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Extension of Life Span of Pawer Transformer by --Site

Haterials

Improvement of InSUhtinq

B Pahlavanpour*, R Linaker** and E Povazan**

International experience gained over the last twenty years may lead to a more cost
effective use of our transformer assets. This claim is based upon a change in
maintenance practices, leading in turn to a reduction in the ageing rate of
cellulose insulation.

A number Of researchers have studied the ageing of cellulose and demonstrated the
deleterious effect of high temperature, moisture and air on paper life (1, 2,3,4).
This is expressed as a reduction in degree of polymerisation (DP). At low DP
values the paper would be brittle and unable to withstand a mechanical shock. In
1987 Rogers and Fyfe ( 5 ) proposed applying a heating load to the LV windings of
a transformer whilst alternately filling with hot oil and applying a high vacuum.
From this they proposed that additional service life could be obtained by drying
a transformer out to its factory moisture level state. Other important features
creating damage are high levels of acidity and sludge. Uyers, Kelly, Parrish (6)
explain how acids and peroxides are attracted to and absorbed by the cellulose with damaging effect - thus acid and sludge removal is a necessary part of the
"arresting" of insulation degradation.
Figure 1 shows a life prediction for a
transformer operating at 90-C. which, for the sake of this example has a potential
life expectancy of 50 years under ideal conditions.
Realistically, natural
deterioration caused by a combination of heat, oxygen, copper and paper,
accelerated by inherent moisture and acidity, would cause a deterioration in DP,
typically illustrated on curve ''Bl', resulting in a real life expectancy of perhaps
3 5 years. Figure 2 demonstrates the affect of "arresting" the decrease in DP by
extracting moisture and acid which is causing the continuous CellUlOSe
degradation, reducing moisture content to say lppm in cellulose at points of 15
years and 25 years respectively. After taking into account the gradual return to
original moisture levels in the following years, an expected benefit of 8 and 5
years respectively would result, assuming that no effort is made to reduce the
future build up of moisture, eg, an extended use of the cooling system fans and
pumps to maintain lower working temperatures or by the use of a refrigerated
breather system, both of which would result in a slorrer build up of moisture
Content. This paper is about a new philosophy in preventative servicing Of a
vital part of the Electricity supply System - THE POWER TRANSFORMER. We believe
we have the means to successfully arrest this deterioration and thus give the
transformer a potential life extension - this can be applied a number of times in
the transformer lifetime - without de-energieing the transformer.
Practical Application
Mobile oil regeneration unit, capacity 5,000 L/HR, connected as shown Fig 3, to
'on load' 275/132kV transformer; in -various operating modes VIZ.
ELght hour
regeneration mode (full acid/eludge treatment plus degaseer), then 16 hour clay
reactivation with degasser, then repeated on 24 hour basis.
Unit uses inherent hot oil plus own heater to dissolve sludge, pick up moisturer
acid and particulate contaminants whilst feeding clean oil, dry oil into
transformer top hose connection to coolers.
The National Grid Company plc, Kelvin Avenue, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7ST

* * IMEX On-Line Service Ltd, 280 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2

6/1

5RL

SAFETY NEASURES
One way top connection valve, fail safe bottom connection valve
closed by l o w level trip in conservator which also shuts down processor in case
of possible hose rupture. Start up procedure designed to avoid introduction of
air into transformer, remote signal for unmanned trip out facility.
R e s u l t s and Conclusions
Acidity, dielectric strength, moisture and IFT were measured prior to treatment
then at several stages during processing.
Other tests including oxidation
stability carried out at NGR&DC, Leatherhead.

The results as shown on Table 1 indicate an improvement of each parameter tested.


Based upon the research work described previously it would 6eem reasonable to
judge that the improvement in the oil condition reflects a similar improvement in
the cellulose insulation and thus an improvement in the life expectancy.
Based upon previous experience we recommend that fitting of some form of low rate
water extraction device to counter the rise of moisture in oil which follows such
a treatment.
R e f erences

(1)

(2)
(3)

(4)
(5)

(6)

LawSon, W. G., Siminons, M. A. and Gale, P. S. "Thermal Ageing of Cellulose


Paper Insulation", IEEE Trans on Electrical Insulation, Vol El-12 No 1,
February 1977, pp 61-66.
shroff, D. H. and Stannett, A. W., "A Review of Paper Ageing in Power
Transformers", IEE Proceedings Vol 132, No 6, November 1985, pp 312-319.
L a m p , W., Spicer, E. and Carrander, K.,
"Continuous Purification and
Supervision of Transformer Insulation Systems", IEEE/PES Winter Meeting
1978, Paper A78 111-7.
Bouvier, B, "New Criteria for Characteristics of Thermal Degradation of
Paper Based on Insulation", RGE, Vol 79 No 6, June 1970, pp 489-496.
Rogers, R. R . and Fyfe, A. W. "Transformer Life Extension", International
COnf Revitalising Trans and Dist System, IEE, Savoy Place 25-27 Feb 1987.
Myers, S.D.,
Kelly, J. J., Parrish, R. H., "A Guide to Transformer
Maintenance", Transformer Maintenance Institute, Akron, Ohio, ISBN 0-93932000-2, Second print 1988.

TEST

RES .TS

WTBOD

Before

Process
Kinematic Viscosity at 40-C
Density at 20 C
Moisture Content
Acidity mg KoH/g
Sulphur Content %
Aromatic Carbon %
Oxidation Stability, 164 Hours
Total Acidity
Sludge %
Corrosive Sulphur
Interfacial tension at 25-C

852000
BS4714
8.56725
IP1
ICP
IR
BS148

855680
IS06295

After
Process

12.5
0.877
19
0.15
0.1310
9.5
0.45
0.20

12.4
0.876
2
c0.03
0.1152
9.5
0.34

Positive
34

Negative
51

0.15

Table 1: Results of Analysis for Transformer Oil Before and After Processing.

6f2

Transformer

Resldual Life Prediction


(operating temp, 9O'C)

1000

Legend

---

ideal State AgeingA

AverEigO X-former. E
Paper. 2% mOSNI0

End 01 X.former We

DP-200

100

10

15

25

20

35

30

40

-~
50

4.5

age yean

Fig. 1

The expected lite of a transformerIn Ideel wndmons Is mown nere ta tm 50 yeerr wwe A Pranically the tame nandomer
installed some lwenty or thiw years ago would be expected Io Ian In this instanw. 35 years wwe 8 The useful age iimt of
a transformer can oe considered i o be when tne oaoer insuiahan reaches a DP of 200 (c f re1 L a m p ) With the proper tmdmen1 at a b u t mid-lite tne life of an In-sewlca transformercan De extended prsdiaabiy by some years

(see fig 4)

Transformer Residual bfe Prediction

(operating temp, 9O'C)


Case I

1000 -

Legend

Ideal State Age1ng.A


TypfwJ X-lormsr.(B)

- .-....

Paper 29'a maislure

End of X.farmer Llfe

DP-200

100

..~

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

agm. y a m

Fig 2

l
has its insulation svstem regeneraled tn situ and in vivo 1 5 years atler installatian The paper
Case I A ~ p i c atransformer
htu already delenorated to a DP of about 520 Atler the transferrer has been brought IO 11s near ideal state me lranslormer
can be @x!2*cfed to age nor .long its new iaeal ageing cuwe 1 2 but along a more reaitslic agelng line 1 3 The OlllPaPer
system's inuaas8 in Ide exwnancy is snown by the distanm x - 3. anout eignl years (I e an inaease 01 aoaul 20%)

613

T R R N S F 0 R E1E R
M R I N TRNK

SUCTION

>

r
D>
ELIUERV
l

t1.R.U.

Fig.3
Schematic diagram of the arrangement for on load
treatment of a power transformer.

VALVE DESC'RIF'T ION5


1 and 2 S e l e c t o r F i l l l n y and Ilraln

v/.;

3 and 9 T r a n s f o r m e r TOD and Eottom M a i n T a n k

4 M.R.U Delivery

Foilit

5 and 6 R a d i a t o r TOD and Eotrom Header

'

' J ~ V

Conservator israin v / v

8 [Conservator F i l l l n y Flange

614