4 years ago

The Role of Interfaces in Polyethylene/Metal-Oxide Nanocomposites for Ultrahigh-Voltage Insulating Materials

The Role of Interfaces in Polyethylene/Metal-Oxide Nanocomposites for Ultrahigh-Voltage Insulating Materials
Mikael S. Hedenqvist, Richard T. Olsson, Amir Masoud Pourrahimi
Recent progress in the development of polyethylene/metal-oxide nanocomposites for extruded high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) cables with ultrahigh electric insulation properties is presented. This is a promising technology with the potential of raising the upper voltage limit in today's underground/submarine cables, based on pristine polyethylene, to levels where the loss of energy during electric power transmission becomes low enough to ensure intercontinental electric power transmission. The development of HVDC insulating materials together with the impact of the interface between the particles and the polymer on the nanocomposites electric properties are shown. Important parameters from the atomic to the microlevel, such as interfacial chemistry, interfacial area, and degree of particle dispersion/aggregation, are discussed. This work is placed in perspective with important work by others, and suggested mechanisms for improved insulation using nanoparticles, such as increased charge trap density, adsorption of impurities/ions, and induced particle dipole moments are considered. The effects of the nanoparticles and of their interfacial structures on the mechanical properties and the implications of cavitation on the electric properties are also discussed. Although the main interest in improving the properties of insulating polymers has been on the use of nanoparticles, leading to nanodielectrics, it is pointed out here that larger microscopic hierarchical metal-oxide particles with high surface porosity also impart good insulation properties. The impact of the type of particle and its inherent properties (purity and conductivity) on the nanocomposite dielectric and insulating properties are also discussed based on data obtained by a newly developed technique to directly observe the charge distribution on a nanometer scale in the nanocomposite. Recent progress in the development of polyethylene/metal-oxide nanocomposites with “optimal” interfaces for the next generation of extruded high-voltage direct-current cables with ultralow transmission-loss is presented. This is the most promising way of delivering clean and renewable energy from remote areas to more densely populated regions.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201703624

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