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CIGRE 2008

K. LEURIDAN (*) Pauwels International N.V. Belgium R.P. MAREK Du Pont Advanced Fibers Systems USA J. DECLERCQ Pauwels International N.V. Belgium J.C. DUART Du Pont de Nemours International S.A. Switzerland

SUMMARY The increase of electric power demand in urban areas puts pressure on utilities to deliver more power within limited available space. The capacity of a transformer, one of the main components in a substation, is however directly connected to its size and mass unless forced cooling systems are added for both the oil and the air. Forced cooling systems are a very cost-effective way to increase the power of a transformer but they clearly have some draw-backs : they reduce the reliability of the installation and they may considerably increase the noise level of the transformer. Control of the additional noise production may require important investments in sound insulation measures and these will finally reduce the initial cost-effectiveness of the forced cooling option. The recent development of hybrid insulation technology for use in power transformers represents a valuable alternative solution for the refurbishment of substations if available space and noise limits are the dominant constraints. Better thermal resistance of the insulation allows higher operating temperatures with a direct impact on the size and the mass of the transformer. Depending on the rating of the transformer, the required capacity can be obtained with ONAN cooling, avoiding the above mentioned draw-backs of forced cooling systems. An additional very interesting advantage of the use of solid high temperature insulation is, that overloading of the transformer will only be limited by the insulating liquid. The solid insulation, typically loaded far below its thermal capacity, should experience no ageing at all. It is not exaggerated to state that draining and replacing the oil after years of service restores the transformer to a state of “as new”. This article shortly describes the realization of a substation refurbishment for Gaz Electricité de Grenoble (GEG) using hybrid insulation technology. The old 10 MVA transformer has been replaced by a 36 MVA (63 kV / 21 kV) transformer with a hybrid insulation system based on DuPont™ Nomex® thermal technology in accordance with the recent IEC 60076-14 technical specification [1]. Pauwels International has designed and manufactured the transformer in its Belgian power transformer plant. Pauwels International had already developed an extended experience in the use of hybrid insulation systems based on Nomex® and mineral transformer oil in ODAF-cooled mobile transformers. Until the appearance of [1], these designs were based on the IEEE trial-use guide [2]. Since 1996, about 70 mobile transformers with hybrid insulation have been designed and built in the Canadian and Belgian plants. The application of high temperatures in conditions of natural oil flow is relatively new and needed some experimental validation before implementation in a real substation transformer. Description and results of these experiments are shortly covered in this article. KEYWORDS hybrid, transformer, Nomex®, DGA 1 (*)

endrings. the time that the conventional mineral oil is in contact with the hot windings is very limited. In an OD-cooling system. the acceptable hot-spot temperature rise of 130 K (table 1). are regularly used for transformers built according to ANSI standards. Would the rate of degradation of the mineral oil in these conditions still be acceptable to guarantee normal service intervals for the transformer ? To answer this question before accepting an order for an ON-cooled transformer with hybrid insulation. Pauwels International has decided to build a specific test 2 . is usually far from reached as the difference between bottom. as taken from table 4 in [1]. if the maximum ambient temperature differs from 40 oC. Also in an OD-system. Designs without conservator but with a nitrogen cushion above the free oil surface in the main tank. key-spacers etc… Nomex® has a thermal class of 220 oC. This can however be questioned. Table 1 lists the acceptable temperature rise limits in a hybrid insulation system. connected to a system that maintains a slightly positive pressure of the gas-cushion. the temperature rises (expressed in Kelvin) in table 1 must be adapted accordingly in order to maintain the absolute temperatures (expressed in degrees Celsius). transformers with hybrid insulation system are designed with a conservator containing a rubber bag that avoids direct contact between the ambient air and the oil. all had the OD-cooling system combined with compact oil-air coolers. constrained by noise and space limitations as sketched in the summary.and top-oil in the transformer is very low due to the high oil-flow imposed by the pump. the contact time between the circulating oil and the hot windings will be much higher and moreover. the hot-spot temperature will approach the high value suggested in table 1. built by Pauwels International. To comply with this requirement. In the ON-cooling system that comes in the picture if we want to use the hybrid insulation technology for a substation transformer. built by Pauwels International. requires “essentially oxygen-free applications where the oil preservation system effectively prevents the ingress of oxygen and moisture filled air into the tank”. The 70 mobile transformers with hybrid insulation system. mentioned in table 1. a hybrid insulation system requires a high temperature class material for the solid insulation in direct contact with the winding conductors and a conventional temperature class insulating liquid. The guide [1] does not suggest any additional constraints in function of the cooling system. compared to the conventional insulation system. where the oil is pushed through the windings with a pump. well above the required 155 oC imposed in table 1. have used Nomex® 410 paper for the conductor wrapping and Nomex® T993 and T994 boards for sticks.1 Validation of the use of hybrid insulation systems with natural circulation of the mineral oil Motivation According to [1] and [2].1 1. application of the high temperatures. According to [1]. All the transformers with hybrid insulation system. Unit o Minimum high-temperature solid insulation thermal class Top-oil temperature rise over ambient Top-oil temperature at maximum ambient Average winding temperature rise over ambient Conventional hot-spot temperature at maximum ambient High-temperature insulation hot-spot temperature at maximum ambient Reference temperature for loss calculation Maximum ambient temperature C K o C K o C o o o Conventional Insulation System NA 60 100 65 118 NA 75 40 Hybrid Insulation System 155 60 100 95 118 170 115 40 C C C Table 1 Temperature limits for transformers with mineral insulating liquid [1] Of course.

the disc at middle height and the two upper discs. exactly as desired for these tests. Flow Figure 1 Test set up for evaluation of hybrid insulation system Main characteristics of the test winding are given in table 2. Pressure Thermocouples U I PT100 DC AC Pump Test winding Volum. 1. Note that it concerns a disc-type winding without axial cooling ducts or without measures to guide the oil in zig-zag through the winding : this guarantees very low oil velocities in the radial ducts between the discs resulting in high contact times between the oil and the hot conductors. 3 . Volume of the test tank is 2000 litres. This corresponds to a bulk top-oil temperature of 100 oC and a hot-spot temperature of 170 oC. 2. The preservation system is a conservator with a rubber bag to avoid direct contact between the oil and the ambient air. 3. this means a bulk top-oil temperature of 80 oC and a hot-spot temperature of 150 oC. Simulation of full load but with 40 oC ambient temperature. 14 thermocouples are inserted in the test coil to measure oil and winding temperatures in and around the lowest disc. it is possible to aim at preset values of bulk top-oil temperature and hot-spot winding temperature.arrangement to load a hybrid insulation system during a long period with the temperatures indicated in table 1. Three regimes have been simulated in this way : 1.and outlet of the radiators and inside the tank. the DC-current through the winding and the cooling capacity (number of radiators in use). The normal operating condition. acceptable for long-time emergency loading according to the IEC loading guide [3]. Hot-spot temperature set at 190 oC.2 Description of the test set-up Figure 1 shows the test arrangement. With the temperatures given in table 1.3 Thermal regimes that have been investigated By simultaneously controlling the oil-flow. 1. Top-oil set at 115 oC. bottom and top. A true overload condition. supposing a yearly average ambient temperature of 20 oC. Bulk oil temperatures are measured at in. The tank was filled with degassed non-inhibited mineral transformer oil.

4 Test results and evaluation Evolution of dissolved gases by DGA (Dissolved Gas Analysis) and evolution of relevant oil parameters are used to evaluate the hybrid insulation system for the three regimes described in section 1.1 44.2 196. methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6) are the most significant gases to be evaluated.8 175. [4] reports on other recent work on gas generation in transformers with hybrid systems.8 147.5 Table 3 Physical settings and resulting temperatures for the different regimes 1.27 8. in comparison with the upper limits suggested in table A.3.5 118.8 Top-Oil (oC) 84.7 Number of radiators 0 0 0 Oil-flow (l/min) 10.7 Bottom-Oil (oC) 51.4 105.9 45.1 DGA results In a hybrid insulation system. In order to cover also the transformers designed according to ANSI standard [2].1 DC current (A) 151.87 8.Table 3 lists the physical settings and resulting temperatures for the different regimes.3 of [5] for 4 .8 20. Unit Winding type Inner diameter Outer diameter Height of the coil Number of discs Number of turns per disc Number of parallel conductors Conductor type Bare conductor width Bare conductor thickness Single sided conductor insulation thickness Copper mass Thickness of inner axial duct Thickness of outer axial duct Thickness of spacers between discs Width of spacers between discs Axial cooling ducts inside the discs Stops in inner and outer axial ducts for zig-zag flow Material of axial duct sticks Material of spacers between discs Material of conductor wrapping Material of inner and outer cylinders mm mm mm Continuous disc 318 380 347 28 12 1 Rectangular / copper 9 2 0. the top-oil rise for regimes 1 and 2 has been set to 65 K instead of 60 K. containing no cellulose materials at elevated temperatures.7 Hot-Spot (oC) 151.25 114 5 5 3 40 none none Nomex® T994 Nomex® T994 Nomex® 410 Pressboard 3052 / DIN7733 mm mm mm kg mm mm mm mm Table 2 Description of the test coil Regime 1 2 3 Ambient temperature (oC) 23.3 159.8 20. Figure 2 shows the detected average production rates of CH4 and C2H6 in function of the hot-spot temperatures in the system.4. 1.

The regimes 2 and 3 with higher hot-spot temperatures are to be considered as overloads and it is not abnormal that these induce higher gassing rates.50 2. 1. As relative rates of gassing and oxidation depend on ratios of hot copper to total oil mass.000 Limit IEC [4] 90 % test-bay results 170 Hotspot [C] 180 190 200 150 160 170 180 190 200 Hotspot [C] Figure 2 Gassing rates detected during tests on hybrid insulation system 1.500 0. the oxidation reactions are probably determined by the amount of oxidizing agents (reactive oxygen containing molecules). 4. that transformers with hybrid insulation system and running at elevated temperatures. even much lower values were found for the hybrid insulation system.00 3.000 2.00 0.00 2. 5 .500 2. The 90 % test-bay values are representative of heat run tests with maximum hot-spot rise of 78 K. Once a minimum threshold temperature exceeded. also in natural oil-flow conditions.000 0. Temperatures suggested in table 1 for a hybrid insulation system. This can however easily be prolonged by using inhibited oils with an oxidation stability that is at least an order of magnitude better than the oxidation stability of the non-inhibited mineral oil used for the tests. However it is important to notice from figure 2 that the gassing rate of methane in regime 2 for the hybrid insulation system (hot-spot temperature of 170 oC) is around the 90% test-bay gassing rate of conventional insulation systems at hot-spots of about 100 oC. This phenomenon is not unusual and recognized in a note to table A.4.00 150 160 Average rate [ppm/day] methane Limit IEC [4] 90% test-bay results 3. after a relatively limited period of 4 years.000 ethane 3. Although the equipment in test can be clearly considered as “new”. Also. combined with natural oil-flow conditions.50 1. This is the main conclusion to take from these test results.000 1. do not result in excessive production rates of methane and ethane in the particular configuration used for the tests. For ethane.conventional transformers and with the gas production rates detected during heat runs performed on transformers with conventional insulation in the Pauwels International test-bay. should be filled with an inhibited mineral oil.15 mg KOH/g suggested by IEC [6] for an oil quality classified as “fair”.500 1. heat runs in test-bay are always run at 100 % load (at least) and the base for the limits suggested in [5] is a population of transformers typically running below their rated power.00 1. corresponding to a hotspot temperature of around 100 oC.3 of [5] stating that “values in the early and late years of the equipment tend to be higher than the average values of table A.500 3. it is clear that conclusions can only be qualitative and need to be confirmed in actual transformers.5 Conclusion The experiments on a hybrid insulation system give confidence in the application of the temperatures and temperature rises of table 1. The evolution of the acidity is almost not influenced by the hot-spot temperature in the system.2 Oil parameters Acidity is the most direct parameter to measure and check in order to evaluate the degree of oxidation of transformer oil. Figure 3 shows acidity measured during the tests on the hybrid insulation system.3”.50 0. They exceed the upper limit of average production rates suggested in [5]. the production rates for the hybrid system are around the upper IEC-limit for the normal continuous regime with a hot-spot of 150 oC. one can guess to obtain the limit of 0. By extrapolation of the trend shown in figure 3.50 Average rate [ppm/day] 4.

preference was given to the ONAN-proposal from Pauwels International as the best all-round solution. A conventional transformer with class-A insulation and normal temperature rises. The higher cost of the high temperature insulation materials was compensated for by an increase of load losses.87046 0. ODAF— were considered keeping in mind the additional cost of sound traps and other peripheral equipment to reduce the noise made by a forced ventilation system. should have an oil preservation system that avoids contact between oil and ambient air and should at least be filled with an inhibited mineral transformer oil. Finally. The two designs were adapted in order to obtain the same initial investment cost. Both alternatives complied with all functional requirements. Low noise emissions during operation were important. from 10 to 36 MVA.Transformers with hybrid insulation system and designed for these elevated temperature rises. even considering important overloads or slightly increased ambient temperatures in the transformer room. Various designs using different cooling methods—ONAN. Table 4 compares some design and performance parameters of the conventional and the hybrid alternatives.025 0.01 0.04 0.005 0 28-mei-05 17-jul-05 5-sep-05 25-okt-05 14-dec-05 2-feb-06 Figure 3 Evolution of acidity during tests on hybrid insulation system 2 Refurbishment of a substation transformer for Gaz Electricité de Grenoble (GEG) The substation that needed to be refurbished is in the centre of Grenoble. Considering all these aspects. 2. The option with Nomex® insulation has the additional important benefit that the solid insulation inside the transformer has so much thermal margin that it will not age over the lifetime of the transformer. The dimensions were strictly limited. The transformer has been installed in the second quarter of 2007. ONAF. The replacement unit had to have a much higher rating than the previous transformer. avoiding the need to make any modification to the existing air-entry points in the substation. 0. and by optimizing the cooling system in function of the higher temperature rises.00010x . 6 .045 0. partly due to the higher reference temperature to be considered for the loss calculation. Figure 4 shows two views of the active part of this transformer before tanking.05 0.03 0. with residents living all around the site.035 Acidity [mg KOH/g] measured Linear (measured) y = 0. but it also had to fit within the existing substation. GEG has chosen for the option with hybrid insulation.3. A hybrid insulation transformer with Nomex® material for the solid insulation in direct contact with the winding conductors and filled with inhibited mineral transformer oil. illustrating very well the gain in operating and transport masses obtained with the hybrid insulation system.02 0.015 0. Pauwels International has initially presented two alternatives : 1.

Figure 4 Active part of 36 MVA substation transformer.length .height Mass as installed Mass for transport Initial investment cost Unit MVA kV kV o C Class-A 36 63 21 ± 8 x 1. with hybrid insulation Rating Primary voltage Secondary voltage On load regulation Reference temperature for losses Temperature rises (top-oil / average winding / hot-spot) Load losses in nominal tap No-load losses Impedance @ 36 MVA. 7 . Concentrations of the relevant gasses before and after the temperature rise test were too small to allow any quantitative conclusion to compare with the results from the experiments described in section 1.width . nominal tap Sound pressure level at 0. It was in any case another confirmation that the hybrid insulation system with associated increased temperature rises can be safely used in an ONAN-cooled transformer.75 % on primary 105 75 60/85/110 142 16 17 57 76 5800 3000 4700 57600 56300 100 6000 3000 4900 65000 63500 100 60/65/78 109 17 Hybrid K kW kW dBA dBA mm mm mm kg kg % Table 4 Comparison of hybrid and conventional proposals A conventional temperature rise test has been performed with DGA before and after the test.3 m Sound power level Dimensions as installed : . 63/21 kV.

” IEEE Std 1276-1997.BIBLIOGRAPHY [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] IEC 60076-14. first edition 2004-11.C. edition 2.” IEC 60076-7.” J.” 8 . “High Temperature Insulation Used in Liquid-Filled Power Transformers. “Loading guide for oil-immersed power transformers.” IEC 60422.” (74th Annual International Doble Client Conference. “Design and application of liquid-immersed power transformers using high-temperature insulation materials. IEC 60599. “Supervision and maintenance guide for mineral insulating oils in electrical equipment. March 2007).0 2005.C. Duart and L.1 2007-05. “Mineral oil-impregnated electrical equipment in service – Guide to the interpretation of dissolved and free gases analysis. “IEEE Trial-Use Guide for the Application of High-Temperature Insulation Materials in Liquid-Immersed Power Transformers. first edition 2005-12. Bates. edition 3.