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Investigating return on online DGA investments for service aged power transformer

Over the years, online dissolved gas analysis (O-DGA) has gained traction with power transformer asset managers. Many asset engineers have realized the technical benefits of the shift from traditional laboratory-based DGA to O-DGA. However, the main stumbling block in widespread O-DGA usage is convincing the commercial team members of the economic benefits gained by installing an O-DGA device. Usually, with an O-DGA device, there are different costs associated – the upfront purchase cost, usage costs over O-DGA monitor lifetime, and O-DGA maintenance costs.

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In this case study, an investigation is carried out on the return of investment for an O-DGA monitor for a service-aged power transformer, utilizing the principles presented in IEEE c57.143.

A major benefit of O-DGA monitoring is its ability to detect failures that are evolving faster than the usual yearly sampling interval and which would otherwise remain undetected.