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Comparative study of DGA interpretation

MA. Senoussaoui, IS. Bousmaha, MN. Brahami, and M. Brahami

is likely to be. Over the last four decades, DGA and its
Abstract-- Dissolved gases analysis (DGA) is one of the most interpretation have become a popular and reliable tool for
effective methods in the diagnosis of electrical equipment such as assessing conditions of oil-filled transformers and other oil-
transformers. The interpretation of gas in this method is the filled electrical equipment.
subject of various studies. Six techniques including key gases In this paper, we make an attempt to extract performances of
Doernenburg, Roger and the IEC ratios, Duval triangle and DGA method in condition assessment of oil immersed power
finally the Nomography of Church are tested and compared. The
transformer through the application of conventional based
aim of this study is to see which of this techniques can give a
proper diagnosis of the actual condition of the considered interpretation means on transformer gas analysis samples
equipment. performed by SONELGAZ GRTE and taken from Setif region.
Index Terms-- power transformer, diagnosis, DGA,
Today DGA technique is best performed in laboratory since it
I. INTRODUCTION requires measuring instruments with high accuracy One could
As known, oil-filled power transformers are subject to summarize the DGA procedure in following four steps :
electrical and thermal stresses. The two stresses could break A. Sampling of transformer oil
down insulation materials and release gaseous decomposition Regardless of the proposed test, verification of a dielectric will
products, although all oil-filled transformers generate a small always pass by taking a sample; precautions are necessary for it
quantity of gas, particularly carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon to be representative of the dielectric contained in the
dioxide (CO2 ), to some extent at normal operation conditions. transformer. The taking of the test sample is found to be
Overheating, corona (partial discharge) and arcing are the three different by location, mode, duration, frequency, and weather
primary causes of fault related gas generation, and such internal and climate. All these conditions will affect the reliability of
faults in oil produce gaseous byproducts, including hydrogen results. We must therefore be aware of these effects on the
(H2 ), methane (CH4 ), acetylene (C2H2 ), ethylene (C2H4 ) and sample taken.
ethane (C2H6 ). When the cellulose is involved, a fault may Whenever possible, take a sample within three hours after
produce CH4 , H2 , CO, CO2 , etc. Each of these types of faults stopping of the transformer, to obtain an average sample
produces certain gases that are generally combustible. The total resulting from the mixing operates by the movement of the
of all combustible gases (TCG) with increases of gas dielectric. On the other hand, this sample will still warm, so
generating rates may indicate the existence of any one or a less exposed to possible condensation of ambient humidity.
combination of thermal, electrical or corona faults. during sampling operation , it should avoid forming eddies to
The dissolved gas analysis (DGA) has been a widely utilized minimize the dielectric contact with ambient air (bubbles) [2].
and powerful tool to detect incipient faults in oil-filled power It is recommended to fill the collection container using dip tube
transformers. The traditional practice of diagnosing transformer and let spilling about once the capacity of the container after
conditions through DGA is carried out off-line by manually filling, ensuring a final rinse of the container by the liquid to be
extracting a sample of transformer insulation oil (by syringe), sampled.
sending it to a laboratory, and waiting for diagnosis results. By Finally, ensure that the materials constituting the tools or
applying DGA techniques on an oil sample, dissolved gases can collection container have no possible interaction with the
be quantified. The concentration and the relation of individual dielectric. From this point of view the glass is the most
gases can predict whether a fault has occurred and what type it recommendable [2].
B. Gas extraction from oil sample
MA. Senoussaoui is with Intelligent Control and Electrical The so called key gases are extracted by a degassing technique,
Power Systems Laboratory, ICEPS. Djillali Liabes University for which often a so called Toepler-pump-system is used,
of Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria, Although long time experience has shown, that this extraction
( is efficient and gives good results for a subsequent analysis this
IS.Bousmaha, MN.Brahami, and M.Brahami are with vacuum pump contains usually high amounts of mercury, thus
Intelligent Control and Electrical Power Systems Laboratory, being a risk for the operating personnel and the environment.
ICEPS. Djillali Liabes University of Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria. Alternative procedures like the so called headspace extraction, where the amount of dissolved gases is identified from a
dissolution of the gases in the liquid into a defined gas in the

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headspace of a phiole lead to somewhat different results and is Ratio methods use the ratios of dissolved gas concentrations as
as explained in the standard IEC 60567 more imprecise. the basis of fault diagnosis. Historically five ratios (listed in
Table 2) have been used.
C. The analysis of the gas extracted mixture
After extraction, the extracted gas mixture is separated into
different chemical compounds with the aid of the so-called gas Rapport CH4/ C2H2/ C2H6/ C2H2/ C2H4/
chromatography method. Each compound is identified and their H2 C2H4 C2H2 CH4 C2H6
concentrations are determined. Abbreviatio R1 R2 R3 R4 R5
D. Interpretation of gas data n
When the different gases in the oil sample have been identified Doernenburg method
and quantified it remains to interpret the result. What have to In 1970 Doernenburg was able to differentiate between thermal
be decide in order to evaluate the condition of the transformer and electrical faults using four ratios and six gases (table 3)
is if the present amount of dissolved gases can be considered as
abnormal or not. In the case where there is an abnormal gas TABLE 3 DOERNENBURGS RATIO METHOD
production trying to figure out the origin of the gas fault R1 R2 R4 R3
production, i.e. finding possible fault causes. thermal >1.0 <0.75 <0.3 >0.4
Corona (low <0.1 Not <0.3 >0.4
Interpretation of results can be done in various ways. There are intensity PD) significant
many methods used in this context. These methods attempt to Arcing (high >0.1 et >0.75 >0.3 <0.4
correlate gases generated and their associated faults. intensity PD) <1.0
A. Key gas method In order to apply the method, at least one gas for each of the
The study of key gas method started at Doble laboratories and ratios must exceed the corresponding L1 norm listed in Table
was first summarized in 1973 and officially proposed in 1974 4.
[4]. The key gas methods, as their name suggests, provide for TABLE 4 DORNENBURGS L1 LIMIT
each gas detected the principal interpretation that can give
(table 1). In edition it is a method for determination of fault Gas H2 CH4 CO C2H2 C2H4 C2H6
types from the gases that are typical, or predominant, at various limits L1 (ppm) 100 120 350 35 50 65
temperature [1].The results are mainly qualitative and are the
basis for further investigations [5]. Rogers ratio method
TABLE 1 PRINCIPAL INTERPRETATION OF DISSOLVED KEY GASES IN OIL Following Halsteads thermodynamic model, the Rogers ratio
Gas detected Interpretation method was first proposed in 1973, refined in 1975 , and
O2 Transformer leakage further refined in 1977. Taking into consideration industrial
CO et CO2 cellulose decomposition (ageing or fault) (DC) experiences, laboratory tests, and further theoretical
assessment, the method was further modified into an IEC
Hydrogen Electrical discharge (corona, partial discharge)
Acetylene Electrical fault (arc, sparking) The Rogers method used two tables: one defined the code, and
C2H2 the other defined the diagnosis rule, as shown in Table 5 and
Ethylene Thermal fault (local overheating) (TH) table 6.
Ethane Secondary indicator of a thermal fault
C2H6 Rapports Gamme Codes
Methane Secondary indicator of arcing or an important
CH4 overheating 0.1 5
CH4/H2 >0.1 et <1.0 0
B. Ratio methods (R1) 1.0 < 3.0 1
As an alternative method of key gases, the method of reporting 3.0 2
is also a useful interpretation of dissolved gases in transformer C2H6/CH4 <1.0 0
oil. Principle is essentially based on the calculation of relevant (R4) 1.0 1
concentrations of various gases dissolved and put in the form of <1.0 0
codes which can then help us to correlate with probable C2H4/C2H6
1.0 < 3.0 1
defects. For example, if we find that the amount or (R5)
concentration of acetylene exceeds that of ethylene, this 3.0 2
indicates a high energy arcing occurred since the arc release of <0.5 0
acetylene [4] The first attempt was made in the late 1960s at 0.5 <3.0 1
the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB). 3.0 2

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TABLE 6 DIAGNOSIS TABLE FOR ROGERS RATIO METHOD concentration units [5], plus the ability to put them in computer
CH 4 C2 H 6 C2 H 4 C2 H 2 Diagnosis programs making it easy interpretation of the data provided by
H2 CH 4 the laboratory measures or on site [3].
C2 H 6 C2 H 4
C.Duval triangle
0 0 0 0 Normal deterioration In 1974, Michel Duval of the Research Institute of
5 0 0 0 Partial discharge Hydro-Quebec Canada has developed a graphical model based
1 /2 0 0 0 Slight overheating <150 C on thousands of dissolved gas analysis and diagnostic problems
[7]-[8], it uses three gases (CH4, C2H2, C2H4), these correspond
1/ 2 1 0 0 Slight overheating 150-200 C to increasing levels of energy necessary for the production of
0 1 0 0 Slight overheating 200-300 C gas in the transformer in service [8].The concentrations of three
0 0 1 0 General conductor overheating gases aforementioned are expressed as percentage relative to
1 0 1 0 Winding circulating currents the total concentration of (CH4 + C2H2 + C2H4), and then the
1 0 2 0 Core and tank circulating triangular coordinates (CH4%, C2H2%, C2H4%) is plotted in a
currents, overheated joints triangular graph (Fig. . 1) which was divided into several zones
of defects. Depending on the area where the point is located
0 0 0 1 Flashover without power
one draws the probable hypothesis of the origin of the defect.
follow through
Table 8 shows the designation of each area of the triangle.
0 0 1 /2 1/ 2 Arc with power follow through The Duval Triangle method is applied only if there is a
0 0 2 2 Continuous sparking to suspicion of fault specified by any other interpretation method
floating potential or based on the increased concentration of dissolved gases
5 0 0 1 /2 Partial discharge with tracking above the level assigned in Table 9.
IEC Ratios Fig. 1 Duval Triangle and different zones of faults.
By the fact that the ratio C2H6/C2H2 indicate a
limited range of decomposition temperatures, but does not help
in identifying other defects. So it is deleted and is considered
three ratios that will be sufficient in order to simplify the
interpretation [6]. The diagnostic model was proposed by IEC
and summarized in Table 7
In the table the following symbols represent: N: no fault, PD
partial discharge, ED1 high energy discharge,ED2: low energy
discharge, T0: thermal fault (T < 150 C), T1 thermal fault
(150 C <T < 300 C), T2 thermal fault (300 C <T < 700 C)
T3 thermal fault (T > 700 C).

Case Diagnostic C2H 2 CH 4 C2H 4

C2H 4
H 2 C2H 6

0 N 0 0 0
1 PD (low energy) 0 1 0
2 PD (high energy) 1 1 0
4 ED2 1 0 2 PD Partial Discharge
5 T0 0 0 1
T1 Thermal Fault Less than 300 C
6 T1 0 2 0
7 T2 0 2 1 T2 Thermal Fault Between 300 C and 700 C
8 T3 0 2 2 T3 Thermal Fault Greater than 700 C
Gas ratio games : <.1 0 1 0
D1 Low Energy Discharge (Sparking)
0.1-1 1 0 0
1-3 1 2 1 D2 High Energy Discharge (Arcing)
>3 2 2 2 DT Mix of Thermal and Electrical Faults
The main disadvantage of these methods is some
ambiguity in the analysis during the appearance of multiple
faults. In addition, the absolute level of gas concentration is not
at all taken into account. However, their interest lies in the
independence of the measures against the oil volume and

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gas type Concentrations limits Analysis made by SONELGAZ GRTE of samples taken from
H2 100 transformers in the Setif region, one of five areas where 20% of
CH4 75 the power transformers of ALGERIA are located. A database
C2H2 3 of 20 samples including concentrations of principle gases and
C2H4 75 actual faults associated with each sample was analyzed and
C2H6 75 presented in Table 10.
CO2 7,000 N H2 CH4 CO CO2 C2H6 C2H4 C2H2
D.Nomograph of Church 1 1 22 253 3684 88 143 1
2 17 15 292 6956 20 78 35
The Church method differs of previous by the simple use of the
absolute values directly plotted on a graph. This is a 3 104 280 681 7820 675 321 1
combination of the concept of fault gases ratios and defined 6 9
values. This method aims to provide both a graphical 4 62 26 863 3214 18 9 <2
representation of data fault gas and how to interpret their 5 3 600 154 3198 437 1588 61
significance. 6 239 41 841 4964 21 59 227
The nomogram consists of a series of vertical logarithmic 7 <1 115 469 3319 147 16 <1
scales (Fig. 2) representing the concentrations of individual
8 2 113 353 1860 235 6 <1
gases. Straight lines are drawn between adjacent scales to
connect the points that represent the values of the 9 127 76 879 3471 32 23 49
concentrations of individual gases. The slopes of these lines are 10 367 903 324 2633 921 5760 54
the diagnostic criteria used to determine the type of fault. 11 4 144 560 1684 234 15 <1
Scales adjustments are sometimes necessary, given the 12 1 8 245 3533 15 21 3
historical use of transformers failed [9] . The key at the bottom
13 53 611 101 1307 725 1644 <1
of the chart between the two axes indicates the fault type for the
two axes. 14 645 45 217 2099 <1 51 326
This method can diagnose four types of faults which are: the 15 6 9 25 290 4 10 <1
partial discharge (D: Discharge), overheating (H: heating), arc 16 111 26 293 2188 9 31 65
(A: arc) and the degradation of cellulose. It is particularly well 17 11 101 597 1944 110 <1 <1
adapted for manual evaluation. 18 144 389 934 1356 1115 600 113
3 9 1
19 107 27 - 1414 18 25 65
20 72 278 53 61 289 629 <1


The six techniques mentioned in the preceding paragraphs are
tested and compared. The result is shown in Table 11 and 12.
Transformers in this study are based on the results of the
analysis of dissolved gases.
In the results that will be coming diagnoses written in bold
form correspond to the cases incorrectly predicted.
And the following symbols represent:
TH: thermal fault, NI: default unidentifiable, NR: normal or no
fault, CD: cellulose decomposition
N Rogers Code CEI Code Doernenburg
1 NI 211 T2 021 TH
2 NI 012 ARC 102 NI
3 TH < 150 C 100 T1 020 TH
4 NR 000 NI 100 NR
Fig. 2 Logarithmic Nomograph. 0
5 NI 202 T3 022 TH

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0 Doernenburg. These techniques cannot detect all the cases

6 ARC 001 D1 201 ARC (presence of unidentifiable states) making users do not have
2 confidence in this techniques. In point of view accuracy , IEC
7 TH 150- 200 C 210 T1 020 NI and Doernenburg take first place with an accuracy of 60%
0 followed by Roger with 50%. The Doernenburg limitation
8 TH 150- 200 C 210 NI 120 NI against IEC and Roger methods is that Doernenburg give us
0 global diagnosis this means that it do not have fault detail.
9 Flashover without 000 NI 100 ARC In the second group (Table 12) the method of key gases and
power follow through 1 the Duval triangle methods had succeed to detect exactly 90%
10 NI 112 T3 022 TH of faults, corresponding to 18 cases among 20 in total, then
0 comes the nomograph of Church with accuracy of 80%. we can
11 TH 150- 200 C 210 T1 020 NI also observe that the normal condition or no-fault is properly
0 detected by the methods that have concentration limits as the
methods of the table 12 unless the Nomograph and the method
12 NI 211 NI 121 NR
of Doernenburg the table 11 and that state of partial discharge
is poorly detected by the six methods tested previously. In
13 NI 211 T2 021 TH
addition the cellulose decomposition is detected separately
because the interpretation of carbon monoxide and dioxide isnt
14 NI 502 NI 212 NI
included in any of these techniques. But overall the techniques
are very useful in term of diagnosis.
15 Winding circulating 101 T2 021 NR
currents 0
16 ARC 002 D2 102 NR
1 The main objective of the analysis of dissolved gases is to
17 NI 210 NI 120 NI provide accurate results allow experts through a proper
1 interpretation to identify the actual state of their power
equipment. The interpretation of the DGA is the subject of this
18 TH < 150 C 100 NI 120 TH
0 article, in which six techniques were examined. The test results
illustrate the ability of all the techniques to contribute to the
19 ARC 001 D1 101 NI
diagnostic process, each one from its part and its own
performance characteristics. And therefore a system involving
20 NI 211 T2 021 TH
all these techniques seems more convenient than the
individually use and this allows us to exploit more benefits and
TABLE 12 DIAGNOSIS RESULTS USING KEY GASES, NOMOGRAPHIE performance. However, some techniques such as ratio methods
AND DUVAL TRIANGLE METHODS cannot reveal a significant number of cases, for this reason
N Key gases Duval Nomography Real faults researchers are using artificial intelligence that has gain in
1 TH T3 TH TH >700C + CD recent decades an exceptional interest. the application of
intelligent techniques can be the subject of future papers.
DP et TH
5 TH T3 TH TH >700C [1] Sabina Karlsson, A review of lifetime assessment of transformers and the
6 ARC D1 ARC ARC+CD use of dissolved gas analysis, Master Thesis written at KTH School of
7 TH T1 TH TH <300C Electrical Engineering, Sweden, 2006/2007.
8 TH T1 TH TH <300C [2] B. Hochard. Le transformateur de puissance. Technique et documentation
(Lavoisier), Paris,1988.
[3] Er. Jyoti Shrivastava, Prevention of catastrophic failure of transformer by
10 TH T3 TH and PD TH >700C fault finding with the help of dissolved gas analysis, submitted to sam
11 TH T1 TH and PD TH<300C higginbottom institute of agricultural, technology & science- deemed
12 NR NR TH NR university, allahabad in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of
13 TH T3 TH TH >700C the degree of doctor of philosophy in electrical engineering, 2010.
14 ARC D1 ARC ARC [4] Z. Wang, Artificial Intelligence Applications in the Diagnosis of Power
15 ARC T3 TH TH Transformer Incipient Faults, Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the
16 ARC D2 ARC DP Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University In partial fulfillment of the
17 TH T1 TH and PD TH >700C + CD requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy In Electrical Engineering,
August 8, 2000.
18 TH T1 TH and PD TH >700C +CD
[5] Alain Schenk, surveillance continu des transformateurs de puissance par
19 ARC D1 ARC ARC rseau de neurone, Thse de Doctorat de lEcole Polytechnique Fdral de
20 TH T3 TH TH Lausanne 2001.
[6] R. R. Rogers, IEEE and IEC codes to interpret incipient faults in
From the results listed in (Table 11 and Table 12) we can see transformers, using gas-in-oil analysis, IEEE Trans. Elect. Insul., Vol. EI-13,
that these are divided into two groups, the first group No. 5, 1978, pp. 348-54.
[7] Facilities Instructions, Standards, and Techniques (FIST) Volume 3-30,
represents only the ratio methods, including IEC, Roger and
Transformer diagnostic, 2000, Bureau of Reclamation, available at

May 07-09 2012, Algiers Algeria. 358

4th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, select Programs, Power, Reports and Data, Power Documents.

[8] M.Duval, Fault gases formed in oil-filled breathing EHV power
transformers- The interpretation of gas analysis data, IEEE PAS Conf.Paper
No C 74 476-8, 1974.
[9] L. Bouchaoui, diagnostic des transformateurs de puissance par la mthode
d'analyse des gaz dissous: application des rseaux de neurones, thse de
magistre, facult des sciences de lingnieur Dpartement
dElectrotechnique, universit Ferhat Abbas Setif UFAS (Algrie), 06
Janvier 2010.

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