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BCTC 2005 TSCP Exhibit B-3B

Introduction and Context


For the Baseline Study

Prepared By
British Columbia Transmission Corporation
April, 2005

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 Introduction.................................................................................................................3
2 Using and Interpreting the Baseline Study ................................................................. 5
3 BCTC Asset Management Strategy ........................................................................... 7
3.1 High Level Asset Management Principles............................................................. 7
3.2 Differences from Historical Practice ...................................................................... 9
3.3 Prioritization........................................................................................................... 9
3.4 Asset Strategy by Class ...................................................................................... 11
3.4.1 Circuit Breakers ............................................................................................... 11
3.4.2 Disconnect Switches ....................................................................................... 14
3.4.3 Circuit Switchers.............................................................................................. 15
3.4.4 Transformers/Tap Changers (excluding HVDC).............................................. 16
3.4.5 Instrument Transformers ................................................................................. 18
3.4.6 Shunt Reactors................................................................................................ 19
3.4.7 Shunt Capacitors ............................................................................................. 20
3.4.8 Station Insulators............................................................................................. 21
3.4.9 Substation Cables and Terminations............................................................... 22
3.4.10 Synchronous Condensers ............................................................................. 23
3.4.11 Gas Insulated Switchgear.............................................................................. 24
3.4.12 Static Var Compensators............................................................................... 26
3.4.13 High Pressure Air Systems............................................................................ 27
3.4.14 Protection and Control Systems .................................................................... 28
3.4.15 Surge Arrestors ............................................................................................. 31
3.4.16 Station Grounding & Surface Treatment ....................................................... 32
3.4.17 Batteries ........................................................................................................ 33
3.4.18 Stand-By Generators and Fuel Systems ....................................................... 34
3.4.19 Facilities General........................................................................................... 35
3.4.20 Fire Protection Systems ................................................................................ 37
3.4.21 Microwave Equipment ................................................................................... 38
3.4.22 Power Line Carrier Equipment ...................................................................... 40
3.4.23 Series Capacitors .......................................................................................... 41
3.4.24 HVDC Pole 1 ................................................................................................. 42
3.4.25 HVDC Pole 2 ................................................................................................. 43
3.4.26 Conductor Systems ....................................................................................... 44
3.4.27 Metal Support Structures............................................................................... 46
3.4.28 Wood Pole Structures.................................................................................... 48
3.4.29 Vegetation / Rights-of-Way............................................................................ 50
3.4.30 Access Roads................................................................................................ 53
3.4.31 Civil Works..................................................................................................... 55
3.4.32 Underground and Submarine Cables & Oil Systems .................................... 57
3.4.33 Manholes & Duct Systems ............................................................................ 59

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1 Introduction
British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) was established as a British
Columbia Crown Corporation to manage, maintain and operate the BC Hydro
Transmission System (Transmission System) and to provide transparent, open access
to transmission services. The Transmission Asset Condition Assessment project
(Baseline Study) was conducted to fulfill a requirement with BC Hydro under Article 7 of
the Asset Management and Maintenance Agreement (AMMA), one of the key
agreements establishing BC Transmission Corporation (BCTC) as an independent
transmission company.

AMMA required an independent engineering company to conduct the Baseline Study.


Acres International Ltd. (Acres) was selected through a competitive process as the
independent engineering firm to conduct the assessment and establish a baseline for
asset health. The selection of Acres was completed in consultation with and agreement
from BC Hydro, and a copy of the draft Baseline Study Report was also provided to BC
Hydro for review and input prior to the report being finalized, as directed in Article 7.2 of
AMMA.

The key objectives for the project were to:

o Assess the current state of health of the Transmission System Assets in order to
establish a baseline for measuring the performance of BCTC.
o Satisfy requirements of the Asset Management and Maintenance Agreement
between BCTC and BC Hydro which requires an independent expert audit
opinion of asset condition every 3 years.
o Document the methodology and define a repeatable process that can be used in
future audits.
o Develop best practice asset health metrics for the Transmission System Assets.
o Use the Asset Health Indices developed as an input to planning and decision
making for present and future capital replacement and expensed maintenance
requirements.

Before reviewing and interpreting the results of the Baseline Study, and it is important to
understand the scope of the study. AMMA specified that the project had to be
completed within a 12 month window following commencement. As assessing the
health of the Transmission System Assets was potentially a massive undertaking taking
years and tens of thousands of resource hours to complete, the scope and approach
had to be designed to meet time and budget constraints set jointly by BCTC and BC
Hydro. To put this into perspective, the Transmission System Assets1 include over:

- 1000 circuit breakers;


- 4000 disconnect switches;
- 230 transformers and 4200 instrument transformers;
- 2900 relay systems with nearly 8000 relays;
- 2600 surge arrestors;
- 11,500 km of rights of way;

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Assets designated as Substation Distribution Assets are specifically excluded from these counts.

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- 97,000 spans of overhead conductor (~18,000 circuit km);
- 20,000 metal support structures;
- 67,000 wood pole structures;
- 1.3 million support structure insulators;
- 338 km of underground and submarine cable;
- And many other assets and critical sub-components spelled out in detail in
the body of the Baseline Study.

For purposes of analysis and reporting, the transmission assets were categorized into 33
classes of items with similar characteristics or functions.

The biggest challenge in conducting the Baseline Study was gathering the right data in
sufficient quantity to arrive at a meaningful result. Given the constraints in time, budget,
impact to system availability and impact to the equipment, the scope of the study could
not include testing or invasive inspection of specific equipment items to capture new
condition data not already being collected. The same constraints did not allow for the
transformation of paper based records in the field to electronic form, or the design,
implementation or modification of technology infrastructure to enable the systematic
capture of data used to calculate the health indices.

The data used to define the baseline results was generally based on available data in
reasonable electronic form from existing systems. While it was possible to do some
evaluation of data (form, quantity and quality) at the outset of the project, it was not
possible to evaluate every system or record, or to anticipate in advance every data
element required, as the Health Indices had not yet been developed.

As part of that initial evaluation, it was determined that a significant amount of the
expected condition assessment data for substation equipment did not exist in a useable
format, and some manual data collection would be required to produce a meaningful
result. As collecting data on each piece of substation equipment in every substation was
cost prohibitive, a statistical sampling approach was utilized, and approximately half of
the substations were visited by field teams to perform visual inspections of equipment,
and if practical, review field records for further information. The field teams collecting
this data were qualified personnel with knowledge of the assets, selected through a
competitive process to conduct the work. Acres designed the data collection forms,
specified the data to be gathered and trained the teams to be able to consistently
evaluate the condition ratings, using training guides and photographs of real examples
from the field.

There was somewhat more condition data available in existing databases for calculation
of the overhead transmission and underground cable Health Indices than for substation
assets. For those assets, Acres performed a review of the data collection processes to
ensure that the raw data collected during on-going maintenance and inspection activities
had been accurately transferred to the relevant databases.

In addition to a clear understanding of the project objectives and scope, it is necessary


to put the Baseline Study into perspective with respect to a more complete view of Asset
Management. Section 2 provides more insight into using the study and interpreting the
results.

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2 Using and Interpreting the Baseline Study
When looking at the detailed results of the Baseline Study it is important to establish the
context and a frame of reference from which the results should be assessed. As
indicated in Figure 2.1 below, there are a number of considerations that go into
managing the assets. The health or condition of the asset, which was the focus of the
Baseline Study, is only one such consideration. The Baseline Study does not assess
the performance of the assets either individually or as a system, nor is it an assessment
of asset value or the overall performance of the business.

Asset Management Considerations

BUSINESS
PERFORMANCE
Protection of Business Value

SYSTEM
PERFORMANCE

ASSET
PERFORMANCE

ASSET
CONDITION

Asset Management Objective: Find the Balance Focus of the


Baseline Study
Figure 2.1

As the manager of the Transmission System, it is BCTCs duty to define strategies to


manage the assets that balance lifecycle cost, risk of failure and performance of the
Transmission System in order to meet the different and sometimes conflicting needs of
the stakeholders. If the asset management focus were only on improving or maintaining
asset condition, there would be suboptimal decisions with respect to the overall
performance of the system and business, and costs would go up.

Except for items like real property, all assets have a lifecycle, and eventually will have to
be replaced or renewed in some fashion. There is not necessarily a single right
condition rating or health index value at any point in the lifecycle, except when an asset
is new and is expected to be in very good condition (even that is not always the case).
As individual assets operate under different conditions, it is normal to expect a
distribution of asset condition results that will move through stages if the asset is being
managed effectively, and both cost and performance are considered in making
decisions. Asset Health will depend on many factors, as outlined in the discussion of
degradation criteria for each asset in the Baseline Study (Section x.3 of each chapter in
the Baseline Study report).

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While analogous to assessing the health of a human body, asset health in the utility
industry is not as well advanced. There is not an industry standard definition or
methodology to assess asset health, and it is not an exact science. As with the human
body, wide scale exploratory internal inspections are not practical and not always
possible. Professional judgement is still required, and therefore differences of
professional opinion will exist, and is the reason Acres was brought in to perform the
assessment as a qualified but unbiased third party.

As outlined in the introduction above, the project time and budget constraints did not
allow for exhaustive collection of all of the data required for asset health measurements
to be completed. Threshold levels of data were set by Acres for the asset health index
measurements to be qualified as valid (explained in more detail in Acres introduction to
the Baseline Study, and for each asset class in the Baseline Study report). If insufficient
data was available for an asset class, modifications to the ideal health index formulation
were attempted, leading to a less than ideal health index measurement, but still
providing a reasonable indication of asset health. There were four classes of assets
where no result was possible. In three of these classes (station insulators, access roads
and civil works) data to support a health index has simply never been recorded in the
past. For the fourth class, Wood Pole Structures, some data was available, but it was
deemed by Acres to be too inconsistent to report a meaningful result.

Despite the realities of incomplete data and some inherent subjectivity in assessing
Asset Health, the Baseline Study does provide directional guidance in managing the
assets and guiding the strategy with a clarity far advanced from any previous attempts.
BCTC is in agreement with the results, which are consistent with BCTCs view of the
health of the assets prior to the study taking place. BCTC believes that collection of
additional data would not have had a significant impact on the overall result, and that for
the Baseline Study there was the appropriate balance applied between quality of the
results and value for money.

The amount of data used to calculate the health index will increase for future updates of
asset health, as more of the required data will be collected through ongoing
maintenance and inspection activity. The Health Indices may also evolve over time as
more experience with them is gained, but BCTC is aware of the need for appropriate due
diligence around any changes, both to avoid changes due to individual preference and to
document the impact on previously reported results.

As indicated by Acres in the Baseline Study report, a health or condition rating does not
by itself imply a specific course of action or timing, without consideration of the operating
context, risk and financial implications, and of course the overall strategy for managing a
particular asset. Section 3, below, outlines the strategy and philosophy at both a system
level and an asset class level that corresponds to the grouping of assets in the Baseline
Study. It provides further context and a sense of the direction BCTC is going in
addressing the state of Health and Maintenance of the Transmission System.

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3 BCTC Asset Management Strategy

As a new entity, BCTC has been highly focused on a number of tactical considerations
in defining processes and implementing technology to support the day to day operation
and management of the Transmission System. As those start-up initiatives are being
completed, more energy is being directed to reviewing and/or defining appropriate long
term strategies to manage the assets. This section is intended to provide an overview
how BCTC currently views the assets, which should provide additional context and
insight for interpreting the results of the Baseline Study.

3.1 High Level Asset Management Principles


As part of the overall Asset Management Strategy, there are a number of general
principles that guide BCTC in managing the assets:

1. BCTC will apply a lifecycle approach to managing the assets, similar to that
shown in Figure 3.1 below.

Asset Life-Cycle and Processes

Capital
Asset Planning
Strategy Repairs
Planning

Capital
Strategy Concept/
Maintenance
Design
Procurement Planning

Decommission
Revenue & Renewal
Strategy Contract
Management

Commission &
Value Early Life
Determination Replace &
Operation Improve

Risk
Mitigation Repair
Network
Risk Maintain
Evaluation Network

Figure 3.1

This means that BCTC will:

a. Look for an economic balance between maintenance and replacement to


pursue the lowest lifecycle cost for the function without impacting the
required level of performance. BCTC will look for opportunities to make
one time capital investments that result in larger offsetting reductions in
lifecycle OMA costs without negatively impacting performance.

BCTC will include a rigorous financial analysis that will include calculation

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of Net Present Value (NPV) and benefit / cost ratio. Factors that will be
considered include:

Capital costs to buy or construct an asset. This would include


equipment, labour, contingency, interest during construction,
overheads and appropriate spares.
Site remediation, asset dismantling, or clean-up costs
Discounted cash flows relating to maintenance (i.e. incremental
OMA resulting from implementing a project)
Discounted cash flows relating to revenue or cash inflows (i.e.
incremental revenue resulting from implementing a project)
Discounted cash flows related to cost savings (i.e. reduced
maintenance, labour savings, etc)
Time period of periodic cash inflows & outflows, measured in
months or year
Inflation factors

b. Apply an evergreen process for asset replacement, meaning that it will


replace individual assets when it makes sense for that asset, and rather
than waiting for an entire generation of assets to degrade before
replacing. Over time this will serve to smooth the revenue requirement to
manage the assets.
c. Adopt new technologies as they become available and are proven, rather
than replacing like for like.
d. Focus on the overall system, rather than individual components.
e. Focus on asset health rather than defects. Historically the objective was
to track defects in order to drive repair activity. However, individual
defects do not provide a view of the health of the entire asset, or clear
feedback on the effectiveness of the asset management strategy.
f. Define appropriate asset management processes and manage the
process to drive efficiencies over time.

2. In order to ensure a long-term perspective and provide for smoother revenue


requirements, BCTC will view sustaining capital programs over a moving 10
year planning horizon. BCTC will also apply its prioritization framework to focus
on the highest priority work.
3. BCTC is looking to maintain (rather than exceed) compliance with current
reliability targets and standards.
4. Asset Management strategies will support the new safety management and
environment management programs implemented by BCTC.
5. Asset Management strategies include looking for partnership opportunities with
suppliers and other utilities to improve effectiveness and lower costs. This is
currently reflected in the way BCTC is working with Hydro One and ABB to find
alternative and cost effective ways to deal with the premature degradation of
Gas Insulated Switchgear.
6. BCTC will continue to employ Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM)
philosophies in maintaining the assets.

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3.2 Differences from Historical Practice

Evolving Strategy and Organizational Focus

In 1999, BC Hydro introduced Reliability Centred Maintenance based on a modified


approach developed by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). RCM involves a
logical identification of the consequences of system and functional failures to arrive at an
efficient and effective maintenance management strategy that attempts to optimize asset
life cycle costs without negatively impacting performance. The approach adopted uses
maintenance standards specific to the equipment being analyzed, including design
differences between manufacturers of the same types of equipment (e.g. circuit
breakers), differences due to voltage level, or differences in functional intent.

BCTC continues to support RCM as a key component of the overall asset management
strategy, but views RCM as a maintenance philosophy, not an asset management
strategy. In its role as a centralized Asset Manager, BCTC brings focus and consistent
application of RCM principles. The single view of the asset inherent in this new business
model means that BCTC can consistently develop and apply the asset management
strategy, and is able to better prioritize based on implications for overall Transmission
System performance.

Data and Information Management

The exercise of conducting the Baseline Study identified a number of gaps in virtually all
asset categories that must be filled in order to compute a Health Index as prescribed by
Acres in the Baseline Study. In order to address those gaps for future reporting of Asset
Health, BCTC will need to take actions, including:

- Changes to systems and standards to document precise definitions for Health


Index criteria.
- Changes to data capture process to address gaps in condition assessment &
reporting and allow for direct entry into handheld computers the field.
- Ensuring use of an appropriate electronic database to record and store asset
condition, defects, and failures. Maintenance standards will be transferred onto
the handheld computers, thus allowing storage of the test data into electronic
databases and replacing existing paper-based test records.
- Adjusting maintenance process & frequency to more specifically address the
needs of the asset as suggested by the Health Index.
- A quality control process for data capture is being developed and implemented to
ensure consistency.

Program Prioritization

Prioritization is a significant sub-process in the overall asset management decision


framework, and in the development of the Sustaining Capital Portfolio. The BCTC
program prioritization process is now in place, and includes assessing each proposed
investment program using a combination of deterministic and risk-based criteria, as
outlined below:

- Environmental Factors

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mandatory if required to meet new government or regulatory standards;
discretionary if based on BCTC environmental standards.
impact to health and safety of the public, workforce and surrounding
physical environment. Safety is a top priority for BCTC and consequently
has the highest consideration in the capital planning process. Investments
that are based on mitigation of safety hazards to the public, third parties,
employees or contractors are considered to be mandatory. All safety related
investments automatically pre-qualify for inclusion in the annual capital plan.

- Impact on Reliability - the key indicator for reliability is SAIDI.

- Asset Condition and Sustainability - as defined in the Baseline Study

- Financial Impact - based on Cost / Benefit Analysis.

- Societal and Consent to Operate Implications


evaluation of the impact to all customers in the region or community
impacted
other societal factors such as visual impact, sound, odour, location and
economic impact.

The prioritization process is described in more detail in the BCTC F2006 Capital Plan.
The methodology has been presented to IPPs and others at planning workshops and
has received favourable comment, and BCTC will continue to work with stakeholders to
improve the process.

Supply Chain

BCTC is also executing new procurement strategies to look for savings and efficiencies
through long term supply agreements for parts and replacement assets.

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3.3 Asset Strategy by Class

3.3.1 Circuit Breakers

3.3.1.1 Asset Management Strategy


High voltage circuit breakers are used to isolate sections of the power system
and interrupt high currents under fault conditions. They are the ultimate
protection device on the transmission system, and therefore a critical
element, and must be capable of reliably interrupting both load currents and
fault currents in a timely manner.

The Transmission System employs a variety of circuit breakers in terms of


voltage classes (from 12kV up to 500kV), arc extinguishing medium (air
magnetic, air blast, vacuum, minimum or bulk oil, SF6 gas or SF6 and other
gas mixtures), and fall into various types of circuit breakers (live tank, dead
tank or in GIS), vintages and brands.

BCTCs general strategy for circuit breakers is to refurbish rather than


replace, but because of the diversity of the assets in this class, the strategy
must be tailored to individual types of circuit breakers.

BCTCs asset management strategy for circuit breakers continues to evolve


and takes into account variable factors that can have a direct or indirect
effect. It is driven by:
historical reliability of specific types of breakers
availability of OEM support (parts, technical support)
maintenance and overhaul costs
changes in operating conditions
environmental issues such as excessive SF6 gas leakage
seismic withstand requirements

Maintenance practices for circuit breakers take into consideration individual


characteristics of each type of breaker and employ Reliability Centered
maintenance (RCM) methods that are most appropriate for the specific type
of equipment. Maintenance Standards for each type of breaker have been
prepared. These standards describe various diagnostic techniques used to
assess and maintain the health of the asset.

The asset management strategy includes replacement of breakers that have


either reached end-of-life, or meet one of the other criteria such as loss of
OEM support, high overhaul cost, etc.

BCTC has also negotiated a long term supply contract for parts and
replacement with multiple suppliers, which is expected to reduce the cost of
equipment and tendering.

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3.3.1.2 Change from Historical Practice
A Quality Assurance audit program has been initiated to spot check the
performance of field services for preventive maintenance (PM) type activities.
Most audits performed to date indicate adherence to the maintenance
practices specified in the maintenance standard.

3.3.1.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The current replacement programs for circuit breakers have been initiated to
reduce overhaul costs and mitigate risk, and can be categorized into three
groups as follows:

1. Obsolescence and Unavailability of Spare Parts - Remaining


500kV GE type ATB-80 breakers are being phased out over the
next 4 years. These breakers, although installed only 20 years
ago, would have been rebuilt if parts were available. However, GE
no longer provides parts and technical support for air blast
breakers.

The 500kV GE type AT circuit breakers are also scheduled for


replacement. These breakers are close to 40 years old and have
already been rebuilt once, but parts are no longer available for a
second rebuild. They are currently installed at Ingledow
substation, the key switching station in the BC Hydro system.
Replacement of these breakers will reduce risk due to earthquake
as they are in a seismic zone, but not able to withstand a
significant seismic event.

2. Environmental Issues and Reduction of Overhaul Costs - Under


Environmental issues, the 230kV double pressure breakers (ITE
GB and Westinghouse SF) are being replaced with dead tank
Mitsubishi breakers. The double pressure breakers are leaking
large quantities of SF6 gas, and attempts to overhaul them were
costly and unsuccessful.

The 25kV ABB SACE breakers also leak SF6 gas. Overhaul costs
are relatively high and the results are only temporary, as
continuous corrosion leads to more leaks within a 2 year interval.
A program to replace these breakers is under way.

3. Performance Issues - A recent string of explosive failures on the


500kV Delle type PK8 air blast circuit breakers has raised
questions about the ongoing reliable operation of these units in
the 3 switchyards where they operate. These breakers are also
close to 40 years old. BCTC has reviewed the risks involved and
initiated a replacement program of the remaining 21 units over a 3
year period.

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3.3.1.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors
Programs are prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and Prioritization Program
guidelines. Units are select to be replaced based on:
historical reliability
availability of OEM support (parts, technical support)
maintenance and overhaul costs
change in requirements for operating conditions
environmental issues such as excessive SF6 gas leakage
seismic withstand requirements

Units are then prioritized based on:


Criticality of position in the system
Duty performed
Performance of the unit (MTBF)
Efficient construction costs for mobilization and demobilization
Remaining life

3.3.1.5 Related OMA Initiatives


BCTC continues its OMA program of PM, rebuild and overhaul of circuit
breakers. The 500kV BBC air blast circuit breaker rebuild program has been
successful and is on track.

An assessment of risk and reliability issues to prioritize the replacement of


circuit breakers identified as class failures is in progress. This assessment
will address circuit breakers in the worst condition and recommend a
prioritized replacement or refurbishment program.

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3.3.2 Disconnect Switches

3.3.2.1 Asset Management Strategy


The primary function of a disconnect switch is to isolate apparatus and circuit
elements from the power grid for maintenance and voltage control.

BCTCs asset management strategy for disconnect switches is to extend


serviceable life and defer capital investment through time and condition
based maintenance, and condition-based overhaul. In addition, BCTC has
negotiated long term supply contracts with multiple suppliers for disconnects.
This is expected to reduce the cost of equipment and tendering.

BCTC has commissioned a more detailed assessment of issues regarding


the HV disconnect population and is presently analyzing the
recommendations from this assessment.

3.3.2.2 Change from Historical Practice


As part of the implementation of RCM, time-based maintenance on
disconnect switches at 25kV has been discontinued. Maintenance and
replacement of these devices is now exclusively performed based on
condition assessment.

3.3.2.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


All switches are in Good or Very Good condition, and no large Sustaining
Capital Programs are planned in the near future.

3.3.2.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Key criteria used for prioritizing projects within this asset class are condition-
based.

3.3.2.5 Related OMA Initiatives


BCTC has an on-going rebuild program for older (but still reliable) 500kV
and 230kV disconnect switches such as Kearney and ITE switches.

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3.3.3 Circuit Switchers

3.3.3.1 Asset Management Strategy


Circuit switchers have limited fault interrupting capability, relatively slow
interruption times, and are found to require higher maintenance costs than
circuit breakers. Given these characteristics, BCTCs long-term strategy for
circuit switchers is to retire this type of equipment and use circuit breakers for
any new installations or replacements.

BCTC asset management strategy for the remaining circuit switchers in the
system can be described as:
Preventive maintenance based on time intervals and number of
operations
Condition-based overhaul, and
Replacement program for the 500kV S&C switchers that switch
Shunt Reactors, with circuit breakers.

3.3.3.2 Change from Historical Practice


No major changes are contemplated with respect to maintenance; however
the eventual replacement of switchers with circuit breakers is a new practice.

3.3.3.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


As most of the switchers are in good condition, no new large sustaining
capital programs are planned for this group.

The program for replacing 500 kV S&C shunt reactor circuit switchers in poor
condition with circuit breakers will be completed in 2010.

3.3.3.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Programs are prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and Prioritization Program
guidelines. The key criteria used for prioritizing the replacement within this
asset class are primarily related to condition as a result of requirements for
faster operating times of particular positions (for RAS, etc). Grouping within a
substation to reduce mobilization and demobilization savings and overall
lower replacement cost is also a consideration.

3.3.3.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Other than existing maintenance initiatives, there are no special OMA
initiatives currently in place.

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3.3.4 Transformers/Tap Changers (excluding HVDC)

3.3.4.1 Asset Management Strategy


Power transformers are used to increase and decrease power system
voltages for efficient power transfer and utilization. BCTCs strategy for
transformers is to extend the effective life and defer replacement as long as
possible while still maintaining a satisfactory level of service. Programs such
as the Oil Regeneration Program and Coil Re-clamping Project are in place
to extend the serviceable life of transformers.

All transformers are subjected to a Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)


program, where different acceptance criteria are established for different
equipment voltage classes, and various inspection and testing techniques are
employed to ensure the equipment continues to provide reliable service.
Whenever a problem develops and is detected, more diagnostic testing and
monitoring is carried out to better understand how to resolve the problem and
prevent failure. Condition assessment is primarily determined by gas-in-oil
analysis.

3.3.4.2 Change from Historical Practice


Changes from historical practise include abandonment of certain Oil Quality
tests (Color and Neutralization Number), as these tests have been deemed to
provide little value. The Inhibitor Content test, used for tracking the oxidation
process of oil, has been added to routine oil testing.

Oil samples are now taken from bushings and have successfully detected
some bad bushings and avoided some catastrophic failures.

3.3.4.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The scope of the Animal Mitigation Program has been expanded to address
the risk of transformer damages due to animal contacts. The main focus is
installation of bird guards and insulating material onto 12KV and 25KV
secondary bushings to prevent phase to phase and phase to ground faults.

3.3.4.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


The Transformer Replacement Program will be prioritized based on the
BCTC Risk and Prioritization Program guidelines. The key criteria include the
condition assessment of the unit, as well as the environmental and social
impacts.

3.3.4.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to the RCM program, BCTC has several on-going OMA initiatives
for transformers, including:

Oil Leak Repair. As the transformer ages, the oil sealing gasket
material for the tank covers, bushing mounting flanges, etc
deteriorates, allowing oil to leak out. This is a common and on-
going issue.

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Oil Regeneration Program. Through routine oil testing, it has
been determined that the quality of oil has aged and deteriorated
in a number of units. Oil quality has a direct impact on the
serviceable life of transformers, and as a result, the Oil
Regeneration Program will be expanded to treat more units.

Coil Re-clamping Program. This program is intended to extend


the life of transformers. Under this program, when a transformer is
de-oiled for any other purpose ( such as internal inspection ), the
winding clamping pressure will be checked and if it is deemed
necessary, the coils will be re-clamped to restore the mechanical
withstand strength of the coils. This will prevent any mechanical
failures due to short circuit.

Furan Testing. Furan analysis is another important indicator of


condition and is included as routine oil testing.

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3.3.5 Instrument Transformers

3.3.5.1 Asset Management Strategy


The strategy for managing Instrument transformers is specific to the type of
transformer, but would generally be described as life extension at the lowest
long term cost. Oil-filled instrument transformers will no longer be purchased,
and new units purchased will either be SF6 or dry-type units.

A Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) policy has been established and


applied to Instrument Transformers. The maintenance activities consist of
Doble testing and dissolved gas-in-oil analysis, with different acceptance
criteria established for different voltage classes.

3.3.5.2 Change from Historical Practice


As the failure rate of this class of equipment has been low for the past five
years, no change in strategy is anticipated.

3.3.5.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


Funds have been allocated for the replacement of failing Instrument
Transformers.

3.3.5.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


The Replacement Program will be prioritized based on the Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. Primary considerations are the condition
assessment of the unit, as well as the environmental and social impacts. As
per our strategy, oil-filled units have more significant failure consequences
and will be replaced with either SF6 (for High Voltage units) or dry type units
(for Low Voltage units).

3.3.5.5 Related OMA Initiatives


The primary OMA initiative is the on-going RCM program.

18
3.3.6 Shunt Reactors

3.3.6.1 Asset Management Strategy


Shunt reactors are used in the transmission system to provide voltage control
and are a critical component for reliable operation of the transmission system.
BCTCs strategy for shunt reactors is to extend the effective life and defer
refurbishment or replacement as long as possible while still maintaining a
satisfactory level of service.

As virtually all of the shunt reactors are under 30 years of age, the strategy is
to closely monitor condition through the defined Health Index, with particular
attention to oil testing and oil regeneration to extend the serviceable life.

3.3.6.2 Change from Historical Practice


Change to historical practise include abandonment of certain Oil Quality tests
(Color and Neutralization Number), as these tests have been deemed to
provide little value. The Inhibitor Content test, used for tracking the oxidation
process of oil, has been added to routine oil testing.

Oil samples are now taken from bushings and have successfully detected
some bad bushings and avoided some catastrophic failures.

3.3.6.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There are currently no current sustaining capital programs for shunt reactors.

3.3.6.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All 500 KV shunt reactors are crucial to the operation of the Transmission
System, and therefore the focus is to maintain reliability by addressing the
equipment in the poorest condition and the highest risk.

3.3.6.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to the RCM program, BCTC has several on-going OMA initiatives
for shunt reactors, including:

Oil Regeneration Program. Through routine oil testing, it has been


determined that the quality of oil has aged and deteriorated in a
number of units. Oil quality has a direct impact on the serviceable life
of shunt reactors, and as a result, the Oil Regeneration Program will
be expanded to treat more units.

Furan Testing. Furan analysis is another important indicator of


condition and is included as routine oil testing.

19
3.3.7 Shunt Capacitors

3.3.7.1 Asset Management Strategy


Shunt Capacitors are used in the Transmission System to provide reactive
power compensation and voltage support during peak loading. BCTCs
strategy is to extend the serviceable life at the lowest long term cost by
focusing on the following three areas:

Maintenance continue to apply RCM principles for maintenance.


Measurement of key equipment condition indicators including Infra-
Red inspection and Doble testing will continue.

Spares - system reliability requires the right spares to be available in


stock. BCTC has initiated a program to inventory the spares and
assess spares adequacy to establish both short and long term spare
stocking levels.

Environmental compliance BCTC has initiated a program to replace


all shunt capacitor PCB cans by 2008 to comply with Federal
Government regulations.

3.3.7.2 Change from Historical Practice


The key change for this asset class is the implementation of new electrical
maintenance standards for all shunt capacitors.

3.3.7.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The PCB can replacement is currently the only current sustaining capital
program and will address the shunt capacitors rated in poor condition. There
is no other capital program planned for this asset at this time.

3.3.7.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Any future replacement program will be prioritized based on the Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. Primary considerations are the condition
assessment of the unit and impact to system reliability.

3.3.7.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to ongoing maintenance, the key initiative is the work to document
and assess the spares inventory for shunt capacitors.

20
3.3.8 Station Insulators

3.3.8.1 Asset Management Strategy


As practical non-destructive testing of internal insulator degradation is not
possible, the strategy for station insulators is to run to failure. Surface
condition is monitored through visual and infra-red inspection as part of the
monthly substation inspection program.

A significant percentage of the current population is still comprised of pin and


cap insulators (over 36 thousand were installed). Pin and Cap insulators
experience separation of the cap from the pin as the cement that attaches the
cap begins to degrade. BCTC has an existing program, started in 2000, to
replace this type of insulator with post insulators. The program strategy is to
replace all pin and cap insulators in an entire station at once.

3.3.8.2 Change from Historical Practice


Pin and cap insulators are being replaced with post insulators.

3.3.8.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There is a long-term program for the replacement program for the pin and
cap insulators. The program will replace insulators on a per station basis to
reduce costs associated with construction. This program is approximately
33% complete.

3.3.8.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


The key factors for prioritization of the stations for the insulator replacement
program are equipment condition and station criticality.

3.3.8.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Other than routine maintenance activity, no special OMA initiatives are
planned.

21
3.3.9 Substation Cables and Terminations

3.3.9.1 Asset Management Strategy


BCTC normally uses XLPE cable in substations. The primary strategy for
station cables is to replace on failure. When a failure occurs, BCTC will
replace all cables in the run to protect the replacement cable from
subsequent failures of surrounding cables. This reduces long-term outage
time, and ultimately lowers long term costs.

Condition is assessed through inspections using infra-red thermography to


look for hot spots that would indicate problem terminations or cable damage.
BCTC is currently conducting R&D using mobile partial discharge testing,
which if successful, would be a better indicator of cable and termination
condition.

3.3.9.2 Change from Historical Practice


No changes are contemplated at this point in time.

3.3.9.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There are currently no capital programs for substation cables.

3.3.9.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Any future replacement program will be prioritized based on the Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. Primary considerations are the condition
assessment of the cable, criticality of the station and the impact to system
reliability.

3.3.9.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Other than routine maintenance inspections, there are no special OMA
initiatives related to this asset class.

22
3.3.10 Synchronous Condensers

3.3.10.1 Asset Management Strategy


Synchronous Condensers are used only in special circumstances in the
Transmission System to provide or absorb reactive power, and at present
there are only 5 in the entire system. The Synchronous Condensers at are
key to providing system compensation in both HVDC operations and
Vancouver Island VAR support.

Given the operating environment, Synchronous Condensers are expected to


have an extremely long life. To meet the required system reliability, the
strategy for this asset focuses primarily on maintenance to extend the
serviceable life at the lowest lifecycle cost. BCTC will continue to apply RCM
principles to managing this equipment. Useful equipment condition indicators
such as results from brush wear, gas leaks, and megger readings will
continue to drive maintenance activity. In combination with on-line monitoring,
it is possible to identify problem equipment requiring immediate attention,
either for further analysis or additional preventive maintenance.

BCTC is focusing on three critical subsystems: brush systems, monitoring


systems and circuit breakers. Brush systems and 12kV circuit breakers have
historically been problematic, and BCTC will initiate a technical review to
identify root causes and improve their reliability. Monitoring systems are to be
improved in order to collect data needed for RCM.

As part of the asset management strategy, BCTC pays specific attention to


more effective use of standards, and will focus on process improvement
efforts such as better work planning and coordination, maintenance project
prioritization, quality work improvements and a strategic focus on
subsystems.

3.3.10.2 Change from Historical Practice


There are no significant changes to the historical strategy for this asset.

3.3.10.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There is no capital program planned for this asset at this time.

3.3.10.4 Prioritization and Risk Criteria


All projects are evaluated using the same, rigorous prioritization score card
system. The key criteria that typically drive decisions for this asset class are:
Reliability considerations
Asset condition

3.3.10.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to the ongoing RCM program, the key OMA initiatives for
Synchronous Condensers are the assessment and improvements to the
critical subsystems, and a review of operational constraints to operate the
machine at an optimal level with the lowest lifecycle costs.

23
3.3.11 Gas Insulated Switchgear

3.3.11.1 Asset Management Strategy


BCTC manages a total of eight Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) installations,
at 230kV and 500kV. The age of most of these installations ranges from 20 to
30 years. The earliest breakers are double pressure SF6 type, while the
latest use the puffer technology to interrupt the arc.

Some of the GIS installations are located in major generating stations, where
availability and reliability of the equipment is paramount. Because GIS
equipment is very unique, the BCTC Asset management Strategy varies with
the type, make and location of the GIS, and is summarized as follows:

Mica (MCA) this is a major generating station (2000MW) and any


major interruption would restrict transmission of power. The first-
generation double pressure 500kV breakers at MCA are both
maintenance-intensive and have a high replacement cost. BCTC is
currently considering possibilities for breaker replacement to drive the
lowest lifecycle cost and reduce risk to a critical point on the power
delivery system. These possibilities include replacing the double
pressure breakers and some of the disconnect and ground switches
with new Hybrids (a Hybrid breaker is a dead tank breaker equipped
with bushing CTs and built-in disconnect and ground switches). The
advantage of this option would be that replacement could take place
with minimal interruptions to the power delivery from the generating
station.

Revelstoke (REV) also a major generating station (2000MW). The


equipment here is more modern, Mitsubishi puffer-type 230kV and
500kV breakers. At present there are no major outstanding issues
with this equipment. The BCTC strategy is to maintain the equipment
using RCM techniques to extend the life as long possible without
impacting performance.

Peace Canyon (PCN) also a major generating plant (2000MW).


The 500kV GIS equipment is of the early puffer type, BBC (currently
ABB) supplied, and of relatively good quality. While some issues
affecting the hydraulic mechanisms have been identified, overall the
GIS is in fair condition. The BCTC strategy is to overhaul the hydraulic
mechanism with the expectation of an additional 20 years of service.

Ashton Creek (ACK) and Sperling (SPG) these 230kV GIS


installations are located in transmission substations. The situation at
these locations and the BCTC strategy is similar to Peace Canyon.

Cathedral Square (CSQ) is a Vancouver underground substation,


and the 230kV GIS there is of Mitsubishi design, similar to
Revelstoke. A recent addition there is of 2 new Mitsubishi breakers.
The BCTC strategy for this site is similar to Revelstoke.
Horsey (HSY) is a 230kV substation in Victoria and the outdoor GIS
was supplied by Delle approximately 25 years ago. The circuit

24
breakers are of a very rare type (FR2) and parts for overhaul are very
expensive. Minor hydraulic and gas leaks have been reported, and
BCTC is considering both refurbishment and replacement options.

Overall, the BCTC strategy for GIS installations is largely driven by the cost of
maintenance or overhaul, and availability of replacement parts.

3.3.11.2 Change from Historical Practice


BCTC is currently negotiating a partnership with ABB and HydroOne, who
have a number of similar BBC installations, to launch an overhaul program.
The program will cover all 3 BBC GIS installations over the next 3 years, and
the partnership is expected to reduce the overhaul costs by pooling together
the two utilities equipment for volume savings.

3.3.11.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The MCA circuit breaker replacements have been included in the F2006
Capital Plan.

3.3.11.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


The key criteria used for prioritizing GIS overhaul/replacement projects are:
historical reliability of specific GIS installations
availability of OEM support (parts, technical support)
maintenance and overhaul costs
criticality of position in the system or at generating plant
condition of the unit (MTBF)
estimated remaining life

3.3.11.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to ongoing maintenance activity, BCTC is completing the detailed
evaluation of all GIS switchgear installations. Plans for remedial action will be
finalised based on an assessment of risk and criticality, as well as condition.

25
3.3.12 Static Var Compensators

3.3.12.1 Asset Management Strategy


There is only one Static Var Compensator (SVC) in the Transmission
System, located at Dunsmuir substation. The SVC is relatively new and has
been deemed to be in very good condition. It plays an essential role in terms
of providing a fast, dynamic response to Vancouver Island AC transmission
systems reactive power requirements. BCTC intends to monitor the system
performance and apply RCM principles to maintain the asset, and will
continue to look for opportunities to reduce lifecycle costs without negatively
impacting performance.

3.3.12.2 Change from Historical Practice


There has been no major change in strategy from historical practice.

3.3.12.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There is no capital program planned for this asset at this time.

3.3.12.4 Prioritization and Risk Criteria


Any future replacement Program will be prioritized based on the Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. Primary considerations are the condition
assessment of the unit and impact to system reliability.

3.3.12.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to ongoing maintenance, BCTC is reviewing the OEMs suggested
maintenance tasks for additional RCM work improvements.

26
3.3.13 High Pressure Air Systems

3.3.13.1 Asset Management Strategy


The strategy for high pressure systems is closely tied to replacement of air
blast circuit breakers. As air blast circuit breakers are being replaced, air
systems will be relocated where needed or retired, depending on condition.
BCTC is in most cases looking to replace air blast circuit breakers by station
so that the supporting air systems can be retired.

BCTC will continue to maintain air systems where required using RCM
principles and ongoing condition assessments. High pressure air systems
are also maintained to meet the requirements of the Boiler Pressure Act.

3.3.13.2 Change from Historical Practice


There are no significant changes from historical practice.

3.3.13.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


A five year program of air system replacement and/relocation is in place.
This program is completed in conjunction with the air blast circuit breaker
replacement program.

3.3.13.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Programs will be prioritized based on the Risk and Prioritization Program
guidelines, linked to prioritization of the air blast breaker replacements.
Primary considerations are the condition assessment of the air systems and
the criticality of the station.

3.3.13.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Other than routine maintenance inspections, there are no special OMA
initiatives related to this asset class.

27
3.3.14 Protection and Control Systems

3.3.14.1 Asset Management Strategy


The protection and control systems (P&C) are a supporting component of the
primary circuit elements of the BC Transmission System, but are a critical
component with respect to preserving the life of the primary circuit elements
and maintaining the overall reliability of the system.

With the above system context in mind, the strategic objectives for this asset
class are to:
Sustain current and future protection of the transmission components
and system,
Sustain current and future remote control/monitoring of the
Transmission System,
Preserve the required availability and reliability (security &
dependability) of both the P&C assets and the transmission assets
they protect and control,
Meet system and customer requirements, and industry reliability
standards.

Many of the existing electromechanical and solid state P&C technology


assets are functional but obsolete, and are nearing or already past the life
expectancy of 30 to 40 years. The replacement programs are designed to
mitigate the risk to system security due to misoperation of the ageing assets,
as well as the risk to availability of primary circuit elements due to
unavailability of critical P&C spares.

The obsolete P&C assets are being replaced with proven Protective Relaying
and SCADA RTU digital microprocessor-based hardware and software
technology. BCTC will continue to impose reliable and effective controls
around the best practices of P&C philosophy, application, design,
configuration, installation and testing.

The existing station remote supervisory/telemetry equipment assets used to


control and monitor the Transmission System are also functional but
obsolete, and are nearing or past the original life expectancies of 30 to 40
years. The replacement programs are designed to mitigate the risk to system
security due to failure of the assets, as well as the risk to availability of
primary circuit elements due to unavailability of critical spares.

BCTC manages the asset over the entire lifecycle, and as part of that
strategy, looks for opportunities to make one-time capital investments that
would result in elimination or reduction of ongoing OMA costs without
negatively impacting performance. BCTC expects to see a reduction in OMA
costs as a result of the P&C capital investment in digital, microprocessor-
based technology. The new technology offers the opportunity to apply
revised P&C maintenance strategies, with increased maintenance intervals
and reduced job site times which will result in reduced costs.

28
BCTC is also developing a P&C spares strategy to establish and sustain a
minimum required inventory of critical devices, covering as many of the
required device types as practical. Older P&C devices in serviceable
condition removed during the replacement program will be assessed for
retention as critical spares for the old equipment still in service. Replaced
P&C assets that are not required to supplement the critical P&C spares
inventory will be salvaged.

3.3.14.2 Change from Historical Practice


BCTC is developing new P&C Performance Specification Guides for planning
and design work to be done by BCTC service providers. This is the first time
that a consistent set of specifications has been documented for each basic
P&C category in one source.

BCTC is also looking to significantly reduce overall P&C asset life-cycle costs
through improved P&C engineering planning, design, implementation and
testing.

3.3.14.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


Sustaining capital programs for P&C Systems can be summarized into four
programs:

1. Line Protection Systems Replacements Replace existing


electromechanical and solid state protective relaying systems with
standard digital microprocessor-based protection systems. Expect
to complete thirty-five 500 kV circuits by F2009, and
approximately two hundred under 500kV circuits by 2015.

2. Station Equipment P&C Systems Replacements


- Transformer Protection Systems Replacements - Replace
existing electromechanical protective relaying systems that have
insecure sudden-pressure gas-relay standby protection with
standard digital microprocessor-based current differential
protection systems. The program will complete P&C
replacements for approximately 56 pre-selected power
transformers by 2009.

An additional transformer protection systems replacement plan


has been initiated, which will replace existing electromechanical
and solid state protective relaying systems with standard digital
microprocessor-based, current differential protection systems.
The plan is to complete replacements for twenty-five to thirty
500kV system tie power transformers by 2012.

- Circuit Breaker Failure Protective Relay Replacements


Replace existing and faulty electromechanical line terminal
breaker failure relays with standard digital microprocessor-
based breaker fail protective relays. The program was started
in 2002, and the plan is to complete replacements for

29
approximately 28 pre-selected line terminal circuit breakers by
2006.
3. Station SCADA Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) Equipment
Replacements - Replace selected existing SCADA radio
supervisory / telemetry remote systems with standard digital
microprocessor-based RTU systems. The plan to complete
replacements for approximately one hundred SCADA Remote
units by 2020.
4. Minor & Emergency Capital P&C Program Add or replace minor
P&C equipment and material and critical failed equipment as
required, typically between $5k and $75k per instance.

3.3.14.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All P&C related projects and programs are prioritized on the basis of the
importance and criticality of the primary circuit elements to the Transmission
System, and on the condition and performance of specific P&C assets. All
projects are evaluated using the same, rigorous prioritization score card
system.

For Protective and Control Relaying equipment the key criteria that typically
drive investment decisions are the:
Impact to the Transmission System reliability through demonstrated
P&C misoperation performance and/or MTBF performance-based
history;
Extent of negative impact to the Transmission System, customers and
stakeholders; and
Condition of asset, based on in-service life condition rating or non-
discretionary obsolescence, as related to lack of spare parts, lack of
OEM support and ability to meet present design requirements.

For Real Time Operate (RTO), remote control equipment (RTU), the key
criteria that typically drive investment decisions are the:
Ability to provide System Control Centre Telemetry monitoring points,
to be used by the Transmission System State Estimator (SE), and in
turn be used by advanced system control applications to improve the
security of the Transmission System operations;
Impact to Transmission System reliability through demonstrated RTU
misoperation performance and/or RTU MTBF performance-based
history;
Extent of negative impact on Transmission System delivery capacity,
customers and stakeholders; and
Condition of the asset, based on in-service life condition rating or non-
discretionary obsolescence, as related to lack of spare parts, lack of
OEM support and ability to meet present design requirements.

3.3.14.5 Related OMA Initiatives


BCTC is looking to further reduce OMA costs over time by increasing the PM
intervals for P&C systems which have correctly performed all commissioned
P&C application functions for known system disturbance events. This will be
done on the basis of specific system performance analysis.

30
3.3.15 Surge Arrestors

3.3.15.1 Asset Management Strategy


Surge Arrestors do not require extensive maintenance as they are delivered
as sealed units from the factory, and as such the strategy is essentially to run
them to failure. The current maintenance standard calls only for visual and
thermo-vision checks, and occasional washing of insulators in high pollution
areas.

The Transmission System has over 2600 surge arrestors installed from 60kV
up to 500kV. At present approximately 40% of these arrestors are of the old,
SiC gap-type, and as such are in poor condition because they no longer
perform the protective function for which they were designed. The primary
problems are due to sealing failures and gap erosion.

BCTC has initiated a replacement program of these arrestors with the new,
metal oxide type arrestors. As part of the replacement program, BCTC has
negotiated long term supply contracts with multiple suppliers for surge
arrestors, which is expected to reduce the cost of surge arrestors and
tendering.

3.3.15.2 Change from Historical Practice


Other than the standardization to metal oxide type arrestors, no major
changes are being contemplated.

3.3.15.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There is an active program for replacement of gap-type surge arrestors,
which is proceeding according to plan.

3.3.15.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Key criteria used for prioritizing projects within this asset class:
Condition of the arrestor
Voltage class the 500kV system has highest priority
Criticality of position.

3.3.15.5 Related OMA Initiatives


No new OMA initiatives are being contemplated at this time. Should new
methods of testing become available at an acceptable cost (e.g. partial
discharge testing at sites), BCTC will consider adopting them for in/service
testing of existing arrestors.

31
3.3.16 Station Grounding & Surface Treatment

3.3.16.1 Asset Management Strategy


BCTC has initiated a more active strategy to managing this asset with the
objective of extending the life as long as possible before replacement. BCTC
is currently starting a program of detailed condition assessments for this
asset class. A new maintenance standard has been developed and a pilot
project is about to be launched at four substations in the system.

Based on the findings at these substations BCTC will address the


maintenance of this asset class at other locations in the system.

3.3.16.2 Change from Historical Practice


Maintenance programs for the ground grid did not exist historically. It is
expected that some corrective activities will be required at some of the
substations.

3.3.16.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


No sustaining capital programs can be properly developed until the results of
the pilot and a more detailed assessment of all stations is complete.

3.3.16.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Any new initiatives will be prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. The key criteria for this asset class include
assessment of:
Worker safety
Equipment condition.

3.3.16.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Except for the pilot program mentioned above, no other OMA initiatives are
planned at this time.

32
3.3.17 Batteries

3.3.17.1 Asset Management Strategy


Batteries are a supporting component of the primary circuit elements of the
Transmission System, but are a critical component with respect to preserving
the reliability, availability and life of the primary circuit elements and
maintaining the overall reliability of the system. The strategy for batteries is
to extend the life until they can no longer meet the required load test.

BCTC conducts full tests annually, and load testing every 18 years - sooner if
tests indicate problems. Historically batteries have been replaced every 25
years, regardless of condition, but BCTC is looking to move to condition
based replacements using the new health index criteria.

BCTC has also negotiated a long term supply contract with a single supplier
for batteries. This is expected to reduce the cost of batteries and tendering.

3.3.17.2 Change from Historical Practice


The key change from historical practise is a move from time-based to
condition-based replacements.

3.3.17.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The upgraded microwave stations operate at 48 volts and as a result the
existing 24-volt batteries and chargers are also being replaced as part of the
microwave equipment upgrade program.

3.3.17.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Any new initiatives will be prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. The key criteria for this asset class include
assessment of:
Criticality of the facility
Equipment condition.

3.3.17.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to the ongoing inspection and testing activity, new condition
assessments have been developed for the batteries and chargers. These
assessments will be up to date and provide information on equipment
condition / asset health on a routine basis. Areas where increased
maintenance or replacement required are to be identified.

33
3.3.18 Stand-By Generators and Fuel Systems

3.3.18.1 Asset Management Strategy


Like batteries, standby generators are a supporting component of the primary
circuit elements of the Transmission System, but are a critical component
with respect to preserving the reliability, availability and life of the primary
circuit elements and maintaining the overall reliability of the system. The
strategy for stand-by generators is to extend to the serviceable life where
they are required, but to reassess whether they are still required or
appropriate back-up power for the stations they serve. BCTC will be
evaluating substation generators in F2006.

Because they are not operated for long periods of time, standby generators
do not wear out in the same way that fully utilized generators would, and
most damage occurs on start-up.

Older fuel storage systems pose a potential environmental hazard as they


start to leak, and BCTC is looking at replacement of underground storage
tanks which are not in compliance with current codes and practices

BCTC is looking to apply a more rigorous assessment of condition going


forward and will monitor the condition of stand by Generators and fuel
systems based on the new health index.

3.3.18.2 Change from Historical Practice


New condition assessments will be used to monitor asset health.

3.3.18.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


BCTC has a replacement program underway and plans to replace 17 of the
41 standby generators for microwave equipment over three years.
Replacement is focused on diesel generators at critical microwave sites
where existing diesel generators are under sized or are no longer supported
by the equipment manufacturer with spare parts and service.

3.3.18.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All initiatives are prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and Prioritization
Program guidelines. The key criteria for this asset class include assessment
of:
Criticality of the facility
Equipment condition.

3.3.18.5 Related OMA Initiatives


New condition assessments have been developed for the stand-by
generators and fuel systems at substations. These assessments will be
updated and provide information on equipment condition/asset health on a
routine basis, and will identify areas where increased maintenance or
replacement is required.

34
3.3.19 Facilities General

3.3.19.1 Asset Management Strategy


As categorized for the Baseline Study, Facilities General is a catchall of
components that provide a supporting function to the primary circuit
elements. This category will likely be disaggregated for future reporting to
highlight condition of specific components.

Assets related to facilities generally degrade slowly and do not fail


catastrophically unless there is a major external event (seismic, flood, slide,
etc). Strategies on specific components are as follows:

Facilities, Buildings and Structures BCTC looks to extend the


serviceable life this asset at the lowest long-term cost, and employs a
time based inspection program to assess condition visually. Problems
are repaired as condition dictates. There is an ongoing program for
roof replacement.

Footings and Foundations, Grounds and Landscaping BCTC looks


to extend the serviceable life this asset at the lowest long-term cost
and has a time based inspection program to assess condition visually.
Problems are repaired as condition dictates. There is an ongoing
program for seismic upgrades to comply with current standards.

Spill Response and Containment The strategy for spill containment


is to maintain compliance with environmental standards at the lowest
long term cost. BCTC is placing significant new emphasis on spill
containment. A new environmental index has been developed to
determine the priority of stations requiring upgrades.

Sumps and Sump Pumps The BCTC strategy is to extend the


serviceable life of the asset at the lowest long-term cost through
regular maintenance using RCM principles. Routine maintenance is
performed during the dry season.

Lifting Equipment The strategy for lifting equipment is to extend the


serviceable life at the lowest long-term cost and meet safe operating
standards as defined for specific types of equipment. BCTC inspects
and maintains this equipment according to its standard.

Station Vegetation Control BCTC has and extensive vegetation


management program rated as one of the best in North America in a
2004 benchmarking on vegetation management. Strategy for station
vegetation is reflected in section 3.5.29.

Microwave Towers The strategy for microwave towers is to extend


the serviceable life at the lowest long-term cost. BCTC has towers
inspected annually and has an ongoing painting program as condition
requires. Asset management strategy similar to that for lattice steel
towers for support of conductor systems.

35
3.3.19.2 Change from Historical Practice
BCTC is putting increased focus on station auxiliary equipment as historically
there has not been a standard approach. There have been over 30 new
maintenance standards developed across this asset class over the last year,
which highlights the increased attention being placed by BCTC.

3.3.19.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There are a number of sustaining capital initiatives for this asset class,
including minor capital programs for roof replacement on substation buildings,
seismic upgrades, upgrades to auxiliary equipment, improvements in spill
containment, and refresh of gravel the in yard to bring it back up to standard.

3.3.19.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All initiatives are prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and Prioritization
Program guidelines. The key criteria for this asset class vary somewhat by
component, but include assessment of:
Equipment condition;
Environmental factors;
Societal factors;
Financial Impact.

3.3.19.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to the ongoing maintenance initiatives, the key OMA initiative
going forward is to improve the data collection and storage processes for
these assets to allow centralized access to electronic condition information.

36
3.3.20 Fire Protection Systems

3.3.20.1 Asset Management Strategy


Fire Protection Systems are also a supporting function to the primary circuit
elements. The strategy for fire protection systems is to maintain the
effectiveness of the protection and extend the serviceable life at the lowest
long term cost while meeting current safety and environmental standards.

As part of that strategy BCTC is removing all CO2 and Halon based fire
suppression systems due to their adverse environmental effects and safety
issues.

BCTC is reviewing the requirements for this asset and will install or replace
fire suppression systems at critical substation and microwave sites. BCTC
will begin monitoring the condition of fire protection systems with the new
health index and will start collecting the data to evaluate it on an ongoing
basis.

3.3.20.2 Change from Historical Practice


BCTC will have fire protection systems installed or replaced at facilities based
on priority, fire risk and impacts of disabled systems.

BCTC is now managing fire protection systems centrally for a consistent and
effective approach, while historically this asset was managed locally and
practices were not always consistent.

3.3.20.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The phase out all CO2 and Halon based fire suppression system systems due
to adverse environmental impacts and safety concerns is being continued.
All of these systems will be removed from service by 2010.

There is also a program for installation of fire suppression systems at twenty-


five critical microwave sites as replacement systems or new systems over
five years.

3.3.20.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Prioritization of projects is based on the impacts of disabled systems due to a
fire, criticality of system, and fire risk. Protection from an external fire (i.e.
forest fire) is not considered, as it cannot be achieved with automatic fire
suppression agents. Risk to stations from external fire is managed through
Vegetation Management.

3.3.20.5 Related OMA Initiatives


The only planned initiative is the implementation of the new health index for
the fire protection systems.

37
3.3.21 Microwave Equipment

3.3.21.1 Asset Management Strategy


The strategy for microwave equipment is to meet path reliability requirements
at the lowest long term cost. BCTC manages the asset over the entire
lifecycle, and as part of that strategy looks for opportunities to make one-time
capital investments that would result in elimination or reduction of ongoing
OMA costs, and an overall reduction in lifecycle costs without impacting
performance. As part of the strategy for this asset class, which includes new
standards for path reliability, BC Hydro and now BCTC have been replacing
the obsolete analog microwave equipment with new digital equipment. The
new technology, which enables remote monitoring from a central location and
increased inspection intervals, will reduce OMA costs over the lifetime of the
equipment.

At the end of 2004, the replacement program is about 81% complete, and is
expected to be 100% complete by the end of fiscal 2006.

The digital equipment has an expected lifetime of approximately 20 years,


based largely on availability of manufacturer support and spare parts. BCTC
is developing a strategy to maintain sufficient system spares over the
anticipated useful life of this asset.

Even with remote monitoring of some the core electronic components,


periodic maintenance inspections to assess equipment condition are still
necessary. Annual major inspections are supplemented with minor equipment
checks over the course of the year.

Microwave equipment is subjected to a time-based Reliability Centered


Maintenance (RCM) program, where different acceptance criteria are
established for different equipment types, and various inspection and testing
techniques are employed to ensure the equipment continues to provide
reliable service.

3.3.21.2 Change from Historical Practice


There is no significant change in strategy from historical practice.

3.3.21.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The current capital programs are related to the replacement of the analog
microwave equipment with new digital equipment. The upgraded equipment
operates at 48 volts and as a result, the existing 24-volt batteries and
chargers are also being replaced as part of the microwave equipment
upgrade program.

3.3.21.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Any new initiatives will be prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. The key criteria for this asset class include
assessment of:

38
Station criticality;
Equipment condition;
Financial benefit.

3.3.21.5 Related OMA Initiatives


As part of the installation of digital equipment, BCTC has increased
inspection intervals at remote sites with new digital equipment. This will be
supplemented by remote diagnostic capabilities from the network
management system, and is expected to reduce OMA expenditures over the
long term.

BCTC also intends to begin collection of the data needed to populate the
condition criteria in the Health Index formulations from the Baseline Study,
since sufficient condition data were not available for the baseline study. This
data will be stored in electronic databases to facilitate analysis, rather than in
field based paper records as was done in the past.

39
3.3.22 Power Line Carrier Equipment

3.3.22.1 Asset Management Strategy


The strategy for power line carrier equipment is to meet availability
requirements at the lowest long term cost. BCTC is currently in the process of
upgrading the Power Line Carrier (PLC) equipment to improve its reliability.

The older equipment still in service is currently functional, but obsolete. The
maintenance strategy is to monitor the condition and replace on failure, within
the parameters of the existing replacement program.

3.3.22.2 Change from Historical Practice


There is no significant change from historical practice.

3.3.22.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The Transmission System has a total of fifty-two PLC links made up of
multiple terminals. By the end of 2004, twenty-one links had been replaced.
An additional thirty-one links remain to be done by the end of 2006.

3.3.22.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Any new initiatives will be prioritized based on the BCTC Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. The key criteria for this asset class include
assessment of:
Reliability impact;
Equipment condition;
Financial benefit.

3.3.22.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Other than existing maintenance, there are no special OMA initiatives in
progress for this asset class.

40
3.3.23 Series Capacitors

3.3.23.1 Asset Management Strategy


Series Capacitors are key components in BCTC Transmission System in
terms of system stability and optimization. To meet the required system
reliability, the BCTC strategy is to extend the serviceable life at the lowest
long term cost, by focusing on the following three areas:

1. Maintenance continue to apply RCM principles for maintenance.


Measurement of key equipment condition indicators including infra-red
inspection will continue.
2. Spares - system reliability requires the right spares to be available in
stock. BCTC has initiated a program to inventory the spares and
assess spares adequacy to establish both short and long term spare
stocking levels.
3. Cost Effectiveness - BCTC asset management strategy pays specific
attention to OMA costs. These costs have been trending down due to
the process improvement efforts such as better work planning and
coordination, maintenance project prioritization, quality work
improvements and strategic focus on subsystem work. BCTC will
continue these efforts and explore other value engineering
approaches so as to better meet the required system reliability.

3.3.23.2 Change from Historical Practice


There are now electrical maintenance standards in place for all series
capacitor stations.

3.3.23.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There is no capital program planned for this asset at this time.

3.3.23.4 Prioritization and Risk Criteria


Any future replacement Program will be prioritized based on the Risk and
Prioritization Program guidelines. Primary considerations are the condition
assessment of the unit and impact to system reliability.

3.3.23.5 Related OMA Initiatives


OMA initiatives include assessment of spares and revision of maintenance
standards to incorporate condition criteria as proposed in the new Health
Index.

41
3.3.24 HVDC Pole 1

3.3.24.1 Asset Management Strategy


The strategy for HVDC is to continue to extend the life of the asset through
selected strategic capital investments and ongoing maintenance in order
preserve reliability, and maintain 90% availability until at least 2013.

The HVDC link has been an important regional system, integral within the
transmission grid to provide both firm capacity and standby electrical power
supply to the Vancouver Island. In an event of a loss to the 500kV lines to the
island, the DC systems auto frequency control capability has been
instrumental in reducing fluctuations and stabilizing the islands AC system.
With the high VAR control capability, the DC system has been flexibly used to
increase VAR absorption at both ends of the link. Other HVDC associated
equipment such as filter banks are also used to control both resonance and
harmonics which are prevalent in the connected AC systems.

In executing the HVDC strategy, BCTC is focusing on the following four


areas:

1. Maintenance approaches continue to monitor condition of reactive


equipment as defined by the health index for this asset, and apply
Reliability Centered Maintenance principles to deal with the most
critical maintenance issues.

2. Spares sustainability - BCTC will continue to monitor the critical


spares inventory to ensure this stock level is adequate to support the
long term needs of the asset. We expect the cost to acquire the
spares will continue to be very economical, as parts are acquired from
other utilities as they decommission their HVDC systems.

3. Mercury Arc Valve (MAV) rebuild capability BCTC has chosen a


rebuild rate of about 1.5 valves per year per station at this time to
maintain technical expertise and meet the 3000 hour/year operation of
Pole 1, but this rated could be doubled if required. BCTC will continue
to maintain this rebuild capability going forward.

4. Cost effectiveness- BCTC asset management strategy pays specific


attention to OMA costs. These costs have been trending down due to
the process improvement efforts such as better work planning and
coordination, maintenance project prioritization, quality work
improvements and strategic focus on subsystem work. BCTC will
continue these efforts and explore other value engineering
approaches so as to better meet the required system reliability.

3.3.24.2 Change from Historical Practice


Succession plans, knowledge transfer opportunities and training programs
are now in place to ensure continuity of HVDC expertise, technical proficiency
and quality of services.

42
Smaller but strategic investments such as cooling system improvement will
be done to ensure consistent system availability.

3.3.24.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There is a sustaining capital program to ensure air quality for workers
continues to meet WCB requirements.

3.3.24.4 Prioritization and Risk Criteria


Work plans/projects are prioritized based on BCTC Risk and Prioritization
program guidelines whose criteria include Reliability, Society/ Consent to
Operate, Finance, Asset Condition, Environment.

3.3.24.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Various OMA initiatives are in progress including:
Pole cooling system improvement to improve cooling system
reliability, which is closely linked to HVDC system availability.
Spares inventory database review and updates
The MAV rebuild schedule is currently reviewed to confirm if higher
rate of rebuild is required to meet operating requirements.
A regular maintenance degassing program is under consideration to
maintain Pole 1 reliability.
A detailed assessment of converter transformer condition (e.g. via
FRA, internal visual check, bushing Doble test, etc) to identify specific
maintenance work to be carried out going forward.
Revision of maintenance standards to incorporate condition criteria as
proposed in the new Health Index.
Focused improvement in data collection and testing processes.

3.3.25 HVDC Pole 2


Except for issues related to the mercury arc valves, the strategy and other
considerations for Pole 2 are the same as for Pole 1.

43
3.3.26 Conductor Systems

3.3.26.1 Asset Management Strategy


BCTC bases its asset management strategy for Conductor Systems on the
importance of the circuit to the system and the asset condition itself.

The asset is managed over the entire lifecycle, and as part of that strategy,
BCTC looks for opportunities to make one-time capital investments that
would result in elimination or reduction of ongoing OMA costs, and an overall
reduction in lifecycle costs, without impacting performance.

At this time, the condition of the majority of conductor system assets is


assessed visually, except for conductor splices that are currently evaluated
using infrared technology.

BCTC has begun a program of retrieving and testing samples of conductors,


splices, spacers and spacer dampers from the field that will be used to track
condition. BCTC is also moving toward live-line resistance measurements of
splices as a basis for tracking their condition. These test results and
measurement methods will support future capital replacement or
refurbishment programs.

The maintenance process for all transmission line assets is as follows:

In accordance with BCTC Maintenance Standards, BC Hydro Field


Services personnel inspect all conductor system assets and record
the current asset condition based on visual references provided in the
BCTC Maintenance Manual.
The asset condition information is then recorded in an electronic
database (STARR).
BCTC then develops a work program from this condition database
using RCM principles to prioritize the repairs.
Field Services is then assigned the highest priority repairs.
Field Services performs the work and electronically records it as
complete.
BCTC performs an audit function to ensure compliance.
The inspections are conducted in the next work season, and the
maintenance process cycle is repeated.

3.3.26.2 Change from Historical Practice


BCTC is driving a change from the existing subjective, visual evaluations
towards a metrics-based evaluation system. By performing resistance
measurements on splices on a regular basis, and by taking periodic
conductor, spacer and spacer damper samples from field sites, and by
performing laboratory tests, BCTC expects to avoid significant conductor
system failures and should be able to instigate future replacement or
refurbishment programs in a timely manner.

44
3.3.26.3 Sustaining Capital Programs
The primary Sustaining Capital Program that addresses conductor systems is
the Overhead Life Extension Program. Within this program, there are several
proposed projects related to conductor systems assets:

Replacement of 2-bundle spacers and 4-bundle spacer dampers that


are at end of life.
Replacement a very old copper conductor that has been assessed as
being at end of life.

3.3.26.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All conductor systems related projects are prioritized on the basis of the
importance of the circuit to the system and on the specific component
condition. All projects are evaluated using the same, rigorous prioritization
score card system. The key criteria that typically drive decisions for this
asset class are:
Reliability considerations
Asset condition

An RCM process is used to prioritise corrective work. The component defect


conditions are sequentially ranked in each of the following categories:
Structural integrity
Due diligence
Impacts and consequences

3.3.26.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Under an OMA initiative, BCTC is collecting and analyzing conductor system
component samples that will provide more objective data that can be used to
track degradation and support future maintain capital projects. Over the next
few years, BCTC expects this sampling program will lead to changes in the
field inspection methods and their related maintenance standards.

These initiatives are expected to trigger a shift away from traditional time-
based inspections of all assets to more focussed inspections of only those
assets that require inspections.

45
3.3.27 Metal Support Structures

3.3.27.1 Asset Management Strategy


The asset management strategy for Metal Support Structures is based on the
importance of the circuit to the system, as well as the specific asset condition.

BCTC manages the asset over the entire lifecycle, and as part of that
strategy, looks for opportunities to make one-time capital investments that
would result in elimination or reduction of ongoing OMA costs, and an overall
reduction in lifecycle costs without impacting performance. An example of
this strategy for Metal and Wood Support Structures is the investment in
arcing horns to protect insulators from damage due to lightning strikes.
While the cost of the insulators themselves is not high, the labour, equipment
costs and outage costs to replace the insulators are very significant.

At this time, the condition of the majority of Metal Support Structure assets is
assessed visually, except for grillage foundations which are assessed using a
more rigorous procedure involving half-cell measurements.

BCTC has begun a program of retrieving and testing samples of insulators,


guy grips, guy wires and secondary tower members from the field that will be
used to track condition. In the area of insulator assessments, BCTC is
investing in R&D projects that may allow their assessment from helicopters.
These sample test results and potential measurement methods will support
future capital replacement or refurbishment programs.

The maintenance process for all transmission line assets is as follows:

In accordance with BCTC Maintenance Standards, BC Hydro Field


Services personnel inspect all conductor system assets and record
the current asset condition based on visual references provided in the
BCTC Maintenance Manual;
The asset condition information is then recorded in an electronic
database (STARR);
BCTC then develops a work program from this condition database
using RCM principles to prioritize the repairs;
Field Services is then assigned the highest priority repairs;
Field Services performs the work and electronically records it as
complete;
BCTC performs an audit function to ensure compliance;
The inspections are conducted in the next work season and the
maintenance process cycle is repeated.

3.3.27.2 Change from Historical Practice


BCTC is driving a change from existing subjective, visual evaluations towards
a metrics-based evaluation system. By taking periodic samples of insulators,
guy grips, guy wires and secondary tower members from field sites, and by
performing laboratory tests, BCTC expects to avoid significant metal support
structure failures and should be able to instigate future replacement or
refurbishment programs in a timely manner.

46
3.3.27.3 Sustaining Capital Programs
There are several Sustaining Capital Program that address components in
the metal support structures category. They include the Overhead Life
Extension Program, the Overhead Line Corrosion Protection Program and
the Wind & Ice Storm Withstand Program. Within these programs the
following assets will be addressed:
Protection of insulator strings from lightning damage.
Refurbishment of failed galvanized coatings on towers.
Identification and correction of corroded grillage foundations.
Reinforcement of specific towers to withstand severe ice and wind
storms.

3.3.27.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All metal support structures related projects are prioritized on the basis of the
importance of the circuit to the system and on the specific component
condition. All projects are evaluated using the same, rigorous prioritization
score card system. The key criteria that typically drive decisions for this
asset class are:
Reliability considerations;
Asset condition.

An RCM process is used to prioritise corrective work. The component defect


conditions are sequentially ranked in each of the following categories:
Structural integrity
Due diligence
Impacts and consequences

3.3.27.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Under an OMA initiative, BCTC is collecting and analyzing metal support
structure component samples that will provide more objective data that can
be used to track degradation and support future maintain capital projects.

Over the next few years, BCTC expects this sampling program will lead to
changes in the field inspection methods and their related maintenance
standards. These initiatives are expected to trigger a shift away from
traditional time-based inspections of all assets to more focussed inspections
of only those assets that require inspections.

47
3.3.28 Wood Pole Structures

3.3.28.1 Asset Management Strategy


For Wood Pole Structures, BCTC bases its asset management strategy on
the importance of the circuit to the system and the asset condition itself.

BCTC also manages the asset over the entire lifecycle, and as part of that
strategy, looks for opportunities to make one-time capital investments that
would result in elimination or reduction of ongoing OMA costs, and an overall
reduction in lifecycle costs without negatively impacting performance. An
example of this strategy for Metal and Wood Support Structures is the
investment in arcing horns to protect insulators from damage due to lightning
strikes. While the cost of the insulators themselves is not high, the labour,
equipment costs and outage costs are very significant.

At this time, the condition of some of the Wood Pole Structure assets is
assessed visually, but the major asset, wood poles, is assessed using a
rigorous test and treat program. BCTC is evaluating field tests to directly
measure remaining strength of Wood Poles which would be significantly more
accurate in assessing condition to make a replacement decision than current
tests.

BCTC has begun a program of retrieving and testing samples of insulators,


guy grips and guy wires from the field that will be used to track condition. In
the area of insulator assessments, BCTC is investing in R&D projects that
may allow their evaluation from helicopters. Similarly, in the area of anchor
rod assessments, BCTC is experimenting with new technologies that will
enable field personnel to provide more accurate condition assessment.
These sample test results and potential measurement methods will support
future capital replacement or refurbishment programs.

The maintenance process for all transmission line assets is as follows:

In accordance with BCTC Maintenance Standards, BC Hydro Field


Services personnel inspect all conductor system assets and record
the current asset condition based on visual references provided in the
BCTC Maintenance Manual.
The asset condition information is then recorded in an electronic
database called STARR.
BCTC then develops a work program from this condition database
using RCM principles to prioritize the repairs.
Field Services is then assigned the highest priority repairs.
Field Services performs the work and electronically records it as
complete.
BCTC performs an audit function to ensure compliance.
The inspections are conducted in the next work season and the
maintenance process cycle is repeated.

48
3.3.28.2 Change from Historical Practice
BCTC is driving a change from existing subjective, visual evaluations towards
a metrics-based evaluation system. By taking periodic samples of insulators,
guy grips, and guy wires from field sites, and by performing laboratory tests,
BCTC expects to avoid significant wood pole structure component failures
and should be able to instigate future replacement or refurbishment programs
in a timely manner.

3.3.28.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


There are several Sustaining Capital Program that address components in
the wood poles structure category; the Overhead Life Extension Program and
the Overhead Reliability Improvements Program. Within these programs the
following assets will be addressed:

Protection of insulator strings from lightning damage.


Identification and correction of corroded anchor rods.

3.3.28.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All wood pole structures related projects are prioritized on the basis of the
importance of the circuit to the system and on the specific component
condition. All projects are evaluated using the same, rigorous prioritization
score card system. The key criteria that typically drive decisions for this
asset class are:
Reliability considerations;
Asset condition.

An RCM process is used to prioritise corrective work. The component defect


conditions are sequentially ranked in each of the following categories:
Structural integrity
Due diligence
Impacts and consequences

3.3.28.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Under an OMA initiative, BCTC is collecting and analyzing wood pole
structure component samples that will provide more objective data that can
be used to track degradation and support future maintain capital projects.
Over the next few years, BCTC expects this sampling program will lead to
changes in the field inspection methods and their related maintenance
standards.

In addition, many years of paper-based wood pole test and treat data are
being converted to electronic form and are being entered into the STARR
database. This will enable calculation of a health index in future years.

BCTC is also experimenting with promising, new technologies that will enable
more accurate condition assessment of anchor rods.

The above initiatives are expected to trigger a shift away from traditional time-
based inspections of all assets to more focussed inspections of only those
assets that require inspections.

49
3.3.29 Vegetation / Rights-of-Way

3.3.29.1 Asset Management Strategy


The core strategy for managing Vegetation and Rights of Way in the
Transmission System is to maintain the biological diversity of the vegetation
within the boundaries of the RoWs, and to minimize area requiring active
vegetation management. Allowing natural regeneration of selective plant
communities results in an increase in fish and wildlife habitat. The long term
objective of vegetation management is to promote low growing stable plant
communities while returning as much of the ROW as possible back to a
relatively undisturbed condition. This reduces safety hazards to the public
and virtually eliminates line outages from tall growing species. The program
also encourages compatible use, which enhances relationships with local
communities and reduces the area requiring vegetation management.

Execution of the Vegetation Strategy is accomplished through the


implementation of Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM). IVM closely
mirrors the principles embodied in Reliability Centered Maintenance.
Inventory and monitoring of assets is fundamental to both systems; in RCM
the decision to perform work is based on component condition (wear and
tear); in IVM the decision to perform work is based on the growth rate of a
target species in a given area, hazard tree rating, proximity to the line and
limits of approach. Based on this action threshold, a prescription is developed
to address both long and short-term objectives. This equates to the RCM
function of creating a decision model to prioritize work. Based on these
priorities contracts are issued that embody best work practices to meet
objectives. Feedback on the program is defined by ongoing inspection of
work performed, and by evaluation of whether the prescription met objectives.
Where objectives are not achieved corrective action plans are implemented.

IVM includes the following steps:

Complete inventories - Vegetation will be managed based on site


information including, but not limited to, vegetation inventories, species
growth rates, vegetation response to different treatments, fish and
wildlife resources, land ownership and present and potential uses of the
land. Related activities include:

- Commissioning of a comprehensive biophysical inventory of the


transmission rights-of-way. This will be completed in 2009;
- Mapping of known locations of species at risk;
- Mapping of fire risk areas and fuel loading in the Lower Mainland
- Mapping the location of invasive plant species and noxious weeds;
- A project to initiate the use of data loggers for collection of data in
the field has been initiated this will significantly streamline the
inventory process;
- Developing a data base containing all the ROW agreements.

50
Develop Action Thresholds
- The circuits have been rated on importance of reliability and
vegetation programs are prioritized to meet these reliability
requirements
- A risk assessment framework to determine the optimum timing for
work has been implemented.
- Patrolling standards for the timing of patrols and monitoring by
ground and by air have been implemented.

Produce Prescriptions/ Work plans


- Detailed standards have been developed that clearly describe all
vegetation techniques with instructions to the service provider.
- Comprehensive specifications for the contract have been written.
- Detailed prescriptions for work in riparian areas
- Enhanced techniques to reduce the build up of fuel that could serve
as a fire risk are being developed

A complete spectrum of vegetation management techniques is


considered with the best method being applied to each situation

- Vegetation management will be managed to foster the use of


leading edge techniques and innovation will be encouraged.
- A research and development program for ROW management has
been initiated

Optimization of resources
- A review of the contracting strategy has been initiated to determine
the most efficient way of utilizing third party contractors to conduct
vegetation work.

Evaluate Effectiveness
- Accounting systems have been developed that will tie the amount of
money spent to a specific location on the ROW so BCTC can track
dollars spent at each location over time and evaluate the
effectiveness of various techniques
- The comprehensive inventory will provide data on changes in target
species populations over time so BCTC can determine if techniques
are causing an increase or decrease in these incompatible species.

3.3.29.2 Change from Historical Practice


Historically no standards were used to manage this asset, and practices were
very regionalized.
The tracking of the amount of money spent to a specific location on the ROW
so BCTC can track dollars spent at each location over time in order to
evaluate the effectiveness of various techniques is also a key new initiative.

BCTC is looking to apply the same centralized rigor to vegetation as applied


to primary circuit elements.

51
3.3.29.3 Sustaining Capital Programs
Vegetation management is does have any related capital programs, as all
programs are treated as OMA.

3.3.29.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


As with other Transmission System programs, BCTC will prioritize vegetation
management programs on the basis of the importance of the circuit to the
system and on the specific component condition.

3.3.29.5 Related OMA Initiatives


The vegetation management strategy consists of two separate programs:

1. Reduction in vegetation caused outages from edge trees.

The majority of the tree caused outages on the Transmission System are
from trees falling onto the lines from the right-ofway edge rather than
from trees growing into the lines from within the corridor. A program to
survey the lines and remove those trees estimated to have a high potential
of failure has been established. In addition the Transmission System is at
risk due to the extensive infestation of the mountain pine beetle in BC. An
estimated 14,000 ha of dead lodge pole pine could be adjacent to the
lines. BCTC is investigating the possibility of initiating a salvage logging
operation to remove these extensive stands of dead timber.
2. Elimination of vegetation caused outages from trees growing into the
lines within the ROW.
Programs endeavour as much as possible to maintain the biological
diversity of the vegetation within the boundaries of the ROWs. Allowing
natural regeneration of selective plant communities results in an increase
in fish and wildlife habitat. The long term objective of vegetation
management is to promote low growing stable plant communities while
returning as much of the ROW as possible back to a relatively undisturbed
condition. This reduces safety hazards to the public and virtually
eliminates line outages from tall growing species. The program also
encourages compatible use, which enhances relationships with local
communities and reduces the area requiring vegetation management.

52
3.3.30 Access Roads

3.3.30.1 Asset Management Strategy


Transmission access covers development, maintenance, decommissioning,
safety and regulatory issues related to overhead and underground
transmission lines, as well as substation and communication system
components. Historically transmission access has been managed reactively,
and at present there is no comprehensive overall strategy to deal with all of
the associated transmission access asset items which include roads,
culverts, bridges, helipads, gates, etc.

In order to bring a more strategic approach to managing this extremely broad


asset class, BCTC plans to undertake the following activities:

Proceed to develop an inventory and condition assessment of


transmission access items, including property rights, ownership and
responsibilities;
Coordinate with Vegetation Control, Overhead and Substation
Maintenance teams to categorise Transmission access as: helicopter
access only, heavy vehicle access, 4WD access, foot access and no
maintained access;
Based on the above categories and the priorities set by the teams,
develop a maintenance and/or decommissioning plan to comply with
all federal, provincial and company legal and regulatory requirements.
This process will include development of a risk-based strategy to deal
with existing compliance issues, as well as a longer term strategy to
maintain compliance as part of the ongoing management of the
transmission access assets;
Implement the plan;
Monitor, evaluate and modify the plan as need to meet overall
transmission access requirements.

3.3.30.2 Change from Historical Practice


In the past no overall Province wide strategy was in place to manage
transmission access items. Various maintenance areas applied different
requirements, philosophies and financial considerations. Conflicting
requirements among stakeholders resulted in diverse responses and
suboptimal management of the overall asset.

Centralized management of the asset and implementation of the new overall


Transmission Access Strategy will address the issues above, and bring a
uniform management practice in compliance with all regulations and
requirements in a cost effective manner.

3.3.30.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The current capital spending program for this asset class is focused on
creating the initial asset inventory as a base from which informed decisions
can be made. Future capital programs will be developed in support the
evolving strategy to manage this asset.

53
3.3.30.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors
Prioritization will be considered based on access requirements from
Transmission, Substation and Communication Maintenance and Vegetation
crews, as well as relative asset item importance to overall system operation.

The risk criteria take into account the following elements:


Environmental factors
Reliability considerations
Asset condition
Financial considerations
Society / Consent to operate

3.3.30.5 Related OMA Initiatives


The key focus for OMA initiatives is to:
Develop an inventory of assets and perform a condition assessment
of access items;
Develop maintenance standards for access items.

54
3.3.31 Civil Works

3.3.31.1 Asset Management Strategy


Historically civil assets have been managed reactively, and at present there is
no comprehensive strategy to deal with Transmission Civil Asset items. This
is an extremely broad asset category of assets, and in order to bring a more
strategic approach to managing the assets, BCTC plans to undertake the
following activities:

Proceed to develop an inventory and condition assessment of


Transmission Civil Asset items;
Develop a comprehensive risk-based strategy to manage this asset;
Based on the asset inventory and strategy, prioritize asset items
considering line importance, various risks and cost benefit analysis;
Implement asset management strategy;
Monitor, evaluate, update and modify as needed to meet ongoing
requirements.

3.3.31.2 Change from Historical Practice


In the past no overall province wide strategy was in place to manage Civil
Works. Various maintenance areas applied different requirements,
philosophies and financial considerations. The BCTC objective is to have an
adaptive and cost effective asset management strategy meeting all regulatory
and overall asset management requirements.

3.3.31.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The current Civil Protective Program addresses some of the Civil Works
requirements, but as there is little information available, it is not necessarily a
comprehensive list. There is also a Corrosion Protection Program in
progress to address overhead transmission and substation civil corrosion
issues

3.3.31.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


Prioritization for this asset class will be considered based the following
elements:
Environmental factors
Reliability considerations
Asset condition
Financial considerations
Society / Consent to operate

One of the most significant risk considerations for civil works in the Lower
Mainland and Vancouver Island is seismic risk. Standards continue to evolve
and most of the civil structures that BCTC manages were built to older
standards and have not been upgraded.

Other significant risks include damage from wind and ice loadings as well as
environmental impacts from failing structures.

55
3.3.31.5 Related OMA Initiatives
Other than routine maintenance activity, there are no special OMA initiatives
in progress for this asset class.

56
3.3.32 Underground and Submarine Cables & Oil Systems

3.3.32.1 Asset Management Strategy


Underground and submarine cables are only used where overhead lines are
not feasible. Most of the circuits are located in Vancouver, Burnaby,
Coquitlam and Victoria, and include almost all system voltage levels.

BCTC manages the asset over the entire lifecycle, and as part of that
strategy, looks for opportunities to make one-time capital investments that
would result in elimination or reduction of ongoing OMA costs and outages,
resulting in an overall reduction in lifecycle costs and improved reliability.

While the cables in the Transmission System are some of the oldest in North
America, the circuits have provided reliable service except for three circuits
installed in the 1950s. These early vintage cable circuits were manufactured
without an extruded polyethylene jacket. Without a protective covering,
corrosion on the metallic sheath has resulted random oil leaks. An extensive
replacement program was initiated in 2000 and the last problem section will
be replaced in July 2005.

Most existing cables are fluid filled as they provide the greatest reliability and
the longest life, and the BCTC strategy for new cable installations continues
to include fluid filled cables for the same reasons.

As most underground cables are in ducts, the likelihood of physical damage


is reduced, and the focus of the asset management strategy is to monitor the
oil for signs of cable degradation, and monitor the cable joints for leaks. Oil
pressure is monitored continuously and alarms alert maintenance and
operations personnel immediately.

Underground cable systems in the Transmission System typically have


redundant circuits, and under normal conditions individual cables are only
loaded at half of their design capability. As a result, loading has not been a
major factor in contributing to end of life.

The asset management strategy for submarine cables is to monitor the


condition of cable catenaries and inspect the armour wires at these locations.
Inspections are typically done every 3 to 5 years (depending on the cable)
using an unmanned submersible camera. Because of the modern technology
used to locate the path for laying the submarine cables, they are generally
well supported, and damage to armour wires is rare.

The maintenance process for all transmission line assets is as follows:

In accordance with BCTC Maintenance Standards, assets are


inspected and the current asset condition is recorded based on visual
references provided in the BCTC Maintenance Manual;
The asset condition information is then recorded in an electronic
database (STARR);

57
BCTC then develops a work program from this condition database
using RCM principles to prioritize the repairs;
Field Services is then assigned the highest priority repairs;
Field Services performs the work and electronically records it as
complete;
BCTC performs an audit function to ensure compliance;
The inspections are conducted in the next work season, and the
maintenance process cycle is repeated.

3.3.32.2 Change from Historical Practice

The overall strategy has not changed significantly, but there is now more
focus on the asset lifecycle and consistency in the way the asset is managed.
This structure allows the Cable Team to respond to changing asset condition
requirements quickly.

3.3.32.3 Sustaining Capital Program

There has been an active sustaining capital program in place for transmission
cable for the last five years. Sustaining capital is focused on:

Replacement of defective cable sections.


Replacements of problem stop joints.
Upgrade of oil alarm and control systems to improve circuit restoration
time.
Upgrade of oil pumping plants and oil reservoir systems
Installation of protective barriers for 500 kV potheads vulnerable to
vandalism.

3.3.32.4 Prioritisation and Risk Criteria

All projects are evaluated using the same, rigorous prioritization score card
system. The key criteria that typically drive decisions for this asset class are:
Reliability considerations;
Asset condition.

An RCM process is used to prioritise corrective work. The component defect


conditions are sequentially ranked in each of the following categories:
Structural integrity;
Due diligence;
Impacts and consequences.

3.3.32.5 Related OMA Initiatives


In addition to the RCM program, BCTC has several on-going OMA initiatives
for the cable asset, including:
Upgrade of pumping plants;
Installation of oil containments for pumping plants at 500 kV cable
terminals and HVDC cable terminals;
Corrosion protection initiatives.

58
3.3.33 Manholes & Duct Systems

3.3.33.1 Asset Management Strategy

BCTC manages the asset over the entire lifecycle, and as part of that
strategy, looks for opportunities to make one-time capital investments that
would result in elimination or reduction of ongoing OMA costs, and an overall
reduction in lifecycle costs without impacting performance.

With the exception of drainage and sump pumps for manholes, there are no
real operating or serviceable components to this asset class. The strategy is
to monitor condition to the extent possible, and respond reactively to all other
problems.

Manholes are inspected regularly as part of the inspection process for the
cable joints in the manholes. Duct banks are not accessible for inspection
and there are currently no specific tests to assess duct integrity, other than to
physically excavate an area with a suspected failure.

3.3.33.2 Change from Historical Practice


There are no substantial changes to the way this asset has been managed
historically.

3.3.33.3 Sustaining Capital Programs


The Manholes and Duct Systems are in good condition, and there is no
sustaining program for Manholes and Duct Systems.

3.3.33.4 Prioritization Criteria and Risk Factors


All projects are evaluated using the same, rigorous prioritization score card
system. The key criterion to drive decisions for this asset class is asset
condition.

An RCM process is used to prioritise corrective work. The component defect


conditions are sequentially ranked in each of the following categories:
Structural integrity;
Due diligence;
Impacts and consequences.

3.3.33.5 Related OMA Initiatives


Other than routine maintenance activity, there are no special OMA initiatives
in progress for this asset class.

59
Transmission Baseline Study
Report
Prepared for
British Columbia Transmission Corporation
by Acres International Ltd.

Reference No. BCTC003

April, 2005
Transmission Asset Baseline Study

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

1.0 Circuit Breakers

2.0 Disconnect Switches

3.0 Circuit Switchers

4.0 Transformers/Tap Changers (excluding HVDC)

5.0 Instrument Transformers

6.0 Shunt Reactors

7.0 Shunt Capacitors

8.0 Station Insulators

9.0 Substation Cables and Terminations

10.0 Synchronous Condensers

11.0 Gas Insulated Switchgear

12.0 Static Var Compensators

13.0 High Pressure Air Systems

14.0 Protection and Control Systems

15.0 Surge Arrestors

16.0 Station Grounding & Surface Treatment

17.0 Batteries

18.0 Stand-By Generators and Fuel Systems

Acres International Limited


19.0 Facilities General

20.0 Fire Protection Systems

21.0 Microwave Equipment

22.0 Power Line Carrier Equipment

23.0 Series Capacitors

24.0 HVDC Pole 1

25.0 HVDC Pole 2

26.0 Conductor Systems

27.0 Metal Support Structures

28.0 Wood Pole Structures

29.0 Vegetation / Rights-of-Way

30.0 Access Roads

31.0 Civil Works

32.0 Underground and Submarine Cables & Oil Systems

33.0 Manholes & Duct Systems

Acres International Limited


Executive Summary

The Transmission Asset Condition Assessment project (Baseline Study) was conducted to
fulfill a contractual requirement with BC Hydro under Article 7 of the Asset Management
and Maintenance Agreement (AMMA), one of the key agreements establishing BC
Transmission Corporation (BCTC) as an independent transmission company to operate and
maintain the BC Hydro Transmission System (Transmission System). Acres International
Ltd. (Acres International) was selected through a competitive process as the independent
engineering firm to conduct the assessment, establish a baseline for asset health, and develop
a framework of condition-based health indices for all assets managed by BCTC that can be
repeated every three years. This report presents the condition assessment methodology and
results of the Baseline Study. It represents the opinions of Acres International.

Baseline Study Description


The Baseline Study involved assessing the condition of 33 different classes of assets in the
Transmission System, including lines, cables, microwave, and transmission substation
equipment. Each chapter in this report represents a particular asset class and describes
specific steps taken and data used in the condition assessment process. The Baseline Study
relied on data supplied by BCTC for each asset class.

Generally, the Baseline Study involved the following:

1. Providing general descriptions of each asset class;


2. Preparing demographic profiles of each type of asset in the Transmission System;
3. Describing typical degradation processes and condition assessment techniques for
each asset class;
4. Formulating a Health Index for each asset class by developing end-of-life criteria;
5. Calculating a numerical condition score for members of each asset class to indicate
their suitability for continued service;
6. Using those condition scores to make relative comparisons about the health of
common asset class members and conclusions about the overall health of each asset
class;
7. Ensuring repeatability by documenting the methodology and data sources used in the
Baseline Study; and
8. Recommending future actions to address asset health conditions, data gathering and
handling, and other issues raised during the Baseline Study.

The Baseline Study did not involve monitoring, sampling or testing of any assets. Results
reflect the analysis of existing electronic data from BCTC plus information obtained in a

i Acres International Limited


limited field survey (Field Survey). In some cases, additional data may exist in hard copy at
substations or field offices, but collection and transformation of that data was not included in
the scope of the study.

The asset condition assessment results of the Baseline Study are intended for use as one input
to an overall asset management planning and decision making methodology. Acres
International has typically used a model similar to that shown in Figure ES.1 when
developing an overall asset management plan, which requires consideration of several factors
to assess the risk and consequences of an assets failure in addition to an assessment of
condition. These risk-based considerations include criticality issues, reliability goals,
compliance requirements and performance expectations. All of these considerations are
critical to the development of an asset management plan that effectively balances relevant
inputs in a manner that meets BCTCs mandate under the AMMA.

Focus of the
Baseline Study

Financial Risk Based


Asset
Inputs Analysis Inputs
Condition
Assessment

PLANNING AND ASSET


Maintenance
puts
Requirements DECISION MANAGEMENT
METHODOLOGY PLAN

Reliability and
Regulatory
Requirements Performance
Data Cost Data

Figure ES.1 Overall Asset Management Planning Approach

Acres International Limited ii


To present the results of the Baseline Study in a consistent form, five standard categories of
asset condition were used to report the results of a normalized health index. The definitions
of the condition designations Very Good through Very Poor used in the Baseline Study are
shown in Table ES.1 below. These designations provide directional guidance in the overall
decision making process, but not without consideration of the other factors included in an
asset management decision.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some ageing or minor Normal maintenance
85 - 100 Very Good deterioration of a limited number
of components
Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance
70 - 85 Good
components
Widespread significant Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious remedial work or replacement needed
50 - 70 Fair
deterioration of specific depending on criticality
components
Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or
30 - 50 Poor rebuild considering risk and
consequences of failure
Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk;
0 - 30 Very Poor
replace or rebuild based on assessment

Table ES.1 Typical Health Index Scale for Baseline Study

Asset Condition Assessment Results and Conclusions


A summary of asset condition results from the Baseline Study are shown in Table ES.2. The
results shown are based on the condition categories described above.

It should also be noted that while many of the health indices developed are based on either a
composite of components (e.g. HVDC), or on multiple subclasses (e.g. circuit breakers), the
results shown in Table ES.2 are a consolidation of component and subclasses in order to

iii Acres International Limited


provide a more concise view of the overall results. The detailed results are contained and
presented within the body of the main report.

Baseline Asset Condition Results


(Percentage of Total Population)
Chapter Asset Description
Very Very
Poor Fair Good
Poor Good
1 Circuit Breakers 0.5 14.3 6.8 57.9 20.6
2 Disconnect Switches 0 0 0 98.5 1.5
3 Circuit Switchers 1.7 0 0 92.5 5.8
4 Transformers 0 0 6.8 31.6 61.5
5 Instrument Transformers 0 0 2.0 53.1 44.9
6 Shunt Reactors 0 0 6.3 29.4 64.3
7 Shunt Capacitors 0 4.5 0 61.2 34.3
8 Station Insulators Not Rated - Insufficient Data Available for Analysis
9 Station Cables 0 0 16.7 50.0 33.3
10 Synchronous Condensers 0 0 0 100.0 0
11 Gas Insulated Switchgear 0 11.1 44.4 33.3 11.1
12 Static Var Compensators 0 0 0 0 100.0
13 High Pressure Air Systems 0 0 3.7 51.9 44.4
14 Protective Relays 0 59.0 29.0 0 12.0
15 Surge Arrestors 58.7 0 0 36.3 4.9
16 Grounding Systems 0 1.1 19.1 66.0 13.8
17 Batteries 0.8 0 4.8 44.8 49.6
18 Standby Generators 0 0 16.7 60.0 23.3
19 Facilities General 1.0 1.0 11.0 76.0 12.0
20 Fire Protection Systems 2.7 0 24.1 26.8 46.4
21 Microwave Equipment 0 0 19.0 0 81.0
22 Power Line Carrier Equipment 0 0 60.0 0 40.0
23 Series Capacitors 0 0 20.6 0 79.4
24 HVDC Pole 1 0 100.0 0 0 0
25 HVDC Pole 2 0 0 100.0 0 0
26 Conductor Systems 0 0.2 11.9 80.9 7.1
27 Metal Support Structures 0.6 11.3 9.6 68.7 9.7
28 Wood Pole Structures Not Rated - Insufficient Data Available for Analysis
29 Vegetation/Rights-of-Way 14.3 9.1 25.5 17.2 33.9
30 Access Roads Not Rated - Insufficient Data Available for Analysis
31 Civil Works Not Rated - Insufficient Data Available for Analysis
32 Underground & Submarine Cables 4.9 1.2 22.2 66.7 4.9
33 Manholes & Duct Systems 0 0 0.9 92.6 6.5

Table ES.2 Baseline Asset Condition Results

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Generally, many assets are in Good or Very Good condition. Of the assets in Good or Very
Good condition, key conclusions include the following:

Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) 44.4% of GIS are in Good or Very Good condition.
However, 11.1% are also in Poor condition, and a field review of the switchgear done by
BCTC and Acres International showed that many components are degrading at a higher
than expected rate.
High Pressure Air Systems (HPAS) 96.3% are in Good or Very Good condition.
However, ways to retire the HPAS associated with the Air Blast Circuit Breakers that are
being replaced, should be considered.
Batteries 94.4% are in Good or Very Good condition. However, the Field Survey
found that 5 batteries had failed a critical Discharge Test, but field personnel reported
only one to the BCTC asset manager.
Conductor Systems 88% of conductor spans are in Good or Very Good condition, but
the condition of spacer dampers and ancillary equipment puts about 11.9% of conductors
in Fair condition. Because of a lack of condition data, most of the result is based on
equipment age.
Metal Support Structures 78.4% are in Good or Very Good condition, but older
structures at 360 kV and 138 kV have a large percentage in poor condition. Because of a
lack of condition data, most of the result is based on equipment age.
Underground and Submarine Cables Generally, these cables are in Good or Very
Good condition, but some types of SCFF cable are in Very Poor condition due to leaks.

Some of BCTCs assets are in Fair, Poor or Very Poor condition. Of these assets, key
conclusions include the following:

Circuit Breakers 14.8% of circuit breakers are in Poor or Very Poor condition. These
include both Air Blast Circuit Breakers and SF6 Circuit Breakers because of known
design problems in certain models.
Shunt Capacitors 4.5% are in Poor condition due to the presence of PCBs.
Protective Relays - 59% of protective measuring relays are considered to be in Poor
condition and 29% in Fair condition due to age, obsolescence, and lack of spare parts.
Surge Arrestors 58.7% are in Very Poor condition because they are technically
inadequate to perform the duty required.
Station Grounding There is currently not a program to measure station grounding
levels, which may create unacceptable step and touch potentials during ground faults.
This could present safety issues.
Fire Protection Systems The available data show that 2.7% of the systems are in Very
Poor condition since they are CO2 based.
Microwave Equipment - 19% of equipment is in Fair condition due to decreasing
reliability, lack of manufacturer support, and the need for bandwidth changes to conform
to Industry Canada regulations.
Power Line Carrier Equipment - 60% of this equipment is in Fair condition based on
BCTCs new, more stringent, availability criteria.

v Acres International Limited


Series Capacitors 20.6% are in Fair condition and may need improvements,
depending on the criticality of specific units.
HVDC Pole 1 Overall, both HVDC Pole 1 Stations are in Poor condition.
However, the mercury arc valves and their control equipment are kept in good
working condition through an extraordinary operation and maintenance program that
relies on the continued availability of spare parts, trained personnel, and special tools.
Vegetation/Rights-of-Way 48.9% of Vegetation/ROW circuit areas are reported in
Fair, Poor or Very Poor condition.

More detailed descriptions of demographic profiles, asset degradation processes, and specific
health index criteria, weightings and results are contained in the main body of the report.

Acres International Limited vi


Introduction to the Baseline Study
The Transmission Asset Condition Assessment project (Baseline Study) was conducted to
fulfill a contractual requirement with BC Hydro under Article 7 of the Asset Management
and Maintenance Agreement (AMMA), one of the key agreements establishing BC
Transmission Corporation (BCTC) as an independent transmission company to operate and
maintain the BC Hydro Transmission System (Transmission System). Acres International
Ltd. (Acres International) was selected through a competitive process as the independent
engineering firm to conduct the assessment, establish a baseline for asset health, and develop
a framework of condition-based health indices for all assets managed by BCTC that can be
repeated every three years. This report presents the condition assessment methodology and
results of the Baseline Study. It represents the opinions of Acres International.

Baseline Study Description


The Baseline Study involved assessing the condition of 33 different classes of assets in the
Transmission System, including lines, cables, microwave, and transmission substation
equipment. Each chapter in this report represents a particular asset class and describes
specific steps taken and data used in the condition assessment process. The Baseline Study
relied on data supplied by BCTC for each asset class.

Generally, the Baseline Study involved the following:

1. Providing general descriptions of each asset class;


2. Preparing demographic profiles of each type of asset in the Transmission System;
3. Describing typical degradation processes and condition assessment techniques for
each asset class;
4. Formulating a Health Index for each asset class by developing end-of-life criteria;
5. Calculating a numerical condition score for members of each asset class to indicate
their suitability for continued service;
6. Using those condition scores to make relative comparisons about the health of
common asset class members and conclusions about the overall health of each asset
class;
7. Ensuring repeatability by documenting the methodology and data sources used in the
Baseline Study;

The Baseline Study did not involve monitoring, sampling or testing of any assets. Results
reflect the analysis of existing electronic data from BCTC plus information obtained in a
limited field survey (Field Survey). In some cases, additional data may exist in hard copy at
substations or field offices, but collection and transformation of that data was not included in
the scope of the study.

1 Acres International Limited


Field Survey

As described above, a field survey of substation equipment assets was conducted to make an
assessment of current condition and to obtain additional condition-based data. In order to
control the cost of the condition assessment and data collection tasks, data were collected for
only a sample of the population of each substation equipment asset class. The results for the
samples were then extrapolated to the population as a whole. Because sampling was used
instead of an assessment of the entire population, the distributions of Health Index across
each asset class (i.e., how many are in Good condition, Fair condition, etc.) as shown in the
study are estimates of the actual distributions. In general, the samples were chosen to
produce an interval of 5% at 90% confidence.

For most asset classes, about 50% of the population was sampled. A sample of this size is
sufficient to develop statistically relevant results. For very large asset groups, such as
Disconnect Switches, smaller sample percentages were used; and for very small groups, such
as Synchronous Condensers the entire population was assessed. In every case, the samples
were sized to ensure the confidence level of the final results was not reduced.

Ideally, the sample would be randomly selected from all the assets in the population. This
was not deemed to be practical, as it would have necessitated visiting virtually every
substation and reviewing only selected pieces of equipment at each. Instead, the survey
comprised approximately 50% of the substations, randomly selected. This sample of
substations was then checked to ensure that it contained approximately 50% of the total
population for all relevant assets.

Methodology

The methodology used to assess the condition of the members of each asset class was
identical. This methodology is shown in diagrammatic form in the drawing at the end of this
section.

For each asset class the study addresses four principal items carried out in an ordered
sequence. As shown on the drawing these are:

Description of the Asset Class


Demographics of the Asset Class
Degradation Review and Health Index Formulation consisting of:
o Life Expectancy and Failure Issues
o End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating
o Health Index Formulation
Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

Details of the principal items shown above are as follows:

Acres International Limited 2


Asset Description

This section provides a brief description of the Transmission System equipment items that
are included in the Asset Class and how those assets function in the overall system. Asset
Classes, such as Circuit Breakers, include sub-classes, such as Oil Circuit Breakers that are
essentially treated as a separate asset group for purposes of this Study and the description of
each sub-class is included in this section.

Asset Demographics

This section includes the statistical characteristics of the total population that makes up the
Asset Class and may include such characteristics as type, manufacturer, age, voltage level,
load rating or other items that may be necessary to demonstrate the magnitude of the Asset
Class within parameters that are relevant for the purposes of this study.

Degradation Review and Health Index

This section includes a general discussion of how and why the component parts of each asset
degrade over time.

Computing the Health Index first required developing end-of-life criteria for various
components of the asset class. Each criterion represents a factor critical in determining the
components condition relative to potential failure.

In assessing the information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated
A through E. For most asset classes, letter condition ratings have the following general
meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
E means the component has completely failed or is degraded beyond repair.

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

3 Acres International Limited


For purposes of formulating the Health Index the letter condition ratings listed above also
received the following numbers shown as factors in the Health Index Formulation table
shown on the drawing:
A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1;
E = 0.

For each asset class member the components and tests in the Condition Rating Criteria shown
on the drawing were weighted based on their importance in determining the class members
end-of-life. For example, those that relate to primary functions of the component/asset
received higher weights than those that relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totaled for each asset class member.

Totaled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class member. For
each member, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score by its
maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, an Oil Circuit
Breaker in perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded
Oil Circuit Breaker would have a Health Index of 0.

Within a given asset class some individual assets may suffer from a fatal flaw that would
not be immediately obvious from the computation of the Health Index based on the end-of-
life criteria established. For instance, within the Air Blast Circuit Breaker asset class, one
type of breaker (Type ATB-80) is known by experience in the industry to be unreliable.
Based on the end-of life criteria established for Air Blast Circuit Breakers, a particular ATB-
80 may have a perfect score, i.e. HI=100 and be classified in Very Good condition. To
ensure that all such breakers are identified for consideration in a replacement program, the
computed Health Index was divided by a factor (in this case 2) as an integral part of the
computer program used to compute the Health Index. Thus the reported Health Index would
be 50, which would cause the breaker to fall into the Poor condition category and as a
minimum would warrant additional attention.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., the 70% Rule).

Acres International Limited 4


For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for Oil Circuit Breakers
shown in the Health Index Formulation table on the drawing, assume an Oil Circuit Breaker
with partial data has a maximum condition score of 82 out of the Health Index maximum
possible score of 120. That Oil Circuit Breaker, therefore, has only 68% of the maximum
score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other hand, if that Oil Circuit
Breaker with partial data had a maximum condition score of 92, it would have 77% of the
Health Index maximum and a valid Health Index.

For some members of some asset classes, available data were insufficient to provide a valid
Health Index using the 70% Rule described above. In such cases, in order to provide some
information about the assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off (i.e.,
the 50% Rule). Thus, if the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal to
50% of the maximum possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and presented
in the results. Application of this rule does not impact the statistical confidence of the results
of the HI calculation for classes where a sample population was assessed, because the data
used to calculate the HI for a given asset are not a sample.

Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

To present the results of the Baseline Study in a consistent form, five standard categories of
asset condition were used to report the results of a normalized health index. The definitions
of the condition designations Very Good through Very Poor used in the Baseline Study are
shown in the Table below. These designations provide directional guidance in the overall
decision making process, but not without consideration of the other factors included in an
asset management decision.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some ageing or minor deterioration of Normal maintenance
85 - 100 Very Good
a limited number of components
Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance
70 - 85 Good
components
Widespread significant deterioration Increase diagnostic testing, possible
50 - 70 Fair or serious deterioration of specific remedial work or replacement needed
components depending on criticality

Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or


30 - 50 Poor rebuild considering risk and consequences
of failure
Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk;
0 - 30 Very Poor
replace or rebuild based on assessment
Typical Health Index Scale for Baseline Study

5 Acres International Limited


TRANSMISSION BASELINE STUDY
ASSET CONDITION ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY
(example: oil circuit breakers)

Demographics Degradation Review


Asset Description Inventory and Age Health Index Formulation
of Asset Group And Scale

Health Index Formulation


Condition Rating Criteria Oil Circuit Breaker Max.

Acres International Limited


Data # Weight Rating Factors
Condition Bushings/Support Insulators Condition 1 Condition Criteria Score
Rating 1 1 Bushing/Supports 4 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Condition Leaks 2
A=4 No abnormal indications 2 Leaks 2 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Rating Tank and Mech.
BCondition
=3 Some possible abnormal indications 3 2 3 Tank and Mech. 4 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 16
A=4 No abnormal indications
C =Rating
2 Definite indications
Control of abnormal activity
Mech. 4 4 Control and Mech. 2 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 8
BCondition
A
= =3 4 Some
No possible
abnormal
and abnormal
indications indications
D = 1Rating Definite indications of high levels abnormal activity 3 5 Foundation 3 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 12
C=2 Definite indications of abnormal activity
Foundation 5
=3
E =B0Condition HighSome
levels possible
abnormal, abnormal
cannot indications
be brought to normal
=4
D =A1Rating No abnormal
Definite indications indications
of high levels abnormal activity 6 Overall Condition 4 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 16
C=2 Definite indications
Overall Breaker abnormal activity
ofCondition 6 4
=3 HighSome
levels possible
abnormal, abnormal
cannot indications
be brought to normal 7 Time/Travel 3 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 12
ED=B=0Condition
A1= 4 No abnormal
Definite indications indications
of high levels abnormal activity
C =Rating
2 Definite indications of abnormal activity
Time/Travel 7 8 Contact Resistance 4 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 16
E =B0Condition
A= =3 4 High Some
levels
No possible
abnormal,
abnormal abnormal
cannotindications
indications be brought to normal 5
D = 1Rating Definite indications of high levels abnormal activity 9 Stored Energy 2 A,E 4,0 8
C=2 Definite indications
Contact of abnormal activity
Resistance 8
=3
E =B0Condition High Some
levels possible
abnormal, abnormal
cannot indications
be brought to normal
=4
D =A1Rating No abnormal
Definite indications indications
of high levels abnormal activity 6 10 Oil Analysis 2 A-E 4,3,2,1,0 8
C=2 Definite indications
Stored Energy of abnormal activity 9
=3
E =B0Condition High Some
levelspossible
abnormal, abnormal
cannot indications
be brought to normal Maximum Score 120
=4
D =A1Rating No abnormal
Definite indications indications
of high levels abnormal activity
C=2 Definite indications
Analysis of abnormal activity 10 7
E =B0Condition
= =3 4 High Some
No
Oil possible
levels abnormal,
abnormal abnormal
cannotindications
indications be brought to normal
D =A1Rating Definite indications of high levels abnormal activity
C=2 Definite
Some indications
possible of abnormal
abnormal activity
indications

6
E =B0A= =3 4 High levels
No abnormalabnormal, cannot
indications be brought to normal 8
D=1 Definite indications of high levels abnormal activity
C=2 Definite indications of abnormal activity
E =B0 = 3 High Some
levels possible
abnormal, abnormal
cannotindications
be brought to normal HI = 100 x Score / Max. Score
D=1 Definite indications of high levels abnormal activity 9
C=2 Definite indications of abnormal activity
E=0 High levels abnormal, cannot be brought to normal
D=1 Definite indications of high levels abnormal activity
10
E=0 High levels abnormal, cannot be brought to normal
Summary of Health Index Results
and Condition Assessment
Health Index Scale
Health Health Index Sample Pop. 400 358
Condition Description Requirements 350
Index Very Good 31 60
85 - Very Good Some ageing or minor deterioration of a Normal maintenance Good 184 358 300
100 limited number of components Fair 31 68 250
70 - 85 Good Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance Poor 0 0 200
components 150
Number of

Very Poor 0 0
50 - 70 Fair Widespread significant or serious Increase diagnostic testing, possible 100 68 60
Total 250 487
Oil Circuit Breakers

deterioration deterioration of specific remedial work or replacement needed 50


% Population 51.3 100 0 0
components depending on criticality 0
30 - 50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or rebuild Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
considering risk and consequences of failure
0 - 30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk; Health Index Categories

replace or rebuild based on assessment

TRANSMISSION BASELINE STUDY


ASSET CONDITION ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY
1.0 Circuit Breakers

This chapter covers types of switching devices known as circuit breakers. The BCTC-
managed transmission system also includes switching devices such as circuit switchers,
disconnect switches and gas insulated switchgear that are analyzed in separate chapters of
this report.

1.1 Description

The circuit breaker asset class includes several types of mechanical switching devices that
can make, carry and interrupt electrical currents under normal and abnormal conditions.
Transmission system circuit breakers typically serve single loads, transmission line terminals,
and transformer banks.

Circuit breakers represent the single most critical element of any power system. They serve
as the last link in a chain of protective equipment, and must interrupt both load and short
circuit currents reliably when given automated or manual commands.

They operate infrequently. However, when an electrical fault occurs, breakers must operate
reliably and quickly. They also must operate without damaging or disturbing themselves,
and the electrical system as a whole. Typically, they can interrupt currents in 5 cycles (83
milliseconds) or less.

When a circuit breaker interrupts a current, an arc of ionized gas forms inside the breaker.
This arc contains very large amounts of energy that must be absorbed and extinguished by
the breakers main interrupting unit in view of the following factors:

Velocity of contact separation;


Distance between contacts;
Current zero;
Cooling provided by the insulating medium; and
Insulating (i.e., dielectric) strength of the insulating medium

Within the BCTC-managed transmission system, breakers provide switching and protection
in medium, high and extra high voltage applications. Installations include stand-alone [e.g.,
air insulated substations (AIS)] and integrated [e.g., gas insulated switchgear (GIS)]
configurations.

Two categories of breakers exist, live- and dead-tank. Live-tank breakers operate at line
potential isolated from ground by support insulators. Normally, live-tank breakers have
freestanding current transformers. Dead-tank breakers have grounded tanks that typically
incorporate bushing current transformers.

Circuit breakers on the BCTC-managed transmission system represent all current


configurations and technologies. The BCTC-managed system also includes designs from

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about 20 different manufacturers. Circuit breakers on the BCTC-managed transmission
system include the following categories:

Oil Circuit Breakers (OCB) - live and dead tank, minimum and bulk oil in AIS;
Air Blast Circuit Breakers (ABCB) live tank in AIS;
Vacuum Circuit Breakers (Vacuum CB)
Air Magnetic Circuit Breakers (AMCB)
SF6 Circuit Breakers (SF6 Breakers) - live and dead tank, single and double pressure
in AIS and GIS;

The BCTC-managed transmission system has 1079 power circuit breakers in 275 AIS and 7
gas insulated substations.

More detailed descriptions of various circuit breaker designs follow:

Oil Circuit Breakers (OCB)


For over 70 years, OCBs have served as the workhorses of switching devices in most
Canadian utilities. Currently, the BCTC-managed transmission system has two main types of
OCBs, and oil serves as the primary interrupting medium for both.

Live Tank (i.e., minimum oil)


Dead Tank (i.e., bulk oil)

At voltages of 138 kV and below, dead tank breakers typically have a single tank containing
all three phases in one volume of oil. At higher voltages, dead tank breakers generally have
three separate single-phase tanks. These breakers generally come pre-assembled from the
factory and require less on-site installation than live tank breakers and associated current
transformers.

OCBs generally perform well at low ambient temperatures. They also readily execute the
infrequent load switching and protection operations common to many utility medium and
high-voltage systems. They do not perform frequent switching applications well. Similarly,
they do not perform well in online or cable switching situations where they may experience
high peak recovery voltages.

OCBs typically have simple installation and maintenance requirements. Generally, 4 to 8


fully rated interruptions represent an OCBs useful service time between major maintenance.
This duty cycle can result in excessive contact erosion, carbonisation of oil, and the need for
maintenance.

Many of the dead tank OCBs on the BCTC-managed transmission system were manufactured
in Canada. The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) provided service support and
spares for these dead tank OCBs until the late 1990s. Canadian utility staff, in turn,
developed expertise in maintaining and extending the life of these breakers well beyond the
expected life for switchgear.

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Air Blast Circuit Breakers (ABCB)
ABCBs interrupt currents by opening a blast valve and allowing high-pressure air to flow
through a nozzle along the arc drawn between fixed and moving contacts. This process
rapidly stabilizes, cools and interrupts the arc. ABCBs have modular designs with each single
phase of a three-phase breaker consisting of two or more columns. The columns support
interrupters connected in series to meet specific system voltage requirements. Before
development of SF6 Breakers, ABCBs provided the only suitable option for switching at 500
kV. The BCTC-managed transmission system currently has 187 ABCBs. BCTC has noted
that early 500kV ABCBs installed on the BCHydro system may be susceptible to major
damage during seismic events.

ABCBs have the highest interrupting ratings and shortest interrupting times of any high- or
extra-high voltage circuit breaker. Many high-voltage ABCBs have opening and closing
resistors plus voltage grading capacitors across multi-break designs. ABCBs also have large
masses supported on long vertical porcelain insulators, making stability a concern in
seismically active areas. In general, the complexity of ABCBs has made maintenance and
reliability a concern.

Unlike all other circuit breaker technologies, ABCBs rely on a directly connected, external
source as an interrupting medium. The medium, high-pressure compressed air typically
comes from central air compressor plants equipped with air storage facilities sized to
accommodate all the ABCBs in a substation. Generally, these central plants serve each
ABCB through local high-pressure air receivers fed from a main ring system. Local air
receivers must have capacities sufficient to provide Open-Close-Open operations without
replenishment from the central plant.

ABCBs must have dry air. Therefore, central air compressor plants typically include air
dryers that remove most moisture from the air. Also, to ensure maximum dryness, many
ABCB systems have additional dryers fitted locally to each ABCB. For purposes of this
study, high-pressure air systems are included as a separate asset class presented in Chapter 13
of this report.

Vacuum Circuit Breakers (Vacuum Breakers)


First developed in the late 1920s, vacuum breakers consist of fixed and moving butt type
contacts in small evacuated chambers (i.e., bottles). A bellows attached to the moving
contact permits the required short stroke to occur with no vacuum losses. Arc interruption
occurs at current zero after withdrawal of the moving contact. Utilities typically install
vacuum breakers indoors in metalclad switchgear. Some utilities install them outdoors in
breaker-in-a-box arrangements. The BCTC-managed transmission system includes 6
vacuum breakers.

After early design, manufacture and application problems, vacuum breaker technology
improved. Vacuum breakers have now become the dominant switching technology for
medium voltage systems below 25kV, and have been commercialised successfully up to
38 kV. Current medium voltage vacuum breakers require low mechanical drive energy, have

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high endurance, can interrupt fully rated short circuits up to 100 times, and operate reliably
over 30,000 or more switching operations. Vacuum breakers also are safe and protective of
the environment.

Air Magnetic Circuit Breakers (Air Magnetic Breakers)


Air magnetic breakers represent some of oldest circuit breaker technologies now in use, but
they were generally superseded by SF6 and vacuum technologies in the late 1970s. Today
these breakers have become virtually obsolete and are used only in metalclad switchgear
applications. Air magnetic breakers use the magnetic effect of the current undergoing
interruption to draw an arc into an arc chute for cooling, splitting and extinction. Sometimes,
an auxiliary puffer or air blast piston may help interrupt low-level currents. The BCTC-
managed transmission system contains 9 air magnetic breakers.

Generally, air magnetic breakers are used on medium voltage systems, with most breakers
installed on systems operating at and below 15 kV. The breakers have long interrupting
times, and high thermal, mechanical and electromagnetic properties. Thus, air magnetic
breakers have short duty cycles, require frequent maintenance and approach their end-of-life
at much faster rates than either SF6 or vacuum breakers. They also have limited transient
recovery voltage capabilities and experience restriking when switching capacitative currents.

SF6 Circuit Breakers (SF6 Breakers)


First developed in the late 1960s and based on air blast technology, SF6 breakers had double-
pressure designs (i.e., low pressure tank and high pressure reservoir). SF6 breakers interrupt
currents by opening a blast valve and allowing high pressure SF6 to flow through a nozzle
along the arc drawn between fixed and moving contacts. This process rapidly deionizes,
cools and interrupts the arc. After interruption, low-pressure gas is compressed for re-use in
the next operation. The BCTC-managed transmission system has 390 SF6 Breakers.

Early SF6 designs experience some problems and failures. The BCTC-managed transmission
system still contains some of these early designs. These include ITE and Westinghouse
double-pressure high voltage breakers. Recent SF6 designs have improved the technology
substantially. Because of these improvements, SF6 equipment has become popular and has
replaced oil-filled equipment. In fact, over the last 30 years, single pressure SF6 breakers
have become the technology of choice for transmission class switchgear. The simple design
of SF6 breakers makes them very reliable.

SF6 is a very stable compound with remarkable dielectric properties. Its use has enabled
transmission equipment to become more compact, safer and have fewer maintenance
requirements. Consequently, SF6 equipment has become dominant, and almost no
alternatives exist for switchgear applications at the highest transmission voltage levels.

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1.2 Demographics

Oil Circuit Breakers


a) Bulk OCBs
The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 413 bulk OCBs. Table 1.2.1 shows
the number of bulk OCBs grouped by voltage level and age group. The 60 kV and 138 kV
voltage levels contain most of bulk OCBs in the system, with 55% and 31% respectively.
The less than 25 kV, 230 kV and 360 kV voltage levels have fewer bulk OCBs, with 3.6%,
9.9% and 0.5% respectively.

Table 1.2.1 also shows that 35.8% of the bulk OCBs are between 30 and 39 years old and
32.9% are in the age range of 20 to 49 years. Also, 6.5% of the bulk OCBs were
commissioned more than 50 years ago.

Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV 360 kV
0 to 9 0 1 1 0 0 2 0.5
10 to 19 1 5 5 0 0 11 2.7
Age Group

20 to 29 6 44 79 7 0 136 32.9
30 to 39 5 111 23 7 2 148 35.8
40 to 49 2 44 17 10 0 73 17.7
50 plus 1 22 2 2 0 27 6.5
incomplete 0 0 1 15 0 16 3.9
Total 15 227 128 41 2 413 100.0
Percent 3.6 55.0 31.0 9.9 0.5 100.0

Table 1.2.1 Count of Bulk Oil Circuit Breakers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

b) Minimum OCBs
The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 74 minimum OCBs. Table 1.2.2
shows the number of minimum OCBs grouped by voltage level and age group. As shown in
the table, the 60 kV and 138 kV voltage levels have similar numbers of minimum OCBs,
with 18.9% and 25.7% respectively. With only 4.1% of the minimum OCBs, the less than 25
kV voltage level has the fewest minimum OCBs. With 51.4%, the 230 kV voltage level has
the most minimum OCBs of any level in the BCTC-managed transmission system.

Table 1.2.2 also shows that 86.5% of the minimum OCBs, were commissioned between 20
and 29 years ago.

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Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV
0 to 9 0 2 0 0 2 2.7
10 to 19 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Age Group

20 to 29 2 12 16 34 64 86.5
30 to 39 0 0 1 3 4 5.4
40 to 49 0 0 2 0 2 2.7
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 1 0 0 1 2 2.7
Total 3 14 19 38 74 100.0
Percent 4.1 18.9 25.7 51.4 100.0

Table 1.2.2 Count of Minimum Oil Circuit Breakers Grouped by Voltage


Level and Age

Air Blast Circuit Breakers


The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 187 ABCBs. Table 1.2.3 shows the
number of ABCBs grouped by voltage level and age group. As shown in the table, the 230
kV and 500 kV voltage levels have most of the ABCBs in the system, with 32.6% and 58.3%
respectively. The less than 25 kV and 138 kV voltage levels have far fewer ABCBs, with
5.3% and 3.7% respectively.

Table 1.2.3 also shows that 64.2% of the ABCBs are between 20 and 29 years old and 32.6%
are in the age range of 30 and 39 years. Only 0.5% of the ABCBs were commissioned
between 40 and 49 years ago.

Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 138 kV 230 kV 500 kV
0 to 9 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
10 to 19 0 0 0 5 5 2.7
Age Group

20 to 29 6 3 28 83 120 64.2
30 to 39 3 4 33 21 61 32.6
40 to 49 1 0 0 0 1 0.5
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Total 10 7 61 109 187 100.0
Percent 5.3 3.7 32.6 58.3 100.0

Table 1.2.3 Count of Air Blast Circuit Breakers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

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Vacuum Circuit Breakers (Vacuum CBs)
The BCTC-managed transmission system has only 6 vacuum CBs. Table 1.2.4 shows the
number of vacuum CBs grouped by voltage level and age group. As shown in the table, only
the less than 25 kV and 138 kV voltage levels have vacuum CBs, with 33.3% and 66.7%
respectively.

Table 1.2.4 also shows that 66.7% of the vacuum CBs are between 20 and 29 years old.

Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 138 kV
0 to 9 0 0 0 0.0
10 to 19 0 0 0 0.0
Age Group

20 to 29 2 2 4 66.7
30 to 39 0 0 0 0.0
40 to 49 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 0 2 2 33.3
Total 2 4 6 100.0
Percent 33.3 66.7 100.0

Table 1.2.4 Vacuum Circuit Breakers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

Air Magnetic Circuit Breakers (AMCBs)


The BCTC-managed transmission system has 9 AMCBs, all found at voltage levels less than
25 kV. Table 1.2.5 shows the number of AMCBs grouped by voltage level and age group.

Table 1.2.5 also shows that 22.2% of the AMCBs are between 20 and 29 years old and
44.4% are in the age range of 40 to 40 years.

Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV
0 to 9 0 0 0.0
10 to 19 0 0 0.0
Age Group

20 to 29 2 2 22.2
30 to 39 0 0 0.0
40 to 49 4 4 44.4
50 plus 0 0 0.0
incomplete 3 3 33.3
Total 9 9 100.0
Percent 100.0 100.0

Table 1.2.5 Air Magnetic Circuit Breakers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

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SF6 Circuit Breakers (SF6 Breakers)
The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 390 SF6 breakers. Table 1.2.6 shows
the number of SF6 breakers grouped by voltage level and age group. The BCTC-managed
transmission system has 45.6% of its SF6 Breakers in the 230 kV voltage level. The
remaining SF6 breakers are distributed among the less than 25 kV, 60 kV, 138 kV, and 360
kV, and 500 levels, with those levels having 4.1%, 14.1%, 16.4%, 1.3% and 18.5%
respectively.

Table 1.2.6 also shows that most of the SF6 breaker population is distributed among age
groups 0 to 9 years, 10 to 19 years, and 20 to 29 years, with those groups having 38.2%,
23.1% and 29.0% respectively. Thus, 90.3% of the SF6 breakers in the BCTC-managed
transmission system were commissioned within the last 29 years.

Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV 360 kV 500 kV
0 to 9 11 44 29 34 5 26 149 38.2
10 to 19 5 11 31 33 0 10 90 23.1
Age Group

20 to 29 0 0 4 73 0 36 113 29.0
30 to 39 0 0 0 26 0 0 26 6.7
40 to 49 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 0.8
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 0 0 0 9 0 0 9 2.3
Total 16 55 64 178 5 72 390 100.0
Percent 4.1 14.1 16.4 45.6 1.3 18.5 100.0

Table 1.2.6 Count of SF6 Circuit Breakers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

1.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

1.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Circuit breakers have many moving parts that are subject to wear and stress. They frequently
make and break high currents and experience the arcing that accompanies such
operations. While this asset class consists of several different technologies, they have many
degradation issues in common. For example, all circuit breakers undergo some contact
degradation every time they open to interrupt an arc. Also, arcing produces heat and
decomposition products that degrade surrounding insulation materials, nozzles, interrupter
chambers and grids. The mechanical energy needed for the high contact velocities of these
assets adds mechanical deterioration to their degradation processes.

The rate and severity of degradation depends on many factors, including insulating and
conducting materials, operating environments, and a breakers specific duties. The rate of

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contact degradation varies widely for differing technologies. Switching, fault interruption,
and exposure to over-voltages and currents rarely lead to the end-of-life for these assets.

The International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRE) studies on circuit breaker
longevity identified the following key end-of-life factors for this asset class:

Decreasing reliability/availability/maintainability (RAM);


High maintenance and operating costs;
Changes in operating conditions;
Maintenance overhaul requirements; and
Circuit breaker age.

Outdoor circuit breakers may experience adverse environmental conditions that influence
their rate and severity of degradation. The following represent primary degradation
processes affecting all circuit breaker-related assets:

Corrosion;
Effects of moisture;
Bushing/insulator deterioration; and
Mechanical;

Corrosion and moisture commonly cause degradation of internal insulation, breaker


performance mechanisms, and major components like bushings, structural components, oil,
air and SF6 seals. Corrosion presents problems for almost all circuit breakers, irrespective of
their location or housing material. Rates of corrosion degradation, however, will vary. For
example, oil breaker steel tanks subjected to coastal salt spray or heavy industrial pollution
will degrade faster than SF6 breaker aluminium tanks under similar conditions. Underside
tank corrosion causes problem in many types of dead tank breakers, particularly those with
steel tanks. Another widespread problem involves corrosion of operating mechanism
linkages that result in eventual link seizures. Corrosion also causes damage to metal flanges,
bushing hardware and support insulators.

Moisture causes damage to all insulating systems. Outdoor circuit breakers experience
moisture ingress through defective seals, gaskets, pressure relief and venting devices.
Moisture in the interrupter tank can lead to general degradation of internal components.
Also, sometimes free water collects in tank bottoms, creating potential catastrophic failure
conditions.

Moisture also may cause bushing deterioration, particularly in free-breathing oil circuit
breaker bushings. Paper insulation readily absorbs moisture resulting in discharge tracking
across its surface and eventual bushing failure. Oil impregnated paper bushings exhibit
greater sensitivity to moisture than other bushings. Once inside the paper insulation moisture
becomes difficult to remove and can lead to failures.

Bushing degradation also can result from partial discharges and excessive thermal and
mechanical stress. Externally, coastal salt spray and heavy industrial pollution will degrade

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bushings and associated metal parts. In addition, sometimes freezing rain combined with
environmental contamination has led to bushing support insulator failures.

CIGRE studies on circuit breaker reliability have confirmed that mechanical degradation
presents greater end-of-life concerns than electrical degradation. Even for modern SF6
breakers, mechanical degradation causes about 80% of observed problems. Generally,
operating mechanisms, bearings, linkages, and drive rods represent components that
experience most mechanical degradation problems. Gas, oil and air leakage also occur.
Newer breakers typically use simpler operating mechanisms and have seals and fittings that
minimize leaks.

Contacts, nozzles, and highly stressed components experience electrical-related degradation


and deterioration. Electrical defects that arise with aging include:

Loose primary and grounding connections;


Oil, air, SF6 contamination and/or leakage; and
Deterioration of concrete foundation affecting stability of breakers.

While indoor equipment and outdoor equipment generally have different long-term
degradation processes, some of the same principles apply to both. Most circuit breakers are
installed outdoors. When used in general purpose switching applications, this equipment
typically sits inactive for long periods. Such infrequent operation may result in stuck breaker
mechanisms and failures to operate when needed. Some utilities have implemented
rehabilitation programs that include replacement of critical components, other than breaker
tanks. After these rehabilitation activities, utilities generally give as good as new age
classifications to the remanufactured units.

The following sections describe degradation processes specific to each type of technology in
this asset class.

OCB Degradation
For OCBs, the interruption of load and fault currents involves the reaction of high pressure
with large volumes of hydrogen gas and other arc decomposition products. Thus, both
contacts and oil degrade more rapidly in OCBs than they do in either SF6 or vacuum designs,
especially when the OCB undergoes frequent switching operations. Generally, 4 to 8
interruptions with contact erosion and oil carbonisation will lead to the need maintenance,
including oil filtration. Since these breakers contain large volumes of oil, such maintenance
is costly.

Oil breakers also experience restrike when switching low load or line charging currents with
recovery voltage values. Sometimes this can lead to catastrophic breaker failures.

Oil circuit breakers generally require more maintenance than SF6 breakers. Oil circuit
breakers involved in switching operations have even higher maintenance needs.

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Air Blast Circuit Breaker (ABCB) Degradation
Mechanically complex operations and constant high air pressure accelerate degradation in
ABCBs. Air leaks and moisture ingress through faulty seals and poorly maintained
compressed air systems typically result in problems for these breakers.

Corrosion often affects the bottom flanges of support insulators. Moisture may seep under
the flange causing corrosion that eventually allows more moisture to penetrate the air system.
Sometimes this can lead to major flashovers with catastrophic results.

Other components susceptible to corrosion include support insulator clamp fixing bolts used
to secure bottom flanges to steel support structures. In severe cases, corrosion of these bolts
can allow moisture to bridge the interface between the external and internal faces of the
flange. In time, and under freezing conditions when more moisture has crossed the interface,
insulators can crack from ice formation between flange faces.

The mechanical linkages of ABCB operating mechanisms may experience corrosion that can
cause link seizures. ABCBs with opening and closing resistors and resistor switching
assemblies are more complex than equivalently rated SF6 breakers. Breakers with these
components have more porcelain clad parts and operational linkages, leading to increased
degradation potential.

Oil leaks in head grading capacitors also raise end-of-life concerns for ABCBs. Older
versions are housed in porcelain bushings filled with insulating oil. Oil leaks allow moisture
to enter, leading to corrosion. Generally, refurbishing, resealing or refilling capacitor units is
not economically viable. Thus, utilities usually replace the complete unit when oil leaks
occur.

Utilities typically do not rely on condition assessments when planning capital programs for
ABCBs. Rather, many major North American utilities automatically rebuild ABCBs after 20
years of service. One utility undertook a major overhaul of certain types of ABCBs to
achieve an anticipated lifespan of 45 years. Some utilities are now considering ABCB exit
strategies because they have higher maintenance requirements than other breakers, especially
when frequent switching requirements exist. BCTC has identified several specific breaker-
types that must be replaced (ATB-80, 500 kV AT, and DEL PKs except PK6V) because of
basic design problems, lack of economically available spare parts, and the risks that they
pose to the system.

SF6 Circuit Breaker Degradation


Most of the high volume SF6 equipment managed by BCTC was installed between the 1970s
and late 1990s. SF6 circuit breakers rarely fail from internal degradation or insulation
breakdowns. When such failures do occur, they typically result from design or manufacture
deficiencies, and they happen early in the breakers life. There is little experience with
failures from long-term SF6 chamber degradation. However, failures have occurred on early
single pressure breaker designs used for MV system fault interruption in switching
applications for capacitor banks, arc furnaces, and boilers.

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SF6 insulation systems are sensitive to enhanced stress caused by metal particles or other
protrusions on live parts. Metallic particles generated by moving metal parts in the tank can
accumulate and cause internal flashovers. Particle initiated failures do not appear age-
related, since the problem has occurred on relatively new breakers.

Low temperatures often found in Canada have caused operational problems and failures of
SF6 breakers. Most international testing standards for these breakers specify minimum
temperatures of -30 C, but many Canadian users require operation at -40 C. Some users
even specify temperatures as low as -55 C. Heaters and gas mixtures used to meet these low
temperature specifications create increased maintenance needs and operating costs. Now,
manufacturers have developed breakers that can operate using pure SF6 at temperatures down
to -40 C.

At low temperatures, early double pressure designs experience gas leaks as well as
mechanism and ancillary system problems, including failures. Single pressure designs also
may have gas leaks, with gas seals and valves presenting weak points. SF6 loss and the
ingress of moisture and air compromise breaker performance. Generally, earlier models have
more problems than later ones, since modern equipment has improved seal and valve
designs.

Many earlier SF6 breakers relied on hydraulic or pneumatic assisted mechanisms. These
mechanisms have contributed substantially to the higher failure rates associated with this
generation of equipment. Modern designs usually use spring or spring assisted mechanisms
that require less maintenance and have greater reliability.

SF6 is extremely stable. Even at high arcing temperatures limited SF6 breakdown occurs.
Also, with use of a suitable desiccant most breakdown products recombine to form SF6.
Consequently, SF6 breakers can operate under fault conditions much longer than OCBs or
ABCBs before needing maintenance. Manufacturers generally state that these breakers can
perform 20 to 50 operations at full rated fault levels before requiring maintenance.
Typically, average fault levels are closer to 30% of nameplate rating than 100%. Therefore,
these breakers can undergo more interruptions before needing maintenance than
manufacturers state.

Because of their high duty cycle capability, these breakers normally can withstand long
intervals between internal maintenance. Originally, manufacturers recommended internal
maintenance time ceilings of about 15 years. Some users have conducted pilot strip-downs
after about 15 years and reported pristine state conditions internally. Therefore, many
owners are reluctant to conduct expensive time consuming internal inspections, particularly
when breaker use is well below the manufacturers stated maximum and performance
remains satisfactory.

Many owners are considering extending their internal maintenance intervals. Owners also
are exploring the possibility of using condition monitoring or diagnostic testing to detect
internal degradation. Generally, condition monitoring is critical for repetitive special

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purpose switching applications (e.g., capacitor bank switching) that have several hundred
operations per year.

Outages are needed to refill breakers after SF6 leaks occur. Some early double pressure
models have more leakage problems than later models, but these stem mainly from early
design and manufacturing issues. Early designs may need replacement of individual breakers
or breaker types if leaks become frequent. At this time, however, only certain failure-prone
breakers (e.g., double pressure designs) seem to present degradation and end-of-life
concerns.

SF6 maintenance normally includes external non-invasive inspections, pressure checks, leak
detection, and functional tests. SF6 breakers require much less maintenance than OCBs,
ABCBs, and AMCBs.

Recently, concerns have arisen about the greenhouse properties of SF6. It is one of the gases
specifically mentioned in the Kyoto Agreement. Canada has not issued regulations for SF6,
but has made a commitment to reduce the countrys overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Similarly, owners of SF6 equipment have taken responsibility to minimize SF6 emissions. As
such, owners have begun trying to attain emissions rates of about 0.5% by weight of the gas
contained in new equipment. Some have begun SF6 control programs that include detection,
leak remediation, and improved gas handling, plus recycling and reuse of gas from
decommissioned equipment. Some also have inventoried equipment and compiled databases
indicating SF6 usage. BCTC has identified several specific breaker-types that must be
replaced (ITE breakers 230 kV and above, and Westinghouse double pressure breakers type
WCL SF) because of basic design problems, lack of economically available spare parts, and
the risks that they pose to the system.

Condition Assessment Techniques for Circuit Breaker


Several assessment techniques and diagnostic tests exist to assess the condition of these
assets. Key techniques and tests are described below:

a) Visual
This equipment lends itself to visual inspections because key components are visible and
accessible. Visual inspections can detect external contamination, corrosion, evidence of
overheating, misalignment, plus cracks and leaks on bushings, support insulators, tanks,
enclosures, drives, linkages and fittings. Visual inspections also can verify the condition of
gaskets and seals as well as the degree of contact erosion on de-energized equipment, such as
vacuum breakers. Internal conditions, control components, and mechanism cabinets can be
inspected visually as well. Visual inspections serve as a start to condition assessment, but
they must be supplemented by detailed reviews of maintenance and test records.

b) Time/Travel Testing
This testing measures velocity, close and trip times, plus wipe and rebound. This test should
occur at regular intervals on all circuit breakers. It offers a way to evaluate a circuit

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breakers mechanical condition and helps to ensure that mechanism/linkage performance
meets the manufacturers specifications.

c) Contact Resistance Testing


This test involves determining resistance in the main current carrying circuit by taking
measurements across each interrupter head with breaker closed. Resistance measurements
outside of predetermined values require further investigation. It also is important to review
trends in these measurements over time to see whether or not resistance values have
increased.

In addition to static tests, dynamic tests during circuit breaker operation enable one to see
where main and arcing contacts touch. Dynamic testing provides useful information when
extended arcing contact fingers exist.

d) Bushing Doble Test


This high voltage bridge test measures capacitance and loss angles of high voltage circuit
breaker bushings and other insulating components. Doble test results can be compared
directly to manufacturers standards or to results from similar equipment. Assessing trends
in Doble test results can help detect deterioration of bushings and other internal components
such as interrupters, operating rods, grading capacitors, and support insulators.

e) Stored Energy (Air/Hydraulic/Spring Recharge Time)


This test helps detect poor motor, pump, compressor and other operational conditions. It
involves measuring recharge times or pressure drops during operation.

f) Insulating Medium
Several tests are used to detect excess moisture, contaminants, and decomposition products in
oil, air and SF6 switchgear insulation systems.

g) SF6 Testing
In SF6 circuit breakers, gas is tested and monitored to assess its ability to serve satisfactorily
as a dielectric and interrupting medium. SF6 gas testing also offers a means to detect internal
degradation. Breakers also have continuous monitors for pressure and density. When these
monitors register deviations from predetermined levels, maintenance staff can take corrective
action. SF6 breakers also receive periodic testing to check moisture content, dew points, and
sometimes the presence of air and decomposition products.

1.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed transmission circuit breakers first required
developing end-of-life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion
represents a factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential
failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management

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system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 1.3.1 through 1.3.63 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each asset class
member (e.g., OCBs, ABCBs, SF6 breakers, etc.). In addition, for each asset class member
the tables show the components and tests evaluated (e.g., bushing support insulators, Doble
test, tripping and closing, time/travel). The tables also contain specific definitions used for
each condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Oil Circuit Breakers


Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some minor
chips and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some major
chips and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or
copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/damaged, or cementing or fasteners
are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged
beyond repair.

Table 1.3.1 Bushing Support Insulators Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A No oil leakage or water ingress at any of the bushing-metal interfaces. No oil
leakage or water ingress at any of the flanges, manholes, covers, breathers,
pipes or gauges. Oil levels are acceptable.
B Minor oil leaks evident, no moisture ingress likely.
C Clear evidence of oil leaks but rate of loss is not likely to cause any
operational or environmental impacts
D Major oil leakage and probable moisture ingress at the bushings, or at one
other location indicate the immediate need for a major reconditioning or
replacement.
E Significant oil leakage and moisture ingress resulting in damage/degradation
beyond repair.

Table 1.3.2 Leaks

Condition
Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on main tank. No external or internal rust in cabinets.
No rust, corrosion or paint peeling on tanks or cabinets, sealing very
effective no evidence of moisture or insect ingress or condensation.
B No rust or corrosion on main tank, some evidence of slight moisture ingress
or condensation in mechanism box.
C Some rust and corrosion on both tank and on mechanism box, requires
corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Significant corrosion on main tank and on mechanism box. Defective sealing
leading to water ingress and insects/rodent damage. Requires immediate
corrective action.
E Corrosion, water, insect or rodent damage or degradation beyond repair.

Table 1.3.3 Tank and Mechanism Box Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches all in good condition.
Operating mechanism, trip and close coils, relays, auxiliary switches, motors,
compressors, springs are all in good condition. No sign of overheating or
deterioration. Linkages, drive rods, trip latches are clean, lubricated, free from
cracks, distortion, abrasion or obstruction. Mechanical integrity of
dampers/dashpots, and oil levels, is acceptable. No visible evidence of poor
mechanism settings, looseness, loss of adjustment, excess bearing wear or
other out of tolerance operation.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Control and mechanism components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.4 Control and Mechanism Components

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to tank, cabinets, supports without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.5 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Breaker externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating.
Number of breaker operations on counter, and run timer readings on auxiliary
motors, are below average range for age of breaker. Appears to be well
maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E The circuit breaker is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.6 Overall CB Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Close travel, wipe, overtravel, rebound and time are all within specified
limits. Trip time and velocity are within specified limits. Trip free time is
within specified limits. Interpole close and trip contact time spread is within
specified limits for the specific application.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 1.3.7 Time Travel

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 1.3.8 Contact Resistance

Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification.
E Cannot be put to specification condition.

Table 1.3.9 Stored Energy (Air Tank/Spring Recharge Time)

Condition
Description
Rating
A No abnormal indications
B Some possible abnormal indications
C Definite indications of abnormal activity
D Definite indications of high levels of abnormal activity
E High levels of abnormal activity that cannot be brought into normal
condition.

Table 1.3.10 Oil Analysis

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Air Blast Circuit Breakers
Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some minor
chips and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some major
chips and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or copper
wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/damaged or cementing or fasteners are
not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged
beyond repair.

Table 1.3.11 Bushings/Support Insulators Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No air leakage at any of the bushing-metal interfaces, pressure vessel, heads
or piping interfaces, as determined by audible inspection, by inspection of
maintenance records, and inspection of pressure gauges (isolated from air
system).
B Minor air leakage as determined by audible inspection and maintenance
records
C Significant air leakage, not immediately critical to breaker operation and not
causing excessive compressor run times.
D Extensive leakage requiring unacceptable compressor operation and
requiring corrective maintenance or replacement in the near term.
E Extensive leakage and unacceptable compressor operation that is beyond
repair.

Table 1.3.12 Air Leaks

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Condition
Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust or corrosion on pressure vessels, heads, or on
control/mechanism box. No paint peeling on tanks or boxes.
Control/mechanism box sealing effective no evidence of moisture or insect
ingress or condensation.
B No rust or corrosion on pressure vessels, heads, some evidence of moisture
ingress into box. Paint beginning to peel.
C Some rust and pain peeling corrosion on both pressure vessels, heads and on
control/mechanism box. Requires corrective maintenance within the next
several months.
D Major corrosion on pressure vessels, heads and on control/mechanism box.
Requires immediate corrective action.
E Major corrosion beyond repair on pressure vessels, heads and
control/mechanism box

Table 1.3.13 Pressure Vessel/Heads and Control/Mechanism Box Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches all in good condition.
Operating mechanism, coils, relays, auxiliary switches, motors, compressors,
springs, all in good condition. No sign of overheating or deterioration.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Control valves and mechanism box components are damaged/degraded
beyond repair.

Table 1.3.14 Control Valves and Mechanism Box Components

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Resistors housings are externally clean, and are free of chips, radial cracks,
flashover burns, and corrosion free. No external evidence of overheating No
visible evidence of poor switch settings, looseness, loss of adjustment, excess
bearing wear or other out of tolerance operation. All primary connections are
in good condition
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Tripping and closing reactors are damaged/degraded beyond repair

Table 1.3.15 Tripping and Closing Resistors

Condition
Description
Rating
A Verify from current inspection records that contact resistance and time/travel
(erosion and wipe) results were within tolerance. Check operation counter
and fault interruption log to verify subsequent duty is within specified limits.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Drive Rods/Contacts/Blast Valves are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.16 Drive Rods/Contacts/Blast Valves Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Capacitor housings are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks,
flashover burns. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
B Capacitor housings are not broken, however minor chips and/or cracks,
and/over flashover. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Capacitor housings are not broken, however major chips and/or cracks,
and/over flashover burns. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Capacitor housings are broken/damaged or cementing or fasteners are not
secure.
E Capacitor housings, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged beyond
repair.

Table 1.3.17 Grading Capacitors Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
free of damage and corrosion and are made direct to Support insulator bases,
cabinets and support steel, without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.18 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Number of breaker operations on counter is below average range for age of
breaker. Appears to be well maintained with service records readily
available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E The circuit breaker is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.19 Overall CB Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Close travel, wipe, overtravel, rebound and time for main contacts and
resistor switch contacts, are all within specified limits. Trip time and velocity
are within specified limits. Trip free time is within specified limits. Interpole
close and trip contact time spread is within specified limits for the specific
application.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 1.3.20 Time/Travel

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 1.3.21 Contact Resistance

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin.
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 1.3.22 Air Consumption Test (Isolated from HP Air System)

Condition
Description
Rating
A No abnormal indications, within specification
B High readings on moisture
C Probable indication of electrical activity - PD tracking on drive rods
D Definite indications of electrical activity - PD
E Levels of electrical activity that cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 1.3.23 Moisture Content

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SF6 Breakers
Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some minor
chips and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some major
chips and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or
copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/damaged or cementing or fasteners
are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged
beyond repair.

Table 1.3.24 Bushings/Support Insulators Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No SF6 leakage at any of the bushing-metal interfaces, tank or piping
interfaces, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and SF6 refill
maintenance records
B Minor SF6 leakage, not more than 0.5%, per year, by weight, of the total
quantity of SF6 in the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure
gauge and refill maintenance records
C SF6 leakage of up to 1.5%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and refill
maintenance records
D SF6 leakage of up to 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and refill
maintenance records.
E SF6 leakage exceeding 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and refill
maintenance records.

Table 1.3.25 SF6 Leaks

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Condition
Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust in mechanism box. No paint peeling on tanks or
cabinets. Box sealing very effective no evidence of moisture or insect
ingress or condensation.
B No rust or corrosion on main tank, some evidence of slight moisture ingress
or condensation in box
C Some rust and corrosion on both tank and on mechanism box, requires
corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Significant corrosion on main tank and on mechanism box. Defective sealing
leading to water ingress and insects/rodent damage. Requires immediate
corrective action.
E Corrosion, water, insect or rodent damage or degradation beyond repair.

Table 1.3.26 Tank and Mechanism Box Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches are all in good
condition. No blown fuses. Operating mechanism, trip and close coils, relays,
auxiliary switches, motors, compressors, springs, are all in good condition.
No sign of overheating or deterioration. Linkages, drive rods, trip latches are
clean, lubricated, free from cracks, distortion, abrasion or obstruction.
Mechanical integrity of dampers/dashpots, and oil levels, are acceptable. No
visible evidence of poor mechanism settings, looseness, loss of adjustment,
excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance operation.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Control and mechanism box components are damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Table 1.3.27 Control and Mechanism Box Components

1-25 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Verify from current inspection records that contact resistance and time/travel
(erosion and wipe) results were within tolerance. Check operation counter
and fault interruption log to verify subsequent duty is within specified limits.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Contacts/nozzles/blast valves are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.28 Contacts/Nozzles/Blast Valves Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Capacitor housings are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks,
flashover burns. No signs of overheating, overpressure or leaks. Cementing
and fasteners are secure.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Grading capacitors are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.29 Grading Capacitors Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
free of damage and corrosion and are made direct to tank, cabinets, supports
without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.30 Foundation/Support Steel/ Grounding Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Breaker externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating.
Number of breaker operations on counter, and run timer readings on auxiliary
motors, are below average range for age of breaker. Appears to be well
maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E The circuit breaker is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.31 Overall CB Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Close travel, wipe, overtravel, rebound and time are all within specified
limits. Trip time and velocity are within specified limits. Trip free time is
within specified limits. Interpole close and trip contact time spread is within
specified limits for the specific application.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 1.3.32 Time/Travel

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 1.3.33 Contact Resistance

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification.
E Cannot be put to specification condition.

Table 1.3.34 Air/Hydraulic/Spring Recharge Time

Condition
Description
Rating
A No abnormal indications, within IEC specification
B High readings on moisture, air or CF4
C Probable indication of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
D Definite indications of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
E High levels of abnormal activity that cannot be brought into normal
condition.

Table 1.3.35 Gas Analysis (decomposition by-products, moisture, air, etc. based on
evaluation provided with test report)

Vacuum Circuit Breakers

Condition Description
Rating
A Vacuum bottle areas free of contamination, chips, cracks, flashover burns, or
indications of overheating or PD traces. All cemented, elements are secure.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Vacuum bottle areas are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.36 Vacuum Bottle Integrity

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Condition Description
Rating
A Support Insulators and drive rods are clean, not broken and are free of chips,
cracks, flashover burns or PD traces. All cemented, epoxied or bolted fasteners
are secure.
B Support Insulators and drive rods are not broken, however there are some
minor chips and cracks. No flashover burns. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
C Support Insulators and drive rods are not broken, however there are some
major chips and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
D Support insulators and drive rods are broken/damaged or cementing or
fasteners are not secure.
E Support insulators and drive rods, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged
beyond repair.

Table 1.3.37 Support and Drive Insulators

Condition Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust or corrosion. No evidence of moisture or insect
ingress or condensation. Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and
switches all in good condition. Trip and close coils, relays, auxiliary switches,
motors, springs are all in good condition.
Linkages, shafts, rods, trip latches are clean, free from cracks, distortion,
abrasion or obstruction. No visible evidence of poor mechanism settings,
looseness, loss of adjustment, excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance
operation. No sign of overheating or deterioration.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Mechanism cabinet and components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.38 Mechanism Cabinet and Components

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Condition Description
Rating
A Bushings are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks, flashover burns,
copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
B Bushings are not broken, however there are some minor chips and cracks. No
flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
C Bushings are not broken, however there are some major chips and cracks. Some
evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
D Bushings are broken/damaged, cementing or fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged beyond repair.

Table 1.3.39 Bushings Condition (Breaker-in-a-Box Type)

Condition Description
Rating
A Floor is level. Support steel and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion.
Ground connections are free of damage and corrosion and are made direct to
enclosure, cabinets; supports without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Enclosure/truck or grounding is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.40 Enclosure/Truck/Grounding Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A Breaker externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary connections
are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating or restriking on vacuum
bottle. Number of breaker operations on counter is below average range for age of
breaker. Appears to be well maintained with service records readily available..
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E The circuit breaker is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.41 Overall CB Condition

Acres International Limited 1-30


Condition Description
Rating
A Close travel, rebound and time are all within specified limits. Trip time and
velocity are within specified limits. Trip free time is within specified limits
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be brought
into acceptable condition.

Table 1.3.42 Time/Travel

Condition Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 1.3.43 Contact Resistance

Air Magnetic Circuit Breakers

Condition Description
Rating
A Arc chutes are clean and are free of chips, cracks, flashover burns. Fasteners are
secure.
B Arc chutes are clean, however there are some minor chips and cracks. No flashover
burns. Fasteners are secure.
C Arc chutes are not broken, however there are some major chips and cracks. Some
evidence of flashover burns or tracking. Fasteners are secure.
D Arc chutes are broken/damaged beyond repair or are not field repairable. Fasteners
are not secure.
E Arc chutes or fasteners are are broken/damaged beyond repair.

Table 1.3.44 Arc Chute Condition

1-31 Acres International Limited


Condition Description
Rating
A Support Insulators and drive rods are clean, not broken and are free of chips,
cracks, flashover burns or PD traces. All cemented, epoxied or bolted fasteners are
secure.
B Support Insulators and drive rods are not broken, however there are some minor
chips and cracks. No flashover burns. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Support Insulators and drive rods are not broken, however there are some major
chips and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
D Support Insulators and drive rods are broken/damaged, or cementing or fasteners
are not secure.
E Support Insulators, drive rods, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged or
degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.45 Support and Drive Insulators

Condition Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust or corrosion. No evidence of moisture or insect ingress
or condensation. Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches all in
good condition. Trip and close coils, relays, auxiliary switches, motors, springs are
all in good condition.
Linkages, shafts, rods, trip latches are clean, free from cracks, distortion, abrasion
or obstruction. No visible evidence of poor mechanism settings, looseness, loss of
adjustment, excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance operation. No sign of
overheating or deterioration.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Mechanism cabinet and components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.46 Mechanism Cabinet and Components

Acres International Limited 1-32


Condition Description
Rating
A Arc chutes are clean, free from damage, overheating and tracking. Arcing and main
contacts are in good condition with no erosion Verify from current INSP records
that contact resistance and time/travel results were within tolerance. Operation
counter and fault interruption log indicates duty is within specified limits.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be brought into
acceptable condition.

Table 1.3.47 Condition of Contacts

Condition Description
Rating
A Floor is level. Support steel and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion.
Floor is level. Ground connections are free of damage and corrosion and are made
direct to enclosure, cabinets; supports without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Enclosure/truck or grounding is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.48 Enclosure/Truck/Grounding Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A Breaker externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary connections
are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating or restriking on arc
chutes. Number of breaker operations on counter is below average range for age of
breaker. Appears to be well maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E The circuit breaker is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 1.3.49 Overall CB Condition

1-33 Acres International Limited


Condition Description
Rating
A Close travel, wipe, overtravel, rebound and time are all within specified limits. Trip
time and velocity are within specified limits. Trip free time is within specified
limits.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be brought
into acceptable condition.

Table 1.3.50 Time/Travel

Condition Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 1.3.51 Contact Resistance

1.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Tables 1.3.52
1.3.56 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1; and
E = 0.

For each asset class member (e.g., OCBs, ABCBs, SF6 breakers), the components and tests
shown in the tables above were weighted based on their importance in determining the class
members end-of-life. For example, those that relate to primary functions of the

Acres International Limited 1-34


component/asset received higher weights than those that relate to more ancillary features and
functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class member.
For each member, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score by
its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, an OCB in
perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded OCB would
have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., the 70% Rule).
For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for OCBs in Table 1.3.52
below, assume an OCB with partial data has a maximum condition score of 82 out of the
Health Index maximum possible score of 120. That OCB, therefore, has only 68% of the
maximum score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other hand, if that OCB
with partial data had a maximum condition score of 92, it would have 77% of the Health
Index maximum and a valid Health Index.

For some members of this asset classes, available data were insufficient to provide a valid
Health Index using the 70% Rule described above. In such cases, to provide BCTC with
some information about the assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off
(i.e., the 50% Rule). Thus, if the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal
to 50% of the maximum possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and
presented in the results.

Table 1.3.52 1.3.56 show the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition
ratings as both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible
maximum score for each member of this asset class.

1-35 Acres International Limited


Oil Circuit Breaker Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Bushing/Support Insulators 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
2 Leaks 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
3 Tank and Mechanical Box 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Control & Mechanism
4 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Components
Foundation Support
5 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
6 Overall CB Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
7 Time/Travel 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Contact Resistance 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
9 Stored Energy 2 A,E 4,0 8
10 Oil Analysis 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Note : Formula is the same for all types of OCBs Max Score = 120 HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 1.3.52 Health Index Formulation for Oil Circuit Breakers

Air Blast Circuit Breaker Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Bushings/Support Insulators 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
2 Air Leaks 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Pressure Vessel/Heads and
3 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Control/Mechanism Box
Control Valves and Mechanism
4 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Box Components
5 Tripping & Closing Resistors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Drive Rods/Contacts/Blast
6 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Valves
7 Grading Capacitors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Foundation/Support
8 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
9 Overall CB Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
10 Time/Travel 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
11 Contact Resistance 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Air Consumption Test (Isolated
12 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
from HP Air System)
13 Moisture Content 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Max Score = 148 HI = 100*Score/Max
Note. In case of obsolete breakers (of type ATB-80, 500 kV AT and DEL PKs except PK6V) divide HI by 2

Table 1.3.53 Health Index Formulation for Air Blast Circuit Breakers

Acres International Limited 1-36


SF6 Circuit Breaker Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Bushing/Support Insulators 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
2 SF6 Leaks 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
3 Tank and Mechanism Box 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
4 Control & Mechanism Components 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Contacts/Nozzles/Blast Valves
5 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Condition
6 Grading Capacitors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Foundation/Support
7 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
8 Overall CB Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
9 Time Travel 3 A,E 4,0 12
10 Contact Resistance 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Air/Hydraulic/Spring Recharge
11 2 A,E 4,0 8
Time
12 Gas Analysis 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score = 144 HI = 100*Score/Max
Note. In case of obsolete breakers (ITE breakers 230 kV and above, and Westinghouse double pressure breakers type WCL
SF) divide HI by 2

Table 1.3.54 Health Index Formulation for SF6 Circuit Breakers

# Vacuum Circuit Breaker Weight Condition Factors Maximum


Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Vacuum Bottle Integrity 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
2 Support and Drive Insulators 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Mechanisms Cabinet and
3 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Components
Bushings
4 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
(i.e., Bushings-in-a-Box)
5 Enclosure/Truck/Grounding 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
6 Overall CB Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
7 Time/Travel 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Contact Resistance 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Max Score = 96 HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 1.3.55 Health Index Formulation for Vacuum Circuit Breakers

1-37 Acres International Limited


Air Magnetic Circuit Breaker Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Arc Chutes 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
2 Support and Drive Insulators 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Mechanism Cabinet and
3 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 6
Components
4 Contacts 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Enclosure/Truck/Grounding 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
6 Overall CB Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
7 Time/Travel 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Contact Resistance 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score = 90 HI = 100*Score/Max
Table 1.3.56 Health Index Formulation for Air Magnetic Circuit Breakers

1.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 1.3.57 was used to determine the overall condition of the circuit breaker asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some ageing or minor Normal maintenance
85 - 100 Very Good deterioration of a limited number
of components
Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance
70 - 85 Good
components
Widespread significant Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious remedial work or replacement needed
50 - 70 Fair deterioration of specific depending on criticality
components
Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or
30 - 50 Poor rebuild considering risk and
consequences of failure
Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk;
0 - 30 Very Poor
replace or rebuild based on assessment

Table 1.3.57 Circuit Breaker Health Index Scale

Acres International Limited 1-38


1.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

1.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for each type of circuit
breaker in the BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 summarize the
results, which are also illustrated in Figures 1.4.1 through 1.4.6.

Health Index
Air Blast Vacuum Air Magnetic
Results Oil CBs SF6 CBs * Sum
CBs CBs * CBs*
Classification
Very Good 31 8 82 0 0 121
Good 184 49 93 6 2 334
Fair 35 1 1 0 0 37
Poor 0 46 40 0 0 86
Very Poor 0 0 3 0 0 3
Total Results 250 104 219 6 2 581
Based on Field
Survey
Percentage of 51.4 55.6 56.2 100 22.2 53.9
Total
Population
Surveyed
*HIs were calculated using the 50% Rule instead of the 70% Rule due to insufficient data 1

Table 1.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Circuit Breakers

Health Index
Vacuum Air Magnetic
Results Oil CBs Air Blast CBs SF6 CBs Sum
CBs CBs *
Classification
Very Good 60 14 146 0 2 222
Good 358 88 166 6 6 624
Fair 68 2 2 0 1 73
Poor 0 83 71 0 0 154
Very Poor 0 0 5 0 0 5
Total 486 187 390 6 9 1,078
* Results extrapolated from surveyed distribution assets due to unreliable transmission data

Table 1.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Rating Results for Circuit Breakers

1
See subsection 1.3.3 above for a description of the 70% and 50% Rules used in this study.

1-39 Acres International Limited


400 358
350
Oil Circuit Breakers 300
Number of

250
200
150
100 68 60
50
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 1.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Oil Circuit Breakers

100 88
Air Blast Circuit Breakers

83
90
80
70
Number of

60
50
40
30
20 14
10 0 2
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 1.4.2 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Air Blast Circuit Breakers

Acres International Limited 1-40


180 166

Number of SF6 Breakers


160 146
140
120
100
80 71
60
40
20 5 2
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 1.4.3 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for SF6 Circuit Breakers

7
6
Vacuum Circuit Breakers

6
5
Number of

4
3
2
1
0 0 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 1.4.4 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Vacuum Circuit Breakers

1-41 Acres International Limited


Air Magnetic Circuit Breakers
7 6
6
5
Number of

4
3 2
2
1
1
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 1.4.5 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Air Magnetic Circuit
Breakers

700 624
600
Circuit Breakers

500
Number of

400
300 222
200 154
73
100
5
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
Health Index Categories

Figure 1.4.6 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for All Circuit Breakers

Acres International Limited 1-42


1.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

78.5% of Circuit Breakers are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital


improvements are expected in the near term.
6.8% of Circuit Breakers are in Fair condition. Increased maintenance or capital
improvements may be required depending on criticality issues.
14.3% of Circuit Breakers are in Poor condition. Planning for refurbishment or
replacement is needed considering risk and consequences of failure.
0.5% of Circuit Breakers are in Very Poor condition or at their end-of-life.

1-43 Acres International Limited


2.0 Disconnect Switches

2.1 Description

Under normal operating conditions, disconnect switches isolate various other equipment
from system voltages. The BCTC-managed transmission system has 4,198 disconnect
switches.

Several configurations and ratings exist for specific applications of these switches. They
have continuous current ratings up to 4000 A. Configurations include vertical and horizontal
break, pantograph, side break and center break.

Typically, systems of 230 kV and below use three-phase group assemblies, while extra-high
voltage levels use single-phase assemblies. All transmission switches operate as three-phase
assemblies with either mechanical or electrical ganging.

Outdoor air-insulated disconnect switches typically consist of manual or motor operated


isolating devices mounted on support insulators and metal support structures. Many high
voltage disconnect switches (e.g., line and transformer isolating switches) have motor-
operators and the capability of remote-controlled operation. Almost all 500 kV switches
have motor-operators.

Disconnect switches have limited current-breaking capability. They normally operate off-
load (i.e., the associated breaker is opened first) and have little rated interruption capability.
Since their historical uses have involved only low-level currents, disconnect switches have
seldom received testing or nameplate interruption ratings. Occasionally, to aid in current
interruption, users may add arcing horns, whips and other arc control devices.

2.2 Demographics

The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 4,198 disconnect switches.


Table 2.2.1 shows the number of disconnect switches grouped by voltage level and age
group. The 60 kV, 138 kV, 230 kV and 500 kV levels contain most of the disconnect
switches, with 28.3%, 19.5%, 25% and 18.5% respectively. The 360 kV level has very few
disconnect switches with only 0.6% of the total number.

Table 2.2.1 also shows that 51.3% of the disconnect switches are in the age range of 20 to 29
years and 23.2% are within the age range of 30 to 39 years. Only 0.6% of the disconnect
switches with identified age data were commissioned more than 40 years ago.

2-1 Acres International Limited


Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV 360 kV 500 kV
0 to 9 15 95 39 41 0 82 272 6.5
10 to 19 47 100 155 103 0 75 480 11.4
Age Group

20 to 29 166 479 327 602 17 563 2,154 51.3


30 to 39 25 459 187 240 6 55 972 23.2
40 to 49 1 9 1 3 2 0 16 0.4
50 plus 2 7 0 0 0 0 9 0.2
incomplete 82 38 110 60 2 3 295 7.0
Total 338 1,187 819 1,049 27 778 4,198 100.0
Percent 8.1 28.3 19.5 25.0 0.6 18.5 100.0

Table 2.2.1 Count of Disconnect Switches Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

2.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

2.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Generally, disconnect switches have no preset life expectancy. Assuming normal operating
conditions, users can expect 40 to 50 years of life from a disconnect switch. As described
below, many factors can contribute to the degradation of switch components. These include
harsh environmental conditions, infrequent operation, corrosion, lubrication failure, and
design problems. In addition, the lack of supply or manufacturer support for older designs
may drive end-of-life decisions for certain types of disconnect switch.

BCTC has a preventative maintenance program to detect and correct defects and developing
faults in disconnect switches. It is based on Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)
techniques. BCTCs Maintenance Standards contain maintenance procedures for specific
types of disconnect switches. BCTC conducts major inspections and overhauls of disconnect
switches every 8-years. The utility also performs contact resistance tests and blade angular
motion checks on that same 8-year interval. BCTC conducts Thermograph tests on a six-
month basis. In conformance with its maintenance standards, BCTC also periodically
inspects, tests, and exercises components such as operating rods, linkages, support insulators
and disconnect blades. BCTC also has an ongoing rebuild program for disconnect
switches such as Kearney/ITE switches.

Failure Modes
Disconnect switches commonly fail due to the following:

Bearing failures;
High contact resistance at hinge or jaw ends;
Misalignment of isolating blades causing closing operation failures;
Support insulator failures; and

Acres International Limited 2-2


Lubrication failures.

In Canada, low temperatures and high ice accumulation have caused in-service problems and
failures of disconnect switches. Generally, international test standards applied to most
switches do not account for the low ambient temperatures found in Canada. Similarly,
Canadian icing conditions generally exceed those used for international testing.

Degradation and End-of-Life Issues


Disconnect switches have many moving parts that are subject to wear and operational stress.
Except for parts contained in motor-operator cabinets, switch components are exposed to the
ambient environment. Thus, environmental factors, along with operating conditions, vintage,
design, and configuration all contribute to switch degradation. Critical degradation processes
include corrosion, moisture ingress, ice formation, and a combination of these factors that
may result in permanent damage to major components such as contacts, blades, bearings,
drives and support insulators.

Generally, the following represent key end-of-life factors for disconnect switches:

Decreasing reliability, availability, and maintainability;


High maintenance and operating costs;
Maintenance overhaul requirements;
Obsolete design, lack of parts and service support; and
Switch age.

Application criticality and manufacturer also play key roles in determining the end-of-life for
disconnect switches. Generally, absent a major burnout, widespread deterioration of live
components, support insulators, motor-operators, and drive linkages define the end-of-life for
these switches. However, routine maintenance programs usually provide ample opportunity
to assess switch condition and viability.

Disconnect switches have components fabricated from dissimilar materials, and use of these
different materials influences degradation. For example, blade, hinge and jaw contacts may
consist of combinations of copper, aluminum, silver and stainless steel, several of which have
tin, silver and chrome plating. Further switch bases may consist of galvanized steel or
aluminum.

Most disconnect switches have porcelain support and rotating insulators. The porcelain
offers rigidity, strength and dielectric characteristics needed for reliability. However,
excessive deflection or deformation of support or rotating stack insulators can cause blade
misalignment and other problems, resulting in operational failures.

Disconnect switches must have the ability to open and close properly even with heavy ice
build-up on their blades and contacts. However, these switches may sit idle for several
months or more. This infrequent operation may lead to corrosion and water ingress damage,
increasing the potential for component seizures. Bearings commonly seize from poor

2-3 Acres International Limited


lubrication and sealing, despite manufacturers claims that such components are sealed,
greaseless and maintenance-free for life.

Normally, when blades enter or leave jaw contacts, they rotate to clean accumulated ice from
contact surfaces. To accomplish this, hinge ends have rotating or other current transfer
contacts. These contacts are often simple, long-life copper braids. However, some switches
have more complex rotating contacts in grease-filled chambers. Without proper maintenance
these more complex switches may degrade, causing blade failures.

Condition Assessment Techniques


The following generic techniques and diagnostic tests provide information about the
condition of disconnect switches:

a) Visual
Visual inspections can detect deterioration of the switch assembly. They also can find
external contamination, corrosion, evidence of overheating, and misalignment, as well as
cracks and leaks on insulators, disconnect blades, contacts, high voltage connections, motor
operator cabinets and power trains. Visual inspections must be supplemented by records
reviews.

b) Time to Close/Open
Time to close and open checks verify the correct operation of control circuitry, linkages, gear
reducers, motor operators, rotating insulator columns and blades.

c) Contact Resistance
Contact resistance tests verify the correct operation of rotating transfer and jaw contacts.

2.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed disconnect switches first required
developing end-of-life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion
represents a factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential
failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;

Acres International Limited 2-4


D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 2.3.1 through 2.3.9 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Support /Drive Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks,
flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and fasteners
are secure.
B Support/Drive Insulators are not broken, however there are some minor chips
and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash. Cementing
and fasteners are secure.
C Support/Drive Insulators are not broken, however there are some major chips
and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or copper
wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Support/Drive Insulators are broken/damaged or cementing or fasteners are
not secure.
E Support/Drive Insulators, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged beyond
repair.

Table 2.3.1 Support/Drive Insulators

Condition
Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust in mechanism box. No paint peeling on tanks or
cabinets, sealing effective no evidence of moisture or insect ingress or
condensation. Box securely fixed to support steel.
Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches all in good condition.
Operating motor, coils, relays auxiliary switches, position indicators, and
counters all in good condition. No sign of overheating or deterioration.
B No rust or corrosion on box, some evidence of slight moisture ingress or
condensation in mechanism box.
C Some rust and corrosion on interior and exterior of mechanism box.
D Significant corrosion on mechanism box. Defective sealing leading to water
ingress and insect damage.
E Mechanism box corroded beyond repair or water/insect damage/degradation
beyond repair.

Table 2.3.2 Control and Mechanism Box Components

2-5 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Linkages, levers, shafts, pipes, couplers, gear boxes, stops are clean, well
lubricated, free from corrosion, cracks, distortion, abrasion or obstruction. All
fasteners are tight. No visible evidence of poor settings, stops/toggle,
looseness, loss of adjustment, excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance
operation.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Gear box, reducers or guides damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 2.3.3 Gear Box, Reducers and Guides

Condition
Description
Rating
A Verify that disconnect blades are not miss-aligned; exhibit no excessive
corrosion, or erosion especially at the jaw ends. Contact engagement is within
tolerance. Verify that current transfer braids/rotating contacts at the hinge end
are not showing any signs of overheating. Verify that all moving and bearing
surfaces, contacts, trunions, bearings etc. are well lubricated.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Blades, contacts, counterbalances or links damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 2.3.4 Blades, Contacts, Counterbalances, Links

Condition
Description
Rating
A All connectors are tight, free from corrosion and show no sign of overheating.
Live conductors are adequately supported and impose no excessive loading
on switch during normal or fault current carrying duty.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Connectors or conductors have failed or are damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Table 2.3.5 Live Connectors and Conductors

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support
steel and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. All ground
connectors are tight, free from corrosion and show no sign of overheating.
Ground connections are free of mechanical damage and are made directly to
boxes, operating pipes and supports without any intervening paint or
corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 2.3.6 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding

Condition
Description
Rating
A Switch externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating.
Appears to be well maintained with service records readily available..
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Disconnect switch as failed or is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 2.3.7 Overall Disconnect Switch Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition

Table 2.3.8 Thermograph Test

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition

Table 2.3.9 Contact Resistance

2.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 2.3.10 below.

A = 4;
B = 3,
C = 2;
D = 1; and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totaled for each asset class member.

Totaled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a disconnect
switch in perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded
switch would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset

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class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set. For example,
using the weightings and maximum possible scores for Disconnect Switches in Table 2.3.10
below, assume a disconnect switch with partial data has a maximum condition score of 67
out of the Health Index maximum possible score of 112. That disconnect switch, therefore,
has only 60% of the maximum score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other
hand, if that disconnect switch with partial data had a maximum condition score of 80, it
would have 71% of the Health Index maximum and a valid Health Index.

Tables 2.3.10 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition ratings as
both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum score
for each member of this asset class.

Disconnect Switches Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Support/Drive Insulators 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Control and Mechanism Box
2 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Components
3 Gear Box, Reducers and Guides 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Blades, Contacts,
4 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Counterbalances, Links
5 Live Connectors and Conductors 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Foundation/Support
6 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Steel/Grounding
Overall Disconnect Switch
7 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Condition
8 Thermograph Test 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
9 Contact Resistance 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score = 112
HI = 100*Score/Max
1
* If Disconnect Switch insulators are cap and pin then the HI is divided by 2

Table 2.3.10 Health Index Formulation for Disconnect Switches

2.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 2.3.11 was used to determine the overall condition of the disconnect switch asset class.

1
Note: Health Index Formulation presented in Table 2.3.10 above states that the HI should be divided by 2 for
disconnect switches with cap and pin insulators. No data were available to indicate the presence of cap and pin
insulators, so the HI was not divided by 2.

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Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some ageing or minor Normal maintenance
85 - 100 Very Good deterioration of a limited number
of components
Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance
70 - 85 Good
components
Widespread significant Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious remedial work or replacement needed
50 - 70 Fair deterioration of specific depending on criticality
components
Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or
30 - 50 Poor rebuild considering risk and
consequences of failure
Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk;
0 - 30 Very Poor
replace or rebuild based on assessment

Table 2.3.11 Disconnect Switch Health Index Scale

2.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

2.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for disconnect switches in
the BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 2.4.1 and 2.4.2 summarize the results,
which are also illustrated in Figure 2.4.1.

Health Index Results Classification Number of Switches

Very Good 7
Good 448
Fair 0
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total Results Based on Field Survey 455
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 10.8

Table 2.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Disconnect Switches

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Health Index Results Classification Number of Switches

Very Good 65
Good 4,133
Fair 0
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total 4,198

Table 2.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Rating Results for Disconnect


Switches

4,500
4,133
4,000
Disconnect Switches

3,500
3,000
Number of

2,500
2,000
1,500
1,000
500 0 0 0 65
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 2.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Disconnect Switches

2.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

All disconnect switches are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital improvements are
expected in the near term.

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3.0 Circuit Switchers

3.1 Description

Generally, circuit switchers consist of motor operated, three-phase, load carrying and
interrupting devices mounted on support insulators and metal support structures. Some also
may incorporate disconnect blades for isolating purposes. Several manufacturers have
produced circuit switchers including ABB, Alsthom, Joslyn, Siemens, Westinghouse and
S&C Electric, the predominant supplier for many years. The BCTC-managed transmission
system currently has 120 S & C circuit switchers.

Typically, circuit switchers incorporate some or all of the following:

Support insulators and interrupter chamber


Disconnect switch
Motor operator
Drive train assembly
Support structure

Circuit switcher interrupters include air, vacuum and SF6. Normally, SF6 interrupters are
used at higher voltages. The SF6 interrupters were first developed and installed in the late
1960s. Some of the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) no longer supply or support
the older SF6 interrupters. BCTC has an active program for replacing 500 kV S&C circuit
switchers with circuit breakers that will be completed in 2010. Retired circuit switchers are in
some cases modified for use as disconnect switches.

Circuit switchers typically can carry and break loads ranging from 600 A to 4000 A. They
are used in medium-, high- and extra-high voltage applications. Circuit switchers have
limited fault interruption capability. Their primary duty involves load current switching.
Occasionally, however, they serve as protection devices for transformers, underground cables
and other equipment in locations that experience low short circuit levels. Sometimes their
uses include shunt capacitor and shunt reactor switching. In general, circuit switchers offer a
low cost alternative to the more commonly used circuit breaker and disconnect switch
combination. Recently, to compete with the circuit switcher market, some US manufacturers
have marketed a live tank SF6 breaker-disconnect switch package with a common support
structure.

3.2 Demographics

The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 120 circuit switchers. Table 3.2.1
shows the number of circuit switchers grouped by voltage level and age group. The 138 kV
voltage level has 40.8% of the total population of circuit switchers, the most found in any
single voltage level. The 60 kV level has 21.7%, the 500 kV level has 19.2%, the 230 kV
level has 17.5% and the less than 25 kV level has 0.8% of the systems circuit switchers. The
360 kV level has no circuit switchers.

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Table 3.2.1 also shows that 65.8% of the circuit switchers are within the age range of 20 to
29 years old and that 23.3% are within the age range of 30 to 39 years old. None of the
circuit switchers were commissioned more than 40 years ago.

Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV 500 kV
0 to 9 0 1 3 0 0 4 3.3
10 to 19 0 1 3 2 1 7 5.8
Age Group

20 to 29 1 18 26 12 22 79 65.8
30 to 39 0 6 15 7 0 28 23.3
40 to 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 0 0 2 0 0 2 1.7
Total 1 26 49 21 23 120 100.0
Percent 0.8 21.7 40.8 17.5 19.2 100.0

Table 3.2.1 Count of Circuit Switchers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

3.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

3.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Degradation processes for circuit switchers depend on their vintage, design and
configuration. However, all circuit switchers degrade in ways similar to the degradation of
live tank SF6 circuit breakers and disconnect switches. See Chapters 1 and 2 of this report
for detailed degradation reviews of these breakers and switches. This section highlights
specific degradation features of circuit switchers.

Circuit switchers have many moving parts that are subject to wear and stress. They
frequently make and break high currents and experience the arcing that accompanies
such operations. While this asset class consists of several different technologies, they have
many degradation issues in common. For example, all circuit switchers undergo some
contact degradation every time they open to interrupt an arc. Also, the mechanical energy
needed to create the high contact velocities of these assets adds mechanical deterioration to
their degradation processes. The rate and severity of circuit switcher degradation depends on
many factors, including the quality of the switcher, its particular duties, and its operating
environment. International studies on switching equipment longevity identified the
following key end-of-life factors for this asset class:

Decreasing reliability/availability/maintainability (RAM);


High maintenance and operating costs;
Changes in operating conditions;
Maintenance overhaul requirements; and

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Circuit switcher age.

Reliability, application criticality and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) support all
affect the longevity of some switcher types and ratings. For example, the OEM S&C once
made 500 kV switchers used by BCTC for switching shunt reactors. However, S&C no
longer makes or supports these circuit switchers, effectively ending the life of existing
switchers when they need replacement parts. Switchers also may sustain operational damage
too impractical or costly to repair, thereby ending their lives. Widespread gas leaks and
deterioration of operating mechanisms, drive linkages, brains, supporting structures, and
ancillary components like bushings and insulators also end the life of circuit switchers.

Regular maintenance offers frequent opportunities to assess the condition and viability of
switchers in a system. BCTC has a preventative maintenance program to detect and correct
defects and developing faults in circuit switchers. It is based on Reliability Centered
Maintenance (RCM) techniques. BCTCs Maintenance Standards contain procedures for
maintaining specific types of circuit switchers. In conformance with its maintenance
standards, BCTC performs periodic inspections, maintenance and testing of operating
mechanisms, rods and linkages, brain mechanisms, porcelain housings, support insulators
and disconnect blades. The utility also conducts contact resistance and grading resistor tests
at regular intervals. Many switcher designs, however, have interrupters that are sealed for
life, making them inaccessible for regular inspection and maintenance.

In the late 1960s, circuit switchers with SF6 gas interrupters were developed. After initial
design and manufacturing problems they gained widespread acceptance as low cost
switching and protection devices. Many initial failures occurred, but these early switchers
remained acceptable for less critical applications. Common early design failure resulted
from:

SF6 gas leaks;


Water ingress into switcher brains causing interrupter failures, particularly under
freezing conditions;
Failure to complete opening or closing operations resulting in failure of interrupters
and isolating blades; and
Failure of interrupter grading resistors.

Even in new SF6 circuit switchers, leaks occur because the equipment operates at relatively
high pressures. Switchers with interrupters sealed for life have pressure indicators that must
have visual inspections every 2 months. Because these indicators are at line potential, they
cannot be connected to substations annunciation systems.

Recently, concerns have arisen about the greenhouse properties of SF6. It is one of the gases
specifically mentioned in the Kyoto Agreement. Canada has not issued regulations for SF6,
but has made a commitment to reduce the countrys overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Similarly, owners of SF6 equipment have taken responsibility to minimize SF6 emissions. As
such, owners have begun trying to attain emissions rates of about 0.5% by weight of the gas

3-3 Acres International Limited


contained in new equipment. Some have begun SF6 control programs that include detection,
leak remediation, and improved gas handling, plus recycling and reuse of gas from
decommissioned equipment. Some also have inventoried equipment and compiled databases
indicating SF6 usage.

Condition Assessment Techniques for Circuit Switchers


Several assessment techniques and diagnostic tests exist to assess the condition of these
assets. Key techniques and tests are described below:

a) Visual
Circuit switchers have visible and accessible assemblies that make visual inspections
effective. Visual inspections help detect external contamination, corrosion, and evidence of
overheating, misalignment, and cracks or leaks on insulator and interrupter housings, SF6
pressure indicators, disconnect blades, high voltage connections, motor mechanisms, cabinets
and power trains. Visual inspections also can verify the condition of gaskets and seals.
Visual inspections serve as a start to condition assessment, but they must be supplemented by
detailed reviews of maintenance and test records.

b) Contact Resistance Testing


This test involves determining resistance in the main current carrying circuit by taking
measurements across each interrupter head with switchgear closed. Resistance
measurements outside of predetermined values require further investigation. It also is
important to review trends in these measurements over time to see whether or not resistance
values have increased.

3.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed circuit switchers first required developing
end-of-life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a
factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

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Tables 3.3.1 through 3.3.11 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Insulators porcelains are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks,
flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
B Insulators porcelains are not broken, however there are some minor chips
and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash. Cementing
and fasteners are secure.
C Insulators porcelains are not broken, however there are some major chips
and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or copper
wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Insulators porcelains are broken/damaged, or cementing or fasteners are not
secure.
E Insulators porcelains, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged beyond.

Table 3.3.1 Insulators Porcelains Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No SF6 leakage at any of the bushing-metal interfaces, tank or piping
interfaces, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure indicator.
B Minor SF6 leakage at bushing-metal interfaces, tank or piping interfaces, as
determined by inspection of SF6 pressure indicator.
C Moderate SF6 leakage at bushing-metal interfaces, tank or piping interfaces,
as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure indicator.
D Major SF6 leakage at bushing-metal interfaces, tank or piping interfaces, as
determined by inspection of SF6 pressure indicator.
E Complete loss of pressure.

Table 3.3.2 SF6 Leaks

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches all in good condition.
Operating motor, coils, relays, shunt trip (if applicable), auxiliary switches,
position indicators, and counters all in good condition. No sign of overheating
or deterioration.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Switch motor operator components damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 3.3.3 Switch Motor Operator

Condition
Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust in mechanism box. No paint peeling on tanks or
cabinets, sealing effective no evidence of moisture or insect ingress or
condensation. Box securely fixed to support steel
B No rust or corrosion on main tank, some evidence of slight moisture ingress
or condensation in
C Some rust and corrosion on interior and exterior of mechanism box, requires
corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Significant corrosion on mechanism box. Defective sealing leading to water
ingress and insect damage. Requires immediate corrective action.
E Control and mechanism box corroded beyond repair or water/insect damage
beyond repair.

Table 3.3.4 Control and Mechanism Box Components

Condition
Description
Rating
A Linkages, levers, shafts, pipes, couplers, gearboxes, stops are clean, free from
corrosion, cracks, distortion, abrasion or obstruction. All fasteners are tight.
No visible evidence of poor settings, stops/toggle, looseness, loss of
adjustment, excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance operation.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Power train and brain components damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 3.3.5 Power Train and Brain Operation

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Verify that disconnect blades are not miss-aligned, exhibits no excessive
corrosion, or erosion especially at the fault closing (jaw) end. Contact
engagement is within tolerance.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Disconnect blades or contacts damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 3.3.6 Disconnect Live Parts Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All connectors are tight, free from corrosion and show no sign of overheating.
Line conductors are adequately supported and impose no excessive loading
on switcher during normal or fault interrupting duty.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Connectors or conductors are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 3.3.7 Connectors and Conductor Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from distortion and corrosion. Ground
connections are free of damage and corrosion and are made direct to cabinet
and supports without any intervening paint or corrosion
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports and grounding damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 3.3.8 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Switcher externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating.
Number of operations on counter is below average range for age of switcher.
Appears to be well maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Circuit switcher has failed or is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 3.3.9 Overall Switcher Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Close travel and time of interrupter and disconnect blade, are all within
specified limits. Trip time and velocity, with/without shunt trip are within
specified limits. Interpole spreads are within limits.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable limits.

Table 3.3.10 Time/Travel

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition.

Table 3.3.11 Contact Resistance

3.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

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For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 3.3.12 below.

A = 4;
B = 3,
C = 2,
D = 1, and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a circuit switcher
in perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded circuit
switcher would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set. For example,
using the weightings and maximum possible scores for circuit switchers in Table 3.3.12
below, assume a circuit switcher with partial data has a maximum condition score of 90 out
of the Health Index maximum possible score of 132. That switcher, therefore, has only 68%
of the maximum Health Index score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other
hand, if that switcher with partial data had a maximum condition score of 96, it would have
73% of the maximum and a valid Health Index.

Table 3.3.12 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, and condition ratings
as both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum
score for each member of this asset class.

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Circuit Switchers Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Insulators/Porcelains 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 16
2 SF6 Leaks 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 12
3 Switch Motor Operator 2 A, E 4,0 8
Control and Mechanism Box
4 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 8
Components
5 Power Train and Brain Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 16
6 Disconnect Live Parts 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 12
7 Connectors and Conductors 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 12
Foundation/Support
8 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
9 Overall Switcher Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 16
10 Time/Travel 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 8
11 Contact Resistance 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2.1,0 12
Max Score= 132 HI = 100*Score/Max
* If number of operations today is 3250 or greater the HI is divided by 4 (based on reaching 4000 operation
within next 5 years)

Table 3.3.12 Health Index Formulation for Circuit Switchers

3.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 3.3.13 was used to determine the overall condition of the circuit switcher asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some ageing or minor Normal maintenance
85 - 100 Very Good deterioration of a limited number
of components
Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance
70 - 85 Good
components
Widespread significant Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious remedial work or replacement needed
50 - 70 Fair deterioration of specific depending on criticality
components
Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or
30 - 50 Poor rebuild considering risk and
consequences of failure
Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk;
0 - 30 Very Poor
replace or rebuild based on assessment

Table 3.3.13 Health Index Scale for Circuit Switchers

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3.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

3.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for circuit switchers in the
BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 3.4.1 and 3.4.2 summarize the results, which
are also illustrated in Figure 3.4.1.

Health Index Results Classification Number of Switchers

Very Good 3
Good 48
Fair 0
Poor 0
Very Poor 1
Total Results Based on Field Survey 52
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 43.3

Table 3.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Circuit Switchers

Health Index Results Classification Number of Switchers

Very Good 7
Good 111
Fair 0
Poor 0
Very Poor 2
Total 120

Table 3.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Rating Results for Circuit Switchers

3-11 Acres International Limited


120 111

100

Circuit Switchers 80
Number of

60

40

20 7
2 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 3.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Circuit Switchers

3.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

98.3% of Circuit Switchers are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital


improvements are expected in the near term.
1.7% of Circuit Switchers are in Very Poor condition or at their end-of-life.

Acres International Limited 3-12


4.0 Transformers/Tap Changers (excluding HVDC)

4.1 Description

The BCTC-managed transmission system has 234 three-phase transformers with capacities
up to 400 MVA. Generally, this asset class includes the most critical, costly and long
delivery components on the BCTC-managed transmission system. Power transformers
perform step-up and step-down voltage change operations in over 300 BCTC-managed
substations. The BCTC-managed transmission system has 77 transformers with under-load
tap changers (LTC).

Power Transformers
Power transformers in the BCTC-managed transmission system are static devices that
operate at primary voltages ranging from 12 kV to 500 kV. They consist of insulated
windings installed on laminated iron cores and immersed in oil that insulates and cools the
equipment. The transformer assembly may also include LTCs, bushings, radiators, fans and
pumps, instrument transformers, protection and control systems, foundations, structural steel
supports, and spill containment systems.

The BCTC-managed transmission system now includes the following types of power
transformers:

Two winding, step-down transformers, three-phase banks, ranging from 1 MVA to 85


MVA that transform 230 and 115 kV system voltages to lower customer voltages;
Autotransformers, three-phase banks, rated up to 400 MVA, that provide
transformation between primary transmission voltage levels of 500, 345, 230 and
138 kV; and
Several small special purpose, grounding, exciter, station service, and converter
transformers.

About 30% of the BCTC-managed transformers are rated at 100 MVA or below. About 26%
are rated at 250 MVA or higher. 40% operate on the 69, 138 and 230 kV systems. About
48% have applications on the 500 kV system.

National and international standards provide design and performance guidelines. Canadian
standards, such as CAN/CSA C88, prescribe transmission system requirements, including
those for power transformers. Users often modify or supplement standards with
specifications and procedures specific to their individual systems. For example, users may
address issues such as increased overloads, over-voltage and tap-changer capabilities,
transportation and other limiting dimensions, and arrangements for coolers and other
accessories. At the factory, each fully assembled production unit receives dielectric,
temperature rise, sound level and functional tests before delivery. Generally, units undergo
tests to determine their short circuit withstand capability. An existing transformer fleet
normally represents diverse products from 20 or more OEMs, many of whom may no longer

4-1 Acres International Limited


be in business. Many higher MVA rated units originate offshore, where international rather
than Canadian design requirements apply.

As three-phase banks, power transformer assemblies can include either three single-phase
units or one three-phase unit. The user determines assembly configurations based on
economics, reliability, availability, maintainability, and transportation considerations.
Generally, users also specify any limiting dimensions dictated by factors such as
transportation, accessibility and interchangeability. Sometimes, for example, utilities up-rate
older substations and need to ensure that new higher capacity units can fit into existing
transformer pockets.

Power transformers consist of the following key components that are discussed in more detail
below:

Core and Coils


Insulation
Bushings
Cooling
Tanks
De-energized Tap Changers
Load Tap Changers (LTC)

a) Core and Coils


User demands for efficiency, reduced noise, less weight, smaller dimensions, and lower costs
have resulted in recent improvements in core materials as well as the shape and construction
of the core. Today, users evaluate all no-load and load (i.e., iron and copper) losses when
purchasing transformers. Thus, newer transformers operate more efficiently than older
designs.

Three-phase core-type units consist of three or five limbs. Single-phase core-type units can
consist of either one or two limbs. Users may also require specialty transformers such as
phase shifters, static VAR and HVDC converters.

Designers try to make cores with materials that have low degradation potential. Primarily,
designers try to avoid hot spots, reduce electromagnetic losses, minimize mechanical stress,
and prevent excessive circulating currents. Proper stacking and handling help enhance
magnetic properties of the transformer. Similarly, core structure design can eliminate
mechanical stress. For example, designs with clamping windings independent from the core
help reduce excessive mechanical stress on the core.

Over time, core steel improvements have included changes from hot- rolled to cold-oriented
steel. In addition, developments such as laser scribed, plasma treated, cold-rolled steels, and
thinner lamination have improved quality and reduced losses.

Power transformers must have long-term reliability. Designers achieve this reliability by
providing sufficient cooling ducts, effective core-section grounding, and magnetic shielding

Acres International Limited 4-2


to protect against circulating currents from leakage fluxes. Supports must withstand
transportation and operational forces.

The design and construction of windings also contribute to the reliability of power
transformers. Transformer windings experience many extreme conditions including
overloads caused by above-normal temperatures; through-faults that cause displacements,
and surges from lightning and switching that may result in localized over-voltages.
Transformers may have various winding types, depending on voltage ratings, continuous
current, and short circuit requirements. Winding designs must withstand transient over-
voltages caused by lightning and switching surges. Winding designs also must provide
appropriate series capacitance and proper voltage distribution, while maintaining high coil
mechanical strength.

Designers and users must take care that measures taken to mitigate against one condition do
not adversely affect a units ability to withstand another condition. For example, adding
spacers to improve windings short-circuit strength also can reduce their cooling properties.
However, since those cooling properties are critical, one must carefully consider spacer
arrangements and distances in making such adjustments.

b) Insulation
Insulation systems include a combination of oil, paper, pressboard, and core-steel insulation
that consists of paper insulated coil conductors.

Insulating oil must have very low moisture (i.e., 5 ppm water) and air content (i.e., 0.5%).
Established acceptable contaminant levels are used to assess DGA and other field test results.

Single sheet and laminated insulation board forms an integral part of transformer insulation
systems. Contamination and moisture can cause failures. Under factory conditions and after
drying, the cellulose in new units must have moisture contents less than 0.5% of the
material's weight.

A 150-ton core may have 50,000 individual laminations, with a collective area measured in
hectares. Core-steel laminations must have proper surface insulation.

c) Bushings
Specialty suppliers usually make transformer bushings. Users often specify certain types and
manufacturers after considering interchangeability and stock spare availability. Because
bushings interact with tanks and other surrounding parts, they must have compatible designs,
particularly in high- and extra-high voltage applications. Typical types include stud and oil
impregnated condenser bushings. Most are porcelain clad. Less common bushing types
include epoxy resin impregnated condenser bushings.

d) Cooling
Natural oil and air circulation (ONAN) or forced oil and air circulation (OFAF) normally
provide cooling and associated megavolt ampere (MVA) ratings. Combinations of these
cooling methods also exist. All of the larger units have one or more groups of fans and many

4-3 Acres International Limited


also have with one or more pumps. Forced oil cooling may be directional (i.e., directed
through the winding) or non-directional.

Generally, the temperature drop over a winding depends on the duct length, duct width, loss
density, and oil velocity. Shorter duct lengths lead to lower temperature drops over the
winding. Thus, hotspot temperatures near the top of the winding are also lower.

Pumps must not introduce contaminants (e.g., bearing metallic particles, air) into the tank.
Generally, cooling systems have continuous monitors to ensure that pump, fan or power
supply failures do not reduce the transformers rated output beyond certain established
values.

All cooling classes have radiator coolers. To protect against corrosion, this equipment
usually is hot-dip galvanized and painted. Radiators may be mounted separately mounted or
on via headers tanks. .

e) Tanks
Main tanks consist primarily of heavy section, welded steel plates with outer and inner
structural steel stiffeners on the sides. They also have large structural steel beams at their
base. Conservator tanks and radiators also consist of steel construction. Tanks must
withstand full vacuums and the lowest ambient temperatures likely encountered.

f) Tap Changers
A de-energized load tap changer is a device that alters power transformer turn ratios over
small ranges to cause changes in output voltage as needed. The change in high voltage
winding ratios typically occurs by dividing the physical winding into two halves in
combination with the use of several selectable winding taps. Typically, these allow changes
of about plus or minus 5% in the high side winding ratio. The changes occur in two steps.
Since transformers with off load tap changers have no provision for load switching, the
changes must occur when the transformer is de-energized.

Power Transformer Accessories


Transformer accessories and auxiliary systems consist of instrument transformers, protection,
control and monitoring systems, power supplies, pressure relief devices, foundation and
structural steel supports, and often deluge, fire protection and spill containment systems.

High- and low-voltage bushings have bushing current transformers for purposes of relaying
and for metering.

Load Tap Changers (LTC)


These devices fitted to power transformers ensure that output voltages stay within required
levels. To do this, LTCs alter the number of turns in one transformer winding, thereby
changing the ratio of transformers on a system. The BCTC-managed system has many
transformers with Reinhausen LTCs.

Acres International Limited 4-4


Both on-load and de-energized tap changers exist. On-load tap changers generally consist of
a diverter switch and a selector switch operating as a unit to transfer current from one voltage
tap to the next. About 33 % of BCTC-managed transmission power transformers incorporate
on-load tap changers for voltage regulation.

LTCs consists of the following basic components:

A resistor or reactor to prevent short circuiting of any tapped section, and


A duplicate circuit to carry load current while switching occurs on another.

Most modern LTCs use high-speed resistor switching. Windings may be tapped at the line
end, the middle or the star point. Typically, tapping occurs at the middle or the star point
because this imposes the least electrical stress between the tap changer and ground. Tapping
at either of these points also reduces fault current stress on the tap windings. Some designs
incorporate a separate tap coil winding around the main coil to improve short circuit
performance. In these designs, the LTC may be on the high- or low-voltage side, depending
on several factors.

The LTC compartments usually have their own conservator tanks segregated from the main
tank. Normally, tank designs allow installation of a jib hoist for withdrawal of the diverter
switch.

Users normally expect LTCs to operate between 200,000 and 400,000 times before requiring
major maintenance. LTCs must have a high level of reliability, since failures can affect the
entire power transformer.

4.2 Demographics

The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 234 power transformers. Table 4.2.1
shows the number of transformers grouped by voltage level and age group. The table shows
that the 60 kV level has 3.4%, the 138 kV level has 3%, the 500 kV level has 47.9%, the less
than 25kV level has 5.6%, and the 360 kV level has 5.1% of the total transformers in the
system. Note that voltage levels for 3.8% of the transformers could not be identified.

Table 4.2.1 also shows that 52.6% of the transformers are within the age range of 20 to 29
years and that 78.7% are within the age range of 20 to 49 years. Also, 2.6% of the
transformers were commissioned more than 50 years ago.

4-5 Acres International Limited


Voltage

Incomplete

Percent
25 kV

138 kV

230 kV

360 kV

500 kV
60 kV

Total
0 to 9 1 0 0 3 2 7 0 13 5.6
10 to 19 3 0 3 2 0 3 0 11 4.7
Age Group

20 to 29 6 3 1 39 5 69 0 123 52.6
30 to 39 1 0 2 20 2 32 4 61 26.1
40 to 49 0 1 1 6 3 0 0 11 4.7
50 plus 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 6 2.6
incomplete 2 1 0 0 0 1 5 9 3.8

Total 13 8 7 73 12 112 9 234 100.0


Percent 5.6 3.4 3.0 31.2 5.1 47.9 3.8 100.0

Table 4.2.1 Count of Transformers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

Table 4.2.2 shows the number of transformers grouped by MVA level and age group. As
shown in the table, transformers in the 51-150 MVA group represent 35.9% and of the
population. The system has 53.9% of its transmission transformers in levels of 151 MVA and
higher.

MVA
Incomplete
101-150

151-250

Percent
51-100

> 250

Total
1-50

0 to 9 0 5 1 2 4 1 13 5.6
10 to 19 1 3 1 2 4 0 11 4.7
Age Group

20 to 29 6 38 12 33 34 0 123 52.6
30 to 39 3 10 7 23 14 4 61 26.1
40 to 49 2 1 3 1 4 0 11 4.7
50 plus 1 0 0 3 2 0 6 2.6
incomplete 0 3 0 0 0 6 9 3.8

Total 13 60 24 64 62 11 234 100.0


Percent 5.6 25.6 10.3 27.4 26.5 4.7 100.0

Table 4.2.2 Count of Transformers Grouped by MVA and Age

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Table 4.2.3 shows the number of transformers grouped by each relevant transformer type
and age group. As shown in the table, transformers of the No LTC and LTC types represent
59.4% and 32.9% of the population respectively.

Transformer Type
With LTC No LTC Other Total Percent
0 to 9 3 10 0 13 5.6
10 to 19 2 7 2 11 4.7
Age Group

20 to 29 46 74 3 123 52.6
30 to 39 23 34 4 61 26.1
40 to 49 2 9 0 11 4.7
50 plus 1 5 0 6 2.6
incomplete 0 0 9 9 3.8

Total 77 139 18 234 100.0


Percent 32.9 59.4 7.7 100.0

Table 4.2.3 Count of Transformers Grouped by Type and Age

4.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

4.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Power Transformers
Oil filled power transformers consist of bushings, steel tanks, oil, paper, pressboard, and
core-steel insulation. Transformers have no preset life expectancy, but users generally expect
transformers to have a life of 40 to 50 years, assuming normal loads and operation
conditions. Several life threatening degradation processes may affect various components of
this equipment.

Transformers operate under many extreme conditions, and both normal and abnormal
conditions affect their aging and breakdown. Overloads cause above-normal temperatures;
through-faults can cause displacement of coils and insulation; and lightning and switching
surges can cause internal localized over-voltages. Moisture, particles and acids degrade
transformer insulation. In forced oil cooled units, static electricity also may affect insulation.
Conditions degrading transformer insulation eventually can lead to equipment failures.

Transformers generally represent the most costly components of power systems. In addition,
the consequences of transformer failure are significant. Major failures affect customers, cost,
safety and the environment. Also, failures usually require detanking and off-site repairs.
Some of the major recorded transformer failures have resulted from insulation and winding
faults, bushing failures, faulty load tap changers, and failed winding accessories.

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The condition of cores and coils typically dictate the service life of a transformer. These
components undergo operating stresses like overloading, short circuit thermal and
electromagnetic effects, plus transient and dynamic over-voltages. These stresses cause
cumulative and non-reversible degradation to paper insulation and other cellulose materials
associated with winding conductors in transformers.

Transformer aging rates depend on equipment designs, safety margins, loading, system and
operating environments. Utilities perform relatively little maintenance on transformer cores
and coils. They do conduct periodic dissolved gas in oil analysis (DGA), oil temperature
monitoring, gas accumulation and core leakage current testing. Some utilities relocate aging
units when their rating becomes inadequate for particular substations. However, such
relocation also may result in transportation-induced degradation.

Several auxiliary components support transformers, including containment, cooling, and


protection and control systems, plus bushings. The condition of auxiliary components affects
overall performance of any transformer unit. For example, tank gaskets typically begin to
deteriorate after about 15 years of service. Resultant oil leaks become progressively worse
over time. Cooling/radiator systems can rust and corrode during the same time frame,
degrading a units cooling capabilities. Components typically require maintenance regimes
and overhauls to sustain their performance over the equipments expected service life.
Typically, these overhauls occur at about the mid-life of a transformer.

Degradation of foundations and structures that support buswork and connections impose
stress on bushings and other transformer components. Thermal and mechanical failures may
result from misaligned and inadequately supported bus conductors as well as misaligned and
loose connectors.

Utilities generally manage transformers through time based preventive maintenance


programs. They make replace and refurbish decisions based on transformer duties, criticality,
problems noted, ongoing maintenance requirements and associated costs. Generally, only
after complete winding and associated insulation replacement will a unit have such an
increase in life expectancy that it becomes equivalent to a new unit.

Traditionally, utilities have used manufacturers recommendations to design transformer


maintenance programs. Generally, manufacturers made conservative (i.e., risk averse)
maintenance recommendations and applied conservative safety margins during design.
Some utilities, however, have used end-of-life assessments to design maintenance programs
for their transformers. For example, one North American utility studied two 45-year old
GSU transformer units and concluded that these transformers had remaining useful lives of
about 27 years. They also estimated that in about 10 years these transformers would have
about 50% of their useful lives left. The utility extrapolated this information to other similar
transformers in their system and justified continued transformer operation, deferral of major
capital expenditures, and reconsideration of future replacement strategies. The utilitys
analysis consisted of reviewing the transformers technical and operating records plus
assessing loss-of-life over a 40-year period. The study included internal and external
inspections that revealed no defects. It also included analyses of oil, winding impedance, and

Acres International Limited 4-8


swept frequency responses. In addition, the utility reviewed loading data and found that the
units normally operated at lower loads than rated, which helped account for the equipments
minimal loss of life.

Other utilities have installed condition-monitoring systems to measure critical parameters


associated with transformer degradation. While such monitoring is not economical for
widespread application it did offer those utilities sufficient information to develop new
maintenance programs for the transformers studied. Generally, monitoring results allowed
the utilities to extend maintenance intervals with confidence.

Some utilities have undertaken large-scale rehabilitation and refurbishment programs for
existing transformers. These programs do not directly extend transformer life, but they do
help ensure that units achieve a normal life expectancy. Rehabilitation includes correcting
known defects, replacing gaskets, overhauling accessories and wiring, and repairing leaks.
Refurbishment includes rehabilitation activities plus replacing accessories, upgrading or
uprating transformers, re-clamping windings, and removing cores and coils from the tanks.
BCTC has an oil rejuvenation program to re-use old oil.

Load Tap Changers (LTC)


LTCs are dynamic devices with many moving parts subject to wear and stress. LTCs
frequently make and break high currents and undergo arcing that accompanies such
operations. A few specialty suppliers dominate the market for higher rated LTCs.
Reinhausen represents the most prominent of these suppliers, and the system managed by
BCTC has many Reinhausen LTCs.

Excessive arcing cause overheating, contact burning, insulating oil contamination, and short-
circuit failure. Drive shafts and gearboxes experience radial and axial wear. Shaft problems
cause many LTC failures. Transition resistors can experience open circuit failures, causing
excessive contact wear. Relays, interlocks, limit switches, motor drives, springs and remote
tap position indicators can fail from wear and other operational factors.

The LTC compartment and its oil remain segregated from the main tank. This minimizes the
risk of contaminating the main windings with arc decomposition products. Horizontal
surfaces (e.g., the top) of diverter switches often accumulate carbon and copper deposits
associated with small convection currents created in the oil during each tap change. LTC
compartment oil requires filtration and treatment, typically after a specified number (e.g.,
50,000 or more) of LTC operations.

LTCs require considerable maintenance to ensure reliable operation. In many cases, LTCs
have shorter lives than the life expected for their transformers core assembly. However,
LTC overhauls and replacements help ensure total unit longevity.

LTC failures can have severe consequences, including customer supply, costs, safety and
environmental problems. LTC failures also often require off-site repairs. While LTC failure
rates worldwide are low, many major utilities experience several LTC-related major failures

4-9 Acres International Limited


per year. While LTC reliability has improved over the years, they are still a major cause of
transformer outages. LTCs contribute to about 25-30% of transformer failures.

A review of various users experience with modern LTCs revealed defects with two specific
designs. One design has a weak reversing switch that tends to overheat and coke up. This
creates high resistance connections that overheat until they burn open or initiate ground
faults. Another design exhibits excessive operating mechanism wear, making contact
alignment difficult and causing premature and extensive contact burning. Manufacturers have
modified these design problems and have instituted remedial programs for existing defective
models.

BCTC has a preventative maintenance program to detect and correct defects and developing
faults in transformers and tap changers. It is based on Reliability Centered Maintenance
(RCM) techniques. BCTCs Maintenance Standards contain maintenance procedures for
specific types of transformers and tap changers. About 26% of the LTCs on the BCTC-
managed transmission system are between 30 to 40 years old and about 7% are over 40 years
of age.

Condition Assessment Techniques


The following generic techniques and diagnostic tests provide information about the
condition of transformers and tap changers:

a) Visual
Transformers have many visible and accessible components, making visual inspections
effective. Visual inspections can detect external contamination, corrosion, misalignment,
evidence of overheating, plus cracks and oil leaks on bushings, tanks, radiators, fans, pipes
and fittings. Visual inspections also can verify the condition of gaskets and seals. For both
transformers and LTCs, internal inspections of control cabinets can help assess conditions
and components. Visual inspections can be done on all accessible LTC mechanical features.
Visual inspections must be supplemented by records reviews.

b) Oil Analysis (e.g., DGA, Furan, moisture, metals)


Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) determines the quantities of various gases dissolved in oil.
DGA often serves as a primary means to assess insulation and to identify faults such as
insulation aging and overheating, arcing in oil, and partial discharge damage. Interpretation
of DGA requires special skills and knowledge of transformer types, insulation structure,
range of acceptable levels, and risks. It also requires understanding possible causes of gas
evolution such as aging, poor contacts, overheating, arcing, and partial discharge.

Recording DGA results and analyzing trends overtime is key to assessing deterioration.
When oil in an existing transformer is reconditioned or replaced, it will result in a step
change (reduction) in furan, moisture and metal content level. Both the old and new levels
should be recorded and taken into consideration while analyzing future trends.

Acres International Limited 4-10


c) Doble Test
This test involves applying a voltage to bushing terminals and measuring capacitance and
loss angles using a bridge technique. Doble test results can be compared directly to
manufacturers standards or to results from other similar transformers. Assessing trends in
Doble test results can help detect deterioration of bushing insulation and other internal
components such as support insulators.

d) Insulating Medium
Several tests are used to detect excess moisture, contaminants, and decomposition products in
oil, air and transformer insulation systems.

e) Thermograph (IR)
Data from this test provide useful warnings of hot spots and other thermal problems within or
outside transformers.

4.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed transformers and tap changers first required
developing end-of-life criteria for various components of this asset class, including LTC-
equipped and non-LTC equipped transformers. Each criterion represents a factor critical in
determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 4.3.1 through 4.3.22 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

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Condition Description
Rating
A Bushings are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks, flashover burns,
copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
B Bushings are not broken, however minor chips and cracks, are visible.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings are not broken, however major chips, and some flashover burns and
copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Bushings are broken/damaged or cementing and fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged beyond repair.

Table 4.3.1 Transformer Bushing Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A No oil leakage or water ingress at any of the bushing-metal interfaces or at
gaskets, weld seals, flanges, valve fittings, gauges, monitors.
B Minor oil leaks evident, no moisture ingress likely.
C Clear evidence of oil leaks but rate of loss is not likely to cause any
operational or environmental impacts
D Major oil leakage and probable moisture ingress. If left uncorrected it could
cause operational and/or environmental problems.
E Oil leaks or moisture ingress have resulted in complete failure or
damage/degradation beyond repair.

Table 4.3.2 Transformer Oil Leaks

Condition Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on main tank. No external or internal rust in cabinets
no evidence of condensation, moisture or insect ingress. No rust or corrosion
on weld seals, flanges, valve fittings, gauges, monitors. All wiring, terminal
blocks, switches, relays, monitoring and control devices are in good
condition.
B No rust or corrosion on main tank, some evidence of slight moisture ingress
or condensation in cabinets
C Some rust and corrosion on both tank and on cabinets.
D Significant corrosion on main tank and on cabinets. Defective sealing leading
to water ingress and insects/rodent damage.
E Corrosion, water ingress or insect/rodent damage or degradation is beyond
repair.

Table 4.3.3 Transformer Main Tank/Cabinets and Control Condition

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Condition Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on body conservator tank. No rust, corrosion on weld
seals, flanges, valve fittings, gauges, monitors.
B No rust or corrosion on conservator.
C Some rust and corrosion on conservator.
D Significant rust and corrosion on conservator. Could lead to major oil leakage
or water ingress.
E Major oil leakage or water ingress has resulted in damage/degradation beyond
repair.
Any seal failure on a sealed tank transformer.
Note. For transformers employing sealed tanks or air bags, a failure of the
seal would be indicated by the presence of air in the tank, which can be
detected by measuring oxygen or nitrogen content while conducting gas in oil
analysis.

Table 4.3.4 Transformer Conservator/Oil Preservation System Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on body of radiators. Fan and pump enclosures are free
of rust and corrosion and securely mounted in position, pump bearings are in
good condition and fan controls are operating per design.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Fan and pump enclosures damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 4.3.5 Transformer Radiators/Cooling System Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
tight, free of corrosion and made directly to tanks, radiators, cabinets and
supports, without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 4.3.6 Transformer Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding Condition

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Condition Description
Rating
A Power transformer externally is clean, and corrosion free. All primary and
secondary connections are in good condition. All monitoring, protection and
control, pressure relief, gas accumulation and silica gel devices, and auxiliary
systems, mounted on the power transformer, are in good condition. No
external evidence of overheating or internal overpressure. Appears to be well
maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 4.3.7 Overall Power Transformer Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A DGA overall factor is less than 1.2
B DGA overall factor between 1.2 and 1.5
C DGA overall factor is between 1.5 and 2.0
D DGA overall factor is between 2.0 and 3.0
E DGA overall factor is greater than 3.0

Where the DGA overall factor is the weighted average of the following gas scores:

Scores
1 2 3 4 5 6 Weight
H2 <=100 <=200 <=300 <=500 <=700 >700 2
CH4 <=120 <=150 <=200 <=400 <=600 >600 3
C2H6 <=50 <=100 <=150 <=250 <=500 >500 3
C2H4 <=65 <=100 <=150 <=250 <=500 >500 3
C2H2 <=3 <=10 <=50 <=100 <=200 >200 5
CO <=700 <=800 <=900 <=1100 <=1300 >1300 1
CO2 <=3000 <=3500 <=4000 <=4500 <=5000 >5000 1

Table 4.3.8 Transformer DGA Oil Analysis

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Condition Rating Description
A Less than 1.0 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
B Between 1 1.5 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
C Between 1.5 3 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
D Between 3 - 10 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
E Greater than 10 PPM of 2-furaldehyde

Table 4.3.9 Transformer Furan Oil Analysis

Condition Rating Description


A Less than 20 years old
B 20-40 years old
C 40-60 years old
D Greater than 60 years old
E Not Applicable

Table 4.3.10 Transformer Age


Only to be Used if Furan Analysis is Not Available

Condition Description
Rating
A Values well within acceptable ranges; power factor less than 0.05%
B Values close to acceptable ranges; power factor between 0.05 - .5%
C Values exceed acceptable ranges; power factor between 0.5 1%.
D Values considerably exceed acceptable levels; power factor between 1 -
2%
E Values are not acceptable> 2%, immediate attention required; power
factor greater than 2%

Table 4.3.11 Winding Doble Test

Condition Description
Rating
A F1 + F2 + F3 = 0 or 1
B If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 2 or 3
C If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 4
D If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 5
E If: F1 + F2 + F3 > 5

Where minimum requirement is the Moisture test along with either the IFT or
dielectric test:

4-15 Acres International Limited


Moisture PPM Factor IFT Factor Dielectric Str. kV Factor
(T oC Corrected) F1 dynes/cm F2 F3
(From DGA test)
less than 20 0 >20 0 >50 0
20 - 30 2 16-20 1 >40 50 1
>30 40 4 13.5-16 2 30 - 40 2
greater than 40 6 <13.5 4 less than 30 4

Table 4.3.12 Transformer Oil Quality Test

Condition Description
Rating
A No hot spots are noticeable, no temperature excess over reference point of
transformer at normal temperature
B Small hotspots are identified but do not require further investigation, excess
of 0-9 degrees over reference point
C Significant hot spots are identified and further investigation is required,
excess of 10-20 degrees over reference point
D Serious hot spots are identified that need further investigation/attention as
soon as possible, excess of 21-49 degrees over reference point
E Critical hotspots are identified that need immediate attention, excess of more
than 50 degrees over reference point

Table 4.3.13 Transformer Thermograph (IR)

Condition Description
Rating
A Passed test, DGA overall factor less than 3
E Failed test, overall DGA factor greater than 3

Table 4.3.14 Transformer Bushing DGA Analysis

Acres International Limited 4-16


Condition Description
Rating
A No external corrosion or rust on the LTC tank, conservator or switch
compartments. No rust or corrosion on tank, cover plates, weld seals, flanges,
valve fittings, pressure relief diaphragms, qualitrol or other relays and fittings
associated with the LTC.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two unacceptable characteristics that cannot be made acceptable

Table 4.3.15 Tap Changer Tank Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A No oil leakage or water ingress at any interfaces , cover plates, weld seals,
flanges, valve fittings, pressure relief diaphragms, qualitrol or other relays
and fittings associated with the LTC. Verify that LTC conservator oil level
gauge is at correct value.
B Minor oil leaks evident, no moisture ingress likely.
C Clear evidence of oil leaks but rate of loss is not likely to cause any
operational or environmental impacts
D Major oil leakage and probable moisture ingress. If left uncorrected it could
cause operational and/or environmental problems
E Oil leakage or moisture ingress that has caused damage/degradation beyond
repair.

Table 4.3.16 Tap Changer Tank Leaks

Condition Description
Rating
A No external sign of deterioration of tank gaskets, weld seams or gaskets on
valve fittings, pressure relief diaphragms, qualitrol or other relays and fittings
associated with the LTC. Weather seal of LTC mechanism cabinet is in good
condition. Dynamic seals of drive shaft are in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two unacceptable characteristics that cannot be brought into
acceptable condition.

Table 4.3.17 Tap Changer Gaskets, Seals and Pressure Relief Condition

4-17 Acres International Limited


Condition Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust in cabinets. No rust, corrosion or paint peeling on
cabinets, sealing very effective no evidence of moisture or insect ingress or
condensation. All control devices are in good condition.
B No rust or corrosion, some evidence of slight moisture ingress or
condensation in mechanism cabinet or control circuitry.
C Some rust and corrosion on mechanism cabinet or some deterioration of
control circuitry, requires corrective maintenance within the next several
months.
D Significant corrosion on mechanism cabinet or significant deterioration of
control circuitry. Defective sealing leading to water ingress and insects/rodent
damage. Requires immediate corrective action.
E Corrosion, water ingress, or insect/rodent damage/degradation that is beyond
repair.

Table 4.3.18 Tap Changer LTC Control and Mechanism Cabinet

Condition Description
Rating
A Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, heaters, motors, contactors and switches all
in good condition. LTC operating mechanism, shafts, brakes, gears, bearings,
indicators are free from corrosion, abrasion or obstruction and are lubricated.
No sign of overheating or deterioration on any electrical or mechanical
components..
B A small percentage of the wiring, terminal blocks, relays and switches are in
a degraded condition. LTC operating mechanism is in good condition
C About 20% of the wiring, terminal blocks, relays and switches are in a
degraded condition. LTC operating mechanism is in fair condition.
D Significant amount of wiring, terminal blocks, relays and switches are in very
poor condition. Fuses blow periodically. One or more of the LTC operating
mechanism components is in imminent danger of failure. Requires immediate
corrective action.
E Components have failed or are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 4.3.19 Tap Changer Control and Mechanism Cabinet Component Condition

Acres International Limited 4-18


Condition Description
Rating
A Tap changer external components, including the mechanism cabinet
components, are all in good operating condition, and free from corrosion,
deformation, cracks and obstruction. No external evidence of overheating or
switch contact failure. Operation counter readings are below the critical
range for this type of LTC. Appears to be well maintained with service
records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two characteristics that are unacceptable and cannot be brought
into acceptable condition.

Table 4.3.20 Overall Tap Changer Condition

Condition Description
Rating
A Oil tests passed; DGA overall factor <5 or limited metal content
E Any failed oil test; DGA overall factor > 5 or serious metal content

Table 4.3.21 Tap Changer Oil Analysis (DGA Metal Content)

Condition Description
Rating
A F1 + F2 + F3 = 0 or 1
B If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 2 or 3
C If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 4
D If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 5
E If: F1 + F2 + F3 > 5

Where minimum requirement is the Moisture test along with either the IFT or dielectric test:

Moisture PPM Factor IFT Factor Dielectric Factor


(T oC Corrected) F1 dynes/cm F2 Str. kV F3
(From DGA test)
less than 20 0 >20 0 >50 0
20 - 30 2 16-20 1 >40 50 1
>30 40 4 13.5-16 2 30 - 40 2
greater than 40 6 <13.5 4 less than 30 4

Table 4.3.22 Tap Changer Oil Quality Test

4-19 Acres International Limited


4.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Tables 4.3.23
4.3.24 below.

A = 4;
B = 3,
C = 2
D = 1, and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totaled for each asset class member. Because of the importance
of the winding Doble test, Furan or transformer DGA tests, if any of the tests scored an E,
then the Health Index was divided by 2.

Totaled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a transformer in
perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded transformer
would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., the 70% Rule).
For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for transformers in
Table 4.3.23 below, assume a transformer with partial data has a maximum condition score
of 70 out of the Health Index maximum possible score of 116. That transformer, therefore,
has only 60% of the maximum score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other
hand, if that transformer with partial data had a maximum condition score of 82, it would
have 71% of its maximum and a valid Health Index.

Acres International Limited 4-20


For this asset class, available data were insufficient to provide a valid Health Index using the
70% Rule described above. In this case, to provide BCTC with some information about the
assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off (i.e, the 50% Rule). Thus,
if the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal to 50% of the maximum
possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and presented in the results.

Tables 4.3.23 4.3.24 show the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition
ratings as both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible
maximum score for each member of this asset class.

# Transformers Weight Condition Factors Maximum


Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Bushing Condition 1 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 4
2 Oil Leaks 1 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 4
3 Main Tank/Cabinets and Controls 1 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Conservator/Oil Preservation
4 1 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 4
System (Airbag Integrity)
5 Radiators/Cooling System 1 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 4
6 Foundation/Support Steel/Ground 1 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 4
7 Overall Power Transformer 2 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 8
8 DGA Oil Analysis* 4 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 16
9 Furan Oil Analysis* 4 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 16
10 Winding Doble Test* 4 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 16
11 Oil Quality Test 3 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 12
12 Thermograph (IR) 2 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 8
13 Bushing DGA Oil Analysis 4 A, E 4, 0 16
Max Score= 116, HI = 100*Score/Max.
*In the case of a score of E, overall Health Index is divided by 2
If Furan data is not available Use Age data per Table 4.3.10

Table 4.3.23 Transformer Health Index Formulation

# Tap Changers Weight Condition Factors Maximum


Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Tank Condition 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
2 Tank Leaks 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
3 Gaskets, Seals and Pressure Relief 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
4 LTC Control and Mechanism Cabinet 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Control and Mechanisms Cabinet
5 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Component and operation
6 Overall Tap Changer Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
7 DGA,Moisture, Metal Content 4 A, E 4,3,2,1,0 16
8 Oil Quality Tests 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score= 60, HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 4.3.24 Tap Changer Health Index Formulation

4-21 Acres International Limited


In calculating the final Health Index for a Power Transformer with a Tap Changer, the Power
Transformer Health Index represents 80% and the Tap Changer Health Index represents
20%.

4.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 4.3.25 was used to determine the overall condition of the transformer and tap changer
asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some ageing or minor Normal maintenance
85 - 100 Very Good deterioration of a limited number
of components
Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance
70 - 85 Good
components
Widespread significant Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious remedial work or replacement needed
50 - 70 Fair deterioration of specific depending on criticality
components
Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or
30 - 50 Poor rebuild considering risk and
consequences of failure
Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk;
0 - 30 Very Poor
replace or rebuild based on assessment

Table 4.3.25 Health Index Scale for Transformers and Tap Changers

4.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

4.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for power transformers in
the BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 summarize the results,
which are also illustrated in Figure 4.4.1.

Acres International Limited 4-22


Health Index Results Classification Number of Transformers

Very Good 70
Good 36
Fair 8
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total Results Based on Field Survey 114
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 48.7
* HIs were calculated using the 50% Rule instead of the 70% Rule due to insufficient data1

Table 4.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Transformers

Health Index Results Classification Number of Transformers

Very Good 144


Good 74
Fair 16
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total 234

Table 4.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Assessment Results for


Transformers

1
See subsection 4.3.3 above for a description of the 70% and 50% Rules used in this study.

4-23 Acres International Limited


160 144

Number of Transformers
140
120
100
74
80
60
40
16
20
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 4.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Transformers

4.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

93.2% of Transformers are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital


improvements are expected in the near term.
6.8% of Transformers are in Fair condition. Increased maintenance or capital
improvements may be required in the next five years to prevent failure.

Acres International Limited 4-24


5.0 Instrument Transformers

5.1 Description

Instrument transformers change high voltage system currents and voltages from high values
to values safely accommodated by control, metering and relay systems. Two basic
equipment categories exist, current transformers (CTs) and voltage transformers (VTs).

Within the VT category, two distinctly different types of transformers exist, inductive and
capacitive transformers (CVT). Inductive transformers resemble power transformers. CVTs,
however, function as capacitive dividers. CVTs can have multiple functions that include
coupling carrier frequency signals to power line carriers, moderating the switching duty on
adjacent circuit breakers (i.e., short line fault), and supplying control, metering and relay
systems.

Recent technological developments have coupled optical current and voltage transducers as
replacement technology for conventional instrument transformers. This technology had its
first trial application in 1986. However, it still has not gained widespread acceptance.

Most high voltage instrument transformers use oil in a porcelain enclosure for insulation.
Some instrument transformers (e.g., those at medium voltages) also use dry insulation. Some
CTs and VTs have SF6 insulation. CVTs contain mineral oil impregnated paper and
polypropylene dielectric as insulation.

National and international standards provide guidance to manufacturers in the design, testing
and performance of instrument transformers. Users also modify and supplement these
requirements to meet their own systems needs. For example, they may specify special
features such as increased over-voltage and over-current capabilities, increased CVT
capacitance, as well as accuracy classes. Before delivery, manufacturers test each unit for
dielectric potential, ratio, accuracy and temperature rise. Users also may repeat some of
these tests in the field after installation.

System reliability depends heavily on the reliability of instrument transformers. Breakdowns


of this equipment prevent information flow to protective relays, leaving systems unprotected.
Thus, this equipment must withstand all types of system faults

Current Transformers
Several different types of current transformers exist for use in specific applications. Two
main types of core arrangements include:

The tank type with its core in a tank at the ground end (i.e., hair-pin and eye-bolt types),
and
The inverted or live head type with the core situated on the top (i.e., line) end of the
transformer.

5-1 Acres International Limited


The tank type has good stability and seismic characteristics. The tank forms part of the
support for these CTs. Under normal operating conditions, this design also imposes little
stress on support insulators and offers good temperature control. The design has some short
circuit and continuous current limitations, but meets the needs of most utilities.

The live head type can accommodate the highest currents and system voltages. The design is
most economical at voltages of 230 kV and above. However for oil insulated CTs, this
design is relatively unstable and unsuitable in high seismic areas. The design also imposes
high stress on support insulators. SF6 insulated live head CTs are acceptable.

Instrument transformers have dry, epoxy-molded oil, oil-quartz and SF6 insulation systems.
Each type of insulation has certain advantages in specific applications. Oil insulated CTs
have hermetic seals. In some of these CTs, changes in volume are compensated by a
stainless steel bellows system. In the BCTC-managed transmission system, those using
rubber compensation bellows have exhibited problems due to deterioration of the rubber.
Support insulators can be porcelain, epoxy, or reinforced composite materials. Head and
tank housings consist of corrosion resistant aluminum alloys.

CTs experience both static and dynamic stress. High voltage bus conductors impose static
stress. Wind, vibration, pressure increases, and seismic activity impose dynamic stress. Use
of pressure relief devices and adequate support for expansion compensated bus conductors
can avoid service problems. For SF6 CTs, explosion-proof designs prevent risks of fire,
explosion, personnel and collateral damage after faults in the equipment. Explosion-proof
designs are not available for oil insulated CTs.

BCTC has adopted a policy of purchasing dead tank breakers with bushing CTs. This policy
has eliminated the need for external CTs.

Voltage Transformers
a) Inductive Voltage Transformers (Inductive VTs)
Inductive VTs normally have cores located in a tank at the base of the VT. Inductive VTs
operate at voltages of 230kV and below. At higher voltages, Inductive VT cores are found
between two support insulators in a cascade arrangement. However, this configuration
usually is uneconomic, and CVTs offer more cost-effective solutions. CTs and VTs have
similar insulation systems, support insulators, sealing systems, and tank construction. CTs
and VTs also have similar static and dynamic stresses.

b) Capacitive Voltage Transformers (CVTs)


Modern CVTs consist of capacitive voltage dividers and inductive intermediate voltage
transformers located in a tank at their base. Their secondary windings supply required
outputs. Insulator shells house capacitor elements. Normally, these shells consist of
porcelain, but composite shells are available. In the past, some designs incorporated series
connected capacitor can units externally mounted on support insulators.

Capacitive element technology has advanced greatly in the past 20 years. In the past, oil and
paper were major constituents of insulation systems. Later PCB-containing oils served as

Acres International Limited 5-2


insulation. Recent designs, however, use alternate layers of aluminum foil, improved low
loss polypropylene film, and kraft paper impregnated by synthetic oils with high gas
absorbing qualities. New designs are more cost effective, efficient and environmentally
acceptable than earlier technology.

5.2 Demographics

Oil Current Transformers (Oil CTs)


The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 1,164 Oil CTs. Table 5.2.1 shows
the number of Oil CTs grouped by voltage level and age group. The 500 kV and 230 kV
voltage levels have 38.6% and 37.1% of the total population respectively.

Table 5.2.1 also shows that 58.7% of the Oil CTs are within the age range of 20 to 29 years
old. Also, none of the identified Oil CTs was commissioned more than 40 years ago.

Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV 500 kV Incomplete
0 to 9 0 5 3 9 43 0 60 5.2
10 to 19 27 3 50 40 96 0 216 18.6
Age Group

20 to 29 4 54 91 272 262 0 683 58.7


30 to 39 6 0 26 89 24 0 145 12.5
40 to 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 6 3 4 22 24 1 60 5.2
Total 43 65 174 432 449 1 1,164 100.0
Percent 3.7 5.6 14.9 37.1 38.6 0.1 100

Table 5.2.1 Count of Current Transformers Oil Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

Dry Current Transformers (Dry CTs)


The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 191 Dry CTs. Table 5.2.2 shows the
number of Dry CTs grouped by voltage level and age group. The less than 25 kV voltage
level contains most of the Dry CTs with 70.7% of the total population.

Table 5.2.2 also shows that 25.1% of the Dry CTs are within the age range of 20 to 29 years.
Also, none of the identified Dry CTs was commissioned more than 40 years ago.

5-3 Acres International Limited


Voltage
25 60 138 230 500 Total Percent
Incomplete
kV kV kV kV kV
0 to 9 6 18 0 6 3 0 33 17.3
10 to 19 13 6 2 1 0 0 22 11.5
Age Group

20 to 29 39 1 6 0 2 0 48 25.1
30 to 39 3 0 0 0 0 1 4 2.1
40 to 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 74 5 0 0 2 3 84 44.0
Total 135 30 8 7 7 4 191 100.0
Percent 70.7 15.7 4.2 3.7 3.7 2.1 100

Table 5.2.2 Count of Dry Current Transformers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

SF6 Current Transformers (SF6 CT)


The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 201 SF6 CTs. Table 5.2.3 shows the
number of SF6 CTs grouped by each relevant voltage level and age group. The 230 kV, 138
kV, and 500 kV voltage levels, have 51.2%, 28.4%, and 19.9% of the total SF6 CT
population respectively. Note that no SF6 CTs are in the 360 kV or less than 25 kV voltage
levels. As a safety measure, BCTC has made a policy decision to purchase SF6 CTs as
replacements for 138 kV 500 kV applications.

Table 5.2.3 shows that 46.3% of the SF6 CTs are within the age range of 10 to 19 years, and
34.3% are within the age range of 0 to 9 years. Thus 80.6% of the SF6 CTs are less than 20
years old.

Voltage
Total Percent
60 kV 138 kV 230 kV 500 kV
0 to 9 1 5 35 28 69 34.3
10 to 19 0 48 39 6 93 46.3
Age Group

20 to 29 0 0 7 6 13 6.5
30 to 39 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
40 to 49 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 0 4 22 0 26 12.9
Total 1 57 103 40 201 100.0
Percent 0.5 28.4 51.2 19.9 100.0

Table 5.2.3 Count of SF6 Transformers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

Acres International Limited 5-4


Series Capacitor Station Current Transformers
The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 70 series capacitor station CTs.
Table 5.2.4 shows that all of these transformers are found at the 500 kV voltage level.
Table 5.2.4 also shows that 53.9% of the series capacitor station CTs are between 30 and 39
years old, while 23.7% are less than 9 years old. There are no series capacitor station CTs
older than 40 years.

Voltage
Total Percent
500 kV Incomplete
0 to 9 18 0 18 23.7
10 to 19 0 0 0 0.0
Age Group

20 to 29 0 0 0 0.0
30 to 39 24 14 38 53.9
40 to 49 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 0 14 14 22.4
Total 42 28 70 100.0
Percent 60 40 100.0

Table 5.2.4 Count of Series Capacitor Station Current Transformers Grouped by


Voltage Level and Age

Voltage Transformers (VTs)


The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 1,353 voltage transformers (VTs).
Table 5.2.5 shows the number of VTs grouped by voltage level and age group. The less than
25 kV and 60 kV voltage levels have 21% and 64.6% of the total population respectively.
None of the identified VTs are found at voltages higher than 230 kV.

Table 5.2.5 also shows that 42.4% of the VTs are within the age range of 20 to 29 years, and
1.9% older than 40 years. In the age ranges of 0 to 9 years, 10 to 19 years, and 30 to 39
years, the percentage distribution is 20.0%, 8.6%, and 19.5% respectively.

5-5 Acres International Limited


Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV
0 to 9 34 219 11 7 271 20.0
10 to 19 21 56 19 20 116 8.6
Age Group

20 to 29 170 302 54 47 573 42.4


30 to 39 10 241 13 0 264 19.5
40 to 49 0 7 11 0 18 1.3
50 plus 1 4 3 0 8 0.6
incomplete 48 45 10 0 103 7.6
Total 284 874 121 74 1,353 100.0
Percent 21.0 64.6 8.9 5.5 100

Table 5.2.5 Count of Voltage Transformers Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

Capacitive Voltage Transformer (CVTs)

The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 1,283 CVTs. Table 5.2.6 shows the
number of CVTs grouped by voltage level and age group. The 230 kV, 138 kV and 500 kV
voltage levels have 44.7%, 32.7%, and 19.3% of the total population respectively.

Table 5.2.6 also shows that 47.5% of the CVTs are within the age range of 20 to 29 years
old. The age ranges of 10 to 19 years and 30 to 39 years have about the same number of
CVTs each, with 17.1% and 17.9% respectively. Only 0.7 % of the CVTs in the system are
older than 40 years.

Voltage
Total Percent
60 kV 138 kV 230 kV 360 kV 500 kV
0 to 9 5 62 69 0 17 153 11.9
10 to 19 3 77 85 3 52 220 17.1
Age Group

20 to 29 12 176 270 1 150 609 47.5


30 to 39 5 93 110 11 11 230 17.9
40 to 49 0 1 7 0 0 8 0.6
50 plus 0 0 1 0 0 1 0.1
incomplete 2 11 32 0 17 62 4.8
Total 27 420 574 15 247 1,283 100.0
Percent 2.1 32.7 44.7 1.2 19.3 100

Table 5.2.6 Count of Capacitive Voltage Transformers Grouped by Voltage


Level and Age

Acres International Limited 5-6


5.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

5.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

High voltage instrument transformers (HVIT) have no preset life expectancies. Typically,
users expect 25 to 40 years of service from a HVIT, assuming normal operating conditions.
Thus, HVITs have shorter life expectancies than power transformers.

The following represent important factors affecting HVIT operation:

Degradation of internal insulation;


General degradation/corrosion;
Oil and SF6 leaks;
Environmental conditions; and
Static and dynamic stress

HVITs have more complex and more risk-prone dielectric designs than power transformers.
They operate at the same voltage as power transformers, but with a fraction of the insulation
and with tight electrical dimensions.

HVIT insulation tends to have greater dielectric and thermal stress than does power
transformer insulation. Therefore, HVIT insulation degrades, fails sooner, and has a shorter
life than the power transformer insulation. Insulation in both inductive capacitors and
external insulators undergoes cumulative and non-reversible degradation from steady states,
over-voltages and over-currents. HVIT degradation rates depend on equipment design,
safety margins, and operational and environmental conditions.

Periodic oil, gas (e.g., DGA), Doble and transformation ratio testing can help pinpoint
internal winding insulation and other dielectric problems. Dissipation factor measurements
also may assist in evaluating HVITs, but little formal guidance exists on acceptable results
for this equipment. However, when supplemented by DGA or SF6 analysis, dissipation
factor measurements may add value to the HVIT condition assessment process.

Corrosion affects HVITs in spite of the wide use of corrosion resistance aluminum alloys in
this equipment. Outdoor operations have increased corrosion risks. Routine external visual
inspections mitigate risks of internal contamination that can cause HVIT failures. For
example, periodic visual inspections can detect corrosion-related deterioration around joints,
weld, and seals. Such inspections also help find oil or SF6 leaks. Even minor degradation
and leaks should lead to more thorough sampling and analysis. Generally, SF6 units have gas
density monitors that trigger warning systems when leaks occur.

Static stress from poorly implemented HV bus connections may cause HVIT degradation and
failure. Unit bushings and insulators may experience thermal and mechanical failures from
misaligned and inadequately supported bus conductors or misaligned and loose connectors.

5-7 Acres International Limited


Some HVITs use SF6 gas. Recently, concerns have arisen about the greenhouse properties of
SF6. It is one of the gases specifically mentioned in the Kyoto Agreement. Canada has not
issued regulations for SF6, but has made a commitment to reduce the countrys overall
greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, owners of SF6 equipment have taken responsibility to
minimize SF6 emissions. Some have begun SF6 control programs that include detection, leak
remediation, and improved gas handling, plus recycling and reuse of gas from
decommissioned equipment. Some also have inventoried equipment and compiled databases
indicating SF6 usage.

BCTC closely monitors the SF6 gas in the system that it manages. BCTC conducts an annual
survey of SF6 related equipment. The utility then prepares a report for review and action if
needed.

Maintenance and Diagnostic Procedures


HVIT maintenance programs help to ensure that the equipment functions safely and meets
system requirements over time. Maintenance programs commonly include transformation
ratio and radiographic tests, plus periodic oil and SF6 gas sampling. Failed units typically are
replaced rather than rehabilitated because users fear that undiscovered defects may lead to
catastrophic failures, system disruption and risks to personnel. Continuous HVIT monitoring
is not cost effective.

BCTC has a preventative maintenance program to detect and correct defects and developing
faults in HVITs. It is based on Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) techniques.
BCTCs Maintenance Standards contain maintenance procedures for specific types of
HVITs.

Failures
HVITs are highly reliable, with reported failure rates at about 0.05% worldwide. Typically,
failure rates increase as operating voltages rise. In the past, VT ferro-resonance and CT
remanence problems caused failures, but design improvements have solved those problems.
Now most failures occur because of oil or SF6 leaks, and such failures are not generally
catastrophic.

Insulation failures normally occur either very early or very late in the life of HVITs. Early
insulation failures result from poor design, manufacture and installation. Late failures result
from degradation and can be catastrophic.

Because of their small size, internal breakdowns or arcs can have catastrophic results,
particularly in oil filled units. Several utilities have reported explosive failures, extensive
damage and forced outages of adjacent equipment. Some Western US utilities recently
reported explosive failures with resulting debris found over 200 feet away from the failure
site.

SF6 insulated units are not explosive and present little risk of fire or collateral damage. Over
the last 15 years, the number of explosive failures in 500 kV oil-filled porcelain-housed CTs,

Acres International Limited 5-8


has caused some US utilities to purchase only SF6 filled CTs, either in porcelain or composite
housings.

Condition Assessment Techniques


Several assessment techniques and diagnostic tests exist to evaluate the condition of these
assets. Key techniques and tests are described below:

a) Visual
This equipment lends itself to visual inspections because the overall grounded assembly is
visible and accessible. Visual inspections can detect external contamination, corrosion,
misalignment, and evidence of overheating, plus cracks and leaks on insulator housings,
tanks, and high voltage connections. Visual inspections also can verify the condition of
gaskets, seals, terminal box, and secondary connections. Visual inspections serve as a start to
condition assessment, but they must be supplemented by detailed reviews of maintenance
and test records.

b) Transformation Ratio Test


The transformation ratio test, carried out periodically on all HVITs, helps confirm that the
equipment still performs its basic functions correctly and in accordance with specified
requirements.

c) Doble Test
This high voltage bridge test measures capacitance and loss angles of high voltage insulating
components. Doble test results can be compared directly to manufacturers standards or to
results from other similar equipment. Assessing trends in Doble test results can help detect
deterioration of bushings and other internal components such as interrupters, operating rods,
grading capacitors, and support insulators.

d) Thermograph (IR)
This test occurs at substations and provides useful warnings of hot spots and other poor
primary connections.

e) Insulating Medium
Several tests are used to detect excess moisture, contaminants, and decomposition products in
oil and SF6 insulation systems. For HVITS, these tests are conducted periodically, with
frequency determined by performance history as well as the specific type or family of HVIT
equipment.

5.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed instrument transformers first required
developing end-of life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion
represents a factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential
failure.

5-9 Acres International Limited


The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 5.3.1 through 5.3.46 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Oil Filled CTs


Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however minor chips and cracks
are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however major chips, and some
flashover burns and copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/severely damaged or cementing and
fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators or cementing and fasteners have completely
failed, are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.1 Bushing/Support Insulators Condition

Acres International Limited 5-10


Condition
Description
Rating
A No oil leakage or water ingress at any of the bushing-metal interfaces. No
external sign of deterioration of gaskets, weld seams or valves on tanks or
heads. Weather seal of terminal box in good condition.
B Minor oil leaks evident, no moisture ingress likely.
C Clear evidence of oil leaks but rate of loss is not likely to cause any
operational or environmental impacts
D Major oil leakage and probable moisture ingress. If left uncorrected it could
cause operational and/or environmental problems. The CT needs major
reconditioning.
E Oil leaks or moisture ingress have resulted in complete failure or
damage/degradation beyond repair.

Table 5.3.2 Oil Leaks/Gaskets and Seals Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No external corrosion or rust on tank, head or terminal box. No rust,
corrosion or evidence of moisture in terminal box.
B No external corrosion or rust on tank, head or terminal box. Some evidence of
moisture ingress or condensation in terminal box.
C Significant rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box, requires
corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Serious rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box, high probability of
failure. Requires immediate corrective action.
E Rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box have caused equipment
failure or damage/degradation beyond repair.

Table 5.3.3 Tank/Heads/Terminal Box Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer primary connectors are tight, free from corrosion and
show no evidence of overheating. Primary conductors are adequately
supported and impose no excessive loading under normal or fault currents.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Primary connectors or conductors have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.4 Primary Connectors/Conductors Condition

5-11 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A All interconnecting conduit and cabling and fittings are free from damage and
corrosion and in good condition All wiring, terminal blocks, switches, relays,
monitoring and control devices are in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Secondary connections or controls have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.5 Secondary Connections/Control Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to bases, boxes and supports without any intervening paint or
corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding damaged or degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.6 Foundation/Support/Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and
secondary connections are in good condition. No external evidence of
overheating. Appears to be well maintained with service records readily
available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Current transformer has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Table 5.3.7 Overall CT Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification
E Does not comply

Table 5.3.8 Transformation Ratio Test

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition

Table 5.3.9 Thermograph (IR)

Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification.
E Cannot be put to specification condition.

Table 5.3.10 Standard Oil Quality Test

Oil Filled CVTs


Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however minor chips and cracks
are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however major chips, and some
flashover burns and copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/severely damaged or cementing and
fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators or cementing and fasteners have completely
failed, are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.11 Bushing Support Insulators Condition

5-13 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A No oil leakage or water ingress at any of the bushing-metal interfaces. No
external sign of deterioration of gaskets, weld seams or valves on tanks or
heads. Weather seal of terminal box in good condition.
B Minor oil leaks evident, no moisture ingress likely.
C Clear evidence of oil leaks but rate of loss is not likely to cause any
operational or environmental impacts
D Major oil leakage and probable moisture ingress. If left uncorrected it could
cause operational and/or environmental problems. The CVT needs major
reconditioning.
E Oil leaks and moisture ingress have resulted in complete failure or
damage/degradation beyond repair.

Table 5.3.12 Oil Leaks/Gaskets and Seals Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No external corrosion or rust on cans or terminal box. No rust, corrosion or
evidence of moisture in terminal box.
B No external corrosion or rust on cans or terminal box. Some evidence of
moisture ingress or condensation in terminal box.
C Significant rust and corrosion on cans or terminal box, requires corrective
maintenance within the next several months.
D Serious rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box, high probability of
failure. Requires immediate corrective action.
E Rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box have caused failure or
damage/degradation beyond repair

Table 5.3.13 Unit Cans/Terminal Box Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer primary connectors are tight, free from corrosion and
show no evidence of overheating. Primary conductors are adequately
supported and impose no excessive loading under normal or fault currents.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Primary connectors or conductors have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.14 Primary Connectors/Conductors Condition

Acres International Limited 5-14


Condition
Description
Rating
A All interconnecting conduit and cabling and fittings are free from damage and
corrosion and in good condition All wiring, terminal blocks, switches, relays,
monitoring and control devices are in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Secondary connections or controls have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.15 Secondary Connections/Control Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to bases, boxes and supports without any intervening paint or
corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding damaged or degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.16 Foundation/Support/Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Capacitive voltage transformer externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary
and secondary connections are in good condition. No external evidence of
overheating. Appears to be well maintained with service records readily
available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E CVT has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.17 Overall CVT Condition

5-15 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification
E Does not comply

Table 5.3.18 Transformation Ratio Test

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition

Table 5.3.19 Thermograph (IR)

Oil Filled VTs


Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however minor chips and cracks
are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however major chips, and some
flashover burns and copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/damaged or cementing and fasteners
are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators or cementing and fasteners have completely
failed or are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.20 Bushing Support Insulators Condition

Acres International Limited 5-16


Condition
Description
Rating
A No oil leakage or water ingress at any of the bushing-metal interfaces. No
external sign of deterioration of gaskets, weld seams or valves on tanks or
heads. Weather seal of terminal box in good condition.
B Minor oil leaks evident, no moisture ingress likely.
C Clear evidence of oil leaks but rate of loss is not likely to cause any
operational or environmental impacts
D Major oil leakage and probable moisture ingress. If left uncorrected it could
cause operational and/or environmental problems. The VT needs major
reconditioning.
E Oil leaks and moisture ingress have resulted in complete failure or
damage/degradation beyond repair.

Table 5.3.21 Oil Leaks/Gaskets and Seals Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No external corrosion or rust on tank, head or terminal box. No rust,
corrosion or evidence of moisture in terminal box.
B No external corrosion or rust on tank, head or terminal box. Some evidence of
moisture ingress or condensation in terminal box.
C Significant rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box, requires
corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Serious rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box, high probability of
failure. Requires immediate corrective action.
E Rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box have caused equipment
failure or damage/degradation beyond repair.

Table 5.3.22 Heads/Terminal Box Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer primary connectors are tight, free from corrosion and
show no evidence of overheating. Primary conductors are adequately
supported and impose no excessive loading under normal or fault currents.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Primary connectors or conductors have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.23 Primary Connectors/Conductors Condition

5-17 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A All interconnecting conduit and cabling and fittings are free from damage and
corrosion and in good condition All wiring, terminal blocks, switches, relays,
monitoring and control devices are in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Secondary connections or controls have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.24 Secondary Connections/Control Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to bases, boxes and supports without any intervening paint or
corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding damaged or are damaged/degraded
beyond repair.

Table 5.3.25 Foundation/Support/Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Voltage transformer externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and
secondary connections are in good condition. No external evidence of
overheating. Appears to be well maintained with service records readily
available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E VT has completely failed or damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.26 Overall VT Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification
E Does not comply

Table 5.3.27 Transformation Ratio Test

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition

Table 5.3.28 Thermograph (IR)

Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification.
E Cannot be put to specification condition.

Table 5.3.29 Standard Oil Quality Test

SF6 Filled CTs and VTs


Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however minor chips and cracks
are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however major chips, and some
flashover burns and copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/severely damaged or cementing and
fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators or cementing and fasteners have completely
failed or are damaged/degraded beyond repair

Table 5.3.30 Bushing/Support Insulators Condition

5-19 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A No SF6 leakage at any of the bushing-metal interfaces, tank or piping
interfaces, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure/density monitoring
device and SF6 refill maintenance records
B Minor SF6 leakage, not more than 0.5%, per year, by weight, of the total
quantity of SF6 in the CT, as determined by inspection of SF6
pressure/density monitoring device and refill maintenance records
C SF6 leakage of up to 1%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the CT, as determined by inspection SF6 pressure/density monitoring device
and refill maintenance records
D SF6 leakage between 1% and 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of
SF6 in the CT, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure/density
monitoring device and refill maintenance records
E SF6 leakage exceeding 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the CT, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure/density monitoring
device and refill maintenance records

Table 5.3.31 SF6 Leaks

Condition
Description
Rating
A No external corrosion or rust on tank, head or terminal box. No rust,
corrosion or evidence of moisture in terminal box. Weather seal of terminal
box in good condition.
B No external corrosion or rust on tank, head or terminal box. Some evidence of
moisture ingress or condensation in terminal box.
C Significant rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box, requires
corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Serious rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box, high probability of
failure. Requires immediate corrective action.
E Rust and corrosion on tank, head or terminal box have caused equipment
failure or damage/degradation beyond repair.

Table 5.3.32 `Tank/Heads/Terminal Box Condition

Acres International Limited 5-20


Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer primary connectors are tight, free from corrosion and
show no evidence of overheating. Primary conductors are adequately
supported and impose no excessive loading under normal or fault currents.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Primary connectors or conductors have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.33 Primary Connectors/Conductors Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All interconnecting conduit and cabling and fittings are free from damage and
corrosion and in good condition All wiring, terminal blocks, switches, relays,
monitoring and control devices are in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Secondary connections or controls have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.34 Secondary Connections/Control Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to bases, boxes and supports without any intervening paint or
corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding damaged or degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.35 Foundation/Support/Steel/Grounding Condition

5-21 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and
secondary connections are in good condition. No external evidence of
overheating or overpressure. Pressure relief and gas density monitoring
devices operational. Appears to be well maintained with service records
readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E CT has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond repair

Table 5.3.36 Overall CT Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification
E Does not comply

Table 5.3.37 Transformation Ratio Test

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition

Table 5.3.38 Thermograph (IR)

Condition
Description
Rating
A No abnormal indications, within IEC specification
B High readings on moisture, air or CF4
C Probable indication of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
D Definite indications of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
E High levels of electrical activity (decomposition by-products) that cannot
be corrected

Table 5.3.39 Gas Analysis (decomposition by-products, moisture, air etc. based on
evaluation provided with test report)

Acres International Limited 5-22


Dry CTs
Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however minor chips and cracks
are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however major chips, and some
flashover burns and copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/severely damaged or cementing and
fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators or cementing and fasteners have completely
failed or are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.40 Bushing/Support Insulators Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer primary connectors are tight, free from corrosion and
show no evidence of overheating. Primary conductors are adequately
supported and impose no excessive loading under normal or fault currents.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Primary connectors or conductors have completely failed or are degraded
beyond repair.

Table 5.3.41 Primary Connectors/Conductors Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All interconnecting conduit and cabling and fittings are free from damage and
corrosion and in good condition All wiring, terminal blocks, switches, relays,
monitoring and control devices are in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Secondary connections or controls have completely failed or are
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.42 Secondary Connections/Control Condition

5-23 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to bases, boxes and supports without any intervening paint or
corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding damaged or degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.43 Foundation/Support/Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Current transformer externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and
secondary connections are in good condition. No external evidence of
overheating. Appears to be well maintained with service records readily
available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E CT has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 5.3.44 Overall CT Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification
E Does not comply

Table 5.3.45 Transformation Ratio Test

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification by a significant margin
E Equipment cannot be put to specification condition

Table 5.3.46 Thermograph (IR)

Acres International Limited 5-24


5.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Tables 5.3.47
5.3.51 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1; and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totaled for each asset class member.

Totaled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, HVIT
equipment in perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while completely degraded
HVIT equipment would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., the 70% Rule).
For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for oil filled CTs in
Table 5.3.47 below assume an oil filled CT with partial data has a maximum condition score
of 80 out of the Health Index maximum possible score of 120. That oil filled CT, therefore,
has only 67% of the maximum score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other
hand, if that oil filled CT with partial data had a maximum condition score of 84; it would
have 70% of its maximum and a valid Health Index.

5-25 Acres International Limited


For some members of this asset class, available data were insufficient to provide a valid
Health Index using the 70% cut-off described above. In such cases, to provide BCTC with
some information about the assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off
(i.e., the 50% Rule). Thus, if the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal
to 50% of the maximum possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and
presented in the results.

Tables 5.3.47 5.3.51 show the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition
ratings as both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible
maximum score for each member of this asset class.

Oil Filled CTs Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Bushing/Support Insulator 3 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 12
2 Oil Leaks/Gaskets and Seals 3 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 12
3 Tank/Heads/Terminal Box 2 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 8
4 Primary Connectors/Conductors 2 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Secondary Connections/Control 3 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Foundation/Support
6 2 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Steel/Grounding
7 Overall CT Condition 3 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Transformation Ratio Test 2 A, E 4,0 8
9 Thermograph (IR) 3 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 12
10 Standard Oil Quality Test 4 A,B,C,D, E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Max Score= 108
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 5.3.47 Oil Filled CTs Health Index Formulation

Acres International Limited 5-26


Oil Filled CVTs Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Unit Bushings/Support Insulator 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
2 Oil Leaks/Gaskets and Seals 6 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 24
3 Unit Cans/Terminal Box 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
4 Primary Connectors/Conductors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Secondary Connections/Control 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Foundation/Support
6 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
7 Overall CVT Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Transformation Ratio Test 1 A,E 4,0 4
9 Thermograph (IR) 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score= 108
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 5.3.48 Oil Filled CVTs Health Index Formulation

Oil Filled VTs Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Unit Bushings/Support Insulator 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
2 Oil Leaks/Gaskets and Seals 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
3 Head/Terminal Box 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
4 Primary Connectors/Conductors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Secondary Connections/Control 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Foundation/Support
6 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Steel/Grounding
7 Overall VT Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Transformation Ratio Test 2 E,D 4,0 8
9 Thermograph (IR) 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
10 Standard Oil Analysis 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Max Score= 108
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 5.3.49 Oil Filled VTs Health Index Formulation

5-27 Acres International Limited


SF6 Filled CTs Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Unit Bushings/Support Insulator 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
2 SF6 Leaks 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
3 Tank/Heads/Terminals 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
4 Primary Connectors/Conductors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Secondary Connectors/Control 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Foundation/Support
6 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Steel/Grounding
7 Overall CT Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Transformation Ratio Test 2 A,E 4,0 8
9 Thermograph (IR) 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
10 Gas Analysis 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Max Score= 104
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 5.3.50 SF6 Filled CTs Health Index Formulation

Dry CTs Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Unit Bushings/Support Insulator 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
2 Primary Connectors/Conductors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
3 Secondary Connections/Control 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Foundation/Support
4 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Steel/Grounding
5 Overall CT Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
6 Transformation Ratio Test 2 A,E 4,0 8
7 Thermograph (IR) 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score= 72
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 5.3.51 Dry CTs Health Index Formulation

5.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 5.3.52 was used to determine the overall condition of the instrument transformer asset
class.

Acres International Limited 5-28


Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some ageing or minor Normal maintenance
85 - 100 Very Good deterioration of a limited number
of components
Significant deterioration of some Normal maintenance
70 - 85 Good
components
Widespread significant Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious remedial work or replacement needed
50 - 70 Fair deterioration of specific depending on criticality
components
Widespread serious deterioration Start planning process to replace or
30 - 50 Poor rebuild considering risk and
consequences of failure
Extensive serious deterioration At end-of-life, immediately assess risk;
0 - 30 Very Poor
replace or rebuild based on assessment

Table 5.3.52 Health Index Scale for Instrument Transformers

5.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

5.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for each type of instrument
transformer in the BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 5.4.1 and 5.4.2 summarize
the results, which are also illustrated in Figures 5.4.1 through 5.4.6.

5-29 Acres International Limited


Health Index Results
Oil CTs* Oil CVTs Oil VTs* SF6 CTs* Dry CTs Sum
Classification
Very Good 82 106 24 9 6 198
Good 61 72 63 15 36 223
Fair 1 1 3 0 6 12
Poor 0 0 0 0 0 0
Very Poor 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Results Based
on Field Survey 144 179 90 24 48 433
Percentage of Total
12.4 14.0 6.7 11.9 25.1 10.3
Population Surveyed
* HIs were calculated using 50% Rule instead of the 70% Rule due to insufficient data1

Table 5.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Instrument


Transformers

Health Index Results


Oil CTs Oil CVTs Oil VTs SF6 CTs Dry CTs Sum
Classification
Very Good 663 760 361 75 24 1,883
Good 493 516 947 126 143 2,225
Fair 8 7 45 0 24 84
Poor 0 0 0 0 0 0
Very Poor 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1,164 1,283 1,353 201 191 4,192*
* Due to insufficient condition data, this total does not include the 70 series capacitor station current
transformers described in subsection 5.2 above.

Table 5.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Assessment Results for Instrument


Transformers

1
See subsection 5.3.3 above for a description of the 70% and 50% Rules used in this study.

Acres International Limited 5-30


700 663

Oil Current Transformers


600
493
500
Number of 400
300
200
100
0 0 8
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 5.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Oil Current Transformers
Capacitive Voltage Transformers

800 760
700
600 516
Number of

500
400
300
200
100 7
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 5.4.2 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Oil Capacitive Voltage
Transformers

5-31 Acres International Limited


1,000 947
900

Voltage Transformers
800
700
Number of
600
500
361
400
300
200
100 45
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 5.4.3 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Oil Voltage Transformers

140 126
Number of SF6 Instrument

120
Transformers

100
75
80
60
40
20
0 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 5.4.4 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for SF6 Current


Transformers

Acres International Limited 5-32


160

Dry Instrument Transformers


143
140
120
Number of 100
80
60
40 24 24
20
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 5.4.5 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Dry Current


Transformers

2,500 2,225
Instrument Transformers

2,000 1,883
Number of

1,500

1,000

500
0 0 84
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
Health Index Categories

Figure 5.4.6 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for All Instrument


Transformers

5-33 Acres International Limited


5.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

98% of Instrument Transformers are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital


improvements are expected in the near term.
2% of Instrument Transformers are in Fair condition. Increased maintenance or
capital improvements may be needed depending on criticality.

Acres International Limited 5-34


6.0 Shunt Reactors

6.1 Description

Shunt reactors absorb excess reactive power, typically during light load conditions. They
resemble power transformers, but unlike transformers shunt reactors operate at or close to
100% of nameplate rating when in service. Shunt reactor components include insulated
windings installed on a laminated iron core and immersed in a tank of oil for insulation and
cooling. In addition, reactor assemblies consist of bushings, radiators, instrument
transformers, protection and control systems, foundation and structural steel support, and
frequently spill containment systems.

The BCTC-managed transmission system has 126 shunt reactors, ranging in capacity from 10
MVA to 150 MVA. The shunt reactors absorb reactive power on the system, and include
static, oil filled, and steel core devices operating at system voltages between 12 kV and 500
kV. Most units have applications on the 500 kV system, and these play particularly critical
roles in system operation. Shunt reactors represent high cost assets, and have long delivery
times.

Shunt Reactor Design Characteristics


Shunt reactors are considered three-phase banks that may either consist of three single-phase
units or a single three-phase unit. Existing reactor fleets normally represent diverse products
of several original equipment manufacturers (OEM), some of which are no longer in
business.

Large oil filled, shunt reactors consist of bushings, oil, paper, pressboard, core-steel and
paper insulation. Oil and paper form the major constituents of the insulation system. The
core consists of thin, lightly insulated, steel laminations. Generally, tanks and radiators
fabricated from steel and porcelain clad bushings are common. While the fundamental
concept has remained unchanged, over time designs have become more cost effective,
compact and energy efficient. Improvements in design and fabrication techniques coupled
with more effective core and coils materials have resulted in reductions in volume and weight
per MVAr of rating. Computer assisted design tools have resulted in optimization of
dielectric, current carrying, magnetic and cooling characteristics.

National and international organizations have developed design, testing, and performance
standards that aid manufactures in the development of shunt reactors. Many users also
supplement or modify these standards to meet specific needs, especially for larger MVA
rated units. For example, they may specify features such as increased over-voltage
capabilities, special sound level requirements, transportation and other limiting dimensions,
plus special arrangements of coolers and other accessories. At the factory, each fully
assembled production unit receives several dielectric, temperature rise, sound level and
functional tests before delivery.

6-1 Acres International Limited


Shunt Reactor Components
Critical components of shunt reactors include:

Core and Coils


Insulation
Bushings
Cooling
Tanks

a) Core and Coils


Magnetic circuits have not changed significantly in the last century. However, key
developments have occurred in two areas - the improvement of core materials, and the shape
and construction of the core in relation to surrounding windings. Designers try to build cores
that do not degrade due to core and coil construction. Designs avoid hot spots, reduce losses,
prevent circulating currents, and avoid physical handling of cores. Designers enhance the
magnetic properties of reactors by proper stacking and handling, and by using structures that
reduce stress during transport and operation. User achieve long-term reliability by providing
sufficient cooling, effective grounding of core sections, and magnetic shielding to protect
against circulating currents.

The quality of winding design and construction frequently determines the reliability of a
reactor. Windings must withstand many extreme conditions over their lifetime including
over-voltages, lightning and switching surges. Various winding types (e.g., helical, single
and multi layer) are used depending on voltage and MVAr ratings. Designs must provide
appropriate series capacitance and proper voltage distribution across the winding while
maintaining high mechanical strength in the coil.

b) Insulation
The reactor insulation system combines oil, paper, pressboard, and core-steel insulation.
Insulating oil must have very low levels of moisture and air. Manufacturers usually try to
attain values of less than 5 ppm water and less than 0.5% dissolved air. Established
acceptable levels of solid and gaseous contaminants are used to assess results of DGA and
other tests in the field.

Both single sheet and laminated insulation board form integral parts of reactor insulation. A
core of 150 tons may have more than 50,000 individual laminations that require proper
surface. The dual electrical and mechanical roles of the insulation necessitate a high level of
quality since contamination or moisture can cause failure. New units must be dried until the
cellulose material has a moisture content of less than 0.5% of its weight.

c) Bushings
Usually specialty suppliers make bushings and types vary depending on voltage and current
ratings. Typical types include stud and oil impregnated condenser bushings. Most bushings
are porcelain clad, but composite and epoxy resin impregnated condenser types also exist.
Users specify types and manufacturers to ensure compatibility with tanks and surrounding
parts, particularly for HV and EHV.

Acres International Limited 6-2


d) Cooling
Natural oil and air circulation normally cool reactors and achieve MVAr ratings. All reactors
have radiator coolers that normally are hot-dip galvanized and painted for corrosion
protection. The radiator coolers may be separately mounted or tank mounted via headers.

e) Tanks
Main tanks consist primarily of heavy welded steel plates with outer and inner structural steel
stiffeners on their sides and large structural steel beams at their base. Conservator tanks and
radiators also are made from steel and must meet requirements of the main tank. Tanks must
withstand full vacuums and the lowest possible ambient temperatures. Main tank designs
must withstand transport by road, sea and rail. Base designs must accommodate some or all
of the following features to facilitate movement to final fixed foundation locations: jacking
steps, blocking areas, hauling eyes and reinforced rolling areas.

To avoid eddy current losses caused by flux leakage, main tanks of larger units also require
magnetic shielding. The shields consist of grain-oriented magnetic sheets applied as
laminated strips to tank walls.

To minimize corrosion and moisture ingress problems, tank designs must avoid sharp edges,
connections of dissimilar metals, areas where water can collect, and parts inaccessible for
shot blasting and painting. Also, tank frames and stiffening members must have closed
rectangular tubes (U-profile). Bushing, manhole and pipe flanges must be a minimum of 10
mm above tank covers to minimize water ingress. Generally, tanks must have forms that can
hold long-term surface treatments.

Reactor Accessories
Accessories and auxiliary systems consist of instrument transformers, protection, control and
monitoring systems, power supplies, pressure relief devices, foundation and structural steel
supports, and often deluge, acoustic enclosure, fire protection and spill containment systems.
Bushings usually have current transformers for relaying and metering. Bushing potential
devices also may be provided. Secondary wiring ends in a terminal box or control cabinets.
Several versions of gas detection and monitoring devices exist, but normally only minimal
monitoring or protection is provided.

6.2 Demographics

The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 126 shunt reactors. Table 6.2.1
shows the number of shunt reactors grouped by each relevant voltage level and age group.
The 500 kV voltage level contains most of the systems shunt reactors, with 85.7%. The 10
shunt reactors at the less than 25 kV level are neutral reactors.

Table 6.2.1 also shows that 86.5% of the shunt reactors are within the age range of 20 to 29
years old, and that none are older than 29 years.

6-3 Acres International Limited


Voltage Level
Total Percent
25 kV 138 kV 230 kV 500 kV
0 to 9 0 0 4 3 7 5.6
10 to 19 2 0 1 5 8 6.3
Age Group

20 to 29 8 2 1 98 109 86.5
30 to 39 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
40 to 49 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Incomplete 0 0 0 2 2 1.6
Total 10 2 6 108 126 100.0
Percent 7.9 1.6 4.8 85.7 100.0

Table 6.2.1 Count of Shunt Reactors Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

6.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

6.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Shunt reactors have no preset life expectancies, and several factors can influence degradation
of equipment components. In general, users expect 40 to 50 years of life from a reactor,
assuming normal loading and operating conditions.

Longevity of these units depends largely on the condition of their core and coils. Reactors
have operating stresses that include dielectric, thermal and electromagnetic effects of steady
state, transient and dynamic over-voltages. Switching devices that restrike during de-
energizing also add stress to unit winding conductor insulation, resulting in cumulative and
non-reversible degradation. Reactor aging rates depend on the design, safety margins,
operating conditions and environmental factors. Cores and coils receive relatively little
maintenance aside from periodic dissolved gas in oil analysis (i.e., DGA and oil temperature,
gas accumulation and core leakage current monitoring.

Normal and abnormal operating conditions influence reactor aging. Lightning and switching
surges can cause internal localized over-voltages. Over-voltages cause above-normal
temperatures. Insulation degrades through exposure to moisture, particles, and acids. Such
conditions can eventually lead to failures.

Shunt reactors generally represent one of the most costly components of power systems. In
addition, the consequences of reactor failure are significant. Major failures affect cost, safety
and the environment. Also, failures usually require detanking and off-site repairs. Some of
the major recorded reactor failures have resulted from bushing failures, internal insulation
and winding faults, as well as failed winding accessories.

Acres International Limited 6-4


Several auxiliary systems support shunt reactors. These include containment, cooling, and
protection and control systems, plus bushings. The condition of auxiliary components affects
overall performance of any reactor unit. For example, tank gaskets typically begin to
deteriorate after about 15 years of service. Resultant oil leaks become progressively worse
over time. Cooling and radiator systems can rust and corrode during the same time frame,
degrading a units cooling capabilities. Components typically require regular maintenance
and overhauls to sustain performance over a reactors expected service life. Typically these
overhauls occur at about the mid-life of a reactor.

Degradation of foundations and structures that support buswork and connections impose
stress on bushings and other reactor components. Thermal and mechanical failures may
result from misaligned and inadequately supported bus conductors as well as misaligned and
loose connectors.

Utilities generally manage reactors through time based preventive maintenance programs.
They make replacement and refurbishment decisions based on reactor duties, criticality,
problems noted, plus ongoing maintenance requirements and associated costs. Traditionally,
utilities have used manufacturers recommendations to design reactor maintenance programs.
Generally, manufacturers made conservative (i.e., risk averse) maintenance recommendations
and applied conservative safety margins during design.

Some utilities have undertaken large-scale rehabilitation and refurbishment programs for
existing reactors. These programs do not directly extend a reactors life, but they do help
ensure that units achieve a normal life expectancy. Rehabilitation includes correcting known
defects, replacing gaskets, overhauling accessories and wiring, and repairing leaks.
Refurbishment includes rehabilitation activities plus replacing accessories, re-clamping
windings, and removing cores and coils from tanks. Generally, only after complete winding
and associated insulation replacement will a unit have such an increase in life expectancy that
it becomes equivalent to a new unit.

BCTC has a preventative maintenance program to detect and correct defects and developing
faults in shunt reactors. It is based on Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) techniques.
BCTCs Maintenance Standards contain maintenance procedures for specific types of shunt
reactors.

Condition Assessment Techniques


The following generic techniques and diagnostic tests provide information about the
condition of shunt reactors:

a) Visual
Shunt reactors have many visible and accessible components, making visual inspections
effective. Visual inspections can detect external contamination, corrosion, misalignment,
evidence of overheating, plus cracks and oil leaks on bushings, tanks, radiators, pipes and
fittings. Visual inspections also can verify the condition of gaskets and seals. Visual
inspections can help assess internal conditions and components of control and mechanism
cabinets. Visual inspections, however, must be supplemented by records reviews.

6-5 Acres International Limited


b) Oil Analysis (e.g., DGA, Furan, moisture, metals)
Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) determines the quantities of various gases dissolved in oil.
DGA often serves as a primary means to assess insulation and to identify faults such as
arcing in oil, overheating of insulation, insulation aging, and partial discharge damage.
Interpretation of DGA requires special skills and knowledge of reactor types, insulation
structure, range of acceptable levels, and risks. It also requires understanding possible causes
of gas evolution such as aging and partial discharges in bushings and other components.
Recording DGA results and analyzing trends overtime are keys to the assessment of
deterioration. When oil in an existing transformer is reconditioned or replaced, it will result
in a step change (reduction) in furan, moisture and metal content level. Both the old and new
levels should be recorded and considered when analyzing future trends.

c) Doble Test
This test involves applying a voltage to bushings and measuring capacitance and loss angles
using a bridge technique. Doble test results can be compared directly to manufacturers
standards or to results from other similar transformers. Assessing trends in Doble test results
can help detect deterioration of bushings and other internal components such as support
insulators.

d) Insulating Medium
Several tests are used to detect excess moisture, contaminants, and decomposition products in
oil, air or reactor insulation systems.

e) Thermograph (IR)
Data from this test provide useful warnings of hot spots and other thermal problems within or
outside reactors.

6.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed shunt reactors first required developing
end-of-life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a
factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and

Acres International Limited 6-6


E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 6.3.1 through 6.3.13 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks, flashover burns,
copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
B Bushings are not broken, however minor chips and cracks, are visible.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings are not broken, however major chips, and some flashover burns and
copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Bushings are broken/damaged or cementing and fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings or cementing and fasteners have completely failed, are damaged
beyond repair or have completely degraded.

Table 6.3.1 Bushing Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No oil leakage or water ingress at any of the bushing-metal interfaces or at
gaskets, weld seals, flanges, valve fittings, gauges, monitors.
B Minor oil leaks evident, no moisture ingress likely.
C Clear evidence of oil leaks but rate of loss is not likely to cause any
operational or environmental impacts
D Major oil leakage and probable moisture ingress. If left uncorrected it could
cause operational and/or environmental problems.
E Oil leaks and moisture ingress resulted in complete failure or degradation
beyond repair.

Table 6.3.2 Oil Leaks

6-7 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on main tank. No external or internal rust in cabinets
no evidence of condensation, moisture or insect ingress. No rust or corrosion
on weld seals, flanges, valve fittings, gauges, monitors. All wiring, terminal
blocks, switches, relays, monitoring and control devices are in good
condition.
B No rust or corrosion on main tank, some evidence of slight moisture ingress
or condensation in cabinets
C Some rust and corrosion on both tank and on cabinets.
D Significant corrosion on main tank and on cabinets. Defective sealing leading
to water ingress and insects/rodent damage.
E Corrosion on main tank and cabinets beyond repair or water/insect/rodent
damage beyond repair..

Table 6.3.3 Main Tank/Cabinets and Controls Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on body conservator tank. No rust, corrosion on weld
seals, flanges, valve fittings, gauges, monitors.
B No rust or corrosion on conservator.
C Some rust and corrosion on conservator.
D Significant rust and corrosion on conservator. Could lead to major oil leakage
or water ingress.
E Major oil leakage or water ingress has resulted in damage/degradation beyond
repair.
Any seal failure on a sealed tank shunt reactor.
Note. For reactors employing sealed tanks or air bags, a failure of the seal
would be indicated by the presence of air in the tank, which can be detected
by measuring oxygen or nitrogen content while conducting gas in oil analysis.

Table 6.3.4 Conservator/Oil Preservation System Condition

Acres International Limited 6-8


Condition
Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on body of radiators. Fan and pump enclosures are free
of rust and corrosion and securely mounted in position, pump bearings are in
good condition and fan controls are operating per design.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Fan and pump enclosures damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 6.3.5 Radiators/Cooling System Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
tight, free of corrosion and made directly to tanks, radiators, cabinets and
supports, without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or grounding damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 6.3.6 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Shunt Reactor externally is clean, and corrosion free. All primary and
secondary connections are in good condition. All monitoring, protection and
control, pressure relief, gas accumulation and silica gel devices, and auxiliary
systems, mounted on the power transformer, are in good condition. No
external evidence of overheating or internal overpressure. Appears to be well
maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Shunt Reactor has failed or is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 6.3.7 Overall Shunt Reactor Condition

6-9 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A DGA overall factor is less than 1.2
B DGA overall factor between 1.2 and 1.5
C DGA overall factor is between 1.5 and 2.0
D DGA overall factor is between 2.0 and 3.0
E DGA overall factor is greater than 3.0

Where the DGA overall factor is the weighted average of the following gas scores:

Scores
Weight
1 2 3 4 5 6
H2 <=100 <=200 <=300 <=500 <=700 >700 2
CH4 <=120 <=150 <=200 <=400 <=600 >600 3
C2H6 <=50 <=100 <=150 <=250 <=500 >500 3
C2H4 <=65 <=100 <=150 <=250 <=500 >500 3
C2H2 <=3 <=10 <=50 <=100 <=200 >200 5
CO <=700 <=800 <=900 <=1100 <=1300 >1300 1
CO2 <=3000 <=3500 <=4000 <=4500 <=5000 >5000 1

Table 6.3.8 DGA Oil Analysis

Condition
Description
Rating
A Less than 1.0 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
B Between 1 1.5 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
C Between 1.5 3 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
D Between 3 - 10 PPM of 2-furaldehyde
E Greater than 10 PPM of 2-furaldehyde

Table 6.3.9 Furan Oil Analysis

Condition
Description
Rating
A Less than 20 years old
B 20-40 years old
C 40-60 years old
D Greater than 60 years old
E Not Applicable

Table 6.3.10 Shunt Reactor Age


Only to be Used if Furan Analysis is Not Available

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within acceptable ranges; power factor less than 0.05%
B Values close to acceptable ranges; power factor between 0.05 - .5%
C Values exceed acceptable ranges; power factor between 0.5 1%.
D Values considerably exceed acceptable levels; power factor between 1 - 2%
E Values are not acceptable> 2%, immediate attention required; power factor
greater than 2%

Table 6.3.11 Winding Doble Test

Condition
Description
Rating
A F1 + F2 + F3 = 0 or 1
B If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 2 or 3
C If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 4
D If: F1 + F2 + F3 = 5
E If: F1 + F2 + F3 > 5

Where minimum requirement is the Moisture test along with either the IFT or dielectric test:

Moisture PPM
Factor IFT Factor Dielectric Factor
(T oC Corrected)
F1 dynes/cm F2 Str. kV F3
(From DGA test)
less than 20 0 >20 0 >50 0
20 - 30 2 16-20 1 >40 50 1
>30 40 4 13.5-16 2 30 - 40 2
greater than 40 6 <13.5 4 less than 30 4

Table 6.3.12 Oil Quality Test

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Condition
Description
Rating
A No hot spots are noticeable, no temperature excess over reference point of
transformer at normal temperature
B Small hotspots are identified but do not require further investigation, excess
of 0-9 degrees over reference point
C Significant hot spots are identified and further investigation is required,
excess of 10-20 degrees over reference point
D Serious hot spots are identified that need further investigation/attention as
soon as possible, excess of 21-49 degrees over reference point
E Critical hotspots are identified that need immediate attention, excess of more
than 50 degrees over reference point

Table 6.3.13 Thermograph (IR)

Condition
Description
Rating
A Passed test, DGA overall factor less than 3 PPM
E Failed test, overall DGA factor greater than 3 PPM

Table 6.3.14 Bushing Oil Analysis

6.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 6.3.15 below.

A = 4;
B = 3,
C = 2,
D = 1; and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

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The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a shunt reactor
in perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while completely degraded shunt
reactor would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., the 70% Rule).
For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for shunt reactors in
Table 6.3.15 below, assume a shunt reactor with partial data has a maximum condition score
of 90 out of the Health Index maximum possible score of 132. That shunt reactor, therefore,
has only 68% of the maximum score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other
hand, if that shunt reactor with partial data had a maximum condition score of 95 it would
have 72% of the maximum and a valid Health Index.

For this asset class, available data were insufficient to provide a valid Health Index using the
70% Rule described above. In this case, to provide BCTC with some information about the
assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off (i.e., the 50% Rule). Thus,
if the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal to 50% of the maximum
possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and presented in the results.

Table 6.3.15 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition ratings as
both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum score
for each member of this asset class.

6-13 Acres International Limited


Shunt Reactors Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Bushing Condition 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
2 Oil Leaks 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
3 Main Tank/Cabinets and Controls 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Conservator/Oil Preservation
4 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
System (Airbag Integrity)
5 Radiators/Cooling System 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Foundation/Support
6 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Steel/Grounding
7 Overall Reactor Condition 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
8 Furan Oil Analysis* 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
9 DGA Oil Analysis* 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
10 Winding Doble Test* 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
11 Oil Quality Test 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
12 Thermograph (IR) 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
13 Bushing DGA Oil Analysis 4 A,E 4,0 16
Max Score= 116 HI = 100*Score/Max
* In case of a score of E, overall HI is divided by 2
If Furan data is not available Use Age data per Table 6.3.10

Table 6.3.15 Shunt Reactor Health Index Formulation

6.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 6.3.16 was used to determine the overall condition of the shunt reactor asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 6.3.16 Health Index Scale for Shunt Reactors

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6.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

6.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for Shunt Reactors in the
BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 6.4.1 and 6.4.2 summarize the results, which
are also illustrated in Figure 6.4.1. Note, as described in subsection 6.3.3 above, the 50%
Rule was applied in calculating the Health Index for this asset since available data were
insufficient to use the 70% Rule.

Health Index Results Classification Number of Shunt Reactors*

Very Good 58
Good 26
Fair 6
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total Results Based on Field Survey 90
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 71.4

Table 6.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Shunt Reactors

Health Index Results Classification Number of Shunt Reactors

Very Good 81
Good (1) 37
Fair 8
Poor (1) 0
Very Poor 0
Total 126
(1) Note: 19 of the AEI 500kV shunt reactors have potential winding neutral shield problems. These are being
monitored and could be considered in Poor Condition

Table 6.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Assessment Results


for Shunt Reactors

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90 81

Number of Shunt Reactors


80
70
60
50
37
40
30
20
8
10 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

*Note, however, that 19 AEI 500kV shunt reactors have potential winding neutral shield problems. These are
being monitored and could be considered in Poor Condition

Figure 6.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Shunt Reactors

6.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

93.7% of Shunt Reactors are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital


improvements are expected in the near term.
6.3% of Shunt Reactors are in Fair condition. Increased maintenance or capital
improvements may be required depending on criticality issues.

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7.0 Shunt Capacitors

7.1 Description

Shunt capacitors provide reactive compensation and voltage support to transmission systems,
usually during heavy load conditions. The shunt capacitor population on the BCTC-managed
transmission system consists of 67 three-phase shunt capacitor banks. These shunt capacitors
provide reactive power on the transmission system at substations. They are on free standing
racks, mounted on support insulators operating at system voltages between 12 kV and
230 kV.

When in service, shunt capacitors always operate at or close to 100% of nameplate rating.
Capacitor bank components include capacitor units, base support and inter-rack insulators,
interconnecting buswork, as well as racks and support steel, all commonly installed on
concrete foundations. Capacitor assemblies may consist of inrush current limiting reactors,
capacitor unit fuses, surge arresters, disconnect and ground switches, instrument transformers
and associated protection and control devices. Tanks are made from stainless steel and
porcelain clad bushings are common.

Large shunt capacitor banks consist of insulators, liquid impregnated polypropylene insulated
capacitor units with either internally or externally mounted fuses and interconnecting bus-
work. Usually, capacitor units have wye (Y) connected series-parallel arrangements to meet
voltage and MVAr rating requirements. They may have grounded or ungrounded neutrals.
While banks are usually configured for air insulated outdoor installations other
configurations (e.g., metal-clad arrangements) also exist.

Capacitor unit technology has advanced substantially in the last 20 years. In the past, oil and
paper were the major constituents of capacitor bank insulation systems. Because of the need
for more cost-effective, compact and energy efficient designs, the technology has developed
over time. Recent capacitors are wound from alternate layers of aluminium foil, an improved
low loss polypropylene film, and kraft paper impregnated synthetic oil with high gas
absorption qualities. Unit ratings now reach 600 kVAr or more, up from 200 kVAr in the
1980s.

National and international organizations have developed design, testing, and performance
standards that aid manufactures in the development of shunt capacitors. Many users also
supplement or modify these standards to meet specific needs, especially for larger MVA
rated units. For example, they may specify features such as increased over-voltage
capabilities, special sound level requirements, transportation and other limiting dimensions,
plus special arrangements of coolers and other accessories. At the factory, each fully
assembled production unit receives several dielectric, temperature rise, sound level and
functional tests before delivery.

7-1 Acres International Limited


Shunt Capacitor Components
Critical components of a capacitor bank include:

Capacitor units (including fuses)


Insulators
Interconnecting buses
Racks and support steel

Designers try to build banks with capacitors and other materials that have specific loss
properties and operating characteristics that do not degrade over time. Electrical clearances,
insulators and overcurrent protection add reliability under normal and abnormal operating
conditions. Banks must have sufficient support to withstand transport and operational forces.

Extreme conditions such as transient and temporary over-voltages may substantially affect a
capacitor, and the capacitor must withstand such conditions throughout its life. The quality
of a units internal insulation frequently determines its reliability.

Capacitor Bank Accessories


Accessories and auxiliary systems consist of instrument transformers, surge arresters,
disconnect and ground switches, protection, control and monitoring systems, power supplies
and foundations. For purposes of this report, associated capacitor circuit breakers and
switchers are discussed in Chapters 1 and 3, Circuit Breakers and Circuit Switchers.

7.2 Demographics

The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 67 shunt capacitors. Table 7.2.1
shows the number of shunt capacitors grouped by voltage level and age group. The less than
25 kV voltage level contains most of the shunt capacitors, with 61.2% of the total. The 138
kV level has the next highest number of shunt capacitors with 16.4% of the total. The 60 kV
level has 7.5%, and the 230 kV level has 10.4% of the systems shunt capacitors.

Table 7.2.1 also shows that 88% of the shunt capacitors are less than 29 years old and none
are more than 40 years old.

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Voltage
Total Percent
25 kV 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV Incomplete
0 to 9 14 2 2 4 0 22 32.8
10 to 19 20 1 7 2 0 30 44.8
Age Group

20 to 29 3 2 1 1 0 7 10.4
30 to 39 2 0 0 0 0 2 3.0
40 to 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
incomplete 2 0 1 0 3 6 9.0
Total 41 5 11 7 3 67 100.0
Percent 61.2 7.5 16.4 10.4 4.5 100.0

Table 7.2.1 Count of Shunt Capacitors Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

7.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

7.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Capacitor banks consist of capacitors, fuses, insulators and support structures. They are
essentially static devices, considered robust and reliable with no preset life expectancies.
While several factors may affect their condition, users generally expect capacitor banks to
have useful lives of 30 40 years, assuming normal operations. Generally, capacitors reach
their end-of-life when units, structures, insulators, and fuses deteriorate to the point where
maintenance becomes uneconomic.

Capacitors undergo exposure to extreme temperatures, other environmental conditions, birds,


rodents and small animals. During service, capacitor banks also experience steady state,
transient and dynamic over-voltage conditions. Switching devices that restrike during de-
energizing impose additional stress on capacitors. Such stress results in cumulative and non-
reversible degradation of insulation in capacitor units and external insulators. Degradation
rates depend on design, safety margins, system conditions and environmental factors.
Capacitor banks receive little maintenance except periodic inspections, cleaning, unit
capacitance testing, and replacement of failed units and fuses.

In the past, bushing and fuse failures, contamination and small animals have caused major
failures. Fuse degradation results primarily from the failure of seals and ingress of moisture.
While users have reported some corrosion in capacitor units and support steelwork, it occurs
primarily in coastal areas from salt spray but is rare elsewhere. Internal degradation occurs
in insulators, but this is difficult to detect with standard visual inspection methods.

Degradation of foundations and structures that support buswork and connections impose
stress on bushings and other capacitor components. Thermal and mechanical failures may
result from misaligned and inadequately supported bus conductors. Misaligned and loose
connectors can cause thermal and mechanical failures of bushings and insulators.

7-3 Acres International Limited


BCTC has a preventative maintenance program to detect and correct defects and developing
faults in shunt capacitors. It is based on Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)
techniques.

Canada has environmental laws and regulations for chlorobiphenyls (i.e., polychlorinated
biphenyls, PCBs) that include requirements for certain PCB equipment. Canada also has
proposed amendments to its chlorobiphenyl regulations that would phase-out PCB equipment
such as capacitors containing 500 mg/kg or more of PCBs by the year 2007. BCTC has a
program to replace any relevant capacitors by that deadline.

Condition Assessment Techniques


The following generic techniques and diagnostic tests provide information about the
condition of shunt capacitors. In addition to the following assessment techniques, protection
unbalance alarms also provide alerts about the condition of shunt capacitors. Typically, the
failure of 2 or 3 cans in a string cause these alarms to sound.

a) Visual
Shunt capacitors have many visible and accessible components, making visual inspections
effective. Visual inspections can detect external contamination, corrosion, evidence of leaks,
internal unit failures, blown fuses, misalignment, plus chips, cracks and other insulator
defects. Visual inspections must be supplemented by record reviews and annual infrared (IR)
tests.

b) Doble and Capacitance Bridge Test


This test involves applying a test voltage to a capacitor unit and measuring capacitance and
loss angles using a bridge technique. Doble test results can be compared directly to
manufacturers standards or to results from other similar capacitors. Assessing trends in
Doble test results can help detect deterioration of bushings and other internal components
such as support insulators.

7.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed shunt capacitors first required developing
end-of-life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a
factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;

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C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 7.3.1 through 7.3.10 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Support Insulators (rack and inter-rack) are not broken and are free of
contamination, chips, radial cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper
wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
B Support Insulators (rack and inter-rack) are not broken, however minor
contamination, chips and cracks are visible. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
C Support Insulators (rack and inter-rack) are not broken, however major
contamination, chips, and some flashover burns and copper splash are visible.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Support Insulators (rack and inter-rack) are broken/damaged or cementing
and fasteners are not secure.
E Support Insulators (rack and inter-rack), or cementing and fasteners are
broken/damaged beyond repair.

Table 7.3.1 Rack Support Insulators Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Support steel and bolts are tight and free from corrosion. High voltage
connections are made directly to buses, structures, fuses and capacitor units
without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Supports or connections are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 7.3.2 Rack Structure Condition

7-5 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Some external sign of deterioration of gaskets/ weld seams on cans. No
bulging of cans. No signs of oil leaks or oil stains on cans. Some external
corrosion or rust on cans
B Some external sign of deterioration of gaskets/ weld seams on cans. No
bulging of cans. No signs of oil leaks or oil stains on cans. Some external
corrosion or rust on cans
C Some external sign of deterioration of gaskets/ weld seams on cans. Bulging
of cans. Signs of oil leaks or oil stains on cans. Extensive external corrosion
or rust on cans. Requires corrective maintenance within the next several
months.
D Major external sign of deterioration of gaskets/ weld seams on cans. Bulging
of many cans. Many signs of oil leaks or oil stains on cans. Extensive external
corrosion or rust on cans. High probability of failure. Requires immediate
corrective action.
E Cans or their components have failed or are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 7.3.3 Condition of Capacitor Units

Condition
Description
Rating
A No Fuses are blown, fuses and stand off rail insulators are free of
contamination, chips, flashover burns, Fasteners are secure.
B No or fuses are blown, fuses and stand off rail insulators have moderate
contamination, no chips or flashover burns, Fasteners are secure..
C More than three fuses are blown but are not sufficient to impose excessive
voltage on remaining units. Fuses and stand off rail insulators have moderate
contamination and some flashover burns, Fasteners are secure.
D Sufficient fuses are blown to impose excessive voltage on remaining units.
Fuses and stand off rail insulators have heavy contamination with some
flashover burns. Fasteners are secure.
E Fuses, stand off rail insulators, or fasteners are contaminated or
damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 7.3.4 Condition of Capacitor Unit Fuses

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Shunt Capacitor high voltage connectors are tight, free from corrosion and
show no evidence of overheating. All bus conductors are adequately
supported and impose no excessive loading under normal or fault currents.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Connectors or conductors are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 7.3.5 Condition of Connectors/Conductors

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to tank, cabinets, supports without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 7.3.6 Foundation/Support Structure/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A System is externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating or
any other abnormality. Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Shunt capacitor is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 7.3.7 Overall Shunt Capacitor Condition

7-7 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specifications all cells
B Small number of cells (~<2%) do not meet specification
C Significant number of cells (~2-7%) do not meet specification
D Many cells (~7-10%) do not meet specification
E Many cells (~>10%) do not meet specification

Table 7.3.8 Capacitance Test

Condition
Description
Rating
A Total absence of any unusual hotspots
B Some minor indications noted but are not of concern
C Some indications noted requiring further investigation
D Definite abnormalities noted requiring corrective action
E Definite abnormalities that cannot be corrected.

Table 7.3.9 Thermography (IR)

Condition
Description
Rating
A No alarms
B 1 alarm per year
C 2 alarms per year
D 3 alarms per year
E More than 3 alarms per year

Table 7.3.10 Unbalance Protection

7.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 7.3.11 below.

A = 4;
B = 3,

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C = 2,
D = 1, and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a shunt capacitor
in perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while completely degraded shunt
capacitor would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., the 70% Rule).
For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for shunt capacitors in
Table 7.3.11 below, assume a shunt capacitor with partial data has a maximum condition
score of 54 out of the Health Index maximum possible score of 80. That shunt capacitor,
therefore, has only 68% of the maximum score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On
the other hand, if that shunt capacitor with partial data had a maximum condition score of 58
it would have 73% of the Health Index maximum and a valid Health Index.

For this asset class, available data were insufficient to provide a valid Health Index using the
70% Rule described above. In this case, to provide BCTC with some information about the
assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off (i.e., the 50% Rule). Thus,
if the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal to 50% of the maximum
possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and presented in the results.

Table 7.3.11 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition ratings as
both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum score
for each member of this asset class.

7-9 Acres International Limited


Shunt Capacitors Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Rack Support Insulators 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
2 Rack Structure 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
3 Capacitor Units 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
4 Capacitor Unit Fuses 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Connectors/Conductors 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Foundation/Support
6 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Structure/Grounding
Overall Shunt Capacitor
7 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Condition
8 Capacitance Test 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
9 IR Thermography 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
10 Unbalance Alarms 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score= 80 HI = 100*Score/Max
Note. If capacitor is considered PCB equipment, divide HI by 2.

Table 7.3.11 Shunt Capacitor Health Index Formulation

7.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 7.3.12 was used to determine the overall condition of the shunt capacitor asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 7.3.12 Health Index Scale for Shunt Capacitors

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7.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

7.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for shunt capacitors in the
BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 7.4.1 and 7.4.2 summarize the results, which
are also illustrated in Figure 7.4.1. Note, as described in subsection 7.3.3 above, the 50%
Rule was applied in calculating the Health Index for this asset since available data were
insufficient to use the 70% Rule.

Health Index Results Classification Number of Capacitors

Very Good 18
Good 32
Fair 0
Poor 2
Very Poor 0
Total Results Based on Field Survey 52
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 77.6

Table 7.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Shunt Capacitors

Health Index Results Classification Number of Capacitors

Very Good 23
Good 41
Fair 0
Poor 3
Very Poor 0
Total 67

Table 7.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Assessment Results for Shunt


Capacitors

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45 41
40

Shunt Capacitors
35
30
Number of

25 23
20
15
10
5 3
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 7.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Shunt Capacitors

7.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

95.5% of Shunt Capacitors are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital


improvements are expected in the near term.
4.5% of Shunt Capacitors are in Poor condition. Planning for refurbishment or
replacement should begin, considering the consequences of failure associated with
these assets.

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8.0 Station Insulators

8.1 Description

In substations, insulators support overhead bus conductors to provide adequate basic impulse
insulation levels (BIL) that enable bus conductors to withstand over-voltage conditions.
Most station insulators consist of porcelain, but both composite (e.g., fibre-reinforced resin
with silicone rubber sheds) and solid polymeric (e.g., epoxy) insulators exist, particularly at
lower voltage levels. Substations located in areas with high levels of ambient air pollution
generally have insulators coated with silicone compounds to improve their performance.

Station type insulators have several different designs. Older installations may use suspension
insulators to support bus conductors. Generally, newer compact stations have post-type
insulators. However, cap and pin insulators also are widely used. BCTC has a program to
replace all cap and pin insulators in the next 10 years.

8.2 Demographics

BCTC does not gather data related to this asset class. Therefore, no demographic data are
available for station insulators overall. However, BCTC has determined that there are about
26,000 pin and cap type insulators used in the BCTC-managed transmission system. These
insulators are known to fail and are the subject of an ongoing replacement program.

8.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

8.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Insulators experience both electrical and mechanical stress. Loss of either dielectric or
mechanical strength can cause their degradation and failure. Mechanical stress may result
from several environmental factors, including wind, ice and snow loading. Operational
factors such as vibrations from switchgear and short-circuits also cause mechanical stress.

Electrical damage may result from repeated over-voltages and flashovers. Air-borne
contaminants, ice and snow accumulation may cause flashovers. Station insulators can
withstand and recover from occasional electrical flashovers. These flashovers rarely damage
porcelain insulators. However, after tracking and water ingress, flashovers may penetrate or
puncture the insulator bulk causing permanent damage. Electrical failures weaken insulators
through mechanical overstressing.

Porcelain insulators fail through radial cracking, circumferential cracking (i.e., doughnut
cracking), head cracks, and punctures. Radial and circumferential cracks occur in the shed,
and although very fine, close inspections can detect them. Radial cracks can extend up into
the insulator head. Insulator caps often hide head cracks and punctures making them hard to
detect visually. Over time, cap and pin insulators experience wear and tear on their metal

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parts. Some insulators develop a condition called cement growth. This condition causes
expansion of the cement that attaches the metal cap to the porcelain. It results in separation
and breakage of the insulator. Improper porcelain curing during manufacture also has caused
cracking and failures in some insulators.

Polymeric and composite insulators may experience long-term surface degradation. Also,
electrical stresses may degrade the bulk of insulators, particularly their hollow internal
surfaces and the laminated material interfaces of composite insulators. Contaminants may
lead to tracking and surface degradation decreasing insulator performance. Resin-based
materials used in insulator bulks are susceptible to minute manufacturing defects. When
such defects occur in areas of high electrical stress, electrical treeing and failures may result.
Generally, degradation of these types of insulators may take months or years.

Some insulators have coatings (e.g., silicone grease) to reduce impacts from ambient air
pollution. These coatings can degrade over time, leading to performance reduction.
Washing typically restores contaminated coatings. However, after several washings coatings
must be reapplied.

Mechanical failures and frequent performance problems (e.g., numerous flashovers)


generally determine the end-of-life for insulators. Also, when maintenance costs outweigh
replacement costs, economic considerations may dictate an insulators end-of-life.

Critical insulator defects (e.g., cracks) are often small and hard to detect, making condition
assessment difficult. Since insulators consist of brittle materials (e.g., porcelains),
mechanical failures can occur quickly with little prior warning or evidence of deterioration.
Cement growth, moisture ingress and internal corrosion represent key processes that degrade
insulators over time. Generally, visual and non-destructive methods cannot detect these
processes and other internal degradation readily. Visual inspections, however, can detect
surface degradation on polymeric and composite insulators.

Most inspection procedures for porcelain insulators are designed to detect cracked porcelains
and to report external damage and deterioration. However, porcelain crack detection is
difficult. Under dry conditions, cracks may be undetectable. Also, un-cracked but
contaminated insulators may exhibit surface activities similar to those generated by cracks.

Destructive examination of recovered units represents the main way to assess developing
insulator degradation. This technique is not practical for routine condition assessment.
However, it can help assess risks associated with certain batches or locations. For example,
when performance or failures indicate inherent problems in an insulator batch, it may be
appropriate to test intact units recovered from service to determine the problems extent and
the life of the remaining population.

Ancillary equipment or components also affect the overall condition of station insulators.
Thus, connectors, clamps, conductors, and structure grounding require consideration when
determining the health of these assets. Current carrying capability is used to assess the

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condition of connectors, clamps and conductors. Resistance testing helps determine the
condition of structure grounding.

8.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed insulators first required developing end-of-
life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a factor
critical in determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and reviews of
records in BCTCs asset management system databases. In addition to maintenance
histories, these databases contain information about operating requirements and conditions,
defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the information available against end-of-life
criteria, condition states were rated A through E. For this asset class, letter condition ratings
have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 8.3.1 through 8.3.7 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Not a risk/type insulator, no failures expected
C This type of insulator is known to fail occasionally.
E High-risk insulator, failure can be expected or has occurred.

Table 8.3.1 Risk Type of Insulator (e.g. Cap & Pin)

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Protective coating as new.
B Protective coating shows minor deterioration/fading
C Protective coating shows some deterioration/fading
D Protective coating has severely deteriorated
E Protective coating has deteriorated beyond repair

Table 8.3.2 Protective Coating of Insulator

Condition
Description
Rating
A Insulators are not broken and are free of chips and radial cracks,. Cementing
and fasteners are secure.
B Insulators are not broken, however minor chips and cracks, are visible.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Insulators are not broken, however major chips are visible. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
D Insulators are broken/damaged or cementing and fasteners are not secure.
E Insulators or cementing and fasteners are broken/damaged or degraded
beyond repair.

Table 8.3.3 Broken, Chipped or Cracked Insulators

Condition
Description
Rating
A No rust or corrosion on insulator parts. No flashover burns.
B Some evidence of slight corrosion. No flashover burns.
C Some rust and corrosion on insulator parts or some flashover burns and
copper splash are visible.
D Significant rust and corrosion on insulator parts and/or significant flashover
burns.
E Insulator parts have rust, corrosion or flashover burns beyond repair.

Table 8.3.4 Corrosion/Flash Over Burns

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Connectors are tight, free from corrosion and show no evidence of
overheating. Conductors are adequately supported.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Connectors or conductors are broken/damaged or degraded beyond repair.

Table 8.3.5 Connectors/Conductor Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
tight, free of corrosion and made directly to tanks, radiators, cabinets and
supports, without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundations, supports or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 8.3.6 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 8.3.7 Thermograph (IR)

8.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

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For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 8.3.8 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1; and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, an insulator in
perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while completely degraded insulator
would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set. For example,
using the weightings and maximum possible scores for insulators in Table 8.3.8 below,
assume an insulator with partial data has a maximum condition score of 34 out of the Health
Index maximum possible score of 52. That insulator, therefore, has only 65% of the
maximum Health Index score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other hand,
if that insulator with partial data had a maximum condition score of 40 it would have 77% of
the Health Index maximum and a valid Health Index.

Table 8.3.8 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition ratings as
both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum score
for each member of this asset class.

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Station Insulator Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
Risk Type of Insulator (e.g. Cap
1 4 A,C,E 3,1,0 12
& Pin)
2 Protective Coating of Insulator 1 A,B,C,D,E 4.3,2,1,0 4
Broken, Chipped or Cracked
3 2 A,B,C,D,E 4.3,2,1,0 8
Insulators
4 Corrosion/Flash Burns 2 A,B,C,D,E 4.3,2,1,0 8
5 Loose/Damaged Connections 1 A,B,C,D,E 4.3,2,1,0 4
Foundation/Support
6 2 A,B,C,D,E 4.3,2,1,0 8
Steel/Grounding Condition
7 Thermography Test 2 A,B,C,D,E 4.3,2,1,0 8
Max Score= 52
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 8.3.8 Insulators Health Index Formulation

8.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 8.3.9 was used to determine the overall condition of the insulator asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 8.3.9 Health Index Scale for Insulators

8-7 Acres International Limited


8.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

BCTC has identified 36,635 pin and cap type insulator stacks in the transmission and
distribution systems it manages. Of those, about 26,000 are part of the BCTC-managed
transmission system. All of the insulator stacks are judged to be in Very Poor condition
because of their known failure characteristics. There is an existing program, initiated in 2000,
to replace these insulator stacks that, at this time, is about 33% complete.

No data were available to assess the condition of Station Insulators overall. In addition,
because of the large number and variety of insulators, it was not cost effective to conduct a
specific detailed survey of insulators as part of this baseline study. However, monthly checks
of these assets are performed as part of routine station inspections.

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9.0 Substation Cables and Terminations

9.1 Description

This asset class covers insulated cables used in transmission stations to interconnect power
equipment. Typically, cables used in transmission stations are short runs contained in a
controlled environment. Often they are installed in ducts or trenches and receive regular
visual inspections. Potheads and other types of cable end terminations facilitate connections
with power equipment. Generally, substation cables are cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE)
or paper insulated, lead covered (PILC) and they operate at voltages up to 230 kV.

9.2 Demographics

The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 36 substation cables. Table 9.2.1
shows the number of substation cables grouped by voltage level and age group. The 60 kV
and 230 kV voltage levels have most of the substation cables, with 41.7% and 30.6%
respectively. The 138 kV voltage level has 5.6% of the substation cables, and 22.3% of the
substation cables have incomplete voltage level information.

Table 9.2.1 also shows that 25% of the substation cables are in the age range of 30 to 39
years, 22.2% are less than 9 years old, and 8.3% are between 10 to 19 years. Note that
44.4% of the station cables have incomplete age information.

Voltage
Years 60 kV 138 kV 230 kV Incomplete Total Percent
0 to 9 8 0 0 0 8 22.2
10 to 19 0 0 2 1 3 8.3
Age Group

20 to 29 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
30 to 39 0 0 4 5 9 25.0
40 to 49 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
50 plus 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Incomplete 7 2 5 2 16 44.4
Total 15 2 11 8 36 100.0
Percent 41.7 5.6 30.6 22.2 100.0

Table 9.2.1 Count of Substation Cables Grouped by Voltage Level and Age

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9.3 Degradation Review and Health Index

9.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Cables used in transmission stations are typically short runs contained in a controlled
environment and subject to regular visual inspection. PILC cables have reliable service lives
of 40 - 50 years. The average life expectancy of XLPE cables is 30 to 35 years.

Insulation systems in both XLPE and PILC cables degrade with age. The rate of degradation
depends on insulation thickness, operating temperatures, voltage stresses, plus the presence
of moisture and other impurities inside cable insulation systems. It is difficult to predict the
useful life of cable insulation. Normalized historic failure rates offer the most reliable and
practical means to assess the health, condition and remaining life of medium voltage cables.

For station cables, moisture ingress represents a key cause of failure, since moisture
deteriorates cable insulation. Moisture can penetrate into the cable through jacket
degradation as well as poorly installed terminations and splices. Water treeing has resulted
in premature aging and failures in earlier vintages of XLPE cables. For PILC cables,
deterioration results from damage, lead sheath corrosion, moisture ingress, loss of oil and
drying of paper insulation. Newer XLPE vintages have tree retardant insulation, making
them more resistant to moisture-related failures.

Degradation in cables is difficult to detect. In paper-insulated cables, visual inspections help


evaluate sheath and jacket damage, age and overall cable condition. Polymeric cables
present greater evaluation challenges. A polymeric cable that seems in perfect condition may
fail, while one that seems in poor condition might last a long time.

While partial discharge tests are often recommended to detect potential failures and predict
remaining life, these tests are difficult to perform and to interpret. Examination of a cables
internal design and manufacturing processes help to identify failure risks, and may be more
reliable and practical than partial discharge tests. For example, tape shields found in cables
manufactured prior to the 1980s, may have impurities that potentially reduce the cables life.

Terminations and potheads represent the most unreliable and problematic components of
cables. Lead sheath cables have filled terminations and XLPE cables have polymeric
terminations. Electrical activity associated with voids and moisture ingress may cause
failures in porcelain and compound filled potheads. Visual inspections can help detect leaks,
damage and other problems in potheads and polymeric terminations. Pothead failures may
be violent and dangerous, and the risk of failures increases with pothead age. Regular
inspections and discharge testing may reduce pothead failures. Because of the catastrophic
nature of termination failures, even one incident may lead utilities to institute such systematic
testing programs.

Polymeric terminations are prone to discharge-related failures and moisture ingress. In many
cases, these failures result from incorrect installation and design flaws that create electric
stresses. However, electrical activity associated with voids and moisture ingress also result

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in failures of polymeric terminations. Generally, degradation and failure processes for these
components are not well understood. Discharge testing and monitoring using ultrasonic and
electromagnetic detectors can help discover deterioration. Thus, some utilities have begun
non-invasive discharge and detection programs to identify high-risk terminations.

9.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed substation cables first required developing
end-of life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a
factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and reviews of
records in BCTCs asset management system databases. In addition to maintenance
histories, these databases contain information about operating requirements and conditions,
defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the information available against end-of-life
criteria, condition states were rated A through E. For this asset class, letter condition ratings
have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 9.3.1 through 9.3.3 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or test
evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each
condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Potheads and electrical exposed conductors/connectors are clean, corrosion
free and are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating or any
other abnormality. Potheads are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Potheads or connectors are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 9.3.1 Pothead/Connectors Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
tight, free of corrosion and made directly to tanks, radiators, cabinets and
supports, without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 9.3.2 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Overall installation is externally clean, corrosion and leak free. All cable
sections and connections are in good condition. No external evidence of any
deterioration, overheating or abnormality.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics and/or
evidence of past repair.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and/or evidence of
multiple repairs or failures
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Cable is damaged/degraded beyond repair

Table 9.3.3 Overall Cable Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 9.3.4 Thermograph Scan

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9.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 9.3.5 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1; and
D = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a cable in perfect
condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded cable would have a
Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set. For example,
using the weightings and maximum possible scores for cables in Table 9.3.5 below, assume
a cable with partial data has a maximum condition score of 24 out of the Health Index
maximum possible score of 36. That cable, therefore, has only 67% of the maximum score,
and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other hand, if that cable with partial data
had a maximum condition score of 26 it would have 72% of the Health Index maximum and
a valid Health Index.

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Table 9.3.5 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition ratings as
both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum score
for each member of this asset class.

Station Cables & Terminations Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Pothead/Connectors/Terminations 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Foundation/Support
2 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Steel/Grounding
3 Overall Cable Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
4 Thermograph Scan 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score= 48
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 9.3.5 Substation Cables and Terminations Health Index Formulation

9.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 9.3.6 was used to determine the overall condition of the substation cable asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 9.3.6 Health Index Scale for Substation Cables

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9.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment

9.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for substation cables in the
BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 9.4.1 and 9.4.2 summarize the results, which
are also illustrated in Figure 9.4.1.

Health Index Results Classification Number of Cables

Very Good 9
Good 14
Fair 5
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total Results Based on Field Survey 28
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 73.7

Table 9.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Substation Cables

Health Index Results Classification Number of Cables

Very Good 12
Good 18
Fair 6
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total 36

Table 9.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Assessment Results For Substation


Cables

9-7 Acres International Limited


20 18
18
Number of Cables
16
14 12
12
10
8 6
6
4
2 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 9.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Substation Cables

9.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

83.3 % of Substation Cables are in Good or Very Good condition. No additional


capital improvements are expected in the near term.
16.7% of Substation Cables are in Fair condition. Increased maintenance or capital
improvements may be required depending on criticality of the assets.

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10.0 Synchronous Condensers

10.1 Description
Synchronous condensers are large rotating machines used to provide or absorb reactive
power for system compensation and improve short circuit ratios of the system. Synchronous
condensers share similar characteristics, failure modes and other issues with large turbine
generators used to produce electricity. However, synchronous condensers have no
mechanical loads and no prime-mover or driving mechanism.

Synchronous condensers consist of stators, rotors and associated windings. Stator windings
typically operate at high voltages, and have composite insulation consisting of mica tape on a
fibreglass backing, impregnated with a synthetic resin. Rotor windings experience
substantial mechanical stress. They have epoxy-glass or aramid-based insulation.
Synchronous condensers have various cooling systems and media. Generally, stators have
direct liquid-cooling systems while rotors use hydrogen for cooling. Typically, this
equipment and its auxiliaries are housed in buildings to ensure that it has the infrastructure
needed to support its operation.

10.2 Demographics
The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 5 synchronous condensers.
Table 10.2.1 shows location, equipment numbers, manufacturer codes, commission notice to
energise (CNE) dates, and rated voltages for the 5 synchronous condensers. The
synchronous condensers with identified voltage levels and CNE dates are about 35 years old
and rated as 12.7 kV. Also, four of the five assets are at Vancouver Island Terminal.

Equipment Manufacturer CNE Rated


Substation Size
Number Code Date Voltage
VANCOUVER ISLAND SC1 TOS 1969 12.7 kV 50 MVA
TERMINAL
VANCOUVER ISLAND SC2 TOS 1969 12.7 kV 50 MVA
TERMINAL
VANCOUVER ISLAND SC3 ASA unknown unknown 100 MVA
TERMINAL
VANCOUVER ISLAND SC4 ASA unknown unknown 100 MVA
TERMINAL
KELLY LAKE SC2 ASA 1970 12.7 kV 75 MVA

Table 10.2.1 List of Synchronous Condensers

10-1 Acres International Limited


10.3 Degradation Review and Health Index
10.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Synchronous condensers experience the same degradation processes as other electrical


rotating machines. Thermal, mechanical, electrical and environmental stresses can cause
deterioration over time. Mechanical problems often manifest themselves as electrical or
other forms of degradation. Mechanical problems also generally cause failures and the end-
of-life for these machines.

Rotating machines such as synchronous condensers represent major assets for electric
utilities. As a result, substantial knowledge and numerous diagnostic tests and condition
assessment techniques exist for this equipment. Typically, however, synchronous condensers
do not come equipped with monitoring devices. Thus, some disassembly is often needed to
determine their condition. For this reason, utilities often conduct full condition assessments
only at major maintenance and overhaul intervals. When in operation this equipment offers
few opportunities for assessment except for checking parameters such as voltage, stator
winding, stator and rotor currents, real and reactive power, plus core and bearing
temperatures.

Recently, BCHydro field services reported that the slip-rings on Synchronous Condenser No.
2 at Vancouver Island Terminal were found in very poor condition and recommended that the
maintenance interval be reduced to 6 months.

10.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed synchronous condensers first required
developing end-of-life criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion
represents a factor critical in determining the components condition relative to potential
failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and reviews of
records in BCTCs asset management system databases. In addition to maintenance
histories, these databases contain information about operating requirements and conditions,
defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the information available against end-of-life
criteria, condition states were rated A through E. For this asset class, letter condition ratings
have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

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Tables 10.3.1 through 10.3.12 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each component or
test evaluated for this asset class. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for
each condition rating (i.e., A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Enclosure is level and secure and free from cracks and corrosion. Ventilation
systems are in good condition. No evidence of repair, damage or any other
form of deterioration. Appears to have been well-maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Enclosure components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 10.3.1 Enclosure Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Components in good condition and free from any indications of deterioration,
corrosion, damage or any other abnormality. Terminals and wiring are clean
and secure. Insulators, bus connections are clean and secure. Switchgear
components and contacts clean and in good condition. Controls clean and in
good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Exciter, switchgear or controls are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 10.3.2 Exciter, Associated Switchgear & Controls Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Components in good condition and free from any indications of deterioration,
corrosion, damage or any other abnormality. No evidence of overheating,
thermal, mechanical, electrical or environmental stress. No indications of
excessive wear, breakage, looseness, cracked insulation and residues
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Components are degraded/damaged beyond repair.

Table 10.3.3 Slip Rings/Brushes Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Components in good condition and free from any indications of deterioration,
corrosion, damage or any other abnormality. No evidence of overheating,
thermal, mechanical, electrical or environmental stress. No indications of
excessive wear, breakage, looseness, cracked insulation and residues
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Components are degraded/damaged beyond repair.

Table 10.3.4 Core Condition (visual inspection with system disassembled)

Condition
Description
Rating
A Components in good condition and free from any indications of deterioration,
corrosion, damage or any other abnormality. No evidence of overheating,
thermal, mechanical, electrical or environmental stress. No indications of
excessive wear, breakage, looseness, cracked insulation and residues
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Components are degraded/damaged beyond repair.

Table 10.3.5 Windings Condition (visual inspection with system disassembled)

Condition
Description
Rating
A Components in good condition and free from any indications of deterioration,
corrosion, damage or any other abnormality. Pumps and piping are leak free.
Motor Bearings in good condition. Terminals and wiring are clean and
secure. Fans and pumps are functioning properly
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Components are degraded/damaged beyond repair.

Table 10.3.6 Cooling System Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Components in good condition and free from any indications of deterioration,
corrosion, damage or any other abnormality. Pumps and piping are leak free.
Motor Bearings in good condition. Terminals and wiring are clean and
secure. Control devices appear in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Components are degraded/damaged beyond repair.

Table 10.3.7 Oil System Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Components in good condition and free from any indications of deterioration,
corrosion, leaks, damage or any other abnormality. Terminals and wiring are
clean and secure. Control and monitoring devices appear in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Components are degraded/damaged beyond repair.

Table 10.3.8 Gas System Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
direct to tank, cabinets, supports without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or grounding damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 10.3.9 Foundations/Support Steel/Grounding

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Condition
Description
Rating
A All tests passed no deficiencies noted
B Minor deficiencies noted. Corrective action not required at this time
C Significant deficiencies noted. Correction actions required.
D Components are not fit for service
E Components are not fit for service and beyond repair.

Table 10.3.10 Core Tests (knife test, loop test and/or EL-CID)

Condition
Description
Rating
A All tests passed no deficiencies noted
B Minor deficiencies noted. Corrective action not required at this time
C Significant deficiencies noted. Correction actions required.
D Components are not fit for service
E Components are not fit for service and beyond repair.

Table 10.3.11 Windings Tests (Hipot, DC Ramp, Cap/DF, TVA probe, Partial
Discharge)

Condition
Description no deficiencies noted
Rating
A All tests passed.
B Minor deficiencies noted. Corrective action not required at this time
C Significant deficiencies noted. Correction actions required.
D Component is not fit for service
E Components is not fit for service and beyond repair.

Table 10.3.12 Field Winding tests (recurrent surge, impedance, NDE)

10.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 10.3.13 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;

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C = 2;
D = 1; and
E = 0.

For this asset class, the components and tests shown in the tables above were weighted based
on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For example, those that
relate to primary functions of the component or asset received higher weights than those that
relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class component.
For each component, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score
by its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a synchronous
condenser in perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while completely degraded
condenser would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., the 70% Rule).
For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for synchronous condensers
in Table 10.3.13 below, assume a condenser with partial data has a maximum condition
score of 64 out of the Health Index maximum possible score of 100. That condenser,
therefore, has only 64% of the Health Index maximum score, and would not have a valid
Health Index. On the other hand, if that condenser with partial data had a maximum
condition score of 71 it would have 71% of the Health Index maximum and a valid Health
Index.

For this asset class, available data were insufficient to provide a valid Health Index using the
70% Rule described above. In this case, to provide BCTC with some information about the
assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off (i.e., the 50% Rule). Thus,
if the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal to 50% of the maximum
possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and presented in the results.

Table 10.3.13 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition ratings as
both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum score
for each member of this asset class.

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Synchronous Condenser Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Enclosure 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Exciter, Associated Switchgear &
2 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Controls
3 Slip Rings/Brushes 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
4 Core Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
5 Windings 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
6 Cooling System 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
7 Oil System Condition 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
8 Gas System Condition 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Foundations/Support
9 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Steel/Grounding
10 Core Tests 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
11 Windings Tests 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
12 Field Winding Tests 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Max Score= 100 HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 10.3.13 Synchronous Condenser Health Index Formulation

10.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 10.3.14 was used to determine the overall condition of the synchronous condenser
asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 10.3.14 Health Index Scale for Synchronous Condensers

Acres International Limited 10-8


10.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment
10.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for synchronous condensers
in the BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 10.4.1 and 10.4.2 summarize the results,
which are also illustrated in Figure 10.4.1. Note, as described in subsection 10.3.3 above,
the 50% Rule was applied in calculating the Health Index for this asset since available data
were insufficient to use the 70% Rule.

Health Index Results Classification Number of Condensers

Very Good 0
Good 5
Fair 0
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total Results Based on Field Survey 5
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 100

Table 10.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for Synchronous


Condensers

6
Synchronous Condensers

5
5

4
Number of

1
0 0 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 10.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results For Synchronous Condensers

10-9 Acres International Limited


10.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

100% of Synchronous Condensers are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital


improvements are expected in the near term.

Acres International Limited 10-10


11.0 Gas Insulated Switchgear

11.1 Description
In gas-insulated switchgear (GIS), SF6 gas pressurized grounded metal enclosures house all
gas filled components except entrance bushings. The BCTC-managed system has GIS at the
500 kV and 230 kV voltage levels.

GIS are compact and represent an attractive alternative to outdoor air insulated substations
(AIS), particularly where space constraints and harsh environmental conditions exist.
Typical GIS incorporate some or all of the following components that are described in
greater detail below:

Circuit breakers;
Switches - disconnect and ground switches;
Buswork;
Interfaces - SF6/air entrance bushings; SF6/cable terminations; SF6/transformer
terminations;
Instrument transformers current and voltage transformer;
Surge arresters; and
Protection, control, monitoring equipment.

GIS Circuit Breakers


Within BC, the transmission system has 44 high voltage (HV) and extra high voltage (EHV)
SF6 circuit breakers installed in gas insulated substations. BCTC manages 40 of these and
BC Hydro maintains 4 unit breakers at Revelstoke. This circuit breaker population has
several first generation double pressure breakers as well as some single pressure breakers.

First developed in the late 1960s, double pressure (i.e., low pressure tanks, high pressure
reservoirs) SF6 circuit breakers incorporate air blast technology. Current interruption occurs
when blast valves open letting high pressure SF6 flow through a nozzle along the arc drawn
between fixed and moving contacts. The arc stabilizes rapidly when the cold SF6 flows along
it. After interruption, the low-pressure exhaust gas is compressed back into the high-pressure
reservoir for re-use during the next operation.

Double pressure designs became obsolete after development of single-pressure designs in the
1970s. Now, single pressure SF6 insulated circuit breakers have become the technology of
choice for transmission class switchgear. Single pressure designs do not require
compressors. Self-blast and other related techniques have resulted in simple and reliable
operating mechanisms for single pressure designs.

SF6 is a very stable compound with remarkable dielectric properties. Use of SF6 has enabled
the design of compact, low maintenance, safe and reliable switchgear, particularly when
compared with air blast and oil filled equipment. Consequently, SF6 equipment has become
dominant for switchgear applications at high transmission voltage levels. Some SF6

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equipment is used at medium voltage levels, but generally vacuum breakers are more
economical at such voltages.

GIS Disconnect Switches and Ground Switches


Disconnect and ground switches perform similar functions in both GIS and AIS. However,
switches operating in pressurized GIS environments have more restricted ranges of motion
and reduced electrical clearances.

Disconnect switches provide electrical isolation of associated circuit breakers, buses and line
exits during both maintenance and normal service. Whether in AIS or GIS, disconnect
switches have little rated interrupting capability since they open off-load (i.e., associated
breakers open first). Initially GIS disconnect switch designs operated reasonably well at 138
and 230 kV, but had poor performance at 500 kV. In the 1990s, new standards and test
procedures eliminated this poor performance problem.

Where temporary grounds are not feasible, many locations within the GIS have permanently
installed ground switches to facilitate workplace safety. Some of these ground switches (e.g.,
line/cable terminal locations) have fully rated fault-making capability.

Buswork
Metal enclosed concentric SF6 insulated buses connect to other live GIS components such as
circuit breakers, disconnect switches and interfaces with overhead lines, cables and
transformers. Most buswork consists of aluminium conductors and enclosures, with bus
conductors supported by epoxy resin insulators. Bus arrangements can include three
conductors in one enclosure or three separate single-phase enclosures. Single-phase
arrangements dominate at 500kV and 230kV ratings where reliability is a major
consideration. However, when more compact and economical installations are required, the
three-in-one arrangement may be used. In some areas (e.g., underground generating plants
and GIS located far from line or transformer terminations) bus runs may extend for several
hundred meters.

Interfaces (i.e., SF6 to Air Entrance Bushings; SF6 to Cable Terminations;


SF6 to Transformer Terminations)
In many instances, bushings supply the interface between GIS and air-insulated conductors.
In other cases, specially designed SF6-to-cable interfaces connect with underground power
cables. Occasionally direct connections to power transformers exist.

a) SF6 to Air Entrance Bushings


SF6 to air bushings are similar to apparatus bushings used on breakers and transformers. GIS
suppliers normally provide a variety of bushing designs, and user preference generally
determines the type of bushing used. In the past, porcelain housings typically enclosed the
bushings. However, composite insulated bushings have recently gained acceptance. Oil
paper condensers, resin impregnated paper, and SF6-filled bushing technology have been
applied at air terminations.

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b) SF6 to Cable Terminations
Usually, SF6 cable interfaces have custom designs. However, some international standards
exist and reflect user requirements for maintenance, accessibility and testing of associated
underground cables. Normally, these interfaces have removable test links enabling HVDC
and other tests required for cable installations.

c) SF6 to Transformer Terminations


Generally, customers prefer to have air insulated transformer connections. These
connections provide high impedance to surges generated by disconnect switches within the
GIS. These connections also help avoid risks of transformer damage.

GIS Instrument Transformers (i.e., Current Transformers, Voltage Transformers)


a) Current transformers
Current transformers on the GIS provide input to protection, control and metering equipment.
Generally, transformers include a ring core current transformer mounted on a bus enclosure.
Both 2- and 3-phase arrangements exist, but 2-phase arrangements are more common.
Current transformer designs are usually simple and reliable.

b) Voltage Transformers
Space constraints and the lack of air-insulated interfaces may dictate integration of voltage
transformers into GIS. When used, cost-effective air insulated capacitor voltage transformers
are installed at the SF6 air interface. Pressure resistance, aluminium flanged housing holds
the GIS voltage transformer core and windings. Epoxy cone insulators seal the housing,
support the tap connection to the live GIS bus, and attach to a corresponding flange on the
GIS enclosure.

GIS Surge Arresters


Space constraints and underground cable connections may dictate integration of surge
arresters into GIS. When used, air-insulated metal oxide surge arresters are installed at the
SF6-air interfaces. Pressure resistant aluminium flanged housing contains and supports the
active metal oxide. Generally, one side has solid grounding. Epoxy cone insulators seal the
housing, support the tap connection to the live GIS bus, and attach to a corresponding flange
on the GIS enclosure. When required, some installations may have test links.

GIS Protection, Control & Monitoring Equipment


Generally, GIS installations have local protection, control and monitoring cabinets or
cubicles wired to major equipment controls and status indicators, and monitoring devices
such as the SF6 gas density monitors, and circuit breaker energy storage monitors.

11.2 Demographics
The BCTC-managed transmission system has a total of 7 stations equipped with GIS
systems. More than one GIS system may exist in a station, for example, Cathedral Square
has both 1984 and 2002 versions of Mitsubishi 230kV GIS. Table 11.2.1 shows the systems

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grouped by each relevant voltage level, manufacturer and date of installation. The table
shows that GIS is used only at the 230 kV and 500 kV voltage levels. Also, Table 11.2.1
also shows that all of the GIS systems are in the age range of 20 to 30 years old except the
2002 addition to Cathedral Square.

Location & Rating Manufacturer No. of CBs Indoor or Outdoor I/S Date
Mica 500kV ITE 4 Indoor 1976
Peace Canyon500kV BBC 4 Indoor 1979
Revelstoke 500kV Mitsubishi 7 Indoor 1982
Revelstoke 230kV Mitsubishi 3 Indoor 1982
Ashton Creek 230kV BBC 6 Indoor 1979
Sperling 230kV BBC 4 Indoor 1979
Horsey 230kV Alsthom 6 Outdoor 1982
Cathedral Sq 230kV Mitsubishi 4 Indoor (UG) 1984
Cathedral Sq 230kV Mitsubishi 2 Indoor (UG) 2002
*Note: Revelstoke also has 4 unit breakers that are maintained by BC Hydro.

Table 11.2.1 Tabulation of HV and EHV GIS Installations

11.3 Degradation Review and Health Index


11.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

All BCTC-managed GIS were designed and installed in the 1970s and early 1980s. At that
time, no standards existed for GIS and many suppliers used component designs applicable to
air insulated switchgear.

Thus, many early GIS components had several design flaws. These included pull rod
separation, blast valve distortion, contact erosion, air and SF6 gas compressors, heaters and
other ancillary equipment. Switches, buses, insulators and interface equipment had even
more serious defects.

Worldwide, about 4% of GIS have 550 kV system applications. In 1992, CIGRE reported a
worldwide failure rate of about 5% for 550 kV GIS. In 1998, a similar study reported a
failure rate of about 3%. However, 550 kV rated GIS constitutes only about 4% of the total
GIS population worldwide. Generally, 230 kV GIS perform better than 550 kV GIS, largely
due to the lower operational stress and safety margins in 230 kV designs. Worldwide, 550 kV
GIS have more failures than GIS applications on 115 kV and 230 kV systems. For all
voltage classes, North American GIS have higher failure rates than GIS in service elsewhere.
While some 550 kV and 230kV SF6 GIS have had problems over time, the majority of GIS
installations in use today perform satisfactorily. Worldwide, GIS installed since the 1990s
and rated at 550 kV and above has had excellent performance.

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GIS for HV and EHV systems must have substantial reliability, especially at key locations
such as output sites for large generating plants. Environmental conditions influence
degradation of outdoor GIS. Outdoor GIS have degradation processes similar to those of SF6
breakers installed in AIS substations. However, the compact and complex nature of GIS
makes them more difficult and costly to maintain and repair.

BCTC-managed GIS installed in the mid to late 1970s, represent obsolete first generation
technology. These GIS have poor performance records and operate only with certain
restrictions. Generally, the following components present the most problems: disconnect
switches, insulators, bushings and gas. The double pressure breakers associated with these
GIS also have performed worse than other types of breakers. These early GIS models have
required monitoring, corrective action and design changes to remain in service. Other GIS in
the BCTC-managed system have satisfactory performance, comparable to other GIS in
service throughout North America.

Only rarely do the duties performed by GIS lead directly to this equipments end-of-life.
International studies have identified the following as key factors associated with the end-of-
life for GIS:

Decreasing reliability/availability/maintainability (RAM);


High maintenance and operating costs;
Changes in operating conditions;
Maintenance overhaul requirements; and
Age of device.

Generally, GIS maintenance programs concentrate on managing known problems. Routine


maintenance involves regular visual inspection to detect general degradation, leaks and the
condition of ancillary equipment. Breakers, switches and their mechanisms also receive
functional testing. Partial discharge measurements can help determine the condition of solid
insulation. Doble testing along with gas sampling and analysis provide internal condition
information.

The main factors affecting operation of GIS include the following, which are discussed in
greater detail below:

Mechanism operation and performance


Switching of charging, load and fault currents by circuit breakers
Switching of charging currents by disconnect switches
Degradation of solid insulation
Degradation of gas insulation
General degradation/corrosion
SF6 leaks and environmental factors
Post fault maintenance
Hydraulic mechanism and leaks
Nitrogen accumulation and leaks

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Mechanism Operation and Performance
The mechanism must operate correctly in devices that break charges, loads and fault currents.
Generally, mechanism malfunction causes most operational problems in GIS. Corrosion and
lubrication failure may compromise mechanism performance by preventing or slowing its
operation.

Visual inspections, trip and timing tests, plus routine and proper lubrication ensure proper
mechanism operation. Generally, timing tests serve as the primary means to make certain
that mechanisms operate within prescribed limits. Lubrication plays a critical role in proper
mechanism performance. For example, metallic particles may adhere to lubricants on
moving parts of disconnect switches, enhancing stress and potentially causing dielectric
failures. Both over- and under-use of lubricants may compromise mechanism performance.
Lubricants also must have properties appropriate for their particular uses. In addition, it is
critical to have well-defined, documented, and routinely implemented lubrication procedures
for this equipment.

Failures Related to Circuit Breakers


GIS in 230 kV and 500 kV systems have either first generation double pressure or first
generation single pressure circuit breakers. Generally, single pressure designs have had
satisfactory performance. ITE, the GIS original equipment manufacturer (OEM), first
designed GIS with two-pressure dead tank breakers like those used in AIS. That design
experienced several problems, including pull rod separation, blast valve distortion, grading
capacitor and contact failures, gas leaks, plus compressor and heater failures. To improve
performance, these models have required substantial repair and refurbishment.

Failures Related to Disconnect Switches


When originally designed, no standards existed for GIS disconnect switches now in service.
In particular, switches were not designed to handle fast front transient over-voltages
associated with switching EHV GIS bus charging currents. This resulted in failures that
included flashovers within switch enclosures and caused breakdowns of interconnected
equipment. Utilities retrofitted some switches to improve performance. They also imposed
operating restrictions on defective switch designs kept in service. Currently, BCTC restricts
500 kV GIS disconnect switches made by ITE to operations involving only de-energized
buses.

Degradation and Condition Monitoring of Solid Insulation


Solid insulation such as that in entrance bushings, internal support insulators, plus breaker
and switch operating rods have caused many GIS failures, particularly in 500 kV high-stress
applications. Manufacturing, shipping, installing, maintaining and operating the GIS can
cause defects in the insulation. Defects include voids in epoxy insulators, delamination of
epoxy and metallic hardware, and protrusions on conductors. In floating components, fixed
and moving particles can lead to failures. Partial discharge (PD) activity usually leads to
flashovers.

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Many older GIS have unreliable spring-type bonding contacts to eliminate component (e.g.,
insulator) floating. These springs degrade due to the thermal and mechanical stresses
imposed on them and result in widespread partial discharge.

Insulation in original ITE GIS designs has several problems. At both 230 kV and 500 kV
applications problems include: poor connections between the center conductor and the
insulators cast in electrodes; poor spring contacts at the same the same location; and partial
discharges from the enclosure side floating cone insulators

When these insulators were designed, little was known about the detrimental effects of SF6
decomposition products on the then common silica-filled insulators. However, when
exposed to high voltage arcing, silica-filled insulators display charred areas that become
electrically conductive and create surface weak points that deteriorate until the insulator fails.
All modern HV insulators contain alumina-filled epoxy resin. This filling does not char and,
therefore, maintains its surface resistance.

Monitors now exist that can detect dielectric integrity and partial discharge activity of
insulation components. Monitoring, however, may only prove cost-effective in failure
sensitive locations.

Many of the existing GIS have only a few access points suitable for monitoring. Ultra-high
frequency (UHF) and acoustic techniques represent the two most effective monitoring
techniques now available. To determine their utility in particular situations, one must weigh
several issues, including:

Whether or not the technology has sufficient sensitivity to detect defects of critical
interest;
Whether or not the technology can distinguish between signal and background noise;
Whether or not the perceived benefits of advanced failure warnings, outweigh the costs
and risks of a run-to-failure policy;
Whether or not the technology can be readily implemented, and data correctly interpreted

Because of welded designs, limited access points, age and high background noise, it is
unlikely that either UHF or the acoustic technology will prove effective at the more
problematic BCTC GIS locations. Portable UHF systems might prove useful to detect noisy
insulators, but would not be effective in monitoring bus exits due to lack of access points.
No matter what technology one uses, however, periodic measurements do not provide a
guarantee against future problems.

Degradation of Gas Insulation


Gas sampling and analysis for moisture, air and arc decomposition products help assess
internal conditions. The use of desiccants can make these analyses more difficult.

11-7 Acres International Limited


Bus Sections in GIS
These devices are less active than many of the components described above. Maintenance
consists of discharge detection and visual inspections to assess general degradation and
corrosion.

Corrosion and General Deterioration


Corrosion and general deterioration increase risks of moisture ingress and SF6 leaks,
particularly in outdoor GIS. If not treated, these factors may cause the end-of-life for GIS.
However, visual inspections and corrective action can help detect and address these potential
problems.

SF6 Leaks and Environmental Factors


GIS is designed and manufactured for outdoor use, but it generally has better long-term
performance when installed indoors. Outdoor GIS, particularly older ITE designs, have
higher than acceptable SF6 gas leaks because of the poor quality of fittings, connectors,
valves, by-pass piping, general enclosure porosity and flange corrosion. Indoor installations
reduce problems from corrosion, moisture ingress, low ambient temperatures and SF6 leaks.

Recently, concerns have arisen about the greenhouse properties of SF6. It is one of the gases
specifically mentioned in the Kyoto Agreement. Canada has not issued regulations for SF6,
but has made a commitment to reduce the countrys overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Similarly, owners of SF6 equipment have taken responsibility to minimize SF6 emissions. As
such, owners have begun trying to attain emissions rates of about 0.5% by weight of the gas
contained in new equipment. Some have begun SF6 control programs that include detection,
leak remediation, and improved gas handling, plus recycling and reuse of gas from
decommissioned equipment. Some also have inventoried equipment and compiled databases
indicating SF6 usage.

Outages are needed to refill breakers after SF6 leaks occur. Some early double pressure
models have more leakage problems than later models, but these stem mainly from early
design and manufacturing issues. Early designs may need replacement of individual breakers
or breaker types if leaks become frequent. At this time, however, only certain failure-prone
breakers (e.g., double pressure designs) seem to present degradation and end-of-life
concerns.

Post Fault Maintenance


GIS have more costly, difficult and time-consuming post fault maintenance requirements
than air insulated switchgear. Older GIS have even more post-fault maintenance problems.
Accessibility, fault location, fault level and duration, degree of compartmentalization,
isolation requirements, pressure relief, burn-through protection, parts and service capabilities
all help determine post-fault maintenance needs. Switchgear types, user expertise, and
availability of OEM support also affect post-fault maintenance needs. Various national and
international organizations have developed guidelines and procedures for safe and

Acres International Limited 11-8


environmentally responsible post-fault maintenance of this equipment. Many users also have
produced more specific, tailored, supplementary guidance for maintenance staff.

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)


Utilities have applied RCM to GIS equipment on distribution and transmission systems.
RCM is widely used for medium voltage equipment, including medium voltage metalclad
switchgear. The RCM process requires critical reviews of equipment duties, degradation and
failure modes. It also requires identification of significant parameters needing attention
during maintenance. Avoiding and promptly correcting mechanism and discharge-related
problems are critical to ensure the safe and efficient operation of GIS. Non-intrusive testing
and diagnostic tools exist to measure breaker trip and timing performance and to detect
discharge activity for this equipment. Visual inspections also are used to augment and
support these tests and tools. Increasingly, these non-invasive maintenance activities are
replacing more intrusive techniques. RCM, gas analysis and internal condition assessments
of GIS have shown that utilities can extend the time between intrusive maintenance activities.
Generally, internal examinations have found little evidence of significant degradation in this
equipment.

RCM techniques were applied in developing BCTCs Maintenance Standards. These


standards detail maintenance activities for specific types of circuit breakers, disconnect
switches and GIS assemblies in the BCTC-managed system.

Failures Related to GIS Interfaces (SF6 Air/Cable/Transformer)


Interfaces with air, underground cables and power transformers experience electrical over-
voltages, mechanical stresses and changes in environmental conditions. Interface failures
can contribute to overall GIS failures, making careful design and installation of interfaces
critical. Bushings, the most common interface, present many problems. US users have
reported explosive failures of oil/paper condenser bushings, and Canadian users have
experienced failures from SF6 insulated bushings. No one has reported failures of
impregnated paper bushings. Some US GIS users have begun using composite bushings.

End-of-Life Issues
Because of its reliability and relatively young age, users generally have not developed end-
of-life strategies for GIS. However, this is not true for BCTC where the systems are of older
vintage and an in-depth condition assessment in the summer of 2004 indicates that apparent
age is much higher than calendar age. Equipment is unique and corrective maintenance and
spares are very expensive. This has brought BCTC to start considering end-of-life strategies
for the equipment. Specific problems associated with individual devices typically dictate
management plans for this equipment. Conditions of concern in this equipment include
dielectric failures, internal insulation degradation from partial discharge, operational
restrictions from switching deficiencies, moisture absorption, gas leakage and corrosion, and
lack of ongoing support from the OEM.

Specific problems (e.g., insulation deterioration and corrosion) have caused some users to
replace some GIS components such as line exit bus ducts, bushings and even circuit breakers.

11-9 Acres International Limited


In addition, discharge problems in solid insulation also have lead to phase outs of relatively
new equipment. However, most GIS are less than 30 years old and not near their end-of-life.

Condition Assessment Techniques


Several assessment techniques and diagnostic tests exist to assess the condition of these
assets. Key techniques and tests are described below:

a) Visual
GIS equipment lends itself to visual inspections because key components are visible and
accessible. Visual inspections can detect external contamination, corrosion, evidence of
overheating, misalignment, plus cracks and leaks on bushings, enclosures, piping, drives,
linkages and fittings. Visual inspections also can verify the condition of gaskets and seals.
Internal conditions, control components, and mechanism cabinets can be inspected visually
as well. Visual inspections serve as a start to condition assessment, but they must be
supplemented by detailed reviews of maintenance and test records.

b) Time/Travel Testing
This testing measures velocity, close and trip times, plus wipe and rebound for circuit
breakers. This testing also measures open and close times for switches. It offers a way to
evaluate the mechanical condition of GIS, and helps ensure that equipment meets
manufacturers specifications. This test should occur at regular intervals (e.g., about every 6
years) on all circuit breakers and switches.

c) Contact Resistance Testing


This test involves determining resistance in the main current carrying circuit of breakers and
switches by taking measurements across each interrupter head with switchgear closed.
Access generally occurs through the insulated terminals of associated ground switches.
Resistance measurements outside of predetermined values require further investigation. It
also is important to review trends in these measurements over time to see whether or not
resistance values have increased.

In addition to static tests, dynamic tests during circuit breaker operation enable one to see
where main and arcing contacts touch. Dynamic testing provides useful information when
extended arcing contact fingers exist.

d) Doble Test
This high voltage bridge test measures capacitance and loss angles of high voltage circuit
breaker bushings and other insulating components. Doble test results can be compared
directly to manufacturers standards or to results from other similar GIS equipment.
Assessing trends in Doble test results can help detect deterioration of bushings and other
internal components such as interrupters, operating rods, grading capacitors, and support
insulators.

e) Stored Energy (Air/Hydraulic/Spring Recharge Time)


This test helps detect poor motor, pump, compressor and other operational conditions. It
involves measuring recharge times or pressure drops during operation.

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f) Insulating Medium
Several tests are used to detect excess moisture, contaminants, and decomposition products in
oil, air and SF6 switchgear insulation systems.

g) SF6 Testing
In SF6 circuit breakers, the gas is tested and monitored to assess its ability to serve
satisfactorily as a dielectric and interrupting medium. SF6 gas testing also offers a means to
detect internal degradation. Breakers also have continuous monitors for pressure and density.
When these monitors register deviations from predetermined levels, maintenance staff can
take corrective action. SF6 breakers also receive periodic testing to check moisture content,
dew points, and sometimes the presence of air and decomposition products. Desiccant
materials make testing difficult in some GIS-related breaker compartments.

11.3.2 Site Inspections and Experience Comparisons

Background
In October 2004, BCTC and Acres International (through its subject matter expert at
Kinectrics Inc.) conducted site inspections of the GIS equipment at selected stations. The
team examined two similarly rated and configured GIS installations at Sperling (indoor) and
Horsey (outdoor) substations. ABB (BBC) supplied the indoor 230 kV four breaker bay GIS
at Sperling in 1979. Areva (Alsthom) supplied the outdoor 230 kV four breaker bay GIS at
Horsey in 1982.

Other GIS equipment installed on the BCTC-managed transmission system includes several
sets of 500 kV and 230 kV GIS manufactured by Mitsubishi. BCTC and other utilities have
found that the Mitsubishi equipment has performed very well since its installation. The
Mitsubishi equipment is considered to be in Good condition. BCTC purchased an extension
to the Cathedral Square GIS in 2002, which is considered to be in Very Good condition.

A comparison was made of BCTCs experience at the 500 kV Mica GIS station with the
experience of other users of similar equipment.

Sperling 230 kV GIS


In many ways, the overall design of the Sperling GIS is similar to other ABB installations at
BCTC and worldwide. Until the late 1980s, ABB delivered over 250 breaker bays of 230
kV GIS using many similar components, including the ELK hydraulically operated breaker.
To a large extent, ABB also standardized other components such as disconnect and ground
switches and instrument transformers.

The Sperling GIS is completely free of any external rust or corrosion. Gas leakage is minimal
and there is no evidence of internal partial discharge or moisture in the gas. The design is
dielectrically sound, operates at a relatively low working stress, in single phase enclosures,
apart from a short section of three phase ring bus interconnection. The primary areas of
concern are the operating mechanisms and to a lesser extent the control system.

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The installation employs circuit breakers and hydraulic operating mechanisms that are now
obsolete. They are still supported by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), but at
very high costs. Circuit breakers typically have been operated 300 - 600 times since
installation, with many of these being no-load maintenance and test operations. Hydraulic
pump start-ups number between 1200 to almost 7000, with higher numbers indicating major
hydraulic system problems. The condition of the hydraulics and associated nitrogen
accumulators is a concern at both Sperling and Horsey. Hydraulic oil has leaked because of
stuck valves. In addition, breakers have failed to operate and oil is still visible on the floors
of some breaker mechanism cabinets

Typical Sperling GIS breaker operating mechanism problems occur when the pilot or main
valves fail to reseat properly after operation. When this happens oil drains from the high to
low pressure system causing spillage. The hydraulic mechanism is a high energy, high speed
type for 1970-vintage puffer interrupters. These impose large mechanical stresses on
associated components and structures. Modern interrupters use self-blast interrupting
techniques and impose much less stress on components and structures. Longer lifecycle,
therefore, result from the use of modern interrupters.

At Sperling, maintenance overtime has occurred in a piecemeal fashion or on an as-needed


basis. About ten years ago a general overhaul was given to the active parts, hydraulics and
accumulator systems on the breakers at Sperling. In addition, hoses were replaced, and other
items with problems were either replaced or repaired. Recently, a pilot overhaul of a single
breaker hydraulic and accumulator system was done. While this overhaul was more
extensive than the one ten years ago, it still was not complete. It also offered no guarantee of
extending the equipments life another 20 25 years because not all of the critical hydraulic
components were brought to an as new condition. A slight deformation or wear-out of a 25
year old valve seal can still result in a major hydraulic oil leak and failure of the breaker to
operate on command.

The electro-mechanical control relays and timers installed in the control cubicles of the GIS
are obsolete and approaching their end-of-life. Also, exposure to humid conditions inside a
switchgear building has taken a toll on the outdated clockwork type mechanisms.

Based on this inspection, aside from the operating mechanism and control issues, the
condition of the Sperling GIS is generally acceptable. The Sperling 230kV GIS should be
considered to be in Fair condition overall.

Horsey 230kV GIS


In many ways, the situation for the Horsey GIS is similar to that of the Sperling GIS,
especially with regard to hydraulic mechanism issues. However, Horsey is an outdoor
installation and is exposed to severe coastal area environmental conditions. Horsey also is
considered a critical installation as one of the primary supply points to the provincial capital.
Its role in supply coupled with the accelerated degradation from an outdoor installation,
makes the Horsey situation potentially more critical than Sperling.

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The overall design of the Horsey GIS is different in many respects to other Areva (Alsthom)
installations in North America and worldwide. Until the late 1980s, Areva delivered over
370 breaker bays of 230 kV GIS worldwide, but there were apparently only two other
customers for the 230 kV GIS using the FR2 circuit breaker design supplied for Horsey.
There were only three other FR2 breakers supplied in Canada, but these were installed in
230 kV AIS. The FR2 breakers at Horsey are considered orphan breaker designs with
correspondingly high costs for replacement parts.

At Horsey, the enclosures, housings and flanges appear relatively free of external corrosion.
However, there are signs of serious corrosion on switch operating linkages, bearings and
some threaded connection points. There are reports of switch drives seizing up and failing to
operate. Gas leakages have also occurred since 1999 maintenance records indicate eight
separate incidents requiring SF6 gas top-up, but this is not yet considered to be a major
problem. One breaker is exhibiting high contact resistance, and the moisture content of
several gas compartments is excessive. Measured dew points around -5 C have been
reported. In some places gas compartments have been retrofit with desiccant containers.
This has alleviated moisture problems to some extent. However, the presence of the
desiccant has made gas analysis more difficult.

The 230 kV GIS design is dielectrically sound and operates at a relatively low working stress
in single phase enclosures. However, recent partial discharge or other activity has resulted in
the detection of arc decomposition products. Exposure of the epoxy cone insulators at the
bolted flanges have become points of moisture absorption and ingress. To correct this
problem, an epoxy paint finish has been applied to the external surfaces of most insulator
flanges. While gas compartments have been retrofit with desiccant containers to reduce
moisture, this has also made gas analysis more difficult.

GIS manufacturers have used several spacer materials in trading off between early resistance
to tracking damage (Areva Alsthom) and longer-term resistance to arcing and partial
discharge by-products (ABB). An understanding of materials used and their sensitivities to
electrical stresses and electrochemical processes is critical to projecting the end-of-life for
GIS. The combination of high moisture and decomposition products from partial discharge
activity can cause problems for these particular insulators as they age.

Degradation of operating mechanisms presents a primary area of current concern. These


include circuit breaker hydraulics and drives/linkages as well as the bearings of disconnect
and ground switches. Typical hydraulic problems include pilot or main valve failures to
reseat properly after operation. Such reseating failures allow oil to drain from the high to
low pressure system, resulting in oil spillage. At Horsey, there is some evidence of hydraulic
system seal degradation.

At Horsey, maintenance overtime has occurred in a piecemeal fashion or on an as-needed


basis. Since 1999, maintenance records indicate at least 13 separate incidents involving
Horsey GIS hydraulics. These incidents resulted in oil, valve and seal replacements. It
would be difficult and costly to return the hydraulic and accumulator systems to as new
condition because the breakers in these systems have been out of production for almost 25
years.

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Operating rods, bearings and other hardware associated with disconnect and ground switches
now show evidence of corrosion. Corrosion also has penetrated into some threaded
connection points. In addition, some ground switch drives have seized-up and failed to
operate at times.

The unique circuit breaker design combined with the degradation associated with an outdoor
installation in a corrosive environment presents challenges in making efurbishment and
replacement decisions at Horsey.

Based on this inspection, Horsey is considered to be in Poor condition overall.

Mica 500 kV GIS


ITE pioneered the introduction of GIS in North America with installation of the first 362 kV
GIS in Cleveland in 1970. The basic unit was the two-pressure GB breaker. The GB breaker
had several prototype flaws, including separating pull rods, distorting blast valves, contact
erosion, and failure prone air and SF6 gas compressors, heaters and auxiliary equipment.
Other GIS components (e.g., disconnect switches, buses, insulators and interface equipment)
were subject to even more serious design and installation flaws. Performance of the ITE GIS
was poor at all voltage levels, but especially at the 550 kV rating. A higher percentage of
ITE GIS than the industry norm were applied at extra high voltages, including at 500 kV, the
typical North American standard voltage. Worldwide, only about 4% of the total GIS
population is applied at 550 kV.

During the period from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s, ITE supplied over 160 GIS
breakers, 470 disconnect switches and over 83,000 ft of 1 ph. SF6 bus duct in the US and
Canada. The reported failure rate of North American GIS with ITE as a major contributor
ranged from 0.5% per breaker bay year at 145 kV to over 11% at 550 kV. Actual failure
rates may vary somewhat up or down from those percentages due to poor reporting systems.

In 1992, CIGRE reported a worldwide failure rate of about 5% for 550 kV GIS. A similar
1998 study reported a failure rate of about 3%. The 550 kV rated GIS represents only a
small portion (i.e., about 4%) of the total GIS population. Thus, a small variation in the
sample population could cause significantly different results. Generally, 550 kV GIS have
much smaller margins for poor quality than GIS at other voltages. However, in the 1970s
and 1980s when ITE first supplied this equipment to North American utilities, the need for
stringent quality control was not fully understood.

Outdoor GIS, particularly the ITE designs, have higher than normal gas leaks because of the
poor quality of fittings, connectors, threaded fittings, valves, by-pass piping, general porosity
of enclosures and some flange corrosion. The need to refill GIS breakers, switches and other
compartments after SF6 gas leaks is a major cause of outages. Individual early versions of
SF6 breakers (e.g., double pressure designs) have presented particular problems. Increases
in such problems over time might result in decisions to replace individual breakers, switches,
or the complete GIS. At this time, while long term degradation may present concerns for

Acres International Limited 11-14


certain early and failure prone breakers, such degradation is not generally considered
significant for the overall population of SF6 breakers.

North American users have replaced several of the ITE GIS. However, the majority of other
well designed GIS are performing satisfactorily after 25 or more years of service.

Based on this discussion, the Mica 500 kV ITE GIS is considered to be in Poor condition
overall.

11.3.3 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed GIS first required developing end-of-life
criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a factor critical in
determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 11.3.1 through 11.3.29 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each asset class
member. In addition, for each asset class member the tables show the components and tests
evaluated. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each condition rating (i.e.,
A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

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GIS Circuit Breaker
Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some minor
chips and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some major
chips and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or
copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/damaged beyond repair or are not
field repairable or cementing or fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged
beyond repair.

Table 11.3.1 Bushings/Support Insulators Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No SF6 leakage at any of the bushing-metal interfaces, tank or piping
interfaces, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and SF6 refill
maintenance records
B Minor SF6 leakage, not more than 0.5%, per year, by weight, of the total
quantity of SF6 in the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure
gauge and refill maintenance records
C SF6 leakage of up to 1.5%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and refill
maintenance records
D SF6 leakage of up to 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and refill
maintenance records.
E SF6 leakage exceeding 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the breaker, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure gauge and refill
maintenance records.

Table 11.3.2 SF6 Leaks

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Condition
Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust in mechanism box. No paint peeling on tanks or
cabinets. Box sealing very effective no evidence of moisture or insect
ingress or condensation.
B No rust or corrosion on main tank, some evidence of slight moisture ingress
or condensation in box
C Some rust and corrosion on both tank and on mechanism box, requires
corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Significant corrosion on main tank and on mechanism box. Defective sealing
leading to water ingress and insects/rodent damage. Requires immediate
corrective action.
E Main tank and mechanism box corroded, damaged or degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.3 Tank and Mechanism Box Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches are all in good
condition. No blown fuses. Operating mechanism, trip and close coils, relays,
auxiliary switches, motors, compressors, springs, are all in good condition.
No sign of overheating or deterioration. Linkages, drive rods, trip latches are
clean, lubricated, free from cracks, distortion, abrasion or obstruction.
Mechanical integrity of dampers/dashpots, and oil levels, are acceptable. No
visible evidence of poor mechanism settings, looseness, loss of adjustment,
excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance operation.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Control or mechanism box components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.4 Control and Mechanism Box Components

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Verify from current inspection records that contact resistance and time/travel
(erosion and wipe) results were within tolerance. Check operation counter
and fault interruption log to verify subsequent duty is within specified limits.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Contacts, nozzles or blast valves are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.5 Contacts/Nozzles/Blast Valves Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Capacitor housings are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks,
flashover burns. No signs of overheating, overpressure or leaks. Cementing
and fasteners are secure.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Grading capacitors are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.6 Grading Capacitors Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
free of damage and corrosion and are made direct to tank, cabinets, supports
without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or connections are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.7 Foundation/Support Steel/ Grounding Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Breaker externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating.
Number of breaker operations on counter, and run timer readings on auxiliary
motors, are below average range for age of breaker. Appears to be well
maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Breaker is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.8 Overall CB Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Close travel, wipe, overtravel, rebound and time are all within specified
limits. Trip time and velocity are within specified limits. Trip free time is
within specified limits. Interpole close and trip contact time spread is within
specified limits for the specific application.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable limits.

Table 11.3.9 Time/Travel

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Values to not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 11.3.10 Contact Resistance

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification.
E Cannot be put to specification condition.

Table 11.3.11 Air/Hydraulic/Spring Recharge Time

Condition
Description
Rating
A No abnormal indications, within IEC specification
B High readings on moisture, air or CF4
C Probable indication of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
D Definite indications of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
E Electrical activity that cannot be brought into specification condition.

Table 11.3.12 Gas Analysis (decomposition by-products, moisture, air, etc. based on
evaluation provided with test report)

GIS Bus
Condition
Description
Rating
A Bushings are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks, flashover burns,
copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
B Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some minor
chips and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash.
Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bushings/Support Insulators are not broken, however there are some major
chips and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or
copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Bushings/Support Insulators are broken/damaged beyond repair or are not
field repairable or cementing or fasteners are not secure.
E Bushings/Support Insulators, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged
beyond repair.

Table 11.3.13 Entrance Bushing Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A No SF6 leakage at any of the bushing-metal interfaces, bus and equipment
enclosures or piping interfaces, as determined by inspection of SF6
pressure/density gauges and SF6 refill maintenance records
B Minor SF6 leakage, not more than 0.5%, per year, by weight, of the total
quantity of SF6 in the GIS, as determined by inspection of SF6
pressure/density gauge and SF6 refill maintenance records
C SF6 leakage of up to 1%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the GIS, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure/density gauge and SF6
refill maintenance records
D SF6 leakage up to 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in the
GIS, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure/density gauge and SF6 refill
maintenance records.
E SF6 leakage exceeding 2%, per year, by weight, of the total quantity of SF6 in
the GIS, as determined by inspection of SF6 pressure/density gauge and SF6
refill maintenance records.

Table 11.3.14 SF6 Leaks (Gasket and Seals)

Condition
Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust in control cabinet. No paint peeling on main
enclosures or cabinets. Control cabinet sealing very effective no evidence of
moisture or insect ingress or condensation.
B No rust or corrosion on main enclosures, some evidence of slight moisture
ingress or condensation in control cabinets.
C Some rust and corrosion on both main enclosures and on control cabinets,
requires corrective maintenance within the next several months.
D Significant corrosion on both main enclosures and on control cabinets.
Defective sealing of control cabinets leading to water ingress and insect
damage. Requires immediate corrective action.
E Enclosure and control cabinets are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.15 Enclosure and Control Cabinets Condition

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Condition
Description
Rating
A Wiring, terminal blocks, relays, contactors and switches all in good condition.
Operating mechanism, coils, relays, auxiliary switches, motors, compressors,
springs, all in good condition. No sign of overheating or deterioration.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Control components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.16 Control Components Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Linkages, drive rods, trip latches clean, stops are clean, well supported and
lubricated, free from cracks, distortion abrasion or obstruction. Verify the
electrical and mechanical integrity of open and close coil assemblies. No
visible evidence of poor mechanism settings, looseness, loss of adjustment,
excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance operation. No signs of hydraulic
leakage
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Mechanism and linkages components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.17 Mechanism and Linkages Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All connectors are tight, free from corrosion and show no sign of overheating.
Live conductors are adequately supported and impose no excessive loading
on associated components during normal or fault current carrying duty.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Conductors or connectors are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.18 Bus Conductors and Connectors Condition

Acres International Limited 11-22


Condition
Description
Rating
A SF6 density is within acceptable limits in all compartments. Solid insulation,
epoxy spacers are free from decomposition products and free from PD
activity
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Internal insulation is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.19 Internal Insulation Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are
free of damage and corrosion and are made directly to enclosure, control
cabinets, building and supports without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.20 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A GIS enclosure externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating.
Number of breaker/switch operations on counter, and run timer readings on
auxiliary motors, are below average range for age of GIS. Appears to be well
maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E GIS bus components are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.21 Overall GIS Bus Condition

11-23 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A No abnormal indications, within IEC specification
B High readings on moisture, air or CF4
C Probable indication of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
D Definite indications of electrical activity (decomposition by-products)
E Electrical activity that cannot be put into specification condition.

Table 11.3.22 Gas Analysis (Decomposition by-products, moisture, air etc. based on
evaluation provided with test report)

GIS Disconnect Switch


Condition
Description
Rating
A Support /Drive Insulators are not broken and are free of chips, radial cracks,
flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and fasteners are
secure.
B Support/Drive Insulators are not broken, however there are some minor chips
and cracks. No flashover burns or copper splash or copper wash. Cementing
and fasteners are secure.
C Support/Drive Insulators are not broken, however there are some major chips
and cracks. Some evidence of flashover burns or copper splash or copper
wash. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
D Support/Drive Insulators are broken/damaged beyond repair or are not field
repairable or cementing or fasteners are not secure.
E Support/Drive Insulators, cementing or fasteners are broken/damaged beyond
repair.

Table 11.3.23 Support/Drive Insulators

Acres International Limited 11-24


Condition
Description
Rating
A No external or internal rust in mechanism box. No paint peeling on tanks or
cabinets, sealing effective no evidence of moisture or insect ingress or
condensation. Box securely fixed to support steel. Wiring, terminal blocks,
relays, contactors and switches all in good condition. Operating motor, coils,
relays auxiliary switches, position indicators, and counters all in good
condition. No sign of overheating or deterioration.
B No rust or corrosion on box, some evidence of slight moisture ingress or
condensation in mechanism box.
C Some rust and corrosion on interior and exterior of mechanism box.
D Significant corrosion on mechanism box. Defective sealing leading to water
ingress and insect damage.
E Control and mechanism box components are damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Table 11.3.24 Control and Mechanism Box Components

Condition
Description
Rating
A Linkages, levers, shafts, pipes, couplers, gear boxes, stops are clean, well
lubricated, free from corrosion, cracks, distortion, abrasion or obstruction. All
fasteners are tight. No visible evidence of poor settings, stops/toggle,
looseness, loss of adjustment, excess bearing wear or other out of tolerance
operation.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Gear box, reducers and guides are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.25 Gear Box, Reducers and Guides

11-25 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A Concrete foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel
and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. All ground connectors
are tight, free from corrosion and show no sign of overheating. Ground
connections are free of mechanical damage and are made directly to boxes,
operating pipes and supports without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.26 Foundation/Support Steel/Grounding

Condition
Description
Rating
A Switch externally is clean, corrosion free. All primary and secondary
connections are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating.
Appears to be well maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Disconnect switch is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 11.3.27 Overall Disconnect Switch Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Close travel, wipe, overtravel, rebound and time are all within specified
limits. Trip time and velocity are within specified limits.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 11.3.28 Time to Close/Open

Acres International Limited 11-26


Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with significant margin
B Values within, but close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition.

Table 11.3.29 Contact Resistance

11.3.4 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Tables 11.3.30
11.3.33 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1; and
E = 0.

For each asset class member, the components and tests shown in the tables above were
weighted based on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For
example, those that relate to primary functions of the component/asset received higher
weights than those that relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class member.
For each member, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score by
its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a GIS in perfect
condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded GIS would have a
Health Index of 0.

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As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set (i.e., 70% Rule).
For example, using the weightings and maximum possible scores for the GIS in
Table 11.3.30 below, assume a GIS bus with partial data has a maximum condition score of
97 out of the Health Index maximum possible score of 144. That GIS bus, therefore, has
only 67% of the maximum score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other
hand, if that GIS with partial data had a maximum condition score of 108, it would have 75%
of the Health Index maximum and a valid Health Index.

For this asset class, available data were insufficient to provide a valid Health Index using the
70% Rule described above. In this case, to provide BCTC with some information about the
assets health, a Health Index was calculated using a 50% cut-off (i.e., 50% Rule). Thus, if
the assets calculated condition score was greater than or equal to 50% of the maximum
possible condition score, a Health Index was computed and presented in the results.

Tables 11.3.30 11.3.32 show the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition
ratings as both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible
maximum score for each member of this asset class.

After determining the Health Index for each class member, an overall Health Index also was
calculated for a complete GIS assembly consisting of appropriate circuit breakers, switches,
and buswork. Table 11.3.33 shows the components considered, weightings and maximum
scores possible in computing this overall Health Index.

Acres International Limited 11-28


SF6 Circuit Breaker Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Bushing/Support Insulators 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
2 SF6 Leaks 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
3 Tank and Mechanism Box 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Control & Mechanism
4 2 A,E 4,0 8
Components
Contacts/Nozzles/Blast Valves
5 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Condition
6 Grading Capacitors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Foundation/Support
7 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
8 Overall CB Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
9 Time Travel 3 A,E 4,0 12
10 Contact Resistance 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Air/Hydraulic/Spring Recharge
11 2 A,E 4,0 8
Time
12 Gas Analysis 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score= 144
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 11.3.30 Health Index Formulation for GIS Circuit Breakers

Gas Insulated Switchgear Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Entrance Bushing Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
2 SF6 Leaks (Gaskets & Seals) 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
3 Enclosure and Control Cabinets 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
4 Control Components 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Mechanism and Linkages 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
6 Bus Conductor and Connectors 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
7 Internal Insulation 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Foundation/Support
8 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
9 Overall GIS Bus Condition 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
10 Gas Analysis 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Max Score= 132
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 11.3.31 Health Index Formulation for GIS Bus (Including VTs and CTs)

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Disconnect Switches Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Support/Drive Insulators 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Control and Mechanism Box
2 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Components
3 Gear Box, Reducers and Guides 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Foundation/Support
4 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Steel/Grounding
Overall Disconnect Switch
5 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Condition
6 Time to close/open 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
7 Contact Resistance 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Max Score= 76
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 11.3.32 Health Index Formulation for GIS Disconnect Switch

# Condition Criteria Weighting Actual Score


1 Circuit Breakers (normalized score for all) 70% 70
2 GIS Bus (Including VTs and CTs) (normalized score 10% 10
for bus)
3 Disconnect Switch (normalized score for all) 20% 20
Max Score= 100
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 11.3.33 Overall Health Index Formulation for GIS Assembly

11.3.5 Health Index Scale

The Health Index scale shown in Table 11.3.34 was used to determine the overall condition
of the GIS asset class.

Acres International Limited 11-30


Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 11.3.34 GIS Equipment Health Index Scale

11.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment


11.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for Gas Insulated
Switchgear in the BCTC-managed transmission system. Table 11.4.1 summarizes the
results, which are also illustrated in Figure 11.4.1.

No. of Indoor or I/S Health Index


Location & Rating Manufacturer
CBs Outdoor Date Classification
Mica 500kV ITE 4 Indoor 1976 Poor
Peace Canyon500kV BBC 4 Indoor 1979 Fair
Revelstoke 500kV Mitsubishi 7 Indoor 1982 Good
Revelstoke 230kV Mitsubishi 3 Indoor 1982 Good
Ashton Creek 230kV BBC 6 Indoor 1979 Fair
Sperling 230kV BBC 4 Indoor 1979 Fair
Horsey 230kV Alsthom 6 Outdoor 1982 Fair
Cathedral Sq 230kV Mitsubishi 4 Indoor (UG) 1984 Good
Cathedral Sq 230kV Mitsubishi 2 Indoor (UG) 2002 Very Good

Table 11.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results


for Gas Insulated Switchgear

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4.5
4

Gas Insulated Switchgear


4
3.5
3
3
Number of

2.5
2
1.5
1 1
1
0.5 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 11.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Gas Insulated Switchgear

11.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

Based on the results of the site inspections and information available in PassPort:

44.4% of the GIS station equipment is in Very Good or Good condition. No capital
improvements are expected in the near term.
44.4% of the GIS station equipment is in Fair condition. Increased maintenance or
capital improvements may be needed depending upon criticality issues.
11.1% of the GIS station equipment is in Poor condition. Refurbishment or
replacement may be needed considering risks and failure consequences.

Acres International Limited 11-32


12.0 Static Var Compensators

12.1 Description
Static var compensators (SVC) improve dynamic stability of transmission systems by
supplying and consuming reactive power under varying operating conditions. System
reactive power requirements vary. Generally, under light loads transmission lines generate
reactive power, creating a need for compensators to absorb the excess. Under heavy loads,
transmission lines consume reactive power and compensators must supply more. Under
rapidly changing load conditions, compensators must adjust quickly to maintain voltage
conditions within acceptable ranges.

Common SVC installations include locations with a need for considerable absorption of
excess reactive power. Such locations commonly include long submarine and underground
high voltage cable networks, since cables produce between twenty to forty times more
reactive power per kilometer than overhead lines.

Key functions of a SVC include:

Limiting over-voltages during normal load conditions on systems with extensive high
voltage cable interconnections;
Stabilizing system voltage during supply system disturbances such as forced outages,
and plant or load rejection on the supply side;
Minimizing temporary over-voltages;
Damping power swings between weak interconnecting systems; and
Maximizing power transfer and economic return for transmission system operators.

SVC systems may incorporate some or all of the following components:

Thyristor valves for TSR and for TSC;


Cooling system/heat exchanger;
SVR Control equipment;
Reactors, air cored;
Capacitor-banks;
Disconnect switches and circuit breakers (circuit breaker 18CB1 operates frequently
since it is used for shunting SVC 18V1 to meet BCTCs loss specifications);
Step-down transformer (normally required when a SVC is used for transmission
applications;
Instrument transformers, CTs and VTs; and
Building to accommodate thyristor valves, control, protection and auxiliary systems.

SVC systems generally consist of shunt connected inductors or capacitors, or a combination


of both, one of which is variable. Thyristor switched reactors typically serve as inductors
and thyristor switched capacitors serve as capacitors. To provide bulk or steady state
reactive power sources, systems may incorporate additional mechanically switched shunt

12-1 Acres International Limited


capacitors or reactors. Typical SVCs can generate and absorb reactive power in a controlled
manner.

The term static means that this equipment has no moving or rotating parts. This property
makes SVCs able to respond rapidly to changing network conditions. Also, the absence of
moving components minimizes mechanical wear and reduces routine and preventative
maintenance needs. Also, since SVCs consist of passive elements, they do not contribute to
short circuit levels.

SVCs improve the steady state and dynamic performance of high voltage AC transmission
networks. They also maximize the capability of existing transmission facilities. SVCs
facilitate higher power flows through transmission networks, reducing blackouts and
brownouts and providing greater network operational flexibility. When faults occur, SVCs
assist in recovery by supporting transmission systems until the occurrence ends.

12.2 Demographics
The BCTC-managed transmission system has one SVC. Table 12.2.1 shows that this SVC
operates at the 18.8 kV voltage level. Also, based on the commission notice to energize
(CNE), that SVC is 11 years old. It is located at the Dunsmuir Substation.

Equipment Manufacturer
Substation CNE Date Rated Voltage
Number Code
DUNSMUIR 18V1 ABB 1993 18.8 kV
DUNSMUIR 18V2/3 ABB 1993 18.8 kV
DUNSMUIR 18V4 ABB 1993 18.8 kV

Table 12.2.1 BCTCs SVC (showing each phase)

12.3 Degradation Review and Health Index


12.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

The first installations of SVCs occurred in the late 1970s. Since most SVCs are less than 30
years old, the industry has little experience in defining common failure modes or key factors
causing SVCs end-of-life.

Results of surveys conducted by various international organizations indicate that while some
early failures occurred, most SVCs have performed acceptably overtime. Surveys have
found no apparent generic degradation issues. In addition, users reported few failures of
conventional components such as transformers, capacitors, reactors, circuit breakers and
switches. One early SVC user reported a coupling transformer failure, and others reported
thyristor and control system failures. However, users reported that these early life problems
decreased with time.

Acres International Limited 12-2


While specific SVC degradation processes remain unknown, utilities generally expect this
equipment to degrade and age like similar assets used in other transmission network
applications. The following three SVC components, however, may have substantially
different degradation processes and longevity:

SVC thyristor valves;


SVC control systems; and
SVC cooling systems.

Key parameters affecting degradation of the three components listed above include:

Decreased reliability/availability/maintainability (RAM) of SVC system;


Increased maintenance and operating costs;
Inability to provide required performance under new operating conditions;
Increased maintenance and overhaul requirements of specific components;
Design obsolescence;
Age of device;
Corrosion and general deterioration; and
Coolant and oil leaks that may cause environmental impacts.

12.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed SVCs first required developing end-of-life
criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a factor critical in
determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 12.3.1 through 12.3.12 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each asset class
member. In addition, for each asset class member the tables show the components and tests

12-3 Acres International Limited


evaluated. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each condition rating (i.e.,
A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

Condition
Description
Rating
A Bus Insulators/Entrance Bushings are not broken and are free of chips, radial
cracks, flashover burns, copper splash and copper wash. Cementing and
fasteners are secure.
B Bus Insulators/Entrance Bushings are not broken, however minor chips and
cracks, are visible. Cementing and fasteners are secure.
C Bus Insulators/Entrance Bushings are not broken, however major chips, and
some flashover burns and copper splash are visible. Cementing and fasteners
are secure.
D Bus Insulators/Entrance Bushings are broken/damaged or cementing and
fasteners are not secure.
E Bus Insulators/Entrance Bushings, cementing or fasteners are
broken/damaged beyond repair.

Table 12.3.1 Bus Insulators/Entrance Bushings Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Enclosure is clean and well ventilated. Floor is level and free from cracks.
Support steel, racks and/or anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.2 Thyristor Units Enclosure/Room

Acres International Limited 12-4


Condition
Description
Rating
A Thyristor Units externally are clean, and corrosion free. All primary and
secondary electrical connections are in good condition. All monitoring,
protection and control, auxiliary and cooling system components, mounted on
the thyristors are in good condition. No external evidence of overheating or
internal overpressure. Appears to be well maintained with service records
readily available
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.3 Thyristor Units Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Thyristor Unit Controls appear in good operating condition. No evidence of
misfiring or maloperation. All secondary electrical connections are in good
condition. All monitoring, annunciation, metering. Protection and control
devices associated with the operation and control of the thyristors are in good
condition. No external evidence of overheating, aging or damage. Appears to
be well maintained with service records readily available
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.4 Thyristor Unit Controls Condition

12-5 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A All open bus and cable connections tight, free from short circuit, mechanical
or thermal damage, and No corrosion on bolted or welded connections.
Ground connections are tight, free of corrosion and made directly to tanks,
pipes, operating equipment, cabinets and supports, without any intervening
paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.5 Connectors/Conductors Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A MOV units are clean and free from contamination or evidence of over voltage
or overheating. All connections are tight. No corrosion on mounting hardware
or on connections.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.6 MOV Units Condition

Acres International Limited 12-6


Condition
Description
Rating
A No external sign of deterioration of gaskets, weld seams, pipes, flanges or
valves on heat sinks, heat exchangers, pumps, reservoir/expansion tanks,
deionisers, liquid flow pressure and temperature monitoring and control
devices. Fan and pump enclosures are free of rust and corrosion and securely
mounted in position. No leakage of coolant observed. Fans and pumps
operate correctly, without excessive noise, in manual and automatic modes.
Weather seals on terminal boxes are in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.7 Cooling System Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Fire detection system installed and operational. Deluge fire protection system
installed and operational if applicable. Fire barriers/walls are installed
between flammable power units located in close proximity. Concrete or other
spill containment provision is installed and in good condition.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.8 Fire Detection/Protection Condition

12-7 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A The complete SVC system is free of any obvious defects and is operating
reliably in accordance with specified requirements. Outage rates, redundancy
and spares provisions are acceptable. All primary and secondary connections
are in good condition. All monitoring, protection and control devices, and
auxiliary systems are in good condition. No external evidence of overloading,
over voltage or misfiring. Audible noise levels are within prescribed limits.
Appears to be well maintained with service records readily available.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
brought into acceptable condition.

Table 12.3.9 Overall SVC Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No abnormal indications
B Some possible abnormal indications
C Definite indications of abnormal activity
D Definite indications of high levels of abnormal activity
E High levels of abnormal activity that cannot be made normal.

Table 12.3.10 Coolant Analysis

Condition
Description
Rating
A Values well within specifications with high margins
B Values close to specification (little or no margin)
C Values do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Values do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Values do not meet specification and cannot be brought into specification
condition

Table 12.3.11 Thermograph (IR)

Acres International Limited 12-8


Condition
Description
Rating
A Within specification.
E Cannot be put to specification condition.

Table 12.3.12 Control System Test

12.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Table 12.3.13 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1, and
E = 0.

For each asset class member, the components and tests shown in the tables above were
weighted based on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For
example, those that relate to primary functions of the component/asset received higher
weights than those that relate to more ancillary features and functions.

The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class member.
For each member, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score by
its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, a SVC in perfect
condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded SVC would have a
Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set. For example,
using the weightings and maximum possible scores for a SVC in Table 12.3.13 below,

12-9 Acres International Limited


assume a SVC with partial data has a maximum condition score of 68 out of the Health Index
maximum possible score of 104. That SVC, therefore, has only 65% of the maximum score,
and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other hand, if that SVC with partial data
had a maximum condition score of 74, it would have 71% of the Health Index maximum and
a valid Health Index.

Table 12.3.13 shows the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition ratings as
both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible maximum score
for each member of this asset class.

Static Var Compensator Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
Bus Insulators/Entrance Bushings
1 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Condition
2 Thyristor Units Enclosure/Room 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
3 Thyristor Units 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
4 Thyristor Unit Controls 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
5 Connectors/Conductors 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
6 MOV Units 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
7 Cooling System 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
8 Fire Detection/Protection 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
9 Overall SVC Condition 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
10 Coolant Analysis 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
11 Thermograph (IR) 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
12 Control System 2 A,E 4,0 8
Max Score = 104
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 12.3.13 Health Index Formulation for Static Var Compensator

12.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index scale shown in
Table 12.3.14 was used to determine the overall condition of the SVC.

Acres International Limited 12-10


Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 12.3.14 Health Index Scale for Static Var Compensators

12.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment


12.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for the SVC in the BCTC-
managed transmission system. Tables 12.4.1 and 12.4.2 summarize the results, which are
also illustrated in Figure 12.4.1

Health Index Results Classification Number of Compensators

Very Good 1
Good 0
Fair 0
Poor 0
Very Poor 0
Total Results Based on Field Survey 1
Percentage of Total Population Surveyed 100

Table 12.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for the BCTC-Managed
Static Var Compensator

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1.2

Static Var Compensators


1
1

0.8
Number of

0.6

0.4

0.2
0 0 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 12.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for the BCTC-Managed Static
Var Compensator

12.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

The SVC is in Very Good condition. No capital improvements are expected in the near term.

Acres International Limited 12-12


13.0 High Pressure Air Systems

13.1 Description
High-pressure air systems (HPAS) in stations supply energy to air-blast circuit breakers
(ABCB), allowing the breakers to operate. Consequently, HPAS must have sufficient
capacity and pressure to ensure that breakers can meet specifications that may include many
close-open operations in rapid sequence. HPAS also must provide dry and clean air required
for proper breaker operation.

HPAS consist of several separate subsystems that include:

The compressor;
The air dryer;
Pipes, connectors and valves;
Receivers and storage tanks; and
Monitoring and control equipment.

13.2 Demographics
The BCTC-managed transmission system consists of 72 compressors, 40 dryers and 117
receivers at 27 sites. Table 13.2.1 shows the age demographics of the compressors, dryers
and receivers. As shown in the table, 46.3% of the compressors, 50% of the dryers and
48.8% of the receivers with known age are between 20 and 29 years old.

High Pressure Air System Components


Years
Compressors % Dryers % Receivers %
0 to 9 3 5.6% 5 20.8% 0 0.0%
10 to 19 12 22.2% 6 25.0% 5 12.2%
Age Group

20 to 29 25 46.3% 12 50.0% 20 48.8%


30 to 39 14 25.9% 1 4.2% 14 34.1%
40 to 49 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 2 4.9%
50 plus 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
SubTotal 54 100.0% 24 100.0% 41 100.0%
Incomplete 18 N/A 16 N/A 76 N/A
Total 72 40 117

Table 13.2.1 Count of High Pressure Air System Components

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13.3 Degradation Review and Health Index
13.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

HPAS consist of compressors, air dryers, high-pressure pipe work and valves, plus receivers
and storage tanks. HPAS provide air for ABCBs. To operate safely and effectively, ABCBs
must have high quality air. Contaminants and moisture in HPAS, therefore, can result in
deterioration and ultimately catastrophic failure of ABCBs.

Because of the close association between ABCBs and HPAS, one must consider the
longevity of ABCBs in making end-of-life decisions about HPAS. Because of their
mechanical complexity, ABCBs require increased maintenance with age. The technical
obsolescence, deterioration, and maintenance costs of ABCBs have lead many utilities to
replace ABCBs with newer technology (e.g., SF6 breakers).

Compressors
HPAS compressors provide short bursts of activity to top-off stored air pressure for ABCBs.
Since ABCBs operate infrequently, HPAS compressors do too. Compressors have many
moving parts, and degradation generally relates to the amount of time that compressors
operate. Critical degradation processes include corrosion, wear and deterioration of internal
parts such as valves and seals. Preventive maintenance includes frequent inspections,
functional checks and less frequent minor overhauls

Air Dryers
Original dryer designs used heat to dry the air in HPAS. These early dryers had complex
piping and valving arrangements prone to leaks and breakdowns. As they age, these dryers
require more maintenance and have increased operational problems. Generally, utilities have
replaced these older dryers with simpler chemical desiccant dryers that require much less
maintenance. Maintenance includes inspection, desiccant replacement, and air quality
evaluations. Significant degradation can result in leaks and inefficient operation requiring
dryer refurbishment and replacement.

High-Pressure Pipework/Valves/Receivers
HPAS have several high-pressure pipes, valves and vessels to store and deliver air to circuit
breakers in various locations in a substation. They experience general degradation,
corrosion, wear and tear. These deterioration processes can lead to leaks, valve
malfunctions, and HPAS inefficiencies that ultimately can compromise the quality of air
delivered to the ABCB. HPAS, therefore, require regular inspections and maintenance.
Maintenance often includes valve replacements since normally it is not viable to repair leaky
valves in this equipment.

End-of-Life Issues
As described above, regular maintenance for HPAS includes repair or replacement of
inefficient and faulty components. Rising maintenance costs or failure to provide high

Acres International Limited 13-2


quality air typically define the end-of-life for HPAS. Some HPAS components are classified
as pressure vessels. These regulated components require specific testing to ensure
compliance. In a deteriorating HPAS, costs associated with meeting pressure vessel
regulatory requirements may lead to replacement decisions for the HPAS as a whole.

One cannot make end-of-life decisions about the HPAS without considering their associated
ABCBs. Further, the condition of the HPAS can influence ABCB management, including
replacement priorities.

13.3.2 End-of-Life Criteria and Condition Rating

Computing the Health Index for BCTC-managed HPAS first required developing end-of-life
criteria for various components of this asset class. Each criterion represents a factor critical in
determining the components condition relative to potential failure.

The condition assessment and rating process included visual inspections and detailed reviews
of maintenance records and diagnostic test reports extracted from BCTCs asset management
system databases. In addition to maintenance histories, these databases contain information
about operating requirements and conditions, defects, failures, and spares. In assessing the
information available against end-of-life criteria, condition states were rated A through E.
For this asset class, letter condition ratings have the following general meanings:

A means the component is in as new condition;


B means the component has some minor problems or evidence of aging;
C means the component has many minor problems or a major problem that
requires attention;
D means the component has many problems and the potential for major failure;
and
E means the component has completely failed or is damaged/degraded beyond
repair.

Tables 13.3.1 through 13.3.32 list the end-of-life criteria considered for each asset class
member. In addition, for each asset class member the tables show the components and tests
evaluated. The tables also contain the specific definitions used for each condition rating (i.e.,
A E) in the assessment of this asset class.

13-3 Acres International Limited


Compressors
Condition
Description
Rating
A All components are clean; corrosion free and are in good condition. No
external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to
have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.1 Compressor Enclosure/Assembly Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All components are clean; corrosion and leak free and are in good condition.
No external evidence of overheating, deterioration or abnormality or damage.
Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.2 Compressor Motor Piping & Fittings Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No air or oil leaks are observed
B Minor leaks are observed but corrective action not required
C Minor leaks are observed but corrective action is recommended.
D Major leaks are observed system capability is in doubt.
E Major leaks are observed and system damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.3 Compressor Oil & Air Leaks

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Condition
Description
Rating
A All components are clean, corrosion free and are in good condition. No
external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to have
been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.4 Compressor Condensate and Purge System Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All electrical conductors, connectors, cabling and controls are clean,
corrosion free and are in good condition. No external evidence of
overheating, embrittlement of insulating jackets or other deterioration or
abnormality. Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.5 Compressor Power Supply/Monitoring/Control Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel and/or
anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are direct
without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports or groundings damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.6 Compressor Foundation/Supports/Grounding Condition

13-5 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A All components are clean; corrosion and leak free and are in good condition.
No external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to
have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Cooling system components damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.7 Compressor Cooling System Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All components are clean; corrosion and leak free and are in good condition.
No external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to
have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Compressor is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.8 Compressor Overall Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Moisture levels well within specifications with high margins
B Moisture levels close to specification (little or no margin)
C Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Moisture levels do not meet specification and cannot be brought into
specification condition.

Table 13.3.9 Compressor Air Moisture Content

Acres International Limited 13-6


Condition
Description
Rating
A Alarms operate properly within specifications
E Alarms operates out of specification, operates inconsistently or does not
otherwise operate properly

Table 13.3.10 Compressor Alarms/Operation Set Points

Condition
Description
Rating
A Pump performance is satisfactory and within specifications
E Pump performance is not satisfactory (does not meet specifications) pumps
operates inconsistently or does not otherwise operate properly

Table 13.3.11 Compressor Pump-up Time

Air Dryers
Condition
Description
Rating
All components are clean, corrosion free and are in good condition. No
A external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to have
been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
E
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.12 Dryer Enclosure/Assembly Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
All components are clean, corrosion free and are in good condition. No
A external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to have
been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
E
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.13 Dryer Filters/Desiccant/Strainers Condition

13-7 Acres International Limited


Condition
Description
Rating
A All components are clean, corrosion free and are in good condition. No
external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to have
been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.14 Dryer Heater Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A All electrical conductors, connectors, cabling and controls are clean,
corrosion free and are in good condition. No external evidence of
overheating, embrittlement of insulating jackets or other deterioration or
abnormality. Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.15 Dryer Control/Monitoring/Wiring Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No leaks are observed
B Minor leaks are observed but corrective action not required
C Minor leaks are observed but corrective action is recommended.
D Major leaks are observed system capability is in doubt.
E Major leaks are observed and the system is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.16 Dryer Air Leaks

Acres International Limited 13-8


Condition
Description
Rating
Foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel and/or
A anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are direct
without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.17 Dryer Foundations/Supports/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Overall installed system is clean, corrosion and leak free and is in good
condition. All connections are secure. No evidence of overheating, or other
deterioration or abnormality. Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Dryer system is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.18 Dryer Overall Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Moisture levels well within specifications with high margins
B Moisture levels close to specification (little or no margin)
C Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Moisture levels do not meet specification and cannot be put into specification
condition.

Table 13.3.19 Dryer Air Moisture Content

Condition
Description
Rating
A Alarm operates properly within specifications
E Alarms operates out of spec, operates inconsistently or does not otherwise
operate properly

Table 13.3.20 Dryer Alarms/Operation Set Points

13-9 Acres International Limited


Air Receivers
Condition
Description
Rating
A All components are clean, corrosion free and are in good condition. No
external evidence of deterioration or abnormality or damage. Appears to have
been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.21 Receiver/Pressure Vessels/Pipes & Valves Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Pressure relief systems are clean, corrosion free and are in good condition.
No external evidence of deterioration, abnormality or damage. Appears to
have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.22 Receiver Pressure Relief Valves Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No leaks are observed
B Minor leaks are observed but corrective action not required
C Minor leaks are observed but corrective action is recommended.
D Major leaks are observed system capability is in doubt.
E Major leaks are observed and the system is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.23 Receiver Air Leaks

Acres International Limited 13-10


Condition
Description
Rating
A Foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel and/or
anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are direct
without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.24 Receiver Foundations/Supports/Grounding Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Overall installed system is clean, corrosion and leak free and is in good
condition. All connections are secure. No evidence of overheating, or other
deterioration or abnormality. Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Receiver system is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.25 Receiver Overall Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Moisture levels well within specifications with high margins
B Moisture levels close to specification (little or no margin)
C Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Moisture levels do not meet specification and cannot be brought into
specification condition.

Table 13.3.26 Receiver Air Moisture Content

Condition
Description
Rating
A Pressure relief device operations properly within specification
E Pressure relief device operates out of spec, operates inconsistently or does
not otherwise operate properly

Table 13.3.27 Receiver Pressure Relief Operation

13-11 Acres International Limited


High-Pressure Pipework/Valves
Condition
Description
Rating
A All pipes and valves are clean, corrosion free and are in good condition. No
external evidence of overheating, deterioration or abnormality or damage.
Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable and cannot be
put into acceptable condition.

Table 13.3.28 Pipework/Valves Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A No leaks are observed
B Minor leaks are observed but corrective action not required
C Minor leaks are observed but corrective action is recommended.
D Major leaks are observed system capability is in doubt.
E Major leaks are observed and system is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.29 Pipework/Valves Air Leaks

Condition
Description
Rating
A Foundation is level and free from cracks and spalling. Support steel and/or
anchor bolts are tight and free from corrosion. Ground connections are direct
without any intervening paint or corrosion.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One of the above characteristics is unacceptable.
D Two or more of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Foundation, supports, or grounding are damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.30 Pipework Foundation/Supports/Grounding Condition

Acres International Limited 13-12


Condition
Description
Rating
Overall installed system is clean, corrosion and leak free and is in good
A condition. All connections are secure. No evidence of overheating, or other
deterioration or abnormality. Appears to have been well maintained.
B Normal signs of wear with respect to the above characteristics.
C One or two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
D More than two of the above characteristics are unacceptable.
E Pipework system is damaged/degraded beyond repair.

Table 13.3.31 Pipework Overall Condition

Condition
Description
Rating
A Moisture levels well within specifications with high margins
B Moisture levels close to specification (little or no margin)
C Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a small amount)
D Moisture levels do not meet specification (by a significant margin)
E Moisture levels do not meet specification and cannot be brought into
specification condition.

Table 13.3.32 Pipework Air Moisture Content

13.3.3 Health Index Formulation

Health indexing quantifies equipment conditions relative to long-term degradation factors


that cumulatively lead to an assets end-of-life. Health indexing differs from maintenance
testing, which emphasizes finding defects and deficiencies that need correction or
remediation to keep the asset operating during some time period.

For purposes of formulating the Health Index for this asset class, the letter condition ratings
listed above also received the following numbers shown as factors in Tables 13.3.33
13.3.36 below.

A = 4;
B = 3;
C = 2;
D = 1, and
E = 0.

For each asset class member), the components and tests shown in the tables above were
weighted based on their importance in determining the class members end-of-life. For
example, those that relate to primary functions of the component/asset received higher
weights than those that relate to more ancillary features and functions.

13-13 Acres International Limited


The condition rating numbers listed immediately above (i.e., A = 4, B = 3, etc.) were
multiplied by the assigned weights to compute weighted scores for each component and test.
The weighted scores were totalled for each asset class member.

Totalled scores were used in calculating final Health Indices for each asset class member.
For each member, the Health Index calculation involved dividing its total condition score by
its maximum condition score, then multiplying by 100. This step normalizes scores by
producing a number from 0-100 for each asset class member. For example, an HPAS in
perfect condition would have a Health Index of 100 while a completely degraded HPAS
would have a Health Index of 0.

As described above, condition assessment and health indexing require review and use of
substantial information. However, one need not have complete information about an asset
class to compute its Health Index. When only partial data exist it is possible to calculate a
valid Health Index if the maximum condition score for the partial data set is greater than or
equal to 70% of the maximum possible condition score for a full data set. For example,
using the weightings and maximum possible scores for compressors in Table 13.3.33 below,
assume a compressor with partial data has a maximum condition score of 54 out of the
Health Index maximum possible score of 84. That compressor, therefore, has only 64% of
the maximum Health Index score, and would not have a valid Health Index. On the other
hand, if that compressor with partial data had a maximum condition score of 60, it would
have 71% of the Health Index maximum and a valid Health Index.

Tables 13.3.33 13.3.36 show the component/test condition criteria, weightings, condition
ratings as both letters and numbers (i.e., the Factors column), plus the total possible
maximum score for each member of this asset class.

After determining the Health Index for each class member, an overall Health Index also was
calculated for a complete HPAS assembly consisting of appropriate compressors, dryers,
pipe work and valves, plus receivers and relief valves. Table 13.3.37 shows the components
considered, weightings and maximum scores possible in computing this overall Health Index.

Acres International Limited 13-14


HPAS - Compressors Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
Air Compressor
1 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Enclosure/Assembly
Air Compressor Motor/Piping &
2 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Fittings
3 Oil & Air Leak 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
4 Condensate & Purge System 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Power
5 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Supply/Monitoring/Control
6 Foundations/Supports/Grounding 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
7 Cooling System 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Overall Condition of Air
8 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Compressors
9 Air Moisture Content 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
10 Alarms/Operation Setpoints 2 A,E 4,0 8
11 Pump-up Time/Run Hours 2 A,E 4,0 8
Max Score= 84 HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 13.3.33 HPAS - Compressors Health Index Formulation

HPAS - Dryers Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Air Dryer Enclosure/Assembly 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Air Dryer
2 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Filters/Desiccant/Strainers
3 Air Dryer Heaters 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Air Dryer
4 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
Control/Monitoring/Wiring
5 Air Leaks 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
6 Foundations/Supports/Grounding 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
7 Overall Condition of Air Dryers 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
8 Air Moisture Content 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
9 Alarms/Operation Setpoints 2 A,E 4,0 8
Max Score= 76
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 13.3.34 HPAS - Dryers Health Index Formulation

13-15 Acres International Limited


HPAS - Receivers Condition Maximum
# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
Air Receivers/Pressure Vessels,
1 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Pipes & Valves
2 Pressure Relief Valves 1 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 4
3 Air Leaks 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Foundations/Supports/
4 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Grounding
Overall Condition of Receivers
5 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
& Valves
6 Air Moisture Content 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
7 Pressure Relief Operation 2 A,E 4,0 8
Max Score= 64
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 13.3.35 HPAS - Receivers Health Index Formulation

HPAS Pipes & Valves Condition Maximum


# Weight Factors
Condition Criteria Rating Score
1 Pipes & Valves 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
2 Air Leaks 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
3 Foundations/Supports/Grounding 2 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 8
Overall Condition of Pipes &
4 3 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 12
Valves
5 Air Moisture Content* 4 A,B,C,D,E 4,3,2,1,0 16
Max Score= 64
HI = 100*Score/Max
*Measured at the breaker

Table 13.3.36 HPAS Pipes and Valves Health Index Formulation

Subsystem Health Weighting Max


Component
Index Factor score
Compressors 0-100 0.3 30
Dryers and Valves 0-100 0.2 20
System, Pipes and Valves 0-100 0.3 30
Air Receivers and Relief
0-100 0.2 20
Valves
Max Score= 100
HI = 100*Score/Max

Table 13.3.37 Overall System Health Index Formulation for HPA Systems

Acres International Limited 13-16


13.3.4 Health Index Scale

After performing all of the steps described above, the Health Index Scale shown in
Table 13.3.38 was used to determine the overall condition of the HPAS asset class.

Health
Condition Description Requirements
Index
Some aging or minor deterioration
85-100 Very Good of a limited number of Normal maintenance
components
Significant deterioration of some
70-85 Good Normal maintenance
components
Widespread significant
Increase diagnostic testing, possible
deterioration or serious
50-70 Fair rebuild or replacement needed
deterioration of specific
depending on criticality
components
Start planning process to replace or
30-50 Poor Widespread serious deterioration rebuild, considering risk and
consequences of failure
At end-of-life, immediately assess
0-30 Very Poor Extensive serious deterioration risk; replace or rebuild based on
assessment

Table 13.3.38 Health Index Scale for High Pressure Air Systems

13.4 Health Index Results and Condition Assessment


13.4.1 Condition Rating and Health Index Results

As described above, a condition-based Health Index was derived for each type of HPAS
equipment in the BCTC-managed transmission system. Tables 13.4.1 and 13.4.2 summarize
the results, which are also illustrated in Figures 13.4.1 through 13.4.5.

13-17 Acres International Limited


Health Index Results Overall
Compressors Dryers Receivers Pipe Systems
Classification Systems
Very Good 9 8 39 8 8
Good 24 25 16 8 10
Fair 6 1 0 1 1
Poor 0 0 0 0 0
Very Poor 0 0 0 0 0
Total Results Based on
Field Survey 39 34 55 17 19
Percentage of Total
54.2 85.0 47.0 63.0 70.4
Population Surveyed

Table 13.4.1 Summary of Actual Condition Rating Results for High Pressure Air
Systems

Health Index Results Overall


Compressors Dryers Receivers Pipes
Classification Systems
Very Good 17 9 83 13 12
Good 44 30 34 13 14
Fair 11 1 0 1 1
Poor 0 0 0 0 0
Very Poor 0 0 0 0 0
Total 72 40 117 27 27

Table 13.4.2 Summary of Extrapolated Condition Assessment Results for High


Pressure Air Systems

Acres International Limited 13-18


50 44

High Pressure Air System


45
40

Compressors
35
Number of
30
25
20 17
15 11
10
5 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 13.4.1 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Compressors


High Pressure Air System Dryers

35
30
30
25
Number of

20
15
9
10
5 1
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 13.4.2 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Dryers

13-19 Acres International Limited


90 83

High Pressure Air System


80
70
60
Number of

Receivers 50
40 34
30
20
10 0 0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 13.4.3 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Air Receivers

14 13 13
High Pressure Air System

12
Pipe Systems

10
Number of

8
6
4
2 1
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 13.4.4 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Pipe Systems

Acres International Limited 13-20


16
14

High Pressure Air Systems


14
12
12
Number of 10
8
6
4
2 1
0 0
0
Very Poor Poor Fair Good Very Good
0-30 30-50 50-70 70-85 85-100
Health Index Categories

Figure 13.4.5 Summary of Condition Assessment Results for Overall High Pressure Air
Systems

13.4.2 Condition Assessment Conclusions

96.3% of HPAS are in Good or Very Good condition. No capital improvements are
expected in the near term.
3.7% of HPAS are in Fair condition. Increased maintenance or capital improvements
may be required depending on the criticality issues associated with the asset.

13-21 Acres International Limited


14.0 Protection and Control Systems

14.1 Asset Description


Protection and Control (P&C) systems monitor the BCTC-managed transmission system and
take corrective action when needed to ensure safe, reliable and stable power transmission.
P&C devices continually measure vital power system parameters (e.g., voltage, current,
phase angle and frequency). P&C systems detect abnormal conditions and initiate
appropriate automatic corrective actions. These systems include Supervisory Control and
Data Acquisition (SCADA) equipment (i.e., Remote Terminal Units or RTU) at stations.

Table 14.1.1 below indicates the typical components of a P&C system:

Components Types / Categories


Protective Measuring relays Electro-mechanical, Solid State, Digital
Auxiliary relay devices Simple relays, Timers, Logic Controllers
Miscellaneous mounting and 19 inch rack, Steel panel, Measuring relay cases,
connecting equipment, i.e. panels Auxiliary relay cases; Terminal blocks, Crimps, Current
or racks, mounting hardware, links, Fuses; AC current switches, DC blocking
terminations and isolating devices switches; AC wiring, DC wiring, Panel interconnecting
cables.

Table 14.1.1 Typical Protection System Components

Protection systems consist of single or multiple protective measuring relays plus auxiliary
devices that provide scheme logic functions. Tele-protection equipment is used with
peripheral communication systems to provide high-speed protection signalling between P&C
schemes located at different stations. Panels or racks, mounting hardware, terminations,
isolating devices and wiring facilitate installation of relays (i.e., measuring and auxiliary).

Protective Measuring Relays


The three basic categories of protective measuring relays are described below:

a) Electro-mechanical Relays
Electro-mechanical relays rely on physical, electrical and magnetic properties to detect fault
conditions. Usually, these relays use electro-magnetic rotating disks or cups, springs,
mechanical contacts, shading coils, phase-shifting circuitry, capacitors, inductors, and
resistors. They often have actual current or voltage transformer outputs flowing through
detection circuitry. Typically, electro-mechanical relays have large burdens and may require
secondary instrument transformers. Generally, each relay performs only one protection
function, which necessitates the use of multiple devices.

14-1 Acres International Limited


Electro-mechanical measuring relays were installed on the BCTC-managed transmission
system between 1950 and 1990, making them the oldest relays in service. However, at the
present time demographic records indicate that electro-mechanical relays still predominate.

b) Solid-State Relays
During the 1970s, the development of solid-state protective relays improved on the earlier
electro-mechanical types. With the exception of output contacts that may employ electro-
mechanical relays, solid-state relays have fewer moving parts than electro-mechanical relays.
However, they still have many analogue components (e.g., transistors, op-amps, electrolytic
capacitors, resistors, diodes). These relays do not employ digital signals or microprocessors.

During a period of rapid expansion between 1970 and 1990, mainly solid-state primary relays
were installed on the BCTC-managed system. As a result, the BCTC-managed transmission
system still has a large population of solid-state relays.

c) Microprocessor-Based Relays:
Microprocessor-based relays represent the most modern category of protective relays. They
perform their protective functions using software algorithms with the numerical processing
capabilities of high-speed microprocessor components such as Digital Signal Processor
(DSP) chips. This category of relays has much broader capabilities than electro-mechanical
or solid-state relays. Since 1990, all new protective measuring relays and protection logic
schemes and refurbishments on the BCTC-managed transmission system have been
microprocessor-based. As a result, the population of microprocessor-based relays on the
BCTC-managed transmission system is growing but remains limited.

Auxiliary Devices:
Auxiliary devices include auxiliary relays and timers. Generally, the following three
categories of auxiliary relays exist: (1) relays manufactured by ASEA and used in their
modern combi-flex case known as RX; (2) relays and timers manufactured by ASEA and
used in their original case known as RR; and (3) panel-mounted relays and timers that
include devices made by Westinghouse, General Electric, English Electric and other
manufacturers. Between 1930 and 1960, only panel-mounted relays were installed on the
BCTC-managed transmission system, and most of these were either RX or RR.

Miscellaneous Mounting and Connecting Equipment


Other miscellaneous mounting and connecting equipment includes steel panels or racks,
measuring and auxiliary relay cases, mounting hardware, terminal blocks, crimps, current
links, and fuses; AC current switches, DC blocking switches, AC wiring, DC wiring, and
panel interconnecting cables.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Remote Terminal Unit (RTU)
Equipment
SCADA RTUs used in the BCTC-managed system are predominantly older radio equipment
now considered obsolete. Since the early 1980s more modern equipment has been installed.

Acres International Limited 14-2


14.2 Asset Demographics
14.2.1 Demographics

The BCTC-managed transmission system has 2,891 protective relay systems that consist of
7,747 individual measuring relays. Table 14.2.1 shows the number of protective relay
systems installed for different voltage levels. Each primary and stand-by protection relay
scheme for a given protected asset is considered as a separate protective relay system.
Table 14.2.2 shows the same for the individual relay types. As shown in Table 14.2.2, most
(i.e., 4,183) of the relays are electro-mechanical. These demographics do not include
specialized protection and control relaying systems for HVDC, series capacitors, remedial
action schemes (RAS), or auto-reclosing, synchronism check and synchronism control relays.

Voltage Level Number of Systems


Below 25 kV 40
25 kV 10
60 kV 697
138 kV 549
230 kV 813
300 kV 15
360 DC kV 15
500 kV 496
Unknown 256
Total 2,891

Table 14.2.1 Relay System Demographics Grouped by Voltage

Voltage Digital Solid Electro-


Unknown Total
Level State mechanical
Below 25 kV 9 15 67 21 112
25 kV 0 7 28 8 43
60 kV 246 311 914 5 1,476
138 kV 170 308 855 15 1,348
230 kV 259 484 1,257 49 2,049
300 kV 0 2 64 11 77
360 DC kV 3 13 31 0 47
500 kV 74 768 816 458 2,116
Unknown 87 153 151 88 479
Total 848 2,061 4,183 655 7,747

Table 14.2.2 Relay Demographics Grouped by Voltage and Type

14-3 Acres International Limited


The BCTC-managed transmission system also has a total of 434 RTUs. As shown in
Table 14.2.3 most (i.e., 271) of these RTUs are of the older radio supervisory/telemetry type.

Function Radio Type RTUs Post 1980 RTUs Total


SCADA Control
271 163 434
Systems

Table 14.2.3 RTU Demographics Grouped by Type

14.3 Degradation Review and Health Index


14.3.1 Review of Life Expectancy and Failure Issues

Two techniques exist to determine the potential for failures in this asset class. The first
technique relies on generic and qualitative degradation indicators readily assessed through
visual inspections and testing. The second technique relies on converting recent quantitative
asset performance and failure data into in-service performance ratings.

Protection and control assets have significant differences from any other transmission assets
since conventional condition assessment techniques (i.e., based on physical inspections and
test results) often fail to predict end-of-life reliably for protection and control devices.
Reliable health and condition assessments for this asset class must consider the degree of
design or functional obsolescence, recorded mean time between failures, and the in-service
age of relays. Therefore, condition assessment techniques for this asset class combine results
of physical inspections, calibrations, and maintenance records with results of recent operating
performance, in-service age and degree of obsolescence.

Health and Condition Assessment of Protective Measuring Relays


Health and condition assessment methods for the three different categories of protective
measuring relays are described below:

a) Electro-mechanical Relays
Since relays depend on physical, electrical and magnetic properties of electrical and
mechanical components (e.g., rotating disks, springs, mechanical contacts, shading coils,
capacitors, inductors, and resistors), gradual changes in the properties of these components
directly affect relay operation. For example, any wear, corrosion or dust accumulation on
moving parts can increase friction and affect relay accuracy and calibration. Similarly, aging
of mechanical springs may cause changes in spring constants and affect relay accuracy and
calibration. Repeated making and breaking of electric current leads to deterioration of relay
output contacts and may lead to relay malfunction.

Acres International Limited 14-4


The phenomenon of silver migration occurs when silver-plating from the back of relay case
terminals is deposited on insulation between the terminals. Silver migration tends to occur in
locations with high levels of ambient air pollution. In extreme cases, severe silver deposits
can cause terminal shorting and require case replacement. However, it is a slow process that
typically takes 25 30 years to advance to this replacement point.

Visual inspections, calibrations and test results serve as key indicators of the health and
condition of electro-mechanical relays.

Visual inspections can detect the following types of defects:

Bent or worn contacts;


Silver migration on rear case of relay;
Frayed or cracked insulation on conductors within the device;
Weak connections and poor terminations;
Broken Flexitest switch jaws;
Dirty contacts;
Leaking capacitors;
General wear and tear;
Nameplate discoloration;
Peeling of labels;
Peeling of insulation wrapping and covering over coils;
Clouding of front dust cover; and
Dust accumulation.

Calibration and test record reviews can detect the following types of defects:

Loss of calibration;
Inability to calibrate the relay within the specified range;
Loosening of internal components from vibration;
Contact welding and pitting; and
Failure of internal components such as coils, magnets, resistors, capacitors.

b) Solid-State Relays:
Solid-state relay components are mounted on printed circuit boards. Common input card
failures result from overstressing electronic components due to over-current or over-voltage
sensing circuit conditions. Output contacts also may wear out and eventually fail. Power
supply card failures also may lead to relay failures.

Visual inspections, calibrations and test results serve as key indicators of the health and
condition of solid-state relays. Visual inspections can detect the following types of defects:

Leaking capacitors;
Dust accumulation;
Leaking batteries;

14-5 Acres International Limited


Signs of overheating;
Discoloration of nameplate;
Peeling of labels; and
Clouding of front dust cover.

Calibration and test record reviews can detect the following types of defects:

Inability to calibrate relay within the specified range;


Dirty, sticking or worn contacts;
PCB containing capacitors;
Damaged components on printed circuit boards; and
Defective printed circuit boards.

c) Microprocessor-Based Relays:
As described above, the key difference between microprocessor-based relays and
conventional solid-state relays is the use of software algorithms and numerical processing in
microprocessor-based relays. Aging processes and failure modes are more difficult to define
and predict for microprocessor-based relays than for the other two types of relays. However,
microprocessor-based relays often have self-diagnostic capabilities that can assist in
assessing their health.

Visual inspections and test results serve as key indicators of the health and condition of
microprocessor-based relays. Visual inspections can detect the following types of defects:

Discoloration of nameplate;
Peeling of labels; and
Dust accumulation.

Electrical tests can detect the following types of defects:

Defective printed circuit boards;


Damage from exposure of device to excessive transient over-voltage or over-current;
Faulty input measuring circuit components (metering checks); and
Faulty output trip and tele-protection signal circuit components (trip output tests).

Health and Condition Assessment of Tele-Protection Devices


Since tele-protection telecommunications equipment uses the same types of solid-s