Electrical transformers get smart

Electrical transformers get smart

A monitoring and diagnostic tool can help operators keep tabs on their aging transformers and optimise their maintenance costs, ABB claims. The company's recently launched transformer intelligence product is a new generation of sensor and diagnostics technology designed to monitor and manage the electrical transformers that are essential to power transmission and distribution networks. 

The monitoring and diagnostics platform gives operators of electrical grids the ability to carry out reliable asset monitoring and condition-based maintenance, enabling them to optimise the lifetime of their assets. The solution includes sensors and diagnostics that can be installed as a new or retrofit solution to give operators insight into the performance of individual transformers and entire fleets. Sensors monitor the health of critical transformer components such as bushings and on-load tap-changers.
 
ABB’s Transformer Intelligence is based on two monitoring solutions: CoreSense and CoreTec. The former is a dissolved gas analysis (DGA) sensor while CoreTec is a complete transformer monitoring system. Combining CoreTec with CoreSense and other sensors is designed to give operators of transformers a complete asset health monitoring solution and the confidence to schedule maintenance.
 
Sensors with digital and analog output providing continuous monitoring of key transformer parameters, such as oil and winding temperature, air humidity, internal pressure, gas and moisture levels. An operator can connect to the transformer locally via a laptop and data can also be integrated into the plant’s existing automation system so that maintenance operators will receive fault alerts and carry out diagnostics.
 
The result is more informed and better decision-making over maintenance, refurbishment and replacement. Enhanced knowledge of asset condition gives operators the ability to prioritise maintenance and predict asset failures. “It is testament to strong design, robust construction and good practice in operations and maintenance that much of the world’s transformer fleet has been in operation for more than 50 years. However, aging transformers represent a challenge to grid operators. ABB’s Transformer Intelligence can help operators make the most of their maintenance budget,” said Sagnik Murthy, sales and marketing manager for ABB’s Transformer Components and Insulation products.
 
Transformer Intelligence is part of the ABB Ability digital platform, which enables customers to centralise their data, securely share and integrate industry data, apply big data and predictive analytics and generate insights that can help them drive performance and productivity improvements through increased uptime, speed and yield.