UK Power Networks and London Power Networks
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Network improvements and system operability
Substation Monitoring, Transformers and Electricity Transmission Networks
UK Power Networks has an aging transformer population. 61% of all grid and primary transformers are over 50 years old, which is close to the average expected lifetime of a typical transformer. As per standard practice, the lifecycle of such assets would generally be extended via a combination of close monitoring of asset health and refurbishment. Currently, close monitoring is done through oil samples and periodic external inspections which provides an indication of transformer condition but not a definitive assessment of it’s condition and expected faults.
With the proposed further investment in online condition monitoring solutions through current and voltage variance monitoring faults can be predicted in advance and transformers can be maintained prior to fault occurrence. Several methods and products for condition monitoring are currently available in the market; however, most involve invasive probes. Traditional monitoring equipment requires invasive probes to be submerged in the oil to be able to work. This requires the oil in the transformer to be lowered/drained this therefore disturbs the core and requires a longer outage on the transformer. In addition to being relatively more intrusive, the traditional method implementation costs are significantly higher than our innovative solution.
- To establish if the new technology is a comparable alternative to existing technologies and can be used as a BAU application. If this solution can provide similar results of condition monitoring when compared with traditional monitoring the solution will be more viable as the cost of the solution and ease of installation is a lot cheaper.
- To establish if the technology can detect faults before existing condition-monitoring equipment can detect them.