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Aspects of moisture ingress in polymer housed surge arresters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalElectric Power Systems Research
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Polymers have been extensively applied in the industry, especially in energy system e.g. due to their good processability and insulation properties. However, all polymers are permeable in different extent, which requires a good knowledge about the process of permeation through these materials. In this study the moisture dynamics of four different surge arresters were studied in several ways,—at first by analysing the moisture diffusion properties of the housing polymers and finally by testing the full arrester structures against moisture ingress. Housing polymer composites were evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry while the polymers’ ability to withstand moisture diffusion was studied by water vapor transmission rate measurements. Moisture ingress behavior of the full surge arresters was examined by daily measurements of internal resistive leakage current along 30 days immersion test. Although correlations were found between the material composition and the diffusivity through the polymer, the moisture dynamic is deemed to be much more complex in the full surge arrester. Moisture permeation through separate housing material samples was typically high compared to internal leakage current formed in real arresters which highlights the main conclusion drawn,—internal structures and long term quality of interfaces are the key issues in preventing moisture induced degradation in metal oxide surge arresters.