CHENNAI: The State government is expected to save crores of rupees it has been spending on maintaining high-power transformers as the Research & Development wing of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) is to soon introduce ‘bellows’ for insulation preservation.
Unlike distribution transformers at street corners for end user connectivity, high-power transformers are employed only in generation and transmission substations. These power transformers (33 or 110 KV) involving higher voltage distribution networks are generally used for stepping up or down the voltage.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) in its annual reports highlighted that frequent power interruptions were reported due to poor maintenance of power transformers. A TANGEDCO official said that besides high temperature, entry of oxygen and moisture into the components of a power transformer deteriorates the oil used for insulation and causes premature failure.
In an attempt to preserve the quality of oil and paper insulation and other main components, TANGEDCO’s R&D wing started a project last year to enhance the life of these transformers. The project suggested the use of ‘external bellows’ to preserve transformer insulation.
An engineer from TANGEDCO R&D who was a part of this project, said bellows are metallic vessels attached below the power transformers’ breather compartment. They arrest entry of oxygen and moisture besides removing moisture from the solid insulation in a gradual manner, the engineer added.
During the first phase of this project, expected to be launched this year, bellows will be attached to 900 33 KV transformers and 1,600 110 KV transformers.