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Most very low frequency (VLF) hipot testers need a computer onsite to monitor the test results and store them for analysis. However, this can be a hassle especially when you need to bring a lot of electrical test equipment onsite. Wouldn't it be nice if you could send the test results wirelessly so other colleagues could collaborate with the diagnostics? If you want convenient hipot data logging, you might be interested in the High Voltage ADL-1 Data Logger.

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DC Hipots and Megohmmeters are fairly common test sets used by test technicians and engineers.  The basic operation for both a DC Hipot and a Megohmmeter is the same; a known DC voltage is applied across insulation.  The applied potential causes several small currents through and over surfaces of the insulation being tested. The total current is measured and the result is displayed as either an ohmic value or as a current value.

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For testing high voltage electrical equipment, AC dielectric test equipment can provide accurate indications of leakage current, in addition to valuable insight regarding the insulating characteristics of electrical apparatus. Using equipment such as an AC high potential test set can help in rapid detection of impending insulation failures and provide assurance that equipment is safe to operate.

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The HV Diagnostics HVA120 VLF High Voltage Insulation Test Set is a powerful 0.1 Hz VLF cable test system for testing of medium voltage cables, 0 – 120 kV peak, 0 – 85 kV rms.

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Diagnostics of medium and high voltage cables provides the opportunity for early detection of weaknesses and preventative maintenance work to be carried out before the cable fails in service. Partial Discharge diagnostics (PD) allows a precise analysis of cables and their joints and terminations. Tan Delta diagnostics (TD) provides a clear statement about the overall dielectric condition of aged polymeric cables.

 

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 VLF hipot —very low frequency hipot — is an AC high potential instrument used for testing the dielectric strength of insulating materials at 0.1 Hz or lower. Instead of having to perform DC testing because high potential test equipment that operates at power system frequency are large, heavy and therefore not very portable, VLF high potential testing  makes testing cables and electrical apparatus in the field more practical and economical. 

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Cables are exposed to the elements like moisture, dirt and other contaminants. They are also subjected to mechanical and electrical stress during operation. This is the importance of regular testing of cables. Predictive maintenance often employs diagnostic type tests which will provide the test data necessary to prioritize the replacement of those cables before they become faulted and the source of unscheduled down time.

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Engineers prefer to test electric cables using very low frequency or VLF Hipot testing because of its safety and simplicity. This diagnostic test checks if the cable is still capable of withstanding the electricity passing through it. A test voltage of slightly higher than the cable's rating is applied and held for a specified time depending on the purpose for which the test is being performed. If the cable is bad, the defects in the cable will further deteriorate to the point of failure.

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The HV Diagnostics HVA45TD VLF High Voltage Test Instrument is a universal high voltage diagnostic testing system that features 45kV peak output and integrated Tan Delta (TD).

Fully compliant with the IEEE400.2, IEC 60502, CENELEC HD620/621 guides and standards, and at only 86 lbs/39kbs the HVA45TD is very portable, housed in a rugged IP67 case. With a high-test capacity of 10uF, there are very few loads or cables this test set cannot test.

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Hipot testing is primarily performed to make sure that high voltage insulation will hold up during service. Many equipment and plant owners share concerns regarding the possibility for causing damage or premature deterioration of insulation by performing hipot testing on their assets.

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We find there are often plenty of questions from readers about the differences between VLF, AC and DC hipot testing methods. And of course, plenty of arguments surround whether DC testing should be performed or completely replaced by VLF testing. 

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When it comes time to test substations or medium voltage insulation testing, both DC Hipot and VLF Hipot technologies are can be uniquely helpful in their applications. 

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