WHITEPAPER: Qualitrol QTMS Transformer monitoring: Your comprehensive view on your transformer
Transformers are a critical part of an electrical utility's asset base. Loss of a transformer due to an unexpected failure in a utility, generation plant or process can cost many millions of dollars, depending on the failure consequences and how long it is out-of-service. Therefore as it is a critical and expensive component, its safe operation with good reliability is always considered important by the utilities. Over the years, diagnostic tests have been developed, based on available technology. In the last few years, on-line monitoring has evolved collecting a great deal of diagnostic information while the equipment is in service. Off-line diagnostic tests still play an important role in industry. However, on-line monitoring can overcome some of the fundamental limitations of off-line tests, in that it can increase the reliability of transformers and help manage the growing risk of an aging population of transformers and components. This paper presents an overview about economic drivers, transformer components and its failure mechanism, the existing monitoring technologies, the effect they have in reliability and a case study of a power transformer with a catastrophic failure that could have been avoided.