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What Is An Oil Testing Machine?

May 20, 2024 | Industry News, News

An oil testing machine, also known as an oil analyzer or transformer fault gas detector, is an instrument used to analyze the condition and quality of transformer oil. Large power transformers rely on oil as a cooling and insulating medium, making oil testing crucial to monitor the health of these critical grid assets.

Oil testing machines employ various analytical techniques such as dissolved gas analysis (DGA), dielectric strength testing, furan analysis and interfacial tension measurement to detect potential issues within the transformer. Portable oil testing kits provide on-site diagnosis while lab-based machines offer advanced comprehensive analysis.

dissolved gas analysis of transformer oil

Benefits of Transformer Oil Testing Kits

Regular transformer oil testing allows utilities and industry to proactively maintain transformers, avoid unexpected outages and reduce equipment failures. Oil testing kits can:

  • Detect material decompositions, overheating and electrical discharges early on before catastrophic failures occur.
  • Monitor water content, oxidation levels and other indicators to optimize maintenance schedules.
  • Verify oil meets specifications before filling/topping up transformers to prevent new faults.
  • Troubleshoot operational abnormalities and identify root causes of transformer issues.

Dissolved Gas Analysis of Transformer Oil

One of the most useful oil testing methods is dissolved gas analysis (DGA). By measuring dissolved combustible gases such as hydrogen, acetylene and methane in oil, DGA can pinpoint internal transformer faults. It provides detailed diagnostics beyond simple pass/fail indicators.

ZHIWEI is a leading Chinese manufacturer of DGA oil testing equipment for utilities and laboratories. Their portable transformers online monitor collects real-time data to alert utilities of potential issues. For advanced analysis, ZHIWEI’s lab-based chromatograph accurately detects over 30 hydrocarbon and gases in ppb levels.

ZHIWEI DGA units feature easy operation, rapid 15 minute test durations, automatic calibration and diagnosis reports. The instruments are widely used across Asia, Europe, Africa and South America to safeguard transformers worth billions.

Applications of Dissolved Gas Analysis

Some key applications of DGA in transformer maintenance include:

  • Diagnosing winding hot-spots and detecting incipient faults in the earliest stages to schedule repairs proactively.
  • Distinguishing between low-energy and high-energy discharges to pinpoint fault type and severity.
  • Differentiating between thermal and electrical faults like arcing grounds to direct correct troubleshooting.
  • Monitoring gas generation trends over time to understand deterioration rates and transformer health.
  • Verifying repairs and retrofits were effective by checking DGA indicators return to normal levels.
  • Acceptance testing of new transformers prior to commissioning to ensure oil quality compliance.
  • Comparative analysis of spare unit oils to find potential loading issues before scheduling maintenance outages.

With accurate DGA monitoring, utilities substantially improve asset reliability while reducing lifecycle costs through preventive maintenance optimization. The technology is also mandated for large grid transformers in many regions worldwide.

In summary, oil testing machine such as ZHIWEI’s DGA analyzer and monitoring systems are indispensable tools for condition-based, risk-based maintenance of high-value power transformers. DGA provides utilities unmatched visibility into equipment health to uphold grid stability.