Implementing Online Dissolved Gas Analysis
Transformer and Load Tap Changer (LTC) assets are among the most expensive pieces of equipment for electric utilities. Preserve these assets by using an appropriate DGA (Dissolved Gas Analysis) diagnostic method to improve service reliability, avoid transformer failure, and defer capital expenditures for new transformer assets.
Monitoring and assessing transformer and LTC health (especially with ageing and overloaded equipment) is essential for maintaining optimal operation and avoiding downtime. All transformers experience electrical and thermal stress on the insulating materials over time. As the stresses increase, the insulating oils breakdown and can result in transformer faults.
Monitoring the dissolved gas levels in transformer oil samples is a useful, trusted maintenance tool for assuring optimal asset health. However, conventional manual methods are periodic and expensive, while real-time monitoring solutions are more proactive and lower cost in the long-term.
Transformer insulating oils are made up of different types of hydrocarbon molecules. During decomposition (breakdown), there are chemical reactions between these molecules, which result in various gas formations.
In order to measure asset health on a daily basis, utilities need an online 24-hour, 7 days-a-week solution for monitoring and assessing the gas samples.
As experienced leaders in NDIR technology through our Andros brand, LumaSense chose industry-proven Non-Dispersive Infrared (NDIR) for our online SmartDGA® solution. The NDIR-based SmartDGA instrument works in cycles to obtain a sample of oil, detect concentrations (in PPM) of key gases, and record the values, making them available for review in the SmartDGA Viewer software or other optional communications. Operators can set up alerts when gases reach certain thresholds, allowing for true condition-based maintenance (CBM).
With the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in the industry, SmartDGA makes DGA available online 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week to help utilities lower costs while improving safety, reliability, and efficiency. Installation can be completed in as few as 4 hours and our ultra-low maintenance solution does not require consumables, carrier gas, or scheduled calibrations.
Each SmartDGA packing unit includes the instrument, mounting hardware, connection cable, the SmartDGA EZHub™ unit (for power and communications), and SmartDGA Viewer Software (for reviewing collected data). With continuous DGA values, this solution develops a comprehensive analysis of potential fault conditions through the monitoring of key gas levels, rates, and ratios.
LumaSense has setup a dedicated website with useful information about implementing online dissolved gas analysis on www.smartdga.com.
Besides a detailed description of the unit with accessories and installation options is also contains a link to the product video explaining the main benefits and features of LumaSense’s SmartDGA instruments, specifically why the exclusively-used composite membrane technology is a robust method for online DGA.
Moreover, there is a platform enabling registrants to view a technical webinar entitled “Understanding DGA techniques and interpretations”, which aims to provide with the necessary foundation to understand and analyze dissolved gas analysis reports.
This webinar is set up especially for industry professionals who want to learn how to use some of the best diagnostic tools available for assessing the condition of their equipment. In addition, it will help understand how gases form, and their relationship to faults.
Text: LumaSense Technologies GmbH, info(at)lumasenseinc.com