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nemeth.balint@vet.bme.

hu 1






Health index as one of the best practice for condition assessment of
transformers and substation equipments Hungarian experience

B. NMETH, CS. VRS, G. CSPES
Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Hungary
SUMMARY
The age of the existing high voltage equipments operating in power system is continuously increasing
and their failure rate grows with the increase in age. The great majority of failures appear as a result of
the combined action of the thermal, mechanic and electric stresses. The ranking of a unit within a
family is normally done using periodic (offline) and online test results. Continuous deployment of
online monitoring systems makes it possible to use fresh data to produce a living ranking system that
reflect more accurately the current situation.
It is well known that transformers do not have the same importance on the network as switching
equipments. Replacement of a failed transformer can be quite different depending on availability of
spare units. The magnitude of risk can be also different depending on the kind and type of units, the
location of transformers or switching units in regard to public safety.
This assessment is needed to provide economic and technical justifications for engineering decisions
and capital replacement plans. A hopefully possibility to solve the problem is the relative weighting
the importance of different transformer and equipment, components, the failure probability of the main
insulation, etc. This solution would be to introduce a condition, status or Health Index (HI). The
current situation for power transformers is characterized by improved on-line measurement and
diagnostic capabilities along with a better understanding of internal phenomena and aging processes.
The Condition Based Maintenance has also an increasing trend in Hungary therefore it become
possible to create and develop an Expert System of Transformer Health Index (Status Indicator).
Development of power transformer health index is becoming a standard procedure to classify units and
support decisions regarding refurbishment and replacement.
This paper would like to show Hungarian practice of such expert system which is based on both
national and international diagnostic methods. This Substation and Transformer Health Index uses not
only the results of the measurement, but also other properties, such as voltage level, network location
and climate. The Health Index calculated from all possible data of the equipments. This paper gives
specification about the health check measurements and other considered parameters, the health index
which is a number between zero and one and about the opportunities of use this elements. This Expert
System should simplify the asset management for the users and gives a chance to change their systems
to condition based maintenance. This Expert System describes the current condition to help avoiding
the malfunctions of the power system.
KEYWORDS
Health Index, Transformer Status Indicator (TSI), Monitoring Systems, Circuit Breakers, Instrument
Transformers, Assessment of Condition, Expert System


21, rue dArtois, F-75008 PARIS A2-103 CIGRE 2014
http : //www.cigre.org

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1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. Importance of asset management
The reliability of power transformers is essential for the safe and stable operation of the whole power
network. The great majority of transformer failures appear as a result of the combined action of the
thermal, electric and mechanical stresses. The ranking of a unit within a family of transformer is
normally done using offline (periodic) and online test results. Continuous deployment of online
monitoring systems makes it possible to use fresher data to produce a living ranking system that reflect
more accurately the current situation. Replacement of a failed transformer can be quite different
depending on availability of spare units. The magnitude of risk can be quite different depending on the
transformer location in regard to public safety. This assessment is needed to provide economic and
technical justifications for engineering decisions and capital replacement plans [1] [14] [16] [17].
1.2. Asset management techniques
Different maintenance strategies can be sorted different ways. According the most used
division the methods are classified by two aspects: the condition and the importance of the asset taken
into account (Table I). Condition as well as importance could be expounded numerous ways
depending on required detail and available data. In our practice the important techniques are the
reliability centred and conditional based strategy. [17]
Table I Maintenance strategies
C
o
n
d
i
t
i
o
n

Condition based
continuous or occasional monitoring,
maintenance on demand
Reliability centred
priority list, connections between condition and
failure, risk handling
Corrective
no diagnostics, nor maintenance until failure
Time based
inspection and maintenance on a regular basis
Importance

1.2.1. Condition based maintenance
For condition based maintenance it is required to know the condition of the assets. This could be
accomplished by analysing different parameters together. In this case, maintenance is accomplished at
pre-defined levels of the condition parameters or their combinations. The observations of the assets is
a complex task and the importance of ensuring reliable and true condition data is a key component of
the technique. With condition based maintenance high availability and reasonable maintenance costs.
This method is widely used on HV networks; at the same time companies world-wide develop their
techniques to apply it to MV distribution systems. [1] [14] [16] [17]

1.2.2. Reliability centred maintenance
Suppliers operating on a liberalized market focus on the effectiveness of each intervention. It is closely
related to the importance of the elements of the network, which must be defined as objective as
possible. Reliability centred maintenance count not only with the condition of network components; it
also takes its effect on the reliability of the power system into account. Reliability centred approach is
capable not only to prioritize maintenance actions; it is also able to decide between repair and
replacement. Reliability centred maintenance supplemented with economic effects of different actions,
such as penalties or non-supplied energy lead to risk based maintenance. [17]
1.3. Creating an optimal replacement strategy
Electrical distribution assets are designed for more decades of service life. Such long term has also
large uncertainties, resulting in the fact that it is not justifiable to replace them just because of their
age. As the goal of asset management is to minimise the total expenses related to set a devices, it is a
question of most importance to optimize the replacement of the assets. For optimizing a replacement
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strategy it is necessary to understand the whole life cycle of the asset and investigate the sustainability
of the strategy. Accordingly multiple criteria should be considered:
- Critical asset identification: some assets are more important, depending on their real failure rate
and the impact of failure,
- Condition assessment: selected deterioration processes can be predicted based on diagnostics or
inspections,
- Advanced statistics for extrapolation of condition assessments of representative samples of assets:
in case of high number of assets the monitoring cannot be evaluated individually, the results can
be obtained by statistical analysis. [7] [17]
2. TRANSFOREMER STATUS INDICATOR (TSI) AND MONITORING
SYSTEMS
2.1. TRANSFOREMER MONITORING SYSTEMS
Recently, many countries and organizations put forward the conception of smart grid and explore its
development direction and related standards. To help and ensure the future success of transformers
monitoring a CIGRE Working Group (WG A2.44, Transformer Intelligent Condition Monitoring)
was founded which would like to provide a comprehensive perspective. The final results of this WG
could be useful for manufacturers and utilities by helping them to adjust their projects, processes and
specifications to better practices, to improve their asset management techniques by the large scale use
of integrated information systems, and to define the most adequate politics regarding the use of
existing and new monitoring systems. [1] [6] [14] [13] [16].
2.2. HUNGARIAN EXPERIENCE WITH TRANSFOREMER MONITORING
SYSTEMS
A monitoring system is considered intelligent if it can at least transform rough data on relevant and
accurate information to decision-making, through the application of rules relating the inputs to the
output of the system. In Hungary so called quasi intelligent online condition monitoring system has
been introduced. This quasi-intelligent transformer condition system is flexible, modular and
contains two special processes: fuzzy logic diagnostic technique and Health Index (Transformer Status
Indicator, TSI) diagnostic method. The Transformer Status Indicator (TSI) expert system considers the
essential parameters (environmental influences, operating values and diagnostic results) to gives the
status of the insulation. The TSI is a computer aided expert system. The expert system provides a
technical and economic evaluation and comparison by means of only two numbers, the TSI factor and
its reliability. To rank the transformers is done using periodic test results, design consideration and
failure history of sister units. The TSI procedure would represent a practical method to quantify the
current transformer condition and allows a classification of transformers to decide on maintenance
practice. [1] [6] [13] [14] [16]
3. STATUS INDICATOR EXPERT SYSTEM (xSI) OVERVIEW
The most important elements in the electrical transmission and distribution network are the power
transformers, the circuit breakers and the instrument transformers. The operators have to monitor these
equipments because of the maintenance and operating reasons, too. The Status Indicator (xSI) expert
system provide a good possibility for technical evaluate and comparison of diagnostically results. The
xSI has 3 sub expert system:
- Transformer Status Indicator Expert System (TSI)
- Instrument Transformer Status Indicator Expert System (ITSI)
- Circuit Breaker Status Indicator Expert System (CBSI)
The Status Indicator Expert System (xSI) considers the diagnostically results, other environmental
parameters and the risk and gives responsible review of the status of the elements. The xSI expert
system can describe the condition of the equipments only a few parameters: status of the equipment,
reliability and theoretically minimum and maximum values of the status. This result helps to compare
conditions of the mentioned elements [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [7].
3.1. Computation method
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The input parameter groups (physical effects) contain the coherent data (physical values) for the
responsible evaluating. The result, Status Indicator gives the average value of the status of the
equipment.
3.1.1. Classification
The groups of the physical values (e.g.: breakdown voltage, annual average temperature etc.) are the
physical effects (oil test, DGA, RVM, etc.). Every physical effect has a weighting (Ki) factor, what
represents the influence of the degradation of the insulation. For the calculation, each physical value
range transformed a 0-1 range (classification value - Si) according to the diagram. The range of the
classification value is between 0-1, the 1 is the right, suitable, 100%, and the 0 is: wrong, unsuitable,
0%. From the physical value (Pi) to a classification value (Si) function is a linear relation between the
breaking points. The breakpoints determined by the physical value and its limit. If the function
between the physical value (Pi) and classification value (Si) is not monotone, there are more than two
breaking points in the curve.[4] [5] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [14] [15]

In the existing computation method the xSI use a linear and fuzzyficated evaluation. The steps of the
computation are the next:
3.1.2. xSI CODE
Now the xSI expert system is using the linear evaluation method for computing the xSI factor except
for the DGA where the xSI using the fuzzyficated evaluating system. The typical equation for
calculating the xSI Code is the next (equation (1)):

=
=

=
6
1
6
1
2
i
i
i
i
i
W
W S
xSIC
(1)
Where the Si is the classification value, Wi is the weight of each physical value.
3.1.3. xSI FACTOR
The output of the expert system is the status of the insulation. This number is the xSI factor. The xSI
factor can be calculated by using a xSI code and xSI weights (Ki).
TABLE I. THE TSI WEIGHTS (K
I
)
i Physical effects K
j
Code range (TSIC
i
) Reliability range
1 Dissolved Gas Analyzing (DGA) 10 0-1 0-1
2 Oil test 8 0-1 0-1
3 Recovery Voltage Measurement (RVM) 7 0-1 0-1
4 Insulation resistance 8 0-1 0-1
5 Capacitance dielectric loss factor (tg) 7 0-1 0-1
6 Thermograph (infrared camera) 7 0-1 0-1
7 Exterior and auxiliary equipments quality 8 0-1 0-1
8 Age 8 0-1 0-1
9 Maintenance history 6 0-1 0-1
10 Location in the grid 4 0-1 0-1
11 Operational history (loading) 8 0-1 0-1
12 Geographical data 4 0-1 0-1
13 Furan content 6 0-1 0-1
14 Short circuit impedance measurement 6 0-1 0-1
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With the (2) equation can be calculated the TSI factor (TSIF):

=
=
=
=
=
=

=
13
11
14
11
10
6
10
6
5
1
5
1
2 , 0 3 , 0 5 , 0
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
i
K
K xSIC
K
K xSIC
K
K xSIC
xSIF
(2)
The multiplication coefficients in the (2) are showing the number of the failure, what was caused by
that effect. The xSI factor (xSIF) is a number between 0-1.
3.2. Reliability
3.2.1. Availability of measurement results
From the available diagnostic results can be calculated the xSI expert system. In reality not every
measurement is taken every time, that is why not every data will be refreshed in the system. Our
expert system gives the two following solutions to this problem.
3.2.2. There is no physical value or measurement result
The xSI connects a reliability factor (Zi) for each physical value. Zi=1, if there is a new value of the
current physical factor, Zi=0, if there is not. The reliability of xSI comes from the physical values
reliability.
In the calculation of xSI the physical value is taken into consideration but the classification value of
this, is zero. With this method we can bottom-up estimate the condition of the instrument transformer
if there is not every data available. The reliability can be calculated same as the xSIF.
3.2.3. One of the diagnostic results refreshed, but there is no complete
diagnostic
In some cases there are several measurements between two complex diagnostic measurements. In
these cases not all of the values are refreshed in the system. In case of this fact the before mentioned
method cannot be used because the reliability level should be too low.
At this time the classification is based on the previous measurements results. Based on our experience
we can say that the average condition degradation rate is not so fast, because of this we can take into
consideration most of the parameters for a short time with the previous value without any mistakes.
Naturally the stability of condition cannot be ignored. This changing is realized by the decrementing
of reliability. The reliability decrementing is based on the time based maintenance strategy. Based on
this, the reliability of the results have to be decremented until the next measurements time. [4] [5]
4. Circuit Breaker Status Indicator (CBSI)
The CBSI expert system consider the diagnostic results and environmental parameters, the risk and
gives responsible review of the status of the circuit breaker. The input parameter groups contain the
coherent data for the responsible evaluating. Circuit Breaker Status Indicator gives the average value
of the status of the circuit breaker.
Operational parameters: Oil test, conductivity, insulation, static parameters, dynamic parameters,
drive, SF6 gas parameters (if needed), capacitor, secondary equipment, load history (short circuit
energy)
Environment parameters: Age, network parameters, climate, general condition
5. Instrument Transformer Status Indicator (ITSI)
The ITSI expert system consider the diagnostic results and environmental parameters, the risk and
gives responsible review of the status of the instrument transformer. The input parameter groups
contain the coherent data for the responsible evaluating. Instrument Transformer Status Indicator gives
the average value of the status of the instrument transformer.
Operational parameters: DGA, oil test, furan content, insulation resistant, absorption factor, Dielectric
loss factor (tg), capacity, partial discharge,
In case of SF6 gas insulation: gas pressure and refill, leakage control, laboratory tests on SF6 gas
Environment parameters: General condition, age, climate, overvoltage counting
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6. Transformer Status Indicator (TSI)
The TSI expert system consider the diagnostic results and environmental parameters and the risk and
gives responsible review of the status of the transformer. The input parameter groups contain the
coherent data for the responsible evaluating. Transformer Status Indicator gives the average value of
the status of the circuit breaker. [1] [4]

Operational parameters: Dissolved Gas Analyzing (DGA), Oil test, Recovery Voltage Measurement
(RVM), Insulation resistance, Capacitance dielectric loss factor (tg), Thermograph (infrared camera),
Exterior and auxiliary equipments quality, Maintenance history, Operational history (loading), Furan
content, Short circuit impedance measurement

Environment parameters: Age, Location in the grid, Geographical data

For the overview of the physical effects and their weight factor see the TABLE I.
6.1. Practical result of application of the TSI
The TSI expert system was tested by several HV/MV transformer from the Hungarian distribution
network. Unfortunately, the necessary data are not available for every transformer in every necessary
time [1]. There are only 34,2% (average) and 64,3% (maximum) of the necessary data available at the
same time. The availability of the data effects the changing of reliability level.
The status of the insulation is represented by the TSI factor (TSIF). The curve of the time function of
the TSIF is the changing of the status (see Figure 1. ). It contains the ageing phenomena and other
necessary information for the evaluating [4]Erreur ! Source du renvoi introuvable.. With these
informations the TSI expert system serves the conditional based maintenance strategy in the asset
management system. The Figure 2. shows some relevant evaluating parameter Erreur ! Source du
renvoi introuvable.[12] [15]
- Measured and calculated degradation speed (average)
- Increased TSI represents the reconstruction (time and volume). The equipment on the Figure 1.
not reconstructed.
- Fault level (calculated by statistical data).
- Increased lifetime (expectation of life): determined by the volume of the reconstruction (on site
or in the manufacture) and the average degradation speed


Figure 1. Diagram of a transformer evaluation
between 2000-2011

Figure 2. Relevant evaluating possibilities
Using these useful informations the operator can plan the reconstruction or maintenance of each
transformers.
In the TSI system there are no exact information (TSI factor levels) about the failure level yet. These
values will calculate from statistical and practical information and evaluation.
7. Statistical estimation
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Estimation of the status based on statistical (mathematic) methods. These methods can estimate the
(full) status about few sample of the population. But we need to consider that fact, not all of
equipments has the same charasteristic (operational, environment, type, voltage level, etc) there are a
little differences. Because of it we need to use homogen groups of the equipments [3].
7.1. Homogen group of the equipment
The members of this group are very similar equipments. They have a same loading, voltage level, type
etc. The estimated lifetime can be calculated using the failure distribution diagramm (see Figure 3. ) of
the homogen group. [18]

Figure 3. failure distribution of homogen groups
On the Figure 3. the black line is the rate of the failure of the new equipment in function of the age of
this equipment. The blue (dashed) line is the estimated lifetime. The shape of this curve not the same if
the lifetime is in this range of the age, because the equipment lived this time (see Figure 3. the failure
rate is not estimated ). As the Figure 3. shows, the estimated lifetime is more than 40 years. The
estimated lifetime for the new equipments (black line in the Figure 3. ) less than the equipments in
operation. We need to consider this fact in the statistical evaluation.
8. CONCLUSION
In this work, the introduced evaluating system, called Status Indicator (xSI) Expert System
provide a good possibility for technical evaluate and provide comparison of diagnostically results of
different equipments. The TSI support the condition based maintenance strategy, so it helps for the
operators to select the indigent element to get maintenance or a reconstruction while minimized the
cost of the asset management. The xSI evaluating system can describe the condition of the insulation
only a few parameters: status of the equipment, reliability and theoretically minimum and maximum
values of the status. Because the system consider the discrete diagnostically results and other
environmentally parameters. In this work, after the developing process, the TSI evaluating system
tested by real data from the Hungarian distribution system.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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[5] B. Nmeth, Sz. Laboncz, Cs. Vrs, I Kiss: Fuzzy logic and transformer status indicator based
expert system for DGA analysis, International Symposium on High Voltage Engineering (ISH
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[6] CIGRE Technical Brochure 343: Recommendations for condition monitoring and condition
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