SFRA Offers a Better Way to Detect Internal Problems in Transformers
The normal life span of a distribution transformer is around 30 years. However, its operating life can be shortened if it is not well maintained. Regular diagnostics of the core and windings should be conducted to prevent delays and hazards.
Measuring pure ohmic resistance of the transformer’s windings isn’t sufficient enough to spot problems. There are times that partial winding shorts affect the winding resistance at a negligible value only. Excitation, polarity, short circuit load and transformer turns ratio are some of the others tests carried out. However, these tests only detect winding problems. You can conduct an AC hipottest but it only tests the insulation of the transformer. A better method to spot problems like partial shorts, winding deformation and core problems is by a spectrum frequency response analysis. This test is very convenient since you do not need to disassemble the transformer. The test results are compared to the nameplate values to detect problems. Large variations indicate internal problems in the transformer.
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