Radiometric measurement of circuit breaker interpole switching times

P.J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Monitoring the switching times of circuit breakers is important in the condition assessment of the operating mechanism. Although methods exist for this, they are not applicable to existing plant without retrofitting. Recent research shows that arcing produces impulsive radio-frequency radiation. Using direct digital sampling of the antenna signals, impulses from operating circuit breakers (CBs) may be recorded. From timing analysis of the received impulses, the interpole switching time of the CB can be measured. Results of this method are shown for a field trial on a 132-kV SF6 CB attached to a capacitor bank. The relationship between the opening and closing impulses is discussed. This method of timing measurement can be applied to an energized CB. Measurement of the interpole switching times is completely noninvasive, whereas the overall switching time requires a clamp CT fitted on the CB wiring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-992
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • condition monitoring
  • digital monitoring
  • high voltage circuit breakers
  • impulsive noise
  • radiometric monitoring
  • switching times


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