The Periodic Tests and Inspections Required for a Substation Transformer
Substation transformers require some routine maintenance and servicing. This post takes a look at some of the periodic tests and inspections that would be recommended for the routine maintenance of the medium power substation transformers.
One of the routine inspections that ought to be conducted on a substation transformer is gauge readings. This should ideally be conducted a month after the initial energization and then ensure that this is followed by annual inspections. You need to measure and record the gauge readings, the ambient temperature, and the kids’ load. In the event that you notice some abnormality in the readings, then this is to be taken as an indicator that there is a need for some further diagnostic testing and or inspection on them. Should you as well happen to notice that the pressure/vacuum gauge or the readings on the fluid level gauge readings point towards a probability for tank leak, then you should as well conduct a pressure test? See here for more. Bear in mind the fact that in case you realize that there are tank leaks in your transformers, these should be corrected and repaired as soon as is possible. Doing this helps a lot with the need to prevent further damage to the transformer and as well avoid the cases of fatalities that they may as well result in.
The cooling fans as well need to be monitored. These should be tested and inspected annually. If there are any cooling fans. Test them to see if they can run or rotate smoothly and with the least of vibration if there must be. Added to these, you should as well ensure that you do an annual test on the control wiring. You need to check on these as well and ensure that the wire insulation is in proper condition. Check on the control cabinet and the wiring there is in the associated conduit and see to it that the weather seals are in place as should be. Check on the control power supply voltage and make sure that it is indeed at the readings that are indicated in the wiring diagram given.
The other inspection that you should do on your transformer at the substation is the paint finish inspection. The paint serves a great deal in protecting the primer coat and the metal. As such in case there is any damage to the paint, then you should consider it as important to repair these as soon as can be done.
The other annual test and inspection that is a need for a substation transformer is the fluid dielectric test. Sample the insulating fluid and the dielectric strength of the insulating fluid shouldn’t be anything less than 26 kV. See here for tips on how to sample the insulating fluid. Transformers have in them the insulating fluids and this provides the electrical insulation necessary in the transformer tank and it is what transfers the heat that is produced within the coils to the walls of the tank and radiators.