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Working Group


April 2013



WORKING GROUP A2.36 Task Force 1

Replaces TB 156

Convenor: T. Breckenridge (UK)

Task Force Leader:

M. Lamb (USA)


N. Buthelezi (SA), A. Cancino (MX), L. Cornelissen (BE), E. de Groot (NL), M. Figura (PL), T. Fogelberg (SE), T.Gradnik (SI), AC Hall (UK), J. Lackey (CA), A. Manga (CA), A. Mjelve (NO), M. Oliva (SP), V. Podobnik (HR), S. Ryder (UK), K. Ryen (NO), C.Swinderman (USA), J.Velek (CZ), M. Zouiti (FR).

Copyright © 2013

“Ownership of a CIGRE publication, whether in paper form or on electronic support only

infers right of use for personal purposes. Unless explicitly agreed by CIGRE in writing, total or partial reproduction of the publication and/or transfer to a third party is prohibited

other than for personal use by CIGRE Individual Members or for use within CIGRE Collective Member organisations. Circulation on any intranet or other company network is forbidden for all persons. As an exception, CIGRE Collective Members only are

allowed to reproduce the publication”.

Disclaimer notice

CIGRÉ gives no warranty or assurance about the contents of this publication, nor does it accept any responsibility, as to the accuracy or exhaustiveness of the information. All implied warranties and conditions are excluded to the maximum extent permitted by


ISBN: 978-2-85873-222-7

WG A2-36


Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers


























Additional Requirements








Alternative offers




Transfer of liability/ownership







Some Examples






General Description of Network



Insulation Co-ordination




Method of System Earthing




Unusual Operating Conditions



Short-Circuit Withstand














Neutral Point Loading










Installation Details



Documentation Requirements






Additional Requirements



Details of Requirements for Interfacing with Other Equipment, or to Achieve


Interchangeability or Permit Parallel Operation



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS ............................................................................






Audible Sound






Oil pollution



Explosion or blast hazards



Fire hazards



Visual impact ...............................................................................................................




Seismic impact










Design for transport



Impact recorders





Transportation with or without oil









Handling and markings






WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers


Storage ........................................................................................................................




without oil



Storage with












Normal and Abnormal Operating Conditions



Gas and Oil Actuated relays






Geomagnetic Induced Current (GIC) Effects



Design Requirements



Flux density



Voltage regulation






Control detail .......................................................................................................











Handling facilities







Oil-tight Joints



Vacuum and pressure requirements







Circulating and eddy-currents



Access Openings



Conservator Tanks



Tank Earthing



Pressure relief



Insulating Fluid






Secondary Wiring and Control Cabinets






Tap Changers



Monitoring ...............................................................................................................















Quality Inspection and Test Plan (QITP)




Quality Inspection and Test Plan (Outline)













Final Quality File









Standards and testing specifications



Testing environment



Measurement accuracy ...............................................................................................



Tolerances ..................................................................................................................



Summary of tests



Routine tests




Type tests



Special tests



Additional tests






Test results and test reports




Site acceptance tests - erection tests



WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers


  • 13.9.1 ...............................................................................................................


Required tests

  • 13.9.2 .....................................................................................................


  • 13.9.3 Commissioning tests


  • 13.10 Energisation ............................................................................................................


Trial operation

  • 13.11 .........................................................................................................


Special tests

  • 13.12 ............................................................................................................


Site test reports

  • 13.13 .......................................................................................................


  • 14 LIST OF



  • 14.1 Guaranteed performances


  • 14.2 Other types of guarantee




  • 15.1 An Enquiry document should include the following details, where applicable:


  • 15.2 A

Tender should include:


  • 15.3 A manufacturer should provide the following documents as part of a Contract:






A - Loss evaluation, penalties, bonuses and rejection



WG A2-36


Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

CIGRÉ Technical Brochure 156 was first published under the auspices of CIGRÉ Study Committee 12 in 2000. This first revision of the original document has been prepared by CIGRÉ WG A2-36 “Transformer Procurement Process” and directly replaces Technical Brochure 156.

The original document was produced by Working Group 12.15 and published in April

  • 2000. The members of the original Working Group 12.15 were:

A. C. Hall (UK) Convener,

A. Alvarez (ES), S. Bhumiwat (TH), G. Cannavale (IT), A. Carlson (SE), V.M. Chornogotsky (UA), J. Elovaara (FI), G. Gomez (ES), A. Higgins (IR), J. Kulikowski (PL), R. De Lhorbe (CA), Z. Luspay (HU), T.L. Machado (BR), G. Moore (IR), K. Newman (UK), H.J. Klein Nibbelink (NL), J-O. Persson (SE), A Petersen (AU), J-F. Ravot (CH), Y Shafir (UE), C.M. Sharma (IN), V. Sokolov (UA), J-P. Taisne (FR), E. Troyan (UA), J-P. Uehlinger (CH).

This document is a general update from the existing CIGRÉ Technical Brochure 156 and introduces additional sections based on current market issues such as transportation. References to IEC standards have been updated to reflect the current documents many of which have be brought under the IEC 60076-X umbrella since the original publication date.

The title of the previous guide restricted the application to above 123 kV and above 100 MVA. The principles in this document are equally applicable at lower voltages and lower rated power where purchasers often require more support than larger user and so the limitations in the title have been removed to widen the scope of application.

This document has been prepared as an aid to purchasers and manufacturers of power transformers in the preparation of specifications for purchasing transformers. A typical guide has been produced under the headline of “transformer procurement process” and is one of a number of key steps in the process. A typical procurement process is shown in figure 1 and clearly shows where this guide fits into the whole procurement process with various quality factors other than just the cost.

It should be borne in mind when preparing transformer specifications that this document will determine all of the future operating characteristics of the unit and it is where many future problems in terms of reliability of the transformer ultimately begin. It is of vital importance for the specification to be correct in order that the manufacturer can deliver the transformer the purchaser really needs. The key word is communication and the specification is the foundation of the technical communication. Getting the specification right is the first step, and ensuring the requirements are communicated and understood by the manufacturer is also important, but that is where the design review comes into play. With the globalisation of the transformer market place since the original issue of this guide, specifications are often written in a language which is foreign to the potential manufacturer; therefore the purchaser needs to consider carefully the wording of the document. Complicated language can often be misinterpreted by a non-native speaker, so it is extremely important to try and use simple internationally understood language wherever possible.

The aim of the document is to highlight some of the important topics that should be considered for inclusion in an enquiry document. Wherever possible, guidance and other practical information about such topics is provided to explain their purpose and significance in transformer enquiries. Clearly it is not possible to address all the issues that may arise. Neither is the document in any way intended to be a complete and


WG A2-36

applicable specification.

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

It is strongly recommended that purchasers use recognised standards and application guides on which to base their specifications. This document refers principally to standards and guides published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), but other regional or national relevant standards and guides may be used. In addition, purchasers can refer to manufacturers and other specialist providers for assistance in preparing specifications. This can be especially important if the technical features of the required equipment are outside the purchaser’s previous scope and experience.

The format and content of technical specifications are not constant. They vary according to particular equipment needs and also to other factors such as purchasers purchasing, economic and operating policies as well as technology innovations by manufacturers and material suppliers. Significant changes are often necessary as the result of experience of previous purchases, either during manufacture or in service or both. In other words, it is both customary and necessary to review specifications often to ensure that they are up to date with purchaser’s requirements and obligations and able to utilise the best manufacturing and operating practices.

Purchasers should also remember that the constantly changing legislative and regulatory environment in which power system operators find themselves often requires changes in policy or solutions being purchased and this should be reflected in the specification.

Certain sections of this specification include a ‘Preface’. This is used solely to draw the purchaser’s attention to some particular aspects of the section or to explain its purpose. Additional information may also be obtained from application guides and codes of practice.

Because the document is advisory and not purchase or site specific, or intended for

use directly as a purchasing specification, words such as ‘should’, ‘may’ and ‘could’ are

used throughout the document. Purchasers should therefore, strengthen the wording

of appropriate clauses in their specifications by using words such as ‘shall’ and ‘must’ to indicate mandatory requirements”.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

Identify Prepare and Assess Tender Determine List of Pre Contract Transformer Issue Technical Issue Tender Returns
Prepare and
Assess Tender
Determine List of
Pre Contract
Issue Technical
Issue Tender
Place Contract
Design Review
Is Tenderer
Post Contract
Do Not Use
Assess Capability
Capable of
Clarification of
of Manufacturer
Any previous
Experiences of
On Going Factory On Site installation Post Contract End of Procurement Manufacturers Acceptance Shipping to Site
On Going
On Site installation
Post Contract
End of Procurement
Shipping to Site
Design Review
Concerns over
Continue to Use
Capability of
inspection and
Is Manufacturer
Capable of
Can issue be
resolved with
Terminate Contract

Figure 1 Example of a transformer procurement process


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers


    • 1.1 Scope

As a minimum the scope of a specification for a large transformer is meant to include design and development; procurement of components and materials; manufacturing;

and acceptance testing at the manufacturer’s works. Depending on the delivery terms,

the scope of a specification may be extended to include transport, in whole or in part; installation; commissioning, usually understood to include acceptance testing after installation and before first energisation; and warranty/service provision. In some cases the scope of a specification may be further extended to include provision of spares components or maintenance equipment.

  • 1.2 Standards

As was noted in the Foreword to this guide, it is strongly recommended that purchasers use Standards as the basis for specifications. These may include international standards and national standards, such as IEC and ISO standards. In any case, the purchaser needs to consider suitability of particular Standards or even the applicable revision of a Standard for the specific application.

Power transformers should comply with the requirements of the specification and the standards listed therein, for instance such as those listed below:

IEC 60044

Current transformers

IEC 60050

International Electrotechnical Vocabulary

IEC 60050(421) International Electrotechnical Vocabulary - Chapter 421: Power

IEC 60060

transformers and reactors High Voltage test techniques

IEC 60060-1

General definitions and test requirements

IEC 60060-2

Measuring systems

IEC 60071-1

Insulation coordination - Part 1: Definitions, principles and rules

IEC 60071-2

Insulation coordination - Part 2: Application guide

IEC 60076-1

Power transformers - Part 1: General

IEC 60076-2

Power transformers - Part 2: Temperature Rise for liquid-immersed transformers

IEC 60076-3

Power transformers - Part 3: Insulation levels, dielectric tests and external clearances in air

IEC 60076-4

Power transformers - Part 4: Guide to the lightning impulse and switching impulse testing - Power transformers and reactors

IEC 60076-5

Power transformers - Part 5: Ability to Withstand Short-circuits

IEC 60076-6

Power transformers - Part 6: Reactors

IEC 60076-7

Power transformers - Part 7: Loading guide for oil-immersed power transformers

IEC 60076-8

Power transformers Part 8: Application Guide

IEC 60076-10

Power transformers Part 10: Determination of sound levels

IEC 60076-18

Power transformers Part 18: Measurement of frequency response


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

IEC 60137

Bushings for Alternating Voltages above 1000V

IEC 60214-1

Tap-changers - Part 1: Performance requirements and test methods

IEC 60214-2

Tap-changers - Part 2: Application Guide

IEC 60270

High-voltage test techniques - Partial discharge measurements

IEC 60296

Fluids for electrotechnical applications - Unused mineral insulating oils for transformers and switchgear

IEC 60422

Mineral Insulating Oil in Electrical Equipment Supervision and Maintenance Guide

IEC 60529

Degrees of Protection provided by Enclosures (IP Code)

IEC 60567

Oil-filled electrical equipment - Sampling of gases and analysis of free and dissolved gases - Guidance

ISO 8501-1

Preparation of steel substrates before application of paints and related products visual assessment of surface cleanliness

ISO 9001

Quality management systems requirements

ISO 12944-2

Paints and varnishes corrosion protection of steel structure by protective paint systems classification of environments

ISO 14001

Environmental systems requirements, with guidance for use

ISO 19011

Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing

The standard should be the most up-to-date published version available when a tender is submitted. The latest version of IEC standards can be obtained from the IEC website ( Purchasers should also consider looking at other websites, e.g. national standards, ISO, etc.

In the event of conflict between the requirements in a specification and those of the specified standards, the usual practice is that the specification should prevail.

The following order is recommended, but the purchaser needs to re-confirm their own order:

Particular technical specification/technical data sheet

General technical specification

International standards (e.g. IEC)

National standards (e.g. NBN, BS EN, DIN EN etc.)


For the purpose of this guide specification, the definitions listed in IEC 60050(IEV) and other relevant IEC standards have been used.

Additional more specific transformer terms, or terms used by purchasers that may not be generally understood, or are not already covered by existing standards, should be defined in this section.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers



In this section, the Purchaser should give a brief but a clear statement about the equipment, the components to be supplied and the limits of contractual responsibility that are to exist between the manufacturer and purchaser, in order that no misunderstanding about respective liabilities can occur.

  • 3.1 General

The supply of a transformer comprises the design, manufacture, quality assurance and testing at the manufacturers works and depending on the contract, transport, complete erection, commissioning, and setting to work at a site.














terminations, cooling facilities, fittings and the systems and equipment for oil

preservation, tap changing, protection, control and monitoring, and any other component necessary for the proper operation of the power transformer.

  • 3.2 Additional Requirements

The extent of supply may also include other additional requirements such as,

making route surveys and obtaining any permits, licences and statutory authority approval

alterations to existing routes to permit passage of the transformer

any additional auxiliary equipment or facilities

transport to site

site commissioning tests and inspections

site civil works, in particular transformer foundations, oil containment, fire and blast containment

noise reduction measures

the supply and commissioning of secondary equipment.

warranties and service agreements

tools, spare components and maintenance procedures

documents, operating instructions and maintenance procedures

safety training of personnel to work on site

working language of all documents provided under the contract

  • 3.3 Exclusions

In an enquiry, the purchaser should state any aspects of transformer engineering, installation or operation that will not be acceptable.

Equally, the manufacturer should state any aspects of the purchaser’s specification

that will not be complied with.

  • 3.4 Alternative offers

The purchaser may request offers based upon alternative means of obtaining the required extent of supply, or describe the extent of supply required in a manner that will


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

permit a manufacturer to interpret what is required and submit alternative solutions and offers. Alternatively, the manufacturer may tender alternative offers, which may only be accepted in writing by the purchaser.

  • 3.5 Transfer of liability/ownership

The purchaser should consider special issues of transformer ownership, condition verification, and liability during transformer transportation between the factory and the site. Refer to Section 9 - Transport of this document.



It is of utmost importance for the purchaser to state the purpose of the equipment and how it is to be used (see 4.1)

A ‘Purpose of the Equipment’ statement is particularly important if the transformer is to be used for an unconventional or select application such as for example, for rectification, arc furnace, railway supply, heavy duty motor applications, use with solid state power electronics equipment, or installed within a sound mitigation house or not.

The purchaser or manufacturer should resolve any doubts about the purpose of the transformer preferably before the enquiry is issued but certainly before a contract.

  • 4.1 Some Examples

“The autotransformers referred to in this specification will be installed at XXX transmission substation”, placed within a sound mitigation enclosure, and rated for both step-up and step-down operations”

“The transformers referred to in this specification will be installed at XXX

wind farm for connection to 3.6MW wind turbine generators and used wind turbine step-up transformers ”

“The transformers referred to in this specification will be installed at XXX

railway trackside substation to supply directly the YYY railway track overhead (or underground as appropriate) electrical power supply system.

The transformers referred to in this specification will be installed at the XXX foundry and used to supply individually and directly open hearth electric arc furnaces.

“The transformers referred to in this specification will be installed in the indoor substation at the offices of XXX Co Ltd, address details, and used for mixed non-industrial loads including a 100% secure demand supply to a 3MVA mainframe computer installation.


    • 5.1 General Description of Network

It is often helpful for the purchaser to give some background information concerning system operating conditions where the transformer will be installed. Purchasers should try to strike the correct balance between omitting potentially important


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

information and providing large amounts of information of little interest or use to the manufacturer, which cause confusion as to their actual requirements.

A single-line diagram of the installation is often particularly helpful in giving general information. It can also be referred to in providing other useful system information.

  • 5.2 Insulation Co-ordination

Procedures for insulation co-ordination are described in detail in IEC standards 60071- 1 and 60071-2. Use of these procedures to determine suitable insulation levels for the transformer is usually considered to be the responsibility of the purchaser. In practice, insulation levels are usually pre-determined by an Industry or National Standard. Purchasers may wish to refer to the network operator(s) for guidance.

Determination of suitable insulation levels should also be made with reference to IEC standard 60076-3, which describes which tests are applicable to transformers of which voltage class. Purchasers have a number of choices with regard to the applicability of testing, notably whether a chopped wave lightning impulse test is required and whether a switching impulse test or a short-duration ac induced voltage is required. Any such requirements should be clearly stated in the specification.

For certain tests, there are a number of different methods allowed by IEC standard 60076-3. Where users have a requirement for a test to be performed in a certain way, e.g. long-duration ac induced voltage test with three-phase excitation and the neutral earthed, this should be stated in the specification.

  • 5.2.1 Method of System Earthing

Purchasers should provide information in the enquiry document as to the method of system earthing on the power system to which the transformer will be connected, e.g. star point earthed, earthing transformer for unearthed systems etc. In addition the purchaser should state whether the earth point is solidly connected to earth, or via some form of earthing resistance or inductance. Where impedance earthing is used the purchaser should state the value of the impedance to be installed to restrict fault current.

  • 5.2.2 Unusual Operating Conditions

Energisation imposes both electrical and mechanical transients on large transformers. Certain applications involve frequent energisation, e.g. arc furnace supply, generator transformers in pumped-stored schemes, and shunt reactors. This may require special design considerations, especially if the transformer is directly connected to gas- insulated switchgear or if it is to be energised from the LV side. The specification should give information on the expected frequency of energisations, and on the method of energisation.

  • 5.3 Short-Circuit Withstand

Clause 3.1 of IEC standard 60076-5 requires that:

Transformers together with all equipment and accessories shall be designed and constructed to withstand without damage the thermal and dynamic effects of external short circuits ...

External short circuits are not restricted to three-phase short circuits; they include line- to-line, double-earth and line-to-earth faults.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

To meet the requirements of this standard, purchasers must provide sufficient information about the power system parameters to enable a transformer designer to calculate the steady-state short-circuit currents using the method of symmetrical components. In practice this means specifying, for each system to which the transformer is to be connected, the positive-, negative-, and zero-sequence impedances. The positive sequence impedance is usually given as the short-circuit apparent power of the system (in MVA). It is equally possible to specify a maximum short-circuit current (in kA), which is often the breaking capacity of the switchgear to which the transformer will be connected. The positive and negative sequence impedances of transmission networks are usually assumed to be equal. The positive and zero sequence impedances of transmission networks are not equal, and the zero sequence impedance is usually given as the ratio of zero sequence impedance to positive sequence impedance. For overhead transmission lines the ratio of zero sequence impedance to positive sequence impedance is typically 3-4, although is often assumed to be rather less.

Some users consider it best to assume the effect of the system impedance in limiting short-circuit currents is negligible, i.e. that the transformer is connected to an infinite busbar.

To meet the requirements of the standard, purchasers must also include sufficient information to calculate dynamic short-circuit currents. In practice, this means specifying the ratio of reactance to resistance for each system to which the transformer is to be connected. Note that the ratio of reactance to resistance for large transformers is typically very high, and the effect of the system is usually to reduce the ratio of reactance to resistance.

Certain purchasers consider it best to make the pessimistic assumptions that the effect of the system on the ratio of reactance to resistance is negligible. Other purchasers

consider it best to make the more pessimistic assumption that the ratio of reactance to resistance is infinite. From this it follows that the ratio of dynamic to static short-circuit

current is 2√2.

Further guidance may be found in power systems text books, e.g. “Short-Circuit Duty of Power Transformers”, by Giorgio Bertagnolli and published by ABB.

Unusual Operating Conditions

Certain specialised applications involve unusually frequent or unusually severe short- circuits, e.g. arc furnace supply (directly or indirectly). Transformers operating on certain networks may also be exposed to unusually frequent or unusually severe short- circuits. These applications may require special design considerations. The specification should give information on the expected frequency of short-circuits and if necessary their expected duration and severity.

5.4 Over-Excitation

Over-excitation under steady-state or transient conditions can cause damage to transformer cores and the associated insulation and supporting structures. Transformers specified in accordance with IEC standard 60076-1 have only a limited tolerance of over-excitation (10% at no load, 5% at full load). Large transformers are frequently subject to more severe over-excitation.

Over-excitation can arise owing to operation at:

Below rated frequency


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

Above rated secondary voltage, either as a result of a high network voltage or

a low load power factor

Note that certain applications impose severe over-excitation requirements, e.g.

generator transformers which are also used for synchronous compensation and SVC


A typical requirement for large transformers is as follows (taken from IEEE standard


Transformers shall be capable of:

  • a) Operating continuously above rated voltage or below rated frequency, at maximum

rated kVA for any tap, without exceeding the limits of observable temperature rise [ ] ...

when all of the following conditions prevail:

1) Secondary voltage and volts per hertz do not exceed 105% of rated values.

2) Load power factor is 80% or higher.

3) Frequency is at least 95% of rated value.

  • b) Operating continuously above rated voltage or below rated frequency, on any tap at

no load, without exceeding limits of observable temperature rise [



when neither the

voltage nor volts per hertz exceed 110% of rated values.

  • 5.5 DC Magnetisation

Under certain operating conditions, dc currents may flow through transformer windings

causing asymmetrical magnetisation of the core and possible saturation. Rectifier

transformers of all kinds, including HVDC transformers, may be exposed to dc

currents. Trackside transformers may also be exposed, especially during severe

winter weather conditions. Quasi-dc currents may flow in power systems owing to

solar activity (geo-magnetically induced currents), exposing generator and network

transformers to the risk of dc magnetisation.

According to IEC standard 60076-1, any requirement for tolerance of dc currents is

unusual and the requirement should be stated in the specification. The specification

should state the maximum expected dc current and duration, and any requirements

concerning noise or reactive power absorption whilst exposed to the maximum

expected dc current. In practice, it may be difficult to assess conformity with any such

requirements through design review or test.

  • 5.6 Harmonics

Transformers specified in accordance with IEC standard 60076-1 have only a limited

tolerance of harmonics in the load current (5% total harmonic content, including 1%

even harmonic content). Where these requirements are exceeded, transformers

should instead be specified in accordance with IEC standards 61378-1 and -3

(industrial applications) or IEC standards 61378-2 and -3 (HVDC applications).

  • 5.7 Loading

Transformers specified in accordance with IEC standard 60076-1 are usually also

specified as being capable of loading in accordance with IEC standard 60076-7. This

may not be appropriate in all cases, e.g. transformers directly connected to semi-

conductor convertors which have a lower over-load capacity than a transformer

specified in accordance with IEC standard 60076-7. Note that IEC standard 60076-7


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

does not apply to arc furnace transformers.

In the case of generator transformers, the active power the prime mover is capable of

supplying may vary ambient temperature. Certain users consider it best to include the

capability curve of the prime mover in the specification.

  • 5.8 Neutral Point Loading

Unbalanced loading or neutral point loading is unusual for large transformers. If there

is any requirement for unbalanced loading or neutral point loading, then this should be

included in the specification. Note that certain winding arrangements are incompatible

with neutral point loading owing to high zero-sequence impedance. For further

guidance, see IEC standard 60076-8.


IEC 60076-1 contains details of the general site conditions under which transformers

are expected to operate.

For the purposes of a contract, purchasers are advised to provide additional

information detailing the conditions at the site where a transformer is to be installed or

at other sites where it may be subsequently installed, including for example, details of

transport routes, site access, the layout of the site and any site limitations or


In addition, the purchaser shall specify any unusual site conditions, such as high

altitude, environmental contamination, high or low ambient temperatures.



The purchaser should state all the general or specific details that the manufacturer is

contractually required to comply with, in this part of the specification.

  • 7.1 Installation Details

This should include details of:

arrangement of the contract works at site or method of supply

the environmental conditions and requirements for the installation and it’s


  • 7.2 Documentation Requirements

The documentation requirements differ among purchasers. The purchaser should be

well aware of any internal needs for documents. In case of confidential documents, the

manufacturer will probably refuse to make these available to the purchaser. In such a

case, it can be agreed to have these documents readily available for (re)viewing at the

premises of the manufacturer.

Below is




documents a purchaser can

considered confidential:

request, which may at times be

drawings detailing overall and individual major component dimensions and


WG A2-36


Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

drawings, photographs and other records detailing the transformer internal

arrangements and parts

permits and licences verifying approval and details of a transport route to

site, including identification and description of the most difficult parts of the


calculations (refer to design review guide)

  • 7.3 Details of Additional Requirements

power supply available for auxiliary equipment

transport gauge profiles

method of line, neutral and earthing connections

  • 7.4 Details of Requirements for Interfacing with Other Equipment, or to Achieve Interchangeability or Permit Parallel Operation

bushing electrical connection points

bushing securing flange diameter

bushing flange details: number and size of securing bolt holes, bolt hole

diameter and pitch circle diameter

insulation levels (BIL)

connection design, cable bushing

size of winding connections to accommodate the different lengths of

standardised bushing fittings and maintain a minimum gap to earth

details of any current transformers mounted within or external to the

bushings or bushing turrets, including tolerances and definition of tolerances

to facilitate work by other manufacturers

other fittings, e.g., gas and oil actuated relays, cooling pumps, valves, etc.

for parallel operation, details of the existing transformers including no-load

voltage per tap step, number of tapping steps and percentage step, the

tapping step numbers, impedance voltages per tap position, vector group

details; please refer IEC 60076-1 for additional details.



The requirements specified in this section relate to the care for the environment and

include any special conditions and precautions that have to be incorporated in the

design, manufacture and operation of the transformer to comply with such

environmental considerations. Some of these considerations may be of legal nature.

  • 8.1 General

The principal considerations are:

audible sound


oil pollution


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

fire hazard and risk of producing contaminants or other unacceptable by-


blast hazards

visual impact

seismic risk

Control or avoidance of

oil pollution,


and blast



largely a


engineering matter but the effects can be mitigated by attention to transformer design.

These considerations apply to both new and existing installations and are largely site

specific, but other purchaser or statutory requirements may also apply. Consequently,

there are responsibilities on both purchaser and manufacturer to ensure that the site

conditions are properly assessed and the requirements and responsibilities clearly

defined and fulfilled.

  • 8.2 Audible Sound

Low sound power levels in the vicinity of substations are an increasing environmental

requirement. The purchaser should state in the specification the maximum permissible

sound power and/or pressure level allowed for the transformer and the method of

measurement (e.g. IEC 60076-10). The specification should also state any contractual

liabilities that will ensue in the event of exceeding the specified sound power and/or

pressure/intensity level during the factory acceptance tests.

Sound panels and sound houses have been useful in helping to reduce sound

pressure levels. It is important that the transformer design considers these sound

mitigating options to ensure that they will not adversely affect the thermal and dielectric

performance of the transformer.

  • 8.3 Losses

The provision of the financial value per kW (unit cost / kW) of no-load and load losses

forms an essential part of a transformer specification. Without this information and

without any guidance from a purchaser of the transformer loading regime or the system

operating costs, a tenderer will very likely offer a tender which has the lowest purchase

price, but may not necessarily provide for the lowest total lifetime cost of ownership.

The better alternative is for the purchaser to provide information that will permit a

tenderer to optimise his designs. This is done by the purchaser calculating the cost of

the no-load and load losses that will arise under the intended transformer operating

regimes, together with projections of service life, load growth, interest rates etc., and

stating them in the specification. In most cases, by providing the cost of losses in this

manner, a purchaser can avoid the risk of disclosure of confidential information and the

submission of a multiplicity of offers. It also allows each tenderer to focus on

submitting the most efficient design possible within the limits of those economic loss

values and on reducing his tendering costs.

There is more specific information relating to loss evaluation, penalties, bonuses, and

rejection provided within Appendix A in this specification.

Loss guarantees

Typically, the purchaser requests the manufacturer to provide the following loss

guarantees in the tender:

no-load losses measured on the principal tapping at 100% rated voltage, or


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

as specified by the purchaser

load losses at reference temperature at principal tap position and rated

power between windings, or as specified by the purchaser

cooling equipment losses (kW)

  • 8.4 Oil pollution

Joints between oil containing parts of the equipment should be leak tight under all

circumstances. Gasket joints should be designed to avoid deterioration of the gasket

due to oil or excess strain.

The probability of an oil spill occurring within a substation is typically very low.

However some substations, for example due their proximity to waterways, have a

higher risk for discharging harmful quantities of oil into the environment. The

purchaser may consider the application of natural or synthetic ester fluids, since they

are less harmful to the environment.

  • 8.5 Explosion or blast hazards

The probability of a transformer exploding is even smaller than a transformer catching

fire. In the unlikely case, however, the explosion or blast hazard can at best be

mitigated to some extent by fitting adequate pressure relief devices to the principal oil

containing components at greatest risk, such as the main tank and tap changer

diverter, together with means to control the diffusion of oil when they operate.

However, in some cases, the rate-of-rise of pressure can be so rapid that relief devices

cannot prevent tank rupture.

Oil impregnated paper (OIP) bushings fitted with porcelain insulation may fail

explosively creating a potential for damage to persons or property. Modern equivalent

bushings of the epoxy resin impregnated paper type are now widely used, particularly

with silicon rubber or other composite type insulators. The application of these

alternative bushing designs greatly reduce the risk of explosion due to bushing failure.

If the risk of explosion is a major issue on the specific site, the application of solutions

such as ester fluids does not relieve the problem. Possible solutions that need to be

considered include installation of the transformer in underground bunkers or in blast

proof above ground housings. If neither of these solutions is possible then the

purchaser may need to consider the use of SF 6 gas insulated transformers.

Other additional means may need to be provided to mitigate the consequences.

  • 8.6 Fire hazards

Routine monitoring, maintenance, testing, and good asset health assessment

programs can greatly help to prevent internal transformer faults, which in turn helps to

prevent fires from occurring. The consequences of a transformer fire can be reduced

by using fire protective walls and/or water deluge or gas blanketing protection systems,

but these facilities are not always readily available or feasible at all sites. Fire risk

might be reduced by considering natural or synthetic ester fluids, since they have

higher flash points as compared to typical petroleum based fluids, as long as the

transformer designs can accept their use. Ester fluids also self extinguish when the

ignition source is removed whereas petroleum based fluids do not.

Considerable quantities of water may be required as well as oil-water separators and

storage facilities for the effluent.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

Consideration should be given during the transformer and site design stages to provide

the best means to cope with a transformer fire or explosion. In the case of fire, it is

very important that the fire is contained and quenched as quickly as possible. In the

absence of deluge techniques, this is often best achieved by electrical isolation of the

transformer and, if conditions allow, applying water directly through a remote entry

point in the oil system, or by gas blanketing.

Reference is also given for further information in a new CIGRÉ technical brochure

“Transformer Fire Safety Practices”, which is under preparation by CIGRÉ WG A2-33

with planned publication during 2013.

  • 8.7 Visual impact

The visual impact of a transformer installation may be reduced by screening, height

reduction, choice of finishing colour and in general, by attaining tidy surfaces and clean

aesthetic lines. The purchaser should state any requirements in the enquiry. One

should pay attention that any screening does not interfere with the cooling of the


  • 8.8 Seismic impact

Where the transformer is intended for operation in an area of known seismic volatility,

the specification should state this and indicate the degree of severity of any seismic

shock which needs to be contained.




The available means of transport between a manufacturer’s works and site should be

pre-planned and stated by the party who will be responsible for the transport (either

purchaser or transformer manufacturer) and agreed upon between the parties involved

before the contract is signed. In any case the local requirements near to and at the

site of assembly should be specified and stated by the purchaser.

Additional provisions may also have to be included to permit subsequent transportation

to other sites. Any statutory requirements governing transformer movement, and that

of any associated loose equipment including oil, should also be clearly stated in the


In some cases, transport may be more effectively achieved by adopting a particular

transformer design and construction, e.g. in the case of three phase transformers, for

instance by adopting a 3 x single-phase type of construction. Alternatively, built-on-site

design and construction techniques may be used.

It is advisable to define the costs, risks, and responsibilities for transport of

transformers between purchaser and manufacturer by using international regulations

like the Incoterms. The current version of this is Incoterms 2010. The codes used are

listed below.

Incoterms 2010 rules for any mode or modes of transport:


Ex Works


Free Carrier


Carriage Paid To


Carriage and Insurance Paid to


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers


Delivered At Terminal


Delivered At Place


Delivered Duty Paid

If both parties want the manufacturer to deliver the transformer at the purchaser site of

assembly, loaded or unloaded, without or with customs activities performed and duties

paid, DAP or DDP should be used respectively. (Note that unloading on site and

placing in the cell of assembly is not included in either DAP or DDP and must be

specified or agreed upon in the contract)

Incoterms 2010 rules for marine and waterway transport:


Free Alongside Ship


Free On Board


Cost and Freight


Cost Insurance and Freight

For full details see Incoterms 2010 published by International Chamber of Commerce


Reference is also given for further information in a new CIGRÉ Technical Brochure

“Guide on Transformer Transportation”, which is under preparation by CIGRÉ WG A2-

42, autumn 2012, and with planned publication during 2013.

  • 9.1 General

In the enquiry, the purchaser should state the maximum transport dimensions and

weights permissible by road, rail or water, in addition to the requirements at the site of


Responsibility for the load profile for each transport mode, transport route to site, the

means of transport, any necessary route alteration, modification or refurbishment,

statutory approval or licences, shipping reservations and documentation or any other

requirement concerning the delivery of the contract works to site should be agreed

between purchaser and manufacturer before a contract, if not specified in the enquiry

by the purchaser.

  • 9.2 Design for transport

The Transformer with its active part (windings, core, framework, clamping

arrangements and general structure) and tap changer must be of robust design and

safeguarded for transportation, capable of withstanding any shock (and duration of

shock) to which it may be subjected to during transport, taking all planned transport

modes into consideration. Necessary mechanical withstand capability has to be built

into the design without any in-tank temporary bracings / supports / reinforcements.

It is required to give information about the peak impacts which will be used in the

design of the transformer to withstand transport impacts. These values are requested

to be filled in the table below.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers


Outside tank

Inside tank




Max g-forces used for the

(cont. or











Impact recorders

During transport, at least one 3D - accelerometer impact recorder with measurements

in X, Y and Z axis (both plus and minus directions) should be used. The impact

recorder(s) should have the possibility to measure acceleration events with 3D curve in

the range of 1024ms or more. The number of such stored events must be sufficient for

the transport. Acceleration range should be adjustable up to 10g with a frequency

range of 1-100Hz. In addition the impact recorder should also be able to register both

dynamic inclination curves and time-synchronous inclination events.

In case of transportation without oil one impact recorder should also be fixed to the

active part during the transportation and one outside the tank. A master-slave

connected system could be of value as events inside and outside the tank will be time





the impact recorders should be bolted rigidly to the transformer tank (or


active part).


impact recorders on the transformer tank should be mounted at or near the


location where the transformer is supported by the transport vehicle.


in most cases: the bottom plate of the transformer.


girder trailers: near or at the supporting brackets of the transformer.


the mounting location inside the tank is dictated by accessibility, i.e. near a


manhole or cover of bushing turret. Fixing to the core and coil clamping

system is a good option.


the mounting orientation is irrelevant as long as the axis of the impact


recorder align with the axis of the transformer.


the mounting location should be rigid, preferably near the corner of three


intersecting surfaces, i.e. bottom plate near a stiffener and the tank wall.


Transportation with or without oil

If the transformer is transported without oil, provision should be made to prevent the

ingress of moisture and to maintain the internal insulation in first-class condition. In

addition the transformer should be filled with breathable dry air and maintained at a

continuous positive pressure. The use of nitrogen is possible but is not preferred on

the grounds of safety. The air pressure and dew-point should be monitored

continuously throughout the period immediately after the oil is removed until the

transformer is refilled with oil at site. At all times alternative standby means should be

provided to restore any loss of air pressure immediately.

The dew point of the dry air should be measured and recorded to ensure it is below -40


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

°C. The dew point should be checked again within 24 hours of the oil having been

removed and the transformer dry air filled, the measurements being recorded in the

test report and on the shipping tag. If the dew point readings indicate an average

moisture level at the surface of the transformer insulation is higher than 0.5%, the

manufacturer must dry the transformer.

The maximum acceptable dew point shall also be indicated on the shipping tag. The

dew point of the shipping gas shall be recorded along with the pressure and

temperature of the shipping gas at the time of the dew point measurement. This

information shall be recorded on the test report, the shipping documents and on a tag

at the location of the dew point measurement.

All tubing, valves, cable connections, and fittings attached to the payload should be

adequately protected to minimise risk of damage during loading, transport and


  • 9.5 Loose equipment

Other transformer equipment such as bushings, cooling equipment, tap changers,

power, and control and regulation cabinets may be shipped disassembled, and

transported and secured in accordance with the manufacturer’s shipment and storage

guidelines and precautions. Where necessary, airtight seals or covers should be used.

Parts such as instruments, cabinets, terminal boxes that are mounted on the main tank

should be attached by means of anti-vibration mountings, and be protected with

covering/enclosure to prevent physical damage during transport.

  • 9.6 Inventory

Each individual component or part should be properly prepared for despatch, itemised

and labelled. Each item should be named, coded and identified by make or

manufacture, size, type, drawing number or part number and recorded in a transport

inventory that should form part of the contract documentation.

  • 9.7 Handling and markings

To facilitate handling, the longitudinal and transverse axes and centre of gravity for

transport of the main indivisible unit and any other parts as may be required to conform

to regulations, should be clearly marked. The axes of the transformer main unit should

also be permanently marked on the four sides.

The transformer must also be equipped with necessary and well functional bracing

locations and brackets for securing the transformer to the transporter (rail-car, truck

flat-bed, girder-trailer, ship, barge and airplane). In addition to lifting brackets, jacking

pads and haulage points for use at load breaks during the shipment and final assembly

should be provided. All these appliances must be dimensioned and labelled for the

intended purpose. In addition, these should be shown on the transport layout drawing

for the transformer with allowable load and minimum sling angle for lifting purposes.

All other items arranged for transport must also have their lifting and haulage points

and a safe working load (SWL) clearly marked at all stages of delivery and erection.

  • 9.8 Documentation

The manufacturer










documentation which fully describes the transport arrangements and specifies all the


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

instructions and requirements necessary to ensure that the transformer and all its

equipment will be delivered to site properly and with any necessary and statutory


A transport outline drawing must include:

dimensions, weight and centre of gravity for transport of the transformer.

the shipping centre of gravity should be shown on all four sides.

details of transformer base showing acceptable jacking, blocking and

skidding/sliding locations, as well as locations that are not acceptable for

these purposes. These acceptable locations must be marked on the

transformer with symbols or notification as to their purpose.

the location of lifting and pulling eyes, jacking steps and bearing surfaces for

moving the transformer by sliding or use of rollers.

acceptable means of securing the transformer to the carrier for all modes of

expected shipment.

size, position and height above foundation of the jacking steps.

maximum sling angle from vertical when lifting main tank.

any special lifting requirements including the use of spreaders or special

slinging equipment shall be shown on the drawings.

special precautions when moving the transformer.

if transported with oil, the oil level suitable for shipping the transformer.

the transport outline drawing must accompany the transformer during

shipment and be readily available to those handling the transformer during


9.9 Storage

Transformers may require to be stored for short and long periods of time, but as a rule

of thumb they should not be stored for more than 6 months without oil. It is not

necessary for the radiators and bushings to be installed on the transformer during the

storage period, but they need to be properly stored as recommended by the

manufacturers and transformer manufacturer. Special bushings installed within the

blank-out plates of the bushings are recommended which will accommodate low

voltage testing during the storage period to confirm the condition of the transformer.

The transformer bushings (if installed) or special test bushings should be properly


It is important that all blanking plates and covers are designed for long-term outdoor

storage and have a surface treatment that prevents corrosion during the storage


Heaters within all control cubicles should remain energised during the storage period to

help prevent condensation from corroding electrical components.

  • 9.10 Storage without oil

Storage without oil should, as a general rule, only be used for shorter term storage (up

to 6 months), i.e. during breaks in transport operations or shorter storage pending a

site of assembly is finished. Longer storage (more than 6 months) should be avoided

because of the danger of cavities in the solid insulation developing, which might be

difficult and even impossible to remove with vacuum treatment before oil filling.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

When stored without oil, provisions should be made to prevent the ingress of moisture

and to maintain the internal insulation systems within the transformer in first-class

condition. In addition the transformer should be filled with breathable dry air and

maintained at a continuous positive pressure of 14 kPa for instance and with a dew point

below -40 °C. The air pressure and dew-point must be monitored continuously

throughout the period of storage. In addition the unit should be subject to regular

inspection during the storage period. At all times an alternative standby means of

restoring any loss of air pressure immediately should be provided.

Following an extended storage period with air, it is recommended that an extended

vacuum process be performed prior to the final oil fill.

  • 9.11 Storage with oil

Storage with oil is suitable for long term storage of transformers. The storage site must

be equipped with an oil retention system to handle a volume large enough to pick-up the

full content of oil in the stored transformer. The pressure equalisation system for the

main tank and tap changer(s) (i.e. for instance a conservator) should be installed and

filled with a sufficient amount of oil to allow for normal oil level variation caused by the

changes in ambient temperature. In addition, any dehydrating breather(s) must be


The oil level within the main tank and tap changer should be routinely inspected to

ensure proper filling. The best practice is to remotely monitor the oil levels by activating



Purchaser specifications may include details of health and safety requirements at the

installation. Possible requirements might include:

languages to be used on site

limitations on working hours

compulsory safety training for workers and supervisors

details of local safety regulations likely to affect the installation and

commissioning of the transformer. These may be consolidated into an

appendix to the specification, or a separate document where they would apply

equally to the installation and commissioning of other types of equipment.

Typically the specification will include the requirement for the manufacturer to provide a

draft work plan (“method statement and risk assessment”) for the installation of the

transformer. This then allows the user to check which activities may be subject to local

safety regulations. This also allows the user to check which activities may affect normal

operation or other work at site.

Less typically, purchaser specifications may include details of health and safety

requirements at the manufacturer’s works. One possible approach would be to ask for

certification to OHSAS 18000. Another would be to ask for documents on health and

safety, e.g. health and safety policy, independent health and safety adviser’s report,

details of accidents reported to the lawful authorities.

A more conventional approach would be to make an assessment of the manufacturer’s

works, in accordance with the guidelines in CIGRÉ TB 530, Guide for Conducting Factory

Capability Assessments for Power Transformers.

WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers



The IEC standards include detailed requirements that affect the design and

manufacture of transformers depending upon their rating, voltage and application.

Often, however, there are other additional local or regional technical requirements that

need to be included in a specification, as well as requirements which arise from the

purchaser's previous experience.

Therefore, in this section, the purchaser should state any technical requirements

different from or not contained in the IEC standards or other listed standards. Any

additional technical information that will assist a manufacturer to optimise the design

and manufacture of the transformer should also be provided by the purchaser.

It is important to remember that the purpose of a specification is not solely to describe

what is wanted but also, to state what is not wanted. The latter often result from the

purchasers’ previous experience. Equally, the manufacturers' experience can also

complement the purchaser’s specification. Therefore the opportunity exists during the

tender stage for exchanges of further information between the purchaser and the

manufacturer by means of formalised design reviews and consultations.

  • 11.1 General

Transformers should conform to the standards listed in the specification. Please see

1.2 above for recommended list of standards.

Where the purchaser has a distinct preference for either a core type or shell form

transformer this must be clearly stated in the specification.

  • 11.2 Normal and Abnormal Operating Conditions

The following should be specified:

  • 11.2.1 Gas and Oil Actuated relays

Gas and oil actuated relays, used to indicate presence of accumulated gas or sudden

oil movements, should not operate inadvertently when any combination of pumps start

up and run, or in the event of loss or restoration of the auxiliary supply.

  • 11.2.2 Overloads

It is only necessary to specify overload requirements in detail where they are in excess

of what is listed in IEC standard 60076-7. It would be as well to state this directly.

Where more onerous requirements are specified, the following information should be

included as a minimum:

Preload (and duration)

Overload (and duration)

Ambient temperature

Maximum allowable temperatures during overload

Method of test or verification

In case of partial loss of cooling equipment, similar considerations will apply.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

Note that restrictions may apply to the use of tap changers during overloads.


Geomagnetic Induced Current (GIC) Effects

Solar activity can cause Geomagnetic Induced Currents to flow in the earth and these

currents can find their way onto the power system usually via the earthed neutral

points of transformers. The occurrence of GIC’s in electrical grids is linked to position

on the earths’ surface and to the orientation and length of overhead line circuits

connected. Higher latitudes are generally more affected, being closer to the magnetic

poles. Purchasers should determine whether the transformer being specified will be

located at a site which may be subjected to GIC events from time to time.

GIC’s are quasi-dc currents (they are not true dc but have a frequency of around 1 Hz)

that will flow through the transformer neutral into the windings, creating an effective dc

component on the transformer magnetising flux. When a GIC flows in the transformer,

the core may “half cycle saturate” and this can cause a significant increase in stray

flux, increase in VAR consumption and generate harmonics. The stray flux can heat

up windings, clamping, structural parts, flux shields and the transformer tank.

The temperature rise experienced in any object is depending on:

details of the design

constructional details

intensity of the GIC in duration and magnitude

loading condition of the transformer

heat transfer capacity of the affected structures

Purchasers should note that certain transformer types are more susceptible to GIC

type events, including the use of five limb cores, single phase units and shell type

transformers. Where GIC’s are a potential risk the purchaser may state this and any

preference in transformer design for avoiding GIC effects. Additionally the purchaser

may specify the maximum magnitude of the GIC to be considered in the design and

the time period that this current must be carried by the transformer.


Design Requirements


Flux density

The flux density in any part of the magnetic circuit including shunts should not attain a

value that causes saturation. This should apply under the specified voltage, frequency

and tap positions, including transitory effects of combined system voltage and

frequency fluctuations. An adequate safety margin should be included.

The purchaser should state the over-excitation capability of continuous operation

above rated voltage and at frequencies above and below rated frequency. A minimum

acceptable V/Hz ratio could be specified for unloaded and fully loaded conditions.

For GSU’s (and unit auxiliary transformers) the purchaser should specify the short time

over-excitation vs. time due to load-rejection.


Voltage regulation

The purchaser shall state any requirements for de-energised tap changer (DETC) or

on-load tap changer (OLTC), and specify the voltage and impedance variations for all

tap positions.


WG A2-36

  • 11.3.3 Cooling

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

The purchaser should specify the internal and external cooling mediums and the

circulating mechanisms that are required, by referring to the cooling method

identification symbols in an appropriate standard, such as IEC 60076. Any different

cooling method should be clearly stated in the specification.

The purchaser should state the percentage of any spare cooling capacity if required.

In the absence of such a requirement being specified, the manufacturer should state

the minimum percentage cooling capacity that can be removed for maintenance or


If any forced internal or external cooling medium is specified, the specification should

also state the minimum amount of inherent natural cooling required. If no amount of

natural cooling is specified, the manufacturer should state the maximum natural

cooling capability of the cooling equipment offered in the tender.

  • 11.3.4 Control detail

The cooling equipment and its control scheme shall be designed to ensure that the

desired transformer ratings can be obtained.

Pumps and fans are usually initiated by thermostatic control derived from winding

temperature hottest-spot indicators or other temperature monitors.

The appropriate sequence in which forced internal and external cooling mediums are

required to operate should be specified, for instance ONAN / OFAN / OFAF or ONAN /

ONAF / OFAF. It may be preferable to start or stop pumps sequentially, and/or with

soft start capability to avoid sudden excessive oil velocity changes.

To accommodate sudden load increase, the cooler control system should incorporate

means to initiate pumps and fans immediately upon sudden load increases above a

threshold value agreed between purchaser and manufacturer.

Outdoor mounted cooling pump and fan control equipment should be housed in a

weatherproof cabinet designed, for instance, for protection grade IP53.

  • 11.3.5 System Earthing

The purchaser should state the method of earthing any transformer neutral terminals in

the specification. In the absence of such information a manufacturer may design the

transformers for use with solidly earthed neutral connections, and shall state on the

name plate that the neutral shall be directly earthed.

The purchaser must state the type and ohmic impedance of the alternative earth

connection if solidly earthed neutrals are not to be used.

11.4 Core

The temperature of any part of the core or its support structure in contact with oil is not

to exceed what is specified in IEC standard 60076-2. Refer to CIGRÉ Technical

Brochure of WG A2.38 regarding thermal modelling and direct temperature

measurements of the core and its structural parts.

The purchaser or manufacturer may prefer to test these parts of the transformer to

higher levels of voltage than specified in some standards.


WG A2-36

11.5 Tank

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

Transformer tanks are usually constructed from welded steel plate and reinforced to

withstand transport, handling or excess pressures during fault conditions without

distortion. The purchaser can specify whether or not a cover-type or a bell-type tank is


The design and positioning of lifting points, stiffeners and underbases on the tank

should prevent distortion of the core during lifting and transport.

For personnel safety it is recommended to specify the maximum tank surface

temperatures, according to local laws and regulations.


Handling facilities


Handling facilities may be required to permit movement, assembly and dismantling of

the complete oil-filled transformer at site or elsewhere and should be agreed before a

contract, unless otherwise specified. Possible facilities include the following:


four jack pads near the corners of the tank, designed to take the weight of

the complete transformer


lugs for lifting the transformer during transport. The lifting lugs and

attachments shall be designed to allow for possible unequal lifting forces,

together with an adequate factor of safety allowance


lifting eyes for main transformer tank cover, conservator tanks and on-load

tap changer


if applicable, a suitable reinforced base frame to form a skid assembly for

skidding the transformer in any direction using rollers


if applicable, permanently mounted or removable wheels, arranged to permit

bidirectional movement


hauling eyes on all sides of the tank


if applicable, riding lugs for transport on a side-beam road trailer or railway

car. The riding lugs (removable if necessary) should be capable of taking

the weight of the main unit, complete with oil filling if requested




The tank


may be

bolted or



the tank.


the purchaser



preference, this should be stated in the enquiry.


case of

a welded




preferred to weld before final testing.


The tank cover should be designed with a sufficient slope to shed water. Fixings

should be provided for attachments to ensure a safe working environment when

personnel have to work on top of the transformer. All tubes, equipments, etc. on top of

the transformer should be located in such a way as to minimise hindering movement of




Oil-tight Joints


Oil leaks from the main tank-cover joint or other joints are unacceptable under any

static oil-head or forced oil conditions at any ambient or maximum operating

temperatures. Only joints of proven design, capable of preventing deterioration of any

seal or gasket materials should be specified or supplied.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

All bolted flange joints should be provided with suitable gaskets and made from oil

resistant, non-perishable material installed within smoothly machined grooves

designed to stabilise the gasket position and to provide suitable compression stop.

The thermal performance of the material must exceed the maximum temperature

attained by the metal parts in contact with the gaskets under all conditions.

For bolted pipe joints or similar, the "O-ring" type of flange seal may be preferred. If

cork type gasket materials are used, the metal mating surface shall be thoroughly

cleaned to prevent the gasket from sticking.


Vacuum and pressure requirements

The assembled transformer, including the tank, coolers or radiators, conservator (if not

equipped with a rubber diaphragm), oil pumps, all oil connections, valves, pressure

relief devices and other fittings, should be capable of withstanding, with minimum


permanent distortion:

when oil filled, an internal overpressure of 35 kPa

without oil, full internal vacuum

The transformer conservator tank, if equipped with a rubber diaphragm, need not be

designed for a full vacuum but a vacuum-tight valve should be provided in the

connection between tank and conservator. The pressure relief diaphragm should be

replaced by a steel plate.



It is necessary to ensure that the transformer tank is not accidentally

sealed, as it might be the case by a valve between the tank and the

conservator, unless a suitable bypass arrangement is specified.

It is usual for power transformers to be designed and equipped for vacuum filling and

oil treatment in the field, whether or not the transformer is shipped with oil.



The transformer tank should typically be equipped with the following valves and fittings,

the positioning of which shall be subject to approval of the purchaser.

at least an oil valve at the top and bottom of the tank for taking oil samples

shall be provided, unless an alternative arrangement is proposed

a drain connection valve at each end of the tank at the bottom wall of the

tank, complete with a blanking plate. The connection should vent the tank

as close as possible to the junction of the tank wall and the base, so that no

more than a few mm of oil will remain in the tank when empty

two elbow valves, complete with a blanking plate for filling connections,

should be provided on the tank cover and located at diagonally opposite


a valve fitted with a blanking plate and located on the tank cover in line with

the bottom sampling valve should be provided for attaching a vacuum

gauge, a pressure gauge or an oil level indicator when vacuum filling

one or more valves for immediate or future connection of on-line monitors for

dissolved gas

a siphon valve with no return valve for draining the OLTC tank (if applicable)

residual oil discharge valves for the expansion tank(s)


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

  • 11.5.6 Circulating and eddy-currents

The tank should be designed or incorporate measures to minimise the losses caused

by circulating and eddy-currents and avoid onerous temperatures at any part of the

tank surface and at flanges between parts of the tank and its components especially at

gasket sealed joints.

  • 11.5.7 Access Openings

Access openings should be provided as appropriate in the tank cover and walls to

permit unhindered access to inspect, repair or remove current transformers,

tap-changer components, winding connections and other devices that may require

routine or emergency maintenance.

An opening that allows personnel access should not be less than 500mm diameter or

500mm x 500mm. Hand holes should be approximately 400mm diameter or 300mm x

600mm. All openings on the cover should have a raised flange to prevent water from

entering the openings when individual covers are removed.

At least two openings should be provided on the tank cover for access to the interior

without lowering the oil below the top of the core.

  • 11.5.8 Conservator Tanks

A conservator tank shall be provided of sufficient size to accommodate the change in

oil volume that will occur between the specified ambient temperature limits in service

with the transformer operating at full load or overload and the cold oil temperature with

the transformer out of service. The typical conservator oil volume is approximately

10% of the sum of the oil volumes of the main transformer tank and the coolers.

The main tank and on-load tap changer diverter compartment shall have separate

conservator tanks. Oil proof rubber diaphragms (bladders) are typically used within the

conservator tanks for the transformer main tank to minimise atmosphere contact with

the insulating fluid.

Each conservator tank should have a suitable oil level gauge mounted on the

conservator tank so as to be easily read from ground level. The gauge shall be

graduated to indicate the oil level at temperatures of -10°C, +5°C, +15°C and +20°C or

other values specified by the purchaser. A float switch shall be provided having a set

of low and high oil-level alarm contacts.

A dehydrating breather shall be connected to each conservator tank. The inner

diameter of the pipe connecting the breather and the conservator tank shall be sized

large enough to not inhibit pressure equalisation.

  • 11.5.9 Tank Earthing

The following grounding and bonding facilities for earthing purposes should be

provided on the tank and other separate free standing parts such as radiator banks:

at least two suitable earthing terminals on the main tank

one earthing terminal should be located, for instance, towards the extreme

right hand end of the low voltage side and the other diagonally opposite on

the high voltage side

one suitable earthing terminal on each cooler bank support structure


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

earthing straps, to bond the tank cover to the main tank

one earthing terminal on the main tank near each set of surge arresters to

allow a “high frequency” earthing connection from the arresters

Other internal and external metal parts of the transformer shall be earthed to the tank

or separately and directly earthed. Whichever method is adopted, a uniform earth

potential is required throughout the installation.

Closed circulating current loops within the earthing systems must be avoided.

Flanged joints should be electrically bridged.

Internal earthing connections from the core and core clamping structure shall be

brought out to bushings mounted in a secure, weatherproof terminal box, mounted on

the tank surface and earthed externally in order to facilitate testing of the core earthing


  • 11.5.10 Pressure relief

At least one suitable spring operated pressure relief vent should be located on the

main tank (preferably on the cover) and on-load tap changer diverter compartment (s)

complete with an approved oil deflection collar. In addition, piping can be connected to

the oil deflection collar of each pressure relief device in order to direct the oil down

near the base of the transformer.

The number of pressure relief devices required on a transformer is normally dependent

on the total oil volume of the transformer.

Suitably rated auxiliary contacts should be provided for these devices.

  • 11.6 Insulating Fluid

The purchaser should state which type of insulating fluid that should be supplied and

the specification with which it must comply. The insulating fluid should be free of pcb,

copper sulphide, or other chemical having a corrosive sulphur tendency. The

purchaser should state whether the fluid should be inhibited or non-inhibited, and if any

special additives are required or conversely not permitted.

The fluid should comply with the recognised IEC standard and any additional regional

or purchaser requirements.

Under no circumstances shall any degree of forced-oil circulation create a static

electrification hazard in any part of a transformer under any operating condition.

  • 11.7 Bushings

Bushings should comply with a recognised standard such as IEC 60137.

The specification of oil/SF 6 bushings should be agreed between purchaser and

manufacturer before a contract.

The interface between the transformer and gas insulated external connections requires

special attention to dimensions, limits and tolerances. These design aspects should be

agreed between purchaser and manufacturer before a contract and should take into

account any purchaser standardisation policies.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

  • 11.8 Secondary Wiring and Control Cabinets

All conductors, connectors, terminal blocks, wire-ways, terminal markings, etc. shall

meet recognised standard and purchaser requirements.

Control cabinets should be mounted in a manner to reduce vibration and should be

designed to prevent moisture ingress and condensation. Control cabinets should be

mounted at a height that enables operational access from ground level.

  • 11.9 Fittings


The number and type of fittings required or provided on a transformer will depend upon

several factors including its purpose, construction, rating and voltage. Some other

considerations are, the amount of surveillance required or provided by the purchaser,

the requirements for automatic control and protection, purchaser policies concerning

on-line diagnostic and monitoring requirements.

Certain fittings may incorporate protection, control and remote indication facilities.

Details of such facilities should be stated explicitly at the time of enquiry or tender,

including any requirements for conformity with existing practices.

All labels, plates and markings should be manufactured from durable, non fading


Any instruments or indicators should be capable of being read from ground level.

Where any equipment is to operate in parallel or perform in a similar manner with

existing equipment, the purchaser should provide complete details of the key

parameters of the existing equipment in the enquiry document.

Where alarm and trip contacts are required, the purchaser should state the range of

operating settings required in the enquiry.

Fittings List

The following list is representative of the fittings that may be required on each power

transformer. In practice purchasers and manufacturers select fittings from such a list

as this but may also adopt or recommend additional or alternative fittings for reasons of

policy, improved safety, efficiency, security, and maintenance or lifetime costs.





top and

bottom oil pipe adjacent

to the


gas and oil actuated relays for main conservator/tank oil pipes and externally

mounted tap changer selector compartments, as appropriate. Sampling and

test stopcocks may be required and mounted for operation at ground

working height

conservators for the main tank and tap changer diverter compartments

where required. Conservators should be provided with an oil gauge, drain

valve, oil filling facility, lifting lugs, oil sumps and removable end covers


dehydrating breathers


air release and drain plugs or valves for pipe work, oil expansion bellows,

pumps etc

separate drain and filter valves at the top and bottom of the main tank,

externally mounted tap changer selector compartments and cooler headers


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

isolating valves complete with an open/shut indicator and locking facility

valve location plate. The position of each valve in normal service should be

shown, i.e. Normally Open (N.O.) or Normally Closed (N.C.)
















oil sampling devices easily accessed by personnel


anti-vibration pads


provision for blanking plate storage


earthing lugs on the main tank and each separate cooler structure


main tank jacking lugs


main tank transport lugs

name plate


diagram and rating plate


owner’s serial number plate


vacuum capabilities plate


main haulage points

main tank haulage rope guides


transport anchoring lugs


co-ordinating rod stands with co-ordinating gaps or fixings for mounting


surge arresters and supporting brackets


current transformer test loop(s) for HV and/or LV bushing turrets


terminal box for LV current transformer test loop


terminal box for HV current transformer test loop

terminal box for core and core structure earthing

current transformer terminal boxes


lifting lugs for tap-changer, cooler structures, main tank cover and other

components as necessary


winding temperature indicator pockets with protective covers


on-line combustible gas and moisture monitors


protective covers to protect projections, such as valves, from damage during


pressure relief devices and associated ducting


tank attached fixings for mounting external neutral current transformers


cover mounted safety lugs to permit fixing of toe boards / safety fences for

safe working purposes


winding and oil temperature indicating instruments

  • 11.10 Tap Changers

If the transformer application requires that variation of the voltage ratio is required in

order to make corrections for changes either in the supply-side or demand-side

voltages, de-energized tap changers (DETC’s) and/or on-load tap changers (OLTC’s)

should be specified.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

The choice of which type of tap changer to be used will be dictated primarily by its

function and economics, e.g.:

the size of the tapping range needed to match the expected system voltage


the step voltages required and number of steps

whether or not the transformer can be electrically disconnected from the

network in order to change taps

De-energised tap changers (DETC’s) are only used when the need for voltage

correction is infrequent because all tap changing by this means has to be undertaken

when the transformer is off-line, which requires an outage. In practice, DETC’s are

mainly fitted to high voltage windings and when a low number of tap steps are

required, e.g., 4, 6 or 8 steps. Usually, each tap step will vary the high voltage winding

turns between 1% and 2.5%. The number of tap steps and percentage voltage

variation per step should be specified by the purchaser and determined by the purpose

of the tappings, i.e., to maintain the low voltage on load at rated value when the high

voltage changes or alternatively to maintain the low voltage network voltage at some

value as the load varies. In most other respects the electrical, mechanical and thermal

design requirements of DETC’s, e.g., current rating of contacts and voltage withstand

considerations, are similar to those of on-load tap changers.

On-load tap changers (OLTC’s) are designed for connection to line-end or neutral-end

of high voltage or low voltage windings. The size of the tapping range is usually

specified by the purchaser and is a compromise between the network high and low

voltage ranges. Similarly, the number of tap steps will be determined by the range of

voltage variation expected in service and the size of voltage change per step required.

In practice the number of steps can vary between 10 and 40, depending on voltage,

application and current rating of the tap changer. The range of voltage that can be

accommodated is determined by the ac power frequency and impulse voltage

withstand strength between adjacent taps.

OLTCs are specialised precision electro-mechanical devices. They are invariably

purchased by the transformer manufacturer under a sub-supplier contract from an

original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and selected from a type tested and proven

product range. The choice of OLTC suppliers is often specified by the transformer


Several types of OLTC’s are commonly available and may be categorised as:




externally mounted

“Line-end” and “neutral-end” describe the electrical position of the tap changer within

the configuration of windings and connections. Line-end OLTCs are usually

positioned at the line end of lower voltage windings. This position is chosen for auto-

transformers, for instance, when the voltage ratio is low, e.g., of the order of 2:1.

Designs employing neutral-end tap changers are usually more economic when the

voltage ratio is greater than 2:1. Where delta connected high voltage windings are

required, line end tap changers may be specified on the high voltage winding.

“In-tank” and “externally mounted” OLTC’s refer to the physical position of the tap

changer in or on the transformer.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

It should be noted that tap changers, particularly OLTC types, are still a frequent

source of incipient or major transformer faults and a cause of unplanned transformer

outages. It is important therefore that proven equipment is used wherever possible

and that a transformer design is adopted which best meets the needs of the

purchaser’s operating regime, supply responsibilities and long-term maintenance


  • 11.11 Monitoring

Purchasers of power transformers are routinely selecting equipment for on-line

monitoring of the transformer operating status to minimise forced outages; planning

maintenance activities; increased personnel safety; and as well for maximising the

performance of their transformers. IEC standard 60076-1 and CIGRÉ Technical

Brochure 343 provide monitoring recommendations.

On-line monitoring equipment is available for DGA, moisture in oil, oil temperatures, oil

pressure, load current and voltage measurements, pump/fan operation, conservator

membrane condition, tank vibration, winding hot spot calculations and/or direct hot spot

measurements, bushing condition, partial discharges and OLTC condition.

Purchasing monitoring equipment in the original specification is an efficient means to

the option of adding monitors at a later date.

  • 11.12 Interchangeability

Interchangeability refers principally to transformers of similar rating, voltage and other

operating characteristics that are or have been purchased under different contracts and

sometimes from different suppliers, but are all designed to have common dimensions

and layout, in order to allow them to be physically interchangeable with each other with

a minimum of adaptation, if any. It is possible for transformers purchased earlier to be

replaced later by more modern designs, having larger ratings but designed to be

installed and occupy the same “space”. Utilities purchase transformers to meet

requirements of this kind in order to increase the availability of electricity supply and

reduce costs by minimising the outage time in the event of a transformer having to be

removed from service and replaced by a spare, stored strategically for that purpose.

Interchangeability is of special importance where transformers are required for

installation and connection to gas insulated busbars. In these instances the concept of

interchangeability extends beyond the transformers to include also the busbars,

especially at the interface between the two systems.

When interchangeability is required, the purchaser should undertake to specify and

detail the key features, dimensions and interfaces that are to be repeated on each

transformer and provide all necessary reference drawings. The arrangement and

physical dimensions of the high, low and possibly other voltage bushing connection

points, (sometimes referred to as cover layout), is a vital part of this information.

When specified, the transformer including fittings and other major interfacing

components shall be interchangeable with other transformers and related equipment

defined by the purchaser.

  • 11.13 Standardisation

The concept of standardisation is not to be confused with that of interchangeability.

There is some similarity between the two requirements, especially when transformer

components such as tap changers, valves and other interfacing fittings are required to


WG A2-36

be replaceable.

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

Standardisation refers to a policy to limit the variation of transformer types, ratings,

voltage ratios, impedances, tapping ranges and other principal electrical, mechanical

and thermal characteristics of a purchaser’s transformers. The policy reduces the

complexity of the purchaser’s stock of transformers, bushings, fittings, tap changer

components and other items and tends to minimise maintenance practices and costs.

The aims of standardisation are:

minimise system design, operating and capital costs

simplify maintenance procedures and requirements, and system planning

reduce stock held items

optimise spares

reduce purchasing and other front-end costs

Standardisation need not be confined to utilities and other organisations that have large

and varied stocks of transformers. Smaller purchasers can purchase transformers by

reference to national and international standards that include recommended

transformer ratings and other features, including in some cases, losses and

dimensions, for which manufacturers have proven up-to-date designs offering

economic savings that are not obtainable from custom made nonstandard alternatives.

This will also give the possibility to replace the transformer with one from another

company in case of an emergency.

11.14 Exclusions

In most cases, every opportunity is taken by a manufacturer to comply with the

requirements of the specification or to propose alternatives that permit improvements

that best fulfil the purchaser’s needs or meet the manufacturer’s capabilities.

Deviations of this kind from a purchaser’s specification may be raised in pre-tender

discussions between a purchaser and potential manufacturer but ultimately, any tender

submission must either comply with the specification or, if this not possible, a

manufacturer should categorically state the non-compliance and exclusions. All

exceptions should be discussed between the purchaser and tenderer and a resolution

made prior to an award of order. The purpose is to avoid misunderstandings. If no

exclusions are stated, the contract works have to be treated as fully compliant with the


The tenderer should state any non-compliance with the specification in the tender

submission and any alternative offers should be submitted in full and separately from

the main offer.



Quality assurance certification indicates the manufacturer’s general ability to design

and consistently manufacture transformers to a purchaser’s specification, IEC

standards and other requirements. It also establishes evidence to some degree of the

capability with respect to transformer engineering, design and manufacture attainable

by the manufacturer. The purpose is to ensure that the final product will fulfil its service

function and be comparable to other similar products previously proven by type and

routine tests and service experience. However, the possession of the requisite quality

assurance certification does not by itself guarantee that the transformer manufactured


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

will be of a suitably high “quality”. It is important for the customer to ascertain

competence and capability in addition to the acceptance of the manufacturer’s quality

assurance documentation. It is likely that in some situations a potential manufacturer

who has ISO 9001 certification may be deemed unsuitable as being not capable of

producing the transformer required as a consequence of the assessment of capability


Further information relating to the proper management of quality is provided in CIGRÉ

Technical Brochure 530; Guide for Conducting Factory Capability Assessment for

Power Transformers.

A Quality Inspection and Test Plan is a major component of the quality assurance

concept. It is prepared by the manufacturer and submitted with each tender for

approval by the purchaser. As with other quality assurance requirements, it forms a

vital and essential part of a transformer contract.

  • 12.1 Quality Inspection and Test Plan (QITP)

A Quality Inspection and Test Plan should be submitted with each tender and agreed

with the purchaser before contract.

Any subsequent alteration to and deviation from the agreed QITP should be submitted

to the purchaser in advance for approval in writing. No changes to the QITP ought to

be permitted without the prior written approval of the purchaser.

The manufacturer should establish a QITP for each transformer, containing a summary

of all the inspections and tests needed during manufacture, factory acceptance tests,

site erection and commissioning tests.

It should be clear from the QITP where inspection activities will be performed, the

parties to be present,

inspection documents.

inspection plans in force and the distribution of testing


The main QITP should be approved by the purchaser before manufacture commences.

The purchaser or his representative should also have the right at any time, without

advance notice, to witness any inspection, manufacturing procedure or test at the

manufacturers or the sub-suppliers plant and to be informed of the result.

Inspections and tests performed in the presence of the purchaser or his representative

will not imply any limitation of the manufacturer’s responsibility.

  • 12.2 Quality Inspection and Test Plan (Outline)

The following description of the elements contained in a quality plan, is for a

transformer manufactured to this type of specification and may form the basis of a

document to be agreed between purchaser and manufacturer before a contract.

A quality plan describes:

lists of activities, identifying all the activities involved in the design,

manufacture and supply of the transformer by the manufacturers’ internal

procedure document reference number.

references to all the mechanical, electrical and test requirements needed to

ensure that the design and manufacture of the transformer will be at least to

the minimum standard, necessary to ensure that it will be in accordance with

the specification and be fit for service.

all the activities and responsibilities of the manufacturer, sub-supplier and


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

purchaser, that are required to execute the design, manufacture and testing

of the transformer at the factory, preparation for despatch, delivery,

installation, commissioning and setting to work.

the identification reference of all documentation, standards, procedures,

works instructions, drawings, test methods, acceptance criteria etc.

the controls which each activity must succeed in passing, for example:

  • a) identifiers - serial number, model number, type number (usually used

to substantiate purchased items)

  • b) performance (usually statements accrediting the electrical,

mechanical, thermal and chemical performances, against which

manufacturing activities and specification requirements can be


  • c) status (usually confirmed by visual examination)

  • d) dimensions (usually approved by reference to drawings and other

similar reference documentation)

details of the means of recording the progress of the design and manufacture

of the transformer, in particular, inspection and approval points by labelling,

inspection cards, certification etc.

the identity and authority of persons with assigned responsibility for

approving the satisfactory completion of each activity.

the location of each activity, inspection and approval

each deviation, failure to comply, modification to the plan or to any

supporting documentation, e.g., drawings, works instructions, scheduled

information, design changes.

Each sheet of the quality plan is usually referenced by:

contract reference

sheet number

issue number

date of issue

authorisation reference

A quality plan is usually divided into sections, each section covering a distinct part of

the design, manufacture and supply chain. Each activity in this chain is identified by a

unique reference number, usually the section and a subsection number.

The principal sections in a quality plan include:

electrical and thermal design, e.g., core, windings, tests

mechanical design and thermal design, e.g., core, tank, fittings, coolers, tap

changers, controls, oil preservation, protection, monitoring, etc.

purchased items


work, e.g., core, windings, connections, fabrications,


testing, e.g., instructions, methods, acceptance criteria, responsible persons,

acceptance formalities

dismantling, preparation for despatch, surveillance during despatch, tests on

arrival at a site

erection at site, commissioning, setting to work

For example, a quality plan sheet relating to transformer tank manufacture could

comprise the elemental activities and requirements illustrated on the following page.


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

Similar sheets are required for all the other activities involved in transformer design,

manufacture, supply and tests, including purchasing and sub-supplier activities. A

typical quality plan for transformers complying with this specification may comprise fifty

sheets or more and cover twenty or more principal activities containing as many as

twenty sub-items per activity.

  • 12.3 Quality Assurance Plan

When submitting a tender, a manufacturer should include a description of the quality

assurance plan (QAP) that will be used to ensure that the transformer design,

materials, workmanship, tests, service capability, maintenance and documentation, will

fulfil the requirements stated in the contract documents, standards, specifications and


The quality assurance plan should be based on and include relevant parts to fulfil the

requirements of ISO 9001.

The manufacturer is responsible for any sub-suppliers setting up and executing their

own quality assurance systems.

  • 12.4 Quality Assurance Manuals

A complete quality assurance manual, describing the execution of all the elements of

the quality assurance system, should be available from the manufacturer as a

reference for the purchaser or his representative.

  • 12.5 Final Quality File

This should comprise:

completed Inspection Points Schedule


certificates for:



bushings or other line and neutral terminations





current transformers (where installed)



on-load tap-changers or de-energised tap changers



other transformer accessories



paint and anti-corrosion protections





reports on deviations and remedial actions


final test protocol












contract drawings



WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers



(For illustration only)

Issue No:






Customer Ref:


Sheet No.




Manufacturer Ref:

Issued by:





Activity Doc.



Inspector -

Inspector -









Tank and cover

  • 17.1 Steel plate

AAA ( 1 )

S, D,Q ( 2 )

C, TC, ( 3 )

BBB ( 4 )

CCC ( 5 )

DDDD ( 6 )

  • 17.2 Machining

  • 17.3 Welding


Weld tests


Location - openings, fixings etc.


Internal surface - condition


  • - preparation


  • - treatment


External surface - condition


  • - preparation


  • - treatment


Paint treatment


( 3 ) C


inspection card

( 5 ) Purchaser’s inspector’s reference.


( 1 ) eg. Works instruction, IEC standard ( 2 ) eg. S = Status D = dimensions Q = quality or performance

TC = test certificate ( 4 ) Manufacturers inspector’s reference

( 6 ) includes any additional requirements, references or other documentation, instructions or advice


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers



The importance of the final factory inspections and acceptance tests cannot be over

emphasised in terms of ensuring the transformer manufactured is fit for the intended

purpose. The key purpose in carrying out the final tests is to ensure that the design is as

intended with regard to type testing and that the quality of manufacture is consistent with

the design in terms of type testing. One overriding principle must be considered and that

is that any test made on the transformer must add value, either to the Manufacturer or to

the Purchaser.

The purchase specification should detail all tests that are required to be carried out on

the specific transformer. The requirements for testing transformers are described in the

international standards. IEC 60076-1 breaks factory acceptance tests into three

categories, namely; a) type tests - tests carried out on the first unit of a design and

intended to prove the design, b) routine tests tests carried out on every transformer

and c) special tests additional tests specified by the Purchaser. Purchasers should

note that tests defined as type or special tests at some voltages may well be routine

tests at another.

One important requirement of any purchase specification with regard to testing is to

ensure that any non-mandatory tests which may be required are clearly detailed in the

purchase specification. Some purchasers may wish a test that is described as a type

test or a special test carried out as a routine test and this should be clearly detailed.

Where the purchaser wishes to test the transformer not in accordance with the

international standards for whatever reason, the required test methodology should be

clearly described together with the acceptance criteria. Purchasers who deviate from

the published international standards should also be clear as to why this deviation is

required and be able to justify this in technical terms.

Sometimes the predicted performance of a transformer on test may need to be verified

in advance by non-destructive investigatory tests and measurements. For example,

recurrent surge oscillographic (RSO) tests may be advisable to confirm the transformer

predicted transient voltage behaviour or to determine the most appropriate test


If a transformer has been specified for use in a non-conventional or otherwise special

application or it is to be subject to unusual operating conditions, then the programme

and sequence of tests shall be specified by the purchaser.

The operating characteristics of transformers fitted with tappings, dual or multiple voltage

ratio connections or alternative vector group connections will alter when these

connections are changed. In the absence of supporting evidence from other identical

previously tested transformers, additional tests may be necessary to determine the

method of test connection that best demonstrates the transformer is fit for purpose.

In certain cases, the test environment at the time of test may not conform to the IEC

standards. Similarly, at the time of test, the transformer may not be fully prepared as for

service and as required by the specification. Unless otherwise agreed, in these


WG A2-36

Guide for preparation of specifications for power transformers

circumstances the purchaser may postpone the tests until the circumstances for test are

as specified.

It is important that the specification document highlights the following issues in such a

way as to ensure that agreement with regard to the test procedures is part of the post

contract design review process.

  • 13.1 General

The manufacturer should produce a test programme describing all routine and type tests

and final inspections. The test programme should be submitted to the purchaser for

approval before manufacture commences.

The factory acceptance tests may be witnessed by the purchaser or his representative.

The purchaser should be notified in writing in a reasonable time period before the start of

any test.

For the purpose of acceptance tests the transformer should be assembled as for service,

i.e. complete with conservator, coolers, auxiliary transformer, supervisory equipment etc.

This means that oil-SF 6 bushings must not be replaced by corresponding oil-air

bushings. Deviations from this requirement should be by agreement between the

purchaser and manufacturer.

Type test evidence obtained on an identical transformer may be offered to the purchaser

for consideration instead of further type tests, providing the evidence is not more than

five years old and is submitted at the time of tender. Otherwise, type tests should be