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National Grid, Saudi Arabia

Co Authors: Abdullah O Bamousa

National Grid, Saudi Arabia

Presenter: Mohammad R Siddiqui

Power Transformers Economics of


Refurbishment vs Replacement

This paper is based on


Data obtained from the Grid
Interaction with some Transformer
manufacturers.
Technical Papers published on the
different components of Power
Transformers
Ongoing Projects in the Grid

Introduction

In the Western Region Grid , 238 of a


total of 730 Transformers
were
commissioned between 1975 to 1985.
They would be 30 to 40 years by the
year 2015

In the early seventies, Utilities went


for a H V Transmission Level of
110kV/132 kV.

The Need to Refurbish/Renovate

To

79
19
10
Nil
Nil

MAKKAH

TAIF

MADINAH

TABOUK

1975 To 1980

From

JEDDAH

Area

To

12

25

14

27

52

1981 To 1985

From

Year of Commissioning

238

12

25

24

46

131

Total

Transformers Commissioning Details from 1975 to 1985 in WOA National


Grid

The 2 Transformers in DSP Substation were


not fully loaded and are still in service.

The two Transformers in City Substation were


serving on full load and had to be replaced 2
years back near

In 1971 the first four 110/13.8 kV Transformers


were put in service . Two each in City
Substation and DSP Substation in Jeddah

Specific Precedence

Steps to be taken to make a decision whether


replace or refurbish the Units.

To determine the aging effect on the units

This raises the following issues

The Number of Through faults that


the Transformer has suffered

The loading cycles that the


transformers have been subjected to
over the years and

Aging depends on

Bipolar Test

Frequency Response Test (Previous Reference Results


necessary)

DGA Analysis of the Transformer Oil

Insulating Strength of the Transformer Oil.

External inspection of the Transformer and its Auxiliary


equipment.

Aging is best established by

Planned
study
and
timely
replacement/refurbishment
will
prevent
sudden
deaths
of
Transformers
that
result
in
unplanned outages and possible
extended damages.

The pictures in the following slides show


different stages of assembly and
dismantling of the Transformer
in
different locations

A Power Transformer is a stationary


device and does not contain components
that require precision Engineering.
Dismantling
a
Transformer
and
replacing the components is relatively an
easy procedure.

In Workshop

The Main Tank


The Core and Frame
The External Metallic fittings Conservator,
Piping, Radiator
The Mechanical Protection Devices and
Control Cubicles

Generally the components that remain intact


over the years are:

Tap Changer / Diverter Switch.


Cooling Fans.
Protection Devices.
Bushings.
Current Transformers.

The components that need inspection


before deciding replacement / reuse:

Press board material used for insulation


and spacing.

New Gaskets for sealing and consumables

The Coils forming the H V /LV Windings


have to be replaced

Major Components to be replaced:

Below is a cost comparison Table based on


information exchanged with some manufacturers.

Refurbishment of an existing 40 MVA Transformer


will cost about 1.5 mSR. The cost of refurbishment of a
Transformer is about 50 % as compared to the cost of
replacement.

The cost of a new 40 MVA 110/13.8 kV Transformer,


including Design Manufacturing, Transportation,
Installation Testing & Commissioning in 2012 is 2.8 to
3.2 mSR and a 67 MVA trafo costs 3.5 to 4.0 mSR

Comparison:

20
7

12

Transformer Components
Coil
Core

Tank, Conservator, Radiators,


Piping, Gaskets, Consumables,
fans and Control Cubicles

4
4.1
4.2

4.3

15
15

Project Monitoring, Installation


Testing & Commissioning
Transportation + Duty

12
0

5
5

For New
To
Trafo.
Refurbish

Design

Description

Item

as % of total cost

Mech Protections, CTs

Tap Changer

Factory Tests

Dismantling and Assembly

4.5

4.6

Total

Coolant - Trafo Oil

Description

4.4

Item

100%

10

49 %

10

To
For New Tr.
Refurbish

as %

In 2006 a 100MVA 13.8kV/132kV


Transformer had all its Winding
HV and LV, replaced for 1.3 mSR.
The cost of such Transformer then
was about 5mSR.

More Transformers will fall in this category with each


passing year.

If extended to the entire Country that has 4 such


Regions in all, the refurbishment rate can be
estimated as 4 Transformers in 2 weeks that is 2
Transformers per week.

238 Transformers in the Western Region will be 30 40


years old by 2015. If 10 % of these 238 Transformers are
identified for refurbishment each year over the next
ten years , it will be required to refurbish one
Transformer every 2 weeks.

Alternatively it can be outsourced to one of the


companies working with the required facilities
within the Kingdom

An Assembly plant sponsored by the Utility


would be ideal to take up this work as the order
book will be full for the next so many years. It will
be a first step towards indigenous Heavy Industry
for production of Transformers and generate
employment for skilled and semi skilled workers
in the country.
A New Team will have to be set up.

The Rating of the Transformer has to be retained, it cannot be


increased.

DISADVANTAGES:

Cost Saving.
No design cost.
Environment friendly.
No Civil Work required.
Control and Indications remain unchanged.
Short cycle operation Can be aimed for 16 weeks.

ADVANTAGES OF REFURBISHMENT:

5.
6.

4.

3.

2.

1.

A workshop with suitable unTanking facilities of the


Live Part and replacement of coils by new ones.
Arrangement of Washing and Cleaning of Main Tank
and Core and retightening of Core.
Oven facility for drying the assembly before sealing for
transportation.
Testing facilities for the Transformer and its
components.
Sufficient Storage and handling facility.
Oil regeneration unit(at site) with Oil Tanks for
treatment and storage.

Facilities needed

The Transformer oil will have to be


regenerated. The cost of regeneration
is about 60 % as compared to the cost
of new oil. This is an environmentally
friendly procedure and the success rate
as experienced in the existing
substations is 100%.

Paste picture

The purpose of this paper is to initiate a healthy


discussion on this subject to take timely steps to
tackle the situation that would arise in coming
years.

The refurbished Transformer will have a life


nearly as good as that of a new Transformer, as
studies of the silicon sheets used to form the
core of the Transformers have revealed no aging
effect.

Conclusion