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STANDARD

TITLE: SAMPLING AND TESTING OF MINERAL


INSULATING OIL FOR POWER
TRANSFORMERS,
REACTORS AND SWITCHGEAR

REFERENCE
REV
ESKASAAF1
2
DATE: OCTOBER 1998
PAGE
OF 31
1
REVISION DATE:
OCTOBER 2001

COMPILED BY

FUNCTIONAL RESP.

AUTHORIZED BY

....................................
J P Boshoff
for the IOSC

....................................
M Hunter
Chairman IOSC

....................................
P A Faling
ED (T)

This document has been seen and accepted by:

B T Crookes
R S Dabengwa
J A de Beer
V Ngubeni
D Beatt
J H Begg
L A Carlo
V Padayachee

Executive Director, Generation


Executive Director, Distribution
Executive Director, Technology
Executive Director, Services
Senior Consultant (Petroleum Chemistry)
Acting Generation Engineering Manager
Acting Distribution Technology Manager
Operational Engineering Manager

Contents
Page
Foreword .......................................................................................................................................

Acknowledgement ........................................................................................................................

1 Scope........................................................................................................................................

2 Normative references ...............................................................................................................

3 Definitions .................................................................................................................................

4 Requirements ...........................................................................................................................

4.1
4.2

Operational ...................................................................................................................
Management..................................................................................................................

4
10

Oil sampling procedure ............................................................................................................


Oil sample label .......................................................................................................................
Drum sampler and its use ........................................................................................................
Correct drum storage methods ................................................................................................
Information regarding oil filling .................................................................................................
On-site dielectric-strength test procedure ................................................................................
Oil testing and dissolved gas analysis information ..................................................................
Equilibrium curves ...................................................................................................................
Table J.1 Test requirements SABS 555................................................................................
After-hours emergency service for transformer oil analysis ....................................................
Revision information ................................................................................................................

12
16
17
18
21
22
25
28
29
30
35

Annexes
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
J
K
L

MGM/hd1367/AS-9/April 97

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TRANSFORMERS, REACTORS AND
SWITCHGEAR

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Foreword
This standard was prepared by the Insulating Oil Steering Committee comprising the following
members:
D Beatt
J Boshoff
M Cary
T Dalton
D Hayes
M Hunter (Chairman)
M Jacobs
A Lombard
B Rencken
T Sinden
H van Tonder

Technology
Transmission
Rotek
Distribution
Transmission
CRM
Distribution
Technology
Generation
Rotek
Technology Environmental Audit

This document replaces the following documents:


NWS 1076, The use, sampling and testing of mineral insulating oil for high voltage plant.
EVS 051:Rev.0, Sampling and testing of mineral insulating oil for power transformers and reactors.
Annexes A, B, C, D and F are normative annexes and annexes E, G, H, J, K and L are informative
annexes.
NOTE All comments for revising/updating this document must be directed to the Oil Steering Committee, Megawatt
Park, who will in turn liaise with the Technology Standardization Manager.
Telephone:
800-2861
Fax No.
800-2779
Boshofjp@MP3NIS1.eskom.co.za
P O Box 1091, Johannesburg, 2000

Queries concerning any requirement of this standard that cannot be met, must be directed to the
compiler of this standard, Mr J P Boshoff at Megawatt Park Tel. (011) 800-4095 or Fax
(011) 800-2779.

Acknowledgement
Acknowledgement is given to all persons and institutions for their contribution in compiling this
document. In particular:

ABB Powertech (Pty.) Ltd


Castrol South Africa (Pty.) Ltd.
Rotek Engineering (Pty.) Ltd.
Technology Research and Investigations Oil Laboratory.
The Insulation Oil Steering Committee.

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1 Scope
1.1 Purpose
To formalize a standard for the management, sampling and testing of mineral insulating oil for power
transformers, reactors and switchgear.

1.2 Applicability
This standard is applicable to oil-filled power transformers, reactors and switchgear and defines the
type of oil to be used, the frequency of sampling, and the type of tests to be used.
It does not apply to oil-filled instrument transformers or transformer bushings.

2 Normative references
The following standards contain provisions that, through reference in the text, constitute requirements
of this standard. At the time of publication the editions indicated were valid. All standards are subject
to revision and parties to agreements based on this standard are encouraged to investigate the
possibility of applying the most recent editions of the standards listed below. Information on currently
valid national and international standards may be obtained from the Information Centre at Megawatt
Park and Technology Standardization Department.
IEC 60156:1995, Insulating liquids Determination of the breakdown voltage at power frequency
Test method.
IEC 60422:1989, Supervision and maintenance guide for mineral insulating oils in electrical equipment.
SABS 555:1985, Mineral insulating oil for transformers and switchgear (uninhibited).
ESKASAAC2:Rev.0, Management of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).
ESKSCAAB0:Rev.1, Substation auxiliary transformers.
SCSSCAAD3:Rev.0, Specification for large power transformers up to 132 kV in the rating range of
2,5 MVA to 80 MVA.

3 Definitions
3.1 energizing: When voltage is applied to the unit. This will include the term soaking or on load.
3.2 filtered oil (polishing): Oil that has been filtered to improve the dielectric strength to
70 kV/2,5 mm gap and water content to 10 mg/kg.

3.3 new oil: Virgin oil which complies in all respects with SABS 555. However, the following tests
limits shall apply before filling into dedicated oil containers for shipment and usage:

Dielectric strength (DS) not lower than 70 kV/2,5 mm gap.

Water content (WC) not more than 10 mg/kg (or p.p.m.)

3.4 power transformers are referred to as Units: For the purpose of this standard all units are:
generator transformers, generator unit transformers, system transformers (as in NWS 1532) and their
auxiliaries (as in ESKSCAAB0), and reactors. It excludes distribution transformers covered by
NWS 1531 and NRS 027.

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3.5 regenerated oil: Reprocessed used oil which complies in all respects with SABS 555. However,
the following tests limits shall apply before filling into dedicated oil containers for shipment and usage:

Dielectric strength (DS) not lower than 70 kV/2,5 mm gap.

Water content (WC) not more than 10 mg/kg (or p.p.m.).

3.6 specialist: An experienced Eskom person who regularly performs specific tasks for which he has
been specially educated and trained and of which he has and maintains an in-depth knowledge.
3.7 topping-up: Refers to the action of correcting the oil level in a conservator tank, where the level
of the oil is not lower than the Buchholz relay. If the oil is below the Buchholz level, the filling procedure
shall apply.

4 Requirements
4.1 Operational
4.1.1 Sampling requirements
4.1.1.1 General
Oil sampling shall be carried out as described in annex A.
Oil samples shall be clearly and fully labelled as illustrated in annex B.
Oil samples shall be protected against rough handling and extreme temperatures during storage and
transport.
An approved sampling device for taking samples from drums to test for dielectric strength (DS) and
water content (WC), is detailed in annex C.
Generator unit transformers, irrespective of voltage rating, are of such importance that they shall be
treated as >40 kV transformers in terms of this standard.
Substation auxiliary transformers and neutral earthing compensators (NECs) associated with power
transformers shall not be sampled routinely (refer to 4.1.1.3 b).
4.1.1.2 Preferred oil sampling points
The same sampling point shall be used for every routine sample. This shall be labelled Routine
sampling point.
a) Units with a Buchholz gas relay
The valve at the end of the Buchholz relay oil pipe shall be used as the routine sampling point and
it shall be marked accordingly.
NOTE It may be necessary to replace inadequately sized copper tubing and/or valve to obtain a satisfactory flow
of approximately 500 ml/min, or take a maximum of 5 min to fill a 1 l sample container.

Refer to A.3.1 in annex A.


b) Units without a Buchholz relay or tubing to ground level from the Buchholz relay.
The transformer main tank drain valve shall be used as the routine sampling point and it shall be
marked accordingly.

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Refer to A.3.2 in annex A.


4.1.1.3 Routine oil sampling frequency
a) Units with a highest voltage of 40 kV and above
One sample is required in each of the following cases:
1)

before energizing:

for newly installed, new or repaired units, at least 7 days after in-situ oil processing has
been completed, to test for dielectric strength, dissolved gas analysis (DGA), and acidity
(A), but with the main emphasis on water content. Samples taken sooner will not
necessarily reflect the correct water content (WC),
and,

at the same time, a separate sample from the on-load tapchanger diverter switch
conservator for DS and WC only;

2)

2 days after energizing, (refer to 3.1) to test for DS, WC, and DGA;

3)

after the 1 , 3 and 6 month from date of energizing for DS, WC and DGA;

4)

thereafter, routinely for DS, WC, DGA and A as follows:

st

rd

th

all generator transformers, generator unit transformers and reactors:

6 monthly

power transformers with highest voltages 220 kV and above:

6 monthly

power transformers of between 40 kV and 220 kV:

annually.

b) Units with highest voltages below 40 kV


Routine oil sampling and DGA of transformers in this group is normally not required, but this will be
done at the discretion of the user (i.e. sampled on a need only basis).
However, one sample to test for DS and WC, is required for acceptance purposes:
a) before despatch from the manufacturer;
or
b) before commissioning on site.
Records of the oil sample results shall be kept for future reference purposes.
c)

On-load tapchanger diverter switches (all voltage categories)

A sample, to test for WC and DS only, shall be taken before commissioning and thereafter
annually. This sample shall be taken from the tapchanger diverter conservator or diverter drain
valve.

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When maintenance on or an oil change of the on-load tapchanger diverter switch is undertaken, a
sample shall be taken to test for DS and WC in each of the following cases:
a) before any work is performed
and
b) after the work has been completed but before commissioning.
NOTE The sample taken before maintenance is to establish unnecessary or under-maintenance.

4.1.1.4 Non-routine oil sampling


a) Transformer trip/alarm
A sample shall be taken, preferably from the Buchholz relay, when an internal fault is suspected.
b) Storage/extended outage
If a unit is to remain de-energized or stored for 12 months or more, an oil sample shall be taken,
preferably while the unit is still hot, in order to obtain the best reference for moisture content. Prior
to re-energizing, the unit shall be considered as new, and sampled as in 4.1.1.3.
Sample labels shall be clearly marked to indicate whether the unit is in storage or on extended
outage.

4.1.2 Oil requirements


4.1.2.1 Storage of transformer oil
Small drums (20 l) shall always be stored indoors and the oil tested and used immediately after
unsealing. Large drums (210 l) shall be stored as described in annex D, ensuring that there is a head
of oil above the bungs to prevent the entry of water. The seals shall be removed under cover, and the
oil tested immediately and, if possible, used on the completion of the tests. The prolonged storage of
broached drums shall be avoided.
The use of VAC-PACK liners shall only be acceptable from approved suppliers using approved filling
procedures.
Tanks for bulk storage shall be completely sealed with properly fitted and maintained dehydrating
breathers. If possible, all valves and communicating pipelines shall be protected from the weather and
particularly from driving rain.
4.1.2.2 Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) contamination
Testing for PCB contamination shall be done by Eskoms TRI oil laboratory.
All oil in bulk storage tanks, particularly at workshops, which is intended for re-use in equipment,
independent of voltage rating, shall be tested for PCB contamination to avoid the spreading thereof
(refer to ESKASAAC2).
All oil submitted for reprocessing or regeneration shall also be tested for PCB contamination, unless
relevant certification, which has been verified by the Senior Consultant - Petroleum Chemistry, is
available.
All virgin oil purchased shall have a zero count PCB certificate, and records thereof shall be kept.
PCB contaminated oil shall be stored separately in containers which are clearly marked and dealt with
in accordance with ESKASAAC2.

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Retrofilled transformers shall be re-tested for PCB content and re-certified one year after retrofilling.
4.1.2.3 Oil containers
Stationary tanks, oil bags or drums dedicated to insulating oil only, shall be used for oil storage. Oil
drums shall be stored in accordance with the procedure in annex D.
Oil containers contaminated with dirty oil shall not be used for good oil, as defined in 3.3 and 3.5,
unless such containers are first properly cleaned.
4.1.2.4 Oil suppliers
The oil supplier shall guarantee that the oil delivered complies with the zero count PCB requirement.
This guarantee shall be in the form of a certificate and records thereof shall be kept for auditing
purposes.
The oil supplier shall guarantee that, at the point of loading into dedicated supplier/Eskom tankers, the
oil conforms to the requirements of new oil or regenerated oil as defined in 3.3 and 3.5 respectively.
This guarantee shall be in the form of a certificate, of which a copy shall accompany the delivery note.
Records thereof shall be kept for auditing purposes.
a) Oil supplied in tankers
On delivery at site, and before transfer to another container (i.e. drums, bags, units, etc.), the oil
shall be tested for DS. The minimum DS shall be 60 kV/2,5 mm gap. This sample shall be taken
at the physical point of delivery, i.e. the end of the tanker supply hose.
b) Oil supplied in drums
Drums are sealed at the point of loading by the supplier and site testing on delivery is therefore not
necessary. However, oil in drums shall be tested before use. The minimum DS shall be
60 kV/2,5 mm gap.
Transportation and storage: Drums shall be positioned either with the two bungs in a horizontal
line position or upside down i.e. bungs down. Refer to annex D.
c) Regeneration of oil
Only batch regeneration is acceptable. The oil shall be re-refined batch-wise to comply in all
respects with SABS 555 and be tested to the requirements of SABS 555 table 1, with the exception
that prior to use, the oil shall comply with the DS and WC requirements of this document.
Certification of compliance shall be kept on each batch of oil regenerated for audit purposes.
d) Dielectric strength, water content and acidity
The DS test shall be performed in accordance with IEC 60156.
All oil supplied to site shall be pre-processed to be degassed and shall have a minimum DS of
70 kV/2,5 mm gap and a maximum WC of 10 mg/kg, with an acidity (A) of not more than 0,03 mg
KOH/g.

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4.1.2.5 Oil for filling units


Only new oil as defined in item 3.3 shall be used for the first filling of new units or units where all the
insulation has been replaced with new insulation (see annex E).
Oil filling shall only be done by or under the supervision of specialists. The manufacturers filling
procedure and specifications shall be followed.
4.1.2.6 Oil for topping up units
Caution Topping-up refers to the action of correcting the oil level in a conservator tank. If the oil is
below the Buchholz level, the filling procedure shall apply (refer to 4.1.2.5).
Only new or regenerated oil supplied in tankers or drums, as referred to in 4.1.2.4 a) or 4.1.2.4 b)
where applicable, shall be used for topping up.
4.1.2.7 Oil tests and limits: new or repaired units
Caution Where the test limits for oil as specified by the manufacturer are more stringent than those
specified below, the manufacturers test limits shall apply. This shall be applicable to units of all
voltage ratings.
a) Laboratory tests
The following routine oil tests shall be carried out in accordance with procedures as laid down by
the Senior Consultant (Petroleum Chemistry), TRI oil laboratory, Rosherville.
1) DS;
2) DGA;
3) A; and
4) WC.
b) Test limits for oil in units before commissioning
All new or repaired units shall only be commissioned after the test results of the oil comply with the
following limits (refer to 4.1.1.3 a) 1).
1) DS not lower than 70 kV/2,5 mm gap;
2) WC not more than 10 mg/kg.
The oil to be used shall comply with the requirements of 4.1.2.4 before filling the unit.
c) Test limits for oil in units before re-energizing
Units on outage for less than 1 month may be re-energized without an oil sample taken.
For units on outage for longer than 1 month, an oil sample shall be required. The unit shall only be
re-energized if the sample analysis results are satisfactory.
d) On-site tests for topping-up oil
Caution The maximum test voltage of old versions of oil test equipment is 60 kV.
equipment may be used providing the 60 kV test level is held for at least 1 min.
Topping-up oil shall have a dielectric strength of not less than 60 kV/2,5 mm gap.

This

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e) Test limits for oil in on-load tapchanger diverter switch after maintenance and before
commissioning
1) DS not lower than 60 kV/2,5 mm gap;
2) WC not more than 10 mg/kg.
4.1.2.8 In-service oil test limits
Caution The manufacturers test limits shall apply if these are more stringent than those specified
below.
a) Units in service
The oil laboratory test results (refer to 4.1.2.7(a)) shall be examined by the chemist and
subsequent recommendations, after consultation with other specialists where necessary, shall be
included in the report. Minimum test limits for oil in service:
1) DS:60 kV/2,5 mm gap for units with a highest voltage of 88 kV and above;
2) DS:50 kV/2,5 mm gap for units with a highest voltage of 66 kV and below;
3) WC: Refer to guidelines in annex H;
4) A: refer to 4.1.2.8 c).
b) On-load tapchanger diverter switch in service
1) DS:40 kV/2,5 mm gap minimum;
2) WC: 30 mg/kg maximum.
c) Acidity in units
The acidity of oil in a unit shall be related to the age of the unit. Decisions regarding the
replacement or treatment of the oil in such units, based on the acidity concentration shall be made
by the TRI oil laboratory together with transformer specialists who shall consider all relative factors.
4.1.2.9 Switchgear (circuit-breakers and tap changers)
NOTE Regenerated oil is preferred for use in switchgear.

Oil to be used in switchgear shall be:


a) re-generated or virgin oil (virgin oil shall only be used when regenerated oil is not available);
b) certified in accordance with ESKASAAF1 at source (min. 70 kV and max. 10 mg/kg - refer 3.2 and
3.3);
c) handled in accordance with ESKASAAF1;
d) DS tested on-site before and after filling the switchgear: the DS shall, as a minimum, be
50 kV/2,5 mm gap in the switchgear before energizing;

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e) the oil shall be classified as non-PCB (i.e.: less than 45 mg/kg PCB count).
f)

in-service oil
1) no routine oil sampling is necessary;
2) oil shall be changed in accordance with normal maintenance intervals accepted for switchgear.

g) Used oil
1) drums with used switchgear oil shall be marked as such to ease identification and classification
when returned for re-generation;
2) used switchgear oil and used transformer oil shall be stored in different containers;
3) if switchgear oil is mixed with transformer oil, the container shall be marked switchgear oil;
4) shall be scrapped if deemed necessary.

4.1.3 Test reports


Technology Research Division shall maintain and safeguard an electronic databank accessible through
Eskoms computer network. This information is considered to be a long-term asset to Eskom. It shall
not preclude users from downloading results from the central database to serve their own particular
data recording requirements.
Copies of all oil test results and reports produced by approved chemical laboratories other than
Technology Research Division, shall be incorporated in the central Technology Research Division
databank and the recommendations shall be verified.

4.2 Management
4.2.1 Responsibilities
4.2.1.1 The Business Unit (BU) shall be responsible for
a) taking oil samples from the plant at the frequencies required by this standard, or as recommended
by the Senior Consultant (Petroleum Chemistry), Technology Research Division or a transformer
specialist. These shall be carried out in accordance with the procedures stated in annexes A and
C.
b) delivering oil samples for analysis to a laboratory approved by the Senior Consultant (Petroleum
Chemistry), Technology Research Division.
c) the handling and storage of all oils received for use in the BU and oil sent for regeneration or
disposal.
d) ensuring that equipment where PCBs are identified is clearly marked and managed in accordance
with ESKASAAC2.
e) ensuring that only approved oil is used (refer to 3.2, 3.3 and 3.5).
f)

nominating the BU representative(s) to whom oil test results shall be directed.

g) monitoring trending oil sample results and recommendations, including taking the recommended
action timeously.
h) maintaining all relevant records.

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4.2.2 The Senior Consultant (Petroleum Chemistry) at Technology Research Division shall be
responsible for
a) the timely analysis of oil samples received and recommendations of action in consultation with
other specialists.
b) informing the appropriate BU timeously of the results of the oil test analysis, and giving
recommendations.
c) maintaining, updating and safeguarding an oil test results databank system, which shall be made
available to BUs.
d) approving, auditing and certifying laboratories and their staff who are experienced in handling
insulating oils. Re-approval shall be required when staff is changed.
e) keeping abreast of the latest developments in oil technology through research and updated
methodology.

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Annex A
(normative)

Oil sampling procedure


A.1 Precautions
Hazard: Do not climb onto live units to take oil samples.

Take data for the sample labels only from the units nameplate, and NOT FROM LOGBOOKS.

Use only the approved oil sample tins and labels.

Use only the marked sample points.

A.2 Tools and equipment


A.2.1 Buchholz sampling kit
a) One 6 mm 200 mm tube
b) Sample tins
c) Sample labels
d) One 10 l bucket
e) Chamois leather

A.2.2 Main tank drain valve sampling kit


a) 50 mm valve flange and gasket
b) Hose coupling
c) One 1 m hose
d) Sample tins
e) Sample labels
f) One 10 l bucket
g) Chamois leather
h) Set of tools
Caution An oil drum for waste oil shall be available on site. This oil shall be returned for recycling.

For correct water concentration, take routine samples only in fine weather.

DO NOT touch or breathe onto oil sample.

Clean the sampling flange and valves only with a chamois leather to avoid fibres.

Clean all sampling apparatus.

Annex A

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(continued)
Caution If the sample oil does come into contact with the samplers hands or breath, the sample
shall be retaken. Fibres in the oil will drastically reduce the dielectric strength.

A.3 Procedure
A.3.1 Units fitted with a Buchholz relay, with tubing to ground level for degassing/
sampling
Caution The sample shall only be taken at ground level from the valve at the end of the tubing for
degassing/sampling.
Complete a sampling label, giving all the requested information including the reason for sampling
and the top oil gauge temperature (OTI - Oil Temperature Indicator)., Transformer data shall be taken
from the transformer nameplate.

Clean the sampling valve with a chamois leather.

Open the valve and allow approximately 0,5 l of oil to run into the waste bucket.

Close the valve and connect the 6 mm 200 mm tube to the valve.

Open the valve and again allow approximately 0,5 l of oil to run through the tube into the waste
bucket.
Rinse the tin by half filling it with oil. Replace the cap and rotate the tin slowly, ensuring that the
oil covers all areas inside the tin. Empty the tin into the waste bucket. Repeat twice.
Caution When rinsing, do not shake the tin as foaming may occur. This will have an adverse effect
on the test results, particularly the DGA, and possibly the DS, if tested soon afterwards.
Hold the tube in the neck of the tin and while avoiding foaming, fill the tin until the oil overflows.
The tube shall not touch the oil at any stage.
Place the tin on a flat surface and squeeze the sides very slightly until oil overflows. Replace the
cap firmly before releasing the pressure.
With the tin upside down, rotate the tin slowly while holding it close to the ear to listen for bubbles
resulting from incomplete filling. Retake the sample if bubbles are heard.

Ensure that samples arrive at the laboratory within one week.

A.3.2 Units without a Buchholz relay


Caution Samples shall only be taken from the transformer main tank drain valve.
Complete a sampling label, giving all the requested information including the reason for sampling
and the top oil gauge temperature (OTI Oil Temperature Indicator). Transformer data shall be taken
from the transformer nameplate.

Clean the sampling flange and valves with a chamois leather.

Remove the plug, fit the hose coupling to the sampling flange and connect the sampling hose.

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Annex A
(continued)
Open the drain valve and allow approximately 5 l of oil to run vigorously into the bucket, thereby
rinsing the hose and valve and removing any free water that may have collected in the valve and
flange.
Adjust the valve to give a steady flow. Do not operate the valve again until the sampling is
complete.
Rinse the tin by half filling it with oil. Replace the cap and rotate the tin slowly, ensuring that the
oil covers all areas inside the tin. Empty the tin into the bucket. Repeat twice.
Caution When rinsing, do not shake the tin as foaming may occur. This will have an adverse effect
on the test results, particularly the DGA and possibly the DS if tested soon afterwards.
Hold the tube in the neck of the tin and while avoiding foaming, fill the tin until the oil overflow.
The tube shall not touch the oil at any stage.
Place the tin on a flat surface and squeeze the sides very slightly until oil overflows. Replace the
cap firmly before releasing the pressure.
With the tin upside down rotate the tin slowly while holding it close to the ear to listen for bubbles
resulting from incomplete filling. Retake the sample if bubbles are heard.

Ensure that samples arrive at the laboratory within one week.

A.3.3 On-load tapchanger diverter switch sampling


Caution Samples shall only be taken from the tapchanger diverter drain pipe valve or diverter
conservator.
Since a diverter conservator typically holds only between 70 l and 200 l, depending on the
transformer size, checking the diverter conservator oil level is essential after sampling and topping-up
may be required.
Complete a sampling label, giving all the requested information including the reason for sampling
and the top oil gauge temperature (OTI Oil Temperature Indicator). Transformer data shall be taken
from the transformer nameplate.

Clean the sampling flange and valves with a chamois leather.

Remove the plug, fit the hose coupling to the sampling flange and connect the sampling hose.

Open the drain valve and allow approximately 2 l of oil to run vigorously into the bucket, thereby
rinsing the hose and valve and removing any free water that may have collected in the valve and
flanges.
Adjust the valve to give a steady flow. Do not operate the valve again until the sampling is
complete.
Rinse the tin by half filling it with oil. Replace the cap and rotate the tin slowly, ensuring that the
oil covers all areas inside the tin. Empty the tin into the bucket.
Caution When rinsing, do not shake the tin as foaming may occur. This will have an adverse effect
on the test results, particularly the DGA and possibly the DS if tested soon afterwards.

Annex A

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Hold the tube in the neck of the tin and while avoiding foaming, fill the tin until the oil overflows.
The tube shall not touch the oil at any stage.
Place the tin on a flat surface and squeeze the sides very slightly until oil overflows. Replace the
cap firmly before releasing the pressure.
With the tin upside down rotate the tin slowly while holding it close to the ear to listen for bubbles
resulting from incomplete filling. Retake the sample if bubbles are heard.

Ensure that samples arrive at the laboratory within one week.

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Annex B
(normative)

Oil sample label


(Minimum requirements)
ESKOM OIL SAMPLE LABEL
Reason for sampling ..

Business Unit .
District ..
Station ..
Bay
Manufacturer ..
Transformer / Reactor Oil Volume (l)
Year of Manufacture .
Serial Number .
Rating ... (MVA)
Highest Voltage . (kV)
Top Oil Temp. (OTI) .. (C)
Transformer
Sampling
point

Diverter
Other

Sampled by (Print) .
Tel. No.

Date sampled

..

..

Notes
Bay

Give unit bay designation (i.e. Coup. Trfr 12)

Sampling point:
Transformer

Mark this box if the sample is taken from either the Main Tank or the Buchholz and specify which
of the two in the blank space.

Diverter

Mark this box if the sample is taken from the on-load tapchanger diverter conservator or drain
valve, and specify which of the two in the blank space.

Other

Mark this box if a special sampling point has been requested and fill in which sampling point has
been used in the blank space.

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Annex C
(normative)

Drum sampler and its use

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Annex D
(normative)

Correct drum storage methods


In order to avoid the ingress of moisture into a drum, it is imperative that the drum be stored in the
correct manner. The common areas of storage and the associated pitfalls are listed below:

D.1 Outdoor storage


D.1.1 This is by far the most common storage place for oil drums. However, the drums are usually
incorrectly stored lying down with the bungs in the vertical line position. This leads to the drum
breathing over a 24 h period, since one of the two bungs is above the oil level. During the day the oil
heats up and expands expelling a measure of air. Conversely, at night when it cools down and
contracts, the moist night air is drawn in and this will condense on the metal surface inside the drum
and droplets of water will fall into the oil. Obviously the greater the extremes in temperature the greater
the amount of moist air that will be drawn into the drum.

D.1.2 Drums shall not be stored upright with the bungs up. Should it rain then rainwater will be
dammed up inside the rim of the drum almost covering the bungs. When the expansion and
contraction take place, pure water can be drawn into the drum. This will rapidly spoil that oil. (refer to
fig. D.1).

D.1.3 The correct way to store oil drums outdoors is as described in D.2.2 below.

D.2 Storage under cover


D.2.1 Drums shall not be stored upright with the bungs up. If drums must be stored upright, then
they shall be stored upside down i.e. bungs down.

D.2.2 The correct way is to store the drums horizontally with the two bungs in more or less a
horizontal line position i.e. covered by the oil inside the drum. This will prevent the drum breathing due
to any extremes in temperature which could still be experienced under cover. (refer fig. to D.2).
Where possible, the drums shall be stored on a raised surface so that when it rains, the rainwater will
not dam up against the drum: this will lead to rusting and then leaking of oil from the drum. Usually,
wooden strips 100 mm 20 mm laid end to end on the ground, provide a very good means of
protection against this. The wooden strips are commonly known as dunnage.

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Annex D
(continued)

Figure D.1 Incorrect storage of drums


Breathing of moisture by an upright drum

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Annex D
(concluded)
Error! Not a valid filename.

Figure D.2 Horizontal storage position

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Annex E
(informative)

Information regarding oil filling


Caution
1) Oil filling shall only be performed by or under the supervision of specialists using the manufacturers
filling procedure and specifications.
2) The information below is for information only, and not a procedure to be followed.
Units are normally delivered to site in three categories:

E.1 Distribution transformers in accordance with NWS 1531 and NRS 027
Units which are small enough that, when fully prepared in the factory, the total weight falls within
normal transport limits must be delivered to site ready for service. A 24 h settling time is necessary
before the unit is energized. Breather pipes on these units are blanked off and breathers must be fitted
on arrival at site.

E.2 Units in accordance with SCSSCAAD3 in the range 2 MVA to 45 MVA


Units bigger than those mentioned in E.1, where, when fully prepared, the total weight is such that they
no longer comply with normal transport requirements, must be fully prepared in the factory with only the
windings covered with oil to reduce the weight for transport.
The oil can then be topped up on site before the unit is ready for service. These units are normally
filled from oil in drums which are delivered with the unit. Full preparation must be done timeously and
the necessary breathers fitted.
Where drums are used for filling, the seals of the bungs should be examined on delivery to ensure that
they are intact. When a cold drum is taken into a warm room, or vice versa, moisture tends to
condense on the metal. The seal should not be broken until the condensed moisture has evaporated,
and equilibrium reached with ambient temperature.
Fill only to the level indicated by the manufacturer for cold oil, remembering that expansion with
temperature will cause the oil level to rise. After filling, a minimum 24 h settling time is required before
the unit is energized.

E.3 Units in accordance with SCSSCAAD3 in the range above 45 MVA


Units which are so large, that, when any oil is added, the total weight of the unit will exceed normal
transport requirements must be fully prepared in the factory and delivered to site without oil, but under
positive nitrogen pressure. The oil will be supplied in mobile tankers. The unit must then be prepared
on site and oil-filled under vacuum.
The oil in the unit must be filtered to get rid of loose cellulose fibres and possible moisture
contamination. The oil must meet the desired specification (DS = 70 kV/2,5 mm gap and
WC = 10 mg/kg at 20 C) approximately 1 week (7 days) after the oil treatment process has been
stopped. This is important since a wet condition of the paper insulation is often disguised by the fact
that the moisture in the paper takes approximately 7 days at 20 C to reach an equilibrium state with
the oil.
Therefore, oil dried on site in the unit will appear dry immediately after the treatment process is
stopped and yet, when a sample is taken days later it may be unacceptably wet.

Annex F
(normative)

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On-site dielectric-strength test procedure


Caution This procedure shall only be carried out in an environment which is dust- and moisturefree.

F.1 Test instrument


The test shall be performed using a standard test set for DS testing, such as the Baur or similar
instrument. The test shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the operating instructions and
testing procedure of the specific instrument used.

F.2 Sampling care


The DS of transformer insulating oil is exceptionally sensitive to the slightest contamination by foreign
fluids, material particles, dirt, water, and in particular, fibres. The importance of careful sampling, with
special reference to possible absorption of humidity, cannot be over emphasized. Samples of
insulating oil for dielectric strength tests shall only be taken by, or under the immediate supervision of,
persons of proven judgement, skill and experience in the handling of transformer insulating oils.

F.3 Condition of the oil


The test shall be carried out on the oil as received, without drying or degassing.

F.4 Test cell


The test cell, made of glass or plastic, shall be transparent and have an effective volume of between
300 ml and 500 ml. It shall preferably, be closed (refer fig. F.1).

F.5 Electrodes
The electrodes shall be manufactured from either copper, brass, bronze or stainless steel, and the
surfaces shall be polished. They shall be tubular in shape and fitted with rounded end caps, all to the
dimensions given in fig. F.1. The electrodes shall be mounted in a horizontal axis with the end caps
2,5 mm apart. The gap between them shall be set to an accuracy of 0,1 mm using thickness
gauges.
The electrodes shall be replaced as soon as pitting, caused by discharges, is evident.

F.6 Preparation of the cell


Before the cell is used, it shall be thoroughly cleaned, especially if it has not been used for some time.
The electrodes shall be removed, cleaned and re-installed, taking extreme care to avoid any direct
contact with hands and fingers. When finally assembled, the apparatus shall be rinsed with clean, dry,
new oil.
Immediately before use, the cell shall be rinsed (several times if possible) with the oil to be tested. The
cell is now ready to be filled with the test sample.
When the cell is not in use, it shall be filled with clean dry new oil and stored in a cool dry place, and
protected from dust.

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Annex F
(continued)

F.7 Preparation of the sample


The vessel containing the test oil shall be gently agitated and turned over several times in such a way
as to ensure, as far as possible, a homogeneous distribution of the impurities contained in the oil
without causing frothing and the formation of air bubbles.
Immediately after agitation, slowly pour the sample into the test cell, again avoiding frothing and the
forming of air bubbles.
The oil temperature at the time of the test shall be the same as that of the ambient air, preferably within
the range of 15 C to 25 C.

F.8 Test method 1 (preferred)


This test method consists of applying an increasing a.c. voltage of frequency 40 Hz to 62 Hz (c/s) to
the electrodes. The rate of increase in voltage shall be regular and in equal steps of 2 kV/s, starting
from 0 and up to the value which produces breakdown.
The breakdown voltage is the voltage reached during the test when the first spark occurs between the
electrodes, whether it be transient or established.
The test shall be repeated 6 (six) times on the same cell filling.
The first application of the voltage shall be as quick as possible after the cell has been filled, provided
there are no longer any air bubbles in the oil, and at the latest 10 (ten) min. after filling. After each
breakdown, the oil shall be gently stirred between the electrodes. For the 5 (five) subsequent tests, the
voltage shall be re-applied 1 (one) min after the disappearance of any air bubbles that may have been
formed. If the disappearance of air bubbles is not visible, it is necessary to wait 5 (five) min before the
next breakdown test is started.
The DS shall be the arithmetic mean of the 6 (six) results which have been obtained.

F.9 Test method 2 (alternative method when using 60 kV testers)


This method consists of applying an increasing a.c. voltage of frequency 40 Hz to 62 Hz (c/s) to the
electrodes. The rate of increase in voltage shall be regular and in equal steps of 2 kV/s, starting from 0
and up to 60 kV.
Hold voltage at 60 kV for 1 (one) min.
If no breakdown occurs, the oil shall be considered safe for use in transformers with a maximum
voltage up to 132 kV.

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Annex F
(concluded)
Error! Not a valid filename.

Figure F.1 Typical dielectric strength test cell

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Annex G
(informative)

Oil testing and dissolved gas analysis information


Caution This is not a procedure for interpreting dissolved gas analysis tests. It is included for
general information purposes only. Interpreting the gas analysis results is not an exact science, mainly
because of the influence of the many transformer designs. It shall therefore only be performed by
transformer specialists.

G.1 Transformer oil gas analysis


Dissolved gas analysis is a valuable technique for detecting and identifying faults occurring within
transformers and reactors. Heat, and/or electrical discharges occurring inside the unit lead to the
decomposition (breakdown) of the insulating oil and other insulating materials (paper, barrier board,
resin, etc.). Slow generation of gas may allow absorption into the oil whereas a sudden large release
of gas will not dissolve in the oil and this will cause the Buchholz relay to activate.

G.2 Gas chromatography


By separating and quantifying (measuring) the gases found dissolved in the oil the specialist can
identify the presence of an incipient fault (early warning).
The amounts and types of gases found in the oil are indicative of the severity and type of fault
occurring in the transformer. Note that the rate of gas generation is one of the most important
variables and this obviously requires more than one sample to be taken at a specified interval.
It is important to note that the results are generally given as a concentration per oil volume and that the
total oil volume is therefore important.
The separation, identification and quantification of these gases require the use of sophisticated
laboratory equipment and technical skills and can therefore only be conducted by a suitably equipped
and competent laboratory.
The key gases produced are:

Hydrogen

H2

Methane

CH4

Ethane

C2H6

Ethylene

C2H4

Acetylene

C2H2

Carbon Monoxide

CO

Carbon Dioxide

C02

Other higher hydrocarbon gases are produced but these are not generally considered when
interpreting the gas analysis data.

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Annex G
(continued)

G.3 Origin of gases in transformer oil


Fault gases are caused by corona (partial discharge), thermal heating (pyrolysis) and arcing.
Partial discharge is a fault of low-level energy which usually occurs in gas-filled voids surrounded
by oil-impregnated material. The main cause of decomposition in partial discharges is ionic
bombardment of the oil molecules.
The major gas produced is hydrogen. The minor gas produced is methane.
Thermal faults. A small amount of decomposition occurs at normal operating temperatures. As
the fault temperature rises, the formation of the degradation gases change from methane (CH4) to
ethane (C2H6) to ethylene (C2H4).
A thermal fault at low temperature (< 300 C) produces mainly methane and ethane and some
ethylene.
A thermal fault at higher temperature (> 300 C) produces ethylene. The higher the temperature
becomes the greater the production of ethylene.

Arcing is a fault caused by high energy discharge.

The major gas produced during arcing is acetylene. Power arcing can cause temperatures of over
3 000 C to be developed.
NOTE If cellulose material (insulating paper, etc.) is involved, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are generated.

A normally ageing, conservator type transformer should have a CO2/CO ratio of about 7. Any CO2/CO
ratio above 11 or below 3 should be regarded as perhaps indicating a fault involving cellulose provided
the other gas analysis results also indicate excessive oil degradation.

G.4 Acidity or neutralization value


Acids in the oil originate from oil decomposition/oxidation products. Acids can also come from external
sources such as atmospheric contamination.
An increase in the acidity is an indication of the rate of deterioration of the oil with SLUDGE as the
inevitable by-product of an acid situation which is neglected.

G.5 Water content


Water accelerates the deterioration of both the insulating oil and the insulating material (paper etc.)
and more water is produced during this process. This is a never-ending circle and once the paper has
been degraded it can never, unlike the oil, be returned to its original condition. Oil saturated with water
has an unacceptable low dielectric strength. Water combined with particles and/or cellulose fibres has
the same effect, even before the saturation point is reached.

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Annex G
(concluded)

G.5.1 Origins of water


Water can originate from two sources.
a)

Atmospheric
1) Through the silica gel breather (dry silica gel is always blue).
2) Through air leaks into the conservator (e.g. inspection covers open or deteriorated gaskets in
the air space of the conservator).

b)

Internal sources
1) Paper degradation produces water.
2) Oil degradation produces water.
3) Wet insulation acts as a source of water in the oil (temperature-dependent).

G.6 Dielectric strength


The dielectric strength of an insulating oil is a measure of the oils ability to withstand electrical stress
without failure.
Contaminants such as free water, sediment and conducting particles reduce the dielectric strength of
an insulating oil.
Combinations of these tend to reduce the dielectric strength to a greater degree.
Clean, dry oil has an inherently high dielectric strength but this does not necessarily indicate the
absence of all contaminants, it may merely indicate that the amount of contaminants present between
the electrodes at the time of the test is not large enough to affect the average breakdown voltage of the
liquid.

G.7 Interfacial tension


The Interfacial Tension (IFT) measures the tension at the interface between two liquids (oil and water)
which do not mix and is expressed in mN/m or dynes/cm.
This test is sensitive to the presence of oil decay products and soluble polar contaminants from solid
insulating materials.
Good oil will have an interfacial tension of between 40 mN/m to 50 mN/m. Oil oxidation products lower
the interfacial tension and have an affinity for both water (hydrophilic) and oil. This affinity for both
substances lowers the IFT. The greater the concentration of contaminants, the lower the IFT, with a
badly deteriorated oil having an IFT of 18 mN/m or less.
NOTE In this annex the symbol mN/m represents millinewtons/metre.

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Annex H
(informative)
Error! Not a valid filename.

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Annex J
(informative)
Table J.1 Test requirements SABS 555
Typical
Method

SABS 555
limits

Used oil

Density @ 20 C kg/l

IP 60

0,895 max.

0,873

Kinematic Viscosity
2
@ 40 C mm /s

IP 71

16,5 max.

Test

@ 15 C mm /s

12,5

After refining
0,875
12,4

800 max.

330

328
153

Flash point C

IP 34

140 min.

150

Pour point C

IP 15

21 max.

33

33

Neutralisation value
mg KOH/g

IP 1b)

0,53

0,01

Corrosive Sulfur

IP 315

Electric strength kV

IP 295

Resistivity @ 20 C Gm

ASTM D1169

Resistivity @ 90 C Gm
Dielectric dissipation
factor @ 90 C

IEC 60250

Water content mg/kg

ASTM 1533

Oxidation test
Neutralization value
mg KOH/g

0,03 max.
Non
corrosive

Non corrosive

30 min.

Non corrosive

16

72

15 000

0,1

450

0,005 max.

3,5

0,0018

35 max.

205

0,4 max.

0,21

0,1 max.

0,036

IP 307

Sludge %
Typical
Colour

Red/Brown

Straw

Appearance

Cloudy

Clear

Particles

Nil

Present

Nil

Fibres

Nil

Present

Nil

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Annex K
(informative)

After-hours emergency service for transformer oil analysis


TRI oil laboratory at Rosherville, Germiston.
The Transformer Oil Analysis Laboratory provides an after-hours emergency service.
To make use of the services, give an advance warning of a call-out by paging the emergency number
below.
The transformer oil laboratory staff will however, only react upon the arrival of the oil sample at the
Technology Group, Rosherville security gate when the security guard on duty will page the analyst on
standby. The analyst on standby duty should arrive at the TRI laboratory within half an hour of being
paged.
The overtime rates for analysis per sample will be approximately 3 times the normal rate.
Results of the analysis will be available within 2 (two) hours of the sample being dropped off at the
security gate.
For any queries, contact D W Beatt or A E Lombard at Tel. No. (011) 629-5044 or
(011) 629-5360/5008 during office hours. The PAX numbers are 8189-5044/8189-5360/8189-5008
respectively.
For emergency service, phone 082 554-9150.

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Annex L
(informative)

Revision information
DATE

REV. NO.

NOTES

Sept.93

NWS 1076 and EVS 051 (not published) were re-written and
published as ESKASAAF1 Rev. 1.

Aug. 98

ESKASAAF1 Rev. 1 re-formatted, minor revision were made and


4.1.2.9 added. Annexes H, J, K and L were added.