Qualitrol released a new transformer monitor that is specifically designed to provide a cost-effective means of monitoring the condition of distribution-level pad-mounted transformers.
The DGA LT1 is a wireless transformer monitor that measures the concentration of dissolved hydrogen and moisture in transformer dielectric insulating oil. The transformer condition data is automatically measured, analyzed and presented via the QualConnex analytics platform. Asset managers and maintenance teams can now trend condition data, receive alert notifications and review automated reports so they have clear visibility into the condition of their distribution pad-mounted transformers and can understand failure risks that can negatively impact business continuity and site personnel safety.
Transformer operating conditions, including voltage fluctuations, load fluctuations, frequent switching, harmonics and high operating temperatures, can all cause excessive stresses on transformers and premature failures. These conditions increase the occurrence of arcing, partial discharge and thermal degradation, which cause transformer oils and insulating materials to decompose and generate volatile fault gases, including methane, ethylene, acetylene and hydrogen.
The electricity distribution, power generation and industrial sectors broadly recognize the monitoring and analysis of fault gas concentration, like hydrogen, as an effective means of understanding the current condition of transformers so operational practices and maintenance plans can be adjusted to extend asset life, reduce downtime and avoid safety risks, while also minimizing the overall asset lifecycle cost.
The installation of condition monitoring apparatus or devices on large transmission-level assets is commonplace. However, these devices, until now, have been infeasible for smaller distributed pad-mount transformers due to the high overall costs, typically including purchasing the device, mounting of the device monitor, installation of power cables and the installation of communication cables. In addition to these costs, some transformer locations are not conducive to having a power supply and communication network available to connect to the monitors.
"We are pleased to launch the Qualitrol DGA LT1 wireless, self-powered transformer monitor as the first wireless monitor on the Qualitrol QualConne platform," says Kurt Rohmann, director of the growth accelerator team at Qualitrol. "This marks the first in a series of cost-effective, wireless condition monitoring solutions that give operators the ability to react ahead of catastrophic failures, while simultaneously reducing safety risks for site technicians and costly environmental remediations associated with asset failures."
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