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8/18/2015 4PowerTransformerProtectionDevicesExplainedInDetails|EEP

4PowerTransformerProtectionDevices
ExplainedInDetails

4 Power Transformer Protection Devices explained in details (on photo: ABBs 115 kV outdoor
transformer)

OilTransformerprotection
Thepowertransformerprotectionisrealizedwithtwodifferentkindsofdevices,
namelythedevicesthataremeasuringtheelectricalquantitiesaffectingthe
transformerthroughinstrumenttransformersandthedevicesthatareindicatingthe
statusofthephysicalquantitiesatthetransformeritself.

Anexampleoftheformercouldbecurrentbaseddifferentialprotectionandofthe
latteroiltemperaturemonitoring.

ProtectionDevices//
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Thefollowingdiscussesprotectiondevicestypicallydeliveredasapartofthe
powertransformerdelivery.

1. Buchholz(Gas)Relay
2. PressureRelay
3. OilLevelMonitorDevice
4. WindingThermometer

Thepowertransformerprotectionasawholeandtheutilizationofthebelow
presentedprotectiondevicesarenotdiscussedhere.

1.Buchholz(Gas)Relay

TheBuchholzprotectionisamechanicalfaultdetectorforelectricalfaultsinoil
immersedtransformers.TheBuchholz(gas)relayisplacedinthepipingbetweenthe
transformermaintankandtheoilconservator.Theconservatorpipemustbeinclined
slightlyforreliableoperation.

OftenthereisabypasspipethatmakesitpossibletotaketheBuchholzrelay
outofservice.

Installed Buchholz gas relay

TheBuchholzprotectionisafastandsensitivefaultdetector.Itworksindependent

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ofthenumberoftransformerwindings,tapchangerpositionandinstrument
transformers.Ifthetapchangerisoftheontank(container)type,havingitsownoil
enclosurewithoilconservator,thereisadedicatedBuchholzrelayforthetapchanger.

AtypicalBuchholzprotectioncomprisesapivotedfloat(F)andapivotedvane(V)
asshowninFigure1.Thefloatcarriesonemercuryswitchandthevanealsocarries
anothermercuryswitch.Normally,thecasingisfilledwithoilandthemercuryswitches
areopen.

Figure 1 Buchholz relay


principal construction

Whenminorfaultoccurs

Hereisassumedthataminorfaultoccurswithinthetransformer.Gases
producedbyminorfaultsrisefromthefaultlocationtothetopofthetransformer.Then
thegasbubblespassupthepipingtotheconservator.Thegasbubbleswillbetapped
inthecasingoftheBuchholzprotection.

Thismeansthatthegasreplacestheoilinthecasing.Astheoillevelfalls,thefloat
(F)willfollowandthemercuryswitchtiltsandclosesanalarmcircuit.

Whenmajorfaultoccurs

Itisalsoassumedthatamajorfault,eithertoearthofbetweenphasesor
windings,occurswithinthetransformer.Suchfaultsrapidlyproducelargevolumes
ofgas(morethan50cm3/(kWs)andoilvaporwhichcannotescape.

Theythereforeproduceasteepbuildupofpressureanddisplaceoil.Thissetsupa
rapidflowfromthetransformertowardstheconservator.Thevane(V)respondsto
highoilandgasflowinthepipetotheconservator.Inthiscase,themercuryswitch
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closesatripcircuit.Theoperatingtimeofthetripcontactdependsonthelocationof
thefaultandthemagnitudeofthefaultcurrent.

Testscarriedoutwithsimulatedoperatingconditionshaveshownthat
operationinthetimerange0.0500.10secondsispossible.Theoperating
timeshouldnotexceed0.3seconds.

Thegasaccumulatorrelayalsoprovidesalongtermaccumulationofgasses
associatedwithoverheatingofvariouspartsofthetransformerconductorand
insulationsystems.Thiswilldetectfaultsourcesintheirearlystagesandprevent
significantdamage.

Figure 2 A typical outlook of a Buchholz


relay with flanges on both sides for pipe
connections

Whenthetransformerisfirstputintoservice,theairtrappedinthewindingsmaygive
unnecessaryalarmsignals.Itiscustomarytoremovetheairinthepower
transformersbyvacuumtreatmentduringthefillingofthetransformertankwithoil.

Thegasaccumulatedwithoutthistreatmentwill,ofcourse,beair,whichcanbe
confirmedbyseeingthatitisnotinflammable.

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Inaddition,theBuchholzrelaycandetectiftheoillevelfallsbelowthat
oftherelayasaresultofaleakagefromthetransformertank.

OthertechnicalarticlesrelatedtoBuchholzrelay//

1. ProtectingOilTypeTransformerwithBuchholzRelay
2. ThePurposeOfTransformerGasRelay

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2.PressureRelay

Manypowertransformerswithanontanktypetapchangerhaveapressureprotection
fortheseparatetapchangeroilcompartment.Thisprotectiondetectsasuddenrate
ofincreaseofpressureinsidethetapchangeroilenclosure.

Figure3showstheprincipleofapressurerelay.

Figure 3 Pressure relay

Whenthepressureinfrontofthepistonexceedsthecounterforceofthespring,the
pistonwillmoveoperatingtheswitchingcontacts.Themicroswitchinsidethe
switchingunitishermeticallysealedandpressurizedwithnitrogengas.

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Aninternalfaultinanoilfilledtransformerisusuallyaccompaniedby
overpressureinthetransformertank.

Thesimplestformofpressurereliefdeviceisthewidelyusedfrangibledisk.The
surgeofoilcausedbyaheavyinternalfaultburststhediskandallowstheoilto
dischargerapidly.Relievingandlimitingthepressurerisepreventexplosiveruptureof
thetankandconsequentfire.

Also,ifused,theseparatetapchangeroilenclosurecanbefittedwithapressure
reliefdevice.

Figure 4 Principle construction of a pressure relief device

Thepressurereliefdevicecanbefittedwithcontactunit(s)toprovideasignalfor
circuitbreaker(s)trippingcircuits.

Figure 5 A pressure relief device with contact units

Adrawbackofthefrangiblediskisthattheoilremaininginthetankisleftexposed
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totheatmosphereafterarupture.Thisisavoidedinamoreeffectivedevice,the
pressurereliefvalve,whichopenstoallowthedischargeofoilifthepressureexceeds
thepreadjustedlimit.

Byprovidingthetransformerwithapressurereliefvalve,theoverpressure
canbelimitedtoamagnitudeharmlesstothetransformer.

Iftheabnormalpressureisrelativelyhigh,thisspringcontrolledvalvecanoperate
withinafewmillisecondsandprovidefasttrippingwhensuitablecontactsarefitted.
Thevalveclosesautomaticallyastheinternalpressurefallsbelowacriticallevel.

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3.OilLevelMonitorDevice

Transformerswithoilconservator(s)(expansiontank)oftenhaveanoillevelmonitor.
Usually,themonitorhastwocontactsforalarm.Onecontactisformaximumoil
levelalarmandtheothercontactisforminimumoillevelalarm.

Figure 6 A typical outlook of an oil level monitor device

Thetopoilthermometerhasaliquidthermometerbulbinapocketatthetopofthe
transformer.Thethermometermeasuresthetopoiltemperatureofthetransformer.
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Thetopoilthermometercanhaveonetofourcontacts,whichsequentiallycloseat
successivelyhighertemperature.

Withfourcontactsfitted,thetwolowestlevelsarecommonlyusedtostart
fansorpumpsforforcedcooling,thethirdleveltoinitiateanalarmand
thefourthsteptotriploadbreakersordeenergizethetransformerorboth.

Thefigurebelowshowstheconstructionofacapillarytypetopoilthermometer,
wherethebulbissituatedinapocketsurroundedbyoilontopofthetransformer.
Thebulbisconnectedtothemeasuringbellowinsidethemainunitviaacapillary
tube.Thebellowmovestheindicatorthroughmechanicallinkages,resultinginthe
operationofthecontactsatsettemperatures.

Figure 7 Capillary type of topoil temperature measurement device

Thetopoiltemperaturemaybeconsiderablylowerthanthewindingtemperature,
especiallyshortlyafterasuddenloadincrease.Thismeansthatthetopoil
thermometerisnotaneffectiveoverheatingprotection.

However,wherethepolicytowardstransformerslossoflifepermits,trippingontop
oiltemperaturemaybesatisfactory.Thishastheaddedadvantageofdirectly
monitoringtheoiltemperaturetoensurethatitdoesnotreachtheflashtemperature.

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4.WindingThermometer

Thewindingthermometer,showninthefigurebelow,respondstoboththetopoil
temperatureandtheheatingeffectoftheloadcurrent.

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Figure 8 Capillary type of winding thermometer



Thewindingthermometercreatesanimageofthehottestpartofthewinding.

Thetopoiltemperatureismeasuredwithasimilarmethodasintroducedearlier.The
measurementisfurtherexpandedwithacurrentsignalproportionaltotheloading

currentinthewinding.

Thiscurrentsignalistakenfromacurrenttransformerlocatedinsidethebushingof

thatparticularwinding.Thiscurrentisleadtoaresistorelementinthemainunit.This
resistorheatsup,andasaresultofthecurrentflowingthroughit,itwillinitsturnheat
upthemeasurementbellow,resultinginanincreasedindicatormovement.

Figure 9 Topoil thermometer and winding thermometer main units fitted


on the side of a power transformer

Thetemperaturebiasisproportionaltotheresistanceoftheelectricheating
(resistor)element.

Theresultoftheheatrunprovidesdatatoadjusttheresistanceandtherebythe
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temperaturebias.
Thebiasshould
correspondtothe
differencebetween
thehotspot
temperatureandthe
topoiltemperature.
Thetimeconstantof
theheatingofthe
pocketshouldmatch
thetimeconstantof
theheatingofthe
winding.

Thetemperature
sensorthen
measuresa
temperaturethatis
equaltothewinding
temperatureifthebiasisequaltothetemperaturedifferenceandthetimeconstants
areequal.

Thewindingthermometercanhaveonetofourcontacts,which
sequentiallycloseatsuccessivelyhighertemperature.

Withfourcontactsfitted,thetwolowestlevelsarecommonlyusedtostartfansor
pumpsforforcedcooling,thethirdleveltoinitiateanalarmandthefourthstepto
triploadbreakersordeenergizethetransformerorboth.

Incaseapowertransformerisfittedwithtopoilthermometerandwinding
thermometer,thelatteronenormallytakescareoftheforcedcoolingcontrol.

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Reference//DistributionAutomationHandbookABB

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AboutAuthor//

Edvard Csanyi
EdvardElectricalengineer,programmerandfounderofEEP.
HighlyspecializedfordesignofLVhighpowerbusbartrunking
(<6300A)inpowersubstations,buildingsandindustry
fascilities.DesigningofLV/MVswitchgears.Professionalin
AutoCADprogrammingandwebdesign.PresentonGoogle+

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