Testing of High Potential Voltage Cable Discharge Arc Using a Cylindrical Vacuum Chamber

Testing of High Potential Voltage Cable Discharge Arc Using a Cylindrical Vacuum Chamber 01
Testing of High Potential Voltage Cable Discharge Arc Using a Cylindrical Vacuum Chamber 01
This cylindrical vacuum chamber is utilized for testing high potential voltage cables for potential discharging at higher altitudes. Since air is acting as an insulator at sea level, no electric discharge is present at lower altitudes. However, once the pressure is decreased as a result of higher altitudes, less air is present to act as an insulator. This creates a problem because if an electric discharge happens, it can result in catastrophic failure of electrical components, especially if these components are critical. It is therefore very important to test these cables for discharge by using a vacuum chamber to simulate an air pressure at higher altitudes. The vacuum requirements for this test where only to go to 35,000 feet pressure equivalent which is about 165 Torr.

Our client provided us with a the test cable, which is a high voltage cable. The requirements were to test only one section of the cable. The challenge here is due to the fact that the test cable has various diameters and therefore a sealing plate must be designed to accommodate the proper thickness at which the cable is to be tested.

What you see here is a cylindrical vacuum chamber about 60 inch long and about 10 inch Inside Diameter. The rear of the chamber has the door clamped against the rear wall. We provided our client with the rear door for easier access to the chamber from the back. The front on the other hand, has a sealing plate that is specifically designed to have a double sealing O-Ring which seals again the sealing plate and against the inside of the Hi-Pot Cable. As soon as the Cable and the O-Ring are in place, the vacuum can be pulled and a pressure of 165 Torr is achieved within minutes. Now the cable can be tested for discharge and a safe airplane component can be successfully tested and made. You can see a video going a little bit more into detail about how this vacuum sealing mechanism works and how a part of the cable is used for testing purposes.

Video of the Setup

Similar Items

Our clients prefer to work with us because we are Experts in Custom Fabrication (especially Polymer Fabrication). There is a tremendous amount of valuable resources and information regarding vacuum systems and vacuum technology; check them out by clicking on the links below.

Vacuum Bubble Emission ASTM 3078 Leak Testing Systems
Bubble Emission (ASTM 3078) Leak Testing Systems are instruments that are used during the Quality Control process discover and locate leaks or seal integrity failures. Leaks are detected by submerging the specimen into a tank of water, applying a vacuum, and inspecting the submersed specimen for bubble emission. Our Bubble Leak Testing Systems are designed and built to conform to the ASTM D3078 protocol standard.
Ethernet Vacuum Feedthroughs
Ethernet Vacuum Feedthroughs are Vacuum Rated Ethernet connectors that enable you to run ethernet cables into your vacuum chamber. Simply connect your ethernet connector to the outside of the vacuum chamber and another ethernet cord from the inside and run it into your part present inside your vacuum chamber.
Our Work: Vacuum Testing of Lithium Ion Batteries, Thin Film, Fuel Cells, Supercapacitors, and Nano materials
This vacuum chamber is a modification to our basic acrylic vacuum chamber 12 inch, removable lid model; except that our customer requested additional ports and electrical feed-through for testing of electrical equipment under vacuum. You know, I wish we would have asked them for more details on what they were doing with this chamber; their short and concise answer was that they were using our chamber to perform scientific work on the subjects of: lithium ion batteries, thin films, fuel cells, super-capacitors, and nano-materials testing in a vacuum environment.
Related Articles: High Altitude Package Testing utilizing an Acrylic Vac Chamber
An Acrylic Vacuum Chamber can be used to simulate elevation very reliably to altitudes up to 60.9 km or 200,000 feet. This provides several advantages over other testing methods as acrylic is transparent and enables full view of interior during testing. In this article, we will give you a through guide on what can be done to eliminate the risk of packaging damage during shipments at high altitudes.