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High-resolution digitiser

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ABB has selected National Instruments ’ 100 MS/s NI PXI-5122 high-resolution digitiser, NI LabVIEW 7 Express graphical development environment, and MXI-3 interface link to improve the measurement accuracy of its high-voltage surge arrester test system.

ABB's previous system was based on a 10-bit digitiser. The 14-bit resolution of the PXI-5122 digitiser improved measurement accuracy 14-fold. The system tests the air and gas insulated surge arresters that protect medium and high-voltage power lines from damaging overvoltages caused by lightning strikes or by certain switching operations in power systems.

ABB uses two NI PXI-5122 digitisers, a component of the recently released NI mixed-signal suite. They allow ABB to accurately capture the voltage and current transient signals that occur during a 100 kA current impulse test designed to simulate a lightning strike. The company then uses LabVIEW analysis to determine peak value, rise time, and time-to-half value. With the NI MXI-3 high-speed optical link, ABB achieves high data throughput and isolation, which increases measurement speed compared to the previous GPIB-based system.

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