Contaminants such as dust, salt spray, silt, ash, and dirt can greatly reduce the dielectric strength of electrical equipment. These contaminants can lead to increased levels of leakage current passing over the dielectric materials and result in tracking of the surface. These conditions can result in flash-overs that can damage electrical equipment and cause service outages as well as safety concerns.
S&C tested CO2 cleaning in our world-class Advanced Technology Center. We found that contaminated dielectric components energized at 15 kV showed leakage currents in excess of 90 milliamps.
After CO2 cleaning, the equipment was tested again, and leakage current was reduced to approximately 3 milliamps, more than a 96% reduction in leakage current.