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Transformer testing in Chalfont, USA

How do we cut the number of transformer failures?

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Tom Stefanski Tomasz Stefanski
Director, KEMA Laboratories Chalfont
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Transformer

When a transformer fails, the results can be devastating. Potential fires and explosions put lives at risk. The resulting loss of power can cause real hardship for people and businesses, and threaten the utility’s reputation as a trustworthy supplier. And the costs of putting things right after a failure go way beyond just replacing the transformer. So how can you cut the risk of transformer failures? The answer lies in laboratory testing. Physical testing of transformers in in an independent laboratory and according to international standards provides the ultimate confidence in a transformer’s long-term performance.  

Laboratory-based short circuit testing enhances transformer quality
Utilities and industry bodies around the world have carried out research on the effectiveness of laboratory-based short-circuit testing for improving overall transformer quality. For example:

  • EDF (France) reports that short-circuit testing has had a significant and positive impact for many decades on reducing the rate of winding faults in France
  • India Powergrid found that premature O&M failures arise from premature aging and reduced short-circuit withstand capabilities caused by repeated short circuits 
  • Cigré WG12.19 reports that a third of the failed power transformers in service had passed a design review but none had passed a short-circuit test

As a result, utilities in Asia, Europe and Canada have made lab-based short-circuit testing an essential and successful tool for improving transformer quality. 

The benefits of lab-based testing

  • Verification of how transformers perform under real-world conditions
    • Reduce equipment failures in the field
    • Increase confidence that grid will recover quickly after faults
  • Independent evidence for the quality, reliability and safety of transformers
    • Streamlined procurement processes for utilities and grid builders
    • More sales opportunities for manufacturers
  • Documents your efforts to improve grid reliability
    • Support in discussions with regulators
    • Evidence against liability if problems do arise
  • Insight into long-term performance and withstand capabilities helps guide maintenance planning

Your trusted partner
KEMA Laboratories is the leading name in laboratory-based testing of transmission and distribution (T&D) grid components. At our laboratory in Chalfont, Pennsylvania – the largest of its kind in the Americas – we offer extensive standards-based physical testing of power (up to 800 kV) and distribution (oil-immersed and dry) transformers. Our services help ensure transformers operate to the highest international standards. We combine highly skilled and experienced test engineers with the most advanced test facilities in the world. So you can have complete confidence in the quality of the transformers we test, and be sure of the most efficient testing procedures.

For more information download our Transformer Testing Brochure. For additional questions, contact our experts at our KEMA Laboratory in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.