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Maintenance of Sub Station


Er K. V. Surya Prakasa Rao,

Former S.E.(Transco)
Objectives of Maintenance
• Helps in Trouble free operation of equipment
• Minimizes break downs and interruption to
• Reduces O & M costs (Expenditure)
• Helps in achieving expected period of services
• Improves creditablity
Types of Maintenance
• Preventive Maintenance
• Predictive Maintenance
• Break down Maintenance
General Complaints at Sub Stations
• Burning of closing coils and tripping coils.
• Failure of Trip / Alarm Bells / Hooter.
• DC fuse blowing or DC MCB tripping.
• Complaints with battery chargers – Non functioning of chargers, PCB failures
• Erosion of battery connecting strips.
• Oil leakage from power transformers and instrument transformers.
• Mechanical Problems with circuit breakers mechanism, failure of spring charge
• Gas leakages from SF6 circuit breakers.
• Failure of vaccum in vaccum circuit breakers.
• Improper closing of Isolators, earth switches
• Red-hot's at connecting clamps, Isolator contacts.
• Burning of relay contacts.
• Power and control cable failures.
• Problems in communication system
• Mal operation of protective relays
Good O&M Practices Cont---

At Substations
• Adequate housekeeping
• Adequate illumination in the station
• Cable trench covers
• Panel doors shut properly.
• Cables & equipment in poor condition
• Adequate sizing of all equipment
• Protections are functional
• Proper maintenance practices

Good O&M Practices Cont---

• Load balancing
• Releases and settings for air circuit breakers
• Relay Co-ordination
• Safety of men and material.
• Work-to-permit
• Data Logging
• Predictive, preventive and break down
• T&P

Good O&M Practices Cont---

• Infra red cameras for cyclic inspections of o/h lines, Substation

bus bars for hot spots caused by faulty terminals.
• Live line washing for cleaning overhead lines and open
terminal substation insulators by use of purified water with
high resistance value in a fine spray from well-earthed nozzles.
• Regular switchgear site tests that would, in general, include:
• Cracking and chipping of bushings
• Checking of foundation bolts
• Tightness of terminal connections and bolted joints

Good O&M Practices Cont---
Painting and corrosion protection
Cleanliness and housekeeping
Lubrication of moving parts of circuit breakers
Oil levels
Quality of SF6 gas for humidity, pressure or density
Verification of correct operating sequence
Closing and opening times
Operation of auxiliary circuits
Die-electric strength and contact resistance
Earth resistance measurement
Checking earth connections periodically

Creating Data Base

• Record keeping of faults, equipment maintenance programs,

and modifications carried out and solutions applied.
• Record of protective and isolating devices installed and their
relay settings.
• Record of factory tests, site tests, inspection and
commissioning protocols.
• Framing guidelines, periodicity, check-list and computerized
maintenance schedules for key substation equipment like:
• Circuit breakers
• Battery, battery room, float-cum-booster chargers
• Distribution transformers
• All the data would be formatted and accountability fixed for
ensuring compliance. This data would form historical and
computerized base for archives of the utility.

• Lay down procedures for PTW (Permit to work) so as to
ensure safety of the personnel and the public.
• Procedure for cancellation of PTW and issue of “line
 Cable live terminals are properly insulated.
 Do not Provide two parallel ACBs for one transformer..
 Do not Provide one isolators for two transformers.
 Handle to switch On/OFF the Breaker is in place
 Arc chute is existing
 Cover plate is in place.
 Termination of the cables is in proper condition with the
provision of plate washer, socket, plate washer, spring washer,
nut and self-locking check nut, in that order. Availability of all
the safety equipment.
 Awareness creation to the workmen about safety
1 SF6 density monitoring Daily in each If appreciable change is observed compared to
shift earlier readings, leakage check to be carried out
2 Measurement of Humidity of SF6 gas Yearly Use Dew Point meter. If deviation from standard
norms is observed, the evacuation, recycling and
refilling of SF6 gas is to be carried out
3 Acid concentration measurement of SF6 Gas Yearly

4 Air content measurement of SF6 gas Yearly

5 SF6 gas leakage test Yearly Check the complete breaker for SF6 gas leakage
including the seal assembly of driving rod. If
any leakage is detected the same should be
arrested in consultation with manufacturer and
after arresting the leakage the SF6 gas pressure
is to be brought upto rated pressure by topping
up SF6 gas
6 a. Checking of insulation of control Yearly Minimum 2 Mega Ohms with a 500 V megger
circuit wirings
b. Measurement of Insulation Yearly To be done by 2.5 KV megger or above
resistance across contacts (with
breaker off) and pole to earth with
breaker on
7 Evacuation, recycling and refilling of SF6 5 yearly This may be done whenever the humidity in SF6
gas gas in excess of permissible value.
8 Checking the Br.level with spirit level Yearly
1 Checking of air pressure Daily in each shift
If appreciable changes is
observed, compared to earlier
readings, leakage check to be
carried out
2 Draining out condensed water from HP Twice daily at 6 AM Frequency of draining may be
cylinders and 6 PM increased during rainy season
and winter
3 Draining out condensed water from circuit Monthly -do-
breaker tanks
4 Visual checking of oil level in the dash pot; Monthly
checking of manometer readings
5 Capatiance measurement for Grading Yearly
6 Measuring insulation resistance of control Yearly Minimum 2 Mega Ohms with a
circuit wiring and measuring IR values 500V Megger
7 Measurement of IR values across contacts Yearly Minimum 2.5 KV megger to be
(each break) with breaker off and pole to used
earth with breaker ON
8 Checking the Br. Level with spirit level Yearly
1 Measuring I.R values of the poles with Monthly Record the value and compare with
breaker open (i.e., across contacts) and earlier values
breaker closed (pole to earth)

2 High voltage test across contacts of each Yearly To ensure dielectric strength of vacuum
vacuum interrupter interrupters

3 Measuring insulation resistance of control Yearly Minimum 2 Mega ohms with a 500 V
circuit wiring megger

4 Anti condensation heathers Daily Ensure that heater is on and is working


1 Checking of oil leakage from guage glass, Daily

drain valve and other joints
2 Testing of oil samples for dielectric strength Quarterly If the valve is low oil should be replaced
with fresh tested oil. Oil shall also be
replaced after 12 trippings on fault or as
per recommendations of manufacturer.
Oil filling instructions given by the
manufacturer s hall be followed.
3 Measuring IR values across contacts with Quarterly
breaker off and pole to earth with breaker on NOTE : Before closing MOCB on a fault,
the operator should ensure that adequate
oil level is available in the breaker by
observing the guage glass and if adequate
oil is not available, the breaker should not
be test charged.
4 Checking the Br. Level with spirit level Yearly
(Common to all Breakers)
1 Operating time including Pre-insertion Yearly Circuit breaker analyser may be used.
resistor (wherever applicable) Results are to be recorded and compared
2 Contract travel Yearly with the commissioning test result. If there is
difference in the values, or if the values are
3 Speed curves Yearly beyond limits prescribed by the
Manufacturer, the manufacturer has to be
4 Pole discrepancy Yearly
informed and all the operation checks are to
(for individual pole operted)
be made in the presence of manufacturer &
remedial measures are to be taken
5 Functional checks duty cycle operation Yearly
including rapid reclosing
6 Checking of all operational lock outs Yearly

7 Checking of all interlocks Yearly

8 Contact resistance measurement Yearly Not to exceed 100 Micro ohms (by
measuring DC voltage drop)
9 Checking of pressure setting sand calibration Yearly
of meters
10 Through checking up of close and trip coils Yearly Resistance and pickup voltage are to be
checked and compared with previous values
(pre- commissioning results)


Checking conditions of spring tension Quarterly

Lubricating the motor bearings Quarterly

I.R values of motor winding Quarterly

Checking interlocking mechanism Quarterly

i) Checking of air pressure Daily
ii) Draining of moisture from air receiver, Daily/ Weekly Daily for central compressor unit and
visual inspection cleaning weekly for individual compressor unit

iii) Checking of tightness of compressed air Yearly

pipes work and coupling
iv) Checking of cumulative running hour of Once in each Action to be taken as per manufacturer’s
compressor shift recommendations
v) Checking of air pressure drop during duty Yearly Pressure drop in the air pressure to be
cycle operation checked for each sequence of operation and
to be compared with data sheets
vi) Check for compressor running sound Monthly
vii) Lubrication, greasing of moving parts of Yearly
the compressor
viii) Blowing out dust in the windings of Monthly
compressor motor
ix) Checking for proper functioning of safety yearly
valves in compressed air system
x) Overhauling of compressor motors Yearly
xi) Checking interlocks low and high air Yearly
pressure and correct operation
xii) Checking of various pressure switches for Yearly
proper operation
Checking of oil pressure and level Daily If appreciable change is observed as
compared to previous readings,
leakage check is to be carried out
Visual check for oil leakage Daily
Checking for cumulative pump running hours Once in each shift

Replacement/topping up of oil As and when

Visual checking of accumulator, main valves and Weekly
operating cylinders
vi) Checking of printing pressure of nitrogen, Yearly
nitrogen replenishment (if necessary)
vii) Checking operating pressure of safety valve Yearly
viii) Checking oil pressure drop during duty cycle Yearly Drop in pressure of oil to be checked
operation for each sequence of operation and to
be compared with data sheets.

ix) Checking condition of oil Yearly If the oil is found to be contaminated,

drain the oil and clean both oil tank
and oil filter.
x) Overhauling of oil pump Yearly
xi) Checking for tightness of oil pipe work and Yearly

1 Evacuation, recycling and refilling of SF6 gas 5 yearly Assistance of

manufacturer may be

2 Replacement of gaskets

3 Operating rod cleaning and inspection

4 Dismantling, cleaning and reassembly of

operating mechanism

5 Interrupting chamber overhaul

3 Maintenance schedule for Batteries/Battery chargers/ DC Distribution system
S.No Item of maintenance Periodicity Remarks
1 Cleaning of battery surface joints and all connections Daily To be done on
rotation so as to
cover all the cells
in10 days
2 Specific gravity measurement of pilot cell Daily -do-
3 Voltage reading of pilot cells Daily -do-
4 Visual checking of battery room ventilation and Daily -
5 Checking of electrical connections for tightness Weekly -
6 Application of petroleum jelly to joints and cell Weekly -
7 Checking electrolyte level and topping up with DM Weekly -
8 Shallow discharge (10 hour rate) and recharging Yearly The discharge to be
done for a specified
9 Readjustment of specific gravity Yearly -
10 Checking of healthiness of AC supply to the charger Daily -
11 Checking of float charging Daily -
current (DC)
12 Output voltage check Daily -

13 Charger cleaning with blower Fortnightly -

14 Checking control chords Yearly -

15 Complete overhaul Yearly

16 Checking for DC earth fault Daily Earth fault to be attended

17 Check of emergency lights Daily Fused lights to be replaced
18 Auto-start and running up of DG Daily -
19 Checking DC distribution
i. External Daily -
ii. Internal Quarterly -

20 Checking of all electrical Quarterly -

connections of charger panel for
tightness and cleaning
21 Calibration of all meters and Yearly -
relays in the charger and the DCB
4. Maintenance Schedule for Lightning Arrestors
S.No. Item of maintenance Periodicity Remarks

1 Visual Inspection Daily If chipping / crack in the

insulators is observed replacement
action may be taken
2 Surge counter reading Daily -

3 Leakage current reading and Once for shift Should be in green zone
4 Earth resistance Quarterly -

5 Leakage current analysis Quarterly For gapless lighting arrestors only

6 IR value Yearly Compare results with those

obtained previously
7 Connections Yearly -

8 Calibration of leakage current Yearly -

9 Cleaning of Insulator Yearly -
5. Maintenance Schedule for Isolators

S.No. Item of maintenance Periodicity Remarks

1 Visual inspection Daily Visual inspection for cleanliness
of insulation, proper alignment of
contact arm blades, any abnormal
noise and arcing will be carried
2 (a) Main contacts checking including earth switch high voltage terminal Yearly Opportunity of shut down should
tightning contact resistance checking including cleaning and lubrication of be availed of whenever possible,
main contacts the checks and measurements
should be performed without
disturbing the connections
2 (b) Main blades and main contacts checking of (i) alignment (ii) bolds, nuts, Yearly
washers, cotterpins, terminal connectors, are in place and tight. Examine the
contacts, heck to determine that they are aligned and contact surfaces bear with
a firm uniform pressure, check contact surfaces, replace any pitted or burnt
contacts or smoothen down the surface of the contacts with fine sand paper
depending upon the condition of the contacts.
See the bolts, nuts, washers, cotter pins and terminal connectors are in place
and tight. If the switch in group operated inter phase linkage, line operating
parts, rods, levers, bearings etc. should be cleaned and lubricated, as required
to the manufacturers recommendations
3 Operating mechanism

Checking of
 Linkages including transmission gears Quarterly Check the isolator operation. If
 Stopper bolts the operating efforts appear to be
 Limit switch setting excessive check the rotor
 Greasing of drive bearings, all the linkages for the
 Greasing of auxiliary switch contacts proper operation
 Position and tightening of cable glands (before start of the rainy season)

4 Insulators MOM box cleaning and lubrication of operating mechanism hinges Yearly Opportunity of shut down should
locks, joints on levers, etc, check all mounting booth for tightness be availed of whenever possible

5 Visual check of Auxiliary contact Quarterly The check should be done for any
arcing marks on contacts, burning
of switch housing etc.
6 Checking for proper functioning of space heaters, illumination etc. Quarterly

7 Checking of electrical/ mechanical inter locks Yearly

8 Earth-switch – checking of
 Alignment of earth blade Yearly
 Contact cleanliness
 Correct operation of earthin switch
 Alluminium/Copper flexible (if provided)
9 Checking of earth connections Yearly

 Structure
 MOM Box
Standard Acceptance Norms for Isolator during preventive maintenance

S.No Type of Isolator and name of Voltage (KV) Current rating/

Manufacturer Value of contact
Between terminal

1 220 KV HEB
 SMC 245 KV 1600A/100 micro ohms
 HIVELM 245 KV 1600A/175 micro ohms

2 13 KV HEM
 BIMCS 145 KV 1250A/146 micro ohms
 SSPL 145 KV 1250A/200 micro ohms

NOTE : The values of contact resistance given above are the measured during
type tests, the measured values during site tests should be within 120% of the
values indicated.
6. Maintenance Schedule for Current Transformers
S.No Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks
1 Visual check Daily
(Porcelain, Unusual
noise, discolouration of
terminals etc.)
2 Oil leakage Daily Visual check only
3 Oil level Monthly To be recorded
4 Space heater and Monthly Operation check
lighting of marshalling
5 Cleaning of Half- yearly
marshalling box and
junction boxes
6 All connections Yearly Check for looseness
7 IR value Yearly Compare with pre-
commissioning test
8 Earth resistance Yearly
9 Tan Delta test Yearly Compare with factory
test results
Maintenance for CVTs
S.No Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks

1 Oil leakage Daily Visual checks

2 Cattering sounds Daily If present, measure

capacitance and
compare with the
designed value
3 Oil level Monthly To be recorded

4 Earthing of PLCC link (in case it is Monthly -

not being used)
5 H.F. Bushing Monthly Check for any
6 Spartik gap cleaning Yearly If accessible

7 Cleaning of insulator Yearly

8 Capacitance measurement Yearly Compare with the

factory test
results/designed value
9 Earthpit resistance Yearly
8. Maintenance schedule for earth pits in sub-stations
S.No Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks

1 Watering of earth pits Daily

2 Measurement of earth Half-yearly

resistance of individual

3 Measurement of Half-yearly
combined earth
resistance of all the

4 Checking of Quarterly
between earth pits and
tightness of bolts and

Special Note :
Complete and comprehensive record of pre-commissioning test result for each equipment is to
be maintained and periodical test values must be compared with the pre-commissioning Test
results for taking appropriate action.

The following are guidelines for maintaining voltage and specific gravity of the cells at a uniform
value :

– When the battery is to be stored for long period, before putting into service, necessary
care is to be taken for proper storage, other-wise there may be possibility of oxidation
which may have adverse impact on the porosity of the plates. The Cells will develop
uniform poraoity only after repeated charge/discharge cycles and adjustment of specific
gravity has to be made thereafter in all the Cells.

– Variation in the quantity of Distilled water while topping up or failure to tope up some cells
may also contribute to the variations in cell voltage and specific gravity

– After installation of the battery, if voltages and specific gravities are not uniform and
varying then equalizing charge shall be made by adjustment of electrolyte, ie., in addition
or removal of electrolyte and/or addition of Distilled water is made until the specific
gravities are uniform. This adjustment may be repeated after some cycles of operation ie.,
after 30 or 45 days.

– Batteries should not be kept under continuous Boost Charge. Batteries shall be on float
charge only. After sufficient discharge of the Battery (as indicated by the Voltage and
specific gravity of the Cell, Battery shall be kept under Boost charge for the required
number of hours only to get the normal voltage and specific gravity.
• Sub-station layout in detail including various equipment, particulars of Power Transformers,
Breakers, CTs, PTs, Isolators, LAs, Batteries and Battery Charges, Station Transformers, Fire
fighting equipment, Capacitor banks etc.,
• In-feeding sources
• Outgoing feeders and important load centers connected to their sub-station
• Normal infeed and alternate in feeds – Comprehensive idea of the grid and location of the
substation with reference to grid. A grid map showing the in-feeding sources and important
load centers connected to the substation to be prepared and displayed.
• Importance of various equipment available in the substation including capacitor banks
• Thorough knowledge of normal operations and emergency operations to be carried out.
• Battery charger operation – change from Float to Boost and Boost to Float rates changing in
each mode.
• Paralleling and deparalleling operation of transformers
• Operating instructions for all contingencies including issue and receipt of line clear.
• Lock-out values of gas pressures minimum air pressure where compressors shall start
automatically and hydraulic fluid pressure where pump shall start automatically for different
makes of Circuit breakers. A chart showing make, type, reference to P.O of power transformers,
and breakers and the available and set parameters such as temperature alarms, trips Auto start
and stop of cooler fans in respect of power transformers and gas pressures, air/hydraulic
pressures, densities in respect of breakers shall be displayed for ready reference.
• CT available and adopted ratios, relay settings meaning of relay indications on all circuit
• Bucholtz and differential relay indications. All annunciations and meaning and consequences of
• Knowledge of all the relays and their functioning, purpose and shall be able to interpret correctly to
decide whether the equipment can be charged again or to be kept isolated for further inspection/check-
up by the concerned Maintenance/MRT personnel (especially when lockout relays, pressure relief relays,
temperature relays, bucholtz relay sand differential relays operate)
• The works being done by MRT/Maintenance staff in the sub-station whenever they attend to the same
shall follow the works being done by them.
• While taking over the shift duty, he shall go through the entire log of operations from the time last
handed over to charge to know the important events happened, works done, condition of the equipment,
line clears pending etc.
• While taking over shift duty he has to check condition of communication equipment, lines, battery
charger, batteries, feeders and transformers, breakers as pressures, air pressures, healthy trip circuits, any
relay indications not reset etc.
• Whenever any feeder/equipment is loaded beyond normal load due to emergencies, such equipment
shall be kept under close observation until normalcy is restored, temperature on transformers under such
overloading conditions and cooler fans operation shall be constantly monitored.
• In case of certain emergencies where operations started in particular shift are likely to be carried out
during next shift the personnel of both the shifts shall be available till the operations are completed and
normalcy is restored. Shift duties should not be handed over to successor staff in the middle of an
• Whenever new ADEs/AEs are posted to shift, senior personnel of other cadres in the Station shall be
attached to them atleast for a fortnight, so that, new personnel get themselves acquainted with the
operations and equipment
• Red hot joints at the substation shall not be continued even for brief periods. They shall be attended on
priority. Each day during evening peak hours, the yard lighting should be switched off for a while and bad
clamps joints should be identified and intimated to maintenance staff.
• Operating instructions shall be available in the control room on the shift incharge table. All the shift
supervisory personnel shall sign in the operation instruction booklet to the effect that they have read the
same and understood them completely.
• Voltages 400KV,220 KV, 132 KV, 33 KV and 11 KV shall be observed and to be
maintained nearest to the rated values by operation of tap changers of
transformers. A little higher voltage is to be maintained (not exceeding 10%) so
that tail end voltages are normal.
• Constant monitoring of capacitor banks.
• Healthy trips of all the breakers. Healthy trips of all breakers shall be checked every
hour. If healthy trip fails, the breaker shall immediately be hand tripped, fault in
the healthy trip circuit shall be immediately attended and rectified. Only after
ensuring DC supply, the breaker shall be closed. Healthy trip indicating lamps shall
be in working condition.
• Batttery voltages, DC leakage, Charger condition, AC switch to charger (once in a
shift) and observe any fall in DC battery voltage.
• Communication equipment such as PLCC, P&T and wireless shall always be in
working condition. They are to be treated on par with all other equipment at the
• Check the loading on the transformers and capacitor banks. Load current in all the
three phases and in neutral circuit (wherever available) to be checked. Any
difference in phase currents shall be brought to the notice of maintenance staff
and the concerned transformer or capacitor bank shall be cut off from service for
detailed examination.
• Note the oil and winding temperature and physically check-up by feeling
the temperature of transformers by hand.
• Note the tap position of various transformers. The tap position of the
transformers in parallel shall be same i.e., the voltage corresponding to
the tap shall be same.
• Note the oil levels in conservator tanks
• Check up for any oil leaks and red hots.
• Check-up dehydrating breathers of transformers
• Ensure that alarams and indications on annunciation panel are working
• Check the diesel generator and trial run for 5 minutes daily once in the
morning shift and note down the voltage.
• Check the condition of Air compressors provided either common or
separately for each breaker and drain the moisture accumulated once in a
day during morning shift. During Rainy season this should be done once in
each shift. Drain sufficient air to ensure auto start of compressors.
• Running hours of each station compressors to be noted periodically and
they shall be changed ‘stand by’ to ‘running’ to ‘stand by’. Register of
running h ours of each station compressor shall be maintained.
• Check the entire yard for any unusual sounds, sparkings and red hots during evening shift.
• Compressed air lines to be checked for any air leakage. The oil levels in air compressors are to be checked
• Check oil levels and condition of breather if available for the MOCBs
• Check up gas pressures in SF 6 breakers.
• Check up for any sparking and flash over marks in the earth pits specially whenever feeders trip on faults.
• Watering of earth pits to be done daily.
• Ensure proper working of Energy meters on all CBs. If the energy meters are slow or not working, check
the potential supply to the meters, fuses etc.
• Ensure the tripping of breakers on activation of relays whenever the LCs are issued on breakers.
• When LC is issued on Power Transformers, Alarms and Trips are to be invariably checked up with the
assistance of MRT/maintenance personnel
• Check-up fire fighting equipment once in a week.
• OLTC counter reading to be noted.
• Ensure that lightening arrestor’s micro ammeter reading is in safe zone (Green)
• Whenever feeders trip, find out the position of breakers at other end and note down relay indications if
any at other end.
• Whenever the relays of feeders/Transformers become due for periodical testing intimate the same to
Divisional Engineer in charge of sub-station and give a message to MRT for testing the same.

• Check-up the marshalling boxes of breakers, CT junction boxes, PT junction boxes etc. and ensure that no
creepers can enter into the same.
• Check up the batteries, exhaust fans in the battery room for proper operation once in every shift, and
report any abnormalities to the maintenance staff immediately.
• Ensure that hind doors of al control and relay panels are properly closed, and the panels are properly
sealed from the bottom and made vermin proof.
Sl. Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks
1. Checking the colour of silicagel in the breather and replacement or Daily
reconditioning if colour changes from blue to pink say about 50% of the total
quantity. Checking up the oil level of the oil seal (to be upto the level marked in
the cup)
2. Checking of oil level in a) Main conservator b) OLTC conservator c) bushings Daily
and examining for leaks of oil
3 Visual check for overheating if any at terminal connections and checking for Daily each shift
unusual internal noises
4 Checking for noise and vibrations or an abnormality from oil pumps and cooling Daily
5 Checking up of oil and winding temperatures Hourly

6 Checking for pressure relief explosion vent diaphram from cracks Daily

6 Forced cooling system: Checking for leakage of water into cooler (forced Daily
(a) cooling system by oil pumps)
7 Cleaning of bushings. Inspect for any cracks or chippings of the porcelain Monthly

8 Ensuring that oil comes out when air release valve is opened (of the main tank) Quarterly

9 Measuring insulation resistance of windings with an appropriate Megger (note Quarterly

down oil temp.)
10 Checking up of winding and oil temperature. Bucholtz and surge relay and oil Quarterly
(a) level trips for correct operation
Sl.No. Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks

11 OLTC oil test for BDV and moisture content. Ensure oil Quarterly
level in OLTC
12 Main tank oil testing for BDV and moisture content Half yearly

13 a) Checking of Bucholtz relay for any gas Quarterly or during fault

collection and testing the gas collected Half yearly or during
b) Checking of operation of Bucholtz relay by shutdown
air injection Monthly or as when shut
c) Noting the oil level in the inspection glass or down availed
Bucholtz relay, arresting

14 Tap changer
a) Lubricating / greasing all moving parts Quarterly
15 Checking of all connection on the transformer for tightness
such as bushings, tank earth connection, etc. Quarterly
Sl.No. Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks
16 Forced cooling system
a) Megger testing of motors (pump) lubricating the Yearly
mechanical parts and cooling fans Quarterly
b) Cleaning of water jacket Quarterly
c) Cleaning of water jacket circuits of oil pumps Quarterly
and cooling fans for earth leakage overload trip
alarm, etc.
d) Checking of interlocks for pumps. Cooling of
interlocks for pumps. Cooling Air Blast fans for
Auto Start and Stop operation at correct
temperature setting and for manual operation

17 Oil level in oil seal and replacement Quarterly

18 Testing of oil for dissolved gas analysis for 100 MVA and above. Half yearly Other Transformers such
If the results show abnormality, frequency of DGA may be as 50 MVA, 31.5 MVA
increased as per the recommendations of R&D and 10/16 MVA Trs.
Which are in service for
more than 5 years
19 Pressure testing of oil coolers Half Yearly

20 Testing of motors, pumps and calibrating pressure gauges, etc. Half Yearly
Sl.No. Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks
21 Overhauling of pumps, motors and cooling fans Yearly or as and when
22 Testing of oil in main tank for acidity, tan delta, IFT and resistivity Yearly
23 Bushings testing for tan delta Yearly
24 Calibration of oil and winding temperature indicator Yearly
25 Measurement of excitation current at low voltage at normal tap and Yearly
extreme taps
26 Measurement of DC winding resistance Yearly
27 Ratio test at all taps Yearly
28 Checking the bushing CT for WTI for correct ratio Yearly
a) Inspection of contacts in diverter Depending upon the no. of
operations as
recommended by the
b) Driving mechanism visual check-up, overhauling if necessary Yearly
30 a) Tap position indicator Yearly
b) Checking for proper working of remote tap position indicator, Yearly
remote winding test indicator
Sl.No. Item of Maintenance Periodicity Remarks
31 Operating of Bucholtz relay for alarm and trip by Yearly
draining of oil and injection of air with cycle pump

32 Checking for leakage in air cell (for transformers fitted Yearly

with Air Cell)
33 Oil level in Thermometer pocket top up if required Yearly

34 Bushing partial discharge test and capacitance Once in 5 years

35 General Overhaul Once in 10 years
a) Core tightening
b) De-sludging / washing of windings
c) Inspection of core and windings
d) Replacement of all gaskets
e) Check core bolt insulation

36 Filtration of oil Whenever oil test

results are below
permissible limits
Electrical Power Systems – Certain Standards, Do’s, Dont’s and facts
• Today’s transformers shall not be overloaded even for short durations also.
This is more critical in the tropical areas where atmospheric temperatures
rise more than 40° C
• The Guaranteed temperature rise of the transformers at rated load is 50° C
above ambient temperature.
• The Flash and fire point temperature of transformer oil in a new transformer as
received from the manufacturer is about 120° C to 125° C.
• When the transformer continues in service there is likelihood of decrease in
flash and fire point temperatures of the transformer oil.
• When we operate the transformer at 110 % of its rated load (10% overloading)
the losses in the transformer will increase by 21% above the rated full load
• There by during 10% overloading, transformer oil temperature also may
increase by 21%.
• There by on over load especially during summer seasons the transformer oil
may flash inside the tank and transformer do fail.
• Transformers are not to be operated on over voltages also. Operation of
Transformers on over voltages increases iron losses , leads to saturation of core
and strain the insulation, causes huge humming & vibrations in the core and
continuous operation of transformers on over voltage may fail the
• The maximum optimum loading on the transformer shall not be more than 80% of its rated
• Efficient loading on the transformer is about 50% of its rated capacity
• The sustaining time of the transformer at maximum rated fault current (short circuit current)
is not more than 2 seconds.
• Frequent closing of circuit breaker of a feeder on fault will damage the winding and
insulation materials etc. of the transformer.
• A Silicagel breather without oil/to the level , in the oil cup or without oil cup itself is not to
be used.
• An oil cup with oil to the level of the Silicagel breather is a sort of oil seal between the
atmospheric air and Silicagel container.
• An un cleared earth fault in the system do cause high temperatures in the transformer
feeding that fault. So the thermometers to the transformer are essential to be in working
condition and properly set for alarms/ tripping of circuit breakers connected to the
• Low oil level alarm for the conservator tank shall be in proper working condition.
• Oil leaks from the transformer is dangerous to the transformer since moisture in the
atmospheric air outside the transformer will be absorbed by the leaking oil and pass the
same moisture in to the transformer oil and winding insulation . Leaking oil comes in
contact with oxygen in the air and acidity of oil may increase
• Permitting the moisture in to the transformer oil is a sort of injecting slow poison to a living
• In an in service transformer the moisture content in the core and
winding is almost 4 times to the moisture in the transformer oil.
• Filtration of transformer oil is carried out generally before putting a new
transformer into service or when oil condition in an in service
transformer is detoriated. When filteration of the transformer oil in a
transformer is carried out the IR values of the transformer as well as
BDV values of the transformer oil are to be monitored during the
filteration. Only When both the values are improved to the required
level then only filteration is stopped and other tests are to be carried
out and transformer may be charged when all the values are proper
When the transformer is taken in to service after filteration continue
the same atleast for 15 days in service and then IR values of transformer
and BDV values of the transformer oil are to be tested and compared
with the values obtained after filteration before charging the
transformer. If there is substantial decrease in the BDV of oil after 15
days operation, it shows that during filteration moisture content in the
core and winding is not eliminated fully. So again the transformer oil is
to be filtered. The filteration of power transformer is to be carried out
with high vaccum filter. During filteration the oil temperature shall be
maintained at 60° C only , and the vaccum shall be maintained at 760
mm Hg.
• The oil in the “on load tap changers” are to be replaced
once in a year with new, filtered tested transformer oil
irrespective of the operation of the OLTC. Total
maintenance of OLTC is to be done once in year or
whenever 5000 operations are carried out whichever is
earlier , or as per manufacturer’s guide lines.
• The contact resistant of the circuit breaker, isolators in
closed position shall not be more than 25 micro ohms.
• Higher resistance in the above equipment will cause higher
I2R losses and higher voltage drop when they carry load
• The measurement of contact resistance of the circuit
breaker and isolators shall be done with a precession micro
ohm meter.
• There are no gauges provided to the vaccum circuit breakers to measure the
vaccum in the vaccum bottles. Lower vaccum/ no vaccum in the vaccum circuit
breakers do cause passing of high voltage supply in the breakers even in open
condition so the vaccum integrity of the VCB shall be checked periodically with a
vaccum checker. Where vaccum checker is not available the circuit breaker is to be
tested across each limb in open condition with a 2.5 KV megger across its contacts.
The value shall be more than 3000 mega ohms.
• One terminal of the secondary cores of the instrument transformer shall be
earthed to safe guard the instruments (relays and meters) connected and the
persons nearer to the instruments during the failure of instrument transformers.
• The auxiliary contact of the circuit breaker ( NO contact) connected in series with
trip coil shall not be by- passed. It is for the protection of trip coil as well as that of
“final trip relay “contact.
• In a 33/11 KV Sub Station with 24 Volts battery system each breaker shall have
independent 24 Volts battery source ( Charger and Battery) This is more specific
where ever Static / Micro processor based programmable protective relays are
used. They pose a DC burden of 10VA per relay on the system. There by each relay
draws 0.5 AMPS DC current at 24V as long they are in service.
• Where ever DC leakage Milli Ammeter are provided on the DC
panel in the sub station they are to be monitored regularly. If DC
leakage is more than 10 milli amps it is an emergency for the sub
station and the DC leakage is to be rectified on war footing.
• Once in a month the DC positive and negative are to be connected
to the earth through test lamp, one after another, to ensure that
there is no DC leakage in the system as well as DC leakage milli
ammeter is working.
• Continuous DC leakage in the DC system do cause reversal of
polarity of the battery cells. There by during a fault on a feeders
breakers may not trip.
• During daily, weekly testing of battery cells AC supply to the
battery charger is to be kept off and battery cells are tested on
• During normal conditions of the Sub Station Charger will be
supplying DC power to the System components and Indication
system etc on the panels. Battery will be in floating condition.
During tripping of circuit breakers on fault charger may not
support the battery. Battery will be carrying out the automatic
tripping of circuit breakers on fault without the support of the
charger in general.
• If in a Sub Station the specific gravities of battery cells are falling requiring boost
charging of the batteries frequently, then the DC load requirement of the
protective system in the substation during service is to be compared with the
charger output DC amperage setting and actual DC output during operation, if
required the charger output DC amps may have to be increased to the requirement
of substation DC loads.
• In a 33/11 KV Sub Station the 11 KV feeders shall be provided with 2 nos over
current Instantaneous, 1 no Earth fault instantaneous relays along with IDMT
relays. The plug setting of the instantaneous earth fault relay is to be set as that of
IDMT earth fault relay.
• In a 33/11 KV Sub Station the Earth fault relay provided on the HV side of 33/11 KV
Power Transformer of Delta/Star type will protect only 33 KV side up to and
inclusive of delta winding in the power transformer. So zone of protection of earth
fault relay on HV side of power transformer is limited to delta winding of power
transformers, as such in a way it is a restricted earth fault relay. Hence the time
lever setting of E/F relay on HV side of the power transformer in a 33/11 KV Sub
station can be kept minimum to have proper protection to the power transformer
HV winding.
• From the above it is evident that in Delta/Star power transformers at the 33/11 KV
Sub Stations the star winding is not protected by earth fault relay on H.V. side..
Hence the 33/11 KV Power Transformer are to be provided either with differential
relays or restricted earth fault relay on LV side of the Power Transformer.
• Non tripping of circuit breaker of capacitor bank on failure of incoming supply to
S.S. or on tripping of L.V. breaker is a serious complaint It is to be attended
immediately, if not, capacitor bank is to be isolated from busbars until defect is
Distribution System – Operation – Certain Points
• Low voltages and High System Loses are the two main
problems in the distribution system in India. The reasons are:
a) Over loading of Distribution Transformers and
Distribution lines.
b) Huge amount of Inductive loading due to agriculture
pump sets.
Improvements required to the system:
a) Adopting HVDS completely in the distribution sector.
b) Reconductoring:- Replacement of 11 KV & 33 KV old
conductors with higher size conductor.
c) Reducing the length of 11 KV lines in rural sector to 5
kilometers or less by installing more number of
33/11 KV substations.
d) Providing of direct 33 KV lines from EHT substations to
33/11 KV substations
Operating 11KV and 33KV feeders nearer to unity
power factor by installing required number of LT
capacitors and 11KV automatic switched line
It is felt preferable to use following conductors for the
various lines:
• 33 KV lines – 120 sq. mm / 150 sq. mm conductor,
• 11 KV lines – 80 sq. mm / 50 sq. mm conductor,

Some Case Studies
• 1)Repairs of distribution transformers-testing –back to back.
• 2)Transformer oil reclamation for DTrs.
• 3)One BHEL make 100MVA Power Transformer at Ghanapur 220/132 KV S.S. tripped on Diffl.
Relay due oil detoriation of oil and more moisture in the oil. After through filteration of oil in
the transformer the transformer stood alright.
• 4)At 33/11KV Shamshabad S.S. Knockling sound in the 8MVA power transformers observed
for a moment whenever 33KV supply was received at the S.S. and transformers were
charged. The bottom dirty oil was replaced with filtered ,tested, new transformer oil then
there was no sound from the transformers on charging.
• 5)Fire in 66/11 K.V. HV/LV control panel at Ramagundam power station-A.
• 6) Frequent D.Trs failure due to fault in consumer’s 3 Phase motor at Ramannapet in
Nalgonda District.
• 7)Failure of 132 KV L.As 0f Ramagundam- Warangal 132 KV Feeders at Ramagundam.
8)Polarity reversal of battery cells at Ramagundam Power station-B.
• 9)Uncleared earth fault on one 11KV feeder from 33/11KV Sharajpet S.S- effect on power
• 10)Uncleared earth fault on 132 KV LCPH(NGSR) --K.M. Pally feeder- effect on power
transformers at KM pally.
• 11)Failure of 33KV, 5 MVA ,3 phase BOOSTER and power transformerin 33/11kv s.s. due
to33 KV earth fault on incoming 33 kv line, in Mahboobnagar District.
• 12)Open circuit developed in 33KV feeder C.T. secondary at 132 /33 KV Suryapet S.S.
• ( contd. )
• 13)Open circuit developed in 11K.V. HT service C.T. at Suryavamsi spinning mill at
• 14)Frequent loose connection at relay terminals of out door kiosk model circuit
breakers at Ibrahimbagh 33/11K.V. S.S.
• 15)33/11KV S.S. constructed with PSCC poles. Un cleared earth fault on 11KV
feeder caused fusing steel wires in the pole structures .
• 16)Nizamsagar hydro power station-Idle lead sheathed control cable left in cable
trench burnt due to external 11KV earth fault.
• 17)Repairs to 132kv/33kv,31.5MVA power transformer at Shapurnagar repair bay
• 18) Sparing of transformer oil to R R circle by PGCL Hyderabad
• 19)Failure of vaccum in 11 kv feeder VCB at Allwyn 33/11kv S.S., HMT33/11kv
S.S., Osmania Hospital 33/11kv S.S., HYDERABAD.
• 13)Open circuit developed in 11K.V. HT service C.T. at Suryavamsi spinning mill at Bhonagir.
• 14)Frequent loose connection at relay terminals of out door kiosk model circuit breakers at
Ibrahimbagh 33/11K.V. S.S.
• 15)33/11KV S.S. constructed with PSCC poles. Un cleared earth fault on 11KV feeder caused
fusing steel wires in the pole structures .
• 16)Nizamsagar hydro power station-Idle lead sheathed control cable left in cable trench
burnt due to external 11KV earth fault.
Analysis of Failure of Transformers

S NO Type of Damage Probable cause

1 Top and bottom HV coils damaged Sustained external short circuit of LT

system not cleared by Fuses

2 Inter turn short ( Puncture of coils Insulation is poor absorption of

moisture by insulation *bad breather)
3 Insulation of all the three phases brittle Continuous overloading

4 LV star point cut Poor earthing with unbalanced Loading

5 LV coils damaged Continuous overloading, repeated test

charging on fault
6 Top coils in three phase get charred Transformers operated with low oil
7 Jumpers cut inside Surge Voltages

8 Moisture deposit on core Bad breathers, entry of atmospheric air

into transformer
S. Make & Capacity of Weight Quality of Total Remarks
N Distribution Transformer of Core Oil Weight
o &

1 Kirloskar 100 KVA 560 Kgs 340 Ltrs 1180 Kgs Copper wound conventional
2 ECE 100KVA 485 Kgs 320 Ltrs 1045 Kgs Copper Wound conventional
3 HACK 100 KVA BRIDGE 506 Kgs 305 Ltrs 1072 Kgs Copper Wound conventional
4 STEL 100KVA 230 Kgs 185 Ltrs 650 Kgs Aluminum wound conventional
5 STEL 100 KVA 260 Kgs 220 Ltrs 700 Kgs Aluminum wound CSP
6 TE 100 KVS 279 Kgs 240 Ltrs 685 Kgs Aluminum wound CSP
7 VE 100 KVA 275 Kgs 185 Ltrs 580 Kgs Aluminum wound CSP
8 VE 100 KVA 270 Kgs 205 Ltrs 595 Kgs Aluminum wound conventional

9 WEBER 250 KVA 505 Kgs 340 Ltrs 1145 Kgs Aluminum wound conventional

10 SDE 250 KVA 660 370 Ltrs 1355 kgs Aluminum wound conventional
KGS transformer
Lightening Arrestors
• Why lightening arrestors are used at the Substations and Distribution
• To protect electrical equipment from the effect of high voltages due to lightening.
• Lightening Arrestors are connected across phase and earth of the system.
• In normal conditions only 57.7% of line voltage is available across L.As., But L.As.,
are rated for more than 80% Line Voltages –WHY?
• The electrical power system can not be maintained always at rated voltages.
• The voltages in the system do vary from lower values to higher values.
• The L.As do protect the system components, also from high voltages arising in the

• Under Voltage Relay for capacitor banks ?