- Measuring tools: Fluke 1587 Insulation Multimeter
- Operator: Singapore electrical utility
- Tests conducted: Insulation resistance cable test, continuity, voltage
When the electrical transmission is underway and distributed from generation plants to the end-users, it passes through numerous sections of low voltage and high voltage cables. These transmission cables are also used to connect to the secondary outputs of current transformers (CT). They are deployed at both ends of the transmission stations, also known as sub-stations. The Fluke 1587 Insulation Multimeter is the direct action to any electrical transmission cables’ faulty wirings.
To protect critical equipment and prevent the escalation of faults, these pilot cables serve to detect any unbalances between the corresponding pairs of CT. Ultimately, this may affect the entire transmission network. While only one pair of wires is needed to complete the connections, operation, and redundancy, planning calls for a minimum of three functional pairs of wires at any one time.
About electrical transmission.
It is impossible to have a single cable that spans the vast distance between sub-stations. As a result, this can imply a connection of cables. To say the least, such joints are the weakest links in the system. Ultimately, environmental factors can cause faulty joints. One of these factors includes thermal stress and moisture absorption. The failures will show up when current readings taken at the secondary of CT deviate from the proportional primary current readings. Remember, never be complacent with these kinds of abnormalities so it’s always safe to contact someone who knows their way around. Call utility maintenance when these kinds of faults occur.
Meanwhile, maintenance men have to travel to the sub-station at one end to isolate the affected CT and pilot cable at that sub-station. Then they need to travel to the sub-station at the other end to check the insulation resistance of the pilot cable.
While they’re at it, they will check the pair of wires that have been used, as well as all the remaining 4 or 9 pairs of wires in the same bunch of pilot cable, and ensure at least three pairs are functional. As some wires may have permanent damage, there’s actually a way to prevent this. How? With the use of colored cables. Different colored wires are mixed to achieve a minimum of 3 functional pairs. Therefore, the team must verify the exact inter-connect pairs and they term this work as “phasing”.
Thereafter, to prevent abnormality, make it a habit to check insulation resistance. This also goes for “phasing”.
In addition, these tests can be mandated by a new extension of cables due to civil engineering works. It’s no secret that time is critical for maintenance men, so the faster the troubleshooting, the better. Moreover, doing these tests in the shortest time possible is a huge plus. Maintenance people find the Fluke 1587 Insulation Multimeter a very versatile tool. Why? This device can perform insulation resistance tests as well as voltage measurements and continuity checks.
For testing of high voltage equipment, cables and switchgear, the team relied on the Fluke 1550B 5 VK MegOhmMeter.
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