IAN Gray (Senior Consultant Oilwatch Transformer Laboratories)
Power transformers are expensive and critical equipment in power systems which play a significant role in the transmission and distribution of electricity. Although transformers are generally reliable pieces of equipment, failures do occur, and there are many degradation mechanisms operating in components and sub-systems that will ultimately limit the useful operating life.
Wind Turbine Step-up Transformers that boost turbine outputs from a few hundred volts to medium voltage distribution levels have a high failure rate. This is not unexpected as transformers follow the Bathtub failure curve. This trend affects both liquid filled and dry type transformers.