Crash Course on Partial Discharge Testing

Machines are tools that do not last forever. When it comes to insulation systems, partial discharge can have damaging effects no matter the machine.

Voltage level, frequency, and the various shapes of the systems can all affect the damage intensity caused by partial discharge. So how can you ensure your machines are protected for as long as possible?

Thankfully, partial discharge testing now comes in a variety of forms and can even be conducted at-home with proper equipment. Here is our crash course on partial discharge testing.

What Is Partial Discharge?

High-voltage machines are susceptible to partial discharge damage. Partial discharge (PD) describes a small electrical spark between two conducting electrodes. This can occur between neighboring electrical equipment, despite insulation between the machines.

This means that electric damage can cut your machine’s life short. Worst yet, this damage results in a degradation of your machine’s insulation system.

This is a problem. PD can bridge solid, liquid, and even gas insulation, and cause damage over time.

What causes partial discharge? PD can occur due to a malfunction or an incorrectly shaped part.

Unfortunately, PD can also occur as machines age naturally over time. This is why partial discharge testing is so vital.

History Partial Discharge Testing Background

PD analysis is a trusted way to test insulation systems for faults and efficiencies. It’s important to regularly test an insulation system to protect against machine failure.

In 2003, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute described PD as a previously human-executed process. However, computer hardware and machine improvements have changed that. Currently, machines can be used to reliably measure and evaluate PD assessments.

The days of waiting for test results are over. You no longer have to rely on an external lab to process test results. Instead, you can test machinery and insulation at home.

Partial Discharge Testing

How is partial discharge testing at home possible?

Companies like offer affordable test equipment for home and construction use. This expert equipment makes testing and protecting insulation systems easy.

At-home testing machines come with user-friendly software. Some companies also provide equipment training. You’ll remain in good hands with a plethora of instructions and testing capabilities.

When partial discharge testing, keep in mind that machines can be tested either on or offline. Online testing is conducted while the machine in question is running.

Conversely, offline testing creates a report for when the machine is not in use. Results for these results will differ greatly.

How will you know if your machine has partial discharge? Keep a record of your machine’s typical PD levels. Do this for both online and offline states. This will allow you to determine future abnormal levels of partial discharge.

Protect Your Insulation Systems Today

Nobody wants preventable machine damage. With partial discharge testing, you can guard against insulation system decay. Better yet, you can identify areas that may need repairs or replacement.

You can also achieve peace of mind knowing which insulation systems have no detectable PD. These are most likely to stick around for years to come.

Ready to learn more about protecting your systems? Browse our site for more machine resources today.