This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
among the most reliable components in the system. If they are nor overloaded or otherwise abused, they will provide long, trouble-free service. Established records of reliability coupled with the lack of movement, noise, or other signs of action, often results in general disregard and neglect. However, because a transformer failure is usually of a very serious nature requiring extensive repair and long down time, regular maintenance procedures are the best assurance of continued long life and high reliability. For maintenance purposes, transformers may be divided into two general categories in accordance with their insulting medium and construction. The categories are the oilfilled type and dry type. Each has several variations that will be listed and covered under also the specific maintenance different recommendations. Each requires slightly
maintenance techniques but, in general, measurement of the dielectric value and/or resistance of the insulation are the major maintenance test for all transformers. LIQUID FILLED TRANSFORMERS In a liquid transformer, the core and coils are immersed in the liquid. This liquid serves two purposes first, it is an important part of the insulation medium, and second, it serves to transfer heat away from the winding out to where it is dissipated to the air by the cooling fins, tank surface, or radiator. There are three types of insulating liquids in common use. These are: 1. Mineral Insulating Oil
2. Askarel 3. Silicones Askarel is a nonflammable synthetic insulating fluid which is subject to strict environmental controls and manufactures instructions should be carefully followed. Askarel or PCB’s (the better known name for it), comes under severs rules punished by the EPA. Any handling for PCB’s should be done by a competent company, as any problems such as law suits, fines or any type of legal action must be handled by the original owner and not by the company handling the PCB’s CONSTRUCTION OF OIL FILLED TRANSFORMERS There are several types of transformers construction regarding the preservation of the oils. By preservation, we mean the exposure of the insulating oil to the atmosphere. These types are: 1. free breathing (open to air) 2. Restricted breathing (open to the air through dehydrating compounds). 3. Conservator or expansion tank (exposure to air limited to the conservator tank) 4. Sealed Tanks (a gas space above the liquid serves as a cushion for internal pressure). 5. Gas-oil seal (exposure to air to the oil in the auxiliary tank). In addition to oil preservation, the varlous cooling methods are: 1. self cooled (heat is dissipated by the tank surfaces and cooling fins or tubes)
Although many plants differ in their routine inspection. As this is one of the most important pieces of electrical gear in your plant and the most neglected. The period may be once a shift.2. Forced Air Cooled/Forced Oil Cooled (an oil pump circulates the oil through a fan blown oil-to-air heat exchange). once a week. 4. It is recommended that a form be adopted by your company and attached to each transformer so that the periodic rating and routine inspection findings can be recorded. and a condition rate charted. the following should be established routine for a 24 hour operation. inspecting and maintaining of transformers. too much cannot be said about them. or less frequent as may be judged necessary by the importance of the transformer. . Water cooled (heat exchange by means of water pumped through a pipe coil installed inside or outside the transformer tank. once a day. Forced Air Cooled (fans are employed to force air over the cooling surfaces to supplement the exchange) 3. the severity of the operating environment and/pr the severity of the load. why they are oil filled and what is expected of each item. I will explain (in laymans language) the types of oil filled transformers. many more items will be pointed out. As I go through each phase of transformer work. ROUTINE INSPECTIONS Routine inspections of power transformers should include observations of the operating conditions on a periodic basis. Before going into the testing.
Load Current…………Daily…………. steps should be taken to reduce this load..Daily……….and Record These readings for current. CURRENT AND VOLTAGE READINGS Voltage and load current checks are important in routine inspections. Over-voltages can be detrimental to the transformer and it serves. Either of the problems listed can cause windings and oils to deteriorate and eventually breakdown .and Record Oil Temperature………. These exact values are stated on the same plate. steps should be taken immediately to determine the cause and it remedied.….Weekly……………. TEMPERATURE READINGS Transformers are rated to carry their name plate load in KVA with a given heat rise when the ambient temperature is at a standard level. An example: an oil filled transformer with a Class A insulation may be rated to deliver name plate capacity with a 55 degree centrigrade temperature rise above 30 degrees centigrade (86 degree Fahrenheit) ambient temperature. voltage and temperature should be taken during heaviest load conditions and the oil level reading taken during the lowest load tests. Temperature readings should be taken at set intervals and a permanent record kept.and Record Oil Level………………Weekly……………. If the current is found to exceed the full current rating of the transformer.and Record Voltage……………….. Under-voltage can be detrimental to the load served. The readings and recordings provide . If either low or high voltage readings are discovered.
After . The first precaution should always be the de-energizing should always be handled by an approved positive lock out provision. ONE YEAR INSPECTIONS AND REPAIRS The following work and inspection should without fail. If the pressure does not change with the changes of the oil temperature. and result in reduced life of the winding insulation.an indication of the transformers performance and load conditions. Pressure/vacuum gauges which are found on sealed type transformers are valuable indicators of the conditions of the seals. leaks above the oil level are indicated or the pressure/vacuum gauge is bad. both items should be checked. ground jumpers should be placed on all phases on both high and low side to ground. be done at least once a year. In any indication of the above. Excessive temperatures indicate an overload or that the cooling system at is not working properly. This is the assure against unplanned re-energizing and the resulting hazard to both equipment and personnel. will Continued the operations excessive temperatures increase deterioration of the oil. When the transformers has been safety de-energized and locked out. OIL LEVEL INDICATOR AND PRESSURE/VACUUM GAUGES Oil levels should be checked as previously outlines. Either one will greatly increase the chance of total transformer failure. especially after a long period of low load at low ambient temperature. Positive tests should be performed to assured that the lock-out procedure has been followed and that no voltage exists on the equipment. It is at this time that the oil should be at its lowest level.
to prevent aeration (air bubbles from being in the oil). The proper means for this is by a filter press pump. the following work should be done. The insulators should be cleaned of any contamination and any leaks should be repaired. a dielectric . cleaning or painting should be done as required. Pressure relief valves damaged valves or diagrams should be replaced. tank. the transformer should remain de-energized long enough to allow the air bubbles to dissipate. If any insulating oil is to be added to the transformer the oil should be at least as warm as the surrounding air. The insulator bushings should be checked for cracks or chipped skirts and the gasket bases for leaks. It is recommended that at least two thickness of unsized muslin be used to strain the oil through. it should be applied at the bottom of the transformer. Contamination or impairment of the insulating oils should be carefully avoided during any type of test. The tap changer compartment.all the above is done and secure. Prior to adding the oil. the oil can be added through the top. inert gas and dehydration breather equipment should test in accordance with the units manufacturers recommendations. Both primary and secondary connections should be checked for signed of overheating and corrosion. cooling fins. radiators and all gaskets or any other openings should be checked for leaks. Leak repair. tubes. If in an emergency and filter press pump is not available. The conservator tank. If large amounts of oil must be added in this manner. dirt or corrosion.
Moisture is the most dangerous contaminant of insulating oils. Of the many test that have been developed to determine the condition of insulating oils. This sludge will settle on the horizontal parts of the windings and at the bottom of the tank and interferes with the nominal circulation of the oil and its ability to dissipate heat. 3.test should be performed on the oil even if the oil is new. OIL MAINTENANCE AND ANALYSIS The dielectric strength of the insulating oil is of the most concern. the following three are considered sufficient for average maintenance requirements. 2. The sludge can also reduce the flash-over value of the insulating surface. The acidity test. 1. plus many more can be and are performed in the field by Southern Substation. combined with the heat developed during normal operation. a major part of the maintenance effort is directed at detecting any variance from established levels or any deterioration that would result in a reduction of the dielectric strength. Inc. A minimum test value for mineral oil is 26KV and for Askarel oil 30KV is acceptable.. Thus. technicians. As small as ten parts per million by volume can lower the dielectric strength of the oil below its acceptable value. The oxygen in the air. The dielectric breakdown voltage test. The colour test. will result in the formation of acids and sludge in the oil. . All three of these tests.
03 to 1. This number ranges from 0. DIELECTRIC TEST The dielectric breakdown test measures the ability of insulating oil to withstand electrical stress up to a point of failure. The proper testing procedure is as follows: A simple of the oil to be tested is placed in a clean “standard” cup so that it covers the two disc electrodes that are one inch in diameter and have their faces apart by one-tenth of an inch. Water. Acidity is measured by a neutralization number. dirt or conducting particles will cause the oil to breakdown below its acceptable levels. showing how they are performed and the results to look for. It is an accepted practice to run a minimum of three tests and the average of the three being considered as the actual dielectric strength of the oil.504 as covered in ASTM specification number D877 and/or D1816. Voltage is applied across the electrodes and increased gradually until a flash-over occurs. This number represents the milligrams of potassium hydroxide (KOH) required to neutralize the acid in one gram of oil. Some manufacturers recommend that any reading below this that the transformer be de-energized immediately. The minimum acceptable value is 22KV for mineral oil. and 25KV for Askarel.I will now outline each of the preceding tests. . ACIDITY TEST The acidity of oil is a measure of how much it has oxidized and thus deteriorated and how great is the propensity to form sludge. This test indicates at what voltage the oil will allow a flash-over or breakdown.
viscosity. interfacial tension. ADDITIONAL TESTS If the results of any of the three recommend field tests (dielectric test. 7 Testing of Transformer The structure of the circuit equivalent of a practical transformer earlier. The color scale on these charts range from 0. while a dark red to black oil indicates sludge or other contamination. oxygen (Fyrite) or any of the other tests listed by ASTM D117.0 or less. free ions.0 with new oil having a color number of 1. But for a user primary and . The performance parameters of interest can be obtained by solving that circuit for any load conditions. power factor. technicians have the equipment in our mobile laboratory unit to perform any of the above tests.. Among these tests are the power point. New oil will appear to be clear to a light straw color. Southern Substation. acid test. water content. The equivalent circuit parameters are available to the designer of the transformers from the various expressions that he uses for designing the transformers.Note: Acidity in Askarel does not indicate deterioration but does indicate a possible chemical reaction with organic insulation.5 to 8. specific gravity. color test) are close to or below the acceptable limits more complicated tests may need to be performed. Inc. COLOR TEST The color test is performed by visually comparing the color of the oil to a color chart provided by most oil manufacturers. flash point. nitrogen or inert gas.
c voltage to the winding and measuring the current through the same. Both a. and d. The transformer is connected to a low . V V A V A a a Polarity Test 7.secondary windings the equivalent circuit also changes. more commonly feasible with high voltage windings. The dot method discussed earlier is used to indicate the polarities. however a few common ones are discussed here. then test method is the most dependable one. From the d. There are several tests that can be done on the transformer.2 Polarity Test S + A a V A a V This is needed for identifying the primary and secondary phasor polarities. From the analysis of the equivalent circuit one can determine the electrical parameters. In order to get the equivalent circuit parameters test methods are heavily depended upon. 7.1 Winding Resistance Test This is nothing but the resistance measurement of the windings by applying a small d. resistance by applying skin effect corrections.c. The ratio gives the winding resistance. But if the temperature rise of the transformer is required.c.c methods can be used for detecting the polarities of the induced emfs. For low voltage windings a resistance bridge method can be used. It is a must for poly phase connections.c resistance one can get the a.
method of testing the polarity. The beginning and end of the primary and secondary may then be marked by A 1. It is the voltage rising form smaller number towards larger ones in each winding. 7.3 Open Circuit Test W A V V V V jX I I I R Physical arrangement Equivalent circuit As the name suggests.c. a4. Fig. a6. the secondary is kept open circuited and nominal value of the input voltage is applied to the primary winding and the input current and power are . 18(a). A supply voltage V s is applied to the primary and the readings of the voltmeters V1 V2 and V3 are noted. with a moving coil meter.voltage a.A1 and a1-a2 respectively. If the voltage rises from A 1 to A2 in the primary. When the switch S is closed if the secondary voltage shows a positive reading. If more secondary terminals are present due to taps taken from the windings they can be labeled as a3. If the meter kicks back the assumed polarity is wrong. the assumed polarity is correct. The same thing holds good if more secondaries are present. If V3 reads V1. 18(b) shows the d. source with the connections made as shown in the fig.V2 then assumed dot locations are correct (for the connection shown).c. a5. V1: V2 gives the turns ratio. at any instant it does so from a1 to a2 in the secondary.
W are the voltmeter. Thus the watt meter reading. The no load current at rated voltage is less then 1 percent of nominal current and hence the loss and drop that take place in primary impedance γ1 + jχL1 due to the no load current I 0 is negligible. In Fig. A. 19(a) V. Fig. Let these meters read V1 I1 and Wo respectively.measured. Wo = V1Ic = Pcore (38) Wo V1 ∴Ic = (39) (40) Rc (41) ∴Im = = 1 c V1 2 2 10 − 1c or V1 and Xm = 1 m V I Open circuit characteristics The parameters measured already are in terms of the primary. The active component I c of the no load current I 0 represents the core losses and reactive current I m is the current needed for the magnetization. 19(b) shows the equivalent circuit of the transformer under this test. ammeter and wattmeter respectively. Sometimes the primary voltage required may be in kilo-Volts and it may not be feasible to apply nominal voltage to primary .
As the name suggests. 7. In such cases an open circuit characteristics is first obtained. in this test primary applied voltage. which is a graph showing the applied voltage as a function of the no load current. These have to be referred to HV side if we need the equivalent circuit referred to HV side. especially in a rewound transformer. keeping the secondary open circuited. or in doubt. Sometimes the nominal value of high voltage itself may not be known.4 Short Circuit Test The purpose of this test is to determine the series branch parameters of the equivalent circuit of Fig. This is a non linear curve as shown in Fig. The excitation current which is only 1 percent or less even at rated voltage becomes . the current and power input are measured keeping the secondary terminals short circuited. In this case the parameters that are obtained are in terms of LV . one can perform the test with LV side energized keeping the HV side open circuited. This graph is obtained by nothing the current drawn by transformer at different applied voltage. The supply voltage required to circulate rated current through the transformer is usually very small and is of the order of a few percent of the nominal voltage.from the point of safety to personnel and equipment. I sc and Wsc respectively. If the secondary voltage is low. After this value is chosen as the nominal value the parameters are calculated as mentioned above. 20. The usual operating point selected for operation lies at some standard voltage around the knee point of the characteristic. Let these value be V sc . 21(b).
The shunt branch is thus assumed to be absent.negligibly small during this test and hence is neglected. The reactive power consumed is that absorbed by the leakage reactance of the two windings. W A V V (a) Physical Arrangement I V r jX r jX (b) Equivalent Circuit Fig. Also I1 = I 2 as I 0 ≅ 0. Short Circuit Test 1 Wsc =12 sc r 1 + r2 ( ) Z sc = V sc 1sc (42) (43) (χ (44) L1 2 1 + χ1 L 2 = Z sc − r 1 +r2 ) ( ) 2 . Therefore Wsc is the sum of the copper losses in primary and secondary put together.
If the approximate equivalent circuit is required then there is no need to separate r1 1 and r2 or χL1 and χ1 L 2 . Load test is used mainly 1. in the present case nominal voltage is applied across the primary and rated current is drown from the secondary. However if the exact equivalent circuit is needed then either separated from the total. The losses that are generated inside the transformer on load appear as heat. to determine the voltage regulation and efficiency of the transformer. to determine the rated load of the machine and the temperature rise 2. This is a fairly valid assumption for many types of transformer windings as the leakage flux paths are through air and are similar. Unlike the tests described previously. If the flash point of the oil is reached the . Both paper and oil which are used for insulation in the transformer start getting degenerated and get decomposed. The insulation of the transformer is the one to get affected by this rise in the temperature. 7. Rated load is determined by loading the transformer on a continuous basis and observing the steady state temperature rise. r 1 or 1 r2 is determined from the resistance measurement and the other As for the separation of χL1 and χ1 is concerned. This heats the transformer and the temperature of the transformer increases.5 Load Test Load Test helps to determine the total loss that takes place. they are L2 assumed to be equal. when the transformer is loaded.
transformer goes up in flames. The efficiency of the transformer is above 99% even in modest sizes which means I present of power handled by the transformer actually goes to heat up the machine. This is very wasteful in terms of energy also. It is rather easy to load a transformer of small ratings. Hence the only sure way ascertaining the rating is by conducting a load test. Many external means of removal of heat from the transformer in the form of different cooling methods give rise to different values for temperature rise of insulation. As the rating increase it becomes difficult to find a load that can absorb the requisite power and a source to feed the necessary current. As the transformers come in varied transformation ratios. Further. The remaining 99% of the power has to be dissipated in a load impedance external to the machine. Further. the losses like dielectric losses and stray load are not modeled in the equivalent circuit and the actual loss under load condition will be in error to that extent. Hence these permit different levels of loading for the same transformer. the temperature rise of the transformer is due to the losses that take place ‘inside’ the transformer. This aspect of temperature rise cannot be guessed from the electrical equivalent circuit. Hence to have a reasonable life expectancy the loading of the transformer must be limited to that value which gives the maximum temperature rise tolerated by the insulation. (if the load is of unity power factor) Thus the actual loading of the . in many cases it becomes extremely difficult to get suitable load impedance.
full load copper losses and assumed stray load losses. then load can be increased else it is decreased. That load current which gives the maximum permission temperature rise is declared as the nominal or rated load current and the volt amperes are computed using the same. Equivalent loss methods of loading and ‘Phantom’ loading are commonly used in the case of transformers. By this method even one can pump in equivalent loss inside the transformer. The short circuit current is so chosen that the resulting loss taking place inside the transformer is equivalent to the sum of the iron losses. If the final steady temperature rise is lower than the maximum permissible value. The load is applied and held constant till the temperature rise of transformer reaches a steady value. Therefore this test comes close to a load test but does not replace one.transformer is seldom resorted to. In the equivalent loss method a short circuit test is done on the transformer. the actual distribution of this vastly differs from that taking place in reality. .
The transformers work with full flux drawing full load currents and hence are closet to the actual loading condition with physical load.Phantom Loading In Phantom loading method two identical transformers are needed. The two sources put together meet the core and copper losses of the two transformers. The windings are connected back to back as shown in Fig. The voltage source V1 supplies the magnetizing current and core losses for the two transformers. There is no power wasted in a load (as a matter of fact there is no real at all) and hence the name Phantom or virtual loading. The power absorbed by the second transformer which acts as a load is pushed back in to the mains. Suitable voltage is injected into the loop formed by the two secondaries such that full load current passes through them. The second source supplies the load component of the current and losses due to the same. Back to Back Test.W A 2I I I V V I I I I A V V W Fig. 22. An equivalent alent current then passes though the primary also. .
All of our technicians here attended the Allis Chalmers college . one capable of 30 gallons per minute and one capable of 50 gallons per minute. Both are sealed-type units and can be done in any type of weather.. We at Southern substation. ways and means written on how to filter a transformer. this condition should never be allowed to happen and with the proper testing and maintenance. this will not happen Southern Substation Inc.2% inhibitor be added afterwards. use only the methods and equipment recommended by the transformer manufacturer. The type of filter cartridge use by Southern Substation. at the owners discretion. There are many articles. All transformer recommend the use of a composite type filter and not Fullers Earth. notes. However.. Southern Substation Inc. Inc. Fullers Earth has the effect or over-refining the oil by removing some of the oil natural inhibitors. this method may be used and 0. We have two filtering units. uses the Cuno Division of AMF type Zeta-Plus filtering unit. transformers are allowed to let the oil deteriorate to a point where this type of filtering is necessary. However. does not filter any energized transformers. It is not recommended by any manufacturer that their transformer be filtered while energized. Inc. best known ways of preserving the life of the unit... Sometimes. and not those recommended by the manufacturing of the filtering equipment.The filtering of transformers is one of the lest expensive. is manufactured also by Cuno and is specially designed for their Zeta-Plus unit and is the most desirable on the market today.
With one megohm minimum. Two general types of construction are open (or ventilated). the results of the maintenance test which indicates the condition of the oil with reference to its desirable properties for service. Particularly. This test should be made from each windings. If the most significant of the tests indicate rapid deterioration. The maximum acceptance value of insulation resistance is simply “one megohm per thousand volts”. the oil should be replaced of filtered. CONCLUSION AND SUMMARY OF TEST Because of the complex nature of oil and the ways in which it can change in service. DRY TYPE TRANSFORMERS Dry Type transformers operate in air of gas rather than oil. probably no single test will ever replace all others for determining oil condition. sulphur. Rapid changes in any of these properties are particularly significant in indicating oil deterioration. as complete data as possible is desirable. The sealed transformer is cooled and insulated by an inert-high dielectric gas such as nitrogen. hexafluoride. DIELECTRIC ABSORPTION TEST. INSULATION TEST.of knowledge on the proper maintenance and filtering of transformers. In determining whether an oil is suitable for service in a transformer. dry transformers and the sealed (or closed) tank type. INSULATION RESISTANCE TEST. or . I would like to point out an old rule of thumb for insulation resistance test. POLARIZATION INDEX All of the above test are outlined in Hi-potting section of this site.
the intrusion of dirt. CURRENT AND VOLTAGE READINGS AND TEMPERATURES READINGS. Any item that could prevent the free-circulation air around the transformer should be removed. Proper and adequate ventilation is essential to the operation of the transformer at its full rated value. these should be checked and replaced periodically. omitting the parts pertaining to oil. The operation of intended ventilating fans should be checked for proper operation. The same applies to these as was outlined in Oil filled transformer section. Corrosion of the transformer enclosure. These items should be added to the routine inspection. Two standard insulation classes are Class B (80 degrees centigrade rise). Of course. If forced air fans are used to ventilate the vault or room. If these louvers are covered by air filters. They should be checked to see that they are not clogged with dirt or any other type of obstruction that would hamper proper ventilation. ROUTINE INSPECTIONS. It is recommended that vault or room fans be operated by a temperature controlled fan relay. The air serves as an insulating medium and also to dissipate heat from the windings. The temperature of the vault or room should be checked. Most dry type transformers are usually installed in a vault or a particular room. their proper operation should be checked periodically. Louvers are ventilating openings in the enclosure of ventilated dry type transformers. measured and recorded at regular intervals. and Class H (150 degrees centigrade rise).perflouropropane. as well as evidence of water .
A close check should be made for loose or cracked insulators and other insulating surfaces that coil clamps are properly torqued. However. The turn insulation as well as the barriers separating the primary and secondary windings and the windings for the iron core. overheating. should also be carefully checked and corrective measures taken as required. ventilating ducts and the top and bottom of the windings should be cleaned. A check be made for the accumulation of dirt or other (manufacturers insulators and other insulating surfaces or wire cooling air flow may be impaired. Humidity conditions are unimportant. removed. covers the openings of the enclosure of ventilated contaminants dry type transformer product) on the should be windings. dust and manufacturers contaminants with a vaccum cleaner and blower. After following the steps outlined in that section. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS AND MAINTENANCE First the transformer under test and maintenance should be deenergized in accordance with Section 10-4. tightness and then torqued to ASA standards. A small portable air compressor may be used if the air is clean and dry and not used at pressure of over 30PSI. The use of liquid cleaners should be used only when it is known for a fact that they will not damage. nor have a deteriorating effect on the windings insulations.leaks into the room or vault. in particular. As long as ventilated dry type transformers are energized. proper measures must be taken to assure the temperature of . should be checked for corrosion. if the transformer is to be down for an extended period of time. The winding may be cleaned of dirt.
The analysis of the percentage of combustible gases present in the nitrogen cap of sealed. This instrument is direct reading with a scale calibrated in ohms of ground resistance. Some of the . FAULT GAS ANALYSIS Fault gas analysis test is one of the most neglected tests on sealed transformers. Periodic testing is necessary because variations in soil resistivity are caused by changes of soil temperature. pressurized oil filled transformers can provide information as to the likelihood of incipient faults in the transformer. When arcing or excessive heating occurs below the top surface of the oil. This includes both grounding electrodes and ground wire connections. Maintain a reference point of potential for instrumentation safety. some oil decomposes.the windings remain high enough so as not to absorb any moisture. An adequate grounding system is necessary to: 1. GROUNDING SYSTEMS Grounding systems on both oil and dry type transformers are a must to be checked. conductive salts in the soil and corrosion of the ground connectors. soil moisture. Prevent an induced voltage caused by surges or power lines. Provide a discharge path for lighting 2. Some oil decomposes. 3. At insulation tests should be performed the same as with oil type transformers. The test equipment used for this test should be a ground resistant test set designed for this purpose.
The set has a direct reading scale calibrated in percentiles of combustible gas.products of the decomposition are combustible gases which rise to the top of the oil and mix with the nitrogen blanket above the oil. the nitrogen blanket in a transformer will have less than ½% combustible content. Ordinarily. then the condition for an explosion is prominent. The combustible gas created by this condition is acetylene gas. . If oxygen is present in the air space above the oil. As a problem develops over a period of time the combustible content can rise 10 to 15%. The test set used for this test is designed for that purpose only. A small amount of nitrogen is removed from the transformer and analyzed.