Notes on completion
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First Tier Pro-forma
Project title
Lead DNO
Participant DNOs
Project summary for web
Please provide a narrative which explains the Problem(s) which being addressed by the Project.
Registration Date
Registration Confirmed
August 2014
Combined on-line Transformer Monitoring
Electricity North West Ltd
As part of operating an efficient network operators need to maximize the use of existing assets by
extending the asset life whilst maintaining system reliability and operator safety.
Electricity North West intends to trial new advanced on-line transformer monitoring solutions
developed by Camlin Power consisting of a dissolved gas analysis unit combined with a partial
discharge monitoring unit to make up a new suite of combined on-line monitoring tools. The
project will also include the trial of Acoustic monitoring technique of the tap changers which has
been developed through IFI funding through Liverpool University.
It is intended to monitor the condition of six 132kV transmission transformers that have had their
usable life extended by oil regeneration and refurbishment. The units will be moved to other
refurbished transformer to improve data validation and assess their conditions.
It is expected that we will be able to more accurately asses transformer health indices's with
collaboration with The University of Manchester and Liverpool University on data analysis. We will
be able to diagnose issues as they arise, prolong the usable life of the transformers and improve
operator safety by early detection and raising alarms of deterioration.
As part of operating an efficient network Distribution Network Operators need to maximise the use of
existing assets. This forms a key part of our Innovation strategy for RIIO ED1. We have proposed that
approximately 50% of the transformers due for renewal in the RIIO-ED1 period will now be refurbished and
the oil regenerated to improve the Health Indices. This approach aims to extend the life span of the
transformers thus deferring their replacement and also avoiding de-rating based on age. However, these
targeted transformers will be operating beyond their original design life. For that reason there is a need for
further research and development into more accurate, quicker and richer condition monitoring than currently
Traditional off line condition monitoring has relied upon:
1. Routine manual oil sampling which is slow, costly, long intervals between samples and open to margins of
error in annual oil sampling due to how it was taken, stored and time taken until its analysed.
Scope and Objectives
Please describe the scope and objectives of the Project should be clearly defined including the benefits which should directly
accrue to the Distribution System.
Success Criteria
Please give details of how the DNO will evaluate whether the Project has been successful.
This section should set out the Method or Methods that will be trialled in order to solve the Problem. The type of Method
should be identified where possible e.g. technical or commercial.
Problem(s) continued
2. Partial discharge is another proven technology but this is limited to manual testing on the tank and longer
intervals on the bushings. This technique is also a slow manual spot check, costly and open to
interpretation dependent upon the operator and there is a 'black art' around the data interpretation.
3. Acoustic monitoring of assets can also be used to monitor the condition of known problematic assets but
its still in its infancy. Its is also a manual spot check of the asset condition which is also a slow technique
and the frequency of inspection makes it difficult to trend the data.
The intervals between the manual testing are often too long to be able to trend the asset condition and
identify developing asset failures which can deteriorate quickly, fail in months and rarely are the tests
combined into one analysis
It is intended to trial a suite of advanced on-line transformer monitoring solutions which will be used in
A dissolved gas analysis unit combined with a partial discharge monitoring unit developed by Camlin
Power for the transformer and bushings to make up a new suite of on-line correlated monitoring tools. The
new system will have a closed loop process for the oil sampling which will improve reliability, speed and
accuracy of the dissolved gas analysis. Also the partial discharge will have a online trend of persistence which
will be able to identify discharge in the tanks and bushings and allow correlation between the two condition
monitoring techniques.
A Tap Changer acoustic monitoring technique which was developed by IFI funding with Liverpool
The combination of these techniques would represent a holistic interpretation of transformer condition in
near real-time.
It is intended to use the online PD, DGA and acoustic monitoring techniques to monitor the condition of six
132kV transformers that have had their usable life extended by oil regeneration and refurbishment. This data
will allow us to develop our understanding of the effects of life extension of failure mode and maintenance
requirements of assets. The monitoring suit will be moved to other refurbished units to improve data
validation and assess their conditions. To fully realise the benefits of this project we will work closely with the
our academic partners University of Manchester and Liverpool University as well as our technology partner
Camlin Power to analyse the data from condition monitoring suite to develop a more advanced transformer
monitoring tools than currently exist.
Prove the three condition monitoring techniques can be used in combination to deliver accurate results
Successful deployment of the monitoring tools
Use of the data to provide confidence in the transformers refurbishment strategy
Use of the data to help predict failure modes to inform the replacement strategy
Successful visualization of the data to allow DNO to assess the condition of the assets
Improved safety of operators due to increased knowledge of assets condition
This technique is expected to avoid the need to de-rate transformer based on age
The DNO should highlight any material, known risks that could impact the Project’s costs and/or programmes.
Scale of project
Please justify the scale of the Project. In particular, the DNO should explain why there would be less potential for new learning
if the Project were a smaller scale.
Geographical area
Details of where the Trial(s) will take place. If the Project is a collaboration, the DNO area(a) in which the Trial(s) take place
should be identified.
Potential for new learning
Detail what the parties hope to learn and how the learning will be disseminated.
This should be between 5-8 to be eligible for Tier 1 Funds.
Predicted start and end dates.
DNOs should provide an estimate of the expected project starting and completion dates.
Start Date: End Date:
Project partners and external funders
Please give details of actual or potential Project Partners and External Funding Support as appropriate
September 2014
September 2016
Camlin Power
The University of Manchester
Liverpool University
Improved detection of early deterioration in assets that are approaching or have exceeded their
design life as well as refurbished and oil regenerated units.
More accurate and up to date Health Indices of the assets
Enable the deployment of new on-line condition monitoring tools for DNOs
Correlation of Partial Discharge and Dissolved Gas analysis data amalgamated together
Improved knowledge of the tap changer operation to identify when intervention is required
None known at present.
The size of the test sample has been designed to allow modelling of SIX 132kV transformers with
the ability to move the units to alternative sites for further data validation – a reduction in the
sample size of the project would delay the implementation of this new technology and increase
the risk to operators and availability of the refurbished and oil regenerated units. The duration of
the project is essential to modelling the effects of the widest practically attainable range of
Transformer types, location and loadings. Running the project over an 18 month period will allow
seasonal changes to be taken into account.
Electricity North West Limited Distribution Network
Please tick if the project conforms to the default IPR arrangements set out in
the LCN Fund Governance Document?
The DNO should indicate if the Project does not conform to the default IPR conditions. A justification for alternative arrangements and why the Project
should still be approved must be provided, in accordance with paragraph 2.18 of the Governance Document.
Please tick if you do not consent to the First tier pro-forma being published in
If you do not consent please identify any information in the completed First Tier LCN
Project Registration that you do not wish to be published.
The DNO must demonstrate that it (or its Project Partners) will face commercial harm from its disclosure and that
information is considered eligible for exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.
All information submitted within the First Tier LCN Project Registration Pro-forma will be made available on the Ofgem
website, unless Ofgem has agreed otherwise as part of the Registration process set out above.
Estimated Project funding
An indication of the revenue allowed for within the DPCR5
settlement that is likely to be saved as a result of the project.
An indication of the total Allowable First Tier Project
Expenditure that the DNO expects to reclaim the for the
whole project.
Revenue allowed for in
the DPCR5 Settlement
(£k) per contributing DNO
Indicative total Allowable
First Tier Project
Expenditure (£k) per
contributing DNO
Please tick if the project involves making payments to related undertakings
The DNO must set out all payments that it proposes to make to itself or any Related Undertaking. Further, if a payment is to
be made to any Related Undertaking that is a Distribution System User, the DNO must demonstrate that it has offered the
same terms to similar Distribution System Users on the part of the network that is within the Project boundary and has used
reasonable endeavours to identify such Users.
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