Operating a Test Station in a Polluted Environment by Christian Pons
With a view to better understanding the impact of relatively high pollution on the performance of electrical insulation, Electricité de France R&D Department installed different pieces of equipment in the south of the country over 50 years ago. Located close to the seacoast as well as a heavy concentration of petrochemical complexes, the purpose of this test facility was to study the behavior and limits of a range of insulator devices. With growing interest in the results of these types of tests, the site expanded and capacity increased along with voltage levels available. While factories have been under pressure for years to reduce emissions, localized industrial pollutants can still reach significant levels , depending on atmospheric conditions. That is why this location is still particularly appropriate for a natural ageing testing station and also why the Martigues Test Station ranks today among the world’s most important in terms of numbers of samples being tested. This presentation offers an overview of the site’s assessment tools dedicated to monitoring performance of grid components in a polluted environment.