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Being some of the most critical assets in a network, power transformers present an increasing challenge to asset fleet managers due to their large numbers and advancing age.
Condition based maintenance (CBM) of these assets is increasing. Whilst online monitoring systems provide part of the solution, organisations have been struggling to completely realise their CBM vision.
So what's stopping them?
Transformer fleets are ageing rapidly and are entering the end of their life-cycle “bathtub” curve, where the probability of failure in service starts to drastically increase. As with everything, the older a transformer, the more prone to failure it is, due to component wear and untreated small defects.
With reduced operating budgets, performing maintenance only when required has become the norm. Regular site visits to check status no longer take place. Transformers operate with minor faults that slowly erode their operating life and will bring early failure prior to the planned replacement date.
Impact of Failures
For utilities, transformer failures can interrupt the delivery of service to hundreds of thousands of customers, from household
consumers who rely on the power
to perform everyday tasks, to the business user who relies
on the grid to manufacture products or deliver services.
What to Monitor
Advances in monitoring technologies have allowed the capture of more in-depth information on the condition of transformers. The challenge however has been turning this vast amount of data into coherent, actionable information for managing a fleet, and to realise the expected opex savings.
Monitoring alone is not the solution
Companies are increasingly in search of software to perform data interpretation and automatic transformer evaluation.
Compared to expensive custom built systems which take years to roll out, the new era of “out of the box” intelligent software, using algorithms combining best practices and recognised industry standards, allows for faster return of their monitoring investment dollars.
The Next Challenge: Tackling the abundance of data
Many organisations are faced with the challenge of not benefiting from the information provided by online monitors. Contributing factors include a lack of understanding on how to interpret information, missing or overstretched transformer experts, and unwanted accountability that comes with analysis.
The information presented in asset management applications is also consumed in different ways depending on the end user. It is vital that in any Fleet Management system the data can be easily accessed and delivers coherent information tailored to the audience. Along with that, ensuring that the data is centrally located and accessible remotely is essential for ensuring the integrity of the information shared.
Trusted automation is the answer
By adopting new era data analytics software which also facilitates easy customization, organizations can instantly benefit from data validation, amalgamation and cross-correlation.
They can oversee their whole fleet and replace data overload with actionable intelligent information, the key to unlocking true condition monitoring value.
Read the GE White Papers
New era fleet management software can perform a decisive role in transformer evaluation and fleet management.
It can focus transformer experts and help free up their time for other critical tasks. It opens a bridge between transformer experts and higher level management, providing the information required to develop budgets, plan expenditures and make important business decisions based on the health of the entire fleet and individual transformers.
A powerful approach to fleet management
Deploying systems like GE's Perception Fleet can pretty much deliver instantaneous results upon installation. You are quickly taken from a manual, one-on-one transformer assessment process to an automated and online fleet management assessment.
The Latest News in Transformers
Insulect works inside and outside of Transformers.
We work closely with end user teams to understand their challenges, network needs and existing asset base, so to help guide future specifications and investment decisions.
Our team can support system setup, from integration with existing architecture, through to installation and commissioning.
From the insulation system, to key transformer components and monitoring applications, our team has plenty of insight into the complexities of transformer management.
We offer a range of services to support the lifetime operation of monitoring hardware and can customise this to suit individual networks.
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Whether you're operating a Transmission or Distribution network, a Generation plant, or Industrial site, we would be glad to have a no obligations discussion to understand how we can help your organisation.