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TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL EXTERNAL

FORENSIC ASPECTS OF
INSULATION FAILURE NON‐OPERATIONAL OPERATIONAL
TRANSFORMER • Age • Storms / Floods • Synchronizing
FAILURES • Water • Solar Flares • Relaying Errors
B&Argb... Helmut G. Brosz, B.A.Sc., D.B.A., M.I.E.E.E., F.A.A.F.S. • Air • Animals / Birds • Harmonics / 
P.Eng. • Partial Discharge • Lightning / Surges Resonance
Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University • Transportation • Overload
• Hot Spot
• Theft • Misapplication
Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
• Impact • External Faults
Consulting Forensic Engineer
Director – Institute of Forensic Electro-Pathology

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TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

Water

Air

Partial Discharge

Hot Spot
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TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

3736-97
Water 5250-07

Air

Partial Discharge

Hot Spot
5 6

1
7 8

9 10

11 12

2
13 14

15 16

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

Water 1230-82

Air

Partial Discharge

Hot Spot
17 18

3
19 20

21 22

23 24

4
25 26

27 28

29 30

5
31 32

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

Water

Air 5360-07

Partial Discharge

Hot Spot
33 34

35 36

6
37 38

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

Water

Air

735 KV
Partial Discharge 3332-95

Hot Spot
39 40

41 42

7
43 44

45 46

47 48

8
49 50

51 52

53 54

9
55 56

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

Water

Air

Partial Discharge 3163-63

Hot Spot
57 58

59 60

10
61 62

63 64

65 66

11
67 68

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

Water

Air

Partial Discharge

Hot Spot 735 KV


69 70

71 72

12
73 74

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

INTERNAL DUE TO

INSULATION  Manufacturing Design Maintenance /


FAILURE Defects Defects Service Errors

Age

Water

Air

Partial Discharge

Hot Spot 3681-96


3494-96
75 76

77 78

13
79 80

81 82

83 84

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TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

EXTERNAL

NON‐OPERATIONAL

Storms / Floods 2023-88

Solar Flares 735 KV

Animals / Birds

Lightning Surges

Transportation

Theft

Impact 85 86

87 88

89 90

15
91 92

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

EXTERNAL

NON‐OPERATIONAL

Storms / Floods

Solar Flares 735 KV

Animals / Birds BEAR

Lightning Surges

Transportation

Theft

93 Impact 94

95 96

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TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

EXTERNAL

NON‐OPERATIONAL

Storms / Floods

Solar Flares 735 KV

Animals / Birds

Lightning Surges 2326-90

Transportation

Theft

Impact 97 98

99 100

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

EXTERNAL

NON‐OPERATIONAL

Storms / Floods

Solar Flares 735 KV

Animals / Birds

Lightning Surges

Transportation 2349-90

Theft

Impact 101 102

17
103 104

105 106

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

EXTERNAL

NON‐OPERATIONAL

Storms / Floods

Solar Flares 735 KV

Animals / Birds

Lightning Surges

Transportation

Thes
Theft Vandalism

Impact 107 108

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109 110

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

EXTERNAL

NON‐OPERATIONAL

Storms / Floods

Solar Flares 735 KV

Animals / Birds

Lightning Surges

Transportation

Theft

Impact 111 112

TRANSFORMER BREAKDOWN PERILS

EXTERNAL DUE TO

Maintenance /
Operational Design
Service

General Manual
Synchronizing Synchronizing

Relaying Errors Relays Settings to


Long/High

Harmonics/Resonance Ferro Resonance

Overload

Dry Type in Wet


Misapplication Environment

External Faults 3Y5 KV SF6 BUS


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FORENSIC TOOLS FORENSIC TOOLS

SCADA STATION OSCILLOGRAPH

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FORENSIC TOOLS FORENSIC TOOLS

STATION OSCILLOGRAPH PHOTOS

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FORENSIC TOOLS FORENSIC TOOLS

VIDEOS EYE WITNESS ACCOUNTS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZipeaAkuC0

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FORENSIC SCIENCE ENGINEERING TESTS ASTM FORNSIC STANDARDS

ASTM E620‐97 Standard Practice for Reporting Opinions of Scientific or 
Technical Experts
4.3.2 The report shall contain the logic and reasoning of the expert by 
which each of the opinions and conclusions were reached.

ASTM E678‐98 Standard Practice for Evaluation of Technical Data
3.1 The responsibility of the technical expert in a forensic investigation 
encompasses indentifying significant data pertinent to the incident 
and related to the expert’s opinion, analyzing and correlating the 
data with respect to the incident, and providing a meaningful 
explanation of the results to the nontechnical as well as the technical 
community.
ASTM E1020‐96 Standard Practice for Reporting Incidents
1.1 This practice sets forth guidelines for the collection and preservation 
of information and physical evidence and the preparation of a 
documentation report relative to any incident(s) involving personal 
injury, property damage, or commercial loss which may reasonably
be expected to be the subject of litigation.
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ASTM FORENSIC STANDARDS ASTM FORENSIC STANDARDS

ASTM E860‐97 Standard Practice for Examining and Testing Items That Are Or 
May Become Involved in Litigation
1.1 This practice sets forth guidelines for the examination and testing of  NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations
actual items or systems (hereinafter termed evidence) that may have 
been involved in a specific incident that is reasonably expected to be  1.1 This document is designed to assist individuals who are charged with 
the subject of litigation.  This practice is intended to become applicable  the responsibility of investigating and analyzing fire and explosion 
when it is determined that examination or testing of evidence is incidents and rendering opinions as to the origin, cause, responsibility, 
required. or prevention of such incidents.

ASTM E1188‐05   Standard Practice for Collection and Preservation of Information 
and Physical Items by a Technical Investigator

1.1 This practice covers guidelines for the collection and preservation of 
information and physical items by any technical investigator pertaining 
to an incident that an be reasonably expected to be the subject of 
litigation.

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ASTM FORENSIC STANDARDS OTHER FORENSIC ELECTRICAL CONCEPTS

Spoliation of Evidence
It has been argued that:
Lawyers and courts use the term spoliation to refer to the withholding, 
hiding, or destruction of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding and is a 
criminal act in the United States under Federal and most State law.   1. Electricity is a Product
Spoliation has two consequences:  first the act is criminal by statute and 
may result in fines and incarceration for the parties who engaged in the  • IV, If
spoliation, secondly case law has established that proceedings which might  • Harmonic Content
have been altered by the spoliation may be interpreted under a spoliation 
inference.  The spoliation inference is a negative evidentiary inference that 
a finder of fact can draw from a party’s destruction of a document or thing 
2. Electricity can be a Defective Product
that is relevant to an ongoing or reasonably foreseeable civil or criminal 
proceeding:  The finder of fact can review all evidence uncovered in as  3. Electricity can be a Service
strong a light as possible against the spoliator and in favor of the opposing 
• Subject to Interruption
party.
• Subject to Single Phasing

4. Lesson – Check your power contact


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OTHER FORENSIC ELECTRICAL CONCEPTS OTHER FORENSIC ELECTRICAL CONCEPTS

5. Electricity is Hazardous 6. Electricity Can Be Misused
• It can injure and kill • High frequency/low power shocking devices
• Telsa Coil

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OTHER FORENSIC ELECTRICAL CONCEPTS OTHER FORENSIC ELECTRICAL CONCEPTS

7. “Transformer is unfit to be put into stream of  Special thanks to the INSTITUTE OF FORENSIC ELECTRO-


commerce” PATHOLOGY for its contributions:
• i.e. It failed well before expected life span. • Library of Legal Cases
• Library of Forensic Literature
8. “Transformer is not used for its intended purpose” • Library of Standards and Guides
• eg. To supply non harmonic loads • Library of Photographs and Videos
• eg. To operate in other than unusual service • Artifact Collection, Exchange and Loan Program
conditions • Electrical Apparatus and Appliance Failure Database
• Electrocutions, Injuries and Arc Blast Database
These foregoing concepts can be used by plantiffs and  • Electrical Safety Training
defendants depending on their jurisdiction • Graduate Research Support
• High and Low Voltage / Current Testing
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