Transformer is a static device that transfers AC electrical energy from one circuit to another through electromagnetic induction. It is either used to increase i.e. Step up or to decrease i.e. Step down the voltage level.
There are various types of transformers that can be described below
- Single phase 1F Transformer
- Three-phase 3F Transformer
Winding position concerning
- Core Type
- Shell Type
Transformation ratio concerning
- Step up
- Step down
- Current Transformer CT
- Voltage Transformer PT
- Auto Transformer
- Power Transformer
- Distribution Transformer
- Instrument Transformer
Cooling base concerning
- Air Natural (AN) or self-air-cooled dry type
- Air-forced (AF) or air blast type
- Oil Natural Air Natural (ONAN)
- Oil Natural Air Forced (ONAF)
- Oil Forced Air Forced (OFAF)
- Oil Natural Water Forced (ONWF)
- Oil Forced Water Forced (OFWF)
- To step up and step down the voltage level in Electric transmission, and distribution.
- Voltage Regulator for over-voltage protection
- Welding Machine: The transformer reduces the voltage level and increases the Current in the welding process.
- Rectification: The rectification process does AC to DC conversion. Rectification is important for HVDC transmission. The most common type of rectifier is your mobile charger.
The defects of the transformer can be classified as
Internal defects are –
- Dielectric interruption/insulation breakdown
- Oil contamination and leakage
- Rupture and twist of the winding
- Tap the changer to open the Connection
- Grounding mistake
External defects are –
- Oil Leaks
- bushing of the breathers, over-pressure valve, thermometers, oil level gauge, etc.
- Defects on forced cooling fans, Bucholz relay, the exit of the current transformers of the bushings, etc.
Sudden Failures –
- Most dielectric interruptions occur suddenly, especially due to lightning or abnormal tension, causing a direct failure. Excessive current by an external short circuit or by a mechanical hit also happens suddenly.
- Disturbances by earthquakes and fires can accidentally damage the transformer.
Defects that develop slowly –
- Deformation of the insulation materials and of the transformer windings
- Insulation of the core.
- Poor insulation due to a harsh operational conditions such as excessive load.
- Deterioration of the insulation materials.
- Deterioration of the external insulation.
- Defects in accessories.
Different types of National / International standards for transformer
IEC IS Subject
IEC 71 Insulation Co-Ordination
IEC 76 (1-5) 2026 Power Transformers
IEC 137 2099 Bushings for Alternating voltages above 1000 Volts.
IEC 214 On Load Tap Changers
IEC 296 335 Specification for unused mineral oils for transformers and switchgear.
IEC 354 6600 Loading Guide for oil-immersed transformers.
IEC 437 Radio Influence Voltage measurement.
IEC 518 Dimensional standardization of terminals for high voltage switchgear and control gear
IEC 529 2147 Degrees of protection provided by enclosures.
IEC 542 Application Guide for On Load Tap Changers.
IEC 551 Measurement of transformer and reactor sound levels.
IEC 606 Application Guide for power transformers.
IEC 616 557 Terminal and tapping markings for power transformers.
Third-Party Inspection for Transformers
All power transformer’s Third-Party Inspection and testing is done against the approved drawings, purchase order specifications, purchasers or company standards, and within the practices and rules of the country, state, or province and any government decrees, laws, ordinances, or regulations as may apply.
The applicable codes and specifications for a power transformer that is under construction process are:
- Design Code
- Purchase order specification
- Purchaser’s standards
- Approved Drawings
The applicable codes and standards may be based on any international standards. This content is general and can be useful for all recognized standards.
Documents Required for Third-Party Inspection of transformer
The list of documents normally is agreed upon in the Pre-Inspection meeting; the parties that participate in this meeting are the manufacturer, purchaser, and third-party inspection agency representatives.
The list of documents required at the time of Third-Party Inspection
- Power Transformer Purchase Order or Contract
- Power Transformer Manufacture Quality Control Plan
- Power Transformer Inspection and Test Plan
- Power Transformer Data Sheet
- Power Transformer Approved Drawings, (arrangements, schematics, wiring, single line)
- Power Transformer Weld Procedures and Procedure Qualification Records (if applicable)
- Power Transformer Material Test Reports
- Power Transformer Calibration Certificates for Test Equipment
- Power Transformer Special Procedures
- Power Transformer Special Qualifications
- Power Transformer Preparation and Painting/Finishing Procedure
- Power Transformer Packing List
The Third Party Inspection for Transformer can be done at the below stages
- Material Inspection
- Construction Check
- General Arrangement Check
- Winding Resistance Test
- Winding Ratios Test
- Temperature Rise Test -Type Test
- Load Loss Test (Copper Loss)-Type Test
- No Load Loss Test (Iron Loss)-Type Test
- Transformer Efficiency –Type Test
- Induced Overvoltage Withstand Test (Overpotential Test)
- Dielectric Test
- Separate Source Voltage Withstand Test
- Release Note
- Packing, Marking, and Shipping
This is inspection for inward / process material to verify its effectiveness may be through material test certificates for compliance with specifications, and where appropriate, drawings.
The review includes document review on:
- Maker’s name and location
- The certificate number, grade
- Batch Number
- Chemical composition
- Mechanical Properties
- Cast number (for metal parts)
- Heat treatment condition
- Surface finish (if required)
- Structural observations, deformities, etc.
- Ancillary items may be supported by test certification, or by certificates of Conformity
After a satisfactory material inspection, an inspection visit report is provided, which contains the following items:
- Confirmation of satisfactory document review
- Record of the endorsement of certification reviewed/witnessed
- Record all non-conformities
- Record of any tests witnessed and the result
This inspection is based on the inspection and test plan. The third-party inspector checks the following in accordance with approved drawings and applicable standards:
- Fabrication, protective finishes, and cleanliness of all tank areas and of formers and frames
- Correctness of windings, terminations, insulation, spacing, and general construction
- Freedom from damage (with particular attention to insulation), contamination, and foreign objects
- Manually check the security of wedges
Construction Check – This inspection involves following checkpoints
- Paint using specified color swatch, and measure thickness if specified Nameplate
- Outline dimensions, interface dimensions and clearances, and other specified dimensions
General Arrangement Check – This inspection is about all instruments, terminal boxes, compartments, control switches, etc. are correctly rated and are correctly located, with specified labeling. The inspection is done based on approved drawings.
Types of testing for transformer –
Winding Resistance Test – In this inspection, the resistance of all windings is measured, with the winding temperature at recorded ambient, using a milliohm-meter, and the acceptance criteria is a power transformer datasheet.
Winding Ratios Test – In this inspection Primary to secondary winding ratios, for each phase, for all tapings are measured using a ratio meter and the acceptance criteria is the power transformer datasheet.
Temperature Rise Test -Type Test – This inspection is subjected to full load current at rated voltage (various loading methods may apply), with “normal” tap selected, with monitoring of oil temperature (lower and upper); cooling air temperature measured by at least 3 thermometers in liquid providing a time constant of 2H, placed at 1 to 2 meters from the cooling surface for “Air Natural” cooling (for “Air Forced” cooling, the thermometers should be within the air input flow, at 1 to 2 meters).
Load Loss Test (Copper Loss)-Type Test – This inspection is carried out with shorting links applied (either to the primaries or to the secondary’s, dependent on test supply voltages). The voltage supply is applied to the opposing windings and increased until the rated current is achieved. Input and output powers are measured and loss is calculated.
No Load Loss Test (Iron Loss)-Type Test
Rated voltage is applied to primaries or secondaries, with the opposing windings open circuit. Input and output powers are monitored and loss is calculated.
Power Transformer Efficiency –Type Test
Efficiency is calculated from the losses.
A third-party inspector reviews the calculation in manufacturing quality control records.
Third-Party Inspection for Induced Overvoltage Withstand Test (Overpotential Test)
There are three methods; dependent on the winding category, the test would be acceptable if no collapse occurs in the test voltage.
Test requirements vary with winding category an acceptable level is according to the applicable standards.
Separate Source Voltage Withstand Test
The test is applied between each winding and the terminals of all other windings, core, frame, and tank, all connected together to Earth.
Testing instruments used for transformer inspection – Multimeter – 3 Phase test panel for SC/OC Test – 1 phase test panel for SC/OC Test – HV Tester (0 – 5 KV) – Meggar – Tong Tester – Multimeter – Watt Meter – Ammeter – Voltmeter – Auto Transformer – Oscilloscope – CT/PT – Winding Resistance Meter – Ratio Meter – Temperature Measurement test set – Torque Wrench – Pressure Gauge – Oil Level Indicator – Die Electric Tester
The third-party inspector provides an Inspection Visit Report (IVR) after each visit, as well as a final report summarizing the activities carried out during the power transformer production in accordance with the contract requirements and circulated within the time limits specified in the contract.
Third-Party Inspection for Release Note
When required by the contract or purchase order, a release note is issued by the third-party inspection agency and given to the manufacturer when the power transformers have been accepted.
Packing, Marking, and Shipping
The following points are checked:
- marking on the transformer as per IS:2026 (Part IV) – Transformer markings and polarity – Conventional Labeling H = high voltage side & X = low voltage side, Transformer nameplate data – Voltage ratings high side and low side values (no-load values), Rated frequency of the transformer, Rated Apparent power of transformer, Impedance measured at the indicated temperature. Base S and V values are the ratings of the transformer, Maximum allowable temperature rise, Insulating medium, and cooling ( see previous slide), (Basic Impulse Level) Measures the maximum voltage stresses that the transformer can handle, Transformer connections,
- Verify that the packing materials conform to specifications and accepted practices for the mode of transport.
- Verify protection against humidity, abrasion, distortion, and other damage
- Verify shipping marks to marking instructions and record.
- Verify handling marks.
Third-Party Inspection Agency in India
The Third-party Inspection Agency in India who are involved in the Third-Party Inspection services of Transformer – can apply the above technical information for Third-party Inspection services and prepare the Inspection Checklist of Transformer inspection referring to the customer QAP/ Different Standards/ Code of Practices. Which Cloud help the Third-Party inspection services provider to make sound decisions while doing Third-Party Inspection services in India
Benefits of Third-Party Inspection
It gives product conformity at its relevant stage; it conforms to the determined process flow. It identifies the defects of the product at its relevant stage. It reduces the cost of further inspection. It enhances customer satisfaction and relevance.