Antenna deployment for the localization of partial discharges in open-air substations

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Partial discharges are ionization processes inside or on the surface of dielectrics that can unveil insulation problems in electrical equipment. The charge accumulated is released under certain environmental and voltage conditions attacking the insulation both physically and chemically. The final consequence of a continuous occurrence of these events is the breakdown of the dielectric. The electron avalanche provokes a derivative of the electric field with respect to time, creating an electromagnetic impulse that can be detected with antennas. The localization of the source helps in the identification of the piece of equipment that has to be decommissioned. This can be done by deploying antennas and calculating the time difference of arrival (TDOA) of the electromagnetic pulses. However, small errors in this parameter can lead to great displacements of the calculated position of the source. Usually, four antennas are used to find the source but the array geometry has to be correctly deployed to have minimal errors in the localization. This paper demonstrates, by an analysis based on simulation and also experimentally, that the most common layouts are not always the best options and proposes a simple antenna layout to reduce the systematic error in the TDOA calculation due to the positions of the antennas in the array.
Antennas, Radio-frequency localization, Partial discharges, Particle swarm optimization, Picking
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Robles, G., Fresno, J. M., Sánchez-Fernández, M., Martínez-Tarifa, J. M. (2016). Antenna Deployment for the Localization of Partial Discharges in Open-Air Substations. Sensors, 16 (4), 541.