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Published on: 13 August 2012

Porcelain Acoustic Probe – PAP (Detect Crack on the Porcelain Insulators)


Constant exposure of pedestal post insulators to harsh weather causes cement growth at the metal-porcelain interface, creating stress that may ultimately crack the porcelain. If cracks occur in the insulator shed, they may lead to significant damage and possible loss of service. Cracks are very difficult to see from the ground or without de-energizing the line, which is often costly.


Technerds, Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie and Transmission Division have teamed up to create a new solution, the “PAP” (Porcelain Acoustic Probe), model STN-061. This special probe is attached to a triangular hot stick and positioned on the skirt of the insulator under test. At that point, a striker gently taps the insulator skirt and the probe collects an acoustic sample. The internal algorithm analyzes the sound produced by the porcelain and, in seconds, the unit sends a clear diagnostic to a wireless pocketsize handheld touch screen display.