The effect of insulator charging on breakdown and conditioning

J. Wetzer, P.A.A.F. Wouters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
226 Downloads (Pure)


As part of a study on HV design concepts for microwave tubes, a number of different insulator designs have been studied. Analysis of the measured DC current, partial discharge activity and breakdown voltage shows that surface charging of insulators is a key mechanism in the breakdown process and in the conditioning process. Insulator parameters are not only the breakdown voltage, but also the conditioning speed and the sensitivity to gas exposure or charge leakage. In all these respects insulators with a field enhancement at the anode are superior. Field enhancements at the cathode are less harmful if stepped insulator shapes are chosen. Effective conditioning requires at least a limited number of breakdowns. With sufficient conditioning breakdowns, all insulator geometries tested reached a breakdown field exceeding 12 kV/mm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-691
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electrical Insulation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993


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