Distribution Transformer Monitoring

Short Descrption for Distribution Transformer Monitoring

Distribution Transformer Monitoring involves the use of advanced solutions to ensure the reliability and optimal performance of distribution transformers. By continuously assessing the vital components of these transformers, such as the active part, bushings, tap changers, and cooling systems, asset owners can reduce life-cycle costs while enhancing availability and reliability. This proactive approach goes beyond traditional methods like Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA), allowing asset owners to extend their online monitoring capabilities. Implementing solutions like GE’s MS 3000 provides comprehensive coverage of common failure causes, enabling a more in-depth understanding of transformer health. These systems combine data from various sensors to present a unified and intelligible overview of transformer components, offering diagnostics, intelligent alarms, and recommended actions. With the MS 3000 and similar solutions, operators can confidently manage and optimize their distribution transformers.

Detail description

Expert System

Algorithms for analyzing the data acquired online are implemented in the software and reflect GE’s extensive experience with transformers.The expert system highlights issues through configurable alarms and provides clear correlated information as well as recommendations concerning the transformer continued operation, the suggested “next steps” and the need for services and maintenance.


• Load currents (A)
• Over-currents (A)
• Total number of over-currents (A)
• Load factor (A)
• Overload capacity (A)
• Emergency overloading time (A)
• Apparent power (A)
• Active power
• Reactive power
• Transformer power factor (cos φ)
• Transformer losses


• Top oil temperature (A)
• Bottom oil temperature
• Calculated hot spot temperature (A)
• Winding temperature
• Moisture in insulation paper (A)
• Bubbling temperature (A)
• Bubbling safety margin (A)
• Breakdown voltage (A)
• Lifetime consumption (A)
• Ageing rate (A)

Oil Analysis

Both off-line and online data can be analysed.DGA using the most common diagnostic tools: Duval’s triangle, Rogers and Doernenburg ratios, Key Gas methods, etc… as per IEEE C57.104 and IEC 60599. Users can select the method most appropriate to their situation. They can also perform Furfural determination and oil condition evaluation according to IEC 60422:

Dissolved Gas Analysis

• Gas in oil content (1 to 9 gases) (A)
• Gas in oil rate of change (A)
• Moisture in oil content (A)


• Operating voltages (C).
• Transient lightening over-voltages (C).
• Total number of over-voltages (C).
• Change of C1 capacitance (C).
• Power factor (tan δ).
• Oil/SF6 pressure/density.

Transient Over-Voltage

  • Detection of fast transient over- voltages (up to 5 MHz) caused by network switching.
  • Capture of full waveform.

On Load Tap Changer

• OLTC position (A)
• Number of switching operations (A)
• Number of operations until service (A)
• Cum. switched load current (A)
• Cum. current until service (A)
• Power consumption of motor drive (B)
• Motor drive current
• Operation timing (B)
• Assessed mechanical condition (B)
• Energy index (B)
• Contact erosion
• Gas in oil content
• Moisture in oil content
• Oil temperature
• Oil temperature differences
• Oil level in OLTC


• Ambient temperature. (A)
• Ambient humidity.
• Cabinet temperature.

Other measures

• Oil level in main tank.
• Oil pressure.
• Humidity of air inside conservator.
• Gas quantity/gradient in Buchholz relay.
• Other digital and analogue inputs.
• Other parameters on request.

Oil Analysis

Both off-line and online data can be analysed.DGA using the most common diagnostic tools: Duval’s triangle, Rogers and Doernenburg ratios, Key Gas methods, etc… as per IEEE C57.104 and IEC 60599. Users can select the method most appropriate to their situation. They can also perform Furfural determination and oil condition evaluation according to IEC 60422:

Partial Discharge

• Electrical PD.


The built-in simulator module allows the user to simulate external events or internal transformer events and to study the corresponding effect on the transformer’s behavior. It can be invaluable for weighing up options when faced with a difficult decision but can also be used for training of personnel.

Report Generator

The configurable report generator quickly and easily creates a user-friendly report onthe status of the transformer and of its main components. The report can be created on demand for selected monitored functions over a specified time frame.

RModular monitoring solution for power transformers

The MS 3000 is a globally recognized online monitoring solution with well over 1,000 installations worldwide which benefits from extensive transformer manufacturing DNA. It is a powerful tool that concentrates most of the transformer data available and combines it with sophisticated models, diagnostic algorithms and practical experience to help the user evaluate the health of the transformer, monitor its current performance and optimize its operational efficiency. The MS 3000 is modular and highly configurable so that it can accommodate a wide range of specifications or customer requirements surrounding monitoring of the 6 main areas responsible for the failure of power transformers. Standard configurations are also available to cover typical requirements. Its wide range of communication options facilitates connection to SCADA systems, data historians and Asset Performance Management (APM) systems. All this is provided by a single vendor with extensive transformer manufacturing and monitoring experience, which supports the customer from conception to deployment, ensures that the solution meets expectations and stands by it for the long term.



The Web server built into the MS 3000 provides web pages in several languages which can be accessed using a standard web browser. The key data overview screen will highlight any alarm and enable to drill down into more specific data. When part of a transformer fleet, integration with GE’s Perception software** enables centralized information, leveraging of fleet data and fleet health ranking.

Sophisticated Modelling

With a multitude of sensors constantly delivering refreshed online data, the MS 3000 uses sophisticated models to analyse all this data, correlate it when additional sources are available and convert the data into actionable information in order to enable the asset owner to get the most out of the transformer.

Distribution transformers are vital components of electricity distribution networks, serving as intermediaries between the high-voltage transmission lines and the low-voltage distribution lines that power homes, businesses, and industries. These transformers play a critical role in ensuring a stable and reliable power supply to consumers. To maintain the reliability and performance of these transformers, asset owners are increasingly turning to advanced monitoring solutions that go beyond traditional methods. In this article, we will explore the evolving landscape of Distribution Transformer Monitoring, the key challenges faced by asset owners, and the innovative solutions, such as GE’s MS 3000, that are helping optimize the operation and maintenance of these critical assets.

Challenges in Distribution Transformer Monitoring

Asset owners and operators of distribution transformers are under constant pressure to improve the availability and reliability of their networks. The demand for electricity continues to rise, driven by the growth of industries, urbanization, and the electrification of various sectors. With this increasing demand, transformer assets must perform at their best to avoid costly downtime and service disruptions.

However, ensuring the continuous and efficient operation of distribution transformers is not without its challenges:

  1. Aging Infrastructure: Many distribution transformers have been in service for decades, and the aging infrastructure can lead to a higher risk of failures and decreased performance.

  2. Network Expansion: As electricity grids expand to reach new areas, the number of distribution transformers increases. Managing a growing fleet of transformers becomes increasingly complex.

  3. Fault Identification: Identifying faults and performance issues in distribution transformers is often a time-consuming and manual process, leading to delays in maintenance.

  4. Preventive Maintenance: Traditional maintenance practices are often based on schedules rather than actual asset condition, resulting in both unnecessary maintenance and missed issues.

  5. Data Overload: The proliferation of sensors and monitoring devices can lead to data overload, making it challenging to derive actionable insights from the vast amounts of information collected.

Addressing these challenges requires a holistic and data-driven approach to Distribution Transformer Monitoring, which goes beyond the conventional Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) and incorporates modern technologies and solutions.

Distribution Transformer Monitoring Solutions

Asset owners are increasingly turning to advanced monitoring systems to tackle the challenges associated with distribution transformers. One of the standout solutions in this domain is GE’s MS 3000, a modular and holistic transformer monitoring system designed to provide a comprehensive view of transformer health and enable timely, informed decision-making.

Key Features of GE’s MS 3000 Transformer Monitoring System

  1. Continuous Supervision: GE’s MS 3000 offers real-time monitoring of distribution transformers. By integrating data from various sensors, it provides asset owners with an uninterrupted view of the transformer’s status. This continuous supervision allows operators to detect anomalies as they occur, enabling early intervention and reducing the risk of catastrophic failures.

  2. Modular Design: The MS 3000 is modular, which means it can be tailored to the specific needs of an asset owner. Whether essential monitoring or comprehensive coverage is required, the system’s flexibility ensures that the solution aligns with the objectives and budget of the operator.

  3. Comprehensive Insights: Through the use of advanced analytics and models, the MS 3000 aggregates data from multiple sensors to provide a comprehensive view of the transformer’s main components. It uses sophisticated algorithms to identify potential issues, assess the severity of faults, and recommend operational next steps.

  4. Expert System: The MS 3000 can be considered an “Expert System” for distribution transformers. It leverages the power of data and analytics to provide actionable insights and assist operators in confidently assessing the condition of their transformers. This expert guidance is invaluable for optimizing transformer operation and maintenance.

  5. Reduced Life-Cycle Costs: By enabling predictive and condition-based maintenance, the MS 3000 helps asset owners reduce life-cycle costs. Unplanned downtime and extensive maintenance procedures can be minimized, leading to significant cost savings.

  6. User-Friendly Interface: The MS 3000 features a web server Human-Machine Interface (HMI) that offers a user-friendly experience. Operators can access data and analysis without the need for additional software, enhancing convenience and usability.

  7. Integration with GE’s Perception Software: The system seamlessly integrates with GE’s Perception software, providing a centralized repository of information. This integration allows asset owners to leverage fleet data and streamline the management of multiple distribution transformers.

  8. Inter-Operability with Smart Grid and Digital Substation: The MS 3000 is designed to be highly interoperable, ensuring that it can seamlessly connect with other components of the Smart Grid and Digital Substation. This interoperability is essential for modernizing the power grid and achieving greater efficiency and reliability.

Benefits of Distribution Transformer Monitoring

The adoption of advanced monitoring systems like GE’s MS 3000 offers several advantages to asset owners and network operators:

  1. Enhanced Reliability: By continuously monitoring the condition of distribution transformers, operators can proactively address issues, reducing the risk of unplanned outages and enhancing network reliability.

  2. Cost Savings: Predictive maintenance, based on real-time data and expert insights, enables asset owners to optimize maintenance schedules, minimizing unnecessary costs and extending the life of transformers.

  3. Efficient Operations: The MS 3000 and similar systems help streamline operations by providing an integrated view of transformer health. This efficiency is critical for managing large fleets of distribution transformers.

  4. Data-Driven Decision-Making: With a wealth of data and analytics at their disposal, operators can make data-driven decisions that maximize the performance of distribution transformers.

  5. Remote Monitoring: Remote access to real-time data allows operators to assess transformer health without the need for physical inspections. This capability is especially valuable for transformers located in challenging or remote environments.

  6. Safety: Improved monitoring and predictive maintenance enhance safety by reducing the risk of transformer failures that could lead to hazardous situations

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Where do we have clients and supply our Distribution Transformer Monitoring ?

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Advantage of Distribution Transformer Monitoring

Distribution Transformer Monitoring is an essential practice for asset owners and network operators looking to enhance the reliability and performance of their distribution transformers. This advanced approach to transformer management offers several significant advantages:

  1. Enhanced Reliability: Continuous monitoring of distribution transformers significantly enhances network reliability. Operators can identify issues as they occur, allowing for timely interventions and reducing the risk of unplanned outages.

  2. Cost Savings: Distribution Transformer Monitoring enables predictive and condition-based maintenance, which reduces maintenance costs by eliminating unnecessary procedures. This approach also extends the operational life of transformers, maximizing the return on investment.

  3. Efficient Operations: With an integrated view of transformer health, operators can streamline their operations. This efficiency is crucial for managing large fleets of distribution transformers effectively.

  4. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Access to real-time data and advanced analytics empowers operators to make informed, data-driven decisions. These decisions can optimize transformer performance and extend their operational life.

  5. Remote Monitoring: Remote access to real-time data allows operators to assess transformer health without the need for physical inspections. This capability is particularly valuable for transformers located in challenging or remote environments, where access may be limited.

  6. Safety: Distribution Transformer Monitoring improves safety by reducing the risk of transformer failures that could lead to hazardous situations. Timely identification and mitigation of faults contribute to a safer operating environment.

  7. Optimized Maintenance: By identifying the severity of issues, Distribution Transformer Monitoring helps prioritize maintenance activities. This means that resources can be directed towards critical transformers, ensuring that the most urgent needs are addressed promptly.

  8. Interoperability: Modern monitoring systems are designed to be highly interoperable. They can seamlessly integrate with other components of the Smart Grid and Digital Substation, contributing to the overall efficiency and reliability of the power distribution network.

  9. Data Accessibility: Operators can access data and analysis through user-friendly interfaces, reducing the complexity of monitoring systems and making information readily available.

  10. Centralized Information: Integration with software solutions like GE’s Perception provides centralized information and allows for leveraging fleet data. This centralization simplifies data management and decision-making.