T&D World Magazine

BPL Global Adds Transformer Bushing Monitoring to Smart Grid Portfolio

BPL Global has added power transformer bushing monitoring to its portfolio of solutions for electric utilities. BPL Global's Serveron subsidiary, a leader in transformer on-line monitoring, now offers the Serveron Transformer Bushing Monitors product line that enables electric utilities to improve grid reliability while optimizing the management and economics of their asset base. Serveron Transformer Bushing Monitors offer on-line, real time transformer bushing monitoring to enable utilities to avoid failures, extend the life of critical power transformers, reduce maintenance costs and improve reliability.

Power transformers are critical to energy delivery and represent the single largest asset class for generation, transmission and distribution companies, other than the power plants themselves. Power transformer bushings are complex insulating structures that provide an electric field isolation gradient for the high-voltage conductors that pass into and out of electric power transformers. Studies have shown that transformer bushings are a significant source of failure of power transformers.

Transformer bushing testing is typically performed just one or two times a year and requires a planned outage to take measurements. Using the Serveron Transformer Bushing Monitors utility operators can check the bushings on a continuous basis, without an outage, and identify operational issues immediately.

"The challenges of improving the reliability and economics of grid operation with an aging infrastructure means that extending the life of assets and achieving operational cost reductions are key for utilities," said Dermot O'Leary, VP & GM of Serveron. "On-line, real time transformer bushing monitoring enables utilities to defer capital expenditures and achieve maintenance cost efficiencies that traditional approaches cannot match."

To increase safety to personnel and reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of key equipment, transformer bushing testing and monitoring are important aspects of any power utility's overall maintenance program. Traditionally, critical electrical power transformers are removed from service regularly, and then subjected to routine off-line non-destructive tests to determine the condition of the bushings. This labor-intensive testing method does not fully replicate the actual operational conditions of the high voltage bushing devices. The Serveron Transformer Bushing Monitors permit utility operators to:

  • Implement tests on-line without any need for a planned outage
  • Conduct tests as frequently as desired based on the performance and age of the bushings
  • Perform these tests at rated voltages with a test time of less than 5 minutes

Since transformer bushings are exposed to the environment, they are vulnerable, requiring more frequent and cost-effective test routines. The transformer monitoring products available from Serveron address the reliability, financial and safety issues faced by electric utilities worldwide.

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