The IIT Madras Research Team is planning to approach NTPC, Power Grid and other utilities to demonstrate this technology and its use in the real power system network, an IIT Madras statement said.
Researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has developed a technique to identify pollution deposit level in power transmission networks. The IIT Madras Research Team is planning to approach NTPC, Power Grid and other utilities to demonstrate this technology and its use in the real power system network, an IIT Madras statement said.
As per the IIT Madras statement, the pollution-related electrical flashover occurs in the working conditions and can lead to blackouts and collapse of the system. Cleaning the polluted insulator under the working condition seems to be the fool-proof way of resolving the problem, it added.
The reliability of an electric power system, the statement adds, largely depends on the performance of the electrical insulation. The outdoor insulation on the transmission lines running over a few lakh kilometres and the substation equipment, in addition to the electrical, thermal and mechanical stresses, are subjected to environmental pollution.
“However, due to the high operating voltages and huge spatial span of the electrical transmission system, it would be essential to ascertain the level of pollution deposition and the type of pollutant before such a mammoth exercise can be planned,” the statement said.
A solution based on Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been developed by the research groups of Professor R Sarathi, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras, and Professor NJ Vasa, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras.
At present, by shining a laser beam at a distance of 40 metres, the researchers can identify the constituents of pollution deposition, while efforts are underway to extend this distance to 100 m. This would enable assessing the pollution layer on transmission line insulators and the windmills either from the ground or from a drone.
This work was financially supported under the National Perspective Plan of the Ministry of Power, Government of India through Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Bengaluru.
Elaborating on the important outcomes of this research, Professor Sarathi said: “The presence of salt and other pollutant deposits on the insulating materials were successfully identified using the LIBS analysis. The level of pollution on the insulating material was identified by using the proposed linear relationship between normalized intensity ratio of the LIBS spectra and the equivalent salt deposition density (ESDD) level.”
To determine the constituents and amount of pollution, the deposition on the insulators is collected and then the evaluation of the equivalent salt deposit density (ESDD) and non-soluble material deposit density (NSDD) is carried out. There are also attempts to measure the leakage current through the insulator to monitor the severity of the pollution. These are quite cumbersome and expensive, the IIT Madras statement said.
Using this effective technique, the researchers said, the pollution level on the transmission line insulators and the windmills can be identified at any remote location. This technique could enable the power system community to have online monitoring of the condition of the transmission line insulators.