A Portuguese company developed a revolutionary monitoring solution for power transformers that allows companies to have a monitoring solution to schedule maintenance activities and to prioritize new investments seeks distributors or agents to promote their solutions, especially in utilities companies for generation, transmission, distribution of energy and process industries. Alternatively, franchising may be offered to sole traders.
Throughout the years, several statistical and feasibility studies have been conducted, especially by CIGRÉ and IEEE (International Council on Large Electric Systems and Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers), in order to determine the main causes and types of failures that can occur in power. In all these studies is pointed out that a significant percentage of faults that occur in installed transformers are located in the windings of these transformers units. In Portugal, about 70% of the total number of failures occurred in Transformers HV / MV between 2003 and 2013, were originated in windings, tap changers, core and / or bushings. These data allowed to the Portuguese company to conclude that there is the need for the development of proper tools capable of assessing, in non-invasively manner and in real time, the state of operation of transformers and detect any abnormality in its electrical circuit, magnetic or mechanical components. This detection should be as early as possible for adequate planning of the actions of transformer maintenance, this way reducing the risk of unexpectedly damages. To solve the problem presented, the proposed solution to monitor power transformers is only based in electrical quantities analysis and is a non-invasive method of detection and faults evaluation, simple and easy to install and to operate. Therefore, electric currents and voltage of the primary and the secondary of each transformer group will be measured. The current / voltage sensors are connected to a data acquisition and analysis platform, where the diagnostic machine processes and analyses them in real time. Through a communication network, the platform sends the diagnosis results to a remote server where they are stored in a database and can be viewed through the software solution. In addition to the periodic reports are generated alerts when the diagnosis result warrants it. The monitoring system uses state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques ensuring the detection and assessment of the faults severity of the frequently faults in this type of equipment. This system is capable to detect faults of the electrical circuit (eg. short circuit between turns of the windings in the primary / secondary) and faults of the magnetic circuit (eg. hot spots in the core), as well as problems in the on-load tap changer – OLTC - (eg. increased contact resistance at the contacts of the OLTC). Together, these faults represent more than 50% of faults which occur on a power transformer, and yet these faults which lead to increased downtime of the transformer (source: Eskom, period 1985-2006 and Cigré, 1983). In addition to monitoring the operating condition of the equipment, it may be available an additional module that assesses to the thermal module of the transformer, the quality of power service and provides important energy efficiency elements (such as active, reactive and apparent power of each phase, power factor, total harmonic distortion, voltages and current imbalance, undesirable presence of harmonics). This system will warn about the beginning of a fault, follow this fault (its evolution, severity and the equipment degradation) and will notify them when the asset has a critical status (always with the notification about the part is broken). Through this early information about the transformer operation status, the respective maintenance departments can schedule maintenance/replacement action when it will be possible according to manufacturing plans, its budget and costumer demands. The Portuguese company is looking for companies with good relation with the energy utilities or industrial companies, in order to establish a distribution or commercial agency agreements in order to find potential representatives to work on a commercial work basis and / or a franchise agency agreement with sole traders interested in explore the Portuguese brand in their countries.
Innovations and advantages
Nowadays utilities and industrial companies have to delay investments but safety is an obligation. Power transformers are generally a reliable electric machine, but due to operation conditions (age, fault of several components or other factors related with the electric network) these machines can explode, causing several financial problems, damaging quality of service and environment. The disruptive innovative solution allows to have a monitoring solution for their assets helping to schedule maintenance activities and to prioritize new investments with certainty. Also allows the detection, identification and location of faults in power transformers based on electrical variables (voltage and electric current) remotely and in real time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all of load cycles, enabling its users to know everything about their assets. As critical part of smart grids or asset management programs, companies of the energy sector start to implement electric power monitoring systems due to the ageing of their assets and to avoid the risk of unexpected faults. The solution aims to help to reduce costs associated with critical assets maintenance by promoting the extension of its useful life enabling the postponement of major investments as part of a renewal of the fleet of power transformers which, being aged, are close to the end of its life cycle. Advantages: - Self-learning algorithm - Easy to correlate the faults with network events - Applicability to any power transformer, regardless of type, age or other characteristic - Monitor of dry transformers (without oil) and non-dependent on a physical substance subject to contamination by fungi or other substances - Discrimination between faults in the electrical and magnetic circuit - Cheaper than the dissolved oil analysis equipment - Intermittent fault detection - No need specialized technicians to analyze the diagnostic results - Additional module that assesses the quality of power service
Current stage of development
Several implementations in some Portuguese and Spanish energy utilities.
01004011 Maintenance Management System
04002013 Smart grids
09001004 Electrical Technology related to measurements
09001009 Sensor Technology related to measurements
Market application codes
06002003 Power grid and distribution
06006002 Metering and monitoring
06009 Energy Distribution
06011 Energy for Transport
08002002 Industrial measurement and sensing equipment
Intellectual property rights
Area of partner's activity
The Portuguese company seeks companies with good relation with the energy utilities and industrial companies. Could be industrial, services, consultancy or other companies. The company is looking to establish a distribution services agreement or a commercial services agreement, in which is expected to find representatives to perform commercial work with the target companies in order to commercialize the solution in these countries. Franchise agency agreement is also a possibility for a sole trader interested in working it in its own country, under the Portuguese brand.