Publication Details

G. O. Asiegbu, A. M. A. Haidar & K. Hawari, "Thermal defect analysis on distribution transformer using a RLC network and thermography," Circuits and Systems, vol. 4, pp. 52-60, 2013.


Electrical transformers are vital components found virtually in most power-operated equipments. These transformers spontaneously radiate heat in both operation and steady-state mode. Should this thermal radiation inherent in transformers rises above allowable threshold a reduction in efficiency of operation occurs. In addition, this could cause other components in the system to malfunction. The aim of this work is to detect the remote causes of this undesirable thermal rise in transformers such as oil distribution transformers and ways to control this prevailing thermal problem. Oil transformers consist of these components: windings usually made of copper or aluminum conductor, the core normally made of silicon steel, the heat radiators, and the dielectric materials such as transformer oil, cellulose insulators and other peripherals. The Resistor-Inductor-Capacitor Thermal Network (RLCTN) model at architectural level identifies with these components to have ensemble operational mode as oil transformer. The Inductor represents the windings, the Resistor representing the core and the Capacitor represents the dielectrics. Thermography of transformer under various loading conditions was analyzed base on Infrared thermal gradient. Mathematical, experimental, and simulation results gotten through RLCTN with respect to time and thermal image analysis proved that the capacitance of the dielectric is inversely proportional to the thermal rise.