), or weakening of the insulation (e.g., bubble). While paper is known to have excellent resistance to PD, carbonization will progress over time and ultimately lead to failure. This phenomenon can be detected both electrically and acoustically.

DC return voltage, dielectric spectroscopy measurements

These techniques are variations on dissipation factor measurements, but performed at frequencies other than power frequency, thereby providing enhanced diagnostic information. Data can be obtained at a broad range of frequencies (hence the name dielectric spectroscopy), or through a more involved test arrangement, as done for the return voltage measurement (RVM). For RVM, the test object is DC charged then discharged, and the open circuit voltage subsequently attained is measured. This measurement is repeated many times over a varied time scale to obtain condition assessment information at different frequencies.

Frequency Response Analysis (FRA)

Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) is used as a tool to evaluate the condition of transformer windings. Transformer windings require strong clamping forces to resist mechanical deformation during system faults.  As winding materials age, the clamping forces tend to relax, leaving the unit vulnerable to system disturbances.  Resonant vibration associated with load currents can lead to mechanical abrasion of the insulation. Understanding which transformers require immediate attention contributes to effective condition assessment. Kinectrics’ experience with FRA testing indicates that major fault-induced winding deflections can be detected at the terminals.

Power factor testing

Power factor, dissipation factor and tan measurements are performed routinely on paper oil insulation systems to assess the losses which are indicative of the presence of more conductive species.  The presence of such species is the result of paper and oil deterioration and/or moisture ingress.

DGA, furan and moisture content of the oil

Gasses dissolved in insulating oils are generally the result of deterioration of the insulation systems (paper and oil). Extensive research has been conducted by Kinectrics to interpret the significance of gases measured and more particularly, their ratios. In simplified terms, hydrogen and acetylene are formed as a result of arcing/discharges, while ethylene is associated with overheating. Carbon monoxide and dioxide are found as a result of the breakdown of paper insulation. Thermal breakdown of the paper also creates a number of heavier furanic derivatives, which are present in small quantities, but provide useful markers because of their specificity as a paper breakdown byproduct.

SF6  gas analysis

SF6 insulated systems produce a variety of gasses as a result of aging and deterioration of the insulation systems. Many of the byproducts of SF6 degradation are both corrosive and toxic and must be handled with care when equipment requires servicing. By-products are used as markers of the aging/deterioration process and also provide information on the condition of the equipment. Contamination (air, moisture) and byproducts (SOF2, etc.) are readily determined from samples taken from the power equipment.

About This Solution

Industry Sector

  • Transmission & Distribution

Nature of Service

  • Testing - Lab Services
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  • Analysis

Client Assets

  • Transformer
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  • Switchgear

Kinectrics Facilities

  • Arc Test Facilities
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  • Interoperability Testing Lab - IEC 61850
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  • Electrical Testing Facilities
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  • High Voltage Laboratory


  • Condition Assessment
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  • Transformer
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  • High Voltage Testing
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  • HV Substation Condition Assessment
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  • High Voltage Substation