Spectano Automation Interface  1.50.443.0
Developer Documentation
Getting Started

Introduction

Welcome to the Spectano Automation Interface (AI).

The SPECTANO 100 is a dielectric material analyzer to characterize your solid or liquid electrical insulation material. It combines the time domain spectroscopy (PDC) to determine polarization phenomena and the classical dielectric spectroscopy in the frequency domain (FDS). By combining the PDC and FDS principle the test time can be significantly reduced for measurements covering low and high frequencies at the same time. Together with the automation interface it allows the measurement of the polarization and depolarization current and all important dielectric parameters such as permittivity ε, dielectric loss tanδ, capacitance, impedance or electrical conductivity G(t).

If you have any questions which are not covered in this developer documentation please visit our SEPCTANO User Manual.
For further questions do not hesitate to contact the OMICRON Lab support team: suppo.nosp@m.rt@o.nosp@m.micro.nosp@m.n-la.nosp@m.b.com

  1. Safety Instructions
  2. System Requirements
  3. Getting Started

Before continuing working with the Automation interface read the Safety Instructions Guide avaiable in different languages.

Safety Instructions:

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Death or severe injury caused by high voltage or current

Designated Use:

Operator Qualifications:

System Requirements

Characteristic Requirement
Processor: Intel Core-i Dual-Core (or similar)
Memory (RAM): 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
Graphics resolution: Super VGA (1024 x 768), higher resolution recommended
Graphics card: UDirectX 11 with Direct2D support
USB Interface: USB 2.0 or higher
Supported operating systems: Windows® 7 SP1 or higher
Software: .NET Framework 4.6.2 (or higher)

Getting Started

The following chapters give a rough overview of how to use the SPECTANO 100 Automation Interface. A fully working and well documented frequency sweep example can be found in the following section.

Flow diagram

The flow diagram shows the basic functionalities to configure and start a Recorder or a Frequency Sweep measurement. For a detailed overview about the full functionality of the Automation Interface have a look at the Class List section.

SpectanoAIFlow.png

Create New SpectanoDevice

The device is the initial object and it will automatically connect to the first device found at the computer. Afterwards a Recorder, Frequency Sweep or Reference Measurement an be setup.

Note
Be sure that the device is online before executing a Frequency Sweep, Reference Measurement or Recoder. The time needed to go online can differ, therefore the device offers the helper function IsOnlineDelayed where it is possible to set a delay time in milliseconds before continuing. A typical value for the delaytime would be 8 seconds.
Furtheron, it is possible to check the device status using the CurrentDeviceStatus property or DeviceStatusChanged event for the SpectanoDevice object.
For detecting changes on the device status use the DeviceStatusChanged event.

Create Frequency Sweep Measurement

As can be seen from the flow diagram do the following steps for performing a Frequency Sweep measurement:

  1. Using the device option a Frequency Sweep measurement can be created offering the opportunities to:
    1. Configure sweep or reference measurement settings (FDS, PDC or Combined measurement mode)
    2. Configure test cell related settings
    3. Configure measurement settings
    4. Configure pre-measurement settings in case the setup should be checked before running the measurement
    5. Execute a Reference measurement to get rid of disturbing effects.
  2. After the configuration is completed, the measurement can be executed.
  3. Get the results or additional information about the device status to analyze your material to test.
  4. Shut down the device.

Configure Frequency Sweep or Reference Measurement Settings

The sweep analysis modes available with the SPECTANO 100 can be selected by configuring one of the SweepSettings. The following modes are available:

Sweep Mode Explanation
FDS Frequency Domain Spectroscopy
PDC Polarization Depolarization Current method in the time domain incl. Fourier transformation from the time to the frequency domain
Combined PDC and FDS mode


Note
All three sweep modes (FDS, PDC or Combined) offer the oportunity to use predefined measurement points or customized frequencies.

Configure Measurement Settings

The measurement settings depend on the configured Sweep settings.
It includes all relevant measurement settings like for example the test voltage.

Configure Reference Measurement

Next to a material measurement it is possible to configure reference measurements using the ReferenceMeasurement class. The reference measurement is needed to eliminate, for example, the stray and unknown capacitances between the leads of the used test cell. We recommend performing reference measurements.
For more information on the error correction calculation have a look at the SEPCTANO User Manual.

Note
We recommend adjusting the reference sample thickness equal to the one of the material sample under test. If it is not possible, perform two reference measurements with different thicknesses. Preferably, perform the two measurements as followed:
  1. Reference sample > material sample thickness
  2. Reference sample < material sample thickness.
If one or two reference measurements are performed it is possible to get the CorrectedResults next to the measured frequency sweep Results.

Configure Pre-Measurement Settings

The parameters of the PreMeasurement class depend on the selected MeasurementMode. The pre-measurement checks the test system before starting a Frequency Sweep or Reference measurement to get errors immediately and not at the end of a several hours measurement. The following checks are available:

  1. FDS or Combined measurement mode:
    1. Preparation (measuring capacitance at 1kHz and 10V)
    2. Check for FDS noise
    3. Check for overload
  2. PDC or Combined measurement mode:
    1. Preparation (measuring capacitance at 1kHz and 10V)
    2. Check for idle current
    3. Check PDC S/N Ratio at selected PDC output voltage

To execute a Sweep or Reference measurement the material to test has to be fully depolarized. A material will be polarized during the measurement using the PDC method applying a DC voltage. For this reason, the SPECTANO 100 offers additional pre-measurement options for the PDC or Combined Frequency Sweep measurement:

  1. Waiting time
  2. Current limit to delay the start until the measured current falls below this value

Both current pre-measurements (EnableDelayTime and EnableCurrentThreshold) can be run for one measurement.
It is possible to track the actual state by subscribing to the TimeDelayAndCurrentCheckerState event.

With the QualityCheckerState event it is possible to get information about

Configure Test Cell Settings

Different test cell types are available:

  1. Test cell with disk electrodes with a guard ring
  2. Test cell with disk electrodes without a guard ring
  3. Test cell with cylindrical electrodes with a guard ring
  4. Test cell with cylindrical electrodes without a guard ring
  5. Others: Use this test cell type if one the four standard test cells cannot be used.
Note
For disk electrodes the sample thickness is mandatory and needs to be configured in the TestCellSample and in the TestCellSampleReference class to read the vacuum capacitance c0 and the permittivity ε (dielectric constant).
For test cells of type Others the vacuum capacitance c0 is not calculated automatically but must be set as parameter.

For more information about the avaiable test cell types read the following Test cells section.

Recorder

Next to the Sweep measurement it is also possible to create a Recorder using the following device option opportunities:

  1. Continuous Wave Recorder applying one frequency point and FDS test voltage (AC) to measure the tanδ (material losses) over time by calling ApplyContinuousWaveSettings
  2. Polarisation Current Recorder applying a PDC test voltage (DC) to analyze the polarisation phenomena (current) over time by calling ApplyPolarizationCurrentSettings
  3. Depolarisation Current Recorder to record the depolarization current over time by calling ApplyDepolarizationCurrentSettings
Note
The ApplyState indicates if the settings could be applied or the device is busy.
Use the StopRecording method to stop the recorder.
In comparsion to the frequency sweep measurement the recorder is not keeping the results. The results are available by the event parameter of the events: For recording the polarisation current a Trend is avaiable which can be used to get interpretations or recommendations on the basis of the measured current values.

Configure Recorder Test Cell Settings

The recorder test cells configuration does not differ much from the Frequency Sweep test cell settings. The test cell settings for the recorder currently have no influence on the results but it can be used for documentation purposes.

Shut Down SPECTANO 100

It is mandatory to shut down the SPECTANO 100 if it is no longer required.

Warning
Without shutting down the device it will be left in an undifined state and re-use may result in various problems.

Data Backup

To avoid data losses the SPECTANO 100 offers the oportunity to load data from the device.
The results of the last executed measurement is stored on the device and can be loaded into a newly created frequency sweep measurement. (UploadResultsFromDevice and ReconnectMeasurementToDevice).