Uruguayan utility

October 2012: Failure 2 weeks after a reclaim treatment with fuller earth (performed by a local operator).

Nameplate data of the transformer:

Transformer: grid transformer with OLTC
Namufact.: xxx
Year: 1977
Power [MVA]: 425
Voltage [KV]: 500
Oil mass [Kg]: 58.000
Oil type: YPF65 paraffinic oil not inhibited

Evidence of electrical arc on the contacts of the selector

Analysis and diagnosis (by the holder)

The diagnosis of the holder, as a result of the field tests, presumed an high energy discharge in the main tank. Subsequently, after laboratory tests, was discovered a failure in the OLTC that produced a discharge in the transformer main tank.

The reclaim treatment with fuller earth made the oil aggressive towards the silver surfaces of the contacts.

Corrosion of the silver surface of the contacts

Analysis, diagnosis and expertise by Sea Marconi

Columns with reactivated earth (not used by Sea Marconi)

«At relatively high temperature, sulphur-containing oil molecules may decompose and react with metal surface to form metal sulphides» (IEC 60422 Ed. 4 – 2013 art. 5.17)

Sea Marconi calls this case as SCBP (Sulfur Combustion ByProducts) & Corrosive Sulfur.

The oil regeneration process plant involves the high temperature reactivation of sorbent and fuller earth column by uncontrolled combustion. The Sulfur Compounds naturally present (DiBenzoThioPhene – DBTP, etc.) in the Oil and additives (DBDS, etc.) are decomposed in Sulfur Combustion ByProducts (such as corrosive H2S, Mercaptans, etc.) forming Sulphides CuS, Cu2S, Ag2S, etc.”. Ref. other case histories such as National Grid, ABB, etc.

Analytical results

CCD Corrosive
TCS DBDS Eq. [mg/Kg] 131
ASTM 1275 B 4C
DBTP [mg/Kg] 24
TAN [mg KOH/g] 0,01
DF 0,018
IFT [mN/m] 0,018

Identified Critical issues

Applied solutions

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