Special Report

Oiling the electrical outages

Assessment of plant status and estimating the plant life can easily be done by oil condition monitoring. Oil testing done on a regular basis can determine oil deterioration at an early stage.

Heart of power system
Transformer is a static asset, and I commonly relate it using the human analogy, with it being the ‘heart’ of the power system; and here the liquid insulation (oil) is the ‘blood’ running through this heart. Simply put, just as we regularly get our blood tested and analysed, not just to see if the blood itself is acceptable; but also to give a fair understanding of the condition of our body’s organisation; such is the relationship of transformer and its oil.

Key factor to be considered
I would further break it down to three key aspects that one needs to understand. Firstly, condition assessment; what we, in the industry understand as an ‘incipient fault’; i.e. the birth of fault, which is not evident, but will soon be; oil analysis such as DGA, Furan, MiO etc. possess the ability to detect and trace in the slightest of its forms. Anything that happens inside the transformer’s body will be reflected in the oil analysis. Hence, it gives us a nearly real-time condition diagnostic for transformer assets. On further assessments of these fault, NDL diagnose the RCA and associated element causing such occurrence with highest accuracy and reliability.

Secondly, what we term as trending assessment, is the ability of these diagnostics to help us understand the rate of deterioration, ageing factor, fault inception, and predict tipping-point for failures, before the asset breaches the point of irreversible damage. This not only eliminates and manages the ‘break-down/down-time’ situation, but also effectively allow us with a deeper understanding of what should be done, what action should be taken on the same day to prevent a problem before it causes any damage and out of it which one can also interpret as a predictive maintenance.

Finally, non-destructive analysis (NDA) which means you assess, trend and monitor the condition of your transformer without taking any shut-down or bringing your system offline. A power professional would clearly understand what is essential to shut-down the money-maker of the industry. We can essentially diagnose the slightest of the faults that can cause highest grade of catastrophic failures – without taking the system offline, and at a fraction of cost to any other diagnostics method in the remotest corners of the planet.

Authored by:
Divyansh Kholi, Executive Director,
NDL Power Limited

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