Lightning caused overvoltages on power transformers recorded by on-line transient overvoltage monitoring system
Keywords:On-line transient overvoltage monitoring system, power transformers, lightning overvoltages, lightning location system
Transient overvoltages generated by lightning strikes or switching operations represent a significant risk to bushings and windings of power transformers. They cause stress on the insulation system and can, over time, cause dielectric failure and damage to power transformers. Many transformer failures are reported as dielectric failures and they are not necessarily linked to any particular event when they occur but may be the result of prior damage from transient overvoltage events. Lightning and switching overvoltage waveforms appearing at transformer terminals in real operating conditions may significantly differ from standard impulse voltage waveforms used during laboratory testing. The number and amplitudes of overvoltages which stress the insulation depend on various parameters such as the lightning strike density in the considered area, since it determines how often the transformer is stressed by lightning overvoltages. Since the overvoltage amplitudes at transformer terminals are usually unknown, an on-line overvoltage transient recorder can be used with the ability to sample, analyse and store transients in real-time. In this paper, an on-line transient overvoltage monitoring system (TOMS) for power transformers is presented that is capable to continuously record in real-time various kinds of transient overvoltages such as lightning or switching overvoltages. Special attention is paid to lightning caused transient overvoltages recorded at the terminals of 150 MVA power transformer. Recorded waveforms originating from lightning strikes to overhead lines are correlated with data from the lightning location system (LLS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. Collected data about overvoltage stresses can be used as the basis for the assessment of the transformer insulation condition, estimation of health index and for analysis of various kinds of events such as faults or equipment failures.