PDSurveyor™ Product Overview

The PDSurveyor™ is HVPD's original handheld PD surveying tool. It is the 'first-line of defence' for the detection of partial discharge activity in On-line medium voltage (MV) power cables and plant in the voltage range 3.3 kV to 45 kV. The unit enables the user to carry out rapid (10 - 20 seconds per plant item), 'look-see' insulation condition testing through a unique combination of measurement technology, incorporating three types of PD sensor: HFCT, TEV and Airborne Acoustic.

The PDSurveyor™ has been designed by HVPD to meet the specific requests from both utility and industrial MV plant owners for a simple, portable and easy-to-use PD test device which can be used by all operational staff in MV substations. The PDSurveyor™ is the most flexible handheld PD screening device on the market as it contains three built-in PD sensors to enable the unit to be used to detect partial discharge activity in MV plant including metal-clad switchgear and power cables. Alternative versions of the unit are now available for specialist purposes, including the testing of rotating machines; see the PDSurveyor™ Family page for more info.

The primary purpose of the unit is to perform pre-screening tests (typically of between 10-20 seconds) of large numbers of cables and plant in Phase 1 of the HVPD 4-Phase PD Test and Monitoring Solution as a precursor to using higher specification, advanced diagnostic PD spot test technology (which can differentiate between PD and noise using advanced noise reduction and wave-shape analysis) in Phase 2.

Benefits include:

PD Surveyor
PDSurveyor™ measuring TEV PD
activity in 11 kV solid-insulated
  • The World's first handheld, pre-screening tool suitable for on-line (in-service) detection of PD activity in MV cables, switchgear and other plant in the voltage range: 3.3 kV to 45 kV.
  • Unique combination of 3x PD measurement circuits and sensors (TEV, Acoustic and HFCT) to provide an instant indication of PD activity.
  • Designed for use by all field and operations staff with minimal training of ½ day.
  • Measurement of PD in picocoulombs (pC) in MV power cables with the split-core HFCT sensor.
  • Measurement of PD in metal-clad MV switchgear / plant with TEV and Airborne Acoustic sensors.
  • Lightweight & portable device which is both easy-to-use and easy-to-understand with a dynamic, 7-Level, colour-coded PD level display.
  • With test times per plant item or cable of 10 - 20 seconds, large-area MV networks can be scanned quickly and easily and both the location and the severity of the PD identified.
  • A perfect safety and security device for all personnel on-site.
  • Offers cost-effective PD front-line surveying with no compromise!

How it Works

PD Surveyor
Measuring PD activity in
11 kV cable with HFCT sensor

The PDSurveyor™ incorporates three individual PD sensors which are designed to pick up different types of PD activity in different types of MV plant, as follows:

CT - High Frequency Current Transformer - Cable PD activity is measured using the external, split-core, High Frequency Current Transformer (HFCT 100/50) sensor, which is attached to the MV cable's earth straps.

TEV - Transient Earth Voltage (TEV) - PD signals are generated by internal partial discharges in 'local' MV equipment including switchgear and cable terminations and are picked up using the unit's built-in TEV sensor.

AA - Airborne Acoustic - Acoustic/Ultrasonic PD signals are generated by partial discharges into air and these are detected using the unit's built-in airborne acoustic (ultrasonic) sensor which is placed over vents in metal-clad plant's housing.

The outputs of each of the above sensors are displayed on 3x colour-coded LED arrays for each of the sensors. The Guideline PD Levels vs. Plant Condition/Action for each LED level are shown below, allowing the user to quickly identify potential insulation defects and incipient faults.

PD Level Indication Key
LED 1 Green
(Plant OK)
LEDs 2 & 3 Yellow
(Moderate PD - Monitor)
LEDs 4 & 5 Orange
(Moderate to High PD - Investigate Source of PD)
LEDs 6 & 7 Red
(High PD - Diagnostic Test, Locate & Restrict Access)

(Surveyor CT outside wood pole.png) Measuring PD activity in 11 kV cable with HFCT sensor

Standard Scope of Supply and Supply Options

1x HVPD PDSurveyor™ HVPD Surveyor
1x HVPD HFCT100/50 Sensors HVPD Surveyor
1x 2 metre BNC Cable HVPD Surveyor
1x AC/DC Power Supply HVPD Surveyor
1x User Manual HVPD Surveyor
1x Inspection Test Pad HVPD Surveyor
1x Set of 100 POA Labels HVPD Surveyor
1x Soft Carry Case HVPD Surveyor
Table 1: HVPD PDSurveyor™ - Standard Scope of Supply

Application Testing

Medium Voltage plant that can be 'pre-screened' for PD with the PDSurveyor™

  • Cables and cable accessories (terminations and joints)
  • Switchgear (solid insulated, air insulated and gas insulated)
  • Instrument transformers (voltage and current)
  • Power transformers and bushings
  • Motors and Generators
  • Surge Arrestors and Capacitors


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