As energy networks are globally striving to make power infrastructures more resilient to the impact of extreme weather caused by climate change, severe conditions concerning humidity and pollution can also damage electrical equipment. According to a recent study, the degradation of the dielectric materials of Medium-Voltage and High-Voltage insulators followed by their failure is, in fact, an ongoing problem in the power network. The main cause of such issues is electrical discharge triggered by environmental factors and major sources of environmental pollution, which include costal pollution, rain forest algae/moss, desert pollution, snow, lighting and industrial pollution. In addition, salt fog stress in beachfront areas, industrial pollution, mist or rain can generate flashovers on outdoor high- and medium-voltage equipment.
In this respect, KEMA Labs pollution test laboratories can reproduce heavy conditions in accordance with most global standards to help our global customers face and reduce the risks caused by these factors. In order to support our customers in facing the above-mentioned problems, our KEMA Labs facility in Mannheim includes five pollution and climatic test chambers which, according to IEC 60507 up to 600 kV AC/DC, can perform ageing tests with humidity and salt fog on insulators according to IEC 62217 up to 120 kV AC/DC, under -50°C to +70°C temperatures and humidity above 95%.