Hipot testing has many benefits, and usually involves either high voltage testing or high potential testing. However, a more technical term for hipot testing would be a dielectric withstand test. As for the reason why hipot testing is conducted; it is primarily performed to determine if there is proper insulation.
That is, hipot testing is administered to ensure that the current does not flow from one point to another point. Conversely, continuity testing is performed to ensure that the current flows seamlessly from one point to another. Here, we will dive deeper into why hipot testing is important, and essentially a must in order to avoid serious pitfalls down the line.
Why it is Needed
As previously mentioned, the goal of hipot testing is to measure the quantity or level of electrical insulation in a device or component. It is also a test-type that is non-destructive in nature for peace of mind, and allows technicians to confirm if the insulation under assessment can withstand over-voltages that are transient in nature.
In order for hipot testing to be performed properly, the electrical insulation that is being tested will need to be exposed to very high voltages. More often than not, the aforementioned is performed on a wide array of devices over a predetermined amount of time. In addition, the end goal is to make sure that the insulation is not low or marginal, and that it is essentially up to industry standards.
Furthermore, hipot testing is also conducted to identify any common problems with the insulation. For instance, insulation can often end up with spacing issues that are terminal, as well as contaminants that are corrosive.
Other common issues include tolerance errors, cuts, stray wire strands, and braided shielding issues. Hipot testing can also identify a plethora of different manufacturing issues, including but not limited to, creepage and improper clearance proximities.
How is the Test Administered?
In most cases, hipot testing is carried out by affixing one end of the supply to either the earth or the ground. Then, the other end is affixed to the conductor that will undergo the testing at hand. It should also be noted that in such a connection, the conductor may either be connected to the ground itself or it may be connected to a very high source of voltage.
Moreover, if you need to test two contacts, you will need to connect one contact to the ground and the other contact to a very high voltage catalyst. By following this technique, the tested contact will be isolated from any other contacts in the area without fear of obstruction or contamination.
Furthermore, if the insulation level between the two contacts is noticeably high, then you should notice a flow of current that is marginal in nature after a large voltage source is administered. Hence, the minute amount of current that is generated should be small enough to prevent the degradation of the insulation.
Standards Adherence Protocols
The hipot test that is administered must adhere to issued safety standards and protocols in terms of its duration. For example, in the United States, the duration shouldn’t, ideally, exceed 60 seconds for items that are covered under IEC 60950.
However, the duration limit for the current limit can be set by the user if desired. Still, we would recommend that you set an average by going over the trip level of a multitude of different products, as this approach is considered to be a sound idea by most experts in the industry.
Afterwards, the current trip level’s final leakage should be tuned slightly higher than the average number that you’ve calculated during your testing.
As for the test voltage, it should be set according to either the DC or AC. For instance, insulation will be most stressed when the voltage is more than 1,400 times that of the test voltage of the AC. That is, the DC voltage level should be congruent to the peak voltage of the AC. In regards to the AC, the insulation will deal with the most stress when it is exposed to peak voltage levels, either at the positive peak or the negative peak of the sine wave.
General Safety Rules
When dealing with high voltage, there are certain hazards that you should be aware of in order to help foster a safe and welcoming environment. For instance, training is paramount, as all employees should be trained properly so that they know how to do their jobs. Operators should also be trained thoroughly by their supervisors so that they become experts in handling equipment.
Unfortunately, substandard training can lead to serious accidents, so operators should only be provided with access to equipment after they have successfully passed all safety modules. Production processes should also be designed in such a manner that they are safe.
In some cases, the original design will need to be modified or reconfigured in order to eliminate any and all safety hazards that present themselves during the evaluation process. Designs should also be able to revert to a safe state in the event that something breaks down or fails in the future.
Emergency response and safety equipment should also be housed in designated safety zones or areas so that they can be quickly and easily accessed in the event of an accident or injury. Finally, all personnel should be properly trained so that they know how to react in the event of an accident or medical emergency.
If you would like to learn more about why hipot testing is so important, then please visit our website to contact us. We possess the knowledge and equipment to perform dielectric breakdown tests, insulation resistance tests, and dielectric withstanding tests at our facility.
We also specialize in manufacturing and integrations, a la carte solutions, and state-of-the-art design and engineering processes. To learn more, you can get in touch with us at 1-888-821-7746.
We will be more than happy to provide you with a free, no obligation quote and consultation so that you can discuss your pre-manufacturing, manufacturing, and post-manufacturing needs in confidence.