Transformers are essential equipment in electrical energy systems and their failure may lead to loss of power supply. Both industry and science have sought to develop sensors and low-cost solutions for the correct diagnosis of their failures. Thus, the use of piezoelectric sensors in the diagnosis of partial discharge in power transformers has been growing significantly in order to ensure the reduction of maintenance costs as well as the quality of electric power supply, since this type of failure can lead to the loss of the insulating properties of the material until, finally, complete electric asset failure occurs. In many cases, when partial discharge is detected, there is no immediate need to promote transformer maintenance. In this way, it becomes reasonable to study the evolution of this phenomenon, so that the maintenance of the device can be scheduled and performed correctly. In this regard, this article presents a feasibility study of a low-cost piezoelectric transducer for the identification of the evolution level of partial discharges. For this purpose, in a 30 kVA distribution transformer, three corona partial discharges measurements were produced under three different voltage levels using a copper electrode. The low cost piezoelectric sensor was coupled to the transformer housing and the acoustic emission signals of the three partial discharge levels were captured and analyzed by the use of acoustic signal metrics such as energy, peak value and power spectral density. The experimental results indicated that the low cost sensor is able to identify the evolution of the partial discharge intensity, since the values obtained by the metrics are directly related to the partial discharge levels. Therefore, the results reported in this study indicate that the piezoelectric transducer has great applicability in the diagnosis of the partial discharges evolution, and, thus, can assist in the planning of electrical maintenance.
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Evaluation of Low-Cost Piezoelectric Sensors for the Identification of Partial Discharges Evolution
Published: 14 November 2018 by MDPI in 5th International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications session Applications
Keywords: piezoelectric sensors, low-cost sensor, partial discharge, evolution, signal processing analysis