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Power transformers are the lynch-pins of the energy generation process.  As such, it is essential that they operate at peak performance and for the full duration of their in-service life.

“Transformers are the largest, most expensive, and highly critical components of most utility substations,” agrees Brandon Dupuis, Regional Application Specialist for transformer testing at OMICRON. “In order to ensure a long, useful service life, a power transformer and its ancillary components must be tested regularly for incipient failure modes.”

Power transformer diagnostic testing involves a battery of electrical measurements, including:

  • Power Factor: Used to test the integrity of the insulation system of a power transformer, which may become compromised due to natural aging and deterioration, overheating, moisture ingress, and localized defects, among other causes
  • Exciting Current: Used to detect compromised insulation, core defects, and tap-changer component failures.
  • Transformer Turns-Ratio (TTR): A functional check of the transformer to ensure it is properly transforming voltage per the nameplate value.
  • Leakage Reactance: A test used to detect mechanical winding movement and/or deformation within a power transformer.
  • DC Winding Resistance: Used to detect bad connections, discontinuities, and/or open-circuits in the current carrying path of the transformer.
  • Core Demagnetization: To prevent relatively high inrush currents upon energization, the demagnetization test routine can be performed before a transformer is placed back into service.

TESTRANO 600 1It is important that these diagnostic tests are performed frequently, consistently, and accurately to optimize a power transformer's performance; however, as professionals in the power generation sector know, traditionally, performing these diagnostic tests is time-consuming and requires a significant number of test connections and lead changes.

Fortunately, this is where technology is taking charge. Technology like OMICRON’s TESTRANO 600 is a portable three-phase transformer test system, which is designed to simplify and expedite the testing process.

“The concept of the TESTRANO 600 is to allow equipment operators to make one test connection for most the transformer measurements,” says Dupuis, explaining, “By minimizing the number of test connections and lead changes required to perform the transformer measurements, the TESTRANO 600 significantly reduces test time and is easy-to-use .”

By performing the conventional power transformer measurements in one-third of the time required by single-phase test systems, Omicron is confident that its new market entrant will help generate faster results in the field and on the factory floor.

Ultimately, adds Dupuis, “OMICRON’s new compact and innovative 3-phase test set takes power transformer testing to a new level.”

Brandon Dupuis is Regional Application Specialist for transformer testing at OMICRON. For more information about the TESTRANO 600, visit www.omicronenergy.com/newTESTRANO600.