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TRANSFORMER LIFETIME MODELLING BASED ON CONDITION MONITORING DATA

TRANSFORMER LIFETIME MODELLING BASED ON CONDITION MONITORING DATA

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Published by P Singh Ijaet
Effective transformer lifetime models are of paramount importance for asset management but are hindered by the lack of actual failure data. The paper hence proposes an approach for functional lifetime modelling of power transformers based on condition monitoring data. Transformer’s functional lifetime is proposed to be modelled as following a two-parameter Weibull distribution whose parameters are recommended to be estimated with the maximum likelihood estimation method. An example is presented to show how the proposed approach is applied on a set of field collected transformer data. The derived Weibull distribution is verified with its corresponding non-parametric estimates. The earliest and latest onsets of significant unreliability for the transformer fleet are then obtained from the derived model so as to as general guidance for asset managers to make replacement planning.
Effective transformer lifetime models are of paramount importance for asset management but are hindered by the lack of actual failure data. The paper hence proposes an approach for functional lifetime modelling of power transformers based on condition monitoring data. Transformer’s functional lifetime is proposed to be modelled as following a two-parameter Weibull distribution whose parameters are recommended to be estimated with the maximum likelihood estimation method. An example is presented to show how the proposed approach is applied on a set of field collected transformer data. The derived Weibull distribution is verified with its corresponding non-parametric estimates. The earliest and latest onsets of significant unreliability for the transformer fleet are then obtained from the derived model so as to as general guidance for asset managers to make replacement planning.

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Published by: P Singh Ijaet on May 03, 2013
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12/01/2013

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International Journal of Advances in Engineering & Technology, May 2013.©IJAET ISSN: 2231-1963613 Vol. 6, Issue 2, pp. 613-619
T
RANSFORMER 
L
IFETIME
M
ODELLING
B
ASED ON
C
ONDITION
M
ONITORING
D
ATA
Dan Zhou
 
Beijing Key Laboratory of High Voltage and EMC, North China Electric Power University,Beijing, 102206, P.R. China
A
BSTRACT 
 
 Effective transformer lifetime models are of paramount importance for asset management but are hindered bythe lack of actual failure data. The paper hence proposes an approach for functional lifetime modelling of  power transformers based on condition monitoring data. Transformer 
’ 
 s functional lifetime is proposed to bemodelled as following a two-parameter Weibull distribution whose parameters are recommended to beestimated with the maximum likelihood estimation method. An example is presented to show how the proposed approach is applied on a set of field collected transformer data. The derived Weibull distribution is verified withits corresponding non-parametric estimates. The earliest and latest onsets of significant unreliability for thetransformer fleet are then obtained from the derived model so as to as general guidance for asset managers tomake replacement planning.
EYWORDS 
 
Condition Monitoring, Lifetime Estimation, Maximum Likelihood Estimation, Weibull  Distribution
 
I.I
NTRODUCTION
 
Power transformers are generally very reliable equipment with designed lifetime of 40 years or more[1]. However, as a large proportion of the transformers which are installed in the major load growth periods, 1960s and 1970s, are approaching or have already exceeded their designed lifetime [2-3]. Aconcern is aroused on the large group of aged power transformer and their impact on the reliability of the network [4]. Lifetime models are hence desired to gain knowledge on the future performance of the aged equipment. Traditional statistical lifetime modelling as the simplest means to build the modelhowever is usually hindered by the lack of actual failure data. The problem is even worsened aselectric utilities tend to proactively replace their transformers in order to guarantee the level of operational reliability.In the absence of actual failure data, lifetime modelling has to be approached by a thoroughunderstanding of the physical process leading to failure as well as the relevant information relating toequipment and component conditions [5-6]. This is becoming increasingly possible as the adoption of information system in most utilities enables the central collection and management of all the relevantcondition monitoring data. Attempts have also been made to convert all these information, e.g.inspection data, site and laboratory testing results, operational condition, etc., into an objective andquantitative index, referred as health index, reflecting the overall health of a transformer unit at themoment of analysis [7-13]. Databases of health index for transformer fleets are starting to becomeavailable and will soon become more comprehensive and widespread. By tracking the changes of health indexes, degradation processes of transformer units can be analysed. Functional lifetime,defined as the time when the health condition of a transformer unit deteriorates to a state requiringreplacement can hence be modelled.The paper then proposes an approach for functional lifetime modelling of power transformers basedon condition monitoring data. It is organised in the way that the two-parameter Weibull distributionchosen to characterise the statistical property of transformer 
s functional lifetime is presented inSection II, together with the maximum likelihood estimation method recommended to be used for 
 
International Journal of Advances in Engineering & Technology, May 2013.©IJAET ISSN: 2231-1963614 Vol. 6, Issue 2, pp. 613-619
Weibull parameter estimation. An application example is then presented in Section III to showcase theapplication of the proposed approach. Verification and practical application of the derived lifetimemodel are also discussed, based on which conclusion and future work are finally provided in SectionIV and Section V, respectively.
II.
 
M
AXIMUM
L
IKELIHOOD
E
STIMATION FOR 
W
EIBULL
D
ISTRIBUTION
 
2.1. Two-Parameter Weibull Distribution
The cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the two-parameter Weibull distribution [14] is asshown in (1). It
s corresponding survival function (SF), probability density function (PDF) and hazardfunction (HF) are presented in (2)-(4), respectively.
( ; , ) 1 exp
x F x
  
  
(1)
( ; , ) 1 ( ; , ) exp
 x
 xS x F x
  
  
(2)
1
( ; , ) exp
 x x f x
   
    
(3)
1
( ; , )
xh x
  
    
     
(4)where
 x
is the failure time, expressed as a variable;
η
is the scale parameter;
 β 
is the shape parameter.Two-parameter Weibull distribution is chosen mainly due to its flexibility in representing differentrelationships of hazard rate versus age, that:
or β
= 1, the hazard rate remains constant over time, representing the flat region of theconventional bathtub curve;
for 
β
> 1, the hazard rate increases with age, representing the backend phase of the bathtub curve;
for 
β
< 1, the hazard rate decreases with age, representing early failures, often termed as
infantmortalities
.The scale parameter,
η
, represents the age by which 63.2% of the transformer units are expected tohave failed. For the extreme case where
β
= 1, the mean lifetime of the distribution equals to the valueof 
η
.
2.2. Maximum Likelihood Estimation Method
 The method of maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) [15] is chosen over the other parameter estimation methods mainly due to its superior versatility and ability to deal with different data types.For a fixed set of lifetime data assumed as following a specific statistical distribution, MLE finds parameter values of the distribution as the ones maximize the likelihood function. The likelihoodfunction is a function of the parameters given all the observation data. It is assumed as equal to the probability of observing all the samples given the parameters, as shown in (5).
1 2 1 21 1
( , | , ... , , ... ) ( ; , ) ( ; , )
k k k k N i ji j
 L x x x c c c M f x S c
 
(5)where N is the total number of observed samples;
 x
1
,
 x
2
 x
are ages of the k units whose failures are observed;
c
k+1
,
c
k+2
 
c
 N 
are the running times of the remaining N-K survival units whose failures are not yetobserved but known to be operating beyond the current running time;
 
International Journal of Advances in Engineering & Technology, May 2013.©IJAET ISSN: 2231-1963615 Vol. 6, Issue 2, pp. 613-619
M is a combinatory constant representing the number of ways the sample might have been observed.As shown in (5), the two types of data considered in the present paper are failure data and survivaldata. For failure data, the information it carries is the probability that the event of failure occurring atthe time,
 x
, which is approximately equal to the PDF of 
 x
at this time. For survival data, theinformation it provides is that the unit has already survived up to the present running time,
c
, which isapproximately equal to the survival function evaluated at the time. The likelihood function is henceconstructed by combining all the information each observation carries.To calculate the Weibull parameters, the PDFs and SDs as shown in (3) and (2) are inserted into (5).A technique usually applied is to work with the natural logarithm of the likelihood function rather than the likelihood function itself as the approach simplifies the expression of product intosuperposition. The log-likelihood function is obtained as shown in (6).
1 1 1
ln ( , ) ln (ln ln ) ( 1) ln
k k  jiii i j
c x L M k x
    
  
  
(6)As a one-to-one relationship exists between a number and its corresponding logarithm, the parametersmaximize likelihood function are hence the same ones maximize their log-likelihood function.Weibull parameters are then calculated as the parameters that make their corresponding partialderivatives equal zero, as shown in (7) and (8).
1 1
ln ( , )0
k  jii j
c x L
    
  
(7)
1 1 1
ln ( , )ln ln ln 0
k k  j ji iii i j
c c x x L k x
    
     
(8)By transforming (7),
η
can be expressed as a function of 
β
, as:
11 1
1
k i ji j
 x c
     
 
(9)And by eliminating
η
between (7) and (8), the following equation is obtained.
1 111 1
ln ln1 10
k i i j ji j ik ii ji j
 x x c c x x c
      
  
(10)With (10), the value of 
β
can be iteratively solved with numerical methods, such as the Newton-Raphson method [16]. Once the value of 
β
is determined,
η
can be obtained by taking the estimated
β
 into (9).Up to this point, Weibull distribution can be modelled with MLE once a set of lifetime data, includingfailures as well as survivors, is collected.
III.A
PPLICATION OF
W
EIBULL
M
ODELLING TO
F
IELD
C
OLLECTED
D
ATA
 
An application example is presented to showcase how could information of functional lifetime for atransformer fleet being extracted and hence further modelled with a two-parameter Weibulldistribution.
3.1. Data Collection and Pre-processing
A collection of health index data of more than 800 transformers, covering a time span of 10 years iscollected from an electric utility company. In the utility, the health index is adopted as an indication of the overall health condition of a transformer unit. It is classified into four discrete states to aiddecision making for effective asset management of the transformer fleet. The four states are classifiedas
good condition
,
normal condition
,
 poor condition
and the
condition requiring replacement
;with the underlying assumption that the condition of a transformer unit can only change from goodstate to bad state but not otherwise.

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TRANSFORMER LIFETIME MODELLING BASED ON CONDITION MONITORING DATA Dan Zhou Beijing Key Laboratory of High Voltage and EMC, North China Electric Power University, Beijing, 102206, P.R. China
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