Copyright © Starlogic 2004

IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.0 October 2003

Frequency Response Analysis using the Impulse Frequency Response Analysis (IFRA) Method

Starlogic Instrument Development South Africa

COPYRIGHT OF THIS MANUAL IS RESERVED. NO PUBLICATION OR DISSEMINATION OF ITS CONTENTS IS ALLOWED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM AUTHOR.

Copyright © Starlogic 2004

IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.0 October 2003

Winding Frequency Response Analysis using the Impulse Frequency Response Analysis (IFRA) Method Richard Breytenbach Starlogic October 2003
COPYRIGHT OF THIS PAPER IS RESERVED. NO PUBLICATION OR DISSEMINATION OF ITS CONTENTS IS ALLOWED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM AUTHOR.

1 2 3 4 5
5.1 5.2

Scope ......................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction................................................................................................................ 2 Causes of Transformer Deformation ......................................................................... 2 Transformer Winding Modelling............................................................................... 3 Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) ........................................................................ 4
IFRA Test Method .................................................................................................................6 SFRA Test Method ................................................................................................................7

6 7
7.1 7.2

FRAMIT Instrument .................................................................................................. 7 FRA Test Process .................................................................................................... 11
Performing the FRA test. .....................................................................................................11 Generating the FRA test results. ..........................................................................................12

8
8.1 8.2

FRA Test Equipment ............................................................................................... 14
IFRA.....................................................................................................................................14 Test data ...............................................................................................................................14

9 10
10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 10.11

Application of FRA test technology ........................................................................ 15 Interpretation of FRA Test Results.......................................................................... 16
FRA example of shorted windings / partial discharge ........................................................16 FRA example of shorted & burnt windings ........................................................................19 FRA example of localized DISTORTED WINDINGS.......................................................20 FRA example of general DISTORTED WINDINGs ..........................................................21 Laboratory Experiments: Arizona State University. ............................................................21 Laboratory Experiments: ESKOM TRI – South Africa’s National Electricity Supply Utility. ......................................................................................................................23 Laboratory Experiments: Institute of Energy Technology from the Aalborg University in Denmark .........................................................................................................23 Substation Experiments: CLECO – Central Louisiana Electric Company..........................23 Substation Experiments: ESKOM TRI – South Africa’s National Electricity Supply Utility .......................................................................................................................24 Substation Experiments: NGC – National Grid Company plc – UK...................................25 Substation Experiments: EPRI – Electric Power Research Institute –USA ........................26

11 12 13

Summary of Experiments and Field testing............................................................. 26 Conclusion ............................................................................................................... 27 References................................................................................................................ 28

It is therefore necessary to continuously monitor and assess the condition of transformers in order to ensure reliability and availability of power supply. and details the requirements and specifications needed to perform an FRA test and generate a practical FRA guideline. This FRA technique calculates and computes frequency-dependent variables of the transformer’s windings. They are also the most expensive equipment within the substation. It is these distributed winding parameters that will change when the windings are. inductance and capacitance. all 3 methods use very different measurement techniques to calculate the FRA test result. FRA testing can be done using 3 different testing methods. 3 CAUSES OF TRANSFORMER DEFORMATION Power transformers are usually very reliable. The ratio of the transfer function of the input voltage to the output voltage is then plotted on a frequency domain graph. At present.e. Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) is becoming an increasingly popular technique used to externally monitor and assess the condition and mechanical integrity of transformer windings. to a large extent. IFRA – Impulse Frequency Response Analysis.0 October 2003 1 SCOPE This paper covers the background to Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) testing. PRBS – Pseudo Random Binary Sequence (still a very new technique) It should be noted that although these 3 methods generate the same FRA test results. Transformers fail in service each year. the transformer can be affected catastrophically. This means that if a general FRA guideline and specification is to be generated. it should be such that it encompasses all recognized techniques and remains open ended to allow for future FRA research and development. deformed. Most of these failures are caused Page 2 of 24 . namely. the quality of power supply. The FRA technique can help maintenance personnel identify suspect transformers. The FRA test is performed by injecting a low voltage impulse waveform into one end of a transformers winding and measuring the voltage appearing at the other end of the same winding. This paper demonstrates that FRA can be used and applied as a reliable transformer condition-monitoring tool to help assess winding condition without the need to open the transformer for inspection. open-circuited. Their performance will determine. but when faults occur. or loose. 2 INTRODUCTION Power transformers constitute the core of electrical power transmission and distribution networks. i. short-circuited. enabling them to take those transformers out of service before failure. This paper deals specifically with the Impulse Frequency Response Analysis (IFRA) method.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. SFRA – Sweep Frequency Response Analysis.

and the ability of the transformer to survive short circuits in future will then be severely reduced. causing a short circuit and damage to the windings.0 October 2003 by transformer winding faults and through faults generated by lightning and switching surges. Specifically. but sooner or later one such event will cause slight winding movement. It is expected that a transformer will experience and survive a number of short circuits during its service life. The other cause of winding movement may be extensive vibration during transformer transportation. As the transformer ages. Mechanical vibrations. the insulation between the turns can be abraded. showing parasitic inductance. we are examining the effects of the small parasitic capacitance and inductance of the windings of the transformer. they may slacken and subsequently become unable to withstand mechanical forces exerted during faults. eventually leading to collapse of the windings. capacitance and resistance Transformer Winding Modeling Tank Wall C L C R C R Winding L C C Core Winding C CrossCross-section of a transformer Cross-section of a transformer showing equivalent circuit model Page 3 of 24 . A common cause of failure is a close-up phase to earth fault resulting from a lightning strike. In the process of winding movement. it may suffer mechanical shock that gradually displaces and distorts the windings. 4 TRANSFORMER WINDING MODELLING For a clearer understanding of what actually happens when a transformer’s winding structure undergoes deformation. As the windings experience vibration. harmonics generated under normal operating conditions may cause winding and core vibration. Ageing also contributes to winding looseness. often accompanied by shorted turns. As a transformer experiences a fault. initiated by short circuit forces. may cause the windings to loose their clamping pressure. we need to analyze the equivalent circuit model of a transformer’s windings as shown in the figure below.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. Short circuit faults are potentially very destructive because if the clamping pressure is not capable of restraining the forces involved. In addition. its components deteriorate and the likelihood of a failure increases. substantial permanent winding deformation or even collapse can occur almost instantaneously.

The failure of a strategic transformer on the power supply network can be even more costly. a change of the resonant pole frequency indicates a breakdown in the winding insulation. and being able to take corrective action prior to failure (e. whereas a reduction in the pole height reveals partial discharge activity. and the second is the sweep frequency method (SFRA). A breakdown between the turns or coils of the transformer under test corresponds to a short circuit of one or more of these local LC networks. Maier. Tlhatlhetji2 argues that the detection of a transformer winding condition that may lead to a fault and subsequent outage. p29) 2 1 Page 4 of 24 .g. Maier. singlephase transformer at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. 11kV/400V. The Department of Technology Research and Investigation (TRI) from South Africa’s national electricity supply utility – ESKOM undertook a research project to compare the IFRA frequency response analysis technique against the swept frequency method. the two sets of test results showed very close correlation. Gockenbach. 5 FREQUENCY RESPONSE ANALYSIS (FRA) FRA technology was developed as a diagnostic tool for application to power transformers. Gockenbach. This will result in shifting the resonant pole to another frequency or the creation of a new pole. Fellmann & Claudi (1992. It was also evident from the results that the resonance’s lie at the same frequencies. Further comparison tests were performed on a small 16 kVA. The first is the voltage impulse method (IFRA). A partial discharge condition with the transformer will not significantly affect the resonant frequency of the affected pole. estimated to cost in the region of $1million for a large power transformer. The transfer function of such a network calculated by FRA shows a number of poles at the resonance frequency of the local L and C circuits. considering consequential factors such as system destabilization. p1) Tlhatlhetji (1999. reclamping or insulation repair). With both instrument test leads connected correctly to the transformer. could save a transformer rewind. but the pole height will be reduced. These factors have led to the search for alternative methods of transformer winding condition monitoring and assessment such as Frequency Response Analysis (FRA). FRA is a sensitive technique that can be used non-intrusively to accurately predict the condition of transformer windings. There are currently two popular techniques for performing Frequency Response Analysis tests. p4) 3 Tlhatlhetji (1999.0 October 2003 Malewski. load shedding. These test results also Malewski. outages and even complete system shutdown. Fellmann & Claudi1 explain that at the first approximation a transformer winding can be represented by a ladder network with series inductance and capacitance as well as the parallel capacitance to ground.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. 66/11 kV transformer. Consequently. Comparison tests were performed by Tlhatlhetji3 on a 20 MVA. The results of research showed that the FRA method of testing was reliable and repeatable for the detection of winding deformation.

IFRA Test Result: Transformer SN: T2300 SFRA Test Results: Transformer SN: T2300 Page 5 of 24 . performed on another transformer. The same report also detailed comparative tests using IFRA. and frequency sweep.0 October 2003 showed very close correlation. It was conclusively proven that frequency response measurement using these three techniques were almost identical. Pseudo-Random Binary Sequence.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. Below are some comparison FRA tests between IFRA and SFRA test techniques.

the test technique is very quick. taking only a few minutes to generate the FRA traces. This makes this technique ideal for field application where there may be volatile conditions such as bad weather. and little time to perform the test due to traveling time. These two recorded time domain signals are processed and the FRA trace is displayed. The IFRA equipment injects a voltage impulse of about 450 volts into this phase winding. Because of the nature of the IFRA Impulse technique. as well as the voltage signal appearing at the other end of the winding.0 October 2003 IFRA Test Results: Transformer SN: T2300 SFRA Test Results: Transformer SN: T2300 The following observations and comparisons can be made between the 2 different FRA testing techniques. 5.1 IFRA TEST METHOD Description: The test equipment consists of a portable self-contained instrument.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. intermittent high frequency noise pollution. Page 6 of 24 . The 50Ω coaxial test leads are connected across a specific phase winding of the transformer. A high-speed digital data capture unit samples the injected voltage signal.

The Starlogic instrument called FRAMIT is the result of accumulated knowledge from the research and application of this test technology over the past 10 years. The equipment measures the injected voltage signal.0 October 2003 5. The software runs under Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP & NT and therefore inherits all of features of this operating system. FRAMIT Instrument Page 7 of 24 .Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.2 SFRA TEST METHOD Description: The test equipment consists of a portable self-contained instrument. portable instrument as shown in figure below. self-contained instrument that performs Frequency Response Analysis of power transformers. FRAMIT has been internationally marketed with great success for over the past 7 years. The instrument is housed in a rugged carry case in which the measurement electronics. the test technique is very slow. Because of the nature of the SFRA technique. The SFRA equipment injects a sinusoidal waveform of constant magnitude of 10 Vrms into the phase winding. Starlogic was commissioned by ESKOM to develop a complete. This makes this technique more suited to laboratory application where there is a more controlled environment. as well as the voltage signal appearing at the other end of the winding. taking about 21/2 hours to generate the FRA traces. ESKOM. though its research into FRA initiated the development of a specialized FRA measurement tool. The 50Ω coaxial test leads are connected across a specific phase winding of the transformer. 6 FRAMIT INSTRUMENT South Africa’s national supply utility. connecting leads and manual are fitted to create a complete.

TX (12) WESTERN FARMERS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE – ANADARKO.WEIZ. WI (3) SOUTH AFRICA: ESKOM—SOUTH AFRICAN ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AUTHORITY (12) TECHNOLOGY SERVICES INTERNATIONAL SPOORNET CHINA: DEXIN (8) MEXICO: CFE . NC BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC – BALTIMORE. TX ENTERGY CORPORATION – NEW ORLEANS. AUSTRIA GERMANY: SGB STARTSTROM GERATEBAU GMBBH © 2004 Starlogic cc .LLC – NEW ROADS.PHOENIX. TX (6) CITY PUBLIC SERVICE – SAN ANTONIO. TX EL PASO ELECTRIC – EL PASO. AUSTRIA VA TECH EBG – LINZ. OR PSI – CINERGY – PLAINFIELD. KY MIRANT MID ATLANTIC . MD NIPSCO – MERRILLVILLE. CA (2) TXU ELECTRIC –ONCOR . IN (3) SALT RIVER PROJECT .FRAMIT INTERNATIONAL USERS LIST Date: April 2004 UNITED STATES AEP – CANTON. FL PEPCO – WASHINGTON.COMISION FEDERAL DE ELECTRICIDAD (2) JAPAN: MITSUBISHI TRANSFORMER – JAPAN AUSTRIA: VA TECH ELIN . TX ATLANTIC COAST TESTING – RALEIGH. OH AEP – CENTRAL POWER & LIGHT – CORPUS CHRISTI. LA (2) GARLAND POWER & LIGHT – GARLAND. MD CENTER POINT ENERGY – HOUSTON. PG&E – SAN FRANCISCO. OK ORLANDO UTILITIES COMMISSION – ORLANDO. MS LOUISIANA GENERATING. TX KUHLMAN ELECTRIC CORP – CRYSTAL SPRINGS.FORT WORTH. ARIZONA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON – ROSEMEAD. OK (2) WAUKESHA ELECTRIC SYSTEMS – WAUKESHA.NEWBURG. LA LOUISVILLE GAS & ELECTRIC – LOUISVILLE.C. INDIANA OKLAHOMA GAS & ELECTRIC –OKLAHOMA CITY. VA DENTON MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC – DENTON. D. TX (2) DELTA STAR – LYNCHBURG. CA (2) PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRIC – PORTLAND.

0.600VDC Output Impulse: 500V.2.FRAMIT3 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION Operating Conditions Operating main: Max Voltage Withstand: Impulse Voltage Withstand: Protection: Operating temperature: Max relative humidity: Weight: Enclosure: Ensclosure Dimensions: 85 . 128K deep Measurement differentiation: 0. 10% of active frequency Measurement accuracy: 0. 1. 5.69” (362mm x 400mm x 170mm) Measurement System Calibration: Self Calibration Amplitude Range: 0 db to –90 db Measurement frequency band: 150 Hz .1.2.2/50µs Electrostatic Discharge Immune 14°F to 140°F (-10°C to 60°C) 10% .5.67 lbs (13 Kg) Weatherproof Pelican carrycase 14.260 Vac (60 .25” x 15.75” x 6.90% 28. 1. 40µS Charge Time: 2 seconds Output Impedance: 50 Ohms Impulse repeatability: 50ppm Impulse stability: 100ppm © 2003 Starlogic cc .1 MHz. 20 Capture memory: 2 x 12 bits.01dB Common-mode rejection ability: >50dB Disturbance rejection between channels: >120dB Measurement range: +/. 0. 10.50Hz) 275 Volts 1 kV.1% of full scale Maximum sampling rate: 10 MHz Resolution: 12 bits Analog input ranges: (+-V) 0.

© 2003 Starlogic cc . Test Leads: Electrostatic discharge immune. The FRAMIT Instrument’s communication port uses opto-coupled devices (electrical isolation devices). Any interference signal whether this be EMC (Electromagnetic) or EI (Electrostatic) would be common to both measuring channels. This large voltage dramatically increases the signal to noise ratio. the effect of other interference signals on this impulse signal is virtually removed. Input Channels: Electrostatic discharge immune. The power supply input 110/220V is protected against over voltage and voltage spikes by a MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) rated at 275V. Communication Port: Electrostatic discharge immune.FRAMIT3 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION ADDENDUM Electrostatic and Electromagnetic Protection Specification FRAMIT Instrument Housing: The FRAMIT Instrument electronics module is enclosed in a mild steel housing. The shielding runs from the BNC Connectors all the way to the cable junction box. The Parallel port cable is also shielded against electrostatic and electromagnetic interference. Impulse Generator: Electrostatic discharge immune. The FRAMIT Instrument uses an injected impulse signal in the order of 500V. This allows the parallel port cable to be inserted and removed while the instrument and laptop are powered up. This prevents the unit from being electrostatically damaged by general handling. The housing is therefore electrostatic discharge immune. without causing any damage to either unit. The FRAMIT Instrument works on the principal of monitoring both Input Channels during a test. The shielding is earthed along with the Instrument Casing. and because the impulse signal is fed from a low impedance source of 50 ohms. This will suppress any interference signal that may be present during the test. which is earthed. Power Supply: Electrostatic discharge immune. The 2 input channels are very low impedance (50 ohms). This would be common mode noise and removed during the test. and this protects the test leads from induced electromagnetic signals. The test leads are 50 ohm co-axial cables with co-axial shielding wire.

The transformer under test must be removed and isolated from the live system and securely grounded. i.e. Test set The FRA equipment should be grounded and the appropriate calibration performed before commencing with a test. This means that any external circuitry such as bushing connections etc etc must be removed where physical practical.1 PERFORMING THE FRA TEST. one for injecting the input signal into the transformer winding. The transformer must be tested with the tap setting set to that tap which exposes all the windings to the test process.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.0 October 2003 7 FRA TEST PROCESS 7. with or without oil. and Page 11 of 24 . IFRA Test Method Test preparation Peforming a FRA test must be done in a safe and controlled manner. Test leads The test leads must consist of a 3-cable system of the same length. The local safety regulations and guidelines must be adhered to. Transformer under test Any size transformer can be tested using IFRA. with or without bushings. one to receive back this input signal from the winding. and will therefore affect the FRA test results in some way. and on any tap setting. The transformer can be tested in any state. Any unused bushings must be left disconnected (floating). I. The transformer must be tested in as basic a state as possible.e. It is however important to realize that any change to any of these factors will change the equivalent circuitry of the transformer under test.

This fingerprint is unique to every transformer. and remains unchanged for as long as the transformer’s winding structure remains unchanged. The input data capture channel will therefore record the signal delivered by the impulse generator. The FRA equipment takes these two time domain signals and calculates the frequency spectrum. This yields the frequency spectrum. This voltage signal delivered by the impulse generator is injected into the selected phase winding of the transformer. 7. Once the impulse generator Page 12 of 24 . as well as the voltage signal appearing at the other end of the phase winding.0 October 2003 one to receive back the signal from the other side of the winding. The FRA theory is as follows: The IFRA input data capture channel is connected directly to the IFRA on-board impulse generator.3 OUTPUT Time (uS) 300 200 0 200 Frequency (Hz) Volts 40 x(t) 0 200 FFT FREQUENCY FREQUENCY RESPONSE RESPONCE FINGERPRINT X(f) H(f) = Y(f) / X(f) INPUT Time (uS) IFRA Mathematics using Fast Fourier Transformer (FFT’s) This test is repeated for each phase winding of the transformer (6 tests for a 3-phase transformer).6 Volts 150 y(t) 0 FFT H(f) Y(f) X(f) Mag 0. This allows each winding of the transformer to be independently inspected and evaluated. It does this by applying a Fast Fourier Transform Algorithm (FFT) to the time domain signals.2 GENERATING THE FRA TEST RESULTS. The test leads must be visibly inspected to ensure that there is continuity and shielding down the length of lead. The FRA Equipment injects a voltage impulse of about 450 volts into this phase winding. Test procedure The test-leads are connected across a specific phase winding of the transformer. This is shown in the figure below. as shown above.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. The injected voltage creates a current to flow in the windings. FRA Mathematics Mathematics 300 0. This will ensure good grounding of the test signal. The frequency response of all the tested phases together is called the ‘fingerprint of the transformer. These two recorded time domain signals are processed and the FRA trace is displayed. A high-speed digital data capture unit samples the injected voltage signal. The flow of current sets up a magnetic field. The frequency response is then determined by dividing the frequency spectrum of the output signal by the frequency spectrum of the input signal. The ground test lead should be applied firmly to the metal surface of the transformer under test.

will remain as part of the transformer setup allowing future IFRA tests to remain consistent. this magnetic field starts to decay.pi.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.c. The resonant frequency is 1/2. Any physical change to the winding structure will cause the winding's inductive and capacitive properties to change. setting resonance.0 October 2003 has discharged. Any built-in CT's etc.f. etc. This current charges these capacitances up until the potential on the capacitances is equal to the EMF voltage of the collapsing field. When no more current can flow then the capacitances begin to discharge back into the windings. If there are any external windings near the winding being tested they will form part of the resonant circuit. This induces an EMF voltage in the same direction to attempt keep the current flowing (Lenz's Law). Resonance decays as the energy is dissipated into the resistance of the windings. In essence this is what is measured by the IFRA and is defined as the "fingerprint" of the winding. and these can be detected by Frequency Response Analysis. The only path for the current to now flow is into the auxiliary capacitances of the windings themselves. Typical IFRA test results showing Input and Output voltages and calculated Frequency Response Page 13 of 24 .

and the calculated FRA test result. IFRA – Impulse Frequency Response Analysis. The test database must be such that the user can search and sort the transformer records into meaningful groups such as. pertinent test information details. as is done by the logarithmic method.0 October 2003 8 FRA TEST EQUIPMENT FRA testing can be done using 3 different testing methods. Constant feedback of FRA test results from customers has allowed developers of IFRA to develop and refine new and more sophisticated ways to interpret the test results. PRBS – Pseudo Random Binary Sequence (still a very new technique) It should be noted that although these 3 methods generate the same FRA test results.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.2 TEST DATA The test data should be recorded to include all of the transformer nameplate details. Test data and research obtained over the last 3 years. it should be such that it encompasses all recognized techniques and remains open ended to allow for future FRA research and development. The FRA test result should be displayed on a linear frequency range displayed from 0 – 500 kHz. has shown that the frequency range of 0 – 500 kHz contains the essential indicators which identify the various modes of transformer failure. This means that if a general FRA guideline and specification is to be generated. This would make the shape of the area under investigation unrecognisable to the user. These should all be stored within a local database from where the user can easily access them. This becomes increasingly complex if one zooms into part of a graph.1 IFRA IFRA has been extensively used within the USA and Europe for over 9 years. Page 14 of 24 . The linear frequency range allows one to clearly investigate the FRA test result at different frequency ranges while maintaining an easily understandable linear scale. • Sort database according to transformer MVA. 8. raw data before processing. The autologarithmic scaling will take the part of the graph under investigation and re-scale it under the logarithmic scale. The logarithmic scale does not allow one to easily recognize a particular waveform shape. 8. • Sort database according to transformer manufacturer. SFRA – Sweep Frequency Response Analysis. The linear frequency range is the more accepted way of displaying test results since it does not excessively emphasize the low frequency range while compressing the high frequency range. namely. all 3 methods use very different measurement techniques to calculate the FRA test result. • Sort database according to transformer serial number.

IFRA and SFRA produce the same test results. Transformers can also be tested periodically. Once the transformer has been delivered. • Sort database according to transformer location. • Sort database according to transformer winding organization. This decision is enhancing their transformer preventative maintenance programs. As has been discussed earlier. it is tested again. Page 15 of 24 . • once they have been commissioned. This makes this technique ideal for field application where there may be volatile conditions such as bad weather. Many companies in the USA and internationally are successfully implementing IFRA testing. Because of the nature of the SFRA technique.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. to determine the cumulative effects of high through current faults. This can save a lot of time. it means that there has been no movement of the winding structure during transport and loading.0 October 2003 • Sort database according to transformer high side/low side voltage. a FRA test is performed at the manufacturers premises. the test technique is very quick. These companies have authorized that IFRA tests be performed. it can be tested to determine the extent of the distortion of the winding structure. taking about 21/2 hours to generate the FRA traces. This makes this technique more suited to laboratory application where there is a more controlled environment. 9 APPLICATION OF FRA TEST TECHNOLOGY The international use of FRA test technology is growing steadily. and little time to perform the test due to traveling time. intermittent high frequency noise pollution. Before a transformer is loaded onto a truck for delivery to the customer. • after they are transported to site. If a transformer suffers a high through fault condition. as well as transformers. • on all their new transformers before they are purchased from the manufacturer. • with future routine tests being performed on a regular basis. the test technique is very slow. However. If the two fingerprints match well. taking only a few minutes to generate the FRA traces. due to the nature of the IFRA Impulse technique. The test results will indicate what further action (if any) needs to be taken.

Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.0 October 2003 10 INTERPRETATION OF FRA TEST RESULTS Over the years significant research has been conducted by companies such as Eskom. Ohio and de-tanked. Doble and NGC into the correlation between the mechanical winding deformation of transformers and FRA test results. EPRI. This research will be examined in greater depth. Sludge covering windings Sludge at the bottom of the tank Page 16 of 24 . This is located right above the phase C coils. These coils were covered with a sludge that resulted from the water mixing with the oil. a second IFRA test was performed (with the transformer outside of the tank). 10. After cleaning off of sludge.1 FRA EXAMPLE OF SHORTED WINDINGS / PARTIAL DISCHARGE The transformer was transported to the repair facility in. TRI. It was observed that water had gotten into the transformer through a failed gasket on the pressure relief device. Starlogic.

Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.0 October 2003 Transformer: SN: 3081107 HIGH SIDE .BEFORE CLEANING OFF SLUDGE ON H2 WINDINGS (Yellow Trace) HIGH SIDE .AFTER CLEANING OFF SLUDGE ON H2 WINDINGS (Yellow Trace) Page 17 of 24 .

AFTER CLEANING OFF SLUDGE ON X3 WINDINGS (Blue Trace) Page 18 of 24 .0 October 2003 Transformer: SN: 3081107 LOW SIDE .Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.BEFORE CLEANING OFF SLUDGE ON X3 WINDINGS (Blue Trace) LOW SIDE .

The damage also appeared to extend up and into the H3 winding structure.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.2 FRA example of shorted & burnt windings The transformer was experiencing a gassing problem. Transformer: SN: d-596272 HIGH SIDE . The transformer was de-tanked and inspected. The tape around the lead was removed revealing large amounts of burning. and it was observed that the H3 tap lead was damaged.0 October 2003 10.DAMAGE TO H3 TAP WINDING & H3 WINDING STRUCTURE (Blue Trace) LOW SIDE Page 19 of 24 . which tripped the protective relay.

There was winding distortion (petal failure partial axial collapse) of the X3 winding structure. The following Tuesday the sample date 9/03/2002 was taken.0 October 2003 10. The transformer turns ratio and the bridge tests showed no changes. even though the transformer was only energized for an additional three (3) hours! The Doble tests showed the % power factor of the low voltage windings doubled from .75%. we de-energized the transformer. Tranformer loading was well below nameplate.3 FRA example of localized DISTORTED WINDINGS The oil sample for DGA analysis was sampled on date 8/30/2002 was taken as the results of a gas detector relay alarm. There was an increased gas level. Being as it was Friday before a three day weekend. The other data available was the occurrence of 39 through faults in the previous month from the connected feeders.39% to . Please see attached picture.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.LOCALIZED WINDING DISTORTION TO H3 WINDING STRUCTURE (Blue Trace) Page 20 of 24 . The transformer was ‘torn down’ at the factory and visible inspected. Transformer: SN: MLL 9315-3 LOW SIDE . The core grounds tested good (> 100 Mohm) and an internal inspection did NOT reveal any problems.

0 October 2003 10.GENERAL WINDING DISTORTION TO X3 WINDING STRUCTURE (Blue Trace) 10. The department of Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University initiated a research project to investigate and evaluate the IFRA performance in transformer fault detection. The modes of failure that were simulated included within the laboratory were: • Turn-to-turn short circuit Page 21 of 24 .5 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS: ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY. Transformer: SN: 10552 HIGH SIDE LOW SIDE . A small laboratory 1kVA 800/250V transformer was repeatedly tested using a variety of different testing equipment. The small transformer was subjected to simulated electrical mode faults and was routinely tested after each different type of fault.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.4 FRA example of general DISTORTED WINDINGs 1975 Year old transformer with low clamping pressure with general winding distortion.

0 75. Dr. Reta & Amarg (1999. the magnitude and resonant frequency location for fingerprint. Karady.4 24. The research report conducted by the Department of Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University by Dr.0 0.5 0.8 9.6 -51.2 -53. Relative changes will help distinguish the various types of failure and also provide an indication for test repeatability.9 -49. Karady.0 • • • • Frequency Peak Peak Magnitude. Reta & Amarg4 aimed to quantify the relative change in resonant frequency location (Df) and relative change in amplitude (DA).0 October 2003 Layer-layer shorts Coil-coil shorts Open-circuited windings Partial discharges etc. pg 12) Dr.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.0 16.7 0. as a result of the simulated modes of failure. Dr. Department of Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University DA=Ai – Ar * 100 Ar Fault Type Normal Coil Lifted 2 coils shorted 5 coils shorted 10 coils shorted 20 coils shorted 2 primary coils Shorted and Df = fi . Reta & Amarg (1999. f (kHz) A (units) x 10 exp 3 525 525 520 540 540 540 600 52. 4 5 Dr.5 DA (%) 0. Location.0 3. Peak magnitude is the magnitude of the transfer function at the peak frequency and peak range is the percentage change in peak magnitude for different experiments but same fault type. In table 2.9 -59.0 76.0 57. frequency peak location (kHz) refers to the frequency at which the maximum value of the transfer function is observed.0 15. Dr. with respect to the values for normal operation. Dr.0 15.0 21.0 92.0 16.0 26.0 15.6 Df (kHz) 0.0 Sensitivity Analysis for FRAMIT Instrument Sensitivity Analysis for IFRA equipment It was concluded that the FRA method of transformer testing using the IFRA equipment is reliable and repeatable for the detection of simulated transformer winding movement.0 -5.fr Peak Range (%) 7. Ai and fi are the magnitude and resonant frequency location for all other simulated conditions.0 25. Karady. SENSITIVITY AND REPEATABILITY ANALYSIS. The relative changes are computed as A − An DA = i * 100 and Df = f i − f n An (1) & (2) Where An and fn are respectively. pg 13) Page 22 of 24 . Reta & Amarg5 documented the results of the sensitivity analysis in table 2. Dr. Karady.0 4.

Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. single phase transformer. 10. Tests were performed with the transformer un-tanked. Sandy Crochet of CLECO requested that IFRA tests be performed on their transformer prior to it being re-blocked. At lower frequencies the test results show that the transformer is characterized by the magnetizing inductance and non-linear behavior of the iron core. 10. As was expected. These included a series of simulated accelerated ageing tests. The FRA differences between the reference test and the test that was performed after the transformer was re-blocked. Frequency responses of short circuit faults at the minimum and nominal voltage taps differ both in magnitude and phase up to 56 kHz.7 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS: INSTITUTE OF ENERGY TECHNOLOGY FROM THE AALBORG UNIVERSITY IN DENMARK The Institute of Energy Technology from the Aalborg University in Demark carried out FRA tests on a two small 30VA.0 October 2003 10. but also from each other. Mr. Multiple resonances occur for the first short-circuit (yellow trace) between 0 and 40 kHz. A re-test was also scheduled about 2 weeks later. – SOUTH AFRICA’S The Department of Technology Research and Investigation (TRI) from South Africa’s national electricity supply utility – ESKOM conducted laboratory experiments using IFRA on a small 25kVA. It was seen that the response of the re-bock test was completely different from that of the reference test. It can be seen that the responses under short-circuit conditions. A re-blocking of a 6 Tlhatlhetji (1998. However. Peak resonances were seen to occur in a few places. p11) Page 23 of 24 . It can be concluded. Tlhatlhetji6 explains that the major differences in the responses occur at the lower frequencies. The transformer was manipulated in a variety of different ways to simulate fault conditions. The object was to establish the correlation between different simulated fault conditions and actual changes in the frequency response. and the winding/coil insulations. up to 160kHz. Different conditions were applied to the insulation oil/grease. Many different failure conditions were successfully detected using FRA testing. after the re-blocking work was complete.6 LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS: ESKOM TRI NATIONAL ELECTRICITY SUPPLY UTILITY. the Central Louisiana Electric Company. the core.8 SUBSTATION EXPERIMENTS: CLECO – CENTRAL LOUISIANA ELECTRIC COMPANY In early May of 1999. this particular transformer showed significant FRA result changes when it was re-tested after its re-block. The deviation is clearly notable above 153 kHz. three-phase pole-mounted transformer. not only differ from the reference fingerprint. 11kv/400v. from 160 kHz upward all three-frequency responses are very similar. that short circuit faults are easily detected in the lower frequency range. It appears then that the distributed capacitance of the winding may be dominating at higher frequencies more that inductance. 20kv/110V. CLECO. FRA tests were performed on the transformer after each set simulations. were having one of their generator step-up transformers re-blocked. This shows clearly that every winding structure has a unique FRA fingerprint.

One of the transformer had faulted in service. The tap-changer was inspected and found to be defective of the yellow-phase. Frequency response of a 220 MVA.0 October 2003 transformer will generate a new set of fingerprints since the newly tensioned winding structure will have its own unique ladder network of series inductance and capacitance as well as parallel capacitance to ground. This gives conclusive evidence that the yellow phase is faulty. Whereas the peak resonance occurs at 210 kHz for both the red and blue phases. p15) Page 24 of 24 . Tlhatlhetji7 documents that the fault was caused by a faulty tap-changer on the white phase. 10. This new FRA test that was performed after the re-block will now become the reference test against which future routine tests will be compared. The yellow phase was completely different from that of the red and blue phases. There was no oil in the transformer and the bushings were removed. the response shown below for the red and blue phases compared very favorable with a similar “sister” transformer.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.5 kV. Although there is no reference fingerprint for this transformer. He goes on to say that IFRA tests were conducted with the transformer still inside the tank.9 SUBSTATION EXPERIMENTS: ESKOM TRI – SOUTH AFRICA’S NATIONAL ELECTRICITY SUPPLY UTILITY The Department of Technology Research and Investigation (TRI) from South Africa’s national electricity supply utility – ESKOM performed IFRA tests on many of their large power transformers. generator step-up transformer that faulted on the yellow tap-changer 7 Tlhatlhetji (1998. the yellow phase is flat. 420/16. No reference FRA tests had been conducted on the transformer. which is similar to an open-circuit response. The deviation was clearly notable as from 160 kHz.

Therefore. Measured responses are analyzed for: Changes in the response of a winding Differences between the responses of the three phases of the same transformer. bushings and tap-changers which could introduce small differences between phases in the frequency responses. irrespective of winding design. Changes to the core limb remnant magnetizations can also affect these low frequency responses. Lapworth & McGrail10 mention that it should be borne in mind that for many windings there may be minor design differences concerning the disposition of internal connections between windings. Interpretation of FRA test results is based upon a subjective comparison of equivalent responses. p3) 10 Lapworth & McGrail (1999. p4-5) Page 25 of 24 . Lapworth & McGrail8 commented that relatively simple responses are obtained at the lowest frequencies. The appearance of new features or major frequency shifts is cause for concern. An overview of their general FRA findings is included below: When examining FRA test results. if minor differences between phases are observed and no reference results are available. it is not possible to make an unambiguous diagnosis of minor winding movement. p3) 11 Lapworth & McGrail (1999. Differences between the responses of transformers of the same design. At higher frequencies. The different iron flux paths involved when outer and center phases of a three-phase transformer are excited explain why it is normal for the center phase to have a different response.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1.0 October 2003 10. When interpreting any differences observed between phases.10 SUBSTATION EXPERIMENTS: NGC – NATIONAL GRID COMPANY PLC – UK The Nation Grid Company plc from the United Kingdom have performed FRA tests on many large power transformers. An extreme case of core limb reluctance occurs when a shorted turn exists in one of the windings on that limb. In this frequency range the inductance of the winding is influenced by the core. p3) Lapworth & McGrail (1999. which are characteristic of the winding design used and vary greatly from design to design. Extensive testing by Lapworth & McGrail11 of NGC on a number of their transformers has resulted in the successful diagnostic of the following independent transformer conditions: Collapse of end insulation structures Hoop buckling failure of inner windings Broken winding clamping structure / displacement of winding assemblies Tap-changer failure 8 9 Lapworth & McGrail (1999. There is no typical form for the high frequency responses. Lapworth & McGrail9 commented that eddy currents effectively screen the magnetic circuit so that the winding inductances are determined by local leakage fluxes. and in such a case a very characteristic change in the low frequency response is obtained. the winding responses of the 3 phases become much more similar and therefore more sensitive to winding movement. Being less dependent on magnetic characteristics.

They were built over 25 years ago with minor variations in internal design. 10. An overview of their general FRA findings is included below: From 1997 to 1999 EPRI tested 7 large power transformers of identical design. 11 SUMMARY OF EXPERIMENTS AND FIELD TESTING International FRA research has proven that it is possible to detect a variety of different internal conditions. which was ranked first for reclamping has now been opened and reclamped. and 3 phase. p4) Page 26 of 24 . It is possible to detect a change in the condition of the winding insulation and winding structure integrity. Stefanski & Ward12 remarked that FRA tests were performed on these seven transformers with the signatures compared to one of the transformers that had been reclamped relatively recently. Recommendations were made on which transformers to open. Vandermaar. if this involves a change in the dielectric constant ε. if this involves a change in the total reluctance or total iron losses of the core. It can detect a change in the condition and quality of the transformer oil/grease. The distributed capacitance of the winding may be dominating at higher frequencies more that 12 Vandermaar. The rating of the transformers is 345 kV. When it was opened it was found to be loose. The international FRA research has shown that it is possible to detect the following internal mechanical deformation of transformers: • Multiple core earths • Loss of clamping pressure • Shorted Turns (two) & Shorted Turns (Multiple) • Magnetized Core • Raised Winding & Loose Turns • Core Movement & Collapse of end insulation structures • Hoop buckling failure of inner windings • Broken winding clamping structure / displacement of winding assemblies • Tap-changer failure At lower frequencies the FRA test results (fingerprints) show that the transformer is characterized by the magnetizing inductance and non-linear behavior of the iron core. 300 MVA. Wang. It is possible to detect a change in the condition of the core. Wang. The transformer. Stefanski & Ward (1999.11 SUBSTATION EXPERIMENTS: EPRI – ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE –USA The Electric Power Research Institute in the USA has performed FRA tests on many large power transformers.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. if this involves changes in the lumped/total winding capacitances of the transformer or short-circuit between turns.0 October 2003 NGC have concluded that the confidence in the interpretation of FRA results is continuing to grow as experience of detecting problems increases.

SFRA – Sweep Frequency Response Analysis. and has detailed the requirements and specifications needed to perform an FRA test and generate a practical FRA guideline. localized winding distortion. the winding fingerprints of the 3 phases become much more similar and therefore more sensitive to winding movement. open-circuits.0 October 2003 inductance. considering consequential factors such as system destabilization.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. winding insulation breakdown and lose of clamping pressure. Many years of testing experience with constant feedback of FRA test results from customers has allowed developers of IFRA to develop and refine new and more sophisticated ways to interpret the test results. reclamping or insulation repair) prior to failure. It can be concluded. FRA testing can be done using 3 different testing methods. Test data and research obtained over the last 3 years. The failure of a strategic transformer on the power supply network can be even more costly. PRBS – Puesdo Random Binary Sequence (still a very new technique) It is important to note that although these 3 methods generate the same FRA test results. Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) is becoming an increasingly popular technique used to externally monitor and assess the condition and mechanical integrity of transformer windings for short-circuits. all 3 methods use very different measurement techniques to calculate the FRA test result. namely. has shown that the frequency range of 0 – 500 kHz contains the essential indicators which identify the various modes of transformer failure. can save a transformer rewind. deformation.g. and general winding distortion and loss of clamping pressure. This means that if a general FRA guideline and specification is to be generated. that short circuit faults are easily detected in the lower frequency range. outages and even complete system shutdown. 12 CONCLUSION It is clear that the performance of power transformers will determine. and being able to take corrective action (e. This paper has covered the background to Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) testing. At higher frequencies. Over this range one can determine the whole range of transformer failure modes including short circuits. The FRA technique can help maintenance personnel identify suspect transformers. It is therefore very important to continuously monitor and assess the condition of transformers to ensure reliability and availability of power supply. estimated to cost in the region of $1-million for a large power transformer. IFRA – Impulse Frequency Response Analysis. enabling them to take those transformers out of service before failure. it should be such that it Page 27 of 24 . eddy currents effectively screen the magnetic circuit so that the winding inductances are determined by local leakage fluxes. load shedding. the quality of power supply. to a large extent. The detection of a transformer winding condition that might lead to a fault and subsequent outage. Being less dependent on magnetic characteristics.

IFRA is the ideal complement to the traditional tests of ratio. D. “Frequency response analysis using the impulse test method as a transformer diagnostic technique”. partial discharge and dissolved gas analysis. A test on a three-phase transformer can be useful in this instance even if no previous tests have been performed on the transformer.0 October 2003 encompasses all recognized techniques and remains open ended to allow for future FRA research and development. Combined with on-going international research into quantifying specific waveform patterns with corresponding winding faults the system is proving invaluable in providing base data on currently healthy transformers. 8O. frequency response analysis update”.P. 6. Massachusetts. Dr. in order to check for significant differences. Fellmann K.Copyright © Starlogic 2004 IEEE FRA Specification Starlogic IFRA Submission version 1. Bak-Jensen B. If a transformer is suspected of internal damage. Paper No.P and Wang M – Powertech labs inc. “SRP Transformer Fault Detection Project” – March 1999 Lapworth J. Paper No. “Power Transformer condition assessment and renewal. Report No. Ward H – EPRI – USA. TRR/E/99/EL102 – October 1999 Vandermaar N. As a preventative maintenance tool. USA (April 1999) Page 28 of 24 . USA (April 1997) Tlhatlhetji N. 8B. TRR/E/98/EL097 – October 1998 Tlhatlhetji N. 8C. the FRA test results (fingerprints) for each phase can be compared to one another. Amarg F. Reta M and Mr. the IFRA test results can assist in deciding whether or not to take the transformer out of service for further investigation. “Detection of faults and ageing phenomena in transformers by transfer functions”. USA (April 1999) Malewski R. McGrail T. (January 1995). Paper No. Boston.J.J – National Grid Company. presented at the Sixty-Sixth Annual International Conference of Doble Clients. Massachusetts. Boston. B. and since it is unlikely that all three phases were affected similarly. No. Boston. REFERENCES Bak-Jensen J. Reynders J. presented at the Sixty-Sixth Annual International Conference of Doble Clients. 9. B. 7. “Transformer winding movement detection by frequency response analysis (FRA)”.A. 13 1. IFRA has proven to be an extremely reliable FRA diagnostic tool for detecting transformer winding structure deformation. 4.H. Canada. Mikkelsen S. J . Vol. 5. 1. Massachusetts. Karady G. 8. Dr. “Failure in power system transformers and appropriate monitoring techniques” – October 1999 Noonan T. “Frequency Response Analysis of transformers”. “Frequency Response Analysis of transformers”. Maier R. de Klerk P. Report No. Since the winding structure is usually symmetrical from one phase to the next.P. “Five years of monitoring the impulse test of power transformers with digital recorders and the transfer function method” – September 1992 Minhas MSA.A.P. Claudi A. 3. International FRA research has proven that it is possible to detect a variety of different internal conditions. 10.(ESB International). Gockenbach E. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery. presented at the Sixty-Fourth Annual International Conference of Doble Clients. Stefanski P – Commonwealth Edison Company – USA. 2.

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