Electrical Power & Protection


Onsite oil treatment saves transformers

June 2018 Electrical Power & Protection

With what is claimed to be the largest mobile oil regeneration plant in Africa, WEG Transformers Africa (WTA) plays a vital role in extending the life of South Africa’s transformer population and preventing unplanned downtime within electricity transmission systems. According to engineering manager, Ronaldo Bertoldi, ageing transformer oil introduces a number of risks into the performance and longevity of oil cooled transformers. “Moisture and impurities reduce the intended insulating effect that oil has within the windings and produces acid, making it more likely for breakdowns to occur, with potentially severe damage to the transformer itself,” he says.

WTA is able to conduct an oil regeneration service onsite for large transformers. This is done by transporting the regeneration plant by road and setting it up at the location required by the customer. Once linked up to the transformer, the unit circulates the oil through a process which involves filtering it through Fuller’s earth to remove impurities.

Careful sampling of the oil is first conducted in accordance with ISO and SANS sampling procedures by the company’s field teams, so that oil testing can establish the severity of the contamination. Laboratory tests, also conducted by WTA, are able to pick up the extent of cellulose breakdown from the insulation around the windings, oil decomposition and any moisture ingress. “The regeneration process removes acids, as well as absorbing moisture and oil decaying products through a hot oil circulation process through Fullers earth and inline oil purification in a closed loop path,” Bertoldi explains.

The process of purification only is shorter and uses inline micro filters to remove water, alcohol, dissolved gases, oxides and solid impurities. This is also a hot oil circulation process conducted in a closed loop path, and can usually be conducted in less than a day, depending on the condition of the oil. The number of passes that the oil requires through the system is based on the laboratory tests that indicate the level of contamination. Most of this work is conducted for end-users of transformers in various industrial sectors, with municipalities currently doing less oil purification or regeneration than in the past.

For more information contact Zest WEG Group Africa, + 27 (0)11 723 6000, info@zestweg.com, www.zestweg.com



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