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MAGNETIC BALANCE TEST AN EFFECTIVE DIGNOSTIC TOOL FOR

DETECTION OF SUBTLE FAULTS IN TRANSFORMERS


Vishal Mahire, DGM (Testing), EMCO Limited, Thane
E-mail id: vishal.mahire@emcoindia.com
Abstract:
Magnetic Balance test is a most commonly used proactive test to detect faults in the core
and/or the windings of the transformer at early stage of manufacturing at works. Although
considered as the simplest test to conduct, sometimes it is difficult to interpret the results
conclusively because of some unpredictable variations in test results. Invariably, for
authenticating the analysis of results, we have to conduct some supplementary tests also.
Nevertheless, at times we do not find suitable technical explanation for certain strange test
results, leaving us clueless about the type of abnormality in the transformer.
This paper discusses typical trends of induced voltages in un-excited limbs of transformer,
observed during magnetic balance test and the measurement of magnetizing currents. It also
attempts to give explanation for the observed trend such as lesser magnetizing current in the
centre limb than the extreme limbs, the effect of delta connected windings on distribution of
3-ph magnetizing currents and the combined voltage magnitude in the un-excited limbs in
excess of the applied voltage, etc.
Through various case studies supported by data analysis, the author shares his extensive
testing experiences about magnetic balance and magnetizing current tests and suggests
possibilities of leveraging the knowledge for detection of various faults and abnormalities
within the windings and magnetic core of the transformer. The case studies present step by
step method for analysis of test results to help diagnosis and location of faults.
Findings of the paper will help gain an insight in to the subtle quality problems in the
windings and core during manufacturing of transformer or the in-service problems developed
during operation of the transformers, and enrich readers knowledge encouraging optimum
deployment of magnetic balance test and the complementary magnetizing current
measurements, which are recognized as very effective tests to detect typical problems like:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Inter-turn shorting;
Inter-strand shorting;
Any external loops around the core;
Abnormal magnetizing current due to unequal turns in winding sections connected in
parallel;
e) Wrong interleaving joints in windings.

The paper discusses several aspects of core and winding configurations with a view to
address some of the most sought-after answers on the subject.
Keywords: Magnetic balance test, Magnetizing current, Fault diagnosis.

Introduction:
Magnetic balance test (MBT) and measurement of magnetizing current is the simple test used
to detect various faults in windings and core in the transformer. As the term suggests,
Magnetic balance involves checking of balancing of flux distribution in the magnetic circuit
of a 3 phase transformer. This test is however not applicable in case of 1-ph transformers as 3
wound limbs are not available for measurement of induced voltages.
Although this test is not specified in any national or international standards, yet it is quite
popular in India.
Magnetic Balance Test:
This test is performed by application of single phase voltage to individual limb by turn and
the voltages induced in other two limbs are measured as shown in the following diagram.

When we apply voltage to individual limb, and measure the voltages in other two limbs, ideal
expected conditions are,
1) 1 = 2 + 3 where, 2 = 60 to 90% & 3 = 40 to 10 % (When voltage is applied to
U ph)
2) 2 = 1 + 3 where, 1 = 50% & 3 = 50 % (When voltage is applied to V ph)
3) 3 = 2 + 1 where, 2 = 60 to 90% & 1 = 40 to 10 % (When voltage is applied to
W ph)
Here 1 Vu; 2 Vv; and 3 Vw.
This flux distribution condition is purely dependent on core geometry where reluctance path
plays major role in flux distribution, for eg. If we excite U phase winding by application of
230 V, flux 1 is produced in U limb, due to less reluctance path 60 to 90 % flux tries to
close loop through adjacent V limb and remaining flux travel through higher reluctance path
of limb W (Normally 60 to 90% flux gets linked in V phase and remaining 40 to 10%
through extreme phase). Similarly if we excite V limb, due to similar path of core reluctance
of other two limbs, almost same amount of flux passes through both the extreme limbs. As
the voltage is directly proportional to the flux, distribution of magnetic flux is evident during
voltage measurement.

A typical example of measurements on LV winding of 45 MVA, 21/11.5 kV Transformer is


given below (Refer Table:1), here underlined figures are the voltage applied terminals.
Table:1
Measured Voltage in Volts
2U-2N
249 (100%)
125 (50.2%)
71 (28.5%)

2V-2N
178 (71.5%)
249 (100%)
178 (71.5%)

2W-2N
71 (28.5%)
124 (49.8%)
249 (100%)

Total Voltage induced


in other 2 phases
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
158.0 mA
V
118.6 mA
W
158.3 mA

Remnant DC component in Core substantially affect test results of MBT, hence it is


recommended to perform this test before resistance measurement test or after proper
demagnetization of the core. When winding resistance measurement is performed using DC
current source, in the process of obtaining steady resistance value by nullifying the inductive
effect of winding, the core gets magnetized. Due to this magnetization, DC components are
present in the core. This affects the flux distribution in the core and the results obtained can
be confusing. A typical example is given below for reference which was performed on a
25MVA, 220/11 kV Transformer
a) Before DC test (conducted at after- connection stage- Refer Table:2)
Table:2
Measured Voltage in Volts
2U-2N
226 (100%)
115 (50.8%)
56.7 (25.1%)

2V-2N
2W-2N
174 (76.9%)
55 (24.3%)
226 (100%) 111 (49.1%)
172.6 (76.3%) 226 (100%)

Total Voltage induced


in other 2 phases
101.3 %
100.0 %
101.4 %

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
135 mA
V
99 mA
W
136 mA

b) After DC winding resistance measurement test (conducted at pre-tanking stage- Refer


Table:3)
Table:3
Measured Voltage in Volts
Total Voltage induced
Magnetizing
in other 2 phases
Current
2U-2N
2V-2N
2W-2N
Phase
233 (100%)
202 (86.7%)
32 (13.7%)
100.4%
U
181 mA
151 (64.8%)
233 (100%) 80.1 (34.4%)
99.2%
V
144 mA
54.7 (23.5%) 179 (76.8%) 233 (100%)
100.3%
W
260 mA
From the foregoing we can say that DC test affects both the test results (voltage distribution
as well as magnetizing current trend) substantially. Hence it is advisable to perform this test
before conducting any DC test on the transformer.
In large rating transformers it is observed that ideal condition of magnetic balance is not
achieved, if this test is performed from HV winding (normally HV winding is placed away
from the core). If low voltage is applied to HV winding, its large no of turns results in poor
V/T in the windings,

which results in development of poor flux and the test results obtained may not be reliable.
Hence it is advisable to conduct this test from the winding closer to the Core in case of large
rating transformers. There are some cases where as low as 4 to 5% voltage induction is
measured in the extreme limb. In such cases the test results measured from LV winding
should be considered for analysis. An example of measurements on HV winding of 100
MVA, 220/66/11 kV System Transformer is given in Table: 4
Table:4
Measured Voltage in Volts
1U-1N
224.7 (100%)
111.2 (49.7%)
8.6(3.83%)

1V-1N
214.4(95.4%)
223.6 (100%)
215.2(95.9%)

1W-1N
8.80 (3.92%)
112.4(50.3%)
224.3(100%)

Total Voltage
induced in other
2 phases
99.3 %
100.0 %
99.8 %

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
V
W

2.85 mA
2.23 mA
2.95 mA

During commissioning stage some people perform this test from all windings and at all tap
positions. Practically there is no need to perform this test from different windings and at
different tap positions, as
when we apply voltage to the LV winding; every turn of each windings of the particular
phase gets proportionate voltage induced in it. Moreover due to higher voltage induction in
HV windings it is as good as performing this test at higher voltage level. If there is any
problem with any of the turns of any winding, it will reflect in the test results due to flux
choking in that particular limb.
Although it is advisable to perform this test from LV side there are some exceptions to this
concept, like in case of Furnace Transformers, Rectifier Transformers and Transformers with
higher voltage ratio like Generator Transformers. In such cases, if MBT is performed from
LV side then voltage induced in HV windings may exceed the safe limits due to higher
ratios. Thus, safety aspect becomes more crucial when this test is performed at
manufacturing stage or on transformer in un-tanked condition where HV line leads are in
open condition. Moreover, in LVs of Furnace and Rectifier Transformers, handling of very
high currents is also not possible.
Sometimes very surprising test results are experienced in case of MBT test from delta
connected tertiary windings in large rating autotransformers. In such cases the sum of
voltages induced in other two windings exceeds the voltage applied normally by 5% to 10%.
However, in some extreme cases this voltage even exceeds 30% to 35%. Experience shows
that these transformers, having satisfactorily passed all the performance tests, serving in the
field satisfactorily for several years. Hence this phenomenon is considered to be a normal in
case of autotransformers. Results of the measurements carried out from Tertiary winding of
315MVA, 400/220/33 kV, YNa0d11 connected autotransformer are given in Table: 5 as
example.

Table:5
Measured Voltage in Volts
3U- 3W
239.2(100%)
124.0(52.1%)
80.2(33.4%)

3V-3U
238.3(99.6%)
238.2(100%)
236.2(99.2%)

3W-3V
75.2(31.4%)
114.8(48.2%)
238.1(100%)

Total Voltage
induced in other 2
phases
131.1%
100.2%
132.9 %

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
V
W

22.9 mA
15.7 mA
23.0 mA

Above measurements are carried out on the autotransformer at final stage where Transformer
is in tanked condition with bushings mounted. In contrast to above the results performed on
same
transformer in un-tanked condition the sum of voltage induced in other two phases is found
normal but the magnetizing current is higher by about 30% to 40% as shown in Table:6
below.
Table:6
Measured Voltage in Volts
3U- 3W
249.0(100%)
125.0(50.0%)
37.2(14.9%)

3V-3U

3W-3V

216.0(86.7%)
250.0(100%)

35.1(14.1%)
125.0(50.0%)
250.0(100%)

215.0(86.0%)

Total Voltage induced


in other 2 phases
100.8 %
100.0%
100.8%

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
36.1 mA
V
25.6 mA
W
36.7 mA

When studied this phenomenon in case of 11 kV star connected tertiary or auxiliary


windings, similar behavior is observed. A case is given below in Table:7, as an example for a
50/75/100MVA, 220/132 autotransformer, where 11kV is the auxiliary star-connected
winding provided for works testing purposes.
Table:7
Measured Voltage in Volts
3U- 3N
230 (100%)
113 (49.1%)
87 (37.8%)

3V-3N
222 (96.5%)
230 (100%)
223 (96.9%)

3W-3N
88 (38.3%)
117 (50.8%)
230 (100%)

Total Voltage induced


in other 2 phases
134.8%
100.0%
134.8%

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
106.5 mA
V
61.0 mA
W
104.5 mA

Measurement of Magnetizing Current:


A) Magnetizing current measurement by application of Single phase voltage.
Practically it is seen that, magnetizing current is more sensitive to the abnormal conditions or
faults than voltage. Hence it is always advisable to perform & analyze both the tests
simultaneously.

In normal conditions, magnetizing current measured in centre limb is comparatively lesser


than that of extreme limbs. This variation w.r.t. extreme limbs is of the order of 62 % to 80%.
While performing this test from the outermost winding (mainly HV of large Power
Transformers) this variation may be of the order of 82% to 88%. But this variation is quite
normal and is a result of lesser reluctance path experienced by flux in centre limb.
This phenomenon can be explained as under1.

The reluctance (S) of a magnetic path is directly proportional to its length (l) and inversely
proportional to its area (A). The reluctance is also inversely proportional to
the absolute permeability () of the magnetic material.
Thus, S = l / (*A)
The permeability of a magnetic medium is a measure of its ability to support magnetic flux
and it is equal to the ratio of flux density (B) to magnetizing force (H)
Thus, = B / H
,

Hence,
S = l / ((B/H) * A)
i.e.
S = (l*H) / (B*A) --------- (1)
Also,
m.m.f. (H) = (N * I) / l

. (Where N = No of turns; I = Current; l = length of flux path)

Therefore,
l * ((N * I) / l))
S=
(B * A)
(N * I)
S=

------------ (2)
(B * A)

Comparing equation (1) & (2), as N, B & A are constant,


S l and S I
Hence I l
(i.e. Magnetizing current is directly proportional to the length of the magnetic reluctance
path)
Thus we can conclude that, due to asymmetrical core geometry, more reluctance path is
offered to the flux produced in extreme limbs which is mainly responsible for drawing higher
magnetizing current than centre limb.
B) Magnetizing current measurement by application of three phase voltage.
Measurement of magnetizing current by application of 3 phase voltage is normally carried
out at site. It may be helpful to compare the trend of magnetizing current with its historical
data. However, this method is less helpful in fault diagnosis than single phase method.
The trend of measured magnetizing current in 3 ph. method is different for different winding
connections. This is due to different mutual impedances in 3 phase 3-limb transformers, as
these mutual impedances are function of number of turns & disposition of windings, winding
connections within a phase and more importantly on dimensions and layout of the core.
Some measurements are tabulated below in Table:9.
Table:9
Transformer Rating
Vector
Voltage
Magnetizing current in mA,
Group
applied from
when 3ph. 415 V applied
U Phase V Phase W Phase
Measurements from Delta connected winding

160MVA, 220/132/33 kV
100 MVA, 220/66/11kV
100 MVA, 220/66/11kV
315 MVA, 400/220/33 kV
160 MVA, 220/66/11 KV
315 MVA, 230/16.5 kV

YNa0d11
YNynd11
YNynd11
YNa0d11
YNynd11
YNd11

Tert. - 33 kV
TER-11 KV
TER-11 KV
TER-33 KV
TER-11 KV
LV - 16.5 kV

15.3
136.3
159.3
23.3
275.1
244.3

18.1
157.6
183
44
289
239.5

25.5
212.3
245.4
53
409
322.4

20 MVA, 110/33-11KV
160 MVA,220/132/11 KV

Dyn11
YNa0d1

HV-110KV
TER-11 KV

1.53
181.4

1.05
136

0.94
100.4

Transformer Rating

Vector
Group

Voltage
applied from

Magnetizing current in mA,


when 3ph. 415 V applied

Measurements from Star connected winding

10 MVA, 110/33-11KV
Dyn11
LV-33 KV
4.99
3.45
4.81
31.5 MVA, 16.5/6.9 KV
Dyn1
LV-6.9 KV
200.6
133.4
200.5
100 MVA, 220/66/11kV
YNynd11 IV- 66 KV
10.4
6.63
10.83
100 MVA,220/132/11 KV
YNa0d1
IV-132 KV
1.7
1.06
1.68
From the foregoing, the trend of 3ph magnetizing current can be summarized as under.
a) If measurements are done from star connected winding, the trend is similar to the single
phase measurement trend (i.e Iv-mag is lesser by 60-80% of Iu-mag & Iw-mag).
b) If measurements are done from delta
connected winding, one of the extreme phases draws more current than other 2 phases
depending upon the delta connection of the winding. As observed, Yd1 & Dyn11 - U
phase draws higher magnetizing current than V & W phase
Yd11 & Dyn1 - W phase draws higher magnetizing current than V & U phase
This is to be noted that for delta connected winding also, magnetic section corresponding
to V phase required least magnetizing current, but the phasor addition of currents of two
phases results into a condition that current in V phase equals the current of one of the
extreme phases. This trend is observed at different excitations and confirmed that it
remains same at any excitation.
Use of this test for Fault Diagnosis:
This test is widely used by Indian end users as a powerful diagnostic tool for checking
healthiness of transformer at site post fault occurrence events during operation.
Manufacturers also use this test to ascertain healthiness of windings at different
manufacturing stages. General understanding about this test is that, only inter-turn failures
are detected by this test but some case studies discussed below confirm that this test can
detect other faults like shorting of parallel conductors and presence of external metallic loop
around the core limb. This implies the need for proper study of results of MBT test along
with the complementary magnetizing current measurement tests.
Following are some case studies which prove this test as one of the powerful techniques to
locate the abnormalities in the transformer windings.
Case Study: 1
50 MVA, 220/33 kV, YNyn0 connected Power Transformer
At pre-connection stage of manufacturing, following test results were measured as given in
Table:10.
Table:10
Measured Voltage in Volts
Total Voltage induced
Magnetizing
in other 2 phases
Current
2U-2N
2V-2N
2W-2N
Phase
99.4%
U
239.0 (100%)
4.6 (1.92%)
233.8 (87.8%)
23.9 mA
99.8%
V
238 (100%) 119.0 (50.0%)
2.49 Amp
118.6 (49.8%)
99.5%
W
238.3
(100%)
233.4 (97.8%) 3.47 (1.45%)
23.3 mA

Here voltage trend shows that there is very less voltage is induced in the limb V, i.e. very
poor flux linkage with the winding turns in the limb V. In other terms we can say that flux is
not able to enter the V limb and getting the path through W limb (as evident from voltage
trend). Magnetizing current trend shows high current in V limb, which indicates there is a
closed loop in the V limb which is acting as a localized load, drawing the load current from
the source.
The abnormally high magnetizing current drawn by the limb suggests that there is a inter turn
short circuit fault in the winding. To locate this fault, circulating current was checked on the
winding discs by clamp meter and gauss meter in which circulating
current was sensed in uppermost disc of HV winding. Based on these findings, visual
inspection of top disc was carried out in which it is found that main lead take off is having
sharp bend and this bend touched the 2nd disc. This further crushed its insulation during
pressing activity and resulted in to short circuiting of the turns.
Case Study: 2
40MVA, 132/33 kV, YNyn0, 3 Phase Power Transformer
Results given in Table:11 are of MBT test conducted from LV side of the transformer before
commencing the routine tests on the transformer
Table:11
Measured Voltage in Volts
2U-2N
226 (100%)
97(42.7%)
27(11.9%)

2V-2N

2W-2N

196(86.7%)
227(100%)

30.4 (13.5%)
130(57.3%)
226(100%)

198(87.6%)

Total Voltage induced


in other 2 phases
100.2%
100.0%
99.6%

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
61.3 mA
V
39.8 mA
W
49.0 mA

Prior to this test, resistance measurement test was carried out at pre-tanking stage.
Considering this fact above test results could have been accepted. However, still to confirm
the healthiness, all other routine tests were performed on this transformer. While the
transformer withstood the dielectric tests like separate source & induced over voltage
withstand successfully, the no- load losses were found erratic and on higher side (almost 1.8
times the expected value). DGA in oil was conducted before & after routine tests, which
showed no abnormality.
To investigate it further, 1-phase loss measurement was carried out. Rated phase voltage
applied from LV side to individual phases in which power loss value of U limb was found
substantially higher as compared to other two limbs. With this it was concluded that there
might be an inter-strand shorting in the winding, forming a closed loop within the winding,
leading to circulating current with consequent increase in the losses in U limb. To locate the
fault the core coil assembly of the transformer was un-tanked. Crimping lug of the lead was
cut and discontinuity was checked between the winding strands, in which both parallel
strands of regulating winding were found shorted at ID side at one of the transpositions.

Case Study: 3
315 MVA, 400/220/33 kV, YNa0d11 connected, 3 Phase Autotransformer
Test results given in Table:12 are the results when this test was conducted from Tertiary side
of the transformer at pre-connection stage. For this test temporary delta connection of
Tertiary winding was formed.
Table:12
Measured Voltage in Volts
3U-3W
226.4(100%)
112.4(49.4%)
171.8(75.3%)

3V-3U

3W-3V

70(30.9%)
227.6(100%)

171.6(75.8%)
115.8(50.9%)
228.3(100%)

69.6(30.6%)

Total Voltage induced


in other 2 phases
106.9 %
100.2%
105.7%

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
50.8 mA
V
90.3 mA
W
50.8 mA

As evident in this case, there is no significant variation in absolute values of voltages &
magnetizing currents, but the trend of magnetizing current is abnormal.
These types of test results are tricky and confusing and need to be tackled carefully.
As magnetizing current in V limb was higher, to analyze it further, discontinuity was test
performed between individual strands of each winding of V limb. In this case, out of 15
parallel strands of CTC conductor, 2 strands in common winding were found shorted at inner
transposition due to scissoring action. This type of failure was detected at very early stage by
MBT test due to which heavy rework was avoided.
Similarly one more case of inter-strand shorting gave following test results tabulated in
Table:13. In which LV CTC coil of 100 MVA, 220/66-33/ 11 kV, YNyn0d11 connected
System transformer had a inter-strand failure (confirmed by discontinuity test) which was
detected at pre-connection stage.
Table:13
Measured Voltage in Volts
2U-2N
231.8 (100%)

2V-2N

2W-2N

148.8 (63.9%)

186.5 (80.5%)
232.6 (100%)

62.1 (26.7%)

169.9 (73.1%)

46.1(19.9)
86.5 (37.2)
232.5 (100%)

Total Voltage induced


in other 2 phases
100.3%
101.2%
99.8%

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
167.9 mA
V
140.1 mA
W
256.1 mA

The above Case Studies-2 & 3 give a different dimension to the pre-conceived notion that
inter strand shorting can not be detected by this test and shorting of parallel conductors does
not affect the performance of the transformer. From the above findings it is quite evident that
although the voltage distribution does not get affected by such fault, yet the trend of
magnetizing current is influenced substantially.
This phenomenon can be explained as under. Difference in the magnitude of leakage flux
linkage in different strands produces different voltages in the strands of the conductor. The
diagram below illustrates the phenomenon. Say, is the flux linkage with conductor at
position 3, /2 is with middle conductor at position 2 & 0 is of the conductor at position
3.

The alternating leakage flux linkage experienced by different strands being different,
different potential would be induced in these strands. In case of shorting of any of the strands
at different potentials due to insulation damage would nullify the effect of transposition and
cause flow of circulating current within the shorted loop of strands. This would eventually
reflect in to higher magnetizing current.
Further, when the transformer with this type of defect is charged at the rated voltage for noload loss measurements, we observe abnormally higher no-load loss as a result of the
circulating currents, which may almost twice the expected value of no-load losses. This is
already discussed in Case Study-.2
Case study : 4
2 x 8789 / 2 x 2 x 6214 KVA, 11 kV / 2 x 2 x 0.3986 kV, 3 Phase Rectifier transformer
Following are the test results when this test was conducted from HV side of the rectifier
transformer at post-connection stage. (Refer Table:14)
Table:14
Measured Voltage in Volts
1U-1V
230(100%)
33(14.4%)
13(5.68%)

1V-1W

1W-1U

184(80.0%)
229(100%)

45.1(19.6%)

216.5(94.7%)

201.6(88.03%)
228.6(100%)

Total Voltage
induced in other
2 phases
99.6%
102.4%
100.4%

Magnetizing
Current
Phase
U
V
W

565 mA
117 mA
123 mA

As there was no abnormality at pre-connection stage, possibility of direct inter-turn shorting


or wrong interleaved joint was ruled out. Circulating currents measured in the winding with
the use of guass meter and clamp on milli-ammeter did not show any abnormality. Since no
problem in the winding was evident, decided to carry out the visual inspection of the core
thoroughly. During core inspection it was discovered that a core banding metallic strap was

forming a closed loop around the core. The operator had missed to provide the isolating
wooden block to one metal strap, which formed a metallic loop over the top yoke between U
and V limbs.
Case study: 5
100 MVA, 220/66/ 11 kV, YNyn0d11 connected, 3 Phase System transformer
Following are the test results when this test was conducted from Tertiary side of the
transformer at post-connection stage during manufacturing of the transformer. (Refer
Table:15)
Table:15
Measured Voltage in Volts
Total Voltage induced
Magnetizing
in other 2 phases
Current
3U-3W
3V-3U
3W-3V
Phase
99.9%
U
213(100%)
140 mA
200.4(94.1%)
12.4(5.8%)
100.0%
V
213(100%)
185.7(8.7%)
27.4(12.8%)
130 mA
100.0%
W
213.3(100%)
750 mA
54.3(25.5%)
159(74.5%)
Test results indicated problem in the windings of W- phase. While checking the circulating
current in the shorting leads of HV Regulating winding (comprising 4 parallel sections)
circulating current was observed, which had resulted in higher magnetizing current in Wphase. Parallel shorting leads were cut apart and MBT was repeated with satisfactory results.
Further, to diagnose the fault, ratio test between HV and individual step of Regulating
winding was performed in which one turn was found more than specified in one of the steps.
This extra one turn was causing the potential difference between the parallel coils, resulting
in circulating current. To rectify this problem this extra one turn was removed from the
winding and MBT was repeated after all connections which found normal.
Case study 6:
21.6 MVA, 132/27 kV, 1 Phase Traction transformer
As discussed earlier, in single phase transformers, only magnetizing current can be measured,
hence it becomes essential to compare magnetizing currents of such transformers with similar
units.
While testing this transformer at pre-connection stage phase angle was found higher during
ratio measurement. Also magnetizing current was found 26mA from HV side as against 4mA
value measured in earlier units. To locate the fault, presence of circulating current in the
winding checked with the help of clamp on milli-ammeter, which indicated the circulating
current in bottom most disc. To rule out possibility of shorting of bottom Static End Ring
(SER), SER was physically checked, which was found healthy. All cross-overs in that zone
were checked for any damage of conductor paper insulation due to scissoring action and
these were also found intact.
Later, Ratio measurement was carried out on individual strand of the HV coil which is
interleaved disc winding. Test results indicated that out of two strands, one strand has less
number of turns compared to other, which is a clear indication of one interleaved joint made
wrongly (i.e. dummy turn brazed to dummy turn), thus forming a short circuited turn.
Physically this fault was located at the winding start and could be repaired by interchanging
the main and dummy conductor at the interleaved joint.

Case study 7:
167 MVA, 400/ 3 / 220/3 / 33 kV, 1 Phase Autotransformer
At pre-connection stage, high magnetizing current of the order of 10A was measured at 230V
when tested from Tertiary winding side as against 40mA measured earlier on similar units.
To confirm further with the help of clamp on type milli-ammeter, circulating current checked
through out the series winding axially. In series winding between disc no. 61 & 62 high
circulating current was observed. While inspecting those discs it is observed that while
making interleaved joint in the winding, unscrupulously the winder had brazed dummy
conductor to dummy conductor, which resulted in a short circuited turn. This turn was acting
as a localized load to the supply source and drawing high current.
Conclusion:
Magnetic Balance test when supplemented with measurement of magnetizing current, proves
to be a strong diagnostic test to detect Faults like
a) Inter-turn shorting;
b) Inter-strand shorting;
c) Any external loops around the core;
d) Abnormal magnetizing current due to unequal turns in winding sections connected in
parallel;
e) Wrong interleaving joints in windings.
To obtain accuracy in the test results, it is recommended to perform this test before resistance
measurement test or after proper demagnetization of the core as remnant DC component in
Core substantially affect test results of MBT.
Reference books:
1) Electronic Circuits Fundamental & Applications by Mike Tooley
2) Transformer Engineering by S. V. Kulkarni
Acknowledgements:
Author is thankful to the EMCO Management for granting permission to publish this paper.