Time for an Oil Change:

Transformer Maintenance

Electricity plays a huge role in our daily lives. We use electricity via transformer into our homes, businesses and industrial setting every single day. It would be hard to do anything without a transformer especially with its ability to do voltage step down (lower voltages output) or step up (higher voltages output) which permits the distribution of electricity used to power our residential, commercials and  industrial infrastructural settings, therefore a routine transformer testing and maintenance program which includes an oil change is essential to a transformer's longevity, effectiveness, reliability, and efficiency as it performs it role in the electrification process.

What are Power Transformers?

Transformers are devices that use the actions of a magnetic field to change AC electric energy from one voltage level to AC electric energy to another voltage level. Modern power stations used transformers in their transmission network of high voltages for the step-up and step-down application (400 kV, 200 kV, 110 kV, 66 kV, 33kV) and are generally rated above 200MVA. Moreover, transformers facilitate voltage step down to 12 to 34.5 kV for local distribution of electric power to our residential, commercials and industrial settings. Hence, the need for a robust routine transformer testing and maintenance program will provide a reliable and efficient electrical supply.


Oil Testing for Transformers


The Value of Oil Testing for Transformers is a proven loss prevention technique which should be a part of any maintenance program. These early warning signs frequent in oil test results allows maintenance management to identify maintenance priorities, plan work assignments, arrange for outside service, and order necessary parts and materials.  The transformer’s fluid not only serves as a heat transfer medium, it form a bushing in the transformer's insulation system. Therefore it's prudent to periodically perform tests on transformer oil to determine whether the oil is still capable of fulfilling its role as an insulant: 


  1.      One of the major services a power transformer needs is oil testing. 

  2.      Transformer oil serves as a coolant in the transformer. 

  3.      The natural processes in the transformer allow it to cool using the oil as insulation in the unit. 

  4.      Proper cooling of the transformer prevents overheating and fires.


Routine testing of transformers oils and insulating oils test is a regularly accepted industry practice. General and physical tests are suggested twice a year, dissolved gas analysis once a year, and furan testing every 2 years recommended for transformers in operation at least 5 years. Throughout the operation of the transformer, the chemical properties of the transformer oil change make it less effective, increasing the probability of fire damage. In order to extend the life, efficiency, and effectiveness of the transformer, the oil must be monitored on a regular basis. In addition, oil for transformers should be obtained from only authorized industrial lubricant suppliers.