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Substation Design EET 414/3

EXPERIMENT 3

Laboratory Module

INSULATION RESISTANCE & CONTINUITY CABLE TESTING

1. Objective

To conduct testing on cable condition and connection by using real tool equipment.

2. Introduction

The purpose of insulation around a conductor is much like that of a pipe carrying water,

and Ohm’s law of electricity can be more easily understood by a comparison with water

flow. Fig. 1 shows this comparison. Pressure on water from a pump causes flow along the

pipe. If the pipe were to spring a leak, you’d waste water and lose some water pressure.

have seen that, essentially, “good” means a relatively high resistance to current. Used to

describe an insulation material, “good” would also mean “the ability to keep a high

resistance.” So, a suitable way of measuring resistance can tell you how “good” the

insulation is. Also, if you take measurements at regular periods, you can check trends

toward its deterioration.

Insulation resistance testing

The insulation resistance test is an electrical test which uses a certain type and level of voltage (500V d.c. for low voltage installations i.e.: 230V) to measure insulation resistance in Ohm`s.

Substation Design EET 414/3

Laboratory Module

The measured resistance indicates the condition of the insulation between two conductive parts. An infinite resistance would be the perfect result, but no insulator is perfect, so the higher the reading the better.

The table below shows the required test voltage and the minimum required resistance in accordance with BS 7671.

 Nominal Circuit Voltage Test Voltage Minimum Resistance Between 0 V and 50 V a.c. 250 V d.c. 0.5 Mohm Between 50 v and 500 V a.c. 500 V d.c. 1Mohm Between 500 V and 1000 V a.c. 1000 V d.c. 1 Mohm

3. Equipment parts

1. Meggar Insulation Tester

2. Meggar Continuity Tester or Multimeter

PROCEDURE

IR Value Measurement (Conductors to conductor (Cross Insulation))

The first conductor for which cross insulation is being measured shall be connected to Line terminal of the megger. The remaining conductors looped together (with the help of crocodile clips) i. e. Conductor 2 and onwards, are connected to Earth terminal of megger. Conductors at the other end are left free.

Now rotate the handle of megger or press push button of megger. The reading of meter will show the cross Insulation between conductor 1 and rest of the conductors. Insulation reading shall be recorded.

Now connect next conductor to Line terminal of the megger & connect the remaining conductors to earth terminal of the megger and take measurements.

IR Value Measurement (Conductor to Earth Insulation)

Connect conductor under test to the Line terminal of the megger.

Connect earth terminal of the megger to the earth.

Rotate the handle of megger or press push button of megger. The reading of meter will show the insulation resistance of the conductors. Insulation reading shall be recorded after applying the test voltage for about a minute till a steady reading is obtained.

Substation Design EET 414/3

Laboratory Module

Insulation Test Result

 MEASUREMENT READING OK / NOT Phase A to Phase B Phase A to Phase C Phase B to Phase C Phase A to Neutral Phase B to Neutral Phase C to Neutral Phase A to Earth Phase B to Earth Phase C to Earth

Continuity testing

Continuity is the presence of a complete path for current flow. A circuit is completewhen its switch is closed. A digital multimeter’s Continuity Test mode can be used to test switches, fuses, electrical connections, conductors and other components. A good fuse, for example, should have continuity.

Substation Design EET 414/3

PROCEDURE

Step 1

Laboratory Module

For safety, disconnect the power supply to any electrical circuit that you are working on.

Step 2

Turn the dial on the multimeter to the indicator marked "ohms" to test for resistance. A continuity test is actually a test for the amount of resistance in a circuit or, more precisely, that resistance exists and there is not an open or broken circuit. The multimeter has two test lead wires on it that look like ballpoint pens. The red is the positive side; the black is the common side.

Step 3

Place the end of each test lead of the multimeter at each end of the wire or circuit to determine if there is an indication of resistance. If there is resistance in the wire, then the continuity test is positive and will show a value on the multimeter. If the amount of resistance shows zero, then the wire or circuit is open or broken.

Continuity Test Result

 MEASUREMENT READING OK / NOT Phase A Phase B Phase C Neutral Earth

Substation Design EET 414/3

QUESTIONS

Laboratory Module

1. Why Insulation Resistance and Continuity test is needed?

2. State the minimum resistance for insulation test at transformer and HV cable

3. You have been asked to test an office enviroment. It is Saturday and you have switched off the main switch on the 36 way 3~ distribution board. Most loads are still connected (impossible to disconnect everything). So you have done your visual inspection and ran around with your wander lead and tested r2 on accessible parts etc. All seems fine and dandy.

So you test neutral to earth and you get a reading of 300.000 ohms , well below the acceptable value of 1Mohm.

At this point what do you do ?.

So far you have a code 2 and the client needs a satisfactory report.

Do you practically strip down the installation until you find the cause of the low reading which is not necessarily a fault ?.

Do you code it as a 2 and carry on with the rest of the tests ? Are you allowed to carry on with the remaining tests ie earth loop and rcd tests if the insulation tests are not satisfactory.

I do not do much testing but the few that I have done lately have all had low insulation resistance values.

If the client needs a satisfactory report how far would you go ?

If the distribution board was like a rats nest with nothing corresponding how far would you go ?

Substation Design EET 414/3

DISCUSSION

CONCLUSION

Laboratory Module