First camera to quantify electric fault conditions

Polluted or broken insulators and faulty connections on power lines induce corona (arcing) and thermal (heat) radiation. The corona and heat build-up cause long-term degradation of the high- voltage electrical components, which leads to voltage drops, tripping and, eventually, a complete power line outage. These power outages have negative consequences for the local industry and the economy.

A phenomenon known as corona manifests itself in the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum, causing degradation of the high-voltage transmission line (HVTL) and sub-station components. Hence, the corona needs to be detected and the faulty components identified to resolve the source of the problem. HVTL components can also overheat and subsequently fail, if either of these two problems persists, causing supply of electricity to crucial infrastructure to cease.

Because both corona and overheating of HVTL components cannot be seen by the naked eye, a device that can make this corona and overheating visible was required. As such, the CSIR developed a device known as the Quantified Ultraviolet and Infrared (QUVIR) system, which is used to detect, recognise and identify faults on HVTL. Moreover, the real value of the QUVIR lies in quantifying the corona and infrared radiation received from the source.

QUVIR captures the light energy in the three wavelength bands, namely visible, UV and infrared and makes this available to the operator of the system to decide what the appropriate course of action should be.

Contact Person

Ettienne Cox

Key Concept

Corona OR VIZ
Corona OR VIZ, ultraviolet and infrared spectrum