During our recent Dissolved Gas Analysis webinar “Understanding DGA Techniques and Interpretations,” Dr. Gregor Hsiao answered a number of excellent questions from attendees. Read on to learn more about these questions and find out how you can watch the recorded webinar!
North America relies on an aging electrical grid, some of which originated in the 1880s. This old and complex patchwork system of power generating plants, power lines, and substations operate cohesively to power homes and businesses.
Age is an important indicator of remaining life and structural strength. As equipment gets older, it breaks down causing an increasing number of power outages. A recent project investigated 2,300 “problem” transformers out of the total US installation base of 115,000 large power transformers. Of these 2,300, a total of 750 failed – for a failure rate of 32%! The industry cost of power interruptions caused by transformer failure can be considerable.
Transformers are the most important (and costly) equipment in an electrical power network. These aging pieces of the system put a difficult choice in front of the world’s electric utility companies: replace the critical transformers with new units or try to extend the working life of the existing fleet of older units.
In our last post, we shared the results from our 2012 transmission and distribution survey and learned that cost is the leading deterrent of wide-scale deployment of an online Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) monitoring solution. We also discussed how to make old transformers last longer by making them “smarter” with continuous online monitoring and diagnostics, similar to how we need more frequent blood testing and analysis as we age.
The transmission and distribution infrastructure is under heavy stress and is increasing in age without quick relief in sight. Electrical demand continues to grow steadily every year with utilities unable to financially and physically keep up with replacement and expansion of assets. When you add the much talked about age of the utility workforce with their decades of expertise and knowledge, yet knowing they will be retiring very soon, you see a perfect storm developing. Utilities need to extend the life of their assets, and do so intelligently with automation to also compensate for the retiring workforce and keep up with impending growth.
Brett Sargent will be discussing this issue in technical presentations next month in Calgary, when he begins the “On the Grid with Brett Sargent” tour. Continue reading
Smart meters do not equal a smart grid.
While industry and government cooperate to build out the “smart grid” for the future, we believe it is equally critical to address the ever growing energy consumption happening today by tightening up the energy delivery side to fully leverage existing assets.
Last year, LumaSense surveyed power industry professionals from around the world about their transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructures as they exist today and needs for the future. Here are a few facts to set the stage: