The March/April Issue of the Electrical Insulation Magazine has been released. Use the accordion headings below to explore this issue’s content, and visit the IEEE Xplore for full magazine access.

For a list of upcoming conferences, please visit the conference page or check out the events calendar.

Featured Articles

Spatial Decomposition Method for UV Image of Corona on a Large Generator Stator Winding 

Xia ZhaoYongxin SunHui ZhangXia DuChi DengQingguo Chen

Xplore Link

Effect of Controlled Aging of Less-Flammable Ester Liquids on Fire and Flash Points

Muhammad Daghrah

Xplore Link

Insulation Materials and Systems for Superconducting Powertrain Devices in Future Cryo-Electrified Aircraft: Part I—Material Challenges and Specifications, and Device-Level Application 

Mohammad Yazdani-AsramiSeyyed Meysam Seyyedbarzegar; Min Zhang; Weijia Yuan

Xplore Link

Antonios Tzimas

Editor in Chief
[email protected]

As we are running out of Greek letters to name the COVID-19 variants and becoming better at living with the virus, I hope that the variants’ ability to identify vulnerabilities of our immune system is also coming to an end. It will be great to be able to meet again in person without face masks and the fear of exposing ourselves to a health risk, instead exposing ourselves again to the randomness of meeting people at conferences and various social events. That is not to say that opportunities were not presented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am delighted to be the editor-in-chief of this magazine, with this issue being my first—an idea totally absent from my mind before the pandemic. However, the pandemic opened opportunities for remote working and collaboration around the globe with the introduction of online tools that we have not expected to serve us seamlessly, because of painful past experiences of online meetings. These developments in online presence have made it possible for the editorial board of this magazine to meet frequently and allowed our Emeritus Editor in Chief Peter Morshuis to keep the magazine afloat by publishing your articles and keeping you updated with news from our community. So, a big thank you to Peter Morshuis for navigating through these challenging times and creating opportunities to make the magazine more interesting to you, the reader.

This issue of the magazine starts with an article where the authors describe a method for analyzing UV images of corona on large generator windings and how this method can be used to identify the various corona location sites. Then, there is an article on the effect of aging on flammability of ester liquids. The third article is on superconducting applications where the authors present the opportunities to utilize such technology on electrification of transport and outline potential cryogenic electrical insulators.

The first article in this issue, “Spatial Decomposition Method for UV Image of Corona on Large Generator Stator Winding,” is authored by Xia Zhao, Yongxin Sun, Hui Zhang, Xia Du, Chi Deng, and Qingguo Chen from Harbin University of Science and Technology, Heilongjiang University of Science and Technology, and the State Key Laboratory of Hydropower, all located in Harbin, China. In this article, the regularity of the possible corona sites is investigated on the large generator stator windings, as demand of higher-rated current capacity and voltage is increasing. At higher voltages the occurrence of surface partial discharges (PD) as well as corona could degrade the insulation surface and increase the risk of failure. The authors start with introducing a method for analyzing UV images of corona on large generator windings and how this method can be used to identify the various corona location sites. This method takes advantage of UV images of corona on stator windings obtained at various layers of spatial depth by superimposing the different corona images generated by the different layers. The authors then describe how a spatial decomposition method can be applied to establish a relationship between the UV images and corona sites on the various large generator winding locations.

The second article, authored by Muhammad Daghrah from M&I Materials Ltd., Manchester, UK, is titled “Effect of Controlled Aging of Less- Flammable Ester Liquids on Fire and Flash Points.” In this article, the author discusses the reproducibility of the fire and flash point measurements of unused liquids. Reproducibility is assessed using multiple measurements of fire and flash points for unused synthetic ester and measurements for unused rapeseed (canola)-based natural ester. The standard deviation of the fire point Cleveland Open Cup (COC) measurements is obtained for both unused esters. The author compares the flash point of sealed and unsealed test conditions, where from the unsealed condition, the standard deviation is greater than that of the sealed closed cup test. In this article, results are also presented for fire and flash points after laboratory-based aging studies, either under sealed or partially open conditions, for both ester liquids. The author discusses these results with reference to transformer permissible liquid temperature values and effect on various liquid parameters, such as acidity, moisture content, and breakdown voltage.

The third article is titled “Insulation Materials and Systems for Superconducting Powertrain Devices in Future Cryo-Electrified Aircraft: Part I— Material Challenges and Specifications, and Device-Level Application,” authored by Mohammad Yazdani-Asrami, Seyyed Meysam Seyyedbarzegar, Min Zhang, and Weijia Yuan from the University of Strathclide, Glasgow, UK, and Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran. The focus of this article is on superconducting technology for aerospace application for an electrically powered aircraft, for which zero-emission targets question the technology readiness. The authors introduce the opportunities for cryo-electrification, especially when liquid hydrogen is considered as fuel, providing opportunities to efficiently cool and utilize superconductors. The authors also discuss the advantages superconducting applications can have in a powertrain of a cryo-electrified aircraft by significantly increasing the power densities while minimizing the size of the various components. The article lists all the different dielectrics that can be used for cryogenic superconducting applications and the challenges associated with an ultra-low-temperature environment.

Antonios Tzimas

Editor in Chief
[email protected]

Peter Morshuis

Editor Emeritus

In September 1985, the first issue of IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine (EIM) was published. The founding editor, William H. Bentley Jr., known as Bill to his friends and colleagues, presented this special conference issue making reference to Yin and Yang, graphically displayed on the issue’s front cover page.

In Ancient Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang is a Chinese philosophical concept that describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. In Chinese cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy (also known as Qi), organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle, seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual cycle (winter and summer), the landscape (north-facing shade and south-facing brightness), and socio-political history (disorder and order).

Perhaps Bill Bentley used the symbolic metaphor of Yin and Yang to show that the flow of future articles would flower from the conference interactions, lobby discussions, thought-provoking presentations, and results that evolve our dielectrics knowledge by questioning our current understanding and subsequently altering our perception of electrical insulation. Certainly, the design of electrical insulation is all about the pursuit of finding balance of positive and negative charges and being aware of the different currents that define the direction of flow.

Since 1985, 223 issues of the magazine have been published with your contributions, as featured articles (well over 700) or reporting news from conferences. The topics of your contributions have covered challenges and developments in dielectric materials used in energy generation, transmission and distribution, as well as encapsulation of high-voltage components. In addition, electrical measurement techniques have been discussed that can be applied to monitor the health of electrical insulating materials and pro-long the life of costly assets by ultimately keeping the lights on. Past featured articles have also presented reviews on various dielectric phenomena that help us develop an understanding of aging and breakdown of electrical insulation to drive improvements in high-voltage design. The role of novel materials, and their potential industrial applications, is an ongoing topic of EIM.

Since 1985, EIM has been communicating dielectric material developments as well as changes within the DEIS Society by reporting conference news and featured articles on best conference papers. As is echoed in the previous issue’s editorial by DEIS President Professor Brian Stewart, “embrace change through new challenges, opportunities and different directions that lie before us.” This is no different for EIM, which recently has been changing the way it operates, becoming a vehicle for passionate volunteers on electrical insulation to exploit the DEIS Society’s developments over the globe by developing new skills and networking.

Since the autumn of 2020, EIM has been running through the resulting force of eight DEIS volunteers, led by Peter Morshuis, with the aim of maintaining the standard and flow of articles that the editors emeritus have built over the years. This has certainly been a challenge that all the members of the editorial board have embraced. It has not been a walk in the park, but the support from all the editorial board members has on many occasions made it feel like one. To share the fun (workload), every year a new editor in chief (EiC) and a new deputy EiC will be appointed. For the year 2022, Professor Feipeng Wang will be the deputy EiC and Antonios Tzimas will have the honor of being the new EiC. The EIM editorial board has also expanded with two new members: Dr. Gordon Wilson from National Grid UK and Professor Hua Li, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. A big welcome to our new board members! Every year, two existing board members will have the opportunity to leave, and two new members can join. All board members will potentially have the opportunity to become the EiC for a year. And, this is how Antonios Tzimas ended up contributing to this editorial. A new challenge that worked out as an unimaginable opportunity!

As a vehicle for disseminating information, the magazine is exploring new opportunities for communicating with DEIS members and the wider spectrum of IEEE members. We will be running thematic issues as well as series of articles on specific topics in addition to the featured articles. We are looking forward to hearing your stories on the following topics:

• A day in the lab, interesting high-voltage test procedures, experiments, perhaps a journey to a bright idea, and others;

• Rules of thumb in engineering and myth busters;

• Tutorials on dielectric spectroscopy and the various ways that can be analyzed for electrical insulation health monitoring and more fundamental material research; and

• Review articles on space charge measurements and how our understanding on space charge dynamics has steered the design of electrical insulation.

In 2022 we will start a series of articles based on interviews with a number of DEIS members, young professionals and golden oldies, sharing some of their life experiences.

The magazine is also looking forward to a new column on News from China. We would like to take the opportunity to wish a happy New Year to all our readers and a happy Chinese New Year to our Chinese readers; may the Year of the Tiger be full of dielectric material breakthroughs! We are looking forward to your articles and opinions to shape the future of our magazine.

This year’s summer, four DEIS-sponsored conferences are scheduled: ICDL in Sevilla, Spain; ICD in Palermo, Italy; and the co-located EIC and IPMHVC in Knoxville, USA. We do not have a crystal ball, and no one knows whether we can meet in person. But, fortunately, most conferences are organized in a hybrid form that allows both in-person and online participation. Let’s all create a lot of Yin and Yang this summer, by getting together in person and online, agreeing and disagreeing as much as we can. Of course, we, the magazine, would like to report about all this.

In Bill Bentley’s words: “Your mission, should you care to accept it, is to share your experiences, observations, and reasoned thoughts with other readers.”

John J. Shea

Magnetic Nanoparticle-Based Hybrid Materials— Fundamentals and Applications

A. Ehrmann, T. A. Nguyen, M. Ahmadi, A. Farmani, and P. Nguyen-Tri, Editors

Woodhead Publishing
An Imprint of Elsevier
50 Hampshire Street, 5th Floor Cambridge, MA 02139
ISBN 978-0-12-823688-8
758 pp., $260 (Softcover), 2021

Many new advances in magnetic nanoparticle materials (MNPs) and a plethora of new applications have recently occurred in a wide variety of scientific fields. Hybrid-based MNPs are blends of MNPs with metals, metal oxides, and semiconducting nanoparticles resulting in superior properties when compared to only MNPs. This book provides the background and review of the most recent developments in hybrid nanomaterials, their fundamentals, both theoretical and experimental, and properties. It also provides information on synthesis of hybrid nanomaterials and background revealing structure-property relationships of hybrid MNPs. Applications cover the environmental, medicine, and energy, with the majority being in the medical field.

Part I covers the basic principles of MNPs. There is information on fabricating MNPs, ferrite-gold MNPs, polymer MNP blends, carbonaceous NMPs, and ferromagnetic semiconductor MNPs. The next three parts cover medical/ biomedical, environmental, and sensor applications. The sensor applications mainly involve analytical process improvements, electrochemical biosensors, and catalysts.

Material scientists working with MNP who are searching for new materials for their latest project may want to explore what hybrid MNP materials may have to offer. There are many new applications in the medical field and environmental field currently using hybrid MNP technology. This book will give you examples of the most recent applications and ideas for new applications using MNPs.

Practical Electrodynamics with Advanced Applications

S. Leble
IOP Publishing Ltd.
Temple Circus, Temple Way
Bristol, BS1 6HG, UK
Phone: +44 (0)117 929 7481
USA Office:
190 North Independence Mall West, Suite 601
Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA Phone: +01 215 627 0880 ISBN 978-0-7503-2576-9 193 pp., $95 (eBook), 2020

The book on electrodynamics from Jackson is considered by many as the classic reference for electrodynamics (also known as electromagnetics by many). Electrodynamics involves the fundamental interaction between electric and magnetic field theory, with topics such as Faraday’s law, Lorentz force, Electric field force, and Maxwell’s equations.

This book by Leble covers many similar topics as classical books on electro-magnetics but with a focus on alternative concepts and methods typically not covered in classical textbooks on the subject.

For example, in magnetic field dynamics, a novel exchange interaction concept, based in electron interactions, is introduced as an alternative way to solve for magnetic field interactions with an electric field. Many aspects of classical electromagnetism are explored in this book. The main topics cover electromagnetic waves, theory of relativity, wave inter-action with matter, dispersion, plasmas, reflection and refraction, and propagation of electromagnetic waves.

A section on advanced exercises provides more examples of various aspects of the above listed topics. A reference list, for advanced study, is included at the end of each section in the book.

This book would be most useful for those interested in electromagnetic theory who are looking to explore alternative and more advanced views on the theory and methods used in electromagnetics. Alternatives cover formula derivations and how to approach problems. This is a very mathematics heavy book, with an assumption that the reader already has a basic understanding of electromagnetics.

Nanomagnetic Materials— Fabrication, Characterization and Application

A. Yamaguchi, A. Hirohata, and B. Stadler, Editors

50 Hampshire Street, 5th Floor Cambridge, MA 02139
ISBN 978-0-12-822349-9
812 pp., $220 (Softcover), 2021

Nanomagnetic materials are used in magnetic data storage, spintronics, sensors, energy harvesting, and biomedical applications. Unique properties, created by nanometer dimensions, are used to develop new applications. This reference book is a source for the material scientist looking to gain an understanding of the growth and synthesis of nanomagnetic materials and devices, characterization, fundamental properties, and the latest applications using nano-magnetic materials.

Chapters introduce the fabrication of nano- and micro-structured materials, their fundamental properties, and synthesis and processing. Control of magnetic domain structure on a nano/micro-scale is explained along with fabrication of magnetic oxides, nanoparticles, encapsulated nanoparticles, and ion irradiation techniques. Characterization techniques reviewed include various imaging techniques such as scanning probe microscopy, electron microscopy, and Kerr microscopy. Other characterization techniques cover x-ray methods, nuclear magnetic resonance, ferromagnetic resonance, and electron spin resonance.

The fundamentals of spintronics are reviewed with associated electron spin effects. Recent developments in magnonics, spin caloritronics, magnetic point contact, and promising novel applications (surface acoustic wave devices, heterojunctions, nanowire-based nano- bar code) are described. Computer applications focus on memory architectures. In addition to the many medical-based applications provided, some of the more relevant applications for our readers include energy harvesting and energy generation methods covering magnetic energy harvesting methods, MEMS energy harvesting, and power generation using a magneto-elastic and magneto-thermoelectric effects.

Material scientists and research engineers developing novel magnetic sensors, computer memory, energy harvesting, and power generation devices would benefit from the comprehensive, cutting-edge research presented in this reference book. It provides those just entering this field with a solid background in nano-magnetics and offers those more advanced researchers new application ideas and updated studies in nano-magnetics.

Electrical Equipment— A Field Guide

B. K. Reddy
John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 111 River Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
ISBN 978-1-119-77168-5 461 pp., $180 (eBook), 2021

This book focuses on the fundamental operation of various distribution-class components in power systems, including transformers, generators, induction motors, circuit breakers, protection and measurement systems, grounding, fuses, cables, PV arrays, and energy storage batteries with an emphasis on conveying the practical working operation of these components.

Although many distribution-class components installed in power systems throughout the world have various different regulatory and standards requirements, the author avoids discussing country differences in designs and methodology and focuses on the fundamental technology of the basic components that make up a power system.

Although many details are not discussed, the basic theory of operation is described along with practical information for the components listed above. An example would be a list of tests performed on power transformers and a troubleshooting list for power transformers. Other examples include reading nameplate information on AC generators and motors. Applications of components in a system are not covered, only individual component fundamentals.

This book would be of interest to someone wanting a broad overview of power distribution components and some practical testing and maintenance considerations of power distribution components.

Smart Grid Telecommunications— Fundamentals and Technologies in the 5G Era

A. Sendin, J. Matanza, and R. Ferrús John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
ISBN 978-1-119-75539-5
353 pp., $115.99 (eBook), 2021

This book provides a comprehensive view of a “Smart Grid” example, including the communications that are needed to make it happen. Both the power system and a telecommunications system are explained. First, the authors show key general and technical aspects of electric power systems and their service needs in terms of their evolution into a Smart Grid with a view of electric power systems and highlights the relevant aspects and main challenges that determine their evolution into the Smart Grid.

The second part of the book (the majority) covers the fundamentals of telecommunications, starting with the high‐level concepts followed by the lower‐level details of how the communication system can be implemented, at the lower layers of the telecommunication systems and then in the upper layers of data exchange. Communication technologies, applicable to Smart Grids, are optical fiber networks, power line communication (PLC) systems, wireless cellular and wireless IoT systems. Key concepts and organization of telecommunication networks, systems, and services are detailed. It also introduces the fundamental aspects of key telecommunication media in a Smart Grid (optical fiber, radio, and power lines), including details on the telecommunications framework and the foundational technology aspects of telecommunications (analog vs. digital, modulation, medium access, propagation, etc.). It covers data exchange, explaining and describing how telecommunication transport, switching, and routing functions work and are implemented in technologies used in Smart Grids, and provides a comprehensive overview of the different Smart Grid domains and specifically describes the Smart Grid applications, together with the protocols and relevant standards applicable to them.

Optical fiber and power lines, important for utilities, cover passive optical networks and power line carrier PLC technologies with a focus on their role in the network access domain with details on wireless cellular 4G and 5G technologies. With the use of cellular technologies being widespread, their concepts are described to give the reader an understanding of the complexity and capabilities of these technologies. The basics of wireless IoT technologies are covered, focusing on those that have an effect on Smart Grids. Zigbee, Wi‐SUN, LoRaWAN, Sigfox, LTE‐M, and NB‐IoT are also reviewed.

It is clear that the existing power grid must change if widespread distributed energy resources and electric vehicles (EVs) are incorporated into the power grid. The changes needed include a two-way communication network to enable this transformation. Engineers interested in developing this new power grid would have an interest in this book for learning about the various communication methods that can possibly be used for the communication and control of devices on the new power grid of the future.

Energy Materials— Fundamentals to Applications

S. J. Dhoble, N. Thejo Kalyani, B. Vengadaesvaran, and A. K. Arof, Editors

50 Hampshire Street, 5th Floor Cambridge, MA 02139
ISBN 978-0-12-823710-6
628 pp., $225 (Softcover), 2021

Energy generation and storage are crucial for the development of renewable energy sources. Extensive ongoing research is currently being conducted on various types of energy storage and energy-generating materials and devices. This book covers recent research advances in energy conversion, energy harvesting, energy storage, and energy-saving materials.

The book is divided into five sections. The first section covers fundamentals and general topics including fundamental operating principles of energy conversion, storage, and harvesting materials. It also covers synthesis and characterization methods pertaining to these materials’ morphology, electrical, optical, carrier lifetime measurements, and damage/ failure evaluation. Solar cell technology is introduced, which includes basic solar cell design and various ways to evaluate cell efficiency.

Section II covers photovoltaic (PV) materials and devices with highlights on their spectral response, efficiency optimization, and fabrication technologies. Dye-sensitive cell technology is reviewed with in-depth discussions on electrode materials and synthesis and characterization of perovskite cell materials.

Section III deals with electrochemical energy conversion and storage. These include Li-ion battery design, Li-Air battery design, and Li-Sulfur battery design. The fundamental operation of solid-oxide fuel cells is also covered including design, basic operation, sealant materials, and application requirements.

Section IV details lighting and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LED material fundamentals and synthesis are reviewed along with the basics of luminescence and applications. Material properties and synthesis of various organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are also described in detail along with descriptions of an energy-efficient green/bluish-green/blue metal complex used for making OLEDs.

Section V describes realistic and practical measurements of solar cell properties, factors affecting their performance, challenges, and recent advancements. Other practical concerns for consideration of sustainability, recycling, and lifetime issues of these materials and devices are also covered.

This book would be of interest to engineers, chemists, and material scientists researching the field of energy conversion, harvesting, and storage materials looking for recent advances and a broad look at many different energy-based materials and various choices of energy generation and energy storage. Because the book covers recent materials, topics, and methodologies, it provides the reader with state-of-the-art information on practical energy-based materials and methods to stay current with these very relevant materials and technologies for tomorrow’s energy future.

Gas Sensors—Material and Devices

J. Ma, Editor
IOP Publishing Ltd.
Temple Circus, Temple Way
Bristol, BS1 6HG, UK
Phone: +44 (0)117 929 7481
USA Office:
190 North Independence Mall West, Suite 601
Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA Phone: +01 215 627 0880 ISBN 978-0-7503-3993-3
375 pp., $190 (Hardcover), 2021

Gas sensors are used to detect the presence and concentration of specific gases and are traditionally used in industrial applications. More recently, gas sensors are seeing increasing use in many other application areas including residential use, ventilation systems, environmental monitoring, and medical use. Sensors are traditionally categorized by the type of sensing material used, with metal- oxides being the most prevalent material. However, there are many new materials being developed that use different activation methods and can consist of nano-materials or graphene-like 2D materials. These materials can achieve improved selectivity, increased sensitivity, and reduced power consumption compared with traditional sensor materials.

This book describes recent developments and applications of traditional as well as new emerging gas sensor materials. Each chapter covers a particular sensor material and describes the operation, material properties, material preparation, device construction, and application ar- eas. Materials discussed are n- and p-type metal oxides, graphene, 2D metal chalcogenides, carbon nanotubes, ionic liquids, and conducting polymers.

This book provides the reader with a concise background on the theory, synthesis for each material, and measured properties. It is well illustrated and accessible to general readers. Future developments and challenges are also addressed. This book provides details on some of the latest developments and can be used to help decide on a gas sensor material type for a specific application. This is an interesting book for material scientists and researchers who are developing new sensor materials.