Partial discharge (PD) measurements have proved their reliability for health monitoring of insulation systems in power system components including synchronous generators, power transformers, switchgear and cables etc. Online condition monitoring and pro-active detection of PD faults have been highly demanded over the last two decades. This paper provides results from a research project to develop advanced non-intrusive sensing technologies that are cost effective, reliable and efficient for early detection of PD faults in medium voltage (MV) and high voltage (HV) air-insulated switchgear. Three sensors (high frequency E-field (D
-dot) sensor, Rogowski coil and loop antenna) have been developed and tested under various PD faults and their performance were evaluated in comparison with high frequency current transformer (HFCT) which is being used commercially for PD testing and measurement. Among these three sensors, it is shown that D
-dot sensor and Rogowski coil are more dependable when it comes to the PD measurements due to their high signal to noise ratio and hence high accuracy. These sensors can be customized according to a specific application and can be connected together with one data acquisition device while developing an online condition monitoring system.
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