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XFMR Oil Testing

XFMR Oil Testing

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Transformer Oil Testing
Transformer Oil Testing

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Published by: Bijaya Kumar Mohanty on Sep 13, 2013
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+Utility Testing Laboratory

40 West Louise Avenue P.O. Box 65621 Salt Lake City, UT 84165-0621 (801) 485-8941 Fax: (801) 484-9211

Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Analysis - EPA method SW 846 - 8082B PCB’s are a class of 209 discrete chemical compounds, called congeners in which one to ten of PCBs, Manufactured them under the trade name Aroclor from 1930 to 1977. In 1 976 th chlorine atoms are attached to biphenyl. Monsanto Corporation, one of the major producers e A specific United States began to regulate PCBs under the Toxic Substance Control ACT (TSCA). TSCally regulates manufacture, processing distribution in commerce, and use of PCBS. Because PCBs where used extensively in transformers and other electrical equipment it is necessary to classify such equipment as to whether or not it contains PCBs. Regulations as to proper control of PCB containing equipment and Proper Disposal May be found in The Code for Federal Regulations Title 40 part 761. Testing of transformers and other equipment may be necessary In order to comply with EPA regulations and federal law. Summary of methods - The PCBs are extracted from the sample using the appropriate EPA method and are analyzed by high resolution gas chromatography.

Dissolved Gas Analysis - ASTM D3612 Dissolved gas analysis is a powerful predictive tool for the maintenance of transformers. Gasses produced in the transformer can indicate the type and severity of fault conditions in the transformer (Ie. arcing, corona, sparking, overheating, cellulosic insulation breakdown). When a program of routine testing is followed. Identification of a fault and the severity of a fault may be determined. Thus allowing for preventative maintenance and precluding costly transformer failure. Summary of Method - Dissolved gases are extracted, using a vacuum extraction device, from a dielectric oil sample. The sample of gas is then analyzed by gas chromatography for eleven specific gasses. Hydrogen Carbon Monoxide* Acetylene* Oxygen* Carbon Dioxide Propane/Propylene* Nitrogen Ethylene* Butane* Methane* Ethane*
*Combustible gasses

Part per million (PPM) values are determined for each of the gasses in the oil along with a total PPM value of combustible gasses.

Summary of method The oil sample is compared to a series of colored glass standards . Color . A low total acid number (less than 0. The voltage is raised at a uniform rate.Acidity . These acids can adversely effect the insulation and inner components of the transformer. the voltage that the current reaches when the circuit breaker is tripped is considered to be the dielectric breakdown voltage of the oil.ASTM D1298 The specific gravity of an oil is the ratio of the weights of equal volumes of oil and pure water at the same temperature. Dielectric Breakdown Voltage . Thus the dielectric breakdown voltage is a good indicator of oil contamination. When adding additional oil to an apparatus the dielectric oil should be of similiar specific gravity as the oil. the dielectric breakdown voltage wil be adversely effected. An increase in color number during service indicates deterioration or contamination of the mineral insulation oil. However. a high dielectric breakdown value does not indicate the absence of all contaminants.3mg KOH/ g oil) is necessary to maximize the life of the insulating system. Summary of method The insulation liquid is poured into a test cup between two disk electrodes. is of importance as a measure of the liquid's ability to withstand electric stress at operation without failure. and prevent sludging. Specific Gravity .ASTM D974 When transformer oils oxidize they begin to produce acids.ASTM D1524 A low color number is an essential requirement for the inspection of an assembled apparatus in a tank. When significant amounts of acid are produced they will polymerize with each other or react with the metallic surfaces inside the transformer to form sludge. Summary of method The oil sample is tested with a hydrometer with values in the appropriate range and is corrected to 60/60 0F. When the insulating oil breaks down or is contaminated with water or other contaminants.ASTM D877 The dielectric breakdown voltage of an insulation liquid at commercial power frequencies. The amount of KOH needed to neutralize 1 gram of oil is the acid number. This will insure that the dielectric properties of the oil are maintained. Summary of method A sample of transformer oil is neutralized using Potassium Hydroxide (KOH).

Summary of method Interfacial tension is determined by measuring the volume of a drop of water that an oil sample will support as compared to air.ASTM D2285 Interfacial tension measures the concentration of polar compound suspended and in solution in transformer oil.(Karl Fischer Method) .and its match is reported on a scale from 0. Karl Fischer moisture analysis is a reliable tool in analyzing oil for moisture content.0. Interfacial Tension is measured in dynes/cm and is affected by high acid or water content values. Water Content .ASTM D1533 In order to protect a transformer from accelerated deterioration and possible catastrophic failure it is necessary to maintain low water content in the transformer and insulating oil. . Summary of method This method of testing for water in insulation liquids is based on the reduction of iodine by water and sulfur dioxide. Interfacial Tension . It is also used a an indicator of the conditions that lead to the formation of sludge in the transformer oil.0 to 8.

Temperatures of greater than 500 degrees C are required to produce C 2H 2 (Acetylene).Interpretation of Transformer Oil Testing I. Many 15-17. C2H4 (Ethylene). Dr. CH4 (methane). 2. C2H2 (Acetylene) and H2 (Hydrogen) . Joseph B.These two gases are produced if there is a partial discharge (corona) in the oil. Total combustible gas in parts per million for the following gases is shown on the report form: Hydrogen H2 Ethane C2H6 Carbon Monoxide CO Acetylene C2H2 Methane CH4 Propane/Propylene C3H8 /C3H6 Ethylene C2H4 Butane C4H10 Explanation for generated gases:1 1. "Dissolved Gas Analysis of Transformer Oil.A large amount of C2 H4 (Ethylene) with CH4 (Methane) or with the other four above stated gases indicates thermal decomposition of oil. The results of the dissolved gas analysis are printed in percent in oil. CO (Carbon Monoxide) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide). C2 H6 (Ethane). is an indication of hydrolysis and that the oil is contaminated with water. Corona in the cellulosic insulation should be suspected if the two gases are accompanied by significant amounts of H2 (Hydrogen). 3. CH4 (Methane) and H2 (Hydrogen) . Temperatures less than 250 degrees C are required to produce these gases. Digiorgio. Dissolved Gas Analysis Following is a brief guide to assist you in the interpretation of the results from the dissolved gas analysis. The presence of C2H2 (Acetylene) supersedes the criteria for combustible gas levels and demands immediate attention. 5.These two gases indicate thermal aging of cellulosic insulation or partial discharge (corona) in the cellulosic insulation. C3 H8 /C3 H6 Propane/Propylene and H2 (Hydrogen) . H2 (Hydrogen) and O2 (Oxygen) .The presence of these two gases in the absence of hydrocarbons.Large amounts of C2 H2 (Acetylene) and H2 (Hydrogen) are almost always a symptom of arcing faults. " Northwest Electric Light & Power Association Engineering & Operations Annual Conference. 1 . 1977. Dissolved Gas Analysis II. percent in gas and parts per million in oil. Combined Oil Testing I. 4.

Greater than 10% increase in combustible gases per month. Degassing of the oil is recommended for trend establishment." Northwest Electric Light & Power Association Engineering & Operations Annual Conference. Very high level of combustible gases requires that the transformer be taken immediately from service and the fault located and corrected.Substantial decomposition has occurred. DiGiorgio. Greater than 2500 ppm combustibles . "Dissolved Gas Analysis of Transformer Oil. 2. Joseph B. transformer failure impending. 2.Transformer is operating satisfactorily and no special attention is required.Less than 10% increase in combustible gases per month. May 15-17. 1977. Greater than 1000 ppm but less than 2500 ppm combustibles . transformer oil should be sampled frequently to establish a trend in the accumulation of combustible gases. Fast accumulation . Dr.Criteria for Combustible Gas Analysis2 1.Normal aging. 4. 3. Moderate accumulation . Rate of Accumulation 1.Decomposition is significant. 3. A trend on accumulation of combustible gases is difficult to ascertain. Slow accumulation . 2 . Less than 1000 ppm combustibles .

there is an indication that higher than normal temperatures are occurring in the vicinity of the cellulosic insulation. January 1977.5 < Z < 3 Z>3 CODE 1 2 3 4 0 1 0 1 2 0 1 2 X = C2H6/CH4 (Ethane/Methane) Y = C2H4/C2H6 (Ethylene/Ethane) Z = C2H2/C2H4 (Acetylene/Ethylene) Generally. 3 . pp. Transmission & Distribution.Gas Ratios and Code Numbers3 GASES W = CH4/H2 (Methane/Hydrogen) RATIO 0 < W < 0. R.1 < W < 1 or W=0 1<W<3 W>3 X<1 X>1 Y<1 1<Y<3 Y>3 Z < 0. Glass.M. if the ratio.5 0. CO2/CO (Carbon Dioxide/Carbon Monoxide) is greater than 11.1 0. "Dissolved Gas Analysis of Transformer Oil". 22-29.

"Instructions for WEMCO C & WEMCO C1 Insulation Oils.below 150o C 4 0 0 0 Slight overheating .300 40 35 0. II." 1982. Oils that require only minor reconditioning for further service. ASTM D 3487-82a.CODE INTERPRETATIONS w x y z Diagnosis 2 0 0 0 Normal deterioration 1 0 0 0 Partial discharge (corona) 3 0 0 0 Slight overheating .below 150o C 3 1 0 0 Overheating .91 (minimum) (maximum) (minimum) (maximum) (maximum) (maximum) Based on the combined battery of oil tests. transformer oil should be categorized according to the following table. New oil should meet the following specifications:4 Dielectric Strength.200o to 300o C 2 0 1 0 General conductor overheating 3 0 1 0 Winding circulation currents 3 0 2 0 Core and tank circulation currents.150o to 200o C 4 1 0 0 Overheating . 4 Oils that are in satisfactory condition for continues use. "Standard Specification for Mineral Insulation Oil Used in Electrical Apparatus.5 0.150o to 200o C 2 1 0 0 Overheating .5 Class Condition I. Westinghouse Electric Corporation. mg KOH per gram oil Interfacial Tension Dynes per cm Moisture Content. 5 . ppm Color Specific Gravity 30 0. kV Neutralization No. Combined Battery of Oil Tests Following is a brief guide to assist you in the interpretation of the results from the battery of oil tests." May 1969. overheated joints 2 0 0 1 Flashover without power follow through 2 0 1 1 Arc with power follow through 2 0 1 2 Arc with power follow through 2 0 2 1 Arc with power follow through 2 0 2 2 Continuous sparking to floating potential 1 0 0 1 Partial discharge with tracking (note CO (Carbon Monoxide)) 1 0 0 2 Partial discharge with tracking (note CO (Carbon Monoxide)) ________________________ II.

5 and up 16 > 35 > 4. alkali treatment.5 Group II < 28 . Involved frequently are treatment with absorption agents.Reconditioning is defined as the mechanical removal of moisture and insoluble contaminants. IV. "Instructions for WEMCO C &WEMCO C1 Insulation Oils. etc. acid refining.25 21 25 0. mg KOH per gram oil Interfacial tension Dynes per cm Moisture content ppm Color Group I 28 to 0.0 Group III Low .6 Test Dielectric Breakdown.0 Group IV Low . produces chemical rather than mechanical changes in the oil. 6 . The classification mentioned on the previous page are derived from the following table. kV Neutralization No.4. typically by filtering or centrifuging.25 to . Reclamation.35 21 35 2.5 18 > 35 2.5 .4.5 . depending on economic considerations." May 1969.0 Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Oils in poor condition requiring either reclamation or disposal. III. in contrast to reconditioning. Oils in such poor condition that it is technically advisable to dispose of them.35 to .

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