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Transformer Oil DGA From sampling to analysis

Presented by Miguel Ceballos

INTRODUCTION Transformer Oil DGA From sampling to analysis During the last decades Dissolved Gas
Analysis (DGA) has become the most important preventive routine for power transformers

Why DGA is important? Simple, non intrusive oil analysis, that can predict faults via the analysis of the gases generated on the insulating oil. The types of dissolved gases in the oil, the amount, relative proportions and changes over time give us clues about what is happening in the transformer

DGA 3 Key steps Oil sample extraction Extraction of the gases Gases separation & measurement (gas chromatography)

Every DGA starts with the sampling Thousands of gallons in a transformer tank, syringe only 30 ml., the sample must be as representative as possible. Appropriate sampling techniques are indicated on ASTM D923, IEC 60567 and in many company specifications.

Key considerations Atmospheric conditions Positive pressure on the tank Appropriate containers Accessories (Tygon tubing, valves) Adequate syringe handling

Syringes, tubing & Accessories

Flushing about 2 liters to ensure there is no free water or visible contaminants

Allow the pressure in the tank to fill the syringe up to the 10 cc mark (dont pull the piston)

Push the piston gently to rinse the barrel and remove the bubbles

Fill the syringe up to 26 cc mark to ensure an adequate seal along the piston

Push gently to remove any possible bubbles, close the valves and proceed with the labeling and packaging

Adequate packaging

ASTM D3612 / IEC 60567 DGA extraction methods ASTM D3612-A vacuum extraction ASTM D3612-B stripping method ASTM D3612-C head space analysis

Analytical results must be precise and accurate

CIGRE and IEC Round Robin tests (RRTs) have shown that the repeatability (precision) of DGA labs is generally good, but that their deviation from true value (accuracy) is often poor*


Every Laboratory should be able to demonstrate their precision and accuracy.

Accuracy of IEC/CIGRE laboratories, from roundrobin tests using DGA standards. Medium gas concentrations Best lab Average Worst Lab 3% 15% 65% Low gas concentrations 22% 30% 64%

ASTM 3612: Standards

Regular use of standards required by ASTM

Diagnostic reliability is affected by the accuracy of the DGA measurement results

CIGRE result for Round Robin Test (RRT) at low concentration levels. Results of individual laboratories (.) and prepares DGA standard value (x)

Improving the reliability of Transformer gas-in-oil diagnosis M. Duval, J. Dukarm - 2005

How are fault gases produced?

Generic Oil Molecule CH3 CH2 CH3

Thermal & electrical stresses Exposure to air Cellulosic insulation starts degrading Contaminant induced chemical reactions

H2 CH4 C2H6 C2H4

Chain breaks + Molecular rearrangements



Type of gases


3. ATMOSPHERIC GASES (non fault gases)


Type of faults Gases involved cont.

In all types of faults, hydrogen is always present. Low energy faults such as corona partial discharges in gas bubbles, or low temperature hot spots, will form mainly H2 and CH4. Faults of higher temperatures are necessary to form large quantities of C2H4. Faults with a very high energy content, such as in electrical arcs, to form large amounts of C2H2. Arcing is the most concerning type of fault condition as it typically escalates to a transformer failure.

DGA results would allow us to identify the type of fault occurring in a transformer in service.

Type of faults IEC 60599

1. PD- Partial Discharges (corona) 2. D1 - Discharges of low energy 3. D2 - Discharges of high energy 4. T1 - Thermal faults < 300 5. T2 - Thermal faults > 300< 700 6. T3 - Thermal faults > 700

What do we do with the data? Many results interpretation techniques

IEC 60599 Ratios IEEE C57.104, Limits, rates and TDCG Rogers Ratios Key Gas Method Duval Triangle Trend Analysis NEW GUIDELINES FOR INTERPRETATION OF DGA CIGRE Task force 15.01.01,Octr 1999 Companies guidelines More..

Results interpretation cont.

Main diagnostic methods: - IEC ratio codes - IEEE methods ( Dornenburg, Rogers and key gases methods ) - Duval Triangle

Gas ratios should be calculated only if at least one gas value is above typical value.

Typical values
(CIGRE Brochure # 296, 2006)
C2H2 All transformers No OLTC Communicating OLTC 2-20 60-280 H2 50-150 CH4 30-130 C2H4 60-280 C2H6 20-90 CO 400-600 CO2 3800-14000

Typical values
Typical rates of gas increase for power transformers, in ppm/year

(CIGRE Brochure # 296, 2006)

C2H2 All transformers No OLTC Communicating OLTC 0-4 21-37 H2 35-132 CH4 10-120 C2H4 32-146 C2H6 5-90 CO 260-1060 CO2 1700-10000

Typical values - notes

Transformers are all different; The exact value of the DGA reading is not as important as the trend. If the DGA is at a moderate level but holding steady, there is little concern. On-line monitoring systems will ensure that things stay in check. However, low DGA levels which are trending upward are a higher concern; When the transformer is first energized, the DGA values will trend toward the typical value for that transformer and it should then stabilize; The actions to be taken after analysis depends on how fast the problem is escalating, the criticality of the transformer and the alternatives available; The risk of taking the transformer out of service too soon may result in an internal inspection which turns up no evidence; Waiting too long risks a complete transformer failure. Situations where there is N+1 redundancy provide the luxury of taking the transformer off line for internal inspections with no impact to the load. Mobile transformers provide a similar benefit but can often require hours (or days) to coordinate getting them in place and ready

The value of On-Line Monitoring

From Preventive to Predictive
1st Value : Ability to Detect a change in condition In ALL cases = Protection Value

2nd Value : Ability to Monitor the Evolution of the Condition = Monitoring Value.

3rd Value :

Ability to Diagnose the nature of the bad condition = Diagnostic Value

On-Line Monitors
Single gas or Key gas OLM

1 gas, H2 + moisture

Detection Monitoring

2 gases, H2 + CO + moisture

Multi-Gas OLM

On-Line Diagnostic Only

when its required

5 gases, Basic on-line diagnostic 9 gases: Full DGA On-Line

As a network element, the OLM is a powerful Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) capable of transmitting information in a variety of ways. Local
Via USB cable Via Ethernet cable

Analog outputs RS-232 RS-485 Ethernet (Modbus, DNP-3, IEC 61850)


Analog Outputs / Dry Contacts to the SCADA Network

RTU 4-20mA outputs
Gas, Moisture, Temperature levels

NO/NC Relays
Gas alarm, Moisture alarm, Temp alarm, Low Carrier gas, Any Alarm, Any error, Always.

Stable H2 concentration at 500 ppm, 6-month period

Increasing H2 concentration, 100 ppm/month, 1 month period

Sudden increase in H2 concentration, up to 30ppm/hour

Sudden change in H2 generation rate

Portable DGA equipment

The best complement for the OLM
Portable systems allow having a complete DGA analysis on the spot in two minutes, with lab comparable results, using validated gas extraction and separation techniques.

OLM Deployment Strategy

Maximize protection of your assetsat a reasonable cost

When an alarm is triggeredthe

Diagnostic value is required to understand the nature and severity of the fault.

Monitor Diagnose

When the condition assessment requires OnLine DGA to maximize protection of a faulty transformer, a Multi-gas Monitor is recommended.

Critical 1


Critical 2

Beyond DGA
Dielectric Strength Acidity Interfacial Tension Color Water Content Density Visual Examination Power Factor Inhibitor Content Dissolved Gas Analysis Furan Analysis

ASTM Number D877/D-1816 D-974 D-971 D-1500 D-1533 D-1298 D-1524 D-924 D-4768


Oil Quality Tests

Detect incipient faults

Detect insulation degradation

Density, Color, Visual

Color, ASTM D1500, typical value 0,5 Specific Gravity, ASTM D1298, typical value 0,890

Dielectric Breakdown ASTM D877

Detect free H2O + Particles, Acceptable limit for serviced aged oil: 25 kV Limit for new oil: 30 kV

Neutralization Number (Acidity) ASTM D974

Acceptable limit for serviced aged oil: 0.2 mg KOH/g Limit for new oil: 0.03 mg KOH/g The acidity is caused by oxidation byproducts called polar compounds

Interfacial Tension ASTM D971

Acceptable limit for serviced aged oil: 18 dynes/cm Limit for new oil: 40 dynes/cm Presence of contaminants

Water Content ASTM D1500

Karl Fisher Titration Acceptable limit: 35 ppm Tank breathing or paper degradation

Inhibitor Content
Oxidation increase as inhibitor is consumed, controlling the inhibitor content extends the life of the oil.

Furan Analysis ASTM D5837

Furanic compounds are produced as the solid insulation (cellulose) deteriorates; measuring the concentration of those compounds gives indication on the condition of the solid insulation.

Corrosive Sulfur ASTM D1275

The ASTM 1275 method consist basically in a copper strip immersed in oil for several hours at high temperature.
Method A: 19 hours at 140 C Method B: 48 hours at 150 C

DGA Summary, Conclusions

Sampling Key considerations / best practices Analytical results Precision, Accuracy Interpretation Many tools, typical values, trends, DSS (decision support systems) The value of OLM From Preventive to Predictive Beyond DGA

Thank you !!!