In 2003, the worst blackout in U.S. history affected 50 million people and cost $6bn in damage. According to the DOE, power failures cost American businesses up to $150 billion per year. And what’s contributing to these blackouts and power failures?
When left unchecked, moisture and dissolved gasses within aging power infrastructure leave the country at increased risk for deadly, costly blackouts. That’s why monitoring transformer oil in real time is critical as, when overlooked, these elements cause overheating and transformer deterioration, thereby reducing transformer lifetime.
A recent study by monitoring company, Vaisala, and Finland’s national transmission system operator, FinGrid, showed that even after repairs and maintenance work, underlying thermal issues can remain in transformers, rendering them permanently damaged.
For the study, Vaisala deployed its Optimus online Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) device to monitor the removal of dissolved gases from a 400-MVA transformer. The monitor tracked changes in dissolved gas levels in real time and determined that there was still initial degassing and an underlying thermal problem — even though the transformer in question had already undergone repairs.
The study demonstrates that for transformers with a fault history, online measurement of dissolved gas levels is critical, even after maintenance work.
Learn more here.
Filed Under: News, Transformers