‘Transforming’ transformer monitoring technology

By R Gouwe, Powertech System Integrators

 

Published in:

Electricity+Control, February 2015 (pages 26 – 27)

Enquiries: email Rudi.Gouws@ptsi.co.za

 

Read the full article on ‘Transforming’ transformer monitoring technology in PDF format.


It goes without saying that Dissolved Gas-in-oil Analysis (DGA) has become an industry standard and provides a non-intrusive, virtual window into a transformer’s internal operating conditions. DGA thus can extend the life of a transformer. When a transformer thermal or electrical fault occurs, oil and paper insulation will break down generating gases that dissolve back into the insulating oil. DGA assists in identifying the type of gas present and, consequently, the nature of the fault. The rate of increase in the gases then indicates the severity of the fault. As the global transformer fleet ages, DGA has become a prevalent and important technique, increasing the reliance on DGA systems – therefore extending the life of a transformer. Numerous standards exist to guide users in performing DGA and then interpreting the results and ensuring asset management is efficient and cost effective. An effective DGA monitoring programme allows power suppliers to:

  • Extend the life of a transformer through advance warning of developing faults
  • Reduce transformer maintenance costs through convenient and efficient scheduling of repairs
  • Maximise transformer capability by monitoring the effects of increased loading
  • Implement end of life ‘intensive care’ timeously, reducing the possibility of unexpected and costly transformer failures

 

Take note

  • When in operation, transformers are under constant stress.
  • Dissolved gas-in-oil analysis (DGA) provides a non-intrusive, virtual window into a transformer’s internal operating conditions.
  • DGA has become an industry standard.