Sep 2015
Electricity Transmission
EPRI Research Collaboration on Substations
NIA_NGET0172
Complete
Sep 2015
Sep 2016
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Iliana Portugues
Click here to send a question to the contact.
Network Innovation Allowance
None
Electricity Transmission Networks
£1,662,515.00

Transformer Life Management

The transformer programme is looking at seven themes to improve the knowledge and methodology for managing these assets. These will be delivered through

  • Collating worldwide knowledge and experience.
  • Researching and developing new technologies with academic organisations and research institutes.
  • Computer modelling of scenarios and risk.
  • Substation trials of technologies.
  • Understanding root-cause of failure and ageing mechanisms through forensic studies.
  • Developing software algorithms and comparing them with models and case-studies.

SF6 Management and Gas Insulated Substations

The SF6 research project is looking at several themes delivered through six different routes:

  • Research into SF6 leak sealing and detection technologies
  • Scaled laboratory testing in the EPRI Charlotte Laboratory and other external laboratories
  • Full-scale laboratory testing
  • Computer modelling of high risk scenarios
  • High voltage testing under worst-case simulated conditions
  • Field demonstration and testing in substations

Risk Based Substation Equipment Asset Management

This project conducts research with the goal of providing continually improved risk-based decision-support methodologies for substation equipment asset managers. It envisions that the developments will lead to an integrated framework for asset risk assessment, mitigation, and performance improvement. Developments in risk-based fleet management are addressed through the following tasks:

  • Asset health algorithms and software
  • Asset health aggregation
  • Substation Equipment Maintenance Basis
  • Triggers/alarms for maintenance actions
  • Substation equipment asset management and maintenance practices
  • Asset management guidelines
  • Asset management workshop

Transformer Life Management 

1.       Transformer On-line Monitoring Technologies

This project will develop test protocols to scientifically understand online monitoring systems. The test protocols will cover a three tier test approach. The research will allow further understanding of the technologies and their capabilities and help maximise the diagnostic value.

2.       Novel Sensor Development

The objective of this work package is to develop a specialized sensor hardware to provide insights into transformer health that are not obtainable using traditional techniques—or provide a step increase in robustness or a step decrease in overall costs.

3.       EPRI Power Transformer Guidebook

Development of a comprehensive transformer reference book that includes all aspects of transformer operation, maintenance, procurement and life-cycle management, is complete and will be kept up-dated at regular intervals. It is written from the perspective of a utility engineer and addresses all phases of a transformer.

4.       Improved accuracy of transformer remaining life estimation

There is a possibility that using the estimation method proposed may produce useable results without the detailed knowledge of the transformer oil history. The resulting guidelines may help request a set of specific analyses from laboratories and interpret the results with improved accuracy.

5.       Transformer life extension

By the end of the demonstration, the objective of this work is to have a robust, continuous online filtration of moisture using membrane technologies and which requires minimal maintenance. If successful it will offer the potential to significantly extended life of the transformer.

6.       Transformer forensics – linking diagnostics and maintenance with true internal condition

The objective is to develop a forensics library providing members with new insights into likely end-of-life scenarios for the increasing population of aging transformers. Equally importantly, the library aims to help assess how effective the diagnostic tools are in predicting the true internal condition of the transformer. In 2015 the objective will be to extend the library further with specific focus on transformers that were heavily monitored prior to retirement.

7.       Transformer ratings

 

Development of a Transmission Rating Workstation (TWR) tool to provide and industry-standards-based methodology for rating transformers.

 

Risk Based Substation Equipment Asset Management

This project conducts research with the goal of providing continually improved risk-based decision-support methodologies for substation equipment asset managers. It envisions that the developments will lead to an integrated framework for asset risk assessment, mitigation, and performance improvement. Developments in risk-based fleet management are addressed through the following tasks:

-      Asset health algorithms and software: New versions of software tools for circuit breakers and transformers were delivered in 2014. In 2015 the circuit breaker and transformer software packages will be updated with new algorithms and features. In addition a methodology for assessing disconnect switches will also be delivered.

-      Asset health aggregation: A technical report describing methodology to assess the health of substation bay (transformers, adjacent switch and breakers) will be delivered in 2015.

-      Substation Equipment Maintenance Basis: A technical report documenting the development of scientific basis for substation assets will be delivered in 2015. The work in 2015 focuses on transformers, circuit breakers and disconnect switches.

-      Substation equipment asset management and maintenance practices: A technical report using web based survey will be developed and delivered. Over 25 US and International members will be surveyed. The focus is on learning about present asset management and maintenance approaches and sharing lessons learned with the industry. Topics include – transformers, circuit breakers, disconnect switches, SF6 leaks, infra-red inspections, ground grid and corrosion.

-      Asset management guidelines: A technical report providing guidelines to utility asset managers on how to implement asset management program using enablers provided by EPRI research.

-      Asset management workshop: Annual conference to assist technology transfer.

SF6 Management and Gas Insulated Substations

The intent of this project is to help users of SF6 circuit breakers and gas insulated substations through research and development of methods and processes to reduce maintenance costs, minimize degradation of equipment, minimize the risk of equipment failure, and minimize the potential for SF6 emissions by applying new technologies and improving GIS and GIL equipment life-cycle management. GIS and GIL equipment R&D focuses on developing methods, technologies, and support documentation to help utilities make prudent asset management decisions. These decisions are necessary to minimize GIS and GIL equipment life-cycle costs and maximize equipment performance within an acceptable risk level.

The 2014 objectives that were realized were:

Technical Report - SF6 Capture Technology Status

The role of SF6 capture is to provide a temporary solution for leaking SF6 for components that cannot immediately be taken out of service. The SF6 capture solution captures the leaking SF6 until the leaking component can be taken out of service and repaired or replaced. The benefits of this approach include:

  • Reduced SF6 emissions during the interim period.
  • Ability to avoid an unplanned substation outage to repair equipment that is leaking SF6,

enabling this equipment to be serviced during planned outages.

The objective of this technical report is to:

  • To update utilities and other stakeholders on the latest demonstration of SF6 capture methods.
  • To identify needed next steps to prove this concept.

Technical Report -  Alternatives to SF6 Technology in Power Delivery, Status of Research

The purpose of this Technical Update is to present utility industry professionals with new research findings, information on new projects, and developments in ongoing projects that focus on identifying, designing, developing, testing, and implementing potential alternatives to SF6 circuit breakers in the electric power grid. Covered are potential SF6 alternatives for both transmission and distribution voltages.  The report is  intended to inform and educate utility industry professionals whose work involves applications of SF6 technology.

Technical Report -  Gas-Insulated Substations and Lines Guidebook

Utility asset managers and GIS/GIL equipment users need to be able to make informed, optimal decisions regarding the investment in and maintenance, repair, and replacement of GIS and GIL components. 

The ideal future state includes risk-based asset management metrics and algorithms to understand the expected performance of aging GIS and GIL components, assess performance gaps, and support informed decision making regarding maintenance, repair, and replacement.

The objectives of this Technical Update 

  • To document failure statistics and trends
  • To identify degradation mechanisms and links to failure 
  • To outline a research plan for GIS/GIL research

The 2015 objectives are:

SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride) Computer-Based Training Module 4.1

The development and documentation of effective methodologies for accurately capturing, storing and accessing SF6 data for EPA and other regulatory reporting throughout the life of gas insulated equipment is critical to user operations. Research will revise the SF6 Computer-Based Training Module(s) with respect to new or revised regulations and new or updated gas handling technologies.  Research will provide update of the software on new concepts for fast detection and temporary leak sealing solutions.

SF6 Live Filling Equipment Specification Guideline

Live filling of SF6 equipment remains an emerging practice with uncertainty on its effectiveness.  The objective of this report is to develop guidelines for the optimal device for safely filling SF6 apparatus while the apparatus is energized.

Gas Insulated Substations (GIS) and Lines (GIL) Guidebook

A comprehensive text that covers this subject from the utility perspective is being developed.  Chapters will be developed to include documentation of the GIS/GIL design and procurement processes from budgetary proposal to final approval of design.  Chapters will be developed to identify of all possible degradation mechanisms and link them to potential failure modes to support a fleet management framework for GIS and GIL assets.

Specific outputs for 2015, Transformer Life Management include:

  • Report reviewing five different detection technologies relating to both DGA and Acoustic Emissions.
  • A prototype of a specialised sensor hardware system that provides insights into transformer health not obtainable through traditional techniques.
  • EPRI Copper Book – An updated and extended transformer guidebook – including updated knowledge on condition monitoring.
  • Report detailing the results from online field tests and analysing them to provide improved insights into end-of-life transformer assessment.
  • Report detailing the design and trials of novel membrane technologies for lifelong oil filtration.
  • Software tool for fast and accurate ratings of transformers and the complete circuits the transformers supply.

 

Specific outputs for 2015, SF6 Management and Gas Insulated Substations include:

  • Updated  SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride) Computer-Based Training Software
  • Making operational the SF6 and GIS Laboratory in Charlotte for laboratory experiments and substation trials of SF6 leak detection techniques and sealing solutions as well as SF6 capture trials and proof of concept.
  • Technical report describing guidelines for the optimal device for safely filling SF6 apparatus while the apparatus is energized.
  • Gas Insulated Substations (GIS) and Lines (GIL) Guidebook Technical Report; chapters will be developed to include documentation of the GIS/GIL design and procurement processes from budgetary proposal to final approval of design.  Chapters will be developed to identify of all possible degradation mechanisms and link them to potential failure modes to support a fleet management framework for GIS and GIL assets as well as reviewing diagnostic techniques for failure prevention.

 

Risk Based Substation Equipment Asset 

  • New versions of transformer and circuit breaker health assessment software
  • Report cataloguing assessment of asset management and maintenance practices
  • Report detailing disconnect switch health assessment approach
  • Report detailing substation equipment bay assessment approach
  • Technology transfer session with NG tech staff