BENEFITS OF USING POLYMER INSULATORS ON TRANSMISSION LINES

Polymer Insulators are fast becoming the insulator of choice in recent transmission lines project. It is interesting to know what are the benefits of using polymeric insulators. Below are some of the benefits of using polymer insulators in transmission lines.


Resistance to Shock Loading

 There are various conditions that lead to mechanical shock loading. Polymer insulators exhibits the property of compliance to mechanical shock loads and has the potential of preventing line drops which result from the many sources of shock loading.

Resistance to Gunshot
Polymer insulators have much greater resistance to gunshot though they are not immune to damage. They simply proves to be a more difficult target. A polymer insulator provides the shooter with no evidence that the target has been hit, thus frustrating the shooter, and eventually leaving it.

Resistance to Breaking and Damage
 Polymer insulators have infinitely greater resistance to damage and breakage. Virtually no insulators (polymer) are damaged while being transported or during construction. While porcelain insulators in an average could account up to 2% of insulator damage.

Improved Contamination Performance
Some test shows that polymer insulators are superior over ceramic insulator in terms if its flashover strength. Its flashover performance is greater by more than 20%, thus polymer insulators are being specified for polluted environments.

Gained Acceptance in Environmentally Sensitive Area
Ceramic insulators produces significant visual impact due to its sheer size. Because of their slim profile, polymer insulators minimize the visual impact and have gained acceptance in environmentally sensitive areas.

Reduced Interference
 Radio and television interference is produced from many insulator sources. The contact type of interference produced is virtually eliminated with polymer insulators as well as the interference produced during damp conditions.

Hydrophobicity and Multiple Aging Phenomena of Polymer Insulators
Advantages of polymer insulators over traditional ceramics insulators are light weight, high mechanical strength to weight ratio and high vandal damage resistance. Easy handling, easy installation and the thereby reduced cost arc expected to contribute to more effective and labor-saving power delivery systems.

The induced aging can reduce the electrical performances as well as the durability of polymer insulators. This is a peculiar nature of polymer insulators. Nowadays, silicone rubbers incorporated with alumina trihydrate (Al2O3 3H2O) filler are representative housing materials of polymer insulators. One merit of using silicone rubbers is providing stable hydrophobicity, which can be quickly recovered even when it is lost as a result of discharges and/or deposits of contaminations, to insulator surfaces.

Stable and recoverable hydrophobicity prevents water film to form, restricting leakage current passing throngh the water film and thus enhancing the capability of electrical insulators even in wet and contaminated conditions.

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