Frequently Asked Questions
Aurtra Solution FAQ
The technology was built upon a foundation of over a decade of research conducted by University of Queensland researchers, collaborating with four of Australia’s largest distribution and transmission Utilities. It is based on peer-reviewed research and is verified by testing and data gathered from a large number of transformers. Academic papers describing the methodology and white papers explaining the use of the Aurtra methodology are available on request.
The Aurtra solution provides both raw data (Accurate online monitoring of temperature, water in oil, vibration, acoustic and RF noise) and automated health analysis. This analysis includes 1) operating status, calculated insulation age, rate of life-lost over time, life remaining, 2) early detection of moisture leaks, changes in partial discharge, structural integrity, 3) industry-wide datasets applied to the specific conditions of the transformer, and 4) a fleet-wide view of individual transformer health.
No, it will not require any training as the outcome obtained by processed data can be easily understood by engineering staff. Online help is also available on the Aurtra Insight Dashboard. In addition, Aurtra can provide recommendations for any unusual situations to further assist decision-making. Webinars describing the underlying technology and the dashboard analysis are available on request.
The intelligence obtained from the Aurtra solution can be used to plan optimum maintenance of transformers which will certainly increase transformer life. At the early stage of life, degradation of the transformer due to under-design can be identified. During the middle phase, the Aurtra analysis can be used to determine optimum operating conditions. Towards the end of life, the analysis can be used to optimize end-of-life planning based on actual health of the insulation, rather than nameplate age, as is often the case.
The Aurtra sensor is inserted in the oil through an opening in the transformer tank. This is often through a fill gate valve at the top of the tank or a drain gate valve at the bottom of the tank. The installation usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete.
Yes, all data from the date of installation can be accessed. Aurtra provides a secure open API if a customer wishes to download the data to an enterprise data warehouse or historian.
In case of non-functioning product, Aurtra will assist through online troubleshooting. If a fault is diagnosed, a replacement unit will be provided at no cost for subscribers.
The Aurtra solution is an advanced tool which provides the insulation health status of a transformer in an easily accessible format. This information will enable Asset Managers to extend the life of aging transformer assets by determining the risks of increasing load or continuing to operate a transformer, as well as making informed decisions on when to refurbish, which maintenance strategy to apply, and when to replace. With fleet-wide reporting, transformers can be easily ranked based on Life Left, Hot Spot Temperature and Water Content of Paper.
The data and trends observed using the Aurtra Solution indicate the risk of failure in the future. Customisable real-time alerts are also triggered when user-defined critical limits are breached to enable the engineer to take action to avoid catastrophic failure.
Oxygen and water both have a substantial impact on the life of the insulation. These oil pollutants interact to breakdown the polymer chains of the insulation paper. As these chains get smaller the paper becomes brittle and cracks occur. Breakdown can occur in these cracks resulting in catastrophic damage.
Yes, to some degree. However, similar to all electrical equipment, the temperature deep inside the transformer will be much higher than that observed at the surface (or tank) due to cooling of the surface by ambient air.
Transformers do not perfectly convert power. Some energy is lost in the process. This energy heats the transformer. As the temperature rises it causes changes within the transformer which degrade performance. All transformers have a maximum safe operating temperature. They also have a maximum safe rate of temperature change under high instantaneous load conditions.
As the level of moisture content increases in a transformer it has two major effects. Firstly, the additional water interacts with the paper in the insulation causing accelerated damage. This damage weakens the mechanical strength of the paper, allowing cracks to form and breakdowns to occur. Secondly, the additional water interferes with the insulation performance of the oil impregnated paper. Under certain circumstances this can result in insulation breakdown and catastrophic damage. Therefore, a high value of moisture in the transformer oil indicates an unsafe operating state. Such transformers must be managed very carefully and typically cannot be used to their original design limits safely.
If the water content in the transformer oil is within the IEEE standard specified limits, then, we can be comfortable with its operating condition. Violating the standard limits may result in fault conditions. The same applies for temperature measurements.
The Aurtra solution provides the exact data for temperature as well as water content in oil and hence indicates normal or risky operating conditions.
The main causes of failure in a transformer result from a compromise of the internal insulation. This results from the cumulative effects of aging, mechanical damage or, in some circumstances, design or manufacturing faults. Insulation within most transformers is essentially paper impregnated with oil. This insulation can be compromised during the transformers life by mechanical stress (vibration) or certain aging processes degrading the paper and the oil. These processes are well understood by Aurtra.
Aurtra develops world best practice asset management solutions for power networks globally. Our technology is built on a foundation of over 10 years of research at the University of Queensland in close co-operation with a number of the largest Australian power networks using decades of transformer data.more about us