HIGHVOLT Prüftechnik Dresden GmbH

Diagnostics with PD measurements -
Field experiences and new trends

Date: 24.06.2020

Time: 5 pm CET - 11 am EST - 11 pm SGT

Typically, PDs were represented by measuring the apparent charge via a coupling capacitor. The next evaluation was the introduction of A/D converters to evaluate the PD signals. To increase the differentiation between noise and signal, the frequency range was pushed into new regions by UHF measurements. In addition, alternative technologies like acoustic or optical methods were used as well. With all these developments  the practical results are comparable. But do they still represent the PD source in a correct way? What are the future developments for measurement techniques, standards and evaluation methods?

Prof. Ronald Plath
TU Berlin


The measurement of partial discharges is not only a proven but also the only established method to detect and locate singular weak points in the electrical insulation. If critical weak points are not discovered in time, they can cause catastrophic errors of high voltage equipment later in service. Digitization has opened up enormous opportunities for further improvements.


Ronald Plath studied electrical engineering at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) and graduated in 1987 with a degree in high-voltage engineering. In 1994 he received his doctorate on new methods for testing extruded high-voltage cables after installation, including partial discharge (PD) measurements. In 1995 he became a lecturer for HV measurements and testing at the TUB. From 1993 to 1997 he worked at CESI, Milan, where he participated in the first prequalification tests for extruded 400 kV power cables. He then returned to Berlin and worked for 10 years at IPH (now part of the CESI Group), where he first worked as a project manager, setting up and then managing the high-voltage laboratories and the on-site testing division. At the same time, he was involved in development activities for dielectric spectroscopy and fully digital PD measurement systems together with the TUB and was in charge of opening up new fields of application. He joined Omicron in 2007 for 3 years to develop the PD monitoring business. He continued to work part-time for his father's company HPS Berlin, where he performed on-site tests of power transformers up to 780 MVA three-phase and 430 MVA single-phase. Since 2010 he is managing director of HPS Berlin. By then he had worked in 29 countries worldwide. In 2013 he returned to TUB as full professor for high voltage engineering. His research activities focus on PD, dielectric diagnostics and space charge measurements. His testing experience includes all types of power cables, transformers, motors, generators, GIS and GIL, and increasingly innovative insulation materials. He is a German member of international working groups at CIGRE and is currently convenor of CIGRE WG D1.63 (DC PD measurements). When time permits, he continues to perform PD measurements on site to keep his practical knowledge and lectures up to date.

Dr. Alexander Kraetge
Area Sales Manager/Transformer Expert
OMICRON electronics Deutschland GmbH


Over the last 20 years, digital measurement technology significantly de-mystified the practical application of partial discharge measurements and increased its acceptance. The data interpretation capabilities increased a lot, efficiently supported by international organizations like Cigré. Modern de-noising tools and easily portable equipment broadened the possibilities to apply PD testing, measurement and failure localization into the field.


Dr. Alexander Kraetge is Transformer Expert and Key Account Manager for the transformer industry with OMICRON electronics in Germany. After vocational education and working practice as professional electrician he studied high voltage engineering at the Berlin University of Technology. After working scientifically and receiving a PhD about transformer condition assessment he joined the industry and hold several technical and senior management positions within OMICRON, Austria and Highvolt, Germany. He is Senior Member of IEEE, full voting member of the IEEE Transformers Committee and actively involved in Cigré D1 and A2. He wrote more than 100 technical and scientific publications, mainly about condition assessment of transformers and partial discharge diagnostics.

Erik Winkelmann
Senior Test Floor Engineer
HIGHVOLT Prüftechnik Dresden GmbH


As in all branches of industry, digitization and data science will dominate the next decade in partial discharge measurement.


Erik Winkelmann was born in Dresden in 1987. He received his diploma from the University of Applied Sciences Dresden in 2009. Since 2009 he has held various positions at HIGHVOLT Prüftechnik Dresden GmbH. He holds several patents in the field of partial discharge measurements. His research focuses on the analysis of partial discharge measurements. In particular, the use of real-time signal processing and machine learning to analyze partial discharge signals.

Moderation: Florian Schwarz



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