A new dielectric tester will offer clients a more efficient transformer oil analysis service at Techenomics’ Newcastle laboratory, in New South Wales, Australia. The company offers maintenance services for fixed and mobile plants including magnetic plug inspections, oil analysis, filtration solutions and lubrication to extend equipment life, reduce unscheduled downtime and decrease costs.
“Techenomics is always striving to offer customers the best possible maintenance services to help them save money and Transformer Oil Analysis is part of this service,” says the company’s executive director Chris Adsett. “This testing is applicable to all industries where the use of transformers exists, including the mining industry, power plants, sub-stations and waste treatment plants.”
Techenomics says the continuous monitoring of transformer oil analysis benefits the client by enabling them to identify the point at which oil drops its dielectric strength and thereby being able to take immediate action on that piece of equipment.
The dielectric strength of transformer oil is defined as the maximum voltage that can be applied across the fluid without electrical breakdown. Because transformer oils are designed to provide electrical insulation under high electrical fields, any significant reduction in the dielectric strength may indicate that the oil is no longer capable of performing this vital function.
Factors that can result in a reduction in dielectric strength include polar contaminants, such as water, oil degradation by-products and cellulose paper breakdown.
If this reduction goes unnoticed it may result in the transformer heating up, short circuiting and finally exploding, costing companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The analysis of insulating oils not only provides information about the oil, but also enables the detection of other possible problems, including contact arcing, aging insulating paper and other latent faults and is an indispensable part of a cost-efficient electrical maintenance program,” says Chris Adsett.
Techenomics has performed transformer oil analysis for a major client in New South Wales for the past few years and is pleased to now be able to conduct the test at its Newcastle facility.