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Title: Influence of contamination on the electrical performance of power transformer oil
Author: Mahmud, Shekhar
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 1063
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2015
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Transformer failure statistics from all over the world showed that almost 30% of them were due to insulation. Large amount of those failures were due to particles in transformer oil. Main focus of this research is to effects of contamination on electrical performance of transformer oil. A literature review of major causes of transformer failure, breakdown mechanisms of transformer oil has been conducted. The experimental setup and results from the pressboard-dust-contaminated transformer mineral oil test are also discussed. Several experiments have been carried out with cellulose particle contaminated transformer mineral oil. The experiments of bridge formation are conducted under the influence of DC, AC, and DC biased AC voltages. Samples with several levels of contaminant are tested under different voltage levels. The influence of different electrode systems is also tested i.e. bare electrode, covered electrode, bare electrodes with paper barrier, spherical and needle – plane electrodes. These experiments revealed that the bridges are always formed under the influence of DC voltages. The particles are attracted towards high electric field due to Dielectrophoretic (DEP) force and become charged once in contact with the electrode surface. Long fiber particles were attached to the electrodes and aligned parallel to electric field towards the other electrode. More particles attached to the initial fibers and the process continued until a full bridge formed between the electrodes. The conduction current increased with contamination levels as the bridge thickened with increment of contaminations. There is no complete bridge formed under AC electric field. The particles were attracted to the high electric field and attached to the electrodes but the particles are not been able to charge before the polarity of AC electric field alters with spherical electrodes. The current for AC remained unchanged with the increment of particle contamination levels as there is no bridge formed. However, when the DC biased AC signal is applied, the bridge is formed for all the three voltage levels tested. DC and AC breakdown tests were also conducted for several contamination levels. Experiments with kraft paper covered spherical electrodes confirmed that a tightly bonded cover does not stop the bridge; only a loose bonded cover stopped the bridging. Another test with a paper barrier between bare electrodes also did not stop the bridging. Partial discharge (PD) and breakdown test of the contaminated transformer oil is also measured but the results were not conclusive. An initial mathematical model of pressboard dust accumulation using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software, COMSOL multiphysics has been conducted. The result of the simulation model for charging-discharging and bridging showed similar trend as experimental results. There are a number of changes that can result in improved simulations. There are several variables affecting the simulation i.e. the pressboard dust particle shape, size, conductivity of impregnated pressboard fiber etc.
Supervisor: Chen, Guanghui Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering