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IEEE MELECON 2006, May 16-19, Benalmdena (Mlaga), Spain

Power Transfomer Core Fault Diagnosis Using Frequency Response Analysis.

Jorge Pleite, Carlos Gonzlez, Juan Vzquez, Antonio Lzaro.
Electronics Technology Department. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Avda. de la Universidad 30, 28911-Leganes, Madrid, SPAIN e-mail: been achieved due to it is no so easy to have a physical interpretation. A physical meaning of the core using the Frequency Response is presented in this work. In section II, a core model for the different phases of a three phase transformer is proposed. The relations among model parameters and the different internal parts of the transformer are presented. In section III, Frequency Responses of an actual transformer are shown and the parameters of the model are calculated. By means of the knowledge of the different parameters that has a relation with the physical parts of the transformer, a systematic diagnostic procedure can be achieved. Finally, section IV gives the achieved conclusions. II. DIAGNOSIS PROCEDURE

Abstract. Power Transformers are main devices in the performance of Energy Supply Systems. Therefore, there is a great interest in its health state. Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) is nowadays an appreciated preventive technique used for transformer maintenance in order to detect winding displacements. But, in spite of the advantages of FRA, a systematic diagnosis procedure has not been still developed due to the physical meaning of the Frequency Response is not really obtained. Our research group has developed a three phase magnetic core model that provides the relations among the raw Frequency Response and the different parts inside the three phase transformer. Different effects of the magnetic core are recognized through different parameters of this model. A diagnosis procedure is available taking into account these parameters because the internal parts of the transformer are distinguished.



Efficiency is a main target for Energy Power Supply Companies, since it must operate in a competitive market. Power Transformers are mainly involved in the energy transmission and distribution. For this reason, the reliability, quality and economic cost of the company depends strongly of the transformer health and, therefore, an intensive maintenance of the electric machine is required. In spite of corrective and predictive maintenance is carried out, preventive maintenance of the power transformer is getting ahead and it is must be taken into account in order to obtain the highest reliability [1]. In the last years, preventive maintenance techniques such as Dissolve Gas Analysis (DGA), tg and capacitance measurement or Frequency Response Analysis (FRA) have appeared. The FRA technique measures the frequency response of the transformer which allows to know the internal state of the machine. It has been proved that FRA is specially useful detecting winding displacements and deformations,[2]. But, as the entire transformer state is known by means of FRA measurement, not only the winding but also the magnetic core behaviour can be analyzed. However, although Frequency Response Analysis has been developed in the last years and it is widely used all over the world, a systematic diagnosis procedure has not

It is not easy to obtain a physical interpretation looking at the raw Frequency Response of a single phase in a power transformer. Some experts are able to interpret this response but from a subjective and non systematic point of view. In this section, a model of the magnetic core that allows to interpret and localize the internal parts of the transformer is presented. Some algorithms have been also developed in order to calculate the values of the parameters of the model. As soon as these parameters support the physical meaning, the diagnosis can be carried out observing the evolution of its values. A. The model. Our research group has developed a frequency dependent model of the entire transformer (including not only the core but also the winding effects) in order to obtain the physical interpretation of the Frequency Response, [3]. A specific model for the magnetic is core presented in this paper based on the general previous model, taking into account the physical interpretation of the magnetic field distribution inside the core. A three phase transformer is represented in Figure 1. Each phase is placed in a different column, and may have different winding sides (primary, secondary, etc). In Figure 2. the proposed magnetic core model of the transformer is presented. The magnetic path is the same for lateral phases

1-4244-0088-0/06/$20.00 2006 IEEE


while it is different for the central phase, due to the symmetric structure of the transformer. Equation (1) represents this effect where the value of k depends on how symmetric the transformer is.

LR =

2 NR R

LS =

2 NS S

LT =

2 NT T

(2) windings

RR = RT =

RS k

CR, CS, CT represents the self capacitance respectively of each phase.

where 0 < k 1


RR, RS, RT represents mainly the core power losses due to each leg of the core respectively.

The electric equivalent core model is presented in Figure 3. . It has been developed based on the magnetic model (Figure 2. ) adding the parasitic capacitances and resistances which are intrinsic to each winding side (the three reluctances R, S and T are converted into three inductances LR, LS, LT).

B. Parameters Calculation. The magnetic core effects of a three phase transformer are visible at low frequencies in the Frequency Response. A typical response for a lateral phase (R or T) is shown in Figure 4. As soon as the equivalent circuit in Figure 3. is able to represent the core behaviour, its frequency response fits respect to the actual measure. The parameters calculation is explained below ((3) to (9)). Algorithms of [3] are used in our case in order to obtain LLAT and LCEN from the frequency response, due to its high accuracy. In order to simplify the contents of the paper, only L and C parameters will be calculated. For this calculation only Range 1 (low frequency in the core effects) and Range 4 (high frequency in the core effects) in Figure 4. are needed to be considered because Range 1 represents mainly the inductance behaviour and Range 4 represents mainly the capacitive behaviour. The frequency response of the central phase S is different to the response of the lateral phases R and T. Ranges 2 and 3 in Figure 4. are presented for lateral phases due to the asymmetry of k 1. However, the response measured at phase S shows only Ranges 1 and 2 due to the symmetry point of view of this central phase (Figure 1. and Figure 2. ).




Figure 1. . Three phase transformer.



Figure 2. Equivalent magnetic model

+ +





Range 1 Range 2 Range 3 Range 4



Figure 3. Equivalent electric core model.

Therefore, the impedance of a three power transformer at low frequencies, where the core effects are visible, is obtained by means of the electric circuit in Figure 3. All of the nine parameters have a physical interpretation: LR, LS, LT represents the inductances due to the three legs of the transformer. There is a well known relation between inductances and reluctances, (2).

Figure 4. . Example of the Frequency Response of the equivalent circuit expressed in terms of the module impedance measured at the lateral phase.

1) Lateral Phase(R, T) parameters calculation. L parameters calculation needs to consider the low frequency range (Figure 4. , Range 1). At low frequencies the equivalent circuit is shown in Figure 5. due to the capacitors impedance has a high value and therefore is not considered in the parallel impedance of each phase. The


equivalent circuit is obtained from the phase R point of view but can be analogue obtained for T phase. Considering that NR=NS=NT and (1), the relation between the inductance of lateral and central phase is given by

analogous to 4) where LCEN is the measured inductance of the Frequency Response of the central phase.


2 1 + 2k


LR =k LS


3) Obtaining the parameters of the core model LR and k can be calculated from 4) and (7), through expressions (8) and (9).

Taking into account (3), the equivalent impedance is given by 4), where LLAT is the measured inductance of the Frequency Response of a lateral phase. By this way, an expression for the value of the inductance due to the lateral leg of the transformer (R o T phase) is obtained.





k +1 LR II( LS + LT ) = LR 2k + 1




The procedure is similar for the C parameter calculation looking at Range 4. In this case, high frequencies of the magnetic core effects are considered. The equivalent circuit is shown in Figure 6. Tacking into account that the windings of the three phases are built in the same way (which is fairly the way it is), their capacitances between winding and core are the same 5).

CR is obtained directly from CLAT through expression (6). III. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS.

C R = C S = CT


Looking at Figure 6. , the value of the capacitance for a lateral phase is given by 6).
C LAT C R II(C S series contected with CT ) = C R 2 3

The Frequency Response of the ferromagnetic core of an actual three phase transformer is shown in Figure 7. , which corresponds with the behaviour of R and S phases. For confidential requirements, actual numerical results are not shown. The graph scales are not represented and the numerical values have been rescaled through a factor. This doesnt mean any missing information for this paper since all the processes can be explained through the example with these corrections. In this Frequency Response the core effects are mixed with the winding effects (e.g, Leakage inductance). So, it is difficult to obtain the LLAT, LCEN and CLAT due to the core effects directly from this measurement shown in Figure 7. In order to distinguish the actual value of the impedance due only to the core effects, a complex modeling procedure was previously developed, [3]. This model is able to discriminate the different effects core and windings- mixed in the actual measurement. The values obtained from the Frequency Response by means of this previous model are presented in TABLE I. The values calculated by means of (4) and (7) are presented in TABLE II. Observing the results, some conclusions can be obtained:





Figure 5. . Magnetic core equivalent circuit at Range 1.


Figure 6. . Magnetic core equivalent circuit at Range 4.

2) Central Phase parameters calculation. The calculation procedure for the central phase is equal to the lateral phase. It is necessary to interchange S for R in Figure 3. , Figure 5. , and Figure 6. Equation (7) is the

LR, LS, LT parameters have been calculated. By this way, the inductances that represent the three legs of the three phase transformer have been distinguished. These parameters will be useful to obtain a diagnosis. If any of the parameters has changed in different states of the transformer it means that some parts inside the magnetic core has change. By means of the physical interpretation of the model is possible to know what is the part that has change and how much it has change, e.g.: if only LR has change it can be conclude that the fault is placed in the R phase leg.


parameter changes among different states of the transformer. The three values of the self phase capacitances CR, CS and CT are fairly similar. This fact agrees with the physical interpretation because the three windings structure are quite similar. Looking the Range 4 in Figure 7. it is possible to check that the response of lateral and central phases are the same. IV. CONCLUSSIONS.

A core effects model based on the frequency response of transformers is presented. It has the facility of offering a physical meaning of the different effects in the transformer. Therefore, an internal knowledge of the transformer can be achieved by means of an external measurement (as is the Frequency Response) through the proposed model. The application of this model is very useful in order to carry out a diagnosis of the core health in power transformers. Some experimental results have been presented in order to illustrate these concepts. ACKNOWLEDGMENT This work is been supported by the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Educacin y Ciencia DPI2005-09039-C02-02) and Union Fenosa S.A. (Spanish electric energy supplier).
Figure 7. Frequency Response in terms of a ferromagnetic core in a three phase Power Transformer of phase R an S respectively.

[1] The influence of protection system failures and preventive maintenance on protection systems in distribution systems. Meeuwsen, J.J.; Kling, W.L.; Ploem, W.A.G.A.; Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on Volume 12, Issue 1, Jan. 1997 Page(s):125 133. J.A.S.B. Jayasinghe, Z.D. Wang, P.N. Jarman, Warwick, A.W. Darwin, Investigations into Sensitivity of FRA Technique in Diagnosis of Transformer Winding Deformations. IEEE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ELECTRICAL INSULATION ISEI 2004. 19 22 September 2004. Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana USA. J. Pleite, E. Olas, A. Barrado, A. Lzaro and J. Vzquez. Transformer Modeling for FRA Techniques. IEEE-PES Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exhibition 2002 Asia Pacific. J.Pleite, E.Olas, A.Lzaro, J.Vzquez, Modeling the frequency response of magnetic components. INTERMAG 2002.




Values obtained from Frequency Response


1.378 TABLE II.



[3] Parameters Values of the model


LT 1.311











[4] [5]

The value of LS is more than the double of LR value. This fact has a physical interpretation because the reluctance of the central phase is minor than the reluctance of the lateral phase. Looking at Range 1 in Figure 7. , it is possible to check that the impedance of S phase is higher than R phase. The value of the capacitance formed between each winding and the ferromagnetic core is calculated. Therefore it is possible to locate a failure if the

Syed Mofiml Islam, Senior Member, IEEE. Detection of Shorted Turns and Winding Movements in Large Power Transformers using Frequency Response Analysis IEEE PES winter meeting vol. 3, pp. 2233-2238, 2000. Singapore.
S. Birlasekaran, Fred Fetherson. Off/On-Line FRA Condition Monitoring Techniques for Power Transformers. IEEE Power Engineering Review, pp 54-56 Agost-1999. S. Chimklai, J.R. Mart, Simplified three-phase transformer model for electromagnetic transient studies, IEEE Trans. On Power Delivery, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 1316-1325, July 1995.