Maintain and Operate Power Transformers with a Faulty Condition

This month’s Featured Technical Paper is from the Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference of Doble Clients. The paper is titled: Maintain and Operate Power Transformers with a Faulty Condition.


Power transformers are sometimes required to continue to operate in a faulty condition either temporarily or for a long term. However, given the potential catastrophic consequence of a power transformer failure, challenges exist when deciding whether a power transformer should be kept in service with a developing faulty condition. Dissolved gas analysis (DGA) and operating procedures that are recommended in industry standards [1, 2] are no doubt important, but sometimes additional information is required to accurately understand a fault and its development so a proper decision can be made. The two (2) GSU transformers discussed in this paper both had a core-lamination problem and developed metal-oil overheating in service. However, there were differences which eventually led to their different fates: one is still in service for normal operation and the other one was retired in 2014. This paper shares the experience of operating the two faulty generator transformers in BC Hydro’s system and demonstrates the importance of understanding the root-causes of the faults in determining operating procedures for faulty power transformers.


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