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Susa, Dejan (2005)
Publisher: Teknillinen korkeakoulu
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: Electrical engineering, power transformers, hot-spot temperature, top-oil temperature, bottom-oil temperature, non-linear thermal resistance, oil time constants
Power transformers represent the largest portion of capital investment in transmission and distribution substations. In addition, power transformer outages have a considerable economic impact on the operation of an electrical network. One of the most important parameters governing a transformer's life expectancy is the hot-spot temperature value. The classical approach has been to consider the hot-spot temperature as the sum of the ambient temperature, the top-oil temperature rise in tank, and the hot-spot-to-top-oil (in tank) temperature gradient. When fibre optic probes were taken into use to record local hot-spots in windings and oil ducts, it was noticed that the hot-spot temperature rise over top-oil temperature due to load changes is a function depending on time as well as the transformer loading (overshoot time dependent function). It has also been noticed that the top-oil temperature time constant is shorter than the time constant suggested by the present IEC loading guide, especially in cases where the oil is guided through the windings in a zigzag pattern for the ONAN and ONAF cooling modes. This results in winding hottest spot temperatures higher than those predicted by the loading guides during transient states after the load current increases, before the corresponding steady states have been reached. This thesis presents new and more accurate temperature calculation methods taking into account the findings mentioned above. The models are based on heat transfer theory, application of the lumped capacitance method, the thermal-electrical analogy and a new definition of nonlinear thermal resistances at different locations within a power transformer. The methods presented in this thesis take into account oil viscosity changes and loss variation with temperature. The changes in transformer time constants due to changes in the oil viscosity are also accounted for in the thermal models. In addition, the proposed equations are used to estimate the equivalent thermal capacitances of the transformer oil for different transformer designs and winding-oil circulations. The models are validated using experimental results, which have been obtained from a series of thermal tests performed on a range of power transformers. Most of the tested units were equipped with fibre optic sensors in the main windings. Some of them also had thermocouples in the core and structural parts. A significant advantage of the suggested thermal models is that they are tied to measured parameters that are readily available (i.e., data obtained from a normal heat run test performed by the transformer manufacturer). reviewed

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