You are on page 1of 10

CIGRE 2012

A2 - 00

SPECIAL REPORT FOR GROUP A2 (Transformer) Carlos Julio DUPONT Cepel Research Center - Brazil - PS1 Ronny MERTENS CG Holding Belgium - PS2 Stephan VOSS Siemens AG Germany PS3 Special Reporters

1. General
The scope of SC A2 covers all kinds of power transformers, including industrial, DC converter transformers and reactors, transformer components. All activities related to design, manufacture, application of materials, utilisation, safety/environmental aspects, economic/commercial aspects, quality assurance and testing are covered. The two key strategic directions for A2 are to provide services to customers in terms of guidance on reliability, life management, economics, etc. and to work on technology issues such as safety, new technology and concepts, electrical environment, prestandardisation work, etc.

2. Group Discussion Meeting in Paris Session 2012


The three Preferential Subjects selected for 2012 are: PS1 > Transformers in the network of the future PS2 > Transformer Eco design / Eco use PS3 > Transformer magnetic circuit 50 contributions from 28 countries were offered with an unbalance between the three preferential subjects (23 reports on PS1, 20 reports on PS2, 7 reports on PS3). Initially, 32 reports have been accepted. As one paper was cancelled and another one was transferred from A3 to A2, the final SC A2 2012 group session program still contains 32 reports. The subjects discussed during the 2012 session will be useful to bring new information to working groups that are currently running inside SC A2 and also to bring new ideas for possible new work.

PS1:dupont@cepel.br PS2: ronny.mertens@cgglobal.com PS3: stephan.voss@siemens.com

3. PS1 Transformer in the network of the future


3.1 Papers for Preferential Subject No 1
A total of 15 papers have been submitted, according the following sub-topics: 1- Intelligent monitoring, algorithms, access to new data and information; 2- Optimal utilization taking into account monitoring information, dynamic rating and overloading 3- Transformer applications resulting from new technologies; 4- Impact of harmonics. Paper A2-101 (Canada) presents the experience of Hydro-Qubec with the development of new technologies related to OLTC and bushings continuous on-line monitoring. The developed OLTC diagnostic method uses a current clamp meter on the OLTC motor power supply in the transformer cabinet and a vibro-acoustic sensor on the OLTC tank. The technology for bushing monitoring uses a decentralized measurement system synchronized by GPS and has been validated in field condition by a comparison of the measurements using a standard galvanic system. Sensitivity of the OLTC monitoring system to typical failure modes and temperature variations, effect of ambient conditions (e.g. rain) on the bushing monitoring parameters, and methodologies developed to filter and correct these external influences are discussed. Paper A2-102 (Russia) describes the experience accumulated since 2003 in the development, installation, bench tests and support of integrated systems for transformers control, on-line monitoring and diagnostics (TCMD) at the Electric Power System of Russia. The paper evaluates the results achieved to fix the most significant problems arising when implementing real condition monitoring projects and discuss the ways of solving those problems. Pointed problems are grouped, basically, in technical and personnel qualification problems, and also associated to the absence of a proper regulations set concerning the TCMD exploitation. Paper A2-103 (Italy) demonstrates the strategy to ensure the required level of reliability and safety of large power transformers adopted at Terna according its most recent technical specification of autotransformers. The strategy includes control and reduction of external electrical stresses, new specification requirements, testing and on-line monitoring use. Main design innovations are related to OLTCs, bushings and turrets. Required testing related to short-circuit withstand, SFRA, direct measurement of winding temperature with optical fibers during heat run tests, short-circuit AC withstand voltage test, internal arcing test in bushings and multiple stress on hollow insulators bushings, gas chromatography improvements and EMTP models are also described. Paper A2-104 (Italy - Ghana) shows the solution applied in Ghana (Western Africa) where a long established 161kV- 50Hz network (in service since 1965) is being overlaid by a 330kV network for increasing the transmission capacity and extending the 330kV interconnection to the Nigerian grid, by overlaying also the 161 kV networks of Togo and Benin. The paper reports details on the applied design concepts, design validation methods and on testing procedures of the autotransformers (ATRs). Cost elements are provided for economic comparison of the applied ATRs with phase shifting capability, versus conventional ATRs operated in series with separate stand-alone phase shifting transformers (PSTs). The selected solution has been the use of 3-phase ATRs at each line end, with built-in 5-step phase shifting capability, in addition to a 17-step in-phase voltage regulation. Paper A2-105 (Argentina Germany) presents a method to estimate the historical load and ambient temperature profiles needed to estimate the ageing of the paper insulation because of hot-spot temperature. These profiles are not usually well known in practice, avoiding the application of the IEEE and IEC loading guides. The method deals with the lack of data using available SCADA stored online measured data, even if the profiles are not available for the complete operational period. The developed methodology, based on an artificial neural network and Monte Carlo simulations, is applied to a currently

in-service power transformer. Furthermore criteria for choosing a suitable hot-spot-temperature model are defined. Paper A2-106 (Australia) details the key concepts and methodologies of modern machine learning algorithms and presents two intelligent algorithms, namely, support vector machine (SVM) and selforganizing map (SOM) for transformer insulation diagnosis. Case studies are provided to demonstrate the applicability of these algorithms in transformer condition assessment in the field. Current research work is focusing on incorporating more DGA Dissolved Gas Analysis, PDC Polarization and Depolarization Current, and FDS Frequency Domain Spectroscopy results to enhance the training database for the machine learning algorithms. Paper A2-107 (Belgium) presents the results from a study designed to correlate the degree of polymerization (DP) of the paper insulation, the content of 2-furfural (2FAL) and methanol (MeOH) in transformer oil. During the study, transformer oil samples of several nuclear power plants have been periodically measured since mid 2009. It became clear that temperature plays an important role in the equilibrium of MeOH between the oil and the paper. A corrected value for MeOH dependent of the temperature is probably inevitable when / if it is used as ageing indicator. Furthermore, MeOH confirmed the 2FAL analysis and thus, paper degradation occurring in the transformer. MeOH can play an important role as an early-stage paper degradation marker and as confirmation analysis for the 2FAL content, but more studies are required. Paper A2-108 (Egypt) describes a method for modelling internal incipient turn-to-turn and turn-toground faults in a three-phase oil immersed power transformer. The approach utilizes the electrical indicators for internal winding fault, and is mainly based on the BCTRAN procedure of ATP program. An accurate algorithm was developed to estimate the RMS value of the harmonics content in the fault signals using the wavelet coefficients of the WPT (Wavelet Packet Transform) analysis and used to evaluate the differential current in all case studies. It is shown that the incipient internal faults can be detected and discriminated by observing and monitoring the characteristics of the harmonics content and its change behavior. The proposed technique could be used as a complement to traditional transformer differential protection to detect incipient fault at an early stage (increasing its sensitivity). Paper A2-109 (Poland) shows the results of a project undertaken by Hydro One Networks in Ontario, Canada, to monitor in real time all its high voltage power transformers using as a basis the IEEE Standard C57.91-1995. The computer program named Dynamic Transformer Rating (DTR) has its functionalities described in the paper. The most important feature of the program is its ability to rapidly calculate short and long-time emergency ratings of all 800 power transformers in the Ontario network. Two versions of the program are described: one for on-line application and the other for off-line. Paper A2-110 (Sweden) presents an on-line method to monitor the values of the most central transformer parameters (impedance, turns ratio and power loss). The method could be an alternative to regular assessments performed during an outage, especially as the testing measurements can be performed continuously, and could detect changes with an order of magnitude better sensitivity than the absolute accuracy. Several conceivable transformer problems may be detected with this method. The turn ratio estimate indicates that a fault between adjacent turns in a 1000-turn winding is detectable. Changes in the winding impedance reflect contact problems and geometrical distortion of the windings. Power loss is seen as a general problem indicator, similar to temperature. Examples on two transformers are described. Paper A2-111 (Germany China) presents an empirical approach developed to investigate the ageing factor with which an underlying relationship between the component failure and the amount of degradation can be established. The evaluation of ageing can be realized, accessing to the observation of appropriately selected properties, which are sensitive to ageing deterioration like, total dissolved combustible gas, all hydrocarbon concentration, CO2 concentration, acidity, interfacial tension (IFT), power factor, water content and withstand voltage. A statistical distribution was developed for a functional end-of-life criterion that relates transformers performance level to the failure probability.

Based on a selected failure rate the prediction of the life time is possible by using monitored data under the assumption that the different failure criteria are valid for the investigated type of power transformers. Paper A2-112 (India) aims at providing an insight into various technical aspects while developing India's first 1200 kV transformer for its national test station. The paper explains the specific considerations to take care of short circuit integrity and cooling adequacy of an UHV AC transformer. The paper also throws light on special technological considerations like processing & other manufacturing aspects to take care of specific features. It also shares the test methodology adopted for generation and control of high voltage parameters for a 333 MVA, 1200 kV transformer that has been successfully designed, manufactured and tested. Paper A2-113 (India) describes the specification requirement, salient design features, manufacturing and testing aspects of a 188 MVA, 220/96/28kV regulating transformer to be used in an aluminum refinery. The transformer is connected in series with a rectifier transformer with phase shift and finally to rectifiers which give DC power output to an aluminum smelter. A special 107 tap positions OLTC is provided with oil filter unit. A relay monitors the synchronization of three poles preventing from abnormal operation. Fiber optics sensors are installed in various windings to get the local hot spot temperature. On-line multi gas monitoring device is provided for on-line diagnostics against internal fault. Manufacturing of such large rating industrial transformer was a challenge in all respect for design, manufacturing, testing, transportation, erection and commissioning. Paper A2-114 (Brazil) presents the experience of Brazilian electric power utilities, in which online bushing monitoring data indicated defect evolution times of minutes or hours, showing that the evolution times can be much shorter than usually expected. A new methodology for on-line monitoring, detection and alarming of rapid evolution defects in bushings is introduced. When used with the current slow evolution failure detection techniques, the method may result in an increased reliability of the electric power supply. Alarms can be generated based in the methodology. Even a transformer trip may be considered, bringing condition monitoring systems closer to protection functions. Paper A2-115 (Switzerland) describes the sensitivity checks and commissioning process adopted to an on-line monitoring system on a new 400/220 kV - 800 MVA phase shift transformer that was fitted with modern high sensitivity UHF partial discharge sensors. A part of the sensitivity check, similar to the one which applies to gas-insulated substations, has been used to verify the positioning and the characteristics of the UHF sensors after installation. In addition, partial discharge measurements based on the conventional method and based on the UHF method have been carried out in parallel during the factory acceptance tests for comparison. During these tests partial discharges could be observed with both systems. A correlation between the two methods could be established. Since power transformers operate for decades and since a retrofit with new sensors during service is costly, it seems adequate today, according to the authors, to install UHF PD sensors in new equipment.

3.2 Discussion for Preferential Subject No 1


Eight of the presented papers relate to sub-topic (1) and discuss new algorithms that can be used for condition monitoring. These algorithms are applied basically to OLTC and bushings on-line monitoring (DP, C and Tan ), to adjust situations with lack of data in the time series, to estimate transformer thermal ageing and correlate ageing indicators, for transformer parameter characterizations and for insulation diagnosis with several on-line and off-line techniques. Four papers discuss utilization aspects as in sub-topic (2) and refer mainly to the experience (good and bad) that was gathered in the last years with the use of data and information for better decision and effective use of on-line continuous monitoring sensors and systems. Several difficulties are mentioned and proposals regarding standardization, testing and specification needs are discussed. Three papers addressed to sub-topic (3) and bring information regarding the characteristics of new transformer projects applied to specific situations, like UHV AC, phase-shifting and refinery applications.

Two of the above papers discussed multiple sub-topics. These papers discuss the use of harmonics signals as a condition monitoring tool and the influence of harmonics in the design, specification and testing. The discussion of preferential subject 1 should concern the transformer in the network of the future where a large amount of on-line continuous monitoring and sophisticated analysis methodologies will be applied, in the attempt to improve the reliability and availability of the transformer fleet. Discussion should be directed basically by the paper's content, but contributions on new techniques, technologies, or technology improvements not covered by the papers are also welcome.

3.3 Questions for Preferential Subject No 1


Question 1.1: What are the most important aspects related to the on-line continuous data? Are simple assessments of the measured signals deviation from fixed limits enough for a good condition diagnostic? What are the users currently accepted limits? Question 1.2: What is the most sensitive monitoring method to derive bushings capacitance and power dissipation factor values? A user's experience show that bushing degradation can evolve very quickly, is there enough experience to consider the possibility of using bushing monitoring as a tool to trip the transformer? Question 1.3: Is there enough experience to consider MeOH (methanol) as a new marker for early stage paper degradation in transformers? What are the known drawbacks and advantages related to the MeOH utilization when comparing to 2FAL? Question 1.4: What are the users most significant problems (technical / organizational or of human nature) associated with the implementation, operation and maintenance of continuous on-line monitoring systems? To what extent do these problems prevent the on-line continuous monitoring technology consolidation? Question 1.5: What are the most frequent commissioning problems encountered when implementing online condition monitoring systems? What kind of commissioning tests are performed in the monitoring systems to evaluate the algorithm applicability? Is there any specific national standard or company procedure specific to the monitoring system testing? Question 1.6: Does the availability of better telecommunications infrastructure, fast processors, cost reduction of sensors and continuous on-line data acquisition changes the way diagnostic is performed? To what extent can an adequate condition evaluation analysis and a reduction of failures consequences can be achieved only by using on-line continuous monitoring data and sensors? Which off-line techniques are now evolving for continuous on-line use? Question 1.7: What are the most challenging design, manufacturing and testing aspects related to UHV AC transformers? Is there enough technology available today to ensure high reliability in such UHV projects? Question 1.8: What special features are necessary in a transformer design to cope with the high level of harmonics created by firing thyristors and diode rectifiers in industrial applications? What is the user's experience with failure rates and the reliability of such transformers?

4. PS2 - Transformer Eco design / Eco use


4.1. Papers for Preferential Subject No 2
A total of 11 papers have been submitted, according the following sub-topics: improved material, better efficiency, environmental considerations - low noise, oil containment, oil recycling, fire protection, and life cycle costs, life extension, repair/refurbish/replace decision

Paper A2-201 (Austria - USA) illustrates the evaluation and clarification of various design and material issues in order to successfully operate power transformers filled with environmentally friendly and low flammability ester liquids. Simply exchanging the insulating fluid from mineral oil to ester could lead to problems. Testing of characteristic arrangements representing the whole insulation system of the transformer and not only on the insulating fluid on itself, modifications of the winding design from a thermal point of view, different practices during the manufacturing process, and use of compatible materials are necessary steps. Paper A2-202 (Greece France - Turkey) demonstrates that short-circuit withstand capability of amorphous metal-based transformers is the remaining barrier in order to penetrate the European utilities networks and surpassing the actual experimental level of usage. Increased saturation magnetic inductions and reduced core losses positively influencing the thermal behaviour result in cost competitive designs and comparative annual total owning costs compared to conventional transformers with sound power levels within current requirements. Paper A2-203 (Sweden Brazil - USA) shows that the significant differences in the dielectric and thermal properties are not limiting the use of biodegradable ester fluids in power transformers as long as proper dimensioning rules and adequate modelling techniques are used. Some differences are only manifested in power transformers due to the longer insulation gaps and the distinction between initiation and propagation in the flashover phenomenon. Accessories like tap-changer and bushings have to be (re)evaluated, some aspects in the manufacturing process have to be (re)considered, ultimately leading to increased temperature rise limits and thus compactness. Paper A2-204 (Sweden Poland - Denmark) shows that the use of loss evaluation as part of the procurement process, which is already an industry practice within the power transformer business, results not only in a reduced total ownership cost but also significantly reduces the transformer losses. The loss evaluation formulae are based on the capitalized present value of the losses. More R&D focus on loss reduction will be consequently needed surpassing the conventional approaches and the accuracy of loss measurements will gain in importance. Paper A2-205 (Germany) regards critically some long established diagnostic half truths. On the base of historical analyses and post-mortem results an evaluation of two aged network transformers has been performed. Bad condition of the solid insulation has been concluded based on the deteriorated physical and chemical oil values, while analysis of the degree of polymerization of the paper showed that these transformers would have been fit for continuing service. Care should therefore be taken in the evaluation of the health of old equipment and should not be limited to the evaluation of the active part including oil, but also the evaluation of bushing and OLTC condition. Paper A2-206 (China) describes the study of the technique of on-site vapour phase drying and the development of a mobile equipment with an auto-control system. Key techniques include changing the transformer tank into a drying chamber with on-site heating and thermal insulation, temporary removal of all parts that cannot withstand vacuum and temperatures of 150 C, and the development of outside installed evaporator which can withstand vacuum. Application on two transformer shows greatly

improved insulation properties qualifying the levels of a new transformer without the need to transport the power transformers back to the manufacturer. Paper A2-207 (Spain) presents some concepts to achieve an optimized definition and transformer design by adapting the main requirements and specifications to the actual service conditions. The design concept of a thermal balance at the principal tap position and hot spot temperature limits is introduced and evaluated in terms of loss of life in a first case. The use of transformer materials is rationalized and total cost of owning is reduced. An intermediate ODAN cooling regime is introduced to achieve a required sound level by using optimal and efficient cooling equipment in the second case, and resulting in a more rational use of the cooling equipment. Paper A2-208 (Spain Switzerland - Germany) shows the use of 72.5 kV dry-type transformers with a rather small difference in total cost of ownership compared to an oil filled transformer. The dielectric performance of some new concepts was evaluated by applying electrostatic simulation on very detailed 3D models including structural parts, followed by an evaluation of the breakdown voltages along the possible discharge paths. Two prototypes were simulated, manufactured and successfully tested. Different eddy losses mitigation techniques were evaluated with thermo-magnetic simulations and verified by thermography during a heat run test. Paper A2-209 (UK France) focuses on the electrical performance of ester liquids in both quasiuniform and non-uniform electric fields including discharge initiation, propagation and breakdown under both AC and lightning impulse voltages. In addition, the influence of pressboard on discharge activity and breakdown performance in ester liquids is investigated, discussed and compared to a mineral oil. Differences in a non-uniform electric field increase with larger gap distances, and thus additional pressboard barriers may be needed to partition large oil gaps in ester filled power transformers. Paper A2-210 (UK Switzerland) verifies the use of ester transformer fluids for increased fire safety. A pan fire test, spray ignition test and arc test were performed both with a synthetic ester and mineral oil showing the benefits besides the biodegradability. Reduced oil spill containment, absence of fire barriers, and simplified fire suppression system demonstrate the cost reduction when the whole installation cost is considered not only from an installation point of view, but also from an insurance point of view. Paper A2-211 (Switzerland) analyses roughly the life cycle environmental impact of the new resinimpregnated synthetics bushings in comparison with resin-impregnated paper technology as a lower amount of materials with significant impact is used. The performed design tests prove that the dielectric, thermal and lifetime properties of the new resin-impregnated synthetics bushings surpass or are at least as good as those of the resin-impregnated paper cores. Pilot installations have been commissioned to gain field experience with this new paper free technology.

4.2. Discussion for Preferential Subject No 2


One way of eco designing is replacing the mineral oil used in a power transformer by a more environmentally friendly one (4 papers). The process involves more than simply exchanging the insulating fluid to either synthetic or natural esters in the case of power transformers. Not only new design rules have to be applied, but also the manufacturing process has to be adapted. Benefits can be found in compactness and reduced ancillary system cost (oil spill, fire safety, etc.) when looking at complete installations. Another way of eco designing is reducing both the no-load and load losses (3 papers). This can already be achieved at the beginning of the procurement process by proper values for the capitalized value of the losses in the loss evaluation i.e. calculation of the total cost of ownership, or adapting the specifications to the actual service conditions. A technological breakthrough in no-load losses can be obtained by using amorphous metal based cores in the case of distribution transformers.

Care should be taken in the evaluation of the health of old equipment and should not be limited to the evaluation of the active part including oil, but including also the evaluation of bushing and OLTC condition. Conclusions on the condition of solid insulation are not straightforward, but with proper drying techniques like on-site vapour phase drying, some insulation properties can be brought back to the level of new transformers (2 papers). Dry-type transformers and resin-impregnated synthetics bushings have their own benefits but also lead to similar total costs of ownership or result in lower usage of materials with significant impact on the environment (2 papers).

4.3. Questions for Preferential Subject No 2


Question 2-1: How can the whole T&D community contribute to more environmentally friendly transformers in terms of life cycle assessment i.e. production, operation of transformers and disposal? Question 2-2: What roles do biodegradability and low losses play during the writing of the specifications and the following procurement process? Question 2-3: What other eco aspects should be considered e.g. low noise, integration, etc.? What other design and/or construction techniques should be considered at the same time? Question 2-4: What operational experiences are available with eco friendly transformers? What know-how e.g. in terms of diagnostics, long term behaviour, etc., is missing to take a leap forward? Question 2-5: When significant actions are taken to extend the lifetime of a transformer, which second lifetime is envisaged? What are the criteria to take such a decision and is eco friendliness part of this decision?

5. PS3 - Transformer magnetic circuit


5.1. Papers for Preferential Subject No 3
A total of 6 papers have been submitted, according the following sub-topics: Core and core structure design, modelling, temperature evaluation Material characteristics, manufacturing, assembling Saturation - inrush, direct current, geomagnetically-induced current

Paper A2-301 (Austria) discusses the impact of DC currents in transformer windings on sound pressure level, no-load losses, reactive power, stray flux, additional losses and power quality (e.g. current harmonics). Physical phenomena, simulations and measurements on sample transformers are explained. An active method for compensation of asymmetric magnetization of the core is presented based on measuring core magnetization and controlled injection of ampere-turns for compensation of DC shares of the magnetization. Paper A2-302 (China) presents a method for filtering harmonics and increasing power quality by regulating core-magnetization of a magnetically controlled shunt-reactor (MCSR). Dynamic control of the core magnetization is performed via two sets of auxiliary windings on the shunt reactors core. A method for dynamic analysis of harmonics is explained and further applied for regulation of a control current provided to the auxiliary windings. Performance of the method is visualized by a simulation example.

Paper A2-303 (France U.K. - Brazil) Reasons and physical phenomena of DC currents in transformers are pointed out. Impact on equipment performance and reliability is illustrated, e.g. harmonics, increase of stray flux and additional losses as well as hot spots due to asymmetric core-magnetization and saturation effects. The paper is discussing transformer specification, engineering tools and measures applicable during design and design review for reducing the risk of damage by DC currents in operation of the component. Additional attention is paid to HVDC converter transformers, where simulations show that DC current on the valve side can be caused by 2nd harmonic on AC side. Paper A2-304 (USA - Sweden) discusses the effects of geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) on power transformers and power systems reflecting GIC characteristics and reported events. Magnetizing current pulse causes high harmonic content and thus can cause erroneous action of differential relay and also trip transmission lines. On the other side, short duration of GIC shall be considered for estimating reasonable temperature rise and hot spots. Key-findings in reported events are summarized for consideration in future transformer design and for the conclusion: due to short duration of GIC, temperature rise in transformers is usually uncritical, but high level of harmonics may appear and main GIC impact is reported to happen on power system instability. Paper A2-305 (Japan) presents an analysis of transformer inrush currents and a method for reducing core remanence before energizing windings. Simulations and measurements on a three-phase autotransformer prove that inrush current can be reduced using a closing-resistor and controlling the closing phase-angle. Cores residual flux was found to be smaller than assumed. Nevertheless, a method for coredemagnetization for further reducing inrush currents is introduced. Application of a variable voltage at very low frequency to a delta-connected tertiary winding results in low power consumption for the demagnetization procedure. Performance of the method is proven by measurements of reduced inrush currents. Paper A2-306 (Switzerland - USA) analyses the benefits of a triangular wound core design in a dry-type distribution transformer. Modern numerical simulation methods have been adopted for present analysis and are explained. Comparative simulations for the proposed design and a reference transformer with a traditional flat core design have been performed and are discussed. Hence, from simulations, benefits are found regarding lower no-load losses, lower magnetic stray field and lower harmonic content in comparison to the reference transformer. Modern manufacturing facilitates availability of such devices.

5.2. Discussion for Preferential Subject No 3


Quality and detail of modern transformer and reactor modelling and capabilities of modern numerical simulation tools allow not only to design for stable operation but also to optimize components performance e.g. sound level, no-load losses, harmonics content. Embedded controllers make real-time analysis available for dynamic control, e.g. for compensating effects of direct currents or regarding harmonics and power quality. Two application examples are presented: Effects (in a transformer) due to direct currents can be compensated actively by controlling the magnetic flux without blocking the DC current itself. Harmonics can be filtered by controlling the magnetic flux in a shunt reactor. Quotation from http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/22mar_saber/ :
March 22, 2012: A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earths upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. This was the biggest dose of heat weve received from a solar storm since 2005, says Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center. It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet.

Geomagnetically induced currents are a major reason for direct currents in power systems and transformers in particular. Furthermore, converter applications cause direct currents due to high harmonics content. Understanding the physical phenomena behind reasons and effects is the best basis for engineering feasible technological solutions for power systems and components. Analysis of reported GIC effects and GIC characteristics show that power system instability and erroneous reaction of relays may be more challenging rather than overheating of transformers. On one side, simulation capabilities have been improved and more detail can be taken into account. On the other side, detailed transformer modelling and interpretation of results may be even more timeconsuming rather than the computation. A reasonable balance has to be found in specification, design and design review for guaranteeing technical feasibility and economic design. Power systems facilitate an increasing amount of power electronics, e.g. converters. From a power electronics point of view, transformers and reactors are comparably conservative components. Nevertheless, modern control equipment combining power electronics and even real-time software algorithms can be applied to those devices in order to dynamically handle distortions in operation, power quality issues or even decrease inrush current. For some products (e.g. dry type distribution transformers), modern manufacturing technology makes theoretical (or historical) design topologies applicable in practice. Post-modern simulation tools are available for proving benefits of such conservative (purely passive) designs.

5.3. Questions for Preferential Subject No 3


Question 3-1: Is more power quality related information needed in transformer and reactor specification? Question 3-2: How to handle direct current and its effects in transformer operation? What are typical and critical limits and performance requirements? Which measures are preferable for utilities? Question 3-3: How to design (and review) transformers immunity to GIC impacts? How to prove the long term reliability of a transformer at the design stage? Which measures can be taken to handle GIC impacts? Question 3-4: How to reduce the risk related to inrush currents when energizing transformers? Question 3-5: How will active control change transformer and reactor technology in the future? How to cope with the risk of control malfunction? What are the experiences and the acceptance criteria regarding active control of transformers and reactors (e.g. increased sound level when regulating reactor core magnetization)? Question 3-6: How will modern simulation tools change transformer and reactor design/design review process and technology in the future? Major design criteria still depend on empirics including safety margins. How to align and validate numerical model complexity and simulation results in case of missing reference designs? Question 3-7: What may be the decision criteria for selecting a triangular core design? Does less volume but different shape limit the applicability for replacement of old units? For triangular transformer design, magnetic fields decay faster with distance from the outer windings circumference. Does the closer vicinity of windings and yokes cause higher losses and thermal stresses inside the windings in converter applications (especially due to higher harmonics and eddy currents)?

10