A Latin American service company shares their experience on using SeetaLabs’ business solution RONIN for saving a GSU (Generation Substation Unit) transformer from catastrophic failure. Read along to know the details of this case.

Where it all began

The service company was responsible for a 90/120/150 MVA, 115/13.8 kV GSU transformer that was particularly disturbing. This transformer has a history from 2015 were combustible gases especially ethylene has been an issue of concern. The service company reports that their client ” could not find anything peculiar in the unit”. After due degassing, the transformer was back in service. The diagnostic data collected for this transformer was rather poor and inconsistent.

Data Challenges and conventional tools

DGA testing was done on the unit on various occasions, same tendency, ethylene going up but no action taken until May of 2020, when the fault showed its true colors. Alongside, some oil data was also available to the service company. Intially the service company decided to use Duval’s triangle for fault identification. This method identified an incipient thermal fault. Nevertheless, the intensity and urgency of intervention was not very clear due to sparsely available data. It was also difficult to identify other failure modes operating at the same time.

RONIN saves transformer from catastrophic failure

SeetaLab’s RONIN-Artificial Intelligence Health Indexing (AIHI) tool was able to find the fault by running the historical data and save the transformer in nick of time before its catastrophic failure. The DGA and oil data (despite their poor availability) was fed to RONIN-AIHI. The outcome is a numerical health index score evaluating the overall health status of transformer. This was instrumental in saving the unit from catastrophic scenarios.



Dynamic behavior of transformer health status due to degassing


With respect to the health index, it was easier for the service company to now justify the actions taken on the transformer. This eased the decision-making process and provided various techincal justifications associated with it.

Unfortunately the fault was non repairable as overtime it had escalated so much that this hot spot entered the low voltage coil. If it had been addressed on time, the transformer could have been saved with a simple on site field repair.

Finally, the service company was able to convice their client to put off the transformer for repair/replacement. After internal inspection, the service company reports that “RONIN was brilliantly accurate in pinpointing the issues within few seconds”.

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