Electrical transformers play a vital role in ensuring your operation is running smoothly. Besides, electrical transformers – be it a power or distribution transformer all enable a safe and continuous transmission of electricity to any location.
Hence, it is crucial that you schedule regular inspection and maintenance to ensure optimal performance and increased product lifespan. Especially after the successful installation of distribution transformers or any other transformer type – proper maintenance should all the more be ensured of to keep your equipment at tip-top condition. Routine maintenance checks may also ensure that you can prevent breakdown maintenance or prepare for it, ultimately saving downtime.
There are various maintenance checks to be conducted on an electrical transformer. Therefore, it is important to note some of the essential maintenance tips to ensure your transformers are running efficiently.
1. Ensure the transformers are not overloaded
It is vital to perform regular checks on the load capacity of your transformers. Electrical transformers that operate below the maximum load capacity have a longer lifespan.
It is advisable to maintain your transformers’ load capacity between 75 to 90 per cent of the stated max capacity. Doing so reduces the risk of the transformers malfunctioning and giving you problems.
2. Conduct regular checks on the oil
Prepare a maintenance schedule beforehand and circulate it among the maintenance crew so everyone is informed. Your team must perform a daily check on the magnetic oil gauge (MOG) of both the main and conservator tank.
This assessment is to ensure the oil level is filled up to the desired level. If any leakage is detected, you have to seal it as soon as possible.
The oil level in the oil cap has to be checked monthly to ensure it does not drop below the recommended level. Any dip below this level could cause potential damage to your electrical transformers.
The oil condition of the tap changer also has to be checked annually. The oil has to be checked for its moisture content and dielectric strength. If the values are found to be irregular, then the oil has to be replaced.
3. Keep an eye on the silica gel
The silica gel plays a critical role in the performance of electrical transformers. Always make sure the breathing holes are clean to allow for proper breathing action at all times. Ensure your maintenance crew pays close attention to the colour of the silica gel. If the colour changes to pink, you have to replace it immediately.
However, change in colour aside, if you notice any other issues you’re unsure of – requesting assistance from a professional may be necessary. Just like how you would engage one for generator overhauling to run a thorough check of your motor generator – you should also do the same for your transformer.
With an overhaul, your engineer will know what’s the exact next step to take for maintaining your equipment.
4. Conduct regular testing on the transformers
It is advisable to perform an open-circuit test on your transformers. An open circuit fault is one of the most common defects. The fault is usually caused by joint failures of cables and overhead lines, circuit breaker failures, or the fuse/conductor melting.
Carrying out frequent testing allows you to detect these issues and fix them promptly. If left unchecked, these issues can mount and cause significant problems down the line.
5. Get an expert’s opinion
Suppose you do not have a regular maintenance crew – you may want to consider scheduling an external engineer to conduct routine inspection and maintenance of your transformers. With a professional engineer’s expertise and knowledge, you can trust in their ability to maintain your transformer’s condition or even increase its efficiency over time; depending on which service you’re going for.
It’s best to get in touch with an engineer who is well-versed in numerous services, from generator rewinding, switchgear maintenance, to retrofilling. That way, you can approach the engineer for any other services that you need help in.
Even though your electrical transformers are running smoothly, you should not neglect to conduct regular check-ups. Routine inspection and maintenance can help to reduce the risk of a breakdown.