Vaisala’s Technology for Measuring Transformer Oil Condition Attracted Attention in a Conference in Japan

Insulating Oil Subcommittee Research Conference in Japan
Yoshitaka Arai
Yoshitaka Arai
Business Development Manager
Aug 8, 2019
Power Generation and Transmission

The 39th Insulating Oil Subcommittee Research Conference was recently held in Kyoto, Japan. The Insulating Oil Subcommittee consists of a power companies, transformer manufacturers, insulating oil analysis companies, insulating oil manufacturers, to mention a few.  Oils are used as insulating substance in electrical devices such as transformers, circuit breakers and capacitors.

There were as many as 155 attendees in the conference, and presentations and discussions were conducted on current research on insulating oils. Vaisala’s presentation “Online DGA monitor utilizing vacuum gas extraction and infrared sensing technology” was given by Senior Industry Expert Senja Leivo, and  Business Development Manager, Yoshitaka Arai.

Optimus™ DGA Monitor OPT100 uses vacuum to extract most of the dissolved gases from the oil. In addition, Vaisala has developed and patented a new vacuum method that does not require a vacuum pump, but uses a piston in the cylinder to create a vacuum above the oil volume enhancing the extraction efficiency significantly.

Regarding the vacuum gas extraction method, Dr.Motoo Tsuchie, retired from Mitsubishi Electric, an authority in the transformer industry, said: “I felt that the product was a good  because of the high extraction efficiency with vacuum extraction”. Dr.Tsuchie also commented  the presentation on measurement methods to eliminate the drift mechanism:  "I think that the technology to automatically correct the drift using infrared technology is also good".


Typical drift mechanisms in IR technologies in general are mainly contamination or aging of sensor components such as light sources. The drift needs to be eliminated in order to deliver long-term stable measurements, which is crucial as the gas trends are one of the most important information source on the transformer’s condition. Vaisala’s technology, which uses IR transmission signal under vacuum as reference to eliminate drift mechanisms, attracted much attention at the conference.

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