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Knowing the use for your hipot tester is key to finding the correct rental. All hipot testers have a source of high voltage, a current meter, and a switching matrix connecting high voltage source and the current meter to all contact points in a cable. Sometimes the hipot tester will have a microcontroller to automate testing. A display is also common, allowing the user to view test results easily.
About hipot tests.
A hipot test, or a dielectric withstand test, tests the insulation of a component so it can protect the operator from electrical shock. In general, high voltage is usually applied between a product’s current carrying conductors and its metallic chassis. In result, the leakage current becomes obvious, allowing it to be tested by a hipot tester. Three common hipot tests are regularly used: Dielectric breakdown test, dielectric withstand test, and insulation resistance test. All three differ in the amount of voltage applied and accepted current flow.
Some considerations to ask are the following:
Most hipot testers are inline with safety regulations set by the industry. Most of these are to protect the user. Always double check these features to ensure the “safest” machine to test your cables. Modern hipot testers allow the user to set a current limit however, if the exact leakage is known, the hipot test current can be predicted. To determine voltage during an AC Hipot test, is to multiply the nominal input voltage by 2 and add 1000 volts. DC hipot tests use the same.
Know best practices for hipot safety.
- Before you use your rented hipot tester, verify the correct operation of safety circuits in the equipment. Do this every time you calibrate it, too.
- Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines before using.
- Wear gloves while using the hipot tester.
- Don’t use a hipot tester if you have electronic implants.
- Test timing for most safety standards is around 1 second for production tests and 60 seconds for design tests.
- Don’t touch the cable during hipot testing.
Know if you need AC or DC hipot tests.
- Most safety standards allow either AC or DC voltage. AC and DC Hipot tests have both advantages which become more apparent depending on the DUT. Both test setups are the same in AC and DC tests. In general, some differences are the following:
- DC Hipot tests are performed at lower current levels, therefore saving power.
- Leakage current measurement in DC hipot test is more accurate representation.
- DC hipot test doesn’t produce the potentially harmful discharge that might happen in AC tests.
- AC tests check both voltage polarities, DC test only charges the insulation in one polarity.
The bottom line, is that when using ac voltage, the insulation being tested is more stressed when voltage is at peak.
Common manufacturers of hipot testers include Megger Extech, Hipotronics, Megger, Mitchell Vitrek.