Regular and proper maintenance of electric power generating equipment are two of the overriding priorities of today’s power industry. Generally speaking, this kind of equipment includes many different kinds of units that have been designed for the distribution and transmission of electric power. There has been however, a special value placed on electric power transformers that are used to change the voltage of alternating current(a/c) as well as transform electrical phases.
Transformers are operated in remote field locations as well as in cities and urban environments. In the first case, maintenance of transformers can be difficult and/or troublesome since special equipment must be delivered to the remote places where the transformers are located.
This article will consider the peculiarities of analysis and reclamation of transformer oils in the field environment.
It is transformer oil that significantly helps to ensure the uninterrupted operation of an electric power transformer. The dielectric insulating oil is necessary to transfer heat from the heated parts of a transformer, insulate between the conducting parts and prevent the solid insulation from becoming contaminated with excess moisture.
Comprehensive research has shown that approximately one-third of all transformer oil is at risk due to many factors including a lack of timely preventive maintenance. This means that during the transformer’s service life, the insulating oil is exposed to temperature extremes, different contaminants and mechanical impurities that can badly affect the condition of the oil’s performance characteristics. The service life of insulating oil may be extended if regular scheduled maintenance, to include regeneration/reclamation, is timely performed.
A comprehensive analysis of transformer oil will allow you to determine whether oil needs servicing and/or regeneration (recycling). As a rule, oil analysis is performed annually in special laboratories.
But what to do in the field environment when there are long time intervals between oil sampling and its analysing, which, in many cases, may be critical?
In this case, transformer oil analysis is made by special teams according to the approved schedule, using mobile control tools or mobile stand-alone laboratories.
Mobile stand-alone laboratories allow for performing a rapid analysis of transformer oils to determine the level of moisture and gasses, dielectric conductivity and tangent delta of the used transformer oil.
All necessary devices are mounted inside a cross-country truck, fitted with an alternating current (A/C) generator.
In general, the mobile laboratory normally consists of the following parts:
(1) moisture gauge, (2) gas content indicator, (3) dielectric factor indicator, and (4) tangent delta meter.
It is obvious that if oil’s performance characteristics are observed to have been degraded, it will be more convenient to perform a service on the transformer on site. It is desirable therefore, to equip mobile laboratories with special transformer oil degassing and regeneration units.
GlobeCore is an industry leader in producing equipment for purification and restoration of fuel, industrial oil, turbine oil, dielectric insulating oil and other types of oil.
In the field environment, it is recommended to use GlobeCore equipment to perform maintenance on electric power transformers:
- The GlobeCore CMM-R unit provides recycling (regeneration) of transformer oil through the use of re-useable sorbent. Transformer oil is passed through a Fuller’s Earth sorbent layer and then through a fine mesh filter.
- The GlobeCore UVR units reclaim oil by means of a special regeneration powder. The main difference between these two units is the type and amount of sorbent applied during the process of reclamation. The Fuller’s earth in the CMM-R units may be used for 2-3 years with no need to dispose of it as hazardous waste. The sorbent in the UVR equipment however, should be replaced after each processing cycle is completed.
The GlobeCore UVR line of equipment is highly versatile since it can process turbine oil, industrial oil, stove oil, transformer oils and diesel fuels.