The Power Diagnostix by Megger ICMmonitor: A versatile device for on-line or temporary partial discharge monitoring of power transformers

The Power Diagnostix by Megger ICMmonitor: A versatile device for on-line or temporary partial discharge monitoring of power transformers

Vol. 8 issue 3

Keeping the power on, the mission of Power Diagnostix (PDIX), is vital to the success of any power grid operator. Safe, reliable, and efficient operation of high voltage assets, such as power transformers, is a paramount task. During the service life of a power transformer, aging and degradation of insulating media are inevitable, hence poorly monitored systems (offline or online) may allow accelerated insulation deterioration to go unnoticed and potentially result in failure, unplanned outages, missed performance targets, and regulatory fines. In extreme cases, insulation failure increases the possibility of fires, explosions, and serious damage to adjacent equipment and or injury to operations personnel. This extreme case represents significant financial, environmental, and social costs for the responsible utility.

Low energy electrical discharges or partial discharges (PD), occurring in the insulating medium of power transformers, gradually erode the electrical, mechanical, and chemical stability of the insulation. Therefore, continuous or temporary PD activity monitoring in power transformers represents an essential condition assessment element for their safe and reliable operation. Only by monitoring PD levels over an extended period can asset owners confidently identify PD insulation issues. Accurate monitoring and immediate PD detection allow tracking changes in PD activity and evaluation of effective preventive measures, a logical action from both a technical and a financial perspective. PD monitoring systems will also confirm that the HV assets operate as expected at their highest efficiency level. Various vertical product testing standards (e.g., IEC60076-3, IEEEC57.12.90/91, IEEEC57.113, and others) set out acceptable levels of PD in power transformers. The test methods and procedures are taken from the general horizontal standard IEC60270.

Therefore, owners and operators in the electrical energy industry require robust and easy-to-use PD monitoring equipment backed up by state-of-the-art diagnostics expertise.