An overview of transformer monitoring systems market in India. It also elucidates the concept of remote monitoring catching up in India
With the advent of technology at your door step, people are looking for more and more automation. Smart technology is helping the human community to access data in a most easy fashion. Today the complete process of information system is data base oriented. Scientists are continuously working for devices which can convert information to intelligence. Transformer being a heart of power transmission network also does generate lot of important data which can be amalgamated to conclude on the healthiness of a transformer. These data are real time and dynamic. On pure data analysis system software can raise alarm along with caution notice and hints for a prospective fault or even can arrest data which can be helpful for taking proper action in time to save from a power outage. “The monitoring system is nothing but a SCADA based software which continuously analyses the current value with set parameters to check the health of winding and oil. The system remains connected to a nitrogen purging system which when switched by the SCADA output can protect the transformer from overheating and burning. Thus not only it helps the power system to get isolated from a probable fire hazard but also safeguard the maintenance staff or passersby from sever accident which may unlikely go up to loss of life,” explained Sanjib Mitra, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Transformer & Compact Substations, Electrotherm (India) Ltd. He assures that the system is highly reliable and has a watchdog connectivity and quite helpful for substations and industries.
Transformer monitoring systems is an advanced tool that engineers and managers now have to maintain and monitor their assets remotely. Transformer monitoring therefore as a domain is quite diverse based on its application and/or the need of the user. Whereas, for generation and transmission utilities, including steel furnaces or other critical to operation transformer; the prime goal is to trend and monitor any trace of incipient fault within the system – and this essentially is the key objective of the monitoring systems. “Advancements in techniques for determination of several parameters like partial discharge, dissolved gasses, acoustic emission etc are now being introduced in the market. Whereas, all such systems demands a very high investment; the return essentially is not meeting the expectations,” said Divyansh Kohli, CEO and Executive Director, NDL Power Limited.
Electrotherm recommends automatic fire alarm systems
Electrotherm is mainly connected to metal industries where transformer is the most important device to generate requisite amount of current for heating and hardening of metals. “The industrial transformers are very closely monitored as outage can cost up to crores of rupees per day. So we always advise our customers to go for automatic fire alarm system connected to transformer monitoring devices,” Mitra of Electrotherm said.
Nowadays it has become a practice to supply and commission such safety devices along with transformers in almost all important stations. “Customer gets return of investment in a shorter period because the precautionary measures are otherwise very costly. Automation thus drives the plant level safety security in an integral fashion,” claims Mitra.
Remote monitoring catching up in India
Indian customers have already felt the importance of such integral devices to commission along with transformers. NTPC, PGCIL and other large utilities have already started specifying these devices in the very beginning of the tender stage and are also coming out with tenders for such supplies for existing transformers. Mitra observes, “The power engineers do understand the replacement cost of a transformer and the unforeseen trouble connected with sudden outages. So remote monitoring is definitely going to help the industry to get prior information and immediate reconditioning of the loads can save the production availability.”
Excess power when drawn by loads unknowingly may generate unreasonable heat which may burn the insulation and the transformer coil may get burnt. “Indian customers are gradually moving towards unmanned substation. From process automation we are moving towards plant automation. The country has felt the need of transformer safety devices and it is not a long time that Indian Standard, CEIG and other statutory boards will make it a basic requirement for the development of nation and security of power infrastructure,” Mitra concludes.