Characterization of Dielectric Oil with a Low-Cost CMOS Imaging Sensor and a New Electric Permittivity Matrix Using the 3D Cell Method

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Nov 6;21(21):7380. doi: 10.3390/s21217380.


In this paper, a new method for characterizing the dielectric breakdown voltage of dielectric oils is presented, based on the IEC 60156 international standard. In this standard, the effective value of the dielectric breakdown voltage is obtained, but information is not provided on the distribution of Kelvin forces an instant before the dynamic behavior of the arc begins or the state of the gases that are produced an instant after the moment of appearance of the electric arc in the oil. In this paper, the behavior of the oil before and after the appearance of the electric arc is characterized by combining a low-cost CMOS imaging sensor and a new matrix of electrical permittivity associated with the dielectric oil, using the 3D cell method. In this way, we also predict the electric field before and after the electric rupture. The error compared to the finite element method is less than 0.36%. In addition, a new method is proposed to measure the kinematic viscosity of dielectric oils. Using a low-cost imaging sensor, the distribution of bubbles is measured, together with their diameters and their rates of ascent after the electric arc occurs. This method is verified using ASTM standards and data provided by the oil manufacturer. The results of these tests can be used to prevent incipient failures and evaluate preventive maintenance processes such as transformer oil replacement or recovery.

Keywords: cell method; dielectric oil monitoring; imaging sensor; low-cost sensors; permittivity matrix.