I got 99 Problems, but the Online DGA Monitor Ain’t One

By Traci Hopkins

Everyday work challenges are multiplying for transformer managers with new ones being added faster than the old ones can be resolved.

Whether it’s assessing the health of the transformer, reducing OPEX budgets, navigating unit operability while waiting for a replacement, waiting on extended lead times for transformer deliveries, lack of trained staff, “non-transformer” related management or corporate tasks, or understanding test reports, the list goes on and on.

Transformer custodians are continuously looking for solutions and new technologies to balance the ever-growing list of challenges on their plate. Online Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) monitoring can help in a significant way.

Research has shown that 50% of organizations do not have a plan to manage or extend the reliable life of their transformer assets.  Further research has identified that 54% of transformers do not have online DGA monitors installed.

Having confident and reliable access to well-structured, easy to interpret, real-time transformer health data will play a key role in ensuring that asset managers can make timely and informed decisions on testing, repairing, and replacement of these critical assets.

This is where hydrogen monitoring plays a key role.  Monitoring a key gas like hydrogen can provide early detection of incipient faults in a transformer. But there are many different technologies in the marketplace to choose from, so how do you choose the right one?

I got 99 problems … and they all need my attention now

Utilizing solid-state technology in key gas monitoring systems comes with powerful, accurate, and realistic data that helps navigate and free up time to address many of the other “non-transformer” related tasks that have piled on your plate.

In addition to reliable and accurate data, the added benefits of solid-state technology include no maintenance on the sensor and, in the case of the GRIDSCAN 5000TM,there is no need to schedule time for calibration due to its patented auto-calibration feature.

Remember installing a DGA monitor is not meant to add more tasks to your plate by creating a need for “monitoring the monitor.” Instead, the monitor should provide ease and peace of mind because you know that you have 24/7 visibility of what’s going on in the transformer.

Reducing the burden of a constant concern as to whether the transformer is going to fail by providing real-time data with remote access, local displays, and alarms helps those responsible for managing and maintaining these assets to redirect your attention to other tasks and responsibilities.  Leaving more time to focus on and complete the other 98 problems on your plate.

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