Numerical computation of electric field and potential along silicone rubber insulators under contaminated and dry band conditions

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Electrical field distribution along the insulator surface is considered one of the important parameters for the performance evaluation of outdoor insulators. In this paper numerical simulations were carried out to investigate the electric field and potential distribution along silicone rubber insulators under various polluted and dry band conditions. Simulations were performed using commercially available simulation package Comsol Multiphysics based on the finite element method. Various pollution severity levels were simulated by changing the conductivity of pollution layer. Dry bands of 2 cm width were inserted at the high voltage end, ground end, middle part, shed, sheath, and at the junction of shed and sheath to investigate the effect of dry band location and width on electric field and potential distribution. Partial pollution conditions were simulated by applying pollution layer on the top and bottom surface respectively. It was observed from the simulation results that electric field intensity was higher at the metal electrode ends and at the junction of dry bands. Simulation results showed that potential distribution is nonlinear in the case of clean and partially polluted insulator and linear for uniform pollution layer. Dry band formation effect both potential and electric field distribution. Power dissipated along the insulator surface and the resultant heat generation was also studied. The results of this study could be useful in the selection of polymeric insulators for contaminated environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Journal3D Research
Issue number25
Early online date1 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • electric field
  • silicone rubber insulators
  • dry band conditions


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