Transformers, backbones of the AC Voltage Grid

Published: Fri 18 Jul 2014
A blog entry by Smart Grid Watch

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At the early age of electricity a war of currents took place— DC v.s. AC, also known as direct current and alternating current. Both technologies offered many advantages but also disadvantages. One major step towards today’s alternating current grids was the invention of transformers. The transformer enabled higher voltage levels in the grid, which allowed a more efficient transmission of energy and application specific voltage levels. That was the beginning of the success story of transformers. Nowadays, transformers up to 1200 kV are in use.

Transformers are key parts of the energy transmission chain and costly assets. An unplanned transformer outage can lead to high costs due to the disturbance of application and potential damages at the transformer itself and the environment. To bring a transformer back to service is generally costly and takes some time. Investments have to be done to avoid longer outtakes (e.g. spare transformers). A transformer monitoring system can support operation and avoid unplanned outtakes as changes of the transformer’s condition can evolve quickly; thus, offline measures are not sufficient.

A proper online transformer monitoring system supports the operation of the transformer (gentle use) and the condition based maintenance of the transformer as it supervises various parameters at the transformer and enables early fault detection.

However, a proper implementation of transformer monitoring often fails as price effective condition monitoring products have limitations and custom-made solutions are quite cost-intensive.

The Siemens Transformer Condition Monitoring product takes these aspects into consideration, and is standardized as much as possible and has competitive pricing.

The Transformer Condition Monitoring provides several functionalities:

  • Basic Thermal Aging Monitoring
  • Basic Dissolved Gas Analysis
  • Basic Tap Changer Monitoring
  • Basic Cooling Diagnosis
  • Moisture Monitoring

The product acts as a central component accumulating data from the connected sensors. The unit processes and stores the received data and presents the information online with a web-based HMI (Human Machine Interface) including alarming. In addition, it can be easily integrated into superior systems.

The clear focus is on:

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Quality of data
  • Robustness
  • Easy integration

In summary, the product enables the protection of one of the most relevant assets in our current grids, the transformer.

Learn more about Siemens Transformer Condition Monitoring System. See the fact sheet below. In addition, there is a Request for Quotation sheet attached. Siemens Internet Website

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