Mapping transformer populations

Mapping must be used as a starting point for condition-based maintenance to define the actions needed to ensure the transformer fleet’s performance reliability.

byWritten by Georg DAEMISCH


Mapping transformer populations



This article introduces a model for mapping transformer populations. The concept of mapping goes beyond a transformer condition assessment to include the financial risks of power disruption and downtime. Different power plant types or industrial production facilities can experience significant cost increases due to production downtimes from the loss of all or a part of the transformer population. Even a single day or a few hours of lost power can have a severe economic impact depending on the function of the transformer(s). The mapping process must be modified to account for these differences.


1.    Introduction


The compelling necessity for maintenance is often highlighted in papers about transformer operations. In many cases, operators take ineffective actions, like regular oil purification, in hopes of fulfilling maintenance requirements. A lot of money can be spent on such unnecessary actions resulting in wasted and misallocated maintenance resources and taking funds away from truly necessary maintenance procedures. Only condition-based maintenance optimizes the viable processes from both technical and economic standpoint.

Transformer mapping must be used as a starting point for condition-based maintenance to define the actions needed to ensure the reliability of a transformer fleet’s performance. While the mapping process will follow the same steps, the transformer type and function determine which steps are more critical than others in any particular situation.

This article provides the steps necessary to reach the target of full plant reliability and the ability to target capital requirements, including the following goals:

•          Detailed description of mapping and why it is important,

•          Explain the differences and why stronger emphasis is placed on different steps of the mapping process based on transformer type and function, including: transmission and distribution (T&D) transformers, industrial transformers and power plant transformers.

•          Provide step-by-step mapping processes comprising of the eight steps, and

•          Follow the mapping steps to map a 36-year-old German power plant and pinpoint those actions that are the most critical for meeting the operational and financial objectives of the plant.

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