Application of online impulse technique to diagnose inter-turn short circuit in transformer windings
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Inter-turn short circuit fault is a significant problem in power transformers which if not detected at early stages, can propagate in power networks and eventually burgeon into catastrophic faults and substantial costs. Online frequency response analysis (FRA) is well on its way of becoming a reliable tool for condition monitoring and fault detection of transformer since no disconnection is required to conduct the test. Among the two existing FRA methods, sweep frequency response analysis (SFRA) and impulse frequency response analysis (IFRA), IFRA has reached the potential for online application. This contribution aims to detect interturn short circuit fault through online transfer function monitoring of the power transformer winding using the impulse technique, a method which utilizes a capacitive coupling circuit to inject a controlled high voltage nanosecond pulse into the transformer winding. To this end, 3D finite element electromagnetic analysis and transformer equivalent high frequency electrical model have been used as auxiliary tools to precisely emulate the real transformer operation and investigate the impact of inter-turn short-circuit faults on the transformer equivalent circuit parameters and thereby, transformer online FRA signature. Simulations were performed with two different levels of interturn fault severity. The results show that inter-turn short circuit can be effectively detected with the transformer in service using the impulse method.
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