National Grid Saudi Arabia has contracted Doble Engineering Co. for advanced services to support a new phase of its power grid reliability initiative, expanding transformer health initiatives into additional regions.
Beginning in June 2014, the two organizations worked together to perform asset health reviews on nearly 1000 transmission transformers located mostly in National Grid Saudi Arabia's Western Operating Area, using both time-based and predictive maintenance philosophies. The new project will extend this approach on additional transformers mostly in the Eastern and Southern Operating Areas, effectively bringing over two thirds of the organization's transformers under diagnostic surveillance.
"We made great strides during our program with Doble, giving us a thorough understanding of the condition of our transformer fleet in our western operating region," said Ahmed A. Al-Faraj, Manager, Technical Support Department, Grid Maintenance Business Unit. "We have been leveraging the lessons we have learned over the past year, applying them throughout our organization."
The new agreement also includes the continued review of testing and maintenance practices, a comprehensive study of National Grid Saudi Arabia's in-house electrical insulating oil laboratories, and will leverage Doble's experience for the ongoing condition assessment of transformers in the Western Operating Area.
"In any asset management program, you need to start with quality data," said Paul Griffin, vice president of consulting and testing services at Doble. "We've been working closely with the team in Saudi Arabia to make sure their diagnostic data is of high quality, that it is organized in a way that allows for further analysis, and that the in-house team is trained and comfortable with the intricacies of field and laboratory testing, as well as diagnostic analysis of the data. It's a complex undertaking that can yield tremendous results for an organization."
Doble will continue to maintain a strong presence in the region, working hand-in-hand with the National Grid Saudi Arabia team on implementation. The project will be supported by a team of Doble specialists with extensive transformer experience including design and construction, electrical testing, laboratory analysis and diagnostics.