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Substation Transformer Applications

Substation Transformers

Substation Transformers

Substations are high voltage electric facilities that provide electric current to consumers. These substations transform the electric voltage from a high voltage to a lower voltage, or from a low voltage to a higher one. The liquid filled transformers have insulating oil reservoirs that hold fire resistant insulating fluid. The insulating oil serves two purposes. It serves as electrical insulation to withstand the high voltages present in the transformer and it dissipates heat generated within the transformer. The oil must maintain maximum dielectric strength and resist degredation from heat and oxidation. When transformers fail, it leads to high repair costs, long downtime and possible safety risks. Moreover, transformers are too expensive to replace regularly and must be properly maintained to maximize their life expectancy.

As part of a complete preventative maintenance program, oil analysis should be used to monitor the condition of the transformer oil and predict problems before they occur. A study by Hartford Steam Boiler over a period of 20 years indicates that 13% of all transformer failures were caused by inadequate maintenance. This number is significant, considering the study found that the average age of a transformer at the time of failure was only slightly more than 11 years; transformers are expected to last 25 to 30 years.

Prior to the installation of the Air Sentry® breathers shown, these reservoirs were open to the environment, with little more than a screen cover over the vent hole. Air Sentry® D-102 breathers were mounted on 190 gallon fluid reservoirs of each substation transformer. The use of desiccant breathers with a 2-micron filter will protect the insulating fluid from dirt and moisture, extending the life of the insulating fluid by up to 50%.

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