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Mitsubishi SF6 Gas Circuit Breaker

Type 100 SFMT-40E


Breaker Failure Report

Prepared by:
Jeffery M. Wright
Manager Transmission Field Services
Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc.

April 6, 2004 13:08


VELCO experienced a breaker
failure in the Essex FACTS
switchyard. The 115 kV SF6 gas
circuit breaker is a Mitsubishi
100SMFT-40E.
Although there were no visible
external damages, relay and
protection engineers analyzed
the relay information and all
indications led to an internal
failure of the K98 circuit breaker.
EXAMPLE ONLY
Mitsubishi 100SMFT- 40E Circuit Breaker
Location: Georgia C80 Cap Bank Breaker

DFR analysis indicates the fault


lasted nearly 4 cycles with phase 3
volts dropping to .02 p.u.

IBM, the largest manufacturer in Vermont is electrically connected to


redundant VELCO 115 kV sources. They are located .7 miles from the
Essex substation.
IBM 115 kV phase 3 bus voltage dropped to approximately the same as
what VELCO recorded at Essex. Approximately .02 p.u. for nearly 4
cycles.
The power quality interruption cost IBM in excess of $1.5M in lost tooling
hours and production.

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a
6

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pr
y
b

An internal inspection directed by


Mitsubishi technical engineers verified
that an internal fault had indeed occurred.
The breaker was shipped back two days
following the failure to Mitsubishi
(Pittsburgh, PA) for a thorough failure
analysis.

Formal Mitsubishi Response


Friday, April 16, 2004 Conference Call
Failure Analysis Report
1) Repair Efforts & Flashover Location
The tanks from Breaker SG006800004 were dis-assembled and inspected.
The flashover was noted to have occurred at Bushing Assembly #4, center phase, at the moving end.
The evidence indicates that the arc struck from the Bushing #4 conductor to the bushing adapter plate.
Fotos are attached.
The quantity of arc byproduct powder in the center phase tank was moderate, indicating the flashover
was not severe.
Arc byproduct powder was collected and the SF6 which came inside the breaker was also collected, for
possible future analysis.
Breaker components which were damaged or suspected of being damaged were replaced; major replaced
components included center phase interrupter, Bushing Assembly #4 (conductor & insulator), all 6
bushing adapter plates, the SF6 gas system, desiccant, and associated hardware, O-rings, etc.
The other 2 phases were also disassembled; all major components from these 2 phases were re-used.
All 3 tanks were thoroughly cleaned; all re-used components were thoroughly cleaned.
Breaker SG006800004 was re-assembled and re-tested following written instructions.
Breaker SG006800004 was shipped on 4/15/04.
2) Investigation into Cause of Flashover
Our investigation indicated that randomly-occurring water was the likely cause of the flashover.
Water was detected using our ultrasonic (UT) inspection technique, which can detect water in boltholes
without dis-assembling the breaker.
Boltholes in every nozzle were evaluated for presence of water by the ultrasonic method, and every bolt was
removed for visual examination. This gave us an opportunity to visually confirm the ultrasonic
indications.
This investigation indicated that water was present randomly, at different levels, in 3 of the 6 bushing nozzles,
in boltholes
Bushing Nozzle # 2 (2 of 12 boltholes, very minor <0.5 mm)
Bushing Nozzle # 3 (2 of 12 boltholes, very minor < 0.5 mm)
Bushing Nozzle # 4 (6 of 12 boltholes, minor & moderate levels)
Small traces of a water-and-oil liquid were noted on the undersides of 4 of 6 bushing adapter plates, where
they mate with the tank nozzles. Foto attached.
Visual observations of removed bolts & boltholes also indicate that some of the water in the boltholes does
evaporate, and is likely absorbed by the desiccant in each tank

The internal
inspection conducted
by Mitsubishi
uncovered evidence
of the internal fault
between the bushing
conductor and
bushing adapter
plate inside the
bushing throat.

Further investigation uncovered


water droplets in the breaker bolt
holes of four out of six bushing
adapter plates.

ter
a
W

ets
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p
Dro

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Pre

Following the failure analysis, the


major components damaged were
replaced, the breaker was rebuilt,
shipped back to the Essex substation
and commissioned by VELCO
technicians on April 21st at 13:24.

Formal Mitsubishi Response


Friday April 16, 2004 Conference Call

Mitsubishi admits knowledge of three other similar failures of the same type of
breaker one in Illinois and two in Nebraska.
Mitsubishi admits to a known process control problem which was identified and
corrected in June 2001, affecting breakers manufactured between 1999-2001.
The manufacturing process began with pressure washing the cast breaker tanks
with water. The tanks were set outside to dry and the failures are attributed to
trapped water in internal bolt holes that eventually migrates into the tank providing
a point of discharge, ultimately faulting the breaker internally at the point of the
water droplets on the tank wall.

Mitsubishi did not issue a service advisory to all of their customers notifying
them of this problem.
Mitsubishi has since developed a method for detecting the water in the bolt
holes using an ultra-sonic method. They agreed to send a crew to Vermont on
Monday April 19th to begin testing other subject breakers yet to be identified.

Mitsubishi Response
STATION

Mitsubishi
identifies the
subject
breakers that
VELCO owns.
Out of the
thirty (30)
100SFMT40E type
breakers
VELCO owns,
seventeen
(17) are
potentially
subject to the
same
problem.

POINT

MANUFACTURER

SERIAL NUMBER

TYPE

YEAR

COOLIDGE

K32

MITSUBISHI

SG013120009

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

COOLIDGE

C91

MITSUBISHI

SG013120008

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

COOLIDGE

C92

MITSUBISHI

SG013120001

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

ESSEX

K21

MITSUBISHI

SG005640004

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K21-20

MITSUBISHI

SG005640005

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K20-24

MITSUBISHI

SG005640008

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K24

MITSUBISHI

SG005640003

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K23

MITSUBISHI

SG005640001

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K22-23

MITSUBISHI

SG005640006

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K25-22

MITSUBISHI

SG005640007

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K25

MITSUBISHI

SG007100002

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

C34

MITSUBISHI

SG013850001

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

C37

MITSUBISHI

SG013850002

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

ESSEX

C38

MITSUBISHI

SG008490001

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

ESSEX

C39

MITSUBISHI

SG007100001

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K97

MITSUBISHI

SG006800003

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

K98

MITSUBISHI

SG006800004

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

C35

MITSUBISHI

SG006800001

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

ESSEX

C36

MITSUBISHI

SG006800002

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

GEORGIA

C80

MITSUBISHI

SG00564002

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

MIDDLEBURY

C72

MITSUBISHI

980360101

100-SFMT-40HE

1999

NORTH RUTLAND

C71

MITSUBISHI

980360401

100-SFMT-40HE

1998

WEST RUTLAND

K30-39

MITSUBISHI

SG013120004

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

WEST RUTLAND

K34

MITSUBISHI

SG013120005

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

WEST RUTLAND

K39-37

MITSUBISHI

SG013120003

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

WEST RUTLAND

K37-40

MITSUBISHI

SG013120002

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

WEST RUTLAND

K34-40

MITSUBISHI

SG013120006

100-SFMT-40HE

2002

WILLISTON

K43

MITSUBISHI

970360101

100-SFMT-40HE

1996

WILLISTON

K23

MITSUBISHI

SG002770001

100-SFMT-40HE

2000

SANDBAR

C82

MITSUBISHI

SG009110001

100-SFMT-40SHE

2001

The Testing Process


The breaker is removed from service
and CT shrouds are removed, exposing
the bushing throats.

The bushing throat is filed clean,


providing a clean surface to apply the
ultra-sonic device to.

By aligning the test probe


directly with the bolt hole
behind the test area, the
test device indicates a
waveform. A non-distorted
waveform indicates a dry
bolt hole, whereas a
distorted waveform can be
an indication of a
contaminated bolt hole.
Interpretation of test results
is done on site by the
technician.
An inspection can be
completed within four hours.

The bushing throat is filed clean, providing a


clean surface to apply the ultra-sonic device to.

By aligning the test probe directly with the bolt hole behind the test area, the test device
indicates a waveform. A non-distorted waveform indicates a dry bolt hole, whereas a
distorted waveform can be an indication of a contaminated bolt hole. Interpretation of test
results is done on site by the technician.

The Internal Inspection / Rebuild Process


If water is suspected in the
bushing adapter plate bolt holes,
the breaker is drained of gas,
bushings are removed and all
mounting hardware is removed,
cleaned and reassembled.

The rebuild process typically


consumes a twelve to fourteen
hour day.
Four breakers were rebuilt.

Once the bushing adapter plate is removed, the holes are


inspected for water, blown dry and prepped for reassembly.

Mitsubishi Response
APRIL

Mitsubishis
response was
timely.
S

The failed breaker


was repaired and
returned to VELCO
in seven (7) days.
Inspections
followed
immediately
afterward.

BREAKER
FAILS
4

11

12

13

8
BREAKER
SHIPPED
TO VELCO

15

BREAKER
SHIPPED
TO MEPPI
FAILURE
ANALYSIS
CONF CALL

10

17

INSPECTIONS
START

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Mitsubishi Response
All work was wrapped
up by the end of June.

MAY

APRIL
S

MEPPI was very


cooperative and worked
weekends to
accommodate outage
requirements.
Of the seventeen (17)
breakers that were
ultrasonically inspected,
four (4) required internal
inspection and cleaning.

S
2

S
1

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

10

11

12

13

14

15

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

23

24

25

30

31

JUNE
S

26

27

28

29

JULY
T

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

20

21

22

23

24

25

27

28

29

30

10

19

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

26

18

19

23

24

25

26

D22
E
H 29
27 S
28
I
N
FI
20

21

30

31

VELCO Response

VELCO has kept all of its owners and IBM informed of the results of the failure
analysis report and the progress and results of the testing.
VELCO has gone forth and publicized the failure on the Doble Engineering
Support Group e-mail forum to inform other utilities of the facts related to the
VELCO failure.
VELCO is satisfied with the Mitsubishi inspection process and rebuilds.
VELCO intends to hold MEPPI accountable for remedying any further problems
identified and is currently negotiating the compensation for VELCO labor and
materials. VELCOs labor and material costs exceed $33,000.