T&D World Magazine

New Category of Monitors Reduces Transformer Outages

LumaSense Technologies, Inc. has introduced a new category of dissolved-gas analysis monitors that allow electric utilities to more effectively reduce outages caused by faulty load tap changers and transformers. At a cost significantly less than comparable DGA monitors and a unique hardware design that drastically cuts down installation time, the LumaSense SmartDGA platform can help utilities achieve widespread condition monitoring across generation, transmission and distribution assets.

Currently, less than 5 percent of transformers have condition-based online DGA monitoring systems, according to industry sources, and approximately 30 percent of all transformer failures in the United States are related to faulty LTCs.

Widespread condition monitoring was unattainable using traditional technologies, largely due to high costs and excessive installation time. Whereas other systems take days to install, a SmartDGA monitor can be installed in a matter of hours. Additionally, SmartDGA monitors will cost up to 50 percent less than other monitors.

SmartDGA Gauge is the newest addition to LumaSense’s line of solutions designed to provide utilities more information about how their transformers are functioning. LumaSense also provides a range of fiber optic temperature sensors (LumaSMART and LumaSHIELD) used to monitor winding hot spots, and continuous thermal imaging systems (ThermalSpection) that remotely monitor substations. Utilities can now deploy these complementary technologies from LumaSense to predict and correct faults as a part of utility condition-based maintenance programs.

The SmartDGA platform uses non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensing technology. LumaSense has used NDIR technology in more than 400,000 instruments over the past 40 years. This extensive experience is coupled with a proprietary algorithm developed in accordance with recent utility standards to analyze and report LTC conditions. The SmartDGA Gauge requires no carrier gas, no frequent calibrations and can be easily retrofitted to LTC’s to provide asset condition status.

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