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Nuclear power plant continuously monitors transformer conditions

Nuclear power plant continuously monitors transformer conditions

Vol. 4 Issue 4

Introduction

Finnish nuclear power company Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) implemented Vaisala’s online hydrogen, moisture and temperature monitor to constantly follow the condition of their transformers. The continuous monitoring gives information on the transformer oil 24/7, helping to plan maintenance actions.

Reliability for credibility

TVO has almost 40 years of experience in the safe and reliable production of reasonably priced electricity. The net output of its two nuclear plant units currently in operation, is 880 MW. Together, these units produce one sixth of all the electricity consumed in Finland.

For its own electricity needs, the utility has high-voltage transformers for stepping down the energy from a 400 or 110 kV network. One of these is a stand-by transformer, which turns on automatically if any of the other transformers suddenly stop operating.

Reliable transformer functionality is critical for the power plant to operate in a planned manner; thus TVO has a well thought out maintenance and monitoring plan for their transformers. For example, the plan includes regular manual oil sampling of the transformers. The industry recommendation is to take samples once a year, and TVO has implemented strict controls to all safety and reliability related matters.

Cost efficient hydrogen monitoring with Vaisala’s MHT410

TVO has decided to start monitoring their transformers in real-time. After a thorough evaluation, they selected Vaisala’s MHT410: Moisture, Hydrogen and Temperature Transmitter for Online Transformer Condition Monitoring. The monitor provides continuous, real-time data of moisture, hydrogen and temperature. Of these, the rising hydrogen gas concentration in the transformer oil is an indication of a fault in the transformer, while moisture monitoring is important to know e.g. the insulation ability of the oil. The online data allows the transformer operators, for example, to apply real-time trending to analyze the condition of the transformer.

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