You are on page 1of 3

On-load tap changers

Author: Douglas. M. Getson Document updated: 2002-11-06 e-mail:


Type UC tap changer including BUL motor drive

The on-load tap changer (OLTC) is used to change the tapping connection of the transformer winding while the transformer is energized. The tap changer can be designed as a single unit for single and three-phase applications with one common neutral point. Depending on the three-phase rating, it might require three separate units, each having its own insulated phases. Tap changers can be located either inside the transformer main tank or outside in its own compartment. Switching from one position to another has to be performed through an impedance to avoid a short circuit between two steps of the regulating winding. The transition impedance can be either a resistor or a reactor. ABBtype tap changers are of the resistor type.

On-load tap changer design ABB's active component construction can be either of the diverter or selector type switching principle. The diverter type is built of two separate sections with the diverter part having its own compartment while the tap-selector shares oil with the transformer. The tap-selector is mounted below the diverter switch housing and has two moving arms with one carrying the current and the other free to pre-select the next tap position. The diverter switch moves from left to right and transfers current to the other tap position (selector pre-selection) via the transition resistors. All arcing takes place from within the diverter compartment. The complete unit is suspended from the transformer tank cover, and ABB utilizes this system for its in-tank Type-UC tap changer.

Electrical principle for the diverter type on-load tap changer (red: diverter) (blue: selector)


Our Type BUE and BUL motor drives come separate from the tap changer and operate with the Type UB and UC tap changers. The drive system can be built as one rigid unit rotated by a common drive shaft.4. The Type BUF motor drive comes as an integral part of the Type UZ tap changer and requires no additional transformer wall space. and helium seal tests. transition resistor measurements.13. one for the main moving contact and another for the switching contacts. Type UZ (incl. and intank Type UB tap changers. transition time between operations. ABB utilises this system for its on-tank Type UZ. The system consists of one fixed and one moving contact unit. BUF motor drive) 2 . All tap changers are manufactured and tested in accordance with industry standards such as IEC 214 and IEEE C57. Active part mounting of type UC tap changer.131. mechanical 500-operation tests. This allows for quick and easy installation while lowering the cost for field service. The following routine tests are performed: dielectric testing of Type UZ phase moldings. Each fixed contact has two contact paths on each side.3 Electrical principle for the selector type on-load tap changer (diverter/selector combination) The selector type on-load tap changer combines the diverter switch and tap selector into one simple switch.

Oil analysis should be in accordance with IEC 60 422. Type UZ (Main Door Open) Type UB (Active Components) Extending Intervals between Overhauls The time-based overhaul criteria is normally decided by the network application. contamination and moisture. includes checking the motor drive mechanism and recording the number of tap change operations.000 – 100.3 Easy maintenance Tap-changers have been manufactured by ABB since 1910 and more than 30. The annual inspection.000 of today’s Type UC/UZ/UB are in service. without requiring special skills or special tools.000 operations. whichever comes first. which can be carried out while the transformer is in service. the time-based overhaul intervals for the Type UC can be extended to every 15 years and in number of operations to 150. Field service of type UC tap changer Tap Changer Service Tap changer service consists of two parts. inspection and overhaul.000 operations. Overhaul requires that the transformer is taken out of service and is normally required after seven years of service (five years for Type UB) or every 80.4. The hallmark has always been quick and easy maintenance. One example is that maintenance on the Type UC and UZ tap changers is possible in any tap position without dismantling the shaft system. provided that an oil sample is taken prior to commissioning the tap changer and then every fourth year.000 – 200. By assessing the dielectric integrity of the insulating oil for deterioration. 3 .