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Acid Test for On-Load Tap-Changers

Sturdy transient recorders stand the long-term test and provide fast and secure recording of measured data Joachim Hachmeister (for LTT Labortechnik Tasler GmbH)

On-load tap-changers are a central element for secure power supply. They are installed in power transformers and regulate their voltage to ensure consistent power supply without outages, in spite of variable load conditions in the mains supply. In a test centre, the only one of its kind worldwide, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen is subjecting tap-changers to a series of endurance tests to ensure that they will do their job, even in extreme situations.

Photo: MR Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH

To do its task properly, a tap-changer must have a long service life and be able to perform even under extreme conditions. It must survive both a harsh Siberian winter and the heat of a summer in Abu Dhabi, a flash of lightning or short circuits due to the failure of other devices in the power supply system. To ensure precisely this, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (in short: MR) opened a test centre in Regensburg in 2008 that is unrivalled anywhere in the world. Here, on an area of 4800 square meters, the capability of each tap-changer type is tested before first delivery.

000 operations. the equipment clatters and rattles with switching operations in 2. for up to three months. Apart from this. The test is supposed to establish whether the mechanics of the tap-changers functions faultlessly over the planned lifespan.Tap-changers under pressure to perform The test pieces have to endure quite a lot.5 second intervals. Inserting a tap-changer in a test cylinder for endurance testing. a tap-changer should be able to switch between 40. The temperature tests are performed in oil-filled cylinders of appropriate dimensions that are electrically heated or cooled by heat exchangers. Vacuum switches have to complete up to 600. Day and night.000 and 100. Depending on the type. .5 millions of such switching operations – more than three times as many as stipulated by the international standard IEC 60214-1. They are exposed to extreme cold or heat and must switch as intended even when the temperature increases from minus 70 degrees Celsius to 130 degrees heat.000 times before it is routinely checked. two large temperature chambers are available for cooling purposes. Suspended from supports. One room further on. the tap-changers are working non-stop. seven days a week. MR tests up to 1.

In addition to the switching sequence of the contact functions. the switching sequence is checked and pressure. temperature. this includes displacement and velocity. Precise acquisition of fast events can require channel sampling rates of up to 50 kHz. a general-purpose measuring amplifier to condition the various sensor signals. Concurrently. and a transient recorder as a recording device. vacuum and leakage tests are performed. the testing also includes off-circuit tap-changers and drive mechanisms. forces. 16 digital) or even more. A software application developed at MR is running on the measurement computer and controls different test variants for the motor drive plus other automatic test procedures including the regulation of temperature and pressure. acceleration and mechanical strain measured with strain gauge technology – typical up to 32 channels (16 analogue. depending on the test piece. most diverse parameters are recorded and analysed. In addition to on-load tap-changers. From torque to acceleration The measurement system for the mechanical tests comprises a computer with integrated I/O cards to control the drive of the motor that moves the test pieces. high-speed cameras and thermal imaging. a resistance measuring box to capture the contact functions.Additional to mechanical endurance. Using sensors. the mechatronics specialists and electrical engineers test the level of abrasion in the tap-changers and the switching process behaviour under heat. pressure. The control room of the test centre at Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) Fast and secure data acquisition . depending on the test procedure. angle of rotation and speed. torque.

a specialist in ultra-fast measurement technology based in Würzburg. together with a very high and stable long-term accuracy of typical 0. Transient Recorder Type LTT-184 – well rather a “sprinter” among measurement systems – is particularly suitable for tasks with high channel counts and large bandwidths measured over longer periods of time. Errors in measurement or – even worse – failures due . An included DLL enables integration with special proprietary test bench applications. Two SW packages. allow easy and comfortable use under laboratory conditions. depending on the desired resolution. the measurement equipment must provide reliable and accurate results non-stop over months. High EMC contamination does not affect the measurements Another very specific challenge is the measuring environment: It is so heavily EMC contaminated that for example persons with pacemakers are not allowed to enter the MR test lab. Separate A/D converters and amplifiers for each input channel allow simultaneous sampling in all differential channels with individually adjustable input ranges and adaptive anti-aliasing filters. Sturdy transient recorders for long-term use under harsh conditions Each recorder is equipped with 8 or 16 differential analogue inputs and additionally 16 digital inputs. In spite of these conditions.For data acquisition. Via USB or Ethernet the measured data are transferred extremely fast and online to the PC which is essential for long-term monitoring. This feature is widely used at MR to automate test procedures and analyses. LTTview and LTTPro. Fast RAM buffers ensure that no data is lost. even in case of interruptions. MR counts on LTT Labortechnik Tasler. The separate clock input allows to measure synchronously in time with external events. resulting in considerable time savings for the test engineers. The maximum sampling rate per channel is between 2.5 MHz at 16 bit and up to 20 MHz at 12 bit.05%. Synchronous acquisition with a much higher number of parallel channels is achieved by simple cascading of multiple recorders.

jpg: Inserting an on-load tap-changer in a test cylinder for endurance testing at MR 3.jpg: Mounting sensors on the test piece at MR 2.) 16063_rk_036.0 Fax 0931 / 359 61 . front view .tasler. Contact: LTT Labortechnik Tasler GmbH Science Park Friedrich-Bergius-Ring 15 97076 Würzburg Phone 0931 / 359 61 .jpg: The control room of the test centre at Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen Picture from LTT: LTT184.de www.) P4248022 .to external stray pick-up would be fatal.de Pictures from Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR): 1.) 16063_rk_036. The sturdy LTT recorders are designed for long-term operation in harsh environments and perform the task competently.50 info@tasler.