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ON-LOAD TAP-CHANGER

WHAT IS AN ON-LOAD TAP-


CHANGER?
On-load tap changer

A device for changing the tapping


connection of a winding whilst the
transformer is on load
On-load tap-changer

•With on-load tap changer the transformer


voltage can be varied in steps by adding
or subtracting turns
On-load tap-changer
On-load tap-changer

The tap changer provides two basic functions:

•The first is to select a transformer tapping


connection in an open circuit condition

•The second is to divert or transfer power to the


selected tapping without interrupting the through
current
On-load tap-changers types

•Selector switch type: combines the two functions


into one device

•Diverter switch type: separate selector and diverter


are used for higher power requirements
Principle scheme a selector switch type
OLTC
Principle scheme of a tap-selector and
diverter switch type OLTC
Tapping winding configuration

The selection function can be:

•Without change over selector (linear)

•With change-over selector (reversing(+/-) or


coarse/fine)
Tap changer

The transfer of electrical power involves arcing in the


oil, therefore contamination of the insulating oil.

Thus:
Switching devices are located in their own switching
compartment to separate the contaminated oil from the
oil in the main tank.
Principle schemes of OLTC design
On-load tap-changer features
Tap changers possess two fundamental features:

•Some form of impedance is present to prevent short


circuiting of the tapped section

•A duplicate circuit is provided so that the load current can


be carried by one circuit whilst switching is being carried out
on the other.
On-load tap-changer

The tapped portion of the winding may be located at one of


the following locations depending upon the type of winding:

•At the line end of the winding;


•In the middle of the winding;
•At the star point.
On-load tap-changer

The most common type of arrangements are the last two

They give the least electrical stress between the tap changer
and earth; along with subjecting the tappings to less physical
and electrical stress from fault currents entering the line
terminals
On-load tap-changer
Tap changers can be connected to the primary or secondary
side windings of the transformer depending on:
•Current rating of the transformer
•Insulation levels present
•Type of winding within the transformer (e.g. Star, delta or
autotransformer)
• Position of tap changer in the winding
•Losses associated with different tap changer configurations
e.g. Coarse tap or reverse winding
•Step voltage and circulating currents
•Cost
•Physical size
How a tap-changer work

• When a tap change is initiated, the selector switch pre-selects the


desired tap on the regulating winding of the transformer.

•The diverter switch then transfers the current from the in service
tap to the pre-selected tap.

• While this quick changeover is occurring, a resistance is cut into


the circuit to ensure a no break transfer of current.

•This also limits circulating current between the two taps of the
regulating winding being switched.
tap-changer operating mechanism
•The tap changer is driven from the motor drive box by
interconnecting shafts, bevel gears and the upper gear unit.

• The upper gear unit reduces the rotary motion to half a revolution
per tap change operation and drives the insulating shafts of the
diverter switch contact not yet under load.

•Then the energy accumulator of the diverter switch is released


and transfers the operating current to the selected tap position.

• Although complete operation of the selector and diverter switches


may take 5 to 15 seconds, the spring driven action of the diverter
switching is in the order of 50mS in modern type tap changers.
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

Diverter

Tap selector

7
6
5
4

Transformer
regulating winding
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
Tap-changers, diverter switch type

7
6
5
4
DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


DIVERTER SWITCH To tap selector

Transition
resistor

To neutral or next phase


Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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Tap-changers, selector switch type

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tap-changer maintenance

•During diversion of current, carbonization of the contacts occurs.


This also leads to decomposition of the transformer oil.

•If there is moisture present a breakdown of insulation is possible


at points where voltage stresses are high.

•The on load tap changer is a mechanical device with tight


tolerance to timing and precision of travel. It is susceptible to
alignment problems caused by wear and incorrect installation,
which often results in arcing of the contacts.
tap-changer maintenance

The condition of the diverter switch is directly related to the


following things:

•Load current and value of circulating current during each tap


change.

•Number of tap change operations

It is necessary to condition monitor transformer tap changers


so the condition of these tap changers can be constantly
observed.
tap-changer maintenance criteria

The criteria for preventive tap-changer maintenance are


1. time in service or

2. number of operations

whichever is reached first


Scope of maintenance work
• Removal and reassembly of the diverter switch unit
• Cleaning and inspection of the mechanical components
• Visual check of the insulation distances of the diverter switch
unit and oil compartment
• Replacement of parts
• Change of the switching oil (fresh oil with a dielectric strength
of >50kV/2,5mm in accordance with IEC 60156)
• Contact wear measurement
• Measuring the transition resistors
• Inspection/check of drive shafts, and protective relays
• Function check of motor drive
Scope of maintenance work