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2013 International Conference on Power, Energy and Control (ICPEC)

Study and Diagnosis the Failure of Power


Transformers by Sweep Frequency Response Analysis.
Amit Kumar Mehta
EED,NIT,Hamirpur
H.P.India
mehtaamit5@gmail.com

R.N.Sharma
EED,NIT,Hamirpur
H.P.India

Abstract-Sweep Frequency Response Analysis (SFRA) testing has


become a valuable tool for verifying the geometric integrity of
electrical apparatus, specially transformers. The SFRA technique
provides internal diagnostic information using non-intrusive
procedure. Power Transformers are specified to withstand the
mechanical forces arising from both shipping and subsequent inservice events, such as faults and lightning. Transportation damage
may lead to core and winding movement. This research is
undertaken to study and diagnosis the failure of power transformer
by investigation of transformer mechanical integrity using the
Dobles M5200. This paper presents case studies related to the
SFRA testing, & their result interpretation through the statistical
indicator and the standard interpretations available.
Keywords - Insulation system, power transformer, Bushing, power
factor, capacitance.

I.

INTRODUCTION

Sweep Frequency Response Analysis (SFRA) is a tool that can


give an indication of core or winding movement in transformers.
This is done by performing a measurement, albeit a simple one,
looking at how well a transformer winding transmits a low
voltage signal that varies in frequency. Just how well a
transformer does this is related to its impedance, the capacitive
and inductive elements of which are intimately related to the
physical construction of the transformer. Changes in frequency
response as measured by SFRA techniques may indicate a
physical change inside the transformer, the cause of which then
needs to be identified and investigated. This behavior becomes
apparent when we model impedance as a function of frequency
[1, 2].The result is a transfer function representation of the RLC
network in the frequency domain. Frequency response analysis
is generally applied to a complex network of passive elements.
For practical purposes, we will consider only resistors,
inductors, and capacitors as passive circuit elements, and they
are assumed to be ideal. These three fundamental elements are
the building blocks for various physical devices, such as
transformers, motors, generators, and other electrical apparatus.
(where s is a frequency dependant parameter, which for
continuous sinusoids equals to j). The transfer function is
physically the combination of inductance, capacitance and
resistance within the specimen (i.e. the admittance or, if
inverted, the impedance) [5]. When the sinusoidal input signal is
applied there will be a dynamic response, dependant on the
transfer function. After a while (duration depending on the

Sushil Chauhan

S.D.Agnihotri

EED,NIT,Hamirpur
H.P.India

HPSEB Hamirpur
H.P.India

It is important to understand the difference between the physical


device and the mathematical model we intend to use. When
large and complex systems are electrically analyzed, we are
often faced with a poorly defined distributed network. A
distributed network contains an infinite number of infinitely
small RLC elements. For example, transmission lines are
generally distributed in nature. It is practical to model such
distributed systems by lumping the basic RLC components
together, resulting in a lumped network. Lumping elements
together for a single frequency is a trivial task, but when system
modeling requires spanning a significant frequency interval,
producing a suitable lumped model becomes difficult[3,4].
II. THEORY AND FUNDAMENTAL
SFRA is based on analysis of a windings transfer function. A
signal generator is connected together with a voltage reference
to a phase outlet on the transformer and the response is
measured on the neutral outlet of the same winding (see figure
1).

Figure 1

The signal generator produces a sweep of signals (sine


waves) with increasing frequency. The reference and response
voltages are logged and processed so that a response curve can
be plotted. The response curve shows the relationship between
the two voltages (attenuation) as a function of the frequency.
The phase shift between reference and response are also
measured and can be plotted as o function of frequency. With
the SFRA method input and output signals are measured at one
frequency a time, within a frequency range. How the input
signal (x) is affected by the specimens characteristics will
depend upon, what is mathematically described as, the transfer
function
H(s) = Y(s) X(s)
transfer function) the signal will stabilize into a steady state.
Now the response will (ideally) be a sine wave (y), but the
amplitude and phase might be different from the input sine
wave. Again the transfer function will affect how the response
will differ from the input.

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978-1-4673-6030-2/13/$31.00 2013 IEEE

2013 International Conference on Power, Energy and Control (ICPEC)


III. HOW SFRA WORKS
The Doubles M5200 sends an excitation signal into the
transformer and measures the returning signals across a broad
frequency range. By comparing this response to baseline and
other results (such as from similar units), we can identify
deviations and confirm internal mechanical problems. The
general rule areas below [7].
i) The transformer under test should be completely de-energized
and isolated from the power system before performing any tests
using an M5000-series SFRA instrument.
ii) The method of testing a high-voltage apparatus (transformer)
involves exciting the apparatus with the SFRA instrument. Take
care to avoid contact with the apparatus being tested, its
associated bushings and conductors, and the SFRA instruments
cables and connectors.
iii) The test crew must make a visual check to ensure that the
apparatus terminals are isolated from the power system. Because
the apparatus under test may fail, take precautions (such as
barriers or entrance restrictions to the test area) to avoid harm in
case of violent failure.
iv) All of your company rules for safe practice in testing must be
strictly conformed to, including all practices for tagging and
isolating apparatus during testing and maintenance work. State,
local, and federal regulations, e.g., OSHA, may also apply[8].

cable. Since there is no attenuation, signal loss between the


Source/Reference and Measure, the resulting data graph plots
along the 0 dB horizontal line as frequency increases, until an
inductive roll off occurs in figure 2. This roll off is a feature of
the cables, because of the 12 ft / 3.7 m ground connections. This
roll off is consistent for all tests and reduces the variability in
response arising from variations in ground lead length. It is
expected and acceptable.

Figure 2

C. Open-Circuit Lead Response


Open-circuit behavior is around 90 to 100 dB but is clearly
affected by noise and shows a lot of hashing compared to the
short-circuit lead response. It is relatively easy to identify in
figure 3.

A. Software
The M5000 instruments come with intuitive, Windows-based
SFRA software runs on a standard PC supplied by the user (for
the M5200 or M5400) or on the M5300 itself. The software
allows you to make and compare SFRA measurements. The test
is easy to perform, but recording all relevant details for future
reference is important; otherwise, it becomes difficult to
reproduce test results.
The software requires a minimum set of details before taking a
measurement:
Test location
Testing organization
M5000 instrument serial number
Transformer manufacturer
Transformer serial number
Red lead location
Black lead location
B. Short-Circuit Lead Response
Perform a short-circuit measurement. The short-circuit lead
response test verifies proper condition of the test specimen

Figure 3

IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Generally, an SFRA measurement is made from one terminal on
the transformer (e.g., H1 or A) to another terminal (e.g., H2 or
N). It is important to record all relevant information, which
includes tap position, oil level, and terminals grounded or
shorted. Where previous test results exist, the best testing
procedure is to repeat those tests, taking note of tap position,
shorted or grounded bushings, and any details for specific tests.
Doble is a key member of international bodies such as CIGRE
and IEEE, which are pursuing FRA test standards. As standards

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2013 International Conference on Power, Energy and Control (ICPEC)


develop, recommended tests may be changed with input from
experienced users around the world. Doble will reflect those
changes [6].
A. Measurement Types
i) Open Circuit
An open-circuit measurement is made from one end of a
winding to another, with all other terminals floating. For a delta
winding, connections would be H1 to H3, for example. For a
star (wye) winding, measurements are taken from HV terminals
to neutral, such as X1 to X0.
ii) Short Circuit
A short-circuit measurement is made with the same SFRA test
lead connections as an open-circuit measurement, but with the
difference that another winding is short circuited. To ensure
repeatability, Doble recommends that the three voltage terminals
on the shorted winding be shorted together. This would mean,
for example, shorting X1 to X2, X2 to X3, and X3 to X1. This
ensures that all three phases are similarly shorted, to give a
consistent impedance as shown in table 1. Any neutral
connections available for the shorted winding should not be
included in the shorting process[9].
Test Type
Series winding (OC) All
other Terminals Floating
Common winding (OC) All
other Terminals Floating
Short Circuit(SC) High(H)
to Low(L) Short[X1-X2X3]*

Test
Test1
Test2
Test3
Test4

3
H1-X1
H2-X2
H3-X3
X1-H0X0

Test5
Test6
Test7
Test8
Test9

X2-H0X0
X3-H0X0
H1-H0X0
H2-H0X0
H3-H0X0

1
H1-X1

H1-H0X0

Table 2. S-86069 ECE Industries Ltd. 3-Ph 2 Wind Y-Y 132/33


DETC
Terminal
Terminal
Red
Black
L
Grounded
Shorted
Lead Lead
T
C
As-foundH1
H0
5
make note none
none
As-foundH2
H0
5
make note none
none
As-foundH3
H0
5
make note none
none

Measure
ment
Type
Open
Ckt.
Open
Ckt.
Open
Ckt.

Figure 4
Table 3.S-86069 ECE Industries Ltd. 3-Ph 2 Wind Y-Y 132/33
Red
Black
LT
DETC
Terminal
Terminal Measurem
Lead
Lead
C
Grounded
Shorted
ent
Type
H3

H0

H2

H0

H1

H0

As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note

none

a-b-c-a
a-b-c-a

Short Ckt.
Short Ckt.

a-b-c-a

Short Ckt.

none
none

H1-H0X0
Short
[X1-H0X0]*

Table 1

* Indicates short-circuit tests where the terminals are shorted


together with three sets of jumpers, to provide symmetry (X1X2, X2-X3, X3-X1) OR (Y1-Y2, Y2-Y3, Y3-Y1). The neutral
is not included for 3 wye connections but may be included for
1 test connections [6].

Figure 5

B. Case Studies
Case No. I

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2013 International Conference on Power, Energy and Control (ICPEC)

Table 4. S-86069 ECE Industries Ltd. 3-Ph 2 Wind Y-Y 132/33


Terminal
Terminal
Measurem
Red
Black
L
DETC
Grounded
Shorted
ent
Lead Lead
T
Type
C
X1

X0

X2

X0

X3

X0

As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note

none

none

Open Ckt.

none

none

Open Ckt.

none

none

Open Ckt.

Figure 7

Table 6.S-25897 General Electric. 3-Ph 2 Wind Y-Y 132/33


Terminal
Terminal Measureme
Black L
Red
DETC
Grounded
Shorted
nt
Lead
T
Lea
Type
C
d
Figure 6

H1

H0

Observation:-The SFRA test conducted on 132/33kV, 25/31.5


MVA Transformer Sr. No. S-86069 on 09-03-2009 and results
of figure 4,5 and 6 are compared with the signature obtained on
the sister unit installed at 132/33 kV sub-station Anu Hamirpur.
The results obtained do not have any deviation. This implies that
there is no loss of geometric integrity of the transformer during
transportation.

H2

H0

H3

H0

As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note

none

a-b-c-a

Short Ckt.

none

a-b-c-a

Short Ckt.

none

a-b-c-a

Short Ckt.

Case No. II
Table 5.S-25897 General Electric. 3-Ph 2 Wind Y-Y 132/33
Terminal
Terminal
Red
Black
L
DETC
Grounded
Shorted
Lead Lead
T
C
H1

H0

H2

H0

H3

H0

As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note

Measurem
ent
Type

none

none

Open Ckt.

none

none

Open Ckt.

none

none

Open Ckt.

Figure 8

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2013 International Conference on Power, Energy and Control (ICPEC)

Table 7.S-25897 General Electric. 3-Ph 2 Wind Y-Y 132/33


Red
Black
LT
Terminal Terminal Measurem
Shorted
ent
Lead Lead
C
DETC
Grounde
Type
d
X1

X0

X2

X0

X3

X0

As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note
As-foundmake note

none

none

Open Ckt.

none

none

Open Ckt.

none

none

Open Ckt.

Hamirpur H.P. INDIA for providing necessary infrastructural


facilities for caring out the research work.
REFERENCES
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]

Figure 9

Observation: - The SFRA test conducted on 132/33kV, 16 MVA


Transformer Sr. No. B-25897 dated 17-06-2009. From figure 7,
8 and 9 signatures it is found that there are some abnormalities
in the operation of this transformer. This test is not sufficient to
detect the exact cause for such abnormal deviation in the
signatures. It is recommended to conduct leakage reactance test
and Insulation Resistance (IR) Test for winding to identify the
actual cause of such deviations.
V. CONCLUSION
SFRA is an effective tool, which considers that part of
transformer for diagnostics, which cannot be detected by other
methods.The above case studies on the two different
transformers showed how the M5200 detects mechanical failure
or movement of windings due to short circuits, mechanical
stresses or transportation. It is used to ensure transformer
performance, reduce maintenance cost, and increase the service
life of transformers.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors are thankful to Technology Information Forecasting
& Assessment Council and Centre of Relevance & Excellence
(TIFAC-CORE) on Power Transformer Diagnostic at NIT

Tobias Stirl, Raimund Skrzypek, Stefan Tenbohlen,Rummiy Vilaithong,


Online condition monitoring of Power Transformers. AREVA research
and development center, Germany, 1973.
Brian Richardson, Diagnostics And Condition Monitoring Of Power
Transformers IEE, ABB Power Transformer Research And Development
Ltd, 1997.
Luwendran Moodley, Brian de Klerk SweepFrequency Response
Analysis as A Diagnostic tool to Detect Transformer Mechanical
Integrity, eThekwini Electricity pp.1-9, 1978
Dick, E. P. and Erven, C. C, "Transformer Diagnostic Testing by
Frequency Response Analysis,"IEEE/PAS-97, No. 6, pp.2144-2153, 1978.
P.T.M. Vaessen, N.V. KEMA, Arnhem E.Hanique. A New Frequency
Response Analysis Method for Power Transformers. IEEE 384
Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 7 No.1, January 1992.
Doble Engineering Company Reference Book on Insulating Liquids and
Gases RBILG-391.
Double digital library,www.double.com and http://www.double.com /
product/m5400_sfra.html
Tony Mograil,SFRA Basic Analysis,Vol.1, Version1.0,2003 Double
Engineering Co.,pp4-13.
Jashandeep Singh,Yog Raj Sood,Piush Verma and Raj Kumar Jarial,
Novel method for detection of transformer winding fault using Sweep
Frequency Response Analysis ,IEEE Transactions Vol.1 , PESGM 2007001023,2007.
Mr. Amit kumar Mehta was born on March 25, 1969.
He obtained his bachelor degree in electrical
engineering from Bangalore University in the year 1993
and master in power engineering from Punjab technical
university in year 2008. Presently he is pursuing his
Ph.D. from NIT Hamirpur H.P.

Dr R. Naresh was born in Himachal Pradesh INDIA in


1965. He received BE in electrical engineering from Thapar
Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, India in
1987, ME in Power Systems from Punjab Engineering
College, Chandigarh in 1990 and Ph D from the University
of Roorkee, Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee), India in 1999.
Presently he is working as Head in the Electrical
Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology,
Hamirpur, HP,

Prof. Sushil Chauhan was born on August 22, 1963.


He obtained his bachelor degree in electrical
engineering from Madan Mohan Malviya Engineering
College Gorakhpur in the year 1986 and master in
Power System Engineering from IIT Roorkee in the
year 1988. He obtained his Ph.D. in ANN based Power
System Security Assessment in the year 1999 from IIT,
Roorkee Presently he is Dean Academics at NIT

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