Capacitance of Water Tree Modeling in Underground Cables


Water Tree is a corrosion phenomenon in cross-link polyethylene (XLPE) insulation. It is commonly found in underground cables. Water tree induced fault is difficult to detect due to its high impedance and difficult to model due to its random nature. In recent years, underground cables have become more popular in the power industry. They are resistant to environmental damage and has reduced space requirement. They are suitable to areas with high environment hazard or heavily populated areas where space is a constraining factor. As a result, studying and modeling the structure and effect of water tree become increasingly important. Since majority of the fault inducing water trees are vented trees which originated from the surface of the cable insulation, the mathematical model focuses on this particular type of water tree. To reduce the complexity of the model, the shape of the water tree afflicted region of the insulation is assumed to be ellipsoidal and the permittivity of the region is assumed to be linearly changing. Finite element analysis is used to analyze the water tree affected region. The resultant capacitance is calculated and compared with a physical model from Comsol. The result obtained using the proposed mathematical model and the result obtained using physical simulation through Comsol package agrees with each other. Hence, this method can be used to analyze the effect of water tree fault in large power systems.

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Chen, Q. , Burkes, K. , Makram, E. , Hadidi, R. and Xu, X. (2014) Capacitance of Water Tree Modeling in Underground Cables. Journal of Power and Energy Engineering, 2, 9-18. doi: 10.4236/jpee.2014.211002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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