Rotor Installed Corona Probe with Near Field Communication Antennas: Further Refinement Toward a Final Product

Project ID: 22012
Principal Investigator: Jacob Lapenna
Research Topic: Improved Power Generation
Funded Fiscal Years: 2022, 2023 and 2024
Keywords: None

Research Question

How can test techniques for diagnosing high-voltage insulation systems within rotating machines be improved to provide more meaningful insight into asset condition so that asset managers can make better decisions regarding asset operation, maintenance, and eventual replacement?

First, what test techniques, if improved, would have the largest impact on Reclamation's mission and the industry at large? Second, how can improved sensor technology, modern software paradigms, and advancements in electronic hardware be brought together to improve the highest-impact testing techniques? Finally, how can the resultant modernized prototypical system be brought toward mass use to harness it for the greatest impact? This last part of the overall question is the focus of the proposed research.

This research will work toward answering the last question in two ways. The first way will be to further streamline the prototypical system so that its use is more accessible to a greater range of test engineers and associated experience and disciplines. This will allow TSC to start employing these new test techniques at nearly all routine condition assessments on Reclamation assets and will allow Reclamation to realize the greatest benefit as quickly as possible. In addition to the streamlining of the protype, we would seek a relationship with commercial manufacturers of the electronic hardware the prototype leverages to perform its novel testing methods. Specifically, the prototype uses partial discharge detection hardware from a reputable manufacturer. We have shown that his hardware can be adapted for use with near field communication antennas with custom software and other sensor technologies we have incorporated into the prototype. We therefore hypothesize that it would be a small step to incorporate these novel technologies into their product as a commercially available partial discharge mapping device available to the industry at large.

Need and Benefit

The previously developed prototype utilizes near-field communication antennas commonly found in consumer electronics such as the iPhone to measure partial discharge from within a rotating machines air gap. By further refining this prototype through this research, more accurate assessments of asset condition can be generated, which will directly correlate to better asset management in operations and maintenance philosophies.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20