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A Nomograph for Interpretation of LTC A Nomograph for Interpretation of LTC A Nomograph for Interpretation of LTC A Nomograph for Interpretation

of LTC- -- -DGA Data DGA Data DGA Data DGA Data




Fredi Jakob, Karl Jakob, Simon Jones
Weidmann-ACTI
Rick Youngblood, Cinergy


I. Introduction I. Introduction I. Introduction I. Introduction

Dissolved Gas Analysis, DGA, is based on the fact that the release of energy in oil
filled electrical equipment results in a partial destruction of insulating fluids and/or
solid insulation. The number of molecules destroyed is relatively small but detectable
amounts of low molecular weight gases are produced. The quantification of the low
molecular weight fault gases is the basis of all DGA.

In the main tank of a transformer very little, if any fault gases other than carbon
oxides should be produced. Carbon oxides are continuously produced by unavoidable
decomposition of cellulose insulation. In contrast, equipment that involves conductor-
switching operations produces fault gases during normal operation. Initially it was
assumed that the gases produced by the arcing process associated with switching
would mask gases associated with problems such as carbon deposition on the contacts,
which results in excessive heating.

Youngblood
1
was one of the first investigators to recognize that the gassing
pattern for a healthy load tap changer, LTC, would be significantly different from that
observed in a problem LTC. Specifically, he suggested that acetylene and hydrogen are
generated during the normal arcing process and the hydrocarbons, methane, ethane
and especially ethylene are generated when overheating occurs in a problem LTC.
These three hydrocarbons are often called hot metal gases since they are produced
when a heated conductor is in contact with mineral oil based dielectric fluid.

II. Data Interpretation II. Data Interpretation II. Data Interpretation II. Data Interpretation
A. Concept A. Concept A. Concept A. Concept
The interpretation of DGA data for transformers, LTCs and OCBs is empirical in
nature. The development of interpretation protocols for OCBs and LTCs parallels the
development of DGA diagnostics for the main tanks of transformers. Key gases
associated with heating problems are methane, ethane and ethylene. These gases, in the
order listed, require increased energy for their production. The energy requirements
were calculated by Halstead
2
. Initially Youngblood ignored the levels of arcing gases,
acetylene and hydrogen that developed whenever an LTC operated. Subsequent work
by Youngblood
5
indicated that arcing gases are also diagnostically significant. For
example, increased acetylene levels were often followed by increased heating gas
concentrations. The increased acetylene is due to changes in the arc duration and/or
characteristics as the contacts are eroded or covered with carbon.

The next step in the development of diagnostic protocols for LTCs was the empirical
determination of normal or threshold values. The gas retention rate in an LTC is very
dependent on breathing configuration, so this is a major factor in determining threshold
levels. Free breathing LTCs rapidly lose gases to the environment while sealed LTCs
retain much of the gas produced.

Threshold levels have been determined for specific models and types of LTCs by
Doble
3
and Baker
4
. Generic levels have been set by Youngblood
5
, and are useful when
threshold values have not yet been determined. Fault gas ratios, which are discussed
below, are applicable for unit evaluation when threshold values are reached or
exceeded. We are investigating the value of these ratios even if individual gases are
below the threshold values.

B. B. B. B. Fault Gas Concentration Ratios Fault Gas Concentration Ratios Fault Gas Concentration Ratios Fault Gas Concentration Ratios
1. Normal Operation
Arcing, which generates very high temperatures, occurs with each switching
operation in an LTC. Arcing produces mainly acetylene and hydrogen. When arcing
gases are being produced, heating gases are also produced since the oil temperature
varies with distance from the arcing contacts. At lower oil temperatures, heating gases
are produced more abundantly than acetylene.

If one accepts this hypothesis, one would expect that the ratios of heating to arcing
gases in a problem free unit would remain fairly constant with operational count. Since
the contact surface is being eroded and additional deposits are being formed with each
operation, these ratios will predictably change slightly with operation count, providing
there is not a large change in load current. Although the load on a distribution circuit in
a sub station does remain nearly constant over a period of time with minor ups and
downs, anything that causes a significant change in average constant load will change
the ratios. The data presented in a paper by Duval
6
, shown in Table 1 supports this
hypothesis. Note that all of the significant ratios in these problem free units are well
below those found in a LTC that has developed a heating or other problem. Gas ratios
that are useful in detecting LTC problems are listed in Table 2.

Table 1. Gas Formation as a Function of Operation Co Table 1. Gas Formation as a Function of Operation Co Table 1. Gas Formation as a Function of Operation Co Table 1. Gas Formation as a Function of Operation Count unt unt unt. (Duval (Duval (Duval (Duval
6 66 6
) )) )
Operations: 500 3600 49000 Gas produced/operation
Gas/500 Gas/3600 Gas/49000
Hydrogen 6870 12125 14320 13.74 3.37 0.29
Methane 1028 5386 10740 2.05 1.50 0.22
Acetylene 5500 35420 53670 11.00 9.84 1.10
Ethylene 900 6400 35839 1.80 1.78 0.73
Ethane 79 400 3944 0.16 0.11 0.08
Ratio:
Acetylene
Ethylene

0.16 0.18 0.66

*Note: Some gas is always lost with time. Therefore, the gas concentration per
operation is expected to decrease with operation count. Duval did not provide
breathing configurations for this data.

The ratio is fairly consistent and independent of operation count. When the operation
count is very high, 49,000, the ratio increase is probably related to changes in the contact
condition.

2. Heating Problems
Initially a resistive film develops on contacts, which results in an increase in contact
resistance, increased heating and an increase in heating gas concentrations. Since more
heating gases are produced, the ratio of heating to arcing gases, ethylene to acetylene,
increases. This change in gas concentrations and gas concentration ratios indicates
problems. The concentration ratios of ethane to methane and ethylene to ethane are
temperature dependent, so both are expected to increase with increasing temperature,
in a problem unit. These two heating gas ratios should also reflect increased contact
resistance and heating.







Table 2. Important Gas Concentration Ratios. Table 2. Important Gas Concentration Ratios. Table 2. Important Gas Concentration Ratios. Table 2. Important Gas Concentration Ratios.
Heating to Arcing Ratios Heating to Arcing Ratios Heating to Arcing Ratios Heating to Arcing Ratios
Hydrogen Acetylene
Ethylene
+

Acetylene
Ethylene

Hydrogen Acetylene
Ethane Ethylene Methane
+
+ +

Acetylene
Ethane Ethylene Methane + +

Temperature Dependent Ratios Temperature Dependent Ratios Temperature Dependent Ratios Temperature Dependent Ratios
Methane
Ethane

Ethane
Ethylene


C. Application of Gas Concentration Ratios C. Application of Gas Concentration Ratios C. Application of Gas Concentration Ratios C. Application of Gas Concentration Ratios
As is the case with main tank DGA, ratios of fault gas concentrations are most
valid if at least one of the fault gases exceeds its threshold value. Threshold values used
by Weidmann-ACTI are model specific, whenever this data is available. If model
specific data is not available, we use the monthly watch levels developed by
Youngblood
5
as threshold values. Normal values used for the ratios represent the 90
th

percentile of fault gas concentrations from a very large number of DGA results (~2500
units). These 90
th
percentile values, which are listed in Table 3, are generic and do not
take into account the difference in gassing rates or breathing configurations of specific
units. Ratios are, as expected, model specific and we hope to refine our results as more
data becomes available. Table 4 lists the ratios calculated for a Westinghouse LTC and
for a McGraw Edison LTC, which according to Bakers
4
threshold levels require
attention.

Table 3. Generic 90 Table 3. Generic 90 Table 3. Generic 90 Table 3. Generic 90
th th th th
Percentile Fault Gas Ratios Percentile Fault Gas Ratios Percentile Fault Gas Ratios Percentile Fault Gas Ratios

Note the difference between the model specific ratios listed in Table 4, and the
generic values which are listed in Table 3. The differences in critical ratios for the
R1 R2 R3 R5 R5 R6
Acetylene
Ethylene

Hydrogen Acetylene
Ethylene
+

Hydrogen Acetylene
Methane Ethane Ethylene
+
+ +
Methane
Ethane

Ethane
Ethylene

Acetylene
Ethane Ethylene Methane + +
0.36 0.24 0.38 0.31 7.51 0.56
Westinghouse and McGraw Edison units illustrate how model specific the gassing
characteristics can be.

Table 4. Unit Specific Ratio Comparison. (Based on values set by C. Baker) Table 4. Unit Specific Ratio Comparison. (Based on values set by C. Baker) Table 4. Unit Specific Ratio Comparison. (Based on values set by C. Baker) Table 4. Unit Specific Ratio Comparison. (Based on values set by C. Baker)
WESTINGHOUSE LTC UTT
Ethylene Ethane Methane Acetylene Hydrogen
LT3
3,000 250 1,000 5,000 5,000

Ratio 1
Acetylene
Ethylene

Ratio 2
Hydrogen Acetylene
Ethylene
+

Ratio 3
Hydrogen Acetylene
Methane Ethane Ethylene
+
+ +

Ratio 4
Methane
Ethane

Ratio 5
Ethane
Ethylene


0.60 0.30 0.43 0.25 12.00

McGRAW EDISON LTC 550-BL
LT3
2,000 400 400 400 500
Ratio 1
Acetylene
Ethylene

Ratio 2
Hydrogen Acetylene
Ethylene
+

Ratio 3
Hydrogen Acetylene
Methane Ethane Ethylene
+
+ +

Ratio 4
Methane
Ethane

Ratio 5
Ethane
Ethylene


5.00 2.22 3.11 1.00 5.00


LT3 is Bakers designation of a unit requiring inspection.

D. Graphical Methods D. Graphical Methods D. Graphical Methods D. Graphical Methods
Graphical methods have been widely used as an aid for the interpretation of DGA
data for transformer main tanks. A nomograph developed by Church et al.
7
has been
successfully used to graphically calculate and interpret fault gas ratio data for power
transformers. A similar nomograph can be applied to interpretation of DGA data for
both LTCs and OCBs. The nomograph consists of adjacent parallel logarithmic scales
on which fault gas concentration in parts per million, ppm, is plotted. A simple
example will illustrate the concept, shown in Figure 1. Rose
8
, uses the ethane/methane
ratio as an indicator of a heating problem. He has stated that the critical value of this
ratio occurs when it exceeds unity. Each of these gases is plotted below on a
logarithmic scale. The two scales are aligned, without any offset.
CH
4
C
2
H
6
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Figure 1. Logarithmic Representation of Methane/Ethane Gas Concentration Ratios.

A straight line connecting the methane concentration of 800 ppm to the ethane
concentration of 1200 ppm, a ratio of 1.5 would have a slope greater than one. Any set
of equal gas concentrations would have a zero slope. A sample with less methane than
ethane will be connected by a line with a negative slope. The slope of the line is thus a
clear indication of the LTC condition. In cases where the transition for a selected ratio,
from normal to a problem condition occurs at any value other than one, the relative
position of the scales is adjusted so that a horizontal line indicates the transitional ratio.
Lines with positive slopes indicate ratios greater than the transitional value. Lines with
negative slopes correspond to ratios below the critical values.

Threshold levels are also indicated on each scaled gas concentration. At least one
of the gas concentrations should be above these values before the ratios are considered
valid. As previously stated, this concept requires further study.

Figure 2 is a copy of the proposed nomograph for the empirical interpretation of
LTC DGA data. The threshold values indicated are generic in nature. Unit specific
information should be used whenever sufficient data is available. The relative position
of each scale is base on a statistical determination of the 90
th
percentile gas ratios from
our extensive database. These threshold values are shown in Table 5. These values are
also generic in nature and should be replaced if model specific data is available. The
nomograph is constructed so that any line with a positive slope indicates a LTC heating
problem.
Table 5. 90 Table 5. 90 Table 5. 90 Table 5. 90
th th th th
Percentile Values for Different Breathing Configurations. Percentile Values for Different Breathing Configurations. Percentile Values for Different Breathing Configurations. Percentile Values for Different Breathing Configurations.
C2H2 C2H4 C2H6 CH4 H2
Configuration
Free Breather 2733 851 107 379 1418
FB/Desicant 2811 473 130 141 467
Sealed 3744 1337 178 572 1781
Vacuum 42 49 79 61 72

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C 2 H 2
C 2 H 4
C 2 H 6
C 2 H 4
C H 4
C 2 H 6


Figure 2. Proposed Nomograph for the 90th Percentile Gas Thresholds.

III. Case Studies III. Case Studies III. Case Studies III. Case Studies

Two case studies for Cinergy data are presented below. This data, from
Cinergys initial work, was interpreted without consideration of fault gas concentration
ratios. Case history I is of particular interest since serious damage occurred in the six
month interval between scheduled tests. The data indicates that critical gas ratios such
as the ratio of ethylene to acetylene doubled from March 92 to Feb 93. This points out
the necessity of trending both ratios and gas concentrations. We believe that the extent
of the coking would have been less severe if the unit had been inspected in Feb 93
based on the doubling of the significant ratios, rather than to have waited for six
additional months.

















Cinergy Comments: Cinergy Comments: Cinergy Comments: Cinergy Comments:

12-Mar-92
This unit indicated the early stages of mechanical difficulties. While the
Acetylene and Hydrogen levels are elevated, the level of Ethylene is less
than 100 ppm. Indicating a continuance of annual monitoring







LTC Case Study I LTC Case Study I LTC Case Study I LTC Case Study I

Federal Pacific TC-25 69KV x 12KV 20MVA Desiccant Breather
Date Comments C2H2 CH4 C2H6 C2H4 H2
3/12/1992 Annual DGA Test Cycle 589 60 2 89 144
2/1/1993 6 Month Test Cycle 1625 342 70 534 3099
8/12/1993 Thermal Runaway 1633 53434 55535 253024 2217
Date Comments Ratio 1 Ratio 2 Ratio 3 Ratio 4 Ratio 5
3/12/92 Annual DGA Test Cycle 0.15 0.12 0.21 - 0.15
2/1/93 6 Month Test Cycle 0.32 0.11 0.2 0.21 0.33
8/12/93 Thermal Runaway 155 66 94 1.03 155
C2H4 / C2H6 Ratio 5
C2H6 / CH4 Ratio 4
(CH4 + C2H4 + C2H6) / (C2H2 + H2) Ratio 3
C2H4 / (C2H2 + H2) Ratio 2
C2H4 / C2H2 Ratio 1
1-Feb-93
At this time the unit was placed on a 6 month monitoring schedule,
due to the elevated Acetylene, Hydrogen, and Ethylene levels.
At 534 ppm Ethylene immediate removal from service was not indicated.





















Nomographic representations of Case Study II data on 8/31/92 is shown in
Figures 3-5. In nearly all graphs, the various threshold values were either met or
exceeded, and nearly all ratios have a slope greater than one. This illustrates that this
approach is capable of identifying unit problems even in the absence of the available
unit specific information. As long as the correct breathing configuration is given, the
correct set of threshold values can be applied, and units can then be correctly
diagnosed.

Cinergy Comment Cinergy Comment Cinergy Comment Cinergy Comments ss s:




Date Comments C2H2 CH4 C2H6 C2H4 H2
8/31/1992 Removed from Service 8527 3279 1135 9606 9083
12/17/1993 Post Repair 501 387 16 375 2883
5/1/1994 Normal 541 534 9 313 3800
8/17/1995 placed on 6 month watch 648 590 52 836 3995
LTC Case Study II LTC Case Study II LTC Case Study II LTC Case Study II

Westinghouse UTT-A 138KV x 69KV x 13.8KV Sealed
Date Comments Ratio 1 Ratio 2 Ratio 3 Ratio 4 Ratio 5
8/31/1992 Removed from Service 1.13 0.55 0.8 0.35 0.15
12/17/1993 Post Repair 0.75 0.11 0.23 - -
5/1/1994 Normal 0.58 0.07 0.2 - -
8/17/1995 Placed on 6 Month Watch 1.29 0.18 0.32 0.06 0.09
C2H4 / C2H6 Ratio5
C2H6 / CH4 Ratio4
(CH4 + C2H4 + C2H6) / (C2H2 + H2) Ratio3
C2H4 / (C2H2 + H2) Ratio2
C2H4 / C2H2 Ratio 1
31-Aug-92
Based on the DGA result this unit was immediately removed from service.
The fault was determined to be due to contact misalignment.
12-Aug-93
Too late, by August, the unit was in thermal runaway, as indicated by the
extremely high level of Ethylene at 253,024 ppm. Repairs included a Tap
Shaft board, Slip Rings and a New Reversing Switch assembly.















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C2H2 C2H4
C2H6
C2H4
CH4
C2H6
Cinergy Watch List Threshold
Gas concentrations at time of removal from service.
Doble Unit Specific Threshold Values

Figure 3. Nomographic Representations of Case II Utilizing Doble Unit Specific Threshold
Values, and Cinergy Watch List Threshold Values.

17-Dec-93
Typical levels of gases for a sealed, unit, annual monitoring was
indicated.
1-May-94
Again gas levels are typical for a sealed unit, annual monitoring
continued.
17-August-95
Again the Gas levels are indicative on normal operation, however the fifty
percent increase in the level of Acetylene indicated increased surveillance.
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Baker's LT1 Threshold values.
Gas concentrations at time of removal from service.


Figure 4. Nomographic Representation of Case II Utilizing Bull Bakers Unit Specific LT3
Threshold Values.








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90% Threshold values
Gas concentrations at time of removal from service.


Figure 5. Nomographic Representation of Case II Utilizing 90th Percentile Threshold Values.


IV. Indicating Problem Severity IV. Indicating Problem Severity IV. Indicating Problem Severity IV. Indicating Problem Severity

The severity of a problem, or condition of the unit, may be designated as Normal,
Caution or Warning. A proposed nomograph has been developed by taking the 90
th

percentile values as a baseline, and aligning the concentration scales so that any
connecting line, with this ratio, will have a slope of zero. Units having a zero slope
and/or a slope that resides below these threshold values are diagnosed as Normal. A
slope of the line residing within one standard deviation of the threshold values is
diagnosed as a Caution, and at two standard deviations is a Warning. A section of the
proposed nomograph is illustrated in Figure 6.

1 0
5
10
3
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
4
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
10
2
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
1 0
5
1 0
3
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
4
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
10
2
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
C
2
H
2
C
2
H
4
N o r m a l
C
a
u
t
i
o
n
W
a
r
n
i
n
g
S l i d i n g L e g e n d

Figure 6. Nomograph Diagnosis of LTC Condition.

IV. IV. IV. IV. Future Work Future Work Future Work Future Work
The empirical analysis of DGA data for LTCs is well developed. Gas
concentration levels and gas concentration ratios can differentiate between normal and
problem units. We believe that both the concentration and ratio values will work best if
they are model specific. The compilation of these values requires user feedback on
problem units. Trending of both the gas concentrations and ratios is always the best
method to identify incipient problems.
Another concept under investigation is normalization of fault gas data. We
believe that during normal switching operations, the ratio of ethylene to acetylene is
fixed. This ratio should remain constant for different numbers of operations.
Furthermore, since these two gases have approximately the same solubility in mineral
oil and approximately the same escape rates from the oil, the ratios should remain fairly
constant even for free breathing units. For example if the concentration of both ethylene
and acetylene are 100 ppm then the ratio is one. If a heating problem is superimposed
on the normal arcing process and the gas levels are 175 ppm for ethylene and 150 ppm
for acetylene there would be an additional 25 ppm of ethylene due to the heating
problem. One could thus normalize our results using a ratio of:

Ethylene (due to heating)
Acetylene (due to arcing)
=
Total Ethylene - (Ethylene produced during normal arcing)
Acetylene


References: References: References: References:

1. Youngblood, R., Jakob, F., Haupert, T.J. Application of DGA to Detection of Hot
Spots in Load Tap-Changers, Minutes of the Sixtieth Annual International
Conference of Doble Clients, 1993, Sec. 6-4.1.

2. Halstead, W. D., A Thermodynamic Assessment of the Formation of Gaseous
Hydrocarbons in Faulty Transformers, Journal of the Institute of Petroleum, Vol. 59,
Sept. 1959, pp. 239-241.

3. Doble Client Transformer Committee Subcommittee Report on Transformer Load
Tap Changer Dissolved Gas Analysis September 24, 2001.

4. Baker, Charles. Personal correspondence. 2002.

5. Youngblood, R., Baker, C., Jakob, F., Perjanik, N., Application of Dissolved Gas
Analysis to Load Tap Changers.

6. Duval, Michel. , A Review of Faults Detectable by Gas-in-Oil Analysis in
Transformers, IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine May/June 2002, Vol. 18 no. 3,
pp. 8-17.

7. Church, J.O., Haupert, T.J., and Jakob, F., Electrical World, Vol. 201, No. 10, October
1987, pp. 40-44.

8. Rose, Don. Personal communication.