Oct 2016
Electricity Transmission
EPRI Research Collaboration on Substations 2016 (P37)
Oct 2016
Apr 2017
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Gordon Wilson
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Network Innovation Allowance
Substation Monitoring and Electricity Transmission Networks
EPRI research projects span across multiple years. Because of this approach, not all of the deliverables for P37 will be realised at the end of 2016. Nevertheless, there is scope for the delivery of a number of valuable outputs, reports and guidance documents in 2016.

The objectives for 2016 include the continuation of National Grid’s membership with EPRI P37 and the delivery of value, a selection of reports and guidance documents associated with the three work-streams.

P37.101 - Transformer Life Management objectives for 2016

1. Transformer On-line Monitoring Technologies
This project will continue to develop and execute 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 start to deploy into substations the specialised sensor hardware that was developed in the laboratory 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 and maintenance 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.  The research has completed a year of field tests with the first prototype.  Improvements have been incorporated into a new V2 prototype.
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 2016 the objective will be to extend the library further with specific focus on transformers that were heavily monitored prior to retirement.
7. Transformer ratings
Continue the development of a Transmission Rating Workstation (TWR) tool to provide and industry-standards-based methodology for rating transformers.

P37. 108 - SF6 Management and Gas Insulated Substations objectives for 2016

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, minimise degradation of equipment, minimise the risk of equipment failure, and minimise the potential for SF6 emissions by applying new technologies and improving GIS and GIL equipment life-cycle management.

GIS and GIL equipment research and development 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 maximise equipment performance within an acceptable risk level.

P37.111 - Risk Based Substation Equipment Asset Management objectives for 2016

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 characterisation and performance information (also known as asset registries): Data models for the following substation equipment will be developed and documented in a technical report: Transformers, Circuit Breakers, Relays, Arresters, CCVT, Substation Batteries and Ground Grid.
  • Industry wide equipment performance and failure database and analytics: Under this task EPRI will deliver version 2.0 of web based Transmission & Substation Industry wide Database. Under this task EPRI will also deliver a technical report that documents analytical approach, key findings and case studies from the analysis of industry-wide transformer data.
  • Asset health algorithms and software: New versions of software tools for circuit breakers and transformers were delivered in 2015. In 2016 the circuit breaker and transformer software packages will be updated with new algorithms and features. In addition, a methodology for assessing disconnect switches, CCVT’s and relays will also be delivered.
  • 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.
  • Triggers and alarms for maintenance actions: In 2016 a technical report documenting triggers and alarms to help with maintenance actions for circuit breakers, transformers, station insulators and CCVT’s will be developed and delivered. The triggers and alarms documented in the report use data from online sensors/monitors and can be implemented in an enterprise wide asset health system such as NG’s Strategic Asset Management (SAM).
  • Evaluation of DGA Analytics: A report evaluating the performance of EPRI developed analytics with other publicly available approaches will be delivered. Different approaches (including EPRI’s analytics) are evaluated and their performance measured using blind test approach.
  • 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.
Continuing to expand National Grid’s knowledge and deliver value to our stakeholders, participation in P37 during 2016 means the provision of a range of specific outputs across the three project work-streams.