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FACILITIES INSTRUCTIONS, STANDARDS,

AND TECHNIQUES

Volume 3-2

TESTING AND MAINTENANCE OF

HIGH-VOLTAGE BUSHINGS

FACILITIES ENGINEERING BRANCH DENVER OFFICE


DENVER, COLORADO

Internet Version of This Manual Created


August 2000

The Appearance of the Internet Version of This Manual


May Differ From the Original, but the Contents Do Not

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

NOVEMBER 1991
CONTENTS

Section Page
I Types of Bushings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

II Bushing Troubles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

III Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

IV Maintenance, Inspection, and Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

V Storage of Bushings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

TABLES

Table Page

1 Bushing Troubles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2 Manufacturer's Power-Factor Limits for Bushings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

i (FIST 3-2 11/91)


I. Types of Bushings G. Oil-Impregnated Paper-
Insulated Bushing.- A bushing in
which the internal structure is made
High-voltage bushings for use on of cellulose material impregnated
transformers and breakers are made in with oil.
several principal types, as follows:
H. Resin-Bonded, Paper-
A. Composite Bushing.- A bushing Insulated Bushing.- A bushing in
in which insulation consists of two or which the major insulation is
more coaxial layers of different provided by cellulose material
insulating materials. bonded with resin.
B. Compound-Filled Bushing.- A I. Solid (Ceramic) Bushing.- A
bushing in which the space between bushing in which the major
the major insulation (or conductor insulation Is provided by a ceramic
where no major insulation is used) or analogous material.
and the inside surface of a protective
weather casing (usually porcelain) is
filled with a compound having II. Bushing Troubles
insulating properties.
Operating records show that about 90
C. Condenser Bushing.- A bushing percent of all preventable bushing failures
in which cylindrical conducting layers are caused by moisture entering the
are arranged coaxially with the bushing through leaky gaskets or other
conductor within the insulating openings. Close periodic inspection to find
material. The length and diameter of leaks and make repairs as needed will
the cylinders are designed to control prevent most outages due to bush-lng
the distribution of the electric field in failures. Such an external inspection re­
and over the outer surface of the quires little time and expense and will be
bushing. Condenser bushings may be well worth the effort. High-voltage bushings,
one of several types: if allowed to deteriorate, may explode with
considerable violence and cause extensive
1. Resin-bonded paper insulation; damages to adjacent equipment.

2. Oil-impregnated paper insulation; or Flashovers may be caused by deposits of


dirt on the bushings, particularly in areas
3. Other. where there are contaminants such as salts
or conducting dusts in the air. These
D. Dry or Unfilled Type Bushing.- deposits should be removed by periodic
Consists of porcelain tube with no cleaning.
filler in the space between the shell
and conductor. These are usually Table 1 lists the common causes of bushing
rated 25 kV and below. troubles and the inspection methods used
to detect them.
E. Oil-Filled Bushing.- A bushing in
which the space between the major III. Safety
insulation (or the conductor where no
major insulation is used) and the
inside surface of a protective weather At all times, safety is the most important
casing (usually porcelain) is filled with consideration. All testing work on bushings
insulating oil. shall be performed in accordance with the
ROMSS (Reclamation Operation and
F. Oil Immersed Bushing.- A Maintenance Safety Standards) which
bushing composed of a system of establish safety standards and safe work
major insulations totally immersed in practices for operations and activities
a bath of insulating oil. performed by the Bureau. The

1 (FIST 3-2 11/91)


Table 1. - Bushing troubles Table 1. - Bushing troubles - Continued
Trouble Possible Methods of Trouble Possible Methods of
results detection results detection

Cracked porcelain Moisture enters. Visual inspection. Corona Internal break­ Power factor test
Oil and/or gas Power factor test. down. Hot collar test.
leaks. Hot collar test Radio interfer­ Hot-wire test.
Filler leaks out. ence. RRIV
Treeing along sur­
Deterioration of Moisture enters, Visual inspection. face of paper or
cemented joints Oil and/or gas Power factor test. internal sur­
leaks. Hot collar test. faces.
Filler leaks out.
Short-circuited Increased capaci­ Power factor test.
Gasket leaks Moisture enters. Visual inspection. condenser sections tance. Voltage test at
Oil and/or gas Power factor test. Reduced voltage capacitance tap.
leaks. Hot collar test. at capacitance Capacitance test.
Filler leaks out. Hot-wire test for tap terminal.
moisture. Adds internal
Insulation resis­ stress to insula­
tance. tion.

Moisture in Moisture enters. Power factor test, Darkened oil Radio interfer­ Power factor test.
insulation Hot collar test. ence, Hot collar test.
Poor test results.
Solder seal leak Moisture enters. Visual inspection.
Filler leaks out. Power factor test.
Hot collar test.
Hot-wire test for following are minimum suggestions for safety
moisture.
Leak detector.
and are not intended to supersede safety prac­
tices established by individual regions or the
Broken connection Sparking in appa- Power factor test. ROMSS.
between ground ratus tank or
sleeve and flange within bushing.
Discolored oil. A. Handling. - When handling bushings,
care must be taken to be sure that rigging is
Voids in compound Internal corona. Hot collar test. applied properly to prevent damage to the
Power factor tip- bushing and/or to adjacent equipment and
up test.
personnel.
Oil migration Filler contamina- Visual inspection.
tion. Power factor test. Cracked or chipped porcelain produce sharp
Hot collar test.
edges which can result in severe cuts on the
No oil Oil leaks out. Visual inspection, hands and arms of personnel working around
Moisture enters. Power factor test. them.
Hot collar test.

Displaced grading Internal sparking Hot collar test.


B. Static Charges. - Static charges induced
shield discolors oil. by test potentials provide a source for serious
accidents through falls caused by reflex action,
Electrical fiashover Cracked or bro- Visual inspection. High- static voltages may be encountered at
ken porcelain. Hot collar test.
Complete failure. the bushings installed in apparatus during cold
weather and oil-handling operations. Protective
Lightning Cracked or bro- Visual inspection. or safety grounds should be used to bleed off
ken porcelain. Test lightning
Complete failure. arrestors.
static charges. High-static charges may also be
encountered at the bushing capacitance taps if

(FIST 3-2 11/91) 2


the covers are removed. These also removed from service if the tests show a
should be grounded before being dangerous condition.
handled.
1. Terminal caps end connectors.
Induced voltages from nearby energized Check for tightness to avoid poor contact
lines can cause serious accidents if they and resultant heating.
are not handled properly. Employees
should be constantly reminded of the 2. Capacitance taps and power-factor
possibility of induced charges and the test electrodes.- Check to determine
dangers Involved. proper grounding for bushings with a
grounded capacitance tap and for power-
Induced voltages of steady-state nature factor test electrodes. Examine for proper
are often encountered when the gasketing to prevent entrance of mois­
deenergized circuit closely parallels ture.
another energized circuit. In such
instances, protective grounds should be 3. Cement.- Check for crumbling or
applied to the circuit at the bushings to be chipped and repair as required.
inspected. If electrical tests are to be
conducted, the grounded leads may be 4. Gaskets.- Check gaskets for
removed which would prevent such tests. deterioration, looseness, and leaking.
Refer to FIST Volume 1-1. Loose gaskets should be replaced or
painted with General Electric lacquer or
C. Field Testing.- Field testing generally other suitable oil-proof sealer, and
requires work in the proximity of tightened. Finding a loose gasket or seal
energized equipment. A hazard analysis may mean that moisture has entered the
should be performed and a short safety bushing, and checks should be made to
meeting on the site should be conducted determine if moisture is present. The
prior to beginning field tests on bushings. bushing should be dried out if necessary.

Adjacent high-voltage equipment which 5. Metal pads.- Check and paint as nec­
may be hazardous to workmen shall be essary. Examine structural parts, such as
marked off with visible warning devices, clamping rings and washers, for cracks or
such as tape, rope, or portable fence breaks.
sections. Signs reading "DANGER - DO
NOT PASS THIS BARRIER, -- DANGER 6. Solder seals.- Check for cracks and
- HIGH VOLTAGE," or similar notice leaks and repair as necessary.
shall be placed along the barriers facing
the working area. B. Visual Inspection Annually with
Binoculars.- The visual inspection should
IV. Maintenance, Inspection, include the following items:
and Testing
1. Porcelain.- Check for chips, cracks,
and contamination. Minor chips may be
A. General.- All high-voltage bushings painted with an insulating varnish to ob­
should be inspected periodically to tain a glossy finish which will shed dirt
intervals of not over 3-5 years. The and moisture. Superficial cracks that do
inspections should include power-factor not affect the mechanical or electrical
tests for all bushings rated above 115 kV. strength of the bushing may be sealed
Lower voltage bushings should also be with insulating varnish or epoxy. Bush­
tested if there is reason to suspect they ings with major chips or cracks which
may be deteriorated. Bushings showing appreciably decrease the creepage dis­
signs of deterioration should be tested at tance should be replaced. The surface of
intervals of 6 months to 1 year and the porcelain should be cleaned as

3 (FIST 3-2 11/91)


needed to remove dirt, oil, and other deposits have been isolated from connected
that may reduce the flashover value. windings and interrupters. The test is
performed by energizing the bushing
2. Oil level.- Check the oil level on conductor and grounding the flange.
bushings equipped with sight gauges or
other types of oil-level indicators and Large variations in temperature have
add oil as necessary. Low-oil levels with a significant effect on power-factor
no sign of an external leak may Indicate readings on certain types of
a leak within the bushings which may bushings. For comparative purposes,
require replacement of the bushing as readings should be taken at the same
field corrections would be difficult to temperature, or corrections should be
accomplish. The oil level of bushings applied before comparing readings
without oil-level indicators is not taken at different temperatures.
normally checked unless there is
evidence of leakage. b. The hot-guard test.- This test mea­
sures the insulation between the cur-
C. Maintenance Tests.- Common mainte­ rent-carrying or center conductor and
nance tests are power factor, RIV (radio-in- the mounting flange of a bushing.
fluence-voltage), dc insulation resistance, and The test was designed specifically for
testing oil or compound for moisture. "draw-lead" type bushings but is
Descriptions of these various tests follow: applicable to any bushing in
apparatus which can be isolated from
1. Power-factor Doble Tests.- The connecting windings and bus, but not
power-factor test is the most effective sufficiently to withstand test potential.
known field test procedure for the Both the bushing and the draw-lead,
early detection of bushing winding, and bus are energized at the
contamination and deterioration. This same test potential, but only the
test also provides measurement of ac current and losses of the bushing are
test current which is directly measured.
proportional to bushing capacitance.
c. The UST (ungrounded-specimen
Bushings may be tested by one or test).- This test measures the insula­
more of four methods depending tion between the current-carrying or
upon the type of bushing and the center conductor and the capacitance
power-factor test set available. For tap, power-factor tap, and/or un­
more complete detailed instructions grounded flange of a bushing. This
on the method of test and test test may be applied to any bushing in
procedure, please see the or out of apparatus which is either
appropriate power-factor test set equipped with capacitance or power-
instruction book. The four test factor taps or the flange of which can
methods are as follows: be isolated from the grounded tank in
which the bushing is installed. The
a. The GST (grounded specimen insulation resistance between the
test).- This test measures the taps or insulated flanges and ground
insulating qualities of the insulation should be 0.5 meg-ohm or better.
between the current carrying or While in this case, anything that is
center conductor and the mounting attached to the bushing (such as
flange of a bushing. The application contact assemblies or transformer
of such a test is necessarily limited to windings) would also be energized;
bushings out of the apparatus such only the insulation of the bushing between
as spare bushings, or bushings which

(FIST 3-2 11/91) 4


the center conductor and the PermissibleTest Potentials to be Applied to
ungrounded tap or flange would be Power-Factor Taps
measured. In the case of bushings
equipped with capacitance taps, a Manufacturer Bushing type Test
supplementary test should always be or class volts
made on the insulation between the
tap and the flange.
General Electric LC, U 2000
Lapp POC 2000
d. The hot-collar test.- This test mea­ Ohio Brass L 250
sures the condition of a specific small Ohio Brass GK, LK 500
section of bushing insulation between Pennsylvania (Federal Pacific) P 500
an area of the upper porcelain Westinghouse S, OS 500
rainshed and the current-carrying or
center conductor. It is performed by Routine tap-insulation tests are not normally
energizing one or more electrodes recommended for bushings rated 69 kV and
(collars) placed around the bushing below with power-factor taps. However, a power-
porcelain with the bushing center factor test of the tap insulation should be
conductor grounded. This test is used performed when questionable ungrounded
to supplement the three tests specimen test results or visual examination cast
described above or to test bushings in suspicion on the condition of the power-factor
apparatus when the above-mentioned tap. The test procedure is as outlined above for
three tests are either inapplicable or
capacitance taps. In such cases, the maximum
impractical. Hot-collar tests are
effective in locating cracks in permissible test potentials should be limited to
porcelain, deterioration or the following table.
contamination of insulation in the
upper section of a bushing, low com­ The power factor of the power-factor tap
pound or liquid level, or voids in com­ insulation for most of the above- mentioned
pound, often before such defects are bushings will generally be of the order of 1.0
noticeable with the tests outlined in percent or less. The principal exception to this is
subparagraphs a., b., and c. the Ohio Brass, type L bushing. The inherent
properties of the fibrous-bakelite material used
When bushings with capacitance or potential for the tap insulator have resulted in power
taps (92 kV and above) are tested by the
factors up to 10 percent for apparently
ungrounded test specimen method, it is
recommended practice to include a separate satisfactory taps.
power-factor test on the tap Insulation as well.
The exception to this is General Electric The tabulations of factory power factors and
Company type of bushings built prior to 1932, power-factors limits in table 2 are as published
which have tap outlets designed to operate at by the manufacturers or otherwise listed by
less than 100 volts. On all other capacitance them. Please note, however, that many bushings
or potential taps, tests are performed at some have the factory power factor listed on the
voltage from 2 to 5 kV. The procedure is to nameplate. In such cases, field measurement,
energize the tap with the bushing center particularly ungrounded specimen tests, should
conductor and flange grounded. The power
compare with and the bushings be rated on the
factor of a capacitance or potential tap will
generally be of the order of 1.0 percent or
basis of nameplate power factors. In general, any
less. bushing that exhibits a history of continued

5 (FIST 3-2 11/91)


Table 2. - Manufacturer's P. F. (power factor) limits for bushings

Manufacturer Bushing type Initial P.F. Dangerous P. F.


or class for new value at
bushings, at 20 EC (%)

General electric A 6.0 8.0

B 10.0 12.0

F 1.5 2.0

L 3.0 4.0

LC 2.5 3.5

OF 2.6 6.0

S 3.5 6.0

U 1.0 1.5

Lapp bushings POC 0.5

PRC 0.7-1.2

Ohio Brass manufactured prior ODOF 1-10 Initial P.F. = 22


to 1926 and after 1938 G
L

Ohio Brass manufactured 1926 ODOF 2-4 Initail P.F. = 16


to 1938, inclusive G
L

Ohio Brass Class GK type C 04.-0.6

Class LK type A 0.6-0.7

Pennsylvania Transformer P 0.5 1.0


PA
PB

Westinghouse D 6.0

O 1.4

OCB & Inst. Trans. 69-kV 3.5


and
Below

OCB & Inst. Trans. 92-kV 2.8


to
138-kV

Power & Dist. Trans. OCB 2.0


&
161-kV to 288-kV.

(FIST 3-2 11/91) 6


increase in power factor should be a wire and melt it in the flame of a match. If
questioned and scheduled for removal moisture is present, there will be a sputtering
from service. Measured power-factor sound and small sparks will be thrown off. Dry
values should be temperature corrected to compound will melt without disturbance.
20 EC for comparison with table 2.
5. Testing oil for moisture. - Whenever
2. The RIV test.- The RIV test can provide the presence of moisture in the oil of an oil-
detection of corona in resin- bonded, solid- filled bushing is suspected or found by a
core noncondenser bushings. Methods of bushing power-factor test, the oil should be
measurement of RIV are described in drained out and a sample tested by a
NEMA Publication No. 107. Copies of this dielectric or power-factor test. Since the
publication may be obtained from D-8440 quantity of oil in a bushing is small, the old
or D-8450. oil should be discarded and new oil put in. If
moisture is found in the oil, the bushing
Liquid-filled bushings generally have a low should be dried out before returning to
RIV value. A high RIV value on this type of service.
bushings which cannot be reduced by
cleaning the porcelain indicates the level V. Storage of Bushings
of the filling liquid should be checked.
The manufacturer's instructions for storage should
3. The dc insulation resistance test. The be followed for all bushings. The following are
dc insulation resistance test generally general guidelines for the storage of bushings:
cannot be relied on to detect early con­
tamination in bushings. When bushing de­ A. Bushings should be stored where they
terioration can be detected by dc insulation will not be subject to mechanical damage.
resistance, it is generally in an advanced
stage requiring immediate attention. A B. Bushings having exposed paper insulation
2500-volt insulation resistance meter on the lower end require special protection to
may be used for an insulation resistance prevent moisture contamination. This can be
check, but a high reading should not be accomplished with a tank or tub filled with oil
completely relied upon as indicating a or with a special moisture- proof wrapping.
good bushing. Any bushing testing less Completely sealed outdoor bushings may be
than 20,000 megohms has questionable stored out of doors.
insulating value.
C. Liquid- and plastic-filled bushings
4. Hot-wire test for moisture.- Plastic should never be stored in a horizontal
type compound used in compound filled position. Storage in a horizontal position can
bushings may absorb moisture if there are introduce voids or air bubbles into the filler
leaks through the shell or cap. A moisture insulation.
content of as little as 0.15 percent in soft
compounds can be detected by pushing a The condition of stored bushings should be
red-hot rod into the compound. If moisture checked periodically for oil level, mechanical
is present, a crackling, sputtering, or damage, and power factor as described in section
hissing sound will be heard. If no moisture IV - Maintenance, Inspection, and Testing. The
is present, the compound will melt quietly. power factor of a stored bushing should be
Another test is to put some compound on checked before putting it in service.

7 (FIST 3-2 11/91)


BIBLIOGRAPHY
Association, 2101 L Street NW, Washington, D.C.
20037.
[1] Manual of Westinghouse Outdoor Bushings
Technical Data 33-360. [4] IEEE Standard 21-1976 - IEEE General Re-
quirements and Test Procedure for Outdoor
[2] Apparatus Bushing Reference Book, Gen- Apparatus Bushings, Published by the Institute of
eral Electric Co., Bulletin GET- 2525. Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.

[3] NEMA Publication No. 107-1964, Reaffirmed [5] Hubert, Charles L., Preventive Maintenance
by NEMA 1976 - Methods of Measurement of of Electrical Equipment, McGraw-Hill Book Co.,
Radio Influence Voltage (RIV) of High-Voltage New York, N.Y., 1969.
Apparatus, National Electrical Manufacturers

(FIST 3-2 11/91) 8