End-to-End Monitoring Systems Feeds Situational Awareness

Historically, substation assets have been loaded beyond nameplate ratings and the need to accommodate these emergency, or contingency, conditions are best served using End-to-End electrical apparatus monitoring systems.

By Brian Sparling, SMIEEE Dynamic Ratings, Senior Technical Advisor

For many years the limit for normal apparatus loading was based on the maximum nameplate rating or an arbitrarily set value, called ‘the red line’.
On-line monitoring of power transformers and circuit breakers for condition assessment has gained popularity over the past twenty-five years, the typical technology adoption period, from concept to commercial reality in the electric utility industry.
What are the benefits of implementing End-to-End monitoring of power transformers and circuit breakers?

  • Provides Situational Awareness of electrical assets operating closer to their capacity without compromising safety or reliability.
  • Fully optimize real-time substation loading/overloading based on actual site conditions, including asset condition or operating modes.
  • Assist in making intelligent decisions about load management based on actual circumstances.
  • Forecast (predict) operating conditions used to facilitate condition-based maintenance (CBM) programs or agency reporting (such as environmental reporting of SF6 release).
  • Collect operational and accumulated loss of life data to enable estimation of the residual.

Loading Management
Today’s sophisticated monitoring solutions continuously calculate the maximum safe load capability of the assets and display (locally or via embedded web servers) and communicate with other systems and SCADA.

Until recently, the operation of electrical apparatus would fit into one of the following loading categories: Continuous Load or Cyclical Load.

Continuous Load
This is the constant loading at rated nameplate output in (MVA) when the apparatus is operated under a constant 20°C ambient condition. Of course, this loading condition rarely happens over the life of a transformer, where both load and ambient temperature vary over time.

Read full article in the SPECIAL TRANSFORMER EDITION

Dynamic Ratings advertisement in the issue:
“Condition Based Monitoring for Power Transformers”

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Brian Sparling, a Senior Member of IEEE, is a Senior Technical Advisor with Dynamic Ratings Inc. Brian has over twenty years of experience in the field of power and distribution transformers. For the last 26 years, he has been involved in all aspects of on-line monitoring and diagnostics and condition assessment of power transformers. He has authored and co-authored more than 30 technical papers on several topics dealing with the monitoring and diagnostics of transformers. He has worked on many guides and standards with the Canadian Electricity Association, IEEE Transformers Committee and, the CIGRÉ A2 Transformer committee.