Bird streamer initiated breakdowns under HVDC conditions.
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This dissertation describes the role played by bird streamers in transmission line faults under HVDC conditions. The research was initiated due to the lack of knowledge of these faults under HVDC conditions. An explanation as to what bird streamers faults are, the role they play in the breakdown of air-gaps and a means of preventing bird streamer caused faults from occurring is made Experimental work has been carried out in order to gain an understanding of these faults under HVDC conditions. The overall aim of the experiments was to find a horizontal distance (protected zone) on an HVDC tower top, in order to prevent birds from perching around the centre of the tower. This will lead to a reduction of bird streamer caused faults. A brass rod was used as the artificial streamer in the experiments, under both negative and positive polarity (voltages in the range 0 to 220 kV DC were applied). Later in the experimental phase, a string soaked in a saline solution was used as a more realistic simulation of a bird streamer. QuickField™, an FEM package, was used to simulate the electric field in the region of the live conductor fitting and the tip of the bird streamer, to assess the degree of distortion of the electric field caused by the introduction of the bird streamer. These simulations served as means of verifying the laboratory experiments. This dissertation has proposed a relationship between the breakdown voltage and the protected zone length, based on the air-gap breakdown voltages for both I-String and V-String insulator configurations in the air-gap range 0 to 350 mm. These curves can be used in the design of transmission lines, as a means of reducing bird streamer faults.