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Field Processing

Methods for
Transformer
Dry out
by Derek Baranowski

Importance of Removing Water from the


Insulation
1.

2.

3.

If water is removed from the oil only:


A large percentage of the total water in the system
will still remain.
After the transformer is returned to service, water in the
insulation will migrate to the drier oil until equilibrium is
met and the transformer will test wet.
The rate of aging of the cellulose materials is directly
proportional to the water content. That is if water content
is doubled from 1 to 2 percent, the life is halved.
Low water content of the solid insulation permits greater
extremes in temperature cycling without impairing the
dielectric integrity of the system.

Factors Affecting Water Content


of the Insulation

Water
Watermay
maybe
beadsorbed
adsorbedin
inthe
thesolid
solidinsulation
insulationfrom:
from:
Exposure
Exposureto
toatmosphere
atmosphereduring
duringinstallation
installationand
and
inspections.
inspections.
From
Fromaging
agingof
ofthe
thepaper.
paper.
From
Fromleaks.
leaks.
Ingress
Ingressthrough
throughthe
theoil
oilexpansion
expansionsystem.
system.
Water
Waterremaining
remainingfrom
fromthe
themanufacturing
manufacturingof
ofthe
the
transformer
transformermay
mayalso
alsovary.
vary.

Where is the water?


Importance of Removing
Water from the
Insulation

Water in the transformer will


seek equilibrium throughout the
entire insulation system including
the oil and the insulation.
Data shows that there is a
relationship between the amount
of water in the oil and the
amount in the paper insulation.
Although this relationship exists,
the paper has a higher tendency
to hold water than the oil so
more of the water resides there.

Factors
Affecting
the Rate of
Insulation
Drying
Things We
Cant
Change

In
Inaatransformer
transformerthere
thereare
aregenerally
generally
different
differentinsulation
insulationelements,
elements,differing
differinginin
thickness
thicknessand
andnature
nature(board,
(board,paper
papertape
tapeor
or
sheet).
sheet).
Drying
Dryingout
outtimes
timesininthe
theinside
insidelayers
layers
depend
dependon
onthe
thenature
natureof
ofthe
thematerial
materialand
and
on
onthe
thepath
pathalong
alongwhich
whichthe
thewater
watermust
must
travel
travelto
toreach
reachthe
thesurface.
surface.
Water
Waterisisremoved
removedfrom
fromthe
theexterior
exterior
surfaces
surfacesfirst
firstand
andsucked
suckedaway
awayby
bythe
the
vacuum
vacuumpumps.
pumps.
Water
Waterininthe
theinside
insidelayers
layersmigrates
migratesto
tothe
the
surface
surface(called
(calleddiffusion).
diffusion).

Factors
Affecting the
Rate of
Insulation
Drying
Things We
Can Change

Speed
Speedand
andefficiency
efficiencyat
atwhich
whichheat
heat
isisadded
addedto
tothe
thesystem.
system.
Minimizing
Minimizingheat
heatloss
lossto
tothe
the
surroundings.
surroundings.
The
Thepumping
pumpingspeed
speedof
ofthe
thevacuum
vacuum
pumping
pumpingsystem.
system.
Size
Sizeof
ofthe
thevacuum
vacuumhose.
hose.
Vapor
Vaportraps
trapsto
totrap
trapmoisture
moistureand
andoil
oil
from
fromentering
enteringthe
thevacuum
vacuumpumps.
pumps.

Methods of Drying Transformer Insulation

Hot
Hot Air.
Air.
Oil
Oil Circulation
Circulation ..
Vacuum
Vacuum Only
Only (with
(with or
or without
without aa cold
cold trap).
trap).
Heat
Heat and
and Vacuum
Vacuum (with
(with or
or without
without aa cold
cold
trap).
trap).
On
On Line
Line Systems
Systems

Temperature the key to success!


Why
Why Add
Add Heat?
Heat?
For
Forthe
thewater
waterin
in
the
thetransformer
transformerto
to
turn
turninto
intovapor
vapor
(change
(changephase)
phase)
heat
heatisisrequired
required
just
justto
toallow
allowthe
the
phase
phasechange.
change.
The
Themoisture
moisture
leaving
leavingthe
the
transformer
transformertakes
takes
this
thisheat
heatwith
withit.
it.

Temperature the key to success!


Why
Why We
We Add
Add Heat
Heat
ItIt takes
takes 143.4
143.4 btu
btu to
to turn
turn 11 lb
lb of
of ice
ice
into
into water
water
ItIt takes
takes 970.3
970.3 btu
btu to
to turn
turn 11 lb
lb of
of
water
water into
into steam
steam
ItIt takes
to turn
turn 11 lb
lb of
of ice
ice
takes 1220
1220 btu
btu to
directly
directly into
into steam
steam (sublimation)
(sublimation)
(All
(Allvalues
valuesfor
foratmospheric
atmosphericpressure)
pressure)

Temperature the key to success!


Why
WhyWe
WeAdd
AddHeat
Heat

The
Theheat
heatrequired
requiredfor
forthe
thephase
phase
change
of
the
water
in
the
change of the water in the
transformer
transformercomes
comesfrom
fromthe
the
surrounding
surroundingoil
oiland
andtransformer
transformer
parts.
parts.
As
Asheat
heatmoves
movesfrom
fromthe
theoil
oilinto
into
the
water,
the
temperature
of
the water, the temperature ofthe
the
oil
and
transformer
drops.
oil and transformer drops.
Therefore
Thereforereplacement
replacementheat
heatisis
added
addedby
bycontinuously
continuouslyreheating
reheating
the
oil
and
pumping
it
into
the oil and pumping it intothe
the
transformer.
transformer.
IfIfthe
theheat
heatisisnot
notreplaced,
replaced,
eventually
freezing
eventually freezingcan
canoccur.
occur.

Temperature the key to success!


Why
WhyWe
WeAdd
AddHeat
Heat
Once
Oncefreezing
freezingoccurs,
occurs,water
watermust
must
go
gofrom
fromsolid
solidto
tovapor
vaporwithout
without
becoming
becomingliquid
liquid(sublimation).
(sublimation).
Sublimation
Sublimationrequires
requiresmore
moreheat
heat
than
thanvaporization
vaporizationso
sotemperature
temperature
continues
continuesto
todrop
dropuntil
untilthe
theprocess
process
stalls.
stalls.
When
Whenthis
thishappens
happensthe
thevacuum
vacuum
will
willget
getvery
verygood
goodsince
sinceno
nowater
water
vapor
vaporisisbeing
beingpumped.
pumped.
When
Whenthe
thetransformer
transformerisisreturned
returned
to
toservice,
service,the
theice
icewill
willmelt
meltand
andthe
the
insulating
insulatingsystem
systemwill
willtest
testwet.
wet.

Haleys Comet
A ball of frozen ice flying through space for
thousands of years because in the
absence of heat, sublimation is a very slow
process.

Temperature the key to success!


Why
Why We
We Add
Add Heat
Heat
IfIf some
some heat
heat is
is necessary
necessary .. .. .. then
then the
the
more
more we
we add
add the
the better
better .. .. .. Right?
Right?
No, if we try to run too hot, transformer oil will
vaporize with the water and end up in the
vacuum pumps. Transformer oil is a blend
consisting of lighter and heavier fractions.
The light ends have a lower boiling
temperature and will boil off.
Higher temperatures increase risk of thermal
damage to oil and equipment.

The Methods

Methods of Drying Hot Air

The
TheHot
HotAir
AirMethod
Methodinvolves:
involves:
Heating
Heatingthe
theinlet
inletair
airto
to80-100
80-100Deg
DegCCand
anddelivering
deliveringititto
tothe
the
bottom
bottomof
ofthe
thetransformer
transformer
Using
Usingenough
enoughheating
heatingand
andinsulation
insulationto
toachieve
achievean
anexit
exitair
air
temperature
temperatureof
ofwithin
within20
20Deg
DegCCof
ofthe
theinlet
inlet
Benefits:
Benefits:
Can
Canbe
beused
usedon
ontransformers
transformersthat
thatcant
canttake
takevacuum.
vacuum.
Limitations:
Limitations:
Not
Nothighly
highlyefficient
efficient
Oxygen
Oxygenaccelerates
acceleratesaging
agingof
ofthe
theinsulation
insulation
Does
Doesnot
notdo
doaagood
goodjob
jobof
ofremoving
removingwater
waterfrom
fromdeep
deepwithin
withinthe
the
insulation.
insulation.

Methods of Drying Oil Circulation

Oil
OilCirculation
Circulationinvolves:
involves:
Continuously
Continuouslycirculating
circulatingthe
theentire
entirevolume
volumeof
ofthe
the
oil
oilin
inthe
thetransformer
transformerthrough
throughthe
thepurifier
purifierthen
thenback
back
into
intothe
thetransformer.
transformer.
Oil
Oilisisdried
driedin
inthe
thepurifier
purifiervacuum
vacuumchamber,
chamber,then
then
put
putback
backinto
intothe
thetransformer
transformerwhere
whereititpicks
picksup
up
moisture
moisturefrom
fromthe
theinsulation.
insulation.
Main
MainLimitation:
Limitation:very
veryslow
slow

Methods of Drying Vacuum Only


The
TheVacuum
VacuumOnly
OnlyTechnique:
Technique:
IsIsused
usedprimarily
primarilyto
toremove
removesurface
surfacemoisture
moistureadsorbed
adsorbedafter
afterthe
theoriginal
original
dryout
dryoutof
ofaaunit.
unit. This
Thiswould
wouldinclude
includewater
waterfrom
fromthe
theatmosphere
atmosphereor
orfrom
from
human
humanperspiration
perspirationand
andrespiration
respirationduring
duringinspection
inspectionor
orassembly.
assembly.
Precautions:
Precautions:
**It
**Itisisimportant
importantnot
notto
toapply
applyhigh
highvacuum
vacuumsuddenly
suddenlyon
onwet
wettransformers
transformers
to
toprevent
preventdamage
damageto
tothe
theinsulation
insulationcaused
causedby
byrapidly
rapidlyboiling
boilingoff
offof
of
water.
water.
The
Thelowest
lowesttemperature
temperaturerecommended
recommendedfor
forvacuum
vacuumdrying
dryingwithout
withoutheat
heatisis
usually
usually10
10Deg
DegCCfor
forless
lessthan
thanEHV
EHV(<345
(<345kV)
kV)units
unitsand
and20
20Deg
DegCCfor
for
EHV
EHVto
toprevent
preventice
iceformation
formation
Very
Verygood
goodvacuums
vacuumsmust
mustbe
beachieved
achievedbecause
becausewater
waterremoval
removalisisless
less
efficient
efficientat
atlow
lowtemperatures
temperaturesbecause
becausethe
thevapor
vaporpressure
pressureof
ofthe
thewater
waterisis
so
solow.
low.

Vacuum Leak Test

What
What is
is aa leak
leak test:
test:
ItItis
isaacheck
checkof
ofthe
the
transformer
transformermain
main
tank,
tank,radiators,
radiators,
bushings
bushingsetc.
etc.to
to
verify
verifythat
thatthey
they
will
willhold
holdvacuum.
vacuum.

Vacuum Leak Test

When
When to
to Perform
Perform aa Leak
Leak Check?:
Check?:
Prior
Prior to
to vacuum
vacuum filling
filling aa transformer.
transformer.
The
The fill
fill process
process will
will not
not proceed
proceed until
until
the
the leak
leak test
test is
is acceptable.
acceptable.
Why?
Why?
To
To assure
assure that
that rain,
rain, humidity
humidity or
or other
other
contamination
contamination is
is not
not drawn
drawn into
into the
the
tank
tank by
by vacuum
vacuum to
to contaminate
contaminate the
the
environment.
environment.

Typical Leak Test

Typical
TypicalProcedure:
Procedure:
Apply
Applyvacuum
vacuumand
andpull
pulldown
downto
to1000
1000microns
microns(1
(1Torr).
Torr).
Valve
Valveoff
offvacuum
vacuumhose
hoseat
atthe
thetransformer.
transformer.
Monitor
Monitorvacuum
vacuumlevel
levelfor
for30
30minutes
minutesand
andlog
logreading
reading
every
every55minutes.
minutes.
After
After30
30minutes
minutesexamine
examinethe
thetotal
totalvacuum
vacuumlost
lostduring
during
the
thetest.
test.
Acceptable
Acceptableloss
lossisis700
700microns
micronsfor
foraanew
new
transformer.
transformer.
Acceptable
Acceptableloss
lossisis1300
1300microns
micronsfor
foraaused
usedor
orrebuilt
rebuilt
transformer.
transformer.

Typical Automated Transformer Leak test

Methods of Drying Heat and Vacuum

There
Thereare
are33common
commonmethods
methodsused
usedto
toheat
heatthe
the
transformer
transformerinsulation:
insulation:
Running
Runningcurrent
currentthrough
throughthe
thetransformer
transformerwindings
windingswhile
while
under
undervacuum
vacuumwhile
whilepulling
pullingvacuum
vacuum
Heating
Heatingthe
theoil
oilininthe
thetransformer
transformerand
andthen
thenremoving
removingitit
quickly
quicklyto
toexpose
exposethe
theinsulation
insulationto
tovacuum
vacuum
Lowering
Loweringthe
theoil
oillevel
levelininthe
thetransformer
transformerand
andspraying
sprayingaa
heated
heatedportion
portionof
ofthe
theoil
oilover
overthe
theinsulation
insulationwhile
whilepulling
pulling
vacuum.
vacuum. This
Thisisisthe
themost
mostwidely
widelyused
usedtechnique.
technique.

Typical vacuum
connection using
sudden pressure relief
connection
(Vacuum only)

Typical Manhole adapter


with spray nozzle

Use of Cold
Traps in
Drying
Processes

Dry Ice and Acetone / Liquid


Nitrogen

Usually mounted on top of transformer


Uses either liquid nitrogen or a slurry or
dry ice and acetone to cool the thimble.
Water freezes to the thimble and
therefore can be collected for
measurement.
Protects vacuum pumps from water
contamination and makes them more
efficient since water is removed from
the air stream before going through the
pump.

Use of Cold
Traps in
Drying
Processes
Cascade Cold Trap

Usually mounted in the trailer, in a


separate trailer or sits on the
ground.
Uses electric power and
refrigeration to chill freeze plates.
Water freezes to the plates
providing the same benefits as the
previous trap but without need for
liquid N2, dry ice or acetone.
Heated defrosting allows rapid ice
thawing and speedy measurement.

Cold Traps - Theyre not just for


measuring moisture!
One pound of water becomes 100 cubic feet
of water vapor at 100 torr.
One pound of water becomes 10,000 cubic
feet of water vapor at 1 torr
A cold trap condenses that vapor into a
solid so that the vapor no longer has to be
removed by the vacuum system.

Automated Moisture Monitor

The
TheAutomated
AutomatedMoisture
MoistureMonitor
Monitorisissimilar
similarto
tothe
thecold
coldtrap
trap
method
methodexcept
exceptthat
thatthe
thewater
waterisisnot
notcollected.
collected. Instead,
Instead,the
the
moisture
moisturecontent
contentof
ofthe
theair
airbeing
beingpumped
pumpedfrom
fromthe
thetransformer,
transformer,
as
aswell
wellas
asthe
thepumping
pumpingspeed
speedand
andpressure,
pressure,are
areused
usedto
to
calculate
calculatethe
thenumber
numberof
ofpounds
poundsof
ofwater
waterremoved
removedper
perhour
hourplus
plus
aarunning
runningtotal.
total. IfIfthe
theamount
amountof
ofinsulation
insulationand
andits
itsinitial
initialmoisture
moisture
content
contentare
areknown,
known,the
theamount
amountof
ofwater
waterremoved
removedcan
canprovide
provideaa
sense
senseof
ofthe
theinsulation
insulationdryness.
dryness.
Pros
Prosand
andCons
Cons
Sometimes
Sometimesinitial
initialdryness
drynessand
andmass
massof
ofinsulation
insulationisisdifficult
difficultto
to
ascertain.
ascertain.
Equipment
Equipmentcost.
cost.
Benefit
Benefitof
ofhaving
havingelectronic
electronicmonitoring
monitoringand
anddata
datagathering.
gathering.

Automated Moisture Monitor

On Line Systems
Operate unattended while
transformer in operation
Take advantage of heat created
by operation
Can be used on non vacuum
rated transformers
Ideally suited for transformers
where time is not of the essence.

On Line Systems

How wet is it still?


There are several methods of determining the
estimated moisture content of a transformer
that has undergone a drying process.
The following is a brief discussion of them
most commonly used methods.

Vapor Pressure

Vapor
VaporPressure
Pressuremeasurement
measurementconsists
consistsof
ofisolating
isolatingthe
thetransformer
transformer
while
whileunder
undervacuum
vacuumand
andmonitoring
monitoringvacuum
vacuumdecay
decayover
overtime
time
(often
(often30
30minutes)
minutes)then
thenusing
usingaaPiper
PiperChart
Chartto
toestimate
estimatewater
water
content.
content.
Pros
Prosand
andCons
Cons
Useful
Usefulbecause
becausecan
canbe
bemade
madewhile
whileaatransformer
transformerisisbeing
being
processed
processedusing
usingvacuum
vacuumgauges.
gauges.
The
Themeasurement
measurementisisan
anaverage
averagefor
forthe
theentire
entiresystem
systemwhich
which
may
maynot
notbe
beaagood
goodindicator
indicatorififthe
thesystem
systemisisnot
notininequilibrium.
equilibrium.
Not
Notalways
alwaysaagood
goodindicator
indicatorof
ofthe
thedryness
drynessof
ofthe
themost
most
inaccessible
inaccessiblelocations
locationsininthe
theinsulation.
insulation.

Vapor Pressure

Typical
Piper
Chart

Rate of Water Collection


in a Cold Trap

The
TheCold
ColdTrap
Trapmethod
methodinvolves
involvesmeasuring
measuringthe
theamount
amountof
ofwater
water
collected
collectedininaatrap
trapover
overaafour-to-six
four-to-sixhour
hourperiod
periodand
andthe
theamount
amount
of
ofwater
watercollected
collectedper
perhour
hourisiscalculated.
calculated. IfIfthe
theamount
amountof
of
insulation
insulationand
andits
itsinitial
initialmoisture
moisturecontent
contentare
areknown,
known,the
theamount
amount
of
ofwater
waterremoved
removedcan
canprovide
provideaasense
senseof
ofthe
theinsulation
insulationdryness.
dryness.
Pros
Prosand
andCons
Cons
Sometimes
Sometimesinitial
initialdryness
drynessand
andmass
massof
ofinsulation
insulationisisdifficult
difficultto
to
ascertain.
ascertain.
Must
Musthave
haveaacold
coldtrap
trapavailable
availablethat
thatefficiently
efficientlytraps
trapsthe
themajority
majority
of
ofthe
thewater
waterso
soititcan
canbe
bemeasured.
measured.
Collecting
Collectingthe
thewater
waterininaatrap
trapprevents
preventsititfrom
fromcollecting
collectingininthe
the
vacuum
vacuumpump.
pump.

Power Factor
Power
PowerFactor
Factorhas
hasbeen
beenused
usedfor
formany
manydecades
decadesto
toassess
assessthe
the
drying
dryingprocess
processof
oftransformers
transformersusing
usinglow
lowvoltage
voltagetest
testor
orby
bythe
the
use
useof
ofprobes
probesand
andmodels
modelsto
toassess
assessthe
thecondition
conditionof
ofthe
thesolid
solid
insulation.
insulation.
Pros
Prosand
andCons
Cons
Can
Canbe
beused
usedfor
foracceptance
acceptancetesting
testingand
andat
atcompletion
completionof
offield
field
drying
dryingafter
afteroil
oilfilling
fillingto
toensure
ensureaadry
dryunit.
unit.
Can
Canbe
beused
usedto
todetect
detectpockets
pocketsof
ofwater
waterthat
thatmay
maybe
bedeeply
deeply
imbedded
imbeddedthat
thatmay
maybe
bemissed
missedby
byother
othermethods
methodsthat
thatrely
relyon
on
equilibrium
equilibriumconditions
conditionsto
tobe
beaccurate.
accurate.

Vacuum Endpoint and Time

The
TheUse
Useof
ofVacuum
VacuumEndpoint
Endpointand
andTime
Timeconsists
consistsof
of
pulling
pullingvacuum
vacuumuntil
untilaadecided
decidedvacuum
vacuumendpoint
endpointisis
achieved
achievedand
andthen
thenmaintaining
maintainingthat
thatvacuum
vacuumfor
foraa
certain
certaintime
timeperiod.
period.
Pros
Prosand
andCons
Cons
Low
Low cost.
cost.
Must
Mustbe
besure
suretransformer
transformercore
coretemperature
temperatureisis
sufficient
sufficientto
toprevent
preventfreezing
freezingotherwise
otherwiseaafaulty
faulty
indication
indicationwill
willbe
begiven.
given.
Not
Notvery
veryprecise,
precise,especially
especiallyfrom
fromone
onetransformer
transformer
geometry
geometryto
toanother.
another.

Water Content of the Oil

Water
WaterContent
Contentof
ofthe
theOil
Oilisistypically
typicallydetermined
determinedusing
using
aaKarl
KarlFischer
Fischertester
testeror
orPanametrics
Panametricshygrometer.
hygrometer.
Pros
Prosand
andCons
Cons
Requires
Requiresequilibrium
equilibriumconditions.
conditions.
The
Theoperating
operatingtemperature
temperaturehas
hasaatremendous
tremendouseffect
effect
on
onthe
thewater
watercontent
contentof
ofthe
theoil
oiland
andtherefore
thereforePPM
PPM
values
valuesmay
maybe
beinadequate
inadequateto
todetermine
determinethe
theoverall
overall
dryness
drynessof
ofthe
theinsulation
insulationsystem.
system.

Dew Point

Dew
DewPoint
Pointmeasurement
measurementof
ofthe
thegas
gasinside
insidethe
the
transformer
transformerisisused
usedto
toprovide
providean
anestimate
estimateof
ofthe
the
average
averagesurface
surfacewater
watercontent
contentof
ofthe
theinsulation
insulationafter
after
reaching
reachingsteady
steadystate
state(equilibrium)
(equilibrium)conditions.
conditions.
Pros
Prosand
andCons
Cons
Requires
Requiresequilibrium
equilibriumconditions.
conditions.
Is
Isdone
donewithout
withoutoil
oilin
inthe
thetransformer
transformerso
somust
mustbe
be
done
doneon
onaanew
newunit
unitor
orafter
aftervacuum
vacuumdrying
dryingaaunit.
unit.

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931 528 8476

sales@baronusa.com
www.baronusa.com