Every component in an electrical system plays a key role. If any one part of the system breaks down, the entire system will fail. Modern life is completely dependent on a stable and steady power supply. To keep the power transformers, generator, and distribution and transmission lines working properly, engineers rely on testing. The transformers need to be checked on a routine basis. For this, transformer testing equipment needs to be employed. Here are some tips from the pros on how to use this kind of equipment.
- Get the testing schedule. When you are planning out a schedule to maintain and run tests on transformers, it is important to get a handle on when transformer test instruments have been used on them in the past. Before they leave the factory, all transformers undergo testing. Power transformers are also checked at the time they are installed. There are other times these should be checked. Of course, they need to be tested after a failure but failures and other problems can be prevented with routine testing.
- Take the time to read the manuals. Before you use your transformer testing equipment, you should take the time to read the manuals for the transformer itself and the equipment you will be using to test it.
- Understand the risks. Anytime you are working with electricity, and this includes doing current transformer testing, there are inherent dangers. Only people who have specific training in working with high voltage system. One good resource for learning more about these dangers is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) puts out the document, Standards for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.”
- Make sure your transformer testing equipment has been calibrated and certified. When people are working with professionals, they often ask about what certification the person has received. It is much more unusual for questions about these things to be asked about testing equipment. Any tools and equipment used for this kind of testing need to be calibrated at least once a year.
- Do not forget to use safety equipment. Your equipment for testing energy transformers needs to include the gear you use to stay safe. You need gloves to keep your hands from getting burned from a shock, testers should be given harnesses in the event of a fall, and protective eyewear should be provided. Set time to test and inspect the gear you have to protect your testers.
- Take care to ground your transformer testing equipment. The transformer and equipment for the testing need to be connected through the same grounding system.
- Include visual inspections of the area. There are times when certain transformers can have tests performed on them when they are offline. That is not always the case. It is important to remember that the other units and devices that use power will remain on as you do the testing on the transformer. This means they will remain a source of both magnetic and electrical fields. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific guidelines that should be followed.
- Before you start the testing, make sure you perform a demagnetization and discharge procedure. It is very important to remember that the insulation can hold a residual charge and magnetization. This is why the transformer has to be prepped accordingly to prevent problems and possible injuries. Skipping this step can also cause the test results to come out all wrong. Between this prep work and the test, the person doing the test should let the transformer sit for a minimum of two hours before starting ct testing.
- Get to know the testing process. In addition to understanding the way the transformer testing equipment works, it is important to be completely familiar with the ins and outs of the test. There are a few tests that can be run. You can test for the turns ratio, dissipation factor, winding resistance, sweep frequency, excitation current, dielectric frequency, and short-circuit impedance.
- Keep any data safe. Before all of the results are in. Care should be taken to record everything. The more information you record about the testing process, the better each round of testing will be in accurately evaluating the transformer.
Gettig accurate testing results from your transformer testing equipment takes time and effort but is worth it.
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