Importance of oil analysis in transformers

Importance of oil analysis in transformers

We witness that significant increase in global energy costs make companies increase their investments in predictive maintenance in order to achieve their sustainability goals. I am happy to see that technologies such as lubricant analysis, vibration, thermal analysis have become a key part of the maintenance plans in the field.

After the energy is produced, the transmission phase should continue smoothly. Therefore, it is important to perform oil analysis, evaluate the results and take quick action when necessary within the scope of predictive maintenance of vital power transformers/reactors.

Transformer oil has many important tasks such as providing insulation, preventing sludge, cooling of internal equipment, and providing dielectric strength. Failure to perform one or more of these tasks may lead to situations that will affect vital outcomes such as downtime or fire as a result of malfunctions. It is possible to detect and eliminate these problems early.

Transformer oil analyzes are collected in 3 groups as: routine, complementary and advanced tests. Limits are defined according to the power of the transformer, and the analyzes are evaluated according to IEC 60422 and I.S EN 60599 methods.

  • Group 1: Routine tests such as appearance and color, breakdown stress, water content, acidity, loss factor and resistivity, inhibitor level, provide general information for monitoring the physical condition of the oil. It gives an idea about the degree of aging of the oil or guides in determining the factors that cause aging.
  • Group 2: It is applied as complementary to Group 1 routine tests to analyze the impact of contamination on the oil after determining the level of contamination by sludge formation, particle test and inner surface stress tests. The cleaner the oil and the lower the contamination levels, the more smoothly the transformer oil will perform its dielectric duties.
  • Group 3: With advanced tests such as dissolved gas analysis and furan analysis, potential overheating, arcing, flashing, low/high temperature discharges can be detected inside the transformer, and thus potential fire and explosion risks can be predicted. The degree of deterioration of the insulation paper in the transformer can be determined and carcinogenic toxic components that threaten the environment and the personnel health can be detected via PCB analysis, which is one of the most important analyzes.

In this way, along with the periodic transformer oil analysis, it is possible to monitor the condition of the oil, while checking whether the current operating state of the transformer is safe, detecting any fault signal and correcting it with a planned stop before it gets worse. As a result, you can minimize your labor, production and cost losses and ensure the continuity of your operations without any problem.

1.03.2022 15:27:00
Umut Arslan    

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