Kilian Gerbl and Andrew Melvin have shared expertise in transformer oil management. They know about the different solutions on the market and understand the significant potential for the sustainable path they are taking with Electrical Oil Services. Find out what tips they provide their customers and what sustainability means to them at EOS® in the following interview.
"We support an active and sustainable transformer oil management programme, always individually tailored to our customers and their assets. The goal itself is to keep the quality of the transformer oil high and thus extend the service life of the transformers."
Andrew Melvin, Product Line Manager Electrical Oil Services
What does sustainable transformer oil management mean to you at Electrical Oil Services (EOS®)?
Kilian Gerbl: For us at Electrical Oil Services, sustainable transformer oil management means long-term consulting, testing and monitoring of the use of insulating oil in electrical equipment.
The focus here is on the issue of safety, which we always consider from a political, economic and ecological perspective. Of course, our customers' investment plans also play a key role.
We always argue and act with foresight: The central question is what condition the insulating oil within a transformer will look like in, say, four to five years' time. This means we focus mainly on preventive and regenerative measures to keep the cost of maintenance and investment in new equipment as low as possible. This is something our customers really appreciate.
Andrew Melvin: Exactly, we support an active and sustainable transformer oil management programme, always individually tailored to our customers and their assets. The goal itself is the same for all industrial companies and network operators: to keep the quality of the transformer oil high and thus extend the service life of the transformers.
You proactively manage the insulating oil of your customers' transformers. What can we expect to see in that?
Andrew Melvin: We discuss the exact needs or specific activities with our customers in each case. Not every transformer oil needs the same treatment, as each transformer will be operated under very different load and temperature scenarios. This invariably leads to different options on how to properly care for - a transformer's insulating oil:
Firstly, you can consider refurbishing the existing transformer oil, i.e., drying, degassing and filtering potentially damaging polar materials, improving IFT, BDV and moisture content.
Secondly, considering the potential regeneration of the existing transformer oil and the entire insulating system of the transformer, which can include removal of corrosive sulphur - DBDS, acidity, sludge and deeply absorbed water/moisture from within the paper insulation. This specialist mobile process can be carried out with transformers being on- or off-load. Intervention of this type has the added benefit of retaining the oil in-situ, which ensures the transformer’s oil can remain in the transformer the whole time helping to provide physical support to the paper insulation that may have a reduced tensile strength due to ageing.
Thirdly, the option to replace the insulating oil, e.g., using EOS® Premium, our high-quality recycled product, ensuring a much extended life-cycle for precious mineral-based natural resources.
Or lastly, by careful sampling, oil analysis and providing a report and associated recommendations, the transformer oil may still be good and can avoid any intervention.
Kilian Gerbl: The decision is absolutely demand-driven and requires a precise analysis or query of the situation. In doing so, we make sure that costs, quality, time and yes, also availability, are met in the best possible way.
"Regular insulating oil sampling enables early detection of the ageing behavior of the transformer oil. This allows us to assess possible effects on the operational reliability of the transformer."
Kilian Gerbl, Head of Sales, Electrical Oil Services
How does the transformer oil assessment look like at Electrical Oil Service?
Kilian Gerbl: For new customers, an initial individual customer consultation is most important, as well as a personal meeting on site with in-depth and careful oil sampling, testing and analysis to provide a ‘health check’. Only then can complete documentation be guaranteed and method statement and risk assessment for an upcoming service be fully generated.
This is followed by the inclusion of the customer's assets in our transformer database. Optionally, we create an access for our customer to this database. The database is to be kept continuously updated over the years by incorporating the results of regular transformer oil sampling.
We focus the view on the inspection records and their history, as well as the resulting demand plan, and incorporate this into the EOS® Asset Report.
Andrew Melvin: That's also part of sustainability: using the data collected to answer the question of the order in which transformers are inspected, maintained and, if necessary, repaired. This can be seen from the network topology, the purpose and intensity of use and the characteristics that are stored for each transformer.
With up-to-date data, we can easily prioritise according to urgency and importance. This allows asset managers to optimise the planning and budgeting of necessary maintenance work on their assets.
Basically, you're saying sustainable transformer oil management needs updated data first and foremost. Is that the case?
Kilian Gerbl: Regular insulating oil sampling enables early detection of the ageing behavior of the transformer oil. This allows us to assess possible effects on the operational reliability of the transformer.
Only the continuous evaluation of the oil sampling data over a longer period of time provides the asset manager with information about the reliability of his assets and contributes to the supply security.
Since the data is collected and continuously updated at EOS® in the transformer database, this provides the comprehensive context and your question can be answered with YES.
5 EOS® sustainability tips:
Checking the insulating oil in transformers is the responsibility of the operator as part of his asset management. The insulating oil depends on the transformer, its function and its loading. The results of previous oil analyses determine when and to what extent the insulating oil in a transformer should be treated.
Electrical Oil Services (EOS®) helps companies achieve a well-planned, sustainable transformer oil management:
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