Knowing the condition of transformer oil is important to maintain and extend its service life. It is important to make timely decision on changing or regeneration of the oil, avoiding danger to the transformer.
Chromatography analysis is one of the most efficient methods of early diagnostics of insulation fluids. It allows to see the dissolved gases, which are the result of solid insulation or oil decomposition. This analysis detects hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, ethylene, acetylene carbon monoxide and dioxide, methane, etc. The higher the quality of the chromatography, the more precise the data on the condition of the insulation system.
This method was originally used in the 1970s in the UK. The first experience proved successful, so chromatography came into wide use in most developed countries.
The main stages of transformer oil chromatographic analysis are:
- transportation of the samples to a laboratory;
- the analysis proper;
- interpretation of data.
The advantages of this analysis is the ability to precisely diagnose the defects developing in the transformer, which may be caused by local overheating or arcing. At the same time, the method has limitation, which are the relatively long duration and significant cost. These limit the analysis from being a part of a transformer oil express-test.
For precise results, it is important to take samples, store and transport them to the laboratory properly.