A transformer doctor on call – 24/7

ABB's Dynamic Transformer Management Program

Everyone knows that it’s important to visit your doctor periodically for a checkup, especially as you continue to age.  In fact, most people probably visit at least once a year just to compare the results to the previous year.  “My cholesterol improved this year,” or “Looks like my blood pressure went up a bit this year, maybe I should think about taking some action.”  Visiting the doctor and comparing the results year over year can be a powerful tool in your personal health maintenance.  Not surprisingly, the same approach has proven to be very beneficial to transformers as well.

For more than a decade ABB has offered the Mature Transformer Management Program (MTMProgram™) to provide complete condition assessments and offer reliability improvement recommendations for individual transformers as well as entire fleets. To date, nearly 10,000 transformer assessments have been carried out as part of this program. The current condition is assessed, the history is evaluated and a diagnosis made. But in addition, this program also includes the determination of importance, and ultimately, a risk of failure (probably not something your doctor offers!)  At the end of the evaluation, you will also receive recommendations and risk mitigating action advice to help keep the transformer healthy.  While this program has proven to be very beneficial to transformer end users, it only provides a snapshot in time of the transformer’s overall health.  Even with that limitation it’s still very useful, but unless the service is provided every few years, future events and trends can be missed.  How can this be remedied?

What if there was a  transformer engineer standing watch 24/7 at each unit in the fleet – whatever its brand and type and providing daily assessments of each transformer’s condition and risk of failure? ABB’s Dynamic Transformer Management Program, or DTMProgram™, is the latest online offering in fleet condition monitoring.  After a one-time offline assessment, the DTMProgram™ software uses online sensor data and manually entered traditional offline test data to perform automated condition assessments on a daily bases, and provides expert recommendations based on analysis.  DTMProgram™ provides the complete solution for fleet monitoring.  You get condition monitoring, risk of failure, trend analysis, family comparisons, email and SMS alerts, reporting options and fleet scalability inputs.

Straightforward and easy-to-use dashboards, such as the one you see above, allow users to see the transformer fleet health at a glance.  Using a traffic light indicator (green, yellow and red) users can quickly identify the units or areas that need more attention so maintenance dollars and resources can be concentrated where they are most needed and most importantly, this helps avoid unplanned outages.  Clicking on graphs allows you to drill further into the information – down to a single transformer’s sensor information if needed.  When conditions start to decline past a pre-defined point, users can be automatically notified of the issues via email or SMS alerts.

Replacing a transformer due to a unexpected failure can be an extremely costly undertaking, why take the added risk of not keeping on top of its condition if you don’t have to?  In addition, the DTMProgram™ can be part of a more comprehensive package called Asset Health Center™ from Ventyx, an ABB Company.  With Asset Health Center™, many additional assets can be monitored.  By adding batteries, breakers and cables for example, a very comprehensive monitoring solution can be created.  The DTMProgram™ enables you to have an ABB expert watching over your transformer fleet 24/7.  So when it comes to the health of your transformer assets, you never need to be in the dark again!

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About the author

Thomas Westman

I am Head of Transformer Service in ABB. I have been with ABB for more than 20 years having worked in a number of different functions and countries. In my current role I work with my global organization to support our customers in ensuring a reliable and safe energy supply.
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