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12TransformerFactoryTestsBrieflyExplained

12 Transformer Factory Tests Briefly Explained (on photo: 400 kV power transformer, rated power 350 MVA produced
by KOLEKTOR ETRA in new production facility which is specialised in production of 400 kV has successfuly passed
factory acceptance tests and will be dispatched to customer in Slovakia)

Factorytests
Theremainderofthetwelvefactorytestsarebrieflysummarizedbelow.Thedetailsofthetestset
connectionsandformulasofsomeofthelistedtestsarealreadydescribedinseparatlypublished
articles,andfortherestyouaredirectedtoANSI/IEEEStandardC57.12.90forthesedetails.
Thislistisnotcomplete,therearefewtestsmissing,notmentionedhere,likeTurnratiotest
orMeasurementofvoltageratioandcheckofphasedisplacement,butyoucanfindthemalso
separatlypublishedatEEP(useSearch).
1. NoLoadLosses

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

NoLoadExcitationCurrent
LoadLossesandImpedanceVoltage
DielectricTests
SwitchingImpulseTest
LightningImpulseTest
PartialDischargeTest
InsulationPowerFactor
InsulationResistance
NoiseMeasurement
TemperatureRise(HeatRun)
ShortCircuitTest

1.NoLoadLosses
Thetestsmeasuresthenoloadlossesatspecifiedexcitationvoltageandaspecifiedfrequency.
Sinewavevoltagesareusedunlessadifferentwaveformisinherentintheoperationofthe
transformer.

Therecommendedmethodistheaveragevoltagevoltmetermethod,employingtwo
parallelconnectedvoltmeters.OnevoltmeterisanaveragerespondingbutRMS
calibratedvoltmeterandtheothervoltmeterisatrueRMSrespondingvoltmeter.

Thetestvoltageisadjustedtothespecifiedvalueasreadbytheaverageresponding
voltmeters.Thereadingsofbothvoltmetersareusedtocorrectthenoloadlossestoasinewave
basis.
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Connection diagram for measuring noload losses

GobacktoTests

2.NoLoadExcitationCurrent
Thiscurrentismeasuredinthewindingusedtoexcitethetransformerwiththeotherwindings
opencircuited.Itisgenerallyexpressedinpercentoftheratedcurrentofthewinding.Noload
excitationcurrentisnotsinusoidalandcontains,aswehaveseen,oddharmonics(predominantly
thirdharmoniccurrent).
TheammeterusedtorecordthenoloadexcitationcurrentisanRMSmeterwhichreadsthe
squarerootofthesumofthesquaresoftheharmoniccurrents.
GobacktoTests

3.LoadLossesandImpedanceVoltage
Thetransformermustbeinaspecificstatebeforetheloadlossesandimpedancevoltageare
measured.Thetemperatureoftheinsulatingliquidmustbestabilizedandthedifferencebetween
thetopandbottomoiltemperaturesshallbelessthan5C.

Thewindingtemperaturesmustbemeasured(usingaresistancemethod)beforeand
afterthetestandtheaveragetakenasthetruetemperature.Thedifferenceinthe
windingtemperaturebeforeandafterthetestmustnotexceed5C.

Thetwotestmethodsformeasuringloadlossesandimpedancevoltageare:
1. Wattmetervoltmeterammetermethodand
2. Impedancebridgemethod.

Circuit for the impedance and loadloss measurement

Thesetestsgenerallyapplyareducedvoltagetoonesetofwindingswiththeothersetof
windingsshortcircuited.Forthreewindingtransformers,thesetestsarerepeatedforeach
combinationofwindingstakentwoatatime.
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GobacktoTests

4.DielectricTests
Thesetestsconsistofappliedvoltagetestsandinducedvoltagetests.
Appliedvoltagetestsapplyahighvoltagetoallbushingsofawinding,onewindingatatime,
withtheotherwindingsgrounded.A60Hzvoltageisincreasedgraduallyover15sandheldfor
40sandreducedtozeroover5s.
Inducedvoltagetestsapplyahighvoltageacrossawindingwiththeotherwindingsopen

circuitedinordertotestthequalityoftheturntoturninsulation.Inordertopreventcore
saturationatthehigherexcitationvoltage,thefrequencyoftheinducedvoltagetestisincreased
(typicallyaround120Hz).Theinducedvoltageisappliedfor7200cyclesor60s,whicheveris
shorter.
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GobacktoTests

5.SwitchingImpulseTest
Theswitchingimpulsetestappliesaswitchingimpulsewavebetweeneachhighvoltageline
terminalandground.
Thetestseriesconsistsofonereducedvoltagewave(50%70%ofspecifiedtestlevel)followed
bytwofullvoltagewaves.Eitherpositiveornegativepolaritywaves,orboth,maybeused.A
voltageoscillogramistakenforeachappliedwave.Thetestissuccessfulifthereisnosudden
collapseofvoltage.Successiveoscillogramsmaydifferbecauseoftheinfluenceofcore
saturation.
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Switching onoff impulse test connection diagram

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6.LightningImpulseTest
Thetestsequenceconsistsofonereducedfullwave,twochoppedwaves,andtwofull
waves.Tapconnectionsaremadewiththeminimumeffectiveturnsinthewindingundertests
andregulatingtransformersaresettothemaximumbuckposition.Oscillogramsaretakenof
eachwave.

Thegeneraltechniqueforinterpretingtheresultsistolookfordifferencesintheshapesofthe
reducedfullwaveandthetwofullwaves,whichindicateturntoturninsulationfailure.
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Transformer impulse testing and fault detection connections

AdditionaltestcriteriaarefoundinIEEEStd.C57.981993.Theimpulsetestsprobablyhavethe
highestlikelihoodfailuresamongallofthefactoryteststhataretypicallyperformed.
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7.PartialDischargeTest
Thistestdetectsradiofrequency(0.851.15MHz)noisegeneratedfrompartialdischargeswithin
voidsintheinsulation.Anappliedvoltageisgraduallyincreaseduntilpartialdischargestartsto
occur,whichistheinceptionvoltage.Thevoltageisthendecreaseduntilthepartialdischarge
stops,whichistheextinctionvoltage.
Theextinctionvoltagemustbelessthantheoperatingvoltageofthetransformerotherwise,once
partialdischargestartsinthefield(duetosomevoltagetransient),itwouldcontinueindefinitely
andpossiblycausedamageorfailure.
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Partial discharge measuring connection circuit

GobacktoTests

8.InsulationPowerFactor
Insulationpowerfactoristheratioofthepowerdissipatedintheinsulationinwattstothe
apparentpower(voltamperes)underasinusoidalvoltage.Theapplied60Hzvoltageofthistest
isgenerallylowerthantheoperatingvoltageofthetransformer.TheDobleTestSetisdesigned
specificallytocarryoutthistest.
Portableversionsareusedtomeasuretheinsulationpowerfactoroftransformersinthefield.
Thistestusuallymustbedonebyatrainedtechnician.Thetestresultsaretemperaturecorrected
toareferencetemperatureof20C.
GobacktoTests

9.InsulationResistance
ThistestappliesahighvoltageDCvoltagetoonewindingatatimewiththeotherwindings
grounded.Theleakagecurrentismeasuredandtheinsulationresistanceiscalculatedusing
Ohmslaw.

AInsulationresistancetestsetisdesignedspecificallytocarryoutthistest,andits
meteriscalibratedinmegohmsinorderthatthecalculationmaybeavoided.The
Meggeraswellasothermanufacturershasaportableinstrumentthatcaneasily
carriedaroundinthefield.

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10.NoiseMeasurement
Thenoisemeasurementtestiscarriedoutwhilethetransformerisenergizedatratedvoltage
withallofthecoolingequipmentrunning.Roomgeometrycangreatlyaffectthemeasurements,
soitispreferablethatthetransformerbeinsideananechoicchamber.However,ifsucha
chamberisnotavailable,noacousticallyreflectingsurfacemaybewithin3mofthemeasuring
microphoneotherthanthefloororground.
Therecordingmicrophonesarepositionedin1mintervalsaroundtheperimeterofthe
transformer,withnofewerthanfour(4)microphonepositionsforsmalltransformers..

Noise measurement zone and layout of measuring points of Power


transformer 242 kV / 15.65 kV, 112 MVA (credit: Aleksandra
Petrovic, Ljubomir Lukic, Milan Kolarevic and Dusica Lukic at
University of Kragujevac)

Soundpowerlevelsaremeasuredoveraspecifiedbandoffrequencies.Thesoundpowerlevels
areconvertedintodecibels(dB).
READMOREABOUTNOISE

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11.TemperatureRise(HeatRun)
Thetransformerisenergizedatratedvoltageinordertogeneratecorelosses.Thewindings
areconnectedtoaloadingtransformerthatsimultaneouslycirculatesratedcurrentsthroughallof
thewindingsinordertodeveloploadlosses.
Naturally,theexcitationvoltageandtheappliedcirculatingcurrentsareelectrically90apartto
minimizetheKWrequirementsforthistest.Nonetheless,alargepowertransformercan
consumeupto1MWoftotallossesandtheheatruntestisanexpensivetesttoperform.

Therefore,inordertoreducethetotalexpense,heatruntestsarenormallyperformed
ononlyonetransformeronapurchaseorderformultipletransformers,unlessthe
customerchoosestopayfortestingadditionalunits.

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12.ShortCircuitTest
Theshortcircuittestisgenerallyreservedforasampletransformertoverifythedesignofa
coreandcoilassemblyunlessthecustomerspecifiesthatashortcircuittestbeperformedon
transformersthatarepurchased.

Thecustomershouldbecognizantoftheeverpresentriskofdamagingthe
transformerduringshortcircuittests.

Alowvoltageimpulse(LVI)currentwaveformisappliedtothetransformerbeforeandafterthe
applicationsofshortcircuittest.ThebeforeandafteroscillogramsoftheLVIcurrentsare
comparedforsignificantchangesinwaveshapethatcouldindicatemechanicaldamagetothe

windings.
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Reference//PowerTransformersPrinciplesandApplicationsJohnJ.Winders,Jr.