Silicone rubber insulators are replacing the conventional ceramic and porcelain insulators rapidly in power transmission and distribution industry. Very limited field knowledge is available about the performance of silicone rubber insulators in polluted and contaminated environments and therefore need further investigation. A comprehensive analysis of silicone rubber sheets (intended for coating outdoor insulators) was carried out in this paper based on experimental results. The main performance parameters analyzed were arc inception voltage and flashover voltage. Dependence of these parameters on equivalent salt deposit density (ESDD), non-soluble salt deposit density (NSDD), relative humidity, ambient temperature, fog rate, dry band formation, dry band location and number of dry bands were investigated extensively. Insulator orientation and its effect on performance were also studied. The authors believe that this paper will provide a comprehensive knowledge about the flashover characteristics of silicone rubber insulators under humid, contaminated and dry band conditions. These results could be used in the selection and design of silicone rubber insulators for polluted environments.
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