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Silicone rubber insulator maintenance

Silicone rubber insulator can be used in high voltage transmission and distribution lines, Silicone rubber insulator maintenance is necessary, the remedies have some.

Washing silicone rubber insulators
Substation or line insulators can be washed when de-energized or when energized. Automatic washing schemes and helicopters have been used for this purpose. The costs are usually prohibitive.

Greasing for silicone rubber insulators
A thin layer of silicone grease, when applied to ceramic insulators increase the hydrophobicity of the surface. Pollution particles that are deposited on the insulator surface are also encapsulated by the grease and protected from moisture.
The disadvantage of greasing is that the spent grease must be removed and new grease applied usually annually.

Coatings for silicone rubber insulator/composite insulator/polymer insulator
Room temperature cured silicone rubber coatings are available to be used on ceramic substation insulators. These coatings have good hydrophobicity properties when new. Research is still in process to evaluate their aging processes.

Increase creepage distance
If the clearances allow, additional discs may be added to increase the reliability of a line. In the case of longrod and post insulators, the increased creepage length must not result in an inadequate shed spacing. The solution is usually not possible and expensive.

Replace hydrophilic with hydrophobic insulators
One possibility may be to lace hydrophilic with hydrophobic insulation of the same connecting length and creepage distance. This solution is, however, expensive and it must be known with certainty that the original problem is pollution related.

Above five methods to maintain the silicone rubber insulators, insulator manufactures can choose suitable method for silicone rubber insulator maintenance.


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