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Papers of the Week

2020 Apr 15

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int

Dust contamination on surface of transmission line insulators in air-polluted regions in China: statistical characteristics, adhesion mechanism, and environmental impact factors.


Dust particles suspended in the atmosphere have been a big headache for electric power transmission industry in China. As transmission lines pass through dusty or air-polluted areas, dust contaminants are likely to deposit and accumulate on line insulators, which is one of the greatest causes of flashover and failure of power transmission. To study the statistical characteristics of this type of contamination, dust samples were collected and measured, and a physical model was set up to explain the deposition and accumulation mechanism of the particles. The trajectories of particles were tracked using fluid mechanics and contact mechanics, and an adhesion criterion was proposed. Simulation software was then applied to validate the model; further different environmental factors were studied that would affect the particle size distribution. The results show that under natural contamination conditions, the particle size distribution on the surface of the insulator shows a certain concentration at size ranges 1~100 μm and basically obeys a log-normal distribution. In addition, relative humidity, air velocity, and the charge accumulated on the surface all have significant influences on particle size distribution characteristics, while the effect of the electric field is mainly reflected in the difference in the number concentration of particle adhesion.