Designing A Safe & Reliable Transformer Maintenance Program
The critical importance of power to every aspect of our world cannot be over-exaggerated. It must be generated and distributed effectively to end users, and any disruption in that process means loss of operations, money, and in extreme cases, life. Therefore, the reliability of power creation and distribution must be continually safeguarded and improved. This doesn’t happen by chance, or through reactionary-maintenance tasks, it must be focused on from the early design stages and continue through the life of the assets tasked with these functions.
Adopting a "Monitor, Inspect, & Manage" approach is a proactive way to avoid the concerns at hand by maximizing the value of workforce time and skill. Scalability is no longer an issue when, instead of needing to go through the time and cost of expanding their workforce, they can apply the technologies at whatever volume is needed. These Reliability Technologies should be specified with the engineer and OEM at the initial design/build stage but can be retrofitted into existing equipment through a simple and inexpensive process as well.
With the use of a wireless monitoring system on transformers and throughout substation electrical equipment, asset condition can be continually collected, trended, and assessed. Monitors feed data through a gateway to software and apps, allowing the information to be continually accessed from workstations and mobile devices.
When the new equipment arrives from the manufacturer with these monitors built in, customized parameters can be set for the specific operating and environmental conditions the asset is exposed to that keep it within a “safe zone” to maximize functional reliability.