Increased energy in stable dry-band arcs due to length compression

X. Zhang, S. M. Rowland, V. Terzija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of dry-band arcs on outdoor composite insulators can degrade the polymeric materials' surface and ultimately may lead to insulator failure. The degradation processes are generally considered as aging effects occurring over long periods of time, from years to decades. In this paper, it is shown that if a stable dryband arc is physically compressed in length by external forces, such as electrolyte deformation due to wind or gravity, the arcing activities will become more severe. This in turn, may accelerate the degradation into a short time-frame hazard. A series of experiments are carried out to investigate the electrical characteristics of the arcs as they become compressed. In this case experiments are performed on silicone rod insulators at controlled angles to the horizontal. Rapid aging is observed after such events. Measurements of arcing period, peak current, and arc resistance during the arcing compression process are analyzed. Based on the experiments, a 'Double Sinusoidal Model' is developed to simulate the current-voltage characteristics of dryband arcing during its compression. Both experiment and simulation show that arc power, arc energy and corresponding energy density will dramatically increase if arc compression occurs, which may lead to more rapid and serious damage on composite insulator surfaces than is experienced otherwise. It is suggested that aggressive erosion events may occur in short periods of time within extended test regimes or entire service histories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5448103
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Arc energy
  • Composite insulator
  • Model
  • NCI. dry-band arc compression
  • Silicone rubber


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