If an LTC fails, the entire transformer will shut down. Transformer failures can cost your utility millions of dollars, adding overtime pay for workers and additional expenses to expedite repair. This outage will adversely affect numerous distribution circuits and the remaining power grid due to the need to reroute the load to supply the affected circuits. Regularly assessing the health of LTCs and catching problems before a failure occurs is important to prevent downtime and minimize the cost of repairs.
A thermal imager is a valuable tool for recording or monitoring temperatures in realtime to assess the health of an LTC, as well as ensure that LTCs meet EPRI guidelines. A tap changer should not be hotter than the main tank of the transformer, and it should not be more than 5°C different from the top to bottom – any temperature rise may be an indication of a problem. Fixed thermal sensors, such as the FLIR AX8, can provide constant, 24/7 temperature trending of critical components including LTCs. You can even send data via local network or a cloud-based solution.
Using fixed thermal sensors for regular condition monitoring can help you understand the temperature trends of an LTC and make critical decisions on the health of the transformer before it fails. You’ll get real-time, accurate data for a more efficient inspection. Inspect from outside the fence line and still get real-time, accurate data to work safely and more efficiently.
For more information about FLIR in substations/transmission, or to schedule a product demonstration visit: www.flir.in/substation-transmission