September 24, 2017

Transformer oil purification: Accurate and cost effective analysis

Reinhausen South Africa’s Technical Team illustrates to African Mining Brief how MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Mobile Mobile can be used in complex transformer oil purification tasks in mines and other industries.

Operators of power transformers are faced with the challenge of protecting their equipment from costly failure and irreparable damage, which often occurs when least expected.

In various industries, transformer downtime has a huge impact on the production processes. That’s why regular and effective maintenance of transformers is critical.

Oil purification is one of the most crucial interventions in transformer maintenance. And Reinhausen South Africa’s technical team recommends the use of its MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Mobile to handle demanding oil purification problems.

MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Mobile application scope

The analysis of insulating oil and lubricants is a tried-and-tested method, recognised all over the world, in determining the operating condition of oil-filled electrical equipment. Precisely, the following are some of the scenarios where the MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Mobile can be used in the industry:

  1. Regular check of transformer oil

A regular check and science-based interpretation of the gases dissolved in the oil assist in optimising and extending the equipment lifetime. Based on the results of the analysis, predictive maintenance measures can be introduced at an early stage. With the mobile lab, operators can get direct access to analysis results and test reports on site of the equipment.

  1. Oil control during the purification process

 During the purification process the team of the mobile lab is able to analyse the oil on site. Thanks to the immediate results, it is possible to see directly if the purification process of the oil is working and for example the humidity level is decreasing.

  1. Oil control after the purification process

On the basis of the results of the oil analysis with the MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Mobile operators could check, on site, if the purification of the oil was successful.

Scope of capabilities

With the development of modular, mobile and compact laboratory systems for on-site applications tailored to customers’ specific needs, MESSKO® facilitates fast and clean analysis of oil samples. A typical example of this is the ISO 17025 accredited MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Mobile oil laboratory, where operating media can be analysed quickly and physically on site, with direct access to analysis results and test reports.

The following is the scope of MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Mobile’s capabilities:

  • Extensive and highly accurate physiochemical and electrical analyses of insulating oil and lubricant samples can be undertaken wherever the equipment is being used
  • High-quality equipment for qualified (insulating) oil analyses, including data interpretation for status optimisation or operating lifetime extension of operating equipment
  • The scope of the laboratory’s analysis can be customer-defined and expanded
  • Precise and accurate analysis results due to the comprehensive nature of the laboratory (Laboratory Guideline BGI 850-0)
  • Short tooling times and easy transport using conventional logistics (land, water, air)
  • Power supply via generator and designed for a variety of mains voltages and mains frequencies (400V/230V/110V)

Compact convenience

The other MESSKO® PrimeLab ® Compact is designed to convenience, highly valued for the following benefits:

  • Ready-to-go analysis systems in a flight case
  • To start the analysis the user only need a power socket
  • Specifically for service and repair facilities that do not have enough room for their own laboratory

Critical steps 

Reinhausen South Africa’s technical team advises that transformer maintenance has to be carried out by certified service technicians.

“Typically, oil analysis experts first take an oil sample, interpret it and thereafter make recommendations. During the purification process, further oil samples are taken. Then ultimately, based on the analysis results, the on-site team investigates, if the oil optimisation is working and when the purification process can be stopped.”

The main advantage of checking the condition of oil directly on-site is that the down time can be substantially reduced, states the technical team.


Online management systems

 The Reinhausen Technical Team says the oil analysis sensor MESSKO® MSense ®, a ground-breaking online management system, enables early detection of failure development within the isolating oil. With it, the operator has time to plan steps such as a complete oil analysis, purification of the oil amongst others.

Moreover, the operator can utilise online measurement system during the purification process. He can see the purification progress and can stop the process on verifying that the oil condition has improved, thus saving time and capital.

More possibilities

With ongoing research, more boundaries are set to be pushed, African Mining Brief gathers. According to the Technical Team, to improve the level of automation in this process, it could be possible in the future to define a limit value, for example the humidity value, and connect the online measurement system with the oil purification system, so that the purification process stops automatically as soon as the value has fallen below the limit value.

Reinhausen SA is a 100% subsidiary of German based Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH (HR). It’s core business is in tap changers and accessories for power transformers. Additional fields of activity include transformer lifecycle management solutions and skills development programme.

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