What operating condition is your transformer in? Are you headed for a shutdown or explosion? We can tell you.
Regular analysis of your transformer oil will tell you what condition the internals are in, whether you are up to ASTM or IEC standards, and whether or not you have an toxic PCB lurking around where it shouldn’t be. A transformer testing and maintenance program ensures a safe working environment, eliminates unplanned disruptions, and prevents transformer failure. Basic elements tested include the following, all of which help determine if the insulating properties are acceptable by measuring oil contamination levels:
- Dielectric strength & Power Factor – is measure of how much voltage the insulting oil can take without breaking down, which is the essential function of transformer oil. A loss in dielectric strength can be due to polar contaminants, such as water, oil degradation by-products and cellulose paper breakdown. The Power Factor refers to the ASTM measure of ratio of true power to apparent power. Oil not scoring well on this test will need to be reconditioned or replaced.
- Inter-facial tension – measures the tensions between the oil and water. The test is measuring the decay of oil and the level of soluble polar contaminates.
- Furans – are a measure of the degradation of cellulose paper. The degree of polymerization of the paper can be directly related to the concentration of furan derivatives in the oil.
- Water concentration – is important because the higher the water concentration in your oil, the less insulting power it has (water is a conductor.), especially during cool down when dissolved water becomes free water. Additionally, water contributes to the breakdown of the insultating paper leading eventually to faults.
- Specific gravity and acidity of the oil – tells you if carboxylic acids have formed from oil exposed to high temperatures, oxygen levels and metal particles. If conditions producing carboxylic acid exist, sledge and varnish can develop overtime, and eventually oil canals can become blocked which prevents the transformer from cooling well.
- Karl Fischer Titration – is another method used to determine the level of water present in your transformer oil.
- Dissolved Gas Analysis – dissolved gas analysis is used to identify operational problems within a transformer. The presence of certain gases can indicate specific types of faults and their magnitude.
The results of these tests tell us how well your oil is retaining it’s functional properties including cooling, chemical stability and electrical insulation ability. By accurately monitoring the condition of the oil, suddenly occurring faults can be discovered in time, outages can be avoided, and you can plan a more efficient approach to maintenance. For more information on what we look for with transformer oil analysis, please explore this resource.
Dissolved Gas Analysis
We also screen transformer oil for gas chromatography testing, which will help identify if your transformer has any internal faults. If there is an internal problem, gases will have developed and be present within the oil. Based on the mixture of gases present in your samples, we can tell what types of fault (and what magnitude of fault) you might be facing; corona, sparking or arcing. Gases we screen for in our Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) include:
- Acetylene (ppm)
- Carbon Dioxide (ppm)
- Carbon Dioxide / Carbon Monoxide
- Carbon Monoxide (ppm)
- Equivalent Total Combustible Gas %
- Ethane (ppm)
- Ethylene (ppm)
- Hydrogen (ppm)
- Methane (ppm)
- Nitrogen (ppm)
- Oxygen (ppm)
- Oxygen / Nitrogen
- Total Dissolved Combustible Gas (ppm)
- Total Gas (ppm)
We can conduct remote or onsite follow-up of the behavior of critical transformers based on continuous monitoring of data automatically received from onsite equipment after our reliability program has been implemented.
Older transformers may be at risk of containing trace (or larger) amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in their oil systems. PCB’s were previously used because of their longevity and high performance, but have since been regulated because of their harmful environmental effects. We can tell you if you aren’t in compliance, and we can remove PCB’s from your oil systems completely.
Services for Transformer Oil
PetrolinkUSA offers the following services for transformers and transformer lubrication systems:
- Transformer oil analysis
- Development of turnkey maintenance and reliability plans for transformer oil systems
- Transformer oil reclamation/reconditioning
- Varnish removal
- Sludge removal
- Chemical Cleaning
- Hot Oil Flushing
Contact us to further discuss your transformer oil needs or get a quote.