Insulation Tester pico amplifier

With these circuits you can make an insulation tester going upto two tera ohm, hence currents will be in pico amps, great care required in design. The rotary switches for voltages and ganged interlocked range switches must not be phenolic but industrial epoxy based molded switches.

The parts list which is not in the circuit, is listed below, the circuit is 15 years old. but you may get some idea on high resistance measurement. Use 1% MFR for all Resistors and low leakage plastic caps for low values. These instruments i used to calibrate with Victoreen Resitors and a Electrometer from Princeton Research, I faintly remember.

Theory of Operation.

The Device Under Test DUT say a transformer is placed in a Metal tray connected to the Guard SK3 terminal. The metal tray has a 3mm glass sheet on which DUT is kept. For 2 Tera ohm make sure that Humidity and Dust do not affect measurements.

Now 1000V is applied on a DUT terminal from the high voltage supply, ( in reference to Guard SK3 at earth and 0V). Then the point where the leakage is to be measured is connected to SK4 via a BNC short, scope, shielded cable. The current goes thru a shunt selected by S5 and voltage across the shunt is measured by ICL7650 a Chopper stabilized amplifier, with ultra low offset and bias. The amplified output is fed to Vref of ICL7107 which displays the Insulation Resistance. The full range is not valid in this circuit and for low values, change to a range where the reading is more number of counts. The above circuit does not include some upgrades and changes i did later using ICL7135 etc.. If i find it i will add it later.

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Insulation Tester power supply

With these circuits you can make an insulation tester going upto one tera ohm (2 Tera ohm max). hence currents will be in pico amps, great care required in design. Also 1000 Volts DC is generated which can cause injury. take great care. the above circuit is for the advanced instrumentation hobbyist only, do not try it at home.

The parts list which is not in the circuit is listed below, the circuit is 15 years old. but you may get some idea on high resistance measurement.

IC7, IC9 – NE555 – Timer IC
IC8 – LM723 – Voltage Regulator

The above list is from my memory, hence it may be wrong, i have forgotten this circuit, this circuit was scanned by a hp photosmart and resized and optimized by irfanview. also note the technology may be obsolete, but basic idea is still the same today.

Insulation Tester power supply

Theory of Operation.

IC7 555 as an Astable chops the DC with T2 NPN transistor. TR2 was a Russian U Core High-Freq Transformer. The secondary was insulated with mylar, layer to layer and impregnated in Mica-Lacquer or varnish. The 723 Chip along with T1 is The closed loop regulator which changes the DC which is chopped.

The high voltage is attenuated and that is the feedback to 723 chip which by comparing to a reference, controls the output. The diodes and caps are in series to withstand 1000V and above.

Insulation Tester or Teraohm Meter with Polarization Index

Tera Ohm Meter and Insulation Tester

This is a 20 Tera Ohm Insulation Tester I made around 20 Years Back. It had even Polarization Index for Transformer Insulation. It generated 1000V DC Regulated Voltage and the pA leakage Current was Measured. See more here Insulation tester or Tera ohm meter.

Insulation Tester

A regulated, low ripple, high voltage of very low current capability is applied by instrument on a DUT (device under test). The leakage current in nA or pA (picoamps, nanoamps) is measured and readout, The Innovation i did was to measure the current in Vref and not Vin of ICL7107, this made the 1/x computation.

Also using the ICL7650 Chopper Stabilized amplifier must be done as shown in data sheets with grounded guard rings. pA will leak on the PCB itself if layout is not done keeping this in mind.