Maintenance and monitoring - risk management and failure prevention
This is a follow-up to our earlier post "Disruption Risk Drives Transformer Monitoring Changes"
The next step in the transformer maintenance evolution is online monitoring - a more efficient way to identify developing faults and address them early before they become major maintenance issues. Benefits include:
- Real-time knowledge of the condition of all monitored transformers
- Early detection of developing faults and associated cost savings in repairs
- Accurate data to determine conditioned-based maintenance strategies
- Performance optimization of assets
- Reliability of data
Through online monitoring, it's possible to access more data on transformers than ever before - all in real time. Enabling companies to track moisture, temperature and dissolved gas levels, online monitoring devices eliminate the risk of improper oil sampling.
Implementing an online monitoring system
There are several steps to the successful implementation of online monitoring. The first is to understand that internal processes need to be developed in tandem with the implementation of online monitoring devices. The devices themselves will alert companies to faults - but action to address these faults before they evolve into significant failures can only come from the personnel overseeing the data.
Also crucial is finding the right kind of online monitoring device. Any such system being implemented into a transformer fleet needs several particular attributes. Above all, it must be reliable. It is not only crucial that it provides good-quality data, but that it does not raise false alarms and thereby create unnecessary work. Companies need to be able to trust that an alarm will only be raised when there is actual cause for concern.
Equally important is that such devices are simple to set up, so it is possible that a company's own field technician can handle the installation. This is vital in ensuring they are both accessible and practical. Similarly, online monitoring systems must be able to handle a wide range of environmental conditions, from tropical climates to freezing conditions, to ensure that it does not fail when faced with environmental hurdles.
Close cooperation and discussion between the utility company and the supplier is the only way to create an effective working solution. Knowledge sharing and harnessing the expertise of both parties to build bespoke solutions is the best way to succeed to create an effective working solution. Knowledge sharing and harnessing the expertise of both parties to build bespoke solutions is the best way to succeed.